relationship

See Jane Trust. Trust No Dick.

See Jane.

See Jane trust.

See Dick accuse Jane of cheating.

Trust no Dick.

The true character of a man is tested when his mind starts to construct fantasies about his reality.

Harry once told Sally that men could never be friends with women.

It’s a sad world when a girl can’t just talk to a boy. I was recently united with a guy a went to school with. We were friends throughout Junior High and High School and dated one another for a brief stint my Junior year. I wouldn’t call it anything serious. We both went on to have families and careers and earn our hardship badges.

We reconnected a few months ago via facebook and emailed back and forth sporadically, but last week he sent me his number since Facebook Messenger isn’t the easiest thing to use. We started texting, reminiscing and just being goofy. I was enjoying getting to know him all over again and hearing about his adventures since our departure.

But just like Harry said, that was when it all started to go downhill.

The guy I’m seeing (actually LIVING with) jumped off the emotional cliff.

  1. A text message conveying my friend’s frustration with single life turned into an elicit relationship.
  2. A series of sporadic phone calls was deceitful to him and progressed too quickly to be “innocent”.
  3. And even though I cleared it with him before saying ‘yes’, when I offered to help my friend by giving him a ride, my friend was automatically assumed a stalker that would rape me the first chance he got.
  4. A mystery truck was parked outside our house yesterday, so logically, he called the company to scope out the employees and see if he could match it up to my facebook friend’s list.
  5. These are only the actions that I know about.

I get that a certain amount of jealousy is normal, but one has to ask one’s self, “At what point does “normal” end and “crazy” begin?”.

From my perspective, it all boils down to trust. He’ll argue that he trusts me but not my friend. I’ll argue that he doesn’t trust ME.

If we play a bit of devil’s advocate here, even if my friend has ill intentions, it’s obvious the boyfriend doesn’t trust my ability to either fend off my friend’s advances or to be able to identify the malicious intent.

Today I’m plagued with the question regarding the line between “normal” and “crazy,” so I went out in search of answers.

According to Gurl.com, there are 10 signs that tell you if your boyfriend is too possessive, and we seem to have at least 6 going on here.

  1. He doesn’t like you talking to any other guys AT ALL.
  2. He always accuses you of flirting with other people.
  3. He gets mad when you don’t text back fast enough.
  4. He monitors what you do on social media.
  5. He grills you about everything you do.
  6. He gets irate if you can’t find you right away.
  7. He’s really suspicious of your friends.
  8. He gets mad at you about things you wear.
  9. He never believe you even though you’ve never given him a reason not to.
  10. You catch him going through your phone.

My friend suggested, as I relayed the reason I could no longer be his friend, that perhaps the jealousy was stemming from the boyfriend’s own infidelity and thus projecting onto me. While I adamantly denied that he would do that, his escapades last night have me experiencing Pyrate flashbacks.

For those of you who don’t follow my blogs, Pyrate was someone I dated a few years ago who I discovered was hacking into my phone after I fell asleep at night and modifying emails to make it appear as if I was cheating so he could try to control my behavior and drive me mad by paranoia. All his effort only resulted in a messy break-up and an apparent PTSD dating aftertaste.

So here I am. Not sure what to do. I’ve lost a friend to keep the insanity in check, but do I now live a life where I can’t make new friends, text message people, or have conversations with strangers? Is he always going to be questioning my every move and second guessing everyone’s intentions? Is this more a reflection of his lack of self-confidence?

Have you ever dealt with a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend? How did you work it out?

Dirty, Sexy, Monogamy: Scott and Laura’s Infinite Playlist

 by Laura Wize

Dating in your twenties teaches you to adjust your expectations…or at least it did with my experience. It taught me all the things that I didn’t want to continue in my thirties. I also had really awesome, scandalous, dirty, hot sex.

It’s true, and I can’t deny it.

I described myself much like Julia Roberts described herself in Pretty Woman— “A bum magnet. If there was bum within a file mile radius, he was mine”.

Strangely enough, some of the best sex I ever had was with those bums.

My twenties are coming to a close, and I finally found a great guy, Scott, who is not a bum. We’re in love and planning our future together. So what is wrong with me having a great guy? Nothing is wrong; I just had the expectation that we would be having this life-altering sex.

Don’t misunderstand.  We have good sex. I just want more.

If I plan on potentially marrying him, then it was on me to admit I needed more.

I got frustrated at the thought of even bringing up the topic.

I even began to wonder why is good sex attached to bad people. I always thought that when the stars magically aligned themselves, everything would be perfect.

Well, we had “the conversation,” and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I want to write about sex, but I feel like it will make you uncomfortable.

Scott: Why would it make me uncomfortable? You write about sex all the time.

Me: ‘Cause it’s about our sex life.

Scott: What you are you going to say?

Me: It will be about how to have a better sex life with your partner, and I’m my own test dummy. It’s not that it’s bad; it could just be better.

Scott: What will we do to make it better?

Me: Well I have some exercises in mind, books to read, and maybe go to an adult store.

The possibility of a trip to the Hustler store put him on the road to happiness, and I got his full consent as a test dummy. The thing you need to understand about Scott and I…we are total opposites.

I am upbeat, and he is a realist. My favorite movie is Moonstruck, and his is Last of the Mohicans.

I also think we have two different expectations of what should happen in the bedroom.

music_is_my_boyfriend_by_klamczuchaOur first small step towards understanding and big step towards multiple orgasms is Scott and Laura’s infinite playlist. We both love music, and I personally believe that what you listen to says everything about who you are and what you want. I think once we hear what the other person wants, it will make it easier to know what works for them. I asked him to come up with a playlist of five songs to describe what his ideal sexual experience is, and I would do the same.

Scott asked, “What if they are all raunchy songs?”

I just laughed and thought, “That will explain a lot.”

The playlist theory is to further explore each other’s unconscious needs. The things we want to describe but can’t because it is too hard.

Sexual expectations are similar to having an island mentality: you aren’t aware of what is happening in other places because, hell, you live in paradise.

I wanted to get a mutual understanding of our latitude and longitude as a couple.

Scott’s List:

  • Kelly- Sex Me
  • Teddy Pendergrass- Close the Door
  • Johnny Gill – Love in an Elevator
  • Eric Benet- Chocolate Legs
  • Silk- Freak Me

Laura’s List:

  • Maxwell- Sumthin Sumthin – Mello Smooth Mix
  • Raheem Devaugn- Garden of Love
  • Prince- Scandalous
  • Nine Inch Nails- Closer
  • Joe- Love Scene

After listening to Scott’s playlist, I came to the conclusion that he is eager to please his partner. He thinks of sex as a private intimate act that he wants to share with someone special.

Overall, the exercise was like reading the opposing team’s playbook– only in this case cheating is totally acceptable.

I think he liked it too.

And I think you have to be willing to make the sex in your relationship what you want.

As for Scott and I, only time can tell if our infinite playlist will get us from good to explosive. I feel like admitting we had a problem was the first step, and we’re better already.

Liv’n The Single Life: Five Reasons I Hate Relationships

Liv 'n The Single Life

 

I go back and forth on relationships.  There are times when I’m not in one– which has been the majority of my life– that I long for someone to talk to, someone to cuddle with, and a consistent sex partner.

But when I’m in one…there are days I can’t stand one more minute of incessant questioning, obligatory pet names, and routine hand holding.

Relationships kill passion, or at least that’s been my experience.  I think those stories of long-lasting lovers are urban myths more than anyone’s reality.

In my relationships, the man always ultimately loses himself.  I end up making all the decisions, and I lose what spontaneity I need to feel challenged and surprised.  I grow bored. He feels lost, and it ultimately leads to failure.

The top 5 reasons I hate relationships:

1.) ‘I love you’s become routine rather than any expression of feeling.  They’re mere greetings of comings and goings.

2.) Both of you stop caring about your appearances.  You become a rain forest of leg hair, and he goes days without bathing.

3.) Anything becomes a reason NOT to have sex.  “It’s late.” “I’m too full.” “I’m just too tired.”

4.) You tell each other everything, and you start to tune one another out in your boredom of it all.

5.) Time alone is a rare and delightful gift.  When you are always together, you become smothered.

I only have to look at this list to remind myself why I would rather microwave dinners than share my bed with his toenail clippings.

Customer Service: Getting It Right

by Kristie LeVangie

When we, as consumers, purchase an item, whether big or small, we expect it to be of decent quality, delivered in a timely manner, and should something not meet our expectations, be no-hassle, returnable.  This is the very premise of the customer-retailer relationship.

…Or so I thought.

I recently had 2 very different experiences with customer service that exemplified in juxtaposition the “right” and “wrong” way to handle consumer complaints.

1.  Kohl’s

Kohls-Logo

Last Sunday, I bought a Croft & Barrow laptop bag.  It sat unused for a few days because I was too tired and too busy to switch over the contents from my previous bag.  But Tuesday night, I emptied out my MacBook Pro, a 7-page questionnaire, my mouse, power adaptor and a few pens.

Thursday night, I saw one of the decorative loops sitting on the carpet by where my bag was placed when I got home from work.  Upon further examination, the straps had begun to come off.  One strap on each side, actually.

This was just unacceptable, from a quality perspective, and I emptied out the meager contents, found my receipt, and wondered how Kohl’s was going to handle my complaint since tags had been removed and the bag had been gently used.

Friday after work, I went into Kohl’s with bag, detached loop and receipt.  I was greeted in a friendly manner, given a sympathetic apology, and credited the amount for the bag back onto my Kohl’s card.  I was leaving the store a very satisfied girl in less than 5 minutes.

Easy, peasy.  My dedication to Kohl’s strengthened even further by the experience.

RIGHT!

 

2. h.h. gregg

hhgregg_Logo_A_E_CMKK

 

About a month ago, we wondered into an h.h. gregg store and found ourselves perusing the refrigerator section in search of a new refrigerator.  We were approached by a very nice salesman who really impressed us with his knowledge of the brands and features on each floor model.  After finding a scratch-and-dent markdown of a $3400 top of the line French door stainless steel fridge, we applied for a credit line and then added on a front loader washer and dryer.  Why the hell not, right?

The salesman insisted we purchase the pedestals to go with them even though we didn’t really feel a need for them.  And finding out they were conveniently “just put on sale” (in our heads = a discount to close the deal), we finally gave in and went home happy to await our Saturday delivery.

Friday before delivery: 

The delivery manager called to tell us that the pedestals were out of stock.  He asked if we would prefer to wait for our delivery or have the appliances delivered, and they would schedule another delivery for the pedestals once they were off backorder.

We said, “Bring on the new appliances.  No problem.”

Saturday:

Delivery went well.  The guys were nice, didn’t wreck the house, and surprise!  They had a pedestal.

Oh…wait…

No, they didn’t.  It was BROKEN!

Apparently, they made a note that we did not get the pedestal and told us we would get a call when both pedestals were available.

Saturday night:

I got an automated call saying we were getting a delivery within the 3-hour window on Sunday.

Come to find out, after pressing “0” to talk to a human, they were going to deliver a pedestal the following day.

Oh…wait…

No, they weren’t.  They were not even in stock.

Sunday: 

Another automated message.

They weren’t in stock.

 

Let’s fast forward a bit with automated messages coming periodically.

 

Two weeks ago:

Guess what?  ANOTHER automated message.  Press “0”.

This time we are told they have 1 pedestal ready for delivery.

One.

I let the boyfriend handle it.

He tells them, “No.  We said not to deliver them until there were 2.”

After a few minutes of trying to explain we never got the original one since it was broken, I yell out in frustration.

“Tell them to cancel it and return our money!  I’m through!”

Come to find out…they sure take your money right away, but to get it back as a refund…7 to 10 days!

 

Last Friday:

Still no refund.

Go to the store to face this head on.

The manager had to call over another employee to look up our info.  Apparently, they don’t teach the managers to use the computer systems…even for simple tasks.

We are told the refund should be coming in the next few days.

 

Current status:

The refund was finally credited to our card.

WRONG!

 

Evaluation:

If the end game as a retailer is “the sale”, then h.h. gregg has done a good job.  The pre-sales experience was really good.  The salesman was friendly, knowledgable about the products, and made the experience easy.

Then, as is so typical with a lot of retailers, after they have your money, they no longer care.  Our post-sales experience with h.h. gregg was so horrible and frustrating that not only will I never go back, I’m going to go out of my way to deter ANYONE and EVERYONE from shopping there EVER!  This blog is just another way to share my story with others and warn them before they too find themselves in a fiasco over pedestals.

Not only did h.h. gregg lose my pedestal business, they have lost my future business.  And I already know that I will need a new stove and dishwasher to match the new fridge.

Guess where I’ll be going?

I can tell you where I won’t be.

Kohl’s, on the other hand, has my business for life.  I know that they stand by their products and really care about the customer experience.  They apologized on behalf of the product manufacturer.  They couldn’t really predict that the bag would fall apart after just a few uses, and yet they sympathized with my situation and offered an immediate resolution.

As a business owner, I tend to lean toward the Kohl’s approach.  It’s quite frankly the only way to ensure long-term customer retention and organic growth.

h.h. gregg will just be another company who put too much investment into training and not enough investment in its consumers.

Caveat emptor!

Flirting is Fun

by Johnny Jackhammer 

My wife is a champion flirter.

She has an effortless ability to energize a room and connect with anybody she wants. Just this week she admitted to me, “FLIRTING is my middle name!” She is eager and sharp and ready to beam her smile at everyone.   It’s all about a playful attitude.

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Proof!  My lady texting me a photo while she was furniture shopping.

Why Flirt?

A flirtatious attitude can boost your confidence, bring more fun into your day, and help you feel more energetic. There is something about the naughty exchange that quickens the pulse and sharpens the senses.

Flirting can also expand your world, making it easier to meet new people and strengthen existing relationships.

In her book Total Flirt, Violet Blue shares several reasons to flirt, whether it’s to find friendships, flings, or something more. She sums it up well when she says, “For everyone, it’s just good, clean fun.”

That’s how I see it too: good, clean fun with a twist of naughtiness. True sexual intellectuals are inspired by these salacious exchanges with playful people!

Ways to Flirt

This is where I seek your advice, as I hope to learn from others.

I like the fun of the eye contact spark, and I certainly am not looking for hookups as a result. I believe that flirting begins and ends with meaningful eye contact. Watching my lady has clarified the most important principles of flirting: eye contact and a smile.

I find that people are quick to return a smile when you smile at them. If you let the eye contact linger, you can turn a polite greeting into a flirtatious connection.

The art of the experienced flirt revolves around being playful without being misinterpreted. You might just be having a laugh without necessarily looking to bed somebody. The skill is found when you can raise the heat without stepping past anybody’s boundaries. That might be easier for a woman than it is for a man, since many men are eager to go as far as the woman will allow.

And the success of the flirt is in sharing the spark of attraction with them without pushing the need to act upon it.

And I would avoid any cliché that resembles a pick-up line. They may have a beautiful body, but you’ll only get an eye roll if you ask them to hold it against you. Be clever. Be safe. Be fun. But have a spark of naughtiness in you.

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A drink might help, but be careful not to cross into the “creep” zone.

Flirting is best done in public.

My challenge to you is to bring more spark to your day. Why not feel the magnetic energy and share it with others to brighten their day?   I challenge you to bring the sunshine to the general public. Let’s see if we can’t create a kinder, happier community.

So make some eye contact in the following daily situations:

  1. Sitting at the stoplight
  2. Walking through the grocery store
  3. Strolling on your lunch hour
  4. And, for experienced flirts, while on public transportation

And, one very important thing to keep in mind: make your lovers or partners your first and most frequent target. If the goal of the flirt is to energize your life, you’ll achieve so much more by building the fire that is already between you!

Plus, if you both get really good at it, you can expand into “threesome” flirting! Talk about some crazy and dangerous energy! And all in good, clean fun!

To be continued . . . 

Mistress Elle: Bathtime Fun

 

Elle

Not everything with Mistress Elle is a punishment.  Sometimes I like to reward my little beasts with some playtime.

Sometimes, nothing feels as bad as some good clean fun.
When was the last time you had a couple bath?

Yeah, I know.  Bathes and showers are a part of our daily routine.  We hop in.  We clean, and we hurry out on our way to work, or to school, or to bed.

But don’t wash them away so easily…

Couple bathes can be a great way to reconnect with your partner in a soapy, slippery, touch-based communication session that proves a relaxing begin to foreplay if done correctly.

It can be a clean way to play,

a way to pamper one another,

or when taken a bit farther…a way to break away from the norm, i.e. your bed.

So load up on the bubble bath, baby oil, candles and shampoo and plan some “alone” time in the bathroom on your next date night.

Cleansing yourself doesn’t have to be part of your mundane routine EVERY time.   Get a little dirty while getting clean!

Mistress out.

 

Liv’n The Single Life: Sex at the Workplace

Liv 'n The Single Life

“My god! Why would anyone do such a risky thing?”

…Because being bad feels good.

 

Think about it.  We all like to feel like we are doing something we shouldn’t.  That adrenaline rush, the sneaking around…makes it so much hotter. Not to mention the fact that it definitely makes the work day go by so much faster and is more entertaining.  If you have little flirtations and the possibility of something so out of the ordinary, it makes for wonderful mental imagery and gets your libido fired up. If you’re in between relationships, or in a bad one, Momma always said the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one.

Should you or shouldn’t you?

Well, I am here to tell you the pros and cons, and then you can make that decision for yourselves.

Everyone has had those initial feelings of lust and sexual attraction.  Those make your heart race and mind wander to thoughts and scenarios that make you feel guilty or nervous.

It could be the Greek god-like golf club member who makes you feel like your vagina is throbbing so loud other people know what fantasy is in your mind when you watch him. And when he asks you to go into the locker room after closing up shop, you think, “My god.  If I get caught, I will lose my job.”  It could be your boss at the law firm, the chief engineer in your apartment building, or the chef in the restaurant where you work.  That taboo can make any workplace seem so much more exciting. Giving someone head in front of the mirrored doors at the hotel you both work at or having sex on the work bench in the basement can be so exquisitely hot and hard and fast.

That being said, there are some pros and cons to doing the dirty deed where you earn your bread and butter.  Sexual harassment is a very sticky situation.  There are obviously complications if one or both of you are attached.  If you break up a happy family, or tarnish your professional reputation, it could most definitely change your life.  Sometimes we need a change, and we do things that make it happen so we do not have to make the choice. And other times, we just want to have a little fun.

Worst case scenario, you get caught on the pool table at the club, mid-stroke while he is attempting a trick shot with you in a compromising position…or under the bleachers at the stadium when one of you is supposed to be playing and the other is supposed to be working in the snack shop. That could be one humiliating scene you will never forget, but the person who catches you enjoys telling it over and over and over.

It can be so disappointing. If you have an encounter that turns out to be less then fulfilling, then you have to face this chef with the wiggly, pasta noodle penis every day at work, and you may start to really resent even the smallest things.  Work-related comments may seem full of innuendo or take on new meaning.

Or if it is your boss, and he starts throwing spending money your way to go get new shoes, or sends you on errands that are demeaning, or in his worry to keep you from telling his wife, makes rude comments or smacks your ass as you walk up the stairs, or comments in front of clients that you are showing too much cleavage…you have now crossed into the uncomfortable zone.

Then there is the possibility of it developing into a habit, and then, feelings, and maybe you end up becoming a “couple.”  How do you work together and not get caught?  If you have a workplace code of conduct that restricts you from dating that client or a coworker, you may end up having to quit your job or move your business elsewhere.

What about feelings?

You could get your feelings hurt if you enjoy it and then the other person moves on to the next hot piece of ass.  You have to know yourself well enough to know if it is going to be something you can actually handle.

If you can keep in mind that everything has an ending, it WILL end one way or the other, eventually.  You will do the deed.  It will be wham, bam, and no thank you, ma’am, because he is now filled with shame and remorse or worried he will get caught.

Or if he did not exactly ring the bell…like he so eloquently talked his game to make you think that sex on your desk after the school bell rings would be so hot, and you would be that badass teacher that everyone is hot for. Then you find out he has a wee-willy, winky dick, and it literally lasted less than two minutes. How do you face each other at recess duty?

Think this all through and decide if you really can keep your mouth shut to protect his family life.  Or keep yourself from feeling like the realtor who would take one for the team to close a sale, that everyone in town talks about at the water cooler.

Sometimes you need to shake things up, and it can end up being one of the memories you look back on often and think, “My god.  I did that?”.   If you take the risk, and it works out, it may be something for you to think about when you are too old to get it up, but you can sure reminisce and have good stories to tell your grandchildren to throw them off their game, when they think they have invented sex, and have yet to realize that back in the day you were quite the looker and hot-to-trot.

Or you could be sitting there wondering if you HAD taken that chance, what would it have been like?  Is this Greek Adonis really worth risking your livelihood over and taking that chance to find out if it is all you thought it may be?

Well it was for me, but now you decide for you.

Pondering Cupid

by Kristie LeVangie

I’m plagued today with the idea of Cupid.  I recently went for a walk through the local art museum.  I became entranced with the artful depictions of this little weapon-yielding, winged, naked baby put in charge of such a monumental thing as Love.

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Each Renaissance-period oil-soaked canvas shows an angelic toddler with tiny white wings and a barren chubby body.  He parades his nakedness in insinuating innocence.  His right hand cradles a small bow while arrows of attraction and repulsion are gathered precariously in the small quiver affixed to his back.

I guess I am most intrigued by the contrary nature of little Cupid’s depiction.  How can this Romantic depiction be so contrary to the actual effects of this catastrophic calamity called Love?

There is something unsettling about the notion that a baby is in charge of the “slings and arrows” of love, but it is true that he often has bad aim.  We would expect that from a weak-muscled cherub.  But I would argue against his innocence as his archery often shows a malicious disregard for its target.  Such carelessness has at times altered history and caused the downfalls of empires.

The innocence of the dear child runs counter to the human manipulation and torrid storms of relationships.  Where is the evil Loki who runs around mischievously fired enamored arrows into complete strangers, mismatched personalities and forbidden targets?

Cupid is never depicted with a sly grin, a slanted eyebrow or a devilish thought.

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Cupid is no better than a serial killer who decides upon his target, stalks his prey, and often attacks them in their most vulnerable state.  Such was one painting where the little boy was climbing upon a concrete bench in which a maiden slept peacefully.  And according to the artist’s perception in this painting, we have little resistance to his mayhem.  How would we defend ourselves with our eyes closed as they so often are when it comes to Love?

This painting isn’t the same one I’m referring to (as it depicts Cupid as a man), but it’s close.

Image

Cupid himself was unable to stay with his love, Psyche.  According to legend, Psyche was a mortal.  Cupid fell in love with her but she was forbidden to look at him.  One night dying from curiosity, she lit a candle and gazed at her lover in the dark candlelit room.  As she stood admiring his form, she accidentally spilled a bit of candle wax on him.  He awoke in anger that she had disobeyed and fled leaving her alone.   There’s more to the story, but it’s funny that even the epitome of Love (he was Aphrodite’s son, for truth’s sake) found walking away a better answer to staying and working things out.

And what becomes of the maiden in our painting?  Little does she know that upon awakening, she will be straddled with a short courtship, ensuing financial disagreements, maintaining a household complete with multitudes of children, and keeping a watchful eye on a potentially straying husband.  Little does she know that her life, and her innocence for that matter, will now be shattered, and her heart will grow a little more saddened with each passing day at the futility of it all.  And little does she know that upon awakening, she will be fevered with someone who may or may not return her affection, will underestimate her value, and will always be keeping a roaming eye for something better to come along.

Little does she know…and little do we until we’ve tangled with the fat little man they call Cupid.

…Of course, this is just my jaded opinion.  😉

“Filling In” Social Media and Your Other Online Profiles

me

 

 

by Kristie LeVangie

It never ceases to amaze me about the assumptions I get from people based on who I am and what I do.

“I heard you are a lesbian.”

“You have sex all day.  What do you think?”

“Ask Kristie what that is.  She knows all about that freaky sex shit.”

“So how do you successfully juggle multiple men?”

It took me some time to uncover where these assumptions were coming from.  How did these assumptions get attributed to me? And what do I do about setting these people straight?

I’m a straight (but gay supporting) monogamous woman, who has the same relationship challenges and woes as other women.  I may be more promiscuous than your average woman, but I’m not running amuck humping everything in sight.

Then…Like a grand epiphany, it dawned on me what was REALLY going on here.

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There’s a theory in psychology called “filling in.”  “The brain uses our surroundings to literally make up what we cannot see, covering the holes with its best guess as to what’s there,” explains The Weekly Show’s website.  (If you follow the link to the website, there are some great visual exercises to help explain the phenomenon.)

I propose that this process of “filling in” is the same process we use  in regards to social profiles.

Bear with me for a minute here…I’m about to get all psychological, philosophical and logical all up in this bitch.

Most of us have two “personas”: our true life one and our online/virtual one.

In most cases, it isn’t our intent to set up our online personas falsely.  We pick the best or most interesting attributes about ourselves and publish them for the world to see.  It would be impossible for us to include each and every detail about ourselves, and in an effort to make ourselves appear more happy, more confident, more secure with the public aspect of it, we omit our worst parts and craft a careful virtual image of ourselves for everyone to see.

It will never reflect our “true life” self, but in our eyes, it crafts the gist of “who” we are.

This part we can control.

What we can’t control is the “filling in” of our virtual friends, potential partners and, sometimes, as in my case, fans.

Perusers of our online profiles will have a natural inclination to take what they do know about us (the things we put out there in our profiles) and fill in the remaining details based on their assumptions, experiences or expectations of what information is missing.

For example, I post a lot of sexually-based news posts about freaky shit going on out there in the world.  (Like this one.)

Now, I may not participate in any type of Looner play, but because I posted this article and even went so far as to research it, I’m automatically attributed an “expert” of fetish because that is what is filled in by my readers.  Or for some, I’m just a downright freak.

This phenomenon especially plays out in the dating world when it comes to online profiles.  The judgment is higher and acceptability among peers is more sensitive.  This could explain the consistent disappointments of “they were nothing like their profile” so often reported by online daters.  Perhaps the tendency to “fill in” based on our previous dating experience is even stronger, so we dupe ourselves by creating an even more distorted view of potential suitors.

(I will note that there are genuine liars and scammers out there.  I am not addressing the deliberate misleading profiles here.  Let’s assume I’m talking about the average Joe or Josephine.)

I haven’t seen any research on this phenomenon being applied to social media profiles, so this is really just my hypothesis.  But I think it makes sense.

Does it to you?

 

 

Before We Get Too Serious, Could You Please John Hancock This Social Media Prenup???

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by Kristie LeVangie

As if relationships weren’t complicated enough, enter social media.

8716178557_dd5fee6f9dSure, it’s all great when you are fresh and in love.  You share lovie-dovie status updates and cutesy pics.  You sext one another or even go as far as sending nudie videos.

And then, it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

The least of your worries is the embarrassing status updates proving your love detector is completely fucking broken.  He now has those pics of your boobs and that drunken night of uninhibited passion saved to his smartphone.

Sure.  You can unfollow him on Twitter.  You can block or unfriend him on Facebook, but it’s a small virtual world and we live in an era of being “ex”-obsessed!

In a survey done by YourTango about love and relationships, 76% of women and 70% of men admitted to looking up their exes on the internet.   With all the “ex” stalking, there are bound to be some temptations to cultivate a “revengenda.”

According to another study, the 2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology survey, 50% of people have shared personal or intimate images and/or videos with loved ones or friends.  28% of whom have regretted sending such content post-relationship, and 32% have gone as far as asking their ex-partner to delete the material.  This same study found that 1 in 10 people have been threatened by their ex that their risqué images would be posted online with nearly 60% of these threats being carried out.

So how does one protect oneself in an age of social media oversharing?

Prenup.

That’s right.  They aren’t just for marriages anymore.

Social Media prenups are on the rise according to both Time magazine and ABC News.   ABC even notes that 80% of divorce attorneys say they are finding the issue more common in current divorce proceedings.

So how does it work?  Most of them are actually pretty simple.  You both agree to a set of terms (i.e., like not posting suggestive pictures online after the break-up), and should one of you violate the terms, you pay up.  Sometimes to the tune of $50,000!!!

Each prenup seems to be unique to each couple and attempts to cover their esteem issues with online posting.  For example, some may restrict unflattering photos while others will restrict contact with ex-girlfriends.  It’s really all subjective, but ultimately meant to protect both parties from unfair social media practices after you have split paths.

Luckily there are laws in place to prevent jealous exes from spreading your captured carnal moments all over the web, but only if you live in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Idaho, Utah, Virginia or Wisconsin.  These are the 9 states with statutes against Revenge Porn or the posting of “identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation.”   Granted this offense is only a misdemeanor carrying a punishment of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

There is clearly more work to be done.

And while I couldn’t find any examples of an actual contract, I pondered to myself what might appear on my own (should I ever decide I need one…that’s another blog entirely):

1.  No posting pictures without my explicit consent.

2.  No exchanging of romantic gestures or deeply intimate details about our relationship with members of any gender.

3.  No hiding of your social media profiles from my view. I might think you are hiding something.  I’m not asking for your passwords– only the ability to view your profile without restriction.

4.  You must fly your Facebook relationship flag high, complete with a tag to my profile so I can mark my territory.  And no “It’s complicated” bullshit.

5.  No public complaints about the relationship or my participation in such…unless it’s in a cleverly disguised blog under an assumed name.

6.  After the break-up, you can stalk my pages as much as you want, but don’t attempt to contact me in any form or fashion.  You cannot “like” my statuses or respond to my blogs.

7.  After the break-up, you should delete all pictures of an intimate nature, all sexting strings, all digital homemade porn, and any provocative emails sent to you throughout the relationship.

8.  After the break-up, you should post one last blog declaring your un-dying appreciation for me and how I made you a better person just by knowing me.  Oh!  And how the sex was the best sex of your life and something you will never find with another.

Hey!  It’s my list.

 

What would YOUR social media prenup include?  Have a horror story about a previous break-up?  Share your thoughts below.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: NPR also did a story on All Things Considered about social media prenups.  If you are interested in listening to the story, you can click here.