Men, I Am Not Your Life Raft

titanic 4

Dealing with a man I’ve been seeing for nearly a year (a long distance friends with benefits relationship, to be exact), I’ve learned something vitally important about myself and the men I attract.

Hi, my name is Twyla and I attract damaged, broken men with a U-Haul’s worth of baggage. And I let them in because I like to fix people.

I have a healing and nurturing spirit and I recognize wounded people, and I always want to help them. Unfortunately for me, these people (men in particular), like to suck the life force out of me in the process.

My first love was a troubled child. We’ll call him Chuck. We met in college. Well, I was in college. Chuck was pretending he was in college. His father didn’t want anything to do with him and his mother had remarried and had two other boys. So Chuck felt left out. He rebelled and became a problem child. His mom, fed up, kicked him out. He came down to SIU, I believe, in the hopes of going to college. He ended up living in a homeless shelter. They let him live there rent free and paid him small wages in exchange for working there. This is when I met him.

He was attractive and seemed at least relatively sweet. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that he was looking for someone, anyone to love him. To show him that he mattered. I have no problem being that person but don’t shit on me in the process.

Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t that terrible to me at first. Chuck cooked for me, bought me nice things when he could afford it (illegally at times, I realized later), and he was very romantic. But in the end, he ended up stealing from me to get cash and then broke up with me when I pressed him about it.

He told me years later, that after hitting rock bottom, he got his life together and started a business that began with me (I had a Mac computer he loved and learned how to use and started a company that taught people how to use them), got married and had kids, and then eventually got some really good paying job at a great company.

The next guy I loved, we shall call him Dwight, was damaged physically and emotionally. He had a pronounced limp from a terrible mishap when he was a teen, and a hole in his throat with a gravelly voice to go along with it from needing a tracheotomy when he was born prematurely. He was also broken from a recent breakup.

I fell for the bait. Hook, line, and sinker. I picked him like a damn stray roaming around the street. And he walked all over me for 5 years. Of course, I let him for various reasons, but mainly because I was in love with his potential, not the actual man.

After I broke up with Dwight and moved across the country to get away from our toxic back and forth relationship (the best decision I ever made. There’s nothing wrong with running sometimes), leaving my dog and half of my belongings, he found someone and proposed to her after about a year. And he used my dog to propose. Yet he strung me along for 5 years with the promise of marriage.

With these first two guys, I was a total lid loosener. I read somewhere once that there are two kinds of women. Lid looseners, those who loosen the lid. And lid openers, those who come along after the loosener and pops the lid right open. Basically, the women to heal the man, making him better for the next woman who doesn’t have to do jack but enjoy the man he now is.

Now, this new guy that we will call Mark, is having troubles with an ex. I can’t give details in case either party sees this post, but let’s just say it’s not pretty. He wants to move to a new place, but can’t really afford it. He asked me to move back to California to move in with him, but I refused. Mark’s not ready. He’s still broken from his relationship and wants to use me as his therapist. His life raft to keep him afloat.

When I refused to bend to his will, he decided to go on a date with another woman while he was on a work trip in another country. He proceeded to tell me about it. This I actually don’t care that much about because we’re not in a serious relationship. But he told me in one breath that he missed her and in the next, he asked to see me so I can make him feel better. Of course, I snapped. But my epiphany also hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m a magnet for wounded and broken men. And I am so grateful to him for helping me realize this. Of course, the minute I did, I was so turned off by him that it was a damn relief. I have a healing and nurturing spirit, but that doesn’t mean I’m here to be shit on or pulled down into the abyss with you. I’m not loosening one more damn lid for anyone else!

Men (and women for that matter), please fix your own shit before you move on to the next person. It is not your next lover, girlfriend/boyfriend, or spouse’s job to fix your damaged behind. Stay single until you figure your shit out.

While learning this about myself and those that I attract, I realized that there are two types of men. I’m going to use the movie Titanic as an analogy to preface my point. After the ship finally sank, Rose and Jack first found themselves in the fridged water and everyone was splashing around frantically. The one guy, in a panic to save his own life used Rose as a life raft. He pushed her under the water in order to try to stay afloat. Meanwhile, Jack was searching for her in the water and when he found her, smashed that dudes face in and then proceeded to let Rose get on the wooden door while he froze to death in the water. There will be that guy who will bring all of his issues and baggage to throw onto you in the hopes of saving himself while he saps you of your energy and drowns you. And then you’ll have that guy who will uplift you, who will try to save you above all else. Even him.

Now, I personally think Jack should’ve found a way to get on the door to save them both. That would be a third type of man. The type of man I want. The man who won’t drag me down, but also won’t let me walk all over him. The man who is strong and capable, with minimal and/or controlled baggage (because let’s get real, at this age [38], any man I meet is going to have some kind of baggage just like I do). Someone who will uplift me when I need it and who let me uplift him when he needs it.

In a word… Equal.

They’re Out of Your League!

Baseball Game

“He’s out of your league.”

I’ve always hated this turn of phrase. Whenever it has been said to me in regards to a guy that I like, it’s like a punch to the gut.

First of all, whose place is it to tell you or anyone else whether or not someone is “out of your league?” Secondly, that’s just rude anyway. Just a slightly more polite way of saying you’re too ugly, too fat, too nerdy, too poor, and so on and so forth.

So a couple of days ago, I was thinking about a past relationship that was very short and didn’t work out. In my mind, I was quick to think that it didn’t work out because I was out of his league and I inwardly cringed because it was a stupid thought. I’m no better than anyone else.

Which got me to thinking, how could we describe it without being so offensive and cruel?

Spheres 1

To me, it’s more like spheres or circles. Each person has a set of characteristics that make them who they are. All of those features are added together within your sphere. Education, looks, body type, job/career, income, goals, intelligence, and whether or not you’re cultured. Obviously, we have other things that factor into who we are as people, but these are the attributes or lack thereof  more often than not that makes someone “out of another’s league.”

Spheres 2

But the reason why saying someone is out of another’s league doesn’t work, is because everyone is going to be better than someone else in another way. And sometimes some of your characteristics are going to match with someone, while other features won’t. It’s up to the individual on whether they’re willing to overlook those differences.

I have my Bachelors degree (which I’ve never really used, mind you), I’m a writer (aka poor for now), I’m cute, I’m chubby, I have average to high intelligence (never officially measured), I love to travel the world, and I have high goals. What makes a man who has the same degree as me, same intelligence level, similar job, high aspirations, somewhat higher income, but drop dead gorgeous with an outstanding body out of my league? What makes me unworthy of him? Because I’m fat? Which doesn’t equate to lazy or inactive, by the way.

Well, I call bullshit on that. If we match in almost every way that matters, as well as personality, what does it matter that I’m fluffy and he’s not?

Or let’s say, he’s smart as a whip, but never went to college, he’s kinda cute with a dad-bod, and has a good job working at the electric company making bank (much more than me). What makes me out of his league? Because I went to college and he did not? Hell, he’s making more than me!

These rules and restrictions we put on each other are ridiculous. Men fear dating fluffy and/or less pretty women because of what their friends, family, and society will say. And women will pass up a great guy because he’s not making the right amount of money her friends, family, and society says he should be making. Or because he doesn’t have the same education level as her.

And we wonder why the divorce rate is so high. Stop worrying about everyone else, and go with who you know damn well is right for you.

And screw the leagues! We’re all playing on the same diamond (life). Just in different positions. No one position more important than the other. If we learn to play correctly, we just might make the perfect team.

 

P.s. I think half the time when someone tells another person that a guy/girl is out of their league, they’re really saying, “Oh hell no! She/he better not get that hot/wealthy/smart/well-traveled person! There’s no way that he/she is better than me and can pull someone like that when I can’t!” When someone says it, don’t be disheartened. It’s more of a reflection of how they feel about themselves than what they think of you. Jealousy is an ugly and complex thing.

The Sex Whisperer

sex-whisperer

Recently, I’ve realized that I have a special calling… Sex Whisperer. *says in soft breathy voice*

Let me explain…

Being a woman who has openly and enthusiastically talked about sex since I was a senior in high school, talking to my friends about it every day at lunch, buying PlayGirl magazines, reading bodice-ripper novels and renting NC-17 or X-rated movies in secret once I turned 18; it’s no wonder I write about it for a living. As well as comfortable with the act itself.

Sex has always fascinated me. ALWAYS!!! I can’t remember a time I wasn’t curious about it. Because of that, I am a sexually open woman. I love to try new things to keep it spicy. When I learned what BDSM was, I was like “So that’s what’s wrong with me!” Not that there’s anything wrong with the lifestyle, but that I wanted a little pain with my pleasure and always thought I was strange because of it. It’s an amazing thing when you find your tribe. Though, keep in mind, I haven’t actually been able to get into the lifestyle as of yet.

Why?

Well, because for some odd reason I attract men who are prudes or sexually repressed due to the vanilla women they’ve been with. There’s nothing wrong with prudes or vanilla sex. I just prefer…more.

So anyway, these men that come into my life are dying inside to come out of their shell. Then here I am, outgoing, open-minded, and completely encouraging. And slowly, they emerge out of their shells like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. Sometimes, not so slowly as they come barreling out like a bull out of a bullpen in their excitement. Doing things they’ve never done before. Enjoying sex in a way they haven’t be able to in a long time, if ever.

I am their Sex Whisperer.

They tell me what they’re interested in, almost embarrassed and I listen openly and am usually willing to give it a try. They become more vocal before, during, and after sex. I even make them feel more confident with praise and compliments. Sometimes they find fetishes that they like that they never knew or had the chance to enjoy.

I can see why so many relationships don’t work in regards to sex. People need to be more open about their wants and needs. Ladies, ask your man what he really wants and don’t turn your nose up when he tells you. Just hear him out. Maybe what he wants will be enjoyable for you too. Men, be honest about what you want because if you’re not upfront, you’ll seek it out somewhere else, which will hurt your partner.

And another thing ladies, let your freak flag fly. Stop worrying about what people will think about you. If you’re honest and they don’t like it and walk away, oh well. It’s their loss. You would’ve been miserable anyway. Don’t sexually repress yourself because of what society might think.

As for myself, can I just find a man who is already a freak and doesn’t need to be taught? A man who encourages, praises, and compliments me for a change? I love it and it makes me feel good to uplift a man, but can a sister get some of that in return?

I need some ass-smacking, foul-mouthed talking, neck-choking, rope-tying, flogger-welding, call me Sir Dominant in the bedroom and a sweetheart everywhere else. I got plenty of meat on my bones, I won’t break.

I’m sure he’s out there somewhere. Until then, I guess it’ll be my mission to heal these poor repressed souls.

Sidenote: I know that it’s not always about sex. It’s more about communication and a deep connection with your partner. I want just as much stimulation outside of the bedroom as I do in it. But for the sake of this post, it’s all about the sex. 😉

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World…

 

couples-holding-hands

I haven’t published a blog post in quite some time because I honestly couldn’t form the words to explain how I have been feeling. Though there have been plenty of blogs and articles I’ve read recently where the writer articulated my feeling perfectly. So I’ll let them handle all that. I, on the other hand, wanted to rant and rave and scream and cry. I did a little bit of everything, except scream. But I was close.

Anyway, in the past three years, the last thing I’ve been too concerned with is finding a man. For the most part, I’ve been entirely too wrapped up in trying to further my writing career to worry about getting into a relationship. But lately, I’ve been feeling the loneliness and slight desperation of being single. I couldn’t really figure out why. And then it hit me.

I’ve been seeking a friend for the end of the world.

Never is it more imperative to be surrounded by love than when tragedy strikes or hard times are imminent. So as I watch Hitler the second coming, build his regime against all people that look like me and other minority groups, I swallow with real fear and look around for anyone to hold my hand…

There is no one.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my parents. But it’s just not the same. My dad needs to focus on protecting my mom and vice versa. They don’t need to be worried about me too. I need my own set of strong and sure arms to seek comfort in and to give comfort back. And I ain’t got it. That’s right. I used ain’t. It fits my mood and the current situation.

We are smack dab in the middle of cuffing season (the chilly time of year where people decide to couple up). But this time, we have more reason than ever to cuff ourselves to someone and for the long haul. All of our futures are unsure at the moment. We have no idea what’s to come. A second Civil War, WWIII, the start of the Hunger Games, nuclear winter, an even worse Great Depression or all of the above. So I say if you can find a pretty damn good person to cuff yourself to. Do it. Do it now!

As for myself… I’m taking applications.

end-of-the-world

 *Side note: I’ll even take a fellow single woman if nothing more than to team up for the apocalypse. Girl Scout training preferable. I’ve watched a lot of Bear Grylls, myself. I’m also pretty smart and resourceful.

He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not

he-loves-me

Do you remember as a kid picking the vibrant petals off of a helpless flower in order to figure out if a boy loved you?

I do. I did it all the time. And I think it seriously f*cked with my head. Instead of saying, ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ we should’ve been saying, ‘do I love him, do I love him not?’

You see, I just had a small epiphany this morning. A sort of breakthrough, if you will.

I am currently, for the first time in years, in the hopes of dating someone. We don’t know each other yet, but there seems to be an attraction between us physically and I’m anxious to see if that attraction will go anywhere (mentally, intellectually, spiritually, etc). Now, as an expert overanalyzer, I have a habit of hoping and praying that whatever guy I’m interested in likes me. And shortly after waking up this morning I had to tell myself, “Wait a minute! How about I hope that I like him too!”

You see. I was so focused on wanting to be liked that I wasn’t focusing on how important it is for me to like him as well. It’s like, ‘Hold up! He has to impress me just as much as I have to impress him.” And I think focusing on being liked, is what gets us in trouble. It’s what gets us walked on and treated like yesterday’s leftovers.

The last guy I dated, who put a very bad taste in my mouth, walked all over me. I let him. All because I wanted him to love me. And when I look back, I barely even liked that dick stain. I was in love with someone that I didn’t even like. Or better put, I was in love with the idea of love. I was in love with the potential of this man, but not the man himself. And all because of my need to be liked/loved.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I want the person I’m feeling to like or love me. But I can’t lose sight of the fact that I’m an important part of this relationship or potential relationship too. Relationships are a two-way street.

It’s all about being present in the moment. If you’re off thinking about your future tiptoeing through the tulips in your wedding dress and him in his tux, him making you breakfast in bed, buying you flowers on Valentine’s Day, so on and so forth. You’ll be too busy in the present to pay attention to the fact that he’s eyeballing the waitress, asking you to foot the bill on the first date, burping rudely at the table, or only looking down your cleavage instead of in your eyes. That is how you fall in love with someone you don’t even like.

I think if everyone, woman or man, goes into a possible relationship with the thought of ‘I hope we like each other’ versus ‘I hope he/she likes me,’ our relationships would be off to a much better start.

Think about it.

***I do not own the rights to this photograph.

 

eLove: Not So Trendy in eBooks.

Sorry, I’ve been incognito for a while. I’ve written some posts, but none of them felt right to hit publish. Anywho, I’m back for now and armed with some thoughts. I’ve read quite a few of my peers’ novels recently and I noticed something that I want to speak on.
First, I want to point out that I’ve noticed that there has been a decline in romantic movies or RomComs over the past couple of years. A lot of things factor into the death of romance on the big screen, but I read one article, that I could not find to link here, that said a big reason for the decline is that Hollywood is having a hard time translating the new digital romance era. And it’s no wonder with the sad state relationships are in. All you have to do is go to a restaurant in the past couple of years since smartphones turned us into social dummies. To see adults out to dinner with the hypnotizing bluish white glow on their faces, that has turned them into digital zombies, as they focus on the bright screen of their phones, rather than on the company across from them.

Watching digital romance play out on social media is like watching a soap opera. ‘Single’ statuses turning into ‘In a Relationship’ to ‘It’s Complicated’ to ‘Single’ once more. Side Chicks and Side Dick (Is that a thing or did I just make it up?), Ghosting, Benching, deciphering cryptic texts and DMs or PMs in the new emoji hieroglyphics, navigating the Left and Right Swipes, Netflix and Chill, and Hookup Culture. UUUUUGH!!! Just thinking about it makes me want to punch something.

I’m sure somewhere Hollywood can come up with some clever RomCom that surrounds all this garbage and somehow make it cute. But when it comes to Romance novels and all of its sub-genres, I myself, as an author of Romance, am not writing eLove and I’m not seeing a whole lot of others doing it either. And the Romance genre seems to continue to thrive without a problem.

Now, I know I haven’t read every romance novel currently in circulation, but I’ve read enough to know that many of the heroines and heroes meet and communicate in a way that harkens back to the good old days. There’s barely any meet-cutes online or through dating apps. No communicating through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. It could be done and there may be a few out there who have already done it, but it sure isn’t popular. I think it has to do with women’s desire to have relationships back to the way it once was.

And besides, IT’S BORING! Who wants to read a novel where nothing happens in real life to the characters? That the hero and heroine only interact through their phones? I would throw my eReader at the wall if I had to read that malarkey.

I think Hollywood should take a cue from the authors of Romance and write stories about love the way they’ve always been told. There’s a whole audience out there that still wants to see a good old-fashioned love story. Lithium batteries not included.

Model Behavior: The Male Celebrity Cliche

So last night, my parents and I were watching Running Wild with Bear Grylls. His celebrity guest for the night was Mel B of the Spice Girls. She was talking about her children and their dads. One, being Eddie Murphy. My mom Googled him to see who he was married to now. He’s not married, but he recently had another child with some blonde bombshell. My mom checked her out and low and behold…she’s a model. *major eye roll that turned into massive side-eye that then surpassed Resting Bitch Face* Which got me to thinking.

Is there anything more cliche than the male celebrity and his model wife/girlfriend? Like, seriously! Every now and again, and I do mean every now and again, you’ll find a celebrity that will find love with a regular ol’ girl. But for the most part, actors, musicians, athletes, etc all have this problem. And I do consider it a problem.

I’m not saying models aren’t people and that they don’t deserve love like everyone else. But come on, I don’t think anyone needs to advocate for models finding love. I think they got love covered, better than most of us. As far as I can tell, they’re the only ones getting love. It’s as if they get passed out like hor d’oeuvres at parties none of us were invited to.

Anyway, I do see it as a problem, though. I mean, how many of these relationships have actually lasted? Aside from David Bowie and Iman. God rest his soul. It makes sense I suppose for actors to fall in love actresses. Especially if they worked closely together in a movie. Many people find love through their work. But I’m seriously gonna need these men to expand their horizons just a smidge.

I guess it has to do with the male ego. Maybe for many of these guys, they didn’t get the hot girl when they were younger. So now they’re basking in the plethora of pretty pussy surrounding them on the daily. But then every time I turn around these relationships fail. Well, duh! It was based on the physical, to begin with.

Let’s take a look at George Clooney. That man was swimming in a see of pretty pus. Models and everybody else were on his jock like it was the best thing since sliced bread. And absolutely none of them held his interest. Until he met Amal. Now I’m not saying she isn’t model beautiful. But that woman has so much more than looks going for her, it ain’t even funny. He couldn’t help but see her inner glow.

And you have a few others like Vince Vaughn that found himself a normal lady (Real Estate Agent). Matt Damon (Bartender). David Schwimmer (Waitress at the time, now photographer). Jesse Williams (Real Estate Agent).

And even still, all of these wives are very attractive and slender in their own right. I wanna see a celebrity really shake some shit up and marry someone plump and round or plain. Hint, hint. I’m not plain, but I’m definitely round.

Believe me, I’ve had fun with some fine ass dudes with ahhhhhmazing bodies and it wasn’t hard for them to find me attractive. My body was never a problem. Their problem was worrying about the outside world and their opinions.

And hey, even if it isn’t me that catches a fox, I’d still love to see a plump cutie snag one. And I’m not talking about some dweeby C-lister. I’m talking, smokin’ hot A-lister here. For once I’d like to someone the likes of my boo Henry Cavill, Chris Evans, Leonardo DiCaprio (the worst offender), Common, Scott Eastwood, etc fall for some kickass chick that has a dope personality and some extra lady lumps. Instead of always seeking out what society deems acceptable.

Quite frankly, it’s boring.

 

P.S. And I don’t want any commentary about “Well what about the not so hot celebrities? Aren’t you discriminating against them just as much as you’re being discriminated against?” I’d date Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, or any guy like them in a heartbeat. But these types of men date models too. So if celebrity DUFFs can date models, why can’t regular DUFFs date hot celebrities? Just saying.

P.S.S. In the grand scheme of things, this subject isn’t that important. But it is a subject that has always bothered me. A lot of these men are role models or just looked up to in general by their average joe counterparts. Maybe if they dated based more on insides than outsides, average joes may follow.

Ha! Who am I kidding?!