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As Young As We Feel? Considering the Younger Man

11 Apr

Don’t laugh. One person’s pacifier is another person’s sex toy.

By Alexa Day

I’ve never been one to do things just because other people are doing them. I’m content to let everyone else jump off the bridge our mothers told us so much about.

But now Cindy Gallop has me thinking about dating younger men.

I often struggle to explain who Cindy Gallop is and why her opinion matters so much to me. My knee-jerk response is usually, “Cindy Gallop is life! Cindy Gallop is a hero!” You all are probably looking for more than that, though, so let’s get you some facts.

Cindy developed Make Love, Not Porn, a video-sharing platform through which participants can upload videos of themselves having real-world sex with their partners, and stream videos posted by others. Her search for investors demonstrated that people are generally uncomfortable with openly supporting sex-positive businesses. But years of success in a male-dominated field (advertising), along with an understanding of how women do business (we “share the shit out of” the things we like), have made her quite an influencer in the realms of sex, gender, and business. Cindy once said she was the first person to include the phrase “come on my face” during a TED talk. In fact, I wrote about her at the 2014 Romance Festival, where she rocked my world.

Cindy has dated younger men for years. It’s part of the reason she came up with MLNP. Her younger partners learned everything they knew about sex from porn, to everyone’s detriment. MLNP, which bills itself as “pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-knowing the difference,” offered viewers a more realistic set of videos to learn from. Or just to enjoy. You know, the days are getting longer as the seasons change.

When I first heard the MLNP origin story, I remember shaking my head and thinking that’s what comes of dating younger dudes. Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m starting to think it might be a good idea.

And it’s not just because I’m getting a little older myself.

I tend to be more about the older guys. They’re more established. Their self-confidence comes from life experience. They know who they are and what they want.

But Cindy says much of this is also true of younger guys … and they’re really good in bed.

This January, in New York Magazine, Cindy wrote “Why Sleeping with Younger Men Is Best — No Matter How Old You Are.” In the article, she said her primary criterion for choosing a new man was a simple one. He had to be nice. Everything else followed from that. No need to worry about what he thinks of your body — he’s a good guy. Your emotions are safe with him. When you make sure you only date the nice ones, she says, you’re only spending time with the men you respect and admire. “You meet younger men who appreciate everything about older women,” she says.

That makes sense. As much as I want to tell myself that they only have to be nice if we’re going to talk afterwards, I can see how having a nice partner, how making that a priority, would reduce unnecessary stress and make for a more pleasant experience. Even if this isn’t going to lead to a relationship, having a good person as a partner just makes things easier and, according to Cindy, sexier.

About the sex. According to Cindy, the sex itself is the icing on the cake — stamina, confidence, and short recovery periods — but icing is important, even when the cake is pretty damn good. Now, the older guys are pretty spectacular in their own way. Far fewer of them, I would wager, are still looking to porn for technique. Years of experience have made them creative. They already know what they do well. Still. Maybe there’s something to be said for a little more physical prowess and dare I say, a touch of innocence?

While a lot of women might avoid revealing their bodies to a younger lover, for fear of what that hardbodied fellow might think, Cindy doesn’t have that problem. Of course, it helps that Cindy has boatloads of self-confidence. She’s not all that concerned about what any man might think of her body — she thinks she looks fantastic. Besides, she’s not going for those superficial souls who might have something to say, since her rule is “nice guys only.” She’s also not trying to get married. Wedlock and children have never been part of her master plan. Her chain of younger lovers, in short-term and long-term relationships, is the romantic solution that works for her. She doesn’t have to worry about any one man’s opinion for any longer than she wants.

Cindy says society tends to approve more of older men with younger women. I wonder, if that’s true, why the general public has so much to say about older women with younger partners. Is it the old discomfort with women being single at a certain age? Is it the sense that an older woman is more in control of her life, and by extension, her relationship? Is it our prudish society rebelling against a grown woman’s choice to have a younger sex partner, with all the superficial frills and thrills?

Damn, is it just jealousy?

One thing is for sure: the disapproval of prudes and nosy people isn’t going to stop Cindy Gallop. It never has.

Maybe that’s why I’m considering taking a page out of her book.

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Alternative Endings to the Bachelor

16 Mar

Huzzah! Rachel Lindsay–The first POC bachelorette.

by Madeline Iva

I saw the very first season of the Bachlorette while packing for a Big Move to the South.  I made it through a few seasons after that because I was fascinated by watching grown women aggressively fight for the attention of one man–while pretending not to. So deliciously perverse! Alexa Day posted about the announcement of the latest bachelorette on Tuesday, and the rest below is just one long riff about The Bachelor and other thoughts her post inspired.

I loved how the most interesting women (to me) on The Bachelor in the end ultimately had to be–I mean HAD TO BE–there for the money. (Student loans, I’m guessing.) Top ways to tell:

  1. They were very popular with the other women in the house. This, I think, is a key sign. But at the same time, they didn’t seem to have a secret boyfriend at home, or were there for some kind of acting career –and thus could dodge the “you’re not here for the right reasons” attack.   (BTW has anyone ever gone up and attacked a contestant saying “You’re just here to pay off your student loans—aren’t you, bitch?”)
  2. Often they would acknowledge being on the fence about their feelings for the guy. Why? Because they weren’t that into Mr. Available.  This only helps them not seem like a threat to the other women, of course.
  3. The fact that they weren’t so into the bachelor often seemed to make the bachelor far more into them.  Like he wanted to chase them hard.  After all, for most men, chasing is their comfort zone.  (Some of us are challenged when it comes to being adored.) Logically, enlightened men *know* it’s okay for a girl to chase a guy.  But they’re not actually comfortable with it.  It’s not their usual pattern–and sometimes breaking patterns feels odd.
  4. Because these women were just “passing time” to earn their paycheck, they could neatly avoid conflict in the house with the rest of the women–and work on soothing things out.  This is where their attention was.  It’s like they reguard the other women in the house as their fellow co-workers and wanted to be team players more than they were actually vying for the heart of one man.
  5. There’s almost an instant, quick and quiet break up following the conclusion of the show when one of these women was chosen.  The fact that a break up would immediately follow seemed like wonderful karma to me.  That’s what you get, you bachelor guy, for going for the girl that’s “not that into you” and ignoring the ones who were good people and desperate for your man-love.

At any rate — I’m glad that the show chose a POC bachelorette.

But I gotta wonder: how is this show going to continue to appeal to any but the most conservative audience? Because with polyamory becoming an accepted thing amongst all the hipsters and millenials, doesn’t the idea of picking ‘the one’ seem just a wee bit old fashioned?

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being a monogamous type of person (I’m one myself). I’m just saying that when the Batchelor says “OMG, I’m in love with BOTH of these women” is this still the shockingly upsetting drama that it used to be?  Aren’t twenty and thirty somethings across the land saying “And? This is a problem why?”

Or–a more radical theory still–was the repetition of season after season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette actually paving the way for widespread polyamory across our heartland over these last ***seventeen*** years by making TV America overly familiar with the idea that one person can easily fall in love with two (or more) people at the same time?  I mean, think back to when polyamory started becoming a thing–right? Amiright?

I’m just waiting for the season when the Bachelor/Bachelorette decides to propose to *both* women or accept a proposal from *both* guys.  Now that would be a ratings booster.

Maybe if this this new bachelorette says yes to a black man AND a white man we can all have our cake and eat it too.

MEANWHILE — Idris Elba for Bond.  Seriously.  Accept no other substitutes.  Unless it’s Tom Hiddleston.  Then we’ll have to talk.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_low_res_500x750

 

Bed Dance – Not Your Ordinary Lap Dance

11 Feb

…AS TOLD TO LADY SMUT BY SASHA SNOW

Sometimes you're in the mood for some lap dance action...only more horizontal.

Sometimes you’re in the mood for some lap dance action–only…more horizontal.

SASHA SNOW: I’ve been teaching exotic dance for the last seven or so years in a professional dance studio with curtains drawn, and the doors locked.  The idea behind these classes is to help ordinary women reclaim a part of themselves they often lose to years of child-rearing, stale marriages, and general malaise from living in the ordinary world.  I help them reclaim their sensual side to use however they see fit. One of the most popular offerings are lap dance workshops.

In the ninety minute workshop, you learn how to move seductively and give your partner a semi-choreographed dance on and around him while he’s sitting in a chair or on a couch. In the last few years, however, I made up a bed dance workshop. If you can seduce a man with dance and movement while he’s sitting in a chair, imagine what you can do with him lying in a bed.

This idea isn’t new. Bed dance has long been a staple in strip clubs. Female strippers charge big money to give a man a dance in a bed in the back room. But you can give your partner one at home.

LADY SMUT: There are good reasons to bring some movement and action into your bedroom.

“In fact, a recent science article suggests that instead of lying still in bed, women are actually much more aroused by moving around. University of Texas Dr. Cindy Meston reported this to the BBC:

‘For years we were told, ‘Have a bubble bath, calm down, listen to relaxing music, do deep breathing exercises, chill out before sex,” she says.

‘But my research shows the opposite, that you actually want to get women in an active state. So, you can run around the block with your partner and get them to chase you around the block, or watch a scary movie together, ride a rollercoaster together, even a good comedy act. If you really get laughing, you’re going to have a sympathetic activation response.’

Meston is talking about the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for subconscious muscle contractions that get us ready for the flight or fight mode, like heart rate and blood pressure. She has found that if this system is activated before sex it will help women respond more intensely and more quickly.

It’s quite the opposite for men.”

In other words, git up and dance! Sasha Snow has some helpful tips to offer.

TIPS FOR TRYING OUT A BED DANCE AT HOME:

Set some rules.  You need to do this so it doesn’t delve into sex right away:

  • no heels
  • no touching (this is a fun one to play with–how close can you get?)
  • no talking, no laughing
  • BE SAFE — hang onto the head board or hang onto the wall.
  • Move however feels good to you. 
  • Put on some music you like — not what he likes — what you like. (Cause he’s not really listening to the music.)
  • Spice it up! Remember — practice makes perfect.

And don’t forget — if you subscribe to LadySmut.com you are automatically entered in our V-day giveaway this weekend (2/10/17 to 2/14/17)

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

All I Want For Christmas is…Orgasms For Everyone

15 Dec

by Madeline Iva

Dear Santa: I gave a down & dirty questionnaire to the ladies at UNBOUND whose mission is to pry open your imagination… ; > …and inspire the sexual fantasies of women everywhere.  Here are their replies, along with a few naughty gift ideas for that special someone–yourself.

1. What have you seen/experienced going on with sexual relations in real life that gives your job at Unbound meaning to you?

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): For me, it was going through a radiation treatment from cancer without one single doctor acknowledging that I was going through menopause or how it would affect my sex life. As I got older, I realized that, relative to male sexuality, female sexuality is often swept under the rug or dismissed. Every day at Unbound we work to acknowledge female sexuality and to provide a place where women can explore and enjoy whatever sex means to them.

Got stocking stuffers? Ice Cube Nipple Balm--in Choco-Mint!

Got stocking stuffers? Ice Cube Nipple Balm–in Choco-Mint!

2. Any specific incidents you are willing to share that resulted in a ‘I’m-going-to-give-up-dating-and-go play-with-my-sex-toys-by-myself” kind of mood?

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): Unsolicited DPs are always great for that.

3. Any warnings or hilarious anecdotes about sex toys gone wrong/performing poorly? (Obviously not Unbound products, right?)

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): When I first started Unbound we kept all our inventory in a closet at our coworking space which was full of older accountants (i.e., *not* your hip coworking space, by any means). One day I went to grab something out of the closet and an entire case of bullet vibrators fell out on top of me and started actually vibrating all over the floor. Everyone in the coworking space watched as I tried to turn them all off and get them back in the closet.

These handcuff bangles come in gold too. They come with a little bag that says "There is freedom in restraint."

These handcuff bangles come in gold too. They come with a little bag that says “There is freedom in restraint.”

4) Explore how you wish people saw you vs. the ego-crushing reality of how your friends see you.

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): I think people often assume that the life of a startup is glamorous and truthfully it is anything but. Being responsible for a company means that it’s up to you to make things happen — this can mean anything from spending weekends in a warehouse to answering customer service emails at 2am. That’s not to say I don’t love it (I DO!) but it’s like having a baby — you love that baby and you’d do anything for it, but there are many times when you just want to get some damn sleep.

Gasp! Bondage Tape $8. F*** yeah.

Gasp! Bondage Tape $8. F*** yeah.

5) Do you all live in NYC? I hear it’s brutal there in terms of finding love.  Care to share any stories that contradict this/validate this hypothesis?

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): I love dating in NYC because there’s always the opportunity for serendipitous romance. I was walking in Washington Square Park a couple months ago and a guy ran up to me and insisted on getting my number and going out on a date. I’m pretty sure he was homeless because when he showed up for the date he had all his belongings with him but it was still romantic! (Note from Madeline–See Arrested Development, Season Two where Lindsay dates Tom Jane.) Similarly, I fell off my bike a month ago and my license went flying and the guy who helped me look for it ended up asking me out. Only in New York can you fall off your Citibike and look like a complete idiot and end up with a date.

6) Snap-chat? Tinder? How are cutting edge gals like yourself hooking up these days?  Any advice? Words of caution?

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): Sometimes I use Bumble, I like that the power to start the conversation is in the hands of the woman. But honestly the swiping is exhausting and I struggle to find dedicated time for the polite small talk and vetting. In my experience, romance and sex and love have a way of finding me when I’m least looking for it, and that’s kind of how I like it.

7) Finish this sentence: In a future world of perfect sexual equality and empowerment we’d all be….

POLLY (CEO of UNBOUND): …having orgasms daily.

Thanks Polly! Now we turn to Lorraine—

1) What have you seen/experienced going on with sexual relations in real life that gives your job at Unbound meaning to you?

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION): I find it tragic that so many people are afraid to try or ask for things in bed that they might be curious about or even know they find pleasurable from having experimented alone, simply because they are concerned that their partner or their friends may judge them to be somehow deviant or weird.  Because we’re all so different, finding out what works for you is by nature a trial and error proposition and if you’re only willing to try the narrow sliver of things that are conventional the odds are that you’re not going to experience as much pleasure as perhaps you could.

Ladies, it's a vagina pillow. Are those feathers? No, they're little, tiny, vaginas...

Ladies, it’s a vagina pillow. Are those feathers? No, they’re little, tiny, vaginas…

2) Any specific incidents you are willing to share that resulted in a ‘I’m-going-to-give-up-dating-and-go play-with-my-sex-toys-by-myself” kind of mood?

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION): When I encounter people who are excruciatingly boring, humorless or otherwise terrible I can seldom make it past a second drink and often turn heel to do exactly that.  If everything is “epic”, if you think that “all lives matter”, if you show up in *that* goddamn gingham J Crew shirt and proceed to talk about your love of IPAs I’d rather listen to the buzz of a hitachi than your nattering on.

3) Any warnings or hilarious anecdotes about sex toys gone wrong/performing poorly? (Obviously not Unbound products, right?)

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION):I was once giving someone an erotic massage and reached for what I thought was oil, but which turned out to be clitoral stimulant- something I only belatedly realized after having already slathered it on my subject’s back.  Their skin started to get red and warm and I tried to play it off as having been a warming massage oil.  Whoops.

Unbound has really cool curated boxes. This is a menopause box -- click to buy.

Unbound has really cool curated boxes. This is a menopause box — click to buy.

4) Explore how you wish people saw you vs. the ego-crushing reality of how your friends see you.

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION): I’m a total Instagram whore and so someone only viewing me through that lens would probably think my life is leisurely travel and fancy cocktails.  But the reality is I’m always glued to my phone or laptop working, no matter where I am and that I only sleep like 4-5 hours any given night.  Working all the time with so many deadlines and things to juggle can mean that I’m often looking to get to the point in conversation and sometimes social niceties can fall by the wayside. While in my mind I’m also an outgoing, open-minded, fun-loving person, my friends would probably say I can be a little (ok, strike that, very) blunt, cynical and overloud in public spaces and polite company.  I’m pretty sure it’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older but it’s made me appreciate the friends who stick by me despite my coal black heart and sharp tongue all the more.

5) Do you all live in NYC? I hear it’s brutal there in terms of finding love.  Care to share any stories that contradict this/validate this hypothesis?

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION): I’m by no means the first to point this out but it’s a double-edged sword.  On the one hand there are a multiplicity of options- with 9+ million people to choose from (more if you count the B&T crowd I guess) you can basically find every combination of body type, personality, career etc.  On the other hand, because everyone knows they have options, people are more reluctant to get emotionally invested in who they date and can tend to treat people as disposable.  Ghosting is a big problem (which isn’t to say I’ve never done it)- but I get it.  Why settle down with one person when the entire city is at your feet?  It’s a hard sell.

6) Snap-chat? Tinder? How are cutting edge gals like yourself hooking up these days?  Any advice? Words of caution?

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION): I like to meet people in person at events or through friends I know to be a better judge of character than I am, whenever possible.  But apps are alright- though I don’t really read into matches much because some people just mindlessly swipe right.  My litmus test is much more the conversation- I can usually tell in few lines of interchange whether someone is passably witty, funny, not deterred by something like Unbound etc.  Of course apps introduce the risk of getting catfished (which fortunately has only happened to me once, albeit in hilarious fashion: the person turned out to be four feet tall and he talked in a high-pitched movie villain German accent just like Dr. Strangelove.)  Yikes.

I love how when you go to Unbound's Shop page, Anal is the first category. I love how this anal stimulator is called MOODY. I love how it resembles an evil gnome, ready to kill you with orgasms.

I love how when you go to Unbound’s Shop page, Anal is the first category. I love how this anal stimulator is called MOODY. I love how it resembles an evil gnome, ready to kill you with orgasms.

In any event I try to look for people who seem progressive and comfortably self-assured, because such things typically bode well for more confidence and open-mindedness in the bedroom.  Unfortunately until we life in a dystopian nightmare where there is a Yelp for people’s sexual prowess, however, you never know what you’re working with until you know.

7) Finish this sentence: In a future world of perfect sexual equality and empowerment we’d all be….

LORRAINE (HEAD of CURATION):…less stressed, uptight and more willing to try things.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Dear men over forty,

11 Nov

by Isabelle Drake.

I little while back, I had an experience that got me thinking.

While at an intimate party, a guy came up to me and gave me the once over. You know what I’m talking about, that head to toe assessment. While I’m wondering why he didn’t have the decency to at least do that from a distance, so I could politely turn away and save us both additional awkwardness (and in his case some wasted time), he says, “hi.”

Before I finish this story, and get back to to the real point of this post, let me tell you guys, we hate the hi. Here are a woman’s options in response to the hi.

  • Be polite and say hi even if we have no interest in continuing the conversation. Most of us pick this, because of societal expectations and all that.
  • Say nothing, look away. The risk here is the follow -up hi.
  • Say nothing, snarl obviously, look away. Result, being bummed or annoyed that we had to act that way just to be left alone.

You’re thinking, what if she likes me? Wants me to say “hi”? If she likes you, don’t waste time on the hi. Just start talking. Bonus, if she doesn’t like you like that, she may be happy to chat about whatever it is you’ve just brought up.

Ok. Off that soap download_6_2box and back to my party story then on to the soap box I came here to actually get up on.

After I reply with my polite hi, he asks me, “Are you here with anyone?” Me: yes. Him: Who? Me, pointing to my date, that guy. Him: The big one? Me thinking, yeah, at 6’4″ and 220, I guess he’s big: Yes. He gives my date that once over, then, I guess deciding I’m not worth getting punched in the face by the big guy, shrugs, says not a single word, then walks off. Seriously? No, this isn’t the only time this sort of thing has happened.

So, gents over forty, have you ever wondered why your wife/girlfriend/office romance/favorite barista and every other reasonable woman in your life reads super hot books with to-die-for heroes?

Aside from the fact that these books rock, it might be because these women miss days when a man spent more than three minutes trying to get their attention, seduce them, and get them into bed. I know, at forty+ it may seem like there isn’t time to waste on sexy getting-to-know-you conversation and that split-second too-long-to-be-polite stares might not net a night of sex, but I’m here to tell you, the night of sex you do after putting in some effort will be much, much better for it.

Contrast these approaches:

Approach A. You see a woman at a bar that you think is hot so you go right up to her. Instead of asking her name, you ask her if she has her own car there. She says yes. Then, you impress her with, “I’m a dentist because I’m good with my hands; want to go to my place? Okay if we take your car?”

Approach B. You see a woman at a bar. You think she’s hot, so you stare at her. She catches you starting and stares back. But then looks away. You move around to the other side of the bar. You stare again. She catches you again, stares back a bit longer, then looks away. You repeat this two more times. You do not get impatient. Instead, you get that her being stared at is turning her on. As a mature guy, you know if she didn’t think you were hot she would not stare back. Finally, when her body language tells you she’d ready to talk–shoulders facing you–you go up and say hi. You tell her your name. You ask her name. Then, you ask her something fun. Note ask – not tell. Why? She does not want to be impressed, she wants to have fun.

Since you are a man, I’ll be direct. Approach B is better.0796

Married men, you aren’t off the hook. You still can and should seduce your wife, so you too are going to want to go with approach B.

It’s never too late to switch it up and put some effort in. Next time a woman near you is reading something hot and looks up from the page with a misty expression and a soft sigh on her lips, remember what I told you.

Also remember, just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you can’t follow us here at Lady Smut. We’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep everyone–women and men–up to date.

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers.

Playing Our Own Game … and Keeping Our Headphones On

6 Sep
Ovid actually wrote about game many, many years ago. He'd have mentioned headphones if he could have.

Ovid actually wrote about game many, many years ago. He’d have mentioned headphones if he could have.

By Alexa Day

Long ago, I would have been able to tell you the number to the pay phone in the center of the local mall, in the town where I grew up. This was back when there was such a thing as a group of pay phones in the center of the mall. In fact, I think the mall itself is gone now. But at one point, I had that number memorized.

Why?

At that point in time, long ago, I had a lot of people rolling up to me to ask for my phone number. It’s hard for me to say that; it sounds kind of immodest. I don’t think I was getting any more attention than any other woman moving unattended through the world. I do have a fairly high opinion of myself, but I don’t think I’m so hot that dudes are running across the street for my number.

At any rate, men were at that time coming up to me to ask for my number and then not leaving me alone until they got a number. So I gave them the number to that pay phone. They wrote it down — this was in the Dark Ages, so everyone had papyrus but not a cell phone — and then they’d go about their merry way. Most of these guys wouldn’t ask for a name, just the number. Sometimes, just to screw around with them, I would give them the number and then ask who they planned to ask for when they called. But most of the time, they would take that phone number and go, and I’d be free to go to the bookstore or wherever I was headed.

A few things have changed since then. I’m older, so I’m not getting as much attention. (Don’t feel bad. It’s nice to go to the bookstore uninterrupted.) Guys are using their cellphones to validate your number, so if you give them the mall phone, they’ll find out before calling. (I do still have a throwaway number, though. I wish I could say more, but for now, it’s enough to say it exists.) And a few women have paid with their lives for refusing male attention, which is a sad commentary on our modern society.

On top of that, the pick-up artist has become more visible.

I was introduced to the cult of the PUA, thankfully, by a male friend, with whom I had an arrangement. He knew I was dating, so he loaned me his copy of The Game, a book that looked like the Bible and which he treated with similar reverence, and told me to read it. “I just want you to know this is out there,” he said.

The world of the PUA has changed a little since The Game, but its essence is simple. The PUA appeals to the man who has so little confidence in his ability to attract the women he’s after that he needs to rely on tricks (called “game”) in order to fool women into sleeping with him. The success of the PUA stems from a few factors, one of which is that there is no shortage of men lacking in confidence. I do think the PUA community is overlooking a couple of important things, though.

1. Women can — and often do — read.

2. Women tell other women about the bizarre, pitiful, and downright abhorrent behavior they observe in men. We love doing this. We name names. We assign nicknames. We build a rich oral tradition. This has always been true of women. Somewhere out there, an archaeologist is about to discover an ancient text entitled The Song of Julia and the Nameless Dipshit Who Said He Would Give Her a Chocolate Every Time She Pleased Him, as if She Were a Dog and Not a Woman.

I’m grateful to my friend for telling me about the world of the PUA, especially because he had to know I would be angry when I read The Game. He put himself at risk to make sure I knew the PUA existed, and he didn’t have to do that. Because of his generosity, I know enough to keep the PUAs on my radar. That isn’t hard to do because, as I’ve suggested, they don’t seem to think that we are capable of reading about Game, silly creatures. They don’t even lock their forums down, so if a girl wanted, she could absolutely Google the stupid little chocolate game I mentioned above and find out exactly how it’s supposed to work.

Game doesn’t make me angry anymore, though. For one thing, it helps that I can see Game coming from miles away. But ultimately, the real problem is not Game itself.

It’s Wack Game. Wack Game is a problem for women and the men who employ it.

The Chocolate Stupidness is a prime example of Wack Game. In it, a dude is supposed to show up on a date with a bag of chocolates. When you ask the predictable question, “Why the hell did you bring a bag of chocolates with you?” the response is that he’s going to give you a chocolate every time you please him.

That used to make me really angry. Because seriously, what the hell is that? Does that ever work on anyone? And what’s to stop me from really making a scene over how ridiculous this is?

Now I see that it’s not my fault this person’s game is pitiful. It would only be my fault if I lowered myself to that level.
Into this environment rises The Modern Man, Dan Bacon, with his advice about how to get a woman to remove her headphones and subject herself to game.

I personally am unfazed by this, but then I’ve seen some incredibly wack game in my time. Still, I’m not surprised by the backlash to Bacon’s advice. I’m a little saddened that he’s edited the article under the negative pressure, but I understand negative pressure.

I’m not here to yell at Bacon, though. Because honestly, his advice is the same advice I would give to both men and women in this situation.

Let’s be objective about this for just a second.

Yes, the article does suggest that these men walk up to us and make a little gesture indicating that they want us to take our headphones off. Bacon recognizes that the presence of those things in our ears sends a message: I do not wish to interact with you. I myself have worn headphones connected to nothing at all just to send that message.

But you know what? If I’m wearing my earbuds connected to the inside of my jeans and some dude comes up to me with wack game, I just make get-away-from-me gestures and keep it moving. No problem. It works just as well as the number to the pay phone in the middle of the mall.

Indeed, Bacon himself advises men that we might decide to leave those headphones in. “If you notice that she doesn’t want to take off her headphones and doesn’t seem interested in talking to you at all,” he writes, “just respect that and leave the interaction without trying to talk to her any further. While it’s perfectly normal for a man and a woman to talk to each other, it’s not appropriate or fair for a guy to annoy a woman who doesn’t want to talk to him at all” (emphasis mine).

By the time we reach that place in the article, Bacon has made this point three times, and that was before he edited it.

Bacon makes another important point: if I actually take those headphones off, DO NOT BRING WACK GAME INTO THE SILENCE. Your continued presence is now an imposition on my free time. You have to be ready to add value to this interruption. The man who cannot do that, Bacon writes, shouldn’t even start.

Hallelujah. I can’t count the number of times I’ve advised male friends about not wasting our time. We have other things going on with our lives. Just don’t even start if your game is pitiful.

Let us be clear. I am not endorsing the use of PUA game to fool one’s way into another’s pants. I merely recognize that I cannot stop it. Because I can’t stop it, I’ve chosen to focus on avoiding or deflecting it. In other words, I can’t stop the fledgling PUAs of the world from waving their hands and making their headphones-off gestures. But I can absolutely make the decision to keep my headphones in and keep it moving.

Women moving through the world by themselves have always had to defend their spaces from unwanted male attention. I shouldn’t have to prepare myself to deal with annoyance (or physical danger) just to get from my couch to the bookstore. But sadly, that’s been a constant in our society for a pretty long time. I wonder if we’d get better results if we focused more on our own boundaries than on the erratic behavior of others. After all, I can’t control what other people are doing to and around me, but I have absolute control over my response to it.

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Of Wings and Women

16 Aug
These two might not be doing it right.

These two might not be doing it right.

By Alexa Day

Zig Ziglar had this to say about the fine art of having it all: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

He probably wasn’t talking about being a wingwoman, but his message about service definitely applies.

What’s a wingwoman? Glad you asked.

The wingwoman accompanies a friend, either male or female, to a target-rich environment, to facilitate the friend’s meeting other people for fun, romance, and perhaps sexytimes.

A wingwoman’s job isn’t easy, although the best practitioners make it look that way. The real virtuosos are hard to find. In my time, I have known exactly three, two of whom have moved far enough away that I can no longer call on them when I need support.

I do think the requisite skills can be taught. It just takes a little patience.

Want to give it a whirl? Find yourself a single friend — for our purposes, I’m talking about another woman — and prepare to learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

The first thing to consider as you enter WingWorld? It isn’t about you. Indeed, if there are two of you, I think you are best served to take turns. You could either decide that one of you is going to be the wing all night long, or you can switch off as you go from place to place. But I’ve seen people try to wing for each other simultaneously, and it doesn’t work all that well.

Your job as the wing is to make sure your friend is getting what she wants. You’re not getting what you want for her. You’re not getting what you want, unless you just want her to be happy. You don’t even get to pick the place. All this is about your friend. Make sure you’re both dressed appropriately, and then let her lead.

Now that you know your role, let’s see how this plays out on the ground. Follow along with me, won’t you?

1. Show up a little early. If you’re at your destination on the early side, say during the beginning of happy hour, you’ll get a nice place to sit. Do not concern yourself with hanging out there for a long time after you are done eating. Smart bartenders don’t mind sharp-looking ladies chilling at the bar because we encourage sharp-looking fellas to buy themselves a drink and then to buy a little something for us. It’s Zig Ziglar’s theory in action.

Are you the sort of woman who insists on buying her own drinks? Don’t let me tell you to stop. I, however, am not that sort of woman, so you might need a couple of grains of salt to work with me.

2. Bend the conversation. Be open and welcoming to everyone. Converse. Flirt. Have fun. But remember your job. Tell him what you do, but play up your friend’s job. Accept a compliment about that dazzling choker; you borrowed it from your bud. Try to be subtle. Bend the conversation, but don’t force it. Your friend has likely joined the conversation at the same time you did, but remember — your job is to serve.

3. Check in. I mentioned a moment ago that this is not about what you want for your friend; it’s about what your friend wants. I see way too many wingwannabes trying to steer their friends toward men in whom their friends have no interest at all. That’s kind of like what the Urban Dictionary calls a Bowling Ball Present: something you give another person that’s really intended for you. It’s obnoxious. Checking in with your friend from time to time ensures that she is getting the intended search results.

4. Consider your exit strategy, or as they say in the Thunderdome: Two women enter, one woman leaves. If you have accomplished your mission and introduced your friend to the hottie of her choosing, it’s time for you to get out of the way. Be delicate. In my experience as the wingwoman, I’ve found it effective to wait until my friend’s new friend gets up for some reason (like the bathroom). During his absence, I check in with my friend and take my leave if she’s all set. I’ve fallen back on the legendary early meeting. If it looks like the two of them are moving on to the next bar, I’ve noped out to leave them alone.

Exit strategy is not without risk.

If your friend is too inebriated to effectively participate in exit strategy, you don’t go anywhere (except to take her home). If your friend is not enthusiastic about exit strategy, you don’t exit. If you have intuition that risk exists, you declare this. If you do exit, you do still have to check in, both during the course of the evening and at an appropriate time in the morning. It is impossible to eliminate risk in our world, but risk can be reduced to manageable levels.

5. Celebrate. If you reached the exit successfully, it’s time to start thinking about your turn. Maybe next time she’s your wing. If you’re not in the market for free-range gentlemen, maybe you just make her buy the drinks and tell those secrets.

Either way, isn’t volunteering grand?

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Just the Tip? A Brief Look at One of Dating’s Oldest Questions

19 Apr
For better or for worse ... the question of who pays for the *wedding* is now less complicated.

For better or for worse … there is less discussion about who pays for a *wedding* than who pays for a date.

By Alexa Day

I love the Sexy Saturday Round Up. Don’t you? It’s the cool, sexy way to make sure I’m up on the real news of the week. This past Saturday, we had sex toys, girl gamers in Saudi Arabia, and tattoos. If you haven’t been over there yet, you should go and check it out.

One of G.G. Andrew’s links caught my eye. Refinery29 published an article about a favorite topic: when a man and a woman are on a date, who pays?

As I write this, I am mindful of how limiting this question really is. In my tiny little cishet world, I’ve never had to consider how same-sex couples address this question, if they address it at all. I am curious, though. If you have intel on the topic, please educate me in the comments.

Inside the cishet bubble, I think the question of who pays has been around for a long time. If anything has changed since our the time of our parents and grandparents, it’s that this question now has many answers.

The Refinery29 article focuses on millennial women, and while many of them are pushing back — hard — at women who don’t pay for whatever reason, the numbers suggest that more of them, 59 percent, let the men pay for first dates. But I think that if the ‘male pays’ dating tradition changes, it’s likely to change first with that age group, which may not be as attached to the concept of male-as-provider that gave rise to the tradition in the first place. Even at my age (I’m no millennial, friends), I see lots of my peers shifting to an ‘asker pays’ model, where the person who asks for the date is the one who pays. That seems to me to be a more gender equitable way to handle things, although I do think men are far more likely to ask for dates.

Now, I do see where the problem arises for men. Their long-held contention is that dating is expensive. I get it. This is why I don’t take myself to dinner as often as I’d like.

I do have a question, though.

Why aren’t you guys reducing those costs?

I’ve only dated in the South, a place where it’s possible to badly offend one’s date by even offering to pay. Many Southern men in my age bracket interpret such an offer as a suggestion that they are incapable of footing the bill without help. I wonder if that presumption is forcing them to be more creative. I’ve been to dances, the county fair, long walks around local parks to look at the river, and museums big and small. I’ve always thought the point of the first date is to spend a little time getting to know each other and decide whether a second date is a good idea. A stroll through the museum, followed up with some ice cream, gets the job done just as well as something expensive, if not better.

Refinery29 briefly touches on the many factors that come into play before the check arrives. If both parties split the bill, is it still a date? If one party pays, is the other required to reciprocate in some way? At what point in a relationship is it acceptable to stop splitting the bill? That little slip of paper carries a lot of weight.

Should it?

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Leftovers or Delicacies? Single Women Go From Desperate to Dangerous

8 Mar
I do? More like, I might. Maybe. If I have time.

I do? More like, I might. Maybe. If I have time.

By Alexa Day

This past weekend, in China, the body of a 43-year-old woman was discovered in an elevator. She’d been there for a month. Maintenance folks had stopped the elevator, yelled to make sure no one was there, and left the elevator out of service for a long holiday. The BBC reports that scratches were found on the inside of the elevator car.

Sounds like a nightmare, right?

On Chinese social media, folks are coming out to blame the maintenance folks and building management for not doing more to make sure the elevator was empty before taking off. They are also blaming the woman in the elevator.

This is not so surprising, given the nature of social media.

Ms. Wu was single, and she apparently had no one to check on her whereabouts. While some are reflecting on urban isolation in China, where a person can be surrounded by others and still be more or less alone, others believe Ms. Wu was at risk because she was unmarried, one of the so-called “leftover women,” or “sheng nu.”

A single girl becomes one of the sheng nu in her late 20s.

I had two questions right away.

If a Chinese man had died after a month in an elevator, would anyone on social media even mention his marital status?

And would the American media devote any attention to the marital status of a woman who’d been trapped in an elevator for a month?

The second question was tougher for me.

Also last weekend, I ran across an interview with Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation. Traister recalls that in her favorite childhood stories, the heroine’s life seemed to end when she got married. American society might still pathologize a woman’s decision to remain unmarried. At one time, she might have been decried as undesirable; today, she’s more likely to be viewed as selfish. Either way, the adult woman with no spouse is coloring outside the lines and has been for a long time.

Here and in China, however, more and more women are living the single life and loving it all to pieces.

They’re building full lives — personally and professionally — and it’ll take some pretty special guys to entice them to take that walk down the aisle.

I’m proud of my genre for keeping up. When I first started reading romance, marriage really was the end of the story — the only end of the story. Today, a romance heroine is more likely to enter the relationship of her choice, maybe a marriage and maybe not, on her own terms. These aren’t stories about women who are worried about being leftovers. These are stories about women making the choice to bring love into their already full lives.

Is the world ready?

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Alexa Day writes erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent and fictional worlds where strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and recovering attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

The Sexual Chemistry Is Off The Charts – But Are You Textually Compatible?

17 Feb

By Elizabeth Shore

Relationship alert! Just when you thought it was difficult enough in today’s world finding someone to hook up with, there’s an added element on the dating landscape throwing a damn monkey wrench into the whole “compatibility” conversation. Because aside from feeling the initial spark confirming that his hotness factor is gonna set your panties a’fire, besides finding out whether you have any common interests, and besides establishing that you and he rock each other’s worlds in the bedroom, there’s yet another thorny hurdle to cross. Do you and he have textual compatibility?

As Time writer Eliana Dockterman states in a recent article on “textual chemistry,” the complex emotional interactions between two people over text message can make or break a relationship. Yeah, you read that right. In other words, how you and he text one another is a very big deal.

Friends in my office, especially 20-something friends who’ve taken dating etiquette to a science, talk all the time about their prospective guy’s texting ability. Is he too fast to send messages or too slow? Are his texts too long or not long enough? How about his emoji use? Is it OK for guys to use them? Should they? Analysis of texting habits is as detailed as when gals of years ago used to talk about the kind of car a guy drove and what it said about him.

Of course, texting is today’s common form of communication. A 2015 poll by a research group found that 80% of Americans prefer texts over voice calls. And Americans spend an average of 26 minutes a day texting, according to the article. So how one communicates definitely makes a difference. Case in point: I have to fess up that I’m a frequent texter. Sometimes texting with friends is how I spend entire evenings. Well, OK. More than sometimes, actually. I do it a lot. And I admit that it can be annoying when friends are slow to respond. Or they finally respond but ignore what I wrote. By that same criteria, if a prospective date behaves textually badly, it spells trouble ahead because, as the Dockterman article points out, texting is a form of seduction.

My 20-something colleagues would certainly attest to this. Bad texters, they say, are reason enough to break off a relationship before it even gets started. Why bother? If he’s bad at texting, they say, he’s going to be bad at communicating in general.

I’m not sure I’m entirely down with that logic. What about if he’s a great communicator but texting doesn’t happen to be his preferred method. What if he’s one of those Neanderthal types who enjoys talking on the phone. Is that a relationship buster? It seems as if there must be an easier way of navigating the land mine-filled textual landscape. What are the rules, anyway?

According to Dockterman’s article, we all need to be mindful of how our personalities come across in texts. Women who make their text messages overly long, for example, might be viewed as too needy or chatty. Or desperate. But men aren’t easily let off the hook, either. Their personalities via texting are under the same scrutiny as in the days of yesteryear when they were trying to pick up women in a bar.

All in all, textual compatibility is just one measurement of whether a relationship is going to work. You still, after all, eventually have to meet in person. And sparks flying in the virtual world doesn’t necessarily equate to the same thing in person. The good news, however, is that if the in-person chemistry isn’t happening, you can easily break it off. Just send him a text.

What do you think? Do you set store by how well he texts? Will wooing in the virtual world lead to a wedding in the real one? Let us know in the comments. You can think of it as a text.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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