In this age of global warming, bio-terrorism, a recession that no one is willing to call a recession, war, and oppression, how is it possible to believe in love at first sight? Should I wait for Mr. Right to come along, or settle for Mr. Right Now?
-Losing Hope in Las Cruces
Dear Losing Hope:
The powers that be could drop a bomb and nuke us all tomorrow. In light of that fact, it seems ridiculous to advocate saving yourself for marriage, or the “right man.” Life is too short- Carlos Castaneda said, “Live every moment like it’s your last dance on earth.”
That being said, I am a firm believer in love at first sight. Don’t give up- it happens every day even in this sick and twisted world. Hold out for hope and love- you’ll find it when you aren’t even looking! I was a non-believer, too-ready to abandon all hope… until I fell in love with a wonderful man. I met him one night when I was out with my girlfriends, complaining about the lack of decent men in our town and contemplating lesbianism- talk about unexpected!
However, if you’re dating Mr. Right Now as a placeholder until you’re struck by “the thunderbolt,” I advocate safe sex- not just physically safe sex, but emotionally safe as well. What does that mean? Sex with a partner you care about and respect, when it feels right to you, is emotionally safe. Sex with a guy you met at a bar two hours ago is a different story, and is NOT recommended by the Goddess of Love.
If Trojan invented a condom that would protect you from a broken heart, they’d make a mint. Until that happy day, protect yourself from unnecessary emotional trauma by choosing the right partner. While this person may not be in your life long-term, it is important to make a real connection with someone you know and trust before jumping into bed. Sleeping with someone too soon in a relationship can truly damage your chances of making it work- the relationship becomes all about sex, and that’s obviously not what you’re looking for.
Communicating your needs openly and honestly, and moving forward together sexually at a pace you’re both comfortable with, is key. If you’re sexually active, ALWAYS use a condom and a back-up birth control method to guard against unwanted pregnancy and STDs. Get tested regularly, and make sure your partner does the same. I’m a romantic at heart, but…dating in the 21st century is a scary prospect. Don't jump without a parachute! Be safe, smart, and sexy- always use protection.
-Aphrodite in Blue Jeans
Dear Goddess of Love:
After many insane dating experiences, I am beginning to question the existence of this thing called love. As a young girl, I always believed in love… after a few years of dating on the local scene, I’m not so sure anymore. The last guy I dated lied about being a married father of two. He told me he was divorced- then I found out he was cheating on his wife! I barely survived that one… and now I’m wondering: Does true love really exist? And, if so, how do you find it, recognize it, and make it last?
-A Skeptic in Sioux Falls
I am a firm believer in love, and one of the last true romantics. Having experienced this rare phenomenon first-hand, I can only tell you what I know. I cannot speak for the experiences of others- every love is different. You don’t find love- don’t bother to go looking. Love finds you- usually when you least expect it!
How do you recognize true love when it finally comes to call? All I can say is, you will know. You just know. (Yes, I realize this is an infuriating answer. Nevertheless, it is true.) There will be no doubt in your mind. You may have a feeling of déjà vu ; that you have known this person in another life. You can talk to him for hours, even though you just met. You laugh a lot, cuddle a lot, and think of him when he’s not by your side. You find yourself counting down the hours until you will see him again, even after you’ve been together for years. You spend a lot of time alternating between fits of insane happiness and the paralyzing fear that you will lose it all, don’t deserve it, or that love can’t last. (Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.) If you’re still laughing at a joke he made three days ago, or you see something funny and he’s the first person you want to tell…watch out! You just might be … in love! (gulp)
Falling in love is the easy part. Once you’ve managed to do that, staying in love can be tough. When the honeymoon’s over, real life intrudes on the world of romance and bliss you have created. Even though we all have to work, pay our bills, walk the dog, and wash the dishes, there are still ways to show your love for your partner and keep the fires of romance burning bright.
Some of you may scoff when I say this, or call me old-fashioned. Let me assure my readers that I am a staunch feminist, and a truly modern woman living in the 21st century. Here goes: If you’re in a relationship, marriage or otherwise involved, and you want to stay that way, you need to make that relationship your first priority. Yes… it is more important than your career, your friends, your house, your car, or anything else you possess. Does this mean allowing someone to mistreat you, walk all over you, etc.? Absolutely NOT. It’s a partnership; ideally, your beloved will feel the same way and will also put your relationship first, above all other concerns.
Having a great relationship is tricky. It means that, first, you honor and respect your own needs and follow the wisdom of your heart. You cannot give from an empty well; if you are not healthy and happy within yourself, you have no business being in a relationship anyway. I know this may be difficult to hear, but…nobody else can save you, or fix you. If you’re looking for a rescuer, you need therapy, NOT a boyfriend.
Secondly, you honor and respect your partner’s needs, and realize that sometimes you will have to put them first. This doesn’t mean being a slave to someone else’s whim….quite the contrary. It means, simply, that you work together as a couple to make the best choices for your life together; that you celebrate the good times and endure the bad the best way you know how. Take care of each other. Talk and cuddle. Kiss him every time you get the chance. Make decisions together. Be honest. Peel away the layers of your heart and let him inside. This may be terrifying at first…it may always be terrifying…but it is the only way I know how to love, and make love stay.
-Aphrodite in Blue Jeans
I have a friend who is currently dating someone totally inappropriate- he's an unemployed thirty-year-old loser who still lives with his parents! She tells me the sex is unbelievable.
How is it possible for any thinking woman to have a deep physical connection with someone who worships the musical stylings of Ratt and Whitesnake, and believes that Axl Rose's late-90's scruffbag look is still the height of fashion? Is there any possibility that this "fuck-buddy" relationship will turn into love and marriage? And, if wedding bells ARE in their future, how can I prevent her from making the biggest mistake of her life? If I have to wear a fuschia bridesmaid dress and witness their union to the strains of "November Rain," I will kill myself.
-Confused in Cortez
Hey, at least he's not an unemployed forty year old loser who still lives with his parents! I appreciate your concern for your friend's welfare, and share your horror of fuchsia retro-eighties bridesmaids' dresses. Before you chug that Valium-vodka cocktail, consider this: you might be able to save her from a fate worse than death- becoming Mrs. Loser. This all sounds hauntingly familiar...Wait a minute...I think I dated that guy, too- and the sex was great. Men without jobs have a deep reservoir of sexual energy that cannot be denied- because they have plenty of time to sit around whacking off, while their peers are out earning a living.
The Sex Goddess believes that your friend should enjoy her fling, and take advantage of this sexual dynamo- until his parents throw him out of the house, and he has to get a job. However, I predict that this relationship is ultimately doomed. Sure, he's great in bed...but once you leave the bedroom, what are you left with? At best, a jobless Whitesnake fan with bad hair and a bandanna tied around his jeans. At worst, a little boy lost in a man's body, who can't survive without mommy to pay his bills and wash his socks.
Red flag, red flag!
If your friend doesn't wise up, extreme measures may be called for. Trust me, she'll thank you later. (Maybe.) Want to break 'em up? Here's How!
1. Engage him in a deep conversation about spirituality, politics, or anything her "buddy" knows little about. If he doesn't say anything, he'll look like a wussy with no opinions. If he does, he'll reveal himself as a moron. Win-win!
2. Expose his lack of knowledge in a subtle way and slowly get her to see that he's totally unsuited to her, a la Good Will Hunting.
3. Give him unsolicited advice/commentary on his hairstyle and wardrobe:
- "You'd be much more attractive without that skanky Def Leppard tank top."
- "Nice stonewashed jeans. I thought they stopped making those after all those NKOTB fans died."
- "Did your mom buy that jacket in the 1984 store?"
- "I heard the mullet was making a comeback...but according to you, it never left."
5. Buy her an attack dog, and train it to sic anyone wearing stone-washed denim.
6. Tell her you heard from your friend's cousin's roommate that he has the clap, and you think she should get tested just in case. (Backup lie: Tell your friend that you once dated somebody who knew a guy that caught him blowing a roadie at a Def Leppard concert.) Hey...Did you hear that? What's that awful noise? Ratt? Whitesnake? No...It's the sound of romance, dying a slow and painful death.
7. Get drunk and "accidentally" sleep with him. Tell her about it the next day in a fit of "hungover remorse." Works like a charm. If you casually mention that his dick was disappointing, or his technique fell short of your expectations, so much the better. (Warning!!! This maneuver may trigger your gag reflex, and is only advised as a last-ditch effort to save your bosom buddy from a lifetime of agony and pain. Doing this will most likely cause them to break up, and it's a guarantee that you'll lose a friend, but at least you'll be spared the agony of a Whitesnake theme-wedding!) If you decide to go through with this nefarious plan, make sure you use a condom. These types of dudes are usually male sluts- an easier lay was never made- so always practice safe sex.
8. Get drunk and make a play for her yourself. Kiss her and look at her with longing. Tell her, "He doesn't love you the way I do." Try to convince her to "bat for the other team." This will either result in a fabulous night of lesbian luvin' or a severely awkward moment. Either way, he'll be the furthest thing from her mind while you're making out, so everybody wins!
9. Tell him you'd like to take a drive, and get to know him better. Drive waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy out in the middle of nowhere, constantly plying him with his favorite beverage of choice (My guess? Bring plenty of PBR.). When he asks to stop and take a leak, drive away as fast as you can, laughing madly all the while. Chances are someone will find him and beat the crap out of him for wearing stonewashed jeans and a Ratt T-shirt. (I would.) When your friend asks what happened, tell her he tried to seduce you, and you were so disgusted by his betrayal that you kicked him out of the car somewhere on the rez. Tell her, "He's gonna lie and say some Ute guys kicked his ass, but it was me!" In short, do what you have to do- stint at nothing to save her from this-a fate much, much worse than death. Give it your best shot! You might just save her ass, and save your friendship in the bargain.
The Goddess of Love - and Other Indoor Sports
The last time I invited a girl over to my place, she took one look around and ran like hell. What gives? I'm no Martha Stewart, but I try to keep my place clean. Now she won't return my calls and here roommate says she's decided to become a nun. Help!
-Dirty Dawg in Durango
Dear Dirty Dawg:
Men have slightly different standards of cleanliness than women. What looks fine to you may seem squalid to the more discerning female eye. Either you found one of those anal-retentive neat freak chicks who is afraid of germs and treats a sink full of dirty dishes like an Anthrax fan-letter, or your bachelor-pad was a bit too funky for the common female to feel comfortable getting naked in. If she WAS a June Cleaver clone, aspiring nun, or germophobe, you're better off without her. On the other hand, if she's just a normal woman who was frightened by your squalid digs, I can help!
Top 10 Things 2 Do B-4 a Booty Call
1. Turn off any unnecessary lights. This eliminates having to actually clean unused areas, like the kitchen. Candles add a romantic touch. Safety tip: never leave a burning candle unattended while fucking. The Surgeon General and The Sex Goddess have determined this act to be hazardous to your sex life. Sex by candlelight? Sexy. Warm candle wax? Sexy. An evening in the burn ward? The Anti-Sex.
2. Scan the place for obvious evidence of dogs, cats, ferrets, mice or bugs- or any other wildlife- and eliminate it. Nothing kills romance like stepping right in the middle of a pile of cat barf. Trust me on this one.
3. Change the sheets. If you have no clean sheets, do it standing up, on the couch, or in the shower.
A) Get creative.
B) Don't sprain anything.
C) Report back to me!
4. Remove any evidence of previous booty calls- another woman's panties, condom wrappers, whips, chains, used rubbers, tube of slutty red lipstick left in the medicine cabinet, etc.
5. Remove the following items from your bedroom/bathroom, or at least hide them in the closet...fly strips, dirty dishes, pizza boxes, empty beer bottles, porn collection, handcuffs, vibrator, drug(s) of choice and related paraphernalia, dead bugs, mousetraps, and other "mood-murderers." It may also be wise to hide any photos of: self with past lovers, self with children, self with parents, self as pimply teenager, self as dorky child with ugly haircut.
6. Last-minute supply run: Condoms or other birth control/STD prevention method, lube, party favors of choice, snacks/dessert, flowers if you can find some that don't look like they belong on a coffin.
7. Turn off your answering machine, thus avoiding the horrors of having a bill collector/angry ex/relative call and leave an embarrassing/life-threatening message during sex. Buzzkill!
8. Rent a chick movie. Just in case your "moves" don't move her, watching you cry over "Twenty-Seven Dresses" or "Bridget Jones' Diary" may sway her wayward heart and get you some much-needed ass.
9. Nervous? Been a while since you actually "did it"? Can't quite remember where or what the "clitoris" is? Look at an instructional video or magazine (I recommend "Lesbian Liasons" or anything in the "South of the Border Sluts" series- these films can be very enlightening for those individuals who are not as familiar with the fine art of cunnilingus as they should be) while firmly stroking your- whoops! It's already over and done with, isn't it?
Wow, it HAS been awhile! 1988- or was it '89? No worries- coming shortly before your booty call takes place actually increases your endurance during Round 2, and acts as a nice tension-reliever as well. You'll thank me for this later...and so will she.
10. Take a shower. Please. (You've seen "There's Something About Mary," right? You ain't goin' out like that.)
A) And some deodorant wouldn't hurt, either.
B) Put on your cleanest shirt.
C) Skip the bad cologne. If you've got some of the good stuff, use about half as much as you normally would.
D) Check your fly. Twice.
E) Call your sexual partner of choice. You are now officially ready for a night of red-hot love.
-Aphrodite in Blue Jeans
Dear Aphrodite in Blue Jeans:
I know your column usually focuses on love relationships, but I am hoping you can advise me on a friend issue. My best friend has been kidnapped by her baby! We were very close for years, and shared everything. Since she has become a mommy, I have seen her maybe three times (and baby is over a year old!). Every time I call, she is busy. She can’t meet for lunch or coffee or chat on the phone. She never returns my calls or emails. In fact, about the only time I hear from her anymore is when she invites me to a baby shower or birthday party for the little one. Having chosen to be childless, such events are NOT my cup of tea.
We don’t have much in common anymore, but I miss her. I would love to share this new stage in her life with her, but she seems more interested in hanging out with other young moms. We haven’t had a decent conversation in months. The last time we talked, she was spending her day off making her own baby food at home and freezing on-the-go dinners for her family. I feel like I don’t even know this person anymore. Can you help?
-Abandoned in Albuquerque
I have faced this same situation recently. Quite a few of my friends have children, while my man and I have opted for a great sex life instead of procreation. (No one has yet given me a shower to celebrate this decision, but I haven’t lost hope yet!)
Understandably, this can create a distance, and even some resentment. Her life is all about diaper genies and Baby Einstein; you’re still a free woman who doesn’t have to call a babysitter every time she needs a dose of girl-talk. Don’t take it personally- as a career woman and a mother, she’s stressed and probably has little time to herself.
Your friend may- consciously or not- be jealous, or even feel threatened by this change in your relationship. If this is the case, she may not want to be with you until she deals with these issues on her own and realizes that you’re both making the right choices for your own lives. Talk with her honestly some time -without the baby around- and see if you two can’t reach a better understanding.
Tell her exactly what you told me, tell her how much it hurts and alienates you, and ask her if she can meet you once in awhile to talk. Of course, this may mean a little compromise on your part, like sometimes sharing your lunch with mama AND baby- but once in awhile, the two of you should be able to go out on your own. If she’s strapped for cash, offer to help with the cost of a sitter so the two of you can enjoy a girl’s night out.
If she is a true friend, she will make time for you, even if it’s just meeting once in awhile for a quick cup of coffee. If she isn’t, then you’re wasting your time. You will always be second fiddle to baby- that is the reality of the situation as I see it, and of course that is as it should be- her little one should be her first priority right now…but not her ONLY priority. To create a balanced home for her child, she should be willing to let go a little, call a sitter, and pursue her own interests and friendships without sacrificing every single piece of herself and her old life at the altar of motherhood.
If you keep trying, but just can’t connect, then you must face the fact that she does not value your friendship nearly as much as you do. Someone who will not return your calls or emails, but expects you to shower them with gifts every time they have another child, or baby-sit at the drop of a hat, is simply rude and without class. Feel free to tell her that you have to stay home and wash your hair the next time you’re invited to a baby shower.
I would challenge you to talk with your friend about this, and decide if you are willing to continue to spend time with someone who is treating you this way. I have one friend who is a mother that makes a conscious decision to arrange for child-care so that she has some time to herself to write, visit with friends, etc. I feel that this is healthy and we have, after a little difficulty, been able to make this work. I also have another friend, also a mommy, who I have not seen in years- even though we live in the same town! When I try to connect with her, she is always busy.
Sometimes, you have to know when to throw in the towel! I have stopped trying to make plans with her because our friendship is clearly not a priority for her right now. So, when I’m looking for girl-talk, or someone to go out with, I find myself seeking out new friends who share more of my current interests and have a little more free time.
An end note- don’t spend so much time agonizing over this. Throw yourself an “I don’t have a baby” shower and invite all of your fabulous single friends to join you in celebrating your child-free lifestyle, much like Samantha Jones in the Sex and the City episode, “The Baby Shower.” Register at your favorite shops for expensive shoes and bubble bath and anything else your heart desires…then, invite all the women whose baby showers you have suffered through (and barely survived), and -bling! bling! bling! - cash in!
-Aphrodite in Blue Jeans
To ask The Goddess of Love a question or glean advice on a tough relationship issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, "Questions for The Goddess of Love." The Goddess offers her advice for entertainment purposes only, and such advice should not be considered a substitute for therapy or medical care.