Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

Let me just jump right into this. Yes, but with conditions. Steve Harvey recently made news with his comments on the topic of having friends of the opposite sex. His thoughts, which are very valid come from the idea that a man has a woman as a friend when he puts her in the category of knowing he will never sleep with her. Meaning, we ain’t gonna bump uglies, then we can be cool. But if I have the chance, I’m taking the opportunity. And for this, some men find it hard to have a woman who is genuinely a friend.

Women however see a different point. We can see a guy as an actual friend and it has nothing to do with attraction or sexual chemistry. Yes, we can put you in the Friend Zone and yes, we can go from doing the nasty to being buds. It’s a transition that comes easy for us because we see that friendship connection more important than sex. This can confuse your male partner and in many cases, make them feel threatened. I’m here to argue that it shouldn’t.

So I, like many women, who over the years, always had more guy friends than girlfriends. Now at the moment, I am closer to my girls, but I have a handful of guys that if I needed to call in an emergency, have my back. Some of those I have had zero physical or romantic connection to. Some, we have had a past of intimacy. But years have passed, I’m engaged, or they are happily married with kids, there is no bond more than an actual friendship. Here’s how I have always seen this dynamic. It’s one thing to have those friends to hang out with over drinks or bond at a sporting event, but what about the person you call when you have a death in the family or you’re going through something like a divorce? In moments like that, a genuine friendship is so important, and one that should be bigger than what may have happened years prior in or out of the bedroom.

This is where the “conditions” come in. I think in order to have a strong relationship to the opposite sex, while you are in fact in a relationship, it’s important to be honest with your partner about the history of the friendship. Do I think they need to know all of the dirty details? No. But should they know in all honesty that there was some sort of physical past? Yes. But why? If it ever comes out that this little fact was never mentioned, your partner will inevitably feel as if it was hidden on purpose, when you may not see it that way. This is the tricky part of having friends of the opposite sex. What do you divulge to your partner?

At the end of the day, you have a friendship that may have been years in existence before your time with your significant other. If it is a real solid friendship, like the one you can call on if your mom passes or your baby is born, then I think those healthy friendships are indeed safe and valuable. Remember, if it ever feels like you’re hiding information or details, or if you have to proceed with caution, that’s never good. Treat both your friendship and relationship with open respect, and both should be able to live in harmony.

The sexiness from within

When I was a young little thang, I remember wanting to be called “sexy” so badly. I felt that if a guy found me “sexy” I was doing something right as a woman. They desired me, they craved me. They really wanted to screw me! “Sexy” then became this term that annoyed me. I didn’t want to be an object, even though I was walking around like one. But I still wanted to be wanted.

It was only years later that I realized that “sexy” is more so a mindset that I need to convey, rather than an appearance to portray. I love asking people “What makes you feel sexy?” The key word in that sentence being FEEL. What does sexy feel like to you? Whenever I think about this in my own life, I have found that my answers don’t always involve the bedroom. I think I speak for several woman who would honestly say, they don’t necessarily feel sexy while doin the nasty. So it really is the moments prior to intercourse where we find our sexy.

For me, I feel the most sexy on stage. For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m a former professional entertainer. Though most of my friends would tell you that I still perform in some way or another. But being on stage was me at my most sexy. And it all boiled down to one big element-confidence. I felt confident in myself, my talent, my ability to entertain and move a crowd. I felt sexy AF!

Anytime I find myself in my true element, it feels electric. That electricity is evident in what I do, say and act. And to me, that is what “sexy” is truly about. Finding that thing that makes you feel electric and alive. Sexy doesn’t mean SEX. Though for some, it just might. And if that’s the case for you, then let your freak flag fly. But what gives you that charge that shakes you up and makes everyone in the room take notice, just might be your sexy.

So my homework for you is to do something that you enjoy, I mean, really enjoy. Talk about it and engage with like minded people and challenge yourself to find what lights you up. And when you do, ask yourself “Is this my sexy?” Who knows? It could be. So shout out to all you future sexy stay at home moms and baristas. The world is so here to see your magic!

Happy Valenti…Ah Screw It!

I am never surprised that I usually find myself single around Valentine’s Day. I have either ended a relationship at the start of the year. Or more often than not, started something brand new, but not add the pressure of a “Couples Holiday” early in the dating   process. Either way, I can count on one hand how many times I have spent VDay with someone.

Over the years, rather than treating it as a “Whoa is me!” day or a “Man Hating Party”, I focus on the one vice I love almost as much as booze…horror films. I would host “My Bloody Valentine’s Day” parties, complete with red velvet cupcakes, bloody sangrias and hours of some of my favorite horror movies. I figure, rather than being surrounded by love and all things romance, why not love the beauty and gore that is dumb virgins being killed in the woods!

My horror Valentine’s however was simply a mask for one simple truth…being alone that day really does suck. Over the years, I have grown to love my solitude. I relish that I have a two bedroom, but live alone. I have found joy in trying out new restaurants and having full meals with just myself. But there is something about that one day in the year that makes you feel as if you are not complete unless you’re with someone. Recently, I have tried to make it a point to show more of my love to others on that day.

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But why not show some love and appreciation to yourself? What makes Valentine’s Day so special is that a person feels valued and seen. But that is in the eye of someone else. However, what if you don’t have that someone? Or maybe, your someone isn’t a romantic partner. Maybe they are a friend, a coworker, a parent, a sibling, an ex. In any event, it’s just one day. It doesn’t define you and you are not just one day. If your value is in knowing that you’re appreciated and loved, first tell that to the person in the mirror. And then, go out and show that to others. Oh, and pick up a horror film, a good bottle of bourbon and cuddle with the best date ever…YOU!

The Advice You Give

When I started my blog 8 years ago, it was because I wanted to work through some issues. A girl might look like a Power Ranger but I need help. What I never expected but has turned into a happy surprise, is my ability to give advice to others. You’ve heard that doctors make the worst patients. The same goes for those who write dating blogs. I may not always listen to my own advice, but the advice I give is darn good!

A few days ago, my college best friend called me. She needed some advice about whether to pursue dating a guy seriously or to let him go. We caught up for a few hours and I realized very quickly, a lot of the advice I give, sounds scarily…like my mother. I have to laugh especially since I don’t have kids. I don’t have many moments where I can go to my mom and say “I get it now”. It does, however happen several times when giving advice.

The advice that I give comes from a place that splits my head and my heart. Most of the time, when my friends come to me and I hear their concern, my first response is something that I’ve heard my mother say countless times, “It sounds like you know what to do, you just have to do it.” And in classic mother fashion, sometimes the thing we know we NEED to do, is the thing we don’t WANT to do. But why is that?

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Because deep down, even though we often seek out the advice of others, we already know what we NEED to do. Sometimes, we want to even be talked out of those things. We have our mind made and know what we WILL do. But hearing advice gives us insight one way or another.

I’m always happy to be a sounding board for my friends. Often, they do the same for me. And I will continue to give advice, whether they listen to me or not. Just remember, the advice you give is often the advice you need to take. Be a better patient, then a doctor!

Wanderlust and just plain LUST

I’ve been dreaming of Paris a lot lately. I think it may have something to do with my birthday coming up. Or it has something to do with Wanderlust. A persons strong desire to travel is called  “Wanderlust”.

Perhaps it is  the overall sense of romance behind the city, or the fact that the last time I visited it was almost ten years ago around my birthday. But it’s not just Paris…I have Wanderlust to travel WITH someone. I think it says a great deal to travel with someone that you’re dating, or your significant other. For one, to be able to endure a long flight, cramped next to someone without a shower for more than 8 hours, is a special feat in itself.

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But there is also that wonderful feeling of being able to experience a new culture with someone. Even better if it’s a place that neither of you have been before. We often get so excited to take trips to other states or perhaps even a cruise. And there is nothing wrong with either of those choices. Especially since I worked on cruise ships for years. But what about visiting a place a whole continent away? I am still amazed at how many people have never ventured further than the U.S. Outside of time, work or expense, there should be no excuse to do that ONE trip that you always say you will do, but keep putting off.

And imagine, being able to experience it with someone that you love? I’ve been so lucky to visit some amazing countries and cities. Learned different languages, viewed other cultures. But there is also a world that I haven’t seen. I’m curious to see it all, experience it all, taste it all, enjoy it all. And to be able to hold hands with someone while on that journey…is something I think I would enjoy. Besides, there’s something wickedly sensual to wake up to the sounds of exotic birds, smell unfamiliar fragrances and have a day of unplanned leisure another world away.

The Last Great….

After a chain of recent hilarious events, I’ve found myself thinking a lot of “The Last Great”…

When you look back at your dating life….the good, the bad, or potentially questionable, if you’re like me, there are a few bright shining moments. I like to call them “The Last Great…”. Whether it was the last great kiss, date, dance or romance, the collection of ray of hopeful sunshine moments from your dating history is enough to remind us all, that  your future romance is out there. And maybe more “Last Greats…” will lead to your “First Real…”.

“The Last Great Kiss”

I wrote an article about this particular kiss a while back. A first date, which lead to a walk around my lovely little hometown, and a kiss that seemed to last forever. What made it “The Last Great Kiss” was simple, I haven’t felt that kind of connection since that kiss. And I’m not talking about a sexual connection, it was something deeper than that. And it felt REAL. It’s funny how we take for granted things that aren’t in front of us, or are on our cell phones and laptops. I mean a connection where it’s just you and the person in front of you. And even if that moment never turns into a relationship, “The Last Great Kiss” was a real moment, and one I will always enjoy.

“The Last Great Morning”

I love New Orleans. I have a few sad but mostly amazing memories there. One of my favorite memories, was “The Last Great Morning” I had with a guy I dated a few years back. We got to sleep in late, something I rarely ever do. It was one of those rainy mornings in NOLA and after a pretty late night the evening before, all I needed was coffee. What I got, was a living room filed with small little white lights, John Coltrane playing in the background and freshly pressed coffee. Oh, did I mention my BF at the time was in the kitchen making the most amazing cheese crepes. We spent the rest of the morning listening to jazz, cuddled on the couch, with the NOLA rain in the background. I haven’t had another morning like that since…

 

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“The Last Great Phone Call”

This is going to seem like a random one, but hear me out. Years ago, before Snapchat and FaceTime, and wayyyyyyy before cell phones and Instant Messaging, guys and girls would spend hours on the phone talking. It’s how you knew you had a real connection and it’s also how you knew a guy really liked you. Fast forward to about 30 years later and those days are long gone. Even I have to admit, I’m not a fan of long phone calls and I’d much rather text than talk, but this guy got me on a special evening. And our phone call lasted 3 hours. We both had to work the next morning but that didn’t seem to bother either of us. We talked about everything under the sun and daydreamed about cozy warm cabins in the North Georgia mountains. We had a great first/only date which also provided some lovely moments. Every once in a while, I think about that call. I wonder what a night in the mountains would be like with a handsome, motorcycle riding, blog writing gentleman who doesn’t drink. Well, maybe my charm, a fireplace and a 30 year old scotch can change that.

“The Last Great Sex”

Let’s be honest, this is the one you all came here for. And it’s the one I’ve had the hardest time trying to pin down. Mainly because there are several gents who will read this thinking it’s them. For all of you curious handsome guys, I do apologize. Originally, I wanted to write this entire article about “The Last Great Sex” and though there has been some great, good, amazing sex in the past few years, I pondered something else. Am I really talking about the last great sex act or something more? And to be honest, I AM talking about something more. I’ve spoken about connection a few times in this article and I really feel that’s what “The Last Great Sex” is about…Connection.  Great sex can be great because of chemistry, music, carnal matching, the perfect thread count and countless other reasons. And while you know I am never one to NOT gossip about great sex, if what I am speaking on is the “The Last Great Sexual Connection”, then my dear reader, I have to be honest…it hasn’t happened yet.

So with that said, and to whomever is reading this pondering if it WAS him, take comfort in knowing…you gave me a great reference point for finding my “The Last Great”. And check back again kiddlets, because I’m sure it will be a great story to tell!

Down with the Swirl

Once upon a time, a black woman named Mildred and a white man named Richard fell in love. They shared a bond that only two people in love could share, and decided to make the ultimate leap by getting married. This not only cemented their bond but showed the world of their undying love for each other. It was also illegal. The year was 1958.

The Loving V. Virginia case was one that I heard about only as side note in history classes and recently in a handful of movies. But it was something that I knew was of a great importance from my own family. My grandmother was put up for adoption because her black mother and white father were not allowed to marry and keep their only child. When my grandparents divorced, my grandfather married a white woman from Virginia. The couple raised me for 13 years. When my mother divorced, she married a white man from Florida. My stepdad would become the father figure that I always wanted.

Interracial relationships for me are not only a big part of my family, but it is a big part of what I have seen first hand in successful relationships. Yet, I still feel the need to explain my preference in dating outside of my race. I do not however, take for granted that if it weren’t for people like Mildred and Richard Loving, my grand parents and parents, I wouldn’t have the dating and relationship luxuries that I have today.

So what does being “Down with the Swirl” really mean? Most automatically associate it with a black man or woman dating a white man or woman. In actuality, it can be almost any relationship where the person dates someone of another race. In the United States  the most common interracial relationships are Blacks with Whites, with Hispanics and Asians being the next most common ethnic groups. In 2015, 50 years after the Loving case was heard by the Supreme Court, 17% of newlywed couples were interracial, versus 3% of interracial newlyweds in 1967. To learn more about the rise in interracial marriages in the United States, check out this article by Pew Social Trends.

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With the rise of interracial marriages and interracial couples appearing in mainstream media and films, it is no wonder that more people are finding love outside of their own  race. This has also created a market of social media brands and websites that cater to bringing people together of different racial backgrounds. One such brand, Swirl Date, connects people through social media. The impact that social media plays in not only finding love with different races, but supporting it, can even be felt in recent campaigns to create interracial couple emojis.

Now more than ever the acceptance of these couples is one that gives hope to our future. No longer is dating outside your race illegal or taboo. There are still a few challenges on a personal level. Family and friends not being open to the idea, random side looks and comments by strangers. However, if we learned anything from Mildred and Richard Loving, it’s that, love sees no color.

 

Have Passport, will Travel!

Not many people think of comedic actor, Bill Murray as a wise sage, but I do. He once said “If you have someone you think is the one, take them and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you and travel all over the world, to places that are hard to reach and hard to get out of. And when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married.”

For someone like me who has done a great deal of traveling and loves it as much as I do, finding someone to share those experiences with, is a big deal. And the older I get, and the more Wanderlust that settles into my soul, an ideal travel buddy is of utmost importance. If you have never traveled with your significant other, I highly recommend it. I have done several trips, some small, some major with someone I was involved with. My experiences have ranged from slightly stressed, enjoyable, fun and non-eventful.

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But to me, the perfect travel buddy is someone who has the same sense of adventure as you. Perhaps you like different cultures and you want to educate your partner about them. Maybe you both love trying new foods, and the idea of Puffer Fish sushi doesn’t scare you as much as it would to the average human. Or maybe waking up at an ungodly hour, just to hike up a Hawaiian peak to watch the most glorious sunrise, is something that you dream of. In a perfect world, you want someone you can fly coach with, or at the very least, join the Mile High Club. I’ve actually always wanted to pack a suitcase, go to the airport with my significant other and buy a ticket right then and there. Destination TBD!

However you choose to travel, the moral of the story is…GO! There is too much to see and do in this world. There are also great destinations in your own state, so explore them. What matters, is taking the time and the pleasurable risk, to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things with someone you care about. You will be surprised what you learn about each other and you will enjoy the memories that you both will share. In the meantime, my suitcase, passport and I are anxiously awaiting the right guy to travel to Bali with. Bonus if you enjoy moonlit swims in the nude!

Resolutions vs Promises

My first post of 2018 has me doing something that I love…watching football. As with every New Year, people are faced with the task of creating a New Years Resolution. A resolution that in most cases, are broken or cast aside by January 10th. But instead, I like that at this moment I am doing two things that I love, watching football and writing. At the end of the day, I’d rather make a promise versus a resolution. And I want that promise to be sincere and to myself, for me, and no one else.

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So here are my promises for 2018:

  • I promise that I will work hard on finding joy in the little things.
  • I promise to eat every carb that I want and do every shot that I desire, and not feel guilty about it.
  • I promise to not be so hard on myself. I mean, you’re trying and that’s all that matters.
  • I promise to remember what the badass Jen Sincero said: “You have to change your thinking first and then the evidence appears, not the other way around.”
  • And finally, I’m not going to promise you a “New Year/New You” that’s a cliche. But I will promise you are going to have some highs and lows, but you are going to make it through, like you always have…like you always will. Because I promise…you’re a bad ass!

xoxo

Desiree

 

The Corruption of Youth

I woke up today at 11:30 am. Blissfully half naked and slightly hungover. And while scrolling through Facebook, I noticed that most of my friends have children who were starting school today. I wondered how they spent the night before the first day of school for their kids. Yours truly spent it corrupting the youth.

I went back to a place where I use to host karaoke. A fabulously fun bar in my hometown which is the perfect little college town. Accompanied by a dear friend who embraces my level of debauchery, we proceed to have a few drinks before karaoke starts. And all he could mutter with a devious smile was “I know you, and I hate you so much right now!” Innocently I asked him what he meant by that comment. “You are about to Corrupt the Youth.” he said, and then listed about 5 different scenarios that  would potentially occur that night. (I am happy to report however, that only 3 of the 5 actually occurred.)

You see, being of a certain amazing age, and having enjoyed my time playing in the Cougar Pond, I realized my new found charm. The Youth are a wonderful group of man boys who simply must, be taught. Well, “trained” would be the more accurate term. There may or may not be a video of me singing AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long” to a young lad whilst sitting on his lap. Afterwards, he and his friends looked at me with a sort of carnal curiosity. And I could not help but smile.

“You’re welcome, youths.” My friend, no longer shocked by anything that I do, looked at me in awe and very little surprise. The point of this little tale, and my current hangover headache, is that I in no way will apologize for being the amazing chocolate goddess that I am. Some people have their thing, their charm, their own appeal and others will find that intimidating. Some will even be jealous of it. But from this point on, I know longer feel the need to explain it or apologize for it. No one was hurt, no one died, the world continued to spin on its axis and little kids went to school today.

So here’s what I want you to do today dear reader…the key to my boldness, my approach of life, my “corruption of the youth” last night is a simple one: do that thing that brings out the inner awesomeness in you. It’s usually something that scares the crap out of you. The scarier, the better. And when you wake up the next day, slightly embarrassed and/or hungover, laugh. And never ever apologize for it!