Dating Your Internal Monologue

Dating Your Internal Monologue

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if I don’t write often, my life is either crazy busy, or I have been kidnapped by Somali pirates. Ok, maybe not pirates, but the hectic busy part is true. No excuse, Desiree!

I have tons of creative friends and I am always shocked that when we date, we have similar issues. Mainly because creative people have no problem showing their feelings or being expressive, good or bad, in relationships. What we do have a problem with, is our internal monologue. Why, you ask? Because in a world that is colorful noise, our head is the most colorful of them all. And to be honest, it’s exhausting.

Imagine the voice inside your head when you are in a happy relationship. There isn’t much chatter and things look and sound good. When you aren’t in a happy relationship, or you spend a long time being single, you slowly start to question things, and the questions become loud and deafening. And you don’t question so much “What’s wrong with men?” as you ponder “What’s wrong with me?”. This leads a lot of people down a road of anxiety and loathing that is only compounded by failed Tinder dates and an obnoxious amount of wedding invitations. I mean seriously, how is it that I am always single during wedding season?

You and your inner monologue will spend A LOT of time together at which you will question every dating mistake, swipe, sex act and bad tequila decision you have made since you turned 30. It will be enough to make you crawl under your covers and binge “The Walking Dead” for 30 straight hours. But what does that do for you? And what do you get out of it? You’re still beating yourself up, and in some cases, making the situation worse because of thoughts you assume are real or true. I know, I’m the queen of this self-defeating tactic.

So I’m here to tell you, to do like T.Swizzle and shake that ish off! Take up a new hobby, do the thing you keep putting off, visit a friend-don’t just call them, whatever you need to do to get out of the Hoarders space that is your head and your nasty inner monologue. In the end, be kinder to yourself, and when you do, I promise you will see a difference in the world around you!

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What is Romance? A closer look at “Love Languages”

What is Romance? A closer look at “Love Languages”

I was recently on a date where I posed the question “Do you think you are a romantic person?” Over the next few minutes, the topic quickly changed to a different question, “What is Romance?” I feel by nature, women are traditionally more romantic then men. Then again, I feel by nature women get caught up in the idea of “romance” more so then men. Is this a bad thing? Should social media and Hollywood be to blame?

I spent the next day thinking about “What is Romance?” and found myself re-visting a topic that I was introduced to a few years ago. If we look at romance or romantic gestures as acts, they are largely based on the person and their concept of what defines romance or appreciation for their partner. In other words, we put value on these acts based on our own personal perception of romance or love. Enter “The Five Love Languages.”

In 1995, Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” . In it, Chapman explained that there are five ways we express love to our partner. These actions or gestures can be seen as romantic, but more often than not, are ways we express what we personally value in a relationship. In other words, rather than looking at words, lavish vacations or dozens of roses, it is the little things that should be closely observed in an effort to understand your partner and their needs.

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The above graph breaks down the Five Love Languages. It also shows how to communicate them, actions to take and things to avoid. As I stated earlier, I was introduced to this a few years ago by a guy I was dating at the time. He explained that he found it helpful in understanding his partner and more importantly for his partner to understand him. What one person finds important may hold a different value to another.  Knowing your own love language and ultimately your partners, will help answer a lot of questions in your relationship in the areas of romance, love, appreciation etc.

I would say that I am about equal parts three love languages. But if I were to be honest, I am mostly “Quality Time”. For me, I value those special moments with a person above anything else. I always like to mention this concept with a new partner because I feel the sooner you understand what I value, the sooner I can understand the same for you. So the next time you are wondering how to be more romantic or how to add romance to your relationship, instead consider you and your partners love language. You may be surprised that what you have done in the past as a kind gesture, is perhaps the most romantic thing they have ever received.

Team Left Swipe

Team Left Swipe

I believe it was the Apostle Beyonce who said “To the Left, to the Left.” Who knew she would be on to something so groundbreaking back in 2006. But here we are in the world of Bumble and Tinder, happily swiping away.

I do some of my best swipe work after a few drinks. Mainly because I have a “First Picture” rule. If I am a bit buzzed and your first picture doesn’t intrigue me, I quickly swipe left. And I mean, quickly. My friends make fun of me when they see this happen in person. I need to be stimulated immediately. I then realized that many of the reasons I swipe Left are not because of things like picture quality but picture choice. I present to you: Reasons I Swipe Left….

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That Is Clearly Not Your Sister

I appreciate when you click on a guys bio and they say “Oh, and the girl in the picture is my sister” because it clearly looks like a family member or a close friend. What I am often met with are actual wedding photos. Sure, you might be divorced now, but why even post that pic on a dating app?

The Mr Potato Head Disguise

We all remember the Mr Potato Head toy. You could change his appearance by adding a hat or glasses because at the end of the day, he was in fact, a head made out of a potato. So why is that guys think it’s ok to only show pictures of them in hats and sunglasses. I’m going to assume you hate the size of your square head and you have perpetual pink eye.

Snapchat Isn’t For Teenage Girls

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a cute Snapchat filter, but in moderation. However, what self respecting guy thinks a woman is going to crawl into bed with you when you have a picture of yourself in a flower headband?

The Entourage

Perhaps the quickest way to get me to swipe left are the countless photos of you and your entourage. Why, you ask? Because it’s never the hot surfer looking guy in the back who’s profile I’m on. It’s the sad guy on the end with the forced smile. You and your friends make a good looking group, but that’s false advertisement my friend. And I will not be party to that.

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

I am constantly amazed at the number of guys who feel the need to lie about their age. And you know who I’m talking about. You say that you’re 25 but your photos of are you at your 2017 prom, a cap and gown and sitting on Santa’s lap. Then, you have the nerve in your bio to say “BTW, I’m actually 18.” NOOOOOOO! I couldn’t tell.

In other words guys, leave the lying about age, height, weight and natural eyebrows to the ladies. And keep these little tips in mind if you want a girl to swipe right!!!

 

The Playlist

The Playlist

I’m a singer by nature, or birth, or however you want to call it. My mother is a singer, my uncle plays drums, my grandmother was a pianist, my grandfather was a pretty famous jazz musician, and I’m the grandniece of a famous jazz pianist. Music is my life.  Because music plays a big part in my genetic makeup, it also plays a big part in my dating life.

Whenever I’m in relationship with someone, I find that I get to a point where a certain song embodies that person and our relationship. Sadly, when the relationship ends, that song becomes one of the many things that I must cast aside in order to heal and move on.  However, there are some  that stay sacred just to me because they are part of “The Playlist.”

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I don’t know about you, but there are some songs that are just your go-to mood enhancers. I enjoy a variety of them for different dating reasons. A great song to cook in the kitchen on a date. The song that plays in the car during your first kiss. The ultimate song for when you both climax. I feel that it is my musical duty to educate you, my dear reader, on a few songs that I have found helpful in different situations. Perhaps this will be a musical education for some of you, but at the end of the day, I hope the music gives you the same joy that I received!

First Kiss:

“I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree: This may seem like an obvious choice because it says the action in the title and the artist name is similar to mine. And I may be showing my age by picking a song off the 1996 “Romeo + Juliet” Soundtrack, but I don’t care. Her voice is so soulful and painfully beautiful, that if you aren’t able to grab a woman’s face and kiss her till her toes curl, then I have failed as a person.

Netflix and Chill:

“Comfortable” by Matt Cusson: This is a cover of the amazing John Mayer song. (Don’t worry, John’s on this playlist). To me, it feels like the perfect lazy Sunday song, where you are both wrapped in a blanket, binging STRANGER THINGS. After about three episodes and your toes playing footsie, this song allows you to move into a nice, subtle make-out session.

Kitchen Romance:

“Samba de Bencao” by Bebel Gilberto: I have an entire Bebel Gilberto station that is my go-to for when I’m in the kitchen. And if you haven’t had a date where you both are cooking together, I highly recommend it. I heard this song for the first time on the “Eat, Pray, Love” soundtrack and instantly fell in love. I mean, it’s in Portueguese, how sexy is that?

Slow Dance Under the Stars:

“Like a Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae: Guys, if you want to pull out some high level romantic crap, but don’t know what to do….stop the car on a starry night, play this song and slow dance with your girl. It just may get you out of any argument that you may have in the next 30 days. Honorable Mention: There is an amazing version of this song with Corinne, John Mayer and John Legend. I mean…come on!!!!

Get Naked:

“The Beautiful Ones” by Prince: Ok, I KNOW I am showing my age with this one. But seriously, if Prince isn’t somewhere on your playlist, then you obviously don’t know music. I sometimes like to take my time from the make-out to the actual bed action. (Shut up…I do!) When I do, I truly enjoy the moment where you are both so into each other and just want it to last a bit longer before you get to business. In that moment, it’s just you, that special someone and Prince. If you both aren’t naked by 3:25, you soon will be!

Shower Time:

“Gravity-Live” by John Mayer: Screw all you John Mayer haters…seriously! Whether it’s post coitus or you just want to be super sexy, taking a shower together can be hot as all hell. Before you get the suds going, you’re gonna want to crank up this song. It needs to be the LIVE version, though. The music nerd in me goes nuts for the guitar solo at the end, and you will too!

Good Morning:

“Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band: DMB has some great songs that will get you in the mood, that I feel are often overlooked. This is a great song to gently wake up to the person next to and grab into the perfect spooning position. Warning: If you need to kick someone out of bed ALA “Coyote Ugly” do NOT play this song!

Until Next Time or The Walk of Shame:

“Glory Box” by Portishead: I’m old, we get it! This has been a favorite of mine since I heard it on “The Craft” soundtrack. Whether you’re kissing each other goodbye and planning your next date, or you’re putting on your Jager drenched dress driving down 75 to make it home, this is the perfect song for you. Just to bring it full circle and current, Alessia Cara sampled this song in her record “Here”. Don’t worry, either version will work.

Honorable Mentions:

Remember when I said I had some songs that I had to cast aside because the relationship ended. Hopefully, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you can get to the point in your life when you can listen to them again. Here are a few of mine that I am happy to see back in my playlist. And for the guys these songs are related to, thank you for giving me those good memories!

“Come Live With Me” by Ray Charles

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by Sleeping At Last

“See You Tonight” by Scotty McCreery

“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young

“No One Else” by Amel Larrieux

“Cupid” by 112

The Art of the Kiss

The Art of the Kiss

I always thought that a good kiss was like a good handshake. You want it to be memorable for all of the right reasons. When it comes to a first date, the kiss is always my favorite part. Rather, the anticipation of the kiss, is my favorite part. Do you kiss? Do you not? Should it be a peck? Should it be slow? Should I tilt my head to the left or right? A lot goes into a kiss, even more goes into a memorable one. Here are my top three memorable kisses. Whether it was the person, the location or the actual kiss themselves, these three are forever etched in my mind and softly forever on my lips.

The Nervous Kiss

I never, ever get nervous before a kiss. But for some reason, the thought of kissing this guy made me beyond nervous. So much so, that I stopped at a store to get candy. Why you ask? It was my opening line to get the kiss on the table. “Oh, your lips are blue now. I’d hate to get that on my lips.” I know, pathetic right. But it worked.

This was our second date and it started like the last, with tons of laughter. I realize now that my nervousness was based on the fact that I really liked this guy. I enjoyed his company, he made me laugh and he never made me feel like he was out to sleep with me and move on. But I will still so nervous, and I think he knew that. I admitted that the candy was a ploy and I hoped he didn’t think it was silly. Instead he laughed at me, pulled me in slowly and gave me the softest, sweetest kiss I ever had.

I remember looking at him, and we both just smiled. We continued to have amazing kisses for over a year before the relationship ended. But even to this day, whenever I see a blue Push Pop, I can’t help but smile.

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The Passionate Kiss

I’m a fan of jerks because they are usually really good at something. And while there is no denying they are jerks, there is also no denying that they are damn good at whatever there “thing” is. Ok, so I shouldn’t say that he was a jerk because he did anything wrong. He was just that confident guy who knew his shit didn’t stink. They are also another personal fave of mine because bursting their very over inflated balloon is one of my all time favorite past times.

On the second date, while it was lightly raining and standing next to his car, he grabbed me for a full kiss. I must clarify that the “grab” was also the reason this kiss was so damn good and highly passionate. I had on a string tank top with a string bra that he GRABBED with both hands nearly tearing them off my body and landed one on me. I was beyond shocked. For one, I was terrified he was going to ruin one of my favorite Victoria’s Secret bras. And two, I could tell that he could care less. He knew that he was giving me an award winning kiss. Again, a jerk knows what he’s good at, and he’s very proud to show you. This was also the last time I kissed him. Living the life of a traveler means I am usually never in one place for very long. But if I make it back to the beach, I may need to give him a call.

 

The First Kiss

The First Kiss I feel is the deciding factor if Date #2 happens. On our first date, a date which by the way lasted five hours and had us taking a lovely stroll around town and singing show tunes to each other, we ended it with a kiss.

Side Note: I just realized that all three of these kisses happened while leaning next to cars. So maybe I just like being on the hood of a car ala Whitesnake.

You ever have a kiss where you lose track of time and partial feeling in your legs? Yea, that’s what happened. We attempted to walk away so that we could both leave and go home, several times. But each time one of us would smile which would make the other smile. And then…well then our lips took over. Each kiss was soft, lovely and full, warm and sensual without being too sensual. I finally decided to be an adult and say that we would kiss one more time and that I was WALKING AWAY after that.

I know what you’re thinking, I have the will power of a Kardashian at NBA All Star Weekend. But I am proud to say, that is what I did. We kissed for the last time, and I turned on my heels, and walked away. Dammit, if I couldn’t stop smiling though. As I crossed the street still feeling like I was in a movie, I turned to have a quick look at him. And to my surprise, he turned as well, giving me this amazing smile and delightful wave. When I went home, that kiss was on my mind for the entire evening. We have had a few kisses since then, and an amazing breakfast. But that First Kiss will probably be the measure for all other First Kisses.

In conclusion, as I told a friend today, perhaps I will need to kiss 100 frogs until I get to my one prince. I promise by the end of this journey, I will be that much closer to that ONE perfect kiss. Until then, remember what Ingrid Bergman said “A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”

 

The Sex Report Card

The Sex Report Card

I was a decent student. Math wasn’t my strong suit, and at times it would really screw up my GPA. But overall, I had good grades. And some years, your girl made the Honor Roll. I remember always having the same sense of dread when it was Report Card time. My stomach would turn into knots and the cold sweats would begin. But what I didn’t realize until I got to college was that, what’s done is done. You can’t go back and change your study habits or turn in extra work the day the Report Card comes in. You have to accept that you’ve done your best and now prepare to be judged accordingly.

One day, out of the blue, it hit me. What if we could have a Report Card, based on how we are in bed? Ok, hear me out, because I know I’m going to lose a lot of you. I like to think that I am pretty darn talented at certain things. My name means “Desire” for crying out loud. And I am WELL aware that most men think they are far superior in several areas of sex and dating. So what if, you were able to have your partner or former partners rate you? Get brutally honest feedback. Why, you ask? Because too many of us (yours truly included) give ourselves wayyyyy too much credit, when we need to look reality straight in its limp penis face and accept some hard truths. Plus, how can you get better if you don’t learn from your mistakes?

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Here were my requirements and questions for my first ever Sex Report Card:

  • I would only ask men that I had slept with more than once. (Sorry, that one night stand might have been amazing for you, but there is a reason it happened once.)
  • If a guy was currently married, I would not have him participate. (Even if this is for the sake of research, I am not about to have a mad wife coming after me.)
  • As with all of my posts, all participants are anonymous. (But you know who you are 😉

The questions were:

  • What did I do in bed that you enjoyed?
  • What did I do in bed that you did NOT enjoy?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in bed?
  • And finally, would you sleep with me again?

The grades came back from three Report Card evaluators. Answers have been paraphrased.  I present for your enjoyment, my Sex Report Card.

Report Card 1:

I have known this gentleman for 6 years. We had a great deal in common like travel and I became a fan of a totally new sport because of him. He always made me laugh and is still a good friend and mentor to this day.

  • What did I do in bed that you enjoyed? You had really great oral skills, I always enjoyed that. 
  • What did I do in bed that you did NOT enjoy? I wasn’t a fan of choking you. What if you passed out and died? 🙂
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in bed? 8
  • And finally, would you sleep with me again? Yes

 

Report Card 2:

This guy I have known for 7 years. I am a fan of any man that will kill a bottle of Jameson as quickly as I can. Not to mention his devotion to his job is admirable. We are still good friends.

  • What did I do in bed that you enjoyed? You are tons of fun in bed when you don’t act like a princess. 
  • What did I do in bed that you did NOT enjoy? I was afraid that I would hurt you when I chocked you. **
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in bed? 10
  • And finally, would you sleep with me again? Yes

 

Report Card 3:

I’m not going to lie when I say that this report card, was not only my favorite, but it was the most thorough. If it was possible for me to print his entire full written response, I would. I have known this man for over 10 years and he is always a constant surprise.

  • What did I do in bed that you enjoyed? You’re very creative. I like that you are open to try anything.
  • What did I do in bed that you did NOT enjoy? I wish you swallowed. *
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in bed? You are in my top 13% of women I have ever been with.
  • And finally, would you sleep with me again? Yes

After re-reading part of his response, I feel the need to give a sample of his well written (if not highly ego boosting) reply to the Sex Report Card:

“It is always about the other person with Desiree. You as her partner just have to realize that you need to show her that same attention in return and not take advantage.”

Side Notes:

** I found it interesting that not only did two Report Cards say almost the same thing as a dislike, but another individual, who out of respect for me, decided not to do the full Report Card, mentioned it was something he didn’t like, as well. Who knew some men would get sensitive about a little autoerotic asphyxiation.

* I am at a loss that this was something I didn’t do with him, when in fact, I have done it before. Hmm?

At the end of the day, this very personal post was just as entertaining as it was eye opening. I’m grateful for their responses and the resulting conversations that we had afterwards. The point kiddlets, what YOU think you do well, may be something that you partner doesn’t enjoy. And in my case, something that I enjoy, may make your partner feel uncomfortable. This is where communication in and out of the bedroom is so important. So if my Report Card has taught you one thing (or many things that I enjoy), I hope that it is to be mindful of not only your needs, but you partners. And hey, if you REALLY want to know what others think about you, ask for your own Report Card.

I dare ya!

 

 

 

Down with the Swirl

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.