Sunday Vote

November 13, 2011

Let’s take a poll.

And something to thank you for voting…

Who said libraries are not sexy?

Edited out just in case.

Femme in the streets, green in the sheets.

 





Casual Sexual Relationships

October 26, 2011

On Monday, I ran into a friend who recently wrote a really good piece on friends with benefits.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the term fuckbuddy – someone who’s a friend and you also sleep with. This arrangement is supposed to come without much emotional attachment. However, Not Only Sex attests that sex creates some sort of emotional link even if you weren’t planning on it.

I’m not a sexologist, but I do have some practice in this area, so here’s my take on it. In my experience, there are three types of casual sexual relationships.

Type 1: Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) + Tina Modotti (Ashley Judd), Frida

Type 1: One-Night Stand. You meet someone in a bar/club/gym/biochemistry conference. We make a judgment on whether someone is attractive within minutes of meeting them. However, if you meet someone at a biochemistry conference somewhere in the middle of rural France, you know it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to know them well on a mental/emotional level. Maybe you don’t even want to get to know them because you have commitment issues, or your pet bunny went to live on a farm, or who knows. So you go to your hotel/bar bathroom/rooftop in Buenos Aires and hook up. I would classify this as similar to masturbation. Sometimes you just need a release. Sexual chemistry or sexual frustration needs to be very high in order to take on the risk presented by an unknown partner. If for some reason the intended hook-up doesn’t happen, you’ll be disappointed for the rest of the night (worst case scenario) or until you meet a new attractive enough barmate (best case scenario). Emotional commitment: 0% – 5%.

Type 2: Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Faith (Eliza Dushku), Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Type 2: Fuckbuddies. This is a continuous sexual relationship with someone you don’t have an interest in getting to know all that well. Sexual chemistry and/or sexual frustration can be medium. This is more of, “well, I don’t have anything better to do tonight, so I might as well” situation. I’ve seen this happen with co-workers on long business trips that have very few common interests but are equally frustrated, or between people who were planning on having a one-night stand but then decided, “hey, that wasn’t too bad, I could do that again”. However, people tend to start caring about the well-being of their fuckbuddies at least on the level of asking how work went that day. Under this scenario, when a fuckbuddy refuses you, it’s a bigger psychological disappointment. Typically you’ll start evaluating your own attractiveness, reflecting back on the last sex you had together, etc. The next morning you’ll wake up and forget about it, though. Emotional commitment: 5% – 35%.

Type 3: Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris), Glee

Type 3: Friends With Benefits. Again, a continuous sexual relationship. The difference between this scenario and the earlier ones is that here, you actually cared about the person as a friend before you started hooking up. This typically makes for the most emotional sex, somewhat similar to what you would have in a relationship. But this is also where the problems may arise with one of the parties feeling more than the other. It can work if both parties, for example, just got out of relationships and still have romantic feelings for other people but need both sexual release and friendly affection. But, this scenario is the trickiest to make work. Emotional commitment: 35% – 60%Anything higher – beware.

Be aware which type of a casual relationship you are entering and ensure that the other person feels the same. Then, enjoy! 🙂

Manual To Straight Women

October 15, 2011

As straight women are the kryptonite to the lesbian community, I thought some of you may find this useful. Or maybe you’ll just have a laugh at how silly/dedicated I was when younger.

This Can Be Your First Step...

Skype conversation with a friend from a year ago. 

LesInTheCity: when i was young and stupid and had sex with straight girls

LesInTheCity: i measured their readiness for sex by how they were breathing

LesInTheCity: you know, girls have a different respiration rate when they’re aroused?

LesFriend: as if they were a bit nervous?

LesFriend: faster?

LesInTheCity: deeper

LesFriend: ohh

LesInTheCity: and slower

LesFriend: ive never noticed thatt.. how did you figure it out

LesInTheCity: and some muscles tense

LesInTheCity: well i slept with tons of straight girls 😀

LesInTheCity: i had to learn to read the signs

LesInTheCity: i didn’t want to hit on the wrong friend you know

The Bookshelf

October 13, 2011

Whenever I go over to a new girl’s house, there are two places that I check out.

The first one is the kitchen. Alcohol facilitates new… friendships, and the type of alcohol stored in the pantry (hard vs wine vs beer, vodka vs tequila) says a lot about the owner of the kitchen. The gay girl’s kitchen deserves its own separate entry.

The second one is the bookshelf. What you read is what you are. That doesn’t mean that a Harvard-educated woman can’t read a Cosmopolitan or that a shelf full of Nietzche implies an IQ of 180. But in my personal experience, the summary of the reading material reflects quite a bit.

Actually, I’m a bit of a book thief.

My Philosophy

I look through the books, I pick out something I haven’t seen before, look at the girl, bat my eyelashes, and say, “I’d like to read this”.

In the morning, I take the book with me in my purse. Sometimes I return them. If they ask for them back.

From The Ex’s house, I took Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke. She had certain family issues, was very thoughtful and attentive, and began her sex life early. When we were dating, she was in a strange place in her life and unsure of where she was going. She hasn’t actually read Choke.

From The Bartender’s house, I took Milan Kundera’s Slowness and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, among many others. She had the best book collection of anyone I’ve met so far (to my taste). She had a nihilist philosophy on life and a jealous loser faux-philosopher sort-of-boyfriend. We understood each other without talking much. In fact, we almost never talked.

In BlondeGirl’s house, I found Vita Sackville-West’s Challenge. She has the fastest mind of anyone I know, overthinks, overplans, overcalculates, and is a master at running away from herself.

From The Architect’s house, I took John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. She’s idealistic and needs to get a girlfriend. Someone sweet, young, and supportive.

From La Azafata’s house, I took a manual by Walter Riso, Amar o Depender, on dependency issues in love. We have really good physical chemistry. She is in the process of sorting herself out, which is good. Unfortunately, it took her a move to another country to start doing so.

My latest acquisition is Eduardo Mendoza’s Sin Noticias de Gurb. Sarcastically intellectual and easy to read. We’ll see what that means, if anything.

Roles and Eye Make-Up

October 1, 2011

I think sometimes we subconsciously decide to play out a certain scenario and then fit certain people into the prescribed roles. I see that in my friends who suddenly decide they need to get married rightthisminute and get hitched to the first guy who fits the explicit requirements (for example, tall/dark/a doctor). They want to star in the show “perfect housewife”, and that’s totally fine if that’s what makes them happy.

However, playing out past scenarios can happen in the most innocuous situations, too.

Several years ago, I had just met The Ex. We were going out for Halloween with a large group of people, we were just getting to know each other, I felt a little awkward. I wasn’t sure if she was interested.

We were both standing in front of the big mirror in the bathroom. I was supposed to be a sexy zebra (don’t ask), so I was wearing a striped zebra nightie. I was screwing up the make-up, though. So she turned to me, dipped her finger in the white paint, and started outlining my eye. I closed my eyes. She traced the contours of my face. I remember exactly how I felt in that moment: vulnerable, emotional. Connected. Letting go.

Eye Shadow Lesbians

This June, it was gay pride. I went out with La Azafata, with a large group of people. We had just started getting to know each other. It was a little awkward. I wasn’t sure if she was interested. We were standing in front of a big mirror in the bathroom in a gay bar. I was trying to fix my rainbow make-up. She turned to me, dipped her finger in the blue paint, and ran her fingers from the bridge of my nose to the edge of my forehead. And I had that similar rush of feelings.

Funnily enough, she reminds me a lot of The Ex.

In Support Of Hardwoods

September 26, 2011

I haven’t made a scandalous post in a while.

So this one is going to be about hardwood floors.

Some women like to keep a nice rug. They think it makes their guests feel more comfy maybe, or they don’t like the little breeze that comes with hardwood floors. For some reason, gay girls are especially fond of their rugs. Well, a well-maintained, nice-smelling carpet is nothing to be upset about. But in the apartments that I rent (and even more so when it comes to houses to buy), I much prefer hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors – means nothing there. Brazilian waxes and creams can help you maintain them clean and clear. I personally am just militant with my razor. How to get it right: wet, put cream, shave, put more cream. The one-time razors that have already been used are better than the heavy-duty ones because they’re less sharp. And you don’t want anything too sharp on your pretty hardwood.

I disagree that it’s a little girl look. I mean, if you can’t distinguish adult parts from little girl ones, then you have a problem that I don’t want to know about.

Plus, the texture of the wood. The smell of it. The knots and the grain. No carpet can beat that.

And I don’t think that all bare means high-maintenance or stripper or sex maniac. Actually, though, I have found that it makes scissoring that much more effective. Rugs = carpet burn. Oily hardwoods at close contact = perfection. You can skate all night!

Drew Barrymore Skating On Hardwoods

Job-Searching?

September 22, 2011

Work. You know, that activity that brings food on our plates and designer jeans on our butts.

Pretty much everyone around me is looking for a job. Are you?

Are you freaking out about cover letters and resumes? Are you unsure what makes you sound like a serious professional and what makes you sound like a confused teenager? Because I used to be in that place.

Then, i figured out the key to excellent cover letters and resumes.

That key is writing, rewriting, and editing. Repeat about 20 times. After writing 20 times about how awesome you are, you will start believing it. however, at some point, re-writing a cover letter gets tedious. You run out of ideas, and frankly, you don’t know what you are doing wrong. You need a fresh pair of eyes to look it over.

So after writing the first (or third, or fifth) version of your cover letter, give it to someone to read. Suggestions: your friends; your parents; your professors; your former co-workers/bosses.

Some paid services are also good options. Not to write your cover letter for you, of course, but to professionally review your writing, identify the gaps, fix grammar and punctuation. For example, there is a website that is sort of a marketplace for cover letter revisions. It connects professional writers and editors with those who need to polish their cover letters. This type of service is especially helpful if you’re looking for a job in an English-speaking country but you’re from, let’s say, Spain or France. Your credentials are likely awesome – but a native speaker will help your writing flow better and showcase your skills. Check it out: http://www.shinyenglish.com/

Scarves & Sleeves

September 20, 2011

You know all the signs of a lesbian, right?

Flannel shirts. Tattoos. Asymmetric earrings.

But there are some that are so subtle, I never hear anyone mention them. Yet most who sport them are, if not gay, are at least interested in trying. Today, let’s talk about two.

The first is rolled up sleeves.

Exhibit A: Ellen DeGeneres

The second is hipstery scarves. Especially in the cities that never go below 20 degrees.

Exhibit B: Kristen Stewart

Agreed?

Why You Should Be Out

September 15, 2011

Some of you are wondering whether to come out of the closet.

You should come out.

Some of you are wondering whether to label yourself. “Gay, bi, lesbian, queer, experimenting… What’s the difference? I like who I like”.

You should label yourself.

Some of us can hide. We are stereotypically feminine, we like the things that we’re supposed to like (or we pretend well), or we have a very supportive inner network that will protect and cocoon us from the rest of the world.

True Blood's Queen Sophie-Anne: "I haven't enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration."

However, others don’t have that chance. They like wearing men’s clothes. Or they can’t restrain from kissing their girlfriends in public. Or they just want to take their wife and kids to a family picnic. The more of us stay inside the closet, the harder it will be for those that are forced out, by nature or by circumstance. We need to stay visible in order to keep the awareness that gay people exist and that it’s normal.

And with the importance of being out comes the importance of labels. If you don’t label yourself, you are seen as the “status quo”. Sure, you can argue that “but why does the world see me as heterosexual if I don’t say anything”, but that’s a moot point. Straight is the default option in most of our cultures. Maybe it will stop being the default if all of us keep reminding the society that it’s not the only option. Not to mention, if you don’t label yourself, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a label or that the old lady from around the corner won’t slap one on you.

Also, choosing a label (even if it’s something like, bicuriousexperimentingconfused) allows you to effectively communicate to the world what you are and where you’re going. Which is, of course, if you know where you are going.

I believe that being direct and open about your sexual identity is essential for your well-being and for your ability to be productive at work. An acquaintance that recently came out says she is no longer paranoid about what people think of her.

For workers who are not out at work, there might even be a wage penalty. A 2008 study from the Netherlands finds that, “Among gay/bisexual workers those with disclosed identity earn on average 8% more…. Independent of the specification used, the penalty for not being open… moves around the 5% [mark].”

It pays to be out on the job. And it pays to be out in your personal life.

At Pride This Year

Investment & Relationships

September 12, 2011

I often think about changing the name of this blog into, “Les in the finance”. I write a lot about relationships and sex. And relationships work a whole lot like investments.

"People thought I went on vacation but actually, I spent the summer lost in the sewers."

In trading, everyone wants the best possible return on their investment. We also look for the best possible return in our love life. “I gave you the best years of my life!” “If I wasn’t with you I’d be already married!” Valid anger when we don’t get what we’re promised. Even if that contract was entirely imaginary.

That return on your money is also weighed by the risk factor in each investment. Some of us keep just a few investments, but they are low risk. Sure, it may not be so exciting or spontaneous, but at least we are sure that the girl is not going to cheat or do anything crazy, right?

And some of us like to gamble with high-risk investments. We go after the straight girls, the girls already in relationships, the emotionally unavailable women. High risk also implies high payoff. It’s a thrill.

If you’re in this second group, pretend you’re an investment banker, or, at the very least, a hungover finance student. Diversify your portfolio. Some high-risk is okay – but make sure it’s not the only stock you’ve got. Take a look at some of the more stable securities. Play around with an older, established company instead of the hotshot young venture. Balance your 2 or 3 volatile stocks with a few solid and predictable ones.

Alternatively, some of the craziest success stories on the market come from betting it all on that one. Is listening to your intuition worth betting millions on something that looks very likely to fail?

Is My Friend Gay?

September 3, 2011

I got an email the other day. The summary is as follows:

“Les, I’m a straight girl, but I have a question about a friend. Everyone in our group of friends is convinced she is gay. We’ve thought so for years, but she keeps dating boys. What gives? We totally don’t care if she’s gay or not, but we’re confused. Are we wrong? Is she in the closet?”

I’m not a sexuality expert by any means, but I’ll take a shot at it, ok?

Could be anything. Your friend might be gay, straight, or even bisexual. I know, very helpful, right?

But let’s break it down. I think you really have two questions here. First of them being, if she’s gay, why does she date boys? And the second one, if she’s not gay, why do we think she is?

She might be bisexual, in which case both of your questions are resolved. Your gaydar’s beeping, she’s not straight, but happens to be dating boys because she wants to. Cool.

Maybe she’s straight and you’re all wrong. That may happen if you’re relying on appearance points stereotypically associated with lesbians – short hair, baggy pants, interest in cars or sports… In that case, it’s best for your group of friends to re-evaluate whether it makes sense to apply general stereotypes to your particular friend.

And finally, your friend might be gay.

Who Can Tell?

Could be she’s gay and in the closet and doesn’t want anyone (including you) to know. Maybe she will come out at one point when she feels more comfortable. Or maybe she will decide that other aspects of her life are more important than being out. For example, some people value religion over all else and want to lead a heterosexual lifestyle even though they recognize that they are gay. Though there are some that will disagree with me, I don’t think that this is always necessarily wrong. If you’re consciously making a choice like that, it’s not all that much different from priests choosing abstinence. In any case, being open about being gay is a personal choice, which you should leave up to your friend.

On the other hand, it also may be the case that she is gay and doesn’t even know it herself yet, but you do. Many times, our friends and our families pick up on the fact that we’re not straight way before we get it. We’re socialized to be straight, to “think straight” for years, and it’s no wonder many of us don’t realize that we’re gay after years of failed boyfriends and hundreds of The L Word episodes. But as it is our nature, we are subconsciously attracted to women and don’t pay the same type of attention to men. Friends and family often notice those subconscious signs, though they don’t necessarily know what it is they’re noticing – what we look at, how we touch, where our interests lie. I remember in the first week of college, I met an openly lesbian roommate of a friend, who immediately said to my friend, “your gay friend is so pretty!” My friend: “Who, Les? She is not gay!” Well, fastforward to this day and me writing this blog.

Whichever option your friend’s situation falls under, it should be pretty simple for you. Keep an open mind; don’t criticize her choices; talk to her about her feelings and thoughts. Thanks for asking, and hope this helps.

Since I told my father about a year ago (in comparison, most of my friends have known for 4-5 years), I’m mentally noting every phrase that marks his moving forward in acceptance of my homosexuality.

I was so, so scared to tell him. He’s pretty conservative in regard to homosexuality in general, thinks it’s a choice and a disorder of sorts. I think since I was 15 or so, I started having brief conversations with my parents along the lines of, “well, Jim Morrison was gay, does that change your opinion of him?” “what if my friends were gay, would you not invite them to dinner?” etc. They now love their realtor even though he’s gay, don’t comment negatively on gay people, and in general I think they’ve moved toward seeing gay people as just part of the normal world.

However, it’s easy to be theoretically fine with it…. much harder to put it into practice when your daughter tells you she’s gay. I haven’t told my mother because I anticipate the reaction will be extremely negative.

When I told him, he asked me if I was sure. Then he was silent for a while. Then he said, “as long as you are happy”.

We didn’t talk about it for some time. But, when talking of the future, he moved from referring to ‘your future husband’ to ‘your future partner’ to ‘whoever you’re with’. Although, once he said something along the lines of, “when you find a man who you are sexually attracted to….”

It’s been sinking in, slowly. We’ve talked about the importance of being out, and gay pride parades, and even briefly touched on the subject of whether it’s a choice (maybe he’s starting to realize it isn’t).

I can see he’s worried about what he sees in his mind as a difficult choice that I’m making. But, he’s very careful about the subject, and he is really trying hard to understand and not to offend me. That means a lot.

Today, we were chatting about my plans for the next couple of years.

Me: “…And then I want to get married and have children and all that. But in 3 – 5 years.”

My father: “So it’s in your plans to get married? Those are good news.”

Me: “Well yeah, everyone wants to have a family. I will be nicer to you than you were to your mom and actually invite you to the wedding. Will you come to my wedding?”

My father: “When are you planning for that? In 3 years? That’s good, I’m glad I have some time to think about it. I don’t want to figure this out right now, I have plenty of plans for the next 3 years.

All of that was said in a bit of a joking manner and it sounded like he was really happy with the idea of me having a family, even though he seems to be a bit uneasy with idea of me marrying a woman. The good thing is that he is working on understanding, he doesn’t freak out, and overall is more supportive than I could have hoped for.

Pride Continues

July 3, 2011

I looooove pride! Love love love. Too bad I cannot go out tonight (school early tomorrow). Too bad pride can’t be every day. Why can’t pride be every day?

I was here!

I think I got a taste of what it must be like for straight people. You go anywhere – streets, restaurants, shops – and you can just assume everyone is gay. Every girl you see at any bar is a potential mate. Hundreds of lesbians, everywhere. Lesbian couples, lesbian families with kids, lesbian girls with their parents waving flags. So awesome! Where were we all hiding prior to pride?

Not to mention, pretty girls in my favorite bars. Who give me tickets to cool lesbian events. And hickeys 😉

And here!

Last night was very interesting.

First of all, I didn’t meet any of the three friends I was planning on meeting. Various reasons: one was sick, another one had to sort out her thoughts, and the third one I just happened to miss.

On the other hand, I got to see the start of gay pride in this city and meet plenty of new people. Wow. I will summarize my feelings on pride in the next post, but in this one I just want to cover the usual me being young and crazy stuff.

So, first of all, my gay guy friend has the best friends. They are really fun and thoughtful and cool to go out with. One of his friends is getting married soon! So happy for him. He’s been with his boyfriend for years, and clearly in love. We were just walking around the district to see what was going on, and met two random girls on a porch of their apartment smoking and drinking wine. They shared with us, and so we made new friends.

Then we ended up in Les Bar. So lipsticky! Perfect. Flirting starts at the door.

This one girl was trying to hit on me but ended up saying that her English is better than my Spanish. Pass Go, do not collect points. Instead, slept with the Architect. Got La Azafata’s number for next time.

The Slayers