This week on PUSH GIRLS, “Freaky Deaky” showed us some hazards of dating while you’re a wheelchair user, while still letting us see the girls having fun. As Auti, whom I’ve come to think of as the mother hen, reminded us, there’s an element of danger involved in going on a date when you have paralysis, because it involves a deep level of trust very early in your relationship. Tiphany related a scary story about being tipped out of her chair, underscoring the vulnerability wheelchair users experience in intimate relationships.
Article: It's not you; it's your clutter
When is an item a significant object worth collecting or displaying on the mantlepiece — or saving to sell on eBay at a later date — and when is it clutter? And if it’s clutter, is it threatening your relationship? The subject of household clutter has been on our minds lately. Em was at a reading last week for the forthcoming book Significant Objects, a literary experiment that began its life on eBay. Basically, the editors (New York Times Magazine writer Rob Walker and Em’s old friend Josh Glenn of HiLoBrow.com) wanted to see if attaching a fictional backstory to a tchotchke would increase its value (turns out it did). We’ll write more on the book itself when it comes out next month.
Lots of relationship drama on PUSH GIRLS this week, from Angela and Dustin having a serious conversation about the direction of their relationship to Mia and Tiphany going on a speed dating adventure. All the girls are at different phases, relationshipwise; I love watching Auti and Erik’s incredibly strong, loving marriage as much as I enjoy seeing Tiphany explore the relationship world because she’s still searching for what, and who, she wants.
Ever feel like you could benefit from a therapist but you don’t have the cash or you can’t travel to sessions or you just don’t wan to make the commitment? Now the magic Internet is bringing the therapists to you for only $9.99 per hour-long sesh. Talktala:_ is a brand new site (so new they’re still in the beta stage) that democratizes therapy by providing it in small groups for a low price.
Tonight’s episode was called Everyone Stares. And that’s a fact. Get ready to see a whole lot of sexy on PUSH GIRLS, because the premiere episode was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to frank talk on dating and relationships for women thinking about issues like finding life partners and choosing whether to have children (btw, sponsor a lady’s uterus, why don’t you). One of the things I loved about the first episode was the unabashed exploration of sexuality for wheelchair users, since it’s such a taboo topic, something we’re not supposed to talk about; everyone assumes wheelchair users can’t or don’t have sex.
Article: "The first dating site for humans"
It seems like just yesterday the two of us were out on the fire escape of the Nerve.com office, smoking (smoking!) and coming up with the profile questions for the original Nerve Personals (you may remember “______ is sexy; ______ is sexier”). The Nerve Personals had a meteoric rise, signing up affiliate partners like Salon and The Onion left and right. It was so successful, it spun itself off into a purely personals company called Spring Street Networks. But what goes up must come down: the personals network was eventually sold to Friend Finder long after we’d gone and the whole thing just seemed to fizzle out, at least on Nerve’s end.
One of my closest friends proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. He did it neatly and simply. There was a time when a guy was ready to propose to his future wife, it was relatively simple for most: a walk somewhere or maybe at the restaurant of their first date, drop to your knee like Tim Tebow and bust out the ring. But nowadays, thanks to the Internet, some of the more creative fellas out there with their elaborate videos are starting to set people’s expectations of the proposal, to paraphrase Jimmy McMillan, too damn high!
The GWLBWLB objective is to have fun.
Symbiotic relationships have proven successful in the ongoing battle against natural selection. Take, for instance, the Clown Fish and Sea Anemone or the Homosexual Male and his Best Girlfriend. Both bonds persevere thanks to a certain chemistry. For gay men and straight women it may have something to do with their mutual attraction to men (sometimes the same one), but perhaps it’s deeper, as if nature, or some ‘Intelligent Designer,’ thought to create an ideal way for the sexes to coexist.
Article: Museum of Broken Relationships
Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić developed “Museum of Broken Relationships,” a touring exhibition of artifacts from past relationships. It emerged out of their own relationship of four years, after which the break-up inspired this museum, as Vištica explains in an interview with NPR. “When we were deciding to split up, every time people do that it’s connected with something ugly, something awkward, so we didn’t like that way of dealing with our own past, which was once really beautiful. We got this idea, maybe it would be a great idea to have a museum where you could store your emotional heritage.”
We noticed something called THE ORGASM DIARIES is playing on The Sundance Channel this Saturday at midnight. Sounds like a documentary, right? Turns out it’s a British indie film from last year about a couple who’s private naughty photographs become pornographic art-world hits, which turns their relationship upside down. Knowing that, the title becomes a bit more dubious. But Indiewire said it “captures the essence of young love.” It gets a 50-50 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which sounds a lot less damning when you realize that’s only out of 8 reviews. Could be a fine late-night alternative to Skinemax…?
Our photographer friend David Jacobs (he took our deceptively flattering bio pic) was hired by Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, to document New York’s first day of legal gay marriage this past Monday at Manhattan’s City Hall. HRC will soon have more on their site, but for now here’s a round-up of the day’s events by their National Field Director, Marty Rouse. And below is our friend Dave’s take on events (he’s not gay, but he’s married and does rock the occasional pink shirt with flare), followed by more of his cool photos of the happy couples.
Article: The 10 types of sex dreams
Freud, Schmroid. If you’re looking for a good book on the interpretation of dreams, check out the brand new one by our friend Lauri Loewenberg, the nicest dream interpreter you’ll ever meet! Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life (published by St. Martin’s Press) features hundreds of real dream interpretations and a comprehensive dream symbol dictionary to help you understand and make the most of your nocturnal visions, especially the sexy ones. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to sex dreams, which Lauri says are often “not about a physical union you want, but rather a psychological union you need!” There are 10 kinds of sex dreams; below are 5 of them; check out Dream On It for the other five archetypes (The Friend, The Same Gender, Oral Sex, Family Members, and Masturbation):
The Mystery Lover — This is the most common of all sex dreams. Many of us wonder if this dream is actually a glimpse of our soul mate who might be out there somewhere waiting for us. Alas, t’is not so. But what is so is that the unknown, faceless man or woman that often appears in our dreams does indeed hold significance….Our dreams have a cool way of showing us the different parts of our personality in the form of a person so we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and what makes us tick. That being said, the mystery lover in your dreams is the embodiment, the personification of the qualities we tend to associate with that gender….Throughout life we struggle to incorporate the right balance of each [gender] into our personalities and behavior. A man wants to be caring and understanding, yet he doesn’t want to be a sissy. A woman wants to assert herself, yet she doesn’t want to be labeled the B word! Our mystery lover dreams are guiding us towards that perfect balance of firm and gentle, bold and caring, yin and yang.
Article: I Love You But…
Girlfriend & boyfriend Alex Holder and Ross Neil are both artists and creatives in advertising. Last year, they launched their online picture book about relationships, LoveYouBut.com. It focuses on “the moment in a relationship when you realise you don’t love someone completely, because there is one little thing that keeps bothering you. When it bothers you so much it actually makes you cringe, you know it’s time to say ‘I love you but…’” There are 59 portraits (drawn by Neil) of people who are the targets of various “I love you but” lines, like “I love you but you can’t say I love you back” or “I love you but you put ketchup on everything.” On her calling card site, Holder says LoveYouBut.com has been read all over the world and is inexplicably big in Brazil. We wanted to know more, so we asked:
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. We published the good and the bad earlier, here’s the complicated:
Article: Love & sex in YA lit: THE GOOD
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. First, the good (then tune in over the next two Thursdays for the bad and the complicated):
Proponents of abstinence-only education may not approve, but there are several literary examples of young adults having empowering, exciting, safe sex as well as healthy, loving relationships with their bodies and their partners.
Forever… by Judy Blume (1975) — The Blume classic of a girl who discovers her sexuality and — get this — finds it pleasurable! Afterwards, there are no disturbing or negative consequences; she’s not punished in any way. She simply comes to the mature realization that high school relationships aren’t forever. Amazingly (and unfortunately), there is nothing else like this in YA lit.
Article: The Map of Non-Monogamy
According to Franklin Veaux’s personal website, he is an atheist/transhumanist/computer hacker/BDSM switch who owns a small graphic design and training firm and is into Apple computers, World of Warcraft, tattoos, piercing, photography and polyamory. He’s the guy who did that awesome Map of Human Sexuality a while back. And now he’s done the official Map…
Before we started writing about sex, we had no idea that so many scientists and researchers spent time so much time studying our sexual proclivities. These days we have trouble thinking of anything sexual that hasn’t been qualified and quantified and written up in a science journal.
Article: The power of teenage love
We both went to high school in New Jersey (just a few towns away from each other, it turns out). During those late 80s days, Lo fell in love and had sex within a loving, committed, romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Em remained a virgin and sometimes ate her lunch in the bathroom. We both ended up excelling in high school, engaging in many extra-curricular activities, and going to well-respected universities.
How did we manage to miss this totally awesome quote from Ryan Gosling? In an interview with New York magazine about his upcoming movie BLUE VALENTINE (opening later this year, it’s a portrait of a marriage, co-starring Michelle Williams), he’s asked about his character’s tattoo of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree on his arm, and replies: “That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him — he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.” Now we can’t decide which we love more — Silverstein’s book or Gosling’s quote about it.
Article: Sex degrees of separation
We, Em & Lo, worked with and are friends with (and Lo was apt-mates with) Jessica Baumgardner, who married Irad Eyal, which is our connection to the new book “Sex Degrees of Separation.” Irad has just turned his unhealthy obsession with celebrity hook-ups into an exhaustive encyclopedia that combines the idea of “six degrees of separation” and the game “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” with an emphasis on romantic ties and bodily fluids. Any “Us Weekly” subscriber (that would be Em) will be awed and amazed by the scope of this book, which includes extensively diagrammed connections between everyone from Paris Hilton to Diddy to, yes, Kevin Bacon. The graphic designers must be relaxing in a mental institution after this complicated project, which Irad compares to untangling a thousand iPod headphones that have been in your bag for a week.
We love to browse the “trending topics” at Twitter to see what people are tweeting about across the world. Where else can you get relationship wisdom from millions of people simultaneously? Our most recent favorite topic is the hash tag #YouAintForMe. Here are twenty recent ones for your edification — though we guarantee that by the time this post goes live, a few more thousand will have been tweeted. (By the way, you can follow us here on Twitter.)
MiszMaddy: if you tried to get at my bestie, #youAinTForMe
BenedicteCakes: skinny jeans? #YouAintForMe
jt_makemoves: #youaintforme if you cant play the faithful part…no time for infidelity
Article: Light writing proposal
Light Writing Proposal from Derick Childress on Vimeo. Derick Childress wanted to propose to his girlfriend Emily in a unique manner, certainly a more unique one than via the jumbotron during a basketball game. He hit upon the idea of spelling out his question using light writing on an epic scale. He scouted variation locations…
Photography duo Paulie & Pauline are coming out with a new book in April called “Off the Set” which features porn stars and their partners in intimate, non-porn moments. Paired with the images of the ten couples are essays by the photographers and some of their subjects, actual love letters, and stories that humanize people often thought of as sex machines. We asked Paulie and Pauline to give us some background on a few of the images from the book (which you can pre-order from Amazon):
“This cover photo is of Digital Playground contract star Jesse Jane and her husband Rich. Her given name is Cindy, which is just perfect because she reminds us of sweet little Cindy Loo Hoo from How The Grinch Stole Christmas! She’s a tiny slip of a thing, especially when she’s standing next to her husband, who could easily be mistaken for a Na’vi from Pandora if you painted him blue. We photographed them one hot summer morning at their home outside Oklahoma City earlier this year.
Julie Klausner’s new memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band, is one of the funniest books about dating we’ve ever read. And this is coming from two women who are kind of sick of (a) memoirs and (b) books about dating. Her book will remind you that dating can always get worse — but fortunately, the worse the date, the better the story it’ll eventually make. (If nothing else, you’ll be comforted by the fact that your blind date was never arrested for kidnapping.) Here’s an excerpt in which she compares Kermit the Frog to skinny hipster bad boys/bad boyfriends:
We recently spoke with Hannah Seligson about her new book “A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door”:
Why did you write this book? Personal experience?
Of course! I’m my own guinea pig. After my first round of being A Little Bit Married, I became intrigued by this new dating pattern that I saw practically every 20-something friend of mine ebb in and out of. Here were these relationship that fifty or sixty years ago would have most likely culminated in marriage, but today often do not. So the book is an attempt to understand why that’s the case.