She Boiled the Meat

thenourishedcaveman

Because the distance between her mildewing passion
and his clichéd professions
was too great
she boiled the meat.

She took a dull, overused
blade and pried out her sinewy flesh.
Dropped it in the pot

of water and swirled it with a wooden spoon,
watching the muscle clench inward and then out
as it tenderized,

she didn’t think about the words but the stupidity of words
when bodies and actions speak enough. Her body said
come near me, take me deeply, little things said
I adore you. Are you here to stay?
His body said omigodiloveyou
but he said I don’t like traveling.

It was surprisingly easy
to throw the meat into the pot,
but would it taste good, would
her dog eat it?

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When You Have Sex With a Feminist

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Society has stereotyped The Feminist as a man hater, a dyke, a ‘feminazi’ bent on world domination. What most of society doesn’t understand is that men take part in the feminist movement too! In fact, a YouGov poll showed that after being given the definition of a feminist, 51% of men said they considered themselves to be one. After attending a Planned Parenthood conference in D.C. this past month, I had a little “encounter” with one. My partner was male, but yours definitely doesn’t have to be! Here is what happens when you get down with a feminist:

They ask for consent to kiss you. Touch you. Do that with you. In fact, if it’s something s/he wants, they ask you first. And that makes it so much better.

“Your body, your choice.” You have body piercings? Cool. Tattoos? Um, awesome. You don’t shave? Not even down there? He does not care. At all. S/he respects the decisions you make regarding your body. S/he doesn’t want a conveyer-belt vagina—s/he wants yours.

Politically and sexually progressive, amirite? Maybe I’m wrong, but what you believe in politically transfers to the bedroom. And let me tell you, this two-party system is gonna be broad-minded. Open to suggestion. Flexible. O.K, I’ll stop making jokes, but feminists are usually willing to try anything twice.

“I really want to please you.” Ugh. This gets me every time. It’s getting hot and heavy. The panic begins to overwhelm me. I start thinking, “I don’t know what to do with a penis! I don’t have a penis! Porn, why have you failed me??!!” But then he says those two magic words: “You first.” (Sigh) Yes. Please.

There’s no guarantee your partner isn’t going to do some annoying pre-Third-Wave crap (“Do ya like my big dick? Do ya?”). But treat yo’self, and be with someone who cares about the social and economic equality of the sexes.

Signs of The Funk

Dear readers, I’ve been in a Funk.

Ever since January, actually. Since the beginning of the semester, a cloud has hung over my head. I hate that cloud. Fuck the cloud! If I could, I would rip it from above and stomp on it. It’s hurt my writing, my opportunity for friendships, my health, and my self-esteem. Sometimes I feel like a dried-up piece of fruit. Preferably an apricot or a fig—they’re kind of tasty, don’t you think?

Anyway, here are some signs of The Funk:

sleep-deprived

Your sleep schedule sucks

Seriously, it is, like, the worst. You go to bed at 4am, but have to go to work at 9am, so you take a nap at 4pm before pilates at 6pm, but then you skip pilates because you’re exhausted. And you wake up at 7pm to do work but can’t fall back asleep, so fuck it—you go to sleep at 8am. And it’s all totally messed up.

This is basically me. When I was in high school, my mother forbid naps. Now that I’m in college, I take naps all the time. And it’s bad!!! Very bad! Some people can do the 20 minute snooze, but not this chick. Nope.

 

unhealthy-foods

You eat poorly

Food is either a tyrant or a small obligation. You eat a lot because you’re bored/upset, or you don’t eat at all because it doesn’t matter anymore. The responsibilities and the pain is still going to be there. And it’s not just quantity—it’s quality too. Crappy food can give you temporary satisfaction, but your energy level will be nonexistent. Believe me, I know. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a salad.

There’s no motivation—even for things you (used to) love

“Nope. Nope. Nope. Not doing it today.” That’s the only reaction you have to pretty much everything. Even the things you love. Or used to love. Now all you love is food and money and sleep. Maybe alcohol and sex. Mostly food and sleep. And when you try to do the things you’re passionate about, you can’t. You are detached. Sometimes I try to write poetry, and nothing happens. Maybe it’s because poetry is supposed to be organic, but I really believe that I am being drained when I try.

You don’t exercise

Some people are naturally averse to any physical activity whatsoever, but usually when you don’t get any exercise, it is because of The Funk. Sedentary people are always at risk for depression—exercise releases endorphins and those make you happy. There are so many benefits from exercise; it’s important to incorporate just a simple activity such as walking, going up a few flights of stairs, or doing yoga.

Conclusion

I could go on and on about depression and suicidal thoughts and decreased libido, but if you’re old enough to understand all this, you’ve probably heard it all before. I don’t want to sound like a Zoloft commercial. What you need to do is:

  • Eat more fruit and veggies. Drink more water. Energy is bae.
  • Get on a good sleeping schedule. Try to do something relaxing, like reading or doing a word puzzle.
  • Hit that gym (or the sidewalk, if you exercise outside). Even if it’s for a little bit, just being out with other people and nature is super helpful.
  • Engage in a little self-love. Better yet, find a partner and get it on 😉 Orgasms=happiness
  • Talk to yo’ doctor. They will find the best solution for you.

Be happy, be strong, and try to get out of the funk!

 

Why Technology, Hookup Culture, and Feminism are Confusing Gen Y about Courtship

Hey, y’all. I wrote this research paper about dating in the 21st century. Here is a (partially) condensed version.


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A tension pervades all interactions between the sexes in dating and courtship—the need for emotional intimacy versus the desire for sexual contact. It is not just women who are perplexed by their role in the dating game; in fact their male counterparts arguably have a higher level of confusion because this tension breeds insecurity, a trait not tolerated in their gender binary. David Wyatt Seal and Anke D. Ehrhardt’s “Masculinity and Urban Men: Perceived Scripts for Courtship, Romantic, and Sexual Interactions with Women” touches on this tension, illustrating some of the heterosexual scripts at the cause of some of this inner conflict, and summarizing that changing societal norms have exacerbated this tension.

These gendered scripts can lead to confusion in courtship, sex, and dating, but technological advances offer even more bewilderment. There was a time when people interacted solely face-to-face. Nowadays, that concept is a joke—the “Technological Revolution” makes that very clear. Smartphones have certainly catered to society’s want of instant gratification—no one can argue otherwise. The market thrives on the now in a continuous torrent of social media updates and streaming web feed, which placates consumer and provider. And it would seem to the untrained eye that modern dating has benefited from this technology, what with texting, online dating websites and apps like Tinder that help the socially and romantically challenged. This is an illusion. In fact, modern technology and social media is hindering potential relationships.

Popular sites in the virtual community that is social media all serve the purpose of creating a connection. If the connection a consumer seeks is romantic, all one has to do is follow a potential partner on their social media profile of choice. Though this practice gains insight, it is not helpful in the long run. Every post, comment, ‘like,’ ‘tweet,’ and photo is a reflection of how a person wants to be perceived. But in any relationship, romantic or friendly, one should learn for himself or herself someone’s character away from the screen.

Text messaging is another easy way to communicate quickly with a relative stranger in hopes of developing a relationship. When it was first created, texting was seen as a less intimidating way to ask a female out on a date because it spares embarrassment in case of rejection. If one was accepted, they put away phones and met in person. Due to the development of smartphones, the text has surpassed this innocent custom.

Texting may be easy, but it sure is hard to build intimacy and romance through a device that does not analyze body language, sarcasm, or eye contact. Humans are mammals who crave companionship and proximate interaction, and technology that removes voice and facial features is not beneficial to us as instinctive creatures. Texting allows for deceit, avoidance in the guise of naïveté or accident, inappropriate conduct that is easier to perform, and ultimately confusion over a person’s relational wants and attitudes.

“Tinder,” a smartphone app loosely based on dating, altered the face of college campus flings forever when it debuted in September 2012. Tinder, and its homosexual, sibling app Grinder, follows a “hot-or-not” protocol when it comes to matching users in a specific region. Its online statement is vague, but the message is clear; “fucking and forgetting” has never been easier, especially in today’s hookup culture.

“Hookup culture” could be called a relaxed carnal urbanity that discourages any emotional bonding whatsoever. But for all it entails, this culture cannot be so easily defined. “Hooking up” was not a socially acceptable form of distraction until the late 20th century. One can find the hookup culture almost anywhere in urbanized America, but it dominates the college campus scene.

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Fucking and forgetting. Banging and bolt. Screwing around. Getting some strange. The words and phrases associated with this scene are a transaction between emotional bonding and sexual gratification, effectively distancing one from the carnal act. While Freitas disapproves of this philosophy, journalist Hannah Rosin supplies that no-strings-attached sex frees young women to focus on their careers, instead of getting distracted by relationship.

Formerly I briefly highlighted the need for sexual versus emotional intimacy, and the mounting strain between these two needs due to shifting societal standards. A major source of these shifting standards is feminism, exclusively Third-Wave feminism. This wave directly challenges many of perceived heterosexual scripts Seal and Ehrhardt describe in their study of urban men. Feminists continually advocate female initiation as a way to establish equality from the start of the courtship sequence, suggesting, “You call him.”

Feminist theory also takes great offense to patriarchal attitudes of women’s place in society, citing them as hypocritical and oppressive (bell hooks). “Masculinity and Urban Men” exposes a highly hypocritical line of thought when the men condemn a woman for being too easy and not virtuous enough, though they already slept with her. For a movement that stresses equality between sexes, genders, and sexualities, this notion is disheartening.

It is not to say that technology has no benefit in our lives. On the contrary, technology allows us to achieve great things in a tenth of the time. We may speak to our Swedish pen pal half a world away by pressing a few buttons. We may learn quicker to become more successful in a highly competitive job market. We may tell our children we love them when we cannot meet any other way. However, there are significant problems that arise from these technologies, which more often than not alienate us from the outside world and create a false sense of intimacy among strangers and social media.

Just as there are several problems with modern technology, traditional dating and courtship customs reinforce gender roles that both guide and confuse young men and women seeking partnered relationships. Sexual education teaches children and young adults how to have safe sex to combat sexually transmitted diseases; it also discourages romantic relationships, because academic success is more important. These added pressures lead Generation Y to escape through hookup culture, a scene that solidifies the gender roles feminism hopes to partially strip away.

Society is in a continuous war between old and new, tradition and modernism, heteronormativity and feminist/queer theory. The freedom obtained from embracing a liberal view of sex, gender and dating—combined with the knowledge of traditional “courtship rules”—provides a healthier and longer relationship. The only way to win is to compromise, because all perspectives provide cultural benefits that are here to stay.