Raw Love

A collection of personal essays and informative articles on sex, love, and dating.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

History of the Viking Women

Source: Reprint from Mise En Scene
Author: Snax

A true Viking Women Expedition is never planned. It can simply start when a couple of the girls meet up for drinks, or even accidentally turn up at the same bar. Something seems to click, perhaps chemistry between the women present. And then we're off, for a rampage through the bars! This event is not a "trolling" expedition, but there is some kind of energy about it that often draws others in. Nor is it a drunk fest, although one of the things that defines a true Viking Women is the ability to pace and endure several hours of drinking. Not on a regular basis, mind you....Nowadays, I can barely drink a third drink whether it's happy hour or a night out.

Quite some time back, I cocktailed and bartended at the Ale House, a British pub in Houston. Several of the other women were either Irish and Scottish, and those women could throwdown. I worked with them during the Friday 10-7 shift. There was Aveen, the full-figured blond Scotswoman, whose wrath I anticipated whenever I was instructed to water down her white wine spritzers. This was per her husband's instructions prior to collecting her from the pub. He always knew that if it was past nine o'clock and she hadn't made it home, then she was drinking at the pub. We counted the minutes until he would come to collect her before her belligerence would start a bar fight. She had quite a fiery temper when she was drunk, which seemed to be the norm for all the British women in our group.

Then there was Angela, a tall and slender brunette Irishwoman who could drink like a fish and was always a lot of fun. She was the day manager but also booked the bands who would play on the weekends, and therefore she was instrumental in my immersion in the Houston music scene. Angela's eccentric Irish friend, Marion, would often drink with us, but never eat. I never quite understood why she didn't like to eat in front of people. One night she literally snuck out of a bathroom window at a restaurant and walked home. We were left sitting at the table wondering where she was. The next morning Marion woke up with a half-eaten block of cheese in her bed. Apparently she had stopped at a 7-11 on the way home and bought some cheddar.

Our most memorable expedition was after a particularly busy Friday lunch/happy hour, and I had been indoctrinated into their 3 pm white wine spritzer break. Once 7 o'clock hit, we headed out to the beer garden and drank more spritzers. One of the other gals picked us up and we were off to Lola's for more drinks, until Aveen started yelling, "Bloody Frogs!" at a couple of French guys who were (unsuccessfully) trying to pick up on Angela and I. Poor guys were no match for Aveen. From there, I recall going over to JR's on Pacific Street, in the thick of the Montrose gay clubs. Miraculously, Aveen was well-behaved - she never became confrontational with the gay men we encountered. We rounded out the night by going to a local late night Mexican restaurant, where Aveen proceeded to harass the waiter for margaritas, even though it was afterhours. No mas! We managed to stumble back to Angela's apartment, where I slept curled up on the couch.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Top 12 Ways You Sabotage Your Love Life

Source: MarsVenus.com
Author: Dr. John Gray

Nearly all of us have bounced back from bad breakups or decided to date again after a death or divorce. Reentering the dating scene is just a natural part of growing into our emotional maturity. Some of us, however, make recovering our love lives much harder than it should be. We run after romance because we think we should, and not because we're ready. Sound familiar? Here's a list of a dozen other ways you can potentially sabotage your starting-over process.

1. Being too picky
While it's important to make sure that your potential partner shares your values, don't make your checklist of desirable qualities too long. Becoming overly protective of your heart may make you overly judgmental, ultimately disqualifying quality suitors.

2. Associating dating with sex
Because she worries that she'll be pressured into intimacy, a woman is likely to avoid the situation completely. Pearl of wisdom: Date around, don't sleep around. Avoid the fear of getting hurt by saying no to sex, not to dating.

3. Glorifying the past
Quit comparing each new romantic opportunity to someone in your past. Your past partner wasn't perfect; otherwise, you'd still be together.

4. Grieving, grieving, and grieving some more
It's healthy to mourn the loss of relationship. But holding onto your pain too long only keeps you safe- and alone.

5. Not giving ourselves permission to love again
When your partner's passed away, opening yourself to the possibility of happiness may feel like you're betraying a sacred trust. You eventually have to recognize, though, that letting go does not make you stop loving him or her; instead, it frees you from your grief so you're finally able to feel the love again.

6. Sleeping around
You may try to fill the void left by a breakup by seeking fleeting intimacy outside yourself. Remind yourself that you're merely repairing low self-esteem caused by rejection or lack of affection.

7. Expecting immediate passion
If you're expecting the earth to shake as soon as you meet someone, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. In fact, a red flag should wave when if you do feel intense attraction right away. You could be responding to your idea of what someone's like - not the reality.

8. Maintaining unrealistic expectations or over-romanticizing
Thanks to box office moneymakers and randy romance novels, you might get the idea that your true love will come knocking at your door. The truth is you need to be an active participant in making your dreams come true.

9. Attracting the wrong type
Holding on to unresolved hurt from past relationships? Bad idea: You'll only attracts people to repeat the pattern.

10. Focusing on the negative
By floundering in negative feelings and pondering the pain of past relationships, you can convince yourself not to bother trying again.

11. Becoming overly self-sufficient
When you start sending out the message that you don't need anyone in your life, you sabotaging your ability to attract a match. Having needs is not the same as being needy.

12. Taking on too much
Losing yourself in taking care of others and putting the needs of your family before your own are additional ways you can close off availability.

Getting started is the most important part of starting over. Move forward with careful thought and understanding of what you need. Realize that the mistakes and losses of the past are actually badges of wisdom to carry into your new life.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sometimes We Need the Dragon, sometimes the Alligator

Source: Mise En Scene
Author: CJ

When it comes to alligators and komodo dragons, the komodo dragon is the more loving of the two. I was watching a nature program about reptiles earlier, and when it comes to "making love"...

Alligators and komodo dragons have roughly similar techniques, both approach their prospective mate from the back, wrapping their bodies around the female. Alligators (and let's just say crocodiles as well) bite down hard on the female's neck to subdue her, reproduction is quite active and often violent...

While the komodo dragon, the Barry White of reptiles, gently strokes the back of the female with a clawed hand or with it's chin to prime the female for acceptance. I watched the komodo dragon's technique and said to myself, "Oh yeah, mama likes"...

The dragon might have had more success if it had used the alligator approach, however, because the female...for whatever reason, decided she wasn't in the mood...and casually strolled away...leaving the poor komodo dragon shrugging his shoulders and muttering to himself, "I'll never understand women".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Girlfriend Code

Author: Snax

I may have covered this before, but it bears repeating. Whether you were taught by your sisters or mothers, or instinctively learned the following based on your values, doesn't really matter. What is important is to realize that in order to maintain mature and healthy relationships with other women, it's important to respect the rules. I'm sure I've missed some, but here's the ones I try to follow the most:

Always leave with the person you came with!.
My mom taught me this one early on - if you go to a party with the gals, go home with the gals. And certainly don't leave without telling anyone, it's just common courtesy. 2005 - if you think you might "hook up", let the gals know beforehand (thanks, Teri for that tidbit!)

Don't go after your girlfriends' guys.
If you know a close friend likes someone, be respectful of their feelings and don't start something up with that guy. If it's the ex-boyfriend of a girlfriend, ask BEFORE you get into bed/relationship whether it bothers them, not AFTER. Now granted, this can be a tough one. The dating pool can be quite limited due to a couple of my popular and attractive (in many levels) girlfriends who have similar tastes in men. Just don't go after their ex live-in boyfriend without some discussion. Heck, it's helped weed out a couple that wouldn't have been a good fit for me anyway...

Don't expect your girlfriends not to go after someone you like if it just ain't happening.
Let's be reasonable - if you have liked someone for awhile, but he's not interested, than just move on. If you really like the guy, you'd want him to be happy, right? Unfortunately, it's probably with someone else.

Keep your girlfriends informed.
This doesn't mean that you have to spill every detail, or betray a confidence. However, if you know a guy has been lying, and it could potentially hurt someone, OUT HIM! Your friend should be able to make well-informed decisions - who are you really protecting by not being honest with your girl friend? Worse yet, don't lie to your friends - they'll figure it out eventually.

Don't ask your girlfriends to
do your dirty work or worse yet, lie for you.
Good friends don't put one another in uncomfortable situations, and ask them to do something that goes against their morals. I had a boyfriend who became very upset when he and I were woken by a phone call at 4 am. It was the boyfriend of a girl I knew. Apparently, she had told him that she was out with me when she was really out with another guy.
And kudos to my girlfriend who told me "NO" when I asked her to take a call from a drunk ex-boyfriend and tell him not to call. I realized immediately that I needed to deal with the situation myself.

Don't cut off all communication with your girlfriends when you are in a relationship.
Okay, there's all that getting to know someone and the great sex in the start of a relationship, so some solo time with your new beau is expected. However, it's good to maintain healthy relationships with friends as well, and downtime from one another can be beneficial. Oh, and if you DO drop all your friends for months, don't be pissed when they don't have time for you when you've broken up - that's just not right.

Share the good with the bad.
If all you do is tell your girlfriends about the bad things your boyfriend/husband is doing, it makes them wonder why you are with that person. Yes, venting is good, but don't just give them the dirt, talk about the great things he does for you!

Don't complain if you keep dating the same guys.
In the words of my dear grandfather, "sh*T or get off the pot"! If you just keep dating the same type of guy and it doesn't work, try something different. Perpetuating bad habits bring bad results time and time again.

That's it for now, but welcome any comments or observations. Thanks to all the gals who helped me put this together. I learned long ago that having a significant other doesn't make one complete, but having good and trustworthy friends is great support. Luv ya!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

An Open Letter to Online Dating Men

Dear Single Male from the Online Dating Service,

The women held a discussion, and would like to impart this advice about the photos you posted online:

1. Severed or "floating" body parts in your pic are disturbing, and we wonder what's attached.
2. "Lounging" on the couch says "couch potato".
3. If every pic includes an alcoholic beverage, we start to wonder...
4. Hard to tell who you are in group shots, if you don't post one just of yourself.
5. Keep your clothes on, please. Leave some things to the imagination, buff or not!
6. Posing with your dog is great, but posing with your new truck or expensive sportscar? We don't get it.
7. Upload recent photos of yourself. If you don’t, dates will definitely notice a difference when you meet.

The ladies will appreciate it, and promise not to post their outdated Glamour Shots photos!


The Viking Women

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sneaky Ways to Measure Potential

Source: Netscape.com
Author: Laura Snyder

Good Stuff or No Go?

It's your first date, maybe your second, and the person across the dinner table from you is drop-dead gorgeous (and that's about all you know at this point). But if it's lasting love you're looking for, handsome is as handsome does. Here, some sneaky ways to figure out if your new partner has potential.

Pet-Ownership. A great date will have a dog (or a cat), or a nephew they're nuts for...even a plant will do. A person who can get up and feed something every day is not one afraid of commitment. You want to know this new honey can nurture and be there for something day in and day out.

Sense of humor. If you're not having fun, what's the point? Studies show laughter can diffuse tension and keep problems in perspective. If you and your new honey can't share a few laughs together, it's unlikely you'll share more than a date or two.

A good resume. No, we don't mean a great career. A partner with potential has a history of relationships that last longer than a playoff season, can talk about past relationships without sounding resentful, and has learned something in the process.

Passion. Not just the between-the-sheets kind, but the kind that makes him or her really excited about something in life. Whether its rock-climbing, volunteerism or music, a passionate person will really add something to your life..and your bedroom.

Curiosity. A great date won't be content to just tell you about their lives, but express a genuine interest in learning about what makes you tick. Just like a great relationship won't happen unless your partner wants to know your thoughts and ideas.

Sexual attraction. The way he or she looks, smells, talks, smiles...something - or everything - about this person should give you a little zing! of sexual excitement. Sex is the physical affirmation of love and if the chemistry's not there, all the potential in the world won't make up for it.