Tag Archives: Relationships

Gender Based Writing Differences

I originally did this post back on Feb 19th of this year.  It seems that the controversy which inspired it has flared up yet again on Facebook and Twitter though.  So, here’s a very slightly updated version of that post:

 

I’ve already made a few posts today.  I did say I was going to talk about that other recent Twitter notification that bothered me though.

It was one going around the erotica authors’ circle on Twitter.  It was all about how women were supposedly “educating” men about what horrible erotica authors they are and laughing at their “stupid” mistakes.  Not the first time I’ve seen such a post either.  During my few months on twitter, I found the erotica authors to be pretty judgmental and negative in general.  The key words there are “IN GENERAL”.  There are some wonderful, supportive and talented women (and men) there also.  I adore Ava Sterling and Aurora Blue in particular.  They’ve been helpful since the beginning.  They’re also both very talented and I highly recommend their books.

OK, getting back to the subject, let’s be real.  There are quite a few bad male erotica authors out there.  What the ladies are NOT understanding though is that their (the women’s) way or view is NOT the only way.  I had a blog post about this in the past.  There was an article in The Atlantic magazine how authors had to write consent in romance novels.  The idea being essentially that if you didn’t have written and signed consent at every step of the way, you were writing and advocating rape.  Here’s that blog post:

A Minor Rant

My comments there are enough said.  Another example I saw in the past was a snarky agreement among some of those women that if bra or genital sizes were mentioned, they immediately stopped reading and declared the story was trash.  “What did they do, take out a measuring tape at that point?” was one reply.   What they were missing is that some people, particularly if they’re in fields that require regular measuring and sizing such as seamstresses and tailors, clothing sales people, construction and automotive workers, and even people that do crafty type things as hobbies, tend to be able to measure very accurately by eyesight.  Regardless of gender, they’re likely to be visual people as well.  It’s not unrealistic at all.  Overall, I’d agree that general size descriptors and leaving things to imagination is probably a little better though.

So where do I think the issues are being seen all wrong?  The ladies are missing a chance to grow their audience.  Men DO buy and read erotica also.  I get email from men and women both on my writing.

Saying “women don’t stand in front of mirrors and compare their boobs to fruit” misses the reality that men tend to be highly visual creatures and competition / comparison driven.  They care about things like are a female character’s boobs “pear shaped” or perfectly round and firm *cough*fakeboobs*cough* (lol).  They want to know who’s boobs are bigger and by how much also.  When you understand the male mindset, you can tailor your writing just a little so that you appeal more to them as well.  Bang, your sales go up.

Think carefully about that if you’re a romance or erotica author.  Do you want to shut out half the world’s population as a potential market?  If you bend just a little in your writing style you can reach a larger audience and still be true to yourself.

The whole idea of “teaching” men by belittling them is only going to backfire also.  For all their bravado, men have fragile egos, especially where women are concerned.  They’re also trained to suppress emotion early on, so they’re rarely all that intuitive, BUT they also are eager to please.

So here’s a tip, girls, both as authors and for relationships:  All you’ve got to do to get a decent guy to do what you want is ask nicely or gently suggest.  In the case of writing erotica, give them better, more natural ways to help relay visual information.  Explain to them that the act isn’t about rutting either when you’re a woman.  It’s about intimacy, emotional connection, and a primal need to feel desired, like that male character would sacrifice anything to have our heroine.  When an erotica author can impart all of those male and female perspective elements into a story, I think the sky is the limit.

Again, same holds true with relationships.  Too many women complain about men being clueless, and expect them to know exactly how to touch them, what to say to them, etc…  It takes communication.  Positive communication too.  “A little gentler (or rougher), oh yes!”, goes much farther with the typical clueless male than “not like that, you selfish idiot.”

A certain radio show host on relationships had it right; women have much more power in relationships than people think.  At least in reasonably healthy relationships.  It just has to be used in the right way.

A Good Reason to Judge

A while back, I made a post (on my spiritual blog) about the insanity of being expected to never judge anything.  Part of the reason I rally against the “no judgment” crowd is that it’s so often used as another way to manipulate people into saying they should have no standards, no discernment and no common sense.  These folks are sometimes doing things they know are morally or legally wrong and don’t want to be called on it, OR just use “don’t judge” as a way to shut down debate, and guilt or bully people into their point of view.  Ironically, the last type is VERY prone to judging people they disagree with.

The thing is, judging situations and people is an important part of life.  It’s doubly so for empaths if we’re to avoid being exploited and manipulated.  Let’s start with the obvious.  Is it wrong to judge:

  1. Pedophiles
  2. Murderers
  3. Rapists

I doubt anybody remotely rational would say it’s wrong.  I’ve met a few crazies that would excuse that kind of behavior though.  I think where some well-meaning people in the middle get tripped up is that they can’t or don’t want to understand that you can judge a behavior and person as wrong while still having some understanding of the circumstances that led a person to do something bad.  You can have sympathy for a drunk driver having  just been dumped, but that doesn’t excuse their killing 3 other people while driving drunk.

So let’s use that as a lead-in to what I saw a day or two ago.  Homeless people and panhandlers are absolutely epidemic in Sacramento.  “Don’t Judge” is a rallying cry here also regarding them.  TO A DEGREE, it’s a valid admonition also.  The problem comes when you have people trying to exploit the situation, such as professional panhandlers.  This woman for example:

IMG_0513 (2)_LI

Now if the red circle here didn’t give it away, the “tell” that this person is not homeless is her sandals.  Those are $100+ Birkenstocks, and in good shape.  I can’t place the brand off the top of my head but I think those are moderately expensive yoga pants also.  There are a couple of other “tells” as well.  Bottom line, there’s every reason to suspect she has a real home, etc… and just finds it easier to panhandle than actually work.  These professional panhandlers are more common than you’d think too.

So, am I saying dump on all homeless people?  Absolutely not.  Some are very legitimately down on their luck, trying to recover, etc…  What I *AM* saying is that it’s appropriate to use observation and common sense in deciding to help somebody, or if an area feels dangerous, or just about any other situation.

We have to be able to make judgments about right and wrong, people and situations to be able to establish reasonable boundaries.  In my opinion, the key lies in the proper translation of that Bible verse: “Judge not unrighteous judgments, lest ye be judged”.  To me, that means you do NOT go for blood over an argument caused by somebody having a bad day.  The reaction has to rationally fit the situation, factoring in if it’s a repeating issue.  Generalizations like “ALL Walmart shoppers” or “ALL black people” or “All any race or group” are bad too.

Another part of that is letting go of hate and anger.  OK, your significant other cheated on you and left (as another example).  It’s fair to say they’re a bad person.  It’s also fair to say you don’t want to see them again.  Beyond that, let it go; don’t be Taylor Swift.  Hanging onto hate only poisons your own soul, blocks your growth as a person and allows no room for better things to take the place of what you lost.  All of that is the start of proper, wise judgment

So there you have it.  It’s perfectly fine to judge, just do so with wisdom and compassion.

BAD Choices for Wedding Music

This almost got to be a game as we were working on our play list for the wedding / reception DJ.  I’m making it a game here.

The idea is to pick and post songs that are incredibly bad choices for play at a wedding or reception.

I’ll start:

“Everything About You” – Ugly Kid Joe

“Girls Got Rhythm” – AC/DC

“I Hate Myself for Loving You” – Joan Jett

That’s enough.  I don’t want to hog all the ideas.  Bonus points if you can come up with more inappropriate than “Everything About You”.  LOL

 

NOW, I’m going to collapse into a coma for a few hours before I have to get back to work…

 

Two Posts in Three Days!

That’s about a record for me lately, LOL.  I’m trying to keep going on the writing though.  If I don’t, it’ll be too easy to fall into permanent distraction and never get back to it.  So many ideas I want to get “on paper” also…

On a related note here, I’m trying to reply to and like posts from people I’m following also, but again, time constraints are limiting me there.  Had to throw that in before I forgot.  Have patience; I’m not ignoring anybody deliberately.

I also wanted to go back and clarify one point from my last post.  I made a joke about getting bribed to get married via the Mustang.  Thinking about that afterwards, it was worded the wrong way and doubtless made me sound like a heartless materialistic *****.

Reality is, I’m not very good at expressing my feelings, and I tend to cover that up with humor.  So, let’s put the car in proper context.  The current (now about to be sold) car is run down.  We decided I needed a “new” one.  Flipping through Craigslist, I found the Mustang and immediately went gaga.  My other half barely batted an eye and said, fine, let’s go check it out.  It turned out to be as good as it looked, and next thing I know, I’m driving it home.

When somebody is willing to make a gesture that far over the top, it’s enough to get it through even my thick skull and past relationship hangups that there’s real love there.  We did get the car at a real deal, but I could have just as easily ended up with something far less.  So, that was about the point I decided to stop being quite so afraid of marriage. 🙂

Now, as most of you know, I’m pretty private with all but the most general information regarding my real life.  A few too many bad experiences in the past, combined with an awareness of how some people view erotica authors.  I think a little mystery helps the brand also, lol.  Anyway, I’m going to lift the veil (wedding pun – haha) ever so slightly and give you all a peek at the car though:

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1967 with a HiPo 289 V8 & a C4 Transmission.  1970 high back front seats, Magnum 500 rims, and yes that IS a fully functional hood scoop (ram air!).  Now if only it had A/C…  Did I mention I come from a family of car nuts?  LOL.  Mom had a 1966, a 1968 and a 1976 Mustang II Kharmen Ghia at various points.

Oh, and Liz…  There are rocks also.  The rings were made with my great grandmother’s diamonds, which I just inherited from mommy dearest.

“These are NOT the people I grew up with.  You’re looking at old people now, who are trying to get into Heaven.” – Bill Cosby to his kids in “Bill Cosby; Himself”

Kidding aside, I’m glad I have a better relationship with my mom now, but the younger me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop.  No pictures of the rings here though.  Putting your valuables on display on the internet is just asking to be robbed and could be considered bragging or showing off also (bad form).  Suffice it to say it’s eye catching without being big enough to break the bank.

 

 

Why People Change For The Worse

BlindZanyGirl recently asked in her blog why people seem to change.  You think you know them, you’re friends, and then they just either flip personalities out of the blue, or change over time.  Given that it would take a complete blog post to answer this question, here I am instead of in her reply section.

Side note here: If you’re not following her blog, shame on yah.  She’s a talented writer, and can give all of us lessons on strength to endure hardships.

Getting back on track, I feel like I’m fairly qualified to speak on this one.  I’m not a shrink, but I’ve read alot, and more importantly I’ve dealt wit this same issue quite a bit.  Well, first there’s the obvious answer: the other person was a charming manipulator along the lines of a sociopath that was out for something, even if only attention.  It’s easy to slap that label on others also.  We regularly villify “the other side” in politics all the time anymore, and rarely with any logic behind it.  None the less, 1 in every 100 people is a sociopath, so…

Then there’s the compassionate explanation; the other person is going through too much, doesn’t know how to talk about it, etc…  Finally they hit a breaking point, and start to withdraw from everything to simplify their life and lower their drama.  They lash out at whoever is an easy target and not part of the specific core of their life.  Much like the last explanation, I think this one is overused.  Even worse, it becomes a free pass issued by some folks.  Me, I’m of the “just because you’re hurting doesn’t give you the right to hurt others” camp.  There are polite ways to withdraw from things and relationships.

All that said, let’s get down to the cause that nobody talks about; unrealistic expectations.  This is REALLY common in internet land.  People talk online, get to know each other…  They think they know each other better than they do, and expect them to be there for them more than a casual online friendship allows.  It can really become a downward spiral also.  The needy person can’t fully get what they need from talking and moral support, so they demand / hope for more of it.  When that isn’t enough, they either get stalkerish or flip out completely and go “dark side”.  This whole series of events is actually pretty common on the ‘net.  Let’s face it, the internet is full of introverts of varying degrees trying to find acceptance and a voice.

On a personal note, I can tell you that I had THREE friends in Champions Online that were doing this to me all at once, and in a MAJOR way.  Two in my guild and one outside of it.  I was so emotionally drained by it, I started to become like them.

That’s another aspect of this I should mention.  Normally something I’d save for my spiritual blog, but it merits being a part of this.   A few of the books I’ve read on being an empath point out that all human interaction is an exchange of energy.  You can put that in psychological or literal spiritual terms and it still works.  When you talk, you’re giving energy.  When you listen, you’re receiving.  An ideal conversation is balance that way.

Negative interactions come down to trying to provoke a reaction to get energy from the other person.  The mad person, guilt tripper, etc… is starving for energy, so they try to get a reaction out of you.  If you’re not at all spiritual, it sounds silly, but think about how tired you feel after dealing with that kind of person.  If you are an empath like me, this kind of person is drawn to you because they sense your nurturing side and energy.  We’re actually a bit more susceptible to getting overly drained and blowing a gasket when pushed too far though.

Long talk short, the best thing anyone can do is realize there’s a limit to what you can get from an online friendship.  Don’t expect too much from others, and be grateful for what they do offer.  If the other person is expecting too much, establish some boundaries.  Be gentle at first, but don’t be afraid to get firmer if they don’t listen.  If that doesn’t work, walk away, calmly and politely.

One last piece of advice: Communicate honestly, openly and politely with everyone.  There’s an old piece of advice, proverb, whatever that says “To be unclear is to be unkind”.  People can’t know they’re doing something wrong if you don’t tell them.  Even an empath like me only picks up on emotions, not the reason behind them.  Be kind, be willing to listen to what they have to say also, and work it out.  As many problems as I’ve had from “psychic vampires”, I’ve had far more friendships end just because people wouldn’t speak up about misunderstandings that could have been easily cleared up with a little dialog.

Unplanned Break Over

Back among  the living yet again. 🙂   MOST of my absence was just that my schedule got crazy all of the sudden.

I did find myself having to work through a few old issues from popping back into Champions Online.  I’ve talked a little bit about my past gaming experiences.  Long story short when you play online games in-character with others, it’s alot like collaborating on writing a book with several other people, or having a whole improv troop on stage all trying to do their own thing at the same time.  At best, it can get dramatic.

The trouble is, MMO games tend to attract people with low self esteem and other psychological issues.  LONG LONG story, they can get hurtful and manipulative when they don’t get their way (putting it kindly).  Last time I was playing, I got caught in a shitstorm of that drama also.  The thing is, decent people tend to wonder what they could have done different & how they added to a problem.

So, I did reach out and try to talk to a couple of former acquaintances there.  It went about as well as expected, LOL.  It was good though, because it helped weep away any doubt in my mind that these people are indeed toxic.  I got some closure.

 

So, I’m back.  I still have a bit of a crazy schedule for the immediate future, so I’m not sure how much I’ll have to post each day, but I’ll do my best.  As for all the notifications I’ve gotten the last few days.  Well 354 in the last two days is just too much to deal with.  I had to just delete them.  I’ll keep up with new ones as best I can.

That Other Complaint

I’ve already made a few posts today.  I did say I was going to talk about that other recent Twitter notification that bothered me though.

It was one going around the erotica authors’ circle on Twitter.  It was all about how women were supposedly educating men about what horrible erotica authors they are and laughing at their “stupid” mistakes.  Not the first time I’ve seen such a post either.  During my few months on twitter, I found the erotica authors to be pretty judgmental and negative in general.  The key words there are “IN GENERAL”.  There are some wonderful, supportive and talented women (and men) there also.  I adore Ava Sterling and Aurora Blue in particular.  They’ve been helpful since the beginning.

OK, getting back to the subject, let’s be real.  There are quite a few bad male erotica authors out there.  What the ladies are NOT understanding though is that their way or view is NOT the only way.  I had a blog post about this in the past.  There was an article in The Atlantic magazine how authors had to write consent in romance novels.  The idea being essentially that if you didn’t have written and signed consent at every step of the way, you were writing and advocating rape.  Here’s that blog post:

A Minor Rant

My comments there are enough said.  Another example I saw in the past was a snarky agreement among some that if bra or genital sizes were mentioned, they immediately stopped reading and the story was trash.  “What did they do, take out a measuring tape at that point?” was one reply.   What they were missing is that some people, particularly if they”re in fields that require regular measuring and sizing such as seamstresses and tailors, clothing sales people, construction and automotive workers, and even people that do crafty type things as hobbies, tend to be able to measure very accurately by eyesight.  It’s not unrealistic at all.  Overall, I’d agree that general size descriptors and leaving things to imagination is probably a little better though.

So where do I think the issues are being seen all wrong?  The ladies are missing a chance to grow their audience.  Men DO buy and read erotica also.  I get email from men and women both on my writing.

Saying “women don’t stand in front of mirrors and compare their boobs to fruit” misses the reality that men tend to be highly visual creatures and competition / comparison driven.  They care about things like are a female character’s boobs “pear shaped” or perfectly round and firm *cough*fakeboobs*cough* (lol).  They want to know who’s boobs are bigger and by how much also.  When you understand the male mindset, you can tailor your writing just a little so that you appeal more to them as well.  Bang, your sales go up.

The whole idea of “teaching” men by belittling them is only going to backfire also.  For all their bravado, men have fragile egos, especially where women are concerned.  They’re also trained to suppress emotion early on, so they’re rarely all that intuitive, BUT they also are eager to please.

So here’s a tip, girls, both as authors and for relationships.  All you’ve got to do to get a decent guy to do what you want is ask nicely or gently suggest.  In the case of writing erotica, give them better, more natural ways to help relay visual information.  Explain to them that the act isn’t about rutting either when you’re a woman.  It’s about intimacy, emotional connection, and a primal need to feel desired, like that male character would sacrifice anything to have our heroine.  When an erotica author can impart all of those male and female perspective elements into a story, I think the sky is the limit.

Again, same holds true with relationships.  Too many women complain about men being clueless, and expect them to know exactly how to touch them, what to say to them, etc…  It takes communication.  Positive communication too.  “A little gentler (or rougher), oh yes!”, goes much farther with the typical clueless male than “not like that, you selfish idiot.”

A certain radio show host on relationships had it right; women have all the power in relationships (at least non-abusive ones).  It just has to be used in the right way.

TRIGGER WARNING: I’m Back!!!

LOL.  It’s been a crazy last 48 hours.  The last 4 of which I just spent catching up on thee 114 email notifications I had from WordPress AND writing another spiritual blog post.  More there in a minute.

The funeral went reasonably well.  The priest was mush mouthed and didn’t seem to know the rituals.  Maybe it’s a Catholic thing.  I think everything has to be exactly by the book.  Anyway, short but good ceremony there.  A little bit of unspoken conflict back at my parents’ (well, mom’s now) house afterwards, but I’ll spare folks the personal drama.

Realizing how short life can be, along with the more positive experiences on twitter and here have made me more determined to get focused with my writing and a few other resolutions.  Not fanatical midlife crisis level or anything, but it all snapped things back into focus.

 

The spiritual blog post and trigger warning joke above are about the need for people in general, and Empaths specifically to have reasonable boundaries, and how some people use false compassion and guilt tripping to tell others they have no right to said boundaries.  It was inspired by post in a followed blog about how “walls don’t work”.  The spiritual blog post should have made clear that I do NOT lump the author of that post in said guilt tripper category.  They just genuinely don’t believe walls work.  The post DID remind me of all the hateful things I’ve seen on the subject by other people though, and how many times I’ve been guilt tripped and manipulated for trying to have boundaries..

So, with that in mind, and wanting to discuss the idea that boundaries of any type are bad, I wrote that post.  If you’re interested, take a look.  If you’re the type that’s easily offended by anything other than far left views, consider this a trigger warning and avoid it.

False Compassion

The simple premise is that we all need boundaries and walls.  People need occasional quiet time, writers need to be able to focus on their work, etc…  Walls DO have to have gates to let the good in though, and the only truly evil wall is the one designed to keep people from exiting (ie the Berlin Wall).

Quick Note…

I’m trying to play catch up on new followers, comments and such.  I haven’t forgotten people, life has just been crazy.  I’ve  been cleaning out comments and replies in order of speed I can reply also.

Right now, I’m racing a deadline for the latest Witchfire chapter, trying to keep up here, deal with normal day to day responsibilities and all the drama surrounding my step dad’s funeral.  My mom is pissed at my Uncle over an unthinking joke, my brother is playing politics with it all, and has me pissed at him, and my mom is also playing one of her life long games of trying to martyr herself over it and make everybody work 5x harder than they should to support her to prove she’s cared about.  It’s physically and emotionally draining to say the least.

Anyway, funeral is tomorrow and I’m working to catch up on everything as best I can.

My Thoughts on BDSM

Since my half dozen (thus far) non fan fiction erotica pieces all have at least a slight element of domination and submission to them (Amy’s Seduction being the only real exception), AND I’m picking up followers on Twitter into that lifestyle, I felt I’d take a couple of minutes to spell out my thoughts on the subject.

Plain and simple, my view is that as long as it’s safe, sane and above all mutually consensual, it’s all good.  All of that requires a great deal of communication and self awareness by both parties.

I have one huge gripe with elements of the community.  That being the “if you’re not doing it MY way, it’s not really domination!” crowd.  To be blunt, that’s not only utter crap, it also tells me the Dom or Domme uttering it has no idea what they’re talking about, quite likely little or no respect for submissives, and / or massive insecurity issues.  A real dominant is going to want to talk, make sure the other person is more than just titillated, and has compatible ideas about what BDSM is.  If their ideas later drift apart on the subject, they will set the submissive free instead of trying to force them past hard limits also.

I’m fairly passionate on the issue because I used to have a virtual part-time job counseling women who were responding to ads looking for submissives on a certain free site that no longer runs personals.  Horrified by some of the “dom” ads I saw I posted my own telling submissives that their submission was a gift given, it had to be earned, that a dom should listen to your wants and needs when establishing relationship boundaries, and that it was just as much about their orgasm as his.

It was amazing and scary how many “thank you” replies I got from women with strong curiosity but who were confused and scared after ‘talking’ to abusers who told them that if they were submissive at all, they’d immediately do anything and everything the “dom” said, no questions asked, right from the moment they met.  A few of them even told me they were made to feel like they were crazy until they read my post.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m anything but a saint.  I’m proud to say I saved a few women from abusive relationships though.