If a computer could determine the love of your life, would you want to know?

15 01 2018

In 2009, an underrated rom-com called TiMER was released. In this film, people elect to be implanted with a timing device that counts down to the second when they will meet their soulmate. The marketing tagline for the service was “Take the guesswork out of love.” At one point the main character Emma Caulfield Ford (of Buffy fame), says to her boyfriend of one month outside the TiMER offices, “What’s the point in continuing without a guarantee?” Then of course, she’s implanted and her timer is blank, which means her soulmate has yet to be implanted or could possibly not exist.

This year in the 4th season of Black Mirror, Episode 4, “Hang the DJ,” we meet Frank and Amy, two people who have signed up for an immersive experience to find “the one;” a program that has a 99.8% success rate. In this alternative universe, a computer uses its algorithm to collect data consistently in order to determine who belongs with each other by analyzing their every thought, action, experience, feelings. They’re set up with one person at a time, each date gets exactly that, a date in which the relationship will end. They are required to only spend that length of time together, 36 hours, 9 months, 1 year, etc. whether they like that person or not (because everything happens for a reason).

black_mirror_hang_the_DJ

In both of these storylines, people know in advance whether they are with the love of their lives or not. Not to give it all away, but it seems like only through the rebellion of not-knowing do any of them find what they think they’ve been looking for.

Is that what love takes? Rebellion against society’s norms? Could it even be considered “society’s norms,” when really it’s just that no one likes being told what to do, particularly when it comes to who they’re going to love (see pretty much every work of literature, poetry, film that exists).

Which is partly why the Okcupid algorithm doesn’t really work (and was supposedly all arbitrary anyway) but anyone who is supposedly a 99% match is not going to match well, because we couldn’t possibly believe that a computer could tell us what’s real more so than our own minds and hearts–so we all look for signs that the computer is wrong, and find them because humans are naturally all flawed in some shape or form.

While watching the Black Mirror episode I couldn’t help but think that having a time-stamp on the relationship would actually be rather refreshing. Of course, I have done these types of relationships before, gotten into things I knew would end because the other person was moving or what have you. It was never heartbreaking because the terms were clear from the start.

Most relationships do end; so is it so wrong to know when that end will happen? How does it change your mindset knowing? Could it not potentially allow you the opportunity to make the most of your time together, whether it’s a day or 5 years? Would you want to know if you could?

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What about when it comes to your “soulmate”? Could a computer ever have the capability to actually determine that? At some point, someone somewhere would have to confirm that the concept of the ‘soulmate’ indeed is true and exists and not only that, but it can be found essentially through math , and the finding can be easily done to make a profit.

Yet, by knowing, do we put up a wall, do we not put our whole hearts into relationships when we know that it doesn’t matter, that it will not last? And is that why people who are in love have to rebel because if they don’t, it’s not truly love?

As Tom Robbins says:
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

In the end, the security of love never exists, knowing that a computer thinks you’re right for each other doesn’t make it right, only you know, and only time can tell.

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Sex, Tinder, and More Than That

12 01 2018

On changing up my dating life patterns and getting something better than before

Since getting back on Tinder in October of this year, I’ve matched with over 300 people, had conversations with 30% of them, and gone out with maybe, maybe 10 different souls.

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It’s strange to me because 300 seems like a pretty big number and yet, I feel more disconnected than I ever have in my dating life. It’s as if the more people I match with the less likely I’ll find anyone of quality.

I know, I know, Tinder was created specifically for quantity. It’s designed so you want to keep coming back because someone hotter and funnier and smarter could be just a swipe away.

 

I get that we’re all throw-away people to each other now.

 

That we find ourselves rating our worth on the number of matches we have.

Yet, even though 300 people potentially would fuck me based off of a couple of photos, that doesn’t mean any of them would ever like being around me.

Like many people, I enjoy sex. I also have a higher sex drive than most people, men and women alike. It’s often not difficult to find someone willing to sleep with me. Yet, no matter how much I enjoy sex, one night stands, fucktoys, fuckboys, fuckgrrrls (is this a thing?), no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits–it’s all becoming rather tiring.

It’s time to go deeper with someone–not physically deeper–emotionally, spiritually deeper. It’s like we’re all afraid to actually get to know someone. We come with excuses that are worse than the ones that George and Jerry and Elaine always seemed to find. Hands are too small. Nose is too big. Beard is weird. He still eats Chef-Boyardee. She does this annoying popping thing with her toes. He texts too much. She doesn’t text enough. He sucks my nose when we’re making out. She pees a little when she sneezes. etc. etc.

 

But why the constant excuses? Is it fear? Is it FOMO? Is it actually justifiable and we should know they’re right from the beginning?

 

I’ve decided to slow down. To rid my expectations of other people. To attempt to learn something from everyone I meet. To stay curious and open to the exploration of other souls–and at the same time, my own.

 

The Tinder culture is addicting. It’s like junk food, it tastes delicious but it’s just a bunch of empty calories nothingness.

 

You keep wanting more but it’s not good for you. Instead of rotting your teeth though, it rots your soul. It makes you feel both wanted and rejected at the same time. It makes you think that the possibilities are endless and you should never settle. And of course you should never settle, but you should also not keep repeating a pattern that fails to live up to anything substantial or meaningful.

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I’m not sure if it’s a waste so much as a distraction. A tool that we use to keep ourselves occupied, to keep opportunity available, to see just how fuckable we are on a surface level. Because we all want the possibility of connection, even if it’s just for a night, but many people, whether we want to admit it out loud or not, many of us want something more, something with legs, something closer to longevity.

Maybe all it takes is putting down the phone and looking around, interacting with people in real life situations. It at least seems more fulfilling to talk to someone face to face, see if anything is there, and act upon it if there is, walk away (quickly) if there isn’t?

All I know (which isn’t much) is that I have to stop thinking Tinder is the answer. To be honest, I can barely even remember the question, but I think it has to do with how we uncover love in its long form.

My plan is to create new habits and knock off the bad patterns regardless of how long it takes or how hard it is because I want more–and I’m going to get it.





Cat Person, Fiction, & Thoughts on Likes and Love

11 12 2017

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Are we all each other’s stories?

The other day my friend sent me a link to a fiction story in the New Yorker called “Cat Person.”

I avoided reading it, mostly because it’s the New Yorker and that’s what I do every time I have a subscription to the magazine–ignore it week after week while the guilt from not opening them piles higher and higher.

Anyway, my friend bothered me about it again; he told me people were buzzing about it on the internets, so after a long sigh, and an even longer “fffinnnee,” I went ahead and went for it.

*Spoilers ahead*

This excruciatingly painful fictional tale is about a 20-year-old woman who goes on a date with a 30-ish old guy she meets at her job at a movie theater.

As I said to my friend, “It’s good, but in a cringe-worthy type of way.”

The author examines the internal dialogue of this woman, revealing many relatable thoughts we’ve all had while dating.

What’s most painful is that we see ourselves in her ( we see ourselves in him too, though we all seem much less likely to admit that considering how it ends) and the parts we see are the parts of ourselves we look back on later in life and wish we had trusted our instincts and intuitions.

What I think the author does so well through these characters is show how easy it is to create stories about who other people are in order for us to like them.

Hence the cringe. It’s not that it’s so much of a mismatched non-compatible interaction, it’s that we’ve all been in situations where we just really want the other person to be who we desire them to be instead of who they are.

In fact, what ripped my heart out while reading this was that just last night I cut it off with a guy for almost the exact same reason.

Not that he had been terrible in bed or called me a whore or anything, but that I had made-up a narrative in my head about who he was–and more importantly, who I was when I was with him–a story that was not even close to being accurate in reality.

I did it because I wanted so badly to like someone that I failed to pay attention to who that person really was, until it was too late.

The female character wants the guy to be so badly who he was in his flirty smart text messages that she starts reading him in ways to reassure herself that he those things in real life. Just because someone is smart and witty doesn’t mean they’re a good person.

It’s like with this guy I was dating, he told me he’d only disappoint me. He told me he was the worst. He told me he was a terrible person. And while he was doing it, I knew I should run away, I knew that people will always tell you who they are, and yet, I stuck around.

I made him prove it.

Is it because I’m a masochist? Is it because that even though I’ve learned over and over again that you can’t change a person, I still haven’t learned it enough?

I think it’s because we’re all addicted to liking someone and being liked in return. The chase, the dating, the sex, it all just comes down to us wanting to be wanted.

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How do we stop ourselves from filling in the blanks on questions we have about people before we get to know them? How do we stop ourselves from projecting things we want them to be when they’re clearly not those things? How do we rid ourselves of expectations particularly when there’s so much excitement when we meet someone new? Is it possible to not get swept up into the bubble of misrepresentation? Into the love-bubble? (or even the like-bubble?)

I don’t know. I haven’t figured anything out.

All I know is that I need to save my stories for my writing and quit making up fictions about people who will always tell me who they are, if I just ask and if I just listen.





5 Randoms: Mermaid Suicidal Panty Raid

3 04 2013

1.) Celibacy

The other day I met another guy who claims to be practicing celibacy. I’m beginning to wonder if this is a line guys use to get women they’re not attracted to, to not hit on them. I met a guy once who was celibate and yet perfectly okay with getting blow jobs (I still don’t get how this is considered being celibate). In actuality I looked up the definition and what these guys are really doing is practicing abstinence, as all of them have had sex before and are not doing it for religious purposes. Regardless, it’s their own choice and if they feel better for doing it, good for them. I could take a few pointers from them as I’ve realized that this past year I’ve been living a very id-based existence (and I don’t even like Freud) but it has been mostly a focus on basic needs and desires, food, sex, numbing of abstract thoughts through the imbibing of alcohol. Lack on concentration, motivation, dedication even though I have an absurd amount of talent and intelligence that I should be utilizing in a more profound way. If I gave up sex and food that would give me a lot of free time to spend on more “important,” activities, like writing and making money for rent etc.

2.) Mermaids

This woman quit her day job to do a reverse Ariel. Instead of becoming human and marrying a prince, she became a mermaid and married her own tail. Okay, the last part of that sentence is not true, but her tail did cost like $15,000, which she probably made back after appearing at a Hollywood party staring JT and his wifey. I quit my job selling dildos to sit in my apartment on a computer all day looking for my mermaid job. Wee! I guess it would help to know what my “mermaid” career would be and then I could swim toward it.

classic mermaid drawing

3.) Panties

I’ve been thinking about selling my used panties to perverts. They’ll even pay extra for poop smears! How great is that? Hahaha. It’s not a career, but it could help me buy the beer I shouldn’t be drinking.

4.) Suicidal E Coli

Sounds like a good band name or at least, a band name (not sure how good it is). I read an article on Discover News, which basically talked about living creatures from the smallest bacteria to humans who often kill themselves to save the lives of those with similar genetics around them. There should probably be another word for this because when I think of suicide I think of depressed people who cannot continue living, not ants who implode themselves to prevent intruders from fucking with their family. It seems brave to kill yourself to help your relatives, but weak to do it because you hate your life. I mean, my life needs a serious makeover and it would be a lie to pretend I haven’t hid under my sheets and pretended to be dead at times, but I think I would prefer to rescue my (hypothetical) child from a burning building than to put my head in an oven because I’m bored.

5. I almost posted this with only four randoms, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!! Pretty sure I need to have my brain re-wired. Is that possible? I’d pay someone like $20 to do it.





Marriage, Equality, and Sexy Poem Reading.

26 03 2013

1.) Am I the only one who notices it when people who have dated for awhile start to look like each other? They reflect each other’s mannerisms, often to the point of almost becoming that other person. I know this happens in friendships too. I read somewhere that you are most like the five people you’re closest to, which makes sense. The article suggests making sure those five people are positive influences, but surely it’s good to have at least one cynic?

2.) Looking out my window, I am like those spring flowers that just got pummeled by the snow. Bright, looking forward to the future, but slightly drooping, holding on for dear life.

3) I remember when my feminist friend decided to get married. Her argument was that by doing so, she and her partner could work on changing the institution from within. I hope that is what happens with marriage equality. I hope more relationship structures become accepted, and not necessarily just monogamous ones (regardless of gender).

marriage-equality

4) I have a job interview tomorrow! I haven’t had those generic interview-questions asked to me in so long–I can pull it off but it’s going to be an experience. It would help if it wasn’t so early in the morning, but at least I’ll get it out of the way and won’t have long to be nervous about it. I may very soon be putting books on shelves, woo!

5.) I was at the bar the other day and this woman came up to me and handed me a napkin, “here, I wrote you a poem,” she said.

“Somewhere there is a ___ of loving.

Where body is dismantled and

feeling takes hold.

What feeling takes on the special

feeling of desire

That feeling speaks louder than

words, or feelings, or thought,

Or sex, or love.

Let’s do what our bodies compel

Us to do.

For what is hot, is so fucking

Simple too.” ~Woman from the Bar

She should have put her number on the napkin, isn’t that standard?





The Sexiest Thing a Guy Can Do.

17 03 2013

(And it’s so easy!)

It’s not whispering sweet nothings in my ear, it’s not making 100K a year, it’s not being model fit with abs of steel, the sexiest thing a guy can do is make a decision.

I don’t think I’m alone with this desire either.

How many of us play this game:

via text messages, or phone conversations, or even just sitting around together. I know I have played it far too often and it usually ends with me getting annoyed and not wanting to go out at all anymore.

There are times when text messaging takes so long that I could have gone to the store, bought groceries, come back, cooked said groceries and eaten said food in the amount of time it took to figure out where we want to eat. It’s so not hot.

decisions

I understand that upon not really knowing another person well it may be more difficult because one does not know what the other person likes or where they would be good together, but please, if they like you and you like a place, there’s a big chance that they’re going to like that place too.

I just get so tired of the back and forth. Perhaps that’s why I went out with a dom for so long. He’d text me: let’s hang out. I’d say, okay. He’d say, I’ll pick you up at 8. And then we would go somewhere, no long submissive argument. And if I wanted to go somewhere specific, we’d go there, done.

Why is this so hard?

And why is this difficulty so common?

Does it actually come down to passiveness or is it the desire to please that makes these lack of decisions occur so often in our relations to other people?

I’m totally okay with picking something to do, but it should not always be one person deciding.

After doing this for years now, it’s beyond attractive to me now when people know what they want.

Decision making demonstrates a confidence that is very very sexy. We can worry about the sweet nothings, the 100K and the rock hard abs after we actually get somewhere together (and those traits will still not make a difference to me, but that’s another blog for another day).





It Doesn’t Take a Psychic to See the Future is Bright!

26 02 2013

It just takes me. . .

I wonder how many inspirational articles I’m going to have to read before I become inspired. It’s like every day I scroll through something like How to be At Peace and Find Happiness or Why Forgiving will Make You Less of an Asshole. But I’m still kind of an asshole. Obviously, this is a process. The most repetitive idea for change is visualizing what you want and working your way towards it until it manifests. Crazily enough this has worked for me, but only in relation to hot guys. Maybe because it’s easier for me to visualize a hot guy as opposed to me in a business suit. Gross. Who wants to wear business suits?

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Hot guys are easy to picture, the radiant smile, the “I’d only do laundry” on those abs, the monkey bar arms (those are bulging bicep arms that makes you want to swing from them). I can see those things in my brain. The humor, the charm, the romantic allure. Then I can simply go and look for those things via online dating or the grocery store or the bar, wherever.  When I find those qualities I can go and talk to said guy.

With my career it has not been that effortless. Maybe hot guys are easier to get because the time line is so different compared to a career. Men lack the intensity. The defining label a job gives. I can see one, I can get one and then it could be over in a day or a month or a year. But with a job there seems to be more of a commitment right off the bat. Like if I get it, it has to be “the one.”

There’s this deep-seated notion that we have to be loyal to a company that hires us so whenever we want to work for another company they will see that we have loyalty. But that’s bullshit. If a guy treats us like crap we break-up with him. If a company does the same we put up with it because they “pay” us. Because it might be difficult to “find something better.” We don’t accept that type of behavior in our social circles and we shouldn’t in our jobs.

When I visualize the perfect job it’s a job that gives me agency, that challenges me, that pushes me to make a positive impact on my surroundings—whether it’s just local changes or global. A place where I can be innovative, take risks, laugh.

Does this type of environment even exist or is this going to be another DIY project?

Either way, whether I end up doing it myself or finding a company that supports those qualities, that will be where I go next because that’s what I see and that’s what I want—even if it is more difficult to manifest. In a world where there are more single men than job openings I guess I should expect that. Time to go Old-School-Oprah and make one of those Vision Boards!

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