Thoughts on the book Sleeping Beauties

15 02 2018

sleeping_beauties

Concepts from the book Sleeping Beauties reviewed

*Spoilers Ahead*
I spent the last ten days of my life reading Steven King and Owen King’s co-authored book Sleeping Beauties, all 700 pages. As someone who has read all 700 pages I’ll let you know right now that you could skip from about 530 to 650 and be just fine.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. Women fall asleep and as they sleep a cocoon wraps around them, if any dude tries to cut the cocoon off, the women violently attack them. Men freak out. Basically fuck up the planet even more. While the women sleep, they’re transported to a different world where they can start the whole thing over from scratch.

The men battle over the one woman who has all these magic powers and can wake back up after falling asleep. If they choose the right course of action, the women in the other world have the chance to vote on whether or not they want to come back to the world of men or start anew.

Okay, maybe the premise isn’t that simple.

But I must say I was quite disappointed by the end of the book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe because I have no husband or sons but I found it rather odd that every woman chose to go back to the land of men. There wasn’t one woman in the entire new world that wanted to argue to stay, wanted to make a new world that had less violence and pain in it. I get that the authors were trying to show that women as a whole have more empathy, patience, strength. I get that a child-less woman would understand why another woman would want to go back to a world where her male children were.

Yet, women are also known to make sacrifices for the greater good. One could argue that the greater good of the planet would be to start over fresh. It was strange that not one woman would at least bring up the option. It was almost as if the authors got tired by the end of it and gave up.

What if women had to start over without men?

Would new patterns of behavior emerge? Would old ones quickly return? Is this a nature v. nurture debate? This was almost a Herland in reverse, where there once was an island of only women, then men came along and ruined everything.

It’s mostly annoying though, that there is still so much of a divide. Like, do we really need to pit women against men? Can’t traits like empathy, confidence, assertiveness, be traits on their own without assuming they’re gendered? Can we imagine a future where people are generally decent regardless of their sex? I know that’s a hard one.

It was an interesting concept for these authors to take on, considering. Of course it’s a trendy topic, but at least it’s finally trending. It’s good to get people thinking about these ideas who maybe have never before, though admittedly, 700 pages was a bit much, particularly for such an anti-climatic ending.

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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?

black_mirror_match_hang_the_dj

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.





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.

Love_Sex_Tinder

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.

tinder_junk_in_and_out

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.





Having a Fling Doesn’t Have to End a Relationship.

18 11 2013

The other night I decided since I didn’t have a Netflix tv obsession at the moment that I was going to instead sit through an entire movie. The movie I chose was called Fling. I picked it because it was about a couple in an open relationship. I thought it would be interesting to see how they worked through these ideas via a mainstream outlet. It was pretty typical in that the monogamy-culture won in the end.

But what really struck me odd was the way in which they proceeded to carry out this open relationship. It was unrealistic to say the least. They had established no boundaries in their non-monogamy, choosing to flirt, go home with, make-out with other people within each other’s presence. Now, there are very few people in the world who could handle doing this at the rate in which this couple did. Like they would go out together and then each other’s flings would show up at the same space and they didn’t think there would be drama or tension or awkwardness. And if there was awkwardness it wasn’t something the main couple were capable of admitting was happening between the two of them.

fling

What tore the couple apart was not the non-monogamy though. It was only after they started keeping secrets, lying, not communicating, that their relationship started to unravel. And they weren’t just lying to each other but to everyone close to them. The main guy started sleeping with his best friend’s sister and neglected to tell him. The best friend flipped and it was hard to determine if it was because he thought his sister deserved better or that he felt he was being deceived. In any case, it could have been not nearly dramatic if they were all just upfront from the beginning about everything–because if you love your sister and you love your best friend–why would it be a big deal if they loved each other too?

Some may say the main partnership always had problems and the two involved in the open-relationship were doing it because they didn’t want to be alone and were only with each other until something better came along. Because they blatantly loved each other I don’t think that’s a strong argument, but perhaps what happened is that they loved each other, but were no longer “in love” with each other.

It felt that they just threw themselves into an open-relationship without much thought as to how it should or could actually function properly. It initially worked when they were being truthful about everything and weren’t making any intense connections with other people. It was when other connections became stronger and they didn’t know how to balance all of the different emotions and issues within each coupling that it all seemed to fall apart.

I was left feeling torn because in a way it did show how an open-relationship doesn’t work and that could be just as beneficial for making sure that doesn’t happen within one’s own open-relationship, but at the same time it pushed monogamy, making their relationship seem perverted and not as serious or meaningful as it could be, which is bullshit.

The things that go wrong in relationships, whether monogamous or other, are generally the same. People fall out of love for whatever reasons and instead of ending it because they’re too scared or too comfortable they end up being dishonest, deceitful and they fail at communicating what’s going on with them.

In the end, I’d say it was an okay story, but it would be nice to see more movies or tv shows where non-monogamy (polyamory, open-relationships, etc.) works in a positive healthy way, but I suppose it takes people in them to start telling their stories and perhaps when it’s positive and healthy it’s actually pretty boring and no one really cares.





OKC Broadcast Dating Story Disasters.

12 11 2013

So, OK Cupid added this thing where you can “set your broadcast,” which is basically like a facebook status for dates. People use it to make plans within a two-hour time span. As a person with an adventurous spontaneous mentality I have on occasion tested this, sometimes for fun, when I need a few good posts for Aimless, sometimes when I am actually looking for someone to hangout with because all my “friends” are too busy for me.

jack ass

Story 1: No Confirmation

The first time I ever met anyone from a broadcast I put exactly where I was going to be, which, by the way, is a big mistake. I ended up meeting this guy at a bar near me; he was visiting from out of town and we had great conversation about writing, technology, beer etc. This was not like a date or a sexual thing, just two people enjoying life. Eventually it was bar close and it started clearing out. I guess I had seen the guy from the corner of my eye earlier, but randomly this 40ish tall skinny beaten-down looking ginger came up and started talking to us. Like he wouldn’t stop talking to us. He was drunk. Eventually we got out of there; I looked at my phone and he had sent me multiple messages, messages to the point of them feeling stalker-ish. It was weird because generally, at least in my opinion, you wouldn’t go to a place to meet someone unless the other person confirmed that they were indeed in desire of meeting you.

Story 2: Wiped Out.

Another time I had an extra ticket to a movie and I didn’t want to go alone because it looked like it was going to be intense. The movie was indeed intense, there was a lot of murdering and blood and dungeons and overall weirdness, to the point where I felt like I was going to vomit. But I didn’t.

No, I didn’t.

I got this guy into the movie with me, a ticket that would normally cost $13. I bought us a round at the theater. We then ended up at a bar after where we proceeded to get into this ugly argument about gender. Trust that it’s very difficult to win an argument with me about gender, though it’s a subject I thoroughly enjoy engaging in with people regardless of their knowledge or lack there of. Even though we were arguing he’d slip in stuff about going back to my place and wanting to kiss me etc. which I deflected because I was in no way interested.

In any case, I was slightly buzzed and he seemed to have suddenly gotten drunk drunk out of nowhere. I was talking about something, he took a drink of his beer and then out of nowhere spit it up all over me, like the beer projectiled across the table spraying me all across the front of my body. I stared at him in shock for a moment. Then I stared at him in complete annoyance.

“Dude. Aren’t you going to try to, I don’t know, wipe this off of me?” I said.

He just keeps looking down at the table shaking his head, “I can’t.” he replied.

I grabbed napkins from the bar and cleaned myself off.

“Well, I think it’s time for me to go.” I said.

Then he looks at me confused. “Aren’t you going to pay for your beer?”

By this point I was appalled. “Dude. I watched you the entire time while you ordered and they ran your card.”

“Oh. Oh, I don’t remember that.” He said.

I couldn’t handle the situation anymore. So I told him to deal with it; I thanked him for spitting up all over me and I left.

Later I got an apology text from him for being “rude,” but, yeah, that did nothing to help the rudeness at the time.

So. I think perhaps, it’s time to retire the broadcast idea, it’s probably time to retire OKC in general, but that’s a different story.





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?





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?

hillary

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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