I’m Too Sexy for My Yoga?

7 02 2018

The Rise of Vanity Yoga

vanity_yoga1
Though it’s a common occurrence amongst most people in the digital age to fall into what’s known as an ‘internet hole,’ generally the hole is something like cute animal videos or makeup tutorials, which sure, I’ve tripped over those holes a few times myself; I never thought I’d fall into a sexy-person-doing-yoga-at-home-in-a-leotard hole.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened to me the other day. I ended up on Instagram where I watched video after video of these model-looking women do all sorts of inversions: handstands, headstands, forearm stands, with their flexy legs going up and down and around, every single one with their butt hanging out of their outfit, all with this bronzy golden skin, long hair flowing like a waterfall, all seemingly having dancer-esque bodies.

And to be honest, I’ve been confused ever since.

Perhaps, the better word is conflicted.

On the one hand, these women have worked really hard to be strong and flexible. It’s probably been a challenge to become confident in their own bodies, confident in who they are as people, and it takes courage to reveal one’s nearly naked self on the internet. I also understand that many of them probably think it’s the best way to prove they are in proper form. And sure, when I see them I might feel a tinge of envy that they can do some of these power poses better than me.

They are indeed badass, and at times it can feel motivating in an “I want to do that someday” type of way.

But then, on the other hand, something feels icky about the whole thing. I’m going to call the whole scene Vanity Yoga. Because I don’t see how scissoring your legs back and forth while upside down wearing a shiny thong leotard has much in common with actual yoga besides the person’s ability to get in the pose. I mean, a person can make a basketball shot and not be a basketball player.

vanity_yoga2

Maybe I just don’t get it. I’m curious as to what the underlying motivation of this Vanity Yoga scene is all about. Is it to actually motivate other people? Is it to show off their butts? Is it to prove that they’re better than everyone else? Is it to try to get more people to do yoga because beautiful people clearly do yoga? Is it just for fun? Is it to prove to themselves and others that they can get into these poses? Is it to boost their self-esteem by getting a bunch of ‘likes’ from friends and strangers?

I’m sure it’s some sort of combination of the above (and other factors I haven’t thought of).

I mean, I myself put up a pic when I finally was able to get into full lotus after 20+ years of trying because I was excited (and maybe sort of stuck like that for longer than I wanted to be), so I get it, in a way.

Admittedly the issue might be the near nudity. I’m not puritanical, I like to think of myself as sex-positive and yet it’s weird to sexualize yoga. And maybe that’s not the intention, perhaps it’s just because they’re women and women are almost always automatically sexualized, yet, most women know they’re almost always automatically sexualized… so how can women reveal their progression or show off their accomplishments without objectifying themselves? Maybe they can’t? Maybe that’s what they want to do and who am I to judge?

Yet, the word yoga derives from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to yoke or bind, and many practitioners interpret as ‘union.’ That union is the union of breath with the mind, body, and spirit.

So, does Vanity Yoga create this union?

Or is it really just vanity for vanity’s sake?

I’m still trying to figure it all out, but for now, I’ll return back to the internet and try to fall down a different hole.

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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.





Missed Love Connections

3 05 2013

I read the craigslist missed connection quite a bit, like every day, because I find them entertaining. I’ve been doing it for about two years now and only once has one been for me, but I suppose that’s pretty good. I’ve found quite a few about friends and/or people I know though and that’s always a joy. The thing that I’m curious about today though is the concept of “being a good match.” For example in missed connections and online dating people use the phrase, “I think we’d be a good match,” like all the time, and I don’t get it.

dogs love

What makes you think upon barely, if perhaps not even, meeting a person that you’ll be good together? And what gives you the audacity to make that assumption out loud?

When I read these posts I think:

1. I don’t understand this kind of passion.

2. I will never experience this kind of passion.

3. Am I too smart to feel love?

4. Or am I too stupid?

5.Is wanting something better than having it?

6. Can the desire to have actually be more desirable than the literal holding?

I’m back in Kansas and all around me people are getting engaged, people are getting married, people are squirting out kids and when I mentioned this one particular engagement to my friend, of this specific—not very attractive in any sort of way person I went to high school with—she was like, you don’t even want that so what’s the problem?

The problem isn’t that I don’t want it. Because she’s right, I don’t necessarily want to get married or have kids, like ever, the problem is that these people at least have a basic understanding of how to love another person. Or so it seems. I don’t know the real reasoning behind their union, but I assume it’s out of some sort of desire for companionship.

Sex is easy. At least it’s easy right now as a mildly attractive, not quite old yet woman. But one day it won’t be. And honestly sex, though pleasurable, isn’t sustainable with a person when there isn’t more of a connection than that. Perhaps the problem is that I desire a sustainable connection but have no way of knowing how to get it. It could be that in regards to long-term commitment I still hold onto ideals. I am aware at this point that there is not a perfect soul mate out there and that any sort of continual thing will require work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to feel that sort of lustlovepassiondesire for someone that I think other people feel towards each other.

Connections with me can never be missed because I do not allow for the connections to happen. There is a separation between who I am and what I feel. I feel things, yes, but there is a barrier that doesn’t let those feelings in all of the way, a protective insulation so to speak that keeps me safe, that keeps me functioning—at the basic level of functioning.

I see something and I think, goddess, I’ve really fucked up my life.

But not fucked-up enough to like be committed or want to kill myself (most of the time), just fucked up to the point where I don’t feel quite human.

Like, I feel everyone else gets it and I don’t.

I know I need to stop comparing. But isn’t that what humans do?

I think I’m thinking about it too much.

When I stop, it will all come together. That’s the rumor going around anyway. . .





Contracting Love.

17 10 2012

For a minute there I thought I might have maxed out on guys and dating. I hit a dry spell. But no need to worry, I’m back in the game.

So okay, I got back on ok cupid; do not be alarmed, though shit is about to get cray. Oh yes I just wrote “cray” in a blog, I may indeed need mental medical attention. Anyhoo, I wrote an update on my profile about specifically looking for a 3-month-max friend with benefits. A relationship contract, so to speak. And guess who was the most interested in this. You got it, a lawyer.

We met last night to discuss the matter. And there is something very appealing about getting into a commitment with a known ending, particularly prior to anything really starting. It’s nice because I feel like it will give me more opportunity to get to know someone without feeling the pressure of “making it work” as something long term. He can have quirks that I don’t necessarily find charming because I know I don’t have to put up with those quirks FOREVER. Or potentially forever. Or however/whatever makes people stop seeing other people: weird toenails, a penchant for eating with one’s mouth open, an obsession with AC/DC etc. etc.

So. Yeah. We talked about it. We’re going to have a “trail period” or a “test drive,” whatever you want to call it. See if we could even like each other for three months. And if we do we’re literally going to sign something and get this FWB thing going.

Contractually, I was thinking 1 to 2 hanging-outs per week, which would include netflix watching, bar drinking, sex, shows, lengthy philosophical discussions.  Then when the time is up, we can either renew (which we won’t) or end it amicably. Even if shit gets cray and it doesn’t end up ending amicably I think this is a good experiment. It could essentially change the way our generation does relationships. Or at least how some of us do them.

Anything you think I should include in this contract?





Dear Charlie: Fuck You.

10 05 2012

But Now I’m a Little More Fit. So, Ha!

I was awoken at 6 o’clock this morning by the ripping excruciating pain of a Charlie Horse throbbing in my leg.

So I did the most illogical thing I could think of.

I went for a run.

I actually think my act of defiance worked. It was a better decision then staying in bed and having another one. Also, it gave me some “me time” before going to work for eight hours, which is where I probably established the beginning workings of said cramp. Standing on concrete every day for eight hours will do that.

Plus, now I got my healthy stuff done for the day, I worked out, I meditated, I drank a smoothie with spinach in it and everything (sorry for the noise Emily). If life is about balance I wonder how I’m going to fuck all that up tonight. I did rent a Star Trek porn, so it will probably be that and some Jameson. Real classy.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a guy.

Not a man.

I feel like I was born into the right body and all that. But lately my masculine traits have been featured more in my day to day life. Am I transforming into a bro? For the love of the goddess help me.

Back to running. The thing is I like running, particularly in the morning, but I don’t like waking up in the morning. So there’s a problem there. I wish I could wake up every morning and run like super awesome healthy people do, and I know I COULD but sleeping is just so wonderful. I have motivation now. Sex.

Woah! woah! woah! You scream, “I thought this was MANLESS MAY!?!?!”

Don’t get your boxers in a bunch buddy.

It is.

But soon May will be over. And what better time then now, while I’m man-free to get sexy?

And by sexy, I mean sexier. And by sexier I mean improved endurance and definition.

Now, I know, there’s a lot of  people in my circle of people who discuss the concepts of body-image and media’s distorted portrayal, I can buy that argument–I mean it’s pretty obvious. But also, every individual has their own standards at which they feel attractive. Exercising gives me energy, which is the number one important thing to me.

And I’d like to be completely honest here, I don’t feel comfortable when I gain weight. It’s been a long time since it’s happened, like maybe when I was still just a vegetarian who drank too much beer, but if I put on too much fat on my hips it literally hurts. It’s not something I can get used to. Ever.  Everyone has their own level of comfort, their own level of standards for what makes them feel and look good.

So yeah, now that I’m done with that tangent, I ran today not just to defy Charlie and his stupid horse in my leg, but because I have a couple of mini-crushes and it’s good to always be prepared. One never knows where a crush may lead. . . (except in Man-less May, it’s pretty obvious it’s at least going to lead into June.)





All Day I Dream About. . . ?

11 04 2012

Sex?

*cough*. . .

Today’s white trash moment brought to you by Korn:

I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Perhaps it really does come down to hormones. Maybe my testosterone is through the roof. Maybe I should go see a doctor. But lately I’ve been approaching life in a very stereotypical “manly” sort of way. I have in fact been spending way too much time thinking about sex. Dating my way through Denver. Working at the sex toy store, wanting to just get off and go take a nap (though this rarely happens hence the white trash Korn moment).

I know I need a new hobby.

I just haven’t gotten around to figuring out what I want it to be.

And even hobbies seem like too much commitment.

So.

Perhaps I just need to accept the fact that I’m in an in-between right now and not feel guilty about it. Just keep on fucking around for a couple more months until I feel better. More stable. Until I’ve sampled enough different things to know the true direction I want to head.

Or maybe there will never be a “true” direction and I just need to learn to accept that–perhaps it will take that much time to accept. And then I will know. What is knowing anyway?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. (My phrase for the year.)

Does anyone?

(Also, white trash moments… Monday: Drank PBR under a bush. Tuesday: bought a bunch of 30% easter candy and ate a F ton of it.)

(Good advice, though doesn’t really help me find a new hobby–unless I want to start doing crack or something.)