Infomercial Quarter Life Sex Tips!

July 16, 2010

I was up late one night and surfing television channels. I had no Netflix, the DVR was on the rag, the Red Box was empty and I was just so Facebooked out with the web. Ergo, I was bored. Well, I came across a late night home shopping channel. This particular infomercial segment was putting the wares up for sale with the usual call-ins, hand models, “if you call in the next fifteen minutes…” monologues, etc.

Only thing different was the items ranging from $9.99 to a whopper of $149.99 (you’ll get the whopper comment in a second)…were the full range of sex toys. Dildos, vibros, gels, condoms, butt plugs with enema pump included…oh my! And my favorite was the silver bullet. You insert it into some orifice and then whenever your boy or girlfriend cell calls said bullet…it goes off with a surprise vibration. I am not sure what Twittering it would do.

Now this was a classy show. Nothing pervy. I did not feel like I was going to get an extra line item on my pay per view cable bill or that I needed to wash my eyeballs or hands. What did make it a little creepy was the seemingly open, lack of any hint of embarrassment or recognition that their products…

“Oh yes Cathy. Now this particular piece is made our of imported Venetian glass and has those all important ball bearings for stimulation. And it is 100% dishwasher safe.”

I think that sums it up. So I got to thinking. Quarterlifers grew up around the Reagan 80’s of “Just say no” to the 90’s Nike “Just do it!” Now it is a free for all sexual wise, nothing is too taboo, nothing off limits, nothing you cannot blog, blab, view, catch, download, etc. But, no matter the times, the generation or the subject matter, some rules always apply. Especially with 1/4 lifer sexuality.

Here is what I got out of the television hosts, their items for sale, overall show, and how it relates to our Gen Y sexual lives.

1. First, they said it right off the bat. Make sure what ever you do can be washed off. Physically that is. Think antibacterial. But, some emotional stains can be harder to scrub out. Like when Greg used you as a starter girl at prom.

2. On the same point, always be dishwasher safe when it comes to sex. The safe sex laws still should be enforced. No glove equals no love…and if you are thinking long term relationship, everyone needs to put on their big girl and boy panties and get some blood tests.

3. Two for one is not always a bargain. Unless you are into that sort of thing.

4. It can be fun to shop around, but do not always impulse buy. I ended up getting a 3-pack Magic Wand kit with edible body crayons. Not sure why I thought this would make a good Christmas gift. Same thing applies sexually. What sounds like a good idea at the bar, in the back of the Celica, later in the apartment Jacuzzi, your balcony, roommates bed…is not the winning buyer’s dream you thought 12 tequila shots in.

5. Be careful what 1/4 life company you keep. Like the call-in buyers, partners in the boudoir who only come alive at 3:00 AM are alcoholics, unemployable or vampires.

6. Home, web, 1-8/900 shopping is a lot like surfing the internet for porn or just living a relationship through your Farmville. Get out…get a life…and get some. Healthy-wise that is.

7. Shop-a-holics are addicts. There is an emotional high that comes with purchasing items. Sure there are addictions for just about everything including sex, co-dependency, emotional bi-polar dramas, fears of commitment or abandonment. Don’t let any of those monkeys on your back.

8. Everything has a limit. Your credit card and your emotional life. Beware of shopper’s remorse in all phases of your quarter life.

9. There was this one item that had more special components, bells & whistles than a luxury German import sports car. I think it was actually manufactured by a division of Porsche. Anyhows. It came with vibro beads, 10-speed setting with turbo boost, had a heating element, was rechargeable and included a three prong attachment for multiple orifices. It lit up in four “hypno” colors as well. And the “hypno” was actually trademarked. Best of all was the sales ladies were harping on the fact the device did not use batteries. “Better for the environment, eco-friendly Cathy.” Okay…long story short. Life is complicated, sex is pretty simple when it comes down to it, relationships are both. The less add-ons the better.

10. Classic advice: There is a sucker born every minute. Can we say double entendre for shopping and sexual bargains.

Could I? Would I? Should We?

November 23, 2009

FWB – Friends with Benefits – You think it will not be awkward in the morning…but whew!

Roses are red

Violets are blue

With no questions about an “us”

You do me and I do you!

Relationships are complicated things. If not, we would have every friend we ever made, kept up our revenge lists, wouldn’t screen calls, alcohol would have no more use in society, Facebook would be an internet graveyard and the ultimate could come to pass…

That one could just be friends with the ability to boink like rabbits with no pressures about past, present and future consequences. Or as it is better known Friends with Benefits.

Questions abound regarding the infamous relationship concept. The obvious up side is the rush, thrill of openness, the so called apparent lack of strings attached. And to be perfectly clear, the so called benefit is sex. The benefits are NOT harmless flirting, sexting, dirty phone talk, teasing, casual skinny dipping, etc.

Here are the top three of those questions:

Could’ve? Would’ve? Should’ve?

Let us say you have a friend you really like maybe even horn dogging for? But, you are not into the whole relationship addition to your hectic quarterlife world. That’s cool; nothing wrong with that. But, could you approach this person with the idea of taking it all the way without taking the two of you all the way to something more emotional, or causing some irreversible change in the relationship? Would you and your friend be able to handle the lack of commitment, muster the sensitive detachment and be able to give and take without any other feelings but friendship?

Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today, states, “The thing about friends with benefits is that, often, only one person gets all the benefits.”

With that in mind, final question: should you go through with benefiting…what will the next morning be like? What will your relationship turn into? Will there be more, deeper questions about you, him or her and if what you shared really matters?

FWB right or wrong? Up to you and your partner. Quarterlifers are in a time of their lives where defining their selves; what they want from others is paramount to future growth and happiness. Relationships are an integral part of life. How far and what you need from them is something you have to decide for yourself.

Remember! Could I? Would I? Should We?

Twenty-something Twi-hard

November 17, 2009

I’m about to divulge something terribly embarrassing. Not only have I read all the Twilight books, I’ve read them twice and enjoyed them thoroughly. It’s one thing to love Harry Potter. There is literary validity to JK Rowling’s work- she’s a good writer who knows how to tell a good story. Stephenie Meyer, on the other hand, weaves a story about an obsessive teenage girl and her creepy stalker immortal vampire boyfriend. It’s not good writing, and its not particularly a good story. But I read them, and come Thursday, November 20, 2009 at Midnight, I’ll be sitting next to many teenagers and twenty-somethings watching the second installment of the Twilight movies.

I’m not proud, but I’ve come to terms with being a Twi-hard. It all started because I needed something to read while I waited for Harry Potter 7 to come out. My true addiction- I needed something to quell the years of waiting to find out how the ultimate battle between good and evil would end. So a friend recommended Twilight. It sounded innocent. Vampires, teenagers, werewolves…what could be the harm? Four books later and I curse myself for ever starting.

When I was a teenager, I read everything Anne Rice ever wrote. Between 1984 and The Scarlet Letter I managed to become obsessed with the lives of Louis, Lestat, Claudia, Vittorio, Memnoch (the Devil), Armand…well you get the picture. For a teenage girl who is awkward, a little socially inept, and who may or may not have had her heart crushed by mortal boys, there is something enticing about a boy who is in to only you, and will be for centuries. I like to think that I’ve matured since then. I know a lot more about who I am and about myself in relationships. So now that I no longer lust for the beautiful sparkly boy who never ages and thirsts for my blood- why would a twenty-something woman like Twilight?

There are plenty of things about the books (and soon the movies) that I don’t like. I think that the dynamics between the relationships are based on huge imbalances of power. I don’t believe in the instant insanity love that these kinds of books profess and think that promoting that can be harmful. I don’t believe in giving money to the Mormons- which is what you end up doing when you purchase Meyer’s books. What the books DO do for me is remind me of how far I’ve come.

Bella, the main character of the series, is fairly average, despite having a vampire for a boyfriend and a werewolf for a best friend (Team Jacob people- you’ll never get your way and you know it). But as stupid and creepy as the sparkly boy standing over her bed can be, Bella’s thoughts are truly those of a 17 year old girl. Obsessive at times, and ridiculous at others I saw my teenage self in her.

Book 2, New Moon, is the best of the series in representing her pre-quarterlife pain. I’ve fought with the other Twi-hards about the validity of book two (no mocking allowed if you’ve ever had a conversation in Klingon, debated Spiderman v. Superman, or analyzed the psychological development of the Alien creature from movie 1 to 4). But, it was in book 2 that I really got hooked. Stephenie Meyer steps out of her fanfic storytelling to get straight to the gut pain of what it is to be a teenage girl. Granted, her pain is over a boy- like most teenage drama- but it is no less real. That pain, the crippling, earth shattering, paralyzing pain of loss hit me at time in my quarterlife when I was feeling many of the same emotions as Bella.

Being in the middle of my job search, I certainly feel some of that pain resurface at times. Part of the terror of a quarterlife crisis is feeling like you’re taking a step backwards. Feeling those out of control moments can bring back memories of fighting with your parents, the stress of calculus, or a significant other who broke your heart.

No matter how much pain your twenties brings- it is never the same as actually being in your teens. There are joys that come in your twenties that you can’t imagine in high school. There are pains that are so much more complex, but that also come from having greater, wider experiences.

I like Twilight because I can remember what it was like to be that girl while recognizing that I am not her. Going through a quarterlife crisis is certainly a struggle, but could never be as stupid and painful as being a teenage girl with a sparkly stalker boyfriend who can’t grow facial hair.

A Confusing Quarter Life Crisis: Generational Pass Up.

August 6, 2009

Today was super confusing. I had a non traditional student come into my office today with a roommate issue. By that I mean she was a twenty three year old graduate student, with an internship at our student union department, lived on campus and was an international student from Switzerland. I believe quarter life starts differently and at widely varying times in a young person’s life. By the math, this young lady was definitely in the ¼ category and thus fair game for me to comment on. But, it was the uber Millennial aspects of her personality which made me think I was seeing the next wave of quarter lifers, the next generation, that I might be heading quickly into a new demographic category and no one has come up with a new name for these kids punching out of our grand matriculating college apparatus.

But at the beginning of the meeting, no big whoop. Just another cog in the diverse student body machine of campus. And probably her roomie issue was going to be in the well worn categories of bills, lifestyles, behavior conflicts, levels of slobby or INFP personality types from the Myers Briggs tests.

I was happily wrong, but terribly perplexed after our discussion and my attempts to help her with her unique situation. It left me wondering, pondering many questions about life, good versus evil, is there a God, and is there already a generation gap, stimulus packages and how I could somehow flesh out a small off Broadway script from our hour long meeting.

And hopefully by blogging this out, I might help you the reader. And I might contribute in some small way to the betterment of mankind and finally to remove the nagging mental tumor of our encounter from a rapidly degrading mental state of my professional and personal mind.

So here we go.

Well, my appointment did eventually make it in, wet hair and frumpled clothes not withstanding on her sleep deprived, unkempt, inked up, iPod budded ears and some sort of Asiatic language tattoo print on her nicotine stained left finger. As I like to ice breaker as soon as I can, and just got the ear phones ejected from her ears, I asked about the finger tattoo. She told me it was tribal.

Oh, I love that one. I get this tribal thing all the time. Your last name is Johnson sweetie and the last tribe you were in was sometime around 200 AD in some Anglo-Saxon wave into Britain. Plus it is in Japanese and was probably inked by a Honduran guy who could not even speak English. But, in her defense I was also told it meant peace in mind. I took it’s garbled print’s advice and Zen’d myself for the issues ahead.

Okay, outside of her apparent trust in late night body painting, her reason for visiting me. This one was about a relationship problem with the roomie and the infamous third roommate or in other words, the shacking boyfriend.

Here is the simple exchange.

“Cathy, thanks for coming in. I hope we can help ya out. Tell me what’s going on.”

“My roommate and I are not speaking because of a big argument over my boy friend sleeping over some nights during the week. It’s not like we’re bugging her. We’re quiet and he is usually gone before she even wakes up. Her big hang up is like that my guy…ummm, like we’re sleeping together…she thinks, like I am a whore. I mean like I’m a good girl, I don’t sleep a around. She and I are even in College Sister’s for Christ and she is like, ummm spreading around rumors that I am not a virgin. I am.”

Okay. Me likey this. Sounds interesting. Sounds like a few standard responses of diversity, respect, a counseling appointment, maybe some mediation or in the end a new roommate assignment might be in order. Been down this track many a time. I could handle this.

Then she hit me. “I am still a virgin. My boyfriend and I only have anal sex because we are saving each other for marriage.

My mind did a needle scrape across the cliché record. “Anal sex?” I was barely listening to her story which was the same one I had heard a thousand times before in the roommate genre, but when the term anal came up, followed by sex…and when put in conjunction with the fact that his little coed still believed she was a virgin. Wow!

She began to boo hoo a bit and I handed her a tissue from our large supply of boxes of Kleenex. From there out, I did not recall much of what she said, but I doled out some advice about respecting privacy and belief structures. Then there was the standard comfort zone speech. I am pretty sure she got the drift that if you want peace in your abode, you have to have it with your partner and for now she lives with one person and that’s the gal you need to make happy. If you need to shack…stay at the boyfriend’s. Not sure I helped. Not sure I could.

The main thing I wanted to concentrate on after she left was a puzzling question. Anal sex = virginity? Somehow this fellow of hers had the creative salesmanship to be able to convince her that taking one up the butt was still considered non-sex. What a slick willy…no pun intended. This guy could possibly run for President some day. Absolutely, fascinating.

What I am getting at here is the idea, we might be seeing the defining aspect of the next generation. That the quarter lifers are coming to a new era. That those of us in such, might be leaving early into a thirties-something era not by right of age, but by the difference of behavior and belief. I think the chief word for the new twenty-somethings is gullibility.

The new ladies and gents coming out and up will do anything, fall for anything and never have any idea as to why they did it, what cause they did or did not support, what they believe in and why so?

Maybe I am just bitching here, but wow. I am certainly not old enough to be griping about young people, to be shaking my fist and chatting about the good ol days, but be on the look out. These kids are coming and you might just see your quarter lifer personality acting more like your parents way sooner than you thought.

Marriage: A Team To Play On When Ready

June 4, 2008

Similar to Quarterlives author David Morgan, I check the box for married on all tax and patient history forms. I have been married since September 2005, and recently have been blessed with the birth of my first child. To date, my marriage has been terrific.

I have known my wife for over 6.5 years. When we first started dating in July 2001, I had no intent of tying the knot, nor did I suspect that she would “be the one.” It was not until three years later that I gave marriage a thought. And my first thought about it was not positive.

[Read more]

21st Century Digital Dating

March 3, 2008

It’s been two days…should I call her? Our dinner went pretty well. There weren’t any first-date awkward moments or slip-ups. I didn’t say anything offensive about her tacky giant glitter belt. I smelled good. She smiled enough. Maybe I should text her – it’s much less intrusive than a call. But maybe she’ll think that’s too unobtrusive. She said she has a lot of military friends. I don’t think I like that. She was cute but really close to having a uni-brow…I wonder if she caught me staring. She must have caught me staring at her boobs they were as explicit as our waiters haughty attitude. I guess I could email her. I don’t know that seems a little informal, (Please fill out this survey if you would like a second date. Questions 5 – 20 involve the topic of sex. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP Questions 5 – 20!!) That’s ridiculous. There are way too many options here. Damn it! I’ll just call her. [Read more]

Surfing For Love On The Net

February 23, 2008

Surfing For LoveIt all started shortly after college. I was working a soulless “Office Space” job creating 3D bombing trainers for the military. You know, the type of job that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside about your contribution to the world. I had lived in the same general 100 mile vicinity for my entire 23 years of existence. The days of playing Mario Kart all night long while sharing drinks with good friends were becoming few and far between. I was trying so hard not to let the college days slip out of my grasp, but they were already gone. The only responses I received from companies I sent my resume and demo reels to were rejection letters. My last serious girlfriend was nearly 5 years prior and any date since then had been a joke. Maybe it’s because my idea of a good first date was taking them surfing in Florida hurricane swell, rock climbing or to a hard rock concert. The way I saw it, if they couldn’t deal with a little extreme sport action, the outdoors and a good rock concert, we ultimately were not going to get along.

What happened to all of my hopes and dreams? Was the past year an indication of what the rest of my life would become? A lonely one track path through the halls of corporate misery… [Read more]

Marriage: Is It For You?

February 22, 2008

Is It For You?A couple of weeks ago, I attended my cousin’s wedding. Normally, I could care less about weddings, but it was my Italian cousin getting hitched. And every time I get invited to an Italian wedding, I check that “Will Attend” box faster than an overweight ninja on a buffet line. Why?

Because at Italian weddings, you know the food is going to be nothing short of orgasmic. And let’s not forget the plentiful booze.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t reduce such events to superficial elements. Weddings are about two people acknowledging their love and dedication to each other for the rest of their lives. It’s a ceremony of beauty and –

Who the hell am I kidding? 50% of these marriages go down the toilet, so obviously these fools that decide to tie the knot aren’t really THAT committed. Just because they had a delusional fit and buy into this “sanctity” bullshit doesn’t mean I should as well. If you’re dumb enough to get married and pay thousands [Read more]

Love Is in The Crapper

February 20, 2008

Heart in ToiletEvery few weeks at my school I encounter a publication that continually changes my life. Whether that is for the better or not has yet to be determined. The counseling center has deemed that the best way to disseminate advice is in the public restroom. Not just in the restroom, but taped to the back of the stall door. They figure they have your attention for a few moments, they might as well inform you at the same time.

Past issues of the “Potty Papers” (their title, not mine) have concentrated on how to study for finals, eating disorder awareness, and giving. This month I was wished a Happy Valentine’s Day with the following Potty Paper message: [Read more]

Holy Croatian Wedlock Batman!

February 20, 2008

Croatian GroomI think it’s going to be an April wedding– mostly because he needs an apartment after this semester. Wait, wait…let me back up.

I started my official graduate classes this January after a long, boring onslaught of prerequisite undergrad catching up. Apparently, my school follows the grand grad student tradition of being a magnet for international students seeking a higher education. With the influx of euro-hotties, the possibilities for entrepreneurial advancement are immense.

Enter Croatian boy– Tall, skinny, and disarmingly euro (or gay, but I’m going with Euro). His glasses aren’t available in the states and his shoes have seaming on them you can only find abroad. He also is experiencing the unfortunate disadvantages of not having a social security number. Try to get a cell phone, buy a car, or rent an apartment without a SSN and you have to do some major finagling. At least once a week he asks me how he applies for a social security number, to which I often reply, “You can’t, until we get married.” [Read more]