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Screwing Equality

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments


“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car right now, just to show you that you are mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls. “Now let’s get you inside and naked.” – 50 Shades of Grey

I grew up in a time where women and men had equal rights. Being sexist was an old-world concept. Men didn’t own woman, and women could do whatever they wanted. The Handmaids Tale was just a scary piece of fiction. And I took every opportunity to move this concept forward. Separate boy and girl lines bothered me so much in elementary school I’d give my teachers a headache by constantly lining up in the boy’s line to prove some point, until they finally sent me to the principal’s office. I grabbed my education, career, and sexuality by the horns, and made it a vow never to have to rely on a man for anything—not even my orgasms.

It took me reaching my late twenties to recognize there was a charm and purpose to being a woman. That it wasn’t necessary to always go out of your way to be like a man. And now, six years deep into my marriage, I recognize it even more. Whether we like to admit it or not, it is a turn on to feel like you belong to someone; and I use the term “belong” in its loosest configuration because I still believe we all need several independent bones in our bodies to make it through the trials of life. But this excerpt out of 50 Shades of Grey struck a primal chord within me, which could be one of the reasons the book has become so popular. Women, given the difficult task of propagating the human species, have naturally relied on the concept of a “provider” for centuries; it is in our DNA to want someone to take the reigns, especially while we are in our most vulnerable state. It is not always necessary, or in our best interest, to fight for equality with the opposite sex, if for no other reason than there being something very sexually satisfying about letting the opposite sex take complete control of you. At least for a few hours of foreplay. As much as we all want equal pay, we also want a man to be able to take our bodies in a way that makes us feel like we don’t ever want to belong to anyone else.

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments

photo: Roxanne Jasmine

The new guy you’re seeing is hotter than hell. Every ounce of his being drips sex, and though that alone is enough to warrant another week of dating, he’s a gentleman to boot (sound like someone familiar in Hannah’s world?). He opens the car door, always brings the condoms, and has cleared out a spot for your toiletries on his bathroom counter… it’s only proper fuck-friend etiquette.

But, after a few weeks of Friday night booty calls, he communicates that he wants to see you… more. “Well, who wouldn’t?” you think. So you step it up to thrice a week. Only, he doesn’t want the usual drop-in-and-drop-your-panties deal.

He wants dinner, movies, Law and Order marathons in your PJ’s. He wants mid-day phone calls “just to hear your voice.” He wants your accompaniment to his brother’s wedding. He wants to make weekend plans to visit his parents in Santa Barbara. And before you can fill the tank for the drive home, he wants your response to: “I love you.”

Shit. Now all of a sudden, you’re forced to flash-forward far into your future. Returning the sentiment doesn’t simply confirm dinner for next week—it signs a permission slip for a whole lot of animosity toward you, if you don’t deliver every punch the phrase packs.
So, is this a deal-breaker? 83% of you that responded to the poll on Sex, Life, & Hannah say “yes”. I say, it warrants a little more investigation. Especially if you’re a feeling a connection…to that rock, hard, bod.

Having dated a few jumpers of the love gun, I can honestly say that in most cases, it denotes more than just a mind-blowing impression of you. There’s often a desperation at the bottom of it. If you’re lucky, it’s an ex-girlfriend thing; he just got out of a relationship, and maybe he was treated poorly. Or maybe it’s the ol’ never-gets-the-girl syndrome, or something darker like a history of neglect (a much harder case to crack). In any event, if you like the guy, it’s worth giving a little time for the truth to reveal itself by responding with a solid: “I really love what’s happening between us, but want to give it some more time.”

Sure, it may sting for him to put his heart on the line, only to receive a “maybe” in return. But rushed expressions of love can sting a lot more, and for much longer.

We’ve got the rest of our lives to be in love. It doesn’t hurt to be sure it’s for real.

Jenni Perez authored the 2008-2009 edition of the popular sex issues column, “The Wednesday Hump,” in UC Santa Barbara’s Daily Nexus. When she’s not contributing her thoughts about the trials of modern romance, she devotes much of her effort to sustainable living and recording music.

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The Back Up Plan

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments


Q. Is having a fling right after breaking up with my long term partner of almost 3 years a good idea? Or will I feel worse after the fling? I feel like reaching out to potential people I’ve been interested in… Will having someone to fall back on make breaking up easier?

A. Ah…the back up plan. We all tend to have more guts when there’s someone waiting in the wings. It’s true. Most of us, when it comes to breaking up, are pussycats. I think because in general, unless the person you’re dating is a complete a-hole, it’s hard to look them in the eye and crush their world. We get lazy, settle, make excuses for the inadequacies, make lists that find the good outweigh the bad—by one or two things, fall into habits, and most of all, fear being single or fear that we won’t find someone better. Until we do. Because eventually we always do. We don’t just lust, love, and find compatibility with one person out of the billions out there. And only until you’re out of the haze of your current half-assed misery do you get it.

I know, sometimes there are complications. You live with them, and have bought all the furniture together. You’re married so there’s all that paperwork, and all that explaining to do. You have kids or a house together, or maybe you’re unemployed and they’re supporting you, or maybe they’re the only reason you were able to make it through college and you feel this huge amount of guilt and responsibility to pay them back…somehow.

I have been there. I have even been the girl that was so scared of being single for more than a week that even when she found someone she construed to be a hell of a lot better, she didn’t want to rock the boat and chose to have an affair instead, which only fucked up the relationship she was in even more. In life, we are our biggest obstacles, trust me.

My advice: Until you really let go, you won’t get better. Until you tell the Universe you want to be more fulfilled, and make your actions speak louder than your words, you will continue to stew in your mediocrity.

And when you finally cut free of your mediocrity, you may fall into the arms of a fling, or a rebound, or a hook up. Or, you may find the love of the rest of your life. Or, you may spend some time alone, reflecting and visualizing and working towards what it is you really want out of your life and life partner. Whatever feels natural and not desperate is usually the right path.

And while having a backup plan does sometimes make it easier to get on that right path, it shouldn’t be the main factor in determining your fate.

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To forgive, or not to forgive.

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments

forgiveness 2

In dealing with the life experiences of friends, lovers, ex-lovers, and my sometimes charmingly bitter self, I’ve found that nothing puts grey hairs on the head (and a grudge in the heart) quite like infidelity. Even the suspicion of infidelity can take your relationship from we-just-made-love-on-the-virgin-white-Nassau-sand to you-can-keep-your-stinking-engagement-ring.

There are a myriad of reasons why cheating happens, and it’s rarely “because I hate you so much and just want you to have a hopelessly miserable life” (unless you’re vindictively trying to get back at your ex…for cheating on you). Most of the time, the psychology behind cheating is much more complex than that. Often, the reason has little or nothing to do with the person afflicted. Yet this particular wrongdoing feels about as personal as personal gets.

So, your partner spills. He’s cheated. In a past relationship, on you, or on his wife… with you. He says he’s sorry, he wasn’t himself that night. Or week. Or year. This experience forced him to take a step back and examine what he really wants. And what he really wants is you.

Do you believe him?

Respondents to the poll on Sex, Life, & Hannah were mostly on the same page: Once a cheater, always a cheater. Perhaps because we’ve all seen the consequences of affairs come to life in one form or another; in one of our relationships, a friends’ relationship, or our parents’ relationship.

Along with this obvious reaction however, many also commented that when it came to affairs it wasn’t as easy as kneeing him in the babymakers and calling it quits. Perhaps all your job-related travel finally got to him, or those long movie production schedules where you spent half the time in bed with a taller, handsomer, younger version of your boyfriend pushed him a little too far over the edge…or perhaps you’ve even been there done that yourself. You may have always said, “If I ever find out my partner’s cheated, I’m outta there,” but you also realize that the world is not black and white, and cheating can sometimes just… happen. Some of you even seem to think it’s an entire culture these days, especially in big cities — for better or for worse.

Are you really betraying yourself for giving him another chance?

Perhaps the most diplomatic answer is: The heart knows best. There’s no one right answer when it comes to cheating, so don’t be tortured by feminist role models or girl-power chick flicks. There’s only you, and him, in the heat of that difficult passage, and your ability to forgive — or not. And if you let him stay, only to find him cheating again, don’t sweat. It’s never too late to knee him in the babymakers.

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Do Not Be This Girl

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 2 comments

OMG. Where do I even begin? Thank god my relationship is way more honest, thank god we never had a wedding, thank god my husband inspires me to follow my heart…thank god I still have a life.

Thank god I am not this girl, even though I have had moments of being this girl, and I completely blame society, family, and media for this, because we are never taught to just enjoy relationships for what they are, which could be a hot two-month affair, or a baby-daddy arrangement, or twenty years of friendship. We’re only taught how to evaluate whether they’re ripe for marriage or not, and if not, to move on, because god help us if we get stuck in a relationship without the potential of reaching that one goal we should all be aiming for, because it’s the only achievement that is ever going to make us really…happy.

Bullshit. Let me tell you something as a woman that’s been married for going on six years, there’s no magical happy world that you suddenly step into when you get married. It’s just fucking life, and life goes on, and I say this as someone who’s married to an amazing man that loves and supports me like no other. And yes, there are moments of bliss and passion and beauty, but you still have to deal with the same shit you were dealing with before, whether it’s trying figure out what you’re going to do with your life, or why you can’t seem to nab that dream career, or keep those ten pounds off, or clear up your skin. And you still want alone time, and miss the attention you used to get when you were whoring around, and find yourself locking the bathroom door so you can masturbate, or devising a serious plan to stalk Bradley Cooper.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with getting married, or that it’s all some bridal magazine delusion. I’m not even saying there’s anything wrong with throwing a big, expensive, bridal-magazine-esque party to celebrate, and I say this as a woman whose husband broke up with her on their wedding day, but you have to understand what marriage really means, which is just a REALLY big fucking commitment. And the party has NOTHING to do with the marriage or the commitment. It’s JUST a fucking party, and sadly, the word “commitment” doesn’t hold the same weight it did fifty years ago. We’re more aware, informed, attention-deficit, selfish, and realizing there’s so much more to being fulfilled than having a man and some babies, even though it’s ultimately the babies that start this whole race to some perceived finish line in the first place.

We are biologically programmed to procreate. Even those of us that have known from the time a doll was shoved in our face that we don’t want kids, still think about it, because it’s rooted so deeply in our DNA. Even those of us that fear stretch marks, and our hips getting wider, and what popping out a kid will do to our preciously tight vagina, and what breast feeding will do to our perfectly rosy nipples, find ourselves fantasizing over what it would be like if we accidentally got knocked up by this one guy…And so we chase, and we date, and sometimes we even settle when we think we’re running out of time to procreate, and we completely forget that getting married is not some conclusion. It’s just another phase of life, and it requires just as much work as everything else we want to succeed, and finding happiness has nothing to do with any of the above.

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Virginity…Round Two.

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments


So, you bit the bullet. You called it quits on your relationship, before the holidays. Good on you. You are the 73 percent.

And now that the box of liqueur chocolates has been scarfed, and your mother’s “not ALL spinsters are unhappy” wisdom has been prescribed, and your married friends’ Christmas cards have smoldered in your ?replace, it’s time to muster up some self-respect and think about dating again.

Unfortunately, you know it’s not as easy as slipping into a tight black number and shouting: Come and get me, boys! It’s been awhile—perhaps a few years—and your game isn’t quite as tight as the Versace in the back of your closet.

You clearly remember a time when you had “it”; when your response to a pick-up line was sharp, even sassy; when a simple bat of your fake eyelashes scored you bottle service and a luxury suite; when you could wriggle out of your G-string while still holding your purse and cigarette. But monogamy, in all its cuddly-wuddly, sweatpantsy, let’s-watch-Hoarders-instead-of-have-sex glory, went and Rip Van Winkled the SHIT out of it.

You’re going to have to face the music: you’re a virgin again.

This isn’t necessarily bad news. There is charm in re-popping your cherry. For the ?rst time in a long time, you are on a precipice; the same precipice that had you trembling with excitement during your ?rst crush, your ?rst hand-hold, your ?rst kiss, and of course… your ?rst anal midget orgy. Or whatever.

You are embarking on exciting times. There is serious empowerment in dusting off your chickporn and relearning every position outside of the missionary. Or scheduling your ?rst bikini wax since April of 2008. Or re-training your body to hold in all gaseous output in the presence of the opposite sex. This is all part of the journey… and given that you’ll eventually end up in a new relationship, it’s a journey you could possibly not experience again, or not for a very long time.

So hop on and enjoy the ride, cowgirl—backward and forward. But slowly at ?rst, so you don’t pull a muscle.

Jenni Perez authored the 2008-2009 edition of the popular sex issues column, “The Wednesday Hump,” in UC Santa Barbara’s Daily Nexus. When she’s not contributing her thoughts about the trials of modern romance, she devotes much of her effort to sustainable living and recording music.

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