Big Me, Little You, Glass Houses, Kettles, and the Bible

I want to let you in on a little secret:

Your shit does stink.

Oh yes, it truly does.  But, don’t feel singled out though, because mine does too.  In fact, all of ours does from time to time… or maybe all the time, depending on how much of a judgmental and vocal S.O.B. you are.

What am I driving at here?  Well, for one, I am driving at how carelessly people judge others without ever taken even a moments pause to examine themselves.

We all do it.  We judge everyone… from those closest to us, to those we will likely never encounter in real life…  We do it all the time, and most of the time don’t even realize we are doing it.

We all know better.  How many times have we been reminded not to do it?  How many times have others called us out?

Chalk it up to “people in glass houses should not be throwing stones.” Refer to it as the “pot calling the kettle black.” Or go straight biblical with it and declare, “Let he without sin cast the first stone.”

However you choose to look at it, my simple suggestion is as follows:

Never hold others to a higher standard than you hold yourself.  

And, after that, if you still feel you are justified in your view of someone, make sure you give them positive criticism (in which you offer a suggestion for a solution on how they might improve to meet and exceed the standard you feel they have not met). 

Pretty simple to understand, pretty hard (for a lot of us, apparently) to live by. Perhaps, taking a moment to reflect and looking inward before starting to wave the accusation finger around is a better tact than aggressively judging someone as “bad” or “wrong” and then simply dismissing them?

At the end of the day, people see right through the “big me, little you” bravado…

And nobody wears that style of hypocrisy well.  Not you, not me, not anyone.


Finding Hero

super_heroI was never a comic books kid.  Never connected with “super heroes.”  I didn’t really discover Superman, Batman, or Wolverine until the box office started cranking out the movies and capitalizing on a market of now-adults looking to relive there childhoods.  I really enjoy the Hollywood films now and again, but it’s not like I am currently taking up a comic book collection and wishing I had super powers.

I loved sports as a kid.  Still do.  I spent most of my time growing up playing outside (mom insisted, even though Nintendo was new on the scene).  When I did watch TV, I watched sports.  I grew up in the era of Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi, Michael Johnson, Karl Malone, Wayne Gretzky, etc.  Real athletes achieving some unreal things.  And yet, I guess all I can say is, they were great and all, and I enjoyed watching them, but they were not my heroes.  These athletes all did some really inspiring things, but none of them resonated with me as a hero.  On a side note, I also grew up in the era of athletes doing some bad things.  I knew better then, and still know better now than to have idolized Dennis Rodman (North Korea, you can keep him).  I learned it’s never a good idea to bet on baseball (talking to you, Pete Rose). I saw what Tanya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan (girls gone wild, for real).  I watched, we all watched, the OJ trial (I wonder how easy/hard it is to sell a 92 white Ford Bronco)…

I ended up studying politics in college but, it’s not like I idolized George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Bob Dole, and/or Dan Quayle “potatoe.”

I understood the whole Ghandhi, Pope, Mother Teresa thing… but there was absolutely no way I was going to live up to those standards.  So, although I could be in awe of the way they all chose to live life, I couldn’t relate enough to allow them to be my heroes.

So, who was my hero as a youngster then?  Well, my father was.  And he still is.  That will never change.

Let’s define hero:

a :  a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b :  an illustrious warrior

c :  a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities

d :  one who shows great courage

Well, that pretty much sums up my father.  How could it not?

As a kid, you are always in awe of your father’s strength and abilities.  The effortless manner in which he picks you up off the ground, swings you around in circles by your arms, throws you in the air, then lays you back down on the grass, holding you down with one hand and tickling you into submission with the other.  You are secretly hoping you can one day be as strong as him.  To one day wield that much power.

As a kid you see your father as a protector, a warrior, a defender of the family.  I have seen my father in a few altercations when I was growing up.  Nothing too serious, and nothing that came to blows… because I am pretty sure the other guy knew better.  You know, the usual… drunk dude at a football game makes a comment to the family, thinking he is funny.  Father “corrects” him.  Guy puffs up.  Father continues to stand ground and shows a willingness to offer an even more firm “correction” if necessary.  Guy thinks better of it, backs down.  That sort of thing.  Moral of the story, I would not then, and still would not now, fuck with my father.  Especially now that he has “old man strength!”

It is not as a kid, but now that I realize just how much my father has achieved in his life.  Having been in the “real world” now for a while, I realize just how noble his accomplishments are.  Beyond work, beyond wealth, I realize just how noble a pursuit it was for him and my mother to raise me and my asshole brothers.  Good on you, Dad and Mom.

And yes, the courage it must have taken, and still does (as I realize no matter how old I get, I will always be my mother and father’s son) to raise children is exceptional.

I work hard to emulate my father.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say.  I hope my Dad is flattered.  Because  I am trying hard… and if I could become a tenth the man that he is, I will have done okay in this world.

I think the fact that I never idolized a hero outside of my family is a testament to the achievements and commitments of my father.  I never needed to go outside the family to fulfill a need for inspiration.  My father provided me a happy and healthy childhood and he taught me to be a man.  He did this by example and he did this by word and he did this by reprimand.  And he did it all with love.

My father never scored 50 points a game, he never had a shoe line named after him, he never competed in the Olympics.  He did not hold political office, he did not try to solve world hunger or create world peace.  He can’t walk on walls and doesn’t swing from webs.

But I will forgive all that… because he showed me what it was to be a real man… and a real man is what he has made of me.  And that is a truly heroic feat, in and of itself.


A2G2186I have been with her for about six months now.  It has a title, and yes, she is my girlfriend.  I claim her and she claims me.  We are committed to one another.

It’s a typical night out.  We are at a bar.  Friends of hers are there, as are friends of mine.  While I am catching up with my buddies, she stands maybe ten feet away, in a circle of girlfriends.  Everyone is having a great time.  Catching up, laughing, drinking, the usual.

And, right on cue, enter that group of guys… you know the group I’m talking about.  The group of swaggering single  dudes with their heads on swivels.  The pack of hunters.  The pride of lions (or jackals depending on the personalities).  The dudes dead set on chatting up women and landing phone numbers… if not more.  Prowlers.  I know exactly what these dudes are up to, but I have no disdain for any of them.  I was single not too long ago, so I know what it is to be out with your close single buddies, looking to meet women.

I notice one guy in particular eyeing my girlfriend.  He musters up the courage, walks right up to her, says hi, and tries to get a conversation going. My girlfriend smiles politely, indulges him with a light conversation, acts like a lady, and then tells the guy to have a good night.

My girlfriend has it all figured out, and my life is easier for it.

You see, as this is all going down, despite some random dude hitting on my girlfriend, I am more focused on what’s going on with my buddies and their lives.  One of my friends notices the guy hitting on my girlfriend and points it out to our group.  My buddies ask me if I am jealous.  I simply respond “nope.”  When pressed as to why not, I offer a two part response.


Simply stated, who wants to be with someone that no one else wants to be with?  When a guy walks up to your girlfriend in a bar, you should be flattered.  Good for that guy… he has great taste.  You should also be secure enough in yourself and your relationship that you don’t see the guy as a threat.  And further still, why shouldn’t your woman be made to feel attractive by someone else?  It’s okay for her to feel attractive and beautiful beyond you.  So, for those reasons, I am okay with this random dude validating the same things I see in my girlfriend… a beautiful, kind, and engaging woman.


On the opposite side of the equation, if my girlfriend ever attempted to make me jealous, I would simply back myself and let her know that I won’t stand for it.  There are women I have dated who would use jealousy as a tactic.  They would try and make me jealous by flirting with guys at a bar in front of me, mentioning guys randomly in casual conversation, bringing up ex boyfriends and what they “used to do,” etc.  My response was always the same… cut it out.  That kind of nonsense doesn’t fly with me.  When I am in a relationship, I go out of my way to make my girlfriend feel secure.  I couldn’t imagine actively attempting to make a girlfriend jealous or insecure.  What kind of a relationship is that?!

So, as I sit on the bar stool, chatting with my buddies, and this guy hits on my girlfriend not more than ten feet from me, and I am perfectly content.  Not a care in the world.  She is a big girl, and she can handle herself.  So, I don’t need to spring to her rescue and defend her honor.  Now, if the guy said or did anything disrespectful, that would be another story.  I have no trouble addressing disrespect, especially the disrespect of someone I hold dear to me, and even more especially the a male showing disrespect toward a female.  But again, the guy is just hitting on her, trying his best.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  Again, good for that guy… he has great taste.

In the midst of it all going down, my girlfriend glances over and grins a reassuring grin.  I do the same with a nod and a smile.  And that is all that is needed.  She is a big girl, she can handle herself.  And for that reason, I don’t have a care in the world.  Just another great night out with my lady and my friends.

A Man Must Have A Code

code-of-ethicsI cannot respect nor trust a man who does not have an identifiable ethos or moral code by which he lives, by which he adheres. To lack in moral compass and fiber is no way for a man to go through life. There should be a certain pride in the consistency, stability, and predictability of one’s nature and actions across all situations. A man should have a foundational backbone from which he bases his decisions, interactions, and general behavior in life. And he should take ownership of this process… whether he is good or bad, right or wrong… He should own it. Not shy away from it, not hide in the “grey areas” of life.

Man up.  Adhere to a code and live by it.

Pushing Rope

a211ittlewonderropeIt’s very late.  I am very drunk.  And so is she.  I just met her tonight… an introduction through a mutual friend.  She seems very cool.  But what do we really know about someone we have just met, with whom most of the conversation is alcohol fueled?  She could be the greatest woman on the face of the planet, or the craziest, or somewhere in between.  No way to tell right now.  All I know is that she is sexy… and I want her.  She is tall, blonde, curvy, beautiful, well-dressed, well-spoken, intelligent, and has a sense of humor (and yes, this order reflects the order in which I noticed things about her… not in order of importance, mind you, but in a natural order when you meet someone for the first time).

So again, she seems cool.

The night goes on.  We hop from bar to bar with our friends.  We gravitate more towards one another as the hours pass and the drinks pass with them.  It’s getting late, and the two of us have long since forgotten we were even out with friends.  It’s as if it had been just the two of us since the beginning of the night. A good sign.

Closing time.

As we walk out of the bar I somewhat casually, mostly drunkenly ask, “What should we do now?”  Without hesitation she responds, “You live near here don’t you?”

And with that, we walk hand in hand down a few blocks to my place.  We are met outside by one of my buddies.  He had cut out from the group early to wrestle up some Mexican food, before passing out on my couch for the night (the usual pattern, and a good one in my mind.  DUIs do not sit well on anyone’s record).

So the three of us ascend into my place.  We hang out for a while, watch something on Netflix and we chat with my buddy as he downs his food.  We probably have another drink or two, but at this point I would have no recollection, nor do I care.

My buddy is done eating and the episode playing on TV ends.

And that signals the night’s end… or the beginning of a cruel and hellish journey if you were me.

I lead her into my room.  No sooner do we close the door, she strips off her clothes and jumps into bed (I told you she seems cool).  I do the same.  We quickly press up against one another and start passionately (more accurately, drunkenly) hooking up.  One thing leads to another and it is clearly “go time.”  But, as I reach into the night stand for a condom (safety first, and always), I notice something…

For the first time in my life, I have no feeling down below.  NONE.  There is no mind body connection.  I had simply assumed I was good to go.

I am not.  Not even close.

“This can’t be happening right now!?” I think to myself.

She notices.  She sees (and feels) what is happening.  And in what she likely thought was a sensitive verbal response, but what turned out to be the most devastating words I have ever heard in the bedroom, she says, “Maybe we should just go to sleep?”

I sigh the most deflating sigh.  She rolls over.  I don’t even try to tell her that this is the first time.  But you know what?  IT IS!  I have never had this happen.  Not once.  Not ever.  Never.

I am on my back staring up into the dark ceiling.  And in this moment, I a filled with disappointment and unrivaled shame.  But it only lasts a fleeting second, as the disappointment and shame quickly turns into unadulterated, drunken fear.

In this moment, I am somehow convinced that this condition is permanent.  I am convinced that I will never be able to get an erection again (alcohol fueled logic).

I let a few minutes pass, trying to think of my next move.  I come up with nothing.  I panic.  I jump out of bed and pull on a pair of shorts.  I leave my room and head out to the kitchen.  I stop at the couch along the way.  I wake my buddy up.  “Hey man, wakeup.  Hey!”  He stirs.  I crouch down low, eye level with him.  I look him dead in the face and say, “Dude, I can’t get it up.  For the first time in my life I can’t get hard.”  And as the true friend he is, he looks me back, dead in the face and says,

“Well man… You’re getting old.”

And with that he rolls back over on the couch and shuts me out so he can get back to sleep.

In this moment, I am the loneliest I have ever been…

But I refuse to pity myself, and I refuse to give up so easily and accept my current condition as my ultimate fate. Despite the fear and the loneliness, I reach deep and find my determination again.  I am going to will myself hard if it’s the last thing I do.

So, I stumble through the kitchen in the dark.  I take ever supplement, every vitamin, every protein powder I have and down them.  Multis, vitamin C, zinc, protein powder, you name it.  Down them all, and in massive quantity.  I then open the fridge and grab a Gatorade.  I take the Gatorade with me as I head to the bathroom.

As I arrive in the bathroom, I turn on the light and stare at myself in the mirror.  I am drunk.  Fucked up. Haggard. But I am determined.  I try prodding myself on.  I use my imagination to start.  Yet, despite me trying to picture the most intensely sexual scenarios I can, there is still no feeling.

Time passes.  Minutes become a half hour.  A half hour becomes an hour.  All the while I am hydrating, waiting for the supplements to kick in (like those would actually help my condition?!), and gently, forcefully, gently, quickly, slowly, forcefully… well… offering myself a helping hand, so to speak.

I may well have been using my tears as lubrication at this point.  I am so supremely confident that I have a broken penis and that it will be broken for the rest of my life.

And then, just as I am about ready to call it quits and head back to bed a defeated, shriveled man, I start to feel blood rushing down south.  I start to feel life in my otherwise lifeless member.  I prod it on.  I may have even verbally cheered it on at this point.  I can’t remember.

Can you imagine?!  A naked dude in a bathroom, drinking a Gatorade, masturbating, and drunkenly talking to his penis, cheering it on along the way?!  Yeah, that guy was me.  I’m not proud of it.  But I was going to get an erection by any means necessary.  I had a woman in that room who thought she was coming home with a man, and I intended to prove her right.

How funny a thing like pride can be.  The things pride will make you do.  The things proving your manhood will make you do, for that matter…

There is now enough life in me now that I decide to leave the bathroom and head back to bed.  No guarantees at this point.  She is likely passed out, and over it.  And who could blame her?!  This is definitely not what she signed up for.  All my struggle to regain stiffness may well have been in vain.  But, at this point, I am simply relieved to know that my flaccidity is not permanent.  I will take a working penis as my consolation prize, even if I am not granted the opportunity to prove it works.

I will spare you any and all of the intimate details from this point on.  They really don’t matter, and this isn’t Fifty Shades of Grey.

I found myself reviewing what had happened the next morning.  The most interesting thing I found myself thinking was how interesting is it to discover just how much I connect my erection with my sense of being a “real man?”  When I entered the evening, an evening full of potential and fun, I had no idea that what should have been a simple biological response to a strong stimulus was to become an epic odyssey, a profound physical and emotional struggle.

And this was just a one off for me.  I cannot imagine what it is like for those who deal with erectile disfunction.  It’s no wonder Viagra and Cialis do so much business.  Until my erection was taken from me, if only for an hour, did I truly realize how much I took it for granted.

I am not sure what the take away is here.  I feel for those who deal with this issue on a frequent basis, and am therefore happy for modern medicine?!  I am not a pharmaceuticals guy, but I am beginning to back the little blue pill, and yet hoping I will never need it.  I hope that women who encounter this issue are sympathetic to the the men who are dealing with it.  I have heard women casually state “yeah, he was never able to keep it hard” or “he couldn’t get it up” as a snub, a condescension, a dig.  And trust me, it is!  A direct attack on one’s manhood.  As such, I am relatively sure the woman I was with that night reported to her friends that (initially) I couldn’t get it up either.  And there is an inherent shame in that.  I felt/feel shame that I was unable to perform.  I felt less a man.  So ladies, please tread lightly.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy the ridiculous nature in which I try and overcome things.  I am an overachiever by nature, and have a serious amount of will power.  So yes, this was in fact a ridiculous story of triumph over tragedy for me…  I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat… and got the girl.

America loves a great comeback story, right?

Planting The Flag

pink toothbrush

It’s like any other morning that she has stayed over.  We have been doing this for a little over a month and a half.  “Dating,” or “seeing one another” I guess you would call it.  We have not made anything “official,” haven’t had “the talk.”  It’s pretty nice actually.  No labels.  No drama.  No fuss.  We simply spend time together and enjoy each other’s company.  If only it were always this easy.

On any given morning we wake up, roll around under the sheets, push it until the last possible moment, phone alarms blaring, then spring out of bed… her to her car so she can get home and get ready for work, and me to the coffee machine in my place so I can begin my day as well.  I give her a gentle hug and a kiss, she smiles, tells me to have a nice day, and she heads out the door.

If only it were always this easy.

I check e-mails as the coffee is brewing, take some vitamins, down a protein shake.  A little Facebook.  Online news.  Twitter.  The usual morning routine.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  I head to the bathroom, and as I round the corner, I see it, plain as day.

Why does it have to be this hard???

Hanging smugly, almost triumphantly over my sink, is her toothbrush.

It stares at me.  Challenges me.  Stuns me.

She has planted the first flag.  The invasion has begun.  Shit has gotten real… real fast.

I do what any man in my situation would do.  I FUCKING PANIC.  Not because I don’t see myself with her.  Not because I don’t want to be with her.  But because this toothbrush brings us to an entirely new level.  A level to which I had not yet agreed.  The toothbrush itself is inherently symbolic of the very thing that has allowed our time together to be uncomplicated… the toothbrush is in and of itself, a label… a statement of  her intentions.

In my mind, I am confident it won’t be long before I am surrounded by candles and oils and scents I don’t understand, colors I cannot pronounce, and plants I did not know existed.  I will lose all privileges in deciding housing appearance (“decorating”), I will have more “show” towels (you know, the kind that look good, but can’t soak up a single droplet of water?!) than I know what to do with, I will have more throw rugs and more pillows than any human being could ever need.  And when I only have 1/16th of the closet space I once had, I will look around, accept my defeat, and think back to the day, not so long ago, that the toothbrush was firmly planted on the side of my sink.

This toothbrush, that I stare back at now, signals the beginning of the invasion.

“Come on, man.  She accidentally forgot the toothbrush.  Calm down,”  you might say?!  Oh… really.  When, in the history of time, I ask you, has a woman ever done something “accidentally?”  We need to give women more credit than that.  They are creatures of great ability, with impeccable planning skills, and powers of persuasion (sometimes manipulation) that no man can resist.  Even when a woman tells you she doesn’t know why she did something, in the end there is always some kind of purpose behind it.  Even the accidents are on purpose!  And how can we, as men, defend against it?  Well, if we really truly like the woman and have developed feelings for her, the answer is… we cannot.

And that’s the point.  She didn’t leave her toothbrush behind on day one, or week one, or even month one.  That would be a true accident.  She has brushed her teeth every single night she has stayed at my place over the past month and a half , and without fail has taken the toothbrush with her every time she has left.

But now, here it sits.  And why?

Because I caught the most dangerous STD known to man… I caught feelings for her.  I like her.  I like being with her.  I want to keep spending time with her.  And she can sense it.  She knows.  And she also knows I am male… so she knows I have a deep seated, intrinsic, carnal fear of commitment.  So she knows I will shy away from commitment any chance I get.

And with this knowledge, she plants her flag, not only announcing the impending invasion, but even more importantly, announcing our connection.  It is an unspoken gesture.  She has gambled, and she has gambled correctly, that I won’t say a word about the toothbrush.  After all, that would lead to an actual discussion of “what this is,” a Q&A with questions like “what are we doing,” and  “are we girlfriend and boyfriend?”

And yet, in not saying a word about the toothbrush, I silently submit to a connection beyond just hooking up, dating, and/or booty calls.

This is my dilemma.  I either quietly accept the toothbrush and silently admit that this is in fact becoming something more serious between us, or I confront the situation head on, mention the toothbrush, and get into the ever-dreaded conversation about the state of affairs and labels.

I, as most men would, choose the quiet route.  Why?  It is a way to let her know that I accept things are moving forward, but allows me the “out” in the future to still be able to say “we never talked about this… we never decided on a  label.”

It’s a guys silent relationship parachute.  At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.  That’s how we can sleep at night and not be in constant fear of the commitment we just entered into.  Is it a delusion?  Yes, most definitely.  Because, let’s be honest, if shit does hit the fan and things go sideways, the “we never put a label on this” defense isn’t going to cut it anyway.  Actions will always trump words.  And inaction (failing to confront the toothbrush head one) ultimately serves as an action (conceding to an agreement that the relationship is more than just casual).

But I digress.  The fact of the matter is, I like her.  She is very high quality, we get along great, and I want to spend more time with her.  But, I cannot articulate that to her as simply as I just wrote it in the previous line.  Absolutely not!  Why?  Because I am a commitment-phobe, like the majority of the male population.

So, as the toothbrush continues to sit defiantly on the edge of my sink, I think to myself, “why does it have to be this hard?”  And in the midst of my panic, I find a glimmer of happiness, and I start grinning.


Because this toothbrush, this flag of defiance, this signal of the ensuing invasion, means she is into me just as much as I am her.

Look At Me?!

“So you’re a swimmer?”

She was blonde, she was beautiful, she was popular.  And she was talking to me?!

“Um, yeah… Er…. Uh… I mean yes, yes I am.” I try my very hardest to assert some kind of authority over my words, but I can’t believe “Jenny” is talking to me. I am, for the first time in my life, being noticed, like really noticed. And not for my oily skin, cracking voice, and just plain old awkwardness… But for something I do.

“That’s cool,” she says with the kind of casual elegance you would expect from any one of the 80s movie teenage stars I had ever fantasized about. “We have a good swim team, don’t we?” she continues with a smile, as her hair blows gently in the wind, emanating from some fan I am  presently unable to locate.

“Yes, we do have a really good team,” I state with some semblance of authority in my voice. “We won the sectionals last year.  We have a really good shot of winning again this year.”

“Why are you saying weve won?” She asks.  And not in a condescending way, but in a truly inquisitive one. “You’re not on the the Varsity Squad, are you?” This time there is a hint of sarcasm.

“Well, yeah, actually I am. I swim the 200 and 500. I beat out one of this year’s Seniors for the spot.” I am half proud and half scared as I make the announcement. I hang on her every word, as she says…

“Wow! And you are only a Sophomore?! That is really impressive.”

And in that moment, ALL of my self worth becomes tied to my athletic performance. How could it not?! One of the hottest and most popular girls in high school, who just happened to have her locker next to mine, actually spoke to me,  actually offered me recognition for my athleticism. She validated me.  The feeling is intense… a lusty adrenaline filled pride.  I want more. I need more. In this moment, with the words of a popular and beautiful teenage woman, I am empowered.

I now know what I have to do. I have to become the best athlete I possibly can.  This is my ticket to inclusion.  This is the validation that I had up until this point been unable to acquire. The equation became so clear, so simple…  Become a great athlete and people (important people… like Jenny of course, one of the hottest girls at school) will take notice of you, talk to you, accept you…

It is often strange, the things we tie our identity to, isn’t it?  It is strange how we choose to define ourselves.  Stranger still are the discrepancies in how we view ourselves versus how others view us.

Years after my encounter with Jenny at the lockers, a very close girlfriend of mine turns to me during a conversation about life, existence, and contributions to friendships/relationships/society and says, “You know you have more to offer than just your athletic ability, right?!”

I would look at my friend completely and utterly puzzled. How could anyone see anything in me other than my ability to perform in athletic endeavors? What other qualities do I have? No seriously, I had no idea what she was talking about. Not until many more years after my close friend pointed out that I might have more to offer this world than my athletic prowess, did I ever truly understand what she was getting after.  And although I feel I haven’t yet fully figured it out, I have a better understanding that I have the capacity to offer more to this world than my accomplishments.

Going back to that fateful day in high school… All I knew was that in the moment Jenny recognized my ability as a swimmer, she brought me into existence.

And, at that point in my life, that’s all I needed to know. Her validation and acknowledgement years ago made me into someone.  Or perhaps better stated, she set me on a path to become someone.  Showed me the way.  The encounter with Jenny created within me an identity.  An identity  I clung to for years and years. Because of Jenny, I was no longer, well, a no one. I was no longer the introverted high schooler with acne.  I was no longer (as) awkward.  Regardless of the “nod” from Jenny, I was still every inch the introvert.  That didn’t change instantly. And yet, in my brief encounter with Jenny, with validation on my side, I could feel the tide was shifting.

The desire to express myself, to open up, to unveil myself to the world was in motion. It didn’t happen all at once. It was gradual.  From introvert to extrovert… it was a journey.  From high school, to college, and beyond.  But it was one I eventually completed, in only the way a true overachiever could do.  I swung from bashful to confident, from “(PLEASE) don’t look at me” to “HEY EVERYBODY… LOOK AT ME!”  Did I swing too far in the direction of confidence, perhaps to a level of over confidence?

You’re damn right I did!

But you know what? It sure as hell beat the non existence I had lived from Kindergarten to Tenth Grade.

Oh Jenny, if you had any idea what a service, and disservice, you did me this day….


Fellas, in this day and age, manscaping is a must.  In the same way you likely don’t like your woman to rock 70s style body hair (although there are some dudes out there into questionable stuff these days), your woman likely doesn’t want you to be Tarzan, King of the Jungle (in your pants).  In the same way you shave your face or trim your beard/mustache, it is en vogue to do the same with your chest, back, happy trail, and nether region.

Now, just how much manscaping is necessary is open for debate.  From trimming to total removal and everywhere in between, men are faced with the dilemma of just how much is right.  In a lot of ways, it comes back to personal style, and feedback from the ladies. But in my experience, I have yet to meet a woman who is completely stoked on the idea of a twig and berries combo that is completely bald.  The nuclear option,  or scorched earth as it is also known, is a dangerous policy for manscaping.  Men are men.  They come with hair.  A pretty good amount of it, actually.  And pretty much everywhere.  It can either be a hinderance, or you can accept it and play into it and take your manly refinement up a notch by managing the hair you’ve got.  There are lots of man specific grooming devices out there, made specifically to meet the needs of any man looking to trade in his Chewbacca status.

My suggestion is, however you decide to manscape, make sure the length of your body hair does not exceed anything that you think would end up in her having to stop, reach into her mouth, and fish out that rogue hair (if you get what I am driving at?!)

And lastly, if for no other reason, a well manscaped member is good for the illusion of at least one extra inch.  Fact.  So, bring your game up a notch, if not for yourself, for the lady that has to deal with your unkempt self!

Condoms Are Emotional Barriers

Condoms are GREAT! They serve as a physical barrier to potential exposure and contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as a physical dam that would prevent any of your fearless swimmers from setting forth on their journey in hopes ultimately diving headlong into the egg.  At the same time, I also humbly suggest that condoms serve as an emotional barrier.  After all, taking that big step with your significant other and deciding not to use condoms represents a very high level of trust.  And trust is inherently bred from an extremely strong emotional connection to your partner.

So, every time a buddy of mine tells me he had a one night stand and decided not to use a condom, my mind is blown.  Seriously?!  You just met this chick, don’t know her from Eve, and you are gonna throw it in there raw dog?!  I understand how my buddy got there (ending up bare back with a woman they barely know) in so far as for guys there is a massive difference in feel between condom or not.  When I ask a dude why he had adownloadcondom-less one-nighter, generally the response is,  “It just feels so good without a condom, bro.”  Yeah, I know it does.  But you know what else feels so good?  Living STD free without a bunch of unplanned little kids running around calling you daddy.

I really don’t trust any woman who comes home with me on night one (I see the irony, and potential hypocrisy in that statement).  But seriously… if a woman comes home with me on night one, you can safely assume it isn’t her first time doing this sort of thing (despite her protesting, “I never do this kind of thing”.  Um, yeah, sure you don’t).  Furthermore, I really don’t trust a woman who comes home with me night one and says she wants to do the dirty without a condom (and yes, that has and does happen).  Yeah, that’s not for me.  And it shouldn’t be for my buddies.

Condoms provide peace of mind.  The only time that that peace of mind can exist sans condom is when you trust the woman you are with.  If I have sex with you without a condom, I am making a statement that says, I trust you with my sexual health and with my family planning.  After all, there is no pill for men, and that fancy form of contraception known as “pulling out” isn’t always fail proof.

This is all to say that I really see a connection between condoms and emotion.  Now, this isn’t to say that couples who continue to use condoms throughout their relationship do not have a strong emotional bond.  For them, it’s just the chosen form of contraception (especially if a woman doesn’t want to be on the pill).  But, this is to say, when a condom is taken out of the equation, a certain emotional barrier is removed along with the physical, and a statement of trust is issued.

For those of you who aren’t like my “horny health gambling let’s just go raw dog on night one with a completely random woman” buddies, do you feel there is an emotional component to the removal of condoms from the equation in your intimate relationships?

The Time-Traveling Sext-Selfie

Little tip from the pros:

Ladies (and dudes bold enough to send the ever-controversial dick pic), when sexting, don’t be lazy.

When sending a naughty pic, please be sure to send a sexy selfie that you took at either that exact moment in time, or send one taken within an acceptable range of time that you have been seeing/dating/sleeping with the recipient.  Let me explain. For those that don’t know, in this day and age, photos are geo tagged and time stamped. So, when the recipient syncs their phone, and the photos upload into iPhoto for example (which can be categorized by date), you best have it all lined up. After all, there’s nothing better than that, “Oooooooh, look at that topless selfie you sent me, taken…. 8 months ago (and we’ve only been seeing each other a month)… In a completely different city (likely Vegas)… Surely intended for some other dude you were banging at the time (most likely that son of a bitch ex-boyfriend you won’t shut up about).”

Nothing softens a dick faster than seeing a pic you realize some other dude enjoyed a lifetime ago.  So, again, either send current selfies to the dude you are currently with, or learn how to turn off the geo tagging and time stamping for your photos.

This goes for the fellas too… But honestly, does anyone truly want pictures of our junk?