Here’s some Gorgeous New Years Eve Makeup Inspiration for you Ladies


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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 1

This is my first foray into the world of writing erotic fiction. I didn’t want to create something that was simply about sex. Like all of of my other work on phicklephilly I like to tell a story. So I did my research and worked on this story and a few others over the last year.

I hope this works.


When Teresa invited me out for a coffee, I accepted quite happily. I had no idea that it was going to lead to one of the greatest weekends of my life.

I first met Teresa at university, when we were seniors. It took me three months to convince her to go out with me, then three more months to persuade her to sleep with me. Teresa never did anything by halves: once we consummated the relationship, so to speak, she was well-nigh insatiable. We had sex everywhere, anywhere, anytime.

But she was also a wonderful companion, and a superb conversationalist who frequently challenged me. Teresa was at least my intellectual equal, if not my superior.

And she was beautiful. She had long auburn hair, flawless skin, full lips, and the most amazing expression. I don’t quite know how to describe it: Teresa rarely showed her teeth when she laughed, or smiled. Instead, a half-smile would slowly grow and spread across her face, until she looked like the Mona Lisa’s happier – and hotter – sister.

As for her body – She was 5’8″, with 37-23-35 measurements. I know, because I took her dress shopping. She was comfortable in the nude, so that I got to admire her naked form on many occasions. And that’s all I’m going to tell you – for now.

After a phenomenal, passionate year and a half, she dumped me. She kept it simple, straightforward, and brutally honest: ‘You’re not ready, Colin’.

I wasn’t sure what she meant: not ready for what? Marriage? Of course not. A serious relationship? I thought we were in one.

She was probably right, though. I was still pretty immature. But I wasn’t ready to give up hope that we could possibly have a second chance. Over the next year, she dated a couple of guys – nothing serious, though. I went out with a few girls, too, but they didn’t last very long. It was impossible not to compare them with Teresa, and none of them could survive that. In the meantime, we remained good friends. We socialized frequently; many times just the two of us.

There was no pretense between us. Teresa knew that I still wanted her. She made it plain that she wasn’t interested in me that way. Instead, she would ask about whatever girl I might be seeing, or interested in. Teresa often had good advice for me in the dating department. I have to admit, it’s a bit odd when your ex-girlfriend is helping you score with your next girlfriend.

Teresa was waiting for me at the cafe, wearing a pair of very short white shorts, and a loose t-shirt. She saw me, and rewarded me with that patented smile. She stood up, greeting me with a kiss on both cheeks, and a warm hug that told me quite clearly that her wonderful breasts were not encumbered by a bra.

I got a coffee, and joined her. Teresa had her laptop open on the table.

“What’s on your mind?” I asked her.

– “Are you free Thanksgiving weekend?” she asked. (Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the 2nd Monday in October – it’s always a long weekend)

– “That’s almost two months away.”

– “Put it on your calendar. You won’t want to miss this.” she said.

– “Miss what?”

– “Murder Mystery Weekend.” said Teresa.

I grinned. She was right: I would not want to miss that. When we were still a couple, we had co-hosted a murder mystery dinner. You may know the type: you can buy a boxed game version, or download one online. The guests all play a part, and try to uncover the identity of the murderer among them. People dress up, when the story has a theme, and most really get into the role-playing, or solving the mystery. For those who don’t, there’s good food, good company, and plenty to drink.

– “Did you say weekend?” I asked. “A whole weekend? Where?”

– “Eliza’s cottage. The whole weekend.” she said.

– “I’m in.”

Teresa just smiled at me, as if to say ‘Of course you are’. Damn right I was. Girls and costumes? Somebody was going to get lucky – hopefully me. And I had already been to Eliza’s cottage. If you’re picturing a rustic cabin in the woods, think again: it was more like a mansion by the lake.

– “It was partly Eliza’s idea. Her family are all away, and they asked her to close the cottage for the winter. You know: take the boat and the dock out of the water, clean up, close the boathouse.”

– “Many hands make short work.” I said.

– “Right. So Eliza thought she should invite a gang up, and make it into a party. Then Claire said the party should have a theme …”

– “God Bless her. So you suggested the Murder Mystery?”

– “I most certainly did.” said Teresa.

– “Do you have one in mind?” I asked “All of the ones I saw before were for a dinner party – a single night. Are you looking for something that will stretch over the entire long weekend?”

– “That’s the plan.” she said.

– “Boxed version, or download?”

Teresa shook her head. “I’m going to write it myself.”

“Really? Wow! I’m impressed.” And I was. Teresa is a smart cookie. If anyone could pull it off, she could. “Do you need help? I mean – is there anything I can do to help you?”

– “Since you mention it … yes, I could use your help.”

– “Name it.” I said.

– “I need you to help persuade the other guests to get costumes. The better they dress up, the more they’ll get into it, and the more fun it will be.” she told me.

– “Can do. What kind of costumes? What’s the theme?” I asked.

– “Pirate ship.” said Teresa, and that half-smile crept across her face.

– “Niiice.” I liked the sound of that. “You mean skull and crossbones, Pirates of the Caribbean – that sort of thing?” I was picturing sexy pirate women in my head.

– “Exactly. Buccaneers and freebooters. The women just as much as the men. Can you locate some good costumes for people who may not know where to look?”

– “Costume rental company, theatrical suppliers – I can do that.” I told her.

– “Thanks.” she said. “Then I also need your help to round out the guest list. I have nine so far, but we need eleven. People willing to dress up and role play, preferably – but also people who aren’t tied down by family commitments. They have to be able to get away for Thanksgiving.”

– “Who do you have so far?” I wondered.

– “You and me. Eliza, Claire, and Leo.”

I nodded. Eliza and Claire were best friends, inseparable since grade school. Leo was Claire’s older brother, and my best buddy from high school. We were still close.

“Ben, and Barbara.” continued Teresa.

I didn’t nod this time. I knew Ben well, but didn’t particularly care for him. He was good-looking and personable – which I didn’t hold against him – but in the past, he had also gone after a few girls that I was actively pursuing. That didn’t sit so well with me. He was also ultra-competitive, just like me.

Barbara was a bit of a surprise choice. Teresa knew her from grad school, but I didn’t think that they got along. Barbara was extroverted, high energy, and brazenly sexy. She talked loud, and lived large.

– “Barbara?” I said, with one eyebrow raised.

– “She’ll be perfect.” said Teresa. “And I’ve invited Craig, too.”

No problem there. I didn’t know Craig very well, but he seemed to be one of those rare guys that everybody likes – a prince. A bit shy, but always ready to help out, never boastful or pushy.

– “Good choice, if we can get him to dress up.” I observed.

– “That’s your job.” Teresa reminded me.

– “That makes eight. And the ninth?”

– “I think you’ll like her. Her name is Lena, and she’s studying here on exchange for a year. Professor Hand put her in my tutorial group, and asked me to keep an eye on her.”

– “Why you?” I asked. ‘Because you’re so warm and welcoming?”

Teresa smiled. “No. Get this. He said: ‘You two should understand each other. You’re practically neighbours.'”

– “Where is she from?” I asked.

– “Slovenia.”

I had to laugh. Teresa was born in Romania, before her parents emigrated when she was about six. Romania and Slovenia are only about 1,000 kilometers apart. Say, 700 miles. And the languages? Slovenian is a Slavic language, while Romanian is Latin-based.

– “Do you get along?” I asked her.

– “We’re fine.” said Teresa. “She’s sweet. But she’s painfully shy because her English isn’t very good yet. I already know that she’ll be at loose ends for Thanksgiving, so I invited her. That just leaves two spots, and I’m fresh out of ideas.”

– “Has to be 11?” I asked.

– “I’ve already written the parts.” she confirmed.

The first people Teresa had chosen were mostly friends of mine. I had introduced her to them, or we both knew them from grad school. I tried to think of people she might know who would fit the part.

“Sheila.” I suggested.

– “The English teacher?” she said. “Would she be up for it?”

– “She loves theatre. And she goes all out on Halloween.”

– “Single? Or in a relationship?” asked Teresa.

– “I’m pretty sure she’s single – but I’ll double check.” I said.

– “I liked Sheila. If you can get her, that would be great. One more, Colin. Should be a male. For balance. And so I don’t have to change a part.”

It took me several minutes, and a second coffee, to think of someone.

“Eric?” I said it with some hesitation.

I have to give her credit; Teresa didn’t make a face. She had only met Eric once, and my old friend from 1st year political science had not covered himself in glory. At a dinner for six people, he arrived drunk, polished off another bottle of wine, and then passed out on our couch before the dessert could be served.

– “Why Eric?” she asked. She was giving me a chance to convince her.

I listed my reasons on my fingertips. “One, he’s pretty bright, and he would probably love a murder mystery. Second, he’s a history buff, so the pirate theme would work for him. Third, I don’t think he has any close family, so he’s definitely free for Thanksgiving. Fourth … I think you might actually like him, if he wasn’t passed out on the couch and ruining your dinner party.”

– “Maybe.” she conceded.

– “And fifth.” I added. “I can’t think of anyone else. I mean, I can think of lots of people who would enjoy the weekend, and the murder mystery … it’s just that so many of them have family obligations.”

– “Eric snores.” said Teresa.

– “I know.”

– “Alright.” she said. “Eric it is. You can share a room with him.”

Feedback (negative and positive is welcome.) This is all new territory or me!


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Cherie – Chapter 39 – Black In The Saddle

“The sky opens up and she whips out an umbrella and we both huddle under it just like on our very first date.”

Here we are on New Year’s Eve. I wish you all a Happy New Year. As you read this I am asleep, because I worked a 10 hour day yesterday and then went to my beloved friend James’ birthday at a lovely dive bar in Kensington beyond midnight. (Monkey Club)

I edited this piece and then spoke with my buddy Church on the phone. We decided to meet up tomorrow afternoon for a few hours.

I’ll sleep in because we’re closed for the next 2 days. I’ll edit the blog for the week at Cavanaugh’s and enjoy my half of lunch as usual.


Thank you all for everything. I’ll be posting a special New Years Day post tomorrow morning at 8am to give you a glimpse into what is coming in this blog in 2019.

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year!


I get to Suburban Station around 3:30. She should be here any second. I walk down to the platform when the train pulls in and I see her. She smiles and walks toward me. Great thing is, I saw her last weekend too. So, there’s some continuity here. When we’re apart for three to four weeks at a time I know it’s hard for both of us.

She looks great. Her hair is still all braided into light and dark dreds and she looks sexy as hell. We walk down 18th Street towards Rittenhouse. For the moment it isn’t raining.

“How long can I keep you today?”

“I have to be on a 9:30 train tonight.”

The sky opens up and she whips out an umbrella and we both huddle under it just like on our very first date.

It’ll be another short stay for Cheri. But She stayed over last Saturday and it was glorious. The downside of a short stay for Cherie is that she’s here, we do greatest hits and then she’s gone. The upside for me is that we do greatest hits and then she’s gone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Cherie very much. She’s a wonderful girl. But let’s be honest,  I think most men would agree that if they could have their alone time to do whatever they want, then a hot girl on the right side of thirty stopped by their house for a few hours of fun, and then simply left and you didn’t have to spend one thin dime on them, you’d totally love it. It’s all the kissing, and chatting, and holding and mind bending sex, and then she’s gone. It would be like you could bang Cinderella, and at midnight she turns into a pizza and a six-pack. A dream come true!

We get back to the house and we run the program. If we had gone somewhere and did something, or saw something, I’d write all about it. You know I would, but with her limited schedule she can only see me when she can see me. So we get down to business to fill her burning desire. I must feed the beast. And feed her I do, again and again.

Alas, Phicklephilly is a dating blog, not a sex blog. Maybe I should write a separate erotic blog, and call it La Petite Mort, and write a bunch of graphic sex stories. You could read the date stuff here and then link over to the other blog for the juicy stuff.

Stay tuned…

I love being in bed with Cherie. Her skin is so soft. Her body is absolutely beautiful. Just luscious curves of sleek brown flesh.

Our brief repose is wonderful. I’ll take her to the train, and then come home and have a vodka club and a cigarette. Just basking in the afterglow of my afternoon with my Cherie. Wondering when next I’ll see my lovely girl.



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Blogging and Bucket lists!! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

So readers it is time to get some input from Y’all……Don’t ya just love that fucking word?? Y’All…I am SO going to use it when I go home to Australia, even at the risk of my Sister trying to slap it out of me!!!Gonna use Howdy too :P…..So there Sister dear 😛 Anyway I digress, […]

via Blogging and Bucket lists!! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else


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Before You Tell Your Partner You Love Them, Here Are 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

Telling your partner you love them is a pretty big step in any relationship. While it may seem totally romantic to get caught up in the moment and say it as soon as you start to feel the love juices flowing, exercising some restraint and giving yourself a bit of time to examine your feelings will make it that much sweeter. That’s mostly because deciding to tell your partner you love them is inevitably going to change things in your relationship. Speak too soon, and it could change things for the worse, but time it right, and it will likely take your commitment to the next level.

If you’re wondering who should be the one to drop the bomb first, there, of course, is no right answer. It’s up to either of you to tell the other you love them when you’re sure of your own feelings, and you can sense that your partner is pretty sure of theirs, too. Let me repeat that: Trying your best to be sure of your own feelings and to be sure you and your partner are on the same page is key. If you can manage it, before you get into “I love you” territory, it never hurts to ask yourself these questions to help get your thoughts in order.

1. What Makes This Different From Other Times I May Have Thought It Was Love?

I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all been in one situation or another when we were so sure we were head-over-heels in love, only to realize later down the line that this wasn’t the case. Before saying “I love you” to someone new, it’s always a good idea to spend some time thinking about the ways in which this love is different from past love you thought you experienced. If you find yourself drawing a blank, you may need to give it a bit more time.


2. Is Our Relationship Developed Enough To Handle The Expectations Associated With Love?

While being in love is obviously a good thing, expressing your feelings basically means that you’re making a huge commitment of time and care in your relationship. Before sharing your feelings, make sure that you are in a good place where you can give yourself to your partner fully. Telling someone you love them only to realize later that you aren’t ready or willing to act like it will definitely not end well.

3. How Will I Feel If They Aren’t Ready To Say It Back?

Expressing your feelings for someone means putting yourself in a super vulnerable position. There’s really no guarantee that your partner will say it back. If you’re thinking about biting the bullet, while there’s no need to expect the worst, talking yourself through how you would respond if your partner just isn’t ready to return the sentiment is a good safeguard to avoid being totally disappointed. If the thought of them not reciprocating would be devastating to you, then it may be best to hold off for a bit.


4. Is It Possible That Your Feelings Are More Along The Lines Of Infatuation?

Lust can sometimes feel so unbelievably like love that it’s alarming. Before you up the ante, make sure that you are actually in love with this person. If you are, then you should easily be able to think of several tangible things you love about them and their personality, and why. These things should be completely unrelated to the surface level stuff (like looks and material things).


5. Have I Been 100 Percent Honest With This Person?

Honesty and trust are the two most important aspects of a truly loving relationship. If there are things you’ve kept from your bae, then this could be a sign that honesty and trust aren’t fully there. That’s not to say that those things can’t be improved upon, but saying “I love you” while simultaneously hiding things might mean that you’re not being 100 percent honest with yourself either.

Being in love really is like a drug, and while the initial rush is likely to wane over time, being able to look back on the moment when you finally made your feelings for each other known is super special. So much so, that it definitely deserves some forethought.


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Tales of Rock – Marilyn Manson Has Too Many Sex Rules

Marilyn Manson might be the wildest rocker in the business. Looking like Jared Leto having a psychotic break during the filming of Suicide Squad 2 and acting like an Ozzy Osbourne who can remember how to be metal, you can only imagine how the sex is, right? Very bureaucratic, it turns out.

Manson likes his rules, particularly when they concern boning, or “splicing the Cthulhu with two backs.” If you want to get down to goth business with him, for instance, the lights have to be off. Not because he thrives in darkness and shit, mind, but because he’s really shy.

It’s hard for Manson to concentrate, which is why he also only has sex while keeping his underwear around his ankles, in case he needs to flee the room. Makes sense, it’s really hard to find black silk in total darkness.

Manson’s peccadillos wouldn’t be such an issue for his queens of the dead if they didn’t come up so frequently. The minimum number of times per day he has to engage in “sexual congress” is five, with ten being the ideal goal. So imagine having to punch in five times a day, waiting for Manson to squeeze out of seven layers of latex, and then stumbling around in the dark, knowing that if you accidentally make his underoos slip off, the whole carnival starts all over again. Add an antique abortionist chair covered with a bear rug, which is Manson’s favorite sex surface, and now you know what it’s like making love to the goth supreme: like trying to play an Edgar Allan Poe board game with a 100-page rulebook and a separate pamphlet full of footnotes.


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Ten warning signs a relationship is over

Many people find themselves faced with the daunting prospect of deciding whether their relationship is worth fighting for, or if it has just finally reached its end. On the one hand, most people don’t want to throw in the towel early and just give up, but on the other hand, nor do people want to prolong the agony and stay in a relationship that is never going to work. Calling it a day on a relationship that you have invested a lot of your time, effort, and emotions in, is a tough thing for anyone to do and no one can tell you what is right for you. What we can do, though, is tell you about some of the signs that might indicate that your relationship has already ended and that it could well be time to draw a line under it after all.

1. There is no intimacy in the relationship anymore

Physical intimacy is not the be all and end all for everyone, but for most couples, if there is no lovemaking at all, then the writing is probably on the wall. Physical intimacy brings people closer together and is an expression of their love for one another and, if it has gone completely from the relationship, or it has become nothing more than a chore, then it is most likely that one, or both, partners are no longer committed to the relationship.

2. You keep on arguing about the same things

When you are constantly arguing about the things and you never seem to find a resolution, then that could be an indication that neither is either willing look for a compromise, or to even try to end the fight. A stalemate situation is a sign that the relationship itself is no longer a priority, and it’s one of strong warning signs a relationship is over.

3. There is no trust in the relationship

Anyone can get a little bit jealous sometimes, but if either of you has resorted to checking the other persons phone, or constantly asking the other person where they have been and what they have been doing, then all the trust they may have been there has now evaporated. Without real trust in relationship, it is very likely to fail.

4. You avoid spending time together

You don’t need to spend all your time with your partner, but if you find yourself deliberately trying to avoid them, then it is an obvious sign that the relationship is coming to end. This is not always as obvious as it might seem, it could be that you are choosing to do more on your own, or that you feel quite relieved when you know that your partner won’t be at home when you are.

5. You have stopped having fun together

If you have stopped doing things for fun together, that is a sign that you would rather be apart. You may still sit together in the same room, but there is no more laughing and joking, and you never make any plans to go out anywhere. This is one of the clear warning signs a relationship is over.

6. You are excluding each other from parts of your lives

When you are in a close relationship, you still have your own circle of friends and your own pastimes, but they often merge with the life that you have with your partner. If you are not telling each other anything about your life outside of the partnership, then you are beginning to build completely separate lives, and it’s another one of clear signs a relationship is over.

7. You are lying to each other

You just wouldn’t want to hide the truth from someone you really care about, so if you have started telling lies, however small, then there is probably a deep-seated reason for that. In many cases, the lies might be quite unimportant, but it is still a sign that you know longer care enough about the other person to even worry about the fact that you are lying to them.

8. You have started to wonder what it would be like to be with someone else

When that gorgeous person at work ceases to be just eye candy and you start to have serious thoughts of what it would be like to date them, then you have crossed an important line. It’s one of clear signs a relationship is over. People who are in love don’t even think about the possibility not being together.

9. The thought of seeing your partner stresses you out

When you are in a healthy relationship, being with your partner should make you feel safe and relaxed. If you have started staying late at work, just to avoid being with your partner, then that must be because you know that going home will stress out even more than staying at work, it’s sadly one of warning signs a relationship is over.

10. You need to convince yourself that the relationship is working

We are often our own worst enemies when a relationship is coming to end, because we just don’t want to believe that it is happening. If you are having to convince yourself that things will get better and it will work out in the end, then it might be time you listened to your heart and faced up to the truth.


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5 Obstacles To Escaping An Abusive Relationship

All problems are easy to solve as long as they’re somebody else’s. Every impoverished person has heard a well-off stranger say, “Why don’t you just get a better job?” Everyone suffering from depression has heard some version of “Why don’t you just cheer up?” This is true even if your situation is both awful and depressingly common, like domestic abuse. You’ll hear plenty of “Why don’t you just leave their sorry ass?”

People who ask that question might mean well, but they’re usually coming from a place of enviable ignorance. Statistically, abused partners return to their abuser multiple times before leaving for good, mainly because getting out of this situation can be a long, tangled nightmare for which all of society’s solutions range from imperfect to impossible.

We talked to “Chelsea,” “Ivy,” “Susan,” and “Fred” about why getting out is never easy. We don’t normally do trigger warnings here, but we’re giving you one now.


Help From The police Can Be … Inconsistent

Lots of domestic abuse victims never call the police, and studies show that many of the ones who do wind up regretting it (25 percent of the victims in this study say they wouldn’t call in the future). The reasons range from a fear of not being believed or enraging their abuser, to even that they’ll be the one who gets arrested (which happens, we’ll get into it shortly). Not that cops like these calls any better. Domestic disturbance incidents account for around 15-40 percent of police calls in the U.S., varying by city and department. Statistically, that means that every cop deals with this stuff on every single shift (these calls are also the ones most likely to result in an officer getting killed).

“Chelsea” never called the police on her abuser, which meant also making excuses when he put her in the hospital. This was largely because she didn’t want her family finding out about her situation (abuse-induced shame isn’t just prevalent — abusers count on it). Also, he was an ex-Marine who had guns in the house as well as severe PTSD, and she knew that a restraining order or a night in jail would just piss him off. Oh, and he was dealing drugs out of their house, so she assumed she’d be entangled in whatever charges resulted from the police discovering that. “Ironically,” she says, “my new brother-in-law is a police officer. Even he admits that it might have made it worse in the long run … There were so many reasons to not get them involved, and I don’t regret not calling them.”

“Ivy” did call the police, and frequently, but it didn’t always go well. To understand why, you need to get some context. When it comes to domestic violence calls, an arrest is only made about 36 percent of the time in the U.S. (12 percent if the victim is male.) Less than half of those arrests result in a conviction because the victims will later withdraw or recant their testimony, often at the “encouragement” of the abuser. This has been a long-running issue in law enforcement, as police have a reputation for declaring the situation resolved once the aggressor has cooled off. (It was once common to show up and the tell the accused to “take a walk around the block.” To this day, they often won’t take further action if the abuser has left the scene before they get there.)

As a result, some states have passed mandatory arrest laws which require or strongly encourage police to haul somebody to jail. That’s the case where Ivy lives. The problem is that, absent clear physical injuries, there’s nothing stopping an abuser from claiming to be the victim … and Ivy’s ex was very good at acting like the calm, rational party. “I called [the cops] the night he threatened our baby and then kicked me over when I bent down to pick the baby up. And then they came out and arrested me.”

The ex did later go to jail, and kept turning up outside her house once he was out, at which point the police would come by, do a brief search, and leave again … only for him to immediately return. “I had to call them back out, and they acted annoyed.”

Not that all of the cops she dealt with were dubious or apathetic: “There were three police officers who were complete angels to me and offered to chat whenever I need to, and told me I definitely need to leave and that he is the problem. When I was considering dropping my divorce, one police officer looked me directly in the eyes and said, ‘Are you sure that’s what YOU want to do? Please be very sure.’ He said this right in front of my ex, and at the time it stung, but it held a lot of weight and makes me feel comfort now.”


Restraining Orders Often Don’t Keep An Abuser Away

If you’ve never been in this situation, the phrase “I finally had to get a restraining order” sounds like the end of a story. Like it’s a magical Circle of Protection spell, cast as a last resort. The reality, according to a meta-analysis of 32 studies, is that restraining orders are violated about 40 percent of the time on average (individual studies showed rates much higher than that). That’s bad enough, but 21 percent of the time, the order is followed by even worse behavior, as the abuser becomes enraged at the victim for having the nerve to try to protect themselves. Ivy was one such case. “The order definitely triggered worse behavior. It caused him to act desperate in trying to get me back while simultaneously hating and destroying me for leaving.”

Just to be clear, statistically, it’s better to get some kind of order of protection than to not get one. In many cases, it’s enough to signal to the abuser that any further bullshit will have consequences. In Ivy’s case, police did start arresting her ex when she reported him for violating the order … but he was usually out in less than a week (violating a restraining order is usually a misdemeanor).

This is also another situation in which enforcement is hit and miss. If you call the cops in the middle of the night to say that your ex is at your door in violation of some kind of order of protection, they can’t make an arrest without verifying that the order is genuine … and many U.S. states they don’t have any kind of database they can instantly check, or the one they have is poorly maintained. Even if the victim has a copy of the order on them, it often doesn’t matter.

There are thus plenty of horror stories of abuse victims being murdered despite having a restraining order in place, and in a recent court case (Castle Rock v. Gonzales), it was actually decided that police departments can’t be sued for failing to follow through (feel free to read the details if you want to ruin the rest of your week).

What a restraining order does is establish a paper trail that serves as evidence when an abuser keeps turning up. It can be hard to prove abuse (as we mentioned), but much easier to prove the abuser showed up at your workplace in front of witnesses. But obviously, if an abuser already doesn’t respect laws against beating up their spouse, why would they respect a piece of paper and five paragraphs of legalese?


Shelters Can Save Your Life … But May Make It Impossible To Stay

Of the four survivors we interviewed, three were able to get hotel rooms or stay with family when they needed to get to safety. But Ivy — like many of you reading this — wasn’t lucky enough to have either of those options. Yet her efforts to get into a shelter were frustrated at every turn. She called hotlines listed for every shelter in her area, and says this is how it usually went:

“You have to do a 30-45-minute assessment about your traumatic experiences, and most times when you’re done, the hotline attendant will then tell you the shelter is full and offer other numbers to call that you have already tried. That is extremely discouraging, and also exhausting. I also had one shelter offer me to come from [a two-hour drive away], and if I couldn’t get there within the hour, they would not take me. They told me, ‘We could be saving someone else’s life,’ and hung up on me.”

If you’re wondering why, it turns out overcrowding at shelters is a problem nationwide due to a lack of funding. You can see how victims might get the idea that while some kind individuals absolutely care about this issue, the system as a whole could not give less of a shit.

Even the shelters that did have room for Ivy and her child were not viable options because of various rules that their residents had to follow. These rules are well-meaning, intended to protect the security of the shelter and help keep it running smoothly, but they can also make it prohibitively difficult for survivors to hold a job and get on their feet financially (a critical aspect of escaping).

“The rules were that I could not leave during certain hours. They worry that if someone’s being stalked or followed, the location of the shelter is not kept safe. One shelter in the area did not allow cellphones, and I know another did not allow WiFi in case cell phones were being tracked. They expect you to participate in group therapy all day and different classes of sorts, so trying to maintain work while being in such an ‘inpatient’-type format wouldn’t work out.”

Excessive or overly strict rules can also trigger survivors’ traumatic memories by stripping of them of their agency in the same way their abusers did (a trend which is, fortunately, beginning to change). Also, this wasn’t a problem for Ivy, but many shelters don’t allow pets. That may seem frivolous (mainly to those of you who don’t have one), but pets can be an important source of psychological comfort for survivors, especially kids. Also, the fear of abandoning a beloved pet to bear the brunt of an abuser’s vengeance keeps a lot of people from leaving their abuser if no alternative pet home can be found.

Again, the people who keep these shelters running are heroes who save lives. The point here is that in each of these cases, abuse survivors get shamed for the choices they made, or failed to make. “Why didn’t you just get out of there?” is an easy — and somewhat accusatory — question you can ask only if you’ve never been in such a situation.


Divorce Is Expensive, And May Not Go Your Way

On average, getting a divorce costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $30,000. Imagine having to work at GameStop for an entire year, only instead of getting a paycheck, your biweekly reward is that you get to take one more baby step away from the monster who likes to break dishes over your head while screaming that you’re a piece of shit. That figure can go much higher if the divorce is contested — which it often will be, because abusers aren’t usually keen to give up control over their victims. On top of that, it’s difficult to keep a steady job when your spouse is a controlling prick who won’t let you leave the house, makes you too stress-crazy to do your job properly, or keeps putting you in the hospital.

Our male abuse survivor, Fred, was at a major disadvantage throughout much of his divorce proceedings. This was partly due to bias stemming from the fact that abuse is more commonly seen as male-on-female, but it was also because his wife’s attorney was a friend of her family who was willing to work pro bono and was available almost all the time. That flexibility enabled them to pull a lot of nasty procedural tricks, like filing unnecessary motions and venue changes to force Fred to spend more time and money responding, adding more stress to an already hellishly stressful situation. And that was the point; they were basically operating like a tiny Church of Scientology.

Susan’s ex — an unemployed alcoholic who was prone to drunkenly sexually assaulting her — made out like a bandit in their divorce, because her state calculates alimony according to how much money each party made during the marriage, and isn’t concerned with little details like whether one of them was a physically abusive gaslighter (some states now do factor in abuse). “Paying alimony to your rapist is a monthly kick in the gut,” she says. “We settled with him getting 60 percent of our assets, which was financially devastating for me. I lost almost all of my retirement savings, and took on the obligation of paying for our kids’ college costs … I got the house, but it needed a lot of work to make it sellable, and I put about $50k into that.”

Ivy had to fight like hell to get full custody of their child. She’s Dominican, which to racists falls into the category of “Probably some kind of criminal.” Her ex and his lawyer made her out to be a gangbanger, and the judge fell for it for months. “It wasn’t until [her ex] caused internal bleeding and threatened me via text that they granted full custody,” she said. “Imagine going back to court several months later to that exact judge and showing him what’s happened since he allowed custody, and having him never verbally admit he made a mistake, but seeing the realization on his face.”

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Oh, and remember how Chelsea didn’t report the abuse because she didn’t want her family to know about it? Well, her ex repaid that favor in divorce court by playing up his veteran status and his PTSD, and shaming her for wanting to leave. “His lawyer painted him as a misunderstood combat veteran who was just trying to find his way in the world, and painted me as the angry wife who was unwilling to compromise or help him. He knew I wouldn’t bring up the physical abuse, and he manipulated that to his advantage … ”

So there’s a case where an outsider could say, “That’s why you call the cops and get the abuse on record, damn it!” but remember, she had equally valid reasons for not doing that at the time. Generally, if you see people avoiding “obvious” solutions, they have a reason for it.

“The worst part was the way he hugged me the last day I saw him, in front of everyone, with his nails digging into my shoulders,” says Chelsea. “That hug was like everything else he did — outwardly a kind gesture, with just a touch of threat.”


You Can Get Them Out Of Your Life, But Not Out Of Your Head

In the movies, leaving an abusive spouse is a huge moment of triumph, and it’s all smooth sailing from there. The woman (it’s never not a woman, according to Hollywood) walks out of the house with her head held high, hails a cab, and takes it straight to a new life of happiness, success, and probably Ryan Gosling’s dick. In real life, the constant dread brought on by years of abuse don’t just vanish overnight, or even necessarily ever. Even when things are so bad that you restructure your whole life around escaping, the damaged part of you still insists you’re making a huge mistake.

Chelsea moved and changed her appearance to make sure her ex couldn’t find her. He hasn’t, but she still has nightmares about him appearing over her bed with a gun, and seeing someone who even looks like him can induce a panic attack. And part of her still feels responsible for his shitty behavior. “I have so much guilt that circles around him, that sometimes I still wonder — had I done something different, been better, been more diligent, would I somehow have been able to help him?”

She’s also taken up kickboxing. “I like feeling strong, like if there was someone who wanted to hurt me, I would be able to at least put up a fight.”

Ivy hasn’t fully escaped yet. She still has to see her ex sometimes, and despite the broken restraining orders, she puts up with it out of fear for her child’s safety. “I’m afraid the stalking would get worse, or he’d seek revenge in a really sick way. I’m afraid he would try to kill me or hurt my child … He can’t stand the thought of me being with someone else, and I truly believe it could drive him to kill. I also do love him still, in a sense. I fear regretting my decisions.” He’s also facing prison time for unrelated charges, and she’s hanging on in the hopes that she’ll be able to get clear of him for good once he’s safely behind bars.

That said, it is possible to move on and have a fulfilling life. Fred is engaged to someone new and awesome. Susan is big into scuba diving now, and she’s also in a healthy relationship. Happy endings are possible.


Was this helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post!


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Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1980 – Hunt’s Pier – Part 1

I almost can’t describe how incredible how it was to work here in 1980.

I was 17. You had to be 18 to work on Hunt’s Pier. Somehow my dad had a contact and got me in there.

I was in a band and no longer a busboy at the Dolphin restaurant. I was on the boardwalk.  This was like being a key player in the circus.

When I think of working in the restaurant I think of working with a nice group of pretty waitresses and Greek cooks and the like. When I took the job at Hunt’s in 1980, it was the perfect job for a and 18-year-old boy.

At this point in this saga, I would rather have the professionals describe what the job was.

I worked at the Golden Nugget Mine Ride.

It was the second most popular ride on the pier. Right behind the Log Flume.

Once I got the job there I got my loser friend Anthony a job there at Jungle Land and my most beloved friend Richard a job there working on the Log Flume.

Working on Hunt’s Pier was different from any job I had ever had before. Pool boy. Crap. Bus boy. Crap. Running the controls of the second most popular amusement ride on the pier every night. Magic.

As a writer I’ve written everything about my life in great detail.

Living in Wildwood in the summer is nearly a surreal experience.

I don’t know if I can write this.

I see it. I see my sister Janice, but I’m struggling to pull it all together.

There’s so much.

I think about writing this piece and I almost don’t know where to go because it’s so rich. But I suppose that’s a good thing.

There’s almost too much to tell.

Hunt’s Pier. This could roll through 2019 and hold up the demise of the Union Jacks and my time to California.

I just don’t want to scrimp on the value of my time there.

My father got me the job there because he knew some of the guys through his banking contacts.

Getting a job there was getting the coolest summer job on Earth back on 1980.

I’ve been punished for some unknown reason and have been banished to this shitty island for the winter and now she has awakened and is prettier than she’s ever been. I don’t have to be a pool boy or a busboy and I get a fun job working on an amusement ride on Hunt’s Pier.

Hunt’s Pier was an amusement pier located along the Wildwood, New Jersey, boardwalk from 1957 through 1985. Over its nearly 30 years in operation, Hunt’s was home to many classic dark rides, roller coasters, and other attractions.

Hunt’s Pier dates back to the early 1900s when it was known as Ocean Pier, the first major pier on the boardwalk. Home to ballroom dancing and musical acts, Ocean Pier was purchased by William Hunt in 1935 and converted to an amusement park with rides, including a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a dark ride.[1]

On Christmas Day 1943, Ocean Pier burned down. Hunt built a new, all-concrete pier in its place. On May 30, 1957, Memorial Day, the revamped Hunt’s Pier opened. The amusement park began with only four rides, though it boasted 10 rides by the time of its grand opening on June 21, 1957.[2]

In 1985 Hunt’s Pier was sold and re-emerged in 1989 as The New Hunt’s Pier, retaining many of the rides operated by the original Hunt’s Pier and adding a steel roller coaster called Kamikaze. In 1988, Conklin Shows bought the pier and renamed it Conko’s Party Pier.[3] This latest incarnation of the pier was short-lived, and by the end of 1992, many of the rides had been disassembled and the New Hunt’s Pier had gone bankrupt. The Kamikaze was sold and currently operates under the name Blue Hawk at Six Flags Over Georgia.

The Cantonoso family, owners of Steel Pier in Atlantic City, bought the defunct pier in 1995. By 1996, the pier had been renamed Dinosaur Beach and had added dinosaur motifs to the classic Golden Nugget Mine Ride, a decision derided by fans as not being in good taste.[4] In addition to a water coaster and an amphitheatre, Dinosaur Beach included the first spinning wild mouse, which opened in 1997. The only classic rides operating at Dinosaur Beach were the Golden Nugget, Log Flume, and Rapids, with most of the Hunt’s legacy gone. In 1998 Dinosaur Beach closed, and over the next few years most of the rides disappeared.

Present day

The pier is currently owned by Morey’s Piers and is used to house maintenance equipment and the boardwalk tram cars. A grill, beach shop, and Adventure Maze are now on the front of the pier. Morey’s has plans to build a wooden roller coaster which will cross over from the Surfside Pier to the back of Hunt’s Pier.


Hunt’s Pier featured many unique rides and attractions, including a classic wooden roller coaster called the Flyer, indoor rides such as Keystone Kops and Whacky Shack, and an outdoor boat ride called Jungleland. For many years, The Golden Nugget had the honor of being the oldest ride on the Wildwood Boardwalk still surviving in its original form and location. The Golden Nugget originally opened in July 1960 on the newly constructed oceanside section of Hunt’s Pier. The Golden Nugget was built three stories high with the top floor designed to imitate a mine car ride through the desert. The classic coaster ride was specially constructed for Hunt’s Pier by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and was engineered by John Allen. It was removed in 2009, and a ceremony commemorating the ride was held in January of that year in anticipation of its removal.[5]

In early 2009, Knoebels’ Amusement Resorts entered into agreement with Morey’s Piers to acquire the trains, tracks, and ancillary mechanical equipment from the Golden Nugget ride. The equipment was moved to Pennsylvania in early 2009 for a planned reproduction of the Golden Nugget at its Elysburg, Pennsylvania, park. Renamed Black Diamond, it officially opened in October 2011. The original stunts and gags included in the ride were not part of the sale and have been retained by Morey’s Piers for usage elsewhere.[6]

The George Boyer Museum in Wildwood currently houses artifacts from Hunt’s Pier, including Keystone Kops characters and Hunt’s Pier flags. Near Historic Cold Springs Village, Hunt’s abandoned storage and maintenance site still holds signs and parts of former rides, including boats for the Log Flume, trains for the Flyer that are currently under restoration, and letters that were part of the Hunt’s Pier Skyline Golf sign that stood opposite from the pier on top of the Ocean Theater.


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How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationship can be very challenging, but it also can be very inspiring and thoughtful.

I have personally been through a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for around one year, and before I give out any tips or advice, I have to first admit that this is the hardest relationship I have ever had in my life. First, like many others, I know I am that kind of person who know it is going to be suffering and do not want to suffer ourselves, and I thought I would never encounter a long distance relationship until I had two choices in front of me when she had to move, break up or embrace it. I chose the second one because I love her. I guess this is the same situation as many other couples faced when they had to choose.

Then our long distance relationship stories began at the point we were separated. The process did not go through smoothly, but I am really happy we both went through it and things are working now. I learned a lot from this relationship which I really want to share with you guys.

Pretending that you are living a single life.

With this, I definitely did not mean that you should pretend that you are single and cheat on your partner. I meant you should get your own life busy when your partner is far away from you.

When I was far from my girlfriend for the first time, I did not even know what I should do without her. We used to go to grocery together, we dined together, we did so many things together even without noticing that we were doing that so naturally. After she was gone, I felt a lot of pain when I went to the grocery, places we went together, and I was so afraid to go to those places again because this time, there would be only me.

This is not how it should be. I know how it feels, but this is not helping at all if you are feeling sorry for these with yourself or complaining about these with your partner like I did.

If you are having a long distance relationship, the first rule is always having your own life and keeping yourself as busy with your stuff as possible. With this, you will not think about when is she going to call me, what does she mean with this message, no overthinking, no misunderstanding. You can start by having some hobbies like gardening or reading or even watching some movies since you have lots of personal time now.

Busy with what you love to do, and pretending that you are living a single life, then when she calls you, you would be very happy to receive her call instead of being so sad that she called you so late and you have missed her for a while.

Do not send messages to each other constantly through the whole day.

Another thing you should never do in a long distance relationship is sending messages at every second with each other. I used to do it, and it ended up as a tough lesson I had to learn.

I know that you two miss each other, but doing this is just a big consuming hole which will eat up all your time and energy. Everyone has things to deal with everyday, and your partner has even more things to deal with when you are away since you can’t help her with anything. If you send out a message every time something happened to your life to your partner, she has to reply, and then you reply, then she replies, this would go forever until you two are tired enough to pass out on the bed. This is not how a healthy relationship should be. You will not be happy with this constantly annoying burden because you can’t do anything without checking your phone and thinking, oh, did she send me a message, I have to reply or she would ask me where was I and why didn’t I reply.

Instead of sending lots of messages, you can chat after a long day together in a relaxing environment. You don’t have to be together to chat about your days, just talk about life easily during this special time you saved for each other. And if you did not send messages during the whole day, you will find out that coming up with topics to talk about now is just like natural, and you will never run out of energy and happiness when you are talking with each other.

Think before you talk. Get prepared for phone calls and video calls.

I know it sounds like kind of very normal for people who are physically together, but things are more complex when you are separated. Sometimes you have to be very careful because it is very easy for couples in long distance relationships to feel unstable and unsafe.

You probably think a little bit unstable is fine for relationships, but it is definitely not fine for a long distance relationship. When your partner chose to have a long distance relationship with you rather than breaking you up, she or he is definitely not playing you around and treating this relationship not seriously, so you should be very careful not to hurt her or him while you are not together. I used to talk on the phone with my girlfriend the same way I talked to her when we were together, and the effect of a simple sentence can last for several days since I was not there for her, and every time she thought about me, she thought about what I said on the phone, so this is how easily I could be misunderstood by her.

This situation is something not avoidable. You have to talk to each other to keep the relationship fresh, but you have to be more careful what you are going to talk and how you say it. So, always get prepared before calling your partner. Thinking about what you are going to talk at least ten minutes before your calls, and by this way, you will show the best part of you to your partner even you are far away with each other, and your partner will be even more confident about this relationship regardless the distance.

If you made mistake, let time fix it.

It is very, very, very easy to make mistakes in a long distance relationship. You can never avoid all of them.

Long distance relationship makes people more vulnerable than they are in a regular relationship. By vulnerable, I mean your partner will be more easily get hurt by you when you are separated even you pay extra attention to everything. However, these “mistakes” are not actually mistakes, you did not do anything “wrong”, but your partner is hurt by what you did only because of the distance is too long and the future seems a little bit scary sometimes. You will feel this way as well I believe.

If this happens, please do not try to explain yourself over and over again or even trying to teach your partner this is not how it should be. Trust me, your partner is an adult like you are, and she knows what it should be. She is just too overwhelming right now, and please don’t make things even worse.

There might be many ways to sort things out for this situation, but for me, I personally prefer letting time fix it, and it works for both of us. When my girlfriend is in a bad mood for no reason, I would just sit down and listen to her without judging her about anything. Just let her talk to me, let her stress out. When she calms down, I won’t use what she said to me against her, just let everything go. I believe that she does not mean what she said on the mood, and sometimes, if you don’t mention it, your partner won’t even remember what she said when she was overwhelming. So, don’t take it personally even your partner is blaming you at this moment, she just needs a way out for all of the stress comes from the long distance.

After all, time will fix everything for you. Just be patient.

In the end, consider time as non-linear.

The scariest part of a long distance relationship is the future for sure. Yes, we definitely can plan the future for us, but no one knows how the future is going to be in the end. What if we cannot work this out? What if I cannot move to her place? What if she cannot move back? I was annoyed by these questions every time I think about our future, and this can be really stressful.

One of the advice about this part I would give is just letting everything be whatever it should be. If you are together, enjoy the happiness you have when you are together; if you are separated, enjoy the fun when you are separated even it is very rare. Don’t try to wait until you meet with each other to be happy, just try to enjoy your life at every moment and don’t worry about your relationship too much.

I’d like to consider the time in my life as non-linear on this issue. Whenever I am stressed out with the future, I close my eyes, imagine the time I was born, the kisses from my mom and dad, how I grow up, friends came and gone in my life, what kind of person I think I want to be, and picture all of these. Then I see the big picture of my life instead of a person stuck here doesn’t know what future is going to be like a little child. I found this always helps me with this situation, and also with other parts of my life.

Long distance relationships can be really, really hard to anyone. If you are planning to get into one, do not underestimate how challenging it would be. However, I still hope you can survive it if you decide to do so since on any level, long distance relationships can seriously teach you a lesson about life. If it works, you will get a very solid relationship with each other, and if it sadly does not work, just let it go. Life will always continue, especially for yours.

Good Luck.


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