Tinder Dating Among Teens: When Swipe-Right Culture Goes to High School – Part 2

Terry downloaded Tinder when she was 17 and it was legal to be on the platform. She was looking to have “random, meaningless sex” after a bad breakup. Like the others, Terry, who is now 22, says that all of her friends were on the app. Unlike them, she listed her real age and ultimately regretted it. Before she abandoned the apps, she had run-ins with men who lied about their age or who wanted to pick her up and take her to an undisclosed location.

“I had horrible experiences,” she says. “I had a lot of guys that wanted to like, pick me up, and meet me in a place that was secluded, and didn’t understand why that was weird or just expected sex right off the bat.”

Terry’s most concerning experiences involved older guys who said they were 25 or 26 and listed a different age in their bio. “Like, why don’t you just put your real age?” she says. “It’s really weird. There are some creeps on there.”

Although there’s no public statistic on fake Tinder profiles, avoiding Tinder scams and spotting fake people on the app is fundamental to the experience of using itAdults know this. Teens don’t. Many see a fun app for meeting people or hooking up. And it’s easy to feel concerned about these minors posing as legal adults to get on a platform that makes it so easy to create a profile — real or fake.

Amanda Rose, a 38-year-old mom and professional matchmaker from New York, has two teenage boys, 15 and 17, and concerns about the way that social media and tech has changed dating. To her knowledge, her kids haven’t dated anyone they met online and they don’t use Tinder (she has the passwords to all of her kids’ phones and social media accounts.) But she’s also had many talks with them about the problem with tech and her concerns.

“We’ve had the talk that the person they are talking to might be posting pictures that are not really them,” she says. “It could be someone fake. You have to be really careful and mindful about who you interact with online.”

Amanda’s also concerned about how much teenagers — and the adult clients with whom she works — resort to the digital in order to repair their relationships or remain connected to the world.

“I’ve noticed, even with my clients, that people go to texting. They don’t pick up the phone and call someone. I talk to my kids about that: about how important it is to actually, pick up the phone and not hide behind a phone or a computer screen,” she says. “Because that’s where you build relationships.”

If you just stay behind text messages, Amanda says, you’re not going to build stronger relationships. Even when her oldest son talks about issues with his girlfriend, she tells him: “Don’t text her. You need to step outside if you don’t want anyone to hear the conversation and pick up the phone and call her.”

Still, certain teenagers who ventured onto Tinder have positive stories. Katie, who asked to be referred to by her first name only for privacy, went to an all-girls Catholic school and had a conservative family. She used the app as a way to figure out her sexual identity and credits it for helping her navigate a new and burgeoning sense of self in a way that didn’t leave her open to hostile teenagers, school staff, or disapproving family members.

“I was not out. I was very, very in the closet,” she says. “It was one of my first ever moments of letting myself kind of even acknowledge that I was bisexual. It felt very safe and private.”

On Tinder, Katie says she saw women from her high school looking for other women. Seeing this helped her feel less alone.

“I was 16 and had no idea that they felt that way,” she says. “They didn’t know I felt that way.”

Katie downloaded Tinder at a volleyball tournament. She was with a bunch of friends. They were all women and all straight.

“I was dealing with having queer feelings and not having anyone to talk to about it. I didn’t feel like I could actually talk to anybody, even my close friends about it at that point. So, I kind of used it more to just figure out what being gay is like, I guess.”

Her experience was freeing. “It didn’t feel threatening to flirt with women, and just figure myself out in a way that involved different people without having to feel like I exposed myself to people who would be unfriendly toward me,” she says.

Katie’s story is both unique and not unique. The trend of queer people using dating apps to enter relationships is well-known. Twice as many LGBTQ+ singles use dating apps than heterosexual people. About half of LGBTQ+ singles have dated someone they met online; 70 percent of queer relationships have begun online. That Katie got on the app when she was 16 is maybe not typical, but she found her first girlfriend on the app, and within a few years, came out to her family. Being able to safely explore her bisexuality in an otherwise hostile environment without coming out publicly until she was ready, Katie says, was “lifesaving.”

To find love and acceptance, one must put themselves out there. For teenagers, those whose lives are basically based around understanding and seeking acceptance, this can be an especially daunting prospect — especially so in an age when digital communication is the norm. So why not jump on Tinder, which requires one-minute of setup to help them sit on the edge of  — or dive directly into — the dating pool?

“There’s that whole thing about not looking like you’re trying, right? Tinder is the lowest effort dating platform, in my opinion. Which also makes it harder to meet people,” says Jenna. “But it doesn’t look like you’re trying hard. All of the other ones don’t seem like that.”

Still, while stories like Jenna’s and Katie’s highlight how the app can provide a useful outlet of self-acceptance, neither young woman used the platform as intended. As Tinder seems to suggest by it’s tagline, “Single is a terrible thing to waste,” the app is for those looking for sex. Fostering connections may be more bug than feature. It’s not reassuring that the best stories about teens using the platform tend to emerge from edge-case scenarios, not from the typical function of the app, which is designed as a sexual outlet, but may also condition its user to accepting certain types of sexual experiences.

“You don’t want industry to be the decider of teen sexuality,” says Dines. “Why would you leave it to a profit-based industry?”

That’s a profound question and not one teens are likely to dwell on. Teens will continue to experiment because, well, that’s what teens do. And if they don’t receive guidance from adults in their lives, their early experiences on platforms like Tinder will shape their approach to adult relationships going forward. More than anything, that may be the hazard teens face on Tinder: the morphing of their own expectations.

“You don’t want to leave it to the [profiteers],” says Dines. “We want more for our kids than that, no matter their sexuality.”

 

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Sabrina – Surprise Visit – Part 1

Sabrina texts me out of nowhere and wants to cash in her free spray tan.  She lives out-of-town but works down at Penn’s Landing at a marketing company. She loves her job and is doing great. I’m happy she’s doing well and has been sober for over 9 months.

She sees her kids every Saturday and is trying to get on better terms with her sort of ex husband. (They’re still legally married but have been split for over a year. But she refers to him as her Ex) According to her their marriage was toxic and she can’t be with him anymore. She lives in the house they own together but he pays the mortgage and I’m assuming some sort of support.

This is a woman I met at the salon with Jill. (See Jill – 2016 to Present – Client) Jill is an ex stripper/escort that can’t stop drinking. Sabrina met her in a halfway house and they have remained friends. Jill is a full-blown alcoholic and Sabrina is a drug addict. Jill told me Sabrina’s drug of choice was heroin but she’s done an amazing job rising from the ashes of her own destruction to live anew as a sober person.

Sabrina once told me that if she even took a sip of beer she’d be right back into it again. That’s addiction. But I know a few addicts that come in the salon that have been sober for decades and they are incredibly great people who have risen above and sustained their lives. Many are professional people like doctors and lawyers. Addiction doesn’t care who you are. It just tries to steal who you are and sledgehammer your life.

Jill is the one that told me that Sabrina wasn’t an alcoholic. She was heroin addict. But like I said, addiction is an insidious force that doesn’t choose between nationality, race, or social status. It just takes some of them.

I can drink wine every day and not lose my shit. It loosens my mind to write, kills my anxiety and depression, helps me sleep and is a social lubricant. But some people’s wiring just can’t take any foreign substances.

I could drink with someone who is an alcoholic and drink the same thing pound for pound all night long. I will maintain my buzz and go home and go to bed after a fun night.

They will in turn change in mood and personality. Lose their sense of time, sense, verbal ability, motor skills, and eventually black out and do bad things and never remember them. They will not destroy themselves. They’ll destroy everything and everyone around them. That’s addiction.

We’re all different. We all have the same chemical make up that makes us human, but all of our chemicals react differently to introduced to outside forces. Sometimes stimulation… sometimes absolute destruction. Booze is probably the worst because it’s legal and beloved by so many. Nobody high on marijuana ever aggressively hit a cop. A drunk guy who’s losing his shit with his wife would. The worst thing that happens when I’m around people who smoke pot is a boring endless story and I want a drink to get through listening to them.

Here’s the difference between weed and booze. I was friends with a great sensitive drummer named Rich back in the 80’s. He loved weed. I like booze. Here is the conversation when we’re banged up on our substances of choice walking down the street:

Rich: (Stoned) “Hey man… what if the color blue to me isn’t the same color blue to you?”

Me: (Whiskey) “I don’t fucking know. Check the crayon box, asshole.”

See the difference?

 

Anyway, my girl Sabrina wants to come in and get a spray tan. She’s middle eastern and is as brown as a penny and hot as hell, but her legs need color. I tell her we can help her. We can help anybody!

I’ll make all of you girls beautiful and tan. Leave it to me!

She says her legs are always covered and she wants to even out her look. I tell her the best way to do that is to go in a UV sunbed. Cover up the parts you don’t want tan and bake up your legs to match the rest of your delicious self.

Long term that would work for her. Her legs could catch up with the rest of her pretty brown skin.

But Sabrina wants to do a spray tan to just to even herself out and look good. I tell her it’s a temporary fix, but she’ll look great.

She comes in and we have a lovely chat. I tell her about my recent date with Bailey on Christmas Eve and how I’m seeing her again tonight  for some wine and Gelato when I close the salon. Sabrina is surprised and delighted that I’m going on a second date with Bailey. (See: Bailey – From Texting to Connection) 

She doesn’t know about Cherie so I tell her I adore her. “I can’t wait forever for you, Sabrina.” (Only half joking because I would totally love to date Sabrina and haven’t completely ruled out accomplishing that goal in the near future.)

“You’ll have to text me how it went! Have you kissed Bailey yet?”

“No. I hope to this evening.”

“You’ll have to text me if you do!”

She looks amazing and gorgeous. I wish she lived closer to the city so I could spend more time with her. I tell her how great she looks and how amazing her luxurious hair looks. She thanks me and attributes it to being sober.

I love that.

She tells me that Jill is about to be kicked out of her current residence because she’s drinking oceans of vodka and sleeping around. Jill is out of control. Sabrina tells me that Jill wants to come live with her.

I tell Sabrina the following: “You’ve been sober for 9 months. You see your kids. You have a great job now. You’re doing well. You can not bring Jill, the broken drunk into your house. EVER. You have to cut her off.”

Sabrina tells me that she can’t bring that shit into her house after finally getting clean and moving forward with her life. She’s going to have to have the “Talk” with Jill.

It’s sad because in Sabrina’s phone, Jill is still listed as “Roomie” from when they were in a halfway house. Sabrina has been an elegant Phoenix that has risen from the ashes of her own destruction, whereas Jill started drinking and whoring once she got out of rehab and the halfway house.

Jill is being kicked out of her present living situation because she can’t stop drinking and whoring.  Jill plows vodka and jumps from guy to guy. Screwing them and staying at their cribs until they kick her out. I’m sure she cares for her son but her behavior screams she doesn’t give a shit about him because she’s always loaded and riding cock somewhere, blackout drunk.

“The best place for her is to go back to the halfway house.”

Sweet Sabrina’s words ring like lovely bells on New Years day. The words from a mother that is struggling everyday to make her way in this life.

 

I’ll continue this story tomorrow…

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 24

I walked away, trying to figure out how ‘tea’ could be in the 12-letter clue. If I didn’t know their positions, the order they came in, then it wasn’t a lot of help. I re-played Teresa’s words. Redbeard captured it … whole cargo … French merchantman … French! Teresa spoke better French than I did, and sometimes teased me about it. But I knew enough French to figure this out.

Why not a Spanish prize? Or English, or Dutch? She specifically said French. Redbeard would be ‘Barbe Rouge’. Ten letters, one for each player, except her. And the Bible, of course, had something to do with it. I needed to consult it.

I went to the den, and locked the door behind me. I compared ‘Barbe Rouge’ with the verses in the ‘Bible’, and got nothing. Then I realized that I was still holding the teabag she had given me. Why? Eureka! Tea is ‘the’ in French (if you add a little accent over the ‘e’). T-H-E. Could that be part of the code? In that order? I still had no idea what the code said, but it felt like a big piece of the puzzle had just fallen into my hands. Thanks to Lena’s skill at pool, and to the impulse that made take her as a partner. See, sometimes virtue is rewarded.

I unlocked the door, and re-entered the main room. That is, I attempted to re-enter the main room. Ben was right outside the door, and he pushed me back into the den. Barbara was right behind him. She closed the door behind her.

Ben pointed a finger at me. With his other hand, though, he showed me a piece of paper. It clearly said ‘PISTOL’, just like mine. Barbara came to stand beside me, and poked me in the ribs with her finger. Then she showed me another piece of paper. Written on it, with Teresa’s calligraphy pen, was the word ‘KNIFE’.

I wanted to laugh. I mean, it was pretty funny, the two of them standing there with their fingers pointed at me. But they looked serious, so I decided to humour them and play along. Slowly, I raised my hands.

“Do you have a weapon?” said Ben.

– “No.” I answered, truthfully. My ‘PISTOL’ was under the corner of the rug.

– “Give us the Bible, and we won’t hurt you – much.” said Barbara. She did look a little sinister, with the eye patch. But I could see down her cleavage, and it was more than a little distracting.

– “I don’t have it.” I answered. That was also true. It was under the opposite corner of the rug.

– “He’s lying.” said Ben.

– “We could search him.” said Barbara, wistfully. Something about her tone made me think that she was envisioning a strip search.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “You have to give it to us.”

– “I would if I had it, but I don’t so I can’t.” I replied. Try saying that fast three times.

– “What did you do with it?” asked Barbara.

– “I read it.” No point in lying. Claire had to have told them that I had it. That meant that she was in cahoots with them.

– “Then what did you do with it?” asked Barbara, sweetly, prodding me with her finger.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “He’s cheating.”

– “I have an idea.” Barbara stepped away from me, and went to whisper in Ben’s ear. He scowled, but when she whispered some more, he handed her the piece of paper. Barbara pointed her finger at me, and showed me that she now had the pistol. Ben opened the door, and then slipped out of the room, closing the door.

“You never came to visit me yesterday, Colin.” she said. “I was so disappointed. It made me think that you didn’t like me. Or was it that you were afraid of me?”

– “You do have a knife. And now a pistol.” I observed.

– “I would have put down them down, for you.” she said. “We have so much to discuss.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that, so I chose the better part of valour.

Ben returned, with Teresa in tow.

– “He won’t give us the Bible.” Ben complained. “We know he has it.”

– “Colin, do you have the Bible?” Teresa asked me. “I’m here as the referee, not the Captain.”

– “I do not have the Bible.” I repeated. “I did, but not anymore.”

– “Can we search him?” asked Barbara.

Teresa studied my face for a few moments. “Alright, I’ll handle this.” With that, she ushered Ben and Barbara out of the room. “As far as the game is concerned, you are still in the room, weapons drawn. If he has it, I’ll get it for you.” Ben protested, but Barbara pushed him out. She blew me a kiss before leaving.

– “What are you doing?” asked Teresa.

– “I don’t have it.” I said. “Can I put my arms down, now?”

– “Yes. Claire says she gave it to you.” said Teresa.

– “She did. I didn’t want anybody to find it, and I was afraid that she would want it back. So I hid it. That way, if she asked for it, I could honestly say that I didn’t have it. Just like I told them.”

– “You really hid it?”

– “And my pistol.” I said.

– “Where? Never mind – I don’t want to know. You are either very clever, mister, or very lucky.” said Teresa. She had that enigmatic smile on her face. God, I loved that girl.

“Alright.” she continued “I will tell them that they struck out. But from here on in, you had better find some friends. If they catch you alone again, they could kill you.”

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=308

 

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Is It a Bad Idea to Get Back With an Ex? Here’s What Relationship Experts Have to Say

I’m back with my ex, Mack. But it actually feels like we just met.

I originally met him when I was 21 years old and living far away from the West Coast in Chicago. That was the first time we dated. We reunited almost a year ago in San Francisco. It turns out, a lot changed in the time we were apart. Our bodies were different. Our personalities were more evolved.

When we were younger we spent hours together, listening to music and lounging at my apartment, talking forever. He would wait for me to finish my college newspaper job and walk me home from the office in the middle of the night. I remember feeling flattered when he asked me to meet his father and step-mother.

Then, he went on tour. He came back and he didn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. I was graduating early and moving to Los Angeles in a few weeks. It wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t super dramatic, just sad. We broke up in a cafeteria.

We said goodbye at a party months later. My friend had thrown the party for me during my final hours in Chicago, and it was a pleasant surprise to see him there. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t see him again for nearly 10 years.

I was the one who initially reached out a decade later. I sent him an email and asked him how he was doing.

I was hesitant to reach out. I didn’t know if he had the same email address anymore. I figured he probably had a life going on, but I felt optimistic about catching up with him and having a conversation again. I asked him how he was doing. I told him I was coming up to San Francisco on a work assignment, and that I’d love to see him. He responded the next day and said he’d love to see me, too. When it got closer to my trip, we started texting. Then we didn’t stop texting until I stepped out of an Uber and saw him again.

He was still hot. Same big smile. Same big eyes. Same scratchy voice and hairy chest. He was so warm and welcoming. I immediately knew I was in trouble, and that this was a real crush. He watched me eat a taco. He kept staring at me. We talked about all the things that happened during the last decade.

The good thing is, years later, we were able to find humor in all the messed up stuff we did the first time around. But we were also honest about it. It was raw. It was the sexiest, most real conversation I’d ever had with a man.

We’ve always had a lot in common, from our Arabic names to the fact that we’re from the same tribe and religion in Lebanon. We have a background that connects to who we are both spiritually and culturally. Our culture, in so many ways, is an important bond, from the food we eat to the way we speak Frablish—English-French-Arabic in our own language together.

The next day, I knew I wanted him to be part of my life. He wanted me to be part of his.

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So… Should you get back with an ex?

“It depends, and it’s not as easy as if it’s a good idea or bad idea,” says Hillary McBride, a psychotherapist and researcher.

While McBride cannot provide advice to people she is not in a therapeutic relationship with, she did suggest stepping back and asking yourself a few questions:

“I recommend asking: Who is the ex? Why did you break up? Have the issues that caused the break up been resolved? Are you getting back together because you learned something about yourself, and feel differently? Or because you’re lonely? Do we feel pressured? Do we actually want to be together, or is it just hard to meet someone new? Do we know how to sit with our sense of sadness about the relationship ending, or not?”

If you’ve answered these questions honestly and feel like you’re approaching the reunion with a healthy mindset…

Start with communication.

“Ask yourself and the other person what’s different between now and when you were together last, and what the plan is to make changes if that is necessary,” McBride says. “If need be, it could be a good idea for each person, if appropriate, to take ownership of the mistakes they made previously. Think about being able to identify how you want things to be different this time.”

This was something really difficult to discuss: how our breakup hurt my feelings, and how we never truly talked about what had happened between us. Those were tough conversations, but we had them—even though they were deeply painful. Each discussion has helped us build more trust and a stronger relationship.

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“It can feel so good to be with someone who understands us, who we have a history with, but we end up getting stuck in the same old patterns, and it’s not healthy for us to be together,” McBride says. “So, having intentional, thoughtful, sober, conversations about being together can help mitigate some of the pull we feel towards people who we have some measure of comfort with.”

During those difficult conversations, focus on “I” statements about your emotions, and don’t sling judgments or accusations, she says.

Saying I feel fear about what could happen instead of I feel that you’re going to hurt me again “can help us communicate in ways that don’t trigger the other person’s defensiveness,” McBride says.

She recommends counseling to help work out the kinks and set new goals. That way you can create something different than what you had before.

Listen to the people around you, too.

“I would definitely check in with a friend or family member who may have been familiar with the previous relationship and get some feedback about whether they think it is a good idea or not,” says Shane Birkel, LMFT and Host of the Couples Therapist Couch podcast.

In my case, I checked with a best friend, my college roommate Elaina. Her impression was that I was happy with him back then.

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On making your relationship work with your ex:

Here’s some good news: Timing may work in your favor.

“Sometimes when couples are younger they just aren’t mature enough yet to have a serious, adult relationship,” Birkel says. “Meeting again when they are older might be better timing for them.”

That was the exact case with Mack and me. When I talked to my boyfriend before writing this article, that continually came up. We weren’t ready for each other. We had family messes and traumatic events we needed to heal from that truly prevented us from having healthy relationships at that age. We weren’t where we needed to be until now.

“After so many years, I would look at this situation as though you were starting a new relationship,” Birkel says. “Just because you might have dated for a year in the past, don’t expect the other person to be ready to dive right back in. Show up and act in ways that are trustworthy, respectful and kind.”

In my case, we’ve been together almost a year. He’s lived in San Francisco. I’ve lived in Los Angeles. We see each other about every six weeks or so. We make it work. It feels new. And in June, we won’t do long distance anymore. Almost 10 years later, we’ll be together in the same place again. No goodbyes, just goodnights.

Nicole Charky Nicole Charky is a journalist and producer based in Los Angeles, California.

 

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Six Things Every Man Who Dates Transgender Women Needs To Know

We’ve brought in a guest writer to address this subject. I’d like to invite more people from the LGBT community to guest post on phicklephilly.

Dear Boyfriends,

This is a love letter to each and every one of you.

This is a letter to let you know that I still think about everything we did and will do together, everything we’ve talked about, every fight we had, and every tender moment we’re going to share.

This is a letter to P, who was always gentle. It’s a letter to M, so curious and kind, if occasionally thoughtless. To S – with whom the sex was freaking unbelievable. To J, always punning and making me laugh; and to E, who is always truthful.

This is a letter to all the men, both cisgender and transgender, who have ever loved me, and to all the men I will ever love.

I want you to know that you change my life and give me strength – even when things between us were/are hard. I want you to know that I see you, I appreciate you, even when I am challenging you to treat women like me – trans women and women of color – better than men in this society are taught to.

I know that being a man who is dating a trans woman (who is outspoken and only sometimes passes) is not always an easy thing. Let’s also take as a given the fact that being a trans woman who is outspoken and only sometimes passes is pretty much never easy thing.

Both of these things are true because of the transmisogyny that still runs rampant in our society and the communities we live in. And while this discrimination and hatred is mainly leveled toward girls like me, I know that some of it is reflected onto you as well.

This is something that is so, so hard to talk about. It’s something has remained unspoken, yet incredibly real, between us, as it does between so many trans women and the men they date.

Part of the difficulty, I know, is that you may not want to admit that being attracted to, going out with, and having sex with trans women comes with intense social stigma.

Another part is that trans feminists like myself believe that any discussion of transmisogyny must center around trans women ourselves. I don’t agree with Laverne Cox (for once in my life) when she says that men who date trans women “are probably more stigmatized than trans women.”

Because that is blatantly untrue.

Men who date trans women are not murdered regularly the way that we are. You don’t experience employment and housing discrimination or exclusion from social spaces in the way that we do.

But neither can I pretend that you live your life totally free from the violence and humiliation that a transmisogynistic culture attaches to my body – a body that you have touched and held and become associated with.

And as much as we may wish that things were different, you and I know that there are so many walls that lie in the way of our loving each other. These barriers have caused us to question ourselves, and our relationships.

Often, we fought about them. Sometimes, we broke up because of them.

You shouldn’t have to learn how to fight transphobia and shaming in order to be with me. I shouldn’t have to teach you how. But the truth is, this is world that often necessitates both.

Whether I like it or not, I am in this fight to the end. I have to be.

You, however, have a choice: your privilege allows you to choose whether you want to walk away from the struggle that is loving trans women, or stay fighting with us.

And if you should choose the latter – and I hope you do – then there are a few things I need you to know about shame, loving trans women, and loving yourself.

1. Dating Me Doesn’t Change Your Sexual Orientation

A huge amount of the stigma around straight men who date trans women is actually based in homophobia. Straight men who are attracted to us are called “f*ggots” and “h*mos,” and may have their heterosexuality called into question.

The implication here being that trans women aren’t really women, so if a man dates us, that means he’s gay.

Conversely, gay men often shy away from dating us – even if they want to – because they “aren’t supposed to be into women.”

And most anyone who dates trans women is at least occasionally subjected to the notion that they’re “into freaky stuff.”

Freaky stuff meaning, of course, women like me.

Past, present, and future boyfriends, I need to tell you something: If you identify as straight, then you can date trans women. If you are bisexual, you can date trans women. If you are gay, pansexual, omnisexual, or asexual, you can date trans women, and it doesn’t change your identity one little bit unless you want it to, because you know what?

You and only you get to decide how to define your sexual orientation.

2. Dating Me Doesn’t Make You ‘Abnormal’

I sometimes meet men who believe (or have been told) that their being attracted to trans women is a form of mental illness. Some of you are, or have been, those men.

Most often, you have absorbed this message from the media: How many Hollywood comedies feature jokes where a straight man finds out that he’s been dating or having sex with a trans woman and flat-out vomits? How many tabloid stories proclaim that a male celebrity has been caught with a trans woman as though this were shocking, sensational news?

More rarely, though still frighteningly often, they have been explicitly told this by a religious/spiritual leader or a health professional.

The implication here is that trans women are so repulsive that you would have to be “crazy” to want to be with us – which bears a striking resemblance to the idea that a person must be mentally ill if they identify with a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth.

But neither my body nor your attraction to it is disgusting or sensational or ill. My body is beautiful, and so is your love. If we are abnormal, that means only that our relationship is different from the one prescribed to us by society.

And there is nothing repulsive about that.

3. Dating Me Doesn’t Make You Less of a Man

As men who are attracted to trans women, you already know that one of most intense forms of transphobia that you will experience is an attack against your own gender identity.

Ignorant people – mostly other men – may insult your masculinity, questioning your ability to attract “real women,” and insult that ways that you have sex.

 

Cis men are not alone in this – trans men, too, are affected by the backlash that comes from dating trans women.

What you have to understand is that these attacks come from a place of fear. You, me, and our relationships are all very frightening to men whose sense of confidence and power come from reinforcing patriarchy.

The existence of romance and sexuality between a man and a transwoman is a challenge to the invisible rule stating that in order to be a “real” man, you have to “win” a cisgender woman’s companionship and sexually dominate her body.

It forces all men to question their belief in the foundations of their identity and privilege.

Remember this: Their masculinity is weak, because it relies on the subjugation of other’s bodies in order to exist. Yours is, or will be, strong, because it is learning how to stand on its own.

4. Having Sex with Me Isn’t a Fetish (Or It Shouldn’t Be)

Conventional straight couples have many love stories written about them: the prince and princess, the beauty and the beast, the hero and the damsel in distress. You and I have only one: the “tranny-chaser” and the “she-male/chick-with-a-dick.”

This story reduces us and the entirety of our relationships to nothing more than a tired old sex joke, a pornographic trope, an offensive cliché.

As trans activist/author/scientist Julia Serano writes, “People automatically presume that any person who is attracted to, or has sex with, a trans person must automatically have some kind of ‘fetish.’”

It’s true, of course, that there are some men who fetishize trans women – who want us only to fuel transmisogynist sex fantasies. I come across them all the time on OKCupid.

But you and I are much more than that. Our relationships have been deeper and more complex than any cliché could ever hope to contain.

And no amount of ridiculous jokes can ever take that from us.

5. You Don’t Have to Pity Me to Love Me

You may hear from people trying to patronize or subtly insult you that you’re “such a good person” for bearing through the difficulties of dating a trans woman.

It’s possible that you’ve received backhanded compliments on how progressive you are, since you’re willing to put up with the burden of my gender identity.

This is insulting to you and me. I am not something you have to pity in order to love. You’re not doing charity work by going out with or sleeping with me.

Our relationship is not defined by the judgments of others, or even by the violence that I – and by extension, you – experience in the world.

It’s true that you, as men, have privileges and power that I don’t. It’s true that this is something that comes between us from time to time.

But real relationships – like ours – are dynamic and transforming, constantly opening up into new dimensions. At our best, I learn from you and you, from me. We fight, we hurt each other, we heal, we grow. We leave and come back together and leave once again.

 

It isn’t your job to “save” me from transphobia. I’m doing that already.

The only person you need to save is yourself.

6. Loving Me Doesn’t Define You

Transphobia is greedy. It wants to swallow everyone and everything.

Because of this, whenever people talk about me, they usually refer to me in terms of my gender identity. I’m not a writer or a therapist or an artist. I’m “that Asian trans woman.”

And when we are dating and people talk about you, they may refer to you “that guy who’s into trans woman.”

It’s easy to be consumed by thoughts about the ignorance and hatred of the society that surrounds us.

How can we not be anxious and angry, when your families get uncomfortable when they find out who your partner is, when your friends snicker at us behind your back, when we have to be wary of violence when we go out at night?

But just as I am more than a trans woman, you are more than someone who loves trans women.

It’s your right and responsibility to decide what that means to you, what it means for your identities as men, and how you will explain (or refuse to explain) it to the people around you.

Choices like this are never easy.

But in the process of making them, you just might find a whole new truth about who you are.

This Is How You Love a Trans Woman

Dear boyfriends past and present: Thank you for being with me.

Please know that I’m not trying to either scare you off (!) of dating trans women or “sell” dating us. As you’re probably already aware (it’s not like I let you forget these things), trans women don’t need to beg men to be into us.

We really don’t.

But some trans women – like me – do want to be with men who know how to do the thing, and do it well. Which is not to say that you can’t make mistakes, or feel confused, or get overwhelmed.

We live in a world that says trans women don’t deserve love, and it will try to stop you from loving us.

Knowing how to love a trans woman is simple. You do it the way you ought to love anybody else: not fearlessly, but courageously.

 

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 15

WARNING! THIS POST IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK! NSFW!

 

Oh, could we?” Mia was getting excited. Almost a bit bouncy which was more attractive than she knew.

We hit the internet and spent some time on Gem Works. There wasn’t a lot of information on the small company, but we found enough. A local business journal article talked about them trying to expand into a specialized phosphorus product. They were having trouble getting the necessary funding due to their lack of historical profits. Chemicals were just not on the love list for venture capital firms these days. Their President and CEO was Brian Fitzgerald. I knew exactly what to do first thing in the morning.

Mia wasn’t that crazy about the plan. She was concerned about the money I was spending. Wives are always trying reign in their husbands’ spending. I kissed her and chuckled at her concern. I got a couple of hands on the hips and a cross look. “What’s so funny about saving money?” I could have told her, but I wanted to cherish the look on her face. I fired up my laptop and logged into the brokerage account. I went to the aggregate page and spun it around so she could look.

“Our main account, Mrs. Tomlinson.” I was smiling as her eyes found the total. Her mouth fell open, and I watched her eyes go back and forth over the total. I noticed she had stopped breathing. “You have to breathe sweetie.” I chuckled as she reread the number for the tenth time.

“You are rich-rich!” She looked up at me with wide eyes. She was still processing how much was there.

“We are rich.” I corrected.

“I can’t even fathom what to do with that kind of money.” She was still in shock.

“Putting an end to water bang parties might be a good start.” She smiled and scooted next me on the couch.

“Did I ever tell you how sexy I find rich men.” She was stroking my inner thigh. I felt my blood begin to move. I pushed an errant hair back behind her ear.

“I have always kind of had a thing for rich women.” She smiled into my eyes and leaned in for a kiss. I felt her hand move higher as my arousal increased. I reached out and stilled her hand.

“I want you to teach me how to love you.” It came out kind of wrong. I knew what I meant, but I was sure Mia was confused.

“I think you did pretty damn well in the pool a few hours ago.” She smiled at me, thinking I might need an ego boost. I gave her a quick kiss.

“I want you to teach me about you. I want you to show me where I should kiss, where I should touch, and where I should lick.” I was turning a bit red at the last part. “I want to know how to please you.”

“Was that your first time?” I knew she meant in the pool.

“Sort of. I paid for it a couple of times, but it never felt like it did in the pool.” I looked up into her eyes. I felt kind of exposed, but I really wanted to know how her body worked.

“Well, as your first and last girlfriend, I feel it is my duty to let you pleasure me.” She caressed my cheek with a smile. She got up and hurried me along to the bedroom. “God, this is going to be fun!” Her enthusiasm was making me horny.

Mia stripped as soon as we arrived at the bed. “Different things turn on different women. Lucky for you, you only have to learn about one woman.” She began undressing me. “I love being touched everywhere. Don’t waste your time staying in one place. My nerve endings kind of get bored if you stay anywhere too long.” She undid my belt buckle why I was making mental notes. “If you want to get me going, start with my joints.” She smiled up at me as she lowering my shorts. “My neck, the inside of my elbow, behind the knees and, for some reason, my ankles.” My dick bounced up as my shorts dropped. “Just light kisses, butterfly kisses and little licks. Nothing too sloppy though.” She hopped on the bed and spread herself out. She was grinning ear to ear. I gave her a curious look.

“What about your breasts?” I really liked the idea of playing with those. Mia chuckled.

“Those are all for you and feeding babies. Don’t get me wrong; it feels nice when you play with them. Mine just aren’t super sensitive.” I was slightly disappointed. “Don’t worry, I’ll show you other things titties are good for later.” Her smile held promise that eased my concern. I climb into the bed next to her. She giggled and rolled me on top of her. “When it’s your turn, I own you. Right now it’s my turn so you own me. I am your prized possession, and I have no choice but to submit to your control.” God, I liked the sound of that. Her body was my plaything and I was getting really excited.

I covered her body with mine and allowed an elbow and my knees to take the weight. My lips found the base of her neck, and I began lightly kissing and teasing it with my tongue. I felt involuntary shivers run through her body as my free hand lightly caressed her side. I kissed up to her ear and remembered the pool. “I love that you’re mine.” I whispered softly to her as my lips began to descend again.

“Yes, and words like that.” She said as my hand lightly caressed her side and my lips followed the contours of her shoulder. She was cooing as I kissed down her arm and tickled the crook of her elbow with my tongue. I slowly moved back up to the other side of her neck.

“You taste delicious,” I whispered, and another shiver ran through her body. I ran down her other arm and lightly tortured the inside of her elbow to a few quiet moans. I could feel the muscles in her body contracting in response to the tickling sensation.

I shifted my weight to my knees and moved my lips to her breasts. She told me they weren’t a big turn-on, but they were too wonderful to ignore. I gave the left nipple a little lick and gently blew on it. A forest of goose bumps appeared. I smiled and repeated the process on the right nipple. I got a giggle out of Mia and a whispered “Men!” said with humorous contempt.

I kissed a wet trail down her chest across her tummy. With both hands now free, my fingers were exploring her sides and running down her thighs. As my kisses reached her thighs, a wonderful musky aroma inflamed my nose. I carefully lifted her leg as I slowly moved to her knee, my eyes never leaving the adorable womanhood between her legs. The lips were shaded both lighter and darker than the surrounding skin. When I lifted her leg higher to access behind her knee the slit glistened. It looked as wonderful as it had felt in the pool. I caressed her thigh with both hands and kissed the crook of her knee. I pushed Mia’s knee back toward her as I massaged her calf. Her pussy opened slightly to reveal its wetness. It looked so warm, it had me entranced.

I reached her ankle and made love to it with my tongue as I massaged the bottom of her foot. I started hearing a constant low moan from Mia. I knew I was doing well. I raised the other foot to my lips and reversed the process I had used on her left leg. I was slowly descending back toward her intoxicating scent. As I approached, more of her muscles were responding involuntarily.

I pushed both of her thighs back toward her. I was desperate to see her. My face was only inches away from that precious opening as I ran my fingers along it. I opened her flower slightly and examined the multiple folds and the wetness that was flooding the sides. Mia moaned louder as I lightly touched her clit which had emerged from its hiding place. I was mesmerized by the beauty of it all. I loved her for letting me explore. Mia misinterpreted my exploration as hesitation. She spoke softly to me.

“Not every guy likes to…” I never let her finish. I dragged my tongue from the bottom of her slit deep inside tasting a woman for the first time. “Oh God!” she groaned. Both her hands wrapped around my head, and I felt her hips begin to move. She tasted like a soft honey, sweet but more delicate. My hands were holding her thighs wide as I went deeper and dragged out along her little nub. Mia tilted her hips into my face and was holding my head like I might want to leave. I began tickling her clit with the tip of my tongue, and I saw her back arch and her neck tense. Her whole body was shaking as she forced my mouth to drag along her clit. I lost my grip on her thighs as she straightened her legs to force her hips off the bed. She stayed that way for half a minute before her hips fell back, and a loud sexy groan escaped her lips.

I smiled at what I had done and lightly caressed her gorgeous pussy with two of my fingers. It was practically pulsing behind my hand. I was able to generate little involuntary jerks as I lightly moved them across her little nub. I have no idea why I was having so much fun watching her squirm under my fingers.

Mia sat up and then coaxed me back on top of her. “That was simply incredible.” She sighed as she pulled me into her bosom. “I didn’t think you were going to go that far.” I gave her a loving smile.

“I’d never seen one up close in real life. I just had to know everything about it.” I caressed her breast as I explained my actions. “It was really quite amazing. Everything about you is amazing.” I looked up to kiss her and I saw a tear in her eye. “Mia?”

“I love you so much.” She squeezed me tight and more tears appeared. “I get kind of emotional after I cum like that.” Her voice was a bit halting, and her expression was all screwed up with tears and a smile. I scooted up a bit more, gave her a kiss, and wiped the tears from her eyes. I was relieved that they were happy tears. She ran her hand down my side and felt my arousal.

“It feels like you are ready to explode.” Watching her throes of ecstasy made me hard. Knowing that I caused it had made me really hard. Mia sat up and pushed me flat on the bed. She moved between my legs and gave me an evil smile. “You like these don’t you.” She was holding her breasts and added a little wiggle for emphasis.

“I kind of love them.” I was smiling, not really knowing where this was going.

“They’re kind of soft and firm at the same time.” She was examining them, tilting them back and forth. “They feel so warm right now.” She looked back into my eyes. “I wonder what it would feel like if I wrapped them around your cock.” My hips jerked a bit as I realized where this was going. I had no idea what it was going to feel like, but God, I wanted to know! “First we have to make sure it will slide really well.” Without warning Mia dropped her lips over my manhood and took me half way into her mouth. Both of my hands squeezed a fist full of sheet as I strained not to cum under the surprise attack. I felt her tongue coat the underside of my shaft. I locked my legs, trying my best to hold off and wait for the breasts. She slowly raised off my tool, swirling her tongue around the crown. She drooled down the shaft, and her lips left the tip.

“Oh, I think it will slide real well now.” She looked me in the eye and lowered her breasts over my groin. I could have cum right there. I felt a tinge of release, and I knew if I let it go, it was all over. Just the thought of what was about to happen was becoming too much. She smiled at me. “I think you’re going to like this.” Mia squeezed her breast together and enveloped my rod in feminine warmth. I was in heaven. The sensation was so visually stimulating I wasn’t sure I could take any movement at all.

Mia began to massage my cock with her breasts. On every down-stroke, the head would poke up under her chin, and I would grunt. I gripped the sheets harder, and my neck was straining. I was trying desperately not to move my hips. I wanted it to last longer. Mia ended it. In a soft sultry voice I could barely hear, she said, “Cum for me.” My hips started jerking, and I watch my cock explode cum under her chin. The head disappeared between her tits, and I felt myself fill her cleavage. My whole body felt like it was part of the climax. Every cell was happy at that exact moment. When the crown reappeared, it was a glistening mess, and I pulsed another, smaller shot under her neck.

My spasms slowly wound down, and Mia unwrapped my manhood. Her neck and cleavage were covered in jism. My cock was a happy drippy mess. Mia started laughing as she looked down at her chest. God, I loved that laugh. “Someone really likes my titties.” she said as she wiggled them at me. I pulled her down to me. I didn’t care how messy she was, I needed to give my future wife a kiss.

“You are by far the best thing to ever happen to me.” I slid her lips up to mine for a short peck. “How about a shower? We have a lot of work tomorrow.” I was playing with her hair as I talked. She raised herself up on her elbows and looked at the walls.

“Can I redecorate? Monica’s color pallet is a bit boring.” She smiled at me. I liked the idea of her taking ownership of the place.

“Mrs. Tomlinson, it’s your house, and you can have it any way you want.” I reached down and squeezed her butt for emphasis. “We can call painters tomorrow.”

“I just thought we could go to the hardware store and paint it ourselves.” She was looking thoughtful. “Kind of makes it more ours when we do it ourselves.” A wonderful vision suddenly appeared in my head.

“If we were naked, we wouldn’t ruin have to ruin any clothes.” I was imagining her climbing ladders as I tried to hold back a smile.

“Well aren’t you the kinky one.” She poked me in the ribs. “But no sex until the room is done.” She didn’t hold back her smile. She seemed to like the idea. I was hoping it didn’t take too long to paint a room. “Let’s take that shower stud. You’re as sloppy as I am now.”

 

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A Unique Gift – Chapter 22

“So?” He asked. She looked at him not understanding. “Best orgasm you’ve ever had?”
“Yes, thank you master, I have never felt such pleasure. Feeling you pushing me to new heights of pleasure as I begged you to stop was incredible,” she grinned.
“I should get back to work,” Jack told her, noticing he was already ten minutes late.
“I think I’ll stay here for a bit, I don’t think I can stand right now,” Sarah giggled. It was strange seeing such a cheerful and playful side to her. Jack shook his head in amusement at what the collar could do as he snuck out the door, quickly closing it behind him in case anyone was there. He finished his shift and went back to check on Sarah. She was once again dressed and typing away at her computer although she had decided against putting her bra back on or doing up the top few buttons of her shirt, which was extremely unlike her.
“Do you need anything from me master?” She asked as Jack entered the room.
“No I just wanted to stop by and tell you that once that collar comes off you’ll be much warmer and friendlier towards me and be willing to fool around with me whenever I ask,” he smiled. As much as he wanted to go another round with her right there and then he was far too tired. Taking her home was out of the question too as he just wanted to go home and sleep. By the time he planned on waking up the collar would be off. He just hoped this last command worked so he could have some fun with her another time without needing the collar.
“Of course master,” Sarah smiled at him.
“I’m going home, you should stick to your usual routine too,” he suggested before leaving her and going home. It had been a long shift and while his activities during his break had been fun, they hadn’t been restful. Grabbing a quick snack and a shower Jack fell into bed, falling asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. The next morning was a considerable improvement over the previous, which wasn’t a surprise considering how hungover he was. He checked the collar was back in its box where it belonged, which is was, before he sent Abby a quick message. He told her he had managed to collar Sarah and about his new pay and contract. He left out the sexual details, although Abby would guess what happened anyway. He grinned as he hit send, reading his message about him using the collar was probably enough to send Abby into an impromptu masturbation session.

The End
(For now!)

 

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