Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Persistent Myth of Sex Addiction

Here’s an interesting one from one of my female followers…

According to every online test I’ve taken, I’m a sex addict. And if you took the quizzes, you probably would be too, at least if you answered honestly to questions like “Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?” “Do you ever feel bad about your sexual behavior?” and “Have you used the internet to make romantic or erotic connections with people online?”

Even if you answered “no” to all these questions, you’re still not off the hook. If you watch porn, you might be a sex addict; If you “often require the use of a vibrator… to enhance the sexual experience” you might be a sex addict; if you spend some of your time “ruminating about past sexual encounters,” you might be a sex addict.

By these standards, nearly all human beings are sex addicts, as a recent study found that 73 percent of women and 85 percent of men had looked at internet porn in the past six months; other studies found that about half of American men and women have used vibrators. Perhaps that is right: sex is one of our strongest drives, and according to one study, the median number of times people think about sex is 10-19 times a day. But pathologizing all of humanity for expressing normal human sexuality is ridiculous in the least and dangerous at the worst. The fact that most people would be considered sex addicts is positive for only one group of people: those employed by the multimillion-dollar sex addiction industry.

Sex addiction treatment forces people into a kind of re-education program, which tries to convince them that perfectly normal consensual sexual behavior is the sign of a serious problem. Some of them are run by Christian pastors, others by licensed professional counselors. In-patient facilities are often located in picturesque areas, like palatial Arizona desert retreats, complete with poolside ping-pong and equine therapy (how nuzzling a horse cures sex addiction is never explained). These programs tell supposed sex addicts that they can reprogram themselves through behavioral modifications to become ideal sexual citizens: monogamous, non-porn-using people who rarely masturbate or fantasize about anyone other than their main partners. Some even take it further and force people to abandon healthy activities like masturbation for 30 days.

If this sounds familiar in a bad way, it might be because some of the same centers that treat sex addiction also offer gay conversion therapy, although they no longer call it that because conversion therapy has been banned for minors in 19 states (instead they say they treat “unwanted same-sex attraction” and “homosexuality/lesbianism”). This sad fact further illuminates the ugly truth behind the sex addiction industry: it’s based on a moralistic judgment on what sexual behaviors are socially acceptable, yet it’s cloaked in a scientific sheen that gives it legitimacy. Although gay conversion therapy is much more harmful, sex addiction treatment is similar in that both are about modifying behavior even though biology and psychology are compelling a person in a different direction.

One key question that appears on nearly all sex addiction quizzes is: “Do you feel that your sexual behavior is not normal?” The problem is, most people don’t know what a “normal” sex life is, and consensual sexual behaviors that are statistically abnormal are not the sign of a disease. As psychologist David Ley has argued in his book, The Myth of Sex Addiction, the criteria for sex addiction “reflect heterosexual and monogamous social values and judgments rather than medical or scientific data.”

Sex addiction isn’t a new concept, it’s a new name for an old one; it falls into a continuum of pathologizing sexual behavior going back to the 19th century when women were labeled nymphomaniacs for behavior we would consider normal today, such as having orgasms through clitoral stimulation. In fact, 21st-century sex addiction therapists sound nearly identical to 19th-century vice reformers.

“Pornography coupled with masturbation and fantasy is often the cornerstone for sexual addiction. This is a dangerous combination …A fantasy world is created, sometimes as early as adolescence, that is visited throughout developmental stages,” says the website of a current therapy center called L.I.F.E. Recovery International. “The sexual addict may use his or her addiction in place of true spirituality — sex becomes the addict’s God,” the website declares.

Similarly, 19th-century vice reformer Anthony Comstock wrote that “Obscene publications” and “immoral articles” [sex toys] are “like a cancer” which “fastens itself upon the imagination…defiling the mind, corrupting the thoughts, leading to secret practices of most foul and revolting character.” He suggested that young adults read the Bible instead of giving into their sexual urges.

Why do we continue to further such an outdated view of sex? Sex addiction is a way to police sexual behavior and impose conventional morality through a seemingly scientific, trendy addiction model. It attempts to slot people into some mythical standard of normal sexuality, one defined by monogamy and devoid of fantasy.

The sex addiction industry persists in spite of the fact that again and again sex addiction has been debunked by experts. Sex addiction isn’t considered legitimate by psychologists; the scientific literature doesn’t back it up; and it isn’t in the DSM-5, the authoritative catalog of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. Yet therapists benefit financially from sex addiction diagnoses, moralists benefit spiritually from them, and supposed sex addicts benefit practically from them. Sex addiction provides a great excuse for people who engage in socially objectionable sexual behavior (It’s not my fault! I couldn’t help banging the sexy neighbor! I’m an addict! I’ll go to treatment!).

This coincides with the fact that most sex addicts are heterosexual men, so the diagnosis frequently becomes a way to legitimize male sexual behavior, while also sometimes labeling their female partners as enablers. Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein reportedly checked himself in to an in-patient treatment program after allegations against him were first published in late 2017, a path that many other high-profile men have taken in the wake of scandal.

The concept of sex addiction makes sex seem way more logical than it actually is. It fits into our culture’s view of controlling and constraining sex through rules, like the criminalization of sex work. Hiring a sex worker or engaging in any illegal sexual activities is a sign you’re a sex addict, according to most sex addiction screening tests. Yet, a wide range of more widely accepted sexual behavior is also illegal in the U.S., including having sex with an unmarried person of the opposite sex (a crime in Idaho, Illinois, and South Carolina) and adultery, which is a crime in over a dozen states.

But sex is messy and complicated, and hardwired and controlled by hormones, and no amount of counseling is going to stop you from having sexual urges. The sex addiction model provides a 12-step solution to the messiness of sex and the challenge of monogamy: if you follow these simple steps, the thinking goes, you too can be in control of the strongest biological urge and be free of daily horniness. If only it were that simple.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Sun Stories – Career Confidential: Harrowing Tales From The Tanning Salon

Here’s a post from one of my followers that worked in the tanning industry…

I used to work at a chain tanning salon’s Maryland and New York locations. Tan Mom is so scary, she’s so gross. But some of the people I worked with were that level of tan. We would rig the booth, so they could go in multiple times when they weren’t supposed to. We also used this stuff called Tingler, which is a tanning lotion that you put all over your body. When the UV rays hit it, it tingles and it activates the melanin in your skin even more so you get really, really tan. I know girls who would put it on their face and their faces would be purple when they came out of the booth. You’re not supposed to wash it off after going under the lamps, so your skin would be burning. That was the next level tanning experience — they’d come out and look just crazy purple. I could not do that. And it is legal but it’s really dangerous. We would always advise customers of the different Tingle levels. If you do a level 5 Tingle your skin will burn, so we recommend a level 1 or 2 Tingle.

I would just put on Australian Gold tanning oil. Tan Mom? I’m sure she has Tingled — she probably does something beyond a Tingle, her skin is crispy. But that’s what this stuff would do — it would literally make you that tan.

I worked in the salons before the age restriction laws took effect but we always had a rule in place that you had to be 18 or older to tan, and if not you’d have to have a parent with you. We’d check IDs, and the high school kids, if you didn’t let them tan, would be pissed.

In Maryland moms brought their kids to the tanning beds. They’d be as young as 12 years old up in the tanning bed. I felt wrong putting the kids in the beds, but the mom would always say things like, “We gotta tan for the beach.” The moms would tan too. In Maryland tanning was such a thing — everyone wanted to be tan — so the kids were just happy they got to go to the tanning salon with mom. But I never saw anyone as young as five years old try to tan. I would never put anyone that young in a tanning booth.

In New York the place I worked had been a 24-hour tanning salon. Nobody needs a 24-hour tanning salon. Everyone was coked up all night trying to get people to tan. When they hired me, they also hired a bunch of new people and got rid of the old cracked-out people, but we still had to stay open til midnight. Nobody needs to be tanning at midnight.

A lot of people did not care about being naked. I saw so many naked booties all the time because a lot of them would leave their shoes outside and run around willy-nilly just wearing a towel.

Tan Mom Patricia Krentcil.

We caught people having sex in the booth once. It was two guys and we had to bang on the bulbs and tell them to stop. They were not even being discreet about it, either — we could see it moving and we saw two pairs of shoes outside. We kicked one of them out of that booth. They still got to tan but we didn’t let them tan together.

I worked with these flighty girls. Once a midget came in and one of my coworkers just screamed and ran to the back. That was really bad. I helped the midget, but the midget saw my coworker run and everything.

Once, this woman came in who wasn’t a regular customer. We offered deals like $30 for unlimited tanning for a month, but she wanted a one-off. She kept asking all these questions about how to use a booth (we only had standing booths) and you always explain to people how the booth works and where the exit is once you’re in there. It all looks the same once you’re inside because there are bulbs on the doors. But you can open the door once you’re tanning — people step out all the time to cool off for a minute.

But this girl was in the booth and she wanted to get out and couldn’t find the exit, even though it’s labeled “exit.” She called us over and we said, ma’am look for the exit sign, and she’s like, “I can’t find it! I cant’ find it!” So she started banging the walls of the booth — she was having a panic attack in there — and you can hear all the bulbs breaking. And they’re still on! So my coworker rushed to unplug the booth because you can’t turn it off or open it from the outside. So when he opened the door — I’m squeamish so I couldn’t look — but my coworker told me there was blood and glass everywhere. We had to call the ambulance — she cut up her arms and everything.

Also, this is really gross, but wa lot of the time our laundry machine in the basement would go out. And we want to give everyone a towel every time they tan. But a couple times when we didn’t have the washing machine, our manager would tell us just to put the dirty towels in the dryer and not wash them. I was like, we could take them to a laundromat, but they didn’t want to do that because it cost money.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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11 Science-Backed Flirting Tips That Make You More Attractive

You’re welcome.

If your flirting skills are lacking, it’s time to step it up. This is, of course, if you’re looking to procure a mate. And you are, aren’t you? Isn’t everyone? Well, the thing about flirting in that whole finding a boyfriend or girlfriend department is that it works.

Studies show that not only does flirting help in the dating department, but flirting and being able to do it well are far more effective than your excessive good looks.

After conducting research regarding flirting in places where people go looking for love, psychologist Dr. Monica Moore found that “it’s not the most physically appealing people who get approached, but the ones who signal their availability and confidence through basic flirting techniques like eye contact and smiles.”

Easy peasy, right? Here are some other interesting facts about flirting and seduction that you didn’t know, but probably should.

1. There are five types of flirting.

You may have thought that a subtle arm touch or a wink might be the extent of flirting, but you’re wrong. According to the University of Kansas, there are actually five types of flirting: traditional, physical, sincere, playful and polite. While 25 percent of flirting falls into the playful category, 30 percent is intended to sincerely lure a mate into our web of desire.

2. Eye contact makes you more attractive.

Once you get that whole smiling thing down, go in for some eye contact. Not only is it a major signal that you’re interested, but eye contact can go as far as making someone even more attracted to you than they would have been. Studies have found that a “mutual unbroken gaze for two minutes with a stranger” leads to “increased feelings of passionate love.”

3. Women who touch while flirting get more dates.

While men need to play it cool when it comes to this one, if women lay it on thick, it will reel in the dates. There are three levels of touching: friendly (shoulder push or tap), plausible deniability (touching around the shoulder or waist, or on the forearm), and nuclear, which is the face touch.

When you can, without being creepy, go nuclear. Is everyone taking notes?

4. Playing hard to get really does work.

Yep, it’s true, and the studies can back it up. Making yourself appear to be a “scarce resource worth having” while maintaining your interest is the ticket. People want what they can’t have.

5. Men don’t consider age to be a factor.

When it comes to a playful night out with the ladies and flirting just for fun, 83 percent of guys say they don’t care how old (or young) you might be. And when it comes to a good time, age doesn’t weigh too heavily for dudes.

6. The sexier your voice, the better your chances.

Men don’t do so great when it comes to turning on the sexy voice, but women have all the advantages in that category. Along with being able to successfully manipulate our voices, if we’re interested we tend to talk smoothly and quickly. If we’re meh on the situation, our speech ends up being hesitant and awkward.

7. Angling your head can also determine how you come across.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle in Australia have found that you’re most alluring when you angle your head forward, so you’re forced to look ever-so-slightly upward. This creates a more feminine look, and we know how guys dig that.

Men, in order to look more masculine and more attractive to women, you’re going to tilt your head back and look a bit down your nose. Don’t go overboard and cross your eyes, though.

8. Wearing red is more attention-grabbing.

Whether you choose red lips or a red dress, the color red will bring all eyes to you. The red dress effect not only helps in attention-getting, but also makes women appear more open to sexual advances. This may or may not be what you want, but it’s something to consider before going out on the prowl.

9. Being direct is better than using cheesy pickup lines.

While women prefer boring opening lines that lack pizzazz, men want women who are direct. There’s nothing sexier than knowing what you want; however, both men and women agree that “cute” pickup lines are just awful.

10. It has amazing health benefits.

Weird, right? But those who get their flirt on and do so regularly are walking around with higher white blood cell counts, which means they’re really, really healthy.

11. It’s illegal in some places.

To engage in “lascivious banter” in Little Rock, Arkansas could lead to 30 days in jail, and in New York City, men can be fined $25 every time they “gaze suggestively” at a woman. Can you imagine what that fine would do to the endless catcalling and suggestive gazing that goes on in NYC?

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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DADS: Why Alcohol Gives You The Runs

Imagine this: You wake up at 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. Your head hurts. You suddenly have a flashback to the night before. You see yourself sidled up to a bar, downing pickleback after pickleback until you yourself are turning green. You have some regrets.

And then — just as you think the morning after effect can’t get worse — your stomach twists. You know it’s coming. You have the DADS — the Day After Drinking Shits.

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, author of The Better Period Food Solution: Eat Your Way to a Lifetime of Healthier Cycles, explains that this is a common phenomenon. So common that there are even derogatory nicknames for it. DADS is a typical one, and then there’s rum bum, after grog bog, and, my personal favorite, the Milwaukee squirts.

“The body doesn’t appreciate being distracted from other essential tasks — like keeping your heart beating or your brain working — to have to metabolize seven White Claws in an hour, so these choices may come with some unwarranted and smelly side effects,” Beckerman explains. Here are a few of them.

How does alcohol change your poop? 

As it turns out, in many ways! For some people, drinking makes your bowel movements more runny, but others will get more constipated. Everyone’s digestion system responds differently based on their genetics, diet, stress levels, and gut integrity, she explains. But most people can assume there will be at least some changes.

“Alcohol has the capacity to affect the shape, form, and even the smell of your stool,” Beckerman explains. “Upon first sip, the body is trying to rid itself from alcohol ASAP.” With that said, not all poop problems after drinking are normal. If your irregular stool issues are persistent, you notice blood mixed in, or you have poop as black as the night, Beckerman recommends calling your doctor.

Can drinking give you diarrhea? 

Alcohol is a gastrointestinal irritant and increases gut motility, explains Hillary Cecere, RDN of Eat Clean Bro. “Irritation to the intestinal lining can result in less absorption, leading to diarrhea or softer stools,” she says.

Beckerman adds that alcohol has the ability to inhibit or temporarily “turn off” the antidiuretic hormone, or ADH, that tells our kidneys to conserve water. Without that hormone, you end up needing to urinate a lot, making you feel dehydrated and depleted in the morning.

“During the act of drinking, you can have bouts of diarrhea due to the influx of fluids being dumped into the body,” she adds. “Plus, alcohol has the power to impair muscles movements in the GI tract which can propel contents faster through the gut, which can lead to diarrhea as well.”

Can drinking constipate you? 

Beckerman says that some researchers believe that the higher the alcohol volume, the slower the movements in the bowel. Therefore, liquor (which is about 40 percent ABV) hits “the slow-mo button” on your poops, more so than beer or hard seltzer (which have about 5 percent ABV). “That’s why it’s more typical to have a sleepier and more sluggish colon in the morning — AKA constipation — with liquor,” Beckerman says.

Cecere adds that you should avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks because caffeine is also a GI tract irritant.

Does DADS affect infrequent drinkers more? 

Not exactly, Cecere says. “Chronic drinkers often suffer from GI distress due to alcohol induced inflammation,” she says. “But, it’s not uncommon for people who don’t often drink alcohol to experience digestive issues after drinking. Some people just consider it part of the hangover.”

How can you stop DADS? 

There’s the obvious — drinking in moderation or not drinking at all.

Beckerman also recommends eating a substantial meal before drinking. You could try rice, crackers, pasta, or some other hearty carb. “This can delay the absorption of alcohol into the blood, which can mitigate DADS,” she says. She also suggests introducing more probiotic foods — such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, or kefir — into your diet three or four days before drinking.

“Drink water while drinking alcohol and take a multivitamin before drinking,” she adds.

 “This will help rebalance your electrolytes and water soluble vitamins that have been compromised during your bender.”

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

 

11 Psychological Tricks That Make Him Want You Sooo Much More

Sometimes you just need a little strategy …

I honestly believe that love is something that can be cultivated … to a point.

There has to be a spark of interest there at first, but how deep someone falls in love with you will often be a result of the effort you both put forth to make that feeling happen.

Though you can never force a person to like you (and should never try, even if you could), there are definitely some psychology-based dating tips and methods that can help you learn how to get a guy to like you — and make people think of you more highly in general.

These psychological “mind tricks” are even backed by science.

If you’re trying to get his attention but aren’t exactly sure how to get a guy to like you, give these psychology-based dating tips and tricks a spin.

1. Ask him for favors.

Studies have shown that people tend to like people who they do favors for, even if they initially hated them.

This is because we subconsciously make ourselves believe that the person would do the same for us as we did for them.

This reverse psychology phenomenon is known as the Ben Franklin Effect, since the Founding Father himself was the one who discovered this strange trick. As he wrote in his autobiography: “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

2. Compliment him … just not all the time.

Most guys don’t get complimented frequently, so when they do hear a compliment, they tend to eat it up.

The only problem is that compliments lose their significance if you hear them all the time.

By spacing out compliments to a max of once per day, it keeps him on his toes.

3. Prolong your eye contact just a little bit longer.

It’s true. Studies have found that prolonged eye contact increases the likelihood that two people will fall in love.

The man behind the groundbreaking research on this subject, social psychologist Arthur Aron, says, “the two biggest factors to falling in love through eye contact are i) the other person is reasonably appropriate and desirable, and ii) there is reason to think they might be interested in you.”

4. Use his name.

The names we’re given are music to our ears.

Hearing your name being said by someone is an ego boost, albeit a small one.

Studies have shown that hearing your own name has a unique effect on brain activation, as our “brains involuntarily respond to the sound of our own names, even in a state in which we are unable to respond to or act on anything else. What could be more powerful than that?!”

5. Mirror his gestures.

One of the most common ways that people show a connection to someone is to subtly copy their gestures.

This is actually done on a subconscious level when it’s a seriously natural jive.

Psychologists have noticed that you can actually create a closer bond by mirroring someone, even if those gestures are done totally consciously.

Who knew?

6. Don’t be afraid to show him your flaws.

A lot of women tend to want to hide their flaws and look “perfect” as a way to attract men.

Though you definitely don’t have to show all your flaws immediately, showing him that you occasionally goof up makes you human to him… and it also shows him that you’re not a fake.

7. Expect good things from him.

Among psychologists, this is known as the Pygmalion Effect and it says that we tend to mold to the expectations that people set for us.

If you think he’s a jerk, then you’ll behave in a way that will encourage him to be a jerk, even if it’s on a subconscious level.

So, expect him to be good to you and he will be better to you than if you expected him to be a twerp.

8. Let him talk about himself.

People love to talk about themselves.

We are our own favorite subjects, even if we aren’t narcissists by nature.

By asking him questions about himself, what he does for a living, and getting him to open up, you’re getting him to like you more by indulging him in his favorite topic of conversation.

9. Have a life outside of him.

You know who loves having a woman who has her man as the center of her universe?

Abusers and people who are way too insecure to have a healthy relationship.

By showing him that you’re balanced and not desperate, you’re giving him the green light to pursue you without worrying of you becoming a Stage 5 Clinger.

10. Show that you have similar values, hobbies, and traits to him.

Studies show that we tend to fall in love (or associate) with people when we share similar values and backgrounds as them, a phenomenon known as Similar/Attraction Theory.

So, if he’s a rebel, show your rebellious side.

If he’s a family guy, talk about how important your parents are to you.

11. Be ready to walk if he still doesn’t reciprocate.

Nothing is as sexy as a girl who values herself enough to stop chasing a man.

Be ready to walk if he doesn’t reciprocate feelings.

You never know; he might come around.

 

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The Older Adult’s Guide to the New World of Marijuana

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration.

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946-1964, are circling back to marijuana, becoming known as “Boomerangers”. This group of older adults are giving themselves permission to enjoy old and new ways of consuming cannabis, both recreationally and for the management of pain, anxiety and insomnia. But today’s cannabis products are undoubtedly more potent than the weaker “grass” they may have experimented with in their younger years.

Marijuana of the 1960s and 70s likely had THC levels of 2-3%, while strains found in the modern dispensary average well over 10%. So tread lightly to prevent potential anxiety, paranoia or physical instability. Plan your cannabis experimentations when you are free of other obligations and comfortable in your pleasantly prepared environment, and avoid consuming too much for your first time back in a crowded environment such as a concert.

Entering a dispensary in a legalized state can be like walking into a candy store. Find a high quality dispensary with a knowledgeable budtender, someone who speaks the new cannabis language, and can walk you through the wide assortment of choices and ways to consume the plant.

It helps to know what effects you are looking to experience, as well as ones you would like to avoid. “Indica” strains are often experienced as physically sedating, ideal for relaxing or before bed. “Sativa” strains tend to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative endeavors. “Hybrids” are a blend of both.

  • Flower refers to the actual green bud of the marijuana plant, which can be consumed in a pipe, bong or joint. Most dispensaries sell conveniently pre-rolled joints.
  • Vaporizers do not combust the cannabis, but rather use lower heat to create vapor from the flower before inhaled. Portable vaporizers, which come in all shapes and sizes, have become popular for their ease of use, portability and discrete nature.
  • Concentrate pens or vape pens have pre-loaded cannabis extract. They come in a many flavors and offer various experiential benefits.
  • Edibles are an alternative to smoking or vaping, and the varieties of goodies are endless. Be aware of dosage; you can always take more but you can’t take less. There are food-based treats as well as sublingual edibles such as juices, tinctures and lozenges.
  • Concentrates, which can be much stronger than flower, are best in small doses. Methods of consuming concentrates include dabbing or applying topicals, non-psychoactive lotions that provide beneficial cannabinoids.

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration; Xanax or Valium can interact with marijuana to cause intense lethargy, and mixing with Prozac can cause irritability and restlessness.

Marijuana is contraindicated for those with heart conditions, so consult your doctor before you consume any cannabis products.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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