Tales of Rock – 5 Respected Musicians Who Were Actually Terrible People

Some musicians just have a freakish amount of talent. Most of us learn at a young age that we are not those people. The realization probably came as soon as you were old enough to read social cues and you tried showing off your amazing talents to anyone except your pet. (Daisy is a very good dog, but maybe not a very good judge of musical ability.) Those who do have that freakish amount of talent are the singer-songwriters, the people who can play any instrument they pick up, the ones who get lost in the music of their own making whether they’re in the studio or on stage. There’s something almost magical about listening to a true musical genius, and they’ve definitely earned our respect. But it’s easy to forget that behind all that music is a very ordinary person, and sometimes, that ordinary person is a terrible human being.

1. Johnny Cash’s troubles with women

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

There’s a lot of dark stuff in Johnny Cash’s life, but let’s talk about just how horrible he was to women. Vivian Cash’s book I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny was a heartbreaking tell-all detailing how she continued loving her husband even through the drugs and the affair with his more famous second partner, June Carter Cash. It was Vivian who gave him four daughters, raised them, and who stuck with him through the worst of the arrests and the accidental forest fires (via USA Today), but Johnny gave all the credit to June.

Behind closed doors, June Carter didn’t actually have it any easier, in spite of the storybook romance performed in the public eye. Biographer Robert Hilburn (via Esquire) says he was stunned when he found out Cash had cheated on her when she was pregnant with son John Carter. There were more than a few women, but the one that had to hurt the most was June’s own sister, Anita. John Carter has also gone on record talking about his parents’ less-than-perfect marriage, and has said (via Reuters) his mother’s drug addictions and descent into paranoia came from a near-constant fear he was cheating yet again. That fear spread to their son, who grew up well aware that his family could fall apart at any time because his father couldn’t stay faithful.

2. Chuck Berry’s icky past

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Chuck Berry was a legend who helped shape rock and roll, and when he died in 2017, The New Yorker described him as “a proud and difficult man” who “was also a genius.” He also once punched Keith Richards in the mouth for touching his guitar while they were getting together to organize Berry’s 60th birthday party. That’s the attitude that got him into all kinds of trouble, and Berry even had a name for those incidents: his “naughties.”

It started when, as a teenager, he did three years in a reform school for stealing cars and a bit of armed robbery. Fast-forward to 1962, when Berry was 36 years old. He was tossed in the clink for violating the Mann Act, a law that prohibits taking a woman across state lines with “immoral” intentions. Oh, and the girl was 14. He served 20 months of the three years he was originally sentenced to (via NPR), getting out because they appealed after the judge made racist comments.

Let’s not forget about the 1989 accusations, either. That’s when law enforcement raided his property and found a few weapons, some pot, and videotapes of women in what they thought was the privacy of bathrooms and changing rooms of his properties. The official suit, says Riverfront Times, accused him of filming women in compromising positions for “entertainment and gratification.” Berry’s camp eventually settled, but that seriously tarnishes any legacy.

3. Lead Belly’s penchant for violence

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Lead Belly died in 1949, and if you don’t remember him, you should at least be glad groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and artists like Bob Dylan didn’t forget him. Even George Harrison once said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles.” You know the songs he recorded, too — like “The Midnight Special” and “Goodnight Irene” (via The Telegraph).

Huddie Ledbetter was born in 1888, and he picked up the name Lead Belly in prison. He did several stretches in jail, starting with 30 days on a chain gang in 1915 for getting in a particularly violent fight. Two years later he was arrested again, this time for killing his cousin’s husband and nearly killing another. He was pardoned in 1925 but went back in jail in 1930, this time for stabbing and what Black History Now says was “assault with intent to murder.” It was during this stint he was discovered by a pair of musicologists who were recording songs for the Smithsonian, and Lead Belly recorded hundreds for them. The rest of his life was a combination of performing at venues of all sizes across the country, and more time in jail. There was another stabbing incident in 1939, assault in 1940 … you get the picture. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease only months before he died from it, and he left behind an incredible legacy. And some dead people.

4. Elvis’s underage flings

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

It’s impossible to describe the effect Elvis had on music history, so let’s get right to the dirt. He was 21 when he became ridiculously famous with the success of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and after that, all bets were off when it came to how far he was going to go. Along with the fame and fortune came the admiration of countless women, but according to biographer Joel Williamson (via Broadly), there was a particular type of woman Elvis liked: the really, really young ones.

The right age to be an Elvis girl was 14, and when the 22-year-old megastar went on those early tours he took along a little group of 14-year-olds. Williamson says he was a huge fan of tickling and wrestling, along with everything else short of actual intercourse. Future wife Priscilla was 14 when they met (he was 24), and just what went on behind closed doors is debated. What’s not debated is that he lost interest in her after Lisa Marie was born, and went on to court another 14-year-old named Reeca Smith.

There was a bit of violence in Elvis, too. Years later, he was engaged to a 21-year-old who claimed he once pulled out a gun and put a bullet in the headboard of the bed she was sleeping in, saying it was “an attention getter.” The Guardian says in between those major relationships there were a ton of others, many with underage girls who preferably had tiny, tiny feet.

5. Frank Sinatra’s destructive temper

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Frank Sinatra was iconic on stage, but there was a lot of shady stuff that happened off-stage. Let’s talk about one part of that: his temper. According to The Telegraph, it was so bad that one of his wives once described him as a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde character, and there’s a whole list of physical altercations he was involved in. First, the ones where someone got seriously hurt.

He punched a reporter in 1948, eventually settling the assault and battery charges filed against him. He was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel when he threw a phone at a random businessman who was also there, and cracked the man’s skull. He nearly killed his then-wife Ava Gardner by throwing a champagne bottle at her so hard it cracked the bathroom sink.

Sinatra destroyed an insane amount of stuff, too, usually in fits of rage. He took a knife to a Norman Rockwell painting and shredded it, threw a malfunctioning TV out a window at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and smashed a car radio when The Doors’ “Light My Fire” came on. GQ says some of the stuff that met an untimely end under his boot was pretty priceless, too, like the Ming vase he destroyed at a Hong Kong hotel after someone missed a lighting cue. That’s what happens when you get too used to having things your way.

 

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The #1 Thing That Turns Off a Guy on a Date

Stop directing all your pre-date energy to your looks.

A friend of mine almost canceled a date with a guy because she woke up with a zit. She came over to my apartment freaking out: “How big is it? Is it all you can see when you look at me? Should I make up an excuse to cancel?”

If you’re like many women who follow dating advice, the number one thing you focus on before a date is what you look like. What should I wear? Should I have my hair up? Down? Half up? Would wearing heals be sexy or look too high maintenance?

But all that effort may be best spent elsewhere, because, more than likely, what you look like isn’t going to be the “make it or break it” factor of whether or not a guy likes you.

Think about it: if he was attracted enough to be going on a date with you in the first place, it’s not your looks that are in question as he’s getting to know you. And part of learning how to get a guy to like you is understanding that!

Instead, on your first few dates he’s thinking: Do we have things to talk about? Do I enjoy spending time with her? Do I think she’s intelligent? Does she seem cool? Would she fit into my life? He’s probably not thinking, “Oh… she was just a little hotter last time I saw her.” Hard to believe, but it’s the truth.

How do I know? Because I traveled around the country and interviewed over 1,000 guys about sex, love, and dating for my book Are All Guys A**holes?. Here is what they said when I asked them: “What things turn you off on a date?”

  • 34 percent bad conversation
  • 16 percent bad manners
  • 35 percent bad personality/attitude
  • 14 percent other

The things you talk about on a date are a guy’s chance to get to know who you are. So it’s not all that surprising that bad conversation was one of the top complaints guys listed. Bad conversation includes girls who talk too little, too much, only talk about themselves, or divulge way too much. (Usually, what guys considered “too much” was talking about ex-boyfriends, ex-hookups, or your deepest emotional drama.)

Guys also didn’t enjoy talking to a girl who seemed to have no sense of what was going on in the world and could only talk about superficial things (i.e., celebrity gossip). All in all, they wanted the date conversation to flow like a “tennis match” with both parties contributing, and asking about each other.

 

When we think about guys, we tend to conjure up images of beer guzzling, burping, farting, or a whole host of other “uncivilized” traits. So it might surprise you to see “bad manners” on a list of dating turn-offs.

But they’re not talking about using the wrong fork, putting your elbows on the table, or using the word “sucks.” The bad manners that turn guys off include being rude to the wait staff, checking your phone, just expecting a guy to pay, and not saying thank you when he does.

Although the definition of a “bad personality or attitude” will vary from one guy to another, many guys complained about girls who were braggy, materialistic, had no sense of humor, or seemed dumb.

The “other” category included getting too drunk, smoking, and general incompatibilities. Some guys in this category mentioned physical things, but what may be surprising is that those physical things almost always had to do with your mouth.

Bad breath, dirty teeth, and chewing with your mouth open were all things that turned guys off! Ironically, with all the time that we may spend getting ready for a date, probably the best investment is a good toothbrush and some mouthwash.

When a guy takes you out on a date, he’s looking for the full package! He already knows what you look like. (Even if it’s a blind date, there was likely some pre-meet-up Facebook stalking.)

Sure, you want to look nice, but don’t be overly stressed about it. Maybe you’re not having a good hair day, but don’t let that ruin your mood on the date, because it’s your mood that a guy is going to be paying attention to. What you look like on a date just isn’t as important as you might imagine!

Knowing this, when my friend tried to cancel her date because of a zit, I told her she was ridiculous, and that the act of canceling would do way more to turn him off than a blemish on her face. And besides, the zit wasn’t actually that big, and restaurants are dark.

 

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How Women Think Verses How Men Think

How Women in Relationships Think

We women process information externally. If we are worried about something we want to get it out into the open. We don’t believe in letting it fester inside until it grows in magnitude. Get it out there and be done with it, or get it out there and go on and on and on about it. I prefer the first.

Men become terrified when women want to talk. They don’t know how the conversation is going to go, how they will process the information and what if they don’t handle it right?

It doesn’t even mean women want you guys to fix anything most of the time. They just want to get it out there because they are thinking about it. It’s in their heads and they want to either vent or just make you feel as bad! Sorry, that’s a huge generalisation but it’s a fact in some cases.

Day to Day Relationship Woes

Men switch off. They aren’t listening when you tell him how the queue was ridiculously long int he supermarket, how one of your friends was a pain in the ass that day, how you’re sick of him parking in the middle of the drive so that you have to use the horn to get him to come out and move his car because you can’t get in…..

Men process information differently to women and they don’t express things as women do.

How Men Think in Relationships

Men do think, sometimes just as deeply as us women, but not quite so much! They are fearful of sharing deeper thoughts with the woman in their lives. They don’t get the emotional way women sometimes react to big conversations about the relationship. They want to ask ‘why are you so emotional?’ only they don’t, for fear of a really hard slap. Men process their feelings internally rather than externally. They deal with it or don’t deal with it. They just don’t want to have to have a big talk or make it into a huge issue. It’s how they are programmed. It’s not their fault.

It’s a scientific fact, yes scientific no less. Women are far more likely to behave in an emotional way than men when it comes to relationship talks. Higher levels of testosterone is associated with lower sensitivity to negativity. So for example, say a man was show lots of negative images, the same as the woman, they would be far less sensitive to them and they would be far less likely to have an emotional response. That’s not just my opinion, it’s a fact.

What Men Think About Dating

Men work on assumption far more than women. If a guy approaches a woman and she’s a little shy she might come across as disinterested and he’s likely to walk away before the conversation even gets going. He’s assumed her nervousness to be disinterest. He doesn’t try hard enough to get some real conversation going and he misses out on what might have been something wonderful. He doesn’t pay attention to her body language. He misses vital clues that she is actually interested.

Men look at other women. It’s just the way they are built. They can’t help it and so what? Women get all insecure and hung about about their man appreciating another woman’s beauty. They think it says something about their relationship but it doesn’t necessarily mean that. I have never had an issue with a man looking at a beautiful woman when she enters the room. The difference between the sexes is that we try hard not to look at a gorgeous man. We don’t want him to know we find him attractive. That’s because we are more sensitive than men. Testosterone takes over and they don’t think before they look. Think about it this way, do you want to sleep with the gorgeous man? Probably not. You just appreciate his gorgeousness! The same for guys. Looking doesn’t mean cheating.

Men Don’t Care if Your Hair is Flat

Men don’t care if your hair didn’t go right, if you skin is dry, if you have a spot….they probably haven’t even noticed. Men just don’t see that stuff. They are with you because they like you, they are attracted to you and a bad hair day is not going to make a jot of difference.

Men don’t generally care about cellulite either by the way. Men like curves, they like a bigger ass and they probably don’t care if you don’t possess a pair of 34dd’s.

Women get hung up on the little things. Men don’t see the little things.

Both men and women have insecurities. The thing is, men get frustrated when they find us hugely attractive and we can’t see it.

She’s So Into Me

It’s been proved that men are blind to no sexual interest from a woman. If you show a little interest in them as a person they take this as great she’s into me. I can vouch for this fact. I have been polite and chatted to guys. That’s me. I find people interesting, I might even think he’s cute from time to time. But I am not going to do anything about it and I have not (in my opinion) done anything to make him think I am into him. Regardless, he goes on to make it obvious he likes me in that way and then goes on to suggest a hook up. What?

Actually in research, it has been shown that men that go around thinking that all women want them actually do have more opportunities to get them into bed. I was quite surprised at this fact because I was thinking the opposite would be true. It’s all to do with evolution it seems.

Women, on the other end of the spectrum, have evolved to under-perceive sexual interest.

Don’t Judge

So let’s stop judging each other and making things up in our heads. Okay so us women are a little more sensitive than you guys, but does that really matter? You can see now that it’s all evolution’s fault.

Get on with living together, dating and having fun. Stop trying to work each other out and accept good times for what they are. Detach from what you perceive to be negative and let it be.

 

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Sildenafil Citrate

Viagra Makes History

Viagra (sildenafil) is one of the most widely-known prescription drug names on the U.S. market. Often dubbed “the little blue pill”, Viagra (sildenafil) was the first phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a common sexual problem for men and its frequency increases with age.

It is estimated roughly 30 million men in the U.S. and over 100 million men worldwide suffer from ED. A large U.S. survey determined about 50 percent of men 40 to 70 years of age experience some degree of ED.

 

The Unexpected Discovery of Viagra

The discovery that sildenafil could lead to an erection was an unplanned event. The sildenafil compound was originally developed by Pfizer for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (chest pain due to heart disease). During the heart clinical trials, researchers discovered that the drug was more effective at inducing erections than treating angina. Pfizer realized ED was an unmet medical need and a major opportunity for financial gain.

In 1998, the FDA approved Viagra, the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction, under a priority review.

 

Quick Success: The FDA-Approval of Viagra

At the time of its approval, Viagra had the fastest initial sales growth following its launch of any prescription product, reaching 2008 sales of close to $2 billion. Pfizer promoted Viagra and ED awareness via direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, which prompted men to seek medical advice and a prescription from their doctors.

For many men, the stigma and embarrassment of talking to their doctor about ED has declined since the introduction of Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors.

 

The Impact of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

ED, or the inability to achieve and maintain an erect penis for sexual function, can lead to performance anxiety, a negative impact on self-esteem and personal relationships, and even clinical depression.

In a survey published in BMJ, 62 percent of men reported a decline in self esteem, 29 percent reported a negative effect on a relationship, and 21 percent reported that their relationship had ceased due to ED. For many men, the inability to perform adequately during sex directly affects their feelings of masculinity.

 

What Causes ED?

Age alone is not a risk factor for ED, but underlying health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, chronic alcohol or drug abuse, certain medications, and injuries can lead to impotence. Any condition that may restrict blood flow to veins over time, like smoking, can lead to ED.

Medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease or Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue build-up in the penis) may cause ED. Mental health issues can take their toll, too–depression or stress can result in loss of libido. Erection failures may occur repeatedly in men who experience performance anxiety due to ED.

 

Which Medications Cause ED?

Many medications have impotence or sexual dysfunction listed as a side effect. A medication review should be performed by a health care provider to determine if any prescription drug treatment may be contributing to symptoms. Medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, drugs used for benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and anti-HIV drugs may lead to ED.

If you regularly experience sexual function or ED problems, contact your doctor for evaluation and treatment.

 

Just the Basic Facts: How Viagra Works

Viagra works in response to sexual stimulation to increase the blood flow to the penis leading to an erection. Viagra does not result in an erection without sexual stimulation. When a man is aroused, muscles in the penis relax to allow this greater blood flow. Viagra helps to elevate the levels of a substance that causes the tissues to relax.

Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors like Cialis, Levitra, Stendra and Staxyn treat ED, but do not directly increase a man’s sexual desire. However, knowing that one can perform better in bed may indirectly boost libido.

 

What’s the Safest Way to Take Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafil) is taken by mouth usually as a 25 or 50 milligram (mg) tablet one hour before sexual activity. However, Viagra may be taken within a range of one-half hour to four hours before sex. The dose may be adjusted based on doctor recommendations, but it should not exceed 100 mg per dose or be taken more than once per day. A physician will prescribe your specific dose.

Have your pharmacist check for drug interactions, too. Men who use nitrates (such as nitroglycerin or isosorbide) should never use Viagra or other PDE5 inhibitors (Cialis, Levitra, Stenda, or Staxyn) due to severe, possibly fatal hypotension (low blood pressure).

 

Does Viagra Have Side Effects?

In general, the most common side effects with PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra are mild and short-lived. Headache, flushing, heartburn, vision problems, nausea, and dizziness may occur. Report a sudden hearing or vision loss to your healthcare provider immediately. An erection lasting more then 4 hours (priapism) is a rare event, but if it occurs get emergency treatment.

Be sure to review Viagra drug interactions and precautions with your healthcare provider prior to use. Your dose of Viagra may need to be adjusted based on other drugs you may be taking.

 

Other Options for Erectile Dysfunction

The simplicity of taking an oral tablet for ED has revolutionized ED treatment. However, PDE5 inhibitors may not work in about 30 percent of men. It is important for men to know that there are other options are available for ED. Penile self-injection (Caverject), transurethral suppositories (MUSE), vacuum-assisted erection devices, and surgical penile prostheses are solutions that were used prior to Viagra, and are still available today.

These options may be useful for some; however, for many men they can be complicated, painful, and more expensive. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all options.

 

What is Low T?

Media advertising has dramatically, and sometimes sensationally, increased the awareness of “Low-T” or low blood testosterone (also called androgen deficiency). Typically, a man’s testosterone level is considered low if it’s below 300 nanograms/deciliter. Men with low blood testosterone levels may suffer from a lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), brittle bones (osteoporosis), low muscle mass and higher fat accumulation. However, a recent study noted that testosterone therapy is not an appropriate therapy to treat ED without other symptoms of low T.

Testosterone therapy, whether it be by injection, gel, skin patch, spray or lozenge is the usual treatment to raise testosterone levels, but this is not always done in men over 60 years. Experts have stated that testosterone replacement could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in some men. Plus, older men who take testosterone replacements will need to have regular prostate cancer screening tests.

 

Viagra: But at What Cost?

Many insurance companies will not pay for Viagra anymore. This may be one reason why consumers turn to Internet purchase. But much of the advertised Viagra on the Internet is counterfeit, and may even contain dangerous and toxic drugs. To help combat the counterfeit market, Pfizer now offers online Viagra prescription orders and home delivery through licensed pharmacies. Just check put their website at Viagra.com or call Call 1-888-4-VIAGRA (1-888-484-2472).

Another option is to talk to your doctor about using the generic form of Revatio (sildenafil), approved for pulmonary hypertension. It’s the same drug that’s in Viagra, just at a slight lower dose. Just like Viagra, you’ll need a prescription, but the cost savings are significant. Generic Viagra isn’t expected to hit the US market until December 2017.

 

Counterfeit Viagra: A Dangerous Practice

Viagra has become the victim of Internet fraud due to its rapid success and famous name. According to Pfizer, 80 percent of the top 22 Internet sites that came up in search results for the phrase “buy Viagra” were selling counterfeit pills.

Products sold as “natural” or “herbal” Viagra claim to enhance performance; however, these illegal products have not undergone FDA review or approval. Fraudulent Viagra products contain unknown chemical ingredients that may pose a serious health risk.

 

Will Viagra Be Approved For Women?

More than 50 million women experience some type of sexual dysfunction. Studies looking at Viagra in women have theorized that sildenafil could increase genital blood flow and boost arousal. However, most studies have found a limited beneficial effect of Viagra for women. Lack of sex drive in a woman is a complicated process, often magnified by stress, hormonal changes, or lack of intimacy.

However, medications to help boost libido in women are becoming available. Addyi (flibanserin) was approved in August 2015 to treat low sex drive — generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in pre-menopausal women. Osphena (ospemifene), as well as Intrarosa (prasterone) are available for vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) that can interfere with sex in menopausal women.

 

When Where There Be a Generic Viagra?

At least one generic PDE5 inhibitor will be available in December 2017, when sildenafil (generic Viagra) becomes available from Teva Pharmaceuticals. However, Teva will be the only manufacturer distributing generic Viagra until 2020, and it’s generic price is not yet known. Other generic PDE5 inhibitors should be on the market around this same time, in 2017 or 2018, when Levitra and Cialis are projected to lose patent.

In 2015, many insurance companies stopped covering payments for several PDE5 inhibitors, but there still may be at least one on their formulary, so check with your insurance directly to determine price.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly    twitter: @phicklephilly

 

A Guide to Mastering Orgasm Control for More Satisfying Sex

What’s edging, and what’s it for?

Edging (also called surfing, peaking, teasing, and more) is the practice of stopping yourself from reaching orgasm right when you’re on the cusp — the metaphorical “edge” right before you fall off the cliff into sexual climax.

This practice has grown trendy in sexual health discussions as a form of “better orgasms,” but it’s actually more than a half-century-old treatment for premature ejaculation. In a 1956 paperpublished in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, James H. Semans introduced the “stop-start method” to help people last longer before reaching orgasm.

Essentially, this means stopping sexual stimulation before you come, waiting about 30 seconds, and then stimulating yourself again, repeating until you’re ready to orgasm.

It sounds like a quick win for better sex, but edging is more like a marathon. You can’t race your way to lasting longer in bed or having a better orgasm, as some who practice this claim.

On a more holistic level, edging can make you more keenly aware of your own sexual responses both solo and with a partner, bringing mindfulness into the bedroom.

Orgasms 101: What you need to know before you start edging

“Experimentation is absolutely essential for a healthy sex life,” says Liz Klinger, co-founder and CEO of Lioness, a smart vibrator, to Healthline. She believes that having a greater awareness of how your body responds can help take the “edge” out of the anxiety that can arise in your sex life.

And when it comes to edging, you’re also learning about the four stages of arousal. Knowing these can help you narrow down when to stop and start stimulation:

  1. Excitement. Your skin starts to flush, your muscles get tense, your heartbeat gets faster, blood starts to flow quickly down to your penis or clitoris and vagina. The vagina gets wet and the scrotum withdraws.
  2. Plateau. Everything that happened in stage 1 gets even more intense. You feel yourself drawing closer and closer to orgasm. This is the stage where you should get ready to stop or slow down stimulation.
  3. Orgasm. A series of nerve and muscle responses occur, resulting in a feeling of ecstasy, increased lubrication in the vagina, and ejaculation of semen from the penis. But when you’re practicing edging, this is the stage you’re trying to avoid until ready.
  4. Resolution. After orgasm, tissues return to their non-aroused sizes and colors, and all your vitals normalize, too. This is also when the refractory period starts. It’s a temporary stretch of time where you can’t get aroused again. It can last for a few minutes up to a few days or longer.

The particular feelings you get during these four stages aren’t the same for everyone, though.

“Studies and literature support that one of the best indicators of a satisfying sex life is to masturbate and self-explore,” Klinger says. “If you don’t get to know your body and practice different techniques, you won’t know or become accustomed to your own body, which can affect your personal satisfaction, your health, and your relationship with your partner.”

5 ways to try edging at home

If you’re interested in edging, start by focusing intently on what you feel right before orgasming and staying in that stage between plateau and orgasm. The key is to listen to your body and recognize your signs. It may take trial and error, and that’s OK.

Here are five ways to experiment:

First, let’s start with the most basic edging — the stop-start method:

Solo

  1. Make your environment ideal. Lock the doors, turn down the lights, put on some music, use an oil diffuser for atmosphere, and so on.
  2. Get in the physical mood. Close your eyes and start touching yourself until your penis gets hard or your vagina gets wet.
  3. Start masturbating. Stroke your penis, stimulate your clitoris, or whatever else you know can make you come.
  4. When you feel like you’re about to come, stop stimulation. Take your hands away or slow down your movements. Take deep breaths or open your eyes, if you need.
  5. Go back to focusing on how or what got you excited. Take note of how your body changes: Do you feel tenser? More excited? Sweating or shaking more?
  6. Start touching yourself again, or masturbating faster. After your break, repeat steps 1–3 again. Do this until you feel ready to orgasm.
  7. Let it go! Allow yourself to reach orgasm. You might notice your orgasm lasts longer or feels more intense. Pay close attention to the feeling and see if edging made any difference in how much pleasure you feel.

With a partner

  1. Get aroused, either through your favorite foreplay activities or positions with your partner. Try oral sex, stimulating their G-spot, licking or flicking or sucking nipples, or whatever else gets them going.
  2. Make sure they’re vocal or give cues about when they’re going to come.
  3. Reduce or completely stop stimulation until they go back to a plateau.
  4. Start the stimulation process again, then repeat step 3 until they’re ready to come.

Next, here’s a technique for people with penises — the squeeze method:

  1. Get aroused.
  2. Stimulate yourself to orgasm.
  3. Right before you orgasm, squeeze the head of your penis to stop your orgasm.
  4. Wait 30 seconds, then feel free to start stimulating yourself again.

And try this technique proven to help people with premature ejaculation — ballooning:

  1. Find an area on your penis that’s especially sensitive. Don’t touch any other area on your penis — just that one area.
  2. Gently move your finger around that area in a circle.
  3. Keep rubbing the area until you’re fully hard, and keep it up until you feel like you’re about to come.
  4. Stop touching your penis right before you orgasm.
  5. Let yourself get a little soft, then rub that area again until you’re close to orgasm.

Repeat this as many times as you’d like, but don’t come. Ballooning is purported to help make you last longer by training yourself to control when you orgasm, so refraining from orgasm is key to making this exercise work.

And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try a vibrator:

Some vibrators even give you biofeedback on what’s going on in your body as you move the vibrator in and out of your vagina and stimulate your clitoris.

With a vibrator, you can explore different angles, levels of penetration, vibration speeds and rhythms, and much more. Use your imagination!

Comparing orgasms

What’s the benefit of edging?

You might be wondering, Who even thought of doing this in the first place?

Edging can have a few different benefits for improving masturbation and sex:

1. Help people, especially those with vaginas, achieve orgasm more easily

2014 study of 96 women found that those who masturbate are more likely to reach orgasm. Much of this seems to relate to the anxiety that many people feel around pleasuring themselves and others.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time getting to know your own body, you may not even know what arouses you or gets you there — and that can translate into unfulfilling sexual experiences and contribute to your feelings of anxiety about sex.

2. Reduce feelings of embarrassment by building body awareness and confidence

2006 study of nearly 2,000 women found that up to three-quarters of them reported female sexual dysfunctions but felt too embarrassed to talk about them with their doctor, in addition to feeling like their doctor had no time, interest, or training to discuss sex at all.

Learning more about yourself through edging can give you more “data” and confidence in approaching your doctor or even your partner about any questions you have or issues you face in your sex life. This can translate into better health outcomes.

3. Remove the emphasis of penetration for more holistic partnered sex

Lastly, a 2018 study of more than 1,000 women found that many (about 36.6 percent) can only achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, while only 18 percent can reach orgasm through sexual intercourse alone.

These results show how important it is to experiment with activities like edging that allow you to explore numerous ways to pleasure yourself. Even if you’re one of the few who can come from penile/vaginal intercourse, learning to control when you want to orgasm can bring an extra bit of fun to the experience.

How to know when to stop your edging process and come.

It’s up to you! If you’re edging solo, feel free to let yourself orgasm whenever you feel ready.

If you’re edging with a partner, listen to them. Communicate with them. Talk to each other or come up with some other kind of sign or safe word to let them know (and so they can let you know) when you’re ready to come. Listening is the key here.

Also, be mindful of whether delaying your orgasm might lead to something called a half ordisappearing orgasmWhen this happens, you may not feel the full-body effects of orgasm, like vaginal contractions, or feel like you’re getting right to the edge but never actually reach orgasm, even when you’re ready.

Timing stimulation with the whole-body experience that comes along with having an orgasm can be challenging when you finally feel ready to come, but don’t get frustrated! Practice makes perfect.

If you have a penis, you may feel like you’re about to come, but the tension leading right up to ejaculation disappears. You may also feel like you’re coming but nothing comes out. This is known as a dry orgasm.

Dry orgasms are nothing to worry about. This is all natural and may not happen every time. They don’t reflect on your sexual potency, and in many cases don’t impact your fertility. But if you’re concerned, see a doctor or sexual health professional for a checkup.

A condition called delayed ejaculation often comes up in these conversations. However, the effects of this condition are typically psychological because of the stress and anxiety that not being able to ejaculate can cause if you aren’t choosing to do so.

Another common misunderstanding about edging is that it leads to epididymal hypertension in men, known better by its nickname “blue balls.”

There are false claims about the “harm” that can result when you get aroused but don’t come. But blue balls don’t have any long-term health effects on your sexual health. In fact, people with penises can relieve “blue balls” by using the Valsalva maneuver. Just hold your nose and exhale until you feel like your ears are clearing out.

One major side effect to consider with edging is how you approach this practice. If this method becomes a priority in your sex life or relationship, it can lead to personal distress, reduced sexual satisfaction, and relationship conflict. Never delay someone’s pleasure without their consent. An orgasm isn’t the be-all and end-all of sex, nor does it define a sexual encounter.

If you are concerned that you can’t ejaculate even when you want to, see a doctor or sexual health professional for advice.

There’s no harm in experimenting and deciding for yourself.

Any kind of sexual experimentation can help you discover yourself and what turns you on. Not everything will work for you, but that’s OK.

Basically, you won’t know if you don’t try. Edging may seem challenging at first, but you may find that standing on the “edge” may be simply exhilarating, especially when you decide to let yourself come and feel the extra intensity of finally letting yourself jump off the orgasm cliff.

 

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

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5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Walk the streets of a busy city and you might experience some man-slamming. If you’ve never heard of man-slamming, I’ll give you some brief background on a study that labor organizer Beth Breslaw performed to see how men walk. She noticed that when a man and woman are walking towards one another on a crowded street, it’s usually the woman that has to move out of the way and make room for the oncoming entitled man. In an experiment, she decided that she wasn’t going to move out of the way and see what would happen. As a result, she collided into the majority of the men she walked by. This is where we got the term man-slamming. You can try it on your own, but brace yourself and perhaps try not to collide with a man twice your size or a one who looks like a creeper who might enjoy the collision a bit too much.

Male superiority is deemed medieval concept, but it still exists today in subtle forms because, let’s face it, men were born with a huge ego. Their entitlement factor is embedded in their DNA and affects the rest of their personality along with how they treat women. Here are the top fifteen things that, if they could, women would want to change about men.

5.

MORE SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING

5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Via knowyourmeme.com

Very few men are gifted with the ability to empathize and encourage. In fact, many women relate their experiences of talking to one to that of talking to a brick wall. Unless they’re a trained professional (chaplain, clergy, counselor, etc.) or they’re unusually sensitive, men just aren’t good at providing positive reinforcement, support, and encouragement. They’d rather watch other men run around a field chasing a ball into a goal than listen to a woman open up about her painful life experiences. Simply put, men just aren’t naturally wired to care. And if you do happen to engage in this type of conversation with a man, he’s more likely to give you cut-and-dry, get-over-it types of solutions for your problems rather than offer a shoulder to cry on.

4.

MORE COMMON GROUND

5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Via reddit.com

Just like how women desire more heart-to-heart, women also wish they could share more common ground with men. This doesn’t just apply to romantic partners, but also to professional colleagues as well. In fact, this is the one aspect that causes a rift between men and women. In the workplace, men naturally gravitate towards other men who they share more common interests with. This often leaves women wishing they could have an equal playing field when it comes to rubbing elbows with upper management. This also explains why men are more quick to earn promotions and share executive-level positions with other males.

3.

BETTER SENSE OF HUMOR

5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Via memegenerator.com

They say that laughter is the key to every successful relationship. When you see a hot chick paired with a regular-looking Joe Blow, it’s probably because he’s got an amazing personality or is the life of a party. Especially after they’ve had their share of dating every type of guy in the book, women just want a man who can keep them happy. No one wants to be stuck with in a relationship like Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Desick where Desick is a total scumbag who could really use a major personality adjustment. Sometimes, men just need to lighten up and learn the art of putting a smile on a girl’s face.

2.

NICER IN GENERAL

5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Via youtube.com

Let’s face it… most men just aren’t very sensitive beings. I’ve worked in departments where there were one or two women out of fifty men. Especially in computer-based settings, men just aren’t the most friendliest of people. I recall numerous accounts of asking an IT guy for help with a computer application only to be glared at and condescendingly spoken to like I was the village idiot. Granted, there are plenty of bitchy women out there in the world as well. But hey, we have to deal with PMS and mood swings. Otherwise, at our baseline, we’re pretty sensitive and amicable. Men, on the other hand, have no excuse for being bitchy.

1.

LESS EGO

5 Things Women Wish They Could Change About Men

Via corrierepl.it

How many men have you met in your lifetime who just thought they were the shit? Men just naturally have a big ego in contrast to their female counterparts who more frequently deal with insecurity issues. In fact, one of the top complaints women have about their male spouses or partners is his overwhelming pride. It’s very rare for a man to admit to his weaknesses and shortcomings. Just look at most father figures. It’s uncommon to see a father cry and when he does (at his daughter’s wedding or at a close relative’s funeral), it’s quite a moving sight to see. It’s even possible that men might easily pick up on all of the other traits after first tackling their ego.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am EST.

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