My Wicked Mistress – Part 1 – Alcohol

Philadelphia, PA – 2018

I quit smoking cigarettes years ago. I was no longer addicted to nicotine and it had just become an expensive toxic habit I no longer enjoyed.

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I could write a whole blog regarding this subject, but I’ll keep it focused on this forum.

I had my first taste of beer when I was a kid. My dad let me try it. It was so bitter I spit it out on the kitchen floor. I agree that you should let children try things they’re curious about. It demystifies those things. People always want the forbidden and the taboo. If you just let them try it and show them that it’s not bad it removes the desire.

Everybody reacts differently to drugs and alcohol. It’s not black and white. Nothing in life is. As my daughter says about sexuality and mental health, it’s a spectrum. I’ve always agreed with her. No one is either crazy or sane. No one is either sober or an alcoholic.

It’s a range. A long winding, grey area.

I know I’m going to piss a few people off here but that’s not the purpose of my words. I’m writing this because I want to tell you all about my experience with alcohol.

I’m going to open with this. Alcoholism isn’t a disease.

Disease: A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of part or all of an organism, and that is not due to any external injury. Diseases are often construed as medical conditions that are associated with specific symptoms and signs.

When I think of diseases I think of the big ones.

  • Autoimmune Diseases.
  • Allergies & Asthma.
  • Cancer.
  • Celiac Disease.
  • Crohn’s & Colitis.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Infectious Diseases.
  • Liver Disease.

Stuff like that. They happen. But alcoholism isn’t a disease. It’s called that because so many “normal” folks are afflicted with it. It destroys lives indiscriminately. Yale to jail. Top to bottom.

But…

It’s a disease you have to BUY.

You don’t just catch it. You have to willfully do it. You have to go to the bar or a store and pick up a bottle and decide to drink it.

That’s not a disease. That’s your mind and body vs. alcohol. Everybody’s different.

But this piece isn’t about that. That’s for another blog. Not mine.

This is my brief story. I’m going to keep this as short as possible because it could eat up my whole blog if I go on too long about this subject.

I’ve always suffered from anxiety and depression. That coupled with low self-esteem and being an overachiever is a perfect cocktail for alcohol consumption.

I remember the first time I caught my first buzz from alcohol. I was out on the fishing pier one night in Wildwood, NJ with my friend and bandmate, Wolfie. We had a 6-pack of Molson Golden Ale and I had maybe 3 of them. I was 17 years old.

I walked back out onto the boardwalk when my very first buzz from alcohol hit me.

It was beautiful.

I felt exhilarated, euphoric, and indestructibly confident.

I couldn’t believe the power of this bitter elixer. It made the weak strong, the tired energized. The sad, happy. The loser, confident.

I went home and told my mother about my experience. She had also suffered from anxiety and probably some depression her whole life. I explained to her how good it made me feel and it also made my anxiety, (Which was really bad back then) simply vanish.

“That’s great, but don’t ever let it become a crutch.”

“What do you mean, Mom?”

“Don’t rely on a drink to carry you through something.”

Those words stuck with me my whole life.

I love to drink. It’s fun. It feels good. It’s a wonderful social lubricant.

I’ve had my ups and downs with booze. Many of us have. The fights. The drunken misunderstandings. The brilliant hilarious nights. The random hook-ups. The crazy sex. The bad decisions. The great ones. The bed spins. The vomiting in inappropriate venues.

I’ve experienced all of that stuff.

I drank beer and wine. When I got to California I started getting into sipping Jack Daniels.

I enjoyed beer and cocktails in the ’80s in my 20s. I went into banking. Having a few drinks after work was just something everybody did.

Happy Hour. What a lovely name for something that involves people, booze, and lasts two hours instead of one.

I think during my very unhappy marriage is when my drinking escalated. My wife wasn’t much of a drinker and certainly didn’t like my drinking.

I would sneak nips from a half-pint of Smirnoff’s Vodka hidden in my garage.

I can see it all very clearly now. My social drinking had now become a band-aid over the pain of my domestic life.

My drinking didn’t end my marriage. Turns out we were simply incompatible as people on so many levels. I should have never gotten married. I know now it’s not an institution I can belong to. This shark needs to be free to swim and roam the oceans.

With my wife gone, I was now free to drink all I wanted whenever I wanted. I could listen to the stereo,  rock out to my music, and drink my Ketel One and tonics.

I was never one to drink in the morning or during the day. As much as I loved to drink, I always had strict rules regarding time. I would only take a drink after 5 pm.

Sure, I’d have the occasional glass of wine at a brunch or something, but no more. The real drinking happened at night. In a bar or behind closed doors and drawn blinds.

I was writing a book back then so I would just disappear from my sad life into writing and booze.

I didn’t even realize what was happening to me or why I was doing it. A former artist and musician, reduced to a branch manager at a bank. My marriage is already over. The only one in my family divorced. And then there’s dividing up all of the assets I had worked so hard to construct. Then the child support begins. $600 a month of your net income vanishes from your account every month. For 15 years! Do the math. It’s a financial nightmare that seems without end. I missed my little daughter. My little family was destroyed. Ruined.

When you begin drinking it’s for fun. It makes you laugh and feel happy. Later, it can be used to extinguish pain. Alcohol numbs you to the point where for that night you no longer care and have no worries about life in general.

But you might as well throw gasoline on a fire to put it out.

The booze kills the pain. But alcohol is a wicked mistress. You love her and she’ll fool you at every turn. She’s a beautiful and sexy girl. Doesn’t cheat on you. Won’t ever disappoint you. Always there for you. Comfort. Forget your problems. “Don’t work through them, honey. Just drink me in. That’s it, dear.”

I drank like that at night for the next 10 years.

I had no problems with my drinking through the 2000s. It’s just something we did after work.

Let’s jump to the Spring of 2018.

I quit cigarettes. My daughter lives with me. She’s happy. I’ve left corporate life. I have a nice little job I like doing. Child support is long over. But I continue to drink as if I’m covering some sort of pain.

But I’m not sad anymore. I have wisdom. I fought through anxiety and depression over the last 50 years without therapy or medicine. I’ve won!

But I continue to drink out of one directive. It’s simply a ritual. Just like smoking became. But one far more deadly.

I think I thought at the time I needed it to fall asleep. I did. Because I could no longer fall asleep without alcohol. My body needed it to shut down. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I never really addressed why I was doing it. It simply became a function of my evening life.

Everything was good in my life. This became a dark secret.

I could be out at the bar having a few drinks but the minute I got home I just kept going on my own. Alone in my room drinking vodka and club soda. One after the other. I never counted. I just did it until I could sleep and off I went.

But my will is strong. I can drink like that and get up for work the next morning with Metallica Metallicano problem.  Never call out and I’m never late. Am I doing this to overcompensate for my drinking? Probably.

If my mind wouldn’t race at night maybe I could stop drinking so much in the evening.

Two to three times a week I would go to the liquor store and pick up a 1.75 bottle of Nikolai or Wolfschmidts vodka. I wasn’t quite at the level of drinking as Guns n Roses bassist, Duff McKagen, but I was working on it.

My older sister said I was a functioning alcoholic. Normally that would be correct.

But not in my case.

Was this something I was simply stuck with from my old life, for the rest of my life?

Time would only tell.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

California Dreamin’ – Ashley – 3 Strikes – Part 3

Wildwood, NJ – 1984

When I got back to Wildwood, NJ I would write letters and sometimes talk to Ashley on the phone. One night I had been drinking while I was on the phone with her and the conversation turned to sex.

Ashley became enraged, that I was gone from her life and all I wanted to do was talk about how great our sex had been. She yelled at me and told me she never wanted to speak to me again. She was peevish, ex-lover spurned with jealousy and rage.

I was fine with that. I was already seeing someone else by then.

Philadelphia, PA – 2008

25 years later, I’m living in Rittenhouse with my girlfriend, Michelle. One day I go on Facebook, and I have a friend request from Ashley! I was happily surprised to hear from her after so long. Facebook was still pretty new back then and people were reconnecting with all of their old friends from the past. Whether that’s a good idea or not, I don’t know. I’m going to say it’s a good thing. I’ve been able to chat with many of my old friends and it’s nice to see some of them after all of these years.

But after about a week or so, Ashley writes me a message that I’m not being a good Facebook friend and she’s cutting me off. I didn’t understand what that meant. I guess I was supposed to be more attentive on this social media platform. It seemed weird to me at the time, but after all that time I didn’t care. She just seemed crazy. Mental illness is an insidious thing. I’ve met enough crazy people here in Philly, and I just don’t care anymore.

Philadelphia, PA – 2020

Here we go again. We’re all in lockdown due to the global pandemic. Out of the blue, I get a message on Facebook from Ashley. Now it’s been 37 years since I laid eyes on her.

She and I would message each other on Facebook. It was nice to chat with her again after all of these years. We had a shared history from a long time ago when we were young and free in L.A. in the early 80s.

She had been to school and became a chef, married for over 30 years, had no children and had been living in Italy for many years. It was fun to catch up.

But after a short period, I started to notice a very angry tone in her messages. She seemed bitter and preachy about certain subjects. I’ve been around for a long time and have a wealth of life experience. I can pretty much read people through the written word as if I’m listening to them in person. It sounded like when she’d get mean in her messages, she was drunk.

I think she searched my blog looking for some heartfelt story about her and there just wasn’t any. I wrote about a bunch of wild things that happened to me and the boys when we got to LA but never got around to writing about her.

She gave me a really hard time about some of my posts. I felt violated and insulted by how corrosive her words were about my blog. So many cruel, words. It hurt, but I’m accustomed to trolls by now. I’m sure it was just her drunken bitterness coming forth from a life not lived. Just silly, juvenile, embarrassing behavior from a middle-aged woman.

It’s a shame when you find out a person has lived over half a century and hasn’t ever evolved as a person.

I have a low tolerance for drunk people even though I have a high tolerance for alcohol. (Not anymore, thank you) But she seemed drunk and rambled on in some of her messages. It felt uncomfortable and I felt bad for her. When I looked on her Instagram it was just a bunch of pictures of locations where she lived. She seems lonely. That’s the vibe I got. No kids, married for 30 years and has almost no info or photos of her husband.

I suppose what happened to her is that she’d sadly lived a life that’s been unfulfilled. She speaks and acts as though she hasn’t grown as a person or matured as an adult. She was still pissed about me leaving her back in 1983!

We spoke on the phone one morning and it was lovely. But she wanted to chat so much on Facebook messenger that it started to feel like too much. She said, “Promise me we can do this every week.”

Who says that? Promise me? I’m not making any promises to some 60-year-old woman who lives on the other side of the planet. I haven’t seen her in 37 years! Anything we ever were was finished a long time ago.

I also noticed how she would message me on Facebook, and if I didn’t respond, she would delete them all which seemed juvenile and weird. Sadly, Ashley’s never matured as a person and hasn’t evolved through the years. I can’t relate to any of that nonsense.

I think poor Ashley’s bored in her life and where she’s ended up, and has turned to alcohol for solace. But that never works. That’s just a band-aid covering up your real issues.

I spoke to my daughter about it and she said it all seemed kind of weird after all of this time.

I would have been happy to chat with her ocassionally on messenger. That would have been nice. But I don’t want to be in constant touch with someone and have them sending me clips of a bunch of music and songs I have zero interest in. It all seemed juvenile. I guess if you marry too young and don’t live a full life, you kind of get stuck behaving a certain way. I don’t know how her husband has put up with all of this childish behavior for so many years. I’d have divorced this woman/child years ago. But that’s his life, not mine. I don’t know the man.

So, at one point she sends me a message about how it’s been great talking to me and hopes I have a nice life. I saw it and didn’t respond. I could tell it was just an attempt to get my attention. But I simply don’t care. I feel nothing for this person.

There were a few more drunken messages that were later deleted. I’m assuming she writes a bunch of wild things when she’s half in the bag, and then the next morning when she’s sober, takes them down.

I figured she’d wait until the end of December of last year. If she hadn’t heard from me, she’d cut me off for the third time.

Had she just reached out to chat and behaved like an adult, we could have remained friends, but she hasn’t the ability to do that. I’m thinking possible bipolar and alcoholism at this point. But I’m not spending any time thinking about it at all. I’m too busy.

I was promoting some of my stuff on Facebook the other day, and I noticed the message chain from her was gone. I thought, “This is it.”

I searched for her on Facebook. She didn’t cut me off or block me, but she had unfriended me. So silly.

So, 3 strikes and it looks like I’m out.

But… like I always say. No matter what happens, good or bad… at least I got a story out of it…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, and most of all, follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

California Dreamin’ – Ashley – 3 Strikes – Part 2

Los Angeles, CA – 1983

One day I somehow acquired tickets to a David Bowie concert out in Anaheim. (It may have been the Glass Spider tour) We were on our way to the show when my van suddenly stalled. I had never had any problems with it before, but this was the worst thing that could have happened at the very worst time. I remember a truck full of Mexicans was kind enough to push my disabled vehicle off the highway.

We missed the show, but I got the van running again. Ashley was incredibly disappointed so I made it up to her. I took her to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was the very first time I tasted veal.

On another occasion, we were out partying in a bar somewhere and were on our way to her house. I was on the freeway when the cops pulled me over. They said I was swerving, but I know that I wasn’t. I think they saw the New Jersey tags on an old 1969 VW minibus and decided to stop me.

They took me through a sobriety test which I passed, but when I blew into the breathalyzer, I failed. I remember Ashley telling me that while this was happening, one of the officers was hitting on her. “What’s a nice pretty girl like you doing with a loser like him?” the cop said.

So, they arrested me and took me to jail. They photographed and fingerprinted me and tossed me in a cell with a couple of drunk guys. I remember sharing a cigarette with one of them. It was a rare bonding moment with another inmate. Odd thing was, I wasn’t even scared at all. I was only 21 years old when all of this happened.

I guess one of the cops took Ashley home and they left me in the can to chill. I got my one phone call and spoke with my roommate. I told him where I had some cash hidden in the apartment. He hopped in a cab and came to bail me out.

The cops told us where the van was impounded, but said not to get it and drive it because I could be stopped again. Which would make my current infraction even worse. We agreed and left the precinct.

We immediately went to the impound lot and got my van out. I drove my roommate and me home and we were fine.

Bad night.

I called my father and told him what happened. He was cool about it and was just glad I was okay. I had left a grand in my bank account back in Wildwood, NJ in case of emergency. This was that emergency.

I had to go to court, plead no contest, pay the fine, and attend classes. (All of it seemed like fee income for the city of LA and a waste of my time.) After all of the negative experiences in LA and the feeling that it didn’t matter where you were in the world, it really came down to who you were at that given time in your life.

No matter where you run to in this world… there you are. You make or break the place where you live. I was fed up with all of the phoniness of LA and didn’t see any point in staying out there anymore. I wasn’t going to become the next heavy metal god and was really feeling despondent about my life there. It had all become very mundane. (I’ll write about the deeper parts of this decision in some future post)

My roommate and I eventually decided to pack it in and return to New Jersey. I was tired of LA and missed my family and friends. I was just done with the whole scene out there.

Of course, Ashley was heartbroken that I was leaving, but I had to go. There was nothing I could do. I wasn’t staying out there. She was, and our relationship was over.

I guess that’s how I was back then. My whole existence was about survival and dealing with my anxiety and depression. But I thought nothing of just doing what I needed to do to survive. I know now that I broke some young hearts back then. I never intended to hurt anyone intentionally, I just kept moving. But I see now I was running in circles.

More tomorrow!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, and most of all, follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

California Dreamin’ – Ashley – 3 Strikes – Part 1

Santa Monica, CA – 1982

When I first got to Los Angeles in 1982, I got a job as a busboy at a local restaurant in Santa Monica called Cafe Casino. It was located in the Wilshire Pallisades building down by the beachfront. Someone had come up with the idea of serving French cuisine in a cafeteria model. People would enter the restaurant, grab a tray and get in line for their meal. They would point to the things they wanted, and there were a couple of girls that would serve them. It was like an expensive high school lunchroom experience. We had a fun crew of people working there and we had a good time.

I had become friends with one of the girls who worked there named Kellie Lawson. She was from Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was one of a million people who had migrated to Los Angeles to become an actor. Most people that you met out there back then all wanted the same thing. Every person in the service industry was waiting for the big break that would never come. Every waitress was either an actress, singer, model, or dancer. Most of the men you met were actors, musicians, or screenwriters. None of them working in the industry, but waiting…

Kelly had got on a greyhound bus to escape the grinding boredom of her hometown in an attempt to make it big in Hollywood. A classic scenario seen a thousand times out there. We had started dating and would frequently fool around at her apartment. We sort of grew out of touch after I left that job to work at Merlin McFly’s down near Venice.

One afternoon, we’re at the restaurant and the guys and I were hanging outside the dining room by the doors. The lunch rush was over and the two glass doors swung open. Who comes rolling in with his squad but Heisman Trophy champion, O.J. Simpson!

I knew him more from the Hertz commercials, but the other guys all cheered when the athlete entered the restaurant. He was a good-looking guy and said hello to us all. When I shook the hand of this man, who could realize that 10 years later he’d be famous for something else.

One of the girls who worked there that I befriended was a charming beauty named Joelle. She was a part-time model and her boyfriend worked at Disney studios.

Here’s her modeling photo card. Beautiful!

A lovely girl. She was not only beautiful but full of sass. She’d laugh at all my jokes and seemed to find me amusing. I liked working with her and having her as a friend back then.

One day, I came to work and she was standing there with another girl. She was 19 years old, cute, and Joelle told me she was her cousin from Philadelphia. I chatted with her and thought she was cool. Since I was originally from Philly we had a small connection.

She was new to California, and I told her we should hang out. She gave me her number and we made plans to do something together.

Eventually, we started dating and things became romantic. I had already been out there for over a year and was pretty jaded. But Ashley was new and was a fun, sweet girl to spend time with. Sometimes we’d just drive around LA in my van and end up down by the beach. We’d make out in the VW minibus and it was a romantic hot time.

We went on several dates. We went to see, ET: The Extraterrestrial, (I cried like a baby) The Dark Crystal, (A bunch of muppets with David Bowie), and Flashdance. (Chick-flick, but the great soundtrack.)

Sometimes we’d just hang out at my apartment, but many times I’d finish work and come visit her at her cousin’s house out in Culver City. It was fun to hang out in her room and watch TV and make out. We were just a couple of teenagers enjoying life and our youth together. We were a couple of kids on the loose in LA. She loved Richard Gere and I loved Farrah Fawcett.

One night I stayed over there late. We stayed up all night as young people do. When I came out to get in my van to go home, I saw that the driver’s side door was standing wide open.

My minibus had been broken into, and the thieves had stolen my entire stereo system. This was heartbreaking to me because I loved my van and listening to my tunes. They even took the boom box that I used to listen to on the beach back in Wildwood, NJ. I felt so violated by that incident, I was reluctant to go back to her neighborhood again. It was a planned professional job. They had hit several cars on the street that night.

The more Ashley and I spent time together the closer we became. She would stay over at my apartment in Mar Vista on the weekends. That eventually turned into our first intimate encounters. I don’t think I realized at the time that I was Ashley’s first.

But after that, it was really fun to be together, and fooling around became part of our relationship. It was a natural progression back then. You can only make out in my van for so long before the bigger things start happening.

One night while we were in my apartment fooling around someone broke into the apartment next door and robbed the place. My neighbor was in Greece at the time with her boyfriend so nobody was home. The thieves ransacked the place and I suppose stole anything valuable.  I later heard from one of my neighbord that they saw some guys listening next to my window to see if anybody was home. But I guess hearing our laughter they moved on to next door and ripped off my neighbor’s place instead of robbing us. Crazy!

My neighbor moved out shortly after that and I moved into her apartment. It was bigger and installed a waterbed I had gotten from a chef I worked with at McFlys who had back problems. That waterbed only cost me $120 and was awesome! It was so cool having a waterbed. I remember one night the thermostat in the unit went off and the whole side of my body was cold when I woke up. I thought I was half dead! I had a lot of wild times on that waterbed.

More tomorrow!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, and most of all, follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

An Evening With James – Part 2

Yesterday I began the two-part saga of hanging out with my friend James. Thanks for tuning in for the conclusion!

The Lyft arrives and it’s a five-star driver with a pleasant personality and a clean car. I’m safe and on my way to see James. Based on my calculations I’m less than 15 minutes away from his house. But for some reason I guess I was traveling during a surge period and this ride is costing me $17! What the heck?

But I let it go because it was my mistake that got me here and I’m happy I’m safe and in an air-conditioned, clean vehicle to my friend’s doorstep. I chat with the driver and he points out all of the hot spots in town on our way there. Noted. I’ll pass these recommendations onto James when I see him. He’s single now and should get out in the real world to hunt and not so much on these dating apps.

He drops me off and I knock on James’s front door. After a few minutes, I hear a window opening above my head. I look up and James is sticking his head out the window. “Didn’t you get my text? The door’s open. I’m just out of the shower.”

I go in and head for the kitchen. He has a jar full of those peanut butter-filled pretzels on the counter and I munch on a few of them. Nothing’s changed since I was here last. Several pieces of furniture are gone, but he’s set up a turntable and some speakers next to the 50 plus liquor bottles in the corner of the room. He wants to install a bar of some type to put his collection into but he’s just been too busy. But it’s been a productive busy. Lots of interesting dates and the obligations of running his talent agency.

I think about the last time I was here. Lethal cocktails, beers, burgers, and dogs. I loved it all but at my age, none of the above loves me back anymore. I was under the weather for 2 days after that last time. That won’t happen again, right?

James comes down and starts making cocktails. I’m petting one of his exotic cats. I like the grey and black one that resembles a tiger. James thinks that cat is an a$$hole but I like him because he’s so handsome.

James gives me one of his famous Manhattans. It packs a punch but is delicious. Are you supposed to use 100 proof rye whiskey in that drink? Probably not, but  I can’t say no to a freshly made quality cocktail that’s made with authentic ingredients right down to the brandied berry on the toothpick. Plus… they’re free. Free always tastes better than paid for. James makes really good cocktails and never scrimps on the quality.

So I tell him about the last few weeks of non-stop commercial writing assignments, my encounters with Lin, and my harrowing trip to get here today. Then it’s his turn.

His life now that he’s single sounds like my life when I started this blog back in 2016. Non-stop dates, events, and oceans of alcohol.

He’s hungry, so he whips up some tasty little frozen chicken nuggets. James is the king of hot sauce and dipping and he brings out the plate of snacks. He’s telling me about all of his dates in detail, (which I love because I’m now living vicariously through my young apprentice) and we munch on the chicken while sipping our potent beverages. (I even ripped off a few little bits and fed them to his cat which he enjoyed!) James told me that could give the cat diarrhea later but I figured a few little scraps wouldn’t hurt him. Cats have far more robust and septic digestive systems than humans or even dogs.

The next couple of cocktails I consumed were whiskey and coffee liqueur based and they were delicious. But I was already buzzing from my first Manhattan.  Did I know that these venomous drinks were a recipe for a hangover tomorrow? Of course, I did. But did it at any time cross my mind during this social visit with my friend? No, it did not.

So, it turns out I was right about his motives for the evening. It was number 2. Strip club. Okay, James. Whatever you want buddy. You’ve never been there and you should at least see what it’s all about.

We’ve been chatting for a few hours and through several cocktails and I’m fine with it. It was probably around 10:30 or 11:00 by the time he called the Lyft to take us to Delilah’s.

Delilah’s describes itself on their website as “a landmark in Philadelphia for over a quarter-century. Over that time Delilah’s has established itself as the premier entertainment destination for business travelers, celebrities, and uninhibited Philadelphians alike.”

That sounds great, but that’s never what any of these kinds of places are like. Even using the phrase, “gentlemen’s club” is abhorrent. You can hang whatever title you want on any of these joints and they are all just strip joints, plain and simple. It can be big, and fancy with tall stripper poles and lots of fancy lights, stages, and music, but it’s all the same stuff.

A den of iniquity full of sleazy, sweaty losers who are looking to escape reality. A place where these losers can flash some money and get the attention of a few desperate, damaged women in skimpy outfits. The last time I was here, was for my friend Duncan after his divorce. I don’t go to places like this because I never need to. I can meet real women in the real world. Places like this are gross and so are the men who frequent them.

I used to know a guy that was addicted to these scum holes. He has no personality or game of any kind and has blown thousands of dollars at places like this. He’s always been a sleazy loser and this is the only way he can ever get the attention of fit young women. He has to pay for it. Pathetic.

The women who work there are usually all mentally damaged in some form. What girl chooses to end up in a vocation where she has to parade around in her underwear for a living and be nice to a bunch of gross losers while they stuff dollar bills in her bra or thong? No little girl ever dreams of being a stripper when she grows up. She’s been damaged by someone along the way. It’s so sad.

We arrive and go inside. We’re both in good spirits due to the amount of distilled spirits flowing through our veins and just being together. James pays our cover which was $10 each. We have to go through a vigorous security process similar to getting on a plane. Maybe worse. Patted down by burly security guards, put your keys, wallet, and phone in a tray while you pass through a metal detector to enter the club. I whipped out my vaccination card but nobody cared. As long as I wasn’t packing any weapons they didn’t care if we were patient zero and carriers of covid and ebola!

We walk up to the first bar as you enter the main area. The last time I was here I prefer to sit in the back because it’s quiet and a bit more remote. But James has never been here before and he’s dazzled by the energy of the place and all the female pulchritude.

Within 30 seconds two attractive blondes in skimpy outfits were upon us.

Have you ever walked onto the property of a used car lot? What’s the first thing that happens? Right… you are immediately accosted by some sleazy used car salesman who descends upon you like a desperate starving vulture.

That’s what it felt like. These girls are looking to maximize their earnings each night and we are simply ATMs. They charm us with their wiles to figure out our emotional PIN, and their job is to separate us from our cash.

These two hapless souls were all over us from the minute we got to the bar. We barely had time to order a couple of Stella Artois. James picked up on the vibe immediately, and we got our beers and headed to the back away from these cute piranhas.

We take our seats at the end of one of the bars and enjoy the show. The women that work at Delilah’s are better looking than the gals that work at some of the other clubs in town. This is the premier place, right? But as I said, it’s all the same trip in every one of these places across the nation.

James seems to be getting into the spirit of things though, so I’m happy he’s having a good time. He’s never been here so being newly single again, he’s glad he can go where he pleases and do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone anymore. He doesn’t have to get permission from his girlfriend to go live the life he wants.

I tell him since I wasn’t entirely sure we were coming here tonight I didn’t prepare. (I never prepare because I never go to places like this.) When you go to a strip club you should always bring plenty of cash because it’s king in these joints. Cash for lap dances in the private rooms and lots of singles for stuffing in G-strings.

So against my better judgment, I head over to the ATM. Now, when I used to go to the Gold Club down in center city with Johnny R before I cut that alcoholic loser off, I knew to never use their mac machine. Here’s why… Strip clubs know they have a captive audience full of drunk, horny losers. They exploit every inch of that real estate. Crappy drinks are overpriced, the girls are money-hungry jackals, and the fee to use the mac machine is usually jacked up. They know you don’t want to leave to get more money. You want that lap dance from that hottie who’s been teasing you for the last hour with promises of love and maybe other things in the back room.

The Gold Club is a place where sexual stuff can happen. I’ve witnessed Johnny R get all kinds of favors from the girls there in the back room. It’s a low-class place and the staff isn’t as pretty as at Delilah’s so they’re more apt to give a few favors for the right price.

The ATM fee at the Gold club is around $6. Which is twice to three times what you’d pay at an average ATM anywhere else in the city. But dudes pay it and probably don’t even notice they’re getting hit with the fee. Being drunk and horny clouds their vision. But, here I am at Delilah’s, the “classy” joint in town and I’m about to take money from their ATM. I figure, what the heck. I’m only going to write all about this later and it’ll be more informative to my readers if they know the real deal.

So I go to the mac machine and put my debit card in. I choose to take out $80. I get my four twenties and receipt and head back to the bar to see James.

I pull out the receipt from the machine and show it to him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but see if you can.

Yea… a horror show. A $16 fee just to get your money out of that thing! That’s highway robbery!

I’m a cheapskate anyway when I go to these kinds of hellholes, so seeing this I knew I would NOT be spending much money in this dump. I wouldn’t anyway, but wow. Just wow. It made me wish that I was the owner of that ATM. What a cash cow!

James laughs in surprise and whips out a neatly wrapped stack of $100 in one-dollar bills he has to have gotten from his local bank of account. I laughed at his planning. Well done, James! You came prepared. You’re a regular boy scout!

I gave him 2 twenties and he reluctantly counted out $40 in one-dollar bills to me in exchange.

He’s been chatting with probably the prettiest, fit dancer in the place and tells me he’s going off to get a lap dance. Good for him. He needs to experience this place to its fullest. But I think he’s in for a rude awakening. We all know what happens and NEVER happens in the champagne room at Delilah’s.

While he’s gone two really cute Hispanic girls approach me. They’re both adorable and alluring. I haven’t seen them in here all night, nor have I seen either one of them dances on stage. They both proceed to cut right to the chase. “Give us $300 and you can come in one of the back rooms and have s*x with us. (Gotta watch the words I use here. Google Adsense flags anything sexy on my sight now. If I want to earn ad revenue on here, I gotta keep it clean) I graciously decline their offer, as tempting as these two lovely sirens are.

James returns 15 minutes later, and I ask him how was his “lapper” with the brunette.

“Sucked. She sort of writhed and hovered over me, and there was no touching.”

“Welcome to an upscale gentleman’s club, James. You can get tossed for touching in this place.”

I can tell James is disappointed with what we’ve experienced thus far. We throw back a few beers and the good news is, neither of us was drunk. I tell him that even though I had to let my friend Johnny R go because of his multiple addictions and failure, the guy was right. He never wanted to come to Delilah’s. He always preferred the Gold Club in the center city because he liked its authenticity. It doesn’t pretend to be a classy joint like this place does. It knows it’s a sleazy strip club and it does it well. The girls are average and very friendly, the day shift is a little scary, but at least they’re truthful with what they provide and what they are.

By the end of the night, we were approaching the 2 am witching hour and last call. James was determined to spend some money apparently and stay in the spirit of things. He was crumbling up bills and tossing them onto the stage. At one point he went to the edge of the stage and just laid out money along the edge. It was all one-dollar bills but he seemed to be enjoying himself despite the grinding disappointment of this place and their ilk.

He encouraged me to do the same so I placed 2 bills on the edge of the stage. God, I hate these places but I love James, so who cares. We had a fun night out. I took a LYFT home and he was within walking distance of his house so he headed home.

When I get home, I notice my clothes smelled of cigarette and cigar smoke and I reek of cheap perfume. Hopefully, a hot shower will wash the stench from me, but sadly the women that work there can’t wash off that kind of a shame.

And the best part? I got a colorful story out of it, and when I checked my wallet the next morning  I still had most of my money! I had $38 in ones and $40 in twenties, so at least I didn’t get fleeced last night!

The only thing is, I didn’t have a migraine the next day, but all those rich cocktails did give me a headache for the rest of the day, and my stomach has been a little shakey for two days.

I’m getting too old for this rich life, but I’m having fun doing it. I think next time we go out, I’ll stick to spiked seltzers, lots of water, and some good food to sop up the booze.

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

23 Sexy Questions To DM Your Crush That Really Bring The Heat

Let’s be real: No one ever wants to get hit with an unsolicited DM that reads, “Hey Hottie! Will you send me a sneaky pic?” IMHO, exchanging sexy messages over the internet can be like recreating Love Letters of Great Men, but for millennials. However, much like writing the perfect letter, penning a message that’s both sensual and not cringe-worthy takes some practice and finesse. If you’re looking for some inspiration, these 23 sexy questions to DM your crush are the perfect place to start.

No matter how long you’ve been crushing on someone, it’s important to be in tune with their comfort level and feelings before sending a sexy message. Consent is a necessary part of all sexual behavior — IRL, and, yes, in the DMs. While making the first move can be daring (and often appreciated!), ensuring everyone’s comfort and boundaries is also important. And whether you’re gearing up to exchange nudies or just want to have a flirty convo, asking your crush a sexy question in their direct messages can be a great way to open up your conversation.

Here are 23 sexy questions to DM your crush. Yes, they are categorized by Taco Bell sauce heat levels.

charming mix race plus size woman in a white business jacket standing with smart phone in hand on white background in Studio

Shutterstock

Mild.

1. Let me just ask: How is it possible that you’ve gone so long without messaging me?

2. Should I start this conversation with a cheesy pickup line?

3. Be honest, how long have you been waiting for me to DM you?

4. When’s the last time you thought about me?

5. It’s been so long since we last hung out. Wanna change that?

Hot.

6. I’m making the first move with this DM. Can I expect you to make the first move when we hang out IRL?

7. If you have the time to “like” all my recent posts, how come you’ve never found the time to ask me out?

8. Miss me yet?

9. When do I get to kiss you again?

10. How about we move this convo to drinks?

Fire.

11. I’m not great at starting sexy conversations. Do you want to give it a try?

12. Do you mind that I’m DMing you from the tub?

13. If I asked you to come over right now, what would you say?

14. Want to skip the gym and come over for a different type of workout?

15. Do you like sexting?

16. If you could pick out my undies, what would you have me in?

Diablo.

17. I had a dream last night that we were sexting. Want to make my dreams come true?

18. Real tea: Did you think about me naked when you last saw my name in your DMs?

19. I just took some pics that are a little too hot for my main feed. Do you want to see them?

20. So, your place or mine?

21. What would you do to me if we were together right now?

22. What’s your sexiest fantasy?

23. Do you ever think about me when you’re touching yourself?

Whether you ask what they’re wearing or complement their recent post, sliding into your crush’s DMs can be a super flirty way to start a sexy conversation. Of course, it’s always imperative to ensure everyone’s comfort and well-being. If you think a message is a little too forward, or you’re worried about making your crush uneasy, start with something mild and build up to something hotter. At the end of the day, putting yourself out there (in a consensual and respectful way!) is the sexiest message of all.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Sex Worker Reveals What It’s Really Like To Be A Stripper & Prostitute

Here’s a submission from one of my readers. Enjoy!

Stripping and prostitution aren’t all bad, but sex work is no walk in the park.

Being a sex worker can be a blast.

Easy money that’s fun to make. Partying for a living. Getting a great workout, and sometimes even having great sex, on the job. Going to great restaurants and staying at nice hotels on someone else’s dime. Meeting lots of cool people and making them feel great. Fulfilling clients’ fantasies while escaping your own troubles. Having the opportunity to travel all over the country and even the world, while remaining gainfully employed and recouping any costs incurred.

One of the biggest perks working as a stripper and prostitute is the high earning-to-time-expended ratio.

Students, single moms, and aspiring artists can literally buy themselves time to live the other aspects of their lives, such as supporting dependents and pursuing higher education.

Writing has always been my greatest talent, and I have a sensitive writer’s temperament. Stripping and escorting have helped inspire and sustain my writing, but they’ve also exposed me to genuinely heartbreaking things.

Sure, there are things about stripping and escorting that irritate me — like people not tipping at the stage when I’m working the pole hard and Johns canceling appointments last minute — but then there are things that have an emotional impact on me as well.

Here are the ten most heartbreaking aspects of being a sex worker.

1. We see clients (mainly men) at their most vulnerable.

Guys really spill their guts to you and it can be quite draining. Sometimes you just smile and nod at inane rambling, but other times the conversation gets pretty damn real.

You see guys who are mentally disturbed, addicts, and physically disabled. But most of all, you see guys who want to vent about their marriage issues or drink their pain away, using you as an enabler.

2. Law enforcement treats murdered or raped sex workers as sub-human.

There’s a degrading expression among cops. The term “no human involved” (NHI) is utilized when a murder victim is a sex worker, especially if the victim is a trans woman of color.

We don’t get the Natalee Holloway media treatment if we go missing. And crimes against only make the news when someone famous — like Eliot Spitzer, Charlie Sheen, or an intriguing serial killer — is involved.

3. Feminists don’t have our backs and drown out our voices with their own.

I’m a bit sick of Tina Fey being lauded as a feminist when she thrives on jokes that shame and dehumanize sex workers.

If you watch “30 Rock” or read her book “Bossypants” from a sex workers’ point of view, you’d be shocked by how little she thinks of us. Other feminists who hold higher degrees and teach at prestigious institutions have gotten the general public, federal government, and chief executive officer himself on board with the conflation of sex trafficking and consensual sex work.

You’ve noticed what a trendy topic sex trafficking (modern slavery) is, right? It’s really hit the mainstream, but feminists, law enforcement, and federal lawmakers don’t have a damn clue how to actually distinguish voluntary sex workers from exploited trafficking victims.

Instead, by enacting bills like FOSTA-SESTA, they’re letting the bad apples make it harder for the rest of us to do things such as bank and avoid housing discrimination.

4. We are disenfranchised from mainstream society.

A few years back, Chase Bank was accused of shutting down the bank accounts of adult entertainers and their spouses, even when the work they do is legal.

When porn star Teagan Presley received a letter from Chase saying accounts belonging to herself and her husband were being closed, she was told in person by someone at the bank it was because she was deemed to be “high risk.”

Soon after, Frank Keating, CEO of the American Bankers Association, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed the US Department of Justice was actively involved in the situation.

“Operation Choke Point,” he wrote, “is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like … Banks must then ‘choke off’ those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.”

Sex workers have used other services like Paypal, Bitcoin, GreenDot Cards, MoneyPaks, and more to obtain deposits from clients, and law enforcement keeps catching on to us and shutting down various resources. The closures of Craigslist’s adult section, Backpage, and websites like MyRedbook (where sex workers could advertise), have forced some of us onto the streets to survive.

Federal authorities portray these moves as ways to protect underage sex trafficking victims and bust money-laundering pimps, but what they really do is endanger consenting sex workers who are of age and willingly involved in the industry in the process. This kind of discrimination is why a lot of us, including myself for a time, literally live out of hotels.

5. We will forever be defined by our time as sex workers.

I’m not fame-obsessed like most Americans. I don’t care about celebrities and I don’t care to become one. However, now that I’ve worked not only as a stripper but as a full-blown hooker, I’m terrified of becoming a successful writer or public figure. I’m worried that a single Tweet or viral blog post could put me under the microscope and do me in.

Aside from certain careers where a sex worker’s past isn’t such a big deal, our career options can be severely limited for the rest of our lives.

People like writer and producer Diablo Cody (whose real name is Brook Maurio) are burdened with having to forever field interview questions about stripping. Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, who briefly worked as an escort, had her name stripped from the Big Ten female athlete of the year award and has been burdened with having to explain that part of her life using another stigmatized subject, mental health, to explain her actions and make them somewhat more acceptable to society.

6. We watch people do themselves in with drug addictions.

You meet a great deal of proud recovering alcoholics and addicts as a sex worker, but you also meet tons of clients and colleagues looking for an enabler or looking for a place to drink or do drugs with someone.

I lost one stripper friend to a heroin overdose, and she had a somewhat rapid unraveling. Her first relapse was booze, and the needle soon followed.

Hearing girls in the dressing room boast about being off “H” for a few days was depressing, to say the least, as was seeing others zoned out of their mind on Xanax or booze, moving about like numb zombies.

I’ve personally abused Adderall when stripping, causing me to act strung out, and I’ll see people taking higher-stakes chances with their lives.

I’ve tried to help out strippers who were living out of hotels by offering them accommodations with me or offering to loan them the house free for the night. It’s draining to repeatedly try in vain to help people who won’t help themselves.

7. We lead double lives and have to lie all the time.

There are some out and proud prostitutes, while others have been outed against their will.

Lying is both exhausting and something that doesn’t come easily to me. I gloss over discussions of work with my family and steer conversations toward my hobbies, volunteering, and culture consumption, and inquiries about other family members.

When it comes to dating, I’ve disclosed to several men that I stripped (and even met some men I’ve dated at the clubs), but I’ve never disclosed being an escort to any guy. Not getting really serious with guys is a defense mechanism; I fear domestic violence or retribution like online shaming.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m always fudging my work situation a bit, sometimes in front of people who know the truth. These days, I’ve made progress proving to my family that my mental health has improved and is being better managed; however, it’s hard to have the weight of hypocrisy on my shoulders as I lie about my main source of income.

8. There’s rampant racism.

There is tremendous pressure for escorts to lower their price points and sell themselves short, thanks to the internet keeping prices competitive, just like it does for other industries.

And as is the case in other fields, minority women are often under more pressure to resort to this than their white counterparts.

When I work at the strip club, it seems like guys consider the minority girls more “attainable” if they’re thinking strictly with their penises. On the flip side, tons of white escorts have “No Blacks Allowed” policies, in the same way, many escorts don’t “see” men under 30.

While I’m all about sex workers setting and maintaining their own boundaries, having a blanket “No Blacks Allowed” policy seems a tad overzealous.

I admit I’m guilty of racism at times. I too often ignore black customers at the strip club, even when there are no other customers or I’ve already tried all the others. I’ll sometimes roll my eyes when young minority men get bottle service and make it rain on the big booty girl, while not tipping me a single dollar for hanging upside down on a 20-foot pole.

9. People feel entitled to our bodies outside of respectful parameters.

I refuse to work at full-nude strip clubs and was reminded why the other night when both of my first two lap dance recipients tried to sneak their hands under my thong.

There are a ton of guys out there who think buying a $20 lap dance entitles them to finger us, touch our breasts, whip their penises out, or even get a quick blowjob or handjob.

Before switching to escorting, I remember a guy ejaculating after two lap dances and thinking to myself, “How is getting a guy off for $40 any better than turning a cheap trick? If I’m going to get guys off, I should charge what an intellectual college grad deserves.”

All sex workers have different boundaries, but guys seem to find out what they are by crossing them instead of asking first.

As a whore, I provide companionship with a side of mostly vanilla sex acts for money. If a client forces anal sex on me, that’s a form of rape. If he forces sex without a condom on me, that’s a form of rape. If he threatens to write a bad review about me if I don’t perform a certain sex act or forego a condom, that’s a form of rape.

I’m usually able to use the internet to weed out bad guys, but this behavior knows no class or race.

10. There’s constant cyber-bullying.

A website called The Erotic Review is my arch-nemesis. Since I began escorting in 2010, that site has gotten even worse at bullying escorts into compromising our boundaries, namely whether or not we allow reviews and how we let the threat of bad reviews impact our appointments, our price points, and our-self esteem.

To earn a 10/10 on “performance,” unsafe sex is required. The term “BBBJ” (bareback blow job, i.e. condomless) is extremely in demand, and that was bad enough, but now clients can report when girls allow “BBFS” (bareback full service, as in condomless sex, and perhaps even condomless anal sex).

Girls who are naive, uneducated, or who rely on sites like these for free advertising pander to these jerks and escort agencies only contribute to the problem. Guys who pay less expect more, and they complain when they don’t get it. Guys who pay more tend to be more discreet.

I’ve worked with four agencies, all female-owned, and found that the owners are invariably in it for themselves, which means offering competitive prices and catering to review board culture. Thankfully, my agency work has never compromised my independent brand.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

10 Reasons To Date A Redhead

In a study done at The University of Hamburg, it was discovered that redhead ladies love getting hot in the bedroom department more than women with any other hair colour. You heard right guys!

Redheads tend to have a soft milky complexion, which means they not only look stunning but they feel great to cuddle up to.

This summer freckles have been a beauty trend, people have actually been drawing them on! If you are lucky enough to date a redhead then the sun will bring out totally natural and beautiful freckles.

Redheads make up 5% of the world’s population. This makes them pretty unique compared to the rest of us.

If you are lucky enough to date a redhead with blue eyes you have struck gold as this is a very rare combo! It might be time to buy a lottery ticket…

You will never have to worry about them losing their vibrant hair colour as natural red hair doesn’t grey like other colours of hair.

The fea­r of losing your date in a busy crowd will become a thing of the past if you are dating a redhead. Their fiery locks will always let you know where they are!

If you love to have a good laugh on a date then redheads are for you. Due to being teased at school, they tend to develop a good sense of humour.

Red hair has become rather popular in recent years with lots of people faking it. Think how good you will feel knowing you are dating the real deal!

Redheads are so awesome that they are celebrated all over the world by entire days dedicated to them.

So to conclude, redheads are feisty, sexy, funny, rare and we LOVE them!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tips To Be The Best Kisser Ever

1. GO OUT AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

The key to becoming a good kisser is to start meeting new friends. You’ll never really know that some possibilities exist if you don’t get out of your comfort zone and show your beauty to the world. Just like me, I’ll never realize that waiting for the right guy would waste so many opportunities if I hadn’t made time mingling with lots of interesting men.↓

2. YOU SHOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO DATE

Looking back, I never thought I’d say these words right now. I was actually not the type of girl who often went on dates. I was afraid to get hurt and meet a guy who wouldn’t take me seriously. But then, who cares? Sometimes we need to have courage and have fun. There’s no perfect relationship, anyway, so go on a date! Kiss as many guys as you want.

3. LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE

So what if you’re a girl? Are we not allowed to express what we really feel and ask the guy we like on a date (unless he’s already taken)? As long as you’re not breaking the rules, go forth and take the man out! I know that it takes guts to be that kind of girl but if you don’t try it then you’ll lose the game. We are in the 21st century and many women have stood their ground to fight for our rights. One of those rights is to be able to choose who to date and kiss.↓

4. SEIZE THE DAY!

For someone who was never been kissed, the most important step you need to take before the act is to get over your inhibitions. Stop overthinking and just do it! Carpe diem they say—unless you want to lie unconscious on the ground and wait for a prince charming to come save you, which will probably never happen. Girl, princes don’t even come with shining armor so stop daydreaming and start living that dream today!

5. GIVE IN TO YOUR FEELINGS

Once you meet that guy who makes your stomach turn because of butterflies, do not waste any more time. Just pounce on him like a lion focused on its prey. You’ve waited long enough for this to ever ignore the chance. So please, just give in to your feelings. Let your emotions carry you away. Do not be afraid to be out of control. Remember, once you’re out in the jungle, you can only do so much to be wild and free.↓

6. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE!

Your first kiss may not be as magical or amazing as you’ve imagined it to be. But there’s probably a lot of time to make up for it. Don’t pressure yourself too much. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Kiss random guys you like if you’re single. And of course, if you have a partner, experiment all the time. Avoid stressing yourself about getting better too soon—just do what you think feels good for both of you!

7. JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT

Take it slow. Despacito, as what the Biebs has reminded us to do in his anthem of the year. Enjoy the moment. Do not ever stop even if your lips are sore. Take time to savor those “kissable lips” like you’re kissing your significant another goodbye. When you’re done memorizing the curves of his lips, experiment with your tongue—push it in, desperately. Maybe move your hands a bit, rub his chest or wrap it around the back of his head, too. Yes, just like that.

When kissing becomes overwhelming for you, especially if you’re a beginner, just be yourself, try to relax, and close your eyes. Having a memorable kiss truly lies in you. Own it and make that intimate moment a magical one! So, which among these tips would you like to try?

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

7 Scientific Reasons You’re Attracted To That Special Someone (#3 Is Creepy)

When it comes to finding a romantic partner, we often equate attraction with beauty. But beauty in itself is not the only thing that attracts us. Science tells us that beauty is just one part of the equation. It seems that true romantic attraction goes way beyond the surface and is more closely linked to our subconscious urges to procreate. Here are seven scientific reasons why you’re likely attracted to a special someone.

He oozes confidence

The sexiest person in the room may not necessarily be the most beautiful person with perfect asymmetric features and a great body. It’s actually the person who projects self-confidence. So, why is self-confidence so darn sexy? Well, according to research published in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology,  it’s hard to see certain traits — like aptitude, ambition, social status, and compassion — in a potential love interest at first glance. Therefore, since we believe people actually know themselves, we assume that their perceived confidence (or lack of confidence) reflects positive traits that we’re looking for in a partner.

But there’s a fine line between self-confidence and overconfidence. Researchers decided to look at the advantage overconfident individuals might have in the dating world. What they found was that overconfident people were not seen as more attractive, and may in fact come across as being arrogant, which diminishes the benefits of being confident.

Opposites don’t attract, similarities do

Researchers have found that attraction happens from similarities, not differences.

If you share the same values, life experiences, age, and even similar levels of attractiveness, then there’s a good chance that special someone just might be your match. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the adage suggesting opposites attract may not entirely be true. It seems that ongoing evidence finds that romantic couples often share strong similarities between ages, political and religious attitudes. However, they only share a moderate similarity in education, general intelligence, and values.

Interestingly, though, when it comes to personality, the similarities stop there. So, while you’re happy being the life of the party, your partner just might be happier hanging out at home watching a good movie. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find them attractive. According to another study published in the same journal, having similarities in physical attractiveness — meaning you’re both a ten or a two — also plays a role in the process of romantic attraction.

He reminds you of dad, she reminds you of mom

Your earliest relationships are formed with your mom or dad, so it makes sense that you might seek out partners that resemble your opposite or even same-sex parent. And it doesn’t stop with personality, suggests a study in the Journal of Human Behavior and Evolution. It may even include the same eye color and age, meaning that if you have younger parents, you might search for a younger partner.

But how can that be, you say, especially when you have such a poor relationship with mom or dad? Well, it all begins with the attachment theory, suggests Psychology Today. Apparently, the emotional bond that typically forms between a baby and primary caregiver is the gateway to influencing how you will connect to others as adults romantically and in other ways. It also creates a basis on how relationships work. So, if you’re hoping that he or she finds you attractive, look no further than his or her parents.

Women are subconsciously attracted to chest hair

If you’re a man who shaves or waxes the hair from your chest area — stop! Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that women find both muscular or huskier men, who possess hair on their chest area, more attractive than those who bare it all. It seems that chest hair plays a role in sexual selection for women. On a subconscious level, women see men with chest hair visually healthier and possessing a physical prowess — both, apparently, good traits for mating.

They smell so good!

Researchers have found that attraction has to do with pheromones.

Ever notice how some people just smell amazing? They may not be wearing perfume or aftershave, but their skin smells fantastic. Well, it turns out you’re likely sniffing their pheromones. Pheromones are a scent-inducing chemical that secretes in sweat and other bodily fluids. According to Scientific American, all creatures great and small — including humans — send out these chemical signals to entice mates. Bettina Pause, a psychologist at Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, says, “We’ve just started to understand that there is communication below the level of consciousness.”

Your brain wants what it can’t have

Why is it that so many of us are drawn to that forbidden fruit? A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology presented women with the same photograph of their potential dream man. Half of the women were told Mr. Right was single, while the other half were told he was in a relationship. Over 50 percent of the women were interested in pursuing a single guy. Interestingly, that figure jumped to 90 percent when they discovered he was already in a committed relationship. Yikes!

It could be that we are drawn to those we consider “out of our league” because we see them as the ideal model of ourselves. Maybe we develop these crushes to force ourselves to improve both physically and socially. Whatever the reason, keep a close eye on your guy!

Love at first sight linked to our primordial past

Apparently, we have inherited the brain circuitry for instant attraction or “love at first sight” because of our primordial past. Dr. Helen Fisher, a professor with the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers, told Match.com, “Like other mammals, our female forebears had a monthly period of heat.” And, like all mammals that have only a few hours, days, or weeks to mate, our ancestors had to become attracted quickly. So, the next time you find yourself head over heels in love at first sight, just chalk it up to your primal need to procreate.

 

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