Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 27 – Those Who Frequent Tanning Beds Are Likely To Be Addicted (To Things Other Than Tanning Beds)

Kita loves tanning. Her parents want her to focus on her education and not get a job. They’re paying for her to go to college and have her on an allowance. Her mom even gives her extra money to pay for better groceries so she maintains her health. I offered her a job here when we lost Summer. (See: Sun Stories: Summer – Summer is Slipping Away) She said she would LOVE to work at this salon but she’d have to see. I’m assuming she has to check with the parents. I gave her what her schedule would be and that she’d be getting FREE tanning. She said she’d think about it. Thing is, if she did start to work here she’d be work shifts opposite of me, so I’d never see her. Kinda sucks.

I didn’t think she’d be able to work here, but lately she seems more interested in making it happen. But if she works here and can tan for free will she tan every day? (See: Kita – 2017 to Present – Addicted to Tanning?) I need to do some more research.

Now that the general populace is more aware of how wonderful and beneficial prolonged exposure to UV rays is (if you’re a developing malignant melanoma), tanning salons aren’t quite as popular as they once were. And yet there are somehow still plenty of people who regularly strip down, put on those weird tiny glasses, and go under the lamps. Why do they still engage in an activity that’s so objectively self-destructive? Well, a lot of the time, according to research, it’s because they’re sad drunks and/or junkies.

It’s unclear what motivated the eggheads at Yale to study the self-destructive tendencies of orange people (it’s not like that has any relevance to, say, world peace or anything), but this they did, only to reach the conclusion that those who display a “tanning dependence” are also prone to other forms of addiction. Like a sixfold tendency toward alcoholism, and a five times greater chance of having an accompanying “exercise addiction.”

Plus, it stands to reason that people who pay money to climb into a contraption which provides fake sunlight are also three times as likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (which, with the initials S.A.D., enjoys the most convenient acronym in psychiatric history).

Yes, pointing out that people with addictive tendencies tend to be addicted to more than one thing may not be the most revolutionary discovery made so far this century. The hope, however, is that the findings will help spur the development of inventions that might help those who are compelled to overdo their UV exposure to the point where they look like a vintage purse golem before they’re devoured by skin cancers. What kind of inventions? Only time will tell. Hopefully not a machine where you stuff in coins, pull on a lever, and hope various fruits line up the right way. Or anything to do with starting nuclear conflicts.

I don’t want cute little Kita to get destroyed from tanning! What’ll I do?

 

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The 10 Types Of Men That Women Hate

Women have different opinions when it comes to the best types of men, but they are practically the same when it comes to which types they do not like, some men have an incredible facility to cause repulsion in women and it is important to know which 10 types of men less attractive to them and find out if you are in that category.

1- Men who think the soap opera: Women like handsome men but hate the thugs of the soap opera of the eight, if you have been graced by nature do not need to remind them of it all the time, you have the right to find yourself beautiful and have self-esteem but do it subtly and let your beauty be just one of your qualities.

2- Men who prioritize work: Women like ambitious men who want to rise in life, but hate the type who only thinks about projects, meetings and qualification courses, work is very important in a man’s life and you need it to achieve his goals, but never consider him more important than his wife.

3- Men without initiative: They like men with attitude and do not wait for things to happen, it is you who should guide the woman and not the opposite, give her options of places to have fun and when you reach a restaurant have the initiative to find an empty table or call the waiter, never expect the woman to do it.

4- Men without money: You do not have to be rich, but you will never get beautiful women completely broken, you need money to take you in fun places, pay the motel and restaurant, even women with stable financial condition do not like to split the account, when that happens she feels undervalued, so if your salary is short, put your bills up to date and multiply your creativity to find fun places and you do not have to spend a lot of money.

5- Men who talk about previous relationships: They hate the cheap conqueror type and tell their intimacies with other women, so do not talk about ex-girlfriends, they abhor this, if you’ve seduced thousands of women do not worry about telling them why surely she will discover this alone.

6- Mountain Men of Muscles: They are attracted to strong men and not to mountain of muscles, women love to know that you knit hard in the gym, but be careful not to overdo it and look like the Incredible Hulk.

7- Bully Men: Treat the waiter badly, argue in the traffic and face someone who looked at it are unforgivable attitudes, no woman likes to be on the side of a bully man where anything can happen.

8- Stupid men: For extinct men are accustomed to look at any pair of breasts or thighs that are on display, but when you are with a woman on the side know to control, a simple glance can be expensive and cause you to miss a night which could be a lot of fun.

9- Controlling men: Every day is less the number of women who like and find interesting the type of bossy and controlling man, do not like to know that being a partner is interested in exercising power over them, women value freedom and want to be side of someone who cares about her and not the size of her dress.

10- Rude Men: Education, gentleness and seduction are words that match, so learn to treat women well because their biggest complaint is that it’s hard to find polite and kind men.

 

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Kita – Chapter 19 – The Sun Queen

I worked all weekend. Of course Summer who I love is off in Syracuse with family and I’m stuck running the salon. I have no life so I take her shift. I love using words like “I have no life”, because my life is so rich with friends and attractive women.

The salon is so dead so my partner has basically paid me to write my blog all weekend.

The last time I tanned my baby was Tuesday.  She had an amazing dinner with me  at Gran caffè l’Aquila after that memorable night.

I haven’t seen her since then.

Saturday is a financial bust. Sunday is even worse. There’s nothing going on and it’s been raining all day. I go to Macdonald’s for breakfast which is always amazing despite the homeless factor out front. The black girls working there are always pretty and I want them all just like my girlfriend who used to work there.

Despite the controversy Macdonald’s continues to generate a solid product despite what my vegan daughter, Lorelei says about it.

Lovely Kita appears and charges at me with a hug.

Apparently after our date thing are different. You don’t hug awkwardly around the face and shoulders. Kita gives me fuck body and leans her firm slender thigh between my legs and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

“Today’s the day!”

“Yep! Twenty minutes in the sunbed. You’re the only one we’ll let do it.”

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, Charles. I feel so pale.”

“Are you ready?”

“Yes!”

“Okay. You go into #2 and have your regular session, and when it’s finished, I’ll send you again under the house account so it doesn’t look like you went two times in a row. It’s all been approved with Achilles.”

“Yay! Can’t wait.”

Off she goes to tan. She closes the doors to the room. I think about how there’s been no talk about JR the ex and Steve the new potential beau. I like that. I also think about what she said about feeling pale. She has a better and darker tan than almost any other client that comes in here. I can only think of three other people who are as dark as she is. I really believe people can become addicted to anything. I think Kita is addicted to tanning. I wonder where that comes from? Is it like an eating disorder? Is it a beauty thing? I can never be tan enough. I can never be pretty enough. I don’t know but I definitely think this chick is addicted in some way to this activity. She eats well. She can’t drink. Doesn’t smoke. She’s very fit. That’s a clean vessel. I’m going to look into this subject.

Her session ends and I send the second one in after it.

“Hit the start button, Kita!”

I hear the bed awaken and the lights come on again. Off she goes for another ten minute session.

I finish cleaning up and folding the last of the towels. The place has been dead today, so everything is done. Dusted, swept, and mopped.

When Kita emerges I’m sitting in one of the chairs in the waiting area. She immediately goes to look in the mirror down the hall. I’ll have to say something complimentary about what she just did when she comes back up here.

She pops from around the corner of room one. “Do I look darker?”

“Come closer. I can’t really tell from here.”

Kita takes two steps toward me. “Now?”

“I don’t know if I can tell if you got anything.”

That’s when Kita approached me and sat down in my lap and put her hands on the back of my neck. She put her pretty little face up to mine. Her nose a few inches from mine.

“How about now?” she purrs…

I instinctively kissed her ripe lips. Our tongues swirl together for the very first time. Her mouth is sweet and her body yields to mine. I run my hand through her soft locks. It’s a deep passionate kiss that is needed more to break the tension than anything. I knew if she got close enough to the lion again I’d surely bite this little lamb.

She draws back from me, smiling and licking her slick lips.

“I needed that.”

“Me too!” I hiss.

She stands. My hands slide along her slender tan thighs.

“You working Tuesday?”

“Y…Yes.”

“Cool. I’ll see you then!”

“But…”

She simply turns and puts her index finger to her lips.

Then she’s gone.

I’m left sitting here alone in the silence of the salon with a stunned look on my face.

That, and my pants are feeling a little bit tighter.

That little Minx!!

 

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Six Things Every Man Who Dates Transgender Women Needs To Know

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

Dear Boyfriends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because that is blatantly untrue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Dating Me Doesn’t Change Your Sexual Orientation

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

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

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

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

Freaky stuff meaning, of course, women like me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And there is nothing repulsive about that.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The only person you need to save is yourself.

6. Loving Me Doesn’t Define You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choices like this are never easy.

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

This Is How You Love a Trans Woman

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

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

We really don’t.

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

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

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

 

 

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Kita – Chapter 18 – The Hours Between

Kita hasn’t been tanning at the salon since Tuesday. That was the day before our first date. That lovely watershed moment.

Now it’s Friday and it’s been three days since her last session. She loves tanning. She must be jonesing for some sunshine.

I decide to shoot her a little text.

“You’re looking a little pale…”

A minute later I get a text back from her.

“Coming tomorrow!! Or Sunday.”

“Lol! Hope your mid-terms are going well.”

“Thank you! I’m feeling so pale. (Sad emoji)

“I’m working all weekend so we’ll put you in for a nice long session in the bed of your choice!”

“You’re the best!!! Can’t wait to double dip!”

I respond with GIF of some lady from TV saying ‘Yes!’ in a sunbed.

She responds with a GIF of a white guy closing the hood on a sunbed and when he opens it he’s a black dude!

“Love it!!! That’s going to be you!!

(I have something on my phone called Bitmoji. It makes a little cartoon character that looks like me and I can send it to people with different emotions and expressions and sayings. It’s really cute. The one I send her is my guy laughing and leaning against a big round emoji doing the LOL face with the tears.)

How cute are we sending little GIF texts to each other? (Sickening right?)

Three hours later I’m home sipping wine and watching one of my shows.

“Can’t wait! Your bitmoji looks exactly like you!!

“Should be fun! It’s going to be sunny tomorrow and Sunday is going to be very rainy. You should make a bitmoji!”

I don’t care which day she comes in. I’m working both days. I just want her to come in Saturday so I can see her sooner!

The next morning I get a cute little bitmoji that looks just like sweet Kita! It’s so cute. She’s got almond shaped eyes, a nice tan and blonde hair. Her character is saying: “Good Day!”

I love that she did what I told her to do.

 

“I’m seeing my sister today! Wish I could make it in. 😦 But it probably won’t be in until tomorrow.”

“Super cute bitmoji!!! Best of luck to your sis rowing today! Perfect day for it. See you tomorrow.”

I then send her a photo of her favorite sun bed with the words: “Your chariot awaits…”

“Tempting me!! Can’t wait to get back in the (Sun emoji).

 

God… I’m falling again.

 

 

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Sabrina – First Real Date

So our girl Sabrina is going to make good on her promise to take me out to dinner. I’m working at the salon on Sunday.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

“How’s your day?”

“Quiet here at the salon.”

“I’m in the city. Do you want a quick bite to eat after 4? It’s okay if you’re tired or busy.”

“Yes. That’s what we planned.”

“Yes. Lol. So I’m around 16th st and Walnut. Tell me a place around there to meet you.

“The Café at 2011 Walnut Street, Right next to the Irish Pub.”

“Ok I’m there. See you soon. I’m inside the Irish Pub. Just meet me there.”

I get there and she’s standing near the front door. I see that The Café is closed and she says that she’s fine if we just sit in one of the booths in the back of the Irish Pub. I tell her we can go somewhere else if she’s not comfortable there. She says it’s fine.

I’ve been grazing all day at the salon and I’m not terribly hungry, but she suggests we get a few appetizers to share. I think that’s a splendid idea and we order up.

“You can have a drink if you want.”

“I’m not going to drink around you, Sabrina.”

Sabrina tells me all about her new marketing job down on the Delaware. She says that it’s like the job of her dreams. I’m really happy for her. Sabrina’s been through some rough times. She tells me that she feels my good energy and help brought her the luck to get this new job that has saved her from having a financial crisis.

We trade stories about work, life and people we both know. Especially her friend Jill. (See: Jill to Jezebel)

As promised, Sabrina pays the bill and I offer to pay the tip. I’m having a lovely night with her.

After our meal we head up to Gran Café L’ Aquila and order a flight of gelato. She loves it of course and her coffee is free because I get the hookup there. I had a great time with her and only spent $10 the whole night.

I walked her to her car. (No ticket. Well done Philly, Thanks!) I’m putting Sabrina in.

There was a homeless guy lurking by the car and he said that he and his wife live on the steps at 17th and Sansom. He says he loves us both on TV and watches our show all the time.

In that moment I think how Sabrina and I would make a couple of great TV hosts. Which is selfish to this guy’s plight. But I just want him to go away so I can say goodnight to my friend. His desperation is destroying my final moments with pretty Sabrina. He soils it and I tell her to text me when she gets home. But I just want to be away and home at this point. Actually I just want to be one block closer to Rittenhouse and smoking a cigarette.

Sabrina texts later that she’s home safe and thanks me for the night.

She’s lovely. I would totally date her. I could make her forget her ex.

 

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Kita – Chapter 17 – Asian Glow

Last week when I was out with Kita, she declined a glass of wine because she said she had Asian Glow. I had never heard of it before so I decided to do some investigating on my own.

Some Asians have a natural condition that discourages them from drinking alcohol. About 50 percent of the Japanese, Korean, and Northeastern Chinese population experience a phenomenon called the Alcohol Flush Reaction (AFR), or what is commonly known as “Asian glow.” AFR is usually associated with flushing of the neck and face, but the condition also results in symptoms such as heightened heart rate, headache, and nausea, even after consuming as little as one alcoholic drink.

Typically, alcohol is metabolized in the liver, where it is oxidized first to acetaldehyde and then to acetate. Most people who experience AFR, however, flush after drinking because they lack the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydro¬genase (ALDH2) enzyme that converts acetaldehyde, resulting in an accumulation of acetaldehyde up to 10 times the normal concentration. The exact genetic nature of the deficient enzyme appears to be the presence of an allele (ALDH2*2) that inacti¬vates ALDH2 enzymes. The allele is, in fact, dominant, although heterozygous individuals show much milder reactions to alcohol than homozygous individuals.

There have been several drugs that stop the flushing, such as histamine and the over-the-counter drug, Pepcid AC. However, these drugs only mitigate the “glow,” i.e. they do not prevent the acetal¬dehyde accumulation, which is suspected to cause long-term liver problems. Thus, individuals who drink often and use drugs to suppress the flushing are at greater risk for liver diseases.

Even though the vernacular term for AFR is “Asian glow,” Asians are not the only ones who suffer from the often embarrassing “glow.” It turns out that Ashkenazi Jews often lack the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme as well.

Maybe it’s time, then, to think of a new name for “Asian glow.” Seems a little insensitive.

 

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