Posts Tagged ‘sex’

photo(28)Is that picture inappropriate? On the one hand, there’s nothing erotic about my neck and shoulders (or that face I’m making), but on the other hand it is technically a nude selfie. It’s about intent though, right? Al Roker and Matt Lauer had prostate exams live on TODAY.

I think we’re ok. Good talk everybody.

A little context: For February I decided to Treat Myself to a Hot Stone Massage. I’ve never had a massage before – with the exception of those tacky chairs people buy from the Home Shopping Network – so I have no idea what the culture entails.

I found a nice deal on Groupon (TYS tip: there’s ALWAYS massages on Groupon) for a 70-minute hot stone at All Around The Town Massage, a small but charming spa in West Valley City and invited my friend Emily to come along.

Emily and I met in college under the customarily-convoluted nature of academic friendships: she was the co-worker of a friend of a pseudo-roommate and we bonded over a mutual love for film, music, ultimate frisbee and (now) ukulele. She’s ok.

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But back to the massage. I told my masseuse Corleigh that I was a first-timer and she informed me that people either remove all their clothes or remain in their underwear. It’s all the same to her.

Natually, when placed in a scenario where those are my options, I choose the buff. And did so.

The massage itself was great. I’m a high-stress person so it was great to just lie back, Yoga-breathe and be soothed. Corleigh mostly massaged with her fingers, but would use a stone before moving onto the next arm, leg, shoulder, etc.

Properly pampered, Emily and I headed to Bruges Waffles and Frites to conduct our interview over some speculoos and sliced strawberries.

Wood’s Stock: Who are you and what do you do

Emily Milam: My name is Emily Milam. I’m a tax assistant for an accounting firm downtown.

WS: How are you feeling right now?

EM: I feel extremely relaxed and very lovely.

WS: And lovely?

EM: Something about the oils, it just makes me feel smooth.

WS: My masseuse said people either undress completely or leave their underwear on. I got naked. What was your choice?

EM: Panties only

WS: You’ve had a massage before?

EM: Once

WS: But not hot stone?

EM: Not it was a half-hour free massage. I still stripped down, but it was a half hour on just the back. No stones.

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WS: What did you think of the stones?

EM: I loved the stones. Ermaghersh. It was nice, I liked that there was a combination of a regular massage as well as a hot stone massage because the warmth of the stone after a regular massage felt especially relaxing.

WS: I got a little nervous not knowing how hot the stones would be on my naked flesh. Did you feel any anxiety?

EM: No because at first I thought that her hand was a stone and thought “this isn’t hot at all! It’s like room temperature at best.” Then she pulled out the actual stones and she did this thing where, I don’t want to use the word stroke, but she would stroke the part of me she was massaging and then use the stone.

WS: Walk me through the massage.

EM: I started on my front, she did one leg at a time and just went slowly up and down the leg. She’d ask me questions about where I hold my tension and how the pressure was, things like that. Apparently I hold tension in my calves and my hands.

WS: You guys had a nice chat.

EM: Just a little, like a couple words. She asked me if I ran.

WS: When she was working on your legs, how close did she get to the goods?

EM: Never close enough that I was like [unintelligible sound of surprise and discomfort]. But, I’ve gotten a Brazilian so…

WS: Really? We’ll come back to that. Were you hoping for a male or female masseuse?

EM: I was glad that she was female. I feel like I would have been holding my tension more if it had been a man. I don’t know if it would be worse with a good looking man or a not good looking man. I already felt self-conscious.

WS: I don’t think anyone wants to be massaged by an ugly man.

EM: Especially not a hairy one.

WS: Well my masseuse was not shy downstairs, particularly on my backside.

EM: Oh yeah, she got real close to the butt. Did she full-on touch your butt?

WS: There was some touching. Some caressing and general massaging.

EM: The actual butt?

WS: See that’s a problem. How do we define actual butt?

EM: Below the…

WS: What is below? I’m laying down. What is up and down?

EM: So when she was upper-thighing you feel like she got close to the butt?

WS: I feel like most of the regions of the area in question where massaged at some point.

EM: Really? Maybe because I was wearing panties…

WS: Maybe. I wondered that actually. I wondered if by going nude, that was a subtle queue that said ‘go for it. Massage me.”

EM: Did it feel nice?

WS: Oh, it was amazing. So you started on your front, arms, legs, then flipped you over?

EM: Yeah, did the back. I could’ve done with more back.

WS: Did they give you the stone spine?

EM: No! Did she give you the stone spine?

WS: Yeah, I got the stone spine.

EM: I did not get that. She did all the stone stuff moving. None of it was just sitting on me.

WS: I enjoyed the stone spine, it was nice. And the stone palm was quite pleasant. The whole last half of my massage was stone palm.

EM:  Was she doing other things while you had stone palm?

WS: Yeah, she just set a stone in my palms while she worked on my back, shoulders and legs from behind, and I just kind of forgot that I even had stones in my hands.

EM: Yeah I never had any stones just set on me. She was always working me.

WS: Any part where you felt uncomfortable?

EM: Not from the actual massage. My room was right next to the washer and dryer. It wasn’t particularly super distracting, there was just the sound of a cylinder spinning.

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WS: Now, back to the Brazilian. Why?

EM: My friend A—- was getting married and she didn’t want to go alone and it was before our cruise so…

WS: Before our cruise? I was a part of this?

EM: You weren’t. I promise you, you were not.

WS: So that implies that A—- was an abstinent person?

EM: Yes

WS: Granted I don’t know much about a woman’s first sexual experience, but she chose to have a Brazilian?

EM: She and her fiancé had talked about it. It’s what he wanted.

WS: Don’t you think for your first time you’d want to experience how it’s going to be normally?

EM: Unless he’s going to pay for a Brazilian all the time, that’s maybe how it’s going to be.

WS: I think you’re setting a bar that you might not want to set. I think you should go into your wedding night in a comfortable and, I don’t want to say “standard,” but comfortable scenario. Then in the future you can do special things like that. But I digress. On a scale of 1 to Death, how painful was it?

EM: The actual ripping, for lack of a better word, doesn’t hurt as much as the repetition. They do it little by little so it takes a really long time. If it were just three quick pulls it would be fine, it would be doable, it would be bearable. And they’re very thorough.

WS: Well, yeah.

EM: After they’re done with the waxing, there’s still some hair and they pluck. I would say on a scale of 1 to kidney stones it’s probably a 4. On a scale of 1 to plucking your eyebrows it’s a 50.

WS: This is just you and one person in a room?

EM: Yes.  Me and a lady in her 40s.

WS: I had a hernia, so I’ve been shaved by a man. I would imagine the emotional context is similar, but this seems particularly intimate. In my mind I see the old repairman from Toy Story 2 with his magnifying glasses and his fine instruments.

EM: No, it’s more like your cool aunt who does this for a living. It doesn’t even matter.

WS: Would you recommend that someone get a hot stone massage?

EM: Yes, definitely, for sure.

WS: Are you on twitter?

EM: I am on twitter, I think I have 3 followers. @EmilyRMilam

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In the latest teens-having-sex comedy “The To Do List,” Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza plays Brandy, a sexually-naive straight-A student who decides she needs more bedroom experience before transitioning to the extended orgy that is a freshman year at college.

Applying her same academic zeal to the project, Brandy organizes a list of sexual acts (most of which she does not even marginally understand) in her trapper keeper and sets off transforming herself, with the goal of eventually harpooning the great white whale: intercourse with dreamy golden-locked college boy Rusty Waters (played by Friday Night Light’s wheelchair-bound quarterback Scott Porter).

But before she can bed Mr. Waters, Brandy gets help along the way from a sprawling cast of B-list comedic talent that would take a full paragraph just to list, which is what I’m about to do: SNL’s Bill Hader and Andy Sanberg, Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat, Community’s Donald Glover, Happy Endings’ Adam Pally, 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Johnny Simmons,  Connie Britton and Clark Gregg.

The To Do List (it irritates me that there is no hyphen in the title) is unabashedly crude in its antics and yet innocent in its portrayal. For a movie in which a new sexual act is performed every 5 minutes, there is not a stitch of nudity as the filmmakers prefer to use the power of sound and suggestion to drive the awkwardness of the humor to almost unbearable lengths that can not be confused with eroticism.

This is not the typical gross-fest that drives teenage boys sneaking into screenings after buying a ticket for Despicable Me. Most of the humor is actually derived from the film’s 1993 setting (in Boise, no less) as the film functions best as a winking nod to Gen Y nostalgia (VHS tapes, “electronic mail” etc) than as an entry into the Superbad/American Pie family of shenanigan cinema.

But this also results in the film coming off slightly confused in itself. The tone hop-scotches constantly between Clinton-era tribute piece and naughty-nerd romp, never quite landing comfortably on other side. The winning cast is effortlessly game, riffing off each other and enjoying the 90s stereotypes they’ve created (Grunge-rocker, sensitive nerd, Rush Limbaugh-reading protective father) but the end result is a funny movie that entertains, but is quickly forgotten.

Grade: B-

*The To Do List opens in theaters Friday, July 26.

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So my last post, admittedly, was a bit of a low point in my quest for a digital relationship. I lost sight of the prize, letting my own frustrations dampen my resolve.

But, as they say in theater, “The Show Must Go On!” and as The Doors said in Light My Fire, “The Time To Hesitate is Through!” After the crushing defeat of my last post, I decided to redouble my efforts in the online dating game and am happy to report that it yielded results, but more on that later.

Drawing from the knowledge I gleaned from my ill-advised business minor in college, I knew that with little demand for my product (in this case, me) I could either close up shop entirely or extend my breadth and depth by diversifying into the marketplace. So, as March came to a close I added two free online dating services and the mobile app Tinder to my tapestry of digital romance, while also recommitting a can-do attitude to my original, niche online dating service (hint: it’s not WomenBehindBars.com).

What I’ve increasingly come to realize is that in a nutshell, free dating sites are digital wastelands of human depravity, while subscription-based sites are just depressing.

photoIn you haven’t yet heard of Tinder, you will. It is the new hot app sweeping across college campuses around the country in which users are presented with the photograph of another human being and asked to swipe right if they’re interested and swipe left if they’re not. If two people express a mutual interest, it creates a “match” (tinder + match = fire. Get it?) and ships the two users into a private chat for the purposes of arranging a rendezvous.

It really is that simple, cutting down the noise of online dating to its most basic visual elements and allowing you the satisfaction of rejecting dozens of your peers in quick fashion from the safety of your home. There’s no awkward requirement to describe your hobbies and personality in paragraph form. There’s no questionnaires about how you would rate your own self-confidence or whether you are a morning or night person. And, best of all, there’s no possibility of being asked by a stranger how you take your ice cream unless you’ve already registered your approval of their appearance.

But Tinder, as addictive as it is, paints a worrisome picture of the future of online dating. The same ease of entry it presents undermines the essential elements that drove people online in the first place. All the literature I’ve read on the app (which is more than you would think) suggests that the majority of women who use it have absolutely no intention of ever meeting or even speaking to the men they “like” and in the best case scenarios, it’s little more than a way for urban adults to meet up for casual sex.

It’s success (which is rabid) will likely lead to the Tinder-ization of many online dating programs, and while I never thought I would find myself defending the medium it is unfortunate that as the stigmas fall and the online format becomes more mainstream, all of the hangups and annoyances of modern romance that drove people online in the first place will become digitized. What was once intended as a respite from the superficiality of bar-scene hookups and a way to get to know someone on an intellectual level prior to a physical first impression has now given way to the same snap judgements and cat-calling of the real world.

I believe we will look back at the arrival of Tinder as the day online dating became “cool.” So on the one hand congratulations, we’ve arrived, and on the other hand it’s probably time for the hipsters to jump ship.

In it’s worst and often-ridiculed form, online dating is largely an additional medium through which men can objectify women with the hope of a quick score. One blogger put this to the test to hilarious results, in which she created a false online persona to see how crazy she had to act before men would stop trying to shag her. The answer? Very.

In fact, Marla’s favorite movies — Free Willy and Monkey Trouble — made frequent appearances in her interactions with men who still wanted to bang her even after she called them “wanksta” or that she’d accidentally killed her boyfriend because he forgot the safe word. They didn’t care that she reported her day to be terrible because she found out that she just ran into a friend who had syphilis. They didn’t care that she was bummed out about having to pay to taxidermy the hamster that her cat had killed, or that she was upset that her cat had died after eating her pet poisonous Amazon frogs.” Jezebel.com

And it’s not just women who have reason to utter a collective groan. For the few sincere, relationship-seeking men in the world, online dating is now one more medium in which beautiful women claim to want a nice sensitive guy but reject his advances in lieu of the basketball player/surfer/warewolf. In the meantime he’s under a burden to prove he is more than an online predator while also dodging the increasingly real possibility that the woman he’s pursuing online is Manti Teo’s dead girlfriend.

For example, I recently came across a woman, screen name MadiWolff, on OkCupid who’s profile picture was that of a blond in a tank top bending over at the waist to make sure the web cam had a mostly unobstructed view of her naval. In her description, she make it clear that she was looking for someone to have sex with. How, you ask? By writing “I’m only on this website to find people to have sex with. Seriously, I love sex and I’m not afraid to say it.”

Under the “Things I’m Good At” heading she responded “sex” and under the “Six Things I Couldn’t Live Without” heading she listed 1. Sex 2. Sex 3. Sex 4. Sex 5. Sex and 6. Sex, with a smiley face emoticon on the last one to really drive the point home.

In January, a story made the rounds about a Brooklynite who had created a fake OkCupid profile to lure the thief who had stolen his iPhone. After pretending to be a 24-year-old woman named Jennifer and a few rounds of flirting, the thief agreed to meet up for a bottle of wine, at which point the phone was restored to its rightful owner.

Or there was this recent story on Huffington Post about how some 70 idiots at BYU were lured to a FroYo shop on the invitation of a fake Tinder profile. One single message saying “meet me for Froyo” and a smiley face emoticon was all it took. No questions asked.

Now, for all I know, MadiWolff is an actual flesh-and-blood female who just wanted to have herself some sex, but I doubt it. I suspect she was a similar type of online specter (referred to as a “catfish” in internet parlance) and would’ve posted a screen grab of her profile here for your enjoyment but it appears she no longer exists. Surprise, surprise.

But, now that I’ve bored you with my analysis of modern dating I suppose I should probably tell you about the date I went on this week.

Returning to the well of my original niche dating website (hint: It’s not CougarLife.com), I encountered Tess (not her actual name) who had actually engaged me in conversation about who I preferred between Batman or Superman — Batman, natch.

After a few exchanges with Tess, through which I learned that she was from Oregon, would select Telekinesis as her superpower of choice and would prefer to lose her sense of smell if one of the big five had to go, I suggested that we meet up and chat over a hot beverage. She accepted, passing me her number, and the date was set.

We met on a Tuesday night at a local haunt renowned for its delicious hot chocolate. Yes, I felt like a 12-year-old taking a girl out for cocoa, but this stuff is seriously amaze-balls.

In my entire life I’ve only been on two blind dates and so I’m in no way versed in the appropriate arrival behavior when you don’t know your date from Eve. I found myself almost paralyzed by the question, feeling that I had to do something even though a hug felt like overkill and a handshake would be anathema. Luckily she arrived immediately after me and I was able to remove the threat by holding open the door (or using it as a shield, depending on perspective).

We ordered our libations and found a seat beneath a photograph of the store’s owners sheltering themselves from what appeared to be chocolate rain by an umbrella. This detail isn’t pertinent to the story, other than the fact that I found it extremely distracting as I attempted to carry on a conversation with Tay Zonday stuck in my head.

I learned further that Tess works on campus, practices Karate, has lived in Utah for 7 years, is studying exercise science and has been a member of our mutual niche online dating web site for only two weeks. We covered the usual first-date basis — work, school, family, books, movies, hobbies, other — sipped hot cocoa for about an hour and then called it a night. I was careful to not tell her my last name in attempt to avoid her finding me on facebook and, by extension, this blog post; but she knows where I work and my first name, which would be enough for anyone determined to find me online, especially since I exist on the internet in a greater capacity than I do in the real world (I can’t decide whether that’s depressing or not).

I learned several things from this experience. First, that I tend to present the gayest version of myself on first dates, like how I enjoy a cup of Rooibos tea in the morning, how I’m a lover of musical theater, how the thing I miss most about new york is a Broadway-themed sing-a-long piano bar in the Village whose primary clientele is single turtleneck-wearing gentleman and how I have a very strong relationship with my mother. At the time all of those statement made sense but looking back I’m not sure it’s completely indicative in the aggregate.

Second, I re-learned that dating doesn’t have to be death. I have no intention of seeing Tess again but it was a altogether painless and relatively painless evening nonetheless. Who knows, if I were to ever actually meet a girl I was interested in, this could almost be fun.

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