What Makes a Man Pathetic?

Recently, someone remarked that I date pathetic men. To my ex-partners who may be reading this, I certainly don’t think any of you are pathetic, and I apologize that this person has perceived you as such. While I bear a strong preference for sexually-inexperienced men who prefer to play an exclusively submissive role in intimate relationships and have ample emotional baggage, I would like to clarify to onlookers that fewer than half of the men I’ve dated meet these qualifiers.

My feelings aside, that comment got me thinking — what does it mean to be a pathetic man in our society? (more…)

Secret-Keeping vs. Selfishness: That Time I Knew Too Much and Picked the Selfish Choice Anyway

I’ve come into sensitive information that I’m not supposed to have about one of my dearest friends, and I feel simultaneously guilty and hurt — guilty because I wasn’t supposed to know the information in the first place and only came to learn it because I specifically fished for it, and hurt because, for some reason unbeknownst to me, my friend deliberately withheld this information from me, thereby disabling me from being a potential emotional resource for her.  (more…)

Dear Future Partner (Calling All Submissives)

In public, you are witty and cunning, but around women, you crumble inside. You fear being found out as a fraud, a coward, and anything less than a “real man”. You drive me wild, yet you have no clue why I would even give you the time of day.

You want me to tear your down to your raw, core emotions, then nurture you back to neutrality. You bear ample emotional baggage and need someone who loves your vulnerability as much as your strength. (more…)

I Just Can’t Wait to Be Queen

I find myself waking up with a racing heartbeat and a foul knot in the pit of my stomach more frequently these days. My best guess is that the largest stressor in my life right now is my job, only it isn’t the work causing me anxiety.

I have spent most of my life terrified of authority figures, and even though I adore my boss and think we work extremely well as a team, I can’t help but wonder if I’m stressing myself out over the idea of disappointing him.

On the job, I am devastated when my boss suggests any sort of dissatisfaction with my work. At face value, I recognize the absurdity of this stressor. I work damn hard and perform the best that I can on a regular basis, and I’m still fairly new at what I’m doing, so the expectation of perfection is ludicrous. (more…)

An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, September 2015

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the worst day of my life — the day you made me an only child. I have not forgiven you.

I feel like I’ve coped adequately, but some days are a lot harder than others… not that I’ve ever minded a tearful drive home from work, but still.

It’s odd; I would have thought I’d be more sad on your deathday each year than your birthday, but that got me thinking. Your deathday reminds me only of death, but your birthday reminds me of the life you lived and surrendered. Your birthday feels much more morose because it leaves an ache in me, a longing to celebrate your existence with you, not simply of your memory. (more…)

Surrendering My Birth Control Pills (Though, Thankfully, Not to the Government)

In the aftermath of my recent breakup, one decision I’ve been pondering is whether or not to continue taking birth control pills. I love making executive decisions, but this one has me helplessly on the fence.

Do I need birth control pills? No, but knowing what I know now, I probably didn’t need them at all during the relationship; they were merely a source of comfort that I felt gave me access to a greater variety of activities. The fact that those riskier activities were rarely explored is beside the point. (more…)

The Breakup Artist(s)

My partner and I broke up two weekends ago, and although we both feel the release and pseudo-freedom of a typical breakup, neither of us feels particularly sad. Our mutual friends are more upset about this than we are. I can honestly say that our breakup was entirely mutual. It was simply time to let “us” go.

Liberally throughout our relationship, we had progress evaluations, similar to those which people experience at their places of business. We would talk about the way things had been going, what we liked, what could use improving, and what direction we wanted to be heading.

Sometimes, we would have these talks because one of us had an improvement to suggest. Other times, it was simply because we hadn’t had one in a while. With both circumstances, we each appreciated that the other cared enough to listen and actively participate. It always felt collaborative and made our relationship stronger.

The Politics of My “Lady” Handshake

It started with a business meeting between three men and me. Our law firm is contracting the services of a local accounting firm to assist on a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and the time arose to talk details with the accountant for the first time. After the meeting, we all shook hands. No big deal, right? Then, my attorney and I helped ourselves to the delicious pastries the accountant had furnished upon our conference room and began retreating back to our firm’s office. My attorney held the door for me, as he tends to do, and as I passed through, the accountant made an odd remark.

Bluntly, he exclaimed, “You have an excellent handshake for a woman!” (more…)

You Can’t Afford Me: The Morality of Financial Sexual Domination

I remember hearing a few years ago of a woman who taught preschool by day and financially enslaved men by night. I don’t remember why the story made the news, but I was puzzled as to why this woman could say such mean things to her clientele, only to have them obediently lavish their life savings upon her.

I was asked the other day about my opinion of the morality of financial domination. What is financial domination, you ask? It’s a type of power play where a dominant partner “forces” a submissive partner to remit money. The play is entirely consensual and often involves blackmail, punishments, and other venues of humiliation by the dominant partner toward the submissive partner for the mutualistic benefit of both partners.

So, where does a reasonable person draw the line between sexual expression and placating an addiction to the point of destitution? (more…)