Of course, all that money doesn’t go straight into an influencer’s pocket. YouTube keeps 45% of ad revenue garnered through AdSense, which enables Google to run ads on videos and pays creators based on view count. At the end of the day, the creator only walks away with 55% of the total revenue they’ve generated from their content. YouTube also has the power to stop ads from running on videos if they believe the content violates their ad policy, which, as it turns out, is pretty often.
Creators who want to keep more of what they make are turning to other platforms that take a smaller percentage of their earnings and allow creators to have more freedom to discuss topics that aren’t so “advertiser-friendly,” without the risk of being demonetized and losing their source of income. Enter: OnlyFans, the subscription-based social media platform known for revolutionizing the sex worker industry. But the platform is quickly shifting, becoming the next destination for beauty content as well.
Founded in 2016, OnlyFans might be most well-known as a platform for sex workers to sell their NSFW content, but it was created with influencers and entrepreneurs in mind to allow for the monetization of many unique talents. At its core, it’s a subscription-based platform, similar to Patreon, where users pay a monthly fee to access a creator’s content, whether that’s explicit images and videos, fitness videos, music lessons, makeup tutorials, and more. But unlike Patreon, which has multi-levels of subscriptions (you get more if you pay more), OnlyFans is donation/subscription-based. It doesn’t place any restrictions on content, and the platform only takes 20% of a creator’s earnings.
Although we haven’t seen any major players in the beauty influencer game join the platform, a representative from OnlyFans says that smaller influencers have found great success on the platform.
“Creators on OnlyFans often have smaller, more engaged followings in comparison to platforms like Instagram and YouTube,” OnlyFans tells Very Good Light. “Because of this, beauty creators have more opportunities to connect with their fans directly, allowing them to share personalized beauty advice, expert tips, and product and service recommendations directly with their fans.”
OnlyFans reported an influx of beauty influencers and professionals joining the platform in recent months in the wake of COVID-19. With many salons still closed or operating at decreased capacity, beauty professionals are struggling to get their income back to pre-pandemic levels.
“As the beauty industry adapts to new social distancing measures with public spaces reopening, there is great opportunity for beauty industry professionals to continue to utilize OnlyFans for at-home service tutorials as well as personalized expert tips on product applications where individuals may have previously relied on a makeup counter,” says a representative from OnlyFans.
One such influencer, Hadiyah Daché, AKA The Fairy Glow Mother, is an esthetician based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s one of many beauty industry professionals exploring creating content on OnlyFans, with the goal of recording educational videos showcasing full body waxing and sugaring services. This type of content, although not sexual in nature, would prominently feature genitalia, and as such, would violate YouTube’s terms of service. Not only does OnlyFans not censor a creator’s content, but the platform itself is extremely secure, making it a safe space for the models who can have their private waxing sessions filmed without the fear that the content will be stolen and redistributed.
“The content I have planned is a mix of tutorials for other estheticians and voyeuristic/ASMR content for intimate services like Brazilian waxing/sugaring,” Hadiyah says to Very Good Light.
She plans to use OnlyFans to market her services and hopefully get new clients to come into her studio. The subscription model on OnlyFans is a new form of advertising that we haven’t seen in the beauty industry, and has the potential to turn “fans” into loyal customers. It also allows creators to make money immediately, whereas other platforms require a large following before any brand or advertiser is willing to pay you to create content.
“OnlyFans as a marketing tool kind of flips things for me,” Hadiyah says. “I’m used to paying to market, not getting paid. So that was new.”
For Hadiyah, OnlyFans is a chance to educate new and existing clients on her services—and have a little fun with social media. “I plan to show waxing, sugaring, Vulvacials, and maybe some troll content titled ‘Hot Ebony Facial,’ but it’s really just a relaxing ASMR video of me giving a facial to a client.”
The beauty industry is always shifting and changing. Nowadays, being a Youtuber isn’t enough. From product lines to podcasts, influencers are constantly discovering new ways to generate income. The current economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every industry, including the beauty industry.
Subscription-based platforms like OnlyFans give creators more control, more creative freedom, and better profit margins than YouTube. Beauty consumers value authenticity, and the success of beauty creators on OnlyFans proves that people are willing to pay for it. It has the potential to be the future of beauty content, where creators can interact directly with their fans. Some beauty influencers have follower counts in the millions, and OnlyFans has the ability to turn some of those followers into paying superfans. It’s another level of exclusivity: think of it like a meet-and-greet at a concert. OnlyFans is another way for beauty creators to get ~real~ with their fans—and they don’t even have to take their clothes (or makeup) off.
Cardon’s 3-in-1 serum saved my summer skin
Are beauty influencers turning to OnlyFans?
How to get rid of annoying back acne
I tried Tracee Ellis Ross’ Pattern Beauty and my 3C curls stayed bouncy for days
Struggling to keep your nails snatched without the salon? Harry Styles’ manicurist has you covered.
It was a Saturday with several hours left until we left for our much-anticipated weekly outing: A walk around the park with another couple, separated by six-feet.
We were one day away from New York’s implementation of the state’s version of shelter-in-place, and Jordan and Zach would be the only familiar faces we’d see in the outside world. We had exhausted everything on Netflix, binge-eaten everything in the kitchen and still had two hours to kill, so we settled on sex.
Our first foray into coronavirus-catalyzed BDSM was rudimentary at best. A fluffy hat served as stimulus, Glade candle wax counted as sadism; an airplane mask doubled as a blindfold and ribbon tied wrists to the Amazon bed frame.
This is life in lockdown, where it’s a blessing (and sometimes, curse) to be quarantined in close quarters, 24-hours a day with a lover. Then again, on the hunt for entertainment without daily distractions, physical intimacy is suddenly thrust into the spotlight — as are its, pun intended, shortcummings.
“I’ve seen a lot of couples noting that they’ve been trying extra out-of-the-box sex things,” Gigi Engle, sexologist and sex coach, tells Very Good Light. “I also think it reflects positively on the sex-positive shift millennials and Gen Z seem to be taking towards a greater appreciation and curiosity around pleasure.”
It’s an unprecedented shift, when just last year young adults were in the grips of a “sex recession” — that is, enjoying a notably less amount of sex than ones before. Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, sexologist and author of The Ultimate Guide to Seduction and Foreplay, says that while many may feeling more sexual than usual with additional time, there are many for whom things are different.
“Some people use sex as a form of stress relief; on the other hand, many people have lost interest in sex at this time,” she shares with us. “They’re preoccupied by the stress of uncertainty and change. It’s important not to prescribe sex as a universal stress reliever, as some people experience sex as a source of stress.”
Then there’s navigating loss of desire. If distance makes the heart grow fonder, surely being forever within a few feet of your partner can only have the opposite effect.
“One of the major tensions in modern love relationships is the desire for stability and security versus our desire for adventure and freedom,” reveals relationship psychologist, Stephanie Zuber. “One requires togetherness, the other separateness. With this pandemic creating a lot of togetherness, the need for distance is important. Anything that creates differentiation, difference and separation is good for couples right now. This will help your sex life.”
Thankfully, there are ways in which you can create distance even if self-isolation prevents you from spending time apart. Tantra expert and orgasmic meditation trainer, Lauren Harkness, believes the key to stoking sexual chemistry is by creating the illusion of “alone time” — be that meditation across the room, a shower or walk outside, even listening to headphones while working on individual projects.
“Solo practice is key, whether that’s meditation, masturbation or exercise,” Lauren says. “If you’re suffering from lack of desire, name it. There is great courage in vulnerability and often the deeper conversations and relationship patterns come to the surface to be worked through. This is a great time to build solid foundations in partnerships, by digging deep into things you may have been avoiding while staying busy out in daily life.”
“The largest sex organ is the brain,” adds Stephanie. “Shift your perspective from, “This is my partner I know everything about,” to “Who is this hot, sexy co-worker I can have a quickie with?!” Instead of thinking, Do I want to have sex right now?, ask yourself, Am I willing to get in the mood right now? Sex isn’t simply defined by intercourse. Expand your definition of sex and see where it takes you.”
Photo courtesy of Pexels/Dainis Graveris
COVID-19 casual sex
For those who don’t have an omnipresent partner to satisfy their needs, things are a little different. Fulfilling social responsibility and enjoying hook-up culture do not easily co-exist in the face of a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy intimacy with a near-stranger. Based on the orgasm-gap data, Gigi explains, virtual sex has a better chance of getting you off than a tryst with a new partner — it’s also a chance to connect, without putting the health of you and the community at risk. “Think of it like pre-dating before you get a chance to spend time together in person,” she says.
“It seems that many people are following the rule of only have in-the-flesh sex with who you live with, or if you’re hooking up with someone new, do so digitally,” notes Dr. Jess. “You can have all types of sex online; I even know people who are setting up private orgies and dirty talk play parties online.”
“Lastly, washing up before and after sex is more important that ever. Make this a habit.”
She continues: “Voice messages allow you to tap into your lover’s audial desires. For those of us who are auditory learners, the sound of a lover’s voice can be overwhelmingly hot. Use a low, soft voice to tell them what you want to do. Ask them for what you want. Let them know you want to please them. Convey your desire and desperation for their touch. This is the time to get creative and those who do will probably find that the benefits far outlast the isolation of this pandemic.”
Psychotherapist Allie Lerner isn’t surprised the discourse around quarantine has for the most part ignored the dynamics of sex-in-isolation, particularly given our culture is so uncomfortable with the topic of sex, and as such the message, she claims, has been distilled down to: just don’t have it.
But it would be foolish to overlook the singletons for whom the sacrifice of regular sex is just too big. When possible, Allie suggests, view and use verbal communication as “extended foreplay.”
Then there are those who can’t resist meeting up with a potential partner – when their own horniness takes over and they’d risk it for a biscuit. Allie says while not the best idea, if you’re in need, you must keep a few protocols in mind.
“Pursing casual sex within the confines of this epidemic means washing your hands, taking your temperature regularly and understand the risk you are taking by continuing to engage at this current moment,” she says. “If you feel sick, are sick, or think you might be sick…please abstain until you know for sure that you are well. Casual sex can be exciting, but not at the expense of the welfare of yourself or other people.”
Stephanie agrees. “People are craving connection right now and for some, horniness will win out over social distancing,” she says. “If you do have sex outside your household, have as few partners as possible — avoid kissing anyone outside of your small circle of contacts. Use of condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral or anal sex. Lastly, washing up before and after sex is more important that ever. Make this a habit.”
And then, of course, there’s self-love. Recommended as the primary — and safest — method of getting off in a global health crisis, it’s unsurprising porn sites have seen massive engagement. Italy’s porn consumption spiked 57-percent the day government officials announced the borders were closing. And as of this week, worldwide porn viewing is still roughly 11-percent above average. Sex toy consumption is also on a consistent upswing, with products like Womanizer, and couples’ option, WeVibe, experiencing a 135-percent sales increase. Yes, we’re even stockpiling sex accessories.
“I think that’s indicative of the fact that people realize orgasms and pleasure are one of the few luxuries we’re able to have during this pandemic,” Gigi claims. “Now is the time to try stuff you’ve always wanted to or may have been afraid of.”
“Please abstain until you know for sure that you are well. Casual sex can be exciting, but not at the expense of the welfare of yourself or other people.”
But with all this time holed up at home, where we’re searching Pornhub for spicy new uploads, should we worry about the frequency of our masturbation?
The myth of masturbation addiction has run rampant for decades, says each sexologist, as a result of the leftover puritanical values discouraging sexual freedom that our society still endorses. If you notice your genitals are a little desensitized or it’s becoming more difficult to climax, it doesn’t mean you have to stop — just switch it up. Slow down on the porn and try your imagination or video sex with a partner for a change, maybe you use lube or experiment with a different technique or toy. New stimulation is what will keep you engaged and feeling on top of your sex game.
“Typically, ‘too much’ masturbation has to do with the context,” shares Stephanie. “Too much in your religion, too much for your partner, too much for the answer Google told you — there is way too much shame and guilt surrounding it. Masturbation is an amazing way to get to know your body, your likes, dislikes and practice with your erectile diversities. Especially during this pandemic, the safest person to have sex with is yourself.”
If you’re experiencing “death grip,” where your penis or clitoris is so accustomed to your hand that sex becomes unfulfilling, take a break for a week, then ease back into it. But the bottom line is: unless masturbation is really interfering with your work, relationships and so on, you’re fine.
“Masturbation is elemental to increasing desire in many cases, as it helps us to learn about our own bodies and reactions,” explains Dr. Jess. “Self-pleasure also increases the likelihood of an orgasm and is connected with higher self-esteem. Moreover, as your body relishes in the dopamine and endorphin release, you are more likely to crave more, resulting in an increase in desire for sex.”
And that’s not all masturbation is good for. According to sexologists, it’s known to increase circulation to the sex organs to promote erection, as well as teaching you more about your body’s sexual response to serve you better in partnered sex. It reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps to de-stress and facilitate better sleep. Orgasms stimulate oxytocin — increasing your sense of connection, and bonding — increase immunoglobulin A, which strengthens your immune system. They also lower pain, producing a parasympathetic response in the body: calm, centered, safe.
“Masturbation is an amazing way to get to know your body, your likes, dislikes and practice with your erectile diversities.”
“In terms of what we’re actually getting wrong about masturbation, we just do it the same way all the time. Just as variety is the spice of life for couples, so too can variety enhance your solo sex game. Experiment with toys, positions and techniques so that you discover new pathways to pleasure.”
Photo courtesy of Pexels/Dainis Graveris
Spicing up partnered sex
With more time on our hands than ever before, it’s important that we also embrace sexual diversity in our relationships. Gigi Engle recommends masturbating in front of your partner to learn about their sexual responses, and pegging – “it’s really fun way to play with power dynamics.” Dr. Jess says partners should try complimenting each other daily, and practice “role rituals” like pouring a glass of wine, getting undressed to signal that you’ve slipped into a lover role.
Stephanie Zuber suggests sharing your erotic fantasies and pleasures, while Lauren Harkness says the sexually adventurous might enjoy experimenting with a different Karma Sutra position each time they have intercourse. Allie Lener believes constantly communicating your current approach towards sex will work wonders.
“Hopefully we’ll start to think outside the box and build tension, desire and arousal in the long-term, as opposed to waiting until we get into the bedroom and expecting our bodies to respond like light switches,” offers Dr. Jess.
As for our sexual standing when this is all over, only time will tell. This might be our chance to reset the aforementioned sex recession, which may very well have been catalyzed by our recent hyperfocus on sexual misconduct and violence (something that so often went “hidden and dismissed,” says Stephanie). Perhaps the fervent emphasis on health and safety will only further inhibit us sexually; or maybe, this is the much-needed break from the bustle of daily life we’ve been crying out for. A chance for us to reconnect, with our partners, but more importantly, our bodies.
“I believe that this period of isolation, for many people, will lead to an increased appreciation of and deeper connection to their sexual sense of self,” says Allie. “ [We will hopefully emerge] with a stronger commitment to using our voices and words to own and articulate who we want, what we want, and how we want to be fucked and loved.”
Tips to on surviving self-isolation, sexually
— Set a schedule that allows for time alone, time together, time spent with friends online.
— It’s okay to fight and you might find that the tension builds while you’re in close quarters. But if you catch yourself fighting about the little stuff, try to laugh it off. Admit when you’re being less than your normal stellar self.
— To spice up your sex life, slow down. Try mindful sex practices beginning with non-sexual mindfulness (breathing and visualizations) and then moving on to mindful touch.
— Visualize waves as you breath during sex, but as you become more comfortable being present and in your body, you’ll likely find that feeling in the moment comes more easily during sexual activity, and your anxiety may dissipate.
— If you’re living with a partner: flirt and tease, kiss with tongue when you wake up in the morning, compliment your lover every single day, ban technology for one hour per day, stop complaining about your body.
Try these oral/manual techniques
— The “Claudia”: Slather two hands in lube and wrap them both around your partner’s shaft while you slide up and down with extra pressure
— The “Cross My Fingers”: Cross your index and middle fingers as though you’re telling a lie. Slather them in lube. Slide them in and out of your partner as you rotate.
—The “Wet Trace”: Lick a line or S-pattern over their skin (collarbone, thighs, genitals — your pick!) to create a very wet path. Open your mouth wide and breathe warm air gently over the wet path. Purse your lips to alternate with cool air. Build anticipation to get their dopamine flowing rather than going in for the whole nine yards right away.
Try these sex positions
— Butt Buddies: Your partner lies flat on their stomach with their head in the upper right corner of the bed. You lie on your stomach on top of them in the lower left corner of the bed. Legs stretch out on either side and positioning deprives them of eye contact and exchange of facial expressions to facilitate “blind sex.” They both pop their hips upward far enough for the penis to angle backward comfortably and slide inside.
— Mile-High Club: One kneels on the floor with forearms resting on the bed in front. The other stands behind between their legs, lifts hips on either side of his hips and slides in.
— Upright Missionary: The ultimate shallow-penetration position, the Upright Missionary comes naturally and offers the benefits of intense eye contact, full upper body views, and one of the One lies on their back while the other kneels over her with his legs on the outside of hers. Holds the base of the penis while slipping in and out, while the other squeezes their thighs together for extra friction.
— Swinger: This sexy pose not only allows you to admire one another’s bodies face to face but also provides the clitoral friction most women need to experience orgasm during intercourse. She lies on her back with her legs hanging off the side of the bed or couch and her feet touching the floor. He kneels or squats between her open legs (atop a pillow, if necessary, to adjust for height) and slides inside. She wraps her legs around his body as he leans forward slightly.
Here's how brands are still selling unapproved FDA makeup
Let’s talk about sex (in self-isolation)
Everything you need to know before your cut your own hair
Tan Luxe review: Have we discovered a face tanner that actually works?
The best hands-free to tools to cleanse your face in the age of COVID-19
Awkward sex makes for juicy (or cringe-worthy, you tell us!) stories.
We asked Very Good Light’s own Lighters on Instagram to send in their most daring experiences – ones that they lived to tell! From a story about a host family, to one involving a boss’ desk, to another involving someone’s mother – ya’ll, brace yourselves. Sex: sometimes it’s really freaking funny.
I’ve always had fantasies of having sex in someone’s office. I just didn’t know it’d be so awkward.
I met this guy who invited me on a weekend to come meet with him at his office. We met on the ground floor and he took us up to his workplace. Inside were dozens of cubicles and it seemed like a standard place of work. I asked where his office was, which is when he admitted that he actually didn’t have an office – we’d be having sex in his boss’s office.
While in theory that could be hot, I realized it wasn’t cool when we were on his desk, exchanging slobber all over his floor and bodily fluid. He was so cool and casual about it and all I could think about is how pissed I’d be if I found dried splooge on my desk Monday morning.
The Host (Family)
A few years ago, I met up with this Mexican exchange student who lived in this really big house. He told me to come over and before I did, I asked if he was alone. He assured me it would be all fine and that I was in the clear to come over.
We ended up sneaking into this office, where I realized there were photos of his host family. They looked super kind and really sweet. I felt really weird having sex while all the lights were on, their photos staring back at me.
The sex was okay and it was fun until I heard a crowd of people walking through the door.
“Who’s that?!” I asked, super paranoid.
“Oh, just my host family.”
“Do they know I’m here?”
“No, but it’s okay!”
I told him to shush, as I didn’t want anyone to know I was over. He started laughing, thinking it was silly of me to be so discreet.
“Juan, are you home?” I heard a man yelp.
“Yeah, I’m in here!” he shouted back. “With a friend!”
I started sweating so hard and was so mortified that we weren’t alone.
We started having sex again, him even grunting really loudly. I was super insecure, as his host family could hear everything. I told him to finish it up.
When I started getting dressed, I headed out the door. Juan followed.
“Why don’t you tell your friend to come meet us!” they said, as I ran through the back door. “It’s not like we don’t know what ya’ll did in there!”
One of my closest friends and I were out for a wild summer night. I’m not sure if it was the heat, the cocktails, or the fact that I was newly single and too eager to mingle, but somehow, we found ourselves at an orgy. We were both on Grindr and the same guy messaged us to join his merry group of horny cuties.
Neither one of us normally does this kind of thing, but we decided to say
fuck it” and join the party. All was well with some foreplay, until one guy showed up that the owner of the apartment really liked and we were all kicked out for them to have an intimate early am romp session.
To be honest, I was a bit relieved and ready to head home. However, my friend in a moment of people-pleasing suggested everyone head to his apartment to continue the party. He instantly regretted it, remembering his mom was visiting on his living room couch for the night.
He begged me to come even though I told him I was over it. During the long cab to the Bronx—yes, he lives all the way in the Bronx—he starts to fill in our new friends that there might be someone home. The long drive with this new information made the group start to question their decision. We got to his place, scurried into his tiny bedroom, and no one felt sexy.
It felt extremely awkward… especially when mom came knocking. He was mortified, I was hysterically laughing, and the boys exited in a huff. I wound up spending the night (ergh, early morning?) watching Bravo, giggling about the whole thing, and passing out. Neither one of us attended an orgy again.
Who peed in my wastebasket?
In 2011, when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast everyone thought it was going to do some major damage in NYC. I was huddled up in my apartment alone all day but by 7 pm I had eaten all my emergency provisions (a box of pop tarts and a packet of bacon) and was bored out of my skull. I pushed through the torrents of rain to my favorite bar at the time, The Metropolitan.
Surprisingly, it was open and there were a handful of people there. As the storm raged outside we drank, danced, and agreed that if the world was ending we were glad to be in such fine company. A nice guy from my gym was there with his boyfriends. I had never met a throuple before and was intrigued. They invited me to go with them to a friend’s place.
We ran through the rain-swept streets, to a cute apartment near the waterfront. Inside there was a man and a woman. I assumed they were a couple but as the night went on and we drank more, he made it clear that he was interested in me. We had sex in his bed as the sky began to get light.
When I woke up much later I could tell from the light and the sounds outside, that it was past noon. I had to pee really bad! I pulled on my pants and went to the bathroom but someone was using it. I waited for what seemed forever but the door stayed closed.
I went back in to the room where last night’s host was still snoring away. I was in a state of panic when I saw the empty waste basket near his desk. I made my decision in a second and pissed into it for what felt like forever. It made a loud hissing sound. I kept looking towards the bed, worried he would wake up and be like, “What the hell are you doing? Were you raised by wolves?”
He didn’t stir. I quickly dressed and without looking back I bolted from the apartment. The rain had stopped. There were some downed trees branches and lots of rubbish blown about, but for all appearances it looked like NYC had survived yet another disaster. To this day I wonder if the guy from that night ever tells people about the weirdo who peed in his waste basket.
Adventurous and Abroad
A few years ago, I spent a few months living in Asia for a study abroad program. Working by day and visiting a variety of clubs by night. It wasn’t uncommon for me (being one of the few Caucasians and pretty good looking,IMO) to draw the eyes of some of the females who were also inhabiting the same club as me. One night I was lucky enough to hit it off really well with a girl and we started spending time together. Eventually, I asked her on a date which ended with us returning to my residence to do the dirty.
Right before we could start she asked me to grab a towel, which caught me slightly off guard as I was wearing a condom and I wasn’t sure what mess would really be created. However I grabbed a towel and handed it to her and she looked at me and said: “thanks, I’m on my period and don’t want to stain your sheets”. Mind you I’m staying in a shared hotel room with a friend on some white sheets. Needless to say, we went about having fun with our night and the towel did close to nothing to prevent blood from getting anywhere. Which wasn’t ideal but really didn’t bother me, I was just happy to be included.
Moving forward to the next day, I had a few great interactions as the fallout to my actions. The first was my roommate returning home around 8-9 a.m. and yelling “what the hell did you do?” as he caught sight of the blood-stained bed. The second being, seeing we were staying in a hotel room service came by to clean the room and without question, they replaced my sheets. However, the hotel manager must’ve contacted the staff running the study abroad program I was apart of.
All 25 students studying abroad including myself got a message along the lines “if anyone is ever hurt, please let us know”. Which started a conversation in the student group chat about who might be hurt and what that might be about, and me getting ousted to everyone about my sexual activity.
Sex Shop Newb
As a transgender male, I never had the experience of having sex “the normal way”. It was strictly oral or fingering. But, it wasn’t until my girlfriend and I were going on a trip that I decided to buy a strap on. I had an early shift the day I decided to buy one so, I went after work. I went to a place called Romantic Depot and after contemplating whether to go in or not for 5 minutes, I finally opened the door.
With my luck, I was the only one inside which made it even more intimidating. I was greeted by a very friendly woman who asked “What can I help you with today?” I was so nervous, I poured my heart out and said “So I’m transgender and I want to buy a strap on but I have no idea which one so can you help me?” She laughed and said okay and showed me everything in the store. She showed me the best harnesses and best dildos to start off with. She showed me one that was 9 inches and I quickly steered away from it. “That’s huge!” I said but she quickly said back to me “But everyone is trying to bust a nut right?” I laughed but still declined.
When we finally agreed on a size and harness I wanted, I bought it. After I left, I couldn’t believe I spent $80 on this. I pulled my phone out and called my girlfriend and without even saying hello I said “So, I bought it.” She laughed because she knew exactly what I bought. I asked her to come over after work because my parents were on vacation. I rushed home and I searched up YouTube videos on how to put on the harness because I was lost. When I finally figured it out, I put it in my drawer and waited for my girlfriend to get to my house. When she got there, we talked briefly and then she asked me “So, where is it?” I wearily said “In my drawer” She walked over to it and took it out and laughed because the strap on was white and I’m black. “It was the only one they had that wasn’t huge! I wasn’t trying to kill you.” She said it was fine. I put it on and I asked “So how do you do this?”
After being intensely frustrated for 5 minutes, I said “I’m just going to search this up online because I can’t be bothered” I quickly searched in “Sex positions with pictures” and showed them to her. “We can do this one maybe?” She laid down on her back and I tried to get on top of her and I yelled “Cramp!” My girlfriend laughs at me and says “You’re so old” This was a lot harder than I thought. Eventually, we finally got into it and it ended up being a really good experience despite the difficulties prior. Using a strap on is extremely tiring. You could definitely lose some weight using it. But, if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Umm… come again?
After moving back into the dorms early one semester, I decided I wanted to spice my night up. I want to say this was 2018, I came back to my dorm and had about two days before the rest of my suitemates came in. Suddenly, this guy hsst me up. After chatting for awhile, we decided to meet in my dorm. He was a muscular Nigerian guy and as we began to have great sex abruptly he says, “I’m going to get you pregnant.” A record scratch goes off in my brain. Wait a minute, I was mentally freaking out because, I’m a guy I don’t know if that was supposed to be a turn on or he was just caught up in the moment.
This is a story of an embarrassing sexual encounter, (but also about self-worth). There was this really hot six foot five light skin guy from Washington Heights who played basketball and resembled the actor Michael Ealy.
He had me just as shook as Michael Ealy’s role in color girls. I was up one late night really bored with nothing really to do so I decided to log into this app named Jack’d and this hidden profile with no profile picture hit me. I usually don’t even waste my time with hidden profiles just off of the simple fact is that I don’t have time to call Nevs & Max from Catfish.
Here I am ignoring Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. I know we have all heard the stories of people being kidnapped, raped, robbed, and blasé blasé end is also extra sketchy for people of the LGBT community because we really don’t have a safe space to meet not even on gay apps. After all, you hear stories all the time! Anywho.
I said all that to say I still ignored all of those signs just because I was simply bored and also it’s been a couple of months that I have been with anyone. I decided to just entertain this conversation to see where I would even go talking ain’t never hurt anybody right? I told him that I will no longer continue to talk to him even though he kept saying and insisting about how good-looking he was, he finally sent me a photo of what he looked like and asked me would I come over and cuddle. As I was battling if I should go or not, he messaged stating he would pay for my Uber.
So you know, I take a bath, I’m squeaky clean and hop into my waiting cab. I get to the address and am in awe…he looks just like the pictures. As I am still trying to get over the fact that he is not a catfish, we head up to the second floor where his bachelor pad awaits. He told me to get comfortable so I sat on his bed and he turned on the TV. Out of everything to watch, he picks The Walking Dead, which is a complete mood-killer. He begins to feel up on me, and as the mood begins to set he asks if I want music. Of course I say yes, as he turns on the music I expected some Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay, some Luther Vandross but “What A Time to Be Alive” by Drake and Future begins to fill the room.
As he began to pull out a condom from a drawer, I quickly came up with the first excuse I could think of. I told him that my grandmother needed me. I ran out of there, faster than you can say “Jumpman.”
The Doctor’s In
I am in my apartment on 5th avenue in New York City getting ready to head over to this man’s apartment for a hookup. I hop into my Uber and when I get there, this handsome man reveals himself from behind the door wearing a pair of scrubs. Immediately, he asks “Are you into some foreplay?” I respond saying “Of course! I’m always down!” It’s a given that, since he was wearing scrubs, it was going to be doctor related, I just didn’t know to what extent.
As I step in he reveals to me that he is actually a doctor in real life. I think, wow what a healthy way to get this out. Instead of with patients of course, I’m here to support him and play out his fantasy. He’s very sexy, muscular, and has dark hair. I won’t say I have a type but I was sold. We walk in after greetings and he says, “What brings you in today?” As he grabs me by the hips and lifts me onto his kitchen counter. Hesitating, because I’m not too familiar with roleplay, he questions “Oh your leg hurts?” And I respond, “Oh yeah it totally hurts.” “Let me see where it hurts.” the doctor says as he begins pushing around on my leg. I wait a second and then wince and cough pretending to be in pain. “Oh there! Oh my God let me see what is wrong.” he says eagerly. He continues to tough my leg, turning it around everything is very clinical. Eventually he comes to the conclusion that my leg is broken. I’m like, “Are you serious? It’s my leg.” He responds: “Yeah, I am serious. We’re definitely going to have to put you into a cast.”
He stands up and the next thing I know, he goes into his kitchen cabinet and gets the actual materials out to create a cast on my leg. He spends the next 15-minutes plastering my entire leg all the way above my knee. While he is casting up my leg, I am just so flabbergasted by the fact that this is happening to me and the cast has made me immobile. I honestly felt safe so after the cast is on when he says, “Why don’t you lie down, like relax a little?” I let him whisks me into the bedroom and where I lie down with this plastered cast on me for the next 30 minutes.It was ridiculous and hilarious, something that I’ve never done before. After we finish having sex that was satisfying for both of us, he takes me back to the kitchen. He takes out a pair of giant cast removal shears and removes the cast in its entirety. When it’s completely off my never-broken-to-begin-with leg, I plant a kiss on his cheek and he sends me on my way. Long story short, I never went back for another “doctors appointment.”
Come and Go
Okay, so let me preface this story with the fact that I didn’t have sex in a long time at this point — like, a long time. So, I finally got to hook up with this girl that I was seeing, and things got pretty intense. And before she could even touch me, I came in my pants. This happened not once, but twice during the day. It’s funny now though because me and that same girl have been together for about four years now.
One time, me and this guy were fooling around in bed. And then, without any warning, I fart. Loudly. We just sat in silence for a solid 30 seconds before bursting into laughter. But, we don’t see eachother anymore… maybe it was the fart that chased him off?
Guys, it's time to start using sex toys
Very Good Light’s most awkward sex stories revealed
Kidd Kenn is the queer rapper bringing beauty to hip hop
QQ: Hey, does Peter from ‘To All the Boys…’ wear sunscreen?
Is your personalized skincare actually good for you?
One of those forms is sex toys. Let’s say it together, now: everyone can enjoy experimentation with sex toys, regardless of gender or sexuality. While we tend to think of vibrators and dildos only prescribed to women and people with vulvas, Gigi Engle, certified sexologist, Womanizer sexpert, and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life, wants everyone to know that there are tons of options out there for males to (fore)play around with.
“They [sex toys] are a tool for you to explore your pleasure,” Engle says. “Sex toys help you redefine what sexuality means because they change the narrative from a performance-based model of, ‘You have to stay hard and orgasm means sex is over,’ to, ‘Sex is about exploring pleasure. It is a journey without any real destination.’ It can be very liberating.”
But, let’s be real: incorporating these toys into your regular sexual endeavors — regardless of having a partner or going solo — can feel a bit intimidating.
So, if you’re looking to up the ante on your sex life, then give some of Engle’s tips for sex toy play, plus our favorite sex toys for men, below:
Tip #1: Don’t be afraid of sex toys.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but some of us can get performance anxiety when something new is added into the mix. So, listen to Engle when she says they are your friend, not your foe. “We see a lot about vibrators, but there are plenty of toys for men,” she says. “Don’t be intimidated by them.”
Tip #2: Try a masturbation sleeve to start.
“They are the easiest to use and the most straightforward,” says Engle. “I love Tenga Eggs because they’re one-time use, so you need to be meticulous about cleaning toys like a Fleshlight because of the overgrowth of bacteria. Cyberskin is porous and if you don’t wash it after every single use with soap and water, you will give a female partner bacterial vaginosis or something worse.”
Tip #3: Get a prostate toy
If you haven’t experimented with anal play just yet, you may be missing out on some serious pleasure. “The prostate is the male G-spot,” says Engle. “It has a ton of nerve endings and can be a source of seriously explosive orgasms.” If you’re looking to find a toy for anal use, Engle recommends using something simple, like the b-Vibe Rimming Toy or a Doc Johnson silicone butt plug.
Tip #4: Take the time to masturbate
Whether you’re brand new to the realm of sex toys, or just adding something new to your collection, Engle recommends taking the time to get to know how your body likes to use it — without the overstimulation of visual pornography. “When you’re using a masturbation sleeve, a cock ring, or any other sex toy, be sure you’re using different mental stimuli as well,” she says. “With young men becoming so conditioned to porn, we need to change it up so that you’re not relying on it for orgasm.” Instead of going to the world wide web, Engle recommends using your imagination, a sexy story, or listen to an erotica podcast. “Changing up the way you masturbate will ultimately help you be a better lover because you don’t need one single thing to enjoy sexual interactions,” she says.
Tip #5: Clean your sex toy
Seriously: clean your sex toys regularly! Not only is it more hygienic for the sake of your body to clean it after each and every use, but it’s also important for the safety of others you may share it with during intercourse. “Read the directions on each toy and follow them,” Engle says. “I know it can be hard to keep with this, but if you don’t, you could end up with a UTI (yes, boys do get UTIs) or another infection. This will mean you end up in the doctor’s office needing to explain what you were doing to get said infection.”
Tip #6: Use your toys with your partners
If you feel ready and up for it, using your sex toys with your partners can add a new kick to your sex life, so there’s no need to feel intimidated. “Cockrings and masturbation sleeves and prostate massagers are super fun to use with partners. There is nothing wrong with a guy who likes using sex toys,” says Engle. “In fact, it’s very cool and mature, if you ask me. It shows you know your body and you’re interested in experimenting with different ways to have pleasure. Sex toys are sex enhancers. They don’t replace a penis, they just make sex even more fun. It’s like an ice cream sundae: It’s really good with whipped cream, but add some hot fudge and you’ve taken your ice cream game to a whole other level.” Just make sure you talk to your partner about what they feel comfortable leaving in and out of the bedroom — and remember, have fun with it!
Thanks, Parasite for reminding all of us about the power of K-Beauty
Guys, it’s time to start using sex toys
Very Good Light’s most awkward sex stories revealed
Kidd Kenn is the queer rapper bringing beauty to hip hop
QQ: Hey, does Peter from ‘To All the Boys…’ wear sunscreen?
The Scarlet G. The Clap. Morning Drip. Running Rage.
All these words swirled around my head as I sat at the LGBT Center in Hollywood on a forlorn Tuesday. Mind you, it was the day before my 32nd birthday. What a momentous way to celebrate my upcoming birthday, I thought. 31 had been a particularly challenging year for me in that my relationship ended, I lost my job, gained a gut and a bit of a depression; and now here I was waiting to see why my dick felt like it was going to fall off.
The real cherry on the shit sundae was painfully swabbing my own throat and anus to check for any STD’s. Shame does not begin to explain the dread running through my body as I waited and waited for my results, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I wore my baseball cap low, and even wore sunglasses so to not be recognized.
“Immediately knew I had Gonorrhea. I could just see the diagnosis on his face.”
I began calculating the amount of times I wore protection or discussed sexual health with a potential partner because it would be awkward, and I felt the potent cocktail of shame, dread, and guilt. Why is it as gay men we play Russian Roulette with our sexual health? Is it our invincibility complex or years of bullying and being denounced? Or, perhaps, is it playing catch up for all the years spent in the closet? I felt light-headed as these thoughts ricocheted in my head.
My name was called like a summons, every step closer to the truth and farther from myself. I walked into the room with the nurse, and immediately knew I had Gonorrhea. I could just see the diagnosis on his face.
The nurse patiently walked me through the cure, which is 4 antibiotics and a shot of penicillin in the ass. Maybe what I needed right before my birthday was a kick in the ass. He continued asking me how many partners I had been with this month, and as I answered it was an out of body experience because I could not believe how many men I had been with irresponsibly.
And then all of a sudden, my loneliness was palpable. For the first time, my loneliness had a heartbeat, it was alive. Aside from my expanding gut my loneliness had not physically hurt me yet. All those lonely nights scrolling through Grindr had really taken its toll on me, and led me to this moment, however embarrassing it may have been. I thought of the guy who most likely gave it to me, and how he told me to stop kissing him because it was too intimate. And how in that moment I thought that’s the best I’ll ever get and allowed it to happen. It almost feels like someone else’s life when I write this, and the only person I feel angry towards is myself.
I picked up my dignity off the floor and took the shot in my ass like a man. I limped my way through the waiting room of the LGBT Center with my head held high because, after all, I had taken control of my sexual health, and made a move towards mental and physical balance.
Since that day, I’ve done the research and talked to friends and know I’m not alone because Gonorrhea rates are up according to the Center of Disease Control. This could be due to dating apps which sometimes leads to careless sexual practices. It was nice to be open about it after feeling ashamed and wanting to hide under a rock. But I’m open and authentic in all aspects of my life, and getting Gonorrhea is just a part of the tapestry of my life. Gonorrhea helped me see the emotional heartache and pain below the surface. It showed me how I had to adjust the way I received love, and the reason I was having sex in the first place. Sex is not a handshake, which most gay men treat it like it is.
Was I having sex because I was bored or lonely?
I thought this was the single most embarrassing and painful moment of my life, but instead, it became an enriching one where I found myself again. I saw value in my health, and stopped playing Russian Roulette, finally putting the gun down. And for the first time in a long time, saw my inner unicorn shine.
“Once we start reshaping our culture and taboos is when we start to become more responsible in our own sexual escapades.”
The first step to getting over the shame you may feel over an STD is to realize you are not alone. If you look at just mere statistics you’ll know many people have been in your exact situation. That’s one in two sexually active people, according to the American Sexual Health Association. The second step to get over your shame is to go to a mountain top or the top of a tall building and yell, “I have Gonorrhea.” Okay, not literally, though you could. The point is to stop hiding and step into the light. Not only will you feel better, you may inadvertently empower a shameful friend in the process. Lastly, you have to accept the fact that you had sex, and no matter how safe or unsafe you were susceptible to a possible STD. Move on. Get treatment. Don’t be as hard on yourself as I was, and just accept that things will happen.
Each time I talk about how I caught Gonorrhea, the less and less shame has a handle on me. I feel free from the disease. It’s no longer the Scarlet G on my lapel, rather, a diagnosis that I treated. Perhaps more than the physical toll, it’s the emotional and mental toll that takes its biggest effect. That takes time, self-care and love.
Being sex shamed or STD shamed is wrong and once we start reshaping our culture and taboos is when we start to become more responsible in our own sexual escapades. So go forth, have sex BUT PROTECT YOURSELF ALWAYS get tested often and lastly, don’t be ashamed.
Amir Yassai was born to a whimsical Persian family in Laguna Beach, CA. Coming out for him was not as easy as everyone thinks it was for him. If he’s not styling in the streets in a kimono you can find him at a zoo or at the movies watching all the newest films. Find him @comingoutwithlove
How Brooklyn became the world's Queer Mecca
Contracting gonorrhea allowed me to overcome the shame in sex
I secretly auditioned for ‘Crazy, Rich Asians’
This is how easy it is to fake freckles
It’s the dawn of the gender-free fragrance revolution
If yes, congrats – you’re doing great. If no – let’s talk. Whether you see it as a nuisance or not, morning wood is kind of important. The presence of a morning erection means your body is in good shape. The lack of a morning erection can signify potential health risks. Morning wood is totally normal while the absence of it could be something to worry about.
Using an app called Morning Glory, I recorded whether or not I had morning wood for an entire week. The app works like this: If you wake up “at attention,” so to speak, the app shows you a congratulatory GIF, a fun fact about erections, and you’re on your way. Some of them include:
Did you know that morning wood springs up during REM sleep? That’s when your dreamin’ and your brain is relaxed. Relaxed brain = hello erection.
Fun fact: you probably had an average of 5 erections (!!!) while you were sleeping. So great work.
A morning boner is a sign you’re in killer sexual health. It’s your body’s way of making sure adequate oxygen is flowing around inside.
You’re killin it with that nocturnal penile tumescence. (That’s just a fancy way to say ‘boner’ btw).
The app is straightforward and records how many consecutive days you wake up with an erection. It also counts days you don’t wake up with an erection. If this happens three days in a row, it means something may not be right and the app suggests you speak with a physician.
The idea for this app comes from men’s health startup, Roman, as a way to teach men about morning erections and the correlation it has to their general health. Unlike what most would think, erections aren’t just a signifier of a healthy libido. Erections are a significant indicator to the state of one’s health. Erectile dysfunction can be seen as a warning sign for serious health issues. While an erection might seem straightforward, it’s not. There are a lot of pieces that come together that need to sync perfectly to allow your penis to bloom.These factors include: blood flow, hormones, heart rate, and even REM cycles. Waking up with a boner means you’re healthy and everything is working the way it should and you’re at a lower risk of things like diabetes and heart disease.
Roman made the app simple and easy to use. Even before my first cup of coffee, answering “yes” or “no” was something my groggy mind was capable of. Being congratulated for my beautifully functioning manhood was a great start to the day and using the app became a highlight of my morning routine. My streak of erections displayed front and center on the app’s home screen became a symbol of pride. After a week, I’m happy to report that I appear to be in good health and that my week saw no lack of hardwood, glory, or pitched tents. But that’s not the reality for an increasing amount of men.
Studies show that a growing number of men are experiencing erectile dysfunction at a younger age. Of patients experiencing erectile dysfunction, 25-30% are under the age of 40. According to Dr. Reitano, Roman’s resident physician, the lack of morning erections in younger men can stem from a number of things relating to lifestyle, including increased alcohol intake, drug usage, and stress. The app aims to teach men the signs of erectile dysfunction and what that could mean in terms of health down the road. As Dr. Reitano puts it, “The lack of a morning erection is like the rattle you hear before the check engine light appears.” Waking up without morning wood is a sign you should take better care of yourself.
While men are quick to talk about sex, erectile dysfunction and sexual health don’t usually come up in conversation. “I woke up with a boner everyday this week,” isn’t something you normally tell people, let alone celebrate. That said, if my boner streak continues undisturbed for a week, I’m afraid I’m never going to shut up about it. I have a real hard on for this app, I guess.
Track your own erections to see if your morning glory is trying to tell you something. Download the app here.
Panacea is the new brand that wants to simplify Korean beauty
I tracked my morning wood for a week and was surprised at what I learned
For ASOS, casting diverse models is serious business
At Tom Ford, grooming is a rite of passage
The ‘Weak’ singers think men should embrace being, well, weak
Over the weekend, a woman came out to tell her personal story for the website babe, regarding her night with actor/comedian/producer Aziz Ansari.
Most of us have read it and there have been countless stories online that’s polarize the general public. But I’ve come to this conclusion: How is it that we’re even discussing a woman’s own trauma, her own important sexual assault story and experience in the first place?
Whether or not you believe this woman’s story is a tale of sexual assault or mitigates the #metoo movement is irrelevant. What we should be talking about is how deeply tied we, as a Western people, are when it comes to rape culture. We’re so embedded in sexual complicity, knees deep in this filth that it’s difficult to hold ourselves accountable let alone our peers.
Assault isn’t only about verbal non-consent, rather, using power and privilege while taking someone else’s, to get your way.
I’ve been Aziz. I’ve had so many experiences where in the drunken moment, I’ve massaged a girl’s shoulders, made out with others on a disco floor, without abandon blaming the fact that we were all f***ed up together. I’ve abused my charm and charisma to persuade girls to spend the night. I’ve also playfully nudged girls to rethink if they’d go down on me. I realize now that this wasn’t charming or lighthearted fun. It’s not even seduction in any sense. It’s clear that it’s enacting out on rape-like culture, something that I learned after this entire experience from peeling back the thick layers upon layers of my sexual desires.
Over the past 48 hours, my friends and I have opened up about our own transgressions in a safe non-judgmental text messaging group. It was clear that each of us had one thing in common: we never knew until now that we were part of rape culture. You see, we’ve been these feminist-flag waving men who marched alongside our female friends in the Women’s March. We’re the ones who’ve RT stories on the #timesup movement with pride and fervor, wore shirts with “The Future is Female” or “This is what feminism looks like,” to promote womankind. And we did so because we really believed that we were making a difference, serving women and allowing them to have their own powerful voices.
But our sex lives told another story. When I read this woman, “Grace’s” account about how Aziz behaved, at first, I thought it was a bad night of sex. After discussing this story and re-reading it, I realize that Aziz Ansari, while far from a Weistein-like predatory monster, is still complicit of rape culture. That’s because we as men don’t learn about nonverbal cues or the slightest nuances of discomfort. Instead, we take a woman as being coy if her body isn’t on top of us.
Assault isn’t only about verbal non-consent, rather, using power and privilege while taking someone else’s, to get your way. Could this woman have absolutely said hell f***ing no to Aziz and ran out the door? Sure. But it’s far more complex than that. Rape culture is when you go forward with your physical desires and don’t 100% take account of your partner’s. It’s not that Aziz or I ever forced someone to perform a sex act on us. That’s not the point. It’s about making sure a woman is totally, completely into it, tending to her needs, reading all of her cues and going forth with sex only if she’s consenting in any form. Does that make sex a little more complicated? Yes. Does it make it worth it? Most certainly. We have to make the effort and make ourselves accountable.
After all, I am complicit. I am part of rape culture. And I want to work hard every day at making sure it stops – me first.
How backyard weeds (yes, WEEDS) can be awesome for your skin.
I am part of rape culture.
Why are brands suddenly obsessing over your balding head?
A beautiful thing happens when we allow men to cry.
Your pillow is the real winner of your skincare regimen
When I first heard SZA sing a line in “Love Galore,” I was shook.
“Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me?” the chanteuse sings through my speakers.
It’s almost as if Sza is like all of us. Most of us have been there – being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same back. Whether someone’s consciously put you under their spell or not, there comes a time when your unrequited longing becomes too much to bear.
“But I know they love me,” you might say, yet through actions and things said, you start to understand deep in your gut that perhaps this is not the case. And even if they do share those feelings but are too afraid to express it, it’s not your job to pull it out of them. Spending sacred time on figuring out how another person feels about you is a disservice to yourself.
But even still, it’s not as easy as it may seem to make the connection that it is unhealthy. Even once you do, it can be overwhelming if not prepared with the right intentions of freeing yourself from these situations, (especially if you’re in love with a close friend).
Not being desired is never a fun feeling. When you want someone and they’ve rejected your advance, it stings. Here are six things I’ve learned when it happened to me.
1. Focus on what you want
Instead of focusing on why someone doesn’t want you, focus on what YOU really want and you’ll learn it’s probably not them, anyway. We can get stuck on a connection we want to transform and elevate into something higher, which is when we start longing for an intimate romantic relationship. But what if instead of that, it was actually a calling to finding greater love for yourself? When we don’t fully feel love for ourselves, we seek it in other people. We seek others to complete us. So focus on who you are and what you really want, allow these feelings to take you into the direction that’s best for you and you’ll start to attract romantic connections that share that same love.
2. Pay attention to what this connection is trying to show you
Relationships are assignments for growth. When you make a strong connection with someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the person to build a long-term romantic relationship with, it could be because they stir something up inside you that the universe wants you to look at and examine. For me, I was drawn to people who brought up the question inside me of “am I worthy?” I spent so much time wondering why they didn’t want me romantically despite our strong connection instead of appreciating and accepting the relationship for what it was. Each time they chose someone else, I internalized it as a sign that I was not worthy. This has nothing to do with them and everything to do with how I felt about myself. I understood that the universe would keep bringing me the same situation over and over until I grew from the lesson. Once I did that, and began work on healing my desire to be validated by another person, the pattern stopped.
3. Recognize recurring false assumptions
Is your automatic assumption when you’re not receiving hotline blings or catching the eye of someone in math class because you’re ugly and unwanted? It sure was for me! As I began the healing process, I became more and more aware of these types of thoughts. The best thing to do is not just replace them with more positive thoughts, but to truly look within for your own love and empowerment. The reason we are even making these assumptions in the first place is because we are used to looking outside for validation rather than being fully present in your own self-worth. By radiating that, we start to truly feel it and see no point in questioning your worth based on how other people see you. People can sense when your desire for feeling worthy depends on them and their actions. By no needing this, you attract more moments for cute connections.
4. Don’t become a victim or martyr to your story
Sometimes to protect ourselves we play into a victimhood/martyrdom mentality. It’s the view of “They led me on, why would they do this to me?” (victimhood) and “I give and give and give all my love but they can’t do the same for me” (martyrdom). We assign blame to the other person to avoid dealing with ourselves. Both are disempowering perspectives, both are coming from a false storyline you’ve come to believe in your life. As I began to see my patterns in these types of thoughts and heal them, I realized that as long as I had these types of beliefs, I would always attract relationships that played into it. Then I had an exciting moment when I realized the more I believed in the story of “I am loved, I am whole, I am growing” I thought about who I might meet that reflects that back at me, rather than searching for someone to flip the script in my head. Only you can rewrite your story and it starts by changing your thoughts.
5. Don’t villainize the other person
Variations of the phrase, “they missed out on a good thing” or “it’s their loss” is so silly because at the end of the day you should be focusing on how this is YOUR gain. When someone doesn’t want us in the way we do, our ego tells us to denounce the person in order to feel superior and unscathed. Don’t tell yourself that the other person doesn’t know what they’re missing, that’s a disempowering thought. This is actually a beautiful time to realize you’re on your way to find what’s best for you! Holding bitterness to the other person for not wanting you back blocks you from happiness and the story will continue with someone else.
6. Set your intentions
Now you can better set your intentions. Make sure your intention in freeing yourself is set from an empowering and positive place, not from a place of bitterness or victimhood. It can be easy to slip into thoughts like “this proves why I’m not good enough and will never be good enough” or “this person doesn’t know what they’re missing.” It’s nothing to do with your worth nor is it anything to do with the other person. The most empowering thoughts come from within, not depended on how others feel about you. So with that, affirm statements like, “I am loved” and “I am ready and open to allowing in the romance that’s best for me.”
Remind yourself that your self-worth and purpose transcend the validation of any relationship. Think of it this way, the more you vibrate loving frequencies for yourself, the more you’ll attract the love that you want as it’s reflected from inside you.
By setting intentions from a positive place rather than a negative space, you can come out of this tough situation as a new person with a whole new outlook. That’s when change in your patterns truly begins.
Manulani is a writer and speaker based in Brooklyn. They are a publicist and former Editor In Chief of QueerSpinster.com. Follow Manulani on Instagram or Twitter.
This celebrity beat Justin Bieber as Instagram's top followed guy of 2017
6 painful lessons I learned from loving someone who didn’t love me
No surprise, J.R. Smith really works hard on his complexion
The only way I’ve been keeping my cystic acne away.
When I was 17, I experienced erectile dysfunction (ED) for the first time.
My reaction was absolute confusion and frustration. Something was wrong and I knew it. It‘s hard to talk about erectile dysfunction at any age and I realized that there was not a single person with whom I could speak about it other than my father.
I was lucky. My dad was a physician and an expert in sexual health. Growing up, very few things were off limits at the dinner table. One day I mustered up the courage and finally brought it up (and when I say ‘finally’ I mean as long as a boy can wait when something might be wrong with his penis).
My dad asked me a few questions (“Are you depressed? Stressed? Using drugs?”) but after a few minutes, reassured me that I shouldn’t worry—we could fix this. Still, I’d seen that look on his face before when my sister was ill. He was concerned.
The next time we were exercising together, he took my pulse and made that face again. He stayed calm, but he knew something wasn’t right. He scheduled a stress test (where a physician monitors your heart as you exercise on a treadmill) for the following week.
I remember walking into the doctor’s office and passing a waiting room full of men in their 50’s and 60’s. Looking back on it now, I should have suspected it was a bad sign we were taking the same test but, at the time, I felt pretty confident I was going to crush it.
I hopped on the treadmill and started walking. Minute 3 hit and I was doing great. Minute 6 passed and I was almost having a good time. Minute 9 and I barely started to break a sweat. Minute 12 arrived and… my heart just stopped. The last thing I saw was the EKG monitor going nuts and the last thing I heard was my doctor asking for help. Nay, it was more like an urgent scream.
The memory that followed was me laying on the floor and looking up to see my dad and the doctor huddled over me. She explained that my heart had fluttered and, before I knew it, I was in the hospital for a procedure to burn the parts of my heart that were causing it to do something it shouldn’t. Frankly, that’s as much as I wanted to know.
I was cured, fixed, ready to get back into action, and the first thought I had was, well… you can imagine what my first thought might have been. But after the operation I continued to have a few minor irregular heart beats that required some medicine. My luck, that little white pill to keep my heart in check caused erectile dysfunction. I was pissed.
But I wasn’t alone. About 10% of young men experience ED. Because the conversation is so stigmatized, men aren’t going into the doctor’s office, talking about it with professionals, but seeking advice online. Worse, there are guys purchasing medication on the black market.
If we break it down – our penis has lots of small blood vessels. When you can’t get an erection, the small blood vessels are damaged in some way (could be from high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc.). These blood vessels are so small that if something is off in your body, often the first place you’ll notice it is in the strength of your erection. Granted, this totally sucks, but it also can be a huge lifesaver.
Yes, there is usually a medical issue brewing that leads to erectile dysfunction. ED is not the complete inability to get an erection. It’s not binary and it can be subtle. In reality, ED is a man’s equivalent to a car’s check engine light turning on; something’s wrong but we don’t know what until we get the car into the repair shop.
I could have ignored my “check engine light.” I could have been playing basketball that week and dropped dead. But that concerned look on my dad’s face was equivalent to a mechanic shaking his head telling you that your car was about to blow a gasket.
The fact of the matter is that a change in your capacity to get erections could be a sign that you have some pretty serious diseases doing damage in far more vital organs than your penis (vital to survival, anyway). It could be a possible sign of diabetes, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, or depression. The cause of ED is very important.
To this day, I cannot imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a physician as a father, if I didn’t have someone who created an environment where I felt comfortable expressing what I’m sharing with you today.
Guys do not want to talk about how they can’t get it up. Believe me, I get it. Before men could be easily treated for ED, before medication, before all the research showing why we have problems from time to time, what was the vibe associated with ED? Men were labeled as ‘impotent’ (a ridiculous word for an easily treatable and important medical condition) and told it was all in their heads. I sometimes think about all those older men who suffered silently and blamed themselves for what we now know was probably caused by an underlying medical problem. It’s time we speak out about it and get the help we need. Here’s to opening up the conversation.
Zachariah Reitano is the co-founder of Roman, a new service where guys can go online and get diagnosed, prescribed, and discreetly delivered ED medication – quickly and affordably. The site just launched and you can check it out here.
Can you practice Kbeauty without ~actually~ using Korean beauty products?
What it’s like to have erectile dysfunction as a teen
How actual Koreans think about Kbeauty will surprise you
Sex. You think about it. We think about it. We all obsess over it. It’s a part of our identity, culture and self-esteem. But when it comes to guys – especially young guys – why aren’t there more resources out there? Where do we turn to when we want to learn about our own bodies, safety and pleasure? Introducing our first-ever Sex Week, a week-long celebration on everything and anything sex. We’ll talk about different perspectives, what sex means to guys and why we don’t talk about it more. It’s all confusing, yes. So let’s talk about it more and normalize the conversation.
(Illustration by Joshua Lin/Very Good Light)
I experienced sex-ed for the first time this year, and I must say that my experience, along with that of trans people across the country, is one that can be greatly approved upon.
While what I say in this post is based on my experience at my school, it is important to note that the experience described is similar to the ones described by many of my trans friends. This post is not challenging cisnormativity in one school or one class, but as a whole. I ask that you think about the below in general terms, and as a reflection of our society, not solely my school or my sex-ed class.
What is it like to sit in a room and hear my anatomy referred to as ‘female’ seven times in a row? When my school hands out sheets that say ‘Female’ and have a picture of a vulva, ovaries, and a vagina, how can I not feel like my experience is incorrect? When I look at a sheet depicting anatomy labeled as ‘Male’ that doesn’t match what I know as a man, how can it not affect how I see myself? Why do the teachers at my school think it’s okay to mention transgender people as a caveat at the beginning of the class, then belittle our existence through cisnormative language for the next hour?
Our genitalia is seen as an appropriate subject of conversation, and for some reason people believe it plays into our validity as human beings.
During my school’s sexual education class, I learned a lot. I learned about STIs, I learned about various methods of contraception. I also learned that I’m an outsider. I learned that educators find it a chore to accommodate the trans people in the room.
When I confronted my teachers on their use of ‘female’ and ‘male’ anatomy I was told my frustration was an overreaction. I was told that I was only sensitive because it’s the first time I’d been through a sex-ed class since coming out. I was met by people who thought they had a better grasp on my feelings towards their teaching than I did. I’m tired of people who think doing what’s necessary to seem inclusive is enough. When we talk about trans lives, and trans bodies so often they are seen as exceptions to the norm.
No matter what genitals I have, my body is male. I am male.
Our genitalia is seen as an appropriate subject of conversation, and for some reason people believe it plays into our validity as human beings. No matter what genitals I have, my body is male. I am male. I have and always will be male.
There was a moment during our first sex-ed class where we were asked to raise our hand if we could correctly label anything on the anatomy of the ‘opposite sex’, a challenge that is structured in the falsehoods of binary gender and cisnormative culture. What anatomy am I supposed to label? There is nothing “opposite” about my vagina in relation to my male experience. Nor anything “opposite” about my male identity while not having a penis. Penises are not the genitalia of men, they are simply penises, and as such they can belong to anyone. I want to claim my vagina as male anatomy, because that is my true experience and therefore a valid experience.
Genitals do not have genders. I give no one permission to gender my genitals. Genitals exist on their own, without any labels attached, but have been given roles in society based on cisnormative culture, which has worked its way into our society, our classrooms, and our understanding of others and their bodies.
Genitals do not have genders. I give no one permission to gender my genitals.
I have every right to be worked up about the cisnormative ignorance and closed-minded teaching I experienced during sex-ed these past few months, because it was based in falsehoods and in an ideology that erases my existence.
Trans people exist.
Our bodies exist.
Intersex people exist.
Teaching to the cisgender students and not to the rest of us is harmful. By doing so teachers are denying their cisgender students the opportunity to understand the nuances, complexities, and errors in gender as we know it. Teachers are indirectly challenging the existence of some of the students in their class, and it is going unchallenged because it has been that way for so long.
I’m tired of having my identity accepted as a caveat, or having to accept dysphoria as a consequence of cisnormative teaching. (I’m also tired of having to explain dysphoria, but that’s another story.) My experience and that of every trans person is just as valid.
We are not exceptions.
We are people.
We need to talk about sexually transmitted infections.
I’m a transgender guy and sex education is failing me.
This is what happened when we threw our first-ever beauty bash
Brands are obsessed with boys and beauty. Is this a passing trend?
WTF is the difference between perfumes, colognes, body sprays and eau de toilettes?