Category Archives: Relationships

The Dark Side

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 3.14.18 PMIn Industry’s summer issue, I take a walk through the bar scene and ask if the experiences of sexual contest and conquest are really worth the bother (especially for women), or if our jollies are mostly in our mind anyway.

The Dark Side | Tales from late-night hookups, near misses, and the end of night wildlife in action.

Summer is upon us, and with it endless opportunities to drink in the hot sun and watch our potential attractive mate scenarios get both more fluid and plentiful. With greater potential for getting caught up in potentially embarrassing morning situations, maybe we can pick apart the anatomy of the sexual conquest and see if it’s worth the trouble.

Keep reading on Industry’s site here.

I know, I know, this is summer piece is right on time for winter. Will re-post next summer, but maybe the clash will make it interesting to read in a different way. This piece came out better than I thought it would, though my editor thought that it wasn’t really a “relationship” article. I had to defend it a bit. Some times you have to take the roundabout way of inquiry when something doesn’t really want to be looked at. Still, I think it’s one of my most accomplished in terms of delicacy of thought. When I satisfy myself, things start to look heaps brighter!

Happy holidays!

Truth and Consequences

Truth and Consequences header

In the March/April 2014 issue of Industry I look at some of the effects that social media has on our social lives. Truth and Consequences: How to find a balance between honing a productive social media identity, and attention-hungry cyber lurking

Social media does alter our experience of ourselves as social beings, especially when it replaces part or all of our social life. Sometimes I use it mostly logistically, i.e. to see what’s going on with friends in town. But occasionally it gets more distant, going into browsing, as when I check out the page of someone I just met, wondering if they’re doing the same. I feel sudden self-conscious doing this. Usually people aren’t up on the latest privacy snafu of facebook’s, and so even if you’re not friends you can just watch people as they live. Right there online. Or at least, get a flavor of their life, leaving room for doubt, obviously.

Self-consciousness is something I used to think I outgrew in my 20s, but its reemergence in the context of my online persona is fitting, as I’m literally allowing people to spectate at me, to know about, instead of know. Can we help creating a strange publicized hybrids of ourselves? One day maybe we’ll all know what celebrities must feel like, even down to having your (not to mention other people’s) livelihood depend solely on your online popularity.

From the article:

I’ve never really thought of myself as a private person. Ask me a question, the more personal the better. I’ve always erred on the side of too much information. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that many times people prefer to be lied to sweetly, to be let down gently than told the ugly truth. I’m more discerning now about what I share, not only to preserve my privacy but also, the mystery. This goes against the tide of social media and on-line dating–realms in which we are compelled to give more and more information and about ourselves to a more general audience.

Read more here: Truth and Consequences

 

the fucking mystery, right?

After writing this I realized that now, when I share something with someone in person, or even on the phone in a one-on-one conversation, it feels very intimate. It’s only in contrast to social media, where everything feels flatter and less risky in a real way. But that’s kind of cool as an unexpected outcome.

The Long Mile: How did a car come to mean so much?

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.47.28 AMFor the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Industry, I contrast two moments in my life: buying my first car and, years later, my potential second.  The Long Mile: What our shifting desires can tell us about where we are on our own journey.

 

 

Recently, I drove a big, smooth, sleek, insulated ride–a Ford crossover called the Edge. My reliable little Corolla was in the shop. Whenever anything happened to it (this time a hit-and-run while it was parked) I thought back to the good old days when I had just three things total to worry about…days when I opened my mail monthly.

…I had to admit that despite its size, its gas mileage, its flashiness, I liked living in the Edge. It was comfortably a level up–sleek, self-announcing, not remotely soccer mommy. It seemed made for me, and it made me want to fill in its promise, whether with children or camping gear and a dog.

Read more here: The Long Mile

How about you? Have you had an experience with a purchase that gained an outsize significance in your life?

Games Worth Playing

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My latest column for Industry is up! Games Worth Playing: How a ritual based upon the I Ching can change the way we think about life and love

 

Perhaps readers are aware of the concept of the filter bubble: that with more and more tools to personalize online offerings, we are more in danger of seeing only the news we want to see. The term, while a nice coinage for the internet and indebted age, is not new. In relationships, too, we see what we want to see.

The bubble first grows in our heads, a fact I learned from a 3,000-year-old book
of divination called the I Ching, or the “Book of Changes.”

I’ll risk my reputation as a serious individual here to admit that, when it comes to relationship deciphering, I’m addicted to what could be considered a tool for magical thinking.

Read more here.

Motion & Heart

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I wrote about dancing—why I stopped, why I started again, how it was different—in my latest column for Industry.

This is dedicated to an ex with whom I rediscovered dancing. To my aunt who’s from the 80s. And to Late Bar, where I’ve had lots of fun escapades.

I’m still serious. I have to check in with myself sometimes. Maybe I’m feeling more “library” than “club” tonight. Did I just let my friends drag me out because I don’t want to be that silly loser alone on a Saturday night?

Or am I feeling circumspect? Maybe someone here will engage in a good, fleshy philosophical debate with me. About parties, pickups, or hookups, or hookahs, or high-tops, or highballs.

I still notice how others react to me. Maybe it’s a foible of being a girl, or maybe it’s just human. I’ve never been a particularly fine dancer, but it turns out that it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you mean it. The attitude is already half a put-on, winking, oversold to sell–to be appreciated but not awed.

Read the rest here.

Marriage: A New Territory

One nice thing about writing a relationship column is that I can justify my long years of obsessive thinking about relationships. It legitimizes all that wasted time. Another is that I can rope others into my endless questioning of certain matters that for most are long settled.

So it was that I asked some friends on Facebook, “How’s marriage different from a long term relationship?”

As more straight couples are opting for simple cohabitation over marriage, the worth that gay people attach to it is prompting me, and perhaps others, to reconsider. Yes, far from depreciating marriage, as some fear, gay marriage has made boring old parochial institution a bit sexy again.

Keep reading here in the May/June Industry.

Feminist Mystique

A half-century after Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique awakened us to feminism’s meaning and implications, a tally of what we’ve accomplished, and just how far we have to go.

This is also about men who dominate conversations, men’s preternatural self-confidence versus women’s (whose is hard-won, due to a sometimes self-negating tendency to keep harmony), and of course, those who circumvent and misdirect our ambitions. Men don’t get this. They can hardly be argued out of knowing what they want.

Read the rest here in this month’s Industry magazine.

 

The New Girl: How Does Change Happen?

Chinese new year seems more suitable for making resolutions (or setting intentions, in the parlance of our time) than Jan. 1, post-holiday, when we are tired and overfed. In Industry‘s Jan/Feb issue (and its first Brooklyn edition!), I try to sort out how change actually happens.

The new year is a time for turning over a new leaf, they say. We all know how that goes, though. Some years are better than others. In real time, the future is a promise and the past a memory. Around this time of year, we do have a moment’s pause, a sense of the last year being over and the next not quite here. This moment in between may last only a day or two, as we scramble to tease the disparate strands of experience, integrating them into a larger story, “My Life,” (with chapters “My Love Life” and “My Career”) and reorient ourselves. Then, the portal closes up, and we are left in the middle again to muddle through.

Read the rest here: The New Girl: On the Thrill and Terror of a New Year

Red Flags

My latest column for Industry Nov/Dec. 2012 issue:

Red Flags …and all the things we’re worried about in relationships that are really not that big of a deal

An excerpt:

Maybe the writers of these one-size-fits-all relationship articles are trying to be helpful, but they are little better than hucksters selling us a panacea, that holy grail of the “right relationship.” We chase apocryphal fantasies, that outlier couple who knew each other only a short time before getting married, and who are happy thirty years later. But these ideas have little personal meaning for us. We haven’t earned those insights. As much as we’d like to be able to make rational decisions based on unbiased observations, relationships and our perceptions of them are pretty much the opposite of that: they are emotional, partial, and incomplete, and our love flows from some intangible source while our knowledge lags behind.

Read the rest here. Thanks!

Cosmo Grrrl

My latest Industry article Cosmo Grrl …On sex icon Helen Gurley Brown’s passing, finding mojo in print, and some advice on writing relationship articles.

Maybe Cosmo indoctrinated me into lady concerns, or gave me a slight complex about my body, but that HGB took her readers more seriously than did the tween mags on offer was obvious. I might never have shiny hair or wear skirt suits, but I was a Cosmo girl in independence.

Read it here.