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  2. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    On March 8, 2012, author and former music video model Karrine “Superhead” Steffans posted a diatribe about a husband on her Twitter account. (She and her real-life husband are currently separated.) After having dated Bill Maher, Jay-Z, Vin Diesel, Fred Durst, Lil’ Wayne, Russell Simmons and Bobby Brown, Steffans married an regular non-celebrity guy.  She is a Mom. Here are some of her rants about marriage:
    Sometimes, in relationships, the pleasure is all theirs. Alone, I am a superhero. With you, I am a mere mortal. You deplete me. I’m tired of being your upgrade. We are not equally yoked. You really deserve someone more basic. I’m tired of pretending your mediocracy is okay with me. I’m tired of pretending I don’t miss G650′s. I’m tied of pretending you’re not a burden.  I’m tired of pretending I don’t deserve a f***ing BOSS! I’m tired of you driving my car. Stop telling me you love me as if you’re doing me some sort of favor. I don’t need you to love me. I love me. I’m tired of pretending like you shouldn’t be intimidated by the other men in my life. Cuz you should. I’m tired of pretending as if I support your bullshit dreams. I’m tired of pretending your d*** isn’t the smallest d*** I’ve ever seen in my life. Cuz it is. I’m tired of pretending your favorite rapper didn’t just beat it up on Friday. I’m tired of paying for everything. I’m tired of you taking all this s*** for granted as if you ever deserved any of it. Give me my Mac back. For real tho. I’m tired of washing your wack ass clothes. I hate your whole face. I’m tired of acting like the sex is good.I hate when you roll all the way over onto my side of the bed to hold me. I’m over here for a reason. Did I mention I’m tired of paying for everything? Okay. I’m tired of giving you the game. I’m tired of pretending you’re anything more than a bum. I should’ve just hired you as a cook and kept it moving. I’m tired of congratulating you for accomplishing minuscule s***. I’m tired of you begging.
    I’m tired of moaning when I can’t feel anything! I’m tired of having to think about someone else to get off. I’m tired of having to lock my phone when you’re around. I’m tired of taking showers with you. Can I get a moment! Damn! Yes. He’s better than you. Next question. All night. ‘Til 6 in the morning. Next question. Yes. And I didn’t have to pay for none of it. Next question. Presidential suite. Next question. About 10 inches. Next question.69. Next question. Like a boss. Next question. Balls deep. Next question. I’m tired of having to pretend you’re not the 3rd worst decision I’ve ever made. You should really be with that one chick who bagged our groceries this weekend. That’s more your speed.
    BLIND GOSSIP 03/07
    In a case where one half of a couple makes substantially more than the other, who pays for the engagement ring? Well, in the case of these three engaged couples where the woman has the bigger paycheck, it certainly wasn’t the future groom. The first couple went directly to the jeweler and cut a deal for a very impressive diamond sparkler. They worked out an arrangement where the couple agreed to make x number of mentions of the jeweler in the press for a 50% discount. Then the female half of the couple paid the balance in cash. The second couple tried harder than anyone to try to talk multiple jewelers into a free ring. When no one would agree to the freebie, she simply turned to her future fiance and said, “Here’s the money. You know what I like. Now, go get me the biggest fucking diamond you can.” The third couple knew ahead of time that they were getting engaged, and she knew exactly what she wanted. Because she likes to control everything, she picked out the ring in a secret private buying session with the jeweler, where they settled on a price. Then she later gave the money to the boyfriend, who went to the store to pay for the ring. Of course she pretended that she had no idea that there was a ring coming, that she was thrilled with her fiance’s taste, and that she was so impressed that he paid for the ring himself. So, when you see those shining baubles on the ring fingers of these lucky stars, you now know that in all three cases, the future groom didn’t have to lay out his own cash… but that he still gets to look like he’s a generous man with good taste.
    first couple: Kim Kardashian
    second couple: Nicole “Snooki” Pollizzi
    third couple: Natalie Portman
    WARNING SIGNALS
    Women are bombarded daily with tales to make us want to marry our Prince Charming.  A lot of guys are charming in spades with nary a speck of prince.  We can be so blinded by our dream wedding marrying goal that we may not see the steer we are yoking ourselves to until it is sitting in our condo, on our couch, watching our flatscreen and demanding spending money from our account.  And that’s great if it is indeed what you want with your eyes open.
    Too often we don’t hear about a guy’s tax lien, obsession with controlling, bad credit, retirement account depleted by divorce, disdain for working or entitlement to our material wealth until the marriage license is signed and we are pregnant.
    Again, it could be a perfect scenario if you want control of your husband and his dependency on you.  Eyes wide open, my dears.  Because I’m though still not sure what Jessica Alba’s husband Cash Warren does for a living, she seems happy with their arrangement.  And so does he.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    We know how Kim Kardashian’s marriage turned out. She balked at him moving his stuff into her LA home.  Now, according to published articles,  he’s demanding $7 million to forego embarrassing her in divorce court.  Heidi Klum would have been happy bankrolling her family life if Seal could have been happy for her to work while he stayed home with the kids.  In the end, neither of these famous couple could negotiate the right balance.
    Maybe neither wife knew her husband and his priorities and b**ch-ass side well enough before they walked down the aisle.
    The “man on the wedding cake” was a smidgen of the real-life burden marriage brought into these women’s lives. Also a smidgen of the blessings.
    Not the end of the world but definitely worth considering.  Take your time. Ask your questions.  Consider a pre-nup.
    Food for thought.

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  3. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    Alana and I met Toby in a Verizon store in Baltimore. Toby was friendly and we had great chemistry right off. He asked me out for crabcakes but at the end he discovered he forgot his wallet. I paid for dinner. He’s a bartender and I teach third grade.  We saw each other every day. Within four months, he moved into my place.  I was having the best time. Things went mostly well until it seemed like he never had regular work hours.  Then I heard all about him making out with his ex-girlfriend.  When I asked him about it he turned all wet & fed Gremlin-after-midnight. He got angry and called me names. I told him if he wanted her he could move out and go be with her. But then he pulled himself together. He embraced me and said he was gonna be patient and wait for me to get over being jealous and controlling.  Between kisses and lovemaking, he convinced me everything was okay. Like a mama cat petting and cleaning her kitten, he groomed me back into trusting him.
    -Catalina H.
    My boyfriend Albie and I decided to spend Christmas vacation apart.  I went with my family and he went on a cruise to Jamaica.  He called me late at night on Dec. 25th to wish me a Merry Christmas.  And then he just sat there silently on the phone.  So of course I take the bait and ask. “What’s wrong?” So he ‘fesses up that his ex-girlfriend is on the cruise with him and he cheated. Of course, he explains, “It just happened.”  Merry Christmas, y’all!
    -Daniella M.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    I’m not gonna play Pollyanna and say cheating never happens.  And there is the school of thought that says being honest even after doing wrong is best.  But let’s consider the possibility that telling our loved one how we did them wrong is the point of the whole shady endeavor.
    In this scenario, it ain’t enough to just cheat — the perpetrator thrills in rubbing Girlfriend A’s nose in the mess with Lover B.  It’s not just sex the jerks wants.  It’s not just the ability to seduce two different women either.  Keeping one secret from the other just isn’t enough. The kink the jerk really seeks is sexual power at the expense of  the other woman scenario.  Power to deprive, power to humiliate, power to scorn.
    For a disordered, power-hungry man, there’s no richer set-up to derive this power than through triangulation: flaunting a new fling to his girlfriend and instigating hatred and jealousy among his conquests.  All the while he is solely to blame and can often be still highly desired by the women he wronged.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    There’s a lot rotten with this picture.  But how do you avoid or stop it?
    See beyond the glittering, desirable surface. The winning smile, the passionate embrace, the romantic talk of being together for the future are the sales points. The intensity and singular, focused attention of our lover may blind us to his or her real intentions. This is how he grooms and positions you to gratify his ego & sexual desires by using you as one corner of the love triangle.  If nothing else, the fact of the revealed love triangle should tell you he’s not quite as interested in not hurting you, or giving a damn how you feel when he clowns you by cheating.

    Know your weak points. A love con artist is looking to lure you in.  He will give you something you want to position you as his victim.  Your loneliness, romantic ideals, openness to companionship or ticking biological clock are all detectable vulnerabilities.  Ruthless Romeo will zero in on and  exploit your weak spots to his advantage.
    Don’t give up on your love quest.  But do tuck knowledge of these behaviors into your tool belt. Beware and take steps to nip this in the bud.
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  4. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    I have a love story I’m just bursting to share.  I had just moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn and joined the organic Food Coop there.  I was racing from my 6:00 am monthly Coop workslot to the R train to go to work. I was walking really fast and I broke my heel!  I didn’t just break it — I lost my balance and tumbled into trash cans put out on the sidewalk for trash day.  The contents of my tote bag flew into the gutter and my legs ended up over my head.  Compounding the problem?  A booming male voice asked if I was okay and powerful male hands hoisted my tail out of Oscar the Grouch’s home.  Beet red I was.  Handsome and laughing he was.  I think I found my husband.  Six weeks of brunches and rollerblading later, I still think so.
    -Maeve H.
    Dude! All the ladies magazines say never to go out of the house without makeup while wearing sweatpants.  But I was moving from Greenwich Village up to Murray Hill.  The last few fragile items,  back and forth.  I was a sweaty New York August mess.  No makeup, dirty grey sweat pants, sweaty t-shirt, sweaty face.  I was trundling down 26th street off 3rd Avenue when I dropped  a stuffed lion wearing my college team colors.  I couldn’t manage to stoop down low enough to puck my baby lion from the gutter and ended up toppling to the sidwalk on my bum.  Somebody started snickering at my failed acrobatics.  I looked up and saw Jake.  He stuck his hand out to help me up with my burdens.  And he placed my lion on top.  I said, “Don’t laugh — it has sentimental value.  I got it at the only game the Lions won while I was undergrad.”  He said, “Oh, I was at that game.  The Tigers beat you 20 to 12.”  We both growled our team growls.  Um, yeah.  So we went out later for hot wings and March Madness.  We’ve been together three months now.
    -Carlyle K.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    You’re just doing you.  You’re in a great mood.  Life is moving right along.  Like a train, you pause at a random station and hey, some guy would like to *ahem* join you.  The universe bes like that sometimes.  And sometimes that is a very good thing.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Be clean.  Be well put-together.  Have style even in simple jeans, t-shirt and ballet flats.
    Take care of yourself well.  Eat, sleep, exercise, wear sunscreen.
    Be confident.  You are the best you around.
    Show a bit of body curve.
    Feature one lovely body part. Cleavage, great hair, pedicure, smile OR derriere. Not all at the same time.  Less is more.
    Love life and you might just find someone to help you love it more.  ;-)
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  5. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION
    Daydreaming. Lusting. Wanting.  You have to forgive me because after meeting Justin yesterday at the beach, I’m feeling a little boy-crazy. I was just sitting in the sunshine watching guys skateboard and grind rails against a background of grafitti and waves.  Some burnouts I know were giving all us gals free shoulder massage.  Word to the wise: not every free masseur is a good masseur.  Then Justin sat down next me quietly.  After a long while he said: “Hi.”  Glorious green-hazel eyes and a calm vibe.  Like a pretty puppy you’d want to rub behind his shaggy ears.  Amber hair shaved into a mohawk that’s grown out.  Cool threads.  Tall, lean, angular.  He smelled good.  But, y’know — it’s the beach & I gotta be on my guard.  Chicks get drugged at the beach, ass-kicked at the beach and raped at the beach.  The loveliness of the scenery is some straight Deceptacon shiz-nit.  Ya gotta keep your eyes open.   But scruffy, adorable Justin somehow broke down my defenses.  How?  He offered to give me a bicycle.  I protested, “But you don’t even know me.”  He explained he didn’t need it.  Purple.  A beach cruiser.  Suddenly I wanted nothing more than that purple bicycle.  And to nuzzle Justin’s tanned neck adorned with coppery curls.  I wanna snuggle with him in the tent he sleeps in on the beach. It’s like that simple gesture — the unexpected gift (likely stolen and unneeded) — made me mad with desire for him.  Still.
    -Nellie K.
    I went to get a spare key made for my Mom’s visit and I fooled around and fell in love.   Yeah, I never saw it coming. Sweaty and toting heavy bags, I visited one of those parking lot locksmith kiosks.  A plump, swarthy man in overalls gingerly took my keyring and proceeded to tell me about my life based on the keys I had.  What kind of office I worked in, what kind of house I lived in, my gym habits and my car.  Just by looking at my keys. What an unexpectedly interesting man.  I dunno — I had always figured locksmiths to be like maintenance men.  Unskilled, illiterate, maybe even former jailbird who went straight after a lifetime of picking locks and hot-wiring cars.  Not so.  This locksmith is travelled, speaks three languages and is a Navy veteran whose favorite TV show is “The Unit.”  Nice hair, nice vibe.  I stooped.  I slummed.  I had coffee with him at Fred Segal.  This locksmith nursed his mother through her slow death from cancer.  This locksmith gives his diabetic dogie insulin shots everyday.  This man is a real man. And now I’m just gaga over him. Not that he can read in English.  Not that he can spell or text.  I know.  But let me have my locksmith!
    -Rachel P.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    Sometimes the time between running into the right man and recognizing the right man is the most painful time.  But then the unexpected hottie sneaks up on you and life is just like a song.  These guys might not be perfect.  But the charm and appeal of a nice man is hard to resist.  Maybe in the end it’s better to be rational.  But darn if it isn’t fun to imagine, feel and toy with the possibility of the greatest love of all.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Connection is powerful.  Even if fleeting, it makes you feel so darn good all over.  Happy to slog through drudgery and traffic just to see him again.  Le sigh.  Enjoy it when you find it. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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  6. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    My name is Mathilde and I come from the Phillipines.  After I barely made it out of high school there, I saw many American soldiers and tourists visit Manila. How rich they all were!  I yearned for a better life without my 9 family members living together in a small house.  I love my family but no one on American television has relatives sleeping on the floor in the living room.  I dreamed of a better life with grocery stores and shopping and big houses.  But I couldn’t get a visa to work in America.  Then it hit me — my auntie Berta had married an American G.I. and got a non-resident alien card.  So I got creative.  I used my high school diploma to apply to study at Santa Clara College in California and got a student visa in my name.  Then when I got to the States, I planned to use my “borrowed” Auntie Berta’s passport and social security card.  My family told me I was being a stupid girl.  They forbade me to go.  Mami took my money and my passport away.  But that didn’t stop me.   I had stolen Auntie’s ID and we look similar.  So that is how I, Mathilde, became Berta. I had sold my family’s TVs to get the money to buy my ticket.  I flew right to Santa Clara, CA and lived in the dorms, studying to be a nurse.   I even had my own work-study job in the library.  Soon I met a nice Filipino  postal worker called Petey who was separated from his wife.  He’s got a Federal job with the government.  Freddy and I went on dates hiking and eating at restaurants!  There were so many nice Filipinos in California.  Our love grew and soon I found out I was pregnant.  This was my dream come true – a baby of my own!  And my baby would anchor me in the country.  And Freddy would be my  American husband.  I bragged to my family in the Phillipines.  I was having the last laugh.  But now my daughter Kimmy is two years old.  And Freddy went back to his wife.  And I am too scared to get the welfare because I’ll get caught for immigration fraud.  Freddy says he loves Kimmy but now he says he wishes she was never born.
    -Mathilde O.
    I am Marta.  I work at California University where my two sons get free college tuition.  My pretty boy ex-husband Cliff is goodlooking and charming.  Cliff is also a deadbeat Dad to the tune of $400,000 he owes me and his sons.  But Cliff chooses not to work or to work at his own business just enough to get by.  That way the courts can’t garnish his wages.  My sons are good boys and they want to finish their educations with graduate degrees.  I’m barely getting by and their Dad does nothing!  I hate my life and I feel like I can’t control the  neurosis of my anger at Cliff.  It’s as if he’s acting like he has no responsibility for his sons. To be honest, I was always the breadwinner, the responsible one. I’m on the verge of bankruptcy. I don’t regret my sons but if I had the chance to do it all over again, pretty boy-cheapskate Cliff wouldn’t be my husband.
    -Marta Q.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    This impulse to impregnate women and then opt out of responsibility is as stunning as it is common.  There’s so many ways to avoid pregnancy.  But the mental game that fools women is that the men do everything to knock you up and then sometime thereafter act dumbfounded that they’re expected to ante up to care for them.  These losers truly believe they can opt out of being Dads by choosing not to and withholding funds from their own seeds.  Financial abortion is dastardly and cowardly.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Situations like these underscore the importance not only of marriage but the full integration of families that can keep papa in line emotionally and financially.  Outside the courts and paternity tests, the road of single motherhood can be a risky and bitter one.

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  7. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    My boyfriend Ward is a successful songwriter and DJ.  He’s signed to Young Money and he behaves like the Prince song: he wants to be my lover, my mother, my brother, my sister too, and my father. I’m so lucky that Ward supports me while I finish college and medical school.  Ward swears he’s a good Christian and focused on family.  He’s a great boyfriend  and we’re gonna get engaged at Christmas.  Ward claims he has the ultimate respect for me as his girlfriend.  Then why do I have crabs? 
    -Sheila M.
    My boyfriend Rajiv is very smart — the Cornell grad is going to be a doctor.  He spent the whole summer studying really hard for his medical board examinations. I’m really proud to be his girlfriend. On August 30th, I teased Mr. Workaholic into taking a break to celebrate his birthday at his favorite BBQ restaurant in Murray Hill. We had the candles and sparklers and singing waitress with a molten chocolate lava cake.  One of the other waitresses pulled me aside and asked me why my boyfriend has three different birthdays and three different girlfriends to celebrate each one with him. So Rajiv is the man with three birthdays. He has 3 girlfriends at the same time and he told us all different birthdays: June, July and August 30th. He kept the dates similar so that if any one of us looked at his Driver’s License, he could say that there was a mistake at the DMV. Rajiv is really smart. I mean, a douchebag but a smart one. And I got played like a Stradivarius.
    -Nora K.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    These days, being girlfriend and boyfriend doesn’t always count for much besides friendly sexual access. Many men get a “girlfriend” not because they love the woman, but because this is the simplest and easiest way to get laid consistently for cheap.
    Ladies, this is the new game in town:  ”The Bullsh*t Title.”
    Dinner is a setup — you know how it’s gonna end. Meeting his friends, co-workers and Mom is just a ruse to make it seem real. Time together is spent watching TV at home. You’ll be doing alot of hot sex. Not that anything’s wrong with hot sex. But what’s the point?  Where is it going?  Very likely nowhere. Women stay “girlfriends” with a B.S. man for years and realize way late that he never planned to marry them. He may talk kids, marriage and homebuying but… Is he funny about giving you gifts you can keep?  Dodgy about travelling together and spending holidays together?  Having events and trips you aren’t welcome at? “Hanging with the boys” again? When it’s all said & done, he enjoyed the consistent piece of ass.  I hope you enjoyed delivering it, too.
    Deciphering the B.S. is what this blog and the dating game is all about.  And it can be tougher to solve than the Rubik’s cube.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Don’t fall for the “B.S. title” game.
    If you both felt you struck gold with each other, then there would be no need keep dating and having lovers behind your back.  
    Next!


     
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  8. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

    I’m a Virginia native.  Third generation to graduate from the University of Virginia.  I try to be a solid friend and sorority sister.  I met my boyfriend Ethan at Homecoming.  We’ve been dating six months. I’ve tried to be sweet and attentive and pamper him every way I know how. In that time, we’ve gone to dinner and I’ve made him dinners. We’ve become intimate and it has been great.  We’ve spent nights over and weeks at home together.  I’ve given him some small thoughtful gifts — a Kindle, a humidor, sneakers. But he’s never given me not one gift. Ever.  No gifts, not a single card, no flowers.  We’ve never gone away for the weekend together.  We do argue and he won’t apologize ever.  He just explains his position and experience of the conflict issue and then acts like it’s over. He goes to weddings without me.  Now he’s gone to Rome over Thanksgiving weekend and excused it saying all he did was save money by sleeping over at his ex-girlfriend’s home and going sightseeing “by himself.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. Ethan wasn’t secretive about his special jaunt across the pond — no, he’s been quite upfront. I believe he’s asked for his freedom so I’ve given it to him.  Of course, he downplays all this.  Acts like and talks like any problem is all mine in my head.  Of course, he has put his hand on my neck to shake me and make sure I’m listening as he trivializes this catalog of offenses I’ve “imagined in my head.” Really, Ethan? Really, buddy?
    -Jimena L.
    My fiance Michael is a bit of an egomaniac but I love him.  He’s really busy as a real estate broker.  It is not easy to be involved with him since he forgot my birthday and still feels it’s okay to attend formal balls without me but with “platonic” girlfriends from college. Michael wants to waste hours of my time hanging out and calling me to talk about himself.  He wants to go out by himself, to the opera without me, to business dinners without me. He says “No big deal.” But I think he wants all the goodies of having a girlfriend but without delivering on any but the minimum of the responsibilities.  Clearly I’m just part of his rotation.  His attitude is why am I wanting anything more than what little he’s willing to give.  He discounts my concerns that he is being disloyal and disrespectful.  His “why are you bugging me” attitude is a big reason I can’t see a future for us anymore. I just wanted to find someone to love me. And who I could love. And trust. But this is all I got.  If Michael’s love was weed, it wouldn’t be enough to get high on.
    -Maggie R.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    Wow.  Just wow.  The things we accept are mostly things we’ll regret.  And there are a couple of big red flags just a-flapping in the wind with Jimena’s and Maggie’s relationship dynamics.
    Reduction words are tip-offs that try to minimize unethical behavior: “Almost never” “sort of” “barely” “no big deal” “not more than” “only a little” “all I did was” “kind of” “but” “once” “just” “merely.”
    But why minimize?  Some guys do it because you’re upset and they don’t think you should be.  Some guys wanna do the deed and skip out on the blame. Techniques range. Denying that he intended to hurt you by cheating is big. Claiming “it just happened” as if the action came from the sky and the mists above.
    Minimizing lets you know dude believes he’s more important than you. Like when he insists a teasing, hurtful remark was only a joke.  And then adds he rarely jokes like that when he often does.
    The most crazy-making minimizing technique comes down to manipulation.  You didn’t hear what you heard.  You couldn’t have seen him do it because it never happened. Therefore he neither has to acknowledge what you imagined nor deal with the hurtful impact of his actions.
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    You are a grown-up and you don’t require anybody’s help to think any more than you need help to breathe.  By minimizing his transgressions, the person in your life is warning you and telling you he has an abusive nature.
    Insults, belittling comments, ignoring you, or acting sulky or angry when you initiate a discussion — these behaviors have no place in a healthy, loving relationship.
    And if he does not view you as an equal because he’s older or sees himself as smarter or socially superior, you need to give him his walking papers. It’s not gonna get better.
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  9. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION
    I went to college with Kevin.  He was the cool Quarterback upperclassmen that all girls wanted and all the hot, sexy guys from my year looked up to. For Kevin, college was the place where the difference between being a man-slut and popular was negligible. I only knew him on a “what’s up” basis and from going to parties he threw.  Not a frat guy but superstar-popular on campus. But since I worked in media after graduation, I eventually got to know him when he did business with my company.  Lunch at Asia de Cuba, Aquavit, Patria and Lutece.  At nearly 50 years old, Kevin eventually got married.  He and every other well-to-do dude in New York City had gone through the gotta-get-a-lesbian fetish in for a while. And that evolved into the-do-you-have-a-girlfriend-who-could-watch-us riff.  Gross, right?  But that’s Manhattan.  Just like casual games of strip-poker for oral sexual favors.  Not my kind of party but it’s like in the water or something. I just laughed it off as “strange-seeking.”  But now Kevin incessantly invites me over to share dinner and wine with his spicy Dominican wife.  They have some huge collection of Japanese pornos.  He sounds so weird when he talks about it. Like he’s in a trance. The things he’s says are creepy. I know I ain’t going.  Ever. It’s actually sickening.  I think I liked it better when I didn’t know him all that well.
    -Kimberly G.
    Xander is my new friend from the ad agency where I freelance.  It’s cool to get to know a hip guy who runs in my same fancy, upscale circles in New York City but there’s just some lines I’ve never crossed.  And I probably never will.  I’ve never felt that my sex life was under-populated, that there needed to be a second, third, fourth or fifth person in the room for me to get off.  Sex fantasy is one thing but I honestly think I would die of embarassment for there to be more than A and B involved.  But it’s like e-eeeverybody has done it.  Three-way sex. Menage-a-trois. Not just the guys, not just in Vegas or the Dominican Republic, not just the bisexual chicks.  So here I am in the slow lane loving life.  I just don’t see the point.  And I don’t think I’m being a prude.  It’s like even when I was just a puppy, kissing one person was mind-blowing and amazing.  I didn’t have spare bandwidth to consider one more mouth or person.  Maybe these people have had some sexual abuse situation?  I know I’m grabbing at straws to understand it but I just don’t.  Of course, I’ve worked with people who are public figures who are very promiscuous or seem to be in cases where it’s a front for being gay.  And I know desperate ugly girls who get around, acting as if they’re so fire-hot.  But along comes Xander talking much nonsense about: “All my swinger friends are millionaires and very successful. You know, everyone gets together at a hotel suite or country home.  And it’s a upscale, classy, chill vibe…” All I can think of is the midget orgy scene from Bob Guccione’s Caligula.  Oh, I think I would be appalled when I wasn’t dying laughing.  I’m just not mature enough for the classy swinger scene.  Or whatever.
    -Raquel V.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    These are strange days, my friend.

    According to Emily Rothman, an associate professor of community health sciences at Boston University Health Medical Center, 7.3% of teens admitted to having multi-person sex (MPS), 52% reported being pressured, and 43% reported being threatened or forced. The sexual extremes are considered part of the “new normal.”  It’s sung about by Katy Perry in pop songs and the terminology is played upon by Nicki “Minaj.”
    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Grown, consenting adults can do what they like but this just seems like too much risk.  Vis-a-vis venereal disease, mental health and the green jealousy monster.
    Have people become de-sensitized so regular one-on-one sex ain’t enough?  The mind continues to boggle…


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  10. LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION
    So let  me tell you about some trouble I've been having at work.  Please note that I work on the seventh floor of the Biscayne Building off Times Square.   A week ago, our marketing firm Dunn-Mahoney just had its huge annual blowout holiday party at the Rosecranz Ballroom.  It was the usual debauchery with thousands of workers and clients from the world over, open top-shelf bar, drunken confessions of secret love and grinding on the dance floor.  Since the party, I have been the object of vicious gossip, hushed whispers in the ladies room, dirty jokes at my expense and the side-eye for real.  Please note:  I work with a woman Sally who's the daughter of a famous actor. We don't look alike but we are a similar type -- shoulder-length dark hair with blue eyes.  Also note that I am friends with a lot of the movers and maintenance men -- deli sandwiches and Heinekens go a long way to buying some corporate love.  So I get to work Monday and someone has scratchitti-ed on my office door and window: "SLUT" "WHORE" "AIDS" and "DIRTY BITCH."  I am dumb-founded.  I've worked here for three years without incident.  Now this.  I confront my office manager Petal about what she knows.  Petal crosses her arms and huffs, "It's because of the Christmas party."  So I says to her I went to the Christmas party, ate aplenty, had a few shots of Stoli Vanil, danced my ass off and took a car home.  Did I forget something?  Petal says I'm leaving out the part where I hooked up with four guys from the West Coast office in an orgy at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and everyone got gonorrhea.  I laughed out loud -- I left the holiday party early alone, got home in time to watch Jimmy Fallon. Plus, I insisted, I don't have gonorrhea.  A small coterie of workers had gathered within earshot as Petal asked, "Are you sure you don't have gonorrhea?"  I say, hell yeah I'm sure.  I tromp away in disgust but you oughtta see the dirty looks I'm getting.  I gotta get down to the bottom of this b.s. rumor.  So I make my way into the freight area to catch up with the guys who work for the building.  I'm retelling what I heard about me from Petal and I'm practically giving myself an aneurysm.  So Mikey pipes up: "Well, everyone's saying the girl on seven with the dark hair and blue eyes went to the Christmas party, had a menage a four and gave everyone gonorrhea."  Well, as it turns out I am not the only girl on the seventh floor with dark hair and blue eyes.  I ask, what about Sally?  All the guys scratch their chins.  Mikey says, "Oh, yeah.  That must be why Sally got a black eye from her husband who works on eight. And why her 'girlfriend' Roslyn had to shave her head." Shave her head to cure gonorrhea?  "Nope," Mikey says, "Shave her head because Roslyn's husband ripped her shoulder-length dreadlocks out. And busted her jawbone for giving him gonorrhea."  It seems that gonorrhea is the gift that keeps on giving to husbands and illicit lesbian lovers alike.  So that explains all the closed doors, doctor visits and cancelled meetings after the holiday party.  Once I put the real story out there, I was off the hook.  But I have a sneaky feeling Sally was the one who put me on the hook to begin with.  God, I hate nepotism hires who are illiterate and fast.  But not as much as I hate gonorrhea. ;-)
    -Marisa K.
    Our firm just lost a really good, really cute lawyer Samuel.  I know there was something going on between Samuel and a shortie doo-wop lawyer Sue but I didn't get the whole story until it was too late to save Samuel.  I had met Samuel at random at an afterwork drinks thing.  He flirted and gave me his card.  Nothing ever came of it.  Life in NYC is a lot of meaningless flirting and handing out of cards but he seemed like a good guy.  Well, maybe not a smart guy.  Turns out he has a long-time girlfriend he cheated on with petite Sue.  No biggie until Sue went crying to our mutual lady boss and got Samuel fired.  Doesn't seem fair.  I mean, they're both consenting adults.  Why's Sue mad?  Cuz he didn't leave his girlfriend for her?   I guess not all short girls are endowed with elfin magic.
    -Ellie R.
    WARNING SIGNALS
    My friend Zahir who has travelled extensively through Scandanavia was explaining the most interesting social theory to me: the liberties taken by the sexual elite.  Who are the sexual elite?  The good-looking, the rich, the athletic, the talented, the charming, the beautiful.  The people the rest of us are taught to aspire to be.  The people the rest of us dream of hooking up with.  The ones we hook up with against our better judgement.
    The notion that given individuals are blessed enough to be sexually irresistable makes sense to human evolution.  It is a dangerous notion and even more dangerous dynamic.  Look at the fidelity issues of Kobe Bryant, the NBA, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and H.L. Hunt.  Or Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez.
    It must be nice to be able to choose sexual partners at will and get access to them with fair ease.  But, as my friend explained about Scandanavia, there is a dark cost.  Attractive women and men there are coddled, seduced and catered to from the age of 14 or so.  They are pampered, sought after and taken care of.  Then suddenly you have a crop of women and men rendered unable to reciprocate affection, cook or relate to other people other than through their looks and sexuality.  Few social skills, no sense of humor, and underdeveloped humanity.  Being attractive in a sexually elite way thus creates dozens of "reverse cripples" -- not missing a limb but reduced to the very narrow sexual aspects of their identities and self-expression.
    Now there are people who are sexually elite because they are so very desirable.  And then there are others who are sexually elite because they "cheat" their appeal through surgery, aggressive p.r. and cosmetics.  Or through sexual deviancy or availability.
    Note the flourishing of private swingers clubs for the sexual elite.  One named Killing Kittens is based in London.  Their website tells a seductive marketing story:
    Populist myth has it that every time a woman 'sins' by pleasuring herself God, in retribution, kills a kitten. Over time, "Killing Kittens" has become a colloquialism for female masturbation. What better name for a movement and community whose sole aim is the pursuit of female sexual pleasure!
    Killing Kittens today is about providing a safe, sexual environment for people worldwide to explore their fantasies and sexual desires! To join this community and become one of the elite...
    Consenting adults can do what they like but there is a pernicious, almost desperate urge driving private behavior in pursuit of being/ being with the sexual elite.  Whether social climbing through sex, looking to trade up partners or demanding public recognition for private sex acts via Facebook and iPhone apps, the influence of the sexual elite can be felt around the globe.

    TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    Sex should be a sacred, personal act for every individual.  Our judgement can get clouded when sex mixes with the public sphere.
    If we are engaging in sex in marriage or outside marriage, let's be sure the desire is for the right reasons -- our reasons.
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