Video: Mister, Mister

As promised in my post, MySpace Is Your Space Part 3, here’s a video about a man who changed my life forever.
Or…for at least for 24 hours.

“Mr. No Sex”

EmandaVlogs are rough around the edges, just like me!
Thanks for bearing with me & watching anyway. Your support means so much!

Much Love & Twizzlers,
Emanda

MySpace is YourSpace Part 3 of 5: “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby”

This is post 3 of 5 in my series called, MySpace is YourSpace.

Awhile back, I asked for reader’s gritty responses to 5 deeply personal questions. I created an email account so folks could log in, answer questions and email the answers to that same email address, creating an anonymous space for open, honest answers.

The third question I asked was: sex
Is your sex life what you want it to be? Why or why not?”

Below are the 4 ANONYMOUS and UNEDITED responses I received. The 5th one is my own.
(I’m the long-winded one.)

ANONYMOUS #1
Gender: Male
Age Range:
30-33
Relationship:
Married
In terms of frequency absolutely and yet there’s always a part of me, somewhere in the back of my mind that wonders if she wants me as much as I want her.  Does she lust for me?  I think sex is awesome of course, but I also believe it can bring out some deep seated fears if its not treated carefully.”

ANONYMOUS #2
Gender: Female
Age Range: 
26-29
Relationship:
in a relationship
it’s ok. being in my relationship, i have had to lower my sex drive considerably. expect so much less. only do certain things. ive sacrificed things in every area of my life for this relationship. it’s just in my character to do so.

ANONYMOUS #3
Gender: Female 
Age Range:
34-37
Relationship:
Single
No, sometimes I think I would be a nicer calmer person if someone would just have sex with me regularly. But I can’t maintain a relationship past a couple months.

 ANONYMOUS #4
Gender: Female
Age Range:
30-33
Relationship:
Single
No. My sex life pretty much exist as a solo act. You can only keep that up for so long.

RESPONSE #5 – ME:
Gender: Female
Age Range: 34-37
Relationship: Single
SEX? What? Who? Hey, look over there! Oh wait. I’m the one who asked this question, wasn’t I?

OK. Let’s do this! I mean, the blog post…not IT.

No. My sex life isn’t what I’d like it to be, however, neither is my marital status. Yep. You got it. I’m one of 4 people in the universe who are waiting until they get married to have sex. 4980830876_8da9dc4836_z

(I’ll pause while you gather your thoughts and your jaw off your keyboard.)

When I was 16, I signed a pink card at one of those ‘Don’t Even Think About Having the S Word Until You Say the ‘I Do’ Words And In the Meantime Make Sure To Leave Room for the Holy Spirit When You Slow Dance’ type of conferences.

The pink card was an (in)formal abstinence contract between the signee, primarily a 14-16 year old church girl, and God promising with ink and tears that they wouldn’t have sex before marriage.

It’s not premarital sex unless you’re gonna marry the person. Am I right, or am I right? Hello? Is this thing on…

My sweet 16 self was confident that by 25, I’d be married to a Jesus-loving, Promise Keepers-going, lead singer of a Christian rock band and co-founder of a homeless ministry tall drink of water whose looks could only be described as, “if Toby McKeehan, Dan Haseltine and Johnny Depp had a baby” and he would love me more than John thought Jesus loved him and we’d have triplets and an adopted baby boy from Ethiopia.

So, for me to endure a few more coitus-free years was no biggie, Smalls.

Well…25 has come and gone and the ole birthday Rolodex has flipped through once or thirteen and here I am…still single and about to give Andy Stitzer a run for his money as I contemplate officially changing my name to Pink Card Patty.
(You can steal that name and start a band if you like.)

And even though some of the mega conferences, “Just Say Nope to Grope” type rallies and having Mr. No Sex guest speak at my youth group (yes, that is real. Video Blog to follow) were over-the-top hype fests that mostly gave away free shirts and fear, something stuck with me.

The value of waiting for my husband remains important to me.

Epic-text-The-break-upAs you can well imagine, this doesn’t fare well in dating. After “The Talk,” most guys act as if they’ve just been told they’ll be infected with an incurable penile disease if they as so much text ever again.

That’s OK. I know it’s not for everyone, but it is for me.

Now, before I go any further (pun intended), there’s something I know I need to put in black and white. I know I need to write it out because it weighs on my shoulders heavier than my lack of prenuptial touchables.

Six years ago something was taken from me.

A night blurred from blind drug-induced seduction, poor choices and ill timing left me battered, bruised and confused. Leaving me with the task of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with more pieces missing than present.

The ‘day after’ blended into weeks of doctor visits, antibiotics, drug tests, STD/HIV tests and denial. The months that followed were enveloped in therapy, healing, forgiveness and moving on. Some of my physical bruises lingered for over two months, but the flashbacks lasted much longer. It took a year for me to finally stop reliving that terrible night on daily basis.

For years, that night has racked my brain & white knuckled my heart.

booing-1I allowed “Critic’s Math” to be the loudspeaker in my life. I had a community surrounding me, loving me and never once questioning the validity of my pain or my story. Their love, support and empathy filled the stadium of my heart, but it was the voices from the sidelines murmuring how the fault was mine that kept me from getting back in the game.

I had “The Talk” with a guy I was dating awhile back and when I told him the Reader’s Digest (large print edition) version of what happened to me six years ago, he very stupidly blurted out in response to my virginity, “So, you just don’t count that one then?”

I wanted to throat punch him.

No. I don’t count ‘that one.’ I don’t count the time that I was taken advantage of while incapacitated due to the involuntary use of drugs and some voluntary use of alcohol. Nope. Nada. Zilch.

Yep. I should’ve throat punched him.

It’s taken me over a month to write this blog post. Not because I don’t like to talk about saving sex for marriage or I’m embarrassed about being the almost 40 Year Old Virgin (Dear God, please send my hubs soon. Thanks!) or I think people will think I’m weird.

I know I’m weird and I’m OK with that.

But, I noticed I kept getting distracted from writing this post in particular. I’d get distracted with normal day-to-day stuff like laundry, not feeling well, busyness and just plain old procrastination and then it dawned on me that I was avoiding this blog subconsciously. I was avoiding possible conflicts and the potential of hearing those sideline murmurs again.

throat-punch1So, I throat punched fear instead of that guy and wrote this blog.

I’m still healing from that event and events that took place after, but I’m realizing more and more I can’t do that silently. Moreover, I shouldn’t be silent because others need to hear my story to be encouraged, and perhaps prompted towards healing.

I know, this is heavy stuff, but this is real-life stuff and I can’t help but think someone needs to hear this.

Someone needs to hear…
It’s OK to abstain from sex until marriage.
It’s OK if your ‘Pink Card’ has tattered edges & is hard to read. (Mine is too.)
It’s OK if you had sex, but really wanted to wait.
It’s OK if you need healing from a sexual assault/victimization.
It’s OK to talk about this with someone you trust.

Someone needs to hear…
It’s NOT OK to carry the burden of your sexual past, hurts and traumas alone.
It’s NOT OK to think that your victimization is your fault.
It’s NOT OK to have sexual contact with anyone who is without the sober, rational capacity to consent.
It’s NOT OK to use drugs and/or alcohol to get someone to have sex or sexual contact with you.
It’s NOT OK that every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’m more careful than ever about who I surround myself with, where I go and what I do when I get there. It was a tough lesson to learn, but if I can help someone else avoid this pain altogether or help them work through their existing pain; it will make all the difference.

I’m aware that the longest part of this post really has nothing to do with the question that was asked. But, it’s something I feel needed to be expressed, if for no one else but me. And besides, it’s my website, I can run it a muck if I want to.

So…here I am waiting.
(You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head.)


What about you? Is your sex life what you want it to be?
Do you have something you need to share?

Remember, you are not alone in this.

Hear Me Roar (PG-13)

I’m mad.
I’m not just like stub my toe mad.
I’m like I want to go picketing, flip cars and yell in the streets mad.

I’m woman. Hear me roar. 

I recently went to a stand-up comedy open mic at a local bar. I have a good friend and some acquaintances that were performingyoung-man-in-shirt-keeps-in-hands-microphone-thumb14577597 and I wanted to see them because they’re dang funny.

The problem with any open mic night, is that the MC and/or place of business have (or fail to execute) very little control over who says what once they get their grubby little hands on the mic.

Now, I’ve been to an open mic before. I knew that there would be content intellectually and morally sub-par than I would care to listen to and it’s always been a mixed bag of the profane and hilarious.

But, last night got to me.

Person after person took the stage and the content got gruesome.
Below are a few of the lowlights:

  • How disgusting women’s menstrual cycles are & how they get in the way of what men need, want & deserve
  • Allusions to a father having sex with his daughter.
  • Graphic & explicit descriptions of male & female genitalia and how to use them to get what you want.
  • And finally…RAPE.

Rape. A wannabe comic joked about raping his girlfriend.

I’m fairly certain (perhaps, hopeful is a better word) that this young man hasn’t actually and isn’t actually going to rape his girlfriend. But, rape should never be a joke. Incest should never be funny. Degrading the gift that is woman should never be the point of ridicule.

I don’t know if these men and women behind the mics had terrible childhoods, lacked nurturing parents, struggle with abuse, were victims themselves or are simply complacent.

But, what I do know is, we live in a culture that laughs when it should be shouting.

After the guy joked about raping his girlfriend, a woman got out of her seat and shouted, “That’s NOT funny.” The comic, who had since cavalierly moved from rape onto a new joke, asked her from stage why she didn’t think the new joke was funny and she said, “NO! F*&#ing rape isn’t funny!” and then stormed out of the bar.

I wanted to applaud her. I wanted to walk out too.

People-LaughingYou know what was even more infuriating than the dude on stage touting rape? Almost everyone in the bar was laughing at the woman who walked out.
Their laughter was guttural, intentional and belittling. We all knew she could hear the cackles from the parking lot.

…and that’s why they laughed louder.

Maybe some laughed to calm the obvious tension. Perhaps some laughed because they thought the woman prude. Some may have laughed because they had been victimized themselves and felt uncomfortable. Others may have laughed because their hearts were so thick and calloused they didn’t actually see the problem.

We didn’t laugh.

My friends and I were shocked, sorry and enraged, but we stayed. We wanted to hear our friend’s attempts to redeem the stage and shed some light in the thick darkness. My friends were funny, but my stomach was sick. No amount of humor could mend what had just been said, done and witnessed.

For the first time in a long time, I felt weak as a woman.

I understand I may be more sensitive to these issues than others because of my faith, moral convictions and personal experience with the issue of date rape.
But, I would hope that if asked, most women and men would feel as angry as I do about this subject. I would hope that most people wouldn’t laugh about rape and victimization and that they would stand up and shout against it.

But, I can still hear the echoes of their laughter.

We live in a culture that jokes about raping women, slipping roofies and taking advantage of moms, sisters, wives and friends. We live in Soakinginita culture that sees no problem in forcing a hand, verbal or otherwise.

We live in a culture that allows the media to saturate us with portrayals of women as objects, play things and worse yet, disposable. People are shocked at the story of the boys convicted of rape in Steubenville, but it’s happening in our cities too.

We’ve become calloused to what should shock us and mock what we should stand up for.

Our culture thinks it’s cute when a company like Victoria Secret targets teens (and let’s be honest, tweens) for their ‘Bright Young Things’ line in their ‘PINK’ (ugh…as if that name is just for the Pantone color.) collection. We giggle at young girls buying panties with “I Dare You” and “Call Me” written on their bottoms and crotches. We point and playfully, “tsk, tsk, tsk” at beach towels that tease passerbys and showcase unveiled messages and bodies on them.

We shop and endorse a “women’s” company that calls women…’THINGS.’

And with all that I’ve ranted about today and pages upon pages more, we all can’t seem to SEE the correlation between all of this muck and the rise of date rapes, forced rapes, abuse, teen pregnancies, abortions, suicides, depression and human trafficking.

What is wrong with us!?

lion_roarIt’s time for men to stand up to other men for joking about rape and abuse. It’s time for men to grow up and be courageous enough to be respectful, chivalrous and safe.

It’s time for women to stop thinking they have to use or give up their bodies to get love and attention. It’s time for women to understand that sexually objectifying themselves in the name of the upper hand, in turn, only encourages the cycle of depravity to continue.

It’s time for men and women to revel in inner beauty, modesty, mutual respect and true love. It’s time to take a stand against rape, abuse, destruction and injustice.

Attention Ladies and Gentlemen.
It’s time to ROAR!

(Video clip from the 1976 movie, Network.)

Video: Shopping is Confusing

Hey kids! It’s my 2nd Video Log! My 1st one has almost 100 views!
(Thanks for hitting the replay button, Mom!)

OK, let’s talk shop…ping.

I’m not the shop till I drop kind of girl, but I’ll throw a casual elbow at a clearance rack or thrift store. However, there are some stores that I just can’t wrap my brain around. They confuse me. They taunt me. They make me rethink linguistics. That’s just too much stress from a store. I need some chocolate.

 

Remember That One Time

Remember that one time I got all doped up on Wite-Out and dry erase markers and told everyone I was going to post every day for 100 days? Yeah. That was funny. 1363394913_161297727_katy-perry-john-mayer-467

John Mayer and Katy Perry have gotten together & broken up at least 8.5 times since I published my last post, so I guess it’s been a couple of weeks.

So…what’s my excuse for not writing?

Some days I had so much to do and so many people to see that I would go all day without giving it the slightest thought until moments before crumpling on my bed. Then, other days when I had the time, I lacked the content and wasn’t satisfied with just throwing something up for something’s sake. cat-sleeping-on-laptop

Either way, I felt like I was cramming for a test at the end of the day and felt more exhausted than inspired.

I didn’t like that feeling.

However, through this little self-created challenge, I was reacquainted with why I love writing and for that, the 100 Day Challenge was well worth it.

Now, don’t worry my Interweb loves, I’m still going to post so you can read and watch with bated breath the ins and outs of my brain and cardiovascular muscle. It may not be daily, so in the meantime, you may want to learn how to knit, hoola hoop or play the didgeridoo. I expect videos.

Love & Twizzlers,
Emanda

 

 

Resist the Smudge

There are approximately 42.3 things that I want at this very moment.

I want to:
…eat a bag of red Twizzlers so I can make red fangs, twisty braces and gummy straws. IMG_2105
…marry an amazing man who loves the Tilt-a-Whirl,  big dogs & people as much as I do.
…send my saddlebags out West with a ‘Do Not Return to Sender’ sticker.
…go on a really long bike ride with some of my Ride:Well friends.
…be able to do that yoga pose where it looks like your body is the letter U frowning.
…speak to a crowded house about stuff that matters (Note: Crowded House was booked).
…teach my dog to quit attempting to dislocate my shoulder on our daily walks.
…get people to listen & fall in love with my friend’s awesome band.
…do a voiceover.
…write a book that makes people cackle, cringe & connect.
…get my mullet chopped off. My hair grows like Lance Armstrong’s Chia Pet.

I’ll spare you the other 31.3. We both have things to do.

Some of those are daily thoughts, some just slish-slosh in and out of my brain and the rest I blame on this 6th cup of coffee.

In the past, I haven’t done the 5-year plan very well. If I wanted to lose weight, I’d crash, sweat kale and bleed protein shakes until I lost a handful of hamhocks. Then, I’d celebrate my victory with a bowl of ice cream and a loaf of bread. If I wanted to write more, I’d talk up my ideas so much that they never seemed to come down. Then I’d drool over other people’s words for hours while calling myself names.

I’ve never enjoyed the process. I’ve just wanted the end result.

alfred-eisenstaedt-actress-bette-davis-blowing-her-nails-dry-after-painting-them-in-her-homeI loathe painting my nails. I can color inside the lines like a champ, but put a bottle of nail polish in my hand and I start shaking like a caffeine junkie. And wait for it to dry? Forget it. I shake my hands like Polaroid’s, blow on them, have strangers blow on them and then do the smudge test.

Great, they’re still not dry and now I have a thumbprint to show police in case I’m a suspect in a robbery.

They make that quick-drying nail polish for impatients like me. I tried that the other day. I brushed on a coat of silver and they almost looked like an adult painted them. I did the smudge test and they were dry. Victory was mine!

After staring at them in awe for far too long, I came to the conclusion that they needed more shine. More glamor! I want mirrors for fingernails, dangit! So, after a few minutes (read: seconds) after they dried, I slathered on a coat of clear.

I ruined them.

I may as well of just chewed up some bubble gum and stuck the blobs on each nail. I was so frustrated. I was first mad at the clear coat for wrecking my life and then I was mad at myself for not being happy with my platinum and simply waiting to slap on the shimmer.

(Side Note: I’m typing with naked nails and have cursed all nail polishes to Mount Doom.)

I know this is a stupid example, but hang with me for a minute.

But, we all do this from time to time. We do this with important things like dating, marriage, health, occupations and life goals.

We’re single for the first time in years and we don’t wait for the nail to dry before slapping on another coat of someone new. We’re tired of working as a nobody, so in the effort of becoming a somebody, we jump ship and smear. We want to look like a Hollywood, so we crash more towards Dollywood and smudge.

Whether we want to lose weight, write a book, find a husband, finish a degree, have a kid or be our own boss, it can be incredibly hard to one_color_nails_colorful3wait for the ‘paint’ to dry and follow the steps. But it’s vital. We learn in the waiting. We encourage others in the process. We appreciate  the shine so much more when it’s done right and done well. Add color. Enjoy change. Have patience and enjoy the wait. Please remind me of this when you see me.

What about you? Do you have things that never seem to pass the smudge test?

This is Day 36 of my 100 Days of Blogger.
(I haven’t posted in 4 days. Don’t judge me. I’ve been waiting for my nails to dry.)

 

 

Applause

I saw this today from one of my favorites, Mat Kearney.

If you live for the applause of other people you will also live in fear of their disapproval.

I find myself there sometimes. Longing for a pat on the back while simultaneously refreshing the page to see if anyone disagrees. I used to live in that place, but now I just stop in from time to time, check out the scenery, and remember very quickly why I left. I’m thankful for the return ticket.

Take a minute to enjoy Mat in 165 locations.

‘Ships in the Night’ – Mat Kearney

This is Day 31 of my 100 Days of Blogger.
(I’ve been working on 2 posts for 64 days now. OK, fine…4 days. That’s why I’m behind. But, I think Mat’s cute face more than makes up for my slackness.)

 

Pauly Sure

Paul Rienzo is one of the most amazing men I know.

AND…to make him even more rad, he gets the privilege of ME calling him pastor, boss man, mentor, teacher and friend. (See what I did there? I’m smooth like that.)

In the past year, he suffered from quite a bit. He had 12 inches of his colon removed (he now answers to, “;” Get it?), buried his mother, ruptured some discs in his back AND had a tumor the size of a grapefruit removed (just a week ago). Whew.

If all that happened to me, I’d have to change the name of my website to…EmandaWhines.

But, for him, he is SURE of Philippians 3:7-11…

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…

So, in true Paul form, on Saturday, March 9th, just a few weeks post surgery, he’ll be participating in a fundraiser for Pattison’s Academy to help raise money for severely handicapped children. He’ll be involved in a 4-hour spin-a-thon and needs OUR help to reach his goal. There’s only a little over a week to raise a lot money.

Skip a latte, forgo a Happy Hour, eat PBJ for a day…

Then use the money you saved to help a child. Any amount of money will help.

Here’s a video showing highlights of last year’s Pattison’s fundraiser .
(He was there too!)

Follow him! @paulrienzo (he doesn’t tweet often, so bug him about that.)

This is Day 27 of my 100 Days of Blogger.
(Did you notice the 2 day gap? Me either. I’ve been drinking protein shakes and playing Wii Just Dance.)

 

Meet These Guys

I want you to Meet the Sky.

MTS has a NEW CD coming out soon and you can download their already popular song, We’re Gonna Make It for just a $1!

C’mon, people. You need this song in your life! That is, unless  you hate happiness. In that case, you and your dollar should go listen to Ryan Adams in a dark room somewhere.

To all of you other happiness lovers…BUY IT!

You can thank me later.

Here’s a rad video from their last album…enjoy!

Something I Couldn’t Say‘ – Meet the Sky

Follow them! @meetthesky

This is Day 24 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

(a day late…and I hope you’re a dollar short because you just bought Meet the Sky’s new song!)

Status Quote

“What you love to do shouldn’t be defined by how much money, fame, or worldly desires you acquire but by how much fun it is to be doing something you love.” – Olan Rogers

 

This is Day 22 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

  • Hi! This is me.