Friday, May 31, 2013

My First Kiss with My Boyfriend

Us at Rose and Landon's wedding
My first date with Beau was dinner. It was a wonderful date, and I thought about kissing him, but the situation just wasn't right for a first kiss. So I hugged him good-night, and that was that.

Our second date was to the zoo and to dinner, followed by a leisurely ride in his convertible with the top down. I spent most of the date thinking about kissing him and wondering when to do it or how to do it. At this point, I had initiated a first kiss with two other men, so, ya know, I was pretty experienced and all that jazz. Also, Beau had told me he didn't pick up on signals AT ALL, and I pretty much needed to hit him over the head with a frying pan to let him know I liked him.

At the end of the night, Beau took me back to my apartment. He didn't turn off his car, but he did put it in park. I thanked him for a wonderful evening, and he told me he had enjoyed it too. He told me he hoped to see me again before I left (this was at the end of my internship), and I said I would do my best to work him into my crazy schedule. 

I was plotting during this whole conversation on exactly how to kiss him.

I unbuckled my seatbelt, turned around in my seat so I had a better angle towards Beau, reached out my right hand to gently pull his head towards mine (and help me angle my lips towards him), and kissed him. After just a few seconds, his right hand was at the nape of my neck, fingers entangled in my hair. We progressed to French-kissing really fast, and no, I don't remember who initiated that.

There weren't fireworks per se, or wedding bells ringing, but that kiss was magical. I had kissed four women and fourteen men at that point, and some of those had been pretty special. Some of those had been really hot! But nothing was anything close to that first kiss with Beau. Up until that moment, I was interested in dating several other guys I was talking to on okcupid (hell, I'd had a first date with a different guy the night before... and I'd kissed him too). But suddenly, with that one date and that one kiss, I was willing to bend over backwards to see Beau as much as possible before I left town. I was still willing to see other guys, but I wasn't interested in finding creative ways to fit them into my schedule.

I'm not going to lie and say that in that moment, I knew Beau was the one. At that point, I was still interested in flirting with any man I met, and I still intended to try dating women once I moved to New York. But that date, and that kiss, they set a new bar for how I wanted to feel while dating. It was more than just intellectual compatibility, or chemistry, or a good time. It was like hanging out with a longtime best friend for the first time in years, but one I wanted to kiss, desperately. 

And for all my plans to hang out with those other guys from okcupid, and to date women in New York? They all fell apart, by both choice and circumstance. Beau ended up being the last person I ever kissed and ever will kiss, I ever dated and ever will date, and I couldn't be happier about that.

When I'm not on my iPad, I will update this with the "Blog Every Day in May" icon and probably a picture of us.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Someone Is Wrong on the Internet

Duty Calls
via xkcd
I engage in discussion in a lot of places online. I routinely comment on articles at The Huffington Post (which is full of idiots, mostly sexist idiots), I comment on Jezebel (which is mostly full of very liberal feminists with whom I agree only half the time), I comment on XO Jane (which seems to include more level-headed feminists and less vitriol), I comment at The Atlantic (hit or miss on idiocy, with its fair share of misogynists), and I comment on other blog posts/articles/etc. that are linked to me, especially if it's an excuse to leave a link to my blog in a comment.

But sometimes, I have to stop. Sometimes I am filled with rage over the evil, misogynist, stupid things I read, and then I have to decide if it's worth my time to reply or not. Sometimes I'm able to write a calm, logical reply as to how the stupid person is wrong.

And sometimes, I have to let it go.

Sometimes, I choose to focus on my own writing instead of correcting others.

Sometimes, I choose to engage in more interesting, thoughtful, respectful debates.

Sometimes, I allow my friends to back me up, instead of continuing to argue my point.

Sometimes, I choose to close my laptop and snuggle with Beau.

Is it ever hard for you to leave a debate?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Which of These Songs Should Play When I "Lose" My Virginity? (Kidding)

Today, we're supposed to share songs that mean something to us. I'd rather share my favorite songs about virginity and/or virginity "loss."

"Like a Virgin" Glee cover

The actual performance is phenomenal, but Glee has been really good/obnoxious about getting videos removed from youtube.

"Only the Good Die Young," Billy Joel

My mom had to explain to me that this was a song about Billy Joel seducing a Catholic virgin. I had no idea. I was in high school when she told me this.

"Touch Myself," Divinyls

Because sometimes the best love is self-love.

"Strawberry Wine," Deanna Carter

I love this song. I also had no idea it alluded to a teenage girl's first time.

"Fifteen," Taylor Swift

Technically, only the line about Abigail is potentially about virginity "loss." But I love me some Taylor Swift, so I had to include it!

Inspiration for this post brought to you by Libby, an intern at How to Lose Your Virginity, and her post here.

Vote for my wedding night song in the comments! It will have zero effect on my actual wedding night, but it's fun anyway.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Buttons, Buttons for Everyone!

Today's prompt is only pictures. I have a hard enough time finding pictures for my regular blog posts. Now you want a post of only pictures? I don't think so.

If you've noticed on my right sidebar, I just debuted a new button! People like options, right?

If you ever feel like sharing my blog with someone in a really snazzy way--or maybe you're all about featuring your favorite blogs on your sidebar--I invite you to grab one of my buttons!



Just three days left to Blog Every Day in May!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Letter to My Readers

Dear Readers,

Y'all are the best. I know every blogger says it, but it's true.

I started this blog because I had something to say that I didn't see elsewhere on the web. I felt like virginity was misunderstood. I wondered if anyone else out there felt the same.

When you tell me that my blog has reassured you, or that my writing has made you reevaluate your ideas about something, or that you feel inspired by me, you make my entire day bright. Even if you tell me that in an email, and I haven't gotten around to replying to you yet.

I love all of my readers, but I want to take a moment to recognize my readers from my real life. You know who you are.

To my best friend/sorority sister/heterosexual life partner/Love Of My Life: you've read everything I've written since I was 18. Your love, your support, and yes, your constructive criticism, mean the world to me.

To my Big and my Little: I wish y'all could be in my everyday life, but I'm glad the Internet gives us the opportunity to keep up with each other. I also feel like we should star in our own TV show about the different ways to be a feminist. We have so much in common (DISNEY! BOOKS! TEA! LOVE, RESPECT, AND UNDERSTANDING!), but we're all so different as well.

To my wonderful boyfriend: You are so patient with the amount of time I devote to writing, time that is taken away from you. You're the most amazing person I know, and I'm so blessed to call you mine. (I just resisted a my precioussss joke right there).

To the other dozen or so friends who read this: Thank you for accepting me for who I am.

Gros bisous,

Belle Vierge

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The #FBrape Campaign

If you follow me on twitter, then you have probably seen my tweets in regards to the #FBrape campaign, started by Laura Bates, Soraya Chemaly, and Jaclyn Friedman. 

I first discovered this because I follow Soraya on both twitter and facebook, and I read almost everything she writes. She's my favorite current writer and activist. She tweeted a link to the open letter to facebook that she co-authored with Laura and Jaclyn.

(I was also familiar with Laura because she created Everyday Sexism, a blog that chronicles the sort of commonplace sexism women (and sometimes men) face, via user submission. Jaclyn is new to me, but she founded Women, Action, and the Media). 

According to facebook's policies, "You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence."

The problem is how this is enforced. Photos of women post-mastectomy or of women breastfeeding are removed for "violating" policy. But photos of women being beaten or raped don't violate policy... Accounts who call out sexism on facebook are banned or deleted. Groups called, "Dumping your girlfriend via head kick" stay up.

We are calling on facebook to change its policies, and until they do so, we're calling on companies to pull their ads from facebook. Some companies have already done so!

You can help by commenting on company's facebook pages, tweeting at them, and emailing them. Personally, I have been in touch with Shabby Apple, who has promised to look into it. I hope they do the right thing and pull their advertising.

I am only one voice. But if we all work together, we CAN make a difference.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Belle, the Disney Princess

You know who you remind me of, Belle? 
A Disney princess.

This is hands-down the best compliment I’ve ever received.

I know this might seem unusual coming from such an outspoken feminist, but I can’t help it. I love all things Disney, and all things princessy. Disney princesses are the best.
With my tiara and fan in Toronto
I’m obviously aware that the earlier Disney princesses aren’t the best of role models for little girls, and most critiques of my favorite princess (Belle, duh) suggest she suffers from Stockholm syndrome. The earlier Disney princesses are very passive, and even the later Disney princesses mostly end up married… to men, of course. Disney is very heteronormative.

via pink-martini on tumblr, created prior to Tangled or Brave
But does that mean there isn’t a place for Disney princesses in little girls’ and even grown women’s lives?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Imperfectly Perfect

Today's title is inspired by the blog series over at Grace for Gayle. The "Blog Every Day in May" prompt is Your 3 Worst Traits.

Okay, so I first wrote this on May 22, but today (May 23), I realized another one of my worst traits. So here are four of them instead of three.

4. Sometimes my self-confidence and high self-esteem lead to vanity. I love looking at myself in the mirror. I always feel like I look good, even in jeans & a hoodie. Most of the time, it honestly is just a healthy body image, but I do know that sometimes I spend more time looking at my reflection than I do paying attention to other people. The worst is when I'm skyping with Beau, and I look at my small image more than I look at his big image.

3. I leave stuff everywhere. You will find my shoes all over my apartment, wherever I happened to kick them off. I often have a few mugs from hot tea in my bedroom. My little card table turned kitchen table is covered with mail and receipts and paperwork that I need to sort, but haven't done yet.

I tried (and failed) to take a picture of everyday in 2011. This was an honest look at the shoes in my bedroom in Niort.

2. I am so bad at replying to emails sent to my anon address. Part of it is that I have enough communication to maintain with the people who know my real name. Part of it is that when I receive an email, it's usually 5+ paragraphs long, and a proper reply will take at least an hour to compost. 

And part of it is that several of the emails I've received have been wonderful, encouraging words that I needed to hear... But I couldn't address directly. This is also why I'm not reply to the five supportive comments I received on this post about my twin brother. It was hard enough writing about it. I can't engage in conversation about it. Just like I wasn't ready to engage in conversation about my bisexuality when I came out last July, even though I received some truly heartwarming emails from my readers. 

If you receive an email from me a month, or two months, or a year after the fact, don't take it personally. It's just that I have to juggle so much with this blog, and promoting my blog, and maintaining friendships with the people I've known for years who don't know about this blog.

1. I haven't even started looking for a local church to attend, and I moved here almost ten months ago. I rarely spend more than five minutes at a time praying. I can't remember the last time I read the Bible. Most of my Christianity is reading Christian blogs and offering my perspective. Sometimes this involves reading several quotations from scripture, but not always.

Do you have any bad traits you'd like to 'fess up to? Share in the comments!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Five Things I Never Learned in School

This post was originally better. My original intention was a longer post with some stories from my past. But the Blogger app on my iPad erased my first draft, and I just didn't feel like starting over.

5. School helped my French grammar, but living in France gave me the confidence and the practice to speak French with actual French people. If you want to learn a second language, you really need to live in a country that speaks the language.

The city of Niort, from the historic towers in the city.
4. My self-worth isn't determined by what men think of me. My earthly value might be based on my intelligence, or my kindness, or my mad writing skillz, and it's okay if I bask in those things. But my inherent value comes from God, because I'm made in Her image.

3. My parents are often right, but not always. Disagreeing with them doesn't make me a disrespectful daughter. In fact, when I stand up to them because of my beliefs, it's proof that they raised me well. They raised me to stand up for what's right, even if it's hard.

2. Vulnerability is not weakness. Needing the love and support of others doesn't make me less independent.

1. Not everyone is saving sex for marriage. Not everyone is engaging in casual sex all the time. Not everyone is in a relationship. Not everyone is single. Most people are somewhere in-between the extremes we see in TV and movies.

What life lessons did you learn outside of school?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eroticism Can Still Be Consensual

I'm pretty unapologetic about my beliefs.

Like that when to have sex, and how to have sex, and with whom to have sex (among consenting adults!) are personal choices.

Like that the government shouldn't be involved in marriage at all, but since it's too late to change that system, same-sex couples should be granted the same rights as male-female couples.

Like that Christianity and feminism are not mutually exclusive.

Like that my boobs don't define me as a person, and you literally know nothing about me based on my body or my clothes, except the general shape of my body and the colors I like.

So when I saw that one of the prompts this month involved "getting on my soapbox," I figured I would write something in regards to feminism.

Then, of course, my brilliant twitter friend @j_aallan linked me an article titled "Sexism. The New Prudery?" published in New Male Studies, an academic journal that apparently doesn't have very high standards for submissions. Seriously, I was reading it, and I kept tweeting at @j_aallan to complain about the academic level of this paper. I almost feel guilty for critiquing it. Almost.

The article's premise is that the fight against sexism is actually a fight against eroticism. Before we look at the specific arguments, I want to define sexism and eroticism. 

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex, via wikipedia.

Eroticism is generally understood to refer to a state of sexual arousal or anticipation of such, via wikipedia.
Le déjeuner sur l'herbe by Manet

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Read My Blog. All of It. But Especially These Posts.

I'm officially a pro at blogging whenever I have 15 minutes, saving drafts, and scheduling the post for later.

If you've spent some time poking around my blog, you've probably noticed the permanent links on my toolbar. 

Meet Belle Vierge ♥ Belle's Writing Portfolio
♥ The Library: Belle's Books and Reader Resources ♥
101 Things in 1001 Days ♥ Guest Post Guidelines

Under my writing portfolio, I have links to some of my best posts, by category. Today's prompt A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives inspired me to update my list and even add two new categories.

So why these posts? Why these categories?

My blog is about virginity, but it's mostly about me and my virginity. Emphasis on the me part. I've chosen to highlight posts about my passions (feminism, consent, and virginity) and about my feelings.

In case linking you to a page with all my favorite posts already linked isn't enough for you, here are some suggestions based on what you might want to know about me.

If you're new here, I recommend reading Meet Belle Vierge and my Inaugural Post first. Then try Who I Am: A Story in Ten Parts for some background deets.

I took a lot of selfies in Niort. Don't judge me.
If you have questions about my feminism, read about my Childhood Observations, find out that My Sexual Assaults Were NOT My Fault, and learn why Gender Inequality Makes Me Angry.

If you don't understand virgins, OR if you're a virgin who feels out of place in this world, check out my Mythbusters: Virgin Edition tag. I've written an entire series on virgin stereotypes that don't apply to me.

If you want to know why I'm (mostly) anonymous, read the post in which I came out to my readers as bisexual.

As always, if you have any questions for me, I will try my best to answer them. I am notoriously bad at returning emails, so don't be surprised if you receive a reply a month later. The best way to receive an immediate response is to comment here or tweet at me. I reply to most comments within the comment section, because most comments/questions/answers are valuable for all my readers to see.

But don't be surprised if I answer your question with a list of links to my blog, or if I quote from a previous blog post... I've written a LOT about virginity, sex, boobs, feminism, sexual assault, and consent. Sometimes I don't feel like repeating myself!

Which of my blog posts is YOUR favorite? Did you like my list?


Books Are My Best Friends

Has anyone else noticed how some of the prompts are really similar and result in similar blog posts? 

Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

Last week, I wrote an apology to my twin brother, because I'm not speaking to him right now.

Last week, I wrote about "my lot in life," aka having Crohn's Disease.

I even wrote about juggling two jobs.

Honestly, those are the three realest things I'm struggling with the most right now.

A less personal, but still, a very real struggle of mine, is not having the time to read. This is killing me. I read 51 books last year, just one book shy of my goal of reading one new book a week.

I have read a mere nine books this year.


In almost five months.

I did start a new one this weekend, for my book club. And The Poisonwood Bible was pretty long, which makes me feel slightly better. (But Flat-Out Matt was technically a novella, which makes me feel slightly worse). I also bought five books at the used bookstore last week, including the one for my book club, and the next Philippa Gregory novel I wanted to read. 

Of course, the most important book I'll read this year is actually a reread of my favorite book as a little girl. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Other Virgin Blogs Exist... I'm Not Alone!

Hell to the yeah, started and finished this Monday night. I'm trying to get ahead whenever I have the chance so when I'm with Beau, I can focus on him alone.

I broke the rules once and blogged about all my favorite blogs, instead of just one.

I'm breaking the rules again and blogging about my two favorite virginity blogs, instead of my five favorite blogs. Because I already did that when I broke the rules earlier this month.

If you ever can't find this post, but you desperately need to read blogs on virginity, these are all linked underneath "The Library: Belle's Books and Reader Resources."

Let's start with the most important, which is also the first virginity blog I started reading. How to Lose Your Virginity is an upcoming documentary about, well, virginity, directed by the award-winning Therese Shechter. Beau and I will actually be starring in it. I hear we're on the cover of all the movie posters. Our agents are talking to Therese about a spin-off sequel, Belle and Beau Lose Their Virginity.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Young at Heart

My childhood? Today I'm supposed to write about my childhood? Should I hop on a leather couch while you take notes at your desk?

I'm breaking the rules again. I don't want to write about childhood, not when I've done it several times before.

In Why I'm a Feminist: Childhood Observations, I describe the different feelings, experiences, and observations I had as a kid about gender inequality.

In The Talk, or How to Discuss Sex Without Scarring Your Children for Life, I think back on when my mom gave H and me the sex talk. It was sooo awkward at the time, but in retrospect, it was a very useful, informative lecture!

In my recent post Crohn's and Courage, I open up about being diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was 8 years old.

Hey, doctor, are we done here?


Friday, May 17, 2013

Feeling Beautiful

It was hard to find a photo of myself that I genuinely love, that doesn't show my face. Most of my favorite pictures are of me smiling or laughing, when it's not just my mouth turned up, but my whole face is animated with joy.

But I can't share those pictures here.

It's uneven because I cut out the proofs and scanned my favorites.
This is a picture I've used in a few spots around my blog, sometimes with text over it, sometimes alone.

I was a debutante my sophomore year of college. This involved many fun events, one of which was a photo shoot for my debutante portraits. We hired a local photographer* (who is brilliant and award-winning), and we received permission from a woman at church to use her gorgeous house (mansion) and backyard for the shoot.

I love the simple elegance of this picture. It's so peaceful to me. Being a debutante was a very exciting, but busy period in my life. One of the quiet joys was feeling beautiful, and believing that feeling beautiful is okay. This picture helps me remember that.


*If you live in the South, and you are interested in this photographer, email me. If I find out you're in the same southern state as my home state, I will be happy to provide you with his details. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day in the Life of Someone Who Works Two Jobs

My life used to be interesting. I used to live in France. Then New York and Toronto. I traveled. I went to museums. I met people from all over the world.

But now I work all the time, and I see Beau & my friends on my few days free. I still do interesting things with Beau... Get your mind out of the gutter! I mean, we go to museums, and the zoo, and the occasional sporting/theatrical event. It's just that I have to spend so much time working because of stupid health insurance that we don't have as much time to do interesting things.

Today's prompt is a photo prompt of your day. I took all my pictures yesterday. I ate food, and I worked two jobs. Yay.

Which black/white/gray shirt will I wear to the JCP Salon tonight?

Fast Lane tea by Celestial Seasonings and oatmeal aka daily breakfast

At my first job with candles that burn unevenly and one that won't burn at all because the wick is stupid

Finishing my first job early and treating myself to lunch/dinner at Mimi's Cafe

Sparkling wine flight, bacon, potatoes, muffin. Delicious!
At my second job, JCP. At least I was closing in the salon and not out on the floor!
And then I skyped with Beau and went to bed by 10:30pm. I didn't take a picture of that.

Please tell me your life isn't more interesting than mine. Let me connect with other people who work a lot.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Starting this on Saturday night because I'm awesome like that.

10) Pink roses.

Roses from family friends after I made my debut
9) Board games.

8) My grandmother's diamond ring.

7) Wine.

6) Dancing, singing, starring in musicals so I can dance AND sing (and act!).

5) Being right.

4) Books, libraries, bookstores, notebooks, pens, paper, words, blogs, journals...

Shakespeare & Co. in Paris
3) Paris.

2) Friends and family.

1) Beau.

At Rose and Landon's wedding in March

What makes you happy? Tell me in the comments or tweet at me!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Ones You Love the Most Wound You the Deepest

Dear H, 

I'm sorry that I'm not talking to you right now.

I'm sorry that I missed your college graduation. You know, the one that took place four years after my own. Even though we're twins. Even though you started college with more college credits than I did, since your school accepted dual credit courses from high school and mine didn't. Since my school actually understood that those classes were bullshit and not taught on a college level at all. I might have started college with less credits than you had, but I then used them to graduate with a double major and a minor.

I'm sorry that despite all the maturity and growth you've managed since high school, you're still an asshole. And a misogynist. 

I'm sorry that you think consensual sexual activity and consensual physical affection contribute to rape culture. I'm not sorry that I'm proud of all the men and women I've kissed. I'm not sorry for being proud that I've kissed people from multiple countries. I'm not sorry that Beau and I like to cuddle, and to hold hands, and to kiss in public.

I'm sorry that you apparently have no idea what rape culture is.

I'm sorry that you're clueless in your own culpability with rape culture. Like sexually harassing me for years. And then offering a half-assed apology a few months ago, filled with excuses and justification for your past behavior. Like telling me you didn't think it was okay for me to show cleavage because you didn't want guys to treat me the way you and Jon treated girls who showed cleavage. Completely ignoring the fact that the way you and Jon treated girls in high school was wrong, period, and they didn't "deserve it" because they happened to show cleavage.

I'm sorry that you still know nothing about feminism, despite having two parents and a twin sister who are feminist.

I'm sorry that you've made so many fucked up decisions that you make Mom think she did a bad job as a parent. The only mistakes she made as a parent were coddling you and letting you get away with treating me like shit because she worried about your "fragile self-esteem."

I'm sorry that I can only talk candidly about how horrible you were and how bad you still are on my anonymous blog. Because I actually give a shit about you, even though you don't deserve it, and I don't want to ruin your relationship with our mutual friends, even though you don't deserve them in your life.

I'm sorry that I didn't stand up to you when we were younger. I'm sorry that I didn't tell our mutual friends in high school how evil you were then. I'm sorry that I let your feelings come before my own.

I'm sorry that I called Daddy when you pulled a knife on me and threatened me with it. I should have called the police. Maybe you wouldn't have treated so many women like shit if you'd been scared straight at 16.

I'm sorry that the only times you've ever really cared about me were when I was sick with Crohn's. I'm sorry that the only real tenderness you've shown me were when I was 15, weighing 77 pounds, and just wanted to feel pretty again. I'm sorry that the only time you've ever made me feel like you actually love me was when I was in the hospital, and you drove nine hours overnight to come visit me, and then take me home.

I'm sorry that I'm just now realizing that my emotional needs are more important than being close to my family, for the sake of the family.

I'm sorry that I won't ever talk to you again, unless you issue a genuine apology for what you said to me about feminists and rape survivors, or unless your brain tumor comes back.

I love you. It's not enough for me to have you in my life.

Love, B    

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Paris, je t'aime

Paris me manque.

Two years ago today, I left Paris.

Writing that out breaks my heart. I miss Paris so much.

I began my love affair with Paris at a young age. I have no idea what initially piqued my interest, but for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit Paris.

Le Tour Eiffel
My junior year of college, I finally fulfilled my dream and studied abroad in France. For three months, I lived in Versailles with a French family and took theatre, conversation, grammar, and culture classes with eleven fellow students from my school. Each Wednesday afternoon, we had a cultural field trip, like to the Musée d’Orsay or to Auvers-sur-Oise (where Van Gogh died). On the weekends, we had optional trips, but they were even cooler. One weekend we toured Giverny (Monet’s home and gardens), and another weekend we spent visiting Le Petit Trianon. I found out that recent French grads could teach English in France, and I vowed to return when I finished school.

The grave of Vincent Van Gogh.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Who I Am: A Story in Ten Words

I'm on a roll with this whole "blogging in advance and scheduling posts" thing. I doubt I'll get this whole post finished during this writing session, since I have to be at work in 16 minutes, but I think figuring out the blogger app for iPad and starting a new blog post while chowing down on a food court snack is pretty productive!

I started this post a few days ago, but then I had technical difficulties with my picture. That's what I get for trying to be creative! But I finally figured it out. 

Sell myself in ten words? I'm usually more loquacious than that, but I enjoy the challenge.

What do you think? Is my blog worth reading? Did I leave out a word you feel describes me better? Which of these ten words describes me best? If you linked up today, let me know in the comments!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Club Friday: V is for Virgin

I'm an adult. My adolescent years of cringe-worthy moments are all laughable anecdotes to tell at parties. I honestly don't have a single embarrassing moment that is blog-worthy. I have a few awkward sex stories that I have already told or have been penned into writing submissions outside of my blog. Thus, I am still blogging today, but I'm ignoring the prompt.

Confession: I'm not reading that much this year. I read 51 new books in 2012--that is to say, all my rereads of old favorites did not count. But I have only read 7 books this year. I blame working two jobs. Having a second job drastically cuts into my reading time.

One book I read back in March was V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram.



From Amazon: When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

There was so much I liked about this book. Like Val's reasons for saving sex for marriage. The different perspectives on saving sex for marriage and intentionally have sex with someone before marriage. The acknowledgement that some teenage girls have low self-esteem and turn to male attention for being sexy or having sex. The acknowledgement that some teenagers just want to have sex, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

There is a teeny tiny bit of slut-shaming, but it happens when Val is really hurt and upset about rumors flying around about her, so she lashes out. There is also sexual assault that isn't labeled sexual assault--Val is kissed against her will. She does slap the guy, if I remember correctly, but she is also mad at herself for enjoying it. As someone who is a really big proponent of consent, I felt a little uneasy about this. But overall, Val was pissed about it, so I think that is mostly in the right direction.

Does the book lack realism? To an extent, yes, but it's not quite as fluffy and outlandish as any of Meg Cabot's books (which I adore, by the way). It's also not totally predictable. Val had three potential suitors--four, if you count her ex repenting and coming back to her. I honestly didn't know until the very end how her love life would play out.

This was a quick read that I finished in an afternoon. If you're looking for something short and fun, or if you're interested in different (albeit fictional) perspectives on abstinence, I highly recommend this book!

As usual, I'm linking up with Book Club Friday!

And, of course, Blog Every Day in May!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Working From Home

Most of what I do for my first job is on a computer. Most of the time, I only need my laptop or iPad and an Internet connection. I like to work in the office when I'm later closing at JCP simply because the drive between my office and JCP is really short, especially compared to how long it takes during rush hour from my apartment. But today I called off work at JCP, and I'm doing my first job from home.

Gabby is in my lap, Bear and Moose are on my right. Guess which animal I named, and guess which animals belong to Beau...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To Thine Own Self Be True

I'm almost done writing Saturday's post. I jumped ahead, because it looks like a nice and easy short prompt. But then I got stuck trying to make it pretty, and gargh, I'm so frustrated. This whole blogging every day is HARD, y'all.

I have so much advice, y'all. Like learn a second language. Try new things. Only engage in consensual sexual behavior. Visit Paris.

But I want to offer more general advice, for all people, at any age, in any stage of life.

What's so cool about literature is how open to interpretation it is. Shakespeare wrote "To thine own self be true" in Hamlet, through the voice of Polonius, speaking to his son Laertes. (Yes, I googled all of this).

My interpretation is this:

Be honest with yourself. Saving coitus for marriage is an arbitrary line along a sexual spectrum, but saving a sexual experience for only my husband is important to me.

Do your own thing. I blog about virginity.

Listen to the counsel of others, but then make your own decisions. My youth pastor in undergrad said masturbation is a sexual sin. I prayed about it. I disagree.

Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone has so many more readers than I do... It's hard to follow my own advice sometimes.

Celebrate your uniqueness. I haven't found another blog that focuses on sexy virginity.

Acknowledge your sameness. We all just want to change the world and connect with other people through our writing.

Never lose sight of who you are. According to Beau, I'm perfect.

What advice do you have for me?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Terrified Of...

I am writing this on Monday and scheduling it on Tuesday! Who else is impressed? I just earned ALL the cookies. 

Part of me wants to go into elaborate detail and psycho-analyze my fears, but I think today's prompt should result in a simple list, like my post from Friday.

I'm Terrified Of...
  • Failure. I have so many goals in life, and I have a good track record of meeting them (or changing them according to life's circumstances, and then meeting the new ones!). I'm terrified of really chasing after one of my dreams and completely failing at it.
  • Rejection, although this is almost like a subset of failure. Being vulnerable is hard for me partly because what if I open up to someone I love, and that person decides I'm no longer good enough? 
  • Spiders. Just call me Ron Weasley. 
  • Rape. I honestly can't imagine anything worse happening to me.
  • Infertility. I desperately want to be pregnant and pop out a baby Belle or Beau one day. Most women with Crohn's disease who are not actively flaring are able to conceive and have healthy babies, although those children have a higher likelihood of having Crohn's or Colitis. But any permanent health condition puts you at greater risk for infertility and other health complications.
  • Loss of my positive body image as I get older. I'm young, and I'm already terrified of wrinkles, saggy boobs, and gray hair.
What are YOUR greatest fears? Did you link up today for Blog Every Day in May? Share your thoughts and blog posts in the comments!


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