Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Open Call for Guest Posts!

So... I kinda hinted at this over at Jessica's blog back in January, but Beau and I are going on vacation at the end of March. We are spending an entire week in...

drum roll please

PUERTO RICO!

Besides our actual week of vacation, I'll be busy preparing to leave the week before and busy catching up on everything the week after. So basically I'm looking for three weeks worth of guest posts.


Why should you write for me? Let me name the ways...

1) You can write about practically anything! As long as you're not judgmental, and as long as your writing is somewhat personal, you can write about anything. 

2) You can write about topics too sensitive or controversial for your own blog or real name. A few of my guest writers have submitted anonymously. Others wrote under their own names, but they wanted to freedom to write about personal topics that their own readers might not appreciate.

3) Reach new readers and followers! My numbers might be small, but my readers are loyal. I have over 600 followers on twitter, over 100 via GFC, over 40 tumblr followers, and over 60 readers on bloglovin. Granted, a lot of these overlap, but they are loyal! Not to mention, some of my most-viewed blog posts have been my guest posts. For whatever reason, my fans love my guest posts. Writing for me gives you a brand-new audience to discover your own blog.

4) Include links galore! You can link to as many of your social media accounts or relevant blog posts as you would like. 

5) Did I mention it's free? I've willingly paid money to guest post at other blogs. I've had great opportunities to grow my blog by "sponsoring" other blogs, especially when I could write guest posts. But I don't have a sponsorship program with my blog. I don't spend the necessary time on my blog to be a good host blog for advertising. So writing for my blog is a FREE opportunity! 

Ideally, I would like 6-9 guest posts to go up during my absence. I have a few posts of my own scheduled in advance, but I would love to keep my readers entertained with at least two guest posts each week. 

So, if you're interested, check out my guidelines and shoot me an email.

While I am open to a huge variety of topics, I also have a thematic week planned, with the very broad theme of, "Love, Sex, and Marriage." If you have an idea for a guest post fitting within that, I am extra-interested in featuring you on my blog.

I can't wait to see what brilliance y'all share with me and my readers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Disney's Frozen and Winter Surprises

It has been a crazy week. I've had a million things to do, and I think I only completed about a hundred.

But I always have time to screw around online, especially while watching the Olympics! There was so much awesome ice dancing and ice skating last week, clearly the highlight of the Winter Olympics.


Biggest Laugh: There have been so many amazing parodies of the amazing song "Let It Go" from the Disney movie Frozen. With all the crazy weather, an Ohio weatherman put together the most charming, the most earnest parody, telling drivers "Just Don't Go."


Best Frozen Analysis: Speaking of Frozen, the Internet is undecided on how feminist or unfeminist the movie is. I've stayed out of it, aside from sharing well-written articles on the subject. A major critique is the lack of POC in the film, an issue Disney still hasn't overcome. While the all-white cast is problematic in and of itself, the blind refusal to acknowledge that maybe Frozen could have included at least ONE POC in the film is a disgusting example of white privilege and racism. I found this great post on tumblr explaining how crazy the debate has gotten.

Biggest Literary and Historical Discovery: We've all heard of the famous six-word story by Earnest Hemingway. "For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn." Except, it turns out Hemingway didn't actually write it! This why I always do my best to google famous quotations and find multiple sources before I quote them in my blog.

Best Mailbox Surprise: About a month ago, I signed up for Influenster, a network that connects brands and bloggers. This week I received my very first VoxBox, the J'Adore VoxBox. Clearly I was pretty excited that my first VoxBox had a French theme. Anyway, keep an eye out in the next two weeks for my reviews! Meanwhile, check out the pictures I've taken on instagram!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

What have you read this week? 
Did I miss an extra-special blog post of yours? 
Share your links in the comments!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Club Friday: The Sense of an Ending

Wow, I can't believe I've gone five weeks without posting a book review. Unacceptable! I haven't read a ton of books lately, but I do have a big of a lag between my books and reviews. Granted, I don't review everything I read, but I try to review most of what I read.

The latest book my book club was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Yes, it is critically-acclaimed, but my friends and I were not crazy about it. 

via
From the author's website: The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian's life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.

Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths?

Confession: I knew nothing about this book going into it. I found it among my library's e-books, so I checked it out without even reading its description. So for the first third or so of the book, I actually thought this was a memoir, not a work of fiction.

What I liked: The narrator talks about perceptions and distortions of memory, which I found to be insightful.

What I disliked: Basically all of the characters are not likeable, if not downright despicable. Plus the male privilege almost overwhelmed me during my reading. An early plot point is a classmate's suicide, allegedly after he knocked up his girlfriend. The narrator and his friends don't even bother to think about this pregnant teenager girl and how this might affect her or her child. The narrator doesn't even realize his blindness and arrogance until near the very end of the novel. I think the writer intended this as a big revelation, or maybe character development, but for me, it just emphasized the narrator's selfishness. 

It is an interesting book, and I was surprised by the plot twist at the end. 

But honestly, the whole thing just reads as smug self-importance. Like my boring life and philosophical musings are so enlightened that everyone needs to know my story.

So... read at your own risk.

Linking up for Book Club Friday!


*On the off chance that you want to read this book after my review, I do have an Amazon Affiliates link included.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Sorry for the Hiatus

Sunday Shoutouts has returned! Last week I offered Monday Mentions in apology of missing my weekly post, but this week, I've kept up with my blogging.

Did everyone have a nice Valentine's Day? Beau and I spent ours like we spend many cold, winter nights: enjoying wings and beer while watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Also, because I was really upset and Beau loves me, we watched High School Musical 2. It was his idea! If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Let's see what I discovered on the Internet this past week.


Best Marketing: I'm super-impressed by this commercial that aired in Norway, Sweden, and Finland during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympics. 


Most Inspirational Child Star: Last week, Shirley Temple died. But she was much more than just a famous child star. Later in life, she was also a U.S. ambassador, and she spoke candidly about her fight with breast cancer. R.I.P. Shirley Temple Black.

Best on Modesty: Just seconds ago, I discovered this great series of tweets on the racism in "Modest is Hottest," via @jaythenerdkid. I discussed the racism in modesty culture in my last bikini post, but this set of tweets offers a more insightful perspective. 

What have you been reading this week? Did you write something that's share-worthy? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

5 Things to Think About Before Having Sex



I hope no one took my post last week seriously. I forgot to use my favorite sarcasm font when writing it.


I obviously have a huge problem with abstinence-only education. I’m totally okay with parents or churches teaching teenagers their values about sex within the confines of marriage, but I don’t think a public school’s responsibility is religious, moral education.


That said, I’ve always supported sex (and abstinence) as a personal choice. Whether you’re thinking about having sex for the first time or the 100th time, reflect on these five factors.

Birth Control

via


If you’re thinking about having sex, especially for the first time, I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’re not currently ready to be a parent. Have you educated yourself on the different forms of contraception? Their pros and cons? Here in the United States, the only reasonably inexpensive and fairly reliable form of contraception is condoms. The Pill and other hormonal forms of contraception can be both cost-prohibitive* and age-prohibitive. Have you and your partner discussed your preferred method of birth control? Do you trust your partner to use contraception correctly? This is a legitimate concern to have before having intercourse for the first time, or with a new partner for the first time.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

True Love Means Liking the Same Food

In honor of this year's Valentine's Day, I want to gush about how much I love Beau and why we work together so well as a couple.

http://www.thelifeofbon.com/2014/02/why-we-work.html

Beau and I collaborated on this together over skype, which is basically one of our bullet points. He was ready to go to sleep, but I insisted on a quick brainstorming session first.
  • We are children at heart, but adults when it comes to important stuff. We enjoy being silly together.
  • Bacon.
  • Beau loves to drive, and I love sitting in the passenger's seat, live-tweeting our road trips.
  • Biscuits and gravy.
  • We both like Star Trek, cuddles, and gummy bears. Bonus points for naked cuddling while eating gummy bears and watching Star Trek.
  • Wings and beer.
  • Beau writes guest posts for me, and he gives me ideas for my blog. Like answering my questions to this post. Plus he's totes cool with appearing in a documentary in which we discuss not having sex.
  • Steak.
  • We interrupt our list of reasons of why we work to over-analyze the scientific aspects of having a double-blind taste test of steak, pan vs. grill, including a debate on how to measure the seasoning properly so it's a fair test. This is completely normal.
  • Sometimes Beau surprises me with flowers, but he also understands why I like to buy myself flowers.
  • I have great boobs and a great butt. Beau likes my boobs and butt.
  • We're both very practical and good at keeping a budget, but our budget includes room for splurges and spontaneity. 
  • Pizza.
  • Beau doesn't mind when I tell him the same childhood story for the tenth time.
  • Basically, we love each other, and we respect each other, and we have similar goals, and we like books, and we're nerdy, and we have a lot of fun doing lots of things or doing nothing.
 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On Love, Valentine's Day, and Self-Care

So much relationship advice centers around the other person, not you. But as I've written before, a relationship is about two people, not just one. 


I recently defended my devotion to Beau on facebook, in yet another conversation with people who question my desire to keep my last name upon marriage. I pointed out everything I've done for him because I love him and I put him first.

But putting Beau first does not mean prioritizing his wants and needs to the detriment of my well-being. Having a healthy, successful relationship doesn't just include taking care of your significant other, but looking after yourself.

Last night I focused on me. It was a night of love and relaxation, a gift for me, from me. I went to a local spa for a facial. My skin is still glowing, 24 hours later! Then I came home and treated myself to sparkling wine, honeyed goat cheese, and strawberries. I finished reading my book for my online book club and then met with my friends on Google Hangouts to discuss it. After such a glorious night, I was able to fall asleep easily, without any medication, something that's rare these days without Beau in bed next to me.

In fact, based on the conversation I just had with my mom, I'm pretty sure sleep tonight will be Benadryl-induced once again.

Valentine's Day might normally be about romantic love, but that doesn't mean we can't expand the theme. If you don't already have hot Valentine's Day plans, consider indulging in some self-care of the person who has always been there: YOU. And even if you already have a date lined up, or fun plans with your friends, don't forget to spend some love and attention on yourself.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Mentions: Virginity is Hot

I missed Sunday Shoutouts two weekends in a row.

Oops.

In my defense, the first Sunday I missed was Super Bowl Sunday. I had more important things to do than blog, like eat junk food and drink wine and hang out with Beau and my besties. Yesterday I had a party to attend and the Olympics to watch. Blogging was just not a priority.

To make up for it, I present my slacker version of Sunday Shoutouts...

After making my television debut Saturday night on the Fusion Network, as a cast member of How to Lose Your Virginity, I've decided to focus today's edition of Monday Mentions on my favorite topic: virginity.

Worst Virgin Myths POPPED: Nolan Feeney wrote "Living Myths About Virginity" for The Atlantic. It's awesome--just ignore the MRA troll who took over the comments.

Adult Virgin Myths POPPED: My friend and kickass director Therese Schechter wrote "Sexless in the City: The Truth About Adult Virgins" to share some of what she learned while filming her documentary.

Best Conservative Post: Last week, I also did a phone interview for the Christian Post. I referenced an old blog post I had read on purity rings, and after the interview, I googled it and emailed it to the journalist. It's definitely more in line with traditional values, but it's a healthier perspective on saving sex for marriage.

Best Reactions to My Television Debut:

































Did you watch me on TV? If DocuMental ever ends up online, I'll let y'all know!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

10 Totally Logical and Not at All Sexist Reasons Not to Have Sex



Thinking about having sex?


Unthink it.


Having sex right now is a terrible idea, according to both the Christian Church and American public schools. In fact, having sex right now is such a terrible idea that I will give you ten ironclad reasons NOT to have sex right now.



1) Women are like delicate flowers. Everyone wants a beautiful, untouched flower in full bloom. But what happens to a flower when multiple men touch it? It becomes sullied, torn, broken. No one wants that flower. Similarly, men only want to marry virgins. There is absolutely nothing twisted about this metaphor, like the incredibly outdated sexism of it or the gross generalization of what men want in a woman.
 

2) Thou shall not commit adultery. Having sex with anyone other than your spouse is adultery. Even if neither you nor your partner is married, it’s still adultery. You’re cheating on your future spouse with someone else’s future spouse. 


3) You harlot! People will talk. The opinion of the majority is so much more important than your own. You don’t want to be labeled a slut, do you?
 

4) Other people will try and convince you to have sex. “Everyone’s doing it!” they’ll say. Ignore them. Your own commitment to abstinence is more important. They might label you a prude, but just hold your head high against the insults.



5) At your age, you’re going to have a lot of urges. You're going to want to take off your clothes, and touch each other. But if you do touch each other, you *will* get Chlamydia... and die.
 

6) Having sex is an unspoken promise to give your entire self to your partner. Your body is making a commitment to that person. If you have sex with someone other than your spouse, you are automatically lying to that person. Actions speak louder than words, folks, and having sex with someone is akin to saying you love that person forever and ever and ever.
 

7) At 18, America expects young men and women to be responsible enough to vote, to buy tobacco products, and to serve their country… But your hormones are running rampant! You’re too young to enjoy responsible sex!
 

8) If you have sex before marriage, then your wedding night is just another romp in the sack. Don’t you want to wait for awkward, passionate honeymoon sex?
 

9) Having sex before marriage is selfish. It is putting your own bodily desires above both your partner’s wishes and God’s will. By giving in to sexual temptation, you are breaking your relationship with God. This is true even if your partner wants to have sex, or if you’re an atheist. You’re still selfish.
 

10) Don’t have sex because you will get pregnant and die.


I’m pretty sure we would all be better off if we just joined convents or monasteries until marriage.

I hope y'all enjoyed a good laugh. Keep an eye out for a serious approach to this topic next week.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

For the Woman I Used to Be

I started writing Confessions of a Virgin in July 2011, after months of wanting to write about virginity. As I've mentioned before, I wrote my very first post the morning after my first date with Beau

At the time of writing my inaugural post, I had never: 
  • had a boyfriend
  • been in love
  • been naked with a man
  • seen a man naked
  • performed fellatio
  • enjoyed cunnilingus or received it sober
  • used a vibrator 
  • had skype sex
I wasn't just a virgin--I was downright virginal, and I felt very alone in my sexual inexperience, even if it was by choice.

About this time last year, I took my blog offline to refocus my writing. When I started blogging again, I had rebranded as Finding My Virginity. The change in title reflected both what I had learned in my first year and a half of blogging and how I had changed during that time.

I thought about these changes a few weeks ago when the Fusion Network asked me to be on two of their shows to talk about the documentary How to Lose Your Virginity. Both Alicia Menendez and Mariana Van Zeller wanted to know the same thing from me.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Love Is... (Super Bowl Weekend Edition)






Beau and I had an amazing weekend. It was honestly the perfect balance between alone time, quality time with friends, relaxation, and productivity. 

Love is learning a new skill to please your partner.

Friday night, Beau and I went dancing!!!! My neighborhood has a dance studio, and they had a LivingSocial deal recently for discounted dance lessons. I don't formally dance anymore, but my past includes ten years of jazz and tap lessons, a few musical theatre productions, and Tuesday nights swing dancing at a local bar during undergrad. Beau has slightly... less training. So it was very nice spending Friday night learning the basics of how to waltz, foxtrot, and rumba. 

Love is cooking breakfast.

Saturday morning, I made Beau and me biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Then we had some very excellent alone time, wink wink, nudge nudge, followed by a relaxing hot bath. Our afternoon was spent cleaning my apartment and preparing for guests! 

Love is having fun with friends without alcohol.

My friends James and Amanda came over for pizza and board games. Beau dominated the night, winning first Star Trek Catan and then Scrabble.

Love is understanding when your partner makes mistakes.

Super Bowl Sunday was pretty sweet too! Beau and I went to one of my favorite restaurants for brunch. I had a buy one, get one coupon, but apparently I didn't read the fine print. I felt SO guilty when I found out it didn't apply to breakfast. I don't usually ask Beau to take me out for nice meals, and I was so excited about scoring a deal. He was very sweet and understanding when we found out my coupon was no good. Our server was very nice and gave us two free muffins as an apology, even though it was my fault for not reading the fine print. 

Love is spending all your free time with your bestie.

The Super Bowl itself we celebrated with Lauren, Hardy, and James. We ate SO much yummy food. The game was pretty boring, so Lauren and I spent most of the night gossiping.

All in all, I had an amazing weekend!
What did y'all do this weekend?

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