Travelers and Homebodies: Can it Work?
These days, if I’m not on a trip I’m probably planning one. Whether its for work, a family obligation, or to explore a country on my “must-see-before-I-die” list, traveling is constantly on my brain. So of course I’m considering what this means for my love life! And after talking to a few members of the Nomadness Travel Tribe (a traveling group I belong to), I got the memo that “nomads,” a.k.a. frequent travelers, may be more likely to be single. Arrrrr!!
Truth be told, I am not okay with that. And unfortunately the solution is not as simple as dating a fellow nomad. Even within the Nomadness Travel Tribe, their statistics show that the group of over 4,500 members is 80% female. Not very good odds for a woman seeking a man within the tribe.
So does that mean my only option will be to one day slow down and stay put when I meet the next “boo”? According to Davine, one of my recent interviewees, the answer is no:
Do you think there can be compromise in a relationship between a nomad and a non-traveler? Or is that a breakup waiting to happen? Sound off!
Veralyn Williams is a Multimedia Freelance Journalist currently working in New York City. She has spent 4 years at WNYC Radio working with various departments including: Radio Rookies, Culture, News, and Freakonomics. She also freelances for Black Enterprise, BronxNet Television, Bedsider, and The Museum for African Art. Her independent work is featured on her website VeralynMedia.com. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten in the media.
Having that social construct thrown out like it’s fact that women naturally want less sex just makes me want to scream. There’s so much variance among both sexes…It’s so individual. You can’t say men have a higher drive, or women do. All we can say is this: Some people want more sex than other people. It varies widely from person to person regardless of sex.
If you’re a woman with a stronger sex drive than your male partner, this Huffington Post article has an important message for you: you are not alone.
Whether or not you can directly relate, the stories are definitely worth a read. And if the subject hits home for you, check out our Frisky Friday on tips for dealing with mismatched libidos.
Eat dessert first. Go out in a new neighborhood. Have sex in the kitchen. The point is to do the opposite of what you usually do and shake things up.
Comprehensive Safer Sex 3: Take it to the next level
As part of STD Awareness Month, Jenelle Marie of The STD Project is contributing a three-part series to our tumblr (along with an article for Bedsider.org) sharing her experiences with STIs and her suggestions for how to have the safest sex possible. This is the final post of the series.
Always bring a raincoat even if you’re not expecting rain. Image source: George Eastman House
When thinking about a comprehensive safer-sex regimen, it helps to keep in mind things that are not considered part of safer-sex too, because it’s really easy to get overwhelmed or a bit confused when you’re trying to be as responsible with your sexual health as possible.
Although sex comes with some hefty implications for your health and emotional well-being, it doesn’t have to be all business and no play. In fact, adding humor to your safer-sex plan can make those steps seem less cumbersome. When you can laugh about the things that seem a bit awkward, you lighten the mood and open the opportunity to explore and learn together.
This shouldn’t be a deal breaker for a partner. In fact, it should be very sexy to them that you’re conscientious and careful. If it’s not, you should ask yourself if this is the right person for you. Someone who cares about their body and their health is also more apt to care about you, your body, and your health. Do you really want to get intimate with someone who doesn’t place safer sex on their list of priorities?
At the end of the day, you and your partner have to decide which risks you’re willing to accept, and how you’re most comfortable negotiating them together. Whether it’s for a long-term relationship or just for a night, it should be the responsibility of both partners to talk about safer sex and prepare to be sexually healthy in the bedroom.
If you’re already living with an STI…
We talk about STIs in depth on The STD Project and provide a lot of the basic information you can find on sexual health websites alongside the grey areas most people are afraid to talk about—how to live with and have healthy relationships with an STI, when to tell someone you have an STI, how to tell someone you have an STI, and more.
Whether you’re living with an STI or doing your best to educate yourself about how to avoid them, a comprehensive safer-sex approach is the sexiest and safest way to be sexually healthy.
Sex and Song: Prince, “Strange Relationship”
You don’t need to be a musician to appreciate the connection between sex and music. Still, we thought it would be fun to hear what they have to say about it. In our “Sex and Song” series, curated by drummer and producer Katy Otto, musicians share a song about sex, love, or both, and what it means to them.
TRIGGER WARNING: This piece discusses abuse within the context of partner violence.
Prince tends to threaten lawsuits on anybody who posts his original music, so Andy decided to record her own version of “Strange Relationship.”
Prince has made a lot of different types of love songs through the years. Two were based on driving-as-sex metaphors (“Dirty Mind” and “Little Red Corvette”), one (“Darling Nikki”) outraged Tipper Gore and led to the advent of Parental Advisory labels, and one explored the possibilities of sexiness while keeping one’s pants on (“The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”). Then there are the love songs that Prince sang as a woman named Camille.
My Minnesotan queer friends tell me Prince is something of a gay-hater these days, but he can’t take back the queerness of those days in ‘86 and ‘87 when he sped up his vocals, took on the persona of Camille, and sang a handful of smart, gender-bending songs. Singing as Camille, Prince arguably wrote the most prescient, subtle love songs of his career. As if to balance out all of the reckless, fun sex jams of his wonder years, “Strange Relationship” is a downer, taking on the decidedly un-sexy but super-important subject of emotional abuse.
“I know you know me well, I don’t like winter,” Camille begins, “but I seem to get a kick out of doin’ ya cold.” Let’s parse what’s going on here: Camille says that she is the abuser; she’s intentional about it. She could stop it. And she continues: “Oh what the hell, you always surrender.” And in one verse, Camille has unfolded two key, interlocking elements of abuse: that it’s the abuser’s fault, and still the abuser will blame the surviving partner.
The chorus takes us through the whole cycle, from the obvious abuse—“Baby, I just can’t stand to see you happy”—to pleading and maybe reconciliation—“more than that, I hate to see you sad”—to more victim blaming: “Baby, if you let me I just might do something rash.” Terrifying. Stark. Vital. “Strange Relationship” teaches the listener about the psychology of a victimizer in three minutes.
Earlier recordings of this song feature Prince—the non-Camille version—singing the song (prominently, with a sitar and slightly different lyrics; I used these earlier lyrics in my cover version posted above). That Prince made “Strange Relationship” into a Camille song is also notable and thought-provoking: the Camille vocal drives home the point that abusive behavior can come from people of multiple genders.
Prince has touched on many aspects of love throughout his career, but his true measure as an artist is that he has written about the joy and the pain with equal amounts of intelligence, efficiency, and attention to detail. Romance can yield both wonder and evil, and there’s justice—especially in our era of short attention spans—that someone spent time making that point into something radio-friendly.
Andy Bowen is an organizer and artist. She plays bass for the DC punk band Southern Problems; is Social Policy Organizer for DC Trans Coalition, a transgender activist organization; and is releasing her first solo album, the 26th Anniversary Edition, in May. You can hear her music and follow her etherized presence at andymbowen.com.
Get back on that horse. You might want to take some time off before you explore romance again. That’s fine, but don’t let it go too far. You want to gain strength and get centered, not become so fearful of love (and getting hurt again) that you avoid it.