Deep thoughts on shallow inclinations

When is judging a person by their physical traits a justified part of sexual attraction, and when is it shallow and wrong?

I recently started talking to a new guy who I met online. It started off good, and for the first few days we chatted almost constantly. And we’re still talking, although not daily and the conversations are not as long. I found it easy to carry on a conversation with him, but how much of this is actual chemistry and how much is wishful thinking?

We share some mutual interests, but also have some different. We have quite different backgrounds (not in a bad way). It seems that we’re a decent match to be friends at least, if not more.

I’m attracted enough to him in most ways. I’ve only seen a few pictures and we haven’t met in person yet (a necessary thing before I’d make any commitments). He’s not necessarily my perfect “ideal,” but I’m not expecting an Adonis, and I can definitely see myself being with him. However, there’s one thing that really bothered me in his pictures – his teeth!

I spent more years in braces, and more time in dentist chairs, than I care to remember. My teeth aren’t perfect, but they’re better than average. I don’t blame anyone for having health problems (including dental problems). I expect a minimum of dental hygiene to be practiced, which most people do.  I’d certainly be friends with anyone regardless of the condition of their teeth.

I’m really not picky when it comes to physical traits. I don’t rule out people because of their height or weight, their skin or hair color, or even what parts they have (I’ve been attracted to basically all flavors of men and women at some point). I wouldn’t turn someone away for being transgender, or having a disability or impairment, or almost any physical trait. In fact, these things can be turn-ons.

I’m certainly not attracted to every person, and I will not pretend I’m attracted to someone I’m not, and won’t sleep with or date them. But I judge people on an individual basis. Often, my sexual attractions don’t involve anything more than instinct and a general feeling about a person’s total appearance (and personality of course). Often it’s hard to describe or predict. I could write down all the things I find sexy, and I could find a person who meets all those criteria but I’m still repulsed by… and likewise, I could list all my turn-offs, and find someone who possesses them all but I’m still mysteriously drawn to.

Also, when people have physical differences… if it is wrong to judge them and turn them down for it… is it also wrong to actually be turned on by them? Is it weird or inappropriate to have fetishes that involve these things… like being turned on by casts, crutches, wheelchairs? Guys who are blind, or deaf, or have scars, or missing limbs, or are little people? People whose genitals don’t match their minds? People who have something that is seen by most as a problem or illness or injury? When is it healthy, and when does it cross a line? Is it any different than finding, say, red hair, or tattoos, or a moustache sexy? Or bondage, or roleplay, or foot fetishes, or piss play? Or anything?

But the idea of kissing a mouth with yucky teeth is just …. yucky. And I love to kiss. So, could I be in a relationship with someone who I don’t love the idea of kissing? Could I get over it? Maybe my initial reaction to the photos was not correct, and his teeth really aren’t that bad. I’d judge in person, and take other things into consideration, before I completely wrote someone off. But is my aversion justified? Is it worth taking more time to pursue a possible relationship? Or is it just as wrong to lead someone on when I am so doubtful as to its long term potential?

Teeth or not teeth… that is the question.

Disgusted.

I’m disgusted right now. There’s no other way to describe it. I won’t give too many details, because I don’t want to promote the work of evil people or to invade the privacy of those they are harming. But I need to share my feelings.

Much of my disgust is directed toward a television personality, one of those ones that populate daytime syndicated TV, who trades in sordid tales of cheating husbands and whoring wives (or vice versa), baby-daddy DNA tests, abusive relationships, and other outrageous situations. This person represents both our legal system (through their former career) and journalism (through being a television host). This person SHOULD have strong ethics. This person SHOULD have a sense of justice. This person SHOULD search for truth, and report only truth, without sensationalizing it. But instead, this evil and misguided person is directly profiting form the emotional trauma of grieving persons. They are setting the stage (literally) for a televised shouting match that will undoubtedly cause further harm. They are recording and preserving for all time a dispute that should be a private family matter, and allowing a public forum for some individuals to unjustly accuse others of inconceivable, immoral, criminal acts (without a shred of evidence or proof, since if they actually HAD any, the matter would have been handed over to police and tried in a courtroom).

I understand that these types of shows might possibly, indirectly serve some purpose (though I would argue this purpose can be fulfilled by better means). I understand people enjoy watching them, and I’ve sometimes watched myself (though I will never again watch one produced by this individual). I understand that most of the time, the people they show are adults, who willingly go on television, get paid for their appearance, and they may also receive some form of counseling or advice (though I would argue that it isn’t enough money or counseling to truly help or to offset the damages caused by their scandalizing.)

However, in this instance, I am absolutely certain that some of the people they have taken advantage of did not possess the ability to consent. They could not understand all the possible ramifications of appearing on television this way. They could not anticipate the emotional, legal, financial, or social effects that may haunt them for the rest of their lives. They were not of sound mind when they made this decision, due to grief. And frankly, even before the tragic incident, I believe they were subject to years of abuse and neglect. I don’t believe they had the capacity to deal with the situation.

An old friend of mine is the accused person, who, after suffering a great tragedy, is now being targeted by persons he/she once loved, and wrongly blamed for a tragic incident out of his/her control.

I don’t know all the specifics of what happened. I haven’t been in touch with my friend in several years. I haven’t yet watched the full program (because it hasn’t aired yet). But I know enough to know that airing this “dirty laundry” on national television will serve no good purpose. It will not stop this tragedy or any other from happening. It will not help anyone heal from the tragedy, in fact, it will undoubtedly cause more emotional distress. Justice will not be served.(I suspect that there is not even anyone to blame for the tragedy, that it was just an unexplainable “act of god” situation, and I don’t believe my friend is capable of intentionally doing anything that he/she may be accused of. I believe he/she is a good person who has been dealt an extremely tough hand in life, and who is doing the best he/she can. Obviously, I was not a witness to the events, and I know that people can surprise us. However, even if anyone is to blame for the tragedy, this is not the proper way of finding the truth nor of dealing with the situation.)

There are so many things wrong in the world right now, and this is just a “minor” tragedy that barely makes the local news. There are people being harmed and killed every moment; more than we can count. It’s gotten to the point where it feels insurmountable and utterly impossible to stop these bad things – maybe people being monsters is just nature, and maybe fighting nature is futile. I don’t know. But I know my overriding emotion is disgust.

The Crush List – Summer 2013

  1. Music – “All American Boy” by Steve Grand, “Royals” by Lorde, “Wasting All These Tears” by Cassadee Pope, “You Make Me Wanna” by Cody Belew, and anything by Haim are my newest discoveries. I’ve been listening to a lot of music, usually on Spotify or Vevo, the past few days. Usually, I only think to listen to music while I’m traveling (as a passenger on a car or bus) and when I’m at home, I only put on a CD when I have the house to myself and want to sing along, LOUD. Other times, I’m either watching videos, or doing things that preclude listening to music. But lately I’ve remembered to put on Spotify at times, like now.
  2. Gay Web Series – Eastenders, DTLA, Husbands, The Outs, Hunting Season, Where the Bears Are and more. This is actually becoming a crowded area, and that’s fantastic (considering how GLBT folks are still marginalized and underrepresented on mainstream TV). And many of these series, although independently produced at first, have now been picked up by slightly bigger media companies (like Logo and the CW networks). It’s hard to rank these, because they’re all worth watching (and all far too short! More seasons please!) But Husbands and The Outs are my personal favorites so far.
  3. Whodunnit? on ABC. Although it’s pretty cheesy at times, this murder mystery game show is fun to watch. I haven’t seen the season finale yet (which aired last night) but I am eagerly waiting to see if my guess about the “killer” is true. I hope the show returns for another season. I’d actually love to be on it, too.
  4. Teen Wolf on MTV. Although I’m not convinced they actually have any plan or will ever satisfactorily answer half the mysteries they pose (or that it will mean anything if they do)… holy hell, are those wolves hot. This show is quite possibly the true successor to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (okay, the ‘main’ character is the boy, but the female characters on the show are all different but powerful in their own ways. And there are now two recurring gay characters, and the relationships of the other guys are pretty homo-erotic. And there are many other parallels I could draw.) It’s a thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  5. Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. I’ve read the first few books in the series lately, and although they are not perfect, they definitely held my interest. The first book felt uneven, but it was a necessary exposition. The second book introduced too many unlikable characters for me, but it was still enjoyable overall, especially once the unlikable characters got their karma. (And conflict IS necessary to a good story.) The third book is actually more targeted towards YA readers, and this was noticeable in both style and content. It takes place at the same time period as book 2, so it wasn’t technically necessary to read to understand the main plot, but I liked it. There are no major openly gay characters yet, but one of the main themes does seem to be young women fighting against the norms of a patriarchal society. (Apparently there are also implied gay characters in the series, but this isn’t made very clear at this point.) This series is just SCREAMING for a television/film adaption. It needs to be handled delicately, but I would give anything to be a showrunner for this.

We don’t care, we’re not caught up in your love affair.

(Note: the post title is part of the lyrics to “Royals” by Lorde)

The past few days have been bad, even worse than usual, on my psyche. I’m feeling despondent. I got caught up in anger at someone else’s rude and ignorant behavior. Usually I just ignore it. However, this time it threw me through a loop. I became physically ill over it. I didn’t attend an event I probably should have, and now I feel guilty. Even though the main reason I didn’t attend was because I wasn’t ever consulted on the plans, or even clearly told what was going on. I couldn’t handle being around anyone, and really was sick, anyway. But I still feel guilty … and I still feel angry.

I need to get myself out of this headspace. I need to make changes in my life, and I don’t know how to make these changes. I feel like a broken record. I just feel broken.

I see guys on Grindr (and other sites) that are attractive. Honestly, based only on appearances, I’d sleep with most of them. But for some reason, the ones who I decidedly wouldn’t fuck are the only ones who message me.

I carried on a texting relationship (relationship? it hardly qualifies, but I don’t know what other term to use) with a guy for a couple months, back and forth. But nothing of substance was ever said, it was just “how ya doing” and “fine” and offers of sex that never materialized. I specifically told him, at least twice, that a) I couldn’t host and b) I was unable to drop everything and travel to his place, especially in the middle of the night and c) if he wanted to hang out, he’d have to make specific plans with me, in advance. It’s called a date; the concept isn’t that hard to understand.

He wasn’t horrible-looking, but he wasn’t my dream man either. He was right on the line where his attractiveness to me depended on my level of desperation that day. And he never was able to carry on a conversation, and never told me any real details about himself. When I did ask questions, I’d get one-word or vague answers. I’m not always the best conversationalist… but with him it was like pulling teeth. He was also on the young end of the spectrum, for me. 20 when we started talking, now 21. Although I think up to 10 years age difference is a good general rule, and I try never to judge on age alone (as long as they are legally adults)… I feel like anyone under 22, anyone who hasn’t had at least a year of being able to legally drink, and who is THAT MUCH younger than me, is a stretch. The further you are from me in age, the more you better bring to the table in other aspects.

I basically just stopped responding, but then he was persistent, so I started talking again (or trying to talk) but the same problems persisted. As one of my friends said (paraphrased), ‘I’m sorry you feel so desperate that you feel you need to talk to this guy you really don’t like.’ So I haven’t talked to him lately… but it never really ended, I just didn’t talk to him. I tend to avoid conflict like that.

Another strange experience, was that a guy who was 15, messaged me. Now, his profile said he was 22 (and the pics on his profile weren’t clear enough to suggest anything different, and only people over 18 are allowed to legally use the app). Pretty much the first thing he said (after hellos) was “how young will you go.” I said (thinking he was 22) that “For obvious reasons, I won’t even consider anyone under 18. But besides that, I try not to judge people on age alone.”  He then said, “I’m 15 … are you okay with me being 15?” and when I replied, “No, if you’re 15, I’m not interested in anything.” I was going to end the conversation with that, but he proceeded to swear me out in an extremely rude manner. Frankly, I was unnerved because even though I’m confident I did nothing morally or ethically wrong, I don’t want to be in a position where the concept of statutory rape even comes into question. So I became a bit defensive and said, “There’s no need to be rude. You’re the one who’s lying about his age and are on this app illegally. Please don’t contact me again.” I then took screenshots of his profile and the conversation (potential evidence, just in case). And then I reported him.

I probably wouldn’t have reported him, had he not been so rude. I’ve never really reported anyone, except for actual spambots. I figure it’s not my responsibility, it’s not going to stop him from doing anything (there’s a billion other apps, plus he could just get a new profile), and that GLBT teens are at higher risk of suicide, homelessness, and a million other problems – and I didn’t want to add to those risks. GLBT teens may need the internet as a lifeline, just to reach out to someone for advice or friendship, to others in the gay community who they don’t have an opportunity to see in “real life.” Especially in rural areas like this without a gay community center or adequate resources. However, when he was rude, I wanted the extra insurance that reporting him would provide – so there would be no question in the unlikely event someone accused me of something. So there would be a paper trail, of the email I sent to the app developers.

And speaking of statutory rape, can we please get rid of that phrase?! Along with the phrase date rape. Something is either rape or it’s not. Qualifying the word rape with those other words is stupid. Rape is non-consensual. Rape is violent. Rape is rape. Even suggesting that a consensual sexual act is “rape” takes the sting out of the word rape, a sting it should have. It doesn’t matter if the people are the same age or different ages, it doesn’t matter if the people had dinner together first or if they are total strangers in a dark alley.

And when the concept of statutory rape was defined, it was meant to protect five-year-olds who don’t understand the concept of sex, and thus couldn’t consent … not 16-year-olds who persue a willing romantic and sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, only to have their parents pursue statutory rape charges against their daughter’s girlfriend as soon as she turns 18 because they can’t deal with the fact their daughter’s a lesbian (look it up, it’s happened.) 18 is a completely arbitrary age for being considered an adult. And while it’s true that most teenagers aren’t fully mature… there are plenty of people in their 20s, 30s, and beyond who aren’t actually mature, either.

But, back to my original thoughts when I started writing this post…

I found a guy who is very attractive. He’s in a career that is very closely related to my own interests. He’s apparently looking (though whether he’s single or in an open relationship is unclear). He’s not too far from me, distance-wise. He’s only a couple years younger than me. I even have the perfect, not too stalker-ish thing to open with. BUT… I can’t work up the nerve to message him.

I’m afraid he’s too attractive to go for me. Logically, I know that what people are attracted to has nothing to do with their own appearance … and attraction isn’t only physical, but also mental, based on personality and shared interests and experiences. But I can’t help but think that this guy’s so hot, he couldn’t possibly go for me. (Especially when he’s judging on the limited information from a Grindr profile.)

I normally tend toward the geeky, the average, the non-traditionally sexy… so I’ve never had problems finding SOMEONE. Finding the right someone, at the right time, now that’s a different matter. I’ve never really had a successful relationship for more than a couple months. I’ve never had anyone reach the “meet the folks” stage. I’ve barely had them reach the “meet the friends” stage, unless we had mutual acquaintances already, which has happened. Most of the time, there’s a longer build-up, a short fling, and then things just end.

And now, with limited options… and so much desperation… I can’t bring myself to message the guys with whom I actually think I may have a chance. Or, they don’t respond. Or, we do talk a couple times, but never meet. They either say something that turns me off completely, or else one of us gets frustrated, or we just don’t care enough to keep up the game playing.

I’m realizing now, my problem is that I don’t feel I deserve a good guy, at least not right now. I am basically a failure, with no prospects, no money, no job, living with family, and not enough motivation to change all that. I desperately want to change it, but it’s hard. It’s a catch-22, since the types of jobs I want are in extremely short supply here, but yet to move I need resources. I’d be giving up free rent (and other things) by moving, so it doesn’t make sense financially to move for a job that’s only minimum wage or barely above it. Plus, I’m not sure where I want to move to. There are two main prospects – both of which I’ve spent enough time in to know what I’m getting into, both of which are doable, but one of which is vastly more expensive and more desirable to live in, and the other is vastly cheaper and closer to most of my family. Plus, I’m still considering other options, although I really haven’t spent enough time in those places to make a good determination. But, maybe being somewhere new is what I need….

I don’t feel I am a good enough “catch” at this point, to be with the type of guys I want to be with. However, I know that I could be, in the future, an even better catch. (Yep, I’m a bit conceited that way.) The thing is, I don’t know how long it will take me to get to that point. And because I don’t have a relationship, because I feel unfulfilled and I am wasting far too much time looking for and thinking about relationships, it’s even more difficult to change the other things in my life that need changing.

I don’t think I can just delete Grindr and never check again. I’ll just fill up my time with another vice, or I’ll end up reinstalling it,  anyway. But I took the step of erasing my profiles (mostly) to help clue guys in that I’m not seriously looking, and thus don’t mislead them, when I’m online using the sites just for my “spank bank.” The funny thing is, as soon as I erased the picture (or replaced it with a picture of a non-human object, for the sites that wouldn’t let me just delete the pics), I got a shit-ton of messages. What about that blank profile was more attractive than the real me? What made them message or respond when they didn’t only a day before? That isn’t helping my self-esteem.

I really don’t think I’m unattractive. I’ve had plenty of guys tell me how hot I am. I may be slightly overweight right now (about 40 pounds heavier than I’d like, but nowhere near “The Biggest Loser” territory, and about 40 pounds lighter than my heaviest point when I was a teenager. And when I was 40 pounds lighter, my family members told me they thought I was too thin – though I should stress I have never been anorexic or anything like that, nor was I even actively trying to lose weight). My hair is thinning a bit, and I’m a bit self-conscious about that (but still, it’s probably barely noticeable to other people. My beard is getting a bit grey in some places. I tend to stay “scruffy” when I don’t have anywhere to be, although I put effort into my appearance when I am going out. I think I have a sense of style, although I am probably more conservative in my day-to-day clothing than I would be if I had a better body and more confidence and lived in a more urban environment. I’m not a model, but I think I’m of average attractiveness, at least.

I also think I’m smarter than the average. I’m more talented than the average. I’m more creative than the average. I’m more passionate than the average. But I’m also NOT athletic AT ALL. (I enjoy some things like dancing and swimming, but the only time you’ll catch me running is after a bus or when they’re giving away free chocolate.) I’m shy and quiet. I’m indecisive. I’m socially awkward. I’m introverted. So… these things stack up against me when it comes to forming relationships.

Another thing is, because I want/plan to move, I don’t want to start anything long term. I don’t do distances well. I don’t even want to try if it’s more than an hour away, or the person can’t visit on a regular basis. Another city? Forget it. I know there’s the internet and travel, and it’s great to keep in touch with old friends that way, but for a romantic relationship, I want more. And I’m not willing to stop looking for someone closer, if I did start a relationship long-distance, so it wouldn’t be an exclusive one. It’s not that I don’t like having long-distance friends, but I already have enough of those.

I don’t want just a quick hookup either. I am not clingy, but I need some strings. If I wouldn’t date you, I’m not going to fuck you. If there’s not at least a possibility of a long-term friendship or relationship (even if it’s not an exclusive/monogamous one, because I am totally up for poly relationships), then I’m not going to waste my time. I might jump in the sack within five minutes of meeting you… I’m certainly no prude… but I’m going to want to cuddle and have a conversation afterward. The idea of “blow and go” is pointless to me. I’ll just use my hand, thanks very much. Sometimes, I consider hooking up, but then just give up looking and just jerk off, or either me or the other people don’t follow through.

So where does this leave me? The guys who pursue me, I don’t want. The guys I really want, I won’t pursue. The guys I don’t really want, but would consider out of desperation, don’t reply. So I haven’t had a date OR a hookup in well over a year (nearly two).

My hands are tired.

 

The Crush List – Spring 2013

  1. Straight allies – I can’t say how awesome it feels to see my straight friends showing their support by changing their social media avatars or making posts in support of marriage equality. It gives me hope both that the world can get better, and that I have people out there who will accept me for who I am.
  2. “Vikings,” on the History Channel and Hulu – This series is awesome. There are some arguments that it’s not accurate or it’s too fictionalized for History Channel fare… but who cares. History is always biased; it’s always written by the victors. It feels educational AND fun, and I am learning new things not only through the show itself, but through the research / googling it inspires me to do. Plus the cast is ah-mazing, and deserve Emmys (or at least nominations) for their work. Especially Katheryn Winnick as the bad-ass shield-maiden! And is it totally weird that I want Ragnar’s hair style? (Maybe a bit less scruffy version of it…)
  3. Jinkx Monsoon – I think she might be my favorite drag queen EVER. She totally deserves the crown on this cycle of Drag Race. She’s hilarious, classy, gorgeous, adorbs, charismatic, and sexy. She brings something to the runway that, while it pays homage to gay icons and drag legends of the past, is totally new and unique. And while she CAN read a bitch, she seems immensely nice and doesn’t NEED to tear down others to build herself up. If Ru doesn’t hand her the win, Ru is crazy. (And by the way, Jinkx, if you read this and Ivy Winters has turned you down regarding your crush / showmance….. give me a call! ROWR!)
  4. “That Sex Show” on Logo - I love sex, so this isn’t surprising that I would become interested in this show. However, I gotta say, that sometimes it makes me want to “facepalm”. I think I know more about sex and gender and relationships than everyone on there! (Not all of it is from personal experience, mind you, I’m not THAT much of a slut. Some is from friends and years of giving them advice.) But sometimes these panelists act so surprised about a fetish existing, or don’t know the meaning of a term, and I’m like “what!?” Even so, all the panelists are likable and funny. It’s entertaining. And occasionally even I learn something…
  5. “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand – I’m only a little over a third of the way through this massive book, but I find it so good (and so aggrivating in some ways). I don’t understand how the “Tea Partiers” think Ayn Rand is their mascot; this book is actually the antithesis of many of their beliefs… I don’t believe that we can infer how an author from the past would have felt about contemporary issues, because the world and time a person lives in shapes their views, and words change meaning over time. I also don’t believe we should read hidden meanings into fiction and turn them into political mannifestos unless the author specifically says that’s how you should interpret it. In Rand’s case, yes, she made political statements. I haven’t yet read everything she wrote. However, what I take from this book is NOTHING like what the pundits claim to hold as their views. So please, pick up this book and start reading – Part 1 can stand alone as a complete work as it is… if you can’t commit to such a large book… or start with her “Anthem” which is super super short. (We the Living is also worth reading, if you finish Anthem).
  6. Nutella - For some reason I’m on a kick of eating this lately. I basically slather it on wheat toast, because I don’t know what else to do with it, and don’t have any other chocolate stuff left around the house. And I think it’s healthier than chocolate (which I think is healthy itself) so yeah (even though I’m probably flawed in my logic considering it a health food, I really don’t care).

Goodness Gay-cious

Goodness gay-cious is kinda like “goodness gracious” only, like, gayer.

It’s an expression used to signify excitement or positive feelings. Example: “Goodness gay-cious, he’s a sexy dancer.”

Pansexual, Polyamorous, and Genderqueer

These terms may mean something slightly different to each person, but here’s what they mean to me. I use these terms to identify myself, but they are just parts of my identity, not the entirety of my being.

I am pansexual because I find myself sexually, physically, and mentally attracted to persons of all genders (I believe that there are more than two genders, and I believe that the differences are gradual rather than a black-and-white distinction.) I sometimes say that I am “bisexual” since more people are familiar with that term, and for simplicity. I also am sexually attracted more often to guys, so I don’t mind the term “gay,” and I’ll use it in certain situations. But pansexual feels the most honest and complete, for me.

I am polyamorous because I believe that it is possible to love two or more people equally. I believe poly relationships can work, and that monogamy or serial monogamy isn’t the right solution for everyone. I’ve had one threesome, and though it was short term, it was fun. I haven’t had the opportunity to have a long-term poly relationship yet. While it isn’t a must, and I would certainly consider monogamous relationships if the right person came along, I really feel that a partly-open or a poly relationship suits me best and is ideal.

I am genderqueer because I feel more masculine at times and more feminine at others. I have no current desire to have surgery or take hormones, and I don’t want to permanently “lose” or change parts of my body. However, if there was a magic spell that could switch me between sexes at will, I would use it in a heartbeat (and often). As it is, I’m simply too lazy to go through the grooming rituals to be a “drag queen” and I’m too shy to be a performer. I don’t agree with society’s definitions of sex, gender, gender roles, and gender stereotypes. I consider myself transgender (and strongly support the trans community) even though I’m not currently persuing changes to my body. After all, gender is between the ears (not between the legs).

Singing and Dancing

Now that The Voice and Dancing with the Stars have returned, here’s some initial thoughts….

DWTS

DL Hugley is quite possibly the worst celebrity to grace (er, perhaps “grace” isn’t the right word…) the dance floor yet. In ANY season. He deserved to go first, and the only explanation for his staying is that Cheryl got a shitload of sympathy votes.

I was fairly shocked at the “elimination”… (which I read about online, I rarely watch the actual elimination shows since I’m too busy and don’t feel like sitting through lengthy recaps and drawn-out faux drama of who is “safe” or not.)

As for the women, Kellie Pickler and Zendaya are the best dancers. Although I think they are about equal on actual dance skills, Kellie has a slight advantage in age (she can show off her sexiness more than an underage celeb) and voting (since she already has a fanbase from American Idol and her country singing career that will be used to voting for her).

As for the men, I personally think Andy Dick is the best AND most entertaining dancer. His first dance was average for a week one dance, but his second was completely fucking amazing. It was sexy, funny, and in proper character. He practically danced like a pro. And did I mention sexy? I almost ran off to have some “alone time” afterwards. However, I don’t predict that he will last long. He’s going to be judged unfairly by the judges and by the “middle America” voters. He’s also got the huge disadvantage of being paired with a “newbie” pro. But, he has my vote at least. Ingo Rademacher, the soap guy, is probably the second-best dancer so far.

If I had to bet on a top 3, my money would be on Kellie Pickler, Aly Raisman, and Ingo Rademacher.

Also, I like that they’re adding different dances to the mix, but for some reason it felt wrong to be giving some pairs Contemporary in week one, while giving others a more traditional ballroom dance. It’s never really been easy to compare dancers against each other while doing different styles, but this was even more glaring.

The Voice

Shakira is amazing, and she makes a fantastic addition to the show. I originally started watching mostly for Christina, so when I heard she was not going to be on this season, I was relieved that Shakira would be on. She’s one of the few people who could get me as excited as Xtina (although by now I’ve come to like the show and the other coaches enough that I’d probably watch regardless.) Usher is okay, I don’t have anything against him, but he is a little too laid-back and understated so far.

Also, with both Xtina and Cee-lo gone, the wardrobe department is a little lacking. Too much black and leather. Sorry, but red boots on Usher and a little fishnet on Shaki aren’t quite the same as the spiky metal shoulder pads and crazy wigs and pets worn by Cee-lo, or the boob-revealing and hair-dying antics of Xtina. Shaki’s style is also a bit hampered, at least potentially depending when episodes were filmed, by her baby-bump or post-baby body (though she’s still a hottie regardless, it just makes wardrobe a bit more limited). And Blake and Adam pretty much keep their look the same week to week.

As for the contestants… there’s no one that has instantly captured my passion, so far. Sure, some of them are quite good, and will probably go far in the competition. But there’s no one who I’d go out right now and buy their CD.

Season 1 had Dia Frampton, Season 2 had Chris Mann, and Season 3 had Cassadee Pope (and that’s just my faves who made it to the finals). There were also several others who had me love them after just one song. I’ve even put my money where my mouth is, buying their CDs, downloading iTunes songs or pledging to their Kickstarters.

I may come to like these contestants more, as I hear more from them and they learn from the process of performing on the show, or else I may see someone in the coming weeks who captures my heart… but just so far, I can’t say who will get my votes.

There’s no one I am passionate about yet, the way I was/am about De’borah or Cody Belew, Lindsay Pavao, Pip, or Katrina Parker.

Perhaps ironically, it’s the two duos who are my favorites so far. Duos have historically been unsuccessful on the show, and haven’t made it very far. Perhaps this is their year.

Also, the “sob stories” are getting to be a little much. During night one, I literally laugh-snorted at a most inopportune time, thanks to the editing choices made. This is supposed to be The VOICE, not Oprah, Tyler Perry and RuPaul’s life-affirming bring-it-to-Church tales of redemption and perseverance. Yeah, we know it’s SO HARD to make it in the music industry, and you probably knew someone who died or was addicted to drugs or made your life hell or made sacrifices because they unconditionally love you. WE ALL DO.

I really wish they’d just bring them out on stage, with no intro, no backstory, no lights. They SING, and we give them a blind audition, just like the coaches do. They can bring in the emotional crap in later episodes – they have plenty of time.

A note on marriage equality

In case it wasn’t obvious (and it should be by now), I am a full supporter of marriage equality.

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I’m not even going to make a case for it (at this particular time) because, really now, it should be so blindingly fucking obvious to anyone with half a brain. There is NO logical argument against equality.  NONE.

The only people who can try to fight against equality are bigots. There is no other word for them. They do not deserve even a second of my attention. Sure, they have the right to be as vocal as they want, and I will fight for everyone’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion as hard as I fight for anything…. but I do not owe those bigots even an ounce of respect. Their words do nothing but cause real, physical and mental harm to millions of good, innocent people.

I believe marriage equality for gay and lesbian people is inevitable. I can only hope that it is something that comes sooner rather than later. This also doesn’t mean that the fight is over. Marriage is only one part (albeit an important part) of full equality. We also need non-discrimination in employment, housing, medical care, education, consumer affairs, and more. We need respect in the media. We need to stop criminals who mean us harm, and we need police and law enforcement to be allies. We need to extend all rights to ALL those in the GLBTQ (etc.) spectrum. This includes supporting trans people, people in polyamorous relationships, and others often forgotten even by the “gay” community.

This does not stop at our borders; although we should allow other nations and peoples to choose their own path, we should lead by example. We should not recognize, support, or trade with governments who commit human rights violations and atrocities. We should allow those who must flee those oppressive places a way to live the American dream. We need to make the entire world a safe place for every person to be who they are born.

So, yes…. support the marriage equality cause with all your heart, and hope and pray for victory. I thank everyone who does (especially our straight allies).

Just remember that regardless of how many people change their Facebook or Twitter avatars to the red equality sign…. regardless of the Supreme Court decisions… we probably are still a long way from our finish line. And though the revolution may be Tweeted, it may also include more sacrifices beyond a social media campaign.

 

Things that turn me on

In no particular order:

Fingerless gloves. Feet. Socks, sandals, or bare feet. The Doctor (especially 11). Glasses. Geeks. Nerds. Trevor Donovan. Just the right amount of scruff. Drag queens. James Franco. James Dean. “Dancing with the Stars” Pros (especially Derek Hough, Dmitry Chaplin, Tristan MacManus and Gleb Savchenko, and Lacey Schwimmer and Julianne Hough). Massages. Natalie Portman. The entire cast of “Revenge” (especially Conor Paolo). Lister and Rimmer from Red Dwarf. Tickling. Body contact. Smart people. Vampires, werewolves, aliens and other supernatural beings (in some instances). Kurt/Blaine, Blaine/Sam, and Brittany/Santana on “Glee.” Jay Brannan. James Van Der Beek. Matt Bomer. Cast of “Merlin” (BBC show). Bryan Fuller. Cast of “Arrow”. Shakira. Christina Aguilera. People being gay, bi, pan, poly, and/or trans. Confidence. Lee Pace. Quirky, smart humor. Sleeping next to someone. Spooning. Cuddling. Holding hands. Hair. Good art. The entire cast of “Teen Wolf.” Boys in casts and broken arms and legs. Boys crying. Boys moaning. Boys peeing. Swimming pools, fountains, showers, and other water. Little people. Amputees. People with physical disabilities / differences. People of all races. Accents. Some S&M. Getting rimmed. “Average” guys (not bodybuilder types, not  overweight, but a large range from skinny to chubby). Scarves. Jewelery. Faces. Porn with a plot.

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