Dating // January 12, 2015

This article originally appeared on BauceMag.com and was written by Vanessa Walker.

We all wonder when is it okay to finally hit the sack with the man we’re dating. It’s a tricky subject and everyone has a different viewpoints on it. With the double standards between men and women, it is hard for liberated women to do what they want without being scrutinized for it.

The typical labels: if you have sex too quick then you’re easy but if you wait too long then you’re stuck up. Or if you have too many sexual partners you’re a “hoe” but if you don’t open your legs to everyone then you still manage to be a prude. No matter which route you decide to drive down, making decisions isn’t the easiest. Maintaining a sexual balance or defining it rather can be downright hard.

To add more fuel to the fire about when to have sex or not, the “90-day rule” wags its dirty tail and comes into play. This means waiting 90 days after you meet a man before you become sexually involved. This is three months of just dating, talking and learning about each other through intellectual conversation and fun activities besides sex. Usually sex tends to cloud our minds and leave us astray from experiencing the true qualities of a person. When sex seeps in between, you become full of lust and the physical attraction may distract you from the mental and emotional attraction you can create with that person.

If you think that the man you’re dating is someone you see in your future, trying to commit to the 90-day rule is important. You get to learn more about his personality and future long term goals. Women agree with this rule because it allows them to get to know someone better and not get caught up in the complications sex creates.

If you came out of a long relationship and you’re ready to have fun, at least give yourself a little while before hopping into bed with just anyone. With the rise of HIV/AIDS and STDs spreading, it is much easier to contract an infection. One night stands may be fun and sometimes are inevitable if you’re drinking back-to-back shots, but it’s still imperative to always be protected. And even if you're not dreaming of wedding bells, it’s important to have an idea of who you’re about to have sex with, whether it be a friend, acquaintance, or a complete stranger.

Protect yourself emotionally and physically and know your long term (and short term) goals when you’re meeting someone. Once you decide what you want from them, everything else is easier afterwards.

Published in Dating

Dating // August 18, 2014

Ahhh, the one night stand. Whether they admit it or not, many people have had this casual sexual experience at least once, and usually during their 20’s. However common an occurrence in pop culture they may be, not everyone is sold on the one night stand (O.N.S) experience. Some view them as the greatest “after the party it’s the after party” night cap; in a glass half full kinda way. Others see them as the most embarrassing thing they’ve ever done after leaving the club; in a glass half empty kinda way. However you choose to look at your glass, there’s one undeniable fact: somebody quenched their thirst and got some.

One of the reasons why one night stands have become so prevalent is because the modern dating scene has become a little complicated. For some, dating has become something like the job interview process where, if you’re lucky, by the final stage of questioning you get laid. People don’t really have patience for the run around routine of dating anymore. The beauty of a one night stand is that it isn’t about checking your relationship resume. They don’t require confessing the background story on your last boyfriend or three dinner dates before you…. can show you’re qualified. The prerequisites for a one night stand are easy: as long as you have the complementary parts to get the job done, you’re hired.

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One night stands may seem like “the norm”, but trust me, they aren’t for everyone. Some are just using sex as a Band-Aid to cover up pain from past relationships, or as a tool to manipulate and hurt other people. (Payback for an ex maybe?) But O.N.S. do happen. So, when you leave the club this weekend, before for you decide to subscribe to the mantra of “YOLO” and go home with that cutie you JUST met, here are some questions to ask yourself: 


1) Can you accept responsibility for what is about to happen?

They say the first step to addiction rehabilitation is admitting you have a problem and thus accepting responsibility for it. Well, the first question of a one night stand is similar to that in that you have have to go into that experience knowing and accepting that whatever sexual encounter that is about to happen, is happening because YOU want it to. Far too often people find themselves making excuses for why they had a O.N.S because they feel embarrassed that this type of behavior may be deemed socially unacceptable. Don’t feel like you have to find fault with deciding to spend the night with someone you met hours before. So you slept with the guy from the wedding reception. Hey, it happens. We aren’t judging. But if you know you are going to end up making excuses for it after the fact by saying you were “soooooooo drunk “and blaming it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, maybe the O.N.S. isn’t for you. Be a big girl and own your mistakes with the same fervor as you would own your triumphs. If you’re confident in your decisions, there’s no reason to be ashamed. And vice versa, if you aren’t confident then don’t do it!

2) Can you Get In, Get Off and Get Out?

When you choose to have a one night stand, there’s a 90% chance that you aren’t looking at the guy you’re going to marry (that remaining 10% only happens in movies that are rarely based on a true story). As a matter of fact, a O.N.S is probably the most non-committal thing you could ever do. One night stands are strictly about sex - not love, not relationships.  Don’t expect breakfast or for your night time fun to sprawl over into a day date or some whirlwind romance. He probably won’t call you the next day (even though he said he would) and you have to be OK with that. Typically women are emotional beings and we tend to attach ourselves to situations relatively easy. If you’re the type to ask “what are we” in a relationship, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT partake in one night stand activity unless you want your feelings hurt when he says, “we aren’t anything”.  This all goes back to the #1 rule of a one night stand. If you know your reasons for sleeping with someone and you’re legitimately OK with the consequences, you won’t be shocked by the big let down that he doesn’t want to take you home to meet his mother because you don’t want to meet her anyway.

3) A One Night Stand Does Not a Whore Make

OK, so this isn’t a question but from the beginning of time, society has always classified women in two categories: the good girl and the bad girl. You’re either a virgin or a harlot. Marilyn Monroe or a Jackie O. Beyonce or Rihanna. Apparently as a woman, you can either have no sexual desires outside of the satisfaction of your marriage or you’re some wild woman out here bedding everyone with a penis. Don’t feel like you’re some skank or sexual deviant because you chose casual sex over companionship. We see it all the time with society’s double standard when it comes to sex: A man can have a wife, girlfriend and a side-chick and be considered “the man”, but let a woman sleep with people she is casually dating and she’s a ho. It’s ridiculous. I’m not encouraging you to change the way society views sex by hooking up with everyone to make a point, but I am telling you not to feel bad for getting it in a time or two. As long as you are responsible in your bed buddy choices, feel free to sleep with whoever, whenever and however you want to. Although they’ll try, nobody can really tell you what you can and cannot do with your body. Begin to own your sexuality. It’s surprising how empowered you’ll feel once you start being OK with your sexual preferences and stop comparing them to other people’s.

4) What’s Really Going On? Get Introspective...

Although it would be nice to say that all one night stands happen because you just felt the urge to get laid, there is a chance that your promiscuity is coming from someplace deeper. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to get over someone is not to get under someone else. Sex doesn’t equal love the same way a one night stand doesn’t equal commitment. A one night stand may sound like a great resolution to cure a bad breakup, but in reality it’s only masking an insecurity or self esteem issues you may have. A O.N.S works best when it is happening with purpose. Are you considering a one night stand because you want to let loose for a night or are you trying to get back at an ex by sleeping with his coworker in hopes to make him jealous? Be honest with yourself. Sex is more than just a physical act, it also warrants an emotional connection. Listen to your intuition and make sure you’re sleeping with people for the right reasons.

5) Are You Being Safe?

This isn’t just a PSA about practicing safe sex and using condoms (which is mandatory for a O.N.S by the way), but this is also about protecting your physical and emotional safety as well. Don’t sleep with someone who disrespects you or who doesn’t take your sexual boundaries seriously. Be cautious of who you give your address to and invite into your home. ALWAYS tell someone you trust (a girlfriend, a neighbor, your mom, etc.) your whereabouts and give as much detail about your partner as possible via text. Check in with your confidant if you can, so they know you’re OK. This tip may take the fun out of a casual hookup, but a huge part of owning your decision to partake in a one night stand is being responsible and protecting yourself.

So how do you know if you are capable of pulling off a O.N.S? Well for starters, make sure you aren’t just a girl looking for love. Make sure you aren’t just bed hopping in the hopes that someone will validate your worth and find you pretty or smart or funny. Don’t just succumb to the peer pressures of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” and irresponsibly sleep with people to uphold some warped self image. One night stands are for the girls who know who they are and what they have to offer outside of the bedroom. They are for the women who can look at a one night stand for exactly what it is: one night of safe, no strings attached, see ya when I see ya sex. Make sure you know who you are, what you can handle and what you are getting yourself into before you attempt to execute a O.N.S. Because while you do only live once, you don’t want to live with regrets.


Published in Dating
Sunday, 07 October 2012 23:56

Dating | Casual Sex: The Real Deal

October 8, 2012

You just had a fabulous date. Now you and your sexy new boo are on your couch and things are getting hot and heavy. He’s turned on. You’re turned on. And then he makes his move: “Want to take this to the bedroom?” Pause.  If you are not in a committed relationship with this guy it may be prudent to take a second to turn down the heat and think this through. Here's a few things you may want to contemplate before you do the do, without the commitment:

1) Women release a chemical in the brain during sex that is called oxytocin, which is referred to as "the bonding chemical." Why is this important, you ask? Well, it means that your brain is chemically set up to develop some kind of attachment to any man who sexes you. (In case you're wondering, no there isn't a pill you can take to get rid of it). So ask yourself: Can you handle feeling "attached" even though your guy hasn’t made a commitment to you?

2) There's no such thing as ongoing casual sex with no complications AT ALL. Okay, a, "Wam, bam, thank ya for ending my dry spell," is one thing. But the more and more you casually sex a man, you are creating more opportunity for you to catch feelings for him (or even vice versa!). If this happens to you, would you be able to handle it if he didn't reciprocate? Alternatively, are you ready to deal with your sex toy suddenly pushing for commitment? Just some food for thought.

3) Possibilities of STDs and pregnancy exist--even "casual and fun” sex isn’t free from these risks. The CDC is reporting a new super strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to antibiotics. Yikes. Add that to the already mountainous list of diseases that you could be exposing yourself to via your "casual partner", and ask yourself: Is it worth the risk? Also, ask yourself about what would/could happen if you were to get pregnant? Would you be in a situation alone?

4) Remember that hot pink, polka dot leotard you bought in the heat of the moment last summer? And remember how much buyer’s remorse you had afterwards?  While many times things done in the heat of the moment are fun and make you feel carefree, that feeling doesn’t always last. (Hey, no one wants to wake up and wash off regret in the morning).  Sometimes it’s worth pushing the “pause” button and really thinking about the potential aftermath of your decision. Maybe the guy you are categorizing as your personal sex slave has more to offer you than just sex, but you can’t see past your carnal desires. Conversely, he might not be worth the time and energy at all.

So instead of letting a little heat motivate your decisions, try and think it through.  Sexual buyer’s remorse really sucks! If you can think through some of the answers to these questions, it will at least get your mind in the right place for making a well thought out decision. So don't be afraid, Made Woman. Ask yourself the tough questions and, of course, be safe!  Now or later, amazing sex will be waiting.

Published in Dating
Monday, 04 June 2012 11:12

Dating | Ex Sex: Just Say No

June 4, 2012

It’s 11pm on a Saturday night. You decided to keep it chill tonight. You had a couple vodka sodas with a twist of lime – to relax and get a slight buzz on before bedtime.  Hey, it's  been a long week and it's well-deserved.  You mixed it up with your roommate for a little while, ate a slice of pizza, went to bed and crashed hard.  Now your phone is jarring you awake.  “Who the hell is calling me right now?” You see the familiar number flash on your phone, a picture of Satan pops up, and your stomach drops. 

It’s him…Your Ex.

After a short internal debate over whether to send it directly to voicemail or answer it, you choose the latter.  Mistake number one. He skips pleasantries and gets right to “I miss you…I want to see you.” You know what this means.  You know it’s all bad.  But it sounds so enticing… the familiarity, the suppressed emotions just waiting to bubble back to the surface,  the comfort… but what about the state of your mind/sanity when he leaves?  Damn.  You say: “I think that’s probably a bad idea.”  Good for you, girl!!  He says: “You think too much.  I’m a few blocks away, baby.  I just wanna see you, I couldn’t stop thinking about you all night.” Is it just sleep deprivation or does he sound sexier than you remember?  You realize you never should have picked up the phone.  Defenses are crumbling fast.  Now he's saying: “I’ll be there in a few minutes.  Unlock the door, okay?” 

Zack Morris Time Out.

OK, a lot of us have been here at some point.  This clearly isn’t a scenario I’ve pulled out of thin air – I know I’ve had versions of that conversation several times before.   So I can tell you this:  When an ex comes calling for…well, you know what for, if you still feel anything whatsoever for the guy and are not disgusted by the proposition, your emotions may get the best of you.  You’re suddenly at war with yourself.   You know one (or two, or three…) nights of sex may feel good at the time, but you also (should) know it’s not going to fix anything.  At all.  If anything, it’s going to make things more confusing and possibly end up with you or him getting hurt even further.  The same goes for when you’re the offending party, giving into a moment of weakness and calling him to “hang out.”  Probably drunk, because the sober you should at least have enough good sense to resist the drama (right?). 

So why do so many of us still choose to dance that tango of bullshit?  The relationship is over.  It’s over for a reason... or more likely, several reasons.  The next time your phone rings (or jumps into your hand and begs you to dial his number) and you feel the urge, try to remember these things:

-    It’s not going to get you guys back together.  Reread that.  Absorb it.  Know it.  Sure, there are rare exceptions to this, but there’s also a rare chance that you’ll get struck by lightning next Thursday.  Not odds I’d bet on.
-    You’d be surprised how much “just one night” can totally f@$& your world up.  You’ve done so well thus far staying away from each other and beginning the hard journey that is moving on, and you’re going to set yourself back for one night of carnal pleasure? That one night can leak into subsequent nights spent questioning every move he made, every word he said; wondering what he REALLY meant.  It can take over your thoughts and drown out everything else. It can cause mental anguish that’ll last you for WEEKS…months, even. No matter how good the sex is, it’s not worth your sanity. 
-    Old arguments can resurface like they just happened yesterday.  That thing that you always fought about?  It’s not forgotten.  You’d be surprised how quickly a brief encounter can deteriorate into that all-too-familiar screaming match out of nowhere. 
-    If you try to do the casual, no strings attached sex thing, it’s not going to work.  Lines get blurred.  This isn’t someone you just met – this is a person you have a complicated history with.  Whether you make a grown-up agreement to not invade on each others' lives and keep things purely physical or not, jealousy is eventually going to rear its ugly head for one or both of you.  You’ll be fighting like that dysfunctional couple again soon.  I promise.
-    The stress it brings can make you lose your focus.  Suddenly the time you spent going out with your girls, focusing on your latest project, working hard, etc., are invaded upon by the thoughts you have about your ex.  You’re wasting energy to something that’s been DONE WITH.  
-    Once the door is opened, it’s hard to shut it again.  These are just a few of the possibilities of how things can get ugly.  Seriously, try to think of one former couple you know that was able to keep hooking up post-breakup without tears, arguments or drama.  One?  All of us know someone who messed with his/her ex long after the curtains were closed on the relationship and then listened to them bellyache over every little detail, over and over again, all while trying to keep our eyes from rolling out of our heads in annoyance.  Don’t be that person.

It’s easy to give into comfort and familiarity and sink into those arms you remember so well, but you’re doing yourself a disservice.  When it’s over, it’s your job to move onward and upward – there’s a reason this person made it to your past. And you’re all about your present and future, girl.  Put that phone down and keep it movin’.  Take it from me: it just ain’t worth it.



Published in Dating
Monday, 24 October 2011 06:29

Dating | Ex Sex: Just Say No

October 24, 2011

It’s 11pm on a Saturday night. You decided to keep it chill tonight. You had a couple vodka sodas with a twist of lime – to relax and get a slight buzz on before bedtime.  Hey, it's  been a long week and it's well-deserved.  You mixed it up with your roommate for a little while, ate a slice of pizza, went to bed and crashed hard.  Now your phone is jarring you awake.  “Who the hell is calling me right now?” You see the familiar number flash on your phone, a picture of Satan pops up, and your stomach drops. 

It’s him…Your Ex.

After a short internal debate over whether to send it directly to voicemail or answer it, you choose the latter.  Mistake number one. He skips pleasantries and gets right to “I miss you…I want to see you.” You know what this means.  You know it’s all bad.  But it sounds so enticing… the familiarity, the suppressed emotions just waiting to bubble back to the surface,  the comfort… but what about the state of your mind/sanity when he leaves?  Damn.  You say: “I think that’s probably a bad idea.”  Good for you, girl!!  He says: “You think too much.  I’m a few blocks away, baby.  I just wanna see you, I couldn’t stop thinking about you all night.” Is it just sleep deprivation or does he sound sexier than you remember?  You realize you never should have picked up the phone.  Defenses are crumbling fast.  Now he's saying: “I’ll be there in a few minutes.  Unlock the door, okay?” 

Zack Morris Time Out.

OK, a lot of us have been here at some point.  This clearly isn’t a scenario I’ve pulled out of thin air – I know I’ve had versions of that conversation several times before.   So I can tell you this:  When an ex comes calling for…well, you know what for, if you still feel anything whatsoever for the guy and are not disgusted by the proposition, your emotions may get the best of you.  You’re suddenly at war with yourself.   You know one (or two, or three…) nights of sex may feel good at the time, but you also (should) know it’s not going to fix anything.  At all.  If anything, it’s going to make things more confusing and possibly end up with you or him getting hurt even further.  The same goes for when you’re the offending party, giving into a moment of weakness and calling him to “hang out.”  Probably drunk, because the sober you should at least have enough good sense to resist the drama (right?). 

So why do so many of us still choose to dance that tango of bullshit?  The relationship is over.  It’s over for a reason... or more likely, several reasons.  The next time your phone rings (or jumps into your hand and begs you to dial his number) and you feel the urge, try to remember these things:

-    It’s not going to get you guys back together.  Reread that.  Absorb it.  Know it.  Sure, there are rare exceptions to this, but there’s also a rare chance that you’ll get struck by lightning next Thursday.  Not odds I’d bet on.
-    You’d be surprised how much “just one night” can totally f@$& your world up.  You’ve done so well thus far staying away from each other and beginning the hard journey that is moving on, and you’re going to set yourself back for one night of carnal pleasure? That one night can leak into subsequent nights spent questioning every move he made, every word he said; wondering what he REALLY meant.  It can take over your thoughts and drown out everything else. It can cause mental anguish that’ll last you for WEEKS…months, even. No matter how good the sex is, it’s not worth your sanity. 
-    Old arguments can resurface like they just happened yesterday.  That thing that you always fought about?  It’s not forgotten.  You’d be surprised how quickly a brief encounter can deteriorate into that all-too-familiar screaming match out of nowhere. 
-    If you try to do the casual, no strings attached sex thing, it’s not going to work.  Lines get blurred.  This isn’t someone you just met – this is a person you have a complicated history with.  Whether you make a grown-up agreement to not invade on each others' lives and keep things purely physical or not, jealousy is eventually going to rear its ugly head for one or both of you.  You’ll be fighting like that dysfunctional couple again soon.  I promise.
-    The stress it brings can make you lose your focus.  Suddenly the time you spent going out with your girls, focusing on your latest project, working hard, etc., are invaded upon by the thoughts you have about your ex.  You’re wasting energy on something that’s been DONE WITH.  What a waste.
-    Once the door is opened, it’s hard to shut it again.  These are just a few of the possibilities of how things can get ugly.  Seriously, try to think of one former couple you know that was able to keep hooking up post-breakup without tears, arguments or drama.  One?  All of us know someone who messed with his/her ex long after the curtains were closed on the relationship and then listened to them bellyache over every little detail, over and over again, all while trying to keep our eyes from rolling out of our heads in annoyance.  Don’t be that person.

It’s easy to give into comfort and familiarity and sink into those arms you remember so well, but you’re doing yourself a disservice.  When it’s over, it’s your job to move onward and upward – there’s a reason this person made it to your past. And you’re all about your present and future, girl.  Put that phone down and keep it movin’.  Take it from me: it just ain’t worth it.



Published in Dating