Should You Text Your Crush During The Coronavirus Outbreak? Here’s The Truth

So, you’ve found a safe place to practice social distancing. You’ve stocked up on frozen pizzas and called your grandpa to explain how FaceTime works. And then, well… you’ve mostly just been watching Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron’s TikToks and observing your nail polish flake off from washing your hands a million times a day, right? It gets lonely after awhile, and you might be drawn to finding connection in ways you wouldn’t normally: by video-chatting friends you aren’t that close with, watching hours of random influencers’ Instagram Lives, and even texting your crush.

Talking to someone you like might seem silly at first, because it’s not like you should meet up right now. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus can spread between people who are in close contact with each other. It’s important to “flatten the curve” by isolating and practicing social distancing and good hygiene in order to ensure that not everyone gets sick with the coronavirus at once. If that were to happen, the healthcare system would be dangerously overwhelmed.

As people are physically farther apart than ever before, it’s important to find virtual ways to come together. That’s exactly why you should shoot your shot: In the absence of normal socializing, a tiny scrap of affection can make a world of difference.

Feel closer to those who are far away by hosting a game night on Zoom.
Shutterstock

If I can get corny for a sec, texting your crush is good for you. In 1988, epidemiologists at the University of Michigan published a landmark study in the journal Science that found social connections improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. People who feel connected to others have a stronger immune system and lower levels of depression and anxiety, among a whole host of other benefits. You can absolutely get those perks by cooking with your roommate or calling Mom, but there’s no need to stop there.

Aside from Grey’s Anatomy donating medical supplies to real doctors in need and this video of penguins exploring an aquarium on a “field trip,” there’s a shortage of good news right now. So, take joy where you can get it. Text your crush. Don’t have one? Find a new crush! According to the many push notifications I’ve received this week, activity is up on both Tinder and Bumble.

There’s never been an easier icebreaker in the world. “Hey, how are you holding up?” is no longer boring. It’s kind. Ask them about their family’s health, about their best friend who bags groceries at the supermarket, about how they’re working or studying from home. During these stressful, uncertain times, a thoughtful message goes a long way.

Once you’ve sparked a conversation, swap Netflix recs or recipe ideas. Ask creative questions. Send the link to that penguin video. Maybe things get steamy. Whatever! Almost anything you could say over text will be more exciting than the seventh consecutive episode of The Office they’re currently watching in bed, surrounded by crumbs. The bar is set low and the potential for entertainment is high.

It’s true that you two probably won’t be able to see each other for the foreseeable future. But if the sight of someone’s name bubbling up on your phone screen makes you happy, isn’t that worth something? There are far worse problems right now than being bored or lonely, and this situation won’t last forever. You will get through this — and you don’t have to do it alone.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily’s coverage of coronavirus here.

 

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The 8 Biggest Myths About STIs

No, you can’t get an STI from a toilet seat.

n a real note: My middle school’s sex ed program was low-key comparable to the “Don’t have sex. You will get pregnant, and you will die” narrative from Mean Girls. (I wish I were joking). The program was extremely fear-based and literally used scare tactics deeply rooted in sexual shame to push “abstinence-only” programs, which is actually BS.

Thankfully, it’s now 2020 and there seriously has been so. much. improvement. in normalizing women’s sexuality. But on the other side of that, STIs have reached an all time high, and the numbers prove that young people just aren’t really getting tested at all.

So let’s address the topic that is STIs. There are so many harmful misconceptions out there due to misinformation, so please, dear reader, forget all that garbage stigma-shamed bias you’ve been told before. Read below for what you really, actually need to know:

MYTH: “STD” is the correct term

In almost all cases, you should be using the term STI, not STD. The difference being its language: one is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), the other is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). An infection occurs when a pathogen makes a home in its host, though may not grow into anything more than that. A disease continuously presents signs and symptoms that disrupts the host’s ability to function normally, says Emily L. Depasse, sexologist.

FWIW: The most common STIs like chlamydia or gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics, just like any other bacterial infections (Colds! UTIs! Swimmer’s Ear!), so no need to treat them like a “disease.”

MYTH: Some STIs are better to have than others

This is not a ranking system, bb. None are “better” or “worse” to have than others because, hello, all STIs are treatable, manageable, and/or curable. “Saying one is better to have than the other reinforces the incorrect narrative of people being labeled as ‘clean’ or ‘dirty,’” says Depasse. And no, you’re not dirty for contracting an STI. You’re not even dirty for spilling spaghetti on your white tank. Sure, the shirt may be dirty, but you, my goddess, are not.

MYTH: STIs are consequences for unsafe sex

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) reports that 1 in 2 sexually active young adults will test positive for an STI by age 25. “This number is likely higher considering fear around STI screening and stigma disclosing a positive STI status,” says Depasse. So phrases like: “You should’ve used a condom” are not helpful—especially considering an STI like herpes, which is contracted via skin-to-skin contact, can be contracted with a condom on (more on that later).

Plus, the word “consequence” insinuates that you did something bad. But healthy, consensual sex with a partner is not bad, nor does it warrant a consequence. Ever.

MYTH: You can tell someone has an STI just by looking at them

“While many STIs do have presenting symptoms, some have none at all,” says Depasse. For multiple reasons, symptoms may be unnoticeable, or resemble other things like cuts, ingrown hairs, or yeast infections, she adds. But instead of relying on a genital inspection to access someone’s STI status, she suggests initiating a conversation with your partner about sexual wellness, including the last time you were tested, the results, boundaries, and what you’re looking for.

MYTH: If you have an incurable STI, you have to date someone who does too

“A positive diagnosis can seem like a sex and relationship death sentence to folks diagnosed with herpes or HIV,” Depasse explains. But people can—and do!—maintain and create sexual and romantic relationships with partners with and without STIs after a positive diagnosis.

“This often remains unbelievable, especially upon diagnosis, because we never received narratives around these types of relationships or how to navigate them with one another. Don’t let your own narrative of self-rejection prevent you from seeking a sex life outside your diagnosis,” she adds. It all comes down to communicating openly and efficiently with your partner.

MYTH: STI screening panels include all STIs.

STI screenings are a huge part of sexual self-care and wellness, and FWIW: You should be getting tested, at the very least, once a year at your annual, or after every new sexual partner. But! You might find it interesting (or more so ridiculous) that the CDC doesn’t suggest routine screening for asymptomatic individuals. What this means: If you’re not feeling weird down there, you don’t need to be tested. Not true.

If you ask to be tested for “everything,” you might not be tested for “everything” depending on your doctor. “A standard STI screening includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, and others, depending upon your age and sexual engagement and activity.” These are typically performed via a urine sample. But very commonly, herpes and HPV do not fall into that category (herpes STI testing requires a blood sample or scraping of the lesion).

What you can do: If there’s a certain test you’re hoping to have performed, you should tell your doctor explicitly you want to be tested for it. But no worries if that’s super intimidating and daunting: There are several sites that offer at-home STI testing kits that you can either mail in or take to a lab to be tested.

MYTH: You won’t get an STI if you practice safer sex

Remember when I mentioned that herpes can be contracted even with a condom? It’s true: Even if you practice the safest of safer sex, you might still test positive for an STI one day,” Depasse says. “Since some STIs are spread through skin-to-skin contact, barriers like condoms and dental dams don’t cover all of the skin around the genital region, so there’s still the possibility of transmission.”

So no matter how many screenings you get, what barrier methods you use, or how many times you tell your partners that you have an STI, she warns there will ALWAYS be the potential for transmission. “That’s just what happens when we put bodies together.”

MYTH: Cold sores aren’t herpes.

The “cold sores” you may find on your mouth are, in fact, herpes (literally caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV). “There are two types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 can present orally or genitally, while HSV-2 almost exclusively presents genitally. Despite this, HSV-1 and HSV-2 share more similarities than differences,” she explains, adding that refusing to believe this truth is further evidence of STI stigma, which really is rooted in an overall discomfort with sexual expression.

 

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How To French Kiss Better Than Anyone Else (Yes, Really!)

Follow these tips and put your tongue to good work.

Learning how to French kiss your partner is one of those intimate things that you absolutely must learn if you want keep things hot and fun.

By following the tips below, you’ll learn exactly how to make French kissing (i.e., kissing with tongue) a fun experience for each of you.

First things first: Before you even begin to think about kissing your partner, make sure that you have enticing, kissable lips. That is arguably the least romantic kissing tip you’ll read today, but it’s also one of the most important.

If you have chapped, dry lips, make sure to regularly moisturize them to keep them soft and kissable. (And if you have cold sores, avoid kissing until they’re completely done or you’ll spread the virus to your kissing partner!)

Before I get to the actual “how to French kiss” part, you must know how to initiate French kissing with your boyfriend (or girlfriend).

Lunge toward him and plant your lips on his if you like, but honestly, that’s usually not the smoothest thing to do. Often, doing that will just freak him out, especially if you take him by surprise.

Instead, during conversation, make a lot of eye contact. Every once in a while, glance from his eyes towards his lips for a few seconds.

Very quickly, he will realize what’s on your mind and know what to expect, so that when you do actually lean in for the kiss, he won’t be caught off guard.

Now that we have that covered, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to French kiss (and use your tongue like a pro).

1. Create a build-up.

Rather than going straight to massaging your partner’s tongue with yours, it’s nice to have a little build-up. Start by tilting your head to the side just a little bit so that your noses are not in the way.

Then, gently squeeze your partner’s upper lip between your lips for a few seconds, and then do the same with his lower lip. You can alternate between the upper and lower lip for a few seconds, or even a few minutes.

2. Use your tongue.

Next, it’s time to start using your tongue.

From squeezing his lips between yours, tilt your head slightly further to the side and open your mouth a little more so that you can massage your partner’s lips a little bit with your tongue. If he seems to like this, then continue to use your tongue more and more.

Next, try to extend your tongue a little more so that you can massage his tongue with it. If your partner is enjoying it, he will naturally be inclined to reciprocate and return the favor.

Just make sure not to extend your tongue too far, otherwise your partner may find it uncomfortable.

While French kissing your partner, you can put a number of additional tongue kissing techniques to use:

  • Make a slow, circling motion around his tongue with yours.
  • Slowly and gently press against his tongue with yours.
  • Softly use your tongue to lick and tease his lips.

Alternate between all three of these techniques to add some variation to your French kissing repertoire.

3. Ease out of the kiss slowly.

When you want to stop French kissing your partner, the easiest thing to do is just pull away from them and stop, but that can be a little abrupt.

You may find it nicer to stop using your tongue and go back to the start by squeezing his upper or lower lip between yours before you pull away.

Repeat all of the steps above as you both desire.

Now that you know these basic guidelines for how to French kiss, don’t forget about these two additional tips:

First, when French kissing someone, don’t forget about your hands.

Sure, you can just wrap them around your partner and leave them there, but there are tons of other, really great things you can do with them, too. The easiest thing to do is to run them up and down his body, but don’t stop there. You can also run them through his hair. The back of the scalp is one of the most sensitive and erogenous zones on the body, so make sure to use your nails and fingers to scratch it gently.

Putting a hand on his cheek as you change the side you are kissing them on is another hot, somewhat dominate thing to do while kissing them.

The second and final tip to remember is that you should never forget this: kissing someone more slowly is far hotter and more sensual than faster, washing machine-type French kissing.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Ghostlighting Is The New WTF Dating Trend To Watch Out For

In this day and age, its hard enough to find someone you vibe with romantically, let alone keep them long enough to enter into a serious, exclusive relationship (gasp). So when you finally find a person you really connect with and then they pull a slow fade or totally disappear after several weeks (or worse, months) of talking and dating you’re frustrated, confused, and borderline angry. Oh, they wish they could get away with that.

Ghostlighters Are The WORST—Here's How To Spot One
Ghostlighters Are The WORST—Here’s How To Spot One
Vizerskaya

You rightfully decide to put on your assertive pants and call the person out (in a kind way, of course), letting them know that they sorta hurt your feelings and you’d prefer them to be straight-up with you about why they’re pulling away. At first confrontation, they have the nerve to turn it back on you. Da f*ck?? For your information, they say, they werent ghosting you at all”just busy!”and you’re paranoid for thinking it.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they’re ghostlighting you, and its not okay.

Wait, wait, wait…what is ghostlighting?

Maybe its obvious, but ghostlighting is the combination of two dating/relationship phenomena you’re likely already familiar with (unfortunately). First there’s ghosting, when someone you’re talking to suddenly dips out without explanation’literally, no word. The second is gaslighting , a very real form of emotional abuse.

Its a series of manipulation tactics with a goal of making the person feel like they’re going crazy, or that they cant trust themselves, psychologist and author says. With ghostlighting, the person will either cut off all communication or create so much distance from your usual text/call/hang routine that the shift is palpable. Then when you bring it up in an effort for clarity, theyll try to make you doubt your reality.

Of course, its natural to want to know why someone suddenly disappears from your life, especially when things seemed to have been going well. The problem is, you’re probably not going to get a satisfying answer. Never mind that the ghostlighter could give you quite a dizzying one, since it’s not in their emotional capacity to tell you the truth.

“That person is trying to manipulate you and create guilt to make you feel like its not their fault.\”

“That person is trying to manipulate you and create guilt to make you feel like its not their fault,” Sarkis says. “That way, they can absolve themselves from any responsibility.” She says gaslighters typically use verbiage like absolutes (You never seemed interested or You always think people are ignoring you). They turn the focus on you instead of owning up to their actions, either making you feel needy AF or as though you pushed them into needing space. (Know this: You didn’t.)

A ghostlighter might even give you a cue or two of their true nature during your initial time together, but you might not notice it if you’re smitten. One prime example: They shower you with attention, only to jump to the other extreme shortly after. They try to reel you in, and if they feel that you’re not falling for their manipulation, they drop you like a hot potato, Sarkis says.

Honestly, why do people have to be like this?

Ghosts are passive and avoid confrontation like the plague, relationship therapist , LCSW, says. So it only makes sense they wont respond well when you ask where they went. If they didnt have the confidence or nerve to be straight with you in the first place, their first instinct might be to deny everything, she says.

Theres not a great chance that theyll be vulnerable with you about their past behavior, and it might even trigger a nastier response. Sarkis says there are generally two types of people who gaslight. For some, its a learned behavior from their parents. For others, they just want control.

Wait a minute…what if this sounds like me?

Then its time for some soul-searching, sis. If you avoid ending a fling you’re no longer into yourself and wait for the other person to do it, Sarkis says to figure out why. Are you trying to completely avoid responsibility by making the other person feel like its their fault? What are you gaining from it? she says. This can be the first step in working through that not-cool behavior.

The only exception is if youre in an abusive relationship then its totally okay (and probably best) to go MIA to cut off that toxicity and heal from your trauma, stat.

So what do I do if I’m a victim of ghostlighting?

Two words: Move. On.

Sorting through a ghostlighters jabs can be disorienting, so hold onto your instincts in a mental death grip. If you know the level and quality of communication has dramatically changed, Hartstein says, its important to stay firm in your own observations. As the meme goes: Listen to vibes, not words.

Seriously, do everything you can not to fall for a ghostlighters manipulation. Let’s say that after being defensive, they pull a wild card and tell you they still like you but they’re just overwhelmed with work and life. It can be tempting to believe that you were just overthinking everything and that you’re fine with their disappearing act, since it’s “only temporary,” and you don’t want to give up on them just yet. But you know your truth. Gut instincts exist for a reason: to protect you. If something feels off, it almost always is.

Besides, whether they like you or not is actually irrelevant in this case. Ghostlighting is a major red flag and doesnt reflect what a healthy partner should be: honest, attentive, and a good communicator. At the end of the day, dont take things personally, either. Its not a statement about yourself or who you are as a person, Sarkis says. Its a statement about their inability to behave appropriately. Remember that if you start to feel rejected.

I know it sucks, but have peace in knowing that you dodged a bullet the bullet being someone who lacks the emotional maturity for a real relationship.

Lick your wounds, Hartstein says. When you’re ready, you can move on to someone else who is more open and available. The right partner won’t make you doubt your “something is up” instincts or even disappear long enough to make you have them. Wait for that person. They’ll be worth it.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – Ratt Star In New GEICO Commercial

The current lineup of Ratt recall their blockbuster hit song “Round And Round” in a brand new television commercial from the insurance company GEICO.

The song originally appeared on the band’s 1984 debut full-length album “Out Of The Cellar” and the insurance company bills the clip as “New homeowners rave about the character and detail of their new home. Although, they do have a small Ratt issue.”

The new commercial features the current bandmembers frontman Stephen Pearcy, bassist Juan Croucier, guitarist Jordan Ziff and drummer Pete Holmes. Watch it below:

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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