Happy New Year – 2022

Happy New Year!

I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 years now. 2021 has been a great year of many changes. The pandemic rolled on and as more people got vaccinated it began to slow down. I was laid off from my hospitality job back in March of 2020 and was unemployed for a year and a half. Normally that would sound sad but it was a spectacular and creative time for me and my daughter.

For a whole year and a half, we weren’t slaves to horrible jobs. We both vowed that when things returned we’d never work in the hospitality industry ever again. The one thing people love in this city is going out to dinner and drinking. But working in that industry is the absolute worst place for anyone to be as a vocation. It not only attracts the worst people and those who lack the skills to do absolutely anything else, but the hours also suck, and the clientele is impaired.

Just awful.

But I’m glad we both did it because we knew what we never wanted to do again, and it gave us the means to file for unemployment and collect on the government’s dime for a year and a half.

It was like getting a grant to create and make music for over a year. If you leave artists alone, they’ll have the time and money to simply work on their art.

During that time my daughter composed and produced an EP of original songs and put them out on YouTube and Soundcloud. I continued writing and publishing my blog but didn’t have any new stories for content. So I decided to turn inward and write stories from my young life growing up in Philly and my summers in Wildwood.

They were all wildly successful. I dropped the links into groups on Facebook that liked that sort of nostalgic content and the members loved them. It brought me a lot of fresh content and traffic. The best part of it for me was reconnecting with people from my past and realizing what my next two books would be about.

2021 saw the release of my second work of fiction, Below The Wheel. A hardboiled detective thriller that takes place in the 90s in Camden, New Jersey. It continues to have brisk sales on Amazon.

Regarding numbers on the blog, we’ve had another good year. We hit over 300,000 page views since the blog’s inception.

Here are some of the 2021 YTD data:

Page Views: 100,000

Visitors: 70,000

Subscribers: 2,400

I’m really happy with how much the blog has grown organically since I started it with just one post back in the Fall of 2016. I appreciate everyone who reads, likes, comments, and subscribes to Phicklephilly.

But there are going to be some major changes coming in 2022.

Phicklephilly began as a place for me to tell my stories about dates I went on, past and present girlfriends, and friends. I later added dating and relationship advice which was popular and brought me tons of traffic. I had grown tired of it all back in 2020 and wanted to stop doing the dating and relationship advice because it just became too hard to generate and maintain. But I kept it going because people liked it and it brought me traffic. But back in 2016, I prophecized that there would come a day when Phicklephilly would become nothing more than stories from my life and nothing more. I’m at a point with this blog where I’m writing for myself.

After doing it for 5 years and cranking out 6 published books I’m hungry to create something of real value. But I don’t want it to publish every day. It’s too much work and not my ultimate vision for this blog. I make a nice living now doing freelance commercial writing for companies across the country. It’s a challenge to create and the money is decent. I love the idea of making a living doing something I created rather than working in some job with a bunch of no-talent mooks. (My life in corporate America for the last 30 years)

I went from working in sales in my professional life to a guy who makes his living writing. I love to create. Nothing brings me more joy than making something and publishing it.

Starting in January of 2022 Phicklephilly will no longer provide any dating and relationship advice. I’ve been doing it for over 3 years and I’m tired of it. I feel like I’ve covered every aspect of it and it no longer interests me. People can still read all of that stuff because it will live in the archives on this blog forever.

I will only publish once a week. I’ll put out something new and different every Tuesday in 2022. There will be no notice and each piece will stand on its own. (Except for the Betty Ann series that will come out near the end of the year) Think of the quote from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never what you’re going to get.” That’s what Phicklephilly will become. Every Tuesday you’ll get a new story but it will only be about things I want to write about or stuff I did.

I like the idea of the absolute freedom to create the stories I want to tell. But fear not… these are all interesting little stories about cool topics. I’m finally going to make the blog I want to make with no interest in page views, likes, revenue, or stats. Will I cash all the checks I receive from WordPress and Google for the ads I allow them to run on my site? Of course, I will. Why not? I provided all of this content and this ad revenue helps support the site. But it will no longer drive why I generate content. I’d rather write something heartfelt and meaningful than to just crank out dating and relationship advice.

I’m getting older now. (Nearly 60!) I don’t work in corporate America anymore. I’m so glad I left the rat race behind. I don’t go to happy hour anymore. I eat better and rarely drink alcohol anymore. Going out to bars and burning money with a bunch of drunks seems like a waste of time now. I haven’t been on a dating app in over two years. I just don’t care. Those sites are all filled with leftovers and losers anyway. Sad lonely people looking to replicate the love of their lives that’s long gone and can never be replicated.

I’m glad I lived all of these adventures and don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time in this city. But it’s over. I’m done. There’s absolutely nothing I can learn from hanging out or dating young women. Other than their youth and beauty, they bring nothing to the table. Let the young people find their way with each other. I don’t belong out there anymore. To me, it’s just boring.

However, Tales of Rock will live on in 2022, but it won’t be every Sunday anymore. It will happen when I think of something interesting and then write a piece about it and drop it on a Tuesday. That’s it.

I’m looking forward to how the blog will evolve and change as time goes by. I continue to evolve so why not my work? You should always be evolving throughout your life. If you’re not, you’re stagnant. I’m happy that I’m always growing and changing, even at this point in my life. There’s always new cool stuff to do and experience and I want to tell those stories and share them with you.

I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read Phicklephilly over the years, but the best is yet to come!

Health and Happiness to all in the coming year!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

In the Dating Game, Women are Pressured to Play the Part of a Stereotypical ‘Cool Girl’

Here’s an interesting post from one of my female readers!

Play it cool. Keep it breezy. Treat ’em mean. Don’t reply straight away. Be aloof. Be distant. Be hard to get. These are the rules you need to follow in order to be “The Cool Girl” — a prevalent dating trope that many women feel pressured to conform to lest they be labelled clingy or desperate.

The cool girl started out as a stock character born out of male-authored literature and movies. But, the trope has since become so pervasive, the cool girl is now firmly cemented in dating culture, with no sign of disappearing anytime soon. The cool girl is no longer merely a character in a book — she is the acme of female desirability. She is the three-dimensional flesh and bone incarnation of the male fantasy. She is the rejection of the nadir of female behaviour — clinginess. And to many of us, she is a stifling behavioural standard that forces us to hide our true personalities.

Ever since I started dating as a teenager, I have internalised the notion that I need to to feign indifference and affect cool standoffishness in order to “Get The Guy,” so to speak. Unconsciously, I carried this rule into adulthood — it manifests in my behaviour at the start of relationships, it infiltrates the advice I give to friends, and it fuels my anxiety until the mask slips and my authentic self is exposed.

In the books I read, the films I watched, the most beguiling and intoxicating female characters were unobtainable and remote — their desirability being inextricably tethered to their silent disinterest and unattainability. Think of Eustacia Vye from Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native, Cecilia Tallis in Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Estella in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

“I kind of feel pressure from the world in general not to be who I am.”

Lately, I’ve begun questioning the suffocating pressure I feel to adopt this role whenever I start seeing someone new. Who told me I need to masquerade as someone else and to literally adopt a different personality in order to be desirable to the opposite sex?

Writer Katie Tamola, who dates men, told me the “cool girl” ideal has been drummed into her since she was a child. “I’ve just always had people close to me tell me I need to play it cool with dudes,” she tells me. Tamola says family members and teachers have told her to “stop being so emotional and expressive” — especially with men.

“I kind of feel pressure from the world in general not to be who I am,” Tamola says. “I’ve always been emotional and immensely passionate about things. I often find myself wishing I could be the calmer, cooler version of a girl that I see portrayed in media.”

Student Alex C. (who prefers not to disclose her full name) tells me that “attempting to be the “cool girl” doesn’t just apply to heterosexual dating.”

“I constantly feel this pressure as a gay woman dating women,” she says. “It definitely seems to be the case that the person who is the least interested and most aloof holds the most power, and will get hurt less if things go south.

“I believe some of the pressure also comes from trying to avoid the lesbian U-Haul stereotype where women get serious way too quickly because nobody is putting on the brakes,” she says.

Alex explains that she now tempers her expectations and holds herself back from expressing the full extent of her feelings. “It’s a shame dating has come to this because how can anybody feel really excited about a date or know if someone is really interested in them when we’re all suppressing those feelings?”

“The person who is the least interested and most aloof holds the most power.”

The cool girl is everywhere. She’s in the books we read, she’s on our TV and movie screens, she’s in the dating advice we give and receive. From every angle, the pop culture we consume solidifies the cool girl ideal as the zenith of feminine desirability. Perhaps one of the best descriptions of this trope can be found in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Flynn’s summation of this trope hits the nail bang on the head: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.”

Dr Stacy Gillis — Senior Lecturer in 20th-century literature and culture at Newcastle University —believes the cool girl is rooted in “how women are discursively positioned within patriarchal structures of power.” Gillis views this trope as related to a “predator-prey conquest model” whereby the cool girl is unobtainable until she’s conquered by the right man. “It’s about unattainability, but with the hint that you will be able to be attained,” says Gillis. “With the promise that with the right man, he will be able to break down this woman’s barriers.”

Research into the ways in which women present themselves on dating apps can also shed some light on the pressures women still face to conform to certain behavioural ideals. Siân Brooke, DPhil researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, has conducted research into how women present themselves on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.

“‘Coolness’ or ‘being cool’ is a trope that is gendered and often racialised,” Brooke tells me over email. “When used to describe women, ‘coolness’ refers to the adoption of typically masculine ideals of behaviour, such as a liking football or gaming.” Brooke believes the cool girl is a rejection of an antithetical feminine dating stereotype: the clingy woman.

Image: vicky leta / mashable

“A particularly prevalent idea is that women are ‘clingy,’ which was quite common in research I have conducted both on dating apps and memes,” says Brooke. Clinginess is, per Brooke, a gendered term that pertains to “excessive emotional dependence” — an “undesirable” behaviour in dating culture.

“Clingy is not just attachment but is specifically associated with men complaining about a woman’s behaviour and perceived excessive need for attention,” says Brooke. The negative connotations of being branded “clingy” may, according to Brooke, cause some women to choose to act “distant and removed” from a potential partner. “The negative association of feminine behaviour can lead women to adopt masculine traits that they see as making them more desirable in dating, where so-called feminine behaviour is often demonised.”

Brooke says during her research she found that women who use dating apps often choose to feature a selection of images that exhibit common cool girl attributes. “My research has shown that women will populate the images they have on their profiles with items they believe show ‘coolness,’ such as engaging in physical activities in photos where they aren’t ‘made up’ (i.e. hair and makeup),” she says.

So, where does this ideal actually come from? Male-authored female literary characters have historically embodied characteristics like aloofness and unattainability. They are often troubled and in need of taming. Gillis says this trope can be found in popular fiction at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century, but it may well go further back than that.

“I can certainly think of a few instances of it appearing in 1860s sensation fiction, and this is a longstanding discursive structure,” says Gillis. “It’s very seductive, women are coercively interpellated into feeling that this is how they need to be in order to attract male attention.”

“It’s that distancing comes hither look, you see this being written about in popular fiction at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century, and invariably those women in those narratives end up married,” says Gillis. “It’s an inversion of the Rochester-Darcy model except that there’s no agency for women behind it because it’s still located within patriarchal structures.”

“We become supplicants, we want the male gaze to come at us so we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Things have arguably moved on a little in society since the 19th century, so why is it that women still feel pressured to adhere to an outmoded concept of female attractiveness? Gillis believes this comes from a “desire to be desired within the patriarchy.”

“If there’s only certain ways in which you can be desired within the heteronormative patriarchy then you’re inculcated into this position,” says Gillis. “This is how we — as minorities in a patriarchy — are interpellated into these positions whereby we become supplicants, we want the male gaze to come at us so we’ll do whatever it takes.”

In my own infuriating experience, I feel a kind of damned-if-you-do predicament when faced with my desire to rail against this archetype. “The thing is, though,” a female friend recently said with a grimace. “Being the cool girl actually works.” She’s right, in a way. Women are continuously told that this behaviour model works, that it’s a tried and tested trick of the trade, one that you can deviate from at your own risk.

So, how do we go about dismantling this stereotype? Gillis hypothesises that queer popular culture has the power to upturn these stereotypes that are still a source of pressure for women. “[Queer popular culture’ is a space in which there’s a playfulness to these tropes and roles, they’re seen as something you can move in and out of.”

“Any stereotype can be dismantled, it doesn’t happen overnight. The challenges to this come from Young Adult and LGBTQ fiction which mocks these longstanding romance traditions,” she continues.

In the meantime, I’ve made a vow to avoid playing the cool girl when I’m dating. I can no longer pretend to be someone I’m not just so I can fulfil a rigid stereotype of female attractiveness. I am not the cool girl, nor will I ever be. Take it or leave it.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Modern Dating Culture: 5 Tips on How to Find ‘The One’

Oh, how well we know the never-ending woes of dating! It feels impossible to find a like-minded, family-oriented, career-oriented stranger who exudes an undeniable charm and is ready to sweep you off your feet.

The modern dating scene looks nothing like it did 10 years ago. The means of finding a date has never been easier, thanks to apps like Tinder, Bumble, etc. You can even find a date by sliding into someone’s DMs and it cannot get easier than that!

We are a generation that’s used to instant-gratification with sky-high superficial needs and wants. Armed with the idea of a perfect human being who is meant to ‘complete me’, we go out in the world to find ‘the one’.

Our never-ending needs and wants have transitioned us into an age of competitiveness – who is more successful, who has traveled more, whose relationship is picture-perfect, who has the best-looking partner? And all of it trickles down to posts and pictures on social media for the world to see, like and comment.

But if it’s all so easy, then why do we find ourselves lonelier than ever?

The answer lies not on our ability to find a date but in our attitude and behavior during the dating period. To better understand what you can do to better the chances of you finding ‘the one’, read on!

Disclaimer – This article is not about relationships, it’s about what to do to make sure you don’t scare away your potential soul mate. Relationships are a whole different ball game and let’s save that rabbit hole for another day.

Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do

1.  Do Be Your Authentic Self

When you go out on a date, the best thing you can bring along with you is your positive, authentic self. If you want to attract the right person, you can’t pretend to be someone you’re not.

This might seem easier said than done. The most common mistake we make is to pretend during the first few dates. We say things we don’t mean, we laugh at jokes we don’t find funny, and we act in ways that will make it easier for the other person to like us.

And, that’s the first big, obvious mistake you can make right at the beginning of a potential relationship. You’re coming off as someone you’re not, moving away from your genuine personality and, consequently, you attract the wrong partner.

2.  Do Bring in the Humor!

To put it simply – be funny. Sounds cliché, right? But, jokes or funny pick-up lines is a good way to make the other person feel at ease and they can be a great icebreaker on a first date.

But, do pace yourself and don’t come off as ‘that funny guy/girl who is never taken seriously. Also, stay away from mean or personal jokes that can seem insulting or make you look obnoxious.

Before you go too hard with the funny lines, test the water and try to understand your date’s humor, and see if you click. After all, everyone knows the couple who laughs together, stays together.

3.  Don’t Overthink

We cannot emphasize how important this is: overthinking can and does become your worst enemy when it comes to forming new relationships or connections.

Dating is the phase where you get to know each other, slowly turning yourself from a stranger to a close one. And, you can’t do that if you overanalyze every text message or find a double meaning in everything the other person says.

Stay out of your head and be clear about what you want. If you have questions or you’re unsure of something, don’t bottle them inside, just ask. It’s as simple as that.

The more you keep your questions inside, the more you’re likely to overthink the worst possible scenario. And before you know it, you lose out even before you’ve begun.

4.  Don’t Overshare

So, you want to find someone you can talk to about everything, right? The person who will understand your mind and won’t judge you when you gossip about your friend’s sister or your annoying colleague. Wrong!

When you start dating someone, you should offer positive insights into your life. Don’t initiate conversations with bitter gossip or complain about your life. And, God forbid, don’t talk about your past relationships on the first or second date, unless you don’t want to go out with them again.

Your date is not an audience to your monologue about everything that’s wrong in your life or an audience to your deepest thoughts. What your date wants to know is how your life is right now, because that’s the only thing that will affect their own life and reveal how compatible you’ll be. Be honest and open but don’t overshare!

5.  Do Listen

One of the biggest communication challenges is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply. This is true not only in the case of dating but in every aspect of our lives.

Be genuinely interested in the other person. Listen to what they’re saying and observe their body language, especially when they talk about a subject close to their hearts. Try to understand what they’re saying from their perspective and not yours as this will help you to become a better listener.

That doesn’t mean that all you should do on a date is listen. Keep pace with the conversation and participate fully. Don’t be that person who monopolizes the conversation – give your partner a minute or two to talk and steer the conversation to take turns. Simple courtesies can go a long way, even all the way to finding the perfect partner!

Our Last Piece of Advice

The last piece of advice we can leave you with is, to be honest with yourself. Think about what you really want. Do you want a long-term partner or are you only looking for casual dates and hookups? Whatever it is, be honest with your date right from the start, and don’t play games. You can only find the perfect partner if you’re both looking for the same thing.

And, there you have it! Hopefully, these tips and insights will bring out the best in you. So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and find the one for you!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Are You In a ‘Situationship’? What It Is And How To Get Out Of It

The undefined romantic relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s important to know when it’s no longer healthy.

Here Are 7 Foods You Need To Eat For Increased Sexual Stamina

Human beings have searched for ways to improve their sexual experience for thousands of years, including trying to discover the best foods to improve their sex lives.

Scientists have linked a variety of foods with better sex and there is irrefutable proof for certain foods which are said to boost libido, improve stamina, and enhance your sex life.

In an article in the Times of India, Sexologist, Dr. Vijay Singhal explains the concept of foods for sex and how they can improve libido. “Any healthy food is good for sex. However, there are certain items that are particularly beneficial- Walnuts, strawberries, avocados, watermelons, and almonds. One must note that alcohol is bad for healthy sex life – it increases the desire but decreases the performance.”

Here are 7 foods that you can take to take your sexual performance to the next level!

1. Beetroot Juice

The juice of this root vegetable can increase your stamina and allow you to keep the bedroom activity going for considerably longer. Researchers have found that the nitrates in beet juice help reduce oxygen uptake, which in turn makes exercise less tiring.

Once in the body, the nitrates are transformed into nitric oxide, which is a key player in relaxing and opening up the blood vessels, which then improves blood flow to the penis. Enjoy fresh beet juice alone or mixed with a small amount of fresh apple or carrot juice.

2. Nuts

You can turn to nuts if you’re looking for a quick snack or if you’re looking for some extra kick in the bedroom. Certain nuts are rich sources of L-arginine, an amino acid.

L-arginine stimulates the production of nitric oxide, a substance that boosts blood flow to the penis. As a bonus, nuts and their healthy fat content (omega-3 fatty acids) can help lower cholesterol, which in turn can improve blood circulation.

These are the nut you need to munch on for that extra boost of stamina in the bedroom:

  • walnuts
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • pecans
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts

3. Spinach

Another food that provides a super L-arginine boost is spinach. The resulting conversion to nitric oxide to support and help maintain erections is one big reason why you should include spinach salads and steamed spinach on your menu or add baby spinach leaves to your green smoothies.

Another reason is that nitric oxide is involved with exercise recovery time, which will help with your sexual health!

4. Oysters

Pretty much everyone has heard about the wonderful aphrodisiac properties of oysters and even if you’re not a fan of their slimy texture, you will surely be impressed by their effects on your performance. Oysters, clams, and scallops contain compounds that raise testosterone and estrogen levels.

A boost in hormone production translates into heightened sexual desire in many cases.

4. Garlic

In the past, you may have been warned to never to eat garlic before a date but the smelly herb is a miracle worker because it’s a natural blood thinner often used to prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

The anticoagulant properties make sure that there is plenty of blood flow to your nether regions. You and your partner can both benefit from a healthy dose of garlic before a sexy night in.

5 Eggs

You should eat eggs if you want to achieve a healthy erection. Eggs contain the amino acid L-arginine that can improve erectile dysfunction. However you want them; poached, scrambled or fried, eggs are sure to give you a much-needed boost after a long day at work.

They are full of protein, which keeps you going without packing on the calories. They’re also an excellent source of amino acids, which combat certain types of heart ailments as well as erectile dysfunction.

6. Watermelon

The nutrient citrulline, found in watermelons can have a Viagra-like effect on the body as it boosts nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels.

This is the same effect that Viagra has to treat erectile dysfunction.

7. Ginseng Tea

Consuming too much coffee on a regular basis leads to over-stimulation of the adrenal glands, flooding the body with hormones normally produced in times of stress.

These hormones negatively impact libido and sexual performance. As an alternative, try ginseng tea which contains the ginsenoside compound that increases sexual satisfaction and can prevent erectile dysfunction.

It’s good to know that you can boost your sexual stamina while enjoying a good meal at the same time. If you incorporate these super-foods into your diet, you will be sure to ramp up your performance in the bedroom.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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