The 3-Day Rule Is the Worst Piece of Dating Advice, and We Should All Stop Following It

Picture it: You go on a first date, the conversation is flowing, and you can already tell you have some sort of connection with this person. They’re someone you hope to see again, and you’re pretty positive they feel the same way. However, there’s just one thing — you have to wait three days to talk to them again. Why? Well, because of the well-known and long-standing (but pretty much outdated) three-day dating “rule.”

If you like someone, tell them. If you didn’t feel a connection on the date, tell them. Talk to them when you want to talk to them instead of waiting because of some stupid rule

The guideline came about to direct people on how to handle communication following a first date. After all, you couldn’t possibly contact someone too soon without running the risk of looking desperate, especially a woman reaching out to a man first (the scandal!). Texting or calling someone the day after a date? Forget it. What about the second day? No, you still look too eager. But day three is just right, according to this rule.

This led to the mentality that you have to keep a person guessing how you feel about them, because if they knew how much you liked them, or that you even liked them at all, that would come off as unattractive. This kind of childish thinking is what can kill a potentially good relationship. These days, with social media, texting, and a culture that’s seemingly always connected, why are people still fueling an I’m-so-cool-I-didn’t-contact-you outdated game?

When I used to be on dating apps, I thought if a conversation died down for a few days, at least one of us wasn’t really feeling it. That was fine, but then if the person reappeared, well, that was just a back-and-forth situation I was not there for. The truth is, with so many options at our fingertips (thanks, Tinder), how do we know if someone is actually following the three-day rule or just forgot about you for a minute while they talked to someone new?

Let’s keep it simple: the three-day dating rule is straight up a waste of time. If you like someone, tell them. If you didn’t feel a connection on the date, tell them. Talk to them when you want to talk to them instead of waiting because of some stupid rule. There’s no benefit in playing hard to get if you, in fact, want some sort of future with the person. So let’s make a new rule: if you’re into someone, don’t be afraid to be the first person to reach out following a great first date. Life is too short to play unnecessary games. The worst that could happen is they don’t feel the same way, and if that does happen, you can rest easy knowing you didn’t waste more time thinking about someone who wasn’t right for you. It’s a win-win.

 

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My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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Love is like Cocaine: The Remarkable, Terrifying Neuroscience of Romance – Part 2

Yes, you really are addicted to love.

Beliefs and Brain Chemistry

When the systems of neurotransmitters in our brain destabilize during the early phases of a romantic relationship, our moods become unsteady too. And so does our ability to think rationally and make wise decisions. When you become truly infatuated with a person, you might make decisions you wouldn’t dream of making in a sane state of mind. Nothing really matters compared to the object of your infatuation. In extreme cases, we might max out credit cards, leave our families, move across oceans, abdicate a throne, rob banks, or even commit murder for the sake of love.

When there is a substantial imbalance in your brain chemistry, your preferences and reasoning abilities change and so do your beliefs. Research has shown that when you mess with your brain chemistry, you are more likely to have spiritual experiences, see things that are not there, and form beliefs that are not grounded in evidence.

In the 1960s, researchers experimented with the psychedelic drug psylocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to see if it could induce spiritual experiences in healthy volunteers. The first of these experiments took place on Good Friday in 1962. Harvard researchers administered psilocybin to ten students in the basement of Marsh Chapel at Boston University. The religious setting and the drug together gave rise to religious experiences in all study participants.

(The experiments came to a halt when the US government prohibited them in the early 1970s.)

Psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), and mescaline, affect the dopamine system, the serotonin system, and the adrenergic system. Their effects on the adrenergic systems, which normally cause an increase in the blood concentration of adrenaline, can cause panic attacks and extreme anxiety. The drugs’ effects on the dopamine system are responsible for thoughtless decision making and irrational actions during a “trip,” such as self-mutilation or suicide. The psychedelic effects of the drugs are largely due to their affinity for the 5-HT2A receptor. This receptor is a serotonin receptor. When a psychedelic drug in the serotonin family binds to it, the drug functions just like serotonin.

In normal amounts, the feel-good chemical serotonin yields a sense of relaxation and relief. In large amounts, however, serotonin and serotonin agonists like LSD, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), and the magic mushroom ingredient psilocybin have psychedelic effects. In large amounts, these chemicals trigger the brain’s main excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, which makes parts of the brain go into an over-excited state.

The effects of excessive amounts of serotonin can be so powerful that our critical sense is turned off. A famous, mind-boggling case illustrating this is the Dr. Fox study. In the 1970s an actor was trained to deliver a brilliant talk on mathematical game theory while saying basically nothing of substance. The actor, who bore the name Dr. Myron L. Fox, had taken a scholarly article on game theory and stripped it of its content. The talk was rife with hedging, invented words, contradictory assertions, and references to his alleged earlier articles and books. Surprisingly, his delivery so impressed the audience that nobody noticed that he didn’t really say anything. At the end of the talk the audience, which consisted primarily of experts, bombarded Fox with questions, which he answered proficiently without providing any substantial content. After the lecture, the audience was given the opportunity to evaluate the performance. Everyone was very positive, they thought the lecture had been interesting, and some noted that Dr. Fox had presented the material clearly and precisely and offered lots of illustrative examples. And these folks were academic experts on the topic of mathematical game theory! Speaking of being fooled by what you hear!

This effect of delivery on audience evaluation has come to be known as “The Dr. Fox effect.” The Dr. Fox effect can be explained by noting that a large surge in “feel good” chemicals will turn off our critical sense. Funny, charming, and persuasive people signal to our brains that everything is as it should be. Their smooth behavior boosts our serotonin levels, which turn off our critical sense and increase our feeling of satisfaction—so much so that our initial beliefs are never subjected to scrutiny in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior insula, regions of the brain involved in reflecting critically on new information.

The effects of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, DMT, and psilocybin, are extreme. Because these drugs cause the brain to enter an over-excited state, they can have seizure-like effects. They furthermore can give rise to hallucinations, illusory color experiences, a feeling of floating , a feeling of one’s identity disintegrating , a feeling of becoming one with the universe, and illusions of time and distance. Thoughts can become uncontrollable, rambling , and obscure, and edged in acid, old memories may blend with new experiences.

While our serotonin levels tend to be low when we fall in love or are beset by a mindless love obsession, there are also states of love that resemble LSD trips. When your passion is unrequited or when you are away from your new love, your serotonin levels drop. But if you unexpectedly bump into him or her or realize that his or her love is not unrequited after all, your brain may release a surge of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, making your mind a bit like the LSD mind. In this state, you may be more likely to see things that are not there, have experiences that are mixed with old memories, and act in irrational ways.

Dopamine by itself can cause people to form beliefs that are not grounded in evidence. People whose blood levels of dopamine are higher than normal are more likely to attach meaning to sheer coincidences and find meaningful patterns in arbitrary scrambled images.

Peter Brugger, a neurologist from the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, examined twenty people who claimed to believe in paranormal events and twenty who claimed they didn’t. When the participants were asked to tell which faces were real and which were scrambled among a series of briefly flashed images, people who believed in paranormal events were more likely than skeptical participants to pick out a scrambled face as real. The results were the same when the participants were tested using words instead of faces. After the initial trials, the researchers administered L-dopa, which has the same effects as dopamine, to both groups of participants. After taking this drug, skeptics made many more mistakes when looking for real words or faces than before taking the drug.

The results of the study suggest that dopamine can make you see things that aren’t there and form beliefs without solid evidential backing. These results may explain the tendency of people in love to idealize their partners and attach meaning to every little move he or she makes. When in love, your dopamine levels are high when you think of your lover. This makes your brain a less reliable instrument for forming solid beliefs or making wise decisions.

 

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

 

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Wealthy Tech Exec, 30, Describes His Costly Addiction To Asian Massage-Parlor Sex: ‘I Love The Ego-Stroking’

Michael is the founder of a tech startup valued at $10 million. Living alone in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City, the 30-year-old is the picture of success.

But over the past six years, he has shelled out more than $20,000 on his weekly vice: visits to massage parlors for sex.

In light of Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s recent charge of solicitation at a Florida spa, Michael (who asked that his name be changed) tells Phicklephilly about what he calls his “addiction.”

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I’m a typical millennial guy. I live in the Village, work in tech, hang out with my friends — but I suppose what sets me apart is my rub-and-tug addiction:

In New York, you can get anything you want. On the same block, you can go to the hardware store, grab avocado toast and get a happy ending, all before 11 a.m. One of my go-to places is right next to a fancy sushi restaurant that charges $60 for a caviar roll. It’s so easy to get anything, that it’s also easy not to think what I’m doing is wrong.

It all started after my longtime girlfriend and I broke up six years ago. I needed instant gratification — and I found it in the massage parlor. The sex just happened. I didn’t even have to ask for it. It was so transactional, I figured it was harmless.

Within a few months, my visits became a regular thing.

It’s the same thing every time, the flirty greeting of “Hey, baby boy.” Then I lie on the bed and it’s back massage, leg massage, flip over, tug, clean up, out. Forty dollars for the house, forty for the tip. There’s a mutual understanding that this is part of the scope of services.

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If I’m being honest, my addiction has held me back in dating. I’ve never had trouble meeting women. When I started, apps like Tinder were starting to get popular, but I didn’t want to wait to meet up with a girl, go on a date and woo her. I just wanted to get to the sex.

The paid experiences have ruined me.

I went out with a woman last summer and she used her hand on me. But it was awful, and just not the same as a professional.

I love the ego-stroking I get at the massage parlor, the way they call you “big boy.” You almost trick yourself into thinking that the masseuse is into you. There’s also the illicit thrill of getting away with it. One time the masseuse gave me oral sex with a condom on. It’s exciting — kind of underground and crazy that it’s happening at all.

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I have to admit, it’s easier not to know the real-life circumstances of these women working in the massage parlors. If they’re forced to do this against their will, that’s horrible. But who wants to think about that when you’re just trying to escape for a bit?

I can’t deny that doing that job all day has to be gross, disgusting.

When I first heard about Robert Kraft, I was shocked. He’s 77. If I’m still doing this in my 70s, that’s just sad. It also really made me consider the legal consequences. I just assumed that the act isn’t technically illegal because I’ve never had to ask for it.

The expense can be easy to justify, too: Maybe the $20,000 I’ve spent helped me focus on my business, netting me 10 times that amount in productivity.

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But sometimes when I think about the money I’ve spent, I get mad at myself. I’m definitely too dependent on it. I’m addicted. Instead of going out with friends after work, I’ll go to the massage place.

I’ve been in Miami for a month for work, and I’ve done it down here three times after searching for Asian massage parlors online. You look for telltale signs like photos of hot girls. It’s also a dead giveaway when you have to ring through two doorbells just to walk in.

If I was dating someone, I like to think I would stop — but I don’t know.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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Secret Signs a Woman Wants You

You probably already know about the obvious signs that a girl wants you such as laughing at your jokes and playing around with you. But there are more subtle signs that you may not be fast to notice.

Kezia Noble is a known dating expert for men and we got the secret signs that a woman wants you from one of her expert videos. Check them out below:

1. She seeks your validation

Couple(Hot 963)

 

If a woman is always seeking your approval, and may be altering what she had said earlier in order to be in your line of standards, then she wants you. If she had stated swimming as her hobby, she might change or say that she also likes going for movies if it’s one of your hobbies.

2. You have her full focus

We are living in the age where people pay more attention to their phones than to what the other person is saying to them. If you are talking to one of those girls who are always glued to their phones but they focus all their attention on you, Kezia notes that this is a good sign that the girl is interested in you.

3. She tries to resurrect the conversation

Couple talking

We’ve all been there and it feels awkward when you have nothing else to say to each other. According to Kezia, “If she is trying to resurrect that conversation, she is trying her best to stop the fizzle from happening, that’s another good sign.”

4. She is always hanging around you

It’s not just a coincidence that you find her around you every now and then. If you think it’s just a coincidence, try looking for more signs and you might be surprised that she actually wants you.

5. She is distracted by you

Flirting(Giphy)Flirting(Giphy)

She could be talking to other people but once in a while, she is stealing glances at you. This a sign that she probably wants you.

6. She extends a compliment

If she tries to challenge your compliment or seems like is trying to gauge it genuineness, no doubt she is interested.

7. She excuses your bad behavior

Okay gif(WiffleGif)

This is not an excuse to go acting like a jerk. But if a girl doesn’t seem to mind your bad behavior or even giggles about it, she could be interested in you.

8. She responds to your lazy text messages  

Girl texting(Fortune)

Especially if you just met her and you send her a basic ‘hi’ or ‘how are you doing’ text message, Kezia says this is a very good sign that she is interested.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is on Amazon!

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13 Signs of Strong Physical Attraction that Reveal a Mad Attraction

Signs of strong physical attraction are extremely powerful. If you’re showing any of these signs, you’re giving off seriously hot signals!

We’ve all been there. You meet someone who you simply can’t stay away from. They seem to have a certain allure and it’s like a magnet to you. To quote Edward Cullen from Twilight *of all things*, they are your own “personal brand of heroin.” It’s that magnetic, that powerful, that overwhelming. They are the signs of strong physical attraction.

You want them badly. It’s not going to go away until you’ve had them. It’s both a wonderful, exhilarating feeling. It leaves you vulnerable and open to hurt and anguish too. If you can keep it on a physical level for now, and avoid daydreaming about wedding aisles and long futures, this could be a fun way to get to know someone new. If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, well, you’ll have had a great time finding out!

13 signs of strong physical attraction you can’t miss

So, if it’s you giving off the signals, or you’re noticing them coming your way, what should you be looking out for exactly? Let’s check out 13 signs of strong physical attraction, which can only lead to one outcome: the shedding of clothes.

#1 An undeniable urge to touch them, in any way at all. If you simply want to reach out and touch them, perhaps move that stray hair from their face, or make an excuse to brush an invisible piece of fluff from their shirt, you’ve got it bad! A desire to reach out and touch is one of the main signs of strong physical attractions. You might have to sit on your hands to keep your urges to yourself!

 #2 A racing heartbeat. Does your heart rate pick up a few notches whenever this person is around? Can you hear the thumping and feel it in your chest? Does it reverberate around your entire body? Playing a special drum orchestra only you can hear? Again, a surefire sign that you want to take things to another level with this person. The attraction is super strong!

#3 Noticing your palms are sweaty. Do you get sweaty palms whenever this person is around? This the body’s natural nervous response, but it’s also linked with attraction. There is a very fine line between the two feelings. If you’re noticing that your hands become something akin to a sweat slick whenever this person pops into your space, that is one of the firm signs of strong physical attraction.

#4 You feel nervous generally. If you notice butterflies in your stomach, and a strange feeling of nervousness for no reason whatsoever, that’s your body telling you that it wants this other person, and not in a pure way! You have a true physical attraction to this other person. These nerves are your body’s fight or flight response kicking in.

#5 Dry lips. Do you notice that your mouth and lips go dry? Do you instinctively lick your lips? If you’re doing this while looking at the other person, lost in the moment and your thoughts of what might happen, you’re leaving them in no doubt about what you’re thinking! Again, one of the biggest signs of strong physical attraction, and one the other person can’t help but notice!

#6 You can’t get your words out. Do you stutter around this person, suddenly become shy and start blushing? You could be the most confident person in the world. But whenever this person is around, you turn into a bumbling mess. This can be a sign of true physical attraction, because you’re worried they can somehow read your mind and they know about the thoughts you’re having!

#7 A desire to look your best. Whenever this person is around, you want to look your very best, perhaps showing a little more skin than you would normally, and really letting them see you at your very best. This desire to look good isn’t simply for your confidence levels. It’s because you want this person to want you back.

Similarly, if you notice someone else always looking their shining best whenever you’re around, perhaps that’s a sign of them wanting something from you!

#8 You can’t tear your eyes away. Everyone knows that eye contact is a sign of desire, but if you simply can’t tear your eyes away from this person, whether you’re in conversation or you’re simply watching them walk, move, or carry out a task, you’re seriously attracted to them on a very physical level.

#9 A desire to tease them. We’ve all heard the old adage that you pull the pigtails on the playground of the one you like, and this goes back years and years, but it’s actually true. When you like someone, either emotionally or physically, you’ll probably revert to teasing them. This is a fun way to build a connection, but it’s a way to build up sexual tension at the same time.

#10 Your voice changes when you talk to them. Does your voice suddenly turn into a whisper or take on a somewhat erotic tone? If so, your voice is giving you away, and that’s one of the biggest signs of strong physical attraction. Your voice might suddenly go husky, and a little breathy, and you’re telling the other person what you’re thinking without using words.

#11 You don’t notice anyone else. The room could be full of other people but your attention will be solely on the person you have a strong physical attraction towards. You only want to look at this person, see what they are doing, and you only want them to notice you back.

A person can be talking to you, but if you’re busy gazing at your beau, all your attention will be on them, and your imagination will probably be running wild at the same time!

#12 Mirroring. Movement mirroring is one of the biggest and most obvious signs of strong physical attraction. It’s something we do without even realizing it. In this case, you will mirror the movements and standing/sitting position of the person you’re attracted to.

If they’re standing with their body angled towards you, you’ll do the same. And if they sit with their legs crossed, you’ll do the same, etc. This is a common body language trick that speaks volumes.

#13 You just can’t move away. Do you feel yourself rooted to the spot? You feel you can’t tear yourself away from this person. Almost as though you’re under a spell? That’s because you’re  physically attracted to this person. You want them badly! It’s chemistry. As we mentioned before, it’s like a drug reaction, a need, a really deep-seeded want.

How many of these signs of strong physical attraction can you agree with? Is there a person who you can’t get out of your head? Let’s hope they feel the same way and you can move onto something more!

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Having a One Night Stand

1. Are you married, in a committed relationship, interested in someone, or religiously forbidden to have premarital sex?

Today’s society does not see marriage the way it seemed to be a hundred years ago. But it is the same. It is a sacred commitment between two people. The act itself will never change. How each person treats it, is what the problem is. And this should be a question you ask yourself before heading out to play in the woods. If you love the person you are with, you need to focus on that love life. Not going crazy over a few hours of pleasure that could have you losing it all. The same applies to the rest of the question, including being in a committed relationship with God. Such as a priest, nun, monk, etc.

2. Do you have an STD such as HIV, AIDS, Herpes, Warts, etc.?

Spreading this around is unacceptable. These STD’s already have a steadily increasing number in the world of sexual enjoyment. And if this is something you have, or think you might, then the partner involved you are thinking about DESERVES the right to be told. If they change their mind, that is that right, as well. With that said, you need to take care of you. What if you have one of these issues, and it flares up afterward?

3. Will you use protection?

Some do not care. They think since they are clean, all with be okay. What if you are having a random fling from someone you just met tonight, neither of you know each other, and you have to think that if they are so readily available for a good time, do you honestly think this is their first time? And are they thinking the same as you? For all safety measures, protection is best and even then, it’s not foolproof.

4. What if the condom breaks?

Name brand and how it’s never happened to you before does not matter. It can still happen. What then?

5. How well do you know this person?

This goes back to #3. A random person can bring you anything in the heat of the moment. Even a friend of twenty years can be carrying something Ajax is not able to wash off. Knowing someone does not seem to matter. In today’s day and age, everyone needs to apply for a weekly physical. With a medical form as proof.

6. What type of reputation does this person have?

This plays a part in your life. Being with someone for a moment, can greatly impact your life. Not even all men are patted on the back for taking on the local junky who does this as a lifestyle to support habits. And you girls, you know how it is harder on us. Everyone’s reputation is indeed a great concern to question.

7. Is this worth $100? (The cost of a hotel room)

That is if you do not go cheesy and use the backseat and maybe you can find a room for $55 but even then, is this two-hour adventure worth wasting your hard-earned money? Do you not have something else to buy for your car or home? Perhaps food?

8. How will I feel after?

If you are easily connected to people, you really need to stop here and do serious soul searching. To walk in, go at it, and leave with a guilty conscience, is a huge undertaking. What if you see it in their eyes that they are feeling bad?

9. How will they feel after?

As people, we are unique characters. We all proclaim we can do this and that. Walk away without looking back. The matter at hand is that most women feel scorned or used if the person they are with does not show interest in them anymore.

I know a once young man who had a one time fling with a young lady who proclaimed that is all she wanted. Turned out, she lied. She became obsessed and destroyed his truck to the metal with a set of keys.

10. What if they want more than you can give them, afterward?

This goes back to #9. Not even sure if this question should be here. Almost like a repeat. Due to the circumstances of what if, it is probably best I leave it be. This is about thinking it over before jumping. Twice, if need be. So, it stays.

11. What do you do if it’s starting but you find myself suddenly not interested?

Having no clue about a one night stand, this would end up being my luck if I attempted one. How would we all handle this? Personally, I would be stuck between a rock and a hard spot (no pun intended) but would stop it. No one should ever have to share their body if at any point their mood changes. Question is, this one-nighter, will they be as accepting? Lots of worms can fall out of this can.

12. Is this with a friend and if so, is it worth the chance?

The all too commonly heard do not mess it up friendship talk. Look, no friendship is worth losing. Good friends are rare. Why would you throw that away for? Some of us learn the hard way when making a bad decision but this one, having never touched it, can see how it could be even worse.

13. Do you work, go to church, or to school with this person?

Awkward!!!! Especially if you apply rather or not the person is married to someone you work with. Maybe your parents know their parents, and everyone joins for a Sunday dinner at the local restaurant for small chat. Wow! Now to worry if others can see what both of your faces are saying.

14. Is this person know to have an active sex life around town?

I admit. This is a wee bit redundant with this question. It can not be argued on how this question fits three others. Due to sexually transmitted diseases, it should be asked at least fourteen more times. It should be the top of the line question you ask yourself. For real. Is your body worth hurting?

15. Are they good friends with my siblings?

There is something about sleeping with your sibling’s best friend. Not only do most relationships in this area end, but it also kills the mutual friendship your brother/sister has with your one-night lover. While you may not have a broken heart about it once done, your sibling could end up not trusting you. The damage i can feel this could cause is significant.

16. Are they married?

This question is not for you only. Being as big of a question when asking if you are married, this one also goes with the risk of being caught and losing everything. Not only for you, but also them. Along with an outraged spouse from their end, chasing you down the road on foot to kick your butt.

17. Do you acknowledge them if you see them in public?

At this point, things are feeling a bit repetitive. Yet at each question, a new scenario is created. Like, for instance, what if this was not discussed and you both attend the same college together? Do you walk past each other as strangers, yet still catching a glimpse? Or maybe you turn and go the opposite direction? If this was not discussed, and they are headed to you with a huge smile, as you are holding hands with your partner, do not even attempt to run. You are busted! Might want to get to addressing this before that happens.

18. How will you feel about yourself later in life?

At the moment, you may not have any regrets. What though, if in ten years, you look back at the “mistakes” you made and place this one in that category? Maybe by now, you have heard how the person is in jail for killing their lover over jealousy, or they are now on crack due to being alone. Yes, this is a bit extreme as examples but this is an extreme decision. You must ask yourself how will you feel.

19. If asked had you ever had a one-time affair, do you tell the truth or lie?

Not talking about with a group of your same-sex friends. I am talking the partner you want to spend the rest of your life with. Do you actually come out, tell the truth, and hope it just goes away? It sounds to me like a #18 issue at this point. But if you know if you tell the truth, it will be used over your head, you have even bigger issues at bay.

20. What if you want to see them again, but they do not want to?

Truly you did not think you escaped the jaws of real emotions, now did you?

It seems no matter how strong we think we are when it comes to the intimate side of life, a crush, or infatuation, no one is exempt from feelings. And if you think it could happen, you know, falling for them … rethink what you are about to put yourself through.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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5 Reasons Why Married Indian Women Are Turning To Dating Apps

When 40-year-old Manisha Agarwal (name changed) logged on to a dating app for the first time, she was paralysed with fear. Married for 15 years, she needed a distraction from her sexless and loveless marriage, but was scared she would be caught in the act. “Kolkata is such a small city. Here someone always knows you or one of your acquaintances. I knew I was taking a risk, but I had no choice,” she says.

Unhappy with her unfulfilling married life, Agarwal desperately wanted to find someone she could connect with. She knew she could not risk having an affair with a friend, so she decided to look for potential partners on a dating app.

She was looking for casual sex, and knew nobody would swipe right for her if she only mentioned her name and age. “Who would want to match with a 40-year-old mother? I had to use my photo, but that left me feeling completely vulnerable,” she says.

Agarwal is just one of the many married women in India who use dating apps to find companionship. According to a recent survey, 77% of Indian women who cheat are bored of their monotonous married life. Although affairs and meetings with men bring excitement to their lives, they also live in fear of the embarrassment and shame of being found out.

The survey, conducted by Gleeden, an online “extra-marital dating” community primarily meant for women, also found that four out of 10 women admitted flirting with a stranger helped them improve intimacy with their ‘official’ partner. Gleeden, incidentally, claims to have 5 lakh members in India, of which 30% are women. Other popular dating apps in the country include Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge.

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Reshmi Singhal (name changed), a 29-year-old married woman from Delhi, says she became curious about dating apps after her single friends began using them. As men started approaching her, she felt desired and enjoyed the attention, even though it stayed virtual. For her it was almost therapeutic. The problem, she says, was to know when to stop.

According to the 2019 Gleeden survey, 34% of such virtual encounters lead to a real date in the next 10 days. “These apps work like online shopping portals. You check the catalogue and choose what you want,” says Kolkata-based clinical psychologist Anindita Chowdhury, who has had clients use dating apps.

When we asked married women what they look for on dating apps these are the top reasons they cited:

Sex Without Strings Attached

Married women often use dating apps for casual, no-strings-attached sex. These apps are well suited for the purpose—they are convenient, discreet, and can be uninstalled whenever necessary.

Chowdhury says one woman, who had had a love marriage, ended up having extramarital affairs with men she met online. The woman, in her 40s, said her husband’s interest in sex had dwindled over the years, and instead of confronting him or ending the marriage, she started leading a parallel life, because it just seemed easier.

“The couple had a child and so she did not want to call the marriage off. She was very clear about what she wanted from the men she interacted with on the apps. She sought sex, mostly from younger men. Sex, attention, and time were factors missing in her marital life, and so she looked for these,” Chowdhury says.

“Later, after some soul-searching, they want to understand why they had extramarital affairs in the first place and how to prevent their marriages from failing.”

“Later, after some soul-searching, they want to understand why they had extramarital affairs in the first place and how to prevent their marriages from failing,” Chowdhury says, adding that a common thread in many cases is that the husband had sexual problems.

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Kolkata resident Manisha Agarwal’s story had a similar trajectory. Her partner of 15 years was distant and had had an affair, and after making a profile on dating apps she too “hooked up a couple of times”. However, the couple decided to stay together for the sake of their children and to avoid social censure. While Agarwal says she enjoyed her “alternate life”, the fear of being recognised never left her. She recently started visiting a therapist to take better control of her life and marriage.

Kolkata-based psychotherapist Mansi Poddar, who has also encountered married clients using dating apps, says the sexuality of Indian women is viewed differently than that of men. “Women are perceived as less sexual. Thus, it adds a thick layer of guilt and shame for the woman if she is physically dissatisfied with her partner. So, instead of a heart-to-heart discussion or visiting a marriage counselor together, she opts for casual sex and secret affairs. Protecting the sanctity of her home holds greater importance for a married woman than her own emotional and physical well-being,” she says.

 

Married for six years, 35-year-old Priyanka Mehta (name changed) from Hyderabad never felt emotionally or physically satisfied with her partner. “My husband and I were totally incompatible and shared no warmth or trust in our relationship.” she says. When Mehta finally realised she could no longer live with him, she gathered courage and initiated the divorce process. But she still felt a void within.

“I joined dating apps in order to numb the pain of loneliness and for a distraction from the frustrating relationship I was in. I was not looking for a serious affair at all. I wanted someone with whom I could connect on some level, and have an exciting encounter that was not necessarily only sexual. I was looking for something light-hearted and fun, a connection that I missed having with my husband,” Mehta says.

She met a few men on these apps—men that she says were kinder, funnier, and more interesting than her husband. Mehta was completely honest with these men, and unexpectedly they were all quite understanding and empathetic. Unlike her own family members and social circle, they were not judgemental about her failed marriage. “For me it was like an emotional release and a relief to be able to interact with these men,” Mehta says.

I wanted my husband to hold or hug me, but he never initiated physical proximity. Men should understand that for women, intimacy is not always about sex.”

When Jayeeta Guha (name changed), a 36-year-old resident of Bangalore, became frustrated with the lack of intimacy with her husband, she decided to log on to a popular dating app. Although her husband was a good father to their child and a responsible family man and provider, she says he struggled with demonstrating affection.

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When she logged on to the dating app, Guha was immediately flooded with attention and propositions. Soon she realized she was getting addicted to the conversations and they worked almost like a mood-enhancing drug for her. Gradually, the chats gave way to dates, a few of which then turned into physical encounters.

“I wanted my husband to hold or hug me, but he never initiated physical proximity. Men should understand that for women, intimacy is not always about sex. The lack of warmth became a constant irritant for me and I felt as if I was living with a roommate,” Guha confesses. She continues to fulfill her role as a mother and dutiful wife, while the husband provides for expenses.

New Male Friends

When 36-year-old Rachna Chatterjee (name changed) moved cities after marriage, she missed her busy social life. A management consultant, she had to travel quite a bit for her work, as did her husband, and they ended up spending only a couple of weekends a month together.

“I have always been a very social person and wanted to know more people outside my new office. I started using dating apps to connect with interesting men and often met them over a coffee or beer. Interesting conversation was my intent, although things are not always that simple on dating apps, as I soon realized,” she tells us.

While Chatterjee was upfront about her marital status, many of the men she met faked theirs. “I even received a phone call from someone’s wife! That kind of shook me,” she recalls. She says she had met him thrice and had no intention of getting physically involved with him. He was fun to be around, and she enjoyed the company. However, he had never told her that he was married.

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For Chatterjee, the basis of a successful marriage is transparency and so she informed her husband that she was using dating apps to meet people. “He is not on these apps but of course he meets men and women at bars or pubs when he travels for work. I don’t think meeting someone new can be a threat to your marriage, unless you are already unhappy with your spouse,” she says.

New to Bumble BFF, a platform where you can swipe to find new friends, Chatterjee enjoys connecting with other women who live in her city or when she travels for work. “It really is a lifesaver for women like me, although I still wouldn’t mind meeting interesting men,” she says.

For Shreya Das (name changed), a 37-year-old homemaker from Bangalore, it was the gradual boredom that set in in her married life, that made her log on to dating apps. Married for 10 years and child-free by choice, her arranged marriage started losing its “spark”. “I started to feel the need to connect with more people outside my family and friends. I did not have a specific agenda when I logged on to dating apps. I had seen some of my single friends hooked on to these platforms and wanted to get the same thrill,” she says.

Das initially hid her marital status from the men she found interesting. She would disclose it only when she met them rather than during a chat. Although most dates were limited to coffee and conversation, she admits there were some grey areas. She says she had to be quite firm about not allowing these interactions to turn into sexual encounters. “Over the three years of my using these apps, I have realized that most men just want to hook up, which is absolutely their prerogative and I respect that. But the radio silence that greets you when you mention you are not interested in casual sex is strange. Still, I have been successful in making a few good friends on the apps,” she says.

Das tells us that for two years she did not tell her husband about her use of dating apps since he was “slightly traditional” and might not take kindly to the idea. However, last year she opened up to him and showed him her profile and those of some of the men she chatted with. “Of course, he was uncomfortable, but I told him of my experiences. To my surprise he gradually warmed up to the idea. He said if I had to be on these apps, I should be careful and judicious with those I interact with,” she says.

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To Feel Desired

In India, where married women are associated with certain roles and ‘virtues’, dating apps can help them discover other facets of their personality and feel desirable again. “In most Indian households, the woman is either the ‘bahu’ or wife or mother. These dating apps have opened a new world for these women, who can now openly express their desires and be new versions of themselves,” explains psychotherapist Mansi Poddar.

Devika Chauhan (name changed), a 33-year-old designer from Mumbai, confesses she started using dating apps to continue feeling desired by men. She was in a loving marriage and was emotionally and physically satisfied, but she missed the carefree days of being single and being able to meet any man she chose.

Hot Indian woman in red saree - a photo on Flickriver

Chauhan travelled a lot and used an app to find out what men in different cities and countries were looking for, and if she still fit the bill. “I was never a stickler for conventions, and I do not see why marriage should stop someone from wanting to feel desired. I would even want my husband to be the most desired man in a room full of people!” she says.

The matches and quick replies provided instant gratification and lifted her mood. She says she functioned better at work and at home when she received attention and compliments. “Who doesn’t enjoy being told they look amazing or are fun to talk to? If it doesn’t cause friction in my personal relationships, then why not use the apps?” Chauhan asks. She did meet a few men, but according to her none were interesting or engaging enough to continue being friends with. Also, with a busy work and social life, she did not have the time to invest in meeting men regularly.

While Chauhan is open about using dating apps with her husband and friends, she chooses to keep her marital status undisclosed on her profiles. “If I do match with someone, I tell them I am not single, without revealing the fact that I am married. My marital status is very personal for me and I refuse to share anything regarding my life with men I don’t know. I do not want them to assume I have an unhappy marriage or a dissatisfied life just because I have a Hinge or a Bumble profile!” she says.

Sexual Orientation

Same-sex relations in India are still a taboo, and many lesbian and bisexual women marry men due to of societal and family pressures. Since they cannot openly discuss or act on their sexual preferences, some married women take to dating apps.

Sahely Gangopadhyay, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist from Kolkata, says, “Online dating apps have made same-sex encounters relatively easy. My clients tell me they opt for their preferred gender and keep their marital status discreet. We even have couple-friendly hotel rooms these days, that they can use, though usually I have seen women simply going out for a drink or a movie with their female friends,” she says.

Hot Indian woman in red saree - a photo on Flickriver

Gangopadhyay says she has a client who found it easier to voice her needs under the garb of an altered name and relationship status in the virtual world. Unfortunately, when the woman’s husband came to know of her secret, he turned even more violent. It is a vicious cycle, Gangopadhyay says, where the woman looks for affection outside her marriage, but then ends up suffering even more abuse at home. “We need to understand that different women have different needs and the only way to deal with them is to be able to voice them without fear or guilt,” she adds.

Most Indian women, unhappy as they may be with their conjugal life, do not want to end their marriages as that entails facing societal questions and having to feel guilt and shame. Instead, they lead parallel sex lives until they feel things have gone out of control or that the affairs are affecting their personal lives.

 

 

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Here’s How To Have Safe FaceTime Sex

Sexting and exchanging nudes is fun, but it’s not always enough to get you off when you and your partner can’t be together IRL. More than sexy Snapchats — and even more than tried-and-true phone sex — FaceTime sex is the closest you can get to enjoying the real-time thrills of sex IRL, and it’s not just for committed couples. FaceTime sex with a casual partner can always be an option if you want it to be. But, like with in-person sex, safe FaceTime sex should always be a priority — especially when you’re doing it with someone you don’t know too well.

In a long-distance relationship, you and your SO already have an established foundation of trust. Partners can nurture intimacy for months, or even years, before going long-distance. But that trust might not exist with someone you’ve only known for a few weeks, or with someone you’ve never actually met IRL at all. That’s why it’s important to take safety precautions during sex — no matter what form it takes — just like you would with IRL f*ck buddies, flings, and one-night stands.

Keep these pro-tips in mind if you’re curious about how to have FaceTime sex safely.

Be Selective About What You Show

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Approach FaceTime sex the way you’d approach sending nudes. For one, don’t include your face in the frame. “Keep in mind that tattoos can also be big signifiers, so try to avoid having any of them in nude photos, too,” Gigi Engle, certified sex coach and SKYN Sex and Intimacy Expert, tells Elite Daily.

Along with your face and tattoos, you’ll want to leave certain personal items or decorations out of the shot, too. “Whether FaceTiming or sending photos of any kind, be sure not to reveal identifying details in the background,” Alison Falk, a cybersecurity professional and president of Women of Sextech, tells Elite Daily. “It’s extremely easy to determine the location of where people live and work, when even the slightest details are exposed.”

If your cyber-sexual relationship develops beyond a one-night stand, you may not have to worry about hiding your face or tattoos in the future, but that might take some time. “Trust needs to be built before you engage in higher-risk sexting,” Dr. Chris Donaghue, a certified sex therapist and SKYN Sex and Intimacy Expert, tells Elite Daily.

Discuss Screenshots

While STDs, STIs, and pregnancy aren’t concerns that come with digital sex, it does pose its own risks: screenshots, screen recordings, and your partner possibly posting these nudes without consent. “These are things that don’t need to deter you, but you should discuss this possibility and talk about how violating it would be,” Engle explains. “It is sexual assault, as far as I’m concerned. Be open and honest that this would be completely not OK with you, and make sure they feel exactly the same way about it.”

No federal, anti-revenge porn law exists, says Falk. “So do everything possible to protect yourself legally.”

Forgo Alcohol & Other Substances

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Make sure your mind is clear while engaging in FaceTime sex. If you enjoy indulging in some wine or other substances to take the edge off, consider abstaining prior to your cyber-sesh, says Engle, as they can impair your judgment and lead you to reveal more than you’re actually comfortable with. Especially if it’s your first time having FaceTime sex, leave the White Claws and weed behind.

Get Cryptic

When it comes to digital sex, privacy should be top-of-mind. “Do your homework first and be sure to use the right apps,” Falk says. “Everything is hackable. There is no bulletproof way to ensure 100% privacy with anything in our digital lives.” One encrypted app she recommends as an alternative to FaceTime or Zoom is Signal, which does have a video call feature. While you do still need to be wary of screenshots, Signal’s encryption protects you against hacking.

Make Sure You’re Comfortable

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With both cyber sex or sex IRL, trust is the name of the game. But discerning whether your dating app match is trustworthy can be tricky. “This isn’t someone you know very well, so you can’t make that kind of call,” Engle says. “There is no special formula for accessing whether someone is a creep or not.”

Likewise, while Donaghue acknowledges the benefits of online sexual expression, he urges against having FaceTime sex with people you’re not super comfortable with. “Emotionally, you want to be able to let your guard down and really enjoy the eroticism and arousal.”

Even though there’s no real way to tell whether your digital f*ck buddy is someone you can trust, you can ask all the right questions to make that judgment to the best of your ability. Discuss what they’ve done with screenshots during other forms of cyber sex, like sexting. “Ask them what they did with pics they have been sent in the past from others, and if they ever share them,” Donaghue advises. “If they explain that they sext ethically and therefore delete after the sexting goal has been achieved — or the relationship ends — then that’s a good starting point.”

When you’re embarking on your sensual FaceTime adventures, remember that the same way dental dams, condoms, birth control and frank conversations can help put you at ease, so can taking proactive steps toward safe FaceTime sex.

 

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Why Anxiety Increases Sex Drive In Some People

It’s all about emotions and attachment.

Have you ever received bad news, and all you’ve wanted to do was have sex? Or, perhaps sex is literally the last thing you want to do when you have anxiety?

As a sex therapist trained in affect-focused therapy, I know that emotions, anxiety, and sex are connected. Here’s why sometimes they mix — and  sometimes they don’t.

What exactly are emotions?

Emotions are basic evolutionary processes that have developed to keep us alive. They act like compasses, telling us what our needs are in all situations.

In their rawest state, feelings have specific purposes. And if we listen to them and do what they’re telling us to do —  we feel better.

Positive feelings usually urge us toward connection with others, whereas negative ones work to keep us safe.

Generally speaking, negative emotions such as worry and fear dampen our sex drive because their prime goal is to save us from potential threats.

Hormones are spurred by emotions.

When something dangerous happens, like someone pointing a gun to our head, our body springs into action, creating the stress hormone cortisol, getting us ready to fight, flee, or freeze.

This is a good thing, because getting horny when someone wants to pop our head off, could potentially lead to our death.

The thing is though, worry and fear can also be ignited by things that aren’t actually dangerous  —  at least, not on a physiological level.

These are all examples of situations our brain might perceive as a real threat:

  • Our partner making advances in bed
  • A big presentation at work
  • An erection that suddenly falters

If sex has turned into a stressful duty where you feel the need to perform by having a long-lasting erection or multiple orgasms , worry and fear will inhibit our libido.

Can emotions affect your sex drive? Most definitely.

For most of us, negative emotions put a damper on our libido.

Meanwhile, for others, worry, fear, and anxiety can drive them toward sex  as opposed to away from it.

And this has a lot to do with their attachment styles and patterns.

Attachment styles inform how our sex drive responds to negative emotions.

Your attachment pattern affects your relationships. And to understand why some people prefer to screw away their anxiety ,  you need to know what attachment is.

Attachment, just like our emotions, is a basic human drive developed to ensure we bond with our babies and, thus ,  take care of them.

Our attachment patterns differ, depending on the quality of the bond established with our primary caregivers.

The quality not only affects our relationship with our parents  but  it also governs how we relate to other people in the future , romantically or otherwise.

Secure versus insecure attachment patterns.

Roughly speaking, a secure attachment pattern leads to more balanced, healthy relationships, whereas an insecure attachment pattern leads to more issues in our relationships and, sometimes, more sexual problems, too.

One of the two insecure attachment patterns that can be developed in early childhood — that can lead to a higher sex drive — is the anxious-preoccupied attachment pattern.

This pattern emerges as a response to a home-environment with emotional inconsistency.

Perhaps our parents showered us with love and attention at random; sometimes meeting our emotional needs and other times minimizing or ignoring them.

When our primary caregivers are inconsistent and unpredictable we develop clinginess as a means of getting the love and attention we as a species so desperately crave.

As toddlers, this meant we needed to scream loudly in order to have our needs met, or cling to our parents’ bodies in order for them to hear us.

And so this pattern continues into adulthood.

We meet someone we fancy and we latch on quickly, clinging to them to receive confirmation and feel loved. One of the prime ways we receive this validation and affection  is through sex.

Why does an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern increase sex drive?

There are several reasons an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern can create a ferocious appetite for sex. One of them is that society holds sex in a relationship in high regard.

We equate sex with love and therefore, to have sex is to, literally, “make love.”

This pairing of sex and love is perhaps best seen in our western society’s quest for “the one” and our goal of life-long monogamy.

The whole concept of monogamy is that all of our wants and desires are replenished by this one person.

However, it also means if we’re not satisfied by our partner or if we even desire another person sexually, there’s something wrong with us.

And because of the monogamous ideal and the way it links sex and love ,  sex serves as one of the ultimate ways of getting close and feeling cared for.

It can validate us and make us feel like we’re truly seen  —  no matter what attachment pattern we possess.

But, especially, for those of us who are anxious-ambivalent, sex can be the fastest route to feeling valued by our partners.

On the flip side, this means not having sex can be construed as a sign that our relationship is over or our partner has fallen out of love with us.

In order for this not to happen, our attachment pattern drives us toward a higher libido, trying to ensure our relationship’s survival. And, in a more philosophical sense , our own.

By having sex with our partner, we’re safeguarding ourselves from being left on our own ,  the way we felt when our primary caregivers were emotionally inconsistent.

Our sex drive isn’t only sparked by society’s views of sex.

It’s also ignited by the emotions and states that are triggered by our attachment pattern — worry and anxiety.

When we’re anxious-ambivalent, we might suffer more from regular worry and anxiety because relationships, in and of themselves, trigger it.

Sex can be a great way to regulate negative emotions.

The cortisol coursing through our veins doesn’t dampen our drive, as it does for most people who have a secure attachment pattern — it amps it.

Regulating emotions through sex doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, a lot of people, feel like it’s a great way of dealing with difficult feelings.

The problem arises when you feel the only way to relieve anxiety, stress, or worry   is through sex.

Without any other strategies to regulate negative feelings, sex can turn into a compulsive act. Be it through masturbation or having sex with a partner or two.

So, when asking yourself if emotions can affect your sex drive, it’s important to take both feelings and attachment patterns into consideration.

Everyone’s libido is affected by their emotions.

For those who have an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern, sexual desire can be ramped up by negative emotions and for those who are securely attached, they shut it down.

It’s all completely normal. You’re completely normal.

 

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If You’ve Ever Been Curious About Sex Work In Australia, Then This Book’s Got Your Name On It

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses heavy topics including rape and suicide.

A new book from Aussie sex worker Rita Therese might not be the book you’re expecting, but it’s the one you should probably read. Come: A Memoir isn’t the glamorous tale of rich clients, jetting off overseas, and being paid $1000s to just listen to a man talk (although it includes that, too); it’s dark, brutally honest, and a book you won’t be able to put down.

Rita doesn’t leave anything out. In parts, Come is like a big sister guide to the sex industry, explaining the difference between “t0ppies” and “strippers”, how to control a boozed out Buck’s Party, why having sex on camera is different to fucking a client in a hotel room (which may or may not be haunted), and the unique social rules in a strip club.

In others, it’s a deeply personal account of a woman who has experienced trauma, addiction, violence and death – and come out the other side.

“I wanted to do right by my peers,” Rita told PEDESTRIAN.TV, when asked why it was important not to glamorise or gloss over the sex industry.

“I really wanted the reader to decide how they felt and try to not lead them in a direction. I just wanted it to be relatable for workers – I hope it is! It has made me feel much less alone having other SWs [sex workers] read my book, and say. “I’ve felt that.” I don’t think the book is unbiased but I tried my best to give it balance, and show the spectrum of experience.”

Rita, 25, entered the sex industry at age 18 on a whim, answering an ad for topless waitresses. It wasn’t long before she happy to go a step further and do fully nude waitressing at bookings – for more money, of course.

“It was the snowball effect,” Rita writes in Come. “Academics and anti-sex work feminists like to attribute these kinds of things to sex workers becoming desensitised to the horrors of the industry, but all that’s happening is you’ve realised it just isn’t a big deal to get your coochie out for money.”

From there, Rita worked as an escort (both privately and in brothels), a stripper, and for a time, in porn.

In her professional life she was (is) Gia, the glamorous, heterosexual babe of every man’s fantasy, who doesn’t have a worry in the world and exists to give men the hour of their lives.

In private, she’s Rita, a bisexual woman who’s survived abusive relationships, tackled substance abuse, navigated mental illness and yet still manages to make you laugh with her no-holds-barred sense of humour. Come is about grief as much as it is about sex work; Rita lost two of her older brothers to suicide within eight months of each other. Her pain seeps through every page.

“It wasn’t until I finished my book, and during the process as I shifted through my grief and into myself, I realised how much I had buried,” Rita said.

“It’s an ongoing process, and one I would like to write about. But at that time, last June, I wasn’t there yet. I don’t even think I realised what else was going on after I was done speaking about sex work, what else existed.”

 

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