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Breaking up is hard to do

Hands down, break-ups are the absolute worst part of relationships. It's one thing if you and your ex- live in different cities or different parts of the same city, because then perhaps your paths won't cross, making it a bit easier to handle.

But when you work together, see each other at the gym or in the same social circles or what-have-you, it's awful.

There you've been, feeling like ass, flat hair, puffy eyes, crappy clothes, sad demeanour, and there they are, looking like their life hasn't changed in the least -- or that it's only gotten better (or maybe this is just my luck). Always better, never the worst for losing out on the wonderful, amazing, fantastic, intelligent, fun, gorgeous, hot and sexy mad-skillzed person that is you.

Yet, somehow, they don't want you anymore: "It's not you, it's me. I've changed. I want different things in life. We've grown apart. Etc., etc." Here is this person who used to lavish love and affectino on you, told you you were a million times sexier than Jennifer Lopez (barf) or Brad Pitt (also barf) could ever hope to be, told you they never wanted to hurt you, that they loved you... now this same person doesn't want to be your one and only? What the fuck?!

Getting dumped is the biggest kick in the self-esteem I know -- it ranks even above being the "fat girl" in a group of near-anorexic girls out for a night of drinking; and I know, 'cause I've been the "fat girl" and I've been dumped.

I start off trying to convince myself that he's the one missing out, that he'll miss me, that he'll realize how happy I made him... and then it turns into a pity party, invitation for one: If I'm so awesome, great, fun, smart, etc... why doesn't he want to be with me?

Sometimes other things bring people apart, and that's pretty ass, too. Maybe it wasn't the relationship, but other circumstances -- we've grown apart, I'm moving away, I have too much baggage. I think in some ways these are the worst, because the irrational, selfish little voice in my head pops up at moments like these to squeak, "Yeah, but if he loved you enough, he'd try." I hate that little voice with the fiery passion of ten thousand burning suns -- it represents both all of my hopes and all of my insecurities wrapped into one package of awful.

Anyhow, back on track. Well-meaning friends can be awful at times like these, too: "Oh, you'll find someone better" -- I've heard that phrase from the guy himself, too. My reaction? "I think he's great, perfect for me, exactly who could I find that would be this better of which you speak?" ('Cause I talk like that normally, too). When you're desperately pining for someone, hearing, "You'll do better next time" doesn't help.

It's when you've on to trashing him for his stupidity and short-sightedness in leaving you that those phrases are more appropriate. And fun.

Normallly I try to have some sort of tying-things-together point when I write these articles, and maybe even a proper conclusion or moral. Well, not so much moral, since a lot of what I like to write about could be considered immoral, but I like to have something for people to "learn." Not that most of this tends to be that new to anyone, either, but... anyhow. I really don't have much to say that's positive or upbeat about break-ups except that they suck ass monkeys, and whenever I'm dealing with the aftermath of a really painful one, it really makes me wonder if the relationships themselves are worth it.

But every new relationship gives me that little bit of hope, and there are the memories and the things I've learned from each relationship... so it's really a toss-up. I'm finding though that as I get older and get more and more attached to each person I date, as my feelings deepen and get harder and harder to let go of, that each time I wonder if the effort is really worth it. I love the excitement and promise of a new relationship, I love learning new things about the people in my lives, and I love that initial sexual tension that comes from a new relationship -- or the improved sex that comes from a longer one -- but then when the break-up happens... I'm back to feeling like ass, like I'll never be able to move on, and the walls come right back up again.

Trusting again after a break-up is really hard; you've been hurt, so it's natural that you want to protect yourself from being hurt again. Maybe you won't reveal as many secrets as you did, or maybe you won't open up as quickly, or maybe you'll just close yourself off from that person that you did open up to; each person deals with things differently. All of a sudden every word that your ex- utters is suffused with meaning, and the smallest act of kindness from him or her means the world to you. Or maybe this is just me, but I've seen it in a few friends.

The irony of it all is that sometimes, the best way to get over an ex- is to fall for a new guy or girl. I look forward to the day that I can stop the insanity and either be wed or be emotionally dead. Yeah, that's a good plan. Either that or lesbianism.

posted by Jen on 1:04 AM



Slippery When Wet

I think artificial lubricants are, hands down, my most necessary and favourite sexual aide and/or toy. Although a good vibrator ... but that's another column.

I can't think of any situation that isn't possibly enhanced with lube -- penetration, anal sex, manual sex, oral sex, massage, watching television, going to work...

I love lube, and I do my best to always have a bottle on hand. There are a number of sexual encounters that I would've missed out on had it not been for lube.

Let's face it, as much as condoms can be fun or useful, they tend to absorb natural lubrication like a thirsty person drinks water, especially if the penis at hand is really thick, withdrawing completely a lot (like in position changes or teasing), rubbing against dry skin, or stopping for awhile to engage in some other form of play. Hell, even a hard fucking -- as good as if feels -- can lead to some dryness and unhappiness.

I love to use lube for handjobs, and I know several guys who love to use it when they jerk off. I don't know too many women who've said the same, but I can't do without it. Love it.

Anyhow, while many guys I know will readily say they aren't huge fans of handjobs -- "I can do it better myself/head or sex feels better" -- I know that many of them also find that lube does help make it better. Lube allows for a tighter grip, an easier slide of your hand, and no need to worry about precum interfering with the easy slide of skin on skin.

The trick with using lube during oral sex is to find one with a pleasant, or at least tolerable, flavour. A lot of adult stores allow you to buy little samples of lube so you can test them out without the investment and potential disappointment of a full-sized bottle. It was from lube samplers that I discovered I really didn't care for Probe, for example. It's usually possible to get the flavoured lubes in this form, too.

I do find that some of the warming lubes -- Joy Jelly and Motion Lotion, for example -- tend not to be the best of lubes and they can feel weird in the mouth. They may not taste ideal, either -- sometimes they're overly sweet in order to overcompensate for the "ickiness" of the parts to which you might be applying it.

But lube can be used to enhave oral sex, as I keep saying and never actually discussing. Lube up your hand and use it at the base of his penis or on his balls, or rub your fingers gently on her labia or inside her. Whatever your partner prefers.

Saliva is an excellent lube to a point. It dries up pretty easily, and it's easy to run out -- especially after a long period of kissing or drinking. K-Y Jelly is also a popular lube, but it's one of the worst, in my opinion -- it was designed for the insertion of medical instruments, and so is meant to break down quickly in the body. It's not meant for the really long, sex-filled evenings we're all enjoying.

So after all this advocating lube and trashing other kinds, I suppose it's only fair to divulge my lube of choice. I won't claim to have tried many -- Probe, Motion Lotion, Joy Jelly, K-Y Jelly and a few lesser knowns whose names haven't stuck with me -- but the one I really like is Wet. I've tried to regular and the light formulas and like them both. I find it stays slippery a decent length of time, feels natural and isn't terribly unpleasant to taste. I wouldn't want to drink it, but I don't want to shave off my tastebuds when they come into contact with it, either.

The other advantage to Wet is that it's a water-based lube, meaning it rinses off easily and is condom-safe. Oil- or silicone-based lubes don't wash away as easily and aren't latex-friendly, but can be used with polyurethane condoms. Finally, silicone-based lubes shouldn't be used with silicone toys -- the chemicals interact and your toys wind up warped and ruined.

But there's no need to take my word for any of this. Go out and pick out a lube and have some slippery fun, whether it's solo or partnered. If you pick one I haven't mentioned, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

posted by Jen on 1:55 AM


Apparently a how-to guide for sex with me. In reality, me just talking about my thoughts and experiences in love, sex and relationships.

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