Friday, 27 January 2012

When J & B Met...

"I dedicate this post to my darling sister Jacqui and her future husband Brandon. May your life together inspire love, hope and strength through all adversity."

There is a day that every woman dreams of, the milestone event that officially binds her eternal love and commitment to the perfect plus one. She'll spend a good part of the year planning every intricate detail to ensure the success of her wedding day, from the fitted white dress and tasteful invitations to the floral arrangements and idyllic venue. Even those first few steps towards the altar are rehearsed to perfection, all building up to that magical moment when he looks deep into her eyes and says "I do"...

The hype of the "big wedding day" has always struck me as an ingenious tactic used to keep us from seeing the institution of marriage for what it really is; a shareholders agreement with marzipan fruitcake. If you take away the complimentary drinks, the three course meals, the flowing decor and all the other gimmicks, the act of marriage can be reduced to nothing more than a corporate merger. At the end of the day a wedding involves a persuasive proposal, a contractual agreement with t's and c's, a group of witnesses and some kind of gesture to seal the deal. And while a kiss is less formal than a handshake, there is always the possibility that the deal could go pear-shaped at any point in time.

Marriage contracts, like most formal arrangements, are just as easy to terminate as they are to administer. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part sound and look great on paper, and while we may have the best intentions at heart, life is simply too unpredictable to guarantee the longevity of a nuptial undertaking. With such high expectations are we just setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment? It's in our nature to bail out of situations when the going gets tough, often opting for the easiest way out. "Irreconcilable differences", "this is just not working out" or "we've simply grown apart" have all become legitimate reasons for the dissolution of marital unions, and even though every circumstance is different, we are quick to abandon our responsibilities and commitments without giving it a real chance.

We can't ignore the statistics. Divorce rates are constantly on the rise and with only two countries in the world that have yet to legalize it, the odds seem to be against us. The only certainty is that marriage requires a higher degree of commitment, a commitment that only a dedicated partnership can survive. It takes work and effort and unless you are compatible on every level emotionally, psychologically, financially, the chances of success are virtually nil. When it comes to marriage, I couldn't help but wonder, is it really worth all that dress?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A hedge fund for love...

In a world where money matters and cash is king, it’s no wonder we've become obsessed with the many ways of making our money go further. Every day, we put our trust in the hands of bankers, brokers and hedge fund managers in exchange for solid investment advice that is meant to guarantee and secure long term benefits. And although the nature of our economy can never be predicted, the prospect of gaining mutual interest seems to be worth the risk.

I couldn’t but wonder whether the same principals could be applied to dating? The more love we receive the more love we want, so we invest the time and energy in new relationships no matter how depreciated our hearts grow along the way.With every investment there's a certain amount of risk to consider and placing our biggest asset in the hands of a complete stranger is not always a sound decision. Of course there's always the safety and security of a stable structure, room for potential growth in the future but at what point do we start losing interest? And with such an unstable economic climate where interest rates are constantly fluctuating, how do we know when and what stock to invest in?

I thought about Simon, the investment banker I had dated back in 2004. Simon had made quite the impression with his corporate intellect, off beat sense of humor and promising venture package. I decided to invest more of my time and energy into this relationship despite my reservations and better judgment based on previous experience. For about a month and a half I noticed a steady incline in my returns which had restored my faith in the market place. Things were moving along swimmingly until one day the contact suddenly stopped. My stock had plummeted without notice or a shred of warning. One awkward phone call later, I noticed a drastic decline in interest. What went wrong? Further evasive behavior was a clear indication that my investment had crashed leaving me broke, frustrated and confused, not to mention the serious impact it had on any future investment.     

Sadly for us, the marketplace is full of heart breakers and not enough heart-brokers to guide us along the way. We rely heavily on instinct and chance which in itself can be risky business. The daunting reality is that every potential relationship comes with high risk with only a 50% chance of growing into something long term and rewarding. One can only hope that after years dating we are wise enough to recognize the other 50% before it's too late. In matters of the heart, when it comes to relationships, is it really worth the risk?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The BIG issue...

When I was a child, I used to beg my mother to tell me ghost stories at night even though I knew they were bad for me. Lost souls trapped in the human world floating around aimlessly because of some unresolved conflict they left behind. And while the stories she told me still send shivers up my spine, they are nowhere near as frightening as coming face to face with the ghosts of relationships past.

Confronting the ex that banished you to cynical island can be an altogether terrifying experience. It's a moment we all dread and one we can never really anticipate. All we can do is smile, wish them well and pray to God that we look our best. The horror of running into an ex as significant as Big sent my entire body into a spasm, an inexplicable rush that came over me like hot rain. Even though I had prepared for this moment for over 4 years, I found myself completely and utterly speechless in his presence. Had I just seen a ghost from ex-mas past? I spent the entire night looking over my shoulder, double taking to make sure that I was not hallucinating. Why was he still haunting me after all these years especially now that I was in a real relationship...a relationship that he denied me? Did I still have Big demons that needed exorcising or was I simply taken aback by the unexpected nature of this apparition? I could not put my finger on it. What was it about the situation that had rendered me powerless? Did I still have feelings for him or had I merely become a ghost stuck in a parallel universe with unresolved issues?

Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, you cannot deny the powerful force behind human emotions. They're an unpredictable phenomenon that even infinite wisdom and better judgment cannot control. While it is extremely difficult to avoid these nightmare situations and our respective reactions towards them, we are the only ones with the power to prevent them from haunting us into the next relationship. We can choose to surrender our power to the unknown leaving us weak, vulnerable and insecure or we can confront the ghost head on and do our best to resolve any unfinished business we left behind. When it comes to matters of the past and the way in which they affect our future, why is it so hard to just cross over?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Knock on wood

With Friday the 13th just a day away, I found myself thinking about superstition and its inextricable link to dating. When we are young, we are warned not to walk under ladders, to avoid black cats at all costs, never open an umbrella inside the house and under no circumstance should we ever break a mirror. There are even superstitions such as throwing salt over one's shoulder or keeping a rabbit's tail for good luck in order to prevent some kind of so-called tragic fate from happening.

What's tragic is the idea of superstition and the ways in which we allow the consequential paranoia to affect our personal lives. I look back on all the dating disasters I had in my early 20's. True, being on someone's gaydar was perceived as superficial not to mention almost always physical, but when you're naive enough to believe that somewhere amidst the glitter, endless profiles and strobe lights lies a white knight in shining armor, you don't know any better. And while so many of these knights turned out to be no more than fools on donkeys, there were a few potential Mr. Bradshaw's along the line. I often wonder why the good dates never materialized into more meaningful long term relationships? Was my destiny foiled because I forgot to wear my lucky horse shoe underwear? Could it be that I jinxed it by calling him before the third day? Or was it because I was too caught up in the do's and don't s of dating super-steria to notice that he was simply not that into me to begin with? 

I find so many of my wonderful girlfriends caught up in the very same predicament. Instead of accepting the reality of the situation for what it is they choose to adopt superstitious beliefs in order to justify the disappointment of yet another failed relationship. Yes, it's much easier to use superstition as an excuse when our feelings are at stake, but just like Prince Charming superstition is a myth designed to safeguard us from an inconvenient truth that will inevitably set us free. The sooner we accept spilled salt for what it is, the sooner we can dust it off the table and try again. I couldn't help but wonder, when it comes to relationships, why are so many of us still knocking on wood?

Friday, 6 January 2012


Once upon a time in a faraway land called Rugby there was a gay boy called Manni. Manni was a high school student with hopes of becoming a performer just like Britney Spears. Everyday, Manni would come home from school and turn on MTV in the hopes of catching his idol's latest music video. He would record each and every single clip onto VHS and study every single intricate choreographed move by the likes of Christina Aguilera, NSYNC, Pink and The Backstreet Boys. One fateful day Manni decided to quit High School and attend a professional college for performing arts. He begged his Catholic Portuguese parents to let him audition. "You need Maths, Emanuel!! You can't get any work without Maths!!!"

True to his dramatic self, Manni overdosed on Panado to prove that his 'life would be over' if he did not perform. Hi s parents had no choice. The audition day arrived and Manni was sweating more than a Mexican being smuggled over the US border. His audition included a monologue from Shakespeare's Othello, a song by Alicia Keys and dance routine to Britney's Stronger complete with chair and twizzle stick. He felt as if his 2 months of practice had paid off.  

It was a Tuesday mourning when he got called into the principal's office to get the news that he had been waiting for. His destiny was about to change forever. She opened up her mouth and said: "Manni, you are simply too!"

The irony is that 70% of the graduates from this so called prestigious college are either waiters at Beefcakes and Stardust or performing drag shows for 100 bucks a pop, welcome drink included. As for the other 30%, they had money. If bitter is the new black and she had a name, that name would be Manni. Welcome to my blog...join me on a blogging journey as I share life changing events experienced by the 20 something year old where dreams are put on the back burn and reality bites harder than your second hand grenade at happy hour! I dedicate this blog to the dreamer with a dream caught up in the systematic matrix called life.

As for the name, Sex in the CT...well I live in Cape Town and sex is very much like the life I live...invigorating, overrated, exciting, nerve wracking, beautiful, disappointing, awesome as my one friend Jo-Anne would say, draining, surprising, intense ...Sex sells and at some point in your life somebody is going to try and screw you!!