Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Flirting Game

It's just your typical Friday night when a handsome stranger walks past and crosses your eye line. He catches your sneak peek and shoots over a devilish smile to which you bashfully reciprocate. You bend, you snap and suddenly, a force called liquid courage takes over producing a chemical reaction that gravitates you towards each other. He opens conversation with the perfect line; complimentary and yet, not too cheesy. You giggle uncontrollably. "You're so funny Ryan So-and-so!" Saying his name out loud helps envision the now very possible future together. He leans in a little closer, the perfect opportunity to caress his bulging bicep. You tilt your head to the side a little and pull out the big guns before sealing the deal with the unprecedented hair flip. Sound familiar?    

Touching, flattery and bedroom eyes. You don't need moves like Jagger to master the art of successful flirting, especially since half the work has already been done for you. What we forget is that everybody likes attention, no matter how much they try and deny it particularly when it comes from a member of the opposite sex. Blatant, subtle or simply from a distance, flirting is the condom of human attraction; safe and 97% effective. The outcome can be anything you want from a quickie or one night stand to an actual real-life date. It provides instant gratification to the low in self-esteem and life-long purpose to the bold and the brainless who probably rely way too much on charm and mindless banter to get them through life.

Whatever the case, flirting is fun, fun, fun especially when you're single and pretty much free to mingle with whoever you like. But what happens to those flirtatious instincts when we finally decide to trade it all in for the comfort of a long term relationship? Do we relinquish our right to covet and cavort out of respect for our current partner or does flirting just become less and more controlled? Commitment is a beautiful journey on its own, but it does come with certain amount of sacrifice and decorum. Are we ready to accept that things like flattery, first kisses and pretty much all modes of complimentary conversation are now restricted to one human being only? Was there perhaps a loop hole, a way of being flirty without being dirty or are we just flirting with disaster?

Before Mindi became the loyal girlfriend she is today, she was a natural flirt, a loose woman whose morals and inhibitions were pretty much non-existent thanks to her rock bottom self-esteem. She was blessed to find a man like Jerry who loved her unconditionally, but as she entered the fourth year of her relationship, she noticed that something was missing. She felt this sudden need to reconnect with her former self. Perhaps the idea of forever and "one love" had finally dawned on her or maybe she just wanted a quick dose of male attention from someone other than her boyfriend. Either way, Mindi was clearly bored.

A few weeks ago, Mindi decided to go out without her boyfriend which is when she met Tyler, the blue eyed hunk of a stranger from another state who just so happened to be passing by. For the next three hours, Mindi had subconsciously forgotten about her relationship and made no effort to conceal her desire for this perfect stranger. Sparks were flying. Everything from their body language to the actual conversation was screaming "touch me", and even though Mindi would never physically act upon her urges no matter how pissed she was, her shameless flirting was clearly a desperate cry for attention. Was Mindi really looking to sabotage her four year relationship or was she just looking for an affirmation, a sign that said "I still got it!"?

Mindi's flirtation continued sporadically over the next three weeks. She received a number of racy texts from the gorgeous blue-eyed man as well as naughty picture or two which she automatically deleted. It was then and there that Mindi realized a line had been crossed. Although she never reciprocated, she didn't stop it and certainly entertained it. Were her actions or lack thereof bordering on innocent flirtation or had that rush of newness clouded her judgement? There's certainly nothing innocent about giving your phone number to another guy or even hiding your cell phone from your boyfriend out of fear of what he might find. She didn't know whether it was the guilt or the excitement of something new, but Mindi did what any brave girl would do in her situation...she deleted him and came clean to Jerry.

Flirting is a wonderful but extremely dangerous game to play especially when you're involved with someone you love. It's probably best to steer clear from all urges and temptations that come your way no matter how mundane the routine of relationship may be. It's just a phase and it will pass. Instead of going on a smear campaign to destroy the best thing you ever had, take charge and spruce things up or better yet, talk to your partner about it before it's too late. There's a very fine line between flirting and having a mental affair. If it feels wrong, then it probably is.

When it comes to the novelty of complimentary conversation, do relationships mark the end of our flirtatiousness?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


There are a number of reasons why speech is one of the first things we learn when growing up. Not only is it the most common way of understanding one another, but it's also the driving force behind conversation, clarity and negotiation. While most modes of communication are direct and clear as day, there are some that are just way too convoluted with unnecessary complexities. You'll find these in most romantic relationships where miscommunication and misinterpretation are often to blame for the previous night's senseless fight. No matter how big the argument or how much you may think it's over, verbal communication is a must, especially when it comes to conflict resolution. 

“I’m fine! It's nothing! I don't want to talk about!" Translation: "I'm fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional! It is something although I'm not entirely sure what it is yet and of course I want to talk about it but not with you!" Anyone involved in love's treacherous dance for two will eventually come across the "f" bomb and when they do, ten to one they won't know what to do with themselves. It's one of those unfortunate situations and the ultimate catch 22; if you poke the bear hard enough, it's only going to get angrier and more withdrawn, but if you leave your partner to their own devices, you're the asshole that didn't care enough to make it work. It's a no win situation.

Men may be from Mars and while a lot of their habits may seem alien to us, mind reading is not one of their forte's. It's a fact that girls are far more perceptive and verbal about their relationship needs than guys are, so is it really fair to keep them second-guessing our every word and action? Instead of just being up front about the issue at hand, we choose to complicate the situation with a number of contradictory retorts. "I suppose so", "do what you want," I'm F.I.N.E.!" It's bad enough that men and women speak entirely different languages at the best of times, but to confuse each other with loaded statements is just a waste of everyone's time.

One of the most cynical people I know had managed to find herself in a long(ish) distance relationship after a long dry spell of bad dates and Chinese take out. Shar met Adam, a single divorcee father of two, at an accommodation conference in Johannesburg about six months ago and had been dating him ever since. She was over the moon to finally meet an emotionally and financially stable guy that could appreciate her for the high powered independent woman that she was.

Things were going great although the constant traveling back and forth was beginning to become a bit of a bore. At 35, Shar was in no position to waste precious time and had wondered why the topic of their future had not come up yet. Was Adam simply in this relationship for the fun of it or did he intend on taking it to the next level? Shar so desperately wanted him to DTR (define the relationship), but alas it never came. Her frustration was beginning to translate in non-verbal messages and after weeks of feeling that her emotional needs were not being met, she decided it was time to throw in the towel. A care-frontation was seriously in order. 

"Let me break it down for you Shar; men can fix cars, talk formula one till their balls are blue and even get the logic behind a blood sport like boxing, but when it comes to figuring out the emotional needs of a woman, it's like a deer in headlights. It's time for some serious T to the 4th power H. Time to talk to him! Wake up! He's not going to figure it out on his own. He would've by now. While you're busy sending all these crazy mixed signals, he's busy trying to plan his escape. It would be wonderful if they figured it out on their own but like a puppy piddling on the paper for the very first time, guys need to be told and taught these things. You need to communicate my friend." And just like that, another relationship had been saved.

In the battlefield known as relationship valley, non-communication can be just as fatal as weapons of mass destruction. Long silences, sub-textual looks and undertones, irrational mind games. It's a malicious minefield out there, a constant cataclysmic combat where male and female linguistics often cross fire. It's a war of words where language is used to manipulate, agitate and complicate the lives of so many couples. Instead of just raising the white flag on misguided meanings, talking openly to your partner might just save you the anguish, pain and emotional expense of yet another failed relationship.

When it comes to communication, why the fuck are we so afraid to speak our mind?

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Pearl Necklace

It's been said that in order for a woman to keep her man interested, she has to be a lady in the street and a freak between the sheets. Any self-respecting woman worth her vagina knows this, and while men hate to admit it (to spare our feelings or more likely their own pitiful embarrassment), a girl's gotta submit and slut it up sometimes. No matter how hot you are or how long you've been in a monogamous relationship, boys will be always be boys and they will unfortunately always be pervs. Even though fate would bless the most undeserving of men with the most wonderful of women, the truth is that when it comes to sex, most men want one thing; a total prostitute.

It's no secret that the common male fantasy ranges between the busty blue-eyed blonde and the exotic bad girl brunette. Wet tee, butt-ass naked or writhing around in something tight and shiny with shades of slut-red lipstick smeared across her face, the Jenna Jamesons and Carmen Electras of this world are guaranteed to get the party started in his pants. What is it about these Playboy princesses that get our men so hot and bothered and why are they always named Nikki or Jessica? Is it their lack of inhibition or their super-sized labia that gets them so aroused? Or, is it the fact that the fantasy female will allow a man to have his way with her in any shape, form and how? 

While intimacy and emotional connectivity go a long way for women, that kind of vanilla crap just won't cut it for men. Lace, leather, latex and dirty talk. Role-playing, threesomes, expensive lingerie and voyeuristic pleasures. Just how much of a porn star do we need to be in order to satisfy a partner's sexual need to degrade, dominate and empower? Do men secretly want Jacky O's by day and Marilyn's by night? Happy birthday Mr. President, but what about those unsavoury fetishes that go beyond the call of duty? Golden showers, pearl necklaces, coprophilia and rainbow kisses? At what point does a sexual fantasy become a sexual perversion?

Klaus and Julie were a perfectly normal couple who had been going steady for more than four years. A few weeks ago, Klaus decided to pop the question in a grand gesture that involved a dozen white doves, a hot air balloon and a magnum of bubbles. Julie was of course beyond ecstatic and couldn't wait to celebrate the big announcement with her future bridesmaids-to-be in a piss up that neither one of them would ever (try as they might) forget. 

"You know how much crap I've put up with over the years?" she hiccuped, as she took another swig of her Graham Beck non-vintage brut Rose. "A lot!" Julie's bridesmaids all thought that the usually reserved and now severely inebriated July was just being figurative in her drunken slurs, but it turns out, she wasn't. Klaus's dirty little secret was about to be revealed. "It must be the German in him. It's sick right? At first it started off with him pinning me down and masturbating all over my, know." She leaned in closer, giggled ever so slightly and whispered, "Breasts!" For a girl who was used to pearl necklaces of another kind, this breaking news came as quite a shock.

"Then this one time he says he wants to try something new and different, and that I should keep my mind open. I thought he wanted a three-way but then when he told me what he wanted to do to me, I think I had a mini-stroke. He was super-embarrassed to tell me but I encouraged him and then we got to talking and somehow I became the human port-a-loo. It was so, so, so very disgusting but he really enjoyed it so I pretended to as well. It only happened this one time but he tries his luck every time we're drunk." Turns out that while Klaus had many shit habits, Julie had been dying to do some emotional dumping herself. Julie spent the night at a hotel with her maid of honour until she sobered up to face the reality of the previous night's sexpose.

While it's every woman's dream to be the single object of her man's lust and desire, Yasmine, Angel, Kelly and Samantha make it virtually impossible. A man's eye was made to wander and as long as he does not act upon the urge to stick it into anything that gives him the time of day, it's all good. Be grateful if a little slap and tickle or engaging in the occasional porno with your boyfriend is all it takes to keep his interests up. There are so many other weird and wonderful things that get people off that not even the skankiest of ho's would do. 

When it comes to satisfying a man's sexual fantasy, just how much of a whore are you willing to be? 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Empire State of Gauteng

In the silent civil war between Cape Town and Johannesburg, the mother city wins every single time. Despite Jozi's economic prosperity and eclectic wealth of cosmo-centric culture, the Western Province always finds a way of coming out on top. Sun, fun, Camps Bay and Caprice! Was it Cape Town's charm and unparalleled beauty that gave her the unrivaled competitive edge, or was it the fact that you didn't need a GPS to find her? Bad driving, dry weather and corrupt politicians. Did Johannesburg ever really stand a chance?

According to a handful of my single lady friends that hail from the great empire state of Gauteng, it did. While Johannesburg may be renowned for its fast pace and megatropolis landscape, it also seems to be South Africa's best kept secret when it comes to single, straight and apparently, available men. A recent revelation from a very surprising source confirmed this as she firmly pointed out the differences between dating a man from Jo'burg and slumming it with a boy from Cape Town.

"It's no contest. A guy from Joburg knows how to treat you like a lady without being a pushover. I guarantee you that they'll treat you ten times better than any guy from Cape Town. They're career-driven, mature and far less arrogant plus they don't take shit from Cape Town chicks. They would rather be hijacked that let a lady pick up a bill even if she insisted on paying for her half even if you earn more than they do. There's definitely a lot more chivalry and respect for woman over there, hey. Do you know how many more Cape Town guys would get laid if they only practised the simple gesture of opening a door for a lady?"

Perhaps Miranda's outlook on the topic was a bit biased, but she posed a very interesting question; did Joey's boys make better dates than our local lekkers and if so, why? Was it because they had to work much harder to get female attention considering the ratio of men to women in Johannesburg or was it because their masculinity was unaffected by the scorn of feminism? While gender roles have certainly changed since the 1950's,  the men in Cape Town seem way too comfortable going halvies on everything. Could a man still be a man without undermining or demeaning a woman's independence and integrity and if so, can post-feminist women welcome such behaviour without feeling compromised?

Kayla was anything but your typical Stepford Wife although she owned many aprons and several pairs of gardening gloves. She traded the bright lights of Jo'burg city for a lucrative career in finance at one of Cape Town's leading investment firms. She was all about the power hair, handshakes and strict professionalism, a work ethic that classified women like Kayla as "controlling, ball busting bitches". She didn't pay them any mind for at the end of the day, when the suit came off, she was just another successful woman longing for a man to treat her like a queen.

"Of all the things I miss about Jo'burg city, a man worth submitting to is what I miss the most". Abigail Adams is probably rolling in her grave right now but Kayla was adamant that Jo'burg men had the ability to treat you like a lady without being misogynistic assholes. She had made the mistake of agreeing to a blind date that her superior had set up for her in order to "unwind". Clearly her mystery date had already been briefed about what a strong and self-reliant woman she was. It was clear from the get go when her date failed to compliment her on her looks and then when he failed to open the door for her at the car and the restaurant.

"A Joey's boy would never do that." They talked about finance and aspirations as they enjoyed the wine that Kayla had eventually selected. His lack of courtesy continued when he failed to offer her his jacket as the night air brought in a sudden chill and then finally, when the bill came and she whipped out her Mastercard. "The only thing priceless about that evening was the look on his face when I reached out to shake his hand instead of reciprocating his dismal attempt to kiss me goodnight."

Romance, independence, etiquette and gallantry. Dating in general can be just as scary and confusing as braving the streets of Johannesburg for the first time; no matter which direction you take, you always seem to be hit with a number of mixed signals. Perhaps feminism has confused the way men think women like or want to be treated. Equality is great but when it comes to acting like a man, trading in our precious mountain for a Jozi boy seems well worth it.

When it comes to finding the perfect gentleman, why do we still "go West"?