Thought Catalog


This Is What It’s Like To Work At Moonlite BunnyRanch, A Legal Brothel In Nevada

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 01:48 PM PDT

Shutterstock / Lisa S.
Shutterstock / Lisa S.

When it comes to prostitution, the saying “location, location, location” is especially true in Nevada, the only place in the United States where prostitution is legal.

The Moonlite BunnyRanch is one of the most famous legal brothels and was the setting for HBO’s reality show Cathouse.

Sarah Greenmore is one of bunnies at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. If you have any pre-conceived notions of what a sex worker is like, Sarah will dispel those quickly.

She’s a whip-smart beauty who’s been talking about her life as a prostitute in all different kinds of media including podcasts, websites/magazines, and a Reddit AMA (which went viral). I’m positive there are book deals, television shows and perhaps even a career in politics in her future.

One of the things Sarah seems extremely passionate about is decriminalizing prostitution, and what life really looks like in a legal brothel. In a piece she wrote for The Independent, she works to clear up some misconceptions about sex work.

Sex work is lazy — and easy. While she works a 12 hour shift, usually from 4 PM to 4 AM on weekdays, and 4 PM to 6 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, she does have some down time.

She described her typical day: “I generally wake up around 9:30 AM and head to our private gym on site. We have a personal trainer five times a week that works with us there, but I prefer to work out alone.

By 11:30 AM, I’m showering and getting ready. Shaving, lotion, self-tanner, dancing around in my underwear, false eyelashes, etc. At 1 PM I’m generally ready for the floor.

There is a doorbell that rings throughout the house when the clients walk in to greet us. We all line up and introduce ourselves. The client picks one (or two or three) ladies and we take him on a tour, talk to him about his desires, negotiate a price, and book an appointment.

So, from 1 PM to 4 AM I’m going to lineups, hanging out with clients, taking a nap, hanging out with my coworkers, and eating lunch/dinner.”

She’s says there’s lots of downtime and like everybody else, she watches YouTube videos, surfs the internet, watches movies, plays games and hangs out at the pool.

“It’s really relaxed. On days that it’s busier though, you’ve still got time to sit and eat and relax.” She works hard, but she isn’t forced to work every minute of every day. She also has to manage her social media, interviews, writing, and cleaning.

“Sex work is a physically intimate therapy session for most of our clients,” Sarah says. She has to determine what her clients really want and need, and has to make them feel comfortable.

As she says on her bunny-page, “I enjoy many different appointments; from walking virgins through intimacy and sex for the first time, to wild and intense BDSM, kink, role play, and fetish appointments, and couples looking to add in a beautiful woman for fun. I aim to please. I also provide services for women, the disabled, bachelor party entertainment, sexual lessons/teaching, pool parties, Nuru massage, outcalls and more.”

She sounds like a sex therapist, teacher, and social worker all rolled into one.

In Nevada, it’s required by law that sex workers have mandatory STD testing every week. Nevada brothels are proud that there’s never been a case of HIV reported in the brothel system.

“We use condoms for all of our services — including condoms for blow jobs and dental dams for cunnilingus,” Sarah says. No matter if someone offers more money or any other kind of incentive, Sarah always insists on condoms and dental dams. It’s non-negotiable.

As far as her room is concerned, the bedding is hers and washed weekly. A flat sheet is put over the top, and put into the laundry after each appointment. Between clients, Sarah says, “I do a ho bath: rinse/wash from the tits/pits down. I also change my outfit 3 to 6 times a day.”

Sex workers have to give all their money to their pimp or manager. And while Sarah can’t discuss pricing online or on the phone, or what she makes per appointment, she did say that she makes nearly $10,000 in 13 days.

The house takes 50 percent of the fees that the women collect, and the women also have to pay $500 for licensing, along with other expenses such as makeup, lingerie, and travel costs.

Still, in the long run, both the management and the workers seem pretty happy with the arrangement. All the girls in Nevada are IC (independent contractors) status and do their own taxes as 1099, and they’re responsible for all their taxes, credits, and retirement.

Sarah has heard or read every cliché about sex workers — everything from “I wonder how much drugs she needs to get through a shift,” to “Her parents must be so proud.”

Sarah’s family is aware of what she does for a living and she says, “My family is very supportive of me, not necessarily my job, but me as a person. They still love me, of course.”

Just because Sarah is a sex worker, and you may not approve, she’s still a human being worthy of love and respect.

“The notion that my profession is a last resort for a broken, uneducated woman with a drug habit is a disservice to the range of people who choose to be sex workers. It’s dehumanizing and allows the continued violence and social stigma against sex workers to thrive.

We are human beings, who, for many different reasons, but one main one — to provide for ourselves — have chosen sex work as our occupation. It’s a valuable and desired service, and will always exist. So, we need to bring sex work into the realm of decriminalization or legalization, and provide safety, social services, and basic human rights to some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Life in a legal brothel is truly more compassionate, political, fascinating, and human than what most of us have been lead to believe. TC mark

YOURTANGO

30 Tweets That Perfectly Explain How Everyone Feels About The Shocking Empire Season 2 Premiere

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 07:07 PM PDT

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18 Things You Should Know About The Emotionally Unavailable Woman In Your Life

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 07:00 AM PDT

. Entrer dans le rêve
. Entrer dans le rêve

1. She will put her career and goals before love interests. She doesn't have the white picket fence dream or a Pinterest board of wedding dresses.

2. She will definitely leave you if you interfere with her ultimate life goals.

3. She wants it all. And she will get it.

4. She's not needy. She has control over her own life and has fierce opinions about what she wants.

5. She will never rely on anybody other than herself to get what she wants.

6. But she's not a straight-edge, boring Katherine-Heigl-In-Every-Rom-Com character who can't socialize or interact with persons of interest because she's so invested in work.

7. So there’s no need for Gerald Butler to swoop in and make her see that her workaholic lifestyle is wrong—she knows it's what she needs to stay sane.

8. You may think she’s cold and heartless, but that couldn't be further from the truth. She holds her cards close to her chest and is fully capable of expressing herself—it's just a matter of when she wants to.

9. She can fall in love. She flip flops on the idea of becoming a wife and mother, but she doesn't completely rule it out.

10. She's not a heartless robot, but by being emotionally unavailable to most, she reserves most of her time for investing in a few trustworthy people with whom she feels comfortable.

11. Her methods of expressing affection are a little different from what you’re accustomed to. She's not great at making her feelings obvious, but she does feel things.

12. She feels discomfort being gushy and mushy, so she usually holds back. But when she slips up and says something out of character and emotional, it means a lot more than any grandiose gesture.

13. She lives off of the happiness she gets from succeeding at what she wants. Success from something she has complete and total control over makes her the happiest version of herself.

14. On the other hand, failing is incredibly difficult for her. She's constantly terrified of losing, which she take very personally, so she works hard to reduce the chances of rejection and failure.

15. She places a lot of significance and importance on her own, individual self-worth.

16. She's skeptical of others. It takes a while to get to know her because she tends to hold back—but only until she’s comfortable with you.

17. She prefers listening instead of talking because she learns to trust from hearing more about you.

18. But if listening leads her to realize you’re not worth of her trust, she has zero problem cutting you out of her life altogether almost instantly. So beware. TC mark

I Wanted To Look Brave In Front Of My Girlfriend, So We Went To The Allegedly Haunted Farmhouse Where No One Comes Back Out Alive

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 08:07 AM PDT

Flickr / Anne Worner
Flickr / Anne Worner

My mother lived in a three bedroom farmhouse just outside of St. Anthony, Indiana. A quick hike across a field and through the woods would put me at the Forest Park Elementary playground. My nights were spent indoors watching movies and my days were spent playing with a neighbor girl named Nichole. She was a year older than me. She was a tomboy who played with firecrackers and kept a slingshot in her back pocket. I didn’t really know what it was to be attracted to someone back then, but she was my first crush.

When I was in fourth grade, I read Bridge to Terabithia as part of the accelerated reading program. The whole time I read the book, I pictured the time I spent with Nichole in that small patch of woods. It was also around that time that I first noticed my feelings for Nichole. It didn’t change anything, but I found myself looking at her for longer periods of time. It was weird.

She had hiked through the woods to the playground one day when we encountered a new kid on the merry-go-round. He introduced himself as Harry Clem. Nichole went to shake his hand and he ran past her to the slide. He looked like he could have been my age, but it was hard to tell. Nichole and I played on the swings as he threw rocks at the windows of the elementary school. I didn’t want to get in trouble and Nichole must’ve felt the same way because she stood up and yelled at him.

"Stop throwing rocks you jerk!"

Harry turned around and said, "You wanna make me? What about your boyfriend?”

Nichole responded, "My boyfriend would destroy you."

My heart fluttered at hearing her refer to me as her boyfriend. Pumped up with confidence and feeling tough, I walked toward Harry Clem intent on beating the snot out of him.

He put his arms out and leaned his head forward. "Do something punk!"

I took a swing and it landed square on his jaw. He went down into the mulch and I kicked him in the ribs. He came up with a blow to my gut and it knocked the wind out of me. I doubled over in pain and he proceeded to beat me senseless. I don’t know how long the fight lasted, but in the end, Nichole hit him with a stick and chased him off. Battered and bloody, I sat on the end of the slide as Nichole tended to my wounds as best she could. She walked me back to my mother’s house and kissed me on the cheek.

"That was really sweet. See you tomorrow."

My mother was infuriated that I got beat up. She asked what happened. Still riding the high of my first kiss and the notion of having a girlfriend, I quoted a movie I’d seen a few weeks prior and said, "You should see the other kid."

My step-father laughed and slapped his huge hand on the back of my shoulder. "You’re a man now. I’m proud of you boy," he said.

I spent the rest of the night with an ice pack on my face and stayed up until midnight watching movies with the adults. Up until that point, it was probably the best night of my life. I went to bed feeling like a hero and looking forward to a day in the woods with Nichole.

Morning came and I went to the edge of the driveway to meet with Nichole. Instead, I was met by Lois, Nichole’s mother.

"Harry Clem’s mother called me last night saying you and Nichole beat him up. She’s grounded. I don’t want to see you around my daughter," Lois scolded, wagging her finger at me.

About a month passed before I saw Nichole again. I was playing in the creek by myself when she sneaked up behind me and pushed me in the water. I was startled, but quickly turned around to splash her. As we splashed each other in the shallow water, I saw Harry Clem walk up to the creek bank. I shouted up to him, "What you want tattle-tale?"

Harry grinned. "Sorry about that, he said. “I was sure you were gonna run back to your parents, so I told on you first so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Come to find out you didn’t tell on me…” He looked down at his feet. “You’re a cool kid,” he added.

I stood up in the knee-deep water and said, "Yeah, well you’re a shithead." I balled up my fist in case he wanted to fight.

Nichole gasped at my use of a cuss word. Harry kept smiling. "Whatever. You wanna see something cool?" he asked.

I was about ready to pull him in the water and drown him, but Nichole spoke up first. "What do you have in mind?"

Harry kept grinning. The freckles on his pale cheeks scrunched up to his beady green eyes. "I was thinking we could head up to the Schlessinger Farm," he said.

I snorted. "Schlessinger Farm? You mean that dump my grandpa owns? He’s gonna tear it down in the summer," I said.

Nichole looked at me with a fearful expression. "Seamus,” she whispered. “You don’t wanna go there. Bad stuff happens to kids who go there."

"What’s the matter buttercup? You scared?" Harry taunted.

I put a hand on Nichole’s shoulder. "It’ll be fine,” I said. “My grandpa takes me fishing up there all the time."

"That’s the pond,” Nichole countered. “The house is different. My friend Alice went in there and no one ever saw her again."

Harry, forever the instigator, started clucking. "Bok bok bok, Nichole is a chicken. Bok bok bok."

Nichole walked up and punched Harry in the arm. He shouted in pain.

"Ow. What the hell?" he asked, massaging his arm.

Nichole looked at me and said, "Come on. Let’s go to the farm. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the old crone will eat Harry."

I waded back up to the bank and followed Harry and Nichole through the woods.

beetlejuice

We had been walking for a couple of hours when I stopped at a log to rest. Nichole sat next to me and produced a bag of sunflower seeds from her pocket. She poured a few into my hand and we ate them one by one as we watched Harry poke into another dead log for grubs. He flicked them on the ground and stomped on the white bugs shouting, "Fatality!"

The sun was low in the sky when we hit a clearing. Off in the distance, I could see a dilapidated old farmhouse I’d driven past more than once with my grandpa when we’d go fishing at the pond up on the hill. I half expected to see his truck up there, but it wasn’t. Harry walked up to the well and cranked the pump a few times. Water came gushing out and we all took turns leaning our heads down for a cold drink.

DEMO_2z

I turned to Nichole and said, "We shouldn’t stay too long. If we’re not back by eight my mom is gonna get real mad."

Harry punched me in the arm. "Chickening out?" he challenged.

I grabbed my sore arm and said, “I’m not a chicken.”

Nichole looked up at the sky and pointed at the setting sun. "It’s getting dark. We should go."

Wanting to impress Nichole and intent on making making Harry look stupid, I strolled up to the front door and jiggled the rusty doorknob. It eventually twisted to the left and I pushed open the door to reveal a dimly lit living room with musty old furniture. Black and white photographs sat on the mantle in dusty frames. I saw an old book on the coffee table and sat down on the musty old sofa to read it.

Harry strolled in quietly after me. I looked at him triumphantly. "You got any matches?" I asked.

He laughed and said, "No, but I have this.” Harry produced a black Zippo lighter with a Harley-Davidson logo from his pocket and flicked it to produce a flame. “I Nicked it from my dad."

I pointed to a couple of candles on the mantle and he walked over and lit them. Nichole sat next to me on the couch and I grabbed the old book from the table. It was a handwritten journal. Harry stomped through the house knocking over chairs and throwing plates in the kitchen.

I thumbed through the yellowed pages of the journal for a few minutes before I came up on a passage that stood out to me.

"Found blight on the corn. At first I thought it was just a few stalks, but as I moved through the rows, I found it had infected the whole field. We were barely able to make ends meet with the last harvest. Edna keeps talking about moving to Jasper and getting a job. She even talked to Basil Bromm about selling the land. He made a good offer, but I won’t sell this land. My father and his father tilled this land. I’ll be damned if I sell it to that bastard."

I turned to Nichole and showed her the journal. While she read the passage, I said, "Look, it mentions my grandpa!"

Nichole eyed me. "You really don’t know the story of this place do ya?" she asked.

I shook my head. "No,” I said. “Grandpa said he bought the place at auction." I turned the page and saw a few more lines about corn harvests and a tight budget before noticing several pages had been torn from the journal. I didn’t even notice how dark it became outside. The candles on the mantle had burnt about halfway down. By this point, Nichole was holding my arm tightly and in that brief moment, I realized we were snuggling on the couch. I put my arm around her and leaned in for a kiss. She looked at me with her doe eyes and we awkwardly pressed our lips together. Our first kiss slowly transitioned to using our tongues. I should have been freaked out by how creepy the place was at night, but for the first time in my life, I was making it to second base with the girl of my dreams.

This amazing sequence of events came to a head when we heard Harry scream from the basement.

I shot up to my feet and Nichole looked up at me and shouted, "We need to go, now!"

I looked at her and out into the dark interior of the house. “He’s a shithead, but we need to make sure he’s okay."

Nichole trembled. "Fine,” she said. “But if I die, I’m haunting you."

‘Hairy Girls Aren’t Beautiful’ They Tell Us, And We Believe Them

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 07:49 AM PDT

bubblegumwhore
bubblegumwhore

He looks at my arms and laughs.

They’re hairy.

He nudges his friend. They laugh together.

I'm nine years old. I've got unfashionable glasses, braces, and hairy arms. Hairy arms, hairy legs, hairy upper lip, hairy knuckles. Fine, fuzzy, girlish hair—not coarse, but jarring to little boys all the same. And I'm old enough to know that hairy girls are not beautiful.

They're hairy.

I stand in front of him and pretend I didn't hear. He knows I heard, of course—that was the point. I'm humiliated, and he knows.

They're hairy.

We start to fox trot. That's what you do at these Upper East Side dancing schools for children. You fox trot.

They're hairy.

Finally, the music cuts. Pierre, the lead dancing instructor, cues us to switch partners. Pierre is a parody of himself (his name's Pierre). I've never been happier to hear Pierre.

They're hairy.

* * *

I don't remember his face or his tie or his name, but I remember "they're hairy." Those words will follow a girl till she's a woman, and then still.

"They're hairy" will follow her, really, till her flesh is no longer torn or bruised or scraped or stretched. Literally. Hair removal is painful. And expensive. But it must be, because hairy girls are not beautiful. So her flesh will always be torn and bruised and scraped and stretched. And she will always feel ugly, at least sometimes, because "they're hairy" is forever.

* * *

I'm 21 now and wish I didn't feel prettier with my legs shaved. With my brow threaded. With my upper lip waxed. With my arms hairless, and not long ago, my vagina, too. I wish I could live what I know: that hairy girls are beautiful, if you ask the right person.

Wouldn't that be nice.

But I live here. Now. And neither my boyfriend nor my best friends nor my mother, with all their wisdom, think hairy girls are beautiful. And, if we're not talking "theory," in practice, neither do I. And that hypocritical self-hate is more painful than any lean, hairless American Girl Doll will ever know. Hating your skin for the coat that your god dressed it in. It's painful.

And then come the tears and the bruises and the scrapes and the stretches. Then come the evidences of that hypocritical self-hate. The proofs of her need to satisfy him. And she has to look at them and cry over them all day. And he has no idea. Or he pretends to have none.

“She's hairless, naturally, because she's a Real Woman.”

And then she has to spend her money—the money he spends on pizza and beer—to reopen the tears. The bruises. The scrapes. The stretches.

How many products have we tried. How many "strip-less" creams that promise not to be complicated, but burn us all the same. How many hours have we spent avoiding the bones that will cut our skin if we don't guide the razor with perfect attention. How many dollars have we drowned to fix what we’d’ve never thought was wrong if no one ever told hairy girls they’re not beautiful. How many?

But oh, how they love the long hair down our backs. TC mark

21 Ways To Fake Having Your Shit Together

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 06:30 AM PDT

Twenty20, phiasinclair
Twenty20, phiasinclair

1. Drink designer, bottled mineral water. The harder the brand name is to pronounce, the stronger the illusion you know what you’re doing with your life.

2. Use a planner. You don't even have to really write in it, but if you can confidently and honestly say the words "Let me see if I can (literally) pencil you in," nobody will ever doubt you again.

3. Sleep in pajama sets.

4. Pull your comforter over your messy sheets so that it looks like you actually managed to make your bed.

5. Own a coffee table book. Preferably one about palace gardens.

6. Hang up to-do notes on your fridge of things you've already accomplished and cross them off.

7. Prop a yoga mat up against your dresser.

8. Own an iron. Even though you just use your hair straightener at the last minute when you realize how obvious the creases in your top are, owning an iron looks like you at least have minimal domestic capabilities.

9. Read The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet or get The Skimm emailed to your inbox every morning, so that you gather a gist of what’s going on in the world. But only refer to the sources of your news knowledge as "this article you read."

10. Play classical music (the Harry Potter soundtrack works).

11. Own a phone that doesn't have a cracked screen.

12. Create a personalized email sign off with a list of your accomplishments.

13. Match your underwear and bra.

14. Drink wine out of a real wine glass instead of a mug.

15. Own stationary. An elegant fountain pen is a plus.

16. Read a book in public places—preferably a beaten up, softcover copy of something like Franny and Zooey. 100 bonus points if you do so wearing glasses and a scarf.

17. Put spices and herbs into trendy mason jars. Sure, they won't go well with the cereal you definitely eat almost every night out of a paper bowl, but think of the **aesthetic.**

18. Actually, even if you just own herbs and can identify them, you're already impressive.

19. Place some throw pillows on your couch. Avoid cushions with pom pom fringe.

20. Have at least one decorative bowl in your house filled with lemons.

21. At minimum, one potted plant (like a fern) or succulent should sit daintily on your windowsill. TC mark

I’m In Love With Being Alone

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 01:17 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.15.17 PM

My mother listens as I regurgitate the same lines. I tell her it’s not that I’m lonely, not really. I scroll through my phone and think of texting different ones. But I never really do. And I want her to explain what’s wrong with me. Because so many men, so many people, so many wonderful opportunities to love and learn. And I don’t want any of them.

I’m howling at the moon when she appears, enjoying the sound of my own voice. I like retiring to my den, alone. My bed is all mine and my heart is, too.

But I’m asking her if it’s wrong.

“But Mama, I'm afraid it's just me. It's me and I'm trying so hard to not admit it. I'm drinking too much and laughing loudly to cover my emptiness. But Mama, it's getting harder at night.

Because, Mama, he kisses me with both hands on my face and asks how you are. He tells me stories when I'm feeling sick and knows all the words to my favorite song.

Mama, he's everything I'm supposed to want.

But what if I still don't?”

So I summon the strength and I say, “I tried. I really did.”

I go on the date. I give it a chance. I remember being so in love, once. Twice. It seems like a different person. Maybe I can’t get there again.

I keep wanting to want someone. I keep wanting to want them. But I can’t seem to get there. Right now, I just want me.

Is that wrong? TC mark

We Are All So In Need Of Each Other’s Good Vision

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 08:32 PM PDT

These are my three favorite poems from Christopher Vondracek’s ‘Some of My Best Friends Are Corporations’ which you can order here.

Omaha


Brittani Lepley
Brittani Lepley

No one ever explained the difference to me
Between casualty and fatality.
I know someone dies in one
But not necessarily the other,
But I don't know which,
Like a racist joke about
Public transit people only
Laugh at after looking around the
Guest-list at a dinner party.

The bomb in Omaha today had multiple
Casualties
Said the NPR reporter,
And I don't know how sad to be.
So I go around quietly,
With my baking pan
Out on the kitchen counter,
Waiting to be of service,
Deciding whether to make me a treat, or wait.


Grey Heron


Brittani Lepley
Brittani Lepley

We made love in the woods,
Like two drunk teenagers,
And while walking out,
She heard a
Splash.
A body, or a boar?
But in fact two fish—
Rolling like
Silver logs,
Almost stillborn,
Some flotsam,
On the watery surface,
Before it turned to thrashing, submergence,
And this is
Love.
The appearance
And removal of yourself.
The joining and un-joining
In a place conducive to the
Task.

The one million fish eggs you will leave,
This is separate.

The heron emerging from
The flooded river, flying over our
Heads into the gray sky as you reach
For my hand,
As we walk to town,
This is separate, too.


Some of My Best Friends Are Corporations


Brittani Lepley
Brittani Lepley

On a park bench,
I felt a hand on my shoulder
And turned around to see
No one there.
So I dumped my popcorn and
Drove to the bank, where an ATM
Refused me cash like
A soda jerk
Twinkly eyed
Pulls back the smoky glass
After too many Cherry Cokes, and
Later, checking my inbox
A "please-do-not-respond" email
Popped up, noting the days, weeks,
Since I've visited a website for jeans,
Reminding me
How much they missed me.
And I paused,
Like being told
Windows won't open
In the building when fire rages
After someone throws a filing cabinet
With a thud against the glass,
Because some of my best friends are corporations,
And I'd rather be listening to Jackie Wilson's "Your Love"
With a woman wearing Hollister, drinking coffee
On a stool, leafing through a catalog of fluffy puppies,
Like baby huskies, "Buskies!" she'd call them with a laugh,
As she filled up my fucking cup.
Some of my friends
Have just been making sounds into the floor fan of life,
But when I walked out of jail
A company made me a sandwich.
When I flew to Texas and a little red pick-up
Splashed me
I found dry sneakers.
And when a man who left the seminary
Told me across a diner booth
The problem with
Marxism is
The way it claims everything's finite,
As only possible once
And pointed to his chest,
Which I thought meant his Northface jacket,
I cocked my head,
Because I didn't understand what he didn't understand.
So instead I told him I had once
Developed a personal relationship
With my ATM, and when
I entered a parking lot strip mall,
Plastic card between my teeth
I thought I saw Christ
(But really only a woman in a
Statue of Liberty costume,
Waving at passerby,
Advertising a tax collection business).
But like a wild animal
Races blindly through an office,
I navigated to the ATM,
Where cranking,
Spinning out cash,
I heard its wheels break
And saw how much it'd given me,
Without asking for anything in return,
How it shook the various metallic pieces of my heart
Like a brass ornament glittering in the wind.
And I collapsed, wondering,
How many people had I stepped
On today without so much as recognition?
How many times had someone met me with beaded
Perspiration only just wiped from their brow?
We are all so in need of each other's good vision.
So as the blank box
Spit out cash,
I offered it my eminence,
For it was
Really only
A child,
Who holds out a sticker saying,
"Abortion Kills."
And though I may not agree,
With the mother or the father
Standing on the curb
About who kills whom,
I will take it anyway,
In reverence to the child,
Who is, after all,
Also
Only
A machine,
Of unstoppable,
Wondrous
Love TC mark

If Homebodies Were Actually 100% Honest…

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 06:51 AM PDT

Twenty20 / ryanmoreno
Twenty20 / ryanmoreno

Anyone who preaches, "honesty is the best policy," ironically, is lying. That statement is erroneous malarkey, essentially advising people to thoroughly sabotage every last human connection they've ever had, hurting feelings and becoming a widely despised individual because they followed a socially detrimental policy. Imagine the types of conversations you'd have in common scenarios, speaking pure, unadulterated honesty.

Scenario #1

You run into Person You Weren't Close To, But Know From High School in the grocery store.

Person You Weren't Close To, But Know From High School: Hey!

You: Hey.

Person You Weren't Close To, But Know From High School: This is crazy, I haven't seen you in so long!

You: Yeah, I mean, we weren't really like, friends or anything, so not seeing each other isn't "crazy," per se. In fact, I think you could argue that it makes a ton of sense and, had we not run into each other right here, it's more than feasible that we could've gone the rest of our lives not seeing each other, or even remembering that one another exist.

Person You Weren't Close To, But Know From High School: Um, I suppose so… Anyway, what's new?

You: Since it has been nine years since I last saw your face, it'd be somewhat difficult to recall precisely what's "new." Also, you don't have any previous knowledge of my past to compare my current p to, so that's a rather silly question, y'know?

Person You Weren't Close To, But Know From High School: Sure, I guess it was… Well, it's good to see you, take care.

You: It's unmoving to see you, but you take care as well.

Scenario #2

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old calls you and passes along an invitation to their kid's first birthday.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: So my baby turns one in a month and I wanted to invite you to his/her very first birthday party!

You: Oh.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Will you be there?

You: No, absolutely not.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Huh?

You: No way. I don't want to go to your one-year-old's birthday party at all.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Wow, well fine, never mind then.

You: You're not upset, are you?

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: I just think it was a bit rude, the way you rejected that invitation.

You: You're probably right, it was impolite to turn it down so quickly, but I didn't want to give you any false hope or make you like, buy too many hotdog buns because you were anticipating me being there.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Well, why can't you go?

You: I have plans to relax and do nothing that day.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: I haven't even told you the date yet.

You: Trust me, it doesn't matter what day it is. It's nothing personal. Your baby is actually super chill, I just don't feel like going, and that's not going to change by next month.

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Wow.

You: Post pictures of the party on Facebook though! I'll 'like' them and comment, "I wish I could've made it!"

Friend Who Is The Parent Of An 11-Month Old: Go f–k yourself.

Scenario #3

You run into Friend You've Grown Apart From who wants to make plans to catch up and get coffee soon.

Former Co-Worker: Oh my God, we HAVE TO catch up. Let's make plans to get coffee soon!

You: Sure, I'll make vague plans to go get coffee. Just be forewarned, I'm not actually going to follow through on them, but we can pretend if it'll make you feel better.

Former Co-Worker: Oh, well never mind, I just thought we could grab Starbucks this weekend, if you wanted to.

You: Yes! I'm off Saturday. How's 1:30 sound?

Former Co-Worker: That works for me! 1:30 it is!

You: Perfect.

Former Co-Worker: See you Saturday.

You: (winking) Suuure, see you Saturday.

Former Co-Worker: Wait, what was that?

You: What was what?

Former Co-Worker: The winking, "suuure" thing. Are we on for Saturday, or what?

You: Of couuurse. Saaaaturday. (more winking)

Former Co-Worker: Dude, do you want to get coffee or not?

You: Absoluuutely, sounds greeeat! Saturday at 1:30! (continued winking)

Former Co-Worker: Fine, whatever. Have a good one, a–hole.

You: You too. Can't wait to see you Saaaturday! (uncontrollably winking)

Scenario #4

Neglected Person You're Dating calls your phone, hoping to make plans with you.

Neglected Person You're Dating: It has been three weeks since you've seen me, can we please do something tonight?

You: No, I don't feel like it.

Neglected Person You're Dating: Well you haven't wanted to do anything in weeks, and I want to get out tonight.

You: You should get out, but still a definite no for me.

Neglected Person You're Dating: That's so selfish, it's not all about you.

You: You're right.

Neglected Person You're Dating: So you'll go out with me tonight?

You: No, but you are right about this being selfish of me.

Neglected Person You're Dating: I think we should take time apart.

You: Like, disassemble a watch? Nah, that's weird, but I'm going to watch movies if you want to come do that.

Neglected Person You're Dating: I need some space.

You: Sounds good, I have Gravity and Interstellar on Blu-Ray. See you later.

Neglected Person You're Dating: [Hangs up phone, never speaks to you again.]

The hypothetical train wreck scenarios scripted above give you an idea of how the conversations would play out in all likelihood, which means that out of all of the policies, honesty is amongst the worst of them, socially. What anyone associated with a homebody should know is that endless fabrications and habitual lying aren't a pathological, worrisome thing – it's done for the sake of others' feelings. Homebodies are figurative dentists, pulling plugs on plans like cavities, but first we want to sedate you with goofy gas and numb your mind with white lies before we yank out those teeth. TC mark

This post originally appeared at PajamasOverPeople

The 10 Biggest Misconceptions Of Date Rape And Rape Culture

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 09:48 AM PDT

Flickr / Mike Maguire
Flickr / Mike Maguire

1. Myth:  It's about sex.

Truth: It's about power.

Movies would have us believe that rape is something triggered by sexual arousal–that the men and women whom have fallen victim to assault triggered or ignited a passion within their rapist by their beauty, flirtation, or something of the sort. Rape is not about sex. Rape is about power. It's about hearing the word “no,” and being angered. It's about dominating someone else. It's about a disgusting and vile creature feeling empowered.

According to the Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center, "Sexual assault is highly sexualized in our society due to the link between sex and violence prevalent in our culture. Many people have sexual desires, but not everyone commits sexual assault." Therefore, rape and sexual assault is an act of violence; an act far too prevalent in our country and around the world.

2. Myth: Assaults are committed by strangers.

Truth: Most survivors know their perpetrator.

Again, this is a misconception produced by false media representation. A reported 84% of women raped know or knew their assailants. As an assault victim advocate, I have the unfortunate opportunity to meet dozens of girls and women with a story of sexual assault. The vast majority know their perpetrator or live with their perpetrator.  I also have several friends who are survivors of sexual assault. I am a survivor of sexual assault. And I knew my rapist.

3 .Myth: Assaults are spur of the moment.

Truth: Date rape is pre-planned.

Clearly when a man or woman stalks you in the night or puts a controlled substance in your drink, the rape was pre-planned. Perhaps less obvious? When a guy at a party purposely pours a heavy hand of alcohol to get you intoxicated–that is rape. When a guy keeps pressuring you because you will cave–that is rape. Rape is methodical. Because of the tolerance of rape culture, it appears "animalistic," but it is something premeditated.

4. Myth: It's only rape if you physically fight back.

Truth: Your body goes into shock.

One of the most insulting things you can say to a survivor of sexual assault (besides, "It'll get better, don't worry") is, "Why didn't you fight back more?"

We are commonly taught that the body responds in either a flight or fight reaction. There is a third option: freeze. Similar to the tactics taught when you see a wild animal, when you are being viciously attacked, you "play dead" or you freeze. In that moment, a survivor often thinks, "It will be over soon. And if I fight back, he will kill me or hurt me." If you freeze, you are still being raped.

5. Myth: Once you've said yes, you can't say no.

Truth: "No" always means NO.

You didn't sign a contractual obligation. And even if you did – it's YOUR body. Your ideas, your mind, your will is ALL part of your body. NO ONE has rule over that. If he enters you, you can say "no", and he must stop. If he's calling you sexy, and realizes it's going somewhere you're not comfortable with, you can say "no", and he must stop. And even if you lured him or enticed him under the notion that you two would have sex, and then you change your mind; you can say "no", and he. must. stop.

6. Myth: Women lie about being raped.

Truth: 2% of reported rapes are false. Which is the same as any other crime.
A more interesting statistic is the 97% of rapists who will never spend a night in jail. But I digress.

Uttering the words, "I was raped," or "I was forced", or anything relating to such a crime takes breathless efforts before successful. And once you're strong enough to muster and push the syllables from your lips—it's a soft cry. Few wail about being violated, fewer talk about it at all.

7. Myth: Most rapists are aggressive, creepy, unattractive men.

Truth: A rapist can – and often does – resemble like your neighbor or peers you regularly see.

A small fraction of rapists resemble the man in a horror movie or true crime documentary, but the vast majority look exactly like your frat brother, or your sister, or your dad, or your cheer coach. And women can be rapists too. The students who are preyed upon by their teachers are not "cool" and shouldn't be high-fived. They are victims of sexual assault, and the teacher should be in jail.

8. Myth: Women can prevent rape.

Truth: People could ….not rape other people. (Mind. Blown.)

I have a few questions; can you 100% prevent kidnapping? Can you 100% prevent being jumped? If I make nothing else clear – rape is an act of violence. Just as the girl with a bruised lip "didn't ask for it", the girl with a bruised vagina, "didn't ask for it."

9. Myth: "Real" victims are sad all of the time.

Truth: Every survivor has a different series of reactions.

Yes, there are millions who immediately suffer from PTSD and/or depression after the assault. But thousands of survivors do not have a reaction for months or even years. Grief strikes each victim individually. In fact, many thousands of survivors block out their rape experience for years before having a physical reaction.

10. Myth: Sexual assault is a women's issue.

Truth: Men are also raped.

According to RAINN, 1 in 33 American  men is raped. If you're doing the math, that's a few million harboring pain, and due to the stigma surrounding rape and sexual violence, men are even less likely than women to come forward and admit to being a victim of assault, let alone reporting it. TC mark