Thought Catalog


I Wanted To Dominate My Stepmom In A Way My Father Couldn’t

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

I found my stepmother curled up asleep on the sofa. She'd been crying again by the tell-tale signs of running mascara. He'd done this. I wanted to touch her. The compulsion burned inside me. The simple act of caressing my fingers across her cheek was dangerous but I didn't care. My growing love for her made me want to take chances, to betray my secret. I wanted her to know how I felt even though it was forbidden territory. Why did it have to be? He didn't really love her. I did and I could make her heart sing. Uncaring if she woke or I was discovered I slowly bent and tentatively touched her cheek. Touching her for the first time was electric and the connection between us sparked to life. I knew then I would never be able to let her go. My finger tips lightly caressed her cheek loving the feel of its silky softness. It was damp from her tears and I vowed then not to let my father make her cry again or hurt as he had done to my mother.

She stirred but I continued to stroke daring her to open her eyes and look up in to my eyes. They would have told her everything she needed to know about my feelings. Would she reject me? But then I heard Olivia walking towards the room. She already had suspicions and I didn't want her to know anymore. I pulled my fingers back feeling the loss of intimate connection immediately. Frustrated I gently shook Alexandra's arm to wake her as Olivia walked in to the lounge in her school uniform.

"I found your Mum asleep. She's been crying and doesn't look too good. She might need to talk to you. I think my father and her have had a row. I heard them shouting earlier," I told her in a low voice.

Olivia frowned and then looked disapproving at my stance over her mother as she sat up. I took a couple of steps back and let her take over moving out of the room.

When I emerged from the study a couple of hours later it was early evening. I hadn't been able to concentrate for thinking about her. She suddenly rushed past me in a sexy blue party dress just above the knee in bare feet carrying a pair of shoes. She took my breath away. I stared after her as she fixed an earring in her ear. She smiled at me and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.

"Hello, Chase. How was your day? Going out with Louise tonight?" she called after me.

I wasn't going out with that cold fish. I needed a night off from that bloody charade.

"Fine. Thanks. I won't be going out tonight. Looks like you are off out. You look stunning if you don't mind me saying."

She blushed. I grinned.

"Thanks, kind Sir," she joked. "I am going out with some girlfriends. A last minute thing. Mind you get something to eat soon and don't work right in to the night."

"Yes, Ma'am," I said giving her a mock salute.

"Olivia, where are you?" she called up the stairs. "Get a move on if you want the driver to drop you off at your friend's before he takes me. I don't want to be late tonight. I need a night out with the girls right now."

"I'm coming as fast as I can. Just be patient. Keep your hair on," Olivia snapped.

"Don't you speak to me like that young lady or I will be up those stairs."

Olivia groaned and slammed her bedroom door shut.

I grinned as Alexandra shook her head and sat down on a chair in the white marble hall to put on her shoes.

"Teenagers!" she bemoaned.

I stood for a moment watching her struggle to fasten the strap of the shoe around her ankle trying all sorts of contorted positions to see better and manage the feat. I chuckled and walked over ready to offer my assistance.

"Do you want some help with those?" I enquired innocently.

"Oh would you mind? That would be wonderful. Thanks."

I loosened my tie at the neck a little and walked towards her and went down on to my haunches. Gently I caught hold of the back of her bare slender leg and lifted it. The compulsion to caress my hand along gate back of her calf was potent. Carefully, respectfully I slid my hand down to her ankle and swept the strap around it. Randomly I wondered what it would be like to thread a leather collar around her neck once I had made her my submissive.

Putting her foot flat on the ground I fasted the strap and turned my attention to the next one. She was watching me intently.

"Your hands are lovely and cool," she suddenly told me. I could see by the ashen sweep across her face, she regretted saying it. I deliberately moved my hand up and down her calf enjoying the caress as much as she clearly was. She gave a small pat.

"I aim to please," I said diplomatically, lowering my hand to her ankle to fasten in the buckle. As I finished Olivia came running down the stairs with an overnight bag in her hand. She frowned at me with disapproval as I patted her mother's leg.

"All done."

"Thank you," she smiled nervously and stood unable to meet Olivia's inquisitive eyes.

"See you later," she said walking out with Olivia.

"Have fun both of you," I called after them.

She wanted me. I'd seen it in her eyes. She hadn't been able to hide it.

It was midnight when I got a call from her. Out for drinks in London with friends it had been a welcome surprise to see her caller ID come up on my phone. Getting up from the table I found a quiet corner to answer her call.

"Chase. I didn't who else to call. I'm sorry. I don't know what to do. It's your father. I got a call. Someone rang, a woman. She told me he is at the Carlton Hotel seeing a woman. I don't know what to do."

I closed my eyes and then opened them wide again feeling pain for her. History was repeating itself. I'd had the same call from my mother once upon a time.

"Relax. Who told you?"

"I don't know who it was. Just a woman. She wouldn't give me her name. I am going to go over there. I need to find out if its true. I shouldn't have rang you."

"No. Don't go. Wait for me. I will come and pick you up and we will go together. Where are you?"

"Are you sure? I am at The Red Hotel. I am staying here tonight. Your father and I are having a bit of trouble and I thought a night apart might do us some good. I need to think. I'm sorry, Chase."

She sounded frantic.

"Don't worry and don't move. I am coming. We will sort this out together."

I ended the call. Of course I already knew it was true and what my father was up to. If I'd been the dutiful son I would have told her I would sort it out, kept her away and helped my father maintain the delusion of faithfulness he thrusted upon her and shield her from the pain. But I wanted her to see what he really was.

I left taking a taxi to the Red Hotel and collected her from the lobby. The Carlton Hotel wasn't too far away from her own. We sat in silence. Her hand rested on the seat beside her as she stared anxiously out of the window and all I could think of doing was holding it.

When we reached the hotel we discovered my father was in the penthouse suite and as we took the lift up there my heart began to pound. I wanted to protect her and for a second I considered stopping the lift and taking her back down before confronting my father on my own.

The lift doors opened straight in to the lounge area. Alexandra gasped and put her hand to her mouth in shock. The room was filled with people. Two of them were snorting cocaine from a table while girls as young as eighteen giggled, dancing naked next to three of my father's friends. For the sake of protection more than anything at this point I picked up Alexandra's hand.

"Come on, I will take you downstairs," I told her tugging her to the lift. "Leave this to me."

"No," she said firmly. "I have to know," she said pulling away anger and tears warring in her voice. She stepped forward amidst the sea of bodies and looked for him on her way to the bedroom. I followed closely behind noticing that everyone in the room was high on drugs and booze. One man anally fucked a girl over a table. The place smelt of stale sex and was filled with smoke. It was hazardous to breathe.

We found the bedroom. Alexandra opened the door immediately and walked in. She gave a loud sob. I hung my head ashamed at my father. He was lying in bed with three naked young women. One of them was walking him off while the other sat on top of his face and he licked her pussy. My stomach turned.

"Ben. What the hell are you doing?" Alexandra screamed.

I moved closer to her feeling the instinct to protect her when my father pushed the women of him and sat up. He got up and laughed loudly. He rubbed his nose. He was high on cocaine.

"Having fun. Why don't you come and join us?" he said splaying his ams wide. "You've been up tight too much lately. Come and unwind with us. Snort some coke. I'd really like to see Lucy here fuck you," he said sliding off the bed to walk towards us buck naked.

Pressing close to Alexandra I could feel her shaking with anger and shock. I put my hands on her shoulders to move her away behind me but she wasn't going anywhere. She shrugged me off. The moment he was near enough, my feisty sexy gutsy stepmother raised her hand and swiped the side of my father's face with a hard deserving slap. His head snapped sideways.

"We are done, Ben. You filthy piece of scum. I loved you."

"You haven't loved me for a while," he snapped. "You are just another silly boring bitch who won't learn to do as she is told. Just like his mother." He pointed at me as he rubbed his face.

"Have some damn respect for your me and your son, Ben," Alexandra shouted. "How could you do this to us?"

She played in to him with her small fists beating at his chest and arms. I reached for her. My father raised the back of his hand to hit her and I lost it. I pushed him so hard away from her the man lost his balance and fell backwards. I pulled him up and pushed him back against the wall away from the round bed and punched him.

"Don't ever lay a finger on her. She's right you are nothing but dirty scum. You always were. If you hurt Alexandra or go near her daughter I will kill you," I shouted at him watching him slide down the wall, a trickle of blood coming from his mouth.

But my father found the whole thing funny inches drugged state. He just laughed and didn't stop. I walked towards Alexandra and grabbed hold of her arm to lead her from the room and back to the lift. I was still shaking with rage. She pulled away from me when the doors closed and sobbed. When we reached the ground floor she ran from me outside and hailed a taxi before I could reach her. I knew where she would be going. Quickly I hailed a taxi and followed her.

I wanted to control and dominate my sexy stepmother. Not in the cruel sense my father did. But in the way I knew she wanted to be controlled. It was time to bring Alexandra to her knees and bring out her wicked side.

I walked purposefully towards her. She gave me a nervous look. I think she believed I was going to remonstrate with her for hitting my father or plead on his behalf.

"Chase, if you have come here to have a go at me I don't want to hear it," she challenged strengthening her tone as she ran her hand agitatedly through her blonde hair. Her hands were trembling. I stood towering over her for a moment wanting her to feel my presence and my power so she would know I was someone she could rely on to protect her, care for her, rule her.

"Drink your wine," I told her firmly lowering the tone of my voice to a velvet caress to soothe her agitation and reassure her I was not there to cause a row. She simply stared at me with surprise.

Really, Alexandra darling you must know how I feel about you by now.

Undoing my suit jacket button I sat next to her in the booth, careful to maintain a discreet distance. I had to play this right if I was going to get her underneath me in bed by the end of the night. It was the first command I had given her and the first of many to come.

"I haven't come here to have an argument with you, Alexandra. Quite the opposite." I paused watching her defensively fold her arms. "Do as I told you and drink some wine. It will relax you."

Once more my voice was soft but edged with a stronger parental command. She responded to it immediately reaching for the glass. But her hand was shaking so much she barely manage the feat. She raised the glass. It shook and spilled a little of its liquid. I took over closing my hand around hers on the glass. I had to take a breath to still the shock of the sizzling electricity surging through me at having so boldly touched her. My hold forced her to pause bringing the glass to her lips. Tears gathered in her eyes and I could see her fighting to hold them back. Her pain stabbed my heart, triggering an automatic response. My hand smoothed gently over hers in an attempt to ease the pain. For one moment we locked eyes and everything that needed to be said flickered between us in silent communication. That was when I knew she felt the same way about me as I did her, and there was no going back. This was happening and call me a fool but I had no doubts it was all meant to be.

Using my hold I helped her bring the glass to her succulent cherry red lips wet with the gloss. Mesmerised, I watched as I pressed the glass to her lips and the sweet liquid seeped between them in to her mouth. An image of her kneeling naked at my feet, collared, the leash attached to it in my hand pulling it tight, a lioness tamed, her full lips locked around my penis coaxing my hard desire until my seed tumbled down her throat in a torrent.

Finding hard to keep control I made her take another sip and took the glass from her to rest it on the table. It was like feeding a child. I liked it.

"Listen to me, Alexandra. My father is out of line. He has gone too far. It isn't the first time he has been caught playing around and I don't believe it will ever be the last," I stated in an unemotional voice. It was the truth and I saw no point in trying to hide it or softening the blow. "There will always be women and drugs. He is a very rich man and these things are easily available to him. But that is not the worst he has done to you. He has steadily been wearing you down with his cruel comments, his controlling behaviour and his shouting all of which has been slowly eroding your confidence. He is making you ill. He did the same to my mother. She wouldn't have been out driving that night in the rain if he hadn't got her so down she needed to escape. Maybe then she wouldn't have had the accident. This is what he does to women."

I stopped listening to the anger brewing in my voice as I lost my way and indulged in my anger at my father. Alexandra didn't need it and neither did I. The man wasn't worth bothering with. I made an effort to calm my impassioned tone as I delivered the truth to her.

"My mother wasn't as feisty as you are. By the way I am most impressed with the way you handled him before," I finished with a grin. It made her chuckle briefly lifting the sadness from her eyes.

"She rarely fought back in the end. Every time she had, he crushed her spirit and blackmailed her in to staying. Don't let him do it to you. My mother's only way out of her marriage to my father was death."

Alexandra's eyes widened with surprise at my words then lowered.

"It's over. It has to be. I won't tolerate drugs and cheating. I can't believe he did this to me. Why don't I ever learn about men? It's all my fault." She sounded frustrated, exasperated even. I frowned.

"What do you mean? You haven't done anything wrong here."

"I just mean . . ." She sighed. "My last husband was a control freak. He did the same thing. I don't know maybe I am sick and a part of me likes being controlled and dominated by a strong man. Then why does it hurt so much, Chase? Maybe I am insane. It can't be what I want. Maybe I deserve this."

I shook my head and cupped the side of her face unable to bear the weight of her hurt. It had been a reflex action. I held my breath expecting her to flinch away as I turned her face towards me. But she didn't and I was elated. I smoothed my thumb along her cheek to wipe a stray tear dampening it. This was it, this was when I took full control of her.

"No. There is nothing wrong with you. Perhaps it is a different form of control you are looking for and you get your wires crossed," I smiled. "You want to be safe, cared for and protected by a strong man. Nothing wrong with that. We like women to rely on this. Most of us feel redundant these days," I grinned again. "But some like my father want take advantage of that and they make it turn in to something nasty instead of making it nurturing."

I stopped considering whether I should go any further. Alexandra's eyes were glassy with more tears and by the look of anticipation flickering in her gaze she knew the secret we both held close to our hearts was about to be exposed. I watched her lips part and her make a small gasp when I looked directly at her and spoke. "I know exactly what you need from a man and I can give it to you."

Silence. The waiter chinked glasses as he picked them up from the table next to us and I felt the weight of his look warming my back as if waiting with me for the outcome of my confession. Alexandra opened her mouth to speak and I found myself unable to bear the answer or her rejection. I leaned in and captured her lips. She moaned softly welcoming me inside her mouth and responded. I grew more hopeful and intensified the kiss holding her face with both of my hands, pulling her closer wanting to be deeper inside her, wanting all of her. I was lost and for a brief time I knew she was too. Then it ended.

Alexandra suddenly pulled away from me. The slap across my face stung hard but ignited something primal inside me. As she got to leave I caught her arm and brought her back to me.

"Don't run from this. I know you don't want to," I urged daring to roughly catch her lips against me again, holding her tight against me on the seat. She gasped and I waited to see if her struggles would cease. I didn't want to let her go but if she really couldn't go through with it I would have to back off. I prayed she would realise we were meant to be and I was rewarded.

Alexandra's body relaxed against me and with a gentle grunt of satisfaction she gave in and returned my kiss. I swept my hands through her hair tugging her head backwards unable to tear my mouth from hers. I wanted more, all she could give me. Triumph surged through me. I had caught my prey and now I was going to devour her at leisure. I was going to make her love me and realise she couldn't live without me.

She belongs to me now, father. I took her from you just like you took Louise from me and defiled her. Now you can't hurt Alexandra anymore.

"Stand up," I instructed tugging her hair to encourage her. Dutifully she stood up in to my arms.

"Where is your room?" I demanded pulling her out of the booth. She hesitated.

"Room? Alexandra," I snapped.

She stared at me wide eyed. Her eyes swam with blatant desire and my curt demand had forced it to swirl higher.

"Fourth floor. 467," she panted.

Oh, she was everything I wanted in a nice curvy sexy bundle. I couldn't wait to get her down on the bed underneath me. But I was to find I couldn't wait that long.

We reached the lifts and I found myself slamming her back against the wall between them, raising her hands to the side to hold her in place. I didn't care if anyone saw us. I wanted the whole fucking world to know she was mine now. She was breathless when I forcefully took her mouth again.

"We shouldn't do this," she breathed against my lips. "It's wrong, it's . . ."

"Forbidden," I finished for her. "I don't care."

"What if someone sees us?"

I raised her hands above her head and held them with one hand while I moved my free one to catch hold of her chin in a tight hold.

"I want them to. I want them all to know. It's a damn shame it's late and there is no one around," I hissed. "I have waited long enough to claim you putting up with my father fucking you and hearing you cry because he'd manipulated you in to it and you wanted to leave him. No more." TC mark

The Art Of The Power Blowjob

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Sokoloff Lingerie
Sokoloff Lingerie

The power of a well-executed blowjob is typically neither the topic of high school sex ed, nor is it frequently discussed amongst close girlfriends; but it's important. Sending a man to sexual-bliss is an art and one that needs to be finely crafted, not by hand, but rather by mouth.

Like Shakespeare says (because he's totally relevant right now, right?), "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

In this case, you're one of two types of girls: born to blow or you learn how to blow.

All in all, every girl can master the blowjob and once you have, your guy will surely thank you for it and you'll feel all the more confident, appreciated and powerful.

Interestingly, gender roles play an overlooked part in sex and every intimate encounter with your partner is different. One thing will always remain: the beauty and perplexing mystery of oral sex. Seeing oral sex as perplexing is not always obvious, but it's more than your mouth wrapped around his dick; it's your chance to be in the pilot seat of your shared intimate space. For however long you're down there, you're in control. (Not that sex is all about control because a lot of the pleasure comes from letting go, which is for a different article.)

Blowjobs have the ability to put woman over man, which spins the relatively patriarchal structure of sex right round. Another thing that sex is not, is purely about submission, but the dom/sub factor of oral sex contributes to the power-wielding abilities that I am bringing to the forefront of this discussion.

The societal perception of blowjobs should give women the opportunity to reverse the roles that are pounded into our psyches regarding the missionary position, virginal quests, and the notion that women should please men and expect nothing in return. We can all admit that sex education and the stigmas associated with pleasurable sex, suck — no pun intended here.

Think about it for a moment; there is no male equivalent of "slut."

Perhaps women regaining control through oral sex can change society's lexicon. Why should any of us be slut shamed for accepting pleasure?

I am not scared or embarrassed to admit that I relish in the first few seconds where I envelop my partner's dick in my mouth and watch as his expression changes. Obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this piece. I recognize that he's being put into a vulnerable position and part of me always wishes that he would embrace it more, but I think he's shy about it.

Going back to the patriarchal nature of sex in society, somewhere down the line, men became afraid to let out moans and sighs of pleasure. Male vocal pleasure became branded as a "female only" type of thing where it was advocated for women to be loud and porn only perpetuated this concept. Think about it…when a girl is six inches in, or what have you, concentrating on the serpentine route of her tongue, breathing through her nose, looking at him versus his dick, making sure she's in a comfortable position, etc., how else is she supposed to know that her partner is enjoying himself? Here, her partner has to relinquish the power and let her know that she's doing a good job. (Not to say that all women need reassurance from men, but it's always appreciated).

So you might be asking yourself what should I walk away with here, and the answer is two-fold:

Blowjobs are beautifully intimate moments when women have the opportunity to realize their own sexual worth and desires and that enjoying a blowjob is not sexually shameful for either party involved.

With that being said, go out, get some, and be proud of it. (He'll thank you for it!) TC mark

The Excuse Each Zodiac Sign Uses To Friend Zone You 

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 06:00 PM PDT

@kirstylee
@kirstylee

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

They'll tell you that they're focused on work and they don't want anyone to distract them from achieving their goals.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

They'll say that they've just gotten out of a bad relationship and they need some time to focus on themselves and their priorities.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

They'll say let's be friends first and who knows what might happen in the future.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

They'll say they've already been hurt way too many times before and they need some time to heal before taking a risk again.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

They'll tell you that they're afraid they might break your heart because they're really hard to handle.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

They'll say that they don't see a future with you and they don't want to waste your time.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

They'll tell you that they like you but they don't want to lead you on because they're not ready to be in a relationship.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

They'll sleep with you, then never call you back.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

They'll say they still have so much figuring out to do and they want to explore the world before settling down.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

They'll say they have a lot going on in their lives and they just need to make sure they're in the right state of mind to be in a relationship because they don't want you to deal with their issues.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

They'll talk to you about their ex or someone else they like.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

They'll say that they're taking a break from dating because they want to figure out who they are and they want to be single for a while.  TC mark

Here’s The 31 Funniest Tweets Made In 2016 (So Far)

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:00 PM PDT

saraycasti
saraycasti

Okay, actually one of these tweets isn’t from 2016, but it’s so funny we decided to include it anyway. See if you can find it.

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15 Signs You Really Need To Get Your Shit Together (Starting NOW)

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Zach McCaffree
Zach McCaffree

1. You can never find your keys. It slows you down when you’re running out the door, it’s all you think about when you’re walking to your car wondering if you’re going to be locked out, but you don’t want to sort through your purse/wallet/pocket/bag to see if they’re in there.

2. You routinely respond to important emails three hours late because you get distracted by other things. You are not on the ~work email~ ball, because they are annoying as hell and, let’s be honest, you don’t like your job.

3. About once a day, you ask someone to call your phone because you can’t find it. And it’s happened so much that you’ve had random people just add your number to their phone.

4. And on that topic, your phone case has a bunch of weird, unidentified stains on it. You keep meaning to order a new one on Amazon.

5. You don’t wake up for your first alarm. Or your second. Just no.

6. And when you do get out of bed, you feel like every bone in your body is yelling at you to NOT MOVE FROM THE BED. Every day, getting out of bed feels like the hardest thing in the world, and you only realize THEN that you should’ve gone to sleep hours earlier.

7. You lose your wallet three times a week. And throughout the day, you often stop and realize you have no idea where your wallet is. Is it with you at the gym? At work? In your desk drawer? At home on your kitchen table?

8. You are always running a little late, and are therefore moving way faster than you should be. And 20% of the time, this causes you to drop or misplace something you really needed to not lose.

9. Every time you get a parking ticket, you wait until the last possible day to pay it, and then you go to pay it and realize you’re five days late and the ticket price has gone up. You want to prevent these things, so that tickets don’t cost you a fortune, but you don’t keep a calendar, a planner, or set any reminders, so it just doesn’t happen.

10. You can’t keep a work schedule to save your life. You’re constantly messaging your coworkers to find out if you have a meeting, a lunch, or a presentation, and then have to scramble to prepare.

11. You are known among your friend group as the perpetually late and forgetful one. Because when one of your friends decides to implement a “dress code” on a going out night, OF COURSE you tune it out and forget, because you have no interest in ~getting fancy~ for a normal night of drinks.

12. And you keep reassuring them that this week things are going to be different and you’re going to be on time …. but it never happens. Good thing they love you anyway.

13. Whenever you buy produce at the store, at least one third of it goes bad in your fridge. It always serves as a reminder that what you should really do is meal plan for the week, but even as you think about it, you know you’re not going to do that.

14. When your parents call, you suddenly think of all the things you were supposed to be doing all day and are like, “Sorry mom, I’m SO swamped right now.”

15. You burn things when you cook, because you get distracted by something on your phone (or maybe you don’t get distracted and just can’t follow a recipe). At this point, you’ve just gotten used to the taste of burnt marinara sauce, burnt broccoli, burnt onions (which are actually delicious), and burnt toast. TC mark

The One Question You Should Always Ask Before Trying To Cheer Someone Up

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 03:30 PM PDT

Kristopher Roller
Kristopher Roller

The other day, I was feeling kind of meh. It wasn't depressed exactly – just the opposite of confident. Sometimes, when I have several days in a row in which I get migraines and I don't socialize, I can feel a sort of malaise that affects my confidence about work.

When I met a friend for tea, she clearly noticed I wasn't feeling awesome. After listening to me say I wasn't feeling very confident, her first instinct was to reassure me that I have lots of reasons to feel good about myself and my work.

While in hindsight I can see her lovely intentions, at the time I just got grumpy. Her attempts to cheer me up just felt like the opposite of empathy. They weren't meeting me where I was at.

She was understandably surprised at my grumpiness – after all, she was trying to tell me positive things about myself.

After we explored our respective responses a bit, I got to this: "You know what I would have loved? I would have loved if you had asked me at the beginning, 'Do you want to be cheered up or do you want help exploring your feelings?'"

She totally got this right away. She'd experienced that, too – times when attempts to be "cheered up" just landed as fixes rather than empathy. When you're still exploring how you actually feel about something, being cheered up can feel like fixing something when you don't know what's broken – confusing and unhelpful.

We both could think of times when we actually wanted to be cheered up. These were times when we were clear on how we felt, but wanted a break from those crappy feelings or wanted some reassurance that we were OK.

We realized the choice was the key thing. We like being asked what we need because a) it's more helpful, and b) it's empowering to have choice when you feel crappy, since crappy feelings can feel disempowering.

Questions like these also implicitly acknowledge that no one should be expected to be a mind reader.

Not all situations have a clear corresponding behavior on the part of one's partner or caring friend. The asking makes space for both people in the exchange to get clarity on what's most helpful in the situation.

Clarity can bring connection, which is one of the many reasons why linguistic precision is such a powerful tool.

We also talked about how this question is similar to one of my other favorite questions: "Are you wanting empathy or strategy?" The answer can relieve the listener of needed to fix it and the person having all the feelings can get more choice simply by hearing it.

Now, this question is a part of both our repertoires.

***

If you're keen to try this in your own relationships, here are a few suggestions to smooth that path.

When you ask someone, "Do you want to be cheered up or do you want help exploring your feelings?" they might respond with, "I don't know." Sometimes we don't know because we've never been asked that question before. It might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first.

New language is like new shoes – sometimes it has to be broken in before it gets comfortable.

It also might just take someone a minute to answer honestly. Sometimes, it helps to rephrase the question. Here are a couple of alternative phrasings (feel free to mix and match):

  1. "Do you want to be reminded of the ways in which you are amazing or do you just want me to be present with the crappy stuff you're feeling now?"
  1. "Do you want help getting clear on what you're feeling or does this feel like something you want help climbing out of?"
  1. "Would you enjoy some distraction from how you're feeling, or do you want me to help you process?"

You can also follow up with, "Do you want clarity and then some cheering up?" Just like with the empathy/strategy question, sometimes you want both – you just need one before the other.

For example, sometimes I love a good strategy, but it only resonates with me after I feel fully empathized with. The same goes with cheering up – I tend to only want it after I feel understood.
I'll also add that sometimes "cheering up" gets a bad rap, but there's nothing wrong with a little distraction. If your whole emotional MO is distraction, that might not be super healthy. But if in the process of sadness or grief, you find yourself needing a little break now and again, I think that can be self-care at its finest.

For example, a friend of mine got dumped right before her birthday. In the days leading up to that milestone, she wanted help processing her feelings, grieving, etc.

But on the day of? She wanted to go to out with her friends. We were happy to oblige and help distract her. Sometimes you just need a break from grief.

The key with all of this is to meet people where they're at. Asking these sorts of questions can help you get the data you need to find out where that is so you can support them.

Often, the best way to help someone is not to make them feel "better," but to help them feel "lighter."

Feelings can be heavy, but when we share them with an empathic person, we can feel less weighed down by them.

Questions like these also help communicate that you're willing to listen fully to what's going on in their emotional world, without evaluating or trying to change their state. That kind of acceptance helps pave the way for vulnerability, and as a result, connection.

Connection is what most of us are after anyway. When we get better tools – like better questions – it just helps us get there a little more efficiently. TC mark

This Is How You Lose The Girl Who Makes You Feel Complete

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Zack Minor
Zack Minor

Maybe one day you’ll wake up weeks or months or even years from now, and just miss her.

You’ll miss the way she used to hug you before you said goodbye or the way she used to make you laugh just by being her awkward self. You’ll miss how her hair smelled like, or how she just always knew what to give you on a bad day. Be it a hug, a kiss, or your favorite soda with a cute sticky note attached to it with little message you always found yourself keeping, no matter how small. You’ll miss the way she tried to make you smile after telling a joke that you took a little too seriously.

You’ll miss how she always apologized, even if it wasn’t her fault, just so you guys wouldn’t fight anymore. You’ll miss the sound of her voice and the lightness of her laugh, like nothing ever bothered her, but somehow they always did. You’ll miss how well her hand fit in yours and how you held it while driving.

You’ll miss the way she looked at you.

Like you hung the stars up in the sky. You’ll miss her eyes, her smile, but her nose you’ll miss the most.

You’ll miss feeling her love.

The way she used to boss you around for your own good, her sweet messages, the way she used to snuggle up to you and give you a kiss on the cheek, how she did all that she possibly could to make you happy, how she loved you with everything that she had.

And on that day, it will hit you so hard, all the mistakes and regrets.

All the times you were a jerk to her just because you didn’t know what to do. When you made her feel insignificant because you were too concerned about your ego. All the times you chose not to care instead of figuring things out. All the times you let her down. All the possibilities will slam into you with a force you didn’t know existed. Suddenly, there’s an endless list of ‘what ifs’ and ‘I could have done something/s’ and you will grab your phone and start typing something, because you want to at least talk to her. To see a reply come from her. And then you remember that you haven’t spoken in a long time and her friend mentioned once that she changed her number.

And the emotions will come down even harder. Memories will flood you.

But one in particular, how she stood in the rain that day after a fight, waiting for you, and how you walked away. You’ll remember how much she tried for you. How much of herself she put on the line and destroyed. But it still wasn’t enough for you to care and stay for. You’ll remember how you chose the easy way out. And you’ll feel the weight slowly settling. The emptiness clawing at your heart.

So maybe you’ll ask her friend for her new number and you’ll text her and she’ll ask who it is because by this time she’s doesn’t have your number memorized anymore. And you’ll tell her. How you miss her and how much you regret all the shitty things you did. And how you wish you could have made different decisions, because if you did, then maybe you’d still be together. And she’ll stay quiet for a while, not knowing what to say. She won’t know how to explain to you that she’s moved on and how she’s happy with her life. But still she tries. For you. And that’s when you know you’re too late.

That’s how you’ll know that she is lost to you forever.

She’ll apologize, because that’s the type of person she is, but you know it won’t change anything. Now it’s your turn to be silent, you thought telling her would somehow fix things. You thought maybe things could go back to the way they used to be. But they can’t.

So you say goodbye and think to yourself, “How did I lose the girl who made me feel complete?” TC mark

I Was Fine With Being Alone, And Then You Came Along

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Alan Labisch
Alan Labisch


I learned to live my life alone.
Hell, I even loved it. I enjoyed the idea of not giving a fuck on anyone or anything.

Going out to see the latest movies… Sitting on a table in my favorite restaurants… Strolling around malls… Laughing at stupid little things… Crying over silly stuff…

But I managed to live on my own. I booked plane tickets to the places I'd been wanting to visit. I started looking for my own place. I made plans for myself.

I read books. I wrote articles. I practiced photography. I studied the programming language I hated the most back in college.

I saw, with my own eyes, how colorful the world outside was. I learned, on my own, that the sun sets today and it will rise again tomorrow for a fresh start. I started to just swim through my emotions

I told myself that the pain I felt was a reminder that I was still human, that I was still alive, therefore I had to live.

I found reasons to live again, to feel alive again. I reminded myself that it was okay to cry but I had to smile again. I allowed myself to feel the pain, to get hurt, to grow and learn.

I was alone, but I wasn't lonely.

For months, this was what I believed in. And it became my reality.

Until you found me.

We were two friends who got busy in our own worlds and lost contact. It was like we were just at the right place at the right time.

You showed me that the world was even more colorful when we looked at it together. You watched the sun set with me while holding my hand.

You let me sleep on your chest to wake up and see the sun's light reflecting on your face. You shared your world to me, and I shared mine to you.

You read the articles I wrote. You gave me books to add to my to-read-list. You became the subject of the pictures I took.

I forgot about the solo travels I planned; you said you wanted to be my travel buddy. I started to like your taste in food; you ate with me in my favorite restaurants

We laughed at our own silly jokes. You showed me a whole different world, a world so much better than where I'd been living.

Before you, I thought I'd never love again.

Before you, I built a wall around my heart that no one could ever break.

Before you, I loved the idea of being alone.

Before you, I was totally fine.

But then you came… I wasn't even waiting for you. I wasn't expecting anything from you. But you still came.

Only to leave me hanging…

With questions I know I'll never get the answers to.

With memories that will only bring tears to my eyes.

With future plans that I may have to toss away.

With the pain of not knowing where I went wrong.

With the regret of allowing you to come into my life.

With the resentment towards you for breaking my heart, knowing what I had been through.
Despite all these, I still hope you'll miss me.

I still wish you'll wake up one day realizing you still love me, or maybe, you'll love me again. I still want you in my life. I want you to come back.

I will wait for you, no matter how long it will take. I will wait for you, until I can. I still want another chance, to remind you of how happy we were. To remind you of all the reasons why we started in the first place.

But if you're sure this is what you really want, I'll give you space to find yourself. I'll take time to find myself too. It may be hard for me, but I will try my best to not think about you… To stop bothering you.

If one day you wake up missing me, just call me and I'll run back to you.

I don't want to believe that this is the end. I still pray that one day we'll meet again, to maybe rekindle old flames… To give us another try. Maybe. We'll meet again someday. TC mark

18 Major Kissing Mistakes That’ll Make You Look Like An Amateur

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Pexels, Adrianna Calvo
Pexels,
Adrianna Calvo

1. Shoving your tongue in his mouth the second you make contact with his lips. I don’t care how long you’ve been waiting to touch him. Start off with soft pecks and work your way up to French kisses.

2. Keeping your hands at your side. No, you don’t want to fondle his ass during your very first kiss. But you should grab his shoulders, run a hand through his hair, or at least interlace your fingers with his.

3. Forgetting to stop for air. I know you want to keep kissing, but you both need to breathe. Every once in a while, pull apart, so you can stare dreamily into his eyes (or whisper about all the dirty things you want to do to him).

4. Biting. If anyone has ever told you to “bite” a man’s lip, they didn’t actually mean “bite.” They meant lightly nibble and tug. Don’t bite him.

5. Wearing too much lipstick. If makeup makes you feel powerful, go crazy with it. But if you know you’re going to be making out soon, you probably don’t want your lips covered in color. It’ll make a mess.

6. Forgetting the importance of oral hygiene. You don’t have to keep a miniature toothbrush in your bag. But you should at least carry around a pack of gum or some tick tacks.

7. Not using enough tongue. If you’re in the middle of a make-out session, that tongue is a necessity. Don’t go crazy with it, but don’t underutilize it, either.

8. Picking the wrong lip. I don’t care if you always kissed your ex’s bottom lip. It might be more comfortable to kiss your new man’s upper lip, so be open to testing out new things.

9. Eating the wrong foods beforehand. If you have a date, put down the garlic. You can eat it later.

10. Being completely silent. You don’t have to moan like you’re in the middle of filming your latest sex tape. But making sounds of approval every now and then will let him know you’re enjoying yourself.

11. Keeping your eyes open. It’s creepy. Don’t do it. You can stare at him once the make-out session is over.

12. Talking too much in between kisses. It’s cute to give him a compliment here or there, but don’t waste time yapping when you could be kissing, damn it.

13. Forgetting to apply chapstick. You want your lips to be kissable, don’t you? Then you need to make sure they’re soft and smooth.

14. Getting too handsy in public. Most men aren’t fans of PDA, so wait until you get home to paw at him.

15. Asking him if you’re a good kisser. It’s an awkward conversation to have. If he actually enjoys the kiss, you’ll be able to tell.

16. Wearing too much perfume. After all, when you kiss him, his body will be pressed up against yours. If you’re doused in perfume, he’ll smell it. And it might make him sick.

17. Using the same moves over and over again. Variety is key. Don’t let him get bored of your lips.

18. Letting yourself get nervous. If you’re tense, it’ll be obvious. Try to relax. If you’re kissing the right person, then all the right moves should come naturally. TC mark

Dear Men: This Is Why Single Women Are Sick Of You

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 12:00 PM PDT

unsplash.com
unsplash.com

Dear Men,

No, thank you.

Yeah, I said it, and I'll explain.

I am uninterested in casual sex with you. No, thank you. There is no appeal to the nail biting wait for a text message (since we all know a phone call is off the table) after you sleep with me.

There is nothing delicious about hoping that you give a shit or having to play it cool because I do give a shit. I want to go on dates. Yes, dates – not “hang outs.” That distinction is important because a hang out could mean that we're going to go walk around a mall like we did at 14 when our moms were our only means of transportation. A hang out implies that we're bros. I have enough friends, sir. No, thank you.

When you say you want to take me on a date, I know you're taking it seriously and that I'm not going out with some 19-year-old kid. (Which wasn't appealing even when I was 19.) I want you to ask me out a few days before and plan something. I want you to put some effort into dating me. I don't need flowers but, goddamnit, some sign that you care would be nice.

After that date, call. It's not that hard. It's refreshing. The two day waiting period should be a myth. Unfortunately it's not, but think about how silly it is. "Oh my god, that woman was amazing and I definitely want to see her again but instead of just making it happen I'm going to make her sit around and wonder if I like her or not." Following through shouldn't be a rarity.

I want you to be honest. Woah, scary. I know. Here's the thing, we are both adults. I don't need you to tell me what you think I want to hear.

No, thank you. I can call my mom and have her tell me I'm pretty if I really need to hear it. The idea that you feel like you need to tell me you something you don't believe, just so you can get in my pants, is ridiculous. If I want to sleep with you, I will. It's totally that simple.

I don't need to hear some long rambling speech about how incredible you think I am when, in reality, you're just trying to bust a nut. I would rather know up front what you're interested in. If we go out and you don't want to see me again (brace yourself cuz this is hard to understand): don't tell me that you do. Believe it or not, women don't want to be lied to. I'm not going to tell you some fairytale story about how wonderful you are if I don't think it.

Please don't freak out if I want to talk to you. I like you. Stop panicking. (If you don't like me back: see above.) It's okay if we talk. It's okay if you want to talk to me or want to see me again. Don't wait until it's too late to decide you want me.

I was seeing this guy for a while a couple years back and we did the whole "playing it cool" and "casual sex" thing off and on for almost a year. (Well, he did.) I had no issue being like "HI I LIKE YOU I HOPE THAT'S OKAY." I knew he liked me back. Honestly, we were a good match but he waited until he moved 3,000 miles away to admit to having feelings for me.

What's even more alarming is that even though we've had the discussion about where we both stand, he's still timid. He's still weird about being anything other than bro­-y about it. The last time I saw him we went on this sweet date and the next day he was so uncomfortable with me. Why? Who gives a shit? Can someone please explain what is so scary or shameful about having feelings and being willing to express them?

I don't need to have 45 minute daily discussion about the fuzzywuzzies, but I shouldn't be afraid to terrify you if I have an emotion other than horniness.

I won't tell anyone if it's something you're embarrassed about, but you are capable of having feelings aren't you?

In general, it seems like there is an unwillingness for men to be men. I'm not talking about when you guys take us out and open doors. That's sweet and all, but that's not it.

I'm talking about the unwillingness to connect, to be vulnerable, to step up. I am flabbergasted by how few men will take responsibility for their emotional choices and for the damage they leave behind post relationship.

Please don't get me wrong, women aren't innocent of dating crimes. There are women who will bail, ghost, use, cheat, manipulate, lie; people tend to suck in general but obviously it's not everyone. I'm aware that there are men in the great wide somewhere who don't act like idiots. Otherwise, the human race would've ended centuries ago.

So, here's my request: surprise me. Surprise the girl you're dating. Be real. Pretend like there are tv cameras waiting with bated breath for your emotional honesty. Share like there's a million dollar commercial deal waiting at the end of the season. It might work out for you.

Sincerely, A Bitch Who Seriously Ain't Got No Time For That TC mark