Sex Ed SUCKS

All you need to know to understand my frustration with sex education in school is that I had ONE class in 9th grade or something – it was so not helpful that I don’t even remember when it was exactly – and that class was only one hour or so.

Before I go into all of my problems with Sex Ed (not the idea of it, but the way it is) I’d like to say that I was actually working on a different post for this Friday. That post will still be posted, probably next Friday, but I want to talk about this first. Also, I want to remind some of you that I’m from Portugal and I can only speak from my experience here and specially in the school I was in. However, this is a subject I’ve seen a lot of people, from many different places, complain about so I’m sure most of you will be able to somewhat relate to the problems I have with this.

I believe most of us can agree that sex education is incredibly important and that it is something that should exist in every single school. I genuinely believe it’s important to educate the youth about sex  and everything that comes with it – from contraceptives to the possibility of STDs. It should all be talked about and discussed with the class.

Well, there brings me to my first issue and one of the biggest failures of sex education (besides the fact that it should be more than a few classes which seems to be the what most people have). It’s so incomplete and uninformative. I don’t know about you, but let me tell you about y case. During that one and only class my school gave us, we barely talked about anything we didn’t already know or that was highly important to inform us about. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is important to talk about how birth control works and how to put on a condom. It is also necessary to teach young people to prevent STDs and all that. But sex education is not just about that. There are so many things that should be talked about but instead we focus on more “basic” stuff.

Also, one of the things I’ve learned – from videos and reading a bunch of articles online – when I grew up is that STDs are actually surprisingly common. Now I’m not saying you should not try and prevent them from happening to you, what I am saying is that they were treated like this demon who would kill you by the woman that gave us the sex ed class. It was always said how evil and dangerous they are – which is fair – but what to do in case you do get one was never brought up. How serious each one is was never discussed. It always kinda sounded like “If you have unprotected sex you either get pregnant or get a horrible std so either use a condom or don’t have sex”. A piece of advice on what to do and how it not the end of the world – in some cases – if you do get and STD never happened.

Please understand I’m not defending unprotected sex – trust me! What I am saying is more that accidents happen. There’s not a contraceptive that works 100% so we should also learn what to do in the case that it does not work.

The Huffington Post wrote a few words about this that I recommend you look at to know a little bit more.

Rainbow pride flag flying in the daytime breezeSex education should also be more inclusive. At the time of that class I was still struggling a bit with my sexuality so the fact that only a heterosexual relationship was used to drive the conversation did not help at all. I think it is important to also talk about lgbt+ relationships. Not only because it’s equally as important for anyone in the community to be informed and know what to do and not to do at a young age, but also – in a way – that lack of inclusion only makes us feel like we are not the “norm” or even remotely “normal”. That’s how my confused mind felt at the time at least.

By including the lgbt+ community in that conversation and educating teens about it we would be normalizing those relationships. Because that’s what they are: normal.

When I started to think back to that class there was one thing that came to mind – Consent. The importance of knowing and respecting consent was not talked about of brought up for even a single second.

Now, I’m not going to try to teach you – mostly young adults that read my blog – what consent is. We should all know it by now. No means no and a lack of response isn’t a yes.

The thing is I was around 14/15 when I had my sex ed class – again I cannot recall when this happened, no matter how hard I am trying – and a few of my classmates were already in relationships at that time. I cannot obviously tell you about their sex life but what matters is that at that age it’s when we usually start to create relationships and many different discoveries and having our firsts and  bla bla bla. By that time there should be at least one sex education class completely dedicated to consent and how important it is to know how to recognize it, express it and/or accept it. Also, discuss how you should never expect someone to sleep with you no matter the circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you are dating or if the first time the answer was  yes. No means no.

Last but not least, I also think the class should be more interactive in the sense that questions would be welcomed and a well-informed answer would be given. Maybe even have a discussion with the rest of the students about it. Now, this might just be something that happened with my teacher – hopefully yours was better. From that one hour class we only had the last five minutes to ask questions, which ended up only being time for two questions that were answered in a rush. Also, there was a classmate that asked the teacher if she could ask her question in private, even if in another time. She was denied. I thought that was really stupid. The girl probably thought the question was embarrassing or maybe it was something personal that she did not want to tell to the all classroom and the woman was there to supposedly help us and she ended up not helping at all to be honest.

What was your experience with sex education in school? Was it better or worst than mine?

Do you think there are other things I missed, that should be talked about during sex ed? If so, what?

Happy Friday guys, hope you have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Sunday’s post! x

Online Dating: Does It Suck Or Are We Just Bad At It?

Online dating. The modern meeting at a bar…just without the liquid courage. One thing that remains though is the creepy and unwanted conversations.

I gave online dating apps a shot for approximately 3 months. During those months I learned some valuable lessons and was able to recognize the different types of people who visit these apps. To be fair, there are some people who are there to build more meaningful relationships. I also do not have any problem with the ones that don’t, if you want something casual it’s totally fine. My problem is when things aren’t made clear from the start. I can’t even tell you how many times I wasted my time talking to someone for nothing.

There are some things I believe I should clarify before we go into my experience with this new method of meeting people.

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  • I used the apps OkCupid and YouLove – which isn’t as well-known I think – I did not use the dating app of all dating apps aka Tinder because it was too heavy on my phone (I’m a looser and have an Android)
  • I did not use both apps at the same time. I first started with OkCupid but then deleted it when I became sick of it. When I decided to give these type of apps another chance I did not want to use that same account or create a new one so I found YouLove.
  • As I’ve discussed previously I’ve never been in a relationship. That isn’t really common for dating app users, I believe, so I always made that clear during the conversations.
  • I also made it clear on both of my profiles that I was looking for either a friendship (HAHA) or a more serious relationship. As you might imagine, since I’ve never had a serious relationship, I was not really open to having one night stands or something similar.
  • I identify as bisexual but on my profiles I never specified my sexuality and only really talked to guys at the time. I made that decision because if something were to come out of it, it could somewhat affect my life since I’m not out to my family.

Now that I gave you all of this information and clarified the circumstances in which I was, let’s talk about my experience for those three months.

The Apps In General

I do think it is important to say that the apps do work well and I don’t have some major problem with the way they were set up. I do think OkCupid does have a much better algorithm and it’s easier to find people you might agree with. YouLove doesn’t have that many users – at least here in Portugal – and if you don’t match with people they still show up on your profile a lot. OkCupid also has the positive of having the possibility of answering a trillion questions and then they give you a percentage of how compatible you are with someone, taking into account the answers you gave. If those percentages are completely accurate…who the hell knows, but I still enjoy the way it’s set up better than YouLove.

One thing that did annoy me in both apps was that I obviously put that a lived in Portugal on the settings and they even asked from where should the profiles presented to you be from. You can usually even say from how far you wouldn’t mind the guys being from. However, for some weird reason, profiles from all over Europe would pop up.

The Type Of Guys That Messaged Me/Wanted To Match With Me

As I swiped left and right I started to notice some common things about the users of both apps. From the pictures they used to the information they shared on their profile. Even more interesting was seeing the type of guys my profile seemed to attract.

There were the classics which are those who only have one picture attached to their profile that had a bigger focus on their abs than anything else. If you were lucky you could see a bit of their chin. A variation of this is having a million pictures and all of them being just like the one I just described.

In other cases I would see guys that a reasonable number of pictures – for context I think I had four pics in my profiles – but then wouldn’t really say anything in their profiles. That would be trickier on YouLove since that app doesn’t even show a percentage of how “compatible” you are. I don’t think you should tell your all life story on your profile but you have to give a little more than your name.

Some guys also, hilariously in my opinion, where using these apps to promote their other social media. That would be everything they would have on their description. I had guys message me just saying “Hey, I don’t really use this. Here’s my IG, follow me there to talk”. I never really did.

Last but not least I had men double, sometimes triple, my age trying to talk to me. The thing about these apps is that people can message you even if you haven’t matched with them yet, so that would give these men the opportunity – that I would never personally give them – to try to talk to me. Men with 2 kids, men that were older than my dad would message me like I would be interested. It’s also important for me to say that I also made my age clear on my profile so they were aware that I was barely legal. They would send stuff like “hey gorgeous, don’t you think you need a MAN in your life?”.

I have to admit, some people on these apps almost made me laugh. Others were just creepy.

The Type Of Guys I Talked To

I genuinely believe one of the biggest problems with dating apps is the type of people who do use it. From guys trolling during half the conversation to asking nudes after 0.2 seconds into a conversation. It’s definitely an interesting environment to say the least.

There’s a way to do things I think and the way a lot of people handle conversations over there is not the correct way. You say no to something and received the classic “you’re ugly anyway”. Well man, it looks to me like you were the one matching and messaging with an ugly girl then.

Here are all the different types of conversations I had on OkCupid and YouLove

  • The hit and quit it

This one is definitely interesting. I’d match with someone and they would message me “Hi” or something. I would respond just to not get any another response. My theory is that these guys would literally try to match with everyone and send a bunch of messages waiting for girls to respond. When the girls they messaged responded back they would then decide who they would be interested in.

It’s this or it was a bunch of bots.

  • The troll

Trolls are a fascinating species for me. On dating apps or not. Imagine wasting your time with something so dumb? Anyways…

Trolling in these case could honestly be anything. From professing their love for me two minutes into their conversation to asking me to go lay with them because they are “the best company”. From calling me a b*tch because I said I was rolling my eyes at their stupidity to a guy that blocked me after sending me a bunch of messages talking crap and having me telling him is life must be sad, just to unblock me every now and then to say “you’re still an ugly whore”. Saying these people are stupid is an understatement.

I’ll never understand what internet trolls are trying to accomplish or what they find amusing about what they do. I don’t think anyone knows.

  • The coming in hot

I think you can all guess what I mean with this. I always tried to be careful with the people I matched with, always making an effort to read their bios and all of that. Still, these guys always made into my mentions somehow.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think asking for nudes after only saying “hello, how are you?” to me is a good way to go about things.

As I said throughout this post, I don’t have anything against people wanting a casual thing. My problem is only that some people would say something in their profiles and then act a completely different way when you have a conversation with them.

Even worst was when they could not take a no for an answer. Some were just like “okay…” and didn’t say anything, which is funny. Others, however, would only call me a prude and ask why not. When I would insist that isn’t something I’m going to do, I would be hit with the classic “you must be fat”.

  • The “they’re so weird” you can’t quite tell

This is kinda a mix between the previous two. These would be the guys so outrageous you would think they would be trolling but, at the same time, after a while made think they were actually serious.

  • The ones that make it unclear

I already lightly talked about this one, but I think it’s worth to say more.

This was my biggest problem with the apps. I would match with someone and meet a completely different person in the conversation.

Usually these apps let you say what you are looking for and that is made public on your profile. Mine would say I was either looking for a relationship or just a friendship/meeting people. I always tried to match with the people who said the same thing.

Halfway into talking to them though, I would start to realize that wasn’t what they were really there for. You can call me naive, I admit I am. What can I say? I hope people are at least honest since it’s definitely not a strange thing to use apps like Tinder to meet a booty call.

  • The one that had a trillion accounts

I only met one guy, on YouLove, that was like this – but I found this so funny that I decided to talk about it.

I matched with this guys and we talked for a bit. Nothing really came out of it so after a day or two we stopped talking. When I stopped talking to a certain guy there I wouldn’t delete the conversation or unmatch them – so our conversation remained there.

I didn’t even remembered talking to this guy when, while I was doing some swiping, a profile popped up. I thought “okay he’s cute” but when I opened his profile I started to look at his other pics and that’s when I realized he looked familiar. I went to my conversations and found his profile – his other profile.

I just didn’t match with that new profile and didn’t think much of it at the time. The only thing I thought was that maybe he had forgotten his password or something.

That was until a bunch of profiles of the same guy started to appear. They all used the same name and all of the same information. I swear I saw around 10 profiles. Even more weird was that after a bit I started to get messages of a lot of those profiles.

I didn’t respond a lot of the times, until I got curious. So when I got a simple greeting from yet another profile of the same person I responded just saying “hey”. The guy kept talking to me like he had never seen my profile.

I finally asked him why did he have so many profiles and he said he was always changing phones. So he had over 10 phones in a month? Couldn’t he just sign up with an older account? He just said it’s how he uses the app. Whatever that means.

You would think it would end there. It didn’t. He then asked me why I never said anything else in our original conversation. I was honest and said I wasn’t really feeling it and was not interested in talking more. He just responded with an okay.

Two days later I received a “Hello.” from his 11th profile.

  • The okay’s

There were some guys that initially seemed great. The conversation would be working and none of them were acting like weirdos. After a while it would stop though.

The conversation just wouldn’t go anywhere.

“Hey what’s up.”

“Nothing. What about u?”

“Nothing much”

“Okay”

This isn’t my definition of a conversation.

  • The few that made it out of the apps

There were very few that made it out of the app. Most of them would follow me on my personal Instagram. Even fewer got my Whatsapp. You have to give the person your number for that and that isn’t something I wanted to give to a lot of them.

I don’t talk with anyone I met on OkCupid or YouLove now. Most of them ended up suffering the same destiny that the guys in the last category did. It just took longer to get to that point.

I just wouldn’t have anything to talk with them about and no one was really trying to make an effort to talk to be honest.

There were three guys that I gave my WhatsApp to. They deserve their own post though. These cases ended up being so dramatic, chaotic or just straight up dumb. I’ll definitely make a post titled “The WhatsApp Guys” or something in the future.

Final Thoughts

All of these guys either entertained/amused me or made me question my hope in humanity. A few of them were actually somewhat worth it, at least for a bit.

I did not find the love of my life though.

I don’t think I’ll be giving online dating another try, at least in the near future. I’ll try to meet people the old-fashioned way for now.

Does this mean I think it’s impossible to meet people and build relationships through dating apps? No. I do think you have to be willing to dig through all of the dirt for a while though.

I am curious. Have you tried online dating? How did it work out for you? Did you meet the love or your life or did you quit after a week? Let me know about your experience in the comments! Also, let me know your title ideas for the future post about those three guys.

Don’t Expect Celebrities To Raise Your Kids

We are currently living in the era of social media. You can follow most of your favorite celebs on Instagram or Twitter and see what they are up to. Not only that, but a lot of people can get “famous” with social media, simply by posting pictures and doing adds for numerous companies when they’ve already gained a big enough following. All of the sudden they have reality shows, makeup brands or are walking in the new Dolce and Gabbana fashion show. It also helps if you have someone on your family that is already in the industry.

Lost are the days where, if you wanted to get famous, you had to have a more “traditional” talent. This isn’t totally negative though, at least in my opinion. I look at it as social media helping people get recognition to, later on, be able to build a career. Some people might be more deserving than others but that is a conversation for another day.

If you are somewhat active on social media, you’ll notice a pattern. Maybe you are even one of the people who cause it. When a celebrity posts something people do not agree with she get’s bombarded with hate and comments saying things like: “you are a role model, do better”. To be clear, I am not referring to anything political, that is a completely different discussion and you obviously have the right to disagree with certain people, specially if their opinion can affect you or a marginalized group of people in any way. This has more to do with the expectation that celebrities have to be role models for the younger generation.

As a 19-year-old myself, I can say that I might be a big fan of some artists but – trust me – I do not take most life advice from them, nor do I see them as a role model. Professionally yes sure there are people who have careers similar to what I want to achieve in the future, but I do not expect them to show me how to live my life. I also don’t want them to change their personality because they are worried about having people look up to them. They have a job – actors, singers, models, reality tv stars…. – their job is not to teach your kids how to behave. That’s your job as parents.

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Let’s take a look at what probably is the best example for what I am getting at: The Kardashian Family. If you pay enough attention you will already know that they are heavily attacked about a lot of things they do, specially Kim and Kylie I would say. I’m not saying some things they do are not wrong, but what I am saying is: Why should the Kardashian’s be responsible for any mistake your kid makes? I’m sure that if your teenage daughter sees the new lingerie photo-shoot Kylie Jenner makes she won’t automatically think “hey, let me do the same”. If she does than it is your job, as her family, to talk to her. You cannot expect a Kardashian, who made careers out of this by the way, to stop posting pictures like that or change the way they handle their social media. It is your job to teach your child right from wrong, not a Kardashian or Jenner who don’t even know you personally.

Kim-Kardashian-nudeIf you follow Kim Kardashian, you won’t miss the multiple semi nude pictures she posts. That’s what she has been doing for a long time now and it probably won’t change anytime soon. That’s who she is. That is what she likes to do. You are in your right to not like it and not keep up with her but you should not make her responsible if a teen does the same, that is her own fault. There are a million other things wrong with the Kardashian family that could actually be fair criticism and important to talk about, but them posing naked is not one of those things and it also shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone.

 

There are other examples. There’s always people surprised by an ex Disney Channel star – or Nickelodeon or any other network that makes their stars act like saints – when they start Miley-Cyrus-MTV-VMAs-2013-Picturesto change and do more adult and mature work. We all remember the multiple scandals and outrages during Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz era, specially after we all saw that infamous VMA performance. Again, I want to make it clear that I might not be a fan of some of the people I’m talking about and I’m not a fan of some of the things they do, but that is not the point of this post. Everyone was shocked that “Hannah Montana” was twerking in front of Robin Thicke. Sure, it was a change from what we were used to from Cyrus and it might have been part of a bigger plan to make people forget about her Disney Channel days. That does not change the fact that if, during that era, she was on her Instagram posting 48 pictures a day and showing her tongue and that was who she wanted to be at the time – if people did not like they could stop supporting her. If your kid did support her that doesn’t mean she made them want to behave the same way, they just wanted to and if it get to a place where it was inappropriate it remained your obligation to teach them what is the right thing to do.

It’s also important to realize that all of these things don’t make someone a bad person or a bad role model. Posting nude photos doesn’t make you a bad person, changing your image doesn’t make you a bad person, singing about sex doesn’t make you a bad person, smoking weed doesn’t make you a bad person. There are much more important things going on in the world than Kylie Jenner having or not having fake lips.

At the end of the day people are free to post what they want on their Instagram page and let that be – to some degree – a representation of who they are and what they are interested in doing. Their followers should already be expecting that type of content and wanting someone to change that, to be a “role model” for the younger generation, is too much to ask to a celebrity whose job is to do what they are paid to do – raising your children is not one of those things.

Can You Actually Separate The Art From The Artist?

cover-1We are now more than halfway through 2018 and the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements have shown a change in the entertainment industry. At least that is what it looks like when you look at your Twitter feed, since you can somewhat control what shows up in it and possibly only follow people who you agree with.

In case you need a reminder, in October 2017 The New York Times and The New Yorker both reported stories of over a dozen women, who accused Harvey Weinstein – one of the most well-known and, at the time, acclaimed producers in the film industry – of sexual harassment, assault or even rape. After those cases were reported women in the film industry showed support for them and many came out with their own stories with the producer, from Salma Hayek to Mira Sorvino. As a result Weinstein was fired from his own production company, expelled from the Academy, divorced his now ex-wife Georgina Chapman and had some other consequences such as being suspended from the British Academy. More recently, in May 2018, the producer was charged with “rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women” by the NYC police. After being arrested he was released on a million dollars of bail.

After the Weinstein case became a “big deal” in Hollywood and it started being taken seriously, more and more people came forward with stories about different people in the industry but older stories were also brought back into the spotlight. Kevin Spacey was infamously cut from All The Money In The World, being latter substituted by Christopher Plummer who ended up being nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the Ridley Scott film, after actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was only 14. Afterwards other men accused Spacey of sexual harassment, resulting in him also being fired from his Netflix show House Of Cards. Besides other accusations towards people mainly in the film industry, people started bringing up other cases that were already known by the public, one of the most talked about being Woody Allen. This conversation also made stars like Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, who start in Allen’s more recent film, to apologize for taking the roles and donate their salaries to the Time’s Up legal fund.

This made many wonder: Can You Separate The Art From The Artist?

As viewers should we be able to renounce the artists actions while still enjoying their work? As performers, should actors be able to work with those artist even if they don’t defend them? In my opinion that’s impossible.

Although some people believe people like Kevin Spacey shouldn’t be fired from their jobs and actors shouldn’t stop working with directors like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, I think by giving them those opportunities and notoriety you are already not renouncing their actions or at least you don’t look at them as important enough for them to face the consequences. Although I have watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris, that was before I was aware of the case against the director and since then I was not able to watch his other films or re watch the ones I already saw. That is because for me, his actions are also reflected in his work. Many times, in his films, you see a “Lolita” falling in love with a men double or triple her age. Knowing the case with Dylan Farrow I cannot watch his movies without thinking of it.

But it’s more than just the art reflecting the artist that creates it. People have to face consequences for the bad things they do in life and it is unfair if they continue to work and we continue to create opportunities for them by supporting their work. Look at Roman Polanski, he pled guilty to the lesser offence of unlawful sex with a minor after being accused of drugging and rapping a 13-year-old. After he found out he was going to be arrested he fled to Paris, where he continued to direct films staring big names like Eva Green, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and Adrien Brody and his movies continued to win or be nominated for big awards such as Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, award shows he could not even attend because he cannot enter the US. He was finally expelled from the Academy on May of 2018, 40 years after he pled guilty and fled the country. It took four decades for him to face any type of consequences in the film industry.

Some might not care what these directors, actors and producers do in their personal life, but for me there is a difference between making a mistake – like maybe being an asshole to a PA once – and having accusations of this dimension against you. By working with them or spending money and time watching their work we are simply showing we do not care about the victims enough.