Saturday, on Facebook I stumbled across the clip below and shared it on my Wall. If you watch Rachel Maddow, you’ve probably already seen this “That’s not the way the Nobel prize always works” video because it’s almost two weeks old. Of course I heard about Obama’s Nobel laureate status, but I hadn’t seen Maddow’s clip. Politics aside (i.e. whether or not you think Obama was a good pick), if you’re interested in learning more about the Nobel prizes and “Le marchand de la mort,” see Wikipedia, Biography, Time or pick up a paperback book on Alfred Nobel‘s life. Interesting guy. I wrote about Nobel a couple years ago. Head’s up, the clip below is 11 minutes long, but it’s worth watching the whole thing.
I saw my matchmaker over the weekend. As I mentioned before, I linked up with her because she’s a pal of my friend Julia. Over brunch, the three of us talked about my love life. Funny but I rarely, if ever, have conversations about things like: (1) what are the most important qualities in a mate; (2) what are my dealbreakers; and (3) how important is sex in a relationship? Granted, I wouldn’t go out of my way to bring any of this stuff up during a first date. Sitting across the dinner table, I’m usually all about getting to know more about the dude. Who is he? What makes him tick? What are his interests? Do I like him? Etc. Usually, he’s sussing me out, too. Based on that, we decide whether we’re worth each others’ time (i.e. is he someone I want to see again?). What gets lost in that interaction is this: Are we a compatible match for the longterm? Enter the matchmaker.
Michelle spent a lot of time getting to know me: my history, my past and dreams for my future. We talked about my views on religion, sex, relationships and monogamy. I told her about my worst heartbreak. (I still can’t tell that story without crying.) And, I filled her in on details about my hobbies: film, art, museums, travel and soccer. After the discussion, in passing, she said something completely unexpected: “You need a guy who’s an adventurer, a partner in crime.” We talked about a bunch of other stuff, but the “adventurer” thing stuck out most. Why? Because it never occurred to me. Some but not all of my corporate exes (Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ABN AMRO and other employees) were hardly known for their sense of adventure. After all, they built their careers on calculating and avoiding risks — not taking them. But, I always figured we balanced each other out: they were the yin to my yang. I had the inside scoop the all-male ballet troupe from Djibouti would be in town for the weekend; my exes remembered to buy the tickets and stick the date on the calendar. I brought the fun. They brought the foundation and stability. That’s not necessarily a bad pairing.
That said, my matchmaker noticed something I didn’t. During their spare time, my former beaus were more likely to surf bars & pubs with their coworkers than go kayaking, whitewater rafting, adventure traveling or off-road cycling. I’m open to new things, I bore easily and I’ve moved around a lot in different cities and countries. The idea of dating someone with a passion for life, love and adventure sounds really appealing. In fact, my vault of Manly Monday picks include: surfer Laird Hamilton, male Olympians, a wrestler, soccer players, motorsport genius Lewis Hamilton and footballerÂ David Beckham. I dated a guy in New York (Boy #2) who ran marathons. I don’t like super beefy guys, I’m certainly not an athlete, and I’m not saying I need to date a jock. It’s just, you know, interesting the matchmaker noticed a trend in my preferences that I hadn’t noticed before.
So far I’m a fan of Michelle’s matchmaking process. She seems really thorough and she’s making an honest effort to know more about me. (Today, I sent her 1/2 dozen pictures of my exes so she’d get a better idea of my physical types — the men I find most visually appealing.) In a week or so, we’ll touch base with her again to see if she has any guys in mind. It’s worth mentioning I will NOT write any specific details about my dates. In the past, I’ve shared a bunch (perhaps too much) info about my dudes, and I’m not sure if that was a wise decision. It’s my website and I feel totally fine sharing info about me, but I’m not gonna share specific details about my dates. It’s not their fault I have a blog, right? Anyway. Michelle has successfully produced for others many dates, couples, one marriage and a baby. I’m not interested in a husband or kids — just a dude who sticks around monogamously for a while. As I told her: “I’m cautiously optimistic. If it works out and I go on a fantastic date or two, great. If I end up meeting a longterm partner, wonderful. If I meet no one, at least I gave it a shot.” Wish me luck!
A couple days ago, a friend commented: “Good Will Hunting is the original Bromance movie.” At first, I agreed. I mean, who could forget Ben Affleck and Matt Damon‘s ridiculously cute acceptance speech at the 70th Annual Academy Awards!??! But, hold on there kiddies. On-screen, intimate friendships between men (Bromances) existed before Ben & Matt were born. Remember Jerry Lewis and that Dean Martin guy? Or, what about Will Smith and Martin Lawrence? Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan? I don’t know who can claim the “First Bromance” title (Marx brothers? Laurel & Hardy?), but I’d love to know your opinion:Â Which Coupling is the CUTEST bromance? Feel free to use the comments section below to leave your suggestions. If you need inspiration, LA Times has a 11 Brands of Bromance slideshow. My vote: Gael GarcÃa Bernal and Diego Luna.
Photo credit: LA Times – 11 Brands of Bromance
It’s the top of the week and, as usual, Mondays are “manly” here at Funky Brown Chick where the day kicks off with a tribute to a particular guy, mantrend or other male-related topic. Today, we’re going to look at the minds of men. Matt Hutson has an article in the May/June issue of Psychology Today called “Romantic Road Signs: Studies identify what cues people use to judge a lady’s sexual openness.” I was going to write about it sooner, but I’d tucked the piece into a deep crevice in my brain and it didn’t reappear until last weekend. After The Webutante Ball, Rachel, Nichelle, Sherri, Lauren and I went to 212 Bar and got into a goofy conversation about “sexual teasing” — i.e. giving off clues that you’re sexually open when you’re not. To be clear, I fully admit I’m aÂ flirt. I flirt with men, women, friends, lovers, waiters, puppy dogs and almost any other living thing on the planet. And, of course, I like kissing boys. Who doesn’t like to be showered with attention, be made to feel attractive and be the objection of affection? Men like that. Women like that. Everyone does, no? So, if I see a guy who’s cute and sweet, I’ll flirt with him. It puts a smile on his face and it makes him feel good. But, that doesn’t mean I want to fuck the guy or that I expect him to sleep with me. In my mind, we’re just having light and charming fun. Perhaps, men see it differently? And, I think that was the topic of my (possible) disagreement with the girls the other night.
ME: “I get called a tease quite often.”
The Girls: [chiming] “We’re not surprised.”
I don’t think smiling, blowing kisses, touching someone’s thigh under the table or any other actions from the flirting toolbox connote: I am going to have sex with you. So, how do you let a guy know that you ARE interested in having sex? In short, here’s what I think my girlfriends sitting around the table at the bar thought: Be smart. If you go back to a guy’s place alone, please know that he’ll think you want to sleep with him. So, if you don’t want to have sex, don’t go back to his place. We don’t want you to get hurt. I disagreed … or, maybe I agreed and we were just saying the exact same thing using different words.
I think I SHOULD be able to flirt with a guy and, possibly, even go back to his place without him: (1) raping me or (2) thinking I’m a cocktease* if I don’t fuck him. BUT, because I feel like I live in a world where the power (burden?) of flipping the yes/no sex switch often seems to fall squarely on women’s shoulders, I usually don’t go back to a date’s place alone unless I’m almost positive I’d have sex with him. Does that make me a tease? I say no. Or, to paraphrase what one of my readers, Raymond, said the last time I wrote about this topic: Flirting doesn’t make you a tease. If you give a guy a snack, it doesnâ€™t automatically mean he gets the run of the kitchen. My thoughts exactly. What say you? How would you define “a flirt” vs. “a cocktease“? (SIDENOTE: By the way, for the record, I hate that word cocktease because it’s sooooo sex negative / loaded — and, not to mention, men are rarely if ever called a vag tease when they flirt.)
Image by Sanja Gjenero
Question of the day: Clean-shaven balls … Hot or Not? (via Jezebel)
I had a fairly emotionally draining morning. I can’t go into details because it’s private. Suffice it to say: Moving always makes me feel sooooo incredibly frustrated because it’s the one of few times in my life when I physically can’t “do everything on my own” — i.e. move 15 boxes of shit, a 7’0″ couch, a marble table and a whole fuckload of other stuff up and down several flights of stairs; so, I have to depend on others. And, it’s quite painful to: (1) almost be left completely in the lurch when I need help the most and (2) feel like I’m at the very bottom of an extremely long list of priorities. Everything should sort itself out soon, and I should be COMPLETELY in the new place before next week. I hope. Anyway. Needless to say, I don’t feel like writing a lighthearted, funny “Manly Monday” or goofy “Testicle Tuesday” post today. Soooo not in the mood. So, if you wanna get your funky brown fix on, check out the male archives to view some of the top reader favorite posts about men you might’ve missed from the past:
“Someone suggested [I] write to you,” a reader shot me a email, “and ask you if you could [write] about Transsexual women in New York.” Oooh, sex & gender benders!! I love it. What better Manly Monday topic could there be than men who used to be women and women who used to be men? A while ago, MSNBC did a documentary called Born in the Wrong Body. It was actually pretty good. Watch clips from the show here. Also, one of the individuals featured, Cris Beam, wrote a book called Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers; you can read an excerpt at MSNBC or buy the book online.
I live in New York. Bumping into transgendered people is as common as meeting lefthanders. Although I know several transpeople — acquaintances, former coworkers, friends of friends, etc. — I only have one real “friend.” When I met him 11 years ago, he was a gay black man. More recently, he began the process of becoming a woman. (Sidenote: He says society is more accepting of MtF transsexuals than it is of effeminate gay black men.) To be honest, it’s taking me a bit longer than I though it would to wrap my head around the change. It’s the little things. For example, we went out with a group of people a while ago. The next day, a German friend “F” asked something about “your friend, the girl we went out with the other night. What’s her name?” I rambled off a list of all the women in the group — forgetting one. Quite honestly, until that moment, I don’t think I realized I wasn’t treating her like a “woman”; instead my mind classified “my (former) guy friend” as a “transsexual.” Interestingly, though understandably, the community also self refers as transsexuals, transgendered and trannies … not solely “women” and “men.”
But, back to the MSNBC documentary. I think they did a nice job at balancing young and old, MtF and FtM examples. It was interesting to notice many of the people featured talked about common themes: noticing something was “different” from a very young age; feeling born to the wrong body; experiencing rejection from loved one(s); and thinking the choice was either suicide or a sex change. I’ve heard similar things from the mouths of acquaintances as well as other pop culture documentaries like BBC’s My Secret Female Body. Here’s a question that came to mind after watching the MSNBC segment about the 16-year-old boy Jake (nee Julia): Should teens be allowed to have sex reassignment surgery if desired? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. Head’s up! I’m not interested in shitty “that’s gross” comments about our lovely transgendered folks. (Why? Because take it elsewhere. Assholes are 100% free to be assholes–just not in my [online] home.) I’m also not particularly interested interested in passive aggressive personal attacks about me using the word — or, I might add, transsexuals self-referring to be — “trannies.” (Why? Because fuck haters. As Mollena brilliantly notes: “[S]ome people look for slings and arrows even from allies and empathizers.”) That stuff aside, I’m geniunely curious to hear your thoughts: Should teens be allowed to have sex reassignment surgery if desired?
Image by Dominik Gwarek
I like looking at nude men. I like the firmness of their bodies, and I think it’s great their contours are so different from women’s. If I’m really into a guy and we’re having sex for the first time, I want to feel the full length and weight of his bare flesh press and rub against mine. And, when he cums, I want to look directly at his face; it feels more intimate that way. Watching men get turned on turns me on. By the way … not that this has anything to do with anything but … I’m soooooo becoming addicted to watching Beautiful Agony videos on YouTube and DailyMotion at all hours of the day and night. I don’t think I’d ever do a public sex tape, but I’d honestly consider uploading something to that site. Um, so, yeah — depending on your perspective — I guess that either makes me “only slightly” or officially “very” pervy. But, whatever. ;)
Ummmmmm … What was I hell was I talking about? Obviously, I need to get laid. Anyway, so, yes, today’s Manly Monday topic is: male nudity. A 31-year-old German artist / self-professed swinger named Sebastian Kempa (visit his MySpace or personal site) runs a website / art project called Naked People. A reader / friend, Error boy, forwarded it to me. Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of naked people. If you’d like to see Sebastian Kempa male and female nudes, simply mouseclick the photos. Hmmmm … I know a bunch of people — straight women, gay men, lesbian and straight dudes alike, by the way — who think the male nude body looks kind of goofy. What say you? Do men look good naked?
I knew I’d hate Slumdog Millionaire. Everyone I know ( … and I mean EVERYONE … ) who’d seen the movie told me: “You have to see it. You would love it.” I can be stubborn; so, I made up my mind: I was going to hate it. No film, no matter how great, can live up to such hype. Nevertheless, I went to see it “just in case” my friends were right. Plus, I hate it when I wait so long to see a movie that someone ruins the end for me, sing-songingly apologizing, “Soooory, I thought you saw it already.”
I go to the 7 pm showing at The Angelika Film Center — a cutesy little arthouse film center on Houston Street with a coffee shop as a lobby decorated with dainty cafe tables and wireframe chairs. The place is packed even though the film has been out for weeks. “Oh, now I know I’m going to hate this,” I figure. I don’t usually follow the pack on movies; I’ve vomitted over tons of flicks others thought were brilliant. (Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Gangs of New York, Indochine and Monsoon Wedding come to mind.)
Unusual for me, I skip popcorn and pop to head straight to the theater. I get a good seat dead center. Lights go out. Film starts. For the first five minutes, I hate it.Â I mumble under my breath, “It is written … Slumdog Millionaire sucks!” But, seriously, by the sixth or seventh minute in … I fell in love. Shocking, right? Honestly, I surprised myself by liking this movie so much. Granted, I’m a Danny Boy fan. Trainspotting and 28 Days Later rock. Also, I love movies with cinematography that show lushly colored scenery (e.g. Baz Luhrman’s Paris in Moulin Rouge and Ang Lee’s American West in Brokeback Mountain). And, yeah, I like foreign film better than homegrown stuff. But, yeah, I still thought I wouldn’t like Slumdog. Yeah. Anyway. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly reccommend it. I’m sure people walk away from it with different messages; for me, it was about how heartbreakingly painful and sad life can be — even when it’s progressing “exactly as it should.” Cue Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata.
Dev Patel is today’s Manly Monday pick. He’s the dude who plays the lead, Jamal Malik — doing it in a way that makes him seem honest and hopeful, yet not naive. Jaded and frustrated, but optimistic. Damn, I’d like to write more about him and the movie but I don’t want to ruin it if you haven’t seen it. If you’ve already bought and used a ticket to see it, I’d love to hear your impressions. Let’s chat about it in the comments section? By the way, thanks and big drippy kisses to Fox Searchlight Pictures for making the behind-the-scenes footage below available: