Not punching people in the face

So I’m a teensy bit aggressive and confrontational. I also have a distinct lack of patience.

This has led to me occasionally punching someone in the face when they cross a line.

But I’ve been working on that. I haven’t punched anyone in in face in like six months.

But okay, to be fair, seriously, that guy deserved it. And I don’t regret punching him at all.

It was December, and the casinos were open again. I grabbed my mask and decided I wanted a drink.

And do you remember what happens when I try going to a bar by myself?

This guy came up, hitting on me. I thanked him and told him I wasn’t interested. He kept pushing, so I told him to fuck off.

He started rubbing up on me, so I called security. They told him to back off. He came back.

So I punched him in the face. No conversation, no talking, no waiting to see what he was going to say this time. As soon as he was close enough, he got punched in the face.

And security came back in force. But who did they grab and escort to that dark dingy office that every casino has in every movie? Who did they treat like a criminal?

I’ll give you three fucking guesses.

And the main security guard was such a condescending prick. He lectured me, like, “We’re adults here. We are supposed to handle problems like adults. We use our words.”

And I got pissed (and I was buzzed). I said, “If you’d done your fucking job the first time I came to you with this problem, I wouldn’t have had to handle it myself. God forbid you have to stand up to another man. No, that’s just too scary. It’s so much easier to let him harass a woman and sexually molest her on your property, and then lecture her when she does your job for you, you absolute fucking coward.”

Oh, I was pissed. And I didn’t have Kazander or Sounder or anyone there to calm me down or hold me back. I got downright mean.

He finally told me he wouldn’t ban me from the casino, but this would be my only warning, and he “expected me to behave myself.”

So whatever. I can guarangoddamntee that asshole didn’t grind up on anyone else the rest of that night, and it’s not because security told him to leave me alone, it’s because he got punched in the face.

He learned the same lesson that small children are taught: shit has consequences.

I should work security.

Anyway, I was hanging with this Mexican couple the other night. It was late, and suddenly this big group of drunk college-age white American kids came in. They were loud, rowdy, arm-wrestling on tables and just having a grand old time.

But, while annoyingly loud, I was fine with that. Just innocent drunken rowdiness. Boys being boys.

Until their friends came in. These guys were wearing speedo-type swimsuits, and started air-humping behind every woman in the place.

They came up behind me, but I waited. Because the staff was already moving. They wear all black, and the entire energy of the room changed, and all of a sudden it was like you saw these men in black just swooping in from every direction, all at once.

Surprisingly not this time, Alistair

And I’ve been trying to refrain from punching people, and obviously the staff wasn’t messing around, so I stayed seated and let them handle it.

They really weren’t playing around, either. The whole thing, from the time the second group came in, until the time security showed up, was maybe 30 seconds (I was drunk, so my perception of time might be off). Maybe a full minute before they got all of them out the door.

I was impressed, honestly. And relieved. And happy to sit there and let the staff handle it, since they obviously took it seriously. It was nothing like the “meh, shrug” attitude you see in the US when a guy crosses that line.

But apparently I’d tensed up. After they left, the husband said I looked like I was about to go off on the kids. I laughed and told him I thought about it, but didn’t want to risk being thrown out of the hotel.

He looked at me like I had three heads. So I explained last time I punched someone, and I got in trouble.

He looked at me like I’d just grown a fourth.

“What? Oh no, this is Mexico. That doesn’t happen here. As long as he’s 18, you’ll never get in trouble for that.”

His wife chimed in. “Why do you think you never see Mexican boys doing that? You wouldn’t be the first woman in this country to teach a drunk boy that lesson.”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m kinda a fan of the US, it’s kinda my favorite place. But goddamn, you know, we could learn a thing or two from folks down here.

Even so, I’m glad I refrained. I’m trying to not be a complete asshole, and I really was impressed with how fast and how effectively the staff handled it. As long as the people who are supposed to care about my safety actually do care, I’m fine to sit tight and let them handle problems.

It was kind of an eye opener, though, just seeing the difference in how that sort of thing is handled. Like, the staff didn’t care about the rowdiness, I think one of them was going over to ask the first group to tone it down, but that was it.

It wasn’t until the kids started fucking with the women that suddenly it was like all the fun was immediately sucked out of the room. It was tangible. You could feel it. There was nothing good-natured or accommodating about the staff as they came running. They ran in, barking orders into their walkie-talkies, and everything about their faces, their body language, their energy was intense and serious. They almost felt dangerous.

Like, they weren’t getting the guys out because that’s what they’re paid to do. There was almost an anger behind it (though they are not US cops, so obviously they know how to deescalate instead of escalate issues. But to be fair, even McDonald’s workers have better deescalation capabilities than cops. Because, *sips tea,* they get fired if they don’t).

So it wasn’t hostile or violent, but it almost felt like there was this anger simmering underneath the surface in all the staff. Like they took it personally. It’s hard to explain, but it took me completely by surprise, and like, I was okay to be the damsel in distress and let the fierce knights come charging to my rescue.

I’d never felt anything like that in the US. You’d never see anything like that back home.

And it felt good, honestly. Like, oh, I can relax. I don’t have to be on my guard constantly, ready to hit someone at a moment’s notice. I can trust these people to step in, I don’t have to deal with it myself.

As if I needed another reason to completely adore this place.

And it makes me wonder, how much of me being an asshole is because I feel like I have to be on my guard constantly? How much of how aggressive and confrontational I am is because of shit like what happened at the casino, and would I still feel that way if I could trust the people around me to help out if I need it?

How many American women are assholes because we feel like we’re alone? How many women have bitten a guy’s head off for seemingly innocent shit, because she knows there is a size and strength difference, and she can’t rely on anyone to help her, so she needs to compensate for that difference and the fact that she has no one to back her up, by striking first, striking hard, without mercy?

A group of scared people who don’t know how to handle certain shit and don’t feel like anyone has their back, so all they want is to hurt someone before that person has the chance to hurt them. It’s not right, it’s not healthy, but you heal Johnny by supporting him and teaching him that he isn’t as alone as he feels, not by arresting him or beating him up or telling him he’s on his own, and goddamn I love the first season of that show.

I mean, yeah I can admit that American women seem to be getting meaner, myself included. But I wasn’t mean and quick to punch people before I had issues like at the casino, or at the swinger’s club where I hit a guy for grabbing my ass without permission, and he didn’t even get kicked out, or my boss and my male coworkers stayed silent instead of warning me that one of the other bosses had drugged my beer (thankfully a female coworker pulled me aside and warned me).

I wasn’t born an asshole, guys. No one is. And maybe the US should take a note from how Mexico handles this specific kind of situation. Because if I could go to a bar by myself and feel safe, I’d probably be way more likely to be kind and friendly if you come up and offer to buy me a drink.

I still loved the couple’s reaction, though. Like, “Honey, you’re in Mexico. If a guy gets in your face and won’t back off, you are well within your rights to fucking make him.”

And like Sounder said when I told him about it the next day, we need to make “Fuck around and find out” the basis for our laws in the US. I think it would make a difference in a lot of unexpected ways.

Becoming Bar Mom

Fair warning, y’all, I’m drunk. And I ramble uncontrollably when I’m sober, you think I get less talkative when I’m inebriated?

Hehehehehe……

So I’m in Mexico. This is our first vacation since the pandemic, so of course, there are hoops to jump through, and the resort is at half capacity (and half staff), and we have to wear our masks, and social distance, blah blah blah.

But honestly, it’s not as bad as I was expecting. It’s mostly just common sense. Don’t be an idiot, just wear the damn mask (because my only child can’t get vaccinated yet, and I haven’t punched anyone in the face in like six months, so I’m overdue, bitch test me, I fucking dare you).

Anyway.

So it’s actually been really great. Sure there are some annoyances and inconveniences, but the staff seems to be working even harder to make up for it, and our butler and my favorite bartender remember us, and even bent a couple of rules for us, and honestly, even with the extra hoops and the tests and the inconveniences and the annoyances, this might my favorite vacation I’ve ever been on.

Hell, I walked up to the bar in the lobby, and one of the bartenders came up and greeted me. We weren’t here last year, but he remembered me from two years ago (though he got my name just barely wrong. He called me Gemma. But hey, after two years, that’s not bad. I’m impressed).

The extra fun started the other night. I got to talking to these two women at the bar, and we struck up a conversation.

And for most of my adult life, I was always the youngest in every group. Now I’m 35, so that’s changed.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. In the past couple of years, I’ve lost a lot of things that were kind of central to how I define myself. First I lost my voice, then I lost my “plus size” status (which doesn’t seem like a thing, but realizing I was too small for Torrid was kind of an unexpected hit), then I lost my “young adult” status, and those were all things I loved about myself.

I had an entire plan for singing. I was damn proud of being plus size. I’d always been the youngest in pretty much every group. I loved my youth.

There have been a couple of other things too, that are a little harder to explain. But now it’s all gone. It’s been a lot to get used to. It’s been…

Well, not bad, actually. I have moments where I feel a little lost, but on the whole, it’s actually kind of exciting. Because now I have to go out and find new things, new ways to define myself.

And one of those new things is “bar mom.” I’m not the youngest anymore, but a couple of times now, both here in Cancun and back home in Vegas, I’ve found myself surrounded by women practically half my age, and holy shit, I kind of adore it.

These girls haven’t done anything. They haven’t seen anything. They’re barely adults (especially true here, where the drinking age is 18).

And they see me, this effortlessly confident woman, hot as fuck, sauntering up to the bar, and all of a sudden I have them hanging on my every word.

Which, I mean, I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but I have a teensy bit of an ego. So having a group of 21-year-olds sitting around like, “Teach us, o wise seer. Impart to us thy wisdom,” is kinda nice.

So the other night, I’m hanging out at the bar, chatting with the bartenders, and got to talking to these sisters.

And they’re both insanely hot. Like, just stupid-hot.

I mean like…

We’ll call them Hannah and Montana (not their real names, but their real names rhyme just like that). One is 18, the other is 20, sitting together getting plastered on a beach in Mexico, it was like they walked right out of a porno, I swear to gawd.

And as the night went on, we just totally hit it off, and suddenly we just totally hit it off.

I brought them back to my room. Kazander was off with his family, so I asked if he’d be cool fucking off for half an hour, and I’d find him when we were done. He was insanely jealous (justifiably so), but he agreed, so I brought them back to our room and that’s when we really hit it off.

It wasn’t like how it is in porn, though. Sure, it was a little kinky, just because they’re sisters, but they didn’t really do anything with each other. They were both completely focused on me.

Which, I mean, I kinda like being the center of attention, so that was nice.

I fucked them both raw, then I walked them back to their room (because I’m a lady, dammit), then I came back and passed the fuck out, because I was just a little sloshed, myself.

I was pretty proud of myself. But then, a couple nights later, I saw them again, and they literally screamed my name, and jumped up from the table to hug me, and the blonde asked for round 2.

So I mean, I was pretty goddamn proud of myself. Here I am, 35 years old, curvy, with stretch marks and big thighs, and I pulled off something every sculpted-Adonis dudebro wishes he could pull off.

Those guys fantasize about it, but I actually did it. Without even trying.

And I did it so well, they came back wanting more.

And just how hot are we talking? Well, I’m not showing their faces, but the night they screamed my name across the resort’s central plaza, I did manage to get a picture with them.

Again, no faces, so y’all are just gonna have to take my word for it, but even without seeing their faces, can you imagine walking through a beach resort with one of those on each arm?

‘Cuz I don’t have to imagine it.

And it’s funny, I’d kinda forgotten just how hot 20-year-old bodies are. Don’t get me wrong, I love my body, I’m okay with my flaws, I know how to turn heads and carry a room, etc. But I also know that I have the kind of body you only get from 30+ years of tacos, alcohol, and mild neglect, plus having a kid.

But these girls don’t have those problems. No stretch marks, no cellulite, everything stays in place when the clothes come off, just smooth and tight and fucking hot.

And hanging on my every word, following me like puppies.

I was just impossible to be around. I felt so bad for poor Kazander having to deal with my ego, so I promised that the next time I find sexy fun, he’s included.

Which… just so happened to fall into my lap later that very night. He’d already gone back to the room, and I was on my way back, I’d just stopped at the pool to finish my drink, when another woman walked up to me.

I honestly don’t remember how, but we ended up in her room, and I had Kazander meet us there. Turns out, they wanted to be poly, but they live in a small-ish town in a red state, so that makes things difficult. They haven’t been able to actually do anything yet.

And they were hot, too. The woman was especially hot. She was in her forties, fit and toned, with a gorgeous rack.

The husband was hot, too. He was in his fifties, muscular and fucking tall. He had to be every bit of 6’5″. I’m not used to having to look up to talk to people.

But he was such a gentleman. A teensy bit heavy on the benevolent sexism (he kept insisting that I text Kazander so he’d know where I was, and kept wanting to make sure I felt safe in the room with them), but I can appreciate the thought behind it. I’m aware bad shit can happen in Mexico.

I mean, bad shit can happen at a music concert in my hometown, too, but again, whatever, he was doing it to be nice, and while I don’t love being infantilized and seen as a helpless delicate flower, I also recognize the dude is from a different time in a conservative state, where they still think women can’t survive in a world of dangerous scary men without a dangerous scary nice man to protect them.

Ugh. That shit annoys me. You want to make me feel safe? Stop creeping me the hell out with that shit. Knock it off and go make me a sandwich.

That goes for all of you reading this, too. If you ever do that, knock it off. Being seen as if you’re a child isn’t cute. It doesn’t make us want to fuck you. It’s creepy. It’s uncomfortable.

I’m not a child. I’m old enough to drink, old enough to vote, old enough fuck your mom so hard and so good, she’ll leave her husband and call me Daddy.

Quick, someone ask me how I know. Maybe I’ll tell that story one day.

Not the point of this post, though. I appreciate that the guy was trying to be considerate, and he is a big guy, so I’m sure he’s dealt with being perceived as a threat everywhere he goes.

I’m gonna bitch about it here, because I can, but in the moment, I was good with just shrugging it off and letting it go.

But it was so cute, the wife told me he was nervous and self-conscious, because he’s a little older, and you know sometimes the plumbing doesn’t work as well in a man his age, and he’s also not quite at the level of hotness she is.

So of course, I immediately thought he was so sweet and adorable, and decided I wanted him to feel like he can still rock a girl’s world.

Kazander stayed with her in their room, and I led him to ours.

And of course, he was intimidated and flustered and nervous, so the performance anxiety kicked in.

Which, first of all, was great. This guy was huge, okay. Broad, strong, tall as fuck. But once I got him alone, he was like a blushing virgin.

I adored it. I wanted to give the sweet tall boy a good time. And I’ve always liked older men, so I know how to work around performance issues.

But I was reminded once again just how different vanilla men and sub men are.

And that’s something I told Kazander later. It’s always weird with vanilla guys. I don’t really know how to relate to them all that well. If the husband was a nervous sub, I would’ve known exactly how to fix that.

But a vanilla guy? Like, literally, what do I do? They’re like a different species or something. How do I handle a nervous vanilla guy?

I mean, I figured it out, because it’s me, of course I did. But I thought that was kind of funny, just trying to figure out how to give this boy a good time, and make him feel like “the man,” and give him a bit of a confidence boost, while also working around his performance anxiety and his nervousness.

He really was so cute, though. And eventually, he did relax and loosen up a bit. Once he did, we were golden.

The poor sweet thing, I think I broke him. But I managed to get him back to his room and traded him back for Kazander.

Unfortunately, they were leaving the next day, but they come to Vegas a lot, so I got the wife’s number. If it works out, they could turn out to be a couple of fun play partners when they’re in town.

But yeah, if I wanted to nitpick, I could find things to complain about. And the Karens and Chads are out in full force this time.

I mean, there are kids literally right down the street from the resort that go to bed hungry each night, but god forbid Chad has to wait 5 minutes for his refill.

We had semi trailers, in our own country, filled with dead bodies, but god forbid Karen can’t have an extra lounge chair at the pool.

And the poor overworked staff is doing everything they can. There’s a pandemic here, too. Some of these people have lost family members, too. And they come here and smile and bend over backwards so we can have a good vacation.

So every time I see someone chewing out an employee, I get super loud and snide and just dickish about it. Like, “Oh, no! A 5-minute wait is just going to ruin his whole vacation!” Or, “Hey, we found the woman who has never been told ‘no’ in her entire life.”

Or, “hey, cut her a break. The worst thing that ever happened to her was that time she got bangs. Poor thing can’t handle waiting for a chair.”

Yeah, I’m not making friends with the other guests. But I am making friends with the employees, and they’re the important ones. And now every time we walk into the lobby, or up to the pool bar, or the spa, or the privilege lounge, we have employees smiling and calling our names.

So the assholes can sit in their rooms and pout because they’re too fragile to handle literally anything, and oh their entire lives are just ruined.

I’m gonna hang out with the bartender who shouts “Mi Jenni, mi amor!” across the lobby every time I walk in. And I’m gonna have fun with the sexy waiters and cabana boys, and get completely plastered, and play in the pool, and just have a goddamn blast.

And we’re still here for another whole week. Yeah, I’m a happy Jen.

History’s Badass Bitches, part 3

So I’ve done one of these on the Amazons, and one on a Spartan queen named Arachidamia, but they were some of the posts that were lost, so I’ll have to rewrite them. Which I’ll do at some point, when I’m feeling productive.

Today, though, since it’s the 4th of July, I figured I’d be all patriotic and shit, and talk about a woman who helped build Nevada.

I was born and raised in Nevada, and I can rattle off all kinds of names and years and useless statistics, because dear god do we love Nevada history here in Vegas schools.

And don’t get me wrong, I love it, too. This is my home. And it happens to have a really fascinating history. We’re the Silver State. The Battle Born state.

We helped the North win the Civil War. We helped build California (San Francisco is a nice place, right? You’re welcome). We carved a life out of an extreme and inhospitable climate.

And by the way, when I say “we,” I’m talking primarily about women.

Prostitutes, specifically.

Because pretty much everything you’ve been taught about the Old West is dead wrong.

We were taught that gunslingers and cowboys and shady saloon owners were the backbone of society. That shootouts happened every day, and the streets ran red.

It was a bloody and lawless place, where only the strongest, toughest men survive.

And it’s all 100% romanticized bullshit. The West was built on whores and immigrants. End of list.

But it’s important to remember that in the Old West, sex work wasn’t seen the way we see it now. Whores were respected members of the community. Even in places where women couldn’t vote (many parts of the Old West allowed women voting long before it became a law, specifically because women were usually among the wealthiest and most influential members of any given community), they were still given seats on councils, they were listened to, their words and opinions given weight.

Which is why all that bullshit about women becoming cattle if society implodes drives me nuts. Because we had that here. Utter lawlessness.

And women excelled in ways that few men did.

Turns out, even in violent, lawless, harsh environments with no established society, humans are humans. The streets never ran red, shootouts weren’t a thing (the OK Corral is one of the bloodiest battles in the Old West, and a whopping three dudes died).

No. Nothing you think you know about how this country came to be is real. You owe your existence to Mexicans, Chinese, Indians, and whores.

Cowboys were nothing. Myth has turned them into these glamorous, romanticized “Man’s Man” types, but in reality, they were almost exclusively poor immigrants. Mexicans mostly, with a few Chinese thrown in.

It’d be like if, in 200 years, we decided to romanticize undocumented field laborers. Yeah they’re around, and our economy would be fucked without them, but they’re not exactly a focal point of the culture as a whole.

No, cowboys didn’t build the West. Whores did.

Because, particularly in mining towns (for which Nevada is famous), the men would get there and build a few shacks and a post office.

Then the women would show up, looking for work. Because of the nature of prostitution, they would quickly become the wealthiest members of the community.

And they would look across these sad little tent cities and say, “yeah, you know, fuck everything about that.”

They’re the ones who built things like hospitals. When they started having kids, they built schools and permanent family homes. They built the towns and cities we’re still living in today.

Go thank a hooker.

But when speaking about Nevada, everyone knows about Las Vegas. Today, that’s Nevada’s biggest draw, the thing that puts it on the map.

But before Vegas was a thing, there was Virginia City, up north, near Reno.

And the history of Virginia City is really, really interesting, but for today, I want to talk about one specific resident.

I want to talk about Julia Bulette.

Julia Bulette was a prostitute born in England, who came to America and moved to Virginia City. She was the first woman there, so she immediately set up a brothel and became the wealthiest person in the town.

Today, there are a lot of myths about her, and many historians have romanticized her, which makes it harder to sort through fact and fiction.

Some will mention her beauty. But in all honesty, nothing written about her at the time labels her as exceptionally beautiful.

They say she was tall. Thin. She had kind eyes and a warm smile. She was charming and funny, with a quick wit and an easy, infectious laugh.

She was average-looking, but she knew how to command attention and respect.

And she was pretty much immediately universally loved.

She had a soft spot for miners, and fell in love with the gritty, rough culture of the infant mining town. She involved herself in every aspect of that culture, and quickly became the unofficial leader of the town.

When an epidemic swept through, she threw open the doors of her brothel and personally nursed ill miners back to health.

When a fire ravaged the town, she worked tirelessly, right alongside the town’s fire brigade, for hours. Even when the men around her were exhausted, she kept going.

They later held a parade in her honor, presented her with a fireman’s hat, and made her an honorary member of the fire brigade.

And today, one of the only surviving portraits of her shows her with the fireman’s hat they gave her.

But she took the wealth and influence she earned, and put it right back into the town. She funded and helped write new training guidelines and procedures to keep firefighters safe. She wrote to and recruited knowledgeable experts to make sure the town would be safer for the residents (and as it happens, Virginia City developed some significant technological advances in mining).

As wealthy as she was, she spent herself practically into debt, funneling her money and power right back into the townspeople who followed her.

She loved the town, and the town loved her.

Others took notice, too.

You may have heard of Samuel Clemens. You may know him better as Mark Twain.

We don’t know how he came up with his pen name, but a popular theory is that he came up with it while in Nevada. Virginia City, specifically.

I came across one theory that Julia Bulette is the one who gave him the idea for the name. Now, I think that’s kind of a stretch, probably one of the romanticized myths that have sprung up about her, but Clemens and Bulette were close.

She had a purity in her that everyone could see. When she walked into a room, people noticed.

In January of 1867, she was found dead, strangled and beaten, in her home. A drifter named John Millain was quickly convicted and hung for her death (though he insisted, til his dying breath, that he didn’t kill her), and literally the entire town came to see him hang.

Mark Twain, who was too far away and couldn’t make it back in time for her funeral, made sure to be there for Millain’s execution, and was seen paying his respects at Julia’s grave.

Her funeral procession was thousands strong. Her body was transported in a glass-walled hearse (similar to the glass coffins in fairy tales such as Snow White). The firemen were next, followed by the Nevada militias, and then the miners, and then all the citizens whose lives she touched. The town closed down, to allow its citizens to attend her funeral (it closed down again when Millain was executed).

And her legacy lived on. A railroad honored her memory by naming one of its nicest coaches after her. Her portrait hung in every saloon and casino, and patrons routinely toasted her.

She was immortalized as Cherry Malotte in the novel, The Spoilers. She was the subject of countless articles, stories, and tall tales. One author claimed she was written about more than any other woman of the Comstock Lode (the silver rush upon which Nevada was founded, and helped fund the North in the American Civil War).

The Virginia City chapter of E Clampus Vitus, a historical men’s society, is named after her.

There aren’t many people who did more for the Old West than she did. She built Virginia City, which went on to revitalize the dying town of San Francisco. It became the richest city in the West, and one of the most populous.

Even though politically, Nevada has historically been split pretty evenly down the middle, and Virginia City had its share of Southern sympathizers, Nevada’s Comstock Lode was the greatest ore find since the California Gold Rush, which gave the North a decided advantage in the war.

It was Virginia City that gave Nevada the population it needed to qualify for statehood. Nevada, Battle Born, burst on to the scene in the middle of the war, a new powerhouse of political clout and funding (silver was just as valuable as gold back then) that helped the North win.

Julia Bulette, an immigrant, a woman, a whore, did more for Nevada history than almost any other single person.

But we don’t learn about her because she was a whore.

She, who exuded radiance and purity so blinding, the tall tales sprang up before her body was even cold, fueled by those who loved her.

She, who cared for everyone, from the wealthiest saloon owner to the poorest miner. Who accepted everyone, regardless of origin or background or the color of their skin.

She, who built schools, who reformed firefighting training, who gave miners a place where they could feel welcome, who carried a city of thousands on her back.

She, who was the heart and soul of that city. The foundation upon which it, and later Nevada, was built.

She was a whore.

And that’s a sin that will never be forgiven. She’ll always exist in the shadows of obscurity, despite the efforts of Virginia City residents to immortalize her and pay respect to her memory.

She wasn’t just a whore to them. She wasn’t just a woman. And the effort they went through to preserve her legacy is extraordinary.

And ultimately, they succeeded.

History tried its damndest to wipe her out. The antiquated, provincial notions about women and sex that were so prevalent in the east swept westward, erasing countless women like Julia.

But Virginia City fought back. They kept her memory alive. When the American political machine came through, trying to devalue every woman who helped build their communities, Virginia City stood firm. The richest and largest city in the West, built on the back of a prostitute, would not bow to what the other side of the country said it should be.

Though to be fair, I think part of why they fought so hard was guilt.

Y’all don’t understand. The town ground to a halt when she died. Stores and saloons closed. Flags flew at half mast. Bells rang in the fire station, a mournful wail that rang out across the town.

They were devastated. Crushed. Angry. They wanted someone to pay for the death of their matriarch. They found a French drifter named John Millain, and he likely became a scapegoat.

But I don’t think Julia would have approved of that. She knew how life was in the gritty Old West, but even so, she spent her life as a voice of compassion and reason.

I think she would have been disappointed in the town’s knee-jerk emotional reaction.

And I think, once it was all said and done, and emotions subsided, the people knew that. I think that’s part of why they fought so hard for her legacy. I think they all wanted to make sure they never let her down again.

And in the end, I think they did right by her. They kept her name and her story alive, even if it’s impossible now to tell fact from fiction. I think she would be proud of what they did, and the way Virginia City, her city, changed the course of American history.

She is truly one of history’s badass bitches, and because of those people, her memory survives today.

Kinky parents

So I got this email the other day that was truly trollerific.  But it wasn’t even the entertaining kind of trolling that I can post and publicly make fun of.  It was just all a drag.

But he did ask one question and bring up one point that was valid:

Hasnt becoming a parent changed who you are as a Dominatrix?  How can you claim to be in a 24/7 relationship unless your committing child abuse?  So your either a liar or a child abuser.

M’kay, so first of all, *you’re.

Secondly, stop saying “Dominatrix.”  I’m a Dominant.  Yes, I know they’re still technically the same thing, but the mental image conjured by each word is different.

It’s like the difference between “panties” and “underwear.”  They describe the same thing, but the mental image is very different.

And thirdly (and I know I’ve mentioned this before), BDSM is a kink.  It encompasses all the insanely fun and depraved things I love doing to my boys.

I know no one who reads this thinks I’m kinky 24/7.  My sex drive is high, but it’s not that high.

On the other hand, D/s refers specifically to a relationship dynamic.  Meaning it pertains exclusively to the way partners relate to one another and interact with one another within the strictures of their relationship.

In my relationships, I am in charge.  That doesn’t change when my kid is around.  It doesn’t change when the in-laws or friends are around.  It’s not a role I play or a costume I wear, it’s literally who I am and how I relate to people.

And it’s not abnormal in the slightest, just by the way.  Women having power within a relationship is not a new or strange thing.

In my mom’s southern family, the wife is always in charge, and when Grandma speaks, everyone shuts up and listens.

And especially in the Mexican side of my family, no one ever fucks with the matriarch. You never want a Latina bitch mad at you, m’kay.  And when you’re married to one, and you live with her and she knows where you sleep, you do what the fuck you’re told.

I’ve spent enough time with my Mexican cousins.  They never discipline their kids (like, at all), but they damn sure have their husbands well-trained.

The point is that having an unbalanced power dynamic in a relationship is not “new” or “kinky.”  It’s completely mainstream for the woman in any given relationship to have more power within the relationship itself.  My relationships just take that to a slightly higher level.

But there’s this habit a lot of people not in D/s relationships tend to do, and that’s to assume that real life is the same as the Femdom porn videos you see online.

Like, do you honestly think I’m just having nonstop orgies in front of my kid, and that’s all there is to a FemDom relationship?

Uh, no.  It’s a relationship.  It, like all relationships, requires work.  Compromise.  Give and take.  Honest, open communication.

There are bills to pay.  Errands to run.  Groceries to buy.  A house to maintain.  Sometimes shit happens that interferes with my kink life.

Reality is not a porno, y’all.  I don’t make Kazander strip down to his panties and stay on all fours as soon as he gets home from work.  I don’t do anything kinky in front of my kid.

Because she’s six.

And even if she was old enough to mentally handle something like that, just ew.  I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable than my daughter being that knowledgeable about my sex life.

What I do with her father, behind closed doors, is none of anyone’s business, including hers.

But my relationship dynamic?  I don’t hide that, because there’s nothing to hide.  She knows Mommy is the one in charge.  She knows Mommy is the one who makes the decisions, and she knows not to fuck with Mommy.

She also knows that I treat Kazander with respect, and I listen when he speaks.  She knows that love and happiness are not things you have, but things you do.  It takes work.

This is Vegas

Jen,

This might be a strange question given the subject matter you write about. I’m not a sub but I’m here in town on vacation and since you’re a local I was wondering if you could give me some advice. What kind of men do women ask out? I’ve been going to local bars for 1 week straight and got asked out by only 1 hot woman. I’m rich, muscular and usually get admired for looks. What am I missing?

You know, I’ve actually been asked this question quite a few times.  There’s nothing strange about it.  It’s happened often enough that I’ve finally decided to break down and post about it.  Because there’s a whole side of Vegas that you don’t experience unless you’ve lived here awhile.

Okay, so I’ve lived here almost my entire life.  One year was spent in New Mexico, and another year in Alabama.  And there’s something I’ve learned in living in those other places:

Vegas is not like other cities.  Here, there is no shortage of young, wealthy, attractive men.

But first, I’m wondering if there’s an issue with self esteem here.  Why are you waiting for a woman to ask you out?  Why not approach someone you’re interested in?

Many women appreciate someone who is direct, polite, and confident.

I get not wanting to be rejected or come across as a creep, but sulking by yourself in a corner isn’t going to turn anyone on.

Also, it seems like your only focus is on physical attraction; both yours and a potential partner’s.  You talk about being attractive and wealthy like those are your biggest or only strengths as a man.

Dude, this is Vegas.  The entire city is built on wealthy, attractive people.  You’re going to have to do better than that.

Because to be honest, most of the attractive men I’ve met in bars have been entitled tourists still living on Daddy’s credit card and talking incessantly about how hot and rich they are and how everyone just loves them.

And sorry, but that’s boring.  When I go out, I want to have fun.  And looking at a hot guy with the personality of a wet mop is only fun for so long.

Nah, I’ll take the average-looking, middle-aged accountant with a wicked sense of humor ten times out of ten.  Give me a conversation I can get lost in, and you become hotter than Channing Tatum, whether you look like him or Danny DeVito.

Your level of perceived hotness is directly related to how easy it is for me to lose track of time when I talk to you.

Where you’re from, your level of wealth and physical attractiveness are probably something legitimately special.  That’s probably enough to set you apart from other guys.  You probably have your pick of the most attractive women in any given bar.

But not here.  Here, you’re a dime a dozen.  I could literally drive six minutes and get free drinks from three of you.

And in Vegas, there is always someone hotter and richer right around the corner.

Literally.  Porn stars and Hollywood stars and models vacation here just as much as regular people.  The ultra wealthy and the ultra hot come here looking for the same thing you are.  Your income can’t compete with theirs, and you say you’re muscular and attractive, but chances are, you’re no Terry Crews.

Vegas isn’t like your hometown because just being attractive and wealthy are not enough to get anyone’s attention.  You’ve got to have something that sets you apart from all the other guys who look exactly like you.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone.  Be polite and engaging.  Be interested and interesting.  Learn to rely on more than your wallet and your body.  You’ll probably have more luck.

Entitlement and liberation

First, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in the last couple days.  I’m alright, we were at home when the shooting happened, all of my family and friends are alright.

I received this comment on my last post.

Thanks for this excellent reply.

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?

I honestly feel jealous at women for being able to behave both feminine and masculine and being accepted both ways, while men aren’t.

And that’s the reason why many men have chosen toxic hypermasculinity. For women there was a clear idea or direction, what they should become i.e. pursuing the same career paths and hobbies as men did. Men on the other hand lacked a new direction and felt confused and insecure about their identity, so they chose the path of “masculinity at all costs” which gave them a clear cut direction or ideal, even though it had some pretty negative consequences.

Feminists have made a mistake, when they believed, they could just improve womens position completely isolated from men and then neglect mens issues within the patriarchy.

So this begs the question: “What’s the alternative for men?”

I thought maybe it’s time for some sort of “mens liberation” from the outdated ideas of what it means to be a men.

But as for the “How?”, I can only think of two things, where men and society as a whole could work on:

1. Working on mens ability to express and deal with their emotions.

This would be one of the most important points and ease a lot of mens issues, like suicide and violent crime.

2. Improving mens ability to be a father.

However currently the laws on paternity and divorce, as well as the working conditions in many parts of the western world aren’t exactly encouraging men to be a father and spend more time with their children.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

Ambidexter.

I can totally understand where you’re coming from, and agree with most of what you’ve said. But quick thing…

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?”

Um, literally all of that?

Why do you think you’re entitled to something for finally treating other human beings as huiman beings?  You don’t deserve a cookie for allowing other humans to be equal to you.

You say we got those rights like we should be grateful.  Like it’s something special to be allowed to vote or serve our country.

… even the right to join the military.

Ho… ly… shit, dude.  That is so not the way to endear yourself to women.

No, we are not grateful for these rights that should have been ours from the dawn of time.  We’re resentful that men of past generations denied them to us for so long.  And we’re pissed that we’re still having to fight for it.

And here’s the thing about men being accepted for expressing themselves in both ways.  I get that you resent that women can do it.  I’d resent it too, if I was a guy.

I mentioned Bill Burr, how he resented women for it.

But ask yourself what’s stopping you from feminine or sensitive behaviors?  Think about that for a minute.  Honestly, what’s stopping you from having the same freedom women do?

Literally nothing but your fear of being made fun of.  That’s fucking it.

No I’m serious, I want you to take a minute and let that sink in.  The only thing stopping Bill Burr in his routine was he was worried about what his friends would think.  He was literally saying that his friends’ opinions were more important than his own mental and physical health.  That the reason men drop dead at 55 is because they’re that worried about what other people think of them.

I’m serious, take a minute and just let that sink in.

Women don’t and didn’t have that same fear.  When women were ridiculed and ostracized, by both men and other women, for things like wearing pants, getting a job, or divorcing an abusive husband, they didn’t care.  Their position of powerlessness conditioned them with the strength to stand up for themselves, despite what society thought of them.

Men as a whole have never had that same struggle.  They’ve never had to fight to be heard, they’ve never had to work to be seen as human.  So they’ve never developed that specific kind of courage.

And you’re right, feminists don’t focus on men’s issues often (although it’s interesting to see reactions on social media when stories of men or boys being raped by women break.  It’s primarily feminists who speak out in support of the victim, while the majority of male commenters say he should’ve enjoyed it. Also, when I posted about female on male abuse, it was exclusively men who argued with me, saying that female on male abuse is impossible, and I’m trivializing female abuse victims).

But here’s the thing: it’s feminism. You don’t get angry at the ASPCA for not doing enough to end world hunger.  You don’t blame the Salvation Army for not doing anything about global warming.

Feminism focuses on feminist issues.  Just like Black Lives Matter focuses on issues that black people face in this country.  And Pinktober, as fucking stupid as it is, focuses on breast cancer.

Does that mean that men have no problems?  Of course not, and I’ve detailed on this blog a number of problems men face that I could never imagine.  Toxic masculinity, lack of resources and support available to male abuse and sexual assault victims, and general attitudes toward men, and the steps they have to take to avoid being seen as a threat are specific examples I’ve spoken about in the last year or so.

That’s a significant problem with the masculinist and feminist crowds.  They’re locked in this battle of who has it worse, and resent each other to the point that trying to make any kind of forward progress on either side is almost impossible.

But they are not mutually exclusive.  I’m a feminist and a masculinist.  Lots of people are.  I think most sane people are.

But expecting feminists to work on men’s issues is unrealistic.  That means I need to bombard Men’s Movement and the National Coalition for Men with hate mail because they’ve done nothing to help women gain affordable access to birth control.

This entitlement that some people feel is genuinely harmful.  I would like to reiterate: women owe men nothing for the rights we have as human beings and as American citizens.  Literally nothing.

We should have always had them.  The fact that we had to fight for them at all really doesn’t paint the male gender in a fantastic light.

Men of the past were fucking idiots and small-minded assholes with tiny egos and were intimidated by women.  You don’t get an award for not being a dick.  It’s just kind of expected.

Just like white people didn’t deserve an award for freeing slaves.  And the fact that so many white people were so against freeing them, they started a war and  were willing to kill American citizens for it, really doesn’t paint us in a fantastic light.

The ones who owned slaves were straight up assholes.  No one gets a cookie for not being an asshole.  My mom’s family is from the south.  My ancestors owned slaves (and on my dad’s side, my grandmother’s first husband was a Nazi.  Fabulous family history).  Do I deserve a medal because I’m not a racist fucktard like my direct ancestors?

No.  It’s just kind of expected of me as a human being.

Also, why does improving women’s position within society (you know, to the point that they are seen as human) threaten men?  Why do we need to compensate men for having basic human rights?  I’m honestly asking, I want to know.  What is it, exactly, that you think we owe you?

As for your question about men’s liberation and encouraging positive relationships with their emotions, I 100% agree with you.  Luckily, things are slowly changing, but it’s still widely looked down on for a man to show any emotion outside of anger.  Men aren’t encouraged to experience and process their emotions.  They’re not encouraged to seek professional help when they need it.

Which is why things like depression go undiagnosed and untreated, and result in men committing suicide three times more than women.

It’s tragic, but the more we talk about it, the more we pound it into people’s heads that men are human, with human brains and human emotions, and they need healthy emotional outlets, because that’s how human brains work, the more society will continue to shift to be more accepting of that.

And ugh, don’t get me started on how badly fathers are shafted when it comes to parental law.  We had our own little minor run-in with that when the spawn was born.

Kazander and I weren’t married.  In the state of Nevada, if the parents are not married, the father must waive his right to a paternity test in order to be acknowledged as the father on the birth certificate.

Naturally, when I found this out, I lost my shit.

Like, are you fucking serious?

So in order for a father to get his parental rights, he has to sign away one of his parental rights.

Kazander actually wasn’t as pissed about it as I was.  He signed the paper, he was put on her birth certificate as her father, and life went on.  And in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.  She’s his kid, beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It was just the principle of the thing, you know?  If I was a guy, and a father, I’d be furious.

That’s a much harder thing to fix than men’s acceptable range of gender expression.  All a guy has to do for gender expression is tell his friends to fuck off.  Fathers’ rights and the way they’re fucked by the legal system doesn’t have a simple answer like that.

Because the reason it got this way in the first place is because child-rearing was traditionally seen as a mother’s job, and men didn’t (and often still don’t) participate much in their kids’ lives.

To quote my daughter when she was… 4, I think, “Daddies don’t keep babies company.  Daddies go to work.  It’s the mommy’s job to keep the baby company.”

Naturally, after this, Kazander and I had a long conversation about how he needs to act once he gets home, and how he needs to play a bigger role in her life.  Because I’ll be damned if she’s going to grow up thinking that’s what a father is.

For the longest time, though, that was the norm.  Fathers just didn’t participate in kids’ lives.

So when the parents split, is the court going to give the kids to an absentee parent who supports them financially, or are they going to give the kids to the more present parent and demand that the father still support them financially?

The answer is an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one.  We need to continue changing the way men see fatherhood.  And it’s slowly happening.  Go on Facebook or YouTube and you see tons of adorable viral videos of fathers and their young children.  There’s some good momentum there, but we need to keep it going for a long time before we start seeing changes in the legal system.

Because as men’s rights groups and society as a whole continue to encourage men to take a more active role as fathers, I think it will begin to change the way courts see fathers, as well.

So I think that men are going to continue gaining more and more freedom as time goes on, but we can’t be afraid of talking about it.  And we can’t allow resentment or an “us versus them” mentality to take root.  Men and women are not enemies; feminists and masculinists are not enemies.  We’re simply attacking the same problem from different angles.  And the sooner we can stop competing with one another and start working together, the faster progress will be.

I think the best thing men can do right now, something they can implement in their lives today, that will help combat toxic masculinity, is to simply push themselves to show just a little sensitivity or vulnerability every day.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just step a toe out of that comfort zone.

Just one thing a day.  Say the puppy on the street is adorable.  When your coworker gets flowers from her boyfriend, say they look nice.  Tell people that you loved that new sappy romantic movie that came out.  Acknowledge a cloud that looks like a bunny.  I don’t care, something.

And what’ll happen is that, over time, it’ll condition men to develop a better relationship with their own masculinity.  They won’t feel their masculinity threatened by femininity or vulnerability or emotion.

And as a side effect, things like sensitivity and vulnerability will stop being gender-specific traits (they never should have been gender-specific traits in the first place, because again, humans literally don’t work that way).  So men will begin to feel more comfortable and secure in their masculinity, and won’t constantly feel the need to prove how manly they are.

Which will make them happier and healthier all the way around.

You’re either XX or XY

Are you, though?  I mean, are you really?

I’ve had two different people say this exact thing to me over the last week, using middle school biology to try to justify their transphobia.

So I, armed with the power of Google, decided to somewhat-condescendingly (condescendingly? Who, me?) explain why they’re wrong.

And I figured I’d explain it here, too.

M’kay, so in humans, you can be female because you have an X and Y chromosome, but are insensitive to androgens, so you have a male body.

You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome, but your Y chromosome is missing the SRY gene, so you have a female body.

You can be male because you have two X chromosomes, but one of them has an SRY gene, so you have a male body.

You can be male because you were born female, but have a 5-alphareductase deficiency so you grew a penis at puberty.

“Okay but that’s still XX or XY.”

Funny that you mention that.

You can be male because you have two X chromosomes and a Y.

You can be female because you only have one X chromosome at all.

So before we try to claim that there are only two genders, we should probably acknowledge that there are more than two physical and biological sexes.

And then we should acknowledge that the human brain is something we still only have a limited understanding of.  We are learning that the brain does not function in terms of absolutes, but that everything is perceived on a spectrum.

You’re not gay, straight, or bi.  Your brain doesn’t work by fitting into neat little boxes.  Your sexuality falls on a spectrum.  Maybe its position is fixed.  Maybe it slides around.

Your gender is on a spectrum, too.  You are not either masculine or feminine.  Literally no one is.

The most macho, masculine, in-your-face manly guy out there will at some point exhibit a behavior or mindset or form of expression deemed by current societal trends to be feminine.

It is literally impossible for a sane, functioning human brain to fit an entire identity into one box.  Because psychology, m’kay.

So that machismo guy who insists that he’s never done anything feminine is either lying to you, lying to himself, or literally brain-damaged.

You cannot be all masculine or all feminine.  It’s impossible.  The brain simply doesn’t work that way.

And what happens when you’re forced into a mode of expression that doesn’t fit with your identity?  What happens when a liberal is placed in a room full of conservatives, and must try to fit in?  What happens when you hang with a crowd 30 years younger or older than you are, and must try to fit in?

It makes you uncomfortable as fuck, that’s what happens.

And it’s the same with gender identity.  Because with all facets of one identity, the brain treats it as if it’s precious.  Our identity is the most important thing to our brains, and anything that challenges that identity causes extreme stress.

I mean, just try asking a devout conservative Christian (which is an oxymoron, by the way.  Conservatives are literally the single greatest threat to modern Christianity) how he feels about the fact that science has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that homosexuality is genetic.

Their “Christian” beliefs (although, funny enough, that particular belief is about as anti-Christian as you can get.  Don’t take my word for it.  That’s according to fucking Christ, Himself, m’kay) are such an integral part of their identity, anything that challenges it is met with immediate and irrational defensiveness.

Gender identity is the same way.  Our brains want to protect it.  And forcing it to fit into one of two boxes is just as painful as it is for a 45-year-old to have to fit in with a group of 15-year-olds.

Do you want to spend the next few years surrounded by 15-year-olds who you must cater and adapt to?  Do you want to spend the next few years being forced to submit to who they think you should be?  No?

Then why would you force that same discomfort on someone else, simply because it’s outside your current understanding of psychology and the human brain?

Education is literally a ten-second Google search away, y’all.