Worst Date Stories

Male or female, I think we can all agree that we’ve each had some horror stories when it comes to love and dating. Whether you are blindly meeting a person off of Tinder or Bumble, or rekindling a relationship with an old friend or acquaintance, dating is one big game that each of us must play if we hope to find “the one.”

I’ve always wondered how everyone is so happy and in love with their significant other, when my friends and I are still sitting at home promising to marry each other if our love lives don’t work out. Personally, some of my worst dates were with a guy who I had known since the seventh grade. We worked together in high school, and we had been close friends for years. He used to beg me to give him a chance and go out with him; so reluctantly I agreed. One time he got so drunk at dinner, that he was stumbling down South Street. He was shouting and cursing and falling into people on the sidewalk. Everyone on South Street was staring at us, as he could barely stand up straight. He was leaning on the stop sign trying to keep his eyes open, and his feet on the ground. Needless to say, I was incredibly embarrassed. I eventually called an Uber and left. I later found out that he was not only drinking, but he had also taken prescription pain medications, which is why he was so intoxicated. That was it for me.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve asked some friends (and strangers) to share their worst date stories. Here are a few:

“This girl’s breath smelled so bad. She tried getting me to make out with her and her friend….then she asked me to have a threesome…” said Jon D.

Yikes.

Nicole P. said, “I went all the way to Florida to meet up with this guy who I had been talking to for months. He talked such a good game before I got there. I was so excited in the days leading up to it. When I got to Florida, he stayed in bed for the entire week and played video games. Then, I asked him if we could go out somewhere, and he told me that he just paid his rent and that he could barely pay his bills. We sat in his room for the entire week until it was time for me to catch my flight home.”

Brianna D. said, “I went out on a Tinder date with this guy and I was so mad because he was on his phone the entire time. Then, he asked me to pay for my own bill because he told me that he wasn’t trying to spend a lot of money.”

Thoughts? Do you think that a man should always be responsible for footing the bill?

 

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“I met this guy when I was leaving my doctor’s appointment,” said Gabrielle S. “He was a boxer, and he asked me out on a date. I thought, why not? What’s the worst that could happen? I try to give everyone a fair chance, you know? During our date, though, he was like a dementor…he sucked the life out of every conversation that we had. It was super awkward. Like, we had a good time I guess, but it was just weird. I could tell we both weren’t feeling it.”

Chris H. said, “On my very first date with my girlfriend, she ran over a speed bump, and the entire bottom of her tiny little car fell apart. We stood on the side of the road for three hours because we were waiting for AAA to come. For some reason, AAA couldn’t get to us because we were in the middle of the parkway. We had to call a tow truck, but the tow truck never came either. Then, we decided to call the police, but they had to go to another accident, so I guess we weren’t at the top of the priority list. Eventually, my friend came and got us, and we left my girlfriend’s car on the side of the road. Apparently, the tow truck arrived like five hours later.”

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Do you have a really bad date story that you want to share? Drop it in the comments below. We want to hear your story!

Written By: Janae Grier

Instagram: @janaegrier/@janaegrizzy

Website:  https://janizzyinc.com/

Sexual Assault: Explicitly Inexplicit

Picture this.

You eagerly stand in a dimly lit studio in front of a gray backdrop. You feel excitement because you finally have the chance to be back in front of the camera and pursue a unique hobby. You have finally become more confident in your appearance. This is the next step in furthering your career goals. Suddenly, a tall dark skinned man with glasses, long salt and pepper dreadlocks, a white tank top, and cargo shorts walks into the studio with his camera. He asks if you are ready to continue the photoshoot. You skeptically tell him that you are ready. In your mind, however, you feel uneasy. This tall dark-skinned man has been a little handsy with you for the past hour, but you dismiss this uncomfortable feeling. In your mind, he is just an eclectic artist. In your mind, you wonder why there is no makeup artist in the studio as per usual, but nevertheless, you remain silent. The tall, dark-skinned man interrupts your thoughts and tells you to turn around and face the backdrop. You hesitate, but you follow his instructions anyway. Suddenly, the tall dark skinned man pushes you into the corner and blindfolds you. He takes a rope and ties it around your forearms, pinning them behind your back. You don’t quite know what is happening. He, then turns you around and brings your hands towards the front of your body. He places an ice cold set of handcuffs around your wrists. You shakily ask what he is doing but he doesn’t respond. You hear the camera begin to take pictures. In an internal panic, you still feel unsettled and unsure of what to do.

After a few moments, the man walks over to you and yanks your halter dress down to your waist. He smells like a combination of sweat of tobacco. The top of your dress becomes untied. Your breasts are exposed. You struggle to pull your dress back up. The man walks back over and pulls your dress back down, as the camera snaps once more. Because of the blindfolds, you remain unable to see exactly what is going on. Your half naked body shivers from the air conditioner. The man comes closer, and tells you he knows what how to get what he wants from you. He begins to insert his fingers into your vagina. You immediately close your legs, but you are unable to stop him because of the restraints. He then places his mouth on your breasts. You anxiously ask him what he is doing and why. He refuses to remove the rope that holds your forearms behind your back. Slowly, he works his way up to your mouth, and kisses your lips. His breath reeks of cigars. You tell him to stop, but he continues. He bites your ears. You ask him if he does this to all of his models, and he replies, “I’m doing it to you.” The man tells you that he wants you to feel all that he does to you, so that you can portray this feeling in your pictures. You beg him to remove the restraints. Finally, he removes the blindfolds. He tells you that no one will know what really happened behind the camera in order to get these “beautiful” pictures. You wonder if this is art, or if you have just been sexually assaulted. Do you take your chances and try to escape, or do you stay in hopes that it will all end very soon? These were all of the thoughts running through my mind.

As a natural skeptic, I wondered how I could have ended up in a predicament like this one. When professing my extreme discomfort to this photographer, he insisted that I was simply uncomfortable with my body, and that I was taking things too personally… and I believed it. Deep down, I knew what had just happened to me was completely wrong, but my mind was in a panicked state. My mind was in such an impaired state that I ran from his studio, leaving my bra behind.

I felt like a harrowed Cinderella, in that, It was not until a few days later, that my best friend at the time told me she saw a Facebook message from the photographer, stating that he had my bra still in his possession.

In the end, I chose to remain in his studio, in hopes that I would make it home in one piece, both mentally and physically. While I escaped without any physical harm, I was emotionally scarred.

I was unable to differentiate between what actually occurred in that present moment, versus what the photographer alleged. As an already anxious, depressed, and mentally debilitated individual, it was easy for this man to manipulate my current mental state.

Upon returning home that evening, my roommate cried at the graphic description that I had just created in her mind. She too was unsure of how to interpret this horrific event. We were both so anxious and emotionally confused, that she convinced me to go and seek help. The next day, I went to the emergency room, still unconvinced that I had been sexually assaulted. When I began reciting the story to the triage nurse, however, she immediately took action. By law, the hospital employees are required to call the police. I wondered what I had just gotten myself into. With every single day that passes, I still wonder. At that point, I had spent a week in a psychiatric hospital struggling to make sense of what had happened to me, while also attempting to sort through the rest of my complicated life circumstances. While everyone around me was adamant that I had been sexually assaulted, I was still unsure. I made excuse after excuse; insisting that it was just art. I even considered the notion that maybe this photographer was just a typical eccentric artist who was simply trying to evoke genuine emotion for my photographs.

Once discharged from the psychiatric hospital, I spent the rest of my summer in an intensive outpatient program. Four days a week, for two hours a day, I met with a group of 4-6 individuals who were in similar situations as me.

While everyone told me nobody needs to know what really happened to me, I decided that I wanted people to know. I went through a phase where I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt alienated and peculiar. In the long run, however, this experience forced me to rebuild myself starting from my most basic foundation.

So many of my friends, and even strangers, came to me and told me about their anxiety, depression, and even some of their sexual assault stories. It is surprising to me how prevalent sexualt assault, depression, and anxiety are within my friend group. Yet, no one discusses these issues because mental health, rape, and assault are considered taboo. It was not until a catastrophic event like this one took place, that my friends began to speak up about the personal experiences they went through, along with the rest of the women in this world.

Experiences like these come down to power and control. If you permit the pain and the negativity to take control of your mind and your body, you will never see your way through. The strength and understanding that you gain from taking charge of your thoughts and your reactions, will override these negative experiences each and every time.

This entire ordeal has pushed me to work on myself, and cut negative people and harmful behaviors out of my life, while also creating a greater awareness of myself and of those around me.

While I was incredibly disappointed and nervous about making drastic life-altering changes, like deferring my enrollment in law school, for example, I am happy that I finally have a chance to rest, relax, and decide what I want for myself. I have spent years molding myself into everything that everyone else wanted from me, and I have put everyone else before myself. I have also seen who was really there for me in my time of need, and who definitely was not. I felt bad for putting myself first. I then realized how ridiculous that sounds. I learned that if I do not want to respond to text messages, then that is okay. If I cannot make an event, or drive my friends around, then that is okay, too. Society makes you feel like having feelings is abnormal, and that showing those feelings is a sign of weakness. Social media has also perpetuated the idea that everyone is happy and living life with no cares in the world. In actuality, everyone is dealing with their own personal struggles.

It pains me to know that there are so many women in this world who suffer in silence out of fear of being judged or being perceived as a liar. In the words of my therapist, FUCK what other people think.

I would like to say that I am surprised so many women keep silent when it comes to sexual assault and rape; but, I am not. It is incredibly bothersome that very few people believe or defend its’ survivors. Society looks down upon these individuals, and labels them as “victims” who are either after money, attention, or both. My question is this: why would anyone want to falsify such graphic and horrific incidents? I do not know one person who would willingly spread such sensitive information about themselves, especially if that information was untrue. In reality, if the hospital employees and the Women Against Rape advocate had not urged me to come forward, I probably never would have done so…or maybe not for a very long time after the fact; much like many of the women who have recently come forward. Coming forward is just as hard as keep silent, if not more.

Society shames women for staying quiet, and in the same breath, they shame us for coming forward. Once we as women come forward, the word “victim” is carelessly thrown in our faces. This word drives me insane. Society expects us as “victims” to sit at home and never leave the house ever again. For some reason, we are no longer allowed to do the things we once enjoyed because we are somehow more susceptible to being “victimized” once again. God forbid we wear a dress that reveals our legs, or we show our shoulders or chest ever again…

After the assault took place, people looked at me like I was crazy when I went back to working, vacationing, and hanging with friends over the weekend. I was told that I was a “victim” and that I should be staying home and keeping safe in a closed environment. If I were a man, however, I would be praised for resuming my daily activities. Nevertheless, several others encouraged me to be brave, and resume the activities that once brought me happiness. Since the sexual assault, I enjoy spending time with friends and partaking in my regular activities more than ever before.

It bothers me that social media decides which issues are relevant and important. Sexual assault has been a very real concern for many years in several circles across all professions. The fact of the matter is that it will unfortunately continue to be a point of contention for years to come. It is my hope that matters of sexual assault do not dissipate once social media decides that it is no longer a hot topic. Now that men (and some women) are publicly being held accountable for their actions, I would like to see a societal shift in the way we interact with one another, both in the workplace and in our homes.

Why Black Women Struggle With Vulnerability

Black women are never happy. Black women never cry. Black women never show their weaknesses.

We work tirelessly to provide for not only ourselves, but also others. We are the epitome of strength, and the backbone of our communities. Still, we are underestimated and oftentimes, ridiculed.

There is an unspoken belief that if we as black women show our true emotions, we are somehow weak and damaged for doing so.

After spending a week in a psychiatric hospital and partaking in months of therapy, I learned that all of these outdated assumptions were completely untrue.

Growing up in an extremely religious household, my mother always instructed me to be seen and not heard. I was an inquisitive child, who had somewhat of a “smart mouth.” If ever I struggled with anything, my mother told me to pray on it and ask God for help. I could never understand why my prayers were not answered, and why I still felt alone and empty inside. As one of the only African Americans in a predominately white elementary, middle, and high school, I felt like an outcast. Everyone around me had large, loving, and supportive families, with seemingly everything in the world. My friends lived in two-parent households, and knew exactly in which direction their lives were going. I, on the other hand, was remarkably shy. I was afraid to speak up for myself out of fear of being judged or shamed by those around me. When trying to explain how I felt to others, I received the same response. Pray on it. Talk to God. But nobody spoke with me. Nobody listened to me. Nobody listened to what I had to say. I thought that maybe I was a bad Christian, and that was why God did not hear me. My parents told me time and time again that I was a smart girl, and that I would figure it all out. I was taught that I am a strong black woman, and that I need to be strong for others. In the long run, however, this advice proved to be more detrimental to my mental health than anything else.

I was always the determined, resilient one. I was the friend that everybody turned to when they needed help. I actively listened to others, gave the best advice, and quite literally handed out tissues and hugs when those around me were struggling. In my time of need, however, the same was never done for me.

I acted as a chameleon, altering my personality in order to fit in. I silenced my quirks and hid my true likes and dislikes because I did not want to be labeled as “too white,” ” too black,” or “too ghetto.” While I was always able to maintain a sense of happiness, I still felt like I was at an arm’s distance from everyone around me.

It was not until years later that I learned to communicate more effectively with others, and live my truth. I was giving too much of myself, and wondering why nobody gave back to me. Time and time again, I was told that everyone does not have the same heart as me. I grew up with no wants or needs. I did whatever I was told, in spite of my own needs. I put others before me, and molded myself into what I thought others wanted because I was afraid to be my full self. What I learned is that there is a tremendous sense of vulnerability that comes with being one’s full self and living one’s full truth.

Society makes us as black women feel that we must wear our hair a certain way, dress a certain a way, and speak a certain way in order to fit in. The moment we use a swear word, wear our hair in a natural style, or show a bit of skin, we are automatically seen as ghetto, and unworthy of the professional world, and all that it has to offer. Society wants us to fit in and assimilate, instead of standing out.

Being vulnerable has saved my life. The moment I began to open up to those around me, I found people who listened. I learned things about myself that I never knew. I discovered my likes and dislikes. I found individuals who went through the same struggles that I went through. I learned that it was okay to cry in front of others. I found that I do not always have to be the strong one. Real strength comes from the ability to let your guard down and invite others into your personal space. It is not selfish to put yourself first and do positive things for you. You will find that the internal beauty you have been hiding will immediately shine. I never knew that this beauty was inside of me, but I want to share this beauty with others.

21st Century Brothel

 

This is Life with Lisa Ling delves deep into the world of prostitution, as it takes a behind the scenes look at one particular ranch on the West Coast. The Moonlite BunnyRanch is a legal brothel located in Mound House, Nevada. Nevada is currently the only state in the U.S. where prostitution is legal. In 2009, State Senator Bob Coffin legalized prostitution in eight counties in Nevada for statewide tax purposes. Through This is Life, Lisa Ling attempts to break the stereotypes surrounding escorts, as she follows a few of the women through their journeys to the ranch. Although controversial, The Moonlite BunnyRanch is seen as a safe, legal place for women who are in dire need of money. It keeps these women off of the streets, and away from the underground prostitution world, while also providing them with an avenue to support themselves. Many of the women stated that they are struggling mothers looking to make ends meet, while others sited that they have college degrees and are choosing to live this lifestyle.

While many of the women were extremely successful in their pursuits at the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a few were not. A 20-year-old girl named Catherine came to the ranch after her house burned down, and her family was unable to pay for the damages. The BunnyRanch allowed her to host small parties at the ranch, while also selling her virginity to the highest bidder. Although many view Catherine’s choice as completely absurd, Catherine feels that she is simply finding a way to rescue her family from their drastic misfortunes. This seemed to be a common trend amongst several of the women living in the ranch. Many have traveled hours to the BunnyRanch in hopes of gathering extra money to survive. Zoey, for example, came to the ranch so that she could afford to buy Christmas presents. However, her trip to the ranch did not financially bode as well as she had hoped. London, on the other hand, came to the ranch so that she could make enough money to catch up on her back child support. Unfortunately, the state of Nevada would not grant her a prostitution license because of this back child support. Therefore, London’s trip to the ranch was also unsuccessful.

Throughout the piece, companionship, friend, comfort, and company were the most commonly used words when these women described their work. Many of them feel that they are saving lives and helping the lonely. Despite the stigma that goes along with being a “prostitute,” the majority of these women have fallen on hard times and turned to prostitution for quick, easy money. They have come to the ranch hoping to quickly better their lives, after exhausting all other options. Women like London who are unable to support themselves, have back child support, as well as other debts, turn to prostitution for help. In London’s case, prostitution didn’t even have the ability to save her. This causes concern about the system that is currently in place in the United States. What are women supposed to do to make ends meet when they are denied all other alternatives? Prostitution is one of the only professions where women are guaranteed to make more money than men. Lisa Ling brings attention to the fact that it is extremely disheartening that women must sell their bodies in order to insure that they will earn more money than men in the workplace. Still, these women are constantly judged for their choice to enter into prostitution, but to them, they are simply doing what every other person in the working world is doing: they are working to make ends meet.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/10/14/lisa-ling-21st-century-brothels-orig.cnn