Category Archives: dating/relationships

The House at Review Corner – Make Every Man Want You

Go to any bookstore (do people still do that?) and you will see hundreds of them – books that fall under the category of “self-help.” Sometimes you will find people standing in these aisles, paperbacks up to their faces, eagerly devouring whatever nuggets they can.

I am not one of these people. I don’t “do” self-help as a general rule, as the very words just make me think of Dr. Phil and his Southern-fried philosophy on “communication.”

Do you point at me, sir? How dare you!!

People change, however.

I don’t delve too much into my personal life on this blog, except where it intersects with my current snark-fest. If you’ve been a reader of BWP for a while, I used to occasionally drop references to “the boyfriend” and then, later, “husband-to-be.” Well, it didn’t work out – and by this, I mean it exploded in my face in a spectacular fashion last year. Suffice to say, I was utterly blindsided and crushed. The verbal bomb was dropped on a Sunday morning (see ‘spectacular fashion’) and I had maybe three humiliating hours in which to take my things and vacate the premises.

Breakups happen; they’ve happened to me. This one has hurt way more than anything else. A good friend recommended a self-help book that she found useful after she had her own relationship crash and burn. I gave it the mental side-eye for a second, but then, I thought, Let this be a new era of Nicole, and give it a try.

Imagine my surprise when I actually found it helpful! I moved on to another one, and that one was also useful in its way.

Of course, there have been horrible ones. Let’s face it: everyone and their cat is some sort of guru or expert these days, and most of it is the same rehashed BS we’ve all heard before. And, getting back to the snark, THOSE are the ones on which we will be focusing for this new occasional segment I’d like to call, The House at Review Corner.

Let’s begin with one I finished last night, entitled Make Every Man Want You: how to be so irresistible you’ll barely keep from dating yourself!

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Life – Psst, you stink!

life-lifebuoy

Lifebuoy soap – good for both men and women, you say? Yes, but let’s look at how sexist this advert is. Ladies, if you don’t use Lifebuoy, you have B.O. and no man will want you. However, no woman says “Ew” about the tough beard stubble of the men in the bottom panels. Even though they SHOULD, because it’s rough and scratchy! Turn the tables, women; just say NO to five o’clock shadow.

—From Life magazine, February 15, 1937

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The Sensuous Woman, a wonderfully dated manual

I struck paydirt again. Months ago, whilst browsing through another book sale room at the library, I found The Sensuous Woman, by “J.” “The number-one bestseller” is emblazoned on the cover. Back cover describes a “secret, step-by-step program that allows every woman to free her body . . . and realize her tremendous feminine capacity for giving and receiving pleasure.” Publication date? 1969. I pretty much dumped out the contents of my purse for fifty cents to purchase this novelty, nestled innocuously in a basket of other less-exciting books (except for one, but we’ll get to it at a later date).

So, who was “J?” Apparently, her real name is Joan Theresa Garrity, and she worked in publishing. She also struggled with bipolar disorder. Not much seems to be known about her, really.

Our author tells us that, even though she’s not considered by conventional standards, and she never dresses provocatively, she still gets lots of men. Basically, this book is a how-to manual for women to embrace their inner sexiness and become what she calls the “sensuous woman.”

Reading this book with a 2012 liberal feminist mindset, some of the statements in this book seem well-known today; some are wildly dated and sexist; and a few are cringe-worthy, knowing what we know about diseases.
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It came from the 1960s! (Life Cycle Library, Part Seven)

Chapter 22 – How Do You Know When It’s Love? I can’t tell you, but it lasts forever. There will come a point, EveryTeen, where you will want to know the answer to this question. You’ve experienced “love” before, but it’s very different when it’s the real thing.

One’s ability to love goes through developmental stages, just as your body does, both physically as well as mentally. No one becomes feet taller overnight, unless you have one of those rapid-growth diseases. Everyone else proceeds at their own pace, and as you grow into your body, so, too, will you “grow into” love.

There are many different types of love. Love of your self (no, not like THAT, you perverts; okay, maybe a little bit), love for your parents, and love for your friends. Someday, you will move beyond these and know the mature love shared by a man and a woman (as no other options are available), and prepare yourself for marriage. As that is the only way to espouse mature love, apparently.

As an infant, you were completely concerned with yourself, you selfish twit. You were absorbed in discovering your fingers and toes and giggling. You peen held a certain fascination that would resurface years later (or perhaps never quite went away). Your family was very focused on taking care of you. This is self-love. You might know some people that are still this way – chronic masturbators. Continue reading

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It came from the 1960s! (Life Cycle Library, Part Six)

Chapter 21 – Parents Watch the Clock. For the clock spider?

As has been said over and over, EveryTeen, you’re growing up and taking on responsibilities; you might even be starting to earn your own money – as a pimp, perhaps. Your parents see these changes in you, and recognize the fact that you are no longer a child. However, they still want to protect you from injury, both physical and emotional. They want to steer you away from dumb decisions that could spoil your future, or cause you to drop out. Which would spoil your future. Which is redundant.

So, what sorts of things are your parents concerned about? It’s a big, bad world out there, and the further you venture out from home base, EveryTeen, the more influence others have on you. Your parents worry about automobile safety, whether it’s you or someone else behind the wheel. Many teens get involved in accidents, whether or not there is alcohol involved. (According to this book, in 1968, 4.4 million persons under 20 years of age were involved in accidents. Think of it; this is long before texting and even CD players)! So, they will definitely warn you against participation in Lifestyles of the Drunk and Reckless. Continue reading

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It came from the 1960s! (Life Cycle Library, Part Five)

Chapter 20 – Necking, Petting, and Sexual Feelings. In other words, the chapter EveryTeen automatically skipped to, I’m sure.

What is happening to my body? What are these “wonderful thrills and chills?” Why, those are from your genitals – they’re alive!

Boys, you will begin to sprout hair in places where none grew before. And your feelings towards girls will do a 180° turn. Just thinking about ’em is gonna make ya hard, so focus on coursework in class, lest your fantasies cause you to do a walk of shame to the blackboard.

Now, girls, you get different and exciting changes, too. Instead of growing up, you will grow out. Welcome to the Boob Brigade – get thee to Macy’s for a bra-fitting (ask for Winifred; her hands were dunked in a vat of liver-spots, it’s true, but she’s very gentle and accurate with her tape measure). As if breasts weren’t bad enough, you also get to bleed. That’s right, BLEED, for several days a month, every month, for the next forty or so years! Disturbing? Why, yes!

We’ve discussed the social aspects of dating in previous chapters. The emotional aspects have a tendency to creep up on you, EveryTeen – that “sweet, soft glow.” Is this love? That you’re feeling? Is this THE love that you’ve been searching for? Probably not (so you’re dreaming), as one doesn’t fall in adult-style love at your age; those feelings take time to develop (and some people never make it there). Continue reading

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It came from the 1960s! (Life Cycle Library, Part Four)

Chapter 19 – Dating for Boys. Just like there isn’t one for girls, there is no “right” age for boys to begin dating. Some start at age 13, usually about the time they begin jackin’ it. Others don’t begin to show an interest in girls until later; these are called nerds.

At some point, a boy suddenly sees a girl from class and thinks that he would like to walk her home (to his house, for sex). So, how does a boy go about asking for a date?

It’s normal to be nervous, BoyTeen; it might take some time to be courageous enough to ask a girl out. Most will think of so many reasons not to take initiative. She probably won’t say yes, or she is interested in someone else. And perhaps these things are true, young man; perhaps you are dull, boring, or a pervert. However, you cannot win if you do not play. So do eet, ask her, you fool!

Now, boys, asking a girl out face-to-face might be too nerve-wracking, and you might prefer the telephone. No matter which way you choose, be sure to give the girl a week’s notice. “Girls don’t like being called at 7:30 to do something at 8:00 that evening,” not because spontaneity is a bad thing, but because it takes those bitches forever to pick outfits to wear and do their hair.

Good job, she said yes! So, where are you gonna go, boy? Continue reading

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