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Love & Sex

Is Technology Changing The Way We Have Sex?

Posted By beautifulnow.com

Has dating and ultimately relationships, and all it’s formalities of engagement become a synthesized experience due to high-tech communication? (Texting, IM’ing, Twittering, YouTubing, Skyping, and Facebooking) The proof is in the proverbial pudding. Talking these days has been reduced to micro-sized acronyms; speed dating is the new “taking it slow”, and relationships are extremely compartmentalized to just sex or just friends.

Effectually, romantic relationships have become the recent casualty of the social network revolution as it has heavily curbed most nuances of love… save for sex.

There’s no denying that we’re all hard-wired with primal urges such as sex (some more than others…Charlie Sheen), and a long time ago (think 1950’s) up to recently we were encouraged to satisfy them with a special someone, like your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband.

Could technology be the culprit behind the sudden replacement of long-term relationships with brief and casual sexual affairs? Virtually speaking, casual relationships make sense. People are just really busy these days. I mean between updating our status on Facebook with our daily trivial regiments, and catching real time celebrity gossip on Twitter, no one seems to have the time for the excesses like love. So the clever social animals that we are created the next best thing…friendships with benefits.

The subject of casual sex is heavily imbued in our pop culture: Two movies in one year reflect this cultural prevalence (FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS and NO STRINGS ATTACHED), as well as countless books, magazines, and online blogs (like this one) that talk about it, analyze it, or scrutinize it. Even the teeny boppers like Justin Bieber and the other who’s-it’s are singing songs about it. Suffice to say that ‘casual relationships’ are no longer a trend as much as it is a zeitgeist.

Casual relationships come in all level of involvement and intensity. Listed are a few of the popular types currently being enjoyed by a third of our population:

  1. Hook-ups – slanged term for casual sex especially of short duration
  2. Swinging – two people in a committed relationship who agree to engage in sexual activities with other couples as a social activity
  3. Flings – a brief and casual relationship that last for a season
  4. One-night stands – a one time sexual encounter typically after the consumption of alcohol
  5. Bootie calls – the person you call in the middle of the night to satisfy your sexual appetite
  6. Lovers–  simply defined as a sexual partner outside of a committed relationship
  7. Friends with benefits – a non-exclusive recurring sexual relationship

So how does one get into one of these fashionable casual sex things? First, a bit of alcohol to inoculate your inhibitions, and activate some witty banter, then when you’re ripe enough, you hand out a flirtatious invitation to the desired target; Next, friend them on Facebook, send a few sweet but naughty text messages, then BAM! Before you know it you’re stripping down to your skin clad armor and on your way to consummating a hard earned casual affair. Terms and conditions are subject to change, and no guarantees are made.

What’s the intention behind all this frivolity? It boils down to having basic and primal needs met while eliminating the stringent components that come with a relationship (i.e. emotions, and commitment). Since when did eliminating emotions make sex easier? And does sex outside of a committed relationship feel any better than in one? If it sounds like there’s a little bias in my overture, it’s because there is one, and not because I’m a chick.

Speaking of chicks, what’s interesting to note is that the nature and style of these relationships based on sex were initiated primarily by men, but as many as 63% of women between the ages of 18-60 are joining the ranks of their counterparts and cashing in on the benefits of their customized friendships.

It can be argued that women are the outliers in this new frontier of hedonistic endeavors. But it’s in maintaining this sort of life style that women just aren’t as equipped to handle as men are. Men crave intimacy and connection with one special person just as much as a woman does, but because men can disassociate themselves emotionally from sex, they’re sustained in short-termed affairs far much longer than women.

If there is a benefit to any of this, sure it’s gaining temporary satisfaction, but after a while casual sex can amplify loneliness, because sex no matter how much we simplify it, is designed to be a very chemically induced emotional experience. Mother nature made it that way so that we’d grow a need for companionship long after the orgasms have faded away and to ensure our own survival.

On the bright side, loneliness can be the perfect call to action for one to reconsider relationships (I promise they don’t all end in divorce, bitter break-ups, or affairs). There’s lot’s of happy people in great relationships, but we don’t always hear about it. Call me an optimist, but in a time when swapping sexual partners is as common as changing our underwear, there comes a need for a little hope for all those closeted hopeless romantics out there.

Scholars, philosophers and scientists are sharing some interesting reports on their findings on the detrimental effects of sex without love and how left to it’s own device, can turn into a noxious pattern in our world that can cripple our physical and emotional health.

Handsomely paid advertising suits of online porn and sex-driven product campaigns will tell you otherwise, along with Britney Spears and Enrique Iglesias’s latest conjectures.

So it’s left up to you to decide what’s good for you and what’s not. Whatever your flavor of romance, sex and relationships, just make sure it’s in full integrity with your own basic and human accord, and not the artifices of social technology.

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Beauty & Style

10 Items your man should own

Posted By beautifulnow.com

There’s a growing confluence in mens’ fashion: Prepster Punks, Indie Hipster, Skater Gangster Hipster, Nautical Nerd, The Boyish Bourgeois, The Intentional Trashy look, you name it, it goes. Though trends come and go, basics will always remain forever in style. These 10 pieces will cover you for nearly every important event in your life whether it’s a business meeting, a job interview, meeting the girlfriends parents, weddings, bar-mitzah’s, bachelor parties, etc. Whatever the occasion calls for, basics will be the trusted old friend that sees you through the day and make you look sharp.

The key to making the basics work in your favor is in how it fit your body. If you haven’t made friends with your local tailor, now’s a good time to do so. Tailoring your clothes especially your basic pieces, is worth the investment, and can really change your appearance instantaneously. We’ve all seen the poor schmuck who have worn the over-sized suit, or the high-water pants. Guys who wear their clothes too loose or too tight should provoke some introspection into your own appearance. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s… “Don’t be that schuck”

Don’t get me wrong; we’re not talking about conformity here or homogenizing your wardrobe. It should be understood that all basic clothing in the world of mens fashion are still very subjective and should suit your taste and style. Think of these as more of a guideline at most:

1. Professional suit:
Your money is best spent on a classic black suit. It’s perfect for interviews, business meetings, and formal occasions (weddings, funerals, dates, banquets, etc.). If you are a shorter man, the 2-button suit will create a longer “V” shape on the chest, making your torso appear longer. Taller men should opt for a 3-button suit.


2. White dress shirt:
Pair the classic white dress shirt with your professional suit and a tie to complete your look for all of the occasions. Having two or three white dress shirts in your closet is a good investment. Always have one that’s pressed and ready to be worn for those last minute events.


3. Dark ties:
A black tie with a simple pattern that isn’t too flashy is great for any occasion, but do invest in a few good silk ties (various colors and patterns). Ties are small but great ways to leave an impressions of your personality, so choose wisely.


4. Jeans:
With so many styles, variations and colors of denim, picking the right pair may not be as simple as it seems. Straight legged jean or casual fitting jeans can be dressed up or worn casually. Pick a darker wash without all of the holes or excessive faded sections to keep it clean and grown-up.


5. Casual shirt:
Almost anything goes when it comes to the casual shirt: vertical stripes, solid, plaid, solid with graphics…you name it. As long as it fits correctly and is versatile enough to be worn with dress pants or a jacket, you’re safe.


6. Dark Jeans:
Dark jeans give you a modern look. They are not only versatile; they have an inherent sense of style and class. You want to get a straight fit because this is the most contemporary cut. You can dress them up with a simple white t-shirt and a blazer. This look can take you on date night, out for drinks, or to the library. If you are looking for a more casual look, pull on a close-fitting t-shirt and you are set to call attention to yourself while shopping for groceries.


7. White Shirt:
The classic button up white shirt is a must for every wardrobe. It can be both formal and casual. It can be used with a suit, jeans and a blazer or just jeans for the perfect look. Whether you are a slender man or a larger frame the type of white shirt should be considered. There is a slim cut and a regular fit shirt that serves well for whatever the physique. Just remember to keep it white and bright as well as ironed to look your best.


8. V-neck Sweater:
A V-neck sweater made of wool and cashmere is an excellent addition to any wardrobe. If you want a sweater that is durable, fits well, and does not irritate your skin, be warned that you may have to spend a bit more. You can either wear it by itself, or you can layer it with a shirt under it.


9. Hoodie:
Guys look great in hoodies. Zipped or unzipped, a hoodie can add to your fashion sense. Avoid the ones with the logos and pictures as it tends to make a man’s style look a bit immature. Solid colors, or light and classic trims are a great choice.


10. Gray Suit:
A gray suit is always in fashion, and presents you with the ability to dress it up or dress it down according to your personality. Such a suit will work well for an interview or a business meeting, but you can also wear it with a basic shirt for a fun and light look. Wear a V-neck shirt with this suit, for a night out on the town.


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