I made it to 31…

The Rating System

So, recently I was exploring Social Media, and dating apps through iPhone for thegaymansguide.com. And there are tons of options out there, like tons. When they say there is an app for everything, there really is. As I was exploring these apps, I realized that most of these companies do exactly what I do for work; facilitating discourse about beauty. Now, social media has changed everything about the fashion industry because with apps like IG, everyone is their own content editor, re-toucher, and creative director. Apps like Gindr and Jack’d have started a way to GPS dating, while other apps cater to fetishes, daddies, and bears. Then, after all this research, I decided to look deeper into the rating system and realized that by nature we review, and rate.
 
While most social media facilitates a worldwide popularity contest, and there is some good that comes of it, it makes me wonder what makes someone popular online? From stupid videos, to talented artists, to cats, it makes me wonder what our culture has shifted to with this era of technology? Recently, I cleaned out my facebook and deleted close to 600 “friends” because I really didn’t know much about them besides meeting them at a work event, or exchanging small chat via social media. As you are going through your friends list you start evaluating relationships in your life, and it doesn’t help that I was doing this while exploring the subjectivity of beauty and how it is rated…
 
So, via grindr, jack’d, and scruff I was simply asking people to rate me. It was an easy task. On average I hit about a 6, which isn’t awful I suppose. But, when I asked what they would rate themselves they said they couldn’t. Ironic? Low self esteem? Or if someone were to respond with a 10, would the perception be that they are overconfident and a little cocky? Now, via facebook and my friends, I asked them to rate me, and out of courtesy most of them rated me a 10, this was followed by a dialogue about how beauty is subjective, and is this a cry for help? Another point of confusion on all of our behalves.
 
While we sit in theaters judging movies, ballets, performances, or sitting in your car reviewing music, we are trying to decipher what is good and is disliked, by personal taste. As we slowly narrow down our options it makes me wonder what we might be missing out on. In a recent conversation with someone via a social media app, he asked what I was doing with friends, and when I said I was meeting them for drinks, he then replied with, “Don’t you want to spend quality time with them?” Don’t get me wrong, I understood where he was coming from, but it made me question how the rating system/ our preferences can create misconceptions.
 
I know I have blogged a lot about preference being micro aggressors towards racism, and as preference can cause to missing out on things, or isolation, or loss of experience, it makes me wonder how we would rate ourselves?
 
If on looks alone the world perceives me on the average, then how do they view my work?
If by intelligence, charm, and other personal qualities like humor make our number go up, than definitely our faults make us go down. And, I don’t know about you, but as you are your harshest critic, my number would fall below average…
 
So like the clichés stand: don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  First impressions are everything.
Be careful on the next time you find yourself rating someone in your head, or disclosing your preference. You might be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime, the love of your life, or simply a really good friend.

And it might just be time to put down social media….

 
 


Before the first date… the RUSH

the first date.
You put on your favorite CD, specifically the song that makes you feel sexy. You plan your outfit down to your socks. You groom in all the appropriate places, and then it happens... the first date. The anticipation of the first date makes you get butterflies, and then next thing you know your hormones and aadrenaline are pumping…
But…
How does one get to the first date? It seems like technology has ruined the idea of flirting, and summer romances. Between Grindr, Jack’d and what is left of facebook have we become desensitized to romance? A good date is hard to come by, but finding the date seems even harder these days. We try to go on dates from these apps, but they rarely amount to anything but a first date and a f*ck.
the water hole…
True fact. Gay men drink and we drink well. It seems that what was once the social setting to meet guys, has now turned into the SEX and the CITY equivalent of breakfast.  We have become these cliquey little gays that go out with our friends in our Fendi, Prada and Dolce. We sit around smoking and looking, but very few will actually make the move and attempt to flirt. Why the hesitation? It is the ideal social situation right? A room of gays that are intoxicated so their gaurd is down and liquid courage kicks in?? 
There is a difference between flirting and cruising/picking up on a guy… Cruising/picking up… usually opens up with a line like… “How do you like your eggs in the morning…” or “You are hot, you. me. my place.” or even “Gimme five minutes behind the bar.Hah. These are the lines guys wish they could use.… Hahah. Or they are lines that we talk about with our friends. Then there is the ideal flirt… Charming, usually a lot of smiling goes on with this, there are butterflies and a spark
 The flirting lasts all night, and usually ends with an unusually long hug goodbye… an exchange of numbers and making plans to get together for dinner or coffee. Last night, I got to experience flirting in the ideal situation again… At first I didn’t even know it was happening, and then BAM! It hit me in the face like someone should hit Paula Abdul for releasing that new awful single. I mean the guy was cute to begin with, but he was semi-off limits because he was a friend of a friend. It was one of those situations…. BACKTRACK! I went to the W Hollywood to meet up with friends from the past, then headed off to West Hollywood where I would run into a close colleague and friend with his friends, my cousin and his friends, former Social Culture models, Louis Van Amstel, and friends from San Fran. The plan was to just go and be social and catch up with good people, and drink… I needed it after my evening.
So… as I am meeting up with my friend and his friends, I was introduced to him… lets call him… J. Everything seemed normal, the exchange of names, how we know our mutual friend, and then progressively through the night it turned into flirting... a mini date? A spiral of crazy goodness?
 Not exactly sure...    I do know this, when he touched me I got butterflies, and I even stopped smoking for the evening since he is not a smoker.  *BIG DEAL* right?
  the morning after.
work. Always work… but the thoughts rush through my head…
The polite good morning texts…
PLUS SIDE… talking to my friend to see what his version of last night was… there is always two sides of the story… and well to be frank… my flirtatious evening might just be him being genuine and a good guy... let us hope otherwise.

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble…

self portrait. November 20, 2012
As a child, I grew up in a plastic bubble… 
My parents raised me in a conservative christian home where
everything was monitored, filtered and influenced by religion.

This is not a religious bash…

In most ways, we as children have no power on what we are influenced with…
But, when life changes and we experience things our parents’ wouldn’t approve of
we then are able to start defining ourselves as adults.

As an adult, I have made my mistakes and I have learned a few lessons.
There are some mistakes I regret, some mistakes that were fun.
There were the mistakes that led to great creative inspiration…and there 
were mistakes that I loved.

Regardless, they were my mistakes.

As an adult my parents and I don’t see eye to eye… on well… almost anything.
I have come to accept that.

Now, I am my own person living my own life
my relationship with my parents is… minimal.

If I could change that I would… but they still live in their bubble,
and that will never change. I have seen it now with my sister.

What is your bubble like? How limiting is it?

My bubble? It is the filter of fashion, beauty, art and life.
My bubble lets anyone in and out as I love to experience new things, new people, new places.
Though, when it comes to my personal belief system… 
Have I become like my parents, and won’t change?
Am I set in my ways in my belief system?

maybe. maybe not. I am still learning,
still experiencing and still deciding what I like in my bubble.