The Ultimate Guys’ Guide to Summer Flings

Summer’s already in full swing, and for those who are unattached, this is primetime for the universal treat that is known as the “summer fling.”

A “fling,” in essence, pretty much means a situation is disposable, or to be less harsh, that there’s an expiry date attached to your sexy shenanigans. However, if you’re familiar with the movie, Grease, you know that some summer lovin’ can last longer than the warm months, and has the potential to turn into something real­—as well as a full-blown, muscle car musical.

Whether you’re already involved with a summer fling, or thinking about it (there’s still time!), I rounded up top Toronto relationship psychologist, Nicole McCance, for tips on how to have the best summer fling ever. Yes, ever.

WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE A SUMMER FLING ANYWAY?

As Canadians, we only have so much time to spend enjoying the warm weather, so you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth it to get involved with someone, but, as McCance points out, “Summer is just better with a companion! Someone to make memories and enjoy adventures with. No drama, no pressure, just fun.” Also, a summer fling might indeed be your thing if you’re looking to try out new experiences this season without the pressure of a relationship.

“When dating someone new you are also more likely to participate in new activities that you likely wouldn’t if you were settled in a long-term relationship,” says McCance. “You go out more and step outside your comfort zone in an effort to impress her, such as taking a cooking class, salsa lessons or trying hot yoga. It’s a great way to get to know yourself better and woman in general with little pressure to commit.”

BE CLEAR WITH WHAT YOU WANT

Before embarking on a summer fling, you gotta state your intentions. It’s a must, according to McCance. “Be clear and communicate your intentions,” she says. “My male clients often tell me they are having a summer fling but they don’t communicate this intention to the woman, breaking her heart in the end. This can lead to him feeling guilty and potential drama.” Don’t be that guy. You know the one who’s all like, “But I thought she knew!” Women aren’t mind readers. Tell her there’s an expiry date upfront/right now.

ARE YOU IN A SUMMER FLING AND JUST DON’T KNOW IT?

Maybe you’ve started seeing a woman this summer, and now that you’re reading this article, you’re beginning to wonder, “Am I enjoying a summer fling, or could this be something else (something more)?” Well, if you’re just banging in the sunshine and like to keep things light with her, chances are, it’s just a fling.

“You are enjoying a summer fling when you find yourself not thinking about a future with her,” McCance says. “Instead you keep thinking about sex with her and all the sunny adventures you can have together. When you are with her, you are less interested in getting to know her and more interested in having fun.” So if she ever asks you about your parents or what was your favourite childhood toy, and you always change the subject to the latest episode of Justified, then, yeah, you’re in a fling, dude.

BUT WHAT IF IT IS SOMETHING MORE?

OK, so you’re involved with a woman this summer, and you’ve read the above, and you’re thinking, “Yeah, I like having sex with her and all, but I also like to talk to her—and about real stuff! So, how do I know if it’s more than a summer fling?”

If you’re thinking about the future with her (and not just what new sex position you’re going to try with her later) that’s your first clue, according to McCance. That, and “you want to know if she is dating anyone else. You enjoy being connected to her. You want to know all about her. You feel at home when you are in her presence.  You even catch yourself thinking about her meeting your family.” If any of this rings true, then, yep—you’ve met your Sandy.

SHOULD YOU EVEN CONSIDER A SUMMER FLING?

Sure, a summer fling sounds all sun, surf, and sex on paper, but is it the kind of situation that is truly suitable for you? A summer fling isn’t going to satiate you if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, that’s for sure. Also, says McCance, if your current summer squeeze is actually your type and someone who you could fall in love with, it might be time to break things off. ”Best to have a summer fling with a woman who is not your type, that way you don’t risk falling for her and getting hurt when it ends.”

The original article appeared on Daily XY

5 Things

I haven’t written “5 things” in a while…sometimes it’s hard to see what you have when you lose something precious to you. But the truth is, there is abundance ALL around us. And, often times, we realize we have WAY more than we thought we did when we lose something — even if it’s a big something. Because there’s always something else, and someone else, to not replace, but to ADD to our already-full lives. 

So, yeah, the above is #1 what I’m grateful for this week. That realization. 

2. Smudging. It works. It feels good. It smells good. It’s just good. 

3. Summer BBQs with friends. Is there anything better than eating grilled meat/veggies, drinking outside, basking in the warm weather, surrounded by your framily? No, there isn’t. 

4. Wallowing. It’s OK to wallow. It’s OK to watch sappy TV and eat cookies and feel a little sorry for yourself. It’s OK to mourn what you’ve lost. It’s OK to be sad. Basically, it’s OK to FEEL. 

5. Being OK. After experiencing a slump, a loss, a bump in the road, there’s nothing better than realizing you’re stronger than you think, that your future is bright and that, yeah, taking a shower really is a good idea. 

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I’m a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and Proud of It

Last week, after a receptionist told me that the clinic I had so desperately wanted to visit before closing time, had, indeed, closed, I cried. I cried until she said, “Let me see what I can do,” and I was brought in.

I should point out that I didn’t cry to get my own way. I just cry. A lot. I’m a big cry baby.  So much so that “Cry Baby” was my nickname growing up. Of course it would have been hella cooler to be called “Cry Baby” if it was in reference to that Johnny Depp movie, but it wasn’t. It was because I would burst into tears at the drop of a hat. All children cry when they’re being teased, but I would cry if I was in a large crowd, or while I watched Benji  stranded on top of that mountain or when words wouldn’t convey all THESE EMOTIONS.

I didn’t really know why I was the way I was until I was 22 and my acting teacher recommended I read a book called The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine N. Aron.

It changed my life.

For the first time I realized why I find myself crying for no reason. Why I can pick up on other people’s energy and feel it as if it were my own. Why the stimuli around me can affect me so deeply. It’s because I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) – an empath – and I am not alone. In fact, there are as many as one in five people possessing the trait.

If this sounds familiar, here are some other traits of an HSP:

1. Noise is super annoying. No one likes to hear a jackhammer pounding away outside, but to a HSP, annoying noises are super duper annoying. For me, especially when I was younger, it was going to clubs. I hated clubbing. HATED IT. The noise (OK, “music”), the people, all the touching (OK, the grinding). Within an hour of arriving, I was always like, “Get me outta here!” Of course my friends weren’t too impressed, but I couldn’t help it. HSPs are very sensitive to noise and general chaos because we tend to be overwhelmed and overstimulated by too much activity.

2. Violent movies are painful. I consider myself a movie buff, but there are certain movies I refuse to see (any gruesome war pics, excessively gratuitious horror flicks) because the violence becomes too visceral for me to handle. Ask my movie buds: anytime we watch a movie with even a little ol’ stabbing scene (you know, low-key stuff), I am in a ball, closing my eyes, because I FEEL too much.

3. We’re all cry babies. This was a relief for me to learn because I didn’t feel like I was the only one who cried over the “little things.” It became less embarrassing for me to cry over not getting that parking spot, or if I was in a confrontation with someone. Over time, through the support of friends and family, and just accepting who I am, I’ve been able to either control the tears, or let them flow – depending on the circumstances – shame-free.

4. Alone time – yes please! We HSPs loooove our alone time. We crave it and we need it to digest our day. We’re also more likely to work from home (um, hello!) and it’s also why we prefer exercising alone to joining team sports. It also explains why you might hate the gym. I used to belong to a gym, and though I would work out regularly, I hated the fact that there were people around me, and that, in a sense, my every move could be watched. Even when my friend asks me to go for a jog, we actually don’t jog together because it’s like, this is my time, I need my space. I work out from home now, and I just feel way more comfortable.

5. HSPs are really DEEP. I’m called “deep” a lot, and I used to think that was a bit of an insult. Like, I was either really serious or this hippie-dippie navel-gazer. But now I own it. As a HSP, I can’t help if I process things on a deeper level, or that I’m highly intuitive. Also, as a HSP, we are way more empathetic creatures. We take things on when reacting to an external event or even when a friend is relating their grief to us. If your friend has a problem, you most likely feel that problem before they even say a word, or feel their pain as they’re experiencing it. That’s probably why you’re the friend who everyone comes to for advice.

If any of the above sounds familiar, and you think you’re a HSP, you should definitely take Aron’s test to find out.

There’s a ton of info on how to handle being a HSP (besides her book, of course). I recommend smudging ‘cause it’s meditative (and smells therapeutic), forgiveness ‘cause you need to let go and let love in, being around animals ‘cause what better reason is there to snuggle your cat (again), and just fucking crying it out, you big cry baby.

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For real tho. 🚹🚺👽👽
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Forever Young: The Trouble With Looking (and Sounding) Younger Than You Are

The other day I was asked for ID at the LCBO. I acted thrilled because I’m 31 and being asked for your ID at my age is (supposedly) one of life’s little blessings.

“Really? You want to see MY ID?!” I asked, feigning surprise, while handing over my driver’s license.

The clerk looked at my license and then at me. “Are you telling me this is the first time you’ve been asked for your ID?” He asked, not buying my incredulous ‘tude.

Busted.

The truth is I’ve been asked for my ID boatloads of times since becoming the age of majority, (which was 14 years ago) because I look a great deal younger than my actual age. I’ll refrain from calling myself “baby faced,” though, due to the lack of people pulling at my cheeks, and because I think the people who are called “baby faced” actually have a face that should belong on a baby; I have a face that belongs to someone between the ages of 18-26 (so I’ve been told).

And it’s not only how I look, it’s how I sound, too. A guy recently tried to pick me up in a Starbucks because of my “cute” voice. In my opinion, I sound like a subdued Canadian cross between Mindy Kaling and Alexis Bledel (a.k.a. Rory Gilmore) – you know, girly, choosy, the kind of voice you’d expect in a Pixar movie.

You’re probably rolling your eyes and guffawing at my so-called “problem” of being mistaken for a 20-year-old, especially since we live in a society that consistently tells us how aging is bad and not sexy and everything is “anti-aging” this, “anti-aging” that, but reverse ageism is a real thing too, people!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been dismissed, underestimated or not taken seriously because of my Benjamin Button-like exterior.  I get a lot of “kiddos” thrown at me, as well as “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Someone even had the audacity to ask me “what’s the 411 on Hunter Hayes?” and I was like, “Who the fuck?!”

Prospective employers have patronized me in job interviews with “We’re looking at someone with a fair amount of experience” before bothering even to glance at my chockful-of-experience resume. Bartenders have eagerly poured drinks for my friends before turning to me and demanding to see an ID. Vendors often give me a hard time whenever I ask to buy a lottery ticket.

Then there was the time when I was at a wedding and one of my parents’ friends said to me, “Don’t worry. Sally waited until she was 27 to get married. You’ve got plenty of time.” I was 30.

But the absolute worst happened a few days ago. I was at my parents’ house and I answered their landline and upon hearing my “Hello?” the telemarketer promptly asked if either of my parents were home. WTF. I’m a grown-ass woman – I could have a mortgage! I could have a landline! I could do some lame-ass survey! But, oh no. My age says “adult” but my voice says, “My Mommy’s not home right now. Can I take a message?”

(OK, maybe I can give a pass to the telemarketer since he didn’t actually see me. I’d like to think that maybe if he had, then he would have said instead, “Madame of the house, I presume?”)

More often than not, I don’t mind looking a little younger. I’ve enjoyed friendships with people of all ages, I can get away with wearing denim shorts and tight pants without looking like I’m trying too hard to be “hip” and, a few years from now, when my peers are getting Botox and trout pouts, I’ll be like Cindy Crawford (have you seen Cindy lately? The woman does NOT age).

But I would be lying if I said that looking younger, and occasionally being infantilized because of my appearance, does not make me a tad bit insecure. Sometimes it causes me to act less confidently and become hyper aware of others’ reactions to me. Other times it causes me to be defensive and then I try to put on a weird, deeper, more “adult” voice, which hurts my throat and makes me sound like Meryl Streep in August: Osage County, and it’s really not a good scene. I know this insecurity is my issue, though, and one that I need to embrace more because this is me, and this is how I be, so I might as well walk with assuredness and believe in my aptitude for professionalism.

Besides, according to science, if you look young for your age, then you’ll probably live longer, too. So, if you look young, too, then drink up, my friend, because we’ve truly found the Fountain of Youth.

This article originally appeared on She Does The City

20 Summers of Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz returns to the big screen on July 18 with Sex Tape, a raunchy comedy about a married couple who wake up to discover that the wild sex tape they made the night before has gone missing, leading to madcap search around town for its whereabouts. The movie not only reunites Diaz with her Bad Teacherco-star (Jason Segel) and director (Jake Kasdan), but also with the genre – the screwball comedy — that made Diaz a household name twenty years ago. 20!

Indeed, it was twenty summers ago when Diaz made Jim Carrey’s eye pop out of his head in her film debut, 1994’s The Mask, and we’ve been transfixed with the former model ever since. Sure, Diaz may have had her share of summer flops (Knight & Day, anyone?), but, for the most part, the California native has owned the summer movie house with an array of box office hits and a fair bit of critical acclaim. Here are five of her hottest summer movies.

The Mask (1994)

 The role of the vivacious Tina Carlyle, the gangster moll who Jim Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss is besotted with, seemed tailor-made for Diaz. She was both funny and sexy and real, basically the perfect combination of the girl-next-door, all attributes that have continued to serve her well during her cinematic career. It’s almost hard to believe the role was her movie debut (and even harder to believe that Diaz never took an acting class until after she was cast) but, not really, when you consider Diaz’s star wattage was apparent the moment she first appeared onscreen (and, especially, during that fantastic dance number with Carrey). AsRoger Ebert fatefully, and prophetically, said in his review of the film, Diaz “is a true discovery in the film, a genuine sex bomb with a gorgeous face, a wonderful smile, and a gift of comic timing. This is her first movie role…It will not be her last.”

 My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) 

 The romantic comedy was seen as a comeback vehicle for star Julia Roberts, who was nearly 30, had suffered a string of flops (Mary ReillyMichael Collins) and had finally returned to her flowing, red locks. But, (besides a stellar Rupert Everett), it was Diaz who stole the show. Who else could make an agonizing karaoke rendition of “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” not only tolerable, but also adorable? And let’s not forget the scene in which Diaz confronts Roberts in a woman’s public washroom, calling her a “two-faced, big-haired critic,” proving to Roberts’ Julianne that she was more than a perky girl but a force to be reckoned with. It was truly one of those “art imitating life” moments.

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

 Basically, the movie should have been retitled “There’s Something About Cameron.” Yes, it was Ben Stiller’s movie, but Diaz, with her effortless charm and comedic timing, made us believe that there really was something about Mary. As Rolling Stone said, Diaz “plays Mary with the beaming sexiness and sharp comic timing of a born star.” Rolling with the gross depravity the Farrelly brothers are known for, Diaz proved she was game for anything, and just “one of the guys,” exuding the tomboy trait that’s followed her career since then. Raking in almost $400 million at the box office, along with her ability to hold her own against Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon, the comedy flick solidified Diaz as a big box office star. And we never looked at hair gel the same way ever again.

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

 The revamped film adaptation of the ‘70s hit TV show was an infectious, raucous riot, led by Drew BarrymoreLucy Liu and Diaz. As test pilot/P.I. Natalie Cook, Diaz plays against her sexiness and instead plays up the ditzy, blonde archetype to solid comic effect in the role. Also, how can we resist a good Diaz dance scene? There’s a couple in this one. First, there’s the one in her undies (not bad) but her gifted gawkiness (and mad dance skills) are solidly put on displayed as she bumps and grinds to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Diaz, with her kung-fu and cool ‘tude, proves she’s a true “Independent Woman” in the flick, and she majorly kicks ass.

Shrek (2001)

 It says a lot about a star when her most successful film (franchise) is one in which she doesn’t even appear onscreen. And in which her character is an ugly green ogre. But Diaz’s Princess Fiona, both fiery and funny, exemplifies the very best of Diaz. It’s not surprising, then, that of all her characters, it’s Fiona that Diaz is most recognized for. When asked by the New York Times if it took extra convincing for her to produce the bodily noises that Fiona is asked to produce, Diaz said that it was easy for her because she’s “basically a 14-year-old boy in my heart, in my spirit,” which sums up how she’s been able to make us laugh (and buy tickets to her movies) for the past twenty summers.

This article originally appeared on Cineplex.com

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