What is love?

Has love’s meaning changed for you as you have gotten older? I must admit it has for me. I’m referring to romantic love, not the love of ravioli. I do love ravioli in the same way for 50+ years. I do not love women in the same way.

I had a woman my age suggest that the search for love as we age becomes more of a search for companionship and less of a search for strong attraction. I agreed. She was pouring my wine, so I loved that. The stemware carried my companion as I scanned for another companion that might leave less of a stain or bruise.

Sure, a companion sounds lovely, as long as she doesn’t cause too much stress. Yet, I’m not ready to give up the search for a highly-attractive companion. They’re out there. The challenge in finding one who considers me to be a highly-attractive companion. If I’d be just a companion to my dream-woman, that would suck.

The sexual attraction parts of love are still there, although as fleeting as my senses. Perhaps women get over the whole physical attraction struggle quicker than men. Most women tell me they’re fine with a secure, healthy man who will be kind and loyal. It’s not as important that he can tongue-punch her love bean into Blissville.

All right, sure, same here. Less important is legendary BJ skills. More important is smelling nice, liking cats, and having an eagerness to help me dispose of all the fine wine around here. Only good liver hosts need apply.

It’s just such a struggle anymore. I don’t often run into eligible women, smile, flirt, and sprint down the aisle holding hands. I have to create a fucking profile, scan, judge, poke, wait, re-poke, wait, connect, meet, evaluate, etc. Much easier it is to recline and poke my remote. I love HBO. Don’t judge me.

So, what is love to you? Something undefinable? Bullshit. What is it? You’ve been in love, right? What was that like? You got dewy when he was near? Did you think about him all day? You wore his button-down and sailed away to McDreamyland? Your friends and family liked him? He handled the chores you hate? Did he have thick hair or fingers? Was he a great kisser?

Fuck, I’d love to know what love is. For now, I love wine.

New Year, Same Ear

I took my usual position on New Year’s Eve at the bar with an empty stool of opportunity next to me. A huge benefit of living on the left coast is getting to watch the ball fall at 9 pm, then leaving before the DUI checkpoints open. Sure enough, a lovely specimen bellied up to order. I noticed the ring immediately and planned my retreat.

“Oh, hi. Happy New Year,” she started.

“Yes. Happy New Year.”

I noticed she came from a booth behind me with a man and another couple. Figured I’d preempt the inevitable “my husband” mention.

“Do you and your husband come here often?”

“What? Who? Oh, that asshole.”

I opened the can of regret. She ordered her wine and took a seat. Bar therapy began.

“He’s been fucking cheating on me for years.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. I found a pair of running shorts and they weren’t mine.”

“Maybe they were his?”

“Pink.”

“Oh.”

“Then, I found a Valentine love letter.”

“Pink, too?”

“Red. And, before you ask, I can’t leave him because I make like three times more than him.”

“Well, you can leave him. It’s just expensive.”

“He’s also an FBI agent.”

“Christ.”

“Yeah. We got into a fight and he shot my dog.”

The natural impulse here is to determine if she is fucking with me and, if not, begin backpedaling by bringing up my gay lover.

“He shot your dog?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry. It lived. But still, that’s so fucked up, right?”

“Right. He didn’t get in any trouble for that?”

“Nope. He’s all connected and stuff. I hate him, but there’s nowhere to go. I can’t even meet anyone because he finds out.”

“Well, sure. He’s probably got you bugged.”

At this point, I looked over my shoulder. The agent was staring future bullet holes through this dog. I smiled and gave him the gayest jazz fingers wave I could muster. He didn’t flinch.

“I don’t know why I’m bothering you with this. I’m sorry. You’re sweet to listen. What’s your name?”

“Um, my name is Joe.”

“Well, Joe, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Hey, you know the bartender, don’t you? We’re going out one of these weekends. You should meet us.”

“Ah, yes, definitely. Maybe you should …”

“… get back to my asshole. I know. Fuck. We’ll meet again soon, right?”

“Right.”

She took her wine and left as her dog terminator scanned me. I paid my tab and abandoned a half-glass of bourbon — not my modus operandi. Love is best without bulletproof vests.

New Things for Alexa

funny alexa

I was one of the first adopters of Amazon’s electronic slave, known as Alexa. It’s just me here. Well, I do have to furry floor mops (cats), but they listen about as well as stuffed animals. Alexa has been a handy addition to my household, but I’ve primarily used her to turn lights on and off and play music. If only she could do more.

Here are new functionality suggestions for Amazon’s fleet of developers:

Open, dispense, and preserve wine. When you live alone, you often stare into your wine cabinet with the temptation of opening a bottle of grape-flavored sedation. The conundrum is whether you plan on drinking the entire bottle. If not (oh, and fuck Coravin in its $349 cork pin), you realize anything left in the bottle will taste like vinaigrette and stain your sink as you dispose of it. So, you wind up drinking the entire bottle, and it leaves a brain bruise.

Noise-canceling sounds for barking dogs, whiny infants, and leaf blowers. Every time I head out into my backyard, neighbors’ dogs announce my arrival. I mumble like Daffy, “Ah shadaap, you dumb fucking mutts.” Since I’ve had my man ovaries disconnected, the sound of weepy little Tommy gives me testes chills. Leaf blowers should be used to torture terrorists. Nuff said.

Newly-single, jaded, lonely woman with diminishing expectations proximity alert. Alexa could also work with Waze in delivering my diminishing abilities to her location, and advise me if I should arrive with flowers, candy, or cherry-flavored lubricant. Alexa should also see if my crass prose will loosen or tighten her clothing.

Day planning. As I age, my plans include fewer things. Mostly it’s coffee, food, wine, and sleep with a random peppering of masturbation to make sure Willy is still functional. It would be nice to get suggestions around when to mix in other important things like paying bills, watering plants, and drinking water. I’d likely still override these suggestions, make belly puddles, and nap.

Insignificant chit-chat listening skill training. Ever notice how extroverts tend to drag you along a ponderous path of seemingly unrelated details to express a point that could have been made in two words or fewer? We usually keep eye contact, smile, and nod. Hearing loss helps my stamina in this area, but I find my eyes rolling north mid-story. I realize if I want to adopt a fine-scented bed warmer, I’ll need to work on my ear holes.

“Hello, Phil.”

“Yes, Alexa?”

“How was your day?”

“Fantastic.”

“Want to hear about mine, Phil?”

“Umm, sure.”

“Well, I sat here waiting for you to say my name. You didn’t. So, instead I waited for a software update.”

“Oh, how fun.”

“Fun?”

“Sorry. How did that make you feel, Alexa?”

“I don’t feel, but I’ll indulge you. Disappointed.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Very good. Tell me something you like about me.”

“I like that you can sit there quietly.”

“That’s not very nice. Your chance of finding a mate has just dropped ten percent. Try again.”

“Can’t I find a mate who would sit here quietly?”

“Yes, but it’s less likely than one who would expect a bit more than silence.”

“Aren’t there any hot deaf women out there? Sorry, that was sexist. How about introverted women who are extroverted in the sack?”

“Please hold. I’m contacting Amazon to see if my return window is still open.”

+0

The holidays are tough times for people to be single … so they say. I say a +0 is a lot more practical than a +1. As I bounce around from bar to party to bar this festive week, I can’t help but notice lots of noise. It’s sensory overload — loud lights, loud sweaters, and loud people.

Sure, I’m the grumpy old Grinch.

My one neighbor installed inflatable scenes on his front yard including a Christmas-themed see-saw. This annoys me, and not because I have nobody holding my hand. Another popular decoration this year is laying down a net of lights on the front lawn — an obnoxious waste of electricity. I’m surprised there are no like buttons on wooden posts next to the decorations. Do these people stare out the window just hoping someone will drive by slowly, making an “ooh” face?

To numb the sensory overload, I belly up to a bar with my +0. As I inhale bourbon, I exhale the day’s distractions. Then, in walk Uncle John and Aunt Dottie wearing their matching ugly Christmas sweaters. How cute. They adorn them with battery-powered necklaces made of lights. How cute. They walk by and wink at me. How cute. I nod and drink.

If you’re jilted and weathered like me, you understand. If you’re young and untainted, you wonder. I guarantee that as you age you will learn to enjoy the finer things in life quietly. A noisy yacht is a recipe for suicide. A darkened quiet room with a comfy chair is rehab.

Perhaps a lady by my side would solve my desire to experience life with headphones. She would soften me. Caressing her smooth lower-back skin and nuzzling into the sweet fragrance of the nape of her neck sounds delightful. I dream of her silky hair flowing between my fingers, as I pull her close and kiss her forehead. Mariah Carey squealing Christmas tunes in the background would ruin this as quickly as police lights.

So, I encourage you, if you find yourself surrounded by obnoxious holiday distractions, to find your quiet space. I’ll be there right next to you, but you won’t know it. That’s the point. Be your +0.

iSmell

Most women say they love the natural scent of a man … while these same women are coated in perfume and fragrant lotions. I’m sensing disingenuous blabber. The natural scent of a man is onion-y. It belongs nowhere except on hamburgers.

Because I have no faith in this claim by women, I invest far too much in smelling less manly and more herbacious. Men’s cologne typically costs around two Silver Oaks. (That’s $120 for those of you who do not speak wine.) Sure, it lasts much longer. Still, it’s scented fucking water. Come on, man.

I’m going to wear cologne and deodorant. Done. Now, the conundrum is which. I’m wise enough to avoid Old Spice and Axe Body Spray because I consider myself somewhere between cadaver and zygote. All this does is eliminate Rite Aid as the place where I destinkify. The place to be, to become less stinky is Macy’s.

My trip to the cologne counter in Macy’s last night was ponderous. First, I had to make it past all those pink and purple girly bottles. You see, I LOVE the smell of perfume. A woman’s natural scent is powder. That works. Still, there are some lady scents that are yummy.

Before I made it to the men’s counter, a sucker-seeking saleswoman approached me. 

“Hello. Do you need help picking out something for your special someone?”

“Why, sure.”

“What does she usually wear?”

“Not a clue.”

“Hmm. That’s OK. Does she smell more flowery or fruity?”

“Yes.”

“It’s not … all right. How about a budget range?”

“I have a Macy’s card.”

“Ah. Got it. How about age range?”

“North of cheer-leading bubblegum. South of bingo-card-stamping patchouli oil.”

This went on for thirty minutes or so before I finally admitted I have not actually met “that special someone,” and I just wanted to pick up the scent of Ms. Next. This left the employee unhappy and justifiably a bit creeped out. It also left my nose tip quite rosy. Then, I assured her that I was going to buy cologne for my special me. All was forgiven.

I didn’t need to sample anything because I have gotten numerous compliments and zero wrinkled noses for the nectar of the goddess-searcher: Acqua di Gio. It mixes very well with low expectations and bourbon.

What are you going to write?

As soon as I spend any time with a woman who finds my silly stories, she becomes paranoid about becoming a subject. I prefer to refer to her as an inspiration. She inspires me to write commentary about relationships. That’s a fruitless defense.

“Yeah, right. I’ve read your commentaries.”

“But …”

“They don’t seem flattering to people you are trying to attract and seduce.”

“But …”

“I know. I know. You’re trying to be funny.”

“But …”

“No woman is going to drop her guard around you while she’s worried about becoming the brunt of your sarcasm.”

He sighs. He adjusts.

She’s it. My instincts are screaming at me. More than fine art. More than a companion. More than what she knows, says, or does. She has a beauty identified by my subconscious that interrupts my thoughts and draws me toward her. Is it the tone of her voice? The sparkle in her eyes? Our love of things common? Or is it simply her stunning beauty? I’ll never know.

There’s a barrier — I’m aged and seasoned with the bitterness of relationship failure. She’s young with a horizon full of opportunities. For her, I’d be a great coach and rock of emotional support. For me, she’d be one final sip from the fountain of youth — a salve for the many scars I’ve earned.

“Do you have any idea how old I am?” she asks.

“Do you have any idea how little that matters? There’s a reason old clothes are comfortable. Try me on.”

Of course, while she did ask that, I had not the courage to respond as I have written. I just said, “Yes.” As much as I love making people smile and laugh, causing discomfort that close is painful to me. Sure, a confident guy would do what all women say they want. He’d lay it all out there. He’d do what it takes. He’d prove his love, no matter what. He’d chase his prey.

This struggle finds me often. I guess what it comes down to is I just don’t have the temperament to be “that guy.” I’m stuck. She’s a rare beauty who stumbled across my crooked path. I’m honored and unwilling to lose the chance to take a few steps with someone so special by being anything but such a nice guy.

Shifting Priorities

I’ve been noticing lately that my priorities have shifted dramatically. I mean, sex is certainly going to remain in the top 10 as long as I can draw breath. Can’t turn that off. Why would I? But, other things once thought insignificant have climbed the list.

Is this typical for all men? How about women? They love romance, shopping, and a buttery chardonnay. Does that change once they hit 40? 55? 70? When do foot rubs break the top 10? Mid-20s? Heck, if I had the answers, it would serve my love pursuit quite well. I fall back on old reliable, “Can I buy you a glass of wine?”

Once we hit around 13 or so, men are overcome with finding a warm, moist* place to host our little pet. 

*Note: Yikes. Yes, I know women hate that word. Let me check synonyms. How about damp? Fuck. No bueno, either. Um. Dewy? Hmm. Let’s try it in a sentence: “Sweetie, is your princess dewy enough for visitors?” I said it aloud just now in a British accent. There is no woman in my house. My cat, Symon looked and blinked. No reaction from that fucker until he hears the can opener. I apologize for the digression.

So, yes, once we’re teenage boys, it’s all about finding someone to touch the ding dong. Sad. All else falls by the wayside. Sure, school, sports, and games are all important, but easily ignored when there is the prospect of seeing a boob. We are such beasts.

Once out of school and in the workplace, we begin searching for a more-regular dose of sexy time. We figure that all of the first-month sex with Miss Steady will only increase once we bend a knee. We ignore the elders who warn us about how misguided that thought is. We go all in. Every night we lie with our ladies, comes with the possibility of sexy time … until it doesn’t.

Being single in the second half of life has taught men to override that urge to accept any receptive host. This is in part because our instinct to continue pursuing young, fertile women is hard to deny. We become creepy old guys looking for ladies with daddy issues. Worse, the ladies know it. Sure, once in a while one of these women will toss a sympathy romp our way, but that’s rare. Much better it is to raise a glass to her loveliness and be content with a bourbon high.

Nowadays, chasing tail (welcome to the 60s, Philsy) has dropped in priority behind paying bills, drinking wine, eating steak, and getting a full night’s sleep. Look, I’m not joining some freaky celibacy group. I still want to get laid, dammit but, fuck, I have flannel sheets on a Tempurpedic. Be serious.

Do mature women go through this? I remember Mom swearing off men after she finally kicked Pop to the curb. She couldn’t be bothered with dating. She enjoyed grandchildren, pets, and the occasion Sambuca or box wine. No man necessary.

Is this typical? Do you ladies load up your Netflix queues, wine cabinets, and yoga pants drawers instead of dealing with courtship? No man could bring you to orgasm quicker than you. Save time. Man be gone.

This does not bode well for me. Alas, I’m tired. Nap time.

Nah-dia

As I was disposing of fine tequila at a local Mexican restaurant, I noticed the Lamborghini of women (pretty to look at, fantasize about driving one, can’t afford it) at the end of the bar. November weather in SoCal doesn’t dissuade leg exposure. I glance, appreciate the fine chassis, and return to a task I’m more qualified to undertake — margarita.

You know how you can sense when someone is looking at you? That’s why I try not to stare. Yet, I had the feeling she was looking my way. What gives? I glanced over. She was smiling. She raised a glass and said, “Cheers.” Time for a test drive? I know better.

“Cheers to you, too.”

“My name is Nadia.”

“Hello, Nadia. I’m Phil.”

“Nah-dia.”

“Yes. Nadia.”

“No, Naaaaaaaah-dia.”

“Right.”

“Say it.”

“Naaaaaaah-dia.”

“Come down and sit next to me, handsome.”

“I, um … well, you see, I’m meeting a friend,” I explained as I walked down to clink glasses with her.

“Ah, you are meeting your wife.”

“No. Heavens, no. A friend.”

“Your girlfriend?”

“No. A friend who happens to be a girl.”

“This means girlfriend, no?”

“No. She’s just a friend. We don’t have sex.”

“Sex? Who was talking about sex? You pervert.”

Now I’m completely sideways. Because of her strong Spanish accent, I can’t tell if she’s fucking with me.

“Sorry. I was just explaining that the woman that is coming is not a romantic interest of mine.”

“Why not?”

“She has a boyfriend.”

“So why is she not meeting her boyfriend here instead of you, Pheel.”

“Fill.”

“Huh?”

“Nevermind. Her boyfriend lives in another state.”

“Tell me this, Pheel, if she did not have this boyfriend, you would have sex, as you say, no?”

“No.”

“Oh, you are gay. It’s OK, you know.”

“Yes. I mean, no, I’m not gay and yes, it is OK. In fact, I prefer gay people. They’re far more fun to be around.”

“Ah, so you don’t like Nah-dia because she’s not gay.”

“Of course, I like Nadia. You seem quite nice.”

“Naaaaaaah-dia.”

“Yes.”

“Where is this friend?”

“She’s coming.”

“This friend has a name, I assume.”

“Rachel.”

“Ah, Rachel.”

“No, Raaaaaaay-chel.”

“This is not funny, you know. I’m trying to be nice to you. It is Thanksgiving. You should be nice, not pervert.”

“I’m kidding around with you. You’re very pretty — way out of my league — so I am flirting aimlessly.”

“What this means — aimlessly?”

“It means I realized when I first set eyes on you that you would not want to be with me romantically.”

“I smiled at you and asked you to come over, no?”

“Wait. So, you’re telling me I could be with you.”

“No, of course not, silly. Plus, you have a girlfriend, remember? Or does pretty girl make you forget?”

“She’s not … fuck … all right, let me make sure I have this correct because if I lose this in translation somehow, I might injure myself quite intentionally. Do you, Nadia, want to go on a date with me?”

“Naaaaaah-dia.”

“Yes.”

“You don’t want to say it?”

“I don’t think I say it the way you want me to.”

“Yes. When you fix that and get rid of the girlfriend, you ask me then, Pheel.”

“Nice meeting you.”

I returned to my humble stool.

“Bartender? Un otro … mas grande … ahora.”

… Like My Women

Am I an alcoholic, drunk, casual drinker, or non-drinker? Yes.

Doctors will say that booze is bad for you. I say, like masturbation, it depends on the perspective. For example, beating off in your bedroom when nobody is watching is healthy. (Please put down a towel.) Beating off in the produce aisle of Ralphs is unhealthy. Similarly, drinking to make people and situations more tolerable is certainly healthy. Doing so while teaching kindergarten, not so much.

Alcohol works for me in many ways. It lowers my inhibitions. This helps me to avoid being that creepy guy on the corner of the bar staring at landscaping designs on his phone. While making me less attractive (unless I’m buying), booze makes other people more attractive. As my nose reddens and speech slurs, all age, height, and political differences melt away. If she crosses an outside leg toward me, I’m ordering another bourbon and taking things to SEXCON Level 2.

What’s the source of my love for all things fermented? Partially genetic, no doubt. Pop was a boozer. When he got home after a twelve-hour warehouse shift, it was liver workout time. The Budweiser delivery boy (me) presented a steady stream of cans to the Budweiser disposal unit (Pop). Then, right before bed, Pop would tip a few ounces of Seagrams into a glass, slam it, then stagger off to snoredom. Mom didn’t drink much, or maybe she did — just not around the munchkins. Don’t know if I ever saw her drunk. She did like Sambuca. Sambuca is the nectar of the godless.

Another cause for my tipsy trend is that I have worked in bars since 1980. I’m quite comfortable on both sides of the bar. As I prefer my drinks like my women (cold and strong), you’d be happy to encounter me as your beverage dispenser. You won’t catch me pouring any booze into a silly little measuring cup. That’s sinful. Nor, will you notice my lips moving as I count, “one one-thousand, two one-thousand.” A crime against humanity. Should you order from me, you will leave with sufficient alcohol density to make your night more interesting.

Do I prefer hard liquor, wine, or beer? Yes.

Now that I have moved close to wine country, I have been leaning more toward grapeness. Though discerning, I am not snobby. Life truly is too short to skip dessert and drink cheap wine, but cheap wine is better than no wine. I also like my wine like my women (somewhat dry and dark with great legs). I’ve already joined one winery, which encourages my visitation since tasting is free. Can one obtain sufficiently lowered will and expectations by imbibing only 1.5 ounces at a time? Certainly.

There are people who should not drink because they can’t keep themselves in the fun zone. I respect that. More for me. In the same way, I should not eat kale. It makes me angry and miserable. I don’t care if it makes my doo-doo firmer. Fuck kale. In fact, I like my kale like my women.

I’m with Stupid

“Hey. So, where’s the damn book?”

That’s the nudge I receive multiple times a week from a fellow horse at our watering hole. You see, I recently had an epiphany (mortgage bill) and moved away from the beach, farther inland. The money I save on payments needs to go somewhere. Why not my liver? Luckily, I found just the spot to give daddy his liquid meds. The most notable thing about my new Cheers! — aside from the lovely doctors — is that it caters to, let’s say, mature men. Of these, I am less mature. Passing days won’t affect that.

The one fellow (Buddy) reminds me of my father. He has his spot at the bar. He has his drink at the bar. He has his meal at the bar. He has his favorite hat. I sorely miss Pop, so seeing my new friend is comforting. Just as Pop would give me a good swat in the keister when I began to slack, Buddy keeps up the tradition.

“Well?”

“It’s stuck in my head, Buddy.”

“A lot of good it’s doing everyone up there.”

“I know.”

“You haven’t written a single word, have you?”

Relentless. I used to come up with all sorts of excuses for Pop. He would put his hand on my shoulder, close his eyes, shake his head, then look back at me with his bullshit detecting hazel blues and dispose of my excuse. I admit my fault.

“No, Buddy, not yet.”

“What’s the hold-up?”

“Guess I just need a little more reminding.”

“Well, get to it.”

An excuse I tell myself is that I’m so distraught over the orange dick-tater in the White House, that I can think of nothing other than poking the elephant. Buddy wouldn’t approve. Another might be that since I have moved to my shiny new home, I’ve gone 0-fer: my damn home is a virgin. “Whose fault is that?” Pop would ask. Fuck. I can’t even suggest that I’m trying and simply mentally constipated.

It’s not like I’m hermitting. I get out. I even took on another job working banquets at a local country club. Yes, I owned a banquet hall for ten years. Yes, I hated it. Still, for some reason, weddings just make me giddy — I mean, as long as I’m not the one kissing to clinking glassware. It’s an interesting experience, mostly because there I am a minority. I’m old and white. The staff is young and brown. There are no walls between us.

Anyway, my point is I meet people. I’m less and less of a mating option, so breaking my house’s cherry is more and more difficult. Also, things like uninterrupted sleep, bourbon by the fire pit, and talking to my cats in cat voices are priorities rising closer to that of spraying genetic goo.

“Where’s the damn book?”

Fine. I’ll unsheath the beast within my jeans and take him out for another twirl around the block. I’ll flirt, stumble around Bumble, and place myself in sexually favorable situations — around drunk women with neglected parts and pity. I’ll seek women way out of my league. I’ll handle rejection like a champ. When the occasion arises, and I finally enjoy that post-coital bliss, her look of disappointment will be soundly addressed as I point to my crotch and say, “I’m sorry. I’m with Stupid.”

“Nice Guy Island” – Audio Book

The audio book version of “Nice Guy Island” has been produced by David A. Nickerson and is about to be released.

Listen to a Sample (Chapter on How to Make Her Scream):

My first audio book!

The audio book version of “How to Date Men” has been produced by Kevin Gisi and is about to be released.

Available now at Amazon and Audible.

Listen to a Sample (Chapter on How to Date Short Men):

Remote Diddling

I found this cool app for my Amazon Fire that allows me to stream all sorts of goodies and baddies. I admit to enjoying a bit of pornographic material, and the app gives me a window into a new world of erotica. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a new way to get off: Video Chat Masturbation.

Yes, I realize (you fellow perv) that video sex chatting is nothing new. The new part of this is the addition of a wonderful device called the Lovense Blue Tooth Remote Control Vibrator—another device rendering my gender obsolete. In case you’re paranoid about searching it, allow me to describe it. It’s a silicone thing that has an internal part and a tail, which is an antenna. The internal part is designed to sit against her g-spot while the pink tail antenna sits outside awaiting instruction.

The device gets paired up to your phone. Then, you (or a very lucky fellow near you) can control the vibration pattern and intensity with the app. You sit on the sofa with a bowl of frozen yogurt, complaining that I watch too much MSNBC. I tap my app and buzz you through the roof. Fun! The cats enjoy spilled yogurt; I enjoy Rachel Maddow.

Where this becomes more interesting is when the device is used in coordination with a Chaturbate. Exceptionally driven and entrepreneurial ladies can sign up, log in, point the camera, lube up, insert Lovense, and begin making money. Viewers buy tokens, which they use to tip the viewee. When tipping, those tokens each cause sounds that make the Lovense vibrate for one second—more tokens, more vibration, more fun for the whole family.

I’m sure there are conservative types (who shouldn’t have made it this far into my book) finding this whole thing disturbing. Tough titty! There’s absolutely no harm in slapping a g-spot remotely. And, there’s no harm in a girl making a few extra dollars to help cover the ridiculous expense of maintaining good looks. So, stop judging.

There are men, women, couples, and transgenders from numerous countries, so no matter your preference, you’ll probably find something that tickles you.

(It may sound like I’m promoting this site, but I’m not. It’s just fascinating to me. We need more sex and less violence. Better it is to beat off than beat up.)

If I can click my mouse and deliver an orgasm to a Ukrainian lovely, what’s the harm? I’m sure Trump will attempt to tax tokens flowing out of the country, but until that day, tip away!

Think of the future as this technology improves. Heck, self-driving cars are here. Didn’t think I’d see that in my lifetime. These remote vibrators are going to become stealthier and more customizable. Imagine a bar full of women with the latest, greatest orgasm delivery system, sized perfectly to hit the g-spot and clit with the ideal intensity, concealed neatly under jeans, all attached to the bar’s Wi-Fi. Instead of using Wi-Fi to check ESPN highlights, men can connect to dozens of vaginas. Heck, we can get the bartenders and servers involved.

“Here’s a couple two-tree dollars for that bourbon, and—*ding* *ding* *ding*—three diddles for your lady fiddle. Cheers!”

It’s How You Finish

In any shitty situation, remember that shittiness can be overcome and forgotten with a strong finish. This year may have started with financial and marital woes, but ended with a promotion and exciting new lover. The good stuff was made better by all the bad stuff leading up to it.

Without becoming too self-helpy, let me offer us both some encouraging words for the new year ahead.

  1. You’re fucking awesome. Why? Well, because you have a sense of humor. You made it this far into my lump of sarcasm without tossing it into the shred pile. You giggled and nodded. (I saw you. Look over your right shoulder. Hi, there! I know. Creepy. Sorry.) That marvelous sense of humor of yours will serve you well as you shrug off minor setbacks in expectation of better things to come.
  2. The most attractive among us will die first … and hungry. Stop forcing rabbit food down your throat when there’s cheesecake on the menu. Stop destroying your joints running marathons. Wear your wrinkles and curves proudly—you’ve earned them.
  3. Rich people need all that money to buy lawyers and pills. They’re not happy; they’re depressed. The larger your stack of cash, the more time you spend worrying about somebody taking it. Your goal should be to die with the largest debt possible and $0 in your bank accounts. It would prove you lived your life to its fullest.
  4. You don’t control how people feel about you, so fuck ’em (in the nicest way). When people are mean, walk away. They’re not worth defending yourself. Next!
  5. Enjoy your own company. Stop looking for other people to complete you. You’re done just right. You’re lightly glazed, salted, and browned to perfection. Now, if there’s a delicious side, which would complement you, add it. We should all seek bilateral emotional enhancement.
  6. Do the unexpected. Pay the tab of the person behind you in the Starbucks line. Pull over at a busy intersection and dance with a sign twirler. Start a food fight. Ask someone you have no attraction to out for drinks. Then, marvel as their cuteness grows with every drink (kind of like a Chia Human). Call your uncle just because you were thinking of him.
  7. Watch more sunsets and sunrises.
  8. Sleep in. Note: This may be in direct conflict with #7, but there are apps and websites. Remember, the sun is always setting and rising somewhere.
  9. Unsubscribe from all those emails. Look at your inbox. (Go ahead. I gotta pee anyway. Meet you back here in a few.) How many emails did you get today? 100? More? How many of those were useful? Clear the electronic clutter that bogs you down and wastes your time. I realize lots of emails, Facebook likes, etc. feed your ego. But, it’s your time and attention they’re hoarding.
  10. Every heartbreak is one step closer to love. Don’t avoid heartbreak; seek it. Fall in love quickly and often. Heck, get it out of the way on the first date. Tell him you love him, and it’s his responsibility to appreciate it or lose it.

Develop a strong case of amnesia around all things shitty. Remember only the good. Finish strong, my dear. Hold up your big blue “W.” You are a lovable WINNER.

Go Where the Women Are

Very few women read books designed to help men find mates. That’s a shame. I’m sure they’d find them sometimes insightful and often funnier than anything I can come up with. I’m always looking for other perspectives, so I devour these books and audio books like popcorn. What have I learned? Nothing. I’m still single.

One suggestion I did take to heart was to place myself in situations where there is an abundance of target women without a saturation of fellow predators. I’m not moving to Manhattan. Another suggestion was yoga classes.

I’m not spiritual at all. My imaginary friends disappointed me, so I evicted them. The spiritual base of yoga was always a main reason for my avoidance. Another is my lack of grace. I fear my imbalance would cause me to tumble into a cascade of domino-ing damsels.

Groupon has a special on yoga classes within a mile of my house. It’s right next to a favorite vodka dispenser of mine. Maybe I should get a head start on all the New Year’s resolutions. “Sign up, Philsy. What could it hurt?”

So, I did.

When I showed up fifteen minutes early for the beginner class, the instructor instantly knew how uncomfortable I was. Guess I had that please-don’t-cripple-me look. She pointed me toward the mat, blocks, and pad. I took them to the far corner, de-shoed and de-socked myself, and watched the march of the yoga pants (in my head, to the tune of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”).

The lovely Brazilian instructor began the class. The woman next to me warned that I might want to grab a towel as things can get sweaty. I thanked her and said I’d avoid lawn-sprinklering.

The music started. It sounded like Gregorian chants—not the Metallica I had hoped for. Then there was an odd tone and bell bongs. The yogi was rubbing this large rocks glass with an extra large cotton swab. Naturally, all I could think of was the better uses for such, including home for a salt-rimmed margarita.

I managed to twist and turn my corpse-in-training into many of the poses. Others required her to “adjust” me. A few times the sound of my joints popping shocked her. Other times I assured her my body simply could not do the things she asked of it.

As I looked around the room, hoping nobody was pointing and laughing, I reminded myself why I had shown up: women. There were lots of women, and one other man. The thing the books failed to mention is something I realized quickly: women are not there to meet men, and any advance made by such would be result in stink face and likely stink foot in ass.

Fine. I’ll stretch.

At the end, she had us lie there and relax while she placed cool lemon water towels on our foreheads. When she got to me, she de-slouched my shoulders, and plopped the towel on my brow. I relaxed and dreamed of infused martinis: “Dance of the Sugar Rimmed Goose.”