Finding My Place In All This (Re: Not So Alone)

July 20th, 2014

I have many thoughts in my head, including a fun post I want to write about weird dildos, but took took an unexpected turn on Twitter when I posted this:

Several dozen replies, some new follows, a couple LOLs and one cuddle pile/cuddlePUDDLE (get the Liberator throe!) later, I feel reconnected with many bloggers. In fact, I think I got some perspective. Despite having done this thing for 6 years (help my celebrate by entering to win awesome sex toy prizes!), I sometimes feel like I am so not part of the in-crowd. I haven’t managed to become close friends with some of the more “popular” or “successful” bloggers.

And maybe that’s okay.

There are some people who have turned this into their job. I don’t think I ever wanted to do that. At least, not through sex toy reviewing. My interest in sex and society and relationships tends toward the psychological rather than the analytic but I haven’t yet applied to Widener, tehehe.

Anyway, other people have gone down the “this is the job” fork in the road. I am a little jealous of them. It never even occurred to me. And that’s awesome. For them. It’s not enough for me Of Sex and Love always needs to remain a place where I am comfortable being personal. That was much of the point when I wrote it, and I didn’t feel like I could openly discuss sex toys and my sex life with my ex-husband, who was in the military, on my other personal blog (Blog count 1).

And even though that relationship is no longer, it certainly won’t be my last romantic or sexual encounter, as you’ve no doubt continued to read here on my blog. For the most part, reviews have dominated this space, but it’s coincidental, not on purpose. It’s how it happens. At some point, I may very well stop writing reviews and focus on my personal sex life if need be.

It will serve a wonderful purpose.

But it also serves the purpose of dividing between myself and some of sex toy reviewers, who are less “sex bloggers.” And that’s okay. For them. Starting a large blog (#3 if you’re counting!) that continues to be a time-intensive labor of love leaves less time for writing.. and socializing. It’s why I go days without looking at Twitter and my Facebook page is often pathetic. I apologize. There are just not enough minutes in the day. Priorities are assigned. This blog is not usually in the top 5 when I have family, friends, work, my other blogs and sex (let’s be honest: sex takes precedence over most of those things) to tend to.

Maybe I mention these things too often. Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I do it because it’s a reminder. Not all of us sex bloggers/toy reviewers look alike. We don’t have the same priorities. We don’t approach things from the same place.

There are NO one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to blogging about sex and toys.

If you look at this crazy thing with that narrow-minded view, you’re not just missing the point, you’re missing out on the opportunity. And maybe you’re part of the problem. I can admit that I often build invisible walls around myself, but I’m writing this in an effort to knock them down. But if you think there’s only one way to do this, you’re alienating others and misrepresenting the community, which is as varied as my sex toy collection. (Okay, probably more so!)

I don’t want to be part of that. I don’t want to be at the top of a popularity ladder just to avoid the spit from others. Okay? Okay!

I do want to feel like I’m surrounded by friends no matter where I may be in terms of numbers, popularity of success. So thanks to TTC, Dizzygirl, Juliettia, Ima Godiva and Reenie for being the type of people to reply to a message like that I posted on Twitter. And I’d love to welcome new people to the fold. Introduce yourselves. Butt in on Twitter. Comment on blog posts. It’s how everyone started whether we remember it or not!

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6 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway (Multiple Prizes)

July 17th, 2014

Perhaps it is fitting than for the six years I’ve been writing Of Sex and Love, I will be able to celebrate with six prizes to six different winners. It was unintentional. And I may throw in some Babeland gift cards, too. And I may get a few more sponsors before I finally post this, so it’s not that I can’t count, you guys.

So, this is my way of saying thank you. For visiting. Commenting. Emailing. Following through broken domains and weird Tumblr situations. For sticking it out even when I wasn’t sure that I wanted to. Thank you for listening to me even when I didn’t know how to write a review or how to explain female ejaculation or how bad “silicone composites” were.

A lot can change in 6 years. A lot has changed. And it’s interesting because I’m not entirely sure that I’ve changed anything in the world. Not as Adriana. But the lessons of sex positivity and feminism that this corner of the blogosphere has imparted on me are something that I take with me as my “real” self.  I’m known as the resident “sexpert” and militant feminist. I didn’t see at least one of those things coming.

And I certainly wouldn’t take it back.

No, I’m here to give to you guys for making this all possible. The prizes are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Special thank you to Lelo, Lovehoney, Pipedream, SheVibe, Cleis Press and Good Vibes for providing them!

Awesome giveaway prizes!

Awesome giveaway prizes!

I want to reward as many people as possible, and to this end I’ve decided to use Gleam. The multiple widgets will make the page load slower than usual. Please wait for them to load!

You can enter for multiple toys but you can only win one. If I pull your name for a giveaway, you cannot win another, but you can feel free to enter for more than one and show support for each of the sponsors.

You can come back every day to do things like tweet, and you can do this for each prize.

Remember that each prize has different shipping restrictions, which I’ve programmed into the widgets.

Good luck!

$50 SheVibe GC

$50 SheVibe Gift Card

Lelo Ora
Lelo Ora

Minna Limon

Minna Limon

Icicles #52/Ceramix #4
Icicles No. 52 and Ceramix #4

 

Bettie Page Spanking Paddle

Bettie Page Picture Perfect Spanking Paddle
The Big Book of Submission The Big Book of Submission

Crystal Delights Glass Plug
Crystal Delights Plug

Fetish Fantasy Bed Bindings Under Bed Restraints Kit

Fetish Fantasy Bed Bindings Under Bed Restraints Kit

Giveaway ends August 17th except for the Crystal Delights plug and Under the Bed Restraints, which will end August 21st.

I received no compensation for this post. I am not responsible for prize shipping.

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Jopen Key Comet II

July 14th, 2014

Have you ever just wanted something so bad? You couldn’t help but think about it?

In this case, it wasn’t that I wanted the Comet and the followup, the vibrating Comet II.

I wanted to love them the way that other people did. The way that people loved the Pure Wand.

Perhaps I should have known better.

Why wasn’t my love affair meant to be? Perhaps it’s because the curve of the Comet II is so round. I guess I prefer an angle. And the shaft is so rigid. There’s no give at all to make it work with my anatomy. There’s no give or pliability to that 1.5-inch knob at the end.

And if I was built like everyone else, I’m sure I wound love the curve and bulbous head. Most people are going to find this heavenly as the curve pushes the head of the toy directly toward their G-spot rather than just sort of gliding past it like it did with my shallow G-spot.

The buzzy vibrations are particularly unacceptable to me considering this is a rechargeable toy. There’s no excuse for them to not be anything other than causes-your-hand-to-go-numb.  Yet, they are. And the vibrating patterns are lackluster and utterly forgettable because of it. Seriously? It’s 2014. What the hell is wrong with you people that this made it off the drawing board let alone the assembly line?

Ugh, okay.

And marketing, packaging (it does come with its own storage bag) and waterproofiness just aren’t going to sway me when a toy doesn’t work for my anatomy. But even if I loved the shape, I would likely be disappointed by the vibrations. Especially because there’s a single continuous vibrating mode. That’s it. Not even a confusing high-medium-low. You can’t go up or down. Well!

If you’ve read reviews from anyone who has tried both, you’ve likely head that while the Comet II does add vibration to the design, it doesn’t do so in a way that makes both of them necessary. In fact, I would argue that the shallow vibes are so insignificant that they don’t warrant even the price jump between the two. This is especially true because the motor replaced the translucent part of the handle with plastic that is much tackier looking in my not-so-humble opinion. The glass looked much prettier. It might have been weightier, but I don’t have the original to compare.

Okay, so what might you like? The silicone has a bit of drag to it. Good for g-spots, maybe? If yours give a second thought about that kind of thing. I personally like that the entire length of the Comet II is less than the Pure Wand, which curled right into my belly button in the weirdest way. Like, how do other people even use it? There’s a knobby end on the Comet II where the button is, easy to use. Others have complained about it being a bit hard to grasp, however. Certainly, the slickness of lube makes it more difficult, but it’s not like this wasn’t an issue with the Pure Wand.

I can’t bring myself to love the Comet II, but I am the exception and not the rule. You might want to check our reviews from Property of Potter or Mr Will if you think you’re more like them.

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My Favorite Red, White and Blue Sex Toys

July 2nd, 2014

I’m not much for celebrating our country’s Independence Day. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with firing up the grill or throwing last year’s husk of a Christmas tree into a bonfire to blaze gloriously for all of 30 seconds as your face melts off. And who doesn’t enjoy fireworks? I like the activities, but I just don’t feel the season.

To each her own, eh?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun if I let you guyos in on my favorite toys boasting the patriotic colors of the American (and plenty of other countries’) flags.

Red

  • Lelo’s Siri was my go-to clitoral vibe for years. I still use it; although, not as frequently. PinkCherry sells it for less than $90 and if you use the code “Goal” (no idea when it ends), it’s $66.82.
  • Another red toy from Lelo is the Mona. There’s a second version available, too. It’s more powerful and have a slightly different shape, but I wouldn’t opt for it unless you could find it at a good price. SheVibe, for example, sells the Mona 2 for $130. You can also buy it from the Of Sex and Love store for $111.20 using code MONA2.

White

  • I’m pretty sure Jimmyjane no longer makes any other Contour massage stones, which is a bummer. These are way nicer than the cheap plastic massagers you get around Christmas time. I actually haven’t used my Contour M in years, but it’s such a nice piece. And it’s rather affordable. Check it out from SheVibe for less than $23.
  • There’s only ever been one Tantus toy that I love: the Faerie. And I think I love it because of the pearlescent white shimmer. I didn’t even get the white version, but I can’t complain. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can buy it from most places, anymore. Tantus no longer makes it. Bummer. But you can check Trystology, which lists it as available. Good luck!

Blue

There are more awesome blue sex toys in my night stand than there seem to be any other color. In no particualar order, I love these:

  • Jimmyjane Form 6 G3. I don’t know why more people aren’t shouting their love for this sleek, rechargeable and powerful vibrator. Get it for $131 from PinkCherry with code goal. Right now, you’ll also get a free We-Vibe Thrill if you spend $99 or more!
  • I really like the Ceramix line and Number 4 is the first I’ve been able to try. It’s blue and white. It’s lightweight, but it’s also good for temperature play.  Ceramix #4 is $33.74 from PinkCherry with a 20% off coupon code!
  • Now, I didn’t get my Lelo Ora in blue, but the blue one is pretty much the perfect shade to celebrate your country. Pretend I made some horrible analogy about fireworks and masturbate. Okay, you don’t have to. My point is, however, that it’s the perfect shade of blue and does the oral stimulation simulation thing better than anything I’ve tried. You’ve got a couple shopping options, too: Good Vibes ($135.20 with code tristan), PinkCherry ($114.74 with code goal) or the Of Sex and Love Store for the same price as Good Vibes with code Mona2.

So what are your favorite red white and blue items?

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Join Us Sunday for a Dildo Discussion!

June 30th, 2014

I am proud to announced that this Sunday at 7 PM CST I will be joining Sangsara and Lori for an episode of Sex Toy Nitty Gritty, a live podcast that those two have starts. Our subject will be dildos, and we’ll spend the first half of the episode telling you everything you need to know about them. During the second half of the show, you’ll be able to call in to ask questions, and one called will win the Pussy Willow dildo from Fucking Sculptures, the episode’s sponsor!

You can find more about Sex Toy Nitty Gritty on their blog. The podcast site is hosted on Blog Talk Radio, where you can also listen to their first two episodes. This is where you want to head to listen to the show on Sunday.

I’m excited. Nervous that you’ll guys hear my real voice for only the second time ever! Worried that we won’t be able to cover dildos in just 30 minutes! But mostly excited!

I’ll report back with the call-in number for you guys. You’re sure to hear plenty about it on Twitter. Maybe we should start a hashtag? #sextoynittygritty? Use it now to talk about the show! Whatever you want!

 

Sadly, SangSara and Lori have had to put this project on hold, so there was no discussion tonight. However, I will be excited to work with them in the future when it will be more awesome than you can shake a dildo at!

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So Silicone Dildo by Marc Dorcel

June 29th, 2014

I’ve had my eye on items in this line for a while. I think it’s because the product images are all weirdly Photoshopped, so I could never quite tell everything I wanted to from photos. For example, this dildo looks almost like plastic. It reminds me of some sort of plastic toy that I had a child. I remember it has some sort of “bones” with joints and you could bend it to keep its shape.

So every time I look at this dildo, I imagine that’s what it’s like.

It’s not. But that’s what I imagined.

To be honest, it might have been better to have some sort of bones. Because what the So dildo is.. is just a giant hunk of silicone. Thicker on one end by far, thinner on the other. You could argue that it offers versatility but, wait! Nope. It doesn’t. The silicone is so soft that the thin end is virtually floppy. It makes it harder to use, and means you’re using the floppy end as a handle if you take the larger side. You can see all the sad clown faces. It’s like Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.”

Hypothetically, if the silicone were more firm/dense in the thinner neck, this would be a functional dildo — and a more affordable alternative to the Njoy Eleven, which is essentially the same design with an extra ridge on the thicker end of the shaft. If the Eleven is too big for you, the softer silicone might be easier handle, but it’s still large.

I’ll be honest, it’s too large for me to comfortable insert without previously having sex. Even working up to it with other toys is a hassle, and the overly-flexible neck (I’m not the only one who’s noticed ) doesn’t help. At its thickest — at the corona —  this dildo is wider than the 1.5 inches stated on SheVibe. A measuring tape comes up with 6 inches exactly around The head isn’t exactly round at the lip that provides G-spot stimulation. So it’s more like 1.75 inches at the widest and a bit more narrow arrow the dildo. The, silicone is firmest here in the toy. This makes it more difficult to take than you might guess.

The matte silicone will likely take a lot of lube, and those poorly ‘shopped photos (I know! I’m using one but I so desperately need a nap. I cannot help it!) make it look smoother. This is not the case. In person, in fact, this reminds me a bit of the Fun Factory Curve. That’s a better dildo, hands down. Legs up (in the air). Whatever.

The rounded head makes way for a smooth shaft that gently bends for a very lazy “S” shape. On the other end is a smaller head with 2 ridges along the shaft. The size allows for a more noticable G-spot “hook.” It’s significantly smaller with a diameter of just. The neck is something more like 1 inch in diameter at the thinnest. And this dildo tops out at 9 inches with a weight that’s no doubt less than the Eleven but more than I want to deal with on a regular basis and especially not for a dildo that wasn’t design with things like, you know, physics in mind.

Marc Dorcel, whoever he made be (okay, Wikipedia says he’s a French dude who makes porn. I hope it’s better than his sex toys), packaged this in a carboard box with plastic tray. No storage or anything memorable. Wash your silicone dildos with soap and water for two minutes while humming “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Or is that brushing teeth? Whatever. A run through the dishwasher, bleach wipe or 3-minute boil would get it cleaner.

But I don’t think I recommend actually using this for sex stuff. Just use it to hit your stupid UPS driver or smack the wall when the neighbor in the next apartment over is too loud. Maybe as toy for your dog to play fetch.

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That Time I Broke My Tooth During Sex

June 20th, 2014

I don’t have many crazy sexual stories. I like to have sex in bed for no reason other than it’s comfortable. I like being comfortable.

I also like occasionally getting slapped, and the bartender doesn’t mind obliging.  The last time we had sex, we enjoyed an open-palmed hit to my face. Later that day, I enjoyed some dinner with my little sister, but my mouth felt strange. I have one tooth that sometimes scratches my inner cheek because it’s sharp, and it feel like this was happening.

Upon investigation, part of it crumbled right off. My dentist confirmed that this tooth — my wisdom tooth — had broken. I am waiting for an extraction appointment. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt. Thankfully. Though, I did spit out more pieces of tooth the other day.

The tooth was already in poor shape due to it being a wisdom tooth that there was never room for to begin with. It would eventually have broken; although, I’m sure the bartender helped it along.

And now I’m getting taken care of, which is just fine. However, I am certainly going to tell this story as that one time when I broke my tooth during sex should anyone ask.

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Minna Limon

June 16th, 2014

I don’t think I can write a glowing review for the Minna Limon without writing a scathing paragraph or two about the Minna Ola, which I reviewed over a year ago but I’m not quite sure I was able to express my distaste for this toy then. And it’s only grown since then.

Both the Limon and Ola use ‘touch sensitive’ controls. The harder you squeeze it, the stronger the vibes. In theory, I like this. In practice, it’s a very specific sort of control that’s different from any other toy and when done poorly, well, you have the Ola. The problem with the Ola would simply be solved if the part that you squeeze

  1. Wasn’t a horizontal
  2. Wasn’t “flat”

Because of this design, you have to awkwardly turn your and learn how to use a new toy. Minna should have gone ahead with a bulbous/round squeezy part to begin with. That’s exactly what they did with the tear-drop-esque Limon, and that’s why I love it.  I can comfortable grasp from just about any angle, so there’s no right way to hold the Limon. This makes the vibrator heads and tails more friendly than the first toy from Minna.

Now, within the round part you grasp is a flatter mechanism so you could maybe grab it at exactly the wrong angle and not be able to get good vibes out of it, but this seems pretty unlikely, and it’s much easier to adjust without messing up the point of contact. While the Ola had a specific shape for the G-spit — you’d ideally keep it oriented one way — Limon is, well, lemon shaped. The nodule at the top is kind of nipple-like, and there’s no right or wrong. You can also lie it against your vulva, clit, nipples or what-have-you so you get more pressure from the sides.

The silicone is plush with give, which makes it comfortable to hold, and I can certainly grind right against it without worrying about sharp corners or cutting myself with my sex toys, which I’ve been known to do in the past.

What I really really really fucking love about the Limon is that squeezing doesn’t even need hands. You could squeeze it in your elbow. Or between your partner’s body and your own. Or between your thighs for hands-free stimulation. I don’t think this was the company’s intent, but Minna Limon works extremely well when used like this. Perhaps you couldn’t make it work if your thigh gap is huge, but I can just lie there, position the Limon between my legs and squeeze my thighs about it. It actually reminds me a lot of the sort of thigh squeezing I would do during adolescence when aroused. There’s something reassuring about going back to old ways.

Like Minna’s Ola, Limon has a bit of a learning curve. There are essential 3 modes:

  • Free
  • Recording
  • Playback

Squeeze harder or play with squeezing and letting go to create a freeform masturbation jam session in the first setting. This is the one I use the most. As per usual, I squeezed the thing like I was The Mountain and it was Oberyn. But I love the option to squeeze and release and create unique pulsations. If you’re the type who maybe likes the unexpected, “recording” a setting like this might be up your alley. It’s more difficult to immitate escalation, but that’s fine by me.

I found your green lantern, Hal Jordan

I found your green lantern, Hal Jordan

With a single button, Limon is easy to use. Turn it on, cycle through the modes and turn it back off. When you turn it on “Minna” lights up beneath the plush silicone. This is cute but not functional.  The light also flashes pretty brightly during charging. I can’t charge this in my bedroom while I sleep. I’d go insane. But you could use it as a freakin’ nightlight.

I’ll be honest — Limon isn’t a surprising little power house.  It’s certainly stronger than some USb-powered toys, but it doesn’t come anywhere near some of the battery-powered toys I’ve used, either. And no one would make a comparison with the Hitachi. And the first time I used it, I was pretty impressed with the strength of the vibrations given the size. They’re rumbly-ish.

However, they vibrations seemed much weaker the second time around, like the Limon wasn’t quite holding charge right. I also had a weird issue where it wasn’t quite responding right. I’d had it on for some time (30 minutes?), and it was fine after I turned it off and back on, but it would be worth noting if others run into this. I could just have a slightly glitchy vibe, of course.

Limon has two magnetic points and comes with a little based to charge. It reminds me an awful lot of the Form 2. However, the magnets are pretty strong, helping to orient the toy and base and keep it in place as it charges. If your cats run over your nightstand, it will fall out of place but it’s not nearly as finicky as other magnetic chargers. Plus, you can use it for storage. I wouldn’t because my cats eat sex toys. There’s a tiny satin bag with it. Good enough for me.

So, there you have it. Yes, I’m a finicky bitch, but yes the Limon passes the test and even surpasses my expectations in surprising ways. Some people are going to need more strength, but the ingenuity of this toy makes up where vibrations lack for the Limon in my book.

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Elegant Moments Purple Mesh Burnout Babydoll

June 12th, 2014

Oh, how I wanted to love this babydoll. I wanted to wear it with confidence until someone tore it off. Alas, a happy relationship wasn’t meant to be.

Because it looks like a sexy flyaway babydoll with interesting burnout details and comfortable, underwire cups but it’s really just cheap and disappointing. Like some of my dates in the past? I don’t know.

The mesh burnout part is actually fairly nice. It features viney scrolls. They’re visually interesting and interesting to the touch. The mesh is breathable and light but covers up a bit in front and the entire back, so you won’t necessarily feel exposed. And on the right body, this will look amazing I am sure. The empire waist won’t look good on everyone of course.

The same material makes up the front panel of the G-string, which was far too large for me in the X1. This is often the case, so I expected nothing more or less.

However, that’s really all I can check off in the “pro” column. My main complaint is with the cups in this piece, but those really make up the most of the workmanship and visual detail. Yes, they’re underlined but the padded fabric is sewn it flat and not curving outward the way any decent bra does. Instead of allowing my breasts to “spill” into the cups, which should support them, this pushes the entire cup — fabric and wire — and the front of the babydoll awkwardly away from my body. The center ribbon and bow just sort of hovers there, wondering what it’s supposed to do or look like. Perhaps on a wider rib cage without any extra space, my breasts would push out the cups instead.

And the ribbon doesn’t match the rest of the babydoll at all. It annoys me a ton. The satin cups almost perfectly match my Liberator Throe and it looks good with the burnout mesh, but the ribbon is just ugly. It’s obviously thrown on there to hide the front clasp, which would be sexy if it wasn’t made of plastic — just like the hardware on the straps. By the way, one of the straps on mine is sewn on twisted. And this clasp means you can’t adjust the waistband, which is quite loose for an XL. It’s going to fit up to a 45 inch bra band, I’d imagine.

And maybe I would be able to live with this if the babydoll was designed with a thick, stretchy empire waistband to balance out the awkward cups, but that’s not the point. In fact, the waistband is just a thin piece of elastic that runs along the top of the back side of the babydoll and connects to the sides of the piece at the end of the underwire — about midway up from the cups. However, a supportive waistband should be at the base of the cups. Because of its location, my breasts push the cups out and the bottoms sit sort of exposed.

I hate to be repetitious but “awkward” is the only word that truly explains how this babydoll feels. And awkward does nothing for confidence, which few people would argue you need to strut your stuff in lingerie or even in the nude. This piece gives me none. In fact, I wouldn’t ever want to wear it in front of another person.

Shevibe

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I’m So Glad I’m Not You

June 12th, 2014

This post isn’t going to be a positive one, and that’s okay.

Today, a Facebook friend is going through a very public breakup with her husband and father of her children.  He suddenly informed her that he was unhappy and leaving. She publicly posted the ended of their relationship.

Then, she discovered he has been in appropriately messaging another woman, and her good friend publicly tagged the husband, the woman who was participating in these messages and that woman’s fiance. So when said woman who may or may not be having an affair with her husband tried to contact my friend, my friend posted on Facebook about it as though it was shocking.

From the get-go, I looked at this and thought Facebook wasn’t the place to air her dirty laundry. Since then, she has received many comments lauding her for being strong and none that I’ve seen warning her away from such a public display. Especially because this isn’t the first time he has done this.s

Yes, it’s her right to have feelings and to answer with honesty the questions posed to her. However, she doesn’t have to do it in a public place.

It goes beyond there, however. The whole thing reminds me of the relationship drama I experienced fifteen years ago — when I was 13. It’s not something that an adult does. It’s petty and childish. It’s not about being healthy, moving on or learning lessons, and while people certainly need time to experience their grief and sadness when a relationship ends, they need not to wallow in it. And they need support from their friends not to do that.

It’s almost 5 in the morning and my thoughts are no longer as clear as I want them to be, but I know that I tried to go through my own divorce with my head held high and my Facebook posts positive.  At the end of the day, I didn’t want to have to go back and delete things that made me look immature or petty, and I sure as hell didn’t want to give my ex the benefit of seeing how torn up I was.

 

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