How to fight loneliness, the Daily T.Lo Method for happiness


One of the reasons I write about relationships is because I believe that human beings need to feel connected to one another to live healthy lives. Those who value superficial things like money or status over human connection often neglect their friendships and family and end up alone, and loneliness is apparently more of a public health threat than obesity or smoking.

The AARP released a study that 42.6 million people over the age of 45 suffer from chronic loneliness, and the number is expected to rise. Loneliness is a crappy feeling, that's for sure, but it actually can harm you physically. According to Business Insider, "Researchers believe loneliness is so deadly because it can lead to a number of issues, including disrupted sleep patterns, high levels of stress hormones, increased inflammation, and worsening immune systems. Any one of those risk factors puts people at a greater risk for disease and life-threatening injury."

So what can people do to fight loneliness? As someone who mostly works from home and has a limited social circle, I want to share with you how I found joy in editing my interactions with people and how I spent my time. Hopefully, this will help those out there who may be introverted in nature or do not have access to a lot of quality people.

1. I made a list of what made me happy and what upset me. 
In college and years after, I was a social butterfly, going from party to party and trying to collect as many contacts as I could. Every weekend was packed, and I had racked up thousands of Facebook "friends." Yet, I noticed that I had more quantity than quality. At parties, I engaged in superficial conversation or was just there, not really connecting with anyone but showing up to take that huge group photo that made it look like I had a shit ton of friends. Online, my "friend" number was huge, but there were times when I would actually see those people in real life and they'd walk by, not knowing who the hell I was.

This type of superficial connection actually made me feel lonely, and I started to read books about happiness. A lot of them had the same suggestion--figure out what brings you joy and what doesn't.

So I started to cull my social media friend lists to only people I felt would say Hi to me if they saw me in real life or strangers whose content I admired. If there was anyone who I knew in real life who had parties and never invited me, I deleted them. My mindset was 1) we aren't actually friends 2) I didn't want to feel excluded so why subject my online experience to this and 3) fuck them.

Then I made a list. I wanted to know who was a true friend, so I wrote out who would actually come pick me up somewhere if I were in a true emergency. That was my barometer. I was lucky enough that I had at least five friends, not including family members, who would do that for me. With that knowledge, I decided to stop focusing on looking popular and instead focus on loving the people who actually loved me.

2. I made a list of activities that truly made me happy. 
As many of you know, I moved out to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter. After years of career exploration and soul searching, I developed a solid career as a journalist and author, and those jobs made me happy and paid the bills. But it was hard for me to completely give up my initial dream so I often went to Hollywood networking events or spent time with industry people who either annoyed me with their desperation or arrogance. I logged probably hundreds of hours with these folks, and I always knew that they didn't really like me. They just wanted to keep me in their pocket in case I could be useful in the future. As time passed, I eventually decided that it was better to focus my energy and time on the genuine friends I had.

Next, I reevaluated what actually was fun to me, and I realized that I loved exercise classes and trying new foods. When I started to only do things that I loved, not out of obligation to a job that wasn't even lucrative for me, I met wonderful people with shared interests. Even if we didn't stay in touch, we got along at those activities because we were sharing a mutual passion and expecting nothing else in return. We organically connected.

3. I make a point to talk to a loved one and one stranger at least once a day. 
I'm often asked if I get lonely working from home since I am single and live alone, but I can honestly say I do not. But that's because I make a conscious effort to interact with people on a personal basis daily. For instance, I will chat with my sister or grab lunch with a friend, and I go to an exercise class or to a coffee shop to be around friendly people. With strangers, it helps to have a kind interaction each day, even if it's small.

For people who are starting out isolated and want to get out of their funk, they should join a gym, volunteer, go to church, do a Meetup, or find some way to slowly integrate with kind strangers daily. Internet interactions are not enough to ease loneliness, and sometimes social media can make us depressed because we falsely believe other people's lives are better than ours based on what they post. If you want to combat loneliness, you gotta get offline.

4. Get a pet. 
I have a cat, and having her around really brings me happiness as I work or hang out at home. The healing power of pets are so strong that many mental health professionals recommend people to get pets for emotional support. If you live in an apartment building, you are legally allowed in most jurisdictions to keep your animal if a therapist writes a note, verifying Old Mittens is an Emotional Support Animal.


Have you battled loneliness and want to share your story? Send me an email at teresalowriter @ gmail, and I may feature your story. 😊

BDSM BASICS: Are you a Dominant, submissive, or switch?


BDSM is a lifestyle that’s been around since people first used their penises and vaginas for pleasure. While Fifty Shades of Grey brought it into the global mainstream, it’s hardly new. 

As one dominatrix told me, “If you’re into BDSM, you were born liking BDSM.” While the majority of people are “vanilla” meaning they’re not into bondage and discipline, Dominance and submission, or sadism and masochism, those whose sexual inclinations crave kink can’t get off without it.

In a vanilla relationship, two people are never truly equal, but BDSM pushes that concept to another level. In the BDSM world, lovers consent to their roles—where one person is in charge and the other person submits. From that agreement of power, there are various ways of play—everything from the latexed dominatrixes who whip their “slaves” to the “daddies” who watch over their “little girls.”

So if you’re thinking of entering the alternative world of BDSM, do you know what role you are?

Dominant
The person in charge is known as the Dominant. Other names include Top, Domme, Dominatrix, Master, Mistress, Daddy, Sadist, Sir, Lord etc. The Dominant descriptor is always capitalized to show dominance even on the page.

In bondage and discipline and sadism and masochism, the Dominant inflicts physical pain upon his or her submissive, and the rules are agreed upon beforehand. “Hard limits” are things a submissive will never allow, and “soft limits” are modes of play that the submissive will consider. After the pain session, the Dominant gives aftercare to make sure the submissive is physically okay.

Not all BDSM relationships involve pain, however. There are plenty of relationships where the Dominant sets the rules while never harming his or her submissive. Examples include a Total Power Exchange (TPE), where the dominance controls all aspects of the submissive’s life, like their finances and diet. Basically, the Dominant is the one in control, but how that power is played out can vary drastically from relationship-to-relationship. 

Submissive
The submissive is receptive to the orders of the Dominant, and the submissive word is almost always lowercased. Some PG terms for the submissive include sub, little girl, baby, and pet; and some raunchier terms include slave, slut, and bitch. While the wording may seem like the submissive is abused, that is actually not the case at all. The two parties are in sync with one another, and the submissive naturally likes being told what to do.  

Like mentioned above, to be dominated does not always include pain, and any pain inflicted is always discussed and agreed upon beforehand. The submissive’s role in the relationship is important because without a submissive there would be no Dominant.  Giving up power is a turn on to a submissive, and that’s what makes BDSM different from abusive relationships—consent. 

Switch

A switch is a person who can go from being Dominant to being a submissive. The reasons for switching can vary from just feeling like making a change to adopting a different role with different lovers.

To figure out what kind of role you prefer, I recommend taking the BDSM Test online. 

Watch What Happens When a Tourist Grabs an Unconsenting Woman in Thailand...


One of the most important aspects of sexual relationships is consent, which is why I advocate BDSM because that is the main tenant of the lifestyle. When consent is not a priority, people take advantage of others, and this often leads to abuse and sometimes crimes.

Nextshark recently published a story about a white tourist who visited Thailand, and this gross piece of shit actually started to grope a woman on the streets of Pattaya. But what happened next was so satisfying...

SPOILER: She fought back and beat his ass. See video above.

But while I loved this video because the woman and her friends taught the creep a lesson, I was reminded that many women are sexually assaulted and do not have the physical strength to fight back. In those instances, the creep wins, but we as good people cannot allow these types of transgressions to happen. I know it's cheesy as fuck to say but if you see something, say something. 

Don't allow this type of shit to happen. Nonconsensual sexual relationships are not okay. 

What's the Perfect Number of Sexual Partners To Have?


Getting asked, “What’s your number?” when it comes to sex partners is really fucking awkward. Should you lie and say something higher or lower? Or should you tell the truth? What if the person asking has way more or less lovers than you? Are they going to judge whatever you say? Answering the numbers question is like playing a game of social roulette, but luckily, one study has given us the answer of what average people are doing. And by those numbers, it seems like average people are not freaking as much as the movies would have us believe.

SuperDrug Online Doctor, a company with a direct but ridiculous-sounding name, polled 2,000 people in the U.S. and Europe about their sex lives. With their results, they proved what most people already knew—men inflate their magic number and women water it down. They also found out that most people are slut-shamers. 

Surprise, surprise.

Most women (64.7%) and most men (58.6%) said that they’ve never lied about their number, but since this is a self-reported poll, we’re going to assume they’re lying about that too. The women polled thought that anyone with 15 partners or more were “too promiscuous” while men thought the number 14 was just too high to get lucky. But while men and women were squeamish about too much experience, they were also judge-y about people with too little experience. Women thought a man who slept with 1.9 (what kind of numbers are these?) women were losers and men thought women who slept with 2.3 partners were too conservative.

But like Goldilocks, men and women have a just right number for the opposite sex. For men, they think women should ideally have an average of 7.6 partners. Women similarly said men should have 7.5 partners. Interesting enough, men reported having fewer sex partners than women did, proving the power of the pussy. Men and women also only slightly differed when they felt it was okay to share their sexual histories. 31.2% of women felt it was cool to share sex details the first month of dating while 33.8% of men said the same. I just wonder why the hell people are asking the question because isn’t it assumed everyone is a big fat liar?

But no matter how slut-shaming or prude-shaming people were, most admitted that if they liked someone enough then their partner’s number wouldn’t sway them enough to walk away. Because come on, sex is sex, amiright?

Lastly, the study confirmed another thought about modern sex—that the younger generations aren’t doing it as much as their forefathers. Whether it’s because they have more entertainment options or that they’re less likely to want intimacy in general—Gen Xers and younger have on average 10 sex partners throughout their lifetimes while Baby Boomers reportedly have fucked 11 people total. That’s not a huge discrepancy, but really—why are younger people screwing less? That unfortunately was out of the scope of SuperDrug Online Doctor’s survey, but it is something to think about.

What Do Men and Women Expect from Sex Robots?


With advances in technology, we’re getting closer and closer to having sex robots like the realistic-looking ones in the movies Ex Machina and A.I. And as that day inevitably nears, I gotta ask: what do men and women think about futuristic masturbation toys?

I, for one, am all for them, and I think anyone who has spent longer than two months on Okcupid or Bumble will most certainly agree. But what does SCIENCE tell us???

Well, according to Science, AKA Discover Magazine, two thirds of men surveyed in 2016 said they would try a sex robot. (Hmm… wonder why the other third lied.) Two thirds of women said the opposite—no way, Gigolo Joe. The results came from the first exploratory survey about human attitudes towards sexbots, and the survey has been praised not only because it gives us a glimpse into sex robots’ future usage but it also lets us know what men and women think about sex and relationships in general.

The survey was conducted by Tufts University in Massachusetts. The researchers wanted to know what people thought sex robots should look like and what uses of the sexbots was “appropriate.” They wanted their research to be used in technology advancement so that creators can make machines that please us, not harm us. And by harm us, the Tufts team meant psychologically. Because come on, we all know people who want to use a sexbot probably want to be thrown around a little. AmIRight?

No?

No... 

No.

Okay, then…

But back to this psychological thing, which researchers think may become a huge problem when sex robots take over the world like Teslas have taken over Los Angeles freeways.

Mattias Scheutz, a computer scientist at Tufts, said that humans tend to form emotional attachments to toys or virtual friends; and that once sex robots start looking like people and acting like people, human beings are likely to become confused with their feelings. Scheutz hopes that once the sex robot technology exists that he can perform longer experiments and see whether or not humans really will be able to just use their robots for fun or if those masturbation toys will end up replacing human-to-human love in general.

The Tufts team found men and women both agreed sex robots should not look like kids, showcasing a current widespread disapproval of pedophilia. However, men and women could not fully agree on other robot looks, besides that the robots need to resemble adults. While the women surveyed were more conservative, balking at the idea of having celebrity lookalikes, men were down to get busy with robots that looked like fantasy creatures, celebrities, one’s deceased spouse, and a person’s friend (The person’s friend thing may give me more pause than if my man wanted to do Kim Kardashian, but I digress…)

Next, the research team surveyed men and women on what was appropriate use for the robots. As expected, they agreed on some things but not others.  Issues they agreed on included that sex robots were better than hiring a human prostitute, could be used by the disabled, and could reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Men and women tended to disagree on topics such as whether or not it was appropriate to give sex offenders robots and whether or not it was appropriate to use sex robots to practice abstinence. Men and women agreed but varied in approval when it came to using sex robots for making porn, to fuck instead of cheating on a spouse, and to engage in group sex with other humans.


Overall, despite whether or not the people surveyed viewed sexbots’ usage as appropriate or not, it does sound like a fun future once those robotics emerge. Discover Magazine reported that sex robot technology is still primitive but is expected to rev up because the porn industry and robot makers are quickly trying to make sophisticated robots to replace the correct crude but intriguing toys.

And when that day happens, all I can say is sign me up.
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