Bridging the Communication Gap

We decided the University of Richmond Campus wasn't a large enough bridge.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Q&A: Can You Keep Up?

Q&A time again. You know how this works. Email us at and then we write some kind of response that is informative and entertaining. We know you might be embarrassed by asking, but is the alternative really an option?

Question: I'm in love with sex and all things that pertain to/lead up to sex. So what do you do when your sex drive is doing 99mph and your partner is driving like a Floridian at 35mph in the fast lane? You've tried roleplay, foreplay, sexting, etc. but your partner is still not catching on to the fact that sex once or twice a week just isn't cutting it.

Before we commit ourselves to one person, we generally have an idea of our similarities and differences. Sex is a topic that most people have an understanding of before they enter a relationship or make a commitment to another person. In a situation where the two individuals have differing sexual patterns, the decision must be made through communication and compromise whether both parties' desires can be fulfilled or if one person will lose out. Either way, communication will lead to the resolution because everyone may be able to fake the orgasm, but no one can fake the love of the Kamasutra.

Mr. SR...C: It is quite simple-- if you do not have the same sexual appetite as your spouse someone is more than willing to satisfy the hunger. This could mean a break up is imminent or cheating is on the horizon, but it could also mean that the less hungry of the couple may have to start increasing oyster intake or the more hungry will have to go on a nasty time diet. In conclusion I believe both parties must be close in the amount of “Get Wet” time they desire. Speaking of getting wet…I think I need a check up tonight…I got that motivation….somebody is not going to feel their legs....

The Watcher: Finding the middle ground is important if you want the relationship to be sustained. You must express your needs to your partner and tell them how you would like those needs to be fulfilled. Then you need to listen and hear what your partner needs are and how you can fulfill them. Next find the middle ground. Last, end by telling your partner you don't expect a a drastic change over night but you would at least like to see some kind of effort from them to curb your biological urges.

The Radical: When a customer is truly unhappy with a store's service they will simply stop shopping at that store unless there is a special something there that cannot be found anywhere else. That one special commodity keeps the unsatisfied shopper coming back because there is nowhere else that this one thing is available. Now imagine a store that is only open two days a week. This store has to have immaculate customer service to retain customers. Not only that, but the store must also have that special commodity that the customer cannot get anywhere else in a fifty mile radius. Now apply that to sex.

Friday, June 24, 2011

If it looks like a dead end, has a sign like a dead end, then it's a...

Q&A time again, kids! The formula hasn't changed. Our email address ( plus your desire to have a question answered equals a Q&A post! It's like algebra, but way better.

Oh! Ladies, if you are easily offended and hate acknowledging the truth sometimes, read a different post.

Question: I am having a problem with a young lady. We are not dating but we are very very very close if you know what I'm saying. Now she has said many times we are not together but when I act that way she gets all mad and calls me insensitive and inattentive to her emotional well being. But my whole thing is this, BITCH THIS IS WHAT YOU ASKED FOR!! I buy you flowers and you act weird. I talk sweet to you and you push me away. So I ease up and just do me and now she’s all pissy. What would you do?

Mr. SR…C:
If someone does not want to be with you and you want more than they are willing to give move on. You’re a place holder until she finds someone she wants to be with, harsh but when she says she does not want to be with you she means it. Clearly she is giving you every reason to find another woman or stop messing with her but you will not take it. When she finally hurts your feelings she probably will say “I told you we were not together, so I can’t see why you are mad that I found someone else”.

Listen to James and Bobby Purify “I’m Your Puppet”…sounds like whoever this young lady is has had some practice pulling strings.

The Radical: I can’t remember who said to me that “bitches like to be disrespected,” and although the wording is more…well, no, I wouldn’t word it any differently out of earshot of some women (i.e. respectable women). You have the option to pursue her as you are currently, hoping that she realizes that the games aren’t working, or you can play the game better and just stop. She's either telling you the truth when she behaves like the relationship route isn't one she wants to walk down (actions speak louder than megaphones) or she's fronting like that Pharrell song and not really worth the effort anyways, unless you enjoy the thought of dating (or just being exclusive with) a girl that is going to continuously play those power struggle games of constantly proving one's worth and desire. Fuck that.

MD: I'm sorry to tell you...actually no I'm not, nobody wants what they can have (look at yourself for example). You gave her every option, the ability to make every decision, and the right to your pride before she would even call you her man. This is harsh, but this is a learning experience for you. In the future, you will not put anyone woman above yourself nor will you allow a woman to dictate your life and agenda. So give her what she wants and if she comes chasing, you'll run away faster; but if she doesn't, you'll move on the next one...and the next one, and the next one.

The Watcher: I once heard in the power struggle of a relationship, the one that cares the least or appears to care the least has the upper hand. Right now you are like a sad puppy dog chasing after a moody owner who picks and chooses when she will give you the attention you deserve. So you can either fight or flight. Fight to get on the same page by demanding she practices what she is preaching or play Trey Songz' "Last Time" after you tell her you are taking your talents to South Beach to swim in another girl's ocean.

We Need Sex: Research

By A Member of the Birds and Bees' Staff

What is it that constitutes sex in a relationship? I once had an argument with a girlfriend because she saw me holding another girl's hand (platonically). Not sex, but if this is enough to for her to complain that I was freely distributing my affection, than surely there is a similar interpretation of sex out there. “No, baby, I did not have sex with that woman. It was just a blowjob. If Congress doesn't consider that sex how can you?” And so forth. Where is the brightline on sex?

This brightline is necessary for considerations beyond cheating. Long distance lovers find this to be very true very quickly. Mutual masturbation via Skype, oovoo or iChat may be all that is needed for some to continue having their sexual needs met even though their partner is far from them. Others find that text cyber sex is the best way to roleplay through fantasies. The act of masturbation is undisclosed and there are many more possibilities. The alternative of phone sex adds the element of voice while still avoiding the potential awkwardness of watching a lover touch themselves in their favorite way (more often than not a way very different than how you've been doing it all this time). But are these even sex? Sure they generate and possibly redirect sexual energy that has been building, but do they satisfy the need for sex?

There is a need for me to do some research and give deep thought to my upcoming article. Please join me in a bit of reader participation in creating the data to which I will apply my personal theories. The following survey is asking you about the importance of sex in a relationship. I have a thought about it and I want you to prove me right or wrong in numbers. Don't worry, I know that you guys will hold to exactly what I know to be true. And don't try and prove me wrong. You've already gotten the wrong idea about my goal.

Here's the survey link...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Q&A: "I Don't See Nothing Wrong..." Unless...

It's Q&A time again. The formula is simple. You email us at and we respond. You should ask us deep questions. You should bring controversy to our blog. We will respond just as deeply and be just as provocative… or more so.

Question: I was hoping that The Birds and the Bees team could explore whether the idea of a couple going to parties/clubs together is a good idea or not. Consider things like whether it's acceptable for the couple to go off and dance with other club goers. If they go partying with a group does it make a difference if they dance with mutual friends or someone they used to date? If your stance is that it's okay to dance with others then would it be cool to explore what kind of dancing is appropriate and what's off limits? Would you place two stepping and close contact reggae dancing in the same category?


The Radical: I watch her move from across the room like a hawk. Her hips so smooth, her body moving in ways so familiar to me…and she is all mine, even now when she’s dancing with him. We set these boundaries and for a reason. She is not limited to any style or genre; she may do as she pleases. If his hands wander, I’ll cut them off. The ex is an interesting variable in the equation because this is a person that knows her too, if you know what I mean. He should just stay away from her… forever.

MD: My personal opinion on the topic is simple. If you are not able to be yourself around your significant other in any environment or at any time, then that says something about your relationship. That being said, when you acquire a significant other, dancing with other individuals should not resemble any type of intimacy; thus, you should feel free to two-step and Cupid Shuffle, but bodily contact shouldn't take place (i.e. grinding). Life is too short to be in a relationship that does not allow you to enjoy the little things in life, but relationships are too delicate to approach with reckless abandonment.

The Watcher: Communication is the essential piece to answering any question. I suggest you two sit down and figure out how you would feel about your significant other dancing with other people. If you won't lose sleep over it because you know at the end of the day you know they are coming home to you, and then you both should go out and enjoy yourself. However, if you have an issue with your partner dancing with others, explicitly describe what part of it bothers you so you two can be on the same page. Dancing with ex's should never be allowed.

Mr. SR...C: Going to a party\club with your mate only works if you have the same idea of what is acceptable. I am of the opinion as long as she is coming home with me dancing is dancing. You should be able to enjoy those types of environments with your bf/gf if that is what you like to do for fun. If you are confident in your relationship, dancing should not matter unless you turn around and your mate is gone with their dance partner, in a bathroom stall drowning out the music with a couple moans and a few grunts, just saying.

p.s. after that talk about a bathroom stall I think I need to watch Step Brothers....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Let’s Be Friends: All Around the Mulberry Bush

By A Member of The Birds and the Bees' Staff

Things are going south and they are going south fast. You and your significant other are on the breaking point and you can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have tried to work out the issues that you have with each other, but for some reason it just isn’t working out. So you decide to break up because it will make both of you happy. You two have shared some great moments together despite the recent turn of events so you figure, “we should stay in touch and try to be friends”, because you feel that’s the right thing to do. However, there is a right way to do this and a wrong reason to do this. The wrong way of doing this causes you to skip around what I call the Mulberry Bush.

The Mulberry Bush is a backdoor that many people like to leave open after ending a long-term (1 year +) relationship. The Mulberry Bush represents a security net that both men and women like to create as a way to decrease the feelings of loneliness. It is driven by the human desire to be wanted and loved by someone else. When one does not feel wanted or loved, they tend to go back to the last place or person that fulfilled that basic human desire, i.e. they knock on that backdoor regardless of whether the person on the other side has changed or not. The problem with circling the Mulberry Bush is: you hinder yourself from moving on, you hinder your ex’s ability to change, which can ultimately cause you to waste time going around the Mulberry Bush.
Without substantial time apart from your ex, I do not believe you can move forward. I do not believe you can just become friends with someone you have just been actively intimate with. Once the gates of intimacy are opened, they take a long time to close. Regardless of how much you think you would never date the person again, if you remain in constant contact with your ex after the relationship, your chances of falling back into the same routine as if you’re still dating are increased. Sooner or later you will share more intimate moments and the same issues that caused you two to break up will resurface again. Hence you will be back at step one, breaking up again.

I do believe in second chances, and trying things again, however, some kind of change must occur. Change cannot occur overnight. It is a gradual process. Therefore, if you want to be friends with your ex because you believe one day you two will try to rekindle what you once had, then time and space is needed. Before someone can change, their level of present discomfort must rise to the level that causes them to alter their current behavior. They must see for themselves the behavior you do not agree with and agree that it needs to be changed. If you are constantly around them, they will feel like the issue isn’t a big enough deal that they need to fully change. Remember most people don’t realize what they have until it is gone. So go away for some time and allow your ex to miss you if you want to rekindle the relationship one day.

The aftermath of ending a relationship can be a whirlwind. Everything you have come to know and expect, your whole routine is thrown off. A new void has been created in your life and it needs to be filled. You can either consciously come up with a game plan of how you will deal with ALL of the free time you will have being single or you can do nothing and allow loneliness to creep in and fill the void. I suggest you fill the void with some new or old extra curricular activities: causal dating, new or old hobbies, going out with other single friends to social settings or events, etc. The best thing for you to do is remain busy. Feelings of loneliness creep in when you spend the majority of your time alone after a break up, so try not to be alone too much. And after a month or two, if you feel like you want to try the relationship again, you MUST avoid the gray area. If you want to rekindle the relationship, it is essential that you bypass the friendship stage and start back with being in a relationship and moving things slowly. Just being “friends” that are exclusive is not a strong enough commitment. If you two want things to work, you must both address the old issues that led to the initial break up and plan how you will avoid the same pitfalls going forward. It is important that both parties internalize responsibility for failures in the past so that you can both work and strive for the preferred vision you two have for each other.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Q&A: “When is it Over Protective?”

Since this is the first, allow us to introduce the concept. You, the readers, email us questions at We, The Birds and the Bees' staff, answer them. Having four writers, perspectives, etc. means that we had to choose between either coming to a consensus or just responding independently. We chose the latter.

Question: I'm insanely curious about the logic behind guys being protective/over protective of your significant other. Do they think you're out cheating (Trust issue)... are they insecure... or do they just need to be in contact with you 24/7? [Context provided, but excluded for confidentiality reasons] is this going too far?!?! or am I just being naive (generally its the latter but I figured you guys could shed some light on my dilemma)


MD: The jealous beau dates back to when men fought to the death to win a woman's heart. Since history does tend to repeat itself, I think we all know the answer to this question points to one of the 7 Wonders of Relationships: insecurity. Reader, you have named several factors that often contribute to what many may consider to be the cause of jealousy (e.g. trust issues, one party being naïve, and another party being delusional). All of these factors lead up to and contribute to an insecurity that may have been caused by personal relationship experience or tales of the lonely and single, either way, without a discussion with your significant other, this can only get worse and become destructive to your relationship. Unless you're one of the millions of women out there that secretly enjoy this trait, and in that case, stay away from my Team and the other good guys out there before we receive another question similar to this one.

The Radical: As a(n) (over)protective boyfriend I have to say that we generally have the same kinds of reasons, but each of us have different behavioral manifestations of this (over)protectiveness, such that my unconcerned feelings about my girlfriend walking around, hanging out, and talking to guys when I'm not around [in close proximity (n)or in the same setting] doesn't particularly worry me because I trust her, but this trust does not extend to the guys she is interacting with, so when I am in observance of some behavior on his part that would signal that he is hitting on her I will (literally) step in. This isn't a trust issue that exists between her and me; instead it is a general distrust of other males since it holds true that "a dog is a dog." Some males have an oversensitivity brought on by having an attractive girlfriend called "My girlfriend is the sexiest woman in any room at any given time, so it stands to reason that other guys are going to hit on her because if I were them and saw her, even with her boyfriend (i.e. me) around, I would still try and hit on her" syndrome. Ladies, you thrive on less severe cases of this condition; however, severe symptoms exhibited by the male result in the ridiculous need to constantly be in touch, a latent, crippling fear of other men having opportunities to see/ hit on you, and, occasionally, lackluster performance in bed due to embedded insecurities in his comparative attractiveness and ability to satisfy you. Reader, if he cannot be reassured after one good night with continuous panted, sighed, and moaned exclamations of your being as his and his alone, then he is insecure and cannot be cured, so why waste the time on therapy?

The Watcher: A protective boyfriend is one who has insecurities of his own as a result of a previous experience or because of his desire to be in total control. He knows how other guys think and is fearful that the right guy will whisper the right words in your ear that will cause you to leave him. In order to prevent this from happening he attempts to instill fear in you by investigating everyone you come in contact with, constantly interrogating, and going through your life. It’s him, not you. He should count it as a compliment that men or women are attracted to you. Smothering you is a way of covering his issues.

Mr. SR...C: When it comes to protective/over protective males and females over their significant other there is a myriad of reasons. Could be infidelity in the past of their prior partner or infidelity that they themselves committed? Could be insecurity born from personal internal doubt? Could be that they’re crazy? No matter their reasoning it all comes down to a gross lack of trust. If you have to hound your significant other constantly when they are out of your physical reach and are scared of them being approached by interested parties, then you probably do not need to be with them or need to evaluate your personal issues with trust. Why would you not want your significant other to turn heads? Is that not a good reflection on you? Doesn’t the kid in the playground with the best water gun want the other kids to salivate over his Super Soaker X255000 with Dual blast technology and backpack tank? Without the foundation of trust a relationship is bound to be volatile and fail. Lack of trust is like termites in a home, silently destructive until the point where the house crumbles, but if caught before it’s too late there are measures that can save and make the home stronger.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Read The Birds and The Bees Do More than Hum and Buzz

By The Birds and The Bees Staff

We present to you the top ten reasons to read The Birds and the Bee Do More than Hum and Buzz. If you feel like you need more context for why you should read us then scroll down and you have the complete collection of The Birds and The Bees' articles exactly as they were originally published. Without further ado…

1.) We’ve Grown Apart (In the Literal Sense)

A.) Our perceptions have slightly changed due to changes within our own lives. Some of us have become significant others to someone else so, we obviously we have changes in our outlook on our specified topics. We are now able to speak from both sides of the fence with fact.

B.) Older us old dudes get the better we get. Yes cliché….but so true. As the reader you can decide if each one of us is whiskey or some aged wine. Ex. Mr. SR...C is like Blue label. Great simile!

C.) The year between our last article and this article have been good for us. Disappointment, development, detox, retox, the new Britney Spears CD, growth, bills, taxes, rent, getting jobs, losing jobs, quitting jobs, being jobless, hating jobs, making amends, making friends, making money, making dinner, making mistakes, roommates, housemates, mating, deflating egos, buying shoes, motivating each other to succeed, watching each other make it, debating back and forth on whether or not this project is worth doing and taking seriously: all of these things have made us better, wiser, more mature, and surely better authors of this blog, column, misshapen short story. Our year absence is a reason to love us again...or anew.

2.) Planeteers

A.) Now we know we don’t know it all but we can share a lot and help you think. Four unique perspectives on all kinds of topics coming together to create the Birds and the Bees is the definitely diversity coming together. So basically us plus you plus some blue stuff creates Captain Planet!

3.) Sushi

A.) We are straight raw and kind of delicious. Minds out the gutter… We give you our most blunt opinion and sometimes it nourishes those minds of yours. Like health food for the brain, smoothie king for the heart. Still though we bring the spice like wasabi and taste like the soy.

B.) We're exactly what you need... even if we aren't. This blog stands not as the key place to find The Truth, but instead as somewhere to find a truth as we see it. We insist on saying what we mean and meaning what we say, sans filter and apology.

4.) Mr. SR...C will touch the most dedicated reader we have at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

A.) This is probably not true, but there is the odd possibility.

5.) Prove Us Wrong

A.) We are open and encourage feedback on all topics discuss. We do not back down from the question WHY. Bring it on, feedback is our friend and helps foster great discussions. Debate is welcome and suggestions are appreciated. The truth is all we ask of you- and to read, of course.

B.) We will respond to your most perplexing questions and situations, by providing adequate responses based on our expertise (Read: empirical) knowledge of people and relationships.

C.) The Professor personally promises to be held responsible for us responding to no less than one question a week in full article form. Not always his answer, but if there isn't one, he personally will accept 17 lashes in public. We will raffle off the rights to wield the whip if (more likely, when) the time comes. Reminder: Send all questions to

6.) Your FB, Twitter, and Google Reader feeds are all full of bullshit, Why not add something worth the time?

A.) This is true and self-explanatory.

7.)We Have a Purpose

A.) Even though we may have slightly altered our perceptions, we still believe that communication is the only way to bridge the gap between two individuals in a relationship. Given this, We will provide clever ways to open and maintain lines of communication with your significant other.

B.) This isn't just about how to talk to women. There are many more styles and directions of communication, so there are many bridges to build, we are your personal contracting company. We now have all of real adult life to fuel our writing and all the women of the world to act as muses. Except of course for those of us who don't... like those of us with serious girlfriends... wait, we are serious, right? Because if not I have a date tonight at 9. We are? Alright, then I am going to watch the Superbowl tonight at 9 at my friend's house. It's not football season? Hmmm... wait, did we say this wasn't only about women? Guess you'll have to wait around and see if we lied.

8.) We heart dogs.

A.) You don't like dogs if you don't read.

9.) Crack

A.) Once you start reading we are something like an addiction.

10.) You Don't Know What You're in For.

A.) And neither do we. That's the best part. There isn't anything holding us back or guiding us. We came to the internet with one simple idea and will extend our writing (Read: tentacles) into whichever realms, topics, or subjects (read: Asian women) that we find suitable at the time. In fact that actually is another reason to read! Just to see if you can spot which of us made which terrible joke (Read: The Radical is the cause of all the ones that turn your stomach and offend even the most hardcore of relativists).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Birds and the Bees (Published April 15th, '10)

So the weather gets better. The birds chirp, the bees buzz, the pants start coming down and the the shorts keep rising. Spring is in the air. There is not only the change in weather, but the change in demeanor of everyone and everything.

Relationships that bloomed in the cold enthralls of winter wither away and die in the warm openness of spring. For many seniors on this campus there has been the experience of the transition to spring four times.

This final stretch brings with it the promise of future seasons without the familiar confines of a lodge, the Cellar or University Forest Apartments.

We are all a part of what I call the Richmond Zone, almost akin to the Twilight Zone because it is so different from the way the rest of the world works.

Though one thing that holds true here, and almost everywhere else, is the notion that with the warm weather the percentage of single people propels to heights only Zeus on a space shuttle could imagine.

Now it is quite simple to try to diagnose the phenomenon as people seeing the grass getting greener; they want to see if there is better grass to be claimed.

That is fairly reasonable, but I would like to take a deeper look into the intriguing occurrence that seems to always happen around this time of year.

I will start with the breakdown of the seasonal make-up of this phenomenon. First, there is fall, when everything is cooling down and getting chilly. In the context of Richmond, it is the time of fresh faces and new beginnings. The whole school year is ahead of you and you want to see what relationships you could build and which ones you can make stronger.

Now, my theory is that this is the time when people begin the process of scouting out who they have potential interest in and who may have interest in them. This period of time is littered with parties and other modes of social networking to see what connections can be built.
Interestingly enough, this is the season in which single life is highly coveted and valued by many.

Fall is the time for growing familiarity and the realization that soon the weather will not allow for short skirts or short sleeves, bringing to a close the physical, attention-grabbing period and bringing in what I will term as “Cuffing Season.”

By Cuffing Season, I first mean winter, but its other meaning is that relationships become as popular as mullets were in the ‘80s.

I believe the average person notices the increase in relationships during this period, as to be expected. The partying has now become more group-exclusive, so people are regularly surrounded by the same people; mixing alcohol with familiarity and a batch of sexual tension is a concoction for repeat-offender hook-up sessions, which in turn could lead to becoming comfortable. When people get comfortable they usually end up in a relationship. I may be wrong, but check the stats.

At this point, Cuffing Season is in full effect because the chill of the outside necessitates consistent warmth, and what’s better than another person to help with that? Furthermore, all the other potential body warmers are now bundled up and probably cuddled up because of this unbelievable predictability of human nature.

The point is that Cuffing Season is the calm before the storm of scantily clad women and dudes with their shirts off.

That first 70 degree day is when all the cuffing gods unite and try to figure out how to make sure those handcuffs can weather the perfect storm of sunbathing and volleyball-playing.

It’s as if people come out of their comfortable relationship hibernation and see a whole campus out there ready for a new single member. The warmth brings people out whom you may have never seen before while also opening your eyes, which may have been sleeping, to the attraction you may have for a person but didn’t notice because they were bundled up.

With that in mind, the season of spring is when flowers start to bloom and relationships start lacking nutrients. People with strong relationships may be able to sustain through the temptation, but if the roots of the relationship are lacking, death is on the horizon.
The on- and off-campus parties increase, groups start to overlap because of campus-wide events of the season, and single life’s appeal becomes ever so hard to resist. The spring season is “Open Season.”

There are possibilities of the old, the new, the current and the future. For the cuffing gods, Open Season is sort of like tax season: you have to evaluate what cuffing has done for you. The summer needs no explanation, but for those interested, I will just say it is what you make it, and usually what you make it directly correlates to how you spent your Open Season.

I have gone through all the seasons and applied my social theory. I fully grant that I could be grossly far from the truth, misinformed, or my judgment of people is just lacking, but this is my theory.

There are many relationships on this campus that fully portray my theory while there are some that do not at all. From my interactions with men and women on- and off-campus it seems that the winter is a time for loving, and the summer, a time for humping (for those who just read that and were in shock, yes I said humping. It rhymed, I used it).

I personally believe if people are in a committed relationship, seasons should be irrelevant. But for most people, from my observations, seasons can play a big role, especially on a campus such as ours, with the temptation of tanning on the green and the possibilities lifting in the gym.

So all I want to say to the readers is: look outside, it’s spring, isn’t the grass gorgeous?

Let’s just say “‘Tis the Season.”

How to Treat Your Gypsy (Published April 8th, '10)

“How should you treat your Gypsy?” – Me

“I don’t even know.” – The Gypsy King

The Gypsy King commissioned this article as a statement to the Birds and the Bees that there is certain etiquette that is not necessarily a well-known option in the relationship types. In this way I am acting as an anthropologist in study of the Gypsy way of interacting.

First, let’s sync up our definitions. According to Wikipedia, English law provides us a definition that will fit our schemas and my observations: “Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act of 1960, Gypsies are defined as ‘persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin.’” I will only be discussing the treatment of Gypsy women because, to be plain, it is more accessible for me to understand the differences between the treatment of Gypsy women and Richmond girls.

Richmond girls are well known to us, no pun intended, but the Gypsy woman is nothing like a Richmond girl. I say Richmond girl in the stereotypical and prototypical sense. I apologize if you fit the description. To be sure, we know what we are comparing the Gypsy woman to let’s have a description of the prototype.

The Richmond girl is an odd breed even in the abundance on campus. She resides in marshes of spilled beer and densely crowded areas, foggy with small talk and fake smiles. During the weekdays she is graceful and well-kept, but after sunset, her grace dims with the sunlight and her beauty is highlighted … for the beginning of the night at the very least. I do love Richmond girls, don’t get me wrong. The best part about them is that very few are as stereotypical as my description.

The Gypsy woman is not a Richmond girl. Marked by aloofness and directness, the Gypsy woman stands out in the Richmond crowd. Her beauty shines as a wonderful blemish in the Richmond herd.

The Gypsy is often adorned in bright colors (rarely pastel) that flow about her. The flow is not just due to the wind. Pardon the possible accusations of witchcraft, but there is something mystical about this flowing such that “flow” is the only accurate word.

Unlike the Richmond girl, the grace of a Gypsy is less symmetrical and rarely fades in the night. This is probably due to a diet that is directed by the awareness of the effects of alcohol consumption. It is still unclear if this is caused by a higher understanding of her personal tolerance by the Gypsy woman or a genetic predisposition to endure long weekend nights.

I doubt it’s the latter since Gypsy women are of many races and nationalities and do not share one consistent genetic pattern. Opposite the optimal habitat of the Richmond girl, the Gypsy woman thrives in relaxed environments with little to no small talk filling the air.

This, finally, brings me to my point: the treatment of a Gypsy woman. How must you treat your Gypsy? I suppose the answer varies with your intentions with the Gypsy in question.

There are a plethora of ways in which to engage in a relationship and these ways are applicable to the Gypsy woman as well as the Richmond girl, but examples like the power dynamics that the Birds and the Bees outlined last semester are a worse fit for the Gypsy woman.

This article, I hope, will outline a style of treatment that will please your Gypsy.

1. You must keep your Gypsy fed. Not just her tummy, her mind must be fed. Conversation is essential in the proper diet of a Gypsy woman. There is a deep spirituality that must also be fed in the Gypsy woman.

Ritual consumption of mind-and-body influencing medicines is an expected part of Gypsy relationships. The nature of the medicine mixtures seems to differ between each Gypsy woman and does not always correlate with the consumptive choices of the male counterpart. These medicines are best served on a mirrored platter.

2. Time is a special commodity. This is true in the proper treatment of the Richmond girl, but there is a special finesse behind proper time allocation with the Gypsy woman.

One must be very sensitive to the needs of his Gypsy. Given her aloofness, your Gypsy will require less than every second of every day. Yes, that is a comment on the Richmond girl.

Time is necessary in a variety of ways. Much of your time spent with your Gypsy will be “chillin” time (also pronounced “chillum” time in some dialects) during which you and your Gypsy will be doing things that friends do.
This time is often spent on comfortable couches having light discussion, and listening to soothing music with a heavy bass. This time is not wholly distinct from “hangin out”, but it often lacks the ceremonial buffet (also served on the aforementioned platter).

3. Be kind to her. Unlike larger Richmond society, the Gypsy responds better to positive treatment and a continuous environment of respect. This does not exclude wit, sarcasm and jokes directed her way.

The Gypsy woman actually gets it. That snide remark you lob at her during the party won’t fly over her head as she giggles away your humor into oblivion. Understanding intelligence is individual. I am not promising you that every Gypsy is a genius, but I will stand behind a claim that they appreciate intelligence. Provide for her, spend time with her and entertain her.

These are the bare essentials of how to treat your Gypsy. All three suggestions would seemingly be decent ways to treat a Richmond girl … or for that matter any woman with which you are having any kind of relationship, but there is response to stimulus.

To be short, your Gypsy will respond well to this kind of treatment. A Richmond girl might just think you’re a “creeper.”
I don’t think I’ve met my own goal of detailing how to treat your Gypsy. Having re-read the article, it seems more like an insufficient introduction into at least perceiving a Gypsy woman on this campus and a poorly hidden critique of the Richmond girl.

If this is also how you feel about the article, then read into the text for the leftover meaning of this article and re-read the opening quotations for a lesson on how to treat your Gypsy.

Music Grabs My Mind and Intrigues My Soul (Published April 1st, '10)

There are times in everyone’s lives when they have a decision to make: the decision whether to do homework or not, drink or not, sleep or not, etc. Well, one of the biggest decisions is whether to be in a relationship or not.

People have all types of reasons to want to be in a relationship: love, security, companionship, cool thing to do, whatever. In the same breath, people have all types of reasons not to be in relationships: they enjoy being single, aren’t ready, haven’t found the right person or want to focus on themselves before making a commitment to someone else.

This notion of being in a relationship versus not being in one brings me back to my senior year of high school when I had more confidence in an idealistic relationship between two people. One of my favorite songs at the time was an obscure R&B song by Jim Jones featuring Rell called “Don’t Push Me Away.”

The day I found the song and took a listen, I felt as if it said everything I or anyone else might feel about a special person in their life. The song made me feel as if my soul had stepped into a mineral bath of understanding. Every lyric made perfect sense and flowed impeccably into the abyss of hard-edged romanticism. There was one portion of the song that stood out the most to me on my first, 10th and 2,300th time listening to the song.

That section went: “… and since the day that I found you, something about you, made me want to lose it and pound you, but it’s not just your body, it’s your mind, your spirit, everything combined, and while I got a chance, take my hand, let me know something real, that love you can feel …”

Now I expect that if you’ve decided to read this lyric you see it has one blaring raunchy reference. If you didn’t notice, the reference was “pound you,” and for the sake of those who may take it to be a little much, I will put the whole lyric in context for “pound you” to be better accepted.

First, this song is from a male point of view, but for the females out there I understand that there is some strong evidence that women know that they are going to have sex with a person in the first 10 minutes of meeting them. It may be incorrect, but I can see it.

I digress, but in the lyric it is saying that all that makes up this special person causes the singer to want to take the relationship to a sexual level and beyond, showing them a love that is unmatched. So the lyrics are not just based on the physical, as pointed out by the lines: “It’s not just your body, it’s your mind, your spirit, everything combined.”

The lyrics and the singer are meant to show that since the day that he met this special person, everything about him or her has made the singer enamored by his or her presence.

The way that this portion of the verse relates to being in or not being in a relationship is quite interesting. There are a lot of relationships out there that are based on people settling for their partners or a mutual settling for each other. That seems unacceptable to me.

This may go back to my idealized notion of relationships, but from the lyrics, if the person you are with does not make you want to “lose it and pound [him or her],” why are you with him or her? I don’t mean to use “pound [him or her]” as purely physical, but rather, as if you don’t want to just irrationally see him or her at times, miss him or her when he or she is away or have a strong need for his or her presence, you are wasting your time.

Settling to be with someone out of some need for companionship or a fear of being single is honestly as silly as an elephant riding a tricycle. I’m not trying to draw judgment, but a relationship based on someone settling just does not seem like one that would last.

Let me give you an example of settling in action. So Billy is interested in a particular female. Billy proceeds to let it be known that he is interested in the young lady in social settings and times when they make acquaintance. The young lady who Billy is interested in is intrigued by him, but seems intimidated for some reason. So, he decides to ask why they cannot get to know each other on a deeper level and her response is she has a boyfriend. (Womp womp.)

Now, I’m not promoting home wrecking, but he understands her situation and asks the simple question: Is she happy in her relationship? She pauses and has a lack of assurance about her situation so he presses and asks: Why is she in the relationship if she is not head over heels? Her answer: I know he will never cheat. To me, that says everything.

This is just one example, but I have female friends who use this excuse, female interests who have, and I have used this excuse and have heard it from other people, male and female alike. Never cheating is just one excuse to accept settling, but there are many others. To settle is to cheat yourself.

For men and women there is a fear of a lot of things from the opposite sex in a relationship. There can never be a love you can feel if you never allow yourself to be able to find that person.

Yes, there are times when physical intimacy can be the overall goal for a person, but if you’re looking for that special person, to accept someone below your criteria for safety reasons is to deny yourself complete happiness.

Contentment is not happiness and to use the example of settling because you know someone won’t cheat sounds like contentment. The whole premise of having a relationship solely based on the notion of not being able to fathom the other person cheating is usually based on the settler’s belief that their significant other is not a hot commodity.

This fear of having a relationship with someone who is a hot commodity stunts some people’s ability to find the right person for them. To settle is to let opportunity pass you by.

The intense lyrics are meant to promote a relationship that encompasses a commitment to your significant other because of their whole being. You should be invested in them, physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I may be a bit of an idealist, but I think to settle is to deny my opportunity to say, “When I have a chance, take my hand, let me show you something real, that love you can feel.”

What Women Want: Who Knows? (Published March 25th, '10)

I think the time has come for me to admit one of my deep, dark secrets … one of my all-time favorite movies just so happens to be “What Women Want.” I honestly think that every man, as well as every woman, should see this movie at least twice during his or her lifetime – even if it is as a “Richmond movie,” hence my suggestion to see it twice.

The other reason I advise everyone to view the movie twice is the underlying message of the film. Everyone has in his or her mind the “perfect mate.” A fair number of those people have realized that person does not actually exist. Those people have realized there are certain traits they value more than others and certain traits they do not admire at all.

This being said, it sounds like a simple equation to follow: Give a little, get a little. But, this is far from the case, because of every person’s inability to specify exactly what he or she wants.

Although a person has an idea of what he/she would like in a partner, he or she often contradicts himself or herself when trying to communicate what he or she needs to others. I am by no means suggesting that I am able to complete this extremely complex task. I’ve been known to fall into this annoying habit – I think we all have at some point.

We want that person who doesn’t need to be around us or that person who has his or her own group of friends, but we want that person to want to be around us, and that person to love to hang out with our friends just as much or more than his or her own. I have heard female friends say they would like to take guys to their socials who can survive without them being on their arm, but they want them by their side when they need them. I’ve heard my guy friends say they want a girl who is going to put out, but is not easy. These two statements contradict themselves, but make sense to those who are saying them.

The movie “What Women Want” helps solve this issue. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Mel Gibson is the star of the movie and magically acquires the ability to hear women’s private thoughts, which allows him the ability to alter his behavior based on what he hears from the women around him.

Because we aren’t all lucky enough to know what the person we are interested in is thinking, we have to decipher the bullshit that that person is trying to say through his/her actions. There is not one specific technique that has been perfected to perform this process. The only thing people can do is ask the person to be completely honest with them. And if there is still manure to dig through, that person doesn’t know what he/she wants.

Their answer should determine your answer. We think the gray area is gone when we finally have the “talk,” but the gray area never really goes away.

In closing, this is a special article and issue for The Birds and the Bees section. It is the last we will have with our beloved editor, Maura Bogue. Maura gave us our opportunity to speak with all of you, and we would like for you to join us in thanking her for all of the things she has done for us and the opinion section as a whole. We’re crazy about you, Maura, and know that from here on out, The Collegian’s opinion section will always have a piece of you with it.

UFA 507

Moving On: A Special Request for a Topic (Published March 4th, '10)

Listen, Bill, there is some sunshine when she’s gone. Having said that, I agree with the notion, the feeling, the sentiment and your choice of background music. So what happens when you are on the other side of Paul Simon’s advice? What if one of the 50 ways to leave was not yours, but instead your lover’s exit strategy?

But, of course, love is a strong sentiment. Fine, you don’t love him or her (probably for the best since we are discussing him or her leaving), then what do you do? You miss him or her.

I miss you. Well, not you specifically, but the idea of you. I miss the memories with you. I miss the good times, but I’m not entirely convinced that I miss YOU.

I was asked to write this article about my methodology for moving on and getting over someone. After some consideration, I realized that I have no method. Even the tried-and-true drink-it-off strategy that Tony Starks, Matthew Murdock and so many women on this campus have attempted fails to strike me as a successful method.

The other side of the Westhampton Lake suggested that the best way to move on is to just keep it moving. Haven’t we all seen someone upset about his or her significant other go ahead and take Swizz Beatz’s advice and get “on to the next one”? When is a random hook-up not satisfying and empowering?

Once, I had a girl leave my bed and I thought as she walked out of the door, “Placeholder.” How awful is that? Feel free to judge me if you haven’t done something similar. But just because that particular wording may not have crossed your mind doesn’t mean you haven’t used someone as a placeholder. So, yeah, you “without sin,” please put down that stone.

Destruction is always a fun way to deceive yourself into thinking you have moved on. Smash a watermelon with a hammer. Gallagher made it funny, but you can make it cathartic.

But, if you are going to destroy something, I recommend you begin with pictures. No need to put them in the trash bin and light the whole damned thing on fire, but they cannot be staring you in the face. You’d be better off with a Brand New poster on your wall anyways. Who got that joke? If you got it, you know my method.

Did you not get it? Well, because the word is so inaccurately and haphazardly used anyways, allow me to use it in the manner that would make sense to you. If you’re going to be “emo” about your poor, broken heart, then a matching poster of an emo band might nicely fill the space on the wall that you’ve just cleared of so many memories. The punch line for that joke didn’t really pay off.

Oh well, just listen to some music. There is my method in its entirety. I can’t honestly recommend it to you without some caveats though. Ne-Yo accurately depicts a familiar relationship that people have with music and significant others. But we aren’t always “So Sick” of love songs.

The danger in music is the power it has to affect you. Some of my strongest feelings for a certain young woman are only apparent when I listen to one particular band, so I avoid it in my shuffle like the plague. Having said that, I would never delete any of the band’s discography. There are too many good thoughts attached to the music to simply throw them away with the bad thoughts.

Wait – I think I’ve lied to you. Music is not my method. Acceptance, that’s my game plan each and every time. I’m beginning to think it is everyone’s method. The method is just lost in the madness of individual modes of cognition. How do you accept? That is probably what you are asking me, but I asked first! Take some time to think about your answer. Get back to me on it.

I was always told that you have to take the good with the bad; but, in situations when you are sad and longing for someone who no longer longs for you, I think it’s quite the opposite. You must take the bad with the good. Unless your relationship (at whatever degree) was proportionately more bad than good, then you’ve come out ahead.

Now that you’ve had some fun, learned some things about yourself and (I hope) gotten some physical satisfaction during your time with him or her, it is time to accept that you were lucky enough to have good times. It is not yet the time to stop having good times.

S/He broke up with you/stopped hooking up with you/removed your relationship status on Facebook. Word. Accept that these things have their time and if you enjoyed most of that time, then you have won in the game of life.

The payoff for relationships is a lot like the payoff from the (board) game of Life. You spin the wheel, someone comes along briefly for the ride and some things happen. Eventually the game (and relationship) is done. That’s it.

I hope you are playing with someone who will make the ride enjoyable while it lasts. If you had a blast, then you have no reason to be sad when it’s finished. It’s time for another go-round when you are ready.

Don’t placehold; not with a temporary person, not with the numerous pictures you never looked at so much before because s/he was still around, not with the hundreds of thousands of songs that all remind you of how sad you are without him or her and not with any drug (alcohol and sex included).

Accept that you had a good time, that you are older and wiser for it and that it is done. Just hurry the hell up so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

From Marvin Gay to “Birthday Sex”: The Evolution of Love (Published Feb 25th, '10)

Love. What does it really mean? The word is tossed to and fro like a baseball on a little-league field. It is used openly on Facebook posts, in text messages and during drunken times at parties. The concept of love is used so loosely during our day and age that I think it has lost its luster. The word love, in my eyes, used to carry enough punch to knock out Mike Tyson in a street fight. But now the word love can only tickle Tyson behind his ears.

The concept of love is used in vain nowadays. Our society today is getting the word love confused with like and lust, which could explain how the divorce rate is up to 50 percent, but that isn’t what this article is about.

Let us first examine the popular music being produced today. We rarely find love in our music. How many of the songs in the Billboard Top 100 are about love? Where has love gone? I can remember summers at my grandma’s house when she would play golden oldies on her record player. Songs such as “If Lovin’ You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right” by Luther Ingram, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. These songs were songs of passion and affection.

These songs were deeper than just trying to get into someone’s pants; they were about commitment and reliability. These songs were not just about trying to make someone else’s bed rock or proving sexual ability. They tapped into a deeper meaning of love that has been lost in translation from one generation to the next.

I hate to beat a dead horse because I know Liz Monahan wrote about this a few weeks ago, but what bothers me is that our generation is quick to claim to love someone after a few months or even just a few weeks, but in the same breath will drop you like a bad habit if a problem arises.

To say you love someone means you are willing to sacrifice anything to make him or her happy. To say you love someone means you are more than willing to put his or her interests ahead of yours. To say that you love someone entails loving him or her unconditionally, no matter what happens. When you tell people you love them, do you really take all of that into consideration?

You are probably thinking to yourself, “Duh, I already know this.” But how many of us actually put this into action? How many of us actually hold the people who say they love us accountable for their actions? How many of you have heard, “If you love me, you would do this for me?” If you have heard this line before from someone, please hear me out.

If someone you consider a significant other asks you to do anything for him or her in the name of love, he or she does not understand what love is. You know why? Because if you loved him or her the way he or she loved you, he or she would never have to ask that type of question because you would be more than willing to help him or her out any way you could.

Be wary of those who are quick to claim they love you. Judge their actions. Love is an action that should be carried out on a daily basis. Do not allow anyone to feed you lip service of how much they love you if they aren’t willing to sacrifice anything for you. Love is an open two-way street, whether it is between friends or lovers. The concept stays the same.

I want you to take away three things. One, think twice before you throw out “I love you.” If you are willing to use the phrase, then own up to it and act accordingly. Second, if someone claims he or she loves you, hold him or her accountable. Make sure he or she is in your life to help your growth, not hinder or stunt it.

Last, if someone tells you he or she loves you, and you feel uncomfortable or do not feel the same, tell him or her the truth. Stop being afraid of hurting people when telling them how YOU feel. If he or she is truly a friend or someone who cares, he or she will understand where you are coming from because no one wants to be around anyone who is faking it.

The Misunderstood Bakery Member (Publshed Feb 10th, '10)

A huge glass display with shelf after shelf of the best baked goods I have yet to see matched, except maybe on “Cake Boss.” This display is in Manhattan, I can’t quite remember where, but what I do remember is the variety and plethora of deliciousness.

My mom would take me there whenever I spent the day with her at her job, starting when I was in third grade until I was in sixth grade. Those days were precious. Not the whole day, just the part when I got to enjoy the ultimate greatness of some great baked goods.

Now, I don’t know where my love for the sweet, starchy genre comes from, but I’m not one to complain. Just think how amazing a chocolate chip cookie with warm chocolate milk could be. Think how unbelievable a vanilla cupcake with some magnificent icing would dance on your taste buds. Even more vivid, think of a cake based on the never-failing Oreo, which blows the Double Stuf out of the water. Those are just a couple of examples from what I consider the most dynamic genre of food in the world.

So returning to the store in Manhattan, I would pick something new to try every time we went. Being that I had three years and four times a year to choose my dessert, I had 12 times to try something great and new from this bakery. I was open to any flavor, any type, any style and any look, yet I never tried the Red Velvet.

The infamous Red Velvet cake, cupcakes or any other Red Velvet product scared me away, like a vegetarian at a prime rib cook-off or an 8-year-old boy mistakenly walking into the girls bathroom. I don’t know why I was not interested in the Red Velvet. I couldn’t even figure it out.

It could be the conniving, reddish color that makes me think of “True Blood” or something not connected to baked goodness. It could be the stories I’d heard about the taste not being explainable. You’d think I’d be head-over-heels to try this member of the bakery world, but irrational fear of the unknown Red Velvet kept me at bay.

My life continues. I stop going to work with my mom because I’m slowly becoming a grown-ass man. I stop going to the bakery. Yes, there are other bakeries. Yes, I could try new baked goods whenever I wanted.

Years went by. Sisqo became corny. Kanye arrived. Jay-Z turned 40. But I had yet to taste the Red Velvet.

My irrational fear should have faded through time. I was offered Red Velvet by aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and a stranger with a pretty nice wig and superb dentures, and still I failed to try the cake of legend. Then a fateful trip changed my life.

Focused, ready for my future, I headed out on an excursion to a graduate-school open house somewhere in the southeastern United States with my roommate. It was only a one-night trip, and the experience was one that would stick with me forever, but that was not the only thing of importance. I did something so crazy I almost had to slap myself to realize I wasn’t dreaming or daydreaming or fantasizing or imagining. But I digress.

We stayed the night with an old friend. At the end of our trip, our friend placed a box of cupcakes in front of us, and I almost melted from excitement. It was like realizing I looked old enough to buy alcohol with no ID.

So we open the box and what do I see? Red Velvet. This was the moment I realized: I was 21 years old and had to stop being scared off by this punk Red Velvet. The fisticuffs went up, and I took my first bite.

Imagine waking up in a flowing river of gold with diamonds encrusted on your Louis Vuitton pajamas and finding out you have been elected ruler of the world.