life, men, thoughts, women

Vulnerable in the bedroom

The New York Times runs a piece about Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia University, who carries a mattress with her all of the time as a protest against sexual assault on campus. She says she will continue to carry that mattress as long as her rapist attends the same school than her. Unfortunately, sexual assaults happen too often on campus. When I was in College, I remember there was a warning message hanging everywhere in my building against a rapist who was running errands around our building. Our university even put around the building and the campus ringing alarms people could easily trigger and which make a hell of a noise but are very dissuasive.

What strikes me in Emma Sulkowicz is her own experience with sexual assault. Her boyfriend abused her while they were having casual sex. I can’t imagine how awful it was.

Unfortunately, when we accept to have sex with someone, we become vulnerable, because we give him/her our trust. Nobody accepts to have sex with someone we don’t trust.  But our trust can weaken with drugs or alcohol which impair our judgment.

In College, and later, alcohol and drugs can be easily found. There are countless occasions to get high or drunk. And most of us ends up having sex with random strangers or people who try to take an advantage of us. When I was in College, I remember that guy who always found his victim at the end of the night, because she was drunk and lonely. He wasn’t handsome. He was a bit scary, and I did my best to stay far away from him during parties. I also tried to stay lucid even if I drank a lot with my friends. But some of my friends recall their one night stands caused by this mix of alcohol and sometimes drugs. No one really was bragging about this.  There’s nothing to be proud of  in this situation.

Some of my friends admitted their one night stand was sometimes as drunk as they were, so they didn’t fear anything. Yet, one of them once told me she did run away when she realized where she was heading. She said the guy scared her.

And this was almost 15 years now.

Since then, more and more men, young men, watch porn movies that flood the internet. In those movies, women are just sluts who say yes to everything. Not a great guide for their sex life.

As Michel Houellebecq writes in his book, is this the sign of a declining civilization, where we only consume porn movies and swing parties? Our society is only living for desire, never fulfilled. We have forgotten how to love.

Is this the sign of a declining civilization when we have to fear the person we have sex with, and when we feel vulnerable in the bedroom?

celibacy, life, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Sugar Daddies on the rise

The Atlantic recently wrote a piece called “How sugar daddies  are financing college students”. The article explains how an dating site played a pivotal role in this evolution, as students can register for free while men have to pay up to 1,200 dollars for their membership. Men who register to Seeking Arrangement apparently look for sex, but sometimes companionship too. That’s why college educated women, much younger than them, are sought after, more than other young women. “They look for a woman who can understand what they do, accompany him to company events, and talk with their friends” writes the article. This a very cynical relationship.  Because let’s be honest, basically, it’s a financial relationship between a wealthy and old man and a young and sometimes penniless woman. In my country, there is no dating site like that. But there are a lot of escort agencies, located around key business places. One of my friends has seen a lot of young women meeting older men in a very famous hotel in my city, located near the chic avenue where you can often see ferraris and porsches parked in the parking lot. But College educated women? Wow. This says a lot about how expensive College studies have become in the USA. A lot of students get into debt to finance their studies, as the costs got multiplied by ten over the last ten years. In other words, students have become more fragile. Meanwhile, at Wall Street, business men have seen their stock options rebounding and their bonuses on the rise since the financial crisis. And most economists, like the Nobel Prize Joseph Stiglitz, have ringed the alarm about the rising wealth inequality in America. As for the men who pay for this service, and hope for a companionship, well, like one of the women said in the article, they live in a fantasy. Because even if a woman is College educated, she would have to be extremely mature to be that ideal companion. And an extremely mature woman would never go into such a financial transaction. For college women who read this, remember there’s always another solution. Strike Debt, for example, has already canceled 4 millions dollars of student loans. Without asking for a payback in companionship or sex. There’s nothing romantic in fulfilling the fantasy of a wealthy and powerful old man.

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships

Better off alone?

Last night, I was invited to a birthday party, where I ended up in the kitchen chatting with the house guest and her friends. Her husband and her friends’ husband were in another room, playing a game where the loser had to drink shots of whisky. Of course, after one hour, the husbands started to talk incoherently as they all got drunk.

One of the women shrugged her shoulders when she heard they were playing that stupid game. She stormed into their room and shouted at her husband, mentioning he had to wake up early the next morning as they were about to hit the road for their holidays in Italy. He was supposed to be the driver.

When she came back in the kitchen, she looked at us very disappointed. But then, another woman told her her man wasn’t better. Because he was the one who initiated the game.

I know her man really well. And to be fair, I pity her a lot, because I know how unfaithful he can be. When she got pregnant two years ago, he cheated on her, and one of my friends told me he tried to woo her as he was sending her a lot of suggestive SMS. He also has a nasty habit of looking at me with concupiscent eyes, like one of my coworkers, who’s a pervert.

Later, the woman who shouted at her husband admitted she didn’t understand him very well. “I don’t know if he’s serious or if he’s just trying to make me laugh” she said. But her husband has a curious sense of humor, consisting of mocking other people. Well, if you read Lilian Glass’s book, “Toxic men”, you will know that when a man is joking at your expense, he just says what he really thinks. He’s serious, despite his laugh.

It is said that it’s better to laugh it off, in those situations. But sometimes, the jokes can be hurtful.

When I left the party, I thought I was better off alone. This is the good side of being single: there is no significant other to criticize you or diminish you.

On the other hand, I have some examples of couples where there’s no animosity like that. When I’m invited to my friends’ place, I never end in situations like these. Usually, I end up doing the dish washing with my friends and their husband, and we just laugh together (and get drunk together). One of my friends’ husband cooks when they receive guests, and she’s the one who chat with the guest while he’s in the kitchen, sometimes popping by.  Yes, my friends have had downs in their relationship, but so far, they have all managed to get through that.

broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Merci pour ce moment

So, I read Valerie Trierwieler’s book “Merci pour ce moment” (thank you for this moment). Usually, I stay away from books which are hype for a wrong reason. But I realized I read very bad reviews about this book and critics on its author, so I wanted to make my own opinion on this book.

I felt close to her, to be honest. She wrote about how her relationship with the President of France started and its end. How she left her life to start an new one with him, only to get rejected at the end for an actress who comes from a very wealthy and powerful family.

Valerie Trierwieler reminds in her book she comes from a middle class family, like most the the French population. To put that in perspective, it’s like Michelle Obama, who came from a poor family, got dumped for a socialite like Paris Hilton (ok, not her, but someone who comes from a wealthy and powerful family like the Hiltons).

But she also explains how the presidency of France changed everything between François Hollande and her. How stressful and bitter it was.

As we know, France has been difficult to govern since the beginning of François Hollande’s mandate. And he disappointed a lot his citizens.He made his campaign against the world of finance. “My enemy is the Finance” he said in his famous speech at Le Bourget in January 2012. 

Since then, the French government voted a very light regulation against its banks, which pushed some journalists to write this book, “My friend is the Finance“.

The French government has already fallen four times now, due to internal fights in the socialist party, scandals like the Cahuzac/Morelle ones, and the rise of the right wing nationalist party Front National at the last regional elections.

And François Hollande has already made several mistakes, by playing it solo. Valerie Trierwieler reminds in her book about the infamous episode when she tweeted her support to the candidate who was running against Ségolène Royal, Francois Hollande’s ex and mother of their four children, for La Rochelle legislative department back in 2012. All of Francois Hollande’s counselors told him to remain distant from this battle, but he chose to support Ségolène Royal,  parachuted at La Rochelle, who got defeated by voters.

This book is the one of someone who loved and lost the one she loved. Unfortunately, many of great personalities have a desperate significant other at their side. And Valerie Trierweiler is not an exception.

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The book of revenge

In France,  the french president’s ex -girlfriend has just published a tell-all book. It’s the first time an actual president is served with a book written by someone who lived with him. Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president, got also served with a book written by his ex-wife, but he wasn’t the president anymore when it was published last year.

Valerie Trierweiler, the ex-girlfriend, was dumped at the beginning of this year, after a tabloid published pictures of her man and his mistress on the first day of the year. It was a nasty break up. And a very humiliating experience for her. But apparently, he was often humiliating her during their relationship. And like Cecilia Sarkozy before her, she served him with very passive-agressive behaviors, like the tweet she wrote against her ex’ex wife. But she didn’t disappear during international events like Cecilia Sarkozy, who didn’t vote, didn’t show when her husband was invited by  George W. Bush, or who showed almost in jeans and casual outfit at a gala with him. I guess Trierwieler didn’t have the time to do that.

But her book is also a passive-agressive behavior. And it shows she’s still under his control. Because by writing this book, she just gives him more power, even if she tried to diminish him by telling how awful he was with her.

For sure, this will impact François Hollande’s popularity, which is already at the lowest point among all the french presidents. But I’m not sure it will help her at all.

Another ex-mistress wrote a tell-all book about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF director, and former Exchequer of France. DSK tried to cancel the release of the book, but he lost in court. Almost one year after, she wrote a new book. The story is about a woman who got revenge against a man who brutalized her… But most writers keep on writing about the same theme, even if they disguise it. I read “Sevère” by Regis Jauffret, a writer who likes to write about tragic real life events.  There are countless examples.

But writing a book to forget someone is a wrong idea. Because it will always remind you of him. And haunt you for the rest of your life.

Yet, I guess Valerie Trierwieler got courted by every publisher because let’s say it,  it’s not common to see a president dumping his wife or girlfriend during  his mandate. Cecilia Sarkozy, now Attias, left her ex because she had enough. And she stayed out of the media light during the rest of her ex-husband’s mandate. There was curiosity around Trierwieler. Since the beginning of the year, every media was still after her. Everyone was speculating about a tell-all book. From the beginning, her relationship with François Hollande had been scandalous. She’s a journalist. A political journalist, who used to write stories about him. It was a strange union.

We, journalists,  can get burned.