life, thoughts, women

The intermediate


In the scandal around Jeffrey Epstein, there are suspicions around the role of his ex-lover, Ghislaine Maxwell. Some people accuse her of  being his Madam, recruiting young women to perform massage etc to Jeffrey Epstein and his male friends. It reminds me of another case, the Edouard Stern’s case. He was a banker who was murdered by his ex-lover. He was found with four bullets in his body, two in the heads, while he was wearing a latex suit. His ex-lover and him used to play sexual games where she was often asked to recruit extra people.

I had an ex who asked me to bring men I meet in my gym class to him.I refused.  Because on one hand, I didn’t want to disrupt my peace when I’m going to the gym. I feel carefree when I’m going there. I don’t want it to change because of some guys, who live nearby the gym and in my neighborhood. A bad reputation is easy to learn and difficult to get rid of. In another hand, I don’t feel very seducing. Even if I was single, I couldn’t go and flirt with random strangers in the street or at a party,…. In another word, it screamed “no” in my head. And the relationship ended it there.

Why some people, often women, end up being recruiting people to please their partner’s sexual needs/phantasms? In the case of Maxmell, she seemed to accommodate this for the fabulous life she lived with Jeffrey Epstein, who was rich.  Until she had enough. In the case of Brossard, Edouard Stein’s ex-lover, she was also attached to him in a toxic way. It didn’t end well.

I don’t know if these agreements in relationship are sustainable on the long run. I just know I could never do this.

Beside, as the Maxmell/Esptein scandal showed, the people recruited for their sexual games didn’t disappear in nature afterwards. Some of them sued them.

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

The guy you don’t want to date: 1) the seducer

Ha, the seducer. In a party, an event, at work or just among your friends, you will immediately recognize him because he’s the only one who openly flirts with you. Usually, he’s either good-looking enough not to make too many efforts, or he tries to be funny and charming if he doesn’t consider himself handsome.

The problem is he’s not acting like that only with you.

And he has rehearsed his show to many women before you met him. He just knows which pick up lines to use to get what he wants.

He’s the guy who will take good care of himself, because he hates getting old and he constantly needs to comfort himself. So, if he has more beauty products than you, this should be a sign he’s a seducer.

He’s also the one who tries to get the attention. Everything about him screams “Look at me”.

On the good side, he will never say something deceitful to you, at least, at the beginning of your relationship. So you can ask him anything you want, as he wants to please you.

But this guy has a narcissistic crack who pushes him to seduce all of the time. Even if he won’t necessarily cheat on you.

He’s not mean. But trying to have a relationship with him can be exhausting.  As you can feel diminished by staying too long with him, because it’s difficult to be treated like everybody else.  Besides, it’s difficult to cope with his seducing ways with other women. It’s offensive to you when he compliments other women in front of you, or if he even flirts with them. Slowly, you will lose your self-confidence. And if you tell him how you feel, he will try to change, but he will always come back to his way.

So, when you met one of them for the first time, don’t hesitate to question him about his love life, his ex’s,… My ex got divorced two times. His first wife ran away. His second one left him because he had a child out of wedlock. Yet, I was foolish enough not to listen to those warning signs.

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

The woman-child

Our society likes when we look youthful. But when you’re acting as a child, it’s not the case. This is especially the case if you want to be a leader.

Unfortunately, for women, it seems our society pushes us to be a woman-child, aka the woman who doesn’t say much or on the contrary, can’t help saying whatever crosses her mind, relies on men and other people, and takes no responsibility.

TV shows celebrate this kind of woman. Look at Girls, New Girl, Don’t Trust the B…  in Apartment 23, and even Rachel/ Phoebe in Friends,…

Is this because women wait longer to have children compared to our mothers? Because with motherhood, women lose their child-like attitude. At least, it’s the case for most of them. But I have several examples around me where the mother acts as if she was still a teenager, and is like a girlfriend to her daughter(s). It’s different when her kids are boys. Usually, she has to turn into a bossy person just to get authority on them. As a journalist I met recently told me: “I don’t like French women when they have three children. They get bossy”. 

Some women also choose not to have children at all. This trend is also on the rise, in every country, as people ponder about their future and get afraid of the world they would leave to their children. The more educated people, especially women, are, the more they chose not to have children.

But when you’re a woman-child, you face the risk of not being taken seriously. And attract the wrong kind of men.

I know about this, because this is my case. And it becomes a burden for me, as I’m often left aside when my boss  chooses someone to moderate or do a speech for my newspaper.  In general, I attract older men, much older than me, who act really bossy with me.

With time, I get really cautious when I get approached by men I don’t know. All of them fall into the same category: old, narcissistic, seducer, … And if I’m at a party or a cocktail, I try not to stay alone on my side because I know I will attract this kind of individuals. That’s why I carefully choose where I go, to be sure I know at least two or three people there.

And deep inside of me, I hope I won’t turn into the pathetic portrait of Charlize Theron in “Young adult”.

life, men, thoughts, Uncategorized, women

A book together

In 2009, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published together a best seller that has since pushed for changes in many countries: Half the Sky.

Women are half the sky” says an old chinese proverb. It  was the starting point of their long inquiry in the third world countries.

Journalists sometimes get together to write books. Sometimes, they even collaborate with politicians, economists, CEOs,… to write a book.

But unfortunately, when you write a book with someone else, there’s a chance one of you get all the attentions, while the other stays in the shadow. I had the unpleasant experience recently with a book I wrote with a friend of mine, who’s a well known economist. He got interviewed a lot for this work, and only two journalists mentioned I co-wrote the book with him. The others just mentioned it was his book. Which is not true.

The exercise of a book written with four or even more hands is difficult. It starts with a common will to collaborate intellectually on a specific topic. But when the book is written, the writer who has the most influence usually comes forward, while the others don’t get much publicity. So, it’s better when none of the authors are known, or when both of the authors are as popular as each other.

It wasn’t my case. But fortunately, one of the two journalists who mentioned my name did a radio interview where I was treated as equal as my co-author.

And I received congratulations from some economists, some lawyers, some politicians who don’t know me personally.

My main goal with this book was writing a book with him. It’s a plan we had for a long time. Now, we have done it. We have closed a chapter of our life.

To write a book has different meanings for everyone of us. Some write in hope to get successful, some write to exorcise their experience, some write for the pleasure of writing,…

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

His real face

In my country, not so long ago, a politician killed his new wife after a weekend at the seaside. He’s not yet convicted for his crime, but the Parliament accepted to lift his immunity after hearing the experts report on the scene.

This episode reminds us that violent men can be found in every social category, and not the just among the poor.

Unfortunately, women who fall into their trap take years to realize their abuse and to put an end to this. Because usually, abusive men don’t show their real face immediately. Usually, they are quite charming with you on the first months of relationship, before turning into a monster.

A friend of mine told me her man was really charming when she met him for the first time. “He showered me with little attentions and thousand of messages at the beginning. He would write me a poem, surprise me at work with flowers, send me songs saying he was thinking about me. It was very passionate between us. Until I learned he had another woman in his life“.

He said we couldn’t stay together, but when I ran away, he caught me back, and said he wanted me to stay in his life forever. So he continued to contact me and we started to be lovers” she added.

This was a horrible situation because whenever we would be together in events, he would just either ignore me and chatting with all the people he knew while I would just sit at the bar and have the only conversation I could have with the bartender. If by chance, I knew some people during those cocktails, he would come to me and say things like I looked tired or I have gained weight, in front of my acquaintances. It was humiliating“.

Then I started to hear rumors about me. I learned later he was the one who would spill the details about our relationship. None of my friends who knew what was going on betrayed me” she said.

He invited me once to go hiking with him. And this is when I saw his real face. From day one, he couldn’t stop criticizing me, saying I don’t really love him, saying I was lazy, not that intelligent,… I felt diminished all of the time, but every time, I fought back and we had a lot of arguments. We spent our time walking and fighting, until one day, when we were really exhausted but not yet arrived at our final destination, he lost his mind. We passed through a herd of cows, but there was also a bull. He started to scream without any reason and held my hand very tight, forcing me to follow him to the bull. I told him to let me go, but he refused. So I twisted his hand a bit to get mine out of his grip, and ran away,far from the herd. He ran toward me and started to scream again, asking me why I did that to him. He turned pale, and the look in his eye got very dark. When I tried to answer him, he walked away and sit on a tree lying on the path not far away, without saying a word. I needed a moment just to recover from this, so I left him there. After ten minutes, he was still seating, looking lost. I reached for him and told him we had to carry on. But he wanted me to apologize. As I was tired, I apologized. I didn’t want to stay there or leave him like that. He then got up and held my hand again, this time softly, and told me we had to reach our destination. We didn’t say a word to each other until we arrived to the hotel. He went straight to the shower, stayed there for a long moment. When he finished, he told me he wasn’t sure we could walk again the next day because his right knee were hurting him. He still stood distant from me. The next morning, he changed his behavior, apologizing, and said we could continue. So I accepted. But we never talked again about this incident” she said.

There was another episode where he lost his mind and turned violent against me. He invited me to follow him in the South of France where he had a seminar for a week. But he said I would have to remain in secret during the day. Luckily, I could visit the town nearby, where there was a castle. But after one day, he changed his mind, and invited me to have breakfast and lunch with him, among the other people at his seminar. But he never introduced me to anyone. Because he said there were all irritating. Once, after a long day of seminar, he got back into our room really angry. And started to whip the bed with his belt. He looked at me and asked if he could beat me. I told him no, and left the room. When I got back, he was in the shower. He then told me he felt upset because he received a message from one of his father’s mistresses, asking him to come at her house to have a chat about his father” she said.

Every time we had an argument, he would victimize himself like that, reminding me he had a difficult childhood, with a violent father who abandoned his mother and her kids when he was 8 year old” she added.

But I realized I felt like shit every time I saw him. Slowly, I started to love him less and to tell him to stop whenever he was disrespectful. I’m not over him yet, but I’ve taken my distance from him” she said.

If he makes you feel like shit every time you see him, you should know he’s not good for you. Always trust your guts. And listen to the warnings.

My friend also said she felt guilty because she thought he was acting like that only with me while he was nice with his official woman. Or the other women they met. But the truth is, whenever he shows his real face, it doesn’t matter who is in front of him.

So, be careful.

life, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Encounter with escort

Today, as I was discussing with one of my contacts in a bar of a prestigious hotel in my town, we saw a young woman entering the room. Alone.

Usually, the people who come here are quite old. I’m often invited there by my professional contacts and I’m probably the only young woman standing there. But several people have told me that later in the day, you can see young women coming here. Although this place isn’t really hype for young people.

They’re escort girls” my contact told me.

Before we entered the room, a woman shouted at my contact. She was an old lady, very chic, wearing fur, and lots of jewelry. She was also carrying a leather agenda, very big. She told my contact she had an appointment with one of her clients, a well known artist. She’s his accountant.

Yet, my contact told me she has another activity. “She finds women for wealthy men” he said.

Once, I had an appointment with one of my friends here, and she was also there. She was sitting in a  corner of the room, a little bit hidden from the rest of the customers here. There were five other women with her, all very young compared to her” he told me. “One by one, I saw them leaving the table, with an older man” he added.

He told me several of his professional acquaintances have already used her services. “Some of them were looking for black women as they told me they wanted someone who would do everything they wanted” he added.

“I know you’re not that kind of woman” he said. Of course, I’m not!

I’ve known him for five years now. I know he’s not able to pay for having sex either.

Yet, it was a little bit awkward.

celibacy, life, men, relationships, thoughts, Uncategorized, women

The ticket for a better life

In the movie “Tout ce qui brille”, the two principal characters played by Geraldine Nakache and Leila Bekhti dream of a better life outside their suburbs. So they often escape to Paris, to attend parties and a world they don’t belong to.

Today, as you go to Paris, you can see many young women coming from the outskirts of the city hoping to find someone to change their life. Life is tough in the suburbs of Paris. In France, poverty has been pushed back outside the limit of the cities.

Some girls will try to count on their intelligence and their work to be admitted in a prestigious school. Some other will try a different road and know that sex is sometime useful to get what they want.

But counting on the opposite sex to scale the social ladder is a sword with a double trenchant. Because he will always need some form of pay back.

Plus, if you count on him to get invitations to it parties or professional meetings useful for your career, this is only temporary. Because once it’s over, you won’t receive these invitations anymore. Unfortunately, when we divorce or split with our significant partner, we also lose our social status.

But there are various forms of manipulation of the opposite sex. Because let’s say it, this is manipulation.

Recently, a French writer, who’s also a lawyer, wrote a book about her relationship with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund, an economist who has a thing for prostitutes and is not really loved in his country. She didn’t mention his name in the book, only referring to him as a pig. But when the book was published, every single media in France immediately related her to DSK. So, everyone knew this book was about their relationship.

Before this episode, I didn’t know about her. She gained maximum publicity thanks to her book, and thanks to DSK’s fame.

When I was in College, I knew a girl who used to sleep for good grades. Later, in her professional life, she also used her charms to get into the marvelous world of journalism. Only to end up in a political party and get fired because of a tweet mocking the pilgrims of Santiago de compostela after the horrible train accident.

These are the examples for those who want fame, but there are also those who chase money. In that case, the line with prostitution is very thin, I think.

But it also says a lot about who control the money on this planet, unfortunately.

celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, Uncategorized, women

Dating a star

One of my friends, who’s also a journalist, recently met at a party a famous news anchor. She told me they spent the night talking to each other, but then, he asked her if she could become his sex friend. “Just like that” she said.

My friend refused his proposal. But since then, he’s been pursuing her and tried to invite her to every party he’s hosting.

The problem is: he doesn’t want to accompany my friend to her events. He’s constantly telling her it’s boring. While his parties are so much better, as he said.

So far, my friend has been refusing all his invites. But I find it curious he keeps on inviting her. And I’m a bit worried for her, as she seems hesitating to yield to his” advances”. Because so far, he’s not really making an effort to win her.

If he really cares about her, no matter his social status, he should follow her to her events, which are not so boring by the way.

But in the marvelous world of journalism, there’s a different reality for the journalists who work for the TV than for the print newspaper, especially the ones specialized in Business and finance like my publication.

Those who work for TV are stars. I’m not one. My friend’s not really a star either.

When I was younger, I used to work for that TV and I remember how i didn’t like very much the journalists working there, because they didn’t give a damn about me or the other assistants in the newsroom. Few were really genuinely kind with me and the other.

But now, as a journalist, I know how closed are the newsrooms for newcomers. Even my newsroom is like that. You’ve got to have skin in the game and build your career on your own. Nobody will ever help you. So, as we evolve in this environment, everyone is building a shell to protect themselves. And some of us even create a flamboyant character and get used to that.

My friend’s pretender used to be a very quiet and shy man. One of my friends used to study in the same college than he, and he told me he wasn’t very much expansive. Years later, my friend’s pretender is now a very narcissistic person who seems to have a problem with alcohol.

So, he doesn’t seem to be the dreamboat my friend deserves.

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

The gala dinners that suck

As a journalist, I’m sometimes invited to gala dinners. And I guess the more recognition I will have in my career, the more I will be invited to those events.

But so far, for me, it’s been difficult to attend those events, because I don’t really know all the people present there, and I often feel I’m not really in my place in those events. The only ones I really enjoy are those where I can see all my fellow journalists and the people I’m the most acquainted with in my professional world. Last year, I was at a cocktail in London invited by an investment firm, where I spent the evening chatting with French journalists and two fund managers, and we had a great time.

With experience, I tend to reach the people in those gala dinners who seem as lost as I am. And believe me, there are quite some people there who just wished they were elsewhere. The last time it was the case, it was in Berlin. I wasn’t invited at the CEOs tables. And except one or two CEO there, I didn’t know anyone. But I saw a table where one lady was sitting alone, and I sat next to her and started chatting. People started to join us at our table, and I ended my evening learning a lot of things on a company currently about to merge with another one.

But in my country, it’s different. I don’t feel at ease at all here. Especially when there’s my ex around. He’s a very well known economist in my country, and everyone knows him. In cocktails and gala dinners, he’s always surrounded by a lot of people. In other words, he’s always the star of the evening.

Usually, he will come and speak to me just for a few minutes, then leave me to talk to someone else. He also has the nasty habit of introducing me to young and not so important men who try to approach him, just to get rid of them. I find that particularly humiliating. Because usually, the guy just doesn’t get why he’s introduced to me and make very little effort to have a conversation with me. And I don’t feel like talking to them, as I really feel sorry for them. Sometimes, some of them do go into a conversation with me, because they realize they don’t really know many people in the event.

I prefer going to event where my ex is not around. But in my country, and in the financial sector, it’s difficult to find such events. That’s why I prefer going to charity events, or art events, where I’m sure not to bump on him.

And once, a friend of mine told me his recent experience at Davos. He met Nouriel Roubini at a cocktail party. A very well known economist. But in Davos, there are a lot more important people than him. As a result, Nouriel Roubini was left alone in a corner. “Nobody came to speak to him”  said my friend. “I felt a little bit sorry for him” he added. So maybe one day, my ex will be left alone like that.

So, how do you deal with your ex?

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

When there’s no place for love

A friend of mine, who’s a lawyer, got dumped by her man because he’s marrying a woman coming from a  very wealthy family. My friend doesn’t come from a modest background, though, but she can’t compete with the other woman whose father owns several companies. Of course, my friend is devastated. And despite her ex chose the other woman, he keeps on contacting my friend to apologize to her. He wants her to stay in his life despite his choice. My friend has changed her phone number since then and tried to avoid the place where she can meet him in town.

He said he would marry me” says my friend. “He always said I was the best person he’s ever met. So I don’t understand why he picked that woman, apart for the money and the career” she added.

I guess it’s a question of values here. It’s only in fairy tales movies that a guy torn between two women, one rich and the other not so, picks the second option. In real life, this never happens.

One of my ex’s is a bit like my friend’s ex. He has always dated women coming from very high social circles. I was a bit of an accident. Or maybe not so. Because he used all I know to become very popular.

These guys don’t really love. They’re just using the people around them.

How do we avoid such douchebags?

I guess we should pay attention to little details early in the relationship, like if he’s telling you how to behave, how to dress in public, who you should make friends with…  My ex was like that.

If you feel diminished when you’re next to him, this should be a huge warning signal.

I would love to tell you about a happy ending in those stories. But so far, my friend is still mourning her disastrous experience, while her ex is about to get married. And as for me, well, I’ve had some success professionally. But my ex is now thinking about becoming the next Exchequer in my country.