"Are you religious?" No. I have trouble tying my shoelaces, so... I can't prove anything exists (God, Heaven, Hell, leprechauns). I'm more of an Agnostic in that respect (God is unknowable). I'm not an Atheist, though... for the same reason. Since I can't prove that stuff is real (in my mind), I certainly can't prove it isn't. I think that, either way, religion itself is a bit of an opiate for the masses... that most people want to believe there's some higher power looking out for them (and that they'll go to this magical place when they die). I'm fine with lights out.
There's been a lot of suffering, so I get why people would want some kind of salve. I've studied all the popular hits (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.). I tend to side more with the Eastern "religions" (really more philosophical thought than a true religion) like Taoism and Buddhism. If you haven't read the Tao Te Ching, I highly recommend checking it out. Eastern religions focus more on just being a good person and not disturbing the world around you, whereas Western religions focus way too much on having to worship some all-powerful being.
In the end, though... I support whatever makes people happy. If going to church makes you feel good, I think you should go to church. If getting on your knees and praying to Allah brings you comfort, salaam alaikum. It's a big, wide world out there... plenty of room for everyone to live together in peace. I have no problem attending a service (be it at a church, synagogue, mosque or temple). Like I said, I'm not anti-anything. Besides, that's where you'll hear some of the most uplifting, soul-stirring music. Here are a few of my favorites:
"Do you believe in evolution?" I believe in science, so yes. Does that mean God isn't real? Not necessarily.
"Do you think porn is sexist?" No. Porn is porn. First, while I do think 90% of it is a joke (laughable dialog, unrealistic positions, implausible scenarios, fake bodies, fake orgasms, etc.), the reality is that men and women are highly sexual and have their little triggers. As an example, most women I've known have expressed a desire to be submissive (to some extent; some more so than others). Whether it's a CEO who gets off on being whipped by a Dominatrix or a strong, independent woman who daydreams about being made to serve... sex is a kinky sandbox for adults. The toys and role play may be different, but in the end... it's just people exploring their fantasies. As long it's legal and consensual, who gives a damn (I don't). BDSM. Group sex. Dressing up as the Tin Man from Oz. A Fruit Loops fetish. Making love on the beach under a full moon. Tame or taboo.... it's all good. Let your inner deviant out.
"Are your poems about ex-girlfriends?" No. I don't usually post about personal experiences.
"Are you into BDSM and/or are you a lifestyle Dom?" Ah, the Yin page. I do lean dominant, but no. I just think they're stunning photos.
"So none of those pictures are of a former lover?" No. Outing an ex isn't my thing. I'm a big believer in karma.
"Have you ever had a massage with a happy ending?" Of course. First time was in the Philippines (at a 5-star hotel, no less). A few other resorts (Cabo, India) and a couple local places, over the years. I've never asked for it, though. I did stumble into a "parlor" once (that was super awkward... so much so that I walked out after the first 10 minutes). I am a massage ADDICT. Love them. Before Covid hit, I used to get 2-3 a month at my favorite Chinese and Thai spots (by the way, once you get a Chinese/Thai massage... you'll never go back; they massage 90% of your body vs. 60%; it's not sexual; it's just that they don't have the same hangups that most places do). I just want a killer massage. I want to feel like I've been roofied (where all I want to do is sleep). I find that if a handjob is offered, the massage sucks, so... I'll pass.
"Have you ever been with an escort?" God no
"What about a sugar baby? I can't be with someone who just wants my money... where it's a transaction.
"Do you make a lot of money? Are you wealthy?" No
"Is that why you don't have a sugar baby?" Maybe
"Could you date a virgin?" No. I'm 54. I have no interest in squeamish, asexual or Puritanical women.
"What turns you on in a woman?" First, someone who's a grown ass woman (and I don't mean age; I mean maturity). She's comfortable in her skin. She speaks in full sentences and has a lot to say. She's open minded (sex, food, culture, travel, etc.). Speaking of sex, while I'm not the type of guy to send unsolicited dick pics or try to hook up for some random encounter, if she's not a sexual being... we won't work out. She needs to have a bit of a deviant streak, as well as an impish grin. I'm a man. Sex is important to me... and I need for it to be important to her. That doesn't mean I want sex to dominate the conversation. I actually don't. I crave a 3-dimensional muse... someone who can't easily be categorized. She's smart, sweet, upbeat, and gives good banter. She also just happens to be a little kinky.
"Ok. What turns you off?" An immediate dealbreaker is if I get the faintest hint that she's a Trumper/part of the MAGA crowd. Intelligence is key. As mentioned above, I need someone who has an incredible mind. While I love a sexy body as much as the next guy, if she can't engage my mind... no thanks. Speaking of which... if she can't open up and be transparent, I'll lose interest right away. I'm an open book and value the same in a potential partner.
If she's an anti-vaxxer or anti-masker... I'm out. She failed the IQ test.
"Have you ever stolen anything?" Not even a candy bar, no. I've always been a bit of a Boy Scout.
"Have you ever done drugs?" Nope. Never did coke, acid, ecstasy... any of it. Just not my thing.
"Do you smoke cigarettes?" No. I think it's a nasty habit. Love the smell of cigars and pipes, though.
"What about pot?" Nope. A couple puffs in college. I'm fine with others doing it, though.
"Do you think aliens are real?" I think it's foolish to think we're alone in the universe, but little green men? No.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" I love ghost stories, but no... I don't believe they're real.
"What do you think of political correctness?" I think it's sad. Unless there's ill intent, people need thicker skin.
”So you’re ok with making people feel uncomfortable?” No. Not what I meant. Again... I’m fine with anything that doesn’t harm others. Take comedians, for instance. Whether they're white, black, Asian, Latino (etc.), comics should be able to poke fun at everyone... provided it’s a good joke. There’s a line you don’t cross. Comedians should be able to cover every sensitive topic (race, gender, politics, etc.; even handicapped folks), but the second it goes from a harmless joke (that most would find funny, even those who are the butt of the joke) to something cruel (where it’s clearly personal and insensitive)... that’s where they’ve gone too far. That said, most of us aren’t comedians... so we need to watch what we say. As you can tell from this site, I’m pretty unfiltered in what I divulge about myself... but I absolutely filter myself around others. I’d be mortified to know that I offended someone, so I’m careful about what I do/say in public.
"Do you think 'fake news' is real?" I swear to god... if I hear Trumpers say that one more time, I'm going to punch the fucking wall. I think extremes are bad. Fox News is too right-leaning (all liberals are bad) and CNN/MSNBC can be too left-leaning (everything conservatives do is bad). I'm just really sick of partisanship. It's so hard to find news that isn't tinged with bias. I also think (or suspect) that half the stuff I see in comments (YouTube, Twitter, etc.) are just bots. I usually watch NBC Nightly News (where there is zero bias in their tone/coverage; it's just fact-based). Honestly, though.. I've tried tuning out much of the news the past couple years. It's just become doom and gloom and... so toxic.
"What's your view on the CIA waterboarding terrorists?" A bit of a gray area.
I think SOLDIERS (who are ordered to fight, by their government, against the "enemy") should be treated with respect, if captured (think World War I/II, Vietnam, the Civil War, etc.). Dylan wrote a great song called "With God on Our Side", which basically comes down to... everyone thinks their cause is just. In World War II, German soldiers were just... young boys being ordered to go and fight (same with American soldiers and the Vietnam war). Soldiers do what the politicians and leaders tell them to do, but... they fight other soldiers. In the case of literal terrorists or Nazi's, the second you knowingly target innocent civilians... you're now a monster in my eyes. The conservative in me is perfectly fine with torturing them for information. I'd say the same thing if I found out that some roque group of Americans knowingly killed innocent foreigners. Torture away.
If you’re going to be a bad person and do bad shit... expect bad things to happen to you. Karma. I don’t care if your mother didn’t love you enough as a child or if you fell in with the wrong crowd. I don’t care if you were on drugs when you shot up that nightclub or if you were drunk when you plowed into a mother and her 2 kids. I think I’m on a tangent, but the point is... I have very little sympathy for people who harm innocents.
"What's your view on PETA and animal rights?" We're the top of the food chain. I have no problem eating meat. Pretty sure if the shoe was on the other foot, they wouldn't have a crisis of conscience in eating us. That said, I believe all animals should be treated fairly. I have seen some horrific videos of pigs and other animals being abused. That shit needs to stop. As for hunting, well... I can't say that I'm a fan. Is it really "sport" to shoot an unsuspecting deer with a long-range rifle?
"What are your thoughts on 'cancel culture'?" Have we all done and said stupid shit? Yes. I think it's asinine to dig through someone's social media posts to look for something incriminating from 20 years ago. Why? Because I'm sure I've said and done some cringe-worthy things. Also, context is everything. If some white kid wore blackface to a Halloween party, was it to make fun of black people or was it a dumb attempt at satire? If a Mel Gibson or a Michael Richards lashes out (whether they were drunk or felt cornered) and says something that is seemingly racist (slam dunk; they're horrible), was it? Or... was it simply that they did what most people do when they feel they're under attack... they subconsciously use whatever they think will hurt the most. You fat fuck. You ugly bastard. Fucking Jew. N*gger. When humans are hurt, the tendency is to hurt back. Is it childish? Yes. Does that make them a terrible person? No.
Now... if they really ARE racist (or sexist or whatever), then fuck those people. As for the Karen's of the world, oh... there is nothing I love more than watching them receive their comeuppance. That kind of ignorance is truly karmic. An example of cancel culture gone wrong, though, is that Hilaria/Hillary Baldwin nonsense. While it did look a little embarrassing for her, we don't know the facts. Even if it's true that she lied about having grown up in Majorca, Spain (I'd like to be from a Mediterranean island, too), so what? Who cares? That's between her and her husband. If she catfished Alec Baldwin, well... that's for them to sort out. It's not like she killed anyone.
Why do we all have to share the same opinions? I'm pro LGBTQIA+, but someone's 65-year-old dad doesn't need to be. He just needs to stay in his lane and not do or say anything (publicly) to intrude on that person's space. It's silly to expect that everyone is going to think the same. Also, we need to stop reading into things too much.
"Speaking of the n-word, what do you think about people using it?" Normally... I'd say hurtful words are trivial. I could get up in your face and scream, “You fucking CUPCAKE!"... and you'd be offended, but why? Cupcakes are delicious. Ah, it was my tone. I was attacking you. It's not the word, but the intent behind it. I believe that, I do... except for the n-word. Why? The history behind it. It's literally meant to dehumanize. So... I shake my head when I see all these young Hip Hop artists throwing it around like it's nothing. I think it's tremendously disrespectful to the generations who came before them. It's also HIGHLY hypocritical when a Kendrick Lamar sings one of his songs in concert (using that in a lyric) and then rips into some white fan... who just sings it back. Some things just shouldn't be said... and that's one of them. It needs to go away.
"Are you a Democrat or a Republican?" Neither. I'm a centrist/moderate who votes based on character, integrity, intelligence, and empathy.
"Can you elaborate on that?" Sure thing. First, I understand the role that each party plays (in being a voice for their constituents). Some Americans are hardcore conservatives and some are hardcore liberals, voting red or blue across the board (regardless of who the candidate is and/or where they stand on the issues). I'm sorry, but... life isn't black and white (not to me, anyway). I tend to have a split view, though I definitely lean liberal on the majority of issues.
I'm conservative when it comes to crime and punishment (I believe in law and order... in the extreme; I’m all for the death penalty and mass surveillance; hey, if you have nothing to hide... why should you care what they see; I want us all to live in a safe society; obey the law). While I'm certainly pro #BLM, I'm not a huge fan of affirmative action programs. I believe it should come down to ability... at least in theory (this is complicated by the fact that poorer neighborhoods aren't given the same quality education as richer areas; more on this in a bit). I believe in a free market system and think some (not all) government regulations get in the way. While I believe in welfare, I'm completely against "affordable housing" as it relates to middle class or upper middle neighborhoods. If you're struggling, you don't need to be living in a posh/desirable zip code. It's not fair that one neighbor paid $650K for his home (or is paying $3000 a month in rent)... and I get the same thing for $225K/$1200.
Going back to the Black Lives Matter movement, my dear white brethren... you need to stop with the “ALL lives matter” nonsense. Of course they do. Red, green, yellow, blue.... gay, straight... rich, poor... liberal, conservative... man, woman... born in the USA or a recent immigrant... no one is above anyone else. That’s not what this is, though. It’s a fight for equality... in its purest sense. Unfortunately, systemic racism is a real thing. I think we’ll get there, but we (as a society) need to call out bullshit and hatred when we see it. Put yourself in their shoes.
I'm liberal when it comes to abortion (her body, her choice), energy (we need to get away from oil and coal and explore other sources of energy), euthanasia & physician-assisted suicide (people have the right to die with dignity), global warming (spoiler, conservatives: the earth is also not flat), gun control (I've seen enough dead kids and senseless violence), healthcare (yes, but I'd take it a step further and say that the government should provide free healthcare to every citizen), immigration (we're a nation of immigrants; our diversity is what makes us great), the separation of church & state (not a fan of religion... especially when it gets mixed up in politics), same-sex marriage (love is love), social security (again, I believe it's the government's role to provide for its citizens), war (I don't think we have the right to police the rest of the world; let's focus on us; the only exception to this is terrorism... in that I'm all for chasing down and eliminating terrorist cells/networks), and welfare.
With regard to education and homelessness, I think we need to take it a step further. I said I'm against the idea of affirmative action (and I am), but I also have to acknowledge that not all public schools are the same. I think every school (with the exception of higher education) should follow the same curriculum and have the same quality teachers and access to technology. A student who grows up in the ghetto or a trailer park should receive the same education as some rich kid in Beverly Hills. Level the playing field (note: I'm not opposed to private schools; I just think we need to make things as equal as we can). We have seen too many cases of wealthy kids getting admitted to an ivy because their parents (or their network) got them in. We've all known people in college who didn't deserve to be there... who cheated or coasted through. So while I hope that one day all things are truly equal and the best candidate gets the nod (period), I'm ok with affirmative action for now.
Finally... homelessness. It's not a politically correct solution, but here's what I think we should do. Letting the homeless camp out on our streets solves nothing (have you seen LA, lately?; it's like a third world country). I would like to see us build massive complexes (in the case of California, it could be way out in the desert; I'd gladly pay more in taxes to help fund this, by the way). A humane place with hot food, a roof/4 walls, and a comfy bed. For those who want to become productive members of society, we get them what they need. If they lack the education, we offer free classes toward a basic degree or certification. Maybe they have the education, but they just had some hard breaks (illness, job loss; no family or friends to turn to) and ran out of money; we should have a "rainy day" fund to help invest in them. If they're on drugs, we put them through a rehab program. Reward those who want to get back on their feet again. Help them find a job and a place to live. Now, if you have those who are mentally ill or just don't want to get the help, well... I think we still need to care for them somehow.
Whether you're legal or illegal, homeless or poor... if you're willing to bust your ass, I'll back you.
One additional note around immigration. For those who do make their way here... yeah, that's my view. I do think, though, that supporting a mass exodus isn't the solution. The answer is to help them where they live.
In a nutshell... every human being (not just Americans; enough of this nationalistic bullshit; we are all global citizens) deserves to be treated with respect. A good education and free, basic healthcare should be a birthright (not talking plastic surgery or LASIK). We may not all get to attend Harvard or end up being a CEO, but we should have the same opportunities... provided you work hard and put in the effort. Oh, and... no guns. No war.
In the end, though... character and integrity trump policies and positions (to me).
Note: When I say I'm a moderate, I don't mean a midpoint between the Democratic party and today's GOP. Democrats are certainly liberal (and, yeah... I mainly lean that way), but the Republican party (over the last few years) has drifted more and more toward this cult-like embrace of Trumpism than anything remotely resembling conservatism. With the exception of a select few (Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger, etc.), most Republicans (in office) make me sick. I think they're racist, sexist, deeply bigoted (their intolerance for anyone who disagrees with them is just pathetic), and traitors to this country. There are a number of true conservatives, though, who voted for Biden (if only out of their palpable disgust for Trump)... who will probably leave the GOP tent.
Republican politicians have become so laughably hypocritical (yes, Lindsey Graham... I'm talking to you) that it's just incredibly brazen and bizarre. "My body, my choice"... when it comes to avoiding vaccines and not wearing masks... but now they all want to follow Texas' lead in banning a woman's right to... choose (abortion). It only applies when it suits their agenda. They say they’re pro business, yet they refuse to let companies demand to see proof of vaccination before letting unvaccinated folks into their place of business. They passionately defended a bakery owner for refusing to serve a wedding cake to a gay couple on the grounds that it was a private business, yet now they're saying these same business owners don't have the right to deny entry to unvaccinated lunatics. Why? They're just pandering to their unhinged, uneducated backwards base.
Hmm. It's almost like that Christian bakery incident was about something else.
The one good thing about this past year (e.g., anti-maskers, Capitol riots, going off on Asians)... is this. When I scrolled through my Facebook feed and saw "friends" out partying during a pandemic (sans mask) or witnessed one cringe-worthy Karen meltdown after another ("Go back to China!"; "You people"; "Having to wear a diaper over my face is a violation of my constitutional rights!"), it's basically put a spotlight on all the nasty people we used to interact with (but who kept their mouth shut)... yet never knew how truly awful they were.
Now we do. Was blind but now I see.
"What's your take on athletes kneeling during the national anthem?" I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I own it. I'm in my 50s. I grew up having to stand and put your hand over your heart when it played (a bit much, in retrospect). To kneel (and ignore it) is seen by many older people as akin to pissing on the flag (or burning it). It comes across as "I hate this country" (I know... I know; that's not the intent, but that's how they see it). While I think that reaction is a bit overly dramatic, yeah... I do think it's disrespectful to kneel (or to check your phone, for that matter). That said, I support it... fully. It's a First Amendment thing. We, the people, have the right to free and public expression. You can't be for the First Amendment only when it works for you. You have to support ALL forms of speech and ALL peaceful protests. Yes, that even goes for flag burning and racist Klan members in their goofy white robes.
I see the world through rose-colored glasses, yes.
"What are some things you hate?” Trump and the hypocritical/disgusting GOP (mainly Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz... and all the other spineless assholes who put Trump before country and kiss his ass on a daily basis; I'll include Fox News, while I'm at it; I despise Marjorie Taylor Greene]. Tofu. Glitter. Reality TV. Ignorance. Karen's/Ken's (especially the anti-masker crowd; put a fucking mask on). Whether it's loud talkers or Benz drivers, just be courteous.
"What angers you the most?" People who refuse to wear a mask, making it a political statement. "It's a free country", they say. "There's no law that says I have to wear one." There may not be a law, no... but there's a little thing called common decency. Looking out for others. Not just thinking about yourself. You don't say "I have the right to drink and drive." Drinking and driving could kill someone. You stop at red lights because running one could kill someone. You potentially being asymptomatic (and refusing to wear a mask) could spread the virus and, yes... kill someone.
Since March of 2020, I've largely stayed home (except for grocery runs or getting a little exercise). I don't hang out with friends at backyard BBQs or meet for dinner/drinks (though I do abuse DoorDash... to support mom & pop places). I've sacrificed. I haven't been happy about it (and god knows I hate wearing masks), but now isn't the time to complain about having our "rights" violated. When I do go out (which isn’t often), I wear a mask. I don't actually care if I get sick, but I care that I might get someone else sick. So when I see someone bitch and moan about wearing a mask (let alone refusing to do it), it fills me with rage. The selfishness and ignorance.
I'm fully vaccinated, but I still wear one... because it's not over and I don't trust the Trump faithful.
"If you could punch anyone and get away with it, who would it be?" Oh man. Tucker Carlson. Ted Cruz. Ron DeSantis. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
"Ok. Damn. What about some things you like?" Well... I like to cook (and to eat). Autumn in New England. Halloween through New Year's (especially snow at Christmas; there's just something in the air). A properly made Old Fashioned (which is rare; and/or a good glass of wine). Sitting on the beach at night under a full moon, listening to the crashing surf. Geeking out over new gadgets. A dog's unconditional love. Wasting money at Nordstrom. Chinese/Thai massages. 5-star Vegas spas. Nicer cruise lines. Black and white photography (be it landscapes, people or erotica). Lying in bed, listening to the falling rain. People who devote their lives to helping others (and make a true impact on society, despite not being paid appropriately; teachers, nurses, EMT's, firefighters, etc.). People who are courteous, period.
“What are 3 words that best describe you?” Transparent, open-minded, talkative.
“Dimwit” works, too.
Final Thoughts I don’t claim to know anything. My opinions are just that... opinions (and they're not set in stone). They're based solely on my limited life experience... what I've seen, heard and read. I try to keep learning and evolving. I am a work in progress. I love hearing other perspectives. I think we should all be able to sit down with each other over an adult beverage (or two) and share our thoughts... provided we don’t belittle one another or assume we know everything. Sometimes I’m right. Sometimes I’m wrong. I actually love those moments where I realize, “Huh. I never looked at it like that.” One thing is for certain... the older I get, the less I know.