Consent

Here’s something that we don’t talk about that I wish we would talk about: drunk men who initiate sex. In feminist circles, we all know that it is 100% not okay for a man to have sex with a drunk woman. He should say no, even if she’s consenting, because it’s such a gray area. But what about the men? What about men who are drunk and still want to fuck? I’ve been in this situation before. I’ve even been sober while a drunk man initiates sex. And I haven’t said no, sometimes because I was down to fuck, and sometimes because I was too scared to say no. I was scared because, well, a drunk man can be a frightening sight. I honestly can’t imagine saying, “You’re too drunk to have sex with me” to a man without risking the possibility of a verbally and perhaps even physically violent fight. But I should imagine being able to say that. Because I appreciated it when men said that to me – so why wouldn’t they want to hear it? In that situation, it’s not like I would be saying no because I didn’t want to have sex. I’d be saying no because it’s a moral gray area and I want to respect his sexual security. I think it would be cool if women set the precedent of, “We’re not doing this when you’re drunk.” I just never realized that was something I could do. But I can do anything, so I should do this.

#StopAsianHate

I cannot stand this hashtag. I understand and support the sentiment behind it, but for some reason I find this hashtag to be alienating and uncomfortable. Probably because where I live, and as someone who is part Asian, I was unaware of ‘Asian hate.’ So, if anything, this hashtag has made me aware of the fact that I’ve been hated on for being Asian this whole time. It also acts as a weird dog whistle to white people – I bet they didn’t know that they hated Asian people until they saw this hashtag. It’s almost as though giving it a name gives it more life, more validity, more force. I just don’t want to see ‘hate’ and ‘Asians’ in the same line – the subliminal implications associate Asian and hatred in the same line, even though the hashtag purports to stop that. It’s counterproductive. I don’t like it. Is this how black people feel about white people waving around BLM flags? Because part of me is just like, “Huh? What? What are these white people talking about today?” Way to remind me that I’m different from you. It feels so disingenuous. Like white people are saying, “Hey, I noticed that you’re Asian, and that’s okay!” Bitch, what?!

Secondly, I do not fuck with the media narrative of what’s happening. About a month ago, there were a slew of robberies in Oakland China Town. The media jumped on it, claiming that they were hate crimes. But the community saw through that divisive and harmful narrative. Yes, it is true that crime in China Town is on the rise, but crime is on the rise throughout Oakland. There were a confluence of factors beyond race that made China Town a target – mostly because you have a bunch of elderly people who don’t like to call the cops and can’t defend themselves walking around with fat wads of cash to buy groceries. The media here tried to paint it as some sort of black versus Asian dynamic, but what a fucking lie! In the Bay Area, the black and Asian communities get along pretty well.

Which is why I’m skeptical now about the national narrative. This is, as usual, a story about white supremacy. We should be talking about white entitlement and white violence against pretty much anyone who isn’t them.

The Asian community is being presented as a monolith with this hashtag – lumping in everyone from India to Korea and beyond. I have a Filipina background, and, oh, boy, let me tell you – there is a fuck ton of racism just within the Asian community. Which is another reason why I’m skeptical – take a moment to read up on the imperial history of Japan and what it did to Korea and the Philippines and beyond. There’s something about being lumped into the same super category as the people who raped my ancestors that makes me feel like…meh. Colorism is a thing in Asia, too.

On the other hand, I am also part Mexican, and I haven’t forgotten about the kids in cages at the border. Anti-Asian hate crimes are a serious problem, but it seems like the media only has room for one racist narrative at a time. It’s almost like Asians have to compete with Latinos have to compete with Black people have to compete with Middle Eastern people for media attention on their problems – racial suffering is only allowed so much air time. Which is also problematic! All these problems are linked, but instead of reporting on the cause [white people] they shove the spectacle of racial violence down our throat.

The Asian community has always experienced racism. Anti-Asian racism is unique in that so much of it is masquerading as love, or an appreciation of Eastern culture, or a fondness for anime, or yoga as a hobby, or white girls dressed Kawaii, or the fetishization of Asian women. This isn’t anti-blackness, which is a systemic problem designed to keep black people out of positions of power and wealth. This isn’t anti-Muslim, which conflates a certain type of person with terrorism. If anything, the Asian community has had the most success acclimating to a predominantly white society. But even with that, they have not been spared violence and racism. Perhaps there is no amount of assimilation or cultural exchange that can protect a community from white violence. The object lesson here is: the victims were never the problem. Being different was never the problem. Otherness isn’t inherently objectionable – it’s the people who take credit for building this society that baked everyday racism into every corner of its fabric. They’re the ones who are wrong.

So, I see your hashtag, and it irritates me, but hopefully we can engage in more meaningful discourse around race. And by ‘more meaningful’ I mean can somebody please make something happen? Hello? Is anyone with power out there?

The Condo

So, yeah, I’m buying a condo. Owning property has always been my dream – it’s what I have focused all my financial resources on, and it’s what I wanted to do with my money. It always felt like a ridiculous dream as a single woman in the Bay Area, but I’m doing it, and I guess that’s somewhat remarkable. But now that I’m doing it, there’s something about this whole process that is unexpected. Perhaps because I spent my 20s as an unrepentant renter, living in, frankly, pretty shitty living situations, slumming it, scraping by. Going from West Oakland scum bag to condo living bitch is a pretty big pivot, so of course this means that I’m dealing with a crisis of self. I realize that to people who don’t know me very well, I will just be a condo living bitch. And I’m not used to that. I’m used to being edgy, scummy, and a ne’er do well. I’m used to wearing that on my sleeve with my short skirts and loud music. But that’s changed, too – my skirts are slightly longer now, and I also listen to podcasts. Fuck! Is this who I am now? Is this who I always was? Was this transformation inevitable – was I always destined to become more boring and more cliche? Of course I am obsessed with other people’s judgments of me. I didn’t need shit from anybody! But now – well, I got some money from my family to do this. Have I lost my streak of independence? Am I just another trust fund kid? That decade of being drunk and irresponsible has no forbearance on who I am as a person anymore? Well, that’s convenient. I honestly can’t think of anything luckier than flirting with death and disaster for half my life and then coming out in my 30s as a well to do, respectable member of society. If y’all can forget, then I can, too. I’m just experiencing a few growing pains. I’m not quite sure how to be this new me. Honestly, I’m not sure how much I like it, or if I’ll stick with it very long. I guess being a 20-something scum bag was growing old, so it’s not that I want to be that person forever. It’s more that – well, the devil you know, right? Whatever. I’m going to have a blast reconstructing my personality yet again. Who will I be this year?

Ball Buster

I was recently talking to a woman whom I admire professionally, and in the midst of conversation, she referred to herself as a “ball buster.” That phrase made me stop in my tracks, mostly because we were in a normie, vanilla, professional setting, and also because (unlike all my friends in my personal life) this woman whom I admire wasn’t referring to her career as a dominatrix, or being misandrist, or making sexual innuendos in any way. This blew my mind. Sure, I think of myself as a man eater, but that title has always been relegated to my personal life. The idea that I could be a ball buster – at work?! And this is okay! Holy shit!

I am a woman filled with conflict. Yes, I’m a man eater in my free time, but it might surprise you (or, at least, it surprises me) that I am not a ball buster at work. I do not bring that big dick swinging energy to my professional life, mostly because I tried my hand at being a sex blogger – that shit got annoying as fuck. I got sick of men treating me like, well, a sex blogger. I wanted to be treated like a normal working girl. I didn’t want to carry the hang ups of hypersexuality into my professional life, so I assumed a professional persona that can, at times, be at odds with my true self. Mostly, I know that everyone likes a cute, fluffy girl with a smile on her face. People like a woman who isn’t threatening. They like someone over whom they can have power. They want a woman who will nod and smile and listen and never push the boundaries.

Well, fuck that! I don’t want to be that anymore! In fact, I’m disappointed in myself for not having the imagination to envision a version of myself, total bitch, in life, at work, and at play. Why did I think I had to be agreeable? I couldn’t ruffle any feathers? I can be a stone cold bitch and still get the job done. Oh, this is going to be fun. In the past, I panicked at the thought of having to enforce any type of rule or calling to collect. It didn’t feel ‘me.’ I was insecure about being disliked or dismissed. But, what the hell! I am so not that person! If she can do it, then so can I. Fuck it. I’m gonna make it happen. There will be consequences if I don’t make it happen.

Anxiety

Moment to moment, day to day. I have no idea what I’m doing now, or what I should be doing next, or why it is taking so long to finish the thing I am doing right now, which is applying foundation, after which I will apply blush, and then I will do my eyebrows, and then I will put on mascara, and then I will curl my hair, and by then I will be fucking dead because it is taking a million hours to do anything right now. I’m pushing through molasses, moment to moment, and everything is moving so slowly that by the time I am done doing what it is that I am doing I have forgotten what it is that I am supposed to do next. The room is spinning, but as of right now it is at a pleasant tilt-a-whirl, a vacation style dizzy. I don’t mind it too much, but then I remember that this is always what happens before I can’t stand up, and I can’t drive, and I can’t leave the house, so I should take care of this before it gets worse. Is it worse already? Also, what do I do to stop it from getting worse? Do I lie down and sleep all day or do I go outside and walk around? Oh, I’m supposed to take my medication. And, of course, for the life of me, cannot remember if I took it already! Should I take it again? Or should I just ride this one out. This is why I have a routine! This is why I stick to the routine! So that I can take it every morning and not be bothered with the nagging thoughts of did I or did I not take that medication already. Although, that’s the nature of anxiety – it disrupts every notion of routine and normalcy, and instead, I have been sitting here, applying foundation for twenty minutes, and I have no clue what comes next. I will probably just turn on the TV and not leave the house again today. Or tomorrow. Or for however long it takes for the fucking room to stop spinning.

Home Sweet Home

Shopping for real estate in Oakland is a fucking trip. It has always been my dream to own property, and I thought that perhaps the pandemic and the recent tech relocations might make jumping into the market a bit more palatable. Wrong. Wrong! Price levelled off for a bit, but now they’re back to break neck heights again.

What struck me about this phenomenon is that there seems to be a disconnect from the beautifully staged, well lit homes I see on Zillow and the actual neighborhood where these houses are located. I was struck by this one three bedroom house that was right off 38th and International in Fruitvale. It was painted white with magenta trim, and the interior had been tastefully updated. At $500k, it was steep but I thought I’d see how much it sold for. I liked the house, but I also felt a pang of guilt as I kept revisiting – the last time I had been in that neighborhood had been a year and a half ago, with my ex, who grew up there. He had taken me to show me the block where he grew up, and he regaled me with stories of gang members, pimps, drug addicts, and the quotidian violence of living in East Oakland in the 90s. God, the house I liked was one block away from there. It occurred to me that there was something truly gross about that – I had literally held that man in my arms as he cried about the terrors of growing up in that neighborhood. He was psychologically traumatized by it. And I was going to move there? Oh, hell no. First of all, the price was pretty steep for me – why would I pay $3k/month just to be reminded of the atrocities of humanity? Secondly, what was I going to do, live there as a single woman? No, that would be dumb. I’m not a fucking mark, and I don’t want to be one. I’m not going to go out there and be the person that I loath the most: the gentrifier. I grew up in quiet, middle class Albany, California. I have no business being in East Oakland without an escort. Sure, there’s a part of me that likes the rough and tumble, doesn’t mind a bit of grit around edges. But, insanely enough, apparently that’s en vogue now, and the rough and tumble comes with a pretty steep premium. Look, I’m not dumb. I’m not going to be a part of the problem and also be broke as fuck at the same time. That sounds terrible! In retrospect, maybe I had no business living in West Oakland throughout my 20s, but I did it because I was broke. It was what I could afford. I couldn’t afford to live in San Francisco or even Berkeley. But now I can, so I do. Sure, I hope that all the black and brown people who lived through hell in East Oakland get cashed the fuck out, and, who knows, maybe other black and brown people are buying back the neighborhood. That would be great. But a part of me knows that isn’t the case for most of these home sales.

I looked at that house again today. I saw that it had sold. I looked at the price. Original asking price: $500,000. Sale price: $611,000. That’s more than ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS over asking price. God damn! One hundred thousand dollars. When I look at the numbers, six isn’t much more than five. But when I realize that it’s a difference of one hundred thousand dollars. Damn. That is A LOT of money. Just willy nilly, one hundred thousand dollars over asking price? Seriously? That much? I liked the house because I liked the colors on the outside, but I didn’t like it for half a million dollars. But somebody bought it for one hundred thousand dollars over that? God damn. Is this just how it is in the Bay Area now? Don’t get me started with West Oakland. It’s million dollar houses for as far as the eye can see and not a grocery store in sight. And the schools – I mean, I don’t have kids, nor do I plan on having kids, but the schools alone are such a point of consternation.

What is it that people are buying into when they buy property in Oakland? Are they buying into the idea that Oakland will one day be a beautiful city, free of crime and with great schools? Are they hoping it just turns into San Francisco Lite? I wanted to buy property in Oakland because I love it for what it is – flawed, sure, but scintillating and exciting. But I can’t afford to do that – which is fine. I didn’t grow up there, so it’s not a huge loss for me. I’ll just tuck my tail between my legs and go back to the burbs to live a nice, quiet, cheap life. It’s not that bad, really. Honestly, I’m surprised that people with money don’t want that for themselves. But maybe that’s the scam, and I should stop talking about it.

Emasculation

“You’re not going to emasculate him, are you?”

I finally sucked it up and told my mother that I’m getting married. After she asked all the usual questions, which I obfuscated, this one came.

“Emasculate him? Why would you ever think I would do a thing like that?”

“I’ve seen you with your other boyfriends. Remember that boyfriend you had when you were 18?”

“Oh, yeah, but, like, what did I do?”

“Wow, you really don’t know yourself, do you?”

“Well, yeah, I know myself, I was just curious what gave it away. Yeah, of course I emasculate my boyfriends, but you don’t even know the half of it. Guess I should learn how to hide that shit more.”

Interracial Relationships

Yes, I am in an interracial relationship. But, then again, I’m always in an interracial relationship. That’s because I’m the product of two generations of interracial relationships, and the only way I could not be in an interracial relationship is if I were to date someone who were also half dutch, a quarter Filipino, and a quarter Mexican.

Everyone in my family is in interracial relationships. My father was white, and my mother is Filipina and Mexican. My mother’s parents had to leave California and go to Texas so they could get married because interracial marriage was illegal in California in the 1940s. My father, an only child, broke the blood line by marrying out of his race, and his mother threatened to commit suicide over it. (Bitch!) My oldest sister married a light skinned Creole guy, and my brother married a Mexican immigrant. We might have a white last name, but no one in my family is white. All the white people died.

But the rest of the world is not like this. It took me a long time to realize that people think dating outside their race is weird. Sure, here in the Bay Area people are pretty understanding about it. But not as understanding as you’d think. I’m here to snitch on that.

I’ve dated across the racial spectrum, but – guess what! There’s only one race that draws derisive comments. You know what I’m talking about. If you date a black guy, there’s always some sarcastic, winking comment that comes with it. Now, I would just like to state for the record that, no, it did not piss off my father when I had a black boyfriend, and I didn’t do it to try to piss him off. As stated above, my family’s not like that. Rather, I’m a narcissist, and I believe I should fuck the hottest guy in the room. Seeing as this is the Bay Area, which is very diverse, and I hang out at bars – well, hate to break it to you, but the white guy is never the hottest guy in the room, unless, of course, the room is completely empty.

The implication that dating a black man is a kink, a phase, or an act of rebellion is ludicrous and insulting. Anti-blackness is so pervasive in our society that when I (as a non-black person) am seen or known to associate romantically with a black person, people think it’s okay to throw casual anti-blackness my way, too. Even worse, they think I’m going to condone it by agreeing with them! As if I couldn’t be in a relationship with a person because I’m attracted to him and we get along. I don’t go up to people of color who date white people and make jabs about, “Oh, you’re only doing it for the white privilege run off you get from being in close proximity of a white person.” But maybe I should.

All I want is for people to be happy for me or mind their own damn business. Yes, I’m aware that interracial relationships are a point of contention in the black community, too, but it’s not really my place to speak on that. I’ll always advocate for people to date outside their race because, well, if people didn’t date outside their race I wouldn’t exist, my family wouldn’t exist, and I’d be forced to be single forever.

Migraine in the Morning

I can tell I’m getting a migraine because my automatic brain function isn’t syncing up with my vision. Or, you know when you move your hands to, say, adjust your glasses or scratch your nose? Your brain seamlessly syncs up the command to move your hand and the information that your eyes receive as that hand moves. Not with a migraine. I can always tell its coming because those two functions have fragmented, and there’s a lag time between me moving my hand and my conscious (rather than unconscious) brain processing what’s going on. It’s dizzying as fuck.

Then comes the aura. The aura in itself, which are basically static-y squiggly lines in the vision, are fine – it’s the accompanying symptoms that freak me out. First of all, I can’t read very well when I have aura. It’s less of an automatic brain function and more of a conscious cobbling together of memory in order to read things. I also can’t do things like drive because, oh boy, I cannot tell where the road is when I’m driving with aura. My reaction times slow down to a crawl. Sometimes I’ll just straight up hallucinate. Definitely can’t write things very intelligibly, and my ability to speak loses all of its eloquence, which for an eloquent person like me is very frustrating. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t even string together sentences. I basically start slurring my words despite being completely sober, and it’s pretty terrifying. Then there’s the numbness, which doesn’t always happen, but my fingers and hands and face will go completely numb sometimes. Of course my neck always hurts, and my sinuses, and then there’s also my stomach. From my stomach all the way down through the entire digestive system: total chaos. The reaction in my digestive system is never consistent, but it always hurts. I’ll spare you the graphic details of how bad it gets down there, but it gets bad. But what always gets me is my mood before it strikes. Yesterday, I was zipping through my options trading course, writing down complex mathematical equations and totally nailing it, right before it hit. I’ve been on super productive writing sprees right before the migraine hits. It’s almost euphoric – I’ll be partying it up, drinking nonstop, eating rich, fatty foods with nary a hangover in sight. Other times, I’m in the worst mood in my life. In a slow, creeping pain, fighting everyone and everything, ready to blow up my life because I feel like such absolute dog shit.

There’s a panoply of symptoms that plague me in a wild a variety of combinations that is always unpleasant. I can only deal with it by sleeping 14 hours a day until it gets better, and I can’t work, I can’t be around people, I can’t be in bright rooms. Sometimes this lasts up to seven days. Seven days! What a waste of time! And there’s no white knuckling my way through it. It’s like a Chinese finger trap – the harder I try to push my way through the pain, the more painful it becomes. All I can do is lie down until it passes, and then sometimes it just subsides and isn’t really gone. In the past, I used to let the migraines come and go, but now that the pandemic and working at home has given me the space to really sit with myself and my body – fuck that. This happens damn near every month, and it is disruptive as fuck. You know how much more I could do with my time and how much better my life would be without migraines? This isn’t just a monthly cyclical problem that I have learned to tolerate over time – although the masochistic side of me thought I just had to live like this. I don’t have to just live like this! So I’m not going to! We’ll see what happens if I can kick this shit.

Toxic Is As Toxic Does

I guess this is a confession. You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Two years ago, I was in a really feeble and unsubstantial relationship with my fake boyfriend, and I was side piecing with a dude who was ten years younger than me. It was fun (although, it was also the most stressful affair I have ever had for other reasons that will go unspecified), but I always knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that if the tables were turned and I found out my fake boyfriend were fucking a 22 year old, I would be fucking livid. I didn’t let this stop me from doing whatever the fuck I wanted, and now here we are, two years later, and I’m going to marry my [now] 23 year old. Life’s just crazy. It also occurred to me that I haven’t had a boyfriend in eleven years, but now here I am! A feyonce! I mean, just because I haven’t had a boyfriend in eleven years doesn’t mean I was getting it. I was definitely getting it. Nor does it mean that I wasn’t in relationships – I was definitely in some long, drawn out, complicated relationships with a couple of men whom I adoringly refer to as the ‘loves of my life.’ I just never called them my boyfriends. Fuck, my feyonce was never my boyfriend. I have sneaking suspicion that this is problematic. If a man were to just dick around in his relationships for a decade, never taking anyone seriously, running around town, and then suddenly married a woman ten years younger than him? Oh, hell no. I would not stand for that. But if I do it? That’s progress, baby! I think eventually someone will get mad at this double standard, and then I will feel like shit, but until then – fuck it. I already know I’m immature and emotionally vacuous, so that type of accusation can’t really hurt me.

This man eater is coming off the market, fellas! *wink wink* My 18 year old niece did note that her new uncle will be closer to her in age than to me. In fact, he’s younger than my oldest nephew. Maybe that’s weird? Whatever. I’m weird. I guess that’s just how I roll.