I’m going to do this, I’m going to go there. If ever I wanted debate or comments on any blog post, I think it would be this one. Here’s the truth I absolutely, 100% completely judge women (and men) based on what they wear. If you look like as slut, well, that’s the first descriptor that pops into my head when I see you. If you wear vagina shorts to the gym I think you’re there to show off you hooch or backside as much as your strength. If you wear a running skirt, I assume you must be a more than modest woman. If you wear pajamas to the store, I think you have a low self-esteem, are depressed or exhausted with life. If you wear camo, I expect you to be a hunter, Carhartts a working man with thick callouses. If you’re all name brand from your head to shoes, I assume either you’re wealthy and it’s your norm or that you’re obsessed with image and idolize yourself. Marley shirts, you’re 420 friendly. Suits, business, politics or religion.
I’m not proud that I make these judgement calls but I admit I do. And I know I am not alone. It’s what we do, we categorize, we sort, we order our world and our people. The worst part for me is that that slut judgement call I made… might, maybe point right back to me. It’s possible that my assault happened because of something that I wore. It was risqué, and I put it on with the intention of having people notice me. I felt pretty… I can’t say sexy, but definitely pretty. Did I intend to provoke an assault? No, but a reaction for sure. Did I ask for it? Absolutely not! ... But I’ve always struggled with the what ifs of that night.
If I hadn’t chosen THAT to wear, would he have done what he did? If my legs were more covered, access more restricted, could I have saved myself? Was my choice of outfit the reason I was assaulted? Could my clothing have been a consideration for him? Compared to naked women in some equatorial developing countries I was definitely more covered, so it couldn’t have been my clothes that begged him to touch me, right?! Or was it? Am I responsible… even in the smallest way for his violation of my body?
In my heart of hearts, I truly believe evil will be evil no matter what the situation is. I do not think my choice of attire should have been a factor in his decision to assault me. I do not believe I should have been assaulted, or anyone should be sexually assaulted ever! No matter what! No matter why! There is never a reason for anyone to violate the sexual boundaries of another. EVER!
So what does that mean? Can I dress seductively if I feel like it and expect to be as safe as if I dress like I’m going to court? I’ll be honest, I feel super sexy in fishnet! I LOVE the way my legs look and feel in them, I feel pretty when I wear them… but am terrified to wear them around men in too short skirts! I love seeing my shape, that I’ve trained hard for, and I can only see it in clothes that hug my curves. I want to show off my hard work, it didn’t happen on accident. But is that wrong? Provocative?
Do I consider how others perceive me? Of course! That’s part of the reason I dress as I do. Since I was offended, I’m careful in what I wear, how low or how high it goes and when and where I’ll dress in certain things. But why? If I feel pretty, sexy or cute in it, shouldn’t I be able to wear it? And yet I still sit in judgement of ladies that dress provocatively.
I judge! Me! The one who was offended. Do I think they’re asking for it? Maybe? Or maybe it’s fear, that they’re gonna get it. I know what an offense like that feels like. I know how the question will haunt them, if they’re violated for the rest of their lives. Do I judge because I think they’re provoking evil ? And why? Why do I make that call when I would feel pretty wearing the same thing? I don’t know.
Do you judge? Do you have an opinion on the topic? Can you speculate on why I judge them the way I do? Please leave comments and dialog on this one!
It’s no secret that I have been researching men and have a dating plan for My Middle. People have questioned it but I prayed about it and I feel at peace with my Maker about it… and on the off chance my plan is silly, God knows how to get me to reconsider. The plan was fine and good when dating was a theory and suitors were ideas. That’s part of the reason I made my plan before I started dating and getting to know anyone.
I knew the day would come when men became more than ideas and quaint coffee meetings turned into actual adventures to know each other better… and feelings started to muddle my sensibilities. Though I am careful and analytical I’m also a big old ball of emotional energy and knew it would behoove me to have a plan in place to keep my passions at bay and really, truly make sure the next time is the last time. Now that I've been dating for a while, I am more grateful than ever that I listened to wise counsel from friends and family and thought this through before getting wrapped up in feelings.
So the plan… what is my plan? Well in a nutshell: I'm not having sex and not falling in love and not dating exclusively at this time in My Middle...but am definitely investing focused time in getting to know good guys and doing fun stuff!
First of all, here’s the truth… I don’t want to be alone and certainly don’t want to be abstinent any longer than I need to. As much as I want to stop sexual offenses, I love good sex and I miss it dearly! I’ll be good until I’m married, but I’m not waiting years! I believe I’m a quality female with a personality, passion, body, soul, mind and spirit that is attractive to any number of good men (and all my single lady friends out there thinking they’re not… please, see the beauty within yourselves- we are beautiful, worthy of love and affection and worth a good man’s pursuit). I believe I shouldn’t have to search or wait for years for “the one” because, there are many high-quality men that I would partner well with. Instead of waiting and hoping for the perfect guy and time I’m condensing both into a short period. I don’t intend to be single much more than a year longer.
Feelings and signs failed me in the past it makes sense to me to meet good guys and do fun stuff and see who sticks, and who I’ll pair best with and then move on because as much fun as it is, dating is also time consuming and emotionally exhausting. I want to know the man I enter into a relationship with before we take that step. So I’m taking this time to learn about genuinely good men. Does my ‘plan’ reduce God’s ability to move in my life? No! I would say God knows me, He knows how passionate I am and will bring, (if He hasn’t already) the man that will be at the end into My Middle so that I can get to know him now.
I have been and will continue to be accountable and honest. I want this time to get to know good guys and do fun stuff not to fall in love or in bed with someone. God holds my heart safely in His hands and I have set conservative physical boundaries. I will only kiss while I’m dating because any more than that, in my opinion, dishonors God, myself, the men I’m seeing, and the man who will be the last lover of my life. I cannot see who is down the road, except to say he will be good, honorable, dignified, godly, fun and fit. I do not expect anyone to 'wait' for me... unless that is what they feel called to do. I know, as there are with me, there will be issues with every man, no one but Jesus was perfect. I'm not looking for the perfect guy, I'm looking to get to know good, normal men to know what they act like, to see what's typical and in due time take the next step into a relationship with someone I've become friends with, to know their character, habits and hang-ups, cause we all have them.
I don't know how it plays out, I just know my intention isn't to hurt anyone but to have fun right now. I’m afraid some men might get hurt because they want more emotionally or physically than what I am willing to give, but I also know I’m not hanging with poor quality guys, they’re good men and any number of good women are available to them. For me it’s all about time… taking time to have fun, to learn what makes the hearts, minds, souls and spirits of good men tick and … to see who sticks, because the thing is, it still all comes down to The Leaving. I’m more than OK with it now but I do not want to be left again, and if I choose wisely, I won’t be.
That’s my plan… I’m going to laugh, I’m going to have fun, I’m going to learn, I’m going to make quality friendships with honorable, high-quality men and I’m going to regret nothing!
And if you like my plan, do me a solid and buy Catching Tatum and check out her plan too!
When high school heartthrob and star athlete Cole Jackson breaks Tatum’s heart, she makes a pact with herself to never be hurt again. She turns love into a game modeled after her family’s favorite pastime: baseball. Anyone brave enough to date her must step up to plate and get to each base by following her rules – or they’re out.
Years later Cole, as handsome and charming as ever, makes an unexpected reappearance in her life with promises he’s a changed man. He’s got the story to prove it and says he’s willing to follow all of her rules just to have a second chance.
Complicating matters is the strong and steady Airman, Justin Parker, with a heartbreak story of his own. His friendship challenges all she ever knew of loving and being loved.
Will Tatum’s rules help her navigate two very different men, or will she strike out at her own game?
A Fighting Chance by C.D. Taylor is another installment in her “Chances Are” series and is no disappointment in the book boyfriend department. Tyler is a strong, chiseled, beautiful man just back from military service and home with his family in Texas. Tiffani finds herself in his truck after a near collision on her way back home to dispose of all remaining traces of the family she ran from years before.
The two are instantly attracted to each other but life, circumstances and an engagement keep them apart. When Tiffani's fiance is exposed as a dirty, rotten cheater, all bets are off and Tyler and Tiffani get busy all over town, and I mean all over… and in all kinds of hot, sexy ways! Though I'm not a proponent of impulsive hook-ups in my books or real-life, Taylor made the trysts more than a little enjoyable to read through and kept it clean, no domination or submission… it was the kind of sex where lovers love instead of hurt each other, it was much appreciated. And for some reason Tyler look, and sounds, a lot like Matthew Mcconaughey to me, so it was easy to see why Tiffani so easily fell for his down-home, Southern charm.
The sex is hot and the action and danger was equally paced to match. With a history like Tiffani's the trouble and reminders of a past she wished to forget found her soon after her arrival. But when the threats got personal, Tyler, like any good hero, was there to save her from danger greater than she could escape on her own.
As an advocate for love-making that transcends physical connections and unites lovers minds, souls and spirits I was a little taken aback at the immediacy of their first hook-ups but appreciated Taylor's care in writing the sex as clearly protected. I was disappointed when the condoms kept getting forgotten and the two decided to go bareback so quickly after meeting. Again, I believe in hot steamy sex where souls connect as much as bodies, but if you're hooking up in real-life keep it safe! Your life is no fiction story with a clean book boyfriend to jump, there are no guarantees in the real world so if you're hooking-up keep yourself protected!
C.D. Taylor/Taylor Dawn began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. She. decided that farm life was just a little too mundane, so she started writing erotica and fantasy to liventhings up, so far so good. C.D./Taylor entered cosmetology school right out of High School and practiced the art of hair styling for 12 years. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren't a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn't be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, she is a kid at heart, she doesn't believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss..."Why fit in, when you were born to stand out."
If you’re over 30 and reading this and have never been sexually assaulted or molested, congratulations, your likelihood of being offended is significantly reduced. Most sexual assaults go unreported but we know 44% of victims are under 18 and 80% are under 30. Also, boys and men are far less likely to ever report an offense… but, and this is my opinion (with a little bit of statistical data to back me up) they’re offended as often, only usually at a younger age or by a same aged peer so that it is perceived as a playtime activity instead of rape or molestation. This means our youngest, weakest and most vulnerable are the ones most likely to be offended.
When I became a CASA the one hard limit I had was that I could not, would not, should not be on a case that involved sexual abuse. Because of my past it didn’t seem safe to my emotional well-being to go there. The idea of a child, young girl or boy, young woman or man being offended sickens me, actually almost makes me ill. I do not understand it. And so, because of my own assault and the yucky feelings it festers up, I have largely been like most of the good population and completely, utterly and nearly entirely avoided the subject. My hope, was that if I pretend I do not see it, it would go away.
But it will not, and if we, the good people of the world, sit quietly by, or silently participate in the abuse by pretending it’s not there, it and the symptoms of an unhealthy-sex crazed society will get worse.
The problem is too big. There is nothing any one of us can do to stop it. The crimes too vile. The evil will prevail, there’s nothing we can do… or is there? What if we talk about it? What if we castrate offenders... because statistics dictate that most offenders are repeat offenders, and by repeat I mean one offender can have dozens to hundreds of victims? Or what if we kill them? Why don’t we make prosecution harder if we all agree it’s so heinous? Why do so many repeat offenders go untried or reported? Because they look good and prey on the ignorant and innocent.
We picture offenders as these dark, dirty evil monsters, if they were all like this no one would have a problem taking care of them. But most of the ones that get away with most of the abuse are unassuming: babysitters, neighbors, brothers, sisters, playmates, fathers, coaches, boyfriends, grandmas. Sick huh? We don’t want the devil to be someone we like, let alone someone we love. Because if evil wraps itself in a smile, who can we trust? Who is good? Who is safe? What has the world come to?
My goal this year in my writing is to do something to bring attention to it. I can’t make it go away by myself but I can stop closing my eyes to it. My offender didn’t go away. My silence was out of fear, of him, sure, but more than that out of fear of not being believed. I was young, full of drama and maybe dressed inappropriately, who would believe me? Better to say nothing than to be humiliated. Then when I was brave enough to stand up to him… too much time had gone by, the statute of limitations saved him. He was safe and I was scarred.
So yeah, evil smiles. Good looks away. I look away no more. I do not know what to do. This will be a process for me as much as way to bring awareness. I do know I’ll take special interest in figuring out what we, the good people, can do to stop it and what we are currently doing to condone it, because I think there’s power in us uniting against evil. I think we’re more likely to do something together to stand against sexual abuse than the bad guys are to stop themselves.
As Gia’s Secrets prepares to see the light of day, I prepare to stand against the most heinous evil I have ever looked deep in the eyes. I can’t stop it, you can’t stop it, but together maybe we can do something about it!
OK the truth is I flip tires because I am severely lacking in the coordination department (well also because I just really like to flip 'em). But I’ve always been fascinated with dancing, so much so, Scandalous Affair is largely a book about an affair that ignites on the dance floor and Catching Tatum was inspired by Lee Brice’s song, “I Don’t Dance.” I love dancing I just don’t do it because I know I have no coordination.
Since I moved into Wenatchee I’ve walked past a sign in Pybus Public Market for free dancing on Thursday nights at least a dozen times, I even took a picture of it to remember the day and time. The thing that most intrigues me about it is that it’s offered by 2 Left Feet Dance. Well… that’s what I have so I figured, maybe someday I’d give it a whirl. It turns out someday was today.
It started with that song… I Don’t Dance. There I was, minding my own business in my cube and Pandora decided to take me back to a couple years ago when I first heard it. From the very first listening, I knew, I just knew, a story was in there. It was Cole and Tatum’s story and I still love it as much today as when it was a bubbling, babbling brook of an idea streaming through my mind.
So… the song played, and I realized it was Thursday. But Thursdays are notoriously busy for me, there’s Run Wenatchee with my JMAC babes, then the gym with my boy, then home. Tonight I was supposed to have Matea and Marlee over for dinner, so, like almost every other Thursday, I brushed it off. Then Matea had to cancel because my grandbaby is sick. There I was… suddenly free. Free to be me! To learn something new, to laugh at myself with no one I knew around to make me self-conscious, to meet new people, make new friends and try something I’ve always wanted to do.
It was an absolute blast!! I highly recommend any Wenatchee locals to give them a try. The instructors are super great and the lesson was a quick, easy one-hour filled with lots of laughing and encouragement! For you guys out there… there was a nice mix of ladies, most were attractive and seemed to be my age, give or take a decade either way. For the ladies … Watch out for little old Wayne, he’s bent over, gray and wrinkled but is very clearly a lady’s man. And yes, he did ask me out to a bar he knows with dancing, and, although I am interested in the more dignified gents, I’ve been restricted to 49 and under and don’t dig the bar scene so I respectfully declined. I’ll leave Wayne and all his 7+ decades to the more dignified ladies ;)
Here’s the take away, here’s what I learned from a lovely hour of instruction and fun:
#1 Good instructors can teach even those of us with little rhythm or natural sway in our hips to move around a floor with a respectable measure of grace and dignity.
#2 A good leader makes all the difference!
#3 I have confirmed that I have NO rhythm but I can count and memorize movements as well as words so I’m going to try it again!
#4 Dancing, is definitely as much fun to do in real life as I imagined it to be in my mind!
#5 These are the things I want in my Middle!!! Fantastic things I’ve always wanted to do and try and treasure. I know I won’t be single forever and while I do very much enjoy dating and getting to know good guys and doing fun stuff, I am just as much enjoying being uniquely, wonderfully, blissfully me… unattached, unrestricted, unfettered, free, doing what I want, when I want, with who I want, or with no one at all! I’ve been single and stupid and made lots of mistakes before. I’ve been single and lonely and desperate before. I never intended to be single again, but, I am here and it’s not that bad at all. I’m going to intentionally soak up the fun of answering to no one for a bit. Yes, I understand this is a selfish outlook and I don’t intend to be all about me for long, but for now, I am loving almost everything about the Middle!
With his looks, connections and power, Wren, a prestigious LA attorney, appears to have it all. But his entire future hinges on one impending decision. He is torn between two very demanding women. Chelsea, one of the hottest leading ladies in Hollywood, is his long-time girlfriend and mother of his two children. Her world-wide fame and prowess in the bedroom have kept Wren by her side for years, but her personality when the cameras aren’t rolling is out of control. Rowena, his co-worker, friend and partner on the ballroom floor has beguiled him for far too long. She refuses him the one thing he wants most unless he leaves Chelsea for good. But her promise of love is contingent upon impossible demands from her powerful and notorious family. Each woman comes at a high cost that he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life. The question is, whom will he choose?