“You were the only one who ever understood me”… NOT TODAY SATAN!

Digital media and texting has changed the whole dating game. Why have face to face conversations when it can all be summed up in an emotionless message?

I’ve fallen into that pussy category. It’s the worst, a cop out, easier than actually dealing with the person. Communication, confrontation, and rejection are all the scariest things. Have I learned anything from past mistakes or successes?

It’s even worse when you send a drunk text. Or worse yet when you write the novel of a text and then decide you’re crazy and go to abort but accidentally press send and fuck everything up.

I have never been very good about remaining friends with past lovers. It’s not that I even have a lot of negativity towards these people, it just doesn’t work out. Life happens and there isn’t room for everyone in it.

Once you are naked-legs intwined-deepest darkest secrets intimate with another human it is very difficult to go back to just being friends in passing. I cannot level down without years of getting over it.

How do ex lovers know when you are either about to move on or at your most vulnerable? They always have the most impeccable timing ever, it must be a spider sense tingle that goes off in their brain.

I was pretty much having a mental breakdown the other day and out of the blue my longest relationship ever ex and most recent person that I needed to cut out both texted me simultaneously. It was ridiculous, a scene from a bad romantic comedy.

satanIs he contacting me because he misses me or if his relationship ended, is he feeling vulnerable, reminiscing on a time that was better, a time that he clearly fucked up and is missing. Well that ship has sailed bro. He remembers how happy I made him, how incredible the sex was, and how in comparison I was way better of a choice.

It’s been over a year since last contact, at least three years since we broke up for the final time, maybe more, time flies when you are single. He never maintained communication with me, I must have not been that important . What happened to change his mind?

Can they sense when you are about to move on? There is a feeling of power that one has when they deny someone the upper hand? When you finally give up on the situation and move on to greener pastures its like they get a notice. Something inside them feels the grip loosen, the power is gone.

This has happened before, we had broken up, it was months later, he texted me out of the blue, I ended up over at his house, and of course we slept together. He went to work the next day and I was still asleep. When I woke up I noticed that the portrait I did of him was missing, I saw it leaning in is closet.

How appropriate, my heart and soul resting in his closet, when I paint someone that means I love them, I took it from its frame and wrote him a letter (aka the original text message) he will probably never read on the back and popped it back in the frame and put it back in the closet, it was very dramatic.

It basically said that this was not meant to be and that someday he will be with someone else, find this, and remember how amazing I was. He was the one who broke up with me for being unnaturally happy, like a cartoon character he said. I had no business falling for such a broken man, so flawed and addicted, yet so beautiful, so much like me, so different, smart, an incredible musician (I used to make art while he recorded his music), and a lover like no other. We first met at my art opening seven years ago, I was in my prime.
His ice breaker text was an inside joke. I said it once to someone I used to love, him. I’ve moved on. You had your chance. I have been single for several years now, I haven’t depended on anyone but myself for happiness. That last thing I need right now is to digress. Is this a test?

Maybe its Valentines Day? The worst holiday ever, where single folks are meant to feel crappy and those in relationships are expected to buy in.

I don’t want to fall for him again and go back to square one. Familiar doesn’t mean safe, fucking an ex may not be a new notch in the post but it still counts, there are always ramifications.

I answered him with something generic, made him wait for it too. A simple hope you are well. Sometimes there is just not enough time or space to get over the pain someone has put you through. Forgiveness must be earned.

I have a hard time with moving on, especially when I really want someone. I fall hard. He haunted my dreams and caused so much creative thought in me. I need to travel the world to find myself and new inspirations. I can’t just keep beating these dead horses.

It kills me to not be friends with him, with any of them, but I can’t. I always want more, it’s a terrible ache, an unjust lust. I need to say goodbye for now, farewell.

A girl with faded blue hair (and about an inch of dirty blonde roots [mental note: that’s a great name for an autobiography “Dirty Blonde Roots: The Diary of a Burlesque Dancer”]), sits naked on her bed, smoking a bong. Three purring cats are asleep at her feet. Hot tears pouring down her calm face as a red vinyl special edition Billie Holiday record plays, “Someday we’ll meet and you’ll dry all my tears, then whisper sweet things in my ear.” Every word is the pain of every woman – no, every human. We all have felt unrequited love. It is defined as one sided and not reciprocated love.


This was the first line in a very powerful poem of that name by the incredible poet Ben Brindise. Here’s a video recording of it:

A good cry is like a good poop, dumping out that negativity and darkness, the unnecessary evil, those extra and unusable bits of life. The tears fell from my ducts, picking up bits of makeup as they traveled down the curves of my face and breasts. Flushing out the eyes and making everything feel so much cleaner. I have never even smoked a cigarette, and I feel like it would hit the spot after this kind of catharsis.

I always try to smile (though my heart is breaking – great song). I was once dumped for being too happy. He said “I feel like I’m dating a cartoon character, it’s unnatural to be as happy as you are!” Say whaaaaat?! That’s a fucking flaw?! My smile is my power, but so are my tears. The balance between those two things is everything.

I’m single but not alone. I’m not going to rant about every sonogram and wedding announcement, because honestly I’m not mad. Yay for mutual love, and people who are in love with love and their lives – it’s beautiful. I’m not jealous, it’s not the life I chose to lead at the moment, but it’s not a bad way to be. Valentine’s Day is approaching so all of the commercials are geared toward lovers – don’t buy in and don’t let it bring you down bro. It’s going to be ok! And if you cry don’t think you are weak, take it in stride and know that everything is how it is supposed to be. Who knows what today will bring?!

Featured image made by Amanda Jedraszczak.

Well, here’s something from the FTB Studios vault that’s appropriate to share again today, February 14th, also known as Valentine’s Day. It’s part of the self-produced web-TV series JC Sunshine’s Fireside Chat and while some of the jokes in the “news” segment may be a little dated (try 4 years), the three original songs and one original song parody are still catchy as hell.

So sit back with a loved one, or by yourself, we won’t judge, and enjoy JC, his neighbour Jenny, his stalker Suzie, Rex, Ricardo and special guest Cupid (Mylene Robic) in the JC Sunshine St-Valentine’s Day Musical Massacre!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

vintage_valentine-1When Chaucher first wrote, and I’m paraphrasing into modern English here, “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” I’m sure he could have never envisioned the red, glittery madness that would descend upon the shelves of the Dollarama for the six weeks between Christmas and the middle of February.

Whether you love it, hate it or you’re just plain indifferent, Valentine’s Day is here again. It’s a strange little “holiday” that gives sitcoms and romantic comedies an excuse for setting up the most unlikely of pairs. It also puts pressure on existing couples to spend the right amount of money to translate their affections while bringing out the cynicism of their single counterparts.

It turns out that so-called “right” amount of money is twice as high for men as it is for women. According to Wisebread.com, the average man spends around $150 while women shell out around $85. Maybe it’s because those men were shelling out for that most cliché of hot ticket romantic items, a dozen long-stemmed red roses – florists have been known to nearly double their prices during this time, one of their busiest seasons of the year. Try a pair of Gerber daisies in your partner’s favorite color or a luscious houseplant that will live on longer than flowers.

Another of the most common Valentine’s Day gifts is the quintessential heart-shaped box of chocolates. About.com reports that a stunning 36 million of them will be sold this year, making that one of the most popular gifts behind the standard greeting card.

Speaking of tasty treats, there are two particular types of candies that make an appearance only on Valentine’s Day and unsurprisingly, they’re both heart-shaped: cinnamon hearts and conversation hearts. While cinnamon hearts are my favorite, they aren’t quite as iconic as those little pastel-colored sugar cakes bearing witty messages like “Be Mine” and “Email Me.” It takes candy manufacturers nearly eleven months of the year to make the 8 billion candy hearts that are consumed during the short six week season when they’re on the market.


For many, a good Valentine’s date will lead to a happy ending. Condom sales are 20-30% higher than usual around Valentine’s Day, according to condom manufacturer Durex. A word of warning about the sexy, sugar-high bedroom shenanigans: more at-home pregnancy tests are sold in the month of March than any other month of the year.

Finally, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to alienate single people. As a society, we focus almost exclusively on the romantic type of love that we almost forgot to acknowledge other types of love that may be as important to us. Why should we be limiting ourselves to that one version of love? No one is ever truly alone on Valentine’s Day when they’re surrounded by family and friends. And remember the ultimate joy of the holiday: once it’s over anyone can reap the rewards of half price chocolate on February 15th.


 Photo Credits:
1 – WikiMedia Commons
2- Someecards.com
3- Tumblr: vintagevvaalleennttiinneess

no pants no problem

The winter blues are definitely in full swing.  Even as days get longer and the warmer weather isn’t quite so much of a distant memory, it’s still so cold in my apartment that I sometimes have to wear mini gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off while typing. In a desperate attempt to warm up, I watch the Fireplace Channel on Youtube to bask in the warming glow on the screen and the sound of the wood crackling.

Yes, it sounds like I need an excuse to get out of the house and get the blood flowing. What better occasion than the return of No Pants, No Problem, a socially conscious underwear dance party for a good cause. The premise is simple: drop your pants at the door, dance around in your best boxers, briefs, boyshorts, panties, jock strap or even thong and help support organizations with a mandate to advocate for HIV awareness and sexual/gender rights. No Pants, No Problem isn’t just a fun, underwear dance party, it also provides a politicized space for challenging ourselves around our own understandings of gender, sexuality and HIV.

As much fun as it is to dance around your apartment in your underwear, let me tell you that it’s even more fun at a bar, in this case Little Italy’s Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon West).  You can leave your pants at the on-site pants check, but make sure to come early to secure your spot as it filled up around midnight last time.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there will even be a kissing booth on site for you to practice your lip-locking for the big kissing contest.  If you’re lucky enough to be leaving the party with a fellow sexy pantsless dancer, make sure to visit the safer sex/harm reduction booth first for free condoms, gloves and other goodies.

Tunes for the evening will be provided by resident DJ Like the Wolf, playing a sweet mix tape of classic and contemporary tracks that’s sure to keep the dance floor nice and sweaty. Also heating up the night will be a series of sexy burlesque performances from members of Glam Gam Productions.

No Pants, No Problem was founded as a community building event in 2004 and has also appeared in Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver, New York City and Mexico City. They also made their debut at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC last year.  It is a unique and safe space for people for of all orientations to release their inhibitions about body image and sexuality. Their goal is to help build and bridge communities while challenging the binary sexual and gender norms that dominate mainstream culture.

The cover charge is $10 or $5 if you check your pants, although no one will be refused for a lack of funds.  The space is fully wheelchair accessible.  For more information, visit the Facebook event page.


It’s the time of the year for red roses, pink champagne, over-sentimentalized cards and silly useless gifts that tend to end up in the closet along with the weight loss paraphernalia you bought after the holidays. Also it is the loneliest time of the year for the majority of the population who are single and find themselves looking hastily for misguided companionship in the most unfortunate places. Been there my friends.

Fortunately I am now married, so the only thing I need to do is think of a better gift than the one my wife is getting me. Nevertheless I want to introduce some artwork that might come handy when considering cards, prints or even reproductions for your special someone. Artwork that would surely impress and bring you extra points in this great manufactured capitalist lie that is Valentine’s Day.

Venus and MarsThe first piece is “Venus and Mars” by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli. The work can be found at the UK National Gallery in London, and it is a thoroughly striking piece. The story is that of a love affair between the god of war Mars and goddess of love and beauty Venus who was married at the time. Not to worry my friends, they get punished later on when the matter becomes public so to speak; however this artwork is concerned with the moment that the act of love making has ended.

The painting is symbolic in terms of the triumph of love over war, as Venus has managed to seduce and win over Mars. Yet the scene is tremendously humorous and lighthearted. Mars for all intents and purposes has been drained, exhausted, you might even say passed out. I would like to say the god of war has been conquered. Mars is so out of it that even the little annoying infant Satyrs cannot wake him up. One of them is actually blowing a small conch shell in his ear, alas Mars is too shagged out to react.

Venus has an interesting expression on her face, she almost looks disappointed, displeased and irritated. Could it be that Mars didn’t perform adequately and the artist is anticipating her regret later on when being punished, which is also evident from the bees that hover around Mars? After all if you want some honey you have to take the chance of being stung by the bees, which is actually another story that features Venus and her son Cupid. Other interpretations by art historians read Venus’s expression as that of a peeved lover who wanted more after sex. However you look at it Botticelli paints a scenario that can be tried and true at any time throughout history, I just hope you have happier ending post coitus.

BerniniAnother artwork I want to share with you is “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, residing in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. If you were looking for heavenly love, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than this. Bernini gives you love that is out of this world, beyond description. As words fail to bring to life this ecstasy Saint Teresa felt when she was visited by an angel, Bernini makes marble flow, twist and coil in complete orgasm.

The story comes from St. Teresa’s written account which was tremendously popular in Rome at the time, and people would read it in awe and envy. She writes of the angel piercing her heart with an arrow, however if you look closer at the sculpture you see Bernini’s angel pointing the arrow lower down. This is not just heavenly love; this is very much an earthy human climax. O’ how we fail to take our eyes off of her.  Charles de Brosses visiting in 19th century remarked “If this is divine love, I know all about it.”

Since I couldn’t find a good example of artwork which would appeal to our gay and lesbian community, I decided to create one myself, and so I present to you my “Let it Be”. The inspiration behind the work comes from the battles our gay friends are involved in to secure more rights all over the world. USA, France and UK have been in the news recently concerning the legalization of gay marriage, and the offensive comments uttered by certain opposition groups in those countries really show how much ignorance still exist in the democratic developed countries. I really cannot fathom why some people choose to spread hatred for something so human as expression of unity between two people. Some day we will look back at this period of our lives and wonder why we were so benighted. Wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day.

(/-\)nniina Loves U / Anniina MäkeläIt’s Monday. It’s February 14. There is an arrow aimed at some people and machine guns aimed at others. I haven’t had a real relationship with anyone in G-d only knows how long, but I know it’s more than a decade. So Valentine’s day, which to me is a greeting card holiday, is pretty much just a sick joke, where those who have significant others can rub it in the faces of those that don’t. I never had the woman behind me that has been sorely needed, as I came up in an era of shoe-gazing, riot Grrrls, and staunch lesbian feminazism. On top of that, I sometimes have a problem where I come across as creepy.

Now, I don’t blame any women for any of my problems. If anything, having them around more would’ve been a very nice thing. Unfortunately for me, most of the parties I attend or get invited to are usually sausage-fests, and let’s face it, I’m a fat, hairy guy with wild, staring eyes, a loud voice, many feelings of inadequacy, and general shyness. Not exactly qualities women are looking for in their potential mates. In fact, The last date I had felt more like a job interview I wasn’t expecting, for a job I know they won’t hire me for, in part because I’m just not qualified.

Last week, I revealed a secret that perhaps I shouldn’t have, but since I never meant it seriously, and everyone knows that, I think I’m ok. The truth is, that my friends are the best friends I could have, and without them I’d probably have been dead for several years now. Or living somewhere other than Montreal. It’s my friends that have made my life worth living, especially since I’m still prone to prolonged bouts of depression and other problems.

Some of my friends have also been known to wreck it for me. This is usually unconscious on their part, but since I’m thought of as “friends with this guy”, or that guy, who has whatever qualities they don’t like, I’m automatically guilty by association. I’m 35 and I live like a college student instead of a married guy with kids. Sometimes I feel truly pathetic.

As many of you may already know, I like to consider myself as an artist, but I know I can be temperamental, finicky, and sometimes violently destructive. I would like to thank my friends for bearing with me through all the thick and all the thin that my moods/wallet/temperament has gone through. Through the periods of work and unemployment, through the periods of wealth and poverty, and then into the proverbial overtime the game will inevitably go into.

By the way, I also associate St. Valentine’s day with the massacre, because prohibition was and still is a very stupid thing, which gave rise to organized crime rings comprised, in part, of otherwise legitimate businessmen. These businessmen were ambushed and slaughtered on this day, back in 1929, in Chicago. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.   The criminals involved in the liquor trade during prohibition evolved into criminal syndicates, assorted mafia and the families thereof, who needed to protect themselves and were occasionally forced into crime by unscrupulous and overzealous policemen, politicians and lawyers.

Photo by (/-\)nniina Loves U / Anniina Mäkelä

This year, I’ve got a novel idea for all the singles or those swimming in murky, non-committal waters, whose stomach turns a little when they think of spending another Valentine’s Day without a date – try doing yourself for a change. And I’m not talking about dropping a Thundercats reference amongst a group of teenagers only to have them stare back at you blankly.

I mean, treat yourself like every night’s a first (or second, or even third) date. You know how you want your place to look when you’ve got a date coming over – no toast crusts lingering on old plates, no piles of dirty socks heaped beside the bed, no ring crusted in the toilet bowl. Instead of being on your best behaviour just for a date, try doing it for yourself.

Okay, so maybe you already do that, some of us have differing standards when it comes to cleanliness. You can also try taking yourself out for dinner. Can you remember the last time you took the time for yourself to eat a nice meal? Wear a fabulous outfit, bring a book or magazine, and order dessert. A woman eating alone in a restaurant projects a certain degree of mystique that is irresistible to certain men.

I’m sure it goes without saying that the topic of masturbation would eventually arise when exploring the concept of dating yourself. Ladies, as if you need an excuse to invest in a new pleasure object, but why not treat yourself to a sex toy this Valentine’s Day?

For some who are entering into this foray for the first time, it can be an intimidating or daunting task. In a perfect world, you could enter into the ultimate pleasure dome and try all the toys for yourself before picking the one that tickles your fancy the best, but we can’t always get what we want.

One solution is to head to your friendly neighbourhood sex shop for some advice. In this case, try the video series by Phuong from Joy Toyz entitled, a practical guide to sex toys 101. With her first instalment, she sets the dildo vs. vibrator debate straight, with future instalments to come on choosing the best vibrator, toy care, prostate stimulation and more. Go register for the video series now.

It has often been said that it’s when you stop looking for love that it’ll find you. Here’s an idea I recently heard from a friend that can help with that process. Make a list of 3-5 qualities you’re looking for in a partner. Maybe you’re looking for someone caring and compassionate, someone independent and feisty, or someone courageous and witty.

Instead of hopelessly searching for someone that matches your description, work on developing those qualities within yourself. I know it sounds almost childishly simple, but by instilling yourself with the qualities you’re looking for in a partner, you’ll naturally attract people with those same qualities.

Finally, Valentine’s Day focuses so much on romantic love, particularly of the heterosexual variety. From what I’ve gathered from this year’s crop of cliché-ridden articles and TV shows, women want to receive roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from men. Couples out there, you could do so much better than that.

If your girlfriend is the kind of girl who goes giddy for flowers, this would be a good opportunity to show that off. And it goes both ways too. I once bought a boy a flower for Valentine’s Day and impressed the pants right off him. At any rate, I hope you know your partner well enough by this point that finding a little heart-tickling gift that makes them feel special shouldn’t be that hard. Go beyond the ordinary this year, and the rewards could be extraordinary!

And why should we only celebrate romantic love on Valentine’s Day? Take it as an opportunity to reflect on all the love in your life. I have an amazing family and many wonderful friends that I love very dearly, so why not relish the opportunity to tell them. I think I saw cartoon-branded Valentines at the Dollarama!

Photo 1 courtesy of the wonderfully talented artist Lee Price –   http://www.leepricestudio.com/2007-04.html

Photo 2 courtesy of http://upload.ecvv.com/

Photo 3 courtesy of http://community.citrix.com/display/ocb/2010/05/18/I+Choo%2C+Choo%2C+Choose+You