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  1. It's been a hot summer and the temperature has hovered close to 100F for weeks. That means more and more girls and women take to the streets in skirts so short, they barely conceal the color of their panties or shorts so short, their pockets peek out from under the denim cloth. Their tops grow shorter, thinner, skimpier, showing more and more skin, and people of both sexes see it as normal, acceptable (desirable?) behavior.

    Now, take a look at the guys, at what they're wearing. If it's anyone with even a little fashion sense (and born after the 1970s), he'll be wearing knee-length (or even longer) shorts and a t-shirt. Sure, you see the occasional goofball in short Björn Borg shorts and a tank top, but most people, many ladies included, think that looks ridiculous and, seriously, what guy wants to look ridiculous, especially in front of the fairer sex?

    Have you ever stopped and wondered why we, as a society, think men should keep their bodies concealed? Why are men happier the less clothes the ladies around them wear, but if you flip the sexes... sure, a few more "liberated" women would grin and enjoy the sights, but the abundance of hungry, horny smiles wouldn't be nearly as uniform as when female skin is revealed. Just last Thursday K.Trian and I were at the local railway station and we saw plenty of girls (some very young, traveling with their parents) and women in outfits as skimpy as possible, some just short of underwear. We didn't see a single bare male thigh not to mention shirtless boys or men. I know a few venture about now and then, but not only are they rare, they are such exceptions that people pay more attention to them (for better or worse, usually the latter) than the girl walking by him in the shortest possible mini skirt and a string bikini top. Even those who notice both, seem to more readily approve the girl's outfit as normal while thinking the guy is a show-off (if he's muscular/good-looking) or revolting (if he's overly skinny, overweight, or old).

    Speaking of people with less than ideal bodies, i.e. those who are bordering on the anorexic and those with a bit of extra, when they are girls, they can still show a lot of skin and still people, men and bi/lesbian women look at them with admiration, even desire. Now imagine an extremely scrawny or a pudgy guy going shirtless and in tiny shorts. Would they get as many admiring stares, lustful glances, admiring looks? No, they wouldn't and they don't. Why is that? Why is it that for a man to be more universally appreciated as physically attractive while shirtless, he either has to be a flat-bellied guy with otherwise normal build or a six-pack -toting athlete? Who has established these stricter demands on men that our society, as it is today, upholds? From what I've seen, many men laugh and sneer at their less perfect counterparts who dare to dress more comfortably during the year's hottest days and often women just go along with it, allowing their boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers, and even male friends to affect their perceptions on male beauty (or, rather, the lack thereof).

    Add to all this that men generally handle heat worse than women, and men even sweat (and hence stink) a lot more, so plenty of boys and men would love nothing more than to show more skin, i.e. dress to better avoid a fucking heatstroke, but unless they want to risk looking gross or like a meatheaded show-off trying to desperately attract attention with his muscles, they must keep their thighs and guns hidden under cloth. How I missed my kilt that day (sometimes I wear one onstage with my band and let me tell you, under those hot stage lights, it's heaven-sent)!

    Now, why are females so hesitant to show their appreciation of the male form? Don't they like looking at shirtless guys unless they're built like pro athletes or Johnny Depp? Are male thighs truly so revolting or embarrassing that women just don't find them sexy? It sure seems so judging by all of the above observations. To add insult to ijury, many a time I've seen and heard girls laughing at some guy in short shorts. Believe me, I can tell the difference between laughing with him and laughing at him, and they definitely weren't laughing with him.

    I've seen plenty of discussion about the male gaze, how routinely men, even highly educated, "respectful" individuals so often come up with the most ridiculous/ingenious reasons (or excuses) to watch or show naked/semi-naked girls in pretty much every medium from movies to music videos, magazines to books etc.

    Now I ask you, where the hell is the female gaze?

    Has patriarchy truly stomped female sexuality into such a deep, inescapeable pit that women will never look at men the way men look at women? Or is there something else going on here? In any case, here's the thing: it's high time we dragged humanity, kicking and screaming if need be, to the 21st century where women are liberated and deserve the right to express their sexuality and appreciation of whichever sex they prefer openly and without the fear of things like slut-shaming. Alas, that will never happen unless some brave girls and women first pave the way for their future sisters. Unfortunately that's the way societies work; if we want change, someone has to spearhead the revolution even though there will be some "casualties," i.e. bullying, snide remarks, disgusted looks etc, but those also stem from archaic values and views that should've grown obsolete long ago.

    Let's wrap this up before it turns into a novel. I'll finish with a request (I seem to be doing that a lot with my recent blog posts): if you see a man showing a bit more skin than what's visible from under long shorts and a t-shirt, don't laugh or sneer at him. If you're a guy, don't be so eager to make fun of him for daring to dress more comfortably than you: ridicule rarely leads to anything positive. If you're a man or a woman and see a girl or a woman showcasing her appreciation for male beauty in whatever way, try to contain the compulsion to call her a slut, whore, or some such, shunning her for having the guts to show her sexuality not just through her looks, but her behavior, her actions. After all, men do it all the time and most see it as something natural and normal, so why should it be any different with women? I mean, they're people too, as far as I know...

    So, don't stifle your sexuality; celebrate it, and maybe someday men can walk around in skimpy outfits as well and be still seen as sexy and desirable, judging by all the positive reinforcement they get from the ladies. Let's begin a new era where the female gaze is just as normal, natural, and, most of all, abundant as the male gaze.

    Peace out!
    KaTrian and Okon like this.
  2. I’ve danced around this subject a couple of times on the forums, but I figured it’s high time to take the cat out of the bag and put it on the table for all to see.

    Now, I'm big into working out, so naturally I read a few bodybuilding/fitness magazines to find new exercises, information about nutrition etc, and during the past two years or so, I've noticed that the fitness competitors and female bobybuilders have started getting breast implants en masse: suddenly there's only a small minority of active competitors who do not have implants. I wondered what was going on, and after a bit of digging, I found out there's actually a reason for all those boob jobs, and let me tell you, the truth is ugly:

    The judges in bodybuilding/fitness competitions enforce specific criteria intended only for female competitors according to which they are not only judged by their physiques and abilities but also by their "femininity." What does that mean in practice? There are a few elements that apparently make the competitor more feminine in the eyes of the (usually male) judges: she shouldn't be very muscular, she shouldn't be very toned (i.e. have low body fat), and she should have Big Boobs.

    The first time those rules/guidelines were implemented was in 1994 when the IFBB set limits for how muscular female competitors were allowed to be, all in the name of forcing them to retain their "femininity" since we all know women aren't supposed to have big, strong muscles, not even female bodybuilders. Yeah, that's confusing to me as well: what's the idea of bodybuilding if not to build bodies, i.e. big, strong muscles?

    Anyway, they implemented even stricter limitations again in 2000, further downsizing the female competitors, again in the name of the hallowed ideal of femininity.
    For years the judges have given or docked points depending on how feminine a competitor is but recently it's become such a heavy focus that every woman without breast implants will be fighting an uphill battle. Likewise, female competitors are penalized if they have good muscle definition or big muscles. Because that's not feminine.

    This all made me wonder what the hell is this "femininity" that the IFBB is so hard trying to protect? For the life of me, I haven't figured out any other definition than the old-fashioned ideal of the big-breasted, plump, fragile wife/mother/household slave. Women aren't supposed to have muscles as big as those of men, otherwise they'll lose their femininity in the eyes of the judges. That means they want their women weaker than men. What else could it mean? Large, strong muscles = masculine. Smaller, weaker muscles = feminine.

    And then there are the breasts: muscle definition is usually considered a good thing, but apparently because losing body fat means the women also burn away their breasts (or make them smaller), it's a bad thing nowadays to be "ripped." That is, if you're female. Men can and should be as toned as possible.

    Let's consider the human physiology for a moment: what can you tell about a human body just by looking? Well, the amount and proportions of muscle mass and body fat are pretty good indicators of the person's level of fitness and strength. So, what do small muscles and a soft, round figure denote? Just that: softness, weakness... femininity. Now, what do large muscles and a fat-free, sculpted figure imply? Strength, discipline... masculinity.

    Well, you know what? I call bullshit. Those ideals stem from the days when we still lived in hunter/gatherer societies where it was a matter of survival and practical to divide the sexes: men hunted, women took care of the children. Men did the heavy, dangerous tasks, women handled the lighter, safer tasks. It made sense back then when considering the fact that one man can impregnate several women, while one woman can only bear one child every nine months or so (barring the rare exceptions of twins, triplets etc.), so it was logical to try to keep the number of women as high as possible while the number of men wasn’t nearly as important as long as it was more than one to avoid inbreeding. It’s just that we don’t live in hunter/gatherer societies anymore. In fact, we haven’t in a long time.

    Ever since those days, the dominant patriarchy has enforced this dichotomy between the sexes, thus ensuring that women remain weak and easily controlled. I'm not touting a huge secret conspiracy, but let's face it: men have had the upper hand throughout our history at least partly because we have the physical capacity to take power from women while the ladies, generally being weaker than men, have had to conform to what men decide simply because men, being stronger, can force their wills upon women. At least nowadays we have firearms, the great equalizers but, then again, we also have laws in most countries that ensure people don’t have access to them. The more things change...

    Anyway, what do you think, would women's physiques start to develop into stronger, larger bodies over the following centuries and millennia if girls and women were actually encouraged to strengthen themselves physically? It won't happen overnight, no, but I'm pretty sure that evolution would step in eventually and women would start to catch up to men when it came to physical strength. Now wouldn't that help in our constant pursuit of equality? How can there ever be true equality when one sex is so often physically stronger than the other, i.e. able to enforce the survival of the fittest? Until men lose that strength advantage, the sexes will never be truly equal.

    So why don't more women jump on the fitness bandwagon and start lifting iron? Because most people, men and women alike, still look at muscular women and go "eww, gross! They look like men!" Because, after all, big, strong muscles are masculine, i.e. women should be small, soft, dainty. So, ladies, put away those kettlebells, grab a proper kettle, and get the fuck back in the kitchen. Is that truly the mindset we want to teach to our daughters?

    Note that I am not saying that a small, weak, soft woman is somehow inferior to muscular women, no. Granted, it is a fact that a smaller woman is physically weaker than a more muscular woman, but that doesn't diminish her inherent value as a person and a human being.

    What I am saying is that muscular, small-breasted women are no less feminine than weak, large-breasted women. Neither are they uglier or manlier except in the eyes of those still perpetuating the age-old patriarchal views on the sexes, views that should become obsolete as of right fucking now. So repeat after me:

    Strength is not masculine. Strength is not feminine. Strength is desirable. Weakness is not masculine. Weakness is not feminine. Weakness is not desirable.

    Now, to return to those wonderful things that likely drew your attention to this post in the first place: tits.
    In the light of all that I've said above, I have to wonder what it is about breasts that have such a huge influence on a woman's perceived femininity? And what does that mentality entail for those girls and women who have naturally small breasts? Simple: they aren't as feminine as their bustier counterparts. In essence, they are lesser women.

    What does that mentality tell growing girls? If my male brain is anything to go by, it tells them that if they want to be appreciated as women, if they want to be seen as beautiful, feminine girls, they need big breasts, they need curves, they shouldn't be athletic, they shouldn't be strong, they should focus on looking pretty instead of focusing on their capacity for action.
    It means they aren't valued for what they do, but for what they are.

    Have you ever noticed that in the case of men, it's the exact opposite? Men are valued by their actions, their accomplishments, not by what they are. A man can be the ugliest ogre on the planet, but if he excels at something, he's revered worldover. I know that's a generalization, but most of the time, that's how people see men and women.

    Somebody please explain to me, what the hell kind of message are we sending to our young female athletes? That implants and girly looks are more important than their skills and abilities. That they shouldn't be sporty, but fashionable. That instead of training for more skill and strength, they should practice walking on high heels so that they look good doing whatever it is that they do. So that they can look good in the eyes of men. So that they can please men.

    Do we place such demands on men and, to return to the original context, male bodybuilders? What, are you crazy? Of course not; they are athletes, after all, not models. Men are supposed to be muscular, strong, and ripped. Because that's masculine. What a load of shit...

    Note that I'm not against big breasts; big, small, perky, droopy, to me, they are all beautiful. I'm not even against breast implants as such. I'm against pressuring small-breasted women to get cosmetic surgery, to put their bodies under the knife only to please the aesthetic tastes of judges who love big jugs. Judges who are usually men, sometimes women who help to perpetuate the oppression of their sisters.

    I understand that maintaining a low body fat (under 14%) can be detrimental to the health of many women in the long run, but that's the reason why bodybuilders and fitness competitors as well as weight class athletes (such as boxers, wrestlers etc.) usually drop their body fat into the single digits only for the duration of the competition. However, it is a fact that some women have naturally small breasts which only get smaller come crunch time, when they drop their body fat below 12% for the competitions, often resulting in what essentially are just pectoral muscles with no fatty tissue (what breasts essentially are) left.
    These regulations I'm ranting about discriminate against those women in particular as well as all girls who haven't reached puberty yet, since by valuing big knockers so highly and associating them with femininity and superiority (over their flat-chested counterparts), we influence the attitudes of our children, male and female alike.

    We teach boys to prefer big boobs and we teach girls to want big boobs and hate their own if they happen to still be or stay small. How in the name of holy fuckness is that supposed to be a good thing?

    Also, why is it socially acceptable to look at muscular people and go "eww, gross!" but it's not acceptable to say the same of, say, overweight people? Hell, I've seen overweight men and women cry out their disgust at bodybuilders. Guess whether these examples of social finesse would've appreciated being called repulsive, fat sacks of lard? Yeah, exactly: hypocritical much? This double standard is confusing especially since generally muscular people are healthier than overweight people. For the sake of clarity, let me specify that I am not talking about athletes who use steroids, growth hormones etc. to gain bigger muscles. I don't condone the use of such substances for the simple reason that it's unhealthy. Just like being obese.

    Anyway, riddle me this: what kind of sense do plastic boobs on a female athlete make in the first place? Not only can breast implants cause some health problems, the procedure itself has its own risks which, while not astronomical, are risks that shouldn't be required in the first place, especially since the implants need to be renewed every few years, and you can do the math about repeated surgeries with anesthesia (which does no favors to anyone's health) and the risks inherent in every surgical operation.
    Add to that just how impractical large breasts are in the world of sports (and most physical activities) as well as the health problems large, heavy breasts can cause to women, especially athletes, and you can see how much sense this idealization of massive busts makes. And for what? Just so that some judges will have their desires to ogle at big breasts fulfilled, because when we ditch all the bullshit about preserving the "femininity" of female competitors, that's all these pro-implant guidelines are for.

    Luckily, some of the less oppressed female athletes are fighting back, be it consciously or by accident: quite a few professional athletes have actually gotten breast reduction surgeries. Why? To look less feminine? To look less attractive? No. To improve their performance. Because they are athletes, i.e. people who are judged according to what they do, not what they are. Or that's how it should be. To me, that makes much more sense when we're talking about athletes since sports are are all about doing.

    So, my dear ladies, gentlemen, the next time you see a muscular female, try to resist your God-given right to go "eww, gross!" even if that's how you feel because, trust me, such comments benefit no one. Furthermore, try to understand the radical notion that the size of muscles or breasts has absolutely nothing to do with femininity or a female's inherent value as a person. Likewise, if you find muscular females gross, ask yourself why? Do you find weak men gross, unnatural, and feminine? Someone like, say, Johnny Depp? Gross, right?

    And just to be clear: everyone has their own tastes and they should have the right to their opinion, but saying "that's not really my cup of tea; I prefer this" is a very different thing from "dear God, that's hideous! What a fucking freak!" Remember, chances are, plenty of people think you are a fugly, creepy, pathetic piece of shit, but do you want to hear that a dozen times every day and thrice that every time you step into a bar? Sure, they might be ignorant little cunts who just don't understand you or your passion or they might have a point, I don't know, but I say live and let die, to each their own, different strokes, and all that crap.

    That's all for now. Until next time, peace out.
  3. I play guitar in a rock/funk/metal band. Yeah, I know, it's a bit of a mishmash, but it's fun music to play albeit technically pretty demanding since you gotta know a bunch of very different genres, some of which are technically inherently challenging, like most modern metal.

    For years now, we've been on the lookout for a second guitarist and a second female vocalist: we figured since we have two male voices, it would be nice to also have two female voices to balance things out. Thing is, five members is already plenty, six would be almost too much, seven... just no; we barely fit on the small stages of our usual venues as a fivesome. That being said, we figured it would be practical if the second guitarist and second female singer were the same person.

    We've searched high and low, far and wide, but haven't found anyone to fit the bill, and we're not even picky! We'd take any girl with a guitar, enough skill to plow through the songs, and a kickass attitude, but... where are they? There are a few very skilled axewomen in the local circles, but they are exclusively focused on the jazz/funk/r&b side of music with no interest in the heavier stuff.

    When we look at female musicians in the metal circles, we have plenty of singers (but only a few express themselves any other way than by what's traditionally "feminine," i.e. by clean, melodic singing), a few keyboard players, and the odd bass player, but where are all the skilled, female metal guitarists?

    And don't get me started on female metal drummers. I know a few exist here and there, but they are about as rare as a live T-Rex with a degree in chemistry and microbiology. Sure, drummers are rare even among men, but male guitarists are a dime a dozen. It's among the world's most popular instruments, so what gives? Usually female guitarists aren't even "proper" guitarists, but singer/songwriters who just strum their guitars to back their main instrument, their singing, or they are punk players who are content banging away their power chords. Most modern metal, however, takes quite a bit of technical skill which, in turn, requires diligent practice.

    So, don't girls like to practice, spend endless hours woodshedding, working on their shredding and tapping? Some call that the musical equivalent of wanking, so since a larger portion of guys have regular onanistic pursuits in comparison to girls, is that the reason? Girls aren't enthusiastic fiddlers?

    Okay, bad humor aside, what's the real reason behind this lack of interest in serious practice? I've read one interesting theory: in popular culture, it's practically always the men who are the guitar heroes, the rock gods, while the audience consists of screaming girls who have posters of the cutest band members adorning the walls of their rooms.

    Popular culture itself, music videos, movies, even the posters help perpetuate this dichotomy. Kids see images of men performing onstage, of girls screaming in the audience or swooning next to the band members backstage, so naturally the kids usually relate to the pictured representatives of their own sex: the boys see themselves in the role of the worshipped rock gods, the girls see themselves as the worshippers with only the very few exceptions daring to think outside the box and imagine themselves in the place of the rock gods, being worshipped by the adoring crowd. I would hazard a guess that more girls would probably feel comfortable with that setting if the poster depicted a female guitarist and an adoring crowd of cute boys.

    I'm not sure if we can lay all the blame on social conditioning, but I do believe that theory has some merit if we accept that other kinds of social conditioning affect our behavior as well as our thought processes.

    Luckily today, more than ever, we have girls and women paving the way for their future sisters: technically adept ladies are more abundant than ever, but despite the likes of Leah Woodward, leading by example of a serious female guitarist who likes to crank up the gain and blast all-out metal with the best of them, she's still one of the very few exceptions.

    Now if only (wo)mankind would catch up to the new millennium and stop antagonizing girls and women who choose to follow their hearts and dreams instead of social conventions, we'd face a far more diverse palette of talent. Imagine how many wonderful songs remain unwritten because so many girls have been discouraged from picking up an instrument by either their families, friends, or the society in general.

    However, even today, being a female rock guitarist is a double edged sword: I've heard of a local all-girl punk band who got their first gig before their first practice session! And some of them hadn't even picked up an instrument before the first band practice. Imagine that: someone proactively sought them out... and offered them a gig... before some of them had played... a single... note. Some club owner had just heard from a friend of a friend of a friend of a new all-girl punk band and immediately called them to play at his club because apparently girls sell.

    Then again, it is largely because of that kind of preferential treatment why so many people, men and women alike, don't take female players seriously. The basic assumption being that the girl guitarist got all her fame, gigs, sponsors etc. simply because of what she has in her pants (or under her skirt).

    So being a female guitarist can prodive you with extra opportunities, but also an uphill battle when it comes to earning respect. Without respect, without being taken seriously, several people have a hard time persevering in their chosen activity unless they really, truly love it. And even if they do, having to constantly prove yourself over and over again to hostile doubters may start eating at you over time, causing frustration and even making you give up and quit.

    Taking all that into consideration, the next time you see a beginner female guitarist, do us all a favor and offer her some encouragement instead of doubts and criticism even if she gets more attention than you (if you're male or a non-musician female) because of the combination of her sex and hobby.
    I do know from experience just how unfair it can be when you see a beginner get far more attention simply because she's a girl guitarist than I after years of diligent practice and hard work, but so what? None of us like unfair treatment (unless it's in our favor), but it's not the girl who's at fault; it's the jackasses who place different values on people depending on their sex instead of their skill level. So instead of directing your anger at the rocker girl, either redirect it into practicing or aim it at those who perpetuate inequality, be it for the detriment or benefit of men or women.

    Until next time, peace out rock on.
    Delise, KaTrian and minstrel like this.
  4. I haven’t spent hours, weeks, days, or months on our couch. I have spent years lying there, wasting away into nothing until I was but a shadow of my former self. Sure, one could argue that I have a reason because of my (at times) debilitating back pain, but I feel that would be lying to myself, like settling when I know I could get so much more, be so much more, at least what I used to be, hopefully more. It goes without saying that a physical ailment such as this, an ailment that limits one’s life to this degree has its effect not only on the physique, but the psyche as well.

    This experience of some five years has taught me a few things, but I feel the most important is this: inactivity is like a psychological cancer that eventually starts to erode your body as well. It grabs hold of you and if you don’t shake it off immediately, it latches on and starts growing, breeding inside you at an unprecedented pace, and it’s fucking scary.

    If you’re a neat freak, this metaphor will probably fly over your head (or, rather, crawl between your legs), but it’s the best one I have in mind: the messier of us often make decisions to keep our homes clean. We’ve spent hours tidying up and decide ”never again, from now on I will be a neat freak, I will put everything where it belongs after I’ve used it.” But then one day you realize that your apartment is a mess. Again. How did this happen? Messiness creeps up on you like a ghost.

    Inactivity works in much the same way: once it has a solid hold on you, before you know it, you’ve been diagnosed with depression or adjustment disorder or whatever, and you’re stuck in your bed, couch, or wherever it is that you glue your ass when you’ve had it for the day. The problem with inactivity is that the longer you’ve let it hold sway in your mind and body, the harder it is to shake it off, get off your cute, little ass and do something, anything.

    Well, here’s a little secret tip: that feeling of an insurmountable challenge you experience after a long spell on inactivity is an illusion. Imagine spearheading an army against your enemy’s fortress. You’re rumbling down the field and towards the castle walls, screaming at the top of your lungs, about to smash the battering ram at the sturdy gates. And then you burst through to the other side. The gates were made of paper. That’s how solid the mighty wall of inactivity is.

    I know it’s fucking hard sometimes, trust me, especially at first, but it is doable. All it takes is that first step. That’s it. After that first action, it’s as if the shackles pinning you down shatter, and you’re free again. All you need is that one battering ram to punch through the debilitating mirage.

    What’s my battering ram, my secret? Push-ups. I’ve tried the guitar, studying, even dry-fire drills with my pistol (though sitting down, more comfy that way for a lazy bastard like myself), but they don’t work as well as something purely physical, something that forces your body to crash through those paper battlements. If I had a pull-up bar, I’d do those too.

    Try it out. I dare you. I double-hare dare you (had to use hares, they’re just so damn awesome in all their fluffy cuteness). Get up and squeeze out as many push-ups as you can. Find out how many you managed and let me know in the comment section below.

    The first time I did this after years of inactivity, I managed only 20 (I used to be able to do 4-5 sets of 45). My body was in shock, my heart was bursting through my rib cage, and I was breathless… but I felt good! It was as if my muse had emerged from her own dimension into my reality and blown a breath of energy and inspiration, a breath of life into not only my body, but my mind as well. It was almost like a dense fog was lifted; I saw the world clearly again.

    Nowadays I do push-ups, bicep curls, the ab wheel, the horse stance, and the plank several times a day, every day. Sometimes I forget a set here and there, but I try to do one set every time I get up, be it to go to the fridge or to take a leak or whatever. Nothing fancy, just a set of push-ups. The next time you get up, a set on the ab wheel and so on and so forth. Now I can do 4-5 sets of 20 push-ups a day, 1-2 sets of 15-20 reps on the ab wheel, 1-2 sets of 75 seconds in the plank (single position, longer if I do my sides too), 3-4 sets of 6-9 curls per hand with 12,5-15 kg per hand, and a set of one minute in the horse stance. I know, it’s not much, a far cry from what I could do before, but it’s a start. Since I don’t do the sets one after another, I don’t even get sweaty: I do a set, then return to what I was doing before, so I don’t need to take ten showers a day.

    I know this comes off as a fairly brutish routine since it has nothing to do with spirituality or positive thinking or anything fancy like that, but who cares as long as it works? Since I started doing this, I’ve been more inspired to write, practice the guitar, study for exams, in essence, get my shit together.

    I just participated in this forum's sci-fi short story competition with KaTrian (we both submitted our own shorts, which was a fun experiment, but that was it for us as far as solo writing goes: to us, it’s just double the fun to write together), I signed up to take part in an IPSC competition, I’ve recorded with my band and guitar trio, and I’m studying for the year’s last exams. And it feels amazing. My life is finally moving forward, I am moving forward, out of that perpetual limbo, no longer trapped in that couch-shaped cage that was my prison for so long.

    And all of this started with one set of push-ups. That simple exercise we all know, love, and hate. It’s so simple one might even think it couldn’t possibly work, but it does. Try it out. Then again, what works for me, might not work for you, but try different things: go for a walk or a run, go swimming, do yoga, dance. Hell, fuck or masturbate, do whatever it takes to drag your body and mind out of that fog that envelops us when we succumb to inactivity.

    So, get your heart pumping and your testicles or tits quaking, tear down the castle of inactivity, and find that spark again, bring yourself back to life. To paraphrase Geoff Thompson: find happiness through action. I did.