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Posted on November 26, 2018

The truth about going viral

Uncovered

iNews feature about viral story

Having a tweet or funny video go viral is something that most creatives could only dream of. The thought of having hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of the globe repeatedly share something that started off as an idea in a content creator’s mind is the ultimate way to massage one’s ego, right? I’m afraid not.

As many of you know, an open letter I wrote about my experience of being racially sexualised by Irish men received a lot of traction when it was first published. What I thought would open important discourse surrounding interracial dating in a country that I now consider my home, resulted in me being a target for online trolling and abuse.

Receiving hateful messages online after my open letter went viral became such a regular occurrence that it led to me closing my comment section on YouTube and becoming a complete social hermit.

While I did write a blog on how to deal with bad publicity, I never really delved into the darker side of how I felt after the events that transpired. It was just too emotional.

Last week, I finally mustered the strength to do exactly that as I was interviewed by former HuffPost UK Editor Poorna Bell for a feature in iNews.

iNews feature about viral story

The iNews feature highlights the impact of having a story go viral in the wrong and unwanted sense. It was the perfect opportunity for me to share a raw account of how trolling can affect a person’s well-being.

I will admit that I was hesitant at first, but the award-winning journalist dealt with my story with such delicacy and care. Poorna was aware of the sensitivity of the topic throughout the whole interview process – even when she was trying to get to the core of what happened.

I have so much respect for authentic journalists who strive to uncover accurate accounts of real life stories and I genuinely cannot thank Poorna enough for sharing mine in such a raw way.

To read my feature about the very real impact online trolling can have on a person’s well-being, click here.

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    https://youtu.be/DWV0bak54RU There was a time in my life where I believed all publicity was good publicity. But after having been at the receiving end of non-stop hatemail and reading barbaric headlines about myself that just aren’t true. I have to say, I feel very differently about that now. The last…
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYFNq-AO9y8 Happy Monday everyone! I have a new video up on my YouTube channel about some of the positive responses I got to my open letter. In the midst of all the drama and controversy, I did get a few kind and supportive messages from men and women of all ages and…
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Posted on September 24, 2018

‘Women should support women’ – a flawed feminist concept?

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I’ve been in two minds about publishing this piece. I mean, how can I not be? The post-truth era of today is making it increasingly difficult for curious thinkers to have open discourse about important issues. Often times, those who seek out the truth – or at least, their understanding of the truth are branded as ignorant, behind with the times or dare I say, ‘bigots.’

Having been in a position where my own views were misconstrued, I am now very wary about how I express my opinions online. So as a disclaimer, I think it is important to note that this blog is not about discrediting feminism or the efforts of the feminist activists. This blog is about critically looking at some of the standards that are set on women by other women who claim to be members of a movement that is rooted in freedom of choice.

Shall we begin then?

I think mainstream media portrays modern feminism in a way that makes it toxic and full of intellectual inconsistencies. For instance, women who choose to wear the burqa are seen as oppressed, but then women who willingly strut their stuff for a living as grid girls are thought to be in an inappropriate line of work. There seems to be a mixed criteria for who qualifies as a feminist, even within the feminist movement.

I’ve always had a warped impression of the word feminist.  In many ways, I feel that the label has become incredibly tainted overtime. The negative stereotypes attached to the title are even resulting in less and less women identifying as feminist, despite having feminist ideals.

According to a recent poll from Refinery29 and CBS News, about 54% of young women say they do not identify as feminists. Some even believe that there is no need for the current feminist movement at all.

I personally do believe there is a place for feminism today, particularly in Third World countries. However, my growing disillusionment with feminism in Western civilisation is making me increasingly critical of the movement as a whole. Like when I hear the often feminist buzz phrase ‘women should support women,’ I find it incredibly unsettling. There is just something about the word ‘should’ in that sentence that doesn’t sit well with me.

I am someone who champions individuality and thinks there is no shame in embracing the characteristics and attributes that make a person unique. In my thinking, there is an underlying prejudice that exists within the phrase ‘women should support women,’ because it insinuates that being a woman is the only prerequisite for why females should support one another.

I think this immediately disregards important attributes possessed by women that make us valuable candidates for support. It frames women as weak and it fails to acknowledge us as the strong, capable beings that we most definitely are.

I want to be supported based on my merit, not based on my genitalia. I want to know that I am getting a person’s support because they believe in me as a person, not because of my gender. I want your support because your values align with mine.

I believe that women have many wonderful characteristics that make us worthy of support and blindly supporting a  woman just because she is female ignores this.

Women are complex, intelligent creatures that deserve support not for being women but for being exceptional ones.

Granted, supporting anyone in their endeavors is always a positive development. But I can’t help but wonder if the forced nature of ‘women should support women’ goes against feminism, or at least feminism in its true sense.

Riddle me this…

That was funny. But I meant this…

If feminism is about men and women deserving equal rights and separating a person’s gender from their value, worth and place in society because of the idea that men and women are both the same, then isn’t it a bit contradictory to let a person’s sex be the deciding factor for why you support them?

And if feminism is about freedom of choice and women making choices for themselves, then doesn’t the imposing nature of ‘women should support women,’ strip us away of both our choices and ability to think independently? Worth thinking about!

Bottom line, if a person’s decision to support someone centers around gender then I think it diminishes their values, work ethic and merit – all the things that I imagine, would make someone worthy of support.

‘Women should support women’ is reductive and places a woman’s value on gender. My gender is not the whole sum of me and yours shouldn’t be either – see what I just did there? 😉

You are more than your gender, ladies.

Yes, empowered women, empower girls. But it is also true that empowered people, empower everyone.

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Posted on May 18, 2018

The 8th Amendment: 8 pro-life arguments debunked

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repeal the 8th amendment

On the 25th of May, the voting citizens of Ireland will be given the opportunity to make history. We will be given the chance to vote on whether we want to repeal or retain the 8th Amendment, which was voted into the Irish Constitution in 1983 and currently protects the life of the unborn.

The tension created by the upcoming referendum over the past few weeks seems to have polarised the nation, with activists from both sides of the debate playing dirty. I am aware that this topic is incredibly delicate for a lot of women and men, alike and that people have their own personal  reasons for why they will vote ‘Yes’ or  ‘No’ this day next week.

My intention is not to change the votes of those who have a firm and legitimate position in the matter, I understand that when a person’s vote is so deeply rooted in life experience, very little will sway them to the other side.

Instead, I want to help those who are unsure about the 8th and inform them on how it negatively impacts the lives of their sisters, daughters, neighbours and friends – not only when in need of an abortion, but during a continued pregnancy too.

What is the 8th Amendment?

So for those of you who don’t know, the 8th Amendment equates the life of a pregnant person to that of a foetus. It says, ‘the state acknowledges the right to life of the foetus and, with due regards to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that.’

This makes abortion services illegal in Ireland, even in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities. Irish women who need abortion are either forced to travel abroad, adding more expenses and trauma to an already emotional experience, or they can order illegal abortion pills online and risk facing a 14 year prison sentence for perpetrating a crime.

But let’s not put all the focus on abortion or forced pregnancy, the 8th Amendment also affects women while pregnant. The HSE National Consent Policy restricts informed consent and informed refusal of treatment for pregnant individuals.

It states, ‘because of the Constitutional provisions on the right to life of the unborn there is significant legal uncertainty regarding a pregnant woman’s right to consent.’

This means the requirement for informed consent is eliminated and pregnant women are often forced into procedures without the proper information or consultation. While many on the pro-life side claim to love both the mother and foetus, it is clear that the 8th Amendment favours the life of the unborn. It directly removes the person’s right to consent for any procedure during labour and birth where it is deemed to endanger the life of the foetus.

Where do I stand in this debate?

Advocating for the choice to perform an action is not the same as advocating for that action to be performed.

pro choice pro repeal

While I do have ethical opinions on abortion as far as gestation period goes, I personally believe that people in Ireland should have access to legal abortion services in their own country. For that reason, I identify as pro-choice rather than pro-abortion. I feel that being labelled as pro-abortion makes a false claim that I want women to have abortion, when in reality I want women to have a choice to make that decision for themselves. I think using the term pro-abortion places a significant amount of emphasis on the unborn and completely ignores female bodily autonomy.

When I say I am pro-choice, what I really mean is that I am pro-women having agency over their own bodies. When I say I am pro-choice, what I mean is that I don’t believe a person’s moral opinion on abortion should  override another woman’s right to choose and when I say I am pro-choice, what I really mean is that I believe the government should not get to police my body, because forcing unwanted pregnancy on any woman or girl is a form of female oppression.

I often find myself getting riled up when I get into the politics of it all, so to avoid getting overly emotional about this – if I haven’t already – I’m going to introduce some important facts, that may help swing voters make an informed decision on voting day.

With the help of social feminist group Rosa, I was able to compile a list of common arguments from the pro-life side to do some myth-busting about abortion. A massive thank you to the lovely Una for providing me with the information to share these myth-busters with you:

MYTH #1: Abortion is used as a form of ‘birth control’

Abortion is a costly procedure, making the use of contraception much easier than having an abortion. Also, there is not just one reason to have an abortion. People usually have a number of reasons for why they wish to terminate their pregnancy. It is a decision that no person takes lightly.

MYTH #2: Adoption is a better solution

Adoption is still a forced option that puts a woman’s mental health at risk. Forcing someone to continue an unwanted pregnancy affects their mental state and overall well-being.

MYTH #3: Where abortion is legal, women are more likely to be forced into it by abusive partners

Taking autonomy away from women who need abortion will not solve violence against women. If anything, the 8th Amendment causes further damage to women who are in abusive relationships and want to access abortion without the knowledge of their abusive partner.

MYTH #4: Abortions are more dangerous than child birth

Abortion is only dangerous when done illegally and in an unsafe environment. When done under the care of a trained practitioner, they are safe. In fact, the World Health Organisation puts abortion pills on essential medication list. In regards to giving birth, a woman is 14 times more likely to die during childbirth than during an abortion procedure.

MYTH #5: Having abortion increases the risk of mental health problems

Forcing someone to stay pregnant and give birth against their will increases the risk of mental health problems. In fact, 98% would recommend it to other women in the same situation, according to Abigail Aiken Study (2016, North & Southern Ireland).

MYTH #6: Abortion is used to prevent the birth of persons with disabilities

Having a baby with a disability is not an easy thing. Since the severity of all kinds of conditions vary widely, the woman and her family should be best placed to decide if they can handle caring for such a child, not the government.

MYTH #7: Having an abortion increases the risk of infertility, stillbirths and miscarriages in the future

A properly performed abortion will not impact future fertility. It is one of the safest medical interventions. Illegal, backstreet abortions performed with untrained practitioners put women’s lives and fertility at risk, not abortion.

MYTH #8: Countries that have adopted ‘abortion on demand’ legislation have seen a drastic  increase in abortion rates

The abortion rate is stable, with Western Europe having the lowest abortion rate worldwide. In fact, abortion is less frequent in countries with the most liberal abortion.

What is the bottom line?

The focus of this issue should not be on the unborn, we need to prioritise the lives and choices of women. The dialogue surrounding this debate  shouldn’t be about a person’s moral opinion on abortion, it should be about women having the freedom to do what’s best for them and their family. Just because you wouldn’t have an abortion yourself it doesn’t mean you should rob another person of making that decision for themselves.

As I’ve already expressed, people will have their own reasons for why they think the 8th Amendment should be repealed or retained. But for those who are still undecided, don’t be influenced by the false arguments being made by the pro-life campaign. Don’t make this about what you would or wouldn’t do.

It shouldn’t be about you.

It should be about trusting women to make their own choices.

It should be about women having agency over their own bodies.

It is about the continued fight for female bodily autonomy.

In the words of Claire Balding, “At the end of the day Ireland, no human in pro-abortion. But in the democratic society that we live in. we should all be pro-choice.”

Vote ‘Yes’ on the 25th of May.

Vote ‘Yes’ to repeal.

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Posted on April 16, 2018

7 days with no social media: self-liberating or hell on earth?

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This time last week, I committed to giving up social media for one full week. To answer your thoughts, I have not lost my mind – at least that’s what I like to tell myself. I had just  come to the realisation that mindlessly scrolling through Instagram was negatively impacting me in more ways than just one. My obsession with Twitter, an app that more or less promotes talking to yourself, was making me worry about getting relentlessly trolled and Whatsapp, although it doesn’t quit fit in with the other two, was a deadly poison for me.

In a nutshell, I had gotten to a stage where my vast majority of my relationships survived on an app or in front of a screen. Not in the real world.

I decided enough was enough, time to cut the cord and do something about what most would not consider to be an unhealthy addiction. As I briefly mentioned in my blog about being addicted to the gym, many people tend to associate the word addiction with alcohol, drugs and sex – if at all. Very few people consider the likes of social media or technology as something that can be an addiction even though there is an overwhelming amount of research to show that endless Facebook scrolling activates the same area of the brain as taking lethal drugs.

 

I don’t believe that social media addiction – or any addiction for that matter – is one to be taken lightly.  So this time last week, I decided to deactivate all the apps that reduced my level of productivity or generated feelings of negativity for me. This meant no Instagram, no Twitter, no Facebook, no YouTube, no WhatsApp and no Netflix (for good measure) for a full week. I didn’t ban the use of emails as I still needed to stay in touch with PR companies and brands, but anything that rendered me unproductive or didn’t help me flourish my mind or enrich my life, had to go.

No Instagram, no Twitter, no Facebook, no YouTube, no WhatsApp and no Netflix for one full week. Here’s how I survived….. 

DAY 1

My first day of waking up to zero notifications felt more like a relief than anything else. I felt unburdened by the usual messages and notifications that bombard my phone and mind. Since I didn’t have any WhatsApp messages to reply to, I didn’t waste any time lying in bed when I woke up. I got up for the gym at 9am and the after brunch, spent the day with the fam bam before getting stuck into some blog work. After having what I felt was a productive day, I struggled to fill the time that I would normally spend scrolling through Twitter highlights so I decided to hit the gym again in the evening – I know, twice in one day! I think it’s safe to say that day one with no social media was a success in the fitness department 🙂

DAY 2

I woke up as fresh as a daisy and well before my alarm since I had an early night – must have been wrecked from the two workouts! I had plans to spend the day with a friend who rescheduled for the next day so after my morning gym session and post workout fuel, I spent the day in Starbucks getting some writing done – over 16,00 words to be precise! When I got home, I filled the void with a 3 hour Joe Rogan podcast, which is always a learning experience for me. I then did some media prep before having another early night.

DAY 3

I hit the gym first thing in the morning – no surprise there. Then after my brunch, I met up with my friend and spent the day with him. I wasn’t spending the day exchanging voice notes with people I called my ‘friends,’ as I normally would. Instead, I was having a real life connection with a real friend which quickly made me realise that my over dependence on social media has been robbing me of my primitive desire to be around people. I want to say the third day of my social media detox was the day I realised I was a gal who didn’t need social media in my life…

Until this happened…..

DAY 4

While the first few days of my social media diet occasionally saw me instinctively picking up my phone to check for notifications, the reality of my situation really hit me after three nights of living in deprivation. On the third night, I had a dream – or shall I say, a nightmare that I was having a few  conversations on WhatsApp. It felt so painfully real until I woke up in the middle of the night realising I was suffering withdrawal symptoms. If that isn’t serious signs of addiction, then I don’t know what is!

DAY 5

In at an attempt to forget the WhatsApp nightmare, I decided to take another stab of teaching myself how to swim.  After months of living in a delusion and telling myself I would learn how to swim, I had gotten absolutely nowhere. One week of no social media and on the fifth day I managed to do three quarters of a length in the pool for the first time – I actually stayed afloat, kicked and stroked all at the same time! If anything at all were to come out of a no social media challenge, it is this!

DAY 6

Saturday. Usually the most depressing day of the week for a most singletons. But I went to the gym as per usually and spent the afternoon making a crap load of phone calls. The bulk of my day was spent with my mother before calling down to one of the girls. I had zero anxiety about not being on social media at all since I was around real humans outside my immediate family. No concerns about what Twitter trolls might be tweeting, nothing at all!  – but then again, why would I? I’m a pro swimmer now! 🙂

DAY 7

My last day of no social media saw me spending the afternoon in Starbucks,  editing the blog posts I wrote during the week. I planned for the week ahead and mentally prepared myself for rejoining the social media world. I saw another human being, which is always a positive but I’m not going to go counting my chickens just yet -WhatsApp is my first love, after all! 🙂

Reflecting on the past week….

As someone who usually spends the vast majority of time cultivating relationships on WhatsApp, I was surprised by how well I handled not being on social media for a full week – besides the weird dream I had mid-way through my challenge. Getting rid of Netflix in particular meant that I had early nights, which led to early mornings and increased productivity. I filled the time I would usually spend on social media with writing and focusing on various upcoming projects.

As for my obsession with WhatsApp? I dealt with it by spending a lot of my time connecting with  people face to face or making phone calls. Overall, my week was a massive success and rejoining social media today made me realise that I wasn’t really  missing much anyways! 🙂

I would 100% recommend it!

In fact, I may even make it a point to do this detox every couple of weeks. My overuse of social media was not only affecting my level of productivity, but it was also a contributing factor to my appearance anxiety. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I got a lot more done in the week that I refrained from using social media than I did in the two weeks prior to my challenge. But this had me in a better place both physically and mentally.

Have you ever done a no social media challenge? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Now that I am finally back on Twitter, you can Tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

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Posted on October 5, 2017

12 things my 40-year-old self would tell me now

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They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I reckon foresight is even more useful

Farrah Storr, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog called 12 things I would tell my 20-year-old self. If you haven’t read it yet, please know that I was an absolute brat back then. Part of me cringes at the thought of it now because I feel that I’ve  come such a long way to being the woman I am today and I think it is important for each of us to look back and remind ourselves of our progress and the ways in which our past experiences have helped us grow into the strong individuals we’ve become.

While I do feel that I have matured in the last seven years, I believe there is always room for improvement and as much as I’ve enjoyed my life to date, something in me is telling me that some of my best days are yet to come.

So today’s blog post is going to be about the things that I hope an older and wiser me – either reflecting on a rocking chair in a nursing home or exchanging kisses with a loving husband – would tell me now.

1. You will be someone’s queen the second you stop being daddy’s little princess.

2. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your friendships, you need people more than you think.

3. Every flaw on your body tells a story  and you will grow to love them sooner than you think.

4. Positive affirmations will get you there quicker.

5. Some day you’ll lose the anxiety of not carrying a mirror with you everywhere you go. 

6. You never grew those ‘child-bearing’ hips you’ve always longed for, but it didn’t make you infertile, did it?

7. Your small frame doesn’t make you any less of a woman. Women’s bodies come in many different forms and sizes. 

8. PCOS won’t defne you.

9. You will let someone love you someday and that person will add to your happiness.

10. Allowing yourself to feel angry from time to time doesn’t make you that ‘angry black woman,’ never conceal those feelings.

11. Good on you for not following the crowd, even when the pressure was on. You stayed at home, you followed your dreams and look how much it’s paid off?

12. Dick isn’t everything. 

Are there any things you hope an older and wiser you would advise you on now? If so, feel free to tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

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Posted on June 12, 2017

Coping with bad publicity

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There was a time in my life where I believed all publicity was good publicity.

But after having been at the receiving end of non-stop hatemail and reading barbaric headlines about myself that just aren’t true. I have to say, I feel very differently about that now.

The last two weeks have been an absolute roller coaster for me – I got my first hit with the tabloids and I’ve really struggled to come to terms with it all. My initial reaction was to relocate to a non-English speaking country and never come back.  How could an open letter expressing hurt and pain have turned into something so ugly?

Two words: bad journalism

Now I can sit here and moan about how I was played by the media and make myself out to be a helpless victim. But I won’t do that. I refuse to give people who fish for ways to ruin the lives of others for their own personal gain the satisfaction of thinking they can silence my voice when they can’t.

So instead, I am going to focus on the positive because I genuinely do believe that some disappointments are a blessing in disguise and if my experience over the last few days has taught me anything, it is that.

The day the fake news about my open letter started circulating the tabloids I was approached by a number of women’s magazines who were genuinely interested in getting to know me and what prompted me to write the open letter.

A number of radio stations also asked to interview me, but because I was so overwhelmed by what was going on I wasn’t up for some it at the time. Thankfully, I have  since then been given the chance to speak on national radio about the backlash over the last few weeks, giving me the opportunity to set the record straight.

But what I learned the most about this humbling experience is that there are still good people out there and sometimes, it only takes one person to restore your faith in humanity. I do not believe that the racist trolls and the Debbie Downers represent the vast majority of people in the world and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who showed me love and support during this difficult time. Especially to the journalists who actually did their jobs right (surely I’m allowed to throw shade once?)

I will be doing a video on my YouTube channel towards the end of the week about some of the positive reactions I got to my open letter, as I have come to the realisation that I’ve been heavily focused on the negative (it was hard not to).

So keep an eye on my channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

To catch up on my radio interviews, check out the press page on my blog as they should clear everything up for you guys! I feel like I’m finally moving on from this, and I’ve even started working on my next few projects – I want to say they won’t cause as much as a stir. But who would I be if I didn’t cause a little bit of  drama? 😉

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Posted on May 10, 2017

Dear Irishmen, please stop sexualising us

Uncovered

IMG_0505

Dear Irishmen,

There’s more to us than our colour.

There’s more to us than our looks.

There’s more to us than the body that you have unjustly exotified because you refuse to look at what we can offer you intellectually.

We have depth. We have character. We have value.

So please stop sexualising us.

When you sexualise us you don’t make us feel beautiful. You don’t make us feel special. You don’t make us feel unique. You make us feel like an object that you will eventually get bored of and toss out after having derived maximum pleasure from us.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you are merely reminding us that you don’t actually see us. You do not see us for what or who we are. You see nothing more than a physical aspect of us. You see a carnel desire and someone with whom you want to explore your insatiable black girl fetish.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us we can’t help but wonder how much longer you’ll stick around after you get tired of the pigment of our skin.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you are damaging our spirit. Tearing up our soul. You are instilling an insecurity in us about something that we should be proud of.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you’re telling us that we will never amount to anything more than a checklist, a conquest, a tool.

It is degrading. It is diminishing. It is devaluing.

So why do you continue to sexualise us?

IMG-20170510-WA0005

I am not a commodity.

I am not a car for you to test drive one day because you’ve come to the realisation that you’ve yet to try a black one.

I wasn’t brought to this world to explore your sexual curiosity and I do not exist to fulfil your sexual needs.

Dear Irishman, the next time you set your green eyes on me, remember this:

There’s more to me than my colour.

There’s more to me than my looks.

There’s more to me than the body that you have unjustly exotified because you refuse to look at what I can offer you intellectually.

I have depth. I have character. I have value, so please stop sexualising me.

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Posted on March 28, 2017

50 shades of kinky vs 50 shades of gay: the results are in!!!

Uncovered

pegging meme

About a week ago, I made my second appearance on the Chris & Ciara show. In preparation for the segment, I bombarded my Facebook friends with a survey that I created called 50 shades of kinky VS fifty shades of gay.

Disclaimer: less judging and more reading please? Thank you!

The survey was inspired by my most recent YouTube video at the time, where I spoke about a conversation I had with a good friend of mine about pegging and whether we thought it was a homosexual act or not.

pegging deff

I questioned young men and women between the ages of 18 – 34 hoping to get the general consensus on whether or not a woman penetrating a man anally using a strap-on was deemed a homosexual act.

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to some of you that there was a handful of people who wanted zero part of it! They were under the impression that strap-on wearing was a hobby and they’ve now labelled me as a pegging fiend – quite the achievement for someone who’s never owned a toy!

But for those who did partake – thank you!  I got some amount of giggles out of it. Your answers were short, honest and to the point!

So without further ado, here are the final results… it’s time to let the people speak! 🙂

Q. 1 What is your gender?

  • 72% Female
  • 28% Male

Q.2 What is your age?

  • 25% between 18 – 24
  • 64% between 25 – 34
  • 11% between 35 – 44

Q.3 What is your sexual orientation?

  • 88% Heterosexual
  • 2% Homosexual
  • 9% Bisexual
  • 1% Other

Q. 4 Please describe your race

  • 25% Black
  • 70% White
  • 5% Other

Q.5 In your opinion have erotic practices and role play become more mainstream since the launch of 50 Shades of Grey?

  • 43% Yes
  • 22% No
  • 35% Not Sure

Q. 6 Would you consider engaging in erotic sexual activity such as the use of sex toys in the bedroom?

  •  70% Yes
  •  2% No
  •  26% Maybe
  • 2% Never

Q. 7 “If a straight man wants a strap-on to be used on him, he is a closeted gay or has homosexual tendencies?” True/False?

  •  45% True
  •  55% False

Q. 8 “If a straight woman uses a strap on dildo on a man she is a closeted gay or has homosexual tendencies?” True/False?

  • 18% True
  • 82% False

Q. 9 What are your thoughts on women using a strap-on dildo on a straight man?

In one word it’s dominating

Emasculating

It’s just wrong!

And on the flip side…..

Nothing wrong with it if both parties are consenting

If he likes it each to their own, although it would make me question him a little

I’d try anything once. No harm if he’s keen for it. Why not give it a shot. Would be fund to see what it feels like to be the one with a penis for once too

I wouldn’t assume he was gay. But I would bring the question up just in case. I don’t view men that enjoy anal penetration as gay, I just think it’s a sexual act they enjoy!

As these answers (along with the others) would suggest, the participants were divided in their opinion.

However, when asked whether a straight man who wanted a strap-on to be used on him was a closeted gay or had homosexual tendencies, 55% said no – more than half of the people who took this survey did not consider pegging a homosexual act!

Have we as a society become more progressive in our views regarding sexuality, or would the survey have generated different results had more men taken part?

Afterall, 72% who took this survey were female and only 28% were male…..I guess that’s something to think about!

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Hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to watch my YouTube video on this topic! For those of you who missed the segment on Chris & Ciara (Tuesday 21st March), you should be able to find it on the RTE Radio Player!

Happy pegging guys and gals! 🙂

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Posted on February 15, 2017

RTÉ’s 2FM presenters Chris and Ciara on the 5 things Irish guys should never say to black girls on Tinder

Uncovered

chris and ciara

Photo Credit

I think it’s safe to say that yesterday was by far one of the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in a very long time. Without getting into the details of what I did during the day *wink* *wink* last night in particular, I truly did step outside of my comfort zone – I had my first threesome.

DISCLAIMER: please get your mind out of the gutter!!!

Because by threesome, I mean I made a guest appearance on the Chris and Ciara show. Myself and RTÉ’s incredible duo spoke all things Tinder, stereotypes, fetishism and….. there may have been a few mentions of rosey nipples!

I gave them the low-down of some of the things that I think Irish guys should never say to black girls on Tinder!

It’s only after dawning on me that I find black girls attractive and I’d love to have a baby with a black girl

You think that’s bad? Believe you me, it gets worse!

If you missed last night’s segment, then worry not because you can still find it online or by downloading the RTÉ radio player. I’m not on until 1h15 but I would recommend listening to the whole show as it is an Anti-Valentine’s Day theme so it’s full of banter you likely wouldn’t find anywhere else!

rte 1rte 11

And for those of you who did tune in and send me messages and tweets, I can’t thank you enough! I had a fantastic time on the show. If I could do it again, I would! Although I may have slightly hyperventilated after it. But hey, I lived to tell the tale, didn’t I!? 🙂

I hope you have an amazing week and do keep an eye on my new YouTube channel as I plan to talk about some of the funny stereotypes I got during my year of celibacy – gotta love the stereotypes! 😉

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Chris and Ciara is on weekdays Sunday – Thurs on 2fm from 10PM – midnight

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Posted on November 29, 2016

Walk of shame or stride of pride? how these 10 men define the word ‘slut’

Sexuality/ Uncovered

slut-shaming

SLUT. WHORE. TRAMP. SLAG.

These are cheap digs women have used to tear each other down, often in an attempt to make themselves feel more valuable. These are words that boys have unfairly labelled girls after being rejected by a pursued love interest. The insult ‘slut’ and other variations of its kind, is quite possibly one the lowest forms of degradation for a woman – and not so much for a man. But why is that?

That is because men have always embraced going out on the pull and having as many one night stands as they please with little judgement. It has always been a badge of honour for a man to say he has scored a high number of sexual partners. While there has been significant progess in the feminist movement, the question as to whether or not women can do the same will always be up for debate.

Some would argue that women are not biologically built to have multiple sexual partner because of the emotional attachment that comes with sharing such an intimate moment with someone. Personally, I’ve always believed in consistent sex with one partner, so monogamy is a topic I will be touching on another time. But today, I want to dig deep into something I’ve been trying to define for a very long time now: What makes someone a slut? how exactly can does one define what or who a slut is?

slut-shaming-3

I am obsessed with this subject matter. I am both baffled and fascinated by how such a broad term has evolved to something that demeans women for being their sexual selves. What is equallying intriguing is how acceptable it is for women to playfully call each other sluts, yet when a man uses it in the same playful tone, he becomes the mysoginist.

I’ll be the first to admit the the word ‘hoe’ is a regular part of my vocabulary. It is not something I am proud of and I should probably work on it. But it is a word that myself and my close friends would often use to tease each other about our sexual adventures. We use the word so regularly and with so little thought that we have forgotten the connotations that come with the word.

So once again, I ask: what is a slut? Is a slut someone who doesn’t believe in sexual limitations? Is it someone who dresses provocatively?  Is it even about promiscuity at all? What is it and what constitutes of ‘slutty’ behaviour?

I’ve asked men of different ages and backgrounds to define the word ‘slut’ in their own words, these are some of their answers:

Someone who sleeps with anyone and everyone –  anonymous male age 31

A guy or girl who has sex with lots of randomers without protection is pretty slutty. Turns sex into something disposable – anonymous male age 27

People who are only attracted to people because of money, status and looks – anonymous male, age 27

Someone having sex often to boost her disastrously low self-esteem – anonymous male, age 34

A girl who has about three or four lads on the go every week – anonymous male, age 28

slut-shaming-2

And then the liberal-minded….

I’ve never really thought of it. I don’t ever consider people to be sluts, I guess if someone were to sleep with your friend, then that’s a slut – anonymous male, age 28

I’ve never considered a girl or woman to be a slut. A slut is someone who is usually misjudged, having been extra indulgent in sex as a means of satisfying or reaching a misplaced search within. To be a slut takes a kind of courage, but also it lacks another form on courage masks are mostly worn. Take ‘em off & you’ll realise everyone is a slut of some type. Sexual sluts, money sluts, control sluts, power sluts, food sluts, attention sluts – anonymous male, age 28

No such thing as a slut. Just unenlightened people – anonymous male, age 32

Everyone is free to sleep around. I don’t judge people who sleep around, but I do judge them if they do it in a wreckless manner like not being safe and not getting tested regularly because if they’re being promiscuous and have irregular partners then that is essentially spreading diseases – anonymous male, age 29

I don’t really consider anyone a slut, I’m all in favour of promiscuous behaviour – anonymous male,age 31

slut-shaming-4

Judging by the mixed responses here, it is fair to say that we have become more progressive as a society when it comes to female sexuality. I for one can hold my hand up to say that my perception of the word slut has changed with both time and age.

For years I’ve always believed that a slut is a woman who pursues a taken man. A woman who goes back and forth between sexual partners. A woman who constantly cheats on her man with little or no remorse. That is how I’ve always defined what I thought a ‘whore’ was.

But now, I think it goes a lot deeper than someone with loose morals. I think using the word in a way to offend or define someone is a skewed and small minded way of looking at things. Unless you use the word to describe a sex worker who gets paid to perform sexual activities, then the concept of “slut” isn’t real.

In my opinion, we will never come to a global agreement as to what or who a slut, a tramp or a whore actually is. There is no universal definition for it and the subjectivity of the word proves it doesn’t exist.

I may not be a slut by my definition, but I could easily be one to someone else. The bottom line is, we’re all sluts to someone out there! Happy hoeing gals! 🙂

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slut-shaming-1

[29/11/16]

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Posted on September 28, 2016

10 #SingleGirlProblems

Uncovered

single-girl-problems-cover

I would consider myself to be quite a self-reliant person. On my days off work, I’d be pretty content with simply going to the gym for a few hours, doing a bit of writing, meal prepping for the week ahead…. I’ve never really been the type to derive happiness from always being around others. I maintain the majority of my friendships through endless voice noting, which suits me fine. It’s not that I don’t like being around others, I just really enjoy my own company – so much so that my brothers have nicknamed me Anne Frank! So as you’ve probably gathered, the single life is something I’ve pretty much allowed myself to become accustomed to.

But like everything in life, being perpetually single has its disadvantages.  There are times when the idea of having a ‘bae’ again doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world. Like that time when I needed a new phone, I instantly thought ‘having a boyfriend would come in handy right about now,’ or all the times when I’ve had to cover the lunch bill by myself thinking ‘if I had a boyfriend, we’d be going Dutch on this’ – clearly, having a boyfriend can be an investment in more ways than just one!

But all jokes aside, I have to admit that I’ve occasionally wondered how different my life would be if I had a significant other to share it with.  Let’s face it, modern day dating is a psychological war field (Tinder has us ruined) and it can leave hopeful singletons with many wounds – some deeper than others.

So I’ve compiled a list of #singlegirlproblems that us lonesome gals are forced to live with on an almost day-to-day basis – because the couples goals account on Instagram isn’t a fat enough reminder of singleness *eye roll emoji*

1. F**kboys

single-girl-problems-2

A f**kboy (n) is someone who you simply can’t take seriously. They’re timewasters, dead weights, life-sucking creatures. Dealing with f**kboys before settling down is almost a rite of passage nowadays. Continuously having to weed them out and falling into their f**kery trap time after time, only to realise that they’re a dime a dozen.

2. Weekends

While are your friends are off playing happy families with their other half, you’re too busy playing back-to-back episodes of the latest murder documentary. Of course if you had a boyfriend you’d be having sex on a Friday night instead, but you don’t so you’ll just have to settle for binging on Making a Murderer – ah well, you could be watching worse things!

3. Cold nights

With the cold slowly creeping in on us, the hunt for a Winter bae is at a peak. The closer it gets to Winter, the more you find yourself scrolling through your friend zone list to see who could make a potential faux-beau. I don’t blame you, it is a sad affair to not have a warm body to accompany you under the duvet in mid-November – go hard or go home right?

4. Lonely nights

It’s one thing to have the chills under the duvet, but to be horny on top of that is just the peak of the iceberg. Maybe it’s time to invest in Winter toys. Lots and lots of pretty toys.

5. Post shave feels

That feeling you get after shaving. You’re smooth, you feel sexy, you want to….. oh no wait, you can’t do that, you’re single!

6. Sneaky set ups

‘John is looking very well isn’t he?’ Nudge nudge, wink wink, hint hint. You guessed it, well-meaning friends who often think of you as a charity case! Well on behalf of all single gals across the globe, I would like to say that John looks exactly as he did last week and he will most likely look the same next week. We don’t need your help and we can live without your pity. Thanks, but no thanks.

7. You and a ‘plus one’

You really feel the sting of being single when you get an invite that says ‘you and your guest’ or see a Facebook post that says ‘tag who you would bring’ to this romantic restaurant….. I desperately need an eye roll emoji for these blog posts!

8. The million-dollar question

If it’s not the pity look, it’s ‘what you single for? You can have anyone, shur you’re unreal looking’ or something along those lines… as if my looks has anything to do with why I occasionally battle with Single Girl Syndrome. Maybe, just maybe I haven’t come across someone I like enough to make me want to change my selfish ways, ever think about that Susan?

9. The mistletoe

If you didn’t feel the urge to single Justin Bieber’s ‘under the misteltoe’ after that, then you’re doing this whole single life thing entirely wrong! Not having a holiday beau means more than missing out on an extra Christmas gift. It also means saying goodbye to a kiss under the mistletoe.

10. The big countdown

single-girl-problems-4

That dreaded moment before the final countdown to the New Year. Everyone is coupled off, ready for their kiss and with only a few minutes before midnight, you have to choose between finding someone yourself so you don’t look like a loser or remaining that strong independent woman that you were always meant to be. If you choose the latter, then I will see you at the bar! I say kudos to us for not conforming to society’s way of living. In the words of Robyn ‘I’m not the girl you’re taking home, I keep dancing on my own……’

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Posted on September 5, 2016

10 things nobody tells you about online dating

men/ Uncovered

dating first date

Dating. I’ve never really been a fan of the term. Not only do I think it’s very American, but the word itself makes me incredibly awkward. Whenever I hear the word date, I automatically picture two strangers sitting in close proximity to one another in an often controlled environment: uncomfortable body language, pecking at food instead of wolfing it down, planned topics of conversation to fill the silence…. nobody is ever truly themselves, and to be quite frank, I wouldn’t expect it to be any different either.

After all, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, especially after a few weeks of texting (and possible virtual stalking), it’s only natural to have certain expectations of them – as they’d likely have for you. So making a good first impression is an unsurprising goal for most. Everyone is simply trying to be the best version of themselves – which in retrospect, isn’t exactly something to fault them for.

As a recent blog post would suggest, I jumped onto the online dating game rather late. The now deleted dating app, Plenty of Fish, gave me a countless amount of giggles. While it was fun for the most part, it did teach me things that I would never have known had I decided against exploring this contemporary dating wave . They are the raw truths about the dating world which most people would be inclined to leave out:

1. It’s bloody exhausting!

From praying you remember the details of your conversations to hoping you don’t confuse his occupation for someone else’s, dating really can be mentally draining. It’s one thing to be mentally exhausted from texting two or three POF lads at a time, but it’s a whole different level of exhaustion when you thought you had something special going with someone, only for things to fizzle out after a few weeks – then you have to start all over again.

DATING TIRED

2. You might gain a few

Nobody wants to be that annoying gym head who orders a caesar salad with no caesar dressing on a first date. So naturally, you’re going to bend your diet rules a little bit. Extra side dressing here, a creamy dessert there and before you know it, you’ve piled on a few around the waist – not a fun predicament!

3. It can be time consuming

Instead of spending your time productively and doing valuable things such as reading (a book, not a FB status), you may find yourself randomly scrolling through messages or swiping left and right during a commute. You may become so engulfed in the online dating world that waking up to Facebook newsfeed becomes a thing of the past because the thought of waking up to Tinder sounds more appealing.

4. The ‘spark’ tends to fizzle out

You see someone you like. You match with them. You talk for a bit. Meet up. Continue talking, but a lot less this time. You forget about each other. You see someone else you like. You match with them. Talk for a bit. Meet up once. Continue talking, but a lot less this time…. see where I’m going with this? It is frightening how typical it is for things to fizzle out. Nobody ends it, nobody’s feelings get hurt. It just dies. Evaporates. Into thin air.

dating disposable

5. You’re not the only one who has his attention

This may sound like a no brainer to some, but if you get easily attached to someone you like then a reminder is needed. It’s quite likely that you’re not the only one talking to this person. Try not to put all your eggs into one basket, you’ll only find yourself disappointed.

6. There are a lot of broken hearts out there

You don’t realise how much baggage others carry until you actually talk to them. You’d be surprised by how many people have gone through similar experiences as you (if not worse). It might make them a bit more guarded and more closed so I guess you have to be patient.

7. It can promote the idea that people are disposable

 This whole swiping business on Tinder can instill the mindset that people are disposable. Considering how easy it is to organise a ‘date’ with someone, you might find that some people put very little effort into it because they know they can always find someone else just around the corner.

dating swiping on Tinder

8. You don’t know anyone’s true intentions

He can say he wants to date you, he might even wine and dine you for a while. But how can you be sure that you won’t get kicked to the kerb after he gets what he wants? You don’t. Unless you have some sort of superpowers, you won’t always know. You’re taking a leap of faith with the whole thing. The only certainty is that nothing is certain.

9. You can build friendships from it

Sometimes a romantic relationship isn’t the only thing to flourish from a Tinder or POF date. You might meet someone amazing and after a while, realise they would make a better friend than a partner. Everlasting friendships may come from ‘dating’ apps as well, and that can be a good thing.

10. You get to know what you want

Putting yourself out there to meet new people and going on random dates does have its perks (and I’m not talking about the free meals here) an even bigger benefit has to do with self growth: you get to know what you want. Be it romantically or platonically, it helps you discover what you like and what you don’t like. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself to find that what you thought you always wanted isn’t what you need.

WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS

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