I’m Sorry But…

I plan on waiting until marriage to have sex.

*queue gasps and accusations of prudery*

I have a lot of reasons for wanting to do this, some of which I don’t feel like sharing with you. But here are some I will: I don’t feel mature enough to handle that level of intimacy yet, and don’t think I’ll trust someone enough to go through that with them until I’m at least engaged to them. I want a commitment from that person, because I will feel committed to them. I’m also a religious person, and believe that God meant for sex to be shared between two people who are bonded to each other by at least love.  There are more, but for now that will suffice.

Here’s the thing, just because I want to wait until marriage doesn’t mean that I think other people are “wrong” or “evil” for not waiting.  See, I have come up with a mini checklist for healthy sex. (*disclaimer* This, by no means, is an all-inclusive list, nor do I think that this list should be used by everyone.  This is merely my guideline, and in case you haven’t noticed, I like lists. So don’t bite my head off, please)

–You’re at least 17:  Why? Because in most states, sex under that age is illegal. Anyway, why on Earth should CHILDREN be having sex anyway.  I’m sorry if this upsets some of you, or if some of you have had sex before this and are perfectly ok with that.  I just honestly don’t believe that a normal child (meaning one that hasn’t been forced by some circumstances to mature early) is capable of making that decision and dealing with the consequences.

–You’re in a committed relationship:  This is what I need. Ideally, this is what everyone should have, I believe. I mean, sex is a big deal.  You need someone who can go through it with you, who will respect you, and who won’t abandon you after it happens (so, obviously, you need to be in a relationship with a non-jerk/jerkette).

–You’re in full control of your faculties:  AKA you’re not drunk, high, on extreme psychiatric medication, etc.

–You’re not under duress in any way: So, you’re not being pressured into it or physically forced to do it.  This can get pretty intense, so I won’t get into details here, but, basically, if you’re having sex for any reason besides the fact that you’re in love with (or care deeply for) the person you’re doing it with, and that you want to do this as an expression of that care… then don’t do it. Which reminds me…

–You care deeply for that person: To me, this is obvious.

–You understand the risks involved with having sex, and are prepared:  unprotected sex when you’re not in a position to care for a baby is ABSOLUTELY stupid.  I’m sorry, but use birth control. Get it. Use a condom. Protect yourself as much as you can from STD’s. Just do it.  It’s not fair to your potential kid if you are irresponsible and can’t possibly take care of said child.

I believe that’s it.  I expect a lot of backlash from this (because, obviously, the entire world reads my blog).  In all seriousness, though, this is my checklist.  Be smart, safe and respect yourself and your partner.  Sex is fun, wonderful, sweet, and awesome. Sex is also serious, sometimes dangerous, and an important step in every relationship.  So “sex responsibly.”

Again, if you have casual sex with people you’re not in love with, and are safe about it, more power to you.  I don’t judge you (unless you do it A LOT, because then, I’m sorry, but you’re kinda slutty).  The key is that you’re respectful and safe.  What you’re doing, though, isn’t ideal to me.

I hate moral relativism, but for some things, that’s how it has to be.  Everyone is different, and everyone is affected differently by life events.  I know myself well enough to know that I would regret doing anything sexual with someone I didn’t care a great deal about, who didn’t respect me, and who I wasn’t at least exclusive with.  I have some friends who are totally ok with having casual sex, and do so selectively and safely.  That’s fine too.  See, they fit most of the points above.  They’re safe, they at least like and know the other person, they’re of age, they understand the repercussions of sex, they’re not drunk, and they’re at least not helping someone cheat.

So there you go.

10 Reasons Why I Still Love Sex and the City

   

1.  Mr. Big.  *Sigh*  I don’t know what it is with this man, but I love him.  He’s such an ass, but he’s vulnerable too.  He loves Cary. Not to mention, he’s so…. classic. *Sigh*


2. Carrie and Big Moments.Heart-wrenching. Lovely. Lovable. AW! 🙂

   3. It’s insightful. Believe it or not, SATC points out some important issues.  Sex, gender relations, love, marriage, relationships, etc. It brings up questions that people are sometimes afraid to bring up.

   4. It’s educational. I know, I know, it’s a weird point, but it’s true.  I’ve learned a lot about sex, relationships, and myself by watching this.  For example, I didn’t know that a lot of things were possible, or that people did certain things, sexually, until I watched this show. Also, I had no idea how an adult relationship is maintained (I know that it’s on TV though. I don’t think everything’s real. But it still has at least an echo of truth). As for what I learned about myself:  It’s amazing what you learn about yourself by watching different situations occur.  I learned what my limits are, what I think is important in a relationship, how much I empathize with certain situations, and how much I disapprove of other situations.  Learning by observation. Fun stuff.
   5. The Supporting Characters. Seriously, how can you not love Stanford, Anthony, Skipper, and everyone else? I mean, seriously?!


   6. It encourages open mindedness. It’s set in NYC.  Talk about diversity. They interact with all types of people from all walks of life.  Their lives may be completely and totally different than yours.  Yet, if you actually watch it, you start to care about those characters.  You realize, “Wow. These are people too, no matter how different they are.”  To me, this is an important message.  Some people can’t get over their prejudices, or the feeling that people who don’t share their viewpoints are evil somehow (*cough*my parents *cough*), but I think it’s important to see how people who live a different life than you can still be good, or can still be nice.
   7. Shopping. Ok, so I’m girly.  Sue me (please don’t).  I love shopping.  I’m more of a bargain shopper, but I still love certain brands (Burberry *sigh*).  I think everyone’s dreamed of being able to walk into those fancy stores in NYC and just buy (and wear) whatever they want.  The girls in SATC live a fantasy life, full of big paychecks, gorgeous clothes, tons of shoes, and awesome apartments. Watching SATC is like window-shopping for a fantasy life.


   8. The men are hot. Ok, so there are some guys who aren’t that attractive.  But you can’t tell me The Absolut Hunk isn’t GORGEOUS.

Mr. Big *sigh* is gorgeous in his own way.  Aiden is all rugged and manly, and Steve is like a cute little Teddy Bear (with a pronounced New York accent).

Then, there are the temporary men.  Let’s face it, it’s nice seeing some attractive men.


   9. The friendship. Honestly, this is one of the best parts of SATC.  You see this friendship: four women with all of their problems, in one of the harshest, busiest cities somehow find a way to comfort, support, and love each other.  It remind me of my friends.  I actually have a group of four friends, and it’s amazing to see how similar my friend group is with the one on SATC.  They’re stressed, they can’t see each other all the time, their lives are so crazy, but whenever they’re together, they’re fine. It’s heartwarming and fantastic.  In the end, SATC isn’t so much about sex and romance as it is about how this great friend group can survive through thick and thin.

10. You can watch it again and again.  Seriously, no matter how many times I watch it, I still laugh at the embarrassing moments, cry when Carrie and Big break up, and cry tears of joy when they finally get together.  It’s just a good story, and good stories never get old.

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My Fourth of July Pie

So, for the 4th of July, I decided to make a berry pie.  I decided to use strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries (the whipped cream/ice cream provided the necessary white element).  I found this recipe online, and I LOVED it.  I got tons of compliments on my crust, and of course, the berries were fantastic.

Here’s the recipe! : It was really informative. I will DEFINITELY be making this again.

Short Crust Pastry:

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 – 120 ml) ice water

Berry Filling:

2 cups (1 pint) (480 ml) fresh blueberries

2 cups (1 pint) (480 ml) fresh blackberries

1 cup (1/2 pint) (240 ml) fresh strawberries, sliced

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar (use a little more or a little less sugar depending on sweetness of berries)

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

1 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)

1 tablespoon (14 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Glaze:

Cream

Granulated white sugar

Short Crust Pastry:  In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).)  Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim any overhanging pastry to an edge of 1/2 inch (1.5 cm). Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, while you make the filling. 

Remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 13 inch (30 cm) circle. Using a pastry wheel. sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1 inch (2.5 cm) strips. Place the strips of pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. 

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Put a baking sheet on the oven rack. (The pie plate will be placed on the hot baking sheet to catch any spills.)

Make the berry Filling:  In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest. Place the berries in a large bowl.  Add the sugar mixture to the berries and gently toss to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and dot with the 1 tablespoon of butter. Then, lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with cream.

Remove the lattice pastry from the refrigerator and, starting at the center with the longest strips and working outwards, space the strips about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Use the shortest pastry strips at the outer edges. Then, rotate pie plate a quarter turn, and repeat the process with the rest of the strips. Weave the top strips over and under the bottom strips. Trim the edges of the strips, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) overhang. Seal the edges of the pastry strips by folding them under the bottom pastry crust and flute the edges of the pastry. Brush the lattice pastry with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake the pie for about 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Continue to bake the pie for about 35 – 45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the juices are bubbling and thick. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring or aluminum foil. 

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.  Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers for 2 – 3 days at room temperature.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/BerryPie.html#ixzz20Ysgg3GU

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