Ladies, buy a vibrator. Just do it.

I am honestly embarrassed by how long it took me to buy a vibrator. I started speaking out about female sexual empowerment years ago and yet I’ve only had a vibrator for a few months.

This topic can be a bit, ahem, personal for some. Vibrators are usually purchased for masturbation which is a topic some young women are still uncomfortable talking about. Buying and using a vibrator can be intimidating for a couple reasons, but I’m going to share how to get over those and why it is ultimately SO worth it to purchase one and to learn to use it.

Ok so first things first, the most intimidating factors that prevented me from getting a vibrator for so long are: an overwhelming amount of choices, cost, and fear of not being able to use it.

There are a million different vibrators out there and the best way to narrow that down is to get a recommendation. I put off getting one for years until I had a great discussion with a close friend about which ones she had found and liked. So, if you feel comfortable talking to your mom or your friends, ask them what they use! If not, go straight to the biggest sex store you can find and the sales people are usually amazingly kind and helpful. It is their job to make sure you find what you need. And as far as cost goes, you really don’t have to spend much to get a high-quality product. Check out this one from Amazon to see what I mean. Lastly, if you’re afraid you won’t know how to use it, I promise you will be fine. This is a personal purchase which means you have tons of freedom to figure it out on your own without any pressure. You never have to feel insecure or weird because you’re the only one in the room!

The reason I think these are so vital is because the return on an investment in a vibrator is twofold. And we are talking twofold in a big way.

First off, purchasing a vibrator allows you much more freedom to explore your sexuality in a solo environment. Although this could take a sec to get used to, adding an extra element to your personal sex life could give you a much wider range of sensations to experience and can help you figure out what kinds of things you especially like. Factors such as pressure and frequency are easily regulated in this situation and can help you pinpoint what it is that your body responds to the most. This knowledge is vastly helpful when you add in a human partner to the mix because then you know EXACTLY what you want and feel way more comfortable being able to ask for what you want instead of being unsure or confused.

The second major benefit to owning a vibrator is that it can help put you in control of your own pleasure. For example, I have a long-distance boyfriend, but I should not be limited to only having an orgasm when he’s around. The vibrator allows me to have one whenever the fuck I want, just as guys can come whenever they want. Furthermore, some sex positions aren’t really conducive to an orgasm for me, but if I add a vibrator it makes things WAY more interesting.

Female anatomy can be confusing to figure out in the pleasure sector and some ladies might not even need a vibrator to achieve those elusive O’s. But I for sure did. In just a few months of owning one, I have discovered so much more about what I like and about my body and I consider that kind of knowledge ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE. So if you’re unsure about what you like or are having trouble reaching that next level of satisfaction, maybe look into getting one. There’s no harm in at least checking them out 😉

 

Advertisements

CANADA – Banff Travel Guide

Unless you’re Canadian, or a ski bum, you might not have heard of Banff. Banff is a small mountain town in Western Canada, about a 3-hour flight from LA, and an hour and a half from the fifth largest city in Canada, Calgary. While Calgary has its own set of attributes, we’ll cover those later. This travel guide only focuses on Banff and the surrounding area because it’s a place I had never even heard of and subsequently love.

 

img_1937

Lake Louise

 

Let’s get one thing straight here: I am not a cold weather friend. I hate being cold, would rather BURN to death than freeze, and do not participate in winter/snow based sports. However, Banff made me reconsider my views.

Banff is actually a resort town within Banff National Park. Banff National Park and the surrounding area is nestled within the Rocky Mountains and offers stunning mountain views along with a seemingly endless opportunity for snow sport, hiking, and camping. The resort town itself is home to shops, restaurants, cafes, and the ever beautiful Banff Springs Hotel. Banff is also nearby the Lake Louise Village and national Park. Lake Louise is a stunning lake snuggled into the mountains with opportunity for ice skating in the winter and canoeing in the summer.

img_1888

Johnston Canyon Icicles

 

 

img_1887

Johnston Canyon

 

I have been out to Banff twice now. The first time was just to see the town and the mountains because it was absurdly cold. But this second time, I managed to fit in Lake Louise, skiing, hot springs, and some hiking. And despite my abhorrence for the cold, I thoroughly enjoyed all of my time spent in it.

Now for the nitty gritty, if you’re a snow-sport lover, then Banff is not a place to be missed. Easiest ways to get there are to fly into Calgary airport (YYC) and then rent a car to make the drive or book a tour. Luckily my boyfriend drove us, but it is not difficult to get there, with a major highway leading straight from Calgary into the mountains.

As far as accommodation goes, the Fairmont Banff Springs is a beautiful (albeit pricey) hotel with all the amenities one could need and stunning mountain vistas. However, in the event that it is too expensive (like for me), there are numerous lodges, inns, and hotels in the town, although the Fairmont is still worth a visit for its gorgeous interior and/or spa if you feel so inclined.

 

IMG_1977.JPG

Fairmont at Banff Springs

 

Alright, once you’ve got transport and lodging squared away, it’s time for the fun stuff! If you’ve got a weekend and some ambition, you can explore almost all of what Banff has to offer. Firstly, I recommend going skiing at Sunshine hill. This was my first time, so I might not be the best person to taking skiing advice from, but I CAN tell you that this ski resort was positively BRIMMING with tourists from all over the world who had come for the skiing. There is a wide variety of hills for all skill levels and the view is just insane. Skiing will probably take the better part of the day, so after that, I recommend going to the Hot Springs in Banff. The springs are naturally heated and even in negative temps, you’ll be comfortable in the outdoor hot pool under the stars.

 

IMG_1886.JPG

Ski induced suffering sucks a little less with a view like this…

 

For the following day, I recommend getting up early and heading a few more kilometers up to Lake Louise. When you get there, you can go ice skating, or you can simply walk around the lake and admire the ice sculptures. Overseeing the lake is the Fairmont Chateau, another gorgeous hotel that deserves a walk through, at least while you’re warming up from all the ice. The park surrounding Lake Louise is also prime for more downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and even dog sledding to my SUPREME DELIGHT! But once you’ve had your fill of the cold for the day, heading back into Banff town to have dinner and explore the shops is a wonderful way to end your stay. Especially since the town is all lit up at night.

 

img_1919

Lake Louise, Mountains, and Ice sculptures

 

I would have never thought to go to Banff on my own, but now that I’ve made it out there, I know I’ll be spending a lot more time in the mountains.

Living Up to Your OWN Standards

Every time I read an article about a twelve-year-old who sold an app to google, I die a little inside. Replace that twelve-year-old with a teenager who started a successful company or a young twenty-something who has already achieved millionaire status. It seems like everywhere I look these days, there is somebody younger than me who is vastly more successful and that reminds me just how little I have accomplished in my short twenty-two years on this Earth.

I say to myself ‘what have you been doing, Melina? You could have invented something, made a bunch of money, started a company, saved a species, if you had only tried harder, earlier’ I feel an enormous sense of failure having not done anything that anyone would describe as ‘remarkable’.

This kind of exposure can be tough to take. With social media, you can hear about every hyper-successful up and comer around the world. It is easy to be jealous of their success and to become filled with self-doubt that you’ll never amount to anything because you missed your window or because you believe these types of people are exorbitantly more intelligent or driven than you are.

I suffer from this A LOT. I feel intensely inadequate and like a straight up bum when I read or hear about these kinds of people. Consequently, I’ve had to develop a method to cope with this instead of just giving up on life because I wasn’t a pubescent tech genius.

I’ve boiled it down to the fact that I’m not jealous of these people because they’re successful, rich, famous, or smart. I’m jealous of them because they clearly had a direction. If someone is a world class pianist at the age of 11 or they made a million by 18, they didn’t get there by accident. They believed in a path of life so powerfully that they acted on it and gave their all to it. Those kinds of accomplishments don’t just take hard work and intelligence, they take devotion. To reach the highest echelons of success in a particular area, one has to be devoted to it. And THAT is what I’m jealous of.

For example, I have this friend who is currently finishing up an aerospace engineering degree at MIT. In short, her goal is to be an astronaut. But what is so astounding about her is that she has had this goal FOREVER. She is twenty-one years old, and as far as she can remember, she has had the goal of being an astronaut and has done everything in her power to achieve it. She has direction.

I, on the other hand, don’t have a direction. Sure, I have a great job, hobbies, and friends, but there is not one direction where I would feel comfortable and productive devoting myself to. And that is the part of these peoples’ success that I find myself being envious of. I wish I had a direction for myself because I know that if I had a clear idea of what I wanted to become, I would probably be successful at achieving it. Innately, I realize that aspiring to accomplish the same things as other people is not what I actually want. As cliche as it sounds, I want to be the best version of myself in the end.

In simpler terms, a basketball player would never be jealous of a successful gymnast because they know they have different directions. The basketball player wants to be the best basketball player, not the best at any other sport.

By the same logic, I cannot compare myself to these people I read about online because we don’t have the same goals. I can’t compare myself to the five-year-old boy who performed at Carnegie hall because it was never my goal or direction to become a world class musician. I can’t compare myself to the twenty-six-year-old billionaire founder of Snapchat because it was never my goal to be a tech billionaire (although I wouldn’t say no…). And that is how I have to think. I have to learn to be ok spending this time figuring out a direction and to learn to rely on the idea that when I find my own direction, I’m going to kick. its. ass.

 

yourownstandards

Smile to keep from dwelling on the confusion of your own life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitch Sessions: So you wanna look like an Athlete?

People use athletes as inspiration all the time, especially as fitness inspiration. These are people that dedicate their lives to being in shape, so it is understandable as to why us mere mortals would aspire to their body types.

HOWEVER, as a former competitive swimmer, something I think people fail to realize is that athlete’s bodies are finely honed skill machines. Their bodies pay the price in blood, sweat, and tears, to be the best at a CERTAIN SET of skills. They don’t work out for aesthetic reasons, they work out for PURE FUNCTION. Gymnasts don’t set out to have a six pack, they set out to do crazy tumbling runs and feats of balance, and the six pack is a by-product of that. Personally, I have particularly great back muscles. But those aren’t from me wanting excellent back definition, it’s leftover from years and years of developing those muscles to pull me through the water for swimming twenty-five hours a week.

Athletes are proud of their bodies because they can do things that other people’s bodies can’t do. They can jump, run, swim, flip, and even hold their breath better than everyone else because they train for those specific goals. They train day in and day out for years on end to become just marginally better than before, and that is something most people don’t understand.

To be clear, I’m not hating on people who have never played a sport competitively, I just want those people to realize that having an athlete’s body is typically not a realistic goal. For example, I used to spend 90 minutes swimming in the morning, then two and a half more hours swimming in the afternoon five days a week, with swim meets on weekends, and this was in HIGH SCHOOL. The people we usually end up seeing on TV are people who are professional, their sport is their entire life.

Most of us go to the gym for one of the following reasons: stress relief, health/wellbeing, aesthetics. There are a few who are training for races or other kinds of competitions, but they make up a very small percentage of the population. The vast majority of us who workout spend thirty to ninety minutes in the gym a few times a week. While that is great for overall wellness, it is NEVER going to make you look like a professional athlete.

The reason this gets under my skin is whenever people make negative comments about athlete’s bodies. Serena Williams is a great example. She has won 23 grand slam titles and yet people still attack her body, calling her manly, or using other horrendous terms. For one thing, it’s just unacceptable to body shame anyone, but in addition, did you not hear me the first time!? She has won 23 grand slam titles! More than anyone, EVER! She has trained her body to play tennis so well that her skills are virtually unparalleled, and people still have the nerve to hate on her body?! It’s appalling.

This happens quite often to female athletes since apparently female muscle isn’t appreciated in society, but male athletes aren’t exempt either. Marathon runners are made out to be too thin, cyclists are teased for their smaller upper bodies, and offensive linemen catch flack about carrying too much weight. But those runners can complete twenty-six miles in just over two hours, cyclists can finish dozens of miles pedaling uphill, and that offensive lineman could probably kill you.

So the next time you’re about to say a soccer player has thunder thighs or that a swimmer has manly shoulders, just stuff it, because their body can do things yours can only dream of.

 

athletebody

No longer a competitive athlete, but it’s harder to lose the habits than you’d think…