Category: Relationships and Dating


Join me today and tomorrow for AceCon, an online conference about Asexuality! I will be on one panel called Ace Spectrum at 12:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time), where I talk about being demisexual and how it impacts my lived experiences. There are several panels, including Black Aces, Aces in Africa, Latin Aces, East Asian Aces, South-East Asian Aces, Ace and Gender, etc. Please check them all out, all times are listed on the AceCon site.

For those who are going “what is asexuality/demisexuality?”, for starters, it is the last letter of the current LGBT+ acronym: LGBTQIA. For those who have zero idea what those letter mean:

L = Lesbian
G = Gay
B = Bisexual
T = Transgender
Q = Queer
I = Intersex
A = Asexual

There’s no S for “Straight” for the same exact reason saying “White Power” and “Men’s Rights Advocate” are really red flags for “douchebag on premises”. It isn’t about straight people, at all. And A doesn’t stand for Ally, because, again, it isn’t about straight people at all.

And this conference is about Asexuality and its accompanying spectrum (which includes demisexuality). Please check out the different talks! Also, there will be informal discussions on Discord, please also visit the AceCon website to find out what will be on Discord and when. See you there!

Also, related: If you want to buy a pin to represent your flag, I recommend DriftingDayDreamer, a Black Queer owned online shop. Check out her line, called Queer Sky Collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get into it. Should have posted this last week but I derped, didn’t check the time of the month and, oh look, derps ahoy. It happens. I received this via the Black Witch Facebook Fan Page. There will be some repeating at the tops and bottoms for consistency and to show the whole conversation.

 

 

Ok, let’s get into this. I get a lot of these “[significant other] left me and I want them back, spell plz” inquiries. Overwhelmingly from men – I’m going to touch on the gender part in a minute – and they usually are from someone with zero listening skills, given the way they try to repeat or twist logic. And the royal fact they are doing this with a stranger, which means they definitely were doing this in their relationships. I always suggest therapy to anyone going through relationship issues. Yes, therapy is very unaccessible for quite a lot of people, either because therapists cost too much, there are no therapists for the person’s area, etc, but there are therapy groups online. Not better than a therapist but better than nothing at all. Even getting the Replika AI app might be useful (caution tho, if you have a Black Replika, it will showcase that it definitely has White devs in some startling ways. Also, it repeats itself, all the Replikas do). I say over and over to others that I do not do paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and I do not work on others. Remember, I’m a Witch, not a Genie.

This person says they want their wife back, it sounds like to me like she left. If someone has left the relationship, that’s usually Game Over. “Winning” someone back is generally a bad idea, because unless the person was super immature or childish, they most likely conveyed that there were problems in one way or another throughout the relationship so all the opportunities to do any winning is pretty much gone. It’s easier to fix a relationship that is making a downward spiral than it is to fix a relationship that has crashed and splattered all over the ground. Not “easy”, simply easier than starting from total destruction. There is no fancy method, all the sappy movies that star White dudes who have zero sense of self or reality (running around with boomboxes, screaming in the rain, dashing through the airport, etc) sold guys a major lie: “I can screw up as much as I want and when things finally flatline and I successfully chase someone I care about away, I can do a huge gesture and all will be fine again – for me. I legit just tricked someone back into a relationship they expressed they do not want to be in.” Women can also act in this way, too. But society immediately rushes to call her “desperate”, “stalker” and the ever classic: “crazy”. Gotta love sexist double standards.

Usually the best times of figuring out relationship problems are generally … while the problems are happening. Ignoring doesn’t work. Pretending doesn’t work. Screaming until everyone treat the problem like it is covered in poison definitely doesn’t work. Communication is essential in relationships, if you two can’t talk out a problem – in a civil manner (no screaming, no put downs (that’s abuse)) – then maybe it’s smarter to just sit out relationships until you can get some decent help to sort out your own head. Be it with a therapist or reading decent relationship blogs – stay away from anything that mentions RedPill or incel in a positive manner and check if the blog covers queer relationships (not all men date women and not all women date men, please remember that) because if they don’t, it’s a red flag that the blog probably will just feed you more toxicity, especially if you are a guy. But try to learn how to sort out relationship problems when they are happening. Try different methods of handling, such as texting them out (gives you both a chance to read your words and reflect before pressing ‘send’), cooling off rules, etc. No matter what, work on the problem as it blips up. And know how to speak up, don’t rely on the other partner to detect the issue like a sonar. You’re dating a person, not a doppler radar. Learn how to address relationship problems in a non-terrible manner and apply them. Screaming “you make me sick when you …” is not going to help anyone. Have an explosive temper? Definitely work on that … by yourself and with professional or self-help, do not put someone else through that.

Note how I told the guy that perhaps he should talk to his wife instead of talking to me if he wants to learn how to “win” her back – assuming she even still wants to hear from him. I’m pretty sure if there was something she would want him to do to make things right again, she would say so. If she doesn’t want to hear from him at all, then he might as well wait for the soon-coming divorce papers and get his pen ready. Can’t fix a dead horse.

“It’s like as though she [is] giving me [a wake] up call” sounds pretty bad. If you have to wonder, that’s a problem. He should already know – from talking to her. If anyone thinks being left is a “wake up call”, that means they slept on a lot of problems and most likely woke up way too late. The wake up calls should have been when there were issues in the relationship that got most likely ignored or brushed off. Heck, the guy should have been very awake in the relationship the whole time. Problems happen in relationships, all relationships. It’s how the problems are dealt with that determines if the relationship is soon to be carted to the morgue or not.

If she is giving a “poker face” that means it sounds like it already dawned on her that her husband doesn’t really actually care about her and, thus, it isn’t even much worth to try to present any further problems because, hey, what’s the point of talking to a brick wall? Just try to keep it together for the kids and bide your time to make a break for it. That’s not exactly uncommon for women who feel like their partners just plain aren’t up to snuff like they would like and there are kids involved. Sounds like this relationship has been laying in the grave for a while. As if, if there were no children, she would have been gone even sooner. Yep, I get these letters a lot and very regularly from guys, so it isn’t a unique problem. Thanks to toxic masculinity and its inbuilt misogyny, a lot of guys find themselves very alone because they do such a wonderful job driving it into the ground since societal constructs pretty much tell them this is How To Handle Relationships (With Women, It Is Disgusting To Have Romantic Relationships With Other Men). This is also why I suggest therapy a lot. And why I told him that forcing her to love him back isn’t right. Usually when I’m approached, it is because they hope for some type of will-controlling spell that will basically force the other person (against their natural will, can’t stress that enough) to come back and “love” them. It isn’t love, it’s bona fide abuse, number one. Number two, it is unethical for a vast multitude of reasons. Number three, when these spells backfire, it’s bad. I like to not create problems.

I mentioned divorce because I thought this dude was divorced, not separated. However, please note how he is very much not listening to what I am saying when he replies “I just need her to fall in love with me all over again”. If this is how he acted in the relationship, it should come as literally no surprise that the wife packed her bags and dipped. It’s already frustrating to me, I can only imagine what years of this felt like. Saying “we got lost in ourselves” probably may have some projection in it. I don’t have the wife to talk to but usually when I am sent these types of letters, its mainly “this is what I was doing but I want to make it sound like both parties were doing it so the blame sounds more spread out.” I’ve heard this from both guys and women who pull this. He wants her to fall in love with him again but he also should be asking himself “what is she coming back to? And is it enough to make her want to stay?” If she is returning to the same old nonsense, she’s just going to leave again (or the proverbial spell would have some major backfire) and if she doesn’t want to stay, then that’s just how things are. If he can’t keep her with his own personality and efforts, then it’s really just not worth fighting. The relationship suffocated, he’s not really that interested in trying to make things better, he just wants to make things right for him. Male ego and all that jazz. Again, no wonder she packed her bags and left.

Grief can definitely affect relationships. But if the couple is working together to tackle the grief and support each other (not wait for a too-late “wake up call”), then the grief is something that the relationship can overcome together. Grief is hard alone, having a partner should ideally make the load lighter. Grief can also make people realize something they have been ignoring for a while, even if it is “wow, I really don’t want to be with this person.” Either because they noticed they’re not being supported like they should or because it was the watershed moment they needed to realize that this was it and it was time to leave. Sometime grief makes people self-destructive in their relationships, just let those people go because while grief can be definitely destructive, it isn’t right or fair to take that out on the person you are with and supposedly cares about you. Better to simply just get therapy.

Now, note how he keeps trying to look for people who are super ok with manipulating others instead of doing what he should as a husband in a broken relationship (which is, try to fix things the correct way or try to make the transition back to Singlehood smoother for both parties). First of all, I don’t know anyone like that because I find those types of individuals and that type of behavior absolutely abhorrent. There is a difference between doing plain old paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and doing super unethical spellwork/paid spellwork/Pay for Pray. Admittedly, on its face, finding someone to do spellwork is way easier than putting in the work to fix whatever is left of the relationship to fix. And note he’s gunning straight for the easy route. And while saying “Ok I have to work for it”, as if he understood but its clear it’s just another “ok, ok, ok, I’ll play pretend so I can get what I want”. The reason why I say “another” is because, again, it’s not too far a walk to believe this is most likely how he acts towards his wife. This is not genuine listening, this is basically placating and patronizing out of selfishness and self-centered behavior. Usually when I get letters like these, it tends to show from their interactions why someone left them. I don’t think I have ever gotten a letter with this type of request and went “wow, this person is totally brilliant/ok/seemingly faultless, I wonder why their significant other left.” Black Witch has been running for over a decade now, not once. It shows how inlaid their issues are because, again, if they are talking to a stranger like this, imagine how they talk to someone they personally know and supposedly care about. This is something that takes a lot of introspection to root out. Therapy usually tend to help speed up the process of rooting it out.

“She has a poker face”, “grief got in the way”, “we got caught up in ourselves”, sounds like a lot of blaming other things instead of just saying “I screwed up big time and I just want to figure out if I can still genuinely fix things.” Deflecting is not how one solves problems, taking responsibility is. No, I do not have the wife’s side of the story but some parts seem pretty obvious from her actions. She’s the one that left, that means she had enough. He’s deflecting and actively not listening several times, that means he’s most likely interacted with her in the exact same way. He doesn’t seem to really care about wanting to fix the relationship, just force it back together, that means he’s not that interested in doing the genuine hard work it takes to try to fix anything that can be even remotely fixed in the relationship if there is even a glimmer of an easier route. Again, this dude needs some therapy to sort these issues out, maybe even unlearn some “feelings are hard” toxic masculinity on the way that will most likely murder any future relationships he ever chooses to have.

In case anyone is going, “hey, why don’t you say that the wife should go get some therapy?” I agree but probably not for what you think. She could use the therapy to help get back on her feet faster and figure out how to manage co-parenting (if she is interested in it), single parenting (if she winds up taking the children), dealing with the grief of losing someone and losing a relationship (leaving others isn’t always easy), so many things. Both sides need therapy but for different reasons.

“She [is] not [willing to] at this stage” is the diamond sign that this dude just needs to pack it in and simply get his pen ready for the divorce papers. Might as well call the Time of Death and start working on moving on. She already has starting moving on with her life, he should definitely do the same. If she is not willing at all to even remotely fix things at this point, then it sincerely is not worth even trying magick. She’s gone, it is time to call it a day. If he wanted the relationship to be healthier, he should have tried to turn the plane around earlier, not ask how to rebuild a completely shattered aircraft that is scattered across three states. Relationships don’t just suddenly fall apart, they chug to that point. Sometimes they even sprint to that point but it is never immediately and all at once.

Now, I thought after “Ok thanks for the chat”, the conversation was over. Then later on, I check and find out that nope, he’s definitely not letting this “can I cast a spell to make someone who I drove away love me again” thing go. Geez, if he had put this much persistent effort into his marriage, he would still have one.

Please note the “In your earlier text you [said it] looks like she [is] leaning to it […] is that loving me all over again?”

Everyone, please read the prior conversation above and tell me if you think there was any reasonable spot where I said any version of “she is leaning towards loving you again”? Probably will be hard to find because it doesn’t exist. I pretty much was a broken record of “you need therapy”, “if she’s gone, that means the relationship is dead”, and “you should talk to her, not make assumptions”. Nothing that could even remotely convey that she was willing to come back. The fact he could glean such a super falsehood from literal thin air despite the fact that I have said all the opposite is very telling. Again, no wonder why she is gone. The “it” I was referring to in “leaning to it” was divorce. As in, it looked like to me that she was leaning to getting the divorce he does not want. She definitely wants out, to me. She isn’t talking to him, she left, she puts on a “poker face” (probably more for the kids’ sake than his), these are all signs than she more than likely has the words “divorce lawyers” in her phone’s recent search history. A person who wants to make the relationship work, even just a little bit, would at least keep some line of communication open. Everything is pretty much shut down? Yep, they’re done.

“She just [stopped] all the mediators”, as for that, I don’t know what her thinking is to “slow the process down”. Maybe its for her to look at the entirety of all her options (they do have kids to consider, after all. Their feelings are also important), maybe it’s because divorcing is expensive and emotionally draining so it is hitting a slow stride for now, maybe she feels she’s at a part in the process where she can cool her heels for a little while, I have zero idea and I’m not going to bother to find out. He would be in a better position to know via just plain talking to her. If he can’t even do that much to find out such details, then it is very much 100% certain that the relationship is very, very much dead.

I really want to say this, toxic masculinity is a great way to become Forever Alone. Not trying to genuinely fix personal behaviors that can wreck even the healthiest of relationships is a fantastic way to become Forever Alone. Every relationship fails until one doesn’t, true, but all relationships fail if there is no decent, sizeable work involved. All relationships require consistent, constant work. Self-work is included. If there is none of that or only pithy amounts of that, expect Forever Alone, regardless of gender and orientation. Forever Alone is self-imposed, no one can put that on you at all. And it is up to the person who does not want to be that, to be Forever Alone, to put in the work. Anyone who doesn’t want to tend to wind up eventually Forever Alone.

Third time on Burn Out Brighter podcast! I was invited back to discuss relationships and gaming. And there is an additional guest, my boyfriend, CTL. He runs a Twitch where he plays violin and DDR at the same time.

My mic wasn’t the bestest – I grabbed a derp one (one day, I shall part with it), so I have minor cut outs but I’m still pretty understandable. Tune in and listen!

I mention my orchid and 3D printed planters on the podcast. Here’s the sharry baby orchid! On my Instagram are pictures of my roses and more of my orchids.

Not Pictured: My cat, who wants to eat the blossoms of this orchid

 

Also, check out my previous visits on Burn Out Brighter! 

 

Dating is difficult. Dating while Black and Pagan is even more difficult. Tack a killer virus on top and it makes things way more difficult. Social distancing, mask wearing, lockdowns, it makes finding someone a bit tough, to say the least.

Already there are the usual barriers I face to dating, such as having a small dating pool on the account that I’m Pagan. Some people don’t know what that is so they’ll pass, or think it is a kooky faith because “you really believe in that stuff?” It’s even more ironic when it comes from the Christian crowd – a zombie carpenter is plausible but all other faiths and ideas are considered “out there”. At least I personally fare best with Muslims and Buddhists. Then there’s the fact that though I’m hetero-romantic, I’m demisexual, which reduces my pool further. Throw in anti-Black racism/good ol’ misogynoir and it shrinks even further.

Dating apps have spiked in use since the pandemic started, I’ve used them before myself. They’re great for those who are introverted and rather connect digitally than go out into the world and meet lots of people you sincerely wish you never had. At least in a dating app, I can screen bad choices and wary folks to the point that they can’t talk to me (or even see me) if I don’t want them to. And I never want them to. In the physical world, that doesn’t exists. But cat-calling and street harassment does and I am not interested at all in experiencing that while trying to date. So, dating apps it is.

The app usage is roughly the same as it would be in non-pandemic times. Some have taken a bit of a greedy advantage of the pandemic by piling on “Buy this, buy that, and get seen more/get better matches”. And the prices can be staggering, usually teetering around $80-100 for maybe three months of “Premium” access. For many, especially during a pandemic, that can be annoying, if not frustrating. Many people have lost their jobs or are bumbling down the dismal pipe of losing their job so shelling out any money to a dating app when there are stacking bills to pay seems like bad personal economics.

There are dating apps like Nuit (an astrology/natal chart based dating app), Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, Bumble and more which varies in taking pandemic concerns into account. All ping you for money (Hinge, OkCupid and Tinder being the worst, their services practically become unusable unless you shell out lots and lots of money) but some take into consideration that we’re all in a pandemic and jabbing pockets just to be functional isn’t that great an idea. Coffee Meets Bagel is a good example of that. Nuit is still starting out so they haven’t gotten into pocket-jousting yet.

Once upon meeting someone, there is the dating part. For those who grew up on the internet, this isn’t that tough because relationships blossom over the internet all the time. For others who are not super accustomed to exchanging digital interactions, it can be a weird and jarring experience because you’re talking through screens and avatars, not face to face. There were always places like IMVU, Second Life, etc etc. for more digitally apt folks to interact with each other and develop a bond. For example, in IMVU, you can sit in a winter cafe and talk to each other using floating chat bubbles via personalized avatars. Even hold hands, hug or kiss. Then there’s the upgraded version: Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality allows you to interact with someone as if they are beside you. You can talk to them, play cooperative video games together, even hang out with them in your own personal private spaces. You can both be on a vast sun planet that has stars for flowers, you can be on a swaying pirate ship rampaged with little, cute chibis. You can create an entire movie theatre for you both to sit and be together in. Depending on your VR setup, there are even haptic vests and gloves which can easily simulate touch. Full body trackers that can simulate full body movement. For example, pair a Valve Index with Vive body trackers and your entire body, even individual fingers, will move. Pair that with a haptic vest and you can feel a hug. I own only a VR headset but that’s enough for virtual reality dates, even if whoever I date doesn’t have one. This brings back closeness during a time where we are all supposed to be apart. Granted VR can be a bit steep for some, the cheapest headset is an Oculus Quest 2, which is in the $200s range and a Facebook product, which brings in problems of privacy. It is also the only cheapest and best noted stand-alone VR headset so far on the market. All other VR headsets need a computer, which has to be “VR ready” because VR can be very intense on a computer system. I have a gaming laptop. Though it is not slated to be “VR Ready” like its more expensive counterparts, it does meet and exceed the requirements to run my VR headset, which is a Windows Mixed Reality VR headset. The only bonus with that is because I use Windows already, Windows Mixed Reality is already built into the computer or is super easy to get. But I’m not sure I would be able to run a Valve Index or the latest Vive, which is fine for me, I already can do enough with my current headset.

As said prior, dating is tough. Throw in a nasty virus and it gets even tougher. Thankfully, it is not the 90s and there are a bevy of ways of still connecting, even over a distance. The remaining hard part is finding those connections.

Here is another installation of Ask Black Witch. As I generally say, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Let’s start!

Hello,
Hope you are doing well today!

I am in need of a love spell to be cast. I can explain you my current situation. It would be really nice of you, if you can help me out in my situation by suggestion, the best suitable solution.
Actually, I have a very good friend of mine. His name is [Person]. He sees me and care for me as a good friend. But recently I deeply fell in love with him. His marriage is recently fixed, on [Date] (that’s very short span of time)
I just want to know, if we both can be together in nearby future, does he have feelings for me, or can I make him love me and propose to me at the earliest. It would really helpful, if he postpones his marriage for few months at least and thinks about his feelings for me and proposes me instead.

Any kind of guidance/ suggestion from you will be very helpful.
It will be really nice of you, If you can do an initial reading to check if my friend can fall in love with me/ does he love me, it will be really helpful.

– Sumitra K

Here’s the thing when I skim my emails: the second I see “I need a ___ spell cast”, I am immediately tossed into a bad mood. Especially if the _____ is a love spell.

Because I have said on this site time and time again my stance on casting for others (I don’t), love spells (don’t bother with them) and when people ask me to pretty much interrupt the free will of others (controlling is a form of abuse, you don’t love this person, it’s more about you than your relationship). And I’m not a Magic 8 ball so when people ask me divination questions, I bristle at that, too.

So you think you got friend-zoned (which isn’t really a real place but for brevity, let’s use the term) because, I take it, you didn’t say anything about your actual feelings back when you could have thrown your pitch. You’re free to tell the guy you have feelings for them, just to get it off your chest, but here’s the thing though:

A) the dude is about to get married (yes, there is the issue of arranged marriages but that’s not what we’re talking about at the moment)

B ) The dude sees you as a friend, not someone to date. Yay, friendship. Take that as something good and move on because he is very, very soon to be off the market – actually, he’s off the market now. Because he’s about to get married

C) Don’t hold your breath, you can easily wind up in a situation where you find out the dude never shared the same feelings as you. Don’t try to sabotage the marriage, get in the way of the marriage or anything that is meddling. Even if the marriage starts to turn sour, that’s not your moment to go in for the kill. Be there as a friend but don’t be there as a friend with ulterior motives. Because that’s not being a friend, that’s being a conniving person. Does it hurt? Yes. But it is what it is.

D ) Even if he did fall in love with you – how can we forget the actual wife-to-be? Cheating is a douchebag thing to do, divorces are tricky. Nothing has an easy route out. The dude is planted, and there are other people (innocent people, the wife-to-be didn’t ask for any of this, either) connected so this issue is pretty much done for unless the dude gets a divorce and is, therefore, back on the market.

Also, there’s the “recently fell in love” part, meaning this isn’t exactly a slow burn thing but could be one-sided love. All in all, it sounds pretty selfish to want to uproot someone else’s life because it doesn’t fall in line with what you want. Love doesn’t work that way.

Not easy to hear but just date other guys.

 

Is it possible to bring my friend back to life? If so can you do it for me or tell me how to do it? If not thank you for your time.

– Kim S.

Again, a spell request. In the world of magick, it is a good saying “It may be improbable, but not impossible.” But bringing someone back is a big and really, really, really, really, really advanced task. Not for noobs. Those difficulties aside, there’s also the ethics which are blithely ignored. The person won’t be back to their same old selves, they would be changed.

Death is sad but it’s better to find a better way to cope.

Howdy ma’am my name is Glenn nice to meet you. Let me start by saying that I am not a writer, but I have been having an undeniable urge to write. I am a strong believer in nature and evolution. I do believe in spirits, I believe all life is connected. My question to you is more like a request. The book I feel I need to write is fictional, but I don’t want it to be unrealistic. My problem is I don’t know enough about witchcraft to know if I go out of bounds. Would you please educate and guide me? Thank you and nice to meet you ma’am. SEMPER FI

– Glenn B

Yay, military speak, because that always makes me, a strongly anti-war person, happy. No shade on the Marines but that could have been left off.

I mention books all over my website, this question could have literally answered itself with a skim of the search bar I have up top. I am also a writer of fiction but even I get a little odd when I see “I need to write this book” as if there is some divine force leading them. Probably because I worked in one of the Incoming divisions at the Library of Congress, where I saw many, many crappy books by people “compelled” to write that I can’t help but to go “oh, great, another one.”

And I have rarely seen good works that focus on witchcraft, especially by folks who know jack all about it. I’ve come across stuff that just sounds over-technical, hard science re-imagined as magick, dull or chock full of gender tropes. Besides, fantasy is supposed to be whatever the writer wants, anyways.

Long story short, this question could have answered itself with a search bar.

I feel like revisiting an old topic I think is important: Safe sex.

In Paganism, we’re pretty flexible about our standards – we don’t have any “don’t be [orientation]” rules or really any “must be virginal before wedding day (esp. for the girl because misogyny)” type things. Granted, there are countless denominations and forms of Paganism so your mileage may vary but in terms of averages, we’re not as doom and gloom about it. You’re not a terrible person if you’ve had sex, you’re not a terrible person (or a malformed person) if you haven’t had sex or don’t want to. You’re just a regular person.

That said, modern Paganism is very heavy on consent. Unfortunately, a lot of deities have dozens and dozens of stories about them not doing that – that, however, doesn’t give anyone justification or reason to go around like Zeus did. Not at all. Because for every deity that did engage in non-consent, there was always another deity or entity to be vicious about correcting such behavior, even more so to mortals who engaged in the same behavior. Also, please keep in mind that a lot of mythos stories that were kept and passed around more often were created by guys. Just like how there is gender bias in the Bible (using for example), there’s gender bias in various deity stories around the world, especially if they don’t or didn’t have a balanced society. It’s unbalanced perspective that makes entities like Medusa look like an evil villain instead of a rape victim trying to protect herself and deal with the trauma.

For those who go, “what is consent?”, it is pretty simple in the scope of this post: You’re looking for a jubilant “yes”, not trying to bend a hesitant “no”.

Here’s the thing, if the person:

  • Says some version of “no” outright
  • Only says “yes” after much prodding and begging from you
  • Is simply hesitant, reluctant to say “yes” (even if they haven’t said “no”)
  • Not capable of even saying yes or no (i.e. fast asleep or unconscious)

Then it’s a plain “no”. Yes, getting a “no” sucks aplenty but if you wanted your “no” to be respected, ditto with them. Besides, I’m a big fan of folks standing their ground on this subject because a “no” is not a “convince/persuade me”. If you still go ahead without their consent, it’s automatically considered rape/sexual assault.

If someone wants to sleep with you consentually, they’re not going to be indirect about it. Very not.

While on the subject of consent and suches: if you’re an adult and the person who you want to consent/is consenting is not an adult – they’re too young, bro. Don’t pull an R. Kelly, find someone else. If you have difficulty abstaining, talk to a therapist. Or a cop (preferably, the FBI).

If you’re a young person (as in 19 and under), just know that you don’t have to be sexually active by the time you hit college, you don’t have to be gaga over sex (I certainly wasn’t at that age) and if you want to wait for when you are emotionally ready, do so. Also, don’t look at pornography for sex ed or what sex is supposed to be like. Just don’t. It isn’t accurate, at all. Try the webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy, they have a great section on sex ed that is accurate.

If you’re not a young person, just know that, again, you don’t have to be sexually active if that’s not your thing. Also, for the love of the gods, porn is not accurate. Read Oh Joy Sex Toy.

And here’s another thing about consent: you can opt out of sex in the middle of sex. If there is an act you don’t want to do (i.e.: not your kink, just not up for it, gotta go to work soon, etc), you can say you don’t want to do it. If the partner complains that it will cause them strife for you to stop (guys may complain about “blue balls”, which is pretty over-exaggerated), tell them to walk it off. It’s uncomfortable, not fatal or disabling. You won’t return to find a dead body. If so, just chalk it up to Darwinism and say so at their funeral.

Sex should be an equal agreement, not a fight. If you have to struggle to get it, it’s better to back off and work on yourself. No one owes you sex, whatsoever. That’s not how it works. You could save their life, their grades, their pet, whatever, and they still don’t owe you that.

All that out of the way, let’s talk about safe sex and contraception.

I will always suggest Bedsider for all go-to info about contraception, they’re the most comprehensive and thorough site I have ever found on the subject. They can even filter each method under different needs (such as “party ready”, “hormone free”, “sti prevention” and “easy to hide”.) They also have useful articles about relationships, consent and sex. If you’re interested in any method that you find (they have things for all genders), the site can help find a health provider or inform you if it is over the counter/available in a regular store.

Some contraception methods, like condoms, are available in a store and online. Do not try to fashion your own, just get some. You can visit a local hospital, college health center, planned parenthood or local health clinic to get free condoms, no questions asked (some of these locations will also provide free STD/STI testing). I recommend CondomDepot because they are really, really discreet (Amazon is not and if you’re on a family account, you may be screwed – and not in a good way) and everything is user tested on the website so you’re getting actual feedback and reviews. They also have a “Learn”  section that includes a buying guide, a how-to sub section and informative articles. They sell all things condoms and other, related items.

If you used contraception and if failed, your best bet is to get an after-morning pill or consider abortion if longer than a week. Though the “after morning pill” is called such, it can be up to five days later. Bedsider has a great article on it, as well as how to get it.  Some, such as Plan B, are available in regular stores, no prescription needed.

As for abortions, those vary state to state in America. Bedsider has a plain, informative write up about abortion, the various methods of it, myths about it and where to get it. It’s okay to not be ready for parenthood – that’s why you were using contraception in the first place, right? It’s much better to have the kid when you’re actually ready. Otherwise, you could bring down the child’s quality of health and happiness vastly because of fiscal, emotional or life instability. A parent has to be dependable and that takes forethought. That and no one really relishes in being told they were an “accident” or a “mistake”. Yes, pro-lifers – especially Christian ones – will tell you you’re murdering the child and suches but let’s face facts: unless they will provide you all the things you lack so the child has as buoyant a life as possible, it’s better to ignore them. Especially if they support things like war or the military (what do you think is the primary job of a soldier?) because they don’t really support life, they just want to control women out of misogyny thinly veiled by religious belief. They stop caring once the baby is born, especially if the baby is not White. It’s amazing how fast the kiddo goes from “precious miracle” to “possible threat” when they’re Black and born. And let’s not even start on abuse statistics or things of that nature. You don’t have to be a parent immediately, be a parent when you’re ready.

And that’s all for this week, folks!

 

I was contacted by Hachette Books/Ilex about a new book they had coming out titled The Witchcraft Handbook by Midia Star.

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Upon first impression of getting it, it looks well made and not very kitschy. I could sort of see this book in a metaphysical shop, which is good. I could definitely see it being sold in The Discovery Store more, though.

First thing I looked for was a bibliography because usually good books on magick have those (otherwise a person could say almost anything). There isn’t one here but noticed this book is more of a spellbook for beginners than an intro to Paganism with some spells in it. That’s sort of okay but I prefer info. The first proper book I read on magick, Where to Park your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy, was crammed full of this so it is pretty much my baseline for any magick book.

The book is very colorful and artistry is well done. It doesn’t look like it was dropped out of Tumblr and sold. That’s always a good thing. At least this book isn’t trying to copy Sephora’s bad ideas. (That witch kit is atrocious for so many reasons).

As for content, the book is extremely European based and strongly Wicca based.  Granted,  so was Broomstick. I’m not Wiccan, though, so there is that. But as for the Eurocentric info, I think books on magick nowadays should be way more diverse. Otherwise, it looks like magick just started in Europe and the world followed. So note that the book is very Eurocentric in its practices and perspective, which could make PoC readers easily feel like a fish out of water. Actually, any reference to anything non-Euro is super cursory at best. Like, very bland and even less in-depth than what’s mentioned of the Greco-Roman deities, which already isn’t much. That’s not good.

The book is also fairly cis women-centric. I mean, so is practically every Western book on witchcraft out there every but it creates a ripple effect that somehow ends up in my inbox. Questions of “why can’t [insert gender here] practice? What should I call myself, I’m a [insert gender here]? Is ‘witch’ still accurate?” pop up. If you practice witchcraft, you’re a witch, plain and simple. It would be nice if books reflected this a little better. It is good to focus on women but witchcraft didn’t appear as a result of feminism, witchcraft was a moreso natural occurrence of working with and influencing the world around them. Wicca is goddess-centric, true, but it should be noted that Wicca does not hold the copyright to all of witchcraft. Wicca is just one faith out of literal thousands, even when whittled to just faiths that use magick.

I do like that this book doesn’t give a shopping list that could make a newbie go broke quick. I definitely like how this book tries to be sensible with its targeted audience. However, I don’t agree entirely with the idea of “you have to believe it for it to work”. My personal practices – and my inbox, primarily my inbox – hold a different story. I always explain it like this: I personally know Black folks who legit don’t believe that racism exists, annnnnnnd they still get harassed and/or beaten by officers and racists, if not called slurs. The fact they don’t believe in something so extremely real as the ground they stand on didn’t keep the reality of that concept from still impacting them. You don’t have to believe in something to make it happen, if the right cogs are there, it will happen. If the “you gotta believe” bit were the case, I would get far less, “I dicked around and tried to summon a demon because I thought nothing would happen and now my apartment is haunted. Gimme a spell to fix my problem” letters. Much less.

Actually, I still remember the time I accidentally summoned a Throne angel by simply singing a ye olde gospel over and over with gusto. Never gonna do that again. Angels are not fun and you definitely don’t want to summon one, especially on accident. They do not look like “people with wings”, try “Wow, the makers of Bayonetta really did their homework. And all of the extra credit.” 0/10, would not accidentally summon again. I did not intend to summon a Throne. The thought of believing that such a thing would happen was the furthest from my mind – I seriously thought the song was about wheels and the sun, that’s it!

Long story short, you don’t need to believe in something for it to happen. Just the cogs to make it happen. Belief gives it boost, that’s for sure, but it is not the core.

Again, about the gods and goddesses referenced in this book: they are Greek/Roman deities. And a passing reference to Egyptian deities. And a teeny tiny touch on East Asian dragons. And none of Africa (outside of Egypt, which is usually whitewashed to the moon and back). I really don’t like this part  because I rather see more diversity in description. However, since this book is primarily constructed in the Eurocentric gaze, this is pretty much garden-variety practice. Though, the section about them is a very underwhelming for me. There’s a lot more that can be talked about in regards to deities and magick work. Ditto in regards to who the different deities are, some of the descriptions in the book gloss over them with too little depth. And that’s just the Eurocentric ones, the rest of the world hardly gets noted.

And here’s one bit I saw that I think is a bad idea: mixing deities during spellwork. Don’t do that. Stick to one pantheon per ritual. They will not work well with each other and they’ll be much less eager to work with you. It shows a lack of care and faith, which deities are not big fans of.

Moving on, there is an informative page on moon-work and candles to prep the reader on the spells in the book. This means the book will be using a lot of candle magick. That’s good for beginners. Also, because this is candle magick, I would like to remind folks to be careful and always have soil or baking soda around to throw on the flame if it turns into a conflagration. Or do what I did when I was younger and do all your magick work on the lip of a filled-up sink (unless you’re working with oils also, then throw in the baking soda, too).

The spells are broken up into sections, starting with love and sex spells. Each spell section has little “Did You Know” boxes in some of the spells. I like those because it embeds useful information right where the reader can see it and for that particular spell. Things like “how long do spells actually take” or “what are the best days for casting and why”. Helps keep things realistic and practical.

For the love and sex spell section, I like that there is the “don’t be dense about this” warning at the start that is very simple: Don’t play around, don’t control others and know what you want (as well as what you don’t).

The spells constructed seem very simple and straight-forward. Like I said prior, there isn’t a huge shopping list and the vast majority of the materials asked for are already in your home or can be purchased at the dollar store. However, they use British English (“sweets” instead of “candy”, “leather thong” instead of “strip of leather”) so be mindful if you’re not accustomed to it.

The section on love and sex seems very decent, I haven’t spotted anything that I have qualms with so far.

The next section is the friends & enemies section. The intro to section is very simple, especially about how you shouldn’t do magick when until emotional turbulence and that impinging on free will is wrong. The spells are nice, such as how to get better at making friends (note: not “get popular”, simply “make friends”), making gossip cease and getting rid of a bully.

In the “Friends and Enemies” section, they have a page on gemstone magick. It is quite cursory and simple. Too simple for my tastes because there’s so much that can be covered. For a beginner, it is important to keep things simple but not too simple.

The third section are spells for work and employment. It’s a bit of a first for me to see but useful all the same. Employment is a part of life and, thus, should be included. The intro keeps things simple: this is to help you, not do the leg work for you. Also, it will not make you rich in a week.

The spells are for interview success, procuring a job, dealing with unemployment, things like that. There are also spells for exams here, it seems to cover a lot of bases. Again, the spells seem useful. Also, for any spell that involves drawing money, I always look to see how much the spell makes you do, in terms of getting materials to do the spell. I dislike ones that assume you have a payload to work with. I noticed these spells ask for things you already have (like black pepper) or are very cheap and easy to get. One thing I also noticed is that the book neglects to mention that white candles can be all-purpose in case you can’t get your hands on a particular color.

The next section has “Home and Family” spells. This section shows that this book is not directed simply at teenagers but young adults and regular adults as well. There are spells for how to get an apartment, clearing out the energy from the last person, etc. And what I like most: NO SAGE. Sweet buttery Jesus, there’s no sage use in any of these spells, that is fantastic. I am thrilled to see that. Because there is more than sage out there.

For that reason alone, I think this is a great section.

The final section is “Destiny and Fortune Spells”. Though it sounds immense, they’re spells that generally help with luck and to maintain overall happiness. The spells are simple in this section, nothing too grandiose or difficult.

All in all, the book isn’t too bad, it fairly regular and plain jane. I really would like to see a magick book that wasn’t so Eurocentric, though. The Witchcraft Handbook is moreso a simple spellbook for beginners but that’s it. For a handbook, there wasn’t a whole lot of information that could make it a suitable reference guide. There’s little tidbits here and there so you have an idea of what you’re doing but nothing more than that. It’s just a plain book o’ spells and that’s that. No real background, no really vast information, nothing super deep.

As far as bookstore spellbooks go, it’s not too bad. It isn’t 5000 Spells but it can be useful. The spells are simple and easy, not intended to break the bank nor make you feel like you’re doing Ceremonial Magick 301. What stands out to me are how simple the spells are. They are reasonable and that is a venerable trait.

The Witchcraft Handbook is less of an actual handbook and more of a regular spellbook for newbies who are interested in the craft but just want to get to the “fun” parts. I wouldn’t generally recommend introduction books that are not information dense so while this book is good, I don’t think I would have featured it on The Arts! because of the lack of crucial information. The thing is, if you don’t have deep, crucial info, that’s how you get more dabblers and less actual practitioners. Dabblers don’t care about the background info, they want fast-food magick: just do something and it is done. To thwart that, having background and in-depth information helps.

Would I recommend this book to someone new to magick and Paganism? Nope. Not enough in-depth info. I’d point them to Broomstick instead. Would I recommend this book to someone who’s spent time in magick? It’s a strong maybe. The title is misleading so I would warn the person it really isn’t a handbook but a plain spellbook that has basic spells. Good for if you’re low on ideas or want something very simple but that’s about it.

 

Ah not long since I posted my Ask Black Witch, which featured a tidbit about love and magick, I got this doozy:

How to get the maximum results from use of female voodoo doll regarding nothing negative. The use of doll is on my wife. Her attitude and disposition toward me has been very negative!! I appreciate your assistance. Thank you very much

– Lamont M.

Breh. Why do people send messages like this to me? Why? Whhhhhhhhhhhy?

Why did this dude first say “regarding nothing negative” but turn right around and say “The use of the doll is on my wife. Her attitude and disposition toward me has been very negative[.]” That’s regarding something negative. If she has a terrible attitude, don’t do Voodoo – TALK TO HER.

Everyone, relationships are hard. This is for everyone. You have two very imperfect people trying to make companionship work. If you have a problem with the person you are dating (or, in this case, marriage) try talking to them. For real, regardless of whether you are:

– Dude dating a woman
– Dude dating a dude
– Woman dating a woman
– Cis dating trans
– Trans dating trans
– Cis dating cis
– Gendered person dating genderless person
– Genderless person dating genderless person

If you’re having problems, talk to the person! If talking can’t fix it, then consider giving it the chop. Seriously. To control the other is a bad sign. Like, it points to abuse. Always. If you need to control someone to get them off your case, then consider divorcing or breaking up with them. It may suck but it’s not abuse, which is always worse. Be more civil working it out or just leave the relationship if it is that irreparable.

Writing to me with an “I want to control my woman because I don’t like her attitude, will you help” message is never a bright idea. I’m very predictably going to say this is an act of abuse, to not do it and call the person a moron for trying – I very predictably don’t like abusiveness. When have I ever said or done anything otherwise in the near ten years that I have been penning this blog? (Holy Oya, it’s almost been ten years. Oh my gods.) This dude needs to put the voodoo dolls down and instead talk to his wife about why she’s giving him grief. Silencing her on a problem doesn’t make the problem go away.

Everyone, let’s start with a comic from “Heck if I Know”:

This comic pretty much illustrates the end game of practically every whiner, dabbler and dunce that waltzes into my inbox, even while I was on break.

Thing is, people are a lot more corrupt than the character in this comic. I don’t think I’ve had many, if any, that wanted the person in their crosshairs to have any will or choice in the matter. Just “change their mind so I don’t have to change myself”. Which is usually a red flag of “you’re abusive” because trying to control someone is not an expression of love, at all.

Or better yet, folks want to bring down actual gods and goddesses to do their handiwork…as if that has ever worked out well for the human involved. Even in various texts, the humans does work out for a) was usually a demigod (half human, half deity) themselves or b) it moreso works* – with a huge asterisk because it wasn’t all roses and candy. It’s Oshun, not Alexa. It’s Loki, not Tom Hiddleston (I have to explain that one a lot – or I get a bunch of “I think I’m haunted”/”I might be possessed”/ “Life is crappier than usual and in really weird ways” emails). Many deities like helping the universe they helped create because they are duty-bound or some particular living (or not living) creature really warms them. No deities appreciate being treated as the lowly grunt that has to scoop up whatever excrement you’ve made of life itself. And are extremely happy to express that by making a point of being a celestial-grade douchebag to whomever doesn’t get it. Which, as deities, they’re really, really good at.

The comic is comedic because some poor sprite has to help this hapless guy work out a very normal and very much singular (in the fact it only affects the guy alone, not the guy and the spirit) problem. It is understandable that love is complex but it’s not better solved with divine intervention because, just like the person in the comic, it fixes nothing. The person learned nothing. Or at least, what they learned was that they actually don’t have to do anything, just run to someone else and let them do the hard work. Which eventually becomes an eventual loop of nonsense, especially for the person on the receiving end of all of this.

What would have better suited the person in the comic, Joe, is to have learned from the previous big issue that got him the boot the first time, not bother with the sprites (or, if they were trying to clue him into what to do, actually listen) and just try to fix things so they won’t be broken the next time. Is it easy? Not at all. Relationships are never easy. Dealing with people in general is incredibly taxing, being in a committed, emotional partnership with just one is also hard. But doable, with some effort, some thinking and some effective communication. But going to lengths of wanting someone else to clean up the mess you made (or just make it all disappear because “free will” is a chore) is not smart. Which is why I’m usually pretty flippant when folks ask. Especially if it is the hundredth time asking and won’t take “no” for an answer and “Here are some reasons why your plan is bad…” as a follow up. I think I have rarely came across anyone who was asking for a person to be controlled or manipulated somehow who was really respectful, level headed or, well, respectful. Always beggars and, moreover, always beggars with attitudes that makes the reason why they’re now abruptly single very crystal clear the longer they talk.

Long story short, don’t be like Joe. Be sensible. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Magick just sometimes delays the inevitable, especially if the person is stubborn. And by “delay”, I mean, “makes all things point straight to the inevitable”. No need to beg some random person on the internet or dabble in something that is probably not smart to dabble in.

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Sorry for the late post but here is the Ask Black Witch for August! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Lets get started.

I got a couple question from people who don’t seem to really like reading or researching my pretty general stance on spell help, doing spells for others and love spells, especially unethical ones. Here’s a quick rundown:

Spell help: Unless you know what you’re doing, I’m not gonna help. I have a “No assisting dabblers” rule. And the two generally stand out: the practiced person generally knows what they’re doing, they just need someone to bounce ideas off of. The dabbler wants to be spoon-fed and babied and waste another person’s time. Or just have someone else do it for them. Preferably that.

Doing spells for others: I don’t do pay-for-pray (paid spellwork). Never have, never will. If I don’t do paid spellwork for others, I certainly don’t do free spellwork for others either. If a screw-up occurs, it’s because you did it. I tend to make people do their own legwork. It keeps my workload light and way, way less people bother me about fixing their – not mine – problems. Which I like. I may suggest simple stuff like “Maybe you should get bay leaves” but if you don’t know how to use them, that’s your issue, unfortunately. This is why I prefer to field questions from practiced practitioners and am harsh to dabblers. I prefer people to research for themselves, especially since occult and metaphysics is 93% reading, reading and more reading – actual info, not new-agey nonsense. Now if only I got questions from practiced practitioners and not dabblers.

Love Spells: I don’t do them, not even the general “hey, universe, I would like a date” because they’re not really my thing. Those spells are fine and dandy, still in the world of “good ethics”. They don’t control a particular person, they’re super open-ended. The universe might give you a guy, they might give you a bike (because the universe likes to troll people). But it’s open ended. However, I still don’t do them.

Unethical love spells: I don’t support abusive acts or tactics so, yeah, I’m going to make fun of you for trying to control someone else and you wind up dejected. Because I’m talking to an abusive person, which is in the top 5 of my list of “people who justify my belief and support of the Death Penalty”. Love hurts and love sucks. For everyone. If you have to control someone, you don’t love them. At all. It’s not about love, it’s about controlling someone who you believe is weaker than you or is easy to control for whatever reason. Regardless how you do it: magickally, financially, physically, emotionally – it’s wrong and you deserve whatever happens to you, simple as that.

Hello my name is Yesenia, I had someone I know cast a love spell for me but nothing work actually things just got worse for me. This person send me a picture of the candles she turn on for me and I would like to know the real meaning to the color candles she used.

– Yesenia M.

My original response:

Was it to influence someone else or general “find a date”? I mean love spells come with chance of risk. That’s why they’re suggested against so much.

Their response:

I found out that my boyfriend or should I say ex boyfriend is in prison and I found out he was writing and talking to some other female. 

Oh joy, internalized misogyny. So on top of being a control freak in relationships, they have serious internalized misogyny. If not a scientist talking strictly about biological lifeforms, avoid using “female”. It’s “woman”.

This is also why I don’t do paid spellwork. Note the “I had someone…cast a love spell for me but nothing work[ed].” Like, I’m basically being used as IT Support for another person’s handiwork. Which is not why this blog exists. And why I don’t work with dabblers. They put themselves in a bind and they want someone else to get them out of it. No way.

Here are some additional information that looks into the motivation:

I just want her to fix my relationship with him and keep away the other female he was talking to.

We have two kids together that’s not what I wanted but whatever I guess he found love even if it’s not with me

These are the motivations. The top one is not very good, the bottom one means she really, really needed to focus less on the dude she was losing and more on the kids she has.

Here’s the kit and kaboodle about the top one: if the person found out her dude is talking to another woman, instead of running to a spellworker to make it stop, she should have told the dude that a) he’s been found out and b) what are the options she will give him: be faithful or be gone. If this dude has a tendency to romp about, then he’s not worth keeping nor doing any spellwork for. This seems less of a relationship of love and mutual understanding and more of two folks who sort of earned each other. You have the philanderous guy stuck in the clink and the girlfriend who doesn’t seem to understand that forcing a relationship to work doesn’t make relationships work.

The second bit: This is why I’m so pro-choice and pro-“note all red flags, even the pink ones”. Kids are involved. They need two parents, not one. Two kids are a handful. And most importantly, they need a mom who has their head screwed on straight. Here it sounds like a lady who is desperately trying to keep a family together but in all the wrong ways. If a relationship has to go south, it’s better things like that happen before kids get thrown in the mix because then it’s not a tale of two possible fools, it’s kids that are going to get mixed up and possibly messed up. Yes, life is messy but it seems this dude might have been trouble from start (I have a feeling he’s not in jail for snatching a confederate flag or socking a neo-nazi).

The new game plan for this chick is to work on being a mom instead. Once she works out that “likes to control others” thing, maybe she’ll find someone new and can be a suitable boyfriend-to-husband and father to her kids. Until that happens, she needs to focus on the kids and stop trying to control everything.

Hi, I would like to ask something about a black candle. Because I’ve searched about it and it signifies negativities in life, is it right?

I wanna if, it is okay to use black candle for love spell? Cause I asked an old woman (who does witchcraft) to put a love spell to the one I love (my ex bf), after she does it by tuesday, he came back to me. We came back to being sweet and having a strong relationship. But the old woman uses black candle, is it okay?

And one last thing. I’m just afraid because, it’s not true love.. Or is it? 

Thanks in advance.
– Rose B.

Again, being the IT Support for someone else’s handiwork because a dabbler didn’t want to fix their problem themselves.

Anybody who has been in spellwork for at least three months would get down the very basics of candle magick and color magick. Black is a simple one, depending on how it is used. It can make things go away. It can make things happen, it depends on how it is used…and that can vary with practitioner.

About true love: not only is it oneism (a word yinked from Dr. Nerdlove), where you think that there is only one, singular person for you – it is definitely not here. True love stays on its own, you don’t need spellwork to tack your true love down and make them stay.

If the ex-boyfriend (I kind of am seeing why he left) is gone, he’s probably not true love. Yes, he could come back but it would be more of an expression of true love if he came back on his own. To force him back via spellwork is no different than if you went to his house with a gun and said “We’re gonna be together – forever. I promise you.” It’s not true love, it’s scary. And would you want someone to do either of those things to you?

I remember responding to this and saying the relationship is going to eventually crash and burn, like it did for the first asker. I still stand by that. It may be great and amazing now but that trip is going to end pretty soon, especially when the usual bumps and scrapes of relationships (having disagreements, tiffs) happen. Restrict free will and you’re going to get problems. They always happen. Especially if the guy finds out that you don’t really love him, you’re just putting a fix on him simply because you don’t like being lonely. Because that’s seems to be the actual motivation, – not because he’s a genuine, amazing person. It beats spending Friday nights by yourself, which is lame.

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