Category Archives: The Tease

Katie Kerl: Dating Guide 2020

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

 

Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

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Dating Guide

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This is the first time I have really been totally single in a few years.  After much on and off with my last relationship I fully understand the saying, “I do not have to know you to know your energy.” Unfortunately, our lives led us onto completely different paths, and that is more than ok.

I know upon meeting someone what they are going to bring into my life, and I’m very rarely surprised anymore. If your partner is seeking acceptance from others they have yet to discover who they really are, or they would not care about anyone else’s opinion. This also confuses the fuck out of me. You may be nice, sweet, giving, and that is great! On the flip side though; if you spend too much time trying to be a people pleaser your light will be dimmed. I have said that a few times previously but it is IMPORTANT.

As new decade falls upon us; I wanted to feel like me again. I really started thinking about my life, friends, and family. Those who have yet to drop the ball have made me feel so full of life and appreciated. If you are having a hard time relating to people I suggest joining groups you’re interested in, expand your knowledge on human behavior, and take a few basic psychology classes, or simply try every new thing you can. This will give you basic understanding of human nature, and why we make the choices we do. We will never fully understand what the other person is going through, but you absolutely CAN TRY.

  I find that being an Empath in a world of narcissism and materialistic bullshit is basically suicide. You can be caring to a point, but when you care too much people take advantage of that. It totally depletes your efforts of maintaining a healthy relationship and lifestyle. When you see things in someone that other people do not, you end up an enemy every damn time. While relationships have come and gone through my adult life, I am very fortunate to have gained the life experience, and grown from all of them. The good, bad, and the ugly because let’s face it; something went right before it went wrong, and was not able to be communicated and worked out. Some people will never face their demons and that is ok; making peace with that maybe the hardest part. Moving on is never easy but you must keep growing.

Here are a few things I always keep in mind when bringing someone new into my life.

Top 20 for 2020:

  1. Never compromise who you are for someone else.
  2. Be kind
  3. Have shared interests, your own hobbies, and friends.
  4. Have amazing SEX & lots of it!!! After all, that is half the fun of dating.
  5. Do not try to control people they will show you exactly who they are over time; take it or leave it. A little jealousy is cute, being a stalker is scary.
  6. Be HONEST do not promise someone the world when you are not capable of giving it; no matter how good the intention is. Saying I’m sorry is something that should be eliminated, and replaced with changed behavior if you actually care about the person you hurt.
  7. Go on dates!! Stop accepting, “You want to hang out?” if you are looking for love. The person who says do you wanna hang out has 0 plan, is expecting to get laid, and has probably mass sent that text out to whomever they started talking to on a variety of dating apps. Already in a relationship? Never stop dating the person you are with; that is when the spark dies. If you have to use the phrase “we used to do this.” Things have probably gotten a little stale.
  8. Show appreciation and celebrate their accomplishments.
  9. Be present in the situation… I realize we live in a world of technology and convenience, but your partner does not want a phone in their face every time you go out with them.  If one starts off that way you can be sure it is going to end badly.
  10. Communication; IM FINE is no longer an acceptable response when you are clearly bothered by something. Not speaking on what bothers you only leads to a buildup of anxiety and emotional delusion that could have been handled when your partner asked, “WHAT’S WRONG?” to begin with.
  11. Fighting is two people disputing an issue. Understand no one is going to have the same perspective as you. They have not experienced what you have; also they may have very limited understanding of large life issues if they have not had life smack them down to size yet. Do not discount someone’s feelings based on your own. If they say they are upset, that should be enough.
  12. Have FUN and do not take yourself so seriously….. That is BORING.   There is nothing worse than someone with no quick wit, or funny charm.   
  13. Cook together! Making a meal with someone is a very attractive thing. Anyone can swipe their credit card at a restaurant. If you create a beautiful plate while listening to good music; for me there’s nothing better. Except maybe dancing off the calories after. 
  14. If you are on dating sites try to remember something; not everyone is looking for what you are. Be it friends because you just moved, or sex because you just have not the time or energy to date. If you are seeking dating or a relationship say it. The reality is; you cannot order any of these up like ramen on a snowy day.  If you choose to meet someone on line, my suggestion would be having ZERO expectations, and do not commit to a dinner. You will possibly end up awkwardly stuck for two hours with a person you’re not sure can hold a fifteen minute conversation. Start with a drink alcohol or coffee/juice bar, walk in the park, fitness class, cooking demo, art show, or a museum. This gives you a quick out if you need it, and it is different! Lastly, always tell a friend where you are going because STRANGER DANGER!!!
  15. Be understanding and accept constructive criticism, especially if you were the one asking for it. If you value the person you are with why would you not want to accept their opinions? 
  16. Wait until you find out who you are before bringing someone else into your situation. If you have not figured out how to navigate it, how can someone else?
  17. In 2020 we are not ghosting people anymore. You do not like that person, or they were not what you were expecting? Have some fucking balls and say, “I do not think our lives are on the same path.”  When did we get to be such emotional pussies we cannot convey simple interest, or dislike? It has to be all out war, or radio silence? 
  18. Stay healthy!!  Be the best version of yourself; even when life is smacking you. That shows true dignity when you are still standing when it is all going wrong. Your partner is there for support, but if you are not being honest with yourself how can they truly be there?
  19. MAKE THE TIME, give unexpected gifts, and respect that person’s life for what it is, or walk away. Unless they express they want to be different, do not push. Even if they do talk about it. There is a very large difference between talk and action. You can talk till you’re blue in the face, until you make that decision to be different on your own. It is not going to happen.
  20. Above all else; be careful with that person’s heart. You do not want to be the reason they give up on themselves, love, or dating.

There are only a few billion frogs left to kiss out in the world. Get leaping and put yourself out there. Cheers to all, hoping everyone looking for something special finds it!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here:https://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-tis-the-season-for-giving/

Also posted in Art, Blog, Erotica, Glamour, Men, Obsessions, Popular Culture, Portraits, Women

Ed Simmons: Dancing Girls Harvard and Stone

 

Photography and Text by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2020

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Dancing Girls Harvard and Stone

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Chuck E Weiss. Yeah, I knew that guy. The dude from that Rickey Lee Jones tune, “Chuck E’s In Love”. I was hanging around with him back in the early 80’s at Hollywood’s Club Lingeri.  I read in the LA Weekly a few years back, that Chuck E Weiss was playing a late night set at The Piano Bar on Selma Avenue in Hollywood, so I go on down to check it out.

I bet around about now, you may be wondering how in the hell does this tie into “Dancing Girls”.  Austin was the door man at the Piano Bar that night, a Nigerian with one punch biceps, tells me that on Sundays, this spot, The Piano Bar, barbecues out back, and that I should start stopping by on a regular basis with my camera. I do and we become good friends.  As a photographer, the Sunday afternoon crowd at the Piano Bar was so interesting, so friendly and open to me, but like all slices of life in LA, this ends too before long.

Austin also informed he would be working the door at a spot in East Hollywood’s Thai Town, called Harvard and Stone, that I should start showing up there,  bring the camera, Austin, a bit of a ham…likes being photographed Hollywood ya know. This spot is sorta dark, I’ve got a pretty hot camera, I figure I can hang and see what unfolds. The location is built somewhat like a Hollywood set, lots of interesting industrial architectural treatments, a couple of bars, a smoking area in the back, a stage, live music, shoulder to shoulder people,  and very hard to move around this place, no tension though, everybody’s having fun!  

 One night, I’m  hanging by the front bar at Harvard and Stone chatting it up a bit with Yale, she’s cool, mostly says she bartends at the Hollywood Roosevelt, on this nite she was just filling in. The House Band steps onto the stage and start playing this raunchy tune with a filthy beat, then out from nowhere it seems as if dancing girls started to rain down through the rafters. They start dancing across the catwalks and bar, then down on to the stage. I was shocked, well… surprised,  I didn’t have a clue and couldn’t move. This crowd was thick, shoulder to shoulder.  Hell, no one in this mob was willing to give me an inch as I clicked away.

 The show ends, so I search out Austin as the crowd begins to thin out. He sees my look and ask’s well, did you get anything good? I’m like dude, I couldn’t even move but managed to get some great shots!

Two shows go on, Friday and Saturday nights.  I found the house always full, as I worked through a few months of making images at this venue, I found a need to pre plan. Photographing these dancing girls, week to week, nite by nite I had to pick my spot. If you are a photographer in LA its best to be friendly with door men.

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Ed Simmons photographed by Bonnie Schiffman. Copyright 1972

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Gilles Berquet: I’ll Be Your Mirror

Exhibition Announcement: Paris

PRESS RELEASE:

Gilles Berquest: I’ll be your mirror

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43 rue de Montmorency – 45003 Paris, France

Du 2 au 30 Novembre 2019

vernissage le samedi 2 a partir de 16hr

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A.H. Scott: Elevation

A.H. Scott

 

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Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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ELEVATION

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

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First step; imagine this, you’re 18 with a bangin’ body and a lightweight brain.

Second step; now, turn around and you’re 50 plus with a not so lightweight body and a bangin’ brain.

Well, let’s see if my courage can match my feet and see where this one goes, shall we?

This is E L E V A T I O N.

Elevation is the mind, spirit and body.

She is a woman of a certain age.

She is a woman beyond the years so tender.

She is ME!

Women of a certain age are not trying to be in their 20’s or even trying to pretend to compete in the eyes of men aligned solely for youth.

There it is, that term; ‘women of a certain age’. Oh, sigh.

So, let’s explore. 

Okay, so is what elevation is completely based on sexuality, sensuality and scintillation?

It would be foolish to say it is and foolish to say that it isn’t.

I guess both halves of the whole are a part of what elevation is.

Being in some mythical lineup of long legs, buns of steel, and jugs of joy which haven’t been flirtatiously tapped by Father Time’s golden wand of gravity yet is not who I am.

Oh, so is that elevation?

Okay, maybe that might be it.

Or, is it a spiritual renewal or should I say reconnection with my own being.

Maybe the reconnection isn’t reconnection after all. It might be something far more exquisite; a first contact of my spirit that I have always avoided. Be it out of anxiety or fear.

Anxiety over having exuberance or an unseen joy, then thinking of the selfishness for being out ahead of my skis in hoping for that type of happiness for myself.

Fear of a conscious or unconscious thought of rejection if I said what I felt inside or acted upon my own desires for pursuing dreams beyond where I am situated.

Just give in…

Just let go….

Those are two thoughts that come to my mind.

Give in to what I want. Yet, what if I don’t know what I want.

I don’t mean being fickle or flaky, as if I can’t choose between chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry or even interest from the opposite sex towards me.

No, it’s that overarching ‘ask’ that probably the universe puts out there for me to answer of what I want from life or more importantly, from myself.

Expectations are a daunting thing to comprehend. And, as with the aspect of ‘want’ and ‘release’, I would say ‘expectation’ is that subject that can tip the balance of scales.

But, you know when I think of what is expected of me, as a woman is also mixed with that level of fear that can rise up in my backbone of obligation.

Expectation would be stark and purely rooted in base physicality; as obligation relies upon layers of depth.

Primal and callous hookup in a hotel room without strings and void of patience is what I think of as an expectation of me from another. Veneer ever so shallow of knowing this is in the end of a brief amount of conversation or dinner will end up with him trying to get me into bed.

And, if I’m being honest to that other person and more importantly to myself; that is not the type of woman I wish or hope to be.

Okay, so if the question that is asked of what I want; it comes to be something more than a ‘kitten’ and ‘rooster’ quickie that seems cold.

And, when I mean ‘cold’ I don’t mean there couldn’t be a feverish tumble in between the sheets. Oh, no, I mean vacant of emotion beyond him just getting off and using me as that warm body he’ll enjoy for a short while.

Yep, so I guess that is what I don’t want.

And, if I can say what I don’t want, it then shifts to what I do want.

Then there are men in this world that are evidence that there is something different which is offered. They afford me a path of ease without having to feel constantly in some seen or unseen perception of competition. So nice they are, I am relaxed and even have let my guard down during the give and take which is experienced with them.

On reflection I’d have admit it to myself; but I have had this feeling of obligation in showing a man’s kindness with actions and words of my own in return. That’s probably where I would make a misstep that could stem any furtherance of a relationship.

Let go. Yet, what if I release the reins I’ve held onto so tightly in the lane of self preservation all these years and what I’ve feared in my heart would come to pass?

Mocked and dismissed is what I fear, so my hands grip those reins as tight as I can hold to my core.

The fear of never really measuring up as a lover chills me to the marrow, as I’ve seen other women just swim effortlessly in emancipation’s intensity when it comes to being with a man.

You could say I’m like a door slightly ajar, open enough to be inviting to friends and strangers; but, not being exposed to the fullness that life holds.

The question that I hold in the back of my mind and stem of my soul is this: If I completely reveal myself sexually and spiritually, would there possibly be that crucial connection from another?

Conundrum is one way I could describe it, as taking that step to another level.

And yet, here I am grasping the brass knob and opening the door wider than I’d ever imagined.

This time in my life is my elevation of rising higher in spheres of relationships, from family and friends. But, more importantly, it is the exploration into other avenues of connection.

I know what I don’t want; casual hookups with a shrug of aftermath when departing a locale of liaison.

Never been into one-night stands when I was younger, and I sure as hell ain’t gonna start doing it now. That’s not me. That is not the woman I am.

The only thing about me that is casual is my wardrobe.

I know what I do want; something more than that.

I’m not a teenager, and I’m not in any way trying to be one. But, you know what; one thing which those that are younger have is that fearlessness in knowing they have their whole lives ahead of them. They don’t get bogged down in pessimistic perceptions of who they are and what stirs their exhilaration.

Okay, okay, I won’t play the ‘old lady’ card. But, wow, to be young, tight and full of flight can even make me stand on my tippy-toes to soar carelessly across the light fantastic. So, watch out, whippersnappers! (ha, ha)

You know as you go through life, as the days pass by and turn into years; you have those little interactions along the way. Chit-chatting here and there leads to one mutual dialogue of four words from my lips to whomever I’m talking with – ‘same old, same old’.

Question: Hey, how’s your life going?

Answer: Same old, same old.

Ugh, that wand of Father Time has whacked me on the ass with the SO-SO life! Whoa, that stings!

I know what I want, and it is something more than just same old, same old. But, then again, having a ‘so-so’ life is like a comfortable sweater or snuggly blanket of what one gets used to in keeping things on a thermostatic balance. Not too hot, not too cold. Just so-so.

My predictability has become that two-edged thorn that pricks me from time to time. One side is positivity of being a person that can be relied on, based on my patience, adaptability, and calm demeanor. But, that second side is a bit more tenuous in explaining the downside of being a person that is predictable. In some ways, that predictability is like having my feet planted in cement; for I can be perceived as being not a sprig of spontaneity, but a reed of regularity. 

Yet, life as we live it right now is happening all around us. And, a tiny sledgehammer is coming out of my back pocket to chip away at that cement of caution, as my hips start to sway and my arms begin to embrace enchantment.

Waiting for another to capture that spark from within is a fool’s errand. And, my parents didn’t raise a fool. (Knock wood on that fact) So, I guess I’m claiming that spark for myself. For me – hooray!

Exploring what flips my switch and ignites my motor is the journey that I am on. I’m not speeding down an unseen road, but coasting along at a speed of moderation taking in all that my eyes and soul can seek and absorb along the way.

So, what have I learned as that half century point has spun like golden thread on the spinning wheel of my life?

Desire doesn’t fade and the adventure of life can be filled with possibilities and exploration in coming moments, months, or years.

Some who may be reading this are probably thinking when I use those two words ‘possibilities’ and ‘exploration’; would snap to the conclusion of what I’m referencing is a whom.

Oh no! Although, if the universe is listening; hey, you never know.

Possibilities can go from learning the basics of a new language to diving headlong into off-beat subjects that may peak my interest. Or, even just as tiny a goal of losing another ten pounds and keeping it off. (Fingers crossed and brownies scratched off my shopping list)

Exploration can be as varied as updating my fashion style with a few accent pieces here and there; to hitting bookstores for some paperbacks or heftier fare.

Trying out some new recipes or even letting my taste-buds go on an unknown escapade of flavors. Who knows? The world’s an open kitchen!

Aspects of each have a way of going from that which is non-consequential to the beneficial in the big picture of my life.

I believe there is always room for improving oneself; even when you might not see it in the moment you change something about yourself.

For me, it’s in the knowing that desire that fills my soul and keeps this heart within me beating fast when I accomplish or learn something new is that feverish sense of fulfillment.

As for that fulfillment, it doesn’t have to appear as a connection from an outside insertion inward, but an internal blossom outward from within myself.

May not be that inferno of decades past. Yet, that flame still remains. It smolders. It lingers. It sizzles. It flickers.

Flickering….oh, flickering….and, even those embers that remain are perpetually tickling.

To my own surprise, I am rising! I am exploring! I am elevating to that next level! I may not know what awaits me around the next corner, but my embrace is in a single direction – upward!

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by Ms. Scott, go here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-do-right-woman-a-travesty-in-two-acts-2/

Also posted in Blog, Glamour, Obsessions, Popular Culture, Women

Bob Shell: Insanity Reigns in America Today

Deep Hate: Illustration by Thomcat23

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Illustration by Thomcat23, Copyright 2019

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INSANITY REIGNS IN AMERICA TODAY

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Many years ago Mark Twain said that America has no native criminal class except for Congress. Will Rogers said the difference between death and taxes was that death didn’t get worse every time Congress was in session.

What put these comments into my mind is that our government has devolved to the point that partisan bickering keeps it from accomplishing much, but what it does accomplish is usually bad. The ancient Greeks had a word for what we have today, kakistocracy. That means “government by the worst.”. And I think most of my readers will agree that we couldn’t get much worse than the current bunch of Bozos. No, wait, that’s an insult to Bozo the Clown, and these clowns aren’t the least bit funny.

But bad government is only part of the problem. We seem to be degenerating into a fractionalized society in which some fractions are always seeking to be offended by what other factions do. Nowhere in our constitution is there a right not to be offended. In fact, in earlier times Americans lived by the maxim, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Freedom of speech/expression is the most important right guaranteed by our Constitution. But many people obviously don’t believe in it. I’m sitting in this prison cell right now because twelve small town jurors were offended by my erotic photography. If they’d paid attention and done the job they pledged to do, they would have noticed that the prosecution never proved the key elements of its case against me, and none of my photography was illegal. But they ruled based on prejudice,, not fact, and were offended by the small sampling of my photos that the prosecution projected up to giant size on the courtroom wall, and those were personal photos never intended for publication.

This was brought back to my mind last week by a news story that I read in my favorite magazine, THE WEEK. To celebrate America, the Nike company planned to introduce a new shoe with the original United States flag, as designed by Betsy Ross, with a ring of thirteen stars, on the shoe back. Nike was forced to withdraw the shoe when people protested that the original United States flag was a symbol of slavery. Sounds ridiculous, iduotic, like someone’s idea of a silly fake news story. Something you’d see in THE ONION. But this really happened.

Now I could understand if Nike had used the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy, but the original U. S. flag? And so what? If Nike had any guts they’d have ignored protests from the ignorant and produced the shoe for those proud of our country to wear proudly. I’d have bought a pair if I was on the outside.

Certainly, there were things wrong with this country as first conceived, and slavery was one of them, but there were more good things than bad. Our history is a history of fixing what’s wrong incrementally, striving toward the impossible goal of perfection.

Women were repressed in this country far longer than any ethnic group, and in many ways still are, but we’re making progress on those issues. I didn’t hear women protesting Betsy Ross’s flag.

Communist regimes invariably try to rewrite history when they come to power, but history has a way of surviving to re-emerge when those regimes topple, as they invariably do. In the old U.S.S.R. they renamed everything, thus you ended up with cities named Leningrad, Stalingrad, etc., but when the U.S.S.R. collapsed the old names were restored because people had not forgotten them. The attempts nowadays to rewrite American history and wipe out all memory of the Confederacy are similarly due to fail. Knocking over statues revered by many is nothing more than vandalism, and is just another example of thin-skinned people looking for something to be offended by. Removing names of prominent Confederate generals from schools, highways, towns, etc. is more lunacy.

In Germany, they tried to wipe out the history of the Third Reich. They knocked down statues and monuments and renamed things named after Nazis. They went so far as to purge swastikas from the decal sets of plastic model kits of WWII airplanes, tanks, ships, etc., and banned the display of Nazi symbols. What did this accomplish? A generation ignorant of the history of European fascism, and the many skinhead neo-nazis and holocaust deniers.

Will we have deniers of slavery in our future? I’m sure we will.

In Italy, busts of Mussolini are illegal, but I could have bought an many as I wanted ranging in size from a few inches tall to larger than life size in San Marino. Who buys them? Italian tourists, of course, who take them home to display inside their houses. I could have bought Hitler busts, too, if I’d wanted such a thing. Was I offended that these things were for sale? No, I was not, because I know the history of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists, and that history must not be forgotten. The history of the American “Civil War,” similarly, must not be swept under the rug, but must be taught, and taught accurately.

Those who forget history are destined to repeat it. We must never forget the truth of that statement. If we want a future free from the evils of the past, we must remember them, and our children must be taught them honestly, even if the truth offends them. Not all history lessons are pleasant.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-objectifying-and-exploiting-women/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

 

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