Connect with us

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

A Gay Filipino in Shanghai

Michael David C. Tan visits Shanghai, China to discover that, unlike the “extremely strict” notion the Western world has of it, there’s a thriving, and quite wild, gay scene to be checked out.

Published

on

We all know China.

Or so we think, at least.

DIFFERENT LOOKS
China is rediscovering its past (topmost photo) just as the world is embracing everything Chinese. Touches of past influences, like the French Quarter, are still must-visit places; just as Western forms of expression, e.g. Eddy’s, are fortunately now common.

Considering that the global media still remains largely West-dictated most of the time, China (of the East) is always portrayed as bad. Forget for a while the Western confusion with concepts of freedom and its application, but regularly we have been (and still are) bombarded with news, serving as examples on why China is bad.

E.g. Internet access is curtailed there (in the US, they don’t use the word curtail even if they also control what you can access in the Net – they refer to it as “necessary control” of people in authority who are supposed to know best what you should see online); people live afraid of the military else another Tiananmen Square occurrence could happen again (in the US, they detain suspects without needing to file cases against them – they don’t see this as a violation of human rights because, well, they’re Americans and they can do this); and in China, we only see images that the Chinese government wants us to see, so forget the peasants, et cetera – they stay hidden from the world (as if there are no poor people in the West).

The big question, of course, is if China is really as bad as it is said to be.

And my answer? It’s experiential.

Yes, Beijing’s there. So is Shenzen. Then there are the territories Macau SAR and Hong Kong. And a lot of other now often-visited Chinese destinations. But here, the focus is Shanghai – the Sleeping Giant’s heart, in a manner of speaking (and even more so than Beijing, it can be argued, even if the capital is the latter).

READ:  Great gambling movies you should watch

Why Shanghai?

Because it can be argued that it best represents (in China) the notions of “modernity” as is generally accepted in Western definition.

Case in point: gay life.

Head to the French Quarter to find the gay yuppies, hanging out to perve (as we tend to do) in cafés, brunching in high-end restaurants, et cetera. Blame (or thank – depends on your way of seeing) commercialization, but this looks more like the usual catching up late Sunday afternoon (after clubbing the night before) in Melbourne, or brunching in Manhattan (a la Carrie, Samantha, Miranda in SATC).

At night, there are two options, divided by how you prefer for your night to end.

On the one hand, sans paligoy-ligoy (beating around the bush), head to bath houses. Yes, they have them in Shanghai, too – and there are aplenty. The catch is to find them – check Web sites for the addresses (basing on experiences in the Philippines, in K.L., et cetera, the addresses of similar venues should not just be given out since abusive government officials tend to find these venues to close them, or ask ‘protection’ money for them to be left alone).

On the other hand, there are the more “accepted” gay bars.

At the outskirts of the city is Eddy’s Bar, the pioneering gay venue of Shanghai. Look hard, as you may miss it – it is right beside a convenience store – considering it is largely nondescript (the intent, I suppose, is to remain not “loud”). Inside, too, the simplicity is the rule – stools with chairs scattered around a bar in the middle of the floor, with but few of the patrons actually doing some dancing.

IN AWE
Even food (topmost photo) are given some twists in Shanghai, with siopao turned into porcupines. The past (e.g. use of the Three Old Men) and modernity (e.g. French Quarter) continue to merge in the city.

“You’re new here?” this guy, the owner of the bar, asked as he approached me and my group.

READ:  The Hinatuan enchantment

“Just visiting, actually,” I laugh. Then, stupidly (I say I was drunk): “And you would be?”

He looked at me, seemingly hurt before he laughed: “Eddy!”

“Oh,” I said. “Sorry. Wasn’t thinking – owner of the bar, so, of course, you’re Eddy.”

He laughed, too. Then, abruptly, he let go of his hand on my back. “Sorry… You have a partner, of course?”

I laughed. “Yes.”

“Sorry, sorry…”

“It’s not like we’re doing anything but talk.”

More laughing.

“And you have a partner, I assume?” My turn to ask.

“Yes,” he said. Then he broke into a big laugh. “But he isn’t here.”

The whole scene didn’t seem too different from chitchats I’ve had elsewhere outside China.

The next stop for my gay visit was D2 – what used to be Deep, I was told. This one, completely unlike Eddy’s, is somewhat impersonal. Why so? It’s a gigantic venue – a warehouse turned dance club, more apt for a DJ Tiesto (and his likes) gathering than a weekend romp venue. It is fun, nonetheless, dancing with out lesbians – and in Shanghai, there are many of them openly out, kissing their partners in the middle of D2’s dancefloor (I still can’t find them in Metro Manila). And if the dancing is getting too boring? Head to the second floor, where the gays/MSMs are, standing around a well-lit bar, checking each other out, hoping to finish the night with someone.

Worth noting here is that many Filipinos are “queens”… in many ways that word could be taken. More noticeably, though, they are the bitches, picking on the not-so-pretty; and, as they tend to be prettier, they hold courts, choosing the good-looking ones for themselves. Solution (in case this is problematic): chat with them – Filipinos have that tayo-tayo (regionalistic) attitude (as should be for expats), and those in Shanghai are nice to fellow Filipinos.

READ:  The adventure of travelling alone

With bars open until 8.00 AM in Metro Manila, club-hopping is a must – something that isn’t possible (I guess for now) in Shanghai, since bars close early, not later than 5.00 AM. Meaning, considering their distance from each other, visiting two bars in a night should suffice (particularly when picking up, or getting picked up). Else, cut visits short to check other clubs – extensive list below.

Back at the French Quarter, grabbing coffee after mass-clubbing, three other gay guys – Westerners (they were at D2, too) – were already planning their next going-out.

“Did you see that one with the thingie on?” one of them asked, hand tapping his head.

“You mean that one with…”

“No, that’s a different one.”

The other chimed in: “He means the one who studied in London.”

“Oh, that one…”

The conversation continued, exhaustively going into: picking up, preferences, partying, drink prices, bitching, et cetera.

It was no different from elsewhere.

Though maybe that’s too big a generalization.

Yes, human rights issues –particularly pertaining the gay community – remain (e.g. no Mr. Gay China here).

But generalizing about China is NOT only not fair, but limits the discovery of the places the likes of Shanghai has to offer.

Do we really know China?

Maybe not. But it’s always there for the discovering.

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Though he grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City in Maguindanao), even attending Roman Catholic schools there, he "really, really came out in Sydney," he says, so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing and a developed world". Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, research (with pioneering studies under his belt)... this one's a multi-tasker, who is even conversant in Filipino Sign Language (FSL). Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism. Cross his path is the dare (read: It won't be boring).

Travel

Cry freedom

#Buffalo may (just) be a sleepy city in Upstate #NewYork in the US. But it does have surprises – e.g. The Freedom Wall, which celebrates the nation’s historic and ongoing struggles for political and social equality.

Published

on

Chicken lovers may know the story – i.e. that the Buffalo wing was allegedly invented by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964 at Anchor Bar in the sleepy city of Buffalo in the state of New York.

The thing though, is, sans the spiced fried chicken, Buffalo has other surprises – e.g. The Freedom Wall.

Located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street, The Freedom Wall was built in 2017 by John Baker, Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley and Edreys Wajed.

It was commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Initiative, in partnership with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA).

It was developed in collaboration with the Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor and neighborhood stakeholders.

From the get-go, the intention was always clear: The Freedom Wall eyes to celebrate the nation’s historic and ongoing struggles for political and social equality.

The large concrete wall surrounding NFTA’s Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Depot now has portraits of 28 civil rights leaders.

Some of the subjects depicted include:
Rosa Parks
Mama Charlene Caver Miller
William Wells Brown
King Peterson
Angela Davis
Bill Gaiter
Malcolm X
W. E. B. Du Bois
Frank Merriweather
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mary B. Talbert
Thurgood Marshall
Minnie Gillette
Harriet Tubman

Now, The Freedom Wall continues to encourage conversations about the scope of the long journey toward equality and freedom.

And that a lot of effort still needs to be done to bring about a just and equitable world.

READ:  Leaping WORMS

Continue Reading

Travel

Best LGBT nightspots in Vegas

If you’ve been to Vegas before, don’t be fooled into thinking you know all the best places. Bars, hotels and clubs are opening, closing and changing their names all the time.

Published

on

Photo by James Walsh from Unsplash.com

Las Vegas – it’s America’s biggest playground and it’s a place where everyone is welcome. Age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, wealth, social background – none of them matter in Sin City. Vegas has a large and vibrant gay scene, and one that extends far beyond what is affectionately know as the fruit loop around East Naples Drive, near the University of Nevada. 

If you’ve been to Vegas before, don’t be fooled into thinking you know all the best places. Bars, hotels and clubs are opening, closing and changing their names all the time. If you leave it for more than a couple of years between visits, it can feel like you’re entering a completely different city and you have to learn it all again from scratch. 

Five years ago, for example, the Blue Moon resort was the first place on everyone’s list. But Vegas’s first and only specifically gay hotel and resort suddenly closed its doors in October 2014. There have been rumors of it reopening, but none of these have come to fruition as yet. 

Here, we’ve taken a look not just around the fruit loop area but also up and down the strip to find some of the top LGBT nightspots in Glitter Gulch. 

Piranha Nightclub

The exception that proves the rule in the constant swirl of Vegas change, the Piranha nightclub is one constant that has been around for years. The two-floor nightclub is chic, sophisticated and high-energy. The dance floor is always packed, but if you want something a little calmer, it is well worth splashing out on a VIP package. 

READ:  Good ways (and not-so-good ways) to travel the world

That provides an opportunity to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, as the VIP area and skyboxes are a popular celebrity haunt. As well as offering an amazing view of the dance floor, you can enjoy a luxury patio, accessed through a walk-through aquarium full of – you guessed it – piranhas. Check out the weekend party package for four, which includes two bottles of New Amsterdam along with mixers in the $350 price. 

Piranha is on Paradise Road just to the north of Tropicana Avenue and close to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. 

Sahara Hotel and Casino

Let’s face it, there’s never been a particularly strong correlation between casino gambling and gay culture. As a result you’re not going to find a “gay casino” as such in Las Vegas, but whether you go to Paris, Wynns or the MGM Grand, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a great night’s entertainment. 

Having said that, no city on earth has as much choice as Vegas when it comes to gambling halls, so you can afford to be fussy. The Sahara on Las Vegas Boulevard gets singled out here for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a place with its own unique style. Across the board, casino fashion is changing from the archetypal formal wear of Monte Carlo, but the vibe at Sahara is one that really encourages you to express yourself, so make an effort and get dressed up for the night. 

Secondly, though, once you’ve had enough of the blackjack, roulette and slots, there are few places better to catch a show. The Sahara has hosted some of the absolutely classic gay icons across the years. These include Liberace, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, Barbara Streisand and Kenny Kerr. 

READ:  San Francisco LGBTQ quick facts

Quadz

Fancy something a little more casual? Quadz could be just the thing, with its retro, dive bar feel. The drinks are cheap, the chatter is friendly and it is one of those places that is as popular with locals as it is with visitors. In Vegas, that’s one of the highest accolades, so definitely pay the place a visit. 

The focus here is on traditional bar games like pool, darts and good old fashioned arcade games. There’s a juke box with an eclectic mix so that you can choose your own soundtrack for the night. Quadz also has regular game nights, including Cowboy Bingo once a month and poker every Thursday evening. 

Quadz is on Paradise Road, right opposite Piranha Nightclub, and is open 24/7. 

The Luxor (Temptation Sunday)

If you’re visiting Las Vegas in the height of summer, a pool party makes all sorts of sense. The Luxor Hotel and Casino on The Strip hosts regular gay pool parties of a Sunday. The Luxor pyramid serves as the perfect backdrop for sun-kissed fun around the pool, and the party vibe is enhanced by Go-Go boys and the cheesiest of party music. 

Temptation Sunday also hosts a range of top-notch DJs, so if you are in Vegas for a while, it is worth checking who is on when and planning your visit to The Luxor accordingly. If you want to really make it a party to remember, you could consider renting out a cabana for the occasion. These come equipped for four, and comfy chairs, soft drinks, towels and even a flat screen TV with sports package are all provided for you and your party. 

READ:  Six of your favorite foods being wiped out by climate change

The Temptation Sundays Seasons runs throughout the summer months from about May to September.

The Phoenix

Situated on West Sahara Avenue, a short drive to the north west of The Strip, The Phoenix is a friendly cocktail bar that offers cheap drinks, good conversation and a great variety of special event nights.

On a run of the mill evening, there will be no-nonsense bar food, dancing and a choice of video games and traditional bar games to keep you amused. Time your visit right, though, and you could join the fun for an underwear party. Dare to bare and it’s all you can drink for a one-off $5 charge. 

Phoenix is a bar that allows smoking even if you’re not playing casino games, so keep that in mind. For smokers, it’s like a step back in time to the good old days, but for others, it can come a bit of a culture shock. However, there’s a fabulous outdoor patio where you can take in the fresh desert air.

Continue Reading

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

LGBT athletes who have been an inspiration on and off the field

There are some sports stars across the US and the world who are out and proud. They are paving a path for new generations, so let’s celebrate them.

Published

on

Photo by tommy boudreau from Unsplash.com

The sports world is one that loves tradition. In most respects, that’s a good thing, and some of the rituals attached to our favorite sports have become woven into national folklore. There are times, however, when those deeply ingrained practices make it difficult for sport to move with the times. 

It means that traditions dating back to the mid 20th century or earlier can sometimes be accompanied by attitudes from the same period. For example, there is an immense gender gap in professional sports of practically every type when it comes to both the profile of the sport and the money earned by the athletes. Certain sports also show an alarming disparity when it comes to ethnicity. The achievements of stars like Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters illuminate just how few black golfers and tennis pros there are, for example. 

But even more glaringly obvious than this is the underrepresentation of LGBT sports pros. Could it be that even in 2019, outdated “locker room” mentalities mean that there is still a fear of coming out? The good news is that there are some sports stars across the US and the world who are out and proud. They are paving a path for new generations, so let’s celebrate them.

Tom Waddell

The former Olympic decathlete was a man of many talents and of strong convictions. Prior to his professional sporting career, he qualified as a doctor and then served in the US Army as a paratrooper and preventative medical officer. Waddell competed in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, where he placed sixth in the decathlon out of 33 entrants. 

READ:  The adventure of travelling alone

With his military, sporting and medical background, it was an immensely brave act for Waddell to come out given the attitudes of the early 1970s. In 1972, he joined a gay bowling league, and it was this that brought home to him how few openly gay athletes there are. It inspired him to organize the inaugural Gay Olympics in 1982, although an injunction by the IOC forced an eleventh hour name change to the Gay Games. 

Waddell passed away in 1987 aged just 49. Despite declining health, he witnessed and even participated in Gay Games II, winning Gold in the javelin. To this day, he is remembered with numerous tributes and his legacy is one that will live forever. 

Jason Collins

The center, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, came out in 2013. The news created a media storm, as he was the first active male athlete from any of the four major sporting leagues to come out as gay. The Guardian newspaper said at the time that this was a defining moment for LGBT rights, describing professional sport at the “final frontier.”

Collins himself has always remained level headed, and very much takes the attitude that he is doing no more than less than playing the cards he is dealt. He famously said: “I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.”

That conversation is still ongoing and today, Collins is a passionate advocate for LGBT rights. 

READ:  San Francisco LGBTQ quick facts

Michael Sam

Despite these inspiring stories, it would be disingenuous to pretend that coming out as a sports pro is easy, or that once done, the world will welcome you, congratulate you and let you get on with your life. Michael Sam knows that better than most. 

The defensive end spent one season in the NFL, playing for the St Louis Rams. Having come out the previous year, he was the first openly gay player in the NFL. His pro career never really got off the ground, and after a season with the Montreal Alouettes he retired from football. Throughout his pro career, there was constant distraction due to debate over his sexuality. An anonymous source in the NFL said that Sam’s decision to come out immediately after college would probably affect his chances of being drafted, while campaigners with placards either berating or supporting Sam were a common site at and around games. 

All this meant that Sam struggled to focus 100 percent on football, and he even remarked that his career might have gone differently had he stayed in the closet. Today, he works as a writer and motivational speaker. 

Caitlyn Jenner

Born William Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner is without doubt the most famous and talked-about transgender woman on the planet. Back in the 1970s and prior to her gender reassignment surgery, she led the world in decathlon. After winning the gold medal at the 1975 Olympics, it was the then Bruce Jenner who started the tradition of taking a national flag from a spectator and carrying it on the victory lap, something that is still imitated to this day. 

READ:  The Gay Seas of Puerto Galera

In 1982, Bruce Jenner featured on the cover of Playgirl. Who could have imagined that the next magazine cover, some 33 years later would be so different? Caitlyn Jenner has shared the highs and lows of gender reassignment with the world through interviews, social media and even her own TV series. She’s a lady that polarizes opinion, but that’s fine – after all, black or white, straight, gay or trans, none of us have an automatic right to be liked by everyone. What is beyond doubt is that she’s done more than anyone to get people talking about gender reassignment and to bring into everyday conversation. And that can never be a bad thing.

Blazing a trail

There are literally dozens of other names we could mention, including swimmer Ian Thorp, boxer Orlando Cruz, diver Tom Daley and England cricketers Katherine Brunt and Natalie Sciver, who recently announced their engagement

The good news is that with every passing year, we can add more names to this list, and the day will come when we will no longer have to. Saying a sports star is gay or trans will be as irrelevant as saying he or she is left handed or wears a size 10 shoe. The important thing to remember is that this change does not happen overnight, and it has only been made possible by those who had the courage to take those first steps. 

Continue Reading

Technology

Tinder is a waste of time for most people

Female Tinder users are, on average, more interested in finding long-term relationships than men are. This also applies to encounters without using dating apps.

Published

on

Photo by Marjan Grabowski from Unsplash.com

“For people who don’t pull off one-night stands without using Tinder, Tinder doesn’t offer much in the way of new opportunities,” says postdoc Trond Viggo Grøntvedt, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Psychology.

He is the first author of a new article – titled “Hook, Line and Sinker: Do Tinder Matches and Meet Ups Lead to One-Night Stands?” – that appeared in Evolutionary Psychological Science to deal with the use of Tinder. If you’re failing outside Tinder, then you don’t have much to gain from using Tinder, either.

Other authors include: Mons Bendixen, Ernst O. Botnen and Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair

“For people who actually have sexual relations outside Tinder, Tinder use only provides a limited increase in the number of one-night stands,” Grøntvedt says.

“Most of the people who succeed on Tinder have casual sex and hook-ups otherwise, too,” says Kennair at the Department of Psychology at NTNU.

The researchers have previously found that Tinder use did not lead to an increase in one-night stands.

“We have found little reason to claim that dating apps lead to more short-term sexual relationships than before,” says Bendixen, also in NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

There is thus no reason for any moral outrage from anyone.

Swiping

Tinder is one of several match-making apps. It uses location services to find other users nearby and then tries to match users with each other.

READ:  Living on the edge in a house on stilts

Selecting someone is simple and effective: candidates pop up with a picture and some information on the screen. Swiping to the left means you’re not interested in a meet-up. Swiping to the right means you would like to meet the person. If two people swipe right on each other, the app can help them meet.

But sweeping and searching on Tinder has very limited effectiveness for the vast majority of users, who will probably succeed just as well by meeting live people instead.

Lots of hits needed

A lot of hits are needed on Tinder before any lead to a meeting. And even more hits are required before any kind of relationship can happen, whether we’re talking about a one-night stand or a meeting a partner with the aim of having a long-term committed relationship.

Men and women tend to use Tinder and other dating apps differently. Most women take more time to evaluate potential matches and are more often looking for a relationship, whereas most men are quicker in their assessments and swipe to the right far more often in the hope that a high enough number will result in at least one hit.

About 20 per cent of users had one-night stands after using Tinder. The vast majority of them had only experienced this once. Thus, eight of ten users never have sex after using the app.

“Tinder may offer new sexual opportunities, but these appear to be very limited,” says Kennair.

Only a tiny group of seven people, between two and three per cent of the study participants, had one-night stands exclusively after meeting someone through Tinder. The rest achieved this by traditional dating methods as well.

READ:  Leaping WORMS

Participants were asked to evaluate how physically attractive they found themselves to be. How physically attractive users are can predict the extent to which they succeed in having short-term sex when using Tinder.

“But this also applies when you’re not using dating apps. Some people get a lot, and a lot get none,” says Kennair.

“Both age and attitudes towards casual sex affect how often you actually achieve a one-night stand after using Tinder. But these are the same factors that play in elsewhere as well,” Grøntvedt says.

If you are more comfortable with casual sex, you’ll also have it more often.

“But there’s also a connection between a high interest in short-term sex encounters and less chance of meeting someone interested in a long-term relationship through the use of the dating app,” says Bendixen.

Female Tinder users are, on average, more interested in finding long-term relationships than men are. This also applies to encounters without using dating apps.

But according to this and previous studies, Tinder is not a very effective way to meet a long-term partner, either.

Ernst Olav Botnen had the idea for this study. He is currently a clinical psychologist at Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital in Oslo.

“It’s interesting to see how the behaviour we see in other arenas, like bars and nightclubs, is reflected in dating apps,” says Botnen.

Of the 269 study participants who were active or former Tinder users, 62 per cent were women.

“Since the participants in our selection are university students in their early 20s, it will be interesting to see if our findings apply to other groups and age ranges in future research,” Botnen says.

READ:  The Hinatuan enchantment

Continue Reading

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

International Money Transfer will cost few cents

We now run business from our flats and hire employees all over the world. And most importantly, we constantly exchange and send money online.

Published

on

International Money Transfer will cost few cents? Soon it may be possible…

We live in the age of globalisation and widely-available connection to the Internet. It’s nothing too unusual to purchase good and services from foreign companies. We run business from our flats and hire employees all over the world. And most importantly, we constantly exchange and send money online. If you have ever wanted to make a larger international transfer you noticed how high the fees could be.

Fortunately, with new technological solutions we may soon be able to send money for a few cents. Moreover, our recipient will receive it after just a few seconds.

Current remittance prices

While banks charge sometimes from $10-$30 for an international wire, online remittance companies have a more appealing rates. You can easily send and exchange a thousand dollars for under $5. It’s very easy to do and convenient. All you have to do is send a regular domestic free bank or card transfer to one of the remittance companies and then they will take care of moving your money between borders.

Blockchain impact on remittance

In last few months there have been a lot of news about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum. These topics were hot mostly because of the incredible and sudden value gains of these virtual digital coins. If you don’t know too much about them – they work just like any other currency. However, they are purely digital. Moreover, there are no “central banks” or other “admins” of the system. So only you have access to your e-wallet.

READ:  Keeping the creative ideas flowing

There are still lots of obstacles, which prevent any potential wider adaptation of these coins. However, some online stores already accept them among other payment methods. The biggest advantages of cryptocurrencies are cheap fees and quick transfer delivery times. Let’s take a look at the 2nd most popular crypto – Ethereum. It costs $0.2 to send any amount to anywhere in the world. Moreover, your recipient gets the money to his personal wallet just after 15 seconds.

Now, some remittance companies try to utilize blockchain technology to lower their transfer prices.

Better money transfer services

Some of the companies claim that after connecting blockchain solutions to their platforms, they were able to offer their money transfer services in more remote countries. For example, TransferGo started their cooperation with blockchain and cryptocurrency-related project – Ripple.

The CEO of TransferGo said that: “After launching our Ripple corridor to India, we were able to pay out remittances in minutes, Ripple gives us a competitive edge in India, which is the largest global cross-border remittance market, and today we’re moving more than a couple of million pounds per year.”

Ripple tries to help financial institutions benefit from this new technology. Currently most of the banks communicate via SWIFT network (that’s why the international wire is so expensive). As more and more companies decide to try blockchain and for example Ripple’s network, they will be able to lower the prices and increase the speed. In the same interview TransferGo’s CEO talked about how transfer which takes a few minutes is already becoming too outdated for the modern money transfer market.

READ:  The adventure of travelling alone

Which remit platform is the best?

As even big mainstream financial institutions such as Santander Bank decided to try utilizing blockchain technology, maybe it is the future of remittance and inter-bank communication? We can already see the difference in fees and charges offered by classic remittance companies versus the ones which are not afraid of trying new solutions. Even Facebook is soon introducing their own blockchain-based digital coin. You can read about how Libra can empower financially less-developed regions and bring cheap and almost instant money transfers. All you will need to send thousands of dollars to anyone in the world for few cents is a smartphone with Internet connection…

Continue Reading

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Do’s & dont’s for better sex using toys

If it works for you, that’s great, but talking things through before springing anything on (or into) your partner is more than just manners, it’s consent, and you’ll need it before you try anything new, no matter how much you just know they’re “…going to love it.”

Published

on

New to the world of sex toys? Perhaps you’ve played solo for years and have finally found or have decided to share the joy with your partner. Either way, there’s some crucial data to take on board when sharing the buzz or maybe the harness with your bedfellows. 

Always ask

Seems straightforward, even mandatory for most of us, but even in the heat of the moment (which might just be your own), consider your partner’s feelings and wishes above all else. If it works for you, that’s great, but talking things through before springing anything on (or into) your partner is more than just manners, it’s consent, and you’ll need it before you try anything new, no matter how much you just know they’re “…going to love it.”

Use lubricant

At the risk of sounding naive, it’s astonishing how many toy owners complain, and then wonder why/how their partner can’t be into it, when they thrust the dry probe or over-sized phallus into what’s usually their partner’s hottest pleasure center. Whatever the toy, if it has any part that sits close to, or penetrates, even a fraction of an inch, use a high quality water-based lubricant, and check before using other kinds, they might just damage/degrade materials like silicone and some newer polymers. It’s easy enough to forget, so make sure you have a steady and ready supply, which leads us to the next point:

Be prepared

If you have a first time toy experience or even a regular date night buzz planned with your partner, plan for it. Make it special, romantic or as fun and crazy as you guys enjoy whatever it is you do, but be prepared. Have plenty of lube, towels and wipes, toy cleaner and condoms; everything that you wouldn’t want to have missing in the heat of the moment. Many a romantic interlude or passionate embrace has been interrupted or ruined with the fateful words like, “You did bring a rubber, right?” or “Hand me some lube, honey.”

READ:  Notes from a Gay-lera virgin

Being prepared incorporates personal and physical hygiene, so…

Be sure and get clean before you get down and dirty

This is especially the case for anyone using anal toys, plugs, vibrators, or pumps. Anything that’s going anywhere near your tushie needs to be clean itself, and you want your rear end to be so clean you could… well, clean enough to do whatever you’re going to do ‘back there.’

Anal douching, even enemas are the unadvertised necessity when it comes to anal play, and it isn’t always spelled out for you on the box. If you or your partner are new to or want to explore anal play, start by exploring the fascinating (and sexy for some) world of cleaning yourself before anal sex.

It’s the same for any kind of sex; for any gender. If you’re sharing yourself (and your toys), you need to make sure both they and their intended users are clean. Guys, it’s your responsibility to clean your manhood as much as it is for any partner to make themselves fresh and appealing for you too.

It’s the same as body parts, never share toys between partners without sterilizing, and be mindful too, because some materials are porous and need a condom fitted to avoid risk of infection/cross-contamination.

Keep it fun and light-hearted

If either partner is new to toys, keep it fun and don’t bring out the biggest, most intimidating toy in the box. Start slow and explore boundaries. They’re there for a reason, and not all partner’s boundaries or preferences/choices need to be overcome. Always only do what feels right for both of you.

READ:  Great gambling movies you should watch

Time and place

If you’re staying over or having a partner stay, consider the toy/s you have in mind. Some people lose control when they have a buzz-induced orgasm, real screamers. Also, consider the type/style and volume/requirements of your toys. Do they make a lot of noise? And if they do, is it appropriate to use them on the day/night. Do they need batteries or power? Refer back to being prepared, but consider how practical and fun what you want to use really is, and you may do this by considering all factors of the intended experience.

Despite what some people think, or the online descriptions suggest, it is not always fine to take your dildo or vibrator to work. It can be fun, but it could also be super awkward for your coworkers or boss if you’re found doing something you shouldn’t be at work. Keep work and play separate. Use your own discernment and common sense as a necessity.

Pleasure your partner first

Unless you have a standing order, if you’re the more experienced toy user, or if the toy is specific to your partner’s needs, focus attention on them first. Making it all about your partner is a secret to most problems that arise from the bedroom in relationships. If you make it about them, your own sense of fulfillment is greatly enhanced, and for guys, it’s a sure way to last longer overall, as well as being what he/she really wants… someone who thinks about them instead of themselves all of the time.

READ:  The Hinatuan enchantment

Make it personal

Familiar users of toys can personalize their experience. Gifting your partner a toy which suits their personality, preferred position or style of pleasure, even if it’s just their favorite color, is a truly great way to customize the toy-based experience.

Don’t depend on toys every time you have sex/climax

It maybe blasphemy for some, but use toys as they are intended, and add accessories to heighten and enhance the natural and intimate sensuality of partnered/solo sexual encounters. Sometimes training your body to climax to artificial stimulation might make the natural response more difficult over time. 

Enjoy toys, by all means, and delight in the intensity of their power, feel and sensations that you can share and enjoy with or without your partner, but keep it real. Like anything fun, if it becomes an obsession, or is keeping you from performing in your non-toy life, it could become a problem rather than a pleasure. Use your own discernment here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular