All posts by Jay Garcia

Sex Talk Sundays with Jay

Photo by jean_koulev via Flickr

 

After being on a hiatus and with finals ramping up, Hillary and I will be doing our last post for the semester. We have come a long way, and our last topic is dirty talk. Does one need it to kink up the sex or not?

So many of us crave it during sex, yet we often feel awkward doing or asking for it. Why do you want to talk dirty to your partner? Why do you want to call your girlfriend a filthy little slut? Because it’s hot. That’s why. It will turn you and your partner on, if you let it happen, that is.

Talking dirty is a skill that all men should master. It’s a great way to turn him or her on. But it’s not easy, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it because every relationship is different and every person likes different things. There’s a fine line between dirty talk and disgusting talk, and it’s hard to find a balance.

Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to explore the mind’s darker fantasies – to play into a sexual scenario in the privacy of the master bedroom. You shouldn’t feel like a pervert just because you want to vocalize your sexual wants, whatever those wants may be. Talking dirty adds a layer to your cultivated sexual experience.

It can bring you closer to your partner and allow you to explore avenues you may have never ventured through before. It’s nothing to ashamed of; after all it’s sex. It’s supposed to be dirty, erotic, and most of all fun. The hardest part about talking dirty isn’t getting your partner’s permission, it’s coming up with what to say. If you need ideas, erotic literature is a good place to start, and no, I’m not referring to 50 Shades of Grey.

Unlike the library where you have to be subtle and quiet, this isn’t the case when it comes to dirty talk. Raise your voice. There’s a perfectly scientific explanation as to why we say the things we say in the bedroom.

Talking dirty to your partner doesn’t mean you want to degrade him or her. By calling your partner a “little whore,” you’re not actually saying your partner is a whore. You’re simply playing into a fantasy – a change of pace and social placement. If anything, being able to say those dirty, explicit things only emphasizes the trust and intimacy the two of you have as a couple.

If pillow talk makes you and your partner feel more silly than sexy, don’t beat yourself up over it. Ultimately, if you decide that talking dirty isn’t your thing, still having gone there and taken that risk will bring you closer together and make your sex life better no matter what.

If you have any tips, questions or suggestions for future Sex Talk Sunday topics, feel free to tweet me at @WWJAYD.

Lyft vs. Uber: The Battle of the Rideshares

Illustration by Jay Garcia

 

There’s always a debate on what specific ride share service to take. Between my friends and I, it always seems like it’s a tug-of-war between Lyft and Uber. They both have their pros and cons, but I prefer Uber for multiple reasons.

Lyft is suppose to attract a younger generation of riders, but something about that fist-bump isn’t appealing. On top of that, having a pink mustache on the front of the car is a little dated, and then simply downsizing to the more portable version of it isn’t hip and cool either.

Uber has multiple ways to get you to your destination. My favorite is Uber black car, which is normally a black Lincoln Town Car. If you get lucky it can be a Cadillac Escalade or Chevrolet Suburban.

There are also affordable options such as uberPOOL, which is designed to break up the cost between two anonymous people. This may or may not be the best bet, but keep in mind if someone doesn’t use it then it’s your own ride.

The most popular option is uberX which is a regular driver in a sedan or some sort of Prius. These cars vary and so does the pricing.

In some markets there’s Uber PLUS, which consists of being picked up in a luxury vehicle such as BMW, Mercedes, Rolls Royce or Tesla.

I prefer Uber instead of Lyft due to the different ways of paying. I can also invite my friends to split the fare with me whereas Lyft doesn’t allow that. Being able to see ahead of time what I will be paying for my ride is also a huge plus and provides peace of mind.

With Lyft you request the car and at the end “tip” the driver with what you think he or she deserves. The app does a good job of using the balloon visual to guilt trip you if you’re low- balling. Keep in mind there’s also a score for both the driver and person requesting the car so if you lowball, drivers will see that on their end.

Lyft Line is similar to uberPOOL where you share the cost of the ride with someone else going the same way you are. Lyft is similar to uberX where the vehicles range from compacts to sedans.

Lyft Plus is a partnership with West Coast Customs. The partnership provides white Ford Explorers and is the high end line of fleets vehicles. The pricing ranges for this though. For the student that doesn’t have an expendable income than Lyft might be the better option.

Recently I went to San Diego for a mini-vacation and I didn’t want to be taken to SFO in a Corolla, so I requested a black car. I live in University Park North and the ride experience, although short, was very classy. My driver was in a suit and tie and got my luggage for me so I didn’t have to do anything, aside from simply sitting down and enjoying the ride. I was even able to play my own music through his car stereo via Spotify.

The big difference between uberX and black car is that at SFO uberX isn’t allowed to pick-up or drop-off in the arrivals terminal and must do so at the departures terminal or the driver risk getting a fine. Now with a black car you can go to whatever terminal you’d like without compromising your “vacation mode.”

If you like to splurge a little and treat yourself and friends while kicking off the night, then Uber black car or PLUS might be a better option. Besides, no one wants to be surprised with a charge on their account higher than expected when they could’ve taken a black car for the same price.

 

Uber vs Lyft

Infographic by Jay Garcia

Craigslist Do’s and Don’ts

Screenshot of Craigslist homepage on May 14, 2015. Taken by Jay Garcia.

 

No smoking, no late night parties, no overnight guest, light cooking preferred, no live in girlfriend or boyfriend, and no pets. These are the biggest obstacles when it comes to looking for a place to live in San Francisco. Now if you’re on a time crunch then desperation makes sharing a potential studio or in-law seem like it’s not such a bad idea that you would regret later. To make matters worse is the fact that this decision isn’t up to you, and every potential new home is an audition and has you questioning why you moved to San Francisco.

We all know that a room can easily go for $1,000 or more in neighborhoods such as the Castro, Hayes Valley and the Mission, but places such as the Sunset and Ingleside seem popular with the SF State students. Now the thing with Craigslist is that you must be very vigilant about what you’re doing and be checking throughout the day. When I moved from San Diego to San Francisco I noticed a trend of what yielded more responses and I thought I’d share some tips for room hunters who might not be too aware of the do’s and don’ts.

Attach a photo of yourself. This goes a long way and makes you memorable for a potential open house meet and greet. The way I like to position it is would you consider looking at a listing without any photos of the room? Most likely you wouldn’t and would move on, so keep in mind these landlords are doing the same.

If you say you’re “sarcastic,” show it. You’re in the ring and fighting for a room with potentially hundreds of other people so if you say you’re funny throw in a joke in the email. Imagine skimming through your inbox full of emails and they all sound the same and one of those makes you laugh. You’ll remember it and be more inclined to respond.

Bullet points are your friend and especially good when talking about the boring stuff that’s important. We’ve all heard: “Hi potential roommates. My name is (name), I’m an (age) year old (male/female) from (place). I’ve been in SF for (number) years, studied (thing) at (school), work at (job).” This will bore the landlord to death and cause them to delete your email and move on to the next potential candidate. They all start to blur together with the other emails, and since they’re so common and boring the poster loses interest, fast. The trick is to charm them in the first paragraph and then use bullet points for age, job, schedule, etc. This is not only easier to read but makes it more interesting.

Under no circumstances should these next four phrases be used: “Bring the party home,” “clean but not anal,” “hate passive-aggression” and “a glass of wine at the end of a long day.” These phrases are overused and they mean nothing. After reading so many listings with those words and “fun-loving,” “respectful,” and “considerate,” the actual definitions are lost. Saying something that indicates you are aware that hundreds of people are all saying the same thing makes it seem like you “get it.”

“Drama-free,” is the one thing you never want to mention in your email response either. This phrase is meaningless and points out that you are the one to cause drama. People who are relaxed don’t write things such as that and the thought doesn’t even cross their minds.

Now if you’re going to list your “likes” and “dislikes,” please make sure it’s something specific and refreshing that not all other humans like to do. Such as: yoga, listening to music, laughing, hanging out with friends, cooking or hiking. They key is to be charming-specific, “having the WiFi be spotty and not allow me to stream Netflix without loading” is a charming-specific dislike I shared recently with a potential landlord. Emails with such things, although seemingly silly to you, are seen as refreshing by the poster and bring something else to the table.

You’ve probably heard of “Okay, do you have any other questions?” This is your last opportunity to make an impression, so you better have questions. My go-to question is always “I’m curious about what you seek in a roommate,” because you can always align yourself and confirm that you are indeed a perfect fit for this living situation. Another question that will give you a sense of these people involves their pet peeves. This will either make it a really good living environment or an annoying one for you.

Lastly, make sure to follow up. Again, this is like a job interview and sending them a quick text or email after seeing the place and meeting the potential roommates will make it that much harder for them to say no.

One thing to keep in mind is that these are tips that I have had success with and have proven to be good for me. Some landlords might despise all my tips and delete your email, but in regards to finding a room in the Sunset district and University Park North I’ve been successful.

SF State expands ethnic studies department

The Arab and Muslim Ethnicity and Diasporas Initiative minor, offered by SF State’s Department of Ethnic Studies, is one of the first minors in Arab and Muslim Studies anywhere in the world.

The Department of Ethnic Studies at SF State has a long tradition of breaking barriers. From its inception in the fall of 1969, the department has provided an eye-opening education to people who are willing to have an open mind. Fast-forward to 2015, and the department is once again paving the way for not only the university, but the Arab and Muslim community.

In recent years, there has been little to no classes at SF State when it came to the Arab and Muslim community. One could minor in various other ethnicities, yet no curriculum pertaining to the Muslim and Arab communities counted for credit. For example, the Ethnic Studies Department has minors for Africana studies, American Indian studies, Asian American studies, Latina/o studies, and Race and Resistance Studies (RRS). However, RRS has courses such as Arab American identity that covers topics like post-colonialism processes, critical theory, and perception versus reality. With a recent stroke of luck, the department has now introduced an Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) minor, for students interested in expanding their knowledge about these communities.

“When we mean community we don’t mean Arabs and Muslim, we talk about the community of justice. For us it’s all the people that aspire for justice. Justice is at the center of our program, that is going back to the spirit of ‘68. We are exactly exemplifying that in 2015,” says Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Ph.D., a senior scholar and an AMED associate professor.

A lengthy student strike erupted on SF State’s campus, which led to the development of an important event in the history of the U.S. in the ‘60s. The strike was led by the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front, and they demanded an Ethnic Studies program, as well as an end to the Vietnam War.

This became a major news event for weeks in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. At one point, University President S.I. Hayakawa famously pulled the wires out of the speakers on top of a van at a student rally. During the course of the strike, large numbers of police occupied the campus and over 700 people were arrested on various protest-related charges.

“Even today in a globally focused world, many institutions of higher education have not expanded their curricula to include the histories, philosophies, sciences and arts of a greater range of the world’s intellectual traditions,” says Kenneth Monteiro, the dean of the College of Ethnic Studies.

AMED is now one of the first minors in Arab and Muslim Studies anywhere in the world. The department takes pride in its rootedness and commitment to diverse communities among whom people belong and from whose textured lives, experiences and trials and tribulations are drawn to enrich material for research, writing, teaching, and academic progress.

SF State offered a variation of Arab and Muslim studies classes in the past where students were able to take classes for college credit when minoring in Race and Resistance Studies. The new AMED minor will allow students to easily fulfill both graduation requirements while learning about social justice in other racial backgrounds.

In addition to the minor there will also be an Edward Said Scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students minoring in AMED. The support from Dr. Said’s family and a generous donation from SF State alumnus Allam El Qadah, the scholarship will recognize students who exhibit exemplary academic qualifications and a strong commitment to serving their community.

“What AMED is about is Arab communities and Muslim communities and also accounting for non-Arab, Arab-majority, non-Muslim and Muslim-majority. We don’t just focus on Muslims,” says Dr. Abdulhadi.

The biggest news came when Dr. Abdulhadi was able to confirm that there had been an establishment Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SF State and An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine. This is SF State’s first MOU with an academic institution anywhere in the Arab and Muslim world.

An-Najah National University is a vibrant hub of learning that nourishes science, knowledge and understanding. An-Najah offers undergraduate instruction in the fields of medicine, engineering, humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences, as well as numerous courses of graduate study in the humanities and the social sciences. Since it was chartered as a full-fledged university in 1977, An-Najah has promoted the acquisition of modern knowledge whilst remaining committed to the transmission and preservation of Palestinian history, heritage and culture. Today, as the largest university in Palestine, An-Najah educates over 20,000 students and is home to 13 facilities, offering numerous undergraduate and graduate specializations.

“It was significant for us to get back on track, reaffirm the commitment to the program and the overwhelming support of the senate was really a good sign that we were back on the right path,” says President of SF State Leslie Wong.

AMED was formed to advance the study of Arab and Muslim communities at home and in the diasporas. AMED is focused within a justice-centered perspective, which is crucial with any sort of Arab and Muslim community, committed to reciprocating a very strong collaboration between SF State and non-university communities. No other place on SF State’s campus is as evident as the in the Cesar Chavez building, where a Palestinian Cultural mural is honoring the late Edward Said. This initiative was a collective effort that was brought up by SF State students.

Minoring in AMED will enable students to do as follows: share the knowledge that is produced with multiple publics, create a better understanding of Arab and Muslim experiences and concerns in North America, promote a culture of justice, dignity, tolerance and peace, and finally, deepen a sense of fairness, ethics and solidarity among and between communities.

“We take pride in developing majors and minors that are relevant to the world and the Race and Resistance minor is significant because it goes along well with other minors,” says Wong.

Looking at what SF State has accomplished it’s not hard to see there’s a proven track record for change. This minor is just the beginning of a new chapter for Arab and Muslim communities and as more time passes more changes will take effect for more justice.

Instagram announces emoji hashtags

Image courtesy of otto-yamamoto via Flickr

 

Instagram recently updated its app to include several changes to the ever-popular photograph-sharing social network. Emoji lovers will rejoice as they find themselves now using them even more than before.

The social networking giant announced that it is rolling out a few new filters called “Lark,” “Reyes,” and “Juno.” These subtle filters will now brighten and enhance your photos in a refined way.

In addition to these new filters, Instagram also brought something that, depending on your point of view, can either be a good or bad thing: emoji’s in your hashtags. As text messaging continues to be the new form of communication and less phone calls are being placed, it seems that being able to hashtag emojis is the next step. Emojis are changing the way we communicate faster than linguists can keep up with.

Emojis could even mark a return to a more pictographic script. The earliest examples of writing come from the pictographic hieroglyphs and inscriptions from Mesopotamia around 5,000 years ago. Could the rise of emoji mean we’re going backward?

Depending on your circle of friends, you either communicate via photos and videos, using emojis to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background.

But the ability to convey tone and emotion through text, without resorting to illustration, is one of the key challenges of writing. It’s what makes someone a good writer rather than an effective artist or illustrator.

And though emojis may make it easier to convey different moods without much effort, they have limitations of their own.

Recently I saw a friend who I haven’t seen in 6 months. We caught up on each other’s lives, but when we parted ways we didn’t even hug. So I reached for my phone and sent her an emoji. The next fews messages were emojis. In the past I would’ve handled it differently and either called her to tell her I miss her already, or sent a lengthy text message expressing my emotions.

With Instagram being the first to allow users to hashtag emojis, we can only imagine what other tech companies will allow us to do.

Sex Talk Sundays with Jay

Photograph by epSos.de via Flickr.

Last week Hillary and I talked about sex tapes and the pros and cons of recording such acts. This week we wanted to talk about how soon is too soon when it comes to “giving it up” after meeting someone new.

When it comes to giving it up to someone, there really isn’t a guide for when it’s best do it. What I have learned is when you go out to the bar and it’s 1 a.m. or so, that might not be the best time because your inhibitions are slightly off-point and your judgment is clouded. I’ve been down this road in the past and the only feelings I’ve had afterwards were guilt and regret.

Now I normally meet people through friends or online apps such as Tinder. When I meet people through these outlets, I’ve yielded a higher success rate in terms of finding something with more substance as opposed to a one night stand following a drunken encounter at a bar. Perhaps it comes down to the individual and what the expectations are. I prefer deeper conversations of more serious topics such as long and short-term goals. After a couple dates, that’s when I find that bond with the person and feel comfortable “giving it up.”

I’m not sure what others might think about this, but I don’t like just giving it up and moving along. I did that in my early 20’s and was never able to find something serious.

When it comes to being intimate, I need two things: passion and communication. I want to experience something that’s not just a mechanical quest for an orgasm. And with communication lacking, it’s up to chance to see if what happens next is a hit or miss.

Something to keep in mind when potentially giving it up is to ask yourself what it is you’re seeking. Are you looking for quick gratification or would you like to have something more serious with potential for it to blossom? The decision is yours, and if you find that you may want something more serious, then stop yourself right before you give it up when you’re out at the bar drinking the night away.

If you have any tips, questions or suggestions for future Sex Talk Sunday topics, feel free to tweet me at @WWJAYD.

Sex Talk Sundays with Jay

Photograph by epSos.de via Flickr.

For this week’s topic, Hillary and I decided to talk about sex tapes and if they’re something you should take part in or not.

Sex tapes have long existed with people and some are fond of them while others or more of the in the moment fun type. In this day in age one thing to consider is that everything is connected and while most of us think everything is secure there’s always that chance for something to leak out. This happened to such celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus.

In regards to Kim Kardashian’s sex tape with Ray J which is easily found online if you simply type “Kim Kardashian sex tape” it’s seemed to have lost it’s flair.. This is most likely due to her success with video game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

1 Night in Paris depicted Paris Hilton having intercourse with Rick Salomon and wasn’t intended to be released but one knows how that ended. Most of the scenes were filmed with a night vision camera.

Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger allegedly make them and delete them all the time but have yet to be leaked.

The thing with sex tapes is that people film themselves with their partner to capture the passion and have progressed from the courtship dance stage. This is admirable and I can respect couples that want to look back at their memories of passion. As humans we can occasionally let our emotions take control and are living for the moment and don’t think about the repercussions.

Not unless the person that’s partaking in the sex tape has given full consent and both parties have talked about what would happen if for some unforeseen event both parties split up what would happen to the tapes there should be no sex tape. This is where Kim and Paris’ didn’t think it through and did something far worse than making a sex tape, trusted a man.

I’ve always been tempted to do my own sex tape but the fact that someone could use that to blackmail me or with a simply click ruin me if enough for me to stay away from cameras pointing at me. The most I’ve done is followed in Miley’s footsteps and taken photos or “photo-burst” to look back at them in the near future but then deleting them to avoid any sort of power imbalance.

Sex tapes are fun while in recording but that feeling quickly turns sour when you realize that you need to store it in a safe place that might not be able to get hacked. I would take Ray J’s advice and “Never Shoulda Did That…” (the title to the song he released after the sex tape scandal) to make sure I cover all my bases and not just the ones that my partner helped out with. Good thing only him and I know what happened because there is no evidence aside from our memory to remember that day. What will you do on your next night of passion?

If you have any tips, questions or suggestions for future Sex Talk Sunday topics feel free to tweet me at @WWJAYD.

Sex Talk Sundays with Jay

Photograph by epSos.de via Flickr.

It’s about time we got the fun sex talk back into Xpress Magazine. It’s a rite of passage on any college campus! Why ignore something many of us think about so often, anyway? We don’t want it to be this weird, exciting, scary topic that’s ignored — we want it to be this weird, exciting, scary topic that we all talk about, that we address. We’ve read about the hookups and sexual escapades on campus that are dumped all over the SF State confessions page. We have seen the hand-carved declarations on the bathroom walls: “I rocked his world in this stall.” So we’re going to talk about it from a guy’s perspective and a girl’s view. We’re going to lay out our experiences and honest opinions about hook-ups, awkward sexual encounters, scary adventures, misunderstandings — all of it, from both Jay’s and Hillary’s perspective. We’re going to make Sundays sexy. And if there’s something you’d like to hear about, write a comment or send an email.

And with that, welcome to the first post for this column! Today’s topic: Have you ever faked an orgasm?

Personally, I have faked an orgasm once when I was with this guy from San Mateo. We met through this app called Grindr and thought it would be fun. I met up at his house and everything was going smooth. We started by kissing and caressing one another and you can imagine where I am going with this.

When it came to having an orgasm I could sense he was getting close so I realized that I hadn’t yet and needed to before he was done. This is where I think I did things wrong. Breathing louder and inhaling in shorter intervals that was my cue to “fake it”.

A couple minutes later he orgasmed.

When it comes to my sexual partners I like to oragasm in sync. Something about this really makes it euphoric for me as it really comes down to feeling the passion and not be so mechanical.

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to men is that as soon as they orgasm it’s game over for the other person. They came, they conquered and want to go back to playing video games. Now I don’t know about you but it’s takes two people to make this happen and the least your partner can do is give you the same pleasure. Here lies a problem that I see all too common with people. There’s a lack of communication that could result in one or the other orgasm. Now with San Mateo dude I wasn’t communicating anything and there definitely wasn’t passion and this resulted in me never talking to him again.

So needless to say, faking an orgasm got me nothing aside from a painful experience.