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  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Open that marriage

Better to agree on outside fun than to punish the kids by splitting up

Q: I am a straight man. From high school through college and after, I loved me some women. Then I met my present girl 10 years ago. I fell head over heels for her. I still love her. But, little by little, she has become boring to me. Our sex life has cooled. Days run together with mundane activities like watching TV, going to the store, and hanging out with our kids.

We own a house, we're financially stable, we look very traditional. But I am far from conservative. I love nightlife, crazy friends and good drink. She was aware of this when we met because we ran in the same circles. My boredom is compounded by a craving for sex with other women. It doesn't matter who — the girl at the coffee shop, the checker at Whole Foods, every chick at the gym — I'm up to my eyeballs in covetousness.

I want out. I want to be a father to my kids and take care of my wife financially. But I want out. I am a few years from 40. What is the best course of action? —Too Young To Flail

A: One day, I'm gonna throw my hands in the air and declare that, from that blessed day forward, I shall no longer tinker with the machinery of monogamy. That day hasn't arrived, as I still have mortgage payments to make and opposite marriages to save — so here's a little tinkle for you:

You say you want out, TYTF, but are you sure about that? In her book I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage, Susan Squire asks: "Why does society consider it more moral for you to break up a marriage, go through a divorce, disrupt your children's lives maybe forever, just to be able to fuck someone with whom the fucking is going to get just as boring as it was with the first person before long?" (Emphasis added.)

Writing about Rep. Christopher "Craigslist Congressman" Lee last week on Balloon Juice — a blog I read daily — BJ contributor "Mastermix" said: "If we want to do something about the high divorce rate, we might want to get real [about] the role of a discreet, mutually agreed-upon affair as a safety valve."

In other words, TYTF, destroy the only home your kids have known and put yourself and the wife through the hell of divorce, and here's what happens next: You dog around for a few years and before long you shack up with a new woman — a woman who might want or already has a kid or two of her own — and a few years after that, you're trapped in another monogamous relationship that bores you, and a few years after that, you're writing to ask if you should put your second wife and your new kids through the pain of a divorce all so you can make an embarrassing pass at a barista who has zero interest in fucking you.

Instead of putting your current family — and your hypothetical second family and that poor barista — through that, TYTF, why not risk leveling with the wife you've got now? Your marriage is already on the ropes, TYTF, so you don't have a lot to lose. Ask to have a "safety valve" installed on your marriage in the form of permission to have a discreet, mutually agreed-upon affair, should the right opportunity (or barista) present itself (or herself). It may not be a pleasant thing for your wife to hear, but "I'm leaving you to go fuck a barista to be named later" won't be music to her ears, either.

She may surprise you, TYTF. It's entirely possible — I hope you're sitting down for this — that you bore her just as much as she bores you. If she's itching for a few adventures of her own, social and sexual, then spend whatever money you were planning to spend on lawyers and counseling for your kids on flying grandparents in to look after the kids while you two head out for a weekend away.

But if all she wants is to stay at home in front of the TV with the kids, tell her that to preserve your sanity and, paradoxically, your marriage, you're going to go out and have some adventures on your own.

If she leaves you over it, TYTF, then you got what you wanted: out.


Q:
I'm a 31-year-old lesbian. My girlfriend is in her 30s, but — save for a few one-night stands — she has never been with a woman before. I've never had better sex than the sex I'm having with her. When I try to talk to her about this, she gets anxious and makes self-deprecatory comments. I want to be with her for the long haul — our dreams fit together — I just need to figure out how to communicate with her about how great our sex is. Got any advice? —Communication Breakdown

A: Yeah, CB, I've got some advice for you: Shut the fuck up.

I had this awesome new boyfriend once, and the sex was so freaking great that I felt compelled to communicate with him about how great it was. "This is so great," I would tell him. "Let's try to figure out where all this greatness is coming from!" But he didn't enjoy talking about sex — particularly while we were having sex — and he got so annoyed with my attempts to figure out where all this greatness was coming from that he eventually asked me to shut the fuck up.

Keep fucking the girlfriend's fucking brains right fucking out, CB, but shut the fuck up. Odds are that she'll learn to relax and open up about sex, like my boyfriend did. But in the meantime, CB, try to resist the urge to lesbian this thing into the ground by communicating it to death.


Q:
For several months now, I've had a growing attraction to one of my good male friends. I am an open bisexual male, and my friend is "straight." We've had relations — me blowing him, him jerking me — but he's adamant that he is not attracted to males at all. He nevertheless sleeps with me in my bed when he spends the night.

The plot thickens: A couple days ago, my "straight" crush ordered an 8-inch dildo, molded from a real dick, complete with balls! He got it to use on himself! He says because there's not going to be another male present when he uses it, and thus no romance, the act will be "straight." I define being sexual as enjoying not only the sexual interactions possible between preferred genders, but also the emotional satisfaction, or romance. Does he have a point? —Absolutely Hate Acronyms

A: Wasn't there "another male present" when you were giving him blow jobs, AHA, and he was jerking you?

Maybe if your "straight" friend wasn't accepting blow jobs from another man and swore on a stack of vintage Playboys that he would be fantasizing about a lady-parts-having woman-person pegging him when he jams that dildo up his ass, then maybe — maybe — he could be believed when he claims to be a straight dude into anal penetration. But a guy who fails to mention a burning desire for pussy to shore up his straight cred — particularly in conversation with a dude who blows him — and instead falls back on a lame "no homo" rationalization ("Hey, it's not like the dildo brought me flowers or anything gay like that!") is a lot of things, but straight ain't one of 'em.

If your straight friend manages to fuck some sense into himself on that dildo, AHA, you might want to take a turn on it yourself.

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