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  • 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.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Q:

 My brother is 22 years old and mentally ill with social anxiety on the scale of agoraphobia (officially diagnosed). He’s made significant progress in the past few years, but he’s stuck on the fact that he’s a virgin and is convinced that he’s not going to make any real social progress until that’s no longer a fact. His particular problem makes it impossible to reason with him — he’s a little Asperger’s-y — and he is convinced that he will only be able to pursue a job, have a social life, and tackle other obstacles after he loses his virginity. Financially, it would be easy for me to drive him to Nevada and eliminate the virginity issue. He’s asked our mom to do so. My family isn’t hung up on “purity” where sex and virginity are concerned, so we’re open to this. I don’t have any illusions that this will solve his problems, but my mom and I are hopeful that it would eliminate an excuse that’s keeping him from taking positive steps forward. Should I offer to take him? Or force him to sort it out on his own despite his crippling social issues? —Socially Interactive Sister

 

A:

 “I want to commend SIS for considering the services of a sex worker in such a positive and nonjudgmental way,” said Siouxsie Q, a San Francisco-based sex worker and the creator and host of The WhoreCast, a weekly podcast that seeks to humanize people working in the sex industry. “And I want to reassure her that the right provider is out there for her brother.”

Some will object to your hiring a sex worker to help your brother out, of course, but you can tell those people to go fuck themselves — or you can tell them to rent The Sessions. In that acclaimed 2012 film, John Hawkes played a poet who is paralyzed from the neck down. Helen Hunt played a sexual surrogate — a clinical, glorified sex worker — that the poet, with the blessing of his priest, hires to take his virginity. No one had a problem with the sex-work aspect of The Sessions because Hawkes’s character is so profoundly and obviously disabled that audiences sympathized with his plight: It would be difficult, if not impossible, for him to get laid any other way.

While Hawkes’s disability in The Sessions was immediately apparent, SIS, your brother’s disability is no less real for being invisible. So I don’t see why anyone should object to your brother getting a little professional assistance with his plight.

So hire a sex worker for your brother, SIS, if you think it will help — even if it just eliminates an excuse that’s blocking his progress — and there’s no need to drive to Nevada. Siouxsie suggests you look for an “experienced” (read: somewhat older) escort with an online presence in your area. A sex worker who’s over 25 or 30 and maintains her own website — and has write-ups on escort review sites — is not just far less likely to be trafficked or exploited, she’s far more likely to be experienced and patient. She may have even worked with men like your brother before.

“A friend had a client who used her services to ‘practice’ dating,” Siouxsie said. “Over time, the client gained enough confidence to start dating. I hope SIS’ brother has a wonderful experience, and that boosts his confidence and helps him move forward in his life too.”

So what do you do once you locate a prospective sex worker in your area?

“Send an e-mail explaining the situation and your brother’s special needs,” said Siouxsie. “There are sex workers out there who specialize in working with clients with disabilities, and many have experience working with clients who might be very similar to her brother,” and with a little searching, you should be able to find one. If the first woman you contact doesn’t work with men like your brother, she may be able to refer you to someone who does.

Once you find your local Helen Hunt, SIS, prep your brother for the experience. “Give him a pep talk,” said Siouxsie. “Let him know about etiquette and protocol: no haggling, no prying for personal information, his personal hygiene needs to be impeccable, and he should know the basics on protection and STI transmission. Above all, he needs to treat her with respect.”

Listen to The WhoreCast at thewhorecast.com. Follow Siouxsie Q on Twitter @WhoreCast.

 

Q:

 I’m a straight guy who recently got out of a long-term relationship. Best sex of my life: Physically, she rocked my world. Unfortunately, she rocked my world mentally too. It was a toxic relationship for both of us, but we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. We ended things a few months ago. I finally feel ready to date again, and last week I met this drop-dead gorgeous girl. Intelligent, successful, positive — an unbelievable catch. She even pursued me! But there is just one thing, and it’s killing me: She is a skinny girl. In the past, I’ve always dated women with curves. This girl is gorgeous and athletic but she’s also skinny. Am I objectifying women’s bodies here? Am I fetishizing curvy girls too much? What is my dick thinking here? —My Dick, My Annoyance

 

A:

 The dick wants what it wants.

That said, MDMA, sometimes the dick wants more than the guy attached to it realizes. You may discover, once you start fucking around with this girl, that your dick must have curves and this girl is just too skinny for you. Or you may discover that you want her so bad — that you’re so attracted to her — that your dick can make the leap for her alone, i.e., she’s the lone exception to your curvy-girl rule. Or you may discover, as so many men have discovered before you, that your dick wants more than one narrow type. Sometimes it takes meeting someone wonderful who isn’t the ideal you’ve locked onto to realize that your dick was into more than one thing, but your brain — your bigger and more powerful sex organ — was shutting your dick down.

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