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  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit MtBlowout.com to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

    The post Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Screwin' the pooch

Sometimes, you don’t need advice, just the realization that you blew it

Q:

 I am a 26-year-old straight guy. My straightness and guyness are recent revelations, and it feels amazing to be able to confidently state this. Here is my trouble: I've had gender issues for the past five years. My now ex-girlfriend of three years said she couldn't be with me anymore due to these issues. Our breakup was a result of my apathy in the bedroom, which was tied to my gender issues, and her fears of me transitioning into a woman. I can see now that my insecurities about myself caused me to be a selfish partner in many ways, but mainly in the bedroom. I now realize I was allowing my sexual kinks to get the best of me. I get very turned on by the idea of giving head to a guy, but in reality it is not something that I enjoy. I also find lingerie to be very arousing. I allowed myself to focus so heavily on those aspects of my sexuality that I became insecure in my masculinity inside and outside of the bedroom. I also ended up ignoring the majority of my sexual desires as a result of my insecurity in my gender identity. I have now stopped repressing my lust toward women in general, something I had been doing that negatively affected my ex.

I am asking you, I suppose, for some advice. I am still in love with my ex. I am prepared now to be the boyfriend that she wanted me to be. But how do I prove to her that I am no longer the apathetic, distant and repressed lover that she was with for three years? I find myself overwhelmed with regret. She saw me as someone who couldn't do the things she needed, when in reality I was just paralyzed by my insecurities. —Found Myself Lost

 

A:

 You're not asking me for some advice, FML. What you're doing is handing me a dog with a bloody, torn-up ass and saying, "Hey, Dan, I totally screwed the pooch. Unscrew it for me, wouldya?" Some days, half the mail is from remorseful pooch-screwers, and I do what I can to unscrew their pooches. That's part of my job. But not every pooch can be unscrewed, FML, and your pooch looks eternally screwed to me.

It wasn't your gender issues or kinks or anxieties that screwed that pooch. You don't have to apologize for your gender issues. You were working through some serious shit. What you can be faulted for, FML, is your thoughtlessness, your inconsideration and your neglect. You were so wrapped up in your own drama that you could barely perceive, to say nothing of meet, your girlfriend's reasonable sexual and emotional needs.

We don't have to be perfectly healthy or issue-free before entering into a relationship, of course. If that were the standard, no one would ever be in a relationship. However, we do have to be in relatively good working order, and you were not. Your girlfriend wasn't looking for an issue-free guy; no such animal exists. But she wanted a guy who could have his issues and still make an effort to meet her needs. And your poor, neglected, taken-for-granted girlfriend stuck it out for three long years, hoping you might turn into that kind of guy-with-issues, before finally calling it quits.

And damn her timing, right? Because everything magically fell into place the moment she walked out.

So what can you do now? You can tell your ex that you've come to a couple of big realizations: You know yourself to be a straight man now and you can see that you were a terrible boyfriend then. You were so wrapped up in your own anxieties and kinks and insecurities that you couldn't meet her needs then but you can now. The only way you prove this to her, of course, is if she takes you back. Considering the price she paid when you were struggling — inconsiderate, selfish, thoughtless, neglectful boyfriends are no fun, gender issues or no gender issues — she's likely to pass. Because life is basically one big issue after another, and she may have concluded that you're incapable of having an issue and being a decent boyfriend simultaneously.

If she doesn't take you back — if that pooch can't be unscrewed — resolve to learn from your mistakes, FML, and refrain from screwing the next pooch that comes your way.

 

Q:

 I am a lesbian-identified bi woman who has been with my ladyfriend (also a LIBW) for seven years. She recently brought up her desire to have a threesome. I've had a handful of group-sex experiences, and I know that they can be fun but they can also go very wrong. I am worried that she isn't prepared to see me have sex with a man, and I fear that once we are in the moment she won't be assertive enough to stop something that she may have agreed to beforehand but suddenly isn't comfortable with. What is the best way to test the waters?

Our next concern is who to invite into our bed. We would prefer it to be someone we wouldn't have to see again, so friends are out. However, I am concerned about just finding a random person on CL or Adult Friend Finder because, being in a lesbian relationship, we definitely have run across men who think we "just need the right penis." Basically, I want a man who I know is friendly with the queer community and will respect our relationship and our boundaries. Where do we look for this? —Another Bi Woman

 

A:

 Established couples that want safety, respect and a measure of accountability from their very special guest sex stars, ABW, should look first to flirty friends and friendly exes. But you two, like so many threesome-seeking couples, want the perfect person to materialize immediately before sex and disappear immediately after. That means finding and vetting a stranger. And online personal ads are the best way to accomplish that. State in your profile that you're looking for someone who 1) is queer-friendly, 2) respects your relationship, and 3) doesn't think the "right" penis will turn you both straight.

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