In It To Win It.

In the past week my timeline on Twitter has been full of bloggers  tweeting about how they’ve been shortlisted in their category of the UK Blog Awards, which of course is great news for them. They’ve put themselves forward to enter a competition to win the prize of a stamp of approval on their blog, and if they want that verification then all well and good, it certainly doesn’t mean that any blog without it isn’t worth reading. I for one read blogs that interest me, keep me entertained, and have something I can relate to, and I usually like a person’s writing style. But some people don’t care if you’ve won any awards or not, some people want something for nothing which means asking some bloggers to write for them for free.

I’d not been blogging for long before someone in the dating industry got in touch and asked would I write a piece for their newsletter seeing as how I’m in a bit of a niche as an older dater, (free of course.) Yeah no problem, did an article for this woman but then I noticed that whenever she tweeted it she always “forgot” to tag me in it so I never got much credit for that, it was just free content for a newsletter that she didn’t have the basic manners to acknowledge me for. Lesson learned.

More recently a woman based in Manchester asked me if I would be willing to contribute blogs for her start-up business which was to cover all aspects of dating. Again, she wanted this for free but then went one step further by saying I could be an ambassador but there was absolutely nothing in it for me. She said anyone visiting the website would be sent links to my blog but I was sceptical about this arrangement. I said I’d think about it and after a couple of days I saw that she had obviously paid a company to look after the social media side of her business, well if you can pay them, you can pay me. After taking some advice from someone who is at the top of her game in the dating industry, I was advised not to do it for free, but to charge. So I did. I wrote one blog for her and that was it, after that her website was “having some changes” and I believe her business has folded now so god knows what she’s doing these days.

Most bloggers write for themselves but obviously we all like to think that someone is actually reading it. I know that some people read mine, they might not always comment on it or “like” it when posted on Twitter but I know that one particular person read the most popular post of all (interview for Playboy) as she went in fancy dress as a bunny one night, wearing something that she could only have known if she’d read the post, but at least people read it. But fake people pretending that they’re doing you a favour in order to promote their business is something else, I now say I don’t do anything for free unless it’s by choice if they want to pay fine, if not, fine. In the meantime I’ll just carry on as normal, but I won’t be entering any competitions for bloggers.

But to all the bloggers going to the final of the UK Blog Awards. Good luck.

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A Day At The Races, Playboy Style.

One of the best times I had when I worked for Playboy was when a few of us were picked to go on a day trip to Chester races along with some of the punters. Four of us were on four different coaches and our job was to serve the champagne and nibbles to all the guys on our coach on the journey there but unluckily for me I had the manager of the club on my coach which meant no champagne for me, but the other girls had clearly taken advantage of it as I turned up sober and they were a bit, shall we say, giddy. Working for Playboy was all about image and we were under strict instructions that we weren’t allowed to have any alcohol or place a bet while we there there, which meant that we actually had a chaperone and we spent a lot of our time trying to persuade him to let us have a couple of drinks which was made even more difficult by the number of guys trying to buy us “anything we wanted”. The amount of attention was ridiculous and a lot of time was spent saying “no” to people wanting photos taken, unless it was someone our manager actually knew.

So at the end of the day I got back on the coach knowing I couldn’t have any of the champagne on offer but as soon as the coach set off back to Manchester nearly all of the guys came to me and gave me money saying “You won this love.” “But I didn’t place any bets?” They all said the same thing “No you didn’t but I put one on for you.” The manager seemed ok with it (think he’d had a really good day) as he said I could have some champagne so I accepted and as it was all notes I came off that coach with a small fortune, no doubt the other girls had the same thing happen to them, so what did we do when we got back to Manchester? We hit the clubs of course. Brambles was one of the popular nightclubs at the time and as soon as we walked in the DJ announced that there were “Bunnies in the house!” and after that none of us bought a drink all night. It’s a bit weird when people are only interested in you because of what they perceive you as, they don’t really want to know you as a person you’re just someone they’ve “met” as they push a piece of paper into your hand with their landline phone number on (no mobiles then) someone they can brag to their friends about. It doesn’t matter what you look like, sound like, think like, they’re not really interested in that, it’s all about the image, I met too many guys who only wanted me to tell them about my job hoping I’d tell them some “juicy bits”. They don’t want to hear about how your legs are aching after spending hours on your feet in heels, how your face aches through smiling all the time, trying to fend off the drunken idiot who persists in trying to touch you even though he knows the club rules, how you’ve bruises on your hips because of the costume you’re wearing, how you get daggers from the wives of the regulars at the tables because they think you’re the reason their husband comes in to the club and throws his money away. They don’t want to know the reality, just the fantasy.

So what did I do with all the money that I “won” at the races? Went on holiday of course which is probably a whole other story.

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Liar Liar Pants On Fire

So apparently there are more and more reports of people (usually women) losing thousands of pounds to online dating scammers, but I’m not surprised. On one particular dating site I’m using I can get up to 8/10 scammers a day getting in touch with me but how do I know that they’re scammers? Because they sound too good to be true.

As a woman of a certain age I am indeed a prime target for these low life scum who’ve nicked someone else’s profile picture (they only ever have one) and then proceeded to write the most cheesy profile ever but because they’re targeting a certain age group some of them make sure to include things that they think will probably appeal to some women, and unfortunately it does seem to work. Practically all of them that I get live in America, are doctors, or generals in the army, and a lot seem to be peacekeepers in Syria. All very noble jobs if only it was true. Most are widowed, leaving them with at least one child that needs a mother, and to cover all bases, they are great believers in the church. They place great emphasis on loyalty, communication, love, and finding the right person to grow old with.

” I’m a very loyal and open minded person, dedicated and generous person, most that know me say to a fault. I need a companion that is open and will communicate her feelings to me and to talk to her about her day, desires, wants, needs, family, friends, goals, dreams and all that affects her life to include me, my strengths and most importantly my weaknesses. I believe a person needs to know their weaknesses in order to grow. Relationships are works in progress and I might add, beautiful works for it to work. I’m looking for that right person to grow with, that is my best friend and love. I’m someone who can accept people as they are, I’m a fair individual who adapts to changes in life and enjoy life to the fullest. I pride myself in being honest and most trustworthy, I seek that in a mate. Someone who is compassionate yet understanding and has a calm demeanor and great personality. I love to travel and I would love to meet someone who I can spend the rest of my life with through good and bad times. I’m stress free and fun to be around, I love to laugh and share jokes with others and I’m a very good cook who enjoys a variety of food. I’m an avid reader and great conversationalist, I also like to have social functions and entertain friends but I’m also a very private person who enjoys the comfort of home relaxing and listening to good music, jazz,opera, gospel, reggae. I’m looking for a partner who is fun, likes to travel, very family oriented. I’m loyal and kind and expect the same from my partner. I’m honest to a fault and can’t stand people who lie. I enjoy good conversation as well as quiet quality time. I’m independent and have been on my own for almost 8 years so I don’t need someone to make me happy. I want someone to share in my happiness and allow me to share parts of their life. I love life and everything about it and it shows in the way I live, laugh and love. I firmly believe that life is good.  I love life and enjoy waking up each day, looking forward to whatever it has in store for me and I long to see and be with my companion from day’s first light until evening’s rest and my companion should feel the same way. Thinking of how to live a better life and how to find that special someone to live my life with until the end of time. Life is too short for it to be any other way. I want to meet a woman that loves the Lord and takes good care of herself physically and mentally and will love me like Jesus Christ loves the church. Lol. I just want to be loved, treated with respect, passion and understanding and most of all I want to be able to trust my partner with all my heart and I want her to trust me too no matter what. I want my dreams, fears joys and most of all my love to be hers too and hers being mine. I want to feel special and safe when I’m with her and even when she is far away from me. As for the term or length of relationship I’m looking for should be unlimited and undying love. When the right woman comes along we both know deep inside of our heart that this is what we have been waiting for. I want my woman to be my best friend.”

Well it certainly beats the standard ” Like staying in/going out. Anything you want to know just ask.”

It doesn’t matter that he lives in America, when I answer that there’s no point in pursuing it the answer is always the same. They’re about to be deployed and are planning to come to England and how do I feel about dating him? But I have too many questions such as how can he be stress free working in Syria as a doctor? How would his young son/daughter feel about moving to England to be with a stranger? How is he still single when he seems so perfect and good looking? And that’s when they quickly want to get you off the dating site and exchanging emails. Some might even suggest it straight away with ” Can’t get on here that often, how about sending me your email address here’s mine”.

But I’m a seasoned cynical dater who doesn’t trust anyone, I’m not that easy to fool.

But imagine if you’re a lonely older woman who’s started to feel that not only has she come to the end of her shelf life, she’s in danger of not even getting snapped up when she’s put into the reduced section. A woman who might be widowed, come out of a bad marriage/relationship who has low self esteem. Or maybe a woman who’s gone through life totally relying on her looks and only defines herself by being with a man. Both of these are easy prey for someone who’s willing to give them the time while also telling them everything they want to hear.

“Hello Dear.

I really don’t usually do this, sending messages to people I don’t know but your pictures have made me to change my mind. I had to send you a message I couldn’t contain myself. You are amazingly beautiful, your smile, your charming eyes, your sexy look, everything about you is just WOW. heavenly. I wonder what it would take for a guy like me to marry someone like you. You are hot, sexy, appealing and everything that a real American man needs in a woman. I’m a gentle man with a big heart and beautiful personality. I’m the guy who holds the door for you and gives you a humble smile and a soft hello. I work hard with my hands and my mind and I am more in tune with life than most people. Well educated professional man, I am cool and respectful. I’m looking for a woman that has a tender heart, kind, considerate of other’s needs and one that would appreciate having a man that would love her in a way that she’s never been loved before. I want a woman that is not too hurt and not too hard to trust again and give herself to a man to be loved and take care of in a way that will bring a joy of life and an appreciation she will look forward to every day.We can talk about anything under the sun, sharing personal experiences is cool. Looking forward to hearing from you, have a nice day ahead.”

I had one guy message me saying he’d had a bad day but never mind that tell me about yours? So of course I asked him what had happened and within 5 messages he’d said he was desperate for money as his son had written off a police car and he had to replace it. The funny thing was though that as the conversation progressed it was getting more and more difficult to understand him as the writing became more erratic.  Apart from blocking and reporting these guys there’s not a lot you can do, just follow all the rules and hopefully you’ll soon learn to recognise them but let’s be realistic here.

If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is.

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And Then The House Burned Down.

Last Thursday I had a date, but not with the man I had originally made plans with. The original date had messaged me and after a brief conversation had asked me out on a date, and even though we’d hardly had a conversation I loved his profile, he seemed funny, switched on and so I agreed. Sometimes this is the best way to meet someone, none of this relentless chatting which can go on for ages, then meeting up and they either have the personality of a cobweb or the sex appeal of a teabag. Or both as is sometimes the case in my ever decreasing dating puddle. Anyway, we arranged to meet and then a couple of days before the date I got a message saying could we postpone it as he had to go away on business? “Of course” I said.

Anybody online dating knows that once someone has postponed you don’t usually get the chance to meet up again because of various reasons. It could be a genuine excuse or, it could be that someone prettier, shinier, funnier has caught their eye, either way the longer you’re messaging after that it’s highly unlikely you’ll meet up, and after arranging to meet up on Sunday evening I’ve never heard from “M” again. I had a feeling this might happen so when I was having a decent conversation with “D” I agreed to meet him on Thursday, especially after he said we could meet up in the Northern Quarter as he knew his way around. At last! A guy who’s going to take charge for once, who’s not going to rely on me to sort the date out, or ask me to check the tram/train times, ask to make sure it’s a quiet bar, and even check the bloody weather.

I broke my golden rule for this one by agreeing to meet in the evening for drinks, usually it’s coffee but sometimes you have to break the rules so when we met at 7-30 I was looking forward to it. ” So where do you fancy? ” I asked. “Thought I’d leave that to you as I’ve only a vague idea of where the Northern Quarter is.”

You have got to be joking.

As we headed to a popular bar this guy didn’t shut up. At first I put it down to nerves but once inside the bar I realised that this wasn’t the case. It was all about himself, when he lived in the Caribbean for 9 years, all the celebs he’s met, the friend he’s got who’s on the Forbes 100 rich list, the yachts these “friends” have, the money and the lifestyle which tells me one thing. This guy has no money. Then there was his daughter. I know where she went to Uni, which was Bath, a city I know very well as I lived there for a while but he wasn’t interested in that. I know all about her first love, her various boyfriends, and obviously know all about her wedding which was in July earlier this year. This wedding also gave him the opportunity to talk about his ex wife and what a spiteful bitch she is even though they’ve been split up for 20 years, (not that he was the one who left the country for 9 years and didn’t see his kids in all that time). I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to hear stories about how awful an ex was, don’t people realise that you shouldn’t be saying this on a first date?

I tried, I really did. I mentioned living in Oz for a while but he wasn’t interested. And while he was telling me all about his mate who’s a band promoter and the bands he promotes at festivals I told him about the guy I’d met in Ibiza who’s two sons are in a band that have just been signed to Warner Brothers, he wasn’t interested. I mentioned living in Gibraltar back in the early 80’s for a while but he wasn’t interested. And all the while he was non stop talking I had an over whelming desire to just blurt out.

“And then the house burned down.”

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Mistaken Identity

A few days ago I had a new follower on twitter who said he was a pay pig, a term not everyone is familiar with but as I know of a couple of people who do have them, I was curious to find out more. I was aware that they buy gifts for their favourite girls from an Amazon wish list, pay money into a lucky girl’s bank account, and some girls actually make a living from this so what goes on?

A pay pig is also known as a cash slave, human ATM or a cash piggie  who looks for a mistress online, this is an extreme form of BDSM but as there is no sex required a lot of girls soon want their very own pay pig and you can see why. Pay pigs are submissive who like to be humiliated, manipulated, seduced and quite a few like to be blackmailed by a woman who is known as a Fin Dom, a financial dominatrix. Forget 50 shades with whips, chains and bondage, a guy getting “wallet raped” is as real as it gets, handing over your wife’s mobile phone number so you can be blackmailed and handing over your credit card and money at the same time is the ultimate female domination for some men. A woman can dictate how much he can spend a week on himself  (which is usually not a great deal) while keeping the rest for herself.

So how did this guy find me? It was a case of mistaken identity that’s how. Obviously he was scrolling through the goddess hashtag on twitter and as I use it on my twitter bio (First Dates Goddess) he thought I was someone else. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I thought my new place on the Quays was at the expense of someone’s family having to eat beans on toast every night.

Looks like I won’t be giving that paper round up just yet.

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Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny Part Two.

Right, so where were we? Having been given three costumes to put in my locker it was time to learn the job, and as I was to be working on both reception and the restaurant I would be learning how to do the famous “bunny dip.” This would involve carrying a tray of drinks with one hand, above shoulder level, and once reaching the table leaning  backwards but facing away from the table to pick each drink up and somehow twist around to place it on the table without spilling it all over someone. This took time to learn but it’s not something you ever feel really comfortable with doing as you were always thinking that today would be the day it all went wrong. Another hazard of the job was the bunny tail. Held on with press studs I sometimes lost my tail when I was trying to squeeze between tables, I’d go one way and my tail would go another, but there was always someone willing to put it back on for me as you can imagine.

The restaurant I worked in attracted a lot of business men who were members of the club, they would bring clients there hoping to impress (and it never failed) as the food was great and would usually leave a generous tip when they paid for their meal but as it was going to be shared with every single person that worked there, as well as being taxed on, it was highly unlikely you would ever see much of it. The same thing happened in every bar and in the casino, so no matter if you were given a tip everyone had to hand them in.Wearing the costume I was wearing meant there was really no place to put them so it was a case of handing them in, and hoping that it was a good month so that everyone else working there had also done well with tips.

I always worked on reception on Saturday nights, the night when a lot of the members would bring their wives as there was always a good act on in the main entertainment room, then a lot of people would make their way downstairs to the casino for a flutter, a good night out apparently. The guys who were members of the club usually treated the girls with respect, some were professional gamblers so to be honest, you were just part of the furniture to them as they were there to try and make money, it was always the visitors/guests who were the problem who sometimes tried to over step the mark but a word in their ear by a manager would usually calm things down. The thing with Saturday nights though, it was the women who were brought in as guests who were the problem. As their husband/partner/boyfriend signed them in you could see them really eyeing you up, but you had to bite your tongue because it wasn’t your place to tell them that don’t worry, you’re really not interested in someone who spends all their money (and probably yours) gambling.

I rarely worked in the casino, I helped out a few times serving drinks but I find it weird that there’s never any windows or clocks, a foolproof way to make gamblers lose track of time so that they always try one more time to get their money back. But I did see a guy lose an awful lot of money once which resulted in him losing his restaurant in Chinatown. At the time I worked there it was the early 80’s, so the casino seemed to attract a lot of young  guys who had come over from the Arab states, who were here for an education but had more money than they knew what to do with.  They all had the flash cars but as none of were allowed to accept a lift home from anyone (instant dismissal) it was always the bus for me. The club was situated on Canal Street Manchester which is now the infamous gay village, but at that time there were only a couple of gay bars, which are still there, so it wasn’t too far from the bus station to get the bus home when I finished at 4am. The annoying bit was waiting for two hours before the first bus of the day arrived at 6am, you can imagine the drunks and undesirables hanging around at that time.

Another time, another place, another life.

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Plastic Fantastic.

As women get older there is a certain pressure to maybe enhance their appearance by having a bit of cosmetic surgery, nothing major, just little procedures to keep the ladies looking fresh, and as we’re all (hopefully) going to be living longer a lot more people are probably going to be having some form of plastic surgery eventually. Gone are the days where the only thing on offer was a full face lift to get rid of lines, eye bags and droopy jowls and these days there are all sorts of  things you can have done that are in comparison, minor procedures.

Society doesn’t treat older women very well, they’re often being ignored in the workplace and overlooked for promotion in favour of a younger woman, their husbands/partners leave them for younger women and for some reason they are seen as having nothing to contribute now that their looks have faded regardless of years and years of life experience. It’s hard for any woman to start losing their looks so it’s understandable why so many ladies have fillers, lips done, liposuction, botox and boob jobs, as this must do wonders for a woman’s self confidence but sometimes you can start too soon.

Remember when Kerry Katona had all that surgery done when she was only 27/28?  The problem with having all that work done so young is that unfortunately it doesn’t last forever, so at some point you will probably have to have it all done again, maybe more than once. And let’s face it, surely it’s supposed to be an older woman’s thing to have done when her face/body is showing the ravages of time. A young woman isn’t going to need an eye-lift, or fillers to get rid of lines on her face, or lips done because they have thinned with age due to lack of collagen, leave that to the women (and men) who have tried their hardest to keep skin looking younger by using the expensive creams that advertisers assure us will take ten years off us. If that was the case these miracle creams would be a lot more expensive than they actually are and no one would have a plastic surgeon on speed dial. Living longer means a lot more people want to look good with age, and who can blame them? I just wish I was that brave but I’m not.

I’m certainly not against plastic surgery I just think it’s not for me. I’ve lived with this body for a long time and while it’s not a perfect one, in any shape or form, it’s the only one I’ve got. I know what are my best features and I know what are my worst so I try to make the most of what I’ve got while hoping that gravity has a couple of years off in the process. Years ago when I lived in Australia I had a new, small, flesh coloured thing appear on my face so I went to the doctor’s with it (high risk of skin cancer living in Oz) and was referred to a plastic surgeon to have it removed after I’d had a biopsy. On entering the office the doctor pointed to a brown mole on my cheek, “Is it that mole?” he asked, “As that’s the only one I can see.” My hand flew to my cheek as I said “God no! That’s part of my face!”  He couldn’t see the one I meant as it was quite small, but for me it was all I could see as it wasn’t what I was used to seeing. The mole he was referring to is one I’ve always had, one I don’t see, although I imagine it might be something people notice straight away and when he offered to remove it I declined. And this is the thing. If I won the lottery I’m pretty certain I still wouldn’t have anything “done” as my fear is that having a couple of procedures would only highlight how old and decrepit my body actually is so where do I start?  I’m used to how I look and I accept (doesn’t mean I like it) getting older, in fact the only thing I really miss is how slim I used to be, which if I put my mind to I could change. Add the fact that having a general anesthetic at anytime is a risk it would only be a matter of time before I need life saving surgery and that will be the time that my body lets me down, so here I am, listening to some of my friends talking me through things they’ve had done and while part of me is envious, I know I’d never do it.

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