Friday, January 30, 2015

The Devil Is In the Details... and he's watching you...

How I spend my evenings normally.

I have gotten a little sidetracked talking about other things, and haven't been too forthcoming with the actual dating tips for you, tossers.

Years ago I was living in Long Beach and went on a few dates with a girl from my work (who worked in a different department on a different floor). I liked her, she was sweet... it just didn't work out. ANYWAY - one time we were talking and she said, "I miss the days when a guy would spend the day washing his car and making sure everything is ready for a date that night."

And you know what? She was right! At that point, thankfully, I was at a somewhat impressionable point in my life - and what she said really stuck with me.

No, I still didn't wash my car before our dates.

It was 18 feet long!! A 1962 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron. Fer crying' out loud, I could like down flat in the back seat and not touch either door! And so much chrome...! No, I got it neater and made sure the interior was clean - I did not have enough time to be washing the whole thing before every date.

That said, while I may not have followed the letter of what she said, I got the spirit of it.

A date should be a big deal! It should be met with excitement of the possibilities of what might happen!

Are you feeling too much trepidation about spending time with someone? Then maybe you are not ready to date. At all. Consider that... At the very least, maybe consider this person is not the person for you. Especially if you can't be bothered to clean stuff up a bit.

Yes, I am talking about cleaning yourself up a bit as well! Oh, sure - work ran long and you are a bit rushed... Something unexpected happened... I get it. But you knew you had a date, right? Couldn't stick a clean shirt, some deodorant or your cologne in your car to spruce up a bit? Even for a lunch or coffee date - great ideas, by the way. Especially for when you are just meeting someone the first or second time. Puts a time limit on it, so you can give some thoughts as to how things went after it.

Speaking with one of my good friends recently (he happens to be my age, with similar experience), we both bemoaned the fact that when we were regularly dating at a younger age, everything always seemed so rushed. There was this persistent pressure to "settle down." To find "the one."

It made us move too fast. It gave everything this short of sheen of desperation. There is nothing as unattractive as that. It was really too bad that we could not relax and just enjoy dating! Sadly, one of those things you learn as you get older.

Not sure why - probably the threat of AIDS - that seemed to make everyone feel like they had to settle immediately with that one person after that one date. Perhaps many men's fear of women's possessing their own sexuality. Lots of good ole American sociological BS shoveled over the top of all of us from a very young age. *shrug*

So... the dating tip:

Each date should be an event. Do everything you can to make it so. This does not mean you need to up the ante every time - that each one must be better than the last. But each one must be important. 

In case you were wondering - this is just as true when you are in a relationship, too. Also when you are married. Not just leading into trying to establish your relationship or marriage. Yes, the dynamic changes -- but that importance must remain.

If you are new to dating, kid, this is a habit that you need to establish in yourself. Get down to it! If the person you are dating cannot (or will not) understand, then maybe that is not the kind of person you need to date.

Take a look at this. You know it is true.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shoot the First One & the Word Will Spread

Everyone should stand for something. Just not necessarily out in the rain being creepy about it.

Here is a quick sigh of relief! This article appeared on - 6 Viral Stories That Were Total BS ( At the forefront is that the "1 in 3 Men Love Rape" story I sited at the beginning of that an article on 1/19 ( was a BS article based only on interviews with 73 people. I assume they were all drunk during the interview. HOPEFULLY *that* version of reality is true...


While I have talked about this blog starting from my son's questions about dating -- this is also a blog for my daughter. About what her expectations should be when dating. Something which I should point out that, of course, she is never going to do!

At our house we just received the notice about the upcoming Father Daughter dance at her school (she attends a public, all-girls academy; just as my son attends an all-boys one). This notice brings with it a LOT of excitement! Last year, after it arrived and we determined I would be in town and able to attend, I got a serious talking-to about how important this is.

When the time arrived last year, her mother rightfully pointed out that it is my responsibility to show my daughter what she should expect on a date. Therefore, I should go all out in making sure everything was set up correctly. So there was a corsage, much preparation and fancy clothes, dinner beforehand, attending the dance (where I was very gracious to all she wanted to do - which, being only 6, involved running in circles around the dance floor with her friends), and then ice cream before heading home. All of this in a huge snow storm... But I got us safely there and back. 

There were pictures, laughs. Dinner was a pretty fancy place (cloth napkins). A nightcap (ice cream). Getting the hair & nails done. All in all - the quintessential date experience.

Once at said dance, I was glad to see I was not the only one. There were a lot of fathers in suits, often complementing their "date"'s outfit (as mine did). For every dad in jeans, there were 3 dressed to the "T." BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, I am definitely not dogging on anyone who was there! No matter what they wore, they were there and they were present. Seeing all these dads with their daughters was an awesome sight. 

The only downside was the DJ never really played a song that I could dance with my daughter to. She was also disappointed about that...

This year when the invite arrived from school, it led to a discussion with my daughter's mother about the real importance of having me be present for things that she is doing. For what both kids are doing, actually. The discussion also led to an ongoing conversation (read: argument) about doing things with the kids and the family.

Please note: my children's mother and I are together. I feel I should mention that because I am trying not to use names and stuff but since we are not married, I cannot call her my wife, so it is either "children's mother," or I refer to her as my "baby mama."

Her feeling is that we should spend every moment we can with the kids. My argument is that it is about quality, not quantity. We are lucky with what we do that we get to be home so much; but it still tough when we are on the road. When we get to take the kids, that is when quality time is the most important. I try to be at every event (swim meets, spelling bees, school concerts, and dances) -- and I am sad when I cannot be there for any and everything, but working & making money to support everyone is important, too. Sometimes I just have to make a choice.

When looking for viewpoints similar to my own - and to hopefully get some advice - I found Jim Lindberg's book "Punk Rock Dad" (

THEN - even better - watched his 2011 documentary The Other F-Word (

Whether a parent or not, I highly recommend you read the experiences of the lead singer of the punk band, Pennywise ( Especially when he talks about having to deal with being away for long periods at a time - and what that means to his three (3) daughters. One of the best moments in his documentary for my girl & I was when he can finally attend the Father Daughter Dance at her school - something he had not previously been able to do because of touring and traveling. But he realized the importance of it, and began to rearrange his life to fit the needs of his daughters.

THAT is the kind of guy my daughter should want to date. But younger... way younger than Jim is...

Oh, jeez, Dad. You are embarrassing...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Apologies, Assault, Violence & Healing

This is the kind of look that gets you the ladies!
Said no woman ever... except sarcastically.

My son actually got a little upset with me when he found out I had started this blog based on his conversation with his mom. He was upset, too, that I had shared the picture of his notebook in a previous entry (you can read it here:

So I officially want to say, "I'm sorry," to my son. I was not trying to embarrass you, kid.

That said, I am going to continue this conversation. It was really only in the first few entries I wanted to reference you the most -- so any readers might get a background as to why this discussion is so important. A little bit of embarrassing stories. A little bit of remembrance.

And consider this official notice that the "good old days" were nothing of the kind.


Then on Monday - because I am trying really hard to post every week on Friday & Monday - I posted THIS blog-y type post: about rape. It got some interesting reactions...

I feel I must clarify:

Not for one moment do I think that just because I did not take advantage of someone who was drunk this one time, do I think that this somehow makes me "better" or "more trustworthy" or... whatever... I don't know. These were some of the things I was accused of touting.

There is a lot of focus lately (for good reason) in the media about white, male privilege. Looking at my post through that filter, I can see that it may smack of a "hey, we're not all bad" kind of thing, which was not my intent. Really, I just wanted to say that to me - for whoever & whatever I am -forcing affections or sexual attention on someone makes no sense. For anyone. Ever. And it should not make sense to you, either.

THIS is what I want to share with my kids. And you.

An article appeared on Cracked right after I wrote my last post, and I thought it was important to link to it ( because it especially bothered me that someone who is assaulted has to go through such a difficult process. At the core of that difficulty is, I believe, the real fear of that kind of attack AND, at some base primitive level, what such a thing means to any bloodlines and the like. Don't get me wrong! I'm no scientist or anything - but I really think this might be a part of it. I welcome your comments.

One of my friends commented on my Facebook profile when I originally posted the direct link to the post on 01/19 that he thought the study I referenced was probably bogus. I hope he is right - BUT, I am afraid he is not. My example: I only briefly touched on the afterward of my drunk date story. When I related what happened to male friends and acquaintances, the vocal responses were primarily along the lines of, "Dude, you should have totally hit that" and "I wouldn't have just left."

When I brought up to these conversations what was my other thought at the time, that I did not want her to not remember any sexual contact we may have had, the overall reaction was along the lines of, "So what? At least you would've got some."


Back to the article above -- touching quickly on how well she was able to deal with what happened, and how it flew in the face of people's (probably tv & movie based) idea of how she felt and what she was going through: I cannot tell you how many female friends & acquaintances have been comfortable enough to relate to me (because I promised not to, but it has been a frightening number. Honestly, having this happen to any one of them is upsetting enough) that they were sexually assaulted at some point.

It makes me angry. Very, very angry.

But it is in dealing with it that true strength is shown. I have often offered to help them hunt down and take revenge on their assailants. Never has anyone taken me up on the offer... Apparently, my quite serious offer is (rightfully) not regarded as an actual want to heal -- and, therefore, I am not helping things.

Sometimes - even when I am trying to bring it from a good place - I am, at my core, something of a self-centered jerk. Sorry. I'm working on it...

Yeah. You don't want any of this...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Who Thinks Rape Is Okay?

According to the cited article, at least 1 of these 3 thinks rape is okay in this moment.
We disagree... But some kind of weird thing is definitely going on in this picture. Ew...

For crying out loud! Do you believe the craziness in THIS article?!?!:

Did you get done reading it? Good! Let's discuss! (Wait - you didn't? Well, do it! Fine! *sigh* We'll wait...) OKAY -- Having just reread my first sentence, and it seems a little confusing - so let me be VERY specific:

I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS ARTICLE IS CRAZY IN ITS CONCLUSIONS!! What I find crazy is that what it says is true: 1 in 3 college-age men think forced intercourse is okay (but do not consider it rape or themselves rapists for their involvement), while 13% would rape and, apparently, be okay with it. Disgusting...

Let's step back from this for a moment --

I am sickened by the thought that someone... any one... thinks it is okay to force themselves on someone else under any circumstances. For crying out loud - I barely can bring myself to keep talking to someone who obviously does not want to talk, much less anything else.

To anyone who thinks that forced intercourse is okay, or thinks that having a callous attitude about sex is okay: can you explain to me why and under what circumstances? Because, honestly, I have been wracking my brain and can not think of ANY time it is acceptable... Not one single one.

How serious am I about that? Here is some disclosure about me in a personal story -- this is a little uncomfortable to share with everyone, but I think it is important:

A long time ago (How long ago? I could legally buy alcohol at age 19, THAT's how long ago.), I was at a party with a comfortable number of people my age at one of our apartments. All of us living on our own. There was a lot of flirting going on. And a lot of drinking. Kisses were exchanged. Promises were made. But by the time the particular young lady and I stopped making out long enough to retire to a bedroom, she was so drunk she pretty much just passed out. Once she lay down - she was out!

I gently tried to wake her a couple times - but it was obvious she was totally gone, so I did the only thing I could do. I rolled her on her side and made her as comfortable as I could, tucked her in with the blankets (all without undressing her), and left as quietly as possible so as to not disturb her. Let her flatmates know she was sleeping it off and left. Probably was not in her room more than 10 minutes.

Now I am no saint, but never in my life would I consider undressing someone or continuing any kind of contact once I realized she had passed out and unable to consent -- no matter what kind of promises were made beforehand. Or how much I had to drink...

These days, of course, I would probably be much more careful about leaving her alone in her room. I have since realized leaving a drunk person alone where they might choke on their vomit is a bad idea. I might have even just called it a night after getting her to her door so there was no chance of being accused of anything by anyone. Or called a flatmate in to help me get her tucked in - verifying she was safe and unmolested. But I was younger then... and it was a different time.

But the attitude of some of my roommates and friends (guys, of course) at that time was that promises had been made. Maybe there was even some expectation by her that something should have happened. Honestly, I could not agree with this. And this was my explanation to them:

I certainly did not want her to have any regrets if anything had happened - and I did not want to have any regrets, either. Say what you will - but I had enough respect for her (and myself) to think that even if it could not happen tonight, I would have more chances in the future. I have never in my life been so desperate to think that this was going to be my only chance to score.

Did anything happen between this girl and I later down the road? No. Through no fault of her, by the next party I had moved on, obsessed with someone else that I chased around (really, I was kind of a jerk back then), and we never found ourselves in that kind of position again.


I am totally okay with that.

For a definition of what they mean by callous sexual attitudes, I recommend you read this article:

You are safe with this crew (clockwise l to r): Rev Tommy Gunn, George the Giant, Black Scorpion and the Professor in Miami, FL. That's like, 6 dudes, there...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dating Tips For My Son (From His Mother)

My son keeps track of his rules in a notebook of his own construction.

When I started this blog, I told a story. A true story. The story of my 9-year-old son asking his mother how to talk to girls and then have a relationship. Read that story here:

Okay - let's talk about it! (Wait... you didn't read it, yet? How did you get this far. Go ahead... We'll give you a few minutes. You'll like it. It's an easy read.)

If you are having trouble reading his entry in the photo above, here are the dating tips given by his mother that he wrote down: 1.) Interduce (sic) yourself. 2.) communication like how you feel 3.) Hon-esty 4) be the best you can be 5.) cheeck (sic) for a ring.

His mother is obviously a very smart woman! These are probably the five (5) most basic rules there are, gents. So simple - yet so beyond so many... Let us go through each one individually:
  1. Introduce yourself. Confident smile on your face, relaxed posture, look her right in the eye, and say, "Hi, my name is..." A nice follow up is, "How are you?" It is amazing how so many are too quick to try a pick up line, or some other "witty" comment. Why not be up front? And while you are doing that...
  2. Communication. Like how you feel. You have to communicate. You cannot just have in your head what you want from the other person - you have to be able to articulate it. Not just verbally, either! Your body communicates. Your eyes express your emotions -- they let a person know how you feel.
  3. Honesty. This is not just about honesty in your communication with another person. It means honesty with yourself. You have to really know yourself: who you are and what you are comfortable with. That leads to the next point --
  4. Be the best you can be. We have always told our son: be the best you you can be. Whatever your interests, your goals may be, know yourself. The confidence that comes with that is more of an icebreaker than anything else. Sure, it is a fine line between confidence and being conceited... but it reminds me of Brendan Fraser's line in his movie Blast From the Past: "A gentleman always makes sure everyone around him is as comfortable as possible."
  5. Check for a ring. My son actually came up with this one on his own - but, as his mother pointed out, even if she does ave a ring, that does not mean that you cannot give her a compliment. Neither of you owes the other anything but respect.
So, kids, these are the basics. The core of what you need to build from. 

I hope my son keeps that notebook of his forever, and takes the time to look at it and review it again and again.

Probably not very comfortable for anyone involved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why Start Blogging "Dating Tips for Tossers"

Your Reverend Tommy Gunn between the bountiful beauty of The Queen of Trash (l) and
Kitty Karloff (r) at a Los Angeles horror convention. He never dated either of them. All class...

My 9-year-old son approached his mother last night and asked her two questions:

(1) How do I talk to a girl?

(2) How do I get in a relationship?

His mother, of course, gave his some very good advice (in between her tears that her baby is growing up so fast). When I went to his room for a good night kiss later, he was still furiously scribbling in his notebook thoughts to go along with her advice. We chatted for a few moments before I tucked him in -- and I was left to consider what this turn of events means to me.

My son goes to an all-boys school (and his little sister to an all-girls school) so we, as his parents, were not really too worried about him trying to get a girlfriend right now. But we were both very concerned that he learn the right way to talk to a girl and, when the time comes for him to do it, to get into a relationship.

I was especially concerned after reading an article on Buzzfeed about this girl, Gweneth Bateman, who decided to do a little social experiment where she would respond to any boy that complimented her by agreeing with him. Read the article here:

As you read (What? You didn't?! Go back and read it! Go ahead. I'll wait.), this girl along with so many others found that if some guy complimented a photo of her or something online and she did not respond, they would invariably chastise her for not responding. So she decided to respond to compliments by agreeing... and the trolls would still attack and insult her. Pretty badly, too.

Personally, while I could believe that any boy would address a girl in the way described in the article, I did not want to. It really upset me. If someone were to say such things to my daughter, I would undoubtably flip the script (and do what Jay & Silent Bob did at the end of their self-titled movie, where they tracked down each person who commented about them online and stomped them... remember that?).

Further, one of my female friends commented on my posting of the article with this:

"I just had to stop arguing in thread where guys basically said that she baited them and deserved the responses because she was conceited because she didn't respond in way they thought was proper it was ok for the guys to respond so vilely. Reminded me of the defenders of abusers who say the woman deserved to be beat because she talked so much shit. Blargh."

"Problem here is how men are brought up to think they own women and its their job to put them in their place to let them know if they're prude, slutty, not smiling enough etc. I'm glad most of my male friends are able to move beyond this training."

Of course, I became really concerned that our son not fall into that sort of behavior. I will not allow him to be trained to think he owns women. My daughter will not let anyone own her. My standards for them and the people he associates with are significantly higher than the behavior of the standard troll. That is when I came up with the idea for this blog.

This blog is for my son. For my daughter. For the sons and daughters of other folks out there who would like to know what is really acceptable. Who would like to be good people.

It is a little tough - after all, I have not been a perfect person in my life. Am I really the person who should be giving dating advice? Well, bonus, I have a fair amount of life experience behind me. I have made mistakes, but I have learned from them. I would happily share my mistakes with you, son of mine, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I have been in.

I look forward to fun discussions as I lay out some tips for you, tossers!

Reverend Tommy Gunn gets a smootch at the Maritime Tattoo Festival. Respect!