Guide to Getting Naked

 Originally Published in Hush magazine (The Naked Issue)

Getting naked is somewhat of a popular activity. Skinny-dipping, getting massages and of course, having sex—are all done in the buff. Judging by edgy, over-exposed American Apparel ads and the popularity of Victoria's Secret fashion shows, getting naked has a reputation for being cool. That's fine. What isn't cool , however, is seeing your naked antics embarrassingly splayed all over YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Because of the technological candy store we live in, what once was just an innocent game of strip poker, now has the power to ruin relationships, reputations and careers. Another politician/actress/professional athlete doesn’t have to accidentally tweet a naked picture of themselves for us to know that technology and nudity do not always mix. Here are some practical tips on how to get naked, without getting busted.

Practice safe sext
If we’ve learned anything from professional athletes, it’s that you should always delete your text messages. Thankfully, for those of us who need a little technological assistance, there are iPhone applications that automatically deletes messages after they’ve been read. But even if you cover your tracks, there is no guarantee that the recipient of your illicit messages or photos will be so discreet. Just remember that the flirtatious snap of you in your leopard print bra that you think is totally irresistible at 3 a.m., rarely ends up being seen by just the object of your textual affection. If you are going to sext, do it with someone you moderately trust and before last call at the bar.

Sailpast Iconoclast

Originally published in Pacific Yachting, July 2012

The tradition of opening day and sailpast at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club was a complete mystery to me when I became a member a couple of years ago. However, being eager to immerse myself in boating culture, last year I accepted my first invitation to join in the annual event. I was instructed to wear white pants, a white shirt and a navy blue blazer, but was told to “just wear something nautical” if I didn’t have those things.

I’d like to emphasize that I do have those things, but misreading the seriousness of the instructions, I opted for a white striped dress, a navy sweater and jacket. It should also be noted that it was pouring rain, cold and stormy even though it was May.

When I arrived at the club that morning my jaw almost dropped to the floor. Literally every single person was wearing the entire outfit of white pants, white shirt and navy blazer. Even babies were wearing it. As I slinked shamefully to the docks, a couple of dogs galloped by me in sailor suits, surely judging my outfit in their little terrier minds. If that wasn’t bad enough, I even made the horrifying mistake of wearing a captain’s hat inside the clubhouse where, upon arrival, someone politely took me aside and whispered, “Punishment for wearing a captain’s hat inside the pub is buying every person in here a beer.” So much for tradition! I hastily took the hat off and thoroughly enjoyed the event despite committing this opening day fashion faux pas.

Best Break-up Tactics

Break-ups are hard. There isn't enough Ativan or red wine (don't combine) in the world to mend all the broken hearts out there. What makes break-ups even harder is when they're done with the delicacy of a rhinoceros. Not to sound all self-helpy (although I am known to frequent the Chapter's Self Help section—without a large hat and sunglasses I might add), but whether you're the one leaving or the one being left, both parties are just trying to do the best they can, with the terrible communication skills they're currently equipped with. And some people are much worse communicators than others. Here are four common break-up tactics to watch out for.

1) The botched cliche

We've all used a break-up cliche at one point or another. Ostensibly, the purpose of the break-up cliche is to soften the blow of what you're saying by thinly veiling it in a lame analogy. The classic "it's not you it's me" is a prime example of this diversion technique. If you're ever fed this line there is only one thing you need to take away from it: it's 100% you.

Occasionally people will botch break-up cliches. Because breaking up with someone by text or online chat is becoming increasingly desirable and acceptable, botched cliches have increased significantly.

How To Pick Up Hot Guys

There are a couple of reasons why I don't read women's magazines. The main reason is because for my eighth birthday my mother bought me a subscription to Seventeen magazine. A simple math equation (in this case 17-8) can easily determine that I wasn't supposed to be reading about whatever was being discussed in the Sex and Body column during the early 90s for roughly another nine years. Bad parenting aside, I somehow survived my freakishly informed childhood and have been having moderately dysfunctional relationships ever since.

Women's magazines are also stuffed with really dumb dating tips and even dumber articles such as Is Side Boob the New Cleavage. From someone who genuinely liked the movie Charlie St. Cloud, the fact that I find this pretty insulting is a serious issue.

For the purpose of research for this blog I was scouring Cosmo and came across a great example of misleading dating advice titled How to Pick Up Hot Guys. While my usual 'wear a tank top and smirk a lot' usually never fails, I decided to try out Cosmo's tips in real life for the sake of science and report back to you, my devoted readers, who would have perfect lives if ONLY they knew how to pick up hot guys. For the experiment, I followed these instructions step by step and word for word.

You must lose a fly to catch a trout

Every year my friends and I go on a fishing trip to a very desolate place called Fish Camp north of Kamloops. To get there we have to drive five hours, plus an additional hour up a very bumpy and dangerous logging road, hike in literally more than our weight in alcohol down a treacherous and bear ridden path, and row across an entire lake. The only guiding light is usually a pretty neat looking headlamp or if we're really desperate, the dim glow of an iPhone with no service.

Like catching a fish, getting to the destination is not easy and some people might even say it's a lot of effort simply to row around a lake (sometimes in the freezing cold) hoping to catch one or two trout. But any good angler knows that fishing is about much more than knowing how to tie a fly and drink a beer while smoking a cigarette and rowing. In fact, there are many life lessons to be learned from fishing.

1) The early bird catches the worm

This old fishing saying is actually not always true -- in fishing or in life. At Fish Camp I'm usually too busy putting Baileys in my coffee and hovering around the bacon to get out on the water before 11 a.m. anyways. People tend to subscribe to the idea that if they're not first out there, they're going to miss out. This is where competitiveness and jealousy stems from and should be avoided at all costs. Anything you want in life, be it a 15 inch trout, a job, a hot babe or a million dollars will still be there after you have brushed your fucking teeth. So chill out.

The 20 guys you'll date in your 20s

Dating in your 20s is a wonderful learning experience during which you get to meet, dine with and possibly date a wide variety of interesting and wonderful men. If you haven't, it's because you've settled for your university sweetheart, no offense. Because we've all seen Sex and the City seasons 1-6 over 85 times and He's Just Not That Into You just isn't a philosophy we subscribe to, we've come up with an extensive guide to dating in your 20s. At the risk of alienating every guy we've ever dated, we present to you our list of the 20 guys you'll date in your 20s and what to expect. Enjoy.

The Artist

You'll meet the Artist at a gallery opening where his perfectly tousled hair is gently concealing the fact that he hasn’t showered in three days. You imagine touching his meaningful tattoos, his paintings are actually really good, he "gets you," he’s sensitive, he promises to paint/photograph you. Next thing you know you’re posing in your underwear in his studio/loft conversion. Hook, line and paint-her.

Cons: Just face it—he smells. He wants to spend long periods of time eye-gazing and talking about feelings. He’s broke. He uses words like "transcendence" and "caveat." He has a legitimate excuse to hang out around naked women all day. His idea of a suit is a corduroy blazer. He listens to really depressing music, although if you like Bon Iver and/or songs about suicide and abortion, I guess this is a pro.

Advice: The nude photo shoot you thought was a good idea when you were 19, RARELY IS. Five to seven years later when he sends you a 16 x 40 collage of your breasts, you’ll know what I mean.

How To Stay Relevant This Summer

Summer trends are always changing and it's hard to keep up. Here is a quick guide to keep you cooler than Pax Jolie-Pitt this summer.