It Takes a Village: The Original Seahawks Behind Poona Ford

When Poona Ford made his first start with the Seattle Seahawks on December 16th, 2018, he was out to continue on his mission of defying the odds that were stacked against his success. At 5’11” and 310 pounds, he’s not exactly your traditional nose tackle. But all it took was a chance. In his first ever play as a starter, he proved himself one of the squad’s most effective defenders against the run. Ford bounced off the down block by the San Francisco 49ers right guard, and as quickly as his doubters turned their heads, number 97 made the stop on Matt Breida for a three-yard gain.

The Seahawks may have lost the game 23-26, but their valiant effort can be attributed in part to Ford’s performance. Pro Football Focus awarded him a grade of 89.7 that week, second on the Seahawks only to Bobby Wagner. Not a bad for a rookie debut.

Poona is a notoriously quiet guy; his high school football coach B.J. Payne frequently jokes about his “resting media face,” which will likely serve him well in his inevitable future successes in the NFL. But when it comes to the formative years of his life and the town that built him in and before high school, one can detect a welcome break in that private, subdued facade.

“My favorite year was my senior year. I mean, everything went so fast. Before I knew it, I’m a senior, and we talk about being seniors as freshmen but then when it’s finally here… I feel like that was my best year ever.”

Everyone has their memories of high school football, whether a player, devoted fan, or an uninvolved witness of the culture. But when Poona took the field with his original team of Seahawks at Hilton Head Island High School, everyone, regardless of their relationship with the sport, knew something special was happening.

Full Article HERE!

Michele Selene Ang: Life, Liberty High, and the Pursuit of Something New

At Liberty High, heightened emotions are pretty much the norm these days. After Hannah Baker’s tragic suicide, and the release of a number of secrets on the tapes she recorded detailing her rationale behind the act, not a day goes by within the haunted halls of her former campus that isn’t brimming with drama. Jocks taunt lesser-status students with their powerful demeanors. Geeks use their imaginations and nightmares to retaliate with cyber-attacks. Girls cover the walls of the bathroom stalls with hits targeting their peers. Boys break out in massive brawls, slamming each other into lockers and throwing sucker punches, sometimes even without reason. Sometimes the administration gets involved in these giant, pubescent war zones.

And then, there’s Courtney Crimson, who’s already done her worst, and is ready to move on. Good news for the guys in the war zone; she’s there to pull the fire alarm when it’s at its worst.

“F**king boys,” she hisses before she turns around and walks out of the school.

We don’t know yet where the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why will pick up. Where we’ve left off, many characters (like Courtney) are preparing to head off to college. If her arc is discontinued, gems like this line will have to be carried out by other characters. And with Courtney’s much-earned fresh start, the actress who portrays her, Michele Selene Ang, will also be forging ahead in her budding career—seeking, in many ways, a new start of her own.

Full Article HERE!

Who Is… the Next Jeopardy! Host

When Alex Trebek announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, America was understandably devastated. Since 1984, Trebek has helmed one of the most beloved television game shows in history. Jeopardy! has been a staple of the American home for over 50 years, and since Trebek began his tenure with the program, it is near impossible to imagine another personality taking the reins should he be unable to return. Prior to the announcement of his diagnosis, he renewed his contract through the 2021 Season, giving us long-time fans a sense of relief. Still, with the complications that will likely come from such intensive treatment, it’s time to consider the future of the program. Here at lwos.LIFE, we’re holding back our tears as we bring you all the possibilities.

Full Article HERE!

Amy Schumer’s Modified Brand, and the Future of Comedy in a Recently Highly-Affected World

Amy Schumer has come a long way since 2017’s The Leather Special. She’s not blacking out anymore (not for lack of desire), but she’s still talking about sexual taboos. She’s halfway into her pregnancy, but she’s still shamelessly celebrating her bodacious figure in her latest Netflix special, Growing. She has always been open and candid about the trials and tribulations of a modern woman in her sexual prime. Still, there is a shift in Schumer’s presentation this time, and it has little to do with her new state of primal womanhood.

Apparently, there is a new set of rules in comedy now, which surpass narrative structure and tackle content.

Schumer is a liberated woman. She never shies away from disclosing the size of her genitalia, her current bodily functions, and the faux pas that she and her loved ones commit regularly. She has built her career on flagrant obscenity. In her new release, however, we see that Schumer has “grown” less overtly in physicality, and more so in *gasp* maturity. She sets the standard for the potential of modern comedians to modify for an audience in the climate of 2019. Now, she has a larger goal in mind – to flip the rules of comedy on their head and remain accessible in a hyper-sensitive America, while maintaining her reputation of crude and absurdist truth-telling.

Full Article HERE!

Is Dog Showing A Sport?

When my partner Andrew Lemieux and I walked into Madison Square Garden (his first time ever) and flashed our press passes for the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, we were completely unprepared for what we saw. Beneath the floor level seats existed an organized gymnasium of platforms, extension cords, signage, humans with cameras, and dogs. Lots and LOTS of dogs.

Andrew and I primarily cover football and have debated heavily about what constitutes a sport on our weekly sports talk show, Under Further Review. When we were guests at a filming of the ESPN+ show Always Late with Katie Nolan, we even asked Katie if she would consider dog showing a sport, to which she replied with a resounding “YES,” much to Andrew’s dismay. We had come to the Westminster Dog Show to settle this once and for all.

Full Article HERE!

Michelle Obama: An Icon Deconstructed

In her debut memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama divulges intimate details from her upbringing in her southside Chicago neighborhood, all the way through her final duties as the First Lady of the United States. Her memoir is broken into three parts: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More – each detailing aspects of her life and mind as she herself “becomes.”

Full Article HERE!

A Call with the Quean: How A Canadian Cuckqueen Is Challenging Perceptions of Sex Worldwide

*a version of this piece was published on lwos.LIFE before being removed after being flagged by Google AdSense. It was edited by Austin Zook of lwos.LIFE.

If you asked me almost six years ago when I first moved to New York, one of the most diverse and liberated meccas of the world, if I had any interest in exploring sex and sexuality—my own, or as a general topic, I would have laughed and referenced what I thought was my perfect relationship at the time. I was in love with a boy who had followed me to the city and living what I thought was my happiest and most enlightened existence. After that breakup and a bit of an exploratory period, I’ve found myself a lot more well-rounded and curious. I’ve always considered myself a very open and free spirited person. And then I meet people like Quean Mo, and realize how much more exploring there is to do.

Now, I’m not saying that my interview with the Quean, a sex coach, blogger, and self-described submissive in a semi-open BDSM-based marriage with her dom talked me into a lifestyle change of my own. But it certainly showed me another side of sexuality through a world that I’ve read about in books and seen in biased reality television programs. Mo’s travels with her Master J have not only awakened her inner self in ways she never thought were possible, but have also inspired her to become certified in Loveology, sharing her experiences with her public, and educating the world on intricacies of sexuality that we are very likely missing out on.

Canadian Cuck Quean Mo is Using Her Platform to De-Stigmatize Sex, From Traditional Education to BDSM

From Canada to France, and Beyond

“’Quean’ comes from ‘cuckquean,’ which is what I am, essentially. It’s an old-school form of how to spell ‘queen’ as well, but it’s basically a woman who enjoys watching her partner have sex with other women. I think it’s a nifty name. I mean, who doesn’t like to be a queen?”

Mo and her master, who also just took on the title of husband when the couple wed in France this summer, live in Ontario, where Mo is attending sexologist Dr. Ava Cadell’s Loveologist Certification Program. She skypes me from her car in the parking lot of an appointment she is about to attend, but assures me that she’ll give me all the time that I need to unpack her lifestyle and teachings. There’s so much to discuss. She’s been on the road for the last year, traveling Europe with her Frenchman.

I ask what her favorite place to see was when she was across the pond. “Venice, one thousand percent. People say Paris is romantic. I’ve been to Paris several times. Nothing comes close to Venice. The little islands, it’s just amazing. I am a music junkie. I love music. I love music vessels. Anything where there’s music. And in Saint Mark’s Square, they’re constantly playing the classical music and covers, and we’re just dancing in the middle of the square, and I’ve never had a feeling like that before in any other city. And let’s not even get started on the food.”

Beginnings: A Sexual Adolescence

On her blog, Call of the Quean, Mo discusses her travels and experiences, both traditional and otherwise, in depth. She uses that outlet as a roadmap of her journey into cuckqueaning, but frequently discusses the moments of her upbringing that led her to the lifestyle.

“I was always a hyper-sexual kid, like straight up, I was masturbating by the time I could walk. I was humping everything in the house. My mom took me to the doctor and was like ‘We’re just a little concerned,’ and luckily my doctor was like ‘It’s normal, she’s discovering herself.’ They just told me if I started doing stuff to ‘go do that on your own.’ That just removed so much shame that people are already experiencing when they’re young. I remember my mom telling me a story, I can’t remember if she had been masturbating, and she was like four, and she remembered being like, ‘Oh, this feels good,’ and her mom saying, ‘You stop that, that’s dirty.’ She used the word dirty, which automatically shamed her. So I was very lucky to grow up in a household where shame wasn’t. My parents never insulted us. They were very careful about how they spoke to us. They never teased us. They always encouraged us.”

She’s openly discussed losing her virginity at the young age of fourteen. I asked her what about that experience prompted her to continue her sexual journey. She describes the day as empowering. “I’m just a natural people-pleaser, and when I saw his reaction to it and then how I felt, I was just like, ‘Yep, I just discovered something real good here.’” That’s a lot coming from a young woman who drew straws with her partner to decide who was going to be on top. And yes, she drew the short one. From there, the act of sex just felt natural to her.

Growing Pains

Sex was easy, and she planted the standard with her family and friends very early in life that it was a topic that would always be on the table. Her father found some racy journals in her room at a very young age, detailing sexuality, and he was nothing but supportive of her desire to write about such a stigmatized issue. For that, she was lucky.

But every journey has its hurdles. After a toxic relationship with a partner, during which she suffered bulimia and issues with self-esteem and confidence in experiencing pleasure, Mo had some serious soul-searching to do. During that period, she met Master J, her soulmate, who gave her the confidence she needed to open her world. “Nobody needs someone in their life. You don’t need someone in your life to open those doors for you, I’ve always said try to do it for yourself, but I truly believe in that way that he was one of the first people that came into my life and stepped back and said, ‘I’m gonna watch you grow. You grow the way that you need to grow, and I’m here whenever you need me.’” Two months after meeting him, she went to his homeland of France and found out what it is to let go.

Feminism in Humiliation

In her new book Untrue, Wednesday Martin explores the sexual theories surrounding infidelity, and how “new science can set us free.” Through interviews with psychologists, sexologists, anthropologists, and the women we know in everyday life, Martin unpacks the history of and reasons behind infidelity through constructs such as polygamy, feminism, and the simple ideas surrounding sexual freedom. It’s a sexy topic that is brought to life through less sexy and often hurtful experiences.

The book made me think a lot about jealousy, and how being “untrue,” or even in a functioning relationship based on a construct of openness can work. Mo explains that she would not have considered this lifestyle were it not for her specific partner, citing a history of possessiveness, and her awakening towards a world where she can derive pleasure from the experience of additional people in her sex life. For Master J, it is all about the female experience. He reads her blog loyally and enjoys hearing her side of their experiences through that medium so that he can better understand her perspective. “He said that his ideal night would be not even sex, just sitting with a group of women and hearing what they have to say about their experiences and their fantasies.” I ask her if she has an “ideal night” of her own. She says she has plenty, everchanging. “If you’re talking sex, I wrote about a humiliation night because I discovered that I’m more into humiliation than pain, even if I like pain at a certain point. And we spent a whole night focused on that.”

I’m now thinking about my own sexual humiliations. How could a person enjoy being humiliated the ultimate goal is orgasm? While BDSM can have its obvious merits and turn-ons, I was having a hard time seeing how being a constant submissive could be an empowering thing. Of course, the concept goes a lot deeper than my experience or imagination can take me without her help.

“There’s a thing called Dom Space and a thing called Sub Space, and being a submissive, Sub Space for me is literally getting to this mode where I feel like I’m high. I have this body high, and I feel like I’m on the ceiling. If someone were to try to have a conversation with me, they would think I was on drugs. And for Master J as a Dom, he has to be super hyper-aware of me during that, because he needs to make sure that everything is ok all the time. He’s the one in control. He has to check in, and giving that trust to someone, but also being able to let go like that is such a liberating feeling because a lot of women really have trouble letting go. And by giving myself up to him, in those moments, my body is now his responsibility and I’m no longer in my head anymore. I’m in my body and I’m feeling these things. And being able to own that, and letting him take care of my pleasure even if technically I am by letting go, to me it’s a beautiful thing.”

Sex Ed: Bigger than Books

Quean Mo talks to me about orgasm gap, and how women tend to have a third of the orgasmic experiences that men do. This leads us into a conversation about sexual education, which is obviously highly flawed and/or lacking in schools all over North America and other developed areas. But sex education goes beyond schools, and so much can be learned from the simple act of exploring one’s own body. “A lot of women don’t know themselves sexually and haven’t given themselves time to explore themselves the way men do. For men, their penis is on the outside of them. They literally have to hold their penis to pee. They’re constantly touching it. And they start masturbating at an age where girls, because everything is inside or tucked away, we don’t have the same access. I just learned two years ago what the structure of the clitoris looked like, and how it’s actually underneath the skin, and looks like this little bird, and it’s this beautiful thing.

Women have pain during sex, and I know there are diagnoses for vaginitis dyspareunia and medical conditions, but research is showing more and more that a lot of it is psychological, because you’re blocked. The woman and her partner don’t know her anatomy enough to warm her up enough for her to receive penetration. And because we live in this patriarchal society, when we think about sex, we think about penal-vagina contact, which is not what sex is. It’s one part of it. Men and women have the same amount of erectile tissue, but women take about 35-40 minutes for it to become completely engorged. I would like to see a man who’s not fully engorged try to have sex. That’s gonna hurt.”

It’s really a very simple concept—learning one’s pleasure abilities. And it’s sensible that lack of communication and awareness causes strain in relationships, both inside and outside of the bedroom. So many people, notoriously women, struggle with their libido and keeping a sexual desire that matches the needs of their partner/s. Mo suggests several ways to combat that, including games and leaving fun notes erotic notes for partners, but for her it ultimately comes down to an awareness of what feels good, and keeping the conversation open.

Natural Desires

In her practice, Mo anticipated a primarily female clientele with issues similar to her own former ones regarding sexual awakening. She was surprised that her clients are mostly male, and have given her new challenging topics to tackle, namely fetishization. “Most people just want to know that they’re normal; that they’re not a freak,” she says. “There are three levels of a fetish. There’s ‘optional,’ which could be your average joe who says, ‘I could do that. I don’t need it, but I could do it.’ And then there’s the second level which is ‘preferred,’ which means that they don’t need it for sexual gratification, but if they have the option to do it they will always choose that. And then there’s ‘exclusive,’ which means the person needs this thing for sexual gratification.

For instance, I have one gentleman who I’m working with who is heterosexual and identifies as male, and he is an exclusive foot fetishist, which means that he needs feet to be involved in order to have an orgasm. He does not like penetrative sex; for him, it’s not enjoyable because it has nothing to do with the feet. But I find the one thing we work on is boundaries, and the idea that you can’t just pick up anybody’s shoes, because even though it’s an object, it still belongs to someone, which makes it a consent thing. You have to make sure that the person is aware that you’re using their items. You learn as you go with each person, and for him, I never would have thought about that.”

Mo is enjoying her studies and excited to use her knowledge in her practice and in the classroom to expand on a much broader journey of sexual education. In 2019, she and Master J will embark on a year-long road trip across North America to visit as many sex clubs and attend as many events and conferences as possible. The planning has already begun, and she’s been setting up interviews with people in the sex work industry and plotting their path. She hopes to create a comprehensive sex tourism guide from the trip, but she wants her book to go deeper than the fun aspects of sexuality. She wants to deepen the topic and help open up the world, and her populace, to a discussion of sex.

“Because sex is already a taboo subject, any type of fetish is viewed as a paraphilia, and quite stigmatized. This causes suppression of natural desires, which is dangerous as it manifests and leads to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and the harming of others. We all have our own histories with shame and guilt, and my goal is to dilute it by granting people the permission they are seeking, as well as offering facts about human sexuality. With all the heat surrounding women’s rights right now, I think [politics and feminism] are crucial subjects to be able to articulate. I absolutely want to be a part (even if a small part) of this larger movement in sexual liberation, as I believe sexuality is the foundation: we literally come from sex!”

What’s Normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly

I ask the Quean if she’s read anything good recently, and she cites a book called Come As You Are, by Emily Nagoski. “One thing she repeats throughout the book is that we all have the same parts, they’re just organized in different ways.” She herself repeats the phrase again, almost as a mantra or meditation. “To quote Morticia Addams, ‘What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.’ There’s literally no such thing as normal. As long as it is consensual, just do what you want to do. Have a blast. It’s sex. You were given these pleasure zones for a reason. If it brings you pleasure and it checks all those boxes, just f***ing do it. I think the thing that people don’t think about is that it’s literally a part of your well-being.”

Now that Mo has been liberated, she’s on a mission to spread the how-to to the world, and it all starts with conversation, and the opening up of a very stigmatized topic. Thankfully, Mo is so open about sharing her experiences and keeping the education simplistic and accessible within the standards of consented pleasure. And she’ll continue to spread this message through her travels and her media platforms, and interviews like the one she was so kind to give me. Even if her car gets hit mid-call (it did, and no, she did not budge).

Update: The Quean has posted her first fundraiser for her trip across North America! Please consider donating here!

An Ode to Tyler Trent

A boilermaker is a person who “makes boilers.” It is also a shot of whiskey followed by a beer chaser. And a Purdue student or alumnus.

Tyler Trent was all of these things.

He made boilers; that is, he contributed to the heating of a crowd as they bubbled into a vapor of cheers (see: Purdue vs. Ohio State, October 20th, 2018). He was a hot shot of whiskey whose road ended in the warm comfort of grain and yeast. And, of course, his story will contribute to the backbone of the Purdue community for years to come.

Simply put, Tyler Trent was an inspiration. But Tyler’s story is far from simple. Tyler was a warrior, a fan, a writer, an analyst, a critic, a force to be reckoned with. Cancer had to try twice before it took terminal hold on the third attempt.

Full Article HERE!

Resolutions 2019

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since I posted a proper “blog post” not otherwise distributed by one of my several outlets of employment. Last year, I posted a list of the things I would remember about 2017. This year, similarly, there are moments of fondness that I will hold deep to my heart, but for the purposes of my own mental health, I’ve compiled those into a list on my phone, and they mostly represent the accomplishments and projects that I have embarked upon this year. I’ll keep that private. Here are my own resolutions for 2019. I don’t usually list them for myself in such a firm format, but hey, it couldn’t hurt to see what I actually get done this new year once it’s come and gone; since no one reads these things anyways.

  1. Cut out nicotine. I mean, it’s freaking time. I feel very accomplished this year after quitting the smoking of cigarettes, but my reliance on my vape as a result is totally out of hand. I’ll be switching over to a new device called MONQ in 2018, in an effort to live a little healthier.

  2. Curse less on the internet. I’m not totally committed to this one as fully as I’m sure my family and employers might hope. It’s who I am, and as my boyfriend so lovingly puts it, “part of my charm.” So y’all will definitely still hear me go into fits of swearing and rage on Under Further Review. That will not change. But in addition to my ardent effort to keep my Twitter clean of things that could potentially hurt me later, I’m going to try to call it quits on the Fuck bomb. Suggestions to fun and creative words that allude to its use are welcome. We’ll see how long this one lasts.

  3. Listen to my body when it wants sleep. I have a habit of hanging out with my friends too long, or chilling with Michael when he’s working because I miss him and we never see each other during the work week. The next day is always dreadful. I’d say I’ve slept about 650 hours in 2018, which sounds like a lot, but is definitely not enough. And adderall is only so effective. Should probably try to cut out that stuff too.

  4. Get out of the bar and into school or a job that is relevant and productive to my greater interests. I think that’s all I need to say about that.

  5. Be more vocal about my needs and desires. Even if it means being disliked. After being promoted in October to the general manager of my bar, I’ve done a lot of holding back, both professionally and personally, so that I don’t seem needy and so that my employees don’t dislike me. Only recently have I begun to see the merits and respect that can come from speaking my mind and my heart, as stupid as that sounds. If my passion is to be sharing others’ truths, I should definitely work on sharing my own.

And, boom. That’s that.

Spire & Co: Paige Jimenez

I had the WONDERFUL treat of sharing a meal with master chef and top model Paige Jimenez last month! AND I got to write about it for an AMAZING women’s publication, Spire & Co! What an INCREDIBLE opportunity! I’m so excited that I can’t stop USING CAPS!

Here’s an excerpt:

“The path she’s chosen is not, and will not ever be an easy one. “Do not feed the models.” We’ve all heard the trope. Despite the fashion and beauty industries having been more progressive in the recent past as a whole, opening runways to models of all shapes, sizes and colors, there is still a stigma surrounding models regarding their appearances, attitudes and lifestyles. And then, there’s Paige Jimenez, using her modeling platform to humanize the silhouettes that we see on the runway. Her success as an industry beauty has led her to her passion for cooking and food, and she hopes that her dual-passions can be an inspiration to young women everywhere, and help to de-stigmatize the industry that has given her a platform to achieve her dreams.”

Full Article HERE!