First things first, did you miss me?
I've been remiss in blogging this past month and, after racking my pea-sized brain, couldn't come up with any really good excuse.
I guess I've been going through some business growing pains and my head has been way too scattered to sit down and write complete sentences. After having a fabulous dinner with a visiting sexuality educator friend, Shanna Katz (some may know of her as Essin-Em), I have a re-newed sense of purpose and resolve for blogging much more frequently. Shanna is a pretty awesome blogger and is up for blogger of the year at this year's sex bloggers calendar in New York City. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for her :)
My growing pains are due to the fact that my business offers 2 main services: individualized coaching and workshops. Being that I live in the middle of Silicon Valley, my expectation was that I would probably be doing the majority of my business as a dating or sex coach. After all, if you have ever spent any amount of time in SIlicon Valley, you are well aware that there appears to be an over-abundance of men compared to women. After moving here in 1999, I saw that many of the working men have a clear need for some serious dating help
However, the fact of the matter is that most people know me as a sex educator since I've been doing workshops on all topics related to sex and sexuality since 2002. It truly is my first love, and what I think I excel in. In fact, the whole reason I wanted to become a sex educator was so I could present workshops. I've been very fortunate to be affiliated with Carol Queen and Good Vibrations, and in 2005 I was brought on as an Off-Site Sex Educator (OSSE). It's crazy for me to think that I've facilitated sexuality workshops at no less then 35 places, and many times I was a repeat presenter. My workshop schedule has really taken off and I am in the process of setting up travel to both Phoenix and upstate New York! Like I mentioned before, workshops and speaker events are my first love and passion, and I would love to hear from you if you are interested in bringing me in for your special event.
Side note: I briefly considered being a madam who would service the technology workers out of those lunch trucks. I still think it could have worked well, but my hubby put the kibosh on that idea fast.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area then you are probably aware that people lovingly refer to San Jose as "Man Jose" or that there is a "guy glut" or, my personal favorite, "enginerds"...get it, engineer + nerd :)
And while the vast majority of my coaching clients are men (about 75%), I think many people are still hesitant about my services as a dating coach.
The main problem is that someone has to recognize that what they are doing isn't working. And let's face it, it's much easier to live in denial. Additionally, the people who need my help the most are highly functioning and successful in the work part of their life so the personal gets put on the back burner. People also really hate/resist change and a few coaching sessions with me can be quite challenging.
So here's the deal; I see people on a daily basis who look like they are stuck in a time capsule. They are dressed in clothing and have hairstyles that are SUPER dated. My general observation (and you are free to disagree) is that men tend to have an arrested development when they dress (ie. t shirts, baggy shorts or ill-fitting pants), and women tend to have arrested development when it comes to their haircut and makeup.
What most people don't realize is that we have between 3 and 30 seconds to make a first impression. Often, every other thought someone has of you gets filtered through that initial impression.
When it comes to first impressions, we usually determine how we feel about someone by how they look, how they speak, and how they carry themselves (body language). Seems simple enough, but I people-watch A LOT and so many people miss the mark.
"But I don't have a lot of money for clothing, Catherine."
Ok, not everyone grew up on the North Shore of Chicago like I did. I get it. However, you don't have to spend a ton of money to look put together. Marshalls, Target, and Old Navy are totally reasonable in price and you can get many different looks for the price of 1 outfit at Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. What you need are basics: a few pairs of dark denim jeans or pants, some short and long sleeve shirts, a jacket, and some great accessories(shoes, belt, watch, jewelry) and you are ready to go. My mom used to say that you were golden as long as you had on some great shoes and a nice handbag :)
Men, you need to know that many women look to your shoes, wallet, and watch to determine what type of man you are. Yes, I know this sounds really weird and some people may totally disagree with me, but we look to these things as a way of gaging how well you pay attention to detail. For most men, the only jewelry they wear is a watch, so take care in picking a time piece that not only sets you apart but has some style to it. Shoes are also important because women can gage your personal style from what you pick to put on your feet. Lastly, wallets are important because we want to make sure you don't have some crazy George Costanza wallet that doesn't close because it's filled with crap. When in doubt, men should pick a nice, basic leather wallet in a dark brown or black. Women don't want to see a childlike velcro wallet anymore then they want to see a big menacing chain wallet.
Usually I get a bunch of people who are totally oblivious or disagree with my last paragraph, so I hope you are still with me!
For women, I think the worst offenders are people who wear completely ill fitting clothing and women who wear really heavy makeup. You don't have to have a tailor on speed dial to be able to find clothing that suits your particular body type. If you aren't sure, ask your friends to pick which of your clothes are their favorites. Better yet, go to a Nordstrom and have a sales associate help you pick out clothing that suits you. Make sure to buy something like a t-shirt or bra so it's not a total waste of their time, but they often have great insight into how to dress for your body type. And when it comes to makeup, remember that less is more. I often see women who I want to carve my initials into their cheek because their makeup is so caked on. News flash: heavy makeup ages you and not in a flattering way. Heavy makeup accentuates wrinkles because it settles into the cracks. In most cases, all women really need is some concealer, powder, mascara, and lip-gloss or lipstick. Men get wary of too much makeup because instead of admiring and focusing on you, they are trying to figure out what you are trying to hide under all that makeup. My last suggestion about makeup is that, if you wear a heavy foundation, make sure to extend it down past your chin and then blend it into your neck...otherwise, you look like a geisha or kabuki dancer.
Regardless of your sex, you can make yourself stand apart from the competition by having good grooming habits which includes showering, using soap, and washing your hair at least every other day. Yes, this seems totally basic, but you would be surprised at how many people do not follow a regular grooming routine. If your favorite clothing has tears or is stained then it's time to retire them permanently. And for the love of all things that are good, please don't douse yourself with cologne or perfume. It is not a substitute for a proper washing and more and more people are developing allergies to colognes/perfumes. Imagine that people never ever want to smell you approaching or leaving them---although they will be much happier seeing you leave!
Please contact me if you are interested in receiving a FREE 20 minute phone consultation for my dating and sex coaching services. I can work with you if you would like to improve your body image, body language and flirting and dating style. I can also work with you to help craft a kick ass online profile or work with you as your very own wingwoman if you are attending a singles or other social event.