A WOMAN'S MOST POWERFUL ASSET IS HER MIND

An important prelude to this post is one in which I firmly shout from this virtual soapbox that I do not play favorites: from the gentlemen (and my one lady siren) with whom I enjoy shorter encounters to those who invite me on extended trips or monthly arrangements, my affections for all of them are boundless and I appreciate every single one of my friendships. Those in my insulated circle manage to hit varying points on the full range of the personality pendulum. But the standard deviation of character traits is low in this exclusive pool despite extremely diverse backgrounds and generational gaps. Case in point, my friend X and my friend Z. They do not (and, obviously, will never) know that I am a common denominator in how they are connected, although I always suspect that they have rubbed elbows at private soirees held for the Masters-of-the-Universe illuminati collective and enterta...

The worst thing I have found is to just lie in bed, eyes wide on the darkness of the ceiling. Better distract the mind, get a cup of tea and hit the gym or the office before the first hint of dawn. Or, gaze into a glowing laptop screen and lose yourself in an exploration of all the wonders of the internet. This particular night, I had a conversation with my friend and former work colleague, Phil, fresh on my mind. He’s got a DaVinci-like breadth of interests, from battery tech to quantum computing to cinematography. I had asked him where he goes exploring on the web. I was a little surprised when he mentioned social feeds, because in my experience they were becoming saturated with the same old ideas, just like Craigslist has become saturated with apartment hunters with everyone having access to the same information.

After a week-long date with a longstanding friend (for the sake of discreet nomenclature let's call him Alpha), I recall a comment he made on the last day of our trip: "You are the only person who cares about what I want and understands me." The rest of the world perceives him as an incandescently brilliant genius who has all the credibility of a shrewd baron moonlighting as a bad-boy renegade with rockstar tendencies. I, however, have the unique honor to know the man behind the popular Google searches tagging his name with the inquiring phrase "net worth" or the implicitly sordid articles featured on page six and industry blogs managed by envious plebs. Even after several months of extended dates and international trips together, Alpha was still resistant to opening up -- emotionally, at least. Yet I've never been one to back down from a challenge; I thrive o...

Like many aspiring iconoclasts in the tech biz, I idolize Peter Thiel. My first gig out of grad school and in the high tech industry was at one of the companies he co-founded (an opportunity for which I uprooted and moved across the country for) so I have an intimate appreciation and understanding of the core values and principles that he prescribes. My time there was one of the most challenging yet exciting periods of my professional career, and I found myself quite quickly becoming a convert to the Dogma of Thiel. While I may not agree with his advocacy on several inflammatory policies as of late, he is undoubtedly a brilliant and badass maverick.

Lately, I've been facing hair-pulling professional obstacles causing my schedule to be littered with all-nighters. I recently had to initiate some restructuring because my standards of excellence weren't being met, despite my company being at a crucial juncture with looming benchmark deadlines. My mentor, a Silicon Valley titan and tech anarchist who first revolutionized the p2p industry as a teenager, told me this: "You can fly Rogue One with no co-pilots." He tends to assign me too much credit, but I can't help but feel further emboldened when a badass genius is my biggest advocate and believes wholeheartedly in my potential.

In a recent exchange with a friend, he disclosed that he almost made the mistake of never making contact because he was initially too "intimidated" by me. Grace Lee Riley comes off a bit strong, he says... she's confident (perhaps a bit cocky), overtly smart (perhaps, or likely, smarter than you), and completely unapologetic about her grandiose display of self worth. Interestingly enough, after getting to know him I never would've guessed that he'd be slightly iffy to approach women like me. Surprisingly, those attributes that made him originally hesitate are the exact attributes that make me so appealing to him. Was he a victim of the doomed "I want you, but don't know if I can handle you" complex, i.e. the psychological distance that is better perceived than actually realized? Or maybe he just needs a little more Tony Robbins-level anal...

By chance I recently came across this article, The New Midlife Crisis, and I want to share what was my vulnerable and uncanny reaction to it. The article describes in detail the ways our current society is set up to fail and torment women of the age bracket a generation older than me (a bracket that will undoubtedly creep up quicker than expected... who else remembers the year 2005 like it was yesterday?). Between a failing economy and failing relationship culture, both of which are rife with sexism and ageism, prospects for women facing midlife are nightmarishly bleak. This article depicts an outcome that I've only imagined during the worst of bad hallucinogenic trips, like a Ghost of Christmas Future shell-shocking me with the gloomy consequences of a terrible existence. Initially when I finished reading it, I shrugged and thought, "That's not the reality that I'm crea...

Hello, my name is Grace and I am a strong, badass woman. I wouldn't necessarily call myself a narcissist, but there are certainly more inaccurate things that could be used to describe me. But believe me when I say that it's a deep form of altruism that is at the root of what could be called my self-obsession. I can be better understood by knowing a little bit about my upbringing. I have always been extremely competitive and preoccupied with self improvement. During my formative years, that propensity was applied to academics and sports. I grew up in the northeast, in a city of hard knocks. I played the poor kid's version of racquetball against the back of a halfway house with the local boys in the hood, being the only girl who could easily keep up with them. As a tough city kid, I developed a natural swagger which married nicely with my deft physical prowess (one of my earlie...

Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl has been published for over five years now. It enjoyed a long run on the New York Times Best Seller list and there was a film adaptation released in 2014 by famed director David Fincher. For anyone who's been living under a rock since then, the most famous part of Gone Girl was what has been dubbed the "Cool Girl Rant": Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are, above all, hot.

Having personal brand equity means that one has created an identity around the self that is recognizable nearly to the point of being iconic. The quintessential example of personal brand equity that I always cite is Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was so iconic that it's almost hard to think of her as someone who was an actual human being. As soon as you hear her name, if you know anything about her at all, a powerful image is conjured up in your mind. It shouldn't be surprising that I believe the basic tenets of marketing are wildly relevant to sex work, and I feel particularly so about branding...

In my very first musing, I talked about the reality of fantasy and how fantasy can become reality when you commit to it. I would like to revisit and elaborate on the subject a little further. I've never really understood the word "fake" as an insult.  "Disingenuous," "dishonest," "hypocritical," and "insincere" -- of course, those are bad qualities that are to be avoided at all costs. But "fake," as in "artificial," would seem to imply that the opposing, desirable quality would be whatever is completely and totally natural. And while "natural" and "desirable" sometimes cross over in the Venn diagram, they don't always line up consistently...

I come from the old school of love and seduction. I'm a Casanova-style fantasy figure who sweeps in from out of nowhere and miraculously presents you with everything you've only ever dreamed about. I study you, profile you, and figure out what makes you tick so intricately that I can give you what you want before you even know you want it. (This often happens literally, by the way, and it delights me to no end.) It is through the outward focus of my attentions that my best work is done. I sidestep all the self-doubt that might trip me up by getting out of my own head and getting into yours. It's where I'm most comfortable...

I caught a slight cold last week. I remember lying in bed debating as to whether to muster enough strength to make it out to a grocery store for cough drops and OJ or to call up a friend and ask them to make the run for me. My go-to NYC man-friend was away promoting his brand in LA, so I had to run through a mental list of people to whom this might not sound totally weird and imposing. Naturally the primary person to qualify was my close girlfriend. She responded promptly to my text and within the hour, my apartment buzzer was chiming and she came bearing all the requisite components to play Florence Nightingale. She was warm and affectionate when I needed it, but her care-taking of me was brisk, almost businesslike. Eat this. Drink this while it's hot. Take these. As though she'd done this many times before, which in all likelihood, she probably had.

We all see the pervasiveness of slut-shaming and the unfortunate debasing that many women face when they exercise the right to feel empowered about their sexuality. But there is also a shame that men face for their sexual preferences and choices. We must dispel that shame, promote more happiness, self-acceptance, and awesome sex in the world for all genders. Take BDSM, for example. Often times, consensual BDSM and the proactive choice of female submission is viewed as a dysfunctional relationship; one that implies gender inferiority (instead of being seen as what it really is - a form of empowerment for both players). Consequently, I fear that some men who are turned on by male dominance might worry that their desires to be a dominant correlate directly to misogyny. A man who is sexually aroused by the idea of tying up a woman, spanking her, and then fucking her might very well be conce...

Let's look at the construct of monogamy. At the very least, we can say that monogamy is the current cultural norm. Relationships that consist of non-monogamous pairings or of more than two partners are all lumped under the category "alternative." But why? Drs. Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha explains in their book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality that monogamy became a pervasive status quo right around the agricultural revolution...

Please reload

© 2019 Grace Lee Riley