Empowering Talk Radio

Archive for the Blogs Category

Going From Straight to Gay

Going From Straight to Gay

It’s more complicated than you might think. Prompted to delve in to this issue by my caller Antonio, whose wife of 15 years left him for another woman, the issues of leaving a straight relationship for a same sex one, are complex. Antonio was blindsided, and understandably hurt when his wife suddenly left him for her female lover. At the time, he was working three jobs to support her and their three children. So, what factors are at play when a spouse decides to leave their heterosexual relationship for a gay relationship? The differences between the sexes in this situation are vast. The Men. When men decide to venture outside of their heterosexual relationship, research supports the notion that they are simply acting on a basic homosexual attraction that has always been part of who they are. That may not be what you wanted to hear, but it is generally agreed that homosexual attractions never change and may grow stronger over time. For men, homosexual attractions always were and always will be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7% of men have sex with men, but gay men are estimated to comprise about 4% of the population. So, what’s up with the missing 3%? A 2006 study of gay men, published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” indicated that nearly 10% of men in New York City who were surveyed identified themselves as straight, but, had sex exclusively with men! What? There’s that missing 3%! This same study found that nearly 10% of married men had experienced sex with another man in the preceding year. What’s going on here? Well, for men who have lived a predominantly heterosexual life, coming out gay is complex. In addition, many of them don’t see themselves as “gay”. Many of

Read more

Unplug From Your “Real” World and Risk Withdrawal

Unplug From Your "Real" World and Risk Withdrawal

If you were to set aside your cell phone, computer, tablet and all connection to the Internet for one day, would you go in to withdrawal? How about if you also gave up television, video games and music? Would we have to peel you off the ceiling? Would you have a panic attack? Would we find you curled up in the fetal position, drooling and babbling incoherently? What would happen if you unplugged from technology for one day? There is a nonprofit organization, called Reboot, that annually holds a National Day of Unplugging. The aim of this event is “to help hyperconnected people of all backgrounds to embrace the ancient ritual of a day of rest”.  The persons who participated talked about unplugging “to be more connected”, “ to reset”, “ to spend more time with family” and “to be in the moment”. Noble reasons. Think about it. When everyone from Justin Bieber, The Pope, and The Dali Lama are on Facebook and Twitter, when and how do we escape the intrusion of being hyperconnected? A bigger question over unplugging might be to consider how this technology has changed the reality of our daily lives. How “real” is the world of technology we live in? How “real” is our world when it is played out in the cloud? I’m speaking of the Internet cloud: the internet-based computer server that stores your computer data, somewhat similar to the electricity grid utilized by the utility companies that supply our electricity. How it works is a mystery to me, but I know it’s out-up-or-around there somewhere. We work in the cloud. We socialize and fall in love in the cloud. We make friends on the Internet.  Some people think of their Internet friends as their closest friends, even though they have never met

Read more

Beautiful, Girly-Girl Lipstick Lesbian says “Men Won’t Leave Me Alone”

Beautiful, Girly-Girl Lipstick Lesbian says “Men Won’t Leave Me Alone”

Marsella just wants respect. Yes, she’s a lesbian and comfortable in her own skin, but because she’s a beautiful, girly-girl lipstick lesbian, men won’t leave her alone. When she goes out with her straight female friends she doesn’t dress like a boy. That’s not her style. So, men will hit on her because she’s attractive and, shall we say, doesn’t look gay? Her femme style doesn’t scream lesbian, but why should it? Doesn’t she have the right to dress as she likes? The men hit on her, and when she tells them she’s gay she hears them say things like, “Are you sure?” or “Are you all the way gay, or are you Bi?” or “You’re too cute to be gay”. She says it sometimes gets comical when, after telling them five times she’s not interested, the guys still keep trying to come on to her. But then, at times things get creepy and annoying especially with the “creeper guys”, as she calls them, who won’t take “no” for an answer. She tries to be nice and not hurt their feelings because she doesn’t like confrontation. But, sometimes she feels like she’s being mean by rejecting the men she is not, and never will be, romantically interested in. Marsella’s story sends a powerful message for all women, straight or gay. If you’re not interested in a man’s advances, stand your ground. It is your right to say “no”. Don’t go inward and feel like you’re being “mean” for rejecting them. This is just the way the game of romance is played. Live stream Marsella’s story on “The Joan Jerkovich Show” Saturday 10.4.14 @6am CST on News Radio 1150 KSAL, or listen to the podcasts “Men Come On To Beautiful Lesbians” and “Lipstick Lesbians” which post Mondays @ JoanJerkovich.com The Joan

Read more

Life Lessons from Joan Rivers

Life Lessons from Joan Rivers

The news was shocking and tragic. Our beloved smile-maker, Joan Rivers, died all too young. Though 81 years old at the time of her passing, she was eternally young at heart. Like many others since, I have been following news stories about her life. I watched the PBS documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”, which gave me a glimpse into her life and her personal struggles. I watched the “Fashion Police” tribute on E! where her co-hosts Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos paid tribute. I felt much like Kelly and George, who broke down in tears and held hands for support. I admired Joan’s daughter Melissa’s strength as she spoke about her mother. Joan’s life ended abruptly, but not without her rising once again to immense popularity, in part with the show “Fashion Police”, but most importantly as the person who taught us so much about life. So what are the life lessons, gleaned from the life lived by Joan Rivers that we can all learn from? Risk Taking. Joan got her start by sticking her neck out in a man’s world where few women had ventured before her. She was a female comic playing with the big boys. Getting noticed on the Johnny Carson Show was her big break. When she left Carson to start her own show after 18 years of appearances and guest hosting, something several of the male Carson guest hosts had done before her, she was shunned by Carson for the rest of her life. As gleaned from the documentary, this hurt her both professionally and personally. Looking at this today, one has to question what relevance there was to Joan being treated differently than the men. Joan was a trailblazer for all women. I, for one, admire her for taking the

Read more

Fighting Fair

Fighting Fair

We are all flawed. We are different from each other. We carry with us different attitudes and beliefs. With this in mind, it’s no wonder there will be times when we clash with each other. Fights will ensue. Feelings will be hurt. Yet, our differences don’t need to pull us apart if we can learn to fight fair. The most critical step toward fighting fair is to plan your fight for a time when both of you are in the right mindset. Step back from the moment that sparked the fires of anger. That is not the time to try and resolve your differences. Tempers and tensions are too hot. You both need to cool down and wait for a time when you are calmer. Usually, this takes a few days, so be patient with each other. Even if you’re in avoidance mode until things cool down, get back to talking through the issue that got you both riled up as soon as possible. Once both parties have cooled down, set the stage for calm conversation by choosing a neutral place to discuss your hot button topic. Couples need to keep these conversations out of the bedroom. Steer clear of the office where one of you sits in the big chair behind the big desk, and the other in the uncomfortable side chair. Find a place where neither one of you carries more power into the room. Keep the setting neutral. Go in to discuss your differences with a mindset poised for empathy and understanding. Keep in mind that you’re here to fight fair, not drive your point home, or make them change their mind. You’re here to listen with an open heart and to be flexible to your mutual differences. Keep your conversation open and honest. Be authentic. Be

Read more

Surviving a Dysfunctional Family

Surviving a Dysfunctional Family

Growing up with an alcoholic or substance abusing parent can be chaotic and unpredictable. Rules and expectations can change on a daily basis. Children are to be seen but not heard. Any expression of your feelings is forbidden or ignored. And, there is absolutely NO talking about the elephant in the room…the parents’ addiction! This leaves children feeling insecure, frustrated and angry. Moving toward adulthood this can cause difficulties with relationships where honest emotional expression is key. Children of substance abusers are also at risk for developing their own problems with addictions. Growing up with a parent who is chronically mentally ill or disabled, sets up a situation where the family responsibilities fall to the older children. From a young age they may be called upon to care take their younger siblings, get food on the table, and attend to adult responsibilities. This often leaves them feeling inadequate and guilty, and those feelings can follow them in to adulthood. Growing up with the helicopter parent who is overly controlling and overly involved, can leave a child feeling resentful, inadequate and powerless. These parents try to control and dominate everything their children are involved with. As adults, children raised this way can have difficulty making their own decisions. Growing up with a parent who is verbally or physically or sexually abusive leaves the deepest scars. Verbal abuse can be very direct such as criticism or belittling, or it can be more subtle, such as put-downs disguised as humor. Physical abuse can be disguised as “discipline” but creates an environment of fear, terror and anger. Children who grow up in an environment of verbal and physical abuse have difficulties developing feelings of trust and safety as adults. Growing up with sexual abuse can carry feelings of self-loathing, shame and worthlessness. Children with

Read more

Addicted to Control

Addicted to Control

If you are addicted to control you are probably trying to control everything and everyone in your life. You want things to go your way. Throw in the addiction part, and you need things to go your way. Your need to control feels desperate to you. Why? Because when you lose control, you suffer with anxiety. Before we talk about anxiety, let’s paint a better picture of the control addicts in our lives. Control addicts have problems in their relationships. They are the people who throw out the gauntlet of “my way or the highway”, and while we may feel they make our lives miserable for treating us this way, they can’t be feeling so great themselves. They are the “right” fighters, as in, I’m always “right” and you’re always “wrong”. Control addicts can come off as “righteous”. They know what is morally right and virtuous, and if you don’t have the same beliefs as them or act, as they believe you should act, you’re in the wrong. Their thinking is usually very black and white. They don’t feel comfortable operating in the gray zone where there are different ways to solve a problem. In their eyes, the solution is as obvious as if it were black or white, and it’s not up for discussion! Severe anxiety can overwhelm its sufferers with feelings of fear to the point of panic…talk about feeling out-of-control! Have you ever know a control addict who felt miserable for having to live this way? Have you witnessed evidence of their anxiety in other areas of their lives? The truth is, these people are just trying to survive and get by like all the rest of us. This just happens to be their malady. So, even if they make you crazy and piss you off, show

Read more

Hope for Chronic Pain

Hope for Chronic Pain

Faithful listeners, here is the TED talk by Dr. Elliot Krane on chronic pain that I spoke of on my show. The picture is of his 16 year old patient, Chandler, who suffered excruciating pain when her arm was touched.  Notice the statement written on her arm.

Read more

Smut in the Workplace

Smut in the Workplace

You know who you are. Your day at the office starts with logging on to the company web server. You do a quick check of your emails then think a quick look at the breaking news and trending topics for today won’t take but a couple minutes of your time. You’re tempted. Always. And the desktop file labeled “Misc. Stuff” is calling to you. At least you knew better than to label it “Misc. Smut”. Because smut it is. It’s a folder of your personal favorites. Why not take a quick peak? No one’s around? Your office door is open, and you knew well enough to face your computer screen toward the wall where only you can see it. And, it was a real “save” that you thought to move the glass-framed picture to the opposite wall, so as not to create a reflection for others to see your computer screen as they walk by. You pat yourself on the back for that one. You’re so clever and smart. Of course. That’s how you got your promotion. A quick peak at your favorite smut on your desktop computer now, then back to work, and before long you’ll really get to enjoy a few minutes of sexual arousal in the men’s bathroom. The smartphones are nice, but the iPads and mobile tablets have a larger screen. More pixels to feed the arousal that you hate to admit has probably reached the level of a sex addiction. Pornography in the workplace is on the rise and raises concerns on many levels. Companies fear getting entangled in issues of sexual harassment. It raises concerns over the legalities of investigating employees who are suspicioned to be viewing pornography, or who might be viewing illegal pornography on work computers. Questions over the personal privacy rights

Read more

Hit the OFF Switch on the Negative Self-Talk

Hit the OFF Switch on the Negative Self-Talk

My life sucks. I’m a failure. How could I be so stupid? I never seem to do anything right. I’m not going to be able to pull that off. There’s no way I can get all this done. No one ever appreciates what I do anyway. And on the story goes… If this is the story playing out in your head, it’s time to consider hitting the OFF switch on the negative self-talk! If you are someone who clearly recognizes that you are a negative Nelly or Ned, and you are sick of hearing the negative talk that constantly rolls around in your head, then skip the Backstory and read How to Hit the OFF Switch. If you want the Backstory on how these distorted stories set up camp in your brain, see if you identify with any of the most common distortions of thinking: Filtering. No matter what happens, you only seem to dwell on the negative. Even if you got the promotion at work, it’s your fault you didn’t get it months earlier. Personalizing. You always blame yourself. It’s your fault that things don’t always go as planned, or someone in the family is fighting, or people at work are unhappy. Catastrophizing. You anticipate the worst. You spill coffee on yourself first thing in the morning so expect that the whole rest of the day will be a disaster. Polarizing. Everything in your world is either good or bad. Black or white. You’re either perfect or a total failure. How to Hit the OFF Switch: Identify the things you usually think negatively about Choose one of those things to work on Practice thinking positively instead of negatively in that one area Stop yourself during the day to monitor your thoughts Evaluate objectively what you’re thinking If you catch

Read more