Relationships

Ask Judy: Am I TOO Latina For My Co-Workers?

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I have recently begun a new job at a fashion house that is pretty recognizable. It’s a European fashion corporation and I am one of the VERY few Latinas here. I am a natural woman with curly hair, makeup limited to mascara and lip-gloss, and a curvy figure. I feel confident in my abilities but I would like to connect with my co-workers.

The problem is that we have nothing in common. I grew up in “the hood” and they grew up in cozy cul de sacs. I am proud of my curves and they eat edamame for lunch. I just don’t have anything in common with these Barbie doll co-workers.

What can I do to connect? I feel like failing to connect will hinder my progress in the company and I don’t want to seem antisocial.

Sola en este cubicle,
Yolanda

 

Hola, Yolanda!!

Congratulations on your new job!! You go, girl! Believe it or not, I know how you feel..I too am a natural woman with curly hair, and I always say I may be chunky, but I’m funky! I read your letter today, and shortly after, I went to a zumba class, where I found myself the only Latina there as well. I looked around: Caucasian, African-American, Indian and Asian…what a mixture!! I could tell all the ladies were regulars, but it was my first time there. So, I decided to do all the things I suggest you do.

Instead of feeling uncomfortable that I was the only Latina, I was happy. In my mind, I told myself, “I’m going to show these women how much fun I can be!” So there I was, shaking my booty, and yelling out, “Wepaaaa!” And in a few minutes some of the ladies were hooting and hollering with me. Some looked at me as if I was a strange alien, but I didn’t care. And that’s what you need to do.

Yolanda, you were hired because you are obviously very talented and the right person for the job. Perhaps your company felt it was time to bring in someone new, someone Latina. This is your chance to show them…to represent us. Be yourself. If you try to be anything else so you can “fit in,” you are going to find yourself disliked. People can see through fakeness.

I bet as time passes, they will appreciate your uniqueness. And remember if you don’t love yourself first, no one else will love you. So flaunt that curly hair and curvy figure!! I can tell already you are absolutely beautiful! Wepaaaa!!!

Love,
Judy

Married to a Latina – How She Inspires My Fashion Accessory Business

Johnson Accessories_2

Originally published in the May 2015 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Maria V. Luna

When Vaughn Johnson, owner of Flawnt Accessories, looks for inspiration, he finds it just a holler away. The company features bold statement pieces for the woman who is unafraid and daring. Who encourages Johnson’s striking selections? His Latina wife.

Tell us about your relationship.

We’ve been together for many, many years. If you ask her how long, when I’m in the room, she’ll look my way and say, “Boo, tell them how long,” because she doesn’t actually know how long it’s been. My relationship is built on, in my opinion, what keeps good relationships thriving, which is COMMUNICATION. We talk about everything no matter how difficult, how harsh, uneasy or funny. We’re not afraid to be us. They say opposites attract and that’s true. We’re not completely opposite but we are opposite in a lot of ways. We balance each other out and talk each other off the ledge. We don’t get tired of each other. We continue to enjoy each other and actually look forward to being together after all these years. We can be in two separate rooms in the house, but as long as we’re both in the house we’re good—just a holler away (she loves to holler).

What are some cultural differences between your family and your wife’s family?

Besides the obvious Black American and Latin American. Soul food and Latin food. Not much at all. They both believe family comes first. They both came from urban backgrounds. They both struggled coming up—no silver spoons or privileged upbringings.

What kind of lady is your wife?

She retained a lot of her Latin roots, or should I say culture, where she likes to take care of her family, believes in keeping a clean home (I say it’s O.C.D.),very giving and welcoming. There’s not a selfish bone in her body. And we can’t forget the heat. The fiery side. She will black out on you at the drop of a dime. She’s a great wife and a wonderful friend.

How did your Latina wife inspire your fashion accessory business?

She allowed me to use her as my canvas for creativity. She believes in my visions and 99% of the time she gets it. When I share with her things that I like and my thoughts on what would work with a particular accessory, she actually likes what I put together and says, “I would wear that.” I love her adventurous side with fashion. She’s not afraid to step out the box. She doesn’t conform to the norm or trends. She likes what she likes regardless of what anyone thinks, including me.

Johnson says through trial and error he’s learned so much about becoming an entrepreneur. Here, he shares 5 tips for anyone starting their own fashion accessory business.

  1. Start small. Use a template to create your website as opposed to a custom website just to get started. There are plenty of resources available now to create an online presence. To get your products out, you don’t have to spend alot of money.
  2. Don’t follow trends. You can include trendy things in your business, but don’t make that the core of your business because they come and go fast. Don’t be afraid to be different. Lead the new wave; don’t follow it with your products.
  3. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to promote your business.
  4. Pay attention to what’s going on around you; what’s being worn by your target customer, color, size, length, etc.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Why did you buy this particular item? How much did you pay for it? Do you prefer to buy your accessories online or at a store?

Is It Okay To Date More Than One Person At Once?

Image via Centives.net

Image via Centives.net

In the past, it was common for people to date one person at once. The idea was that you’d give the person you were seeing a fair chance, and if things didn’t work out, then you’d move on to the next one. For a while, it appeared that this was the way that things should be, but with the addition of dating websites, social networks, and simply put, technology, it’s getting harder to decipher what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Is there a precise “formula” for dating? How long should you see one person before moving on to the next one? Furthermore, is it okay to date more than one person at once? And while dating more than one person may seem like an appealing concept from afar, what happens when you find out you’re number two or three on the totem pole? Does your perception of a serial dater then differ?

While dating two people from say, your job, could get potentially messy, we don’t see anything wrong with getting to know more than one person at the same time. The key is to be upfront. Let the people you’re seeing know you’re seeing other people. Truth is, if you’re intensely drawn to one person, you’ll end up becoming exclusive.

What do you think about dating more than one person at the same time? Do you think it’s rude or immoral? A recipe for disaster? We want to know what you think! Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @LatinTRENDS2010.

Choosing The Dating App That’s Right For You

Image via Tinder.com

Image via Tinder.com

If you’re looking to meet new people but don’t want your friends to be your wingmen, then dating apps are the way to go. Not only are you in control of who you spend time chatting with, but it’s your choice whether you eventually meet this person or not. After the first date, if the chemistry is nonexistent, then there’s no pressure to meet again. After all, it wasn’t one of your friends who set you up. Of course, the real dilemma then becomes, with so many dating apps to choose, which one do you select?

Because we understand the struggle, we’ve broken down some of the most popular options, explaining what sets each apart:

Coffee Meets Bagel limits you to one bagel (person to get to know) per day. Most users find that this takes the “buffet” feel away from dating apps and gives it a less superficial feel.

Grouper puts a twist on the dating shtick. It’s a social club that sets up drinks and games between 3 guys and 3 girls. There’s a small fee of $20 per person. The first round of drinks is on the app, the rest of the night is up to the team.

How About We lets users propose dates others can opt into. So if, for example, you’ve had this idea of going on a karaoke date, you can write it out and wait to see who chooses to join you in your singing adventure.

Match remains one of the most popular options amidst dating apps. The app matches local users based on algorithms.

OkCupid is promoted as a social network and dating app. It lets you get in touch with people in your area based on interests.

Tinder lets you swipe “yes” or “no” on other members. When you “yes” someone who has also said “yes” to you, the application allows you to message each other within its interface.

Are you ready to give dating apps a try? If so, which one do you think you’ll use? We want to know what your experience is like. Share below or send us a tweet @LatinTRENDS2010.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

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Casper Smart bought a new place in the San Fernando Valley with his own money? Yes! You read that correctly! His! He’s been staying in his pre-JLo purchased condo.

Casper closed on his $760,000 ranch-style home in Woodland Hills. He put down 20% — $152,000. And it’s all Casper’s money. JLo didn’t give him a dime. He states he’s been renting out a condo he already owned and making money doing choreography for artists like Wisin y Yandel, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj. But to my recollection, JLo was giving him a monthly allowance. Do we really believe he didn’t stash away a couple thousand a month to buy this place? Its still her money, don’t you think?

Jennifer and Casper were recently spotted together riding around with the top down in Los Angeles hiding from the paparazzi. I wonder what these two love birds are up to?

Love Advice: Questions about Love, Sex and Greeting Cards with Judy Torres

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Q: What is the best advice you can give a young guy who wants to ask an older woman out on a date?
A: I can answer this question by experience. I am the older woman in my relationship. And we are now engaged to be married. As an older woman, I don’t think we are interested in age as much as we are interested in your confidence and your success in life. Success, ambition, confidence with a little humility is what is sexiest. So when approaching an older woman, be yourself. Take an honest interest in who she is. And don’t bother lying to us, because we can read bs right away. And please, NEVER say things like, “You know, for an older woman you really are beautiful.” Just make us feel desired and honest.

 

Q: E-Cards or Hallmark cards?
A: To me there simply is no real thought in an e-card. It’s digital, it’s downloaded and it’s downright cold and impersonal. I love the feeling of receiving a real card, reading the inscription or poem on the inside…seeing someone’s handwriting makes it all the more special. I’m not saying I’m right, but I’m not wrong, ha ha!!

 

Q: What is your go-to song when you want to get all romantic?
A: When I want to get all romantic my go-to songs are Tango by Lara Fabian, Jezebel by Sade or Europa by Santana! Yea, those are pretty sexy! I can’t choose just one!

 

Q: What is the best song to get it on to?
A: The best song to get it on to? A lady NEVER tells! Only my fiance knows!

 

Q: How can you tell if you’re really in love?
A: You can tell you are really in love when thinking of that person makes you all giddy inside; when you find yourself thinking of that person at the worst possible moments like when you get pulled over for running a red light. That person is your first thought when you wake and your last thought before you sleep. You are in love when the thought of that person not being in your life brings you to tears.

 

Q: Sex in public places, yes or no?
A: Sex in public places? Si, si, si – if you are ready to risk being arrested, and as long as the public place is not inappropriate – like a school for example. You don’t want to get caught by children. Sex on a beach, for instance, can be tempting and exciting. Not that I would know. I only heard from others!

 

Q: Dating a co-worker. A do or a don’t?
A: Dating a co-worker is too risque! You spend the majority of your day at work. If you date a co-worker and it doesn’t work out, the workplace can become a very uncomfortable place and your performance could suffer. Worse than that, there’s gonna be lots of bochinche if he/she turns out to be a bad person.

 

Q: Sexting. Si, si, si or No, no, no?
A: Sexting?! NO! Once you type those sexy and erotic words and press “send,” your words are out there forever. Later on, if it doesn’t work out, that person could use your own words against you. But…if you are certain your texts will be private and if it is for your spouse’s eyes only and you know no one will see it go for it.

 

Q: Best love advice you’ve gotten from your parents?
A: The best advice my mother gave me about love was that love does not hurt. It should make you feel good, it should lift you up and it should NEVER put you down. And her words have helped me out of very unhealthy situations quickly!

Love Advice: Meddling Mother Dearest

[Originally published for LatinTRENDS magazine December 2011 Issue #84]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I’m a 31 year old woman living in her own house. I have an advanced degree, a good job, lots of friends, and an overall great life. Last March, I met a man named Emmanuel. We got to know each other, began dating that June, and things have been going wonderfully ever since. Currently, we are exclusive with one another, but we aren’t engaged or living together. If things are still this wonderful after our 1-year anniversary, we want to take our relationship to engagement and, eventually marriage.

So, what’s the problem? In a word: my mother. Though she hasn’t met him (she lives in another state,) she feels as though he isn’t progressing fast enough, and that if he were really “in love with me” and not looking at me as just a “good time girl,” he would have moved in with me and gotten engaged to me already. I tried to explain to her that I didn’t want to rush things – and neither did he – but she says that my “advanced age” means that I should be hurrying up and getting married.

I love my mother dearly, but I just feel like she is being irrational with this rushing of this relationship, and this will eventually cause tension between everyone where there needn’t be. I love Emmanuel very much, and don’t want to risk losing him or our relationship by rushing into things. So what do you think?

Sincerely,
Reina

 

Dear Reina,

Considering the fact that you are well-educated, something tells me you already instinctively know what to do. But as your friend who cares for your happiness and well-being, here is my advice.

I’ve said this more than once here, but I’ll say it again: my mom always told me that it takes a year and a half to really truly know someone. Therefore, your decision to take things slowly is the absolute right thing to do. Why rush? Tell your mom that you know she loves you, and you’re proud that she raised you to be an intelligent and articulate woman, capable of making wise decisions. Le her know that her advice is duly noted, and you consider yourself fully warned.

Too many people today get married too quickly – sometimes as soon as 6 months after they meet – only to discover a year after marriage they got married for the wrong reasons. Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce, so to save yourself heartache AND money, take your time. You, me dear, have chosen right. If your boyfriend has the best intentions, he will wait for you.

Your mom thinks you should at least live together? Why play house without the commitment? In a year, you have a chance to develop the relationship and lay the proper foundation for marriage. You’ll have time to get to know one another intimately, you’ll have enough arguments, and you’ll learn how compatible you really are. It’s better to learn now than learn a hard and heartbreaking lesson later.

Now, the bottom line is that at the adult age of 31, you must now live your own life, make your own decisions and yes, even have the chance to make your own mistakes. You have reached a moment in your life we all dread: the day you have to disagree with Mom. Talk to her gently – and lovingly – and let her know that while you appreciate and love her, you have to follow your gut, and your gut is telling you to wait. For the record, 31 IS YOUNG to be married nowadays: tell Mom that I am single, unmarried, with no boyfriend and I’m 41…and I’m single because I want to marry Mr. Right, not Mr. Almost-Right!

Don’t settle and be sure. Be sure he is who you want, and love will be there no matter how long! Good luck and I hope to be a guest at your wedding in about 2 years!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: What is “Normal” For Sex?

[Originally published for LatinTRENDS magazine December 2011 Issue #84]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

Wanna know something about my sex life with mi hombre that no one else knows? (I debated even asking you, but that’s the beauty of anonymity.) He rarely initiates sex. Don’t get me wrong: he enjoys it. He doesn’t have complaints. He never turns me down. He gets really, really into it. And he’s very sexually flirtatious with me. But he just doesn’t initiate the hook up that often.

For the past month or so, I haven’t really had to think about this because, well, we were having sex almost everyday. But lately, our sex life has been slowing down, and therefore, this concern is popping up in my mind more frequently.

So…I guess my question to you is, what’s wrong here? Shouldn’t un hombre be the initiator? And if he isn’t, does that mean he has someone on the side? Do you think he’s cheating?

This whole situation doesn’t seem “normal,” if you know what I mean. What do you think?

Sincerely yours,
Confused in Centereach

 

Dear Confused in Centereach,

Ah! For the first time, I am presented with a question about the roles men and women play in the bedroom.

First, let me say that I wish you gave me more information. How long have you both been together? Are you married? Living together? Children? I ask these questions because sometimes they can add insight to the situation. For example, if you’re married to one another for a few years, I could guess that perhaps things have become too uncomfortable, and you may have to spice things up.

Another example: if you’ve been together for five years, and you were always the one initiating sex, then I could tell you that you’ve “taught” him how to respond – you are in charge.

Let’s talk about “normal” for one second. To me, what is normal to one couple may not be normal for another. In our society, it is expected that the man is in charge. Therefore, he should be the aggressor, right? But if you’ve always initiated, and he never has and you never asked him in the past to initiate, then why would you expect him to be different now?

What does concern me, however, is that it’s been more than a month that you’ve not been intimate with one another, especially if you say he enjoys it, and gets really “into it.”

How much do you know about his past sexual history and experiences? Sometimes if a man is resistant to initiate he is afraid of rejection. Sometimes, if there’s some sort of trauma that is attached to his past, he may be afraid of being too aggressive. I think the best thing to do here is to COMMUNICATE with him. But there are four words that you should never tell a man: “We have to talk!” As soon as you say that to him, he will immediately think, ‘okay, what did I do now?’ and he will quickly become defensive.

Wait until you and he are having “a moment,” when things feel cozy, and just say straight out that you miss him sexually. Let him know that you’ve been thinking about your sex life and would like to spice things up. Tell him you have a secret fantasy of HIM initiating sex and “taking over” – let him know that it would really turn you on. Then see how he responds.

In regards to your suspicion of him cheating on you, I cannot say that just because he’s not been interested means he’s cheating. However, if this is the first time your intimacy’s hit a stop sign, then you should just ask him straight out. I believe strongly in women’s intuition. Deep down in your heart, you will know. Who knows, maybe he is waiting for you to ask…so just ask him and be honest about your concerns. If he loves you, he will respond in love and work it out. Good luck with your hombre!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: I’m Dreaming of Another Man

[Originally published for DTM magazine February 2010 Issue #66]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I am a 27 year old father of two, which makes my problem even more scary: I have dreams about being with another man. I dream about the sexual part…never the kissing or hugging. I am “with” these men in my dreams, and when I wake up, I am very aroused.

The arousal is stronger than when I am “with” my wife, and now I think about being with a guy when I take showers or when I am home alone. Why is the thought about being with another man so arousing to me, and what do I do about it?

– Alberto

 

Dear Alberto,

I am not a dream analysis expert, however, I do know that not all dreams are to be taken literally. In dreams, sometimes sex is about power and aggression. You may be very stressed out at work, or angry with someone, and these dreams give you a way of acting out that rage, especially since you mentioned that there is no kissing or hugging.

However, I am curious that you mentioned that the thought of the dreams arouse you. We don’t always act on our thoughts. Sometimes we can imagine strangling someone we’re angry with, but we don’t do it.

I know what you’re wondering and I know why you wrote in for advice. You are, perhaps, wondering if you are gay?

It is hard to answer because as I mentioned in a previous article, I cannot tell you what YOUR sexual preference is. Only YOU can make that decision for yourself. I think you should reflect on some things: before these dreams, did you ever have a curiosity of men? One a day that you don’t dream of sex with another man, do you find you think about sex with a man anyway? Is the man in your dream a stranger? That would help determine a lot.

Lastly, should you find that you might be (or ARE) gay, take things slowly. I recommend you have a session with a professional who can help you find out in a healthy and unbiased way. Many straight people dream of sex with people of the same sex…and they are still straight. Sometimes, married “straight” people realize years later that they are bisexual.

Get some professional advice and you will eventually know what to do about it. Good luck, Alberto!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: My Boyfriend Has Lost Interest

[Originally published for DTM magazine January 2010 Issue #65]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I didn’t think I would need sexual advice so early in my relationship, but after being with my boyfriend for 8 months, it seems that he has lost interest in me. He always tells me how sexy I am, but when it gets late, he suddenly has a lot of headaches and stomachaches, or is just already asleep when I get out of the bathroom.

My friends tell me how their boyfriends have sex with them 3, 4 or even 5 times in one night, and I wonder why I’ve never experienced that. My current boyfriend doesn’t even try a second round!

How often do couples really have sex in a relationship, and what can I do to make my boyfriend want me again?

Maria, 22

 

Dear Maria,

There is nothing wrong with asking for advice, sexual or otherwise. And there is nothing wrong with you! Usually in relationships, the sex doesn’t taper off until about a year or a year and a half after the relationship has begun. So if it is tapering off after only 8 months, it seems a little unusual.

Now, one of the challenges that all couples face is that each person in the relationship has a different sex drive.

Scenario A: If I were to give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt, I’d say he may have a different appetite for sex than you. Therefore, it may be hard for him to tell you the truth. I would assume that your boyfriend is in his 20’s (as you are), and I would imagine he has a strong appetite. Result? Nothing funny going on here, just a matter of preference.

Scenario B: When a man suddenly falls asleep by the time you return from the bathroom, or says “Sorry, honey, not tonight…I’ve got a headache,” etc., he’s playing the avoidance game. He may be avoiding you for some reason. The reason could be that he really isn’t in the mood. The reason could be that he may be worried he can’t perform, particularly if he’s stressed out. But the reason can also be that he’s avoiding you out of guilt for being with someone else. I have no proof of this, but just keep it in the back of your mind just in case.

Ask yourself these questions: How long has it been since the last time? The last time you were together, did anything embarrassing or strange happen? Besides the bedroom, how is the relationship going overall? This is where you have to call on your inner voice. Your female instincts will never steer you wrong.

By the way, never compare your relationships to your friends’ relationships – they may be lying! Even if they’re telling the truth, I can guarantee that 5 times in one night may leave you in a bit of pain.

You asked me, what can you do to make your boyfriend want you again? Here’s my answer: do nothing! You’re not doing anything wrong. I can tell you to wear something sexy, make some naughty phone calls, etc… but I honestly feel it’s not you, sweetie. If you remember this for the rest of your life, you will save yourself from a lot of pain: You cannot control what other people do. You can only control how you respond to it.

Talk to him, and if you’re not happy after exercising patience, leave. Every person in a relationship needs to feel wanted, desired and fulfilled. Good luck, sweetie! Remember – it’s not you!

Love,
Judy