Monday, December 27, 2010

Women & High(er) Risk Adventures

 1. These days, women are used to kicking but and taking risks in many aspects of their lives. How would you say this increased confidence relates to the increase in riskier behavior?

Confidence can lead to over-confidence when women are pressured to believe that bigger is better.  If you can jump off this rock; how about that higher bridge?  If pulling an all-nighter with “just a little help” is a piece of cake, of course you can go three days without sleep! 
It is natural for us to try harder things once we have mastered something at a basic level—but at a certain point, even the most well-trained woman needs to stop and ask herself if the challenge is worth the risk.
How does confidence factor into it?
Confidence is a precursor to boldness. First we build confidence by accomplishing what we set out to do and receiving acknowledgement and admiration; then we can get "COCKY."  If we imagine that by doing something even more difficult and riskier we will gain even more social status and respect, that’s not confidence, it’s hubris.

2. So many things in the U.S. are so tightly regulated and policed that it may make women take their personal safety for granted. But this isn’t always the case in the U.S., and often isn’t the case in other countries where laws are far more lax. How does this blanket assumption that "it must be fine" factor into potentially dangerous situations?
If there is no warning sign saying “DANGEROUS” or “CAUTION,” then women who have grown up relying on these warnings may assume that the place or activity without the sign is presumptively SAFE.  A high speed / hanging rollercoaster or bungee cord site in a foreign country or extreme location could be a death trap. If there are no waivers to sign and no apparent safety warnings, a woman may not consider that NO SIGNS could mean NO SAFETY CHECKS, and naively believe it’s a tried and true safe bet. That could be a huge mistake.

3. Women need to step back and do the research before setting off on these adventures. What other advice or tips would you offer to help women better protect themselves and lower some of the danger?

Ask around before attempting anything you don't really know about.  Check in with locals for the best and worst stories they can remember about the activity you are considering.  Always find out who has done this activity before and what did they experience. One drunk recounting does not equal a legitimate source!  When considering a blood rushing feat make sure you have a night to "sleep on it," and that you are "stone cold sober."  There is no high risk act that is better done on impulse.  Don't let your ego direct the show, and make sure your intentions are for your own pleasure and excitement instead of trying to prove something to someone else.

4. How much would you say peer pressure is involved with doing risky things? Are women being influenced by their friends and, moreover, their boyfriends? (Remember, this is a Cosmo story, so boy and boyfriends must factor in!)

Women are egged on by their friends and boyfriends who want to see a great show. Why not?
When all your instincts say no, but his eyes tell you "GO FOR IT," make sure that you have time to consider the short term benefits and the possible long term consequences.
I know a girl who chugged 10 shots of tequila in 10 minutes on a dare from her hot guy, only to be rushed to the ER from toxic alcohol poisoning. I know another gal who hang glided off the edge of a cliff because her guy was doing it, even though she didn't really feel that well that day. She broke her neck and was in recovery for two years. 
Another woman who shoplifted for her boyfriend because he thought it was super sexy, ended up being raided in her home on Valentines day and spending the night locked up behind bars. Another friend went down a double black diamond because she didn't want to seem like a wimp and ended up with a leg fractured in two places.  
Doing IT just because HE WANTS ME TO is not a good plan. Remember, any guy who truly LIKES YOU will like you whether or not you jump out of an airplane.  If he wants you to be thrilling so he can be turned on, you probably can't keep that up anyway. A real man wants his woman to be happy and safe, not risky and dumb.

5. What advice would you give women in these "influenced by my guy" situations? How do you catch themselves when being be swayed by their boyfriend?

First, be aware of the tendency, and learn to think on your feet.  Have your most sage friends on speed dial or text-ready when considering a doubtful risk.  It is always a good idea to check in with “the sane committee” before making any big decisions.
How do they stand up for themselves and their boundaries without feeling like a buzzkill?

A buzzkill may actually be a badge of honor once you realize that saying YES just to be popular is truly the cowardly thing to do. It takes real ovaries to value your own sense of things over anyone's temporary flattery or attention.

 6. What about so-called adrenaline daters--people who are excited by danger? Any advice on how to handle?

If he always needs to get off with some adrenaline surge, he is most likely going to be a serial dater, or a regular visitor to the ER. Guys or gals who need to stay HIGH to feel anything are suffering from mind baffling numbness and will seek more dangerous activities to keep upping the ante.  If what you’re looking for is intimacy, you won’t find it in adrenaline daters. They’re desperately looking for something or someone to take them out of their mortal bodies, and out of this world—and that's just not a place for lovers to find lasting satisfaction.

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