[Image: Tila Tequila wearing a strapless black outfit. Her hands are above her head, her hair is covering one eye as she looks at the camera.]
Tila begins this chapter with another reference to her unhappy childhood. She writes, “If anyone should suck at relationships, it’s me. Mean, how the hell do you know what love means when you’ve never experienced it from your family? So yeah, my childhood kind of messed me up.” Which seems apparent by her copious mentions of it. Yet she never goes into exactly how this happened or why it effected her so tragically. Of course, she also never even gives passing mention to her bipolar disorder. Which begs the question; why mention her incredibly difficult childhood at all if she’s just going to gloss over it? The answer may become clear in the outro.
Relating how hard it is for her to trust people and learn to love, Tila launches into the first section, “Bootcamp for the Heart”. She starts off talking about her reality dating show, A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila. She insists, “Let me tell you, my feelings were NOT fake! At least, not the first season.” So her feelings in the second season were fake? Also, she admitted previously that she was not acting like herself during the show. So even on the first season, how can her feelings be real if her actions were not? Tila dances around the truth about her show and her entire “real” persona for the entire book. In the end, whether she genuinely does anything is a complete mystery.
But she bravely presses on. She insists that every episode was unimaginable heartbreak. Tila moans, “Hell yeah, it was hard. It almost killed me.” Even for someone being overly dramatic, I find this hard to believe. She already stated that how she acted during the show wasn’t really her and then openly admitted that her feelings weren’t even real for the entire second season. So how exactly does that equate to her developing real feelings and having said real feelings crushed by the exit of people that she asked to leave?
Anyway, Tila relates being on her show to how she had always been so tough and uncaring in order to get through her childhood. She writes, “It was to the point where I didn’t realize that I had so much love inside of me because I’d repressed it for so many years. So no matter what else came out of it, and how much hate I had to weather as a result, I’m glad I did the show.” It’s statements like this that truly worry me for Tila’s health. She sounds like she needs therapy. She didn’t allow herself to feel love? She repressed these feelings? She only discovered them because of an exploitive, base TV show? Tila needs a professional to talk to. Not a girlfriend, not a boyfriend, not a person that wants to get drunk and act ridiculously on television, but someone that is actually providing support for her that has the education and training to deal with the problems that she experiences.
The next section is called “A Real Honest-to-God Bisexual”. As Tila feels the need to inform us of her legit bisexuality yet again. She argues, “No, I am not some fake, porno bisexual who just makes out to get attention or make guys hot.” Which makes you wonder why she gives so much credibility to the idea that she isn’t bisexual that she has to restate it again and again. Tila insists that MTV knew that she was bisexual before she was ever offered the show. She states, “I am a very sexual person, but that doesn’t mean it’s all about Girls Gone Wild and being stupid and flashing your tits for some crappy plastic jewels. That’s how I feel like I’ve been portrayed since the show.”
It’s strange that Tila wants to declare herself completely sex positive, then she openly shames woman who display their breasts, regardless what they get in return for it. Also, she previously described her own behavior on her show as “Girls Gone Wild”. So if she admits that she acted just how she’s claiming that she’s being portrayed, how exactly is that surprising?
Tila then insists that straight celebrities are never interviewed about how straight they are. Which is a good point and something worth mentioning, as it’s an example of social inequality. But just as soon as she makes that single point, without much elaboration, she announces, “Let’s get to the GOOD STUFF. Here are some tips for making your relationships hot and happy.” Let’s see what she suggests.
The next section, “Be Yourself,” opens swiftly with Tila announcing, “I know it sounds bullshit and obvious. But it’s so true.” Tila then talks about how when people try to fake it, it’s pathetic and forced. She announces, “Overdoing it is not being confident. It’s just annoying.” But Tila has already advised lots of things that might go against being who someone is. A highly sexual person might want to have sex before Tila’s imaginary time limit. A shy woman might not feel comfortable smiling and giggling at every man in the room. What is someone to do when they’re told to do something they might not want to do then told to do whatever it is that they want to do?
In the following section, “You Can’t Fake It” Tila announces, “I’ve never pretend to be something I’m not with my music, or my personality as a artist.” Which again brings up Tila problematic relationship with her own authenticity. If her true personality is captured in her music, then she has more problems than people viewing her as fake. Her music is at times violent, emotionally abusive, and even ableist. If her music speaks to who she really is, that person is a deeply troubled individual that needs far more than to prove that she’s “real”.
But Tila continues without even the slightest bit of self-reflection. She announces that people deciding not to work with you in business can be hard, but it’s just like the same in relationships. She writes, “If you try to change me, or make me into this other person, then it’s like, hey, well, I guess we’re not made for each other then, are we?” Which is a very astute observation. However, it makes me wonder if Tila stops to take other’s opinions into consideration even when they’re trying to help her. When you stop taking any and all advice, you close yourself to good advice as well as bad. And sometimes we need the point of view of another person to improve ourselves and point out what we aren’t aware of.
However, Tila seems to realize this, although she clearly fails to apply it in any meaningful way to her own life. She advises her fans, “It’s NOT okay to change them [someone you like], unless you’re helping them to be more confident and make their dreams come true.” Which seems like a strange thing to state. Given that she takes no one else’s advice, but also because it’s not up to another person to make someone else’s dreams come true. Only they can do that. Supporting someone to achieve their dreams is one thing, but that’s not what she’s stated.
Tila then relates, “Like me, for example, I’m really high-strung. I talk really fast. I get a little bit excited when I speak. I’m passionate. I have a temper sometimes. You can’t just come in here and say, “You know what? You should start speaking calmly all the time and try to be quieter.” ” People telling women to quiet down and be calmer is a societal problem, not just one that Tila faces. Women are trained to be demur and silent and quickly corrected if they are anything but. Learning to develop your own voice and use it is a very powerful thing. But somehow this message falls a little flat when coming from a woman that uses what little power she had to complain about people that dislike her and call other women straight-up bitches.
She ends this section with this, “Everyone has the right to be loved for who they are.” Which is not a right. No one has a right to be loved. Love is earned, not given. For all of the messages about being yourself and not bending for anyone, some people that take this advice use this ideology to be as rude, shallow, and uncaring as they want and demand that everyone accepts the “real” them. No one owes it to you to like you, accept your ideas, be your friend, be your date, or allow you use of their genitals. These are all choices that other people get to make. And if all you can do is promote hatred, intolerance, and stereotypes, then you don’t get to claim that you deserve love.
And no, I’m not talking about Tila here. I’m talking about people in general that have had it drilled into their heads so much that they have a right to love that they don’t stop and realize that they need to act like decent human beings for that to be true. There is no more need to share this toxic idea that you can literally do whatever you want and everyone is supposed to fall at your feet with admiration. If you want to exist within a society or social group, you have act appropriately. If you want to hang out with atheists you can’t keep talking about how hell fire will burn them all. If you want to hang out with feminists, you can’t insist that women deserve rape for the crime of having a vagina. Human society doesn’t work like that. And it shouldn’t either.
But Tila presses on with her relevant advice. She asks her readers to recall when she told them to wait to have sex. She then announces, “Because, let’s be honest, a good date is just an excuse to make out, right?” Uh, it is? To think I’ve been using dates as a chance to talk, get to know someone, enjoy their company, expand my mind with discussions of the world and human experiences, and learn about someone else’s point of view. It turns out I should have been just making out with everyone. What is wrong with me?
She expands on this idea. “You know, you plan it all out, watch a movie, have dinner, but then you just want to go straight back to the house, pretend to pop in a movie, and make out for five hours.” Who has time for that? Jesus Christ, I’ve been on some long dates, but there was no 5-hour make out session. I think my face would be numb by that point. And honestly, I don’t have the sexual patience to go through many hot and heavy make out sessions without mentioning where my condoms are kept.
Tila completely disagrees. She talks about how exciting it is to be a kid that has never had sex and, “hide in the closet and kiss for hours, and it was the most exciting thing ever.” She adds, “As an adult, we forget that feeling sometimes. We just assume we’re going to have sex. It can be so blah, blah, blah, been there done that.” If I felt that bored with sex, I wouldn’t be having it. If I don’t want to have sex with a person, I don’t. If I do want to have sex with a person and they want to have sex with you, then what the hell is the problem exactly? I personally only find it frustrating to hold off on sex and due to previous experiences, I see no point to. Waiting to have sex has never made a man stay with me longer, just like having sex has never made a man leave me sooner.
Disregarding any other thoughts on the topic, Tila insists that making out without actually having sex is the best thing to do for your relationship. She writes, “Believe me, the tension will build, and when you finally give it up, it will be HOT.” I find her language choice interesting. Sex is not something that women give men. Women don’t lose something and men don’t gain something when they engage in sexual relations. Sex will be what it will be, regardless of the time line that preceded it. Sex with someone you’re compatible and interested in will be exciting no matter when you have it. Sex with someone who communicates poorly in bed and doesn’t care about their partner’s pleasure is going to be awful no matter how much you hold off.
In the next section, “Mixing It Up,” Tila talks some more about sex. She mentions how she enjoys role play and recalls that she’s been a teacher, a nurse, and her favorite, a maid. She then states, “That’s the whole point of having sex; you’re free to escape into this fantasy world.” I find it automatically dubious when someone tries to give anyone the point of sex. Sex can be a lot of things. It doesn’t have to be one thing or another in order for it to “count” or mean something. Sure, sex can be an escape. But some of the best sex I’ve ever had was with someone that I was very deeply in love with and I was me and he was him and we were two people exploring each other bodies. No fantasy or character could have ever topped the experience I had with him.
Tila then advises how to get your lover into the fantasy world. She writes, “How do you get someone to role-play with you? … Just initiate it, and your lover will catch on. The better you are at leading the way, the better your special someone will be at taking up whatever role you want to have played.” She then states, “I also think blindfolds are a lot of fun. Definitely with handcuffs.”
What she leaves out of all of this is the fact that the other person indulging in this fantasy should be completely aware, prepared, and consenting before you spring it on them. It’s rude and can even be harmful to your relationship if you take things too far without knowing how your partner feels about a certain thing. A person that has experienced rape or sexual assault might be terrified by the idea of being blindfolded during sex. Someone that was once physically restrained against their will could panic if their partner, who is someone they trust, handcuffs them without warning.
Exploring new desires and incorporating kink into your relationship can be a fun and exciting thing, but everyone needs to openly discuss it and set boundaries before it happens. When you’re both naked and panting is no time to ask someone what they think about bondage. Being kinky means being responsible and respecting the other person’s experience and wishes. Don’t put your partner into a position where they don’t feel comfortable or safe.
Want to read all sections in this review? Click here.