Blog Posts by Erin Flaherty, Shine staff

  • 5 Tips for getting the most out of dating online

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    There used to be a stigma attached to meeting someone special on the internet, but by now we know better: It may be handy for picking up cheap sex, but it's also possible to score a relationship that's a little more meaningful. In fact, the first online daters just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, proof that internet love can last. Besides, how many winners are you going to meet at a bar? Here are some tips for making the most of the opportunities online dating can offer:

    1. Create a profile that showcases your best assets: Stick with realistic-looking photos; you won't fool anyone when you meet them in person and you look totally different. On that note, honesty (followed by a lighthearted sense of humor) really is the best policy all around. Don't list horseback riding as your favorite hobby if you haven't ridden since you were a kid at camp, and while the goal is to make yourself seem as attractive as possible, don't ramble on about how great you are lest you portray

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  • Ah, the perils of dating the "assertive" man

    This is a phone message from perhaps the douchiest dude in the world. Yet, why does it sound so damn familiar?

    "The back story on this is that a girl named Olga was out with her friends in the Marina district of San Francisco (known for being a popular hang out for douches), and she talked to this guy named Dmitri for all of two minutes. Then she gave him her card and said 'give me a call.' The above is the messages he left. Listen to the whole thing, it just keeps getting better and better. I won't even tell you my favorite parts because i don't want to ruin anything. Just listen."--Holytaco

  • The scientific method to being "sexy"

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesAllure's new sex issue is out, and I love, love, love all the juicy details. My favorite piece is called "The Laws of Attraction," in which they ask different experts to define "What is sexy?" according to the fields they work in, which are, anthropology, scent, science and acting. You'll have to buy the magazine to get the whole story, but here's the gist of what they're saying:

    The Anthropologist:
    "...large breasts, a small waist, and wide hips. This is a holdover from times when women with wider hips were more likely to survive childbirth...full, red lips and a clear complexion..."

    The bottom line: So basically, Angelina Jolie.

    The Scent Expert:
    "Research tells us that our body odor plays a role in whether we're truly attracted to someone...we've heard accounts from thousands of men and women who say that they were attracted to their partner because they just smelled right."

    The bottom line: Spicy perfume may smell like seduction, but at the end of the day, it's all about your

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  • Show your support (bra) at!

    How often do you get to use the girls to make a political statement? Thankfully, our mothers and grandmothers burned their bras so we don't have to, so now, it's only fair that we once again unite breasts across America in order to achieve a common goal. If you're feeling "A Change We Can Believe In," then prove it "by uploading a picture of [your] wonderful bosoms! Big or small, black, white, brown or red, real or scientifically modified, they are part of you and we want to see them!"

    Now, obviously, Obama's camp is not associated with this NSFW website, but we like to think some of his closest supporters would probably get a pretty big kick out of it anyway. Oh yeah and guys, in keeping with Barack's message of unity, you're totally welcome to upload those sexy pics of your man boobs too! Check out the site here.

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  • Gift with purchase: Woman sells self with house

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    If you thought the Ebay bride was nuts, wait til you hear about Deven Trabosh, who brings new meaning to the term, "putting yourself out there."

    The 42-year old single mother decided to add a little bonus to prospective home buyers when she Craigslisted her Florida home for sale. According to Fox News:

    "She listed the home for $340,000 on a sell-it-yourself web site, but upped the price, adding a $500,000 shipping fee to include her companionship on eBay."

    Um, understandably, her children are embarrassed.

    Craigslist imageCraigslist image
    Check out her Craigslist ad here.

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  • The Dumpster: It really is hard being a teenager in love

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    Think your breakup was harsh? Meet the true teen romance tales of woe on online art project The Dumpster:

    "today really sucked i wanna die my parents hate me omg waaa waaa waaaa i cut myself the prozac doesnt work my bf broke up with me and i got stuffed into a locker"

    "Larchie thinks Bad Religion is better than Fugazi, so I broke up with her. Then she played Sublime."

    "omg my girlfriend broke up with me because i uploaded naked photos of her on to my photobucket, and she reported me to livejournal abuse. so much for that love fest."

    The Whitney Artport and the Tate Online co-commissioned The Dumpster, an online "visualization" project where you can surf twenty thousand blog posts written by American teenagers with broken hearts. (About seventy percent of the authors were female, go figure.) While a lot of the entries are shockingly flip--"ok me and my girfiend recenty broke up ya see i think it was cuz we have diferent signs see im a sagitarius and she was a w---- tune in for

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  • Corporate sponsorship of your wedding: tacky or brilliant?

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    Now, I don't like to get in the habit of criticizing strangers, but is it just me or does auctioning the chance to be a bridesmaid in your wedding on Ebay seem a tad, I don't know, tacky? Bride to be Kelly Gray doesn't think so, and did just that, then was surprised when she attracted the attention of the Dr. Pepper Snapple group, who not only won the bid at $5,700, but ended up giving her $10,000 for the corporate sponsorship of her wedding, and will now likely have a contest to determine who the bridesmaid will be.

    Now, I get that we're in a recession and all, but if you can't afford to have an extravagant wedding, why not have an intimate barbeque with your closest friends and family instead? Seems more special than paper cups emblazoned by soda pop logos. Thoughts?

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  • The people who live in one country are probably having sex right this very minute

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    Ever wonder which nation's good citizens are having the most sex? Eh, me neither, until I saw the results of this new Durex study, which, after polling 26,000 people in 26 different countries, shows us just that.

    I thought that the puritanical by many standards US would be low on the sexual totem pole, and turns out, only about half of Americans are having "relations" on a weekly basis. But that's okay, because compared to the 34 percent of the Japanese population getting some, I guess things could be worse. Where are people having so very much sex that we have to wonder how they could possibly be getting anything else done? It's Greece, followed closely by Brazil. Maybe it has something to do with the awesome food?

    SEE ALSO: "Does size really matter?"

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  • Do sex offenders deserve our sympathy?

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    I'm sure you've all read the news today regarding the US Supreme Court's 5 to 4 ruling that when it comes to child rape, sentencing the death penalty is unconstitutional. Just to brush up on your history, the Court struck down a law allowing the death penalty in cases of adult rape way back in 1977, but five states still allow execution when a child rape had been committed. Says the New York Times:

    "The court overturned a ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which had held that child rape is unique in the harm it inflicts not just upon the victim but on society and that, short of first-degree murder, no crime is more deserving of the death penalty."

    "Justice Kennedy, while in no way minimizing the heinous nature of child rape, wrote that executing someone for that crime, assuming that the victim was not killed, violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, which draws its meaning from 'the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing

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  • Is he leading a double life?

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    Anne Hathaway seems like your typical good girl, right? Unlike many stars her age, she's never been to Promises, and you never read about her spitting at photographers or passing out at nightclubs. Still, fans were shocked when she broke up with longtime boyfriend Raffaelo Follieri, and for good reason: According to Reuters, her 29 year old new ex has recently been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, and "accused of of operating a scheme in which he led investors to believe that he had close connections with the Vatican that enabled him to buy the Catholic Church's unwanted U.S. real estate properties at a discount, according to federal prosecutors and the FBI." Yikes!

    Anne and Raffaelo (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)Anne and Raffaelo (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
    While Anne presumably may have been aware of some of Follieri's shady business dealings, she was mostly in the dark until these revelations rose to the surface. Regardless of her involvement, this reminds me of a story I heard that a friend of a friend recently separated from her partner when she

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