Friendzoning Out

If you’ve read any of my blog posts before, you’ll know that I generally like to start them with a rambling diatribe of an irrelevant prelude which your eyeballs have to endure before I even get to the point of what the post is about, as if I was desperately trying to peacock my way into a position as a Vice writer (hint: I AM. I love you Vice. Take me. PLEASE. I’d even be willing to move to East London and pretend to hate everything). This time, however, it’s different! I am going to get straight to the point, Or at least, I would have got straight to the point if I didn’t just waste a ton of valuable pixels on writing a self-indulgent explanation of how I wasn’t going to begin this post by writing a self-indulgent explanation of something entirely unrelated to the main subject matter of this post. Shit.

Anyway, so, the concept of ‘The Friend Zone’ is bullshit.

In case you’ve been living in North Korea and haven’t heard of ‘The Friend Zone’, allow me to explain. (If you’re reading this in North Korea, that means my blog, of all things, has somehow managed to belly-crawl past whatever crazy firewalls and Kim-Jong-Sanctioned  freedom-blockers are in place there, which in turn means that the footsteps I just heard outside my flat were probably someone coming to lock me away. Shit).

‘The Friend Zone’ is a common description of the following situation:

Boy meets girl. Boy wants to fuck girl. Boy befriends girl in the hope that this will lead to him getting a chance to fuck her. Girl considers this particular boy to be a friend rather than a potentially sex partner, and tells him so. Or sometimes doesn’t tell him so, but acts in a ‘friendly’ manner around him, rather than a ‘frenzied-nympho-sex-kitten’ way that only exists in porn and Cosmo. Boy complains to fellow Boy Friends about how awful it is that he went to the time and effort of befriending a female only to find out that she didn’t want his dink in her donk. Boy Friends proceed to jeer, laugh, mock, and ultimately, empathise.

This may come as a shock to some people, but it is possible for members of the opposite sex to become friends with one another without sex as a motivating factor. (Notice I say SOME people; thankfully I know a whole lot of people who pay no attention to the whole concept of ‘The Friend Zone’, but I also know there are a whole lot of people who do. Which makes me ‘:(‘. It’s up to you to decide whether my inclusion of an emoticon to describe my feelings towards something was ‘ironic’, relevant, douchey, or otherwise). More specifically, it is possible for a male to decide to befriend a female for reasons other than wanting to put the hot dog in the lady bun (which is another phrase I have ripped directly from the Vice vaults. This blog post reeeeally is kinda ‘beggin’ it’). Because almost inevitably, when the cry of “Mate, you’ve been friendzoned!” rings out, it is in relation to a male’s unsuccessful attempts at transcending the barriers of friendship to get his freak on with a female – rarely, if ever, is it the other way round, in terms of gender. On that note, I feel like I can only really discuss the concept of ‘The Friend Zone’ in relation to hetereosexual relationships, as I have never seen it referenced in relation to relationships outside of this, which is probably because heterosexuality is still generally the dominant paradigm for discussions about sex and relationships, which is another thing that makes me ‘colon open-bracket’.

Anyway, there’s something which really bugs me about the fact that it’s become a normalised and accepted idea that the only possible reason  a male would want to befriend a female is so he can sleep with her. And that in denying him this, the female is somehow ‘the bad guy’, as if she should automatically accept and expect that this is his one and only motivation, and that by entering into a conversation with him, she unknowingly signed some unwritten agreement she was, in fact, interested in sleeping with him, only to later reveal herself to be Such A Bitch by going against this agreement. It just really gets on my metaphorical tits.

For a start, the categories of “friend” and “someone I’m sleeping with” are not mutually exclusive. I have a fair amount of male friends that I have engaged in various degrees of Sex Things with – some that led to relationships, some that were one-offs (or two-offs?), etc etc etc. I guess you could call that the “fuckbuddy zone”, but then that also assumes that by having sex with a friend, the friendship somehow no longer qualifies as ‘just a friendship’, it has to be labelled something different, the boundaries of ‘friendship’ have been irreparably broken, for better or worse. To this I say – “bullshit”. For the most part, I still consider the above mentioned people to be ‘friends’, and as far as I know, this is mutual. (I am potentially opening myself up to some awkward conversations here. Shit).

Another thing is, the idea of ‘The Friend Zone’ must cause a whole lot of hassle for the genuine guys who are befriending women for normal reasons. You know, like, because they actually want to be friends with them. I imagine it must be quite hard for some of them to do this while second guessing that the women they’re trying to befriend are second guessing that they are only trying to be friends with them because they want to sleep with them. Urgh.

To me, ‘The Friend Zone’ conjures up an image of some nightmarish parallel universe to The Twilight Zone, exclusively inhabited by people who think that quoting that bit in The Inbetweeners where they all squeal “Friiieeeennnnddd” is still funny, and where all the men wear t-shirts with pictures of Rhianna’s face on them and the girls wear crop tops that say ‘DORK’ and ‘NERD despite the fact that they probably can’t even name all of the 151 original Pokemon and don’t know who Joss Whedon is. In short, I clearly over-think things too much and now I think I need an asprin and a lie down.

Once again I haven’t really said anything revelationary in this post, or anything that anyone with half a brain can see for themselves; nor was I intending too, I just like having a rant. If you don’t know this by now, how are we still even friends?! (Assuming that you’re not one of the 1% of people who end up stumbling on to my blog through pathways other than my Facebook profile or Twitter feed. If you are, then, “Hello, potential new friend!”. Did I say ‘friend’? OH SHIT YOU JUST GOT FRIENDZONEDDDDD. Hash tag burn).

Epilogue: Humans as a species piss me off in many, many irrelevant, insignificant, and often just plain petty ways.

Epilogue II: Here is a picture of Jess and Nick from New Girl. If you haven’t watched up to up to the most recent few episodes of New Girl yet then SPOILER ALERT. LOOK AWAY NOW!

Source: http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/32300000/J-N-jess-and-nick-32395503-500-667.png

Jess and Nick are friends who want to have sex with each other, which makes this picture kind of relevant to the post but I’m mostly just posting this because Nick is my new Object of Desire and I just really like looking at pictures of him.

Brace Yourselves: The Valent-Whines are Coming

Source http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110626030944/gameofthrones/images/9/9c/EddardStark.jpg

“What? You were expecting THAT picture of me with ‘Brace Yourself…etc’ photoshopped on to it? Well, guess what, fuck you, ok. I’ve had enough of this cliche meme bullshit…if I see it one more time I swear I’m gonna…” *Eddard Stark wanders off into the distance,mumbling to himself somewhat incoherently”

Hello everyone. In case you didn’t know, it’s Valentines Day on Thursday. Cue: a whole lot of people talking/Tweeting/Facebooking*/Carving into slate tablets etc about how Valentines Day is a Great Big Ball Of Commercialised Over Sentimental Tacky Hallmark Sponsored Codswallop. (I’m paraphrasing; nobody uses the word ‘codswallop’ any more…but they totally should.).

Yes, it is annoying that the windows of most high street shops have suddenly been dyed various alarming shades of pink. Yes, its depressing that whatever poor soul has the job of designing the 99p store’s ‘seasonal stock’ thinks that a pair of ‘amusingly’ sloganed boxers that look and feel as though they have been made out cellophane would genuinely make a good love token (although, let’s give them some credit here, £1/99p shops are popping up everywhere and are kinda the high-street champion of the recession…). And don’t even get me started on those Moonpig adverts with the bad-80s-porno soundtrack and deep husky voiceover that is probably aiming for ‘smooth’ but overshoots drastically and lands at ‘sex pest’. But, honestly, those of you who bellyache about how awful and tacky the whole thing is are just as annoying – potentially more annoying – than those who overtake newsfeeds and lunchtime conversations every 12th-16th Feb by wittering on about how totally in love they are with their fluffy wuffy smoochums. If anything, at least in recent years, there are more people moaning about V-Day than there are emitting delighted squeaks of smushy-wuv.

Source - http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/photo-dump-vol-105/90855

I really, really, want Boris Johnson to make his own version of this and stick them up all over London.

Yep, I agree that you “shouldn’t need a Hallmark-sponsored holiday to show someone you love them”. Guess what? NO ONE IS SAYING THAT YOU DO. Plenty of couples show each other that they love each other every day. Generally, though, Most Average People don’t really have the time, money, or energy to spend on Big Fancy Romantic Gestures on a regs basis. For Most Average People, ‘showing each other that they love each other every day’ probably goes along the lines of listening to each other’s stories about their day, snuggling up together on the sofa with a DVD, and having sex despite the fact she’s not wearing matching underwear. (Because come on, who really can be dedicated enough to wear matching underwear every day. I mean, really? Tell me I’m not alone on this one, ladies.) My point is, if you do Big Special Romantic Things like:…

- Wearing lovely beautiful sexy but drastically uncomfortable underwear (complete with suspender belt and stockings and handcuffs and all the rest of that fairly vanilla stuff that anyone who enjoyed ’50 Shades of Grey’ thinks counts as ‘Kinky/S&M’, LOL),

- Going for a meal at the type of restaurant where you can’t tell if your Significant Other is making ‘gooey eyes’ at you out of love, because the candle smoke is getting in their eyes, or because the massively overpriced entrees are making them cry a little bit,

- Buying cute ickle teddies holding fluffy wuffy hearts for each other,

- Writing love poetry (“NB. Roses are red, violets are blue, I suck at poems, NICE TITS LOL” does not count as love poetry. It is funny though),

…ALL THE TIME, then they’re not really that Big or Special or Romantic anymore. And for us Average People out there, sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to up the ante a bit when it comes to that hideously complex ritual we call ‘courtship’.

Its also a chance to have a little fun. Last year I sent a handful of my fabulous Single Ladies ‘anonymous’ cards, complete with a ‘riddle’ which they could use to decipher my identity. Although they had probably guessed from my awful handwriting long before they got to the end of my “My first is in X, and also in Y…” type rhyme. At uni, in first year, some of my female friends and I raided the £1 shop for hilariously-tacky-but-also-vaguely-relevant ‘gifts’ for some of the guys we were in halls with (including a Dog Grooming Glove and some lube for a guy who supposedly masturbated a lot, and a dangly feathery cat toy for a guy who…um…I can’t really remember what our reason for that choice was, but anyway at the time it was hee-LAIR-ious). Another year, we got a card for a male housemate of ours who was a little bit in love with Gary Barlow, and  wrote it out as if it were from the G-Baz himself. This year, I’m visiting my sister at uni on the 15th, and planning on making heart-shaped chocolates – with a few of them containing something nasty, like a chilli pepper or something, we haven’t quite ironed out the details – for a kind of Valentines-themed roulette-style drinking game. See. V day is not just for people who are joining themselves to other people by means of their sexy-bits.

One last thing – Valentine’s Day wasn’t actually invented by a shadowy figure named Lord Hallmark, rubbing his hands together gleefully at his newfound way to strip the coupled-up masses of their hard earned dubloons. It’s been around for ages. The most common lore surrounding the origins of Love Day relates to a chappy called Saint Valentinus, who was locked up for performing weddings for people who couldn’t get married, like soldiers. Or Christians. Yup. Straight Christians. Who weren’t allowed to marry. Because Valentinus was just a Nice Kind Of Guy who didn’t think that it was fair that something as fundamental as a person’s entire belief system (which they would rather die for than renounce – Christians were getting slaughtered left right and centre at this point, BECAUSE: ROMANS.) should stop two people who were in love from getting married. ZING. Topical. I should probably be writing a blog about that instead of this, but all of the important (and true) stuff has already been written by people much more intelligent and eloquent than myself.

Anyway, then Chaucer went and wrote a rather lovely poem about events which happen on Valentines Day, called Parlement of Foules, about the tradition of courtly love. (Trust me, stick with it, when I first started to read it as part of my degree course it did my brains in, but I quickly learnt to love it.) Anyway, it would be weird to turn such a scatterbrained blog post as this into something intellectual this near to the end, so suffice it to say that ‘courtly love’ basically involved the gentlemen and noblewomen of the court doing things like composing love poems and sending tokens of their admiration to one another, and occasionally going off to fight a ruddy great dragon to honor their sweetheart, probably. Chaucer’s Parlement mostly consists of a dream sequence in which the dreaming narrator passes through a heavenly garden, and witnesses some man birds talking it up to win the hearts of some lady birds. (NB – not ladybirds). And the poem was written to honour the engagement of a couple of 15 year old royals. I bet Kate and Wills didn’t get a really lovely epic-avian-slightly-trippy-dream-sequence poem as an engagement present.

Source - http://belletristcoterie.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/v-day-is-for-the-birds/

A page from Parlement of Foules. Here, the narrator can be seen on his steed in the margin. He is congratulating himself on choosing the margin as a hiding place, saying to his horse, “they’ll never Findus…”

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re planning to get all Valent-whiney this year, please just jam your hype instead**.

Peace and Fucking.

*I am genuinely feeling quite uneasy about the fact that I used ‘Facebooking’ as a verb.

**Dear friends – please don’t take this personally, or as a personal attack, or anything of that ilk…it is, like many of my C&A posts, intended in the most light-hearted of ways…

And finally, some potentially really geeky Valentines themed pictures that I like, because *squeeeeeeee*:

SKYRIM VALENTINES. Need I say more? No, I need not, but I'm going to anyway: Stuart made me a Skyrim themed Valentines Day card last year. IT WAS AWESOME.  Source: http://oxboxer.deviantart.com/?rnrd=3252 (NB for sources of most of my images, look in the mouseover/alt text)

SKYRIM VALENTINES. Need I say more? No, I need not, but I’m going to anyway: Stuart made me a Skyrim themed Valentines Day card last year. IT WAS AWESOME. Source: http://oxboxer.deviantart.com/?rnrd=3252 (NB for sources of most of my images, look in the mouseover/alt text)

Source: http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk22/inuyashafever/Inuyasha/ValentinesDay.jpg

Ok, it looks a little menacing, but they are a cute couple really, and it’s one of my favourite animes…because I am 23 going on 13. Yep.

Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_r2BjbLmrYdw/TCsYLyjk2WI/AAAAAAAAA6Y/pJSdGFOEtQQ/s1600/DVD++cover.jpg

Kuroshitsuji cast (some of them) all V-day’d up, awh!

Source: http://lovesongwriter.deviantart.com/

Last one…’L’ Valentine, too adorable! By LoveSongWriter on Deviantart, link in mouseover text

Womb Juice

Ok so apparently the latest ‘Thing’ doing the rounds on the internet is a video that has been described as a girl ‘eating’ her own tampon (actually she pretty much just sucks the blood off it and then throws up). Literally, I have just seen a crapload of posts about it popping up on Facebook and elsewhere in the last few hours. Curiosity got the better of me and, well, here is a link to the video. warning, this is obviously NSFW. Depending on where you work, I guess.

Img Credit: http://suzannawinter.com/galleykitchen/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/scooped-with-sauce.jpg

While a used tampon isn’t most people’s idea of a tasty snack, I don’t really see how nyamming down on a period is all that wildly different to lapping up spunk. Think about it. Spunk is basically the babymaking cells of a man, surrounded by all the gooey crap that keeps them safe whilst they’re in his body. That is essentially exactly what a period is. The difference is, we’re supposed to find it sexy when it comes gushing out of a penis and all over a girl’s face/boobs/down her throat/everywhere, but repulsive when it comes out of woman. I started saying stuff along this line to my boyfriend as he was watching the video over my shoulder. To which, he said “well yeah, but she doesn’t seem to be enjoying it as much as if it was spunk”.

Granted, she didn’t seem to be enjoying it AT ALL (the video includes her vomiting and getting tearful). But that comment was a reminder (a funny-but-disturbing-all-at-once-reminder) that its becoming normalized for people to think of Porn Sex as Real Sex. I mean sure, Breanne Benson might have spent the closing moments of her latest video* imploring a POV-style weirdly disembodied penis to come all over her face, lapping up the results of the penis’ obedience with apparent glee – that does not mean that slurping spunk is always IRL as much of an exciting and enjoyable experience as Ms Benson and Friends make it out to be, generally for the sole purpose of men’s pleasure (some women may enjoy seeing that in porn too, of course, however probably a lot of us are thinking what a bitch it’s going to be to clean it out of her hair).

Img credit: http://aka.media.entertainment.sky.com/image/560x835/2012/05/15/Cameron-Diaz-recreates-Something-About-Mary-moment-0512-13.jpg

Mandatory.

Sure, there are as many different varieties of ‘turn-on’ as there are individual people (probably more), so its likely that some guys and dolls genuinely do crave and relish the taste of spunk. But its also likely that there are a fair few people whose reactions to the prospect of jizz-guzzling range from “indifference” to “icky”. Even among those who do it often, or all the time. So, I kind of drifted off topic here, I guess what I’m trying to say is, while we’re on the subject of ingesting reproductive cells, lets not just automatically assume that a big blob of spunk is just like, totally delish.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not imploring everyone to go out and start using tampons as teabags or anything. And I DID feel my stomach churn a little bit when watching the video. I just wanted to explore the double standards a bit, and raise the question of quite why drinking (or eating…it depends on the consistency I guess) Ball Juice isn’t reviled anywhere near as much as Womb Juice.

(*I’m using this as an example only, I haven’t watched a Breanne Benson video for ages so I don’t know if this is actually true or not, she was just the first porn actress that popped in to my head for some reason, and it seems likely).

Img Credit: http://image.rakuten.co.jp/lealea-hawaii/cabinet/02428463/img59337639.jpg

 

Please Sponsor Me For Blogtober!

Wait! Stop! Put your wallet away! Thanks for your generosity and all that, but Blogtober isn’t actually A Thing. Yet. Today, on my first venture out of the house in four days (yay for Christmas laziness!) I saw a billboard advert for something called Dryathlon. Rather than something involving towels, umbrellas, or my sense of humor, as I first thought, Dryathlon is actually a challenge you can set for yourself to not drink alcohol throughout January, donating money that you save (and money from those who sponsor you to undertake the challenge), to Cancer Research.

*UPDATE – JUSTGIVING PAGE: HERE*

I tried to coerce my partner into joining me in attempting, and getting sponsored for, Dryathlon. With the exception of an already-planned weekend away, he seemed up for the idea – however he did suggest that we do it in another month, making the very true point that ‘money donated to charity is money donated to charity; it doesn’t matter which month it is in’.

Of course this is true, however there is a reason that these ‘charity challenge months’ are growing in number and popularity. Generally, the ‘activity’ which one gets sponsored to do is something which usually, no one would sponsor you to do, if you did it outside of one of these specially designated and advertised Months. If a man asked you for a charitable donation for Cancer Research during April (which happens a lot, what with the rise of the Chugger and all of that), you may very well make a donation, or you may not – my point is that whether or not you donated probably wouldn’t depend on whether or not the man was harbouring an upper-lip caterpillar (actually, maybe it would for me personally, but then that’s just because I have a well-publicised Thing for moustaches). If your friend was on the OJs on a night out while the rest of you were dribbling Jagerbombs down your chins, you probably wouldn’t round off the night by giving them a tenner to give to charity. But package it into a well-designed well-advertised fundraising campaign with a catchy soundbite of a name, and suddenly it’s all the rage. (Which, by the way, I think is definitely a Good Thing – please see the little disclaimery bit below if you’re about to have a go at me for having a go at charity)*.

If three months of charitable sponsorship just aren’t enough for you (less than three if you don’t smoke, don’t drink, and/or are challenged in the facial-hair-sprouting department), don’t worry! I have devised a catchily-named activity for every month of the year to raise funds for your chosen charity. In addition to being easy and accessible to everyone, some of them have the additional benefit or making you appear Quite Mad. Enjoy!

Manuary – If you are a female, get sponsored to subscribe to traditional heterosexual male gender normative roles for the entire month. If you are a woman or a man who already does this, keep doing it, but demand charitable donations for your ‘efforts’.

Flabuary. Eat carbs and ditch the gym. If, like me, this pretty much describes your entire lifestyle anyway, keep doing it, but as above, demand Cash for Causes.

The Great March March. This one is easy. Persuade your friends and loved ones to fling dollar in a charity-wards direction in exchange for you marching instead of walking for the whole month. Extra donations can be claimed if you decide to stand to attention every time your mobile rings.

April Showers – Collect donations to support your undertaking of the ‘April Showers Challenge’; despite the name, this involves not showering for the whole month. Encourage extra donations by telling donors you will stay out of ‘smelling distance’ from them if you meet your target.

Mayday! Mayday! - Get sponsored to be in a constant state of panicked alarm. All. The. Time.

Moon June – Collect sponsorship money for flashing your arse at every opportunity. £1 a pop.

Julie – Tell everyone you meet this month that your name is Julie, regardless of gender. Reveal your true name at the end of the month and demand sponsor money from all those who were duped.  (NB: if your name actually IS Julie, your challenge is convince everyone your name is Alan).

Boregust –  Collect sponsorship for pretending you are extremely bored during every social (or work-related) encounter you have this month. Extra donations can be claimed for falling asleep and snoring (Snoregust-Boregust). Also when you ‘wake up’, demand donation money from the ‘boring’ (and probably quite offended) party as compensation for having to put up with their utterly uncharismatic conversation.

Slaptember – get sponsored to be slapped at least once by everyone you encounter.

Slobtober – Get £££ for ZZZ. And food-stained tracksuits becoming your only wardrobe choice. And using one of those grabby claw on a stick things to reach the remote control.

NonoNOvember – Have you ever seen the film ‘Yes Man’? If not, go see it, because it’s very good. And read the book as well, because it’s probably also very good, I haven’t read it yet, but Danny Wallace is brilliant. Anyway, this month’s sponsorship challenge takes the concept from Yes Man and flips it on its head – basically say NO to everything anyone asks you for the whole month. (Exception – you are allowed to say ‘yes’ if they ask you if you want them to sponsor you…otherwise the whole thing just wouldn’t work, really).

Dancember – As with The Great March March, you will not have to walk anywhere this month. However you will have to dance everywhere that you would have walked. Boogie!

*The Little Disclaimery Bit

Please note – It is not my intention to mock or undermine the work of any charity or charity campaign, or anyone who takes part in them. It IS, as ever, my intention to be Very Silly and suggest a few (hopefully) amusing things which, by the way, you most definitely should NOT try at home. I personally think Stoptober, Movember, Dryathlon, and everything of that ilk are very good ideas, and having been unable to take part in two of those last year (due to being a non-smoker and the fact that, sadly, moustaches seem to be an unacceptable type of hair choice for a twenty-something year old woman in London – if anyone dares mention that I sometimes have those ‘your-Veet-session-is-well-overdue-love’ days, I will headbutt you), I will definitely be taking part in the Dryathlon…watch this space for JustGiving page details.

*UPDATE – JUSTGIVING PAGE: HERE*

Happy Spew Year, everybody! (Get sponsored to chunder everywhere as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st) xxx

Stop Clubbing, Baby Seals!

This post isn’t about seals in any way shape or form. It IS about clubbing however, and so I thought it was a good chance to use the slightly misleading title, and also this picture:

Source: http://thegrammarnazi.tumblr.com/post/2504254185/stop-clubbing-baby-seals-stop-clubbing-baby

Stop clubbing, baby seals! – The party lifestyle is clearly taking its toll on these guys.

Right then, now I’ve got that out of my system, let’s talk about clubbing. I used to LOVE clubbing. Nowadays, most invitations to go out to a club are met with a bit of a ‘meh’ response from me.

Why? I don’t really know. So this post is a chance to ramble a bit and explore the journey of my attitude towards clubbing. Thrilling.

First of all, when I was about 14, I used to go to an ‘underage’ club called Teenculture. It was a ‘baby’ version of one of Birmingham’s most established and long-running rock club nights, Subculture, and ran once a month, from about 7pm until 11, or something along those lines. Everyone used to get all emo’d up, like this:

Greeble.

Me, circa 2006. Alternative caption: “MYSPACE <3″

And we all used to drink vodka from Lucozade bottles in Pigeon Park from midday (sorry, mom) and peak too early before the club had even open. Scenes like this were not uncommon:

Teenculture

2005. About 4pm, probably. I’m the one at the top in the middle. I’m pretty sure if someone had had swiped a make-up wipe across the pile of us, they could have made at least two brand new eyeliner pencils with the remnants.

Then I turned 18, and clubbing was pretty much entirely the same except for I went to the grown up version, Subculture – basically, the only differences were: we were legally allowed to drink in there, it finished later, there queues were shorter, there were less fights, and less pretend lesbians necking. (Booo).

So, you can imagine how much of a culture shock it was when I then swanned off to uni. ‘Uni clubbing’ seemed to be a whole different thing, with demands that I couldn’t get my head around.  For a start, it was generally not acceptable to skulk along to the club looking as if you’d just crawled out of a vat of eyeliner and spiky dog collars (don’t get me wrong, my uni had a very successful and popular Rock Society, however by the time I went along it seemed like everyone already knew everyone else and breaking into firmly stablished friendship groups or cliques is a Very Hard Thing). Instead, in the general realm of ‘Uni Clubbing’ you had to wear short dresses and ‘proper’ make-up and dance properly to music made by computers instead of jumping around and shoving each other to music made by instruments and voices. Somehow, I managed to adapt to this Brave New World of clubbing, and for most of the first two years of uni I was all over that shit, yo. Literally, in first year I went clubbing at least twice a week most weeks, a little less in Year 2 but still a lot.

Properrrr.

2009, Gatecrasher. This is what ‘me embracing Proper Clubbing’ looks like. (I am a tit).

And then BAM. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but at some point I decided I did NOT enjoy clubbing. At all. Instead of being a fun way to dance and piss about with friends, it turned into something that I did not see the point in. For the past…probably about two years, my thoughts on going to nightclubs are this:

- There’s no point in going if you don’t want to pull. Or dance. But if, like me, you dance like a caught fish as it desperately tries to breathe and flops out its last painful moments on the deck of a boat, and are very aware that those around you have spotted this and are somewhat puzzled as to why you would ever move like that in public, then – there is no point going if you don’t want to pull.

Fish dance

Me, performing the dance of my people, whilst simultaneously escaping the unwanted advances of a predatory male.

- There is no point going if you can’t look the part. And, between carrying all the extra weight I piled on whilst at uni and the effects that ageing and my past ‘bad habits’ are already having on my face, there is genuinely no way I can look acceptable in clubs. It’s an annoying no-win situation – if I try to slip by unnoticed by dressing down, people will think ‘why are’t you dressed up?! What’s wrong with you?”. However if I dress up, it will look like I misguidedly think I can pull the whole ‘dressing up nicely’ thing off. I can’t.

Why can’t more things be fancy dress? Pretty much every second night out at uni was fancy dress. This solves the ‘looking the part’ problem quite nicely. Rawr.

- There is no point going if you’d rather have conversations with people than breathe your vodka fumes all over their face as you get uneccessarily close to their ear to shout something at them over the music which they don’t hear anyway but it doesn’t matter because you’re so drunk you instantly forget what you just tried to tell them.

What trying to talk to people in clubs looks like. (If you don’t know what video this is a still from, a) I am disappointed in you, b) click the picture to discover freaky musical wonderfulness).

I don’t know why I suddenly started feeling like this. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older – a few of my friends seem to feel the same way, see below. But then, I know loads of people who are my age or older who love clubbing, so it can’t be that alone. Maybe it’s because I stopped putting stuff that I really shouldn’t have up my nose.

If you’re innocent enough to think that I mean like this exSTRAWdinary scene in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, then, stay innocent, I guess!

Whatever the reasons for my change of heart, I find it rather annoying. I do miss how much fun I used to have going clubbing. Don’t get me wrong, I still do enjoy it, sometimes…but nowhere near as much as I used to. Out of fear that I was going Quite Mad, I decided to ask a few of my friends for their thoughts and feelings on clubbing. Here is what they had to say: (For confidentially reasons, all quotes are anonymouse. That is not a spelling mistake or a typo).

MEET THE ANONYMICE.

Source: Blueturlte7645 WordPress

Squeaky*, 22

“When I turned 17, I started to go out to night clubs with my friends. Usually we went to rock clubs or rock gigs that had a club night afterwards. I was single at this point and found the whole experience very exciting and new. There were several aspects of clubbing that I really enjoyed. I liked the music, being with my friends, drinking alcohol, dancing, but the most exciting part of clubbing was the possibility of meeting new people. For a lot of people, clubbing is about meeting someone with whom they can strike up a relationship. This may just be for a brief sexual encounter, maybe even just to feel contact with another. For example dancing together or kissing. It may however be used to facilitate the beginning of a long term relationship. Personally, my favourite part of clubbing was meeting someone new and feeling that excitement you get from flirting with someone you will probably never see again. I could be anyone I wanted to be because I knew it was just for that night, in that club.

I am now in a long term relationship which began before I started Uni meaning I was never single during my 3 years there. When we went out to clubs, I would often feel out of place and wonder why I had bothered going because unless you are there to meet, flirt or “get with” someone, the dancing and drinking part felt somewhat pointless. I was and still am very happy in my relationship therefore I didn’t need or want to engage in any emotional or physical attraction with another individual. Also, occasionally when guys would come on to me, it was awkward telling them that I wasn’t interested as i had a boyfriend. This was often met with the response “well why are you here then”. I started to think, hmm why am I hear? All the fun had drained from the clubbing experience and I felt awkward being around my friends who were clearly trying to find guys they wanted to sleep with. I don’t go clubbing anymore because I simply don’t see the point when you’re in a relationship.”

 

Source: www.holytaco.com nuclear mouse

Speedy*, 21

“I dislike clubbing because people can become aggressive when they’ve had too much to drink, clubs can become to crowded and the music can be far to loud. Bar queues can be horrendous. I do like clubbing because it is a fun way to enjoy a drink and a dance with a large group of friends and it is great to meet new people. Usually I’ve always found people to be friendly and everyone just wants to dance with everyone.”

 

Source: www.news.nationalgeographic.com

ChiChi*, 23

“Clubbing makes me feel kind of depressed. What is it but fat girls in dresses that are too tight trying to get attention from ugly men in v-necks? Call me cynical, but it’s true. And yet… if I (hopefully not a fat mouse in a dress that is too tight) don’t get any attention on the dance floor… I feel that the night is ruined…even if I’m not on the pull. My problem? Or merely an inevitability caused by the culture of clubbing? On the plus side… when one is in a relationship one can throw shapes that are purely preposterous, do the robot, take the piss – because trying to look attractive is no longer an issue… these are the times when clubbing is fun. That is, if you can cope with all the drunken couples who are necking, when you are not necking. Which I can’t…. cue drunken jealousy. Overall though, if you are not tanned, skinny and wearing a very revealing dress (and pulling it off) … clubbing will make you feel nothing but inadequate. Inadequacy leads to leaving early which leads to eating which leads to guilt in the morning. As if a hangover weren’t enough!”

 

Source: www.buzzlol.com

Pippin*, 23

“The thing that i like about clubbing is the exact same thing that makes me dislike it .
I like that clubbing provides a release for people at the end of their working week . For some people who have boring menial jobs “living for the weekend” is the only thing that keeps them going and i don’t think that anyone has the rite to judge people for this as long as these people are not harming others in the process.
The downside to this is the same as any other addiction , when people come to rely on it too much it can be a drain on their health and can cause other problems in their lives. It is also a distraction from problems in their normal everyday lives that they do not have the ability to face up to.”

*All names and photos have been changed. Obviously.

I was relieved to find out I was not alone in terms of feeling like pulling is one of the main ‘objectives’ of a night out at a club, and also in terms of worrying about what one looks like and what other people are thinking about this.

I hope you enjoyed this post about nothing in particular. I’d be interested in hearing more people’s thoughts on this not-really-important-but-still-kinda-interesting-well-interesting-to-me-at-least-and-apparently-also-to-the-lovely-kind-anonymice-whom-I-thank-very-much-for-providing-their-opinions issue.

Peace and fucking. x

I Wouldn’t Bank On It

***NB: I started writing this on 2nd September. I finishing and posting it on 6th October. I did what I so often do with things that I start writing – text messages, notes, anything – which is, get about halfway through, get bored, stop with the intention of completing it soon and then promptly forgetting all about it for ages. As it is about an Internet Thing, and Internet Things change quicker than your best granny-panties on a Hot Sunday (what), the page this article is on about is probably fairly obsolete. Oh well. I am woman, hear me ramble.***

The Wank Bank. Its a thing, you’ve most likely heard of it, probably in the jokey context of someone seeing a photo of their male friend baring his glorious hairy nipples and slight beer gut in a ‘comedy’ mankini saying something along the lines of “ooft, that’s one for the wank bank!” – but with the implication that “the wank bank” is actually a place to store aesthetically pleasing pictures that would inspire you to knock – or rub, or stroke, spank, vibrate, whatever – one out.

There’s essentially nothing wrong with keeping a collection of images that make you happy in your panties. I’ve got one. A few, in fact. Generally, these are private things. But recently I noticed a Facebook page by the name of The Wank Bank appearing on my newsfeed. Curious, I had a little flick click and found it was a) exactly what I’d expected and b) a little depressing. So, I’ve come here, to the safety (??) of my blog, to have a little lament about the General Shiteness Of Things, using this particular Thing as one example out of many. Below, I just do my usual trick of describing things in a disgruntled, sardonic, but hopefully vaguely amusing way for the sake of it – there is no argument, conclusion, or ground-breaking intellectual stuff, so if that’s what you came here expecting, you’d be best to skip off now. (You have been warned. So if you comment moaning about the lack of any of the above, I will bite you).

The Wank Bank features lots of pictures of heavily made up, scantily clad women, doing things that no one actually ever does unless they’re getting a ‘sexy’ picture taken (or indeed taking a sexy picture of themselves, an often ill-fated activity as it is damn near impossible to keep a steady hand whilst manoeuvring yourself into some of the poses described below), like grabbing on to their boobs whilst lunging forward, eyes closed and pouting. Or leaning to the side, head cocked, with their mouth hanging open a little bit*.

(*I have names for these poses. I like to call the first one “Holy shit a wasp just stung my nipples!”, and the second, “Awkward-Paralysis-You’ll-Probably-Start-To-Dribble-Soon”)

This page has become very popular, and so each photo is accompanied by over 9000 comments, mostly from appreciative males who seem to have invested wholeheartedly in this bank. Most of the comments – as I was expecting – are sexist, aggressive, and objectify the women in question. Pretty much all of them describe what these charming men would do to the photographed girls – lets call them the Bankettes. Not what they would LIKE to do to them. What they WOULD do to them, with hardly any acknowledgement of the part female agency and consent would have to play in such acts as those described in these delightful comments copied verbatim from the page:

“u no i wud not leave that aloan lol”

“I wld b in tht bath with those hot n sexy women n fuckin n sucking them.oooooooooooh yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah”

“Pull them panties to one side and ground an pound lol”

Obviously, I am not saying that the fact of not acknowledging consent in a Facebook comment of some random woman’s boobies means the author of the comment wouldn’t acknowledge consent in real life. But, the fact that these kind of comments are just so commonplace downright creeps me out, and suggests a fucking ridiculous attitude that seems to be part and parcel of ‘lad culture’.

These comments are also a baffling and hilarious demonstration of male ego – lets bear in mind here that a large majority of the commentators look like they’ve stepped straight off the set of Jeremy Kyle and into the nearest kebab shop, armed with a six-pack of K cider – i.e. probably NOT the sorts of specimens that shit-hot girls like the Bankettes would ever dream of letting near them. (Although I suppose, one COULD argue that the fact that the Bankettes seem to seek validation and attention by wriggling around half-naked pouting or biting their lips in front of a camera suggests that actually, they may not be *that* discerning. I’m not saying that that’s my opinion. Nor that it should be yours. I’m just throwing that out there).

Another thing that made me uncomfortable about the Bank is the sheer fucking hive-mind of the comments. Of the comments that don’t fit into the pattern of those I posted above, there are three other main kinds. Below, I’ve posted examples of each, along with the typical kind of comments they are met with:

Comment Response this is met with when  posted by a man Response this is met with when  posted by a woman
“Ew, fake boobs and too much make up, I think natural beauty is prettier” “mate u must b fukin gay” “Ur just jel cos ur fat and ugly”
“Err she’s not fit 2/10 would not bang” “mate u must b fukin gay”  - I haven’t really seen examples of this kind of comment being posted by a woman. -
Funny comment on the mise-en-scene of the picture e.g. “nice vase” “mate u must b fukin gay”” Generally ignored

See? Hive-mind. A big, homophobic, hive-mind. Mmmmm.

There is also a massive use of the word ‘slut’ in the comments, used to describe the Bankettes. Ok, I realise I have already mentioned that the fact that these lasses have taken these photos in the first place could perhaps be used to attempt to assume certain things about them. But the last time I checked, the definition of ‘slut’ is basically a woman who has a whole lot of sex with a whole lot of people a whole lot of the time. Meaning that the braying accusations of Sluttery are completely groundless. Unless there is some really really small print Photoshopped on to the pictures that provides a graphic commentary of exactly what sexual acts the Bankettes have done, how many people they have done them to, and with what kind of frequency. In what can only be described as an act of top-notch investigative journalism, I zoomed in to some of the pictures and put my face really really close to the screen but I couldn’t see any writing and after a while the boob-pixels started to hurt my eyes. Which presumably means the guys who are convinced the Bankettes are ‘sluts’ must have better eyesight than me. Which suggests that whoever it was that claimed masturbation makes you go blind needs to rethink things a little bit. That is of course, assuming that most people who trawl through photos on a page full of pictures of attractive semi-naked girls masturbate a lot. Then again, I too masturbate a lot, meaning that most of the content of the last couple of sentences is actually completely irrelevant to everything. Crikey, aren’t random series of baseless assumptions confusing and fun?

Peace and fucking. x

WebSex 2.0; One Girl’s Quest For SexyFunTimes

One night stands. Whether you think they’re a fun and relatively pain-free way to get some quick-fix lovin’ or a signifier that Doomsday is upon us and no one has any morals anymore – or maybe you just straight-up don’t really give a damn about them…they’re happening everywhere all the time.

Pictured: One Night Stand.

I guess mostly people think of one night stands as happening at clubs, pubs, house parties, or other similar social situations that are lubricated by alcohol. However, it seems that the Internet One Night Stand is on the rise.

Now, I haven’t actually conducted any research, but something tells me that many – if not most – people would traditionally think that soliciting places such as Craigslist for one night stands is primarily the reserve of desperate, old, creepy guys posing as not-desperate, young, not-creepy guys.

I thought some people might find it interesting to hear about the experience from a different (and possibly unexpected) source. Early last year, my three-and-a-half year relationship came to an end. As well as all the emotional stuff, this also left me at a bit of a loose end physically. Mama needed to do the hump, so to speak. The thought of meeting guys on a night out confused and scared me, so as part of my, ahem, ‘quest’, I decided to scour the web for some ‘no-strings attached’ sexy fun-times.

So, I posted an advert on Craigslist. Fuck knows what it said – I genuinely can’t remember. But probably something along the lines of; ‘Bored, single, and horny student, 21, looking for  a fairly attractive bloke to get my freak on with’. Or something. Due to deep-rooted “no wimminz on the internet” beliefs held amongst many web-surfing males, I expected most people to assume that my post was actually spawned by some basement-dwelling neckbeard posing as a femanon and, as such, ignore it.

To my surprise, though, I got a fair few replies. Combined with responding to a few males’ adverts myself (including pictures when required – not explicit ones – mostly ones I’d swiped from my Facebook Profile Pictures album to be honest), this left me with something of a ‘bench’ to choose from.

(On an side note: as messages started passing back and forth between myself and some of the guys, I too asked for pictures – shallow, perhaps, but then I was trying to find someone for a ‘fuck-then-fuck-off’ thing here, I wasn’t exactly going for a Gandhi vibe. I was hoping for pictures of their face or profile shots or something, because you know, that’s generally what you’re going to be looking at during sex (don’t judge me on my automatic assumption of traditional face-to-face sex positions, Internet) – but, perhaps unsurprisingly, I mostly just got sent pictures of penises. Which means at some point last year I genuinely had an inbox full of penis pictures which I had (kinda) actively sought. Which is weird).

“Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head”

Anyway, one of the people on this ‘bench’ turned out to be an ex-boyfriend of one of my friends (I’d never met him, but I recognised him from my excessive Facebook Stalking – because he sent a face picture, not because he had pictures of his penis on Facebook). So that weirded me out a little, and I told him I knew his ex, which weirded him out too, and we immediately ceased conversation.

Another guy was apparently an academic at my University, who – understandably I suppose – was rather reluctant to send pictures (in case I was some kind of sting operation lurking on Craigslist with the sole intention of ruining his academic reputation or something? I don’t know). Anyway, returning to the point about being shallow that I mentioned above, I was in the frame of mind that ‘Blind Dates’ could fuck right off. So – bye bye Mr Academic Man.

Of the remaining bench members, there were three that I considered ‘going for’.

Man 1 had posted an advert saying that he was going to be staying in a hotel in Birmingham for a conference, and wanted one night of random fun with a stranger. Fair enough. He included a picture with his advert, and, thinking him fairly tasty, I responded and offered to show him the sights and sounds of Birmingham* during his visit. (*By ‘Birmingham’ in this sentence, I mean my vajarjar, of course). However I got a rather timid-sounding response the following morning, saying that he had posted the advert in a drunken stupor and didn’t really expect anyone to reply, and that he was sorry to disappoint me but he had a girlfriend and had decided he actually didn’t want to cheat on her. Which, y’know, good for him! Although I think perhaps he just might not have liked my pictures.

Of the remaining two, one was rather good looking…the other was not bad-looking, but didn’t really have me leaving a wet patch on the computer chair. He was, however, a writer, so the thought of some potential post-coital literary chat more than bridged the physical attraction gap.

(I added both on Facebook and as some of you may know I rarely, if ever, delete anyone from Facebook…and so they are potentially reading this. Hello).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it was around this time that I found myself with falling for the man I am currently in an amazing and happy relationship with, so in the end – despite, in one of the cases, having progressed relatively far into the ‘organising a meet up’ stages – my quest for Craisglist Bonkfest was not to be. I don’t regret that. However, I also don’t regret the fact that I – had things not have changed in my personal circumstances – would have gone through with it.

Honestly, I think there is too much of a taboo around using the internet to find a hook-up. Especially when women do it. Currently, it really does have a sleazy, sordid, and fairly creepy image, which I think is rather misleading. Obviously, there are safety issues, and one needs to be careful – make sure someone knows where you’re going, arrange to meet up in a public place so that you can be sure that the person is really who they say they are, and even take a friend along with you (with the idea that they’ll head off once they’re confident you are safe…unless you’ve arranged for a threesome, I guess). But really, I think in many ways, internet one night stands are actually preferable to achieving the same ends via the more popular and traditional means: the night out. Here’s a few reasons why (Gosh, I love lists):

  • There’s less chance your decision will be affected by alcohol. Ok, so maybe, like me, your computer desk has a permanent wine glass mark next to the keyboard – but even so, you’re less likely to be at the ‘I’ve-been-pre-drinking-since-1pm-and-I-just-did-50-jagerbombs’ level at home on your ‘puter than you are in a club.
  • It doesn’t have to be late at night, heck you can even choose to make it a breakfast rendevouz or something and then skip along on your merry way straight afterwards. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, it means you can avoid the awkward ‘morning-after moments’ where you’re hungover, sound like Barry White with a chest infection and look like Ke$ha just did your hair and make up (i.e. horrendous and slightly sticky). It also means, should you change your mind, you’re more likely to be able to catch the bus (or train or drive or whatever) the hell out of there rather than in a taxi destined for Sweaty McGee’s house in the middle of nowhere at MissedTheLastBusO’Clock.
  • You’re less likely to vomit/pass out mid-coitus. (This is really an extension of the first  point).
  • You can do a bit of pre-screening and ‘getting-to-know-you’ chat, if you want. That kind of goes against the point of one night stands, I guess, but it’s nice to have the option there. You know, In case you have very rigid sexual standards, like refusing to sleep with anyone who can’t name the original 150 Pokémon in order, or something. Good luck trying to find THAT out when your only chance of communication is shouting over obnoxiously loud dubstep.
  • Its free. If you use sites like Craigslist, anyway. Of course, there are sites which offer similar kinds of things for a fee; but, as with most things that concern both sex and the internet, I see very little point in paying for it when you can easily get it for free. So, yeah. Clubbing is expensive. Free things are free!

So, yes, as long as you do it safely and sensibly, I think that there should definitely be less of a ‘shock-and-horror’ reaction to people admitting things like this. Especially, as I said earlier, females. I’m not about to whip out a placard demanding ‘Sexual Liberation For Women NOW’ – we haven’t reached sexual gender equality JUST yet, but we are still, in this day and age, fairly sexually liberated. However there is still something of an issue with peoples’ opinions of women who choose to go out and actively seek sexual satisfaction – especially outside of a relationship – people do tend to react to it more negatively than they do to men doing the same thing. And well, there’s really no reason for that. So stop it.

I’m really bad at signing off blog posts. Hopefully you’ve found this interesting. And possibly a bit arousing, if only because of the picture of Zazu.

Gabbycat out – x.