Thought Catalog


“A Waste Of 8 Hours” And 35 Other Things People Are Saying About True Detective’s Season Finale

Posted: 09 Aug 2015 08:28 PM PDT

via YouTube
via YouTube

Tonight’s episode wrapped up season two of True Detective, a series that received a ton of critical and viewer love during it’s first season. Reception of season two’s storytelling style, casting, and script have left many viewers seemingly disappointed and, in some cases, completely confused as to what even happened in each episode. Of course it does have its fans as well, including me.

Some spoilers ahead. People that hated it are at the top. There’s a lot of them. The TD2 lovers are down below. TC mark

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Women Do Not Exist For Men: 14 “Unsexy” Things I’ll Do Whether Men Find It Attractive Or Not

Posted: 09 Aug 2015 03:11 PM PDT

teiganharrison
teiganharrison

Wearing flip-flops

I wear flip-flops, leggings and a tank top 7 days a week and I love how low-maintenance and easy it is. I feel comfortable in my style. I feel good in my style.

I know heels make your legs look awesome and they make every outfit look more put-together. I know men find them sexy and the represent the kind of Glamazon that’s every man’s fantasy. But I don’t care. I’m happy looking at my feet and thinking that I could be on my way to the beach.

Following celebrity gossip

We police women’s hobbies in a way we never do with the things men are into. What exactly is the difference between following celebrity gossip and following a sport? Neither of them are exactly rocket science. Both can be relaxing hobbies an otherwise smart individual can indulge in when they need a brain vacation, yet we only vilify one of them as vacuous and a waste of time. Hint: all hobbies are a waste of time, that is the entire point of a hobby, to waste time.

Buying expensive makeup

Men don’t like women who wear too much makeup. Men like “the natural look.” Guess what? The primary reason I wear makeup isn’t to get your dick hard.

When I don’t wear makeup, I do it because that’s what I feel like doing that day. When I wear a lot of makeup, that’s also what I feel like doing. I love buying nice products and trying them out or just playing around with them. It’s called a hobby and no one thinks it’s “shallow” or “trying too hard” when men spend money on their hobbies. It takes a special level of narcissism to think women buy a $40 blush to please you.

Having sex

Men want you to want to have sex with them all the time. They want you to be open and experiment and try new things with them. But they don’t want you to have ever done this with anyone else. They basically want you to be this prude who turns into a huge slut the minute you meet them. Guess what? That’s not how life works!

People don’t undergo drastic personality changes when they meet you, that’s actually creepy. And like, a reason to call a mental health professional. It’s “unsexy” to have a normal human sex drive that doesn’t revolve around your current man, and that’s bleak as hell.

Only cooking “girl food”

I know it’s really attractive to think about getting a wife who can cook for you in the fatty (but DELICIOUS, I’ll admit it), not nutrient-dense style of The Pioneer Woman, but the truth is I feel like shit when I eat like this. I love vegetables and rice and avocados for every meal. I started eating kale because it’s a food trend. I do this really hateable thing where I buy gluten-free products even though I don’t have a gluten intolerance. My fridge screams “not wife material!”

The truth is I would love to be the girl who only eats burgers and pizza and beer because she’s just so chill and cool — but that’s not me.

Wearing ponytails

I love a high pony or a messy top knot. It’s comfortable and feminine and utilitarian. Yes I’d look sexier with my hair down, but surprisingly “looking sexy” isn’t the only or most important factor in my decision-making process.

Swearing

If men can swear and not be unmasculine, women can swear without being unladylike. The people who have a problem with women swearing are the people who think women should be passive and submissive. Those aren’t the kind of people I aim to please.

Being smart

Is there anything as depressing as pretending to be dumber than you are in order to not intimidate a guy? (No).

If a man is intimidated by a woman actually knowing her shit, it’s because he’s insecure and instead of realizing that is his problem to overcome, he expects people to lie to him so he can feel powerful. That is not a man worth chasing.

Unapologetically loving my career

I work way too much and I love working way too much. I love to work, I love to put effort into things, push, and see results. Before I had a job where I do what I love, I worked and then went home after my 9-5 and wrote all evening. I love immersing myself in my projects and the sad reality is, that’s not cool with a lot of men. They want women to have careers that are less than theirs.

Taking selfies

Say whatever you want to say about how we as a culture are narcissistic because we post selfies but I will take this over a culture where people hate themselves any day.

Being bossy, when the situation merits it

I am not a damsel in distress. I don’t let taxi drivers or mechanics take advantage of me because they think I don’t know any better. I don’t allow men on the street to talk to me in a way I don’t want to be talked to.

Baby-talking my puppy

No, it’s not sexy. Yes, it is necessary. If you don’t understand, I hope one day you find something that brings you as much joy as people who love their pets get from that relationship.

Partying (sometimes)

When men tell me “drunk women aren’t sexy” I ask them, do you really think women consume alcohol in order to please you? Have you ever had alcohol? Is the idea women do everything they do because they are trying to appeal to men really so pervasive that you can’t conceive of an alternate reason women would partake in an activity men do all the time?

Having totally unscientific beliefs

I go to a “talk about your feelings” yoga class, I read my own tarot cards, I like Scorpios more than Capricorns, I burn sage and cedar when I’m stressed out, I tweet things like “your issues live in your tissues.” I get it, this is not Serious Scientific Thought and it’s not attractive to most men. But what matters to me is what makes me feel happy and healthy, even if it seems strange or flakey or silly to other people. TC mark

30 Things To Do Instead Of Falling Back In Love

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 12:50 PM PDT

milena_denkovska
milena_denkovska

When a relationship ends, we forget that the only objective available to us isn't to get right back into another one. We see a huge, gaping hole waiting to be filled and we assume that it has to be someone else's mind and heart and spirit that must fit perfectly inside of it. That we'll just be a little bit empty or a little bit lonely or a little bit undone until we meet someone new – and even if we're okay with that, it's a problematic way of looking at things.

Because here's the truth about that hole – it's there. It's real. It's begging to be filled (spare me the innuendo). But it isn't in the shape of someone else, it's simply in the shape of what they offered us – be that stability, excitement, validation or understanding. There are an infinite number of activities, an infinite number of projects, an infinite number of ways we could fill that empty space that someone else left. And so few of those ways involve falling back in love.

We forget, all too easily, that there's a whole world out there to be explored. That there are more people to meet, experiences to have and lives to lead than we will ever have time to fully take hold of. So instead of moping over one measly person in a world of seven billion, here are 30 awesome alternatives that you can take on all by yourself.

1. Learn a foreign language. Get a language app or a conversation partner or a bilingual dictionary and force your mind to twist itself into a brand new way of comprehending other people.

2. Move to a far-away country for an indefinite period of time. Come back when you feel like it, or never come back at all.

3. Get a motorcycle license. Rent a motorcycle and drive it around town on the days you want to feel like a badass.

4. Get into the best shape of your life. Appreciate your body not just for the way it looks through someone else's eyes, but for the way it feels to you. Learn your new physical limits, and then push them again and again.

5. Go visit a friend who's moved away – the one you keep saying you'll visit but never actually do.

6. Learn to play an instrument. Devote an hour a day to practicing and watch yourself improve in leaps and bounds. Make a Youtube channel if you feel so inspired. Connect with other artists and work your way into a new community.

7. Volunteer somewhere. If you're tired of the world inside your own mind, start devoting your time to a cause that doesn't involve you. Realize that there's an entire Universe outside of your house and that it needs your help.

8. Learn to scuba dive or rock climb or paraglide. Whichever makes you feel the coolest.

9. Become financially independent (if you're currently not). Get a part time job and pay your debts down if you have them. Realize that money doesn't buy happiness but it sure does buy peace of mind and that's a similar concept.

10. Take up Yoga. Become one of those people who Instagrams yourself posing on a cliff side at sunset and feel absolutely zero shame about it.

11. Write a book. Write a joke book or a fiction novel or a memoir. Write the story that's always been inside of you, taking up residence under your skin, because we all have one in us to tell.

12. Go back to school. Get a good education from whatever school you're able to go to, without worrying about how far away from someone else you have to move.

13. Buy a onesie and big, huge mug to fill with tea and learn to comfort yourself on the nights when no one else is there to comfort you.

14. Sleep around if that is what you want to do. Be safe, but not sorry.

15. Plan your future without restraint. Daydream about quitting your job to go travel. Speculate over changing your career on a whim. Allow your imagination to run wild and realize that there's not a lot stopping you from making those dreams a reality.

16. Make a big, huge, glaring mistake. Invest money in something foolish. Date a person who's horribly wrong for you. Fall flat down on your face and realize that you can still pick yourself back up. That you're accountable to only yourself. And that you still have so much time to make things right.

17. Go home and spend some serious time with your family. Get to know them as people, as adults and as friends.

18. Go out with friends and stay up until the sun rises. You have no one to report to but yourself so let the good times roll and for one night, just don't worry about tomorrow.

19. Sleep spread eagle across the bed.

20. Pick a topic you've always been interested in, go to your local library and check out all of the books you can find on that topic. Read them all. Become an expert. Why not.

21. Get intimate with your own body. Learn to give yourself an orgasm unlike anyone else has ever been able to.

22. Join a meet-up group that revolves around an activity you've always wanted to try, but haven't made time for yet. Make friends who share your interest and let the social commitment keep you coming back to continue exploring it.

23. Open up your home to couchsurfers. If you can't afford to travel, live vicariously through their experiences and make friends from around the world.

24. Learn to dance. Take ballroom dancing or jazz lessons or pole dancing classes. Keep your body moving to whatever beat inspires you.

25. Redecorate your house, apartment or room. Paint it that color you never dared to. Buy that piece of furniture you always had your eye on. Enjoy your space, now that it's all your own.

26. Train for a marathon. Then run it.

27. Learn to cook three meals really well. Impress friends with a rotation of those three dishes for basically the rest of your life.

28. Identify one thing you're terrified of and go do it. If it's flying, take a flight lesson. If it's love, express your affection to somebody. Don't worry about whether or not it's going to work out – just do it for the sake of it, to know that you have challenged yourself.

29. Practice meditation. Get comfortable being alone with your thoughts and listen to what they're trying to tell you.

30. Pick every trait you desire in a partner and cultivate them in yourself. There's one person you're definitely spending the rest of your life with and it's you. So make yourself into one hell of a companion. TC mark

9 Men Tell Us How Badly Their “Completely Platonic” Female Friends Turn Them On

Posted: 09 Aug 2015 09:19 AM PDT

hannahmcswain
hannahmcswain

Brandon, 28

“Guys and girls can’t ever be just friends. There will always be some sort of attraction there, at least on one end. There’s not a single girl in my friend group who I haven’t fantasized about at one time or another. It doesn’t mean I have wanted them all to be my Girlfriend, it just means sexual attraction will always be there.”

Ryan, 30

“My girlfriend is very hot, much hotter than her best friend, and yet I fantasize about the friend sometimes. We were at the river a few weekends ago and I saw the friend in a bikini and she has this belly my girlfriend doesn’t have and I thought ‘what would that look like if I was fucking her?’ I’d never do anything about it, I’m just curious.

There are girls who are hotter than other girls, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the “less hot” bodies less, or that they don’t turn us on.”

Garcia, 24

“Men are visual creatures so sometimes it’s hard to remember that the beautiful body you’re looking at belongs to someone you aren’t supposed to have those kind of feelings for.”

Stephen, 26

“I was in a wedding last weekend and the bridesmaids were wearing these big poofy skirts that were apparently really hot for the summer so when we weren’t taking pictures or doing something they were standing around with their skirts gathered up in their arms. Seeing their legs unintentionally revealed while they were cooling themselves off turned me on. It was like this secret thing I wasn’t supposed to be seeing, like what you’d normally only see when you’re seriously dating someone. I’m always going to appreciate women and what turns me on about them, whether we are friends or not.”

Rolph, 27

“I think men and women can be platonic friends. I have a few lady friends I have absolutely no romantic interest in while still liking them as people and enjoying having them in my circle. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t enter my (strictly sexual) fantasies every once in awhile.”

Adam, 21

“I fantasize about having sex with my female friends from time to time but that doesn’t mean I want anything more. It’s just the way my mind works. I fantasize about having sex with a lot of women I see in my daily life that I don’t want to pursue or actually have something with.”

Isaac, 23

“My best friend is a woman and she acts like my wing woman when we go out. We talk about sex all the time. She’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to date me, yet we flirt all the time, make sex jokes, and talk about our sex lives. There’s no way that isn’t hot. I definitely spend a lot of the time we’re together thinking about what it would be like if we just went at it like like champions.”

Peter, 22

“I’ve never had a close female friend who I didn’t have sexual and romantic feelings for. If you enjoy spending time with someone and respect them and find them attractive, how wouldn’t you feel that way?”

Nav, 29

“I’ve learned not to hook up with my female friends, but it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped wanting to. If there was a perfect world where you could hook up with them and it wouldn’t make things awkward or ruin your friendship, I would totally do it. A friend is someone you like or else you wouldn’t be friends with them, so on some level there is always attraction there even if you know you aren’t compatible long term.” TC mark

My Therapist Said This Would Help: Let Me Tell You About The Abandoned Girl Scout Camp In Oklahoma

Posted: 09 Aug 2015 11:14 AM PDT

Flickr, Ethan McCandless / cropped from original
Flickr, Ethan McCandless / cropped from original

I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm sitting at my computer, half past midnight, my fingers pecking out these terrible words on the keyboard, but insomnia is a bitch and my therapist says this is a very healthy exercise. All I want is to get some sleep.

He says that the words need to come out. They're clogging up my insides like sludge in ancient plumbing beneath a crumbling house. Words can be poison, he says. Thoughts can be poison. It's like draining a wound, he says, but don't you have to drain a wound over and over until it's healed? I don't think I can do this more than once.

When I was 8, I went to summer camp. On the first night, three girls were raped, murdered, and left for the counselors to find the next morning.

I've heard it all, the different diagnoses given by every doctor from one coast to the other: survivor's guilt, PTSD, schizophrenia in some rare cases. The problem isn't in what I saw, it's in what I didn't say.

Shit. I'm jumping around too much. Let me start over.

Three girls. Raped and murdered while the camp counselors slept just yards away. Piled like dirty laundry on the trail with the silly name because whoever left them there knew someone would be along sooner or later to take a shower. Three little girls in their sleeping bags, excited for the start of summer camp, just as excited as I was — hell, I may as well have been one of those little girls in tent number 7.

They call it tent number 8 but that's stupid because we all know no one counted the counselor's tent. I was in tent number 6 with three other girls. Or tent number 7, if you read the reports. Whatever. Does the number matter? Maybe it did. Oh god, I get this cold-metal taste at the back of my throat when I think about how much it really might have mattered.

We were all in the same group, the Kiowa group, our tents in a tight little cluster. It made it easy for him, I guess. Tiny little tents with tiny little girls inside.

I'm off track again. I can't think, my hands are shaking and I have to keep hitting the 'delete' key.

Start over.

June, 1977. Tent number 6. That's where I was. Until I heard the noise outside.

I woke with a start, clutching the stuffed rabbit I had tried so hard to hide from the older girls because they had laughed and said toys were for babies. Mr. Beans wasn't for babies, he was a friend, but I didn't have many friends that weren't stuffed rabbits so I kept him hidden in case the older girls came back.

And maybe they had, was what I thought. The rustling sounds outside the tent sounded like someone was there, and my first thought was the older girls from the Arapahoe group, girls who were allowed to wear lipgloss and talked about boys and just seemed so cool, like the ladies on the covers of magazines. They had teased me earlier at dinner that night, especially about Mr. Beans, but for one terrible hopeful moment I thought maybe they were testing me. To see if I was tough enough to be their friend, to prove I wasn't a baby. Momma said sometimes that people teased because they liked you.

I wanted them to like me. I didn't wake up the other girls, because I knew they would ruin the whole thing, they would probably cry and be babies and then the older girls from Arapahoe wouldn't be my friends. I even put Mr. Beans behind my suitcase so they wouldn't see him.

I waited but nothing happened. More rustles, that was all.

I held my breath. I thought it might help, like if I held it long enough I could will them into existence.

The tent flap opened. I exhaled. I looked for the faces of my new friends but it was a man. Not any of the counselors, someone I'd never seen before, this realization set in like a heavy stone sinking to the bottom of a black pond…

I'm going to be sick.

I can't do this.

But I have to. I have to finish. I have to drain the wound.

His eyes scanned the tent. His eyes counted one, two, three, four little girls. His eyes stopped on me, the fourth little girl, and his eyes met mine.

He smiled. It was not a very nice smile.

He put one finger up to his lips, pursed them, and said, "Shhh."

I nodded, because he was a grown-up, and Momma taught me to listen to grown-ups. She didn't say what to do if they were scary so I listened. He ducked out and closed the tent flap again.

It was late at night, or early in the morning, I'm not sure which but it was so dark and it seemed like such a long time to lay there awake before I heard someone moaning in the distance. It was quiet but not that far away. I'm told that other girls heard it too, but from four different areas of the camp at once.

Some girls made up stories afterwards to get attention but not me. I never told anyone. Not until now.

When the light finally started to break I realized how badly I needed to pee. I wasn't sure if the man was still outside but it was probably okay because it was morning and the sun was coming up over the horizon and bad things didn't happen to little girls in the sunshine. So I poked my head out of the tent. Looked around. The sky was that pale white-blue color it turns just at dawn but it still felt safe, somehow better because the sun had risen and everything was okay. Momma always told me I had an active imagination.

I headed down the trail, towards the showers and the toilets, and that's where I saw them.

At the base of a tree, slumped together like strange piles of garbage, were three little girls. I knew their names, I still know their names but that doesn't matter now, does it?

Two of them were in their sleeping bags. One was just on the ground. She had her pajama top pushed up. No pajama bottoms.

There was blood. They weren't moving.

I can still see them.

I'm afraid I'll never stop seeing them.

This doesn't feel like draining the wound so much as infecting it.

I don't know why but I went right past them. I guess I knew if I went back to my tent I'd wet the bed and I'd never have any big-girl friends so I went right past the little sleeping bags and straight to the bathroom. I peed. I went back to tent number 6.

Tent number 7 was empty.

When I went back to sleep, the last sleep I ever had unbroken by nightmares or screaming, I think I had convinced myself the whole thing was a bad dream. There was no man, no pile of sleeping bags with dead little girls in them, no empty tent number 7.

The counselors got us up earlier than usual. We went to the Great Hall for breakfast. We went canoeing in the river. It was fun. Everything was okay.

Bad dream. That was all.

Buses came to take us back to the Great Hall. When we got off the buses one of the older counselors, the ones that ran the camp, he told us there was a problem with the water supply. His face was the color of old milk. Camp was cancelled for the summer, he said. We all needed to pack our things and go home.

Water supply. Camp cancelled.

In tent number 6 as we packed our things the other girls whined about how it was unfair, they'd sold so many cookies to get here this year and after one stupid day it was already over, but I kept hearing the gray-faced counselor's words in my ears, camp is cancelled, camp is cancelled.

I tried to nap on the bus ride home but my seatmate kept waking me up because I was crying in my sleep. She called me a baby.

Bus stopped. Got off the bus. Troop leader said not to talk to anyone who wasn't our parents.

Lots of reporters. Shouting. Momma grabbed me and cried. No more camp, she said.

She threw out my sleeping bag as soon as we got home.

The police came once or twice after that but I never talked to them. Momma told them I'd been very clear, I hadn't seen anything. I'd slept all night. I'd slept all night.

I haven't slept a full night since.

Would it have helped if I said something? If I had told? Every time I thought about doing it my heart plummeted into my stomach, I saw the man's face and his finger on his lips and heard his "shhh". Usually I threw up.

So these words, the words I've never said until now, they festered inside me like some exotic form of mental rot. I can't hold a job for more than a few months, I call in sick too much. Too tired all the time. No husband to speak of, the night terrors took care of that. A man will only sleep in your bed so many times before the screaming and thrashing drives him away.

But my new therapist, he's been so nice, he tells me whatever happened isn't my fault and that this will help and I started to think that maybe it was time to tell, time to describe the face that poked into tent number 6 that night in 1977.

And then I remember why I can't. What I had blocked out, the thing my mind forced me to forget even though I can still see the twisted tangled little bodies underneath the tree as clear as day, my brain shattered this memory and scattered it to the wind but it has always been there, waiting at the bottom of my gullet to force out vomit instead of words should I ever decide to tell.

Mr. Beans was gone. As the other girls whined about how their summer was ruined, I reached behind my suitcase for Mr. Beans and felt nothing but air.

He had been there, I was sure of it! I had hidden him so the big girls wouldn’t see! I looked under my pillow, shook out my sleeping bag, but Mr. Beans just wasn’t there.

I checked behind my suitcase one last time and found something else was missing, too. A little plastic flower tag, all bright pink and sunny yellow, the cheerful way of marking the bag as my own was gone. A tag you put on your suitcase so if it went missing it could be returned to you easy-peasy because it had your name, address, and phone number on it.

Even a child knew what that meant.

When I went home I tried not to think about it. I really did. But every time the police asked me a question, every time my father wondered aloud if anyone had seen the fiend, every time the news stations begged their viewers to step forward if they had information… I thought about that tag, the one he had taken, and how easily he could find me if I told. As time went on I forgot about the tag, I think I forced myself to forget, but the sick feeling in my stomach remained. I still knew not to tell.

He took my tag and he took Mr. Beans and he took my innocence, the last summer I ever truly felt like a little girl who lived in a world where mommies and daddies and camp counselors could keep you safe. He took but you know, he left something, too.

I found it in my suitcase when I was unpacking. A little scrap of paper, much like the one the news said counselors had found back in April and discarded as a joke. They found a note in their suitcase, too, but they laughed and they threw it away without a second thought. The note that mentioned killing three girls.

Three girls. Not four.

In tent number 7. Not 6.

But my note, oh yes, my note…

All it said was "shhh". TC mark

So What If I’m A 20-Something And Not Obsessed With Traveling?

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 12:01 PM PDT

oh_snap_its_summer
oh_snap_its_summer

I think I’m missing the wanderlust gene. And I don’t know if that means maybe something is wrong with my (still forming) 23-year-old brain.

Everyone I cross paths with seems utterly obsessed with jet-setting, with simply picking random destinations and figuring the rest out along the way. And I applaud that mentality — the sheer boldness and spontaneity. Young Kerouacs just bouncing along, not remotely worried about setting roots.

So I have to wonder; is it me? Am I somehow incomplete or broken or just yet to discover that ~*~20-something desire~*~ to explore the world? Was I born with the soul of an elderly Jewish woman and that’s just something I’ve got to accept? Mahjong with the girls in the senior center and I’m content.

It’s not that I don’t have places I’d like to see. Because I do. But it doesn’t consume me. I don’t fantasize about starting over in new places. I like my comforts: knowing the same mail-man for years, grocery store clerks knowing me by name, having my “spots.” I genuinely love that. Stability is something I’ve come to cherish. In fact, I really need it to flourish.

But it’s not very exciting to tell people you like routine. There’s nothing glamorous about imagining yourself in the same place for decades. And it ends up feeling like I’ve skipped some phase I’m supposed to hit. The one all my peers are at. It feels weirdly isolating.

When a friend mentions backpacking through Europe, what do you say? “I love going to sleep in my bed every night.” Nobody cheers for that. Everyone begins to plan for music festivals, vacation spots, couch surfing and I just feel tired. It makes me feel tired. I don’t have the energy required for constant movement. I want my slow comforts. I want my introversion and time to recharge. My batteries seem to run out much more quickly than those around me. But that’s okay. That’s just who I am.

I don’t need to see the world to know things about myself or be a better person. I learn a little bit more every moment I wake up. Being in a different time zone won’t suddenly solve my problems. And forcing myself to do something just because people around me seem to like it isn’t that different from the “would you jump off a bridge if others did” argument.

So no, you don’t HAVE to travel in your 20s. If you want to, go for it. I’m excited for you and send me a postcard, will ya? But staying home isn’t something to be ashamed of either. Creating a home and a place to call yours is just as beautiful. TC mark

24 #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs Tweets That Are Opening Up A Much-Needed Dialogue On Mental Illness

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 03:02 PM PDT

charityhestead
charityhestead

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One of the most troubling things to see in this trend is the number of the people tweeting that the stigma attached to mental illness and the lack of understanding from other people is the worst part of depression. It’s a problem with a clear solution that simply requires a culture of openness and empathy, free of the crippling stigma. Let’s make this trend into something more than a hashtag. Let’s talk. TC mark

7 Women Who Currently Identify As Straight Share Their ‘Bi-Curious’ Experiences

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 03:06 PM PDT

Twenty20 / anniejanssen
Twenty20 / anniejanssen

1. “On my 23rd birthday my college friend who just returned from backpacking through Europe decided to visit me. We both lived in different cities at the time so even when she was in the US, I rarely got to see her. Because it was such a special occasion, she decided to bring a couple tabs of acid with her. Before that day, I had never tripped on acid in my life, but she had done it a few times prior. We had a mutual friend (who was sober the entire time) drive us to this lake that was about a half hour from my apartment. It was beautiful, the whole experience. I know that sounds super corny, but I felt so in touch with nature, and everything around me, it was unlike anything I’ve felt before. Basically, I was tripping balls, but in a good way. The lake looked like it was solid glass that I could walk on, and when birds flew by they literally painted the clouds. When we had to go back to my apartment it was kind of terrifying. My friend told me the experience is way better outside, but I figured since it had been several hours the trip would wear out. I decided I would shower and maybe that would make me feel better (because I was clearly still tripping). So I’m naked in the shower, and all of the sudden my friend climbs in with me, which wasn’t all that strange. But then she turns to me (and she is clearly still tripping too) and says, “You’re so beautiful.” The next few moments are kind of a blur, and I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking, but she grabbed me and kissed me. It felt amazing. Meanwhile, our sober friend was sitting on the couch in my living room, probably wondering what was going on. I never told her what happened. After we were done making out in the shower, we sat on the floor of my living room and drew on paper with magic markers. Our sober friend was making fun of our drawings the entire time.”

— Denise, 28

beetlejuice

2. “I joined a sorority in college. And no, this will not be some weird sorority role play fetish. Trust me, it wasn’t like that at all. Of course a sorority is all girls, and it might seem somewhat incestuous to romantically get involved with one of your “sisters,” but it’s not like your blood. The weirdest part about my bi-curious rendezvous is that the girl I fooled around with was my pledge master. For those of you who don’t know sorority protocol, Pledge Master is basically the evil dictator of the girls trying to get initiated. She is in charge of you as a “pledge” until you’re initiated and become a “sister.” You don’t want to piss your Pledge Master off, and you MUST abide by every ridiculous rule she creates. Throughout the entire pledging process, we were secretly hooking up. She would call all of us pledges to our secret meeting spot, and when everyone was dismissed, I’d stick around and so would she. The secret pledge meeting spot basically became our designated hookup destination.

— Elise, 26

beetlejuice

3. “So back when I was in college, I did the stereotypical college thing to do and decided to try a three-some. There was a boy on the lacrosse team, who I barely knew. He was the kid I’d talk to at parties but never go out of my way to actually hangout with. He just started dating a sophomore (we were both juniors), and at one of his lacrosse parties (because each team in college would have their own parties) he informed me that he and his girlfriend were looking for another girl to have a three-some with. I was flattered that they chose to ask me, even though they probably asked a bunch of girls before me who turned them down, so I took the night to think about it. He gave me his number and told me to text him if I decided I was interested. The next day I started drinking around noon, and thought, why not? I texted him an hour later, substantially drunk at that point and said, ‘I’m in, when can this happen?’ He responded right away and said, ‘tonight.’ So of course I continued to drink and when we finally met up was pretty much wasted, but they had both apparently been doing the same exact thing. We went to his apartment and he was so drunk he could barely unlock the door. So me, his girlfriend, and him finally make it to his bedroom, and he literally flops on the bed and passes out. I had never even spoken to his girlfriend before that night, but she looked at me after he passed out and said, ‘You still wanna do this?’ I of course, was drunk and extremely horny from all the build up, and said, ‘Sure.’ So me and her had his fantasy three-some without him. It was fun, and I was satisfied. I slept over, but left in the morning before they both woke up. He texted me after I got home and said, ‘Can’t believe you guys did it without me.’ I gave him a simple reply with, ‘Haha. Sorry!’ And he texted back, ‘It’s okay’ with a wink face. Every time I saw him and his girlfriend at lacrosse parties after that, they always asked me if I’d try again. I never did.”

— Anna, 23

beetlejuice

4. “I had just moved into my own apartment and one of my friends from high school came to visit me. I think Mother Nature hates us both, because Hurricane Sandy hit right after she arrived. Basically me and her were stuck in my apartment her entire stay…with no electricity. Thank god, I had stocked up on booze, so we just made the best of it with tons of wine, and tons of whiskey. The first night the power was out we played cliché games like ‘Never Have I Ever’ and basically ‘Truth or Truth’ because there weren’t many dares to do given our circumstances of being stuck inside with no electric. On one of the truths, she asked me was if I had ever hooked up with a girl. I told her, no. Then I of course asked her the same question, but received a different answer. After she told me she’s hooked up with girls before (more than one, I was shocked) I got up to get another glass of wine. When I was pouring my glass she came up behind me and wrapped her arms around my waist. I think you know what happens next. When the Hurricane finally settled down, and flights were actually able to leave Philadelphia, she flew home and texted me, ‘I hope this doesn’t make things weird.’ I called her after she sent that basically saying that her friendship means the world to me, and we are both still friends today…Just friends, to be clear.”

— Christina, 27

beetlejuice

5. “My first year of post-grad I was a lost soul. I graduated with a BA in English and basically had no idea what the hell I wanted to do. I was still living with my parents, and was unemployed, and to be honest wasn’t actively looking for a job anyway. I still had friends in college, and was pretty much in denial that I was no longer a student. I’d visit them nearly every weekend and would obviously join in on their college like festivities. One weekend there was a Rubik’s Cube party. This is where you go to the party wearing tons of different colors, and once you arrive, you have to switch clothing with other people who are there so that you end up in only one color by the time the party’s over. Basically a good excuse to get girls to take their tops off. Horny college boys are brilliant. I was attempting to cloth myself in all green, so I gave away the red shirt I was wearing. Somehow I ended up never putting on another shirt and spent the whole night just hanging out in my bra (which was red). No one really cared because we were all wasted anyway, but towards the end of the night a senior girl, who I had seen before but never talked to, came up to me and called me out for my shorts being green and my bra being red. I just sort of laughed awkwardly and shrugged, but then she asked if she could help me with that. She grabbed my hand and took me upstairs to the bathroom. There was of course a line, and I started nervously freaking out, which I thought I was being subtle about, but apparently not because she told me to relax. When we got into the bathroom she unclipped my bra and said, ‘Perfect, now you’re in all green.’ Best line I think I’ve heard yet. She made out with me for all of about two minutes until the next girls in line for the bathroom were banging on the door telling us to hurry up. I’ll never forget that party.”

— Zoe, 24

beetlejuice

6. “I had a little ‘bi-curious’ phase when I studied abroad. I lived in Florence for 6 months, and my school basically set up all of the living arrangements for us. Me and two other girls who were both in my major lived in an apartment complex in the city. There was an Italian girl who lived alone on the floor below us, and we’d always run into her in the elevator when we left for class in the morning. One morning, both my roommates were extremely hungover (which happened a lot of mornings) and decided to skip class. On that particular morning, I ran into the girl who lived below us again in the elevator. She never said anything to us before, but I guess since I was alone she felt it polite to say hello (Ciao). So I of course was polite back. Her English was pretty good, and she asked me how long I’d be staying in Florence. I told her 4 more months. The elevator ride was pretty short, but she asked me for my number, so I gave her the number to my shitty Italian flip phone that I bought for 20 Euro.

I figured she wanted to hangout with us all, because we constantly had our other American friends over on the weekends and were probably the most obnoxious people in the building. She texted me that week asking if I wanted to try a local trattoria (basically a restaurant), but didn’t ask for me to bring my roommates with me. I was all for making friends with the locals, so I of course said yes. That night, she paid for my dinner and when we were back in the elevator to our building she asked me to get off at her floor. I was having a lot of fun with her and decided to see her apartment. It was super nice. Way nicer than the one upstairs that my school had us stay in. I guess I was oblivious to the signals she was sending me all night because when we both sat down on her couch she immediately went in for a kiss. I didn’t want to be rude, or piss of a local, so I just sort of went with it. I actually found it kind of nice. We went out with each other a couple more times after that, but I eventually told her that I didn’t want to get too attached because I’d be returning to America. She said she understood. I felt like a little player, but it was actually really fun.”

— Heather, 24

beetlejuice

7. “I took a ceramics course fall semester, and the TA was gorgeous. She was really natural and earthy and beautiful in a non-traditional way. Her artistic talent of course made her even more attractive. Plus, there’s something about operating the wheel, that is super sexual. I would always go in for studio hours because I sucked at the wheel. My bowls looked like plates, and my cylinders which were supposed to be symmetric looked like something out of Dr. Seuss. I was usually one of few who always went to studio hours, but the TA always had to be there to help us. She was so sweet, and would never make me feel embarrassed about my ugly pottery. We got to know each other pretty well as the semester went on, and one night she brought a bottle of wine to the studio. It was great. We drank and we sculpted, and we talked about art, and one thing lead to another and we started kissing. It was nothing like that scene from Ghost, sorry to disappoint you, but it was still pretty romantic. She took me back into the room where the professor kept the glaze, and when I got back to my dorm that night, I found little dried chunks of it in my hair. I ended up getting an A- in that class, I always wonder if she had something to do with it.”

— Bailey, 22 TC mark

You Don’t Always Have To Know Where You’re Going

Posted: 08 Aug 2015 04:06 AM PDT

andrei bocan
andrei bocan

It's just after midnight when your phone chimes with the noise of a new text message, that gratifying sound that lets you know someone out there is thinking of you. However, the moment you open the message to read its contents, your phone suddenly feels as though it weighs about a hundred pounds, so loaded is the combination of the four words you're reading.

"What are we doing?"

Were this message from a roommate, coworker, or relative, the question might have a simple answer, like: "Going to one more bar!" or "Let's just meet them there tomorrow at noon." This, however, is not the case. The name at the top of your phone, the inquisitive message sender, is a person who doesn't fit so neatly into the usual categories of people in your life; rather, he exists in a gray in-between area, in a category all of his own.

You've been calling each other friends for the sake of convenience, of simplicity, but you know it's a little different (a little more?) than that. Your other friends make you laugh, but they don't make you giggle like a little kid; they care about how you're doing, but they don't check in with you every day. Your other friends don't put butterflies in your stomach when they give you a hug hello, and they certainly don't feel the need to ask, "What are we doing?" because they already know what they are. The fact that the question is being asked at all shows that he's aware you're not exactly friends, too.

So, what the hell are you doing exactly? It's a fair enough question, but it's one you don't really know the answer to either. Maybe an easier subject to tackle would be: "What's been happening so far?"

Well, I guess it boils down to you met a guy, you exchanged smiles, then hellos, then names and numbers. You shared schedules, made plans, and met somewhere between your place and his. You talked about the weather, then work, then each other's families, and soon enough, each other's aspirations. He impressed you, and apparently you impressed him as well. Coffees became dinners, dinners became days at the park, and days at the park turned into evenings at his apartment. On one such evening, you two played cards and emptied two bottles of wine in the process. "Go fish!" you both giggled back and forth to each other, even though you were playing poker. You started kissing moments later, drunkenly pushing each other around the kitchen as you fumbled for any sort of direction. You kissed a little more, sober, the next morning, lying next to him in bed. And now he wants to know what it all means.

Up until this moment, it's like you've been on a pleasant walk through the forest together, straying off the trail and wandering aimlessly amongst the natural beauty for hours. It's been so joyous and peaceful, but when your companion turns to look at you and says, "I think we might be lost," it's impossible to go back to thinking about anything else. You'd love to be able to whip out your compass and steer you both out of the woods so you could be happy and carefree again, but your sense of direction is even worse than his. Why has all of the pressure been put on you to figure this out, why can't he be the one to tell you what it is you're both doing, and where you should go from here?

I think even when two people are really into each other and both of them know it, can feel it even, there are still moments of panic and confusion when you go along the road of transitioning from strangers, to friends, to more-than-friends. We doubt ourselves and we doubt the intentions of the other person; we want someone to give us a game plan and a guarantee that we're not about to do something stupid. We want to know for sure this isn't going to end badly before we start getting too attached. It's why we get a little drunk one night and text this new guy, "What are we doing?" because we just want someone to fucking tell us already!

Unfortunately, relationships don't come with a road map, and every once and a while we have to take blind leaps of faith (and usually more than once). E.L. Doctorow once said that writing a novel is like driving a car at night: you can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way… I think the same can be true of relationships. Sometimes, the light that shines from the knowledge that you want to see someone again tomorrow is enough to guide you through an entire lifetime together. You can't plan for the bumps in the road, the missed exits and near collisions, but you can still get where you hope to be. It's a nerve-wracking ride sometimes, but a worthwhile one.

So when you get the late-night text message that demands clarity where there isn't any, here is what you do: you tell them exactly what they mean to you, how and why you want to be them, and that while you don't have one goddamn clue about what you're doing exactly, you know you want to keep doing it with them for the foreseeable future. This is how the journey begins. TC mark

When Sex Is Worth Waiting For

Posted: 08 Aug 2015 04:43 AM PDT

Caleb Morris
Caleb Morris

It might be easy to take off your clothes, have some fun then wake up the next day and walk away like nothing matters but it can be so damn difficult to simply look into someone's eyes and tell them you miss them. Or even just sit next to them and say nothing at all. It all depends on who it is. Sometimes accidental touching with the right person — arms, hands, knees, shoulders, could feel even more intense than three hours of dirty sex with a hot one. What's hotness for if it can only excite your body for those few hours but never more? Never your mind or your soul. Never your entire existence.

Surely, sex like that could satisfy you for a little while. Lust and a fair amount of romance could distract you for even longer. After all, you're lonely and horny, you need human touch and you think this will be enough. However, you may quickly face disappointment as soon as you realize no sex or no lust could be compared to the high you would have when you do it with the right person. And it's not even the right person as in the right person for you. It's the right person because it's the only person who could make you feel so good and never want to settle again.

If you're lucky, this right person might want you the same way. Though, if you're like most people out there, you have no choice but to accept a cruel reality that you will never know what it's like to be adored by the object of your affection. Or to touch them in a way a man and a woman do each other. You will be wanting, longing but you never allow yourself to want too much because wanting too much is how you will lose them. You can't lose them now. Not yet. You're still not ready to give up those accidental touches that make you wonder if they ever think about you.

There is a time you actually think you want a relationship, a someone, anyone, 3 am moments that you could be spiritually naked and exchange all your secrets with this person. It turns out that you have always wanted a very specific someone who doesn't necessarily become anything. You want 3 am moments, yes, but with this particular person only. In fact, 3 am or 3 pm doesn't really matter because it's them and so, day and night will be equally good. You just honestly don't know why it must be them. You don't know why their presence is like no others and you can't stop fluttering no matter how hard you try.

That being said, now and then, as social beings, we all instinctively crave for human touch, either with the right person or not, whether at that point in time we have such a person in our life. Sex is good fun, and sometimes a little bit of good fun is good enough. However, if it doesn't feel like enough, if getting naked and on and off each other is only kind of good and then it sucks because when it's all done, you're left with this void inside of you that could only be filled by a specific someone, don't do it. Don't do it because from that moment on, it will only suck. Because you already know what you truly want and that's just not it.

So, wait for it. Wait for the kind of touch that makes all efforts worth it. Wait till sex is not just kind of good but certainly great and absolutely amazing. Maybe even wait till you don't have to go anywhere on an early Thursday morning, then Friday night you will meet again and get naked all over, spilling out dirty secrets and kinky fantasies. You will get drunk looking horrifyingly shit, but either when drunk or sober, beautiful or shit, nothing matters more than you being here together, skin on skin, laughing, enjoying every second of it. Wait till what you have is no less than the best, till you know for sure there's no place else you would rather be.

Even if you keep having lots of sex that's only kind of good but satisfying enough for the time being as you think, why not, don't you give up on this wait. Don't you give up because the person who sees you as you are, who wants you the same way, who makes sure they fuck you real good like you would do them any time, is waiting, looking for you too. TC mark