Thought Catalog


13 Blood-Curdling Accounts From People Who Were Brave Enough To Play ‘Bloody Mary’

Posted: 09 Oct 2015 09:31 AM PDT

Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz
Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz

1. ALL OF A SUDDEN A FACE POPPED UP INTO THE MIRROR

"Me and my friend did Bloody Mary a while ago. We flushed the toilet and said 'Bloody Mary' 3 times. All of a sudden a face popped up into the mirror. My friend was so scared she couldn’t breathe. I slapped her in the face and she ran out. I was in there all alone! I was scared of what was going to happen next. I tried to run out but the door wouldn’t open even though it was unlocked! She was holding it! She was back into the mirror; I saw her with a baby. She threw it to me and I didn’t catch it. It disappeared. I turned on the light and there was blood on the mirror. I had a red mark on my face and so did my friend, even though she wasn’t even there! It was so creepy. I still have that red mark and so does she. We can only see it in the mirror when we turn off the lights. The weird thing is no one but us can see it."

Anonymous
beetlejuice

2. WE SAW A SCARY-AS-HELL WOMAN LOOKING OUT OF THE MIRROR AT US

"There were three of us girls in the bathroom at 3 AM and I chanted Bloody Mary 13 times at almost exactly 3 AM. As I said Bloody Mary about the 12th time we saw smoke swirl around the mirror and we saw a scary-as-hell old woman looking out of the mirror at us. We all three screamed and I think Gail turned the light on. Bloody Mary vanished almost at once and Gail’s mother came running into the bathroom to see what was going on. She made us go to bed but we stayed awake till daylight because we knew what we had seen."

Sara
beetlejuice

3. WE STARTED PRAYING THAT IT WOULD ALL STOP

"We chanted Bloody Mary three times and nothing happened, so we just laughed it off and turned the lights on.…We were lying on the floor getting ready to go to bed when we heard someone walking up and down the hallway and we knew we were the only ones home. Then I saw the hall light come on and my bathroom door flew open and the tap started running full force and the shower came on. My friend Macie went and turned everything off and suddenly it was calm. Then we heard someone drumming their fingers on my door outside in the hall. We all held our hands up to show we weren’t doing it and it kept going. I jumped up and flung the door open and it stopped, then my closet doors burst open. We started praying that it would all stop and suddenly it did. Nothing has happened since, and I am so glad."

Nikki
beetlejuice

4. WE SAW AN OLD WOMAN WITH CUTS ON HER FACE

"I was 9 when me and my friends tried doing Bloody Mary at my house one weekend. As well as I remember there were five of us and we carried my Mom’s candles in the upstairs bathroom and all five of us were chanting Bloody Mary. We saw an old woman with cuts on her face and chains around her neck and shoulders looking out of the mirror out at us. Then the shower curtain went up in flames and we ran out of the bathroom. An older boy ran into the bathroom and luckily for us got the fire put out. We all got in big trouble for it and the parents thought we caught the shower curtain on fire with the candles but we had the candles at least six feet from the shower curtain when it suddenly went up in flames. I know for a fact that we did not touch that shower curtain with a candle."

Katie
beetlejuice

5. I COULD SEE IT COMING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO ME

"I saw a black object in the mirror….The object was closer to me now and I was wondering what the object was. I stared at it for the longest time to make out what it was. I looked behind me again to see nothing was there and I looked back at the mirror and the object was closer. I got scared and started to move back and I could see it coming closer and closer to me….Then a hand came out of the mirror, then a whole arm. I got so scared I closed my eyes quickly and screamed, feeling for the light switch; I kept feeling around for it, too scared to open my eyes knowing that a horrible ugly face was staring at me….I have never been that scared in my whole life and was glad I didn't open my eyes….I'm never going in a dark bathroom ever again…."

Emmy

beetlejuice

6. SHE WON’T TELL US WHAT HAPPENED

"My friend had a slumber party and they dared her to do Bloody Mary—you know, go into the bathroom, turn off the lights, light a candle, chant 'Bloody Mary' thirteen times, and she will appear. For about 15 minutes, nothing happened. Then we heard her scream and she tried to get out of the bathroom. The door was stuck but it didn’t have a lock. When we got her out she was crying and whimpering like a madman. We asked her what happened. She showed us her arms and there were scars there that had never been there before. Tons of them, like 20 scars!!! A few days later they disappeared! She won’t tell us what happened or what she saw when we ask her about it. She just looks at us in a hateful way."

Kelsie
beetlejuice

7. THE MOST HORRIBLE SMELL OF ROTTING FLESH

"I and some friends were over at my Grandma’s house when we all went in the bathroom where we had several candles burning. Several girls were chanting Bloody Mary in that bathroom when there was a brilliant flash of light and we all saw a very old scary woman that looked like her flesh was rotting off standing there in the bathroom with us. You could smell the most horrible smell of rotting flesh there in that bathroom. And then the old woman was gone. I know from then on I was scared to go back in that bathroom. About four months later my friend Amber wrecked her new car and she kept telling her Mom and Dad and me that Bloody Mary was there in the car with her just before she wrecked and that Bloody Mary had grabbed the steering wheel and caused her to wreck. Just a short time later Amber was found drowned in the bathroom upstairs in her parents’ house. I know I have always wondered if Bloody Mary killed Amber. I promise you this is a true story and it still scares me."

Cindy
beetlejuice

8. IT STARTED TURNING INTO A BRIGHT RED BLOB

"My friend and I were in an experimental mood, so we decided to try the 'Bloody Mary' version that I heard most often. We stopped at a gas station that had an outdoor restroom and asked if we could use it. We went into it, turned off the lights, splashed water onto the mirror, and spun around. We said 'Bloody Mary' three times. Then my friend turned and flushed the toilet while I stared into the mirror. From what I could see of my reflection in the dark, it started turning into a bright red blob. In amazement, I kept staring. Then my friend started screaming, and we ran out the door in fright. When I could see her face, it was all bloody, like how I saw myself in the mirror. When we cleaned her off, she had small fingernail-type scratches all over her face."

Lauren
beetlejuice

9. DO NOT SUMMON THAT EVIL WITCH!

"I went into the bathroom, turned off all the lights, and turned around seven times while saying B-Mary on each turn. I then stopped turning and faced the mirror. I waited in silence for something to happen….I was about to leave when I heard a woman singing. I turned slowly back to the mirror and I saw her. She had long, dark brown hair that was soaked in blood. Her neck looked like someone had just slit her throat. I screamed. When my brother started banging on the door and turning the lock, she became angry. She was smiling but then she frowned and reached out through the mirror with one bloody arm and slapped/scratched me on the right side of my face. I felt her nails strike so hard that I was knocked to the floor. My head slammed against the side of the bathtub and I was knocked unconscious. When I woke, I was in the hospital with bandages across the right side of my face.…The attack was a year ago and to this day, I still cannot see out of my right eye and that side of my face is stuck in a permanent scream. No one should EVER try to summon that witch that has ruined my life! Please read this and take it seriously. DO NOT summon that evil witch!"

Nicole
beetlejuice

10. I STILL DON’T USE THAT BATHROOM

"My friend followed me to the bathroom and stood outside. She said, 'I don’t think you should do this. What if it’s real?' I was scared out of my mind, but I wanted to be the brave one. And I had always wanted to test it. So I did the same old ritual. I stared into the mirror. Nothing. I stared in all corners. Then right as I was about to turn on the switch, I caught a glimpse of someone. I looked closer. It was black and white, and her mouth was open wide. I expected to hear a scream, but there was dead silence. There was black all around her eyes, and she was a clear image. I was frozen so I just stood there looking. Then her arms lifted up and her hands were bright red. A few of her nails were gone and some were just about to be peeled off. When the hands appeared to grab my shoulders, a chill ran down my spine. And a rush of cold air blew on my back. I screamed bloody murder, turned on the switch, and ran out the door. My friend was standing with her mouth open and I hugged her. I don’t know why, though. I started crying I was so scared. I covered all the mirrors in my house; my mom didn’t really care. And I still don’t use that bathroom."

Marisa
beetlejuice

11. WE COULDN’T SLEEP FOR WEEKS

"We ran to the washroom and lit all the candles in there. And we all spun around with our eyes closed, chanting 'Bloody Mary' 3x. After the 3rd time we open our eyes and stared in the mirror and I swore I saw through the mirror the window and there was a woman all bloody, her face almost completely gone but screaming. My friends heard the screaming but didn’t see her. I was wondering from there to now why was I the only one who saw Mary. We couldn’t sleep for weeks."

Anonymous
beetlejuice

12. HE WAS TOO SHOCKED TO MOVE

"All of us cramped into my cousin’s bathroom in front of the bathroom mirror and decided to chant 'Bloody Mary' over and over again. We chanted for over 20 times, but nothing happened. Thoroughly satisfied that it is an urban legend, we were about to go out of the bathroom when a tiny green triangle started to appear in the center of the mirror. The triangle grew bigger and bigger while me and my friends started to scream and quickly opened the door and ran to the 'grownups' (my cousin’s friends) while my cousin stared at the mirror bathed in green light. He was too shocked to move while we caught him by the arm and dragged him out of the room (with the help of his friends) and realized that he was totally shocked as he was staring blankly at us with no voice. Moments later, I heard the glass mirror break into pieces. All of us, including my cousin’s friends, were totally freaked out….Even now, two years later, we still refuse to speak of the incident, but the memory has earned a place in my mind forever…."

Rahul
beetlejuice

13. DON’T OPEN THAT PORTAL!!!!

"I am a 29-year-old woman named Amanda. I played Bloody Mary as a young girl. Age 12. Nothing happened—or so I thought. I opened a portal and allowed demons of witchcraft into my soul. I underwent an exorcism. It failed. My life has been a living hell ever since. I became addicted to drugs just so I can deal with my own murderous mind. I suffer from extreme mental problems now. The demons are speaking in tongues all the time now. I have to be careful about getting mad because they take control. My husband is being haunted by my demons now. I’ve suffered from postpartum psychosis and had to be institutionalized for a month because I repeatedly had visions of slicing my baby’s throat from ear to ear. I’ve been in and out of mental institutions for the past year. I hate so much. I didn’t think I was capable of the thoughts I’ve been having. I scare myself more and more every day with the thing I am becoming. Sometimes I feel like I’m truly disconnected from myself. A totally different person sometimes. Am I capable of murder as this other person? I’m truly hell bound. Yes, I am a former Satanist, but it all started with Bloody Mary. You all think it’s a harmless child’s game, but be warned it’s so much more. DON’T OPEN THAT PORTAL!!!! Children please listen and be warned this is NOT a game."

Amanda TC mark

23 Signs Your Significant Other Is The Missing Piece To Your Life Puzzle

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 11:19 AM PDT

Twenty20, marishkakuroedova
Twenty20, marishkakuroedova

1. You don't need to be doing anything especially exciting or textbook fun to have an amazing time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Being together is the one and only requirement for having a downright awesome time.

2. Sometimes, in fact, lying in bed together late into the morning and lazing about is the most rewarding way to spend an entire day.

3. Having absolutely no plans is a treat when it means you get to devote every waking minute to loving each other—and while sexual contact is generally welcomed, it’s not necessarily required.

4. Although it does have to be said that you finally understand how mindblowing sex is when you feel truly connected to the person you're sleeping with.

5. You love the way your significant other smells so much, you roll over to their side of the bed periodically just to sniff their pillow a little.

6. When you’re separated for too many hours, you’ve also been known to bury your face in one of their t-shirts for a comforting whiff.

7. You definitely wear their clothes whenever possible, not because their shirts and jeans look all that good on you, but because you genuinely want to feel closer to them.

8. Certain words have taken on new meaning within your relationship—special, random words dripping in positive context, fond memories, and inside jokes only you two comprehend.

9. You pretty much speak your very own couple’s language, like a pair of secret agents deftly manipulating code to insulate yourselves from outsiders.

10. You routinely decline invitations to set aside room to hang out with each other only because you cherish being alone together.

11. You’re not one to dodge friends, but you don't feel bad about fibbing to people to preserve your special time with your significant other because that’s what keeps you going.

12. Being with your partner is like bathing in tranquility, relief, safety, love, and comfort. You never grow tired of it, even when you fight.

13. Fighting is part of your ongoing narrative because it’s inevitable within a relationship. But you can always see a glimmer of peace on the horizon when you’re in the thick of a nasty exchange.

14. You consult you partner on almost all matters, from what to wear to an important meeting to how you should word a critical email and whether or not you should eat grilled cheese or chicken for dinner.

15. Your partner’s opinion means a lot to you and taking their input into consideration never feels like a sacrifice of self. It feels right.

16. You approach certain simple tasks differently since the time you first started dating—maybe you use an electric toothbrush now, or you wash with an exfoliating glove instead of a loofa—because you want to do things their way.

17. Over the months or years, you've quietly observed each other's habits and tapped the best from both your worlds, making for one stronger unit overall.

18. One of you definitely started eating better or exercising more thanks to the other.

19. Suddenly, your health and longevity matter in an entirely new way—you want to stick around mostly because you don't want to miss out on any time with your lover.

20. Your friends and family have noted that your partner makes you insanely happy, and that your attitude overall has improved significantly since you got together.

21. When you sense that someone's envious of your bond, you downplay your relationship out of kindness and good manners, but secretly you know they have reason to be jealous.

22. Any doubts you once entertained about finding the right person have completely evaporated.

23. You don't consider yourself half of a couple. You're part of a team. A dual human unit that does life better together than separately. TC mark 

10 Awkward Text Messages That Inevitably Happen When You Suck At Sexting

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 01:55 PM PDT

1. NETFLIX AND CHILL

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2. VICTORIA’S REAL SECRET

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3. ANATOMY LESSON

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4. WEATHER REPORT

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5. A LITTLE CONFUSED

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6. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

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7. FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

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8. SPEECHLESS

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9. DISNEY BONER KILLER

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10. NEVERMIND

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TC mark

Every Halloween, I Have A Story I Like To Tell

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 10:41 AM PDT

Flickr / Brian Ragsdale
Flickr / Brian Ragsdale

I liked Ben, I really did. I mean, he was a nice guy. We had some fun times together in college, messing around the dorm, going to parties, all the dumb shit that college guys do. He was cool and all, but he was a little… pretentious. Well, I guess the word he used was "artistic." He thought he was real smart, spent a lot of time trying to prove it to everyone. He had his own blog developed to film critiques – not the big ones, though. Just little indie productions because nothing else was "worth his time." When he got like that, he could be pretty insufferable.

Perhaps the most annoying thing that he did was performance art.

Now, I don't wanna be the guy who says that all performance art is dumb. But… yeah, no, all performance art is dumb. Oh, look, you're on display painting a picture of Jesus from your own urine, how original and edgy! Maybe I'm a little jaded, but it always seemed so contrived to me. Unfortunately, Ben really loved it. He thought there was something beautiful in art that was physically living and he devoted an embarrassing amount of time to it.

Anyway, I hung out with Ben a few times after college, but we mostly just met up to do some heavy drinking and maybe hit a strip club or two. He considered THAT performance art as well, which was just fine with me, it gave me an excuse to waste some ones. Since we didn't hang out very often, I had a bad feeling when he contacted me about a month before last Halloween.

He called me up at about seven in the morning on a Saturday, which is too early to even consider waking up, in my opinion. I answered in a daze and he started running his mouth like crazy, as though afraid that, if he didn't get it all out at once, he never would.

"Mike, hey, Mikey, listen, buddy, I need your help, okay? Okay, okay, I've got this idea for a performance and, well, it's going to be KILLER, you know? So good! It's going down on Halloween. Can you come help? Look, I'll even pay you, man. Fifty dollars. So how 'bout it?"

Now, I've never cared much about Halloween one way or the other, and I'm a pretty easy guy. Fifty dollars to probably just sit there and run a fog machine or some bullshit? Sign me up. For the right price, I could even pretend that I wanted to be there. Besides, what else are friends for?

A few days later, he gave me the details. To be honest, I was a little shocked when he sent the email. I know that performance art is intended to be edgy and can sometimes get a little dangerous, but this seemed downright negligent.

Mike:

Thanks for agreeing to do this for me! I've talked to a few other people, but they weren't really comfortable with it, for reasons you'll probably be able to figure out. Of course, I understand if you want to back out, but I think you are probably the most reliable person I know. It's really not that big of a deal, I'm sure you'll agree.

As I'm sure you've noticed, "vampires" have become very prominent in the media as of late. I say "vampires" because they are beginning to deviate so wildly from the traditional myths that they resemble forest fairies more than anything else. Altruistic? Sparkly? Whiny? Give me a break. We need more Dracula! We need more Carmilla! We need more death, destruction, and blood!

My performance will center on the theme of "rebirthing the vampire." For the vampire to be reborn, he must first be buried. To turn people's attentions back to the myths of old, I will be doing just that: I will be burying the vampire.

I have a group of viewers signed up already to participate in the performance, so you don't need to worry about that. I'm going to plant a series of vampire-themed clues around town for them to follow. The clues should be pretty simple, and it will probably take no more than an hour to an hour-and-a-half for them to find me.

Here comes the somewhat… controversial part. Essentially, for this performance to have any semblance of meaning, I need to be buried alive. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe: I have a buddy from back home who is building me a coffin with a hole in the top. I'll be fixing it with a pipe that will stick an inch or two above the ground. That way, I won't run out of air. I'll also have a few necessities in the coffin in case something happens: food, water, and a flashlight.

Once they arrive at my grave – which will be completely vampirized – they will be provided with an array of shovels and will bring me back to life, a reincarnation of the true mythological history of vampires.

Here is where you come in. I need you to bury me. In addition, I need you to be my safety net: if they can't find me, if something goes wrong, if I become sick, I need you to be the one to get me out or call the police, if necessary. I'll also need you to decorate my grave, make it really creepy… don't worry, I'll send you some blueprints.

I know this is a little stressful and it may take some time for you to decide, but, rest assured, this is a completely safe project. There's no danger of suffocation and the coffin is sturdy, so it's very unlikely that it will collapse. I really just need you there for support and the actual hard work of burying me.

What do you say? I'd even be willing to up your pay to a hundred dollars, if that's what you need.

Let me know!

RIP,

Ben

I stared at my screen for a few minutes, completely dumbfounded.

Once I cut through all the bullshit about art and vampires and "rebirth," what it came down to… was death.

This guy actually wanted me to almost kill him.

I mean, sure, it probably WAS safe. But my mind went over the plan slowly. What if I couldn't get him out in time? One shovel and a pit of dirt wouldn't be a fast job. Furthermore, what if something happened to me?

Before making a decision, I sent him another email asking if he was really sure he was up for this. Of course he knew, he said. And then he said something that would always stick with me.

"Art must be a little dangerous, my friend, for it to be real."

Get Buzzed!: 20 Little-Known Facts About Vibrators

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 08:26 AM PDT

Shutterstock / bikeriderlondon
Shutterstock / bikeriderlondon

1. GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Research has shown that women who use vibrators are more likely to visit the gynecologist for checkups, to achieve orgasm with or without a vibrator, and to have lower stress levels and fewer headaches than women who don’t use them. What’s not to like? (source)
beetlejuice

2. UM, WHERE DO YOU PUT IT?

One study revealed that a whoppin’ 83.8% of female vibrator users preferred to employ the device for clitoral stimulation rather than vaginal insertion. But hey, you can put it anywhere you like! (source)
beetlejuice

3. A $1 BILLION MARKET

One billion dollars’ worth of vibrators are sold every year, accounting for a bigger market even than condoms. (source)
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4. A VIBRATOR FOR EVERY NEED

No two vaginas (or anuses) are alike, which is why sex-toy technicians have bequeathed us with a wide, wonderful, throbbing world of vibrators from which to choose. Some types, such as the monstrously sized and monstrously popular Hitachi Magic Wand, are sold as “back massagers” and are intended strictly for clitoral stimulation. Others are shaped like penises and are made for vaginal insertion. Some are waterproof, enabling you to rub one out in the shower or hot tub. The “rabbit” (more on that later) is two-pronged, with the larger prong for vaginal insertion and the smaller one for clitoral stimulation. Some are shaped to stimulate the G-spot or prostate gland. There are even “smart” vibrators than can be programmed over the Internet to include different vibration patterns and music to your self-pleasuring sessions. (source)
beetlejuice

5. CLEOPATRA’S ANGRY BEES

As legend has it, Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt whose seductive powers culminated in the Roman Civil War, invented the hand-held vibrator by filling a hollowed gourd with angry bees and then pressing it against her nether regions. Hail to the Queen Bee! (source)
beetlejuice

6. CURING “HYSTERIA”

Back in the Sexual Dark Ages before men realized that women have orgasms, females’ pent-up sexual frustration was diagnosed as a medical condition called “hysteria.” The cure? Originally, it was a visit to the doctor’s office, where a woman would receive a “pelvic massage”—i.e., a handjob—until she had a “hysterical paroxysm,” which is now called an orgasm. For eons, physicians used their own hands. But amid the industrial hubbub of the 1800s, inventors coughed up a dizzying area of giant steampunk contraptions designed to cure “hysteria”—some of them required two people to operate them, and a few were even steam-powered. (source)
beetlejuice

7. THE FRENCH WIND-UP TOY (1734)

The first “modern” vibrator was a little hand-powered box invented in France and called le tremoussoir. You cranked it up like a music box, but instead of playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” it gave you an orgasm. (source)
beetlejuice

8. THE FIRST ELECTRIC VIBRATOR (1883)

In 1883, British doctor J. Mortimer Granville patented a forty-pound electromechanical monster that was the first modern “hysteria” cure powered by electricity. He quickly became the most popular doctor in England—among women, at least. (source)
beetlejuice

9. THE FIRST HAND-HELD PERSONAL VIBRATOR (1902)

These “hysteria” cures became so popular that in 1902, Hamilton Beach patented the first handheld, electro-powered personal vibrator for home use. Vibrators were only the fifth electrical device in history to receive a patent—after the toaster, sewing machine, fan, and tea kettle. American women were using vibrators at home before they were using vacuum cleaners. (source)
beetlejuice

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

10. THE DARK AGES OF MODERN VIBRATORS

By the 1920s, it began slowly dawning on American men that their wives were using electrical vibrators at home for sexual gratification. That’s how slow they were back then! This led to an outright ban on vibrators that lasted all the way until the late 1960s. The prohibition on alcohol, which started around the same time as the prohibition on vibrators, only lasted 11 years. But vibrators were banned for at least 40 years. Get your priorities straight, Americans! (source)
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11. THE CORDLESS REVOLUTION

Amid the social tumult of the 1960s came the Sexual Revolution. One of the primary tools of this revolution, along with birth-control pills, was the cordless personal vibrator. In 1968, a patent was issued for a “Cordless Electric Vibrator for Use on the Human Body,” and the buzzing has never stopped. (source)
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12. LOUD VIBRATIONS FROM DOWN UNDER

You may think of New Zealand as Australia’s homely little sister, but the Pacific island nation has the world’s highest rate of vibrator ownership—38% of Kiwis own a vibrator. (source)
beetlejuice

13. DON’T BELIEVE THE STEREOTYPE

Contrary to stereotypes that women use vibrators because they can’t snag a living penis, one study showed that four out of every five female vibrator users was in a relationship. (source)
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14. MOST MEN ARE NOT THREATENED BY THEM

Despite the popular notion that men experience severe castration anxiety and fear of mechanical cuckoldry whenever they see a vibrator, one study showed that seven out of ten men were absolutely A-OK with their lady friends using vibrators. (source)
beetlejuice

15. VIBRATOR-INDUCED HOSPITAL VISITS

In 2014, a Kansas woman was rushed to the hospital because a tiny, pinkie-sized vibrator got caught in her urethra and managed to vibrate itself all the way up to her bladder. In 2013, a man live-tweeted his hospital visit for getting a vibrating dildo stuck up his rectum. (source1) (source2)
beetlejuice

16. ALABAMA: NO VIBRATORS FOR YOU!

Alabama’s Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act bans the sale of "any device designed or marketed as useful for the stimulation of human genital organs." If you want to get a vibrator in Alabama, you’ll need a doctor’s note. (source)
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17. MORE RELIGION = FEWER VIBRATORS

Religious belief is negatively correlated with vibrator ownership, but you probably already suspected that. (source)
beetlejuice

18. SILLY RABBIT!

The two-pronged “rabbit” vibrator, made famous in an episode of Sex and the City, contains a phallic prong and a smaller prong that directly stimulates the clitoris. It was initially designed in Japan to look like a rabbit because of a Japanese law forbidding the sale of items that look like penises. According to some, it is now the world’s biggest-selling sex toy. (source)


beetlejuice

19. THE $55,000 VIBRATOR

The world’s priciest sex toy is fashioned from white gold and is covered in 117 diamonds. The cost? A highly reasonable $55,000. (source)
beetlejuice

20. MEET “BOB”

That’s an acronym for “Battery-Operated Boyfriend.” If you can come up with a cuter name for your vibrator, go for it! (source) TC mark

6 Logistical Questions For The Porn Industry From A Sincerely Curious Woman

Posted: 07 Oct 2015 08:23 AM PDT

Shutterstock / sakkmesterke
Shutterstock / sakkmesterke

I have been sexually active for about seven years now. In the hierarchy of sexual beings, I believe seven years puts me at the Advanced Beginner level, especially when you consider the fact that I'm overweight, so the first two years really didn't count (mostly I just hid under a sheet, in the dark, and counted to 15). As an advanced beginner who frequently watches porn (amateur and professional) and now understands some of what real sex is, there are a number of logistical questions that I need answered (I'm looking at you Penny Flame).

1. Why does no one wear a bra with four clasps?

There's no feasible way some of these breasts can be held up by a flimsy 2-clasp bra. No way.

2. Why do you start with oral sex? I'm the least interested in oral sex when sex is just beginning.

It's like giving me this heart-wrenching scene in the first 45 seconds of a movie. I want to care, but I just haven't had the time to connect with any of the characters yet.

3. When there's all of this screaming going on, and I clearly hear from the ferocity of the female lead's scream that she's reached climax, how in the world is there still 15 minutes left?

If she reached climax, there's no way she can bear another 15 minutes of pounding. Nope. Don't understand it.

4. Why is there attention paid to his nipples, but not hers?

There's literally 45 seconds paid to the female lead's breasts, yet the male gets his nipples licked, twisted, and blown on. Why is female breast play seen as an appetizer and dessert when really it should be the main fucking meal?

5. How is there never a shot when the female lead has a double chin?

There's no way whether you're fat or skinny that you can avoid the joy of tilting your head down to see what's going on down there and have a sea of folds show up where your neck used to be.

6. Finally, how is that less than 25% of women can achieve a vaginal orgasm, yet so little women on screen touch themselves while having sex to achieve climax?

Sex is definitely not successful for most if it is a hands-free situation. TC mark

The Mets Are In The Playoffs! I’m So Excited, I’m Throwing Up Blue And Orange!

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:24 AM PDT

Flickr / slgckgc
Flickr / slgckgc

During the Mets 11-game win streak in April, The New York Times ran some pictures from photographer Piotr Redlinski, who commented, "The Yankees belong to the world, but the Mets belong to New York."

I mention this not as a shot against the crosstown rival Yankees (okay, maybe a little bit of a shot), but because it perfectly captures the provincial, often anguishing experience of rooting for the eternal little brother of New York baseball. There's a reason the most famous Mets fans are comedians – Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Ray Romano, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and Jon Stewart just to name a few. To watch this team, particularly in the past decade, you need to be able to find humor in misery.

After all, to support the Mets is to willfully scorn baseball royalty and suffer the consequences of cheering on an underdog that rarely experiences the triumphant win so commonplace in sports movies. It's for the kids who liked Luigi better than Mario, thought Raphael's flaws were still way cooler than Leonardo's basic-bitch leadership style, and who ate Hydrox instead of Oreos. Being a Mets fan is for left-handers, second-guessers, and all-around contrarians.

And finally, for the first time in nine years, those fans are being rewarded with a playoff series. As a lifelong fan, I'm more excited than Lastings Milledge after a walk-off home run.

My origins as a Mets fan aren't uncommon. I was raised on Long Island, but my dad, an old school Brooklyn native born in 1940, grew up obsessing over the Brooklyn Dodgers and detesting the ever-victorious Yankees. The Dodgers lost in the World Series to the Yankees four times from 1947 to 1953 alone – their rivalry was like a particularly bleak retelling of David and Goliath in which Goliath repeatedly beat David to death with a big ass club. The Dodgers' dramatic defeats and perennial bridesmaid status make Mets fandom seem like a relatively mild torture.

When the Dodgers finally vanquished the Yankees in 1955 and subsequently moved across the country to Los Angeles (ironically, the Mets upcoming opponent in the National League Division Series) a few seasons later, my heartbroken dad gave up baseball – except his hatred for the Yankees. And so I was destined to be a Mets fan.

Whether or not they make it out of the NLDS, I'm honestly just so overjoyed at the prospect of devoting an entire evening to watching my team play October baseball – the nail-biting tension, frenzied highs, and catastrophic lows we know all too well. Getting to watch bona fide aces like Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard is a baseball blessing, and they are backed by a likeable cast of experienced veterans (David Wright, Curtis Granderson), homegrown favorites (Dan Murphy, Lucas Duda), and, of course, the one and only Yoenis Cespedes. Plus there's manager Terry Collins, who constantly looks like he's about to have a nervous breakdown at any given second, even during the regular season. There's like a 75% chance he will actually levitate at some point during Game 1.

I'm not just "happy to be here," however. I want the Mets to win the World Series, and I've been around long enough to know that what looks like the first year of a great run could just as easily be a one-and-done fleeting opportunity (cough 2006 cough). Mets fans, although conscious of their inferior status, don't want to be lovable losers.

Yes, we support a team that has nearly always been second-rate in its own city. But unlike fans of the Cubs or the pre-2004 Red Sox, who held a victim mentality that almost fetishized their perpetual failures, rooting for the Mets has never been about the irony of deliberately choosing the worst team. Rather, it's about not forsaking integrity or personality just to cheer for the best team (and let's be honest, the better the Yankees are, the more boring and bland they get).

Of course, I'm biased as hell, hyperventilating with giddy excitement, and in the mood for extravagant hyperbole. Ten years adrift in a nightmarish sea of Ponzi schemes, September collapses, and Oliver Perez will do that to a guy. Regardless of how it all pans out, 2015 has reminded Mets fans about why they fell in love with the blue and orange in the first place. TC mark

An Indian Woman’s Rant About Privilege: White Girls Wearing Turbans

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:40 AM PDT

Flickr / Die Reise zum Glück
Flickr / Die Reise zum Glück

Eva Mendes, the server at that restaurant I feel embarrassed for going to so often, and every junior at Brooklyn College; these are all the folks that have come out and admitted their love and affection for a "good turban."

And I hate it.

I fucking hate it.

As much as I thought this newfound hatred bubbling in my scalp had more to do with my being a 20-something with no Instagram followers, it's not.

Every time a girl with a turban is complimented on her avant-garde style, I think about my obsession with Gwen Stefani, No Doubt Gwen Stefani, not divorcee Gwen Stefani.

I was elated when she started rocking the bindi on her forehead in the late 90s. I was 11-years-old in an all white middle school and I thought: My moment is here.

Finally, all of the kids would come up to me and ask for my autograph, or at least ask me how I acquired a culture so rich that white rocker chicks like Gwen were interested in it.

None of that happened. Instead, when I decided to wear a bindi to school one day, I was teased for trying to be like Gwen Stefani.

Obviously they were right. I didn't want to wear a bindi on my forehead because my mom had worn it, or because my nani had worn it. Gwen made it cool. Yet when the Indian girl wore it on her forehead, it was the equivalent of an orangutan trying to mimic some behavior they'd seen a human doing. When other white girls did it, well that was proof of how trendy it was and how cultured they were.

And so I give you the turban. It's a tangled up subject for me because I lived in a pre- and post-9/11 world. I remember Disney trips getting ruined by these same girls because they'd shout: "Terrorist!" or "Condom head!" at my dad and brother. I remember how I'd bribe my brother every morning before school started, "If you don't cry when they make fun of you, I'll give you ten of my warheads." That's what the turban carried with it. That's what the turban still carries for all of the Sikhs and Muslims who wear it.

So yes, I am bitter. Because when you, Stephanie, or Ashley, or Astrid, or whoever else you are, decide you are going to wear a turban because it's "cute" or "cool" or "totally saying something," you don't recognize of all of those folks who were excluded from happy family trips, jobs, a safe walk, a pleasant dinner, because they were wearing their religion on their head. You don't remember all of the looks you give to the older man on the A train with a beard and a turban.

You don't have to remember it. All you have to do is smile and say "Omgosh, Thank you!" the next time someone compliments you on your turbaned Instagram post. TC mark

10 Things You Just Have To Accept When Dating An Impatient Person

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:00 AM PDT

Twenty20 / learnfern
Twenty20 / learnfern

It’s hard being an impatient person in today’s world; it should’ve gotten easier with all the technological advancements. Everything has become about instant gratification, which should make this an impatient person’s paradise.

Surprisingly, the opposite has happened. Since people have become so used to everything being instant, they’ve never developed a sense of how important time is. Even when people have to wait around, there are so many distractions that they barely feel the passage of time.

For impatient people, all they feel is the passage of time. It doesn’t matter how many distractions there are — nothing can make the wait better.

Impatient people just want to get to the main event. They can only scroll through Facebook for so long before they lose their minds. If you’re not impatient, you probably don’t understand. That’s why you should read this. Here are 10 things you must know before dating an impatient person.

1. The point never comes fast enough for them. Whenever someone has something to say, they spend too much time focusing on the details. Tell them the end of the story first, and then they’ll decide if it’s worth hearing the rest.

2. When they get bored from waiting (which is always), their mind starts to wander. They lose focus. They stop paying attention and then suddenly realize that they’ve been sticking their tongue out for ten straight minutes.

3. They’re always fidgeting with something. Unfortunately, nothing makes time pass faster. They know this, but they keep trying to make it happen anyway. They can’t make anything interesting; all they can do is barely distract themselves from their own discomfort.

4. They always look like they’re about to snap. The more they have to wait for something, the more upsetting it becomes. They also always feel like they’re waiting for something, and how upset they are is completely visible in their facial expression. Everyone just assumes that they’re some kind of maniac.

5. They constantly feel like nothing is happening. Everyone is just shuffling along, and so are they. They have to numb themselves to keep from flipping out, and start to feel mindless.

6. Distractions never work. They think, I know what I’ll do while I wait: I’ll watch some TV! Oh wait, that doesn’t take their mind off of HOW LONG THIS IS TAKING! COME ON ALREADY!

7. No one understands just how uncomfortable they really are. People say “just be patient” like it’s some sort of choice. No one chooses to be impatient. What kind of maniac would do that?!

8. They can only take so much. Everyone has a breaking point. The problem is no one ever realizes how close they are to their breaking point. They think that because they themselves can handle the wait, so can the impatient person. They don’t understand that their fuse is WAY shorter.

9. Late people INFURIATE them. We all have those friends that are always late. The thing is, they’re never just late; they always claim to have some reason for being late. They always make impatient people wait around for them.

10. All they can do is wait out the frustration. There’s no cure for impatience; they just have to live with it for their entire lives. Their long, seemingly endless life full of waiting for people to just HURRY THE EFF UP. TC mark

YOURTANGO

How To Buy A House Before You’re 30

Posted: 09 Oct 2015 09:21 AM PDT

Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday

Should you buy a house in your 20s? A lot of people say no — that home ownership is scam, that it's propaganda from the real estate industry, or that millennials will never be able to afford one. On the other side of it, a lot of people say that if you're saving money in any way in your 20s, you're doing it wrong. Both these viewpoints are simplistic and miss the real point: that it all depends.

Now, I'm not one to usually disagree with James Altucher or Ramit Sethi, but I think there are plenty of reasons to buy a house in your twenties. Below, I'm going to explain how and why. It's not for everyone, but it might be for you.

But first, let me quickly tell you my experience, because I've been on both sides of it. I started getting that "You should think about buying a house" advice in 2007/2008. I was 21 years old and had just gotten my first good paying job. In retrospect, it would have been the worst mistake of my life—not just because the market crashed, but because I'm not sure I'd have had the guts (or freedom) to make many of the risky decisions I made in my life. I wouldn't have quit my job to become a writer. I wouldn't have moved across the country. I wouldn't have lived in nice and not nice places and figured out what I want out of life. A house would have tied me down.

If you want to live an adventurous life, buying a house young makes that a lot tougher. At the same time, the house I ultimately did buy six or so years later, has not only been one of the best financial decisions I ever made, it has drastically improved my life.

I bought my first house in 2013. A few years later, I bought a small ranch outside Austin, Texas (helps with the goats!). I keep the other house as an office and an Airbnb rental. In both cases, I pay less than what I would have paid in rent, have seen them both appreciate nicely, and live in one of the fastest growing and best places in the country.

The way to save is by automation and obfuscation…

That sounds weird but it's true. The best way to save up money when you're young is to set up automatic transfers from your paycheck the second it comes in—before you can touch it—and to put it somewhere where you can't see or touch it. For a long time, I set up a second high interest savings account with a second bank. Every week, money went into it without me needing to do anything. For years, I never even checked the balance, though it grew and grew. The balance of the accounts I did check seemed artificially small because of the transfers. But when it came time to buy the house, I had enough for the entire down payment (or had I had a life threatening emergency, I could have used it too).

The second best way to save money?

Don't buy dumb stuff. While I knew I wanted to one day buy a house, most of my healthy financial situation was a result of two things: I worked hard and I didn't blow my money on dumb stuff. Saving money in your twenties does not mean 'you're doing it wrong.' It means you're not jerked around by your impulses and hormones and you've taken the time to develop systems and priorities. Living and having a good time are not incompatible with wealth. However, making tons of money but having profligate habits usually is.

Scope the right city

I traveled all over the world to find the right place to live. I've lived in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Austin and spent substantial amounts of time in other cities. This travel made a couple things clear: One, I am very American and can only live in the US. Two, my personal happiness is higher in places with a slower pace of life. Three, I could get a lot more of what I wanted in a house—and work/spend substantially less to get it—in the South. That's why I bought in Texas. But it's going to be different for every person. DO THIS WORK.

Scope the right part of the right city

Think about picking a neighborhood in Los Angeles from Google Maps having never really been there (a friend of mine did this and ended up on the edge of Inglewood). Yet this is what most people do: they buy the house and not where the house is located. An amazing house in a bad neighborhood? What's the point? Ok, so the neighborhood is going to be really nice in 10 years? Well, you have to live there now. For our houses, I did extensive research—we even stayed in the various neighborhoods on Airbnb before moving so we could get a fuller picture of what living there would be. In doing this, I was able to create very distinct circles of criteria for the real estate agent and substantially reduce the time we spent searching.

Find an agent who you like, trust and most important, actually understands what you want

A lot of people think that a real estate agent is pointless, that they can do it themselves, whatever. Maybe you can but the costs of being wrong here are very expensive—much more than a commission usually. If you don't trust your agent, get another one. If they don't 'get' you, get another one. Even if you do trust and like your agent, get a second opinion when and where you can. Anyway, the point is finding the right agent and clearly communicating what it is you're after—what your needs, wants, expectations are—reduces the chances that you will rush into something that turns out to be a mistake. (Shout out to our agent Donna Wallace!)

If you have to get money from your parents, you're probably not ready

There is a reason that most banks don't let you borrow the entire amount of the house or don't like buyers to borrow the down payment money from another bank (and remember the big problem during the financial crisis was all the people who bought houses with no money down). It's a sign that you either don't have much of a cushion yourself, or that you can't actually afford to buy. It might be nice to get some cash from mom and dad, but you should ask yourself: What does this actually say about my financial situation?

Credit card debt is death

If you have credit card debt, you probably shouldn't even think of buying a house. How can you possibly care about whatever "savings" there are from not renting when every month you throw away 13% interest on a 'loan' from your credit card company? It's probably better to get your own house in order before you actually buy one. Same goes for owners—it's so common that people buy a house and then before it even closes put thousands of dollars in furniture purchases on their credit cards that lenders actually forbid you to do so. They'll cancel the loan if they catch you. In other words, don't be an idiot.

Buying is not the only way to profit from real estate

I don't mean to spend so much time discouraging people from buying but the fear of missing out motivates way too many people to take this enormous financial risk. There are other ways to profit from real estate aside from just buying your own house that take less capital and less commitment. You can buy stock in real estate companies, you can buy REIT index funds, you can set up an account with LendingClub and loan small amounts of money to people buying houses or doing remodels. Before I bought, I had done a fair amount of trust deed lending (high interest loans to home buyers secured by the property). Even if you do buy, it's worth considering the option of buying a less expensive house and diversifying your real estate investments across some of these options so you're not making one enormous bet on a single property in a single city.

Could you afford to buy it in cash?

James Altucher had a decent rule that was influential to me when I was trying to come up with a budget: could you actually pay for the house in cash if push came to shove? Not that you should but could you? Look, lenders and agents are inclined to push you into as much debt as they possibly can. But that's not a great life plan. I wanted to be conservative enough to buy something that I had a reasonable chance of paying off relatively soon. I chose not to pay cash (see: stuff about interest rates below) because I believe there are currently other opportunities worth pursuing, but that could always change.

Put what you can down

Most lenders require at least 10% down. Anything under 20% and they will usually require you to pay mortgage insurance. Being able to put at least 20% down then, not only saves you that unnecessary monthly expense but it significantly reduces the interest you'll pay over the course of a loan. The more you put down, the more you save and the sooner you'll pay it off. A good rule of thumb is to put down what you can reasonably but not so much that you're then strapped for cash or at risk in an emergency.

How long do you see yourself living here?

You have to be honest with yourself. If there is a reasonable chance of moving in the short term, then renting is not 'throwing your money away.' It's a freedom tax. It's an investment in your own mobility.

If you actually want to settle down, a house can work

Just as it's perfectly reasonable to pay a freedom tax, it's perfectly reasonable to stop paying it when you're confident that you either no longer want to put such a premium on that freedom or you know for a fact you're not going anywhere. Think of a professional athlete—one that can be traded or cut at any time probably wants to pay the tax. One that has a long term contract or guarantees and loves the city they're in? Why wouldn't they put down roots and reap some of the benefits of that strategy?

Write a letter

In competitive markets, houses often get more than one offer. Those offers can be radically different from each other in price, in demands, in structure. One thing can help humanize an otherwise complex financial negotiation: A thoughtful letter explaining who you are, why you want the house and why you hope they'll accept your offer. In both houses we bought, my wife and I were technically outbid—but had our offers accepted both times specifically because of the letter we asked our agent to pass along to the sellers. Why? Well, people often have emotional attachments to a house they've lived in or spent a lot of time building. It's not unreasonable that they'd want to see it go to a person they relate to or like (within certain financial windows obviously). But also, closings last for 30-60 days and a lot can go wrong—sellers likely find some assurances and trust in understanding the motivations of the human beings on the other side of the table. Anyway, this little trick works.

Buy the house you need, not want

There will be a ton of people pressuring you to buy more house than you need. Your real estate agent, your friends, your parents. It's one of the reasons I feel like everyone should live in New York before they buy a house. It gives you a very real sense of what you actually need in life. I remember walking into a 1,000 square foot house after living in a studio in Manhattan and saying: "What would we do with all this space?"

Or rather: Live in less than you can afford

A huge part of the reason that ownership seems so outlandish to people is that their tastes are ridiculous. They're overpaying for their apartment and rationalizing not buying by saying it would be too expensive to buy something similar. Meanwhile, an adjustment in our needs/wants can create real opportunities. This is especially true when you stop caring about impressing other people, meaningless status symbols like which neighborhood is cool or not and actually thinking about what you truly enjoy and want. "Wealth" is when you can afford to buy and do what you want—so yes you can make lots and lots of money and be able to have everything OR you can just figure out what is important to you.

Everything you see on HGTV is wrong and dangerous

That's a little bit of exaggeration but it's a good rule. Most of the people you see on it make more money selling people information about how to flip houses than they do actually flipping them. Most of the buyers you see on these shows are laughably stupid ('Oh, I didn't like that house because of the paint.' DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW CHEAP PAINT IS?).' Worse, most of the shows are fake too. Did you know that to be on House Hunters you have to have already bought your house? That's right, all of it is really bad pretend shopping.

If you haven't lived on your own before, maybe don't buy a house right away

The idea of living with your parents until you can buy a house seems so preposterously immature to me (and worse it's one of those things that sounds responsible). First, if you can't live on your own and afford to save money, it's worth considering whether you really can afford a house. More important, if you've never lived on your own before, how on earth will you know what you actually want or need in a house? I'm glad to have lived in apartments, guest houses, lofts, studios, nice neighborhoods, gentrified neighborhoods, a big city, a condo, etc etc. You might save money living with Mom and Dad, but that will all be for naught if you end up purchasing something that makes you miserable.

Put your taste to good use

I moved in Downtown LA right at the beginning of its revitalization. I watched as New Orleans underwent a resurgence while I lived there. Young people are often part of emigration trends—what they like, what areas they're attracted to and their very presence can change and improve whole cities. So think about what your friends are doing, what trends you might be at the forefront of, and use that to your advantage. I got a little tired of essentially picking these stocks for free—raising the property values for the benefits of landlords instead of myself. When I was doing my research on Austin, I was confident that the same pattern was repeating itself and was part of why we finally bought. The East Side where our first house is has changed dramatically in two years—and so far been a very profitable decision. The same taste advantages apply to the house itself. If you have a good sense of what's cool, what's becoming popular, and so on—these are advantages over say a 40 year old divorcee with kids looking for a track home. You're able to see what the market may currently undervalue or what may be valuable in the future.

Happy wife, happy life (or whatever rhymes with spouse)

If you're not living alone, it can be very easy to make the mistake of buying a house that one of the partners is not fully happy with. This is a HUGE deal and there are almost no financial scenarios that would justify it. Getting a good deal vs fighting all the time? Which trade would you take? A house is not a car, it's not a sweater or where you're going to dinner tonight. Both people have to be fully and totally happy with it. Do not push past resistance. Listen to it.

Avoid HOA fees as much as possible

This is my opinion and other people are going to disagree with me but I think buying a house with significant Home Owners Association Dues—for the community pool, for a doorman, for lawn care—is absolutely insane. A large part of making the math work on a house is the equity you get. And paying $400-500 a month for a bunch of stuff you don't use substantially raises your monthly costs for very little in return (ask your future neighbors in the subdivision or complex: Have they ever used the community pool?). For some perspective, borrowing an extra $100k costs about $475 in interest and principle…so why not just buy a better house somewhere? (Note: do the math though—sometimes these dues include stuff like insurance or other amenities you were going to pay for anyway and actually do so at a discount.)

A commute costs money too

In most cases, the further you get from town the cheaper prices are. But this is not free money. Your time has value. The math is right there: What do you make per hour? Ok, now what will this 30 or 40 minute compute cost in real dollars over the lifetime of living there? Being isolated can also mean lost opportunities. Our farm has a 30 minute commute. Even though I work from home a lot, my wife does not. So we very seriously did this math. It turns out we actually both enjoy the drive and use it as a time to handle phone calls, listen to podcasts, decompress and so on. Being somewhat isolated has improved our relationship and cut out distractions. A wealthy friend of mine found his dream home but due to Los Angeles traffic would have needed to lose an hour driving each way. He took the drastic step of hiring a driver so he could be productive during that time (a lot of companies do this for their CEO for the same reason). Make the calculation for yourself.

Buying a house when you're self-employed is a nightmare

I bought our first house when I had a day job and it was smooth and seamless. When we did it for the second time after I'd gone to work for myself—even though I made a lot more money—it was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. It was like a scene out of Kafka's The Trial. Stuff to be aware of if you're self-employed: Writing expenses off on your taxes is a perk of being self-employed…but it decreases your income in the eyes of a lender. Make sure your taxes and paperwork on your self-employed or freelance income is in order (usually you need three years of consistent payments from the same sources). If you have two incomes, try to see if you can get by solely on the salary. For a lot of stupid reasons, lenders care a lot more about monthly income than they do about how much you actually have or make.

It's not the mortgage amount that matters

People get misled by thinking how little the house costs (because the home price divided up in 360 payments can seem small). You have to think of the whole payment: Mortgage + taxes + insurance + average bills. It can still be much lower than renting, but if you don't do this math in advance, you're in for a very rude awakening you probably can't afford.

Just because you can change something, doesn't mean you should

As a renter, there are so many things you never think twice about: stuff like paint, the way a bathroom is laid out, the plants in the yard. In many ways, this eliminates a lot of unnecessary choices from your life. When you become an owner, suddenly you can change these things. It's usually better to restrain this impulse—unless you want to fall down an endless rabbit hole of expenses (which is why the math on buying doesn't work out for a lot of people). If you are going to remodel or change a house, it's better to focus on things that either a) substantially increase the resale value b) substantially improve your quality of life on a day to day basis.

A house doesn't have to be a money losing proposition

This is one of the biggest parts missing from almost all the analysis of buying a home. The first year I bought my house, we made $8,000 renting it on Airbnb, while living in it (we travel a fair amount for work). The second year, we made $11,000. This year having moved out about halfway through, we'll make closer to $25,000 (well above the entire mortgage). Also picking to live in a state with no income tax, the savings nearly pay for the mortgage. My wife also likes to watch dogs on Dogvacay, which is income of roughly $500 per month and would never be allowed by a landlord. Our house now has an agricultural tax exemption, which not only lowers the taxes by more than half, but presents other money making opportunities.

Maintaining a house is work, but nice work

You'll see a lot of people discourage home ownership 'because it's expensive and time consuming to maintain a house.' And while that can be true, I think it misses the point. I had long been terrified of supposedly pointless things like taking care of a lawn or maintaining a pool. First off, it's your house—you can decide to run and maintain it however you like. Second, as someone who works too much, I've actually found the somewhat trivial tasks of home ownership to be therapeutic. I like doing them myself, even though I could probably pay someone to. It's much less stressful than my job so the work can be nice.

Do not check Zillow, especially after you buy

If you want a surefire way for misery, sign up for Zillow price alert emails which update you weekly of their algorithm's valuation of your home. For starters, it is one of the dumbest and least reliable computer algorithms in the world and is basically completely incapable of even the slightest nuance (and property is all about nuance). Due to a complicated mix up, we had three separate independent appraisals done on our most recent house over the span of a week. All of them came within $10,000 of each other…Zillow's 'real time' algorithm thinks the house is worth less than half the amount the house sold for! Yeah ok. Second, you're not a day trader, so what the hell do you care if it goes up one minute or the next? A house is a long term bet and vehicle for your money.

Pay what you can, as you can

Every little bit that goes towards your mortgage amounts to substantial savings over the course of a 15 or 30 year loan (not pure savings, but reduced interest payments). Can you afford to throw an extra $100 a month towards the principle? Get a bonus at work—throw part of it towards your principle.

Low interest rate + inflation is your friend

One of the calculations that a lot of people skip over when they pompously advise people against buying has to do with some of the tax and currency benefits of buying. So first off, the interest you pay on a home loan is tax free. That's not a savings exactly, but it does reduce the real costs of that money. The other thing people miss is that we're at a point where interest rates and inflation while not exactly the same, are surprisingly close. Today, mortgage interest rates are below 4%, meanwhile inflation in 2014 was at 1.6% percent per year. Meaning essentially, that the difference between what someone pays for their house at closing and what that money is actually worth in 15 or 30 years is substantially different—in their favor ($300,000 with 30 years inflation at 2% equals $166,000). You should still pay off what you can, when you can but that difference does reduce the actual interest costs.

Keep an emergency mortgage fund

It’s not just about saving up to buy a house, but also saving for the house you already have. Personally, I set up an account (which automatically transfers each week) to keep a balance of at least six months of our monthly mortgage. Why? Because I know that if my wife and I both lost our jobs and all our sources of income, we would have at least six months in our house—in addition to any other savings we have—to turn things around. That's very comforting.

Finally: Have and stick to a plan

If there was one theme running through all this advice it would be: don't just blindly do something as big as owning a house because it’s what you're 'supposed' to do. In fact, it's probably this attitude that accounts for a huge margin of the poorly made decisions that skew the math on home ownership. Keeping up with the Joneses? That's the sickness that happens when you don't have a plan, or you ignore the one that you sketched out.

Meanwhile, people who have plans and priorities do fine—or better than fine. For me, the goal was to start with something small, pay it down quickly and eventually be able to move into something larger while I turned the first property into a source of cash flow. That's essentially exactly what happened—a little sooner than expected. If it hadn't, I'd still have been fine because I was conservative, and systematized and disciplined in my choices up to that point.

So: Buying a house in your 20s is more than possible. The Millennial Generation is perfectly disposed to buying a house if they are so inclined. In fact, all the changes in technology and the sharing economy and a rise in entrepreneurship might make buying a home make more sense than it ever did before. But that's up to you.

Good luck. TC mark