Thought Catalog


10 Things I Wish Every Guy Who ‘Doesn’t Want A Relationship’ Understood

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 08:00 PM PST

wundervisuals
wundervisuals

1. Just because you deny someone a title, doesn’t mean you can force them not to feel anything. There’s a reason “actions speak louder than words” is a cliche, it’s because our actions belie our intentions — even when we don’t want them to. The truth is that you if act like a boyfriend to someone, you can’t be surprised or upset when they develop boyfriend-girlfriend feelings for you, even if you use all the words in the world to tell them not to.

2. Not wanting to define a relationship doesn’t make you “chill” — not being afraid of having one does. There’s no shortage of guys who say they “don’t do drama” in one breathe and then lead a girl on into what absolutely inevitably becomes a dramatic situation with the next. Laid back relationships require communication — when you’re honest with someone with your words and actions there’s no extra work required to be on the same page: no guessing what a vague text message means, no waiting to text them back to seem less into it. You just get to live your life the way you want to and enjoy someone else’s company on your terms.

3. No, she’s probably not “in love” with you. Guys who “don’t do relationships” all have this standard issue fear that every girl in the world is simultaneously falling in love with them and trying to trick them into marriage because you like, made eye contact once. It’s gross. If you’re actually hanging out/hooking up with a girl and she is affectionate, realize that’s a totally normal way for a human to act and stop putting it on her to be either a robot or a crazy girl.

4. Some girls just like to hook up too, and believe it or not they are capable of being honest about their feelings. If she says she is good, believe her.

5. If you’re going to kick girls out of your bed, be upfront about it. If you hate cuddling and want people to get out of your bed ASAP, tell people this before you have sex with them. Yeah, you might get laid less but cuddling (yes, even when you don’t know/care about the person that much) is part of what makes sex good. We’re allowed to know it’s going to be bad sex before committing to the deed.

6. You seriously need to stop comparing your life to ‘That Awkward Moment.’ In case you didn’t notice all those guys decided they were happier in relationships at the end of that movie.

7. Men benefit from relationships more than women. When men get into relationships they gain something they don’t already have: emotional support. Women already get that every day from their female friends. What women gain from relationships is regular sex, which is pretty easy for us to find on our own.

8. You’re not ‘brooding’ and special, you’re probably just lazy. I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve met in my 20’s who each thought they were tortured and emotionally damaged in their own special snowflake way. The truth is that everyone’s life is hard. That’s just how it is. Adults figure out how to get up and deal with their emotional issues instead of making it into some kind of makeshift personality that stunts their growth forever.

9. You don’t get an award for being the one who cares less. Cool, you’re the one that cares less. I’m glad that you feel so desirable and in demand. If you really need a parade thrown in your honor though, consider whether you really need her less than she needs you.

10. It’s totally FINE to not want a relationship. Focus on building a career, improving your health, traveling — whatever — DO YOU. Not every girl wants a relationship either. The truth is no one really cares that you’re taking time to do what you need to do. But when it starts to affect other people because by “I don’t want a relationship” you really mean “I want a relationship but without doing any work of any kind” — that’s fucked up. You’re lying to yourself and mistreating people. Do better. TC mark

7 Labels Happy People Never Use To Define Themselves

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

sanjamarusic
sanjamarusic


1. Do not be defined by how big or how small your house is
, or by how many or how little cars you have. You are more than the size of your house. You are someone else's home. You are more than the number or price of your rides. Someone who sincerely loves you will never care at all of what material things you have.

2. Do not be defined by how much or how little amount of money is in your pocket or bank account. You are someone else's treasure. You are someone else's prized possession. Do not let money bring you pride. When you're left with none, you'll see who truly cares for you, and who will never leave your side.

3. Do not be defined by how many or how few the stamps your passport has or the number of countries you have visited. You are more. You are a soul sewn together by experiences. You are a foreign language someone badly wants to get to know. You are a collection of memories worth sharing over and over again.

4. Do not be defined by the brand of the clothes you wear or by how you clothe yourself. You are more than how you look on the outside. Choose to be loved by the nakedness of your heart and mind and not by #ootd's. You will find the realest and greatest love in your simplicity, and in your most unfashionable self.

5. Do not be defined by how dark or how light your skin is, or by the size of your clothes and how much you weigh.
Beauty is beyond color and weight. Who you are is skin deep. Fair, white, dark, thin, curvy, or whatever, these are mere labels. We may look different from each other, but we're beautiful all together.

6. Do not be defined by how many or how little likes you gain from your Instagram or profile photos. You are more than the number of your likes and followers. These numbers should not define your security and your confidence. You've got a bigger world who truly loves you outside the different social media channels.

7. Lastly, do not be defined by the mess and mistakes you had in your past. You are more than these. Someone sees your mess as a message. You can rise from your past and show the world the beauty in your scars. Every waking day's a new shot at life, another chance to give your life a new light.

Treasures, fame, popularity, status, and other temporal things aren't forever. Do not allow yourself to be defined by something that would not last. It might leave you an emptiness that's hard to fill in. Labels will not affect and define you unless you let them. Free yourself.

When you feel pressured to conform to be accepted, take a pause and tell yourself this, 'I am far greater than my labels.' TC mark

10 Things That Really Suck About Being A Sex Worker

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:00 PM PST

Mayer George
Mayer George

Being a sex worker can be a blast. Easy money that’s fun to make. Partying for a living. Getting a great workout, and sometimes even having great sex on the job. Going to great restaurants and staying at nice hotels on someone else’s dime. Meeting lots of cool people and making them feel great.

Fulfilling clients’ fantasies while escaping your own troubles. Having the opportunity to travel all over the country and even the world, while remaining gainfully employed and recouping any costs incurred. 

One of the biggest perks is a high-earning to time expended ratio. Students, single moms and aspiring artists can literally buy themselves time to live the other aspects of their lives, such as supporting dependents and pursuing higher education.

Writing has always been my greatest talent, and I have the sensitive writer’s temperament. Stripping and escorting have helped inspire and sustain my writing, but they’ve also exposed me to genuinely heartbreaking things.

Sure, there are things about stripping and escorting that irritate me — people not tipping at the stage when I’m working the pole hard, Johns canceling appointments last minute — but then there are things that have an emotional impact on me.

Here are the ten most heartbreaking aspects of being a sex worker.

1. We see clients (mainly men) at their most vulnerable.

Guys really spill their guts to you and it can be quite draining. Sometimes you just smile and nod at inane rambling, but other times the conversation gets pretty damn real. You see guys who are mentally disturbed, addicts and physically disabled. Most of all, you see guys who want to vent about their marriage issues or drink their pain away, using you as an enabler.

2. Law enforcement treats murdered or raped sex workers as sub-human.

There’s a degrading expression among cops. “No humans involved” is utilized when a murder victim is a sex worker, especially a trans woman of color. We don’t get the Natalee Holloway media treatment if we go missing and crimes where we are victimized only make the news when someone like Eliot Spitzer, Charlie Sheen, or an intriguing serial killer are involved with us.

3. Feminists don’t have our backs and drown out our voices with their own.

I’m a bit sick of Tina Fey being lauded as a feminist when she thrives on jokes that shame and dehumanize sex workers. If you watch 30 Rock or read Bossypants from a sex workers’ point-of-view, you’d be shocked at how little she thinks of us. Other feminists who hold higher degrees and teach at prestigious institutions have gotten the general public, federal government, and chief executive officer himself on board with the conflation of sex trafficking and consensual sex work.

You’ve noticed what a trendy topic sex trafficking (modern slavery) is, right? It’s really hit the mainstream, but feminists, law enforcement, and federal lawmakers don’t have a damn clue how to actually distinguish voluntary sex workers from exploited trafficking victims. Instead, they’re letting the bad apples make it harder for the rest of us to do things such as bank and avoid housing discrimination.

4. We are disenfranchised from mainstream society.

Chase Bank started shutting down the accounts of sex workers last year and made news for declining to do business with porn stars, whose work is legal. My two Chase accounts could be closed at any moment without explanation, but it’s well known that that bank is targeting sex workers.

Sex workers have used things like Paypal, Bitcoin, GreenDot Cards, MoneyPaks and more to obtain deposits from clients, and law enforcement keeps catching on to us and shutting down various resources. The closure of the Craiglist adult section, plus websites like MyRedbook.com (where sex workers could advertise), has forced some of us onto the streets to survive.

Federal authorities are portraying these moves as ways to protect underage sex trafficking victims and bust money-laundering pimps, but they’re endangering consenting adult sex workers in the process. This kind of discrimination is why a lot of girls, including myself for a time, literally live out of hotels.

5. We will forever be defined by our time as sex workers.

I’m not fame-obsessed like most Americans. I don’t care about celebrities and I don’t care to become one. However, now that I’ve worked — not only as a stripper, but as a full-blown hooker — I’m terrified of becoming a successful writer or public figure. I’m worried that a single Tweet or viral blog post could put me under the microscope and do me in.

Aside from careers in entertainment, where a sex worker’s past isn’t such a big deal, our career options can be severely limited. People like Diablo Cody are burdened with having to forever field interview questions about stripping. The Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, who was briefly an escort, is also burdened with having to explain that part of her life, using another stigmatized subject (mental health) as a significant alibi.

6. We watch people do themselves in with drug addictions.

You meet a great deal of proud recovering alcoholics and addicts as a sex worker, but you also meet tons of clients and colleagues looking for an enabler or looking for a place to drink or do drugs with someone. I lost one stripper friend to a heroin overdose, and she had a somewhat rapid unraveling. Her first relapse was booze, and the needle soon followed.

Hearing girls in the dressing room boast about being off “H” for a few days was depressing to watch, and so was seeing girls zoned out of their mind on Xanax or booze, just moving about like numb zombies. I abuse Adderall for stripping and can act strung out, but I’ll see people taking higher stakes chances with their lives.

I’ve tried to help out strippers who were living out of hotels, offering them accommodations with me, offering to loan them the house free for the night, or their Extended Stay room for the night. It’s draining and in vain to try and help people who won’t help themselves.

7. We lead double lives and have to lie all the time.

There are some very “out” and proud prostitutes, while others have been outed against their will. Lying is both exhausting and something that doesn’t come easily. I gloss over discussions of work with my family and steer conversation ASAP toward my hobbies: volunteering, pop culture consumption, and inquiries about other family members.

When it comes to dating, I’ve disclosed to several men that I stripped (and even met some at the clubs), but I never disclosed being an escort to any guy. Not getting really serious with guys is a defense mechanism; I fear domestic violence or retribution like online shaming. On a day to day basis, I’m always fudging my work situation a bit, sometimes in front of people who know the truth.

These days, I’ve made progress proving to my family that my mental health has improved and is being better managed; however, it’s hard to have the weight of hypocrisy on my shoulders lying about my main source of income.

8. There’s rampant racism.

There is tremendous pressure for escorts to lower their price points and sell themselves short, thanks to the internet keeping prices so “competitive” like it does for other industries. Minority women are often under more pressure to resort to this than their white counterparts.

When I work at the strip club, it seems like guys consider the minority girls more “attainable” if they’re thinking strictly with their dick. On the flip side, tons of white escorts have “No Blacks Allowed” policies, in the same way many escorts don’t “see” men under 30. While I’m all about sex workers setting and maintaining their own boundaries, having a blanket “No Blacks Allowed” policy seems a tad overzealous.

I admit I’m guilty of racism at times. I too often ignore black customers at the strip club, even when there are no other customers or I’ve already tried all the others. I’ll sometimes roll my eyes when young minority men get bottle service and make it rain on the big booty girl, while not tipping me a single dollar for hanging upside down on a 20-foot pole.

9. People feel entitled to our bodies outside of respectful parameters.

I refuse to work at full-nude strip clubs and was reminded why the other night. Both of my first two lap dance recipients tried to sneak their hands under my thong. There are a ton of guys out there who think buying a $20 lap dance entitles them to finger-f*ck us, suck our tits, whip their dicks out, or even get a quick blowjob or handjob.

Before switching to escorting, I remember a guy busting a nut after two lap dances and thinking to myself, “How is getting a guy off for $40 any better than turning a cheap trick? If I’m going to get guys off, I should charge what an intellectual college grad deserves.”

All sex workers have different boundaries, but guys seem to find out what they are by crossing them instead of asking first. As a whore, I provide companionship with a side of mostly vanilla sex acts for money. If a client forces anal sex on me, that’s a form of rape. If he forces sex without a condom on me, that’s a form of rape. If he threatens to write a bad review about me if I don’t perform a certain sex act or forego a condom, that’s a form of rape.

I’m able to use the internet to weed out bad guys, but this behavior knows no class or race.

10. There’s constant cyber-bullying.

The site TheEroticReview.com is my arch-nemesis. Since I began escorting in 2010, that site has gotten even worse at bullying escorts into compromising our boundaries, namely whether or not we allow reviews, and how we let the threat of bad reviews impact our appointments, our price points, and our-self esteem.

To earn a 10/10 on “performance,” unsafe sex is required. The term “BBBJ” (bareback blow job, i.e. condomless) is extremely in demand, and that already sucks. But now, clients can report when girls allow “BBFS” (bareback full service, as in condomless sex, perhaps even condomless anal sex).

Girls who are naive, uneducated or rely on sites like these for free advertising pander to these assh*les, and escort agencies are the worst perpetrators. The guys who pay less expect more, and they bitch and moan when they don’t get it. The guys who pay more tend to be more discreet.

I’ve worked with four agencies, all female-owned, and found that the owners are invariably in it for themselves, which means offering competitive prices and catering to review board culture. Thankfully, my agency work has never compromised my independent brand. TC mark

This post originally appeared at YourTango.

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17 Surprisingly Smart Horror Movies That Intelligent Horror Fans Can’t Get Enough Of

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 05:00 PM PST

The Shining

The Shining
The Shining

The Shining is a movie so smart there are other movies about how many philosophical layers are in it. Was Jack Torrence haunted by the ghosts of of the Overlook hotel — or was his mental health slipping as a result of cabin fever? Was he crazy, or could that happen to any of us. And then there’s the meaning behind some of Kubrick’s directorial decisions to think about.

Let The Right One In (2008)

Let The Right One In
Let The Right One In

Don’t let the subtitles lure you into watching the American remake. This Swedish film about friendship and murder is perfect in it’s original incarnation. You won’t think kids are so innocent afterwards.

Triangle

Triangle
Triangle

Triangle isn’t the right kind of movie to watch if you aren’t going to fully pay attention to it. You can’t play on your phone for awhile and then ask whoever you’re watching with to catch you up. A bunch of friends are boating (in the Bermuda Triangle — get it?) when some pretty strange shit starts happening, and for the rest of the movie, it keeps getting weirder.

Seven

Seven
Seven

David Fincher’s psychological thriller holds up 20 years later. Who is John Doe and what could possibly motivate him to pull of such a sick series of murders?

The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling
The Changeling

The Changeling is an intense (and scary) you know it’s based on a real life mystery. Transport yourself to a creepy old Victorian mansion and see if you can solve it.

Wicker Man (1973)

Wicker Man
Wicker Man

Please don’t watch the American remake with Nic Cage (lol). This British classic is a classic for a reason: it’s weird and terrifying and has a very juicy twist ending.

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob's Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder

There should be a support group for people who snuck a VHS of Jacob’s Ladder into a slumber party when they were a kid and it ruined their childhood.

Candyman

Candyman
Candyman

In addition to being absolutely terrifying, Candyman also contains some smart social commentary. What’s easy to pass off as a silly urban legend, the tale of the Candyman, is actually one part history and one part supernatural.

Suspiria

Suspiria
Suspiria

Suspiria is one of those movies that separates casual horror fans from diehards — if you don’t know and love it, you’re not a diehard.

Session 9

Session 9
Session 9

If you can figure out the twist in this movie before it happens, you’re way smarter than most people. The ending aside, the whole movie is brilliant in how creepy it manages to be. Even after it’s all over and the lights are on, Session 9 will linger in your head for a long time.

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead

It takes smart writing to make a movie about dumb characters seem intelligent. Shaun of the Dead pokes fun at all the overdone tropes in the horror genre. We also get a glimpse of a truth often avoided by zombie films — even after the zombie apocalypse our dumb human relationship drama goes on.

Funny Games

Funny Games
Funny Games

This is one American remake that is really decent and stays extremely to the original. Funny Games is about the sheer terror of a pair of killers without any motive at all.

Saw

Saw
Saw

Say what you will about the neverending Saw franchise, the first one was just so original. We hadn’t seen anything like this before.

The Vanishing (1988)

The Vanishing
The Vanishing

You absolutely cannot watch the American remake before you have seen the original The Vanishing. Even though Sandra Bullock and Keifer Sutherland are in it. It’s universally revered among smart horror fans for being one of the most intense and unsettling movies of all time.

The Others

The Others
The Others

A common theme among the “smart” horror movies is they play with epistemology — what is reality? Do we know “what’s real”? Are the lives of the Stewart family real, or those of The Others?

American Psycho

American Psycho
American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis is such an insanely good writer and this story is awesomely fucked up. If you haven’t read the book, I strongly urge you to do so, even if you’ve already seen the film.

Scream

Scream
Scream

The Scream series is consistently underrated for being a cliche horror movie series when the reality is it’s a horror movie series about cliche horror movie series. It’s meta. TC mark

This Is The Problem With Changing Yourself To Find Love

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / IgorSun
Twenty20 / IgorSun

Should you change to find true love? There is so much conflicting advice out there about whether or not it is right to spiff yourself up to attract someone into your life. It's a tough dilemma because on one hand you don't want to bait and switch yourself to a bad relationship, on the other, you want someone to be deeply and spiritually connected to who you actually are.

Whether you should change to attract ‘The One’ depends on whether you're living what you deem to be your best life.

Are you skipping around every day, thrilled to be living your fabulous life?

Do you look the best that you can given your genetics and environment? Do you take care of yourself emotionally AND physically? Do you feel great about yourself? Do you hate your job, living situation or appearance? Do you feel deep down that you would like to change for you?

Deep down, only you can say whether you are living your best life. I'd be willing to bet that like most of us (me definitely included) you have some days which are better than others. Sometimes you feel super put together and ready to take on the world. You have other days where you're looking and smelling wonderful but you're in an absolutely foul mood.

Sometimes your yoga pants are just what you need to feel happy and content. Sometimes it's time to bring out the fat jeans and suck it in because that's all there is to do. This is all human.

Often, dating authors wax on and on about trying to turn yourself into a fashion plate to meet someone. They talk about losing weight, going to the gym, getting a makeover, dressing differently.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "if I don't look or act a certain way, I'll never meet anyone?" it's this feeling that drives so many people over the edge. It's easy to feel like you'll never get a boyfriend or succeed in a relationship if you don't look and act a certain way.

On the other hand, women often get really upset about the whole "change to meet a man idea" and refuse to do basic self care with the excuse that "he'll love me for who I am." That isn't really fair either. Are you taking care of yourself and feeling good? Are you doing the emotional work necessary to allow a man to get close to you and want to stay close? No, it's all about you.

I'm not going to pat your butt and tell you that you're doing a great job if you aren't. That isn't my style and I deeply believe that I owe you better.

If you feel like you are absolutely living your best life, there is nothing you are unhappy with and you have just not met the right person, wonderful job.

Shine on, you crazy diamond. For everyone else who is not quite where they want to be, I want to impress upon you the idea that like attracts like. You will only gain the kind of amazing relationship you are looking for when you commit yourself to being amazing in each and every way you can.

If you are having more good days than bad and have committed yourself to working on things you love and crafting a lifestyle that you are thrilled about, I commend you. If things are still a work in progress but you have made the strong statement of self care necessary to live your dream life, I commend you.

If you haven't started yet, but are sitting around bemoaning the fact that prince charming isn't outside beating your door down, I must ask, why?

If you are interested in attracting someone amazing in your life, you must be someone amazing. I know the seeds are in there, but it's important to embark upon the journey, knowing that something better awaits you which you will gain whether you remain single or not. In order to get your dream relationship, you must lay the groundwork so that the person who you attract isn't forced to compromise.

You must raise your standards for yourself. Remember that you must aspire to become someone elses dream as well. This isn't about changing your hairstyle or sweating around the gym. It's about gaining the ability to be happy and confident about where you are with your life in this moment.

Starting now, go out and start something that will make you a more well rounded, fit, beautiful or knowledgeable person. If you need to make some life changes to make this easier to do, the time is now. There is nothing to lose by aspiring to live more of the life of your dreams, so start now. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Attract The One.

PSA: Memories Consist Of What You Actually Remember

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 03:07 PM PST

Twenty20 / acsmercado
Twenty20 / acsmercado

It's a Friday! Cue the beer mug emojis and frantic group texts about tonight's plans. Today's the day you've been waiting for, right? Two for one margs at the Mexican place, Karaoke night at the bar, or that house party at so-and-so's. You're beyond ready to drink. Since noon you've been day dreaming about those jello shots marinating in the back of your fridge and whether or not you'll add whipped cream on top. Yep, it's time.

We've all been there. Counting down the hours until we're free from school and work and human obligations. Mentally going through our closets for the cutest turn-up outfit. Planning out when, exactly, we will shower, eat dinner, go to the liquor store, and pregame before the shenanigans.

We're pumped to throw back shots, chase our mixed drinks with more mixed drinks, and dance our a$$ses off, right? Here's the thing about partying, though: it's only fun if you actually remember. Okay. Okay. Major buzzkill. But seriously…if you wake up still in your clothes from last night, makeup smeared everywhere, and an earth-shattering headache with no recollection of anything from the night before…did you really have fun?

Your body is a combo of bruised, bleeding, and semi-dying as you scroll through yesterday's Snapstories trying to piece together your night. You call your BFF to ask if she has your keys. She doesn't. Then you come across the drunk texts. Did you seriously say that?? Dear God.

Here's the thing about partying, though: it's only fun if you actually remember.

But last night was fun…right? Right?! At 2AM you were fifteen beers in, stumbling around, and having a freaking awesome time…supposedly. But were you really? Everyone else was, as they recorded your top-of-your-lungs-and-off-key singing. But you were blacked out. Those aren't even your memories. You can't tell those stories, or even claim them. Sure, that was you making snow angels in your skivvies…but you don't actually remember doing that, or anything else, bad or good. Yeah, that gorgeous guy you supposedly made out with? No recollection. Damn. Better luck next time.

So what's the point? (That's the real question.) We're all dying for the weekend, ready to toss some back and get a little rowdy. But is it really that awesome of a Friday if we don't even remember it? I say no. Freaking No with a capital ‘N’.

Sure, it's great to get drunk. Don't get me wrong. But waking up on a random couch with puke in your hair and no idea how you got home? Doing something absolutely hilarious and not even having street cred because you can’t remember? Getting in a fight with your BFF over who knows what and not knowing how to fix it? Kissing the love of your life and not even remembering it?!!!?? That's not fun.

Your partying years are the best years, right? Your pre-college to just-out-of-college-years. (AKA forever) These are the days you're supposed to have shenanigans and memories with the people you love. You're supposed to have those unforgettable nights. (Keyword: UNforgettable). So, uh, PSA: You can't have any of those awesome, forever-with-you memories if you black out. Memories consist of what you actually remember. (Duh.)

So by all means, get drunk, get crazy, live it up. It’s a Friday, after all. But if you want to cherish the time spent with people you care about and actually have a good time you can laugh about the next morning, maybe don't take that tenth shot of tequila at 3AM. Or shotgun that twelfth beer. Or do a case race with the dude who drinks like a fish. Just lookin’ out. TC mark

23 Women Describe Their Worst Kiss Ever

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 03:00 PM PST

mailenylopez92
mailenylopez92

1. his breath was so rank—I'm talking demons dancing on his tongue rank

"The worst kiss I experienced was with a guy I was talking to in my freshman year of college. Just thinking about it makes me frown. This guy had the nerve to kiss me when his breath was so rank—I'm talking demons dancing on his tongue rank. It was that bad. After he kissed me I looked at him and asked if he threw up, he said no."

—India

2. he tried to eat my face

"Ugh. There was one guy in high school who tried to, for lack of a better description, ‘eat’ my face. It’s like he forgot I had lips. If I want a tongue bath, I’ll snuggle with my dog, thanks."

—Michelle

3. I felt like I was making out with my kneecap

"Kissing a man with 0 lips: I felt like I was making out with my kneecap."

—Patti

4. I think my body was trying to fight him off like an antibiotic

"It wasn't really a "mutual" kiss. For some reason, this guy decided to steal one from me. He missed my entire mouth, kissed my face, and my left cheek started to swell. I think my body was trying to fight him off, like a f-cking antibiotic."

—Richardine

5. I swallowed a lot of his spit

"The worst kiss I had was when I kissed a guy I was talking to, and I swallowed a lot of his spit. I don't like spit so it was terrible for me."

—Sicarah

6. It was like someone jammed a big slimy erect tuna in my mouth

"I was hanging out with my male best mate from math camp at his house listening to G Love and the Special Sauce, drinking and doing math problems (yes, it is sad, I know, but he was smart and had cool taste in music and became an architect). When he suggested having a drink (whilst being 15 years old and doing math problems) I knew something would happen. We wound up dancing around like idiots and he finally plucked up the courage to kiss me. We had been close friends for a while so it should have been good. It was like someone jammed a big slimy erect tuna in my mouth and it was flapping around wildly, trying to escape through the back of my head, my cheeks, anywhere. And like the tuna was on both crystal meth and LSD and had a really violent disposition to start with. It was absolutely horrible and it didn’t get any better."

—Melody

7. my face felt crusty from all his dried-up drool

"My WORST kiss, was with a boy I didn’t even like. He shoved his lips on mine and swirled his tongue around my mouth. He literally sucked on my face, too the point were my face felt crusty from all his dried-up drool. It was disgusting and I had to push him off of me. Ugh!"

—Samantha

8. he started licking the entire bottom of my face

"This one time, a guy and I went into a closet at a party and started kissing. His tongue was so long and he didn’t know how to control it so he started licking the entire bottom of my face. I still get chills thinking about it. It was so disgusting. I pulled away and he was like, ‘Why did we stop?’ SERIOUSLY?! You just slobbered all over my face. I don’t want anymore."

—Dara

9. he shoved his tongue so far down my throat that I started choking

"I recently went out with a seemingly cool, normal dude. When he kissed me, he shoved his tongue so far down my throat that I started choking. He either didn’t notice, or didn’t care. And his mouth tasted like he had smoked a pack of cigarettes AND not brushed his teeth for two days. So gross!"

—Mandy

10. he purposely spit beef jerky into my mouth

"I was at my boyfriend's house one night, and he offered me some beef jerky. I politely refused to try it. He pretended not to care and finished his jerky about an hour before I left. When I got up to leave, he walked me to the door and started to kiss me goodbye. Turns out he'd saved a mouthful of jerky in his cheek, and he purposely spit it into my mouth so I 'had to try it.' Yeah."

—Marisa

11. the single grossest thing I’ve ever experienced

"Once I was making out with a guy at a school dance (so, already bad) and he was getting so tongue-sy that his gum went into my mouth and then back into his. It was the single grossest thing I’ve ever experienced."

—Jess

12. So. Did Not. Want. That.

"When I was in college, a professor kissed me. A much, much older (and frankly, fairly unattractive) professor. When I pulled away and told him to stop, he said, “I thought you wanted me to do it.” So. Did Not. Want. That."

—Kati

13. Bad enough that I broke up with him a day later…or was it hours later?

"I remember when I had my first kiss with my first boyfriend in high school. It was awful; like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with ketchup sandwich awful. No, like raw egg with chocolate milk nasty. Okay, maybe not that bad. But it was bad. Bad enough that I broke up with him a day later…or was it hours later? I can't remember….It was one of those kisses in which you had to turn and wipe your mouth and half of both your cheeks on the back of your hand while pretending you didn't really just do that. Yeah, bet I'm not the only one who has had that. I ran up the stairs still wiping and utterly disgusted."

—Mahjabeen

14. still makes me cringe

"The worst kiss I have ever been party to still makes me cringe when I think back on it. The gentleman seemed to think utilizing techniques typically reserved for going down on a woman would enhance the moment. It did not."

—Catherine

15. it was this vacuum cleaner of a kiss where he literally Hoovered all the spit out of my mouth

"My worst kiss was more than twenty years ago and it still stands out in my mind. I was ‘dating’ this fellow marching band geek who had asked me to go to Homecoming with him. I put ‘dating’ in quotes since we hadn't actually gone on a date yet—Homecoming was going to be it. But we saw each other all the time and hung out, and I don't know about you, but that's pretty much what it looked like to date when you were 15. Anyway! One day before practice, he kissed me in the band room. I certainly hadn't kissed many people at this point, but I'm not sure he had kissed any—it was this vacuum cleaner of a kiss where he literally Hoovered all the spit out of my mouth. I was parched afterwards!"

—Belle

16. He’d just roll his tongue around in a circular motion

"I broke up with the first boyfriend I ever kissed because of how awful his kissing was. He’d just roll his tongue around in a circular motion and even though I was only 12 I knew that was not kosher! I couldn’t tell him that was the reason, because I actually had some sensitivity to people’s feelings back then…"

—Millie

17. Sloppy with too much tongue

"Blech…I totally remember the worst kiss. I was 16 in the back of a car in the Magic Mountain parking lot. The guy kissed like a bloodhound. Sloppy with too much tongue. I chased after him for 2 months up to that point and totally blew him off after. It was gross."

—Melody

18. When I wiped my jaw area, water dripped from my hand

"I began dating this little boy back in freshman year who literally slobbered all over my fuckin face the first time we kissed and still managed to gag me with his tongue. When I wiped my jaw area, water dripped from my hand. Yikes!"

—Claudia

19. he thought a kiss meant trying to stick his tongue as far down my throat as possible

"Oh boy, where do I begin? Worst kiss ever was from an ex of mine who thought a kiss meant trying to stick his tongue as far down my throat as possible. The kisses were so horrible that kissing was not a part of our relationship. It just wasn't a thing. The reason these types of kisses were so horrible is because, to me, a kiss is supposed to be something BOTH people involved are participating in. This kiss just left me with my mouth wide-open breathing through my nose, little to no lips involved. Stop playing with my tonsils. I want to feel good, not get a checkup -_-"

—Jazzlyn

20. he starts kissing my 'face'—not my lips, but my face

"The worst kiss I had was when this guy threw me on the couch and I thought that we were going to get it on and poppin'. As I lay there I saw this guy getting closer and closer in slow motion. A part of me was mesmerized by his beard but the other part was horrified on getting body slammed. Then he lands on top of me and he starts kissing my 'face'—not my lips, but my face. Slowly started drooling and kissing my lips, in which at this point I was over it. I was tired of Chewbacca trying to slobber and chew off my entire face. If a 6'3″ buff beard guy pretends to be Chewbacca in a making out session you need to cut it off. We were not even auditioning for Star War and he obviously did not know I was Princess Leia. So by far this has been my worst kiss and I hope he is reading this right now: THE SHADE BOO, CARRY ON!"

—Tania

21. I felt as though I was fighting for my life

"Guy I had met a party when I was like 16 and he tried to shove his tongue down my throat and then proceeded to turn his head while his tongue was being ejected into my mouth. I felt as though I was fighting for my life. (Let it be known that I do not make it a habit of kissing people I meet the first day. That was my first and last time ever doing that.)"

—Lizzy

22. open-mouth bass-fish kiss

"Happened with a blind date a couple of years ago… I went for the chaste peck, he went for open-mouth bass-fish kiss. @.@ It was like playing rock, paper, scissors with lips and I totally lost that round. "

—Komadori

23. an abnormally large tongue

"My worst kiss involved an abnormally large tongue. It was disgusting and so fat; it didn't fit in my mouth. His lips were also dry and peeling and I felt a flap of chapness on my lips."

—Jasmine TC mark

15 Ways To Distract Yourself When You’re Rolling Solo On Valentine’s Day

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 02:00 PM PST

Carmen Jost
Carmen Jost

The second worst holiday for single people (New Year's Eve being numero uno) is right around the corner. Instead of doing the usual eye-rolling of all the Facebook and Instagram posts about how great my friends' boyfriends are, I'm going to do something different.

In fact, last year was the best Valentine's Day I think I've ever had (aside from my teaching days when I was showered with chocolates and cute notes). I invited my mom, sisters, and aunt over for a Galentine's Day dinner party. I decorated my place with red and white balloons and roses. We walked on the beach before dinner to watch the sunset, and after dinner, ate macarons like the sophisticated French ladies we strived to be.

Here are 15 ideas for you to do this February 14. Do all of them, or just one. Do them alone, or with a friend or two. Either way, make this year the year couples will wish they were single.

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1. Pamper yourself.

This is probably the single girl's most popular thing to do. Valentine's Day is on a Sunday this year, so you get to be lazy and stay in your PJs all day if you want. You can paint your nails, put on a face mask, take a bubble bath, practice that trendy new hairstyle that the magazines make look so easy. If you want to get out of your cocoon, schedule a massage, or go to a nail salon for a mani pedi. (And yes, today, you do want the extra massage for $5.)

2. Host a brunch or dinner.

Create a fun Valentine's Day-themed menu with drinks, watch cheesy rom-coms (50 Shades is on DVD), and drool over yummy food and even yummier celebrities.

3. Buy yourself gifts.

Do you remember when Cher in Clueless sent herself flowers and chocolates? Do the same. That tennis bracelet you've been eyeing? Buy it.

4. Hunt.

Grab some friends and create a city scavenger hunt. Things on the list can include finding a couple that's been married at least 20 years, looking for a heart-shaped leaf, or those silly random things that used to be on those lists as a kid, like asking a stranger for a paperclip.

5. Reach out.

Find a friend's little sister, or a lonely neighbor, grab ice cream or bake cookies together.

6. Get dolled up.

So what if you don't have a date? Replicate Adele's stellar winged eye liner, rock a red lippie, put on a fancy dress, and drink champagne. Even if you're just sitting on your couch, you'll feel fabulous.

7. Send valentines.

Remember how awesome it felt to get all of the (mandatory) valentines with the candy hearts in elementary school (before holidays like these were considered nonsecular)? They still sell these at your local drug store. Buy some, or make your own, and send them to the people you love the most.

8. Read.

Go to a local cafe with a collection of love poems, or short stories, or hey, if you really want, find some historical pieces about Saint Valentine and reconsider why you feel bad about being single on a day like today.

9. Explore.

Go for a walk around your neighborhood, or go on a hike. Look for people who are expressing love in different ways— holding hands, sharing a laugh, or just being okay with being alone. Take photographs of the moments that you find lovely and turn them into an album.

10. Write.

Create your own short story, poem, or write about your favorite memory about feeling loved (or your worst/best/funniest Valentine's Day).

11. Call.

Do you remember when cell phones were used for just calling people?! Yeah, me neither. But I guess there's unlimited minutes these days (because no one is using them anymore duhhhh), so call people you love (like your mother).

12. Exercise.

Like Elle Woods said, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. (And happy people don’t kill the couple showing off with gratuitous PDA.) Go for a jog outside (or if you live in NYC and it's freezing so hard your face is colder than an ice cube, go to the gym). Or find a local event like a bike ride or 5k and join other active people in the community.

13. Listen.

Search for an audiobook that you've been meaning to listen to (related to love or not). Find a lovie-dovie station on Spotify or Songza. Dance in your socks (at home or in the streets). Sing like the Beyonce you are.

14. Volunteer.

There's always someone better off, and someone worse off, than you. The point is to not compare yourself, but to be grateful for the things we have right now, not in the future. Seek out a local children's hospital, read to the blind, go to an assisted living facility and share your hidden piano-playing talent with a grateful audience.

15. Clean.

Can't find what you're looking for on your laptop or in your dresser? Take today to express your love to all the crap you own by organizing it. Do laundry, fold that pile of clothes that's been scrunched up in the corner of your room for the past 3 weeks, create computer files so that when you do get in a relationship, you can find this article quickly and be reminded why you loved being single. TC mark

20 Quotes To Read If You Can’t Let Someone Go

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 01:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / samanthavaughan
Twenty20 / samanthavaughan

1. "Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself." ~Deborah Reber
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2. "There ain’t no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it." ~Kate DiCamillo

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3. “At some point you will realize that you have done too much for someone, that the only next possible step to do is to stop. Leave them alone. Walk away. It's not like you're giving up, and it's not like you shouldn't try. It's just that you have to draw the line of determination from desperation. What is truly yours will eventually be yours, and what is not, no matter how hard you try, will never be.” ~Unknown

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4. "If they weren't good for you in 2015, they won't be great for you in 2016. Let them go." ~Robert Tew

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5. "Let go of the attachment, keep the lesson" ~L.J. Vanier

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6. “Sometimes you have to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve.”~Unknown

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7. “You didn't love her, you just didn't want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for your ego, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn't love her, because you don't destroy the person that you love.” ~Shonda Rhimes

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8. "Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it."~Ann Landers

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9. “It doesn't matter if its a relationship, a lifestyle, or a job. If it doesn't make you happy, let it go.”~Unknown

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10. “And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."~Marilyn Monroe

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11. "She’s not going to let go until she sees for herself that there’s nothing left to hold on to." ~Susane Colasanti 

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12.  "The longer you're with the wrong person, you could be completely overlooking the chance to meet the right person."~Taylor Swift

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13. “Sometimes removing some people out of your life makes room for better people.”~Unknown

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14. “Why don’t you tell me that ‘if the girl had been worth having she’d have waited for you’? No, sir, the girl really worth having won’t wait for anybody."~F. Scott Fitzgerald

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15. “Detach yourself just when you realize you are closer to a heart break.”~Unknown

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16. "You can meet someone who's just right, but he might not be meant for you. You break up, you lose things, you never feel the same again. But maybe you should stop questioning why. Maybe you should just accept it and move on." ~Winna Efendi

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17. "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."~Vivian Greene

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18. “Holding on is believing that there's only a past; letting go is knowing that there's a future.” ~Daphne Rose Kingma

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19. “Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.”~Unknown

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20. "What’s meant to be will always find a way" ~Trisha Yearwood TC mark

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9 Books That Will Help You Better Understand Black (American) History

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 12:45 PM PST

You can never fit black American history in one month, but in the spirit of honoring it this month, why not tackle one or more of these nine books? From autobiographies to social commentary, these books not only give us knowledge of the past, but explain our present.

1. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave (1845), Frederick Douglass

Easily one of the most acclaimed works of the many slave narratives, Douglas writes about his status as a slave, how he learned to read, and his journey to abolition. The work is also one of the most influential books of the abolitionist movement and African-American history.

2. Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl (1861), Harriett Ann Jacobs

In this autobiographical work, Jacobs recounts her life as a slave, and her journey to find freedom for herself and her children. The book’s narrative is what we might now call an intersectional perspective, as Jacobs discusses the double jeopardy of her race and gender. But it is also a work of resistance in which she details what her and women like her did to protect themselves and their children during plantation life.

3. The Souls of Black Folk (1903), W.E.B. Du Bois

A classic work of American literature, DuBois’ work in The Souls of Black Folk consists of essays that look at the history of Black American life and the position of Black people in American society. DuBois includes sociology studies and comments on what is needed to improve the status and well-being of Black Americans. The famous “double consciousness” term is in an essay in the book. Double consciousness refers to the psychological challenge of the Black American person who struggles to reconcile their African heritage with their white American-influenced space, in the United States.

4. The Mis-Education of The Negro (1933), Carter G. Woodson

In this book, Dr. Carter G. Woodson contends that Black Americans are indoctrinated rather than educated in the American school system. Woodson believes that this indoctrination leads to dependence on the institutions that work against them, and challenges black Americans to be self-sufficient.

5. Notes of a Native Son (1955), James Baldwin

In this essay collection, Baldwin encounters both personal narratives and social commentary. He divulges his longing to be a writer and discusses his family life, primarily his relationship with his father. He centers his social commentary on race issues in the United States and Europe.

6. I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing (1969), Maya Angelou

In this autobiography, Angelou describes her upbringing and coming up, and how her love of words became a tool in overcoming racism and the trauma of being abandoned by her parents at a young age. It is a powerful narrative that inspires the reader to seek art as a means of resistance.

7. Women, Race, and Class (1983), Angela Davis

Davis contemplates the women’s movement from the days of abolition to her present day (which was in the early 80’s). A political activist, Davis shows how from the very beginning, the women’s movement was disrupted by racism and classism.

8. The Black Book (1974), Morrison et al.

The Black Book is a compilation from several amazing writers of the black experience in America. It includes sketches of the African sites as drawn by European traders, narrates the different dynamics of slavery, recounts freedom stories, and more. A true testament to the diversity and richness of Black American history.

9. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), Michelle Alexander

Legal scholar Michelle Alexander explains how the mass incarceration system targets African-American men specifically, and hinders all economically disenfranchised groups in the United States. Alexander contends that what has effectively occurred through mass incarceration is a new Jim Crow era. TC mark