Thought Catalog

20 Guys Answer, ‘Do Men Really Care How Much Sex She’s Had?’

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 08:00 PM PDT


Data gathered from R/AskMen

1. It Depends

It depends on the guy. Some guys don’t care. Some guys view sex as a special thing done between two people who have a connection or something, and if a woman has had casual sex many times with many men, it would suggest they are not sexually compatible. Alternatively, some guys don’t view sex like that and prefer a more sexually free woman.

— zimmer199

2. Yes

Anyway, plenty of guys do care. And personally, I did care until I had a sufficient number of sexual partners of my own. Not in a “Ugh, gross, this girl is a harlot!” way, but in a “This bums me out, and I’m probably better off seeing someone else” way.

For some reason, a lot of women have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that men are sexually jealous to a greater degree than women. Every single survey gives the same result: when it comes to infidelity in relationships, the sexual component is what is most hurtful for a cheated male partner, and the emotional component is what is most hurtful for a cheated female partner.

Obviously, a person’s number of previous partners has nothing to do with infidelity. But is well known what men and women, respectively, are sensitive to.

Most likely, guys who care how many partners a girl has had, usually care because the “power disparity” bothers them. For the vast majority of guys, it is an obvious fact that most women wield far greater power in the “sexual marketplace” than they themselves do. For the average woman, all she has to do in order to “amass” a high partner count is to just say “Why yes, I would like to have sex with you.” when propositioned. Not so for the average man.

Personally, I got rid of my insecurity vis-a-vis “high partner count” by running up my own partner count. I didn’t do that consciously, but it struck me a few years down the lane that my own count had gotten high enough that I couldn’t possibly care what anyone else’s was.

— gillandgolly

3. Kind of

How much sex? Not exactly.

I do care about the partners and how that relates to her specific cadence and outlook on her sexuality.

— KingEsoteric

4. “Such a thing as too many.”

I don’t care if they’ve fucked one partner three times a day for their entire adult life. Though I imagine you were talking about partner count, not sex count. It doesn’t matter to some guys, but it does to me. I don’t get why, but at 21 if you tell me you’ve been with 12 guys, it just turns me off.

— AmadeusCziffra

5. A little

Sort of. There are diseases to consider. Plus it shows what kind of person she is. If she has a long history, she may not be very stable and make for a poor SO.

Not that there is anything wrong with being promiscuous.

— cv512hg

6. Yes

I certainly do. I mean, I understand if a girl/guy is “exploring their sexuality” or “being sexually free”. That’s fine.

But if this girl/guy is bringing a new person into the bedroom every week for months/years on end, there’s more going on there than just experimenting. It can be insecurities, a complex, whatever, but it’s a major red flag for me and I don’t want any part in that.

— krOneLoL

7. Yes

I do care:

One, it can get into territory where it’s unhealthy / self-harm / an expression of personal issues.

Two, it can indicate something about how much she sees sex and love as interconnected or not (200 partners by age 20 -> probably not), and I couldn’t be with someone who does not see them as closely connected.

— middaysun

8. It reflects different views

I would, yeah. I wouldn’t be offended or think it’s a bad thing if she’s been with lots of guys, but I would see it as evidence that we probably have incompatible views on sex.

— aseiden

9. Yes, because I don’t think sex is casual

It took me awhile to answer this cause I’m not quite sure how to state my position accurately. I’m answering this as a 25 year old virgin so I’m statistically in the minority there, but I just don’t see sex as something to be done that casually. I’d have to be in a committed relationship before having sex, and if I know ahead of time that she doesn’t see things that way then I can’t see anything happening between us outside of being friends or acquaintances or something.

— aseiden


I do, but I’m really insecure

— heyitsEnricoPallazzo

11. It really depends

It truly varies, for example

Personally I care if she’s had very few partners. I’m 48 and to me it just seems odd that a woman in my dating range has very limited sexual experience. In my experience it also often means she doesn’t really know what she likes sexually.

I have a friend who is 44 or 45 and if he could find a virgin he’d be thrilled. He admits is uncomfortable with a woman who has more sexual experience than he does.

— le_fez

12. Yes, I want experience

For me, I do in the sense that I want someone who’s had sex often enough before to be able to say they enjoy sex, know at least some of what they like (and maybe don’t like), and so I don’t have to deal with being that shitty first time. I honestly wouldn’t know how to take a girl’s first time without feeling at least a little bad about it. It’s also just more work in my view (and I accept that I could be completely wrong about this) to get a relatively inexperienced partner to open up to trying new kinks than someone who’s more experienced and I’m a lazy little shit who likes to keep work to a minimum.

— LulzGoat

13. At least some experience!

I generally prefer that the girl has had at least 1, preferably 2.

Its more fun if the girl knows what she is doing.

On the whole, I don’t really care, its just a vague sorta preference

— cardboard-cutout

14. Who you’ve banged says a lot about you.

It’s a judgement thing for me. The higher the number (for both sexes), the higher the odds that they have some regrettable bangs in their history.

I’m not interested in girls who give it up easy to guys I personally feel don’t deserve her.

The girl that went through a “daddy phase” where she was fucking 45 year old guys in her early 20s. The girl that fucked her dealer so she could score free drugs. The girl who fucked that guy from the bar, not because she found him particularly attractive, but he kept pushing for it and she just decided to give in.

If I was a straight woman I would have the same hangups about men.

It’s a judgement call. If you’re throwing your dick (or vagina) around – odds are there were some questionable partners in that group. And I’m not into girls that have a questionable sexual history.

Whether people want to admit it or not – your sexual history says a lot about you as a person.

— Mustang80

15. It’s a mixed bag.

There are negatives and positives to being with someone promiscuous. The negatives are that you have to deal with their previous partners (which is much more dangerous if their previous partners were men), with jealousy, with the potential that they no longer consider sex special, and with the possibility that they will not respect you if you have had less sex than them. The positives are that they probably have traits that allow them to be promiscuous (such as assertiveness, confidence, or physical attractiveness), and that they probably know what they are doing in bed.

A lot of the negatives apply to men and women equally, although I think women are much more likely to disrespect men who are inexperienced than vice versa. However, I think that the positives are much more likely to matter to women. Women who have the traits necessary to be promiscuous are much more common than men (since traditional gender roles do not require women to be assertive or confident. And if you believe the OkCupid study, there are also more attractive women than their are men). But, aside from that, women benefit more from sleeping with someone who knows what they are doing in bed than men do. Most men are going to orgasm even if the woman is new to sex. But I doubt that the same is true when the situation is reversed. I think that has more to do with it than anything.

TLDR: Women are probably more likely to orgasm with a man who is experienced, so it makes sense for them to put up with the additional problems that come along with a promiscuous partner. Men are probably going to enjoy sex even if the woman is inexperienced, so the negatives outweigh the positives.

— TenOfOne

16. No two people have the same opinion

Definitely a person to person thing.

I don’t care at all. As long as you are clean and safe about it, I don’t give a shit. I live my life as promiscuously as I can when I’m not in a relationship, so I see no reason to judge a woman for doing the same thing.

— NotHannibalBurress

17. To be honest…

Honest answer: It depends on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for someone who just wants to have casual sex with you, partner count is not much of a factor.

If you are looking for someone who will commit to a long term relationship, you are going to start running into some issues.

As to the “why” of the later point, it is complicated, and varies from man to man. As others have pointed out, merely having sex is a whole lot easier for women than men. So if a woman has a high partner count I am going to sort of assume that she is not very serious about commitment and probably not that picky. That basically makes me not anything that special to her. It is just my turn.

Also, while I am sure that there are some legitimately “sex positive” women out there, my overwhelming personal experience has been that women with a high partner count tend to have some sort of baggage driving that behavior. Mostly centered around a need for validation or some drive to constantly seek male attention. Daddy issues, in other words. Generally, the pattern this sets up is that things are essentially fine until the man in the equation gets super busy with work or something, or the couple has a fight. Then before you know it she is back to the old pattern of seeking male approval and attention and before you know it something “just happened” with that nice guy she met at the bar.

This is to just name a couple of reasons. The main point I am making is this: Like it or not, when it comes to finding a man that is willing to commit to you long term, partner count can still be a pretty big factor. That said, if what you are doing is looking to get laid, you should have very little trouble as long as you are reasonably attractive. At least well into your 30s.

— Redearthman

18. I do

Some do, some don’t. I do.


I have never had sex. I think maybe after I’ve had sex, perhaps only after I’ve had sex with a handfull of different people, if that will ever even come to pass, I will view it differently. It’s just that I don’t know how to relate to someone who’s had sex with a bunch of different people. Basically, having no experience, in my head maybe having had a lot of sex makes… how you experience a relationship completely different. Does she love me or does she love sex?

That’s the major reason. There are a few minor reasons which are things like.. how it makes me self-conscious. I don’t like the idea of being compared, I don’t have any practice to make me any good at it, in fact I would probably be really awkward which I see as something an experienced woman wouldn’t want to put up with.

Sex in my inexperienced brain is somewhat antithetically supposed to be both a loving act where a lot of feelings are involved but also supposed to be a fun game/past-time. A person who sleeps around (aka. not someone who’s slept with the same person a thousand times), probably has a different idea of what sex is, probably only sees it as the fun and games part with no feelings involved. That would make me incompatible with a person who felt that way about the subject.

I think the same way for both men and women.

— Ingetfunkarfan

19. Don’t care, but experience is great.

Personally, I couldn’t give two bits if I tried. As long as we’re exclusive now, everyone before me I just consider practice before the main event.

And let’s be honest: I’d prefer an experienced woman over a virgin any day of the week. Never saw the appeal of innocence, I guess. I much prefer skill.

— BarkingToad

20. What am I looking for??

If I was looking at her as a serious girlfriend, yeah. If I was just interested and testing the waters with her, I couldn’t care less about where she’s been or what she’s done.

— KatieLedecky TC mark

He’s Not Your Forever Person Unless He Does These 14 Things For You In Bed

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 07:00 PM PDT

1. He should make you feel beautiful naked. Not even the most body confident women are entirely satisfied by their appearance. But when you're with your forever person, you should feel beautiful naked, with or without the lights on, whether you're wearing a sports bra and granny panties or a lacy bra and a matching thong. He should melt at the sight of your bare physique because he worships your every curve and crevice. You deserve to feel desired just as you are, whether you're in the best shape of your life or you've put on a few extra pounds.

2. He should kiss you everywhere. Lip-locking is great, but kissing isn't just about mouth-to-mouth action. A true gentleman will worship your body from head to toe—literally—by kissing you in places others have never visited. Your forever person should surprise you from behind with a tender kiss on the back of your neck, or pucker up and carve a trail from your pelvis to your breasts. He should insist on kissing your toes and fingertips. There should be no part of your body he doesn't ache to caress with his lips.

3. He should ask you questions. Some things can be sensed between the sheets, but when it comes to pleasing you sexually he shouldn't rely on his intuition entirely. He should check in and ask you questions about what's working for you, and what's not. He should open up the lines of communication about all things sensual because he cares about satisfying you to the best of his ability.

4. He should listen intently, and make you feel heard by applying whatever pointers you give him. When two people care about each other, the lovemaking should get better and better as time goes on. He should do everything possible to ensure that you're comfortable and that your sexual needs aren't just being met, but exceeded. When you give him a tip, he should go above and beyond, doing everything in his power to blow your mind.

5. He should tell you that your vagina is beautiful. When he goes down on you, he should pause every so often to reassure you that your vagina is beautiful—that it smells and tastes exquisite, and that every pink fleshy fold is perfect. He should compare your vagina to a stunning, rare flower, or give it a special name. Yes, your forever person should worship your genitals.

6. He should love making you wet. Whether he's fingering you or burying his face between your thighs, the act of turning you on should bring him immense pleasure. As your vagina moistens, it should be a cue to him that he's doing something right and he should rejoice over this evidence that he's one step closer to making you climax.

7. He should tell you that you're driving him crazy in the best way possible. Compliments aren't just for foreplay. He should find the time to tell you just how much you turn him on—before, during and after sex. Because you're irresistible.

8. When you go down on him, he should make you feel good about it. Maybe you're very sexually experienced and you're great at oral sex, or it's your first time giving a blowjob. No matter what, going down on a man should be an act of reciprocal pleasure. He should give you helpful tips if and when it seems appropriate, and urge you trust your instincts, ensuring all along that the process is as pleasurable for you as it is for him.

9. He should look you in the eyes. It's important to feel connected to another person during sex, and the best way to do this is through eye contact. Even if he's taking you from behind, there's always an opportunity to pause briefly and lock eyes to re-establish that critical sense of interconnectedness. He should always carve out a moment to penetrate you with his gaze.

10. He should try his absolute best every single time to make you orgasm. If he cares deeply about you, he should care deeply about your sexual satisfaction. He should not be selfish in bed because he should view lovemaking as a chance at growing closer as a couple.

11. When he doesn't manage to make you climax, he should feel somewhat disappointed. Of course it's unreasonable to expect every sexual encounter to end in orgasm for everyone, but because he longs to get you there, he should express at least a hint of discontent when it doesn't actually happen.

12. He should refer to sex as lovemaking. He shouldn't be too “manly” or too proud to use the term lovemaking, because "fucking" and "hooking up" just don't cut it. He should embrace the fact that he's found someone to make love to rather than just have sex with.

13. He should snuggle you afterwards. He should hold you tight and make you feel safe and loved for as long as you wish. Your forever person should be grateful for every second he gets to lie with you in bed, whether you're humping like rabid animals or quietly cuddling.

14. He should encourage you to masturbate. As a champion of your sexuality, he should urge you to explore self-pleasure. No one should be expected to abandon masturbation altogether, even once you're in a serious long-term relationship. Solo sex is just another path to satisfaction and your forever person should understand that. He should ask you to tell him about it and maybe even ask you to do it in front of him so he can learn from watching you touch yourself. TC mark

These Are The Things You Learn About Picking Yourself Up And Carrying On In Your 20s

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 06:30 PM PDT

Kelsey Sabo
Kelsey Sabo

I've learned that my feet can keep going long after my mind gives up.

I've learned that my mind and spirit can drive my body to find new levels of strength.

I've learned that you can't change the people around you but you can change the people around you.

I've learned that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned that emotions are subjective, no matter how powerful they feel.

I've learned that money is the least valuable aspect of life.

I've learned that "nothing" is a matter of opinion.

I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you are down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned that when I'm frustrated I have the right to be frustrated, but that does not give me the right to be rude.

I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want or expect them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others, you must also forgive yourself.

I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.

I've learned that the people you care about most in life are sometimes taken from you too soon.

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to the universe.

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned that maturity has more to do with what experiences you have had and what you have learned from them, and less to do with how many years you have lived on this earth.

I've learned that each day I get closer to becoming the person I want to be. TC mark

12 Things All ‘Over-Sensitive’ Girls Wish You Understood About Them

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 06:00 PM PDT

@ _saraheiseman_

1. We need our alone time.

We care so much about how others feel, but these are the few quiet moments we have when finally there's no one else's feelings to worry about but our own. It's the moments we have to ourselves when we try to understand exactly what it is we're feeling and why. We’re not trying to be distant or push you away, we’re trying to prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by how we feel.

2. We feel others’ pain more than we feel our own.

We suffer when we see the people we love suffer. Their pain becomes our pain. We can’t stand to see them upset and we’ll do anything to make it better. When those around us are happy, we’re happy. The emotions we’re surrounded by are contagious, we catch your sadness like we catch a cold, which is exactly why your well-being is so important to us.

3. We hate when people tell us we're taking something personally.

We put our whole heart into things that matter to us, and the things that matter to us also matter to those we care about. We make ourselves feel good by doing things for you. We don't measure importance in the amount of time and energy it took for us to do something. What’s important to us is how the things we do make you feel. So when we do something in efforts to make you feel amazing, and you provide negative criticism in return, it makes us feel like shit, so yes we take it personally.

4. Our passion often blinds us to logic.

Sometimes we do things impulsively because we’re listening to our hearts and not our heads, but we’d rather live life passionately than logically. Logic to us is something that attempts to quiet our excitement.

5. We react to things strongly. (!)

Our reactions are a very straight-forward and overt reflection of our feelings. If we’re upset, you’ll know, if we’re happy, you’ll know that too. We smile from ear-to-ear and laugh until we can’t breathe, but we also cry until our eyes become swollen and there’s no Kleenex left. We’re not ‘over-reacting’ we’re reacting in the only way we know how.

6. We’re believers.

We hope and believe that everything happens to us and those around us for a reason. This is often how we find comfort in the tragic things that inexplicably happen, but it is also how we find bliss in the wonderful things. We don’t attempt to figure out why, we just believe it happened for the best, because the best is what we continuously hope for.

7. We try to communicate our feelings, but you might not understand them.

You know we have feelings, but you don’t know just how many we have, and it’s difficult for us to communicate all of them. We can talk about what we’re feeling, but when you ask why, that’s when we fail to answer. Know that we’re trying, it’s just hard.

8. We love to help you with your problems, but aren’t the best at solving our own.

When it comes to your problems, we’re all ears and will always have advice to give, but our own problems are something we don’t like to talk about. It’s partly because we don’t want our problems to be your burden, but we also don’t want to hear the truth about what we have to do to fix them. We often are open to listen and advise your misgivings simply to avoid dealing with our own.

9. The little things matter.

We pay attention to the details you might overlook. Call it ‘over-thinking,’ but we see it as observant. We pick up on small behaviors that show us how others are feeling. When someone is quieter than usual, we don’t think ‘Oh, they’re just tired.’ We think something is wrong, and we will do what we can to figure out what it is, and how to make it right.

10. The little things you do for us matter.

We respond to the small acts of love as much as we respond to the greater ones. The post-it note you left on the mirror that says ‘I love you,’ means just as much as the five-star restaurant you took us to last weekend, if not more.

11. Our sensitivity is not weakness.

The extent to which we feel our emotions does not make us incapable of recognizing when those emotions are being manipulated or taken advantage of. We’re not pushovers. We don’t like to make others unhappy or see others be unhappy, but we are completely capable of understanding when others‘ actions are the cause of our unhappiness, and we’re not scared to walk away when they do. Our sensitivity has a lot to do with the strength we have to remove ourselves from unhealthy situations.

12. We will love you with everything we have.

Everything we do in life we do with our whole hearts, and our relationships are no exception. You will never feel a love that is half-empty, we make sure you feel a love that’s full. TC mark

Here Are 20 Apologies I Need To Get Off My Chest For Yom Kippur

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 05:30 PM PDT


Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, wherein we atone for our sins and ask God to forgive us. No working (yay), no eating (boo), and lots of praying and reflecting on the people we were last year and how to be better versions of those people this year. In no particular order, here are my list of apologies for 2016.

1. I'm sorry for being late.

 2. I'm sorry for the occasional blip – leaving a cardigan or my phone somewhere, thinking I had made a reservation when I hadn't, forgetting my social security card at home when I went to change my address on my driver's license. I'm sorry for wasting time beating myself up over these things instead of just letting them go.

3. I'm sorry for thinking I was too smart or didn't have the time to read the directions.

4. I'm sorry for the times I snapped at my family because I was stressed about something that had nothing to do with them. I'm sorry they get the brunt of my moodiness because they love me unconditionally, and that I take advantage of that.

5. I'm sorry for passing judgment when I should've approached a situation, or individual, with open-mindedness and compassion.

6. I'm sorry for the times I made things competitive. All along I was only competing against myself, because I was insecure and acting defensive.

7. I'm sorry for the times I showed up to something without fully "showing up."

8. I'm sorry for taking shit when I should've said something.

9. I'm sorry for not standing up for someone when I should have.

10. I'm sorry for all of the time spent on my phone and email and social media and fixating on the fact that other people are watching me live out my life.

11. I'm sorry for the times I resorted to bringing someone else down to bring myself up, and for taking pleasure in mean-spirited and or unproductive gossip.

12. I'm sorry I didn't slow down and read over that email before I sent it.

13. I'm sorry that I let a boy dictate my own feelings of self-worth.

14. I'm sorry for the days that I didn't give 100% at work or in an exercise class/run or to my clients.

15. I'm sorry for ordering in when I could've made dinner.

16. I'm sorry for the days I missed my (daily) morning journaling practice.

17. I'm sorry for giving into peer pressure and doing things that I actually didn't want to do at all.

18. I'm sorry for being too hard on myself.

19. I'm sorry for getting in my own way.

20. I'm sorry for not saying "I don't know," and pretending I knew instead.

God, or the universe, or Brian Weiss' Masters, or all-encompassing nothingness – whatever is out there! I hope you can forgive me. I'm working on forgiving myself (see #s 2, 18, 20). TC mark

This Is What I Had To Learn When You Weren’t There

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Maria Morri
Maria Morri

It was hard and you weren’t there.

You weren’t there when things started to become rougher than they already had been. You weren’t there when I felt like the world was crashing on me. You weren’t there when there wasn’t a single thing I understood. You weren’t there when I had no one to hold on to. You weren’t there when sleeping at night was burdensome, when waking up was a battle on its own.

You weren’t there when all I needed was you telling me that I can make it through, you comforting me with His promises, you assuring me that I will overcome and that you will be with me every step of the way, you lending me your shoulder and letting me cry on it for God knows how long. You weren’t there when all I needed was to hear your voice. You weren’t there when all I needed was your presence.

You weren’t there when all I needed was you. You weren’t there when all I ever wanted was you.

You weren’t there.

And I can’t blame you, so I’m sorry if I feel like this. If I feel like you’re one of the best people in my life, if I feel like you’re obligated to be there for me. I’m sorry if I expected too much from you.

You weren’t there.

It was the toughest thing ever, but it was totally okay. Because in your absence, I learned that I am so much stronger than what I give myself credit for. I am so much braver than my overflowing fears. I am so much more capable than my weaknesses. In your absence, I knew, I had to take on this challenge alone. I had to mourn alone. I had to grieve alone. I had to suffer alone. In your absence, I realized that I cannot really expect even the closest people to be there when I needed them most. I realized that people can veritably come and go, that friendships can die, friendships can hurt, friendships can be away, and not beside you when you so solely need it to.

You weren’t there.

And it verified one thing; at the darkest moment of our lives, even our shadows leave us. And if they do, it applies more so for people. That you may not be there when I am waging the most arduous war of my ife and so with that you taught me to stand firm on my own. You directed me to be my own refuge, to be my own hero, to be my own comfort.

You taught me to never put my whole trust in you and to never expect so much from you, from people in general. Because people will disappoint. You will disappoint. Because it’ll hurt. It hurts now.

You weren’t there.

And that taught me that I can do it, I can overcome, not with you, but with myself. TC mark

20 Completely Honest (And Filthy) Confessions Of The Reality Of A Peace Corps Volunteer

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 04:30 PM PDT

Kelsey Sabo
Kelsey Sabo

Today I found the pictures I had taken of a 21-page letter that I wrote to my mom in January of last year. I was 2 months in, adjusting to homestay life, and super pathetic (as I read it today). Allow me to summarize a large portion of my letter: rats all up in my batheing space, a big scary cockroach here or there, two lizards who wouldn't stop mating every night above my head, and a reoccurring abnormal spider self-named Frank. I mean, I'm a pretty tough girl by nature so these things didn't give me mental breakdowns but I noticed them, which says that it wasn't "normal" to me just yet. It took me until today to take a hot second to pause and reflect on the fact that the shit I mentioned in that long ass letter doesn't even phase me anymore. A shift in my normalcy, one might say. Orrrr a shift in my sanity. Potayto, potahto. Carry on.

Which brings me to right now. A little reflection on my day-to-day life filled with the all the necessities I need (usually) and then some. While my definition of "necessities" has also drastically altered, I digress.


My house got hit by lightning a few days ago. Felt like a bomb went off and smelled fire, so I fell back asleep. I haven't had any functioning electricity since said incident (& it was sparse before). I pay a guy in bananas to charge my phone during the day. All flashlights are very dead and I used my last candle yesterday. I've never had so much fun, too. I actually tried echolocation for the first time and have gotten really good at working out in the dark.


Found out that my neighbors have been attached to my electricity for the last 16 months and I've been paying for theirs too. No wonder.


Dry season has eliminated all water from the tank and nearest borehole. And since yours truly is not hauling her ass 1-2km to fill up 50L of water and haul it back… I'm gross. 5 days in, I finally got water today and took a beautiful bucket bath. I hadn't washed my hair in 19 days, hadn't used more than 5 French Presses full of water to rinse myself off (1 each day). I ran for an hour each day as well which is messed up. What's worse? (To some of you but not to any normal human being) I HAD some water, I just rationed it for coffee every morning. Coffee > hygiene and if you disagree you can leave now.


For 10 months I had an absolutely infested pit latrine which would be coated with cockroaches by the time the sun set everyday. This was my opportunity to learn a lot about cockroach behavior. For instance, always fling the door open so The Climbers don't flop onto you while opening said door. Always, I repeat ALWAYS, enter with a closed mouth. Keep your feet moving like you're standing on lava for The Runners. And NEVER make sudden movements with the flashlight. Since then I got a cover for my latrine and there's only ~20-30 so that's a bummer but also nice. Oh well, it was a real roommate bonding opportunity.


On that note, I can count the number of toilet paper rolls I've purchased in the last 16 months on one hand. Four. And only for visitors actually. No, not because it's expensive or scarce but because, well, ya really don't need it. Don't argue me on this I don't care what you have to say. Just know that there are old newspapers, tissue paper from care packages, failed exams, 1984 curriculum remnants, and sometimes even banana leaves getting down and dirty in my latrine (like, literally).


When my phone is dead I leave it at home and go running with headphones in anyways so my ignoring people is more forgivable.


Dry season has ended my feet forever and I owe a pedicurist at least four times her salary to touch these puppies. I do scrub my heels against my wall when I lay on my sofa which does something to the calluses. I think.


I've worn the same 9 pairs of underwear for the last 16 months. By choice. Don't worry I wash them you sicko.


I still name all my roommates (i.e. Rats, roaches, lizards, massive spiders) which probably makes it really messed up that I have brought myself to being able to stomp on those big cockroaches which spew their juices all over my floor. In other words, I kill my roommates.


There's been the same grey, black, and white spider (named Charlie) near the padlock of my door who comes out to see me every morning. I can't bring myself to hurt him.


I talk to the goats who hangout around my latrine. They hide in the shade sometimes and startle me to which I catch myself saying, "You kids get away from here!" That's normal.


I walk through a legitimate mound of mushy trash everyday because it's the only shortcut to the market. Ugh, fine. That's a lie. It's not the only one but it's the shortest shortcut.


One time my teacher bent down to pet my leg hair.


My teachers also poke my sunburnt skin to watch me change colors.


Oh, and strangers always try to rip off the little mole on my neck and freckle tattoo on my arm.


The layer of permanent dirt on my skin sometimes gets me thinking I have a tan. Then I bathe and realize I still manage to be pale as fuck and I live on the equator.


During rainy season I bathe under the gutter next to my house (with clothes on) and it's the best water pressure in Arua. My neighbors don't flinch anymore when I shampoo up my hair. Sometimes they even help.


When the rooster is an asshole every morning at 5am, I always wake up and yell, "Shut up, Roger," chuckle to myself, roll over and fall back asleep because this is how I entertain myself evidently.


Sometimes I use laundry detergent and dish soap interchangeably. And by sometimes I don't actually mean anything less than all the time.


You're not a true PCV until you have pissed, shat, and barfed in the same bucket. Bonus points if it's in that order. The best part? You then have to let it fester until morning and empty it out like your own litter box… That's just superb when you're sick to begin with.

I guess it's just cool to realize that no matter your conditions, salary, location, and environment in life you can make it work. Not only make it work but make it your "normal." TC mark

Why A ‘Friends With Benefits’ Relationship Is A Complete Waste Of Your Time

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 04:00 PM PDT


You would think a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship would be the best of both worlds. You get to still have your good friend, but now you get to hook up with them with ‘no strings attached’. It’s what everyone wants, a ‘stable’ relationship where no one gets hurt because your friend would never ever want to hurt you. Right?

But in fact, a friends with benefits relationship is anything but stable. And it’s anything but smart. 

In the movies, they always try to romanticize this type of relationship. They show the girl ‘friend’ falling for the guy immediately after they hook up for the first time. And then they show the boy ‘friend’ pulling back, trying to act like they don’t have feelings because that would be against the rules. And then, they usually end up professing their love to one another and live happily ever after.

But real life doesn’t work that way.

You think you could never have romantic feelings for your friend until the adrenaline starts going and your hormones start racing all over the place. And sometimes you are going to be the only one with feelings. And whats going to happen now? You’ll lose that friend.

And if you have zero feelings but he starts getting butterflies when he’s in your presence? You’ll lose that friend.

Obviously, there are rare occurrences where you could fall in love. It’s not completely off the table. But, this is something that doesn’t typically happen anymore. That’s why the movies have to make it up for us.

Having a friends with benefits relationship will only make you feel worse about yourself. It’s not going to be liberating, or freeing. It’s going to hurt, no matter what happens. Wouldn’t you rather keep that friendship and leave it platonic? Wouldn’t you rather not potentially ruin a great friendship?

And wouldn’t you rather date someone who loves you and doesn’t just want to kiss you when they get lonely?

Don’t waste your time. Don’t kid yourself to think that neither of you will start getting feelings. It’s not worth the kisses or the secretive nights out. It’s not worth the loss of your friend. Or even worse, it’s not worth the loss of yourself.

So, don’t follow the path Hollywood wants you to take. Don’t give into moments of pleasure. Find someone who wants to date you, not just hook up with you. Find someone who wants to love you instead of make out with you at parties just for the sake of it. 

You are worth more than a friends with benefit relationships. You are worth more than drunken lip locking kisses. You deserve more than just a friend. You deserve someone who stays. Who is your best friend and your lover. TC mark

12 Men Reveal How They Really Feel About Women Who Play Hard To Get

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 03:00 PM PDT


1. Games are not worth my time.

“Good luck with that, I’m not patient and I will not waste my time on someone who plays games.”

2. There’s a difference between teasing and disinterest.

“I might be in the minority, but I do like a challenge, but everyone has their limits. No one wants to waste their time. There’s a huge difference between teasing and active disinterest.”

3. Why?!

“I don’t understand why girls do that.”

4. I’m not going to chase you.

“I’ll just say this, I don’t even chase my liquor.”

5. Run from them, and they’ll chase you.

“I’ll give you some advice a wise man once shared with me: if you chase after a dog it will run from you, if you run from a dog it will chase you.”

6. Maybe they’re not playing hard to get, maybe your attitude is what’s making them distant.

“Why haven’t you considered that it’s your demeanor/attitude/personality/game that sucks? That seems the obvious answer here. Especially because it seems to keep happening to you. I’ve been successful a few times after a girl made it clear she wouldn’t mind if I approached. Stop blaming women for your problems.”

7. I don’t stroke egos.

“Ignore and move on. Don’t waste your time stroking egos and putting pussy on a pedestal.”

8. If she’s into me, I want her to show me that she is.

“They’re all lost in the ocean of people I meet. I want some engagement from who ever is into me.”

9. Stay away from people who like the chase.

“There are some people who like the chase, and some people who like to be chased. In either case, I would recommend keeping your distance from anyone in either of these categories if you don’t fit into one of these categories yourself. The only time it will end up well is if you’re Adam Sandler, and you are going after Drew Barrymore .”

10. I’ll show interest for someone else in front of them.

“Go after someone else. Preferably while they’re in the same room. That’ll tell you whether or not they’re interested real quick.”

11. They just want you to boost their ego.

“Do not approach them. They’re doing it for the ego boost and free shit. If you’re really insistent about approaching them, do it indirectly. Play the game right back.”

12. They play hard to get because they want you to pursue them.

“Just keep pursuing, that’s all they want.” TC mark

15 Gorgeous Instagram Accounts, And The Honest Truth Behind Them

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 02:27 PM PDT

In our modern, digital age people often settle for "fake" on social media – it's far easier to follow others and optimize for the most likes than it is to post what truly matters to us. We all want to have #RelationshipGoalz. We all want to filter away every imperfection. We want all want to post exciting status updates about cool travel, career accomplishments, and good news about our life. We completely shun anything bad, sad, or real off our accounts and into obscurity.

So H, a collective of photographers and models built on authenticity, wanted to empower people to be transparent on social media, and share a piece of themselves that was real, unscripted, and genuine. Using the hashtag #50kAuthenticPosts, here are some of our favorite stories they found:


Instagram / hellovishnu
Instagram / hellovishnu

@hinfluencercollective is hosting a campaign to have influencers share a compelling story about why ‘authenticity’ matters to you. At the age of three, my mother abandoned me in India and left me with three simple words: "See you soon." Since that moment, I've been through more in his life than many could imagine.

My father an abusive alcoholic, jumped around 7 different foster homes and eventually discovering that I find contentment behind a camera. That's why, at 26 years old, my maturity and understanding of myself has spurred an interest in finally facing my past. I decided to journey back to India to meet face-to-face with my mother. My goal? To forgive her, resolve my relationship, and close the door on that chapter of my childhood so I can move forward as an adult unburdened by the questions I carried.

I decided to start a Kickstarter to make this vision come to life. I successfully met my goal on Kickstarter to direct my very first documentary. This film tells the story of returning to India after two decades, to reconnect with my mother. I hope that by telling this story through the median of film will inspire people to not only learn from the struggles and hardships they've been dealt, but also to take charge of their own futures and plan their own paths, rather than staying on the one given to them.

My experiences and upbringing have given me the ability to create visuals with integrity and authenticity. I've spent the last six years partnering with brands in making their visions come to life. At the core, I believe a creative idea is truly limited unless collaboration and authenticity is the foundation behind every project. This is how you take a project from a 8 to a 10. This image was taken on the trip when I met my mother for the first time in two decades.


Instagram / taylorrjames_
Instagram / taylorrjames_

Growing up in a “broken” home, I fought for healthy lasting relationships. I was a boy caught between his parents rift — forced to choose where I would call home, all the while being tossed back and forth between my mom and dad. This made healthy lasting relationships hard to come by.. When I think of the word “authentic” my mind automatically goes to my dad — He’s as real as they come.

Amidst the chaos of my childhood, he fought for me, he stood by me, he encouraged me, he laughed/cried with me, he challenged me, and most importantly he loved me. My favorite quality in a person is the eagerness to do life WITH me.. and my dad has that. Authenticity is seen most clearly for me through my relationship with my dad, but I see it in other people every day. It’s the choice to stand with someone purely because people are worth loving.


Instagram / yeahdavie
Instagram / yeahdavie

Authenticity, something you don't find to often anymore in this world. This photo right here was the first picture i took when i bought my Cannon 6D for the third time. Yes I said "third" time, i bought the 6D three different times because I "wasn't sure" or "didn't know" if photography was really for me. I ended up going to an @hinfluencercollectivemeet-up at Santa Monica pier with@alanPadilla and got to meet so many awesome people with so many awesome stories and backgrounds.

I then got the chance to go to the @hinfluencercollective art show in downtown LA the following day, and saw  debatably the best work i has ever seen before. I was in a room with a group of the most talented individuals I have ever come across, and couldn't be more thankful for it. Since that day I have been so motivated and driven to go out and take pictures and explore as much as I possibly can. Meeting people like @Alivialatimer  @elliottsdunning ,@davidbenrice , @maddywelk ,@zech.lee , @aldenblake ,@frankiehildebrand , and @andiefitzgerald was literally just eye-opening to me, to see all of there hard work and dedication in real life was just it for me.

I chose this picture because of the actual love i have for the natural look of a photo and well as the spur of the moment trip to San Francisco. Also this was my first trip with the camera and everything I've done since has been based off this picture and this trip. I thoroughly in courage everyone to do what they love and chance their dreams.


Instagram / Rex.dude
Instagram / Rex.dude

A U T H E N T I C I T Y:

What a fricken word…Fun to say and rewarding to live. But so, so evasive.

I cannot preach about the intricacies and nuances of this noun because I, myself, am not fully authentic.

I don’t write this caption to gain followers or even win a contest; I write this caption with the hopes that all, many, some, a few, just one of you will read this and gain and new appreciation for yourself.

Growing up, I was the odd kid out. If any of you know me, I was the kid with big ears, a gap toothed smile, and an unquenchable love for anything creative. I flew under the radar, trying not to draw attention to myself, so fearful of judgment and ridicule. I dressed like everyone else, played sports like everyone else, even pretended to like girls like everyone else.

I had everything I could want, but I still suffered. I concealed my emotions and withdrew from my family and even my friends.

But in my senior year of high school, something changed; I decided to be me. I went out and immediately got a new wardrobe from the thrift store. I stopped covering the scars on my body. I told my friends when I saw a dude who I thought was cute. I made art for me, I dressed for me, I went on adventures for me, I lived life for me. And that’s because I lived it authentically.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still far from authentic and even further from perfect, but I’m learning that authenticity is closer than I thought. From time to time, I still worry about other people’s opinions of me, I let guys assume I’m straight without correcting them, and I catch myself staring too long at my scars in the mirror.

I don’t know exactly what it takes to become authentic or even what being authentic really means, all I know is that every single day, I work harder and harder to achieve it. Every single day, I become more and more me.


Instagram / stewcaldo
Instagram / stewcaldo

Authenticity is doing what you love without a second thought for other’s opinions. On a consistent basis we get so caught up in other people’s lives on instagram, we lose sight of our own.

This is why i’m joining @hinfluencercollectivein their #50kauthenticposts campaign. I began taking pictures to document my love for adventure and travel. I took this picture of my friend Garret summiting Mt. Shasta after 14,179 grueling steps through snow and terrain. I’ve never experienced anything more terrifying or exhilarating than when I stood at the peak and looked over all of Northern California. This photo reminds me everyday of the places photography has taken me, and how blessed I am to have these stories to tell. So be authentic, post something different that really shows who you are.


Instagram / kivvirachelle
Instagram / kivvirachelle

Authenticity to me means being true to yourself and who you are at your core, which in turn makes you happy and at ease. All of which easily come through (or not) in a photo. It’s not contrived, but natural. So in a day and age when people are often not at ease or happy, just let your authentic self shine through and the difference will be felt.


Instagram / alexisssdeanda
Instagram / alexisssdeanda

Remember that one time we randomly ran away from our normal lives for a weekend? So we could remind ourselves what it was actually like to live? We were stuck going through our everyday routine – wake up, go to school, sleep – and almost with no sense of moral or direction. That’s why going on this trip was such an eye-opener.

We left in the middle of the night with a tent and our bags and just enough cash to get us by, and I have to say it was one of the best trips of my (our) life. Every part of this trip was magical. I had always heard of people talking about Big Sur and how surreal the place was, and for the first time, we were able to experience it for ourselves. On the way back, we passed acres of flower fields like this one and we couldn’t help but pull over and hop the fence. I’ll never forget this moment, this feeling, of pure bliss.

Even though we came back close to broke, I had never felt more myself; a truly authentic version of me. I hope that I will never lose that sense of spontaneity.


Instagram / alexlammb
Instagram / alexlammb

I haven’t been doing photography very long, but I started because if one particular event that happened recently to my whole family. So I am participating in the#50kAuthenticPosts for@hinfluencercollective campaign.

Last year 2 days before my birthday my house caught on fire and we basically lost a lot of stuff that couldn’t be replaced. I wasn’t home but my parents were. To be honest it was the scariest moment in my life since my parents could of died. I don’t share this to much since I don’t feel like sympathy is a good thing. But I take photos to capture every moment so I know I will never forget anything that I have been through if something tragic happened. I am back in my house now but it was a rough year to say the least. This photo is by far one of my favorites since it captures my own editing style and the coast and sunsets. 


Instagram / andrewrosee
Instagram / andrewrosee

@ztoohj and I were in LA once trying to find a sick rooftop to get on. After sneaking past security, reading a bunch of trespassing signs, and 80 flights of stairs later we finally got to the top of a building off S Grand Ave.

I remember us both in awe, not saying a single word just taking in the view of the city at sunset. We were scared that if we left we’d get caught so we stayed there until it got dark out. It’s easy as a photographer to get caught up in the perfect shot when really you just have to let it come to you and enjoy the moment. Although I didn’t get the best pics I’ll never forget the day we walked up 80 flights of stairs to hangout on top of LA.


Instagram / quasso
Instagram / quasso

This little boy ran up to me while I was out on a shoot at a restaurant, and said “Hi!”

About 5 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around. The little guy had come back and said to me:

“Can you take a picture of me please?”

And I said:

“Do you want one with your balloon?”

(He was so adorable)

Whenever I am on a shoot nowadays, I approach families struggling to get a group shot, I see various moments of candidness, and I also see these future models-to-be.

It’s just great to be a part of something authentic, a part of other people’s lives.

Even if it’s a virtual relationship.


Instagram / melissayatesphotography
Instagram / melissayatesphotography

For me, authenticity is sometimes being a little raw. This picture doesn’t look like my finest work as a professional photographer. It’s out of focus and the settings are all wrong. What you don’t see is me bawling my eyes out and my hand shaking as I take this picture. I’m so overcome in this moment, it’s a wonder I even thought to grab my camera at all. See this is my sister-in-law welcoming her little girl into the world….and she asked me if I would be a part of this spectacular moment.

I don’t have children, and my husband and I aren’t going to have any together. That’s something that took a long time for me to give to the Lord. So when my sweet brother and sister-in-law gave me the opportunity to be a part of their daughter’s birth, I could barely contain myself. Now every time I look at that picture I never think, gee I wished I had stopped and set the camera properly. No, all I see is a miracle, and how I was invited in to be a part of it.


Instagram / ironlaks
Instagram / ironlaks

As an artist and someone that naturally enjoys the idea of creating photos on a daily basis—being authentic is important to me. A lot of times people can get lost in the likes, comments, and followers. And it’s not always about sharing your best photos, rather it should be more about sharing your favorite moments.

Here is one of my favorite moments from this year, visiting Yosemite for the first time. It was such a surreal experience that I will never forget and I can’t wait to go back a third time before this year ends!


Instagram / kaylakane
Instagram / kaylakane

Authenticity is something that people have forgotten. In this whole Instagram community it’s easy to forget what you’re actually trying to accomplish and promote to other people. This photo wasn’t posed and I think that’s one of the things I love about it the most. It was just me and my friends having a great time and somebody decided to snap a photo.

I smile every time I look at it because it reminds me how amazing my friends are and how much fun we have doing what we love to do. Just hangin playin a ukulele and singing together.


Instagram / kemachatphoto
Instagram / kemachatphoto

Growing up as an immigrant was tough, being pulled between wanting to be like everyone else and true to my heritage. Being able to express myself through photography help me to discover myself. The acceptance in the art community made me realize it was ok to be myself, what ever that might be and that diversity was good.


Instagram / charlottesmckee
Instagram / charlottesmckee

I never thought I'd say this, but the Internet is full of really kind people sometimes. When I first got the scar on my chin, I hated it. I thought it ruined my career. I would think to myself, "if only I didn't have this scar, then…" There are days that I still struggle with it, no one's perfect and we all feel insecure sometimes.

Since I first started posting photos on here of me without Photoshopping it out, you guys have done nothing but make me fall in love with it. I dunno, I guess I'm just trying to say thanks to you guys for helping me accept my authentic self.

Instagram Photo

It’s absolutely incredible how open and honest people were capable of being once they were “given permission.” Perhaps, every day, we should be willing to let ourselves be more genuine, more true to ourselves, and more authentic in life and on social media. TC mark