Thought Catalog


I Wish I Were Sluttier

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 06:15 PM PDT

pandjimura
pandjimura

I'm not really slutty. In fact, my desire for emotional connection makes it hard for me to shut it down and just have random casual sex with someone.

If you know me, you know I have no issues with the word "slut." Sluttiness is empowering, if that is indeed what you choose to be. (Not being a slut is also empowering if that's what you want.)

Before my two long-term relationships in my 20s, I was a big slut. I had sex with more guys than I can count, and I can't remember most of them, honestly. Even in the 1-year lull between B. and M., I had a couple of dalliances. But in any case, I had a lot of sex with a lot of men… but I did it for the wrong reasons.

Older and wiser, I can see the girl who used to be bullied in high school who now found herself wanted and desired by all the men… and drowning in the attention. I can see the girl longing for acceptance and connection, longing for love, and trying to find it in all the wrong places. I imagine it's a phase that a lot of women go through: suddenly desirable, they don't know how to cope with the whirlwind of feelings sexual attention gives them. Without the maturity to see the difference between a thirsty dude and a guy who really wants to date you, so many of us just become easy sex objects passed around communities.

I know, because that's what happened to me.

But now I'm at least a decade older, about 60 pounds heavier, and much, much wiser.

And yet, sometimes, I still wish I was sluttier. I wish I could sometimes just go around having semi-anonymous sex with Tinder matches. I wish my expectations of respect and connection weren't so high that I had to spend horny nights alone. I wish I didn't wish to have sex with people I can actually get along with.

Because otherwise, what does it mean?

I wrote about this before—it was actually one of my first posts on my blog.

I still feel the same eight months later, except that I admit that I'm sometimes frustrated with this whole state of affairs. How can I wish I was sluttier? Why is it that I sometimes want to do away with all the emotional stuff and just get laid?

Interestingly, I'm not a shallow person. I'm actually the opposite of shallow. I get deeply annoyed with hot guys who believe that their hotness is enough to get women interested in them. I don't consider myself hot (attractive yes, hot no), and I rely on other things to keep my dating life sizzling. I have no trouble getting men to fall in love with me (no, it's not as evil as this sounds. It's just… the way things are).

But, for the life of me, I can't get myself to just fuck a dude.

And sometimes I wish I could. I so wish I could. Sometimes all I'm craving is some stunt dick to fill me up. I don't want to care about who he is, what he does, what he's like. I just want to get fucked and then for him to leave me alone. No emotional messiness or labour for me. Just simple animal attraction and satisfaction. (Now that I'm sterile, this is a lot less risky for me, aside from STIs.)

And yet, I can't bring myself to do it. I've had a few potential matches that I just blocked or unmatched because I got annoyed at their thirstiness. I literally can't bring myself to treat them like the sex object they're treating ME as. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing… I'm just a bit despondent at my inability to shut off my standards and expectations, just once in a while, so I can just enjoy the physical presence of a hot guy.

I know that I'm allowed to want to just get laid. I know that it's okay for a woman to want lots of casual sex. I know that nobody in my close circle would mind or judge me for it.

And yet I just can't. TC mark

How It Feels To Fuck The ‘Cool Girl’

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 05:15 PM PDT

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

"So, are you going to fuck me?" Thatʼs how she said it. Are you going to fuck me.

He had to think about it. The reality and intensity of her statement not quite registering in his beer-soaked brain. He was sitting on the hard oak floor in her third-story bedroom. There wasnʼt much light in the room, the hue strongly influenced by the light of the sodium lamps infiltrating through the large bay window.

The trees were swarmed with white blossoms this time of year. Heʼd seen these neighborhoods for years; from sky scrapers Downtown, from his friendʼs Chinatown apartment, from houses on the hill in West Philly. She parked her bimmer around the block, confident it would be there in the morning. They stumbled past the new construction and closed storefronts and abandoned row homes that were dotted across this once dilapidated neighborhood under the watchful glow of the same streetlights that would later illuminate her naked figure.

There he sat at the foot of her bed, nervous and in shock of the eveningʼs progression. Selecting one of her dadʼs vinyls from the wooden crate they were kept in and placing it onto the turntable she had just purchased. Probably from one of the trendy stores in the city, specializing in just this type of hipster paraphernalia.

She laid there in her bed wearing a dingy band t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and black boy shorts. Her outfit proclaimed her intentions with the innocent-yet-seductive elegance one would associate with Holly Golightly.

This girl held his imagination for several years before this night.

Having similar majors and interests led to them sharing several courses each semester. There was something about her, something he couldnʼt quite get a grasp on.

She was so mysterious and beautiful in a manner that played at his emotions and desires so severely that she had to know. The aura of unbridled sexuality she emitted was far beyond any other girlʼs. He lusted after her, wanting to know who she really was beneath her guarded persona. She was so cool.

That was part of her mystique and appeal she had. She always wore the coolest clothes, listened to the coolest music. He had always wanted to be cool. He was never cool. He felt cooler just being around Her. And she was never around anyone. He felt so cool being friends with her.

He still didnʼt know that much about her. It seemed as if no one did. Well not no one, but they were her friends on yachts in their pictures, always jetting to Aruba for New Years or to Belgium for Easter. They had lunches together and he slowly gleaned bits and pieces about who she was and why she was so mysterious. Her father was someone, and her grandmother was an even bigger someone. The more he learned, the more he began to think that he didnʼt know her at all.

His phone rang. It was Her. Thatʼs strange, he practically spoke aloud with a deep seated excitement bordering on mild hysteria. "Hey!" was all he could muster. "Are you coming to (insert obscure band) tonight? Itʼll be a lot of fun."

He thought the bandʼs show in the city was a week away and he was planning on going. Heʼs liked this band for a few years and she mentioned it casually in conversation so obviously heʼs going. But as he thought it was the following week, he didnʼt have any plan for getting to the city that afternoon. Or home from the city, presumably the next day.

"Sounds like fun, pick me up at the train after work?" Fuck yes, was the only thought in his mind.

They hung out with her friends who were the bartenders to the upper-class of the city. The music promoters who organized concerts just like this. Writers who published their work in the newspaper and photographers who submitted to Rolling Stone.

He felt so cool. He had never felt this way before. He was as cool as her. And she was the coolest person he had ever known. He waited years to feel this way.

He bought her some cheap cans of cold lager and they danced together. Twirling and bouncing to the poppy drum and synth beats. The air conditioner was on, but it was vastly underwhelming in the humidity of the latespring night in the ʻup-and-comingʼ neighborhood. In reality it was just somewhat close to the already redeveloped warehouse districts and railroad yards, now filled with expensive bars, loft apartments, and farmers markets.

He made his way on to her bed, moving across the fluffy down comforter. He couldnʼt keep his eyes off of her, having difficulty believing the reality of the situation. ʻHot Rocksʼ was spinning on the turntable and Keith Richardʼs guitar urged them together. A guitar that she had showed him, hanging on the wall of her office.

He put his hands on her body, moving the soft cotton t-shirt that hung loosely from her shoulders. She arched her back as he kissed her, exposing her hipbones; revealing a tattoo on her otherwise flawless sun-kissed skin.

Even now he wonders if She thinks about him. Not even in the way he remembers her. Just, at all. Or remembers his name. Or even if she could pick out his face in a crowd. The same insignificance he certainly made countless girls feel after feeling important and special for a fleeting moment.

None of that matters though. Now he knows how it feels. How it feels to be cool. How it feels to be on a scuff on the crimson bottom of her favorite Louboutinʼs. TC mark

20 Personality Traits That Mean He’s More Inclined To Cheat Than Other Men

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 04:15 PM PDT

Twenty20, sokobanz
Twenty20, sokobanz

1. He’s impulsive. He says whatever’s on his mind as soon as it pops into his head, because he’s incapable of holding back. He has little to no self-control.

2. He has friends and parents that cheat. It’s not guarenteed that he’ll follow in his father’s unfaithful footsteps, but if all of his friends cheat, then he might start to think it isn’t a big deal and end up doing it himself.

3. He’s a good liar. If you’ve caught him in several lies (that go beyond fibbing about your birthday gift), then you need to be careful. If he’s willing to lie to you about how much he spent at the bar, then he might be willing to lie about the women he spoke to at the bar.

4. He’s a flirt. If he stares at your waitress’ breasts and asks if she’s single when you’re right there, imagine what he’ll do behind your back.

5. He’s fickle. If he’s constantly changing his mind, because he’s never satisfied, then you could be in trouble. He might end up bored of you and decide to sleep with someone new.

6. He’s selfish. During sex, he cares more about making himself orgasm than making you orgasm. And when it’s time to pick a movie, he picks the one he’d like instead of the one you’d both like.

7. He never apologizes. Or even worse, he never feels guilty. If he thinks that he can do no wrong, then he’ll see how far he can go and still get away with it.

8. He’s insanely jealous. If he has the urge to cheat, then he’ll think you have the same urge. That’s why he’ll get paranoid whenever you look at another guy.

9. He’s an adrenaline junkie. If he loves jumping out of planes and off of bridges, then he might want to take another type of risk–by cheating on you.

10. He’s secretive. He has a lock screen on his phone that he won’t give you the password to. And he never tells you any details about what happened during his day.

11. He’s sexy. This has less to do with him and more to do with other women. If he’s drop dead gorgeous, then more girls will be looking at him, which means he’ll have more opportunities to cheat.

12. He’s filthy rich. Why do you think so many celebrities cheat? Because they accidentally end up on power trips and think they’re untouchable.

13. He’s an addict. If he’s addicted to drugs or alcohol, then his judgement may be skewed.

14. He’s always miserable. It’s not your fault that he feels that way. He just thinks the grass is greener on the other side, which is why he might end up exploring other options.

15. He’s insecure. If he wants a quick confidence boost, sleeping with a stranger could give it to him.

16. He hates being alone. If he doesn’t want to spend his nights in an empty bed, he might find someone else to keep him occupied while you’re away.

17. He’s a misogynist. If he doesn’t respect you, he’ll have no problem cheating on you.

18. He does stupid things when he’s drunk. If he uses alcohol as an excuse for getting into fist fights and missing work, then what makes you think he’ll stop at that?

19. He has a ridiculously high sex drive. If he gets a hard-on whenever another woman walks by, then you should watch your back. The hornier he gets, the harder it’ll be for him to hold back.

20. He’s cheated before. Once a cheater, always a cheater isn’t necessarily true. But if he’s cheated before, it means he’s capable of the act, so proceed with caution. TC mark

The Unedited Truth About Feeling Lonely In A Big City

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 03:15 PM PDT

Namphuong Van
Namphuong Van

The weirdest thing about loneliness is how you always seem to feel it when you're surrounded by too many people.

You live in a city of millions. It's famous, it's loud, it's kind of disgusting sometimes, but it's everything you knew you wanted to immerse yourself in.

It's impossible to feel alone. It's not a livable, breathable population of people—it's cramped and occasionally suffocating. But you're never physically alone. And it’s good—it’s comforting in its own, twisted way. It forces you to adapt quickly to the new environment.

You create routine and lifestyle. Both of which are designed to keep you going and going and going—just to get out of bed and to feign some purpose in your everyday. Your days fill up, you meet so many new people you begin to forget their names and refer to them only by their physical features and where you met them ("Grey striped shirt guy at that bar downtown"). You feel stuffed and numb to anything else.

But then, one day, you feel it.

It seeps into your consciousness. You'll be doing something random and mundanely ordinary, like trying to choose a bunch of bananas at the Fairway two blocks away from your apartment, and you'll feel it.

You're lonely.

It’s unfair. You could know people in the city; not everyone is an unfamiliar face to you. Maybe you grew up with them—all of you raised in the quiet suburban towns on the outskirts of the city limits. Maybe you already knew the city before you moved in—those later suburban years being filled with sneaky trips into the city to explore with friends (read: underage drink).

The city, whether brand new or resoundingly familiar, doesn't matter. You always feel that loneliness.

It’s a strikingly different loneliness than being physically isolated. It’s more painful and confusing to feel lonely when you’re not actually alone.

And it’s not poetic. This loneliness doesn’t inspire beautiful and transcendent art. It’s dark and debilitating, and doesn’t fuel anything other than a lot of doubts.

And it doesn’t make sense. There are millions of people here, how is it possible to feel like nobody can even see you?

You begin to notice it. The masses of people that surround you regularly—take the same trains as you, drink the same coffee as you—they’re anonymous. And so are you.

It’s an urban isolation. And at first it all feels contradictory, but then you begin to realize it’s just inevitable. TC mark

The Real Reason Why Women Reject Nice Guys And Go For The Asshole

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 02:15 PM PDT

The Spectacular Now
The Spectacular Now

Nice guys finish last.
I'm single because I'm a nice guy.
Girls don't like nice guys.
(And other cliché remarks about girls only liking jerks.)

Is this whole "nice guys finish last" thing an excuse for sad single guys who can't get girls or is it true? Do women only want jerks who treat them poorly?

While scrolling through Facebook one night I came across a post that said, "The reason I'm single is because I treat girls nicely." My first thoughts were along the lines of, "Of course blame girls for the reason you're single, you entitled dick. Don't blame yourself at all. You have a good quality, you're ‘too nice’, and it must be so agonizing for you. What a shame? You should be entitled to any girl you want because, I mean, you earned it, you're ‘nice.’"

I will add that I am an angry single girl and this is just my reaction to a guy that tells me "girls only like jerks."

Instead of letting these thoughts completely consume me, I decided to think about the label "nice guy" and what it really means.

Let me first introduce you to a disease striking the nation, the "nice guy disease." This is the idea that "nice guys" are undesirable to women. The disease doesn't only affect men. Women can contract it as well. I've heard many women declare, "I only like assholes" or, "He was just too nice for me." I can’t yell at men exclusively for feeling defeated. The "nice guy disease" continues to spread because of women who instill these notions. Women, for the most part, do not enjoy being abused, so why do they keep proclaiming their love for abusive jerks?

It's true; some girls say that they like "bad boys." Girls go crazy for a James Dean type guy, "a rebel without a cause." Why? Because "bad boys" are exciting and unpredictable. They're confident and they take what they want. The traits of a "bad boy" are desirable to a lot of women. Women believe dating a "bad boy" can be thrilling and dangerous. Sometimes women are attracted to a "bad boy" because they believe they can change him, keep all the hot qualities of a "bad boy" and add the nice qualities they desire, like being treated with respect. As Taylor Swift said, "I can make a bad guy good for a weekend." Taming a bad boy can be an ultimate accomplishment lamented by girls everywhere. This, one, rarely occurs and, two, doesn't sound like the makeup of a healthy and mature relationship.

So does this mean the opposite of the "bad boy" is the "nice guy?" "Nice guys" have been described as boring and not willing to take risks. They're weak, dweeby guys, who are predictable and often get taken advantage of. "Nice guy" doesn't seem to mean the same thing as a guy who is nice. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word nice means "kind, polite and friendly." According to Yourdictionary.com, nice-guy means "An inoffensive adult male who desires romantic companionship but who is too bland and uninspiring to be attractive." If "nice guys" are described as guys who are "too bland" and lack any personality, then I guess they do, based on that definition, finish last. Complying to a woman's every demand and being completely agreeable seems desirable on paper, but it just doesn't work in the real world with an actual real life woman.

Declaring over and over again that you are a "nice guy" who "finishes last" will never end well. The label doesn't mean the guy is kind or polite it means he is bland and submissive.

The "nice guy" isn't really nice.

The "nice guy" feels as if they are entitled to a woman's attraction because they're being completely passive and tailoring themselves to a specific woman's liking. Instead of being the "nice guy" strive to be the guy who is nice.

Women, who are mature and desire a long-term commitment, are attracted to respectful and secure men. TC mark

How Meme Culture Makes Sexism Easier To Swallow

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 01:15 PM PDT

Memes are a relatively recent phenomenon, originating somewhere in the depths of 4Chan, and making it into our daily pop culture digestion through none other than the hegemon of visual apps, Instagram. Memes serve to mock everything, from the ridiculous occurrences of Hollywood and the music industry, to the mundane and arbitrary events of our everyday lives.

Do not mistake, memes come for everyone.

But in their criticism of women, memes come especially hard.

The relentless mocking of women is so prevalent in this medium that it is often not questioned. But the jokes displayed here would no longer pass muster in more conventional platforms of entertainment – television and movies, which are routinely reviewed and held up to standard by both professional critics and the public. Instead, Instagram memes represent a new "Wild West" in entertainment, where account holders, sometimes having millions of followers, can simply post whatever they want with little review or backlash. Memes succeed in placing women into several stereotypes, from "hoes", to stifling girlfriends, to having value based solely on the size of their butts and breasts. Memes also succeed in condensing these themes into bite-size humor, for all to find acceptable and swallow without protest. In this simple and humorous presentation, the sexist themes can be easily excused as "just jokes".

But with the prevalence and popularity of meme accounts, and the heavy and engrossing usage of Instagram among teens and pre-teens, the effect can be quite harmful. These memes pop up on young people's feeds often, and allow the sexist themes to not only be accepted, but engrained into a person's worldview. Here are just a few examples from popular Instagram accounts:

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

These memes can be seen to disparage women from every angle -from stereotyping women as illogical, to casting them as attention seeking, to categorizing them based on body type. The most harmful of the bunch makes an assumption about a woman's sexuality based on what she's wearing, countering the efforts that have been made to end these attitudes in a variety of anti-rape and anti-slut shaming campaigns. For women that have proudly marched in Slutwalks and protested for this cause, these memes are not only problematic, but insulting. They serve not only to laugh at women, but to laugh in the face of the progress they have been trying so desperately to make.

The user generated comments on these memes consist mostly of users tagging others, as most people take these images as humor and pass them along to their friends.

Here, meme creators can be seen as just "giving the people what they want", and providing the content that gets them followers and likes.

There has been a countermovement by female led accounts, such as @gothshakira, which makes humorous and sometimes purposefully over-complicated memes that serve to encapsulate the female experience. There are several accounts that take ownership of the word hoe and repurpose it as an empowering term, churning out memes that empower women to enjoy their sexual freedom and womanhood ( @hoesgivenofucks, and @girlwithnojob to name check a few). These accounts manage to counter some stereotypes, but they are scarce. On a platform so widely used, there is scarily little other content that can be seen as women-positive. In fact, women's bodies are often viscerally criticized by commenters, and women are called "hoes" for acts as meaningless as applying the Snapchat dog-filter. So what can be done?

There is no clear solution to ending sexist attitudes towards women on Instagram.

However, it is clear that meme accounts are creating this content to generate likes and user reaction, and that so far, they have been largely successful.

The only thing that can be done is to stop liking and sharing these images, and instead focus on following progressive accounts and circulating content that positively effects women. The pop culture we expose ourselves to has a greater impact on us that we may realize, and it is time that we contribute positively. TC mark

My Favorite Thought Catalog Articles

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 12:45 PM PDT

lookcatalog.com
lookcatalog.com

I don’t perfectly remember when I first read Thought Catalog or what the article was. I know it was in college, and for some reason I’m pretty sure my friend Lindsay Brown (shoutout to LB!!) shared it. But I remember being incredibly inspired and transfixed by writers like Ryan O’Connell, Kat George, Chrissy Stockton, and Mila Jaroniec. I read TC pretty much daily, followed writers on Twitter and Tumblr, and even purchased my first eBook from Thought Catalog on my shiny new Nook (I’ve since upgraded to Kindle…don’t @ me) in 2013.

Basically, long before I got drunk and tried my hand at writing (I told the story over on Thought Catalog’s Facebook – you can watch it here) I was a fan of the website.

Two years after my first article was published, almost a year after I’ve worked for the company full-time, and several years after I first began reading the site, I’ve read, published, written, critiqued, and produced hundreds of articles. And the unofficial “anniversary” of when I went from being reader to writer on the site seemed like a good date to share some of my personal favorites.

Inspirational

Bianca Sparacino is the kind of girl that is intimidatingly cool. But more than her aesthetic (which is ON. POINT.) she’s the quintessential inspirational writer that you can turn to when you just need a pick me up. ‘You Are Not For Everyone‘ is one of my Bianca faves. One of my all-time greatest fears is the idea of not being ‘enough’ or the alternative, being ‘too much’ for someone. And the reality is…I probably won’t be enough for someone. And I will absolutely, and have been, too much for more. But that’s okay. And this piece by Bianca always reminds me of that simple fact.

Excerpt: “No, you are not for everyone. You are never going to be able to stop yourself from screaming your love from rooftops, you will never be able to play it cool. You are the kind of person who will worry about the strangers you see in grocery stores, the kind of person who will stay up at night wondering about your fifth grade crush, hoping that the sun is setting beautifully wherever they rest their head.

For that, I hope you protect yourself.”

*

Kat George remains, to this day, one of my favorite writers. Period. I highly recommend her book Pink Bits which, coincidentally, talks about periods. Kat is the type of woman and writer who just makes you wish she was in your friend group. And going back to her earlier work brings up some of my favorite pieces. ‘Here Is How You Walk Away From Him‘ was published in July of 2013, which was probably the worst and most chaotic summer of my life. While obviously, she wasn’t writing about me, I remember reading this and feeling like she was speaking directly to me. And even now when I reread it, it still feels that way.

Excerpt: “Here is how you walk away from him: you get up, flick your hair, sashay away and never look back.”

*

When I think about writers that I admire, Steph Georgopulos always comes up. I was talking to Chrissy the other day about writers and writing and other various artistic things that make us sound more pretentious than we actually are and Steph came up. Chrissy just simply said, “Girl’s got chops.” And I think that very accurately describes her. She’s got chops. Steph is ridiculously talented, and whenever I feel like I have a need to read something that I know is going to resonate, something I know will make me think, I turn to this piece, and any of her other wonderful pieces of writing.

Excerpt: “Is the most important thing about me really where I work or where I write? Does anyone honestly feel that way? I could've used that space to say anything: that I can't cross paths with a stray cat without pausing to watch it until it's out of sight. That I'm in love. That life makes me so excited that I want to explode, some days.”

Creepy

The fact that horror and horror fiction has such a presence and audience on Thought Catalog is still amazing to me. Jack Follman is an brilliantly talented writer who focuses on thriller and horror fiction. Each one of his stories reads like a movie to me. In fact, if this piece was turned into a movie, I would be at the midnight showing. He is a truly impressive storyteller and I get genuinely excited whenever he has something new.

Excerpt: “One of our favorite activities when we were kids was to search for frogs in the creek and then build our own zoos for them to live in the front of The Shack. Unfortunately, our zoos weren't the ideal habitat for the frogs so they frequently died in mass. When our frog friends passed, we would give them a proper burial in front of the mini-shack in our Frog Graveyard which was complete with mini headstones we made with rocks we tagged with our departed amphibian friends' names.

Below the marker for the Frog Graveyard on the map was a note:

Dig here, don't tell Jeremy

*

One of the things I love most about the internet is how it constantly exposes me to new things. I love things that are creepy, scary, maybe a bit macabre. But I’d never heard of Black Eyed Kids until I discovered Creepy Catalog. Now I’m not going to lie and say I hope I run into a BEK anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find the stories absolutely fascinating. And, of course, creepy AF.

Excerpt: “The girl very politely spoke up, "Ma'am, can we please come inside and use your phone to call our mom?" As she spoke something in the pit of my stomach was telling me something was wrong. What kid, even at that age doesn't have a cell phone of their own these days? I couldn't remember the last time I'd had anybody asked to use my home phone.”

Funny

Katie Mather is my favorite writer right now. It’s not just because she’s absolutely ridiculous and funny and everything I wish I had been at 22, but because she’s just unashamedly Katie. She’s so quick her jokes come at you out of nowhere and you’re left standing there sort of stunned because you never saw it coming. I remember seeing this House Hunters piece and immediately being A) so excited to read it because I love me some HH but B) internally furious that I didn’t think of this idea. I have a feeling that’s how I’ll always feel about Katie. But I’m 100% okay with it.

Excerpt: “The first house is ugly. Janet loves its charm (aka it looks like it's haunted). Derek makes two feeble jokes about Janet needing a bigger closet. Classic.”

*

There’s a certain art to being able to write about sex comedically without being crass for the sake of being crass, and without making the same jokes that everyone’s made about dicks, lube, and dicks without lube. Ryan O’Connell will always be one of the first voice I remember reading and laughing my face off at, but also relating to so perfectly. I’m fairly certain I could read 1700 words of Ryan just describing a speck of dirt on the ground and it would be one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. I quote this piece about once a month and I’m not sorry about it.

Excerpt: “Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed with emotion and want to cry during sex. That's okay. You're not crazy. There's just a dick inside of you. We've all been there.”

Growing Up

I have a pathological fear of growing up. Which is why this Ryan O’Connell piece resonates so fiercely within me. I’m always worried about if I still look young, if everyone else hates themselves as much as I do, I’m doing a bad job of growing up, if I’m doing okay…and this essay finds a home with that fear. It’s tongue and cheek for sure, but still poignant. And that’s what I love about it.

Excerpt: “Treat love like it's chewing gum. Spit it out, twirl it around your finger and stick it under the table. There'll be more where that came from, I'm sure. I will never run out of love. It will always be there for me, ready for consumption, when I'm ready for it.

*

Chrissy Stockton is the person that I list at the top of the “who do you aspire to be like” column of my questionnaire of life. I was actually there when she wrote this piece and I remember telling her I couldn’t really talk about it because it hit home so specifically for me. That still remains. There is this element to growing up where we all sit there poised and coifed and say, “One day we’ll make sense!!” But reality is..that’s not reality. And Chrissy sums that up in this piece both poetically and accurately. There’s an element to growing up that is so personal and so introspective. And I think that’s what causes me to tear up every time I reread this piece.

Excerpt: "You work on yourself and you hope for the best, but you only get better — you don't get perfect."

*

Growing up is almost…unfortunate in a way. It’s never seamless, effortless, or any of those less-esque adjectives that make it seem like it’s going to be easy. Which is why I love this Chelsea Fagan piece so much. There’s a reason they literally call it growing pains. Growing up sucks a lot! But the sucakge is ultimately okay, and what I like about this piece is that it makes those messier parts easier to accept. It makes the uncomfortable parts of growing up more touchable, tangible, accessible. It makes you feel less alone.

Excerpt: “[To grow up you must deal with] Falling for someone who is never going to be a good decision for you, but who you cannot help yourself in loving.”

Poetry

It would be basically sacrilegious to talk about poetry and Thought Catalog without talking about Ari Eastman. Ari’s poetry is what made me fall in LOVE with poetry. It’s accessible, it’s relatable. It’s human. I remember reading this piece for the first time in one of her books and feelings like it was stabbing me directly in the chest. That’s what her words do to you. They hit you directly where you’re most afraid, most exposed, most vulnerable. But they do so softly, sweetly, almost in an unassuming way. I will never stop reading her poetry. No matter what. Quote me on it.

Excerpt: “I am laughing and crying
and our love spills out with such ease.
It escapes through open doors,
the gap in between my front teeth,
the spaces between our fingers when we unlatch,
spinning madly,
"This is where I love you.”

*

Technically, this isn’t a TC original. OMG ALERT THE AUTHORITIES OMG. But this poet, Brenna Twohy, is one of my favorite poets and writers around right now. And I was so honored, so excited, to get to feature her on Thought Catalog some months back.

This poem makes my skin crawl. It makes me want to get outside of myself and refuse to relate. But that’s what good writing, what powerful writing, does. It makes you want to escape and forces a reactions from the words. Brenna will always do that. And I love her for it.

Excerpt: “It's not your fault, you say,
that your teeth
are the same shape
as his teeth.”

Emotional

I’ve called Lauren “glitter in human form” more than once and I fully stand by that assessment. But aside from being a literal ray of sunshine, Lauren is a truly excellent storyteller and very elegant writer. Elegant is the word I constantly use to describe what she writes. Even when she’s just telling a love story that took place on a domestic flight, there’s a smoothness and a certain level of grace to it.

Also I love this piece because it genuinely reads like a romcom, and I want them to live happily ever after as the credits roll and an acoustic cover of a Whitney Houston song plays.

Excerpt: “He told me he thought my broken thumb was cute and looked me dead in the eyes so many times that my stomach kept dropping in that sickly crush kind of way. With his conversation and his smile, he made me forget about the turbulence. He made me forget my fear of heights. I don't know if I believe in fate, but something about this experience made me want to believe in it.”

*

I talk a good game about letting go. I talk a good game about deleting people from my life, from exiting scenarios. But it’s easier said that done. This piece by Heidi Priebe goes through the intricacies and the complicated nature of letting someone go. It’s heartbreaking, it’s beautiful, it’s one of those pieces that brings me back to a specific time in my life and even though the memories may still sting, it’s nice to be able to reflect.

Excerpt: “This is my conceptualization: That someday I'm going to have a wedding and that you will not be there. That the ring that gets slipped on my finger will be picked out by somebody else and that the people sitting in the front row with eyes brimming and hearts bursting will not be your family members. This is my acceptance of the finite absurdity of knowing that I'm someday going to promise my life to someone who is not you and that I may even be happy to do so. That one day I'll see changes and beginnings in a way I never saw them with you.”

*

Mila Jaroniec is a writer that I distinctly remember reading and thinking, “Wow, I wish I could do that.” Whenever someone asks me about my favorite pieces of writing, I immediately search for this piece. The huamnity of it, the rawness of it, Mila’s conversational writing. I just…I love everything about it. Idk. It’s my favorite. Read it.

Excerpt: “I'm going to sit across the table and watch you weave your fingers into hers, chew the same crust of bread for five minutes and sip my cocktail and try to smile. I'm going to think you can't tell her "I love you" and mean it because you've said it to me so many times and meant it and now you don't so you've already used up that phrase, get a new phrase or keep your mouth shut.”

Smart

Mélanie Berliet is a writer that I remember reading before I even cited Thought Catalog as one of my favorite digital platforms. And now, I’m lucky enough to get to say that I work with her. My favorite thing about Mél is that she gives 0.0000000000 fucks. Mél doesn’t care if you like her, if you’re bothered by what she says, if you have something to interject with. She encourages differentiating opinions and voices. It’s a quality I absolutely admire and absolutely aspire to have as I (continue to) grow up. This piece is one of many that Mélanie has written that inspire me to be better, to do more, to push. And I hope that she never stops pushing for that more. Because I love her for it.

Excerpt: “Although it's helpful to ask ‘why?’ [women who don’t need your approval are] more likely to ask “why not?'”

*

If anyone ever tries to talk to me about the internet and spikage and how view-counts work ever again, I’m going to send them this article before engaging with them. Love it, hate it, Bible-by it or adamantly disagree with it…it’s sure to make you think and spark a conversation wherever you are.

The thing about internet culture is that it (can be) very misunderstood. People will say things like, “Oh you’re just a blogger,” or “So you operate on hate clicks right?” and it makes you want to slap them because in reality, you’re creating content for over millions of people per month and those statements are simply untrue. It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like you’re constantly justifying what you do or how you do what you do. But Chrissy inspires me to just roll with it, and to just keep on grinding. And I think she’s able to roll with it because of how much she knows and understands about this industry. She knows how to be there for her audience, she understands her audience. And I am so glad I’ve gotten to learn about it, internet culture, from her directly.

Excerpt: “The real issue is that people don't want opinions they disagree with to be published. They don't want writing that they don't judge to be good to be published. They want their meal to come to them prepackaged and maybe even spooned directly into their mouth.” TC mark

9 Things You Might Do If You Suck At Flirting

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 12:15 PM PDT

New Girl
New Girl

I don’t know how to purposefully flirt. It’s not a skill I was blessed with. Sure, I can flirt when I’m not aware of it. But the second I realize what I’m doing, or that a crush is developing, my brain says, “Lol, good luck.”

If you’re like me, you’re way too familiar with these techniques when you simply suck at flirting.

1. Completely ignore them.

You get so flustered that you do EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER to not look at them or talk to them. Because nothing makes quite as much as sense as pretending the one person you’re interested in doesn’t exist.

2. Ramble for 10 minutes on something completely random.

“Oh hey, could I get you a drink? Hahah you know what, this reminds me of that episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where Spike and Buffy start taking shots together. It’s weird how vampires can still get drunk. Like, they’re dead? Would alcohol really affect them like that? I don’t know. Spike was the first time I ever liked a bad boy. I usually like them a bit awkward and skinny, like you.” *WINK*

3. Laugh a little too hard at their jokes.

I guarantee you nothing said was so funny that your eyes should be watering right now.

4. Stare blankly.

Quick! Think of something witty to say! Contribute to the conversation! OKAY, LITERALLY SAY ANYTHING.

5. Get…weird.

Your sentences don’t really make sense. Or you laugh, and it sounds like a dying walrus. It’s like you have forgotten how to human. GREAT TIMING.

6. Try to wink. End up blinking.

Which prompts the question, “Do you have something in your eye?” To which you have to say, “Oh yeah, I guess I do.” Then run away to the bathroom.

7. Actually choke.

No, this is not a drill. Does anyone know the Heimlich?!

8. Start speaking in puns.

Nothing says sexual chemistry like wordplay, right? Dad jokes, FULL STEAM AHEAD!!!!

9. Snort.

Because if you’re as lucky as I am, you sometimes snort when you laugh. And here’s the thing, it’s cute when a sitcom character does it. When I do it? Not so much. Nobody wants to have sex with Miss Piggy. And if they do, that’s concerning. TC mark

In Defense Of All The Basic Bitches Out There

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 11:45 AM PDT

TonyTheTigersSon
TonyTheTigersSon

Confession: I'm basic.

I like fall- like really love it. I'm that weirdo breaking out the pumpkin on September 1st. I light scented candles. I wear UGG boots with leggings. I own Vera Bradley and Kate Spade and Lily Pulitzer. I curl my hair. I wear scarves. And yes, I drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes… multiple times a week.

I like Taylor Swift. I enjoy Pilates class. I don't like DIY, but I'll break out the adult coloring book every now and again. I read bestsellers. I'm obsessed with Shonda Rhimes. I instagram photos of my dog on the reg.

I'm basic.

Or maybe, just maybe, I like things. And sometimes, those things happen to be liked by other people. Sometimes those things are really popular. And I'm okay with that. My love or enjoyment of something is not at all affected by how many people happen to also like it.

In fact, the more popular something is, the more I l tend to like it. Because I almost like the experience of liking it more than the actual thing itself. I like calling you up to talk about it. I like reading about it online. I like laughing about it and obsessing about it and dreaming about it. I like the collective experience of liking things as a unit.

People call me basic like it is a bad thing, like it's an insult to my intelligence and creativity. But passion is never basic, no matter where it's placed. Joy doesn't decrease by popularity. Enjoying something is never boring. That's a contradictory statement.

You know what is boring and dull and unimaginative? Never having an opinion. Never having the courage to love something with your whole heart and put it out there for others to witness.

You know what I think is basic? Sitting on the sidelines and judging.

Refusing to like anything that other people love. Thinking you're above everyone else's enjoyment. Caring more about the perceived popularity of the thing than the thing itself. That's basic.

Look, I'm not exactly innocent in this myself. I'm pretty good at judging other people based on appearances and assumptions. But this new trend of thinking people are dumb because they like things, because they express interest or excitement about something? It's ridiculous. And harmful.

Why is it a national pastime to mock things that are popular? Can't we all just cut each other some slack? If you don't like PSLs, don't buy one, but could you maybe not insult my intelligence based on the fact that I happen to like a popular beverage?

I like people who put their shit out there. People who actively like things. People who are passionate and invested and interested. People who generally give a shit. And those people? They're easy to mock, because they put it all out on the table. They make a statement. They are trying things and enjoying things and really living. They're not timid. They're all freaking in.

These are the people I respect and admire and want to be around. People that have interests and aren't afraid to talk about them. Even if what they're interested is annoyingly popular, or outdated, or not at all my style. If you truly like and value something, I respect you for it, even if I don't hold the same view. I recognize your passion. That's better than someone who stays on the sideline and judges and makes comments but never takes a stand for anything.

Stop subtweeting the world about how you can't believe UGG boots are still a thing. Stop bitching about how dumb it is to like The Bachelorette. Stop complaining about things other people like, and go find something to like yourself. And then talk about it. And post about it. And be happy about it.

And then maybe drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte because those things are for real delicious. TC mark

This Is How You Must Promise To Love Me

Posted: 08 Oct 2016 11:15 AM PDT

NickBulanovv
NickBulanovv

I’m not always an easy person to love and fight for. I’m emotional, guarded, passive aggressive, analytical, irrational and insecure. I create problems where they never existed, am slow to trust, jump to the worst conclusions, and often feel overcome with a fear of being left. Worse yet, I often believe that I might actually deserve to be left.

But damn it if I don’t love with every last inch of my heart and soul. I love deeply, completely, and in ways that few people deserve to experience. I give away pieces of myself in abundance, pour my heart into the hands of those I love, try my best to be a person who doesn’t break hearts, and constantly look for ways to improve myself enough to make the people around me feel special and cared for.

I’m a lover, and I’m a fighter. But I’m far from perfect. I have scars that have ruined me, stories that have changed me, and beliefs that have made me question everyone and everything.

It takes a special and patient kind of person to love me. But when they do, I love them back.

I honor their scars, embrace who they are, prioritize them as they deserve to be prioritized, and grow with them like flowers in a garden.

It’s what I do. It’s what I’ll always do.

All or nothing. 100 percent. Win or lose.

If you want to love me, you must love me slowly.

I don’t like moving too fast. If I do, I’ll get overwhelmed. I’ll give and expect too much, too soon. I’ll drown. So take your time with me. Notice the things that make me tick, make me hesitate, make me laugh, make me smile. Pay attention when my eyes light up. Memorize the little things I tell you about myself. Give me plenty of space, and let me decide when we should move forward or take things to the next level. I’m not afraid to make some moves of my own, so sit back, relax, and let me make them when I’m ready.

If you want to love me, you must love me carefully.

I’m fragile and wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m cautious and timid, and the slightest thing has the power to hurt me. Be mindful and respectful of my sensitivity. Think about what you say or do before you say or do it, and strive to love me with intention and understanding. I have no more room in my heart for carelessness or disregard.

If you want to love me, you must love me patiently.

You must peel back each and every layer of who I am and know that I am often slow to open up or give myself away. Few have been up to the challenge of taking their time and getting to know who I truly am. There is no instant gratification with me in the beginning. Learning to love me takes time and work, but it will be one of the most rewarding things you ever decide to do in the end.

If you want to love me, you must love me gently.

Carefully consider your words and actions with me, for I tend to react a bit strongly at times. And when it comes to physical contact, communicate and let me make moves before you do. You’ll very quickly catch on to what I like and what I don’t.

If you want to love me, you must love me deeply.

I may seem hesitant at first, but I’m all or nothing when it comes to love. If I choose to love you, I will love you with every fiber of my being. I will memorize you. I will prioritize you. I will accept you. I will want to make you happy. I will want the best for you. If you can’t reciprocate, at least to a reasonable extent, I will eventually leave without a single glance over my shoulder. My heart is a rare and precious thing that only a select few can handle and adequately care for.

If you want to love me, you must love me honestly.

A few white lies and instances of stretching the truth are inevitable and forgivable, but blatant dishonesty or deception is not. And if you tell me you love me, I hope to God you truly mean it. Because love is a pretty strong word.

If you want to love me, you must love me unconditionally.

I’m not always an easy person to love and fight for. I’m emotional, guarded, passive aggressive, analytical, irrational and insecure. I create problems where they never existed, am slow to trust, jump to the worst conclusions, and often feel overcome with a fear of being left. Worse yet, I often believe that I might actually deserve to be left. But dammit if I don’t love with every last inch of my heart and soul.

And I'll be damned if I’ll settle for less than a person who loves me just the same. TC mark