I Know What You Mean When You Say “Hello” and I Don’t Like It

In case you didn’t catch it, Hollaback! (a non-profit devoted to ending street harassment) filmed a woman walking around NYC wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans – not that that shit matters – for 10 hours and she received an uncomfortable amount of unsolicited comments, greetings, and catcalls. The video is cringe-worthy and disgusting and yet it is completely unsurprising.

And from this video came some pretty choice comments. Let’s look at a few shall we?

“You, and a lot of the comment section should be ashamed of yourselves. A lot of those men were GENTLEMEN, and you’re making them look like potential predators just because you’re an attention whore that doesn’t like getting it from certain people. Shame on you. It’s a crime to call a random woman on the street beautiful, yet some buttered up slut can runup to any random guy and start flirting with him and nobody thinks twice? Pfft.”

“I agree that most of the guys in the video were sleazy but what about when a guy offers to buy you a drink in a bar? Its amazing how much less offensive women find “unwanted attention” when it suits them!”

“Excessively tight jeans serve a very deliberate function for women: attracting a sexual partner…they have to use a sexy woman because we all know that ugly women – like the feminists behind this video – never get hit on or street harassed. I bet there are millions of ugly and overweight women all over the world that would love the attention this girl’s getting.”

– This comment comes from a despicable Men’s Rights Activist video narrated by a guy “refuting” the Hollaback! video. He is either completely delusional or an extremely convincing troll. Won’t even link to it on principle.

A whole lot of people are baffled by how most of the stuff in this video constitutes harassment. “He was just being nice! Telling her to have a good day! Since when is it a crime to say ‘hi’ to someone?!” True. Very true. But from what I understand, NYC is not the kind of warm, manner-driven place where people greet each other on the street as though his aunt grew up with her mom and they grew up together. Do you see those heads turning? Do you recognize those men leering? That’s what makes women uncomfortable.

Typically, the goal of this seemingly innocuous “hello” is to get a response and to begin a conversation. Jessica Williams from The Daily Show – who just consistently kicks ass – did a great piece on catcalling and street harassment. Right toward the beginning we see her walking past a construction site.

“Hola,” one man says to her. Ah! Just like the guys in the Hollaback! video were saying. A nice greeting, well-mannered, considerate as fuck.

“Hola,” Jessica responds. Nice. Holas exchanged, conversation complete.

“How are you?” He continues. All right, nice guy – wondering how she is. Wants to make sure her day is going all right. 

“I’m fine, how are you?” Jessica asks. 

“You look good…what is your name?” Ah! There it is! That’s what I was waiting for. He wasn’t just saying ‘hi.’ He didn’t just want to see how she was doing – from one human to another. He wanted to GET IN THERE.

You know how I know this is a real thing? Because I’m guilty of falling for this little stunt. A man – probably around the age of 65 to my 23 at the time – was standing next to me at a crosswalk in downtown Seattle. We made very brief, nearly accidental, eye contact and – despite me having headphones on – he asked me how my day was going. My Midwest manners kicked in and I said “Fine, thank you,” and I didn’t continue the conversation. He asked me a few more questions as the crosswalk sign still glowed an orange hand. I answered politely and concisely because I didn’t want to be rude. Finally, the little blue guy popped up on the crosswalk sign and I was free to walk away. He walked near me for a moment before saying “You are very beautiful. Do you have a boyfriend? Do you want to go out?” and I realized I’d completely given in to that seemingly innocent “just being polite” greeting. So I focused ahead of me, picked up my pace, and walked away without a word.

Another time, I was walking to my boyfriend’s place at about 9:45 PM. I was walking on a busy little neighborhood street with bars and there were a lot of people around because the Seahawks had won the Super Bowl a few hours earlier. I was wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and no makeup. And yet, while walking past a group of very large men, a few tried to speak to me and when I didn’t respond, one of them reached out and grabbed the sleeve of my sweatshirt to pull me back toward them. I jerked away and kept walking.

Nothing big. Didn’t get threatened. Didn’t get raped. I didn’t truly fear for my safety because I was surrounded by people. Still, I felt angry and shaken and a bit violated.

Harassment doesn’t always mean that someone is yelling shit like, “Hey, you little bitch. I’m going to fuck you while you beg me to stop,” it’s that they’re opening a door to what can potentially be a truly uncomfortable, threatening, and sometimes violent situation.

Not even a month ago in Queens, a woman was approached by a man trying to talk to her. She did not want to speak to him and in response, he slashed her throat with some type of blade. That’s right. So either I don’t speak to men on the street and I’m a bitch for not acknowledging “compliments” or I tell them that I’m not interested or a simple “no” and there’s a chance someone might slit my throat? With both of these options comes the conclusion that none of the initial “greetings” were so harmless or lacking ulterior motives. (And yes, of course I realize those are two extremes. But the fact remains, they are extremes that have happened to women just like me.)

Walking on the street is not a social gathering. It is how we get from one place to another. It is a necessary thing we do and most of the time, we do not want to be talked to while walking around. It’s unsettling for a stranger to single you out of the throngs of people walking around and to skip right ahead and say something like “Hey what’s up girl? How you doing? Someone’s acknowledging you!” And it’s still unsettling when a stranger strikes up a harmless conversation, “Hi, how’s your day?” only to feel completely let down when 90 seconds later of uncomfortable but polite conversation, he comments on your “fine ass”. And as you walk away, wondering about the state of humankind, you hear him say, “Daaaamn,” as he – I stress he because there will be others – checks your ass out for the final time.

The thing is, I owe nothing to anyone and I am not here for anyone. Just because someone is “acknowledging” me does not mean that I have to acknowledge them. It does not mean that I am grateful to be acknowledged. I do not and will not smile for you. I did not choose my outfit so that strange men I do not know can leer at me and see it as an invitation. I wear things for me. I do things for me. I am a human person who is entitled to not be spoken to on the street no matter how innocent or how sleazy the intention.

Men will be quick to tell you that most men won’t try to rape you. Generally, I agree. But girls and women are raised to be hyper aware of everything that can lead anywhere from harassment – be it sexual, verbal, physical, etc. – to rape.

Where are you going? What route are you taking? What will you be wearing? Do you anticipate it drawing unwanted attention? Did you let someone know when you should be arriving? Did you let them know you’re running late? Do you have your keys laced in your fingers to use as a weapon if necessary? Is that finger on your mace? Have you been drinking? How much have you been drinking? Make sure to text someone when you get home. If you get nervous, call someone to talk to them while you’re walking in hopes that it wards off any potential attackers.

This is a real mental checklist that I would say most women – at least most young women I know – run through without even really thinking about almost anytime they’re out in public. And that is fucked up. That should not have to be our mentality while existing in the world.

It’s appalling how many people are commenting on this talking about how “this video only shows 100 comments over 10 hours and like 2 of them were harassments.” It does not matter. There should be zero harassments. None of those comments should occur.

Of course, a lot of men are anxious about “HOW DO I TALK TO WOMEN THEN!?” Well, not on the fucking street as you’re passing her by, ogling her and commenting on how she makes your dick feel, that’s for goddamn sure. One woman on reddit wrote up a pretty solid list of guidelines for when and how to talk to a woman in public that you do not know. I think the one big thing to remember is this:

If you approach a woman and attempt to start a conversation or pick her up and she says “No,” or does not even acknowledge you, she fucking MEANS no. You bow out, leave her alone, and you can sulk or wallow in self pity at home if you have to.

I could say a lot more on this topic and I’m sure that I will over time. But for now, I think that will do.

Doin’ Some Real Talk About Men & Feminism

I read an article recently about how apparently, the best way to stop campus rapes is by dudes telling other dudes it isn’t cool. And that seems to be a common finding; that when a man speaks up about how violence against women isn’t cool, other guys absorb that information and might just change their ways. And it is great. It’s refreshing when I encounter a man who identifies as a feminist or is willing to stand up to that shit. I appreciate it and it gives me a little bit of hope when I’m surrounded, day in and day out, by harassment, sexism, violence, and hatred against women.

So while I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, this is still a shitty thing.

What this little study means (when you decide to slip into a depressing, realistic, bleak-ass hole as I so often do) is that men listen when men are speaking. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve told a guy off – with a range of emotion; from calm and non-confrontational to full on telling someone to shut the fuck up – only to get a response about how I…

– am a bitch
– must be PMSing
– am way too touchy
– am probably a dyke
– should stop whining
– take things way too seriously. It was just a joke!

Some people will listen. They will hear what you say and realize that they were wrong to say whatever it was they said. But typically, it’s a direct and flippant response or some sort of little comment muttered under their breath. To me, all that says is, “What you’re saying isn’t important. You’re making an issue where there isn’t an issue. You are a crazy, hysterical woman who just needs to CALM DOWN.”

So, when I hear that men telling other men not to rape is what helps prevent rape, it hurts. It takes a man telling another man that I am a person for it to be a statement that is true and is believable. It takes a man telling another man to treat me with respect that earns me respect.

It’s like when a guy is aggressively and creepily hitting on a woman at a bar despite the woman not being interested, they persist. Only when a boyfriend “comes to her aide” does the aggressor say something like, “Oh sorry man, I didn’t realize she was with you.” And this is a common thing. A woman with no man is free range – she is free to be looked at, flirted with, touched, harassed, attacked, and made to be whoever’s object. A woman with a man at her side is an off-limits object. Something that receives respect by association.

I am in no way saying that this is how all men feel about women or how men feel about their significant others, but it is the kind of conversation you can hear on any given night at any given bar.

Often times I hear men who are doing the right thing and standing up for women say something like, “Imagine if that was your sister or your mother!” I get it. It personalizes the situation, makes it hard to spew disgusting vitriol to a woman when he’s thinking about someone saying that kind of stuff to his mother. It is undoubtedly effective.

But it’s still a shitty tactic. It takes someone saying something about how it could be that person’s relative to humanize a woman on the street or at a bar. Do aggressors only think of the women in their family as people and the rest of us as things?

It simply shouldn’t be so difficult to understand why you shouldn’t rape a woman. It shouldn’t send men into hateful fits of rage when a woman calls them out on their sexist, misogynistic bullshit. It shouldn’t take a man to explain why a woman is a human being, just as he himself is.

My aim with writing this isn’t to discourage any man from identifying as a feminist or at the very least, calling a fellow dude out when he is being shitty (about anything! Not even just toward women!) I truly and genuinely encourage it, because I’ll take what I can get when I can get it. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for standing up for what is right. But I’ve gotta say…it feels pretty shitty to find out that a guy is only respecting me because his bro told him to.

I’m Never Having Kids. No. Really.

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I’m fairly open about private life events. Actually, I’m 99% certain that I seriously overshare private life events. With that said, I’ll just get on with all that oversharing business.

I’m 24 and I got a tubal ligation just over a week ago. In case you’re not hip to what that means, I’ll explain: a doctor got all up in my guts, removed a piece from both of my fallopian tubes, and literally burned that bridge so that little man sperms can’t get to my eggs. In other words, I’m sterile – of my own accord. Kind of extreme, right?

I’ve known that kiddos were not for me since I was about 12 or 13. At that age, it was a lot of grown-ups exchanging amused but knowing smiles. “Oh-hoh, you’ll change your mind!” “Well, not now but when you’re grown up and have a husband…” But every year, without fail the answer was the same: “I never want to have kids.” In high school, it turned into a little bit of eye-rolling and the old, “I said the same thing when I was your age but now look at me, I’ve got kids!” And in my 20s, friends and family seemed both bemused and intrigued.

A lot of women (and men!) get a lot of shit for choosing not to have kids. Lucky for me, I’ve carefully avoided maintaining relationships with narrow-minded assholes so most everyone has been happy for me and my stuff getting cut and burned. But, I feel like I should share some of the dumb shit people have said to me over the past 12 years of my life.

1. That’s so selfish!

Is it, though? I feel like I’d actually be a shitty person if I had kids and then proceeded to be horribly selfish. If anything, I feel like I’m making a pretty rational choice by saying, “Hey! I am kind of selfish. Bet I shouldn’t bring a person into the world that I’m supposed to take care of for 18+ years.” Can you even be selfish toward someone/something that doesn’t exist? Like, can I be selfish toward ghosts?

And really, I don’t even see what the problem is in being a little selfish. Everyone is selfish in some capacity, yes?

Sometimes this statement is followed by someone screeching, “What if your parents had been selfish and decided not to have kids? YOU WOULDN’T EVEN EXIST!” And then I have to wonder how this person lives life when everything is based around weird hypotheticals and fallacies.

2. Who will take care of you when you’re old?

Hopefully a trained professional. Even if I did have kids, I feel like the only way I’d think a child of mine would be qualified to take care of me is if they had some kind of medical degree or if they were an RN. I’ve also thought this is a weird thing. Like…if you’re 80-years-old and shitting yourself and you can’t take a shower by yourself and you can’t remember what you ate five minutes ago, is it your offspring that you want to deal with you?

FUCK NO.

I’d rather pay someone (to be specific, someone who is excellent at their job and hopefully easy on the eyes) to take care of my old rotting body. And I’ll pay them with all that money that won’t go toward toys, clothes, allowance, and school supplies…

3. Something about grandchildren.

I have a lot of issues with this one. I get it – grandchildren are your parents’ chance to just get the fun stuff from a baby that they didn’t get to enjoy fully because they were busy raising you and keeping you alive and hopefully trying to not make you a piece of garbage person. So yeah, I get the appeal.

On the other hand, you ultimately have to do all that. This is the same thing as a four-year-old asking for a dog. That little kid gets all the good stuff from the dog. The cuddling, the playing, the kisses, etc. And you get that too! But…you’re also going to be the one picking up its shit, training it that the carpet is not a suitable place to go to the bathroom, feeding it throughout the day, paying the vet bills, etc. So, do you just get a dog because your four-year-old is really going to enjoy it or do you get it because it’s something you both want and are prepared to deal with?

This is also the point where I usually like to remind them about this concept of “selfishness”. They usually shut their old, denture-filled mouths at that point.

4. Well then, what’s your purpose?

I don’t know, to be a fucking person? What if I was born barren? What if I had a terrible illness that left me unable to have children? I’m not just an incubator. I’m more than my womb. I’m like 1% womb. I mean, I get that I’m capable of having a baby. I’m also capable of shooting myself in the face and surviving but I’m not going to do that just because I can.

5. It’s different when they’re your own! (Sometimes phrased as “That’s what you think now, but when you have your own you’ll change your mind!”)

Well of-fucking-course it is. I’m sterile, not stupid. Of course, there are people who don’t like their kids. But I would very unscientifically say that a lot of people who maybe aren’t kid crazy but have kids end up liking their own kids.

And that logic? Yeah, when I have my own – exactly what I do not want – I’ll change my mind. True. Because I will have given birth so clearly at some point I changed my mind and decided to not have an abortion.

But this is a weird fucking thing to say to someone who does not want to have kids. This isn’t someone who isn’t ready for kids. And this isn’t one of those people who are not like, really into kids but yeah, I guess I kinda want my own someday! This is someone who’s biggest goal in life is to not get pregnant. In my case, I am someone who – without having dealt with an unwanted pregnancy, but in the world of hypotheticals – would get an abortion. And if I was unable to go through with said abortion, I would give that child up for adoption.

In a lot of ways, either of those two things can have a bigger impact on someone’s life than having a kid. They’re traumatic and can be pretty dark options. I feel like I don’t need to link you to any studies about depressing shit in regard to women after abortions. No matter how “morally okay” people think abortions are, no matter how sure they are in their choice, and no matter how guilt-free they feel in getting one, we’re conditioned to believe that we’ve done wrong. You can use words like “terminate” or “end” or “kill” or “murder” and it all boils down to the same idea. Because no one is rushing to get pregnant and then turn around to get an abortion because it’s fun. It’s traumatic shit and I don’t think anyone makes that choice the same way they decide whether they should take the rest of their leftovers from the restaurant home.

And then there’s the whole adoption thing. On one hand, I would know that I was doing a great thing if that child got adopted by a family who really wanted a kid. On the other hand, there are a ton of kids who need to be adopted. Why would I add to that ever-growing number? And what if I turned into one of those ladies who, 10 years later, feels like I’m missing this connection to my child and I track down the adoptive parents through shady means and I watch the family and then I get arrested for stalking and then I single-white female the mom and then I’m dead with a broken neck at the bottom of a staircase having just wanted to know my child and Tracey Gold or Meredith Baxter is cast to play me in a Lifetime Original Movie.

Okay, that escalated, but I think you catch my drift.

I feel like never having to worry about either of those things is preferable. And the point here is that someone is saying “I DON’T WANT KIDS!” not:

1. I don’t think kids are that great.
2. I don’t think I’m ready to have kids.
3. I’m so scared to get pregnant/have kids/etc.
4. I can’t talk to kids. What if I can’t talk to my own kids?!

So telling them “it’s/it’ll be different when you have your own” is like telling someone, “Hey! If that one thing you don’t want to happen happens, just don’t even worry about it! You’re going to love it!”

6. Children are a gift!

You know what’s a gift to me? Sleeping in. Walking around naked. Being drunk whenever. Staying out all night. Taking a trip at a moment’s notice. Laying in bed and watching Battlestar Galactica for 48 hours straight without making contact with another living soul, only getting up to use the bathroom and to grab one of my three containers of ice cream that serve as my only meals for those two days.

You know what’s not a gift to me? Setting up play dates. Accidentally giving a human being a shitty name like “Maddox” or “Skylar”. Being in charge of another person 24/7 for about 18 years. Lactating. Childbirth. Placenta.

I guess I just wanted to share my life event with all of you guys because I don’t think it’s talked about very often – someone, a woman, a young woman not wanting children. And beyond that, someone my age doing something permanent about it. It feels empowering to take hold of my future and know that a baby is never coming out of me.

And I really just want other people who feel like they don’t want kids to not worry about it or think that they’re weird. You’re not weird. Well, you’re not weird about this. But you might be weird about other shit.

I Have Turned Into A Monster. A LOVE MONSTER.

I’ve never felt more like a gross 14-year-old than when I was actually a gross 14-year-old. I don’t mean “gross” in the “I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing! Somebody help me! Nobody help me! I need an adult! I am an adult! I NEED A NEW PAIR OF LIGHT WASH JEANS FROM PACSUN!!!” I mean “gross” as in “I’m in loooooooove. With a booooooooy.”

You guys know me. I’m cool and aloof. Wait, that’s not right. I’m weird and am determined to hate most people. But I like to think it translates as being cool and aloof. And yet here I am, jonesing for a boyfriend fix pretty much every moment of every day like a crazed teenager who finally became “official” via AIM. Speaking of AIM, I practically start foaming at the mouth at the mere thought of AIM and the ability to put up a vaguely romantic set of lyrics as my away message. I’m thinking some Death Cab for Cutie? Brand New? Something Corporate? But I would never, ever cross the line to Dashboard Confessional because…come on.

Relationships are disconcerting and are turning me into a lusty, romantic, idealistic, daydreaming version of myself. It’s like me from some strange parallel universe where I’m not a romance Grinch and I let someone hug/cuddle me regularly. (This is a privilege typically reserved for one friend and one friend only and she knows who she is.)

I find myself desperately wanting to take selfies with Muad’Dib. And yet, I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s just too…eugh. The thing I’ve been rolling my eyes at for years and years and I want it. So. Bad. It’s the kind of desire I want to squash down deep inside of me. You know how some people might hide a foot fetish? Their true and genuine love for Nickleback? That they think Twilight is quality literature? I feel like that. BUT IT’S BURSTING OUT OF ME!

Sometimes, after putting on his t-shirt to go to bed, I stick my face under the collar and inhale. Deeply. You know how on shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order: Sports Utility Vehicles or in fucked up Korean murder movies someone’s always sniffing someone/some article of clothing and then it cuts to the poor victim and their crazy bug eyes while they scream with duct-tape over their mouth? I feel like that. I feel like a murderer or a deranged stalker. I’ve very nearly asked him what kind of detergent he uses so that I can wash my clothes in it and smell like him all the time. Luckily, I’ve had the good sense to keep my mouth shut and just tell him he smells good.

I know that I’m getting to that annoying point where almost every time I open my mouth something will come out akin to “Me and Muad’Dib were at the grocery the other night…” or “Where should Muad’Dib and I go to eat tonight?” or “Do you want to hear extremely detailed information about me and Muad’Dib and our bedroom stuff when you never asked for any information on that topic at all? Well buckle up because we’re going on an ADVENTURE!” I hardly ever stop thinking about him so it’s no surprise that I can hardly shut the fuck up about him when I start talking out loud.

I’ve got one picture of him on my phone and sometimes, I just give it a nice long look. Some of you might say, “Oh that’s cute and not weird.” But imagine if I had that one picture of him taped to my wall in my bedroom and that was it. And I just stood there for five minutes looking at it, my eyes glazing over and a smile slowly spreading across my face. Are your instincts telling you to RUN THE FUCK AWAY? Because mine are and I’m me so I can’t run from me. I’m stuck with me.

But apparently, I’m comfortable enough with my level of digging my boyfriend to disclose all of these things to you – “you” being all of the Internet. Well, now you know. And he could know, too, because the Internet is public and this shows up on Facebook.

So, Muad’Dib, if you’re reading this…I’M RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

My Neurotic Thoughts on Love or Some Shit

I am an over-er. (I just made that word up.) I over-do things a lot of the time. I’m overzealous. I can be overbearing. I have a tendency to be overcautious. Sometimes, I even oversleep and nearly have a heart attack every time I do it.

But really, I have a penchant for overanalyzing and overthinking everything. Clearly – I mean, I blog about everything and this is just an excuse for me to nit-pick at stuff in my own life. A cathartic, excusable form of being so far in my mind that I’m out of my mind (and using a lot of rich text HTML tags.)

A couple weeks ago, I was relaxing in bed with Muad’dib, my boyfriend (I think last time I talked about him I was at the WHAT IS GOING ON?! stage. Well, he’s got a title now and the whole shebang. We skipped a few things between then and now, Internet), when he said, “I l-” and for whatever reason I had a lightning fast thought where my mind said, “He’s gonna say he loves you. YOU AIN’T READY TO HEAR THAT SHIT!” so I quickly said, “Huh?” like I’d spaced and hadn’t heard what he had started to say at all. To which he said, “What? Nothing.”

So for a couple weeks, I was beyond stressed. Like…my subconscious didn’t even bother to utilize symbolism or metaphors in my dreams I was so stressed. I had a dream where I was engaged to be married to Muad’Dib. And it was down to the wire, mere hours before the ceremony. I was going around to all of my friends asking them really leading questions – if we were in a court of law, there would be lawyers yelling “OBJECTION, your honor; leading the witness,” all over the place and the judge would be saying “sustained,” believe you me – so that they could all convince me that I wasn’t ready to marry him. And at the end of the dream, I told Muad’Dib I couldn’t marry him.

Come on. What is wrong with my brain that I turned a guy saying “I l-” into “This guy wants to marry me. Like tomorrow. And I apparently already said yes,”? He could have just been saying he likes me. He could have been saying he likes tater tots. He could have been saying he lost a thousand dollars betting on the ponies down at the tracks. I don’t know! I don’t know where he stands on tater tots. I don’t know if he has a gambling problem (that’s probably something I should know. Actually, on second thought, his stance on tater tots is also important to know.)

But I managed to chill out a bit. Let’s say he was going to say, “I love you”? What would happen? Would I explode into pieces or catch fire from the inside (impossible; my heart is far too cold for such a thing to happen)? No. I would know how he feels and that would be that. So I stopped freaking out.

Okay, I started freaking out less.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I’m trying to worry less. And I wish that movies and books and magazines and consequently friends and other people with shitty advice never said anything at all about anything involving lust or love or feelings or whatever. Because the fact is, there’s no right time for anything when it comes to two people having feelings for each other. Feelings happen when they happen – sometimes at opportune times, sometimes at inopportune times. I know all about inopportune times and feelings because I’ve felt the need to break wind a lot of times while doin’ it. (Sorry, Internet. Now I’ve really ruined the mystery between us.)

(At the time this essay was initially written, no “I love you’s” had actually been exchanged. At the time this parenthetical was added, lots of “I love you’s” have been exchanged. That shit is bonkers, right?)

Strange Sensations: Getting Objectified by a Lady

A curious thing happened to me the other day – I was objectified by a lady. It was incredibly odd and I really don’t think I liked it.

In the midst of a conversation with two other women – one I know pretty well and one just an acquaintance – the acquaintance turned to the other and said “She’s losing weight!” in regard to me. It wasn’t said with any malice. It was not intended as any type of backhanded compliment or psychological cruelty. It was a strange way of her saying “You look good” or “Whoa! Have you been losing weight?!” But that’s exactly what made it so goddamn uncomfortable.

Some of you might be thinking “Hey! How could you not want a compliment like that?!” But the thing is, it wasn’t even a compliment. That kind of shit is messed up to say to a person and here are a few reasons why:

1. You have no idea of my circumstances. I could have cancer. I could have health issues. I could be recovering from an eating disorder and am in the process of trying to learn to love my body while putting on weight. You have no idea what a simple comment on my size could do to me. I think this is the case where you say some shit like “Did you change your hair?” or “Is that a new coat?” and then if they’ve been losing weight and they want you to know, they’ll say, “DUDE I LOST  A FUCKLOAD OF WEIGHT! HOW GOOD DO I LOOK?!”

2. What right do you even have? Come on. Don’t say shit about my body. Especially like I’m not even there. That’s some Bad Grandma shit. I have no idea when or how it became commonplace to comment on someone else’s body. A haircut, that’s on purpose. A new jacket, also on purpose. That’s when you comment – typically compliment. But my body? What I have going on inside my body? What I hide underneath my clothes? Something that only a few people have been given the right to see in its entirety, up close and personal?

3. Why is being skinny universally accepted as a compliment? I mean, obviously the media is like “Hey bitches, let’s all get skinny!!!” But in regular life? C’mon, son. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a girl say to another girl “Oh my god you look so skinny! Way to go!” I would have billions of dollars. Honestly, if I’m losing weight I also want to be putting on muscle. I want someone to say, “You look like you could beat the shit out of a mountain lion (but only when provoked because I’m not into punching animals)!”  I guess it’s just odd to me that so many people think that weight loss is something that is so desirable. That everyone is trying to do it all the time. That we all agree that we all want to be skinny – ourselves and each other. I don’t have a strong desire to be “skinny”. I enjoy that my body is curvy and I’m a little bit soft. Would I like to be a little less soft? Sure. Would I like to be able to walk into any clothing store and be able to find something that will fit me with no trouble? Yes. But I don’t want to be a size zero. I don’t want to have 0% body fat.

Someone I know who lost a little bit of weight recently said, “Every girl wants to lose a few pounds!” like it was an absolute, definite fact. But that isn’t really true. I mean, I kind of want to lose a few pounds but isn’t a top priority for me. And I don’t like that I’m lumped into this category of wanting to lose weight – that I should constantly be striving to be thinner – along with EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. And I think it’s a messed up mentality, that we’re all under the impression that we’re all trying to lose weight at the same time. Like it’s the same thing as breathing air, trying to stay alive. We’re all doin’ it, right?!

4. I’m standing right here. You’re already going so far as to comment on my appearance when you hardly know me and you’re going to make that even weirder by saying it like I’m not standing right next to you? In the middle of a conversation? Weird. Really weird.

Look, I don’t have a bunch of eloquent arguments on why I didn’t like this experience. The moment it happened, I didn’t even know how to react. I felt conditioned to say “thank you”. Why? I don’t think that losing weight is this thing that you should be praised for without solicitation and at any moment. Why is it just assumed that I’m trying to lose weight? Because I’m not a skinny minnie? Because I’m a woman and we’re all bonded by the fact that we’re all totally, obviously, definitely always trying to shed some pounds? Fuck that.

Apparently, all of you guys are a bunch of girly men. Or at least that’s what this guy thinks.

I don’t know why I’m even surprised by this bullshit anymore. I guess it’s a good thing that this kind of stuff still infuriates me and other people. If you’re too lazy to watch that video (but not too lazy to read what I’m writing?), here’s a quick summary:

Males – especially in America – are being turned into little pussies and we just can’t have that. If we don’t start teaching little boys that they’re here to chop down trees, drink Scotch, get into fights, and drive big trucks, the whole world is going to go sideways. And the fault might just lie with feminism.

This Australian joker, Nick Adams, opens by saying, “Even in Australia we’ve gone from wrestling with crocodiles to wrestling with lattes.” First of all, what the fuck does that even mean? If you really want to insult “soft” men, you could at least work on a biting insult. Here, let me rewrite it for you: “Even in Australia we’ve gone from wrestling with crocodiles to wearing fancy crocodile on our feet!” Something like that. Look, it might need work. Moving on.

And after that it’s offense after offense toward men and women. A direct quote from his book reads, “All aspects of male culture have been called into question. Whether it’s gathering around on a Sunday afternoon to watch football with a few friends, whether it’s going to the range and shooting some guns, whether it is just being a male has now been really made suspect – and that is a very dangerous thing.”

I’m going to ignore the atrocious writing (was there an editor involved at all?) and cut right to the chase. Sunday football? Shooting guns? What about these things “have been called into question”? The only thing I can think is gun control in America, which, as far as I know, has little to do with men and more to do with some fucked up laws and how we view violence.

Adams says, “We’ve reached a point now where men, when they want to make a decision, when they want to speak up at a meeting, when they want to say something, they’re sweating more than Paris Hilton doing a crossword!”

(Really nice dig at Paris Hilton and her intelligence. Scumbag.) I’d like to know in what world Nick Adams is living where apparently men are afraid of saying things, because just the other day I had an altercation with a male stranger on the street where as soon as I politely informed him I didn’t want to purchase his CD, he decided it was okay to tell me he wasn’t interested in me buying his CD, he was interested in some vulgar shit that I didn’t prompt him to say nor really appreciate. He didn’t seem too worried about how he’d be perceived as a man while he was saying crude stuff to me on the street.

Apparently, this is all feminism’s fault. We’ve gone and made weak little men. Adams says, “It is feminism. And basically what feminism has delivered is angry women and feminine men.” Do you know why we’re angry? Because of shit like this. Because of laws that don’t get passed in regard to our well-being. Because I know girls who have been raped and nothing ever happened to the guys who did it. Because if I ever had a son, I wouldn’t want anyone or anything to dictate his masculinity or femininity. And if by “feminine men” he means “men who are sympathetic to issues that females face and also have their own feelings in regard to all the shit that happens in life,” well then fuck. Let’s hope a meteor crashes into Earth and we can start all over because I think it’s too late for humans now. Our men have feelings and our women aren’t always docile. Doom is on the horizon.

I loved this little gem of a quote from Adams right here: “It’s a very hard time to be a man in this society.”

Oh shit. Shit. Really sorry, guys. I forgot about the frequency with which you guys are being raped. I forgot about how hard it is for you to get jobs you deserve and are qualified for. I forgot about how you get paid less than your female counterparts. I forgot about how the government dictates stuff you can and can’t do with your own body. I forgot about how you’re expected to simultaneously be both extremely sexy and attractive and yet pure and virginal. I forgot about how boys’ toys are being sexualized.

But in all honesty, what’s fucked up is that quote is right but not for the reason’s he’s talking about. It is hard to be a man in this society – where not liking football or shooting guns or fucking bitches or being the main bread winner or not being buff make you not a real man. Not a manly man. Not an effective man. If you like to drink tea or dress well or have long talks with women or friends or you cry while watching The Notebook, well you might as well be one of them homosexuals or worse, a woman.

This argument is so detrimental to men and women. In one breath it’s insulting men who aren’t hyper-masculine and insinuates that things that are typically tied to being female are bad and undesirable. Adams says, “Wimps and wussies deliver mediocrity and men…win.” This smacks of sexism and it sucks. It sucks so bad. 50% of the human race, that’s who he’s casting aside as losers. And the other 50%? The men who he wouldn’t deem “men”? Well, fuck them too!

People are complex beings. We have unique tastes, varying abilities, our own interests. The problem isn’t that men aren’t manly enough. The problem is that we think that men and women each have to be a certain way. In my experience, no one likes being told what they can and cannot do, nor how they should and should not be. I don’t want to be considered “too masculine” or “too feminine” because I’m just me. I am masculine and feminine – two things that are social constructs, anyway, so it doesn’t even matter.

As always, here’s me asking if we can all just do our own shit without being told we’re “too” anything or “not enough” something else.

I just Googled “Difference Between Dating and Girlfriend?” because I’m not 100% sure there IS a difference, but I feel like there is.

I’ve been going out with this guy. For the sake of privacy, let’s call him Muad’Dib. Muad’Dib is just a lovely human being. He’s cute as hell, sufficiently hairy, probably too nice for the likes of me, smart, and he makes me laugh. He’s straightforward and doesn’t beat around the bush. He asked me out on a second date halfway through our first – and he was suave about it. Impressive. So I said “yes” and we went out two days later.

And then he asked me out on a third date halfway through our second date – and he was suave about it again. Still impressive. So I  said “yes” and we went out two days later.

Date number five was the fanciest fucking meal I’ve ever had in my life – I’m talking pricey cocktails, lobster mac and cheese, STEAK, and cheesecake. Obviously, Muad’Dib had figured out quickly that food is the way to my heart as well as my downstairs mix-up. But date number five at a ritzy joint in a string of rapid-fire dates…I knew that some sort of conversation was going to be coming up soon.

And it did. He hit me with “So…are we dating?” in a post-makeout haze after our lavish meal. Luckily, I was prepared for that shit and I told him the truth: I wasn’t sure if I was ready to just be dating one person. I wanted to keep going out with him but I liked the option to date other people should the opportunity present itself. He, in turn, was honest with me; he was only interested in dating me. However, he was okay with my wanting to see other people as well as him.

But last night we went out. We had some burgers and I gave him his Christmas present – I had specifically told him that there was absolutely no need to give me anything in return. And it wouldn’t be one of those things where I would say, “Oh no, don’t get me anything,” then when he didn’t get me anything like I said I would get pissed and say, “I can’t believe you didn’t get me anything!” I meant it sincerely because I’d spent about one hour making two mix CDs. And if you know me, you know that that’s something I’ll do for anyone, 365 days a year, for no reason at all other than to show off my supreme taste in music.

Of course, like the nice bastard he is, Muad’Dib got me a gift. Yeah, bought me a gift; this beautiful, handmade leather-bound journal because, “I know you like writing so I thought you might want to have something to jot stuff down.” Yes. Really. I could have died. And I felt so lame. I gave him mix CDs, he gave me a super fucking thoughtful present.

And he carried groceries for me. And he downloaded D-Wars because he knows I like dragons. And he hails cabs for me. And he tried to find a stuffed giraffe for me because he knows I love giraffes. And he gave me a bunch of chocolate-peanut butter stuff. And he stared at me, head propped up by his hand and elbow like some kind of goddamn Jimmy Stewart character, while we were laying on his bed and said, “You’re so pretty.” And he consulted his friends for dating tips and advice in regard to me.

Here’s the thing, you guys. I have never experienced this. No one has ever…wooed me. No one has ever made an effort like this for me. I’m being courted, motherfuckers, and I love it.

So last night, I told him I’d like to be dating. Just him. And I’d like him to be dating just me. And Muad’Dib was so. Excited. So he said, “So…if we were out and I said ‘This is Kaitie. We’re dating,’ that would be fine?” And I said that that would be fine. And then he said, “What about if I said ‘This is Kaitie…my girlfriend’?” And that I wasn’t sure about. Although he made it abundantly clear by saying outright that he would like me to be his girlfriend but he’s good with dating.

BUT WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? Is there a difference between dating and being in the boyfriend/girlfriend stage? Obviously, I’m unsure because I consulted Google and got shitty goddamn answers (unsurprising. Thanks for nothing, Internet.)

A title makes everything seem really official. I’m not about to call someone my ‘lover’, because it mostly makes me think of the Will Ferrel and Rachael Dratch “lovahs” sketch from SNL. I’m also not into the term ‘partner’, because it’s vague and makes it sound like we run a business together. In my head, being someone’s girlfriend makes it seem like things are definitely, for sure going to get serious. And I don’t know if I want things to get serious. I just want to have fun, enjoy someone’s company, go out and explore and eat food, and not wear clothes together consistently.

I’m confused and my inner 14-year-old is deeply troubled over this.

Jesus, this is some tricksy stuff, Hobbitses. Now I’m wondering what would happen if we were at a party and I introduced him and said, “This is Muad’Dib!” and then my friend said, “Oh! Is this your boyfriend?” and I would say, “No,” and then my friend would say, “Oh, you two aren’t together?” and I would say, “Oh, no, we’re together,” and then she would stare at me blankly and I would say something like, “I mean, we spend a fair amount of time together and we buy each other stuff and our genitals touch somewhat frequently and we hold hands and we go out and do stuff regularly and we’re very attracted to one another and we don’t do those things with anyone else!” and then my friend’s eyes would roll back in her head and she’d pass the fuck out because I’d just managed to short-circuit her brain with words.

The point is, I have no idea what my point is. I’m having a miniature meltdown over a word that seems popular among kids in junior high. Maybe I’ll just tell him to refer to me as his shawty and I’ll call him my boo and everything will be great and very hip.

I will say that the night did entail me baking him homemade brownies wearing very few articles of clothing and a pair of high heels so I guess that qualifies as some kind of gift. Also, the phrasing of that was a reference to ‘Say Anything’ just in case you missed that. Dummy.

A Somewhat Lengthy Rant on Feminism Thanks in Large Part to Beyonce

Admittedly, I’ve spent the last 24 hours conditioning my body to survive on Beyonce’s new album rather than oxygen. So much fierceness going on has me feeling like a badass – the way most humans should when listening to B.

Of course, I made the mistake of looking at the Internet and trying to read everything about the new album and Beyonce Knowles and Houston, Texas and what other miracles occurred in 1981 (the answer: no other miracles occurred in 1981 aside from her birth.) I should stop waxing poetic about SLAYonce and get around to the point of this: there appears to be this huge debate about if she’s a feminist like she claims to be. And if she is a feminist, is she a good one or a bad one?

In the past, I’ve always been perturbed by women who were absolutely feminists but didn’t want to call themselves that. It’s a loaded word. It carries a lot of shitty connotations. And for the first time today, I really saw that in an unexpected way. Feminists hating other feminists for not being feminist enough or not being the right kind of feminist. Yeah, that’s right, women evaluating other women who have the same basic goals for women on their dedication, their adherence, their commitment to these incredibly individualized, black-and-white definitions of what feminism is. (Of course, there is a general, over-arching definition but people have their own little nuances is what I’m saying.)

I have my own idea of what feminism is. My definition is a goddamn beautiful, unique snowflake. I know this because Sarah Palin identifies as a feminist – there simply is no one exact definition of feminism.

So when women start attacking other women because someone doesn’t fit a subjective idea of feminism? Fuck that. I mean, I feel like the general idea behind this is…

Patriarchy: Hey! Aren’t you a woman? You can’t do that!
Feminists: Hey! Don’t fucking tell me what to do. I am a person and you can’t dictate what I can and cannot do.

And yet…I seem to be hearing/reading a lot of…

Feminists: Hey! Aren’t you a feminist? Oh, you can’t do that!
Feminists: Hey! Don’t fucking tell me what to do.

Weird, right?

People are complaining that Beyonce’s latest tour is called The Mrs. Carter Tour. (I’m not even close to an expert on race, but I know that the name of this tour carries weight among the black female community. Please see the Internet for more intelligent information on this subject.) I’m mostly pissed because women on the Internet are having a conniption simply because she’s identifying with her husband’s name. God forbid a woman loves her husband, is pompous about being married to a great guy and wants to show that shit off. I don’t see that as a declaration of “Check it out, this man owns me! What even is my name? I guess it’s Mrs. now,” but rather a proclamation of “DUDE I FUCKING MARRIED JAY-Z. HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT. I AM UNSTOPPABLE. I WILL DO WHATEVER I WANT.”

"Are you a good feminist or a bad feminist?"

“Are you a good feminist or a bad feminist?”

At this point, as a feminist, I’m disgruntled. I don’t know why women are spending time bad-mouthing each other for “not being a good enough feminist”. Last I checked, rape seems to have become some sort of weird hobby in the world. Like it’s just something that happens and the general response seems to be, “Ah…that sucks. Drink less? Wear pants? Chain yourself up in a cage like a werewolf? That’s what my grandma sent to me in a chain letter.” Are we just not worried about that?

People are also generally really worried about Miley Cyrus and her sexualization. Here’s the thing, I have absolutely no issue with twerking, with wearing barely there onesies, with riding around on a wrecking ball completely naked. You want to do it, girl, do it. But right there, that’s what’s important. YOU WANT TO DO IT? GIRL, DO IT IF YOU WANT WANT TO DO IT. If you feel pressured to do it, if you feel that your worth is based on how controversial and sexy you can be, don’t do it. And that’s a blurred line (mother fuck, I didn’t mean to use that phrase). It’s a grey area.

At this point, who even knows what they want? What they organically, inherently want? Do I want a new pair of jeans because I, with no outside factors influencing me, want them? Who fucking knows. We live in an age where we’re told what we want, what we like, what we need. So at this point, Miley, if you feel secure in that you want to ride a big wrecking ball naked? Do it.

I’m getting in deep with this. As I write this, questions are coming up that I could spend days pondering.

1. I don’t want guys to look at me like they’re allowed to. Like they have the right to assess how I look. Like I’m a work of art designed to elicit emotions and feelings and thoughts. But at the same time, I buy clothes that look good on me. I make my face look good. Sometimes I walk with a sway in my hips. Sometimes I want a guy to look at me appreciatively. Sometimes, I go out with the hope of a guy trying to chat me up.

Am I a bad feminist?

2. I have a job. I make money, I can handle my finances. I can afford to buy dinner for myself on a date. I can afford to buy dinner for myself and him on a date. I don’t need a man to pay for my food. But I think it’s nice when he offers. I’ll let him if he offers. If he wants to woo me and show me that he’s a capable provider, who am I to say no?

Am I a bad feminist?

3. I think it’s important that women grow up with positive examples of strong, independent, intelligent women in their lives. I don’t think little girls should be hyper-sexualized. I don’t think little girls should aspire to be pop stars based on anything other than singing and having fun dancing. At the same time, I don’t think Miley Cyrus or Beyonce or Britney Spears should be put on pedestals as moral standards for young girls who might look up to them. They are their own women. They can embrace their sexuality in whatever way they see fit and no one should have the right to comment on such a thing. They don’t owe anything to anyone simply because they’re in the public eye.

Am I a bad feminist?

I guess at this point, I’ll resolve to feeling satisfied enough in saying that I’m 99% certain that I’m not a shitty human being.

It’s just hard when I feel like I can’t rely on a fellow feminist to have my back as a woman. I feel betrayed. When women who claim to want the best for fellow women attack other women…don’t we already have enough shit to deal with day in and day out? Do we really want to isolate ourselves more? Pretty much everything in the world is hard enough on us already and now we want to be hard on each other.

As the Internet would say, I am not here for that.

[If you want to read a more eloquent piece about this kind of thing with Beyonce, check out this article at The Huffington Post.]

The Time I Went on a Date with a 42-Year-Old Man Named Bill

When I first moved to Seattle, I didn’t know a soul. I’m not being hyperbolic. I moved here without a job and with exactly zero friends, family, or acquaintances. So I did what any 20-something girl would do – I joined every online site devoted to meeting human beings in real life. Among some dating websites (which have paid off), I joined Meetup. If you’re not familiar, you join a bunch of groups that are into all kinds of different things. Rock climbing, reading books, drinking alcohol, and so on and so forth.

Me being me (obviously), I joined ‘Seattle Indie Rock Concerts’ and roughly one month after moving to Seattle, they had a mixer – no concert involved. So I put on a rad pair of red jeans, made my hair and face look great, and went to a bar to meet strangers. Pretty much the exact opposite of what I was taught to do when I was 11 regarding strangers and the Internet. Much to my delight, it wasn’t just one 38-year-old weird guy wearing a t-shirt with a meme on it, the top of his head bald and a ponytail in the back. You know who I’m talking about and I wasn’t having that.

It was an eclectic mix. I ended up talking to mostly dudes and spouting off more music knowledge/trivia than I could even fathom that I had locked away in my brain. At one point, I thought to myself “How in the hell do I even know that? Am I just making shit up and sounding really convincing?” I was impressed with myself.

So was Bill.

Bill was handsome. He was tall, had tan olive skin, a nice head of hair, and he knew how to wear a pair of jeans. And for once in my life, I experienced an instant connection with a human man. We were vibin’ so hard. And based on any copies of Cosmo I’ve read, our body language screamed “AWWWW YEAH!” So we flirted and chatted in a group, breaking away for a little one-on-one conversation. Actual conversation, not a euphemism for face sucking.

I had placed him at early to mid-30s. A bit older than me, but hey, I wasn’t trying to get married to anyone. We talked about music and food and other innocuous things. Nothing crazy. Eventually, some other horrible girl crashed our two-person party so I excused myself to get another drink (re: White Russian). Naturally, a guy that I was not interested in started chatting me up and I’m not generally an asshole – at least not to people I don’t know – so I talked to him.

And then Bill fucking bounced. Oh yeah, he saw us chatting and a few minutes later exited the bar. I was not having that. Not after he was flirty and handsome and a man. So I got home a little later and sent him a message via Meetup, which read:

“I’m almost a little offended you left without saying goodbye. All the same, I had a great time talking with you tonight. We should continue over dinner or drinks sometime.”

Bam! That’s right, I put the moves on him. And he responded in kind, asking if the following night would work and obviously. Fuck yeah it would work. Again, I put on cute clothes, made my face and hair look smashing, and headed out to meet him.

The date was going well. I’d like to point out that this was my first real date. The conversation was moving easily – where we grew up, family, etc. I’ll be honest, when we got to our jobs, he bored me a bit talking about how he did something with insurance. And he mentioned how long he’d been doing it.

About 20 years.

About 20 years? I somehow managed to not visibly blanche. I was only a bit older than that. This was slightly alarming, so I immediately started doing math in my head while he carried on talking about policies and paperwork and blah fucking blah.

Okay. Let’s say he’s incredibly smart and he graduated from high school at 16 and went straight into college. And then in college he finished up in 3 years. So that puts him at 19. Then he got a job immediately out of school in this field and he’s been doing it ever since. So 19 plus 20…he’s 39. At best.

Oh yes. I appeared to be on a date with a 39 year old. Of course, then he asked about me and college and my job (because good God, the thought of having a career already is insane.) And there I was, the picture of youth: hip haircut, wearing a short skirt and high heels, the ability to stay out until 3 AM getting totally shitfaced and waking up as early as necessary the next day. Naturally, I responded saying, “Oh, well I graduated from college in 2012 and I stayed in Ohio for an extra year and I just moved out here and I’m just kind of, y’know, figuring it out!”

I was cool with this age difference happening. I’ve always been considered mature for my age and he seemed youthful. In my mind, I was 28 and he was 33. Pssh, hardly an issue. It’s not like he was robbing the cradle! So, the date continued on and it was going well. He suggested we go check out the book shop down the street. So we moseyed around there and I blew his mind by telling him how much I love Echo & the Bunnymen and I can’t believe I missed the Adam Ant show and I wish there was a bar around here that just played non-stop Al Green and Curtis Mayfield, you know? and told him about how much I love baking and so on and so forth.

Of course, we checked out the music biographies and I spied a book on The Replacements. I gushed about how into them I’d been lately and he in turn told me about how he’d been really into their album, Tim, when it first came out…while he was a freshman in high school.

Now, maybe you don’t know this bit of musical trivia about the album Tim but I did: that album came out in 1985 and I knew it absolutely. Again, math started happening:

Most people are about 14 when they’re in their freshman year of high school. If he was 14 when that album came out in 1985, then that means that right now, in 2013, he is 42 years old.

I was on a date with a guy who could have easily been my father. When I was being pushed out of my mom’s downstairs mix-up, he was in college, learning about insurance and shit. He was going to parties and drinking and probably having lots of sex. When I was just learning how to walk and talk, he was probably thrashing his head around to Nirvana’s Nevermind, wondering just what the fuck teen spirit was and why he identified with it so intensely. When he was 30 I was 11. Yes. I was like…getting my first period when this man was a man! 

Still, I was having fun and my eyeballs liked looking at him. The date continued on.

Next, we went to a bar for a drink. Upon sitting down at the booth, he stared across from me and said, “I can’t believe they didn’t card you…I can’t believe they didn’t.”

Now, my dear friends, a quip formed on the tip of my tongue. It was right there, itching to escape, but I knew that such a witty retort wouldn’t garner me laughter but probably a speedy exit from my companion. I very nearly said, “It’s okay. They probably thought you were my dad.” Thankfully, I opted instead to say something to the affect of, “I don’t seem that young, do I?”

We each had one legal drink, chatted some more, and finally the night was coming to an end. We shared a somewhat awkward hug and parted ways. I don’t understand the rules of dating, so I made a move two days later and sent him a message on Meetup telling him I had a nice time and I’d like to do it again.

He responded by telling me we could hang out at the next Meetup event. The fuckface.

Upon telling this tale to a few older people, they seem to think that it was probably the age difference that freaked him out. Maybe so, maybe no. All the same, that’s the story of how I went out with a 42-year-old man. On purpose.

If that wasn’t sexy enough for you, maybe you want to read about some dinosaur erotica I read?