Archive for the Holy Grail Category

“There’s One Pickup Trick That Works on Me Every Time”

Posted in alcohol, clothes, Denim, Fashion, Holy Grail, Sex, Shirts/tops, Tank tops on March 30, 2009 by betoma

Pickup artists:  What do we think of them?  All the other feminists seem to be mad at ’em; for example, here’s this Jezebel post, complaining about Neil Strauss, author of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society etc. etc., for being  “a man who made himself famous writing about the way to get a woman into bed.”   She’s right, that’s not fair!  I’m always writing about the way to get people into bed, but I don’t seem to be getting famous at all!  That injustice aside, though, it doesn’t really bother me when guys try to get women into bed, because if they didn’t, the human race would, like, go extinct and stuff.  Also, they (PUAs) tend to be vilified for inventing ridiculous slang, and instructing men to start conversations by asking “do you floss before or after you brush?”  But I don’t care!  I’m sick and tired of toiling in obscurity!  Neil Strauss, if you’re reading this, I am available to apply my sartorial acumen to any of your various multi-million-dollar projects.  Hit up my e-mail.

Our heroine, Lucy, made some cash in this line of work; in fact, that’s how our story begins.  A young NYC resident, she answered a Craigslist ad that basically “was just like ‘talk for 15 minutes on camera!  Make $50!”  So I did it.”  It turned out to be not quite as sketchy as it sounds.  The videos were for a subscriber-only website that featured clips of “guys talking to cute girls,” for instructional purposes, so that other guys could learn by example.  She played the role of “cute girl” in a couple of clips, and ended up becoming friends with “Erik,”  who worked for the website’s company.

She didn’t want to be anything more than friends, though.  “He’s good looking, but not really my type (to be honest).  Too blond.”  Did he try to wear down her resistance?  Did he “build attraction” by “demonstrating higher value,” as a master pickup artist would do?  Lucy claims he does not use those skills on her, because “I’ve known him for a while and I see through it all!!!”  But he must have been doing something right, because it turns out that they had a “friend hookup” once this past summer.  How did he make it happen?  “I forgot, there’s one pickup trick that he kind of used on me that works every time, even when I know what’s going on. I don’t know if every PUA does this, but the guys I know will do it.  If the girl seems a little resistant or shy or whatever, they’ll be like ‘why don’t you come over and we’ll just cuddle?’, you know?  ‘Let’s cuddle’ is practically code to me now.”  It works better than the direct approach, she says, because “If he had said ‘hey why don’t you stay so we can DO IT,’ I probably would have been like …. ‘oh, it’s 4 a.m.?  Not that late, I can brave an hour train ride.'”  Hmm, I guess she’s right.  “Why don’t you stay so we can DO IT” has a certain Beavis and Butthead charm, but it never seemed to work when those guys used it.

http://www.justin.tv/ironbutt/archive

Master pickup artists? Huh huh, you said "master."

One night a couple of weeks ago, she had some pickup plans of her own.  “I went out with the plan to seduce a particular guy.  He’s a friend of a friend and we met at a party a few weeks ago, then hung out again more recently in a more intimate setting.”  (She and “Blake” had been hanging out with her other guy friend and that dude’s love interest.)  “So we had been G-chatting a lot and we planned to meet up on Saturday night, and since I met him through that mutual guy friend, I assumed he would be there too. But he wasn’t, so I ended up hanging out with this new guy.”

She had planned her outfit carefully.  “I wore this purple tank top from Mango that’s a wool jersey and very low cut in a V and pleated, so the bottom is loose but the fabric is drapey so it’s really flattering. I’ve gotten laid at least twice in this shirt, and I think it’s because it’s so low.”  Its effect must be subtle, though, because “People compliment me on so many things when I wear it! My jacket, my necklace, my haircut, the shirt itself. Or they ask if I’ve lost weight or something.”

Ella Moss tank

Ella Moss tank

Velvet tank

Velvet tank

(Why’s that picture so small?  You get the idea though; another tank top here.)

“I also wore a white Club Monaco blazer, black skinny jeans rolled up a little, and these beautiful Charles Nolan kitten-heel blue suede pumps with a perfectly shaped almond toe and the best cut on top showing just the right amount of toe cleavage. And I hate saying toe cleavage.”  I couldn’t find these damn shoes, but I did the best I could.

Paige black jeans

Paige black jeans

Blue suede peep-toe pumps

Blue suede peep-toe pumps

Jessica Simpson blue suede pumps

Jessica Simpson blue suede pumps

They had a typical bar-hopping night, “went to other venues, he left and came back, etc.”  Along the way, they met up with some other people, including her friends Erik and the other dudes from the PUA business, and they all joined forces.  It was a fun night, “but [Blake] had just twisted his ankle and wasn’t allowed to drink because of his pain pills, so he was totally stone-cold sober while I got more and more housed. Then around 2 he said he was tired and going home and he’d walk me to my subway station (different from his station) but I was pretty fuzzy at that point, and I was thinking you know… if nothing’s going to happen, then I kind of want to stay here with my friends.  So I said I’d stay and he left, and I went over to join my friends at the table where they were sitting.”

The whole gang sat and drank for a while, and then decided they would go to Erik’s house and play beer blackjack.  “But since it was past 3, we couldn’t buy beer, and instead we went for wraps across the street.”  Then they went to his place “and ate and drank whatever was in the fridge and then it was about 5, and everyone started going home.”  Erik “told one guy he could sleep on the couch (he lived on that couch for a month when he first moved to town) and told me that I was welcome to stay if I wanted (which I’ve done before, platonically).”

“So when I stay there, I stay with him in the bed, and so he gave me some pajamas and we got in bed and we always talk for awhile before sleeping, especially when we’re so drunk and he’s so high, but instead of staying on our sides this time, he had kind of trapped one of my legs between his. We were kind of getting closer and closer while talking, and then he was teasing me about something, and then he was tickling me and I was kind of screaming and laughing, and then he was kissing me really aggressively, and I was surprised, but drunk and so I went with it.”

“It was very drunk sex though, I had to stop and get water before going down on him, and then I had to stop again for more water after we started doing it, then again, then finally we both had to get water and when we came back we kind of just fell on the bed and went to sleep. There was some talk earlier of him not wanting to come yet and holding back, but I don’t think he did, in the end.”  Isn’t that always the way?  Why do drunk guys always think they’re about to come, and then they never do?  “I searched for evidence and there was none.”  The jizz detective!

The disappointing failure of this investigation, though, paled in comparison to the next day’s tragic coda.  “In the morning, I was completely hung over and I got up and watched cartoons with [Erik] on the couch. Then we all went for brunch and I had a great burger and fries, and I only ate half so I could eat the second half for dinner, but then I went to a sample sale and had to check my bag at the front and forgot it! I didn’t realize it till I got home (like 45 minutes away) and I was THIS close to going back for it. It was so awesome, it had blue cheese and portobello mushrooms.”  No word yet on what happened with Blake.

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“Once You Have Sex, That Offer Is Always on the Table”

Posted in alcohol, clothes, Holy Grail, Sex, T-shirts on March 23, 2009 by betoma

“Rufus” is a graduate student in his mid-20’s.  At the time this story took place, he and his previous girlfriend had broken up just a few months ago.  He had been having a bit of a rough time, and needed to take his mind off his troubles.  One of his good friends lives in Washington D.C., and when spring came around, he planned a spring break trip to visit the dude.  Also in the back of his mind was the fact that another, yet earlier ex-girlfriend lived in the same city.

He had dated this woman, “Lily,” about five years ago.  They had only been together for three months, so there wasn’t any intense lingering drama between them.  This was good, because relations were cordial.  But he hadn’t seen her in all the intervening time, so he didn’t know what to expect.  He had in the back of his mind, though, that something might happen between the two of them, as it so often does with exes.  As he puts it, “when you have sex, that offer is always on the table.”  The two of you have already breached the gap between sexual and non-sexual, and that boundary will evermore seem more mutable than it does with other sorts of people.

Was her offer on the table for him?  Rufus sent Lily a Myspace message telling her that he would be in town, and saying “let’s hang out.”  Wait a second, I just realized something.  Everyone’s raving these days about how Facebook is trendier and Myspace is in decline.  But I think Myspace will hang in there, because it’s more conducive to getting you laid.  It’s sexier, because it doesn’t offer as many opportunities to reveal your character flaws.  With Facebook, you’re  online available to chat all the goddamn time, unwittingly showing the world that you lack either the steely resolve to devote your full attention to your work, or the devil-may-care abandon to leave the computer entirely.  You join Facebook thinking “this will be a great way to keep in touch with my professional contacts” or some such, but next thing you know, you’ve been sucked into its topsy-turvy madhouse logic, and you’re filling out horrible quizzes on subjects like “How Big a Nerd Are You?”, and everyone can see the results.  Beware, youth!  The factoids about which you are “updating” your friends are neither charming nor entertainingly quirky; they are the very dregs of your personality!  The equivalent of coffee grounds and pizza crusts, they need not be shared with the world.  How much better to maintain a dignified reserve.  You can e-mail when you have something to say.  But Lily and Rufus had been out of touch, she hadn’t spent the past five years hearing about how “Rufus likes the new season of Nip & Tuck” or “Rufus is dubious about these nachos” or whatever, and she was actually curious to see what he was up to.  She said she’d meet up with him.

Some weeks previously, Rufus had bought some new shirts at American Apparel.  He had a friend who worked there, and she recommended some stuff.  One of them was a heathered blue 50/50 shirt, and it quickly became his favorite t-shirt.  He brought the new shirts on the trip with him.

Blue AA shirt

Blue AA shirt

Rufus got into town on a Friday.  He and the young lady had planned to meet up that night, and went out to dinner at a bistro.  They had a nice time, so when his friends wanted to go out drinking, he asked her to join them.  The place they went to proved to be a “douchey bar.”   Lily invited her friend, and they had a “meeting of the friends.”  The situation would have seemed promising, except that Lily had revealed she had a serious boyfriend.  But they were in a long-distance relationship!  One never knows how such people will behave.  Sometimes you ask them how their significant other is doing, and they’re like “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to him in three weeks.”  In this case, Rufus and Lily spent some time “reminiscing,” and ended up making out in the bar.  Her friend saw it happen and “freaked out.”  Lily went home after that, but “it was awesome” nonetheless.

He wanted to see if more would happen, so he called her the next day.  They had a brief phone chat, she said she “felt bad” about the making out, and when he invited her to hang out again, “she blew me off.”

Oh, no!  But our hero didn’t let this temporary defeat bother him.  It was Saturday night, he was feeling fit and confident, and he went out partying again, wearing the favorite blue shirt.  He and his friend went out to what he calls a “cheesy-ass club” in Adams Morgan.  (But what club?  I used to live in that city, so if Rufus remembered specifics, I could make this story all detailed, like Ulysses, but he was maddeningly vague.  Perhaps it was Madam’s Organ?)

Great "hilarious" name, guys

Great "hilarious" name, guys

At the club, it wasn’t long before a young lady grabbed him and pulled him out onto the dance floor.  She was about 5’4″, with an average figure and curly brown hair.  She was “cute.”  I’ll call her Ramona.  They started dancing and making out.  She was also making out with her female friend at one point.  Then he and she went out to smoke a cigarette, and she said “you should come back to my apartment and fuck me.”    He assented to this.

She didn’t mean right away, though — she was just planning ahead.  First, they went to another bar, where they hung out in a basement and played songs on a jukebox.  (What the hell bar would this have even been?  Does Adams Morgan have a basement bar?  Did they take U Street to 14th and go to Saint Ex?)  Rufus got talking to an Iraq war veteran who had been in Walter Reed hospital, and told him it wasn’t as bad as the media made it out to be.  He had been suffering from depression since coming back from Iraq.

Then he (Rufus) and Ramona walked to her apartment to go do their thing.  “I was really drunk.”  They had to stop at a convenience store to get condoms.  It was the kind of place where you have to pick out what you want from a selection behind the counter.  The clerk was joking around with them about their condom needs.  This sounded to me like an unprofessional thing to do, but Rufus says it was all in fun.  He started the joking, being like “oh man, I am gonna fuck you all night long, this is gonna be crazy.”  So he bought two 3-packs, just in case.

They went up to her apartment; there was a cat there, and it was hot and dirty, with stuff all over the place.  “I didn’t care, I was gettin’ laid.”   They had sex with “lots of positions,” and then they “woke up at six and did it again some more.”  I would never have known, because he seems so mild-mannered.   A gentleman in the streets, a freak in the sheets, that’s him.

Dis-entangling themselves in the morning wasn’t complicated.  They woke up and got dressed, she walked him to the nearest subway station as her neighbors were walking back from church, and they said goodbye.  This night of consequence-free sex was exactly what he was looking for, and even his therapist told him that “emotionally speaking, it was perfect.”

He never saw Ramona again.  He did text her once, just for the hell of it, and she responded with “you should come back.”  But he has a new girlfriend now.  He met her a few months after the D.C. trip — and he was wearing the same shirt!

“He Got This Far-Off, Wistful Look in His Eyes”

Posted in alcohol, Boots, Corduroy, Cowboy attire, Holy Grail, Pants/trousers, Shirts/tops on December 30, 2008 by betoma

Holy Grails:  We know so little about them.  As regular readers will recall, we know that an HG is an article of clothing that consistently garners special, sexy attention for its wearer when she or he appears in public.  We know that many people possess such items (although, Lord knows, not all of us), and we know that these auspicious garments have helped to get their wearers laid on multiple occasions.  But where do Holy Grails come from?  How do they work, and why do they work?  Are the properties of the HG intrinsic to the object itself, or do they result from an increased sense of confidence on the part of the subject?  A cynical person would probably claim that they’re like those “lucky socks” or whatever that athletes wear, and only work because they make you feel special; but literally no one really knows the answers to these question.

Look, people, here’s the truth:  My methodology isn’t really very scientific.  This clothes thing is a new field of endeavor, like biology was in the nineteenth century, and if I were a Victorian naturalist, I would get the information I needed by going into the field and recording thousands of specimens.  I haven’t been doing that, because I don’t have the resources.  I’m not a Charles Darwin or an Alfred Wallace, and I can’t be travelling to Peru or whatever, notebook in hand, hunting down obscure varietals of ass-flattering trousers.  Instead I rely on people sending me e-mails that might provide key evidence.

It is lucky, then, that just when I was wondering about Holy Grails, I got this e-mail from “Agatha,” who wrote me on Christmas Eve.  She prefaces her remarks by explaining that “I’m a little hung over…  I’m about to endure my very large family for entirely too long and it’s still too early to start drinking again.”

Agatha is in her 20’s and lives in a small town (“Possum Flats”) in Delaware.  She says that “I have these cowboy boots that were given to me by my now ex-fiancé.”  He gave them as a birthday present because she “had been thinking about buying a pair, but my work situation was ridiculous and I couldn’t find the time to shoe shop.”  She has since left the job, which “was sucking my soul dry,” and the man, who “turned out to be a giant ass.”  But the boots remain.  “It’s starting to occur to me that they are my holy grail.  Any time I wear them out, it’s pretty much guaranteed that some man will look down, comment on them and then get this wistful far-off look for a moment.  I couldn’t figure out the look until last week.”

Vintage Frye boots

Vintage Frye boots

On the night she’s referring to, Agatha went to a bar in Possum Flats to exchange Christmas gifts with a friend.  She went out “wearing the first clean clothes I came by,  a beige and brown striped thermal shirt from the Gap (big beige stripes, little brown stripes and it buttons a little), a pair of dark brown cords I’ve had for so long I don’t know where I bought them (these pants are great because my ass looks great in them, but they’re still really comfortable!),  and of course, the boots.”

http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?searchCID=25781&pid=590535&scid=590535002&vid=-1

Gap brown cords

“It was a really weird night.”  The two friends had met up with “really no interest in talking to anyone else, and it’s not my style to pick people up at bars.  We ended up staying way longer than I thought we would. We somehow ended up talking to these three guys at the other side of the bar.  The bartender called last call around 12:30, at which point, one of the guys asked what our plans were for the rest of the evening. {Editor’s note:  I hate it when bars close this early!  We’d never put up with that in my town!}”

They “conferred with each other and decided we could still drink and not be scumbags the next day at work.  Leaving with the new guy friends, I hung back a little with the one I’d been flirting with (kinda looks like the guy from the Verizon commercials, but in a cute way) and in the hallway of the bar, we start making out.  Big lower lip.  Yummy.  Out on the sidewalk, all of us freezing, we’re trying to decide where to go.  Their place was around the corner, so we walk the three blocks or so laughing drunkenly.”

Verizon man

Verizon man

The scene at “this random house” was as follows:  “We’re all sitting around drinking beer and eating cookies.  The computer was on playing music from some sort of internet radio thing.  I forget what the song was…  it was Neil Young.  Horizon Moon??  Blue Horizon??  something like that, when all three guys jump up off the couch and take their pants off.  They just started dancing around in their boxers.  Said something about whenever that song came on, you dance in your undies.  We didn’t buy it.  There was a cat walking around the apartment that at one point started sucking on my arm.  That was weird… there was dancing involved too.  Fully dressed though.”

After this night of cat-sucking and erotic dance, who wouldn’t be in the mood for love?  Agatha was, it seemed, because “I kinda made the first move.  Again…  it was weird.  I felt like someone else!  Me and this guy were sitting on the couch and everyone else was outside smoking.  I stood up, grabbed his hand and walked him down the hallway to his room.  Pretty clear intentions.”

She adds that she and “‘can you hear me now?’ guy” have been texting, and might see each other again.  But the part of the story that’s most important for science is that while they were hooking up, “he asked if I would leave the boots on.  (My ah-ha moment with the boots!  That’s the look!!  Why it took me this long to figure out, is completely beyond me.)”  So that’s that.  Holy Grails work because they make people picture you fucking them while still wearing them!  I like this theory; it could be true, and it has a certain elegant simplicity.

EPILOGUE:  “Me and the friend from the bar having been trying to figure out this boot stuff since.  She was talking to one of her bosses about the whole thing the next day (Wow, you look really tired…  good night??  haha!!…  apparently we were out late enough to be scumbags at work the next day).  I have never met her boss.  I don’t know his name, never seen him, couldn’t point him out if I had to…  My friend, saying something about the boots, laughed when her boss got a far-off wistful look and asked what color they were!”

“I Was Like ‘Hi, Guys, Here’s My Bra.'”

Posted in alcohol, Barack Obama, Belts, clothes, Dresses, Fashion, Holy Grail, Hosiery, Miniskirts, Sex, Sweaters, Underwear on November 19, 2008 by betoma

People loved the story I posted about Georgiana and her black, thigh-high suede boots.  They also love it when I post pictures of “fit girls,” as I found out from reading Daily Sport.  If you enjoy both those things, you are my base, and will want to see this recent post on Street Boners.  Don’t look at it at work, though!

“Margaret” recently graduated from a small arts college in the southwest of England.  She’s currently teaching, and plans to go to Bali next year to study gamelan.  The summer after college ended, she moved back to her college town.  “I still have friends at the college, including some guys who are in a band. This band played at the college during Freshers’ Week this term, and I went along with another friend (“Abby”) to see them play.”  She goes on to ask “do you have Freshers’ Week in the U.S.?”, but I think it’s just the same thing as Orientation.

She was wearing “a really short white dress with short sleeves and pretty embroidered flowers around the neckline, a black and silver waist belt with the buckle shaped like 2 swallows, a black cardigan, black opaque tights, and silver flats.”

White minidress

White minidress

Black cashmere cardigan

Black cashmere cardigan

Silver flats

Silver flats

Margaret felt odd being an alumna and hanging out with a bunch of current students; “this was the first time I’d been back to this pub or on campus at all since our emotional goodbye party at the end of my last term there.”   Also, “I found that I knew a really small number of people at the pub that night.”  She couldn’t talk to her friends in the band, because they were performing most of the night, and her friend was busy reminiscing with a hometown friend she had encountered.

“I was feeling at a bit of a loose end. I did the only thing I could to alleviate all my feelings of weirdness and got wrecked. And when I get wrecked, I get quite… kissy. So I was wandering around trying to find someone I knew, and while I was doing this I looked over at Abby, who had started making out with this guy she knew from home (apparently she had a big crush on him when she was younger, but he knocked her back! And they were chatting about this, and he clearly came to the conclusion he was wrong).”

Our heroine followed suit:  “What happened next was I grabbed the nearest person I sort of recognised, who happened to be a fresher who I had met briefly earlier that evening. I may have started talking to him, or I may have simply grabbed him and started kissing him. I remember thinking that it was fortunate he was walking past, because he’s really tall and so am I, so I tower above most boys I know. We spent the next hour or so kissing in front of the pub (I assume, I can’t really remember this part of the night).”

After Abby got a taxi home, “I decided to stay over in Fresher’s room (because I had been watching a lot of Sex and the City those past weeks, and decided it was the thing to do).”  Young people are so suggestible.  It is fortunate that the things popular culture encourages them to do are, for the most part, benign.  A hundred years ago, recent college grads were probably all like, “So I decided to go civilize Africa — I had been reading a lot of Joseph Conrad that week, and it seemed like the thing to do.”

“Although we didn’t have sex, we had an entertaining night together, mainly with him enthusiastically going down on me.  I then spent a really long time telling him how I was really old (I’m not, just he’s quite young, like 19) and how it was weird that I was an ex-student but I was still hanging around college (it wasn’t that weird) and that I used to live in the same halls of residence that he does (that was a bit weird).”

This boy was “quite nice,” and his actions had disproven the Teuterian stereotype that young dudes are all inconsiderate lovers.  However, she didn’t want to keep messing around with him “because he had just started university and I didn’t really want to be a part of that, I’d done the whole student thing already. So I bumped into him a couple more times at the pub, and we talked a bit but nothing else really happened til last week. I went up to the pub again to see another friend who is still a student, and she knows some people in Fresher’s halls, so I ended up talking to him and some others in his room.”

“We then went into the kitchen to make coffee, and for some reason he was sucking on a lollipop. So, being a little drunk again, I started flirtatiously pulling the lolly out of his mouth and putting it in mine, which inevitably ended up with us kissing again, which we carried on doing until someone walked in the kitchen and busted us.”  These college hookup stories are always so complicated, like “we went to make out in my dorm room, but there were already other people making out there, so we decided to go to his room, but on the way there we ran into the drug dealer, and we had to go to the ATM to get money to buy weed, and then after we got stoned, we all decided to go to a nightclub, but we waited half an hour and our taxi never came, so {etc., etc.}.”  They’re like these ridiculous shaggy dog stories, where you have to go to twelve different locations just to get some cock.

Or not, as in this case:  “We went back and rejoined the people in his room, carried on talking, and that night I decided I didn’t want to stay with him, I would prefer to go home and sleep in my own bed. I was pretty tired, and I think had some stuff to do the next morning or something.”  She was wearing a black miniskirt.  “There seems to be a correlation between the nights I wear short skirts and the nights I get laid.”

The next night she went to a party/event thing on campus, wearing “a HOT short bright red dress with an empire waist and appliqued roses all over the chest, the same black cropped cardigan from the night before, a skinny black belt round my waist, and red red lipstick. I was proud of this outfit.”

Red empire-waist minidress

Red empire-waist minidress

Red and gray vintage Caroline Herrera minidress

Red and gray vintage Caroline Herrera minidress

The chaste relations between her and Fresher couldn’t last long; “I never really think of him except for when I am drunk, when I find him really really attractive and all I want to do is jump him.”  There were bands and DJs at this thing, “so I spent most of the evening dancing, and eventually saw the boy and as I predicted, started kissing him again. We went back to his room at the end of the night, and this time we did have sex, but I refrained from talking about how weird/old I was.”

“This time the walk of shame in the morning was pretty bad, I got up to pee in the morning so just pulled my dress on without my underwear, and then when I went to go home, I couldn’t be bothered with taking the dress off again to put my bra on, so I just walked out with my bra in my hand. And opened the door to the WHOLE of the floor, who were going to the shops and were just about to ask my Fresher if he wanted anything. I was like, hi, guys… here’s my bra.”

Will it happen again?  “I think the No Drama Obama way would be to not pursue this. However, I am fairly sure that next time the both of us are in the same place at the same time and alcohol is involved, I’ll end up getting in his bed again. Probably wearing black tights and a short skirt.”

“We Can’t Hook Up With You — We Made a Pact”

Posted in alcohol, Barack Obama, clothes, Costumes, Fashion, Holy Grail, Joe the Plumber, Sex, Shirts/tops on October 20, 2008 by betoma

Submissions to my Halloween Costume Story Contest so far have been sparse, so there’s still time to send yours in.  I have the sense that with all the political issues and economic chaos going on in this historical moment, people are too distracted to think much about the clothes that got them laid.   Americans are feeling like fashion and the sex it facilitates are trivial concerns, remote from the weighty issues that face us today.  I can prove that’s not true.  Look at “Joe the Plumber.”  That guy just needs to get laid.  You can see he’s much too tightly wound.  He’s all angry about a three percent tax increase he might have to pay, if he starts earning over $250,000 a year.   Joe the Plumber is refusing to say who he’ll vote for, trying to be all mysterious and make everyone pay attention to him.  Why?  Because Joe the Plumber is lonely and desperate for human contact.  If Joe the Plumber were having great sex, he would not need to act this way.  He would be relaxed and confident, able to take life one day at a time.  Lots of McCain supporters probably share his plight, but more relevantly for my purposes, Joe the Plumber is a sloppy dresser.  Look at the picture below; no one is impressed.

No scrubs

No scrubs

I have a feeling that Joe the Plumber (real name: Joe Wurzelbacher, short for Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) is the type of guy who googles himself a lot.  (LOL, double entendre.)  He’s probably reading this right now.  What I have to say next goes out directly to him.  Joe the Plumber/Joe Wurzelbacher, if you contact me, I will give you a FREE Clothes That Got Me Laid wardrobe consultation.  I will advise you of what you’re doing wrong, and offer detailed suggestions for improvement.  I make this offer for two reasons: (1), I think it will benefit you to relax and stop being so angry about Obama’s tax plan; and (2), I think all the free publicity will benefit me as I grow my million-dollar wardrobe consulting business.  Joe the Plumber, write to me at Stuffwhitepeoplehate {at} Gmail.com, and we will get started.

“Jack,” the subject of today’s story, nothing like Joe Wurzelbacher.  He’s the COO of an alternative fuels company in San Francisco, and the proud owner of a Holy Grail clothing item.  It all began in 2003, when Jack was getting an MBA at Stanford.  At the time, he and his classmates had a bi-yearly tradition of going on weekend trips to Las Vegas.  They would get cheap flights on Southwest Airlines, party all night at clubs, and then fly back, sometimes just 24 hours or less after they arrived.   One of these trips took place on Halloween, so everyone brought costumes.  He got a special shirt for the occasion, a pleated peach tuxedo shirt from the 80’s that he bought at a fancy vintage store.  (Similar items pictured below.)

Pink tuxedo shirt

Pink tuxedo shirt

Another one

Another one

He and his friends arrived on Halloween night (Friday) and went out dancing at clubs.  While he was there, he ended up making out with one of the women on the trip.  He must not have been that crazy about her, because he and some of the guys left the club at three, went out to strip clubs, and didn’t come back until 5.  (Incidentally, what is up with b-school students partying like R. Kelly?  You never hear of people studying for, say, a Ph.D. in philosophy comporting themselves in this manner.  Ph.D. students need to step up their game.)  After they returned to the same club, he ended up taking one of his classmates back to his hotel, but it was a different woman.  What was wrong with the first one?  Apparently the second one was better, or seemed so “with more alcohol.”

Three years later, living in San Francisco, he wore the shirt on another memorable night.   He had moved into an apartment on Alamo Square after responding to a Craigslist “roommate wanted” ad.  Two months after he moved in, he and his two female housemated decided to host a Day of the Dead party.  (He claims that Day of the Dead is “more debaucherous than Halloween”).  During his time there, he and his housemate “Janet” had been flirting heavily, and once the party started, it became clear that “something was going to happen.”  Janet was all up in his grill, but he was getting vibes from “Chrissy” too — she was nibbling his ear.  He was “very interested” in Janet, not so much in Chrissy.  Many drinks later, the two women were sitting on the sofa with him and making out with him.  Chrissy warned him that “we can’t hook up with you — we made a pact.”  Apparently this was true, but such pacts mean the opposite of their stated intention.  If you didn’t really, really want to fuck someone, you wouldn’t need to swear a solemn oath not to do it.  Gentlemen, if any women ever tell you they have a “pact” not to sleep with you, you are about to get some poontang.

As soon as Chrissy got out of the way, Jack and Janet started making out on their own, totally hiding from her.  Janet was still reluctant to hook up with him, though, worrying that “you just want to get me in bed.”  He assured her this wasn’t true, and said that he would move out of the apartment if he could date her.  This unexpected seriousness impressed her.  That night he “moved into her room, and never moved out.”

Chrissy wasn’t happy about this at all.  She spent the first week or two of their couple-hood in a huff, barely leaving her room.  Jack attributes this to “a tad” of hurt feelings on her part, plus “a power dynamics thing.”  A year later, Jack and Janet got their own place, and they’re now engaged!  Yay.  You hardly ever hear of couples who were roommates first, but that’s how my parents got together, and they have been married for 30 years.

Finally, a word on the shirt.  Jack says it worked because it “generated attention,” and because he wore it on occasions that were “designed to be over-the-top.”  This is what those dudes in the PUA community mean when they talk about peacocking.  Wow, it works.  I always knew world-famous pickup artist Mystery was on to something.

“Fuck It, I Really Want This Guy, I’m in Mesh for God’s Sake”

Posted in alcohol, clothes, Denim, Fashion, Fetishwear, Holy Grail, Sex, Skirts, Tank tops on October 4, 2008 by betoma

If you ask your mom for advice on meeting nice guys, she will tell you to join a church group, or a political campaign, or some sort of hiking club — anything that attracts respectable, well-intentioned people.  She will warn you against hooking up with drunk guys at bars, and she definitely does not want you to meet people through the local BDSM scene.  Don’t listen to your mom.  You can meet nice guys anywhere, whether you’re out doing something wholesome like registering new voters for Barack Obama (you guys are doing that, right?  It’s important!), or something less wholesome, like attending an S&M party at a cheap motel.

Here to prove that is “Viola,” who in 2002 was an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  She was active in the school’s queer community, and at the time, “a total tranny-chaser.”   Why, you ask?  Viola explains that she had already come out in high school, but when she arrived at college, she found that all the dykes there were practicing “transgressive exceptionalism” by being as butch as possible.  She isn’t that girly, but in this new context, she seemed like quite the lady by contrast.  When she would date a butch woman, she would be quickly pigeonholed as “femme.”  She found that dating trans-men afforded her a way out of the whole butch/femme dichotomy, and also, I guess she just thought they were hot.

Viola was the director of one of the school’s queer organizations, and “Olivia” ran a related office on campus.  Their work brought them together often — they needed to coordinate with each other on things like fundraising and setting up rope-bondage tutorials.   When they first met, Olivia had just started the process of transitioning from a woman to a dude.  Viola thought she was cute from the very beginning, but by the time our story takes place, “Olivia” was “Oakes,” and he was looking hotter to her than ever.

Like most American institutions of higher learning, the college I went to only had one BDSM club, and they didn’t do anything that crazy; as far as I could tell, they just sat around talking about autoerotic asyphyxiation.  It surprised me, therefore, to learn that UCSB had two rival BDSM groups, with warring ideological agendas.  The official group was considered too hardcore by many — it required that people “pledge to the lifestyle,” or some such thing — so some kinky people who “just wanted to fuck around” started their own, unofficial collective.

To further this goal, the group planned a party at the Wagon Wheel, a “really crappy, sleazy roach motel on the beach.”  (It was common practice for people to rent “spokes” of the wheel to have wild parties in.)  Olivia was a member of the group and was invited.

On the Friday before the party, she had an official work meeting with Oakes.  She was really nervous, but didn’t want to lose the opportunity.  It turns out that getting a guy to ask you out works the same whether the guy has a vagina or not: You just drop really obvious hints.  After the meeting, she asked if he was going to the party.  He said he was thinking of going.  She said “yeah, I was thinking of going too, but I don’t want to go alone.”  He said “so, uh, wanna go?”  Of course she said yes.

Her next dilemma was what to wear to a “semi-formal fetish party.”  She picked out a black tank top, red pencil skirt, and black Converse, but threw a long-sleeved mesh shirt on top of it to make it event-appropriate.

Black mesh shirt

Black mesh shirt

Red pencil skirt

Red pencil skirt

At the party, there was a bonfire on the beach.  Viola and Oakes sat in front of it, sipping their drinks and playing a “retarded one-upmanship game” in which they talked about all the other people at the party, like “oh yeah, I fucked him too.”  She got “really bombed” to hide her nervousness.  He was nervous, too.  Long after most of the other partygoers had retired to private rooms to get it on, they stayed outside chatting, afraid to make the first move.  How is it that they weren’t nervous to be at a BDSM party, weren’t nervous to hang out with a bunch of campus queers they had both already slept with, but were nervous to be on a date?  Viola says it doesn’t make any sense:  “We were always just really nervous around each other.”

Also, she found out later that Oakes was worried she was too buttoned-up and prim for him, whereas his secret fantasy was that she was a naughty schoolteacher at heart, and that when the clothes came off, the ruler would come out.  As the party was winding down, Viola got so freaked out that she asked if he wanted to leave.  He was like “oh, I got us a room in the wing, just in case.”  In Viola’s words, “I decided, fuck this, I really want this guy, I’m in mesh for God’s sake.”  They went to the room.

As they were getting comfortable, the Wagon Wheel revealed itself to be a true roach motel:  An actual cockroach joined them.  Viola hates roaches.  She screamed and hid in the bathroom.  Being the “crunchy-granola dyke” that he is, Oakes didn’t kill it, but rather trapped it and set it free.  He let her know the roach was safely outside.  When she emerged from the bathroom, he had stripped down to his boxers.  What happened next fulfilled his fondest wishes about Viola: She’s a really, really mean schoolteacher.

They ended up dating for three years.  I’ll let Viola have the last word; she thinks the mesh shirt might be a holy grail. “About two months after I broke up with Oakes, I was at “The Rusty Nail.” And, believe it or not, the local sports bar doubles as the unofficial dyke hangout.”  That is sort of surprising.  “Well, I went there wearing my black mesh shirt, this time with a black and white striped tank from Banana Republic and dark gray jeans from Old Navy. This time my hair was short and I wore it in a fauxhawk. And that night I went home with a beautiful Slavic girl (her name was Marissa but I came to refer to her as whore-bag because we ended up dating for 4 months and then she cheated on me with a straight girl who had a boyfriend, something my college boifriends never did. But she was hot enough that it was worth it).”

Black-and-white striped tank

Black-and-white striped tank

“I Like Finding People Who Speak Japanese, and Making Out With Them”

Posted in alcohol, clothes, Dresses, Fashion, Holy Grail, Sex, Tank tops, Uncategorized, Underwear on September 22, 2008 by betoma

Today, something slightly different:  An intellectual romance about two people brought together by their passion for the sensual joys of their favorite subject.  A smutty intellectual romance.  This is what intellectuals should be like, but all too often, they’re not; all too often, their only extracurricular activities are thinking up insults about Sarah Palin and sending sarcastic Facebook messages to each other.  I KNOW YOU HEARD THAT, REPRESSED INTELLECTUALS.

“Rei” is a student at a well-known university in the southern United States.  It’s the “Harvard of the south,” but the south has many Harvards, so you still don’t know which.  She describes herself as a cute, short, nerdy girl with “birth-control derived boobs.”  Thus showered with gifts from God and pharmaceuticals, she nevertheless does not get to have a lot of sex “because I have this crazy-bad off-and-on relationship with someone whom I dated in high school, and he has been in Japan for the past year.”  Also, “I am quite in love with Japanese and biology and sexuality, and that love essentially amounts to an inordinate passion for subjects that I see as academic,” so she spends a lot of time studying.

However, last May she had some spare time during finals week, and decided to visit her friend at another college about an hour away.  On her first evening on campus, she and her friend went to somebody’s birthday party.  She was wearing a hot pink dress with braided straps from Urban Outfitters, layered over a J. Crew tank top with salmon and white stripes.  I couldn’t find a tank top with this color scheme for sale, so I just picked a different one that I liked.  Sometimes I use “editorial license” when selecting items to link to — DEAL WITH IT.
Lux hot pink dress

Lux hot pink dress

Striped tank top

Striped tank top

Also, she hadn’t brought any shoes except for Chucks, so she borrowed a pair of (very small) green flip-flops from her friend.  “I think I probably just wore big giant white cotton panties because I absolutely hate wearing underwear and wearing too-big stuff is the closest I can get to not wearing underwear without actually not wearing underwear (which, sure, I do fairly often, but not really when I’m wearing dresses).”  Fascinating!  I’ve never heard the case for large underwear made in quite this way, or in any other way.  Rei has a shoulder tattoo that says “幸せになる,” which means “to become happy” in Japanese; it was mostly covered by her clothes at this point in the evening.

Although Rei was “looking to score that night,” she thought success was unlikely.  Not only did she not know many of these people, but it turns out the school she was visiting considered itself involved in a rivalry with her school, which occasioned some hostile comments.  Meanwhile people at Rei’s school aren’t even aware that this rivalry exists, because “we are all so fixated on hating the hell out of UNC.”   What’s up with these feuds between abstract entities?  The other day my friend told me someone had insulted her because the Wisconsin town he comes from is the “enemy” of her Wisconsin town. It’s always the less cool and status-y member of the rivalry that actually cares about it, so if you think your town or team or whatever has an enemy, you should probably just drop it.

Rei was lucky enough to meet a young man who did not take part in this tragic prejudice against her school.  Her friend introduced her to “Valmont” because he speaks Japanese, and as she puts it, “when I am drunk, I want to speak Japanese. Not English. I really, really like Japanese, and speaking it, and finding people who speak Japanese, and finding people who like Japan, and then making out with them.”  She felt an immediate connection with Valmont (in addition to being a fine scholar, he “is a complete man-whore who likes to push sexual boundaries,” although this is a conclusion she drew later), but he left for some other party and didn’t return for a few hours.

When he got back Rei remembers “a very heated, intense conversation taking place as we leaned up against a wall and got close to each other so we could hear over the yelling and the music–all in Japanese. The boy had me slayed–he was talking about how good I was, how impressed he was, etc. We were both really excited to be speaking Japanese, and I was exciting to see how his long-sleeved shirt fit his torso.”  They got dragged into a game of beer pong (“he won and I may or may not have been belligerent and boisterous”), and then “we started leaning up against each other and making out in the kitchen. Eventually we just moved it out into the hallway and a couch, and then inside a darkened study room, where we took off each other’s clothes and rolled around on the floor.”

That’s the end of the story, except for some AIM chats they had later about their sexual fantasies “and the times we’ve been interrupted by policemen while having sex in cars.”  Rei is now studying abroad and won’t see this amazing man again.  She does have a theory about the incident, though.  She remembers Valmont pulling down the back of her dress so that he could see her tattoo better, and she says it’s intriguing to people because it is “incongruous” with her usually reserved personality.  She concludes that “a nerdy girl with a tattoo might have her ‘holy grail’ already inked on her skin.”  I don’t have a picture of hers, so here’s an unrelated one you might enjoy.

Chanel/Black Flag foot tattoos

Chanel/Black Flag foot tattoos