This from a friend, via text message: “Got to school an hour late due to having sex and it’s throwing my entire schedule off. Clothes that got me laid = bath towel.”
Update on Joe the Plumber: Remember the challenge I issued to him? He never responded to it, he ignored my sage advice to stop showing up everywhere in a sweatshirt and baggy jeans, and apparently, he is still stressed out.
The entries I write usually focus on the first time a couple hooks up. That’s based on a common assumption: The first time is the hardest to set up, requiring the most seduction, placing the highest demands on your charm and attractiveness. But that’s not always the case. Anyone can just blunder into a one-night stand. Sometimes the second time is the hardest. Having shared a night of passion, two people have lost their easy rapport, and are burdened by expectations and anxieties. An opportunity that once arose by pure chance must now be painstakingly and effortfully re-created. Each fears scaring the other away by acting clingy, or offending a pal by treating them as a mere booty call. One or more of the parties concerned may develop a paranoid fear that the other person is “ignoring” them, and sometimes they’re right. In fact, I recall that once I… but no, this isn’t the place. This story isn’t about me. It’s about a handsome man, a beautiful woman, and a cat in a dress.
“Magnolia” is a photographer who lives in a large city in Texas. “We like to say, ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas.'” She “know[s] this guy from the tattoo shop where I go, and he is super hot.” It’s the place where she gets tattoos, but also, “I go up to the shop and shoot the shit with all the guys that work there. They are very raunchy and sometimes I just need to hear some dirty talk!”
In fact, she met “Reno” about a year ago at a friend’s going away party; “I was drunk and hit on him all night. Then the next time I showed up at the shop, there he was, he just got hired! I pretended not to remember hitting on him, but he brought it to my attention.” She describes his look as “totally rock n’ roll, sleeved out, gauged ears, the kind of guy I would have taken home to Mom and Dad during my rebellious phase. He just looks like a bad ass! His vibe is super fun, someone that can party hard, and won’t let anyone fuck with him.”
“Long story, short, we hooked up once and it was great, and I thought this could be a regular booty call. We texted each other every now and then, but never could get our schedules to match so there was no booty to be had.” See? Logistics.
“Then, last weekend was my friend’s birthday party at a BYOB all-nude strip club. Classy, I know. Let’s start with what I was wearing… a purple/wine- colored silk spaghetti strap top with a sweetheart neckline. I save it for special occasions, and with the amount of boobies and crotches we were bound to see, I knew love (or lust) might be in the air. I was also wearing my favorite dark denim jeans and black high-heeled mary janes.”
Silk spaghetti-strap top
Forever 21 corset top
Marc Jacobs dark jeans
Inside the club, “it was dark, smoky, sleazy, there were neon lights, a two-story stripper pole, strippers hanging off bars and flipping off ledges, it was nuts. I was impressed by the gymnastics of it, and we all thought we might see someone bust her head.” I once saw a stripper kick a bartender in the head with her lucite r platform shoe. He wasn’t upset; he seemed to accept it as a hazard of the trade. “The birthday girl had a lot of $ on her, so she was handing it out to us and dragging us up to strippers to stick it in their thongs… if they had thongs. I was just walking around and turned my head and a girl was hanging in the air from a pole, spread eagle, and I got an awful close up vagina view. I was not prepared for that (I’ve only been to the strip club twice before, and never an all-nude one).” Reno and Magnolia mostly weren’t interested in the strippers, so they chatted amicably. “He did smack my ass twice and I slapped his hand away because I didn’t want the other guys (from the tat shop) to see. They have really explicit conversations, and I didn’t want them to know about our ‘thing.'”
Finally, “it was really late (this club stayed open until 4 a.m.) and the guy was leaving. I wasn’t about to let this chance slip by, because, hey, I was wearing the silk ‘special occasion’ top. So I left too and texted him to come over.”
“He came over and was looking around at my artwork and my apartment because he had never been over before. Now, I will have to preface this with that fact that I had been drinking a lot all night, but I could have SWORN that I wasn’t drunk at this point. But I don’t know how a sober person could embarrass herself so much, so maybe we should tell everyone that I was wasted! He said something about my cat and I mentioned that I like to dress her up. Now my friends know this quirk about me and find it funny, or at least if they judge I don’t care. Then the guy asked to see my cat’s clothes. I got all excited (again…why???) and pulled out ALL of the outfits I had ever gotten her. It went like this: ‘Here is her party outfit and here is her springtime dress and here is her winter sweater….’ Oh sweet Jesus, it was bad.”
LOL @ this cat, for all eternity, unto the very crack of doom.
“Apparently, that didn’t dissuade him from getting some, so we got down to business. It was all great and fun until I accidentally elbowed him in the face and gave him a bloody nose! I had to stop and go get some Kleenex, which he shoved up his nose and left hanging out. Hot. His nose stopped bleeding but he said he could still taste blood in the back of his throat. Needless to say, we didn’t kiss after that, and I showed him to the door.”
Sometimes, the third hookup the toughest one of all: “I’m pretty sure I won’t hear from him again.” At least she can go hang out at the tattoo shop some more. But “the next time I go up there, if anyone asks about my cat, I’m turning around and walking out!”
The CTGML Facebook Group is up. To the 43% of people who voted in my survey that I shouldn’t start it because it’s a “stupid idea,” sorry. I hate Web 2.0, too, but I hate everything new. Like, if I had been around at the dawn of ink-and-paper writing, I would’ve been all like “God, this sucks! Why can’t we just keep using cuneiform?” Had I been alive in the waning days of the bronze age, I would have proclaimed iron to be “ridiculous.” Seriously, join my Facebook group. The most intelligent people on the internet read this blog, so we’ll have some great discussions there. Possible features the group will include:
— Post links to sexy clothes and hot sales you find online!
— Get fashion advice from lots of stylish ladies! (Straight dudes, this feature could be especially useful to you)
— Official CTGML discussion thread on pickup lines for women to use on men! (Straight dudes, you can help us out here)
Anyway. I encountered the following in Hannah Holmes’ bookThe Well-Dressed Ape: “While some researchers see copulation as the culmination of the negotiations, others suspect it may be just another way for animals to gauge one another’s quality…. Why [do people like to have sex all the time]? Is it a test of a partner’s quality? Some theorists think a roll in the hay might be a good way to gauge another human’s health and personality.” Sound familiar, ladies? Little did you know that all your casual sex was a brilliant Darwinian strategy.
But the tactic of hookup-as-relationship-test works even if your pairing is unlikely to produce offspring. Like the subjects of today’s story, “Heidi,” a musician, and “Gretchen,” a friend of the dudes in Heidi’s band. The two of them moved in the same social circles, and finally met one night last October, at a sleazy local dive bar (“The Buckaroo”). Gretchen is tall and skinny, “very androgynous,” and it seems Heidi was attracted right from the beginning. That night, it happened to be Gretchen’s birthday, and the whole gang ended up going to a different, moderately less dive-y bar to celebrate. “I bought her a shot of whiskey.” Along with Levi’s jeans and Chucks, Heidi was wearing an airbrushed Cher t-shirt that said “Gurlz rule.” Gretchen was a fellow appreciator of Cher, so this helped them build rapport.
Sonny & Cher
At the end of the evening, “we just crashed on a friend’s couch.” A dude who lived nearby offered up his couch and floors to the few who were still out partying. Hooking up came fairly naturally once they were in a room together. Heidi was lying on a blanket on the floor, and said “do you wanna lay down here?” They ended up fooling around. She says “it was great sexy times.”
Three or four days passed before they saw each other again. This time, it was Halloween. Heidi and her friends went out to a dance party being held in a warehouse. She was disguised as Ursula from the Little Mermaid, in full purple body paint, silver spray-painted hair, and tentacles constructed from pantyhose filled with packing peanuts.
Heidi is slimmer than this, though
She was wearing a black skirt with some sort of halter top, accessorized with a golden crown and trident, and red lipstick.
(I had, like, heck of problems finding the right kind of trident online. Free market, my ass. You’re on your own with this one.)
YSL red lipstick
As Heidi walked into the warehouse, the music hit a lull, “everyone in the room turned and stared at me, and it was like, ‘Yes!'” Among those at the party, “this particular girl turned and noticed me.” Gretchen was dressed as Ziggy Stardust. She was wearing tight jeans with a ball of yarn in the crotch, and had the lightning bolt painted on her face. They ended up dancing for a bit to “raunchy hip-hop” that the DJ was playing.
The party was “crazy.” Eventually they left, of course. Once again, they crashed at someone’s house, their friend “purple Siberian tiger” (for such was his costume). This is one of those cases where my notes are hard to read, but I think Purple Siberian Tiger slept on the sofa, letting them have the bed? It could be. Anecdotal evidence I’ve heard suggests that guys are only too eager to let lesbian couples hook up in their bed, if they get all horny at a party or something. It is one of the few compensations for the crushing burden of homophobia that queer people must bear in our regressive, reactionary society.
Anyway, having fooled around enough to verify each other’s quality, health and personality, they were ready to have sex. That’s what my notes appear to suggest, anyway. But I realized I wasn’t sure what that implies, since the distinction between “fooling around” and “going all the way” isn’t so clear in a lesbian context as it is with straight people. To gain insight into the “gay lifestyle,” I asked a bisexual woman. She says: “With a guy, my vocab distinctions would be: ‘I made out with him,’ or ‘ I hooked up with him’ (which would involve oral sex either way, or finger fucking), or ‘I had sex with him’ (which would be like, regular penis vagina sex). With a girl, my distinctions would be more like, ‘I made out with her” or ‘I had sex with her.’ The stuff that wouldn’t count as much as sex with guys would count as sex with girls. Some girls might say going down is a bigger deal than fingering and that that counts more as sex.” Also, it “probably” makes a difference whether they’re fully nude. So there you have it.
The two of them continued to date for “a short while,” and then Gretchen cut it off, saying “I’m not really looking to date anybody.” Heidi has seen her around town recently, they’re friendly and everything’s cool. When I asked her if the clothes had any effect, she said “absolutely,” and that there were “many references” made between them while they were dating to the Ursula and Ziggy costumes.
Who likes sex more, men or women? An ancient Greek dude would tell you would tell you that women enjoy it, like, a thousand times more. (If you need confirmation, just check out this myth — yes, Sophocles fans, it explains why Tiresias the blind prophet has boobs in Oedipus Rex.) But if you pose the same question to the average person in today’s late capitalist society, they’ll tell you just the opposite. Males, they will say, are single-minded because they’re biologically driven to pursue sex. Devoid of finer feelings, they comport themselves in much the same manner as sperm competing for an egg. So simple are males, so in their quest for poontang, that they offer nothing to the analytical mind. “It’s a waste of time trying to understand US!”, men will say. “We’re all dogs!”
By contrast, this theory (call it the “men are horny, women are corny” proposition) paints females as complex and mysterious — their sexuality a mere facade, a smokescreen behind which lurks a roiling turmoil of feelings, thoughts, and finely-calibrated emotional needs. Oh, no! That sounds so boring! But can the theory be true?
I say no. And it turns out insight into male complexity can come from surprising places. Case in point: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. I used to have a big problem with this magazine. The reason why is obvious: I considered it intellectually dishonest. Masturbating isn’t really a sport. (Insert 50,000 jokes here about sports injuries, mouthguards, shin splints, balls, bats, nets, baskets, bases and home runs, pentathlons, varsity vs. junior varsity-level athletes, what you played in high school, what you played at summer camp, shuttlecocks, bowling pins, fencing masks, boxing gloves, ping-pong tables, and cheerleading.) If pornography is what you want — my reasoning went — go to the porno shop and buy some! You’re not fooling anyone! Do you think you’re too upper-middle-class to go to the Hustler store? God, you’re so bourgeois!
Who cares, though, really? The magazine provides work for models in today’s challenging economy, and it’s good for the Jews because there’s an Israeli on the cover. More important, though, is what happened when I mentioned this objection to my friend Isaac. He had something interesting to say: “For some men,” he explained, “that’s part of the turn-on.” Appreciating the magazine in a sexual way comes with more of a perverse, illicit thrill because “it’s not really ‘for’ that.” The women seem innocent and unsuspecting. And “believe it or not, boobs have to have a context, even for guys.”
Boobs with a context
Oh, I believe it. What an unexpected nuance! But for every worldly man like Isaac, there are ten guys who want to reduce human sexuality to black and white. The subject of today’s story kept insisting that men and women are fundamentally different, because in the world of sex, “women choose, men are chosen.” Does his story bear out that claim? Let’s find out.
“Sigmund” is a Jew from New Jersey. He grew up in New York and moved to L.A. as a young man to pursue acting. In 2002, he met “Cherry” in a bar where he worked. They got friendly because they were co-workers. “She was cute, like an ice cream cone.” They had all kinds of rapport because they had the same favorite movie (The Karate Kid). Also, “I taught her how to text.” During that historical epoch, most people were confused by text messaging; having mastered the skill demonstrated that he was an alpha male.
His strategy bore fruit a few weeks later, when Cherry was out on a date with some other guy, but was “texting me through the date.” It’s unclear what the matter was with the date. “It didn’t even suck, I was just better.”
So inevitably, he asked her out. He rented both the Karate Kid movies and she walked over to his apartment, because they both lived in East Hollywood. They got halfway through the sequel before they started making out. After a while she was like “I have to go home,” and he drove her home. But then they had sex on another date a few days later, on the same movie-watching sofa. (“I slayed many on that couch.”)
He was wearing a black crew-neck shirt, Levi’s, and Vans, with muttonchop sideburns and long curly hair.
They kept on dating for six months. In this story, Sigmund defeated his male rival and won the girl, so it looks pretty good for his sperm-and-egg theory. But what if we look closer? Cherry must have really liked this guy, because it seems like she went out of her way to make him jealous. Going out on a stupid date with another dude she didn’t really like, then sneaking away every 10 minutes to text him? It totally worked, though. Guys, look at how much effort it takes to seduce you. You can’t be all that simple.
Yes, sarcastically wishing venereal diseases on people is an hilarious Valentine’s Day tradition. Seriously, though, don’t get V.D. I should have a holiday story or inspiring message for you, but I don’t. Instead, a question. I am thinking of starting a CTGML Facebook group thingy, to publicize the site and maybe somehow increase readership. We could have, like, a discussion board where we plan outfits and stuff. Do you think this is a good idea?
You know, loyal readers, I’m always snappin’ on people like Charles M. Blow (here, for instance) for saying that the existence of casual sex negates the sacred human values of trust, caring and integrity. Yes, this op-ed is old, but it’s still as hilarious as ever! He phoned up a university professor to help him understand the “strange phenomenon” of hooking up, which he also says is a “strange culture”! Charles M. Blow could learn a lot about the topsy-turvy new world of sex by reading this blog. But what can we learn from him? What about those times when Charles M. Blow is right — when the simple hookup that you undertook with an attitude of devil-may-care insouciance comes back to bite you in the ass, stirring up primal emotions and feelings, causing your façade of carefree sophistication to tumble all around you like a flimsy house of cards? What will you do when you find that you’ve unconscionably trifled with the finer feelings and elevated sentiments of one of God’s fellow creatures, luring him to perdition and grief with your sensual wiles, you temptress?
Charles M. Blow doesn’t actually say that will happen; he just says that hooking up “isn’t a good way to find a spouse.” But today’s story proves that it can happen. It’s hardly fair, is it? All you were trying to do was spread some joy in this cold and bitter world. But just look at Margaret’s experience.
Margaret wrote in to us a few months ago, about a relatively trouble-free fling she had with a freshman at her university. But now, things have gotten more complicated. Margaret has two friends who are also friends with each other. Of the two, she has a big crush on “Rupert.” He’s “really really sweet but also kind of sarcastic and funny, we have the same interests, he loves books and films and tea, and when I talk to him I end up forgetting my troubles.” Good grief. This is right on the verge of being twee. He studies art, and before that “he studied Animal Biology, which is awesome because I was [once] a science geek, and also, he worked in a zoo! Which sounds cool even if it actually was just shoveling poop all day.”
Meanwhile, “Gerald” has a big crush on her. But as far as she’s concerned, he’s just a friend, and with good reason. He’s a few years younger than Rupert, and lacks some of his worldly sophistication. They both study the same subject, which “can get annoying because we both have really strong opposing viewpoints and Gerald likes to debate these a lot, and I am kind of like, ‘can we just shut up and watch Indiana Jones please!'”
Thus, a classic love triangle. Then one night a couple of weeks ago, all three of them were hanging out. “I got very very drunk on cheap scotch.” Somehow she ended up alone with Gerald. They “were messing around and somehow this led to some kissing. Which then led to him leading me to his room, and then we had sex.” I didn’t get a report on whether it was fun or not, because Margaret claims the sex “wasn’t the point.” She was more eager to point out that she was wearing the very same dress she had on when she first encountered “Fresher” in the previous story. “It is not low-cut and it’s quite loose and… like a big t-shirt with pretty flowers on the neckline. Are big t-shirts sexy?” Let the people be the judge; I convinced her to send me a photo.
In the e-mail she originally sent to me, Margaret continued as follows: “Sleeping with Gerald was quite a retarded thing to do… [but] I actually consider him quite a good friend, so it’s not the most terrible thing that’s ever happened that we slept together, it’s not awkward or anything between us.”
However, a week passed before Margaret got around to sending me pictures of the dress. During that time, the situation deteriorated. She and Gerald had a serious talk: “It turns out that Gerald actually really likes me quite a lot. For me, the situation was like, ‘haha, I got drunk and slept with this guy, that was a bit silly, seeing as I like his friend,’ but now everything is awkward and horrible and I can’t do anything with Rupert because it would make Gerald cry. Gerald chose to wait ’til a few days after we had sex to tell me this as well, if I knew before, I clearly wouldn’t have slept with him (I don’t think).”
“And now that he has told me, I’m really aware of how I act around Rupert when Gerald’s there, trying not to be too flirty, and also I am really aware of how I act around Gerald, like I’m trying to be normal but I don’t want to be too nice in case he thinks that I secretly love him, but not too nasty because it’s not his fault that he is a little bit in love with me, and I still want to be his friend…. Argh! I think this has turned into a clothes that got me laid FAIL. Well, win in the sense that I did get laid, fail in the sense that my life is now hideously dramatic because of it.”
That sounds really awkward. It’s too late to do anything about it now, so let’s try to figure out what it is about this dress.
Above is the full outfit, including brown tights, brown cardigan, gold belt and gold flats. Margaret finally concludes that “I think I’ve figured out the secret of the magic dress: You can see the whole of my legs. It is like I am not even wearing a skirt.” What do you guys think?
Okay, gentlemen, this tip is for you. It’s a thought I just had about these shirts, one of which I just bought from American Apparel.
I am enjoying wearing it, but for you straight guys, I think this shirt could offer vast seduction potential. It’s interesting enough that it gives people a reason to start talking to you; it shows that you’re at least somewhat politically engaged; and it shows that you’re secure in your sexuality, thus setting you apart from every guy in the room who might be afraid of appearing “gay.” This idea hasn’t been field tested, but I really think it could work! If you try it, let me know how it goes!