Deep Thoughts in 2009

Posted in clothes, metadiscourse, Sex, Shopping on a budget on January 2, 2009 by betoma

After the exchange that followed my last post, I really want to know if Charles Darwin got some poontang after he got home from the voyage of the Beagle.  If that happened today, you know girls would be spreadin’.  Compared to that, being in the faggotty-ass Peace Corps or some shit wouldn’t be worth beans.  Just imagine:  Some hippie is all trying to impress a girl, telling her how much he learned about himself in the Peace Corps; and then Charles Darwin walks into the room, as cool as a cucumber, and starts telling how he spent five years camping out in Tierra del Fuego and Tahiti, collecting specimens and conducting hydrographic surveys  and revolutionizing biology.  It would be all over.  He wouldn’t even need to be wearing a fancy waistcoat.  It strikes me that in the past, distinguished men of science got kind of a raw deal.

Foxy redhead!

Foxy redhead!

We can’t, however, all be irrepressable pussy-magnets like Darwin was.  This world is full of regular, hard-working folks who ain’t even ever revolutionized a fantasy baseball league.  Those people — “real Americans” — are who(m) this website is for.  So I’m going to offer you guys some tips I was offered recently while I was chatting with “Darren,” a sophisticated older man who seemed to know what he was talking about.  (He also told me an extremely scandalous anecdote about meeting some women while honky-tonkin’; maybe I’ll write it up as a post if I can ever decipher my notes.)

Tips for guys:

— “Be selective of your button-down shirts.”

— “Shop like a girl” by trying everything on, instead of just picking up your size.  He adds that if you like something but it doesn’t fit quite right, “don’t be afraid to alter.”   This is solid advice, because chicks hate it when your clothes are ill-fitting.

— “Don’t look like you just got a haircut.”  This means your hair is supposed to look natural and lived-in, even if you did just get a haircut.  If this very concept sounds like a paradox that is blowing your mind, it could mean that your stylist is crappy.

Tip for ladies:

— “I think there’s a lot of guys that like opaque stockings.”  I advised him that these are often referred to as “tights.”

Unisex tip:

— In a store, “you can learn how to change price tags.”  Shopping on a budget!  I neither endorse nor denounce this practice.

There you have it.  For everyone who didn’t get laid in 2008, I am wishing you the best of luck in the new year.  Go get ’em!  But if you’ve been getting lucky already, please submit your New Year’s Eve CTGML tales to me.

*******SPECIAL APOLOGY:  I’m sorry I referred to the Peace Corps as “faggotty.”  I don’t know what I could have been thinking.


“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.”

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!”

Season’s Greetings

Posted in Barack Obama, clothes, Fashion, Sex on December 25, 2008 by betoma

I know we’re all busy preparing seasonal foods, and only using the internet for porn, but I encountered something important today:  Why does the Obama logo look like the Chanel logo?  Added to all the other Obama fashion news I have noted, it must mean something.  What do you think it means?

I am looking forward to hearing your extra-festive, holiday-themed CTGML stories!  Single people, get out there and make some magical holiday memories!  (Unless you’re staying at your parents’ house for Christmas — in which case, let’s shoot for New Year’s Eve.)

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Idea!

Posted in metadiscourse, Sex, Shopping on a budget on December 21, 2008 by betoma

This may be a bit off-topic, but here it is:  I’m tired of everyone saying how because there’s a new edition of The Joy of Sex, the original edition is obsolete now and everyone should go replace it (Huffington Post, some other dudes).  One writer says that it’s “time to update” if you still have the old version.  Yes indeed, readers, you do need to “update” if you possess a book that was written earlier than 2008.  Otherwise, you face many dangers — you might find its archaic prose style to be laughable, or you might encounter an opinion that has become unpopular.  Also, the book’s original author never mentions the internet.  Real prescient, Alex Comfort, M.D.!  How am I supposed to learn about sex if there’s no section on how the internet is changing our lives?

Look, America.  The original Joy of Sex is great.  It teaches you that “there are two sorts of sexual joy — having a full orgasm with a person you value, and being a total person yourself” (LOL, truest statement ever), and it has sexy color drawings of people who don’t have all their natural body hair shaved off.  However, it was written in the 70s, and it might contain ideas you do not agree with.  Why not read the book, and then decide which parts you like, and which parts you don’t like?  Not to sound like some dumbass Ian McKaye fan, but think for yourselves, you complacent sheeple!

If your loved one does not own the original Joy of Sex, CTGML is declaring it our hot holiday 2008 gift recommendation.  You can probably find it in a used bookstore.  This book would be especially useful if you need to plan fun activities for all eight nights of Chanukah.  Make sure to get both volumes, because More Joy of Sex has better pictures. (I couldn’t find the illustrations online, but here’s this.)

Postscript: At first I didn’t want to place any blame on this new author, “Susan Quilliam,” whose book I have not seen (I heard it had pictures in it of scrawny indie rockers fucking , so I stayed away).  But today I was doing some research on my computer, and I learned that Quilliam advises people to, in one journalist’s words,  “[not] get hung up on grammar and spelling” when they’re having e-mail sex.  That is the worst advice I have ever heard in my entire life.  If someone sent me a sex e-mail with incorrect grammar and spelling, I would never correspond with them again.

“The Universe Sent Me the Boy in Eyeliner I Wanted!”

Posted in alcohol, Boots, clothes, Cocaine, Fashion, Fetishwear, Miniskirts, Outerwear, Pants/trousers, Sex, Shirts/tops, T-shirts, Underwear on December 18, 2008 by betoma

Welcome to the first “Goth Edition” of CTGML!  Loyal reader “Lydia” wondered whether I was interested in her goth stories, and my answer was: of course!  In fact, I think it would be fun to do a series of these, focusing on different musical subgenres and the styles that are associated with them:  prog, krautrock, Americana, freak-folk, yacht rock, and so on.  We could learn about different  cultures together.  You know what genre I bet has the worst clothes?  Hick-hop, that’s what.

Lydia is in her late 30’s and lives in a part of New York that’s not NYC.  Two months before this story starts, she had been dumped by her boyfriend of six months.  She explains that “he was the first boyfriend subsequent to my divorce, and the dumping was  an unpleasant surprise.  I hadn’t had any action since then; I wasn’t totally ready to jump into a new relationship, but I was open to possibilities.”

Such was her from of mind when she went out one night to dance with friends at “Release the Bats” (“local, tiny and pathetic, now defunct Goth night”; not its actual name).   She was wearing a black leather biker jacket with one-inch band buttons pinned to it, “20-eye Docs and fishnets and the little Tripp skirt with purple plaid trim and a black cami,” and was “eyelinered all to hell and gone.”

Black silk camisole

Black silk camisole

Black and purple miniskirt

Black and purple miniskirt

Tall Doc Martins

Tall Doc Martins

Why can’t I find a biker jacket online that looks as good as the one Kate Moss is wearing in this photo?  All the designer-y ones are too weird and don’t resemble the classic style enough.  Anyhow, here is an affordable option.

Black leather motorcycle jacket

Black leather motorcycle jacket

Lydia got to the club shortly after doors opened, talked to a few friends, had a couple of drinks, and danced with her friend “Lenora” to songs like “Bizarre Love Triangle.”  There were a couple of cute guys there, one of whom caught her eye because he looked at first glance like her friend “DJ Knobgoblin” (not his actual DJ pseudonym).  On closer inspection, he turned out to be a guy she’d never met.

She ended up talking to him later, though:  Tthe song “Barracuda” came on and Lydia commented “that that was KARAOKE, not dance music.  Because it’s such an old song, I guess that was what started the ‘no, how old are you?’ conversation this time.”  The DJ Knobgoblin lookalike was hanging around near her and Lenora, and somehow ended up joining  in this discussion.  As she describes him, he had hair in “the classic Robert Smith mode. Eyeliner. Long black coat with a laced back. Black t-shirt. Vinyl Tripp pants that laced up the sides, rawr.  And New Rocks.”

Vinyl pants, not the same ones though

Vinyl pants, not the same ones though

Lancome eyeliner
Lancôme eyeliner

His name was “Edgar.”  She was 36 at the time, but “he guessed me at 22, not my vanity prompting, but more grown out of the music discussion… of course he turned the question around on me, and, honestly, with all the eyeliner, he could have been any age, so I said ’27’ which is usually safe.”  He was 35, and “said he was flattered.”

As you might expect, “we started chatting. He offered to buy me a drink, and I accepted, although perhaps I shouldn’t have, as that made it my third, and I’m a lightweight.”  Aww.  “But we were having a good conversation, and I was having a great time. He admitted, as if it were slightly embarrassing, that he was one of those goths with a real job — a vet. Ooh, gainfully employed!  When I admitted to a real job, too, he asked what I did, and when he heard baker, he said ‘Marry me!'”  She adds that “my job gets that response a LOT.”

Flirting between these two was getting more intense as they found out how much they had in common.  They talked about geeky, Star Wars-y stuff, and he revealed that he was divorced, too.  “Neither of us does drugs any more” — or so he claimed! — “although the drugs he doesn’t do any more are not the same ones that I don’t do any more.”

She also noted that “he dances WELL. Not just the punch-the-hobbit-dropkick-the-hobbit industrial-boy style, either. Old school gothiness. But understands how to shift from the usual goth ‘no I am not looking at anyone else dance just see me not look *peek*’ to dancing WITH someone.”  I feel like I’m in a new world, of aesthetic standards that I didn’t even know existed.  This multiculturalism thing is working!

“I forget what we were talking about when he asked if he could kiss me. I do remember thinking ‘you actually need to ask?’ but I said yes, and, mmm. So nice to get the attention. The universe listened and sent me the boy in eyeliner I wanted!”

When it was time go, Lydia wasn’t sober enough to drive yet.  They decided they could go for coffee in his car, and he could drive her back to hers later, so they went to a local diner.  “I had hot chocolate with whipped cream, because I was pretty sure coffee would make me jittery, and he had cheese fries (although I tried to warn him it’d be nacho goo on them) and a Coke.”  A baker and a veterinarian, having cheese fries and cocoa at a diner?  I didn’t know that was part of the Goth lifestyle, because they never write songs about that.  Nobody writes songs that adorable.  Even goddamn Beat Happening would have been like “we can’t do this song, it isn’t edgy enough.”

“I said ‘let me see if I can do this without getting whipped cream on my nose,’ which meant treating it kind of like an ice cream cone, to which he said ‘now you’re just teasing me.’  My response was ‘and it’s not even a cherry stem!’  He admitted to cheating, in earlier times, by hiding a pre-tied cherry stem in his mouth.””  I guess this part’s kind of edgy.  “As we were driving back to the club to get my car, I asked if he was driving back home then, or following me, or what? He said ‘are you inviting me?’ I said, ‘I’m inviting you.’  He was pleased.”

“There are few things more fraught with silly than two laced-up goths getting undressed for bed, let me tell you.”  After dealing with her boots, she took off her last few things in the bathroom, grabbed a condom, and emerged wearing a paisley satin robe.  He was still wearing his vinyl pants and socks.  “I cuddled up next to him, and the smooches began in earnest. He had his hand tangled into my hair, pretty strongly. Melt!”

“Wasn’t long before he discovered the nekkid under the bathrobe, and commented on it. My response was ‘and you’re overdressed.'”  The rest of the clothes came off.  Lydia says that Edgar “had skills” and that his tongue piercing “rocked [her] world.”  “When I went for the condom, though, he said no”;  He gave her some whole explanation about how he really liked her, and would want to take her on a date before having sex.  “More cuddling and kissing, and eventually sleep.”

He left in the morning with a terrible hangover, and promised to call if he wasn’t dead.  “I played happy music while I was at work — for my values of happy: the Cure’s “Head on the Door,” Elvis Costello’s “My Aim is True,” the Horrorpops, the Raveonettes.”  Hmmm, I suppose that’s pretty happy.  Like, if you ranked all the music in the world according to how cheerful it was, and you gave a ten to “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” by The Ohio Express, and a zero to “Raping a Slave” by Swans, then Elvis Costello or the Raveonettes would probably get about a six.  (One of today’s elecronic DJ “mashup” artists should consider doing a mashup of “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” and “Raping a Slave”; it would probably get a lot of attention.)

In the next couple of days, she exchanged a few texts with him, and ended up hanging out at his place soon after.  “We didn’t exactly DATE, although we hung out and fooled around a couple more times in the next month. ”  It all came to and end when he stood her up for a party she’d asked him to, and gave a suspicious-sounding excuse.  She started asking around about him, “at which point I had the glorious experience of four people telling me separately, ‘Oh, HIM? He’s an asshole,’ and going into detail about the coke habit and some of his past exploits.”  He wasn’t even a vet, just a vet tech!

If you’re a less copious drinker than most of my readers, you might find this helpful:  “For a while, I had a really good line for declining a third drink.  Oh, no, two’s my limit.  Know what I did the last time I had three drinks?’ (pause) ‘Edgar.'”

**** Thanks to Emel for coming up with the name “DJ Knobgoblin.”  If any real DJs out there want to use this, it’s all yours.

Deep Thought

Posted in clothes, Fashion, Sex, T-shirts on December 18, 2008 by betoma

The clothes that didn’t get me laid.

“I Don’t Think it Was a Great Idea, But it Was Pretty Hot”

Posted in alcohol, clothes, Denim, Fashion, Joe the Plumber, Pants/trousers, Sex, Sweaters, T-shirts, Underwear on December 13, 2008 by betoma

A church sign I drive past on the way to my house is claiming that A CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CHRIST IS NO CHRISTMAS AT ALL.  I am sure many of my readers disagree with that sentiment; instead, many of you might feel that a Christmas without hot gay sex is no Christmas at all.  Does that make you any less of an American?  No!  There’s no red America and blue America; there’s no “real” America and “fake” America.  Our union was founded on the idea of personal freedom.  Whether your lifestyle is based on a tight-knit nuclear family, a loving gay relationship, or going to Paris and screwing a bunch of 90-year-old whores like Ben Franklin did, nobody has the right to put down your values.

So if you hate going home for the holidays because it’s so boring, perhaps you can take inspiration from today’s story.  “Walter” describes himself as “a bisexual, atheist, vegetarian, college student, liberal South Carolinian. Thought it was a stereotype until you got to that last bit, uh huh.”  Oh, no!  This country’s demographic map is shifting!  The Republican party has lost the trust of the citizens!  The only way to get Walter to understand traditional “South Carolina” values is for William Kristol to write another of his insightful articles.  William Kristol had better hurry, because Walter really needs it:

“I was visiting my dad over Thanksgiving break and quickly grew weary of my stepmother, who has hair resembling calcified 7-layer dip.  I went over to a friend’s apartment to have a few drinks, one of these never-left-the-hometown wretches who ends up working at a CostCo ‘distribution center,’ suddenly drops the ‘g’ off of the end of every word, and develops killer abs.”

Walter explains that “we were good friends in high school who grew apart during college. It got awkward with him for a number of reasons — we only really saw each other when we were going to hook up, and he has turned into a bit of a stoner over the years (not my style).”  But Killer Abs texted him at 10 p.m. asking him if he wanted to come over for a few drinks, and he ended up going over there a few hours later.

Over at the apartment, under the influence of  “a few too many Svetka and tonics,” Walter “made the first move. We were watching TV in his living room and it was clear neither of us was incredibly interested in what was on. I suggested that we move upstairs and he was happy to oblige.”   These small-town guys “ended up doing some not-so-small-town sorts of things. This is all unbeknowdst to my frat-tastic college boyfriend, with whom I was supposed to spend the day (albeit secretly) just a few hours later.”  Here’s Walter had on:

Express Men’s producer pants (gray; they won’t let me download their images!)

— a cornflower blue cashmere Banana Republic sweater over a white tee

Blue cashmere sweater

Blue cashmere sweater

Or is this more of a cornflower blue?

— Ralph Lauren boxer briefs, also gray

Ralph Lauren boxer briefs

Ralph Lauren boxer briefs

This picture makes me very nervous, and I don’t much care for it.  However, I suppose that’s what “killer abs” really look like.

American Apparel white t-shirt

American Apparel white t-shirt

That’s more like it!

Walter concludes, “I didn’t end up seeing the boyfriend until the next day. Everything’s been fine. He’s a great guy. I don’t think Killer Abs was a great idea, but it is what happened, and it was pretty hot. Killer Abs, for the record, was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt, and a pair of tennis shoes (he had worked earlier in the day).  Blue collar chic? Is that a phrase?”  I would think so, yes, but when I did a Google image search on “blue collar fashion” I came upon this, one of the least blue-collar looks of all time: