Posers, Musclemen and Heroes

Lets face it, the only time we tend to smile at the gym is when our workout is over or when we have managed to smuggle out a fart without anyone noticing. Ah yes, that glorious moment when we finish that last set, wipe our faces and machines respectively and skip over to the changing room to see exactly how haggard we have made ourselves look.  One thing, however, which is making my whole gym experience a little more bearable is the presence of FPT (Fit Personal Trainer) FPT is 45, bald with rugged dirty blonde super manly stubble and a stomach you could grate cheese on (this last i know through very minor Facebook stalk). My general demeanor in life is not that of a shrinking violet (as those who have read my previous ramblings will know all too well) and at the gym I am no different. When something hurts, I give FPT verbal hell like I’m in labor with his child. The other day I was using a hard foam roller to stretch out my hamstrings (which essentially involves oscillating up and down on it starting at your ‘pockets’/ vageene). So there I am, essentially dry humping this roller, when suddenly i hit a nerve and freeze mid-thrust and utter everything under the sun between gritted teeth.

I shit you not, this is what I was doing

I shit you not, this is what I was doing

It’s amazing how quickly you stop giving a shit about wandering around semi naked in there as well. I tend to strip off and saunter over to the showers in the nuddy so I can see if the last half an hour of pain has paid off yet. It hasn’t. Gympatience strikes again. Whats also fairly amusing is the rate at which you grow accustomed to conversations with strangers when one or both of you has their tits out. Its pretty rad, we are all girls here and its great not having to awkwardly fumble to keep them covered when you’re trying to get your bra on.  The other day I had literally just stepped out of the shower and opened my locker when the gym’s receptionist came in for a casual chat. Allow me to elaborate; it was her last shift and it was pretty quiet, as it tends to be when I’m there, and she came in to check the changing room, found me in there,  and decided to stay for a chinwag. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not shy when it comes to my body (insert reference to Lena Dunham here) and it was only when she gesticulated at her own nipples,  smiled wide and said ‘I love those’ that I remembered that mine are special. They are pierced, straight silver bars. Yes they hurt, you have a needle shoved through one of the most sensitive parts of your body. But its one hell of a show stopper when people first catch a glimpse.

 

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Let me assure you all, I have NEVER been a gym-bunny. In fact, back in the days when I was basically eating all of my feelings and then some, I spent much time scorning those who voluntarily put themselves through the undeniable torture than is willingly moving at anything other than regular walking pace. I recently realized that when I go do some exercise I go through the Kubler-Ross model; first comes denial (this isn’t going to be that bad, I’ll be fine) , then its anger (fuck me ow ow ow), followed by bargaining (OK I’ll do three more sets and then I’ll stop), depression (oh god, will the pain never end) and finally acceptance (fuck yeah, I can do this!) I tell you its an emotional roller-coaster three times a week for everyone there. Don’t get me wrong, there are still those people in the gym who you look at and go “please, God, just fuck off”; like the forty-something bloke in the tight vest top who seems to think he has more bulging muscle than bulging belly. Or the girl wearing a crop top and power walking at a feeble pace for 5 minutes then making a big show of mopping her brow (note the orange smudge on the blue paper towel),  taking a huge gulp from her pink gym bottle before she retires to the yoga mats where she spends the remainder of her ‘workout’ working out how best to stretch in order that the whole place can trace the outline of her thong through her tiny shorts. Whore. If you are not a red sweaty foul beast by the time you’re done, you are being a huge pussy. If you walk down the stairs with ease and saunter casually into the changing rooms, you are faking all of this gymness. You are a poser. We do not wear makeup for a workout. If we do, it gets everywhere, you sweat it all off, you clog your pores and end up looking like a pizza later on in the week. Not worth it. No one is there to look pretty while they put their bodies through hell.

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But hidden amongst the posers and the limp-wristed wannabes, the overly muscular and very vocal lifters are those hidden gems, like this lady I see there every time I go, who has to be in her 60s, who absolutely kills it on the rowing machine for forty mins, or the balding guy who runs along beside me on the treadmill listening to old school rock which I can hear him quietly singing along to. Even I have become my own hero, I force myself over there thrice a week, obviously the promise of half an hour sweaty and breathless with FPT helps. I even got an email telling me I was in the top 15% of users at my particular gym. MENTAL. Thus concludes today’s ramblings.

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One Night Stands

Its coming, the weather is hotting up, the skirts are getting shorter, the tops are getting plungier and the hedonistic nature in all of us is effervescing away beneath the surface waiting to burst forth in a wave of skin revealing revelry. Summer. The time of year where the youth of the day return to a primordial state where the smell of sunscreen, sweat and hair products propels the masses into a frenzy of sloppy tonguing sessions and even sloppier sex. We abandon ourselves to our baser instincts, summer is prime time for one night stands and I am here to tell you the DO’s and DON’Ts of this oh so special of occasions.

First things first, if you don’t use a condom when bonking a stranger, you are essentially a vile slut who doesn’t care if she catches every STD under the sun. This goes for boys and girls, for both are sluts equally. Do not skip the rubber, you don’t know where Mr P has been, and you don’t know who has been visiting Mrs V, so why risk it. Better than to have to momentarily pause proceedings than have to call ever one of your sexual partners and explain that due to your foul sexual discrepancies, you may have given them herpes. The rule is essentially, if your partner doesn’t suggest the use of any sort of protection with you, the odds are they don’t use it with anyone. Bail.condom1

 

Now, the fun bits. One night stands are the perfect opportunity to try those weird sex tips your read in  magazines, or to try that thing you’ve always wanted to. For example, in my final year of uni, my sluttish behavior was at an all time high, I had a fire escape outside my room, which my bedroom window opened onto. I called it the balcony and it was a happening place. I therefore made it my mission to get laid on there at least once. And I did, with a total random, who was JUST terrible. Which brings me to do number two; always bring them back to yours. This means you have control of when your conquest vacates the premises; fire escape guy wanted to stay and cuddle (something I will literally never understand) so I had to deliver the classic line “oh shit, my boyfriend is coming home in like twenty minutes. You should go!” (scoffing quietly to myself at the idea of me having a boyfriend at all)  It is also the perfect time to be demanding. Once you know that bonking is on the cards, you can pretty much draw up a little contract in order to be fully satisfied, I once gave a guy actual rules before agreeing to sleep with him (which ended up being a three-hour romp, followed by wedding  jokes at breakfast with the rest of the group in the morning) Also, one night stands are prime time for hilarity; take the time to do something hilarious and socially inappropriate and create an urban myth that you know to be true. For example, I had one guy back and after thirty minutes of heavy petting he was still…..a little more Philadelphia than Parmesan in the penis department.  Anyway, I was drunk and intolerant and delivered the classic ultimatum “Babe, at this point, go hard or go home”…he went home and I passed out naked…again. Then there are those classic moments when you’ve drunkenly gotten naked with a friend with no real intention of actual penetration. This happened to me at uni and the pair of us ended up passing out au naturel. About an hour or so later, our mate came into my room (greeted by the sight of my bare ass) to get the guy to go back and smoke up at his place, and I (still in a naked drunken stupor)  could only repeat the words “Babe, just chill out, its fine”.  There are those moments when you both think you are porn stars and then catch sight of yourselves in the mirror and both have to take a second to laugh hysterically. There are those times when you take a mid-session break for a cigarette and end up performing a top-notch blow-job in the communal garden in full view of the upstairs neighbors… just cos. There are hilariously awkward moments, however. For example, I once ended up bedding my Uni’s water polo captain, who definitely forgot my name and just referred to me as  “Baby”, I have never been so pleased as when he got up and left in search of a kebab.

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Things to beware: Beware the “accidental slip”, we all know what I mean here, and there is a chance that in the fumble to pleasure you, your partner may have gotten too excited and popped something somewhere it doesn’t belong for a second or two, causing you to perform the gravity defying ‘gecko’ move up the nearest wall.  Beware Magic FM…Seriously, I remember ‘Careless Whisper’ coming on at 2am and being completely unable to continue, while my playmate thought it was the sexiest thing ever. I literally almost pee’d with laughter at how cheesy it was. Horrendous.  Beware volume control. There is nothing worse than hearing other people bumping uglies, honestly it isn’t ok, you end up feeling like some sort of aural voyeur because no matter what you do you can’t block out the sounds.Beware inequality; go tit for tat, if you go down for fifteen minutes, the favor should be returned…any guy who says anything pertaining to “I don’t do that” can suck your imaginary balls and get out of your bed.  Beware feelings. As I have said before, if your legs open faster than Google’s homepage, you are not girlfriend material…one night stands are called this because they have a very precise shelf life. You are not going to find ‘the one’ this way. What you will gain is confidence, skill, experience and fun. Try not to give a shit about reputation, because the only reason people will disapprove is if they aren’t getting laid or if one of you is cheating. Cheating is BAD. Do not get involved with ANYONE who is attached.

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The Rules of Flirting

We all know that watching other people flirt is one of the most stomach-turning, puke-inducing experiences out there. Enduring an hour of badly placed innuendo, endless lip licking and constant hair tossing (Girls….just stop it) is nothing short of hellish for everyone but the parties directly involved, who see themselves as a pair of  glorious unicorns courting in an enchanted forest. The reality is, you are standing in a club that smells of feet, forearm resting in a puddle of spilled Sambuca. Girls, you are all too aware of your skirt riding up, boys, your balls have been sweaty since you got here; but still we soldier on with this bizarre ritual like so many of our animal brethren. unicorns Let it never be said that I am above flirting, I’m not, none of us are, there are, however, a few techniques that I am above. The rest of this post is based upon my evening on Friday. Myself and an adventurous friend of mine were recently invited out by the owner of my local Italian restaurant and its manager. This place is genuinely my favorite eatery near me and, having turned down an invitation a few weeks previously, I thought I may as well keep these two gents on side so I can continue to stuff my face there. Stepping into their car we are instantly engulfed in a haze of Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue, a half empty bottle sits in the central cup-holder and we look on in horror as the cap is removed and the remaining contents are hastily spritzed onto every inch of our chaperones. cologne We eventually found ourselves cruising through central London; Euro-pop blaring we stopped at a red light, and then it happened. The music subsided, we breathed an audible sigh of relief, the window was wound down and the cat calling began. Italian is a beautiful language, I cannot deny this, however I have never felt so repulsed by the words “Ciao Bella” in my entire life. We called the boys on this most pugnacious of acts; “seriously, you’re those guys?!  Do you do this in bars?”, they responded thusly: “We see the girls, we call them over. We say ‘champagne!’ And then they go home with us”. Are you fucking for real right now?!  And these girls, they sound like absolute trash! I’m sorry, I am very much pro-female, I think in this life we take what we can get and give nothing back; however, sleeping with a man for champagne crosses a line I thought we had long since left behind.

We eventually arrived at a Greek Club called Elysee (http://www.elyseerestaurant.com/) a very cool, townhouse-esque bar awaits upstairs with an amazing roof terrace complete with hookah pipes and heaters-a-plenty. The atmosphere was friendly and the crowd  95% Grecian. Having paid our entry fees, our gentleman companions disappeared into the night, leaving us to fend for ourselves in uncharted territory. Myself and my friend are not the best girls to attempt flirtation with; we are very much the strong independent woman type, and do not take kindly to the roving eyes of strangers, approach with caution. We found ourselves talking with two Greek men, B (for bearded) and N (for no game). Now B was quite chatty, and eventually had my companion enthralled in a flirting lesson, he was telling us that in Greece, you see the girl, she looks at you, you look  at her and you go home. He was asking what advice we had and, me being me, I told him the following:

1. Always have the upper hand. This is something that men never expect from women (interestingly when two members of the same sex come together, this often isn’t an issue as gender-roles tend not to come into play) For me, if a you can take the upper hand with me, then you are intelligent enough to merit a few minutes of my time in what will doubtless be an inconsequential attempt at getting into my pants. This rarely happens as I am gifted with a quick wit and an unrelenting cynicism which usually ends up a bruised ego.

2. Make me laugh. Seriously, if you are funny I am going to be so much more interested in speaking to you than if you are full of woe or empty compliments. Also, a sense of humor indicates an understanding of basic human psychology; we are obviously more attracted to those who induce a feeling of harmonious warmth.

3. Just maybe don’t be a total dick.  There is a huge difference between confidence and being a penis and it seems as though most men are unaware of this; confidence occurs when you are secure enough to have a conversation and not have to use put-downs, name drops and/or lies. Being a penis occurs when you have one too many to drink and accomplish any of the following: saying “we going home then?” (yes that was said to me on Friday), anything to do with “blowjob lips”, arse grabbing and dancing all up on me. Do not assume that because I have made an effort to not look like a complete hag, that it is an open invitation for crass commentary and dry humping.

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The fact is, flirting is putting on a show for someone you want to impress, making that initial connection,  picking your best stories, working out their sense of humor; however below this surface level titillation is a degree of vulnerability. My mother said to me when I was about 10, “somewhere waiting out there is some poor unsuspecting man who is your one”,  and it has to be said, I don’t believe that I will meet ‘the one’ in some dingy bar or grossly overcrowded club, which is probably why I behave like such a perpetual bitch.