Should I be freaking out?

Thanksgiving is not something I have ever celebrated, being from the UK it isn’t a tradition I was brought up on. However, this year I was invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with some family. Sitting at the table was an ex Investment Banker, the Director of a successful Advertising Company, a Children’s Theatre Manager, an Events Manager, a medical student about to receive his Doctorate and me… a receptionist and the youngest in the room by only a matter of months. Throughout the meal a thick helping of loaded questions was sprinkled upon me, the sum of which  was: “what are you doing with your life?”  I feel as though its a horrible question that people are asked only at the times of their lives when it is obvious that they don’t know what they’re doing. From my online ramblings alone, I think it is pretty clear that this has been a tumultuous year for this somewhat sporadic writer. And I ask myself this same question pretty much every day…”What are you doing with your life?” Honestly, I don’t know. I sit in an office in central London, working with perfectly nice people, in a perfectly nice job feeling perfectly unsatisfied. A bit like being in the gilded cage, its all very nice but its not enough. This weekend, I met up with the girls I used to live with at University. Of the 6 of us, 5 were living at home, and working in the gilded cage, trainee lawyers who worked their arses off for three years back in offices and retail outlets because that’s how you have to do it to get a trainee-ship. I’m told that we are supposed to get ourselves on the job ladder, to seek work from work. But how is that possible when you don’t know what you’re doing now, let alone what you want to do for the rest of your life.

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It’s a shock spending 4 years away from home living what you thought was ‘independently’, using your student loan to buy food and pay rent, using money from a part time job to get yourself drunk on the days where you should have been working, then moving back home. I am one of the lucky ones; I live at home and I have an amazing relationship with my ma and her man, we eat dinner together every night, we have breakfast together on weekends. So for me, the pull of ‘independence’ is not so strong what with the lack of rent to pay and the constant feeling of support. In truth, I know that the only way for me to find me impetus to move would be to find my dream job somewhere I couldn’t get to from home in less than an hour by train. Very few of my friends have moved out of home, and those who have are paying though the nose for rent and bills. At the end of my working month, less than a grand goes  into my bank account. I am staying put until its at least a grand and a half. A lot of the time it is easy to get my head down at work, binge watch a series on an internet TV site and not think about the future. Other times, like Thanksgiving, I begin to freak out asking myself endless unanswerable questions; have I wasted my degree and gotten myself into over 10k’s worth of debt to sit in reception all day doing nothing? Was doing a drama degree a terrible mistake? Was my father right to unsuccessfully try to dissuade me for all those years? I felt, after this meal last week, about an inch tall. I was useless, going nowhere, I had no wish to act anymore because I dislike the attitude of young actors, I had no qualifications to get myself a job which I could potentially do well in. What I do have is my ma. I have my mates. I have a support network that will never fail me. Even if I feel I am failing myself.

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I have a friend who is an actor. He has gotten pretty constant work from when he left uni to the present (he’s currently touring with a show!) We had the most brutally honest conversation the other day over a glass of red wine in a virtually empty pub in North London. We came to this conclusion: everyone is struggling in some way or another. Whether its the problem of making ends meet and paying rent, whether its finding a job that makes you happy so that scraping by doesn’t matter so much, whether its freaking out because the idea of getting yourself a mortgage and paying real bills every month. Everyone of my generation, bar those who managed to sort themselves out (hats off), is freaking out a little. It seems as though we have to settle in one part of our lives, if we want a good job which pays well, we have to let go of our passion. If we follow our passion we wave a tearful farewell to financial security and what my friend described as comfort. Comfort comes in many forms, whether its treating yourself to a solo Wagamama’s at the end of a brutal day of envelope stuffing or receiving a drawn out hug from a parent. Comfort is one of those little things that can make everything ok, and put you in the frame of mind that says “Life is not so bad”.  So when comforts are few and far between, when pressure from sources out of your control gets too much, when you are unhappy at work, what do you do? Make time.

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It might be the spirit of the holiday season which is forced upon us like acid rain, but I honestly feel as though making time to see friends and family around this time of year is worth its weight in wine. And gold. And gin. And cheese. In all seriousness though, when you feel as though you are drowning in your worries, that you’ll be alone forever and die alone only to be eaten by Alsatians, that you’ll never pay this month’s rent on time, that you’ll be eating tinned beans until March, that you getting a promotion is about as likely as unicorn orgies; just find some time to spend with your loved ones. Talk things out, be honest. The less you talk about what’s worrying you, the more gravity you give it. Everyone is freaking out. Its only natural that you are too.

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Girls…Please

Many moons ago, in my first year of uni, I was all about the heels and the dresses. Night after night I would go out dressed to the nines, wearing heels that made me look like an unsteady baby giraffe and more make up than you could shake a packet of face wipes at, only to inevitably come home, shoes in one hand, wadge of toilet roll in the other desperately trying to mop up the tequila and shame from my skirt. These nights out were a meat market, a cat walk without the glamour, during which time the sole aim was to be considered ‘fit’ by the dribbling masses slurring into their jagerbombs and forgetting your name every ten seconds. I shiver now when I think of the money I spent on these dresses, the time I wasted convincing myself that I would totally wear those heels all the time and the smiles and fake laughs I wasted on those mugs in the smoking area who didn’t give a fuck what your favorite Kubrick film was as long as they could tongue you.  I remember the significance those nights out had, how important it was to look good, to look like everyone else, to dare to wear the tiniest skirt, the highest heels, to pull off that quiff and why? Because it gave you some sense of self, some evidence that you exist in the eyes of others, and you know, since I stopped giving a shit, more people have been interested in talking to me. Gone is the girl who would get too drunk smile and laugh and play along, she has long since been replaced with a more superior model; the girl who is quicker than you, funnier than you and can take an insult better than you. Beware, females, your doe lashes and hair extensions will only take you so far, but what happens when they come off and all you have is you, and you’ve forgotten how.

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As I take the final pull on my cigarette before extinguishing it against the side of TGI Fridays, I see the hoards of girls begin to flock by in a milee of tiny skirts, huge coifs and heels that could kill a man. Inside ten female traipse in, each wearing heels and dresses that would make a drag queen blush. There is a sense of competition in the air as she who dares will surely be carried off over the shoulder of some hulking rugby player who has replaced his brains with biceps and foregone having a neck in favor of having pecks like dinner plates. This competition is at the centre of it all, the push up bras, the heels, the holding in tights, the false eyelashes, the mesh skirts, the see-through tops. I saw a girl wearing a white pencil skirt which was all but see-through throw shade at this girl for wearing a tiny black dress displaying both T and A. Hilarious, pot kettle slut! This is it though, these girls are going out dressed like they’re going to some horrendous TOWIE party, they work all week in jobs they hate, developing no real interests or hobbies focusing everything they are on how they look, the clothes they wear, the next color to dye their hair and literally living for the two nights a week they can put on a costume and pretend to be like the people they see on these horrendous shows (The Kardashians, Jersey Shore, The Valleys) when these people do fuck all with their lives. Oh look, Kim Kardashian posted another selfie online, why? Because she has no fucking life, she spends money, she has her picture taken and she goes home wondering why she still feels empty inside even though there is a generation of girls coming who want to be just like her. Forget Ellen Page and Michelle Obama because Jordan just released another autobiography about her life, oh, Emma Watson did a nice speech at the UN, that’s cute but look Rita Ora just dyed her hair pink, I wonder if  I could pull that off.

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Meanwhile, in my leggings and t shirt I tuck into a burger the size of my head, having already tucked into two starters waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, I have no shame. We all meet for dinner and head our separate ways to get ready for our friends’ birthday night out, for some this means taking out the rollers they wore at dinner, applying fake tan and picking one of the ten dresses they brought to wear. For me it meant having a shower, sticking me face on (and attempting contouring) and pulling on my jeans and top. Boom. Low maintenance. Ready. I even have time to roll a joint which I will share with the only guy in the group before we brave the land of spanx and blisters.

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As we head out, most are already drunk, girls walking around looking like Bambi on ice in heels that will doubtless be worn for an hour to deliver maximum effect when strutting into that first bar, to show in the split second that less than half the eyes in the place will be on you, that you take care of yourself, you make an effort, you’re a hottie.  Meanwhile, yours truly draws looks all night wearing black jeans, doc martens and a  nondescript black strap top. How upsetting for those who spent hours on their hair and make up to be ignored in favour for she who made the most minimal effort possible, and isn’t even remotely drunk when she cracks out her best grunge dance moves (all knees and face). I should point out now that it is not everyone’s fault that they are so drunk, the drinks in Swansea are hilariously cheap, at one bar I got a sizable cocktail for £6, a tequila for £2 and a Disaronno Cranberry for £3, so its no surprise that at one point I see a woman in a pencil skirt cuffed and escorted by police still holding her stilettos.  Also, tits. Tits everywhere in Swansea, little tits shown off with a plunging neckline in a backless number, tits propped up by so much foam they’re popping out of the tops these girls shouldn’t even bother to wear and the sheer amount of fake tits about was staggering. The rest of the night was harmonious, we kept to ourselves, danced like we were the Supremes, Michael Jackson and Beyonce all rolled into one. One of the girls in heels disappeared and returned triumphant and smug in flip flops and I have never been so proud.  It was traumatic for me to be confronted with the types of people I thought ceased to exist after 2009, but I feel secure in the knowledge that eventually they will go, fuck this, catapult their spanx out the window and opt for something comfy and let themselves be themselves rather than the girl who’s face they put on to go out in.

 

Commitment

After a two month hiatus in which apparently nothing has bothered me enough to make me blog, I am back Fucked It fans to talk about the tricky subject of Commitment, a word which up until pretty recently has been almost exclusively used to describe men enjoying the single lifestyle of taking numbers and breaking hearts. If you type “Fear of commitment” into Google you get 10,700,000 results, so it is clearly something which is widely discussed, at least online. For men it seems that commitment means an immediate loss of freedom and the swift introduction of your balls to a vice, which, unless you’re into that sort of thing, is pretty scary. There are things in life which people commit to without a second thought, I’m talking Gym memberships, E-bay purchases and phone contracts, so why when it comes to sharing ourselves, our happiness and our lives with another person do we tend to run for the hills, find a cave and live on lichen and beetles for a few months until the coast is clear?

 

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I’ve spent much of my adult life being asked the same question by friends and relatives “how’s your love life?” And I have had the same answer since forever “non-existent”. This always creates the same reaction, furrowed brows, worried eyes and that weird sad smile that says ‘oh sweetheart you’re just so alone aren’t you, it must be so hard, let’s go for coffee and talk about how lonely and miserable you must be.” WRONG. I am a smug bitch, my life is complication free, oh and that’s absolute danger. When you describe your love life as ‘complicated’ or ‘hard to explain’ or ‘a long story’, that’s when you are miserable. That’s the time that you are spending days on end trying to decode texts, or lack there of, or Facebook stalking to make sure they aren’t having more fun than you. Fuck. That.  Meeting a potential love interest is fun for the first few weeks, the butterflies in the stomach when they text you, the planning of an outfit that doesn’t look too planned for a casual cup of coffee, the shaving every frigging inch of yourself every few days. But after that is the difficult bit, which I am not talking about from experience, I mean as I’ve said before I find it difficult to sleep with the same person twice, so getting out of the dating phase and into the “so what are we” phase is mythology to me.   I hear that once you get past the initial few months and enter long-term territory, it becomes about farting in front of each other and eating dominoes before deciding you are both too bloated to even think about the no pants dance.

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So let’s get specific. I want to talk about ladies who are not into committing. We are not rare, we are not the unicorns of the human world, we are not few and far between and we are certainly not ashamed of our lack of interest in the long-term. I will use my friend as an example, lets call her PMP (for Pretty Much Perfect), PMP has a boyfriend (BF) and has been seeing him for lets say 8 months. PMP is a sexual butterfly and her immaculate physique, intelligence and sense of humor mean that she literally turns heads wherever she goes (she would NEVER admit this because she’s a stupid bitch). Now this constant interest from men is having some sort of chemical or psychological effect on her in that she cannot be with one person without wanting to drift. Obviously BF has no idea, he takes for granted the fact that they have some unspoken contract where neither of them will flit about the pond in search of other options, however, BF also doesn’t know that he is very much punching above his weight, and therefore should not be taking anything with PMP for granted.  PMP has always been a horn dog, she appreciates the male of the species in many different forms, but has a penchant for intelligence, so while BF is madly in love with her but has forgotten to show it, PMP has sought out comfort elsewhere. Why? Because commitment has burned her before. PMP seeks to avoid getting hurt by keeping her options open even though her partner is totally besotted with her (as is every member of the straight male population). PMP is bored and undervalued and has sought out fun in the form of ED (for End Date). ED is exotic, reminds PMP of how much she’s done with her life in terms of travel and offers escape and far more than BF when it comes to emotional intelligence. ED is also moving abroad in a few months thus any sort of fling between PMP and ED has an end date which means he is a hugely attractive option, minimal commitment for maximum satisfaction.

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 They always say nice guys finish last, and its true, we like bad boys, we like the dangerous option and subconsciously we like the fact that they will never commit; why else would certain ladies (like myself) constantly find themselves attracted to guys who are utter dickheads. We are ingeniously finding a way to escape the bonds of any sort of relationship before it has even been established because we are that clever. “Where are all the nice boys” we ask, rhetorically, “We’re here” come the cries from the nice guys  in the friend zone who are absolutely furious. To the guys who think that they are absolutely bossing it, finding a different girl every weekend, texting ladies left right and center, just remember that we are not stupid. We know what you are, if you are an asshole, we are probably using you too even if we aren’t that aware of it. Ladies,we all know that it isn’t just men who think that monogamy is unnatural, it is part of our biological make up to want to spread our DNA as far as possible. But this bullshit about how girls are sluts and men are studs has got to stop, we ladies are far more aware of how we are perceived that men think, we know that if we wear this dress we will get attention, but if we wear this one, we will be left well alone. We know how to manipulate men in a way which makes them think they have the power in an exchange. We just have to be stronger, not look for emotional bonds and let them find us naturally.

Also Christina had it right when she said

“If you look back in history
It’s a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore”

My Preciouses

Oh my god it is beautiful. It is the most glorious thing I have ever seen in my life, I need it to complete my soul and cement my happiness… this bag shall rule over all of the other bags. Turquoise leather with a large leopard print pony skin panel and a removable strap made of chain and leather, it is truly a thing of substantial caliber. My heart race increases as I click on it, choosing it alone  from among the ranks of  lowly polyester blended tat, all neatly presented in tile formation across my screen. It has become clear to me by now that this gorgeous little piece would go with anything, smart, casual, fancy dress it would go, I just know it. My palms perspire as I click the add to bag button… the items in there have a total cost of £177. A dress with a thick petticoat layer in a neon tribal print at £98 tops the list, a moment of weakness…deleted. A Boy London T-shirt at £49….gone. All that remains is you, sweet bag, you alone are destined for a place in my life.  You alone have been chosen to join my celestial collection of eclectic accessories; the illustrious holographic clutch, the renowned Vintage Mulberry, the splendid silver glittery round shoulder bag and the ridiculous menagerie of enormous earrings. For all of them I fought to resist, fought to remain abstinent from shopping, spending, going on a…..a spree.

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Two words that will get us more worked up than finding an oiled up Channing Tatum waiting for us in the shower are “Shopping Spree”. Our pupils dilate, we take a shallow, faltering breath, we grip the edges of our laptops and think of England as we prepare to hit that “Pay Now Securely” button and ready ourselves for our ecstasy comes to an exultant climax. But there’s a problem… its slap bang in the middle of the month..and you are, once more, poor as shit til pay day. Alas, the collection you have built up in that online shopping basket over the last hour or so cannot be yours. After all you had that night out at the weekend, you bought that book that you probably won’t have time to read, that lunch last week when you forgot to prepare anything at home, not to mention your Gym Membership and Phone Contract. God damn our incredible ability to spend faster than we save.  But its so EASY, you click a little button here, tick a box there and two passwords later you’ve spent £45 on a pair of novelty sunglasses with flamingos on them, a T-Shirt featuring a cat pun and a scarf you don’t actually even like that much. I mean obviously we all forget our passwords here and there and end up having to use CAPS LOCK, symbols, numbers, the Deathly Hallows and the One Ring to create a new one. Now, as much as this is a total ball-ache, it does often somehow manage to deter me from my spending habits, slowing down the depletion of my bank balance to a rate I can almost keep up with. But there are times when you will find something in particular, be it a book, a dress, a rare original DC Print of Jennifer Walters mid-transformation (She-Hulk for you non-nerds out there), you end up like Gollum, rubbing your hands together, eyes like saucers whispering “I must have the precious” to yourself over and over again. Sure, every few seconds you will come to and realize that you have none of the money, and should probably ignore this absolute diamond for the sake of your future self who will want a beautiful pair of limited edition Irregular Choice Sequinned Kitten heels instead.

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So you force yourself to forget. It’s almost like a breakup because you had your sights set on a beautiful future with your precious, you could see the photos together, the holidays you could go on, the compliments you would receive from envious party-goers. Due to internet ‘cookies’, you’ll see them everywhere you go, on the Facebook Sidebar, in the ads when you are trying to stream the latest episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ on your preferred pirating website (no judgement here, we all do it). Its painful seeing them out there in public as though nothing has changed between you, acting nonchalant when all you want is to scoop them up into your open arms and never let them go. You clear your cookies, and your internet history for good measure. ‘Just forget about it’, your mind says, but your heart can’t let go just yet. You find yourself creeping back to ASOS.com just for a look, just to see if the price has dropped, whether there are any left in stock. Of  course there they are, looking as glamorous as ever, surrounded by their mediocre friends who make them look even better than before.  Eventually the memories fade, and life moves on, you find yourself taking joy in all things free; walks in the park, sunshine and birdsong, dinner with friends. One fateful day you brave checking your bank balance and find a TRIPLE DIGIT for the first time in weeks, and all hell is about to break lose. You have no option… you …. must… SPEND.

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So you make a day of it. You pick Saturday (just like everyone else) to go out armed with your smallest shoulder bag (room for key, phone, card and fags only), flat shoes and sharpened elbows ready to give a bitch a black eye if she even touches that clutch bag before you get there. You arrive in your local town center and one of two things will happen. Either you will go out and all your shopping dreams will come true, you will find endless bargains, that vintage shop will have a 1950s velvet prom dress made for you, there will be a sale on at Topshop and only YOUR size is left and you will get so many taster samples of food that you skip lunch and spend the money on shoes. Alternatively nothing will fit and the one thing that does is a totally ludicrous neon orange neoprene playsuit with scuba zip detailing which you would probably buy, wear once and regret it so much you donate it to a local charity shop where some crazy old lady will buy it and wear it in the streets with her pink dyed hair and her enormous 90s platform trainers asking for spare change to feed her thousands of cats. There is no rhyme or reason to a bad shopping day, but it can happen to the best of us, just remember, with that failure comes the promise of a better run next time, with double the budget (YAAAAY). People may say that society is becoming increasingly materialistic, and honestly I’m inclined to agree. As Carrie Bradshaw once said “I like my money right where I can see it… Hanging in my closet”.     It is true that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you lots and lots of shoes and bags and shit, and that’s a good start.

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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.

Dry-hump

 

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.