In Defense of the “Sociology of Miley” Course

Let me say, first off, that I don’t think that Miley needs to be defended, because she rocks, but because the whole internet has gotten drift of “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus” course that is being offered at Skidmore, my lovely college, here I am defending the course, and, in turn, defending Miley. I’ve actually already defended Miley on my blog, here, https://sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/a-critical-response-to-the-miley-cyrus-controversy-or-why-im-still-a-fan/ so I’m not going to use this post to defend her, as much as I am going to defend the class, and Professor Chernoff’s decision to create this class. The web is now abuzz with this class, and now positive and negative opinions have surfaced. Many of these articles are backed up and have valid things to say, and many, well… don’t. The very first article that was posted was one of these uninformed articles, and was shot down by smart viewers and Skidmore alumni in the comments (which is definitely the best part of this article, check it out here: http://www.complex.com/music/2014/03/miley-cyrus-sociology-college-course).

Now, to the course itself. The course is called “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media” and has the following description:

From Disney tween to twerking machine, Miley Cyrus has grown up in the public eye, trying on and discarding very different identities onscreen and off. She provides rich examples for analyzing aspects of intersectional identities and media representation, including:

  • The rise of the Disney Princess
  • Gender stratification and the hyper-commodification of childhood
  • Transitions to adulthood
  • What happens to Disney stars as they age (see Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more)
  • Allies and appropriation
  • Uses of culture across race, class, and gender
  • Bisexuality, queerness, and the female body

Ongoing media frenzy focused on Miley Cyrus’s public image, music, and body highlights the ways in which intersectional identities are shaped by pop culture and mass media. In this special topics course, we will explore core issues of intersectionality theory, looking at race, class, and gender, as well as taking a feminist critique of media, using Miley as a lens through which to explore sociological thinking about identity, entertainment, media, and fame.

A picture of the actual flyer that is posted around Skidmore’s campus, can be seen here (photo creds: Nevon Kipperman):

Miley Skidmore

Similarly, buzzfeed takes on a neutral position with this article, which highlights some of the aspects of this course description: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/skidmore-college-is-offering-a-course-this-summer-called-the

Okay, so let’s think about this course description for a minute. Lots of websites have been saying things like, “This is why I won’t ever pay for my kids to go to college,” or “Stop wasting your parents’ money,” or “What an easy A class.” In response though, I’d say that this sounds to me like a very serious sociological course, and as a sociology major, it doesn’t sound like an “easy A” to me. This is one of those obnoxious articles I was referencing that has no evidence for their opinions: http://dlisted.com/2014/03/26/skidmore-college-will-offer-a-class-on-miley-cyrus-this-summer/. Allison, from dlisted.com, wrote the following, “The class is called The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media, but it should be called It Looks Like You Need An Easy A, because any dum-dum with a wifi connection and Instagram already knows everything there is to know about Miley, Miley’s cooter, Miley’s sea cucumber tongue, etc etc et-fucking-cetera. Watch, I’ll prove to you how easy it would be to ace this class,” and follows it with some ridiculous claims about race and gender. My response, then, is, when is the last time you considered “gender stratification and the hyper-modification of childhood” or the “core theories of intersectionality theories” OBVIOUS things? Because saying “Gender: Miley’s driver’s license says F, but technically sleazy hillbilly gophers are genderless” is not sufficient, or politically correct, for that matter.

And briefly, I took one of Professor Chernoff’s classes last semester – it definitely wasn’t a cakewalk. It was called “High School Onscreen,” which could easily be criticized the same way this Miley class is, but isn’t because it sounds less dramatic. We watched movies from “Heathers” to “The Breakfast Club” to “Pariah” and many TV shows, including “Freaks and Geeks” and “The Cosby Show.” But we also read two books on sociological theory and the high school experience, wrote multiple papers, and had lengthy class discussions on gender roles, what it means to be a teen, and how the “American teen” identity has formed. And yes, at the end of the semester I wrote a twelve page paper on “High School Musical” and the changing American dream.

So, for all of you out there who think that this class puts shame on Skidmore and the liberal arts curriculum, you clearly don’t know what college, and liberal arts, is all about. College is about exploring new passions, discovering your interests, and finding new ways to look at the world – if learning sociology through a context of Miley’s rise to fame and knowing how to play the game isn’t looking at the world from a new perspective, then I don’t know what is. If you see this as a class on twerking and how to become infamous for scandalous clothing, then sure, this class might seem “wrong” to you. BUT, if you see this class for what it actually is, a sociological look at Miley’s controversial actions, how fame and infamy work, and the way society responds to a woman breaking the rules in all the right ways (because people like Charlie Sheen can break laws and all societal norms and expectations and still get less blowback than Miley), then maybe you should head on over to Skidmore this summer and see what’s up with “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus.”

Miley Cyrus

More opinions on the controversy of this class offering:

This one is my favorite: http://time.com/38460/miley-cyrus-class-skidmore-college/

BET’s take: http://www.bet.com/news/music/2014/03/26/skidmore-college-offers-sociology-course-on-miley-cyrus.html

A real newspaper with an interview of Professor Chernoff: http://www.saratogian.com/social-affairs/20140326/skidmore-to-offer-course-on-miley-cyrus

OR you can just Google any variation of “Miley Cyrus Skidmore College”

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10 Things We Should Stop Giving People Shit For

Love these. But seriously. They’re true.

Is This Why I'm Still Single?

Messing around with people and giving them shit is part of my style. It’s all done in good taste though. Joking around is one thing but we seriously need to stop giving people shit for certain things.

1) Not having an iPhone

I’m so sorry that not being able to send emojis/group chat/etc. is such an inconvenience for you. Guess what? It is for me too so you can stop giving me shit about it.

 2) Liking One Direction

We all need to stop this. Their music is catchy, they’re all hot, and they’re not assholes. These are the type of people you shouldn’t mind that young girls to listen to…or girls who are 21…like me.

 

3) Choosing not to go out/on vacation because you don’t have any money

No I can’t go to Cancun. I spent all my money on textbooks. I can’t even go out to the…

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“I’m Fat” and Other Body Shaming that Needs to Stop

 

Scale

Think about it. How often do you hear someone you know say “I’m fat” as part of regular conversation? How often do you say it yourself? No matter what the answer is, the number is too high. For the last year, I have heard some variation of “I’m fat” get said on a daily basis, often by the people who are closest to me. As a high school gymnast, weight was not really something I ever thought about – for me, working out five hours a day, six days a week, meant that I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted. But now, as an ex-athlete and college student, my weight is something I do think about. I would guess that 90% of the girls I know are currently trying to “manage” their weight. And while managing your weight, and thinking about it on a regular basis in terms of exercise and nutrition is perfectly fine, when is the last time you heard people say such self-harming things about managing their finances, or managing their stress? My guess is never.

Saying that you’re fat doesn’t only affect you – it also affects the people who you say it to. First off, you’re drawing attention to your own body, which seems like the last thing you would want to do if you’re self-conscious about it. Second, you make everyone else consider their own bodies, their own weight. Chances are at least one of the people you say this to is also not happy with their body, so shaming your own body also forces them to think whatever harmful things they already think about their own body. Third, you sound like you’re fishing for a compliment – whether you are or not, the right thing for a friend to do after an “I’m fat” statement is made is to negate it, tell you that you aren’t fat, and compliment you on your body. These compliments feel forced, because they are, and they don’t make you or your friend any happier.

I'm Fat

The following is a list of body-shaming expressions we really need to stop using:

“I’m fat.” The best Facebook status I’ve read recently said the following: “You are not fat. You have fat. You also have fingernails.  You are not fingernails. Love yourself however you look today cause its sunny and EVERYONE deserves ice cream!” (status credit: Julia Rogers). This status covers just about everything I am trying to cover in this article in five sentences and is beautiful and critical at the same time. Who you are and what your body looks like are not one in the same.

“I hate my body.” This is a complicated statement, because while it may be true, it isn’t something you need to share with the world. No matter how you feel about your body, you should try to be confident in who you are – confidence goes a lot further than physical appearance. And if you’re not confident, pretend you are; chances are you’ll fool the people around you, and who knows, you might even end up fooling yourself.

“I look so fat in this.” This is something I hear a lot right before a night out, but this is much more an issue of fashion than an issue of weight. Girls are notorious for trying on outfit after outfit before deciding on what to wear (and usually ending up in the very first outfit anyways), but this should not be an effort to find what you look “skinniest” in, but instead an effort to find what you look BEST in. I fully believe that if you have the confidence, you can pull off any outfit. Next time you go out, try to find an outfit that matches who you ARE, not what the scale says.

“I need to stop eating so much.” Maybe you do need to stop eating so much, maybe you don’t, but you don’t need to advertise your eating habits to the world. Either do it or don’t do it. Talking about it more and more will not do anything, you need to take action, and other people can’t listening isn’t going to help you do that. This goes hand in hand with the statement, “I should really go to the gym.” I am a firm believer that the gym is good for everyone – and if you can find the time and motivation to go, that’s awesome. If you can’t, talking about it isn’t going to change that.

“I’m not eating dinner, I need to save my calories for drinking.” Beside the fact that this is ridiculously unhealthy, it is also one of the stupidest things to say. I would chance a guess that after drinking on an empty stomach (assuming you haven’t blacked out), you’ll get the drunchies, and be drunk enough to lose your resolve and end up eating far too much greasy, fatty food. So, instead of ending up with the calories from a healthy dinner and the subsequent calories from drinks, you instead end up with the calories from alcohol and then the calories from crappy, gross, drunk food.

“I’m not drinking, I’m trying to lose weight.” This is a somewhat fair thing to do, but only if you are also maintaining a healthy diet and exercising – not drinking alone is not enough to make you lose weight. Additionally, not drinking is a totally valid thing to do, if your reasoning is something related to drinking (think things the long the lines of drinking too much, not liking who you are when you’re drunk, or wanting to focus more on academics).

“I’m eating less food and I feel so much healthier.” There is a huge difference between losing weight and becoming healthy. The healthiest people I know are not necessarily the skinniest people I know. Being thin does not mean you are fit. Cutting back on your food intake so that you drop pounds does not make you healthier, necessarily. If you’re still eating fried food and ice cream as your main food sources, just eating less of them, it does not make you any healthier.

“Maybe I should become anorexic or something.” Eating disorders are not something to joke about or take lightly. They are very serious, and they are not really about weight – they are psychological disorders that have to deal with control. Turning eating disorders into just another inappropriate comment can be harmful to those around you; you never know if someone you’re talking to has or has had an eating disorder, and trivializing them does not help anyone.

Saying these statements is not only harmful to your own self-esteem and self-image, it is often hurtful for other people to hear. We, as women (who are usually the ones who say these things, but it applies to men as well), need to stop apologizing for our “faults.” We are our own worst enemies. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? No matter who you are, what you look like, you deserve to be treated with respect; other people won’t respect you if you don’t respect yourself. Most people will not think about your weight until you bring it up, so why bring it up at all?! If you’re truly unhappy about your body, make a change, don’t just talk about it. If you stand up and show the world that you deserve the best, others won’t question it. Most importantly, be confident in who you are – I guarantee you’re more special than you think.

On the Daily

My daily life here in Cape Town, SA as a student at UCT.

You're Off to Great Places

School has now officially been in session for a few weeks, so I thought it was due time for me to update you all (sorry about not posting in a while, I would say it’s because I’ve had a lot of work and I’ve been too busy appreciating life in Cape Town, but it’s really because I just got lazy). I’m enrolled at the University of Cape Town like a regular student – CIEE doesn’t do our own classes for just American students, which I am really appreciating. I’m taking four classes – Intro to Linguistics; Poverty, Development, and Globalization (er… I mean Globalisation); Word Power (a combination of classics, linguistics, and English, mostly…); and Modernism, which is an English lecture with a seminar on the side (mine is “Hemingway and Hamsun”).

School has been fun, and so far it is significantly less work than I have at…

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10 Sex Acts I Just Don’t Understand

This is hilarious and entirely accurate (Mom, don’t read this).

Is This Why I'm Still Single?

1. Handjobs

Let’s be honest, the only time handjobs are at all acceptable is in the 7th grade. I mean we all remember that one girl in middle school who became known as the edgy, slut because she gave a boy in your grade one half assed handjob behind a park bench.  I’ll never understand them- I mean, why do for a man what he can do for himself? It’s common knowledge that most men masturbate at least 7 times a week which means it’s pretty safe to say a man knows how to jack himself off better than a  hook up could. To me handjobs should only be used as part of oral sex, but that’s just one person’s opinion. I’m used to my hands and the speed and force needed to get off and the last thing I need is someone coming over with their dry ass hands…

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Things to Do Before You’re 23: Divorce?

Divorce

Recently the internet has been abuzz with thoughts on what people should and shouldn’t do before they’re 23. On one end of the spectrum, we’ve seen calls for getting passports and traveling the world; on the other end, the to-do list has included disappointing your parents and blowing all your money on nights at bars that end up in a bed with some unknown person. While we all probably have our own opinions on these specific articles and on how people should spend their early twenty-something years, I would chance a guess that nobody would put “getting a divorce” on their list. Yet, a recent article published on Unwritten highlights the things one girl learned from being divorced at 22.  This article is beautifully written and does not focus on regret or ‘what ifs.’ Of the four articles I am referencing specifically, this is by far the most eloquent and open-minded. The other three have their own merits as well, but from a reader and fellow blogger’s perspective, I am overwhelmed at the poise and grace this writer has in dealing with a topic that is so difficult and near to her heart.

This article claims advice about love, but the advice the author gives is relevant to everything we do. The writer, Taylor Duvall, lists ten lessons she learned from love – lessons we can and should all think about in our daily lives:

  1. Life will offer second chances.  We can (and should) take life up on the offer.
  2. People’s responses to our life choices will often surprise us. Luckily, surprises make life interesting. 
  3. Weddings should not break the bank or break your back.  That is too much breaking for an event that lasts a few hours for a marriage that may or may not last much longer.
  4. We have the right to change as human beings.
  5. Plans can fail. That does not mean the planner failed.
  6. We do not need to defend our choices to every single dissenter.  Some people will just never approve.  We can beautifully survive lack of approval.
  7. Find time to really laugh from your gut and to really cry from your depths.  Bottled up emotion is a ticking time bomb.
  8. Life will keep teaching.  We just need to keep listening.
  9. Never give fear enough power to stop you from doing what you should be doing.  Feel the fear; do it anyway.
  10. Chaos and peace are not mutually exclusive.  Peace is not found in the absence of chaos, but in the midst of it.

What do you think? Do these lessons shed light on a failed marriage or a successful person? You can find the four articles below, please check them out:

http://www.readunwritten.com/2014/03/05/how-to-learn-from-loves-difficulties-lessons-from-a-22-year-old-divorcee/

http://wanderonwards.com/2013/12/30/23-things-to-do-instead-of-getting-engaged-before-youre-23/

http://www.readunwritten.com/2014/01/07/23-things-to-just-do/

http://www.readunwritten.com/2014/02/12/good-things-come-to-those-who-wait-why-you-shouldnt-settle-in-your-20s/

 

(photo: readunwritten.com)

Losing “It”

Doing “it.” Popping your cherry. Giving away your flower. Knocking boots. Losing your v-card. Going all the way.
Bumping uglies. Making love. Having sex.

Condom Heart (redhot.org)

No matter what you call it, we all know how it goes: from the age of about twelve or thirteen, the idea of losing your virginity is something that is ever-present; a blanket of sorts on your mind. Having sex is, at once, a terrifying and enticing idea. When the moment comes around – three, four, ten years later – no matter how much you’ve thought about it, you’re never really ready. Sex often comes with a mess of emotions, confusion, and bodily fluids (ew). Your first time is never what you expect it to be and everyone’s story is different.

I asked twelve girls to recall their first time and share their stories with the world. I told each of them that I wanted their story, in their words. I told them to include as much or as little information as they were comfortable with; whatever they thought was necessary to accurately portray their first time.

Here are the stories of their first times having sex:

No one knows the real timeline of when I lost my virginity. I’ve blurred the facts to most of my closest friends, not because I regret it or feel ashamed of it, but because I know they wouldn’t understand. I lost my virginity to more or less a forbidden love. I had known him for three years at the time, yet we had never been sexually involved. I had harbored strong feelings for him almost from the start but distance and bad timing kept us apart. We had only ever met a few times in person but talked for hours every single day. I’m not proud to admit that he had a serious girlfriend through most of our friendship. When we kissed for the first time, he still had that girlfriend. The day we took things a step farther was the day they broke up. That’s the fact I don’t tell people. I don’t want the judgmental looks to ruin something this important. I have never regretted losing my virginity to that person, at that time, and at that place. I knew that regardless of whether we ended up together or not, he was the person I wanted to share that experience with.
Now, about the sex itself. Have you ever split logs or chopped firewood? Because that’s paints a good mental image of the pain I experienced. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more like my body was going to split right down the middle. I truly remember thinking “Jesus Christ, I better not get pregnant from this, because if this is what something two inches wide does, I’m NEVER pushing out a baby.” It hurt. Dear God, it hurt. But I made it. We went slow, we talked, he made sure I knew we could stop if it hurt too much. In fact, he felt so bad about hurting me that I was the one who had to convince him to keep going. He was and continues to be my best friend. Regardless of where life takes us, I know I shared that experience with the right person. Oh, and it no longer feels like chopping logs. Practice makes perfect, right?

I was nineteen. We were working at summer camp. I made him watch Dirty Dancing with me first. He was the first guy I had ever been entirely naked in front of. The condom we used came from a school project he had done. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. We were in my single bed and all the sheets came off. A lot of laughing, confusion, and silliness occurred before we really figured out how to do it. Afterwards, we shared a bottle of water. I can’t imagine a situation that would have been any more perfect.

Condom Rose (fuhleeshuh.deviantart.com)

I had a plan when it came to losing my virginity. I had just lost a parent and had just started college; every event in my life felt too big for me and seemed to chant “grow up, grow up, grow up.” I didn’t feel like a kid anymore but I had held onto one childhood relic through it all and I wanted it gone.
I had this idea that I would cast off my virginity like it was the last thing that still made me a kid and without it I would be some tough-as-nails broad with nothing to lose. I thought I could make myself forget how I wanted it to paint a beautiful picture in my mind and how I wanted to cherish “his” words whoever “he” turned out to be.
Who “he” turned out to be was my manager at the college deli where we worked. We entered a weird sort of pseudo-friendship, fooled around, and remained confident that nothing extraordinary would happen between us. But then, a few months in, he said to me that he would never forget me and he wished there was something he could do so that I would never forget him. And as luck would have it, there was.
He took care of my hamster one week when I was away, and when I came to get her, it happened. I took off all my clothes by myself and he told me I looked like the Birth of Venus only he couldn’t remember the name and called it “the one where she’s in a half shell.” I kept my eyes on his poster of the teenage mutant ninja turtles eating pizza and it was short. I left with my arms full of hamster cage and a few weeks later he bought me a used copy of my favorite book.
My plan didn’t exactly work. I didn’t discard my last girlhood emblem in a fit of “lost everything else syndrome” and I didn’t emerge cynical or without a beautiful picture in my head. My loss became a gain. Suddenly a second hand paperback and and a TMNT poster seem like incredible things, and the Birth of Venus makes me laugh. I tried to skirt around a beautiful image and words I’ll always cherish but I remember them that way anyway. Because they were mine.

“It wasn’t great, but it was perfect.

I can remember the night I lost it as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was November and I was sixteen, and we had been talking about “taking the next step” for weeks. We had even tried a few times, but I chickened out and said I wasn’t ready at least twice before. But that night, I felt different. That night, I knew that I wanted him.
I had been at his house for a few hours and we were watching one of those unremarkable made-for-TV movies to fill time before dinner – which his mother was in the kitchen making at the time. I remember catching him looking down at me, just watching me breathe. I looked at him and smiled, but before I said anything, he was kissing me as if he hadn’t in years, like he couldn’t get enough of me. I could feel his fingers in my hair and holding my waist under my shirt, and I was starting to feel warm on the inside. He had started kissing and nipping at my neck when I told him to wait, and he pulled back, looking confused. I pulled out a condom and held it out to him. He asked me if I was sure and I nodded. It wasn’t like any of the last times, I was ready this time. He smiled and began to kiss me again, and I giggled as quietly as I could while he fumbled with the condom, then pulled a blanket over both of us when he was finally ready. The sex itself was short, but the thing that I remembered the most was his eyes. Not once did we break eye contact in the minute or so that he lasted. I don’t even remember feeling anything, discomfort or pleasure, all I remember was what I saw in his eyes, like this was where we both wanted to be.
The rest of the night we stole shy, secretive glances at each other across the table, while we ate the dinner his mom had cooked one room away from where we had sex for the first time!

It was the beginning of my junior year in high school and I had been dating my boyfriend at the time for about 6 months. He was my first love and it just felt right. We didn’t plan it in advance or anything, it just happened one day. If I had to explain why I knew I wanted to lose it to him, I wouldn’t be able to, other than ‘it just felt right.’

The first time I had sex… it wasn’t joyful or awesome and it felt awful. I mean it got a lot better after that time but I’ll always remember how bad that first time was. But saying it was bad is pretty dang vague so I guess I’ll describe it.
It was in a college dorm room. On a twin bed. That’s already kind of bad enough, but hell, I didn’t know the difference. That’s all I knew. Looking back on it that part alone was shitty. But that’s a very small factor looking back on it. Now that you know it was in a dorm room, here was the rest of what was going on in my mind.
First of all, I couldn’t believe that this really hot guy wanted me at all. He is still one of the most attractive people that I have ever hooked up with. Things were getting pretty hot and heavy and for the first time; I really wanted to have sex. I could tell that my body was saying “heeeell yeah get it in!” I was reluctant since we weren’t actually dating but I gave in because I wanted to know what it was like. I was curious, and now extremely horny.
I was super nervous because no one had ever seen me completely naked (unless you count my parents and that stopped when I was really little and could take care of myself). I was really self-conscious about my body. So combine that with the fact that I was about to hook up with a really hot guy. Nerves out the cazoo.
Well, he had a condom and he knew what he was doing. But I was so tight (nerves, being a virgin) that everything hurt so badly and we could barely have sex at all. I’m still not sure if he ever finished, but when we were done I remember rolling over so that my back was to him and I just started to cry. I thought sex was supposed to be amazing! Instead it hurt so badly, I exposed myself for pretty much nothing, and he might not have even been pleased about it either. And we were on a twin bed, remember?
My experiences have been a lot better since then (at least physically), but I’ll always remember those weird emotions, the twin mattress on the floor so that we didn’t wake anyone up, and how I thought sex sucked. I was still curious after that first time, so I tried it again with him and damn, it actually started to feel fan-fucking-tastic.

Condom Lollipops (ivori.hubpages.com)

I was 17 he was 24. He was really experienced. I was awkward. Even though it was an accident and we only did it once he was amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I was a sophomore in high school. 16 or 17, I can’t remember how old exactly. Not that it matters. We had been best friends for a while and I remember the first time I texted her saying “I like you more than just a friend.” She told me the feelings were mutual. I was excited because this was the first time I was sexually attracted to someone, but I was terrified because she was a girl. What if my other friends found out? What about my teachers? And my parents?! So our two year love affair was kept a secret. Our first kiss was in my bed, followed quickly by her unhooking my bra. She did it in a second. Had she been practicing? Should I have practiced? I tried to be as swift as she had been, but I fumbled, giggling in the darkness, her hair falling down into my face. We kissed while I miserably failed to undress her. I finally got it and we both paused. The lights were out. We couldn’t see each other’s bodies in the dark. But I was still so self conscious. But we continued to strip down til we were naked. I guess she had been doing her homework, because she knew exactly what to do. When I flipped us over, I followed her lead, adding my own twist on things.We were both very quiet, keeping it down because my family was home. I think we were also afraid to let the other know that what we were doing felt right. There was no doubt in my mind that having sex with a woman was comfortable for me, but part of me didn’t want her to know how good it felt. We cuddled afterwards and whispered to each other til dawn. Eventually we fell asleep, my arms wrapped around her. When we woke up, we did it all again :).

First time- ‘This hurts.’ Second time- ‘Oh, this is what it’s supposed to feel like.'”

Freshman year. Boy I met at a dance. Dorm room. Sober. Honestly? It was a relief.
Looking back, it’s kind of a blur, though (un?)fortunately I was one of those girls who kept a journal that, despite the best of intentions, just turned into a tedious account of ongoing interactions with boys. Needless to say, my first time, and those before and after it, was pretty well-chronicled.
We’d been “together” for two months (two months! No one waits that long anymore!) before I was ready. The second time we ever hooked up I freaked out when we went to his room and he immediately started pulling off his pants. Ummm I was expecting some really intense making out and maybe I’d let him go to second base with my bra on? So when he whipped it out, my cute ‘lil celibate self doubled back and he didn’t mention it again. More guys should be like that.
A shortlist of things that I remember most about the first time: my heart exploding when he confirmed we were exclusive (prerequisite), trying for half an hour just to get it in (journal: “he’s…you know, 6’3…”), the funny low noises he made, holyshitthequeefing, and that my butt had the worst fate. They do NOT warn you about those last two in The Talk. I considered myself lucky that we both had a sense of humor about it, but damn, what is it with guys treating a girl’s ass like their personal stress ball? Bruises, people.
Overall, it wasn’t particularly romantic—I mean, it was in a dorm and neither of us saw stars—but it was right. For me it felt like I was finally inside this world that I’d been excluded from for so long. It wasn’t about power or edge; it was that I had finally crossed this threshold, the biggest threshold, into adulthood. I could make casual comments about good sex or bad sex or make the Mona Lisa smirk when I passed by him on the quad or in the dining hall. I didn’t wax philosophical about “losing it” versus “giving it”; I was just glad that I DID it. Because that meant more doing it. And rocking that sexy-sweet post-coitus glow. And, arguably most importantly, having an awesome excuse to buy exciting bras and underwear.

My first time was such a long time ago, plus the guy cheated on me so I’ve basically blocked out every memory of him, so I  can’t remember much. I’ve also had way better sex with other boyfriends since we broke up, so why would I bother remembering the bad and awkward times? From what I can remember, he sucked at it. Every time he thrust and pulled back out to thrust again, he would slip out of me and have to find the hole again. He couldn’t even get it in at first, I had to do all the work. It was such a mess, and so sloppy, I’d be surprised if I got any pleasure from it.  I don’t blame myself for not remembering it!

(condom heart photo: redhot.org)
(condom rose: fuhleeshuh.deviantart.com)
(condom lollipops: ivori.hubpages.com)

Ways to Make Your Hostel-Mates Hate You

Hostel

Planning on spending any time in a hostel in the near future? Here are some sure-fire ways to make your hostel-mates despise you!

  • When you go into the room at 3 am, turn on all the lights and talk really loudly.
  • Then proceed to wake up at 6 am and again, talk very loudly.
  • Use your hostel-mates’ things. They definitely won’t mind.
  • Buy them drinks at the bar, but be super creepy about it.
  • Unplug their electronics.
  • Spend hours in the single communal bathroom.
  • Wake them up in the middle of the night to introduce yourself to them.
  • Leave the door open in the morning, when everyone is sleeping.
  • If they get out of bed to close the door, make sure to open it again.
  • Come back to the hostel extremely drunk every night.
  • Don’t ever shower. Share the body funk.
  • Invite yourself on other people’s excursions.
  • Put your bags all over the room. Particularly on others’ beds.
  • Eat other people’s food. They probably want you to eat it.
  • Walk around the room naked; it wont make anyone uncomfortable.
  • Flicker the lights in the middle of the night; convince people it’s a strobe light.
  • Go outside and drag mud/sand/dust back into the room with you.

(photo courtesy of hostelolomouc.com)

10 Things We All Do When We’re Home Alone

Is This Why I'm Still Single?

1.  Sing incredibly loud and off key in the shower (because there’s no better time to sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” than when you’re lathering soap on your naked body)

2.   Pass gas like it’s your job (because nothing’s more satisfying than letting it rip in the privacy of your own home)

3.   Talk to yourself (because sometimes the only way to understand and cope with your insane thoughts is to articulate them out loud. Or if you’re me you spend your time alone fantasizing that you’re a celebrity being interviewed by Chelsea Handler about your upcoming film project…. Too specific?)

4.   Lounge about in your underwear (because jeans are too restricting and clothes are the patriarchy’s way of keeping us from celebrating the beauty that is our bodies)

5.   MASTURBATE (because if you’re a teenage boy you can’t spend more than 6 hours by…

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