Rage-Crying

Standard

I’m furious right now. I am so freaking mad I just want to violently flip the bird to everything and everyone with my jaw thrust forward, teeth clenched and my tongue pressed fiercely to my lower palate as though poised to spit venom on anyone who would dare come into the path of my wrath. What makes me madder, though, is that instead of punching, kicking, screaming or otherwise demonstrating the depths of my rage through some kind of physical brutishness, I feel compelled to cry.

I am so fucking sick of angry tears. Girls all over the world be rage-crying, and it is the most infuriating thing ever. I am angry because I have been made to feel insignificant, inferior and lesser-than compared to my male counterparts. I am irate that I have experienced sexism, though executed with complete subtlety, endorsed by people I have to answer to on a daily basis. I am poisonous with the indignation that my ideas, opinions and knowledge are considered insignificant enough to be talked over and brushed aside with the dismissive gesture of a father annoyed with a child’s presence. I do NOT want to cry about it. I want to punch about it. I want to punch faces. I want to punch crotches. I want to punch walls. I want to punch everything. I do not want to cry.

Why can’t my body understand that? Why is it that as soon as the shaking, white-hot tremor of rage passes through my body it clenches my jaw, sets my fists and stings at my eyes? Why do I feel the sudden rush of saliva that tells me that saltwater will soon pool in my lower lids, threatening to spill over and reduce me to nothing more than the well-worn image of a hysterical woman, unable to control her emotions, incapable of responding rationally to the situation at hand? THIS IS THE WORST.

Ladies, I know you’re feeling me. Our brains have the hot spits of fury, and our eyes are slopping out tears. There is no way to cover it up; the frenzied blinking below a harshly drawn brow and fevered chewing of the inside of our cheeks and lower lip are a dead give away that we are mere seconds away from a full-blown rage-cry.

We need to get our top scientists working on a cure. Stat. No longer should women be forced to suffer the humiliation of our bodies responding so meekly to the strength and ire in our heads and hearts.

The whole thing makes me so angry I could cry…

 

Advertisements

When Sex Isn’t Sex

Standard

It amazes me that people are able to separate sex from emotions. I’ve tried having Friends With Benefits before with varying degrees of success, but invariably at some point my vagina convinces my brain that all of those endorphins must actually mean something, and I end up wanting more. Eventually the sex just isn’t enough. For me, this starts to occur around the third or fourth consecutive encounter with the same person. My vagina (which I like to personify with the name ‘Ophelia’) becomes increasingly despotic after each orgasm, and eventually she has me thinking things like, “Who cares if he’s a 21 year old factory worker who sells weed to pay for his Ketamine habit- I think we might actually have something special.” (NB this is an actual thought I have had when Ophelia was running the show. I legitimately considered starting a relationship with someone I would be ashamed to introduced to even my least judgemental friends.)

Of course once the spell is broken – in the case of my tranquilliser-addicted delinquent friend this was with the aid of a mutual case of “OMG, you gave me chlamydia!” – I am perfectly capable of objectively and rationally analysing the faults in Ophelia’s plans. At that point I usually want to die of embarrassment or slap myself in frustration – a classic “How the fuck did this happen again?” moment. But it does happen again. And it will happen again. Every time I sleep with someone who isn’t emotionally invested more than once.

I think part of the problem is the difference between what men and women take from intimacy. Generally speaking, I think guys commit acts of intimacy and affection because they feel nice, not because they mean something. Sometimes a dude just wants a cuddle, not a commitment. The issue is that acts of intimacy force me to lower my guard and make myself vulnerable, so a cuddle is never just a cuddle. It will always mean something to me because I’ve allowed someone in. And yes, I am aware of the irony in the fact that I find it more intimate to let someone in figuratively than to literally let them in (to my lady cave of wonders).

I see a big difference between sex and intimacy, and every time the two get mixed together I wind up in a stolen car halfway to Queensland watching my FWB dig a bullet out of his leg while Ophelia screams “Just drive, bitch!” (Okay, that one I made up. But you get my point.) Sex + intimacy = uh oh. As nice as it is, the hand holding/hair stroking/head kissing/face cupping/deep eye contact just creates way too much confusion.

The other sense of intimacy is the one that occurs naturally between platonic friends. It’s normal for a friend to rest their head on your shoulder, or text you to ask how your day was, or say something sweet to make you smile. But it stops feeling normal when the person doing all of these things is also doing all yo’ nasty bizness.

The verdict? It’s possible I could successfully maintain a FWB in the future. As long as he’s a mute with no arms who doesn’t own a phone and hates unnecessary physical contact. Bring on that guy. I’ll sex him good.

Over

Standard

Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that the posts have dried up a little of late and have contained very little in the way of dating exploits. This is because for the last six months I have been wholeheartedly devoted to a crush I developed on a friend of a friend. Let’s call him Mark. It’s not his real name. I’ve changed it to protect his privacy, which when you think about it is a kind of weird thing to do because anyone that reads this who knows both of us will know exactly who I am talking about. Anyway, we’ll call this the tale of my fruitless crush on Mark. (Sorry for the spoiler. But no, it doesn’t end well.)

Things began harmlessly enough when after a friend’s celebration drinks Mark and I engaged in a night of heavy-duty dance floor pashing, which developed into some lightweight grinding and a mutual admission that we were gagging to go through with the deed, had either of us been sober enough to carry it out. We exchanged numbers, he texted that night and again the next day, and I proceeded to plan our wedding in the spring of next year and worked out how to break the news to mum and dad that I’d fallen for a ginger. Well, maybe not. But you get the idea – I was falling hard and fast, and as the girls from Geordie Shore would say, there was definite ‘fanny flutter.’

We went on a date two weeks later, a stroll around the museum followed by a walk through the park and an afternoon drink in a beer garden. I was more nervous and more awkward than I have ever been on a date. More convinced than ever that I liked him, I was frustrated by the fact that he was so impossible to read. Blessed with a string of awkward social conditions, Mark’s on-date cues were not like those of other guys. I had no idea if he was interested in me beyond the initial attraction we’d felt that first night. I spent the walk back to my car shedding actual tears of frustration, genuinely unsure whether the date had been a total success or a complete failure.

In the meantime Mark’s fledgling career as a full-time entertainer (nothing suss, I just don’t want to put his actual job title on here because then even more people will know exactly who I’m talking about) began to take off. He was busy with gigs every night and filming for various projects during the day. He had been booked on a tour around parts of Australia that would take the better part of a month and would be heading overseas to perform for another month after that. Our second date was supposed to take place a few days before his tour left but he sent me a text a few hours beforehand saying he had too much work to do, and asking to reschedule. Taking this as a sign that he was not really as interested or as invested as I was, I pulled the pin by replying with a text that said we might be better off leaving things as friends. He was very apologetic but confirmed that he was really too busy to catch up before leaving but that we should stay in touch.

About a month later he was still on my mind as I meticulously groomed and dressed myself to attend a mutual friend’s party. I’d kept in touch with some light banter and Facebook stalking and was secretly hoping he would be there. I feel it’s important to inform you here that somehow in the midst of this crush I reverted to the sensibilities and emotional vulnerability of a high school girl, which might help you to understand some of my behaviour and thought processes outlined below.

Mark walked in late, after a gig, by which time I had gotten completely drunk in an effort to overcome the fact that I only knew two people at the party and was mingling with people I had seen on TV but trying to pretend I wasn’t giddy over meeting. He made a beeline for me as soon as he arrived and stuck to me like glue. Before I knew it, he was leading me upstairs to make out on his friend’s bed until – shamefully – we were politely asked to cut it out and come back downstairs. I was stoked that he was still interested. He confessed that he’d been stalking me on Facebook too (romantic, I thought) and had missed me while he’d been gone. But I was determined not to return to that unknown quagmire of middle ground with him, especially after rolling around on a bed upstairs at a party. I needed some form of assurance. I wanted us to be “seeing each other,” not just friends who liked each other and got drunk and made out at parties. His perception of things was slightly (completely) different – he was about to go overseas for the first time, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen, couldn’t we just have fun? No. No, we couldn’t – because I actually liked him and it would make me feel used. As I got up to walk away I fell for the oldest trick in the book: I like you too. I want to be with you.

Ecstatic, I continued to mingle at the party, convinced that we had reached a mutual agreement, that we were now officially “seeing each other.” As I excitedly relayed this news to my friend Luce, she gently grasped my arm and looked at me with earnest and sorrow. “Amelia. He just tried to kiss me in the other room. I’m so sorry.”

What. The. Fuck. I know I said I felt like I was back in high school, but come on! I wish I could say I laughed it off, shook myself free of those feelings and spent the rest of the party with my dignity intact. I really, really wish I could. Of course, instead I cried. A lot. I was literally so black-out drunk that I don’t remember much of what happened after that point. I was inconsolable. I remember crying in the bathroom, in the kitchen, outside in the alley beside the house (at which point Mark approached in an attempt to either console me or apologise and I screamed at him to ‘fuck off and never touch me again’) in the back garden, in the taxi, in my room. I woke up the next day feeling hurt, humiliated and hungover. My eye sockets were so swollen and puffy they resembled testicles, but at least I was saved by the grace of the memory-loss that accompanies such an extreme level of drunkenness. Until I checked my phone.

It was mortifying.

I had sent him no less than four texts since the shit hit the fan, at which point he had apparently taken my advice to ‘fuck off’ and left the party. They were garbled, juvenile and excruciatingly embarrassing. I immediately deleted my message history and sent a quick text asking him to do the same thing, then I crawled into a hole and died. Later that day he texted back with an apology for getting so out of it and asking if I pulled up ok. Part of me was relieved that he was pretending none of it happened. Part of me was outraged that he wasn’t attempting to explain himself. I was rational enough to figure that there were probably huge chunks of information missing from his memory as well, and I made a decision that I would talk to him when I’d had a few days for everything to settle.

After running the entire scenario past two of my wisest girlfriends and deciding that the best and healthiest option for all concerned was to try and pretend the whole night had never happened, I rang him the following weekend. He admitted that he couldn’t remember much and agreed that it was best to forget the whole thing. He suggested we catch up before his overseas flight which was in a few days time, but I wasn’t ready yet. I told him we’d grab a coffee when he got back.

While he was gone, my hurt disappeared and my feelings returned. I followed his updates on FB and smiled when I saw his face on TV. I went on a few dates with guys I met online but my heart wasn’t in it. I still liked him  a lot. I decided to bite the bullet when he returned and called him to organise a date. Nothing too serious, just an afternoon coffee. I left feeling really positive. It was so nice to see him, we had plenty to talk about, nothing was awkward. I took his flirty banter and the light kiss he planted on my lips as we parted ways as indications that he was still interested. I felt like finally, we were on the same page. I was determined not to get ahead of myself this time but I was excited to be in that particular moment of uncertainty where you feel the possibility of something developing. It was a really nice feeling.

It lasted a bit over two weeks. I attended his birthday drinks last night, excited to see him. I’d carefully chosen the perfect token-and-meaningless-but-secretly-the-result-of-very-careful-planning gift complete with last minute gift-wrapping made from a page out of a Good Guys catalogue. He kissed me on the lips, gave approving looks and complimented my haircut. He seemed to enjoy the gift. He gave me all of three minutes of his time, then proceeded to avoid eye contact with me for the rest of the night.

Luce (ever the bearer of bad news – poor thing!) soon informed me that she’d just been speaking to one of Mark’s colleagues who’d informed her that he had been reveling in his newly found fame, regularly hooking up with a different girl after each gig whilst keeping others (myself included) on the back burner. Obviously this was not the outcome to the evening I was hoping for. I was disappointed; in him, in the way things had turned out, in myself for overlooking the obvious earlier indications that there were serious flaws in his character. I was upset that I’d wasted six months waiting for something that was never going to happen and frustrated that I’d invested so much in someone so undeserving.

Now here’s my problem – how do I get over someone I’ve never actually been under? I feel betrayed even though I haven’t been. I feel like I need closure but I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much I actually liked (or, more accurately, like – it’s hard to switch that shit off) him.

I made a start last night by leaving without bothering to say goodbye. Oh, and before we left Luce reclaimed the book I’d given him as a birthday gift. Let’s call it a spoil of war.

The Holy Trinity

Standard

All he has to do is make me laugh, be honest and be nice to me. That’s all I need. Seriously, that’s it. It’s the Holy Trinity of man-qualities. The only White Knight I am interested in is the peppermint chocolate kind (which is, in my opinion, a completely under-rated confectionery and deserves to be in far greater circulation than it currently is. Convenience Store Owners- don’t be putting them on the bottom shelf of the candy rack where they go unnoticed and gather dust while your customers reach for Mars Bars like gormless sheep; get those bad boys a prime position so that the masses can be exposed to their chewy, minty goodness!).

I want many things in a man – eyes that sparkle when he laughs and grow intense when he talks about his passions; enough stubble to graze the back of my neck when spooning but not enough to shred my chin like a piece of wet tissue during a heavy make-out sesh; the ability to spend hours debating whether broccoli deserves to be king of the vegetables because he would look better in a crown than an onion would; a love of great food and wine; an adventurous spirit and willingness to try all manner of new bedroom routines and apparatus– but the three things mentioned above are the only things I actually need. Why do they seem to be mutually exclusive?

I realised early in my current caper through single-town that an awesome face and an awesome personality seem to eliminate one another in men. (See graph below for clarification.)

Face Vs Personality

But there seems to be a deeper problem. I can live without a chiseled jaw, great hair and the easy smile of a handsome college quarterback – in the battle of looks vs. personality I am always willing to forgo the gorgeous in favour of the grouse. The problem is that I haven’t yet met a dude who ticks all three boxes in the personality package.

COMBO #1: Honest + Nice

I have been out with quite a few of these guys. They complement you on what you’re wearing, offer to pay for dinner, and don’t steal your wallet when you pass out from boredom into your bowl of mushroom risotto. You know exactly where you stand with these guys at the end of the night because they have texted you to thank you for a lovely evening and to make sure you got home safely. When you respond jokingly with “Dean who?” they send back something like “Dean from tonight, we went on a date. I am the Engineer, remember? We had dinner like an hour ago?” UGH. These are well-meaning, lovely, thoughtful, boring men, who will probably make some houseplants very happy one day.

COMBO #2: Funny + Honest

The Funny + Honest combo is also commonly known as an arsehole. This guy has a smart arsed comment about everything and tells you exactly what he thinks. The problem is that what he thinks is that he’s not really looking for long term right now and just wants to keep things casual – you’re cool with that, right? You’re not cool with that, but you sleep with him anyway because he’s charming and you tell yourself that deep down he has to be nice and he will show that side to you eventually. He won’t. Because he is an arsehole.

COMBO #3: Funny + Nice

This combo is the most frustrating of all. You have a great rapport and get along really well, there’s chemistry and they say and do things that make you smile when you think about them. Commonly referred to by the women they are dating as “one of the good ones,” they instantly gain trust and build a deep attraction through the use of their light wit and genuine interest in conversation. The issue with this guy is that he is too nice to be straight with you so you never know where you stand, and you end up investing far more than you would have if he’d have simply said ‘No, sorry,’ to a second date.

I keep leaving sacrifice after sacrifice at the Altar of Single Women (figuratively of course; I am not killing goats and leaving their carcasses on a pedestal in front of a life-sized cut out of Ryan Gosling, which is what I imagine a real Altar of Single Women would be like)  only to find that the Holy Trinity still eludes me. When you think about it, this “Holy Trinity” is really only a collection of the basic qualities necessary to succeed at being a human being. So why is it so difficult to find?

It’s not a rhetorical question. I actually don’t know the answer. If you do, please help.

Peckish

Standard

I’ve been single for almost a year now. I go out. I dance. I drink. I go home, sometimes alone, sometimes with company. I online date. I text dudes. I try to figure out where things are going. I break things off before they get awkward or serious. I check my phone six times a day waiting to see if he’s texted me yet. I juggle several prospects at once with varying levels of interest. I tease, test and ignore. I get let down occasionally and let others down gently. I run from the over-invested and chase the disinterested.

I don’t really know what I’m looking for, but I am looking. I’ve begun to try to overcome any misgivings about the men I date, ignoring  sexual incompatibility and such serious character flaws as selfishness, arrogance and diffidence in the hopes of finding some kind of ongoing companionship.

I wouldn’t say that I’m hungry for more, but I’m definitely a little peckish. I don’t want to rush into anything serious, but I do want someone to be nice to me, to want to spend time with me on occasion, to think I’m pretty even when I’m in my pyjamas, to spend the night every now and then, to take me out to dinner and let me pay for half, to catch up for Friday night drinks with my friends. I don’t want to meet parents, spend every night together, stop hanging out with my friends, have automatic plans for every Saturday night or go grocery shopping together. I just want to date.

I’m wondering if any mid-twenty-to-early-thirty-something men actually want to date. All I’ve found so far are those who want too much and those who want too little, and like some kind of Goldilocks I seem to jump from one to the other without finding anything that seems “just right.” Something casual without the vulgarity of having “no strings attached,” as though actually spending time with a person you’re having sex with is some kind of huge hassle.

I’m not looking for Mr Right, or Mr Just-For-One-Night. Surely there’s something in between. I’m determined to find it.

Pyramid

Standard

Unshaven legs. Hairy underarms. Gross granny-panties with broken elastic and holes in them. Torn stockings. Black nail polish smeared on your upper thigh from where you tried to repair the torn stockings and prevent them from running. A black, highly-visible-from-the-right-angle chin hair that you keep forgetting to pluck. Giant (yes, giant) pimple on your bottom that just refuses to die. Unmade bed strewn with unpaid bills, dirty clothes and cosmetic paraphernalia from your rush to get ready. A black, highly-visible-from-the-right-angle nipple hair that you also keep forgetting to pluck. Hacking cough that is really hard to stop and sends your upper body into uncoordinated spasms. Used tissues on the bedside table. Gross breath from the Thai food you ate earlier. A weird rash on your left forearm that only appeared about an hour ago and is getting really itchy….

Things that will not prevent a man from having sex with you. (For those playing at home.)

Veal

Standard

Finding oneself extraordinarily drunk in a well-known, seedy Melbourne bar at 2am seated opposite a group of much younger men can only lead to one thing: a sudden appetite for veal.

At 27, I hadn’t really considered myself old enough to seek out an affair with a lusty toy-boy, Desperate Housewives style. After a night of various highs and lows, Lucile and I found ourselves at Pony with a jug of cider. Seated at the edge of a long couch with a view to most of the male prospects in the room, things were looking dim. But there they were, at the other end of the long suede couch: young, fit, full of energy and obviously excited by the thought of chatting up older women. Lucile pointed them out first. I laughed and called them “teenagers,” which prompted Lucile to lean over and ask one of them his age. 21. She turned back to me, grinning, eyebrows raised triumphantly. “See? They’re not teenagers!” I glanced around once more for a reason not to, and then slid down to their end of the couch.

It was like being any female person walking into an IT server room. We felt like queens. They asked more things about us than they said about themselves. They thought our very ordinary jobs were “awesome,” and carefully guessed our ages as “mid-twenties.” They emptied the change from their pockets to buy us drinks.

After the initial group conversation I began sizing up our new-found dude-possy, like a cowboy sizing up a group of new steers, deciding which one he’s gonna hog-tie and brand. There was the Show-Off, who seemed incapable of going for more than a minute without interrupting a conversation to make a smart-arsed comment and couldn’t sit still; the Attached-but-Unattached, who said he had a girlfriend but was making no real effort to remove himself from a potentially relationship-threatening situation; the Runt, who sat silent and wide-eyed with his tail between his legs; and the fourth one who I couldn’t quite put a label on. Flirtatious without being crude or arrogant. A little nervous, but in an endearing way rather than a this-guy-is-going-to-wee-himself way. Cheeky sense of humour. Ready grin with a hint of a dimple on one side. Large, intense eyes. He leaned in and said something about wanting to get better at guitar, then stayed close to my face, drinking me in with those dark grey saucers, and murmured “your eyes are so pretty…”

His name was Joel, he lived in the outer eastern suburbs, and I didn’t feel the need to ask anything more about him. He was an excellent kisser- soft, sensual, just the right amount of tongue and no excess saliva- and had certainly lost all traces of his earlier nerves. Every now and then he would press his mouth to my ear to make yet another promise of what the night had in store for me. After about 40 minutes of kissing, grinding and generally grossing out the patrons sitting behind us (but who cares, it was Pony) we jumped in a cab headed to my place.

As he got out of the taxi and rolled a cigarette I noticed his nerves had returned. We chatted for a bit on my front door step before I led him through the house to my room. As we began kissing again I assured him that we didn’t have to do ‘everything’ if he didn’t feel comfortable. He stared at me like I’d just told him that my bed was made of cheese, then flashed that half-dimpled grin as his confidence came rushing back.

The guy was a natural. Every touch, kiss, caress and movement was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was as though he could read my mind. After a few hours of intense foreplay and so much incredible kissing I was afraid he was actually grating my chin with his stubble, we came to an impasse: no condoms. As was evidenced by my untidy room, my unmade bed and my ungroomed south-o’-the-border, I was not expecting company and had not thought to detour via the 7 Eleven for the necessary protective measures. When I asked why he didn’t have his own provisions he gave me another grin and simply shrugged, ‘Well I didn’t know someone was going to take me home…’

We spent hours in limbo, dozing flittingly between bouts of intense fervour, tangled in each other’s limbs for most of the night. As the daylight began to spill under my curtains, in the brief euphoria that comes an hour or two before the onset of a horrific hangover, I could take it no more. Action was required. Peeking first out the window at the empty car port to confirm that my housemate had left for work, I crept down the hallway wearing a shirt and no pants, a la Donald Duck. I paused at the threshold of his open bedroom door, momentarily weighted by the line I was about to cross. I knew it was wrong. I glanced back down the hall to my now light-filled bedroom, mentally tracing over the hours of teasing and foreplay that had led to this moment. And with my legs (and other parts of my lower body) trembling, I tiptoed through my housemate’s strewn belongings and nimbly plucked two condoms from his open bedside drawer.

It was worth it. After almost 5 hours of foreplay we knew exactly when to move, when to stop, our exhausted bodies suddenly revived and renewed before collapsing in a stupor of pleasure. After a tangled powernap and a brief but enjoyable Round Two, he left in the haze of hangover onset. Wanting nothing more than to lie motionless in my bed for hours, I was presented with my next problem: I needed to replace that which I had taken before my housemate returned.

My first hurdle was the intense throbbing pain in my head and churning in my stomach that had all but paralysed my body and addled my brain. The second problem I faced was the absence of my car, which had spent the night at the station after we caught the train to the city. With no idea of my housemate’s ETA there was nothing for it – I was walking to the shops.

After a brief shower, during which I clutched my stomach and sobbed loudly to no one that the water was punching my brain through the top of my head and I wanted to sleep or maybe die, I dressed myself and headed out into the harsh light of day. My sunglasses, on the passenger seat of my car, were in no position to be of assistance, so I squinted into the overcast glare and icy headwind through bleary, miserable eyes and began forcing my legs to walk the 1.2km to the supermarket. Passing a church on the way as worshippers filtered out with an air of peace and satisfaction, I momentarily considered repenting and just calling it quits. The thought of actually having to admit my crime in my state of wretchedness was too much to bear, so I trudged on. My next round of punishment was in the purchase itself – an assortment of tacky colours, textures and flavours with names like “Raspberry Ripple” and “Bangin’ Banana” in order to replace the two purloined items with their identical kin.

My return journey was worse than the initial one, despite the procurement of some hot chips and a Coke. I shuffled miserably down my street with dead eyes, slowly chewing chips with an open mouth, a lone box of assorted coloured and flavoured condoms swinging mockingly in a plastic shopping bag that dangled from the crook of my elbow while my hand stuffed chips towards my face like an imbecile posting letters. The punishment fit the crime. My disgrace, self-pity and repugnance in this moment was equal in power to the hedonistic pleasure that had led to my transgression.

As I lay immobile on the couch later that day, determined to keep the chips on their descent through my digestive tract where they seemed to have found a foothold with which to climb back up, I received a text:

So tired. Can hardly move. Totally worth it x

He was right.

Four Things Men Should Know

Standard

Boys, take note. Here are four essential truths about single women that you must heed, should you want to successfully date one.

1. WE LIKE MAKING PLANS

As a general rule, women like to have an idea of how they will be spending their time. As multi-tasking creatures, we will often make tentative plans in our mental calendar while going about our daily business. We like knowing what’s coming up ahead and generally behave more methodically and less instinctively than our male counterparts. If you are interested in seeing a girl, you need to give her the heads up early in the week so she can pencil you in (so that you can, er, pencil her in). We also like to look forward to things – half the fun is in the anticipation. Take that away and you’re drastically reducing your chances of under-the-blouse action.

2. DON’T BE A STRANGER

We (women) like to communicate with other human beings on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve made plans for next Sunday and you figure there’s no point in texting between now and then – you’d be surprised at how receptive she’ll be at a little unexpected midweek text. It doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, just a simple “Hey, how’s your week going?” will let her know that you are thinking of her. Women get bored and frustrated when you wait too long to contact them. Play it too cool or wait too long and she will lose interest. Guaranteed.

3. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Women are intuitive and analytical by nature. We focus on body language, tone and context a lot more than men do; in fact, your lady-friend is less likely to take stock in the actual words you say than she is to focus on the way you say it. This can be a stumbling block for men who tend to do things in the moment because it feels good/right/comfortable. You told her you’re not sure you can commit to anything exclusive right now, but then you spent the night cuddling her in her sleep and kissing the curve of her neck. For her, it’s a sign of your desire for a deeper level of intimacy than your words suggest. For you, it’s probably just that sometimes it feels really nice to snuggle into a woman’s body (we’re soft and warm and curved and beautiful – who wouldn’t want to get in on that action?). I’m not saying you have to treat a woman like a drive-thru car wash, but it pays to be aware that obvious signs of intimacy (stroking, deep and sustained eye contact during sex, spooning, staying the night, sharing secrets), whether intended or not, will definitely be registered by your lady.

4. JUST BE HONEST

There seems to be a general perception out there in the dating world that women can’t handle the truth. You’d be surprised – most of us actually appreciate honesty, even if the outcome of a conversation is not what we envisaged it being. And we’re not too fragile to cop it on the chin either; the female ego is a hardy and resilient thing. So if you’re not interested, just tell her, rather than ignoring her, sending mono-syllabic responses to her texts or cancelling time and time again. We also like it when you’re up front about what you actually want. If you know that you just want a friends-with-benefits type situation, let her know; that way she won’t waste her time trying to figure out where things are headed. If you want to keep seeing each other casually and be free to go out and meet other people, make sure she knows that so she can be out getting her sexy freak on as regularly as you are – it’s only fair!

While these four ideas may not apply to every woman in the entire world, my discussions with my single-and-dating female peers have led me to believe that they are at least somewhat universal. Chances are that every instance in which you stopped dating a woman because she came across as needy, controlling or just plain old bat-shit crazy could have been avioded by following these mantras. Look, it may not be gospel, but at the very least it gives you fellas a slightly better chance of relating to – if not completely understanding – your current or future squeeze.

Man-lympics

Standard

In the spirit of all that is world-recordy and to celebrate the quadrennial gathering of many, many athletic men in very, very revealing lycra, here are some gold medal events that I can definitely get on board with in the aptly named XXX Olympiad.

SWIMMING

Aside from the fact that the sport is literally dripping with semi-naked men with very impressive torsos, the lingo speaks for itself. So, after you’ve warmed up with a little backstroke, tell him to dive right in with the breaststroke, or just go freestyle. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you could try a medley relay.

ROWING

Cox. (Need I say more?)

FENCING

Who’s gonna say no to a little light thrusting? And if you’re in the mood for a little teasing, tell him he only scores points when he touches you with just the tip.

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS

While the mind boggles at the possibilities opened up by such upper-body strength and flexibility, it’s the apparatus that has me excited about this one. There’s a little something for everyone, be it the horizontal bar or the rings (if you’re into that sort of thing). And let’s just say I don’t mind being the pommel-horse every now and then.

WEIGHTLIFTING

Men of super-human strength who really know a good snatch? Where do I sign up?! The possibility of being lifted effortlessly like a human barbell has definitely got appeal. And while stamina is probably not his forte, he may be able to go a little longer if he performs a bit of a clean and jerk beforehand.

ATHLETICS

Oh, where to begin? Start with some endurance training to ensure it will be a marathon, not a sprint. Then take hold of the shaft of his javelin or one of his shot-puts or go straight in for the pole-vault, it’s really your call. And if you really want to spice things up, set up some obstacles and get him to steeplechase you around the room.

The Man-lympics. Enjoy… and remember to stretch!

How to Text Like a Dude: A Man-ual for Social Intercourse

Standard

If you want to have a shot in the game, you need to know the rules. Here’s the inside scoop, straight from the horse’s penis. (Er…mouth.)

RULE 1: LET HIM MAKE THE FIRST MOVE

When you think about it, this actually makes life much easier. If he likes you enough, he’ll text. And if he doesn’t, no amount of flirtation, charm, wit or sexual suggestion on your part is going to change that. Forcing him into responding will only cause you to spiral into depression as you dissect his blunt, disinterested or generally lethargic responses.

RULE 2: TREAT ‘EM MEAN, KEEP ‘EM KEEN

We already know about this one, but it’s the hardest to put into practice. You like him, you think about him, you can’t wait to see him, you’d slap your own granny to spend time with him….but under no circumstances can you let him know this! Imagine you get two texts from two different guys – one that you like, and one that you’re not really interested in. Your instincts are to send something fairly aloof to the guy you don’t like and something far warmer to the one you do, when in actual fact you should send pretty much the same thing to both of them. Playing it cool gives the impression that you’ve got other offers, that perhaps you’ve got a bit more going for you than he first thought. Just make sure you stop short of being cunty or your aloofness will come across as disinterest.

RULE 3: DON’T BE TOO AVAILABLE

There are two parts to this rule. The first is to never try to organise a date too far in advance. Don’t text on a Tuesday and ask if he’s free Saturday night – chances are he hasn’t planned his whole weekend yet, and if by some chance he has then you’re setting yourself up for a disappointing answer. The second part of this rule is to avoid providing alternatives. If he asks you out for a drink on Saturday but it turns out that’s the night of your big tap dancing recital, don’t tell him you’re free Friday night, Sunday, and most of next week. Simply let him know that you’d like to catch up, however you’re busy on Saturday. Let him find a time that works for you. Giving him options is just going to inflate his ego and make him think that his life is more interesting than yours so you’re lucky to be hanging out with him at all.

RULE 4: MAKE IT BRIEF

Keep all texts to a 100 character limit. If he asks how your day was, he’s actually not looking for a response in essay-form. A simple “good thanks,” will suffice.

RULE 5: CUT THE CUTE STUFF

Emoticons. X’s and O’s. Nicknames like ‘babe,’ ‘hun’ etc. And god I hope it goes without saying: baby talk. There will be plenty of time for that shit down the track in the relationship phase. For now, it’s all about efficiency. Say what you need to say, being honest, but not too open. Just like a transsexual stripper, you should leave a little something under wraps to make things more interesting down the track.

RULE 6: KEEP IT SIMPLE

Men are not overly complicated creatures. They don’t typically make use of tone, subtext and subtle innuendo. Chances are that what he said is what he meant. Stop reading over his texts looking for insight into the way his mind works – all you’re going to do is convince yourself that he’s been dropping a constant stream of hints that he’s madly in love with you and then drive yourself crazy trying to work out why he hasn’t asked how to spell your name for the tattoo on his shoulder. There is no subtext. “Cool, I’ll let you know” is not code for “Damn girl, you’re an incredible woman and I want to make the sweet, sweet love all over your sexy body, but only because I totally respect and understand you as a person.” Let it go. And if you can’t detach, delete the texts.

Well there you have it ladies…take it or leave it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to see a horse about a penis. Er, a man about a penis. A penis about a horse. Oh fuck it, you know what I mean!