- I’m not sure I could love a Gavin
- Or anyone with ice gem hair
- Why have so many guys stroked tigers?
- And been up Macchu Pichu?
- If I see ‘if you don’t look like your pictures then you’re buying the drinks until they do’ I might throw a tantrum
- Same goes for ‘willing to lie about how we met’
- Ooh a group of three guys, two of which are very hot, let’s look at a couple more photos
- This guy is hot but really ripped and therefore probably only into going to the gym and talking about protein and therefore not someone I’d be interested in
- But I’ll swipe right anyway, just to see if he’s into me…
- I’ve swiped right about a dozen times today and got no matches. What’s wrong with me?!
- Seriously, how many guys are called Tom these days?
- Gym selfies. Jog on.
- Same goes for super-intense close-up moody selfies
- And those oh-I-just-happened-to-be-lifting-up-my-top-and-flashed-my-abs-whilst-taking-a-selfie-in-the-mirror photos
- Oh. A cock shot. Great.
- Cock shot with a beer can next to it for size reference. Well this guy’s thought of everything.
- ‘Recently moved to London’, would probably think that a date in Leicester Square on a Saturday night would be a good idea. Swipe left.
- Ooo a guy a used to fancy at uni. Should I swipe right?
- But what if I swipe right and we match? Wouldn’t that be super-awkward?
- And then he’ll tell everyone about it and it would just be totes hilaire for them but totes not-hilaire for me
- Screw it I’m swiping right anyway
- Errmahgahhhhd we matched!! He fancies me!!! I KNEW it!!
- OMG he just messaged me! Hyperventilating right now.
- ‘Lol swipe right for a friend!’
- Dickhead. Unmatch.
- This guy has a bevy of bimbos in each picture = player = swipe left
- Strongly suspect that this guy, whilst attractive, is pretty short. Analyse each photo carefully. Yep he’s shorter than his girl mates. Swipe left.
- I swear I recognise this guy, he’s really hot, have we been on a date before?
- Meh, what’s the worst that could happen? Swipe right.
- Oh now I remember. His opening message was ‘sit on my face’. Unmatch.
- Holy hell this guy is super hot and tall and has a great body and all of his photos are really well lit and professional-looking and haaaaang on he looks quite a lot like David Gandy…
- I’ve matched with the last six people I’ve swiped right for, I am ON FIRE!!
- Eesh dude sort out that monobrow
- Wow my phone battery has run low really quickly
- My god this guy could be The One, definitely swipe right
- OMG we matched!! Please message me, pleeeeeeeease…
- ‘I could go down on you for hours’
- Oh ffs…
- ‘There are no new people in your area’. Screw this let’s have a look on Happn.
I’ve had a bit of a rant before about how current trends seem to be strongly anti-boob, or at least anti those who require a decent amount of underwiring and strap action to get any kind of lift and shape, but a recent shopping experience has prompted me to revisit the topic.
Bikini shopping is fairly traumatic at the best of times, and for those of us who are rocking anything more than a C-cup it’s downright stressful. Those little bandeau tops that offer bugger-all in the way of support? No thanks. Monokinis? Hell no. Flimsy little triangles that barely cover your nipples? Piss off. I’ve recently lost a bit of weight, resulting in boob shrink-age, so rather optimistically I thought that this year’s bikini shop would be slightly easier than it has in the past. Cue bitter retrospective laughing…
Off I went, merrily skipping along to Topshop, which it turns out is the worst place you could possibly go to buy a bikini that fits anyone other than teenagers with small breasts and large allowances. For a brand that claims to be at the forefront of high street fashion, Topshop really doesn’t seem to have a clue how the female figure works. There I was, confronted with a whole wall of pretty-looking bikini tops and bottoms, thinking I’d hit the beachwear jackpot, until I started looking closer at the sizing. Instead of getting 32C, 36D, 34A etc, sizes 8, 10 and 12 glared balefully back at me from the tags. WHAT IS A SIZE 10 BOOB?? How does that even work? Why were there no cup sizes?! With steely determination I grabbed a range of sizes off the racks and stomped over to the Topshop changing rooms, aka awfully-lit cubicles of hell where you’re pretty much guaranteed to develop an eating disorder.
My changing room experience went something like this:
- Minute 1: strip down to underwear, try to avoid looking at self in mirror but fail, question whether this is one of those mirrors that adds about 6 kilos
- Minute 2: try on Size 10 bikini top with tie back, conclude that Size 10 is too small in terms of cup size, also conclude that this is one of the worst mirrors I’ve ever encountered, consider starving for the next week
- Minute 3: try on Size 10 bandeau bikini top, boobs have never looked worse, take the thing off so quickly that I pull a muscle in my shoulder, lots of swearing
- Minute 4: now sweating quite a lot and really regretting this whole outing, try on Size 10 bikini top with un-adjustable back, cups definitely way too small but strap across back is too loose. What the hell is going on?!
- Minute 5: changing room floor now littered with rejected items, reach for Size 12 bikini top with tie back, turns out whoever designed this has no idea of how an individual breast is shaped
- Minute 6: mutter under breath about sadistic bikini designers who are out to banish all women with anything larger than bee stings on their chests while struggling back into normal clothes
- Minute 7: give up trying to put bikinis back on hangers, storm out of cubicle of hell, grimace at changing room assistant and flee shop
So, I’m now going to use the money that I would have spent in Topshop on counselling. Quite frankly, I’m baffled by how such a prominent store can get something like bikini top sizes so wrong. The ridiculousness of it was compounded when I went to H&M straight afterwards and found a whole host of bikinis in proper cup sizes. Hooray! Clearly the head honchos at H&M understand that breasts cannot be reduced to the even numbers of clothing; I’d like to shake their hand.
Why is the fashion industry so strongly anti-boob? Why does each new summer trend present major problems for those of us requiring some feat of engineering to get a decent silhouette? We’re all being encouraged to show side boob and cleavage and wear tops and dresses that are slashed to the navel, but for all of the women out there that need to strap down their fun bags so they don’t end up taking someone’s eye out, this is pretty much impossible. Even if Kim Kardashian is doing us curvy ladies a favour by flaunting her assets and unapologetically so, she’s taking some of that away by frequently going bra-less and proving that her lady lumps defy gravity. So what are the rest of us meant to do? Get uplift surgery? I’ll start saving now…
Am I the only one who’s getting, well, a little bit bored of Kate Moss? This week saw the launch of her latest collection for Topshop, and I can hand-on-heart say that I will not be buying any of it. Clearly this is the opposite of the teeming hordes of women aged anywhere between 14 and 40 who braved the tube strike chaos to get up to Oxford Street on Tuesday night. It seems that there’s still a large proportion of us that still want a little bit of Mossy. My question is: why?
Yes, she’s beautiful. Yes, she’s had an incredibly successful career. Yes, she’s lasted much longer than nearly every single model out there. I’m not trying to take anything away from the fact that she’s been the most successful model of the last 25 years. But I still don’t get the hype. Last week I read an article where Cara Delevigne was quoted as saying, ‘everyone wants to dress like Kate Moss’. Erm, everyone? I don’t know about you but I quite like wearing a bra, and clothes that aren’t distressed and/or see-through, and not looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. There are many women out there who want to look groomed and put-together, more Kardashian than Kate, and who want to cover up a bit. Also, most of us are not the same size or shape as Kate Moss, and therefore can’t get away with pale grey skinny jeans or barely-there little dresses.
I get that there’s that unquantifiable ‘cool factor’ that people want to attain. Perhaps that’s why so many women buy Kate Moss’s clothes at Topshop – by wearing something that has the Moss stamp of approval, they’re a little bit closer to having her style and glamour. Well, if you want to go and spend a ridiculous amount of money on some beaded and fringed little scrap of nothing that will never actually make you look like Kate Moss, be my guest.
Everyone seems to have happily forgotten Cocaine Kate, the 2005 scandal that saw her dropped by H&M, Chanel and Burberry. Everyone seems to ignore the fact that she’s a strong advocate of the champagne-and-cigarettes lifestyle and has been quoted as saying ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. Despite Vogue and other fashion magazines stating that they’re against Size Zero and are campaigning for a healthier look in ad campaigns and on the catwalk, they’re still putting Kate I-Like-Feeling-Hungry Moss on their covers on a regular basis. In an age where female role models have more power than ever, is this really who we want today’s teenagers to be looking up to?
No doubt about it, dating has been an education in all sorts of ways, and one particular lesson that comes to light again and again is how to tell someone that you’re no longer interested. This will come about because of one of two reasons:
- You’ve been on one or two dates, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the guy (at least, most of the time…), but there’s a bit of a chemistry fail and you don’t find yourself wanting to see him again.
- He, for unknown reasons, decides that seeing you again isn’t the best way to spend his time.
Either way, fair enough. But how to communicate this lack of interest to the other person?
In my experience, the age-old just-stop-replying-to-messages-and-hope-they-get-the-hint tactic has been pretty effective, if not a rather annoying one. And yes I’ve been on both the receiving and giving end. I’ll admit it’s a rather cowardly way out of a tricky situation, and can leave you or the guy wondering for weeks about what happened, what did I do wrong etc. Perhaps it depends on how many dates you’ve been on…
- One date: not really much to worry about there and if he thinks it wasn’t great then the girl almost definitely thinks the same.
- Two dates: a slight kick in the teeth but hey at least you haven’t wasted too much time/energy/money.
- Anything beyond that: heellooooo a little explanation wouldn’t go amiss here!
I know I’m not the only girl who needs some sort of closure, and being a practical type of person I would rather know what went wrong so I can make appropriate efforts to not repeat the same mistake in the future.
Then there’s the honesty tactic, otherwise known as the ‘it was great to meet you but I think it’s best if we call it a day/just stay friends’ approach. I’ve only ever been on the giving end of this, and it’s been met with varied reactions. On the whole, most of the replies I’ve received have been along the lines of ‘ok no worries it was nice to talk to you best of luck’. After all, what can you really say to someone who just isn’t interested in seeing you again? Then there have been the slightly bitter ones: ‘so glad I wasted a Friday night with you’ or similar. I get it, the male ego is a fragile thing. Admittedly, there might be slightly more diplomatic ways of getting one’s message across, but overall you’re still saying the same thing, no matter how much you sugar-coat it.
Ultimately, there isn’t really a way of winning here. Silence is met with confusion, honesty is met with resentment. Personally, I lean towards Option B. I can understand that telling someone outright that you’re not keen on the idea of a second date can be a tad brutal, but at the end of the day isn’t it saving everyone an awful lot of time and emotional energy?
Last autumn I was dating a guy for a couple of months and all seemed to be going well until he suddenly just stopped replying to text messages. Whilst I wasn’t particularly upset by this, it did leaving me questioning my words and actions for a few weeks afterwards. Was it something I said or did? Was it the fact that I was a fair bit younger? Did he meet someone else? I guess I’ll never know. What I do know is that I would have appreciated some sort of explanation behind his abrupt disappearance, no matter how hurtful it might have been. In the long run, aren’t we better off knowing these things and learning and growing as people as a result?
Guys, you should all know by know that nearly every girl goes in for a bit of self-flagellation in these kinds of situations. So do us all a favour: grow some cojones, and just be honest. Seriously, it will reduce the rate of drunk texts and tearful phone calls by a huge proportion.
Much has been written about how men objectify women, how they treat us as objects, how they’re only interested in having sex with us et cetera. While this may be true of some guys, I would never make a sweeping statement that encompasses every single person on the planet in possession of a penis. However, in my more bored moments of Tinder swiping (left), I’ve noticed an increasing trend where men are beginning to objectify themselves.
Even ten minutes on Tinder will show you that there’s a huge proportion of guys who will put up photos of just their bodies and not their faces. Gym selfies, mirror selfies, lying-in-bed selfies, abs-and-nothing-but-abs selfies… Since when did from-the-neck-down become the most important part of this whole attraction thing??
I mean, great, the guy’s got a good body, but I can’t be the only girl who thinks the following:
- What’s so bad about his face that he doesn’t want to show it?
- He clearly spends a lot of time in the gym and probably eats protein at every meal, resulting in a worrying lack of conversation about anything other than cleans, squats, reps and which whey powder is the most effective
- I don’t want someone who’s going to judge me when I eat a large Dominos in ten minutes flat
But back to the objectifying thing. For hundreds of years women have been under pressure to conform to certain body types, but this has now extended to men. Blame Abercrombie or David Beckham or the current (awful) trend for ultra low-cut V-neck shirts – the fact is, more and more men are spending more and more on their appearance. You only need to spend an hour in your local gym to see a plethora of pumped-up protein-packing peacocks grimacing in the mirror whilst lifting an assortment of weights. And you only need to spend a minute on Tinder to see that suddenly, the body is the only thing that counts these days.
Granted, I’d be the last person to go out with someone who was obese, but isn’t there something a bit grotesque about a guy who looks like he’s taking a shit the whole time? I’m all for working out and taking care of yourself and taking pride in your body, nearly all of us do it to some extent, but this obsession with body fat percentage and CrossFit and looking like Arnie back in the day has all got a bit… much.
Clearly, these guys who choose to post headless photos of themselves are proud of their achievements, and if that’s what you’re into, then fine. But by doing this, isn’t it the female equivalent of posting a mirror selfie in just underwear? Just as a lot of guys will make the assumption that this girl in underwear is ‘easy’ and ‘up for it’, girls as just as likely to make the assumption that the topless guy has nothing to offer apart from his body. To me it says ‘I’ve got a great six-pack but sod-all conversation’.
But hey, you could always talk to this guy about steaks, bikes, and how he’s way better at fake tanning than you are…
For those of you that don’t know, over the last few months I’ve become a bit of a running enthusiast. With two 10k races coming up this summer, training is well under way, and part of this training is running the 9.5k journey home from work once a week. It’s a well-established fact that when you run home from work, a backpack is required (purse, keys, oyster card, clothes etc.), and this week mine decided to chafe. I mean, really chafe. I now have symmetrical marks on each side of my neck that look a lot (aka exactly) like hickeys. Fan-bloody-tastic.
Ah hickeys, those symbols of teenagerdom and fleeting romance. That internal struggle between wanting to cover them up but yet wanting everyone to know that you’ve got one. That glee you got from pointing out a hickey on a friend’s neck, squealing ‘who gave you THAT??’ in carrying tones. A hickey was part badge of honour, part rite of passage. And also part ‘ewww why did you let a guy bite you?’
In a weird way, my present non-hickey has made me slightly nostalgic for the real hickeys of my youth. Or rather, the simplicity of relationships back then. In my little boarding school bubble, everything was remarkably easy. You snogged a boy, you established that you liked one another, and hey presto you were boyfriend and girlfriend. Simples! There was none of this faffing about for months ‘seeing each other’ and then a really painful conversation along the lines of ‘where is this going?’ You’d always know if your boyfriend cheated on you because the whole school would know before you. Hell, half of my year knew I was going out with a guy before I had even been consulted. You knew a guy’s history before you’d had his tongue shoved down your throat (the annual ‘pulling tree’ drawn out by bored girls was a real help here), you saw each other every day, and when the ultra-meaningful three-week relationship came to an end (he kissed someone else/you got bored/he wouldn’t respect your lack of desire to give him a handjob) all you needed was a Bacardi Breezer-fuelled school disco to find your next snog sensation.
Of course, it was all terribly complicated and traumatic and dramatic at the time. The teenage years were littered with tears, fumbled attempts at ‘going all the way’, and year groups divided over whose side to choose in a break-up. There are certainly parts of it I don’t miss: where would we be if every drunk mashing of faces turned into a relationship? And thank heavens we aren’t forced to encounter the object of our (somewhat misguided) affections on a daily basis. Then there’s the gossip, the rumours, everyone knowing more about your relationship than you do yourself… Although having said that, some work environments can bear a striking resemblance to school in certain aspects.
Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the 17-year-old me. The girl who didn’t think that 90% of men are bastards, and who wasn’t going on endless disappointing dates. Sure, I had my fair share of teenage angst, but that was child’s play compared to what the last eight years have thrown at me. I distinctly remember one house party where I literally ran screaming out of a tent when my ‘boyfriend’ started to unzip his jeans and guide my hand to the terrifying thing that lay beneath. At the time I was mortified, but now I’m proud of Teenage Me for not doing something she didn’t want to do. You go girl!
Given that the last six months or so have resulted in a rather prolific rate of Tinder swiping, online dating profile writing, dating, and then blogging, many people have asked me the same question: why don’t you just meet people normally? Gosh well thanks, I’d never even thought of that…
So my response is this:
A. Of course I’d like to meet someone in a normal situation, and all of my past relationships have come about because of ‘normal situations’, but dating is fun and can be pretty simple
B. Have YOU tried meeting someone in London? This place is huge! And when I’m on a night out I’m more focused on having a good time with my friends than eyeing up someone across a dimly-lit bar.
C. I genuinely HATE being chatted up on a night out, and this brings me to the main topic of this post…
I would imagine that nearly all girls have had the same experience as me. You’re on a night out with some friends, you’re all having a good time, you go to the bar to get the next round in. Next thing you know, some midget with coffee breath is just dying to buy your drinks for you whilst at the same time trying to race through all those ‘do you come here often?’ questions.
It is one of life’s great conundrums – why is it always the guys who you don’t want to chat you up who do the chatting up?? Now, if a guy is witty and charming and funny I might be able to get over the lack of height and the halitosis, but this has never happened. I also take issue with the unwritten rule that if a guy buys you a drink, then you owe him something a bit more than a few minutes of conversation. Last year a girlfriend and I were in a bar in the City, and a group of guys who were there ended up buying our drinks for us. We were polite, said thank you, hung out with them for a while, then decided to take our leave from our new pals and go elsewhere in the multi-levelled venue. Apparently, this was a bad choice on our part. Various insults were thrown our way, including ‘sluts’ and ‘bitches’, and no matter how many times we tried to escape this group of so-called gents, they just seemed to be everywhere. If we’d known this was going to happen, we never would have accepted those drinks.
Then there are the guys who seem to think that certain topics are acceptable when trying to woo a girl on a night out. One incident where a guy mentioned rohypnol within the first three minutes come to mind. To all the men that read this, this is never EVER an acceptable form of ‘banter’. It just isn’t funny, and you never know the history of the girl you’re speaking to. Just steer clear of rohypnol OK?
Any girl will tell you that there are many more aspects of being chatted up that just simply don’t sit well with us. Someone you don’t know invading your personal space with no invitation, someone bending your ear about a topic that is incredibly boring, someone monopolising your attention when you’d much rather be dancing with your mates or flirting with the hot friend of a friend who just showed up… the list goes on.
Of course, there are the rare times when we get chatted up by a guy that actually piques our interest, and there could be any number of reasons why we say yes to one man and no to another. Interesting conversation, chemistry, attractiveness etc. So I’m not saying that guys shouldn’t approach women and attempt to chat them up. My point is, they should learn to realise when their advances are not being reciprocated, and should learn to bow out gracefully.
Key indicators that your chat-up lines are not working (and this applies to girls too):
- The other person is turning their body away from you, or is trying to establish at least a foot of clear space between you
- His/her friends come over to drag him/her onto the dance floor and he/she puts up no resistance at all
- He/she makes no attempt to keep the conversation going
- He/she does not want to come outside with you for a cigarette
- He/she says ‘look, it was nice to meet you but I’m just here to have a good night out with my friends’
There are many girls out there for whom a one-night stand is an unthinkable thing. Sex with someone you’ve only just met? No thanks. Getting down and dirty with someone you barely know? No way.
Now, I will freely admit that I have had a few one-night stands. And to clarify: my definition of a ONS is having sex with someone you hadn’t met before that day and most probably won’t see again. I’m not proud of it, but neither am I ashamed. For those of us who don’t attach emotions to sex, and who can go into the act with open eyes and a knowledge that it will be a purely physical encounter, one-night stands are hardly taboo. But there are many out there who would never consider doing at, and judge those who do.
I’m well aware that a large number of people, both men and women, would have a whole host of adjectives to hand when it comes to describing me and my fellow one-night standers. ‘Slut’, ‘easy’ and ‘just asking for an STI’ are a few choice phrases that come to mind. Put the shoe on the other foot, and we could come back with ‘frigid’, ‘prude’ and ‘delusional’. Tomato tomahto… Sex and how we approach it, as with most things, is a personal preference.
We live in an era where sexual liberation and equality are becoming more and more prevalent. Free contraception is on offer to make recreational sex a safe and enjoyable thing. So why do people still have a problem with one-night stands? Is it the fact that we’re more open about it? If it’s OK for guys to do it and talk about it, shouldn’t that be the same for girls? Does sleeping with someone you’ve never met before make you a morally corrupt person?
Clearly there are different grades of sexual expression going on around us. If you think of it as a scale with those who are saving themselves for marriage at the bottom and those who make one-night stands a weekly occurrence at the top, most people will find themselves in the vast grey area in between. Just as a dogmatic Catholic might look at my behaviour with horror, I can be equally shocked by someone who sleeps with a different person every week. Like I said, personal preferences…
So, you could say that the taboo of the one-night stand is purely relative. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, although I will say that some are more extreme than others. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the occasional (read: once or twice a year) one-nighter, so long as safe sex is practised and both people involved are fully aware that it will only ever be just that: a one-nighter (there are plenty more caveats such as make sure he’s not married/has a girlfriend and don’t do it if you’re a fragile kind of person but then we’d be here all day). It’s my body, my life, my decision. I am also of the opinion that sleeping with someone you know and trust and care about is generally a lot better than with someone you only know by their first name. But that’s not to say that a night of no-holds-barred sex can’t be just as physically fulfilling. After all, sex is enjoyable (at least, most of the time) and can be great and leave you with an incredible glow and a feeling of physical satisfaction, so why should people in relationships have all the fun?
Much has been said about how our generation expects everything NOW, whether it’s money, fame, success, happiness, love etc. Most of us have been told that the world is our oyster, and as result there’s an expectation of things to come to us freely and easily with little or no effort from our side. And I’m beginning to think that this attitude extends to sex.
Now, it’s nothing new that people want to have sex, and that they want it often. Nor is it surprising that not everyone wants to invest in three dates and dinner in order to get down and dirty. But recent events have highlighted just how lazy some people (and yes I’m talking about guys here) are when it comes to getting laid.
I understand that Tinder has gained a certain reputation for being used for easy hook-ups, and I have nothing against that as a concept. After all, that radius setting is there for a reason right? But I’ve really begun to question what kind of girl it takes to receive a message from a guy saying ‘hey hot stuff, fancy coming round to my place?’ and replying with ‘sure, I’ll be there in 10’. Now I’m by no means frigid, but I really do draw the line at going round to the house of someone I’ve never met before just to get it on. In the past week, I’ve had two guys offer me their, erm, ‘hospitality’, without ever having met them and with only a few brief messages exchanged.
Call me a cynic, but I’m pretty sure I know what ‘small spoon’ and ‘massage’ are alluding to. So having gently rebuffed these oh-so generous offers, did I hear from either guy again? Nope. So that’s it? A girl you’ve never met before doesn’t come round to your house the minute you ask her and that’s as much effort you’re willing to put in? Like I said, I totally understand that the majority of Tinder users (especially the male ones) are just in it for an easy lay, but this is really testing the boundaries of laziness.
It also makes me wonder if this approach ever works. I’d like to think that all girls are sensible enough to not drop their knickers at the snap of a Tinder lothario’s fingers, but the realist in me knows that somewhere out there some ladies are doing just that, and in the process ruining it for the rest of us. Also, wouldn’t that be the most awkward situation ever?
Tinder Girl: Hey, you’re Tinder Guy right?
Tinder Guy: Sure am, come on in.
Tinder Girl: So, um, nice place you’ve got here…
Tinder Guy: Thanks… would you like a cup of tea or shall we just get straight to it?
I mean, it’s one step short of invoicing the guy for services rendered.
So, Alex/Luke/every other Tinder chap out there, sorry but you’re going to have to try a bit harder.