245 Tompkins Avenue

I wouldn’t have called it my dream apartment. From the outside, it looked like it had survived 3 hurricanes and a zombie apocalypse. Each of the three apartments had two matching balconies located on the far side of the building which faced Tompkins park. At one time, it was probably a lovely place to sit and watch the kids walk to school or see the distant sun setting over the cityscape. But as the years flew by, the iron gates of these tiny terraces had become so rusted through it was a wonder they hadn’t fall right off the of building.

There was a stray cat living in our hallway named Tiger. I could tell by her cries for attention and food that she had probably belonged to someone. But people are cruel and they will do what they have to survive, leaving poor little Tigs on the street to fend for herself. My roommate has a bigger heart than she does a brain and would often let her into our apartment, to play with her cat, never considering the diseases that she could be carrying within her sticky, matted fur. The neighbors let Tiger in through a hole in the roof and most days she slept on the stairs. Occasionally there would be a perfect round turn waiting for us in the hallway. Although, we were never sure if it was Tiger’s as they usually looked big enough to be human.

The apartment on Tompkins was the only one Kelly and I could agree on. Our third roommate, was off on some cruise having the time of our life, and expected us to choose her a room and work out all the details amongst the two of us. She is violently irresponsible. Kelly and I hated each other from the get go. She, a right-wing Texan who loved processed food and Jesus, and I, a liberal feminist were bound to have problems. We agreed on the apartment solely because there were fewer stairs she had to climb than the previous options and I was tired of looking. After our first apartment had fallen through and I had been forced to live on my friend’s couch for a week, I would have slept in a box.

The closet doors hung lifeless from their hinges and there was a giant old mop sitting in still water in the middle of the living room. “It’s a real fixer upper, but the good thing about that is you can really make it your own.” Our realtor was young and vapid with sunken eyes and translucent skin. He paced rapidly and jumped from one foot to another as he showed us the apartment and I couldn’t tell if he was a heroin addict looking for a fix or if he was just unhealthy and needed to pee. Either way Kelly was smitten with him. She giggled as he accidentally pulled the handle off the “brand new” oven. I rolled my eyes and wanted to die. But we signed the lease anyway because I am inpatient and am great at making horrible decisions.

Kelly was gone when the blizzard hit. She had broken the living room window the night before in a high daze. She was one bong rip away from falling out of it completely as she attempted to smoke her last cigarette. She left for Texas in the morning without telling us anything had happened. So there we were, with in the middle of the worst snow storm New York City had seen in decades, with a broken window and a super named Tony who didn’t speak English or know how to use a power drill. We were fucked.

The window in my room was broken as well and there was a large hole in the wall where an air conditioning unit once sat. The only thing between my room and the outside world were two pieces of purple styrofoam and some reusable shopping bags I stuffed in between for insulation. When the city finally came to inspect our building they took the temperature of my bedroom and found that it was 45 degrees. It was St. Patrick’s Day and the warmest day we had, had in months.

Of course along with the broken window there was the lack of cold water. I know it may seem like you shouldn’t really need cold water in the winter but let me tell you, you absolutely fucking do. Without cold water to help regulate the temperature you are forced to bath in scalding hot hell fire. The landlord didn’t understand why this was a problem. “Who doesn’t want hot showers in the winter?! You crazy shikk…” He always stopped himself before he called me a Shiksa. As if being called a white whore was somehow worse than not being able to shower without burning my skin. For the record, words can’t hurt you like 300 degree water can.

The baby roaches, the black mold under the sink, and the rat poison in our drawers which made us all sick also contributed to our misery. Although nothing was worse than our landlord. He was a young, possibly inbred, shiesty Hasidic man who relentlessly harassed us for not paying rent on time (which we always did) and never shared with us so much as his first name. Each month the checks were made out to “Mr. Miller”. He did not have an email address or an office. We were to meet him out front of a small yiddish drug store and present our rent checks. If we had complaints, he always met us outside of our apartment building and brought his kids along. “You see, you see these children! I need to make a living, I have mouths to feed!” His children were some of the strangest looking kids I had ever seen. Looking into their classy eyes and porcelain skin deeply upset me. They never made a sound, they just stared at me with frozen faces as if holding their breath. I’m sure they actually were holding their breath. There is probably some strange rule that Hasidic children are banned from breathing the same air as gentile whores.

We broke the lease after a grueling 4 months. Between the unlivable conditions and my disgusting roommate leaving odd cups of milk to spoil in the fridge and leaving giant shit stains all up the back of our toilet seat, I had, had enough. After I had packed my things and moved them into my new apartment, I stood in the room and looked out onto the crumbling balcony. In that moment the room was actually beautiful. Bright light poured in through the windows and left it feeling sunny and warm. What a shame it was that it had been neglected for so many years. I said goodbye to first chapter of my New York City experience and I won’t go back, not even to check my mail.


Broke & Basic

I squatted awkwardly under the bathtub faucet, waiting for the icy water to trickle out into my cupped palms. I collected water, I splashed it about my body. It went on like this for several minutes until I felt clean. The cold and hot water didn’t mix in my apartment and all that could be endured was a frigid little stream. Shivering and crying I did my best to keep it together. There I was, on the edge of absolute failure. It was one of the most real moments of my young life – and all I could think was, I’m a rich girl from the suburbs, how did I get here?

There is nothing glamorous about New York. I am not Taylor Swift, and it had not been waiting for me. I fought my way here above all odds and everyone’s better judgement (including my own). But damn it, I was here. Even if I was hating every minute of it. Since my arrival in January,  I have changed apartments twice. Once because our landlord simply never returned from Israel to let us move in, apparently that’s more common then you’d think. The second because our “Beautiful Bedstuy Apartment” was deemed unlivable by the New York City Housing Authority. We needed to vacate, fast. It was decided to be un livable due to roaches, broken windows that were never going to be fixed, a diseased stray cat named Tiger living in our hallway, and of course the scalding water that rained down upon us from the shower head like hellfire. Of course, my roommate Kelly, who I and my friends lovingly renamed Smelly Kelly, contributed to the apartment’s foul conditions. She was the type of girl who saved everything – even old milk. She would leave glasses of it inside the fridge or under her bed for days. She smelled of sour cream as if she was actually bathing in it. She was every Texas stereotype I could dream up rolled into one larger than life human being. She was a gun toting, Jesus loving, racist who didn’t recycle. She was truly the embodiment of my every nightmare.

Then there are the boys. Oh, New York boys! They come in every size, shape, color, and background but they all lie the same way. There was one I liked. He was Dominican with dark, smooth skin, and had a smile that could make me weak in the knees. Amy Schumer once made the comment that every time Latinos speak it sounds like they’re cumming. Now, I understand what she means. He could make the Pledge of Alliance sound like the dirtiest thing you’d ever heard. He was filled with passion and oozed sexuality. I thought I was in heaven until I realized that I wasn’t the only object of his affection. He loved his best friend. And not in a BFF, get a tattoo, and give a speech at each other’s wedding kind of way. My internal alarm went off until when he invited his friend on our date. He friend sat back in his chair and he asked me what it was like for us to kiss and whether I work out, and what my favorite position was. They were close – very close. The two of them might as well have been holding hands under the table. Needless to say, I left before the proposition could even be made.

Worse even so than my two spanish papis, my foul roommate and the broken down roach motel we shared, was the job. Sweet Jesus did I fuck up the day I accepted that job. Now, hear me out. I had just moved to NYC and I had been burning my way through all of my savings (my credit card). My other prospects had fallen through and I was desperate for anything when I decided to suck up my pride and enter the cruel world of customer service. I just really didn’t realize how cruel it would actually be. My boss, a plain looking English woman from the dodgy end of London looked innocent enough. She was kind and warm in our interview. She regaled me with tales of her company’s success and the devotion of her loving staff, and honestly, I should have seen through the bullshit. At this point, after being in New York for a few long months I should have known that nothing is what it seems and everything is shit. But, I am 25 and naive with no sense and stars in my eyes so I took the bate. Her favorite term of endearment for us is “pathetic” and I and the other brainwashed twenty-somethings spend our days being screamed at by wealthy designers for being physically unable to overnight their fabric from Thailand. All the money in the world and they still can’t figure out geography. But, I am sure the globes in their studies are for looking, not for learning. So I spend 9 hours a day sitting at my desk awaiting my 30 minute lunch so I can step into the Chelsea streets and be free to chain smoke and eat my sad banana lunch.

My life is changing, so naturally my blog has to do the same. I have decided that I can no longer use the bulk of my posts to discuss my unsuccessful dating life. Because well, I may never have a date again. So instead I’ll focus on my current love-hate relationship with the city that never sleeps.

Breakfast of Champions

I passed by him on the street on the way to the bar where we were set to meet. I looked at him, made eye contact, and continued walking completely unaware that the tiny man who brushed passed me was the same one I had been messaging with. I sat down at the bar and ordered a drink, I checked my phone, and began to anxiously slurp down my beer. When I saw him walk towards me again, I thought seriously about pretending I didn’t speak English. Unfortunately, I am defined by my basic whiteness and couldn’t fake another language if my life depended on it. So instead I stood up from the bar stool and said hello. He pressed my face unapologetically into his small, bony chest. He smelled so strongly of stale cigarettes that I gagged a little.

He didn’t look much like his pictures. He was much smaller and worn looking and if there was ever any light behind his deep brown eyes, it was gone now. He stumbled a bit before he sat down and explained that he had, had a few beers before leaving his apartment. It was 5:00PM. I had always heard that Australians drink to excess but it was clear by his fifth vodka tonic that he had a real problem. He kept the bartender close, snapping at her and demanding service every time she tried to stray from his eye site. He became increasingly loud and brash as he gulped drink after drink–grabbing my inner thighs, making fun of homeless people sleeping in subway cars, and proudly telling stories of how he almost died three times but always came back. I wondered if he had left the bridge he was guarding in order to go out with me that night. He was so crude and unwashed that he could have been a character from a Brother’s Grimm fable.

At one point he alerted me that he needed to “drop a load” and I thanked God silently as I finally had time to escape. “You should really get out of here. He’s getting pretty aggressive.” The bartender looked at me seriously. “Did you meet on Tinder? I’ve seen this a lot. It’s not going to get better from here.” I nodded, jumped off of my stool, and ran out onto the street. Even after he informed me that his goal in life was to be able to sit on his ass all day and drink and asked me if I like giving blow jobs in the same breath, I still needed reassurance from a stranger to be able to get up and run for my life. I swear, my midwestern politeness will absolutely be my downfall.

Later that week he texted me. “What happened? I really liked you, I thought things were going well.” At first, I thought he was the med student I went out with a week earlier. I walked out on him too, shortly after he ordered me a vodka Redbull and pulled up pornographic images on his phone and slid them across the table for me to see. Okay, bro you might as well have just put roofies in my drink too. I felt genuinely sorry for Aussie but at the same time I knew that anyone who would seriously suggest feeding LSD to homeless people for sport was not the sort of person who warranted my sympathy.

I didn’t think about him again until he was standing over me, ready to take my order. My friend was in town and her, my roommate, and I all traveled into the city for a day of brunch and museums. We stopped off at a beautiful restaurant close to our destination. Excited to be out of the cold we all shuffled into a booth and dusted the fallen snow from our hats and shoulders. “Hi, welcome. Can I get you ladies something to drink?” Oh fuck. He didn’t recognize me at first, and I wondered if he would at all considering how completely belligerent he was throughout our date. He took our drink order and left the table.

“No, oh my God, no. We are in New York City. There are MILLIONS of people in this city…how is this happening?” My friends looked up at me, alarmed. “That’s him…that’s the guy I went out with.” Neither of them could believe it. Honestly, neither could I. You could really see how filthy he was in the light of day and it made my stomach sink and my skin crawl.

He finally recognized me when he placed my mimosa in front of me. His face became bright red and he walked straight into the kitchen without dropping the rest of our drinks. Needless to say, the service wasn’t very good after that. Some poor, half asleep bus boy was forced to bring us our food and refill our coffees. It didn’t occur to me until after I finished my $17.00 meal that he could have easily spit on it without me noticing. Welcome to my dating life, even in the most amazing city on earth, it is still so awkward and pathetic.

We begged the bus boy to bring us our bill but my Tinder date had already grabbed it and was moving from table to table with it in his pocket, making us wait 30 minutes before finally dropping it. He was helping the table next to us when he tried to nonchalantly hand it to me without making eye contact. He sort of handed to us behind his back while still chatting with the other table and spilled my roommates mimosa all over her in the process.

The entire meal, much like our three hour date was painful. It was like watching a car crash. You squirm and turn in your seat and hold your breath until it’s over. We walked out onto 6th avenue and continued our journey to the Upper West Side. I vowed I would never log onto Tinder or another dating app again as long as I lived, and I didn’t–for an entire two weeks.

Kiss Me Through the Phone


Sometimes I feel like I’m on that show Catfish. Not because I’m in some weird online relationship with someone I’ve never met. Someone who could possibly be a woman, or a serial killer, but because I’m in some weird over-the-phone relationship with someone I never get to see. He got a job down south so when we considered establishing a relationship our options were limited. He refuses to give up his career and follow me to New York City next year and the thought of me living in Florida is absolutely hilarious. I burn under florescent lighting and it’s a known fact that the south is a dark place where feminism goes to die. Letting him go is easier said than done. So for the past few months this where I’ve been. Settling in some strange place between togetherness and separation, forced to navigate the uncharted territory of a long distance relationship.

We do as couples do. We talk when we can and make sure to support each other in our varying endeavors. We fight like typical twenty somethings, although I have to admit I do start most of it, because I get bored and restless. Everything is how it would normally be except for the underlying fact that we never share the same space, leaving us severely disadvantaged when it comes to sex. We’re average people with average needs and if it weren’t for a mutual attraction and romantic connection we would simply be friends. So how do we make the most of what we’ve got? Easy, we make it work with phone sex.

Skype sex is overrated and completely impractical. Have you ever sat across from someone and watched them masturbate? It’s disgusting. Made even worse by freezing screens and bad connections Skype runs the risk of making sexy time one horribly awkward moment. Honestly, I prefer not to Skype with him all together. Mostly because we are both so unbelievably conceited that we spend more time focusing on our own appearance than we do on each other.

Sexting is fun but there is no greater turn off than improper abbreviations or misspelled words. If you are making the attempt to sext then for God’s sake please spell out the word “you”. Illiteracy is not sexy. Thankfully he is not illiterate and understands that as a writer, I will judge him unfairly for any grammatical errors.

Words are great but then of course sometimes there is a need for a visual. I don’t mind sending pictures but even though I trust him, I would never send him anything too incriminating. As a general rule I avoid sending anything that has the potential to destroy my life. The exchange of naked photos will always be slightly unfair. Whereas I can get creative with lingerie or by positioning myself in various ways, men really only have one angle. And although I love his body, let’s be real, my phone can only handle so many dick pics. It’s also extremely dangerous to have anyone’s nudie pics living openly in your phone. I’m constantly transferring images from my phone to my office computer and the last thing I need is a close up picture of a penis to pop up on my screen. Needless to say, sexting is a little risky for my taste.

So really that just leaves us with phone sex. I know, “gross! That’s so ’97” believe me, I’ve heard it all already from my friends.  But honestly, what else do we have? Sometimes when I’m feeling melancholy I’ll think back to old movies or novels I’ve read where two people are separated by time and space and rather than give up on each other they wait patiently, romanticizing about the other’s return. It all sounds so old world and lovely but really it’s shit. We live in time consumed by the idea of instant gratification where we need to speak to, be with, or constantly be able to reach out and touch the ones we love. Having phone sex with him may be better than any actual sex I’ve had with past partners (and not just because masturbation is exceptionally more satisfying than some sweaty playboy grunting in my ear and wheezing with every thrust). but often it leaves me feeling emptier than before we began. The connection we share may feel invaluable, but there’s always a price.

One might think that doing the whole long distance thing would be easier with modern technology, and maybe for most people it is. For me, it seems to unjustly prolong something that will inevitably end. Facebook, Skype, and cell phones keep people connected to one another. For people like us, it maintains a connection that perhaps was never meant to be. Our lives are moving in two totally different directions and these communication platforms aren’t helping us build a relationship, but are instead forming false hopes. So really, if you can’t see a future in a relationship you’re holding onto, whether it be a friendship or one that’s romantic, what’s keeping us connected to it?

Bad Enough To Be Fiction

From the time I was a little girl I was crazy about sappy romantic films and “chick flicks”. Even today I still sometimes catch myself gazing stupidly at the screen when Sleepless In Seattle or A Lot Like Love are on daytime T.V. and although I try to fight it, I still believe in their perfect endings and all of the beautiful things they promise. I think most women are guilty of comparing their love lives to some Ashton Kutcher or Channing Tatum movie. We love the idea that “Mr. Right” is out there somewhere. We shift back and forth from day-dreaming to looking around at our friends in dismay while complaining, “Why can’t he be like that?” and “I wish this was real life!” I know how much we love those stories which is why I’m sad to say that this isn’t one of them, sorry ladies.

I recently got a job. A real, annual salary complete with benefits, first full time position. I awake proudly at 6:00am from my wine induced slumber, pull on my form fitting petite dress pants and head off into morning traffic. I work five days a week for eight hours a day answering furious phone calls from dissatisfied clients and trying my best not to cry  when I am unable to understand their half broken english. I worked hard my entire life to achieve the American dream and I couldn’t be more unhappy with my life. After the first three weeks I found myself in an emotional pit of despair. I wasn’t eating or writing and I felt as isolated from my peers as ever before. I am the youngest employee in my organization by twenty years. I was sick to death of looking at pictures of my fellow coworkers’ grandchildren and discussing knitting in the break room at lunch. I needed out, I needed to feel young again, I needed to feel loved.

So I YOLO’d; hard. I started drinking at noon for The Ohio State Game, a tradition I had previously never cared for but decided to go along with in my hour of desperation. By three o’clock I had made my way to my friend’s block party and was attempting to join the young neighborhood children in the moon bounce which proved unsuccessful and by four I was stuffing my face with all the pigs-in-a-blankets my tiny body could handle. I’m a Vegetarian. After that, the night got pretty blurry. I found myself on Campus with a group of friends headed to the despised and revered club, “Charlie Bear”. Charlie Bear is a place where dreams go to die and beers go to get spilled. The floor was so sticky that I walked right out of my shoes and into two obviously drunk college students who were actually sucking on each others faces (and suddenly I understood where the expression came from), but as I peered into the face of the man whose face was being sucked, I realized that I recognized him. We caught eyes, he paused, waved, and continued to devour the face of the girl he was with, so I left.

Later in the night he came back around. I knew this person and I had known him almost my entire life. We grew up together. He was my first crush and my first friend. We laughed and caught up with one another for what seemed like hours. As the lights came on and the bouncers began herding the bar’s patrons out like cattle we made the decision that he was coming home with me. Yes, this was real and he was real. The first love of my life and the boy whose initials covered the inside of my childhood diary was coming over to my house to sleep in my bed. I was so thrilled that I even chose to ignore when he fell getting into the cab and forgave him for not having enough money to pay the overworked Egyptian driver.

My memory begins to fade after that. I’m quite certain this is when the Washington Apple shots from last call started to kick in causing my brain to practically shut down. The last thing I can recall was his beautiful blue eyes staring longingly into mine while he said, “Congratulations on still being hot. Most of the girls we grew up with got fat.” It wasn’t quite what I was looking for but it’s amazing what Well Vodka will do to your standards.

The next morning I woke up with a sour beer taste in my mouth and my tongue felt like sand paper. I turned over and opened one eye, hoping it had all been a dream. It wasn’t. I had really taken home my kindergarten crush from Charlie Bear, F**K! But I still had hope. He pulled me in close and kissed my forehead and I felt a sense of relief rush over me. That is, until he lifted up one of his legs and released a gigantic fart right before he leaned in to kiss my lips. Needless to say, I was beyond offended. The worst thing about those kind of situations is not actually that, that’s the third time a guy has post-sex morning farted in my bed, but that I then have to laugh and pretend that it’s not absolutely disgusting out of sheer politeness. “I can’t believe we had sex, I’ve seriously thought about that since we were little.” He thought about having sex with me when we were five? What a pervert. I thought, but smiled. “I’m seriously going to go to my parents house today and I’m gonna walk in, look my mom in the eyes and say, ‘I did it. I fucked L** H********.’ It’s so crazy how she wanted us to get married!” Oh God just kill me now. If you make this go away I’ll be good. I’ll return to my job and never try to recapture my youth through one night stands again. I fake laughed so hard that I could have won an Oscar.

Later that day I was distracting myself from feeling ashamed by gluing my attention to some mindless reality T.V. show as I tried my best to recover from my hangover. I was doing quite fine when my roommate came home. She walked in and stared at me, huddled under a blanket like a small Navajo child, she did her best not to be annoyed. “So, I heard everything last night” Jesus, God we are not having this conversation right now. “I mean, you woke me up. I can deal with sex noises but it was laughing that I couldn’t stand. I just kept thinking, why doesn’t he just hurry up and F**K her already so she shuts up.” And that is the story of why I attempted suicide. No, I’m kidding but a large part of my dignity did die in that moment. From that arose an enormous amount of confusing feelings. Why were we laughing? Were we laughing together or was I laughing at him? 

I know that you’re all probably expecting me to turn this around and end this piece with a positive, pro-feminist moral but I don’t have one. Regardless, I did learn a number of very important lessons from this experience. The first of which being that I cannot continue to associate certain men with romantic love simply because they knew me at a more innocent time in my life (like the time I slept with my neighbor in an attempt to fit the “girl next door” stereotype. But we won’t get into that). Another obvious lesson would be to never, ever, under no circumstances leave with a guy from Charlie Bear or even enter that God for saken place ever again, but the single most important thing I will take away from this is that I don’t need to prove to myself that I’m still young and wild by sleeping with someone, even if does make a great story.

Hi, I’m Liz Holsinger and I’m a Man Hater.

It’s been said that when I was 10 months old my father was putting me to bed in my crib and in one swift motion I lurched my chubby little arm into the air and grabbed on to his adam’s apple with a death grip. To this day an uneasy look still creeps across his face when ever my mother retells that story. “She looked right into my eyes and there was nothing there. I swear I couldn’t even breathe.” I mean, I let go so I don’t know what he’s still so shaken up about. Then again I guess I also demonstrated some rather unsettling behavior toward my Ken Dolls as well. Instead of my brother ripping the heads off my Barbies, I was ripping the legs and arms off of Ken. After realizing that Barbie no longer had a boyfriend I would shave the head of another and make them date. So really, the fact that I’ve been single my entire life really isn’t such a mystery. But where exactly did this anger come from?

I suppose we could blame it on my mother for letting me watch the movie Bastard Out of Carolina at such an early age but I’m not here to play the blame game. After my last hopeful relationship didn’t work out I’ve been thinking a lot differently than I had been previously. Usually I get my heart broken because he’s selfish, or afraid to commit, or probably gay but as of late I’ve been wondering about what I’m doing wrong. I suppose that first off I’m not really sure how to be in a relationship with men. I’m not even just talking about a romantic relationship either. Not even my male friendships have proven beneficial. If they’re not gay, then they’ve probably tried to sleep with me which really cannot result in a secure platonic relationship. There are of course the few who simply act like women, but in the worst way.

Perhaps learning how to be and feel comfortable around men was something that all the other little girls learned to do along with french braiding each other’s hair. Was this what I missed at all of those sleepovers I wasn’t invited to in middle school? By the end of high school I had finally shed my training bra and began to move up in the world. I learned how to be sexual with men, that was easy. All you had to do was add alcohol. It wasn’t enjoyable in the least, but it was easy. I assumed that like in the movies, sex led to love and relationships. I learned that it doesn’t work that way, which was a rather awkward lesson. Somewhere along the line I developed a severe distrust and disdain for the opposite sex. I wore my hatred as proudly as I wore my chunky gold earrings, which were also not a good look. If pain and anger are left alone to stew inside of you, they will undoubtedly grow into a bigger problem than you may be ready to deal with. Let me be your example. Living with hatred is like not being able to figure out why your fire alarm is going off, it’ll drive you crazy.

Earlier this week I found myself in this weary position yet again and in the midst of my chain smoking and man bashing my cousin stopped me, “There really isn’t anything wrong with you, you’re great. You just keep attracting guys who don’t want to be serious with you. You have these wonderful relationships with women but you can’t apply them to men, do you know why? Because your man-hating mantra is playing loud and clear even when you don’t know it!” Wow, this may have been the wisest thing she had ever said to me, besides perhaps the time she said, “Sometimes I get so angry I could just bite a brick wall!” But she had a point, a good one. There’s a certain deepness in me that will not remove itself. It’s holding me back and keeping me at a distance from what I truly desire.

It’s not easy letting go of the past in order to create a better future. Sometimes I’ll wake up on a really great day and I’ll feel full of love. However, just as I allow myself enough kindness to smile at the stranger sitting across from me on the bus, he has already taken my gesture too far and begun to fondle his balls in my direction. Hatred for man kind, one. Faith in strange men, zero. Now, I know neither this man nor the other creepy men I’ve encountered at my various retail jobs are the same men with whom I’d form relationships with, but nonetheless it’s unsettling. Either way, I’ve realized that it’s not my love for Ani Difranco and Jewel, my passion for feminism, or even my shamelessness that prevents me from being in a healthy relationship. It’s the negative energy that I’m constantly releasing which keeps the boys at bay. As hard as it may be, I’m committed to changing my ways. I’ll even refrain from bashing the men I’ve slept with. Well, maybe I shouldn’t make too many promises.

Who Benefits, From Being Friend’s With Benefits?

Oh Hollywood, you did it again! You managed to take casual sex and turn it into a slew of romantic comedies. As if young girls weren’t already misguided enough on the matters of love and sex, you threw in Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake to really shake things up! Oh, but this is much more realistic than those When Harry Met Sally romantic comedies, isn’t it? I mean everyone’s had a friend with benefits, haven’t they? I have, but unfortunately my own stories have never ended with running into each others arms and professing our undying love for one another. Instead, they usually end with lots of drunken crying, mostly from me.

So let’s discuss this strange phenomenon. This confusing place between love and friendship. For those of you who may not know, a friend with benefits is someone you have fun with. It’s someone who you share common interests with, care about enough to consider a friend, and are attracted enough to sleep with. Friends with Benefits is a concept that I still haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around. For me, this is usually the stand-in. The person you otherwise use until someone you truly feel a romantic connection with comes along. In which case, you must seize all the sexy-time nonsense and go back to being “just friends”. Let me tell you that this can make parties and casual hang outs really awkward for both the friend and the new romantic partner.

For me, sleeping with a friend usually starts with a slip up resulting from way, way too many lemon drops. It’s when I continue sleeping with him that I really know I’m in trouble. It took me a long time to realize something really important about myself. Which was, I cannot have casual sex. I either don’t enjoy it at all or I become completely attached. Either way, there can be serious consequences for someone like me. One problem was that for so long I really believed I could be like everyone else. Which makes me wonder, who else out there is faking it?

For almost two years I had a “friend” with benefits and it was SHIT. Not shit because he wasn’t a great friend, or because the sex we had wasn’t good. It was shit because I wanted to punch every girl in the face who talked to him, I wanted to punch him in the face for not falling completely in love with me like I felt she should have, and I wanted to punch myself in the face for having absolutely no willpower. The real problem was that we didn’t begin our relationship as friends, we began romantically but he didn’t want to become exclusive with me. So with broken pride I turned my back and walked away. Though, somehow we kept finding each other again. This would’ve been fine had we began a real friendship and allowed the sexual aspect of things to fall away, but of course we didn’t. So with that it continued. I fell harder and harder under the guise of, “He doesn’t matter…it’s not like that…we’re just friends.” But that’s not really how I was feeling at all. So why couldn’t I just be honest? I really felt like I could maintain this friendship as it was. I really tried to convince myself that I was unattached but the only person I was fooling was myself. It took being apart from him for some months for me to finally realize what I was doing to myself.

When did the separation of love and sex become normal and everyday? We hear songs on the radio, and see T.V. programs that glorify random hook-ups and advertise the normalcy of sex with out attachment. As if everyone is capable and should be having it. But unfortunately, life is not a movie. If it was, Heath Ledger would have never died and instead he would pick me up, spin me around and we would run off into the sunset together. Yes, this is actually I fantasy of mine, judge me. Movies may depict real life, but real life barely ever depicts the movies. You cannot pretend that you are a certain way, just because you feel like you have to be.

I though that as a feminist I could be sexually liberated and sleep with whomever I wanted to just like a man. I was wrong, neither being sexually liberated nor being a feminist encourages you to become deaf to what your heart is telling you. I learned a lot about myself through my experience. He taught me a lot about intimacy and I wouldn’t change any of it, but I wouldn’t relive it either. Learn from listening to yourself and not from listening to the media. They’re just there to blow smoke up your ass. So who benefits from friend’s with benefits? The one who doesn’t get attached could perhaps. However my advice to someone who doesn’t want a relationship but still wants to have sex, learn to masturbate because it’s a lot less complicated.