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Paradoxical Rant

Well, it only took hooking up with six random guys for me to realize…

I’m worth more than just the promise of a text.
I’m worth more than someone who “thinks” they know me after one encounter.
I deserve someone who remembers my name – not because we kissed but because he enjoyed my company.
I deserve someone who won’t just tell me what I want to hear.
I deserve someone who goes out of his way to make my day a little nicer.
I’m worth more than grinding on the dance floor.
I’m worth more than mindless, heartless interactions.
I deserve someone who wakes up in the morning with me on his mind (and who falls asleep with me in his heart).
I deserve someone who openly acknowledges and recognizes my worth.
I deserve someone who will want to be with me longer than just one dance, just one kiss, just one night.
I deserve someone who deserves me.

Now I’m not saying this lucky guy should kiss the ground I walk on literally, but I do love myself. I know what I’m worth. Does he?

I made this list on November 4, 2012. Three months later, except for the addition of one more boy in my hookup history, nothing has changed. I’m still wrought with the same confusion, the same conflicts, the same drama.

Only now, I’ve realized my problem is not just being worth more than a hookup, it’s that I don’t always convey to people I know my worth.

I’m a walking paradox.

I like to dance on chairs, tables, raised platforms, etc. On the surface, you could see a party girl who is having too much fun. But, if you knew me, you would know I dance all the time, I’ve been dancing since I was six and I love being the center of attention. So, dancing on my pedestal instead of just standing there is more fun sometimes. (Or not.)

I like to kiss boys. Sue me. It’s fun to meet a cute guy, have him get close to you, be electrified by every insignificant touch leading up to the kiss. It’s why I love rom-coms: the buildup, the work. But that doesn’t mean I want to do it all the time. Sometimes, if I meet a cute guy at a party, I just want to dance with them, get to know them and simply have a successful interaction with a male. Is that too much to ask?

I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m that girl who goes out on Saturday night, does the aforementioned activities and then goes to church on Sunday. I’m no “Bible-beater,” but I did go to an all-girl, private Catholic high school.

So, guys: With all these mixed signals coming at you, it’s not entirely your fault you don’t know what I want. Sometimes, I barely know that myself.

I want to go out, meet new people and dance like a fool. But then, while I’m out, I meet a cute guy, try to impress him and I turn into someone I’m not. Then, in reaction to losing myself, I give up on boys completely and have too many girls’ nights. And finally, I get so bored with staying in, constantly painting my nails and watching rom-coms that I’m dying to go out all over again.

I’m just stuck in this endless, confusing cycle of trying to find the right guy in all the wrong places while giving the wrong guys the wrong impressions and then wondering why I’m still looking for the right guy.

See what I’m saying? Now you’re just as confused as I am.

Brooke Carter: Hook-up horror stories

My roommate Noelle* and I were grocery shopping the other day, and while looking at some cheap Valentine’s Day paraphernalia, she sighed and said to no one in particular, “Why is Valentine’s Day even a thing?”

Here’s the deal: Noelle and I are both single, and we thoroughly enjoy it. We go out when and where we want and do ridiculous things in public without fear of judgment. So why does V-Day make us feel so … shitty?

I try not to be bitter around Feb. 14 because it’s such a cliché, but it’s hard not to be when the guy you dated in middle school denies he ever knew you or when your hookup history includes a guy who asked mid-coitus, “Do you like John Mayer?”

To quell those feelings of insecurity and loneliness that inevitably creep up on us, I would like to share two tales of “romance” that might ease your suffering and make you think that maybe being single isn’t so bad.

The story of The Bleeder

I want to start off with the most cringe-worthy tale in my repertoire. Last year, I met an older guy named Alex* at a party. As the night was winding down, we decided to head back to his place for an adult slumber party.

Alex is not an ordinary fellow. Unlike most college boys just trying to get it in, Alex does not have sex unless he is in a committed relationship. Since this was not the case, most of the night was spent with our hands in each other’s pants. Not great.

Suddenly, a weird look crept across his face, and he immediately stopped everything and bolted out of bed. Totally freaked out, I debated putting my clothes back on and leaving until Alex came back … with tissues. 

Because he just had a nosebleed. 

On my face.

You would think that after this little incident, I’d never want to see this guy again. You would be incorrect. We hooked up on and off for a while, where he proceeded to bleed on me two more times.

Recent update: Alex now has a girlfriend, and I am still single.

The story of ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Bobby* was a cute friend of a friend who I met two summers ago at the beach. He was shy and sweet, and I could tell from his demeanor that he was inexperienced.

Whenever I encounter a boy of this variety, my brain immediately says, “Corrupt him, Carter. Corrupt him now.”

But don’t worry. This story doesn’t end the way you think.

One night, we left a party together to go back to our mutual friend’s beach house. While everyone else had passed out on the couch, Bobby and I went into my room and started making out. And it was bad.

First of all, he had cottonmouth. Kissing him was akin to making out with a vacuum cleaner (actually, the vacuum scenario probably would have been more pleasurable.)

Second, since Alex was inexperienced, we stuck to simple handiwork. I failed to mention this boy had the longest, skinniest fingers I’ve ever seen. He also may have had untrimmed fingernails, but my memory is hazy.

The only logical explanation for what happened next is that in Bobby’s view, the female anatomy is like the Earth’s stratosphere, and his fingers are like a rocket ship that must gather enough speed to penetrate it and enter outer space. Because that is exactly what he did — over and over and over again.

After a couple of forceful thrusts with his Edward Scissorhand fingers, I was dying and needed to escape. I faked a quick O and focused my attention on him, where he proceeded to shout, “Oh, man,” until he finished. 

I then promptly kicked him out of my room.

My girlfriends now refer to this gentleman as “The Jackhammer.”

While these stories are not ones I’m likely to pass on to my grandchildren, these are stories that must be shared, my sexual friends. And while not all of us have a Valentine this year, take solace in the fact that masturbation never disappoints, unlike that dipshit significant other who forgot to make romantic dinner reservations.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and etc.

The “boy”cott

I’m on a boy boycott, also known as a “boy”cott. I know, it sounds crazy, but I’ve simply managed to abstain from boys in every respect. Currently, my view of them is simply that they exist. It may seem harsh or other worldly, but its what needed to happen.

I have had a lot of people ask me, “What?! A boy boycott? Why would you ever cut boys out of your life?” But I’ve also had a lot of girls tell me, “That is such a good idea. I seriously need to do that.”

And the reason for their agreement with me is this: we all need time to figure out what we want instead of just settling for what we get.

And that’s exactly what this period was, a time of self-reflection in order to figure out how I wanted boys to fit into my life. What did I want from these fellas?!

And I realized what I wanted while I was dancing with a guy at a frat house, of all places.

As we were dancing, he lowered his cheek so that it touched mine…I knew this move, and I knew what could possibly come next. And I really did not want to end up on Mizzou Makeouts.

But not only was it the fear of ending up on that dreaded Twitter feed that stopped me from mistakenly making out with this guy, but the fact that I simply did not want to. He was not what I wanted!

Yeah, sure, the opportunity to get some free, no-strings-attached action presented itself plain as day in front of my face, but all I could think about was my “boy”cott: what did I want?

And then it hit me: what I wanted was not a party-induced makeout but rather something that actual meant something for a change.

It took dancing with some random, quite possibly intoxicated frat guy for me to realize that the “hit it and quit it” lifestyle was not something I wanted to pursue any longer.

So I looked at my girlfriend who was dancing next to me, gave her the signal that we needed to leave, and bid adieu to my gentleman caller.

And just like that, I realized that I am actually the one in control. Just because a guy is ready and willing does not mean the price is right.

And I’ve never been more proud of myself for finally realizing something so simple.

Chasing the perfect girl

I want to marry Lindsay Weir, the girl from “Freaks and Geeks.” If you don’t know who that is, go watch the show. Because if I had a “type,” she’s it.

And that’s the problem.

I base every single girl I meet off her. It’s like I have a checklist of similarities I go through every time I meet a new girl. And of course, no one stacks up. She’s fictional. Made-up. Even if I thought I had met the real-life Lindsay, it still wouldn’t be right. To start with, the first kiss would be off. The moment in the show when Jason Segel’s character and Lindsay finally kiss outshines any romantic moment I will ever have.

I’ve realized television has ruined romance. Shows and movies show dramatic, romantically charged, fast-paced relationships in which over-attachment is somewhat expected. “The Office” insisted I should be funny and have my relationship be a documentary. “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” hinted love can only be found in a mental hospital. “How I Met Your Mother” suggested dating your best friend is the perfect option. And “Skyfall,” well, that just was more inspiration to get with ladies who can’t speak my language.

But “Freaks and Geeks”? The show tells me I need a smart, not overly attractive girl who is absolutely fine staying at home on Halloween rather than going crazy. A girl who doesn’t mind listening to my band play poorly-written songs in a cramped basement. A girl who understands not going to the gym every day is actually a pretty all right way of living. And of course, a brunette with brown eyes who looks great in just normal everyday clothes.

And somehow this option, which seems perfectly realistic, somehow never seems to appear. But it’s because my view of happiness in a relationship has been narrowed to very specific requirements. Though I am walking in a world full of interesting, intelligent and attractive people, I am ignoring all of them because, in my mind, there’s a perfect girl out there. Someone I haven’t met yet.

And though there may be a perfect girl, who’s to say she’s not the blonde in my math class? Maybe I’ll find an exact copy of my crush from “Freaks and Geeks,” but more likely, I’ll be even happier with someone completely different. And real.

Relationships A-Z: C, D and E

C is for Chivalry

Chivalry is not dead. Now I realize that’s a pretty broad claim, but its completely true. Though I should clarify, while chivalry may not be dead, it is absolutely dying. While it is still possible to find a guy who is the definition of a gentleman, they are few and far between. What happened to the days where men would open car doors and offer their arm when walking into a room? All I want is a few gentleman callers and some old-fashioned courting, is that so much to ask? Clearly us girls all need to move to the South.

D is for Distance

Whoever said, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was seriously deranged. Coming from a girl who has experienced a long distance relationship first hand, they suck. Now, I’m not saying they’re impossible, because they’re not … they just take a lot of work. If two people aren’t willing to put in the work, then I personally don’t believe long distance relationships are worth the pain. However, if there are two people who care about each other enough to put up with the frustration and love each other enough that it’s worth it, I wish them the very best of luck.

E is for Exit Strategy

Picture this: you wake up, look around and realize that this is not your room. You look next to you … And there’s someone in your bed that you swear you’ve never seen before. Now, something tells me that this situation isn’t too hard to imagine for a good majority of college students. Ah, the one night stand. It seems like such a great idea until you wake up and realize you need to get out without waking your new friend. Honestly, it’s not that difficult. Just get out. Get out and don’t look crazy. Get your stuff and run. Oh, and try your best to not end up on Mizzou Shackers … Good luck.

Brooke Carter: dry spells, anorgasmia and sex toys

There is a Missouri drought happening in my pants.

I am going crazy here, guys. The last time this girl got any action was over the summer, and it’s now October. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to compare this dry spell I’m currently suffering to the 1930s Dust Bowl.

That being said, of course I have needs. Thus I have become bosom buddies (vagina buddies?) with my battery-powered secret friend, whom my dear friend Sasha* has nicknamed “Lars.”

Before I met Lars, I was a part of the 10 to 15 percent of women who could not orgasm under any circumstance. No matter how hard my guy or I tried, I just couldn’t get there. It was awful and frustrating, and I thought I was going to die an orgasm virgin.

Then along came Lars.

Lars is gigantic and purple and wonderful. He has a studded shaft that spins at the touch of a button and a “rabbit tickler” with seven vibration speeds. Seven.

When Lars and I first became acquainted, I was a little intimidated by his sheer size and power. After I made the purchase, my gutter-minded girlfriends asked me every single day if I had used it yet, but for several weeks I was too scared to play with the purple dinosaur.

Eventually, the desire to climax overpowered my fear of complete vaginal obliteration by this enormous artificial dong. I went for it. And it was a failure.

Gentlemen, a word of advice: sticking it in and vigorously thrusting will not get your lady off. At all. Anyone who says differently is lying.

Once I wrapped my mind around that, I decided to turn my focus to his Peter Cottontail attachment. Only then did my three-year pursuit of the elusive orgasm end.

What I’ve learned after trying for what felt like forever to get myself off is this: the act of achieving orgasm for women is much more mental than physical. If you want to go over the moon, you first need to get out of your head. Any insecurity or anxiety you have while hooking up will make you feel unsexy and unable to focus on the pleasure, and that will ultimately lead to disappointment.

For the longest time, I was so intent on faking an orgasm to make my guy feel good about himself that it would be all I could focus on. The actual pleasure I was experiencing took a backseat to my Meg-Ryan-diner-scene routine.

If you’re like me and find the pressure of giving an Oscar-worthy performance in the sack hindering your pleasure, try going solo. No pressure, no time constraints, no one to answer to but yourself. Plus, once you know what you want, it’s less stressful and much easier to tell your partners what to do.

Can’t seem to find a technique that rocks your world? Buy a vibrator. Seriously. The people at Spencer’s were extremely helpful and professional when I bought Lars. If Internet anonymity is more your thing, there are hundreds of adult toy sites to choose from and many promise discreet packaging.

All that said about the joys and miracles of masturbation and sex toys, someone please throw me a bone here. Drunken party grinding sessions just don’t cut it anymore.

Love’s a game, and I suck at it.

The truth is, I only date crazy girls. I do not mean the partiers, the sloppy-seconds or the caffeine-addicted hipsters flipping me off in the morning. I am referring to those that I met streaking on a roof. Or those on suicide watch. Or, you know, those who pulled the classic “I think I have cancer” line when I say we need to break up.

So my taste may be a little odd. I merely begin with this to say that, though I like to think my opinions are valid, the truth is my experience seems to be a continuous rerun of the most awkward moments in chick flicks.

For any painful, crazed, hormonally charged relationship to begin, a couple must venture out upon the dangerous first date. Herein lies one of the most important questions of the relationship, “what outfit should be worn?” What look should be achieved? Does the guy really care at all about fashion?

In a word, no. Simplicity is always best. It saves us men, who are already reduced to stammering imbeciles by the idea of a date, from having to hurt your feelings by not commenting on how well your yellow top goes with your nautical blue jacket. Instead, we can retreat to the safety net of “your face, it’s pretty” and other romantic mumblings.

In reality, the best outfit for any occasion is a sundress. Ask any guy on campus. You can spend hundreds on the perfect accessories and outfit pieces, and they will never match the simplicity of a patterned sundress. Throw a white sweater vest over it if you want.

The same goes for accessories. As one who manages to pick the crazies, nothing shouts “insane” more than a bunch of rings. A small necklace adds a touch of class. Pick out some small earrings. But again, keep it simple. This is a first date. It’s about meeting someone you are considering having a relationship with. You don’t need to show off. You just need to be you.

Gentlemen, I have no words of advice. Wear nice clothes. And avoid girls who show up wearing cat ears. It just never works out.

Relationships A-Z: Hi!

Hey all, glad you could join me on this alphabetical tour of all things sex and relationships. Now you may be wondering, “Why Relationships A-Z?” Well, basically because I’m in love with English, grammar, and everything in between. So naturally, I felt I should combine this blog and my love of English into one big happy family! I could absolutely talk about this love of English for ages, but we’re just going to jump right in.

A is for Anniversaries

Okay, I’m going to be honest; I’ve never really understood the whole “Anniversary” thing. I should clarify. Celebrating your anniversary annually seems perfectly logical to me, but it’s the people who celebrate every single month of their relationship that I find interesting. Why is important that you’ve been in a relationship for six months versus seven? A relationship doesn’t evolve significantly over 30 days, at least not in my opinion. Yes, you grow and learn things together, but the relationship isn’t going to go from one end of the spectrum to the other. Why does society feel the need to acknowledge every minor event these days? Pardon my rant — I’m done now.

B is for Breakups

Okay, first of all, I realize how odd it is to talk about anniversaries and break ups in the same post. Breakups are another thing I don’t really understand though, so I thought it was appropriate. Why do they have to be such a big deal? Yeah, it completely sucks to either break up with someone or get broken up with, but the world isn’t exactly ending. Like all girls, I have that one friend. You know the one I mean, the girl who locks herself in her room and eats chocolate frosting out of the can. How on Earth is that helping anything? Falling into a chocolate coma isn’t going to make your breakup go away. Sorry ladies. Again, pardon my rant — I guess what I’m trying to say here is I fully believe that every girl and guy out there is strong and independent enough that they can survive on their own.

Well, that’s all I have to say for now I suppose. Keep it classy, y’all.

Brooke Carter: Put your hand on my head one more time…

I read an earth-shattering article on Esquire’s website a couple months ago called “The Demise of the Blowjob” that claimed more and more men prefer giving head than receiving it. No longer is it simply common courtesy to go down on one’s partner to secure lip service in return. According to the article, guys actually like eating girls out.

This trend has not caught on with my male friends just yet.

I recently went down on a very well-endowed guy for what felt like hours. The first time I did it with him, I was not prepared for the mouthful that he was packing down there, so it was pretty terrible for both of us. The second time, though, I was better prepared and fully determined to redeem myself.

I was getting into it, making vocalizations so the vibrations from my throat would reach his dick, as well as alternating between sucking, kissing and moving my mouth up and down his shaft. I felt like a fellating world champion.

And then, lo and behold, Josh*, with complete disregard for my gag reflex, places the palm of his hand on my head.

Oh, fuck, I immediately thought.

Then, as expected, Sir Hung-Like-A-Horse starts pushing my head further towards the base of his penis, whilst I focused on breathing through my nose and not crying.

Let me explain to you in dollars and cents, literally, how big this gentleman is. As a dumb guy joke in high school, Josh and his friends decided to see how many quarters they could lay base-to-tip on their erect penises. Josh managed to line 20 quarters along his schlong.

Needless to say, I was literally dealing with a five-dollar-footlong.

I was trying so hard to suck it up (pun intended) and just finish him off and then never go down on him again for fear of death by suffocation. But no such luck. I went down so far that my teeth made contact with skin.

That’s right, everybody. I had committed the ultimate blowjob sin: I bit him.

“OW!” he exclaimed, eyes shooting awake from their euphoric state.

I quickly apologized, turned beet red and attempted to finish the job. Unfortunately, my head was no longer in the game and I gave up.

The moral of the story is this: boys, do not shove your lady friend’s head further down your dick than she already is. Believe me, she’s taking as much as she can in her mouth from the get-go. Should you decide to give your girl a little pushy encouragement, you risk having your penis bitten.

My friend Will*, who also has a larger-than-life dong, says he especially likes it when a girl gags on his penis during fellatio.

“It’s kind of flattering,” he explained.

Ugh. Can’t boys just be content having a girl’s mouth near that area without making them choke on their kickstand?

My final words are for fellows with Thor’s hammer between their legs and the ladies that love them: communication is key. So is knowing your gag reflex tolerance. And remembering to cover your teeth with your lips.

*Names included in this anonymous column have been changed to protect the guilty.

An escape from reality: the anatomy of a summer romance

Summer romances are tricky things. You get caught up in the whirlwind of the moment and the feeling of the freedom. So much of what fuels the summer mind is the prospect of living in the moment, saying yes to things you normally wouldn’t have and hoping what you felt in that exact moment is a feeling that will last forever, like that one Grease song.

Of course, all summer romances differ slightly in their contexts and conceptions, but one thing can be said of all summer loves: they are wonderful and spectacular things. But once August comes, the feelings dwindle, and that moment and the sheer freedom get lost in the routine of normal life.

Why are summer romances so different from ones at any other time of the year? What makes your feelings during hazy summer nights and hot summer days so unique? As college students, summer provides us with the escape from the monotony and predictability of school life. After our last final, a weight is lifted from our shoulders, and we feel the freedom of the absence of routine and the constant demand of schoolwork — at least for the next three months.

You can’t go through your entire break wanting to have a summer romance or fling. Those things just happen. Forcefully trying to create some kind of connection with another person usually turns out disastrous for both. Summer romances are different because they happen by chance. They catch you in your most carefree state, caught up in the haze of the season.

But if you’re looking for opportunities to encounter a possible summer fling, your best bet would probably be at a party. Parties are the best places to meet people. Everyone is carefree and having fun, so this is the easiest place to make a connection.

Say you’re at a bonfire on a hot summer night, chilling with a few of your friends and the friends of those friends. You end up sitting by an engaging and interesting stranger. So, of course, you make small talk. Small talk turns into talking about your interests, and that, in turn, shifts into talking about what you have in common. Thus, a connection is made.

This connection, fueled by the lightness of the season and the extra time you have from not being in school, sparks the flame that is the beginning of a fling. The extra time means you are able to easily balance a romance with the rest of your life because you aren’t too busy. Summer romances are wrapped up in themselves, and you forget come August, your responsibilities return.

This is the downfall of the fling. For most, routine will eventually catch up with you. At the start of the new semester, you’ll both go back to your busy schedules and expectations, and what you based your summer romance around will slowly fade to a memory of that free, passionate feeling until the hazy heat of the next summer rolls around once again.