It has recently come to my attention that I am a massive sexist. I know! I was as shocked as you! I thought I was a Guardian reading, Brian Molko fancying, fairtrade coffee swilling whiny liberal, but it turns out that I prefer men to like boobs and beer and football. Unfortunately we live in a free society and people are allowed to do lots of things that rile me. However, in my secret, private lair I like to get privately cross about boys doing girly activities. If I have ever told you that there’s no such thing as a 'girly' activity and that gender is a construct, I lied. I’m really sorry. In the meantime, if you’re currently in possession of a Smirnoff Ice, a yoga mat, a pair of shoes that cost more than your rent and a willy, you should take a long, hard look at yourself. Here’s why:
If you are drinking a blue drink from a branded bottle and are over the age of twelve, I have to assume that you’re being taken out on the town by your carer. There are woodland creatures more discerning about their choice of beverage than your average alcopops fan. If the man in question is clearly doing it for a bet or just too drunk to see then he is excused, but a seasoned drinker of alcopops can usually be identified by their excessive hair gel. (I don’t know why they don’t drink that instead. It would be tastier.) For some reason, a girl clutching a Bacardi Breezer doesn’t quite anger me in the same way. They make me think fondly of middle aged divorcees trying to recapture their lost youth, or Emily Howard-esque teens having identity crises and thinking that’s what grown up ladies do. But men drinking baby bottle booze? You just look like you’ve never read a book, like you’d quite like to live inside Call of Duty and like you failed the audition for The Jeremy Kyle Show. I would sooner see a grown man pounding a pint and a big bag of Haribo than watch one knocking back sugary, technicolour oven cleaner.
If you are drinking a blue drink from a branded bottle and are over the age of twelve, I have to assume that you’re being taken out on the town by your carer.
I know anyone who does yoga is a bit of an idiot, myself included. But at least I have the decency to be crap at it. British men have no business being publicly good at an Eastern discipline – what happened to hiding your light under a bushel guys? To be honest, I only want guys to be good at man-sports. You know, the pushing, shoving, grunting ones. Darts. Let Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor be your guide.
Now picture the scene. You’re trapped in a concrete bunker of an office block in Canary Wharf. You’re in a small, bright, mirrored room that smells of feet. The temperature is 40 degrees centigrade and you’re lying flat on a horrible towel that you accidentally bought somewhere in the Canaries. A tall, half naked man walks to the front of the room. With a flourish, he lays down a special yoga towel, bends over and stands on his head. For about twenty minutes. If you were to ask him why, he would probably explain that when he went on his Indian Mission of Self Discovery his spiritual guru told him that all the blood must be brought to the head in order to cleanse the chakras. But really, it is because he is a massive show off. Yoga boys have all spent time finding themselves in far flung corners of the world, which is funny because they were all born and raised in Surrey. If they really want to discover their Id, they should start by looking up their own arse.
Personally, I’d quite like it if everyone shut the fuck up about their fucking shoes. Yeah, they’re nice things to buy and have and wear, and I don’t believe in the idea that high heels are symbols of male oppression, invented to keep us shackled and hobbling. But I’m pretty sure the myth of the shoe obsessed woman was invented by a man, based on nothing but the fact that every single conversation I’ve had about owning footwear has been with a boyfriend, a well meaning boy mate or my dad. Which is mildly irritating, but you know, whevs. But then you have the potential boyfriend who sent me pictures of himself naked but for a pair of Lobb’s loafers. And encouraged me to masturbate, thinking of him wearing the shoes. Urgh. Needless to say, I did not pursue things. I know an otherwise entirely lovely boy who drove me to exasperated tears one Saturday searching for Superdry sneakers in a specific slate grey. Half a precious weekend wasted on bloody trainers. And then there’s the man who made me wait in a cinema foyer for an hour because it was raining and he didn’t want to get his Gucci shoes wet. If you didn’t spend all your money on your feet, there would be cash for cabs, no? I’ve nothing against a boy who likes nice shoes. But if it’s an obsession, I’d rather be out with someone in socks and sandals.
Don’t tell a girl that you don’t want to sleep with her just yet because she’ll think you’re a big slut. Because she’ll feel like a big slut.
Not Wanting A “Reputation”
This whole concept bothers me. When you meet someone you really like, you should fancy them enough to want to shag them insensible before they’ve got out the Tube exit. Surely the difference between a slag and a saint is greater than timing. There are all sorts of reasons to wait until you’ve got to know someone a bit better, but not putting out because you fear they’ll think less of you isn’t one of them.
Since the dawn of time we women have been slinking back to our caves in skimpy mammoth hides, paranoid the object of our affection won’t return our calls (or, you know, messages carved on rocks. I have no idea) because we had them at hello. This is shit, but we have been culturally conditioned to our core to feel deeply ashamed of sex, our bodies and everything in between. Whatever. We’re working on it. But when everyone from the people at Nuts Magazine to Nadine Dorries is keen to tell us that the male sexual impulse is the same as the old Martini slogan, 'Boys Who Want to Wait' seem a bit...Weird.
You can’t even tell people about it. If you’ve been hooking up with a lad who wants to “get to know you as a person first”, EVERYONE assumes it’s code for gay, no matter how good the kissing is. And while it’s much, much better to be with a guy holding out for date three, than a guy who’s scarily keen to beat a path to a lady’s Foux de Fafa, we all want to think we’re irresistible. So, say you’ve got an early meeting, pretend you’ve put your back out, arrange to be meeting your Mum first thing the next morning. But don’t tell a girl that you don’t want to sleep with her just yet because she’ll think you’re a big slut. Because she’ll feel like a big slut.
Eating Salad For Supper
When I go out for dinner, I really just want a pie. A pie with a steak inside. And chips and gravy. So when my date looks up at the waitress, pats their midriff and says they “better have a salad” I want to cry.
I still remember my first lunch with fellow mag-hags. When the nice man came to take our order I asked for a burger, and was too busy trying to work out who was drinking a G&T and who just had lemonade, to listen to what people were planning to eat. Twenty minutes later I was surrounded by a sea of Caesar salad (with dressing on the side.) I stood out like a big beefy beacon. I did the sensible thing and ran away, stopping at the bar for more gin. I was prepared to write the experience off as girl pack behaviour.
Obviously it’s bad when women choose to eat leaves because they think tastier food will make them fat, and obviously, some people really enjoy a fresh, delicious salad. But eating out is meant to be a treat. And boys are meant to eat kebabs and cow pie. As soon as a guy starts whining about pasta bloat, I stop having a lovely time with him and start worrying that he’s going to judge me for putting marmalade on my toast, or even eating bread in the first place. The link between food and sex has been explored before – it can be as tender as chocolate fondant or filthy as a Zinger Tower. If a man chooses to eat soggy iceberg lettuce when he’s out with me, I have to assume that he’s going to be a bit limp. Weirdly, when men go on those protein only diets that involve eating chicken every three hours, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Especially when I can swipe their Nando’s loyalty cards.
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