How is it that I’ve happily been to dozens of parties that celebrate the result of two people fornicating, yet no one has once thrown me a bash for all the sex I’m having?!
Our calendars are consistently stacked with events dedicated to those procreating or creating a new life together, but what about those of us creating in other ways? Child-free and spouse-free people have already started to take matters into their own hands—registering for home goods for milestone birthdays or throwing themselves parties for career achievements—but what if we normalized invitation-worthy affairs, disconnected from marriage and children? Here’s a look at a long-overdue rebrand of beloved traditional celebrations (i.e. engagement parties, gender reveals, wedding receptions, etc.) into playful, poignant, plausible shindigs everyone can dig.
The Aunt-iversary Party
Everyone under 12 is obsessed with you. You bring the best gifts. You tell the best stories. You roll in ready to toast the 3-year-old’s sippy cup with a canned cocktail, and roll right out after 52 rounds of peek-a-boo. You’re a crucial pillar in any group’s dynamic—always prepared to entertain and protect. (Unless, of course, you’re hungover from the date with the Bumble match who also had a picture captioned “not my baby.”) The aunt-iversary party is a celebration of the cool, fun, wild aunt’s freelance commitment to all their nieces and nephews (honorary or hereditary), and the perfect pregame before your next date.
Party tip: Let your tiniest fans invite their friends, but only the ones with available single dads.
Sure, it’s better to give, but it’s also incredibly satisfying to receive. And look at that—you just received life-changing career news, an award, a degree, a raise, a promotion, an acceptance, a clean bill of health, a book deal, a giant check, or the best “yes” of your life, so it’s time to revel in your ascent to the next level at the coveted reception-reception. Order the champagne fountain, the queso fountain, the regular fountain—any kind of fountain, really—and tell the DJ to turn it up, because we’re celebrating you making moves on and off the dance floor.
Party tip: In the spirit of a classic reception activity, toss a copy of your latest achievement behind you, then watch as friends and family hurl their bodies in all directions to catch it, in hopes of being next.
The (Social Media) Engagement Party
Your latest selfie got 527 likes. Your tweet about happy hour went viral and six enemies from high school messaged you to say, “You’re famous!” A celeb shared your amusing article, emotional essay, tipsy TikTok, or poignant photo. All you can think is: This is what it must feel like when a Kardashian soft-launches a new boyfriend. Offline milestones are pleasing and paramount, but you’re crushing it online, so let’s crush some cocktails to memorialize your mentions. Send out the engagement announcements now!
Party tip: Register for a gift certificate to a relaxing, remote retreat for a brief respite from your retweets.
The Sex Reveal
Oh, boy—another gender reveal? No way, baby. This is a Tinder reveal! While married friends assume you’re having bad luck (because there hasn’t been a boyfriend reveal), you’re actually having a lot of bed luck. At this illuminating and risqué soirée, guests won’t find blue smoke from a monster-truck pipe or pink explosions that might set a small town aflame. You’ll simply be delivering a rousing report about your recent fruitful sexcapades, showcasing some of your brutally attractive, intimately-acquainted right-swipes, and eating cake while astonished attendees applaud your provocative prowess.
Party tip: Maybe don’t invite grandma to this one.
The Therapy Shower
You had a breakthrough, breakdown, or breakup. Your therapist declared you her funniest client. You finally did the challenging action the doc suggested—and it worked! You’ve been feeling yourself and feeling your feelings, and you deserve to feel appreciated and showered by your most trusted companions for the palpable progress. Fun games include: Guess My Co-Pay, Never Have I Ever (Told My Therapist…), Truth or Truth, and Attachment-Style Charades.
Party tip: Since you’ll be spilling some positive mental-health gossip (even though your therapist suggested you stop oversharing), the only reasonable theme is “tea party.”
The Literal Bachelorette Party
Why is it that soon-to-be-married people get to have bawdy bashes for being bachelors and bachelorettes when that’s kind of your thing? It’s time for your crew to celebrate you saying, “I do!” to… well, you. Get on board the party bus, fill up your Solo cup, and secure the novelty dick straws, because you’re feeling cocky about unmarried bliss. Being single? In this economy?! Truly a feat that deserves a fête.
Party tip: Update traditional bachelorette signage like LAST FLING BEFORE THE RING and ONE PENIS FOREVER to JUST AN AVERAGE SATURDAY NIGHT and AS MANY PENISES AS YOU WANT.
Image: Lucas Ottone /Stocksy.com
Gender reveals: a party to reveal your kids’ junk while they’re still unborn. Gender reveals are a relatively new phenomenon that has already caused significant damage to both the environment and the general sanity of people like me, who keep getting invited to them and then having nightmares about being enveloped in a cloud of blue smoke while people chant “BOY! BOY! BOY!” into my face. Not only do gender reveals typically involve bad cake and a criminal amount of colored glitter, but they’ve also become an obsession with couples who don’t think having a dry baby shower and forcing us all to buy washcloths with ducks on them and then pretend we’re excited to paint a f*cking onesie is enough to properly celebrate their successful bout of unprotected sex.
The most recent cause of the aforementioned environmental damage was inadvertently caused by a couple in California, who set off a pyrotechnic device in San Bernardino county that ignited nearby brush and started one of the many wildfires burning in my home state. That wildfire has already burned more than 14,000 acres and evacuated hundreds of people from their homes, adding insult to injury, since the reason it started was completely unnecessary. Even the woman who is largely credited with inventing the gender reveal party, blogger Jenna Karvunidis, has spoken out about the ways in which what started as a cute, fun event for family has morphed into chaotic, sometimes hazardous situations, saying “Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.” I couldn’t say it better. But I’m happy to add my own twist to the breakdown of why gender reveals, as they stand as now, need to end.
1. It’s Not Even A Gender Reveal, It’s A Sex Reveal
You’re not even calling it what it really is! You are announcing what genitals your baby has based on your doctor’s best guess with an ultrasound probe. Gender, on the other hand, is literally the cultural and social expression of a person’s sex, which can be revealed in a wide variety of ways and to different degrees. Girls liking pink and boys liking blue is an example of a stereotypical gender assumption that we’ve largely grown past (well, some of us). There is no way to assume or predict the way your child’s gender identity will assert itself until they’ve been, ya know, BORN, and had time to figure that out on their own. But it freaks people out to call it a sex reveal because it sounds creepy and weird, which should tell you something. And that thing is: Announcing your baby’s genitals with a powder cannon you shoot into the air is weird and creepy.
2. Celebrating (Or Being Disappointed By) Your Baby’s Sex Is A Privilege
If I had a nickel for every man in a viral gender reveal clip who throws his hat on the ground as pink confetti falls down around him, I’d be able to buy that inflatable hot tub I’ve had my eye on since the beginning of quarantine. The fact that you’re pregnant at all is an accomplishment and a big one. As a gay woman, I can attest to that. Some of us have to actually pay money and visit a lot of doctors and use a stranger’s genetic material to achieve what a healthy, straight couple can do for free any night of the week in between Selling Sunset episodes. I’m not bitter, or anything, but yeah it stings a little. And it’s not just an ordeal for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are plenty of heterosexual couples who struggle with infertility, or who have to search for alternative methods to create a family for any number of reasons. The point is that yes, healthy pregnancy and a foreseeably healthy baby is absolutely worth celebrating. For some people, a healthy baby is a miracle, period. The sex, and later on, the gender of that child is secondary to that baby’s general health and wellbeing. Being able to be disappointed or excited about your baby’s sex is a privilege that we don’t all share, and that should be recognized.
3. We All Know You’re Just Doing It For Attention
Yeah, I said it. I know this might surprise some folks, but you can find out your unborn baby’s sex, be excited either way and share that news with your family without setting anything on fire or buying a cake with fugly pastel pink fondant. But people can’t resist the urge to share a personal event on Instagram and watch the hate-likes roll in. And that’s fine; in fact, it’s more than fine. I am completely on board with your need for attention, as attention is something I don’t hate either. But disguising it with a genitalia announcement makes it weird. Would you buy a sign that said “VAGINA!”? No? I didn’t think so. Then maybe think again about doing essentially that for online attention. And if you would buy that sign, then go for it. At least you’re acknowledging that it’s a sex reveal and not trying to act like it’s something else.
Images: t.max / shutterstock.com
Holiday parties are usually great. There is always alcohol and general merriment. However, I am incredibly sick of going to the same parties year after year. Like, sorry, Ugly Sweater Parties were super original 10 years ago, and now it’s basically a holiday requirement. Also? Ugly sweaters are just what I wear now in the winter. So every day is ugly sweater day for me. I’m also over Winter Wonderland, masquerades, and formal attire. Before you choose the most generic holiday parties possible, or God forbid, a party where you make your guests do a craft, try some of these more original and way more fun holiday party themes for your party this year.
1. Après Ski
How I long to be the kind of person that goes on luxurious ski trips and wears
obnoxious chic af matchy outfits while getting hammered at the lodge and not skiing. Since I decided to become an artist/writer/broke person as a career, it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. The sacrifices I make for you people. However, you can totally throw a Après Ski holiday party, where everyone dresses in gorg ski lodge attire. Think cute jackets, matching hats and scarves, fur (fake of course, unless you hate animals, in which case die), and trendy snow boots. You can live your ski bunny dreams to your fullest potential without actually having to freeze your ass off on the slopes all day or pretending to enjoy activities. Don’t forget to serve boozy hot chocolate.
2. Cozy Night In
Instead of having your poor guests wear too-tight holiday dresses and three pairs of Spanx while still sucking in for every photo, have a cozy holiday party. Everyone can wear their warmest flannel PJs or onesies, throw blankets all over the floor, and play holiday movies. You can make warming alcoholic beverages like hot toddies and have a bunch of different popcorn and cookies. It’s easily the best way to hang out with your friends when it’s cold outside and you get to wear fluffy socks instead of stilettos.
Maybe it’s because I’m actually The Grinch IRL, but I love the idea of having an anti-holiday party. Everyone must wear black and all decorations must be a “ruined” version of a holiday one, i.e., UV Christmas lights, incorrect animals as reindeer, etc. You can play horror movies in the background and have cute anti-cheer beverages. Everyone gets hammered and complains how much we all really hate the holidays. Think Jessica Biel’s I Hate Valentine’s Day party in Valentine’s Day.
If you really want to show off your pale winter bod, have a Hawaiian themed holiday party. Prepare to blast the heat in your apartment and have everyone wear beach attire. You need some use of your bikini even though it’s December, right? You can serve tropical drinks and play island music and pretend you’re not living in a place with weather.
5. Post-Holiday Drunch
This is my personal favorite of the holiday party themes. Throw a holiday recovery brunch. Everyone gets drunk and bitches about how insane their family is. As a person that comes from an extremely crazy family, I need this, guys. Pretty much everyone has some drama around the holidays, so nursing your hangover with mimosas and comparing war stories is not only super entertaining, but will make you feel so much better. Who even cares that your ex got engaged or that you’re now the fat sister when you’re commiserating with friends?
It’s fine, guys, I’m fine.
So when you’re planning on making all your friends dress up and come to your place to get sh*t faced, try one of these holiday party themes that you haven’t seen on Instagram for the past five years.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)
I can already anticipate all the backlash to this article (I announce to my three readers). People of different genders can be friends without being attracted to each other, When Harry Met Sally set us all back decades, blah blah blah. Ideologically, I want to and kind of do believe all that. But I was also single for basically the entirety of college, better known as the four horniest years of everyone’s life. So, I can tell you with complete confidence that single women competing for male attention are among the most vicious, scheming creatures on this earth. If you are a heterosexual woman in your twenties, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you have at some point toed the line of acceptable behavior with a guy in a relationship. Similarly, you’ve likely felt threatened by a female friend who you suspected would rather see your relationship fall apart.
Then again—purely statistically speaking, definitely not from experience—you’ve probably also ruined, or at least damaged a relationship by being a jealous psycho when nothing was going on. So, from my vast experience, here are the three signs to let you know that a female friend is actually something to worry about. Read on before sending your 50th passive-aggressive text about Karen from work.
1. She Pretends You Don’t Exist
This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be shocked how many well-meaning boyfriends pretend not to notice don’t notice it. Typically, I allow my close friends to go on five dates MAX before I start angling to meet whoever they’re dating. If your boyfriend has a close female friend who shows zero interest in getting to know you, that probably means she’s busy pretending you don’t exist—and encouraging him to do the same. By never asking to meet you, your boyfriend’s “friend” is, at best, undermining your importance in your boyfriend’s life and subtly implying that you won’t stick around long enough to be worth meeting. At worst, she’s implying that it would somehow be awkward or unthinkable for her to meet you—after all, you wouldn’t introduce one girlfriend to the other, right?
Since you can’t exactly tell what’s going on in her head, here are a few warning signs. If she exclusively invites your boyfriend to hang out one-on-one at bars, date-y restaurants, or activities she knows you’re not into, not great. If he has to ask if he can bring you whenever she invites him to a party, not great. And if, when you arrive at a party with him, she pretends you’re not there while treating your boyfriend like they’re the only two people in the room all night, really really not f*cking great. Finally, if you go out of your way to be friendly to her—DESPITE ALL THIS—and she barely acknowledges you? That’s when you walk out.
Basically, if she’s trying to will you out of existence so she can keep pretending she has your boyfriend all to herself, you have a problem. And if your boyfriend lets her get away with this, you have a sh*tty boyfriend.
2. She Touches Him—Like, A Lot
I am not a total psycho. (Well, I kind of am, but that’s not pertinent here.) I understand that friends make physical contact, and I am not suggesting you burn all your boyfriend’s possessions every time you see him give someone a hug. That being said, if you’re reading this article, I assume you have at some point flirted with a man. You know what friendly touching looks like, and you know what flirty touching looks like.
When it comes to this particular issue, I really encourage you to trust your gut. When I was 17, I spent months watching my best friend “playfully” hit my boyfriend’s chest whenever he made a joke. I was told by everyone I knew to “calm down,” and they were just friends. Even the friend in question just pulled the excuse that she “expressed herself physically.” Lo and behold, six months later I find out they’ve been having secret sleepovers. So no, you can’t exactly require that your boyfriend abstains from any physical contact with other human beings. But if you’re watching someone touch your boyfriend in a way that makes you feel sick, pay attention to that feeling.
3. She Sends Him Emotional Drunk Texts
Again, I understand that friends are there to offer each other emotional support. If she tells him intimate things or goes to him for support after a breakup, that’s not necessarily a red flag. But if she texts him highly affectionate or deeply personal things when her inhibitions are lowered (aka she’s drunk AF), it may be a clue into what she wishes their relationship was like. And obviously, if she texts him anything along the lines of “come over,” you need to have a serious conversation about boundaries.
I’m not going to lie—this was a tough article for me to write. Like, had-to-take-a-walk-around-the-block-and-ward-off-a-full-scale-panic-attack tough. I’ve been cheated on, and I’ve also been the other woman (I think—they didn’t mention their girlfriend for the weeks/months we spoke, but it later sure seemed like a girlfriend existed). So while I really do trust my boyfriend, I’ve seen firsthand how a seemingly happy relationship can be sabotaged from the outside. Is it usually a sign of an underlying problem? Sure. But even if it doesn’t go to the point of cheating—if there’s just another woman in his life who consistently forces your boyfriend to choose between her comfort and yours—it can make the strongest relationship feel shaky.
So, if your boyfriend has a female friend who exhibits the above behaviors, I encourage you to talk it out. No ultimatums, no screaming I WILL CUT THAT B*TCH (just me?). An honest conversation about what would make you feel better, and whether those are steps he’s willing to take. If he refuses to even entertain the conversation, or—*gasp*—calls you crazy, then it’s time to consider how much of the problematic dynamic is actually being caused by your boyfriend.
Images: Giphy (4); Parker Whitson/Unsplash
Giving wine for the holidays is the gift that keeps on giving. Oh, you like to get drunk alone? Here’s some wine. You need a date night with hubs? Here’s your bottle. Shit, did you forget to get a hostess gift for that party coming up and are going to re-gift this bottle I gave you? Whatever—respect.
But getting the right bottle—especially without help from the sometimes creepy sales guy at the wine store—can be a little difficult. Lucky for you, we scoured the internet and found 10 bottles of reds and whites (shit, even some sparkling) that you can get right off Amazon. Bless.
1. Terlano Pinot Bianco DOC
Clean, crisp, and $19? Sign me the fuck up. This white is lovely with seafood and white meat, so it’ll be great for your WASP housewife friends.
2. 2013 Durigutti Cabernet Franc Classico
At only $15.99 and stellar reviews, this is a solid choice if your gift recipient is into reds. It goes perfectly with meat since it brings intense red berry and earthy notes to each glass.
3. Produttori del Barb Nebbiolo
Give this shit if you want to appear uber fancy without like, actually spending as if you’re fancy. Tell your recipient to serve this up with stuffed pasta, since this Italian red is like, literally made for carbs and cheese.
4. NV Gruet Brut, Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine
Need a hostess gift for a New Year’s party? This shit is only $16.99 and super well rated. Dry and crisp with notes of citrus, this shit is a fantastic gift to make people think you know anything about wine.
5. 2015 Casal de Armán Ribeiro DO Red Blend
Is your recipient kind of weird but overly into wine? Buy them this $15 red blend. It has high acid but is well rounded with herbal and red fruit aromas. Gift it with a bar of dark chocolate and you’ll seem really in the know.
6. 2016 Gouguenheim Malbec Mendoza
Malbecs are like, super trendy at the moment (I assume), and this is a super delish one for the $13 price tag. Goes nicely with grilled meat and roasted veggies and offers vanilla and hints of blueberry.
7. 2015 Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc
This white is described as bold and racy and, honestly, same. It’s also only $17, so you can even keep this bold racy shit for yourself for a lady’s night in.
8. NV Gruet Sauvage Blanc de Blancs, Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine
If you need a wine to yourself that reminds you of the bubbly sweet shit you chugged in college, grab this. At only $20 and with a cool bottle to boot, you honestly need to stock up on this for impromptu girls’ nights.
Images: Guillermo Nolasco / Unsplash; Amazon (8)https://unsplash.com/photos/oC5NGvN3FOo
EDM duo The Knocks visited Betches HQ to talk to us about partying while playing Tequila or Water. B-Roc and JPatt have a new song called “House Party” with Captain Cuts, and it’s got some serious 70s, Studio 54 vibes, which is so on trend rn. I want to listen to this song with a disco ball; that is a requirement now. Obviously, we had to invite one of our favorite friends, tequila, to the interview. Tequila or Water is a game where a “who is more likely to” question is asked and then whoever decides is most likely (duh) has to take a shot. Whether that shot is tequila or water is the part that makes this interview not like a regular interview but a cool interview. Right
Regina Betches? Decisiveness is not my strong suit, but damn do The Knocks have that trait down. We had these men reaching for shots like their lives depended on it. Teach me your ways when I’m trying to order Seamless or answer the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” Check out the full video below to find out which member of The Knocks is more likely to go home with you a phone number:
It’s officially September which means all the basic fall shit is upon us. And sure, it’s not technically fall until the 20th but tell that to Starbucks and this perfect weather. It’s fucking fall. And while there’s plenty of basic autumn, pumpkin-themed shit to go around, there’s nothing on this earth more basic than all the fall weddings you’re about to being going to. The colors, the brides themselves, the fucking leaves everywhere. It never ends. So to get you ready for fall wedding season, we’re telling you what each fall wedding trend says about you (or your friends so you can judge the shit out of their basic af wedding).
1. S’more Station
If you’re a s’more bride, you’re a pretty standard betch. You’re not overly cool but not too extra. In fact, you probably find yourself in the middle of the pack a lot. Not the prettiest of your squad, but not the DUFF either. Not the most successful person at work, but not a total loser. You’re exceptionally average at everything. After you’re married a few years, you’ll move to the suburbs and start popping out kids. Lucky for you, being the middle friend usually means you’re everyone’s favorite so you’ll still be able to have somewhat of a social life.
Oh look. The hipster bride. You know we had to fit you in here somewhere. You probably chose the fall to get hitched because of the warm aura of the colors and the good energy it will give your marriage. You quickly realized that despite the good vibes, fall brings a lot of basic options, which your fellow hipster friends would turn their beanie’d heads at. Enter sunflowers. They’re an autumn-y color but people don’t automatically think fall because sun equals summer. Fucking duh. When you’re not busy brewing your own kombucha, you work for a nonprofit and will eventually have one kid and name it something stupid and they get made fun of at school. Way to go.
3. Caramel Apples
If this is you, you’re weird af. Sorry. Someone had to tell you. Like the hipster bride, you’re trying hard not to be basic, but instead of pretty sunflowers, you picked something bizarre that no one likes. Eat a messy, sticky apple on a stick while trying to go home with the best man keep your lipstick and full face of contour intact? No fucking thanks. Once you get back from your honeymoon hiking the Grand Canyon, you’ll buy a tiny house and compost and other weird shit.
4. Pompoms From Your Alma Mater
Back in the day, you were def the BSCB of your group. Tbh, everyone at your wedding is surprised you’re getting married at all because in college the idea of one dick for the rest of your life would have sent you into depression-induced coma. You decided on pompoms because it’s your last-ditch effort to hold on to your happier, drunker college days. Same tho. You have a career in sales now because you can still get wasted all the time and make a lot of money. You and your husband are total bros and in a few years will be all your middle-aged friends’ favorite couple to host Bunco because they always get shitty when they’re at your place.
5. Pumpkin Spice Latte Bar
You’re as basic of a betch as they come. In college you were the pledge educator and loved taking care of your sorority babies and wearing all your Greek gear around campus. Every year, you post the exact same Instagram about your first PSL of the year, so it’s no surprise that when you decided on fall to get married that a pumpkin spice latte bar was a must. In your adult life, you’re a teacher or something else nice and innocent but not for long because you’re probs getting knocked up within a year of your wedding day and will be a stay-at-home mom.
6. Long-Sleeved Gown
If the only slightly fall-ish thing you do at your wedding is wear a weather-appropriate dress then you’re one of the few classic and sophisticated fall brides, a real rare find. In fact, you’re probably getting married in the fall because it made sense based on when you got engaged, not because you’re weirdly obsessed with the season. In college, you found yourself somewhere in the middle, not a total nice girl but not a BSCB either. Once you graduated, you got a good job, like a marketing exec or lawyer, and probs met your future spouse at a bar during office happy hour. You’ll wait a while to have kids because you don’t want to give up your lifestyle, but don’t worry. You won’t. By the time that comes, you’ll be able to afford at least two nannies.
Ah, July 4th—a holiday created so that Americans can fondly remember the time they threw off the yoke of tyranny and oppression so they could do whatever the fuck they wanted including ditching British accents, eating hot dogs, and electing a president not at all qualified to do his job.
If you’ve ever been on the internet during or around an American holiday, you’ve seen patriotic cocktails, i.e., red and white and/or blue cocktails making the rounds.
This shit would make an eagle cry tears of joy and George Washington jizz his pants. With July 4th a few days away, and you likely without anything to make for your guests at this year’s fireworks fucktacular, you better get your shit together and make these tributes to those dudes who signed the declaration. We appropriately adapted the following recipes from the American woman’s bible, Cosmopolitan.
-1 ½ oz. berry flavored vodka
-1 oz. sliced strawberries
-3 oz. spiked seltzer
-2 oz. coconut water
Put the strawberries in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice, vodka, spiked seltzer, and the coconut water. Float some blueberries on top and fuck, it’s America in a glass.
Explosion For America
-¾ oz grenadine
-1 ¼ oz blue curaçao
-1 ½ oz vodka
-1 oz spiked lemonade (like Mike’s or some shit)
Grab a tall-ass glass and pour the grenadine into the bottom. Add ice on top. Super fucking gently pour the curaçao over the grenadine so it lays on top but doesn’t really mix. In a cocktail shaker filled with more ice, combine the vodka and spiked lemonade, then gently strain that mixture over the curacao. If you did it right, you have some really patriotic shit going on.