There are a lot of major firsts in a person’s life, from their first big job to their first real relationship (…to the first time they got fired from said real job and dumped from said real relationship). And while yes, careers and partners are important, the bigger—and dare I say, much more fun to talk about—milestones stem from sex. I don’t know about you, but when my friends tell stories about their careers or the person they’ve been married to for five years, my eyes glaze over. But when it’s about that wild hookup they had in college? I’m all ears, taking notes. And my all-time favorite hookup stories are always ones that involve an extra person. Enter: the not-so-mythical threesome.
Now, ICYMI, threesomes aren’t exactly as taboo as Gossip Girl once made them seem. In fact, lots of people are having them. People who like, have pets and partners and houseplants. And because I think threesomes are our future (six hands and three tongues? Come on, now), I decided to chat with five millennials who’ve been there, done that. In some of the hottest email exchanges of my life, these folks agreed to reveal all the dirty details surrounding getting it on with two people at once. And because these stories are so scandy, we’re keeping the sources anonymous. We don’t want to pull a Dan Humphrey and ruin anyone’s lives because their sexy secrets got spilled to the internet, ya feel?
But don’t worry, you don’t need the real names to understand why threesomes are so scorching. From who was involved to what, exactly, went down, here’s what a ménage à trois is actually like, according to women who’ve managed to check this act off their bucket lists.
How Old Are You?
Person 1: 28
Person 2: 26
Person 3: 31
Person 4: 30
Person 5: 33
And How Old Were You When You Had Your First Threesome?
Person 1: 19
Person 2: 20
Person 3: 25
Person 4: 29
Person 5: 28
Who Was Involved In This Very Special First Threesome?
Person 1: I was “the other woman” in a threesome with my manager from work and his girlfriend.
Person 2: It was with my boyfriend of five years and one of my female friends from college who was willing to experiment.
Person 3: I was the third with my male-female couple friends. We were also all co-workers, oops!
Person 4: My boyfriend and I had been together about a year when we first tried a threesome. We met another man on an app called 3Fun that’s meant for people looking for kink-friendly sexual partners for all different arrangements. (It’s similar to dating apps where you make a profile with your interests and swipe on people.) To be honest, finding a single man looking for a no-strings-attached MFM threesome was much easier than I thought. Finding a single woman who was interested was way harder.
Person 5: I met a Welsh rugby team while traveling solo through Europe. I was staying in the same hotel as them and had a threesome with two teammates who were sharing a room. I had hooked up with one of them the night before.
And Uh, Whose Idea Was It?
Person 1: Lol, probably my manager’s.
Person 2: I think it was mostly thought up between me and the other girl, and my boyfriend was into it.
Person 3: It was the couple’s idea. Not sure which of them, but I have a hunch it was the woman’s.
Person 4: It was always a fantasy for my boyfriend and I, since neither of us had done it before.
Person 5: It kind of came about organically. We were all drunk… When I went to their hotel room, they decided to push the beds together and it just kinda happened.
Did You Do Any Planning/Research Ahead Of Time?
Person 1: Nope.
Person 2: No.
Person 3: None at all.
Person 4: Tons. We researched things we should talk about (before and after), common boundaries, safety tips, etc. We talked to our third person for a while beforehand, and my boyfriend and I came up with a secret safe word in case one of us wanted to stop.
Person 5: No lol. We locked eyes at a bar and the rest is history.
Where Did It All Go Down?
Person 1: HIS PARENTS’ HOUSE.
Person 2: The other girl’s apartment.
Person 3: It started in their apartment pool before we went to their bedroom.
Person 4: My boyfriend and I’s apartment.
Person 5: In their hotel room.
Alright, Now Walk Us Through The Act
Person 1: First, he made us dinner, and then we had a few drinks. I’m pretty sure it was her first time as well, so she and I pretty much just focused on each other. The guy was just kinda… there.
Person 2: I was having a girls’ night with three other friends in college. I was fairly close to my boyfriend’s place, so I walked there afterward. Drunk me had been tossing around the idea of having a threesome with this other girl for a while, so I texted her and she was down. My boyfriend and I then walked to her apartment, and on the way, I set some very loose expectations. It was good at first, but then at some point, I was left out watching my boyfriend have sex with my friend. I don’t fully remember how I got myself back in or how it ended, but he and I walked back to his apartment after. It wasn’t great. Like, at all.
Person 3: We’d had a big summer night out in Austin, the kind you can have at 25—bar hopping, lots of alcohol, maybe some cocaine—and we wanted to keep partying after the bars closed (imagine). We went back to their apartment pool, and the woman waded over to me and started touching me. They were both telling me I was hot, and we all started making out. We went back up to their apartment and did the deed for what seemed like at least an hour. It’s kind of a blur honestly, but it was never awkward or a tangled mess of limbs. In my head, it went pretty smoothly.
Person 4: Our third came over, and we immediately smoked a blunt to relax. To kick things off we sat on the couch—me in the middle—and they both just started touching me and kissing me. We were all a little nervous at first, but after a few minutes we just kind of vibed together. After a little foreplay, we moved to the bedroom. Without getting into too much detail, we tried a few different positions so everyone was always included. We hung out for a little bit, had a drink, smoked a bit more, and just talked about totally normal stuff. He peaced out before my boyfriend and I went to sleep.
Person 5: We laid down in the two pushed-together beds with me in the middle. The guy I liked from the night before started kissing me while his friend—who was laying behind me—began moving his hands up and down my body. We all stopped at one point and started giggling like “Wtf is going on” before we just kind of went with it. None of us had done this before, and I remember them kissing each other once, but the focus was definitely on me and my pleasure.
Did Anything Go Wrong?
Person 1: Not really. The girl left for work, and so my manager and I had sex. It turns out that was a no-no.
Person 2: I felt left out watching my boyfriend have sex with my friend. My self-esteem plummeted.
Person 3: Nah. I thought it was funny the woman took the time to shave in between being in the pool and going to bed because I didn’t mind the hair at all. It was not so funny when the couple broke up later, and I heard the boyfriend thought it was my fault. Like, what did I do?! Sorry your girlfriend liked me better?
Person 4: Our third was a little too rough for me in the beginning. But I mentioned this to my boyfriend, and he asked the third to tone it down, which he immediately respected. Other than that, we did have to take a quick water break at one point, which was kinda strange.
Person 5: The guy I was most interested in (and the one I had been with the night before) ended up not being able to stay hard long enough, so he ended up tapping out and going to bed while his friend and I continued on.
What Was The Best Part?
Person 1: The orgasm. And I kinda felt invincible since it wasn’t MY relationship.
Person 2: The build-up and it getting started, not to mention being with a woman for the first time.
Person 3: When the boyfriend had to leave for work the next morning, the woman was like, “So, wanna try just you and me?” That surprised me, and I like surprises. So we did, and it was hot. That was my first time being with a woman.
Person 4: Once we got over our initial nervousness, we all connected and just kinda vibed. The foreplay started and it was exciting to be with someone new, but also to be sharing the experience with my boyfriend. Plus, we all orgasmed, so that was a major win.
Person 5: Honestly just the fact that this was happening in the first place. I was a virgin until I was 23, and I used to be really selective about my partners. Jumping into something like this was very surreal for me, but also super empowering. I really felt awesome before, during, and after. Tbh I still have a sense of pride and am just awed that it happened.
And The Worst Part?
Person 1: I cannot eat pussy. It’s just not for me.
Person 2: Realizing my relationship was not ready for a threesome. Plus, my boyfriend couldn’t make me orgasm even when it was just the two of us, so I didn’t get off.
Person 3: I was seeing a different guy at the time (non-exclusively), and I stupidly told him about the threesome. He was pissed, which I found extremely boring of him.
Person 4: I felt a little awkward when it was all over. We put our clothes back on and hung out for a little bit, but I just wanted to be close with my boyfriend at that point.
Person 5: There was only one condom. Woof.
What Was The Best Position?
Person 1: I was sitting on the guy’s face, facing the other girl was riding the guy’s *ahem* appendage?
Person 2: I can’t remember!
Person 3: I was on top of the guy, and the woman was behind me feeling me up and watching us have sex. Wait, was that good for everyone or just mostly me?
Person 4: Definitely doggy style.
Person 5: I just like, laid on my back while one guy focused on my top half and the other on my bottom half. Literal goals.
Are You All Still Friends?
Person 1: We’re all married with kids now, but we’re still friends on social media.
Person 2: I broke up with him about a year later, and she and I don’t talk anymore (mostly for another unrelated reason, but the threesome didn’t help).
Person 3: The woman and I stayed friends for quite a while. In fact, after she and the guy broke up, she and I had sex one more time. We weren’t a good fit, but it was never awkward or weird between us after that. In fact, I went to her wedding (to a different guy) years later. They’ve since moved away, but we’re still friendly.
Person 4: No, we lost contact after he moved away.
Person 5: I was never “friends” with them, and I haven’t seen or spoken to them since!
Have You Had Any Other Threesomes Since?
Person 1: I had like, three threesomes total with that same couple. Other than that, it’s only been like, making out or PG-13 touching with other couples.
Person 2: No.
Person 3: Nope! My fiancé and I are theoretically interested in having one with another woman, but we’ve never tried to make it happen. I either get too nervous to approach a woman, or I worry I’ll get jealous, or worse, he’ll get jealous and it’ll become an issue for our relationship.
Person 4: We had two threesomes with the same partner.
Person 5: Nah, once was enough for me.
What Do People Get Wrong About Threesomes?
Person 1: Being like, “I’LL NEVER LET ANOTHER WOMAN TOUCH MY MAN.” You’d be surprised how great it is. Hell, it might even help y’all’s sex life.
Person 2: That it’s just about two girls making out. There are THREE people (hence the name), and clear expectations of what is and is not allowed should be set.
Person 3: That it’s going to be awkward or hard to figure out. I think when you’re confident and secure in yourself, and you clearly communicate, you can have fun without it being weird.
Person 4: That the people having them are some kind of weirdos. We’re totally normal people in a healthy relationship. We’re just very *sexual* normal people who enjoy trying new things and being open.
Person 5: That they’re dirty or gross (which is kind of how I always thought of them). That’s definitely not the case.
Finally, What’s Your Best Threesome Tip?
Person 1: Have a cocktail, watch some videos, and always be the other woman. There’s literally no pressure then.
Person 2: If you are going to do it with your significant other, have a serious and sober conversation about it to make sure you are both ready. Also, I would personally never do it with a friend again.
Person 3: Be the third and then get outta there.
Person 4: Threesomes require major communication and trust. My boyfriend and I talked about our fears, desires, boundaries, expectations, etc. before we ever met with someone else. We also promised each other that if at any point one of us was uncomfortable, we could call it off and support one another. It’s also super important to check in afterward. Talk about what you liked (or didn’t like), if you’d do it again, and how you feel. Finally, make sure to respect your third—they’re a person seeking pleasure too!
Person 5: Stay confident and sure of yourself. You’ve got this.
Image: Irina Efremova / Stocksy.com
For me (and pretty much every other vanilla girl out there), it started with Fifty Shades. As soon as Ana tripped over the threshold of Christian’s office, the world was captivated by Mr. Grey and the world of Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism (BDSM). Of course, it quickly became clear that their arrangement wasn’t a good representation of this lifestyle—in fact, it’s totally problematic. Still, as the coronavirus pandemic stripped me of happy hours and overpriced dinners, I dug out the dusty trilogy to revisit its scandalous world. This time, however, I found myself more interested in what the series got wrong, as opposed to the shoddy dialogue and unrealistic fact that Ana has a mind-bending orgasm while losing her virginity.
So, after a lot of wine-induced Googling, I found Mistress Rogue, a professional dominatrix (“dom” for short) whose brain I could pick regarding the series, her work, and what it means to be a part of the lifestyle. When I asked her about Christian Grey, her response summed up the entire community’s thoughts: “Oh, my God. Can you put that? That’s my quote,” she tells Betches. “It’s absolutely not accurate.”
While Fifty Shades might have completely missed the mark about what it means to be a dom (something most of us knew and ignorantly ignored), it turns out that the truth about the BDSM lifestyle is even more fascinating than the fiction. I asked Mistress Rogue all the questions you’ve had about BDSM so you don’t have to go down a Google rabbit hole.
What Does A Professional Dom Do?
According to Merriam Webster, a dominatrix is “a woman who physically or psychologically dominates her partner in a sadomasochistic encounter,” which is pretty much exactly what the job entails. While the profession isn’t only limited to women (men can be doms too), the gist of it is these pros are paid or agree to control someone, whether it’s for a short session or for a lifetime. Sometimes the control is mental, sometimes it’s physical, and yeah, sometimes it’s sexual. Sessions can involve anything from chains and whips to diapers and dog kennels, and sometimes, they don’t take place in person but revolve around money or diet control (where the dom says what you can or can’t buy, eat, or do).
Mistress Rogue, who has been been a professional, full-time dominatrix for three years, spent over 10 years learning about the lifestyle and immersing herself in the world of BDSM. She trained under Mistress Mercy, who is the Headmistress for the Miami-based Goddess Girls (a group with whom Rogue still collaborates), and she’s the founder and Head Mistress of The Dom House, a company home to multiple male and female doms (as well as a few apprentices and submissives). Now, she has a fully loaded dungeon in St. Petersburg, Florida where she caters to a wide variety of male, female, and nonbinary clients.
Why Do People Practice BDSM?
There are lots of reasons people incorporate dominance and submission into their lives, the biggest of which is the endorphin rush. While it might seem like BDSM is all about physical acts, it’s actually very psychological. The goal of a session is for the sub to reach “subspace”, which is a euphoric, meditative state. On the flip side, doms (including Mistress Rogue) experience the converse and aim to reach “domspace”.
While you might think, Well, I’ll just get a whip and tell my boyfriend to go to town, that’s actually not what it’s about. Not only can it be hard to figure out what exactly you like, but it can be even trickier to learn your limits, especially in the space of your relationship. This is where the pros come in. Almost like a form of therapy, “submission is about letting go,” Rogue says. “You don’t have to be in control. It’s a very healing act and some people just need it.”
What Are The Most Common BDSM Fetishes?
“Spanking,” she says. “Everyone wants to get spanked and everyone wants to get blindfolded and gagged and paddled.” It makes sense. Long before Christian and Ana visited the Red Room of Pain, spanking and hair pulling were among the more common practices seen even in vanilla sex. Chances are, Mistress Rogue probably has more whip choices beyond the joke one you got for your birthday.
Another popular demand she gets revolves around foot fetishes. Though it’s an arousal point she didn’t quite understand when she started out, she’s now a big fan. “Foot fetishes are very much about true submission. You walk all over things all day long, and then you get someone to worship at your feet beneath you. It’s the true core of submission.”
As for what she won’t do? “Roman showers,” she admits, after a pregnant pause. This act is a very extreme fetish where the dom vomits on the sub. “It’s just because it’s painful for me,” Rogue says. “I don’t like vomiting.” Luckily, there are plenty of types of play she does like to partake in, like rigger, suspension, heavy impact, and strap worship. She also loves any situation that involves wearing her latex catsuit (pro tip: use lube when putting on latex. Her suggestion is ID Millennium).
What Happens At A Professional Dom Session?
Images: Austin Zeli
Prior to visiting a professional, you’ll most likely fill out an intake form that outlines everything you do and don’t want to do (and are and aren’t okay with). When it comes time to actually have your session, you’ll be told how to address the dom, what to do upon entering, and any notes involving your appearance (no matter what, please shower!). Normally, there will first be a meet-and-greet component where you’ll once again go over what’s going to happen and review the usage of safe words. “Sometimes, advanced sessions have no safe words, but that’s something they consent to,” Rogue says. First-timers will absolutely use stop and go words, the most common of which is the standard traffic light system (green is go, yellow is slow down, and red is stop immediately).
Then comes the “performance”, as Rogue calls it. Part of the dom’s duty is to create the experience, which she takes a lot of pride in planning. Basically, Rogue sets up different time blocks of what they’ll do, and sometimes includes breaks depending on how intense each unique session is. “It’s not like you finish in ten minutes and leave,” she says. Once the performance is over, one of the most crucial components of BDSM takes place: the aftercare. “It’s like when you watch a movie, and as you leave the theater you talk about it. What you liked, what you didn’t like, what you want to experience next,” she explains. This is hugely important for emotional wellbeing—not only in BDSM, but in all sexual acts.
“Imagine in a vanilla world, you have sex with your partner and you want to cuddle after, but they just get up and leave without saying a word. If you don’t know how to navigate it properly, you can feel used and broken,” she says. This is why consent and communication are the backbones of BDSM play. In addition to cuddling, chatting, or hugging, Rogue will also give her subs water and clean them up, because sometimes there are fluids like tears, sweat, or blood (consensual bleeding, of course) and this cleansing afterward is crucial to the bond.
Here’s What Everyone Gets Wrong About Sex Work
Image: Austin Zeli
It’s important to note that professional dominatrixes don’t have intercourse with their paying subs. Rogue says that some guys go into the session assuming she’s offering intercourse, an idea she quickly shuts down. “Yes, I am providing a service, but this is on my terms. It’s not about what they want; it’s about what I want. Professional dominatrixes do not have sex with clients. Ever. Period.” That being said, it’s still considered sex work. “I was surprised to learn that during the first year,” she says. “I was like: ‘No, I don’t have sex with them.’ But it’s still sex work and there’s nothing wrong with that.” There’s a lot of discussion surrounding sex workers’ rights in the mainstream media right now, and a push to decriminalize sex work, which is exciting to see, especially for Rogue, since it’s not just the legality of the work, but the stigma surrounding it that sex workers are grappling with. One of the biggest misconceptions Rogue personally takes offense to is the notion that it’s easy to be a dominatrix or sex worker in general.
“I work a lot on what I do. Preparing for sessions. Planning sessions. Buying equipment for specific sessions. Keeping my overall image. There’s so much that goes into this. No one wakes up and the next morning can be like, ‘Oh, I’m a dominatrix. Come to my dungeon.’ That does not exist.” As for what the general public gets wrong about dominatrixes, it’s that they “hurt and abuse” people.
“Everybody in the BDSM lifestyle asks for consent for everything,” she says. And when she says everything, she means it. Even before engaging in socially acceptable touching like hugging or shaking hands, she always gets verbal or written consent. “It’s very easy to get a bad reputation in the community, so you have to be careful,” Rogue admits. In general, however, “the public doesn’t understand that there are so many ways to make other people feel incredible without the sex part.”
How Is Dom Work Different During Coronavirus?
Because their work is all about interacting with people on an intimate level, it makes sense that the pandemic could cause some challenges for sex workers. “At the very beginning, when everything shut down and people were quarantined, everyone was staying home,” she says. “We had this emergency situation where I wasn’t seeing anybody because I was, you know, freaking out—and understandably so. And a lot of the time, I see people I’ve never seen before. They book online and it’s just a stranger.”
Once restrictions started to ease up a bit after a month or two, Rogue started seeing an influx of visitors again. “They had no jobs, were stuck at home, and completely desperate for some thrill.” So when the demand started coming back, how was she able to take on subs amidst coronavirus? “Even without the pandemic, I utilize a lot of safety measures. Before and after I see someone, we sanitize everything. I use gloves, I use masks, and I even keep my distance. You don’t actually need to touch someone personally with your hands to be able to deliver domination.” Think canes and riding crops, people!
When the pandemic started hitting harder, however, Rogue had to shift to a new model as business severely slowed (and stayed) down. That’s when she transitioned to virtual work. “While OnlyFans is really popular for vanilla and regular sex work, my OnlyFans is a little different. I have it set up for submissive or slave BDSM people who want to serve online. They have the opportunity to see what I’m doing or see me play with others. There are a lot of ways this can be done.”
Since she started offering more online options, she’s seen an overwhelming amount of demand from people who want to participate in BDSM sessions from the comfort of their homes—something she finds incredibly rewarding. She views her OnlyFans as a virtual dungeon, and she has subs complete tasks just like a regular session. “I can tell them what to do, they can get custom videos, request content, tip, or just talk to me,” she says. “Since it’s all online, anything goes.”
Okay, I Want To Incorporate BDSM Into My Life
Images: Jason Perrone; Austin Zeli
Whether you’ve always been interested in it or were titillated by Fifty Shades, there’s a good chance you’ll find something rewarding in a BDSM experience. As for how to incorporate it into your lifestyle, Rogue highly suggests seeing a professional, whether or not you’re in a relationship. “Some pros see couples and will coach and teach you,” she says, which will help you navigate not only the physical components but the mental as well. “Some of it is dangerous and that’s why people go to a professional,” she continues. “We know what we’re doing and can keep you safe.”
If you’re ready to dive in, it’s important to do your research and find someone who knows what they’re doing. “There are fake doms out there, usually men, who are looking to take advantage of women,” she notes. But how, exactly, do you find someone who’s not skeezy? “A dom with a good reputation will have at least some social media set up,” Rogue says. “Avoid sketchy ads, look for a good website, and consider how they talk to you. If they don’t want to negotiate in terms of the things you want to do, run.” Before visiting—and especially if you’re going alone—be sure to share your location with someone as an extra precaution. When going in, make sure they have a safe place, and if something feels off, don’t move forward. BDSM is all about speaking your limits, and finding your pro is no exception.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you look like or what you do for a living. “All I care about is your behavior, your manners, and your ability to follow instructions,” Rogue says. “A lot of people are scared of seeing a dominatrix, but we can be nice. And for anyone who’s very interested but is scared of committing, remember: I will not hurt you if you don’t want me to.” But chances are by the end of your session, you’ll be begging for more…
Images: Jason Perrone; Austin Zeli
Life under quarantine has been… an adjustment. Working from home is no longer just an excuse to book afternoon haircuts and manicures, eating and drinking occur at all hours of every day, weekends are a social construct filled with even more boredom than the work week, and bras are finally a thing of the past. But as a single woman who treats dating like a competitive sport and sex like an essential business, the biggest adjustment has been getting used to the new dating norms. Norms that can pretty much be summed up by this scene from the Emperor’s New Groove:
And surprisingly, I don’t hate it. Sure, I’d kill for even a sh*tty first date right now that included a passing thigh touch or a graze of the fingertips as I pretended to reach for the check—I’m not a robot. But, this whole dating during quarantine thing has its up-sides, and dare I say, some real potential. And here’s why:
Games Are Officially Canceled
Thoroughly disturbing and/or entirely unoriginal pandemic related pickup lines aside (see: “If COVID-19 doesn’t take you out, can I?”), I’ve seen a significant improvement in the caliber of dating app conversations since quarantine began—and weeding out the fuckboys has never been easier. I don’t know the exact cause because, just like everyone on Trump’s council to re-open America, I am not a scientist, but perhaps it’s because we have bigger things to worry about than coming off as too eager, too interested, or, god forbid, available.
When someone asks me how I’m staying busy during quarantine:
If a guy doesn’t respond right away, we can’t talk ourselves into believing he’s busy or not looking at his phone. Everyone’s screen time has increased by 200%—if he’s not texting back, he’s just not into you. Period. Sure, quarantine ghosting is a new level of pathetic, but my anxiety is already working overtime, so freeing it from the stress of analyzing every lull in conversation has been truly liberating.
But when they do respond, boy, does being in the midst of a global existential crisis speed things along. The guy I’m quaran-dating and I have been “seeing” each other for less than two weeks, and we’ve already discussed our childhood traumas, relationship with God (or lack thereof), and if/when we want to start a family. If I were to bring up any of these topics within the first few MONTHS of dating someone pre-pandemic, I’d see a suitor turnover rate rivaled only by that of Trump’s press secretaries.
“Dates” Are More Creative
Without the ability to “grab a drink” with someone whose height, occupation, and general creepiness level remains a mystery, we’ve been forced to think all the way back to kindergarten and remember what it was like to have an imagination. So far my dates have included: a simple FaceTime, because love is not in fact blind and one needs to verify that they look somewhat like the photo of them traveling from five years ago; Netflix Party, which is like Netflix and Chill but not a booty call; a homemade cookie drop-off; and a socially distanced neighborhood walk while sporting 2020’s hottest fashion accessory, a face mask.
There are honestly a lot of great options, and they all require more talking and texting than was typical of pre-pandemic dating life. I could see how this would be frustrating for people whose main personality trait is being hot, but I am thriving. Because I’ve always been better in writing, there’s nothing better than a dating life that revolves around witty banter and making light of a global pandemic.
Sex Is Off The Table
We’re all basically living in Too Hot To Handle right now, like it or not. I thought this would send me, in solidarity with our economy, into a Great Depression—but it’s actually been quite therapeutic. Historically, my sense of self-worth has been toxically linked to actively getting laid, often leaving me to cling to physical relationships at the expense of my emotional well-being. Don’t worry, like every good millennial, I’m working through this with my therapist. But quarantine dating has been more effective (and cheaper) than the hours I’ve spent dissecting my attachment and abandonment issues with a licensed professional.
My quarantine boyfriend (which I realize is a stretch, but what else am I supposed to call him?) and I are not having sex, and it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with putting our health and safety first. I feel wanted because yes, he finds me attractive—but also because I’m smart, funny, and entertaining. I know he wants to sleep with me, because what else are single guys in quarantine thinking about? But by not actually having sex, I feel sexier and more confident than I have in quite some time. I am in no way supporting abstinence as an actual long-term choice. I will 100% be having sex (hopefully with quarantine boyfriend), the minute it is safe to do so. But I am thankful, at least right now, for the ability to separate sex from emotional connection, and my self-esteem. And vibrators, I’m also thankful for vibrators.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a state of dating that I could maintain forever. If fall rolls in and I still haven’t been touched by a man, the VR industry better speed the f*ck up and figure out a way for us to live in the Sims. But I do think regular life dating can learn a lot from quarantine dating, and even once we are able to “grab a drink” mere seconds after matching on Ship, I will never again be turned off by the idea of a phone call first.
As we enter into yet another week of our never-ending stay-at-home order, we rely on a few comforts to help get us through the uncertainty and terror of this time. Napping at all hours of the day? Definitely. Eating every single snack we just bought at the grocery store that was supposed to last us two weeks? Of course! Dressing our dog up like the Queen of England and pretending we’re at high tea? Who among us hasn’t?! But, most importantly, we rely on Netflix to continuously drop the most absurd shows (Hi, Tiger King! Hi, Love is Blind!) that allow us to forget for just a little while that we are actually living in a game of Jumanji. And Netflix is coming through for us yet again on Friday, April 17th, when they drop their next reality dating show, Too Hot to Handle. They just released the trailer, and it looks like exactly the amount of trash we all need in our lives right now (which is Britney-in-a-gas-station-bathroom-without-her-shoes level of trash). So, let’s take a look at the trailer, break it down, and talk about why Too Hot To Handle is most definitely going to be a worthy successor to our last reality obsession, Love is Blind.
I’m going to leave the trailer for you right here, please watch it, take copious notes, and then come back to me to discuss.
There sure is a lot to unpack, so let’s go over the basics. Too Hot to Handle features 10 hot singles on an island in bikinis, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol out of Solo cups, and in a competition for $100,000. Seems pretty easy, right? But of course, there is a twist, because Netflix is nothing if not a sick bastard. A cone shaped robot named Lana tells the contestants that in order to win the money, they have to abstain from sexual activity. I shrieked. These people literally arrived on the island slathered in their favorite lube, and they aren’t allowed to have sex?! Have you seen anything sadder in your whole life?
What the contestants thought the island was going to be like:
What it’s actually like:
After the robot drops its bombshell, the contestants slowly remove their penises from whatever hole they had immediately stuck them in, and proceed to lose their minds. This seems like it’s going to be fun! Well for me, at least—the raging hormones disguised as people stuck on this sexless island seem a little less enthused.
So what else is notable about the trailer, I mean, other than the fact that one dude is obviously going to f*ck a fish? Well, a lot of these people appear to be British, which makes me wonder if they think Americans are not garbage enough for this show? If so, I’d like to point them in the direction of a brilliant piece of art known as Are You The One? for proof that you can most certainly peel some of us off a sticky linoleum floor in Jacksonville and convince us to humiliate ourselves on TV for a small amount of money and a can of Axe Body Spray. Something to consider for next season! It’s also cute that one of the women thinks that because of the format, “maybe more can come from this.” Adorable. I think it means he’s just going to bang you when you get home and then ghost you, but it’s nice to have dreams!
We also see someone saying “I don’t want to break the rules,” and then a montage of a LOT of rule breaking. So I think it is safe to say that even though hooking up isn’t allowed, there will be a bunch of people claiming that they didn’t mean to, they just fell and somehow it slipped in! That can’t count, right? Lana would never take away money for such an innocent accident, would she?
If anything is clear from watching this trailer, though, it’s that Too Hot To Handle is the OBVIOUS successor to Love is Blind, and might even improve upon its predecessor. First of all, they’ve replaced Nick and Vanessa Lachey with a talking triangle with some pretty blue lights, and it delivers lines better than they ever did. Sorry Lacheys, no more free vacations for you. You’ll have to do sponsored Instagram ads pimping out your children like the rest of the C-listers if you want a summer vacay!
There also appears to be way more partying on Too Hot To Handle, which I’m thankful for. I was a little tired of watching only Jessica get sloshed in every episode of Love is Blind.
Okay fine, I wasn’t, that was pure gold, but I want to see ALL the contestants bring shame on their families by drinking too much pinot grigio and hitting on someone else’s man. And finally, Too Hot To Handle has a similar premise to Love is Blind. Robot Lana explains to the contestants, much more eloquently than Nick ever did, that the reason they can’t have sex is so they gain deeper connections with one another. I’m not sure why this “deep connection” thing is the hill Netflix is willing to die on in 2020, but most likely because it’s making them a sh*t ton of cash and not because they care about people forming successful relationships built on love and respect, right?
I have to admit, I’m excited for this one. And not just because I think it’s going to end with the robot slaughtering all the contestants and taking over the island to breed little Lanas that will eventually conquer the world. But because we all watched Love is Blind, and now in real life we’re stuck dating in isolation pods, so if we all watch Too Hot To Handle, at least we’ll be stuck on an island after this, even if we must be abstinent. CAN’T WAIT!
Images: giphy (3); loveisblindtv/Instagram; Netflix
In these trying times, when we can’t turn on the news without feeling like we’re living in a waking nightmare, it can be hard to feel anything other than a constant, impending sense of doom. Whether it’s the spread of coronavirus or our political landscape which seems to get bleaker by the millisecond, you may be wondering whether there’s any reason to keep going. Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that there most certainly is, because the good folks over at Ashley Madison, the website for people looking to cheat on their partners, have released a list of the most common code words used by cheaters its users, and it’s all I can think about now. According to the Ashley Madison team, “introducing a secret language into the secret world of infidelity can result in even more discretion while navigating affairs.” Which, no sh*t. What I couldn’t have seen coming, however, was just how ridiculous some of these cheating code words are.
The Ashley Madison survey defines this as the avoidance of “catching or developing emotional feelings for an affair partner.” I’m confused. For a list that purports to aid users in carrying on their affairs discreetly, how is this a helpful term? It seems like more effort to use the word “tinmanning” than it does to just reference the concept of not catching feelings. I’m also struggling to think of an instance in which you’d even need to use this word. Not only is it a verb that no one would ever use in everyday conversation and that would immediately set off red flags to the unsuspecting, its meaning is totally conspicuous. If we’re speaking in Wizard of Oz-missing-attribute-parlance, are the users of Ashley Madison scarecrowing with this sh*t?
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what this one means, but for those a little slow on the uptake, this is a vacation taken with an affair partner. Subtle. I can just picture the poor schmuck texting his side piece saying, “Hey, u up 4 a straycation in April?” and chuckling to himself, thinking he’s really smooth, only to have his dreams nuts shattered by a baseball bat wielded by his wife who saw the text and immediately caught on. You can go shave your back now, Bill.
Actual footage of Bill after sending this text:
3. Silver Spoon
This term apparently refers to the act of beginning or engaging in an affair in which both parties are senior citizens. While slightly less obvious than the previous two terms, I find this one to be a bit ageist. Are we really to believe that seniors are only down to cuddle? Judging by the rising prevalence of STDs in nursing homes, I beg to differ. In fact, I think our older friends would prefer some silver forking over some silver spooning, if ya know what I mean. Get it, grandma.
4. Fling Bling
Seriously, Ashley Madison users? This is the best you could come up with to refer to jewelry exchanged by affair partners? It’s like you want to get caught or something. I’m not one to condone cheating, but if you’re going to do it, then at least try to be careful. According to Ashley Madison, using cheating code words like this is useful because “t’s covert, it’s relevant, and it’s sure to keep the people around you none the wiser.” Sure, if the people around you are Jax and Brittany from Vanderpump Rules not at all wise to begin with. Literally what else could “fling bling” possibly refer to? This isn’t even a euphemism. Anyone who uses this term and thinks they’re being clever deserves to get caught.
5. The First Coming
Continuing the theme of blatantly obvious cheating terms, this time with a side of may-make-you-lose-your-lunch-on-your-work-desk, is The First Coming, defined as “the first orgasm outside of one’s marriage.” Not only is this once again not fooling anybody, the religious undertones are…troubling. I’m a Jew, but I’m pretty sure that no one wants to evoke the image of the return of Jesus after his ascension to heaven while talking about their orgasm. Also, the capitalization is a little melodramatic for people who claim they just want to tinman.
6. Alarm Cock
This refers to “a person who enjoys waking their affair partner up with sex.” First of all, morning sex is a well-established concept, so I don’t see why it has to be reserved for cheaters. Second of all, again, I ask, HOW IS THIS COVERT? And more importantly, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? If my husband so much as tried to poke me before I got my full 10.5 8 hours of sleep, he’d end up on the floor concussed (love ya, babe!). All I get from this is that cheaters are morning people, which is just one more reason not to associate with them. Enjoy your alarm cock, Karen!
I hope this absurd list of cheating code words brightened your week as much as it did mine. If you’re ever feeling low, just remember there are people out there cheating on their partners, using these terms and thinking they won’t get caught. LOL! What was your favorite “code word”? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Jae Park / Unsplash; Giphy (6)
Valentine’s Day is almost here! And what does that mean? I’ll be dressing up in my best pink dress, receiving roses at the office, and then heading out for a night on the town with my perfect man, Keanu Reeves. Oh sorry, that was just something I’ve been manifesting. More accurately, I will be sitting on my couch in my best PINK sweatpants, watching the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before while sobbing lightly and going to sleep. But I hope you all have, like, such a fun night!
Thankfully, this year I have someone to blame other than myself for my singledom. And that “someone” is the hellscape that is New York City. That’s right, the kind folks over at Apartment List have compiled a ranking of the best and worst cities for dating. And wouldn’t you know, New York is ranked all the way down at NUMBER 50! So it turns out, I don’t have “a personality not conducive to interaction with other humans,” it’s just that the city I live in is a dating dumpster fire. Thank you, Apartment List, for having my back, now can you please send this article to my mom? Let’s take a look at how the rest of the cities ranked, and see if you all can blame the place you live on your terrible dating life, or if you’ll have to look in the mirror tomorrow and admit you and your bad attitude just might be the problem.
According to the data, Provo, Utah is the best place to date, with 47.5% of respondents reporting they are happy with the dating scene. Congrats, Provo! I mean that so sincerely! Apartment List says Provo is home to scenic views and great date spots, and that’s why it’s ranked so high. Sure… it’s definitely that and not the fact that men can have multiple wives. I’m just saying, how could it be that hard to date when no one is ever actually off the market? You see it, you like it, you want it, you marry it, you move into a house with its three other wives. Simple as that.
The top ten is rounded out with a bunch of cities I’ve never been to, including Raleigh, NC, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, and Grand Rapids, MI. And oddly enough, Bridgeport, CT is ranked fourth. I’m SO confused. Has anyone ever heard about the dating scene in a random Connecticut town? And, more importantly, is it close enough that I could still commute to NYC? I’m not opposed to getting out of the city if it helps me meet Keanu. Or literally any other man at this point. Even if they do wear pastel sweaters tied across their shoulders and spend their weekends on a boat named after Jordan Belfort.
Now let’s get to the bottom of this list, which I know you’ve all been waiting for. Three Florida metros round out the very end of the list, which makes sense because all the state’s residents are either in the process of dying, or kicking swans in the head to practice karate. Not very dateable, unless you’re into pre-serial killers, I guess.
Hello, Florida dating pool
Also included on the worst list is New Haven, CT (why don’t they just scurry on over to Bridgeport, I hear the dating scene there is LIT). We also have Syracuse, NY, which I am very pleased about because my baby cousin goes to school there and I don’t want her wasting her time with boys—she’s supposed to be showing me how to use TikTok, and that will be VERY time-consuming. That, and obviously she can’t get married before me or I’ll actually rip her throat out with my bare hands. Love you, Erin!
The list I find the most telling is the one that ranks what cities men think are best to date in vs. the cities that women think are best to date in. Men rank San Diego as the best place to date. SHOCKER! Men enjoy dating athletic, outdoorsy women who wear bikinis and go on beach dates, where the bodies are really showing. I have never been less surprised by anything in my entire life. In fact, men chose lots of cities where you can take a good long look at a woman’s body, including Virginia Beach and Miami. Men: predictable since the year 100 BC. Women, on the other hand, rank Columbus, OH first. This also tracks, because we just want a man that’s not checking out some other woman rollerblading by us in a bikini while we try to have a conversation. THAT IS LITERALLY ALL WE ASK.
Now, it’s time to talk about the biggest surprise on this list. As I touched on earlier, you’ve got to scroll pretty far down to find New York City, which is ranked 50th! Only 29% of men are satisfied with the dating scene in this rat trap masquerading as a city, and only 22% of women responded that they’re satisfied. This is dismal. The MTA literally gets better approval ratings than this, and yesterday I had to fight a 9-year old who tried to steal my bagel on the J train. Normally, I don’t condone interacting with children, but I paid for the expensive cream cheese! And we still like this situation better! For some added perspective, here are a few other things that have higher approval ratings than dating in New York City: Donald Trump, Boeing, American Dirt, guns, and Lori Loughlin. We in trouble now.
I advise all you fellow singles to take a close look at this list and seriously reconsider where you’re living. I’m on Apartment List right now conducting a search for a new apartment in Provo, UT. I can’t wait for NEXT Valentine’s Day, which I will most definitely be enjoying with my new boyfriend and his many wives. Built in girlfriends! You can’t beat it!
Images: @timberfoster / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
There are certain age-old questions we all must contend with at one point or another: What is the meaning of life? What is my calling? How long should I wait before sleeping with the new person I’m dating? OK, so the third one may not be quite as existential as the others, but it’s one that has boggled the minds of many a
lost soul dater in this day and age. Countless books have been written on the subject, and people like Patti Stanger have made careers out of telling people, most often women, that they shouldn’t get into bed before being monogamous with a partner. But *Oprah voice* what is the truth? There’s no hard and fast rule (despite what the Three Dates Truthers tell you), but there are various factors to consider on both sides. I’ve compiled the arguments for and against waiting to have sex with the new person in your life so you can decide for yourself.
The Case For Waiting
The Case For Doing Whatever The F*ck You Want
Of course, we can’t always reduce human behavior to a formula when every relationship and individual in one is so different. Those who eschew rules about waiting for sex have a problem with the fear-based beliefs that allow such rules to be born in the first place, like the idea that men are wild stallions who must be tamed and trained and women who refuse to do so will end up trampled and abandoned. Ideas like these lead us to create rules that provide some semblance of order, but are these fears really warranted? Andrea Syrtash, co-author of It’s Okay to Sleep with Him on the First Date: And Every Other Rule of Dating, Debunked, thinks not: “A recent survey of 1,000 18- to 35-year-old women found that over 83 percent felt that men will lose interest and respect if you hook up with them too soon. But 70 percent of men said that’s not true—if they’re interested, it doesn’t matter. Getting naked won’t affect if he calls the next day.”
It’s true that men and women are different, but according to experts like Syrtash, subscribing to the notion that biology equals destiny reinforces antiquated gender roles and potentially keeps us from taking risks in love that might very well pay off. While it
seems indisputable may feel like every guy is a f*ckboy, that’s not actually the case.
So when is the appropriate time to have sex? One of the more enduring rules states that you should wait until the third date. However, one recent study found that the average was closer to eight dates. Ultimately, only you can know when you’re ready to sleep with someone new. There are compelling reasons to wait or to dive right in. On the one hand, rules allow us to feel safe and help to create order in what can often be a chaotic dating world. On the other hand, reinforcing old-fashioned stereotypes about sex is… well… not very 2020.
Rules are never one-size-fits-all, and these rules are no different. Being true to yourself and your desires is the most important factor of all. Whatever camp you find yourself in, it comes down to trust, both of yourself and the partner in question, whether that takes one date or one hundred. As long as you’re doing what feels right to you and not in response to pressure or some sense of obligation, there’s no wrong answer. You do you (or him/her/them).
Images: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
It’s that time of year again, friends. With the holidays approaching, you’re poised to buy gifts, head home, and barely tolerate spend time with loved ones for several days. If you’re bringing a significant other home with you, it can be challenging to find some alone time. And it definitely presents a dilemma. Do you get it on in your childhood bed? How many future holidays will you ruin if your parents happen to hear? Fortunately, our fellow publications have once again come through with some truly batsh*t sex advice, this time with a home for the holidays theme. Prepare to be bewildered.
1. Have A Holly Jolly Playlist
The close quarters and proximity to relatives already makes home for the holidays sex a bit of a buzzkill (unless you’re an exhibitionist, I don’t know your kinks). But the good people of POPSUGAR managed to find a way to make things even more awkward by suggesting “you crank those holiday tunes a little bit louder” to drown out any suspicious, um, noise. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not personally a huge fan of sex playlists, but I understand that with a non-tool playing DJ under the right circumstances it can work. What I can’t abide is the thought of getting it on to songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Not only am I drying up at the thought, this idea makes absolutely no sense. You mean to tell me that two people in a romantic relationship who have left the larger group to hang out behind a closed door blasting Christmas tunes will evoke no suspicion whatsoever? If anything, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear an unwanted pa rum pum pum pum at said door.
2. Baby, It’s F*cking Cold Outside
For those who don’t want to risk scarring disturbing their family, there’s always the option of taking things outside the bedroom you grew up in. I would have suggested maybe the shower, but the authors at Life by LaserAway advise readers to “try having sex in a car or some bushes outside.” The car suggestion isn’t my favorite, but I’ll leave it alone because at least that’s an enclosed space. What I’m really baffled by is the casual suggestion of “some bushes outside.” Unless you live in a fairly warm climate year-round, it’s likely to be cold as Santa’s balls during the holidays. Even if you’re cool with vaginal frostbite, there’s the issue of a potential bush-induced rash or other irritation. Call me neurotic, but I don’t think this is what Musique meant when they sang “Push, push in the bush.”
3. Carol Of The Basement
If, like me, you’d prefer to keep your bush away from an actual bush this holiday season, you’ll need to get a little creative in terms of locale. Our friends at Today have the following suggestion: “Basements were made for make-outs and even though you haven’t used one for that reason in decades, there’s no reason not to start now.” I wouldn’t say no reason. There’s no place less sexy in a house to bone in than a dank basement. It’s an assault on the senses: the musty smells, the endless eyesores consisting of your boyfriend’s middle school soccer trophies and his mom’s workout equipment from the 80s, and the rug burn you’re sure to get from trying to maneuver on moldy carpet that was put down when Jimmy Carter was in office. Just me?
4. Rockin’ Around The Pantry
Rounding out the list of sh*tty places to bang when you’re desperate is this gem from the folks at Elite Daily: “This might sound crazy, but making out in the pantry is honestly really cute.” Cute isn’t quite the word I’d use, but sure. Unless you’re, I don’t know, Logan Roy, a pantry is barely going to fit a 4-year-old playing hide and seek, let alone two people f*cking. If we really want to get cute, we might as well add laundry hamper to the list! So adorable. I’m all for proximity to snacks, but the idea of a pantry pounding is just bonkers. Again, may I humbly suggest the shower?
5. Santa Claus Is Coming WHERE?!
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the jewel in the crown and the inspiration for this hard-hitting piece of journalism. Of course it comes from Cosmo, where sex tips are notorious for stretching the definition of “advice”: “If you are staying at someone’s house over the holidays and need to avoid certain seminal evidence, make the easiest masturbator ever by filling a plastic sandwich bag with lube. Put a sock around it for a better grip and stroke up and down your partner’s penis while they rub you. Afterward, seal it up then hide the living hell out of that baggie.” There are so many layers to this “tip,” and I mean literal layers. A plastic sandwich bag and a sock? What kind of f*cked up MacGyver sh*t is this? And if we’re gonna be this extra when it comes to the raw materials needed for this “masturbator,” where are the explicit instructions for disposal of this literal scumbag? Isn’t hiding it way riskier than throwing it out, because someone could find your cum-filled sock and sandwich bag? And you’re meant to hide it where, exactly—under the tree? This gives a whole new meaning to a gift from Santa’s sack.
Home for the holidays sex can be complicated, but there’s no need to be extra about it, unless frozen limbs and makeshift condoms are your thing. If so, godspeed. If not, just wait until everyone is asleep and keep quiet so as not to wake an unsuspecting relative. With that in mind, may your days be merry and your nights silent.
Images: Ian Schneider / Unsplash; Giphy (5)