Tuesday, November 27, 2012



1. I allowed Brian to import the entirety of Eminem’s discography to my hard drive because when he came over he liked to listen — really listen — to it.

"Did you hear what he just did there?" he would ask, pulling his head back mid-kiss.


"Are you sure, though? Like, did you catch the way he continued that rhyme into the next line?"

"Yeah, no, totally. So good!"

"Shh-shhh," he’d say with his hand up, using his index finger to trace the imaginary line of poetry written in the air in front of him. Inevitably he would shake his head. "You know what, hang on, I’m just going to go back to the beginning of the verse. Really pay attention this time."

I’d sigh and settle back into the corner of my bed, listening to spurts of verse and watching him as he struggled to find exactly the spot he was looking for.

2. Andy and his friends were part of a drifting team. One night, after watching them as they very excitedly and expertly steered their cars (admittedly, I am still not totally clear on the nature or culture of "drifting"), I followed them to our neighborhood bar. Andy separated from the group and ran up to me as I waited for our drinks.

"Joe got a Taser from the back of a police car and we’re going to go tase each other in the parking lot," he said. “Want to come?" 

I did not.

About 10 minutes later, a friend walked into the bar and met me at my table. "Some assholes are tasing each other in the back parking lot," she said.

"Oh yeah," I said, drawing a sip from my gin and tonic. "That’s my boyfriend."

3. Jake was charming but aloof — beautiful and smart, but self-described as "not ready to commit to anyone right now," a fair warning that I learned to mean "not ready to commit to you right now."

"Do you want to come over tonight?" I asked one evening.

He paused.

"Do you have any floss?" he asked.

"Yeah, I think so?" I said. "I’m not entirely sure."

"Oh," he said, with another, longer hesitation. "I’m just really in the mood to floss. Maybe I’ll just go buy some."

"I mean, I’m sure I have some somewhere," I said. "No, I definitely do. Come over."

I dug through bins in the shared bathroom of my dorm and finally found some. Jake requested it immediately upon his arrival, and fell into my bed while wrapping it around his fingers.

"Yeah, that’s the stuff," he said, hands in his mouth.

I nuzzled my head into his the hollow of his chest and fell asleep smiling, jolted every few seconds by the violence of his flossing.

4. When I learned that Nate had been cheating on me, he was already on the other side of the globe — South Korea, to be exact — and we were trying to make it work through phone calls and Skype sessions. He was meant to be gone for a year, half the length of our relationship when he left, and the plan was to finally move in together when he returned.

"I’m having a hard time trusting you," I whispered into my cell phone, huddled by the door to my Greek Mythology class.

"Well, I think you’re being selfish," he said.

"Selfish how?" I asked.

"I just don’t think you’re taking into account how all of this is affecting me," he said.

"How your cheating on me is affecting you?" I asked.

"Yeah. I just think you’re making this all about you."

We made it work for another month and a half.

5. There is a woman in my aerobics class who is regularly accompanied by the men she dates. We know each other tangentially, and the only reason I know that her companions are boyfriends is because they have twice been men I have also dated. Their sudden appearance into what is supposed to be my sweaty and flush-faced safe space was initially jarring, but the lasting effect had to do with the woman, not the men, and it is one nearing reverence. I have perhaps irrationally placed her on a pedestal, an example of confidence and poise, the polar opposite of myself and the allowances I’ll make in the pursuit of romance.

What magic is this, I wonder, and how does it feel to possess it? To be the woman who moves men to don spandex and do scissor-kick crunches on reused yoga mats in a dance studio filled with ladies? To be, in general, the one who compels rather than the one compelled? It remains largely a mystery.

Recently, however, I received a brief Facebook message from a gentleman with whom I’d been on a couple of more-or-less good dates:

"Checked out Patty Griffin. You’re right — pretty good."

It is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Arianna Rebolini lives, writes, and serves people Thai food in Brooklyn.

173 Comments / Post A Comment


I am just so, so glad that you did not allow your boyfriend to tase you.


W...what..did...nevermind. It's just...it. No problem, I totally understand. '~'@y


beautiful because it's true

fondue with cheddar

@Pheen What, the part about Patty Griffin?


@fondue with cheddar just the sentiment in general!

fondue with cheddar

@Pheen I know, I was just making a joke. :)


@fondue with cheddar :)

Reginal T. Squirge

Ohmygod. Who is that in #1? What is his full name and where does he live... so I can murder him.

Reginal T. Squirge

But... to be fair... I may have been in bed with a person recently and started talking about why Jay-Z is as good as he is... so I promise to kill myself right after.

Reginal T. Squirge

Oh, oh! And! I was recently making out with the same person... and I put on something and forgot about the music. But then when it was over, the next album in my itunes library was something by Bill Cosby. Luckily, she's great and we just laughed about it.


@Reginal T. Squirge that's a Dude Archetype for some reason. It usually comes up in the context of ex-boyfriends. And it's almost always Eminem.

Reginal T. Squirge

The fact that it was Eminem is what upsets me most. There are so many better rappers!

...I could totally see myself doing this for Big Pun in, like, 2001. But luckily I was nowhere near making out with anyone during that time.


@Reginal T. Squirge

iTunes shuffle can be dangerous....

blow job

it really doesn't get much worse than that

Mariah Mantis@twitter

@JoanTition "Important Life Lesson"


like a rabid squirrel

@JoanTition Try Architecture in Helsinki "Frenchy I'm Faking" and sweet feelingsy first time encounter with shy indie boy.

Actually, wait, yours is still worse. Damn you, shuffle!


@Mariah Mantis@twitter

hahhaha. exactly!
I should've known... there's an xkcd for EVERYTHING.


@Reginal T. Squirge I like Eminem enough and do think he's got an interesting and clever approach to his lyrics and all that but if anyone told me to stop and "just really listen" to anything--even stuff I love--I'd be so annoyed! It's almost got a touch of the "you just don't get it" thing that people do if you don't like, say, Community or Firefly or Arrested Development.


I want to karate chop so many people in the face. Especially Nate.


The years will create space for you to inherit badassery. Mostly because you'll forget these things that used to happen, and you will be too busy/lazy to worry about goofballs anymore. Also, you still will meet and love goofballs, but now they have jobs instead of tasers.

Vaya con Dios, homegirl, it gets better. Thanks for sharing, and your writing is spot-on.


Searingly, cringe-inducingly perfect. Do guys EVER do this sort of allowance-making or is it just women? (i know, gender-essentialism, but also, patriarchy).

Reginal T. Squirge

More often than you might think. But I can only speak for myself.


@Reginal T. Squirge to be fair I can totally imagine #4 with gender reversed.


@iceberg - #1. I was making out with a girl downstairs from my friends apartment where I'd gone for a New Years Eve's Eve party, and sublime came on her three disc changer (COLLEGE!) and she would pull away at certain lines to mention how fantastic they were and then finally how "Brad was SUCH A POET". That was the last straw. As I've always been terrible at ending things, I said "you know, I think maybe I drank too much," and just went back to the party upstairs and crashed out on the floor next to a pile of jackets - so maybe I didn't make the allowance that night, but within minutes of laying on linoleum, face-to-northface, I wished I had.

Floors are much worse at kissing than lips.


@iceberg Oh, no, yeah they do. You just have to date dudes who like you more than you like them, and be busy and opinionated. I'm not proud of it.


@iceberg All. The. Time.

Time was, I was as pliant as a popsicle stick soaked overnight. Then I got a little more confident in my own interests and activities, and also learned that doing literally everything she wanted to do wasn't very fun for either of us. Now my girlfriend complains I take over in the kitchen too much. That's OK, she gets to pick the movies and TV shows. We divvy up the camping decisions.


@leon s "face-to-northface." You just described the entire freshman year experience at my preppy, Oxford-wannabe, old-money liberal arts school.

Briony Fields

@iceberg Oof, yes. I was just catching up with an old boyfriend today, and was hit full on with a wave of embarrassment at the memories of our time together. I was such a dick, not only to him, but the previous one and the one after, and....yeah. They all put up with it, though. I think it was me who ended all those relationships. I chalk it up to being young, on all of our behalves. I hope those guys have learned they don't have to tolerate such shitty behaviour, and I certainly think I've cleaned up my act since then.


@iceberg They definitely do, but I cannot fathom any of them involving tasers.


@iceberg The worst is the complete obliviousness to how dickish I was being at the time.

Like I once told a guy I couldn't decide whether or not we should break up, so it was his choice. But then when he told me how much he loved me, I realized my feelings were nowhere near as strong, and dumped him. He still invited me to prom six months later.

At the time, I really thought that this is what honest communication entailed. ::head desk::


@TheclaAndTheSeals Girls! We're jerks too. And have NO IDEA. Bah I'm so sorry, so many dudes. My friends are always "no, Robot, no, you're being the jerk here." And I'm like "WHAT? No."


@iBriony Fields.
Oh, Briony, holla.
When I run into/ am friended on facebook by boys from my 20s, I apologize.


I have also had an ex-boyfriend try to argue that his cheating was really hard on him, and that by breaking up with him it was actually me who had "given up" on the relationship, whereas he was willing to "stick it out" and was therefore the better person in our relationship.

Reginal T. Squirge

This is Drake's entire career, in a nutshell.


@ponymalta and then you set him on fire, right?

(We haven't had enough cleansing fire on the Pin lately)


sorry dudes i've been kinda busy perfunctorily sprays flame thrower


@ponymalta Both people who have cheated on me have given me "I'm sorry I cheated gifts." And they both sucked! (The guys and the gifts.) Has this insanity happened to anyone else?!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@ponymalta Sounds like he thought he was the better person, but we all know you were the stronger person for making the harder decision and getting out instead of stagnating in your broken relationship stew.


@ponymalta My ex cheated, got a std for his trouble, had sex with me a few more times, THEN told me about everything. When I promptly panicked/called Planned Parenthood for an appointment/burst into tears... he told me I was a selfish b**** for not being more concerned about HIS health and booking Him an appointment. Like you, I should have invested in a flame thrower. Instead, I spent my senior year trying to be friends because he convinced me that was the 'mature' thing to do. I like to think these days we'd punch these guys and then go for drinks with someone better. Right?


@ponymalta Me too! Sad high five?

Same ex also claimed that me wanting to move to the same state as him, after a long period of long distance, when I had the opportunity to proved I "didn't really love him."


@iknowright I hope the gift was a taser, and an invitation to aim it at their nuts.


@antilamentation I wish. Bad art and CD mixes, mostly.


@ponymalta Ugggh, the guys like that! I got lectured on how being upset and not able to forgive him 100% right away meant that he was actually justified in having cheated on me. Oh yeah. I dated a winner there for a while.


@ponymalta A similar thing happened to me. After I had dated a guy for about a year and had fallen madly in love with him, he told me that he had met someone else and was "confused" and "couldn't decide what to do," and that he knew it was hard on me, but to please understand that this was very hard for him too. He claimed nothing happened, but of course he totally cheated on me, both physically and emotionally. Oh, and the best/worst part was that the "someone else" was a high school girl. He was 37 at the time, and took her virginity in the course of cheating on both her and me. I very much wish I had set him on fire.

Reginal T. Squirge

"Andy and his friends were part of a drifting team."

In more ways than one...

So many gems in this piece.


@Reginal T. Squirge I'm picturing him and his friends being set adrift in the middle of the ocean. That is how I envision a drifting team.


@Reginal T. Squirge I thought it had something to do with driftboats...exactly what, I wasn't sure. Would they get together and drift down the river? How does competitive drifting work? How do you passively compete? This will bother me all day, even though it doesn't exist.


@graffin I thought it was just sort of drifting around the city, only, you know, in coordinated formations. Which, now that I think about it, would be much more entertaining for the rest of us than cars and tasers.


@WineRanger All I thought of was, like, "drifters" who roam from place to place in old stories and movies. But then I figured that could not be it and thought of Tokyo Drift, which I have never seen.


@Reginal T. Squirge I want to learn how to drift! Also, I honestly thought the sport was dominated by young Asian girls. Read that somewhere.


"I’m just really in the mood to floss."

What the hell?


@KatieBarTheDoor I was a little more horrified by someone not knowing whether they had floss in their house. What do you do when things get stuck in your teeth?! My gums! They weep!


@SarahDances Haha, I thought about that too! The only real answer to that question is "OF COURSE, do you think I'm some kind of Neanderthal?"


@SarahDances I had the opposite reaction. Like, who actually flosses? Am I the only person lying to my dentist?




@fabel I never used to floss (except for popcorn situations, etc.) and then I got three cavities at once, so now I'm really vigilant about it. But my husband never flosses and his teeth are fine.


@KatieBarTheDoor But don't you get things stuck uncomfortably between your teeth every once in a while? I would think everyone at least has some floss somewhere in their abode!


@SarahDances I can't edit on this computer, but I wanted to add that I actually carry floss on me at all times, including one miniature spool in each of my main purses. But I am also slightly insane.

fondue with cheddar

@fabel I usually only floss when something gets stuck, but I have certain teeth that get stuck in between them often, so I floss them maybe once every 2-3 days. But I identify more with the not-flossers than the flossers because it's not really a habit.

Being in the mood to floss is weird. It's either a necessity because something is stuck, or else it's a habit. It's not a mood thing!

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@KatieBarTheDoor I'm not saying I've never been "really in the mood to floss," but I don't think I've ever said it out loud, nor do I like to do it with an audience...

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@KatieBarTheDoor When my anxiety is allowed to run amok, I often get the overwhelming need to floss because I SWEAR I can feel cavities forming and my teeth grinding together on foreign objects. Mind you, I've never had a cavity. For me, it's generalized anxiety rearing its annoying head.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I did that just yesterday! Aren't you the one who's also afraid of balloons? I think we could be friends.


@SarahDances I cannot STAND the feeling of having even the tiniest bit of food between my teeth, and that feeling happens fairly frequently for me. Maybe I have very tightly-fitted teeth? I dunno. But for that reason I always have floss in my bag, at my desk, at home. And yet, I'm not a nightly flosser! Just an emergency flosser. Hm.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@KatieBarTheDoor Oh, I was already operating under the assumption that we're total Internet Friends!


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Hooray! :-)


@Killerpants I have extremely close-set teeth, which means I have to shell out for the "glide" floss. And I keep a spool in my purse and one at home, plus toothpicks in my desk at work and at home. Stupid tiny mouth.

fondue with cheddar

@anachronistique I hear you. I can only use the ribbon floss, too. The regular kind, if I can even make it fit between my teeth, ends up shredding, leaving bits of floss stuck in there which then have to be removed with ribbon floss.


@anachronistique Non-glide floss is the devil's thread.


@KatieBarTheDoor Reading this piece totally put me in the mood to floss. I just looked through my purse and, having found none, am getting a little antsy.


@SarahDances Insane, or prepared? I keep floss in three locations (bathroom, bedroom, car), and have never regretted it.


@anachronistique Me too. Luckily my dentist gives me tons of it. Fellow close-teeths: have you ever gotten a strand of floss stuck in there? Oh my goodness, it's terrible because then what?

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat I have. I usually try to get it with another strand and hope for the best. Otherwise, I attempt to shove my fingernail in between the edges of the teeth (if they're set in such a way that allows that) and hope it pries them apart just enough to be able to pull the floss out more easily. I HATE the way this feels, but sometimes it works.


@fondue with cheddar I usually just try again with more floss.. but what if it just gets worse? Oy.

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should confess that I am not above using a strand of my own hair if I'm in a spinach-pinch with no floss handy!

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat What if it gets out of hand like the old lady who swallows a fly?! And now I'm imagining you racing to the dentist in a panic with a big, fluffy ball of floss sticking out of your mouth like a pompom.

I've tried to use my hair, too! Unfortunately, my hair is too fine and it almost always breaks when I try that. And then I'm stuck with a pice of hair between my teeth. :(


@Hellcat Oh my gosh. YES. Once when I was like 19 I was at work and I hadn't learned to bring floss with me everywhere, and I ate an apple and of course I got apple skin between my teeth (every damn time), and it felt like I had a giant wedge in there and I couldn't take it, so I pulled out a strand of my hair and flossed and it worked like a charm. But then a week later the same thing happened and I grabbed a hair...and it broke. So i grabbed another hair to go after the first...and it broke. So at this point I have 2 hair stubs sticking out between my front teeth. And I'm freaking out. I grab a third...snap. I've got a full mini-mohawk going between my teeth. But I don't have any other options, so I go for a fourth and voila...snagged 'em all and pulled 'em out. PHEW.


@Killerpants Ahahahhahhahaaaa! A friend recently told me that this was gross behavior* and that there could be all sorts of terrible things going into my mouth as a result. My response was that any terrible thing in my own hair is likely already affecting me anyway. I'm sure her case could be reasonably be made, but it was necessary!

* And it is NOT a "behavior"; I don't always do it in lieu of real dental floss!

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat Not as terrible as putting your fingers in your mouth. And besides, exposing ourselves to germs in small amounts strengthens our immune system!


@fondue with cheddar Yeah, and I'm already kind of germ-phobey. But when it's my own parts, I guess I make exceptions? I don't know!

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat I make some exceptions with my own parts, too. The hairs of family and friends are 100x grosser than my own, and the hairs of strangers are 100100x grosser than my own.


OMG, the flossing, in your BED, right over your sleeping head.

Reginal T. Squirge

Haha. Did she wake up with bits of chewed up food in her hair?


@Reginal T. Squirge: Exactly! Who knows what kind of particle spray was going on there?! Ugh, get rid of your Jakes, seriously, they are revolting.


@mysterygirl I can't even handle people flossing outside the bathroom, let alone inches from my FACE. djksdjkjsdn


@christonacracker I used to work in a dental office and we'd have meetings during lunch pretty often, and without fail everyone would finish eating and start flossing and picking their fucking teeth. Right in the middle of a discussion. Shit was a nightmare.


Speaking as someone who has been involved in both the giving and receiving of recreational taser-ing and mace-ing, I think it is fun that Andy wanted you to come with him! It is sweet that he was willing to let you see him when he was vulnerable (aka, on the ground writhing in electrified pain).


@leon s: Did you pee? I always fear that if tased I'd spontaneously pee.


@laurel - I DID NOT. It turns out that I am NOT TOO SHABBY at handling non-lethal force. LIFE SKILLS.


@leon s: Impressive.


@laurel Oh my god I had never even known that was a possibility. I am now in fear of ever getting tased not because of the pain but because I might pee myself.


@SarahP: I don't know that it's possible. Or likely. For all I know, you totally clamp down on all orifices!


@laurel More likely (and terrifying) is biting your own tongue. Also, at my high school there was a cop who tased a person who then went into an epileptic seizure. So, um, be careful? I guess if people are tasing one another, it's probably too late to give that advice.


I was having a discussion with a group of laydeeez the other night, and it seems like TICKLING is something we all put up with to an astonishingly large degree. So, to crowdsource this one: 1: what percentage of your past(/current?) boyfriends have used tickling to (too large of) a degree as a form of foreplay/flirting? 2: Follow-up: how many of you actually enjoy(ed) it?

The overwhelming response from my test group was: 1: around 85-90%, and 2: 0.


@iknowright Follow up question: who used strong words, followed up with physical violence, to put a stop to it? I know of at least one.


@iknowright My current Gentleman Friend does it sometimes, less as foreplay and more as just silliness. I think some of my other ones have, but I am having a hard time remembering. But I actually kind of like being tickled, depending on the situation.


@iknowright That is definitely a THING in my experience. Guys I've been involved with have almost invariably tickled me, but always in the context of playful cuddling, not sexy-times. At the same time.. sometimes I find very, very light tickle-y touches to be.. kind of a turn-on? I'm a really ticklish person. My fella does sometimes tickles my ribs/underarm area really lightly and it makes me laugh but feels good (like in a sexual way) at the same time. I like it :)

Once he tickled the bottoms of my feet during sex while I was on top, and it woulda been OK but I am so spazzy I almost kicked him. So that will not be repeated.. but it's not the tickling that bothers me. Sometimes our sexy-times are more light-hearted so it kinda works!


@iknowright My boyf & I use tickling more as a last resort tactic to get each other to stop doing silly things (i.e. playing dead/making gremlin faces)

fondue with cheddar

@iknowright Tickling is okay as long as it lasts no longer than one second. Otherwise I do not tolerate it.

@planforamiracle Yeah, light, tickly touches can be good, but the kind of tickling that makes you laugh and convulsively writhe is not good.


@iknowright My current guy does not tickle me, which is very, very much appreciated, considering how often I "punch" him in the kidneys. (I am not abusive, really, it's play punching, although I think it does sometimes annoy him.) I was once almost dating a guy who would not stop tickling me and, since I am horrifically ticklish, I hated it. I would grow violent and try to maim him. He thought it was funny.

fondue with cheddar

@AmandathePanda I hate it when people think being mad about being tickled is a joke. Or they don't think it's a joke but they do it anyway for their own amusement. Ugh, I'm glad you only almost dated him.

Briony Fields

@iknowright omg, tickling was the number one form of flirting/foreplay when my high school boyfriend and I were sexually frustrated über Christians.


@iknowright I'm a guy, and in my relationship tickling/tickle fights are exclusively initiated by my girlfriend, which is funny since she's quite a bit more ticklish than I am. For us it's fun, but I once saw a pretty convincing article talking about the very common occurrence of boyfriends unwantedly tickling their girlfriends as being a component of rape culture.


@iknowright @When robot unicorns attack

Well... once I was making out with my then-bf/now-ex, and he started (inexplicably) tickling me. I accidentally (I swear!) headbutted him.

We proceeded to date for 3 more years.

fondue with cheddar

@Probs That makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of similarities between rape and unwanted tickling now that you mention it. I might have to search for this article.

fondue with cheddar

@fondue with cheddar To be clear, I'm not suggesting that tickling is as bad as rape. But tickling is sort of a culturally acceptable and extremely mild version of rape.


@fondue with cheddar Yep. It's really problematic when you look at tickling and the way we socialize kids. Ever see a little kid being tickled, screaming "no" and having all the adults keep going? I'm a big fan of stopping when little kids tell you too. It a) teaches them that they have a right to bodily autonomy and to expect that someone will stop touching them when they ask and b) to use their words to ask for what they want. (There's nothing wrong with enjoying being tickled, but if you say "stop" and then you pout when I stop, you're not being honest about your desires)


@fondue with cheddar i think i know what you mean - that paricular type of tickling where you're like "fucking stop it" and the dude is like "bahaha you are uncomfortable and it amuses me, so I won't stop" shares the same sort of overriding of bodily autonomy.


@Blushingflwr YES I actually stop tickling when my daughter says "nooo" or "'top" because I want her to understand this.


@iceberg Exactly. This is why I just DON'T put up with it. Tickle me at your own peril, dude, because I am not into it and will flat out make you stop, and if you don't respect that, you're fucking gone.

fondue with cheddar

@Blushingflwr My best friend in middle school used to continue tickling me after I told her to stop, until finally one time I reacted differently. I forget if it was screaming bloody murder or threatening her or what, but she finally got the message and stopped tickling me altogether forever, which was just fine with me.

Nowadays I just warn people that if they tickle me I will probably accidentally punch or kick them in the face, that I've done it before and really hurt people, and I don't want to hurt them. That usually works.

@iceberg That's wonderful. You are a good parent!


@iknowright I warn all boyfriends that tickling is a bad idea, and that I may involuntarily headbutt when forcefully tickled. That tends to do the trick.


@fondue with cheddar I mean, I'm not above overriding her bodily autonomy when she doesn't want to put shoes on or have her diaper changed, but I feel like that's a differnt category.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg Yeah, if you always backed down every time your child said no to something...I've seen the result of that and it's not pretty.

Judith Slutler

@iknowright I like to be tickled up to a certain point but there is a definite "UGH STOP THAT NOW" switch in my brain after a while.

My boyfriend bites, though. I've mostly got him used to the fact that I don't appreciate it as roughhousing or foreplay but sometimes he still gets bitey and I have to lay down the law. His only excuse is "but your skin is so soft!" Yeah, not a reason to bite me!


@iknowright Mine does, but in fairness I put up with it because during tickle fights he puts up with it when I punch him REALLY HARD to make him stop.

...wow, our relationship sounds terrible.


@iknowright the first time we made out, I told my sweetie that rule number 1 was no tickling me. He has not attempted anything since.

Years of tickle-torture at the hands of my cousins - which caused me to react by flailing all four limbs and sometimes involuntarily peeing - made me militant on this one.


@iknowright 100, 0. To be fair, it's more like... poking. I just get super reflexively flaily, and it can't be pleasant for the dude either. WHY????


@iknowright I've accidentally kicked Mr TARDIStime in the face for tickling me (involuntary flailing because I lose control when tickled under the feet).
One time he kept going after I asked him to stop and he thought I was kidding. Until I grabbed his hand bit down hard.
Biatch knows I'm serious, now.


@Probs I think I might have read that -- was the author a guy? For me it definitely falls more in the category of pain/power than funny haha.

maxine of arc

@Emmanuelle Cunt Man, what is with the biting? My boyfriend did that in the very early flirtatious stage of our relationship. For some reason I liked him anyway, and eventually it... completely stopped? Now I'm like, "Remember when you used to bite me? What the hell was that?" and he's all "I DON'T KNOW!"

I am glad I'm not the only person who gets violent when tickled! I favor finger twisting over punching and I have had many a person make me feel like The Worst Human On The Planet for reacting defensively when they try to touch me in a way I DON'T WANT TO BE TOUCHED. Stop tickling me, everyone.


@Blushingflwr Yes, and I think tickling is one of those things that carries over from childhood and being silly. People see it as really mild, like physical contact that is just being goofy and not offensive. But while the way a parent might tickle their own child would (at least hopefully) start out as light and gentle, I think it can so easily develop into being more violent, especially with kids who don't really know how to gauge what intensity level is ok. Anyway, I agree with your analysis.


@planforamiracle @apple @stonefruit

Yeah, whenever I have been tickled it is not soft touches -- I think light fingertips over the skin which do tickle slightly are pretty erotic. But what I get, from friends out in public to hook-ups to serious boyfriends is not that. It's pretty much: "I am going to jab you in the ribs until your knees buckle." I am going to claw-hand your waist and wiggle my fingers until you are laughing uncontrollably. But it's not joyous laughter! Which I feel should be clear to everyone!

And, I've never had a woman do that to me, nor have I ever seen a woman do it to anyone else.


@iceberg YES, this is pretty much a perfect description, and I don't get it. Why does my discomfort amuse you? And do you get that it means I can never be 100% trusting of you until you stop?


@Emmanuelle Cunt If anything that's a reason to NOT bite you! I suppose you could teach him a lesson by biting his most sensitive area, but two wrongs, blah blah

Blair Dowis@twitter

I'm a biter. I dunno. I think i have one of those oral fixations things. It's not hard though... it's more like nibbles.


@iknowright I love being tickled and probably everybody I have slept with has used it as a form of foreplay and I have loved it every time



@redheaded&crazie Troublemaker! ;)


I *hate* being tickled and I dated someone who was relentless about tickling and really only kneeing him in the balls would make him stop. Once I brought it up that I really really hated it and he was so shocked. "But ... you were laughing?" he sad sadly.
Involuntarily dude. Involuntarily.

fondue with cheddar

@Blair Dowis@twitter
nibbling > chomping

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@iknowright The vast majority of dudes I've dated have been WAY more ticklish than I am and were therefore too scared to try it for fear of being reciprocally tickled themselves.


@iknowright I think I've let this tickling happen at the early stages of a relationship where everyone is just very touchy anyway. And now my BF sometimes does it to me just because he thinks it's funny/cute. Luckily for me and very luckily for him, he does it just for a few seconds.

When I was younger, I recall guys who were not yet my BF/fling/whatever kind of using the tickle approach to alert me to the fact that they were interested in being more than just a guy friend but were not going to just come out and say so. Typing it out makes it seem weird and crazy, but at the time (college), it seemed normal enough. I don't think I'd react well to that type of wooing now though!

Courtney Jenkins@facebook

@iknowright Tickling makes me laugh/scream, then wheeze, then eventually start crying. People think it's funny because I'm laughing, but the laughing is involuntary! It's like being tortured. My current boyfriend did it to me one time and I nearly broke his hand. I will kick, punch, whatever, because it cues my fight or flight reflex. It's awful.


This is making me think of allowances that have been made for me. I used to make my ex listen to KD Lang during sex. All the time. He was a 22 year old dude. Listening to KD Lang. During sex.

These days it's usually "I'll be busy til 9 with dinner plans with other people/work/exercise, but you can pick me up and then we can hang out. But I have to get up early, so it can't be a late night." They do it! Every time.

I recently went to a distant suburb on a bus to meet a dude's friends, so fairsies.


@When robot unicorns attack I spent several drunken weeknights making out with a girl who played the same Ani DiFranco song every time. Pretty sure the song and making out were both directed at the same ex, who I never met. COLLEGE!!!


@Mike_B - One time, a girl and I went on a trip together. She told me at the beginning of the trip that she had decided Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" was 'our song'.

I was somehow surprised when she broke up with me at the end of the trip.


@leon s But, does she remember you?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@When robot unicorns attack I can't stop laughing about this.


To be, in general, the one who compels rather than the one compelled? It remains largely a mystery.

amen, sistafriend.



I want to circle, underline, bold, cross out and then rewrite that over and over again


@wearitcounts Everytime I've been the compeller I either 1) didn't know I was in that place of power until waaaaayyyy later (like far enough down the line that I couldn't use it to my advantage) or 2) I didn't really like the guy and felt suuuper guilty knowing he liked me more than I liked him.

So maybe it goes back to the Dark Triad or something?


@iknowright yup. exactly those two things.

fondue with cheddar

So many allowances in my past. I have made a lot of poor dating choices. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar Would the pick-up line, "I've been called a poor dating choice before..." work on you? (Asking for a friend.)

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Are you hot? Just kidding. You don't need to use any pick-up lines on me. ;)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar My friend says yes, she's reasonably attractive and often flirts with people at inappropriate times, such as when they are feeling wistful online about past relationships.

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose There is no such thing as an inappropriate time to flirt with your friend. It sounds like she understand the immense healing power of flirting. It is a Good Thing!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar Oh good. Maybe someday in the middle of an emotional thread on a tough post, she'll ask how sharp your cheddar is or something.


@fondue with cheddar I also would not even know where to begin. I could write a far longer (and obvs far less entertaining) tome on my ex alone.

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That would probably be just what I needed to cheer me up.

And by the way, my cheddar is sharp, but it's also smooth and delicious. It gives some people the poops, though!

@redheaded&crazie I hear that. But we're so much smarter now, right? At least that's what I tell myself.


Are you sure Brian's name wasn't actually Mark? Because I also dated that dude in high school.


@HydrogenJukebox What is it with high school boys?


@SarahP: I know. It's like some sort of insidious disease. (Not to mention it was a scourge upon my burgeoning feminism at the time.)


@SarahP Hmn. I used to be sad that no one had wanted to date me in high school. Now I feel like I dodged a bullet.


I once sat through the ENTIRETY of Tool's Lateralus album in COMPLETE silence, being shushed if I made any sound other than breathing, when I was hanging out a friend and the guy she wanted to get with. So he could show us how important it was.

I was the best wingwoman.

Oh, squiggles

The perfect man always remembers to bring his personal supply of floss, fully charged tasers, and ipod devices loaded with Eminem, so that he may amuse himself quietly in the corner while the grown-ups talk.

lasso tabasco

The weird thing is that it all seems perfectly okay(ish? or were we just in denial?) while its happening! Like, oh, you're twenty five and you don't have a full time job because you "dont want to be tied down"? Okay!!!! SOUNDS GREAT.

Maybe growing up means learning not to ignore glaring red flags?

dracula's ghost

one time a guy was doing something intimate to my private bits and he started hurting me and I said "ouch! OUCH! STOP!" and he briefly looked up and with withering scorn said: "I know what I'm doing," and kept doing it


@dracula's ghost I hope you punched him.

fondue with cheddar

@dracula's ghost WHAT.

How did you react? I don't normally condone violence but I hope you kicked him in the face.

dracula's ghost

@fondue with cheddar Well I was young and dumb, so I made allowance! For like another couple of weeks, then I bailed

fondue with cheddar

@dracula's ghost Oh, the things we do when we're young and dumb. You could not pay me to relive my early twenties.

dracula's ghost

Also is this a safe space to talk about how scarred we are by how much the men during our 20s liked Charles Bukowski




One guy (whose absolute favorite book was The Fountainhead *facepalm*), in the course of breaking up with me because I hadn't had sex with him after going out for less than a month (I was a virgin who'd never even gotten to second base with my one prior boyfriend), said (paraphrasing) "sometimes you just go kind of nuts if you haven't gotten laid for awhile and you make bad dating choices (meaning me)". I mooned over that asshole for another year.


I kept being puzzled by that picture of floss, sure that it was an iPod and wondering why I hadn't seen it before.


"Do you have any floss?"

Man, I've been there. Some of them never stop asking, and that's when the time comes where you tell them to fuck off and find floss elsewhere because you're tired of searching the bathroom cabinet to fill his void.

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