Back to School
Lindy West's Guide to Sex and Dating
Everything You Could Possibly Need to Know—Plus Abortion Stuff!
Back to School
- The Stranger's 2011 Back to School Guide
- Everything You Could Possibly Need to Know About Sex and Dating—Including Abortion Stuff!
- You're Not Fooling Anyone—You're Gay, Okay?
- A Handy Guide to Immoderate Drinking
- Experimenting with Drugs and Not Dying
- How to Listen to Music Without Embarrassment
- Did You Know That Museums and Art Galleries Are Free?
- How to Read a Book
- Be Political Without Being an Asshole
- A List of Places and Things in Seattle I Wish I Knew About When I First Moved to the City
- Five Places to Eat Delicious Things
- The University Campus Is the Ideal Society
- What Happens After You Graduate
How to Take Someone on a Romantic Date
Yay! Good idea! How cute of you! There are a lot of ways to go about this, but the main thing is: Be thoughtful. Pay attention to what the other person likes. Are they a vegetarian? Did they mention wanting to try a particular restaurant? Did they tell you that Vietnamese food gives them diarrhea-hives? Try to avoid restaurants that will give your beloved or hopefully-beloved-to-be diarrhea-hives. Diarrhea-hives are not romantic. Tell your date they look pretty/handsome. Don't be boring. Ask questions. Candles are nice. Flowers aren't necessary but HOLY SHIT ARE THEY EXCITING. Cooking at home isn't necessary but HOLY FUCK IS IT ADORABLE. The idea here is to make the other person feel special, so just treat the other person like they are special (not special like Special Olympics—come on) and you win. Oh, and kiss your special person. KISS THEM. KISS THEM SO MUCH.
How to Get with a Girl if You Are a Boy
Here's the main thing: Don't be creepy. Girls can smell your weird, insecure, predatory creepin' from a mile away (hint: It smells like DiGiorno and Axe body spray!). Groom yourself, don't try too hard, don't use pick-up lines, don't stare, and try to visibly have fun. People (women are people!) like to be around people who are fun. Don't be too aggressive, but don't be too timid. Most importantly, talk to women like they are humans with interests and lives and things to say, not just fleshy collections of holes that you would like to put your penis into. Oh, and please don't wear sandals. No one wants to look at your weird red toes.
How to Get with a Boy if You Are a Girl
Exist. Smile. Wash yourself. Go to places where other people are. Have fun. Congrats! Penis in vagina!
How to Get with a Gay if You Are a Gay
See here, and good on ya!
How to Successfully Put Your Parts in or on Another Person
Communication is important. Unless you're having sex with one of those (annoying) people who doesn't like to talk specifics because it ruins the "moment" or the "mystery," just go ahead and ASK. What do they like? What gives them the carnal tingles? What gets them off? Listen to what they say, and tell them what you want, too. Then, whatever you talked about, both of you do that with your genitals. Bingo! If you are a shy flower who just wants to DO dirty things without having to TALK about dirty things, pay close attention to your partner's body language and vocalizations. If they start making a noise like they like something, do more of that thing. If they fall asleep, you're fired. To sum up: friction, repetition, enthusiasm, repeat. No teeth.
How to Have a Respectful One-Night Stand
Okay. You just saw this person naked and they saw you naked. Both of you are vulnerable right now. But even though you are vulnerable, don't pull some lame backlash shit. This person just had sex with you! That was so nice of them! First of all, don't sneak out. If you don't want to spend the night, that's okay, but be kind and direct about it. If you don't want the other person to spend the night, then don't invite the other person over to your goddamn house, because there is no non-shitty way to kick someone out after you just fucked them. Sorry. Also, don't get anyone's hopes up. Don't be all, "I am totally into you and let's date! I'll totally call you in five minutes!" Because you know you're not going to do that. But also don't be a dick. Don't be all, "Get out of my house, skank! You're gross!" Try this: "Hey, I had fun! Thanks! Maybe I'll see you around sometime!" Also, eating a breakfast sandwich with a person is a nice gesture. Just saying.
Something oozing or weird down there? Go to the damn doctor. Seriously. Just go. DOCTORS ARE NOT SCARY. The waiting and wondering and possibly infecting other people is the scary part.
How to Break Up with Someone
You MUST do it in person. No phone, no texting, no e-mail. You must be firm, direct, and simple. Do not leave room for argument or ambiguity or false hopes. Don't be cruel or insulting, even if you feel like it—it just makes you look bad and gives the dumpee ammunition for later. Leave as soon as you're done, and delete that person from your phone and your Facebook so you don't do anything you regret while drunk.
How to Get an Abortion
Calm down. Take a deep breath. It's going to be okay. If you are pregnant but you don't want to be, there are sooooo many options for you! Fun! Let's do this! First, make an appointment at a clinic in your area. Make sure it isn't a creepy Christian "pregnancy center" because they will just feed you a bunch of lies about your soul dying and your uterus falling out and then send you home with some Jesus pamphlets and no abortion. Not. Fucking. Helpful. In Seattle, try Planned Parenthood's University District Health Center, Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill, Aurora Medical Services, or Seattle Medical and Wellness Clinic downtown.
The people at the clinic (almost certainly women) have met many people like you before and they are trained in just the right ways to be nice to you and help you to stop freaking out. They will sit you down and talk to you about your feelings and your options. You will have the choice of either a medical abortion (pills that cause the unwanted clump of cells—it is not a baby—to detach and fall out) or a surgical abortion (sedation and a vacuum-type apparatus). The medical kind, where you take the pills, is easier, but either is totally fine. To repeat: You will be FINE.
People will tell you all kinds of things about your abortion: They'll tell you that you are a bad person. They'll tell you that you'll be traumatized for the rest of your life. They'll tell you it'll be horribly painful. They'll tell you that chunks of tissue the size of lemons will fall out of your vagina. Of course, everyone is different and everyone's abortion is different (like a snowflake!), but in general, the reality is that YOU WILL BE FINE. Your heart will recover. Lemons will not come out. No lemons. If lemons come out, call the doctor, and THEN you will be fine. And if you are a bad person, it is not because of your abortion.
Lastly, congrats! You now have carte blanche to make abortion jokes for the rest of time. Use this power wisely.