Dark Dreams: A Teen Goth Grows Up

Life as a teen goth was dark. How dark, you ask?
Approximately this dark:

dark

Yes. That dark. Damn I miss those boots.

When I was a teen I felt completely awkward and alone (shocking news). I was uncomfortable in the skin that contained me, uncomfortable in town that kept me, and angry. I was angry at everyone and everything – everything that I felt kept me from living the glamorous life I was supposed to be living somewhere far, far away from Princeton, Ontario. I found a hero in Marilyn Manson and groomed myself into a picture-perfect teen goth: no eyebrows (I drew them on, which was a drag at pool parties), hair jet black or white blonde, black eyeliner, red lips, rings on every finger and as much Tripp and Lip Service clothing as my part-time serving job would afford me. This makeup was a mask and this clothing was my armor. I was ready to do battle against the world. I was convinced I was superior to my peers – the ones clad in their coordinating Campus Crew hooded sweatshirts and asking if they could draw on my eyebrows for me in English class. My diary pages were full of aggressive rants – “how could she not know what the Pentagon is?” No one understood anything, not in high school, and I was bursting at my jet-black seams to escape to the life I knew was waiting for me on the other side of 18.

I don’t want to be here anymore. I need to leave, but I can’t and that’s the most frustrating thing. I hate being 15. I want to be 19, 20, just not 15. I need so much more than this. I need to get out there and live. I need to meet Twiggy [Ramirez, Manson’s lead guitarist] and Manson, but every time I get like this the facts are too blatantly clear. It’s not going to happen – I know it. But I want it so bad.” – January 2002

I moved to Toronto at 17, the moment I was done my final grade 12 exams, and forced my way into adulthood with fierce determination. I became a regular at the Rock and Roll bar of the time, I drank almost every night, I went to rock shows, I spent money on drugs instead of groceries and I made the decision to drop out of college as I lay in bed beside a Canadian frontman I’d dreamed of marrying since I was ten years old (I later discovered that the wife he told me he didn’t have was pregnant… via the radio). Yes, my new grown up life was really glamorous – sex, drugs, rock’n’roll – check, check and check, but in the wise words of Sheryl Crow, I had to ask myself “if it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?” I cleaned up my act in a lot of ways (drugs and I were not meant to be, thank goodness), but I’ve been hired, fired, picked up, let down, loved and left. I’m still not living that perfect life I pictured in those tortured days of youth, and the idea of what that life should look like has undergone a million and one makeovers over the years. I’m still a drama queen and like to stomp my feet when I don’t get my way, but every now and again (and, in fact, quite often), I am reminded that I have somehow managed to wind up on a pretty magical journey, full of great adventures.

It’s June 2013. I’m 26 now and in an homage to my teen goth days I’m clad in a flowing black maxi-dress, sandals covered in gun-metal buckles and far more makeup than I would normally wear these days. I’m sitting in Buffalo, New York on a tour bus. Twiggy Ramirez sits across from me. He’s doing an incredibly good Sylvester Stallone impression and we’re all laughing. I did not wait by a backstage door or claw my way through mass of screaming fans to get here (though I am covered in metallic silver confetti which I’m shedding all over the carpeted floors). I am a guest. I smile to myself, thinking of the 15 year old girl who cried to her diary about how she’d never get her wish.

The moral of the story? Dream big and don’t settle. You will fuck up, you will fall down, but life can be extraordinary if you let it. These cliches don’t just apply to the honor students and the star football players. Even teen goth dreams come true.

Allison Dunnings is a singer/songwriter, dreamweaver and storyteller with penchant for beards and bad decisions. You can hear her music here, read her fledgling blog here and tweet her here: @AllisonDunnings.

Faugasms: Tsk Tsk Ladies

BlondeMag

It might have been around the time Meg Ryan panted and moaned her way into romantic comedy history that men realized their own personal nightmare of faked orgasms was an honest to god real thing.

It was the 80s. Couldn’t we have cut them a break? Women were already wearing shoulder pads that were broader than even the most muscular of male shoulders. Then Nora Ephron delivered the ultimate blow to their ego. And not just their regular ego…their sexual ego. Who can say for sure if they’ve recovered completely yet?

Let’s make sure we understand something right off the bat: if you’re here for tips on how to better fake an orgasm…you’ve come to the entirely wrong place.

I don’t support the faking of orgasms. Of course I’ve done it, but at this point in my life I’ve decided to make the conscious effort not to. Don’t get me wrong, to each her own and all that jazz, but I have to ask the big question: just who does it actually benefit?

The short answer is no one.

Every time you fake an orgasm, who are you doing it for? Yourself? Your partner? Let’s break down why neither of these are the right answer.

If you’re faking an orgasm for yourself (it’s late, you’re tired, you’re going numb and it’s not going to happen) you’re just putting more pressure on yourself. The more you think about what you’re ‘expected’ to do, the smaller the chance it’ll actually happen. Once you get to thinking about your lack of orgasm (“How is it not happening? What’s wrong with me?”) that’s all that will be on your mind.

Let’s say you fake an orgasm and it’s an Oscar-worthy performance. You might be setting yourself up to be psyched out the next time when you actually come and it’s not as loud and ceiling-shaking as the fake one was. So you end up telling yourself “I better blow it out of proportion or else he’ll think something’s up!” At some point after doing this repeatedly, you might get to a point where even YOU don’t know what’s real and what’s not.

If you’re faking an orgasm for the person you’re with, you should take a long, hard look at why.

I can understand if it’s a one night stand, a fuck buddy or anyone else you have no intention of seeing seriously or ever again. In those cases, who cares? Fake it, don’t fake it…it really makes no difference.

However, if you’re having sex with a significant other and whatever they’re doing just isn’t working for you, don’t fake it because you feel obligated to. As lame as it sounds, these are the teaching moments. It’s times like these that you’ll get to see the raw, true side of your person. They shouldn’t be offended to hear that you need to switch it up if you’re going to have a chance to come. (Provided you don’t say it with major malice.) There’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting someone know what else they can do to satisfy you. Asking for something different to help you get off is a right and not a privilege, I’m pretty sure.

If you’re with someone who cares about you, they’re going to want to know how they can make you come for real, no matter what they have to do or how long it takes. Saying that, you both also need to know that not having an orgasm during sex isn’t the worst thing in the world. It in no way diminishes him as a man/her as a woman or you as a sexual being. The entire act isn’t torture, sometimes it’s great just being there!

The other reason that faking an orgasm is beneficial for exactly no one is: if you’re doing it with a guy, you’ll know that they’re creatures of habit. If they think something has worked well (especially if you dub it with Jenna Jameson-esque noises) they’re likely to do it again and again until you finally work up the nerve to say you need something else. And chances are, if you guys break up (sorry to hear that!) he’ll use those same techniques on the next girl and then have those big puppy dog ‘who me?’ eyes if she tells him that that’s not going to cut it.

What it all comes down to is that you’re both grown-ups (hopefully). You should be able to tell each other what you want and need in bed in order to both have a good, complete time. When you really look at it, faking an orgasm doesn’t really have any upsides.

Oh, and just a word to the wise…it’s really hard to fake the pulsating that our vaginas do when we come. And if he’s not wearing a condom or she has her fingers in you…they’ll know that something is missing. No one ever wants to be faced with the questions “Um, did you just fake an orgasm?”

Bianca Teixeira is a freelance writer and radio personality. She writes on post-its, napkins, her hand and scrap pieces of paper. Occasionally, those scribbles make it online.You can follow her random musings at @BeeLauraTee.