The Fear Girls

Category: Relationships

Boy Crazy

By Caitlin Clarkson

When I found these little slips of paper, I scooped them up without really thinking about it. I was going through a phase where I had to pick up every little scrap of paper I saw with writing on it; grocery lists, sticky notes, random pieces of mail with just one sentence or address. I liked the brief glimpse they gave me into someone else’s life.
I wonder where these particular slips of paper are from, what the girls who wrote them are like. I found the papers on a street with two high schools in the immediate area, but there was also the art school I went to right in between them, and the notes were written on an unusual, unlined paper. Maybe the papers were torn out of old books in some school library.
As I look at them now, I get the same feeling I got from them before; it’s such an intimate conversation between these girls, and I get a peek at what they confide in each other. But what really strikes me now, a few years after finding the notes, is how much I relate to them. There is something both comforting and painful in having physical evidence of other girls carefully examining the minutiae of their interactions with boys, hoping for some clue to help them figure out how he feels.

Note 1

At the beginning of the notes, the girl A states,

“I’m boy crazy… That boy hasn’t called me yet and I don’t know what to do… I want him to be mine!”

Her friend, girl B, replies,

“Oh gosh… dear!!! Find a boy that is crazy for you!!!

Girl A’s response,

“But I want that one!”

is an all-too familiar feeling.


Note 2

The conversation between the two girls could almost be my own inner dialogue, when I struggle with balancing my own self worth and my need for validation from a boy. And it can be difficult some times, to know deep down that I’m a pretty-okay girl, so why don’t any boys seem to think that as well? It seems like an oddly pathetic feeling, to just want to have someone tell me I’m cute and funny and smart and talented, and that those qualities make me attractive. I know that I’m all those things, but what does it matter if no one I’m attracted to seems to think so? Like I said, it’s a pathetic feeling.
And I see girl A and girl B struggle with the same feelings. Quickly after calling herself “boy crazy,” girl A seems to pull herself together a little, stating,

“Yeah but I think I won’t call him anyway…. I am a woman! I don’t follow boys! […] You remember when I broke up with my ex? So sad… Fuck that!!!”

Girl B, who has been trying to be helpful throughout the notes, only opens up about her own feelings in the last bit she writes. Earlier she states,

“There are so many fish in the ocean! You’ll find other [sic] boy!”

Only to immediately contradict herself:

“For me, I can’t really find the one yet! There are no guys.”

Girl A offers her friend no written consolation, and only vows to heed her earlier advice to be patient.
At the end of the day, that’s all any of us can be when searching for love and the fulfillment it gives us: patient. And whenever I dig myself out of my self-pitying spiral of doubt, I’m left with one piece of truth: I genuinely like myself. I really am cute and funny and smart and talented. See the banner at the top of this blog? I did that! Pretty neat, right? I know! And I also know that as tough as it can be sometimes to be alone, if I keep being not only patient but also my own badass self, regardless of who is or isn’t around, I’ll be okay. Because the hardest part, learning to love and live with myself, is already done. All that’s left is to find someone who agrees. And anything less? So sad… Fuck that!!!


Opinionated Women

By Edison Mellor-Goldman

Why talk about politics? A lot of people choose not to go there with boyfriends or girlfriends because they see it as a way to generate unnecessary divisions and start arguments. It’s much the same way with music or sports, which are both integral to many peoples’ lives. It would be a catastrophe to find out your significant other strongly disagrees with you on something that’s such a huge part of who you are, right? You wouldn’t take your hot date to the abandoned minefield if you could go to Pinkberry instead, so why wouldn’t you also skirt dangerous conversation topics in favor of something pleasanter – for her sake?

For me, there’s something scarier than finding out that your girl is a Celtics fan, and that’s finding out that she doesn’t know why. Scarier than discovering the one you care for has always loved Nickelback is learning that she never really gave a thought to music, and scarier than learning your girlfriend is a diehard NRA member is her saying “Oh, let’s not talk about gun control laws, that stuff’s sooo boring”. That’s why the political questions (or anything important really) can be monumental for me to broach with a girl I don’t know too well; I’m not worried that a disagreement will drive a wedge between us, I just fear that she might not have an opinion on anything.

Do ladies believe that the sexiest “mojo” one can have is not fire or ice, but the lukewarm water in the middle? Or are they just playing it safe, hedging their bets so as not to cause any sort of confrontation? A woman who shows a lack of interest in a pivotal conversation point could be trying to hide her lack of depth – or subtly trying to steer the conversation elsewhere to pre-empt a possible disagreement that has been foreseen by soothsayers, ala Minority Report. As awesome as a pre-emptive de-argumentation unit of beautiful women sounds, I think the answer might be simpler: Women are convinced men don’t like opinionated women.

One could say “Gee, wonder what gave them that impression?” if one was an idiot. Or, one could bring to mind how, even in this modern age when a lot of women are told to be empowered, women aren’t taught that having their own thoughts and beliefs is the only real way to get there. Has anybody ever heard of a lady who became a “strong, independent woman” by just willing it to be so? It takes the conviction that can only come from trusting in your own perspectives and angles on life.
There’s another perk, too — opinions are sexy. There, you’ve heard it from a man.  I’m not emasculated when I talk to a woman who seems more informed about a certain issue, because I know I have thoughts on other topics that will similarly broaden her horizons. Any man who is that easily emasculated is probably not a good emotional investment. Relationships should be about growth, and we grow when faced with adversity and different perspectives. Couples and friends stagnate when any disagreement on something becomes all about asserting dominance rather than learning. So if that’s a problem you find yourself with, you probably shouldn’t be dating him anyways. There are few things sexier than a woman who knows what she’s talking about and isn’t afraid to say it when the point gets raised, and a disagreement between two reasonable people shouldn’t be a relationship end-all.
For the record, I’m dating a Celtics fan and things are going quite well.

How The Girl Got Her Kinks

 By Chloe Crossman

It’s a funny thing, the way we human beings discover our sexuality; it is a multi-tiered event, beginning in infancy and spanning across varying amounts of time, brought on by different events, sights, and feelings. There is the first time that a child witnesses two adults in the act of lovemaking, perhaps in a racy movie scene, perhaps by walking in on their parents. Such an event is followed, most often, with some sort of explanation, ranging from the old stand-by: “Mommy and Daddy were just hugging,” to the more elaborate: “Well, when two grown-ups love each other very much…” Then, of course, there is the first time that a child realizes that if they touch certain parts of their body in a certain way, it feels especially nice; until they are old enough to understand that this is called “masturbating,” and it is a private activity, this sort of self-touching can happen anywhere from the playground at preschool to the produce aisle of the grocery store. A little later down this road of sexual discovery, the child will experience their first “crush,” which typically focuses on a particular classmate or peer, and involves things like sharing cookies, throwing rocks, and, in some cases, a little light smooching. Sometimes this crush is on a fictional character, or a popular musician, or a movie star—or perhaps some wonderful and amazing combination therein, like, say, David Bowie and his codpiece-laden wardrobe in Labyrinth. These experiences are universal; whether they talk about it or not, every single person on Earth experiences such types of things in some way or another.

So then, I ask, when and how does an individual’s unique sexual identity begin to form? It is my contention that, to a large extent, we are each born with a certain amount of this part of us already thriving. It is this intrinsic piece of our specific selves that shapes the way we grow into distinct, sexual beings; this is the piece that means some little boys will always tend to like girls with freckles, and some little girls will happen to be quite fond of other little girls, and one particular little girl will feel tingly when she sees a certain British pop star dancing around in tight pants with puppets. As we grow older, we begin to realize more and more of our personal, sexual proclivities; we begin to understand them, name them, and, hopefully, embrace them. These are the interesting bits, and the bits that we don’t tend to talk about as frequently, especially when our tendencies go against what most of society deems “normal”.

Take, for instance, deriving sexual pleasure from pain and domination. It can be a difficult thing to explain, and sometimes an even more difficult thing to understand, even for the person in question; in this case, myself. I’ve done a lot of thinking, a lot of rationalizing, a lot of feeling ashamed, and quite a bit of questioning. How can I call myself a strong female when I enjoy being sexually dominated (in a mutually consenting, safe way) by a male partner? Is there something wrong with me? Am I some kind of sex pervert? To answer these questions, I revisited some of the aforementioned childhood stepping stones and examined how I have grown into the woman that I am today. It started with spanking.I have an incredibly vivid memory of the first time my mother read to me from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. On this particular day, she read me a story called “The Elephant’s Child,” which tells the tale of a little elephant who asked a lot of questions to a lot of different animals, all of whom were annoyed by this and proceeded to spank the daylights out of him with their various “hard, hard hoofs” and “scalesome, flailsome tails.” I can’t remember what the moral of the story was, but I do remember the feeling that came over me—warm and prickly and curious—and I remember thinking,You know, that doesn’t sound half bad. I re-read the story to myself many times, each time with the same result. Once, on a rare occasion that I found myself with some privacy, I pretended I was the naughty little elephant, and I smacked myself on the bum a few times with a hair brush. It wasn’t the same. One cannot really spank oneself, it turns out. A few years later, I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and experienced a wave of excitement, and a strange feeling of understanding, as I watched the scene in which a castle full of women plead the good Sir Galahad to spank them all. Other people felt this way! I was relieved, and somehow I knew then that one day I would meet a partner who was not only willing, but eager, to do the spanking.

Years passed. I grew up and lost my virginity in an appropriately awkward and unsatisfying way. I had a few boyfriends, some of whom I had sex with, in the way that teenagers do—fumbling unskillfully with one another’s undergarments and private parts, gradually learning the basics. At seventeen I began dating a man a few years my senior who, naturally, had more experience than I did. He was the first person with whom I felt I was learning anything from when it came to sex; it was exciting, and I enjoyed the dynamic of power that it presented. I don’t remember if he asked, or if I did, or if it simply just happened, but at some point a few months into sleeping together, spanking stepped proudly onto the stage. It played a critical role in our sex life for the duration of our time together; for me, being spanked was much more stimulating than making out or touching, and knowing that he enjoyed it just as much as I did was equally thrilling. He even went as far as to craft his own paddle in the wood shop, a gesture that far outweighed a bouquet or card. It was exactly as I had hoped it would be: a mutually fulfilling activity. I never once felt abused or disrespected, I simply felt as though we were performing something for one another that was as natural and loving as a back massage.

A few years later, after I had become acquainted with, and begun to enjoy, things like hair pulling and light wrist restraining, I found myself with another man, with a new set of kinks. Here is where it gets tricky: I was introduced to choking and slapping during foreplay and intercourse. The first time, it caught me off guard, as I suppose it rightly should have. Still, though I was startled, I was not frightened or upset; the slap was firm, but not so much so that I could mistake it for an act of aggression. And for that matter, I enjoyed it—so much so that I asked him to do it again, and he obliged. Later that night we talked about it; we discussed boundaries and thresholds, talked about the distinct difference between allowing him to strike me during sex, as opposed to any other time. Again, as I was learning, honest communication was going to be the key when it came to navigating these new, electrifying waters.

But communicating my newfound taste for this type of sex play to my female friends proved to be much more difficult. By then I was a fiery tempered, strong willed young punk rock woman. My circle of friends and I aligned ourselves with the Riot Grrrl movement, fighting against the gender roles and inequalities imposed on women, even in the alternative scene in which we ran; we were tough girls, strong girls, women who didn’t take shit. Explaining to these friends that I had found a way to feel empowered by way of being dominated sexually was all but impossible. Their opinions ranged from outright disapproval, to moderate concern, to simply not being able to understand how on Earth what I was doing could possibly be pleasurable. It made me question myself, and in turn question why it was that feeling dominated felt so good. I was never abused, I was not raised in a brothel. My father is a good man, and my mother is a tough and intelligent woman. I had had my share of “tender” sex—the kind in romantic movies where people do things like stare into each other’s eyes and see how slowly they can bring one another to climax—but when it really came down to it, I generally just found this variety to be boring. Eventually, I just learned that most of my friends and I just simply could not relate; they liked Classic Vanilla, I liked Rocky Road.

More recently, I met another man with whom I was able to further explore. It was as though we sniffed one another out, somehow intuiting that the other would be the perfect person to discuss with, experiment with, and investigate this balance of power. With him, it transcended that which had come before—effortlessly combining the elements we each knew to be the most enjoyable for us, and weaving it into an intensely pleasurable experience, continually growing and morphing with each encounter. And it was in doing this that I began to finally come to terms with who I am and I what I enjoy, in a way that makes sense to me as a woman that would never tolerate or delight in being talked down to, disrespected, or controlled in day-to-day life. It is imperative that the boundary between sex life and normal life maintains a firm distinction; it is only within the perimeters of sexual intimacy that I enjoy any form of masochism. Above all else, there must be respect—without it, there can never truly be affection; without affection, the line between pleasure and pain ceases to blend comfortably, and becomes something malicious. It is the balance of power that truly defines a healthy, dominant and submissive relationship. I have found my power, and I enjoy it proudly.


 By Nusha Ashjaee

The most private thing I’m willing to admit: I opened an OkCupid account.

Last May, roughly a week after graduation, I made my big move to Portland.  An exciting prospect for me because a) I have never lived outside of California, b) I would soon be starting my internship for a publisher I deeply admire, and c) Portland is supposed to be awesome. Also, considering I knew no one in Portland prior to moving there, it was another opportunity to start from scratch and reinvent myself. The last time I had that chance was four years ago when I first left for college, a chance I consider to have blown due to my crippling shyness. Thankfully, I’ve since been able to step out of my shell since then and can now introduce myself to strangers and hold a casual conversation with them without wanting to cry first (sort of).

However, this is the problem I’ve run into: How do you meet people outside of work and school? Every friendship, relationship, and acquaintanceship I’ve ever made were done so through either the classroom or the workplace. I’m out of school and don’t plan on returning anytime soon, and the job I have doesn’t give much opportunity to interact with other people. While I have matured enough to be able to talk to people, I can’t find a proper setting to utilize my new found skill.

At a friend’s suggestion, I decided to open up an OkCupid account as a way to meet some locals who could introduce me to the city better. At the time, this option made absolute sense to me considering every other aspect of my life existed online. I found my roommates and current apartment through Craigslist, communicate with my boss regularly through e-mail, stay connected with my friends back home through Facebook, as well as contribute to the Fear Girls and manage my own blog. It only seemed fitting that I should find friends online, too.
It’s part of the reason why I don’t feel ashamed admitting that I have a profile on this site because I didn’t have any romantic intentions with it. A bit of a paradox considering OkCupid is primarily a match-making/hook-up site, but it does give you the option to claim on your profile what type of connection you are looking for: new friends, short-term dating, long-term dating, long-distance pen-pals, activity partners, and casual sex.

What’s been unfortunate about trying to find friends on a free dating site is that very few people on there are looking for friends. They are looking for dates. Or, probably more accurately, they are looking for a fuck buddy. It’s what’s led me to compare the site to going out to a seedy nightclub or bar on your own. The only difference is that instead of having some greasy guy with a sole patch coming up to hit on you, you receive them as messages from the comfort of your home.

The sad part from that last one isn’t that this guy probably copy and pasted this line from someone else and sent it to every girl’s profile, but that he and I are a 75% match.Fortunately, those were the worst of the messages. There were a few more requests similar to that one (apparently opening up a dating profile is the universal sign that you want to get jizzed all over), but none were bizarre like any of these colorful characters. Still, while I’d rather keep my distance from some of these people, it did make me curious as to what the benefits to online dating are. While I can understand that finding a boyfriend/girlfriend can be difficult, if all these guys want is a lay, why not just go to a bar and find it in person?

Some of the answers are obvious. Don’t have time to go out. Too shy. Too broke.
However, the answer I’ve found to be the most satisfying is that online dating allows for instant gratification. You can pass judgment quickly and blaze through whether or not he’s cute (though photographs can be misleading), where he’s from, what he does, common interests, etc. “You’re a photographer? How cool! Oh, you like Dave Matthews? FUCK OFF!”

Why The “Beast” Will Never Be Tamed

  By Edison Mellor-Goldman

The idea of something powerful at your command is an attractive concept, as can be observed in children playing with Pokémon or in adults playing with firearms. More specifically, the idea of a person by your side who has potential to defend you (or at least carries some air of authority or strength) is a sexy concept for a lot of women. There’s something primal about the urge to feel safe and protected by a significant other. Hence the “Taming of the Beast” phenomenon that is so prevalent in pop culture and is a core aspect of any romance plot nowadays.

There are many facets of the Twilight novels that seem to be carefully psychologically constructed to appeal to girls. Obviously, the ladies will swoon for an attractive man who is devoted and swears literally undying love. But much more importantly, Edward was a vampire, a deadly weapon that was only loyal to the main character Bella, even if he had the capacity to kill anything that moved. Jacob was a werewolf completely devoted to her as well, although he could take down an adult stag for a snack. The appeal to this core desire is something I can trace back to watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; the beast was a thug, a big hairy brute, who could exude testosterone even while saying something as innocuous as “Will you join me for dinner?” What led Belle on in her attempts to humanize him was that within that hulking exterior there was a shred of empathy and kindness. Oh, but the kindness was reserved for her, of course. None was wasted on his dining staff, or Belle’s dad for that matter. Yes, he did change towards the end into her Prince Charming, but is that supposed to make Belle feel vindicated for all the times he was an ass to her?

We all know girls who have dated certain gents because they were attracted to his “bad boy” attributes. Some will even admit to it, and whenever I talk to one of them the first thing they say is, “Well yes, he is a bit of a dick. But he’s really nice to me!” Maybe this is a very primal part of women’s psyches evolutionarily speaking, a part of our “reptile brain” as a species. I also think that it’s time for all of us to move on now that we are aware of this phenomenon; many guys aren’t getting the full picture when they see a desirable woman walking hand in hand with the kind of guy whom you might expect to shoulder you off the sidewalk and grunt, “ ‘Scuse me, bro.” When a male like the aforementioned specimen is a dick to those around him, other guys don’t make the distinction of “Oh I get it, he’s only nice to her, that’s how the sexy mojo works!” Guys assume that not only is it okay to be rude and macho all the time, but ladies like it when you’re a little sharp with them. The problem is that taming a man’s inner beast for oneself (also known as being “pussy whipped”) is very desirable from a woman’s perspective but is seen as the most emasculating thing in the world from the male cultural perspective. As long as we don’t see eye-to-eye on that crucial fact, we’ll have a world full of women who wonder why their “bad boy” isn’t being their own personal Prince Charming, and a world full of men who think that being a bit of an ass is a desirable quality.

The image of an “ideal” man or woman is never simply a construct of the opposite sex, to be used as a tool to control that other gender to its own ends. There’s no mass collusion going on here, neither gender is to blame for this; but now that it is acknowledged as a problem, we’re responsible for creating a culture that better reflects us as thoughtful individuals. As a male, I can be the change I want to see by refusing to submit to the idiocy of the whole “Taming of the Beast” phenomenon, since I’ve observed the vast disconnect between what men and women want from it. As a woman, you can also be the change by dating guys who are nice to people in general, not just those whom you expect to make an exception for you.