archiveunwelcome attention

Opinion

Take a long hard look at your selfie

I have no issue with selfies – those up close and personal, carefully crafted self-portraits that no Instagram account should be without. If there’s nobody around to take your picture, and you want to savour the moment or are feeling your look, why not snap away? And if you’re with a bunch of mates and want all of you to be in the photo, where’s the harm in bunching in tight, camera in the air and adding it to your portfolio? They're a confidence boost, a feelgood. A much easier...
Opinion

Yesbasicgays proves oversharers don’t care who’s watching – even the bullies

We all have that oversharing friend, don't we? The one who posts millions of selfies or is always checking in on Facebook, drowning under the weight of their own humblebrags or passive-aggressive attention-seeking. And only the very kindest of us wouldn't have a quick sneer with other mutual friends – maybe fire off a bitchy text or a moany DM. "They're at it again!" And that's OK, that's human nature. Unless you're very careless or downright malicious, nobody finds out and nobody gets hurt. One opportunistic person wanted to take this...
Brief encounters

The Steal

In 2001 I was 25, living in Scotland and still ‘finding my way’. I was painfully inexperienced, restricted to directionless fumbling, falling in lust with the man who washed hair in my barber’s salon or avoiding hopeless one night stands. Saturday nights (and Sunday mornings) were usually spent at parties, having the same dazzling conversations with less than dazzling company. I had met bubbly Scouser Cally at one of these parties and we had struck up an incredibly superficial friendship that relied on darkness and close proximity to vodka. Despite...
OpinionSingle survival

Manspreading: Why we do it and why we need to stop

I learned quite early on there was a wrong way and a right way for a man to sit. As with most harsh lessons, it came from a bully. The dickhead of the week currently enjoying the school bus’s dazzling spotlight pointed out to everyone how I was sitting. “You sit like a girl. Poof. Is it because you’ve got a small dick?” I looked down at my knees and immediately felt even more prim and proper than usual. My default sitting position was with my legs crossed at the...
Dating 101Single survival

Where not to meet your next boyfriend: The supermarket

The supermarket can be a boring and depressing place at the best of times, let alone if you’re single. Couples snogging in front of the very shelf you’re trying to reach – lasagne for ONE – or, much more likely, arguing about being organic in front of the tenderstem broccoli. It’s a nonstop misery-fest, from the very moment you pick up your basket – complete with someone else’s scrunched up receipts in the bottom of it, the bastard – to the awkward hunt for your loyalty card as your cans...
Bad dates

The Social Mountaineer

Stats: 25, 5’11”, dirty blond/blue, northeast England Where: London E1 Pre-date rating: 7/10 We have agreed to meet at a bar I haven’t been to before. I don’t usually do this – I like to be on familiar territory. But it is my date’s choice and he has been pretty adamant about it in his series of texts, which he sends one after the other – one sentence per text – like he’s on IM. “It’s really great.” “I mean I’ve never been but I hear it’s great.” “We have...
Opinion

National Coming Out Day: Is today the day for you?

It is National Coming Out Day*, the day when the collective force of a zillion closet doors being thrust open is enough to knock you off your feet. If someone stares intently at you and clears their throat, or puts their latte to one side with the biggest case of 'serious-face' you've ever seen, there's a good chance they're about to tell you they're gay – or they have a peanut stuck in their throat and are unable to speak, silently willing you to decode their desperate stare. Before you...
Bad dates

The Lollipop

“Go on, just suck it. You might like it.” I roll my eyes. Yet another date who confuses sleaze and innuendo with flirtation. For an old prude like me, they’re uneasy bedfellows. I’m sitting in the park on an unseasonably warm day for the time of year. Before me is a mini banquet of all manner of romantic foods: chocolates; adorable cupcakes; dinky little sandwiches with the corners cut off; fizz. And yet there is no spark whatsoever between me and my date, who now sits next to me proffering...
Bad dates

The Drunk Mexican

Stats: 5'10″, 32, black/brown, Mexico When: Saturday 31 July, 1pm and 10.30pm Where: South-east London Pre-date rating: 7/10 The dates are becoming more and more disillusioning as time goes on, to be honest. This one is a little different from the others, though. I meet him on a different site, one where you know less information about your potential date, but you talk through instant messenger, rather than emails. (Edit: Grindr – why am I so afraid to say Grindr?!) We seem to get on well, at first missing each other and...
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