Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
I have menstruated almost 1,680 days in my life. That is four years, seven months, and one week.
I was newly twelve years old when I experienced menarche (the beginning of menstruation). I had already been experiencing the throes of puberty in other ways: I had been unable to sleep on my stomach for almost two years due to the painful budding of breasts on my chest, my bony and childish hips were softening into an hourglass, I was growing taller, and I had finally started shaving under my arms, where I had needed to apply deodorant for at least a year.
I had devoured the booklets we were given in health class, the way that bookworms often do, and I had expected a flood of bright red liquid. I remember being confused at the thick reddish brown stains in my underwear, changing them quickly, and approaching my mom with ashamed tears threatening to spill. She hugged me close and explained that I was experiencing my first period. I was provided with menstrual pads that reminded me of my little brother’s diapers. I was acutely aware of the crinkle of plastic in my pants as I walked through the halls of my new middle school.
I learned to palm the pads from my purse to my pocket as though I’d studied legerdemain, always terrified that a boy would see the plastic packaging and suddenly know that I was on my period. It was a secret to be guarded at all costs, and I felt a vague sense of shame about such a natural bodily function.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I first started experiencing menstrual cramps. These pangs would radiate from my pelvis around to my lower back and shoot down my legs. I learned that if I took ibuprofen as soon as I saw the telltale blood, I could stave off the worst of the pain. Once I entered high school, I no longer felt shame around menstruation, and it became an annoyance. I had a textbook 28 day cycle, and my periods would generally last for seven days. Sometimes they were longer, sometimes shorter, but the average was seven days.
Once I became sexually active, each month’s menstruation was greeted with jubilation. I was very lucky during this time that I never became pregnant, especially as we were relying solely on condoms at the time. A few months before I married my ex husband, I bought my first and only set of pregnancy tests. I had been using hormonal birth control, in addition to condoms, but for the first time in my life, my period did not visit like clockwork.
My sweaty hands fumbled with the plastic wrappers in the public bathroom of the store in which we had purchased them, and I tried to cry quietly as I turned the purple stick face down on the tile floor while I waited the two minutes for the results. The tests were negative. One week later, my period visited again, though this time it seemed heavier and more painful than previously. I rejoiced through the pain.
At this point in time, I was adamant that I never wanted to have children, and I convinced my gynecologist to give me an IUD. The insertion was painful, and I had perpetual cramps for three consecutive months, but I never wanted to sob alone in a bathroom stall ever again.
Throughout my early to mid-twenties, my period was again a mild annoyance. A fact of life to be endured, and nothing more. I stopped keeping track of the dates I expected to menstruate, knowing that my chosen method of birth control was practically as good as getting a hysterectomy.
Somewhere around age twenty-six, my attitude towards being a mother shifted. It no longer seemed like such a terrifying prospect. By the age of twenty-seven, my criteria for long-term dating partners had changed significantly: I was looking for someone that was interested in marriage and children. I still have my IUD, and have no intention of changing that until I and my boyfriend are fully ready: mentally, emotionally, and financially.
My social media is filled with friends who are pregnant, friends who have infants, and friends who have gorgeous and precocious toddlers and preschoolers. Each photo, each ultrasound, each announcement fills me with joy for my friends’ happiness, and I feel ashamed of my brief twinges of envy.
I am no longer ambivalent or annoyed about my menstruation. I worry each month that I am losing something precious, a finite resource within me. I am scared that when I and my boyfriend are finally ready, I will have bled too often, I will have lost my chance. I have a tiny moment of mourning, a tiny moment of terror, a tiny moment of wondering what might have been, each month.
I am almost thirty-two now.
I have been menstruating for nearly twenty years.
I started my period today.
Okay, so I had planned on doing a video today, but then I realized that pretty much all of my clothing that isn’t black is currently in the laundry, and I don’t have an alternate backdrop for the studio I film in. If I were to film in my comfy black sweater, you’d see nothing but a floating head and a lot of hair. This lead to the realization that if I waited until it was done, then it would be really late, and no one would see the video. So you get another blog post, yay! And I put on a ton of makeup (before said realization) for no reason at all, yay!
Someone sent me an anonymous request (via my Survey Monkey!) to do a video or blog post about the debate that rages regarding pubic hair.
I’ve been doing some variation of hair removal for over a decade now. When I was a teenager, and I was still using pads, I would often trim my pubic hair while sitting on the toilet, with a pair of scissors. When I had my period, I would often pass clots of blood and tissue, and they would sometimes get tangled in my pubic hair. I reasoned that it would be easier to clean up during my period if the hair wasn’t quite so long.
Then I read an article in a teen magazine. A girl had written in, saying that she was nervous about wearing a bathing suit in front of boys because her pubic hair would peek out the sides of her swimsuit bottoms. She was actually given really good advice. She was told not to worry about it, and that any boys who made fun of her for it were just immature. But she was also told that if it really made her nervous and she wanted to, she could use the same razor that she used on her legs to clean up the sides of her pubic hair.
I was about to start doing swim lessons in high school, and it was a co-ed class. Suddenly, I was nervous about my pubic hair showing on the sides of my bathing suit. So I started shaving the sides of my pubic hair. I kept doing this for years: trimming the long stuff near my labia, and shaving the sides when I knew I was going to be in a swimsuit.
I am pretty sure that my initial decision to actually go ahead and shave all of my pubic hair was out of curiosity. I had read about it in ladies magazines (yes, again, my beauty and hygiene regimen was influenced by someone else having issues about their body), I had heard friends talk about it, and I was curious what it would feel like. So I took an extra long shower and decided to shave it all off. My (now ex) husband really liked it, and asked me to keep doing it.
It felt weird, but it didn’t feel more weird than the sensation after shaving my legs. I was really aware of the fact that my entire vaginal area felt different for a couple of days afterwards. And then the hair started to grow back. It itched. It was prickly. Some of the hair had trouble breaking back through the skin, so I had ingrown hairs, and not only did those itch too, but I had to take a pair of tweezers to my skin to get them out. Even weirder though, was that the hair that grew back in was different. Before I shaved my pubic hair, it had been curly and kind of rough. Now, much like the hair on my head, it was straight and smooth. I let it grow out a little more, but now that it was growing differently, it became hard to have sex without the hair being pulled (and sometimes, even pulled out).
So I continued shaving and letting it grow out and repeating the process. I’ve also waxed the hair, and I find I actually prefer to do that over shaving it. I would prefer to just let it be, but unfortunately, I can’t, unless I want to have pain during sex.
Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of removing your pubic hair. This list goes for anyone who is considering removing it, whether you identify as male, female, or any other gender.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Hair in your pubic area isn’t gross, or unhygienic. It has a purpose. It’s also okay to remove it, but you have to take extra precautions with preventing infections. Above all, don’t do it if you’re just worried about someone telling you that you should remove it. It is your body. Do with it what you want.
Whew. It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? As much as I enjoy this season, I’m feeling relieved that the holidays are almost over.
I got this wonderful question in my Survey Monkey, and it’s an important one.
I read your blog about vaginal discharge and stuff. it helped me too cus I was having the same problem. here is my question: everyone was talking in school about whether they are virgins or not. they asked me and I just skipped the question. I am a virgin. should I lose my virginity just so people wont make fun of me for it. I think I am ready, but I don’t know if I should
I’m glad you enjoyed my previous post, my dear! I love hearing that I’ve helped someone.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that people generally don’t find out about until much later in life: Virginity, meaning whether or not someone has had sexual intercourse, doesn’t matter at all. Really. No one is going to think differently of you when you’re an adult if you’ve never had sex. They aren’t going to think of you differently if you have had sex. It flat out doesn’t matter when you’re an adult. I can think of two people that I am friends with (one male, one female) who have never had sex. Both of them are in their mid-twenties. No big deal. Now, I know that doesn’t help you out right now, but it is something to think about.
The answer to your question is no, you should not lose your virginity just so people don’t make fun of you for it. You should only have sex when you actually want to do it. That previous sentence will be true for the rest of your life, not just about your first time, so let me say it again: You should only have sex when you actually want to have sex. If you feel pressure to have sex because you think your friends are all doing it, and that sounds like the case here, then you should wait. If your friends make fun of you for the fact that you haven’t had sex yet, then they aren’t very good friends. It’s okay to say that you aren’t interested in having sex, or that you want to be in a good relationship first, or even just that you don’t think you’re ready yet. All of those are valid reasons for waiting.
I know that in middle school or high school, it can seem like everyone else is “doing it”, but that isn’t actually the case. Some people have, some people are lying because they want to look cool or they think that other people will judge them for not having sex yet. In a study that was done a few years ago, they found that the average age that someone has sex for the first time (male or female) is 17.
There’s another thing to consider. You said that your friends were making fun of you for not having sex yet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t generally go away even if you do have sex. You’re at an age where everyone gossips about everyone else. People will probably talk about you and your sex life (or no sex life), if you and/or your partner are talking to other people about it, no matter what you do. Teenagers and adolescents can be mean. Try to not let the opinions of other people, even your friends, make you decide to do something if you aren’t comfortable with it.
If you and your partner want to have sex, then go for it. Have fun, and be sure to use barrier contraception. You can go to that link to find my blog post about barrier methods for heterosexual (male and female) couples and learn about condoms. You should always use a condom, especially for your first time. You can go to this link to learn about how to have safer sex with another female (and these safer sex practices also apply to heterosexual sex too! Especially using a dental dam!). You should make sure that your partner respects you, likes you (maybe even loves you), and isn’t pressuring you to have sex before you’re ready.
Sex of any kind will pretty much always be awkward the first time. And yes, I mean every kind of sex. Oral sex (giving a blowjob, more properly called fellatio; or “going down” on a girl, more properly called cunnilingus) is still sex, giving someone a “handjob” or “fingering” is still sex, and anal sex is still sex too. It is so important to know that it’ll be weird: your bodies will make strange noises, there are new smells, putting on a condom is generally awkward (please stock up, and read the instructions!), and if you still have your hymen then it might be a little painful too. Having a partner who you care about and who cares about you will make it more fun than awkward.
I’m not saying this to scare you, or to try and make you not want to have sex, but to give you as much information as I possibly can in a short blog post. Get some books and read about sex. I can recommend S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College. It is a great book with a LOT of information (and if you buy it through that link, then you help me make some money!). If you feel comfortable, talking to the school nurse might help too.
I can’t tell you when to have sex. Only you know when you’re ready. But I can tell you that you shouldn’t do it if you are looking to avoid being teased, or to make your friends happy, or even to make your partner happy. You should only have sex when you want to do it. I really hope this post has helped you.
Do you have a question about sex or relationships? You can go here to ask me anything, completely anonymously!
Wow, I completely dropped off of the face of the earth for awhile there, didn’t I? I could sit here at my computer and start making excuses, but we would all know that they’re excuses. My life has taken some crazy twists and turns, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate that you read the words I throw out into this gigantic void we call the internet. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I hope we’re still friends.
I logged into my SurveyMonkey, and found a few really awesome questions that had been languishing there, and one that made me raise my eyebrows a little.
To the young man who sent me the same question in at least three different forums (YouTube comment, Google+ post, and through the SurveyMonkey) about his penis size: if your penis is actually the dimensions you are stating, you might have a real shot at candidacy for the Guinness Book of World Records. You would certainly have a lucrative career as a star in pornographic films, if you chose to pursue that as an option. Quite frankly, I think you were exaggerating and you decided to send me a fantasy of yours. I can assure you, there are almost certainly other people on the internet who would love to read about it. If you enjoy writing fantasy of this nature, you may want to look for erotic literature sites that allow users to upload their own stories. I have a particular fondness for Literotica, myself.
Now on to the real questions!
Hi Suzanne! I am a 15 year old girl and my older sister recommended your blog since I am starting to get curious about my body and the changes I have already started going through. I usually have vaginal discharge throughout the month (I have a regular menstrual cycle and started getting my period at 13) and am not sure if I should be worried about it or not. Is discharge normal? p.s. I usually get discharge more often about a week or two before my period. The odor is also more potent during that time. The odor is kinda salty I guess? Not sure how to explain it. Thanks!
Hello my dear!
Let me start off by reassuring you that vaginal discharge is totally normal, and nothing to be worried about. In fact, when you start learning the reasons behind vaginal discharge, you might think it is actually pretty cool. I know I do, but it’s my job to think these things are really cool.
Take a look at that image above. Vaginal discharge is actually a mucus that is secreted by glands in the cervix. Normal colors of this mucus are clear, white, and off-white. It has several different functions, but it is primarily there to make sure that your vagina stays clean. The discharge cleans out the dead bacteria, and keeps the vaginal canal moist and comfortable. If you were to do a pH test, you’d find that the vaginal discharge is mildly acidic. This helps prevent infections, and also helps keep the normally occurring bacteria at healthy levels. The acidity also means that the mucus may discolor your underwear, especially black underwear. I didn’t know that this was totally normal for the longest time, and I actually started wondering if there was something wrong with my vaginal discharge.
You’ve already noticed that there is a difference in your vaginal discharge throughout your menstrual cycle, and again, that is totally normal! The mucus changes in consistency when a woman is ovulating, because the cervix is making sure that the vagina is as clean and healthy as possible when an egg is released. As soon as you hit puberty and start menstruating (yes, even at 13!), your reproductive system works together to try and make sure that you always have the best of conditions to get pregnant if sperm is introduced into the vagina during this time. I have always thought it was really interesting and, again, super cool, that our reproductive systems actually clean themselves.
There are a few things you can do to help make sure that your vagina stays healthy. Wearing cotton underwear as your everyday underwear is probably the most helpful. The fabric allows air to flow freely, and helps prevent a buildup of sweat and keep harmful bacteria from being introduced to your vagina. There is evidence that eating yogurt with active cultures also helps keep the bacteria in your vaginal canal healthy and in balance. Some women, especially those of older generations, will douche after their menstrual cycle. Douching is forcing water and a cleanser into your vagina, and it is really really unhealthy. Please don’t ever do this! It can kill those naturally occurring bacteria, and will make you more susceptible to an infection.
If you feel self-conscious of the vaginal discharge, you might find that wearing a pantyliner on a regular basis will help you to feel more confident, but you should avoid the ones that are scented. This goes for everything that goes anywhere near your vagina! Using pantyliners, pads, or tampons that are perfumed can actually irritate the sensitive skin on your labia. You said you have noticed a difference in the smell of your vaginal discharge depending on the time of your menstrual cycle. I promise, no one else has any idea that the smell is different.
If you find that your vaginal discharge changes in color or smell in a way that is unfamiliar, especially if you are sexually active, you should make an appointment to go see your doctor or gynecologist. This can indicate an infection, and it should be treated as soon as possible. Not treating an infection for an extended period of time can actually lead to serious complications, including making it impossible for you to ever get pregnant or have a baby. I know you’re probably not thinking about getting pregnant right now, but making sure that things are always healthy will help you in the future!
Lastly, thank you so much for your question. I hope my answer helped!
Do you have a question for me? You can go here to ask me anything about sex and relationships, completely anonymously!
Hello again, dear friends! Before I jump into this review, it is absolutely vital that you all know about this awesome sale that Good Vibrations is having right now! Have you ever used a Magic Wand, and wished that you could get the same strong vibrations, but without the cord? You are in luck, you sassy minx, because Good Vibrations is not only dropping the price on their Mystic Wand, but they are also throwing in one of their brand new g-spot vibrators into the deal! This deal is only going to last through Monday, November 18th, 2013, so don’t think twice, click that link and get one!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Because I am an affiliate marketer with Good Vibrations, by purchasing items through the links in this blog post you are directly supporting my work here on Nice Girls Like Sex Too. So not only are you getting yourself a super fun new toy, but you’re making sure I can continue writing and producing my YouTube videos. Win/win, don’t you think?
As you may know already, I have mostly converted my blog format to YouTube. Sadly, it appears that the Powers That Be™ at YouTube find videos with sex toys to be offensive, and with my new partnership with Good Vibrations, I have the awesome opportunity to review new toys! You’ll just have to imagine my dulcet tones as you read my reviews.
I was so excited when I opened my first box and found this inside! This is the Slender G Waterproof Vibrator.
I devoured the information on the box, and was pleased to see that not only is this toy 100% phthalate free, but it is also latex free! I have several friends with latex allergies, and this can be a major problem when it comes to sex toys. I was also pretty excited to see that it can be used with any kind of lube. The plastic is completely smooth, but it has a soft feel to it, not a hard plasticky feel. I *might* have waved it around a bit in the kitchen and unnerved a couple of my housemates.
And then, I was immediately a little intimidated. You see, until I received this one, I had never owned or used a g-spot vibrator. Sure, I know how they’re supposed to work and how to use one, but knowing isn’t the same as putting that information to practice. I mean, I understand the physics and engineering of a bicycle, but that isn’t the same as riding one, right? It sat on my bookshelf for a week or so, and I felt a little guilty each time it caught my eye. Fiance started nudging me a little about it. “Hey, this thing is still here. You can’t review it until you actually try it!” I would duck my head a little, and promise that I would eventually get around to using it.
My life has had a couple of interesting twists in it lately, so actually setting aside the time to properly give it a go was more difficult than I had originally anticipated. Finally, I found myself with a couple of extra hours and some sexual excitement to work off. Nothing was going to stop me now! I dug out two AA batteries, and had some fun changing the intensity of the vibrations as I held it. I inspected the o-ring that makes the vibrator waterproof. I even dunked it in my glass of water and giggled at the sound. In what may have been a bad idea, I decided to forgo my usual routine of reading erotica. Instead, I mentally queued up my favorite fantasy, and decided to see if I could achieve an orgasm with just the g-spot vibrator. This is masturbation on expert mode. Then I laid down and got to work.
This vibrator is noticeably longer than other g-spot vibrators, and so I found it to be a little ergonomically challenging. The multi-speed dial was disconcertingly loud as it vibrated with the toy. I had to keep a finger pressed down on the dial so that my activities wouldn’t be apparent to my housemates as they walked by. Aside from the dial, this toy was reasonably quiet. As someone who had never used a g-spot vibrator before, it took some serious maneuvering to finally get the head in a position where it started to feel good.
I then spent the next hour and a half teetering on the edge of orgasm. I tried increasing or decreasing the vibration speed, and… nothing. I have never masturbated that long without reaching climax, and I was starting to feel a little frustrated. That particular fantasy had never failed me, and I knew that I was really REALLY close to orgasm, but it remained juuuuust out of reach, even when I gave in and tried some clitoral stimulation in addition to the vibrator.
I became gradually aware of an odd smell. *sniff* “What on Earth is that?” I asked myself aloud. *sniff* “Hmm, it smells like something is burning…” I decided to get up and do a little investigating. I moved the blanket aside, and discovered that the mystery smell was actually coming from my crotch. Yes, you read that right. I opened up the vibrator and the smell became stronger.
I actually managed to burn out the motor by keeping it on high, and keeping myself on the edge of orgasm for 90 minutes straight! Of course, I had to take a funny snapchat and send it to a couple of friends!
Now, I admit, I was more than a little frustrated when I sent that, and I don’t really think that g-spot vibrators are “not for me”. To be honest, I am seriously impressed by the stamina of this little toy. I really put it through its paces, and although I didn’t reach orgasm, I am fully aware that I specifically made it as difficult for myself as possible. And at $20, it is a serious bargain.
Despite my personal experience, overall, I definitely recommend the Slender G Waterproof Vibrator!
Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
Want to win some lube? Watch the video to find out how!
First advice requests! Do you have a burning question? You can ask me anything, completely anonymously, through this link.
Hello Nice Girl,
I am a young woman in my late twenties. I am friends with this couple, and I always enjoy spending time with them. I particularly enjoy spending time with the woman. I think she’s pretty awesome. They are in an open relationship.
The man in the couple is pretty flirty with me, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’ve never said anything to him or his girlfriend about it. I asked a mutual friend to help me handle it, and he said he didn’t know what to do so that friend asked another mutual friend. I’m not sure what else happened, because I haven’t talked to anyone else since then.
I know from your blog that you’re in an open relationship. Did I do the right thing?
Well, letter-writer, the short answer is no, I don’t think you did the right thing. I think you did the cowardly thing. You state in your letter that you haven’t said anything to either person in that couple, and that you brought other friends into the situation. That is really immature, and you might have ruined your friendship with that couple.
Everyone deals with rejection. Everyone. But you didn’t give this guy the ability to handle that rejection by talking to him, or even by talking to his girlfriend about the fact that you are uncomfortable. Instead, you chose to talk about him, behind his back, to a friend and that person has decided to talk to yet another friend. This is how reputation-damaging rumors start, even among adults.
I would suggest that the next time you are in a situation where you are not interested in someone and they are being flirty, you take some initiative, be assertive, and tell him or her that you are not interested. It isn’t easy, I know, but learning to deal with an uncomfortable situation is part of being an adult.
I’d be willing to bet that, had you talked to either person in that couple, they would have thanked you for your honesty and the flirting would have stopped immediately.
I’ve never had an orgasm during sex, I only have them via clit stimulation (generally oral). I’ve never found my g-spot. After reading ’50 Shades of Grey’, it struck me how misled we are about it. We’re taught that, when we’re in the right moment, penetrative orgasms (generally multiples) happen naturally, and if they don’t, then there must be something wrong.
I have never had a penetrative orgasm (not for lack of trying), but find that I am still susceptible to the idea that there must be something wrong with me (when, logically, I know there’s not).
I was reading about the a-spot and my guy and I went on a hunt for it. I think he found it, but it just felt like I REALLY had to pee. I’ve heard that’s normal, but I found it more uncomfortable than pleasurable. Ideas? Suggestions?
For starters, letter-writer, and I want to stress this as much as possible, YOU ARE TOTALLY NORMAL. Only 11% of women ever experience a penetrative orgasm. Ever. The pervasive myth that women should immediately be multi-orgasmic just sets everyone up for disappointment and a sense of failure.
The vast majority of women only experience an orgasm through clitoral stimulation.
If orgasming during intercourse is something that is important to you and your partner (and if it is important to you, then it should also be important to your partner), then I would recommend he either stimulate your clitoris with his hands, or you can incorporate a vibrator during sex. I personally recommend trying something like a bullet vibrator, where you can vary the speed of the vibration if things get too intense or you need more stimulation. (By the way, if you purchase anything through that link, you’re helping to support Nice Girls! I’m now an affiliate with Good Vibrations. Go me!)
Of course, it is always harder for a woman to reach orgasm if she is stressed, so make sure that you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself. Anxiety is a major block for sexual pleasure.
As for the a-spot (and the g-spot), it is generally accepted that they are the internal extensions of the clitoris. It is also totally normal that you felt like you needed to pee, as your partner was probably also putting pressure on your bladder. The next time that you go hunting for pleasure centers inside your vagina, it is always a good idea to make sure that you have gone to the bathroom beforehand.
What do you think of my advice? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section!
Second video is up! WOOOOO!
Whether it is the Beatles, New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, or the current teenage heartthrobs One Direction, young women have been obsessing over boy bands for decades now. For me, it was Hanson. Three boys with long blonde hair MMMBopped into my life when I was 14, and they’ve never left. I’m actually attending one of their concerts later this month! [Side note: I am LOVING this new song of theirs!]
For at least a couple of years, I was obsessed. I collected pictures of them, listened to their music non-stop, read every article about them that I could get my hands on and I fantasized about situations where I would meet Isaac, the oldest of the three brothers, and we would fall in love and live happily ever after. I am not kidding when I say that these were elaborate fantasies. Had I known what fan fiction was at that point, I would have been writing it. Had I met him in person at that time, I probably would have fainted after screaming like a banshee in his face. Of course, I am aware (now) that there was almost zero chance of those daydreams ever coming true.
The vast majority of these bands, especially the bands of the last 30 years, have been manufactured to appeal to the broadest spectrum of teenagers. There’s the heartthrob, the “bad boy”, the smart one, the older one, the pretty one, the young one; all calculated to make as many teenage girl hearts go pitter-pat as possible. Every media interaction is scripted, nothing is said that is too extreme, or would show that the band member is anything more than his role in the band. There is crazy amounts of merchandise that is marketed towards these girls, and a lot of them will push to buy the more expensive version of something, because it has the band’s logo on it. Heck, Hanson still does that today!
Right around the same time that I was getting over this obsession, I watched, baffled, as other Hanson fans who liked Taylor (the middle brother) threw tantrums and posted threats against his wife. The wedding came as a surprise to the fans, and a lot of girls were angry that their favorite guy was no longer on the market.
The same thing has happened in previous decades – just think of the hate that still pervades with Yoko Ono – and it happens today still. The sheer volume of screeds targeting Taylor Swift when she was dating the One Direction band member Harry Styles, and against Selena Gomez (who is Justin Bieber’s on-again-off-again girlfriend), are alarming. It is as though these girls can’t stomach the thought of their favorite singer being in a relationship with anyone except themselves. Even today, in the Hanson fandom, there are girls who feel the need to create drama between the band members and their wives in their heads, and then post it on the internet.
Why? What is it about these musical celebrities that produces such obsession?
One could posit that it is the fault of the media. When I was a teenage girl, I could go to the supermarket and buy weekly issues of Teen Bop (is that even still around?) or other teen magazines, and read ridiculous articles about “What color is <insert band member’s name here>’s toothbrush and what does it say about HIM?”. I would carefully cut out pictures of my favorite band, and buy two copies if they had back-to-back pictures. (There is certainly a comparison that can be drawn between the pictures that girls post of their favorite band member in their locker, and the stereotypical nude pictures of women in a guy’s garage.) Today, there are the celebrity gossip websites that post every single paparazzi picture possible. I’m looking at you, TMZ and ONTD. It can feed into that obsession.
I think it goes deeper than that. I think that young women are encouraged – through the same media mentioned above – to objectify these young men. I know I certainly did! I had no idea what my crush was like, at all, as a person. Everything I knew about him was extrapolated from reading the aforementioned stupid articles, yet my young teenage mind was convinced that he was the perfect man, my soulmate, and that if we could only meet just once, he would know that too.
It was a way for me to have fantasies about a relationship without actually being in a relationship (and sexual fantasies too!). While I do think that an active imagination is healthy, I know that I and some of my friends took it to extremes. I know that there are girls who do that today. The cult of celebrity remains strong, and new members are added with each new boy band.
My teenage self would be mortified that when I did finally meet Isaac Hanson, he didn’t immediately fall in love with me, and that instead, we talked about social media strategies for their charity. My adult self is very satisfied with that exchange. I have the experience and the wisdom to know that there’s no way he could have lived up to the imaginary person I created in my head, and I am happy that he was a kind, intelligent, and thoughtful person. I’m also happy I didn’t scream like a banshee and faint.
Why do you think that teenage girls have such obsessions with boy band members, and teenage boys don’t? Who was your boy band crush?