Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Panda porn and the art of forcing an attraction

One day, me and my friends are having a lovely outing to a park. The sun is shining, it’s warm, children are laughing in the background, middle-class people throw balls for their dogs. It is perhaps one of the nicest days of the year so far.

I turn to my flat mate, contented smile on my face and say: “Do you know there’s porn for pandas?”


“It’s pretty amazing actually – not like the quality, though I sure they don’t skip out on production values, I mean, like why they use panda porn.”


“Apparently pandas aren’t all that different from us. When they’re choosing a mate they have to be physically and mentally attracted to the other panda. Only were we have a pool of about a billion people, they only have a couple of thousand potential panda fuck buddies around – which is super sad when you think about it.”


“That’s why they use the porn, to force an attraction – get them all horny and stuff. Kinda like I was after I split up with my last boyfriend and was so horny I was willing to sleep with anyone, do you remember that?”


“Well anyway, I just thought it was a pretty interesting concept. The whole forcing yourself to like someone thing. What do you think?”

“I think we should go home now.”

Once my friend had successfully ditched me, under the pretence she was just going to the shop for ice cream, I started to wonder more and more about our panda brethren. The Guardian reports, that despite the romantic tendencies of pandas for ‘soul mates’ and finding another panda they can ‘really connect with’, the breeders of one Chinese breeding centre have a near 100% success rate with getting pandas horny enough to settle for just about any old slut.

Close your legs you whores. Taken from

And I suppose the reason I find this so interesting, is that, even without the pressure of keeping the human race going, do we not find ourselves, now and again, trying to force an attraction?

I remember a time when I was 16 and I was just coming out of my ‘baby sumo’ phase, as my mum traumatically referred to it. I had still yet to fully work out how to put make up on. My hair was frizzy 80% of the time, most of my clothes were from Primark and I had still yet to find a bra that fitted (4 years on and I’m still looking). But out of all of these concerns, one rose above the rest: When was I going to get a boyfriend? Would I ever get a boyfriend? And where the fuck was he?

At the time, two of my friends had boyfriends. To me it seemed like they were part of this exclusive club. Any teenage girl knows all about the ‘boyfriend club’ and how cool it seems from the outside. A club built on naive fantasy, where those on the outside, imagined it to be nothing but spontaneous gifts, meaningful conversations, sighing, and LOADS OF SNOGGING!

But the only problem with the boyfriend club was that you needed to first GET a boyfriend, which at 16 seemed like the impossible. Or at least for me it did.

Until Greg[2] came along.

As I mentioned, two of my friends had boyfriends. One of these friends was SUPER COOL and had an older boyfriend – WITH A MOTERCYCLE MOTHERFUCKER! This super cool boyfriend also had a friend, called Greg who too was older and also had a motorcycle. This meant in teenage girl world, he was, like, super cool, and like, a total dream boat.
Only... he would have been, if he was attractive. Which he wasn’t... he was also pretty thick, not really doing much with his life, and, looking back, probably pretty desperate, considering he wanted to go out with someone still doing her GCSEs.

But still, at the time, this man was my best shot. I HAD to be attracted to him. I thought, if coolness was like tesco club card points, I would have a £50 cashback voucher with this boy!
And so I tried many things to inspire attraction. Nothing pornographic like the pandas do, but you know, general looking – mostly looking in fact. I think I thought that if I just stared at him long enough, I could trick my brain into thinking he looked like Brad Pit.

Then I went out with my friend, her boyfriend, and Greg on a little motorcycle outing. Surely by feeling the wind on my face and looking FIT AS in leather would help inspire some feelings of lust?

Sadly, this failed to inspire anything other than a sore ass and a realization that bikes are stupid, because who, really, gives up the comfort of a car for death on wheels? Plus leathers for bikes aren’t sexy, they make you look fat and like a man. And I’m sure I had a builder’s bum all the way up the M1.

So what did I learn from this experience?

I suppose a moral message would be that, we are not pandas. We do not need to force ourselves into relationships, into an attraction because of some perceived threat of loneliness or ‘perks’ (such as endless snogging). There are 6.8 billion human beings on Earth, unlike pandas that only have 2000, so our chances of finding our ‘soul mate’ is a damn sight higher than those teddy bear fuckers.

Also, even though I didn’t end up with Greg, a friend of mine soon picked him up. And the level of smugness I felt from her getting my sloppy seconds, and mastering the art of forced-attraction, was definitely worth all the masturbation I had to suffer through for the rest of my life as a 16 year old.

[2] Not his real name because I post this stuff on Facebook, though really, changing his name is probably pointless because most people on facebook will know who I’m referring to – but the gesture is there. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Reaction to 'The Great Gatsby Trailer'

When I hear the title ‘The Great Gatsby’, several things come to mind. The first is my A-Level literature teacher – Eileen Cheers. Eileen was an old woman, pushing on retirement, with the most perfect reading voice I have ever heard. She read the book out softly, in a husky whisper. It made you feel sleepy, relaxed – it took you back to your Grandmother reading you stories just before bedtime.

The new Great Gatsby trailer however, is anything but a relaxed affair. This is Moulin Rouge having a love child with your bookcase, all to the soundtrack of Jay Z and Kanye West. Not surprising when you consider Baz Luhrmann is the director to this new adaptation. While other directors have gone for smooth jazz and subtle glances, Mr. Luhrmann has done a 21st Century translation. He gives us decadence, hip hop, debauchery - Leonardo De Caprio's face.  

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited, and a little bit scared. Excited in the sense, the trailer has built this up to be an exciting affair. I’ll be going into the cinema expecting scantily glad women scissoring in large martini glasses. And scared because that’s what I might actually get. Scared that in among the bling and the show girls, the soft, heart aching life story of Gatsby will be lost under boob glitter.  

Hopefully my fears won’t come true. I sheepishly admit to squealing a little when the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg. That faithful bit of imagery that has helped me, and countless other A Level students get by in an exam. And then of course there is Carey Muligan, perhaps my favourite actress of the moment.

If there is anyone that can portray subtle heartbreak it is she. Where Grazia admit to having doubts of whether Carey could pull off the role of Daisy, I have always had an unwavering faith in her ability to pull off this iconic role. As I watch her films, I’ve noticed more and more, what it is that makes her my personal favourite.
It’s her ability to make the audience love her.

While other, more conventionally ‘sexy’ actresses walk onto the screen and ooze sex appeal. Carey steps into a film, merely stares into the camera, whispers one or two lines and POOF we’re in love. In Drive, when she lay in the hallway, staring up at Ryan Gosling we could feel that tug on our hearts. She is not merely an object to be lusted after, as so many actresses are, but a fragile little bird that we want hold in our hands but can’t for fear we might crush her.

Instead, like the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg we are forced to watch her. And watch this space for the release in Christmas 2012. 

So I went on a little date with Public Speaking - heard of him?

Me and public speaking have a dysfunctional relationship. Sort of like Carrie and Mr. Big only more... abstract.

For a long time I’ve known about public speaking, a lot of my friends told me he was a really nice guy. Someone you could really get into the flow with. Some people have even been on dates with him, using him as a platform to get their ideas and abilities across to great success.

In my head, I imagined myself and public speaking would get on like a house on fire. So I set up a date for the two of us. I decided to run for a committee position for the student radio. That’s four candidates, two positions, and a two and a half minute speech. 

What could be easier?

Walking home from university, I fantasised about how great my time with public speaking would be. Maybe I would open up with a joke (in my head people would laugh), maybe I would walk around on stage a bit (really own that shit, you know?), or maybe I would make a really in-group remark and make people believe I’m part of the ‘gang’. But more importantly than all that I would be concise, clear, calm, and convincing.

I’d literally scream: I’M THE WOMAN FOR THE JOB!

Only not actually scream it because that’s socially awkward, and not at all what people with great public speaking abilities do. No, I would scream it subtly. With my face and words, or some shit like that. 

With a face like this, how could anyone resist? #sexy
Of course, those of you who may know me, might have guessed that this fantasy was indeed just that – a fantasy. Because like all great dates, that in your head work like a dream and end up with you curled up in bed the next morning with a Chris Hemsworth look-alike, and then in reality have you sneaking out the window in the ladies toilet because he looks more like Chris Moyles – my date with public speaking crashed and burned. Except with thirty odd people all staring at you, it’s a lot harder to make a cheeky window escape.

It’s hard to pinpoint where my date with Public Speaking went wrong. If public speaking was a person, or more specifically a man, he would be one of the buffest most charismatic men – ever. And I imagine he would also be a bit of a dick head. One of those people who would pretend to compliment you, but would in fact be calling you a twat.

Or maybe I’m just taking my own metaphor too seriously.

Look at this guy, he's obviously great at public speaking and obviously a twat. The woman in the front row well wants to bang him.  Image stolen from here.

Maybe I should start again, and give you all a play by play of what actually happened when I tried my hand at public speaking. For a start, I truly believed I would be good at it. When it comes to interviews, I rock those bitches. I somehow managed to convince the store I work in now that I was an outdoorsy person, when really I’m more likely to surf the web as a form of exercise instead of actually surfing. But hey, a students got to do, what a students got to do, to pay those bills.

However, my TERRIFIC ability to bullshit was sort of made void when I realised that EVERYONE had an amazing ability to bullshit. Not only that, they could do it to thirty people at once, as opposed to me who had only done it to two people at a time (I like the ability to stare people down, kinda like the snake in Jungle Book). And on top of all of this, most of the people there were friends with most of the people there. As opposed to me who had a pseudo lesbian relationship with my friend Izy and a semi friendship with someone off the committee that was based off him MAKING ME LOOK GOOD.

Now to his credit, he did his best. He tried to sell me to the masses, but it was kind of like trying to flog a three legged cow at the rodeo. Or maybe a shaky dog would be a more fitting description. Of course, when dogs get nervous and start shaking, it’s deemed as cute, even when they piss on the carpet. When a grown woman starts to shake, it’s somewhat less cute, and people aren’t quite as forgiving about the mess on the carpet.

Now people who are bad at public speaking, and I’m guessing there’s a lot of us out there, will understand what I mean when I say it felt like my body was REJECTING the act. My body was so horrified that I was putting myself through the act of speaking in public, that it had what can only be deemed, as in involuntary exorcism[1].

The online dictionary defines an exorcism as ‘the ceremony that seeks to expel an evil spirit from a person or place.’ In this case, the evil spirit was the situation of me trying to convince thirty plus people to like me. And even though I haven’t watched The Exorcist, I have watched enough rock videos to know that I ticked a lot of the boxes.

Let’s start with vomiting – check, or close to checking (I swallowed it).

Babbling profanities and general shit talking – CHECK!

Body contorting in odd positions – Check, and don’t ask.

I’m sure there are others, but I’m trying not to relive the moment as much as possible. So what did I learn from this experience?

I suppose I could say that by merely experiencing the horrors of public speaking[2], I have become a better person. One of those, what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, kind of things. But really, the only lesson I really took away from this was:

Next time I’m just going to sleep with the guy counting the votes.

[1] As opposed to those voluntary exorcisms, that everyone’s queuing up for #chattingshit
[2] For those of you who have made it through this massive rant, please reward yourself by going back, rereading this crap and having a shot of booze for every time I use the words ‘public speaking’. That way we can be hammered together – won’t that be beautiful? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Last night I got an email - and I would like to share it with you

Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 00:00:38 +0200
Subject: Hi Heather!
From: [Probably best not to share that]


Just discovered your blog from Slutever!

So in a few words, my name is Pierre, i'm 28, live in France, i like Phoenix, Ratatat, Hot Chip, The Smiths... RIchard Prince, Robert rauschenberg... maybe all this rings a bell? Maybe not - that was just an introduction anyway!

WELL, in any case, my request is probably... surprising? I would like to masturbate for you on Skype. Yes. i know, you might think i'm some kind of sexual offender or whatever? Truth is i'm pretty normal, but i'm bored and i think sex is fun and that masturbating with / for someone i don't know in real life feels pretty damn good! Okay, this was just an narrow minded thing, because the truth is i'd love to have a female friend i could share my deepest and darkest thoughts (sexy of course) and to hear what goes on in a girls mind..... without judgement or disapproval, if you see what i mean?
You read slutever, so i thought you miiiiiight find it fun?

Anyway, enough with me. Sorry to be so... straight to the point, but i hope you'll find this interesting! Feel free to say no of course, in any case i'll still be a reader!
A bientôt? xxx

To: --------------
Subject: RE: Hi Heather!
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 23:59:35 +0100

Hey Pierre! 

Congratulations! You're the first person to send me 'fanmail'/'mail' off of my blog - so well done! 

I'm going to be honest, it's not the kind of mail I was thinking I would get when I set up my blog. I was kind of going for the 'witty girl' thing when I started it, rather than the 'she's up for a webcam peep show' vibe. Obviously, it's easy to get the two confused. I should probably make it clear right now that I won't be doing the skype thing - or any other masturbation related activity. You see, I read Slutever for the lols, it's really more of a chuckle for me, rather than a place to actually get my rocks off to (I have Ryan Gosling fantasies for that). 


I appreciate that you consider me wank bank material, especially after seeing the photos on my blog, and I'm still chuffed that I have you as a reader. Please keep following the blog and as I reward for being my first fanmail (I'm going to call it fanmail because it makes this all a lot less creepy) I have drawn you a Paint version of me, watching you, have a wank on skype (see attachments). 


Heather x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Does The Woman Make The Hair? Or The Hair Make The Woman?

Like many women I have a love, hate relationship with my hair. On the one hand I love my hair. It’s one of my best friends. It keeps my ears warm (or used to, but more on that later), compliments my eyes, and makes me feel... all girly and stuff.

If there’s one thing that helps women define a woman’s femininity, it’s our hair.  In a recent interview with SFX, Gwendoline Christie , the new star of HBO’s Game of Thrones, confines what it meant to chop off her pretty blonde locks.

“When they cut my hair off, the transformation was complete,” she says. “I really, really miss it. When I had it cut I was a good girl on set – I went to my dialogue session and my horse-riding session – then I went to my hotel room, shut the door and sobbed for two hours.”

For Christie, as a six foot three woman, her hair provided her a reassurance of her femininity. It may not be possible for all of us to match up to the small, willowy frames our childhood princesses sported; so we settle for the next best thing – Princess hair. Where would Repunzle be if now if not for her long, following hair? What is Snow White if she doesn’t have her hair black as coal? If there’s one thing that made a Princess a Princess – it was her hair.

However, is Princess hair really do-able, or like the Princesses themselves, is it just a fantasy?

In an ideal world I would have fantastic hair. Long, silky, with just the right amount of volume. I would wake up, run my fingers through it, and leave the house with birds singing around my bouffant mane. When I gave my head a wiggle it would do that thing hair does in adverts, where the sun bounces off it and makes it look like the sun is literally renting a room on top of your head. I would literally be the centre of the solar system. Planets would gravitate around my head – that’s how fantastic my fantasy hair would be.

Is my hair like that? No.

Here's my hair and the lead singer of Dry the River. Notice his hair is longer, also notice how you're (hopefully) not confused who belongs to what gender. 

I have short hair, very short hair. Why? Because in real life, only a select few have Princess hair and one of them is Kate Middleton. The rest of us aren’t capable of having long, silky smooth hair. Our heads just won’t have it. In my case, my hair grew up to my shoulders before having a systematic melt down and leaving split ends all over the place. My hair is also curly, which is a polite term for frizzy. Meaning if I wanted nice hair, I would either have to sit perfectly still for 6 hours and let the bitch dry naturally, or spend an hour burning my face off with strengtheners hot enough to melt steel.

Needless to say, I went with option C and just cut the damn stuff off. And while I would like to say ‘Oh I just felt so liberated, like a Joan of Arc but with hair and stuff’ what I actually felt was sadness. Seeing my hair on the floor I felt exposed, like some kind of shield had been taken away from me. Without hair I had nothing to hide behind. Suddenly I was very conscious of how unisex my pants were, of how they squeeze my hips and gave an ever so slight muffin top. I wanted to put more make up on, change my trainers for high heels – just do something to vindicate my womanhood.

It’s was only later, when I started to lose my preconceived notions of what a woman should look like, that I was able to acknowledge that my hair looked great. For once I wasn’t weighed down by my unmanageable hair. It didn’t six hours to style it, I didn’t feel the need to burn it alive before venturing out in public. And more importantly, I accepted that it suited me.

My eyes looked bigger, it made my cheek bones stand out. Without a mane of hair, I saw that hey, my neck isn’t half bad – it’s long, makes me look like a Jane Austen character.
Now by no means am I suggesting that every woman who reads this blog (hey flatmates) has to go out immediately and cut off all their hair. That would be silly, just look at Kerry Katona. But what I am saying is: don’t be afraid.

If you find yourself on tumblr, doing nothing but stare at pictures of Carey Muligan and moaning ‘God I wish I had hair like that, but it’s just so... short’. Fuck it. Cut it off. Who knows, you might look great – you might look AMAZING! Don’t cling to your princess hair hoping that one day a handsome prince will yank his way up your tresses and affirm your femininity. Newsflash: as women we all have vaginas, long hair or no.

What makes us women, what makes us feminine is what we make it to be. Our identity is unique to us, not to be placed into a category set out for us by fairytale books.

I mean Christ, just think how long Rapunzel has to spend washing that mane. No wonder Disney made her chop it off. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

As Students Are We Being Safe When We Work Part Time?

It’s 3am, my shift at the bar ended half an hour ago and since then, I’ve been sat alone at the bus stop. The stop is only thirty steps away from the bar. I’m in a well lit area. Yet I can’t help feeling... in danger. I’m very conscious that standing alone at 3am is not safe, especially not for a woman.

When you look at the statistics, it’s not exactly surprising that a young woman should feel uncomfortable at 3am. According to the Home Office, at least 8000 women are raped every year in the UK.[1] And that globally women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.[2] Yet with our British mentalities, we would rather risk assault from a drunken stranger (all with a stiff upper lip, I might add) than simply request a member of staff to ensure we get on our bus home safely.

With a rise in fees and the cost of living getting higher every year, more and more students are subsidizing their degrees with a part-time job. Whether in a shop, and most definitely in a bar, we have to recognize that employers have a responsibility for their employees.

It is very easy for students to laugh off poor work conduct – “Yeah they made me stay back an extra hour and I missed my bus but I’m still getting paid for it.” We feel that, because these companies are basically funding our Otley Run’s and 2-4-1 cocktail nights, that we have no right to question how they treat us. That we should just be grateful for our pocket money, and keep tight lipped as we ‘mow the lawn’ the same way we did when we were five.

However, part of entering into an adult world – a workplace, is realising these companies aren’t our parents. They won’t love us unconditionally, they’re not thinking about our wellbeing. Unless we ask, unless we demand, for some protection, thousands of women, and men, are in danger from rape, assault, harassment. If you find yourself unable to ask someone to be aware of your personal safety, and would rather stay silent, putting yourself in jeopardy for £6.10 an hour, then maybe you need to question – am I ready to even have a job?

[1] Walby, S. & Allen, J. (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. London.

[2] Unifem (2003) Not a minute more: Ending Violence Against Women. United Nations Development Fund for Women. New York.