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Translations of the female mind

13 Feb

Sometimes it feels like guys and gals are speaking completely different languages. The guys say tomato, the gals say potato, and generally nothing is communicated because one sex is talking about fruits and the other about vegetables. How will we ever overcome these gastronomic obstacles? By translation, dur. And while not as exhaustive as Google Translate (which is actually surprising accurate BTW), here is a list of common phrases used by female kind that might not mean what you think they mean.

  1. He’s interesting – this is the polite way of saying he sucks/ is weird/ not interesting at all. Yes, these are all completely different meanings, but if you listen very closely (UGHHH, doesn’t it always seem like we tell you to listen?) you can tell which one it means based on where the speech-ellipses are. Generally, pause means odd, no pause means sucky.
  2. So what did you think of class – Read: Talk to me! I very much want to have a conversation with you but can think of nothing better to speak about than that INCREDIBLY ENTERTAINING Stat lecture. For the love of G-d give me something!
  3. He’s adorable – He has won the election for mayor of the Friendzone in a landslide. He is not a sexual being in the slightest, and is grouped in the girl’s head with “adorable” baby bunny rabbits and ponies. Note the difference between adorable and cute – cute is very salvageable, and is actually in most cases a very good thing. Adorable – not so much.
  4. What are you doing this weekend – it had better be me.
  5. Hmm, next week looks pretty packed – I can’t find an excuse to not hang out with you. I’m always going to be busy. Always.
  6. I miss you – we need to hang out more, call/text/be in my life more
  7. Have you been to Chocopologie yet? – TAKE ME THERE
  8. Let’s grab a meal sometime – Saved for last because of its many disparate connotations.
    1. I genuinely want to get to know you better and possibly start a relationship with you.
    2. I want to keep our relationship casual, so I am keeping things very open-ended by using the words like grab (very blasé) and meal (very vague).
    3. I want this conversation to end so I am suggesting a meal that I know will never happen

Complicated, isn’t it? Almost unfathomable? Well, that’s women for you. And remember, now that you have this incredibly useful and utterly correct knowledge, you will know that when a girl asks you to pass the potato chips, she’s really asking for tomato chips. Proceed as one would in this situation.

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The less-than-fun (but very important) side of sex

2 Feb

While the Yale community may be full of talented and bright individuals, this does not mean that we’re exactly as, um…healthy, as we should be. There are a couple things that you should bear in mind before you embark on any type of sexual adventure:

STI’s: they’re real, they exist and they’re on the Yale campus. (Sexually transmitted infections, for those of you bad at acronyms.) Ok, now that we’ve got that fact out of the way, we can have a more rational discussion. No one wants one, and no one wants anyone else to know that he/she has one. It is your responsibility – and maybe even your duty – to get yourself tested and to make sure that you are clean, so that when she asks you if you are, you can respond honestly. DUH offers free STI testing to all Yale students, even if they’re not part of the Yale Health Plan – so go and get yourself tested, especially if you are sexually active with a variety of people. What could be a better mood-booster during a stressful week than a negative test result? They don’t even show up on your bills, so your parents will never know. You don’t even have to go to DUH to get your test results back – they call you. What could be easier?! Best-case scenario, you know you’re clean and you now deserve to have a little extra spring in your step. Worst-case scenario, there is probably a way to treat whatever you’ve got, it’s ok and don’t be a dumbass in the future. Bacterial STI’s like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be cured while viral infections like hepatitis B and herpes can only be treated (i.e. they’re never going away). Therefore, it’s a good idea to get tested so that you don’t spread it further.

On a further STI note, before having sex with someone for the first time, it’s better to ask BEFORE and not AFTER if he/she is clean. You should also note that you can get an STI even if you don’t have sex. Not only can oral-anal and oral-genital transmission occur, but herpes, genital warts, and hepatitis B are not prevented bycondoms (they’re spread through skin contact so if your partner has a sore outside the area covered by the condom, you can be infected). Before things get R-rated, you might just want to take a breath to ask, “You’re clean, right?” and hopefully she’ll answer, “yes” without hesitation. You can also ask “Have you been tested?” This should get the message across. Similarly, she should ask if you’re clean and you MUST answer honestly. Remember, Hell hath no fury like a woman who just got herpes.

So here’s the good news. There a thing called protection – use it because it works (most of the time). There are multiple types of protection, some of which are more effective than others. Some types protect against STI’s while others protect against pregnancy (we call these contraceptives). Condoms protect against most STI’s and pregnancy, therefore, it is often a good idea to use a condom even if your partner is on birth control. This will protect against the STI’s and ensure that your partner does not end up pregnant. Good news! Condoms are easy to procure at Yale and FREE (hooray!). You can find condoms in College entryways, from Peer Health Educators and from FroCos. Don’t be embarrassed, get over it and ask for the f—ing condoms, you’ll be happy that you did. Sex is great, so what’s the big deal (just don’t be that idiot freshman boy who stockpiles condoms in his room but never uses any of them)? In addition, lubricants, dental dams, and female condoms are available for free at DUH, which means that you have to walk. Same message as before, get over it and walk to the extra 15 minutes to get your supplies: you’ll be happy that you did because those 15 minutes mean better, safer sex.

Also, you people in relationships out there, this applies to you too. Just because you’re having sex with the same person regularly, it doesn’t mean you’re invincible. Getting tested in the early stages of your relationship is a great way to put her mind at rest. If you’re cute like that, you could even make the trip to DUH together. We know that sometimes you don’t realize that you’re out of condoms until you’re “past the point of no return” but suck it up. Just once can be all it takes to turn you from care-free college boy into daddy-to-be. And in case you’re that stupid, THE PULLOUT METHOD ALONE IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE CONTRACEPTIVE.

So now that you’ve been told for probably the millionth time about protection, let’s have a cheer for happy and safe sex!

The Yale Man’s Guide to Texting

30 Jan

Ahh, texting. The past 10 years have brought us this glorious additional layer of technological relationship complication, and even if you are one of those fogies who swear it’s not important, believe us, it’s important. Texting is an intricate practice, and no one should go into this jungle of uncertainty and smileys without the proper machete. So here it is, the official Yale Man’s Guide to Texting:

Lol – We’ll start with the basics – the lol. Now, in general, the lol is a good thing. If it’s at the front of the text, it signals that your previous text made her laugh. Score! However, lols are not only used for laughter. They can also be used to diffuse tension or say that you shouldn’t take seriously what she just said (even though you should).

Good lol: lol! Yeahhh hamsters would look cray cray with bowties!

Bad lol: YEahh I totally didnt even want to go to that thing lol

Read: Oh yes I did, you lazy biz-nitch

And with lols, as with nearly every texted word, more letters = more betters.

Lolllllll || lololololol > lol

Ha – This texting convention can be a little confusing, because even though it may seem like it implies a laugh, it really signifies more of a sigh, or an attempt to make you think you’re funny. As with the lol, placement matters; at the front says she’s sighing at you, and at the back is a self-sigh.

Front ha – Ha you should really pursue this bowtie-hamster thing

Back ha –  And then we kind of passed out ha

Haha – Haha essentially serves the same purpose as the lol (though with a bit more maturity, in our humble opinions). It most commonly means that what you said was funny, or she wants to signal that what she’s saying is funny. Generally a good thing.

Hahaha – Generally a great thing! If haha is the courtesy laugh, hahaha means you ACTUALLY made her laugh. Congrats! And, as with the lol, more ha’s are even better. YOU WANT MANY OF THESE.

… – ellipses are tricky, because based on their placement, they can mean completely different things. In the middle of a sentence, ellipses can simply be a segue into a different thought. At the end, they can mean uncertainty or judgment. If she sends a text which consists solely of ellipses, you messed up biiig and she is pissed at what you just said.

Middle ellipses: Im not going to the show… why do Sikhs carry a knife if they believe in nonviolence?

Back ellipses: umm the KIRPAN is used as a defensive weapon…

. – Periods full on suck because there’s no standardization in their texting usage. Some people think they should be used at the end of every sentence, but we here at Men’s Guide think that periods at the end of a text look unnecessarily harsh. Hopefully you know a girl well enough to know her patterns, but in general, an end text period means pissiness to follow. Just look at the difference between these two examples:

I’m feeling chill right now: Ok

I’m feeling like a pissy she-monster: Ok.

SO HARSH. Avoid this punctuation at all costs.

:  ) – And now to the emoticons. This particular one is fraught with ambiguity, because it can easily signal friendship or flirtatiousness. If a girl’s already your friend, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take it as friendly. But at least you make her smile! Oh, and as a side note on your own texting etiquette, it is acceptable for guys to use the smiley, but you probably shouldn’t overdo it, because it is a fairly girly emoticon, and you might come across as a little gay. And as an (ostensibly straight) Yale man, you probably don’t want another reason for girls to think you like the dudes.

: ( – The opposite of smiley: the frownie! No real subtext to this one; it means she’s sad. GIVE HER CANDY. SHE PROBABLY LOVES CANDY.

And finally:

; ) – SHE WANTS YOUR BODY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT YOUR COMPUTER GET IT GET IT GET IT

How to be friends

29 Jan

After all this talk about dating and hooking up and stuff, we’ve forgotten a really important category in relationships between men and women: friendship. Men and women at Yale can and should be friends with one another, otherwise they’re missing out on a pretty big part of the Yale community. So how exactly do you turn a girl into your friend without appearing like you want to sleep with her as well? Girls are actually quite receptive to the idea of being friends with men – that’s the good part. First step is meeting the girl in question you would like to befriend – maybe she lives in your entryway or she is in your class. Second step is to introduce yourself. For those of you who’ve been living under rocks for the past 18 or so years, this means you say, “Hi, I’m Yale Man, what did you say your name was?” Hopefully, you possess some skills in the art of chitchat, and we suggest that you employ them at this point in time so that after you’ve learned her name, you don’t just stand there awkwardly. Saying things like, “what did you think of the lecture” and “what college are you in?” are perfect ways to start something off. You’ve now both established the fact that the other exists, congratulations. Say hi to her when you pass on Cross Campus or end up next to each other on the Blue State line. After a while, ask her if she wants to grab a meal – dining halls this time, please! Going out will give the wrong impression. Lunch says quite definitively that this is not sexy time. It’s as simple as saying, “Hey, we should grab a meal some time. How about next Tuesday?” (this would also be a good moment to exchange numbers). If you’re truly as charming and witty as you think you are, you’re probably well on the path to friendship. Now, was that really so hard?

On the flip side, a girl can always befriend you (and in our experience, the girl is the more likely person to initiate the friendship). You’ll know that she just wants to be friends if all of your meals take place in a dining hall. If she’s telling you her deepest, darkest, innermost secrets, she probably just wants to be friends (a girl interested in sleeping with you is more likely to hold that stuff back).

Once you’ve got a friendship going, you’ll have to expend some energy to make it last. Especially if you’re living in different colleges or off-campus, you’re going to have to put in some time to see each other to keep the friendship going. The jury is still out on whether or not men and women can truly ever just be friends. Harry and Sally’s verdict that it only works as long as they don’t find each other sexually attractive might just be the case. Haven’t you ever seen My Best Friend’s Wedding (if you haven’t, you really shouldn’t because it’s terrible, that is, unless you want to see Julia Roberts running around in 80’s style hair and too-short shirts)? It didn’t work. Pretty in Pink anyone? Emma? Clueless? Made of Honor? Just Friends? No Strings Attached? (Ok, now we’re just getting into bad movies). Sexual attraction is the death knell of the friendship. So, to keep it at the friends level, we suggest just a bit of distance, so that you’re not spending every single moment with each other. Watch movies, text, chat, and hang out all you want but NEVER cuddle. There is no such thing as platonic cuddling. Period. End of story (well, if one of you has a significant other, there are some extenuating situations). Once you start cuddling, you’ve passed into dangerous territory. Unless, of course, you’ve decided to go the way of Peter Parker and make Mary-jane into your lady. In which case, cuddling is a very good idea.

Why it’s not okay to hook up with her best friend:

27 Jan

Sometimes it happens that you hook up with a girl and it’s just not going to go anywhere. As long as she’s not terribly hurt, that’s fine. However, this means that her friends, especially her best friend, are off limits. Always. Forever. It’s not ok even if the best friend is throwing herself at you. Yes, best friends should know better, but sometimes they’re stupid too. We’ve been asked many times at the Yale Man’s Guide why exactly women have such a problem with their hook ups getting with their best friends and we’d like to offer the following illumination of the female psyche (or at least some female psyches. There are women who simply don’t care about this situation, but many do).

To the average woman’s mind, the friend is the confidant, the one who knows all of her hook ups and all of her secrets. By hooking up with the friend, you instantly create a tension in the friendship. The first woman begins to wonder if her friend actually cares about the friendship and how much her friend can be trusted. Even though you may not necessarily be the one at fault (you may not even have known that they were friends!) you’re still going to be blamed. Yes, we know, it’s not fair, but neither is life. Hooking up with the best friend is an act of betrayal, pure and simple. You’ve created a situation in which two people who know each other intimately now know you intimately and they will gossip about you forever. Trust us, two friends will NEVER forget that they’ve hooked up with the same guy.

While hooking up with the best friend may seem like a good idea at the time – especially if it’s late at night and you’re intoxicated – there’s the potential for you ruin their friendship forever. If you’re simply looking to hook up, this is a terrible, selfish thing to do and we simply do not advise it. However, if you hooked up with one friend and are deeply in love with the other, you’re in a tricky situation. In that case, it’s a good idea for the best friend to handle negotiations and let her make the decision. It must be her choice on how to handle her relationship with her friend and her relationship with you.

There’s also the EWW factor. Crudely put, two friends hooking up with the same guy is comparable to them sharing a toothbrush (yes, we just compared a man to a toothbrush). Although there may not necessarily be anything wrong, there’s such a thing as sharing TOO much. It’s just icky, plain and simple.

Just another thing to keep in mind: if you now understand why hooking up with two friends is a bad idea, don’t even consider hooking up with two sisters. That’s just never going to be ok, ever. You thought the saying was Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Just try a Yale woman, her sister, and her best friend. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The Ground Rules: interacting with women on a day-to-day basis (Part 3)

27 Jan

Let’s talk about appearance. While the Yale man may have certain standards of cleanliness and propriety, Yale women generally (but not always, because we don’t want to make generalizations here) are cleaner than men. This means, when you invite a woman to your suite, you might want to tidy up a bit so that she doesn’t think you’re a complete slob. It’s just polite. This means: no dirty laundry on the floor, no obvious dust bunnies, and certainly no empty and rotting food containers. You don’t want to have to scramble to make room on the futon for a person to sit down when they enter a room – he or she should be able to see said futon through the debris (or lack thereof). Make sure to air out the room from time to time or use large quantities of Febreeze, because there is nothing nastier than cooped-up boy smell when you walk into a room. Even if the woman in question is simply a friend, it’s always nice to make a good impression. Offering a guest (ex. A man, woman, parent, sibling, best friend from home, recruit) a refreshment (tea, coke, beer, other) is a hospitable gesture that is often looked upon with favor. Certainly not required, but friendly.

In terms of personal care, routine showers are always a good idea. No one wants a stinky boy near her (or him), and the Yale man should always be fresh-smelling (this means you should be using deodorant, soap, shampoo, and maybe some nice after shave if you feel like it). Personal hygiene is not a personal issue – it’s a public one. Dressing nicely to some degree is always taken in a good light. This does not mean that you have to wear a suit and tie to class everyday, but it might be noticed if you actually put on a pair of well-fitting jeans (the kind that doesn’t have ripped knees and doesn’t reveal so obviously whether you’re a boxers or briefs man) instead of sweat pants, or a button-down shirt with the cuffs rolled back instead of a tee-shirt. Sorry Peter Pan, you’re quickly leaving your teenage years behind and cannot dress like a thirteen year old for much longer, so you might as well start building up an adult wardrobe now. Dressing well can get you more attention and more respect. We live in a superficial society where it takes a lot of time and effort to get to know a person, which means that you should care about how you look because that’s going to be his/her first impression of you. Even though you may be a sweet, caring and intelligent Yale man, if you look gross, you’re going to have to work extra hard to have the sweet, caring, intelligent interior shine through your (literally) greasy exterior.

Once you’ve put on that quarter-zip sweater and those desert boots, surrounded by a scent cloud of your own cleanly soapiness, go forth Yale man.  

To the men of Yale:

25 Jan

Have you got a question about life, love and women? Are you unsure of what to plan for your two year anniversary? Do you want to know how to approach a girl at Toad’s? Do you want to avoid offending the ex? Add a comment here and we’ll write a post just for you (you can also send us an email at byyalewomenforyalemen@gmail.com).

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