Tag Archives: Yale

Not single on Valentine’s Day?

12 Feb

Congratulations, you’ve found someone you can call your Valentine. Since we’re no longer in fourth grade, she’s probably going to expect a bit more than just one of those cute paper cards (although we really like those cards with cute animals or movie stars). Anyway, the date is approaching fast (aka Tuesday) so here are a couple last minute ideas about what you can do to make the day a little bit more special (although both of you should show that you appreciate each other on a day-to-day basis and you shouldn’t have to wait until a holiday to do that). Whatever you do will probably be clichéd – the whole day is formulaic, so there’s no point trying to fight it. This is the most clichéd holiday. Ever.

  1. Make a reservation at a nice restaurant. You might want to get a move on that, um, and soon. Because in case you haven’t noticed, a lot of couples go out to diner on Valentine’s. Everyone loves dinner, and this is a perfect excuse to skip a meal at a dining hall.
  2. Gifts – small gifts are nice. Like flowers and chocolate (duh). But also what about her favorite type of tea that she just ran out of? Or a new mug because her roommate broke hers? Or a book that she really wants? A nice piece of jewelry? Small, thoughtful gifts are sometimes better. Cards can be nice, but post-Valentine’s Day, she’s left with the awkward predicament of what to do with the card. Hang it on the wall? Put it in a drawer? Throw it out? If you go the card route, better make sure it’s a good one.
  3. Become a poet and write her a sonnet. Actually, never mind, that’s a bad idea. Unless you’re a really good poet. Because nothing is more awkward for her than pretending that she actually likes your verse when it’s really crap.
  4. Surprise her with a singing Valentine. Except she might be embarrassed if you give her said singing Valentine in the middle of a 400 person lecture.
  5. Have sex.
  6. Put a movie on and don’t watch it. Cuddle.
  7. Build a blanket fort and snuggle all night. Everyone loves a blanket fort.
  8. Just show her that you care about her.

And then of course, you could both have midterms on Wednesday and may feel like celebrating on a different date. That’s ok – taking the time out to celebrate your relationship is always a good thing. You don’t have to set off fireworks in the middle of Old Campus to show her that you care (in fact, that’s probably a bad idea). On the 14th, heartfelt wins over creativity (especially if that creativity potentially endangers the lives of fellow students, re fireworks).

Opposites Attract?

7 Feb

So everyone knows that old saying that opposites attract, but what if you and your newest pal seem to be polar opposites? You support the Red Sox and she grew up with the Yankees? You’re part of the Yale College Republicans and she reads the Dems’ emails religiously? You’re a practicing atheist and she’s a devout Wicken? You would rather eat General Tsao’s tofu for the rest of your life than analyze Ulysses and she’s an English major? You spend your weekends reliving FOOT in East Rock and she doesn’t own a pair of shoes without a four-inch heel? Whatever your differences are, we think that you can have a relationship in spite of them (although if she believes in being completely nocturnal and you stick to a more diurnal lifestyle, you might have problems).

So how exactly do you work a relationship where you’re so different? The first thing is not to ignore those difference – talk about them (but remember to be nice and reasonable). Acknowledging the fact that she likes smooth peanut butter and you like chunky makes sure that there’s not elephant in the room whenever you are together. You shouldn’t have to tiptoe around subjects just because you disagree – in order to have a working relationship where you’re on opposite ends of any debate, you need to understand where the other one is coming from.

A great way to avoid any awkwardness is to make a joke out of your differences. You love Hugh Grant movies and she’s a die-hard Bruce Willis fan (pun intended)? Look at you two, defying gender norms! Joking and (gentle) teasing alleviates the need to avoid topics. A solid relationship shouldn’t have taboo subjects, and by giving your great debate a light-hearted tone, you learn to laugh at yourselves. And other people won’t feel as if they have to avoid certain topics when they’re around the pair of you, which helps. Teasing is good for the soul.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always listen to what your significant other has to say whenever you’re talking about your divergent issue. Let her explain why exactly she prefers Sterling to Bass and don’t cut her off in the middle. Everyone hates being cut off, so don’t do it. Respond to what she’s saying, don’t just deliver your own point of view (this shows you were listening…but now we feel as if we’re giving instructions on how to participate well in section…but anyway). Conversely, she should listen and respond to you. Yay for civilized discussion! (and debating can be sexy, so hey)

So whatever the matter at hand, whether serious or silly, you can make it work, you’re just going to have to work at it.

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

Yale Man’s Guide to Hook Ups

24 Jan

The very first rule of a hook up: don’t assume it’s going to end in sex. It might. But it might not. Just because a girl leaves Toads with you to go back to your suite, doesn’t mean she wants sex. Realistically, she’s not really super excited to see the paper you got published in the Yale Historical Review and things are probably going to get physical, but that does not mean she wants sex. She might want to make out, she might want to make out a lot, but don’t assume that means she wants to go further. But, you cry, how am I supposed to know? You don’t. Quite possibly, she hasn’t even decided yet. The best approach is every time you make a move to go further, ask “Is this okay?” If she says yes, you’re golden. If she says no, go back to whatever you were doing before. If you’re as good as you hope you are, you might just get her hot and bothered enough to make that very move on her own. This applies to you too. If you’re with a girl and you don’t want to go further, you don’t have to. Please don’t feel as though you’re violating some Guy Code or something stupid like that. Do not have sex just because you think you should.

As far as specifics are concerned: this is a hook up. That means she has absolutely no obligation to put her mouth anywhere near your penis. Nor should you feel obligated to go down on her. If you’re cool with it, more (tongue) power to you but giving oral sex to a person you’re probably seeing naked for the first time is not, nor should it be, expected. This also means that if she tells you she doesn’t want to have sex, it is not under any circumstances okay to say “It’s okay, you can just blow me instead.” For many women, giving a guy head is a way bigger deal than actual intercourse.

If you do end up having sex, yay! If it’s your first hook-up (or first time), relax. Don’t constantly ask if she likes what you’re doing; trust her to tell you if she doesn’t. Ladies: for God’s sake, speak up. If you don’t like something, tell him. If you like something, tell him! Don’t be too ambitious. Chances are, you haven’t known her long enough to find out if she’ll be able to get her legs into the position you saw in that porno that time (and unless your hook up is on the gym team or Yale Ballet, she probably can’t).

Afterwards, take your cue from her. Try not to kick her out at 4am, especially if it’s winter. It’s just good manners to let her stay the night. If she starts getting dressed in silence and doesn’t make eye contact, she probably wants to leave like, five minutes ago, so you should probably let her. But if she’s chatting while she starts scrabbling around for her panties and asking if you can see her bra, she’d probably like you to tell her she doesn’t have to leave.

Lastly, have fun. Hook ups are not supposed to be stressful. In fact, they’re supposed to be the opposite of stressful.

Yale Man’s Guide to Romance

22 Jan

News flash. Girls like romance. Earth shattering stuff, huh? And if you think you’ve found the one girl at Yale who thinks romance is dumb. You’re wrong. Romance isn’t just Candy Hearts and Flowers (the stuff she thinks is dumb), it’s figuring out what matters to her. There are different kinds of Romance too.

1.The Big Romantic Gesture

This should be used sparingly and carefully. Anniversaries? Yes. Our Second Tuesday Together? No (See – The Small Romantic Gesture). Be wary of using the BRG as a form of apology. If she comes to associate BRGs with you having fucked up in some way, she’ll assume you have something to apologise for every time, even if you don’t. Also, do not pull out the BRG too early! This should really be reserved for when the relationship can realistically be called long term. Think 6 months+. You don’t want to scare her off by being overly intense too soon.

When planning your BRG, try to take her interests and personality into account. If she hates getting dressed up, dinner and dancing probably isn’t for her. Similarly, the BRG is not the time to introduce her to your passion for extreme sports or LARPing. It should be about her and showing her how much you care. This might mean a trip to the firing range. Or a night at the opera. Or going to a strip club. Or a picnic and poetry on East Rock.

Be creative, be thoughtful and good luck!

2.The Small Romantic Gesture

The SRG is for more every-day displays of affection than the BRG. Want to commemorate your Second Tuesday Together? This is the gesture for you. It should, as the title suggests, be small. That means it should not occupy a whole day or cost you a fortune. The SRG should be adorable and, you guessed it, thoughtful. Is she really stressed out with classes? Suggest a 30 minute study break and give her a massage or bring her favourite Claire’s cupcake to her in Bass. Is she sick? Do a quick Rite-Aid run and bring her a little care package (think: tissues, Nyquil, chocolate and trashy magazines). Again, be thoughtful, and tailor your SRG to her specific interests and needs. Nothing will make her happier than the “he remembered!” feeling she’ll get when you do something she mentioned in passing 2 weeks ago.

3.The Romance of the Every-day.

By no means assume that romance should be reserved for special occasions. There is a place for it in the day-to-day of relationships too. This doesn’t mean you should be bankrupting yourself by bringing her roses every morning, this kind of romance is subtler, and ultimately more special, than all the Gestures (Big or Small) combined. This is the romance which remembers what she takes in her coffee and the names of her close friends. Knowing her schedule and not putting unreasonable demands on her time. Showing up to meet her after her shift at the Buttery to walk her back to her suite. Remembering when she has a big interview or a midterm and asking how it went. You might think these are little things, but trust is, she notices every one. She also notices what you say. Tell her she looks pretty today, or that her hair smells good. Tell her you miss her when you’re apart. Tell her you want her when you’re together. And when the time is right, whether that’s at the end of a BRG or sitting on the futon watching Comedy Central, tell her you love her

The Ground Rules: Interacting with Women on a day-to-day basis (Part 1)

22 Jan

            Yale is about 51% percent female: this means that you will be seeing women on a daily basis. Try not to get too excited (because that just makes it awkward for the rest of us). So while you might have gone to an all-boys school in the hills of Montana, you will now be surrounded by women and (gasp, scream, cry and horror!) living in quite close proximity to them. Your entryway will be co-ed freshman year, and you might even be sharing a bathroom with a girl down the road. This means that there are some basic ways to treat women that you should keep in mind.

1. Be respectful! – Although we may be living in the 21st century, chivalry is sure as hell not dead; it’s just been updated. However, there are a couple of things that girls will notice that you do that they will appreciate. For instance, opening a door for a woman is always nice and takes almost no effort. For your part, you will be forever marked as gallant (this is a good thing). Furthermore, if there is only one seat left in a lecture hall and a woman is standing there, offer her the seat before taking it yourself. She does not have to accept, but she will appreciate the offer.

Since you will most likely be living with women, there are other ways to help out your female companions in the entry-way. If there is a bug, and she asks you to kill it, it is polite of you to comply with the request (although though in this day and age, a girl should really be able to squash said insect by herself, but if you hear her scream in the bathroom, it might be nice of you to come to her rescue). Once you have used your superhuman hunting powers on the pathetic, innocent and quite harmless cockroach, pick it up and throw it out. You kill it, you clean it up. It may seem unfair of you to be saddled with this difficulty and nuisance, but you are a Yale Man and should therefore be unafraid of bugs. It is polite and she will be grateful to you for at least a period of two months. If you’re sharing a bathroom with women, do not show yourself to be discomforted by feminine items in the bathroom, such as tampons. Tampons are not weapons of mass destruction. We promise, they will not hurt you, so try not to freak out if you see one. If you’re sharing a bathroom with a girl, she will inevitably have her period. It happens, it’s hormones, now get over it. Also, if the soap runs out of the dispenser, resist the urge to snag a bit of her face wash, which she has so nicely stored in the bathroom shelve as a replacement. She will notice if face wash goes missing and she will not be pleased. One last note on bathrooms: if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweet and clean the seat.

In terms of language, let’s be real – we’re living in modern times, not the Yale of the 1920’s. People curse, a lot. However, when meeting a woman for the first time, it is best to use more polite language. You do not want her to think that you don’t know anything other than four letter words. Use of gratuitous language is, well, gratuitous, so until you’ve become friends, hold off on the swearing. On that note, never should you ever use a certain four-letter word beginning with C that generally refers to a part of female anatomy. We repeat, NEVER. This word, while commonly used in Britain as slang, has not quite transitioned in America and is off-limits. It’s employment in day-to-day conversation will raise eyebrows and probably make everyone uncomfortable.

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