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Our 20 Most Popular Stories of 2017

Presented without comment

Or, at least, with minimal comment. Here, in list form, are the 20 most trafficked MEL posts of 2017, in reverse order (so as to be suspenseful):

20) ‘Are You Having a ‘Several-Night Stand’?

The several-night stand isn’t a series of disconnected hookups (though it’s presented as casual). Rather, it comes with all the perks of a relationship, while skillfully masquerading as a booty call. Staff writer Tracy Moore investigates this very modern (and shitty) dating phenomenon.

19) ‘Meet the Leader of the #SwoleLeft

In February, staff writer John McDermott interviewed Poncho Martinez. At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, Martinez had spent the last year powerlifting, adding more than 20 pounds of muscle and transforming his frame from “doughy” to swole . Why? Because with hate crimes on the rise, Martinez and 30 other politically active liberal men want to be strong enough to fight Nazis.

18) ‘The Best ‘Netflix and Chill’ Movies (According to Horny Guys on Reddit)

What’s the ideal date night movie? Choosing the right one is a delicate art, one that requires balancing several different factors — e.g., how long you’ve been dating, the mood you’re trying to cultivate and your date’s tolerance for gratuitous sex, violence and gore. At least that’s some of the calculus established by these dudes on Reddit.

17) ‘The Pornhub Data Are in: Millennials Don’t Like Boobs

Despite claims that millennials are weak, both mentally and physically, they’ve proven themselves to be coldly efficient assassins. In short time, they’ve laid waste to an array of cherished cultural institutions, including marriage, homeownership and J. Crew (to name just a few). Now you can add boobs to that list.

16) ‘‘2 Girls, 1 Cup’: An Investigation Into the Web’s Shittiest Mystery

Contributing writer Miles Klee offers up the most in-depth retrospective of the viral video, ‘2 Girls, 1 Cup,’ ever written, in this 3,000-word treatise that stole our hearts and shat all over our brains.

15) ‘If You’re Chugging Water to Hydrate, You’re Doing It Wrong

When it comes to proper rehydration, Leonard Smith, gastrointestinal, vascular and general surgeon, advises, “You should sip water slowly, two to three ounces at a time, throughout the day. If you drink too fast, you risk diluting your blood, which may cause faster excretion of water by the kidneys.” Or in layman’s terms, if you drink water too quickly, it will cause your body to expel most of it as urine, which will have the effect of slowing the hydration process, i.e., the opposite of what you wanted to happen.

14) ‘All the Awesome Pop Culture That’s Been Ruined by Horrible Fans, Ranked

Music, film, TV, literature, politics, sports — they all have fan bases that are so vehement and insistent that they ruin what they love for everyone else. Here, McDermott ranks the worst fanboys — from those of Rick and Morty to Radiohead.

13) ‘I Was an Uber Pirate

After a nearly fatal accident on the job, a former construction worker decided to turn off the uber app and go rogue by picking up customers for cash rides. For awhile, everything was working out just as he’d planned — until someone threatened to pull a gun on him.

12) ‘What We’re Really Fighting About When We Fight Over Having Another Kid

In light of the news that mega-celebs Anna Faris and Chris Pratt separated after eight years of marriage, over — at least in part — whether or not to have more kids, Moore explains the wincing reminder of a dark, complicated truth about marriage that everyone deals with: The second-baby debate can wreck even the most stable of relationships.

11) ‘The Real Reason Why Society Hates You If You Don’t Have Kids

Speaking of kids, based on findings from a new study, Moore explores why three decades of research has consistently found that deliberate non-breeders (as opposed to the infertile, who get a pass) have always been disliked.

10) ‘The 10 Most Intriguing Movies of 2017 (That Aren’t Based on Anything)

Originality is rare in this brave new world of reboots and superhero movies. Still, contributing editor Tim Grierson spotlights 10 films that were released in 2017 that aren’t based on anything. Not a novel, not a TV show, not a video game, not a comic book — nothing. (Okay, one entry on the list is based on a pretty notable World War II battle.)

9) ‘For the Love of God, Stop Putting Two Spaces After a Period

McDermott explains why the two-spaces-after-a-period construction is outmoded and has no place in modern communication. So there. (Yes, that was deliberate.)

8) ‘Why Gen X Is So Pissed at Millennials

A lot of the tired stereotypes older people hold about millennials — that they’re lazy, entitled, self-absorbed, etc. — are in part rooted in, or at the very least reinforced by, age discrimination in reverse. That is, our current economic situation has left many Gen Xers with dwindling job prospects in what they believed would be the most prosperous period in their careers, and they resent the younger generation for it.

7) ‘Death by Muscle

Dallas McCarver and Rich Piana, two of the most muscular men on the planet, died last August. McCarver placed second at this year’s Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition, and at only 26, he was likely the future face of the sport. He choked to death on food, building mass to the very last. Piana, a 300-pound monster with a modest competition history but a huge following among fans who admired his size and charisma, died at 46 of complications related to a recreational drug overdose. Contributing writer Oliver Lee Bateman attempts to make sense of their deaths as well as to better understand why so man bodybuilders seem to die young.

6) ‘Have You Encountered the Cuckboi?

Maybe the most prescient piece we did all year as the “woke” feminist male has become the new televangelist — a cuck who likes to fuck in ways that bely the beliefs they all too often (and conveniently) espouse.

5) ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Paying a Bar Tab

Tip more than a dollar a drink, ya cheap bastard.

4) ‘The ‘Slave Grooms’ of Hong Kong

“Slave grooms” — i.e., South Asian men tricked into arranged marriages — are being trafficked to Hong Kong and forced into indentured labor by the families of their wives. Ashraf, a 35-year-old Pakistani man, is one of them. This is his story as told to staff writer C. Brian Smith.

3) ‘‘Cushioning’ Isn’t Cheating, It’s Called Keeping Your Options Open

Have you ever dated someone, but stayed in touch with other people in a friendly way, people you aren’t dating or sleeping with, but whom you might like or go out with if your current thing didn’t work out? Maybe you always fave their tweets or occasionally comment on their Facebook posts, or keep an ongoing chat alive, but without ever doing anything to act on your attraction. Congratulations: You’re ‘cushioning.’

2) ‘The Three Things Women Want You to Say in Bed… Daddy

According to a “survey” of some 5,000 people by an Australian jeweler, women, when you’re fucking them, would like you to insist that they call you “daddy,” tell them how tight their vag is and remark on how incredible it feels to be inside them. In that order, too.

1) ‘The Wildest Things I’ve Witnessed Working as a Stewardess on Private Jets

Eileen* has spent the last 12 years as a private flight attendant. The job has taken her all over the world in service of businessmen, moguls and a few celebrities. These are her craziest stories, as well as what she’s learned from taking care of the rich-and-powerful at 36,000 feet.

*Name changed at request