In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to use this space as a public declaration of appreciation for my momma. My mom is a badass, a hero and a goddess of steadfast determination and strength. And to state the obvious: I’m so glad she isn’t at all like any of the moms Tracy Moore wrote about this week. Like the murderous drug queenpin Griselda Blanco; the petty control freak Mary Ball Washington; the racist criminal matriarch Zerelda Cole James Samuel; the alcoholic drug addict with Munchausen-by-proxy Debbie Nelson Mathers Briggs; or the Machiavellian French (by way of Italy) queen Catherine de Medici.
Truly, mother, for this I thank you.
Tanya’s Dirty Thirty
There are some people who really like to take their birthdays to the next level, spreading out the festivities throughout the entire month. While that might sound more like punishment than fun to those people’s friends, a woman named Tanya Gilstrap found a way to make it a rockin’ good time for everyone involved by challenging herself to sleep with 30 individuals in 30 days. And, as a member of a kinky polyamorous scene in Seattle, she didn’t have a hard time finding people in her life willing to play along.
Trade That Shirt, Bro
For a while now, women have known the pure, unadulterated joy of the clothing swap: You gather up all the clothes you don’t want anymore, have your friends do the same and then trade amongst each other. Which is to say, you get free new shit, clear out your closet and hang out with your friends in the process. So fellas, why haven’t you jumped on the swap train yet?
Neither Side of the Story
In the gay community, people are usually divided into two groups: “tops,” who do the penetrating, and “bottoms,” who, well, get penetrated. A lesser-known group, though, are the “sides,” i.e., people who aren’t interested in either. That doesn’t mean they don’t like sex, though — it just means sex might not involve traditional definitions of intercourse. That said, for many sides, including C. Brian Smith, it can still be a complicated aspect of one’s sexual identity.
The Lunchbox Moment
For many children of immigrants, lunchtime at school is one of the first times that they become aware of their cultural differences from their “American” classmates. It’s called the “lunchbox moment,” or the experience of being ridiculed for eating foods others deem weird or unfamiliar. Much of this has to do with smell, as well as the subjective sense of what makes a “good” or “bad” scent. This isn’t just an elementary school cafeteria experience, though — for adult people of color, it is much the same when sitting down for lunch at the office.
Platonic Dick Pics
Last week, Miles Klee posted an unusual offer on Twitter: send him a private message consenting to receive a photo of his dick, and he’d happily send you one. There were a few stipulations, like that you needed to make the request before a certain time, and that you must obviously be of legal age. But if you were able to clear those hurdles, a dick pic you’d then receive. While it started more or less as a joke, eventually it turned into an exploration of how consent transforms the concept of the dick pic, as well as a study in male body issues.
Dank Recovery Memes
Needless to say, it can be hard to find the humor in recovering from addiction. But levity can be a useful tool in the process. To that end, online meme pages devoted to recovery provide an outlet for people to make light of the details of their journey toward sobriety — as dark, gross or sad as it can be.
The Week in Movies
On Avengers: Endgame: Jessica Ritchey explains how the Marvel Cinematic Universe helped her cope with the loss of her father.
On Detective Pikachu: Tierney Finster talks to the writers of the new Pokémon movie about translating anime nerdiness into a blockbuster.
On Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Tim Grierson discusses how the con-man movie that inspired The Hustle is actually much smarter on gender than we would have thought (both now and back in the late 1980s when it first came out).
On undercover high school narcotics officers: Ian Lecklitner explains how the comedy movie trope of the narc is actually a very real, very fucked-up thing.