The ‘Sex and the City’ era (circa 1998-2004) has well ended, the last of the Kardashian clan (Kendal) has been locked up, and although we still have our Cosmopolitan Magazines, being a single girl in 2017 has lost some of it’s twinkle.
Let me explain, I’m fresh out of high school and in the field of romance I seem to of always been the last one to the party (and given the wrong address). My first kiss was just before my 16th birthday at the end of grade ten, and although all the girls in my private school group seemed to have got a boyfriend and broken a line of ‘firsts’, I thought the fact that I had not yet kissed a boy was like having a visable grey cloud over my head that was taking a little bit of my shine away every day. I had watched so many stunningly romantic movies where the guy completes the girl’s life and makes her realise her true worth (as if self love is awoken when realised through the eyes of a guy) such as ‘Never Been Kissed’, ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘The Notebook’ and my favourite ‘Cruel Intentions’.
So when I did have my first kiss, planned over seven months of online chatting and brief party encounters with an older tall/dark/handsome private school guy, in a cubby house of my fremies house on her 16th birthday party, I thought…this was NOT worth the wait. I was shaking so hard that I hoped he wouldn’t touch my chest or my leg and feel the intense nervous vibrations- though he did put his hand on my leg. I was so naive at the time- which now scared me to the core- that if he did try and take things further with me I’m scared that I would have been too vulnerable with my desire for an instant love feeling and an ingrained people pleasing femininity to say “no”. Then he proceeded to o put the whole length of his tongue in and out of the inside of my left check for a year-long minute before my school bully jolted her head in and shouted. I couldn’t be happier for her rude interruption to break the moment before I politely make an excuse and jolted. To my surprise, all of my male acquaintances at the party that never seemed to care for me thought I was a tops girl and acted like we were life long best mates- making jokes about the cubby house action. When I confronted a girl friend about this she told me it was because that’s the only thing all those horny teenage boys could connect through conversation with me about- we finally had a topic of conversation. How sad of them to only think of me as worthwhile through my sexual willingness and not my intelligence, talents or anything else. Just when I thought, after all this time, I had cracked the code- the safe turned out empty.
A year later I met the ‘guy of my dreams’ (more like the guy whose image I contorted to match that of the ‘guy of my dreams’). It was on my sixteenth birthday at a party in Bondi and the alliteration of his full name, mixed with his dreamy eyes, social politeness, great sense of dress and ease with children was enough in itself to light my NYE sparkler ;). It was at a random moment in the party after I had mingled and played with the house kittens that I stumbled upon Sam Stevenson playing with a little kid at the party when my subconscious (and my first vodka shot) told me he was the one for me. I played it cool but inside I was desperate for him to notice my flirtatious availableness. Just as things were heating up towards two am my friends mum came to the party and we started to exit before he ran out on the balcony and called my name (so romantically beautiful). “STELLA!!” I turned as he shouted and then he proceeded “Dan (big muscly guy whose party it was) wants to kiss you” with a huge grin. Just my fucking luck, his best friend wants me. “Sorry, Michelle’s mum’s here” I hesitated, but hoped we’d meet again. And we did meet two more times after that. Once with the same NYE private school mixed crew on a boat and then on a date in Bondi beach. The date was great, he was a gentleman and bought everything, I was self conscious and desperately avoiding the kiss because of many unknown factors that came with (where alone on a golf course, what if it’s terrible and I can’t escape him, what if it’s great and forces me to go further-which I don’t want to, what if this burger he bought me makes me vomit). So I played the ‘the-burger-is-making-me-sick-lets-go’ card and desperately convinced him to leave. Mum came to get me shortly after and as I ran to her car with him (she get’s FURIOUS when she is made to wait) he confessed his love for me- seriously, hardly the time when mum is around the corner and we are running and dodging people on a sidewalk. I was in LOVE with the idea of him, but not him. So I ended it. Lucky for me, he had great manners and still sent me flowers on the upcoming Valentines day.
In the last two years of my new school I was longing for romance, as Khloe Kardashians Instagram bio once said “I crave a love so deep the ocean would be jealous”- and for me that’s what every day of adding oil to my emotional turmoil felt like- self torture. I was waiting to catch a look, a touch on the back, a polite gesture from a guy at my coed school anywhere I could get it. Not much every came. So I threw house parties! And in the comfort of my own deck I kissed a few guys. Each I had a liking to few weeks before they kissed me (never random on my side, probably for them it was). Each slightly less shit a kiss than the last, but none I would classify as worth it. So my cravings for being kiss drew further apart.
This brings me back into the now. Things have gotten so far from normal. I spend 99% more time texting my friends and romantic interests than I do seeing them face-to-face. No one calls anyone’s cell to see when their free anymore but we since each others timetables together on an app. We swipe ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to romance based on the hottest photo that person can produce as their tinder profile. The clubbing scene is every single guys wet dream- literally. Walk around in any club and you’ll see an exotic carry of girls dressed to the nines in their biggest statement fine jewellery pieces, with an all over outfit value of over $300 (I barely see a bad outfit- the dresses have amazing cut outs, lace overlays and silks cami’s falling into suede skirts) not to mention the seamlessly shadowed and highlighted bronzed and peached makeup to hollow and plump the perfect places. Hair is silky straight and god knows it stays that way all night.
As for the guys, its a sad sad selection- many makeovers needed. However they have the confidence to grind their sad privates on these beautifully made-up, innocent girls behinds and sweaty salivate their way onto their made up faces before asking if they want some more action elsewhere. Yeah, we totally missed the era of calling home phones for ron de vu’s, guys paying for the first date before meeting the family and discussing religion before action takes place (this is how gentlemen play their cards in my mind). Every ugly last guy is the newest Hugh Hefner…because no one teaches us to say “no” before it’s too late (mostly because our mums are unaware of how slops are clinging onto girls younger and younger these days). But our mums aren’t to blame when when our upbringing is different in a hypersexualised and pornified society shown on images girls are brought up to see everyday from the day they can see.
SHOUT OUT TO GIRLS: You are the most self-aware, aspirational, well put together bunch who have had many sacrifices made my the women before you so you can stand tall and feel equal to your male counterparts. So please don’t settle! Quick gratification for guys doesn’t land the same for girls because we have maternal instincts which make us long for long-term connections and futures with our male romances. All the girls I pass in my day (and night) are incredibly confident and self assured together with the after touch of good looks makes them wonderful and each different. They are worthy of more than what pop music preaches to us just by birthright! So they should not share their sparkle with these greedy modern want-to-be-Drake-duplicates of guys.
Girl culture is a total upset as girls are willing to tread over friends for asshole guys who they will only know for a hours, nights or weeks. However, my female friendships is the foundation of all the best qualities of my personality.
So if single life isn’t always met with being romantically whisked away by famous wealthy city entrepreneurs and French artists who respect your sexual liberty (in the consensual and erotic sense) like we see in Sex and the City. Then what is left for single women today? When we have to confine ourselves to barely their bikini photos in dating apps that guys mistake for auditions for a friends-with-benefits situation. When my work colleges ask me with sad puppy eyes why I’m 18 and cannot get a guy. When relationship milestones consist of snapchat streak goals. And when guys feel free to thrust their privates on any girl and slap plump asses as they please at a sweaty dark club because they mistake her desire to dress to feel good for her need for his privates (aka. “she’s asking for it”)- how are we young women supposed to feel worthy?! When cosmopolitan’s male writers preach the ways guys want it (from a “guys perspective”) with photos of supermodel women looking submissive to muscle-popping males, why do you think girls feel pressured to “please him” as the climax of any sexual experience? Why does sex end there. What about HER?
In summary, my recent holiday to the tropics has cemented the idea that I am content and happy to be single, to dress for myself everyday, to not be told when and with whom I can party with because my self-assurance is where my power lies. I am untouchable and I am above what society tries to contort me into. My power is in my own ability to stand strong and simultaneously be sexy and intelligent, and to be confident as hell in drawing the line to say “NO”! Not with hesitation, not quietly, not with fear of how he is going to take the words to his requests (whoever ‘he’ is in the situations life throws at me). I’m glad now that I was an unfortunate looking teen because in past situations I have faulted in small ways to not stand up for myself with guys, so if granted they had wanted more then, I’m scared what I would have done (it actually frightens me now looking back). But today I’m certain for every women out there, they are never too deep in a situation to pull out. Because the only person who has to sleep with you every night is YOU. So make choices that are right for you. I kind of have a secret to myself that I want to study hard and socialise shamelessly until I’m 24 and then if I guy crops up that would be good. I want to be a careers woman now and thats what drives me, not male fantasies I’m falsely promised in happy-ending Rachel McAdam romance tales. And if prince charming still exists and happens to show himself at any time- I’ll accept it happily. But right now it’s the first time in my life that I’m stocked to be single and not looking!
A few ‘fun’ facts:
- In ‘Sex and the City’ Carrie is too good for Big (She’s perfect, he doesn’t want to move in with her in the Tv show or her leave her stuff at his place and ditches their wedding in the movie)
- Samantha is in the perfectly confident single woman- she has standards and gets what she wants when she wants it
- The movie ‘He’s Just Not that into you’ will be relevant at least once in your life
- Beyonce wrote single ladies when she was in a stable relationship with Jay Z
- The Jonas Brother had a ‘purity ring’ promise to save themselves for marriage…yeah they broke it and now they are sex symbols
- Britney Spears made a public virginity promise and a personal one to Justin Timberlake..she cheated on him
Side note: If you want to develop yourself into a positive and inspirational woman for future generations of girls, please read Jessica Valenti’s cultural book Full Frontal Feminism (2007), The Beauty Myth (1990) by Naomi Wolf and watch the Ted Talk Growing Up in Pornified Culture (2015) by Gail Dines