Monday, January 30, 2017

Morning, kikis!  

Well, Trump is president.

It’s real.

Reading the news is horrifying and my Facebook feed is giving me a heart attack and Trump just keeps signing more executive orders (the pipeline! Abortion! the ACA! the environment! Immigration! the wall! Refugees!) and I’m calling my senator and speaker and biting my nails to bits when the line is busy and the Women’s March was good but also very problematic and I love you all and I’m so sorry and terrified.

He’s been president for one week.

I’ve been curling up behind Samson, my huge Rottweiler roommate, lifting up one of his ears, and whispering “everything’s OK, no one can get you” regularly now since November, but this past week it got so bad I could hardly stop spooning him long enough to go to my job.

Besides hugging big dogs, you know what else is great for avoiding dealing with massive worry and a general sense of impending doom?


That’s how I’m dealing with my own Terror Level: Red, anyway.

A few times a week, when I’m not anxiously reading aloud particularly appalling news headlines to strangers on the bus, I come home from my day job, take a bath, shave until I resemble a baby seal competing for an oil-wrestling title, and then take my sweet time curling my hair and putting on makeup.

I really draw it out—I love getting ready. I can spend hours in my bathroom, listening to Dolly or Rihanna, sitting on the floor with my back up against the old iron radiator while I paint my nails, fussing in the mirror over whether my cat-eye liner is exactly identical on each side or just good enough so that no one would notice.
(OK but my soul would notice, I should wipe this off and start again.)

Then I go on a date. Sometimes it’s with someone brand-new-to-me, sometimes it’s with someone I’m—shall we say—getting more familiar with.

These dates usually go late, and if they go really well, they run so late that I cannot imagine how I’ll make it through the coming work day.

Then I go home, take a shower, go to sleep, and wake up at 6 a.m so I can squeeze an hour of writing into my morning before I go to work again.

I’ve found that if I do this often enough, I can stay in a continuous delirium of exhaustion and sex-induced haziness, and nothing—not work meetings held under fluorescent lights; not a searing awareness that no one’s rights matter except those of rich, white, cis men; not even the hellscape that is Day 7 of our current political regime during a slushy grey January in Minnesota—feels 100% real.

Is this what Peaches meant?

It works.

This probably isn’t the healthiest way to deal with stress, but it feels right, for now.

It doesn’t feel right for everyone, however.

Last weekend, after an extended ::cough cough:: session in bed, someone I’m dating sent me a series of concerned texts.

It seems that, after they returned home from our time together, their lower lip immediately began to swell to comical proportions, and their hand broke out in a gruesome red rash.

Their lip.
Their hand.

The only places that had come into contact with my ~holiest of holies~.

Eh. Maybe my date was mildly allergic to a perfume or a soap I’d used.

“Take a Benadryl,” I said, breezily certain that the skin pictures I was seeing over text were allergy-related and nothing to worry about.

Silly little rash.
Wee swollen lip.

I mean, my skin is so sensitive that even looking at a bottle of scented laundry detergent makes my neck erupt in a festive celebration of hives, so I think I know my way around a slight allergic reaction.

Text me when you’re dealing with real pain, lover.

The next day, I got the text:
The lip was worse. The hand rash was much worse.


I became alarmed.

Was this an allergic reaction? Was there a problem with my pH—had I suddenly become caustic? More basic?? Was this an STI? What was this?

It had to be from sex.
It had to be from sex with me.

I did what I always do when I have a question regarding my sexual health—plead for free answers from my queer crotch-doctor friend, Lola.

I explained the problem to Lola and puked all my worries onto her and sent over the rash pictures. 

She calmed me down immediately. 

Lola said she thought it was a clear case of bangover.

I was soothed, but not entirely.

My date miraculously got a doctor’s appointment right away, and went in. I was so nervous, sitting in my work cubicle, waiting for the diagnosis.

This was my fault, it had to be.

I was venomous. I was made of hot lava poison, I was Rogue from the X-Men—no one could touch me without dying.

Then my date sent me this:

Apparently, you can fuck too much.

The doctor had seen this before.
Dry winter air + very dry skin + spending too long banging the hell out of one another when perhaps *someone* hadn’t done a perfectly smooth job shaving = a friction/irritation rash on several of the body parts that had done a lot of, um, frictioning.

The moral of the story: moisturizer, y’all. And take some damn breaks.
And make a choice: either shave or don’t, but the in-between? in the winter months?
Don’t do anything rash.

I’m going to take things a bit easier for a few weeks, gays.

That shouldn’t be too difficult, because I am experiencing another Dating First: subtracting someone from your dating life.

How do you stop dating someone?
I honestly don’t know.

When I had a partner and was just fooling around with people, it was simple. If you didn’t want to fuxx anymore, you or the person in question just stopped answering.

The fade-out.
A few unanswered texts and it was done—you knew.

[via textsfromyourex]

But how do you stop seeing someone you’re friendly with and have been very casually dating for awhile?

It’s not “dumping”—it’s too early to call it dumping, as nothing serious or relationshippy has happened.

It’s also too rude to do the fade-out at this point—you were certainly mature enough to do *mature things* multiple times, so you’re probably mature enough to alert the person that you are henceforth uninterested in judging the art in their bathroom ever again.

We’re queer. This is Minneapolis.
I will for sure see whoever I stop dating again.

But do you call?

It’s 2017, who calls?

Do you text?

This feels unchill — what would that text look like?

You can borrow this to use as your breakup script if you want.

Do you arrange a date specifically to say you don’t want to date anymore?

This is too weird—the person who has no idea what’s happening will think this is a regular date because you want to keep dating, which is actually the opposite of what’s happening.

It feels like a trick.

Those are the only options I can think of for ceasing to date someone you’re casually and regularly sleeping with, and all of them seem unacceptable.

I will see any person I stop dating everywhere for years.
It is the gay curse.

I’m at a total loss here, lesbiqueers.
I can’t take any more carnage this week, either.

I hope you have a big dog or a warm person to hold onto in these dark days.

And if you have a great idea for how to respectfully and lovingly “break up” with someone you’re not even in a relationship with, do let a girl know, eh what?


  1. Welcome back!

    My advice for breaking up with someone you're dating/not really dating? Just be honest. I've never heard a single person say "Wow. What an easy break up. I feel so fulfilled! Let's be friends."

    I'm usually a fan of the compliment sandwich. Say something nice about them, destroy all their hopes and dreams (JK), then tell them you like their shoes.

    Then if you want to be friends, you can awkwardly approach that in I'm guessing 2-3 months. Depending on the lesbian lunar calendar.

  2. Having been on the receiving end I think text is better cause then you don't feel like you are wasting your time showing up to a date just to get dumped.

    Only tell them you want to be friends if you are actually interested in being friends.

  3. I love that you're back. It's my reward for making it through 2016, I'm sure of it.

    Be prepared for approximately 789,535 queers asking "What happened to CJ?", though. She was a regular character.




  4. i'm a big fan of blaming chemistry. it's appropriately cosmic and third party, as in, "don't blame me i think yer so hot so smart so soft its the mercury and/or my moon sign pleading us to stop" which, imo, goes over well and secures your legacy as a celestial goddess.

    oh, and you can text this news, no problem.

  5. Oh girl. I didn't know banging would be so dangerous in such harsh climates.

    As far as dating goes, I usually let things fade out over text. If they don't let it fade (I literally can't ghost people, it makes me feel terrible), then I just change the tone of the messages to seem more friendly. It's awkward at first when you see them in public, but they move on and you find other things to worry about.

    - 24-y-o lesbian woman who has lived almost all of her adult life in the same college town

  6. A. First off I'm so pleased you're back, effingdykes is amazing

    B. Autostraddle wrote about this 6 months ago! []

    C. Months before that was written, I set
    up a date with someone to say I did not want to continue dating them!! Don't do that. It was awkward and a bad idea.

    D. P.S. Now that I think about it, that is kind of the default way to breakup if you are in a relationship but still have to schedule time to see one another (i.e. you don't live together). Sometimes you go to see your S.O. only to be told they don't want to be with you.

  7. I would love to know what you decided to do and how it went! I think the situation is awkward no matter what you do. Personal experience: realizing you want out and then immediately saying it out loud while in bed is not a great approach.

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