I don't know that anyone will really care that much about this, but I'm super excited and proud of myself, so I thought I'd share. This weekend I finally did something new! I'm usually a rather shy person, and I'm quite content to sit at home on the weekends watching TV or Netflix. This weekend, though, my best friend was in town for an interview, so as soon as he was done, he came over to hang out. Usually he'll hang out with me a bit then leave to go spend time with friends who drink and party and whatnot. I decided, what the hell? Why not go with him? Now, as Castiel has said,

so I wasn't sure how well it would all go.

Friday night, I got all dolled up and made sure I looked somewhere between pretty and gorgeous to go to a small party.

(If anyone's interested in, I can make a post with my "weekend looks" with details about what makeup I was wearing/looking awesome in. Lemme know in the comments if I should do it!)

My bestie and I went to a mutual friend's apartment for what was supposed to be margaritas and Super Smash Brothers (a video game, for those who are unaware [not porn, which I thought some people might conclude if they didn't know what it was]). I say supposed to because the video games didn't really make an appearance until about 45 minutes before everyone went home, lol. There were plenty margaritas though! I was quite nervous going there, as I hadn't seen this mutual friend in 4 and a half years, and I had no idea how many people were going to be there. In the end, there were 7 or 8 people. Both of the other girls there were psychology grad student, so as someone who recently graduated with a degree in psych and minors in sociology and neuroscience, they would be the perfect people to ask about their thoughts on grad school! (That's a post I'm planning to make on GT sometime in the near future, to hear your thoughts on it.)

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As if that wasn't cool enough, the one guy there I'd never met started a discussion that I...well, I didn't quite shut it down, but it was close. Once I heard the topic of discussion, I was like,

as it was just one of those subjects I won't stay quiet on. He was making arguments about how men are "naturally more jealous" than women, that "women naturally develop deeper feelings for someone after having sex with them, which is why they can't have much casual sex—they get attached," "Men can have casual sex even when they have a partner because they're more animalistic—they just want to get off!" and that it's "in men's nature to get jealous if someone else touches his woman, his property." Ohhh man, as soon as the word property left his lips, he could tell from my expression that he had made a terrible mistake.

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Of course, I schooled him on NOT referring to women as property, and then I engaged wtih him on his other arguments, just asking simple questions like...

  • "Do you really think that only men are jealous in those situations?"
  • "You don't think there are guys out there who develop feelings after casual sex?"
  • "Women want to get off just as much as men. If they have a partner who's not satisfying them sexually, then yeah, she could be just as likely as a man to look for an orgasm elsewhere."
  • "You really believe men are more animalistic than women? That's it's in their DNA to have a harder time controlling their desires and thus give into instinct? Huh, see, I'm a feminist, and I believe that both women and men have the ability to control their instincts and desires, rather than looking at men as animals, as hungry wolves who will attack the first piece of meat they see. If you really think men are such animals, do you think we should neuter those that attack and rape women, or should we do what we do with dogs that attack people and put them down altogether?"

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He was somewhat taken aback that someone (particularly a lady) would challenge him in such a way. At one point, he tried to get the other guys there to back him up or contribute their opinions, but they looked at him then at me and said, "Nahhh, I think we'll stay out of this..." Our conversation continued, and it never felt hostile or anything; rather, it made me feel like maybe I was slowly contributing to a change in the way at least one man looks at these issues.

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Later in the evening, the same guy was talking about his little sister. See, he and his siblings were all raised/are being raised in a very Pentecostal household and going to Pentecostal schools. His little sister is 13, and he's worried that she'll end up sexually active soon (if she isn't already) and will end up pregnant and be forced to carry it to term. Fortunately, with all the time I've spent on GT and Jezebel over the years, I had all sorts of information for him that he could pass along to her. My first recommendation was to at the very least try to take her to see a gynecologist at Planned Parenthood. At that point, if she needs it, he could show her what she needed to do to get a prescription and get it filled. I told him about IUDs. He'd heard a bit about them, but not a lot, so I filled him in about how they're one of the most effective forms of BC because they eliminate the possibility of human error. Now, if all of this was too much for him to do, as his family is back in Louisiana while he's ini Texas, I suggested that the next time he's home, he should sit her down for a long talk. No one is giving this girl the sex talk or teaching her how to stay safe, and someone needs to. He should get her condoms, Plan B, and some pregnancy tests, explaining how each one works (especially Plan B), and then tell her that if ever anything happened, he could come to her. If she needed condoms, hormonal birth control, Plan B, pregnancy tests, a trip to the gynecologist because she thought she had an STD, anything, or a trip to Planned Parenthood to terminate a pregnancy—that he would be there and would help her get whatever she needed. He should also be willing to answer any questions she has or direct her to someone he knows that can answer them better. He and I became Facebook friends, and he was very excited by me offering to send him links for information for him to have, links for sites she should know about that offer lots of good, general, non-abstinence-only sex education.

This same guy, it turns out, also has chronic pain, something I've been living with for ten years. We had a great conversation about pain, meds, doctors, limitations, what works for us and what doesn't... It's so rare that I meet people in person with issues like mine, and it was great. The whole thing brought us even closer, and I could tell by his body language that he was totally into me. I would have been completely into him as well, but he had a girlfriend. We were both more than tipsy, but I'm not really sure how "drunk" he was. I just knew that despite my attraction to him, I wasn't going to do anything with him (1) while he was under the influence and (2) that might screw up his relationship.

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So yeah, for someone who doesn't get out much and is usually a bit shy around new people, I was pretty pleased with myself! It boosted my confidence enough that the next night, I went out again with my best friend, this time with a friend of ours from high school and some of his friends. We went to dinner then went bar-hopping. It was, for me, Castielle Winchester, 25 years old, the very first time I went bar-hopping! It was pretty damn fun, too.

I'd never actually really ordered anything at a bar before, so at first I was almost like,

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But then I saw something with a name I recognized and was like,

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And before long, I was like,

Once again, I got sort of dressed up (and by that I mean I wore a dress and some gladiator sandals rather than jeans, a cleavage-baring top, and Converse. [Don't worry, Converse! You will always have my heart...]), and I like I looked pretty damn good. I got enough stares (appropriate ones, not harassing ones), compliments, and all that to know that I wasn't the only one thinking I looked good! What a nice feeling.

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At first I clung to my bestie, but then at one bar, I decided to separate myself from the group to see if I could do the whole "flirting" thing, or maybe attract some guys. And I did! All by myself! I did that whole stand-by-the-wall-looking-sexy-and-appealing-and-make-intermittent-eye-contact-and-smile-at-cute-guy(s). Before I knew it, I had several guys next to me, talking to me, flirting, all that. I ended up having three guys from the same bachelor's party flirting with me! It was fun.

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At the next bar, I got the attention of a gorgeous guy, who I found out was a firefighter, plus his cousin, who was looking pretty good himself. Mmmm, I must say, I did not mind the eye candy! Nor did I mind the free drinks. They sort of took turns talking with me for about half an hour, until I had to get back with my friends. As I left the bar, I gave the cute firefighter a kiss on the cheek, and I swear he blushed.

After all that fun, I started talking to the girlfriend of my other high school friend there. She and I ended up totally clicking and bonding over...wait for it...contraceptive options! She'd been talking about how she used to be ready to get it on with her boyfriend 24/7, any time of the day, always, but the longer she's been on HBC, the lower her libido is getting. I told her yeah, that was a pretty common side effect. She mentioned how it made her feel guilty. I don't think she expected me to understand, so she was surprised when I responded, "Yeah, when you first got together, you couldn't keep your hands off of each other, and you kinda feel like you established your relationship with that as 'normal.' Now that it's no longer the case, you feel like maybe he thinks you're not the woman he feel in love with, or that this isn't what he signed up for when y'all got together." After I said this, her jaw dropped, her face lit up, then she gave me a huge hug, turned around and began joyously told her boyfriend that finally she now saw why it was amazing to have girlfriends, because they know THINGS and it's AWESOME, and now she had a new one! Hehe, it was great to see her excitement, and it was wonderful for me as well to make a new girlfriend.

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Friday and Saturday night were the first times I'd actually gotten drunk since...2009, I think? That's a story for another time, but as you might expect, I was a bit nervous about going out drinking with people. It ended up being a totally positive experience. I made good choices, even when I didn't necessarily want to. I came out of both nights feeling good about myself, my appearance, my mind, my personality. It was pretty freaking great. =D By the time I got home today, I was tired as fuck, and I took an accidental nap that was glorious.

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TL;DR: Castielle went out drinking with friends for the first time in years, challenged sexist ideas, shared info about contraception for the ladies, got her flirt on with 5 different guys (including a firefighter!), made a new (girl) friend, and made good choices. Maybe I'm not doomed to become a shut-in spinster!