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May 2013 05

by Laurelin

I’ve never really thought of myself as a tough chick. I don’t know why exactly, because when I think about it, I’ve always wanted to run wild with the boys. In elementary school my best friend Stephen and I would run around the school yard pretending we were Indiana Jones, swinging sticks as whips and tumbling. The girls played hopscotch. I never did.

When I was a little older I remember watching my neighbors Robert and Anthony wrestling on the playground. I said, “hit me!” but no one would. I yelled at Robert until I was blue in the face and all he said was, “My mother says I can’t hit a girl.” I was enraged. The boys could play rough, why couldn’t I? I ran around outside and turned brown in the sun, had skinned knees and collected salamanders from underneath rocks. I played with matchbox cars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I was never one of the boys.

This was always my mindset growing up as a tall girl. I wasn’t one of the boys, but I wasn’t one of the girls either. When I was younger, I didn’t notice, but when junior high and high school started people were cruel. Until I developed the confidence to rock my height I was pitifully self-conscious. I tried to hide it, but I cried whenever the girls in the hall in school called me a man. I had never worn make-up or pretty clothes but suddenly I found myself wishing I owned anything besides flannel shirts and baggy jeans; for once I wanted to be girly and it seemed like no matter what happened I couldn’t find my place.

I almost wish now that my parents had pushed me into sports. I was a weird kid with not many friends, and at six feet tall in high school I had the track, volleyball and basketball coaches foaming at the mouth to get me to try out. But the kids at school broke my spirit. I wore black, moped around, and listened to Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. I didn’t think my height served a purpose being a magnet for other people’s insults and ridicule.

***

It’s been well over a decade since those days…As I slip into the wrestling ring and square up with my opponent he pushes me off almost immediately. “Do it again, Laurelin,” he says. “You’re taller than almost everyone here and you’re supposed to be scary. Stand strong, stand tall, you’re bigger than me. Do it again.” We square up again and grapple, arms wrapped around one another’s necks and I stand tall and look my opponent in the eye. “Good,” he says. “Again, then hit me.”

I hit him, but not hard enough. “Again,” he says, and I hit him once more. “No,” he says. “Like this,” and CRACK, right across my back he hits me. The wind is knocked from my lungs but it doesn’t hurt, exactly. I think of my younger self, screaming at Robert on the playground, “HIT ME!” I don’t flinch and I stand tall, facing my opponent again. I nod and tell him I understand and he takes the hit and I toss him out of the ring. He ducks back in, smiling. “Good,” he says. “Again.”

Waking up the next morning I am so sore I can barely move. I swing my legs out of bed and I stare at them, black and swollen with mat burn. My elbows, purple and scraped, my shoulders and knees, back and hips the same. My cheek is tender from a ring rope snapping back in my face and my upper inner thighs are whipped with rope burn.

I’ll wear these bruises until they fade, badges of honor for finally feeling like I’m able to live up to my height. I don’t play volleyball, I don’t play basketball, I don’t run track. I don’t model. I am the only female in a men’s professional wrestling school, and I don’t get treated any differently because I wear eyeliner in the ring. I stand tall and take hits.

I guess I can be a pretty tough chick after all.

[..]

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Apr 2013 23

by Brad Warner

Every once in a while I meet someone who says she became interested in Buddhism because Buddhists were never involved in religious persecution or holy wars. I always hate to break the news to them that this is, unfortunately, not entirely true.

It is true that Buddhism has been largely free of really large scale wars and persecutions based directly on religion such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the conflicts in Israel and Northern Ireland and so on. In fact, if you go to Wikipedia’s page on religious persecutions and religious wars, you find no major persecutions by Buddhists, and the only religious war listed involving Buddhists is an uprising of the Buddhist majority in Vietnam against the pro-Catholic policies of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1966. Not exactly a war in which one religion sought to conquer or convert another by force.

But that doesn’t mean that just because someone declares him or herself to be Buddhist that the person is free from ever behaving like a dick. Brian Victoria caused a lot of people to question their belief in perpetually peaceful Buddhists when he published Zen At War, a book that examined how Buddhist institutions in Japan were co-opted by the government to support the cause of nationalistic violence during World War II – much like the Catholic church was similarly co-opted by the Nazis. Even today similar stuff keeps happening.

The latest of those who would try to use Buddhism as a way of promoting intolerance and violence on a national level is U Wirathu, an ultra-nationalist Buddhist monk in Burma who has been accused of inciting violence against Muslims in his country as leader of the “969 movement.” He has become known as the “Buddhist bin Laden” for his activities. In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese Buddhists have formed what they call the “Buddhist Strength Force,” another group seeking to persecute Muslims in the name of Buddhism. Just last week three Bhutanese Buddhist monks were accused of raping a teenage girl in India. You can read about all of these incidents in detail here. I’m sure this won’t be the last we’ll see of violence and stupidity in the name of Buddhism.

The easiest response to all of this would be to say that those involved weren’t really Buddhists, even if they were legitimately ordained since they failed to understand the most basic teachings of Buddhism. Some people have argued that certain verses in the Qur’an or the Bible can be used to justify violence and religious intolerance. But it would take a lot of work to find anything similar among the Buddhist literature, although the Buddhist sutras far outnumber the canonical religious writings of Christianity or Islam, so I’m sure someone could dig something out of there if they tried hard enough. There’s nothing I’m aware of but there are mountains of sutras out there and you could probably find some little snippet that sounds nasty if you wanted to sift though a lot of stuff.

Even so, none of the reports I’ve seen have mentioned any of these Buddhist bully-boy organizations citing the scriptures and teachings of Buddhism as a justification for their actions the way other religions often do. The closest thing I’ve come across to that is that the Sri Lankan group apparently opposes the Muslim practice of halal butchering and meat preparation as being against the Buddhist teachings of non-violence toward animals. But this seems to me like a real reach for some kind of scriptural justification. And I don’t see how you can enforce non-violence against animals by engaging in violence against humans.

Some folks were getting upset over the fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was not speaking out more strongly against the Buddhist based violence in Burma and Sri Lanka. However, this is actually a smart move on his part. Most Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka don’t regard the Dalai Lama as their leader. Far from it. They regard him something like the way Irish Protestants view the Pope, as kind of an interloper who has no business telling them about their religion. It would only incite more violence if the Dalai Lama took a strong stand.

Generally we Americans and Europeans don’t know much about Buddhism, so we make a lot of incorrect assumptions. This is excusable because all we have to go on is what we get from our woefully ill-informed mass media and cartoonish references in pop culture.

But interestingly it’s we Westerners who seem to grasp the basics of Buddhism enough to see the innate absurdity of stuff like the Buddhist persecutions in Sri Lanka and Burma better than lots of the folks in those countries. While I’m sure there are plenty of Burmese and Sri Lankan Buddhists who know how ridiculous this is, this stuff wouldn’t be happening at all unless there were also plenty of people in those countries who consider themselves Buddhists but really have no clue at all what the whole point of Buddhism is.

That’s pretty sad. But it’s no sadder than Christians murdering Muslims in their quest to spread Jesus’ philosophy of love or Muslims murdering Christians to spread Mohammed’s message of brotherhood. Religions divide people. And when Buddhism is viewed as a religion, it can be used almost effectively as any other as an excuse for viciousness and just plain human foolishness. You have to stretch things a bit, but it can be done. Human beings are good at that. We’ll find a way.

But the rest of us don’t have to accept it. We can and should point out how ridiculous this is. If we can shame the assholes persecuting others on the basis of Buddhism by knowing their religion better than they do, then we ought to do just that. Not in a malicious way, mind you. But it might be useful to subtly make some of the folks over there who are participating in this kind of nonsense aware that there are people far away who actually take “their” religion more seriously than they apparently do.

It’s disappointing to discover that even those proclaiming themselves to be Buddhists can still act like real jerks. But people are what they are. Acting like a jerk, however, is definitely not what the Buddha taught.

[..]

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Apr 2013 12

by Laurelin

Throughout my life I have prided myself in being an individual. I know most people think that of themselves and it is true. There are also those who change with their surroundings, chameleons in the light of day who will adapt and like what you like for the sake of being agreeable. These people have a mind of their own, buried somewhere beneath the need to fit in. I tend to scoff at these people, because even with their blending they stand out simply for being… lost. I see myself in these people sometimes, and it makes me want to cry.

In high school Zack rode BMX bikes and my girlfriends and I decided that we wanted to do that too. I saved up $200 and bought a Gary Fischer bike, and we would ride with the boys after school. I wasn’t good at it, but it made him happy and I wanted that. I fell and bruised my tailbone going down a half pipe once, mainly because I had no business even attempting that shit. Zack rode bikes down half pipes, not me.

After him it was John. John loved house and trance music. I didn’t really get it in the beginning, but when he held my hand and kissed me for the first time at Crobar in New York City at a Tiesto show I was hooked. I listened to everything I could get my hands on, and even after he was long gone I still craved that beat, breathing in the music like it was a drug. I’ve got Tiesto lyrics painted in ink and needles on my left ankle, so I never forget that the music was beautiful, the best thing to come out of what John and I had.

John also wore a lot of black. He had spiked black bracelets on his right wrist and black jelly bracelets on his left. He had metal 10-gauged earrings that clinked together when I touched his face, and for years after him I wore the same bracelets. To this day my 10 gauged metal earrings clink when anyone touches my face.

JC and Ryan both played the drums and they were gone I took a few drums lessons. I wore a skirt to my first one and my teacher laughed and laughed. We made it work and as the weeks went on, I realized I couldn’t hold a steady beat to save my life.

Then there was Dave…he loved professional wrestling. We watched Monday Night Raw every week and I would sit with his roommate’s girlfriend staring blankly at the TV, not quite understanding what was going on. As time went on, I started figuring it out. I started recognizing people week to week, learning their entrance music and being able to say, “I like that guy! He does flips.” Dave struggled to get me to like it, and by the end I would admit to only tolerating it mildly.

However, that mild tolerating came in handy when I met a guy who actually does that stuff — I wound up being able to catch a live pro wrestling event while visiting some friends from college in Washington DC and I was hooked. The crowd, the bright lights, I was just captivated. When Dave found out what I was getting into he couldn’t hide his annoyance: “I tried to get you into this for years and you wouldn’t have it: you meet one guy who DOES it and you change your tune?”

In my defense, it’s a lot cooler up close and way more fun when you can cheer for someone you know is a good dude who loves his job.

I also wasn’t aware of how much athleticism is involved, and as someone who is constantly looking for ways to make working out interesting, this fascinated me. This was a whole world I had never even really been open to, but all of a sudden it was all consuming. A local women’s wrestling group took me in almost immediately, saying they had had their eye on me through a friend of a friend for a while and I could just start coming to practice. After my first one, I was hooked.

A few months later I was approached by a local independent men’s wrestling group who wanted to start having women wrestle for them; I was familiar with them and immediately said yes. I start training at their pro-wrestling facility next week. I couldn’t be any more excited, but I can’t help but look back and wonder whose life it belongs to. If you were to have asked me last year if I’d consider taking up wrestling, I would have laughed and called you crazy. Now I’m wearing shiny gold spandex, body slamming and dropping microphones. And I’m not bad at it!

I guess I’ve always been a little wild, a little boy crazy. When these boys leave I have parts of them with me even if I don’t mean to and that’s a hard thing to admit. I wonder if they carry any pieces of me with them. And I wonder if they ever feel lost…

[..]

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Apr 2013 03

by SG’s Team Agony feat. Clio

Let us answer life’s questions – because great advice is even better when it comes from SuicideGirls.


[Clio in Born Into A Light]

Q: My name is Giusuno Cornetto [real name redacted – continue on to understand why!] and if the name doesn’t say it then I’ll tell you; I’m a 100% bona-fide Italian from a large Italian family. I’m a 100% bona-fide Italian from a large Italian family. I don’t discriminate and I love all women, but if I could marry an Italian and have little Italian babies it would be awesome.

Recently I began dating an au pair from Tuscany. She couldn’t be more perfect. She has beautiful tan skin, great looks from her face to her toes, and, most of all, she adores me. She is different from my usual type, which is someone like myself, tattoos, piercings, and dreadlocks, but it’s great that she is not like that because most of the girls I’ve dated are either too immature, too wild, or are not on the same page. However, there is one problem in the bedroom and it’s a big one. Her vagina is rank.

I’m sorry there’s no other way to say it, but it’s out of control even for a free spirit like myself. I loved my hippies, as in just a natural scent – sweaty, salty, with no desire to shave the kitty ¬ it turns me on. I don’t know what to do or how to break the news to her. I love putting my mouth on everything especially her pussy, and without being able to lick her off the relationship has little hope. When she gets wet I can smell her even more and the worse part about it is she doesn’t notice anything wrong which can only mean that she is used to it. What do I do?

A: Thanks for sharing this delicate dilemma. I hope your girlfriend/potential bambini-maker isn’t a member of SuicideGirls and doesn’t decide to Google your name because she’s not going to be a happy signorina when she reads this about her farfallina. But anyway, from what you wrote it sounds like either she just has a very strong natural scent, or she could have a vaginal infection that’s causing a funky odor.

If she has a vaginal infection she should see a medical specialist pronto! If that’s not the case I suggest trying to get her fragrant figa under control by adopting a more serious approach to feminine hygiene. There’s a lot of info about that online so I’m not going to bore you with details about how to keep your patatina clean.

However, you probably could use some advice on how to break the news to her that you’d rather eat a moldy cannoli than munch on her box. I would tell her delicately (do not use the word ‘rank’ unless you wanna get slapped) that her natural scent is a bit strong and that maybe she could wash before you engage in sexual activity. If you think that’s too direct, you can suggest taking a shower together before having sex and see if that makes going down on her more palatable.

In bocca al lupo!

Clio
xoxo

***

Got Problems? Let SuicideGirls’ team of Agony Aunts provide solutions. Email questions to: gotproblems@suicidegirls.com

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Mar 2013 25

by Laurelin

Friendships are funny sometimes. I feel like there are so many different kinds of friendships; some strengthen and grow constructively while others fade and eventually cease to exist, even if no event in particular caused them to do so. There are a few different kinds of friends you find while immersed in the bar scene. Those you trust, and those you do not. You learn quickly that sometimes what you choose to tell someone in confidence isn’t in fact in confidence at all. If someone is always telling you secrets about other people, chances are, they are not keeping yours.

The lines and circles between bar scene friends and real friends are only slightly blurred in my world. I have a handful of people I call when I’m down and need to cry, a bigger handful of people I am comfortable talking about general life with, and an even bigger circle of people who I call every time I just want to have fun –– and even those people I know I could talk to about mostly anything. The circles blend, overlap, people often change positioning as friendships strengthen and others fall back. One thing is for sure: real friends tell the truth, even when it’s the last thing you want to hear.

I remember once in college my three best friends sat me down and told me they couldn’t listen to me talk about my ex boyfriend anymore. It had been over a year since we had broken up, I was actively participating in allowing him to cheat on his girlfriend who replaced me and I was in a constant state of upset over it.

“This is YOUR bad choice, you know where we stand,” they said. “We hate to see you getting hurt but when you’re not doing the right thing what do you think is going to happen? You can’t change if you don’t want to.”

That was a wake up call. Hard to hear, but they wanted what was best for me and I should want that too.

I’ve had similar talks with friends over the years, people who I have listened to for far too long dealing with things I knew should be different but weren’t because the person chose to be blind. As friends it is our duty to stand by and be a helping hand when someone is going through a hard time, and every so often we have to reach a little farther and help pull someone up out of hell. It’s exhausting, watching someone fall deeper and deeper into a situation; all you can do is be there for them and hope that the same will be done for you when it’s your turn to stumble.

Last night a friend (after a few drinks) dropped a bomb on me. While chattering about one of the few guys who are currently taking up some space in my mind, my guy friend set his hand on mind and told me to stop talking about it. “I can’t listen to this anymore,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense, it’s not going anywhere and you always do this, wrap your mind up in a fairy tale. This isn’t real, none of this is really happening the way you think it is,” he blurted out.

I froze, wanting to cry. Did I make a mistake, put my trust in talking about something with the wrong person? Has he always felt this way? I listen to him talk about his ex-girlfriend on a daily basis, sometimes wanting to shake him because the things he said or did were so insane, but I never did. I let him rest his head on my shoulder and I said things like, “I know what you’re going through,” because I remember what it’s like to hurt so badly. Now, in one jumbled up sentence every word of encouragement and support I had lent him died on my lips. I felt stupid.

“This isn’t real, none of this is happening the way you think it is…”

I managed a smile, sipped my beer and changed the subject. The night for me, was over.

[..]

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Mar 2013 03

by Laurelin

I remember back when I was 23 years old, sitting on my ex boyfriend’s couch and talking about the future. Back then 30 seemed like something that was unimaginably far away; we would certainly be different people with different lives by the time we were 30. It was frightening and fascinating at the same time. We giggled and promised that if by some bizarre act of God we weren’t already hitched by the time we were 30, we would get married. He and I were broken up by the time we turned 25 but we were still the best of friends for years afterwards and at that time the thought of spending the rest of my life with him after 30 seemed totally plausible.

As we crept closer and closer to 30 we both realized that time went a lot faster than we had ever expected. 30 was almost here and once again, we sheepishly laughed about the future and said, “maybe when we’re 35.” The days seemed to drip by slowly like melting wax and all of a sudden the candle was gone –– the flame flickered and eventually went out. People change; we had changed

30 came and went and he and I don’t even speak anymore. It’s been about a year since I last saw him, and I know he’s not married and neither am I. We were always different: him, willing to settle so he never had to sleep alone, and me, never settling and spending many a dark night on my own wondering what would happen if I had. His subsequent girlfriends were meek and mild mannered, nothing like me, and I spent a lot of time wondering if I should’ve changed, if I should have quietened down and acted like a lady. I never did.

That being said, the concept of still being single at the age of 30 isn’t as horrifying now as it was back when I was 23. Okay, maybe it is. I guess I should feel good about someone asking, “How are YOU still single?” Thanks. How? I don’t know, it just happened, I just am.

Everywhere I look people are paired. Most of my high school and college friends are married with multiple children, some divorced and re-married, and all the while I’ve been maintaining this wild child image, living the kind of life that most abandoned right after college.

“We wish we still had your life,” they gush, commenting on my wild blog posts and magazine articles, silly photos and last minute travel plans made possible by my bizarre schedule. I sometimes wish I had their lives, but not always.

A couple of years back I sat at the bar with a few friends “celebrating” a close friend’s recently finalized divorce. We shot Jameson with his wedding ring sunk to the bottom of the shot glass, spitting the gold ring out onto the sticky bar top afterwards, and I had never been so happy to walk home that night alone.

So bring it on. Bring on the meatheads and gym rats, the musicians, the lawyers, the occasional professional sports bro/celebrities, the grad students… and bring on the bartenders.

It’s been 30 years, I’ve kissed a lot of frogs and I’m not afraid to keep going till I find my bar scene prince. For crying out loud, I’ve pretty much seen it all. I know myself and what I’m up for; there’s not a lot that scares me. I’m always up for a challenge: don’t fucking threaten me with a good time.

[..]

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Feb 2013 16

by Bradley Suicide


[Above: Bradley Suicide in Sugar Kitty]

Hot chicks and douchebags. What the hell is wrong with this picture? Does this really happen? I can attest to this phenomenon because up until very recently, I had an affinity for the west coast bro. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right?

My “bro problem” was bad. One for the record books for sure. The only dudes that got into my jeggings during this period of my life wore Famous Star and Straps and drove lifted trucks. I know, this is an awful and disgusting admission, but I am laying it all out for you with the hopes that it will show you that I am not only credentialed in bro, but that I also speak their language, fluently. Thankfully the seasons of my life have since changed and I was able to get out of the bro vortex wiser and relatively unscathed.

The easiest way to avoid the above referenced bro vortex is to avoid bros and their hangouts as much as possible. This vortex has a strong gravitational pull and sometimes you don’t know you’re slowly entering the douchebag lair until it’s too late. Below I have outlined the simplest ways to spot this ultra nutsackey breed of male in their natural habitat before it is too late. Don’t make the same mistakes as I did, young grasshoppers, knowledge is power.

1. Clothing Is Key
The first, and easiest way to spot a bro is simple and straight forward. What are they wearing? When I am out on the town and a guy starts chatting me up, the first thing that I do is what I call the West Coast Once Over. Take a mental stock of his ‘fit, from his hat all the way down to his shoes and socks. You do this not to see the value of what he has on, but to look for red flags. If he is wearing multiple pieces of clothing from Tapout, Metal Mulisha, Famous Stars and Straps, or any similar brands, chances are that this guy has bro written all over him and you should run for the hills. Look for things like Dickies shorts, fitted white v-necks, blinged out watches, and, of course, check to see if they have a straight billed hat on their most likely highlighted and perfectly styled hair. If these things are in place think of an exit strategy quickly or you, my friend, will be getting a one-way ticket to Bros-ville.

2. Scope out the Wheels
I know that this is not always a doable task, but if the opportunity presents itself make sure and take advantage of it. This exercise, similar to step #1, is not to attach a monetary value to the subject’s vehicle, but to see what his ride or “whip” of choice is. If you find that he has a giant truck lifted to the point of absurdity there is no further investigation necessary. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for any Rockstar Energy Drink stickers or decals –– nothing else screams “Bro” quite as loudly.

3. Listen
This little gem always blew me away. Bros tend to develop their own language. The first time that you hear it, it really catches you off guard. You will at first think maybe its some new slang that you just aren’t hip to yet. And then it will hit you; he is speaking bro. Listen for the guy in question to refer to his car/truck as his “whip”, his clothing as his “’fit”, his game as his “tech”. The list goes on and on. Not only do they have their own special made up bro language, but bros also tend to call everyone “pal” and almost always, without fail, will refer to their closest friends as their BFFs. I’m sorry, there is no circumstance when a grown ass man should ever use the term BFF. Warning buzzers should be going off like crazy in your brain when you hear any of these words brought up in the conversation.

4. Home Away From Home
This is the last important step in the bro litmus test. Be very mindful of dudes who seem to be a little too in love with a certain hangout. Bros always have a bar that they post up at. And I do not mean that they are a regular at a bar, but rather that they are such a regular that the entire staff knows them by name, they act like they own the place, and they pretty much have a key to the front door. This hangout is always one of the trendiest bars in town, never a hole in the wall dive. After all, bros are all about flash, exerting their manliness, and showing off their game to their fellow bros –– all tasks that are best accomplished in front of a crowd of onlookers. If you meet the bro at said bar it means that you have somehow stumbled into the eye of the storm and you need GTFO. Immediately. Do not hesitate, do not stay to finish your drink, you close out your tab and haul ass out of that place.

Don’t get me wrong, bros can be fun guys and can be great friends, but if you develop a love for dating them you are in for nothing but a lot of cheating, drama, and douchebaggery. Follow the steps. Work the program. You will thank me later.

Until next time.

Xoxo
Bradley

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