Review : The Lover by Harold Pinter @ The Alexander Upstairs

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Last night #zlotybaby and I decided to be a bit a cultured for our #rinsebeforeuse date night and catch a show at The Alexander Upstairs. With a title like ‘The Lover’ we figured it was a show that would pique the interest of all our lovely Rinsers.

The Lover written by Harold Pinter tells the story of a standard middle class couple, Sarah and Richard, living a pretty ‘decent’ life in the suburbs.  At first glance, it looks like married life for these two has become pretty stale.  Richard is a respectable banker who spends his days dealing with balance sheets and entertaining overseas clients while Sarah is a typical desperate housewife – doing Pilates, flirting with the milk man and generally twiddling her thumbs all day. It seems her only real purpose in life is to have dinner on the table for her hubby when he gets home from a hard day in the office.

Clearly this couple recognise a need to spice up their relationship somewhat as they come to an agreement whereby Richard promises not to return home from work before 6pm allowing his wife to have mad, passionate sex with her lover who she entertains after lunch a few times a week. Meanwhile he visits his mistress/prostitute – so you know, all is even Stevens in this open relationship of theirs.

Well, that’s until their worlds collide as the couple discuss the four of them meet to indulge in more strange role playing games. Eventually conflict ensues…and I have to stop there because I don’t want to give away the twist in the tale.  So, if you want to get to the bottom you’ll have to take yourself out for the evening and visit the Alexander Upstairs this week.

The tickets are a steal at just R100 each but you’ll need to be speedy as they are selling fast and it’s only on till Thursday.  It’s a great performance and seeing as it is only an hour long it is even suitable for those with low attention spans (take those Tinder boys!). The acting by Sjaka S.Septembir and Caroline Midgley is excellent and the show contains quite a few good LOL moments so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Beyond the giggles though, the story also raises some important questions about the monotony of married life, the ‘difficulties’ faced by kept women and the extent to which we need to be open-minded when it comes to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

OK, Dear Rinsers…If you’ve seen this version of The Lover let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, feel free to share stories about your lovers, favourite prostitutes and the lengths you’d be willing to go to keep things interesting. We are all friends here and sharing is caring! 

5 Irritating Questions People Ask You After You Get Married

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When you get married to the person you love you’re happy. However, during your happily ever after you encounter people who ask too many questions and you’re still happy, albeit occasionally irritated. Let me share 5 questions I’m often asked, which I find annoying.

1. Where is your husband?

Going to a networking event on your own? Or perhaps just having a dinner out with a friend? Be prepared to have someone ask you “Where is your husband?”. I did hear versions of this question before, when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend but I hear it more often since we got married. I could also bet then there’s a sprinkle of sexism in it and when my husband is out in similar circumstances no one asks him “Where is your wife?” I don’t know why people assume once you get married you spend 100% of your time together. It’s not healthy. What’s healthy is spending most of your time together, at the same time not neglecting your friends and your interests. A happy and healthy partner is a fulfilled individual not a person glued to their spouse.

2. When are you going to have children?

We visited my family in Poland recently and of course a lot of people inquired about our reproductive goals. Friends are usually more tactful but some acquaintances would also pry. There are numerous reasons why this question sucks. For starters: am I asking you about your sex life? NO. You should realize that a question about procreation is a question about someone’s sex life that doesn’t become all of a sudden public just because the person is married. Another fact is some people can’t have children and they consider it a personal tragedy. They probably don’t want to talk about it and by prying you may cause pain and discomfort. Last but not least, many people may just not want to have children yet. Others don’t want them at all and some don’t want to have biological offspring. I’d say that the rule is: if you don’t know the answer, you’re probably not close enough with the couple to know. What does it have to do with you anyway, when/whether they’ll have children?

3. How’s married life?

!!!!! How’s single life? How’s a life of a boyfriend and girlfriend? How’s a life of someone who clearly doesn’t know how to make small talk? Married life is like any other life. Yes, getting married is nice and if you marry the right person life’s awesome. Nevertheless, if you married the right person you relationship before marriage was great too (the reason why you got married, huh?). Perhaps it’s a conversation starter, but to be honest I have more to say to “How have you been?” because then I can talk about my work, our plans for the future and so on. What the hell are you supposed to answer to “How’s married life?”?

  • “Sex’s still great, thanks!”
  • “It’s true women DO pick up on weight after getting married!”
  • “Life is so much better after we no longer live in sin”

… It’s just a stupid question. Just don’t.

4. What’s your name now?

I did elaborate on the married name dilemma before. Legally you have three options: Keep your name, take your husband’s name, make it double trouble. Don’t assume a woman has to change her name or that not changing it means anything about the relationship. There are million of great reasons to keep your maiden name and the main of them is that it means less paperwork. Once you get married you’ll see for yourself. I don’t know many married women who have not regretted their decision of altering their surname. You can’t imagine how much paperwork, for instance, is involved in case of an international marriage. Changing your name on your social media profiles is the best way to avoid any questions about it (unless of course you’ve decided to keep your old name, then people will just keep prying).

5. Are things any different now?

Of all the questions enumerated this one irritates me the least. I’ve asked people about it myself and I understand it’s a genuine one. People are simply curious. Having said that, it’s just tiring to give everyone a reply to it so I’ll just write it here and will be asking people to visit the blog if they’d like to know my thoughts. I think that even today marriage is a commitment and it does mean something for people who decide to be together “for better and worse”. All the “we’re a team now” and “you can count on me” during a relationship of course mean a lot but when two people decide to make such promises publicly it’s a big deal. At the same time, just saying that gets you a lot of aggression on the side of those that are in a long-term relationships without marriage so I don’t really know a) where the aggression is coming from if marriage truly DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING and b) why they’re asking. Single girls or those still in short-term/medium-term relationships are usually nicer in such conversations.

What are your thoughts, Rinsers? Have you asked similar questions? Or perhaps you’ve been irritated by being asked yourself? Any additions to the list?

“Cushioning” and When to Delete Dating Apps

appsHave you heard about cushioning? Nihil novum sub sole (there is nothing new under the sun)! This “new” trend is nothing else but the old school keeping your options open. In this particular variation, a person is in a relationship but at the same time they keep using their dating apps, chatting and flirting with other people, just in case a break-up happens.

The trend has to do with online dating changing the way in which people commit. Back in the days it was pretty straightforward. You met someone, you stopped seeing other people and voilà, you were in a relationship! Some people would still keep seeing other people, regardless of their relationship status, but those would be call cheats. These days it’s more complicated than that. Would you call someone who keeps their dating app on their phone a cheat? Is it only wrong if they actually end up meeting up with someone in real life or is there something iffy about just checking out the app?

I guess I’ve always been rather prudish about these things. If you’re single do what you want, but if you’re in a relationship commit. Sure, it’s not the worst thing to get some experience but even so, you should give it an honest try. Otherwise, perhaps staying at home and reading a book or hanging out with your girlfriends are better ways to spend time. If you’re on the receiving end, I’d say that if a guys tells you “he’s still on Tinder and checks what’s happening there from time to time” you’re most probably a backpocket girl. Perhaps you call it a relationship but when people are halfheartedly involved, they won’t blink to leave you when something better comes their way or if you just become boring/annoying for them.

What it means for dating apps is: if you feel like you want to keep chatting to people on dating apps, you’re just wasting your time and the time of the other person. Especially once you established you’re dating, it isn’t fair to keep looking around. Swiping on Tinder or using okcupid, isn’t any different than flirting with someone at the bar or giving people your number when asked for it on the street. I’m not saying delete the app immediately but to cease using it is a good idea if you feel you like someone. It’s just an honest thing to do and surely you’d prefer the other person to treat you in the same way. Once you know where you’re standing and that you have a BF/GF you’re happy with, you can get rid of your profiles altogether and hopefully you’ll never have to set them up again.

What do you think, Rinsers? Is keeping your dating apps going as bad as real life flirting? Have you ever kept your options open in this way? What do you think about those that do?

Double Standards: Ageism in Dating

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Perhaps you’re not too familiar with the world of politics. If that’s true, let me give you a quick update about the country of baguettes, cheese and wine (= France): they have a new president. Emmanuel Macron won the elections but he’s considered slightly controversial due to his marriage. His wife is 24 years his senior and used to teach at his school. I will not comment on the appropriateness or lack thereof of relationships between students and teachers. Perhaps she’s a bad apple among the educators, but it’s not the main source of controversy and mockery. The main reason is the new First Lady’s age.

Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine you should know because of the famous shooting that took place in the magazine’s headquarters. Recently published a cartoon of the new French president with his pregnant wife with a caption “He’ll do miracles”. It’s so funny, you see, because Macron’s wife is 64 years old and therefore most probably can’t get pregnant. That the cartoon is in poor taste is undeniable. However, it also brings our attention to a much bigger issue, which is double standards when it comes to an age difference between partners.

A 20 year age gap isn’t a novelty. We all know middle aged men going through a life crisis who decide to exchange their aging wife for a bimbo half of their age. We also know the women that are simply into older men. This is a worldwide phenomenon and so is the acceptance of the fact that it’s okay for a man to date someone who’s much younger than him. If the situation is reversed it causes outrage. Demi Moore’s relationship with Ashton Kutcher was criticized in a way, particular for her gender. After all she’s a cougar on a prowl, a female who deserves nothing but pity and contempt and don’t we all know that the boy didn’t love her anyway, but just wanted their money? At the same time no one used similar accusations against her ex husband Bruce Willis, who also dated a much younger woman.

This brings us to the underlying issue which is the fact that the qualities that are valued in men are different than those valued in women. Even in modern times a woman’s beauty, freshness and fertility are considered to be her biggest assets. These qualities fade with time which is the reason why women are believed to have an expiry date and those above the age of thirty are often referred to as being “over the hill”. This is because, unlike men, women have limited time to reproduce. Doctors started to move the “safe motherhood” boarder to 40 but it is arguable. Because of this reason especially the men who want to have children go for younger partners and as unfair as it may seen, it’s also understandable. The real problem is, however, putting females beauty above her other assets. A friend shared a cartoon on Facebook recently, saying that a reversed version of “Beauty and the Beast” would never happen, because no one tells a man to date a woman just because she’s nice. Unfortunately, this is true.

Perhaps aging is a process that treats men slightly better than women, but no one will tell me that they prefer 70 year old Harrisson Ford to the younger version of the same man. And yet, older men rarely have trouble with finding a second partner when children are no longer the case. Women do. This is because a man is cherished for his kindness, his wisdom and last but not least his financial situation and back in the days it was a male privilege coming with age. Women were therefore just getting older and less desirable. These days, however, with a woman’s age comes a career, financial security and wisdom. The problem is that the world didn’t catch up with this change and still values women for what was traditionally considered to be their assets.

If a young woman can be impressed by a father like qualities in a man, a man shouldn’t be judged for similar longings. Dating an older partner has its challenges, but men shouldn’t be in addition judged for their choice of an older partner. The women in such situations shouldn’t be judged either, after all who doesn’t like a young piece of meat? 😉

Tell me what you think, Rinsers! Set your keyboards on fire with how fast you type!

 

Fake tits and c*cks – do premarital customs have to be iffy?

bachelorSo you’re getting married, right? Well, done and welcome to the adult world where people prefer to go to bed before 10 PM, suffer from a hangover the next day after two glasses of wine and have a number of couple responsibilities (plus sex and cuddles on tap and a person in your life who doesn’t have a choice but to listen to ALL your complaints about life – let’s not forget about the advantages ;)). Before that happens you’re supposed to have the time of your life at your bachelor/bachelorette party… which brings me to the topic of today’s post. Do you really have to be sucking on a penis shaped ice lolly or visit a strip club? Nope! That’s your bloody party.

I have written before about conforming to the expectations of others. During you bachelor/bachelorette party it’s as important as ever, to make it about what you want. In other words, if the expectation of you as a man is to go to strip club and stare at fake tits you may decide you actually don’t find such objectification of a female body entertaining and you’re quite happy with the pair of boobs that’s soon to be yours happily ever after. In this case you should express such sentiment to you stag party organizers rather than just do whatever they want you too. Chances are, if you choose your friends in a way that actually matches your personality, you won’t even have to explain such things to them. If on the other hand, you have tons of insecurities and you have to prove to everyone that you’re a REAL man by staring at women who have no choice but to earn a living in this humiliating manner, then be my guest. Join everyone else I judge in my little black book called “Why Humans Make No Sense”.

Needless to say that expressing their preferences would be also advised for ladies. Somehow I doubt that all the ladies I’ve seen in my Facebook feed licking penis shaped objects was really having as much fun as the picture would suggest. Of course, we all have different ideas about fun and if you think that you pretending publicly you’re having sex with a chair is #bestmoment than I’m sure your bridesmaids can organize that. If not there’s a whole range of fun things you can do with your bridesmaids other than show your skills in giving blow jobs during the day that’s meant to be about female bonding (I think?). Alternatively, you may decide that the old school gender separation isn’t what you stand for and you want to have a mixed party for both of you. I had both – a separate hen/stag and a mixed party towards the end of the evening.

One thing one shouldn’t (and probably couldn’t) avoid in terms of being disgusting on a hen/stag night is drinking. Having far too many drinks will remind you why you strive for moderation in your everyday life and that you’re not 18 anymore (and if you are then run to the hills NOW, you have some life to experience before getting married!). Besides, there’s something about having too much alcohol with people you like and know that ends up with having fond memories about the event afterwards. That is, of course, after sobering up, puking and healing the post-alcohol pain of existence. Being silly and out of control is something we should do from time to time to shake up our routines.

To sum up, if you find rather disgusting bachelorette/bachelor party customs entertaining then indulge in them. However, if it’s not your vibe don’t force yourself to drink tequila shots of bartenders in Beefcakes or of strippers at Maverick’s. This night is about you and I do feel like showing people that you know what sex is about, before you get married, these days isn’t really necessary. Perhaps such customs come from the days when people (mostly women, let’s be honest) were still untouched. I’d google it but no one pays me for writing this blog so if you’re interested, just do it yourself.

So Dear Rinsers, what is your opinion about the modern premarital customs? Do people really enjoy all fake penises and breasts? Is it maybe just for show? Tell me what you think in the comments section. 

 

 

 

Save Yourself! – The Dudes in Distress

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There is loaded belief that deep down most women like the idea of being ‘rescued’. Apparently, this is why so many of us chicks have a thing for men in uniform (and there I was thinking that the whole point was to get the firefighter out of the uniform). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: GENDER ROLES ARE CHANGING!!!. It’s no longer just the damsels in distress that want a knight in shining armour to come along and save them when they find themselves stranded on De Waal Drive with a flat tyre one wet and windy morning (truth be told I could have saved myself but I didn’t want to get my hands dirty or arrive at work all sweaty and horrible, so I hailed a man to do the job for me!). We now live in a world where people are finally admitting that women can be real-life heroines (although, they pretty much always have been) who can not only be expected to take care of themselves (and in some cases the children spawned by men not willing to take responsibility) but who are also often relied on to save their poor male counterparts.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m at a stage in my life where I’m totally over this romantic idea of anyone, be it the guy or girl, needing to be ‘saved’ by a relationship.  There are certain ideas which should strictly belong in the world of fairy tales. Sure, being told by a partner that they’d probably still be drinking themselves stupid if Tinder hadn’t bought the two of you together can be endearing to a certain extent but even someone with half a brain should be able to read between the lines – translation : you are dating someone with alcoholic tendencies, if not an addictive personality. RUN. Spending many a night having to discuss ways in which your new partner might consolidate his stupidly self-inflicted debt is also not a topic of conversation upon which a solid partnership should be based.

Of course, it is nice to feel needed but seriously, if that is a determining factor in why the relationship exists it doesn’t bode well for the future. And yes, it’s basic human nature to want to take care of others, especially those we are romantically involved with but dating someone who feels the need to overshare and burden you with their problems from the get-go isn’t really a great prospect in terms of happily ever after.  I speak from experience when I say that once you start ‘saving’ people from their problems you do nothing more than open your incredibly capable self up for manipulation. These problem men (and women) are unlikely to have just one issue so chances are you are setting yourself up for life of heroism (and all the associated drama).

As much as we’d all like to think that love can conquer all, it can’t. Don’t get involved with someone convincing yourself that ‘One Day’ their love for you will force them to change. If a 40-something year old guy can’t hold down a job for more than 2 weeks, don’t kid yourself into believing that once you give him screaming rugrats he will find the motivation to earn some big bucks. A person who won’t take accountability for their mistakes instead choosing to blame everyone else and their dog is unlikely to break-free of their victim mentality anytime soon, in fact you’ll soon be added to the long-list of bad, bad, women who didn’t love him enough.

While you can’t change the people you date, if you find that you continue to attract damsels/dudes in distress time and time again there is one thing you can do to break this cycle. You can change yourself by critically looking at your savior complex and understanding that it is as toxic to a relationship as a deadbeat partner.  Remember that while two parties may bring different strengths and weaknesses to a relationship, a healthy partnership tends to be formed by two people who are capable of standing on their own two feet but who instead want to stand together, rather than one person’s main motivation being a need to be in a relationship in order for support/survival. Look, I’m not saying one should dump the a guy who has stood by them through thick and thing the moment he gets retrenched. A partnership is all about overcoming challenges together. But learn to spot red flags and go into any potential romance with those beautiful eyes wide open.

Now over to you dear Rinsers. Have you ever dated a dude/damsel in distress? Did it end happily ever after or did you just get tired of having to perform heroic feats? Do you have any tips for people who find they have a saviour complex? Comments in the bit below !!

 

Review: Beauty and The Beast – The Faux Feminazi Edition

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As a child who grew up believing everything that Disney fed her grown-up life has turned out to be quite a disappointment. Prince Charming hasn’t materialised as yet (well, I’ll keep dreaming) and if I ran around the streets singing songs and talking to flowers I’d probably find myself locked up in Falkenburg. That said, I do love me a bit of Disney as it always allows you to escape this big bad world of Trump and Brexit. So learning that there would be a remake of Beauty and the Beast, one of the first films I saw at the cinema as a kid, was probably one of the best bits of news 2016 (not that it would have taken much)!

I’m sure I don’t need to waste your time regurgitating the story. Anyone with any sort of normal childhood knows this tale as old as time where a pretty book-ish girl gets captured by a beast (who is secretly a Prince) and over time learns to see past his ugly facade to fall in love with his beautiful soul. Blah, Blah, Blah. The 2017 version promised audiences a feminist retelling of yet another patriarchal fairy tale.  Sadly though, critics have been quick to point out the many ways in which the movie falls short and fails to dispel the misogyny in the outdated story.

Probably the most significant difference in the latest version is that Belle has a job as an inventor of sorts (let’s be honest, this is a very minor element of the story). Therefore she is more than just someone’s daughter and this buys her a bit of independence and possibly the ability/confidence to be ‘picky’ when it comes to rejecting the local brain dead hottie, Gaston.  There is also a scene where Belle promotes the importance of educating woman as she tries to teach a little girl how to read.  Some people have pointed out that she also doesn’t wear a corset. But I think they are pretty much clutching at straws here because the whole feminist element pretty much stops there.

On the whole, the new version stays true to the original story.  Male domination still plays a huge part in the story. Trapping girls in cages? Surely, even Christian Grey can learn a thing or two from the Beast. The fact that Belle eventually falls develops warm and fuzzy feelings towards her captor have led many to point our that the story probably has more to do with Stockholm Syndrome than it has to do with love. And then again what choice does she have? If you were imprisoned in some derelict old castle with only talk clocks, candles and teapots for company surely you’d fall for the Beast as ugly as he is because at least he can quote Shakespeare. Beggars can’t be choosers after all.

But enough of all this over-analyzing. Sure, the movie pretty much failed to meet the expectations of all the feminazis out there but you know what, they are probably also the same people  that wouldn’t be happy unless Belle traded that pretty yellow ballgown for cargo pants and Doc Martens, or something equally vulgar (I’m a girly girl that appreciates the prettier things in life, so bite me!). But if you are looking for a form of escapism, some way to be transported away from a mundane Monday night then take yourself out to see this movie. The cinematography is just magical and the songs will leave you feeling all giddy inside. There is all-star cast and Chip, the teacup is still as precious as he was back in the day. So appreciate this revamped classic fairy tale for what it is. Watching a beautiful, ethnically diverse cast prancing and dancing alongside furniture that speaks provides a much-needed break from our reality, which right now really isn’t all that great so let’s stop being bitter old haters and just take this for what it is.

Rinsers – Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Do you think every old story needs an update or is it OK to leave some things as are they are sometimes? Comment or rant in the bit below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: LOVE SEX FLEAS GOD – Confessions of a Stay-At-Home-Dad @ The Alexander Upstairs

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As most of our readers are well aware traditional gender roles are changing partly due to this thing known as a male defecit and it is becoming increasingly common for the woman in a relationship to be more educated/career-driven than the man.  Naturally, as a result of this trend, with women becoming breadwinners and being eager to get back to work after popping out those screaming kids it falls (or should do at least) to the father to pick up much more of the child-rearing. I admit we do sometimes get a bit carried away from time to time with our bitching and moaning about men these days being nothing but a bunch of good for nothing lazy mama’s boys but there are also some guys who’ve successfully managed to embrace change and do pull their weight in a relationship.  And LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is actually a play about one of the good guys.

As the title indicates this play provides some insights into the life of a Stay-At-Home-Dad named Bruce whose job it is to take care of his two kids Angus and Anastasia while his wife works as a big shot banker and brings home the bacon. Based on an autobiographical account this stage adaptation tells us the story of how initially Bruce is rather shocked to hear those dreaded words ‘I’m Late’ and learn that he is going to be a father (after all his family all thought he was gay even when he got married!). But he comes to accept his new role and tries to embrace the pulling power that comes with having cute baby Angus as his wingman.

Once you move past the comedy element of the show, the audience learns that in order to become a good parent Bruce has had to overcome the issues from his own toxic childhood. It turns out that his Mother was brainwashed by Scientologists and was forever swanning off on Scientology missions and returning with a different man on her arm while Bruce and his sister were left to be brought up by their Scottish grandmother. To make matters worse in addition to an overwhelmingly absent father, much of Bruce’s extended family are nothing more than a dysfunctional bunch of perverts.

Despite his turbulent childhood and even a stint on the streets, Bruce doesn’t use this as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities as a Father. I think this story is also a reminder of how self-indulgent most millennials are these days. Many of us delay settling down to focus on our own self-development – travelling, career, puppies, etc. While I still stand by my belief that this a good thing for most people, the truth is that for there are also some cases where parenthood can be an overwhelmingly positive thing in a person’s life and exactly what is needed to give them some purpose and direction.

The character of Bruce is portrayed brilliantly by David Muller in this one man production. Props are minimal, consisting of nothing more than a blue blanket, a teddy bear and a few pieces of Lego (my date and I suddenly felt inspired and ended up going down a rabbit hole doing some quick google research on the history of Lego before the show kicked off!). The lack of paraphernalia and other distractions on the stage allows the audience to focus on the dialogue.

LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is playing at the intimate  Alexander Upstairs until the 29th April 2017 and with tickets priced at just R90 (R80 online), it is well worth watching. People who’ve had kids of their own will probably identify with much of what is said and I think the show could provide some inspiration to those considering a career in parenting.

The Cock Lodger – Men Who ‘Date’ To Save on Rent

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If you are the kinda girl who is searching for that traditional idea of happily ever after, people will probably warn against letting a guy stay over after the first (or second or third) date regardless how great the sparkles are. Agh, forget ‘people’, there are self-help guides written by professionals that letting a dude into your personal space to early on in a relationship just serves to show him how super keen you are and is, therefore, a recipe for disaster in the long run. There is no doubt that giving a partner access to your humble abode (and vice versa) is a pretty significant step. Someone’s home gives you a pretty intimate insight into them. Sure they can do a quick tidy-up and remove all traces of that secret wife and kids but if you stick around long enough you’ll find signs of who they really are. Naturally, inviting anyone into your home comes with a whole host of dangers (and no I’m not talking about the potential of them being a serial killer). Today Rinsers, I want to talk to you about Cock Lodgers, a special breed of the males species who comes over to stay the night and then NEVER leave.

It is common knowledge that millennials are pretty screwed when it comes to the property market. Most of our generation are probably never going to own property and its pretty ‘normal’ in cities like New York, London and Paris  (and now even Cape Town) for ‘kids’ to stay living at home with their Olds well into their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s in the hopes of saving up enough for a deposit on a shack to call their own. I’ve already voiced my views on the implications of this trend on a person’s prospects of holding down a healthy relationship. But there are also this growing breed of mama’s boys for whom property prices don’t feature in their decision to live at home – it’s all about staying close to the only woman who’ll wash their dirty boxers, pack their favourite lunches and even fetch the remote when he needs to change the TV channel.

Sure there are financial benefits (and others) for not having a place of your own but you can’t avoid the problems this can cause when it comes to dating, relationships and various other types of sexual encounters. Life would surely be more straightforward if you had some private space to take your latest squeeze home to, right? Yes but no but. You see these cunning little foxes out there who have found a way to play the system. Don’t have a place of your own? There is a simple solution. ‘Date’ a girl who does.

Of course, if you are part of the population who does value your independence and would rather opt to live on a diet of two-minute noodles for the rest of your days than live with Mummy and Daddy forevermore, then the decision to let another human into your precious castle is not one which should be taken lightly. Obviously, there comes a time in any blossoming relationship when one needs to remove the relationship from the public eye. If you happen to be dating someone who is pretty much your equal you’ll be faced with the simple question of your place or mine? You’ll take turns to have sleepovers and not much more needs to be said.

But how about when the dude your dating doesn’t really have a place of his own where the two of you can get up to no good without the prying eyes of his dear mama or possibly worse, he spends his life couch surfing from one friends sofa to the next until he outstays his welcome? Well… enter the cock lodger! A cock lodger can be defined as the type of guy who attaches himself to an independent, established woman and in return for his services in the bedroom (at a minimum) he expects to be given full squatting rights in her home.

It’ll all start out pretty innocently. He’ll stay over one night, then a whole weekend, slowly you’ll find him leaving his stuff around your place and claiming space in your wardrobe. Because he is about so much, a naive young lady maybe tempted to give him a set of keys. Of course, if his performance in bed is mindblowing and he does some basic DIY around the house one may convince themselves that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, over time having a cock lodger squatting in your home and not pulling their weight financially in a ‘relationship’ becomes tiresome for even the most patient of women.

Chances are the moment he is given his marching orders will mark the end of this love affair as the Cock Lodger will need to start missioning to find his next victim (that or move back to his mama). In some cases, he may grovel and promise you the world (seriously, don’t fall foR it) or the worst case scenario he will fight back and try to make you out to be a heartless materialist, racist or some other hateful creature. Don’t listen. It’s just an opportunity for the Cock Lodger to pull you back in. The best way to get yourself out of this messy situation is to avoid confrontation. Sure it’s nice having a guy around the house (for security and reaching the high shelves) but do not negotiate. Remember you have bills to pay and if he can’t contribute he has to go. Having a Cock Lodger on your premises is just another form of transactional sex (if indeed you were getting serviced at all!). So change the locks. Go on holiday if you must. Stop indulging yet another weak man. Cock Lodger Be Gone!!!

Rinsers – Have you ever experienced a cock lodger (or whatever the female version is called)? How did you get rid of them? Is a cock lodger nothing more than a symptom of our times where mummy’s boy and lazy men take advantage of supposedly strong, capable but somewhat naive women? Comment below!

Dating Billy No Mates

billy

Have you ever noticed how many guys have dating profile pictures of themselves giving a Best Man’s speech at a friends wedding? Well, once upon a time I used to snigger at those guys. Not anymore. You see (unless of course the photos are totally staged or the profile a complete fake altogether) the fact that a person has been chosen to be someone’s Best Man/ Maid of Honour (thanks, #zlotybaby) means that there is at least one person who rates you pretty highly among their circle of friends (well, that or they just flipped a coin between you and their ugly cousin). And that’s important.

So, what the hell is #englishrosiee ‘forever the bridesmaid, never the bride’ wittering on about now? Simple, dear Rinser, today I want to talk about the importance of having friends and more importantly, why a red flag should be raised when you are dating someone without any. Surely, even the most introvert person out there would have at least a few friends, right? WRONG! And why should it even matter if the person you dating has friends? Surely, a relationship should be between you and your Significant Other and nothing to do with the rest of the world? Time for the reality check!

I’ve always believed that a person’s closest friends are a reflection of themselves. Of course, we are all individuals but there are always aspects of our personality that are mirrored in our friends – maybe it’s just an un-PC sense of humour, a particularly bleak outlook on life or simply the fact that you both love a good old bitching and moaning session at your local sushi joint. Because a person’s friends give us a unique insight into them, their personality and certain quirks we may not otherwise be privy to I think it’s paramount to meet the social circle of anyone you are dating asap (and vice versa). I would actually go as far as saying that meeting someone’s friends is probably more important than that nerve-wracking meeting the parents moment. Just think about it. None of us have any choice about the people that decide to procreate in order to bring us into the world but we do have free rein when it comes to who we choose to be friends with, and those choices say a lot about us.

The fact is if you or your significant other don’t get along with each others closet friends (or simply think they are all a bunch of brain dead spoilt little rich kids) then the alarm bells should start ringing! OK, so it may not be the end of the world. After all, some people (yours truly is totally guilty of this) go through friends as fast as they swipe through those Tinderees and sure we can change our associations as we develop and go through life but regardless the people we choose to surround ourselves with say a lot about us.

If you find yourself hooking up with a guy who hangs our with a bunch of immature racist douche bags, he is probably at least a little bit of racist himself (if not a card-carrying member of the KKK). Similarly, if you’ve taken the step of introducing you latest squeeze to your group of somewhat eclectic weirdos and they come away from that meeting with a look of horror on their ugly mug, the fact is there is some aspect of your personality that they are not favourable towards. Seeing a person interacting with their buddies is when we finally see the facade being dropped and if you can’t deal with someone in their natural habitat then if is likely to pose significant issues for the relationship further down line.

Well, not liking a partner’s friends is one thing (because at least they have some). But how about when a person doesn’t have any buddies whatsoever? Now this is where the real problems begin. When someone we date doesn’t seem to have any true friendships we lose a window into finding out more about who they are. It may also raise concerns about them being a serial killer (did Norman Bates have any friends bar his good ol’ mama dearest?! Just saying!). If you find that you’ve been dating someone a while and you are yet to cross paths/be introduced to any of their friends – well I hate to break it to you but this either means you are a dirty little secret OR there aren’t any friends to be introduced to. If it is the latter, then it will only be a matter of time before that special someone reveals him/herself as a Billie No Mates. Perhaps, it’ll be when they reserve a table for 12 people at a restaurant and despite it being a milestone b’day (and a bunch of frantic phone) not one of the ‘friends’ pitch and the night declines from a what was supposed to a wild, raucous night out into a slightly sad romantic dinner for two!

Sure, I’m being a little bit bitchy here. Not everyone can be a social butterfly. But ask yourself why a person would have no friends (apart from possibly their mummy) around? Perhaps they have a strong personality that doesn’t go down well with most people (hmmm…but seriously, noone at all???), maybe they are a workoholic with no time to nurture anything that doesn’t lead to big bucks (it’s fine if you are just after a rinse, I guess) or maybe it’s just a case that they are truly a mean and obnoxious person who picks on everyone elses insecurities to mask the fact that they are not quite where they’d like to be in life. Whatever the case is, someone who lacks the ability to form solid friendships probably has some sort of personality disorder and may not be the easiest person to date so do be sure to do some further investigations before you become too emotionally involved with a such a loner.

Alright rinsers. Over to you. How important is it for someone you are dating to a) have friends and b) have friends that click with their partner? Have you ever encountered a Billy No Mates and what was the end result? Share your experiences in the comments section below.