The Ego Boost – A Necessary Evil or A Recipe for Disaster?

boost

Success in the dating arena has a lot to do with confidence. Sure, looks are important but at the end of the day a pretty face will only get a person so far. Once you make it to the first date it’s your personality and the ability to have a good conversation that will win you the second, third and tenth date. But self-confidence and a shining personality isn’t something we are all just blessed with, it’s a work in progress. Add to this the rejection everyone has to face at some point in their dating lives and you’ll find that there are probably more wounded egos out there than you ever expected.

There are many ways in which to fix our dented ego. Sometimes there are little things that can make you fell a million dollars – a new dress or a snazzy hairdo. In other instances our ego requires human interaction for that additional boost. Receiving compliments and attention certainly plays a significant role in raising a person’s self-confidence. However, if you ask me, this human desire for social validation requires playing a dangerous game where hearts can potentially be shattered.

From my experience, things generally start off fairly innocently. You meet a guy, he is nothing super special but maybe the banter is OK, so you allow him to remain in the picture but as nothing more than a flirt buddy. Basically, someone whose sole purpose is to tell you you’re pretty, make you feel desirable and boost your ego so that when a more suitable guy comes a long you’ve built up enough confidence and don’t shy away or turn into a bumbling buffoon.

I wish things were that straightforward but sadly they never are. Sure, you think you are both on the same page. But don’t forget that jealousy always has a way of rearing its ugly head. For example, how about when your flirt buddy finds out there is competition and suddenly feels the need to mark his territory. Perhaps he was holding out for more? In the best case scenarios you guys come to an understanding and your flirt buddy will know his place (i.e. to give you the required attention to make you feel good) but these things to have a habit of unravelling and eventually one party is going to want more.

And how about when things go on beyond the flirt buddy level? Say for instance, you’ve been suffering from a sex drought. We all have needs that have to be met. While for some the Rampant Rabbit might do the trick, others might require some non-battery operated loving to stop them feeling like a born-again virgin.  Maybe it’ll be a simple one night thing or maybe it’ll escalate into a FWB arrangement, either way you wake up feeling like quite the young stud! But again, it’s rarely that simple. Chances are someone ends up feeling a disposable sex object, maybe not from the get go but certainly at some point along the track.

So to sum up, it’s not criminal to want to engage in human interaction in order to boost one’s ego without necessarily wanting anything long term. However, I think if we do choose to get involved in using another person to make ourselves feel good we need to be fully aware of the potential consequences. We may kid ourselves into thinking harmless flirting and casual sexcapades are just a little bit of innocent fun, but we should be willing to admit that they rarely are. Even if you think you have the upper hand in such an arrangement understand that at any moment the tables may turn and you might find yourself developing feelings for this person who was only meant to serve as a temporary ego booster. If you must engage in these ego boosting arrangements (let’s not pretend any of us is above it) then my best advice is to keep it short and sweet because the longer these things drag on, the higher the risk of someone getting burnt.

It’s over to you Rinsers. Have you ever had a ‘relationship’ that has simply served to inflate your ego and help mend some of the confidence that was lost as a result of past rejections? Do you think people can ever really be on the same page when it comes to such ‘mutually beneficial’ arrangements or are these ego boosting activities destined to end in disaster?

 

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Guest Post: Drained Beyond Therapy by Sergio Henry Ben

Today on #rinsebeforeuse we have a special guest post by our dear friend Sergio Henry Ben. In his post Serge provides an entertaining insight into the ‘tense psychological thiller’ that was his first date following a decade long sabbatical from the world of romance…Enjoy! 

Sergio

 

“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong.”

Do you really wanna know? It’s kind of a horror story. Okay, more like a tense psychological thriller than a gore fest. It could’ve gone that way, you know. I was prepared to face assault charges. I was prepared to follow the gospel of Rupaul: “You should always try to come from a place of love, but sometimes you need to break it down”

“And lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil…” is how the Lord’s Prayer goes, yes?  The evil in this instance was my dinner date on Sunday. Boy had it all going for him – looks, attitude, intelligent (oh what a joke his is, I found out), and exudes a particular kind of nasty-ass-gutter-porno-marathon-sex sleaze I find hard to resist.

“Sex shouldn’t be comfy,” this pearl of wisdom courtesy of the ballsy Lola in Kinky Boots. Sunday dinner was eine Schande. Chanting for inner peace barely helped. The only reason I’m not facing assault charges is through the sheer force of will to not bludgeon my date senseless with his colossal ego. Subsequently, he is now referred to as the Son of Darkness – be it in conversation laced with contempt with my gal pals.

It’s been an age since my last date, but I’m pretty sure you don’t enter another’s home and abandon your good manners – that is if you had any to start. I’ve no shame indulging my little pity party. None. I am still aghast at the series of events. Sundays are meant for relaxation and flopping about the sofa or sorting out stubborn laundry.And here I am, a Category FIve typhoon of anxiety and determination whirling about multitasking like a deranged Desperate Housewife.

Ingredients, doing the dishes, quick sweep, lighting incense sticks to drive out dark juju and welcome good cosmic prana flow, escalate the panic as the house is still untidy, sweep over there, rearrange the sofa pillows, positive-speak and life coach the hell out of my crazy ass for the umpteenth time, check on the rice and finally make a decision about inserting slivers of ginger while it steams and and and …When madness has focus, yes?

My first date in a roughly decade and I’m amazed the house and the rest of civilisation is still standing. Progress in my book, but silly me didn’t take into account my date is actually a relentless and monstrous strain of flesh-eating bacteria. Cancer is viewed in a kinder light than him. The Son of Darkness arrives and my anxiety level is officially Mount Everest.

I’m a wreck. I suck at small talk, flirting and all those insipid useless rituals mankind adores. I’m a blunt guy. I like the direct approach. “Hey would you like to (insert whatever goal is desired).” “No? Jolly good.” There are plenty of attractive men out there. Seriously, have you looked at me? My Guatamalaness is en pointe. And sometimes exuding the Latin American sexpot look can be a trial. Sunday, not my most triumphant moment. However, it must be said that I’ve suffered head trauma beginning of March and I’m blaming my appalling lack of common sense on that. I really don’t want to own yet another poorly informed decision regarding men.

Inhale … exhale … inhale … exhale … Sunday, bloody Sunday. Dinner was agony. I was interrogated, then instructed what I should do with my life, and also instructed to listen to a dreary litany of my flaws. One, I can’t cook (the dish burnt in the oven while we were making out). Two, I don’t know the meaning of the “big words” I use. (Never mind I am a journalist with 18 years experience, 11 of which spent reporting and the rest copy editing. Never mind that, yeah?)

Also, the Son of Darkness kept breaking my word, doing a very poor imitation of Dame Maggie Smith in Gosford Park. The affected mannerisms and nasal private school accent alone was for the eyes to glaze over. “No,” he said with a grand wave of his hand, “I’m not interested. I’m asking you to be real. I want to see the real you. Stop hiding behind your brilliance.” And running through my head on a loop, “This is Bridget Jones for Sit Up, Britain, reporting to you from a big vat of excrement.” I have anger issues. In fact, I am bipolar and borderline schizophrenia was also added to my diagnosis. The will required to remain at an even keel … I want my Emmy and an Elie Saab gown for the red carpet.

Hours later, the Son of Darkness is banished from my house with a curt smile and wave. In fact, a huge production ensued about the how vital it is he leaves immediately and that being late for work would send SA’s economy careering into an abyss and more blah blah … The trash took itself out. I ended up in my private ICU – the sofa. Vodka in one hand and cigarette in the other. And I’m torn between making a petrol bomb or pushing the Son of Darkness off a cliff. Few hours later after gulps of vodka and a dirty ashtray, the only conclusion reached was, “urgh!” Love, lust, pleasure, pain … a terrifying and exhilarating and exhausting mess. Not for me, thank you. You can have it, seriously.

Dear Rinsers – Give us your thoughts on Sergio’s account with the Son of Darkness. Have you experienced any similar dates from hell that have left you #drainedbeyondtherapy? Is dating more trouble than it’s worth? Share your stories in the comment section below.

Does Unrequited ‘Love’ Really Exist?

unrequited love

Time and time again, trashy novels and Hollywood movies like to pollute our fragile little minds with the concept of unrequited love – where one party really loves the other but these feelings are never reciprocated. Yes, it is dreadfully painful when that James Dean look-a-like you’ve been crushing on since 1996 won’t respond to your messages but really aren’t we getting a bit ahead of ourselves – can ‘love’ ever truly be unrequited and is this concept nothing more than a little school girl crush which we will all eventually grow out of?

We’ve all been there. Possibly even on both sides of the story. We’ve all crushed on someone we can’t have for various reasons – perhaps he has a wife and kids and wants you as nothing more than his Ashley Madison bit on the side or perhaps she is just emotionally unavailable? Some of us may have also experienced this unnecessary kind of affection – the guy that sends you beautiful bouquets of flowers and comes running to rescue you when your car breaks down but his presence in any form only serves to make your skin crawl and you just want to trash those stupid flowers, save yourself the headache that comes from listening to his whiny little voice and just fork out for a mechanic to come out a fix that rust bucket car!

In some instances, if the object of your desire, isn’t interested in you but still has the decency to nip this thing in the bud. Hopefully, you’ll get the subtle hint (e.g. him telling you your far too much of a nice girl and stroking your hair till you fall asleep) and bow out elegantly without making a complete fool out of yourself (crying in the street and throwing rocks at his head). If that doesn’t work, maybe he’d be brave enough to tell you straight and deal with the subsequent fall out.

However, as we work our way through this treacherous thing that they call life, we learn that things are rarely so clear cut and this world is not such a fairytale place. Firstly, everyone has their own ulterior motives. People can be mean – they see your ‘love’ for them coming from a mile off and they see how to use it for their own ends – maybe they like the idea of driving around in your snazzy Porsche or just want another notch of their bedpost? And some people just like attention and being pursued is a nice boost for their ego.

On the flipside, as #zlotybaby said in her post about ‘the one that got away’, we tell ourselves lies that make us feel better when relationships don’t go as planned. Even though he really is just not that into you and everyone except you can see those glaring RED flags (e.g. your friend gets him engaged in a conversation about how much he still misses his ex, but you are too busy groping the elder to see this as a potential problem). There are also times when we become so misguided by our lust that we convince ourselves that we have the power to change reality… the dude may even tell you straight that he is no Prince Charming but know better, right?

Whatever the case, here are a few things that should be kept in mind:

  • There is no LOVE to speak of in these situations – it’s just a little crush driving us to do crazy things.
  • We need to watch out for the red flags and realise that there are somethings that just can’t be changed, no matter how hard we try – therefore we just need to let go.
  • When we are in ‘love’ we are vulnerable and unscrupulous individuals will take advantage of that.
  • Egos will be bruised regardless and it’s likely to be painful. However mature we say we are the truth is we will always wonder why we weren’t good enough for so and so.
  • And lastly, It’s OK to let this ‘crush’ run its course, but understand that no amount of wishful thinking will ever make them want us. And at the end of the day, even these hard experiences serve a purpose.

Finally Rinsers its over to you. Is this concept of unrequited love real or nothing more than a crush? Can anything good ever come from such a thing? Share your feelings in the comments below.

Shameless in ‘Love’

Woman-chasing-man

Love (or more likely lust) makes us do crazy things. And that is the beauty of it. It makes us throw caution to wind and move to deepest darkest Africa. It can make us sing Ed Sheeran in the street and ballroom dance down the aisles in Pick and Pay.  It gives us the courage to make epic declarations a week into an encounter which subsequently leads to major life upheavals and the purchase of a puppy.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, the city of romance and such, I think it’s important to celebrate LOVE and the somewhat crazy cute things it makes us do.  Events like this are a reminder that life is short and we need to take risks when it comes to finding our fairytale. But where should one draw the line and realise that there comes a point when those grand gestures we make when our hormones start racing at the speed of light have the potential to be hugely embarrassing? When does a bold move go from being sweet and endearing to making a person look totally shameless and more like an unhinged lunatic who just made a break from Valkenburg?

Life is all about taking chances. But even when we are caught in the moment risks should be calculated. For instance, reciting a Shakesperian sonnet to the object of your desire in a private setting is a move of minimal risk. At worst, he’ll laugh in your face which will possibly make you cry and lock yourself inside for a few days but eventually you’ll dry those eyes, put on a brave face and start searching for an alternative Prince. And then there is always the chance, he’ll sweep you up into his arms and whisk you off into the sunset.

However, there are other instances where people end up committing social suicide in the name of ‘love’. I remember once having to physically restrain a friend of mine as she attempted to chase the man of her ‘dreams’ around the dance floor. It must have looked like a scene from a Tom and Jerry cartoon and it did not end well for her as onlookers rolled their eyes as she lay in drunken heap crying as her beau ducked out of the club.

And that’s not even the worst of it. ‘Love’ also makes us blind of certain red flags. Say for example, there is a dude you’ve got your eye on and you’ve made some subtle moves, sent a bunch of flirty messages, fluttered your eyelashes but there’s no response. A weaker woman may admit defeat and go drown her sorrows with her girlfriends. But no, not you! You are in LOVE after all. So you decide to put on your sexiest lingerie, drag a buddy along for moral support, and pitch up at this jerk’s work place. Maybe he’ll go weak at the knees and have his wicked way with you? Yay! But a brief analysis of his past actions should indicate that he is just not that into you.

Anyway for what its worth, I am still a big fan of going out on a limb for someone you are interested in. At the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing that you gave ‘happily ever after’ your all. That way there are no real regrets as such.  However, it’s the nature of each individual move that we need to watch out for. Whatever you do in the name of ‘love’ try and maintain a modicum of self-respect and remember it takes two to tango so if the other party doesn’t reciprocate don’t be shameless and through your dignity out of the window simply to get their attention. Know when to cut your losses and walk away with your head held high.

OK Rinsers tell us what is the craziest/most shameless thing you’ve done for ‘love’? Did the risk end in happily ever after for you? Or is it just a cringe worthy story you’d rather not rehash? What are your tips when it comes to getting someone’s attention without becoming shameless and throwing all your self-respect out of the window?

Settling

settle1

‘Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies’

– Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Settling down is something that has probably crossed the mind of every almost 30-something girl. When constantly bombarded with Facebook albums documenting those momentous events in the lives of your peers such as engagements, weddings, baby showers,etc you do have to start considering the fact that maybe you missed the boat. Maybe while you were living life, getting drunk, travelling the world, playing the field and generally being immature…all of the sensible people were settling down?

Look, I’m not a total hater and I am happy for my friends who’ve truly found their happily ever after. But you just need to look at the divorce stats to know that the chances of success are not always in favour of people that settle down early (ish). Just because someone has followed the conventional path of marriage and babies doesn’t mean that life is a fairytale in any sense. We never know what goes on behind close doors. It’s much easier to pity the ‘lonely’ singleton than those that seemingly have the whole package.

On the flipside, beggars can’t be choosers and none of us is getting any younger. As we become more ‘mature’, our priorities change. Once upon a time maybe we’d only go for the guy with James Dean-esque good looks but after having our hearts broken by enough bad boys, most of us are willing to let go off some of our more ridiculous ‘deal breakers’ and formulate a more realistic view of our Prince Charming.

Luckily, unlike our grandmothers, women today have choices. Choices which don’t necessarily have to involve some dude who lives down the road or in the next village. While it’s always good to be open to romantic opportunities (cos I am not a fan of being a Sad Spinster aka a Hater of Men) this no longer stops us from enjoying all the other things that this world has to offer. We are fortunate in that we don’t have to settle for just anyone because our biological clocks are ticking (freezing your eggs is apparently a totally legitimate thing – so we effectively have longer to find someone as equally fabulous as ourselves before procreating! yay!).

Thankfully, even here on the tip of deepest darkest Africa, women are becoming more independent (well, actually they are generally the breadwinners) and society’s attitudes towards women are also becoming more progressive. These developments alongside advances in technology, mean there is really is no excuse for just settling. Girls these days don’t have to conform – marriage and kids by 30? Tfu to that! Seriously though, if it happens – great! But if, like Carrie Bradshaw in SATC, your life takes a different trajectory, that’s totally cool too.

While it’s important to be realistic while searching for ‘the One’ (remember Carrie’s Mr Big was far from perfect; a twice-divorced, somewhat emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobe) there really is no need to rush into ‘settling down’ (Carrie was 40 and fabulous when she got married!). So let’s stop conforming and listening to what society’s definition of who Prince Charming should be and instead enjoy single-time and wait for those butterflies.

What are your views on ‘settling down’ dear rinsers? Is there too much pressure on us to ‘settle’ and follow the path that society deems to be normal? And are so many of us still single because we have too much choice or because we set ourselves ridiculously high standards?    

Slow-mance Vs. No-mance

slowmance
Maybe it’s due to me being a hopeless romantic or my general obsession about beating my biological clock but I have a habit of rushing into things. I’ve declared my undying love to a person and moved in with them after a few days, pursued a long-distance relationship after a few weeks and relocated to another continent for love (see I don’t always over-think my decisions).

Rushing things can work sometimes, if both parties are in that frame of mind. I’m not the only loser…I’ve had a bloke tell me that we’d make beautiful babies (luckily I was in agreement so he didn’t get completely kicked to the kerb). However, if two people are not on the same page then making such epic declarations can simply be foolish. For instance, I still LOL thinking about the dude that asked me whether I’d consider a long-distance relationship between Cape Town and Jo’burg on the second date.

And the truth is while I may be happy to throw caution to the wind on occasion, the general consensus is that you can’t hurry love (you just have to wait). In this day and age, it’s not socially acceptable to be eager. It’s always better to play it cool because if you come across as too much of keen bean you are likely to send the other party running for hills. Maybe this is again due to the abundance of choice available to us. Who needs to settle when we have access to never ending swipes on Tinder Plus 😉 ?

There are also lots of people who believe that if it’s meant to be, your dreamboat is going to be worth waiting for. For some, a romantic ‘relationship’ where you see each other once every so often and allow things to progress slowly (aka a slow-mance) works because you know we are all busy people. After all, between work, getting drunk with your buddies and various extra-curricular activities, most people have very limited time for romantic pursuits anyway, right?

I think however there comes a time, in this age of game-playing when one has to ask themselves whether our potential love interest is busy sorting out their life or actually using us as their back pocket girl?  Giving us just enough attention to think that there is some hope while in fact there busy trying out every other singleton in town. But doesn’t there come a point when you have to ask ‘What are we?‘ and upon not getting the desired answer, simply NEXT the asinine idiot ?

At the end of the day, I guess it depends what you are after. Hooking-up once every couple of months is fine if it’s a FWB arrangement. But how about when you see him as the future father of your babies while he considers you to be nothing more than another notch of his bed post? Should alarm bells ring if he says he’ll pencil you into his diary for sometime in the new year? How long should one realistically let such an engagement drag on before the slow-mance becomes better defined as a no-mance (where one or both parties effectively carry on with the ‘relationship’ till a better option comes along)?

Expectations on how fast things should move in a successful romantic entanglement obviously depend on the individuals involved. But I would say the pressure is on, especially for us girls, who can’t escape the constant tick tock of our biological clocks. It’s rather worrying though when you contemplate such things. It might all seem like fun chasing that guy from one nightclub to the next and partying all crazy, but before you know it you might just wake up one day and while you’ve been busy slow-mancing a commitment-phobe, all your friends have shacked up (probably settled for a safe option) and there you left on the shelf all on your lonesome?

Alrighty Rinsers share your thoughts on slow-mances. Are they a good thing? Or simply a tool for commitment-phobes? And when should a person cut their losses in such long-drawn out affairs and admit defeat to the no-mance?      

Biscuit Games and Beastiality : The Dark Side of the Posh Boy

PIG GATE

Often girls, like myself, go on and on about looking for our Mr Darcy – a powerful alpha-male, well-groomed, eloquent, public school educated (in the Brit sense – because after all Mr Darcy was quintessentially British) and generally perfect in every way.  Sadly, ladies, I am here to shatter this fairytale image of the Darcy-type and tell you that the posh boy you’ve been fantasizing over for all these years has a dark side.

Lets begin by setting the record straight. There are actually very few Darcy-types in Britain (do you really think I would have run away as quickly as I did if there were?) and in most cases the average girl, like yours truly, hardly ever mixes in the right circles to meet such eligible aristocrats (most of the guys I had access to back in Blighty were closer to the chav end of the spectrum). Secondly, if you want to get your hands on a posh boy that will tell you at every opportunity where he went to school then you’ll find plenty of them in Cape Town. Seriously, I’ve been on dates with 40-somethings who’ve spent the whole time having a phat brag about their school (SACS, Bishops, Rondebosch Boys, etc … all names which mean very little to a girl from the East-End of London).

As much as these boys love to name-drop and reminisce about their school days, very rarely will they let you in on what went on during those wonder years. Just last week ‘The Biscuit Game’ came up in conversation, and the Tory jerk who brought it up wished to send me on a wild goose chase to find out the details. Spurred on by copious amounts of bubbles, I started terrorising all the posh blokes I know (actually, I mass-messaged all my Tinder boys – not just the posh ones – I am a girl on a mission after all). In the end, most of them were unwilling to divulge any information on this dirty little pastime of theirs (posh boy bro code it seems) so I had to turn to my good friend, Google. What I found was almost too much for my delicate mind to handle:

‘Soggy biscuit also known as ookie cookie, limp biscuit, wet biscuit, or cum on a cookie, is a male masturbation game reportedly played in schools where the participants stand around a biscuit masturbating until ejaculating onto it; the last person to do so must eat the biscuit.’  

Utterly disgusting.  Are the poor (actually, very wealthy) parents of these kids forking out thousands of pounds/millions of rands in school fees just so their pervy little sons can explore their sexuality? And it doesn’t just stop there. The foundations may be laid during their school days but these perverse activities carry on into the university years. Just look at the ultimate posh boy, Dave Cameron, allegedly having sexual relations with a dead pig (see SA, Jacob Zuma and his million wives isn’t that bad). Is there a point when these rich dudes run out of things/chicks to do that the have to resort to having fun with biscuits and farm animals? And does the communal nature of such sordid acts add legitimacy?

Some would put all this bad behaviour down to repression and lack of access to girls that comes with going to a private/boarding school. But I don’t agree, I spent my formative years at a girls-only school and I’d like to think of myself as a well-adjusted although somewhat prudish lady and despite the lack of male interaction, I have no knowledge of any of my peers needing to resort to enlisting the help of a dog and some peanut butter ;).

Anyway, I don’t have any answers as to why these posh toffs are the way they are and why they are into pig rituals and the like but I am just warning y’all to be careful. It’s easy to get sucked in by their charm (and I’m not saying you should date a chav – they too have their sex issues, i.e. having little understanding about the birds and the bees therefore creating too many illegitimate babies) because they are not as clean-cut and wholesome, as Jane Austen would have you believe Mr Darcy was.

Ok, Rinsers. Share your thoughts on #piggate, the biscuit game and the perverse nature of these posh boys in the comments? Or maybe you are a posh boy who thinks #englishrosiee was a bit harsh? Give us your insights in the comments below.

“Love the One You Love”

Love the One you LoveEven though I’ve been living in South Africa for the last four years I haven’t seen many movies from this country. The film industry isn’t strong and there aren’t many South African movies available apart from average Afrikaans romantic comedies. Given the context, when the Labia in Cape Town introduced two movies, made by the new generation of South African directors, I had to see them.

Jenna Bass’s love story, “Love the One You Love“, is a based in Cape Town. The main couple we follow is a South African guy, Sandile and a Zimbeabwan girl, Terri. They really  love each other but is love ever enough? The other main character, Eugene, can’t get over his lost lover and his close friend is anything but helping him to get over her.

On the positive side, the main couple has a great chemistry and they’re pleasant to watch on the screen together. Chi Mhendi is absolutely brilliant in the portrayal of Terri, Andile Nebulane as Sendile complements her. Their problems are different from those of your average couple but still easy to relate to. There are also a lot of humorous moments in the film. I liked the non-static camera which reminds us of “Blair Witch Project” or more ambitiously of Lars Von Trier’s movies and the dogma movement. The director also has a general sense of aesthetics that makes “Love the One You Love” visually interesting. We also can’t forget about the music that intensifies the particular feel of the movie.

The drawback of the movie are over-dramatisation of the Eugene story. I think the feature would have been much better if it focused solely on the couple. It also seems like the author put a lot of effort to make sure that the movie is politically correct – we have a representative of every race in the cast, even though the sad truth about Cape Town reality is that most people stick to mixing within their own ethnic backgrounds in their social lives. I think that was, what I disliked the most. The portrayal of the New South Africa that’s wishful thinking and not reality. Apartment in Sea Point and parties in Long Street are a part of lifestyle that’s unlikely to belong to Simamkele, who’s a dog handler or his girlfriend, a sex line operator. It’s not to say that each South African movie has to deal with poverty, crime or xenophobia but rather that the privileged vision many of us have makes us sometimes see the world much better than it actually is.

All in all I’d give a 6,5/10 to the movie. Bass seems to be a promising director. It was her debut feature and I’ve seen a lot of first movies of now famous and critically acclaimed directors that had much less potential and charm.

A review of the second movie “Necktie Youth” will be published soon.

Where have all the Alpha Males gone?

Rugby Union - South Africa v Japan - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B - Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England - 19/9/15 South Africa's Schalk Burger in action with Shinya Makabe Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic

Maybe it’s because of all the rugby players we are currently being forced to perve on but recently I’ve been thinking about traditional concepts of masculinity and how they’ve changed quite dramatically, even in my own lifetime. It seems to me that all the old-school alpha male types are all either married or dead!

I blame Disney for polluting my mind when I was a little girl because those films made me believe that one day this dashing young man (NOT a Prince – even as a child I wasn’t stupid enough to think I could possibly marry royalty, although Prince Harry is still available, ladies) would come along, fight some demons, sweep me off feet and then we’d gallop off into the sunset (in reality I am so clumsy I’d probably fall off the horse).

But then as I grew up I was taught about the suffragettes and women’s rights and how we need to be independent and stand on our feet instead of waiting for some BIG MAN to arrive. This is all well and good and I’m all for equal rights but I am beginning to wonder whether this move towards women becoming more materially successful and independent is necessarily good thing. It seems to me that in the female mission to take over the world, we seem to have broken the male spirit in an epic way.

From my limited experience of the dating game it seems like the type of man that Disney promised doesn’t exist anymore and chivalry is a thing of the past. Look it’s not like we need men to open doors for us (as a marathon runner the physical task of opening a door isn’t going to kill me) but I am not going to complain when they do. And you really begin to question what the world has come to when a small man with a fast horse poses the question: ‘Would you like to kiss?’. No, I’m not advocating face rape here but as one dear friend always says, if he has to ask the question he should already know the answer.

This is not even the worst of it, and maybe it’s more apparent here in South Africa, but it seems to me that everywhere I go I encounter more and more mama’s boys. Nowadays guys not only need a woman that will cook and clean for them (like their mama does) but they are also more than happy for her to be the breadwinner while they sit around on their lazy broke-ass playing computer games. It’s one thing to become complacent when you are comfortably in a stable relationship but men these days are making no effort to hide their fragility even at the dating stage. For example, I recently had a Tinder guy think that suggesting I bring coffee to his workplace legitimately counted as a first date (no joke!).

I probably shouldn’t be so harsh, life is hard for my Tinder boys. And honestly, I am not looking for one of those BIG men who believes that drinking a 100 pints of beer in a night is a great achievement but it would rather not have to ‘lend’ him R5 for the minibus taxi fare to see his next chick. Dudes, its OK to talk about your feelings, cry and even do ballet or get a manicure but please try to draw some inspiration from the Disney Princes instead of listening to everything you mama tells you (cos her advice is really not doing you any favours).

So, what are your thoughts rinsers? In a world where the Boks get the asses kicked by a rugby team called the Cherry Blossoms (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!), is there any hope for that little girl looking for the alpha male that Disney promised her?

Consumer Culture in the Dating Game

consumerism in dating

I think we can all agree that today we live in a world where when something is broken, we often don’t even try to fix it and instead try to buy a new one (e.g. I’ve been through about half a dozen iPods because it costs almost as much to fix the stupid things when they’re out of guarantee as it would to just buy the brand spanking new model with a whole host of unnecessary features– I am so not an Apple person!).

Through my highly scientific analysis of the dating game (aka sitting around my living room with my dear friends and wasting hours sharing stories about our lost loves) I am beginning to see how this consumerist mentality is infiltrating the world of LOVE. People are now seen as commodities, nobody is irreplaceable. Social hierarchy exists. Whether it’s based on looks, ethnicity (something I’ve been told clearly effects your success in the world of internet dating especially here in the Rainbow Nation), nationality (yes, declaring that you hold a Brit passport on Tinder will certainly make you more eligible), education (come back when you have at least PhD) or income (the fact that he is an unattractive dwarf can be bypassed if he can afford to wine and dine you at fancy wine estates) – hierarchies exist and the asinine individual that tries to mess with this sacred order is bound to get hurt.

Much of this trend, I believe has to do with the technology available to us and the way it has served to widen the pool of potential suitors. Dating apps and websites have made it possible, for a vaguely pretty but proactive girl to potentially line up a date for every night of the week (I admit in a world of pervs, things aren’t so easy for my guy friends). Knowing that one has access to so many options, has allowed us to become fussy. This is exacerbated by the fact that sites like OKCupid let us set filters – you can now shamelessly say you’ll only date a blond haired, blue eyed, rocket scientist, who holds a Brit passport, has run at least 10 Comrades marathons and earns at least a million rand per annum.

People now set standards for what they want and the moment they see that a potential partner falls short, they can discard them to make way for the next suitor. Being a hopeless romantic (who is becoming more jaded everyday) though, I do find this state of affairs rather grim. Firstly, speaking from experience (I’ve probably been on +/- 50 Tinder dates this year), there are certain intangible elements that these arbitrary filters can’t account for – such as banter, chemistry, attraction. By setting standards, we might miss out on some real gems.  And then how about further down the line when the person we are dating goes through a tough time? Shouldn’t we help them through and try to fix the problem, rather than just kicking them to curb? Ugh, maybe I’m just being idealistic here, but it seems that this is what our grandparents’ generation did.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t plan on settling for anything less than butterflies. But what I am saying is that maybe we all need to stop being so superficial (comparing people like we do when looking at the specifications of a car), start removing SOME of the filters (I will continue to block anyone who begins a conversation with Hey GORGEOUS!), not lowering but maybe being a bit more flexible with our standards, ignoring the minor setbacks, and focusing on our gut feelings about a person, maybe then we’ll give Prince Charming a fair chance in that epic battle to win our heart.

Give us your thoughts Rinsers… Has dating become yet another consumerist game? Are people becoming to fussy in their quest for the ‘perfect partner’? And will this ‘shopping for a spouse’ attitude just lead to failure in the end? Answers in the comments below…