Berlin, tampons, and handshakes

If you follow me on Twitter (do it), or paid attention to previous posts, you may know that I have family in Berlin and have just been to visit them for 10 gloriously tiring days. Although my time there is mainly spent doing the school run, going to playgrounds (they have sand, it’s cool), eating ice cream, playing with Lego and yelling at small children, I occasionally also manage to get out. I am fully aware that I in no way take advantage of being in probably one of the best cities ever to go out in, and I know it’s a pathetic excuse, but those kids are fucking draining. Every time I feel like I want a baby, I just think of them and my tubes literally try to tie themselves.

Don’t tell their parents I said that.

Anyway.. 

A trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without heading back to Prenzlauer Berg. And a trip to Prenzlauer Berg wouldn’t be complete without heading back to Duncker Club to make me feel like I was 16 again. 

Duncker is dark and grimey and alternative and gothic. To me, now, this is a logistical nightmare. All my band t-shirts have been relegated to pyjama status and I enjoy wearing big earrings and a bold lip out. I left the apartment in denim shorts, a plain black t-shirt and flats, and my uncle told me that I was overdressed. Fucking Duncker. When I was 16-18, I didn’t wear make up and I dressed so grungey that I fit in perfectly there, but I have evolved since then, as people do. My other issue is this: how the fuck do you dance to that kind of music? I tend to just sit the fuck down, sway a little, and drum my hands on my thighs. THAT’S NOT A NIGHT OUT.

I hadn’t been to Duncker for about four years, and I really didn’t want to go. Throw in that it was, like, a million degrees that night and I had just started my period and a four year old had told me that I would never have a boyfriend like John Smith, it’s safe to say that I was in a dark place. But, it was our last night in town and my sister really wanted to go out. What a bitch. So I sucked it up and we set off to meet The Travelling Welshman at the club.

Basically, Duncker sucked. The band sucked and drove everyone out. They sounded like they were 15 and playing in their bedroom, though their abundance of facial hair signified otherwise. I felt a little bit bad for them to be honest, but I felt even worse about the fact that I was sweating out of my fanny. It was time to leave. 

We ended up walking ten minutes to the Welshman’s apartment so that we could pee, he could roll a joint, and I could have horrendous flashbacks of losing my virginity (not to him) in his apartment. When I went to the bathroom, though, I noticed that he had a little dish-like bowl full of assorted tampons and pantyliners. Weird, right? I came out and asked him if he had a steady female night-time companion who kept them there, or he just kept them there for lady visitors to borrow. The answer was the latter. That’s weird, right?! My first point was that it made him look like he had a girlfriend, that girls he brought back would definitely think he had a girlfriend. He didn’t care about that. My second point was that it’s just weird. Like, I appreciate it when a guy has shit like face wipes or something that I can take my make up off with if I’m staying over, and I get that women aren’t always armed with an emergency tampon in their bag and it’s useful and considerate to have – but to have it out on display? WEIRD! What do you think? Let me know!

So, anyway, we ended up at Kaffe Burger, which always tends to be a good night. It’s a pretty well known place – Russian Disco, and that – so it tends to attract a lot of expats and tourists. Again, it’s crazy casual, and fairly run down, but nowhere near as grimey as Duncker Club. Due to said large number of expats – which Berlin is literally so full of, by the way – I didn’t have to wait more than 30 seconds alone at the bar holding my vodka cranberry and my sister’s Campari and orange (weird, right?) before an American decided that my resting bitch face wasn’t going to deter him from striking up a conversation.

He was really lovely. He was 32 and a freelance animator. He’d moved to Berlin for a girl (like literally half of the men there), and ended up staying for 7 years. He was like a taller, slightly darker version of Donald Glover with the stupid hipster glasses and so much energy I couldn’t keep up. I genuinely enjoyed talking to him; he was funny and interesting and attentive. He bought me drinks and would help me look for my sister when I got worried that I hadn’t seen her in a while. He told me that he really liked me – what do you say to that? – and that he wanted to kiss me. Naturally, I laughed and downed my drink. I told him that I needed to talk to my sister and the Welshman as it was miraculously two hours later and 4am, and I needed to check when hometime was. I came back and told him that I had to go, and gave him a handshake. A HANDSHAKE. That’s not a euphemism, either.

Like I said, he was really lovely; I just didn’t fancy him. I didn’t want to kiss someone just for the sake of kissing someone. Had I been more drunk, I probably would have been all over it, though. And, considering I remember next to nothing about the boy who fingered me on the streets of Schöneberg the week before, I was more than happy to be sober enough to make this choice.

Am I growing up?

What’s in a name? That which we call a whore…

When I was at school, I used to flirt with the barista at my local Starbucks to get free syrups and espresso shots, as well as the occasional lemon and poppy seed muffin.

Sometimes, when I’m out in da club, I make ‘the eyes’ at random men so as to milk them for free drinks.

Last summer, I gave my friend a blow job in exchange for him purchasing me an ice cream.

Which one of these sounds the worst to you? No, you’re wrong. Try again.

Trading actual sexual favours for material edible goods may seem like the most slutty and whore like thing to do here, but, if you think about it, it’s really the most honest and forthright. Are you thinking about it? Do you get it? Let me explain –

So, it was the first week of September and London was going through some kind of disgusting heat wave. I’m talking old men with their moobs out on the tube, sweaty fannies gasping for air, everything smelling like balls, and thunder thighs everywhere chafing in full force kind of disgusting. It was grim. To make matters worse, W and I were holed up in a classroom on campus, slowly losing the will to live. He was revising for an exam and I was line editing my thesis. LINE EDITING. Do you honestly know of anything worse?! As the day wore on and we started to become more and more unfocused, he started to subtly suggest that we have sex. But, alas, I was on my period. IN THAT HEAT. Like I said – slowly losing the will to live. Now, we all know that in boys’ minds, period week = blowjob week, so it’s no big surprise where the discussion quickly headed. Due to aforementioned heat and leaky vagina, I wasn’t in the most selfless of moods – so we started to barter.

Did I want a coffee? No. Did I want an IOU? No. Did I want a gin ‘n’ tonic? No. Did I want to just make a mess and have sex anyway? No. Did I want an ice cream? Fuck yes.

It was literally that simple. We got under the desk and got to it. 8 minutes later I was skipping down the stairs, excited to wrap my tongue around something far sweeter.

We both knew exactly what was going on. We knew exactly what we were giving, and we knew exactly what we were getting in return. No miscommunication. No misdirection. No bullshit.

What’s so bad about that?

We’ve all been – or encountered – the girl who bats her lashes, flashes a smile and somehow ends up with a double vodka and lemonade in her hand. We all know that look on the guy’s face when the girl walks away – that really sad cross between bewildered and defeated. It’s kind of pathetic. Having said that, men shouldn’t be so fucking naive. It is highly unlikely that the girl way hotter than you is actually interested in what your mother said on the phone this morning or how you deal with your receding hairline. You need a reality slap. Moreover, no one likes girls who do this! Obviously I’m okay with it, though, as I do tend to do it from time to time; only when I’m really drunk, though, and my conscience has been rendered to that of a free loading slut. I feel bad in the morning, if that means anything.

Anyway, as you can see, this kind of situation is full of deception and manipulation, people not knowing where they stand, and people getting let down. Now, that’s bad.

If you hadn’t realised, I like to be candid. It makes life infinitely easier, and, let’s face it, more entertaining. So I propose this – next time you want something, ask for it. Don’t lie and cheat your way to it. Ask for it straight up and then haggle your way to it. This is literally how civilisations are built. Anth 101 – Gift Exchange, bitches.

I know, I know; you’re sceptical and you still think I’m a whore. Frankly, I think I undersold myself.