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Maitreyi Ramakrishnan talks Instagram, wellbeing, and making positive connections online

2023-03-19 01:23:41

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan talks Instagram, wellbeing, and making positive connections online

It's unlikely, if you peruse Instagram or Netflix with any sort of regularity, that you haven't come across Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in the past few years.

The breakout star of Mindy Kaling's teen comedy Never Have I Ever, Ramakrishnan has become a Gen-Z icon, an inspiration for young South Asians, and a distinctive on-screen talent. The 20-year-old was famously selected to play protagonist Devi Vishwakumar out of 15,000 audition tapes(Opens in a new tab). Her stardom has only flourished since.

This is no more evident than on Ramakrishnan's social media platforms, where countless followers engage with the young actor. On Instagram, she boasts 4.1 million of these fans, who observe her burgeoning career(Opens in a new tab), her affinity for cosplay(Opens in a new tab), and her activism(Opens in a new tab). It's here that she has also connected with fellow creatives, such as Anu Chouhan(Opens in a new tab), a Tamil artist who once created a piece inspired by Ramakrishnan's NHIE character(Opens in a new tab). The two ended up meeting in person over bubble tea, after the actor came across the fan art on Instagram.

SEE ALSO: 'Never Have I Ever' review: Season 3 grows up with extreme focus on romance

It's this story that Ramakrishnan shares as she launches the #ExtraordinaryConnections campaign(Opens in a new tab), in partnership with Upworthy(Opens in a new tab), a platform dedicated to positive storytelling, and Meta. The campaign is inviting people, globally, to convey similar stories of connection through Instagram and other Meta apps.

Ramakrishnan's online persona, which is largely affirming and joyous, lends itself naturally to the campaign, which is hoping to amplify the more socially-conscious, community-based aspect to social media. Here, Ramakrishnan speaks to Mashable about her own relationship to the internet and how she fostered a healthy relationship with being online. Plus, she delves into what she imagines Devi's Instagram would look like (hint: a lot of thirst traps).

Meera Navlakha: The first season of Never Have I Ever came out at the beginning of the pandemic, and so much of the reaction unfolded on social media. What was that experience like? 

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan: It was a lot. It was a very interesting experience, because we didn't get the red carpet, or the premiere or that fancy moment. So at first, it sort of felt like this small little thing. You can't imagine that millions of likes and comments are millions of people. Around Season 2 is when I finally got to understand that this is really big.

The power of social media helped push Never Have I Ever to so many audiences, especially internationally. The reach that Instagram has for international audiences is so awesome. It was a double-edged sword because it was at first underwhelming. But I really appreciate how we got to get the show out there and how many people posted about it. The amount of Netflix watch parties as well that I did on social media — I crashed so many people's watch parties after they sent me the link on Instagram. That was so fun.

Did your social media use change a lot after Never Have I Ever?

Yeah, definitely. Before, it was just truly me and my friends. My social media feed was probably just, you know, pictures of family or myself, birthday parties, and my dog. Now that I say this, it's still pretty similar. But I just think I get to use social media in a more interactive way, if that makes sense. There’s more conversation.

You've become a known role model for so many young South Asians. Have you been able to connect to some of these fans over social media?

Oh, yeah, for sure. That happens with good old comments and whatnot, but also with using the "question stickers", or even Instagram Lives. I like to do a good old Instagram Live, because you can see: what are people saying? What photos are they tagging you in?

You also see the fan art and the fan edits, and you just get to see how people get very hyped about the show. What I love is when a trailer drops, and then people try to analyze the trailer and make their theories. But then they also get to interact with your personal life [on Instagram] in a way that makes sense to you. I feel like with social media, you can control how much of your personal life you put out there. You can invite people into the aspects that you want them to be in versus just 'hey everyone, just come on in'.

And have you been able to connect to other creatives and artists? 

Yes! Before Never Have I Ever, I really wanted to get into digital art and animation. I found so many cool visual artists through Instagram, and that's how I was inspired by their art. Then eventually, I actually got to talk to them myself after [the show]. And with actors and other people in the creative field, I’ve branched out the more I’ve gotten into the industry. I get to stay connected with new people and see what creative adventures they're going on.

Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Instagram?

OK, obviously Upworthy(Opens in a new tab), because they just have nice, wholesome, happy stuff. It's nice to have happy stuff on your feed. It always sucks when you have the first thing on your feed just to be really dark or something. You can never get enough of the positives on social media. But I gotta say, I also just like following my friends and the people I actually know. 

Have you ever found it hard to be your authentic self on social media? That's something so many of us struggle with. 

Oh, yeah. You gotta find your voice or, more so, find your balance. I feel like everyone has their own limit and their own vibe of what works for them. Some people really like to be on social media all the time, and they want to give so much of themselves on social media. It goes back to our conversation about how much of your personal life you want to put out there. For others, they really don’t want to. Like with a lot of Instagram artists and digital artists — they barely ever post a picture of themselves. It's mainly just their artwork, and that's totally valid. So it’s about finding your own individual balance.

"I feel like everyone has their own limit and their own vibe of what works for them."
- Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

I definitely had to find that for myself too, and understand when I need to take breaks and sometimes say 'I don't need a post about it', or 'I'm hopping off social media for a while, I'll see you later.' Some people can do that. it’s  just knowing how to take those breaks, whether or not you announce it or not. And you get to make your Instagram your own — mine is predominantly still my family and pictures of fun times.

You've posted about having a seemingly "complicated" name and the importance of pronouncing people's names correctly. Can you tell me about having that conversation over social media and why you chose to do so?

I'm really blessed to have the platform that I do, with the reach that I do. I know many people would want that platform and have the opportunity to speak up about things like talking about the importance of saying someone’s name right and the identity that comes with a name. That's something that really resonates with me, it's something that I'm genuinely passionate about, and I genuinely believe in. So, having that conversation is definitely authentic to my social media persona.

I think when you care about something, there's definitely other people out there that have to care about it as well. There’s got to be. That's the thing about social media, too, right? You get to put out things that you care about, and there's a pretty good chance other people out there will resonate with it and then feel a sense of connection — and feel seen. A lot of people saw me speak about my name and they felt validated if they had a complicated name, and could relate to this.

What do you think Devi's Instagram account would look like?

Oh my god! It'd probably be a lot of TikTok dances that suck. Lots of those reels and TikToks, mainly dances. There would definitely be a lot of trends and lip syncing audios. She'd also post thirst traps, and honestly, power to her. I would follow her. It would be pretty funny.

How do you think young people overall can foster more healthy connections on social media?

A big part of it all is staying safe online. Like, let's not over-romanticize the connections that can be made. You gotta still stay safe and stay smart. I think the biggest thing that I feel about creating healthy connections on social media and having a healthy relationship with social media is understanding what’s fake and what’s not. At the end of the day, there is life beyond and you have to always stay in touch with that.

If I got hell bent on every single like and every single post that I put out, worrying about things like 'Oh, are people gonna like it? Or people gonna think this is weird?' — then I'm losing myself. Some of my favorite posts are just me at a Raptors game with my hot dog. That’s Maitreyi at her core. I love hot dogs. I had like, three. Then there’s me at concerts or at the Nintendo store. That's me at my core. That's not me posting and thinking 'hopefully, everyone else will really like this.' It's just me thinking: this is my cool hobby and I was really happy in this photo. Hopefully, people resonate with happiness. I still get in touch with myself and what I like, and put that out there. 

View this post on Instagram
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Have you ever gotten any really good advice from any of your mentors or other actors about social media?

I feel like I know a lot of actors that tend to just stay away in general. In all honesty, that actually validated me when I did feel like things were getting overwhelming, because sometimes it really does. Sometimes social media does get really overwhelming, especially when a season drops. Sometimes, all the attention and all the notifications are flooding in can be a little overwhelming. Before, I was like, I can handle it. But then, when I hear from others that they take breaks and shut off their phones and mute those notifications completely, I realize I can totally do that as well. You can still like social media. I still do — I love social media. I just recently posted a fun edited video of Darren [Barnet] and I(Opens in a new tab), because that's the kind of stuff I love putting that out there. I do what's good for me. That's what I've learned.

What is your advice on maintaining self love like while being an Extremely Online person?

Hmm. I think it’s about checking in with yourself. Do what you feel comfortable with. Easier said than done. There's a lot of pressures from all different corners of our lives that make us want to bend to what other people want. Do you think this is cool. I would say in general, I wish people on social media were just more honest. We watch other people’s feeds and see the fun and the perfection. But there’s so much behind the scenes that we don’t know. We all put up this front and want validation. It ends up with all of us comparing ourselves. We need to be more honest and be self validating.

Thank you so much for speaking with me!

Of course! I hope all that made sense, because social media is a tricky thing. It's super complicated. We're all just trying to make as much sense of it as we can.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan talks Instagram, wellbeing, and making positive connections online(图1)

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    The corded ThermPro. Credit: Amazon / Thermpro

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    The probe ThermPro meat thermometer. Credit: Amazon / thermpro

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    Steak! Credit: Tim Marcin / Mashable

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    CORRECTION: July 29, 2020, 3:33 p.m. EDT A previous version of this story stated that Snap apparently decided the time was right to release its diversity report some time after the June 11 Business Insider report on Spiegel telling employees on June 9 of his reticence to do so.

    Snap says that this is not true. It had planned to release the report before B.I. reported on Spiegel's remarks.

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    What's happening at SIS now isn’t new, either, but rather history repeating itself. Back when Brown v Board of Education outlawed school segregation, a rash of white parents sent letters demanding the new integrated school of SIS be built closer to their white neighborhoods so they could send their kids there. So it was. The problem was that none of those progressive white parents supportive of racial integration actually ended up sending their kids to SIS. Their performative allyship instead only succeeded in moving the school further away from the predominantly Black and brown communities that did attend the school.

    Related Video: Want to donate to help the Black Lives Matter movement? Here's how.

    Nice White Parents reveals the uncomfortable truth that, both then and now, white supremacy is very often not cloaked in a white hood. It can be cloaked in virtue signaling and white saviorism that's harder to identify, particularly when it comes to the desegregation of public schools.

    Here's how it happens: Parents from a racial majority understandably always want their kids to benefit from every possible privilege they can afford. But those privileges are also the benefits inherited from white supremacist structures. So even the nicest white parents, the ones most vocally opposed to racism, keep taking advantage of those systems that give their kids a leg up, all while robbing Black and brown kids of those opportunities.

    White supremacy today is not always communicated through the explicit terms of white power, either. Rather, it's left implied through far more subtle language, like a wealthy French donor explaining that he wants to invest in SIS's French-language program because he believes French culture will be spread across the world to those who've never encountered it through "soft power" initiatives like this.

    Today, segregation gets to hide behind white liberal evasion.

    Ironically, though, none of the white parents or liberal donors at SIS who are repeating the same mistakes of the past are at all educated or even aware of the racist history they're perpetuating.

    In some ways, the segregation caused by nice, progressive white parents is more insidious than the segregation of public schools that came from outright bigotry and racism. At least before, the phenomenon of white parents protecting their children’s privileges at the cost of everyone else in American society was called by its proper name.

    Today, segregation gets to hide behind white liberal evasion. Mayor Bill de Blasio, for one, blames housing issues for the racial inequalities of New York’s public schools, placating concerns over it with a “diversity task force.” But how could his task force fix a problem he refuses to call by name (segregation), caused by something he's even less willing to recognize (white supremacy)? When pressed about his refusal to say the word "segregation" by a reporter during a press conference excerpted on the podcast, de Blasio dismissed the criticism as him not wanting to "get lost in the terminology."

    But whatever terms we use, the same harm is being done to underprivileged families of color. Only now they have to deal with the racial gaslighting of folks refusing to recognize that racism is, in fact, what's happening.

    When the issues of segregation in public schools are pointed out to white people — particularly white parents — they blame forces larger than themselves, pointing to inherited issues that aren’t their individual fault or aren't within their power to fix. It's a sneaky way to pass the buck to Black and brown people instead, asking them to fix issues of race-based poverty, housing inequity, and lack of school funding, despite all of them being directly inherited from that same history of slavery, immigration, and white supremacy they also certainly did not create nor have the power to dismantle.

    Recent Black Lives Matter uprisings seem to have finally gotten allies to understand that the work of dismantling white supremacy needs to start at home, where we must confront embedded racism not only within ourselves but also the families that raised us.

    SEE ALSO: 12 excellent podcasts with black hosts for pop culture, politics, or history fans

    The necessary tension Nice White Parents forces you to sit with is the fact that the fight for equality isn’t just about personal sacrifice or labor. It requires an even more fundamental evolution away from the tribalism of individual family legacy, and toward a worldview that values our larger human family as much as our immediate flesh and blood.

    The first couple episodes of Nice White Parents focus on identifying the pattern and history of public school segregation rather than offering concrete solutions. But in a meta way, the uneasy labor of this podcast is precisely the first step that needs to happen, not only to fix school segregation but for so many of the issues caused by systemic racism in America.

    People like to say that racism is taught, learned behavior rather than instinctual. Well, this is how it’s taught. It’s not just openly racist white parents teaching their kids that whiteness is better. It’s the far more subtle and wordless behaviors of an education system that values whiteness over all else, and encourages white kids to take up all the resources and space previously given to Black and brown kids. Meanwhile, those Black and brown children are taught that their cultures and communities are inferior and expendable, forcing them to take up less space if they want to continue to participate in our public education system.

    When it comes to kids, we're not only talking about the next generation who will make up the future of our society. When we look ahead at our children's imagined futures, we're also in conversation with our own past: what we wish we’d grown up with, what we promised we’d do better when we became parents ourselves. Kids are our legacy and, as such, kids are where we lay down the groundwork to continue the deep-seated racism that has always defined America's past, present, and future — until white people actually start doing something about it, that is.

    When white parents look at their kids, they get to see all the opportunities that lie ahead of them in a world systemically built for their success. But the future of Black and brown kids are marred by the visible and invisible forces of racism that inevitably rob them of opportunity, hope, and sometimes their very lives.

    Surprisingly, perhaps no one has highlighted the power and importance of Nice White Parents more than Fox News, which reported on the conservative backlash(Opens in a new tab) triggered by a mere three-minute preview clip of the podcast.

    “Everything has to be a race war,” said Fox News pundit Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, coming to the defense of those nice white parents being “blamed” for racism. “But this really upsets me.”

    Good, Karen. It should upset you. The realization that you are a driving force behind white supremacy should terrify and upset us all. Sit with those feelings of discomfort. Be upset. Then go do something about it or shut the hell up.

    UPDATE: July 30, 2020, 11:19 a.m. PDT An earlier version of this article misrepresented Chana Joffe-Walt as an alum rather than a current producer of 'This American Life.'

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    This is not a luxury music festival. Credit: GASTON & SHEEHAN AUCTIONEERS

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    McFarland was on pretrial release from July 1, 2017 until June 12, 2018 prior to being tried for fraud in connection with the Fyre Festival. During this time he operated yet another fraud(Opens in a new tab), selling non-existent tickets to events such as the Met Gala through his company NYC VIP Access.

    He ultimately pled guilty to fraud and making false statements to law enforcement, and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. McFarland is due for release in 2023.

    SEE ALSO: The luxury Fyre Festival for rich kids turned into total mayhem

    Several apparent Fyre Festival attendees listed their merch on eBay not long after the event itself, attempting to sell $300 sweatshirts and $71 artist passes with varying success. Fortunately, if you managed to hold out back then, you may be able to get your official Fyre Festival gear a little cheaper now.

    The Fyre Festival auction(Opens in a new tab) is currently underway online at Gaston and Sheehan Auctioneers, and is scheduled to end on Aug. 13.

  • The best tweets of the week, including Garth Maul and Corn Palace

    The best tweets of the week, including Garth Maul and Corn Palace

    What a week! We did it folks, it's Friday. (Although who could be sure?)


    Anyway, do you like good tweets because we've got good tweets. We've been collecting the best posts of the week for a while now because we can and what else do you have to do in quarantine but read tweets?

    Well, alright then, let's do this. Here are 16 of our favorite tweets from this week.

    1. OK, too real

    2. Death leaves... cannot wait

    3. I choose Darth Brooks

    4. Thinking about boats

    5. OK, I've got to be honest: this is my tweet. But I'm quite proud of my fried chicken and I'm hungry.

    Editor's note: I like fried chicken so I will allow this.

    6. Yes, this is my tweet too. Quarantine is long. Give me a break. You can send complaints about this list to [email protected]

    Editor's note: Tim stop embedding your own tweets in stories. We talked about this.

    7. A honk shoo ass dog

    8. Large baby

    9. Obligatory dril post

    10. Very real

    11. Hmm.... I cannot spot which one

    12. Mini thread about a zine for ants

    13. MEGADESK lives

    14. That is not the line


    16. And finally,

  • Trumps golf club press conference was a social distancing disaster — until the tweet-shaming began

    Trumps golf club press conference was a social distancing disaster — until the tweet-shaming began

    The president held a surprise press conference at one of his golf clubs late Friday evening, and very few of the attendees wore masks — until Twitter shamed them about it.


    During Friday's conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump spoke about a strange selection of topics, but did address the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he repeatedly referred to as the "ChinaVirus."

    At the start of his speech, Trump encouraged Americans to continue social distancing, wash their hands, and wear masks. But just moments before he came out, a staffer was seen handing out masks out to the crowded audience made up of members the golf club, Associate Press correspondent Jonathan Lemire tweeted(Opens in a new tab).

    Despite clinical evidence(Opens in a new tab) that covering faces and maintaining at least six feet of distance drastically limits the spread of the coronavirus, few attendees appeared to come to the press conference with their own masks, much less be concerned with maintaining social distance.

    Few country club members wore masks to the president's press conference. Credit: JIM WATSON / getty images

    Several of the reporters who were covering the event tweeted photos of the packed unmasked crowd awaiting the president, and it wasn't until those tweets picked up steam that President Trump's staff decided to hand out masks and ask the crowd to spread out.

    In addition to being bad optics for the president who has struggled to maintain a consistent message on how best to contain the deadly virus, the crowded gathering may also not adhere to New Jersey's social distancing regulations.

    Earlier this week(Opens in a new tab), Gov. Phil Murphy decreased the maximum number of people allowed at indoor gatherings from 100 to just 25, regardless of the room's capacity. The change is applicable to weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services, or political activities. Even exceptions, however, are limited to 25 percent of the room's capacity with a maximum of 100 people. People are also required to wear a mask in indoor commercial spaces that are closed to the public.

    When the president opened the conference to questions, a reporter noted that many country club patrons were not initially wearing masks. Trump dismissed it, claiming that the gathering was a "peaceful protest."

    Though they did issue loud "boos" at several points during the press conference, it was not at all clear what the president thought the group was protesting.

  • The disturbing underbelly of the step porn trend

    The disturbing underbelly of the step porn trend

    Welcome to Porn Week, Mashable's annual close up on the business and pleasure of porn.


    Pop onto Pornhub's homepage and you'll likely see at least one title akin to Gorgeous Step Daughter Sneaks In and Seduces with Creampie.

    Or My stepson pays me a visit.

    Or Beautiful Step Sister Loves Porn & Wants to Fuck.

    These are all real titles I can see on Pornhub's main page as I write this. If I refreshed, I'd be inundated with new regurgitations of the same idea.

    If you've visited any of the many tube porn sites in the past several years, you've likely noticed there are more and more titles like this — even if the video itself is fake incest ("fauxcest").

    This isn't just in our imaginations, either. In a look at 218,000 Pornhub titles from 2008 to 2018, data-driven site Components(Opens in a new tab) found a true spike in "step" porn. They explained it in their piece "Every Story is an Epstein Story: A conversation with Stoya(Opens in a new tab)."

    Step porn video titles on Pornhub over time Credit: bob al-greene/mashable

    It's not just Pornhub, either. This a trend across tube sites. According to Alex Hawkins, VP at the porn site xHamster, they've seen a spike in "step" content in the past decade as well. There are currently more than 10,000 videos with "step" in the title on xHamster, nearly 40 times more than what was there a decade ago.

    "Pretty much everyone from big studios to premium social to amateurs is making at least some 'step' content," Hawkins said in an email to Mashable.

    As with human sexuality itself, the reasons behind this trend are complex — so complex that Dr. Gail Dines, professor emerita at Boston University's Wheelock College, and the president of Culture Reframed(Opens in a new tab), a nonprofit aimed to address hypersexualized media, called it "the perfect storm."

    Taboos and Game of Thrones

    Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, surveyed 4,175 Americans between the ages of 18 and 87 about their sexual fantasies for his book Tell Me What You Want(Opens in a new tab).

    One in five people reported having at least one incest fantasy before, according to Lehmiller's research. A much smaller number, just three percent, said they had frequent incest fantasies. Those fantasies take on a slew of forms, from blood relatives to twins to Cruel Intentions-esque step families.

    Sensation seekers, those who need a heightened thrill in order to get aroused or orgasm, may also be especially attracted to incest porn. Further, some people may have a specific fantasy about a blood relative, which could be a result of an early childhood experience.

    SEE ALSO: How 'hatewank' videos became a tool for harassing women in the public eye

    For many people, though, it's not a specific family member that's the real turn-on. As Lehmiller explained, "A big part of the appeal across all of these different types of incest fantasies is that it is a major taboo."

    Incest is one of the ultimate taboos in human sexuality, according to Lehmiller. It's viewed as a forbidden act across cultures and historical periods. Even on Pornhub, a search of the term "incest" yields no results. Use a word like "step" or "daddy," however, and you'll be inundated with videos.

    "It's something you're not supposed to do — and we know that when you tell people they're not supposed to do something, this often makes them want to do it even more," he said.

    The recent increase in incest fantasy on Pornhub and other sites cannot be explained by the taboo aspect alone, though. So given that it's not exactly a new fantasy, why is step porn having a "moment" of sorts now?

    "My suspicion is that part of it has to do with certain very popular media portrayals of incest," said Lehmiller, speaking primarily of HBO's long-running series Game of Thrones. The cultural zeitgeist is sometimes reflected in our fantasies and subsequently in the pornography we prefer.

    Access, algorithms, and cheap shoots

    Lehmiller warns against simply explaining away this trend with Games of Thrones or the thrill of taboo, however. A Pornhub user may click on a video with "step" in the title because they harbor that fantasy, but that's not the case for everyone. They could also be enticed by the still, which may not signal that it's an incest video at all, or by the performers themselves.

    What's more is that these super popular videos may be catering to a fairly narrow segment of the site's audience that watches a slew of porn, which may give the impression that the genre is more popular than it actually is. Lehmiller said, "A lot of the tube sites are creating more content for those niche audiences, because they're the most likely to to click on ads and pay for porn and things like that."

    Indeed, there are algorithmic and technical explanations for the influx, beyond fantasy.

    Components editor Andrew Thompson pointed out that the sharpest increase started in 2015, which may not be a coincidence. "I think of 2015 as being the year where analytics finished inserting itself into every nook of the internet," said Thompson in his conversation with former porn performer Stoya(Opens in a new tab) about the findings.

    "A big part of the appeal across all of these different types of incest fantasies is that it is a major taboo"

    Thompson compared BuzzFeed's 2015 strategy of churning out content that responded instantly to trends with porn conglomerates attempting to do the same thing. "My hunch is that this was when porn companies started to do what all the content companies were trying to do," he explained, "which is getting really sophisticated about creating super responsive content."

    Porn viewers will click on a video for any number of reasons. Some have a step fantasy, yes, but some others are just bored, or they click everything on the front page. Regardless of the motivation, the click signals to the site's algorithm that the content is what people want to see, which means that the algorithm starts serving more and more of said videos. The bored users continue to click on them, and the cycle continues.

    "You could see [step porn] as an expression of the perception that Pornhub owner MindGeek has about its audience (or the owners’ tastes themselves), and that its own ideas of What The People Want informs what they push to the front page," said Thompson. "It’s the same way what Netflix flaunts as most popular content on its site is as much a function of its own curation as it is of audience tastes."

    In a statement to Mashable, a MindGeek representative said, "MindGeek operates separately from its brands, and does not 'push [content] to the front page.'"

    SEE ALSO: Paying for porn should be the post-pandemic 'new normal'

    Another shift that could help explain the spike is something simple: smart phones. They allow for more privacy, Dines said. Whereas once you could only watch online porn on a bulky computer (at dial-up speed, no less), now you can take your phone to the bathroom and view whatever you want. So it's far easier to indulge in something taboo.

    On the production side, xHamster's Hawkins remarked on the practicality of creating step porn compared to other genres. Since porn budgets are tighter than ever, anything that is cheap and efficient to make is enticing.

    "The set up and script are all fairly standard, and you can shoot it in pretty much any suburban house without the need for special sets or costumes or props," he said. "There's a tremendous flexibility in age of the cast, so it accommodates last minute changes fairly well."

    Related Video: Why is 'step' porn everywhere?

    A slippery slope?

    It's true that some step porn features older women, the ever-popular "MILF." While Hawkins mentioned that MILF videos are a popular subsection within step porn, many step plots instead feature an older man with teen girls — or women made to look like teen girls.

    Porn looks the way it does today because of legislation In 2002, Ashcroft vs. the Free Speech Coalition(Opens in a new tab) overturned the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. This allowed performers to look under 18 in films even though they had to actually be 18. This sparked a flood of porn featuring performers that could pass for under 18. (Dines discussed this shift in her 2015 TEDx Talk, Growing Up in a Pornified Culture(Opens in a new tab).)

    So even though the performers are over 18, they can often look well underage. And that unleashes a host of ethical (if not legal) issues. They're just that — performers. No one in these videos is likely actually related, as step-siblings or otherwise. None of it is real, obviously. But that doesn't matter, according to Dines, "because the user is masturbating to images that he thinks is real."

    Pornographic images bypass the frontal lobe of our brains and go into a less rational part of the mind, Dines explained. That means that even if we cognitively know what we're seeing isn't real, our less rational brain believes it is. And that's where the excitement comes from.

    SEE ALSO: Mia Khalifa is now a TikTok star, and she loves it

    Pornstar Stoya commented on this phenomenon in her conversation with Thompson: "People actually think Melody Star is my roommate. They think we were roommates at one point because we were roommates in a porno," she said.

    "You can’t overestimate the critical thinking ability that people engage in when they’re watching porn. It goes out the fucking window," Stoya said.

    So even if people are watching people who are technically not minors, it still feels to them as if they're watching a version of child porn. Step porn that features a daddy and his stepdaughter is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to porn that skirts illegality and hovers on the edge of child pornography.

    That's not to say that those who enjoy step porn will necessarily go deeper and watch or enjoy other more ethically and legally problematic video genres. But for problematic porn users and porn addicts, especially, watching step porn (and teen porn at large) can lead down a slippery slope.

    The future of step porn

    Like all trends, step porn probably won't be popular forever. In fact, Lehmiller seemed sure of it. Humans are turned on by novelty, and what's popular a decade ago isn't popular today for that reason. "It might just be a temporary blip," said Lehmiller.

    "The same operational rules that gave us Epstein also gave us a machine that generates seemingly infinite amounts of this material"

    In Components, Thompson ventured to compare the step trend to Jeffrey Epstein's guiding philosophy and reiterated it in his statement to Mashable. We consume video in "YouTube/Netflix mode," for example, bouncing from curated video to curated video fulfilling a shallow need for "fresh" content. Sex is now in "Epstein mode," Thompson argued, transgressing to have sex with as many women as possible, as young as possible. "The same operational rules that gave us Epstein also gave us a machine that generates seemingly infinite amounts of this material," he said. While porn is certainly not the same as sex itself, the idea is similar — bouncing from video to video, performers as young and "fresh" as possible.

    The perfect storm that Dines evoked — changing legislation, Game of Thrones, the human craving for novelty — has come to a head with step porn, but that's not too surprising.

    "It’s hard to fathom that mere coincidence led to step-incest porn’s ascendance specifically during the 2010s," said Thompson, "a decade that overnight we’ve suddenly agreed was the most empty, overindulgent, aesthetically neutralized in at least 80 years — all qualities that I think describe both this kind of pornography as well as the billionaire class that has spent the past ten post-Recession years consolidating its power and setting the terms of our engagement with the world."

    Epstein himself may be gone, but our cultural obsession with sexualizing girls remains — as does our constant hunger for new content spit out by an algorithm. Whether or not step porn will maintain its dominance depends largely on whether the culture that fueled its rise persists.

    While in some corners there's been a shift toward producing more ethical porn, the power that MindGeek and mainstream conglomerates hold is undeniable. Between the #MeToo movement and the most recent social reckonings, there have certainly been shock waves of change reverberating through mainstream culture — but will it reduce the hunger for step porn? Or will it render it even more taboo, more shocking, and cause the view counts to be higher than ever? Only time will tell.

    If you have experienced sexual abuse, call the free, confidential National Sexual Assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), or access the 24-7 help online by visiting in a new tab).

    UPDATE: Aug. 14, 2020, 10:56 a.m. EDT This post has been updated with a statement from MindGeek.

    UPDATE: Aug. 21, 2020, 12:14 p.m. EDT This article was updated to clarify that Dines's talk was a TEDx Talk, not a TED Talk.

  • Last Blockbuster store is now on Airbnb for a nostalgic 90s sleepover

    Last Blockbuster store is now on Airbnb for a nostalgic 90s sleepover

    Remember Blockbuster?


    The new release aisle. The strange, sweet musk — candy and carpet and cardboard. The impossibility of choosing just one movie.

    Well now, with a little luck, you may be able to experience that nostalgia-filled rush overnight.

    The last Blockbuster in existence is now aon Airbnb and is available to rent.

    Problem is, you've got to be located in Deschutes County, where the last ever Blockbuster is located in Bend, Oregon. Sandi Harding, the store's manager, is offering three one-night reservations in September as a way to thank her local community.

    "In appreciation for all that the local community has recently done to support(Opens in a new tab) the last-of-its-kind during these uncertain times, this end of summer sleepover will offer movie lovers in Deschutes County the chance for a 90s-themed stay to relive the bygone Friday night tradition just as we remember it," read a press release.

    Deschutes County residents can reserve a stay starting August 17 for just $4 on September 18, 19, and 20. That's just a penny more than a movie rental. Guests will have the entire place to themselves, it'll be cleaned according to COVID-19 standards, and the candy is up for grabs. Just look at this sweet set-up.

    The '90s are alive. Credit: airbnb
    Look at this sweet VCR Credit: AIRBNB

    You can find the listing here, if you want to check it out a bit more(Opens in a new tab).

    Seriously, if you were alive in the '90s-'00s, read this description and feel a little something.

    "Whether you want to stay up until sunrise or pass out on the couch, we’ve created the perfect space complete with a pull-out couch, bean bags and pillows for you to cozy up with 'new releases' from the ‘90s," it reads. "Crack open a two-liter of Pepsi before locking into a video game, charting your future in a game of MASH, or watching movie after movie. But be wary of reciting 'Bloody Mary' in the staff bathroom off of the break room, as you just may summon the ghost rumored to haunt the store."

    Oh hell yea. Credit: Airbnb / Screenshot
    Remember this? Credit: Airbnb

    The Blockbuster in Bend became the last of its kind after outposts in Alaska and Australia shut down. It has remained open during the pandemic, albeit with lots of extra disinfecting and curbside pick-up. People apparently appreciated the effort.

    "I had a customer come in and she said, 'I am so grateful that you reopened, because I couldn't flip through Netflix one more time,'" Harding told Vice(Opens in a new tab) in May.

    Related Video: A puppet's guide to keeping yourself entertained during a quarantine

  • Get organized for back to class season with easy upgrades from The Home Depot

    Get organized for back to class season with easy upgrades from The Home Depot

    The following content is brought to you by Mashable partners. If you buy a product featured here, we may earn an affiliate commission or other compensation.


    You may have already graduated, but the season for heading back to class always brings with it that fresh start feeling. These handy items from The Home Depot(Opens in a new tab) get a gold star for making your life more streamlined and your home more put-together.

    Take your grilling indoors without losing any flavor

    Credit: Gotham Steel

    This non-stick ti-ceramic electric smoke-less Indoor grill(Opens in a new tab) keeps the flavors rolling after it's too chilly for outdoor grilling. It's also a great option if you don't have outdoor space for an actual grill.

    Make your leftovers more appetizing with a 3-piece glass storage jar set

    Credit: honey-can-do

    Conquer meal prep with a set of Honey-Can-Do square storage containers (Opens in a new tab)— which will make you feel more jazzed about those leftovers than beat up old containers.

    Stash your mess with decorative rectangle trays

    Credit: home decorators collection

    If there’s one organizational tip we can all handle, it’s that tossing clutter in a pretty box instantly makes a room look neater. This set of decorative Home Decorators Collection wicker rectangular trays (Opens in a new tab)keeps the clutter under control.

    Cut a rug

    Credit: mohawk home

    Made with recycled post-consumer content from plastic bottles, this machine-woven Mohawk Home area rug(Opens in a new tab) is stain-resistant and durable. The neutral pattern works well for a dining room refresh.

    Expand your counter space with a bamboo kitchen cart

    Credit: honey-can-do

    Create more counter space with a useful cart(Opens in a new tab) from Honey-Can-Do, made of sustainable bamboo.

  • Upgrade your kitchen with handy appliances that are *chefs kiss*

    Upgrade your kitchen with handy appliances that are *chefs kiss*

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life. If you buy something from this post, we may earn an affiliate commission.


    Chances are you’ve gotten more familiar with your kitchen these past few months than you ever thought possible. From trying your hand at breadmaking to whipping up internet favorites like dalgona coffee, your kitchen should be as practical as it is ‘grammable. Check out our picks from eBay’s refurbished kitchen appliances — because we don’t think you should spend a fortune on something that could acquire a grease stain or two.

    Classic mixer

    This classic mixer screams “adulting,” but with fun colors to choose from, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Whip up five dozen cookies in one go with this classic baking tool that won’t hog all the counter space — the Refurbished Artisan® Mini(Opens in a new tab) is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the original. We're partial to the "hot sauce" color.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: KitchenAid
    Be a mix master for $199.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Ice cream maker

    Attach this gadget(Opens in a new tab) to your KitchenAid stand mixer to make ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet with very little effort. The sky’s the limit on flavor combos, but you can’t go wrong with a classic like chocolate chip.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: KitchenAid
    Make artisanal ice cream for $79.87 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Pour over coffee maker

    Level up your coffee game with this KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer(Opens in a new tab) that features a sleek futuristic design. It brings the ease of a traditional coffee maker paired with the flavor of good pour-over. Did someone say rocket fuel?

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Program your perfect pour-over for $129.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Air fryer

    If you’re still dragging your feet on buying an air fryer, here’s one(Opens in a new tab) for 72 percent off the original price. Fries are just the starting point for all the foods you can make crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, thanks to some strategically placed hot air.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Fry it up for $69.95 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Air fryer oven

    If you want something with more bells and whistles, try the Wolfgang Puck air fryer/oven, which packs 1700 watts of power. Air fry, bake, broil, warm, toast, or rotisserie with this chrome overachiever. If rotissering a chicken in your studio apartment kitchen isn’t ‘grammable, we don’t know what is.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Cook it all compactly for $129.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Panini maker

    A panini maker is an easy way to break up the WFH lunch monotony. This Cuisinart Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press(Opens in a new tab) is practically calling out for a pesto, mozzarella, and tomato panini.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Make it crispy and golden for $49.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Vertical waffle maker

    Who ever said waffles should be made horizontally? Take yours to new heights with the Cuisinart Vertical Belgian Waffle(Opens in a new tab) maker and avoid spilling batter all over the counter.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Get stacks of perfect waffles for $42.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Dyson vacuum

    To cook is to clean. Do it hassle-free with a refurbished Dyson V7 Absolute Cordless Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) that is 45 percent off its original price. Crumbs don’t stand a chance.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Keep your kitchen spotless for $189.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Random articles


  • Why the world of Taylor Swift on TikTok is pretty special

    Why the world of Taylor Swift on TikTok is pretty special

    My TikTok For You Page is all Taylor Swift.


    Now, this is by design. The all-knowing TikTok algorithm(Opens in a new tab) understands what I love, and serves it up daily: old Taylor Swift interviews, analyses of her latest cryptic Instagram posts, mashups of two or more of Taylor’s perfect songs. Over the past few months, Red (Taylor’s Version) fan promo has dominated SwiftTok, meaning I’ve watched Swifties rock out to the bridge of Red bonus track “Come Back...Be Here” more times than I can count.  

    SwiftTok — the fan hashtag for the collection of Taylor vids on TikTok — is the 2021 version of a message board or blog, but the easy integration of music makes it a far more natural home for the obsessive Taylor fans among us compared to other Swiftie social media faves of the past, like Tumblr. The video editing capabilities allow for a wider range of expression, meaning it’s TikTok where one can see fans dancing along to her bops, and it also allows them to cue up some of her most heartbreaking bridges to play over devastating texts from men with whom they went on two sort of ok dates.

    Then, crucially, one can also head to the comment section, where they’ll be greeted like an insider, with winking lyric references and big-hearted support from a community all in on the same thrill. Apologies to YouTube, but SwiftTok vids are the best way to mimic the thrill of her live concerts, where the connection between Taylor and the audience is strong, but the connection between audience members is also pretty exciting. 

    It’s also where new fans, particularly Gen Z ones, can learn their Taylor history, studying up about secret messages in the liner notes of her earlier albums, or a theory behind the significance of a certain performance or song. SwiftTok is the kind of place where something like the phrase "10-minute version of ‘All Too Well'" can go from a legend, which only those deep in the fandom are aware might exist, to widely known enough that Swift not only put said song on Red (Taylor’s Version) but also made it a cornerstone of the marketing. 

    SwiftTok is fun, but it also illustrates and supports an unexpected bonus when it comes to Taylor Swift’s album re-release project: The platform contributes to and allows newer fans the collective thrill of an experience they may have missed the first time around. Scream-singing the chorus of "The Moment I Knew" is a joy no one should go without, regardless of when one joined the fandom. You can do that by yourself whenever you want, of course, but the combination of re-releases and TikTok make it clear you aren’t the only one, and in fact, are part of something bigger. 

    "The combination of re-releases and TikTok make it clear you aren’t the only one, and in fact, are part of something bigger."

    The new-meets-old specialness of TikTok for the singer is exemplified by what’s going on right now with Speak Now track "Enchanted," which went viral in the last few weeks. Despite never being a single off the 2010 album, it’s charming to watch tons more people discover that, yup, that nearly six-minute ode to longing about an intoxicating new crush is...a Taylor classic. Blondie, as she is often referred to on SwiftTok, did it again.

    This is particularly comical because some of the people are discovering the songs without first realizing they are Taylor songs. They’ll hear the hook on TikTok thanks to a snippet being used in a trend, and the next thing you know they are down the rabbit hole of her catalogue. This month, enough new people discovered an 11-year-old song thanks to TikTok that "Enchanted" recently hit the top 10 on Spotify’s US Daily Chart(Opens in a new tab). A similar deal happened with 1989 fave “Wildest Dreams” earlier this year, resulting in Swift quickly releasing “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)”.

    On TikTok I can watch videos of Taylor performing over and over again. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    While there are certainly problems(Opens in a new tab) with stan culture in general, SwiftTok is a pretty positive place. For now at least, it’s able to eschew the negativity of some Instagram and Twitter chats about the singer, likely because  — as TikTok will serve you related content based on what you previously engaged with — you don’t really wind up 12 videos deep on Taylor unless you, you know, want to be there. There are some jokes about gatekeeping a few of her more beloved or misunderstood older tracks, the general vibe is people who are really, really excited about the singer and want other people to join them in that celebration. 

    This aspect is touching because I suspect some of her older fans may have had a different experience with Swift when they were teens: performatively disliking her earliest music because, well, internalized misogyny is pervasive and sucks. Broadly, there is just more space these days to understand that pop stars are musicians, they are incredibly talented, and talking about romantic dreams and guys isn’t a weakness. It’s been a nice arc over the last decade to see that growth on both a societal level and see Gen Z able to reject it in larger numbers — as evidenced by the amount of them calling out bullshit concern trolling about Swift or publicly joking around about looking forward to heartbreak, all the better to relate to Red (Taylor's Version).

    Taylor Swift is rightly proud of the giant community she has built, and she has always used social media to stay connected with fans all the way back to her Myspace (!) days. So naturally, her millennial self officially joined TikTok in August and quickly posted a perfectly on-brand cat video(Opens in a new tab). More recent activity from her include getting in on popular trends, and, thrillingly, popping in to leave comments on many fans’ posts. When Red (Taylor’s Version) dropped on Friday, Swift stopped by TikTok to let fans know all her songs were available for whatever quirkiness people wanted to get up to on the platform.

    "I can’t wait to see what you make," she noted. 

    Baby, let the games begin.

  • Apple changes subscribe to follow on Podcasts because people think subscribing means paying

    Apple changes subscribe to follow on Podcasts because people think subscribing means paying

    Apple will soon no longer let users “subscribe” to podcasts. Instead, podcast fans will “follow” their favorite shows.


    This change to Apple Podcasts will roll out with the release of iOS 14.5. However, the next iOS update beta, where users can currently see the change, is currently available.

    The switch from “subscribe” to “follow” in Apple Podcasts was first noticed by PodNews(Opens in a new tab), an outlet that reports on the podcasting industry.

    It may seem like semantics, but it’s actually a pretty important update. Edison Research, a market analysis firm, found that 47 percent of people who don’t listen to podcasts thought it cost money to “subscribe” to podcasts. In a recent newsletter(Opens in a new tab), senior vice president of Edison Research Tom Webster stressed that the reason for this is because of the word “subscribe.”

    That's a huge problem if nearly half of the people surveyed associate "subscribe" with paid subscriptions. How many people would have been listening to podcasts over the years if they knew it was free to do so?

    Apple has long been the leader in podcasting platforms with iTunes then its Apple Podcasts app. However, competition really started to heat up when music streaming giant Spotify entered the podcasting world. The company signed well-known podcasters, like Joe Rogan, to agreements that made their shows exclusive to Spotify.

    Interestingly, Spotify already uses the word “follow” to describe the feature that adds your favorite podcasts to your playlist. The company has also previously floated the idea of a paid podcast subscription offering, which would be separate from its Spotify Premium paid music subscription service.

    As PodNews points out, other major podcasting platforms such as Stitcher, Amazon Music, and Audible all use “follow” instead of “subscribe.”

    After Apple officially makes the switch to “follow,” it seems YouTube and Google Podcasts will remain as the final giants in the podcasting industry to keep the “subscribe” button. Will Google eventually make the changes on those platforms too?

    Although “subscribe” has become almost synonymous with YouTube (read this without hearing your favorite YouTube creators voice asking you subscribe to their channel), the company offers so many different paid subscriptions — YouTube Premium, YouTube TV, YouTube Music, paid memberships for specific YouTube channels — that it’s hard to imagine it hasn’t been confusing for at least some users.

    It's clear that Apple’s made the decision to switch to end the confusion on its platform.

  • Heres how to get free COVID tests delivered to your door right now

    Heres how to get free COVID tests delivered to your door right now

    Can't find a COVID test anywhere in stores? Don't want to wait outside in an hours-long line just to take a test and possibly even get COVID while you're there in the process?


    Well, now you can get free COVID tests delivered right to your door (if you're in the U.S.)!

    Here's how.

    The United States Postal Service has just launched a website(Opens in a new tab) where you can sign up for four free individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.

    Simply go to in a new tab) or in a new tab).

    Fill out your name, address (for delivery), and email (for delivery updates), and click the green "Check Out Now" button.

    The USPS form for free COVID tests is super quick and easy to fill out. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    And that's it! You'll be sent to a page with your confirmation order, and the USPS will send you an order of four COVID tests for absolutely free by late January. The order will shipped within seven to 12 days. You can signup for one order of four tests per household.

    And if you order now, you'll likely get your order in ahead of most people, too. The U.S. government's official website for this program,, originally slated signups to begin on Wednesday, January 19. But, the USPS site went up early, and you can sign up now.

    Do note that there have been a few scattered complaints on social media regarding issues signing up for a test if you're in an apartment building. It appears the USPS' system is not recognizing each apartment as a separate unit. If you run into a problem though, try again as other apartment building tenants have said they have had no issues ordering a test for their apartment number.

    Another issue has been reported from those who live in apartments connected to commercial buildings. According to the USPS, program is only for residential addresses.

    Mashable will update this piece if and when the issue is fixed for those affected. We have reached out to the USPS for comment.

    The Biden administration finalized(Opens in a new tab) the program earlier this month with the USPS to deliver 500 million free at-home COVID tests as part of the government's response to the spreading omicron variant of the virus.

    The program appears to be a welcomed change in the White House's original position. 

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went viral(Opens in a new tab) and was roundly criticized on social media last month when she sarcastically brought up the idea of sending every American a free COVID test when answering a question from a reporter. (Perhaps this is proof that pressuring politicians on social media sometimes does work!)

    Hopefully, the free tests help curb the raging Omicron variant as the U.S. prepares to enter its third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Its 2023, are you ready for SuperM to come back?

    Its 2023, are you ready for SuperM to come back?

    We're not even two days into 2023 and already K-Pop is bringing the hype.

    SuperM, which was formed in 2019 from four groups (SHINee, EXO, NCT and WayV), dropped a trailer for their 2023 “comeback”, reported the K-Pop news site Soompi.(Opens in a new tab) 

    The group was formed in 2019 to be what their label, SM Entertainment, dubbed “The Avengers of K-Pop”, according to Forbes(Opens in a new tab). That hype was warranted, as SuperM’s self-titled EP entered the Billboard album chart at No. 1(Opens in a new tab) later that year.

    The 2019 original lineup of SuperM was SHINee singer Taemin, Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Taeyong and Mark from NCT and Lucas and Ten, who are in WayV and also NCT.


    SEE ALSO: A Eulogy for V Live, K-Pop's Library of Alexandria

    Two members of the group, Taemin (Opens in a new tab)and Baekhyun(Opens in a new tab), enlisted in South Korea’s military in 2021, which may play into when the actual comeback takes place. In addition, Lucas didn’t appear on WayV’s most recent release, the EP Phantom, having been on hiatus from that group since August 2021, according to the site AllKPop(Opens in a new tab).

    The announcement was played as part of SM’s free concert, SMTown Live 2023: SMCU Palace @Kwangya, on New Year’s Eve, according to Rolling Stone India(Opens in a new tab).

  • The 15 best tweets of the week, including gabagool, a possum, and David Byrne

    The 15 best tweets of the week, including gabagool, a possum, and David Byrne

    The Fourth of July is here and holy crap we're bulldozing through summer like...well...a bulldozer dozing a bunch of dirt. I know that wasn't the best sentence, but take it easy on me: It's so hot out I can hardly think and similes are hard.


    So, anyway, another week down, folks. And to celebrate this (U.S.) holiday weekend, we collected a bunch of dumb and funny tweets. We do this every week, but still, maybe really enjoy it this weekend. Regardless, here they are: the 15 best tweets of the week.

    1. Oh man, I hope this is the entire movie

    2. Why does it look like that? Because it certainly does.

    3. Obligatory dril tweet

    4. A perfect way to remember

    5. cat war. Cat War. CAT WAR.

    6. This little stinker knew complete destruction was imminent. You can see the Grim Reaper in this child's eyes.

    7. Most men you have met believe this

    8. Tony Soprano is BACK, bring on the deli meats

    9. Another great Sopranos joke, this one about young Tony

    10. A beautiful ballad

    11. Simply showing respect to an all-time great article(Opens in a new tab)

    12. I feel ya... I certainly feel ya.

    13. SURPRISE! Another Sopranos joke

    14. What I wouldn't do for such an email

    15. And finally, this:

  • 10 gifts for the aspiring TikTok star in your life

    10 gifts for the aspiring TikTok star in your life

    Do you know someone who wants to make it big on TikTok?


    Folks have used TikTok since its evolution from two years ago, but in the months since the pandemic confined most social interactions to the internet, the app's popularity has skyrocketed. Thanks to its prevalence in online culture, more people are open to creating their own account to produce content on the app. Even though you don't need anything but a phone and the app itself to make TikToks, there are some essentials to give your videos a boost.

    Here are 10 must-haves for the aspiring TikTok star in your life — or for anyone who, like most of us in quarantine, just watches a lot of TikToks.

    1. A ring light(Opens in a new tab)

    Good lighting is a must. Credit: amazon

    Decent lighting can make or break a video. Whether you're trying to go viral or trying to look good for your Zoom crush, this ring light can up your on-screen presence. It also comes with a tripod and remote shutter for optimal recording.

    Price: $49.99 on Amazon(Opens in a new tab).

    2. A color customizable LED strip(Opens in a new tab)

    Customizable LED lights have become a staple in TikToks. Credit: home depot
    LED lights have become a staple in popular stars' bedrooms. Credit: home depot

    It seems like everyone on TikTok has LED strips lining the ceiling of their bedrooms, and for good reason — it can change the mood in an instant. This remote controlled light strip is 24 feet long and can be adjusted via remote.

    Price: $59.97 from Home Depot(Opens in a new tab).

    3. The viral strawberry dress (Opens in a new tab)

    This is the dress of the summer. Credit: lirika matoshi
    This was the dress of the summer. Credit: lirika matoshi

    This is the dress of the summer. Lirika Matoshi's dreamy, gauzy strawberry dress went viral this year, just as cottagecore(Opens in a new tab) went mainstream. And if pink isn't your color, the designer also released a version in black(Opens in a new tab).

    Price: $490.00 from Lirika Matoshi(Opens in a new tab).

    4. An iPhone lens(Opens in a new tab)

    This lens is the perfect add-on for any aspiring travel vlogger. Credit: apple

    Sometimes your phone can't capture an entire scene. This wide angle lens can do that for you, whether you're an aspiring travel vlogger or just trying to get your full outfit in the shot.

    Price: $119.95 from Apple(Opens in a new tab).

    5. A vine garland(Opens in a new tab)

    Garlands are becoming the go-to decor choice. Credit: urban outfitters
    Garlands are a great decor choice if you don't want the hassle of a real plant. Credit: urban outfitters

    Add some greenery to your space — without the commitment of keeping a real plant alive — with these faux garlands. They make for a great backdrop for filming videos and add a natural vibe to any room.

    Price: $14 from Urban Outfitters(Opens in a new tab).

    6. A pair of roller skates(Opens in a new tab)

    Roller skating is back. Credit: moonlight roller

    Roller skating is back, and it's more popular than ever. These skates from Moonlight Roller are a favorite of skater Ana Coto, whose viral choreography to the song "Jenny from the Block" was so popular, it became a Fortnite(Opens in a new tab) dance(Opens in a new tab). Thanks to the sport's resurgence, there's a six week wait time for these skates, which you may want to keep in mind for holiday gifts.

    Price: $249 from Moonlight Roller(Opens in a new tab).

    7. A mini sewing machine(Opens in a new tab)

    This mini sewing machine is perfect for quick thrift flips. Credit: urban outfitters
    This mini sewing machine is perfect for small thrift flips. Credit: urban outfitters

    Thrift flipping is on the rise, especially as younger generations push against fast fashion in hopes of building a more sustainable fashion industry. Finding the perfect size while thrifting is rare, though, which is where this mini sewing machine comes in. It may not be powerful enough for more intense sewing projects, but for small adjustments, this machine should do the trick.

    Price: $65.95 from Urban Outfitters(Opens in a new tab).

    8. A fun tapestry(Opens in a new tab)

    Backdrops are a must. Credit: society6

    Every good video needs a good backdrop. Whether you're filming choreography, venting on camera, or simply recording your 2 a.m. breakdown, a fun tapestry can add some flair to your TikToks. They vary in price depending on size and sales, but Society6 is sure to have one that fits your aspiring star's aesthetic.

    Price: $44.99 to $85.99 on Society6(Opens in a new tab).

    9. A versatile phone tripod (Opens in a new tab)

    This tripod can adapt to a number of different situations. Credit: b&h photo
    This tripod can adapt to a number of different filming situations. Credit: b&h photo

    This tripod can be used as a selfie stick or a tabletop recording mount. It's sturdy enough to adapt to a number of different filming situations, and can be used for more longform YouTube vlogging in addition to shorter TikTok videos.

    Price: $79.95 at B&H Photo(Opens in a new tab).

    10. Funky hair dye(Opens in a new tab)

    Hair dye is also popular. Credit: overtone
    Everyone on TikTok is dyeing their hair. Credit: overtone

    When quarantine first began, more people were inspired to dye their hair at home since salons were closed. The trend inspired the viral TikTok sound of users apologizing to YouTube hairstylist Brad Mondo, who often posts videos reacting to at-home dye jobs. For those who want less potentially damaging dyes, Overtone's conditioning sets are made for darker hair.

    Price: $43 from Overtone(Opens in a new tab).

    To get started on TikTok, read more here.

  • Donald Trump tweets that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19

    Donald Trump tweets that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19

    Hours after senior White House adviser Hope Hicks was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus(Opens in a new tab), President Trump confirmed via Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump are also now among the 7.31 million Americans who have tested positive.


    Hicks travelled on Air Force One with the president and other senior staff on Wednesday. After news of her positive test broke, Trump suggested without evidence that the virus had been transmitted to Hicks during hugs from law enforcement or military personnel(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump is not the first world leader to test positive for the virus — fellow authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Monaco's Prince Alfred II have all been confirmed to have been infected with the illness. Johnson spent time in intensive care and his team prepared contingency plans in the case the PM did not survive.

    But, along with Bolsonaro(Opens in a new tab), Trump is one of the leaders who has publicly expressed skepticism about the virus' severity(Opens in a new tab). He has also repeatedly resisted taking precautions such as wearing a face mask, and as recently as this week mocked his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Joe Biden,(Opens in a new tab) for wearing a mask.

    In March, tapes of interviews with famed journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump knew that COVID-19 was more serious than his public statements suggested, and that by his own admission he was "play[ing] it down" to avoid "panic." In late September, he told a crowded campaign rally the virus "affects virtually nobody(Opens in a new tab)."

    Trump says he and the First Lady are in quarantine, beginning "immediately."

    UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 3:49 p.m. AEST Melania Trump has tweeted that she and the president are "feeling good."

    UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 10:39 a.m. BST UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished the Trumps a "speedy recovery" via tweet on Friday morning.

    This story is developing....

    Related Video: Why is the U.S. failing at coronavirus testing?

  • Youre probably storing vegetables all wrong, if TikTok is any indication

    Youre probably storing vegetables all wrong, if TikTok is any indication

    We've all been there. You look on your counter, or in your fridge, and you realize you've let another veggie go bad. So long sacrificial bag of mixed greens.


    Maybe you forgot you had that red onion. Or perhaps you bought a whole package of carrots for chicken soup, but then had no plan for the surplus. Or a story as old as time: The avocados went from doorstop-hard to overly ripe in half a day.

    SEE ALSO: 12 things the internet taught us we've been doing wrong our whole lives

    Fortunately, TikTok — a bastion for food creators, recipes, and cooking hacks — is here to help. There are some creative, if perhaps unknown to many, ways to store food. Here are six quick ways to store veggies from TikTok that'll make your produce last longer

    1. Carrots

    Take, for instance, those carrots that wilted. TikTok has a fix for that, courtesy of the TikTok food influencer, Emily Mariko. According to her(Opens in a new tab), you simply wash your carrots right after you get them. Cut them into your desired shape and size, then store them in container filled with water. This apparently keeps the carrots(Opens in a new tab) from losing their snap or turning into those soggy carrots we all love to hate.

    Snappy carrots, just add water. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @emilymariko

    2. Celery

    TikTok will also tell you to do the same trick for celery. This viral post from Feel Good Foodie(Opens in a new tab) also recommends storing your celery in water. The goal is the same: maintaining the fresh snap of the produce. People really seem to care about storing veggies properly. Seriously, this video about celery — perhaps the most tasteless, boring food in the world — has more than 100,000 likes.

    Celery is bland but at least make it last. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @feelgoodfoodie

    3. Onions and potatoes

    Weirdly, TikTok has also taught me some food science. Ethylene gas is apparently the mortal enemy of your veggies. And lots of fruits produce it, meaning you have to be careful(Opens in a new tab) about what produce is stored together. You don't want to keep(Opens in a new tab) apples, which produce ethylene, around sweet potatoes, for instance, because it'll speed up the sweet potatoes' ripening process. A viral TikTok from the account nomlist(Opens in a new tab) pointed out that onions, if stored next to potatoes, would quicken the ripening process for the potatoes because the onions produce ethylene. These two veggies feel like things that are often stored together but definitely should not. Onions and potatoes(Opens in a new tab) should both be stored in a dark, dry, and cool space. Just not together.

    Onions on counter. Potatoes in breathable container. Never together. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @nomlist
    SEE ALSO: $1 air fryer breakfast tacos are easy to make and so delicious
    • The 7 TikTok recipes of 2021 that actually deserved the hype

    • $1 air fryer breakfast tacos are easy to make and so delicious

    • A recipe for air-fried oranges went viral. We can confirm it's gross.

    5. Tomatoes

    Of course, not all the TikTok lessens are so science-y. There's this viral tip from cattyabella(Opens in a new tab), which recommends storing tomatoes on the counter, stem down, until they start to go bad. Then, and only then, can you move them to the fridge.

    Fridge and tomatoes are a no-no, apparently. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @cattyabella

    6. Avocado

    There are also some ridiculously simple hacks that are so obvious they make you wonder why you never did them.

    You can save a ripe avocado by storing it in water. A TikTok from @getcookingitalia(Opens in a new tab) suggested taking a halved avocado and storing it, flesh side down, in water. This will apparently(Opens in a new tab) keep it from turning brown for about two days.

    My Nguyen suggested freezing avocados(Opens in a new tab) that have nearly gone bad. The soft and super-ripe avocados will basically stay in that state until thawed. Once defrosted, the texture of the avocado might be a bit mushy, but still perfect for some guacamole. (Opens in a new tab)

    Freeze, thaw in water, then mush it up. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @myhealtyhdish

    And keep in mind, all these tips are just scratching the surface of all the tips TikTok has for storing veggies. Honestly, just search for a type of produce on TikTok and you're bound to find something good.

    This is the sort of content TikTok is best at. The short-form nature of videos lends itself to hacks and tricks. There's something satisfying about watching like 20 seconds of video and coming away smarter. TikTok is also an absolute haven for food content and organization content, so it makes sense the two forms would merge into viral food storage videos.

    Regardless, we're all better off for it. Just remember, keep those onions separate from your potatoes.

    More on Foodtok

    • Air-fried cheese is delicious because crispy cheese is amazing

    • The viral TikTok air fryer recipe for homemade hot pockets is delicious

    • The viral parchment paper liner hack for air fryers is a waste of time

    • This viral TikTok recipe for an air fryer grilled cheese makes a perfect cheese pull

    • Viral TikTok air fryer recipe for smashed Brussels sprouts gives you the crispy veggies of your dreams

  • Going to your first sex party? Heres a beginners guide.

    Going to your first sex party? Heres a beginners guide.

    Sex parties are having a moment. Sex parties — sometimes called play parties(Opens in a new tab) — are nothing new, but many people are trying out group sex or exhibitionism for the first time. There are many types of group sex gatherings: swinger clubs, queer sex cruises, dungeon parties, private gangbangs at Jeff’s condo. Each has their own distinct differences. If your New Year’s resolution is to try orgies in 2023, here is a beginners guide to get you started.

    Before the sex party

    How much do sex parties cost?

    Your mileage may vary, but a pretty standard fare is $100-200 for single men, $75-150 for couples, and $0-100 for single women. These costs can skyrocket at upscale clubs that advertise their high fees and exclusivity. Some won’t even allow single men. Alternatively, queer-led parties that are open to all genders tend to be more egalitarian. At my favorite Bushwick, NYC, party, everyone — singles, couples, men, women, and non-binary people — all pay the same price.

    SEE ALSO: People are more sexually adventurous right now — and more cautious

    Some organizers think higher prices will keep out the riff-raff or the Single Man (who are often on the lowest rung of swinger society for both good and silly reasons). On the contrary, any party that anyone can attend by simply paying the admission runs the risk of entitlement attitudes and unvetted misbehaving revelers — of any gender. Plus, money corrupts. When certain acronymous parties offer five-star VIP memberships for $50,000 per year (no, seriously(Opens in a new tab)), questions arise if that member will face accountability for abusive behavior.

    At Hacienda(Opens in a new tab), a sex-positive play party community in New York City, every new attendee is accountable to the member who sponsored them. Some parties use Kinky Salon’s Pervy Activity Liaison(Opens in a new tab) system (P.A.L. system) where you must attend with another person even if they’re not your date. Social accountability, I believe, creates a better orgy population than lofty costs or clandestine photo-based applications. Before embedding yourself deep into a community, understand how new members are admitted.

    Of course, you can keep it much cheaper when you and 19 of your sexiest friends have a party at Deion and Danielle’s house when everyone’s kids are at camp.

    Managing expectations with your partner

    Have a conversation about expectations with your partner (or with yourself in the mirror, if flying solo). What do you want to happen? What boundaries should you set? Are we bringing that flogger we got at the wedding? Make a game plan for when one of you starts to feel weird.

    Don’t take a rejection as a slight against you but rather as a way for that person to take care of themselves.

    If you’re a new-to-the-lifestyle couple going for the first time, decide if you want to play with others — and stick to it! If it’s a maybe, let it be a maybe. If one of you tries to adjust a rule at the party when a pretty pair approaches you, you’ll put your partner in a position either to be the fuddy duddy fun-killer or show that the rules don’t matter that much. You’ll remember the latter when the tables are turned on your precious rule one day.

    Something people don’t tell you to prepare for: Being rejected. We’ll cover this in the consent portion, but don’t take a rejection as a slight against you but rather as a way for that person to take care of themselves. You’re not going to be a fit for everyone. Just prepare your nervous system for nos.

    What do I wear to a sex party?

    It may seem counterintuitive to worry about what to wear to a sex party. Ideally it all comes off, right? Maybe! But you’ll often get re-dressed to mingle before round two (or three). Plus, it’s super sexy to take something off again!

    Some parties require your hottest nightclub attire. Others restrict attendees to leather and kinkwear. Often, there will be a theme to guide your color scheme, pattern selection, or costume concept. When in doubt, you can always wear a hot lingerie set or a jockstrap with a top harness or suspenders.

    SEE ALSO: How to perform cunnilingus like a pro

    If the party has a theme, do make an attempt. Especially if you’re a solo guy. Effort is sexy. And if you took that much care to pair those lace boxer-briefs with those fishnet sleeves and aptly apply eye glitter, it makes one wonder how hard you work at other things!

    Just don’t be the guy who shows up in a collared shirt and khakis. Please. There’s always one.

    At the sex party

    How does consent work at sex parties?

    The most common question I get from newbies is, "Does going to a sex party mean I agree to have sex with everyone?" Absolutely not. You always have the ability to give and rescind consent. Any good party will emphasize this. Other simple guidelines to remember: Ask before you touch; respect people’s nos. And know that you do not have to do anything with anyone that you don’t want to. Ever.

    Ask before you touch; respect people’s nos. And know that you do not have to do anything with anyone that you don’t want to. Ever.

    Sometimes a party does a consent speech at the door. Others simply trust that attendees read the whole invite email. At a small sexy shindig I attended in a hotel room among some experienced friends, one woman stood on the ottoman and gave a condensed consent recap. 

    SEE ALSO: How to give a blowjob like a pro

    Few of us were raised with proper sex education. We all could use a little primer! Hacienda requires that new attendees arrive early for a consent workshop where you learn about how to handle a lukewarm "maybe" and why you should keep track of which hand has been inside of which people. My favorite part is when they instruct newbies to practice saying no to a hug. It may seem simple, but saying no is just as scary sometimes as asking for what you want! They even give you a safe line to use in response to an awkward rejection: "Thank you for taking care of yourself."

    Some say that obtaining affirmative consent kills the mood. You know what else kills the mood? Finding out they didn’t want their ass grabbed by a stranger as you’re getting escorted out of the orgy (and I say this as someone who has asked to grab a stranger’s ass and was granted enthusiastic permission). Most of us have been raised with this false romantic notion that you’re supposed to 'just go for it' if you sense some chemistry. The byproduct of being wrong is often sexual assault. Using your words to ask — instead of your hands — avoids all of that mess and potential harm. By the way, that goes for all genders. Yes you, too, saucy lady who thinks other femmes are automatically comfortable with strange women grabbing their boobs.

    Want more sex and dating stories in your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Top Stories and Deals newsletters today.

    I think asking for what you want can be incredibly sexy! Sure, if you ask for a spanking the same way a Swiftie nervously asks Taylor for an autograph, that’s not very hot. Be confident! There is something to be said when a vibe is shared and there’s heavy eye contact and a hint of a smile right before someone takes a deep breath to say, "Wow. I really want to kiss you right now." My panties just got wet.

    Consent is even more important in group sex settings with lots of newly known people. Getting verbal confirmation before escalating or shifting sex acts helps ensure that you’re not about to accidentally assault someone. Which I hope you don’t want to do. Even minor miscommunications — such as an unwanted spank during doggy style— can have a heightened effect from the music, the bodies, and the scents of sex all around you. 

    Bring your empathy hat when you go to a sex party. A good partygoer prioritizes the safety and comfort of others around them ahead of their own horniness.

    Can I be a voyeur without being creepy?

    Voyeurism is participation! But be mindful of when your looking becomes leering. Want to watch a little closer? It’s not uncommon to ask someone if they mind you watching — but you’ll have to read the room. Please do not tap a stranger on the shoulder while they’re giving a blowjob and ask if you can watch. "What?! You told me to ask first!"

    At my first vaccinated party in 2021, I made out with my buddy’s girlfriend. Later, when they were having sex downstairs, I asked these two people that I already knew if I could watch. I sat down and had a little tug while my buddy fucked her from behind.

    If strangers do give you permission to peep, keep some distance. One time, I was on my back enjoying a threesome with two women when a man none of us knew asked if he could watch. We obliged, but he was standing so close that our legs were rubbing against each other. That’s too close!

    Monitor your drug and alcohol use (seriously)

    Different parties have different substance policies. I’m not here to police your party drugs, but you don’t want to get too fucked up at your first sex party. Your ability to consent becomes hampered with drug and alcohol use. More importantly, your ability to read and respect other people’s boundaries are compromised by substances. Plus, it’s not cute to be the sloppy drunk we can all hear vomiting in the bathroom. Please be responsible.

    SEE ALSO: How to have sober sex

    Learn more about ‘the lifestyle’ by making friends.

    Sex parties aren’t just about the sex. You can make orgy friends, too! Networking in the lifestyle is important for finding out about other parties, exchanging kinky knowledge, and recommending fun play partners. It’s how we all know that George is a great rope top. But you have to put yourself out there. As someone who is also terrified to talk to people at even a vanilla house party, I can tell you that, "Hi! My name is…" is a universally acceptable opening line.

    Sex parties aren’t just about the sex. You can make orgy friends, too!

    If you don’t know what to talk about, you always have the shared experience of play parties, your sexy outfits, and whatever hot scenes might be going on around you. I’ve heard people talk about their relationship structures, their sex lives, their kinks, what they do for work, the latest Marvel movie, and how getting the kids to Hebrew school the other day was a nightmare. Pretend you’re at any other party but with more visible buttcheeks.

    Challenge yourself to flirt!

    Flirting at a sexy party is just like flirting elsewhere — and also not at all. In this space, your compliments can be a bit more explicit. "Your ass looks amazing in this outfit," is usually more welcome at a play party than in line at a coffee shop.

    SEE ALSO: How to finger your partner

    As a sometimes-solo guy, I set an intention to introduce myself to and compliment five cute people before I leave. It gives me a fun, flirty and tangible goal to reach by the end of the night that has nothing to do with sex. Set your expectations low. If I make out with someone new, I had a great time. If I got laid, it’s a bonus!

    Now, if the person(s) gives you a tepid thanks as their eyes drift back off into a sea of bodies, take the hint. Your Black AmEx will win you no points here. It’s an orgy — they’re just not interested. Demonstrate that you respect people’s boundaries by not pushing it with an uninterested hottie.

    Signs that someone wants to keep talking with you are smiles, eye contact, reciprocated compliments, engaged body language, or a verbal invitation to sit with them. If it’s going well, try to make a "point of contact". Ask if it’s okay to put a hand on their thigh. Invite them to feel your breasts. Ask if they want to make out or go downstairs and "play." Remember what we said in the consent section: a no is a no. Don’t take it personally.

    It is common for regulars to have several dates in attendance or to set up a bit of a dance card. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you to circle back to them in a couple of hours. Leave your body count(Opens in a new tab) discourse at the door.

    Get tested regularly and have the STI talk

    First two things to accept: 1) there is no such thing as safe sex, just safe-er sex and 2) you are responsible for your own sexual health.

    You might run into an event that asks everyone to submit recent STI testing, but it’s not terribly common. You should already make getting tested a several-times-a-year habit if you engage in casual sex with multiple partners. If there is specific information you want from a potential playmate, it’s on you to ask for it. Not everyone is going to unsolicitedly disclose very common, non-life threatening conditions like dormant herpes or non-high-risk strains of HPV. If being exposed to those infections — which, if you have casual sex with multiple partners, you've likely already come into contact with(Opens in a new tab) — then you may want to reconsider playing with others at a sex party. Respectfully.

    A well-stocked party will have plenty of condoms, lube, and latex gloves around, but if you have a preferred brand or a latex allergy, bring your own. Some will get fancy and even have mouthwash for sanitizing between oral adventures. Oh, and for the love of Streisand, please take a shower before the sex party. Seriously, dude.

    What is group sex etiquette?

    Sex parties are supposed to be fun! So, don’t stress yourself out about the sex part. If your dick isn’t getting hard, try some other sex acts (or take a sildenafil for back-up). If you’re not reaching an orgasm in this high-stress environment, that’s okay! Don’t think of an orgy hook-up like your typical Bumble bang — linear from making out to penile ejaculation. Great sex is like jazz! And at a sex party, there’s no rush to finish the song.

    Great sex is like jazz! And at a sex party, there’s no rush to finish the song.

    Group sex is a great space to let your inhibitions down — moan louder, get sweaty, make eye contact with someone from across the room while your hands keep your lover’s mouth in the right place. It is also 100 percent okay to only play with your date — or not play at all! Some couples go to an event just to dance and absorb all of that sexual energy to bring home later.

    Now, let’s say you have found yourself in a fantastical situation: you, your date, another couple, and a sexy single are about to claim some mattress space and go at it. Exciting! It’s a good idea for everyone to go around and share their boundaries so everyone is on the same page before the fuckfest. Then you know that Darrell doesn’t like his nipples played with, Cheryl and Kathleen have sensitive clits, and no one wants anything in their butts.

    Yes, it is important to ask for consent. Having said that, there is a time and a place. When someone you hooked up with earlier is now engaged in a five-person puddle of pleasure, you might think, "Oh! Let me join my new friend Amy!" But if you walk up and ask to join in, now everyone has to stop their play to ask everyone else if they’re okay with you joining and then everyone has to do their boundaries again and one of the chicks isn’t really interested in you so now she has to put her body off-limits for you in front of everyone. And now you’ve killed the vibe. Don’t be the guy who breaks up an orgy.

    Lastly, respect the space and everyone who will be using it after you. If you or your partner is a squirter, put down a puppy pad or a towel. The next people don’t want to fuck on your wet spot. If it’s a crowded party with people waiting for playspace, take your post-play conversation to another area so others can have some fun! And try not to hang around the playspaces having painfully vanilla conversations. I really don’t need to hear about your brother getting arrested while I’m getting a prostate massage.

    And of course, clean up after yourself. Don’t be the disgusting monster who leaves a used condom anywhere but a trash can.


  • Cats on Do Not Disturb: The 11 best tweets of the week

    Cats on Do Not Disturb: The 11 best tweets of the week

    The weekend is here, and not a moment too soon.


    You are probably planning a wonderful weekend full of autumnal activities. Might I suggest another thing to do? Read some tweets, my good friend. Why? Because we collected the absolute best and funniest tweets from this week, and you'll love them. That's a guarantee (not really, but just trust me).

    OK then, here they are: the 11 best tweets of the week.

    1. There are only two cat settings, apparently.

    2. Personally, I think this is fine and I'm doing really well and it is having no long-lasting effect on my health at all. I'm so normal it hurts.

    3. Just a wildly poor choice by the Denver Nuggets. Why would you deprive your team and fanbase of such sweet names?

    4. This tweet is self explanatory.

    5. An obligatory dril post.

    6. It's like every post from that guy. Give it a rest, pal. We get it.

    7. Pretty underground drink order here for ya. You probably don't know it, but I bet your bartender will.

    8. If I had a dollar every time this happened to me...

    9. The twists and turns in this song are incredible.

    10. Oh, to be a worm. (Celebratory.)

    11. And finally, this post that really resonates with me.