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How to talk about kink with your vanilla partner

2023-03-19 06:21:39

How to talk about kink with your vanilla partner

Most people who start a relationship expect — or at least hope — to align on important life elements. That’s why so many of us make sure to go over the basic, foundational bits like "Do you want kids?" "Do you want to get married?" and "Are you as career focused as I am?" during the dating stage. But often we forget to check on sexual compatibility before taking the plunge into a committed relationship, and by that, I don’t just mean having sex and thinking "Yep, that’s good sex." Sexual compatibility goes much further than that. 

How to talk about kink with your vanilla partner(图1)

According to sex educator and mental health expert Lola Jean(Opens in a new tab), who facilitates classes in kink and BDSM, sexual compatibility also includes whether the two of you prioritise sex on the same level, have similar desires to have sex (in terms of frequency), are both good at sexual communication, enjoy similar sexual behaviours, and whether you’re both into (or not into) trying new things. 

If you know you’re kinky from the get-go, this should also be laid on the table early on, when you first start discussing or having sex, with a conversation like "Hey, I’m into rough sex. Are you? Do you think you’d be into it if you tried?" Equally, if there’s something you’ve not tried but that has been on your mind to try for a while, you should bring that up, too. 

SEE ALSO: So, your partner has a different sex drive to you. What should you do?

This isn’t to say that all couples should have mind-blowing sex with equal pleasure that ticks everyone’s boxes on the first go or they should call it quits. In fact, that’s pretty unlikely, though possible. Couples of all kinds grow together sexually, and if any of your partner’s answers to your sexual compatibility questions are an awkward "ermmm no, no really," it doesn’t mean the two of you are doomed. Humans are flexible and we change our minds. But we all have our deal breakers, our absolute "no-nos," and that’s where things can get complicated. 

This is why it’s so important not to gloss over this chat (no matter how awkward it is) and avoid ending up with mismatched levels of kinkiness. 

How do I talk to my vanilla partner about kink?

If you did skip that first sexual compatibility course, don’t fret. It’s better late than never. 

First, don’t assume your partner is "vanilla" — meaning, they like regular, non-kinky sex — because, so far, you’ve mostly done missionary. If you haven’t had a chat about kink before, there’s no way to tell they aren’t into it. Try not to make assumptions as you lead into this conversation or try to guess ahead of time what their reaction will be.

Schedule some time with your partner specifically to talk about sex and have the conversation somewhere where you’re comfortable. Often, it works well to have this conversation outside of the bedroom to remove any pressure. If you hang out together in your living room quite often, this could be a settling place to talk.

"You're doing this together. It’s not just a case of ticking off a ‘yes or no’ list of kinks."

Jean tells Mashable that when we talk to our partners about introducing kink into the relationship, we shouldn’t lead by focusing on specific activities, like using handcuffs or trying spanking, for instance. 

"Just leading with specific activities is limiting," she says. There’s not a lot of room for compromise or discussion if we jump in with a super-specific situation.

Instead, "Talk about the goals or feelings you’re after," she suggests. For instance, "maybe I want to be spanked so I can feel punished, but my partner doesn't want the idea of hitting me. So we can discuss and find another way where I can feel punished." Words like "explore" and "figure things out" can help you communicate, she says. "You're doing this together. It’s not just a case of ticking off a ‘yes or no’ list of kinks."

What if my partner is firm in their vanilla stance?

It happens! Vanilla people exist, and it’s not right to shame or try to change them. It might be that their vanilla nature comes from outdated ideas about sex, or it might be that they are just super into the simpler side of sex. Whatever the case, their style of sex is their own choice, just like everyone else’s. 

Jean says the most important part of all of this is that you understand your desires don’t overrule your partner’s comfort. She tells Mashable, "Whether your desire is kink, or polyamory, etc, that is still your own desire, and your partner, no matter how much they love you, want to have sex with you, or think you're the best thing since sliced bread, doesn’t have to do it with you."

They are just desires, not rights. Your partner’s take on them just informs you of how or when you can act on them in the relationship. 

SEE ALSO: How to perform cunnilingus like a pro

If a kink is integral to you (perhaps it’s more of a fetish, meaning you struggle to get sexual pleasure without it?), Jean recommends seeing if your partner is open to giving it a go or trying something similar. But don’t pressure them. If they’re just not into it at all, or if they try it and don’t like it, but you find you still really need it from your relationship, then maybe that relationship isn't for you. 

"Sexual compatibility is important, but I don't think it's something that is innate," says Jean. "It’s not about chemistry or attraction, it's the ability to listen, understand, respond, and find different middle ground," she says.

Once the initial conversation or conversations have been had, the next moves are really up to the vanilla person to explain what they’re comfortable exploring. "Just recognise it might take patience," she says. "If you’ve figured out you’re kinky, there was probably a period of time where you didn’t know and it took you time, trial and error to figure things out." Your partner should be afforded the same flexibility. 

Should we open our relationship to solve this?

You can open your relationship if that’s something the two of you are genuinely interested in. But as Jean points out, "if someone isn't getting what they want out of a relationship, that's not a reason to have more relationships. You should be non monogamous because you want to be non monogamous, not because your partner is failing to meet your needs."

A lot of people see opening the relationship as the only choice when you want to stay together but aren’t interested in the same kinks, but that isn’t the case. There are plenty of ways that you can also be monogamous and explore kink in a different way. 

SEE ALSO: How BDSM helped me deal with sexual trauma

Kinks can actually be explored solo. From wax play to shibari to dominance, restraint, and nipple play, whatever you’re into or you’d like to give a go, a sexual partner isn’t necessary for exploration. "You can restrict yourself, you can deny yourself, you can impose a reward system or a punishment system, you can even do sensation play on yourself. And this is a great way to explore kink without your partner."

What about hiring a helping hand? 

There’s also the option of hiring a sex worker, like a professional kink instructor, to help you explore. "Hiring a professional is great if you want to stay monogamous but involve another person so you can experience kink," says Jean. "There’s a professional boundary there which can make participants more comfortable, and you can work with the expert separately or as a couple." It also means that you can explore with someone who knows what they’re doing and how to practise safely.

It might be that your partner doesn’t want to be directly involved in the kink but gets a thrill out of watching you engage in it, which is another way a professional can come in. Compromising in this sphere is all about trying different things, and working out what’s comfortable, fun, and pleasurable for both of you. 

If you and your partner have different ideas about what sex should look like, whether you’re vanilla, a little kinky, or into hardcore BDSM, you don’t have to split up. But you cannot compromise beyond your boundaries, nor should you expect that of someone else. Have an open, honest conversation and be considerate of each other’s desires, needs, and no-go areas. Whatever the outcome ends up being for you both, it’s important to remember that no one has failed. Whether a relationship ends, opens, changes dynamic, or remains exactly the same, these are choices you’ve bravely made to protect each other’s happiness. And that’s exactly what partners should do. 

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  • A guide to getting off to your own sexual fantasies and imagination

    A guide to getting off to your own sexual fantasies and imagination

    They say the mind is the biggest, most powerful sex organ in the body. But, uh, don't try visualizing that mental image too vividly or literally, unless you're into that sorta thing?


    Instead, imagine your favorite fictional crush pressing you up against a wall, or think back to the hottest sex you ever had in your life. Now stop imagining, because this magical place where all your desires are possible and acceptable exists. And literally anyone can tap into it.

    While sexual fantasies are by definition not "real," their effects on your sex life (especially when explored during masturbation) are — shall we say — palpably physical.

    "Engaging your imagination rather than relying on visual porn for example helps to build, enhance and strengthen your erotic mind," said Dr. Britney Blair, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of the sexual wellness Lover(Opens in a new tab) app. "You can bring that imagination to life when you want to prime the pump on your desire or push yourself over the edge to climax while solo or with a partner."

    "It's incredibly liberating, recognizing our own power to design the scenes and situations that turn us on."

    To be clear, there's nothing wrong with porn or other forms of erotica. But there's something especially powerful in orgasming to smut that couldn't be more personally tailored to what you like.

    "In our minds we're not confined to our studio apartments or our current sexual partners. There are no rules or judgments. Not even the laws of physics apply," said Gina Gutierrez, co-founder of the popular audio erotica app Dipsea(Opens in a new tab). "It’s incredibly liberating, recognizing our own power to design the scenes and situations that turn us on and to scrap the ones that don’t work for us."

    Don't take our word for it, though. There's science to show exactly how real the effects of a healthy erotic imagination are.

    In a landmark 2016 study(Opens in a new tab), Dr. Nan Wise — neuroscientist, sex therapist, and author of Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life(Opens in a new tab) — mapped the brain's response when subjects merely imagined pleasurable stimulation on their genitals. Just by thinking about it, the pleasure centers in their brains "lit up like a Christmas tree," Wise said.

    "The mind is really the recipient of all the body's sensations. So there's this empirical evidence of a huge connection between the mind and pleasure," she said.

    While everyone can benefit from using their imagination as a sexual aid, it's an especially potent practice for women and others who society has conditioned to feel ashamed about their sexuality.

    "We have to do more work to lay down the connections, the neural pathways, between the genitals and the brain's sensory reward regions," said Wise. "Using your imagination to masturbate not only gives us the information about what stimulation we need, but also actually strengthens the connections between our genitals and the brain."

    SEE ALSO: Why some people masturbate about people they hate

    Beyond that, getting off to our own sexual fantasies tackles another negative effect that patriarchy can have on women's sexuality.

    "We're socialized to think of ourselves as the objects of other people's desires, like we need to borrow someone else's idea of pleasure" said Wise. That's why learning how to be the subject of our own desires, to embody the pleasure we conjure up in our own mind, can be so empowering.

    Everyone with a brain, genitals, and desire is already equipped to masturbate to their own sexual fantasies. And while the practice does come more naturally to some, it only takes little guidance and patience to unlock the endless possibilities tucked inside your erotic mind.

    Set the right environment

    Set that phone to night mode, but make it sexy. Credit: bob al-greene / mashable

    A major key in setting your mind up for erotic success is to ensure your environment allows your brain to feel fully relaxed, safe, and free from distraction.

    Pick a time and place where you'll have full privacy without needing to worry about any interruption, whether from roommates or notifications. For most people, that place will naturally be the bedroom. But put some effort into also making it a true fortress of sensual solitude, like by locking the door, setting your phone to airplane mode, putting on an eye mask, or maybe even using some essential oils and putting on your favorite sexy playlist.

    Blair even recommends purposefully scheduling these more exploratory kind of session and making them habitual. So maybe it can be something you add to your nightly ritual before bed: Brush your teeth, do the skincare routine, put on some pajamas, then let your mind wander as you touch yourself.

    Create a safe space in your mind

    Of course, priming yourself with the right mindset is vital to unlocking your brain's full fantasy potential.

    One of the biggest hurdles to exploring our erotic imaginations is actually the engrained social shame many of us have picked up (even subconsciously) through sexism, homophobia, social stigmas, religion, etc.

    "It’s important to know if that is coming up for you, you’re not alone. But there is no such thing as a wrong or right fantasy." said Blair.

    SEE ALSO: Am I the only one who's horny for podcasts?

    Treat your imagination as a judgement-free zone. To be fair, clearing or redirecting your mind away from feelings of shame is easier said than done. But certain exercises can help (which we'll get into more in the mind-body connection section below).

    Blair suggests that, while exploring sexual fantasies in your mind, try to distinguish between when you're having a reaction versus a judgment to a certain scenario. Judgments often come from values imposed on you by something or someone else, while visceral reactions can be an indication that your mind wants to explore it further — especially if it's something your never thought you'd be into.

    It's easy to get scared off by an intense response to a fantasy, and write that off as being too weird or outside the norm for your taste. But if you give yourself a second to assess where that response is coming from, you might actually find that the intensity comes from a part of you that you've never tried tapping into before.

    "Everything is okay in the world of fantasy. No fantasy is a crime."

    Or maybe not, and that's fine too. The point is, if you feel safe doing it, just try leaning into parts of your erotic mind that feel challenging and see where it goes.

    "Everything is okay in the world of fantasy. No fantasy is a crime," said Blair. "Whatever turns you on in your mind is totally healthy. Your fantasy doesn’t say anything about you except that you are lucky to have a rich imagination that you can use to have an exciting and enduring erotic life."

    That's another major benefit of sexual fantasies versus traditional porn, too. You don't have to worry about any ethical concerns, because your imagination can't hurt you or anyone else. You're in total control.

    "You imagination is a completely safe space," said Dipsea's Gutierrez. "We can play out fantasies that are risky or illicit that we would never actually want to happen in real life. In our minds we’re free to experiment without consequences."

    Familiarize yourself with (but don't feel limited by) common sexual fantasies

    While the whole point is to tap into the unique potential of your own mind, a good jumping off point is to explore whether the most common sexual fantasies(Opens in a new tab) spark your interest. Researchers have labeled them into different categories, though there's a world of possibilities within those labels as well.

    Dr. Blair described these categories as multi-partner sex like group sex or threesomes; power, control, or rough sex; novelty, adventure, and variety; taboo and forbidden sex; partner sharing and non-monogamous relationships; passion and romance; and erotic flexibility like homoeroticism or gender-bending.

    Jess O'Reilly is a sex educator, author of The New Sex Bible(Opens in a new tab), and Astroglide's resident sexologist. She explained that through each of these fantasy categories you can help identify the specific core erotic feelings that get you into a heightened state of arousal.

    "Oftentimes, they relate to fantasy, escapism or subverting otherwise 'negative' emotions. You might find that sex is really hot when you feel powerful, submissive, challenged, mindful, or playful," she said. "You may also find yourself aroused by feelings that you don’t naturally associate with pleasure, like jealousy, inadequacy, fear, and even humiliation can be exciting."

    What our brains often gravitate to most is pure novelty. What gets you off in a fantasy can actually be the total opposite of your real-life sexual orientation or even completely removed from you, as an abstract scenario happening to someone else entirely.

    Let your spank bank be a place where your freak flag flies. Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    So don't be weirded out if you learn that you're as horny for that fish-god monster from The Shape of Water as the Academy Awards were in 2018. Or maybe you're one of the many women who enjoys a rape fantasy — which, as Dr. Wise points out, in a fantasy context is the opposite of a real-life rape since, "you're choosing to have the fantasy and who's overpowering you. You're in complete control."

    One other general rule of thumb Wise found is that while men tend toward more visually-oriented fantasies centered around preferred body parts, women tend to focus on overall scenarios. However, it's impossible to distill the endless possibilities of human sexuality into neat categories. Which is why you also shouldn't get discouraged or ashamed if none of these common fantasies do it for you.

    "Our capacity for imagination is limitless," said Wise. Don't feel pressure to confine yours to a specific label.

    Related Video: I built my own vibrator at CES

    Start building your erotic imagination through fiction, porn, memories... anything!

    The truth is that, while other obstacles might make it hard initially to give yourself permission to explore sexual fantasies, using your imagination is a very natural and innate part of being human. Who doesn't fantasizing about getting up from their desk in the middle of a hard work day and quitting, or spend time daydreaming about how they'd furnish their dream apartment?

    "We make Pinterest boards and save Instagram photos, collect and catalog all these things that we like. I recommend starting to do that for your sex life," said Gutierrez. "Become more mindful observing what attracts you to someone. The moments where you feel sexiest. What you want to say out loud during sex but hesitate to. Then the next time you want to use your fantasy for pleasure, you know exactly where to draw from."

    Everything in your life can become part of your horny mood board.

    Everything in your life can become part of your horny mood board.

    We all have that one fictional character or public figure — whether from books, tv, movies, video games, or even politics and the internet — that just does it for us. Begin there, expanding into a specific sexy scene that got you going or whatever comes to mind when you think of that person. Heck, maybe you're like me and realize that a silky, authoritative voice is actually your kink, leading a bunch of non-erotic popular podcasts to become your go-to spank bank material.

    Audio erotica can be a great place to start if you don't want to take the training wheels off yet to explore sexual fantasies of your own making. Unlike visual porn, audio erotica still exercises the muscles of your erotic imagination, asking you to fill in the details and paint the full picture. While we always recommend Dipsea, there's also plenty of free ways to try audio erotica like r/gonewildaudio(Opens in a new tab) and Girl on the Net(Opens in a new tab).

    Once you're ready to bring yourself more to the forefront of the fantasy, begin with a memory of the hottest, most visceral sex you've ever had. Really ground yourself back in that moment by recalling your senses: What position were you in? What did the person's lust feel like? Were you sweating? How exactly did they touch you?

    Touch yourself while pulling from all the erotic mental material you've curated, and don't be afraid to really get your whole body involved in mimicking the sensations you're creating through your mind. Maybe that means masturbating while you're on all fours, or matching the tempo of the fantasy, or even dry-humping a pillow. Don't put any pressure on yourself to orgasm throughout any of this, though, and instead just zero in on embodying the experience of your imagination.

    "It's about giving yourself full permission to explore all our internal pleasure places, and how we experience them in both our minds and bodies at the same time," said Wise.

    It's like writing fanfiction, but in real-time Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    Try these exercises to strengthen your mind-body connection

    Through her research and other studies in the field, Wise has ultimately found that, "This distinction we make between the mind and body is really a very arbitrary one."

    One of the best ways to embrace this in a way that engages your erotic fantasy life in is through something called mindful sex.

    This increasingly popular branch of sex therapy describes a bunch of different practices and exercises that add a layer of sexuality to mindfulness, to help you stay present in your body while experiencing pleasure, train your mind to focus on whatever arouses you, and engage in a non-judgmental curious sexual mindset. Try out basic exercises like pleasure mapping (which Dipsea has a guide for), mindful masturbation (which you can read about here), and sensate focus (which you can read about here).

    Wise also suggests a very simple exercise for getting your imagination more connected with your genitals on a neurological level: Just start by tapping or pleasurably touching your genitals, then stop, then think back on the sensations you felt while touching them. Try to recall and summon them back in your body: What did it feel like in your body when the stimulation was building, then dissipating?

    At first, it might not feel like much at all and the pleasure may be pretty mild compared to what you're used to while using more immediate erotic visual aids like porn.

    “But you’ll slowly start to develop a better connection to that pleasure sensation channel in your brain,” she said.

    Use your imagination during partnered sex

    While sexual fantasies are a great way to enhance self-love, learning how to engage with them during partnered sex can also do wonders to get people over the edge and into orgasm.

    At this point though, you might be wondering: Is it even OK to fantasize about other situations — or maybe even other people — while having sex with a partner?

    “It doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you'd come home to eat.”

    “Yes, it’s an unequivocal yes! Because thinking about stuff is not the same as doing it,” said Wise. As the famous saying goes, “It doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you'd come home to eat.”

    It’s totally normal for your mind to desire novelty, especially if you're not in a new relationship anymore. In fact, Wise found that one of the best ways to ensure a couples’ longevity is precisely this kind of openness and understanding that people need to fuel their erotic imagination with new stuff.

    “If we can get over these kind of hang ups, get past this fear of our partners having a fantasy about somebody else while they’re with us, and instead use it as an opportunity talk about: What would you like? What haven't we tried? What are you afraid to tell me? Because that's hot. That's really hot,” said Wise.

    Or maybe instead of thinking about someone else, you'd simply rather use your imagination during partnered sex to transport you both to a setting or scenario that heightens your arousal even more.

    In the end, what you do with your erotic imagination is up to you. You can share it if you'd like — or keep it all to yourself. That’s what’s so great about sexual fantasies you cut from your own cloth: They’re all yours, and no one else's.

  • Social media is the new bodycam

    Social media is the new bodycam

    Childish Gambino warned us in 2018. This is America, right?


    It's been a brutal week for anyone who doesn't live with their eyes closed. The proof is right there on Twitter and other social platforms. It used to be that we relied on police bodycams to hold officers accountable for their actions. But in this difficult moment, citizen journalism is carrying that bucket instead.

    Something snapped in the United States as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck until he died on May 25. Floyd was black and Chauvin is white. It was a sadly familiar scene of what looks to rational observers like a clear case of police brutality.

    But this time, we hit a breaking point. The gruesome reality of Chauvin's actions as captured on camera is certainly part of it. He held his position on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, until after the restrained man died. The camera captures it all in vivid, horrifying detail. Add to that the ongoing pandemic, and historic levels of unemployment. People's nerves are frayed and the callous inhumanity of Floyd's death was a last straw.

    So cities exploded over the weekend with widespread protests and grim scenes of violence. Even as much of the country outside of major cities continues to hunker down behind stay-at-home orders, social media has brought all of us to the front lines through citizen journalism and shared news reports.

    These ongoing protests are about stopping racial violence and police brutality, and they're hundreds of years in the making. I think the images and videos, and the actions of the people portrayed therein, tell the whole story. Thank you to all of the protesters and members of the press who are out there doing your part to make sure the realities of this moment won't soon be forgotten.

    It hasn't all been as completely terrible as the above visuals suggest. Protesters are out in force and many of them are skipping the violence in favor of working to send a message, lift up the people in their community, and generally just keep the peace. Many others are just doing the best they can to peacefully work through the days, weeks, months, decades of pent-up anger they've been carrying.

    They've even been joined in a few cases by police officers and departments that have managed to maintain a level of trust with their local communities.

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    I don't know what else to say. Take care of yourselves, folks. And please, keep on documenting this moment in any way that you can.

  • Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store

    Police scanner app catapults to the top of the App Store

    Protesters just made a police scanner the most popular paid iOS app in the country.


    On Monday, 5-0 Radio Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab), which costs $5, was the number one paid app in the App Store. A pared-down version with ads was the number two paid app, surpassing TikTok and second only to the suddenly popular Zynn app. Vice first reported(Opens in a new tab) on the app's rise.

    Protesters clashed with police in Minneapolis, Louisville, Los Angeles, Philadelphia(Opens in a new tab), and other U.S. cities over the weekend. They are demanding an end to police brutality after George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

    A look at the top paid apps. Credit: screenshot / mashable
    Also popular as a free app. Credit: Screenshot / mashable

    Scanner apps let protesters listen to live police radio feeds. App analytics firm Apptopia found the top five police scanner apps, such as 5-0 Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab) and Police Scanner(Opens in a new tab), were downloaded 213,000 times over the weekend. That's a 125 percent increase from the weekend before — a record for police scanner apps. 5-0 Police Scanner was downloaded 40,000 times between Friday and Sunday in the United States.

    Other related apps saw download surges as well, like the encrypted messaging app Signal. It was downloaded 37,000 times this weekend, a record for the app. Same for community alert app Citizen, which was downloaded 49,000 times during the same period, according to Apptopia(Opens in a new tab).

  • Elizabeth Warren and her very good dog Bailey joined the Washington D.C. protests

    Elizabeth Warren and her very good dog Bailey joined the Washington D.C. protests

    Less than half an hour before the official curfew started in Washington D.C., thousands of protesters were still walking peacefully in the streets of the capital. Among them were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, her husband Bruce Mann, and their dog Bailey.


    Dressed in sensible beige shorts, sneakers, and a basic blue face mask, the last female candidate to suspend her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination was quickly spotted by her fellow protesters as she joined the throng in Lafayette Square. Many were clearly thrilled to see her, cheering as she told reporters President Donald Trump had been "wrong" to deploy the National Guard in the city.

    "He is imposing violence on our people," she told one reporter(Opens in a new tab). "People are here to protest peacefully.

    Warren also called for Attorney General Bill Barr to resign after reports that he had ordered the violent removal of protesters near the White House, and tweeted her support for her colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to criminalise the use of chokeholds by police. Gillibrand was also in the presidential race until last August.

    Widespread protests have emerged in cities across the U.S. in a furious response to the death of George Floyd — who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes — as well as other recent police killings, including Louisville woman Breonna Taylor and Florida man Tony McDade. These names are only the latest to be added to a shamefully long list of black Americans killed by police.f

    Trump's response to the protests, in particular the order to disperse peaceful demonstrators near the White House using tear gas and rubber bullets for a Trump photo op, has drawn criticism from members of both parties(Opens in a new tab).

    Other politicians who have appeared at protests include Reps. Ayanna Pressley(Opens in a new tab), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(Opens in a new tab), and Joyce Beatty, who was pepper sprayed by police at the Columbus, Ohio event(Opens in a new tab), as well as Sen. Kamala Harris (Opens in a new tab)

  • Every police department should have to hear our rage via Zoom call

    Every police department should have to hear our rage via Zoom call

    Yesterday, the Los Angeles Police Commission held a Zoom call with citizens — of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, as well as some former residents — and watched with blank faces as citizens berated them mercilessly for eight hours.


    The call came not only after several nights of protests in Los Angeles, but also after LAPD chief Michael Moore blamed the death of George Floyd(Opens in a new tab) on the city's protestors and looters. (Moore walked back on the comments(Opens in a new tab) after backlash.)

    But that's just the tip of the iceberg: LAPD has a long history of violence against black people — next year will be 30 years since LA officers beat Rodney King(Opens in a new tab).

    After many people were initially left out of the call(Opens in a new tab) because it capped at 500 people — and after the boomers on the commission figured out how to work Zoom — the commission said their statements.

    Then, the real show started. The public unleashed their fury on the LAPD for hours on end. They demanded Moore's resignation or firing, as well as to defund the LAPD and support the people's budget(Opens in a new tab). Some spewed incredible insults(Opens in a new tab), while others broke down in tears. Several impassioned callers, like this one, went viral:

    After watching this call, I'm convinced that every police department needs to have a Zoom call like this one.

    While the LAPD is notorious for its racism, so are many other departments across the country — including the Minneapolis police(Opens in a new tab), who are responsible for the killing of George Floyd. He died after three police officers pinned him down, one kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

    Police departments across the nation should be subjected to people's rage. In many cities, they're beating up peaceful protestors who they are sworn to protect, all while we — the taxpayers — pay their salaries. Police commissions are supposed to be working for us, the civilians, and we should be able to scream and cry and drag our cops just like the residents of LA did yesterday. (And then I think we should defund the police(Opens in a new tab), but that's a different story.)

    Public meetings with police departments aren't new. As some activists mentioned on the call, they've been raising the same concerns about the police for years. But now thanks to technology not afforded previous generations, these meetings can be online (and the current pandemic pretty much mandates that, anyway). Virtual meetings can not only be more accessible to people who can't make them in-person, but allows these meetings to go viral and be seen by thousands, both in the department's jurisdiction and beyond.

    The total impact of the LAPD call has yet to be seen. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti didn't make any promises about changing the budget(Opens in a new tab), and as of publication the LAPD chief has not resigned.

    But that doesn't mean this call didn't have an impact. Hundreds of people were able to express anger that has possibly been pent up for years. People around the country — like me, in New York — stayed tuned for hours and are now inspired to tell our police departments our similar demands (and probably insults). Like protesting, donating money, and calling our reps, being able to rip into our respective police departments can be just another action to elicit change, and it's a cathartic one at that.

    Police commissions and departments have a duty to their citizens to let their voices be heard. We are all owed a more modern-day public forum. Americans everywhere should be able to call out their police chief's racist eyebrows.

    Mashable has reached out to LAPD for comment and will update if received.

  • Even Piers Morgan thinks Rudy Giuliani sounds completely barking mad

    Even Piers Morgan thinks Rudy Giuliani sounds completely barking mad

    Listen, let's not give Piers Morgan — a British TV presenter who's dabbled in racist tropes(Opens in a new tab) and transphobia(Opens in a new tab) — a gold star. But even he has realized Rudy Giuliani seems a little off.


    Giuliani, the former NYC mayor and current personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, appeared on Thursday on ITV's Good Morning Britain, which Morgan co-hosts. The appearance, which took place in the middle of the night in the U.S., turned into a shouting match between two old white guys about who was more discredited.

    The fight began when Morgan criticized Trump's tweet about "when the looting starts the shooting starts" in regards to the protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. But the argument soon devolved into a barrage of personal attacks.

    "You sound completely barking mad, do you know that?" Morgan said.

    Giuliani fired back, "No, I don't. You sound like a big liar."

    But Morgan kept going after the former mayor, firing off wonderfully British insults.

    "You've lost the plot. And it's sad to see," the host said.

    Taking a page from his boss's playbook, Giuliani stumbled through a few insults about Morgan's failed CNN show and its poor ratings. At some point, Giuliani either tells Morgan he "sucked up" or "fucked up" — it's tough to tell because Giuliani's words are a bit slurred — but either way Morgan apologizes for the language before twisting the knife further into his guest.

    "When I used to interview you, you were an intelligent, reasonable man and you've gone completely mad," he said. "And you sound deranged. You're abusive. And it's really sad to see what's happened to you."

    A viral clip from the interview goes on in a similar fashion for a few more minutes. It does represent a shift from Morgan — a former winner on Celebrity Apprentice who had a largely friendly (if bonkers)(Opens in a new tab) interview with Trump this time last year.

    But definitely watch the entire clip from Thursday, if only to see co-host Susanna Reid deliver an absolutely perfect, "OK," to end the wild segment.

  • Fox News host says John Lennon — who was killed in New York — wouldnt be safe in the city right now

    Fox News host says John Lennon — who was killed in New York — wouldnt be safe in the city right now

    Days after an NYPD car floored it into a group of protesters(Opens in a new tab) — just one of many instances of police violence in the city(Opens in a new tab) — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio responded with...John Lennon lyrics.


    "I don't mean to make light of this but I'm reminded of the song 'Imagine' by John Lennon," said de Blasio, according to journalist Jack Mirkinson. He went on to say that defunding the police, a rallying cry of the George Floyd protests, was "not the way forward."

    De Blasio was subsequently roasted by social media(Opens in a new tab) and traditional(Opens in a new tab) media(Opens in a new tab) outlets(Opens in a new tab), and then Fox News got ahold of the quote. On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Brian Kilmeade thought he was delivering a brilliant zinger about the mayor:

    "John Lennon wouldn't be safe in this city right now," said Kilmeade. "He'd be hiding in his apartment."

    For those who are unaware (like Kilmeade, apparently), John Lennon was murdered in New York(Opens in a new tab) in 1980. His killer, Mark David Chapman, shot him four times outside his luxury Manhattan apartment. He's still in prison and his eleventh parole hearing is scheduled for this August(Opens in a new tab).

    Maybe Kilmeade should do some fact-checking. Imagine that?

  • Singer performs Bunker Boy, a catchy tune about Trumps time in the bunker

    Singer performs Bunker Boy, a catchy tune about Trumps time in the bunker

    There's a new song inspired by Donald Trump's recent and somewhat confusing trip to the White House bunker, and honestly? It's catchy as hell.


    On Monday, days after it was reported that Secret Service rushed the president to the White House bunker(Opens in a new tab) amidst D.C. protests, singer Courtney Jaye (@TropicalJaye(Opens in a new tab)) penned and performed the tune, titled, "Bunker Boy."

    Jaye shared a video of herself performing the song to social media, and on top of her gorgeous guitar playing and sweet-sounding vocals, the lyrics are truly something.

    "Bunker Boy, don't lie. You got scared and hid in the basement in the middle of the night," Jaye sings. "You're not so tough, no. It's a sorry sight. So take your bible, shove it up your ass, and turn on the fucking lights."

    Jaye ends the song with the lyrics, "Bunker Boy, Bunker Boy, November's coming and we hope you're terrified, Bunker boy," before taking a big exhale and letting out an exhausted eye roll. A real mood.

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert slams Trump's hypocritical Bible photo op

    For those who haven't been closely following Trump's bunker saga, let's recap.

    On Friday night, hundreds of people gathered outside the White House gates to protest racism, police brutality, and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

    Reports stated that when protests escalated Friday night, Secret Service ushered Trump — along with Melania and their son Barron — to the underground presidential bunker, where they allegedly remained for nearly an hour(Opens in a new tab).

    After Trump received some backlash for retreating to the bunker amidst a national state of unrest, he said that he didn't go to the bunker to get away from the protests, rather he was merely inspecting the bunker.

    "I was there for a tiny, short little period of time," Trump told Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio. He then stated his bunker visit was "more for an inspection," and that he'd been been to the bunker previously. He said he's gone "two and a half times," whatever that means.

    Trump's bunker comments sounded a bit absurd to many people, including Jaye, which is why she decided to use the gift of song to hilariously call the president out on his suspicious story.

    Jaye tweeted her video and made sure to tag Trump's Twitter handle — and the song has been quite a hit since. At the time of writing this piece, Jaye's tweet had more than 60,000 likes, and celebrities like Sophia Bush have even praised the blunt and catchy tune.

    Jaye is no stranger to writing songs about President Trump. On June 1, she also shared another potential hit, called "fuck this fucking president," which has been viewed 174,000 times.

    In it, Jaye shares her true feelings about the president, and urges people to get out and vote for the November election.

    I only wish Jaye had been cranking out these political hits back in 2018, when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was hiding in (or among) bushes. I bet "Bushes Boy" would have been a real banger.

  • Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, resigns to make room for a black board member

    The co-founder of Reddit just put the rest of the tech world on notice.


    Alexis Ohanian announced Friday(Opens in a new tab) that he was resigning his Reddit board seat, and "urged" the rest of the board to fill his spot with a new black board member. He will also be donating all future gains on his Reddit stock to "serve the black community," and is immediately giving $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's racial justice charity.

    Yes, take that in. Ohanian just set the bar for using power and privilege for racial equity by transferring not only resources, but also power to people of color.

    The tech world has been looking for ways to support racial equality amid Black Lives Matter protests across the world. The leaders in efforts to promote diversity in tech say that one of the best ways tech leaders in particular can help is by investing in black businesses and venture funds, hiring black employees, and putting black people in positions of power within the tech world.

    "Tech companies should be hiring [people of color] at all levels, from the board room to the boiler room," Rodney Sampson, a leader in tech diversity and founder of the accelerator OHUB(Opens in a new tab), said. "If you’re a venture-backed tech company, you should be looking to put someone black on your board of advisors."

    Ohanian called his move "long overdue." He explained that he had made his decision so that he could answer his black daughter (Ohanian's wife is Serena Williams) when she asked: "What did you do?"

    Williams expressed support for her husband in a tweet that may have made this reporter choke up.

    In the background of Ohanian's actions are the stark realities of Reddit, which Ohanian said he founded "to help people find community and a sense of belonging." Anyone who has spent even a passing moment on Reddit knows that it can be a quagmire of divisive vitriol. Amid the protests, some Reddit communities protested what they see as Reddit's failure to take stronger action against hate speech on the platform by making their communities private. Ellen Pao, a former VC, and one-time interim CEO of Reddit who now runs a tech diversity organization, called out Reddit's hypocrisy on Twitter:

    There is, of course, no guarantee that Reddit leadership will take Ohanian up on his request to fill his seat with a black board member. But this is an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the tech and business world. Currently, around 11 percent of Fortune 100 board members are African American, according to a recent study(Opens in a new tab) by the Alliance for Board Diversity.

    Mashable has reached out to Reddit to learn whether it intends to follow through with Ohanian's call to action, and Reddit said it would be responding "later today."

  • Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Every time you think Donald Trump has hit a new moral low, he manages to outdo himself.


    On Tuesday morning, Twitter users saw yet another exceptionally distressing and unpresidential display from Trump. The president tweeted outlandish lies about Martin Gugino, the injured protester who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers last week. Even for someone prone to spreading false conspiracy theories, this was a shocking thing to say.

    After video of the Buffalo police officers pushing the 75-year-old man to the ground went viral, public outrage led to the suspension of two officers directly involved and the resignation of the 57 other officers(Opens in a new tab) from Buffalo New York's emergency response team. Those officers who resigned from the team remain on the force.

    As Gugino — whose head could be seen smacking the pavement in the video and then was bleeding from his ears — remains in serious but stable condition, Trump suggested to nearly 82 million Twitter followers that the 75-year-old man was "an ANTIFA provocateur" who was trying to tamper with police equipment and exaggerated the severity of his fall.

    "Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?" Trump tweeted.

    SEE ALSO: Protesters turned Donald Trump's #BabyGate fence into something beautiful

    The tweet not only publicly targets a citizen, but also attempts to destroy his reputation as a peaceful activist(Opens in a new tab). And though Trump continually flings insults and spreads misinformation on Twitter, many people were genuinely taken aback by the harmful nature of this conspiracy theory.

    Trump seems to have gotten this conspiracy theory in his head from One America News, the conservative, far-right news network that previously claimed Dr. Fauci had ties to the Deep State, George Soros, Bill Gates, and the Clintons(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump has proven time and again that he's not above lying to rile up his base and change the conversation. So it's imperative now more than ever that you research whatever he says before you even consider believing it.

Random articles


  • Michael Myers tops Google Halloween search trends in a surprising way

    Michael Myers tops Google Halloween search trends in a surprising way

    We already know this to be true, but Google search trends prove it: Halloween-franchise villain Michael Myers and Jell-O shots will never die.


    A recent report from the search giant revealed 2022's top Halloween trends, which includes boringly obvious costume searches for things like witch and cowboy. But there were a couple of eye-opening standouts like a surprising amount of people wanting to know how tall Michael Myers is because... they're worried he might come after them? Also, it seems like a lot (and we mean A LOT) of people prefer to take their Jell-O shots via syringe because apparently that's spookier?

    According to the annual "Frightgeist(Opens in a new tab)" report, queries for "How tall is Michael Myers" have doubled this year and those for "How to make jello shots in syringes" went up by 350 percent.

    SEE ALSO: 'Halloween Ends' star Jamie Lee Curtis confirms, in writing, that this is actually the end

    Contrary to the now-classic Disney song, it appears we do indeed need to talk about Bruno because Encanto was one of the top breakout costume searches this year. Other top breakouts indicate our love of wholesome heroes — Ted Lasso and Moon Knight — and the superhero/lawyer crossover show we didn't know we needed in She-Hulk.

    But when it comes to top costume searches overall, the classics still dominate the Halloween scene. The top ten costumes include witch, Spider-Man, dinosaur, fairy, pirate, cheerleader, and cowboy. Stranger Things also cracked the top ten ranking at number four because pink dress Eleven and sailor boy Steve will never go out of style.

    If you're thinking this list isn't sexy enough, you're not wrong. Playboy Bunny was all the way down at number 82. But gamers were fairly well-represented. Fortnite (#48), Minecraft (#67), Among Us (#103), and Roblox (#118) all made the list.

    If you'd like, you can browse the top 853 searched costumes on Google's Frightgeist microsite and nerd-out on all the costume search data according to categories like spookiness, classic vs. modern, and uniqueness with the "Costume Wizard" feature.

    SEE ALSO: Why that unbelievable 'Halloween Kills' ending is actually perfect

    In the meantime, we'll spare you the Google search and just tell you that Michael Myers is currently depicted(Opens in a new tab) as 6'9". So maybe keep those Jell-O shot syringes at the ready if a tall silhouette darkens your door this October. Muahaha.

  • Its finally time to unfollow the Trumps on every platform

    Its finally time to unfollow the Trumps on every platform

    After what feels like 425 tearful, anxiety-ridden, brain worms-filled decades (but has somehow only been four years?) the big day has finally arrived: You can now free your social media timelines from all traces of Donald Trump and his family.


    Come noon on Jan. 20, Joe Biden's inauguration day, Trump will no longer be president of the United States. Among countless more important things, Trump's removal from office means that you no longer have to pay attention to what he, his family members, or the people in his administration are blabbing about. I mean, you can if you want to, but their updates are no longer essential reading in America!

    It may sound like a small, insignificant action, but after the hell this man put our timelines through over the more than 1,400 days — the constant vitriol, misinformation, and recklessly irresponsible social media rants — muting select Trump-related keywords, Hulk-smashing those unfollow buttons, and maybe even blocking a family member or two will feel so damn cathartic.

    I'm not the only person who's reluctantly stayed up-to-date on Trump-related social media posts for the past four years for fear that unfollowing would result in missing some vital piece of information. The unhinged, seemingly endless stream of push notifications at all hours has taken a serious toll on my mental health, and despite wanting to unfollow members of the Trump administration on a daily basis I stayed the course to remain up-to-date on politics, the coronavirus, and the fate of the country.

    My phone screen will never look like this again :') Credit: MASHABLE COMPOSITE: SCREENGRAB / TWITTER AND EMOJIPEDIA

    Through Trump's myriad of insults, lies, misspelled words, poor grammar, ALL CAPS RANTS, and more, I've been elaborately fantasizing about the day I'd finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief and turn off mobile notifications for his tweets. In a last-minute twist, Twitter beat me to the punch when the platform permanently banned Trump's account on Jan. 8. That's quite the start, but there are numerous other ways to purge your timelines of Donald, Melania, and the fam, too.

    After Twitter took action against the president, other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook,) Snapchat, and Twitch followed. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram banned Trump indefinitely, but why even wait to see if his account privileges are restored? Disable push notifications, unfollow, mute, or block him now.

    They say ignorance is bliss, and at long last we can afford to be ignorant about Trump-related social media posts.

    While you're at it, unfollow Melania, Ivanka, Eric, Donald Trump, Jr., and Tiffany. Unfollow spouses and significant others like Jared Kushner, Lara Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle — whose names you probably wish you never had to learn. Say farewell to Mike and Karen Pence. And give a big old "bye bye" to administration members like White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and anyone else who fills you with burning hot rage or brings bad vibes to your timeline.

    They don't deserve any more of your attention. Just focus on healing from Trump's social media wrath, savor online updates from the new administration (which we hope will be incredibly boring by comparison), and give your timelines and yourself a much-needed break.

    Need some tips on how to make your break up with the Trumps social media official? Try muting specific keywords on Twitter or taking things a step further by muting(Opens in a new tab), unfollowing(Opens in a new tab) or blocking(Opens in a new tab) accounts. You can learn how to block Facebook pages(Opens in a new tab) here, as well as how to unfollow(Opens in a new tab), mute(Opens in a new tab) and block(Opens in a new tab) Instagram accounts. And here's how to block someone on Snapchat(Opens in a new tab).

    They say ignorance is bliss, and at long last we can afford to be ignorant about Trump-related social media posts. On Wednesday he will no longer the president, so take a deep breath, reassess your social media follows, and let out a colossal sigh of relief. Your timelines are about to get a bit less hellish.

    Related Video: How to stay politically involved in a post-Trump world

  • Sun Xingyi social media: Three goals and three points, a beautiful day, a good rest and a fight next

    Live on March 12 th, in the 27th round of Premier League, Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at home. With this victory, Tottenham consolidated its position in the top four of the standings. After the game, Sun Xingyi, who scored a goal, expressed his joy of winning through social media.

    Sun Xingyi wrote: "It’s a beautiful day to get three goals and three points. Have a good rest and recover, and fight again next week. "

    Sun Xingyi social media: Three goals and three points, a beautiful day, a good rest and a fight next(图1)

    At 11pm on Saturday, March 18th, Beijing time, in the 28th round of Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur will challenge Southampton away.

  • Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Trump lies about elderly protester injured by police, hits another new Twitter low

    Every time you think Donald Trump has hit a new moral low, he manages to outdo himself.


    On Tuesday morning, Twitter users saw yet another exceptionally distressing and unpresidential display from Trump. The president tweeted outlandish lies about Martin Gugino, the injured protester who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers last week. Even for someone prone to spreading false conspiracy theories, this was a shocking thing to say.

    After video of the Buffalo police officers pushing the 75-year-old man to the ground went viral, public outrage led to the suspension of two officers directly involved and the resignation of the 57 other officers(Opens in a new tab) from Buffalo New York's emergency response team. Those officers who resigned from the team remain on the force.

    As Gugino — whose head could be seen smacking the pavement in the video and then was bleeding from his ears — remains in serious but stable condition, Trump suggested to nearly 82 million Twitter followers that the 75-year-old man was "an ANTIFA provocateur" who was trying to tamper with police equipment and exaggerated the severity of his fall.

    "Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?" Trump tweeted.

    SEE ALSO: Protesters turned Donald Trump's #BabyGate fence into something beautiful

    The tweet not only publicly targets a citizen, but also attempts to destroy his reputation as a peaceful activist(Opens in a new tab). And though Trump continually flings insults and spreads misinformation on Twitter, many people were genuinely taken aback by the harmful nature of this conspiracy theory.

    Trump seems to have gotten this conspiracy theory in his head from One America News, the conservative, far-right news network that previously claimed Dr. Fauci had ties to the Deep State, George Soros, Bill Gates, and the Clintons(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump has proven time and again that he's not above lying to rile up his base and change the conversation. So it's imperative now more than ever that you research whatever he says before you even consider believing it.

  • People are really into the DNCs virtual roll call. Maybe it can stay?

    People are really into the DNCs virtual roll call. Maybe it can stay?

    It's just like Eurovision, but with more calamari.


    The second day of the Democratic National Convention has wrapped up, and in a true sign of the times we’re in, Joe Biden was formally nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in a virtual roll call.

    Local delegates from 57 states and territories "called in" to officially nominate Biden via video message, with some elected Democrats and others members of the public nominated by their state to make the announcement. Running in alphabetical order starting with Alabama and ending with Biden's home state of Delaware right at the end, viewers were treated to a bona fide cornucopia of background staging choices behind each state representative.

    The Eurovision Song Contest's been doing this type of thing for decades during the judging process, in which each country awards national competitors up to 12 points, with some being more strategic and political with their background imagery than others (seriously, it's a whole thing).

    SEE ALSO: How to watch the Democratic National Convention online

    And while usually, the formal nomination of the presidential candidate at the DNC would take place within an event centre, with each member taking the stage in front of a crowd, social distancing caused this event to run online only. And people watching the virtual event were truly into it.

    There were some truly moving moments during the nomination process. Alabama state Rep. Terri Sewell paid tribute to the late Congressman John Lewis, standing in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where Lewis and fellow members of the civil rights movement were attacked by police in 1965 while marching for their right to vote.

    Alabama state Rep. Terri Sewell. Credit: mashable screenshot

    Charlottesville resident Khizr Khan, who made headlines challenging Donald Trump and offering up his copy of the Constitution at the 2016 DNC, was selected to cast Virginia's vote. Puerto Rico's delegate Carmelo Rios reminded viewers of Puerto Ricans' importance as U.S. citizens, "something that Donald Trump seems to have forgotten(Opens in a new tab) as our island faced its most difficult times."

    SEE ALSO: How to watch the Democratic National Convention online

    Activists Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old student who was beaten, tied to a fence, and left for dead in 1998 because he was gay, appeared from their state of Wyoming to formally nominate Biden.

    Activists Judy and Dennis Shepard. Credit: mashable screenshot

    There were also some interesting scenery choices, with the internet particularly enjoying Rhode Island state Rep. Joseph McNamara, who beseeched a chef to stand beside him with a plate of calamari during his bit, calling his state “the calamari comeback state.” (Here's a solid explainer(Opens in a new tab) on this weirdness.)

    Rhode Island state Rep. Joseph McNamara. Credit: mashable screenshot

    It was a truly interesting roll call this year, and one people are pretty happy to keep in place in the future.

    If you want to catch up, here's how to watch the DNC online.

  • How sex workers bank their money, since Mastercard abandoned them

    How sex workers bank their money, since Mastercard abandoned them

    Your consumption of porn might be all arched backs and contorted cowgirls, but spare a thought for the performers who not only have to navigate their profession being one of the most contested, but also face huge financial complications. Despite sex work being being legal in the UK and U.S. to varying degrees, adult performers are at the mercy of large corporations who decide how — and even if — they can get paid. The effect is not only a loss of income, but the destruction of livelihoods. The consequences mean some performers turn to potentially more harmful ways to garner an income. 


    Two years ago, Mastercard announced it wouldn’t allow its cards to be used on Pornhub(Opens in a new tab) (Visa swiftly followed). Then, last year, it followed up with more limitations on sex workers(Opens in a new tab), asking adult content to be reviewed by hosting sites prior to publishing, and enforcing that sellers present “documented age and identity verification for all people depicted and those uploading the content.” 

    But how can live streaming, which many performers use, be pre-vetted? Mastercard’s policies are intended to prohibit illegal adult content — like sex trafficking — but according to real, consenting adult creators, it has only slowed down the process of their work and mystified payment procedures.(Opens in a new tab)  

    SEE ALSO: How women squirt on camera, according to porn stars

    It's not just credit cards adding to the obstacles either — it's any online payment services that process card payments. PayPal and Venmo also have restrictions(Opens in a new tab) against adult creators, and Stripe doesn’t allow sex workers(Opens in a new tab) to use its services.  

    While most people will agree that sex trafficking is abhorrent, one might wonder who this kind of measure is actually aimed at. Sex work campaigners also point out(Opens in a new tab) that during Mastercard’s discussions to enforce such rules, they were not consulted but anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-sex work groups were. These groups include the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) who want to eliminate public forms of sexuality(Opens in a new tab). And it’s not as if creators were completely unregulated in the industry. Since 1988, U.S. lawmakers have required porn producers to keep records of documentation (including legal name, date of birth, and a copy of a photo ID) for people who engaged in sexual activity on camera. While this fight for the right to work continues, sex workers continue to be disadvantaged as their earnings are halted. 

    "Let's be honest, it's not exactly a turn on scrambling for a payment method. A customer can easily get annoyed and leave."

    These are problems witnessed by online adult creator, Tia Mann(Opens in a new tab), 32, from Las Vegas. She says: "There isn’t a single sex worker that hasn’t been affected by the recent changes. Everyone has taken a hit financially and had to make adjustments. Some consumers are not willing to change sites." Thankfully Tia was able to pivot to a SFW platform where she could earn an income. "I'm blessed as I also work at Twitch as a full-time content creator alongside being a sex worker so I was able to stay afloat."

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

    Another creator, who goes by Grateful Grace on adult sites SinParty, Pornhub, and OnlyFans, 21, from Georgia, U.S, says she’s also experienced these issues first-hand. "I just had my PayPal account deactivated by the PayPal team. My fans are having their payment blocked. My revenue on PornHub has also gone down little by little."

    This revenue would come to hundreds of dollars usually, but "it was $19 when I checked," says Grace. "It was decent when I started back in 2019 and even though I have over 2 million views I have only cleared a little over $3,000 in the last few months."

    SEE ALSO: How selling nudes on OnlyFans helped my body image issues

    While Grace hasn’t had problems with her personal bank, her clients have. "Having my income be affected because of a banking issue is frustrating. I have so many people tell me they want to buy content but their bank won't let them. I've found this problem even with regulars that I have worked with on multiple occasions."

    So what options does Grace have? She says: "Cashapp is really good but then again some people are in a country where it doesn't work. I find myself having to market different money exchanging sites when I'm trying to sell content. Let's be honest, it's not exactly a turn on scrambling for a payment method. A customer can easily get annoyed and leave."

    While OnlyFans backtracked on their bizarre decision to stop pornographic content on their app, some of its performers are still struggling with being paid. Gracey Kay, from Leeds, 32, a mum who found fortune as one of the highest earners on OnlyFans(Opens in a new tab), after giving up her job as a hairdresser, has had to navigate this new world. "OnlyFans is following Mastercard’s verification rules and pauses any account that isn’t following it. So while I haven’t had issues in that area, my bank, Santander, however, has been awful with me in questioning my income. They said they are checking everyone who receives income from Felix International, and keep ringing me when I receive a payment. I’ve also been refused business with other banks because I do OnlyFans."

    So why are large finance companies cracking down on the legal, consensual adult industry? It’s because of moral panic, says Angela Jones, a sex work scholar from New York. She says: "Companies like Mastercard have been unduly influenced by anti-porn and anti-sex work groups such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formally Morality in Media) and anti-prostitution activists."

    Jones says the goal of these campaigners isn’t to just stop trafficking but to abolish sex work entirely, which many depend on to survive, without offering a solution to this key issue. "It is important to realise that these activists are not actually targeting trafficking; instead, they use anti-trafficking discourse as a way of targeting all forms of commercial sex. The goal of the anti-porn movement is to deplatform all sex workers."

    So what can sex workers who find themselves in these obstacles do? Lindsey Swanson, 29, from California, who heads up sex work resource site Scoops of Vanilla(Opens in a new tab) and Stripper Financial Planning(Opens in a new tab), says the options are limited. "Cash is generally the best and cheapest way to receive payment for in-person type of sex work. Online workers are typically subject to the existing payment structure of the site where they host their content/services — unfortunately this normally means they are paying higher fees."

    "Financial discrimination means sex workers can’t access other rights, like a credit score, buying property, or insurance." 

    But creators are becoming more creative with the options. Swanson adds: "Using crypto to facilitate payments is one of the best options for online sex workers moving forward," but not all clients are trusting of this or crypto-savvy, plus Bitcoin doesn’t allow membership, it can take a while to transfer and the user needs to initiate the transaction each time. There's also a growing trend of creators building out their own websites and allowing for direct payment."

    Ultimately though, there's no reason beyond moral panic for payment processors and financial institutions to be discriminating against sex workers, Swanson says: "They're missing out on an active client base and unnecessarily road blocking individuals who are simply trying to support themselves."

    Financial giants expecting adult performers to jump through hoops doesn’t just cut them off from immediate funds, crucially, financial discrimination means sex workers can’t access other rights, like a credit score, buying property, or insurance. 

    Jones adds: "The public needs to begin to see this for what it is — a civil rights issue. People’s lives are at stake." And let’s not forget, sex workers are people — people who work hard, care, and advocate for one another in their community, and empower themselves. Don’t they deserve to be compensated for it? 

  • Score all-time low prices on the M2 Mac mini, Amazon Halo Rise, and LG CordZero A9 Kompressor stick

    Score all-time low prices on the M2 Mac mini, Amazon Halo Rise, and LG CordZero A9 Kompressor stick vacuum — plus more of todays best deals

    We've rounded up the best deals we could find on March 2 — here are some of our top picks:

    • BEST FLOOR CARE DEAL: LG CordZero A9 Kompressor wet/dry cordless stick vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$499.99 $799.99 (save $300)

    • BEST TECH DEAL: Apple 2023 Mac Mini (M2 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$549 $599 (save $50)

    • BEST HOME DEAL: Halo Rise bedside sleep tracker(Opens in a new tab)$99.99 $139.99 (save $40)

    Looking to do some retail therapy, but don't want to break the bank? Consider us your go-to guide for today's best deals.

    On March 2, we're seeing some all-time low prices on things like the M2 Mac mini, Halo Rise bedside sleep tracking device, and LG CordZero stick vacuums. There's also plenty of deals to go around on robot vacuums, headphones and speakers, small kitchen appliances, and more. We've rounded up the best deals we could find and sorted them for an easy shopping experience. Just scroll down to start saving.

    Get Mashable Deals delivered to your inbox daily
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    Best vacuum deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: LG
    Our pick: LG CordZero A9 Kompressor wet/dry cordless stick vacuum (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $499.99 at Amazon (save $300)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Not quite as fancy as the All-in-One, but also not as expensive, the LG CordZero A9 is still a powerhouse of a vacuum. It's neck and neck with the All-in-One in terms of battery life, dustbin capacity, mopping abilities, attachments, and filtration. The major difference is that the A9 doesn't come with the all-in-one tower with automatic emptying (which will cost you an extra $200). If you don't mind emptying the dustbin yourself, you can save that extra money and snag the A9 Kompressor(Opens in a new tab) instead. It's on sale for only $499.99 as of March 2 — that's $300 in savings and its lowest price to date.

    More floor care deals

    • Shark S3501 steam pocket mop(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $89.99 (save $30)

    • Shark HV370 Rocket Pro corded stick vacuum(Opens in a new tab) — $119 $149 (save $30)

    • Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAX robot vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $249.99 (save $100)

    • iRobot Roomba 694 robot vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$179 $274.99 (save $95.99)

    • iRobot Braava Jet M6 (6110) ultimate robot mop(Opens in a new tab)$299 $449.99 (save $150.99)

    • Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ robot vacuum and mop(Opens in a new tab)$399.99 $699.99 (save $300)

    • iRobot Roomba i4+ EVO robot vacuum(Opens in a new tab) — $595 $649.99 (save $54.99)

    • Roborock Q5+ robot vacuum(Opens in a new tab) — $499.99 $699.99 (save $200 with on-page coupon)

    • LG CordZero A9 wet/dry cordless stick vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$499.99 $799.99 (save $300)

    • Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$519.99 $649.99 (save $130)

    • LG CordZero All-in-One cordless stick vacuum cleaner(Opens in a new tab)$699.99 $999.99 (save $300)

    • Ecovacs Deebot X1 Turbo robot vacuum and mop(Opens in a new tab)$799.99 $1,349.99 (save $550)

    • iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ self-emptying robot vacuum and mop(Opens in a new tab)$849 $1,099.99 (save $250.99)

    • iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) robot vacuum and Braava Jet m6 (6112) robot mop bundle(Opens in a new tab)$949 $1,599.99 (save $650.99)

    • Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni robot vacuum and mop(Opens in a new tab) — $999.99 $1,549.99 (save $550)

    Best tech deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Apple
    Our pick: Apple 2023 Mac Mini (M2 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $549 at Amazon (save $50)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Baby's first price drop: The 2023 M2 Mac mini just got a $50 discount at Amazon for the first time since its release in January. That drops the cost of the base model with 256GB of storage(Opens in a new tab) down to $549 and the 512GB option(Opens in a new tab) down to $749. For desktop performance in a small footprint, few systems rival Apple's Mac mini. Its Apple-designed processor provides faster CPU performance, faster graphics processing, and faster machine learning capabilities, so your computer learns how you use it and improves its performance and accuracy based on that knowledge. Add to that an array of ports, and you're set up for success. All you need is to add a monitor.

    More tech deals

    Laptop, tablet, and monitor deals

    • Sceptre 24.5-inch curved gaming monitor(Opens in a new tab)$149.97 $199.97 (save $50)

    • Sceptre 29-inch IPS UltraWide monitor(Opens in a new tab)$149.97 $209.97 (save $60)

    • ASUS 11.60-inch Vivobook L210 laptop (Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM, 128GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $249.99 (save $50) + one year of Office 365 Personal

    • Apple 2023 Mac Mini (M2 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$549 $599 (save $50)

    • HP Pavilion 15 laptop (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$699 $944.99 (save $245.99)

    • HP 23.8-inch All-in-One PC with FHD micro-edge touchscreen display, (AMD Ryzen 5, 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$699.99 $870 (save $170.01)

    • Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch curved gaming monitor(Opens in a new tab)$1,999.99 $3,499.99 (save $1,500)

    Audio deals

    • Echo Dot (3rd gen, 2018 release)(Opens in a new tab)$19.99 $39.99 (save $20)

    • JBL Vibe 100 TWS true wireless earbuds(Opens in a new tab)$29.95 $49.95 (save $20)

    • JBL Vibe 200TWS true wireless earbuds(Opens in a new tab)$29.95 $49.95 (save $20)

    • Anker Soundcore Life P3i Hybrid active noise canceling earbuds(Opens in a new tab) — $39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

    • Sony SRSXB33 wireless waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker(Opens in a new tab) $89 $178 (save $89)

    • Sony SRS-XE200 X-Series portable Bluetooth speaker(Opens in a new tab)$95 $129.99 (save $34.99) + 4 free months of Amazon Music Unlimited

    • Beats Solo3 wireless headphones(Opens in a new tab)$130.01 $199.95 (save $69.94)

    • JBL Xtreme 2 portable Bluetooth speaker(Opens in a new tab)$179.99 $349.99 (save $170)

    • Samsung MX-ST40B sound tower(Opens in a new tab)$184.95 $497.99 (save $313.04)

    • Bose SoundLink Revolve+ (Series II) portable Bluetooth speaker(Opens in a new tab)$229 $329 (save $100)

    • JBL PartyBox portable Bluetooth party speaker(Opens in a new tab)$229.95 $349.95 (save $120)

    • Beats Studio3 wireless noise-canceling headphones(Opens in a new tab)$233.72 $349.95 (save $116.23)

    • Sony SRS-XG300 X-Series portable Bluetooth party speaker(Opens in a new tab)$245 $349.99 (save $104.99) + 4 free months of Amazon Music Unlimited

    • (图1)

      Bose portable smart speaker(Opens in a new tab) $319 $399 (save $80)

    Best home deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Amazon
    Our pick: Halo Rise bedside sleep tracker (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $99.99 at Amazon (save $40)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    A contactless sleep tracking gadget, unlike a fitness tracker or smartwatch, the Halo Rise(Opens in a new tab) sits on your bedside table to analyze your sleep patterns and provide recommendations on how to improve them. There's no microphone or camera, in an effort to keep your privacy first. Instead, the Rise has a sensor that measures body movement and breathing patterns throughout the night, as well as things like room temperature, humidity, and light. It's also equipped with a sunrise and sunset simulation mode that can help you wake up or wind down. It's usually $140, but as of March 2, it's on sale for just $99.99 — that's 29% off and its lowest price to date.

    More home deals

    • 'LectroFan Alpha non-looping sound machine(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $27.95 (save $2.96)

    • 'LectroFan Evo white noise sound machine(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $59.95 (save $19.96)

    • Dash Aircrisp Pro compact air fryer(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $69.99 (save $20)

    • Dash Tasti-Crisp digital air fryer (2.6-quart)(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $79.99 (save $20)

    • NuWave PIC Gold Precision induction cooktop(Opens in a new tab) $63.09 $109.99 (save $46.09 with on-page coupon)

    • FoodSaver compact vacuum sealer machine(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $94.99 (save $25)

    • Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 air fryer oven (4-quart)(Opens in a new tab)$89.99 $129.99 (save $40)

    • Halo Rise bedside sleep tracker(Opens in a new tab)$99.99 $139.99 (save $40)

    • Ninja AF150AMZ Air Fryer XL (5.5-quart)(Opens in a new tab)$119.99 $159.99 (save $40)

    • Ninja AMZ493BRN Compact Kitchen System(Opens in a new tab)$129.99 $159.99 (save $30)

    • Vitamix One blender(Opens in a new tab)$149.95 $249.95 (save $100)

    • Anker 521 portable power station(Opens in a new tab)$186.99 $249.99 (save $63)

    • Eufy Security eufyCam 2C Pro 2-camera kit(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $319.99 (save $120)

    • Vitamix V1200 Venturist blender(Opens in a new tab)$279.99 $499.99 (save $220)

    • PETKIT Pura X self-cleaning cat litter box(Opens in a new tab)$483 $799 (save $316)

    Outdoor deals

    • Coleman Classic propane gas camping stove (2-burner)(Opens in a new tab)$48 $74.99 (save $26.99)

    • Ozark Trail 2-in-1 portable propane camping stove (2-burner)(Opens in a new tab)$62.25 $79 (save $16.75)

    • Ooni Karu 12 multi-fuel outdoor pizza oven(Opens in a new tab)$299 $399 (save $100)

    Health and fitness deals

    • Lifepro 15lb adjustable dumbbell set with rack(Opens in a new tab)$103.99 $269.99 (save $166)

    • Sunny Health & Fitness magnetic rowing machine with extended slide rail(Opens in a new tab)$224.98 $399 (save $174.02)

    • Sunny Health & Fitness Evo-Fit cardio recumbent bike(Opens in a new tab)$426.89 $548.90 (save $122.01)

    • Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 water rowing machine(Opens in a new tab) — $435.99 $649.99 (save $214 with on-page coupon)

    Streaming, subscription, and software deals

    • Apple TV+(Opens in a new tab)free $6.99/month (save $20.97) for three months

    • Apple Music(Opens in a new tab) free $10.99/month (save $43.96) for four months

    • Dashpass(Opens in a new tab)free for Roku users $9.99.month (save $59.94) for six months

    • Grubhub+(Opens in a new tab) — free for Amazon Prime members $9.99/month (save $119.88) for one year

    • SiriusXM(Opens in a new tab)free $9.99/month (save $39.96) for four months

    • Sling TV(Opens in a new tab)$20/month $40/month (save $20) for your first month

    • Disney+ Basic(Opens in a new tab)$6.99/month $7.99/month (save $3) for three months

    • YouTube TV(Opens in a new tab)$54.99/month $64.99/month (save $30) for your first three months

  • Ukraine President Zelenskyy awards medal to beloved mine-sniffing dog

    Ukraine President Zelenskyy awards medal to beloved mine-sniffing dog

    Patron, the Jack Russell terrier on the frontlines of the war in Ukraine, has been recognized for his heroic efforts.


    The little dog, whose owner is Major Myhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Service, is believed to be responsible for detecting over 200 explosive devices since the start of the war. According to Reuters(Opens in a new tab), President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented Patron and Illiev with an award during a news conference in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau also present.

    In a video(Opens in a new tab) from Suspilne News, Patron is seen approaching Zelenskyy and Trudeau with the confidence and swagger befitting a dog who has risked his life for his country literally hundreds of times. He greeted the world leaders with a wagging tail and few quick barks for good measure.

    Patron and his owner greet Zelenskyy and Trudeau Credit: Getty Images

    According to Reuters, in a statement after the ceremony Zelenksyy said, "Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper(Opens in a new tab) — Patron — who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat."

    Patron, whose name means "ammo" in Ukrainian has become a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance against the Russian invasion for his bravery and grit. He has also earned fans from all over the world and even has his own Instagram(Opens in a new tab) page.

  • 44 things you forgot happened in 2021

    44 things you forgot happened in 2021

    Apparently, the pandemic-induced time distortion that defined 2020 didn't get the memo about the new calendar year. Looking back, the events of 2021 turned out to be just as mind-meltingly difficult to keep track of as last year's.


    But we are once again here to jog your memory about the wrong timeline we continue to live through.  

    There's a reason why, in the beginning of the year, people were already doing retrospectives on what went down in the first week(Opens in a new tab) and first hundred days of 2021(Opens in a new tab). It was kinda darkly funny at first, the impossibility of keeping up with the sheer amount of timeline-breaking, unprecedented shit happening. Then it just went on, and on, and on, and stopped being funny and started messing with our grasp on reality again.

    Whether you spent 2021 still trying to process 2020 or simply did not have the capacity to clock it all in the memory bank, we've compiled a list of the good, the bad, the weird, and the forgettable from this year. While this isn't a list of all of the year's major moments (otherwise, we'd be here well into 2022), we're sure you'll find lots that make you want to launch into a rambling Matthew McConaughey monologue about time being a flat circle.

    1. Bean Dad and Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical rang in the new year as the first viral memes of 2021.

    While their energies could not have been more different, you couldn't escape these viral characters if you were online in the first week of 2021. #BeanDad discourse — over the dad with a polarizing method for teaching his daughter how to open a can of beans — triggered Twitter into a spiral of their non-bean-related daddy issues. Meanwhile, the Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, which began as a somewhat sincere joke on the app, gave us hope for wholesome content by raising over a million dollars for struggling actors.

    2. Capitol insurrectionists made Jan. 6, 2021, a day America will never forget.

    Yet even so, it's hard to wrap our brains around the fact that this horrifying event, where a Trump-supporting mob incited by the president stormed the Capitol, happened less than a year ago. Living through history really does funny things to time, doesn't it?

    3. President Donald Trump was impeached (again) on Jan. 13 then acquitted (again) on Feb. 13.

    Trump was the first president in American history to be impeached twice, the first time for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and the second time for incitement of an insurrection. But we collectively forgot all about that in about five minutes. Guess we were preoccupied!

    Demonstrating just how broken our society is, though, online platforms like Twitter and Facebook (now Meta) actually banned his ass for inciting violence. I guess even an anemic amoeba like Mark Zuckerberg has more of a spine than our government leaders when it comes to threats against American democracy.

    4. Bernie Sanders' mittens and JLo's “Let's Get Loud” performance turned Biden's inauguration into a fever dream.

    Honestly, no 2021 inauguration was ever going to be "normal." But in the midst of all the fear and post-traumatic stress of the Capitol riot, the internet found two bizarre things to distract us.

    5. Larry King, Rush Limbaugh, and Prince Phillip died.

    The Grim Reaper was not kind to 2021, claiming the lives of some beloved titans like Larry King, Alex Trebek, DMX, Norm McDonald, Stephen Sondheim, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Walter, and Michael K. Williams. Oh, and Rush Limbaugh died too.

    6. Daft Punk broke up, because nothing is sacred in 2021.

    Your 28 years of music will forever remain etched in our hearts, even if our we never knew your faces.

    7. Gamestonks and Dogecoin wreaked utter havoc on Wall Street.

    In a still-ongoing battle of the finance bros, Redditors wanting to get their bag ended up saving Gamestop from being the next Blockbuster by buying up all its stock that other investors had bet against. As a result, they threw the stock market into chaos and became enemy #1 of corporate hedge funds. The true victors and losers of this new stock market game remain to be seen. But 2021 popularized the concept of a collective of the 99% beating the 1% at their own game — even if it is just for the lols for some.

    8. The Super Bowl came back, baby! But the viewers didn't.

    Not even a halftime show performance of Jordan Peele's Us, presented by The Weekend, could save this snoozefest from garnering the worst ratings since 2007(Opens in a new tab). The most exciting (though still not memorable) thing to happen was Robinhood's poorly-timed, tone-deaf ad, which angered the r/WallStreetBets Redditors described above into protesting the app that restricted the purchase of Gamestop stock right as it was shooting to the moon.

    9. Elon Musk superseded Jeff Bezos as the richest man alive.

    2021 ramped up billionaire white guy bullshit to DEFCON 1. None of us really care which rich white dude is better at hoarding obscene amounts of wealth gained by exploiting others' labor. But we would like every single one of them to leave space alone.

    As always, it's impossible to list all of Musk's attention-seeking yet forgettable antics from the past year. But here's an incomplete list: 

    • Casting doubt about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines with zero evidence(Opens in a new tab) 

    • Blaming the United Nations for why he can't end world hunger

    • Promising to let customers buy Teslas using cryptocurrency, before saying SIKE

    • Releasing a song about NFTs that he sold as an NFT (fucking kill me)

    • Selling his Tesla stock because "Twitter made me do it" (but really, to avoid taxes)

    10. Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon's CEO. 

    Gone but not forgotten

    Although he's not running Amazon day to day, he is still executive chairman of the company's board. And there are still plenty of 2021 moments Amazon employees will undoubtedly keep close to their hearts, like the time he directed Amazon's Twitter account to beef with Bernie Sanders(Opens in a new tab) and deny that workers are forced to piss in bottles(Opens in a new tab), or the company's illegal union busting tactics(Opens in a new tab). To quote the viral (but quickly banned) 2021 TikTok of diners bullying Bezos(Opens in a new tab) in public, ​​"Hey Jeff, do you feel bad when your Amazon workers die in the warehouse sometimes?"

    11. Nerds finally got their damn Snyder Cut.

    Everyone who isn't a DC fanboy has been dreading the Snyder Cut(Opens in a new tab), a six-hour version of the Justice League movie more aligned with the vision that the original director and writer, Zack Snyder, had for it.  But honestly? It wasn't that bad. But, you know, maybe that's just year two of a global pandemic talking.

    12. There was a coup in Myanmar. 

    America might've live-streamed its own attempted coup during the Capitol insurrection. But the viral video of one Myanmar citizen trying to exercise in spite of the military coup going on in the background(Opens in a new tab) was a lot less embarrassing than all that. 

    13. The internet exploded with memes about the Suez Canal getting plugged up by a massive boat. Many were sexual.

    The OG of 2021 supply chain issues, in March the massive Ever Given cargo ship basically face planted in the middle of one of the globe's most essential trade routes, then promptly refused to move. She brought the kind of chaos energy many of us still stuck in lockdown could relate to, leading to a boatload of memes ranging from the #mood to the YAS THICC QUEEN and even the blatantly horny(Opens in a new tab) variety. 

    It's hard to explain exactly why Ever Given's predicament captured our hearts so much. But at a time when everyone needed a less dire crisis to laugh at, she was there for us, threatening 10 percent of world trade.

    14. Joe Biden's dog, Major, bit not one but two people at the White House in March (and they probably deserved it)

    We're kidding. But we do believe in forgiving a young rescue pup struggling to adjust to the pretty overwhelming environment of the literal White House. Dogs with behavioral issues deserve love, too, along with proper training and precautions. Not to mention that a couple nips hardly compares to the damage done by the last dog who lived in the White House throughout his 2016-2020 presidency.

    Last we heard, Major had happily returned to Biden's Delaware home.

    15. The U.S. government was basically like, “OK you got us! We do have a secret UFO task force!”

    Call 'em Tic Tacs or UAPs(Opens in a new tab) all you want, The Pentagon. We know you mean UFOs. 

    Sure, this slow drip of government disclosure started all the way back in 2019. But 2021 saw a bonafide government report on them released to the public, while military officials took to cable news to talk about a million-dollar secret project investigating "unexplained aerial phenomenon" as a national security threat. 

    The official report never said it was aliens. But it also didn't say it wasn't aliens, soooo… (But yea, it's never aliens.)

    16. We mourned the loss of Yahoo Answers.

    Good night, sweet prince, and may flights of babbys sing thee to thy rest.

    17. Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry did a now-iconic Oprah interview in March.

    Sparking a wave of equal parts backlash and support, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke out against the brutal, often racist treatment Markle endured from the press, certain Royal Family members, and its establishment. Aside from starting important discussions around mental health, racism, sexism, and imperialism, the interview became a favorite meme, too. It even led to the great public service of getting Piers Morgan to leave the Good Morning(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) Britain(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) show(Opens in a new tab).

    As if they weren't busy enough, the two also announced that their second baby was on the way this year.

    18. Clubhouse was the Next Big Thing—until it quickly was not.

    In a Silicon Valley boom and bust not seen since the likes of 2016's Meerkat (Zoomers, ask your resident millennial to explain that one), Clubhouse was abuzz on everyone's lips. Even Twitter rushed to get in on the audio livestreaming future, launching Spaces in March. But neither really took off after that, and now mostly exist as annoying notifications you don't know how to turn off.

    19. Chrissy Teigen quit Twitter for her mental health, came back, then was accused of serious online bullying herself.

    Once a Twitter darling, not even Chrissy Teigen has escaped the crosshairs of post-pandemic celebrity culture backlash. In late March, the model and cooking influencer very publicly announced her departure from social media due to what she described as online harassment and bullying, only to come right back approximately 5 minutes later. Shortly after, many spoke out with allegations against Teigen cruelly bullying them in the past, particularly a young teen follower Teigen repeatedly tweeted a decade ago with "joking" suggestions to end their own life.

    So the moral of the story is, A) None of us should be online and, B) Never talk to any human being like that, online or offline.

    20. A guy who allegedly found shrimp tails in his Toast Crunch cereal got Milkshake Ducked(Opens in a new tab).

    If you don't understand a word of the above sentence, congratulations. You're offline and probably happier for it. Meanwhile, the rest of us had to witness some guy with sugar-cinnamon flaked crustaceans go from alleged victim in a bizarre viral mystery to getting exposed through allegations of emotional abuse by multiple women. 

    21. Andrew Yang ran one of the most spectacularly cringe campaigns for New York Mayor.

    Listen, we're not saying Andrew Yang doesn't have merit as a public figure. But after his failed campaigns in both the Democratic presidential primary and his even more cursed bid for Mayor of New York, it's possible that politics just isn't the right fit. Yang had countless out-of-touch gaffes, like refusing to live in a two-bedroom apartment(Opens in a new tab) in the city he wanted to run—a city famously inhabited by constituents forced to live with far less space. 

    But nothing took the cake like his nauseating video tour of what he claims to be his "favorite" "bodega," in which he appears to fundamentally not know what a bodega is. 

    22. NASA landed a rover on Mars. Again!(Opens in a new tab)

    We can all learn a lot from Perseverance, whose very name embodies what we all had to do to get through 2021’s unending barrage of Events.

    23. We rushed back to IRL theaters for…Godzilla vs Kong?

    The movie, which was released in spring right around the time when vaccines started to become widely available in the U.S., broke a bunch of pandemic box office records(Opens in a new tab). Because it's 2021 and nothing can be normal, a flat earth conspiracy theory was indeed at the core of its plot. 

    24. Kim and Kanye announced their divorce.

    And we're sure that this announcement, and its timing, only just so happened to coincide with the fact that…

    25. Keeping Up with the Kardashians finished its last season.

    People are dying, Kim. You'll have to fight your sister off-camera now like the rest of us.

    26. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was approved, temporarily halted, then brought back to save more lives.

    Yes, all that did happen in the same year — in fact, just a few short months apart from each other. If an anti-vaxxer in your life is still bemoaning this news story, show 'em how just how many people die of blood clots (and far worse) from FDA-approved birth control, for comparison.

    27. Conservatives dragged Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head into the culture wars against their will.

    While actually important world events took place, conservative media like Fox News and its ilk turned these two non-stories into full-blown battles for the heart of America. First, toymaker Hasbro was in the crosshairs for daring to launch a gender-neutral version of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. 

    Then the culture war beast spun a victim narrative around Dr. Seuss' estate, after it decided of its own accord to stop selling six books with racist and insensitive images. Hilariously, conservative outrage only profited the people they were mad at, since the spike in Dr. Seuss book sales lined the pockets of his estate(Opens in a new tab).

    28. The 2020 Olympics happened…in July 2021?

    In an encapsulation of the uniquely bizarre time warp that was this past year, athletes from around the world competed in audience-less arenas in July and August of this year while outfitted in gear for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Despite a COVID-19 surge and country-wide protests against(Opens in a new tab) its endangerment of Japanese citizens, most of whom were not vaccinated at the time, the games barreled on.

    Worse still, it was one of the most forgettable Olympics in recent memory.

    But by far, the most impactful moment from the Tokyo Olympics was Simone Biles' decision to withdraw from them in order to put her mental and physical well-being first. For that, she won the gold medal of reminding us of the lessons we should've learned from 2020.

    29. Awards shows came back, too, and they were once again boring as all hell.

    We'd love to tell you lots about the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, or Grammys. But all we can really remember is the Oscars producers switching up the order only to serve the biggest letdown(Opens in a new tab) when Chadwick Boseman didn't receive a posthumous award.

    30. Bill Cosby's assault conviction was overturned in June(Opens in a new tab), allowing him to walk free despite dozens of allegations.

    As outrage over "cancel culture" reached a fever pitch this year, Bill Cosby's release from prison showed how even predators who do get convicted against all odds often get to waltz back into society. Shortly after his release, rumors of Cosby planning a comeback tour(Opens in a new tab) started circulating, though his representative later said he wouldn't be touring…yet.

    31. Moviepass pretended it would relaunch (it did not). 

    We did not have Moviepass resurfacing for another batshit news story(Opens in a new tab) on our 2021 bingo card, but we welcomed it with open arms.

    32. Addison Rae starred in her first movie, in the year's least memorable cinematic performance of 2021

    The TikTok star attempted a transition into Hollywood with He's All That, a gender-swapped version of 1999's She's All That. Like her TikTok dances, though, the movie was just a more boring iteration of someone else's original work. 

    33. Black TikTok dance creators went on strike.

    Speaking of which, Black TikTok used Megan Thee Stallion's "Thot Shit" as a way to demand popular white creators on the platform stop using their dances without proper credit. The strike was effective, and now dance credits in the captions are the standard on TikTok.

    34. In a too-little-too-late gesture, Biden designated Juneteenth a federal holiday.

    Everyone loves a day off. But if the Biden administration really wanted to begin the process of reconciling with this country's brutal treatment of Black people, it should probably have looked into reparations rather than this relatively empty gesture to honor the true end of slavery.

    35. Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison(Opens in a new tab) for her part in the Nxivm sex cult.

    At least some justice was served in 2021.

    36. America started running out of water.

    After one of the hottest summers on record since the 1936 Dust Bowl, a water shortage was declared in August that had the potential to impact millions. Arizonans dealing with unbearable heat waves were then given mandates to cut back due to the crisis(Opens in a new tab), which cost the state 20 percent of its water supply. 

    37. Football finally got gayer (though still not gay enough) thanks to Carl Nassib coming out as the first openly gay NFL player.

    Pride Month often gets accused of being a time of performative LGBTQ support and acceptance. But Carl Nassib coming out on Instagram took real bravery, and hopefully marks the beginning of a genuine cultural shift away from the heteronormativity that has dominated sports for too long.

    38. Zoomers popularized the term "cheugy,"(Opens in a new tab) giving millennials one more way to feel old and irrelevant.

    Honestly, if it's wrong to live, laugh, love in different fonts with a side part while drinking a pumpkin spice latte, then we don't want to be right.

    39. Joe Rogan got COVID-19 and boasted about taking ivermectin(Opens in a new tab).

    The most popular podcaster on Earth spent a lot of the pandemic flirting with dangerous misinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccines(Opens in a new tab). Then he fucked around and found out he had COVID, before continuing to spread unscientific bullshit(Opens in a new tab).

    40. Prince Andrew was hit with a U.S. lawsuit for sexual abuse(Opens in a new tab) of a minor.

    Somehow, he faced less backlash and received more support from the Queen than Meghan Markle or Prince Harry did after their Oprah interview.

    41. The Activist, a CBS reality show where charities fight for funding, was announced, then canceled within a week(Opens in a new tab).

    Apparently Late Stage Capitalism: The Show was just not what the people needed in 2021. I'm sure CBS would prefer we just forget this ever happened.

    42. R. Kelly was at last found guilty(Opens in a new tab) on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.

    The R&B singer, who avoided accountability for decades despite dozens of accusers and video evidence, was finally convicted in a September trial. He is still awaiting sentencing and another trial in Chicago, where he was previously acquitted for similar charges.

    43. For six glorious hours, Facebook and its apps had a global outage.

    While the company blamed the outage on server issues, the timing suspiciously coincided with a bombshell 60 Minutes interview with former Facebook employee Frances Haugen in early October. The whistleblower had released documents revealing just how aware the company is of all the social ills it causes. 

    A few days later, Instagram experienced yet another outage. Then on Oct. 28, Facebook announced a pivot to Meta, with a name change we're sure isn't the company's attempt to slap a new name on the same old shit.

    SEE ALSO: The best survival kits to prepare you for all the things you can’t predict

    44. Tiger King 2 came out.

    Bringing the pandemic time warp full circle, Tiger King 2 released on Netflix in November. ​​If you even heard about this unnecessary continuation of the 2020 docuseries, your brain most likely instantly forgot, compartmentalizing it into the same place you blocked out the memory of how the quarantine binge took over our lives last year.

  • Sleep on this: Choose between 20% off or a free adjustable base during Idle Sleep’s summer sale

    Sleep on this: Choose between 20% off or a free adjustable base during Idle Sleep’s summer sale

    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.


    In an ideal world, you should snooze for seven or more hours per night, according to the CDC(Opens in a new tab). But even if you turn in at a reasonable hour (and power down your devices), an uncomfortable mattress could disrupt how many hours you actually slumber. Designed for real-life problems like night sweats, Idle Sleep’s memory foam gel mattresses stay cool — and are also surprisingly affordable.

    Now, during Idle Sleep's Summer Sale(Opens in a new tab), you can choose between two great deals: save 20% off any mattress, including memory foam gel, eco latex, and pure hybrid options, or receive a free adjustable base with a mattress purchase.

    Here are some tips for comparing mattresses:

    Stick to your budget

    Count sheep, not dollars Credit: Idle Sleep

    Among Idle Sleep’s full range of mattresses(Opens in a new tab), the most wallet-friendly picks are the standard, 12-inch Idle Gel Foam (Opens in a new tab)(normally $449-$749) and the 14-inch Idle Gel Plush(Opens in a new tab) (normally $799-$1,499), offering luxurious softness. Both feature medium support and toxin-free, Aircell gel memory foam.

    Look for cooling materials

    Sleep cool, be cool. Credit: IDLE SLEEP

    Toss and turn on muggy nights? When you’re too warm, it’s difficult to fall sleep because body temp(Opens in a new tab) plays a role in restful sleep (in other words, you really do need to chill out). For sound slumber, Idle Sleep’s memory foam features layers of gel cooling technology to promote air flow — in both the Idle Gel Foam(Opens in a new tab) and Gel Plush(Opens in a new tab) models.

    Make sure you love it before committing

    That return policy isn't just a dream. Credit: IDLE SLEEP

    Test out any of Idle Sleep mattresses to see if it’s right for you with a risk-free, 18-month trial period. If it’s not the one, you can easily return it without any hassle or awkward conversation. You don’t even need to give a reason.

    Take advantage of a lifetime warranty

    Credit: Idle Sleep

    For extra durability, Idle Sleep uses sink hole-free memory foam and a 2.4-pound base instead of the industry standard of 1.8 pounds. But, if anything goes wrong, the “warranty without end” covers pretty much everything — even body impression.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: IDLE SLEEP
    Get ready for a 20% off a customized sleep experience with code MASHADJUST (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)