By KELSEY TRIBE
My head is pounding; my throat dry; my stomach feels like a bag of hot, roiling, bubbling water; my knees are painful and swollen; my feet dotted with blisters. Eyeliner is smeared under my bloodshot eyes; my mouth tastes like shit. Along with a dissatisfaction with the human race in general, I am experiencing the side effects of the youth clubbing and hook up culture.
I went out with the intention of fully participating in this hook up culture. My friend and I, we’ll call her Em, are both young, single feminists. We have spoken often about the straitjacket of the cultural construct of passive female sexuality, a powerfully manipulative force in our society, and one that limits those actions, behaviours, and discourses that I feel are available to me if I don’t want to be ostracised by male and female peers, colleagues, bosses and figures of authority in society. So we decide to revolt, to go out and join the mass of anonymous bodies gyrating under the fluorescent lights with the intention of getting laid. Revelling in our transgressional plans, we break out of our permitted female discourse. The phrases “like a cat on heat” and “get my dick wet” are thrown around, and we feel delightfully taboo.
It was more difficult than I had anticipated. From the beginning, as I dressed in my bedroom and prepared for the night ahead, I had the wrong mindset. I felt too aware of the subtext of everything, too conscious of how constructed and fake everything involved in the night suddenly felt, now that it was here.
I wanted to look feminine, available, sexually enticing but not aggressive, never aggressive. I’ve read that men find women wearing red dresses more appealing, so I put one on. Then the feminist voice in my head pointed out that I was deliberately dressing for the male gaze. I settled on my usual black, compromising by wearing high heels and an inappropriately light cardigan for July.