LOBOTOMY BAIT #1: losing your virginity, comphet, and how to cool-girl-ify your showerless lifestyle
you asked, i answered
welcome to the long-awaited first installment of my advice column, lobotomy bait, which is not only the name of this column but also a potential instagram bio, incoming shirt idea, and working title for my book. this is my first piece of million-dollar advice — when you have a good idea, make sure to run it into the ground!
lobotomy bait is a mainly subscriber-exclusive feature, but everyone gets access to my favourite question of the week. subscribers can ask questions anonymously via a google doc that will be linked after the paywall. as usual, this advice is mostly the ramblings of a medium-unwell and only vaguely sexy woman, so take it with discretion.
this column includes three topics:
1. showering is sensory hell for me, and i need harm reduction advice that’s not just “shower more”. how do i deal?
2. i’m 17, super horny, and want to lose my virginity. what would you do if you could re-do your first time having sex?
3. i just ended a 2-month relationship and read the lesbian masterdoc. i’m confused, and it feels like i've simultaneously been cheated out of something and also lied to everyone around me. what do i do?
i have sensory issues up the ass and showering is sensory hell — i manage about twice a week without a meltdown, but i want some harm reduction type advice that’s not just "shower more". do you have any hygiene hacks?
this is the question i was born to answer! one of the most fundamentally dehumanizing things about my particular genre of mental illness is that it makes it very difficult for me to take care of myself with any sort of regularity — i won’t debase myself by getting into the specifics of how infrequently i force myself into the shower, but let me just say that if you’re managing twice a week, you are operating far (FAR!) above my pay grade.
i’m not sure if this is something you specifically struggle with, but in general, my first piece of advice around this is more internal than practical: internalize the idea that cleanliness is not a moral act. taking care of your physical form is a job, and like many jobs, it can be difficult — but unlike some jobs, we tend to put an inordinate amount of moral weight on how effectively we perform it. being unclean doesn’t make you a bad person, just like being clean doesn’t make you a good person. i could write an essay on the current moralization and fetishization of “looking clean”, which is in itself a standard rooted in classism, ableism, and frequently racism, and i actually might write that essay eventually! basically, though, taking care of your body as effectively as you can is something to work towards because of the ways it can keep you healthy and happy, but the feeling of shame we’re taught to feel when we can’t seem to do it right doesn’t help anyone — least of all ourselves.
now, some practical tips. i’m a strong proponent of grubby sensuality — i believe that being a bit disastrous is one of the most erotic things a woman can be! the key to grubby sensuality is striking a balance between squalor and excess. i.e.: if you can, invest in a really fancy dry shampoo. this is the one i use — put a bit in right after you shower and i swear it keeps your hair clean forever. i know the price is intense, but when you’re showering once a week, you make the money back on your water bill and shampoo costs.
because we’re laying it all out on the table right now, i’ll come out and say that i also use extra-strength men’s deoderant. once you get over the potential shame associated with this, it works like a charm and it’s also cheap! i have a bunch of them and have one in almost every room in my house so it’s always easy for me to put it on when i get the urge (i know sometimes walking to the bathroom is a lot to ask of yourself).
while we’re talking about scents, here’s the most special grubby sensuality secret i have: your life will change when you figure out how to integrate your natural smell into your perfume. when you’re finding it difficult to shower, trying to brute-force your stink can be a losing battle. what i’ve discovered after years of experimentation is that you can actually find specific scents that sort of blend with your existing smell to transform both into something entirely new (and often VERY sexy). for me, musk-based scents work really well, like margiela’s jazz club (get the sample size, or a dupe). i also have found a lot of success with essential oils — the ones that work for me are lavender and spruce. these are really cheap so you can rub them all over your body and in the ends of your hair and stuff. you’ll end up smelling like a forest fairy, which is a type of mythical creature that presumably also wouldn’t shower very much!
ultimately, though, the goal here is about feeling clean yourself and not just presenting well to others. here’s my rapid fire advice:
get multiple pairs of cheap sheets so you can change them out without having to do laundry every time
keep baby wipes next to your bed to quickly freshen up any part of yourself in the lowest-effort way possible
avoid face makeup if you know you might struggle to wash your face (powder eyeliner, laneige lip balm, and glowy moisturizer are my go-tos when i’m like this because you can basically leave them on forever)
get a lint roller to use on your bedsheets before you get into them. this is a game changer !!!
spray essential oils or nice body spray on your bedsheets as well. you will feel so much better when the area around you smells good. i use this one from Lush
try to invest in a low-maintenance haircut (i.e. one that doesn’t require you to style your curtain bangs or straighten your hair to feel okay about it)
brush your teeth and floss as often as you can — this is actually, more than anything else, something you don’t want to skip!! we’re all about harm reduction though, so use mouthwash if you can’t brush your teeth, or keep swallowable kids mouthwash by your bed if you truly feel like you can’t make it to the bathroom.
when you can shower, using a physical exfoliator on your body helps me feel extra clean
buy a lot of pairs of underwear if laundry is tough too. clean underwear is one of the smallest but most important luxuries ever
saying “change your clothes” might feel obvious if you are even a fraction more functional than i am, but it’s a reminder i need sometimes!
this is all i got at the moment. ultimately, a lot of this rides on the back of advice #1: you are not a bad, illegitimate, or irreparably flawed person if keeping yourself clean is hard sometimes. moralization is the enemy, and radical self-acceptance is the only path to betterment <3
on sex, allure, and virginity
i'm 17, suuuuper horny all the time, and i want to lose my virginity. guys aren't interested in me and i'm not sure what i'm doing wrong. you once put some advice on instagram about being 'alluring', and one of the things was 'don't have sex with people you don't like'. i'm not sure how to get there with people i DO like. what would you do if you could redo starting to have sex?