Tag Archives: guest post

Ms. Reformed Catholic Schoolgirl

I recently wrote a little something for this month’s theme of sex and religion at Metanotherfrog, and since I haven’t been in and out of town lately, I have been lax in talking them up over here at Man-shopping.  Many apologies to Elizabeth Rose, Sam Sharpe and Skye Blue for my absence, and without further ado, I’d like to encourage you, dear readers, to get your butts over to Metanotherfrog to check out their work!

Here’s a little teaser for my guest post for them…

When the lovely folks over at Metanotherfrog asked me to contribute to their discussion about religion, as a former catholic schoolgirl, I was only too happy to oblige.  Since those days, I’ve discarded my plaid skirts, cable-knit knee socks, and saddle shoes.  They may have made a brief reappearance for a few themed parties in college, but it’s been a long time since I was plagued with the catholic guilt and inexplicable reverence for religious rituals that defined my elementary school days.

You can find the rest here.

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Ms. Mantissa and the Russian Red

After reading the Man-Shopper’s musings on red lipstick, I decided to give Red Hot a try on a night out.  It was something of a last-minute impulse as I was heading out the door, so I unfortunately didn’t have time to change my clothes in accordance with the “Parisian queenbitch-vixen” look.  In fact, I was probably pretty far from the parisienne as depicted in her Ms. Russian Red post.  Imagine:

  • No swooshed fringe.  Probably some flyaways.
  • No cigarette.
  • By-no-means-skinny jeans (blue, not black)
  • Legs with flesh on them
  • Fitted black top (if I’ve got shape, why hide it behind a shapeless tunic?).
  • Rockin’ brown heels.

However, I did have the following:

  • Non-smiling red pucker
  • No cleavage showing

Did I have the right attitude?

  • I’m not half-starved.
  • I wasn’t wearing a kick-ass matching lingerie set.  I don’t even own one.  In fact, I think I was in desperate need of doing laundry and was on my last pair of knickers (and no, I won’t tell you what pattern is on them).
  • But hey — I still OWN the sidewalk.

Regardless, the Man-Shopper’s theory is that the red lipstick defines the queenbitch-vixen image, thus mesmerizing the men and empowering the pouter.  If this theory is true, it shouldn’t matter what the rest of me looks like–the color of my lips should bamboozle the senses and render men powerless against me!

So what happened after walking into the club with the reddest lips in town?  Firstly, I had to wait in line to get to the actual dancing.  Behind men.  Who turned around and saw me and were in no way hypnotized by my crimson kisser.  I was willing to attribute this to the dim lighting of the foyer, which made all colors indistinguishable.

Once we were on the dance floor, I made absolutely sure not to smile in order to maximize the effect of the pouty red lip, eliciting multiple comments from my friends about my serious dancing face.  But in the interests of science, I merely shrugged and tried to channel my inner Parisian vixen.

As the night progressed, some of my girlfriends began pairing off with strange men.  They did not have red lipstick.  No man so much as looked twice at me or my lips.  One guy did invade my dance space a couple times, but that could have been because he was too busy making out with some blonde chick to pay attention to where he was dancing.

At this point, my friends abandoned their new men-friends, and we removed ourselves to the rooftop bar to rest and cool down.  I was starting to get very frustrated.  Why wasn’t the red lip working?  Had the Man-Shopper failed me?

But wait!  Were those three men sneaking glances at us?  Lo and behold, one of them sidled on over to us!

Unfortunately, he was drunker than pink elephants on parade.  The conversation started something like this:

Him : “D’you wanna hear a story?”

Friends : <shrug>

Me : “That depends.  Is it a good story?”

Him : Silence.  “I dunno.  It’s all, well….subjective.”

Me : “If you don’t think it’s a good story, how are we supposed to think it’s a good story?”

Him : “It’s, uh, subjective.  Y’know, an opinion.”

I was about to add that I was asking for his opinion on his story, but he interrupted and began telling the story anyway.  He had just gotten a new bike with the clip-in pedals and was biking down U Street when all of a sudden, he had to stop at an intersection.  So he braked, and since his feet were clipped in to his pedals, he fell over.  And of course it was necessary to mime this fall as a cheap way of initiating physical contact with my (non-lipsticked) friend.

That was it.  It was not a good story.  AND, he showed no sign of being bedazzled by the red lip.  Neither did his friends when they sauntered over.  They were much more interested in the lovely ladies next to me, who at least had the good manners to put on fake smiles.  If I wasn’t shooting full-fledged glares, there were certainly some withering looks sent their way.  Thankfully, we left pretty soon after that encounter, and I was able nurse my erstwhile red lips’ wounded pride at home, curled up in bed with my hot water bottle.

So the final score for the night:

Red lipstick: 0 men

No lipstick: ≥ 4 men

What does that say about the power of red lipstick?  There are a number of possible conclusions:

  1. The Man-Shopper’s red lipstick theory is false, and you need the rest of the Parisian bitch-vixen look for red lipstick to be effective.
  2. Red lipstick only enchants Parisian men and not American men.
  3. These men are outliers.  Not enough data.
  4. There is something wrong with me.  I am repulsive to all men.
  5. Some option not yet considered.

Given these options, I’m inclined to go with option 3.  If anyone else has any red lipstick data — in Paris or otherwise — I urge you to share your results.  In the meantime, I fully intend to do more research.

Reporting from the American East Coast,

Ms. Mantissa


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Ms. Proud Singleton

Thanksgiving is upon us!  And in honor of this blessed holiday of gluttony and death-by-pecan-pie, let me present a link to a MetAnotherFrog post featuring the talents of ladies whom Jackie over at F*ing in Brooklyn calls “the Beatles of women dating bloggers.”  I was so flattered by this title that I actually blushed — something that I try to avoid, as I turn a ghastly shade of purple when I blush.

Along with the vivacious vixens behind The Singles Filez, How Very Lucky To Be A Girl, and Sex, Lies and Dating in the City, I present my list of the small joys of being single.  As my mother is starting to coerce me into blind dates, as my father is giving hope of grandchildren, and as my non-single friends are beginning to parade me around as the token singleton and resident circus animal at their dinner parties, I must remind myself of why I choose to be on my own for the time being.

Fellow singletons, what is on your list?  Why do you enjoy the single life?  The first three items on my list are the following:

  • My father can cling to his illusions about my virtue. If I don’t have a boyfriend, he can tell himself that his little girl is not being violated by some schmuck who isn’t worthy of her. The poor man has three daughters; he doesn’t need any extra stress in his life.
  • My side of the bed is ALL SIDES. I can sleep on the upside-down diagonal if I want to, dammit.
  • By definition, I can’t cheat if I’m single.

Read the rest of my list here!  Check out what the three other Beatles of dating bloggers (God, my ego is SO inflated right now, and I love it) have to say.  Join in the lively discussion in the comments section.  Browse MetAnotherFrog.

But don’t forget to come back here every once in a while to stroke my ego and laugh at my loser-ish antics and my upcoming attempts at artwork.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  Brace yourself.)

Happy Thanksgiving from your favorite Parisian dater,

Helene the Man-shopper


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Ms. Guest Perv

When I was asked to contribute a guest post for the ever-tenacious Ken over at Lustmongers, I admit that I was stumped.  But when lovely Skye over at MetAnotherFrog suggested that I change up my tune a bit by writing about what I look for in a man (instead of the usual rip-and-run fare that you’re likely to find on my blog), I was eager to rise to the challenge.

And what a challenge it was!  It’s tough to be positive in this dating market.  But, dear readers, if you’d like to see what I came up with, below you can find an excerpt from my musings about “Shopping for the Ideal Man:”

If you look only at my blog entries, you’d think that I spend 100% of my dating time being a brutal buzz-saw – that all I do is gut my Parisian victims as if they were animal carcasses in my own personal slaughterhouse. I’m terribly offended that anyone could possibly think this of me. Unlike my mother, who was born without tear ducts, I am somewhat human, and I am here on Lustmongers to combat these vicious assumptions.

For the record, I only spend 99% of my time being the Man-chopper, so to speak. There is a whopping 1% of positive thinking that goes on, I swear. To prove it to you, this post is dedicated to unveiling the Man-shopper’s ideal man.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t focus ALL my energy on finding fault with my men. Even though I find myself assuming the worst of Parisian ‘gentlemen’, there is an itty-bitty-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini part of me that still holds out hope that my ideal man is out there.

Who is this fairy-castle-in-the-sky of a man that I’m looking for, you ask? Brace yourself. This list is so profound that it very well may change your life.

For the rest, go to Lustmongers and read it here. And while you’re at it, stay a while, browse the site, and discover how I came to cherish its irreverence and bum worship.  I am truly honored to be considered a Guest Perv.


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