Year of the Slut

Around this time last year, I decided that my New Year’s resolution was to be a better slut.

Around this time last year, I decided that my New Year’s resolution was to be a better slut. I was tired of feeling broken. Despite being an extremely outgoing and totally horny party girl, I was haunted by the conviction that I’ve been cursed to a lifetime of getting hit on exclusively by creeps—of feeling like my fantasies were always out of reach. Then at 3AM on New Year’s Eve, in the middle of a thunderstorm, I took a cab by myself to a desolate shipping container yard in Singapore in search of a rave, where I met a stranger and told him my mission. He said, “Are you sure?” so I took his hand and proved it, giggling against a hidden stairwell.

When it was over I felt a little gross but mostly euphoric because I’d always been too scared to fuck a stranger at a rave, but now I’d proved to myself that I could do it. I knew that if I could defeat my demons, I could manifest into the total SEX GODDESS I was born to be. The flip-side of desire isn’t hatred—it’s fear. So I resolved to go spelunking in the murky waters of my subconscious to root out what was holding me back. And as corny as this sounds, I started by trying to teach myself the art of seduction.

I began my research on (where else???) Reddit, combing through tutorials written by douchey pick-up artists and picking up surprisingly helpful nuggets. Essentially, it boils down to inhabiting a world of your own making that’s so lit that people are irresistibly pulled into your orbit. Someone who’s seen a lot of death once said that people go out the same way they approached life—whether it’s with curious wonder or a sly sense of humor or a serious stare. I think that’s how seduction works too. You don’t have to pretend to be some mysterious vixen. Sometimes I told myself that chatting up an intimidating stranger was a reporting assignment (lol).

The next year unfolded like scenes in a soap opera, every few weeks a new theme. Shit got weird pretty quick when I chased the pouty models of LA and ended up one night IN A HOMELESS PERSON’S TENT on Skid Row with a Calvin Klein underwear model who was trying to buy crack AND meth to fuel our weekend bender. I invited myself into clumsy threesomes with my friends, basking in the intimacy of dropping into someone else’s relationship. I discovered how liberating it is to be freed from the patriarchy when I hooked up with women. I picked up sugar daddies with pockets lined with sketchy weed money because this is California, baby. Sometimes I played games with myself to see how quickly I could go from chatting up someone at a party to getting an invitation to the bathroom.

In Berlin I explored S&M with a daddy I met after being rejected from Berghain, who invited me to fist him on his artisanal sex swing. Ya’ll, I touched things that I didn’t even know existed. Recently I unlocked one of my greatest realizations: that when it comes to being a dominatrix, I am a goddamn natural. Perhaps my most fun conquest yet was performed fully clothed, with my legs propped up on a boy who was crouching on his hands and knees as my footstool, as I kicked back and smoked a joint on my patio late one night, grinning at the glittering hills.

As I forced myself to be afraid, to be rejected, to be shamed, sex started feeling like less of a torment and more of a game. The irony, of course, is that once you’re not afraid it stops being as fun—but that’s the next chapter I’m working on. Ultimately, what a cool feeling it is to look at yourself and be like, damn baby… you’ve changed. To realize that evolution is possible. To understand that we are are just the stories that we tell about ourselves, that our personalities are comprised of habits that we’ve performed so many times that we convinced ourselves that we are cursed to be like this forever. Anyway, I recently got a sex tattoo to celebrate and thought I would fuck the tattoo artist on the table but I chickened out. Which proved that the game is never over (till it's over).

Welcome To Rave New World

Thanks for letting me slide into your inbox. This is a newsletter about sex, drugs, and raving. I’ll pop in whenever I feel like it, if that’s cool (it’ll be about once a month). Here’s how it’ll work:

  • The idea is to tell you the REAL stories behind my scoops—behind-the-scenes draaama, hot takes or sexcapades too spicy to publish, that kind of thing. I write about the holy trinity of music, weed, and sex… but tbh a lot of the craziest shit doesn’t make it to print.

  • A themed list of stories, videos, podcasts, etc that I’ve been doing. It’s a cute way to keep up with my work.

  • A Q&A with one of my homies, with links to content from around the web that they’re currently hyped on. I have a pretty crazy network of friends—from weed journalists to avant-garde drag queens to hackers throwing crypto-raves in Berlin. Let’s take a look into their brains via their bookmarks.

This newsletter is just starting out so do me a solid: forward this newsletter along to whoever might be into it! I really appreciate the support :) As always, you can follow my exploits in real-time on Instagram and Twitter.

Babes of 2018: My Fave Features on Women

2018 was my first year of freelance and I told myself let's see how long you can go without writing a profile on a man. It was effortless, really. Here are my favorite features I’ve written on women doing dope shit. I don’t know anything about their sex lives (OK maybe I do… but I’m not spilling that tea here!) I do know that they are very good at what they do, and that’s the ultimate seduction.

  1. SOPHIE (Teen Vogue):

    SOPHIE, the greatest pop producer of our generation, gave me her first interview as an openly trans woman. We got lunch at her favorite Hollywood diner and went deep on honesty vs. artifice. She was very elegant and intelligent, speaking softly as her carefully considered words unspooled with the white wisps of her Juul vape. [Listen to “Faceshopping”]

  2. Yaeji (FADER Cover Story):

    I loved writing about Yaeji, a Korean-American singer/DJ/producer who blew up as one of the biggest indie breakouts of the year. It gave me the chance to return to my beloved Brooklyn underground and ponder the softer, introverted side of nightlife. It also confirmed to me that Asian-American queer culture (#slaysians) is on the come-up! [Listen to “Raingurl”]

  3. Chelsea Manning (The Outline):

    I went raving with WikiLeaks whistleblower (and drum & bass DJ) CHELSEA MANNING, one of the most controversial figures in modern American history—and possibly the strongest person I know. It was totally dystopian and surreal—she reminds me of a mysterious hacker in a political spy-action movie—but also very emotional and vulnerable and real. We went shopping for synthesizers. We met Genesis P-Orridge. We even hung out backstage with KRS-One and cried. One of my favorite stories I’ve ever written. [I love her Spotify playlist]

  4. Michelle Yeoh (GQ):

    I grew up watching Michelle Yeoh, star of Crazy Rich Asians and one of the most physically gifted actors alive, on TV in Singapore—and profiling her for my first GQ story felt like coming full circle. She reminded me of a rich tai-tai/doting mother who can kick your ass while sipping wine. What a vibe. [Watch Yeoh’s most ass-kicking scenes]

  5. Alice Glass (The Los Angeles Times):

    Alice Glass, former lead singer of Crystal Castles, took me into the dark womb of her basement studio, where we sat on the carpet and had a raw convo about her v sick new music—a response to her ex-bandmate, who she alleges abused her since she was 15. Glass was very sweet and jumpy and apologetic, which I’ve started to recognize as the default demeanor of people who’ve been through intense trauma. When I saw her shred the stage the next night, however, I was reminded why she’s punk as FUCK. Survivors are the strongest of us all. [Listen to “Without Love”]

Lhooq Book: What My Friends Are Reading

Meet my Singaporean sis Zing Tsjeng! She’s the UK editor at VICE’s women’s site Broadly, and a former News Editor at Dazed. This year, she published four books, wrote the cover of British Vogue on Dua Lipa, and worked on a really cool anti-stalking campaign called Unfollow Me, among many other very impressive things. You can follow her on Twitter and IG.

Michelle: Hayyy Zing! What have you been reading recently by women or non-binary people?

Zing: I am savouring this story like a fine glass of wine I am in no hurry to finish - it is that good. If you haven't read Akwaeke Emezi yet, what is wrong with you?? This investigation is the reason why I'm cutting back on my clothing consumption  this year. I read this in November and couldn't get it out of my head for weeks. You should read it too. Witchcraft stories that engage with history are catnip to me. I'm saving this piece for when I'm feeling resilient enough.

You wrote FOUR books about forgotten women in history in ONE year. Which taught you love, which one taught you patience, which one taught you pain? 

They all taught me patience and pain, and then they taught me to love both patience AND pain. Writing all four Forgotten Women books (in a year!!) on top of my full time gig at Broadly was like an endurance test. I've never worked harder in my life. But it engaged muscles in my brain and my spirit that I didn't know I had. I had to learn to be patient with myself, with my fear of failure and sense of doubt. I learned to love what I do more than I ever have done in the past. I always used to be like, eh I fell into writing *shrug*. Now I know that's just not true, because I have the books to prove it. And obviously, I fell in love with all the women in the books. How could I not?

OMG You Made It to the End!

Here’s your reward: a ticket link to my upcoming WEED RAVE in Los Angeles on January 20. (It’s also my 30th birthday!!!) I’m announcing it later this week, but you can be the first to cop tickets at the very special homie rate of $18. Trust me zaddy… it’s gonna be insane. THE PASSWORD IS “SPLIFF.”

[IMPORTANT: THIS PASSWORD IS GONNA CHANGE OFTEN, PLEASE FOLLOW OUR PRIVATE INSTAGRAM @weedrave.420 FOR UPDATES.]

Also, I’m looking for sponsors, so HMU if you’ve got a homie who works at a cool weed company.

FINAL HIT

Help me decide if this newsletter is worth doing by forwarding this to your friends! If you have any ideas or feedback, DM me on Instagram and Twitter.