Happy Mew Thong February!
It’s Mew Thong February again, which, for those who don’t know, is what my phone autocorrected New Thing February to last year, and which I found so much more delightful that I kept the misnomer.
I started the tradition when I was reeling from a breakup and desperate not to fall into my usual trap of self-loathing and stagnation—a la drinking manhattans alone and writing forlorn poetry equating my vagina to Catholic iconography or wolves.
I still did those things—the wolves were hungry!—but I also told myself I would learn one new thing or try one new thing a day for the short month of February.
That was it. That was the whole “plan” to deal with (or more accurately, to avoid) the pain and loss of my breakup. And it ended up being so much more fun than I thought it would be.
I found a magical brunch place with enormous cat statues and goats roaming the premises.
I discovered (as previously suspected) that I’m very bad at ballet!
I visited the place where I was violently mugged and cried and cried and cried. Then stopped crying because I was okay. Or, okay-ish. Or, better than I was a year ago.
With quarantine, I thought Mew Thong might be much harder, but in many ways, it’s been easier actually—so much is virtual. Also, I moved away from Oakland recently, so literally everything is new, AND HENCE FAIR GAME.
I took a K-pop dance class with instructors who were in South Korea! I learned to speed-read; discovered pirate metal (?!); celebrated the Lunar New Year; cast my first spell; learned to fix the endless parade of crotch-holes that plague my hipster-jeans-wearing ass; learned 10 phrases in Croatian, and much more—plus, the month isn’t over yet.
Head to Instagram (@lezbianna) to see the full adventure with all the pics and videos.
It’s been a rejuvenating experiment during these isolating and strange times. While I don’t really feel that much more competent in the select number of new skills I attempted to learn, doing Mew Thong continues to fill me with an immense and rudimentary kind of pleasure.
I recommend it, even at a slower pace. Try one new thing a week. Make a recipe you’ve never tried. Visit a park you’ve never been to. Walk home a different way than you usually do. Learn to juggle or tango or play chess. Teach yourself how to change the oil in your car (still on my list!) Then revel in the simple satisfaction of a job not exactly well done but at least done. And on to the next.
If you need inspiration, I found a lot of ideas in this (very long) list of 101 skills to learn.
I also found inspiration reading the physical newspaper on Sundays, (which doubled as a Mew Thong!) and introduced me to a bunch of new places, parks, restaurants, and virtual events happening both near and far.
Pandemic times are also good times to revisit or rediscover long-forgotten joys. To view the world around us with wonder, zeal, and unabashedly unashamed eyes (and limbs) of a beginner.
Well, not that old, but…
When a partner dissociates during sex (Chicago Tribune)
How to have sex post-prostate cancer (Chicago Tribune)
Some friendly advice for a man attracted to lesbians (Chicago Tribune)
Will taking birth control pills help me grow breasts? (Chicago Tribune)
Want Me—a memoir by friend and fellow sex writer Tracy Clark-Flory, who explores her sexuality through the lens of male desire. With a brief cameo by me, who pep-talks TCF into pursuing her favorite porn star. Buy it here.
You Never Forget Your First—the first biography of George Washington written by a woman (also my fun and wry friend Alexis Coe), who course-corrects the mythology and worship surrounding the OG Prez, including why his male biographers are so obsessed with Washington’s thighs. Buy it here.
Getting It—a guide to better, hotter, shame-free sex by Allison Moon. I once attended a how-to-have-girl-sex workshop with Moon (at a sex party, no less!), expecting to be all-knowing on the topic, but Moon absolutely proved me wrong, and with enthusiasm, wit, and gentleness. Buy it here.
Plus! Valentine’s Day may be over but wooing never ends. If the friend, special someone, or chosen fam in your life wants some romance, LOLs, or both, head to my Etsy shop and get a cheap lesbian sex haiku book ($5) or a book + a personalized haiku ($10).
PS: What are you learning? What are you making? What are you reading? I’m always looking for recs.