Photo by Tim Barber.
Being “crushed out” is not the ethereal world of magic not-knowingness that people often think it is. In actual fact, the “crush” is a well-researched science that goes back tens and tens of years. For example, when you are attracted to someone, you send out a series of sex pheromones to the mate in question. If said mate feels the same way, he or she will raise his or her abdomen to reveal a pink and moist sex gland. This gland will usually be slowly undulating and will smell not unlike honey. The term most people use for this coital dance is “crushed out,” and the facts behind it are steadfast. Here’s an A–Z of the best ways to master the empirical art of liking.
A: ASKING ABOUT HIM
This was first discussed very briefly in the Happiness Guide in VICE Vol. 10, No. 1. We didn’t get into it more because pick-up guides are corny, but the readers insisted, so whatever. Anyway, does he have a girlfriend? Is he a gay? You gotta ask his friends about him, but not his bestest friends, unless you want him to know right away. Ask a semi-good friend so you can get the dirt––you know, if he’s a player or a pussy. Hopefully he’ll be that fine but rare line between the two. Maybe he’s on the rebound or currently crushed out on someone else. If you can check off the basics one by one, then you’re in the clear and you should ask him if he wants a drink or if he wants to go to some sort of thing (not a movie). For more on this, check “D.”
Mix tape recommendation: Apples in Stereo, “Motorcar” B: BORROWING
Borrow a book or a movie just so you have the excuse to see him again, or even conveniently leave something like a sweatshirt at his house. This is a no-fail plan, because if he sees your sweatshirt lying around, he’ll have to think about you and be reminded of your charm (plus you left pheromones in it). Forced thinking is good, even though it’s commonly known as “mind rape.” Of course, the plan backfires if you decide you don’t like him. Then you have the annoying burden of meeting up. You could then decide in a Zenlike way that it’s “just a sweatshirt” and leave it as a relic for him to pine over forevermore.
Mix tape: Billy Bragg, “A New England” C: COCAINE
Nothing gets a lady to come up to your house more quickly than an eight ball. Nothing makes her more likely to receive your kiss and you more likely to have balls enough to deliver it. The problem is you have to do at least four lines and three songs before you can bust a move and that is not exactly a recipe for an erect penis. Just multiply Shakespeare’s line, “It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance,” by about a thousand. You’d be an asshole not to have Viagra hanging around, but most of us are assholes, so fuck it, you try to feed it in there like a piece of wet spaghetti. Once it’s two-thirds of the way in, you start “rabbit fucking,” hoping the friction will bring it to life, but alas, her vagina poos it out like a sad worm getting voted off Survivor. The worst part is, if you don’t get a second chance, she tells all her friends and you are forever known in girl land as “Sad Arthur” (or whatever your actual name is). For more on this, check “E.”
Mix tape: The Carpenters, “Close to You” D: DATING
Unless Sex and the City perfectly represents your demographic and you look like all the girls in Joe Millionaire combined, you already know dating is gay and boring (especially movies because you don’t get to talk). The only good thing about it is the guy is not too wasted and tired to fuck because you focused on the hook-up real early. The best way to really get to know somebody is to get his number and then call him in a real casual way from a noisy, fun place yelling, “Hey, I can’t really hear you, but we’re up at Aunt Jemima’s and it’s really fun. I’d give it a fun factor of 8.” The other good thing about that is, you can’t get rejected because you were never interested anyway. You were focused on the party and could give less of a shit if he shows up, right?
Mix tape: Dead Milkmen, “Punk Rock Girl” E: EAT HER OUT
There are a lot of reasons your ween might not be on during that first night together. Usually it’s because you’re thinking about it too much (“I can’t believe she’s finally in my bed”). Instead of getting mad at your dick, get over it. Eat that puss so perfectly that even Fifi Le Pew would be impressed (go to amazon.ca and search “VICE Guide” for more on that). If she doesn’t know you too well, she may not want you to go down there forever, but if you can really rock the shit out of that clam for the short amount of time you’re down there, you could very likely convert her from your crush to your bitch.
Mix tape: Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love?” F: FUCKED-UP DEFORMITIES
You know you are crushed out for life when you actually want her to have imperfections because there’s less chance someone else will be competing for her. Only little brothers care about shit like fat ankles or acne. The real deal is when you don’t care about deformities. Wait, don’t care? What if you want deformities? Does the idea of her having no arms sound like matrimonial bliss? Do you like the thought of her having a massive birthmark on her face? You’re fucked, dude. The good news is, when you are that far gone, your pitch is so sincere and heavy that she’s like, “OK, he seems pretty fucking set on this. I guess I’ll try it out. Worst case scenario is I have my pussy passionately eaten out for five hours.” Like some guy on TV said last night, “I believe people get what they really want.”
Mix tape: Firehouse, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” G: GOING TO EXTREMES TO IMPRESS YOUR CRUSH
Like Lucas when he tries out for the football team. Why not use that extra bit of adrenaline to go all out and impress her. You’re fun. You can slide down stairs on your stomach. You can do a backflip off a chair into a pile of garbage. You can fight the biggest guy in school. If this doesn’t impress her on the simian alpha-male level, it will at least make her think that hanging out with you is an event and she could be the girlfriend of “Crazy Eddie.” The important thing about going to extremes is that it shows you are genuinely into your crush. Next thing you know you’re getting fascinated by things you were never into, like politics or Mudhoney or horoscopes.
Mix tape: Necro, “Get on Your Knees” H: HOROSCOPES
Love Signs by Linda Goodman definitely kills some of the torture time until you see him next week. Of course, this book is like kryptonite to guys, so do not tell him you know anything about it and DEFINITELY hide it when he comes over.
Mix tape: Cam’ron, “Hey Ma” I: I LOVE YOU
In some movies from the 1970s, love notes can be charming, but really, it’s kinda pussy and unless you know FOR SURE that she’s crushed out on you too, DON’T DO IT! In case it’s unclear, make a fucking mix tape. But if it’s too soon for that, and you still feel the need to express your emotions (risky), draw a heart on a napkin and slip it to her like you’re making fun of love notes. I always thought it was sweet when that chick gave that dude a bloody heart from the butcher shop on The Real World. I once got a girl I was crushed out on by writing the tiniest notes you could ever imagine and putting them on her keyboard at work (when she was there, no weirdo stuff). They said stuff like, “My friend likes you” and “Hi.” I know it sounds really gay but it worked.
Mix tape: Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” (just kidding), Elvis Costello, “I Want You” J: JERKING OFF ABOUT HER
This magic act does two things: 1) When you are beating off about her, it sends magic threads through the cosmos that inevitably clasp on to her ear and make her feel this kind of “Whoa, tee-hee, what was that?” thing that feels exactly like an inner tickle. 2) After masturbating about her 16 times, she is basically your girlfriend (in your head). Therefore, the next time you see her you’ll be all laid-back and casual, touching her shoulder and saying, “What’s going on?” in a relaxed, long-term boyfriend kind of way. How could you be uncomfortable around a woman who, just last night, was on her knees in white high heels and turquoise socks BEGGING to feel your cum in her mouth (with Béatrice Dalle tied up behind her, masturbating).
Mix tape: Jawbreaker, “Chesterfield King.” K: KKK
Joining the KKK is a great way to meet guys. They are edgy and opinionated and always have fun activities to go to. Prepare to get crushed the fuck out!
Mix tape: REO Speedwagon “Keep On Loving You” L: LAME FOOTWEAR
Shoes can make you fall in love with a girl. Even if she’s a chunkybunch that’s not so hot to look at, the right heels can just set you off. Especially if she keeps them on when you get her naked. The twist here is that it’s BAD shoes that let you know if you’re crushed out. If she shows up at the door in Birkenstocks and you can laugh it off, you are head over heels (get it?).
Mix tape: Magnetic Fields, “Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits” M: MIX TAPE ALERT!
Do not make a mix tape for someone you have not fooled around with yet (said in an “emergency, emergency” robot voice). If she has a boyfriend and you are just courting her, she will put on the tape and they will lie in bed listening to “Ne Me Quittez Pas” and laughing their fucking asses off. You know that Grant Hart song “All of My Senses”? Imagine her and her boyfriend toking a one-hit and killing themselves when he goes, “Without you I’m abuuuuuusing, all of my sensee-eees.” You might as well have a hidden camera in your toilet that broadcasts to Times Square. Once you have horsed around with her, the best way to avoid embarrassing situations like these is simple: Do not pay too close attention to the lyrics. Trying to frame a message in other people’s lyrics is gay. Throw in a kind of mean one like “I Don’t Wanna Be Friends With You” by the Shop Assistants or “Sick Little Girl” by Pop Will Eat Itself. Then when she says, “What was that song where they go, ‘She’s a real dumb bitch, she’s a waste of good skin, my heart bleeds for the shape she’s in,’” you can say, “Oh, I just like that song is all.” N: NERVE.COM
When nerve.com started out, it was a great way for unattractive girls with a penchant for giving blowjobs to meet lonely guys with a penchant for receiving them. The computer serves as a relatively clean screening process because rapist murderers tend not to have a computer, a digital camera, and an ability to make jokes about Lou Barlow. In the past two years, however, the site has turned into a digital cum bath. It’s not so handy when you’re sweating someone real, but during those endless hours between seeing him, it’s a great way to stay occupied and get some confidence. You can develop 10 fake crushes so you’re not as vulnerable if he says no. It’s also great for booty calls.
Mix tape: Neil Young, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” O: ONLY CALLING TO HEAR HIS VOICE AND THEN HANGING UP
Stupid, immature, junior-high, and it works like a charm every time. Waiting for the phone to ring is torture because he’s not gonna call when you want him to, so go out and buy something low-cut instead. You have a cell phone anyway, Gaylord, plus, boys don’t call at two in the afternoon unless they’re fags. Besides, there’s something about the chemicals you let out when you wait for a phone call. It’s like, duh, God’s not gonna make it that easy.
Mix tape: The Chiffons, “One Fine Day” P: PLAYING EYE CONTACT
If you’re at a bar and someone makes eye contact with you at least three times, you can fuck them. If they make eye contact too much but never talk to you, they are pussies. If you have a crush on someone and he’s making eye contact, fuck yeah. Go in for the kill.
Mix tape: Propagandhi, “This Might Be Satire” (“I wanna chew my bubblegum with you, and I wanna walk you home from school. I wanna carry your books to every class, and I wanna fuck you up the ass.”) Q: QUIET TIME
One of the biggest mistakes guys make after meeting a crushed-out girl is talking too much. They should take Hemingway’s advice: “The one lesson I’ve learned about women over the years is how to shut up. The things they imagine you are thinking are far better than anything you could come up with on your own.” But my friend Mike says, “Don’t stop talking, just keep talking and talking and talking right up until you’re talking to them in your bed.” I think Mike’s method is good for the first lay, and then you go with Hemingway after you’ve boned her.
Mix tape: Q Lazarus, “Horses” R: RECOGNIZE
This is the doozy. The whole article could be about this, but Lesley always wants to do the A–Z thing so we have to stick it here. Getting seen and seeing your crush is 99 percent of the game. Stopping by his place of work looking hot and casual like you didn’t know you’d end up there. Talking on your cell phone and pretending not to see him. Walking around in his ’hood is exciting and a lot more fun than jonesing for him sitting at home. It multiplies your chances of “accidentally” bumping into him (“Oh hey, what’s up?”). You just happen to be freshly scrubbed, with subtle makeup and the perfect cute outfit that is way hard to put together (usually involves Chuck Taylors and tight pants that make your ass look juicy and pert). Of course, if you go to a bar where he’s supposed to be and he’s not there, it is a fucking bum-out. You wasted your cute look and you can’t use it again. Boys are funny when they have a crush and she shows up at the bar. He’s not paying attention to any conversations because he’s looking at the door and then he goes, “She’s here!” when she walks in, like his friends are commandos and they’re going to start getting into position to help maximize his chances. What does he think they’re going to do, flank her? They don’t give a shit, you boob.
Mix tape: The Rolling Stones, “She’s a Rainbow” S: SONG LYRICS
Not for him, for you. Like Billy Bragg goes, “Every time I switched on the radio there was someone else singing a song about the two of us.” It’s fun to go through songs and decide which ones will be your wedding song. Wondering if it would be too gay to have a Jimi Hendrix solo playing as you walked out of the church. Note: DO NOT TELL HIM ABOUT THESE THOUGHTS!
Mix tape: The Smiths, anything T: TELLING EVERYONE IN THE WORLD
This is fucking stupid but you do it anyway. Sometimes the obsession is too out-of-control, and once you’ve told one person you’re not really great friends with, you may as well tell them all. This might work because he likes you too and how would he have known if people hadn’t told him? It also may blow up in your face, because (and I know this is weird) sometimes a crush is best from afar and you don’t want it to be true. Like catching a lightning bug in a jar. Wait a minute, lightning bugs are cool to look at in a jar.
Mix tape: Screeching Weasel, “Totally” U: UNDER THE SHIRT, OVER THE BRA, OUT PAST 11 ON A SCHOOL NIGHT
This should be a skipping-rope song. I guess little kids aren’t horny enough to sing about the culmination of a crush. There is nothing better than jonesing and jonesing for her tits and then having them in your face. You’re like “Whaaat the fuuuuuuuuck, mmmm…” Next thing you know, you look at the clock and you’ve spent thirty minutes smelling her back. Snap out of it, guy, she’s going to think you’re Crispin Glover.
Mix tape: Digital Underground, “The Humpty Dance” V: VAGINA GETTING WET WHEN HE SHOWS UP
When I was about 16, I went to Jamaica with all my friends (I got a ton of money from an eye accident and spent it within a year) and we dressed like sluts and went to dancehall clubs. We were so naïve we had barely gotten over the fact that dicks look weird. Anyhoo, upon hitting the dance floor we were surrounded by muscular black men with gale-force libidos who were grinding up to our crotches and saying shit we didn’t understand like “You gal dem greatest ting God put pon d’ert.” We were all like, “Eeew,” and went home early, though I stayed dancing with this one guy longer than I thought. When we got home I took off my short shorts and noticed a wet mark on them. I remember thinking, “Aw geez, I peed my pants a little bit.” When it happened again a few years later in Craig Fraiser’s car I realized it was more than pee. It was my crushed-out pussy preparing for one of those weird-looking things to go into it.
Mix tape: Van Halen, “Why Can’t This Be Love?” W: WALKING ON THE PHONE
I know you want to sound relaxed and busy with other stuff, but calling her from your cell phone while you walk has the opposite effect. I once called this girl Jasmine while I was walking down six flights of stairs and, though I thought it would come across as busy-guy-who-can-only-catch-up-on-phone-calls-while-getting-to-the-train, it came across as psychotic-pervert-who-likes-to-jerk-off-when-he-leaves-messages. Apparently her roommates saved it forever and would smoke pot and laugh their asses off to me going, “He ey ey Ja ah ah sm sm sm ine ine, wha at s u up?” and so on. When I finally went over there, they were staring at me with bug eyes going, “Holy shit, that’s the phone guy!” Anyway, just stop by the dumpster next time you’re leaving a message. You don’t need to be breathing like that.
Mix tape: Wire, “Outdoor Miner,” or the Germs, “What We Do Is Secret” X: X-TREME OVERLOAD CRUSH
The burn-out crush-out comes in two forms. The first kind is for when you like him so much you are freaked out so you don’t talk to him or anything and just shut down so he thinks you hate him. That one’s a bummer because it never goes anywhere, so we’re going to talk about the second one. This is usually booze-influenced, and it’s usually a guy out of your league but it goes like this: You see a guy at a bar and fall in love with him and all the shit your friends are talking about just sounds like the adults in Peanuts. You start thinking about your kids’ names and what he’s going to look like with a gray beard and you think you’ve found the one. Then he does something slightly less than perfect. Maybe he laughs like Tom Cruise or he tucks in his T-shirt. Whatever it is, all of a sudden you hate him and want to break up. You can’t believe how easily he pissed your love away by acting like a twat. That motherfucker is dumped. Sayonara, loser! It’s funny how mad you get about it. Once I even walked by one of those guys and I actually VERBALIZED, “Good–bye! (harrumph)” and stormed out. He must have thought I was totally fucking nuts.
Mix tape: X-Ray Spex, “I’m Obsessed With You” Y: YOUR STOMACH
You’re getting butterflies in your stomach every time he walks by. It sounds like a love song from the 1960s. It should. When you have a major crush, time stops. Strangely enough, that’s the same feeling you get when you’ve just broken up with them and you see them at a bar. According to doctors like my mom, that feeling is caused by an adrenaline rush that makes your stomach start digesting faster, which feels funny because there’s no food there. Like coffee on an empty stomach. Sucks for boys, because they fart, and smelling rotten eggs is not exactly the fastest way to a woman’s heart—which is weird because my Nana says the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Mix tape: Blur, “You’re So Great” Z: ZOOMING IN ON EVERY DETAIL
Why are you spending hours upon hours reviewing every detail of that last conversation? “I am going over to Mark’s” has no hidden meaning. And why are you reading and re-reading every email you ever got from him? It’s weird because when you finally do end up getting him, there’s going to be way too many phone calls and emails and details and you’re going to be like, “Shut up, already. Jesus, you already told me this story.”
Mix Tape: The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year”