Breaking news: Fictional characters are hooking up

Graphic by Jenny Kwan

Since Valentine’s Day is at our doorsteps, The Concordian has put together a team of very serious and very real “cultural scientists” that has cogitated for a week to deliver to you a list of especially peculiar couples. More precisely, this article is a complex experiment trying to put some of our favorite fictional characters together — crossing them over from literature, television and the big screen. Keep in mind that the results presented below are not some average “best couples” from People magazine — instead, you will be reading about original duos that would make sense (or not) in the fictional melting pot that is our collective imagination. Also, there may (probably will) be spoilers.

A very logical couple

One is a favorite methamphetamine producer with a wife that does not respect or support his ambitions and a brother-in-law that wants him gone from future family reunions. The other is the mother of a king, has a particular talent for exploiting and manipulating the people around her, seems to have some daddy issues, and becomes a widow of her own accord. We are talking here of Walter White and Cersei Lannister, characters from two of the most praised television shows of the past few years — Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.

When you think about it, it makes absolute sense that those two should end up together: both are unquestionably in ‘empire business’, they both have sons that could bond and become friends over breakfast and, let’s face it, it would be beneficial for both of them to get out of their present, unhealthy relationships. If it were to happen, Heisenberg could expand his market shares by selling his Blue Sky all over the seven kingdoms of Westeros, and Cersei could easily orchestrate a sophisticated stratagem to assassinate and corrupt the whole establishment of Albuquerque. Logical, wouldn’t you say?

A most sexy/badass couple

Sexy characters, especially women, are usually only depicted as eye candy and not much else. Still, isn’t it more sexy when said attractive character has some kind of specific skill, a taste for adventure or any other unusual but spicy habit? That is exactly what we would have by coupling famous archeologist/teacher/explorer/hero, Indiana Jones, and the vengeful and beautiful Angel of Death, as represented by The Bride from Tarantino’s classic Kill Bill movies.

It may seem like a weird match at first but if you really think about it you will realize that they belong together. First, they love to travel around the world. OK, it is true that Indiana Jones is trying to find ancient artifacts and fight Nazis and The Bride travels around the globe to find and annihilate her ex-coworkers but still, we could easily picture them together in an all-inclusive resort holding hands and sipping on some piña coladas. Also, they would both benefit from each other’s personality traits. The Bride could learn to relax a little with Mr. Jones’ laid-back attitude, and Indy could finally break his pattern of rescuing women and dumping them after each adventure by choosing to be with the independent and fierce blonde assassin that would not be afraid of snakes.

Finally, the simple fact that this couple could kick the ass, both figuratively and literally, of Brangelina or any other celebrity supercouple demonstrates that they deserve the title above.


While we’re at it…

A most necessary couple

In a perfect world, Justin Bieber would be dating the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is true that Justin Bieber is not a fictional character — but sometimes it feels like he is.

A woman like the Queen of Hearts is needed in this young man’s life because sincerely, this boy needs some discipline. A dictatorial girlfriend like this would probably do the trick.

A most dysfunctional couple

Dorian Gray (The Portrait of Dorian Gray), one of literature’s most egocentric aristocratic characters, and Dennis Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), one of television’s most self-centered white-trash characters.

One cannot help thinking that they would form the most unpleasant double date partners of all time. Still, they would probably understand each other perfectly.



Songs to get it “on” to this Valentine’s Day

1. “Bump N’ Grind” – R. Kelly

You’re both ready to start making moves, but can’t seem to take that last step. Let R. Kelly make that giant leap with you, and release yourself from that cramped closet of unexpressed emotion.


2. “Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye

It wouldn’t be a romantic song list without this winner of a tune. Though it is a bit blatant, it clears up any illusions that might have been surrounding the evening affair. Getting to the point is an admirable tactic in the game of romance, and this banger will most definitely let your honey know you’re ready to “get it on.”


3. “I’m In It” – Kanye West

Now that things have started to heat up for real, it’s time to put down the crooning for a second. You should welcome Yeezus’ “I’m In It” into the bedroom because Kanye is great and you just shouldn’t argue. This tune not only encourages paying attention to your partner through the powering down of personal electronics, but also gives some interesting sexual advice with great sound effects.


4. “The Way I Are” – Timbaland

Now that you’ve turned off your iPhone and turned up the tempo, it’s time to get a little kinky and go back to 2007. If you’ve ever memorized a strip-tease routine, this is when you would start performing it. This is also when you would don your leather catsuit and pull out your weird collection of toys you ordered off the internet. But, as the song goes, they should be ready to handle you the way you are by now, right? Right. Go get ‘em.


5. “Diced Pineapples” – Rick Ross

Now that you’re both pretty much ready for anything at this point, just throw caution to the wind and play some Rick Ross. This is where you would mouth along with the lyrics and look right into your lover’s eyes and tell them you’re not into intimate conversation but you really want to get deep like Jules Verne.


6. “Play” – David Banner

At this point, everyone should be naked. This is the kind of song that has the potential to turn things up to 11, so embrace it. You are David Banner. You are in a strip club. Work it ‘til you drip sweat. Except don’t take all of his advice and actually break your bed, because that would be uncomfortable for every other day of the year.


7.  “Rooster In My Rari” – Waka Flocka Flame

You’ve reached the point at which you are beginning to wish you had actually gone to the gym for more than two days in January. You’re panting and wheezing and you just can’t seem to get comfortable anymore. All parties involved are coated in sweat (thanks, David Banner). Your roommates have turned their stereos all the way up and the neighbours are banging on the wall. This is a critical moment. Do you stop? NO! You listen to Waka Flocka.


8. “Saviour” – Yung Lean

Now that you’re both getting pretty tired from flocka-ing, it’s time to take a little breather with our friend, Yung Lean. This is the point in the evening where you are almost ready to pass out but are carrying on anyway. These few minutes are crucial in the maintenance of your sexual prowess — so take a little break to rejuvenate.


9. “Bubble Butt” – Major Lazer

They say the last lap of the race is the most important. This is where you break the record, push past all of your competitors and show the world you got a bubble butt. Let Tyga’s verse empower you and your booty to rocket through the finish line in all of its glory.


10-  “Hallelujah” – Chorus by Handel

That is all.


ARTiculate: On virginity and “vaginal knitting’”

Graphic by Jenny Kwan

Like it or not, there is no getting away from sexual and graphic images these days. They are present in films, television programs, and have been increasingly prominent lately in magazines and music videos.

But, why?

Yes, sex alone is sexy. But surely this is not enough reason for graphic portrayals of it to be found in the media. So, unless HBO gives me a good reason for its ubiquitous presence in all of its shows — like say, adding value or meaning to the scene or moving forward a story — I am not convinced of its need to be there.

Peppering an otherwise fantastic narrative with highly-stylized graphic shots of sex and merkin-adorned genitals is much like adding whipped cream atop a venti double caramel macchiato — it’s gratuitous.

Let’s look at infamous photographer and Hollywood sleaze-bag du jour, Terry Richardson. His “art” nowadays mainly consists of photographing underage models in risqué poses — even joining in the photograph, conducting various acrobatic sexual acts with models and actresses.

But what is the message here? That Richardson is an agile lover? It’s okay if you want to take pornographic pictures, but let’s not pretend they are art. These photographs are intended to cause more shock to the public than awe.

I’m not a prude, however, I can appreciate sex and explicit imagery if they, like any other element of the art production process (dialogue, colour choice, set design, etc.), contribute to the message being delivered.

Australian artist, Casey Jenkins, made headlines last year when her video performance entitled “Casting Off My Womb” made its way to YouTube. The 28-day performance is of Jenkins, as headlines called it, “vaginal knitting” — she inserted a skein of wool into her vagina everyday, knitting continuously until a menstrual cycle was complete.

While shocking, the message here is simple: it’s about being comfortable in your own skin, and dispelling negative assumptions about the vulva and needless fears about a woman’s period.

If you watch the video, be warned that it’s not-safe-for-work, as Jenkins is understandably naked from the waist down, and there is footage of the final product hung proudly and smeared with blood. Though explicit, this is the kind of graphic art I can get behind.

Another shocking and unique performance that was scheduled to take place earlier this year, is Clayton Pettet’s “Art School Stole My Virginity.” The 19-year-old was aware that he was among the last of his peers to have sex, and became preoccupied with the notion of virginity. The performance would take place in a studio gallery, with an audience of about 100, and would consist of Pettet having protected sex for the first time. Pettet’s goal is to address the pressures one feels about virginity head on, and demystify the experience for others.

Due to an arrest for using graffiti to advertise for his show, Pettet’s performance has been put on hold for now, but the artist remains undeterred about completing his work.

“I want them to take away the complete fucking destruction of virginity. Like all of my art, I want to change people’s perceptions,” said Pettet in an interview with The Daily Beast.

Though their unconventional performances have, and will continue to, outrage many people, Jenkins’ and Pettet’s messages are pretty clear — and thought-provoking at that. What are yours, HBO?


Student Life

Polyamory: Love multiplied is love shared

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

Here’s a joke: a polyamorous couple decide to have a date with their special somebody on Valentine’s Day. By the end of the night, it doubles as an excuse for a house party.

If you don’t get the (admittedly lame) joke, it’s probably because you don’t know what the definition of polyamory is. Unlike swingers, who believe in recreational sex with others and with which polyamorists are often mistaken for, polyamorists are defined by a practice of carrying on multiple emotionally intimate relationships simultaneously. Swingers will sleep with you, but may not love you; polyamorists might just end up sleeping with you and build a deep, long-term commitment to boot. Because of its not-as-prominent profile, polyamory arguably remains even less understood and accepted by society than swinging.

So, to clear the air, The Concordian decided to interview Jocelyn Beaudet, a staff member, Concordia student, and polyamorist himself, to find out the dynamics, both positive and negative, of this often misunderstood lifestyle. What follows is an edited and condensed Q&A.

Q. How do you perceive mainstream views of polyamory, its confusion with swinging, and how do you respond to these views?

Polyamory views are in general very misguided. People have this idea that polyamory and open relationships are the same, when in reality they couldn’t be farther apart.

For starters, polyamory is about maintaining relationships between multiple individuals, without restrictions, and implies no central relationship or hierarchy. Swingers, on the other hand, explore outside of their relationship, in favour of the central union between the two involved parties. In the broad sense, swingers value their central relationships over those they establish outside of their significant others. Polyamorous couples are decentralized, and all involved parties are treated as equals.

Q: Because of the perceived link between monogamy and love, or even the view of love as being exclusively directed to one person at a time, polyamory and other similar lifestyles have been traditionally seen as being excuses for hedonism and selfishness. How would you respond?

The inherent misconceptions of polyamory and polygamy comes from people who don’t like the idea of sharing and they tend to imply that people are forced into this situation. Polyamory in general explores people’s freedom to connect with anyone and generally rely on reaching a position of comfort between parties involved. Not all polyamorous relationships function on the same central basis. Polyamory is a very personal mode of engaging in interpersonal relationships.

Q: How does one exactly navigate through a relationship like that – what are the rules and guidelines?

First, it’s important to note that there are no main partners. Every partner is treated with equal amounts of love and respect. A primary partner is not more important in that aspect. In general, these relationships tend to revolve around other poly-centric individuals. The reason for this mainly involves the monogamous idea of belonging to one another, almost like a form of emotional ownership. This translates poorly and creates jealousy when a partner falls in love with someone else.

The notion of having a primary/secondary is used only as common vocabulary among polyamorous individuals. The idea of a primary is purely defined by account of having spent more time in a relationship with that person.

Imagine being in love with your significant other. That doesn’t negate that you may equally desire someone else. Having this emotional bond with more than one person can be demanding in terms of finding the right emotional balance and being attentive to your partners, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Q: How did you come across polyamory, and were there any repercussions for yourself?

My first serious relationship was with a polyamorous woman, and while I was willing to set aside differences (or so I thought at the time) to make things work, I was also very young and prone to jealousy. My initial reaction was negative but as I grew older I ran into a problem where I would constantly fall in love with individuals and jump from relationship to relationship out of fear of hurting anyone. The social consensus was that I was just unable to commit to anyone, and that the guilt I felt for leaving a relationship in favour of another was just reinforcement of that fact.

In reality, this serial monogamy was a result of my refusal to accept that a person can love more than one individual at a time. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to explore polyamorous relationships and, while they’ve been challenging, making not only yourself but other people who you deeply care about incredibly happy, and having a fulfilling relationship with them and them with you, is possibly one of the most enriching experiences in my life.

Make no mistake though, polyamory demands you to be attentive to your partners and tend to their emotional needs as much as they tend to yours, and to keep a constant open line of communication.

Q: What resources are available to polyamorous couples in Montreal, or in general?

Honestly, the only place I can recommend is Most other dating sites are strongly monogamous. I’m not familiar with many poly-centric communities in the city but I’m pretty sure they exist.

Q: How would you recommend for individuals or couples wishing to explore polyamory to try it out?

The first rule of thumb is to set boundaries. There are many different types of arrangements. For example, you can have asexual polyamory, which implies that a person can date around, but sex may be off the table. Like all things, these rules need to be respected by both parties and an open communication between them needs to exist.

The second important notion is to understand that on a personal level, your potential ‘other’ partner is just as important as your current one. If you begin to create a hierarchy within partners, you move away from the concepts of polyamory and into the concept of the open relationship. Ethical, consensual non-monogamy is the motto of polyamory.

That’s all the questions we can think of for now. Any last words?

Much love!

Student Life

Time heals but rebounds are quicker

Graphic by Jenny Kwan

Rebound relationships or rebound sex are usually portrayed as non-committal flings, never spoken of again. For those struggling to leave behind their previous relationship, Julia, who wished to remain anonymous and psychologist Dale Robinson believe rebounding can provide physical and emotional benefits.

Rebounding requires a short time frame during a transition between partners. A rebound relationship quickly occurs after the end of another relationship, assumingly with more emotional investment than rebound sex. Defining the terms of rebounding is simple for Julia, a journalism undergraduate student from Paris.

After a breakup, “they say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else,” said Julia. Last summer, she visited Montreal and fell in love. By the end of the summer, Julia returned to Paris. Distance forced the relationship to end. She began seeing someone else to escape the troubles of a broken heart. Rebounding was a process of “fall[ing] out of love, to fall back in love with somebody else,” she noted.

However, the level of interest and commitment in her new relationship wasn’t mutual. In fact, her casual attitude caused her to open up to her rebound. She was comfortable in sharing her feelings — an experience quite opposite from her previous relationship.

“Sometimes when you care a lot about someone, you don’t want to say what you think,” said Julia. “You’re scared.”

In terms of additional positives to rebounding, she explained that it was nice to be given attention and kindness. Robinson also understands the support rebounding provides.

Robinson has been a counselor since 1994, with a master’s in counseling psychology from McGill University. From her counseling experience with Concordia students, Robinson recognizes the emotional instabilities that arise after breakups. According to Robinson, rebounding helps a person “feel desirable, and to know there’s life after a relationship.”

“Sometimes breakups can feel like the end of the world,” said Robinson.

She said that relationships, in general, are the biggest reasons why people seek counseling. Although rebounds act as self-esteem boosters, she warns that the partner who is more emotionally invested will get hurt. Julie and Robinson believe it is important to establish whether the person is a rebound or a potential long-term partner.

“Know what you want before getting into it,” said Julia.

“People [should] go in with their eyes open,” Robinson added.

She also encouraged  individuals who are considering rebounding to be upfront. Openly discussing the nature of the relationship, and clarifying personal intentions are crucial, she said.


Valentine’s Day Mixtape

“…And the next song is dedicated to all the lovers in the room.” Who hasn’t heard this sentence at a party at least once in their life? Whether it was at a high school dance or at a wedding, it seems we can’t escape these slow dance tunes. The following is a compilation of some of the best romantic songs from the last 70 years. Side A is a nostalgic homage to our grandparents and our parents, where Side B features an amalgamation of songs Millennials had their first slow dance to, along with some more recent ones. When the signal is given, find your partner and sway along to this mixtape. After all, “any little lovin’ needs a little dancin’.”

Side A: Golden Treasures (1940-1980)

1. “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” – Harry James & Helen Forrest – Single

2. “Lover Man ” – Billie Holiday – Single

3. “La Vie en Rose” – Edith Piaf – Chansons Parisiennes

4. “Too Young” – Nat King Cole – The Nat King Cole Story

5. “Love Me Tender” – Elvis Presley – Single

6. “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” – Paul Anka – Put Your Head on My Shoulder

7. “Something” – The Beatles – Abbey Road

8. “Stairway To Heaven” – Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

9. “Angie” – The Rolling Stones – Goat’s Head Soup

10. “If You Leave Me Now” – Chicago – Chicago X

Side B: A New Wave (1980-Now)

1. “Total Eclipse of The Heart” – Bonnie Tyler – Faster Than the Speed of Night

2. “More Than Words” – Extreme – Extreme II: Pornograffitti

3. “Bed of Roses” – Bon Jovi – Keep The Faith

4. “I’ll Always Be Right There” – Bryan Adams – 18 Til I Die

5. “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” – Aerosmith – Armageddon: The Album

6. “Underneath Your Clothes” – Shakira – Laundry Service

7. “You and Me” – Lifehouse – Lifehouse

8. “La Bartendresse” – Éric Lapointe – Coupable

9. “L’ascenseur” – Louis-Jean Cormier – Le Treizième Étage

10. “No.1 Party Anthem” – Arctic Monkeys – AM


Biology Student Association hosts Sexpo 69

For your enjoyment and education and just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Concordia Biology Student Association will present Sexpo 69, an event that aims to provide students with both fun and factual information on sexuality.

Photo by Keith Race

Set to take place on Feb. 12, the idea of Sexpo 69 was born out of the BSA’s desire to do something for students to mark the occasion of Valentine’s Day.

“Originally, we wanted to host something fun like a tea party, but we felt maybe it was a bit too girly,”said Rasha Al-Homsy, VP Internal for the BSA.

With the desire to create a fun event for both male and female students, their Valentine theme began to gear more towards sex than love.  Eventually the BSA team came to the conclusion that they wanted to provide Concordia students with information on sexuality and health services at Concordia, in addition to exploring a more fun side, which would look into fetishes and sex toys.

Highlighting the event will be guest speaker Dr. Jim Pfaus, a Concordia psychology professor whose research specializes in sexual behavior. Speaking at Sexpo 69 about his research on rats, Dr. Pfaus will explain how different fetishes and sexual preferences appeal to different people.

“We asked Dr. Pfaus to speak at our event because after working with him, we know he is not only down to earth but that he is very knowledgeable on the subject of sexuality and well known in the scientific community,” said Eva Fog, a member of the BSA.

Concordia Health Services, the Centre of Sexual Pleasure and Health, Queer Concordia and, Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy,will each be hosting a booth in order to provide education and information on sexual health services. There will also be a fetish booth and a sex toy booth.

The sex toy booth will offer both information and options for purchasing.Should you wish to purchase a toy, the booth will be set up with forms where you can select the toy model you would like and set up a payment method so that your toy will be delivered to your home. This option is available to provide students with a bit more privacy, should they choose to make such a purchase.

The BSA in collaboration with the Association of Biochemistry And Chemistry Undergraduate Students (ABACUS), Communications Guild (COMS), Journalism Students Association (JSA) and Science College Student Associations (SCSA), welcomes students from all faculties to come and check out  Sexpo 69.

The event will be held in the basement of the SP building at Concordia’s Loyola Campus from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Student Life

Natural aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up and despite how warm and fuzzy this holiday can be, it’s also a money pit and let’s be honest, everyone is still recovering from holiday spending.

“The Aztecs called the avocado ‘ahuacuatl,’ or ‘testicle tree,’” according to Greenspan, explaining how these ancient people thought the fruit resembled testicles, but ironically contained vitamins and minerals that actually boost the immune system. Photo from Flickr user Javajoba

Yes, I love you, and I know, I feel it too, but my wallet is empty and quite frankly I don’t want to be cheesy with a simple box of Lindt chocolates, sensual lingerie or heart stamped boxers to make the day special.

This day surely is a “show and share the love” type of holiday, but the pending question is, how?

Never fear, Cupid is here, and he’s dressed in eco-friendly green.

Celebrating this holiday does not mean you have to scramble to a sex shop, nor does it mean going commercial. Spending time together with your significant other and creating an air that pulls you both together can be done in alternative ways. In some studies describing what awakens our senses, especially in the case of increasing sexual desires, aphrodisiacs are doing the trick.

There are a number of foods, plants and scents that ignite a flame in our bodies, so to speak, that actually increase blood flow in the genitals, thus increasing our sexual desire and performance. In addition, they also set us in a mental state that helps us want to feel and act sexual.

According to Susan Greenspan, a naturopath and therapist, there are many easily accessible ingredients for everyone, young and old, to use to help make the day of love feel as festive as possible while also being affordable.

The first ingredient is asparagus. This vegetable, with its shape seeming already inviting, is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that help boost histamine, which aids both sexes to reach orgasms.

The second ingredient, almond, which is the symbol of fertility, arouse females, and the third ingredient, banana, commonly used to symbolize male gentilia, actually increases male libido. Among these two gender related foods, are others that symbolize male and female gentilia according to Greenspan.

“The Aztecs called the avocado ‘ahuacuatl,’ or ‘testicle tree,’” according to Greenspan, explaining how these ancient people thought the fruit resembled testicles, but ironically contained vitamins and minerals that actually boost the immune system. For women, figs also have great stimulating effects when eaten, explains Greenspan.

For both sexes, using basil in dishes, or just having the scent of the herb linger in your surroundings is also very stimulating.

But of course, aside from all of these healthy foods, we cannot forget everyone’s favourite Valentine ingredient: chocolate.

“Chocolate contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psychoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenyl ethylamine), the ‘love chemical,’ which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm. PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria,” explains Greenspan.

Nevertheless, food isn’t the only easy way to get your partner in the lovey-dovey mood for Valentine’s day.

Spraying the bed, or just the general area with rose water creates a romantic air, or if one wants to feel “the heat,” chai-like scents, or peppermint are great too.

So, this Valentine’s Day, go green with your stimulants and explore the many natural aphrodisiacs that will arouse your partner and not your wallet.



Confessions of a 20-something #15

A recent study conducted among undergraduate students at the University of Missouri concluded that in the first month following a break up, one third of participants had engaged in a sexual relationship with a new partner.

In other words, folks in Missouri have loosened their collars and acknowledged the existence of what we fondly refer to as ‘rebound’ or ‘revenge’ sex. And let me tell you, it’s about time.

Rebound sex is a spectacular, empowering and cathartic experience that should be outrightly acknowledged and discussed. It is a far more prevalent, and positive experience than people seem to think.

Unfortunately, the brains behind the study referred to these self-executed ‘slut phases’ as forms of maladaptive behaviour. It’s a common belief that engaging in rebound sex is a bad, self-destructive habit, driven by anger and a need for validation when in a vulnerable state. I mean, that is conceivably the case when you’re coming out of endless months of those “it’s not you, it’s me” speeches, but rebound sex is not necessarily driven by the need to fill an emotional void.

The generalization about rebound sex being mostly for women exists, no doubt. People have this preconceived notion that newly single women are driven solely by venom, bitterness and a need to unload their emotional baggage on an unsuspecting partner.

For all intents and purposes, I’m not going to disclose whether I am a man or a woman. The fact is irrelevant. Physical need extends to all demographics of people, regardless of their gender, social/sexual status, or romantic circumstance.

Having sex with someone purely for revenge is like poisoning yourself — it’s ineffective and can be harmful in the long run. However, channelling residual anger into a need for physical release is understandable. Sex releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Think of sex as a salve for the raw wounds of a break up. I’m not saying it’s a solution, per se, but it is a step forward into independence. It is a way to distance yourself from the negativity of a bad relationship, move forward, and gain back some sense of empowerment.

Yes, I am fresh out of a long term relationship, and yes, I am having what would be considered rebound sex. And in case you were wondering, I am currently enjoying the hell out of it.

After being weighed down for so long by an emotionally toxic partner, I am entitled to have a little fun. Though my initial reservations were related to outward judgement and the lack of logic in the situation, I’ve come to realize that I can exercise my right to no-strings attached sexual pleasure whenever I see fit. If I want to shed my inhibitions and experiment, so be it. If I want to sit in class and know that there are bite marks on my chest, that’s only for me to know.

I personally think that it’s a good experience to take a step out of your comfort zone and deviate from your ‘normal’ (and possibly redundant) social interactions. However, non-committal sex is not for everyone. Whatever extra-curricular activities you engage in, make sure they are consensual and mutual. You don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s broken heart, because then the cycle just perpetuates itself.

In the end, if it makes you feel good, do it. Don’t worry about the right or wrong way to move past a relationship. Don’t worry about judgement, just do you.

And if the only thing you want to do on your back is drink from the bottle and watch bad movies, then so be it.

Student Life

Sugar and spice and everything nice

If you are single, Valentine’s Day is dedicated to indulging and splurging on sweets. If you are in a relationship, it’s the day to profess your unconditional love to your special someone in elaborate and extravagant ways. This year why not branch away from the usual roses, chocolates and anything red, and try a creative way to make your Valentine swoon.

This recipe for Lace Crêpes is the essence of romance. It can be served bright in the morning for breakfast in bed or in the evening with a dim candlelight dinner. Best of all it can be enjoyed by singles and couples alike.

Lace Crêpes (serves four)

Photo Arohie Chopra

½ cup flour
1 egg
¾ cup milk
½ tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
Maple syrup (for garnish)
Powdered sugar (for garnish)

Cinnamon Syrup (Makes 1 cup):
½ cup white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water

1. Stir all the ingredients for the cinnamon syrup  in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Stir often until mixture thickens in consistency.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
4. For the lace crêpes, mix the flour, egg, milk, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk until the batter is smooth. 5. Pour the batter into a plastic squeeze bottle with a fine tip. Freehand a lace pattern on a non-stick pre-heated pan set on medium.
6. After about two minutes flip the crêpe to cook the other side. Once you have stacked 2-3 crêpes, garnish with cinnamon syrup and powdered sugar.

Student Life

What do you do when Cupid is on a budget?

Graphic Jennifer Kwan

He’ll catch you if you fall
Sara Baron-Goodman
Assistant life editor

Harness the bone-chilling Montreal winter and take your valentine out for a spin on one of the city’s free ice skating rinks.
A skating date might sound like a cliché, but anyone who has ever seen Serendipity (which, incidentally, everyone should) will recognize the indisputable classic romance and winter wonderland magic of it all. I can’t guarantee that your valentine will fall head over heels, but the chances of falling on skates are infinitely higher.
To keep warm, consider packing a thermos of hot chocolate if you’re feeling wholesome, or buttered rum if you’re not. Of course, the best way to avoid hypothermia is good old body heat—I’m sure you can all figure out for yourselves how to make that work.
For an old-timey romance vibe, head to Parc Lafontaine, where you can weave in and out of ice paths and delight in the way the snow reflects the sparkle in your partner’s eyes (if you’re into that sort of thing.) Entrance to the rink is free; you can rent skates for seven dollars and helmets and lockers for three dollars. Skating hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every weekday in the winter, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.
Alternately, there’s the rink at Bonsecours Basin in the Old Port, which has daily musical themes to offer a soundtrack to your skating. Admission is six dollars and it’s open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesdays and open until 10 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday. As you may have guessed, the musical theme on Thursday is ‘romance’— I’m thinking some Michael Bolton.

Night at the museum
Sara Baron-Goodman
Assistant life editor

For those of you with an appreciation for aesthetic culture, take a gander around one of Montreal’s museums.
There are always interesting exhibits going on, but the house collections are just as impressive and are usually cheaper entry.
Le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal charges eight dollars admission for students and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stays open until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. Entrance to the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal is free for the permanent collections, which can be visited between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week.
For something a little different, I recommend the Montreal Creative exhibition at Place des Arts. The exhibit itself is tiny but the interactive nature of all the pieces lends well to playful antics and banter. The exhibit is only on until February 16, and open until 6:30 p.m. every night.
Afterwards, pick up a baguette, some cheese and a bottle of wine and indulge in Euro-style romance. Art always opens up for titillating dialogue and the touristy vibe of going to a museum lends an exciting and sophisticated note to the evening.

Retro theatre night
Jade Adams

While a standard dinner and a movie date can leave you wondering if you’ll have enough money left to spring for popcorn, Dollar Cinema offers admission for two and snacks for under $10. Most of the big movies make their way to Dollar Cinema after a few weeks so you and your date might have the chance to catch one of the flicks you missed during the holidays or the first few weeks of semester. It’s admittedly not the most glamorous movie theatre, but there’s a certain charm in going to a movie where the lobby boasts an interesting collection of old sofas and the man working at the counter might be up to personally discuss the movie you’re going to see with you (depending how long the line is.)

There’s no age limit on boardgames
Jade Adams

Pub Ludique Randolph would be a great date idea for any couple with an underlying competitive spirit. Cover costs about five dollars each, giving you access to dozens of board games. They also offer coffee, soda, cocktails, beer and light snacks such as quiche and sandwiches. After you claim a table, you wave down one of the animators on duty and let them know either which game you want, what they would recommend, or give them the opportunity to surprise you with one of their personal favorites. It might not be one of the most traditional Valentine dates, but Pub Ludique Randolph will definitely leave you with a night to remember. Aside from all of the fun you’ll have together, think of the potential bragging rights you’ll win by the end of the night.

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