Subscene Style

I am excited to take on an editorial supervisor position with the soon to be launched nightlife/fashion/music publication Subscene Style. As it is a startup, we need your help. To donate to our Indie Go Go campaign click here.

And don’t miss the launch party on May 22nd at the Westway in New York’s West Village. Stay tuned for more details ;)

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The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop

Here’s the trailer for the four part series I’ve been working on for VH1! Part I airs tonight, 2/24/14 at 11PM EST.

 

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INTO THE WEIRD – MEET THE TRANSGENDER POP-PUNK MUSICIAN WHO OPENED FOR IGGY POP AND U2

My latest VICE column is up, an interview with musician Lenny Zenith. Read it in its entirety here.

When we think about the glory days of rock ’n’ roll, we think of a sexist boys club that only let in guys who abused groupies and hung out with dudes. Despite this, in the 1980s, female-to-male transgender musician Lenny Zenith and his punk-pop band RZA opened for U2, Iggy Pop, and other legends in New Orleans. Although Lenny is pretty sure Iggy knew he was trans and simply didn’t give a shit, Lenny kept his gender idenity a secret, because it was extremly dangerous to be openly trans. These days, Lenny lives in New York, where he works as an LGBT advocate and plays in a new band, the Tenterhooks, while writing his memoir, Before I Was Me. Recently, I caught up with Lenny at a dive bar to hear his tales about growing up trans with a missionary father and a Cuban mother in an era “before seven-year-olds were on Oprah saying they were transgendered.”

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My first post for The Style Con – At Least Try to Make Me Come/Advice for Attaining More Female Orgasms

My first post for The Style Con is up. Enjoy.

Men can get off with just about anything; their dry wind-chapped hand, a bizarre homemade Fleshlight-like device, some dudes (alright, boys) even fuck their couch pillows. So when men are presented with the opportunity for actual human on human copulation, orgasm is pretty much a sealed deal. Of course I am speaking generally, some men suffer from erectile dysfunction, or can’t get off due to alcohol intoxication, SSRIs, or various other physical or emotional explanations. However, it is safe to say that men come more easily than women. Can you imagine a chick gyrating into an apple pie and getting off?

Read the entire thing in the link above.

xo Sophie

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Into Other People’s Weird

An update on my VICE column: Since writing only about yourself is a bit masturbatory, I expanded my Into the Weird column to change format to include interviews about other people’s strange experience. The latest was with a very special person to me, comedian and crystal healer Katie Manzella. Read the full interview here via VICE.

Shortly after you left rehab, you got a DUI. How did you end up back in trouble?
My friend from a town called Ojai, where I lived for a few years, came to visit for the weekend. At this time in life, my conscious wasn’t equipped with the knowledge that drunk driving was an issue—I also resembled Paris Hilton. Since everyone told me I looked like Paris and I was only 18 years old, I said I was her cousin to get into a bar. Naturally, I was hungry after all the alcohol I consumed, so I drove to a diner. Luckily for me, a nice cop who looked like Pee-wee Herman pulled me over. When he asked me if I had been drinking, I denied that I had been, although there was no mistaking my intoxication. Once they got me into my holding cell, I realized that I was bleeding.

Had you hurt yourself?
No. It was period blood. I asked for Pee-wee to please get me a tampon—anything, even a paper towel. My request was denied time and time again. Even when I said I would stop calling him Pee-wee, I was denied. As Pee-wee walked away and I realized he wasn’t going to come back with my simple request, I took it upon myself to take care of the issue at hand. I wrote, “FUCK THE POLICE” with my period blood on the wall of my holding cell. That’s how you get a paper towel at the West Hollywood Sheriff Department.

Prior to Katie, I interviewed the captivating tattoo artist and guru of sorts Joseph Aloi aka JK5 about meeting his bio mom, and Minneapolis-based DJ and Prince of Darkness The Nightstalker about serial killers and filthy hot sex.

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A Brief Note on World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental  Health Day. In case you didn’t read and pick up on this from my last VICE column about death and thinking I had no friends, I had been acting rather depressed, whiney and was feeling quite jaded about humans. OK, I was acting a bit like a spoiled brat. I had hurt people, I had been hurt. Cue Johnny Cash, in the one cover I prefer to the original: “I will let you down, I will make you hurt.” 

A while back I wrote of the time my kitty, Mama Cat, who was once upon a time a homeless teenage mom, had bit me and sent me to the hospital. She didn’t want to intentionally hurt me, she bit me because I had left her alone for Christmas, felt abandoned and was going through her own issues. Her biting response was instinctual. While our bodies, brains, and experiences vary vastly from a house cat, we are still animals. It is a cliché, but there is truth to “It’s not you, it’s me.” Often when we hurt others it is because we are reacting from a place of pain, and when someone else lets you down, you must remember they are dealing with their own struggles. Sometimes the best way to be there for someone you care about is to give them their space and let them heal. Just as I would like to be forgiven for the times I acted like an asshole to others, I forgive those who have hurt me, understanding that their actions may be coming from a place of their own pain, and not to take everything so personal. 

Depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental issues are something that most of us, more people than you think, will likely struggle with to some degree from the rest of our lives. This weekend I’ll have a new column go up, one intentionally more about living than dying. I’ve learned you can’t depend on anyone else to fix you, and you can’t truly be there for anyone else until you have healed yourself. For therapy, some people run, others play guitar, some paint, I write. To write I must experience, because as great as Netflix is, reruns of shows I’ve already seen don’t provide the same creative inspiration of the oddities I encounter when I leave my apartment.

Whatever your therapy is, tonight, and as many nights as you can, get out there and do it. And may we forgive — forgive ourselves for inflecting pain, and forgive those who have hurt us, as we never truly know what someone is going through, and kindness and forgiveness provide more healing and emotional freedom than resentment.

Happy World Mental Health Day.

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UNPOPULAR OPINION: I’M SCARED OF BABIES

After a brief hiatus, I am writing for the lovely xoJane again! For their Unpopular Opinion column, which I will continue to contribute to, as I have many unpopular opinions, I recently wrote about my fear of human babies. Here is the link to the original.

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The 23-year-old sat typing at her desk at VH1, where she worked as a production assistant. It was early Autumn, her skin was fair, and she wore a black David Bowie t-shirt made to look more professional with a plaid blazer thrown over it. She had recently gotten bangs and her hair contained a feather hair extension. This was 2010, back when the feather trend was new to the East Coast and had not yet spread to the fur of little white fluffy dogs.
New to the city, she was thankful for her entry-level job in a career path that suited her, and knew how lucky she was to have it. Many girls her age she knew worked as nannies. A nanny. She would never be chosen to look after someone else’s children, she lacked the experience. At times she wondered if she was the only girl who had never babysat in their entire life. Upon contemplation, she realized she had never even held one.
Without a babysitting gig to fall back on should she lose her job in media, she knew she must work very hard, and minimize exposing quirks and oddities that might lead coworkers to wonder if she was a sociopath. So on that Fall day when she heard the tell-tale signs that a baby had entered the office: oohs, ahhs, people getting up from their desks to surround the proud parent and request exuberantly to hold the thing, she remained in her cube and hid, sliding down in her office chair with headphones on as to avoid being seen. She wasn’t a good actress, and a terrible liar. She knew if she joined the herd to admire the baby her secret would be revealed: The girl did not like babies.
The girl described above is me, and three years later babies still scare the shit out of me. Thankfully, the feather hair extension is gone.
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As a 25-year-old recently-sober woman struggling to make ends meet as a creative in New York City, imagining myself with a child is sort of like imagining my funeral. It seems like a life event (knock on wood) that is distant, foreign and just fucking terrifying. I have enough understanding of life and change to know that perhaps I will not always feel this way, that in five, seven, or ten years, desires for offspring may kick in and I might feel empty without a child.
I am not, in fact, a sociopath, I am sure if I do ever have a kid I would love it and find it adorable. Perhaps in order to adore a baby it would have to be my own, because when I see others, while normal humans seem overcome with desire to hold the thing and honest in their proclamations of its cuteness, to me the creature induces fear and panic. I see a smushy, smelly, messy, wrinkly bald human ball that would hijack my body and rip through my beloved vagina then proceed to take over my entire life. (Mothers, I send my deepest apologies if I have offended you, but does childbirth damage your vagina to the extent it does in my mind? Please inform/correct me/or tell me to fuck off in the comments section.)
Little kids are OK, I think they can be pretty fun and hilarious actually, I like them because you get to play and they just say whatever they want, their fifth throat chakra not yet blocked by society. I have one good friend who has a young son, and I like hanging out with him because he thinks it’s a fun game for me to throw stuffed animals at him full force while he ducks and covers.
Yet when it comes to my desire to cuddle and ooh and aah, I much prefer animals to babies. Kitty cats are furry and snuggly and independent. I have a four-year-old orange female tabby, named Mama Cat. It is quite rare for orange tabbies to be girls! Sure, she may have bit me when I first got her and caused me to spend a night in the hospital hooked up to an IV full of antibiotics, but at least I wasn’t in the hospital bed squeezing her out of my vagina. She may wake me up earlier than I would like by licking my face wanting to be fed, but at least she lets me sleep through the night, and I would much prefer the gentle yet awkward sensation of a cat’s tongue on my forehead than the head-splitting scream of a miniature human.
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In certain situations I suffer from social anxiety, and have always been a bit of  a loner, so perhaps my distaste for babies boils down to my wariness of the human race in general, coupled with the knowledge of what an inadequate mother I would make at the time being. Last night, shortly before my 11PM birth control alarm went off (it reads “NO BABIES”), I caught Mama Cat doing something she was not supposed to, perched up on a cutting board on the counter voraciously slobbering on the remnants of cheddar cheese caught in a cheese grater.
I imagine molecules of cat saliva will exist in the holes of the cheese grater long after many scrubs, but since she licks me awake and has sent me to the hospital by injecting me with her mouth venom, I figure my cat and I are already fluid bonded and it’s not a huge deal. Anyway, rather than yell or properly reprimand Mama Cat, I picked her up, looked her in the eye and said “No Mama Cat! If you are going to do that, you must be sneakier!” In situations like these, I question my parenting skills.
I have a problem with the tabloid-ridden sobriety that paints an image of a woman’s happiness defined by marriage and children. I applaud women who embrace a life without kids, yet also hold the utmost respect for mothers, understanding it is perhaps the hardest and most important job in the world. The amount of change I’ve gone through in 2013 alone has taught me that nothing, even baby phobias, are promised to be permanent, but for now, on bring-your-baby to work day, you can find me slumped down hiding at my desk pretending to be unaware the creature is near me, wondering what is up with everyone else to wants to hold that Homo Sapien glob.
On the topic of fear, I also shared society anxiety I experience sometimes at concerts, despite my love for music, and part-time career as music journalist for xoJane.

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