My Favorite Thought Catalog Articles

Over the past year and a half of working for Thought Catalog I’ve read, produced and written some articles I’m very proud of. Sometimes you work with someone and get to watch them grow. Other times you’re blown away by the originality and creativity of another person. And sometimes it just feels really good to get something you’ve been thinking about forever out on the screen and have other people interact with your thoughts.

I have also read a lot of articles I did not think were “good” but which served as a springboard for thought and reflection, and raised questions such as, “what makes something ‘quality?’” “Why do I disagree with this person?” and, “Is it valuable to read something that I don’t judge to be ‘quality’ or, ‘the correct opinion’?”

I thought this was a good time to think about the ones that have had the most impact on me and share them in a reflective format. To be clear, most of these articles I either wrote or produced. This is by no means a “best of” list but rather my (very personal) take on the articles that are most meaningful to me, my subjective favorites.

Risqué

In Which I Meet An OkCupid Dom

The best sex writing transports you somewhere else and let’s you vicariously experience something you’d never try in real life. It should be fascinating because it is so “other” from your everyday life — and Marie Calloway’s always is, both because she is sometimes a caricature of a millennial woman and because, frankly, this is the only way I’m ever going to experience “a OKCupid dom.”

Excerpt: I wonder–where is the line between wanting sexual play to feel natural and real, but not wanting to actually feel like less of a person? I wonder–how can you ever totally anticipate your boundaries? Where is the line between a woman choosing to pursue sexual autonomy, and caving to a misogynistic society that encourages the sexual degradation of women?

How A Dick Feels

I wrote this when I was just a freelancer and I remember being scared to send it in because it is so weird and vulgar. But it’s something that’s “very me” and a few years later, it’s still something I’m happy with.

Excerpt: Not as squishy as you would think. Not as hard as described either. Penises are very smooth. They have very good skin too, you never see a zit on someone’s dick. At least I haven’t. Thank god.

How A Normal Girl Like Me Became Somebody’s Sex Slave

Adrienne West is my favorite thing right now. It’s always fun to publish something that doesn’t look like anything else I have published before. It’s also fun, I think, to embrace porn for women, because men’s porn is so ubiquitous.

Excerpt: He grabbed his drink off the nightstand and poured a bit into my mouth before kissing me and sucking the taste of whiskey off my tongue. He trailed the dewey glass down my neck to my collarbone and I shivered. He took the remaining ice cube and deposited it in his mouth before leaning down and kissing my nipple. It was the most divine sensation, heat and ice.

Funny

How To Drink At Home By Yourself, Part 1

When I was just reading Thought Catalog, Stephanie Georgopulos was always my favorite writer on the site. She is very funny but then she will write something with a lot of gravity and it’s in the same graceful voice. This one describes basically every Friday of my life, age 22-present.

Excerpt: Your doorbell is ringing and you wonder if it’s not The One Who Got Away coming back for you, well, one of them at least, mostly all of them got away, actually, if you want to be a stickler about it. Wipe away your Degrassi tears and walk to the door. “Francois,” you say, “Is that you?” You don’t know a Francois, but you wish a Frenchman would show up on your doorstep to validate you with his tongue and judge you for drinking cheap white wine. Alas, all that awaits you is a BBQ Chicken Burrito, which happens to smell like defeat. Good thing you wore your sweatpants.

I’m Offended That Philip Seymour Hoffman Died

I think you have to be insanely smart to be able to write Nicole Mullen. The commentary is incredibly lucid. This piece is particularly perfect in every way.

Excerpt: I’m also offended that the media still continues to report deaths. Or at least that they continue to report them without some kind of trigger warning. I’ll have to admit, this part is somewhat personal and extremely hard for me to talk about but… {TRIGGER WARNING} I discovered recently that I am going to die at some point…It’s okay if you don’t fear death, but I do, and people shouldn’t talk about things that bother me. Death is an issue that, statistically speaking, affects 100% of women. Something that happens to 50% of the world’s population isn’t just a feminist issue, it’s everyone’s issue, okay? So can we just not with death anymore? Thanks.

Moving

What A Woman Who Wears Lipstick Is Like

To me, the worst crime a writer can commit is to try to write like someone else, and it’s also extremely common. When a certain style of writing or way or exploring a topic becomes popular, a lot of people try to replicate that. What I love about Kara Nesvig is that she is wholly and shamelessly Kara Nesvig. No one else in the world is like her, and she owns that. She’s a freelancer I’ve produced for over a year and it’s been so fun to watch her grow and explore new things. This particular article I thought was beautiful, a very Grown-Up Kara.

Excerpt: I never really know if the men I’m with notice that the color is fading, pressing off, in that spot where the glass hits my lips, but I know they’re watching. You leave cigarette butts in the street with a telltale red slash. You leave little smudges on the lapels of suits and shirt collars when you’re drunk and dancing close and you never pay for the dry cleaning. You talk to a man in a bar and you think, How funny, you’ve had your tongue down my throat before, you’ve wiped my lipstick stains off your face.

Dear Straight Women Everywhere: In Relationships, You Always Have The Upper Hand

This is one of those articles that I kept going back to. It gave me an entirely new perspective to think about my relationships with men through. The inclination when a guy wants sex from you is to think that he doesn’t respect your brain or your personality or anything else, but, what if the desire for sex is just an additional thing, not one that takes the place of the other kinds of interest we think of as deeper, more meaningful and legitimate.

Excerpt: I’m not arguing that we should be happy and content with a loving husband even if he does have 4 other wives; no, what I’m arguing is that men have the capacity to love—sometimes more so than women—and we shouldn’t dismiss it as bogus just because it doesn’t resemble our approach to love…One time a young lover of his complained, through tears, that he only liked her because of the sexual satisfaction she provided. To which Altenberg replied, “Was ist so nur?” or “What’s so only?”

We Couldn’t Pay The Bills Or Trim The Trees Or Grow Into Women (10 Poems On Growing Up)

This is one of my favorite articles ever. I love that it’s poetry — something that’s rarely published here. I love that it’s good poetry. I love the photography, and I love that it’s so relatable to my experience of “growing into a woman.”

Excerpt: how my roommate, sick with lunacy,
writhed in the bathtub
as I brought skillets of hot water
to ease her miscarriage.

and how it left us too speechless
to fathom a eulogy.

we couldn’t pay the bills
or trim the trees
or grow into women
so we couldn’t keep things
like hot water and shade and baby girls.
nor could we then see the line between
what was her’s and what was mine.

Happy

Brianna’s 28 Step Guide To Being A Little Happier Each Day

I think there are few things more important in life than figuring out how to be happy. Brianna Wiest is a connoisseur of happy. These are her personal tips. Learn them. Live them.

Excerpt: Let yourself not care. Let yourself dislike yourself. You’re not supposed to care all the time. You’re not supposed to be perpetually ‘found’ and certain and satisfied. Expecting otherwise is a formula for emotional disaster. You don’t have to like yourself all the time to still love yourself. If you did, you’d never grow, and growing is pretty much the number one sign you love yourself, and your life – enough to want to make it better.

When Your Life Is Better Than You Expect It To Be

One of the benefits of being a writer is being able to look back at a specific time in your life and know exactly what you were doing and how you were feeling then because you’ve created a record of it. I wrote this when I was feeling particularly happy, and it’s nice when things aren’t good to look back and remember that sometimes they are.

Excerpt: There are things out there that are so good, it doesn’t even occur to us to wish for them.

Nostalgic

8 Wikipedia Articles That Will Ruin Your Day

This was the first article I wrote that did really well and it was my second day on the job and Brianna was new and had one that was doing really well too and it was just a really happy day of everyone vibing together. I think for anyone who writes online, you never forget the exhilaration of your first big Chartbeat spike.

Excerpt: A supervolcano is a volcano that can cause a “supereruption” big enough to cause an “extinction event.” The people who aren’t killed by lava will die when all the ash in the air blocks the sun and causes everyone to freeze death. Just FYI there is one of these under Yellowstone and some people say it is overdue for an eruption. I am in the immediate die zone.

Hi, I Am Amy Glass

This is the article I read and edited and deliberated over the most. And it reflects on a situation I learned and grew a lot from.

Excerpt: I’m human—I have all sorts of ideas, and not all fall in line with one grand, value-consistent philosophy. Like Whitman, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Creepy

I Always Thought Something Was Off About My Basement, But I Had No Idea How Terrifying The Truth Was

I never would have thought in my wildest, most unrealistic dreams that a two page, long-ass fiction story would go viral. But this one did. Cliff Barlow is a king.

Excerpt: I would hear errant noises. When I pointed it out to my parents, they told me the old standby that the house was settling in. One night in particular indicated that something wasn’t right. I snuck downstairs to the kitchen for a late night snack. As I closed the refrigerator, I heard a tapping sound cut through the silence of the night. I craned my head to see if I could pinpoint where the sound was coming from. Dread began to wash over me as I realized that tapping was coming from the basement. I inched my way over to the basement door. I opened it to see the blackness of the depths below.

66 Creepy-Ass Stories That Will Ruin Your Day

I love creepy posts on Thought Catalog. I’m a bit of a horror junkie myself but I also just think it’s cool because it’s a very vintage internet thing — scary stories — but not something any other websites really do, unless they are niche horror sites. It’s kind of like how Buzzfeed brought back internet quizzes. This post is one of Michael Koh’s original attempts at introducing “creepy” to the site. A year later we’re working on Creepy Catalog together and growing the community of creepy fans.

Excerpt: I look at my rearview mirror to see the guy getting out of the seat, pulling a ski-mask over his face and wielding a huge, I’d say 10 inch knife in his hand. He started sprinting at my car, almost reaching the passenger side. I screamed and slammed on the gas, driving around for awhile, the man only chasing my car for a few blocks until he knew he wasn’t going to catch us. When I got back at the intersection minutes later to drop my friend off, he was gone.

Interesting

Unedited Dialogue: A Trans* Woman And A Willfully Non-PC Man

I love this article so much because for me, it captures the essence of TC — facilitating expression. I get excited when I think about it because what is the point of everyone writing and sharing their opinions if it isn’t to also be open to what others are saying and react and respond to each other?

In talking to Parker Molloy about publishing this conversation I let her in on a secret: I grew up in a very conservative subculture. I didn’t grow up thinking it was “okay” to be gay. But thankfully people were patient with me and allowed me to talk about it, much the way Parker and Jim talked in this article, and I grew out of it. And now I know I could be wrong about a lot of other things, I’m open to it because I’ve seen it happen before. Dialogue works, it just works slowly and not all at once.

Excerpt: I’m interested in having a real discussion with you. I do not hate you, nor do I have any ill will towards you. I accept you for who you are. I’m just curious why you can’t offer trans people the same? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Gifs via Sean Godsey

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