When I was a young and impressionable UCLA student, I fell for a guy named Chuck who was in a straight-edge punk band and worked in a bookshop. He was handsome, he lived in a dirty house with some other boys in bands and best of all, I thought, he was straight-edge. To the young, idealistic me, “straight-edge” meant that Chuck had morals, something that seemed to be sorely lacking in the other boys I’d dated that were his age.
He didn’t eat meat, he didn’t drink or smoke, and he said he was a feminist. Unfortunately, during the course of our relationship, I learned that not everything Chuck said was true.
Another thing I learned in our relationship is that I don’t really like straight-edge music. It’s loud, aggressive and the bands are usually all made up of men. But because chuck was obsessed with straight-edge music, we listened to it all the time. (He thought pop music was for people who’d been brainwashed by “the system”.)
So, for all those girls out there wondering what it’s like to date a straight-edge dude, I’ve put together a straight-edge mixtape that sums up our relationship.
Listening to these 7 songs will tell you all you need to know about straight-edge dudes.
1. Minor Threat – Straight Edge
Let’s kick it off with Minor Threat’s Straight Edge, widely regarded as the song that inspired the movement. To be honest, when I first dated Chuck I didn’t really know what straight-edge was, he played me this song and showed me his little “X” tattoo and I suddenly realized: it’s kind of like AA with a bunch of dudes screaming incoherently.
2. Minor Threat – Small Man, Big Mouth
So, as I mentioned, Chuck was handsome. But he was also short. In fact a lot of the men I met on the straight-edge scene seemed to be short—perhaps that’s why they were so angry all the time?
3. Gorilla Biscuits – Good Intentions
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, I really liked Chuck initially. Because of him I decided to become a vegetarian, and I didn’t drink the entire time we were together, which is quite an achievement for a college student. I really thought we could have a serious relationship.
4. Slapshot – Chip on My Shoulder
After we’d been dating for a while, I started to notice the fact that Chuck did have morals was a problem. He seemed to think that not drinking or taking drugs made him better than other people. We’d go to parties and he’d sneer at my friends who were drinking, or he’d complain about driving someone home when they were too drunk to drive. The other thing was how much he hated religion. He would go on and on about how bad Christianity was until I was bored out of my mind.
5. SS Decontrol – Jock Itch
So it turned out that Chuck wasn’t really a feminist. He had an uncontrollable jock itch, which meant he couldn’t keep it in his pants. That’s right, he cheated on me with some little goth punk girl with a lot of piercings in her face. The best part was she wasn’t even straight-edge – she’d get unbelievably drunk at parties and smoked pot every day. Funny about that.
6. Strife – Force of Change
After I found out he cheated on me, I wasn’t really upset. To be honest I was over him and just coasting. It was the little push I needed to end the relationship. There’s nothing worse than staying in a relationship with someone who’s just okay because you’re afraid to be single.
7. Youth of Today – Free at Last
My relationship with Chuck wasn’t all bad. We traveled to India, we had some good times and I learned a lot of things about men. I never would’ve wanted to end up with him in the long term. The fact that he cheated hurt a little at the time.