Can Your First Love Really Be 'The One'?

It was Fresher’s week 2004 at Glasgow University, a fresh faced 17 year old straight out of high school I was enjoying a freedom that previously had been alien to me. At school I’d never been particularly sociable, I achieved good grades but then instantly wanted to leave as soon as possible. I never drank, rarely went to parties and led a fairly dull existence. University was where it all changed – in my eyes the first step into adulthood and where life truly began.

Fresher’s week was where I finally let it all go. For my overseas readers, Fresher’s Week is basically a week long party before the hard work starts. The buzz around campus was truly addictive and I was lapping up every single second of it. A few days in I had kissed what we call in Scotland a few ‘horrors’, 4ef9bf632261f55ddf8b7b287fda0148one girl from up North approached me saying “I’ve just won a bet with my friends that I’d be the first one to talk to you” at the time I thought “Oh wow what is this wonderful place?” but looking back I realize it was merely a rather poor chat up line – which I fell for hook, line and sinker. There was also the girl who gave me a rash from her stubble and the girl who confusingly declared me a womanizer when I refused her advances. Then one evening like the calm after the storm, I was standing at the bar waiting for a friend when a girl milky skinned and with Celtic dark features approached me, she said nothing just pointed at my hair. A few awkward seconds had passed when I was blown away by the most exquisite Irish accent, “I love your hair.” I was instantly smitten. A year older than me her name was Jennifer, we spoke for a few minutes, exchanged numbers and arranged to meet the next day. The following night we watched then unknowns Biffy Clyro take Glasgow’s student union by storm. Later that night we ended up at a small gathering thrown by an old-school rave enthusiast, Dan from Manchester (the only human being I’ve ever known to plaster his walls with pictures of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin – much to my horror I might add). We had been lying on the floor (as students do) and had been quietly chatting away for a good couple of hours when we realized that there was actually someone else sleeping on the floor just yards away from us. Curled up in the corner we asked each other “who is this guy?” we’d never seen him before and hadn’t even noticed him enter the room. Dan woke up and told us to leave him be. Little did Dan know that this guy whoever he may be would wake up moments later in a drunken state and urinate all over his floor and much to our bewilderment, Dan’s vast CD collection. Hilarious as it was this was our cue to leave. It had been a memorable introduction to student life and as for Jennifer, she was my first love.

We dated for a year, it was incredible at first, so young and naive but not a care in the world just happy 957641cc3406fea518f3b65527cd251ato be in love. When I think back to that time I always laugh about how oblivious we were to our truly horrific dress sense, I can only imagine what my mother must’ve been thinking. I would walk around in flared, black chords and band t-shirts with long shoulder length hair and two lip piercings. Jennifer on the other hand had a penchant for multi-colored leggings and chunky cardigans. As the months passed the relationship soured a little, Jennifer became consumed by homesickness which in all honesty became the focal point of the relationship. She was counting down the days until she could go home for the summer and I began to feel like something to keep her occupied in the meantime. I knew this deep down but at the time couldn’t quite bring myself to admit it. I put up with a lot during those months, I don’t know if I felt sorry for her or if I was just in total denial.

When the summer came I was heartbroken to watch her leave as we parted ways at the airport, she on the other hand had the biggest smile on her face with home j-r-eyerman-young-couple-snuggling-in-convertible-as-they-watch-large-screen-action-at-a-drive-in-movie-theaterawaiting her. When she left I had zero concerns for our relationship, in spite of the hardships of the previous months I still had complete faith that things would work out but this would soon prove misguided and highlight my youthful naivety once more. A few weeks had passed when I was awoken in the middle of the night by Jennifer calling; she was having a panic attack “I just love you so much, I never want to be without you.” I hadn’t been overly worried anyway but it was certainly a welcome reassurance and after calming her down I fell back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I had a text message, “I’m sorry but I don’t think we should be together.” I had to read the message four or five times for it to sink in what had the phone call during the night been all about and how in the space of a few short hours had it turned to this? I replied to her message completely bemused but sure enough, it was over. For the first time in my life I can openly admit I’d had my heart broken. It’s funny saying those words ‘my heart is broken’ it evokes the very strongest of emotions in us all. It’s incredible how an experience or period in your life can so quickly become a distant memory but I honestly believe you haven’t lived until you’ve had your heart broken, that’s when you know you’re alive – not when you start fresher’s week.

In the coming months I struggled desperately to get over her. I convinced myself that when she returned after the summer I would win her back. When she did return however, I met a ‘new’ Jennifer. I ab927a75a913dc1f34aeb4d9747e16bfdidn’t know who she was anymore. Gone was the sweetness of the girl who had curiously pointed at my hair that night and in her place was a party animal throwing herself over a different guy each week. I never held it against her, after all that’s what we do in our teens experiment and explore but the heartbreak was still written all over my face. We lost touch soon after, I left university and she moved back to Ireland.

I hadn’t spoken to Jennifer for about 9 years when last summer she messaged me out of the blue and asked to meet up. I had mixed feelings about the idea, would it be too awkward? Would all my old feelings be unnecessarily dragged from the dirt? In the end I agreed and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I felt nothing.

It was like chatting to a distant relative. I didn’t even find her attractive anymore and found her dare I say it a tad dull, she’d certainly mellowed at the grand old age of 28. It made me think back to those heartbroken days. At times I had been inconsolable but it just goes to show that sometimes things do happen for a reason and perhaps that’s something we can apply to any broken relationship. No matter how bad things seem, they really will get better.

e3b3f19c16a4bda5d295ba4bf87e3c38So what was is the true purpose of our first love? I thought long and hard about this and the truth was simple, to learn – at least for me anyway. That relationship taught me so much. As I mentioned before this had been my first steps into adulthood and so I’ll always be grateful to Jennifer for being a part of that period of my life and for everything she taught me about women – intentional or not. They say that everyone will always remember their first love which is true, but for me it’s more like remembering a trusty teacher or guardian rather than a long lost love. If you do long for them, just appreciate the time you had together and if you feel like they were the one that got away, try not to be too disheartened you might just look back and laugh one day.

When people say everything happens for a reason, don’t try and prove them wrong – just be patient.


Breaking Up With The Single Life

Today feels like a good day to write. I’ve never claimed to be a dating expert, my words stem from experiences (the good and the bad) and it’s experience which has made me sit down and write today. I’ve always been quite emotional for a guy, sometimes it’s the smallest things that hit you the hardest. Today I’ve reflected on times when I myself have hurt people, not because I’ve done something really bad, but because I am the way I am – over complicated, too much in my own head and often non-committal.

I’ve spoken previously about the pressures people put upon themselves to find love, to find the one, to settle down. There comes a time in life where it consumes us. I myself was a quiet kid up until about the age of about eighteen and had never really had a proper girlfriend until then. Fast forward ten years and I’ve wracked up a solid seven or eight serious relationships one after the other and spent a grand total of just five months being single.  This decade of relationships is where my experience comes from and what inspires my writing, but it is also one of my biggest flaws and I hope people can learn from that.

The point I’m making is that being single doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I’ve heard loved ones speak about being single as if it were a disability. This of course is complete nonsense. I ask myself how many of my relationships I regret and as much as I try not to regret things in life there’s certainly three or four I could’ve done without. We need to learn to value the positive side of being single and no not playing the field, I mean self-development, discovery and finding out what you actually want from life. These are the very things which can lead to long-term happiness. What is it they say ‘short-term pain, long-term gain’? I truly believe this can be applied to dating and relationships.

I always champion the idea of loving yourself before you can love someone else, but perhaps I’ve too often been guilty of not taking my own advice. When I have taken that advice however, life seems to be that little bit smoother. Then when the time comes for that long-awaited relationship, you’ll feel like Rocky reaching the top of the steps (somewhere I’ve been – take a jacket it’s freezing).
What happens when we put too much pressure on ourselves to meet someone? We end up with the wrong person. Simple as that.

Have faith that the right person will come along at the perfect moment. In the meantime, make the most of the single life. Get to know yourself before you get to know someone else. If you do, breaking up with the single life will be harder than you ever thought possible.

“Trust the path you’re on, if you don’t
nothing makes sense.” – Paolo Coelho


follow me on Twitter @paulthomasbell

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Age Gap Relationships

Lehmuth_Lehmuth_Rachel_Brenke_Photography_lauren28bw_lowFrom your classic gold-digger generation to modern day cougars age gap relationships have always been of great interest to me. There’s no great secret to my enthusiasm for the subject, it stems solely from my parents who have nearly three decades between them – 28 years if you’re counting. My mother is a youthful 50 and my Dad still as sprightly as ever at the age of 78. Has it affected their relationship? Honestly? Yes it has. But do they regret it? Probably not.

Growing up my Dad never held back from his parenting duties, already in his mid to late 50’s people would constantly ask my sister and I – “is that your Grand-Dad?” We never once hesitated from proudly proclaiming “no, that’s our Dad!” An old Dad is better than no Dad I always said. The setup between my Mother and Father has always fascinated me – perfect material for a relationships writer you might say. Age differences can be tricky at the best of times, even five to ten years can sometimes prove event_225976522.jpegdifficult, so how do you make a gap of three decades work? When they got together my Dad was the most devilishly handsome (and surprisingly young looking) 48 year old you could feast your eyes on and my Mum – a fresh faced 20 year old who’d only recently left her seaside town for the big city. Perhaps my Dad was the strong arm my Mum needed to help her settle into her big move or perhaps he really was just incredibly handsome. I can only imagine the two of them complimented each other perfectly in the same way I still observe them do to this day. My Dad is funny. It’s my favourite quality in him and any person for that matter, I love people who make me laugh and I guess my Mum is the same. My Mum on the other hand is organized, sensible and well – motherly. In fact it’s incredible just how much I am like my Dad and my sister is like my Mum but it just goes to show that with the right balance of characteristics in a pairing, age gaps really do become irrelevant. For just about every time I have seen my Mum stress over a phone bill I have watched my Dad reduce her to tears of laughter only moments later, maybe these are the true great qualities of a successful relationship? Not appearances or money or how you might look on paper, just the purest form of balance. I envy them every day.

One of my fondest memories of seeing them together was on holiday in Devon (England) as a youngster. We’d taken a trip to the zoo and my sister and I sat on a bench devouring ice lollies whilst my Mum and Dad went for a wander. My Mum was more the sun bathe by the beach type whilst my Dad (like myself) was quite the explorer, in fact we often took gruelling day trips just to keep the peace more than anything. The zoo of course was fun, but as my Mum marched ahead with her arms crossed my filmnoirpage-e1319841938815Dad blissfully trundled along gazing at every animal, bird, leaf, plant, tree etc that came his way – ‘Father Nature’ I used to call him. As my sister and I watched from a distance they came to a bridge overlooking a stream full of exotic fish, it was one of those bridges that you could shake and sway from side to side, my Mum who has suffered from vertigo for many years naturally walked across as quickly as humanly possible, my Dad on the other hand stopped in the middle to admire the fish in sheer wonderment. What happened next still makes me laugh and to this day I have never seen my Mum laugh harder – she was quite literally floored. My Dad in his mid-60s at the time is only around 5ft 3, a group of young and very excited German tourists had spotted the bridge from afar and in their excitement hadn’t even noticed my Dad innocently watching the fish as they sprinted to the middle. They bounced around on that bridge like kids on a trampoline at Christmas. The bridge wasn’t high so he was in no immediate danger but watching my Dad’s face as he hung on for dear life whilst this group of athletic young men almost twice his size bounced around was a sight I’ll never forget. This was the beauty of my Dad’s persona, whether he was making a joke or just finding himself in yet another comedic situation there was always laughter. It was in these moments that I knew my Mum would think that loveable little man…is mine.

It’s not easy to brush aside the opinions of others and although I wasn’t there at the time, I can’t 13-wedding-kiss-photography-in-the-1950s-uncovered-on-ebayimagine a 20 year old on the arm of a man approaching 50 sat well with those around them, but did it put them off? I wouldn’t be sat here on this cold Autumn evening if it had. I talk a lot about not caring about what others think, frankly I believe life is too short and I spent most of my teens trying to make the world around me like me before I myself even liked me. It’s only tonight that I’ve realized this attitude comes from my upbringing. So to those suffering the strain of a scrutinised relationship, if you’re not hurting anyone – just do whatever the hell you like.


Great Myths About Men Explained

Being a guy, who knows guys, I unfortunately am all too familiar with some of man’s great failings when it comes to women. I could never claim to have been a perfect boyfriend, but every now and again friends, colleagues and often complete strangers will share their stories with me, and as much as I am happy to listen occasionally my head falls into my hands with unfortunate ease. I could never judge anyone, way too many mistakes made on my part to do that, but are all the negative myths about men actually true? Or are they just that – myths.

1. We’re only after one thing. I get asked this question constantly and the truth is, a bit of both. I know someone who uses online dating and when asked what he’s looking for he is always completely truthful, “a bit of fun.” Hardly the romance girls are after but so long as it’s done respectfully is there really anything wrong with such honesty? This person’s explanation is “I travel a lot for work so it wouldn’t be fair for me to get seriously involved with someone”. So yes sometimes guys are after only one thing but believe it or not we also like a bit of romance, courtship and dare I say it – butterflies. Guys do think about sex constantly, it’s in our DNA after all, but that doesn’t mean we’re all predators. Girls if you’re concerned look out for the early warning signs, some are more obvious than others – requests for dirty photos, innuendos, and the classic “I’m in bed, wish you were here” – we try and pass it off as ‘banter’ but that would be a lie (guys you know exactly what I’m talking about). If you’re still worried sometimes the best thing you can do is actually the simplest, just ask.

2. We constantly lie. This isn’t true of all men of course but yes you’d be surprised at just how much men tell porkies. Guys are too often guilty of saying what we think women want to hear rather than what’s actually going on in our heads. The peculiar thing is that guys are often berated for lying, sure it’s not ok but you’d be surprised how often guys lie simply to protect your feelings – we’re actually big softies deep down we worry about you! It’s a part of our often backwards mentality but not necessarily acceptable and frankly it probably should worry you. If a guy thinks he can get away with lying then he’ll probably continue to do it, not necessarily for his own gain but because it very quickly just becomes a bad habit. Learn to know when you’re guy is lying and nip it in the bud before it escalates. Don’t be a bunny boiler about it though, we aren’t always lying – believe it or not.

3. “Once a cheater always a cheater”This one drives me crazy, I cannot stress enough how much I disagree with this. Obviously I don’t condone cheating but people do learn from their mistakes. I’ve known guys who’ve cheated and continue to cheat with numerous different women, it’s a sad fact of life, but I also know guys who were so wracked with guilt from cheating that they couldn’t eat or sleep for days and wouldn’t dare go near another woman ever again. It’s down to personal choice whether you forgive a cheater or not but when making that decision don’t assume that he will always cheat, just keep a casual eye on him – time will soon tell if you’ve made the right decision.

4. Our feelings don’t get hurt. Definitely not true. Even the biggest, buffest guy in the gym can be a delicate little flower inside. Guys don’t express feelings very well but don’t mistake this for being made of stone. Sometimes we’re just as insecure as women. I’ve written in detail about this before but more recently I did a small photoshoot for a friend and you’d be surprised at just how much a good quality camera can reveal your every flaw. I cried myself to sleep that night – ok not quite but you get the picture.

5. We hate all of your friends. Not true at all we just hate when you’re in a group! I had an ex-girlfriend and individually I loved every one of her friends but as a group? Don’t get me started! There are few words to explain the frustration of a man having to spend an evening with a group of hyperactive, ranting women. Yes we’ll be gents, keep quiet and politely listen to every one of your meaningless conversations about “that bitch from work” but sorry girls we don’t want to be there, please don’t make us be.

So girls we’re far from perfect but don’t always believe what you read and be wary of the words of a woman scorned. People can only speak of their own experiences but not everyone is the same, try your best to be a good judge of character and never be afraid to ask questions. Failing that just come and ask me – I promise I don’t just want sex!


First Date Survival Guide: The Do’s and Dont’s

So she said yes. You saw the girl, you swooped and you got the number. Some might say the hard part is over but then again you still have the first date to consider. You don’t want all that hard work to be for nothing, do you? Ok, now it’s time to really impress her. Even the most confident of guys lose their cool on the first date, here are my tips to ensuring that doesn’t happen.


Talk about your ex let’s get it out the way now, the golden rule of any first date. No one wants to know how heartbroken you were or how she was just using you to get close to your best friend. This is your chance to leave all of that behind you, take it!

1395346699297Overdress so you’re getting ready and can’t decide what to wear? Remember this is a date not a prom, leave the bow tie at home – unless you are a master of geek chic of course. You also don’t want to look better than her, let her be the star for the night you’ll have other opportunities to be the showstopper. You wont go far wrong with a casual short-sleeved shirt, slim-fit jeans and a decent pair of shoes but not the Italian pair you wore to work that day, no one likes a pair flippers.

Get Ahead of Yourself don’t set yourself up for a fall, she’s agreed to meet for a drink not be the mother of your children! Remember this is just a date, there were other girls before her and there’ll be many more after her, this is NOT your one and only chance to find love! If you’re secretly already telling yourself she’s your girlfriend in your head then we have a serious problem. Desperation can be spotted a mile off. However much you want this, stay cool!

Take her Somewhere Loud you’re trying to get to know her not deafen her. Avoid places where you’ll have to shout your every word, quite frankly it gets exhausting. That’s not to say take her to the library either,  pick somewhere that you can sit down and chat with relative ease. Have two or three locations in mind before you even meet her. The cinema is also a major no-no for different reasons. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why.

best-date-notPlay With Your Phone you’re supposed to be listening to her pretending she loves her job not playing Angry Birds! Don’t text either, if your teachers could see you doing it under the table at school your date can too, save it for the bathroom breaks.

Talk About Sex whether you’re a sex addict or just having some playful banter save it for the boys in the pub. Some girls can be quite frigid about the subject and it’s probably too early to judge her sense of humour. Don’t blow your load too soon or you’ll find yourself on the next bus home. Likewise no one wants to know how many times you’ve been to the clinic in the last six months.

Be Too Nice be respectful but don’t be her best friend. Find the right balance of ‘cheeky’ and ‘gent’ and your on your way to a second date. Give her a casual compliment when you see her and I mean “you look great” NOT “dat ass girl”.

Be Negative a girl doesn’t want to know about your miserable luck with the ladies and why you hate the world nor does she want to know about your dark poetry phase. Be someone who can add a little spark to her life. Her best mate wont stop crying about her ex she doesnt need you adding to her problems as well. If the date isn’t going well don’t get fed up, you now have nothing to lose. Just enjoy it for what it is – a night out!

passed-out-drunkGet Wasted remember you’re the boss here, you need to stay in control. Have a few drinks to take the edge off but know your limits. The last thing you need is your date getting dressed up only to be covered in your sick after yet another jaeger bomb. Similarly you don’t want to put yourself in a position where your date proves she can drink you under the table.


Ask Questions but not too many, it’s a date not a job interview. Show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know this person, you may even find that you have more in common than  you first thought. Try to let things flow – no one likes an awkward silence!

man-paying-for-date1Pay For Everything Yes I know it’s expensive but your new x-box game can wait until next month. The best girls offer to pay but politely decline, tonight is on you. Take more money out than you’ll need, you don’t have to spend it all. Going dutch is second or third date material but don’t ever make money an issue, save it for when you’re married.

Relax I know it can be nerve-wracking but you’ll just have to get over it, man up! Your date is the priority after all and if you can’t relax she won’t relax. Like I said before don’t overthink things this is just a drink, she’s not the dentist, what do you have to be nervous about?

Be Yourself the most obvious of cliches I know, but it’s true. Pretending your something you’re not might be easy enough to do once but you’d be surprised how quickly that can spiral. Before you know it you’ll be up to your eyeballs in payday loans funding all those trips to Marbella that you said your ‘mate’ Mark Wright would hook you up with.

casablancaKiss Her but only on the cheek, linger for half a second and if it feels right it might just turn into a proper kiss. Don’t dance about on the spot like a bumbling idiot, be confident and know your plan before the moment even comes. Just don’t give too much away, always leave her wanting more.


Good Luck


Dumped? The Fast Track Guide To Getting Over It

Let’s face it break-ups suck. There’s nothing worse than that overwhelming numbness in your stomach, forcing yourself to watch ‘The Notebook’ for the hundredth time and of course your sudden lack of interest in all things nutritional but it doesn’t have to be this way. I myself have been there, the skinny emo kid crying in the rain secretly believing life is a movie and that she will indeed come running back into my arms. Sadly there are few situations I haven’t found myself in, here’s my guide to coping with a break-up without resorting to a rendition of  “Hey there Delilah” outside her bedroom window.

dawson_cryingDay 1: The toughest day of all. It’s still raw, you have a lot of unanswered questions in your head and you’re craving answers but whatever the situation, trust me when I say turn your phone off! As someone who has been both the dumper and the dumpee, giving each other space is vital. The worse thing you can do is continue pestering someone when they so clearly need a bit of space. This also applies if you are trying to win someone back, let them miss you! Cry, there’s no shame in it. Let it all out, we’re only human and break-ups hurt, cry as much as you need to but the second you stop, look in the mirror and laugh at the state of your face. Laughing is an amazing cure for most things in life.

Day 2: So yesterday was tough, really tough, but you got through it. Things still wont be easy but you need to shake yourself off and at least attempt to be positive. Make a playlist. We’ve all been there, when that one song that reminds you of your ex comes on, the one you used to lie in bed together listening to, planning a lifetime of memories. Sadly this too is now a memory, don’t let this happen or you’ll find yourself back at the beginning of day one. Listen to all the music in the world but be strict with yourself, stick to positive, uplifting songs, nothing slow, depressing or romantic and under no circumstances are you to listen to Adele! I personally recommend old school rap, you may find yourself shaking your butt in the mirror at a time when even getting out of bed seemed impossible.

Worn_Sneaker(3)Day 3: Time to get the running shoes on. The benefits of even a ten minute run are incredible. Clear your mind, get David Guetta booming on your ipod and just run! It worked for Forrest Gump (without the Guetta) and it worked for me. I pounded the pavements like a marathon runner almost every day. Do not stay in bed!

Day 4: Spend time with friends and family. It’s important to remember there are other people in your life, people who love you and actually want to spend time with you. Avoid the subject of relationships. If your a guy moan about the football, laugh at your mates dodgy new tache and if your a girl ask your gal pals ‘omg, what is she wearing?’ Or if you’re like me, do all of the above.

Day 5: Remember all those things you wanted to do but couldn’t because your partner drank your money away last weekend? Well here’s your chance, have some you time. Now more than ever is when you’re allowed to be selfish. Treat yourself! It’s been a difficult few days and you probably need a little pick-me-up. Go and buy that leather jacket you wanted or those sickeningly expensive shoes, you deserve it. Or even better get a makeover, a new haircut for a new you.

Day 6: Keep busy.  Occupy yourself, it wont always stop you from thinking about your ex but it’ll certainly help. Take evening classes, learn to cook, remember how they used to complain? The world is your oyster, you’re a talented person you just never had the time to show it.

tumblr_mb3bd08Tjs1qe1a2ao1_500Day 7: Let your frustrations out. Possibly one of the most important days of all. It’s time to let it all out again but crying is a little too morbid at this point. Be a badass, hit the gym and hit that punch bag harder than you’ve ever hit anything in your life. Show them what you’re made of, it’s a release that can be just as good as sex.

Day 8: Delete the photos. You knew this day was coming but you’ve already proven how strong you are, rip the band aid. Once it’s done it’s done. We both know looking at them was only making things worse. Your focus is positivity remember!

Day 9: Let’s be honest you haven’t been eating all that well this past week, it’s time to give your body a break. Go to your favourite restaurant and order your favourite meal, do not stop eating until your shirt is literally popping buttons! Trust me your newly visible ribcage says you need it. 10: Plan ahead. You may still have dark days from time to time but your over the worst and by this point you know what works for you. Try and remind yourself of your ex’s bad points, of your good points and of all the opportunities at your disposal as a result of being single. Be grateful for the good times you shared but trust that everything happens for a reason and that eventually, you will meet someone else. Focus on your career, book a holiday, just be you again. Life could be worse.

PTB Meets Heart Radio's Charlie O'Brien

Radio Presenter and Popular Culture blogger Charlie O’Brien holds the enviable feat of finding career success and the man of her dreams along the way. I recently caught up with the lovely woman herself to get her career tips and find out just what makes the perfect guy?

Hi Charlie, congratulations on your successful career so far, what advice would you give to anyone looking to break into the media industry? WORK EXPERIENCE, WORK EXPERIENCE, WORK EXPERIENCE! As unfair as the thought of unpaid work may seem – I think it’s the only real way into the media. You don’t really see media jobs advertised, so you need another ‘in’ to the industry. I must have done about 3 years unpaid work in total, and have to sometimes! Work experience DOESN’T mean going to sit in a radio/tv station or newspaper for a morning though and thinking you’re qualified. We had a teenage girl who sat in on our radio show for 2 hours the other day. After her 4th cup of tea she announced “well I can now add radio to my list of work experience!!” No! Real work experience is getting your hands dirty, staying late, being willing to do anything and everything and not turning down any opportunity. Oh and making the tea. (Good tea, not stuff that looks like dirty dishwater with bits floating on top). Also in this age of amazing technology – take advantage of it! Write a blog, start a Youtube channel, a Soundcloud account. It’s all there for you, waiting!

You’ve obviously landed some pretty high profile gigs in recent times, what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in getting to this stage of your career? There have been lots – right from funding my way through two universities and then starting out in journalism on a pittance, to trying to prove myself as a female. I think the media industry is still fairly biased towards men. Women have to work harder. Reinventing yourself is also a challenge. I started out life as a news journalist. I had to work hard to prove that I could make the move to lighter presenting and be funny after people were used to me being serious. I hope I’ve achieved that.

You’ve been with boyfriend Jay for 2 and a half years now, what set him apart from other men? He’s real! And just the loveliest, most uncomplicated person I’ve ever met. We’d both had enough of awful, destructive relationships when we met – and were in the same place emotionally. It’s cheesy, but he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I adore him. Hopefully it’s reciprocated!

CHARLIE AND JAY MALLORCA How did you two meet? On twitter! We work for the same company so we knew of each other – but one day out of the blue I got a tweet saying “hey fellow breakfast presenter, how are you?” and the rest is history! Although he likes to tell people that I tweeted him first. It was definitely him!

Who was your teen crush? Mark Owen, Andre Agassi and Marti Pellow. You couldn’t see my bedroom walls for posters.

What is your idea of the perfect first date? Again, cheesy, but mine and Jay’s first date was perfect. A sunny evening, drinking wine out on the pavement in a restaurant just off Regent’s Street, followed by dinner, then dancing and one or two jaegar bombs!

Any ‘deal-breakers’? Good teeth, good conversation and even better sense humour.

What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? Is it weird to say this – but I haven’t really been on many dates?! There was one guy who was obsessed with hummus … maybe that counts!

What are your thoughts on internet dating and the increasing popularity of apps such as Tinder? The world and technology has moved forward, so why shouldn’t dating move with it? I know a girl who recently married a man she met from a dating site. It can work. I’m slightly disturbed by Tinder though. I don’t like the idea that you can dismiss someone in one swipe. It makes people very disposable. I’m an old romantic – and Tinder doesn’t seem very romantic to me. But if it works for you, go for it.

What advice would you give to any women out there still searching for Mr Right? Don’t give up – it happens when you least expect it. A week before I met Jay, I said to my mum “I’m giving up. I’m never going to meet Mr Right or get married and have babies, it just isn’t happening for me.” 3 months later I was moving into a gorgeous flat with the love of my life!

How important is physical attraction in a relationship? I think physical attraction is important, especially initially. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get through the tougher spells if there was no attraction there to start with. But it’s only one part of a much wider picture. Being great friends, having the same values and wanting the same things out of life is just as important in my opinion.

Do you think our perceptions of love and what we look for in a partner change as we get older? Definitely! In my teens and twenties I used to think it all had to be hearts and flowers, like The Notebook. But as you get older those priorities change. Feeling safe with someone is very important to me now after bad past relationships and feeling a sense that you’re a team and working through life together. When you get to your 30’s and want to settle down I think it’s more usual to look towards your parents perhaps and how they made it work, or maybe didn’t. You have a clearer, less cluttered vision of what you want. But hearts and flowers is still good occasionally too of course 😉

Finally, how will you be spending the rest of your summer? Working on the radio, blogging, working on my joint radio and media ventures with my partner jay, all topped off with a week on our favourite island, Mallorca in September. I can’t wait!

You can catch Charlie on Heart Breakfast in Kent, Monday-Friday 6am-10am. Charlie is also a fellow blogger check her out at and also see her vlogging with partner Jay at


Lastly, Charlie is an ambassador for The Children’s University, check out the amazing work they do at

*For bookings contact

Problems In The Bedroom? PTB Meets Huffington Post’s Susan Winter

A recent survey conducted by Author and Psychologist Dr. David Schnarch found that of almost 20,000 people asked, 36% of couples had desire problems almost all of the time and 25% just before sex. I recently caught up with ‘The Oprah Show’ and New York Times featured relationship expert Susan Winter to get her take on the matter.

What in your expert opinion are the most common problems couples face in the bedroom? The bedroom serves as a mirror to the couple’s partnership. Intimacy problems can occur when issues are not being addressed, behavior has been hurtful, communication breaks down and resentments build without resolution. These factors affect our romantic desire,as well as the quality and quantity of sexual expression.

Is it essential that couples are open and honest enough to talk about such things? Honesty is the hallmark of a vibrant and loving relationship. Without honesty, there is no intimacy. Honesty allows for trust and safety, which serves as the foundational glue for a couple’s longevity.

How important is it to address these problems early on? The longer issues go unaddressed, the wider the division between the couple. Long standing resentment is much harder to heal so it’s imperative to keep the slate clean with our partner.

Often people forego physical attraction in a relationship to be with someone with the ‘right’ personality, do you think it’s in any way possible that this could later lead to problems in the bedroom? I’ve known many a person who chose the “appropriate” or “right” partner for his or her lifestyle goals. The partner wasn’t their first choice of sexual mate. In this type of construct physical attraction was of less importance than other qualities. From that basis, it’s unlikely the sexual attraction will grow in time even in a solidly functioning relationship. Chemistry is illusive, but we know it when we experience it. Without enough chemistry to spark desire, eventually it will reflect in problems in the bedroom. 

Do you think sex is too easily dismissed by couples who reach a certain age? Sexual desires do change over the course of a long-standing relationship, as do priorities. Often companionship replaces the drive for sex in some aged couples. But the need to connect physically and maintain intimacy keeps a couple bonded, and should be a goal throughout the length of any relationship.

How significant are problems in the bedroom when it comes to people straying in their relationships? Straying sexually is often attributed to a lack of satisfaction in the bedroom. And while that’s certainly a factor in infidelity, I believe the underlying cause is a lack of appreciation. One or both partners no longer feel valued, respected or admired. Infidelity can be the hunt for “another” who does see and relay their worth.

 Do you think in today’s society people have sex too freely or is it important that we express this side of ourselves as much as need be? Today’s sexuality is open and freely expressed. It leaves many seeking commitment in a confused state. Sexuality isn’t the promise of partnership. It’s the chip thrown on the table at the beginning of the game. Therefore, it’s imperative to live by our own code and set of standards, no matter how we construct our romantic connections. Each person is free to choose how they engage, and under what conditions. Regardless of what’s ‘en vogue’ we need to know ourselves and be true to our values. 

How long do you think a new couple should wait before having sex? Can rushing into things affect the longevity of a relationship? As a woman, I come from the standard of allowing enough time to really feel comfortable with a man before jumping into bed. Sex too early is for his convenience. There’s nothing wrong with waiting to get to know a person. It increases the bond and the desire. When two people like each other and there’s attraction, sex is inevitable. So why rush?

What is the biggest misconception men make about women in the bedroom? Today’s men have been raised on porn as their educational format for human sexuality. They’re under the misconception that women like, want and crave everything they’ve seen in these films. Not everything shown is mutually enjoyable or desirable, regardless of how compelling the actress. Female porn stars repeatedly share this in their interviews. What they do for the camera is very different than what they do with their mate. So instead of doing what you’ve been watching, I’d ask men to learn what the woman wants and needs.

Finally, what advice would you give to couples on the verge of giving up as a result of problems in the bedroom? Counseling is a powerful tool for couples in peril. An objective and credentialed outside source can shed new light on old problems. But there has to be a willingness to “try” for a change of attitude and behavior in order to experience a better romantic outcome. 

Catch Susan being interviewed about her controversial Huffington Post article “9 months. 98 men” on ITN News 4pm GMT on July 25th.

The Great Battle: Looks vs Personality

Over the past few weeks many of you have commented that personality is what matters. Looks of course are merely just a shell protecting the person inside, call it fancy packaging if you will. I popped into my local Saisnbury’s supermarket recently and saw a large bag of Doritos for £1.49 and a similarly sized bag of ‘Sainsbury’s basic Tortilla Chips’ for 29p. Very different on the outside, completely the same on the inside. A friend of mine recently commented that she’d had to ‘work’ to fall in love with her boyfriend because the instant physical attraction just wasn’t there and so I asked myself the question ‘does your partner always have to be a Dorito’?

In researching this topic I found myself watching a classic episode of Sky Living’s ‘Dating in the Dark’. For anyone not familiar with the show three men and three women enjoy a series of dates in a pitch black room, forging bonds and enjoying undoubted chemistry before choosing who to see in a light reveal. There really isn’t a better way of analysing the subject than watching this show, the outcomes are truly fascinating at times. I watched as Katie an aspiring model and beauty therapist enjoyed a succession of dates with David, a policeman who described himself as looking like ‘Shrek’s stunt double’. Although on paper you wouldn’t have placed the two together, David quickly won Katie over with his ‘cheeky chappy’ personality, wit and unquestionable charm. When the two were together it was like watching the unfolding of one of life’s great love stories, they were quite literally inseparable. However when the lights came on, it was a different story altogether. David looked like he’d just found a winning lottery ticket, Katie on the other hand pulled a face as though about to vomit. I’m very easy going by nature but I was honestly rather appalled by Katie’s reaction, so rude, so hurtful, so unneccesary. I couldn’t quite believe that this girl, beautiful to look at yes, but quite frankly lacking intelligence, charm, charisma and apparently any form of manners had the audacity to dismiss this guy so bluntly based on looks alone. Perhaps that chemistry was merely a mirage until she could give his looks her seal of approval?

I must admit I have long championed the importance of physical attraction, but watching Katie and David made me question this. Don’t get me wrong I would never judge or dismiss anyone in the moronic way that Katie did but looking back to even my earliest crushes as a ten year old boy I’d always believed that physical attraction is what sets ‘friends’ and ‘girlfriends’ apart. After all do we really want to find ourselves in a physical situation with someone we’re not attracted to? Why not just be friends? This however is just my individual opinion and personal opinion is what I believe to be key to the subject. It’s important that we all remember that what is attractive to some people is not attractive to others. Put it this way, right now I have a bit of a beard going on, some girls love it, like really love it but then I’ll go home to my Mum’s house and my sister will say “shave that off it’s disgusting…and it’s turning ginger,” not that I’m trying to impress my sister but you see my point. I do think personality is essential though, I dont believe a truly ‘happy’ relationship can exist without it but I also don’t think anyone should be berated for saying looks matter, as long as they go about it in the right way of course. I suppose we also have to think twice before calling people shallow, shallow to me is the way Katie behaved, not someone who simply has a ‘type’.

When I reflect on some of my own experiences the question of looks over personality becomes even more difficult to answer. In my early 20’s I dated two girls, not at the same time Of course. One was short and slightly ‘podgy’ but with a nice face and a personality to die for and the other, a size zero with the potential to be a catwalk model. The girl with the amazing personality, we had so much in common, music, films, food, everything but sometimes we got on too well in that respect and I quickly found myself falling into what many of us call ‘the friend zone’. She was a pretty qirl there’s no question about that, there are plenty of guys out there who would have killed to be with her but there was just something missing for me. The size zero girl, she made me feel like a billionaire with a beauty queen on my arm, but it just wasn’t me, it wasn’t what I wanted. Even she wasn’t what I would class as ‘attractive’. As an outsider looking in you could say she was quite simply ‘stunning’ but I actually found her too skinny, superficial and quite frankly rather irritating, in fact there were times when she made me want to jam my fingers in a toilet seat and have someone jump up and down on it. If truth be told, neither made me happy. So what does that say about me? Men are impossible? I’m impossible? Maybe things just aren’t as clear-cut as valuing one quality over the other. Everyone has their own tastes, perhaps there’s no set criteria. Maybe we only know what we’re looking for once we find it? But never tell someone they aren’t beautiful, we simply don’t have the right.

As for my crisp selection, I bought both and mixed them up. Couldn’t taste the difference.


Why Coming Out Could Save Your Life

As 2014 enters it’s closing months it’s proving to be a year of progress for gay sports men and women. The issue will sadly continue to be a taboo subject but progress is definitely the right way of putting it.

Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe spoke publicly for the first time about his long-hidden sexuality and how his denial was sparked by fear of a backlash from the Australian public. This is an issue affecting men and women across the world on a daily basis and I can only echo what has been said countless times before – why? I’ve known people in my life tormented by the same problem and I take my hat off to Thorpe. It’s no picnic hiding your true self, gay or otherwise. The prejudice of sexuality in sport has raised its ugly head on several occasions in recent years. In professional soccer alone FIFA estimates there are over 265 million male and female players and yet only a small handful is openly gay. This statistic serves to remind us of how society’s outdated attitudes are forcing good people to live ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ heterosexual lives. But what is ‘normal’ anymore? What is ‘acceptable’? Our perceptions have to change.

Marcus, an old school friend of mine came out two years ago at the age of 26. These past two years have been without question the best of his life. His new found happiness however was only achieved after many years of denial and painful self-discovery. Marcus is from a strong catholic background, not all Catholics are homophobic but there are obviously certain anti-gay teachings that many adhere to. We became firm friends at the age of 15 but I had suspected he was gay the moment I clapped eyes on him 3 years earlier. Marcus was the type who would joke around innocently fondling girls but always getting away with it because they assumed he was gay. I didn’t dare share my thoughts with anyone else, the potential social consequences at high school were regrettable and it simply wasn’t my place to say. As we got to know each other we began having many deep and meaningful conversations. We talked endlessly about life, girls, football, our studies, typical teenage boy stuff. I had always expected him to privately tell me he was gay but that long-awaited conversation never came to fruition. What he did tell me however shocked me to my very core. He told me that he had tried to take his life on three separate occasions. I was in shock, we all go through difficult times in our adolescent lives but I never imagined his problems had reached such a drastic point. The biggest problem Marcus explained was his frustration at not being able to pinpoint why he felt the way he did. I had my suspicions that it was either depression or issues with his sexuality. Maybe he couldn’t accept it or maybe he just didn’t realize it? At the time I hadn’t wanted to say in case I only made the situation worse. I could never imagine how scary it would be at that age to suddenly realize you weren’t what was expected of you.

Soon we would leave school and start university together. If there was ever a time to come out I always believed this was it. Gone were the constraints of school life, the judgment, the masks we all wore to survive. I myself had even rebelled a little, gone was the quiet 17 year old replaced by a long-haired and pierced Led Zeppelin enthusiast. Marcus however remained the same awkward teenager who every day was looking more and more uncomfortable in his own skin. I sympathized, I really did but how can you tell someone they are gay without being certain they even know them self? I decided it was vital he made this discovery without my influence. We would go out a lot in those days, enjoying the new found freedoms of student life in abundance. Naturally we met a lot of girls, Marcus got his fair share of attention but he would never ever reciprocate. I’d noticed on a number of occasions he actually looked rather upset when a girl would approach him, it was like he desperately wanted to be interested but something was holding him back.

At the end of first year we lost touch. We drifted into different crowds and Marcus soon left the country to work abroad for a year. I would think about him all the time, for so long I just wanted him to be honest and know that there was at least one person who would support and accept him no matter what. I often wondered if going abroad was really for career purposes as he’d said or if it was just a much needed escape from reality. Then in the summer of 2012, as I arrived at my front door after a day’s work I saw Marcus standing there waiting. He looked exactly the same and yet somehow completely different. It was the first time I’d seen him for around five years and the first time I’d seen him smile since we were about fifteen. We spoke for hours.

Marcus was now a happy and proud, gay man. He told me of how his year abroad had been the worst of his life; he had tried to take his life for a fourth time. He hadn’t wanted to die, he simply couldn’t stand to feel the way he did anymore. He had finally been backed into a corner and realized it was time to make a change, his life quite simply depended on it. Marcus explained that his sexuality had crossed his mind many times over the years but that he could never make sense of his feelings as he had no desire to be with either a man or a woman. As it turned out not being interested in women was just the beginning to a lengthy process of realizing he was interested in men. In tackling his problems Marcus first spoke to the one member of his family that he felt would have the most positive reaction and things gradually progressed from there. His family were devout Catholics but monsters they were not. They supported him in every way imaginable and wished only that he had come to them sooner. It just goes to show that people might just surprise you with their reactions. I sincerely hope other families out there can show the same understanding that Marcus’ did.

It’s always easier said than done, but people have asked me what they should do in these situations and I always say the same thing – do everything in your power to accept yourself. Be comfortable with who you are, maybe this will put those around you at ease as well and if anyone has a problem with it then they’re probably not worth having in your life. Being gay is not a crime. Try to seek inspiration from those in the public eye and try to relate to the immense scrutiny they have faced, people who have achieved great things irrespective of race, background and most definitely of sexuality. Soccer players Robbie Rogers and Thomas Hitzelsperger, Basketball player Jason Collins, NFL star Michael Sam and now Olympic legend Ian Thorpe, these are the modern day suffragettes of the gay community. If you find yourself in the same situation as my good friend Marcus then look up to these people if they can do it there’s no reason why you can’t, so long as you want to. Marcus’ journey was so very nearly a tragic one but coming out freed him from what he called a ‘straightjacket of heterosexuality’. It quite literally saved his life.

Don’t let your journey be tragic.

The First Date Effect

I often describe a first date as a combination of a job interview, riding a rollarcoaster and a trip to the dentist. After all, sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s thrilling and sometimes it’s just downright painful. As I continue to analyse the process of dating I can’t help but think back to my younger self and how I used to handle meeting people for the first time. It can be daunting even now at the age of 27 so how on earth did the 18 year old me get by?

My process was always the same. Fifteen outfit changes, countless hair styles, shots of vodka and desperate attempts to memorise the conversation topics written on my hand (remember to rub these off!) By the time I’d left the house I was a tipsy, over-dressed, walking hair spray factory. Sometimes the stress of it all would even lead to tantrums, swearing and door slamming, when I was getting ready it was safe to say no one dared get in my way. My mother would also say she knew when I was going on a date because she could hear me jumping up and down, to this day I still don’t recall, but apparently when I get excited I do this subconscious jumping on the spot thing, similar to a boxer about to start a fight, we all have our quirks I guess. I always find it incredible how such a simple thing like meeting a nice girl for a quiet drink can turn us into such vain and irritable monsters, or is that just me? There was also my emo phase, a time when I refused to leave the house without wearing eye liner and black nail varnish but I’ll save that story for another day.

One of my worst habits on dates was not listening, not because I wasn’t interested but because I was too busy thinking about what I was going to say next. I was terrible for over-thinking. That’s something I’ve learned as I’ve got older, dont over complicate things just enjoy the company of a stranger, regardless of attraction or a potential future just make the most of the moment. One of my more awkward first dates was inadvertently a blind one. I’d been at the house-warming party of a friend and apparently had asked her roommate out on a date. It was only the next day however that I made this discovery when my friend had asked where I was taking her. I thought it was a wind-up at first, I had no recollection of her roommate at all and alcohol usually didn’t affect me in such a way. Sure enough though a couple of days later I was on my way to meet ‘Cat’. When I saw her I had to seriously question what I had been drinking at the party, not in a nasty way, she just wasn’t anything like what I’d usually go for. When I asked her what she’d like to do she said the cinema. This is always a major no-no for me, the cinema in my opinion defeats the purpose of a first date but ever the gentleman I agreed and off we went. She wanted to see the latest ‘Narnia’ movie, we managed to get tickets but the cinema had very limited seating. As we walked in, the movie had already started and we couldn’t see spare seats anywhere so I had to do that embarassing thing where you get a member of staff to come and guide you with a torch making you look like a pair of hikers lost in the woods. As it happens there was no two seats together, I laughed but Cat said “this will do.” So not only am I sat in a dark movie theatre with zero opportunity to actually get to know this girl, there I was, sat in the row behind her! To add to my misery an old school friend was sitting directly behind me and said hello, I tried to explain that I was on a date but the only people sitting next to me were an old man and a spotty teenager who resembled Superbad’s ‘McLovin’, great start to the night. I have to be honest I was a little tempted just to leave, it was the most ridiculous dating situation I’d ever found myself in, you could hardly even call it a date at this point. The movie ended and we finally went to the pub, as we chatted I realised I had absolutely nothing in common with this girl. I couldn’t quite believe I’d just sat through that movie for her and in the process made my future high school reunion that little bit more awkward. As I said goodbye she leaned in for a kiss, I had to laugh it had been the most awful of nights how could she possibly think a kiss was on the cards? But as I had given up on life by this point, I duly obliged.

I guess that’s a similar position many of us have found ourselves in, perhaps not the finer details but the whole process of getting ready, being excited and generally just looking forward to the night and then it turns out to be option 3, a trip to the dentist. But for every Narnia date there are also the spectacular ones, the dates that remind us of why the tantrums, door slamming and endless outfit changes are completely worthwhile. One of my best ever dates ended with a 3am slow dance to a busker in an empty Glasgow street, it was like a scene from a movie (not Narnia). That’s what I believe to be the beauty of dating though, when you step through your front door you have absolutely no clue as to what the night has in store for you, whether it’s a movie sat in separate rows or slow-dancing to one of your favourite songs.

So to anyone soon to be embarking on a dreaded first date, don’t be disheartened if it’s not what you hoped for. One day you’ll laugh about it and perhaps you’ll even write about it. Whatever happens though, I truly believe that your 3am  slow dance is just around the corner, never lose faith.

Happy Dating


Things Guys Say On Dates

In the spirit of the weekend I’ll keep today’s post on the funny side. Whilst doing research for my blog I spoke with a number of women on dating site PlentyofFish (work purposes only I promise) and have inadvertently compiled a list of the most shocking things guys have said to women on first dates, some of this may shock even the most avid of daters. Here’s my Top 50, enjoy!

50. “Would you mind if I touched your ankles?”

49. “Would you mind if I sniffed your arm pits?”

48. “You look a bit like Baloo the Bear”

47. “You look like a shoplifter”

46. “I’m a shoplifter”

45. “My Mum is making me move out after my 40th birthday next week”

44. “You are so sexy, remind me a bit of my sister”

43. “Do you mind if I quickly finish this game of solitaire on my phone?”

42. “I don’t really fancy you but I needed a night out”

41. “You look like a girl who loves anal”

40. “Did you make that dress yourself? Looks like it’s falling apart”

39. “Your hair is nice but your face could be better”

38. “Is McDonalds ok?”

37. “I had my first gay experience last night”

36, “I have a really tiny penis, I’ll show you under the table if you like?”

35. “I have the keys to a morgue if you’d like to see a dead body?”

34. “You must’ve been really fat when you were younger”

33. “I’m not really interested in you like that, I’m actually looking for a surrogate”

32. “have you ever made out with your sister?”

31. “I’ve made out with my sister”

30. “23? You look at least 40”

29. “You smell like cheese”

28. “I miss my ex almost every day”

27. “My shirt is actually part of a pyjama set”

26. “I’m completely racist, don’ talk to me about those people”

25. “I’m not paying for the wine you drank”

24. “Do you and your friends ever compare vaginas?”

23. “I’ve had over 500 sexual partners”

22. “Do you plan on getting your teeth fixed?”

21. “The woman behind the bar is actually my Mum, you’ve already met”

20. “My penis is crooked, it curves to the left”

19. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I’m in a wheelchair”

18. “I got caught pretending to have sex with a pavement”

17. “I think you’ve eaten enough”

16. “You should go and help with the dishes”

15. “no shoosh, shut your mouth”

14. ” You eat like a garbage disposal”

13. “I showed my Mum your picture, she thinks I can do better”

12. “yeah I’ll see you again, I feel a bit sorry for you.”

11. “I’ve had chlamydia six times”

10. “I’m actually married”

9. “Can we go somewhere else my wife’s best friend has just walked in”

8. “I can’t stay long I have another date after this”

7. “Can you drive me home?”

6. “I’m really into model trains, I brought this one to show you”

5. “Have you always had a double chin?”

4. “There was an incident with a ladyboy”

3. “My stag do is next weekend”

2. “Send me a picture from the toilet”

1. “I’m technically not allowed to leave the country”

Luckily most of the women I spoke to saw the funny side of things although a few did give out a slap or two. So to the women of Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and London I sincerely apologise on behalf of these characters and men, well I think it’s time we had a talk.

Happy Friday


No One Deserves To Be Raped – For The Women of Brazil

I’d like to take a quick moment to lend my voice to a moving campaign currently making waves in Brazil. Spearheaded by journalist Nana Quieroz, women are protesting the notion that they are ‘asking’ to be raped by wearing provocative clothing.

In Brazil a woman is raped every 12 seconds, reports Bella Naija. A truly shocking statistic, why is this allowed to happen? Rape is unacceptable in any circumstance, to suggest someone deserves such treatment because of their clothing is both naive and shameful. Does wearing provocative clothing make someone a bad person? Perhaps these people wear woolly jumpers on the beach? A country ridden with poverty and gang violence and people want to target innocent women? Senseless.

Women should not be punished for confidence.