In one of our most recent collaborations with Sticks & Stones Agency, Larsen Soleto photographed Roxy. The photos are raw, sexy, kind of grimey and remind me of the mischievous acts my youth has allowed me to get away with. I’m twenty-two years old and I feel ripe in all senses of the word. I feel free. I call the shots in my world. The fear of the unknown has shifted to exhilaration, I exist in a constant free fall. I wake up a new person every day and I have grown to find the constant hustle and flow to be a source of comfort. Always in flux, always in bloom.
Below are twenty-five things I believe every woman should attempt before age twenty-five:
1. Hone in on your hustle
I feel like there is some sort of misconception where the first twenty-five years of your life don’t count. They do. It is okay if you don’t know what your passion is, I don’t know what mine is. I don’t know if the career path that I’ve started is where my end goal lays. But, I do believe that there is nothing sexier than a twenty-something who pays her own rent, buys her own shit, and fearlessly tries her goals on for size.
2. Have a one night stand
My philosophy on sex is pretty black and white. I think there are people whose sexual tastes crave promiscuity and people whose sexual tastes do not. The easiest way to find out? Try having sex with someone you have no emotional connection to and see how that orgasm feels. There is no shame in either flavor, however, knowing yourself sexually makes fucking, lovemaking, and dating a bit less confusing. Also – be safe and use common sense.
3. Take nude photos
Pose nude for a friend or take the photos for yourself. Viewing your own body naked helps you get used to your body. Make a conscious decision to love what you see, regardless of what you see. I do not advise giving these photos out. I don’t advise posting them on social media. And never believe someone when they ask for nudes and say they won’t share them. Duh.
4. Walk out on a one night stand*
The thing about one night stands is that you don’t reallllly know the person too well, in most cases. This means that the person you think you want to have sex with could be a total creep or give you a bad feeling or have an STD…the list goes on. If you find yourself with someone that you do not wish to exchange bodily fluids with, either leave or kick them out. The idea that you owe someone sex because you agreed to meet up with the pretense of sex is so degrading. Your body. Your rules.
*Warning: This is easier said than done. Be prepared for the person you walk out on to be offended and say some ego-bruising things. Have your area’s taxi service number and your best friend on speed dial. Godspeed.
5. Dump your boyfriend (if he is an asshole)
If you are dating someone who is mean to you, cheats on you, verbally or physically abuses you, makes you cry and so on, please leave them. That person is not the love of your life and being alone is better than being walked on. People can change but only when they actually want to change. If you are in a relationship expecting the other person to change, you are setting yourself up for continual disappointment.
6. Attempt a healthy and loving relationship
I remember talking to a friend of mine about her failed relationship. There was a lot of shit that accumulated in their time together, leading to an inevitable albeit messy demise. When I asked her what she thought went wrong, she said “I never expected it to last, so I didn’t care.” I understand that we are told we are supposed to be in a state of constant experimentation throughout our youth, however, I think there is merit in being the absolute best partner you can be – for yourself, first and foremost. Even if it only lasts for a month, even if it isn’t reciprocated, just give love a chance.
7. Admit when you fuck up and apologize
Sometimes we lie, cheat, and steal to get what we want. Those are innately human traits. But, that doesn’t mean you have to hold onto them. If you lie, apologize. If you cheat, tell the truth. I believe that when you begin to engage in these behaviors and don’t acknowledge them, you begin living a lie.
8. Leave the country
I’m leaving the country for the first time in a couple weeks. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.
9. Buy a vibrator
Or any other sex toy that piques your interest. But, be weary of how often you use a vibrator, your vagina will literally get addicted and your clitoris will stop working with human stimulation. I write this in a very serious tone because I think it is a very serious problem.
10. Go on a date with someone outside your type
Taller, shorter, skinner, bigger, tattooed, not tattooed, older, younger, creative, noncreative, guy, girl, friend, stranger, whatever. Be open – not because that is how you will find your soulmate, but because that is how you get to know yourself.
11. Go on a blind date
This option is most preferable if this blind date is set up via friends, for obvious purposes.
12. Right-size your friendships
Just because you don’t have a lot of friends or just because you have known this person for however many years doesn’t mean you have to stay friends with them. This doesn’t mean cut everyone off with an axe and live in isolation. It means that if someone shows you their true colors, don’t ask for a re-examination.
13. Squash your jealousy
Girl on girl jealously is ruthless. I don’t understand why women want to compete, we are all in this shit together. Hating on a close friend or acquaintance or stranger because she is sleeping with the dude you want, or she has the job you want, or her ass is firmer than yours, or she has more money, or whatever it may be, is really boring. The more jealous you are, the more boring you are. Sorry, it is harsh, but if your eyes are always on someone else’s paper, how are you growing? You aren’t.
14. Start a work out regimen
Learn healthy habits before your metabolism inevitably slows. I have high hopes that by working out regularly now, I can possibly ease with grace into the day when I wake up and realize I can’t eat In-N-Out at 2am anymore.
15. Create your own family
Sometimes we come from families where there is a lot of baggage. Or sometimes we move across the world. Or maybe we just move to a big city for the first time. Whatever it may be, take the opportunity to create your own family. Independence is important, but when the going gets tough, it really helps to have a mentor to call for advice or a group of friends you can share a home-cooked meal with.
16. Stop taking no for an answer
I don’t do the word no. If I did do the word no, I would have a significantly smaller life. Start manifesting your own reality and don’t stop until you have it all. Can’t tell me nothin’.
17. Live in a big city
Earlier today, I was making small talk with my hair stylist and asked where she was from. “Here. Born here, raised here, and now I live with my husband.” The town she is referring to is a really small place full of strip malls and she didn’t sound very happy about it. I mean, okay, she didn’t sound that miserable about it either and I am not trying to shit on anyone’s preferences, but try to leave the pond for at least a year, okay? It is scary but it is really fun. Sometimes.
18. Invest in luxurious lingerie
The other day, I came home really upset. My evening commute took nearly two hours, I had a difficult day working on a new job, I was hungry and stressed. I took a shower and put on my favorite piece of lingerie and climbed into bed with a glass of wine. I can’t tell you why exactly, but there is something about the feeling of satin and lace wrapped tight against my skin that instantly relaxes me. I feel really invincible in lingerie, which may warrant a few eye rolls. But, the truth is, a well-stocked lingerie drawer is more powerful than keeping a pistol at your bedside.
19. Live with your lover
If this option makes sense for you, try it on for size. You might break up shortly after moving in together. You might break up after living together for months or years. Or you might never break up. But, you learn a lot about your love and relationships in general when you share your space with a lover. I bid you good luck.
20. Do the god-awful revenge hook up
This is the worst advice I have ever given. I really hope no one actually follows this. But… if you must… if you absolutely are itching to make that godforsaken horrible mistake, hook up with someone out of spite just so you know how filthy and awful it makes you feel. Learn from this. Elevate yourself and don’t EVER do it again.
21. Become well read
Acquaint yourself with Didion, Orwell, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Morrison, Angelou, Murakami. Read Ira Katznelson’s When Affirmative Action was White. Download both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times apps for your phone and skim regularly. Read things that interest you but also remember to read things that challenge you.
22. Finish what you start
Also known as “The Art of Not Running From Your Problems.” Apply to your own life where you see fit.
Whether it is cooking or writing or taking photos or being a subject for others’ art, stimulate the creative impulse that every single of us has as often as possible. I believe this preserves our youth, keeps our minds sharp, and our eyes clear.
24. Take a detox from alcohol/partying
Don’t wait until you’re too far down the rabbit hole to learn that you have an addictive personality and/or are an addict. Take a break from drinking, preferably for at least two weeks, but do what you can. This goes double if you use drugs recreationally.
25. Accept that you know nothing
A lot happens when you first claim your freedom and independence. Your life changes a lot. You might get a little bit big for your britches. Whenever you do, remember that you know absolutely nothing. The knowledge we have at this age is but a speck in the grand scheme of life. Life will inevitably turn us out flat on our asses again and again. Accept your wisdom and your ignorance and move forward with grace.