Let’s discuss those fantasy suites of The Bachelorette

This week of The Bachelorette was one of the most memorable fantasy suites I’ve ever seen on my television screen. It was very sex positive. It was explosive, and all of the dates were iconic in their own way. They went to Greece, which looked absolutely breathtaking, but let’s be real. We were all looking closely for that windmill (aka. the fence jump of the season). Let’s break the episode down by each person because it was intense.

Peter: Spoiler alert: Pilot Pete was the windmill bandit! He and Hannah got steamy when they were making out on a boat in the ocean, and Peter dropped the L bomb at dinner. All we’ve heard for the past few weeks is how Hannah had sex in a windmill, and low and behold, by the middle of their date, I sat up in my seat as they entered a stone windmill for their fantasy suite. I was a bit surprised at first actually, assuming it was maybe Tyler or Jed. But nope. They have great chemistry overall, but I just don’t think he’s her final pick. But also, way to go, Pilot Pete! You’ll forever have that street cred thanks to Hannah’s confession.

Tyler: I’ve been obsessed with Tyler ever since he comforted Hannah on their first one-on-one date. They go to get massages, and man it was so steamy, I actually felt a little uncomfortable witnessing such an intimate moment between them. They go to dinner where Hannah tells Tyler that they have such a strong physical connection, that she really needs to know if they have that emotional connection too. To me, it almost seemed like the opposite with Peter, which is why Hannah did a 180 with him. And holy crap, Tyler was so iconic and understanding, I actually transcribed what this man proceeded to say to her.

Tonight, fantasy suites, it has a connotation of sex. For me, it’s way more than that. I just want to be with you, spend that time with you. You have to really love and respect each other’s boundaries. I would never press you or pressure you at all. I want you to be 100 percent comfortable and confident in whatever we do together. I look at the man I am today; it’s not the same kid I was nine weeks ago. You got me to open up so much, and I don’t want this to end. I don’t want to stop looking in your eyes. I don’t want to stop seeing that smile. I don’t want to stop hearing your laugh, seeing those dimples. I can stand here today and tell you I do love you. I am so falling for you. You mean the world to me. I would love to spend some time with you and just be us.”

Yeah, I know I’m crazy for writing that down, but I mean he had no idea she would say something like and yet, he had this Disney prince speech ready to go. There’s something about watching The Bachelorette that makes me feel very empowered as a single woman, and this was one of those moments when I’m like “Nah, I’m not going to settle for anything less than this.” Really puts things in perspective for anyone dealing with dating bullsh*t.

As much as I’d like to continue gushing about Tyler, I will say Hannah seemed conflicted when he left. I wasn’t sure if it was painful because she knew he’s not the one or if she thought that at first and is now feeling unsure after talking all night. That’s what I got from her, but it was hard to really tell.

Jed: Did anyone feel like Jed was such a negative Nancy when he first saw Hannah? I mean, dude, you’re in Greece. We know you don’t understand the Luke thing. And she was clearly uncomfortable talking about it too. I mean what is she supposed to say? Yeah, Luke is the best kisser? That being said, I do feel like Jed and Hannah have both the physical and emotional connection more than Peter and Tyler. He’s such a frontrunner; it’s making me nervous! For those who don’t know, Jed had a girlfriend during his entire time on the show. And it’s made my viewing experience a whole lot different. With Jed bashing Luke, it just seems so shady now. I do feel like he is falling for Hannah, but it sucks because that means he treated another woman with total disregard.

Luke: Oh lord. Literally. Where do we start with Luke? Luke did his classic gaslighting tactic with Hannah, but this time, he also slut shamed her in the process. And here’s the thing. It’s OK to be uncomfortable with her sleeping with all these other guys when there’s an engagement on the line. I know I’d be an insecure mess myself as well if I were on the show. However, it is absolutely awful to say what she did was a “mistake”. I felt like he was trying to control her saying he’d leave if she slept with the other three men. Well, Luke, you’re the last date buddy, so it’s too late. Once he realises this, he changes his opinion and says they can work through it. And cue the backtracking. But he even claims that the “worst case” would be if she slept with all of them. It’s so clear where his values lie, and once Hannah sees it, queen feminist Hannah comes out and gives him a piece of her mind. I was HERE FOR IT.

After Kaitlyn’s season of slut-shaming years ago, I was so sad that our society looked down upon a sex positive woman. I know Hannah is probably still receiving awful comments and death threats, but I feel like our society isn’t nearly as taboo with these topics. I mean all the men on her season are defending her on Twitter, along with most of Bachelor nation. I’m so proud of Hannah. She truly is a queen this season. I knew I saw something in her on Colton’s season, but she proves it here with such class.

Between Tyler respecting Hannah’s wishes, Peter’s iconic windmill moment and Hannah sending Luke home, this was a wild ride of an episode. I cannot wait until the finale episode. I’m still firm in that she has the most stable connection with Jed, but if that’s true, the finale will be interesting if she does choose Jed. Time will only tell.

Interview with Hey! VINA CEO Olivia Poole about her Tinder-style app for female friendships

When I was working on my dissertation, I was researching on all the platforms where I could meet women my age. I was looking for fashion and beauty opinions on a school assignment, but was surprised when I stumbled on this app called Hey! VINA. It’s sort of like Bumble BFF, but it’s so much more aesthetically pleasing with its pastel colors, and it allows women to connect after filling out detailed profiles about their interests. It also allows women to hold group events and gatherings, which can definitely take the pressure off of making friends. I spoke with the founder of the app, Olivia Poole, who gave me some insight behind the app and why women should embrace the support for one another.

Can you explain why you thought there was a need for the app? I launched Hey! VINA in 2016 because I knew firsthand how difficult it is to find friends as an adult. At the time, I had moved to San Francisco and I didn’t know anyone, let alone have an inner circle that I wanted (and needed) so badly. After starting a women’s only wine night series, Ladies Who Vino, I realized the power of bringing women together in a safe place. I created VINA to scale that experience out to the world! I decided that using a dating app like interface but with the sole intention of women’s friendship was the way to go, because I tried (and failed!) at messaging the other cool girls on other dating sites to be friends. The results proved that I was onto something—as VINA reached 100,000 downloads in its first week on the App Store.

What is your favorite feature of the app?
I love our personality quizzes! They help you see how people’s personalities fit into the equation of being a good match, plus they’re a lot of fun!

What advice would you give for someone who is going to be meeting their first VINA?
Remember that the vina you’re about to meet is here for the same exact reason as you! You both downloaded Hey! VINA for a reason and you’re here to make a connection and develop a friendship, so don’t be nervous because you’re both looking for the same things in life! You already have VINA in common, so just let the conversation build from there!

Can you explain how VINA is a bit different than Bumble BFF?
Our members say they love Hey! VINA because we’re exclusively focused on women’s friendship, so the platform is very feminine and designed with that sole goal in mind. They also love how we show so much more than photos, plus they love being able to host and attend plans created by other people in the community! Lastly, many of our members aren’t looking for dates, so they’re not comfortable having a dating app on their phones.

You can download the Hey! VINA here using Google Play or the Apple Store.

Ranking All Season 4 Episodes of Black Mirror

I’ve been meaning to review Black Mirror because I binged all six episodes of Season 4 weeks ago, but I really did enjoy this batch of the series. With all episodes featuring female leads, this season brought up tons of relevant topics, such as abusing male authority, helicopter parenting and dating in today’s society. Here’s my ranking of all episodes of this season.

6. Metalhead: Metalhead doesn’t have any major issues for me. It’s a pretty straightforward episode, but for me it doesn’t feel like a Black Mirror episode. The kind of edge on your seat feel is there, as a mechanical dog leaves a group of people on the run. I really like the main character Bella making smart decisions all around, but it sort of dragged for me from her time up in the tree to the mechanical dog trying to figure out where she is in the house. This is probably the episode I have the least to say, but it was by no means a horrible 48 minutes of Black Mirror. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

5. Arkangel: Arkangel is a pretty standard episode of Black Mirror that reminded me a lot of The Entire History of You. It revolves around a device that allows a worried mother to keep tabs and monitor what her child can and can’t see.

The only problem is that the first iteration of this technology being used was much better in Season 1. Arkangel is a pretty good episode though. I think it brings up a lot of ideas about parenting, which is why I liked it better than Metalhead. It definitely made me think about helicopter parenting and how far is too far when it comes to keeping tabs on your child’s life. I thought it built up pretty well, and the ending is pretty unsettling and probably a parent’s worst nightmare in hindsight. My biggest issue is the actress that played the older Sarah. She’s 21 in real life, but she could not pull off a 15 year old. It was so distracting for me. I couldn’t quite get over it.

4. Crocodile: Crocodile is an episode that had me screaming “No, no no,” because I knew where it was leading. This episode has two separate stories that intertwine, and the episode takes a while to get to that point, but once it does, you just can’t believe where the main character goes in order to protect herself. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t give away too much about the plot, but it does have this cool kind of technology that works in both good ways and bad ways. I’d love to know if people were surprised with the most disturbing part of the episode, which I obviously don’t have to say if people have seen the episode.

3. Black Museum: Black Museum brings three stories together similar to White Christmas, as a young woman stumbles upon a museum that has all these different artifacts from previous episodes. It’s actually really cool to see how many references are made in the museum.  I was in love with the actress that played Nish. She was so fabulous throughout the episode and gave off such charisma at the end.

The twist moment was really really good. I loved the timing of it all. The first story was so interesting to see how someone deals with pain and pleasure. The second lost a little steam for me, and the third sort of brings all the different stories together. OK, so this would be higher, but honestly, I thought the ending was a little too much for me with everything wrapping up a little too neatly in a bow.

USS Callister 2
USS Callister

2. USS Callister: This episode is one of my favorites from the entire franchise. I love Cristin Milioti as an actress and think she is very underrated. She really shined as the tech savvy leader throughout the episode. The episode follows Robert Daly Jesse Plemons a gifted programmer and co-founder of a popular online game who is bitter over the lack of recognition of his position from his coworkers, so he takes out his frustrations by simulating a Star Trek inspired adventure within the game, using his co-workers’ DNA to create digital clones of them.

The episode itself is fun and fills up it’s running time of an hour and 16 minutes, but the underlying tones about men in the workplace makes the episode even stronger. The misogynistic Daly is played well by Plemons because at first, we do feel genuinely bad for him, but he abused his authority, and this is probably one of the more relevant themes of the season thanks to his performance. I like that technology is seen a bit differently here too than most Black Mirror episodes. In most episodes, we see the overexposure of technology playing against the characters by being too connected, but in this case, the technology has a way of isolating people from the real world.

1. Hang the DJ: Hang the DJ is my favorite episode of the series. That might change due to recency bias, but I just adored this episode with its clever spin on dating apps. The episode follows Amy and Frank, two of many people in a system, that is instructed by a digital companion, Coach, into romantic relationships with others. The device tells them exactly how much time is given to each pairing as they check their expiration dates to see how long they have together. And of course, Frank and Amy are the couple we’re rooting for.

The actors had such good chemistry together. You can’t help but want them to find their way back to each other. And the episode is all sorts of relatable for single people trying to navigate the world of dating. Amy says a very bittersweet line as she wonders if people just get tired of searching for their soulmate for such a long time that they sort of settle for someone and just remain content. This episode melted my heart and can definitely make a person think, especially if you’ve ever had a relationship where you keep coming back to each other. The episode had a twist, and it was brilliant and totally satisfying. The episode is simple, but it works so well here.