J.K. Rowling shuts down article calling Meghan Mar

J.K. Rowling shuts down article calling Meghan Mar

J.K. Rowling shuts down article calling Meghan Markle unsuitable with 1 hashtagIf you‘ve been anywhere the internet/televisio...[Details]


Miss Jamaica showed off her natural afro during th

Miss Jamaica showed off her natural afro during th

Miss Jamaica showed off her natural afro during the Miss Universe pageant and the internet crowned her the true winnerYou don...[Details]


14 of the most outlandish fast food abominations o

14 of the most outlandish fast food abominations o

14 of the most outlandish fast food abominations of 20172017 has been challenging for many reasons, but we didn‘t expect fast...[Details]


20 gifts under $20 for your wine-loving friends

20 gifts under $20 for your wine-loving friends

20 gifts under $20 for your wine-loving friendsYour wine-loving friends already know what they like. They already know their ...[Details]


This pic of the White House decked out for Christm

This pic of the White House decked out for Christm

This pic of the White House decked out for Christmas looks like hell on EarthGoodbye, Thanksgiving. Hello, Christmas. The off...[Details]


Will Ferrell is speaking to random British people

Will Ferrell is speaking to random British people

Will Ferrell is speaking to random British people in train toiletsWalking into a public toilet, locking the door and then hea...[Details]


Brits are angry that a mans story about mental ill

Brits are angry that a mans story about mental ill

Brits are angry that a mans story about mental illness was cut from TV because of the royal engagementWhen the news broke tha...[Details]


Jeremy Clarkson is flabbergasted by Brexit and exp

Jeremy Clarkson is flabbergasted by Brexit and exp

Jeremy Clarkson is flabbergasted by Brexit and expects the lights to go out in the UK soonJeremy Clarkson is a candid man. He...[Details]


Grad student created an amazing Rubiks Cube protot

Grad student created an amazing Rubiks Cube protot

Grad student created an amazing Rubiks Cube prototype for the blindA 1974 invention is getting a very inclusive makeover. Kri...[Details]


All I want for Christmas is this gay as hell nativ

All I want for Christmas is this gay as hell nativ

All I want for Christmas is this gay as hell nativity sceneOh, gay nativity scene! Oh, gay nativity scene! How lovely are thy...[Details]


Perspiration is now festive thanks to a sweat-insp

Perspiration is now festive thanks to a sweat-insp

Perspiration is now festive thanks to a sweat-inspired Christmas sweaterWith the holidays just around the corner, nothing say...[Details]


Trumps called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas at least

Trumps called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas at least

Trumps called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas at least 26 times—and its not OKSince Aug. 2014, Donald Trump has referred to Sen. ...[Details]


Why this New Zealand politicians speech from 2013

Why this New Zealand politicians speech from 2013

Why this New Zealand politicians speech from 2013 has gone viral in JapanWords can wield power for a long time after they‘ve ...[Details]


Marvel superhero pic inspires Twitter to post phot

Marvel superhero pic inspires Twitter to post phot

Marvel superhero pic inspires Twitter to post photos of kickass women in suitsLike Marvel superheroes, women are all power, a...[Details]


Not so great Cristiano Ronaldo sculpture gets a mu

Not so great Cristiano Ronaldo sculpture gets a mu

Not so great Cristiano Ronaldo sculpture gets a much better versionSoccer star Cristiano Ronaldo sure has a nice face, but yo...[Details]


Instagrams most popular posts of 2017

Instagrams most popular posts of 2017

Instagrams most popular posts of 20172017 has been a rollercoaster ride, especially when it comes to Instagram. There‘s alway...[Details]


Comedian finds photo of herself in art installatio

Comedian finds photo of herself in art installatio

Comedian finds photo of herself in art installation, unravels weird mystery on TwitterBisha Ali is a British comedian, but sh...[Details]


Yes, using poetry in Tinder might get you a date l

Yes, using poetry in Tinder might get you a date l

Yes, using poetry in Tinder might get you a date like it did for this dudeIf you believe in using witty/corny poetry to win s...[Details]


Bette Midler demands apology from Geraldo Rivera f

Bette Midler demands apology from Geraldo Rivera f

Bette Midler demands apology from Geraldo Rivera for alleged sexual assaultThe #MeToo movement gained a powerful voice today ...[Details]


Bumble’s pop-up wants to remind people that dating

Bumble’s pop-up wants to remind people that dating

Bumble’s pop-up wants to remind people that dating isnt all doom and gloomAs some know too well, the modern dating experience...[Details]


Today's Headline


  • J.K. Rowling shuts down

    J.K. Rowling shuts down article calling Meghan Markle unsuitable with 1 hashtag


    If you've been anywhere the internet/television/radio today, or spoken to pretty much anyone at all, chances are you'll have caught the news about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement.

    SEE ALSO: Prince Harry's response when asked about fiancée Meghan Markle is as perfect as the ring

    It's been pretty much everywhere, right?

    Some people are excited, some people are indifferent -- and a few people, like Melanie McDonagh writing for (opens in a new tab)The Spectator(opens in a new tab), seemed less pleased.

    At the time of writing that tweet has 145 retweets, and a whopping 1,600 comments.

    Many replies followed a similar theme.


    Then J.K. Rowling waded in. And rather than talking about other royals who have been divorced, she opted for a simple hashtag.

    The Queen of Twitter has spoken.

  • Miss Jamaica showed off

    Miss Jamaica showed off her natural afro during the Miss Universe pageant and the internet crowned her the true winner


    You don't need a crown to be a winner.

    Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett wore her natural afro at the Miss Universe 2017 and got an outpouring of positive reactions from social media for breaking beauty standards.

    SEE ALSO: This woman was so sick of people touching her hair, she made a game about it

    I did not win but I got what I was seeking. I won the hearts of many, I got to highlight Deaf awareness, I stand as the first afro queen to have made it thus far, I represented my little island and I received allll the love one could possibly wish for.... THANK YOU!!! I came, I conquered and if you know me, then you know that's just another story and you will be seeing a lot more from me💃😉👑 To all the queens that represented, congrats and to our new Miss Universe @demileighnp go conquer the world you are indeed a gem!😍😙 @thedavinabennettfoundation it's time to lift you up! P.S. Back on Jamaican soil early and bright a mawning!!!💃💃💃💃♥💛💚 #davinabennett #missuniverse #majoraccomplishment #yourjamaicanqueen #theywillrememberme(opens in a new tab)

    A post shared by MISS UNIVERSE JAMAICA (@davina_bennett_) on

    "I did not win but I got what I was seeking," she captioned on Instagram. "I won the hearts of many, I got to highlight deaf awareness, I stand as the first afro queen to have made it thus far, I represented my little island and I received allll the love one could possibly wish for....THANK YOU!!!"

    The philanthropist finished third (second runner-up), but she won many hearts on social media. Fans wanted her to win Miss Universe and felt she was cheated of the crown.


    Despite her loss, many praised the pageant queen for embracing her natural hair and providing media representation.

    There is still an issue with natural hair acceptance in the workplace, in education and even in Hollywood. The 23 year old wasn't only presenting her beauty, but making a social statement.

    "We should allowed our women to believe that they beautiful and can fit in regardless of size," Bennet told Jamaica Observer(opens in a new tab). "Another one is short, natural hair which I feel should be embraced more, and not ignored."

    Bennett has opened the doors for future pageant queens to come, so we won't be surprised if we see her again.

  • 14 of the most outlandis

    14 of the most outlandish fast food abominations of 2017


    2017 has been challenging for many reasons, but we didn't expect fast food to be one of them. Sadly, here we are.

    Don't believe me? Just take a look at this year's most bizarre creations — anything from chicken scented bath bombs to chicken coffee. All of that actually happened this year, and they weren't even the worst.

    Take a look at a few of the atrocities that fast food companies rolled out in this sad, sad year.

    SEE ALSO: These edible wrappers could help keep plastic out of the ocean

    1. Volcano Crispy Chicken Chips

    Credit: taco bell

    Taco Bell tested out these spicy triangular fried chicken chips in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area around January.

    They are chips. Made of chicken.

    2. The Naked Chicken Chalupa

    Credit: taco bell

    About a week later, they announced a chicken shell.

    3. Naked Chicken Chips aka Nuggets

    Credit: taco bell

    Months later, Taco Bell released the chip version of the Naked Chicken Chalupa which was basically chicken nuggets with their signature Nacho cheese dipping sauce.

    4. Sweet & Crunchy Tenders

    Popeyes released their Sweet & Crunchy Tenders made with shortbread cookie coating.

    5. Lucky Charms Shake

    Credit: burger king

    Burger King introduced this sweet shake made of soft vanilla ice cream, syrup, and Lucky Charms.

    6. Minions Everything

    View this post on Instagram


    (opens in a new tab)

    McDonald's released Minion-themed food and toys in Singapore locations. That included banana pie, Minion-shaped potatoes, spicy chicken nuggets, and banana ice cream.

    Make it end.

    7. Zinger Meteorite

    Credit: kfc limited

    KFC's specialty website, KFC Limited(opens in a new tab), was selling a $20,000 meteorite shaped like a Zinger Chicken Sandwich.

    8. Firecracker Burrito

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    Taco Bell introduced the Firecracker Burrito which is made up of rice, cheese, beef, tortilla strips, and spicy pop rocks. Yes, as in the candy.

    9. Naked Egg Taco

    Credit: taco bell

    Taco Bell continuously pushes the bar with weird foods and this time it was a fried egg as a shell.

    You could also, quite easily, think of it as a vertical omelet.

    Because that's what it is.

    10. Chocoladilla

    Credit: taco bell

    After testing it out in the UK, Taco Bell brought the Kit Kat Quesadilla to the U.S.

    11. KFC Bath Bombs

    KFC gave away 100 fried chicken-scented bath bombs in Japan.

    12. Rick and Morty's Szechuan sauce

    Credit: mcdonald's / ebay listing

    Select McDonald's locations gave away the classic Szechuan sauce, in a nod to the Cartoon Network show, only on Oct. 7. It was a shit show.

    13. Buffalo-flavored latte

    Credit: tim hortons

    Tim Hortons released a "zesty buffalo seasoning" coffee drink in two stores in Buffalo, New York.

    14. McVegan

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    McDonald's tested out their own vegan burger in Tampere, Finland.

    OK, this one doesn't sound so bad.

  • 20 gifts under $20 for y

    20 gifts under $20 for your wine-loving friends


    Your wine-loving friends already know what they like.

    They already know their favorite varietals, and they've got their favorite brands listed in notes on their phones for reference. In other words, they don't need you to buy them wine.

    SEE ALSO: Gifts under $20 that are actually useful

    What they do need is a sleek copper corkscrew that – surprise – is shaped like a shark! They need silly drink markers for their dinner guests! They need a suction cup glass holder that'll vastly improve their night time bath ritual!

    Where does one find such treasures? The internet, duh. And at less than $20, you're sure to find something within your budget for every wine drinker in your life.

    1. For the restaurant buff


    Credit: amazon

    Waiter's corkscrew, $10.24 on Amazon(opens in a new tab)

    2. For the bath time drinker

    Credit: sipcaddy

    Sip Caddy, $13.95 from SipCaddy.com(opens in a new tab)

    3. For the wine saver

    Credit: fred

    Banana wine stopper, $8.00 at Fred(opens in a new tab)

    4. For the serious chocolate lover

    Credit: williams sonoma

    Set of 4 chocolate wine pairing bars, $19.95 from Williams Sonoma(opens in a new tab)

    5. For the candy lover

    Credit: sugarfina

    Champagne gummy bears, $8.50 from Sugarfina(opens in a new tab)

    6. For the cork hoarder

    Credit: design bloom shop

    Corkers pins, $8.00 from Design Bloom Shop(opens in a new tab)

    7. For the trivia junkie

    Credit: uncommongoods

    Wine lovers card deck, $15.95 from UncommonGoods(opens in a new tab)

    8. For the picknicker

    Credit: uncommongoods

    Set of 2 outdoor wine glasses, $19.99 from UncommonGoods(opens in a new tab)

    9. For the serious host

    Credit: amazon

    Wine decanter, $19.97 from Amazon(opens in a new tab)

    10. For the exceptionally chill host

    Credit: fred

    Chewing gum drink markers, $10.00 from Fred(opens in a new tab)

    11. For the always prepared

    Credit: uncommongoods

    Pocket wine aerator, $19.95 from UncommonGoods(opens in a new tab)

    12. For the snacker

    Credit: uncommongoods

    Set of 2 wine jellies, $15.00 from UncommonGoods(opens in a new tab)

    13. For the cozy red wine drinker

    Credit: crate&barrel

    Knit wine bag, $14.95 from Crate&Barrel(opens in a new tab)

    14. For the white wine drinker

    Credit: cb2

    Stainless steel wine chiller, $19.95 from CB2(opens in a new tab)

    15. For the efficient packer

    Credit: kikkerland

    Set of two stacking travel wine glasses, $10.00 from Kikkerland(opens in a new tab)

    16. For the design conscious

    Credit: anthropologie

    Textured stemless wine glasses, $12.00 at Anthropologie(opens in a new tab)

    17. For the budding wine collector

    Credit: moma design store

    Folding wire wine rack, $15.00 from MoMA Design Store(opens in a new tab)

    18. For the "Shark Week" devotee

    Credit: umbra

    Shark corkscrew and bottle opener, $15.00 from Umbra(opens in a new tab)

    19. For the on-the-go drinker

    Credit: firebox

    Portable wine glass, $13.49 from Firebox(opens in a new tab)

    20. For the partier

    Credit: sugarfina

    Chocolate Champagne cork cordial, $1.00 from Sugarfina(opens in a new tab)

  • This pic of the White Ho

    This pic of the White House decked out for Christmas looks like hell on Earth


    Goodbye, Thanksgiving. Hello, Christmas.

    The official war for Christmas has begun in the Trump White House as the administration unveiled a sneak peek at its decorations for the holiday season.

    SEE ALSO: Two Pikachus have a delightful conversation thanks to smart home speakers

    We're living in dark times, folks.

    On Sunday, Stephanie Grisham, the White House director of communications for First Lady Melania Trump, tweeted this nightmarish scene from inside the White House, as she was putting finishing touches on the decorations. Bunches of dead trees illuminated only from the bottom cast a horrifying shadow on the hallway's ceiling, leading to a lonely Christmas tree at the end.

    The internet was quick to point out that the whole scene was more spooky than festive -- which is actually quite fitting for the Trump presidency.

    Now, to be fair, when the White House turned all the lights on during the day for the big reveal on Monday(opens in a new tab), the scene looked very different. Still, it looks pretty spooky at night.


    Credit: REX/Shutterstock
    Credit: REX/Shutterstock

    While, sure, some people may like the way the White House looks this Christmas, the conversation behind that horrifying picture is what's going to be burned into the back of my eyes when I shut them at night.

  • Will Ferrell is speaking

    Will Ferrell is speaking to random British people in train toilets


    Walking into a public toilet, locking the door and then hearing a voice speaking to you would normally be the stuff of nightmares.

    When the voice belongs to Will Ferrell, though, it's sort of okay.

    SEE ALSO: Will Ferrell calmly explains why he sang 'I Will Always Love You' at his graduation

    On Monday, journalist Gavia Baker-Whitelaw shared the following video from inside the toilet of a UK Virgin Train.

    "The toilets on this train FORCE YOU TO LISTEN TO AN ADVERT FOR DADDY'S HOME 2," she wrote on Twitter.

    Here's the transcript from that video:

    "The door is now locked. Welcome to the Virgin Train washroom. I'm Will Ferrell, the star of the new movie Daddy's Home 2. You'll be pleased to know that it's only my voice in here. You can't see me, but I can see you. Only joking, I'm just joking!


    Please don't try to flush nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, unwanted Christmas jumpers, turkeys, Christmas lights, or granddads down this toilet. Thanks you."

    A quick look on Virgin Train's Twitter feed shows that Ferrell's voice message is obviously part of a larger, toilet-themed advertising campaign.

    The ideal conditions for a train toilet are probably silence, but hey -- if you have to listen to someone's voice, it might as well be Ron Burgundy's.

  • Brits are angry that a m

    Brits are angry that a mans story about mental illness was cut from TV because of the royal engagement


    When the news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had got engaged, the nation could scarcely contain its excitement. And, for much of the day, our television screens were plastered with shots and footage of the happy couple.

    But, for one man who travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland, to London to talk about his depression and suicide attempt on TV, the day did not turn out to be as joyous. Brian Wilkie's scheduled appearance on ITV's This Morning was cut from the show to make way for the royal wedding news. And, many people have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment that this man's story wasn't heard.

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you need to know about Meghan Markle now that she's about to become a royal

    Last week, Ellie Wilkie tweeted a photo of her and her dad Brian with some words about his experience of living with mental illness.

    "This year began with my dad mentally suffering depression and suicide attempt. Today he ends the year starting his new career in becoming a recovery support worker," she wrote.

    "Words can't describe how proud we are," she added. "It's okay not to be okay."

    Her tweet went viral, and led to them both being invited to appear on ITV's This Morning show to tell their story.

    But, due to the royal engagement news, their segment was cut from the show's schedule.

    "Due to breaking news our story was cut off live TV," Ellie wrote. "The royal wedding will go ahead however mental health issues will always remain. Until next time Dad."


    Ellie's tweet gained a great deal of attention online, with many people stating their disappointment that the segment was cut.

    Some felt that given the princes' extensive campaigning on mental health, the royals would have wanted the segment to go ahead.

    Many criticised This Morning for its decision to prioritise the engagement news.

    ITV did not immediately respond to Mashable's request for comment.

  • Jeremy Clarkson is flabb

    Jeremy Clarkson is flabbergasted by Brexit and expects the lights to go out in the UK soon


    Jeremy Clarkson is a candid man. He hates empty buses on off-peak hours. He also dislikes bicycles.

    SEE ALSO: Jeremy Clarkson and James May reveal the only 3 things they agree on

    But what really grinds his gears is Brexit, which he simply can't seem to wrap his head around. "I shall imagine the lights will go out very soon in Britain".

    We sat down with The Grand Tour(opens in a new tab) host in light of the show's upcoming second season, which features a selection of celebrities racing against each other in fast cars.

    But the two people Clarkson says he simply would have loved to see pitted against each other are Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. For better or worse, that intensely suspenseful two-man show will be kept off that particular racetrack for the time being.


    The Grand Tour returns to Amazon Prime Video on December 8.

Popular articles


  • These Peeps dressed as p

    These Peeps dressed as politicians are diorama art at its finest


    Plenty of people hate politicians, Peeps, or both. Nearly everyone, however, should love Peeps modeled after politicians. CongressPEEPle are universally lovable.

    Artist and crafter Barbara Martin, who has been Peeps-based art for several years now, understands this magical combination well. Her Instagram account, @WeThePeeple(Opens in a new tab), features Peeps modeled after famous liberal and left-wing politicians involved in the #Resistance.

    This is peak political diorama art.



    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    SEE ALSO: Artist recreates her Pokémon fan art from childhood

    "I've always loved Peeps as a snack food," Martin told Mashable in a phone interview. "I actually started a Peeps contest in a magazine so I would get free Peeps!"

    After the 2016 election, Martin's Peep art took a turn for the political. She felt frustrated. Instead of giving into the sadness, however, she decided to take action by crafting Peeps dioramas.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    "When the election happened, when the Women's March happened and everyone sat around very frustrated ... I made a few dioramas."

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Martin's art is often inspired by events in the news. Recently, that included Maxine Waters' testy exchange with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Opens in a new tab)that went viral.

    The entire interaction is worth watching. But if you don't have time to watch the full video, I highly encourage you to explore Martin's Peep-ified version of events.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Martin tries to keep her dioramas artful yet basic. She uses "cloth, clay, paint, and wood" and stays away from jiggly eyes and other more comical accoutrements.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    She's also tried to model more Peeps after Congressional leaders. Unsurprisingly, it's been a "huge process to find all the white Peeps because I wanted to do all the men," Martin says.

    "They don't make white Peeps anymore," Martin explains.

    Martin has rightly concentrated her efforts on the many women and women of color in Congress. The results have been consistently excellent.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    She's also taken a stab at the presidential candidates as well. Here's Martin's take on Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Martin saves her animosity for President Trump, whose Peep appears next to two smashed Peeps.

    "Every last thing he touches," the caption reads.

    That's vengeance, all right. Cold, hard, crafty vengeance.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    I'm excited to see Martin craft Peeps-based political dioramas for the approximately 1 million candidates running in the next presidential primary.

  • We need to talk about th


    We need to talk about the Keebler cookie Twitter account

    Ernie Keebler — the most well-known cookie-making elf of the famous Keebler Elves(opens in a new tab) — is taking over my Twitter timeline with weirdly sexual tweets written in Spanish and he needs to chill.

    If you're a fan of Kellogg's snacks, you probably recognize Ernest J. Keebler as the cute little elf lurking on boxes of buttery Club crackers, chocolatey E.L. Fudge cookies, and more kid-friendly goodies. If not, there's a good chance he just resembles a less destructive, cartoon version of Jeff Sessions(opens in a new tab). But either way, I think we can all agree the grey-haired, modestly dressed elf looks pretty innocent, right?

    That's what I thought at least, until the tree-dwelling baker's Twitter account started inundating my timeline with promoted posts.

    SEE ALSO: The absolute best and worst ice cream truck treats

    One day, after realizing my timeline had been inexplicably flooded by promoted Ernie Keebler tweets in Spanish, I decided to investigate. A quick search showed me I was far from the only person who had been targeted by the ads, but after typing in in the @KeeblerElves(opens in a new tab) handle I stumbled upon a few truly disturbing revelations.

    Instead of finding answers to the mysterious promoted tweets question, I discovered the Keebler account's dark past, including a timeline riddled with suggestive GIFs of Ernie inhaling fudge scents, sexually churning chocolate, and more.

    Meanwhile, the replies to each snack-related tweet are flooded with Twitter users all asking the same perplexing question: "What is the sexuality of the elves?"

    What. The. Fresh. Fuck.

    Ernie 'NSFW' Keebler

    For those of you who have yet to lose your Keebler innocence, let's take a look at the account, shall we?

    First, we have Ernie orgasmically savoring the aroma of his fudge. I mean, can you seriously look at this GIF and tell me you're not the least bit confused?

    And this other tweet, in which the elf claims he makes the perfect Keebler cookie fudge by stirring it for 24 hours.

    First of all Ernie, that's NUTS and I'm not buying that you stir this fudge for 24 hours straight! And secondly, I get that the window perfectly framing the moon, nightcap, and snoring signals he's stirring the fudge in his sleep, but it looks like he's having a fudge-induced wet dream. I'm uncomfortable!

    When Ernie's not starring in questionable GIFs, he's calling cookies his bae(opens in a new tab), making Tinder jokes(opens in a new tab), and tweeting stuff like: "Does this make us splash brothers?" — which many people unfortunately interpreted as a play on sexual terms(opens in a new tab) like "eskimo brothers(opens in a new tab)." The term was more likely a reference to to Golden State Warriors duo(opens in a new tab), Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

    I want to believe the elf is good, but his social media presence is really making me second guess everything.

    Over the past two years the account has truly gone off the rails, and other people have definitely noticed Ernie seems to be, uh, a little horny after having spent who knows how long(opens in a new tab) living in the Hollow Tree making cookies with magic ovens.

    If you need more proof that the fictional elf's Twitter account is not exactly G-rated, here's a peek at the replies to essentially each and every tweet.

    Screengrab from Keebler Elves Twitter Credit: screengrab via keeblerelves/twitter

    Turns out, these comments are in no way new. Five months after Ernie first tweeted in 2016, BuzzFeed wrote an article(opens in a new tab) titled "Please Pity The Poor Soul Running The Keebler Twitter Account."

    The article highlights the sexuality of the elves was a popular question back then too, which proves the replies to Ernie's tweets have been this cursed since day one. Very bored shitposters have committed to upholding the bit to this day. *sigh/eyeroll combo*

    Months after the account was created, Los Angeles Magazine called the Keebler Elves(opens in a new tab) "the last thing pure and good on the internet." But after the wild sex joke and politics(opens in a new tab)-filled journey I just went on I'm sorry to say that's simply no longer true.

    Maybe if Twitter users didn't troll the formerly pure cookie-making elf so relentlessly this account wouldn't have made its borderline NSFW transformation. But sadly, like most things, it seems the internet has taken Ernie Keebler's Twitter account over to the dark side.

    RIP to our innocence, but hey, at least the cookies are still good.

  • This Twitter thread abou


    This Twitter thread about a very good bird will warm your cold soul

    Who doesn't love a good man-befriends-animal story?

    This one about Henry the Blue Jay will tug at your heartstrings.

    SEE ALSO: Super cute birb peeps with excitement when he meets his stuffed-animal twin

    Posted to Twitter by planetary astronomer Alex Parker, the story of the bird's transformation from scruffy little bird to grasshopper-catching virtuoso, is an interspecies friendship story for the ages.

    Henry came to Parker's garden in desperate need of food and water, looking "scruffy."

    The little buddy was so thirsty.

    Henry quickly got back on his tiny bird feet.

    He had perfected the "please give me snacks"-pose.

    Soon Henry was well enough to get food on his own and Parker only saw him for quick morning chats.

    According to Parker, Henry is now grown enough to not rely on him for food and love anymore.

    Henry is now a teenage birdy not dependant on humans.

    If you love someone, set them free. And Parker def. loved little Henry (and we do to, honestly.)

    Such a good little birb.

  • Black-market weed vape c

    Black-market weed vape company linked to lung crisis is verified on Instagram


    Dank Vapes, a brand of black-market THC vaporizer cartridges whose products have been linked to the outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases, has an official verified account on Instagram -- despite the fact that it may not even be a real company.

    The brand claims "nothing is for sale" in its Instagram bio. However, users can buy products with flavor names like "cotton candy" and "banana split" through third-party distributors advertising their services in the comments of Dank Vape's verified Instagram posts.

    Dank Vapes isn't even a real company, but it still has a verified Instagram account. Credit: screenshot via instagram

    According to a report(Opens in a new tab) the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday, a number of patients affected by the vape-related lung diseases reported they used cartridges from Dank Vapes.

    "Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands," the CDC says, "with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution. The report comes from health officials in Illinois and Wisconsin.

    SEE ALSO: Vape lung crisis is a wake-up call for the weed industry

    Dank Vapes may not even be a real company at all. An Inverse report(Opens in a new tab) in August concluded that the brand is "one of the biggest conspiracies in all of marijuana" -- a packaging company "with no quality control or oversight."

    The Instagram account appears to be registered in Los Angeles. But there are no California state marijuana licenses in its name. The California Cannabis Industry Association does not recognize Dank Vapes as a registered brand.

    View this post on Instagram


    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    And that means Dank Vapes is slipping through the cracks of regulation. The state of California mandates rigorous testing from cannabis labs to legally sell products. But as Vox found(Opens in a new tab) when it looked into online vaping communities, just about anyone can make and distribute their own vape juice.

    The Dank Vapes account, which first posted in September, advertises various flavors and doesn't directly link to distributors. The account's comments are filled by people trying to buy flavored cartridges -- and by Instagram users warning others.

    Instagram users warn others of Dank Vapes' connection to lung disease. Credit: screenshot via instagram
    Instagram users warn others of Dank Vapes' connection to lung disease. Credit: screenshot via instagram


    Instagram users warn others of Dank Vapes' connection to lung disease. Credit: Screenshot via instagram

    Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But to obtain verification an account has to be "in the public interest," according to Instagram's verification page(Opens in a new tab). The account must "represent a real person, registered business, or entity." The company also says that to qualify for verification, the account in question has to represent a "well-known, highly searched for person, brand, or entity."

    The verification process requires some form of identification, like a government-issued ID, which means Instagram may have the identify of an individual who claimed the Dank Vapes brand.

    Inverse points to one Jake Lindsey as the individual who filed trademarks for Dank Vapes with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The only account that Dank Vapes follows on Instagram is Dankwoods, another trademark belonging to Lindsey. It's a blunt pre-roll distributor that, contrary to its Instagram bio(Opens in a new tab), does appear to sell and ship products online.

    The Dankwoods store accepts payments through Western Union, Moneygram, Zelle, Bitcoin, Amazon gift cards, and CashApp. Dankwoods' site also sells Dank Vapes' cartridges.

    The domain name Dankwoods.org is registered to an office and retail building in San Francisco's SOMA district, a block from the Giants' ballpark.

    In a section(Opens in a new tab) titled "Is Dank Vapes Safest for Health?" the Dankwoods site says "We are professionals: we have no mind to spoil your life." Here's its bizarre, barely-English disclaimer in full:

    Dank Vapes is not safe for health. People who are taking this already cannot understand those words. They take this to consummate the bodily desires or the habits, which they previously developed.Buy Dank Vapes Online.

    Due to a high concentration of the chemical, they surely damage t [sic] deliver to perform well. Some studies show the statement that Dank Vapes has health effects on the heart.

    Damage the esophagus slowly that effects on the stomach activity."

    The site does not make any mention of the ongoing vape-related lung disease crisis, which claimed seven(Opens in a new tab) lives. The Centers for Disease Control, Federal Drug Administration, and Health and Human Services recommend(Opens in a new tab) immediately throwing away black market vapes bought on the street, instead of in a regulated store, regardless of whether it contains CBD, THC, or nicotine.

    Leafly reported(Opens in a new tab) that a diluent referred to as Honey Cut, which dilutes THC oil without affecting the viscosity, contains Vitamin E oil. The cutting agent makes vape juice production cheaper, but also comes with a slew of unknown side effects. Health officials in New York suspect(Opens in a new tab) Vitamin E oil may cause severe lung damage seen in patients hospitalized for vape-related disease symptoms.

    The Dank Vapes Instagram account has not responded to request for comment, and calls to numbers listed on Dankwoods.org went unanswered.

  • 12 things the internet t

    12 things the internet taught us weve been doing wrong our whole lives

    When we spend so much of our time online, we’re bound to learn something while clicking and scrolling. Discover something new with Mashable’s series I learned it on the internet.


    Alleged "hacks" for "life" born on the web have been known to — at best — be simply useless. At worst, they risk getting the "life hacker" killed or injured(Opens in a new tab). Yet the old gal (by which we mean the entirety of the online human population) still has some new tricks to teach us.

    Inevitably, when you gather all of modern human knowledge onto several communication platforms like social media, you're bound to discover some mind-blowing revelations. With TikTok in particular, folks are having the humbling experience of learning they've been doing even the most mundane everyday things completely wrong.

    We don't blame you if these 11 examples make you feel like you've been lied to all your life. But let's just take a deep breath and remember that we don't get manuals on How to Life. At least, we didn't before the internet was around to show us what a bunch of idiots we were.

    1. Starbucks Frappuccinos

    @naatalie_lee(Opens in a new tab)

    starbucks frappuccino ☕️ #starbucks(Opens in a new tab) #coffee(Opens in a new tab) #tasty(Opens in a new tab) #yummy(Opens in a new tab) #frappuccino(Opens in a new tab) #starbucksrecipe(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - natalie lee(Opens in a new tab)

    OK, when Starbucks described their take-home frappuccinos as "chilled" drinks, we did not know they actually meant literally frozen. In retrospect, the above reveal from a #TikTokMadeMeDoIt experiment makes sense. I mean, frapps are usually served with the consistency of icy slush rather than cooled vanilla coffee milk.

    2. Hammering nails

    @adrian.montero.sr(Opens in a new tab)

    Who Knew? #fyp(Opens in a new tab) #foryou(Opens in a new tab) #letsgo(Opens in a new tab) #1(Opens in a new tab) #youtube(Opens in a new tab)#fishing(Opens in a new tab)#hunting(Opens in a new tab)#outdoors(Opens in a new tab) #sincityoutdoors(Opens in a new tab) #greenvspurple(Opens in a new tab)#lol(Opens in a new tab) #mentalhealthawareness(Opens in a new tab) #neverfitin(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Mountain Man(Opens in a new tab)

    I was today years old when I learned that human society has learned to improve on the design of hammers so you don't have to risk life and limb every time you use them. I blame not knowing this one on literally every depiction of a nail being hammered that's ever been shown in film, TV, and home improvement videos. How will I ever learn to trust again?

    3. Garlic

    @majauncensored(Opens in a new tab)

    not me peeling 10 garlic heads after I discovered it 😱

    ♬ original sound - Maja Uncensored(Opens in a new tab)

    Garlic remains one of the most "hacked" items on the planet, with entire Youtube videos(Opens in a new tab) dedicated to demonstrating different methods. But this one, retweeted by Chrissy Tiegen, takes the crown for most popular.

    4. Laundry

    @thethottymama(Opens in a new tab)

    Disgosten #laundry(Opens in a new tab) #strip(Opens in a new tab) #CanYouWorkIt(Opens in a new tab) #FavoriteMemory(Opens in a new tab) #StrictlyCurls(Opens in a new tab) #CatPerson(Opens in a new tab) #ThisIsBliss(Opens in a new tab) #fyp(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Sarah(Opens in a new tab)

    Despite what the poster says, the above video is honestly one of the least nasty examples of "laundry stripping(Opens in a new tab)" (which uses the power of Borax and baking soda) I've seen on TikTok. This TikToker at least cleans her couch cushion covers twice a month, which is more than I can say for myself and many others who bought their couches used(Opens in a new tab).

    This is the one hack I remain scared to try, though. I'd rather live in the blissful ignorance of doing it wrong rather than face the dirty bath water reality of doing it right.

    5. Curly hair

    @thedaniellelife(Opens in a new tab)

    😱Wait ‘til the end I- #curls(Opens in a new tab) #miraclecurl(Opens in a new tab) #curlygirlmethod(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Danielle Elizabeth(Opens in a new tab)

    To be fair, the hair-drying method known as "plopping" (basically just carefully wrapping your soaking wet hair in a T-shirt or a microfiber towel) has been well-established in the curly hair community for years. But TikTok gets credit for turning this more niche expert knowledge into a full-on viral trend(Opens in a new tab). By spreading the trick for effortless locks, it changed the lives of many folks who went their whole lives never realizing they even had curly hair in the first place.

    Welcome to the club, newbies! Have you tried the aloe vera trick yet(Opens in a new tab)?

    6. Can openers

    @mamainthekitchen(Opens in a new tab)

    #lifehack(Opens in a new tab) #kitchenhack(Opens in a new tab) #lifehacks(Opens in a new tab) #todayyearsoldwhen(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - MamaInTheKitchen(Opens in a new tab)

    Move over Bean Dad, because you were actually "teaching" (or, more accurately, "smugly tormenting") your daughter into learning the wrong way of opening that damn can of beans anyway. You're actually supposed to fix it to the top of the can (as Bean Dad's daughter first attempted), rather than sideways as the rest of us plebs have been doing (Bean Dad included). So for those keeping score that's: Bean Daughter 1, Bean Dad 0.

    Aside from just using it wrong, there's a whole host of other uses for can openers(Opens in a new tab) that can save you a lot of hassle — like opening that impossible plastic clamshell-type packaging that's the bane of all existence.

    7. Peeling stuff

    As Mashable associate animator Elvie Mae Parian described, "I think one of the biggest most life-changing things that I learned [on the internet] is how you can peel ginger with a spoon."

    Indeed, peelers are yet another thing we've been royally screwing up in terms of proper use, with this one TikToker discovering(Opens in a new tab) that you can use them in both directions rather than just the downward motion.

    8. Strainers (or "colanders")

    @adreannaspezz(Opens in a new tab)

    How to correctly use a strainer. I’ve been doing this ALL wrong. #lifehack(Opens in a new tab) #hack(Opens in a new tab) #fyp(Opens in a new tab) #viral(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Adreanna Spezz(Opens in a new tab)

    This one feels like a betrayal. How the hell have I, a grown-ass woman, gone my entire life believing the lie of dumping my pasta into a strainer?

    9. Group texts

    @kaansanity(Opens in a new tab)

    Woah 😳 #iphonetrick(Opens in a new tab) #iphonetricks(Opens in a new tab) #iphonetips(Opens in a new tab) #fyp(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - aakaanksh(Opens in a new tab)

    This account(Opens in a new tab) has all sorts of neat Apple tricks and tips worth checking out, like the secret shortcut to an emoji keyboard(Opens in a new tab) on your Mac or a more secure way to chat by using the Notes app(Opens in a new tab). But the above reply-button tip from the iOS 14 update feels like a real game-changer for group chats, which are notorious for becoming unruly nightmares real fast.

    10. Cupcakes

    @maddiegoetzzzzz(Opens in a new tab)

    TEaching my BROTHER THE PROPER WAY TO eat A CUPCAKE @official_ivoryella #cupcake(Opens in a new tab) #dessert(Opens in a new tab) #SelfImprovement(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Maddie Goetz(Opens in a new tab)

    Let's be real: As great as they are, cupcakes come with some major design flaws. Putting all the filling on top makes for a very cute aesthetic. But it also renders taking a bite with the perfect filling-to-cake ratio impossible. Admittedly, the cupcake sandwich method looks a lot more monstrous. But your taste buds will thank you.

    11. Pizza boxes

    @nateandgran(Opens in a new tab)

    Pizza box life hacks #fyp(Opens in a new tab) #viral(Opens in a new tab) #foryoupage(Opens in a new tab) #share(Opens in a new tab) #duet(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Nate Hunter(Opens in a new tab)

    Here's to realizing those dotted lines on your pizza box actually have a purpose. Whichever engineer is responsible for this stroke of genius, our over-stuffed fridges thank you.

    12. Blow pops

    @amyren0_(Opens in a new tab)

    Afternoon snack. Cheers mum for da money #fyp(Opens in a new tab) #hack(Opens in a new tab) #lifehack(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Amy Reno(Opens in a new tab)

    This probably would've been more useful to know a decade ago, but it's never too late to take advantage of being able to suck on a blow pop 30 seconds faster.

    Keep learning

    • Never trust a single source: The new rules for learning anything online

    • 5 of the best knitting projects for newbie crafters on YouTube

    • Where to find photography classes online

    • The best online tools to trace your genealogy from home

    • Twitter taught me I have no visual imagination

  • Taking nudes is an art.

    Taking nudes is an art. Heres how to create a masterpiece.

    When YouTuber and content creator Maddie Dragsbaek(Opens in a new tab) first started taking nudes, she thought she had to contort her body into being the "most sexy" for whomever was going to see them.


    That changed when she wanted to mimic women in Renaissance paintings. It started by capturing a nude in a mirror as she lounged like the Venus of Urbino(Opens in a new tab) and other reclining art figures(Opens in a new tab).

    "Then it spiraled into...how else can I get creative with this?" Dragsbaek said.

    While bathroom dick pics and the like make us think otherwise, nude-taking can be an art — and a self-love practice. Here's how to create your masterpiece.

    Reframe your mindset, reframe your nudes

    The right mindset — about your body and photos of it — is crucial for good nudes.

    Dragsbaek now sees nude-taking as a creative expression and a way to have fun. No longer solely about being sexy, nude-taking is now a way to connect with herself and celebrate her body.

    Adult content creator and BDSM model Zoey Sterling (@etherealzoey(Opens in a new tab)) said she focuses on the self when taking nudes, as well. "Think of it less as 'who am I taking it for,'" she said, "and more so as 'I'm taking this for me.'"

    Writer and photographer Haley Jakobson(Opens in a new tab) recommends starting with a mindset of nudes being a skillset, something to learn and get better at over time. It's not about being photogenic.

    "Photogenic is a made-up word," said Jakobson, who previously ran a photography business.

    When she used to take nude and partially nude photos of her clients, Jakobson would have them breathe and move, not freeze as many of us are taught for photos. "Photos are meant to capture us living and breathing and in-motion because we're animals," she said, "and that's what we do."

    After her shoots, she'd send her clients hundreds of photos; she wouldn't delete any "awkward" ones. She wanted them to look through them all and see ones they loved alongside the ones they deemed horrible. Homing in on one "bad" photo — which captures a millisecond of your life — and discarding the others is a toxic mindset, said Jakobson.

    "Photogenic is a made-up word."

    "You do yourself a great disservice by not clicking to the next photo and seeing something you really love," she said.

    Negative thoughts about how you look may be present when you take nudes, said Jakobson, and they may not go away. Western ideals of what's sexy or not is ingrained in us — especially if you're socialized as a woman — and that socialization doesn't go away overnight.

    But you can still take nudes even with that mind chatter; in fact, nudes can combat it.

    "The biggest 'fuck you' to the chatter that you could do is say, 'I might look at this photo and feel a lot of [body] dysmorphia, but I still want this photo...Maybe in a week I can look at it and be like, I'm really glad I took it,'" said Jackobson.

    Are you in the mood?

    Sometimes, you're sexting someone when you've already washed your face and tucked yourself into bed with no reason to take off your PJs. Then, bam: the "send nudes" text.

    There's no need to take photos when you're not feeling it, even if someone asks. Instead, take them when you're in the mood, and safely store your nudes for when that text pops up.

    Sterling said it helps if she's in a provocative mood to start with, but she always does a couple test shots to warm up before a session.

    Dragsbaek, who has a nude-taking series(Opens in a new tab) on her YouTube channel, is more inclined to take nudes after she buys a new set of lingerie or another item that makes her feel excited to take them.

    Jakobson suggested focusing on your environment. Get comfortable, put on some good music, even take a bath with all your favorite products beforehand.

    Before you whip your iPhone out, though, establish your personal boundaries. Do you only want to show yourself from the waist up? Do you want your face to be cut off? Clarify those limits for yourself, Dragsbaek said. If someone asks for a photo of a body part you're not comfortable sharing, don't force yourself.

    "Block anyone who doesn't appreciate them," said Sterling of your nudes. "Protect your peace."

    The logistics of a great nude

    There are various elements that go into a photo, including lighting and accessories — and what you're actually shooting on.

    If you want that bright natural light, shoot in the afternoon. If you want soft and warm natural light, take photos during golden hour (right after sunrise or before sunset).

    You can use artificial lighting like from a ring light or box light too, but it'll be a bit harsher — and be more of a production for you. If you want to play with artificial light, try a smart light bulb(Opens in a new tab) and experiment with different colors. When chatting virtual sex with Mashable, sex educator Kenneth Play recommended red lighting as it looks good on camera and on different skin tones.

    Then there's the equipment. A smartphone is more than good enough to take nudes, but other cameras can be part of the session too, if you have access to them. Dragsbaek likes to try out different cameras, such as her camcorder or her Macbook's webcam.

    Taking nudes on a film camera will likely result in shots with a vintage-looking glow — if you can wait long enough for them to be developed. Though, there are apps like Huji(Opens in a new tab) that can fake the look on iPhone photos too.

    If taking photos by yourself, utilize the self-timer. The iPhone camera app has that capability, but there's also the influencer-approved app Lens Buddy(Opens in a new tab) with a customizable timer. You can also pick up an inexpensive mini tripod if you don't have a stable surface to place your phone on.

    Jakobson recommends taking as many self-timed shots as possible, or taking a video and screenshotting your favorite moments, especially if you're a beginner.

    You don't need to focus on the technical aspects like lenses or lighting, either.

    Focus on how you feel, instead. Jakobson typically shot in front of a plain backdrop, but nudes can be taken anywhere you feel comfortable: your bed, elsewhere in your room, the shower, in the bath, or — as Sterling suggested — you can capture a "wild and adventurous" shot on a nude beach or in nature.

    Zoey also mentioned accessories. Decide if you want to wear jewelry or lingerie, or if you want fabrics in your shot like your comforter. If you want to be not-quite-nude but still revealing, Dragsbaek mentioned wearing a wet T-shirt.

    Taking the shots

    What's your favorite asset? What do you want the photos to focus on? Pick something as a warm-up or teaser, said Sterling. There's no need to show your whole body if you don't want to.

    If you do want to pose full-body, however, Jakobson had some suggestions. You can play with moving your arms over your head, or angling your body in different ways (such as popping your butt out), and tilting your head back.

    Or, if you're someone with breasts, you can splay yourself out on your knees and hold your bust. Swaying your hair from side to side can make you feel sexy, and also result in some good shots.

    When Jakobson shot masculine people, she focused on aspects like one's shoulders. She also found that masc people liked to touch their bellies, which she said always turned out sexy.

    This is all experimentation and learning how you like your body to look in photos.

    "You can't know what angle is going to look right for you, until you try it out yourself," said Jakobson. "You really need to give yourself an afternoon when the light is shining in your room and just put your camera on every different surface."

    Keep breathing and keep moving — that's how Jakobson would take nudes of others. She would constantly tell clients to breathe before every pose, every click. "That is what gets people the best results," she said.

    Nudes as a self-love practice

    You may not take nudes you love right away, but that's OK. Get to know how you look while you're naked and in motion. It will be jarring if you're not used to taking photos of yourself, Jackobson said, and it takes time to get comfortable. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll become.

    Nudes are less about what's in the photo and more about how the photo makes you feel, said Sterling. The photos are for you first, even if you send them to someone else.

    "This body is for me and I'm trying to celebrate that."

    Dragsbaek's number one nude tip is to throw out the idea that your body needs to look a certain way in order to be sexy. Let your body exist as it is. You can tell yourself, "I am allowed to exist right here as I am in this body," she said. "I am not for anybody else. This body is for me and I'm trying to celebrate that."

    See Also: Which dating app should you use? This guide can help you figure it out.

    "Even if you're not at a place where you can look back at those photographs and consume yourself in that way," Dragsbaek continued, "going through the motions of taking them and allowing yourself to just be is really powerful."

    There may be photos of yourself that make you cringe, or days where you don't feel sexy at all. But it's all a process — and, over time, you'll definitely take shots you find sexy.

    While taking nudes is part of her job, Sterling takes nudes for herself because they make her feel confident, attractive, and sexy.

    "Smile at yourself while taking them, laugh at yourself, be sultry with yourself," she said. "I am who I am because of how comfortable I am with being fully human. Being nude is to be human."

    Related video: Moment lenses take phone photography to the next level (if you put in the practice)

  • Theres still no good dat

    Theres still no good dating app for non-monogamous people

    In our Love App-tually series, Mashable shines a light into the foggy world of online dating. It is cuffing season after all.


    One in five Americans have engaged in(Opens in a new tab) consensual non-monogamy. Actually, it’s probably more than that(Opens in a new tab).

    And yet, there are no good dating apps for non-monogamous people. What’s out there already is not necessarily for dating, but hooking up. Well-known dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge don’t give users much of an option to explain their non-monogamous lifestyle outside of the bio or, in Hinge’s case, the cutesy prompt/answer model.

    To clarify, there are a number of terms to describe different relationships involving more than two people. There is no one way to be non-monogamous or polyamorous; here is a primer(Opens in a new tab) with different terms and types of more-than-two relationships. Some people are in romantic partnerships with one person and sexual partnerships with others; some are in romantic and sexual partnerships with more than one partner — every non-monogamous relationship is unique.

    Being non-monogamous has become “en vogue” as of late. Google search results for non-monogamy and polyamory have soared in recent years, as have coverage(Opens in a new tab) of these(Opens in a new tab) relationships(Opens in a new tab) in the media(Opens in a new tab). As a twenty-something queer woman with a Tinder account, I've also personally seen interest spike. It seems like every time I use the app, I come across profiles with bios stating they are “ethically non-monogamous” or, it’s a couple attempting to “unicorn hunt” — i.e. find a woman for a threesome.

    Many of the apps used by the non-monogamous community are "trash" or solely for sex, said Steve Dean, online dating consultant at Dateworking.com(Opens in a new tab), a dating coaching and consulting business. Dean, whose been non-monogamous for the past nine years, referred to one called Pure, as “Uber for sex.” (It's an “on-demand” hookup app and its logo is a minimalist drawing of a vulva.)

    Feeld(Opens in a new tab) is another one that falls into the hooking up category. The most-sought after activity on the app is threesomes and more-than-three sexual experiences, according to the app’s spokesperson. “Long-term couples come to Feeld to take their relationship to the new level” and test those waters, they said.

    Then there is #open(Opens in a new tab), an app that claims to be an inclusive community for any type of user. More than 94 percent of the app’s 40,000 users report they prefer some form of open relationship, according to #open’s cofounder Amanda Wilson. Additionally, 37 percent of the profiles on #open are partnered profiles and 60 percent of those are confirmed partners.

    While #open sounds like a solution to the gap in the market, its user experience leaves something to be desired. When asked about his experience on #open, Dean said simply, “not.” He could never log in. Dedeker Winston, relationship coach and author of The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory(Opens in a new tab), also spoke of #open’s technical woes. She told me that she found it too buggy to use.

    The most “mainstream” app that provides a tailored experience to non-monogamous people is OkCupid. In 2016, OkCupid added a feature for polyamorous couples(Opens in a new tab). It subsequently replaced its "open relationship" status option(Opens in a new tab) with the term "non-monagamous."

    “At OkCupid, we welcome everyone and support all types of relationships, including non-monogamous ones. Inclusivity has always been important for us,” a spokesperson said in an email to Mashable.

    Both Winston and Dean, however, said that feature changes have curbed their OKC usage. Years ago, during Winston's OkCupid “heyday,” which she estimated to be 2012 to 2015, she was able to link her account with multiple partners. When OkCupid added the specific non-monogamous feature in 2016, it actually made the experience worse. Now, users are only allowed to link to one account. OKCupid's spokesperson didn't respond to questions about these changes.

    Dean said OKC is the best app for non-monogamous people right now, but technical changes have made it “virtually useless.” This is because a 2017 change that filtered out unwanted messages(Opens in a new tab) had an adverse effect. When you message someone new on OKC now, the note goes in a queue and the receiver has to swipe. It’s only if they swipe right that they receive the message. “They’ve reduced the expected value of sending a message to essentially zero whereas it used to be the highest in the industry,” Dean explained. "You [used to be able to] send a long, detailed message as a response to someone's long, detailed profile."

    Winston said she and others she knows left OkCupid when it switched to the swipe model and when it required real names on profiles; these(Opens in a new tab) changes(Opens in a new tab) were implemented in 2017, as well.

    In the past year, less than one percent of users in the United States who joined OKC are looking for a non-monogamous relationship, and this percentage reflects international users, too. So while it has made efforts to include non-monogamous users, a relatively small amount of people are actually looking for that on OKC; and Dean and Winston are not satisfied with the offerings anyway.

    And forget about Tinder. “Tinder especially is just flooded with couple profiles right now,” said Winston. “Like just absolutely flooded.” And those couples are just there to unicorn hunt — not great if you're seeking something more.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have seen “unicorn hunting” first hand. Many profiles of women I come across on Tinder are not queer women — or at least, they are not single queer women. They are, rather, women “hunting” for another woman to have a threesome with their boyfriends.

    The phrase unicorn hunting itself is pejorative. For educators, community leaders, and content creators in the polyamorous community, "it's generally frowned upon to unicorn hunt,” Winston said.

    Winston understands why people would unicorn hunt. Couples can be non-monogamous but still have the security of “couplehood,” making it feel like a risk-free introduction. This can, however, be a slippery slope into insidious behavior. If a man in a heterosexual relationship claims he wants his girlfriend to explore her bisexuality with another woman but has a problem if that woman is trans, for example, he just went from zero to transphobic real quick.

    So if there’s no app that’s “right” for non-monogamous dating, what would such an app look like?

    Winston would like to see an element of some in-person polyamorous parties to be translated into an app: stickers that make it clear what someone is looking for. That way you easily figure out who is open to new partners, who is single, who wants to date as a couple, and the like.

    Dean echoed the desire to incorporate components from real-life meetups, such as play parties, into an app. A sense of community similar to the offline non-monogamous community would be powerful, he said. He suggested incorporating a network referral system.

    This brings to mind the question of whether the non-monogamous community needs an app at all, especially if there are real-life meetups where connections blossom. Despite the negatives of dating app culture(Opens in a new tab), they do have their benefits. There is evidence that relationships formed on apps are stronger(Opens in a new tab), partially because they are more compatible. Apps allow you to "meet" people you would not gravitate towards in real life; they encourage you to look outside your usual type.

    Then there's the convenience. On nights you don't want to attend a party and actually interact with other humans — even if you want to connect — apps are there. You can expand your social circle from the comfort of your own bed.

    Furthermore, the dating app landscape is cluttered with hundreds of dating apps at our disposal, from the giants like Tinder to the niche ones like J Swipe. Shouldn't non-monogamous people have an app of their own?

    The idea of an app for non-monogamous people itself is unique, and Winston feels like that itself would be a plus. She’d like to see an app where she didn't have to explain she is non-monogamous with every new match, an app where users don't have to explain their preferences over and over. “You're the main demographic — there actually is something really nice to that.” She even suggested something a friend thought of — a polycule(Opens in a new tab) maker to chart one’s partners and their relationship to each other.

    She also likes Bumble’s “women message first” model. It made her more intentional with her swiping — swiping on who she wants to talk to rather than just to get a match — and it cut down unwanted messages from men. While gendered, this feature could potentially cut down unwanted messages on an app aimed at non-monogamous people as well, she said.

    The dream of a non-monogamous dating app may be far off, however. Dean noted it would be difficult to get an app like this off the ground partly because advertisers, Facebook, and Instagram would block it. Developers would need to market it as a broader social media app. Getting funding may also pose a challenge.

    So in the meantime, folks who are non-monogamous have to stick with what’s out there.

    And whether online or off, you must talk to your partner(s) about what you want out of non-monogamy, Winston added. “Whatever you put into place, you're still gonna have to have conversations with the person you're dating,” she said. “I don't think there's any way to completely remove that labor.”

    No matter what features an app has, good communication is imperative in any relationship — especially if there are several people involved.

    Read more from Love App-tually:

    • Fine break up with me, but let me keep Instagramming your dog

    • What the hell is Ghost Exorcism Day?

    • How to revive Craigslist's Missed Connections

  • Laverne Cox makes histor

    Laverne Cox makes history as the first trans woman on the cover of Cosmo


    Actress and producer Laverne Cox just made history as the first ever trans covergirl for Cosmo.

    Set to appear on Cosmopolitan South Africa's February 2018 cover, the Orange Is the New Black star offered up an inspiring message to the magazine's readers for the issue.

    SEE ALSO: Trans and non-binary fitness trainers are building tiny empires — on Instagram

    "Trans women deserve to be loved out in the open and in the light," she said in a pre-issue interview posted to Twitter. "Let go of fear and live a fun, fearless life. If I can do it, you can do it.

    "As a black transgender woman, I've often been kept a secret by the men I've dated," Cox said, when asked about romance. "So, when my ex-boyfriend introduced me to his dad, and invited me to spend Hanukkah with him and his family, it was the most special thing ever."

    Cox is the face of the mag's #SayYesToLove issue, which "explores the need for increasing visibility with regards to various forms of gender identity and sexuality," according to the publisher.(opens in a new tab)

    The issue features 17 LGBTQI+ advocates including YouTube vlogger Glow Mamiii, and musicians Desire Marea and Fela Gucci.

    Another kickass voice featured in the issue is 19-year-old trans model and activist Elle van der Burg, who identifies as pansexual. "To ask when I started [transitioning], is like me asking you when you started being yourself," she said in a behind-the-scenes video for Cosmo.


    "We're just like everyone else — we're just not as privileged to be perceived the way as everyone else is. I'm like every other girl. I might look a little different and be a little taller, but I think that's pretty badass. Anyone you know could be trans. Human dignity and respect is something we give to everyone every day, anyway."

    Van de Burg says that trans rights aren't adequately taken into consideration in regards to legal, structural and social development in South Africa. "It's legal for me to be openly transgender in our country. However, a lot of people don't think about trans people when they think about spaces where trans people would need to be in to survive and live happy, normal, healthy lives," she said.

    In 1996, South Africa's new Constitution made discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal(opens in a new tab), and in 2006, South Africa was the first African nation to legalise same-sex marriage(opens in a new tab) (the fifth country in the the world to do so). However, despite progress with legislation, LGBTQI folks are still facing forms of discrimination, homophobia, bullying and violence today.

    So, to dedicate an entire mainstream magazine issue to equality, love and inclusivity, regardless of gender or sexuality? Seriously great stuff, Cosmo.

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