We thought it was about time to lift the veil on what exactly goes on in each other’s’ worlds with a little bit of gender bending. We sent two willing volunteers on a typical Last Night of Freedom weekend to see what exactly happens on the other side.
Gender bending at LNOF - Damn, we're so open-minded
What Anto Learnt About Lasses
1. Manicures are proper relaxing
The first thing we did is went and got our nails done which, I have to say, is a new experience. I didn’t really know where to go or what to do when we were headed in to the salon, but after the nice lady sat me down and reassured me I wouldn’t be leaving with sparkly fake nails and a vajazzle, I started to chill out. Turns out that getting a manicure is actually really relaxing. The girls were getting loads of colourful things stuck to them, but I just got a bit of general maintenance and an amazing hand massage, which I was totally not expecting. I tried to get in the zone of just relaxing for the sake of it (and throwing around words like “pampering” and “indulgence”) but I've got to say, it all got a bit boring fairly quickly.
2. Women's strip shows are insane
After a good couple of hours of getting ready, it was time for the main event: The Adonis Cabaret. I don't know what I expected but it was brilliant. Not comparable to a strip club, it’s way more tongue-in-cheek and infinitely more insane. There’s fire-breathing, drag acts, acrobatics and about a million costume changes. As much as I now respect the guys being able to think of clever and funny things to say while a room full of women stare at their genitals, I can’t say that I was able to enjoy it as much as the rest of the audience (some of which were positively bug-eyed by the end of it).
3. I have the feminine fragrance touch
We then headed off to the perfume making class. I thought I’d make a nice feminine girly stink and get a pseudo-thoughtful Crimbo present in for my girlfriend. But I actually ended up enjoying it so much and everything smelt so bloody lovely that I thought, “Screw her I’m getting a nice man stink for myself”. And I did, and it’s great. I’m good at perfume, it turns out. Who knew?
4. Strawberry daiquiris almost killed me, but they tasted like heaven
The night out was business as usual, except that this time I had a bullet proof excuse to drink girly cocktails. It actually makes a lot more sense. The drinks are stronger, shorter and much more varied. I love a pint, but it’s is actually a lot of liquid to battle through compared to a martini glass of pure-alcohol cocktail that tastes like heaven. However, it was my downfall. Strawberry daiquiris go down way too easily and the next morning I felt like my head had been caved in. If I were a girl I could have shuffled around my house in a fluffy dressing gown with a towel wrapped around my head, but I thought that'd be taking it too far.
What did I learn?
Overall, I have to say, it was an absolute blast. But I'm now going to go and chop wood and drive a fast car to restore my masculinity. Though I can’t really deny that it’s also nice to have super soft pampered hands. People had better notice them when I'm reading Zoo magazine and eating a Yorkie like a proper bloke.
What Stevie Learned About Blokes
1. I am mint at driving really, really fast
One of the first things I noticed is how quickly everything gets done. Now, I’m not exactly a girly girl anyway, but to be up, showered
and in a minibus on our way to the activity centre in the space of half an hour is very refreshing. Another thing I learnt is that I’m mint at karting; all those mornings spent watching Formula One with my dad have paid off it seems. After 30 minutes of throwing myself around the track, I had a respectable mid-table result and my back had started to seize up.
2. I will never understand paintballing
Out of all of the adventure activities, I’d say I enjoyed the karting and mud buggies the most, they were amazing. Archery was also pretty great as I got to pretend I was someone from Lord of the Rings for a bit, but I am pretty certain I will never, ever see the point in paintballing. I’m sure it works for some people, but painful, tense simulated warfare is not really my bag. Incidentally, another thing I’ve learnt is that if you give a guy a firearm, he’ll spend more time doing combat rolls than actually firing it.
3. Blokes have definitely got their partying priorities straight
The bar crawl was really good fun – and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t really like clubbing. Again, prep time was kept to a minimum and I tried to
dress as masculine as I could whilst still being allowed to go in to clubs. So that meant flat shoes, smart jeans and a nice t-shirt and, oh, the comfort. Bliss. I didn’t once have to think about my feet or my handbag or even my hair, I could just concentrate on having a lairy time with the boys. Of course, there were the customary revolting shots and competitive drinking rituals, but it was all in good fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
4. Strip clubs are only as seedy as the people in them
Then came the strip club. I’m not a prude, I’ve been to strip clubs before, but it has a very different feel on a stag do. When you’ve got a reserved table, waitress service and the champagne is flowing it’s more like being in a gangster movie than Geordieland. Generally speaking, the idea of sitting around with your mates and trying to hide your imminent boner (metaphorically in my case) was just a bit of a strange one to me. But actually, we were so merry by that point that it was more silly than sleazy, and the fact that we were surrounded by beautiful women was just an added bonus.
What did I learn?
I woke up the next day with a disastrously bad hangover and a couple of paintball-sized bruises, and what have I learnt? Stag dos can be silly, boorish and painful, but essentially, it’s just a bunch of blokes having a laugh. Shooting, driving fast, beer and boobies. All great stuff, but for now all I want is an enormous cuppa and nice hot bath - and to shuffle around my house in a fluffy dressing gown with a towel wrapped around my head.