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ON THE BEGINNING:
Suroosh Alvi: There was an eight–to–ten–year period before the magazine started that I refer to as “the dark years.” I think I'm finally ready to come clean on all that. Going back to July ‘94, when I was in a treatment center
Gavin McInnes: For what, Suroosh?
SA: For a little problem I had with heroin.
GM: What a relief to finally hear you say that in an interview.
SA: In a nutshell, I went to treatment, I relapsed, I hit rock bottom, went back out there—using again, doing bad things to support the habit. I got on a waiting list to go back into a treatment center for another round. While I was waiting, biding my time for two weeks before going in, my dad asked me to come along with my family to the mosque for a religious holiday.
In the prayer hall I was literally on my knees begging for mercy. I remember saying, “If there's an Allah out there, fucking help me out now, and make this obsession with heroin go away.” That was really a turning point in my life because it actually worked. And then after coming out of rehab, I met someone in NA who asked me, “Have you ever thought about writing? Because I know a place that's looking for an editor.” He walked me down the next day and they hired me. I kept a journal in rehab, and I wrote about how it would be cool to work for a magazine. I wrote that and Allah made it happen. If I hadn't been a heroin addict, VICE wouldn't exist. It's all been predetermined, apparently.
Anyway, the first issue hit the streets in October of ‘94. It came out after a bit of a revolving door at our publisher at the time. This other guy was supposed to be the editor, but he quit and got heavily into cocaine and kind of fell by the wayside.
GM: That was back when it was a free English newspaper in a French province that didn't need it.
SA: I needed someone to do comics for the first issue and my friend Rufus suggested him. Gavin was doing a comic book called Pervert at the time and had brought in a strip about smack that I thought was great because I had just gotten out of treatment. So Gavin booked up the other comic artists and got me some numbers and I asked him to come on board.
GM: But then you hired some gay dude to be the assistant editor instead of me because it was a welfare make–work program. I had to go on welfare to get the job off him. The secret is you fill out the forms with your left hand so they think you're retarded.
SA: I remember I was living in my parent’s basement and I was really into Answer Me, Jim Goad's magazine. I had piles upon piles of, I guess, hate literature, they call it—Sewer Cunt from Denmark, Fuck Magazine, Murder Can Be Fun— and I just sat and I read it for two weeks.
GM: You think being a junkie and dying so many times gave you this sort of dark outlook?
SA: Maybe. I remember after reading this shit for like two weeks, it definitely twisted my brain a bit. Everything else was so boring to read, and this stuff actually felt alive because it was seething with hate. It was easy to identify with because I was in a shifty place at the time.
Shane Smith: I had just come back from Hungary, where I had been living for a couple of years. Gavin and I had been friends since we were little kids in Ottawa. We were in a few punk bands together. Leatherassbuttfuk was one. Anyway, he told me they were looking for someone to help with the mag. I met Suroosh when Gavin and I were on acid, and I was trying to tell him that we were going to take over the world, but I couldn't because I was too high. So I was going, “I can't get it out. I can't get it out.” Then I said he was my new best friend and showed him how to throw a googlie because since he was from Pakistan he must love cricket. That's how I bonded with him.
Back then we were always in production, which seemed to consist of staying awake for days and days and trying to find shit that we had misplaced. Towards the end we'd occasionally break down and celebrate too early.
One day they sent me to pick up the cover photo, which was a picture of lemmy from MotÖrhead, at the film developer, and then I was gonna go with a friend who worked with us to try and get some advertising from this woman who owned a bar. I ended up at the bar too soon and I bravely remember the rest. I do remember being so drunk that I went into the stockroom by mistake on my way to the bathroom. Since I was there I decided to put some bottles of whiskey down my leg. Meanwhile, people who worked there were coming in and out of the storeroom looking at me. So I walked out, calm as you please, with three bottles of whiskey down my pants—cling–clang, cling–clang…. They went up and grabbed my buddy, who said he didn't know who I was. So I escaped to a porn booth (a tiny room where a dollar coin provides two minutes of limitless pornography) on St. Catherine St. and decided to make myself a little bar in the booth. I was drinking booze and having a gay old time until I ran out of change and was forced to go to the front to get more. When I came back someone had taken my booth so I freaked out and kicked the door down, whereupon I got arrested.
They took me to jail, and I was sitting there waiting to be booked. At this point the sun's coming up, and these guys are going, “Where the fuck is Shane? We sent him to get the cover, like, a day ago.” Meanwhile I'm at the police station sitting there waiting to get arrested, and I go, “Why am I sitting here waiting to get arrested? I have to get back to work.” They were changing shifts and I didn't have my cuffs on so I just left. I walked out and sort of arrived at the office at eight in the morning going, in triumph, “I made it! I got out of jail, you guys!” They were like, “Where's the cover, you asshole?”
SA: We were still at our desks from the night before and you came in reeking of booze. We were pissed off.
GM: Eventually we went international. The titles went Voice of Montreal, then VOICE because it was all of Canada, and then VICE.
SS: This is how we got our first color cover (points to an ad in an old issue). I sold an ad to my friend Dave Porter, who was an A & R guy …
GM: Which goes to prove that marketing and getting ads and selling the magazine has more to do with who you know—friends cutting favors and whatnot—than the merit of the mag.
SS: It also helps to eat them out and mail them drugs.
SS: The first major ad that I sold was to a big beer company, the worst ad campaign ever. But it paid for the whole issue, the cover and everything.
SA: The only reason you got that was because the woman in charge of the campaign wanted to get you in the sack.
SS: Yeah, the woman in charge of the campaign was a cougar (an upwardly mobile, single, hipster, thirty–something woman in marketing), and all the cougars in Toronto want to screw, and you have to play the game and then you fucking get the ads.
GM: We ate our way to the top. The whole world of marketing is female. They say women are in the workforce, but they're not. They're just in the marketing force. It goes men at the top, then women buying the ads. And they want to fuck. So we would fuck them—even the old, balding dogs with horrible tits. It was straight–up sexual harassment but it worked for both sides.
And then there'd be the odd male guy in marketing and we would send him drugs—GHB or ecstasy. It was the modern version of taking the client to the strip club or Studio 54. we'd take him out for a good time, but in his mind. I remember there was a story once when we were regularly sending GHB to this guy and his secretary thought, “Oh, I'd like to try this,” and instead of putting it in water first she took it raw and it burned her mouth.
SS: Sending drugs in the mail was commonplace until we found out it was a felony.
GM: I think it's worth mentioning that Shane wrote a first-person story about being in a horrible prison in Bangkok.
SS: (laughing) I don't know, you guys used to say we needed a story so I'd just make something up. I knew it was a story that I had heard from somebody and I just co-opted it.
GM: You probably rented that movie Bangkok Hilton, because I know we used the cover of the box for the photo.
SS: Probably. I probably watched it when I was stoned and thought it was me so I wrote it first-person: “I'm eating millipedes now…”'
SS: We went national by accident. This guy named Kevin from Cargo Records said they'd ship us nationally, so we went to Toronto and sold ads. It was gonna be the first national issue. And two days before we were gonna go they said, “Sorry, we can't do it.” So we had to set up a whole distribution and circulation—the works—overnight. We called friends and bartered ads with people at radio stations. That was the way we became a free distribution magazine.
GM: Any major move we've done has been by accident. It's always been some sort of Band-Aid solution where we stayed up all night and called people and said, “Can you help us out?” If we ever tried to do a real thank-you list it would be fucking endless.
SA: The Haitian publishers who gave us Voice of Montreal were choking us to death. They weren't even giving us any money to buy pencils, let alone pens.
GM: We suspect they were getting grants for our wages and just keeping it all.
SA: Yeah, so we each borrowed $5,000 from our parents and moved to the other side of Old Montreal, and that's where we really got strong. It was just the three of us, with no more ball and chain with the Third-World publishers. We had to fend for ourselves.
GM: We changed our name so our old owner wouldn't sue us for leaving. We were scared of him and his lawyer wife so we became VICE and paid him $500 a month for, like, three years.
People kept asking us why we changed the name, and we didn't want to say we were scared of getting sued back then—now it's become commonplace—but we were so scared that we said, “Oh, went down to the States and the Village Voice saw that we were called VOICE and threatened to sue us.”
The Canadian media loves David and Goliath stories, and they fuckin' jumped on it. We were in Maclean's, we were on CBC news, we were in every local paper, every national paper. The lie just snowballed out of control.
SS: That's when we realized the power of publicity. If you can get some sort of angle—even if you make it up—it's just media logrolling, because magazines and TV just want to talk about their peers.
SA: But I think the reason those lies were so successful was because even we believed them after a while.
GM: Lying became part of who we were back then. I guess a magazine started by a junkie is inevitably going to be duplicitous.
GM: Yeah, we've always used the magazine as a way to get laid, especially VICE girls (a “girl of the month” feature in old issues).
SS: We even got some orgies out of it.
GM: Well, in the case of Amma, she came to Montreal and the way we got her was our printing guy was telling us about this slut from Malta he was disgusted by and we were like robots after his stories. We just kept repeating, “Must… have … her, must… have … her.” We set up this VICE shoot and got together that night. Shane and I took to fucking her regularly in a porn booth and at the office.
One time we were fucking her and Shane was lying on his back, and I couldn't get anywhere because they were like a sandwich. There was nowhere for me, and I knew it wouldn't fit in her burn because we had all tried that and it didn't go. But I was like, “Oh, I can get it in there if I really go for it.” It was like fitting an elephant into a phone booth. So I'm pushing and pushing and then it just goes “bloooooooooink”—right in—and Shane's stroking her hair going, “It's okay, it's okay…”
SS: And she goes, “Uuuuuuuuuuunh…yeaaeh.”
GM: She never used to like that so I was confused. Then I look down at her asshole and I'm like, “Look at that beautiful pink assho…hey, wait a minute. How come I can see the asshole? I thought I was in the asshole.” And then I feel down and I have a condom on, and I'm like, “what is this? I didn't have a condom on when I went into her ass.” Then I realize I pushed so hard I forced my dick into Shane's condom with Shane's dick and we were both in her vagina. I was so horny I almost kept going but it was a bit too homo to be penis-rubbing like that.
SS: It was a good time for the magazine and we had no fear. We'd put in whatever we wanted. I remember we were ready to do our first trade show and then they said we were no longer invited because of this Serial killer ad that showed a picture of pubic hair. It was something we never even thought about.
We had to manually rip out the page on five thousand copies in order to still be invited. That was followed by a big fiasco at our old alma mater—Gavin's and mine—Carleton, University when the gay and lesbian center had banned VICE from campus because of the same ad. And then the student newspaper got the gay and lesbian center magazine banned from the campus as well because they wrote about it and printed the same picture. There was just this frenzy of censorship.
GM: It exposed the liberal academics for what they really are—Stalinist Nazis that want to push around people they assume have inferior intellects. They act like heroes championing the underdog but they're really just classists.
SS: So this became a huge issue in Canada. By accident, we had become champions of free speech fighting the PC dickheads. All of a sudden we were on TV every day talking about censorship because of a little bit of pubic hair. And it was great publicity, which just led to more fucking popularity, more money, more everything.
GM: I remember asking the guy at Carleton, “what's the problem with it?” And he goes, “Well it's using sex and sexuality to sell ads,” and I just gave up. These people aren't interested in logic.
SA: But in reality the PC lobby in America isn't so different. In Canada they were afraid of a bit of nudity and pubes and in America it's the race card. You can't say “nigger.” Apparently it's okay for us to say “nigga,” though. I mean, how fucking gay is that?
GM: It was hard to put out a magazine with so few people and the $200-a-week salary we were making back then. You'd need drugs to stay up all night and then more drugs to release the pressure after the issue came out. The best pressure reliever around at the time was Montreal's version of mescaline (horse tranquilizer).
There was this girl named Brenda who was our mescaline dealer. One night, Shane and I went to this punk bar to meet up with her, wearing three-piece suits as a joke.
Eventually she gave us each a dose and we put it in our beer and drank it. And then—and this was the stupidest fucking thing—Shane and I stole some from her beer (using straws) when she wasn't looking. She was doing ten times the normal dose at the time and we barely had a tolerance.
SA: Meanwhile, we were in production and the magazine had to go to the printer the next day. I left the office at about two in the morning, and as I was driving up St. Laurent in Montreal I saw Gavin and Shane sitting on a bench. I pulled over and walked up to them. Shane looked at me with no recognition in his eyes whatsoever. I thought he was just fucking with me, and Gavin, meanwhile, had his head back on the bench and his eyes closed. His tie was wrapped around his neck and his pager was lying on the ground. I went to hand him his pager, and when he opened his it was pretty clear that neither one of them recognized me at all.
The next four hours were totally insane. They couldn't walk or function in any way. Gavin was literally speaking in tongues and drying to deconstruct every little thing that he saw. His brain was taking things in at a thousand miles a minute and working on all these different levels. And Shane was crying about something and telling me he died.
I called some friends to walk Shane home and I took Gavin back to my place and put him in my bed so I could make sure he wouldn't choke on his puke or something. I remember him getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but instead of walking out he hopped around my bed in the dark like ninja, still wearing his suit and not making a sound.
The next morning I was a good guy and let them sleep it off. I went to the office thinking they would show up maybe a couple of hours late. But they never showed up. What I later found out is that when they woke up they called each other—as you are wont to do the day after bringing it on with your buddies—and then went back to the bench to look for some mescaline they had lost the night before. And that's a great statement on drugs: They'll put you on the edge of death, and the next day you're like, “where can I get more?”
GM: Robbie Dillon was a Montreal loan shark ex-con who came in off the street and had this idea for an article about how to survive in prison. We ended up building a strong relationship with him because he wrote the only serious content in our magazine for months.
SS: Well, the best Robbie Dillon story is when he wrote this amazing article for us about the biggest drug bust in Canadian history. It was reported that the government had found 27 tons of hash, but we found out that it was actually 35 tons. The other eight tons were a pay-off to the stoolie, and the cops were packing his fridge and his couch and everything with it. So this was a huge scoop for us. We made it the cover story and it was all set to go when Robbie came in and said, “You can't run the article.” And we were like, “What are you talking about? Fuck you. We already spent the money on the printing. It's gone.”
Then he pulled out a shoebox of cash and was like, “Oh, it cost a lot of money? How about this?” And it was more money than we'd ever seen in cash in one place in our lives (which wasn't that much—we were broke). So he gave it to us and we divided it up, spent it, and ran “Interview with a Potato” or something like that instead. No big deal.
About two months later we all went to a strip club/brothel called Grand Prix that was run by the cops, and on the way home later night Robbie goes. “So it's good thing you guys didn't run that story because then I would've had to, you know, burn down the printing house and have you guys whacked.” We could tell he wasn't kidding and it was petrifying.
SA: I just remember driving back that night in total silence.
GM: At the time I would never talk to someone again if they so much as disagreed with me. And here we were hanging out with someone who almost killed us.
SA: But Robbie really brought us hard-hitting journalism.
GM: You know what else he brought to us? We were getting all lost in contracts and signatures and we learned that if someone wants to fuck with you, they'll fuck with you whether you have a contract or not. So Robbie taught us to trust everyone implicitly, and if they fuck you over you go and get them. So when those dudes tried to steal $25,000 from VICE fashion in the UK, we started calling these people we know in Wales who beat the shit out of people for money. Word magically got back to the guy that we were making these calls, and we got all our money back. Robbie taught us that.
SS: Peep shows (porn booths) were the best part of living in Montreal. We would always go out for breakfast with bunches of people and eat and talk and then when everyone went home to go back to bed, we'd go to the peep show around the corner, whack off, and go to work.
SA: We'd each be allowed to spend one loony (Canadian dollar coin) so that we'd all be done at the same time.
GM: Shane always cheated and stayed in longer. We had this running joke that he'd go in, neatly fold his pants and shirt, put oil over his body, light some candles, and just totally make love to himself.
SS: Well, I'd put a couple extra bucks in and get into it. Then I'd come out and go. “I don't know what happened. The thing just kept going.” I remember there was this one peep show where you could spend a little bit more money and get this beautiful leather chair with the Star Trek panel that would come up with a widescreen TV and Surround-sound. You could really go to town in there, boy.
SS: We sort of stumbled into this way of distribution that now has been heralded as a kind of revolution in publishing. Initially we just wanted to get every copy into the right pair of hands, each issue was that precious to us because we had put so much into it. What ended up happening was that not only did we have a hundred percent pick up rate, usually within hours of drooping off the mags, but it was totally niche specific, so the response rate was insane. One big reason for this fanatical fan base was that our content was not influenced by the hugely conservative distribution companies that run all magazine circulation in North America. Because we were free we didn't have to know tow to their censorship and editorial pressure. We are one of the only magazines in the world that totally control our own content. Not to mention our model is very profitable and doesn't waste sixty percent of printed issues, like newsstand does. I guess it's another example of organic growth and tuning bad shit into good shit.
SS: I would like to say we went glossy because we wanted to get bought by a billionaire, and Richard Szalwinski was interested in us at the time. But what really happened was there was a strike at our printer and the type of newsprint paper we used was gone. We called up a buddy of ours at a skateboard magazine called Concrete Powder, and he told us how to go glossy. So we tried it, and when we got it back it was like the coming of the Holy Grail. It was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen.
It did two things. It got us out of that shitty, “stay small” indie mentality, and it really impressed investors. We were fucked, we had to find a solution, we found the solution, and it ended up being one of the launching pads for VICE to become a real magazine.
SA: The first time we met Richard Szalwinski (VICE's first real investor) he was in a large, flowing, white robe, with a perfect tan. I reached out to shake his hand and he grabbed my balls instead.
GM: So we got bought by Richard, who was this eccentric dot.com millionaire, and we were so wowed by his cash after being on welfare and scraping by that we had a massive party and Shane and I did way too much coke and had a horrible time.
SS: Yeah, it was this big party where we were gonna gloat about how rich we'd become overnight. And it was literally overnight. He told us to give him a one-page thing detailing what we wanted for him to buy into the mag, and it was our own ignorance that led us to value ourselves at $4 million, which was way too much. Anyway, that day he gave us the checks. So we went out and ran around in circles in the grass screaming at the top of our lungs. We didn't even know what to do with all that money. In fact, Gavin and I ended up buying a house in Costa Rica, where we had been vacationing every year. Up until then everyone down there knew us as the guys in bare feet with a bottle of rum. We would just stumble around and stay in hostels and piss our pants. Then all of a sudden we were down there, like, “Will you mow our lawn if we give you an 8-ball?”
So everybody hated us because we went from being these local guys in the bar to starting our lives for real, and the Canadian reaction was like a bunch of junkies when you get clean. They want to drag you back down with them. They all came to the party, though, hugging us and saying shit like, “You guys made it!” but like Gavin said, we were on way too much coke to tell anyone to fuck off.
GM: Yeah, and we had come up with this amazing idea of the three of us renting big cartoon costumes but not wearing the heads. So you're this big puffy guy with a tiny little peanut head. It's not fun to have a costume on when you're having a bad trip. You're all trying to be serious and everything with a gigantic Garfield body.
SS: Suroosh was having a blast.
SA: Yeah, I was on the dance floor in my cow costume with two girls on each arm grinding into me. I remember wondering, “Where's the other guys?”
GM: There's your antidrug commercial right there.
SA: We went from being a tiny company to having a staff of 25 people just for our e-commerce website in Montreal and two warehoused filled with streetwear in Quebec and Vermont, and we were just spending millions of dollars. It was over the top. And at that point I remember thinking. “This is not fun. This is not why we started this magazine.”
We were rookies, but we understood the basic concept that you should be making more than you're spending. It didn't matter, though. We were willing to throw that principle out the window because there was so much cash flowing down the pipeline. They said we were going to make all these millions if we just followed their plan. But nothing really added up in the end. We never had any faith in the Internet and they mocked us for being skeptical.
SA: During our honeymoon phase with Normal (Richard Szalwinski's company) we opened up this store in Toronto and everyone had money and our company was mushrooming. We would have meetings with Richard where he would make Shane drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniel's and then we'd sit there for two hours talking about business.
SS: I was going to invest my money in a Toronto store so I didn't blow it all on booze and drugs and whores, but when Richard found out, he insisted it be a VICE store.
SA: For about three years everything moved way too fucking fast.
SA: At the height of VICE and Normal, when dot.com fervor was at its zenith, we went to a trade show and set up a booth. We had built-in digital screens with plush burgundy velour sofas and beds with a bar and it was pretty ridiculous. It made no sense and it was the epitome of excessive spending. It really represented what was wrong with that era and also our whole Normal experience. For me personally, that was my most unhappy time in the whole seven years—doing this dot.com thing that felt so wrong. But we did it because we were told we would make $30 million. I guess I was willing to sacrifice happiness for greed. It made us feel dirty.
SS: Yeah, but the peak of the insanity was when I went to Europe with the CEO on a mission to aggregate youth culture. We were literally buying up the phenomenon that was streetwear—stores, magazines, clothing companies, the works. We actually had letters of intent to buy companies that were fucking ten times our size. So we were just spending money like crazy over there in Europe with the CEO. Meanwhile, Suroosh would call me and say, “We can't get paper clips over here. They're repossessing everything.” So I asked the CEO. “Hey, what's going on?” and he'd be like, “Oh, don't worry. It's paperwork. It's just a bureaucracy. Let's have another bottle of champagne and buy another company.” And the day I got back to the States, I got an e-mail from Richard saying, “It's over.”
SS: So Gavin, Suroosh, and I got in a car and drove up to Nantucket to find Richard. We called him the day before and told him we just wanted to hang out.
His girlfriend was so happy that there would be other people there because they'd just been hiding out, kind of like in a bunker or something.
GM: He picked us up in a Mercedes-Benz convertible with no steering or brakes.
SS: I remember he got mad at me for bringing up business. He just didn't want to talk about it. Meanwhile, the company was fucking going down the toilet. What did he think, we were gonna go up there and play fucking croquet?
GM: We asked him how much time we had and he said he wasn't sure our desks would be there on Monday.
SS: So we were like, “Ho-leeeeeeeeee shiiiiiiiittf!!!” and drove back screaming. We looked at the books and realized we were owed about $900,000 in unpaid invoices. It was a shocking realization of just how inefficient we had become. That was the big slap in the face that made us say, “Okay, let's just shut everything down, get over to Brooklyn, and try to make things profitable again.”
GM: And we didn't want to kill any of the projects we already had going. We had to take this top-heavy business plan—the clothing line, stores, all that shit—and keep it going on no money. We had gone from stinking rich to flat broke in a matter of days.
SS: After two years of rebuilding hell everything came out okay. Of course, a few things were battered beyond repair. The clothing line was a bust, but the stores became profitable again. We signed a film deal and that led to VICE Films which is now four separate movies in production. We're doing a TV show for Showtime with David Cross (see p. 291). We've made some amazing partnerships in Japan and Europe as well as Australia that work to not only publish the mag in those areas but also to develop the other media channels that we're involved in. VICE Records made The Streets huge in America and are doing that with lots of other artists like The Stills and Chromeo. There's a DVD division starting up. A VICE pub in London…I'm sure by the time this book comes out there will be a whole slew of other things happening. It's really good time for us now. The secret is to always make sure what you're doing turns a profit, even if it's ten cents. If people are getting paid and a good-quality product is coming out and it's not losing money, that's a success.
SA: One thing I need to get across about the magazine is how the whole thing has been completely organic from day one. We learned as we went along. There's a basic philosophy that's been there from the beginning that's still here today. I don't know what it is, but trust me, there is definitely a philosophy behind all this. As we progressed as editors and writers, we learned what made the magazine tick and then we would pursue that vein. Like miners.
We learned VICE had to be a well-balanced combination of smart and stupid content—stupid done in a smart way and smart done in a stupid way. We decided it had to be free but it had to turn a profit. It had to be brutally honest and punk rock and unlike anything that came before it. And most of all, it had to be about our favorite things: sex and drugs and rock and roll. And it is.
By Lesley Arfin and VICE Staff
This band is so cool that it's basically uncool to like them, which is why they are commonly referred to as “Gay R.E. Weapons.” Everyone loves to hate on them because admitting you like them is admitting you're a scenester, and no one ever wants to say that—at least not out loud. Secretly they are your favorite, you dance around to them naked, and you love their shows because you know all your friends will be there.
Honorable mentions: Airplane food, the Academy Awards, As Four bags, acting like you're still asleep when the car pulls in so your parents have to carry you to bed.
Let's face it, you cut school in tenth grade to stand in line for the Tibet benefit they threw at The Academy. You had their stickers on your Trapper Keeper. You called dibs on Ad-Rock while your best friend planned to marry Mike D.
Honorable mentions: Being haunted by your love, Britney Spears, Broadway musicals, Beverly Hills 90210, big boobs.
When the Internet first happened, chat rooms were the place to be. The only place to be, actually. Like a total geek, you'd enter the “Sonic Youth” or “Rave till Dawn” room and make friends that you planned to meet at the mall food court or something. Then you saw them and discovered they were ugly. Thus, no one every mentioned chat rooms again—but you still do it. Cyber-flirting is fun. You can have an affair without all the horribly complicated bullshit fucking entails.
Honorable mentions: Corndogs, cyber porn, cumming too soon.
The drug everyone loves to hate cuz it's only, like, the best drug in the world. People diss dope when they're just too pussy to try it. “I'd like it too much, man”—really logical. I'm not going to Bermuda for my holiday in case I like it too much and end up moving there.
Honorable mentions: Doing another bump of coke when you know you've had enough, Dinosaur Jr., dildos.
Hidden beneath all those copies of Purple, hipsters are secretly reading EW. No one wants to admit they're fascinated with celebrity, yet who can resist the clever “quote corner” or the behind-the-scenes Lord of the Rings exposé?
Honorable mentions: Eating your boogers, Eminem, early Rod Stewart.
The best show on TV. Sometimes you feel like they really are your only friends. It's corny to say you like it but for reals, the show is fucking funny and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Honorable mentions: Folk music, flavored condoms, the Food Channel, flags, fags.
You say she's cheesy but when she's on TV you can't keep your eyes off her. How about that video she did with Eve when she's wearing the little sailor suit thing? Hellooooo. She also makes that pouty face that you kinda wanna slap and kiss at the same time. “Hey Baby” is a good jam too.
Honorable mentions: Gay porn, granny porn, god, Googleing ex-boyfriends.
When you buy a Harry Potter book, you tell people it's a birthday present for your aunt. I know I do. I was fully anti-Potter until one rainy day when I picked up the first book and literally read the entire thing in one sitting. Now I go to HP conventions in a cape and have a cat named Dumbledore.
Honorable mentions: Hearing neighbors fuck, happy hardcore, Hot Topic, hacky sack, “hot lunch,” having people with disabilities as friends just to make others uncomfortable.
Come on! “Closer to Fine” is the best sing-a-long song ever. True they are crunchy lesbian-cofeehouse-alterna-rock, and I know you hide the CD when people come over, but it's time we make these girls cool again. Call it “ironic” if you need a cover-up.
Honorable mentions: In Style magazine, imagining what your funeral would be like if you killed yourself.
Depending on where irony is at when you're reading this, Journey is either a guilty pleasure or just a pleasure.
Honorable mentions: Jazz music, Jr. Miss section at Kmart, jerking off to pictures of shemales.
Known to his fans as simply “King,” Stephen King is a guilty-pleasure god. I liked him so much more when I found out how many drugs he used to do. He doesn't even remember writing Cujo. Nice!
Honorable mentions: K-holes, keggers.
Putting it in the hiney is fun. It's rude and harsh and God hates it. It's a life-saver too. If you can't get it up just smell her crack and you'll get a boner no matter what. We call it “the poor man's Viagra.” Smelling your own ass is another very private, guilty pleasure you shouldn't tell anyone about. Smelling your farts is one too.
Honorable mentions: Lexxus, love, Larry from Three's Company.
Do you really care who won for “Best Visual Effects”? No, you just want to see what J.Lo is wearing, or who's gonna do something “wacky” this year.
Honorable mentions: Magik, Morrissey, malt liquor, McDonald's.
Being able to say the N-word is definitely a guilty pleasure. There's very few people allowed to add the “er” at the end but if you're alone, you can put your face into your pillow and say it as loud as you want.
Honorable mentions: Not pulling back your foreskin to pee, Nazis (as a sexual fantasy).
Despite what Jonathan Franzen says, OBC pretty much rules. You might feel gay admitting that this is where your book recommendations come from, but hey, at least she had housewives all over the country reading Toni Morrison.
Honorable mentions: The Olsen twins.
Okay, hear me out. To those of you who don't know, popping zits is totally disgusting and horrible and anyone who could possibly enjoy it is fucked up. However, to those who do know, holy shit. Popping zits is, like, just one step lower than an orgasm. I literally have to compromise with my boyfriend, popping zits on his back if I promise him a blowjob.
Honorable mentions: Pretending your boyfriend or girlfriend is someone else when you're doing it, pissing in the pool, pretending to work but just looking at porn.
Violence for pussies. One of my ex-boyfriends used to wear a headset so that only he would experience Quake's inner sanctum.
Honorable mentions: Quaaludes.
The fact that diaries are soooo private and soooo secret only makes you want to read them more. Finding where someone keeps their diary is basically like discovering a small pile of rubies (don't tell a soul).
Honorable mentions: Romantic comedies, rape (as a sexual fantasy).
Sometimes you stand there with your toothbrush in your mouth posing for the most irreverent SPIN cover of all time. Sometimes you're just playing air guitar during Hüsker Dü's “Diane” (your friends didn't know you could play guitar!— “How long have you had a band!?” they ask incredulously). Sometimes you're just smoking an invisible cigarette in your new video, hollerin', “Say nigga ride or die or ride or die.” Another guilty mirror pleasure is looking at your reflection when you cry. Sometimes it freaks you out so much that you stop crying, but if you really push the martyr factor you can keep the tears going for as long as you want.
Honorable mentions: Star Search, skater boys, The Strokes, Speedos, Saved by the Bell, SNL, Sex in the City, Spandex, Skrewdriver, secretly fantasizing about killing your grandmother with a soil rake.
Tennis is like one notch above ice-skating as far as gayness is concerned. So why is it that people (mostly guys) are super into it? It's probably those little white tennis skirts and all the grunting.
Honorable mentions: Teen movies, Temptation Island, Tupac, tuna fish, telling your mom it really hurts when it's not even bleeding.
A year ago, a dude rollerskating in Central Park wearing American-flag shorts would get laughed out of town. Now American flags are cool. It's become a “rooting for the underdog” flag, like the Confederate flag.
Honorable mentions: Umlauts, unicorns.
This one is for the ladies. V.C. Andrews was the ultimate preteen author because (unlike Judy Blume) her books were total trash. The main character was always finding out that her husband was really her father, and in Flowers in the Attic you weren't supposed to get turned on when the brother and sister did it but you couldn't help it.
Honorable mentions: Viz comics, video games, The Vagina Monologues.
Otherwise known as “hippie crack” or “dessert crack.” Either way, it's the best high a thirteen-year-old can get.
Honorable mentions: Wanting glasses and/or braces, White Castle, whiteboy dreads, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, whiteout (sniffing it), wanting to fuck your friend, waking up at 4 PM on Sunday, jerking off, and then going back to sleep.
Again, not very embarrassing to be accused of liking this film cuz it's awesome, but there was a time when you were supposed to be “over” Xanadu, maybe during high school, but you so weren't.
Honorable mentions: X is a hard one. Xylophones clearly aren't a guilty pleasure.
The inevitable side effect of cyber-flirting is having to show a picture of yourself. At photos.yahoo.com you can assemble your best nudes (you can even Photoshop the zits off your ass), your best party pictures, and your favorite porn shots and pretend you just threw them up there without thinking.
Honorable mentions: Yellow-dog contracts, Yes, Yaz, Ya Kid K.
The zoo is bad because gorillas get so bored they barf into their hands and eat it (remember that?), but how can you resist those babies? As Andrew W.K. says, “A baby crocodile!? How cool is that!?” The baby pandas are too much, man. Girls pinch your arm and go “eeeeeeh” till it hurts when they see them.
Honorable mentions: Long Island and New Jersey rock station Z100, zebra-striped guitars.
by Gavin Mclnnes
Men suck at eating pussy. Not because they don't like it but because it's really fucking hard. You have to learn it. Giving good head is the key to just about everything in life (including getting good head later on), so it's time we broke it down. Like this.
The secret to giving good head is to read the signs. You could be the best sexual mechanic in the world, but if you can't read, the emotional road signs, you're going to end up wandering around in a desolate labial wasteland until, eventually, you drop from exhaustion, hot tears of confusion streaming down your face.
Think of eating the puss as your way of saying, “Although I am about to rock your insides with 3,000 pounds of explosives, here's a little intimate treat session to show you how I really feel.” Instead of a screamed “OH MY GOD!!” like her baby has been trapped under a car (which is what fucking should do), cunnilingus elicits a more splendiferous “ooohmygodohmygodohmygod.” Kind of like being massaged with exotic fruits by a muscular Arab oil sheik. A good mange(that's French for “eat,” you brutes) is like a thousand years of Saturdays or a “Calgon, take me away” ad.
Break it down!
Don't go down unless you're down. Unlike fellatio, cunnilingus can never be done as a favor. Doing it when you don't want to will only bring on the dry heaves. Eat like a pig at the trough and a lot of stupid mistakes get forgiven.
A dry pussy is an unhappy pussy. If your fingers graze a dry bush, go back to the kissing and hugging for a while. Just make sure you actually dip your finger between the lips. Sometimes moisture gets trapped between the labia and a little fingerial coaxing is all that's needed to get the honey dripping.
Once you're sure the beaver is wet, give it a few light, teasing strokes with your finger. There's nothing worse than rushing into this, so make sure she's really begging for it before you get under the covers.
Extra tip: Be like Prince and bring up a wet finger that both of you can share like a 1950s milkshake with two straws.
Important: Don't play your trump card too soon by putting your fingers all the way inside. This can detract from the upcoming penetration and kill the tease factor. Try to remember that 78 percent of a woman's pleasure is about yearning. Poking it in too soon is sure to put out the fire.
Once she's lathered up, it's time to go down. Get your fingers out of there and don't touch anything for a bit. Let your lap do a bit of grinding and get some last-minute necking in like you're going away on vacation.
Though it's very tempting on your way down to pull the blankets over your head like the little mole-man that you are, this is a very bad idea. It gets super hot down there and whipping the duvet off your head and gasping for air ten seconds before she comes is pretty much going to kill the mood.
Start by kissing her boobs and stomach and slowly working your way down. Don't get carried away with those stupid tits, though. That's something you should have taken care of before the pants even came off. Right now it's all about the stomach and inner thighs. A little bit of gentle biting is good, but a sure winner is to start at the knee and move toward the muff in a slow, shark-like swoop. Nibble your way right up to the edge of her cunt, then skip across it and head for the other knee. Repeat. Doing this a few times will get her really hot and save you a lot of pussy-eating time in the long run.
When you're just about ready to do the deed, start practicing on that weird crevice next to the lips. Don't spend too long there or she might start to think that you think that's the actual cunt. By now she should be dying for you to make your move. If you're doing it right, she'll be moaning and trying to force your head between her legs. Stretch this phase out until she looks like she's been holding her breath for three days.
Extra trick: Hover over the bush for about five seconds before the first lick. If you wait longer than that, she might think you're having second thoughts because it smells bad. Of course, we all know that motherfucker smells sweeter than a bowl of steamin' crawdaddies.
Important: Never bite the cunt in any way whatsoever. If this needs more explaining you should probably just stick to jerking off.
Isolate your playing field. Pubic hairs are to eating pussy what the Cavity Creeps are to dental hygiene. You're never going to be able to identify all the parts if she looks like that PiL album That What Is Not. One hot trick is to get her to spread her lips apart so her pussy is all set up for you like a great big buffet.
Do your first lick super slow. It's good to groan and moan too. It shows you're digging it while sending microscopic audiophonic vibrations right up her snapper. Start just above the anus and take it all the way to the fur. Do about a dozen of these St. Bernard licks before moving on (take it really slow, like four seconds per lick).
This is a good time to figure out what kind of clit she has. If it's real sensitive, she'll probably convulse as you pass over it and that means you're in for an easy ride. If there's no reaction when you graze over her clit, she probably has one of those nerveless little pea clits and you're in for a thirty-minute session of tongue tendinitis.
Eating pussy is so gentle it can make you feel like a bit of a fag. If you're getting tired of being ballerina boy, take it out on the clit. Figure out how much abuse it can take without making her uncomfortable and show the little bastard who's boss.
After all, Mr. Elusive is precisely what makes muff diving so difficult. He's surrounded by labia and, even after you find him, all the pressure can pop him over to the side. All of a sudden you're giving the pee hole the seeing-to of its life. Think of the clit as a tumor in a pile of earlobes. When you push down on the area, he's the only one that can't be squished. Once one of your tongue troopers finds him, call for reinforcements. Use your lips to get hers out of the way and focus all your attention on getting him alone. Once you find him, give him a bit of a hard time for trying to hide from you. Frisk him and give him a couple of whacks across the head. More on this punk and his bad attitude later.
Extra-important tip: The best way to stimulate the clit is to run your entire tongue over it after you isolate it from the lips. The man in the boat should feel the texture of the entire tongue pushing down on his body and his boat.
After the slow licks it's time to get this party started. There are essentially two types of clitori: ones that enjoy a serious going-over and ones that don't. The latter suck about as much as a one-inch penis and you should dump her right away.
Extra tip: Clits come in all shapes, sizes, and sensitivities, but that doesn't really tell you much. All of them want to be treated slow and soft at the beginning, but the only way to tell if you can go fast at the end is by reading her reactions. This is impossible to teach, but just do the best you can. All we can tell you is convulsing means take it easy and “Oh my God” means bring it on.
These are the most fun because you can be creative. Pretend your tongue is the bad cop and the clit is the guy who killed your partner. Separate him from his buddies (the lips) and suck him right up into your mouth. Now he's on your turf. Keep him erect by creating an airtight vacuum chamber in your mouth. Slap the little bugger upside the head with one big tongue bonk. He's not going to tell you shit because he's a clit and he has no idea what you're talking about, but kick his ass anyway. After a few teasers and swirling circles, rat-a-tat-tat him senseless like a boxer whacking a speed bag. If she starts freaking out like it's too much, ease up on the interrogation and go back to the St. Bernard licks. The vacuum is a great way to bring her to orgasm, but it's a bit much sometimes, so mix things up with some circles around the clit and some tongue fucking.
As you're closing in for the kill, go back to the vacuum and give the suspect a relentless head smacking. Up-and-downies are usually the most effective, but your tongue will get less tired if you throw in a few side-to-sides. When you feel the inner thighs start to shake, this is it. Be repetitive. Do NOT be creative. You're almost home and this is not the time to start changing tactics.
Extra tip: To keep the rhythm going, try repeating a chant in your head that goes with the movement of your tongue like a Micmac Indian (hi-yi-yi-ya, hi-yi-yi-ya, hi-yi-yi-ya). Any inconsistent action may throw her off, killing the mood or at least setting you back a few minutes, which is bad for morale.
Important: Keep going several seconds after her orgasm. Remember, it isn't over until the hands come down from above and lay you off. If she's multiorgasmic, you'll have to keep going until you've done the whole routine another four or five times. If you're not sure what to do, just keep giving her shit until the magic hands come down.
Some clits don't want to be singled out and battered around. These are the boring ones that need to be treated with gentle care. Just do casual St. Bernard licks until she cums, pure and simple. If you're getting bored try going in some different directions for a while. A good way to keep it random is to spell out different letters of the alphabet with the tip of your tongue. You could be looking at half an hour here, pal, and that can be problematic. If you go for that long and she doesn't cum, you're going to be in a foul mood, so if it's too much work, move on. On the bright side, going for thirty minutes is something few people have the patience for, so sticking it out will lead to some payback when period week comes around.
Once you're done (totally finished), she's going to want you out of there pronto because the whole area is sensitive. Instead of leaving, stick out your tongue and lay it down on her like a thick, soggy carpet. Make sure you don't move it or anything because that can actually hurt her. Just let it sit there like a dead manta ray for about thirty seconds. Then come up and wipe your face like a pirate. You now have a good minute to get the condom on and take her from the quarters of Prince Muhammad Muhammad Saddat to the cockpit of an F-15.
If two hands suddenly drop from the sky and start pulling you up, you've just been sacked. She'll tell you she never cums from that anyway, but the truth is you suck at sucking. Just give her a jolly good rogering and look at the whole thing as a learning experience. Later you can ask what the problem was so you can get it right next time. If you're really lame, you can ask for a regular play-by-play from the broadcast booth. A bit of the old “slow-down-you're-going-too-fast-yeah-there-like-that-oh-that's-perfect” can turn even the John Wayne Bobbitt of pussy eaters into a Doug Hart.
Nothing keeps you in the game and makes her cum harder than a mid-fuck munch. Pulling out in the middle of the race may leave her a bit confused, but it's a great way for all you premature ejaculators to simmer down a bit and it reminds her neglected clitoris that he's a somebody. If after a few seconds she still isn't into it, you can save face by pretending you just couldn't resist. Give it up and get back to the boff.
Extra tip: Unless you like the taste of your own latex-covered dink, keep your mid-fuck snacking to the upper clit region and stay away from the hole.
Fingers: If you are dealing with a particularly saucy vixen she may want something in her bum. A thumb gives you the best leeway, but keep in mind you are doing a raunchy thing and this should be saved until the end. Incidentally, if you're trying to introduce a burn finger as a good thing, try eking it in during orgasm. If it doesn't wreck everything you could have a Pavlovian response on your hands for the rest of the relationship.
Hole: We're not going to get into licking the actual hoop in this section because if you're into that, you're way too advanced for this seminar and should have graduated with a PhD in pussy years ago.
Cheeks: Bum-cheek rubbing is always good. There are over five hundred thousand nerve endings on those cheeks, so giving them a good squeeze or a slap while you lick the pussy will get you instant results.
Though some idiots (like us) say it takes away from when you actually put in the dink, simultaneous fingering is a great way to totally blow her mind. Think of it as the crack cocaine of cunnilingus.
Tongue exhaustion is the number-one cause of abandoned mange-ing, but there are many ways to avoid it. Like we said, using your tongue as an inanimate object is a great way to give it a rest. Stick it out as far as it can go and tense it. Then bite into it with your teeth and move it around the cunt using your neck muscles. Another solution is simply to use your fingers on the clit while you give your mouth a rest.
by Christi Bradnox
After interviewing piles of sluts and exactly one homo, Christi Bradnox brings you this all-encompassing guide that examines every conceivable facet of hog-smoking there is.
Giving good head is an art form that I didn't perfect until I was in my mid-twenties. Before that I was constantly bewildered, usually drunk, and often left wondering why I kept getting fired. I had the intent, concentration, and attitude, but I also had an overbite and too many wine coolers. It was high school. What did I know? Then I met Yves, the prototypical older boyfriend. Born and raised in Montreal, he was used to supremo suck from the “filles du roi” and this Ontario girl was going to rank. Since then I have, quote, “rocked,” “ruled,” “owned,” and “paralyzed” some of the best cock this side of the Mississippi. My experience, combined with epic VICE research, is available for you now. Here we go!
Before you even start this discussion you have to look at your budget. You have about twenty minutes of sex chips on any given night. If you spend fifteen chips sucking him off, he's only got five chips left for humping. We suggest saving BJs for mornings and afternoons and period week; you still want to get laid.
Your teeth don't exist. They might as well be in a glass by the bed. Use the same principle applied when eating a super-cold Popsicle with a mouthful of freshly filled, sensitive molars. You have to make a cave with your mouth and use your tongue and upper and back palate to form a careful vacuum to keep him away from your teeth. Keep this exercise in mind throughout your entire blowjob. It's easy to slip, especially when you're drunk. One trick is to pull your lips over your teeth like they're those boxing mouth guards.
The key to cock is focus. You must be fixated for the duration of your downtime. Remember the concentration required to kill an ice cream cone without getting any on your blouse? Why do you think they make sex oils in all of your favorite candy/ice cream flavors? It elicits a freaky Pavlovian trance of focus and completion. Think of good head as the Great Pacifier.
We're not talking about the half-ass, licking-until-hard-then-insertion action here. That's “lovemaking” in the whitest way. If you're not willing to trust him and commit yourself with 100 percent total devotion to his penis, don't bother. You have to worship it like you're Indiana Jones and you've finally made it to the Temple of Doom. (If worshipping his cock makes you feel vulnerable it's probably because he's a macho asshole and you are sucking off the wrong guy.) Remember, there's a psychosexual paradox going on here. You are giving him head and he is getting his cock sucked. You are both a slave to his dick and totally in control of it, like an actress who stars in and directs her own movies.
Before you break off from his mouth and head downstairs, prepare the landing pad with your hand. Horse around until it's hard as stone. Assure him there's going to be some heavy mouth action but don't let it start until he's ready to crack.
Rub, rub, rub through the pants like it's a baby animal just about to be born. Firmly tug at the belt buckle like it's your own. Try not to fumble too much with the belt, but it's OK to ask for his help. Don't get fired before you've even taken on the job. Communication is crucial, because guys have trouble refusing head no matter how bad they think you might be at it. Making sure he's happy with how it's going without seeming insecure is one of the hardest parts of giving head.
Extra tip: Don't fuck up with the zipper. If you hurt his penis here it's all over. Pull the zipper up and out, away from his penis, not straight down. Use two hands if you need to, like if he's huge or not wearing any underwear.
Key: If he seems to be steering this ride (keeping his hands hovering over or on you head), read the road signs and ask some soft questions. Are you going too fast, hard, soft, slow? You're not looking for a detailed map or long discussion. One or two uttered words-a deep moaning “yes” or “oooohmmmokay” or “ohhhh, yeahyeahyeah”— will do fine.
Slide your hand into the underwear. The baby animal is a little afraid of being born and has to get to know your hand so it can feel safe and come out. Hover over his groin here for five seconds (not too long or you will seem like a spectre and that will make him feel self-conscious).
Extra tip: If he starts mashing your head down, don't smack his hand away. Gently grab his wrist and place it down by his side again. Hold it there for a second as if to say, “Relax, guy. I've got it.” Incidentally, where did you meet his guy?
Now, somebody hasn't received much attention up until now. Here's where our face and hands have a bit of prep work to do. Cup and caress his balls in the hand you don't use for writing. They can take a bit of abuse, but only with your heavy wet tongue. Find his balls first with your mouth by burying your face in the space between his thighs and crotch and take one of them in your mouth and wet and spit it up. Don't be afraid to make thing wet as hell.
You'll need your dexterous hand to complete the lock and seal around the shaft. It's wet from your spit, too, and remember, you don't have any teeth. This is a game you play with yourself: No teeth, I have no teeth, I only have gums and lips and tongue. No teeth. At the base, your mouth finally meets your hand and your tongue slicks up the shaft with more hot spit. Wet hand goes down around the shaft with forefinger and thumb acting as the extension of mouth. Moan on it, because every body's just met. Here's the freeze-frame; mouth puffed out, lips like an anus, down around the top few inches, tongue pressing the cock into an oral groove, good hand around the shaft and bad hand rotating around the balls with slightly firm yet gentle rubs. Teeth not invited to the party.
Now that you've made the lock, never take your hand and mouth off or away from his cock. You're not gobbing on it, and you're barely hitting a rhythm. You are wetting down the penis with spitty, rhythmic foreplay to achieve the correct balance of slickness and traction. No baby kisses here; you're all mouth and tongue and hand. The whole area should begin to feel like a wet, well-greased-down, slow-moving internal combustion engine that is just gearing up.
Extra tip: At some point while your mouth is first introduced to his cock, lock eyes with him. Remember, he's filming this with his brain and may use it as masturbation fodder for years to come. You can even jerk him off for a bit. It's a nice break for everyone and the variety keeps things interesting.
He will instinctively begin to rock slightly. Never stop moving along with him, but be a bit off so you're undulating over his weenie slightly offbeat. It's important at this point to make sure you avoid getting skull-fucked. Control the tempo yourself.
Excerpted from The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll by Alvi, Suroosh Copyright © 2003 by Alvi, Suroosh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted September 15, 2003
If you're looking for a funny book that captures the lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, this is it. Wouldn't recommend this for the kiddies, though... definitely adult stuff.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.