I Travelled Spain With 29 Women
A love letter to my she-wolfpack
This is an ode to the 29 women whom I just travelled with. 29 babes. The 29 femme fantasies, 19-to-29-year-old horny, but mostly hungry college co-eds; two-and-a-half dozen unapproachable beauties, the kinds that slack jaws when they walk in bars, make men gape agaw and bend over backwards just to get a kind or lewd side word in. 29 nines and 10s and me, little old, literally old, CIS-hetero male me who travelled with this pack of Betties and Veronicas from Barcelona to San Sebastian and Madrid and Granada, syncing up our periods across the wine fields of La Rioja, through murderous heatwaves and the Alhambra and Mad Cool music festivals in Madrid.
This is a tome to the lessons learnt from the gals who slept like silkworms in remote farmhouses lodged on the soggy and verdant Basque hills, shared villas with vistas of the Sierra Nevada, ate cheese in terraced houses esconded amongst the baking and chipped terracotta frescos of the middle of nowhere, Navarra. This is for and about the women who were alongside me for almost every waking moment of a month where I was never more than an arm’s distance from one, or 29, female companions. Not exactly exceptional, sure, but also not overly common. Here is what I learnt.
They have pillow fights
They really do. They put hydrating face masks on and roll around in their knickers and chase each other with towels rolled ready for the whipping. They sing show tunes and Disney soundtracks and sit cross legged on the floor in their pyjamas drinking wine and tea and playing Fuck, Marry, Kill with hot guys and really not hot guys as the subjects until the early morning.
Straight girls stayed up all night watching lesbian porn with gay girls, and all girls would sleep naked and shower together and they probably got drunk and some of them made out as they squealed and shrieked and slapped one another – basically any puerile fantasies that hormone heavy teenage boys, and the emotionally and erotically disadvantaged men they become, have about the mysteries of groups of women are real.
They’re fucken gross
Poo poo and pee pee and boogers and snot and vomit and periods and farts and shit and piss and shiss. Long conversations about thrush and having your arsehole eaten while walking in 40-degree heat (the sound of having your butt munched that apparently resembles a ravenous hound munching on hot chips). Diarrhea with the door open. Waxing their fannies in the dormroom, and then putting the used wax strips on my bed, through my luggage, and photographing it and sharing the images with me three days after the fact. You fucken name it, these gross bitches did it and then some.
Their grossness pretty much erases the intrigue and implied eroticism of the pillow fights.
They’re not taking our shit anymore
One knucklehead was overheard talking about the theoretical size of one of our crew’s vaginas. Instead of being offended, the girls roundly heckled and hounded the perp, and reported him to his employer, and that employer was forced to change some fundamental policies of their business, and then the dude was ridiculed in the group chat and also to his face and soon after the group reclaimed the term and started talking about Big Flap Energy.
It was the most effective display of not taking a man’s shit that I’ve ever seen. And you, you silly boy, you will never get anywhere near the labias that occupied so much of your imagination that you had to become the posterboy for everything wrong with young masculinity because you thought it was okay, and clout constructing, to verbalise your thoughts about a complete stranger’s genitalia.
Across the breadth of guy-driven interactions that I witnessed on this tour, there seemed to be a consistent, unsophisticated inadequacy from the men who made their intentions clear with the group, a lazy griminess that led to very few, if any, romances forming and none flourishing, despite the fact that a group of beautiful, young and open-minded mostly single women just spent a month sightseeing and partying across some of the most rambunctious cities and events in Spain. Pick up your games, you silly little creeps, you could have had so much fun.
They respect boundaries
Either that, or they simply didn’t find me attractive. One month of travelling through a very romantic Spain. One month of getting drunk and high together on beaches and in fields and while listening to the plainative wails of life-creased flamenco practitioners; of going on adventures in nature and having pool parties and listening to Lauryn Hill croon live and being the only guy around, not once was I hit on. Not one unwanted advance, not one lecherous stare or opportunistic grope. Nobody tried to slide into bed with me, nobody texted me anything inappropriate that wasn’t a GIF or a meme or a joke or a sledge.
As a spoken-for man, I appreciated that they respect my boundaries; as an insecure boy I would have liked the ego boost that comes with extremely attractive and much younger women having a crush on me. As it turns out, I was left unlusted for, I was treated as a friend and equal, invited into the craven but without having to pay for the privilege with my chastity. I can’t help but imagine what would have been the case if the gender balance was flipped and I was an older woman travelling with 29 younger men.
There was never a need for the white knight to come bounding in to defend these maidens’ honours. No need when the drunk felt the right to touch one of my friends on her pyjama bottoms while I and her freshly forged bestie were dilating on ketamine, no need when the embodiment of vile pulled down a girl’s pants while we were walking amongst a thick group of revellers, no need when groups of guys would circle the humping, gyrating pack of dance-lordes in the club.
I was not needed to step in and protect them, and in fact my neanderthal chest thumping impact-heavy conflict escalation wouldn’t have been as effective as their icy stares, subtle put downs, tactful interactions and explicit instructions to Fuck off. My conflict resolving strategies would have resulted in more violence, but these women had their own ways of protecting themselves as individuals and in a group and would have very rarely, if at all, felt unsafe despite being in some pretty testy situations with pathetic men.
The future looks bright
They are, without exception, smart and funny, gorgeous and compassionate young ladies with a zest for life, a lust for learning and a predilection for social justice. They don’t like drinking water out of plastic bottles, they want to write for change, they look people in the eye and really want to know their life stories, they are aware of their privilege and at least intend to work against it. They are curious, they are tough, they are sympathetic and adventurous. Their vivaciousness is infectious and the relentlessness of our pursuit of hedonism made me feel younger despite being drunk every night for a month.
They all got along without exception, nobody made alpha-tart moves against the group, nobody was left out, or behind. They are individuals, who made their own way through this experience, who made the most out of unsavoury experiences, who looked out for each other and didn’t let anybody take advantage of them, or their agency, despite the unsophisticated advances of dusty troglodytes.
Their futures are as diverse as the women they are, but if they are who we have to look forward to then perhaps this world isn’t such a terrible place to bring more people into. At the end of the month I was richer for having spent this time with this group of women, and the world is a much better place for having them in it, too.
We still have some spots left on our August tour of Spain, and so if you’re a woman wanting to hang out with some inspiring bitches, or a guy looking for a crash course in inadequacy, hit us up and jump on the flappy bus starting this August 4 in Barcelona.