The sun rises over a clear blue sky, marking the beginning of a beautiful Saturday morning. Six hours later, I wake up in my room with terrible breath and a bit of a headache. The images of last night are still fresh in my memory. My group of friends met this nice group of girls at the club, and one of my friends hit it off with one of the girls. Me, I did not even try, as usual. Always too shy. Too scared to face rejection and too insecure to picture any other outcome. …


At the age of fifteen, my friend David had his first kiss with a cute girl called Beth, at a party that a guy from school was having in his parents’ second, unoccupied house. I wasn’t invited to that party and instead spent the night watching porn in my room. When he was sixteen, my buddy Patrick went on his first date with a girl he had met through mutual friends. They spent the evening in a nice little coffee shop and nervously flirted their way to a goodbye kiss. Earlier that week, my parents had left the house in…


On January 6th, 2021, the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. was stormed by a mob of Trump supporters in an attempt to overturn the result of the election won by the democratic party. One of the most iconic moments in the grotesque circus of events that lead up to that riot was when the then still president tweeted commanding to “stop the count!”, in a desperate effort to try to end the counting of mostly democrat mail-in ballots that were cutting Trump’s head-start lead. The mantra would be echoed by supporters in some of the key states where the…


In the face of a stronger opponent, take the fight to the territory that most equalizes your forces —Sun Tzu, The art of war

I’ve always wanted to start a story by quoting Sun Tzu’s The art of war. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a quote that matched what I wanted to say, so I just went ahead and made that one up. Not that such a principle would be out of place in that book, though. …


When Ted had a crush on Stella, his dermatologist, but she rejected him because she just didn’t have the time to date, Ted set up his own version of speed dating where they made their way through dinner, movie, and dessert in only two minutes. A carefully arranged and very cute gesture that ended with the two kissing each other goodbye with gleaming eyes and adorable smiles on their faces. …


Dear old friend,

We go way back, but I don’t think we’ve ever been very close. I want to change that. Consider this letter a means of reaching out to you, opening up my mind and heart, and lending you a hand that, for once, intends to be helping. Let it be a celebration of our history together —one that honors the bad moments, of which there were unfortunately plenty, as much as the good ones— and the first step towards reconciliation. …


Instagram is the New Porn is a story in which I analyze the growing sexualization of the social media app’s content and the impact that this trend has on users.

To evaluate the mechanisms that drove Instagram’s content evolution throughout the years, I drew on my personal experience and the examples set by some of the platform’s most popular users (Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, in this case). But I also used a little personal experiment aimed at demonstrating what I saw as the main truth behind the whole process: that sex sells.

As the original story explains…

The experiment…


Illustration by J.C.

World’s fifth most downloaded app of the year — Instagram — recently turned ten years old (it was originally released on October 6th, 2010). The Internet was filled with articles about the social media giant and overviews of its history: from the cute dog that starred in the first picture ever uploaded, to the current posts by celebrities that amass millions of likes.

One of these articles in particular caught my eye. In its review of Instagram’s most notorious posts to this day, the article quickly moved from the ubiquitous images of celebrities sharing their families, celebrations, and condolences (a…


Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects the skin. If you are not familiar with it, it can be roughly described as a condition that causes red patches of itchy, dry skin to appear on different parts of your body. It varies greatly in intensity and location, but it most commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. According to a 2018 medical research study on the topic, a lucky 63% of adults with psoriasis can add their genitals to the list of areas that are affected at least once during their lifetime. For a much smaller 2–5%…


Sex was a personal chimera for a big chunk of my life. Different factors, mostly shyness and an addiction to porn that I used constantly to kill my libido, kept me from being anywhere close to a sexual experience all the way till my mid-twenties. My virginity was an incredibly pressing issue that, often inadvertently, was taking an increasing toll on my self-esteem.

As I made changes in my life to get out of my comfort zone, I finally started to break out of that shell. I found my purpose, and that purpose was to have sex so that I…

J.C.

Porn addict. Working on myself to overcome my addiction and find happiness.

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