My Breast Friend

Or your best friend has been there. Or you've both been there. Literally. Like in my very favorite Bust story called "Watching Him Fuck Her," where Girlbomb sits in a bar one Friday night and watches as her ex-boyfriend, Katz, makes the moves on her best girlfriend, Claudia.

"Katz wants to have sex with you," I told her. We're candid like that. "What are you kidding?" Her tinny, cordless voice pitched a little high at the end. So she already knew. "No way. You think?" Of course she knew.

Girlbomb sees the attraction—Katz "gives great banter"—but still seethes over their breakup, when she got that tired line about just wanting to be friends:


The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order
Edited by Marcelle Karp and Debbie Stoller
Penguin, 376 pp., $15.95 paper
Buy this book

"I still thought we should see each other," he tells me, which means: He thought he should still be able to come by my house and have sex with me, or call me up late when he was feeling neurotic, yet simultaneously remain free to nakedly scope other women, even while sitting across the table from me at brunch, without me pitching a fit. A likely story. The long, drawn-out, likely story of my life.

In these stories and essays about being female in America, most contributors strike just the right note. The writing is witty and ironic, full of pointed barbs and references that mock our passions but also honor them. There is "Falling From Grace," the story of a 13-year-old girl whose gang of friends formally reject her with a six-point note titled "The reason no one likes you is because" and decorated on the outside of the tight folds with the words "U ASKED 4 IT. SORRY, BUT. FROM EVERY-ONE. SORRY." There is "Waste," a story by a woman whose boyfriend begs her for six years to pee on him during sex: "If I peed on him, I say, I wouldn't be able to look at myself, talk to my mother on the phone, or pee the same way again." There is "More Than a Blow Job," which opens with a little intellectual and moral exercise called The White Room: "Say you're in a small white cubicle with no windows and only a mattress on the floor. Being realistic, how much money would it take to give a blow job to (insert repulsive celebrity)?" From fashion to puberty to bar games, the essays are short, snappy, and full of recognizable moments.

Bust reads—in my vengeful fantasy—like the editors scoured the cubicles of America and collected small gems from all the disaffected, disenchanted, and discounted administrative assistant types whose bad attitude has kept them out of power (and print) until now. "Ours is the magazine for women with something to get off their chests," the editors said. And in a gush of venom, the delightful Bust was born.

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