How to avoid the shift

How to avoid the shift

While we have had a plethora (read: three) of female contributors in our time, Knight’s Atari has been subject to some scrutiny in the past on the matter of our “female-friendliness”.

With this in mind, today’s article is written by a new columnist who identifies as a cis, straight, under-weight, third-wave feminist who reviles the patriarchy but still likes the D.

How to avoid the shift1

Whether you’ve got a handsome beau waiting for you at home, are saving your lips for marriage, or just aren’t keen on contracting any of the numerous respiratory infections that are spread through saliva, the situation may arise at some stage during your years of courtship that you may not actually be up for the shift on a night out.

Fear not, for Knight’s Atari are here to share a few nuggets of wisdom we’ve gained from many years of not getting some.

  1. Stay sober.

Intoxication is the number-one measure of one’s likelihood to get down and dirty on a night out.

If you’re hoping to avoid any lustful temptations, or becoming a target of someone else’s affections, you should consider skipping pre-drinks2, at the very least.

The last thing you want is to allow yourself to relax and have fun; someone might succeed in changing your mind or taking advantage of your lowered inhibitions. You’re going to need your wits about you to throw the more insistent ones off. You can’t just go expecting them to take your word for it when you say no.

  1. Go out with a group of better looking people.

Assemble your cute friends to detract attention from yourself on the dancefloor. But bear in mind that if your attractive companions have high standards, you might find yourself the target of suitors who are on the prowl for a 6/10 who is feeling a bit insecure in her too-tight playsuit. Your best bet in this case is to proceed straight to Steps 4 and 5, below.

  1. Be ready with an answer for the inevitable “why not?”

Nowadays, “I’m just not feeling it” isn’t really a good enough excuse for not wanting to get down tonight.

“Because I’m not interested”, “Because I’m here to dance with my friends” and “because I said so”, are all quite confrontational responses that are best to be avoided.

You will find that the kind of suitors who reply defensively to your rejection tend to be the ones with over-inflated (read: fragile) egos. The best way to cushion their disappointment is of course, to state your tenure to another male. They are much more likely to respect a fellow man’s entitlement to your bodily integrity over your own.

Your choices range from “I have a boyfriend”, to “my brother’s here”, or even “I have a three year old son”. Any or a combination of those should do the trick quite well.

And if it’s a case that some poor pock-marked sod lands you with a puppy-eyed “is it because I’m not good looking?” don’t be afraid to step on his feelings with a definitive and sincere, “yes”.

  1. Don’t be afraid to be purposefully unattractive.

This one might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of girls who think that they can go out looking respectable and then complain about being bothered by people looking for sexual partners.

Your first inclination might be to lash on the fake tan and eyelashes, but they are like catnip to a certain breed of lusty punter. You will need to go for something that’s repulsive on a primal level to guarantee your isolation. Why not pull a tampon out of your handbag while you excuse yourself away from conversation to go to the restroom? (nothing scares single men more than the harsh realities of the menstrual cycle). Maybe mention that your bowel movements haven’t been great lately. Or if you’re feeling particularly creative, consider rubbing some cat-piss behind your ears on your way out of the house.

On one memorable occasion in the Front Door in Galway3, I made the mistake of apologising for being “crabby” with a guy who was trying his luck with me. Mishearing, he replied “did you just say you’ve got crabs?” I was past the point of caring at this stage. “Yeah, and chlamydia too!” Worked like a charm.

A word of advice to the rationally-minded among you: while covering up the target physical areas (chest, legs and ass) may seem like a safe bet to deter potential suitors, you will find that there is a certain cohort of gentlemen who are intrigued by the mystery of a well-tailored skater-dress with a high-collar.

If you frequent establishments with this type of clientele, you might be better to go for something a little more subtle, like bad breath, cheap perfume, or a loud propensity for Hilary Clinton’s4 social policy.

  1. Be stone cold. Show no weakness.

Above all, adopt a stony demeanour. They can smell fear. Avoid eye contact at all times. Check your phone whenever possible and pretend not to know the words to anything by Ariana Grande5.

Don’t be shy about getting physical on the dancefloor. By which I mean proficient use of the elbows, and aiming low.

If you’re going to hide in the smoking room for the night, don’t bring cigarettes or a lighter, and don’t consider asking for them either.

And if none of the above garner you any success, preferably you might want to avoid being female altogether, if at all possible. Or, you know, just stay at home.



1. Shift: Sticking your tongue in a person’s mouth and hoping that someone gets aroused.

2. Pre-drinks: Drinking before you go out drinking. In case, heaven forbid, you’re not drunk enough come 4 a.m.

3. Front Door in Galway: Local watering hole.

4. Hilary Clinton: Not Donald Trump.

5. Ariana Grande: Just another child star turned pop star (the one with the ponytail).

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