Give it to me straight
By Max Hill
I’m butt naked, holding my privates in my cupped hands, running around a cabin in the woods at full speed.
There’s no cellphone reception and it’s well past midnight. I can barely see through the beads of sweat running down my face. Among me are my coworkers, half of whom are equally nude, the other half watching us with amusement. We are split by gender. The latter group — the clothed one — includes my boss. Later on in the night, I will have yogurt licked off of my chest by a man nearly ten years my senior. This man is also, in a way, my boss.
We are all very drunk, and we are playing truth or dare.
Most will tell you that picking truth over dare is lame or cowardly or a refuge for those unwilling or unable to party hard, and they may have a point. But as someone who has done his fair share of both, I can tell you this: you learn more about people from truth than from dare.
Truth gives us a chance to ask each other the probing, sometimes uncomfortable questions we’re all secretly dying to ask each other. It’s in these quiet, tense moments where you really start to understand someone: how they react under pressure, what they are willing to share about themselves with strangers or with friends. Pull back the safety blanket of politeness, add a healthy dose of alcohol, and it turns out you can learn a lot more about a person than you might imagine.
And you know what? I may cringe at some of the things I’ve admitted due to choosing truth, but I don’t regret them. That’s the name of the game — and frankly, the idea of a party game centred around getting to know each other better seems pretty progressive to me.
You may remember fondly, as I do, your most extraordinary dares. Your friends may mention them now and then, congratulating you on your exploits. But I can tell you with confidence that no one knew me any better the morning after seeing my naked ass.
By Joel MacKenzie
So I was talked into a game of truth or dare. Or, more likely, the majority of those around me have collectively decided we’re playing.
Truth. Truth. Truth. The majority of the time, I chose to not be dared. With truth, I didn’t have to respond with complete honesty. I could hone my lying ability, give a half-answer, or give a yes/no response that only hints at the true truth. Every one of such choices was a chance to exercise my slick, fast-talking muscles that have never felt strong enough. Congratulations, Joel: you’re a better deceiver than you were moments earlier. Who was I fooling?
I’m a pretty honest person, but choosing truth allowed a different, sneakier form of dishonesty, too: there is an opportunity, albeit a small one, that I’ll be given a chance to air something that I’ve wanted to say, and haven’t had a reason to.
But how can I live my life this way? If passivity were personified, it would be me, there, sheepishly hoping to be handed an opportunity for self-expression, or to lie my way out of a tight spot, back into my sheltered reality.
There was a point in my life when I stopped playing the game like this, when I stopped preferring the weak, plain, instant coffee-equivalent of these two choices. The time came, eventually, when I chose bold. Full flavoured. Dark, double Americano. I chose to be dared.
In choosing this, I choose to be pushed. Make me do something I wouldn’t imagine doing otherwise. Dare my disgust for mayonnaise. Dare my fear of improvising a ballad about myself while I wear someone else’s clothes in front of an audience. Challenge me to give up something I hold dear, whether it’s as fickle as a favourite mug, or as monumental as my ego.
And if the dare is too much, I can only dare my way out of it. I don’t talk or persuade out, just use real, solid action.
I’m done with living scared. I need to show how I feel, and I need to push out from the comfortable, yet stale, dank hole I’ve curled myself into.
But I don’t always know how to do that. I need your help.