Culture

Behind the Screens: Alexi Wasser Is Still Boy Crazy After All These Years

Culture

Behind the Screens: Alexi Wasser Is Still Boy Crazy After All These Years

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Alexi Wasser, the writer, blogger, actress, and voice behind IMBOYCRAZY.com, is the rare Internet persona able to spin karmic gold while straddling the public and private void. (IMBOYCRAZY’s tagline: “A pep talk in the form of a slap in the face in the form of a blog.”) Since 2008, Wasser has been peppering the Internet with modern world advice (“wear mascara! what the fuck is your problem? it will only make your life better. trust me.”) and painfully honest insights into the her personal life. A recent post titled “the obligatory female spiral” asked why a girl has “to feel bad about giving her puss away to a guy too quickly?” and shared one of Wasser’s experiences giving up the goods on a first date. After five years of such enlightening and hilarious realness, Wasser has alienated a lover or two, or twenty, gained an adoring readership of teens and modern women, spoken at high schools interviewed beautiful boys, and sold a TV show. During our hour-long chat, Wasser talked the romantic repercussions of sharing it all, how she found herself on the Girls pilot, and why the word “blogger” makers her vom.

Where did the idea for the blog come from?
I had a boyfriend and I was totally inappropriate and would overshare stories about past relationships and really uncomfortable dating experiences. I shouldn’t  have been doing that, but my boyfriend at the time was so entertained by my ridiculous stories he was like, “You gotta start a blog and write all these things down.” And I thought, “Uch. I don’t want to be a blogger. I don’t want to start a blog. That’s so disgusting and weird. No.” And then I thought, “Well, if I must.” [Laughs] So he set up my WordPress account and I started writing and got really into it. I made this promise to myself that if I’m going to write or have a blog and make it better than all the million other blogs, then I had to be the butt of the joke and be really honest and forthcoming and write all my embarrassing stuff, like binge eating, or measuring my thighs, or hating my body, or being really self conscious, or really superficial and all the fucking ridiculous thoughts that go on in my brain, and embarrassing sex stories.

What rules do you think successful blogs, including yours, follow?
The thing is I don’t read other blogs. You know what blogs I read? This is embarrassing, but I read Perez Hilton and that’s it. I don’t really read other blogs. Sometimes I lie and say I read the Huffington Post. For me, I think I was just really honest. It makes me feel weird to say, but mine’s popular because I say shit that other people wouldn’t want to admit to. And maybe that’s why some people don’t like me or wouldn’t want to date me or don’t like my blog. But I feel like you have to be brutally honest, or else you’re just being really polite and it’s just superficial and boring. You also have to keep generating work, and I fall behind on my stuff of late. I don’t want to write sometimes, because I feel like, “Oh god, I’ve been doing this for years, I don’t want to write about every date.” But I have to keep going and have consistency. So you have to be really honest and forthcoming, and then you have to hustle to get people to read it. I know personally for me, I would do crazy things.

Like what?
I would break into high school campuses. I had stickers made, and I basically street teamed the entire school and put stickers up in the bathroom. I would try and pretend I was a high school student, even though I’m 5’11”. I would pass my stickers and buttons out to high school kids, and I’d be like, “Hey do you want these sticker? Here are some buttons!” And they’d be like,”What’s imboycrazy.com?” I would say, “Hey, have you heard of Cory Kennedy?” And they’d be like, “Yeah! the Cobra Snake?” And I know Cory and I know Mark Hunter, whatever that means, and I would say, “Oh yeah, this is like that but different. So check it out.”  And then I would put my stickers onto Urban Outfitters catalogs and on Vice Magazine they had at American Apparel, and that way people thought my blog was endorsed by Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and Vice.

Have you warmed to the term blogger yet?
I haven’t warmed to it. It does have such a stigma. People will call me during my podcasts and they’ll be 18 year-old kids and they want to start a career as a journalist and a writer, and they’ll ask me if being a blogger would hurt their career. And I’m like that’s interesting, because technically I am a blogger. I sold TV shows based on my website. Everything good that’s happened in my life recently has stemmed from me putting myself out there on my blog. So if that’s what being a blogger is, then fuck it I guess I’m a blogger.

There have been over 100 “blind leading the blind” columns which means 1050 pieces of advice. What’s your writing process like. Do you sit down and bang 10 out, or are you constantly making mental notes? What’s your typical day like?
With “the blind leading the blind,” that’s one of my favorite things to write. So with that, I live my life. My days happening, whether I’m going to get a coffee, or going to Whole Foods, or going on a date, or in between, or driving, whenever I notice something, anything that ends up in “the blind leading the blind” column, it’s because I notice it and immediately grab my phone and do a voice memo or write it down on my notes section on my phone. I’m constantly collecting random observations where it’s like, if somebody’s blocking my car when I’m trying to pull out of my parking spot, and they’re like standing by my car texting and smiling, and really engaged in a text, but blocking my car. Then it makes me think. I like texting too and I see myself in that person, but they’re so fucking annoying. I don’t want to be like that. I’ve gotta tell everybody this is how I’m feeling! And then at 4 in the morning when I’m on my computer, because I’m a total insomniac and love writing at night, then I compile all my blind leading the blinds, and then I look at all of them and find the ten that best represent me that week, or how I’m feeling or the ones I like the most, and then I find a picture that is fun and with boobs or something—and usually they’re Terry Richardson photos and Juergen Teller photos—but every day is different. With my writing process. I don’t know, I’ve been so bad at updating my blog lately, because I feel so defensive and I just don’t want to put myself out there this past month.

Is that defensiveness a reaction to your personal life or online criticism?
It’s not only the online reaction, because sometimes that hurts my feelings. They call me a cunt, or a whore, or a slut—just horrible things. If I’m PMSing, then I’ll start crying, or if I’ve got nothing better to do, I’ll really hook into it, but then other days I think, God, can you imagine how many other people said horrible things about Howard Stern or even Kim Kardashian? Just imagine being an actual famous person, and they’re just human beings, and people just rip those people apart. That’s not the life I’m leading. I’m actually flattered if people are talking shit about me or reading my stuff and having an opinion. Let them talk shit. They’re wasting their own time. The reason I haven’t been writing, or I go through spells when I don’t write is because, I just get guarded. I don’t want guys that I date to think that I’m going to write about them, and I don’t want some new person that I might have a crush on to read my website and it’s some crazy girl being like, “World, I had casual sex again!”

What kind of an impact has it had on your love life?
It’s affected my love life in a few ways. I am so self aware during dates, it’s uncomfortable. I would be on a date, and I come out of my body and I’m looking down on my date and I’m like, “Oh my god this is not right. This is not what it’s supposed to be. This guy isn’t a representation of me.” Or it might think, “What’s my face look like?” I’m just so fucking brutally aware and that’s if I don’t really like the guy. Other times I’ll be making out with a guy, and he’ll be like, “You’re not gonna blog about this are you?” And I’ll be like, “No.” Or a guy will be like, “I can hear your inner monologue cuz I read your website.” And I’m like, “Great. I’m not even having an inner monologue.” [Laughs] And the weird thing is I want a guy who likes my website and likes how I write and I want him to like all that stuff and know about it, and be into it, but at the same time I just dated a guy who does like my website and knows about it, and I feel like it’s a little weird, because he knows so much about me and I don’t know anything about him.

How do you see your blog developing? What’s the next step?
As I get older, I’m sure I’m not going to be out at clubs fucking random dudes. I don’t really do that now either, but I kind of want to protect myself a little more and maybe save my stories for a book. I’m not sure what that book is yet, whether it’s a “blind leading the blind” or some memoir thing. Then I’ll make the site more of place where people can have a conversation, where it’s more like advice stuff where a 14-year-old girl can be like, “Oh I just had sex in the back of a car. It was horrible.” And I can give her real advice instead of PG advice that just sounds dorky.

You played Ray’s girlfriend on the first episode of Girls. How did that come about?
That came about because I met Lena Dunham maybe five years go. We have mutual friends that are filmmakers, like Ty West, Joe Swanberg, David Lowery, and Alex Ross Perry. It’s this community of filmmakers who are really talented. I was talking to Joe, and I said, “I really want to make something.” And he said, “You should write something with this girl. Her name’s Lena Dunham.” And I was gonna go to New York anyway to go see Woody Allen play at the Carlyle. So I met her. We had like a blind girl date, and we talked about writing stuff together, and then we started corresponding over email. We kept in touch, and after she did Tiny Furniture, she sold her show Girls  to HBO, and I had sold my show Boy Crazy to Showtime, and we both congratulated each other and it was great. I’m so happy for her. She’s so talented. She texted me one day and was like “I want you to be in the pilot!” And I was like, “Oh my god. Of course, I’m there.” So that just kind of came about. I love her show.

What’s next?
I’m working on the Amazon show that I wrote. Then writing this movie with David Lowery, who just made this movie Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, and continuing with my blog, and continuing with my podcasts. I’m scheduling a speaking tour at high schools. And I’m continuing to date and maybe see where that goes. [Laughs] I’m single, but I’m just not fascinated by anybody. It’s such a bummer. I always think that, “Oh god. I hope I find someone who loves me.” And then I realize, I do meet guys who like me and some of them even love me, but the problem is I’m not interested in them at all. And that’s like such a bummer.

You’ll be fine.
[Laughs] Oh my god you have to include that—where you had to talk me off the ledge. You can include this,”Maybe I shouldn’t have done this interview when I’m totally PMSing.”