COED Goes 'Downtown' with Shallon Lester


With a funny, clever, and honest personality, professional writer Shallon Lester charmed her way onto MTV with her reality show, Downtown Girls. Although Shallon doesn’t claim to be an expert on anything, COED has witnessed her advice span from everything such as handjobs, to beer funnels in the bedroom, and of course, the root of her reality show, all things friendship. Here’s some more first-hand accounts from Shallon:

1. A guy once asked me while we were having sex if I could tell he had scoliosis. So, what is the strangest thing you’ve ever heard during sex and how did you react?
I had a searing crush on this guy who had a girlfriend but one night last winter, the sexual tension boiled over and we ended up in bed together. He’d cheated on his GF loads of times but apparently there was something about me that really sent him over the moral edge: in the middle of the hook up, he stops, looks down at me lying there in naked perfection and wailed miserably, “Oh GOD! I can’t believe I’m doing this!” before bursting into tears. He cried for two hours. Did I mention that he was 3 inches shorter than me, fat and balding? Yeah.
2. What is an instant deal breaker in a relationship?
A guy who’s cheap. If you don’t have a lot of money, there are a ton of romantic things you can do for free—picnics, arson, sex, etc. But if a guy is going to take me out, he’d better not stiff the waitress or pull out dinner coupons. A man who’s tight with money certainly won’t be generous with his affection or in the bedroom!
3. A lot of people have a hard time adjusting from college life to “the real world” upon graduation. What was the hardest part of becoming a post-grad in your opinion?
So many things! I knew deep down that I wanted to be a writer, but it just seemed so risky and so difficult that I kept suppressing the dream. After four years of working my butt off at Cal Poly, I thought that life should be handing me opportunities on a silver platter, but it wasn’t. Even with a degree, you still have to claw your way up the ladder so you might as well just swallow your pride and git ‘er done.
4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to meet or score a date with a guy?
When I was an editor at FHM, I developed this horrible, searing crush on a famous musician. I vowed that one way or another, I would meet him. So, one by one, I interviewed all of his friends in other bands, and circled closer and closer to him, like a shark…or a stalker. Finally, we did meet and had got along famously! But, a few weeks later he married Ashlee Simpson. Hey, you win some you lose some.
5. You’re from Southern California, so when you first moved to New York City did you feel a little overwhelmed by the difference in location and cultures? How did you handle it?

NY is the exact opposite of Orange County—New York is busy, exciting, smelly, difficult, and thrilling. It’s actually really easy to make friends; the whole city is full of other young people who moved away from home to chase their dreams. But the winter suuuuuuucks. I don’t get this whole “seasons” thing, and frankly, I don’t want to.
6. What was the moment or incident that made you feel like you could officially call New York home?
Last Christmas, I was cruising around Target with my mom and a lady told me to stop texting and watch where I was walking. The old me, the California me, would’ve just mumbled “Excuse me.” But when I found myself yelling, “Shut your fat mouth, ugly!” I knew I’d finally become a New Yorker!
7. There is all this talk about college-aged women using sex as a way to empower themselves in their personal relationships and throughout their life. However, a lot of people say that women are doing changed?
For my friends and I, sex is like food: we need it. Ideally, it’d be a nice, gourmet, top-of-the-line experience at a restaurant you truly loved…but sometimes a bitch has to go through the drive-thru, yaknowwhati’msayin? I’m fine with a little casual sex, but not everyone is that way and I CERTAINLY wasn’t during college! There’s nothing wrong or inauthentic about the “hook up culture”…when you’re in your mid-twenties and older. But when you’re 18, that’s not healthy for you. Your own sense of self isn’t fully formed enough to really be able to handle and truly enjoy casual relationships. Point is: random sex is great, just don’t rush into it.
8. In a recent Cosmo interview, Fergie (from the Black Eyed Peas) said that she is both “the Madonna and the Whore.” Do you think women have to live up to this dichotomy in order to be seen as sexy? Also, do you think women have to be both and not either/or?
We absolutely do. Never underestimate a man’s need to have a “lady in the street, freak in the sheets.” It is their ultimate goal, just like women want a “bad boy”—a guy who’s edgy with everyone but sweet to them.
9. Do you have any crazy intern or first-job stories?
My first job out of college, I worked at a tanning salon. For whatever reason, the managers decided that my name was “too weird” and told everyone to call me Carmen. They didn’t seem to care that I was blonde, pale and not from Puerto Rico.
10. It seems like everyone wants to be on some kind of reality show today. How did the opportunity to be on Downtown Girls come to light? Why do you think that you were picked over other bloggers similar to you (for example, Julia Allison has been shopping around a pilot/reality deal for years, but nothing has ever moved forward)?
MTV sought me out while I was a gossip writer for the New York Daily News. They thought I embodied the girls of my generation—bold, smart, ambitious and not afraid to go after the guys she wants. But there are a lot of other bloggers out there who are similar, but I don’t pretend to be richer/cooler/hotter than I am and I’m not afraid to poke fun at myself, which makes me more relatable.
11. Do you have any rules for the internet and what you put out there in your blogs? Are there boundaries about what you’ll post or do you feel like you can lay it all out there?
I never used to, until I ruined quite a few relationships after boys found less than flattering blog posts about themselves online. Now, (at the very least) I use fake names. But for the most part, I tell guys up front that they’ll only be written about if they do something very good…or very bad. In a way, I think it keeps the boys I date accountable for their actions—they know that if they turn into a giant douche, the whole world wide web is going to hear about it and there’s not a damn thing they can do!
12. At the end of the day, what’s your ultimate career goal?
MTV never really mentions this, but I’m a two-time published author, not just some a-hole with a blog. Next spring Random House is releasing my latest book, Exes and Ohs:  A Downtown Girl’s (Mostly Awkward) Tales of Love, Revenge, and a Little Facebook Stalking. I want to keep writing books and would love to do more seasons of Downtown Girls, or maybe have a travel show. Oh and marry a pro-athlete; that’s pretty high on the list!
13. Last but not least, what is your signature cocktail?
A shot of Crown with a Bud Light chaser!

Want more from Shallon? Check out her personal blog and follow her on Twitter!

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