Reality Check

Yeah, I watched Sex in the City.  Not first run, ’cause I don’t have cable, but in reruns.    One of the episodes that made an impression on me is when Carrie was hired to teach a Learning Annex class on where to meet men.  Hundreds of women show up, and of course she has nothing new or insightful to tell them.  I can relate to the women in that audience in a way that I never could to the 4 characters on the show.  They represented the real single women of Manhattan. They didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on designer clothes and shoes and bags and they didn’t get invited to trendy night club openings.  But they were there, trying, willing to try anything, even willing to shell out a few bucks and humiliate themselves by showing up at a Learning Annex class because they were tired of being single.  They didn’t see single-ness as a great adventure, to be chronicled in a weekly column or blogged about.  They were lonely.

I’ve been pretty lucky as far as single women in New York go.  I’m not freakishly shy (unless I have to walk into a party alone – that one still gets me every time) and I don’t have any weird hang-ups about online dating and so I date a lot. Less than I used to, sure, because I’ve passed the deadly age of 35 and I refuse to lie about my age and well, for a lot of guys I’ve passed my expiration date.  But still, a lot. There are literally thousands of straight, smart, attractive single guys in New York.  Of course, most of them either just want to get laid or can’t figure out what they want but are perfectly happy to jerk you around until they figure it out.  I put the odds of meeting one of the few good ones, one of the ones worth trying to build a life with at somewhere around 1 in 50.  A girl’s got to kiss a lot of frogs.
I’ve already kissed more than my fair share and then some.

I Was Warned Redux

For our second date he asked me out to dinner, in his neighborhood, a long subway ride away from my apartment and an exorbitently expensive nighttime cab ride home. It seemed pretty clear to me that he was thinking I’d spend the night at his place.

I accepted his invitation but I promised myself and made a big show of saying to my friends that there was no way in hell that I was going back to his place after dinner. And then, of course, I did go back to his place after dinner. And I spent the night. And, yeah, the sex was amazing.

That’s probably why I put up with him for so long and why he bothered to pretend that he wanted more than to just get laid. There’s something to be said for knowing that no matter what, your sex life rocks. Then again, I eventually ended it. Great sex is good, but it’s not everything.

Dating in the Slow Lane

So last night was my third date with necking guy. For those of you who are just reading this blog for the first time, here’s the quick info on necking guy – good first date: fun, smart, interesting, cute (in a white bread kind of way that I don’t usually go for, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons), a little touchy and a quick kiss but all pretty innocent and sweet. Maybe too sweet. I kind of expected him to say, “Aw, shucks”.

Things heated up on our second date, but only slightly. We went out to dinner and had a nice conversation. He grabbed my hand and held it and played with it during dinner – sweet but again, almost too sweet. After dinner we went for a walk (we were a short walk from his apt, btw) and ended up at a local playground, swinging on a swingset. He pushed me on a swing for a good five minutes and then we ended up necking like a couple of kids, in the park with nowhere to go for privacy.

So last night was our third date. I had to be in my neighborhood until 8:30, prior obligations, and so I suggested we meet for a late dinner somewhere near my apt. We had a lovely dinner at a place of his choosing( I suggested he choose a place and that caused quite a mini drama of indecision on his part) and after dessert I suggested we go for a walk. I aimed us towards my apartment.

When we reached my building I stopped for a few minutes to see how he would react. He stood there, like a fool, a good two feet from me. So I had no choice, it was up to me. I asked him if he’d like to come up for a few minutes. I almost didn’t, since he wasn’t even making an effort (and I like my guys to be the ones to do that stuff) but I did.

We went upstairs and within a few minutes we were on my sofa kissing – very, very slowly. I’ll spare you most of the details, but here’s the summary. An hour and fifteen minutes later we were still on the sofa. Still kissing. Most of our clothes were still on (my shirt was gone but as I decided to dress kind of slutty, it was only a little, lacy tank top anyway). I was determined to let things proceed at his speed, as frustrating and bewildering as that was for me. An hour and fifteen minutes of making out on the sofa with most of our clothes on – that was his speed.

At that point it was 12:15 and I was tired. Just plain tired. So I told him it was time for me to ask him to leave. And he actually protested. Meekly, but he protested. A feeble, “are you sure you want me to go?” Jeez, he’d been there for over an hour already and we were still in the slow lane. When was he planning on making a move? I’d worn my slutty, I-want-to-get-laid tank top and then invited him up to my apartment and he was too clueless or slow or, lord knows what, to close the deal. Really, I don’t think it’s me. I wasn’t being unclear. I was sending out all the right signals.

Whatever the issue was, miscommunication or different expectations, I don’t think I’m cut out for dating in the slow lane. The guy’s sweet, sure. But all of his sweetness is getting on my last nerve.


Writing in response to my Circling Back Around entry a few days back, cjwss suggested that I come up with some kind of hierarchy of categories, as right now I am assessing every guy I go out with as an applicant for future life partner status.

So first, some clarification from me.  I absolutely am looking at each date as a potential life partner.  I do not want to waste another night/week/month/year of my life with a guy who might be perfectly nice, might be great in bed, might be funny (add in whatever other positive attributes you like) but in the end is not ever going to turn into a real bf or significant LTR.  I AM OLD.  I REPEAT, I AM OLD.  And I’m tired of sleeping alone.  I know, from experience that I am happier when I have a partner.  I am looking for someone to be a partner for a long haul, maybe not the long haul (not too sure I believe in the whole happily ever after thing) but a good long time.
I am not desperate.  My biological clock isn’t driving me nuts.  I do not waste countless hours wishing I had a guy and dreaming about my perfect man and imagining my fantasy wedding.  I know that according to the media that I am supposed to be and do all of those things, but that’s not me.  Not even a little.  I just know what I want, what’s going to make me happiest at this point in my life and I’m willing to put in a little effort towards finding it.  I know most people believe that you can’t look for love, and that might very well be true, but I’m certainly not going to find it sitting alone in my apartment with a good book (which is probably what I’d be doing most of those nights if I wasn’t dating).
I have gone through long stretches of time where my head was in other things (usually work) and I was perfectly happy to have the not-serious bf who I knew was never going to turn into anything.  And as I have written about before, I have had, and still have fuckbuddies for when I am in between relationships.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always had that hierarchy.  It’s existed in my life for as long as I can remember.  There are the 1s (fuckbuddies) who are good for sex and short conversation and would never get to spend the night, not in a million years.  There are the 2s (guys I’ve dated knowing full well it was never going to turn into anything) who might be fun for dinner, movies or parties, in addition to sex, and heck they can stay the night if they don’t snore too much. Then there are the 3s.  The 1s and the 2s are easy to find, especially in NYC.  Not so with the 3s. The 3s are the guys you take home to your family, who help you fix your broken furniture, who keep you warm on cold nights.
I don’t care how many dates I have to go on to find one, that’s what I want, one of those elusive 3s.  I’ve had my fill of the others for now.  Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future if my current search continues to go poorly.  Who knows?  But for now I’m sticking to my guns.  3 or nothing at all.

Crappy Update

Early this morning I received an email from my fuckbuddy.  The thing he’s working on now is going to run until midnight tonight instead of 7ish as he had originally thought.  I’m not mad. Disappointed but not mad.  This is not the first time this has happened with him and I know better than to count on him keeping plans unless they’re made a couple of hours before we’re planning to get together.  We’ll try for another time soon.

So I’m using the time to take some advice given to me by a friendly blogger.  I’ve been aware of tags for awhile but that’s just one more thing I didn’t fully understand.  But I just read something that said that Blogger labels will ping as Technorati tags so I went back and tagged my last 20 posts.  The next time I have time to kill (like at work tomorrow) I’ll go back and hit the rest of them.
So sorry, no steamy tales of tonight’s tryst. You weren’t going to get them anyway.

Much TMI for My Real World Friends – You’ve Been Warned

It was 18 years ago, but I still remember the conversation vividly because of some pretty big life stuff that happened in the weeks that followed. I was 20 yrs old, hanging out with one of my friends in her apartment, talking about the new guy in my life. She asked me his last name. I told her I didn’t know it, and what’s more, it seemed like an odd question to me. “Last name, why would I care about a guy’s last name?” She got rather huffy with me and said, “Look, ___, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be sleeping with some guy if you don’t even know his last name.” I laughed at her and said something about there not being much sleep involved.

In the years since then, I’ve had sex with several more men whose last names I never learned. I don’t actually know how many. OK, that’s a lie. I could figure it out if I really wanted to, but I don’t want to.

I’ve also, and judge me however you want for this, had sex with a couple of people whose first names I never bothered with.

I’ve had and continue to have fuck-buddies who are little more than casual encounters with whom I exchange occasional emails about whether or not they’re free to come over and play.

God this is embarrassing.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, it brings me to this. Over the last few days there has been an interesting exchange of ideas between this blog and over at Hammertime . Earlier, after Hammer and I exchanged some comments on each other’s blogs (oh wait – I just checked and he didn’t post my comments – whatever), he sent me an email. He took the conversation off blog. He thought I was annoyed and didn’t, in his words, want to hijack my blog. Anyway, this is what he wrote to me:

“I totally get that as humans we have this desire to be unique and not be grouped in with others, but I think that you are vastly underestimating the evolutionary basis for attraction.Men have evolved to be attracted to child bearing characteristics so that their offspring are more likely to survive childbirth. This is why men are so visual.

Women have evolved to be attracted to guys who will be able to protect and provide for their young. This is why alpha male and leadership characteristics are so attractive to women. This is why celebrity status and power are so attractive to women. One of the biggest fears for survival of a woman’s genes is that the man will impregnate her and then leave her to care for the baby on her own. This is why women want to have some kind of emotional connection with men before they sleep with them. It’s why women typically get a little anxiety right before sex with a new guy despite having been imaging it for days.

We have not had contraception until very recently in our evolutionary history, which is why our genetic makeup need only lead us to desire sex and not necessarily unprotected sex.”

Honestly, I laughed when I read this. I know he is an earnest young man. And I know he really believes this stuff. I am not trying to denigrate his beliefs or make him look foolish. As I have tried to point out, more than once, there is a world of difference between our levels of experience – both relationship/sexual and life experience. But as he is so insistent I will address his comments directly.

I have absolutely no need for an emotional connection with a man before sex. ABSOLUTELY. NO. NEED. I don’t even need to know his name. Sex Chat is fun. It’s recreation. It can also be more than that, but doesn’t need to be.

I do not get a little anxiety right before sex with a new guy. Unless of course you count worrying that he might suck (‘cause yeah, a lot of you guys are horrible lays – you watch too much damn porn) and be a waste of my time.

I do not think I am an atypical woman. I think there are lots of different types of women in the world. My old friend, the one who lectured me about knowing a guy’s last name, she’d fit a lot of his stereotypes. But I don’t know too many others who would.

Life is really, really short. It’s scary how short it is. I have no time for generalizations and other random silliness. I realize there are people who take great comfort in that sort of thing, trying to sort and categorize and predict. I guess it would be comforting to believe that you actually know how people will act before you meet them and get to know them. As I said when I first introduced myself to folks out here, I don’t pretend to know a damn thing. I’m just figuring it out day by day, as I go along. And I guess I feel strong enough, and confident enough in who I am as a person nowadays to live with that uncertainty.

Waking Up With Someone

I can’t imagine living somewhere that didn’t have seasons. I love it when the leaves change colors. I love the cool spring nights. I love the snow. I even love the sticky New York summers, when I need to hang out by the river to stay cool.

But I do hate how cold the mornings are in the winter. These last couple of weeks have been the first really cold weeks. Each day, I pull my covers around myself tightly as my alarm goes off in the morning and think, “damn, I hate waking up alone”. ‘Cause you see, someone lying next to me, cuddling, would keep me warm. That’s not the only thing that someone would be good for, mind you, but with the mornings as cold as they are, that’s what I’m thinking about first.

Let me be crystal clear here, I am super picky about who is allowed to spend the night in my bed. Fuck buddies don’t get to spend the night. Not even if I’ve known them for years (which happens to he the case for one of them). Not casual flings either. Not even potential bfs. The only guys I spend the night with are bonafide boyfriends. That means I have already decided that this is someone I care a lot about. He’s no longer auditioning for a role in my life. He’s earned it.

I wasn’t always so much of a hardass about this. I’ve taken the walk of shame more than a couple of times (The walk of shame, for those of you who’ve never heard the phrase is when you spend the night with someone you weren’t planning to, maybe because you just picked them up. You spend the night at their place w/o any of your stuff and wake up w/o toothbrush, hairbrush or any grooming products and have to go home in last nights clothes looking like something the cat spit up.) And I’ve let guys I didn’t know too well spend the night at my place. Then it hit me a few years ago. Fucking is about fun, but sleeping with someone , and waking up with them was actually about intimacy and that why couldn’t I just be clear about having one w/o the other. Have my cake and eat it too. So I have sex when I want to with whom I want to (not just any random person, you know anyone I felt attracted to and wanted to meet and fuck for whatever reason – I don’t consider that random as I’m kind of picky) but only SLEEP with my boyfriends.

It’s nearing a year since my last LTR imploded. That’s a really long time to be sleeping alone. I’ve gone longer, sure. But still, it’s a really long time. It feels like a really long time. And the fact that it’s so freaking cold right now and I wake up every morning wishing for that body next to me, it’s not helping things.

Needs and Wants

In my last post I disclosed my need for a guy who takes the lead.  (I know, from experience, that if I try to have a relationship with a man who doesn’t want to have that role in our relationship then I’m going to be miserable). I’m still dealing with family stuff and so I’m not in town/dating and I have plenty of time to think. I got to thinking  about what other things I need from a man, and what things I merely want.

-I need a man who is essentially kind. Kindness is an underrated value in our society. Everyone is always talking about wanting to meet a “nice guy”. Well screw that.  You can keep your nice guys. Nice is just the way someone acts.  Kindness is about an inner generosity or caring.
-I need him to be empathetic.  Empathy is an odd thing.  If you have it you feel it automatically for the people around you. Empathy allows you to share the lives of the people you care about in a rich and profound way. But if you don’t learn it as a child, it’s hard to acquire as an adult. There are lots of people out here in the world who don’t feel empathy. I tried to have a relationship with one of them.  It was hard. Painful and hard. I couldn’t do that again.
-I need a guy who likes sex as much as I do.  This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not. I’ve had relationships that were strained because the guy was happy enough to have sex a couple of times a week.  That’s not enough for me (not when I’m IN A RELATIONSHIP).
-He needs to have a sense of perspective. If he loves his work, great.  If he hates his work, that’s cool, too. Whatever. If he’s writing a screenplay or the great American novel or a punk opera… I need him to understand that whatever he’s working on is not the most important thing in the world.  The world doesn’t revolve around him (nor me) and he needs to have interests and opinions about the world outside his work/passion.
-I need a guy who’s happy, with himself and his life. A miserable guy makes a miserable boyfriend.
-I need a guy who is confident.
I know, that’s not your average list of needs. I’m one odd chick, I guess.
And now for my wants.  Those are ‘easier’:
-I want a guy who likes to have silly fun, sometimes- let’s go for a 5 hour walk because it’s a nice day, or climb a tree, or go kayaking on the Hudson.
-I want a guy who like to have grown-up fun, sometimes – let’s get dressed up and find the best Manhattan in Manhattan or listen to some amazing jazz (I’ve got a closet full of little black dresses, dammit).
-I want a guy who’s got a little bit of geek or screw-up inside of him. A big lesson learned for me in recent years is that golden boys make lousy partners. You know the types, the ones who’ve always been successful, always gotten everything they wanted. I’d much rather have a guy who struggled a bit in his past, who couldn’t get a date or a job or maybe started a business that failed. A guy who’s learned some humility.
Too much to ask for?

Following the Tangent – An Even Bigger WTF

A couple of years ago I met this guy and we went out for a drink. It was an unremarkable date (attractive and intelligent but arrogant – the classic NY triple) except for the fact that as I was leaving he grabbed me and gave me a pretty fabulous kiss.  We emailed back and forth to try to arrange a second date but kept on stumbling over scheduling and eventually I gave up.  I was just really busy with work back then and he was completely inflexible.

About 6-8 months later our paths crossed again and he asked me out again.  I said yes and we had another pleasant enough date.  I made it clear to him that I was seeking a LTR (eventually) and if he was looking for something casual then we were a mismatch.  After dinner there was a considerable amount of PDA out on the street and it was all rather good, but I felt he was pushing things too fast and said so.
Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know I’m no prude. Far from it.  I just didn’t think it’d be helpful for us to have sex that night.  I wanted to get to know him a little better before things got sexual. Otherwise the sex, if it was good, might’ve taken over the relationship.
For our next date he invited me over to his house for the afternoon.  He had one of those fabulous brownstones in Brooklyn with  a big, beautiful garden. It was the summer and we were hanging out in the garden.
At some point he took me for a tour of the house and we started to kiss. And, well, I should’ve known that he wasn’t going to be happy with things moving slow.  He wasn’t that kind of a guy. And so I left.  I figured I knew all I needed to know about him.  If he wasn’t mature enough to respect my desire to get to know him a little better (it was our 3rd or 2nd date, depending on whether you counted the one from many months before as who could even remember who said what from back then) before we got naked then he wasn’t the kind of guy I wanted in my life. I thought that was the end of it.
A couple of days later I got an email from him.  I wish I saved it. He said that since we weren’t well suited for a relationship (those weren’t his words, damn I wish I saved that email) perhaps I’d like to join him in a threesome. He then went on to describe in some detail what that might be like and to draw my attention to the attachment of the photo of the very attractive woman he was referencing.  Now again, for my frequent readers, you know I am not a prude. I didn’t wilt from embarrassment at the thought of a threesome.  I did, however, laugh my ass off as I read that email. It was one of the few occasions where I managed to keep myself from replying. There were no appropriate words for what I was thinking.  Except, of course, what the fuck? 


This week is getting wilder by the day.   I thought I’d post a quick update before bed.

But first, I see I have a lot of new readers this week.  How cool.  Welcome to all of you.  Please let me know what you like best and least about the blog.  I am still figuring a lot of this stuff out.  I am a writer and don’t really understand a lot of the online world (I just learned some blogger and html basics last week so that I don’t feel so clueless).
I was scheduled to see the bad dater for dinner tomorrow night but I’ve rescheduled that until Sunday.  I got an email from one of my fuck buddies today.  He just got back into town and, well, it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other and wealways have a good time together. Quite frankly I need a guaranteed good time (Which is different than getting laid, btw.  Sex is sex and sure it’s nice to get laid tonight, but some people are just better than others.) more than a pleasant dinner date.
Updates later in the week, I promise.