Tag Archives: dating

Apps for Bootycalling?

This week for Role/Reboot I “reviewed” a new Facebook app called “Bang with Friends.” In theory, it’s a discreet way to figure out which of your friends are down to hook up with you. In practice, I found it to be a quick reminder of why you don’t sleep with your friends.

I tested it with a willing friend, just to see what happens. We indicated we were down to bang each other (literally, the button you press per friend is “Down to bang!”), which opened up a little mini-messaging conversation that went like this:

Me: Hey baby, let’s get a little more comfortable. 

Me: I would never write that. That’s what this silly thing made me do.

Him: mmmm, sounds good.

Me: gross. 

If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on Bang With Friends, casual sex, secret admirers, and FWB relationships, read on:

Will A New App Reinvent The Booty Call?

Related Post: Sex on the first date? I made a flowchart!

Related Post: The “end” of courtship?

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Filed under Gender, Republished!, Sex

On Compliments

After all the street harassment hullaballoo died down and the digital dust settled, a few questions remained. High on the list was the issue of compliments, and in its most hostile form, it goes something like this: “Why do you feminists ruin everything! No sparkly engagement rings, no vajazzling, no letting guys pay for my shit; you guys suck the fun out of everything. And now I can’t even receive a goddamn compliment on my haircut without being objectified? WHERE IS THE LINE.”

Can a guy give a girl a compliment on the way she looks without being a creeper? Yeah, for sure. But given the history of skeezy “complimenting” (read: catcalling, negging, leering, ogling, harassing, bragging to bros, etc), it’s kind of a fine line to walk when it comes to complimenting strangers. The “safe space” seems to be a lot easier to find with friends and coworkers.

I polled the internet (yes, all of it, the ENTIRE internet) to see how men and women feel about compliments from strangers. Here’s where I landed:

Compliments Are Great; Expecting Something From Me In Return Is Not

Related Post: That time we compared church to dating.

Related Post: That idiot “End of Courtship” NYT article.

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Filed under Gender, Republished!

Nicks, Davids and Mikes: OkCupid by the Numbers

I’ve tried to count and tally the last two years of okcupid dates with limited success, so here’s a different approach. Still can’t remember who Paul is….

Parents during the 80s were not super creative. Can you guess which guys weren't white?

Parents during the 80s were not super creative.

While my roommate makes fun of me for consistently visiting the same four restaurants, the data would suggest otherwise (though I do obviously have favorites):

Restaurants2For you Chicagoans, that looks something like this:

Dates - Google MapsAnd now, most important of all:

kissed?Related Post: OkCupid had a kickass blog

Related Post: An OkCupid message contest

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Filed under Chicago

Courtship

Ahh, the good old days

Ahh, the good old days

Bluuuuurgh. So many people have sent me this idiotic article in the Times on the “End of Courtship” and asked for comment.

I tend to assume that anything that starts with the “end of X” is bound to be histrionic, and this doesn’t disappoint. I have so many strong, negative reactions to this article that I’m having a seriously hard time putting them on paper. The words that come to mind are the following: dumb, moron, silly, archaic, inane, yuck, blech, for realz? See? Those are not even all the same parts of speech!

Slate already did a pretty great job of tearing this bad boy up, so go check that out. In the meantime, here are my biggest beefs:

1. Could you get any more heteronormative? You know what makes courtship a lot easier? When people view each other as people (you know, like other human beings with interests and opinions and preferences and experiences) and go from there. We could all take a couple of pages out of the queer dating handbook and maybe not rely on chromosomes to determine who buys the beers…

2. Ladies, if you want fancy dinners, pay for your own goddamn meal! We are all in our twenties. We are all broke as shit. We are all paying off loans. Do you seriously think an equally broke, equally debt-burdened dude should be buying you stuff because he has a penis? For real? How does that make any sense?

3. What was so great about back-in-the-day? Yeah, courtship looks different, but were the olden days really so golden? Look around you, do you know what you’d be doing if you were dating in the 50s? There might be some malted milkshakes or a whatever, but you’d also be married at 21, you probably wouldn’t have gone to college, and you’d have two or three kids running around your ankles right now. There’s nothing wrong with that, but man, isn’t it nice to have choices?

4. Buying shit is not the way to be gentlemanly. Paying for my crab rangoon does not show me you’re “gentlemanly,” any old schmuck can apply for a credit card. Listening to me talk, answering my questions thoughtfully, asking follow-up questions, respecting my opinions, that’s gentlemanly behavior. Also ladylike behavior! Isn’t that cool how basic courtesy and conversational skills are gender-neutral? Neat-o!

5. Respecting my autonomy is sexy. Do any women ever find it sexy for a man to order on their behalf without asking? Is this a thing? I really can’t imagine a scenario in which this doesn’t result in me leaving the table. If we’re sharing wine, ask my opinion, okay? If I don’t care, I’ll tell you, and you can pick. But the presumption ordering for me? Ick, you don’t even know me!

6. Women are not prizes. “Cheryl Yeoh, a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco, said that she has been on many formal dates of late — plays, fancy restaurants. One suitor even presented her with red roses. For her, the old traditions are alive simply because she refuses to put up with anything less. She generally refuses to go on any date that is not set up a week in advance, involving a degree of forethought. “If he really wants you,” Ms. Yeoh, 29, said, “he has to put in some effort.” Ummmmm, what? Asking for a plan in advance is not unreasonable (see: basic courtesy), but this is the most one-sided load of baloney. If he really wants you? What if you really want him? Does he have to spend a certain amount for you to put out? Is this some sort of transaction? Gross.

Related Post: Online dating, how to make it less unpleasant.

Related Post: Why I like first dates so much…

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Filed under Gender, Media, Sex

Litany Part 2

And this isn’t even half of it…

A while back, I wrote a post influenced by a Modern Love column and a book with an excellent title. The post chronicled a series of dates with just a sentence or two apiece. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget two hours of stranger talk the minute you walk out the door.

You may have seen the picture at right already on Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Thingsbut it just fits so well. A few more recent entries….

Ate tacos with a teddy bear of a guy who distributed beer in Chicago for a Brooklyn brewery. As a parting gift, he gave me two bottles of a new line out of the trunk of his car.

Bearded lumberjack in red flannel and a newsboy who had just moved to Chicago. Worked as a developer for one of the Chicago papers.

He was 22, but I went with it because,… well, why not? Spent most of college commuting to Chicago for school so he could take care of his grandmother in Indiana. Lots of tattoos, spoke with a lisp, reminded me several times that he had lots of older friends.

An extremely attractive Indian-American doctor who worked 90 hours a week and was mostly fascinated by the story of my parents’ relationship. “I’ve always been fascinated by divorce,” he said.

A 34-year-old graphic designer raised by his mom and two sisters. He didn’t drink at dinner because he was training for a muy thai fight that weekend.

Thai lunch with a 33-year-old guy two weeks before he moved back to Los Angeles. We mostly talked about his multi-racial “Benetton ad” family and Chicago segregation.

Two dates with a short contractor with the same name as my dad. Too bad I wasn’t feeling it, the third date was going to be pumpkin carving.

Three dates with a 36-year-old divorced trader. Well, three dates if you count the beer we had at the airport after meeting on the orange line. He wore a lot of jewelry and all his Facebook photos were of him skiing.

Related Post: Litany Pt. 1

Related Post: The break-up museum

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Filed under Chicago

That Time We Compared Dating to Church

New piece up at Role/Reboot with a handy, roommate-provided church analogy for dating. It begins:

My roommate has an analogy for the relationship between the dating game and the pursuit of an actual partnership. Going on first dates is like going to church, she says, or praying. These are the chores we suffer through in the hopes that we eventually find God. In pursuit of a greater, deeper, more substantial relationship, we practice hope over and over by returning to the site of greatest possibility, the first date. But what if, in this analogy, I’m not looking for faith, I just really, really like to go to church?

Related Post: The litany of first dates…

Related Post: 5 Rules for happier hunting in the world of online dating

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Filed under Gender, Republished!

Sweet Potato Fries

This week at Role/Reboot, I wrote about one of my favorite subjects, online dating! I know, I know, I just have so many opinions on the subject that I just can’t help myself. My focus this week was how to actually have a good time on the date itself. Key words: low pressure + honesty.

Related Post: My piece for GMP on happier hunting on the interwebz.

Related Post: An OkCupid message contest.

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Filed under Gender, Republished!, Sex

Step-parent at 24? No thanks.

New essay up at The Good Men Project about dating single parents, “creative” families, responsibility, and why step-parenting is the most thankless role in the modern family.

Related Post: Same title structure, different article… Could I Fall in Love with a Bus Driver?

Related Post: Why I believe in joint custody.

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Filed under Family, Gender, Republished!

The Break-up Museum

To follow-up my light and fluffy Role/Reboot piece about period sex, I decided to switch gears and go a little deep and emo. Here’s this week’s essay on the idea of The Break-up Museum, aka All That Stuff You Left in My Apartment aka What Am I Supposed to Do with All These Sticks?

Related Post: First date sex.

Related Post: The litany of online dates.

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Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Republished!

Mixed Messaging

One of the nice things about having your own blog is that nobody but you controls the headlines, images, captions, or advertising. The downside, of course, is that your only readers are the ones that find their way to your little corner of the internet. And so, sometimes we make tradeoffs, in the name of expanded readership.

Here is an article I wrote for Minerva Place, that online lady mag I mentioned a few weeks ago. When I submitted the piece, I called it “Curvy Girl Dating,” or some such nonsense. The piece got retitled “Real Women Have Curves.” Oy! How embarassing! The concept of “real” womanhood is one I have railed against time and again. The idea that body shape is what makes us “real” women is my least favorite and the laziest trope of the body positive movements. Real women are skinny and fat and voluptuous and svelte and flat-chested and pear-shaped and tall and short and blah blah blah. You know the drill.

And yet, there it is, right above my byline.

What’s more, the ads surrounding my piece (which is about body acceptance and body positivity…) are weight-loss ads. Double oy. When you give your writing to other people to share, you give up some serious contextual control. Online ads are often keyword triggered, which leads to some very confusing ad/article pairings. Love your body! Get rid of your fat! Everybody is different and it’s beautiful! Look like the people on magazines! Mixed messaging much?

What do you think? Is it worth trying to reach a new target audience when you sacrifice some of the decision-making power to people (or automated ad generators) who may not be on the same page?

Related Post: Curve Appeal vs. American Apparel’s Next Big Thing contest

Related Post: Tyra Banks thinks calling plus size women “fiercely real” is a good thing…

Related Post: One gentleman didn’t think I “sounded” curvy on an online dating profile.

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Filed under Advertising, Body Image, Republished!