Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sex Tips: Eye Contact

Every girl wants to feel like she’s amazing in bed.

Even though we firmly believe that you’re there to please yourself, not your man, we understand that the competitive spirit that dominates our lives makes us want to feel like we’re number 1 at all times.

And because performance anxiety makes some girls so nervous that they can’t enjoy sex, we’re willing to share a few secrets to male pleasure so you can be so confident enough in the boudoir to enjoy yourself at all times.

Today’s tip: unexpected eye contact.

This is less of a go-to move and more of an icing-on-the-cake to pull out (no pun intended) every once in a while.

Guys see eye contact as a sign of enthusiasm, and, like we’ve said before, enthusiasm is the number one thing that turns guys on in bed. When you lock eyes mid-coitus, it makes it seem like you’re so focused on how good it feels that you’re not thinking about anything else.

This is especially effective with blowjobs. Most guys know that blowjobs aren’t a girl’s favorite pastime. But the more enthusiastic you seem, the more they enjoy it. It’s hard to moan when your mouth is focused on other things, but staring into his eyes is an easy way to make him feel like you’re getting off by getting him off.

Locking eyes is also a turn-on in unexpected positions. Try turning around and making eye contact during doggy style or reverse cowgirl. He won’t be expecting it, and that further validation will send him over the edge.

But be careful: this trick is easy to abuse. Too much eye contact gets creepy, especially in plain-vanilla positions where eye contact is kind of inevitable. Don’t stare at him too much if he’s on top (missionary-style) or if you’re on top in cowgirl. That kind of eye contact could make him feel uncomfortable, the way you start to squirm when someone stares directly at you throughout an entire two-hour meeting.

We’re taking off early for New Year’s. See you all next week!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Survey the District: When Are We Hanging Out?

Dear Date the District,

I have noticed recently all the guys interested in me won't physically ask me out! All they say is "When are we hanging out?" I don't like that they put it in my court. It's very passive aggressive! HELP!

We don’t like it, either.

It sounds like these guys are both lazy and afraid of rejection. If they ask you out, you can say no. But “When are we hanging out?” isn’t a yes-or-no question, which makes it harder for you to flat-out turn them down. It also means they don’t have to come up with a plan or put in very much effort.

It sounds like these guys are testing the waters.

Guys sometimes try to see how little they can get away with. We’ve talked about this before: guys are more likely to prioritize the physical aspects of a relationship and see everything else as “work.” So when it comes to hooking up, the less they have to do, the better.

But, nine times out of ten, if a guy is (soberly) attracted to you enough to hook up with you, he finds you attractive enough to date you.

Guys aren’t always as picky as girls are when it comes to physical attributes. They’ll talk a big talk, but, when it comes down it to it, every girl has boobs and a vagina. And guys are way more interested in those two body parts than they are in your eyes or the shape of your nose.

It’s the way you act, not the way you look, that’ll determine whether or not a guy wants to date you. Plenty of hot girls throw themselves at every guy that looks twice. That doesn’t mean that guys won’t hook up with these girls. But after the hot girl sends the third, “I’m starting to really fall in love with you :)” text after just as many dates, the guy’s going to stop responding.

So when guys ask you when you’re going to hang out, they are putting the ball in your court. And you can either throw yourself at them, or you can play cool.

If you say something like, “I dunno, you never call me!” or “Whenever you ask me out,” you’re making yourself look very available. And that’s going to make you look less attractive in his eyes.

Instead, say something like, “I know, sorry--I’ve been really busy.” That makes it look like the ball’s been in your court the whole time, and you’ve been the one who’s been trying to see how little you can get away with.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lessons in Love from the Jersey Shore: Part 2

Yesterday, we talked about Snooki’s not-so-smooth moves on the MTV is-this-really-real? reality TV show Jersey Shore.

Today, we’re going to talk about Sammi, a somewhat cuter version of Snooki who gets involved with a fellow castmate, Ronnie, who’s determined “not to fall in love at the Jersey Shore.”

So isn’t it so cute/surprising that he ends up hooking up with Sammi?? It’s so meant to be, it’s almost like the producers planned it.

Anyway, so Sammi and Ronnie start hooking up, and Ronnie takes Sammi on a date, and he pays, which is how Sammi knows “it’s for real.”

But then they all get wasted and go to a club, where Ronnie (who, by the way, is the only character without a nickname) starts dancing with another girl. Sammi is obviously pissed, so she decides to flirt with a firefighter (yes, a firefighter) and give him her phone number.

This sends Ronnie storming out of the club. The two have a teary reunion a few hours later (yes, Ronnie cries), which seems to signal that this fight is a thing of the past.

When Sammi saw Ronnie grinding up on some random chick, she could have confronted him on the spot. She could have told him what an asshole he was and threatened to break up with him.

And here’s how Ronnie (probably) would have reacted: He would have accused her of making a big deal out of nothing. He would have dismissed it as “just fun.” He would have used this as an excuse to bring up things like, “Well, I’m not sure we’re ready to be exclusive.”

Ronnie did try to play down what he did in the confessional. But that wasn’t (the bulk) of what he said to Sammi. Because she showed him what it’d feel like not to be with her, he was suddenly reminded of how much he wanted to date her (remember, he cried). And so he would do anything to get her back—including apologizing for what he did and swearing he’d never do it again.

While this whole back-and-forth isn’t the healthiest way to approach a relationship, Sammi got what she wanted. And Snooki didn’t.

This isn’t to say that you can learn much about dating from watching Jersey Shore. In fact, few of their relationships (or even male-female interactions) are healthy, let alone enviable. But the show does let the audience spy on 20-something mating rituals from both sides. And a careful viewer might learn a thing or two about how to tame someone who’s just looking for sex.
Or not.

OK, we can’t believe we spent this much time analyzing Jersey Shore. Back to the real world tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lessons in Love from the Jersey Shore

While we were snowed in this weekend, we somehow ended up watching a marathon of Jersey Shore.

We don’t usually get sucked into reality TV, but Jersey Shore is like eavesdropping on your neighbor’s divorce—or slowly watching eight 20-somethings develop skin cancer.

Anyway, we weren’t watching that closely, but we did notice two female characters (castmates?) had dramatically ways of approaching the summer fling.

First, there’s everyone’s favorite housemate, Snooki. Snooki is like the ugly friend of all the popular girls who thinks flirting means getting black-out and acting like a total ditz. We say “like” because the other girls aren’t much better. But Snooki is definitely the least attractive girl in the house, and she acts like she knows it.

Snooki blows it with every guy she hits on. She makes out with a girl in a hot tub full of people (and admits that she’s doing it “for the guys”), and then, two seconds later, makes out with one of the guys, who seems to recoil in disgust. She manages to get one guy to spend the night with her on the beach, but he seems to regain dignity as he sobers up, and they don’t do anything.

Snooki seems to approach things with a “this is who I am, deal with it” attitude. This makes great television, but does little for her lovelife.

Lesson 1: Getting sloppy is never sexy. For whatever reason, some girls don’t get this. They think it shows that they’re fun, or that they can keep up with the guys. Or they just think they need to get that drunk to make a move.

But there’s nothing less attractive than a drunk girl. If you don’t believe us, check out the “Drunk Girl” skits on SNL. We’re not saying you should abstain from alcohol all together, but don’t get plastered in front of a guy you like.

Lesson 2: Don’t be too aggressive. We’re not saying guys aren’t turned on by girl-on-girl make-outs. But forced girl-on-girl make-outs (i.e., making out with your best friend to impress a group of guys) don’t make you look good.

When the guys went back to the confessional, no one said, “The way Snooki grabbed that chick, yo, I dunno, I’d never realized how sexy she was before, yo.” They kind of said, “That was wild,” but they didn’t sound that excited about it.

Then there was the way Snooki literally grabbed The Situation (because we refused to call him by any other name) and shoved her tongue down this throat. He kind of pulled away at first, and, again, we didn’t get a confessional like, “Oh man, yo, when she grabbed me I was all, ‘Damn girl!’”, which roughly translates to, “I wasn’t interested.”

Check back tomorrow for our review of Sammi’s successes (and failures).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

International Make-Out Artist: Sufjan Stevens

So what, exactly, is the international make-out song?

The summer before college, a lot of guys who spent their high school years dry humping pillows anticipate the transition to bro-dom and decide to learn guitar. Most Dispatch songs can be played with only one or two chords, so the training isn’t especially difficult, and a guitar coupled with shaggy longish hair is the shortest way into a girl’s heart (and pants).

International make-out songs, in theory, are songs that are so easy to play that 1) any bro can learn to play them with Google and a half hour, 2) said bros can sit on their beds in their freshmen dorms with their doors open and play said songs over and over until the cute girl from down the hall comes in and says, “Ohmygod, I love Dashboard!”, and 3) said girl will immediately begin to make out with said bro, and the songs are so simple that the bro doesn’t even have to stop playing while swapping spit.

Famous international make-out songs include Dashboard’s “Screaming Infedilities,” Dispatch’s “Out Loud,” and Oasis’s “Wonderwall.”

International make-out songs, by definition, have to be slightly obscure. Not so obscure that people haven’t heard of them, but obscure enough that they’re hard to find on the radio. But now that the “bro” identity has taken a definite turn towards hipster, we’ve noticed that international make-out songs are more and more likely to be found on Pitchfork.

The newest international make-out artist? Sufjan Stevens. Beloved by hipsters and evangelical Christians alike, this guy makes girls want to take their pants off (even though he’s probably saving it for marriage).

Bros, ready your tabs.

And of course, the one everyone’s heard:

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Girl's Guide to Getting Off: In Bed

Coming is easier for guys.

It’s not fair, but it’s true. It probably has something to do with social constructs: the fact that it’s more socially acceptable for guys to jerk off and to start masturbating at a younger age. It might also have something to do with the fact that a male orgasm is necessary from an evolutionary standpoint. A woman doesn’t have to come to make a baby. A guy does.

It often takes women longer to learn how to have an orgasm. And when they do finally figure out what gets them off, they can’t always climax during coitus.

Some girls expect to orgasm the first time they have sex. And some do, but, for the rest of us, it doesn’t come that easily.

Maybe you’ve never had an orgasm before. Maybe you can only have one when it’s just you and your vibrator. Maybe you only come when a guy goes down on you. And maybe you come from just thinking about sex and have no idea what we’re talking about.

The fact is (and we know you’ve heard this a million times), it’s all normal. Orgasming is much more of a (for lack of a better word) skill that takes some women longer to learn.

And it really is something you have to teach yourself how to do. There’s no magic do-this-and-you-will-orgasm-every-time technique. It takes a lot of experimenting to find a way to reach climax with a partner. And it takes even more work to orgasm from plain vanilla penis-in-vagina sex.

Why do we bring this up? Because the more we talk to women about sex, the more we realize that there are a lot of post-pubescent women who’ve never even had an orgasm. Or they’re not sure if they have. Or they want to have them more regularly, or from sex, or on their own.

This is something that’s not always easy to talk about with friends. And it’s not something that’s easily cured by masturbation, no matter how many virgin sex columnists write their first column about how “outraged” they are that female masturbation is such a taboo subject, and the fact that they masturbate all the time (and are in fact probably masturbating to their own perceived profundity while writing said clichéd column), and how every girl’s sexual problems would all be solved if she simply had the courage to introduce herself to everyone she met by saying, “Hi, I’m Jane, and don’t worry about shaking my hand, because I always wash them after my frequent masturbation sessions.”

If that gets you off, great. But if it doesn’t, and you’re looking for ways to amp up your orgasms, read on. We’re going to talk a lot about orgasms a lot in the upcoming weeks, but today, we’re going to talk about girls who know how to orgasm but have trouble climaxing from intercourse alone.

First, figure out what does get you off. What’s the quickest, easiest way for you to come? Whatever that is, try to incorporate it into intercourse.

Maybe your nipples are the key to peak arousal. Maybe you get off when a guy strokes your inner thighs. Either stimulate those areas yourself during sex, or ask your partner to do it for you.

This is where some girls start to feel shy. They think a guy will be turned off if he finds out that they have foot fetishes or like getting a finger in their back doors.

But here’s what they don’t know: guys love it when their partners get off.

For guys, orgasms are a pretty regular occurrence. Most guys that we know jerk off at least a few times a week, some do it daily. They pretty much have a routine down and can get off fast. And while the sensation might be different in a mouth or a vagina, at the end of the day, an orgasm is an orgasm.

So why are guys obsessed with sex? For them, it’s less about the orgasm, which they can get whenever they want, and more about the other things that come with sex: namely, getting to see a real live naked girl, and feeling sexually desired.

Guys can’t make themselves feel sexually desired with their hands. And that’s why the love it when girls are really into doing them, because it’s the one part of sex you really can’t fake. Every guy wants to feel like he’s amazing in bed, and the louder you are, the more he can believe he’s a sex god.

So if you know something that’ll work for you, don’t be shy. Don’t say, “Um, so, I was wondering if you could, like, finger me while we’re doing it.” Instead, provide clear directions, and say something like, “You know, if you rub my clit while I’m fucking you, it’ll really make me scream.”

Of course, some of these conversations will feel more natural if you wait till you’re in the middle of the act. You’re both hot and bothered, your inhibitions are lowered, and most guys get turned on when women are assertive in bed.

But if you don’t know what works for you, here’s a hint: clitoral stimulation.

For most girls, the clitoris is the shortest path to orgasm. The problem is, standard positions (like missionary, girl on top, reverse cowgirl, etc.) usually don’t do anything for this sexual organ.

If you can find a way to stimulate your clitoris during penetration, you have a better chance of having an orgasm.

Women’s magazines always ntell you that if you rub your clitoris during sex, you’ll come. That works for some people, but it’s not a guarantee.

Here’s a trick one of our friends taught us: if you get on top and lean really far forward (so that you’re almost lying on top of your partner), you can rub your clitoris up against his penis as you’re moving up and down the shaft. It takes some positioning, and you may have to hold the lips of your vagina apart to make sure you’re getting full contact, but once you’re set up, the sensation is similar to what you’d feel if you were grinding up against him in a naked make-out (only more intense).

We’ll share a few more easy-to-orgasm positions later this week. But let us know if this one works for you at

Friday, December 18, 2009

Follow Friday

We still don’t really get the point of “Follow Friday” on Twitter, but we did want to take today to share two cool dating blogs we found this week.

The first is a post from And That’s Why You’re Single, an interesting, if brutally honest, relationship blog that favors the question-and-answer format.

I have always been attracted to Caucasian men, considering I’m a black female it makes it harder for me to approach them or strike a conversation. My question is which would be the best places for me to hang out to increase my chances of meeting one, and are there any social gatherings for people with this interest in DC.

I don't know of specific organizations that cater to bi-racial dating. I do know certain speeddating events that offer Ethnicity X Female/White Male events. I rarely see any Ethnicity X Male/White Female Events. For some reason, the white male is "the get."

When I used to organize speeddating events for another company, I never liked the idea of planning these types of events. I felt it was feeding in to a fetish. I mean, I'm sorry, but there just felt something skeevy to me about hosting an Asian Female/Caucasian Male event. And I was always unsettled by men and women who who "only" dated men/women of a specific ethnicity other than their own. To some degree there seemed to be a level of stereotyping going on with that.

There's also quiet a bit of controversy amongst each individual race/ethnicity when it comes to dating outside that specific ethnicity. Many feel betrayed if someone chooses to date someone else outside of their race. But, again, my knowledge of this is limited and am anxious to hear what others who have experienced this have to say. My niece and nephew are bi-racial and I do wonder about when they get older and begin to date. Will they only date white men and women because that's what they are surrounded by? Is who we are attracted to based on our environment and what we know?

I'm also intrigued by this idea that people who don't date outside of their race are deemed racist. Is being attracted to a specific ethnicity racist?

I wonder if some women (caucasian and non-caucasian) who will only date caucasian men do so because they attach some level of status or accomplishment to such relationships. I don't find anything about the caucasian male that stands out or is "better." But then, I'm whitey white girl who grew up in a white town and have only dated white guys. So, of course I'm not going to find anything exotic or unique about them because I see them all the time.Plus, I've dated so many and seen/met some many that are less than stellar that I just don't get the appeal. But again. I'm white and I was born and raised here, so my understanding an experience is limited to my narrow little world view.

Here's what I think: I think white men are bigger Equal Opportunity Daters than white women. Meaning, white men are more open to dating women of other ethnicities than white women are. But that's just my opinion and certainly not fact. So, if you are attracted to caucasian men, I don't think you need to go to events specifically targeted events. I think you'd have the same success rate at any open/multi-racial event than you would a targeted social opportunity.

Here’s our take:
For the most part, we don’t think you can help who you’re attracted to. But some people place restrictions on who they’ll date that are purely based on race and/or religion (i.e., only dating Jews, Catholics, blacks, whites, Asians, etc.).

If you grow up surrounded by people who all look a certain way, you’re probably more likely to develop a very specific definition of beauty that doesn’t have much range. Like when guys say that they’re only attracted to blondes.

We definitely think you’re limiting yourself if you’re only attracted to people of a specific race, but it can be hard to overcome deeply embedded social norms. But only being attracted to people of a specific race and only wanting to date people of a specific race are two different things—although we’re not going to fight that battle on this blog.

The religion thing is more perplexing. While we understand that some people want to raise their children a certain way (and would therefore not want to date someone who wants his children to have a different upbringing), the “I only date Catholics/Jews/Muslims/Episcopalians” starts years before anyone should be thinking about marriage (i.e., in high school).

The more restrictions you place on the “type” of person you’re willing to date, the harder it’s going to be to find some version of “The One.” And while these types of decisions are intensely personal, we hope that you do some serious thinking before you decide to exclude an entire group of people from your dating pool.


Our second pick is a blog called Dating with Disabilities. It’s written by Melissa Blake, who, as the title suggests, is navigating the dating world with a visibly physical disability.

Ms. Blake, a freelance writer by trade, is quick to admit that she’s somewhat of a novice in the dating game. And while we didn’t always agree with her advice, we did appreciate her fresh and unique perspective on male/female interactions.

Her best posts chronicle her own dating adventures—mishaps and all—and what’s perhaps most fascinating is her positive outlook. Ms. Blake is looking for love, and she’s not as jaded about it as most 27-year-olds.

Ms. Blake throws rules out the window. She’s very against mind games and manipulation. That’s because she doesn’t operate on the date-as-many-guys-as-I-can-to-find-The-One, occasionally-randomly-hook-up-so-I-don’t-go-crazy schedule that the urban 20-something seems to fall into.

What we love most about “Dating with Disabilities” is when Ms. Blake describes the giddy, “I-can’t-believe-he’s-sitting-in-my-bed” feeling that we’d almost forgotten about. When you remove sex from the equation, it’s easier to remember why we’re doing this. It’s not to trick the best guy you can into sticking around, it’s to find someone who makes you feel like you’re thirteen again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Not to Do: "The Talk"

When a guy’s behaving badly, it often feels like grand gestures are in order.

After one of our friends received two 3 a.m. texts this weekend (which she didn’t return), we had to restrain her from jumping on the Metro Sunday morning to go “yell at him and explain that I don’t play games.”

But threatening bodily injury isn’t necessarily going to scare him into inviting you to be in a relationship on Facebook.

So what can you do to encourage a guy to treat you the way you want to be treated?

The key is not to be too direct about it.

No one likes to feel that he’s being forced into doing something. The worst thing you can do is tell your guy that you need to “talk.”

In an ideal world, we’d all sit around and talk about our feelings and expectations and no one would ever get hurt.

But the real world, as we know, is far from ideal, a truth that was reaffirmed the other day when we overheard the following conversation in a coffee shop:

Bro 1: My girlfriend keeps bugging me to hang out with her.
Bro 2: Dude, that sucks.
Bro 1: She’s all, “We never hang out.”
Bro 2: Yeah.
Bro 1: But, it’s like, the more she tells me we have to hang out, the less I want to.

People don’t like being told what to do. That’s why teenagers break every rule their parents set and young adults spend a good deal of their 20s rebelling against everything their upbringing stood for (which explains why we studied economics for three years… oops).

So when you start telling a guy, “You have to introduce me as your girlfriend,” that proclamation becomes another chore that immediately seems as unappealing as spending a Friday night doing laundry.

If you call him out on doing something wrong, he’s going to get defensive. It’s human nature. When a friend calls you and asks you to explain why she hasn’t heard from you in two weeks, you’re immediately on the defense. The whole interaction is very uncomfortable, so you begin by listing excuses, and then you start wondering what right she has to attack you like this, and so maybe you lash out at her—but regardless, you don’t think, “Hm, that was a bitch move on my part—I’ll make sure I don’t do that again.”

When a guy does something wrong, the reason you want to confront him to make sure he doesn’t repeat it.

But confrontation isn’t going to get you what you want, and he’ll be more likely to get angry and start thinking you’re a crazy bitch.

Asking nicely can be tricky too—especially in the early stages of a relationship. If you’ve been casually hooking up with a guy for a few weeks and you tell him, “Look, I really like you, but I want you to start taking me out with your friends once a week,” he might do it. But chances are, he’ll be acting out of a sense of obligation.

There’s nothing sexy about an obligation. That’s why housemates always fight over who has to take out the trash.

And the mystery is gone. He knows he has to do X to get Y. Like we’ve said before, mystery can be a powerful force of attraction. People tune into CSI because it keeps them guessing until the end. If the CSI version of Las Vegas installed closed-circuit cameras in every hotel room, no one would watch the show. Instead of calling the crime lab, the detectives would head to a projection room. It might take them a few minutes to pull the tape, but, even on a lazy Friday afternoon, the case would be solved in ten uneventful minutes.

It’s the same way when it comes to sex. The less you know about someone, the sexier they seem. Have you ever been out with a guy who laid way too much on the table on a first date? You probably didn’t agree to a second date.

On the other hand, you know the cute guy in your office that you’ve only talked to a few times? You don’t know him at all, but you spend the 3 p.m. slump daydreaming about all the cool things he does on the weekends and how good he’d be in bed. But you’d rather go through a 6-month dry spell than hook up with your best guy friend who constantly talks to you about jerking off.

The more you get to know someone, the more you notice their flaws. But when there’s a lot that you don’t know about someone, you can imagine them as being a lot closer to perfect than any real person could ever be. These ideal mental images are a lot sexier than the real guy that you know, from experience, gets really bad gas after he eats ice-cream.

When you tell a guy exactly what you want, you also run the risk of exposing insecurities. If you have friends and a life, why do you need him to call you every day? The more you start demanding he do, the more needy and clingy you’re going to seem.

So, if you’re not going to confront him, what should you do to make sure he treats you right? We’ll talk about that next week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Seeing Where It Goes

“I just want to see where it goes.”

We hear that a lot when our friends start seeing a new guy. And while it’s good not to get ahead of yourself, it’s always better to approach a relationship with a clear understanding of your own expectations.

Like we’ve talked about before, the words “boyfriend” and “relationship” are really vague, empty terms. When one girl says she wants guy X to be her boyfriend, she might just mean she wants to exclusively hook up. But when her best friend uses the same word, she could be talking about nightly sleepovers and conversations about what to name their kids.

So while it’s fine to “see where things go,” you better have a clear picture of what you want the final destination to be.

Otherwise, it’s easy to end up as just a friend (with benefits).

When you come up with your own definition of what you’re looking for, it’s easy to nip negative behavior in the bud. (We’ll talk about how tomorrow.) You’ll also be more motivated to make sure you get what you want.

If you’re just “seeing where things go,” you’re more likely to keep things casual. Who cares if he never invites you out on dates or only texts when he’s wasting? You’re just testing the waters.

Once you’ve established a pattern of late-night hookups and sketchy communication, it’s harder to transition into “In a Relationship” on Facebook.

So while it’s fine to take things slowly and get to know each other, make sure you set certain standards and boundaries. Don’t tell him about them, but if you know you’re not looking for 3 a.m. booty calls, it’s easier to ignore the text when it comes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

News Round-Up: Ashley Dupre

You’ve probably heard that Spitzer’s femme fatale, Ashley Dupre, found a new job in the sex industry.

When you’re looking for advice, it makes sense to turn to a professional. You’d think that someone who makes a living doling out blowjobs would have something insightful to say about sex. But after reading her column, we’re not so sure her services are worth $4,300.

We’ve posted a few of her words of advice below, along with how we would have answered the question.

How do I know if my daughter may be getting into trouble? -- Meredith, 40, Queens

What she said:
It's all a matter of having the right perspective and approach. Most teenagers will do stupid things. What were you doing when you were a teenager? For a long time I was actually an honor-roll student and a great kid. I respected my parents and my elders.

Things really changed for me when my brother ran away when he was 15 and my parents were terrified that the same thing would happen to me, so they were incredibly strict with me . . . and that caused me to rebel and go the opposite way.

If your daughter is getting good grades, shows you respect and has a good head on her shoulders, give her room to go out, grow and make mistakes. And be there when she falls. I would definitely educate her on what is out there in the world to be wary of.
Sometimes instilling a little (but not too much) fear into her is not a bad thing. It validates your concerns so she won't think you're just being an overbearing, overprotective parent who isn't ready for her to grow up.

She is growing up, whether you like it or not. I suggest you be able to talk to her about boys, sex, alcohol and drugs, because they're around and kids do experiment. Would you rather educate her or have her getting alcohol-poisoning at a party? I'm not saying that you should condone that behavior, but you need to help her manage peer pressure and you do that not by saying "don't do any of it, it's all bad." We all know that sometimes we're attracted to the forbidden fruit.

What we would have said: This is a sex column, not an episode of Maury.

Are there telltale signs a man isn't happy in his marriage? -- J. Marshall, 37, East Village

What she said: Guys are primal. They're proud and need to be treated like they're proud and special.

Girlfriends do that for the most part. But I think that wives with children have so much pressure on them, the natural thing is for the kids to take priority. The husband feels secondary and in one form or another may seek out that required special attention outside the marriage.

Guys are so easy to please and I don't just mean sexually. We all need to feel loved and appreciated. Ask yourself, when was the last time you did something to make your husband feel loved, special and appreciated . . . and if you can't remember, then that's your sign right there.
The children are a product of your love for each other. Your relationship should always be priority. Always. Remember, happy parents usually means happy children.

What we would have said: You know, when I’m looking for advice on a marriage, I generally turn to a woman who’s destroyed one.

My boyfriend wants to know how many men I've slept with. Do I give an honest answer? --Anonymous, NYC

What she said: You don't give him an answer at all. It's really none of his business (and vice versa).

It's like you asking him how many lap dances he's gotten in his life. You know you've each slept with people in the past. It's part of being an adult and has nothing to do with your relationship now and your possible future together.

Some things are better left unsaid.

What we would have said: For once, we actually completely agree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday News Roundup: Making a Connection

Two articles about sex/dating caught our eye this weekend.

The first one comes from the Lavanya Ramanathan at the Washington Post. It’s called “Making a Connection,” and it discusses the unique challenges of dating in three decades: your 20s, your 30s, and your 40s. You can read the full article here, but here’s an excerpt from the section on dating in your 20s:

What we're about to say may infuriate you. It may prompt you to send us angry missives about ageism. But here goes:

The rest of us could learn a thing or two from the dating habits of 20-somethings.

Our dating experts all suggest the same approach to dating at any age: Relax (or at least appear to be unaware of the incessant, pounding tick-tock of your internal clocks) and your charms will shine through.

No one does this better than people in their 20s. (The first dates that can make the rest of us so nervous? A 25-year-old will casually call them "hanging out.")

Of course, 20-somethings have good reason to be relaxed about love. Their dating pool is a virtual ocean, still teeming with cute, smart, upwardly mobile types. And they often have the opportunity to dive right in: There are bars, work outings, social groups and even strange, retro sports leagues that can all serve as venues to meet that special someone…

Twenty-somethings get out there. If a relationship doesn't work out, they keep optimistically forging ahead -- a strategy everyone should try…

Washington does pose some major challenges for 20-something daters, not the least of which is trying to go out in the city on a ramen-noodle budget…

At any age, first and second dates should feel organic and low-pressure. Hit the zoo, a festival or an art event. Check out a jazz club. Walk there if you can.

Our verdict: We like the idea of taking each date one step at a time and not worrying about whether or not he’ll make a good husband just because he ordered pâté on the first date. We also agree with the article’s take on breaking things off and moving on as soon as you realize that it’s not working, and its suggestion that meeting guys in bars is a terrible idea.

But we don’t think they got everything right.

While dating in your 20s might not be as hard as dating in your 30s and 40s, it certainly isn’t easy. We’d love to find Ms. Ramanathan’s “virtual ocean” stocked with an infinite number of “catches.” In our experience, the problem with dating in DC isn’t the price of an entrée at 1789, it’s finding a person you actually want to spend an entire dinner with.

Yes, there are probably more single 20-somethings than there are single 30-somethings. But that doesn’t mean that your future partner is going to be a cute guy in a suit who asks for your number at Potbelly’s (or posts about you later on Missed Connections).

You have to wade through a lot of ex-frat boys with huge egos and significantly smaller potential to find the one guy who’s worth investing in. And if you sit back and wait for it to happen, your chances of finding someone you can start thinking about a future with are going to drop.

This doesn’t mean you should approach guys in bars. It doesn’t mean you should lower your standards or freak out because you’re not going on enough dates.

But it does mean you should act in a way that’ll make the good ones want to stick around.

Ms. Ramanathan complains that:

Books tell us the only way to master dating is to approach it like chess players: He makes his move, then you make yours. Then no one calls anyone for three days.

But those of us who have attempted to find The One know there's about as much strategy involved as fumbling for a light switch in the dark. You try bars, friends-of-friends, the Internet. You consider arranged marriage.

Yes, it’s hard to find eligible bachelors. But what she seems to argue is, when you find the right guy, you don’t have to worry about playing games, because all the cards will fall into place. The problem, according to the author, is finding that guy.

But if finding that guy is so hard, why do things that will set you back in the dating game? Why bring a guy home for a naked make-out because you’re only 25, and there are plenty of guys out there who could turn out to be “The One?”

The thing about The One is, you usually realize he’s The One after you’ve already started engaging in less-than-girlfriendy behavior, like going over to his apartment at 2 a.m. for sex and thinking that will encourage him to make dinner plans with you.

First dates are awkward and nerve-wracking, and it’s hard to decide if you click with your date when all you can think about is whether or not you have food stuck in your teeth. You might write him off because he blows his nose in his napkin, put him on the “hook-up only list,” and three weeks of booty calls later, realize that he shares your love of French poetry.

While it’d be great if the pressure could somehow be lifted from first dates, it’s not going to happen as long as the fear of rejection keeps third-wheeling. And if you start approaching dates as “hanging out,” most of them are going to take place in a tiny studio in Georgetown, and there’s going to be a lot more hooking up than hanging out.

Because good dates are so hard to find, you don’t want to blow it. And while it may seem silly and immature and unfair, playing hard to get will get you more second dates than texting him five minutes after he drops you off.

Friday, December 11, 2009

When You Can't Ignore a Text

Like we’ve said before, a weak-thumbed texter is usually not worth your time.

But when you really like a guy and don’t hear from him for two weeks, it can hard to ignore the text he finally does send.

If you can’t stop yourself from responding, at least try to communicate on your terms.

Take our friend’s latest conversations with one of her hookups. They’ve gotten into the habit of hanging out at his place, but she wants to spend time outside of the bedroom.

He texted her on a Monday night and asked her if she wanted to come over. She replied, “I have plans tonight. Friday would be better.”

Her schedule was actually wide open that night, except for her regular spin class. But because she hadn’t heard from him in a while, she didn’t want to make it look like she was ready to drop everything to see him. And she didn’t say, “How about Friday?”, which would give him the final say. Instead, she told him what the plan was, which it seem like she was calling the shots.

As it turns out, he had a dinner Friday evening, but would be back around ten. He asked her if she wanted to come over then. She replied, “Ten would probably be too late to go out and do something. Some other time.”

She didn’t say, “No thanks, I’m only going to hook up with you if you start taking me out.” But that’s the message she sent. He ended up canceling his dinner plans.

This isn’t to say that texts like this will work every time. If a guy has already been flaky with communication, he’s not necessarily even going to respond to your first text. But it’s better than getting a “Wanna hang out?” text and jumping in a cab and to head over to his place before you’ve even hit the send button on your reply.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of the District: The Best Place to Pick Up Prostitution: The Four Seasons

In the mood to mingle with Z-list celebrities and congressmen you’ve never heard?

Neither were we when we found ourselves sipping champagne at the bar at the Four Seasons Tuesday night.

To our surprise, it was packed, and while we have to hand it to them for making a weeknight feel like Friday, the scene was so sleazy that we thought we’d walked onto the set of an 80s DC thriller.

The bar itself had the whole dim lighting, minimal décor, and low couches that practically scream, “We don’t sell beer for less than ten dollars.” (Although our date was happy to learn that an Amstel was only 6 bucks.)

The crowd was decidedly older: a mix of thirty-somethings and really old men who looked like they’d snuck out of their nursing homes for the night. Men (who far outnumbered women) clumped around the bar in sharp suits and watches you don’t wear when you’re in it to help people.

The women all looked like aspiring actresses. They’d lost their natural youthful beauty, and they all seemed to have independently decided that the best way to get it back would be to flat-iron their hair and then go back in and curl a few random clumps. (We seriously didn’t know people wore their hair like that outside of TV.) Their skin-tight dresses all stopped two centimeters below their vaginas. We were a little worried no one would be able to tell any of them apart.

We watched a New England Senator hit on a very pleasantly plump lush who was having trouble mixing gravity with a barstool. Every so often, we’d see one of the women help one of the octogenarians shuffle upstairs. And then we started wondering: are these women prostitutes?

While they probably weren’t charging by the hour, they definitely weren’t working pro bono.

We needed a break from the busboys in tuxes (who, by the way, were all black), so we headed out to forest of Christmas trees lining the lobby. Our momentary nostalgia for New England holiday traditions was quickly shattered by the plastic placards next to each tree.

Each one had a picture of the tree’s decorator (who coincidently owned some over-priced boutique in Bethesda) hugging a young child. Underneath the picture, there was a brief blurb promoting the store and then a longer section with stats on the child’s horrible illness. This included details like how the illness was progressing. We’re not really sure that little Tommy would want all the guests at the Four Seasons to know that he only has five months to live, but someone apparently decided that this was relevant information.

This was when we knew it was time to pay our bill and leave. And when the check came, we finally realized why those women were blowing grandpas for kick-backs. They were probably just trying to pay their tabs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Missed Connection of the Day

We almost didn't post this. Almost.

You farted in Trader Joe's - m4w (Rockville, MD)

You were the tall brunette with the near perfect body that farted in the bread section last night. I was the tall guy next to you that looked over and asked, "Was that you?" You quickly replied "No...Wasn't me!" You almost seemed insulted I would ask. As the stink grew you continued to deny your flatulence, but it was evident. I tried to get rid of the stench by waving 2 loafs of Ciabatta bread. You proceeded to storm off in an angry manner. You are beautiful and even if you are a liar and fart like a Clydesdale, I'd love to meet up sometime. Call me Eric M.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Survey the District: New Year's Dilemma

Dear Date the District,

Ok, so here's my conundrum for New Year's Eve. Two friends that happen to be attractive women are coming to visit over New Year's Eve. I told one of these girls that I'm attracted to her. She was 'shocked', 'didn't know what to say' at that time, etc. This happened three months ago. Now, I'm involved with someone around the area. Definitely not exclusive, but she's starting to get attached.

I don't think I could nor want to spend NYE with all three. Then again, nothing may ever come of me and this friend visiting. What do I do?


We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when you tell someone you have feelings for her and she tells you she’s “shocked” and speechless, it’s usually not a good sign.

It’s probably not worth wasting too much time on this girl. Even if she was interested, when you start out as long distance, you’re usually don’t get very far. Why waste your time pining over someone who’s a train ride away when it sounds like you’ve got something within walking distance?

On to your New Year’s problem: why are you so afraid to put these women in the same room? It sounds like the second friend doesn’t even know that she’s your third-favorite crush, and your new hook-up shouldn’t know about your out-of-town dream girl (unless you told her).

Causing drama and/or acknowledging the awkwardness are the two worst things you can do in this situation. Even if it is awkward, you’re the only one who feels it.

If you call this not-so-mysterious visitor and say something like, “Hey, I just wanted to know that I’m seeing someone, and now you’re coming, and I don’t know what to do!”, it’s gonna be a major turnoff. Most girls aren’t attracted to guys who seem like they’re not in control or emotional basket cases.

On the other hand, if you e-mail her and say something like, “Hey, my date for New Year’s suggested that we do X, what do you think?”, you’ll eliminate a lot of the “What ifs?”

Even if you’re trying to seduce these two “friends,” the best way to do that is to appear unavailable. And you’ll definitely send that message if you show up with a date.

But we’re guessing that seduction is a lost cause at this point, at least with girl number one. If she’s known your intentions for three months and hasn’t done anything about it, she’s given you a pretty good indication of how she feels.

Whatever you do, don’t hit on the other two girls if you all end up at the same party. It’s only going to piss off the new girl and make the other two really uncomfortable (and really turned off), leaving you with no one to kiss at midnight. There’s nothing worse than listening to tired clichés about how beautiful you look and how well you two would work together, especially after you’ve told a guy that you’re not interested. That kind of stuff only works in the movies, and if you’re still taking cues from chick flicks, we have bigger problems.

And if you get there and realize that the sight of all three girls at the same table makes you really uncomfortable, drink up. You have all New Year’s Day to sleep off the hangover.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Second Word of Advice

Last week, we talked about the dangers of asking your friends for certain advice.

But an even more dangerous source of misinformation can often seem deceptively reliable: your new guy’s girl (space) friends.

When you meet a guy’s girl friend, it’s easy to bond over the fact that you both have breasts and vaginas. And, since most guys have more guy friends than girl friends, his girl friend’s estrogen might provide a much-need break from the usual night out with his friends (e.g., Testosterone Fest 2010).

You might really hit it off with one of his girl friends. And after a few nights of xx-chromosome bonding while you’re playing s.o., she might seem like the perfect person to tell you what’s really going on with him. After all, she’s known him longer, and she probably has some good insight.

The problem is that his friends’ loyalties almost always lie with him. You’re his plus-one first, their friend second.

If you and your guy called it quits tomorrow, chances are, you won’t get an invite to his best friend’s holiday party.

It might seem like those rules shouldn’t apply when his friend shares your gender. But it’s better to assume that they do, especially at first.

Girls tend to be good at socializing. They can be super sweet and make great conversation, even when they don’t really like the person they’re talking to.

That doesn’t mean that all of his girl friends are two-faced bitches. But it does mean that shouldn’t be too quick to assume that she wants to play relationship doctor.

You never know what she’s going to repeat to her friend/your boyfriend. You share some of your insecurities about the relationship (“I mean, he invites me out with his friends, like, all the time, but he never takes me out on dates, and sometimes he forgets to call…”), hoping that she’ll reassure you. And she might do that to your face (“Oh yeah, he’s sooo into you”), but then later share that conversation with the one person you wouldn’t want to find out (i.e., your guy).

Or she might genuinely be misinformed. You might ask her something like, “So, is he trying to date me? Or does he just, like, keep things casual?” Even if this girl seems really close with your boyfriend, she wouldn’t necessarily have access to this information. They might have heart-to-hearts all the time, but guys aren’t always the best at sharing feelings, especially if they’re unsure of where you stand. Or they might never talk about relationships, in which case, her guess is as good as yours. Maybe he wasn’t so into the last girl he dated, and maybe he’s said some things in the past that make her think that he’s looking the play the field. That doesn’t mean he feels the same way about you. In any case, you have no way of knowing whether her take on the situation is right.

And let’s not forget the worst-case scenario: she could be into this guy. Girls fall for their guy friends all the time—even when they’re in committed relationships—and, if you’re dealing with a friend with a crush, she’s probably not going to have your best interests at heart.

The bottom line is: you never know. So why risk it when you can’t trust her opinion any more than anyone else’s?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Word of Advice

The dating world can be a dangerous place.

There are social scenes to navigate, assholes to avoid, and heartbreak lurking at every corner.

It makes sense that we sometimes need to ask other women for directions. But they don’t always offer the best advice.

While your friends can provide perspective on a situation you’re too embroiled in to evaluate objectively, they can also sometimes point you in the wrong direction.

Sometimes you ask your friends questions that you know the answer to. “Should I text Brian? He never responded to my voicemail from last Tuesday, but… I feel like I should send him one more text. Just so he knows I’m interested.”

If you actually thought this was a good idea, you would just send the text. But you’re asking your friends because you want them to tell you to do it.

And, most of time, they will. We all want to believe that things really are that easy. That you can text someone and he’ll magically be into you again. That he’s only ignoring you because he’s really hung up on his ex. And so we tell our friends to go for it.

Or sometimes we can see the writing on the wall, and we don’t want to tell our friends that their new crush is clearly not interested.

The outcome is still the same. If you’re asking “Should I do X?”, it’s probably because you’re looking for your friends to egg you on. And they will, because they’d want you to do the same.

If you have to ask, you probably already know the answer.

Breakup Babble: Deleting His Number

Breakups always hurt.

While newly single women are almost always looking to do anything to ease the pain, they don’t always go about it in the right way.

We’re not saying you should ditch the chocolate (in fact, we firmly believe that calories don’t count when you’re readjusting to the single life), but there are a few other important steps in the healing process that most girls overlook.

The first rule applies to guys with weak thumbs (i.e., the ones who don’t text back).

These are the guys you kinda, sorta date for a few weeks, but they’re never really that responsive. They say they’re going to call, then forget. Or you send them a text, and you don’t hear back for a few days. They only contact you in the middle of the night, and they rarely (if ever) invite you to do anything that involves leaving one of your apartments.

While it is sometimes possible to tame these guys (we’ll talk more about that in a later post), it’s not always worth it. No matter how much you crank up the game, it’s hard to transition from backup to first string. And, at the end of the day, is a guy who blew you off for three months ever really going to feel like he’s worth it?

When you decide you’re ready to cut your losses, you need to stick to your guns. Like we’ve talked about before, the more you ignore someone, the more they might try to win you back.

Sometimes the guys with weak thumbs are looking for validation. They love the power trip that comes with ignoring a perfectly tempting text from a cute girl. Other times they’re just lazy. In any case, if they really didn’t like the attention, they’d flat-out tell you to leave them alone (except they’d say something like, “You seem like a really awesome girl, but there’s this girl back in New York…”).

So as you as they stop hearing from you, they’re gonna throw a little attention your way to try and get you back into the habit of sending the 8 p.m. “What are you up to?”

When a guy’s been flaky and unresponsive ever since the first night you hooked up, it’s easy to get excited when he texts you out of the blue. But you need to take his advances out of context.

If you weren’t so attracted to the way he blows you off him, would his behavior seem that remarkable? Put another way, if you two had been dating six months, would whatever he’s doing seem worthy of your time and energy?

If he sends you a heartfelt letter (along with a dozen roses) that does more than dish up some lame excuse for why he couldn’t be bothered (e.g., “I don’t have unlimited texting!”), you might want to listen to what he has to say. If he texts you at 6 p.m. and invites you to go to the movies, ignore him. If you take him back that easily, you’ll be back to the abysmal response rate two weeks later.

But don’t tell him that you’re blowing him off. Don’t send him one final text explaining that you’ve had it with him, and it’s his loss, and you were always too good for him anyway.

These hypothetical texts (or phone calls) might feel like they’d be cathartic or empowering, but they won’t be.

Best case scenario: he won’t respond. And then you’ll feel like an idiot, because you showed him how much you cared, and he was so nonplussed that he wasn’t even stirred to respond.

Worst case scenario: he’ll throw back some insults that’ll take your best friends weeks of round-the-clock therapy to undo.

The hardest part of parting ways with a weak-thumbed man is forcing yourself not to communicate with him at all. While your intentions and willpower might be unbreakable after an afternoon bolt-of-lighting realization, it’s easy to second guess yourself after your third beer at happy hour. It’s easy to convince yourself that it’d be a good idea to send one more text—just to see what happens.

And, like we said before, he might respond. And you might be more likely to give that response more weight than it deserves.

Or he might ignore you. And then you’ll have to add one more point to his score, and take one step back on the path to getting over him.

So how can you avoid all of these pitfalls?

Delete his number.

That’s right: remove any trace of his existence from your phone. Delete old texts, e-mails, and any other traces of his contact info that might tempt you to get back in touch with him.

If you don’t have his number, you can’t drunk dial him.

And if he tries to contact you, the few minutes it takes you to figure out who that number belongs to will remind you why you deleted his number. And it’ll be easier to take everything he says with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Robert's Rules: The First Date Outfit

After last week’s post about what to wear on a first date, we thought it’d be nice to get the male perspective.

Our friend Robert worked on Newbury Street in Boston, which (for the uninitiated) means he’s never afraid to tell us when our outfit looks bad.

Here’s what he had to say about what a girl should wear on her first date:

“A first date outfit must be thought about carefully, because this outfit is essentially a first impression to your date of who you are. Ideally, it would be a sexy (but not too sexy) outfit that incorporates your personal style. In general, no matter where you’re going, I don't think that you should overwhelm someone with an outfit that overtly displays your personal style--say, for instance, that you love mixing patterns: I would recommend working in a few pieces with maybe your favorite print rather than having an outfit made up entirely of different patterns. You don't want it to be too loud, just like you wouldn't want your outfit to be too sexy. I think a good first date outfit would also tastefully show off your body (leave your oversized pieces at home--for tonight, at least).

I think there are two types of first dates: upscale and casual. You should have a different outfit for each occasion.

If you’re going out on a fancy date,:

I think a form-fitting dress would be appropriate. I would stay pretty classic with the dress--let it show off your body--in a solid color, and then punch up the outfit in the accessories. Maybe a pair of metallic stilettos or a really cool bag that introduces a print, or maybe belt your dress (a belt can do a lot to define a midsection and create an hourglass shape--all good things, right?). And don't forget about jewelry! You can also say a lot with a chunky necklace or a cool bracelet. I would stay away from blazers for a first date look, just because I think it may look a little too corporate, and we want a first date look to be more flirty than business.

If you’re going out for a casual night,:

Every girl should have a flattering pair of dark jeans in her closet. Whether you look good in wide leg, boot cut, skinny, whatever--get a pair of dark denim, it may turn into one of the most highly used pieces in your closet. This would be the perfect time to break out the dark denim and pair it with a sexy top--one with a little sparkle to it or maybe ruffles (they seem to be in style right now), and finish it off with a pair of strappy sandals. Or, if you don’t feel like heels, do a nice pair of flats.

And since we’re heading into the winter months, let’s address outerwear. No matter how cold it gets, stay away from the puffy jacket. You don't want his first thoughts of you to be that he's going on a date with the Michelin woman. A pea coat will keep you plenty warm while also being stylish.”

He also has some words of wisdom for our male readers:

“Regardless of where you are going, take this as an opportunity to dress up a bit--but not too much. I wouldn't wear a sport coat, but maybe go for a nice button down shirt. And maybe layer it with a v-neck sweater. I think every guy looks good in a white button down shirt with a navy blue v-neck sweater layered over it. Navy blue is a strong, masculine color that looks good on any skin tone, and the white shirt will frame your face really well. What I’m saying is: guys, put thought into this--don't just put on a t-shirt and walk out the door.

And please pay attention to fit. There is nothing that I hate more than when a guy with a nice body hides it under an oversize sweater. I'm not saying wear something incredibly tight, but make sure that the shoulder seams end at your shoulders and that you can feel the fabric against your body instead of hanging off your frame. With sweaters, what you don't want it hanging off your body. You also don't want it coming too far past your waist (because then it'll be too long). Look for something that is trim in fit--you don't want a baggy arm either. If it’s too ill fitting, you'll look like you're wearing your older brother's sweater, which won't impress any girl.

Now for pants. This is when I also recommend dark jeans--they will work with almost any color (so you won't have to worry about matching) and they are incredibly versatile (they work in both casual and more upscale settings, depending on what you wear above the waist).

Again, pay attention to fit--every guy needs a pair of dark, straight leg denim. They shouldn't be so baggy that you cannot tell that there are legs beneath the fabric. Or also if you want, maybe a pair of cords or khakis, but I think dark jeans are a really stylish choice.

When you’re shopping for jeans, go for a straight leg jean fit--make sure the waist fits well (not too tight and not so loose that you need a belt to keep them from falling down) and also make sure that they sit on your waist (you don't want them to be too high up or else they'll look like the men's version of a "mom jean"). Look for mid rise fits. If you ever are in doubt, ask a sales person at the store! That's what they're there for. And just make sure the legs of the jean don't have so much fabric that you lose your legs in them. Gap's new slim fit 1969 jean is amazing and very affordable.

Now with shoes, go with a nice brown or black loafer, or, if you’re one of those guys that goes crazy about sneakers (I know a surprising about of guys who collect sneakers and pay attention to no other article of clothing), go with a dark, more dressy sneaker (I have a favorite pair of PF Flyers that I pair with almost everything). Don't wear a running shoe. Please.

And in terms of outerwear, go with a nice coat to finish it off, and if you have a scarf and it looks nice with your outfit, consider wearing that, too. (I think it implies that you give thought to your appearance, but if you don't want to, that's fine too--just giving you options!)”

Monday, November 30, 2009

To Shave or Not to Shave

When Americans talk about sex, we like to use nomenclature to dress up ideas that might otherwise sound unappealing.

Do you want to take a piece of hard, thick flesh that occasionally secrets urine (and may or may not have been washed since the last time it was used for this purpose) and jam it down your throat until you’re practically gagging, then bob your head up and down for three to five minutes while your jaw gets tired, only stopping after you’ve swallowed a wad of salty human excrement? No? Well, would you like to try fellatio? How about oral sex? Or head?

But one reality of sex (and life) seems to have escaped the redeeming moniker: pubic hair. We all have it. Most of us don’t like talking about it.

It makes sense that girls wouldn’t want pubes or bushes any more than they’d want genital warts, so most shave it off and act like it never grew in.

But do we ever stop to think about why?

Our obsession with the bare-down-there goes hand in hand with most girls’ ideas about what physical attributes turns guys on.

If you were to ask an average woman if she thought the body men fantasized most about belonged to a prepubescent 12-year-old boy, she’d probably laugh at the absurdity of your question. But if you then asked her to describe the woman she sees as a man’s ultimate fantasy lover, here’s what you’d probably hear: “Well, she’d be, like, super skinny. Like, stick legs like Blake Lively on Gossip Girl. No hips, no butt… she could stand sideways and hide behind a twig and no one would be able to see her. Ummm… totally shaved, down there, and—oh! Bangs. She’d definitely have bangs.”

That stick-thin, hairless “ideal” body sounds more like a 12-year-old boy’s than a Sports Illustrated model’s.

We’ve talked about this before: girls tend to think that guys want to sleep with waifs, while guys plaster their dorm-room walls with pictures of big boobs, thick thighs, and shelf asses.

That isn’t to say that guys don’t appreciate a smooth landing strip. In fact, most guys we talked to said they preferred a shaved pelvis.

But, for the most part, they also said something along the lines of, “I mean, it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s not too out of control.”

The bottom line is: when you’re naked, the guy with the view isn’t checking for stray hairs. He’s so happy to be there that his brain can’t even conjure up criticisms. So while a shaved vagina might turn him on more, an unshaved one won’t turn him off.

This doesn’t mean you should stop shaving if it makes you feel more comfortable. But what it does mean is, if you’ve got a five o’clock shadow, don’t feel self-conscious about it.

In an earlier post, we talks about the two things that turn men on most in bed: confidence and enthusiasm. So, ideally, you really shouldn’t be feeling any self-consciousness when you’re getting horizontal. The best way to project confidence is to feel confident, even if you have to fake it by acting like you’ve never felt sexier.

But it might help to know that your bikini line is one of those things that really can’t break the deal. When Indiana Jones finally found the Holy Grail, he didn’t say, “Eh, no thanks. That thing has a little dust around the rim.”

So don’t start acting shy because you forgot to shave. Don’t stop him from removing your thong or demand that he turn off the lights. That type of behavior will turn him off a lot more than a little stubble ever will.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

10 Tips to Avoid While Holiday Flirting

While we were engaging in some much needed procrastination this afternoon, we came across this holiday nightmare: 10 Ways to Flirt While Holiday Shopping.

This is exactly what we mean when we talk about the “wrong” kind of dating advice. This article encourages women to be unappealingly aggressive, the female equivalent of a guy with a beer belly spilling out of his wife beater approaching the hottest blonde in the bar and telling her she has nice tits.

Let’s take a look at some highlights.

2. Accidently pick up his shopping bag instead of yours. Say, “Oops, guess we should write our names on these bags so we don’t get them confused. What’s yours??” If he asks for your name in return, consider yourself booked for New Year’s Eve!

Are. You. Serious. This ploy is going to make you look dumb and desperate, not sexy and seductive. We’ve been to the mall millions of times, and we’ve seen our fair share of crazed Christmas shoppers. But no one has ever mistaken our shopping bag for theirs. So this scheme is going to seem a little off from the beginning. But, OK, let’s say you’ve attempted robbery and the guy doesn’t seem too pissed (after you’ve offered to return his bag). You then drop a line that lacks wit, charm, and social graces. You might as well say, “Hey, yeah, I know, I’m trying to pick up guys at the mall around Christmastime, which is, I know, a little desperate, but, um, I’m really lonely, and I can’t really think of a more creative way of asking this, so: what’s your name?”

When someone tries to steal your bag and then asks for your name, it’s weird and creepy. It also makes you look like a complete airhead. Is that really the best way to make a first impression?

The problem with advice like this is that it encourages girls to act in ways that simply aren’t going to attract a datable guy. It can be hard to sit around in mall full of perfectly eligible bachelors and not make a move. Because nothing ever happens to girls who sit around and wait for things to happen, right?

But acting like this isn’t going to attract the kind of attention you’re looking for. If a guy did fall for the purse-snatcher pick-up, would you want to date him anyway? If a guy came up to you and pulled that move, wouldn’t you run the other way? If this is the only way he can meet a girl, there’s probably a good reason why he’s still single. And you don’t wanna stick around to find out what it is.

But let’s say he does give you his name. Does that mean you’re “booked for New Year’s?” Absolutely not!

The other problem with this kind of advice is that it encourages girls to read too much in to things. You can’t assume that he’s interested just because he gave you his name. Chick flick and romances novels encourage girls to start picking out baby names after the first date. But when you spend more time fantasizing than you do going on dates, you’re bound to be disappointed.

4. While shopping inside a store blaring Christmas carols at a decibel fit for no man or reindeer – lean over to a cute guy and say, “This song is going to be running through my mind all night long. Unless you want to give me something better to think about…”

This is something Samantha Jones would say before a steamy one-time tryst in the Saks dressing room. But, in the real world, this probably won’t work as well.

If you approach a guy and tell him you’re all about sex, that’s all he’s gonna see you as. Like we said in our first post,a lot of guys think all play and no work is a good deal, but most girls have a hard time making it through it unscathed.

And then there’s the issue of your sanity. Most guys aren’t expecting women to walk up to them in a mall and offer them sex. And while that scenario might be perfect fodder for a little self loving, they probably wouldn’t react as well if it actually happened. After all, if you’re approaching him, he’s probably wondering how many other guys get the same offer.

No matter how well he takes it, you’re still going to look a little crazy. He could be a rapist, or a murderer, or a alien, for all you know. From his perspective, if you’re willing to expose yourself to those kinds of risks, you’re probably not the most stable suitor.

6. Slip that cute Santa bell ringer your number instead of a quarter. (OK, OK, toss a couple of bucks in his bucket as well. Nobody hearts a Grinch!)

We’ve never seen a cute Santa. But even if a jolly (read: portly) old man is your idea of a hot date, think of how you would react if you were trying to raise money for charity and a random guy walked up to you, handed you his number, and then walked away. Would you call? So why do you think you’d fare any better if you were the patron in this scenario?

Even if all of points on this list aren’t meant to be taken seriously, they encourage a type of behavior that’s unlikely to get you what they want. The author wants girls to think they can throw themselves at everything with a penis and still manage to look sexy. But desperation never looks good on anyone.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cheap Date: The Room

After watching The Room, one critic remarked that it seemed as if every expense had been spared on cast, crew, location, and production.

But that didn't stop us from paying $10 for an autographed copy of the DVD.

The film opens with the film's stars, a banker named Johnny with unprofessionally long greasy hair and an unidentifiable (and probably fake) accent and his fiancee Lisa, engaging in a pretty mundane conversation. Somber, ominous music plays in the background. Within five minutes, the soundtrack abruptly switches to a generic R&B song to accompany a painfully long, awkward, and gratuitous sex scene. There's another five minutes of stilted dialogue. And then another five minute sex scene (which reuses shots from the first one).

We don't normally like things that are so bad they're good, but The Room makes box office bombs look like amateurs. After a scene in which Johnny's best friend Mark (who's also listed as a personal assistant to the director in the credits) quizzes Johnny on his new client, and Johnny responds, "I can't tell you it's confidential. Anyway how is your sex life?", you begin to wonder if even Stanley Kubrick could have made this film on purpose. The film's missteps (and, as far as we can tell, there are only one or two lines that don't count as missteps) prove to be comedic gold.

The Room has regular screenings in New York and LA, but the director is making a stop in DC this weekend.

So if you're in town tonight, get your ass down to the E Street Cinema. And take a picture with Tommy Wiseau and send it to us at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What to Wear on a First Date

One of the great things about first dates is how easy it is to recycle outfits. If you have one dress reserved for first dates, no one will ever know how often you wear it (even if you find yourself pulling it out of your hamper three nights in a row).

We’re not slaves to fashion, and normally we don’t think it’s worth spending too much time thinking about what to wear. But a first date brings out the neurosis in most of us, and if you spend too much time worrying about your outfit, it can put you in the I’m-trying-too-hard frame of mind that never looks good on anyone.

Having a go-to outfit tucked away in your closet can help alleviate pre-date jitters.

But not everyone has the same ideas about what makes a good outfit, so we enlisted the help of two single DCers who never seem to be at a loss for dates. And we threw in our own opinion, just for good measure.

The 9-to-5 Blonde

When this girl goes out, guys take one look at her and open a tab. But she still gets nervous before dates. She went out with a new guy for the first time the other night, and she shared this story about what she wore:

The morning of my first date I heard on the radio that in order to have a successful first date (meaning, he calls you back) you have to show off 40 percent of your skin. (Apparently both arms are 10 percent and legs are 15 percent each.) That led to an entire day of anxiety trying to figure out how I was going to show off 40 percent of my skin in the middle of November. After mentioning this statistic to a few friends, it didn't take long for us to realize that no one other than a man came up with that statistic. Every woman should feel beautiful on her first date and if you feel beautiful showing off 40 percent of your skin in the middle of November, than do it. I prefer to be warm and comfortable. Basically, I decided what to wear based on what makes me feel beautiful. I chose the color black because it is slimming and classy. This black sweater dress is tight around my waist and really shows off my body without revealing a lot of skin. I wore tights and knee-high black boots to give it a wintery look. I topped the outfit off with a silver necklace to add some color other than black. When he picked me up the first words out of his mouth were, "You look great." The 40 percent skin rule isn't really a rule at all. Wear what makes you feel beautiful and you will come across as a confident and classy young woman that he can't wait to spend another night with.

The Black Card Beauty

When this girl goes shopping, she tells them to put it on her account. But she says most guys can’t tell Fendi from Forever 21, so she only advocates telling them to put it on her account if it actually looks good:

I think a lot of girls will spend $500 on a boxy dress that just isn’t flattering. I always want to look good, and I never want to look like I’m trying too hard. That’s why I almost always wear jeans on a first date: they can go either way. For this outfit, I paired jeans with a really nice top and some bolder accessories. In my opinion, you’re better off splurging on accessories, because you can carry the same bag every day and no one’s going to call you out on it. And if you’re wearing nice jeans and carrying a nice bag, a $20 top can suddenly look like a $200 top. Not that most guys are going to notice stuff like that. And if they do, I don’t necessarily want to be dating them. I also love raiding my mom’s closet—that bag is hers. You’d be surprised by what you can find in your parents’ wardrobes. Finally, I like to wear open-toed shoes on dates. I think they’re very flirty, but in a more subtle way. Anyone can wear something that shows off too much cleavage, but open-toed shoes are suggestive without being skanky. But, on the whole, I don’t think it’s worth worrying about what designer you’re wearing on a first date. If a guy’s judging you on that, do you really want to be dating him?

The Blogger

Like most bloggers, I’m almost always broke, so I don’t advocate actually spending money to put an outfit together. Instead, I always go through my closet and find new ways to wear clothes I already own.

I’m really into the Joan look from Mad Men right now because I think high-waisted skirts are pretty universally flattering. Unfortunately, I don’t own a high-wasited skirt. So I take a regular black skirt and a wide, tight-fitting, elastic belt (preferably one that doesn’t leave a loose end hanging), hike it up so that the skirt’s waist falls at the narrowest part of my midsection and secure it in place with the belt. (Sometimes I need to fold some material in around the zipper if the new placement makes the skirt hang awkwardly.) Make sure that the skirt’s waistline is completely tucked into the belt. If my I’m using a tight skirt, I take a gauzy or loose-fitting white shirt and tuck it into the skirt. And then I use the belt to make it look like skirt and shirt are one piece. If I’m using a loose skirt, I put on a tight-fitting white shirt, and, again, use the belt to make it look like one seamless dress. If you have great boobs, show a little cleavage. If you’re as flat-chested as I am, consider using the tight skirt/loose shirt option (I personally use a skin-tight long tube top from American Apparel that can kinda, sorta pass for a skirt, especially with a guy who knows nothing about clothes), and opt for a shirt with ruffles where there should be cleavage. The clearance section at a store like Marshalls or Filene’s Basement can be a surprisingly good place to find shirts for under $5 that might look hideous on their own, but don’t look so bad when only the top third peeks out from under the skirt. Add a pair of black tights—they make everyone’s legs look better, and some even come with control tops if you’re into that sort of thing. Finally, throw on a pair of heels. Yes, they’re annoying to walk in, but they also have a flattering effect. If you’re looking to blow some cash, maybe invest in a pair of stiletto ankle boots—whenever I go out, my guy friends always point them out to me. And while you’re at it, send me a pair at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Defense of Games

We’ve had quite a few comments from readers who seem to object to the idea of playing games. If you’re looking for a nice guy, they argue, you don’t need to play games. Games only attract assholes, and they aren’t necessary if you meet the right guy.

Sometimes you do meet the right guy and everything happens just the way we assume it does in Twilight (sparkling pseudo-orgasms and all).

But most of the time, it doesn’t. And it’s not always because “he’s just not that into you,” and it’s never because all guys are assholes who are just looking to break the world record for one-night stands.

But it’s also not that surprising. When you meet someone new, you have your guard up. You invest a lot of time, money, and emotions in each relationship, and you’re not going to give just anyone the chance to waste those commodities. Before you date someone, you want to make sure he’s worth it.

So if you meet someone who seems clingy or needy or annoying or whatever, chances are, you’re not going to want to date him/her. If a girl decides a guy isn’t datable, she’s probably going to stop seeing him. But if a guy is somewhat attracted to a girl he doesn’t want to date, he’s more likely to try to turn her into a friend with benefits.

And that’s where games can help your case. It’s not so much about tricking someone into dating you as it showing him why he wants to date you.

If a guy likes you enough to go out of his way to pursue a hook up (and this doesn’t mean buying you drinks at a bar the night you meet him), there’s a good chance he likes you enough to date you. But sometimes you need to remind him why he wants a relationship.

If he can get you to cab to his apartment at 2 a.m. for a night of no-strings-attached sex, he might forget that you’re worth taking out to dinner and introducing to his friends. When you give up your time, energy, and body that easily, it seems like they’re not that valuable to you. And if they don’t seem valuable to you, he’s definitely not going to think they’re worth much. From his perspective, if you’re so desperate to be with him that you’ll take anything, even a post-coital kick-out, it’s probably because he's out of your league. And if you’re out of his league, he can do better.

On the other hand, if you wait to show your enthusiasm, if you don’t accept all of his invitations, and if you start out unavailable, he might think, “Wow, this girl is out of my league. I need to lock this down.” Or he’ll think, “Wow, this girl is popular.” (And, thanks to high school, we all know that perceived popularity increases your sex appeal.) In general, your time will seem more valuable to him (even economists know that scarcity increases demand), and the more valuable something is, the more people want it.

Playing games is about showing your calm, cool, and confident side, not your clingy, desperate, emotionally unstable side. Playing games is about showing him that he’s not the most important thing in your life, and it’s about proving that if he’s going to treat you like shit, you have better things to do with your time.

Let’s say a guy makes a mistake early on. Let’s say he genuinely forgets to return your call for one week. And, when he does return your call, he gives you some lame excuse.

Some girls think that the “grown up” thing to do is to have a conversation with him and say, “Look, I don’t play games. I don’t date guys who don’t return my calls.”

And that’s fine—as long as you stick to your word. But if you decide to have that conversation after you’ve gone to his house and given him a blowjob, he’s not going to believe you. He’s already pulled a dick move and gotten away with it. Why should he go out of his way to be a gentleman the next time?

Games aren’t going to work every time. If the guy is a jerk or just isn’t interested, games will probably drive him away. But why is that a bad thing?

You probably have a great guy friend who started dating a great girl and then stopped returning her calls. And, because he’s your friend, you know he’s a super nice guy. So why is he being such a dick with this girl?

Like we’ve said before, it’s all about chemistry, attraction, and making someone want you. And the more a guy can’t have you, the more he wants you. If you didn’t like our Christmas toy analogy, look it up in an Econ textbook. Scarcity increases demand. The more you withhold, the more he wants it.

When you go on a date, you want to make a good impression. You put on an outfit that makes you look hot, you spend an hour doing your hair, and you do your makeup five times before you get it right.

So why not give your personality a dating makeover and play a little hard to get while you’re getting to know each other? It’s just like putting on lipstick: you can stop wearing it when your relationship gets to that point.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reading His Mind

When a guy’s doing something you don’t like, it’s natural to want to figure out why he’s ignoring your texts or making out with your best friend.

Just take this conversation we overheard on the Red line last night:

Girl: So, last night I texted Brian, just, you know, to say hi—
Her friend: What did you say?
Girl: I was just like, “Hey, what’re you up to tonight?”
Her friend: What’d he say?
Girl: He never responded!
Her friend: What a dick!
Girl: No, like, I think the thing is, I think he might not be over his ex-girlfriend.
Her friend: Oh.
Girl: Yeah, like, I was looking at his Facebook, and there were all these pictures of him with this super hot blonde. She was, like, really cute, and looked like tons of fun. And I Googled her and she works for some big law firm, so she’s obviously really successful and stuff.
Her friend: Yeah.
Girl: And remember how I was telling you that he told me last weekend that he really wasn’t look for a relationship?
Her friend: Oh yeah.
Girl: I bet it’s because of her, you know? Like, I bet she totally broke his heart by dumping him for some hot-shot lawyer.
Her friend: Maybe…
Girl: And I wonder if, like, when I was starting to tell him that I liked him last weekend, if that maybe freaked him out.
Her friend: Could be…
Girl: So, maybe he’s trying to, like, play things cool so he doesn’t get too attached to me.
Her friend: Yeah.
Girl: I mean, also, he could have swine flu.
Her friend: You can still respond to a text with swine flu.
Girl: I’ve heard your fever gets so high you forget your own name.
Her friend: Really?
Girl: Well, he could just not be that into me.
Her friend: Ohmygod I’m sure that’s not it.
Girl: Yeah. You’re right. It’s probably swine flu.

This conversation made us cringe, for multiple reasons. But our first reaction was: these girls just wasted five minutes of their lives.

There are so many “what not to do’s” we could point out about this conversation, but the most striking of them is this: it’s not worth trying to figure out why Brian was ignoring her calls.

Most of us can’t read minds, a fact that frustrates scorned lovers to no end. After all, wouldn’t it be so much easier to move on if you knew why he was treating you like shit?

Maybe it would be, but no amount of Facebook stalking or drunk texting will ever reveal what’s going on in his head. Which makes any speculation on your part an utterly useless pursuit.

This applies to analyzing behavior too. If a guy tells you he doesn’t want to see you any more, it’s natural to wonder why he also told you he still loves you. And when a guy spends $200 on your first date, but then doesn’t call you for a month, you want to create the story that explains everything.

But even if you were to get him to “open up” to you about what went wrong, it’d be no more revealing than a suggestive wall-to-wall. People lie. They do things that don’t make sense. They tell you that they want to take you to Paris when they have no intention of ever seeing you again.

Actions may speak louder than words, but they still don’t tell you what a guy’s thinking. That’s why it’s not worth trying to figure out what a romantic first date or an intimate conversation “means:” you’ll never really know.

Once you start trying to read his mind, it’s hard to stop. You’ll probably never reach any conclusions you can truly believe, which means you’ll spend more and more time trying to “figure him out.” The closer he is to the forefront of your mind, the harder it is to move on if things don’t work out.

The key to healthy relationships and speedy breakup recoveries is thinking about the other person less, not more. If you spend too much time obsessing over a new guy, you build him up to something he can never be. And if you waste time thinking about what went wrong with an ex, you prevent yourself from moving on.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever think about him/your relationship. In fact, you should spend time analyzing the situation and figuring out how you think things are going. But when your analysis turns towards his thoughts and feelings, you start asking questions you’ll never find answers to.

Instead of trying to figure out what he’s thinking (which you’ll never know), focus on what he’s doing. And adjust your behavior accordingly.

If he’s taking you on dates and calling to say hi, keep seeing him. If he waits three weeks to text you, don’t respond.

There’s no direct line to another person’s stream of consciousness. It’s not hidden in the next Facebook photo or his track times from high school.

You’re never going to know anything with 100 percent certainty, and that includes his motives, his intentions, and his opinions of you. And no amount of obsessive analysis will change that.

So stop trying to figure out what he’s thinking.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cheap Date: The Source

If you're intimidated by the absence of prices on the menu at the DC version of Wolfgang Puck's trendy (read: expensive) line of restaurants, the new happy-hour-esque special at The Source might be for you. It's still an excuse to get dressed up, but, if you get there between 5 and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, you don't have to blow a ton of cash. The Source is, of course, too classy to call it what it really is (a happy hour), so they're dubbing it "The Hour of Power," and they'll give you three dishes paired with three glasses of wine for $25. That should be enough to eliminate some of that still-getting-to-know-each-other awkwardness. And we always love a happy hour that lasts till Saturday. Although you'll still have to come up with your own solution to the inexorable DC "Why am I drunk at 6 p.m. and what am I supposed to do now?" conundrum.

The Source
575 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.