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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Survey the District: What to Give

Survey the District’s coming early this week, and this question comes from one of our male readers.

Dear Date the District,

What are the right gifts to be getting a girl at the different stages of a relationship? For example when is it okay to get jewelry, lingerie, toys, vacations, clothes? I don't want to scare her off and I don't want to be a cheapskate.


Well, feel free to buy us jewelry, clothes, and vacations on the first date.

The answer to your question, like most relationship questions, is: it depends. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to gift giving, especially because it’s sometimes hard to pin-point what stage you’re in in a relationship. Some couples might only see each other once or twice a week six months after their first date, while others might get married on their three-month anniversary.

It also depends on the person. Some people might be freaked out if you tried to buy them a sex toy as an anniversary present. Others would love it.

If you’re strapped for cash or just not into the whole showering-your-lover-with-gifts thing, you probably don’t need to worry about giving gifts for no reason in the first few months.

Things can get confusing around birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. If you’re lucky, the first milestone you’ll hit as a couple will be your birthday. Then you can see what your S.O. gives you and give a gift of similar value (both monetary and sentimental) when his or her birthday/December rolls around.

If you’re not so lucky, start small. If it’s a birthday, consider something that doesn’t come with an obvious price tag. Tickets to a concert, play, sports game, or event can be great if you’re worried about not making your gift too personal. Just make sure that it’s something the recipient wants to go to and that he/she is free that night. Buy two tickets and make it clear that he/she isn’t obligated to bring you.

If tickets aren’t quite up your alley, it really depends on both of your personalities and disposable income. But if it’s something that would be too extravagant to pick up for yourself on an impulse buy, it’s probably too much.

If you’re still stuck, try asking friends for advice. If you’re trying to buy a present for a girl, consult her friends. If you’re trying to buy a present for a guy, ask your friends. They’ll probably have better advice.

When a holiday or anniversary rolls around, it never hurts to talk to your partner about expectations for gifts. You can bring it as a joke, but if you’re serious enough to exchange gifts, you should be serious enough to discuss it. If he/she seems freaked out, say something like, “Well, I love buying presents, so you’re getting one.”

If you’re really trying to express your feelings with AMEX, again, it’s a good idea to start with baby steps and gauge the reaction each time. Start by bringing back a small gift from a vacation, or send flowers to her house for no reason. If she doesn’t seem freaked out, try waiting a few weeks, and you could try surprising her with clothes. If you’re still getting the green light, you can keep building up, but jewelry’s probably best saved for special occasions (i.e., holidays, birthdays, anniversaries). And vacations should never be a surprise.

But if things get awkward, it’s less about the gift you gave and more about how you react. If the person seems freaked out, tell him/her that it’s a combination present (“Well, I figured this would be Christmas and your birthday. And Hanukah. And Arbor Day.”) If the recipient seems dismayed, say, “Oh, this is just part one. Wait till you see part two!”

And then come up with a part two. Fast.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Say No to the Naked Make-Out (Part 2)

So what should you do if you’re in Maggie’s position? If you’ve spent too much time dry humping in a thong to ever go back to go back to a Victorian courtship, but you don’t wanna give it up until you have some sort of title (i.e., girlfriend)?

You don’t want to make it seem like you’re trading sex for relationship status. And that’s not how you should think of it either.

If it’s 3 a.m. and you’re nakedly grinding all over a guy, if you tell him you won’t go all the way unless he agrees to be your boyfriend, he’s gonna agree. In fact, there’s probably not very much he wouldn’t agree to if he thought it would get him laid.

But that doesn’t mean it’ll stick in the morning. I had a friend who once did just that: he took a girl home, she fed him the “no sex unless I’m in a relationship line,” he readily agreed, and then left the next morning before she woke up. When she called him, he didn’t pick up, and he finally texted her to tell her that he “realized he’d made a mistake.”

Like we said yesterday, when it gets past a certain point in the naked make-out, a guy’s mind is focused on only one thing: getting sex ASAP. If he can see your nipples, he won’t be able to have an honest talk about “where things are.” (Although you should avoid that topic as much as possible, especially in the beginning.)

But if you have been doing the naked make-out, here’s what you can do.

First, you need to figure out exactly what you want. Most girls tend to think about these situations in the abstract. They say they want their hook-up buddies to be their boyfriends, but they don’t really have a clear picture in their minds of what that means.

A guy could call himself your boyfriend and still blow you off six nights a week, pick up random girls in bars, and sleep with your best friend. The title means a lot less than the way he acts around you.

So figure out what kind of boyfriendly behavior you’re looking for. Do you want him to take you out to dinner once a week? Only call you when he’s sober? Introduce you to his friends? Call you to check in at the end of the day?

Once you know what you want, you need to start reinforcing that type of behavior. The most important part of this is usually hardest to do: you need to ignore him when he’s not treating you the way you want to be treated. But you have to do this in actions, not words. You can’t tell him, “I’m not gonna hook up with you unless you take me out with the guys.” If he texts you at 3 a.m., ignore him. If calls you and asks you to come over and watch a movie, tell him you’re busy. If he accuses you of blowing him off, blame it on work or school or yoga class.

But when he does the right thing, turn on the charm. If he asks you out to dinner, put on your nicest dress and make sure to compliment him if he looks good. Act in a way that will make him want to take you out to dinner again to replicate your behavior.

But this doesn’t mean you should use sex as a form of positive reinforcement. If you only let him go all the way after he takes you to dinner at Komi, he’s basically paying you for sex. And, unless you’re Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, this isn’t the path to a relationship.

You’re still going to have to figure out the right time to sleep with him. But until you are ready, avoid bringing him home.

This can be weird if you’ve already been doing the naked make-out. And you’re going to have to come up with pretty creative excuses. Tell him you’re tired. Say you have to get to work early. Make up a story about your crazy roommate.

You’re also going to have to play some things by ear, because the situation will be different for every couple. But, above all, you need to change the way you’re thinking about things. Don’t tell yourself that you’re waiting for him to say “girlfriend” before you’ll let him go all the way. And project this attitude when you’re talking to your wanna-be boyfriend. Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself or arbitrarily withhold certain things for set periods of time. Tell yourself that you’re in charge, and act like you can do no wrong.

If he straight-up asks you about the lack of loving (in the Biblical sense), you can say something like, “I don’t have sex unless I’m in a relationship, and I don’t know you well enough yet to know if I’d want to date you.” Make it seem like the decision is yours to make, not his.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Say No to the Naked Make-Out (Part 1)

A few nights ago, my friend Maggie told me about her latest dating conundrum. She’d been seeing a guy for the last few weeks, they’d been doing the naked make-out, and she’d just started giving him blowjobs. He was ready to take things to the next level, but she wasn’t so sure.

Maggie doesn’t like random hookups, and she won’t sleep with a guy unless she’s in a relationship. She wants this guy to be her boyfriend, and she won’t sleep with him until he does, but she wasn’t sure how to tell him this without scaring him away.

I cringed when I heard about the naked make-out. This is something Maggie and I don’t agree on: she doesn’t think she should have to deprive herself just to make a guy stick around, while I became a strong opponent of the “everything but” after a guy in college (who I thought I was seducing by stopping short) told me we should stop seeing each other because he wasn’t ready to date another virgin.

There are reasons why girls normally wait to have sex with a new guy. There’s something that keeps us from jumping in bed with someone five minutes after we’ve met them. Sometimes it’s because we’re worried a guy won’t “respect” a girl they think is easy. Other times we want to make him work for it to make sure he’s not just looking to hit it and quit it. Or maybe sex makes us feel vulnerable, and we don’t want to do it until we know someone pretty well. Maybe we’re worried about disease.

There are tons of reasons why a girl might want to hold off (at least when it comes to penetration) when she’s dating a guy she really likes. But naked make-outs work against all of this rationale.

When we think of heterosexual sex, most of us tend to think of its technical definition (i.e., penis in vagina). But there’s so much more to it than that. Guys can come close to recreating the physical sensations that come with penetration on their own, and most of them do it every day. If they were just looking to come, they wouldn’t need wingmen and bar tabs and all the other things it takes to get laid. A bottle of hand lotion and a half hour on Spankwire would suffice.

But guys buy cologne and strike up conversations with cute girls on the Metro because of the other things that come with sex. The thrill of seeing you naked. The sensation of feeling your naked body grind all over theirs. The validation that comes with knowing that an attractive girl wants your body. And, of course, the occasional blowjob.

The final penis-in-vagina is the icing on the cake. And it’s pretty small and insignificant compared to everything else. When you only deny a guy that, you’re not withholding as much as you think.

When you’re doing the naked make-out, you can still catch an STD. If sex makes you feel emotionally vulnerable, chances are the naked make-out does too. You’re not testing a guy to make sure he’s not using for sex, because he’s already getting 90 percent of what he wants. And if you’re looking for respect, how, exactly, is a naked make-out going to boost his perception of you in that department?

Then there’s the guy’s perspective. When wait till he’s almost inside you to put on the brakes, he’s going to be frustrated and confused. He’s all worked up, he’s only focused on one thing, and all of the sudden he can’t have it. That’s not going to make him think “Wow, I really respect this girl.” It’s going to make him wonder how he can convince you to go all the way. That night.

The naked make-out is the classic definition of blueballing and cockteasing. When you get naked and dry hump a guy, he’s probably going to expect a grand finale. And when he doesn’t get it, it’s really, really frustrating. It’s a turn-off. And it’s an experience he’s not going to want to repeat on a regular basis.

If he thinks the same thing’s going to happen the next time you hook up, and the time after that, and the time after that, he might go looking for someone who won’t leave him feeling aggravated and turned off at the end of the night. He’s gotten most of what he’d get from penetrating you anyway, and he’s walking away with a bad taste in his mouth.

So while you might think that “stop” says, “You have to commit to me before I’ll go all the way,” he’s probably wondering, “How long is she gonna keep pulling this move?” And he might not want to stick around to find out.

There’s an easy way to avoid all this: don’t let a guy see you naked until you’re ready to sleep with him. While you’re still getting to know him, you can make out on the street, at a bar, in his car, or anywhere else where indecent exposure laws apply. Don’t invite him back to your apartment until you’re ready to go all the way. A goodnight kiss won't leave him feeling sexually frustrated the same way a goodnight handjob will.

This will keep him fantasizing about seeing you naked and going out of his way to win your approval. It’ll keep him interested and prevent him from seeing you as a girl he can call when he’s looking for sex. And, if he’s really just looking for sex, he’ll blow you off. But it’s better to learn that now and move on before you have a chance to get even more attached.

But what should you do in Maggie’s situation? Come back tomorrow to find out…

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Night Playlist

Not to be used with a random guy who bought you Delirium Tremens at Saint-Ex.







Thursday, November 12, 2009

Survey the District: But How Do I Let Him Know That I'm Interested?

Dear Date the District,

One of your posts talked about texting... OK, I get that you don’t ever want to look desperate. But how do you let a guy know you’re interested? Sometimes he asks for your number and then never calls, and sometimes I think it might be because I didn’t seem interested enough at the bar. So what’s wrong with texting him to clear the air?


Well, anonymous, the answer to your question is simple: never let a guy know that you’re interested. If a guy’s not calling you, it’s not because he’s worried that you’ll shoot him down. The lack of interest is on his part, not yours.

I don’t buy the whole He’s-Just-Not-That-Into-You craze, the book that your best friends were all telling you you had to read five years ago that turned into a movie that is single-handedly responsible for my desire to punch Ginnifer Goodwin in the face (seriously, WTF was she doing in a chick flick?).

Realizing that a guy doesn’t like you is painful, not liberating, and my problem with the He’s Just Not That Into You franchise is that it encourages girls to act like psycho bitches (i.e., leaving a guy five messages in a row and then validating that behavior by saying, “Well, if he doesn’t like me, it’s his loss!”).

Most of the time, if you try to show a guy that you’re into him, he’s not gonna be that into you.

It works that way for girls too. I went to a happy hour with some friends recently, and two of my friends (let’s call them Kate and Angela) started talking to two guys. The guy Kate was talking to was really cute, and Angela’s guy… was not. They all exchanged numbers at the end of the night. Kate’s guy called her the next day and asked her to go out the following night. On their date, he kept telling her how happy he was to have met her. He texted her three times that night, and Kate never responded. She said she never felt a spark.

Angela, on the other hand, didn’t hear for her guy for almost a week. And she noticed. Even though she claimed she wasn’t interested, she was worried that he’d rejected her. And that made her care.

Like we talked about last week, when you know someone’s interested in you, that person becomes less exciting, less appealing. It’s the unknowns that really get inside your head.

It’s the same way for guys. So even though a guy might respond to a 3 a.m. booty call text, he’s not gonna stick around for breakfast the next morning. He’ll continue to hook up with you for as long as it’s convenient, but when you ask him to come to your office holiday party, he’ll conveniently be out of town, and you’ll probably stop hearing from him for a while.

If you want to go out of your way to let a guy know you’re interested, he’ll get the message. But that will just make it hurt even more when you realize he’s not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not-So-Desperate Singles Event?

Normally, we're not advocates of singles nights. They're usually 1) a huge waste of time 2) incredibly awkward and 3) filled with such desperate, misguided aging bachelors that the few normal people who show up leave feeling beyond depressed because it seems like all the good ones are taken.

But on Friday night, the mysterious "Atieno and Alana" host an evening of "champagne and conversation" at Napoleon Bistro. We'll show up anywhere if there's a champagne tasting (which there is), but Atieno (a real estate agent who "finds houses and spouses") wants you to come to meet someone who you'll really connect with. And she has a plan to make sure it's not a guy who still gets dating advice from his mom.

Here's how it works: you show up looking hot and bring a friend of the opposite sex who's a real catch (i.e., someone you would set your best friend up with). Add champagne. Rinse. Repeat.

We're a little worried that it might just be cute girls and their awkward, cute-but-not-in-that-way-but-a-really-sweet-guy friends from college. But you never know. And did we mention the champagne?

E-mail us at if you want an invite. Otherwise, we'll see you at 1847 Columbia Rd NW this Friday at 7:30.

Missed Connection of the Day

Don't forget to send questions for tomorrow's Survey the District! And for now, here's out favorite missed connection of the day:

Gene at the Manassas Super Wal-Mart - w4m - 29 (Manassas)

Hey Gene, I was in your store last night and you helped me with a bike. I was the brunette wearing the white blouse,leather jacket jeans and black boots. you spent almost an hour with me. I wanted to give you my number. but you were gone when I had worked enough courage. Then I saw you with a tall girl that worked there and she had her hand on your arm, you were both laughing I hope she isn't your girlfriend, i didn't see a ring so I am guessing you aren't married. If you or anyone that knows you sees this could you or whoever let him know I would like to talk to him. God, you are so handsome and those brown eyes made me melt. Hope to hear from you soon,


Let's hope this isn't a Date the District reader...

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Women's Guide to Being Good in Bed

When my friends and I first started having sex, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to be good in bed.

We learned about sex from Sex and the City, Cosmopolitan, and the occasional overly graphic movie we weren’t supposed to be watching. All three mediums presented sex as a competition that you could only win by being the best lover your partner ever had.

We weren’t quite sure how you were supposed to accomplish this. Was there a secret move, a certain thrust of the hips, that was the key to being a veritable vixen?

I have shamelessly asked countless male friends this very question, and it has gotten me a little closer to some kind of answer. Obviously sex is different for every person, but there are some things that most guys seem to like.

The guys I have talked to have overwhelmingly said that their most memorable partners have all one tiny, simple thing in common: they’re really enthusiastic in bed. That is, they're really into having sex.

They initiate it, they suggest trying new things, they seem uninhibited and they tell a guy exactly what to do to make them come.

Obviously there's a limit to this: Most guys would get a little freaked out if a girl pulled out a strap-on and told them to bend over the first or second time they had sex.

But, in general, guys have healthy sexual appetites, and they're looking for someone who is as hungry for an orgasm as they are.

Showing a guy that there’s nowhere else you'd rather be turns out to be the best move you can pull in bed.

How can you do this? The first step is body confidence.

A lot of girls feel insecure when they're naked. Our society teaches women to look at each other critically, to seek out the flaws and imperfections in each other's bodies.

Occasionally, women assume that men are doing the same thing. But men aren't wired like that, especially when a situation presents them with the potential for sex.

Their hormones kick in and the blood leaves their brains and heads south, leaving them with only one thought: "Naked girl - hot!"

The fashion world has also created an image that most girls I know aspire to: thin to the point of malnourishment, with hips as narrow as a 10-year-old boy's.

However, this picture is designed to intimidate every girl who can't fit into dolls' clothing, which makes it harder to get naked without feeling self-conscious.

Again, this is not what guys are thinking. If you flip through an issue of Playboy, you won't see any protruding ribs or skeletal arms. Instead, you'll see curvy hips, thick thighs and asses you could balance a dinner tray on.

Any guy is probably going to be turned on by whatever he finds under a girl's clothes, as long as she presents her body as something that should turn him on.

Act like you are really enjoying your body, even if you're feeling a little bloated. Don't hide under the sheets, and don't insist that he turn off all the lights before you even take off your shirt.

If you still feel a little self-conscious, imagine that you are an entirely different person, someone who can't wait to show off her naked body. Pretend you're acting in a sex scene in a movie.

What would your character do? Eventually, your persona's self-assuredness will translate into confidence in your own body.

Then keep the enthusiasm coming. This doesn't mean that you should fake anything, but sometimes when you try things that may at first seem a little out of character, you start to feel more comfortable and open up to new things.

Start with baby steps. Touch yourself. Let the guy watch. Initiate a blowjob.

Foreplay is your chance to let loose a little more. If something feels good, don't be afraid to moan or tell the guy how it feels.

Again, don't force anything. If something isn't working for you, do something about it. Move his hand or his head and point him in the right direction, or give him verbal instructions.

Guys already know they can get themselves off, so they're usually much more interested in trying to get you off too. Let yourself get really turned on.

When it comes to actual sex, some girls can be a little passive. They're content to let a guy get on top and do all the work, while they lie on their backs without making a sound.

If a guy is really into sex, and you're not, it's a buzz kill. This doesn't mean that you have to put your legs behind your head or twist yourself into a really awkward position, but your partner should know that you're having fun.

If something is not working for you, change positions. If you're having trouble climaxing, reach down and touch yourself.

You should be making noise not because you're forcing yourself to, but because you're genuinely into what you're doing.

You can also demonstrate your enthusiasm by trying new things. Dirty talk can be an easy thing to start with because you don't even need to bring it up ahead of time.

While you're having sex, start telling your partner how good he feels inside of you.

If he responds positively, take it further. Get graphic; use descriptive language (here's where college creative writing classes actually comes in handy).

Sometime when you're not having sex, you can also suggest trying different locations, role-playing, vibrators, sex toys, and whatever else sounds sexy to you.

In some ways, girls have it easy. All we have to do to be good in bed is have really intense orgasms.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Survey the District: How Long?

Dear Date the District,

OK, I feel like this is the oldest question in the book, but how long should you wait before sleeping with a new guy? Let me explain: I always wait three dates to bring a guy home. But I don’t want to sleep with him after only three dates. We always mess around, usually naked, but I stop him before he goes all the way. And then it gets weird. He either tries to go further, or just gets up and leaves, and, either way, it’s never the same after. Are guys expecting me to sleep with them on the third date? Should I just get over my prudishness?

The Not-Quite-So-Virgin Mary

It’s not how long you wait to sleep with a guy, it’s how you go about waiting.

While it’s good to postpone the inevitable, setting arbitrary rules (like the 3-date minimum) isn’t going to get you what you want. Let’s take a look at why.

First, let’s state the obvious: sex is a game. A lot of people don’t like to admit this, but it is. It's biological in its origins: guys are looking to spread their seeds far and wide to further the human race in genetically diverse combinations, while girls can only reproduce with one partner every nine months. So it makes sense that, in general, guys want to play the field, while girls are looking for something a little more stable. That means we have two different teams (men and women) with two different objectives (lots of promiscuous sex, exclusivity) and no way to compromise. Sorry, but that's a game.

Guys win this game all the time. They find a girl, convince her to play a few rounds of hide the sausage, and start looking for the next girl. Girls end up crying and wondering what went wrong.

Even girls who aren't looking for a relationship still have a hard time getting what they want. Every girl wants to hook up with someone who, at the very least, is nice to her and acts like he's interested. But because guys are less likely to get attached, they're less likely to adhere to any standards of polite behavior.

So, if you're a girl, how can you win the game?

If the object of the game, for a guy, is sex, the first step is to keep him from winning. That's right: withhold sex for as long as possible.

You seem to understand this, in theory, Mary. But you’re going about doing it in the wrong way. Inviting a guy back to your room and grinding all over him in a tiny thong and then saying, "I don't wanna have sex with you—yet" isn't withholding sex, it's being a huge cock tease. When you're practically, but not technically, having sex, guys aren't thinking, “Wow, I really respect her for holding out.” They're just frustrated. They've seen you naked, they have a pretty good sense of what sex with you is going to be like, and they're annoyed that you let it get this far and don't want to go all the way. Almost all the mystery is gone, and what little is left is irritating, not alluring.

And when you tell him things like, “I won’t sleep with you until we’re exclusive,” you’re not helping your case, either. Everyone wants what they can’t have: an expensive purse, your best friend's boyfriend, a six-figure salary with three month’s vacation. If a guy isn’t sure whether or not he’s gonna score with you, he wants it more.

Remember when you were a kid, and you really wanted the new My Magic Diary for Christmas? If your parents told you it was coming, it wasn’t that big of a deal, and Christmas didn’t seem that far away. But if you weren’t sure whether or not it would be under the tree, the days between Thanksgiving and December 25 passed by at an agonizingly slow pace. All you could think about was how cool you would look with the My Magic Diary, and how badly you wanted it.

It’s the same way with guys. If they know they can sleep with you after three dates, the game loses the excitement. And it’s like the present you knew was coming: you played with it a few times, and then you forgot about it. The guy who knows how to get what he wants will make sure he gets it a few times, but then he’ll go out and find something else that wasn’t as easy.

So keep your flirtations public for as long as possible. You can hold hands on the street. You can kiss at a bar. But as soon as you take it back to your room, everything that you won’t do becomes a tease.

There’s no magic rule for how long you should wait. My rule of thumb is: at least a month. But if you’re only seeing each other once or twice a week, you should probably wait longer.

That way, when you do decide it’s time to take it “someplace a little more quiet,” you don’t have to worry about stopping things before they get too far.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Got a Question?

We need questions for our Friday feature: Survey the District. If you have a question about sex/dating/relationships, e-mail us at

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Looking for a Boyfriend? Think Again

“I’m not looking for a boyfriend.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that sentence. At work, on the metro, in the bars. But the women who say it aren’t seeking sexual liberation. They’re not trying to eliminate distraction while they focus on their jobs, careers, or education. They’re not even girls who’ve tried dating and realized that it’s not for them. No, here’s the monologue they always give in defense of the single life:

“So, I’ve been hooking up with this guy, you know? And not, like, every night, but, like, every night he’s drunk, for sure. And not because he, like, doesn’t like me or anything, it’s because he’s too nervous to make a move when he’s sober. He told me that once when he blackout. It was really cute actually. Anyway, so, like, I texted him last night, and he wasn’t responding. Like, I sent him, like, three texts. And, like, I know he always goes to McFadden’s on Friday nights with his kickball team. So I decide to just show up. And I get there, and he’s making out with this blonde chick! Like, I assumed we were exclusive after that one night he called me to come pick him when he was puking on U Street. So, whatever, I’ve just realized that… I’m not looking for a boyfriend.”

Really? That’s the conclusion you’re drawing from this situation? Let’s leave that for now and talk about what this denunciation really means.

These girls aren’t swearing off men all together. Instead, they want to “keep things casual.” That means they want to continue to hook up with guys, but they’re not going to expect or pursue a relationship. So they’ll still send the 3 a.m. booty call text. They’ll kick him out right after climax. They’ll send even more shameless (and desperate) e-mails and texts because, “I don’t wanna date him, so I don’t care what he thinks.” And then when they see him sucking face with that blonde, well, who cares?

Except that they always do care. And why shouldn’t they? These girls are, essentially, being rejected, because their FWBs could be making out with them right now, but are choosing to swap spit with someone else instead. The guy wants to kiss the blonde, and, sadly, he doesn’t want to kiss you.

And that can make you think, “Well, what was I to him?” To answer that, let’s think about what he was to you. He got to have sex with you, if not every time he wanted it, at least 50 percent of the time. He maybe got to take you to a few office happy hours and birthday parties when showing up without a date meant showing up and spending the whole night being introduced to 40-something singles. But he never had to take you out to dinner. He never had to call and check in with you. He never had to do anything that required going out of his way at all. Maybe he never even had to make the trek over to your place to get a blowjob.

Most guys know what they want when it comes to girls, especially the fratty bros who seem to immigrate to DC each spring right after graduation. Above all, they want sex. A relationship’s fine, as long as it doesn’t require too much work, but they almost always require more work than not being in a relationship, and when they can get sex without having to buy flowers, well, why not save $12.99?

Girls don’t tend to think the same way. For them, sex is like a belt on an outfit: a relationship’s no good without it, but other things are more important. They want someone who will come to the happy hours, meet their friends, and change their flat tires. But they’ll settle for just sex because it’s better than nothing.

More simply put: even if a girl says she’s not looking for a boyfriend, if the man of her dreams showed up on her doorstep one morning and got down on one knee like the guy in the Taylor Swift song, she wouldn’t say, “Um, actually, I’m not looking for that right now.”

And so a hook-up buddy basically turns into a boyfriend who’s allowed to treat you like crap and still get the thing that’s most important to him.

When a girl says, “I’m not looking for a boyfriend,” usually what she really means is, “I’m not looking to get hurt again.” But when a guy figures out he can blow you off and you’ll still blow him, what’s the incentive not to hurt you?

This doesn’t mean you should tell guys that you’re looking for a relationship (in fact, never, ever do that), but it does mean that you shouldn’t let things get to that point.

This brings us back to the initial misread of the situation. Instead of blaming the blonde on relationships, blame it on the lack of a relationship.

And, above all, stop telling yourself that you’re not looking for a boyfriend.