Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow-Up: Reciprocity and Oral Sex

We had a conversation with one of our male readers that prompted use to write a follow up to yesterday's post.

Here were his thoughts…

On grooming: “I'd say that, while grooming is important, and straight up Brazilian or some trimmed peach fuzz is always nice, a real man can hang in the bush.”

On how girls can be their own worst enemies: “I also think that, in some cases, girls take their insecurities and project onto the guy, either by not giving him the chance, or dissuading him by--to greater and lesser degrees of subtlety--grabbing his cock and offering sex.”


And finally, on reciprocity: “I'd like to pose a question: Is oral sex the only means of reciprocity-is it precisely an act for an act?

“Oral sex can be used in different ways. There's the warm up/foreplay--which I think can and should be almost always reciprocal within the term of the sex act. Then there's the one-time release, where someone (granted usually the guy) just gets some oral sex. I don't think it makes sense, necessarily, that the guy or girl be required to immediately reciprocate-just because don't we all want some time to enjoy the post-release relaxation? However, one should keep a mental note and return the favor at the first appropriate moment. These can be little gifts of selfless giving between partners, after a rough day or whatever. Then, there's always the finish-off. Sex nearly completed, a woman takes it upon herself to take the man in her mouth-a personal favorite--also works well if the guy performed oral sex on the girl at the onset of nakedness.”

This brought up larger issues (which required furious gchatting to resolve). The issue, we realized, is that girls are more likely to need to be finished off than guys, because they might have a harder time climaxing from sex alone.

And, in this case, if the guy already reached climax through intercourse, the girl probably doesn’t need to reciprocate at that moment. So, within the confines of a relationship, the balance might actually be more skewed to the women.

But that’s not what our reader wrote in about yesterday. She raised the issue of oral sex within the confines of a one-night stand.

And here’s where our male reader offered perhaps the best advice on equalizing the oral sex exchange that we’ve ever heard.

The one-night stand oral sex issue often comes up when a girl takes a guy home, realizes she doesn’t want to have sex with him, and then tries to trade oral sex for penetration (like the woman in our earlier post).

The guys who might not want to reciprocate, he argues, are either lazy, squeamish, or selfish. They either want to get pleasure without giving any, or they’re a little intimidated by an unknown vagina.

When partners are reciprocating oral sex, everyone wants to go last. We all want to enjoy that post-pleasure release without worrying about the work to come.

But if you’re doing the one-night stand oral-sex tradeoff (which, by the way, we never, ever advocate doing), it actually makes sense for the girl go to first. Why?

Let’s say the guy starts doing that thing where he pushes your head downtown or straight-up asks you for a blowjob. Instead of going for it and hoping he repays the favor afterward, say, “I’ll do you if you do me first.”

According to our reader, very few guys will turn down a blowjob. And so some of the squeamish, lazy, and selfish guys who were on the fence about going down on you will be more likely to get you off in order to earn that blowjob.

Survey the District: Should I Bother Trying to Tame an Asshole?

Dear Date the District,

Currently, I am in a situation that has the potential to turn into naked-makeout disaster zone or perhaps something more substantial and I would love your advice on it. I have had a crush on this guy from my town since the 1st grade. There is something about him that has always worked for me, and still does 16 years later. While this crush never developed into anything during my formative years, I've recently gotten back in touch with people from high school since graduating college and moving back home. Said crush and I never hung out socially outside of school, and over the course of the last 2 months have seen each other maybe 5 times or so. Every time involves a group of friends either at a bar or someone's house, and alcohol. He has flirted with me a great deal while out with friends every time I go out with him, and insinuated make out sessions that I held out on (up until last weekend that is). Mutual friends of ours have told me that he has never been in a real relationship before, and think that I am "too nice" for him. (Meaning, they don't want to see me attempt to pursue this route with him because I will end up getting my heart broken like the wounded soldiers before me.) We hooked up last weekend, post-bar (not drunk, but not sober) and he attempted sex but I steered him in the direction of a blowjob instead (which was truly difficult because we had intense chemistry and were having a great time together and *sigh* I have been wanting him since the tender age of 6). My question for you is: should I bother putting in the effort with this guy if he's never had a girlfriend? Is there even a likelihood of me potentially being the girl that breaks the mold? (i.e. will your method of projection work on this guy?) And if not, should I abstain from hooking up with him again? It's been awhile since the last time I hooked up with anyone and the dry spell is KILLING me, but I don't want to pretend I'm one of those girls who "doesn't want a boyfriend" and is cool with "being casual" because I get jealous and know that won't work for me. I'm totally lost. Side note: he is a weak thumbed texter.

It’s a tempting trap: if you don’t think it’s going anywhere, why bother playing games? After all, holding out is hard, and it’s easier to just text him first.

Here’s the issue: playing games isn’t guaranteed to work. But not playing games is almost 100 percent guaranteed not to get you what you want.

We see this time and time again. Girls decide that it’s not worth playing games because he’s not datable, or he’s not cute enough, or he’s too much of an asshole to bother. They think the fact that they’ve resigned themselves to not even bother trying will protect them from getting hurt, but a few weeks later, when he’s in major blowoff mode, the sting is even worse—partially because it’s unexpected.

You never know how things are going to progress. This guy could be totally untamable. Or it could be that no girl’s ever made him work for it before.

But if you text him first and give him the naked makeout, you’re never gonna find out. And, chances are, he will start blowing you off. And what for?

We understand the excruciating frustration of a dry spell. But is it really worth the pain you’re going to feel when you go three weeks without hearing from him?

Our advice would be to keep making out with him in public. But don’t take things back to his place. If he texts you at 3 a.m., ignore him (and FYI, that means no texting him back in the morning to say, “Sorry, I was sleeping”).

Girls rarely (if ever) get anything out of playing it straight. If you’re sexually frustrated, invest in a vibrator—they never forget to call.

There’s something to be said for human contact and the validation that comes from proof that your crush desires you sexually.

But won’t it feel worse to know that he did want you at some point and, for whatever reason, isn’t responding to you now?

The more you like someone to begin with, the easier it is to get obsessed when he doesn’t call. If you let him have it that easily, you’re probably going to regret it.

You say you two have a lot of sexual chemistry. Which totally makes sense—if you’ve been waiting for someone for 16 years, the payoff’s going to be even bigger.

But think about the sexiest parts of hooking up. It’s not the blowjob, or the naked dry-humping, or even actual penetration. It’s the sensual kisses, the tentative touches, his lips on your neck, etc. All of this can be accomplished in a dark corner of a bar.

With the public makeout, you can cash in on the electrifying sexual chemistry without sacrificing your dignity.

And if he wants to take it further, he can ask you on a date.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Survey the District: How to Enjoy Oral Sex

Dear Date the District,

I find that I am one of the only ones of my friends who does not thoroughly enjoy receiving it. The only thing that goes through my mind is "Wow, vaginas must be so incredibly disgusting. I feel bad that he's doing this." And of course, every girl's worst nightmare is being the girl with the smelly vag and not knowing it (I have a lot of guy friends, and they would include me in conversations about girls they've slept with and go into incredible detail about such things). I also hear from guy friends that they do not equate eating a girl out to receiving head, even though both are oral sex. Is it something you shouldn't expect to get until you're in a relationship (versus guys who get blowjobs from just about anyone)?


The first thing you should know is, most guys do enjoy going down on girls.

They might talk about smelly vags in front of their guy friends, but they’ll also lie about things like enjoying The Notebook in front of their peers.

Guys like watching you get off. They like watching you get horny and turned on, and they like doing things that’ll make you more enthusiastic about sex. Oral sex might not be every guy’s favorite pastime, but, in general, guys like giving oral sex a lot more than girls do.

If you’re really worried about smell, though, one of our friends swears by vaginal wipes. It sounds weird, but you can buy them at most drugstores and keep a few in your purse. When things seem like they’re headed in that direction, excuse yourself to the bathroom and freshen up. You don’t want to do this right before he goes down on you (you don’t want to taste like hand sanitizer), but if you use one in advance of the main event, you won’t be so worried about how you taste.

Shaving/waxing your pubic hair also goes a long way in the taste/smell/general appeal department. A hairless vagina looks, smells, and tastes cleaner, and it’s easier for guys to navigate.

But we bring up this vaginal maintenance, not for the sake of the guy, but for you. Because the first thing you need to do to be able to enjoy oral sex is relax. If you’re worried about grossing him out, you definitely won’t be able to enjoy yourself. So if grooming relieves some of these stresses, go for it.

Stop worrying about how he’s feeling, and instead focus on relaxing and turning yourself on. Think of it this way: penises aren’t always the cleanest/most beautiful organs, but that never stops girls from putting them in their mouths. It’s the same for guys.

Sometimes it helps to close your eyes and visualize something that arouses you. If you know how to get off with your fingers, get him to replicate those movements with this tongue. It’s not going to be exactly the same, so make sure to give him plenty of direction.

Be patient. It might take you a while to get used to the sensation, and it might take even longer for you to be able to enjoy it. Experiment with different angles/techniques. Sometimes if you put a pillow under your butt, the guy has better access to your sensitive spots. And oral sex is usually more effective when the guy spends a lot of time building up to it—kissing your inner thighs, teasing you, etc. But a lot of it’s going to involve working together—see Tuesday's post for more info.

On to the final part of your question: the guys who don’t equate going down on girls to receiving head are lazy. I’m sure we’d all love to get oral sex without giving it. But the fact is, oral sex is oral sex, no matter which gender it’s performed on.

It’s up to you to decide when you’re ready to initiate oral sex. But if you’re going down on a guy, he should be returning the favor—no matter what “stage” you’re at in the relationship.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Reality TV Can Teach Us About Dating: The Bachelor

A few nights ago, our roommate forced us to watch an episode of The Bachelor.

We haven’t watched the show since 2002 (and we stopped watching reality matchmaking television forever when it got rid of its most, um, innovative program, For Love or Money, which is like the bachelor, except at the end, the woman gets to choose between staying with the guy or dumping him for $1,000,000, and if that doesn’t sound like amazing television, we don’t know what does), but we were surprised to see that, in eight years, nothing has changed.

You’d think that the current season’s contestants would have watched the other seasons before going on the show, like a football team gearing up for the big game. They have EIGHT seasons of tape to learn from, but they’re all making the same mistakes the original cast was back in the aughts.

So we’ve put together a guide for future bachelor contestants (whom we so desperately want to call “bachelorettes”). Even if you’re not planning on auditioning for The Bachelor, you still might be able to learn a thing or two about how to attract a guy when you’re surrounded by 20 other beautiful (albeit clinically insane) women.

1. STUDY THE SET-UP. Here’s the way The Bachelor works: For most of the show, the Bachelor is surrounded by a group of women who are aware of the fact that he’s simultaneously dating all of them. This means that a lot of women’s interactions with the Bachelor have to be strictly platonic—after all, if one girl grabs him and starts making out, the others would attack like a pack of starving lions on a lone overweight zebra.

This divides the game into two fields: public space and private space. Your strategy is going to depend on the field you inhabit, because the dynamic is different in each space.

But the winning strategies for public and private space are actually the opposite of what most girls think they are. When you’re in public, you want to distinguish yourself from the other girls—which means not throwing yourself at him and/or acting like a dumb bimbo. When you’re in private, you want to keep things on the platonic side. Why? Read on.

2. KNOW YOUR OPPONENTS. Ninety percent of the girls on this show are literally bat-shit insane. And ninety-nine percent are beautiful. They all employ the same strategy: whenever the Bachelor’s in the room, they do everything short of peeing on him to mark their territory.

3. PLAY OFF YOUR OPPONENTS’ WEAKNESSES.
If a guy has 20 beautiful women throwing themselves at him, he’s going to notice the one that doesn’t. He’s going to think, “These are the most beautiful women I’ve ever met in my entire life, and they all told me I was their soul mate within five minutes of meeting me. Why isn’t that one girl doing that?” When a group of women are throwing themselves at a guy and one isn’t, the guy’s going to think the one is better/more desirable than the other women, because she seems like she might be too good for him. He’s going to be more interested in pursuing her because 1) she seems like the most eligible contestant and 2) we all want what we can’t have.

And while rapid-fire flirtation is flattering, it’s not that entertaining. So you can further distinguish yourself by engaging him platonically. Make jokes. Ask him questions that have nothing to do with relationships. Most girls are asking him things like, “What do you look for in a future wife?” Be the one who asks him, “So how, exactly, do you learn how to fly a plane?”

4. EXPLOIT YOUR ADVANTAGES. When the Bachelor takes contestants into “private” rooms, most try to engage him physically. They sit on his lap, rub his thigh, and make themselves seem incredibly sexually available in general.

This is a huge turnoff. When you’re on The Bachelor, your ONE advantage is sexual tension. The Bachelor and the contestants spend a lot of time flirting, but they get to spend much time touching. This creates a lot of anticipation and sexual buildup, which can be a huge advantage.

When a guy’s free to imagine sex with you, his fantasy’s going to be 100 times sexier than the reality. His fantasy won’t have weird noises, awkward slip-outs, weird smells coming from the restaurant downstairs, etc.

When you start touching him, those fantasies turn into a much-less-sexy reality. And when he realizes he can have you just as easily as he can have most of the other contestants, he’s going to seek out the challenge girls.

Case in point: In this week’s episode, the Bachelor invited one girl to “chat” in a hotel suite. She jumped on his lap in a dress that barely covered her vagina. She immediately started rubbing his inner thigh. Later, in the confessional, the Bachelor said he felt like there wasn’t much chemistry, and he kicked her out at the next Rose ceremony (what is this—a sorority?).

The chemistry came from imagining what the tips of her fingers would feel like on his inner thigh, and from wondering whether or not he’d ever get to that point. As soon as he got it, he was disappointed, and her availability made her less interesting.

5. DON’T TALK ABOUT IT, DO IT. Bachelor contestants love talking about the (perceived) state of the relationship. Why waste time getting to know the Bachelor when you could constantly badger him about how he feels about him, only to interrupt him and explain how you’re feeling?

Does that sound like a fun conversation? Guys find it even more boring.

There’s nothing worse than overanalyzing a relationship with the person you’re trying to have one with. It makes you look boring, insecure, and immature. The Bachelor (and guys in general) is going to look for the girl who can hold an interesting conversation, and one who keeps him guessing about her true feelings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Survey the District: How to Make Orgasms a Team Effort

Dear Date the District,

I read your post about how to climax/have good sex. While I think your take on this was helpful, I am relatively shy when it comes to speaking up about what I need in the bedroom. While I don't really have body-consciousness issues, I'm pretty self-conscious about the actual process of how things progress in the bedroom. Sadly, I have never achieved the "big O" with a guy before (I know I am capable of it because I've done it myself). For some reason, it just never gets there for me and I can't tell if I am the one with the issues or if it's whatever guy I'm with that doesn't know what he's doing. Either way, I feel totally weird about giving direction or taking direction. Advice on this? Do guys find it off-putting when a girl says "no, do it like this" to them??


No—in fact, it’s a major turn on!

The female body is a huge mystery to most guys. The male reproductive system is a little more straightforward—the target zone is a lot bigger, for one thing.

So a lot of guys have no clue what they’re doing and feel a little lost every time they’re confronted with a vagina. When they’re not 100 percent sure what to do, they start to worry that they’re doing something wrong, which detracts from their ability to enjoy the task at hand.

When you tell them what to do, they don’t have to worry about getting you off. They can follow your instructions and focus on the pleasurable sensations instead of worrying about getting everything right.

Like we’ve said before, guys get off on driving you wild. They can have an orgasm without having sex, and watching you get hot and bothered is a huge ego boost that’s hard to replicate outside of the bedroom.

It doesn’t matter if you had to lead the way—if you can come, they’ll be happy to take all the credit.

If you feel shy about telling a guy exactly what you want, spin it in a positive light. If he’s licking your bellybutton and seems to think he’s found the clitoris, you don’t have to say, “That’s not really working for me.” Instead, you can say, “You know, it feels really good when you do this,” and then take his hand to the right spot. Guide his fingers for the first few seconds, and then let him know when he gets it right. Soft moaning or words of encouragement will do the trick.

Attitude is everything when it comes to sex. Guys love it when girls take the lead, but you can pretty much get away with whatever you want if you act like what you’re doing is perfectly normal.

When guys have sex, they’re more worried about whether or not they’re doing something wrong. They don’t have enough energy left over to watch you with a critical eye, so if you project confidence, they’ll assume that you know what you’re doing.

Sometimes you really have to force yourself to take the plunge to see how this works though. If you’re too shy to ask him to do something outright, move his hand. When you see how willingly he follows your direction, that might give you the confidence you need to deliver verbal instruction.

But sometimes you just have to get over your shyness. It can help to disassociate from yourself. Pretend you’re playing a porn star in a Larry Flint special. In pornos, the women don’t lay there and hope he gets it right. Depending on the genre, they’ll nag, yell, boss, and generally take command.

Or try taking deep breaths and relaxing. The more comfortable you feel, the easier it’ll be for you to release some inhibitions.

But realize that coming isn’t as easy with a guy as it is when you’re by yourself. And the fact that you haven’t come with a guy before is nobody’s fault. There’s nothing wrong with you—it just takes practice!

Be patient and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have an orgasm when you’re with a guy. You might have some moves you can use to get yourself off, but a guy might not be able to replicate those exactly.

It might take some work and collaboration on both of your parts. But remember, most guys are eager to work with you to achieve climax—no matter how long it takes. It might feel weird for you to make adjustments every few minutes, but the guy is probably so eager to get you off that he won’t notice.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Survey the District: When the Big O Turns Into "Oh No!"

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and summer flings that turned into something more are close to hitting the 6-month mark (because let’s be honest, no one’s going out and meeting guys when it’s 30 degrees out).

This can be a confusing time of year for love, so this week will be devoted to readers’ questions. Need advice or looking for answers on sex, dating, or relationships? Shoot us an e-mail at datethedistrict@gmail.com

i don't O in every position, esp missionary and i TOTALLY don't mind.
i.e. i like the intimacy of it and it still feels really good but i
can tell he feels terrible when i don't O and no matter what i say he
still apologizes and thinks it's his fault. even if i Oed earlier in
the night on top, he still feels bad.


For guys, sex and orgasms go hand in hand. Guys usually can’t orgasm without having or simulating intercourse, so they see climax as the goal of every sexual encounter.

It’s different for girls. Girls get off on clitoral stimulation, something that’s hard to achieve from intercourse alone. For most girls, it’s easier to come when you take penetration out of the equation.

That doesn’t mean that intercourse doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t like doing it. But it does mean that we approach sex differently.

It’s great that you’re able to achieve climax from sex alone—not every girl can do that. But he might not realize what an accomplishment this is.

So spell it out for him. The next time he starts pouting post-coitus, give him a lesson in female anatomy. Explain that all girls have trouble reaching orgasm from sex alone, and explain that the fact you’re able to come even sometimes is really an accomplishment. Tell him that it still feels good, but explain that, when he gets all huffy when you don’t come, it’s a major turnoff.

When he obsesses over your ability to climax, it probably puts pressure on you and makes it harder to come. So don’t phrase it as a “Don’t feel bad” thing, pitch it as something that’s keeping you from enjoying yourself and therefore making him a bad lover.

Guys want to feel like they’re the best you’ve ever had, and they’ll do anything to feel like a pleasure machine in bed. So say something like, “Look, sex and coming are two different things for girls. If I really want to come that badly, I’ll masturbate. I like sex for different reasons, and it feels really good in a way that’s totally different from orgasming. It’s just the way sex works for girls, and if I didn’t love having sex with you, I wouldn’t be doing it. But when you freak out every time I don’t come, it’s a major turnoff, and if you want it to feel really good for me, you’ll stop talking about.”

And make sure he knows how much you’re enjoying yourself. Make noises, talk dirty, and show him that you’re really into it. An orgasm is just reassurance that he’s great in bed, and there are other ways to show him that he’s amazing between the sheets.

Friday, January 22, 2010

News Roundup: Condom Etiquette

We realize we’re a little late on this one, but one of our readers sent this article last week:

Carrying three or more condoms in Washington, D.C. isn’t a sign that you’re a responsible adult who has a big night ahead of you, instead it could mean you’re a prostitute. Police in D.C. are setting up “Prostitution Free Zones,” in which officers can arrest anyone they suspect of being a sex worker. And the police have been accused of using the number of condoms a person has in their possession as an indication of their intent to sell sex. While this law can be a nuisance to people who aren’t in the sex trade (condoms are often sold in packs of three), it really is dangerous to sex workers because it forces them to abandon safe sex practices, which puts their health and that of the public at risk. D.C. has HIV/AIDS rates greater than a severe epidemic. And this law will make matters worse because prostitutes, who are often controlled by pimps, will be further criminalized and won’t seek medical attention for fear of being arrested. Sadly, this practice has also been adopted by police in San Francisco and New York City.

We personally find this law appalling on moral grounds, it does bring up something else we’d like to mention: condom etiquette.

Nothing quite spoils the mood like a guy who reaches into his pocket three minutes into a heavy makeout sesh and says, “I have a condom.”

It makes the guy seem cocky and presumptuous. It makes the girl wonder how often he does this. And, above all, it makes the condom-carrier seem like an inexperience and unskilled lover, because he’s implying that he wants to hit a home run by making a u-turn at first base (thereby bypassing second and third).

If you’re going out with a girl who’s not your girlfriend, don’t carry around condoms. Period.

We certainly advocate using a condom every time you have sex. But most people (girls and guys) keep a stash in their “secret drawer” in the nightstand. While we like that people are taking the initiative when it comes to their reproductive health, you don’t have to carry around condoms to practice safe sex.

Once we hit a certain age (i.e., 20ish), the urge to have sex isn’t so overpowering that we can’t stop ourselves because no one has protection.

If your potential partner doesn’t have a condom in his/her drawer, you can wait until next time.

The only time you should have condoms in your pocket is when you’re on the prowl for a one-night stand.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Projection

At some point, we all need to accept the fact that all’s fair in love and war.

Some girls don’t want to play games or engage in behavior that might seem manipulative. But if you’re the only one playing by the rules, you’re more likely to get hurt.

When you’re going out with a new guy, he probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart. And why should he? He doesn’t know you, and if people don’t look out for themselves in the dating world, no one else will.

And until a new guy gives you a reason not to, you have to make yourself your number one priority.

This brings us to today’s dating strategy: projection.

When you meet a new guy, you need to hold him to the highest standards, especially at the beginning. At the beginning, everyone’s trying to make a good impression. Which means that as the relationship progresses, his behavior is only going to get worse. If you’re seeing him at his best on the first date and he gets blackout before dessert, imagine what your third month anniversary will look like.

But sometimes guys don’t know better. Sometimes a genuinely nice guy will make a totally inappropriate comment about your best friend’s ass, because he’s nervous, or because he saw something on TV and thought he could pull it off.

You don’t have to blow him off after he makes the first mistake. But you do need to correct his behavior.

This is where projection comes in. Projection is, in its purest form, a nudge in the right direction. It’s a form of manipulation, but it manipulates a guy into treating you the way you deserve to be treated.

It works like this: When you’re interacting with a guy, you pretend that he does, in fact, have your best interests at heart. You pretend that he wants to date you, marry you, buy you a mansion in the suburbs and a brand new BMW.

But you don’t tell him any of this.

You keep it in the back of your head. And when he screws up, your reaction doesn’t stem from the fact that he’s being an asshole. Instead, you react as though you think he’s really trying to do what’s best for you, but his desires to please you have ultimately led him astray.

In short, you act like his motivations and intentions are pure, and while he’s trying to give you what he thinks you want, what you actually want differs from the image in his head.

Here’s an example: let’s say he makes plans to take you out for restaurant week. But the day of, he calls up, and, whoops, the restaurant lost the reservation. Do you want to just come over instead?

In reality, there probably never was a reservation. And he’s just trying to get you to come over and hook up. And if you react to that, you’re agreeing to play by those rules—even if you say no.

Instead, pretend that he genuinely is upset about the reservation being “canceled,” and he’s only inviting you over so that he doesn’t have to break plans with you. So your response looks something like, “Oh, bummer! That’s OK—we can just reschedule dinner for sometime next week.”

Let’s say he responds with a text that says, “Why don’t u wanna come over .” Now he’s clearly just looking for sex. But, again, pretend his motivations are virginal and pure. Pretend he’s worried that you’re mad at him. Your response needs to remove sex from the equation (which might mean throwing in a dash of emasculation). Say something like, “Aww, I wish I could, but I have plans .”

If you need a few more examples, check back tomorrow.

Projection doesn’t work when a guy is straight-up blowing you off. If he forgets to call or doesn’t show up for a happy hour he promised to go to, your best defense is silence. Don’t try to contact him, and ignore his first few texts.

But projection does work when his behavior’s just a little off. When he’s clearly making an effort, but his efforts might be more focused on sex than on dating you.

In Pysch 101, you learn that when you project a personality trait onto someone, they start to adopt that personality. So if you treat your coworker like she’s a bitch, she’s going to start acting like one.

We all look to the people around us for cues on how to act. It’s human nature. So if someone treats us like they think we’re a really nice person, we assume, “Oh, I must be nice,” and we act accordingly.

It’s the same for guys. If you treat a guy like you think he has your best intentions at heart, he’s going to assume that he does. And he’s going start acting like it’s all about you. And, at that point, what’s the difference?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Give a Great Blowjob

Most girls hate giving blowjobs.

The process is so unpleasant that most try to finish as quickly as possible. But half-assed technique and an obvious lack of enthusiasm makes things take longer. So we’ve put together a quick and dirty how-to guide that’ll make your jaw happy.

1. Fake enthusiasm. When it comes to sex, enthusiasm goes a long way. Oral sex may not be your favorite pastime, but if he knows you’re hating it, it’s going to take him longer to get off. Make some noise. Your mouth may be full, but a few well-place grunts and moans will turn him on and ensure that he’s in the mood. Grab his penis while you’re making out and make him believe that you really want it. Keep playing with it while you remove your clothes. Make eye contact with him while you’re going down. Smile and bit your lip while you kiss your way down his chest. You don’t have to have a conversation with him about how much you love giving head, but if you act like you’re into it, he’ll get off fantasizing about how much you want him.

2. Tease him. A blowjob is most effective when it doesn’t seem like a sure thing. So save it for special occasions, and don’t dive right into it. This is one instance in which the naked makeout can actually be very effective. Grind up on him until he’s going crazy. Postpone it for as long as possible, until he starts doubting things and wondering whether or not he’ll actually get the blowjob tonight. And then slowly work your way down his torso, pausing to caress his pelvis and inner thighs with your tongue. Don’t take the whole thing in your mouth all at once. Spend a good minute working the shaft and surrounding area with your tongue and hands only.

3. Get a good base. Most girls assume that a good blowjob is basically a handjob with an oral topping. You don’t need to wrap your whole hand around the base: your first two fingers and thumb will do. Make a tight ring (like you’re making the “OK” sign with your thumb, index, and middle finger) and wrap it around the very bottom of his shaft. Let your ring finger and pinky finger splay out to the side so they don’t get in the way. For the most part, these base fingers don’t have to move—just make sure to maintain a tight grip. But every so often, gently move them slightly up and down the bottom part of the shaft. When a penis is erect, the skin can move independently of the rest of the shaft. When you’re sliding your fingers up and down the base, you want the skin to come with you. Don’t be too aggressive—the skin should move freely without any tugging.

4. Slow and steady wins the race. Bobbing your head up and down as fast as you can isn’t going to make him come any faster. If he starts pushing your head into jackhammer mode towards the end, that’s fine, but don’t start out at warp speed. Move slowly up and down the shaft, pressing your tongue firmly into the skin. Keep the suction tight, but make sure you’re not using too much teeth. You can pause to work your tongue on the tip (the most sensitive part of the penis), and every so often, stop moving your head all together and just move your tongue up and down the shaft while applying pressure.

5. Keep it lubricated. Don’t be afraid to use too much saliva. The wetter, the better (for the guy, anyway). Don’t spit on him or anything, but don’t worry about things getting too messy.

6. Man cannot come from blowjobs alone. One of the biggest pervading myths about blowjobs is that they’re the be-all, end-all of getting off. And while most guys say there’s nothing like a well-delivered blowjob, it works best when paired with other sexual activities. Make sure to employ the naked makeout. Stop every so often to gently (and we mean gently) lick or suck on his balls. If your mouth gets tired, stop and give him a quick hand job. The mid-blowjob well lubricated hand job is actually one of the best parts of getting head, according to some guys we talked to for this article. If you keep mixing it up, he’ll get off faster.

A guy shouldn’t expect a blowjob every time he gets naked. Dole them out wisely—it’s quality over quantity. And the more effort you put into it, the less time you’ll have to spend actually doing it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Calories, Cardio, and Cast-Away Boyfriends: Three Things You Shouldn't Talk About on a First Date

Any former sorority girl will tell you there are three things you should never talk about in the rush room: boys, bitches, and bank accounts.

On a first date, certain topics of conversation should also be off-limits, but they’re not always as obvious.

The first is CALORIES. When a group of girls get together for dinner, they sometimes guesstimate the grams of fat in the salad dressing or bitch about how many pieces of pizza they ate for lunch, and no one thinks anything of it.

But guys don’t necessarily want to hear you list the caloric content of everything you ate in one day. When you start talking about dieting or watching what you eat, it makes you sound insecure and superficial.

Guys appreciate nice bodies, but they aren’t turned on when you go into detail about how you maintain yours. A guy may want to date a girl who weighs 120 pounds, but he doesn’t want to go on dates with someone who always asks for salad dressing on the side.

When you obsess about calories, it also makes you look insecure. A guy wants to think his date has a bangin’ bod. But if she tells him she’s just having a salad because she went overboard on Tuesday, it’s harder for him to notice the perfection. Guys want to think that girls have naturally slim waists. And that’s not how most girls keep their figures, but when you spoil the illusion, the rosy tint disappears.

And besides, you have more interesting things to talk about. A conversation about calories is, frankly, boring, and it makes you look like a ditz.

Along the same lines, the second no-no is CARDIO. A guy doesn’t get a boner when you pull out your notebook of calorie counts, and he doesn’t want to hear about your workouts either.

It’s fine to mention that you work out. And it’s great to say that you enjoy exercise. But when you start explaining that you only work out to stay skinny, you’re back to looking like a ditzy bimbo.

Maybe you like the runner’s high. Perhaps you turn the resistance all the way up on the elliptical so that you can sprint up the Metro escalators in the morning. For a lot of us, exercise is part of our daily routines, and it’s not something you should be ashamed of or try to hide.

But there’s no need to mention the fact that you only work out to burn calories. And don’t obsess over the details of your workout either.

A guy might want to sleep with a girl who spends 40 hours a week in spin class, but he’s not going to want to date her.

You wouldn’t tell a guy that you spent two hours applying makeup for your first date. Cardio’s another grooming habit that’s better left understated.

When a girl is casual and laid back about her weight, it makes her seem more substantive, which translates to: more datable.

The third conversation to avoid is CAST-AWAY BOYFRIENDS. Don’t talk about previous relationships. Just don’t.

Sometimes guys bring this up. They’ll say something like, “When was your last relationship?” or “What was your longest relationship?”

These questions might seem innocuous/slightly relevant, but there’s never a good answer. If you say you just got out of a relationship, he’ll think he’s the rebound. If you say it’s been a while, he might wonder if other guys think you’re not worth dating. If you say your longest relationship was three years, he might think you’re a serial monogamous. And if you say it was three months, he might think you’re just DTF.

The truth is, your past isn’t any of his business. It’s like asking how much money you make. So react to the former the way you would to the latter.

You don’t have to say, “That’s none of your business” if you’re worried you’ll end up sounding like a bitch. You could laugh and say something like, “Do you want to see my bank statement too?” Or keep a straight face and say, “Sixty years.” Or you could just say, “Oh, I dunno” and change the subject.

The past isn’t relevant, and you shouldn’t talk about it.

A Cry for Help

Dear Readers,

We missed you this weekend, and we swear we were thinking of all of you stuck in DC while we walked on the beach in our bikini.

But before we post today’s column, we wanted to share some bad news with you.

DJ Pauly D’s show at McFadden’s sold out before we could buy tickets.

This tragic turn of events has left us feeling shocked and confused. We’re still fist-pumping, but it’s a half-assed, limp-wristed version that proves our heart just isn’t in it.

And so we’re making a desperate plea to you, our loyal readers: If any of you have an extra VIP pass for tonight’s show, can you please e-mail us at datethedistrict@gmail.com?

Remember, it’s for the children.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inadvertently Flirting When You’re Taken

There’s been a lot of blogging about the article Gawker did on flirting while in a relationship and the (way more hilarious) follow up.

Since this article was first posted, the morality of flirting-while-taken has been blogged to death, but one of our readers sent in a different take on this situation.

Recently, while visiting my girlfriend, I was in an awkward situation that I was reminded of while reading these articles. We were hanging out with my girlfriend's group of friends, most of whom I hadn't met yet. One of the guys was gay, but I figured that he knew I was straight since I was visiting this girl, so I didn't even consider the possibility of accidentally flirting with him. However, later in the night, once we had left the place where we were hanging out, my girlfriend got texts from this guy saying "hey is your friend gay?" and "is your friend coming back to hang out with us?" Then, the next day, once I had left, the guy told her that I was "raping him with [my] eyes" and flirting with him the whole time. Now, I did talk to him a little bit, and maybe he took my eye contact for something much more than it was, but I certainly didn't even think of the possibility that I was flirting with him. This particular situation is complicated due to the differing sexual preferences of the parties involved, but it still made me wonder about an age old question: what exactly is flirting and how do you know when you're doing it?

I'd really like to hear your two cents on innocently flirting, or even innocently talking to, someone who might be interested in you, even though you are off-limits due to a monogamous relationship. Obviously every situation is different, but are there certain things that one can do to avoid leading on someone you're just trying to have a simple conversation with?

We think this sums up the other side of the problem. Yes, there are guys who feel the need to mention the fact that they have a girlfriend even if you’re only interacting with them because they rear-ended you at a stoplight (“Sorry I hit you, bythewayIhaveagirlfriend.”)

But what about when you smile at someone for two seconds and he follows you around the bar for the rest of the night?

We see this more of a question of etiquette than anything else. Yes, it sucks to feel like you accidentally led someone on (or, even worse, to feel like you were the one led on), but, at the end of the day, it’s not really that big of a deal.

If someone’s coming on too strong, drop the g-bomb (or b-bomb, depending on your gender/sexual preference). If the person still doesn’t get the hint, walk away.

But if he’s not letting on that he thinks you’re flirting and only texts someone afterwards (like in the situation above), is it really an issue? You’ll probably never see the guy again, and, even if you did, he doesn’t need to know that you saw those messages.

There’s no need to make him feel bad by rubbing your relationship in his face—especially if he isn’t coming on to you at all. Some people are just going to see things that they want to believe are true, and even if you invited them to your heterosexual wedding, they’d still tell their friends that you were making eyes at them during the first dance.

We’re taking off early for the weekend and heading to LA. See you Tuesday (no pun intended).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

UPDATE: News Roundup: Why Do Smart Women Have the Toughest Time Dating

In discussions we’ve had with our readers after this morning’s post, we’ve come up with something we failed to mention before.

Our main problem with Dr. Benzer’s article is that it confuses intelligence with ambition. The hypothetical woman he describes in his article is very ambitious, but it’s not clear that she meets the conventional definition of “smart” (i.e., naturally intelligent and very well educated).

And while Dr. Benzer neatly outlines the problems faced by cutthroat business types, he doesn’t really touch on the problems faced by intellectual women.

If you can’t help but contextualize every film you see, and you like to spend the post-movie drink breaking it down scene by scene, it’s hard to date people who can’t keep up.

And so the real problem smart women face, in our opinion, is that they either spend too much time rubbing their obscure degrees in men’s faces, or they play dumb.

And neither solution is very effective.

News Roundup: Why Do Smart Women Have the Toughest Time Dating

The other day, a reader sent us this Huffington Post article: Why Do Smart Women Have the Toughest Time Dating.

It’s a good read, especially for the overly ambitious DC types, but the author leaves out one important trap smart women sometimes fall into the dating world: faking dumb.

It goes something like this: a woman thinks that men are more attracted to dumb bimbos, or she’s worried about scaring off a date with a less impressive resume, so she puts on this fake ditzy persona every time she goes out with a guy.

Why do women do this? Because they always see their attractive, successful male coworkers show up to the holiday party with Bambi, the personal trainer.

And while a lot of guys do date women who are more attractive than they are intelligent, when smart women get frustrated and decide it’s time to be more like the hot, dumb women who get ass, the smart women pick the wrong trait to emulate.

Guys like these women because they’re hot, not because they’re dumb. The unintelligence is the (minor) downside, it’s not the thing they’re attracted to.

Faking dumb isn’t going to attract a man. That’s like a guy watching Twilight and thinking it’s the fangs that make Robert Pattinson so irresistible to women.

What’s worse, faking dumb could hurt your chances of a relationship.

Remember, for a lot of guys, relationships and sex are two different things. The former requires putting in work, the latter delivers pleasure in its purest form.

When a guy wants sex, all he needs is a vagina. But when he wants a relationship, he needs a little bit more.

So if you pretend to have less, you’re not going to fall into the “relationship” category. Why would he invest time and energy in someone who can’t hold an intelligent conversation?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Porn DVD Sale: Rollin Cycles

All you bicycle-riding porn fiends probably already know about Rollin Cycles, the Logan Circle bike shop that doubles as a porn rental store.

But for the rest of you, Rollin Cycles is a bike shop in the front, “adult emporium” in the back: kind of like a mullet, but classier.

And they’re moving! (Two doors down.) Apparently the staff lacked the upper body strength to drag boxes of porn down the street, so they’re selling off some of their DVDs for cheap: as in, $1-$5.

Get ‘em while you can!

Rollin Cycles
1320 14th Street NW
202.351.9410

Snookin' for Love

Snooki had a rough week.

Luckily, her guy friend (we’ll call him Mike because that’s what we think his name was and we’re too lazy to rewatch the episode) comes to visit, and when, in a shocking turn of events, everyone ends up at a bar that night, he and Snooki start making out.

They head home a few hours later, and Snooki’s “ready to hook up.” She decides to “test” Mike by offering to let him get out of the cab in front of a club and go look for other girls. And, surprise, that’s just what he does!

We can be a little hard on Snooks sometimes, but she actually recovers quite well from this incident. When he comes home later that night, she doesn’t throw herself at him, and she doesn’t try to hook up with him.

But why would she tell her guy to go look for other girls?

We understand the impulse. You want to look like the “cool” girl who’s so laid back that she doesn’t care. And this image actually isn’t a bad one to project.

There are situations (no pun intended) in which this line might actually work. But it’s not going to work on the cab ride home when you’re not sure if you two are on the same page.

When Snooki said, “You can go look for other girls,” what he heard was, “If you come home with me, I will have sex with you.” And when you make yourself that available—so available that, in fact, it seems like you’ll be waiting for him at home if he can’t find anything better to bone at the club—it’s a turnoff.

You might think that guys are looking for a “sure thing” in a one-night stand. And by 2 or 3 a.m., they probably are. But if they were really looking for something that sure at the beginning of the night, they’d skip the bar and call a hooker. When you factor in the bar tap and the pre-bar GTL (gym, tanning, and laundry for the uninitiated/unmoronic), they can probably pay for sex and still come out ahead.

There’s no need to blow your chances by acknowledging the situation (LOL!). Don’t let on that you’re a sure thing, or he’ll jump out of the cab and go look for someone who isn’t.

Sammi, on the other hand, had a much more successful night. She and Ronnie got into a huge fight because (and we’re not making this up) Ronnie joked about her having a big toe. It’s not even clear that Sammi actually has an abnormally large toe, but, regardless, she saw his joke as an attack on her personal appearance and decided that the relationship was over.

Did we mention that both parties were pretty much blackout at this point? Anyway, Sammi basically dumps Ronnie and heads up to bed. She doesn’t stand around and argue about what he’s done. She doesn’t try to justify her being pissed off over a comment about one of her toes. Instead, she just leaves the room and waits for him to come to her.

And he does. He comes upstairs and begs for her to take him back. He drags her out to the roof deck (with a stunning view of the highway below) and pulls his signature move (the crying/yelling combination).

Ronnie starts trying to defend himself and calls Sammi out on being a huge bitch (and we kind of are on this side at this point). But Sammi realizes that this is getting her nowhere. Her BAC has to have killed at least half of her brain cells, but she still realizes that her actions are pretty hard to defend, even to a slobbering drunken Ronnie, so this conversation is getting her nowhere.

And, again, instead of trying to defend herself, she heads back to bed. Ronnie warns her that, if she walks away, he’s not chasing after her. She keeps walking. Ronnie storms off to the bars, but he comes back about an hour later. And here’s the crazy part: he heads back to her room and apologizes. He doesn’t care that she called him “a fucking piece of shit” in the cab on the way home from the bar. He doesn’t ask her to apologize for throwing a fit over nothing. Instead, he begs her to take him back. And it works.

So what can we learn from this? When you’re fighting with a guy, sometimes it’s better to walk away. Let him come crawling back to you. The more you try to defend your side, the more he’s going to feel the need to prove that he’s right. But the minute he feels like he might lose you, he’ll do anything to get you back.

PS:

In case you haven’t heard, The Situation will be “making an appearance” at Mad River in Baltimore on February 11. Boh’s and O’s has the scoop here.

And DJ Pauly D will be throwing down some “house techno” at McFadden’s in DC on January 19. UPDATE: JWow will also be there (who cares?).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Survey the District: How to Suggest a Brazilian

Dear Date the District,

Re: The $30 Brazilian... how would you suggest this to a girlfriend? My girlfriend and I have been dating for almost a year and a half and I am worried that if I bring this up, she will feel self conscious, which I do not want because I really love her.


If only you could say, “Would you mind ripping your pubic hair out at the follicles?” with flowers.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you, but we do have some suggestions.

To start, we think the fact that you’re proceeding with caution, not because you’re worried she’ll get pissed at you, but because you don’t want to hurt her feelings, is a good sign. And if that statement is any indication of what kind of a boyfriend you are, we’re sure you can find a way to bring it up without making her feel bad.

But how you bring it up really depends on a lot of factors, like her personality, your personality, the way you two communicate, etc.

If you guys are pretty open about sex, you could try framing it as something new to try in bed. Say something like, “You know, I think it would be so hot if you got a Brazilian.” Offer to do the research, find a good place, and, most importantly, pay.

Or, if self-confidence is an issue, try saying something like, “You know, I was at work yesterday, and out of nowhere this naked image of you popped into my head. And all the hair down there… was gone. It was so hot that I couldn’t concentrate at all, and so I started Googling it, and it turns out it’s called a Brazilian wax, and, oh my God, if you got one, you would never have to buy me a Christmas present again.”

If bringing it up is the part that’s too awkward, you could go to a spa and buy her a gift certificate for a manicure, pedicure, facial, and Brazilian wax (or some other combo that includes a Brazilian but doesn’t make your intentions so obvious).

The 9-to-5 Blonde (whom you may remember from What to Wear on a First Date) also suggested waiting until her spring break trip (or summer beach weather) and buying her a bathing suit and a gift certificate for a Brazilian wax. It’s a sweet gift, and it makes the Brazilian seem like an afterthought.

But ultimately, honesty is the best way to make sure you don’t hurt her feelings. Because you haven’t fallen out of love with her, and you don’t think she’s ugly. You just want to try something new. And, unless she’s super sensitive, that shouldn’t offend her.

If she had a sexual request, you’d want her to share it with you, right? Make sure she knows that. And make sure that’s all it is: a request. If she says no, let it go.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The $30 Brazilian

When we’re looking to do things on a budget, we usually steer clear of Georgetown.

But when our friend told us has a place on Wisconsin that only charges $30 for Brazilian waxes, we had to try it.

For that price, we were expecting a fume-filled nail salon with a chair in the corner of the room and a curtain. To our surprise, Polished felt like an actual salon, comfy waiting room chairs, vaguely Eastern d├ęcor, soothing color schemes and all.

And although there’s only one waxing room, it was clean and spacious. Maybe not the most luxurious we’ve ever seen (and one wall was covered in a giant mirror, which really creeped us out), but we weren’t worried about getting an infection.

The esthetician, Tammi, was great. We have a low tolerance for pain and awkwardness, but she was good at alleviating both. She told us the whole process would take less than four minutes, and she using deep breathing to take our mind off the fact that she was pour hot wax all over our vagina.

We were totally happy with the results. We told her to take it all off, and she listened. And, because our favorite razor costs $10 a refill, a $30 Brazilian might actually be cheaper than shaving.

Polished
1425 Wisconsin Ave NW
202.333.7877‎

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Survey the District: How to Make Him Like You Back

dear date the district,

could you perhaps offer some advice as to how a girl goes about asking a guy out?/sparking the attention of a guy? so far the posts have mostly been about how to act when already in the middle of a hooking up relationship or about how to act when being pursued.


Unfortunately, we never post about this because there really is no trick to making a guy like you.

There’s usually an initial on ne sait quoi that makes two people want to jump each other’s bones, and if people could figure out how to force this, match.com would go out of business.

But while there’s no magic potion you can slip in his drink, there are things you can do to make yourself look more attractive to the opposite sex in general.

To start, you have to stop thinking of them as guys.

A lot of girls seem to switch personalities as soon as a guy walks into a room. They get giggly and ditzy. They go into flirting overdrive. They latch on to a guy and try so hard to engage him that it looks like they’re about to attack their potential crushes.

Strong come-ons rarely turn guys on, for reasons we’ve discussed countless times. When a girl seems like a sure thing, the guy looses the thrill of the chase. And while he might take her home that night, he’s probably not going to take her out to breakfast the next morning.

So if 90% of girls turn into man-hungry fiends when they smell male pheromones, you can distinguish yourself by not giving into the urge to go crazy when you’re talking to a guy.

What does that mean? Treat him like a girl. If you were meeting your friend’s new roommate for the first time, you wouldn’t rub her chest and say, “Ohmygod, that sweater looks so soft!”

And you wouldn’t clam up and wait for her to talk to you.

Instead, you’d probably start with something like, “Oh, what do you do?”

If the conversation turned to the subject of her favorite restaurant, you wouldn’t say, “You and I should totally go there some night. Just the two of us.” You wouldn’t get nervous and start talking too much. You wouldn’t brag about how many guys have asked you out this year. If you act the same way around a guy, you give your awesome, bubbly personality the chance to shine through.

But what if you’re already friends with the guy you like (as the reader above seems to be)?

These types of situations tend to get really sticky really quickly. When you like your guy friend, it’s easier for him to (unwittingly) hurt your feelings. Because you have feelings for him, you might subconsciously hold him to higher standards. But because he doesn’t know about your feelings, he doesn’t know to adjust his behavior. And he’ll treat you like he treats all his other friends. That might mean accidentally passing out at 10 p.m. when you two were supposed to hang out later that night.

If your girl (space) friend pulled that move, you’d probably be pissed and give her shit about it, but you’d ultimately accept her apology. But if the guy friend you like does this, you might want to send him a text along the lines of, “omg i can’t believe u blew me off i am so sick of putting up with ur shit do u care about me at all?”

If your girl (space) friend sent you a text like that, it would feel like it came out of left field. And that’s exactly how your guy friend feels too. Psychosis doesn’t look sexy on anyone, so that isn’t the way to win your friend over.

If you want to date him, your best bet is to make him realize how much he likes hanging out with you while making him question whether or not he has a chance with you. This means not dropping everything to hang out with him each time he calls. If your best girl (space) friend asked you if you wanted to come over and help clean her apartment, you’d say no. Don’t give this guy special treatment.

When you feel yourself getting mad or jealous, pretend that he’s a girl that you feel bad for, but don’t really like. You know that friend of a friend who just moved into your neighborhood, and she’s really aggressive and awkward, but you can’t blow her off completely without pissing off your friend?

Instead, you let her down really easily. When she calls for the fifth night in a row, you say, “Oh my God, I would love to come over and hang out with your cats, but I have to work late tonight. Such a bummer though!”

Do the same thing with him. When he texts the next morning to apologize for sleeping through the party he was supposed to take you to, tell him it’s no problem!!! But when he calls you that night to see if you want to come over, tell him you’d really, really love to, but you promised your goldfish that you’d hang out with her tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The D.E.A.N.D.R.A. System

A few weeks ago, one of our loyal readers wrote in to ask us what we thought of the D.E.N.N.I.S system outlined in a recent episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

We’re not huge fans of the show, but we did think this episode had some interesting points.

Here’s a recap for the uninitiated:

One of the show’s 20-something protagonists, Dennis, has come up with a system for wooing women. He calls it the D.E.N.N.I.S. system, and it works like this:

1. Demonstrate value
2. Engage physically
3. Nurturing dependability
4. Neglect emotionally
5. Inspire hope
6. Separate entirely

The actions above are meant to be performed in sequential order. So you start by (1) seducing a girl by showing her that you’re better than other guys. Then you (2) trick her into having sex really early on. Dennis does this by inviting a girl to dinner at a restaurant that he knows won’t be open, and then, when they get there and see that it’s closed, inviting her back to his place instead. And once she’s in his bed, mission accomplished. Then he (3) comes on really strong and shows her that he can be there for her. But before she can get sick of him he (4) starts ignoring her completely. She leaves him hundreds of messages and goes weeks without hearing from him. But then he (5) shows up at her door and apologizes for not being there. He tells her that he felt himself falling in love with her, and was worried about getting hurt. This, of course, sends her over the moon, because while he was away she was building him up in her mind and obsessing about him. She drops her pants on the spot. After the booty call, Dennis sneaks out and (6) stops calling her again. Now she’s completely obsessed with him, which means, he brags, that she’ll be DTF whenever.

In response to this, we’ve come up with the female version of the D.E.N.N.I.S. system, named after his sister, Deandra. But unlike the D.E.N.N.I.S. system, the D.E.A.N.D.R.A. system isn’t about turning a guy into a fuck buddy. It’s about turning a potential fuck buddy into a boyfriend.

1. Dress to impress
2. Expect a date
3. Avoid getting physical
4. No “serious” talks
5. Drop off the face of the earth
6. Respond selectively
7. Act like you’re not his girlfriend

It works like this: While Dennis tries to get a girl’s attention by demonstrating his value, you’re more likely to catch his eye with (1) your physical appearance. That doesn’t mean you should wear booty shorts and a bandeau top to the bar—in fact, you should dress in a way that leaves more to the imagination. If you’re going to your friend’s cute coworker’s party, put on makeup, straighten your hair, and wear something that’s sexy, but subtle. Your witty banter might spark his interest, but don’t trick yourself into believing that, with the right guy, appearances won’t matter.

After he has initiated flirtation, (2) wait for a date. If he gets your number and texts you asking to “hang out,” tell him you’re busy. If he calls you at 10 p.m., say something like, “Well, it’s too late for dinner—let’s try going out another night.”

When he does ask you out, (3) don’t sleep with him on the first date. Or the second. Or the third. Make out on the sidewalk as much as you want. But if you want him to keep calling, don’t rush to invite him upstairs. We understand that you have needs. But because most guys see sex as the ultimate goal of dating (and, biologically, that’s how we’re wired to see it), if he reaches that final destination too quickly, he might want to go seek out other conquests.

But (4) don’t try to bargain sex for a relationship. Don’t have conversations about how you have to wait until you’re in love to sleep with someone. The more you explain that you’re looking for something serious and want to take things slowly, the more sleeping with you becomes do x to get y. It’s all the work that goes into seduction, without the fun and excitement of the unknown. We lose interest in predictable games with set rules at a young age and become more captivated by challenges in which the strategy changes every time. That’s why newspapers carry Sodoku and crossword puzzles, not word searches. And if you tell him, “I’m really looking for a relationship,” he’ll be more likely to feel like he’s being forced into something. If you don’t try to have any of those conversations with him, he’ll be free to think dating you was his idea. And, as anyone with a 9-to-5 job knows, people are more likely to do things when they think it was their idea.

Make sure he knows that you’re not wasting time “talking about your relationship” because you (5) actually have a life. You don’t literally have to drop off the face of the earth, but don’t clear your schedule every time he calls. Planning to go to a yoga class the night he asks you to dinner? Tell him. He’s not going to think you’re not interested and give up. And if you don’t believe us, think about the times you rejected invitations from guys you legitimately didn’t like. Maybe that awkward, but really sweet, guy who lives downstairs asked you to dinner on a night that you didn’t have plans. You said something like, “Oh, I’d love to, but I have a Tupperware party that night.” We’ll bet he didn’t give up after that—if anything, he probably started calling you more. When a guy knows that you have a busy and fulfilling life, it makes you look more attractive, not less. Remember the Stage-5 Clinger from Wedding Crashers? Those guys weren’t turned on by women who dropped everything to follow them around. When you turn a guy down for your book club, you look confident and secure. You look like the kind of girl who won’t make time for just anyone. And everyone—guys and girls—want to be around people who seem “cooler” or more popular than them.

But make sure you that you (6) respond selectively. When he engages in boyfriendly behavior, reward him. When he texts you at 3 a.m., don’t respond. But when he makes reservations at a trendy new bar, go with him. Don’t say yes every time he asks you out to dinner, but don’t blow him off completely either.

And finally, (7) don’t bring up the “g” word. Don’t introduce him to your friends as your boyfriend. If he tries to call you his girlfriend, act like you’re uncomfortable. Don’t keep this up forever, but you’ll do more harm than good if you try to force the girlfriend title on him. We’ve said this a million times: people want what they can’t have. And if he thinks you’re not so sure you want to date him, he’ll be ten times more certain that you’re the one for him.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Missed Connection of the Day: To the Cute Girl at Work

I really like seeing you around work and I think you're beautiful. Especially your eyes, which I could stare into for hours.

Unfortunately the hair on your upper lip is a bit... distracting. I recommend waxing or tweezing or whatever women do about that. Once it's gone, you'll be unstoppable.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dinner's on... Him?

No matter how well a date is going, things always get a little awkward when the check arrives.

Both parties reach for their wallets and hash out some sort of payment plan. And that exchange invariably changes the evening’s mood.

If the guy insists on paying, great. But if he doesn’t, well…

Every girl has a different reaction. Some feel that gender equality doesn’t end when the check comes, making both equally responsible for that bottle of Chianti. Others expect the guy to pick up the entire tab four years into a relationship.

Figuring out who pays (and how much, and how often) is a delicate compromise that’s different for every relationship. If one partner has a lot more disposable income, he/she might pay more often. If both make about the same, it might make sense to split the bill.

But a guy’s generosity (or lack thereof) can be very telling in two situations.

The first is at the beginning of the relationship. When a guy first meets a girl, he should be going out of his way to impress her. And that includes paying on the first few dates.

That doesn’t mean he has to take you to dinner at the W. Most young professionals spend a good chunk of their paychecks on rent, especially in DC. But, if a guy were really trying to seduce you, he’d pick something he could afford.

Our society places a premium on men who pay on the first date. It’s not necessarily expected, but guys know that they’ll look good if they pick up the check.

So what incentive does he have not to pay on the first date?

Like we said, if money’s an issue, he can pick somewhere affordable. But if he splits the check (or lets you pick up the whole thing), he’s setting the bar pretty low.

People’s behavior gets worse, not better, as a relationship progresses. At the beginning, you’re constantly trying to impress the other person to win him/her over. But once you start getting comfortable, you don’t spend as much time picking out the outfits you wear each time you see him.

It’s the same for guys. If he’s splitting the check on the first date, imagine how generous he’ll be after you’ve been seeing each other for a month.

Not everyone cares about being taken out. And if you’re dating a hill staffer, you probably won’t be wined and dined the same way you would if you were dating a banker.

But stinginess on the first date can be a bad sign of things to come. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants on your first date. So if he doesn’t pay, we wonder why doesn’t feel the need to make an effort.

The second red flag comes when there’s significant income disparity.

If you and your guy are both on tight budgets, it would probably be nice for you to pitch in (at least sometimes) when he takes you out.

But if he’s making a lot more than you and still asking you to go Dutch, again, we have to wonder why.

Money creates a sensitive situation that’s never easy to navigate. People tend to take things very personally when money’s involved, which might explain why money can ruin relationships in a single transaction.

But if you’re interning at a nonprofit and he’s working at Morgan Stanley, he should probably pay when he takes you out. Again, this doesn’t mean he has to take you to dinner five nights a week. And it doesn’t mean that he has to take you to the fanciest restaurants.

But if he isn’t generous with you when it comes to money (and he can clearly afford to be), what else will he be stingy with? His time, his emotions, his support? Do you really want to stick around to find out?