Friday, May 28, 2010

Sexual Ambiguity

We’ve all been at a bar, flirting with a guy, everything’s going really well… and then he asks if your boots are from JCrew.

You think, Maybe he used to work there, and you let it slide… until he tells you he’s planning on going to SATC 2 on opening night.

But earlier in the night, he was talking about football. And he just bought you two rounds of rum and diets. Sooo… you’re a little confused. And you don’t want to waste the night flirting with a guy who doesn’t swing that way. Is there a polite way to ask which gender he prefers?

In general, we don’t think it’s the best idea. Asking about someone’s sexuality is as personal as asking how often they have sex. And so most of the time you have to suck it up and enjoy the conversation on face value—even you go home alone at the end of the night.

But if you’re the right kind of person (e.g., confident, self-assured), our bisexual friend suggested saying, “So, do you date guys or girls?”

That question doesn’t force the person to identify his sexuality or put labels on anything. It’s a low-pressure question, and if he balks, you can say something like, “I never like to assume anything.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Using Fashion to Attract Men

We recently succumbed to a pretty innocuous impulse buy: blue nail polish.

We tried it out one week, and, to our surprise, almost every male we came in touch with—young, old, and ambiguously in between—commented on it.

We always assumed guys were oblivious when it came to things like cosmetics for fingernails, but men noticed it, literally (on one occasion) from across the room.

This struck us as strange—especially since we’ve posted before about men being turned off by funky fashions (like the foreheadband).

And when we worked up the nerve to ask the guys about it, they all shrugged their shoulders and responded with some variation on “I dunno. It’s cool.”

It turns out that subtle, slightly subversive accessories might be great conversation starters. It’s almost like men are attracted to shiny objects—they seem to be intrigued by things that jump out at them.

But we’re still not advocating trendy-for-the-sake-of-being-trendy pick-up outfits. In fact, the trendier it is, the less likely it is to catch a guy’s attention. They’ve seen forheadbands before. And they still look ridiculous.

But guys sometimes see blue nail polish, boyish narrow-brimmed hats, and other unexpected fashion statements as a sign of a hidden wild streak. And that’s exactly what guys fantasize about: a woman who comes off as cool and composed in public, but then really lets loose during sex (the lady in the street, freak in the bed).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Insight for Men: Electronic Communication

In some ways, guys have it easy.

You've been conditioned to make the first move, while women have been taught to sit around and wait for your call.

But when it comes to communicating with a girl, the medium you choose sometimes has the biggest impact on what she thinks of you.

This, of course, depends on your motives.

If you meet a girl at a bar on Wednesday and want her to come meet up with you and your friends in Adams Morgan on Saturday, a text makes it seem like you're not super interested (which will, of course, increases the chances that she'll say yes).

On the other hand, if you want to ask a girl out to dinner, anything other than a phone call makes you seem timid and unsure of yourself, and it's a lot easier to ignore a text than it is to decline an invitation over the phone.

Some of these rules aren't exactly hard and fast--we all spend 10 hours a day on gmail, and the amount of time we spend at the office, gym, and happy hour severely limits our opportunity to pick up the phone, especially when we're bracing for a potentially awkward call.

But there are a few communication pitfalls you should avoid at all costs if you want to make a good impression:

1. The missed call. You call a girl. She doesn't pick up. And when her voicemail comes on, you hang up. This puts the girl in a tough spot. Was your call intentional, or did your phone accidentally dial her number when you bumped into the Metro turnstile? If she returns your call, she's going to have to use some lame introduction to explain why she's calling (i.e., "I saw that you called?"). But you were so casual about getting in touch with her that you didn't even leave a message, so if she calls you back, will it look desperate?

And then there are the assumptions she'll make about you--you're shy, timid, etc.

Again, the noncommittal angle can work to your advantage. But you'll have a much higher rate of return if you just leave a message. All you have to say is, "Hey, it's John. Give me a call when you get this." And if you mess up, press the star and/or pound keys--most voicemail systems will let you rerecord.

2. The missed call--followed by a text. The only thing worse than a missed call with no voicemail is the missed call that comes with a text. When the girl doesn't pick up, you hang up, and then text her, "What are you up to tonight?"

Again, you look completely insecure, like you had a message that was so important that you had to get it to her, but you were too afraid to leave a message. Although most of us hate checking voicemail and prefer the convenience of a text, we also realize how easy it is to send. Women are attracted to cocky men, as much as they complain about guys who seem so sure of their own perfections. Sending a text instead of leaving a voicemail seems, well, lame.

3. Facebook messages. The more Facebook begins to resemble MySpace, the more a Facebook message seems like something that should be left to Rentboy.com. Again, it's really lame--if you're friends with a girl, you can probably see her e-mail address. Facebook messages are more annoying to check and easier to send. When you're using a Web site to say happy birthday to a kid you haven't seen since 8th grade, asking a girl out becomes a lot less intimidating.

If you have to use the internet, use e-mail.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Guy’s Guide to the G-Spot

First, let’s address one common misconception: when you’re trying to provide stimulation with your fingers, do not treat your fingers like a substitute for your penis. Fingering and penetration provide two very different kinds of sensations, each with its own pleasurable feelings.

A finger is a sad stand-in for a penis, so the goal is not to ram one or two fingers in and out of a girl’s vagina as quickly as you can. (If she wants that kind of penetration, your penis is the best option.) You’re not trying to mimic the act of intercourse; instead, you’re trying to create a very different sensation that turns her on and prepares her for intercourse.

The g-spot is a sensitive area of a woman’s vagina that has somehow attained mythical status in our culture. Guys think it’s the easiest way to make a girl come, and they think you push it like an elevator button until the girl starts screaming.

It’s easy to understand why: when a girl gives a hand job, her hand replicates the role a vagina plays in vaginal intercourse.

But the penis is actually the most inefficient way to make a woman orgasm. For women, an orgasm comes from mental, clitoral, or (rarely) g-spot stimulation. And while she can grind on you in a certain way to make a penis do the trick, fingers and vibrators are much more effective.

So abandon the idea of the penis as the shortest path to orgasm. Instead, start by teasing her. Slowly kiss your way down her torso. Gently lick (tip of the tongue only) her inner thighs. Then begin by slowly, and gently, rubbing her clitoris. Gradually increase pressure. Ask her to guide you if she’s comfortable—after all, she’s probably the expert in what gets her off.

But spend a good few minutes working the clitoris before you venture inside of her. The more aroused she is, the easier it’ll be to find the g-spot.

Have her lie down on her back, and slide one finger inside of her, palm face up. The g-spot is located on the vaginal wall closest to the wall, so you’ll be able to find it with the pad of your finger.

When your finger first enters her, the vaginal walls should feel soft and smooth. The g-spot, in contrast, will feel slightly rougher, with more of a bumpy surface. You should hit it by the time your second knuckle is inside of her (and probably before). Slowly feel your way up and down her vaginal wall until you find it. Curve your finger as if you were beckoning someone over to you to mimic the curve of her vagina.

If you don’t feel a change in surface, try coming out and performing more clitoral stimulation. The g-spot becomes enlarged (and thus easier to find) when the girl is aroused. Make sure her legs are wide open, and try having her lie on a pillow if you’re having trouble finding it.

Once you do find the g-spot, apply gentle pressure, again with your finger curled. Every g-spot is different, but most respond best to firm up-and-down pressure, like you were pressing a button (as opposed to the side-to-side motion that works on the clitoris).

Communicate with the girl to see how she feels. This is something you’ll need to work with her to achieve, and communication is key.

If she’s having trouble orgasming on her back, have her lie on her stomach and repeat the g-spot stimulation. This change in angle can sometimes align her vagina in a way that’s more conducive to orgasm.

But realize that this might not happen on the first try, and that g-spot orgasms aren’t as easy as they seem on TV. It takes patience and practice, and your partner has to feel comfortable.

Sometimes g-spot orgasms can lead to female ejaculation, a sensation that can feel very awkward for girls who’ve never done it before.

Right before a girl ejaculates, the sensation is very similar to the one she feels right before she pees. And while ejaculate is not urine, sometimes girls mistake it for an embarrassing lack of bladder control.

If she thinks she’s about to pee, she might do everything in her power to hold it back, which, obviously, prevents her from achieving orgasm. If you feel her tensing up, or if she seems uncomfortable, tell her to go with it, or say something like, “I think you’re about to come—it’s not what you think it is.”

If she asks you to stop, you might want to give her the full explanation. She might not make it to climax this time, but she’ll have fewer reservations next time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Insight for Men: How to Introduce Porn

Guys seem to find porn endlessly entertaining. And because you guys love it so much, you want to share it with the opposite sex.

But the question of how to introduce the idea of watching porn with your lady friend might seem a little overwhelming.

For whatever reason, some girls might never be into the idea of surfing XVid. But others will, if you approach it the right way.

To start, don’t bring up porn too early in a relationship. This isn’t something you should throw on as background music the first time you hook up. In order for a girl to enjoy a somewhat out-there sexual experience (and watching porn with a guy might seem “out there” to a girl who’s never tried it before), she has to feel comfortable with her partner.

So don’t even think about bringing it up until you’ve been dating/hooking up for a couple of weeks.

Once you’re starting to feel a little more comfortable with each other (e.g., you know her middle name, have met some of her friends), start doing some research. You probably have your go-to faves, but men and women often have totally different tastes in porn. In our experience, guys tend to prefer watching women with fake tits get penetrated in every available orifice by men with large penises. The closer the camera gets to the action, the better.

Women, on the other hand, tend to be much more stimulated by their imaginations. Plot-driven porn with a semi-realistic setup is much more appealing to the fairer sex.

Pick out a few films that are heavy on narrative and so light on the vaginal close-ups that they border on soft-core. Try to find something without anal or oral sex. Male and female reproductive organs aren’t exactly pretty to look at, and because women are more turned on by cerebral stimulation, the more you can leave to her imagination, the better.

Let her get her toes wet without freaking her out. Don’t pick anything with a money shot or double penetration. Find one that doesn’t denigrate/humiliate the female porn star. The story should take up just as much screen time as the sex does, and try to find plot lines that middle-aged women would fantasize about (e.g., nailing the mailman, doing the boss at work).

Bring it up at the beginning of a hookup. Wait till things are heading in that direction (i.e., you’re making out, her shirt is off). Then say, “Can I put on some porn?”

Don’t ask her, “Do you want me to put on some porn?” or “Do you like porn?” or “Have you ever watched porn with a guy before?” These are all questions she won’t want to answer, and she’ll feel more inclined to say no.

If she hesitates, say something like, “I picked out a few videos I think you’ll like. What if we start watching them, and if you don’t like them, I’ll turn it off?” Make her feel like she’s in control of the Stop button, and let her know that she can press it at any time. But don’t use negative language. If you say something like, “If you’re freaked out, we can stop,” she’ll be more likely to feel freaked out, because you’re basically telling her you expect that reaction.

Put on the video, and let things progress naturally (if she initiates physical contact, go with it; if she doesn’t, let her watch the video while maintaining sporadic physical contact—kiss her shoulder ever minute or so, gently nibble her ear, etc.). Do NOT ask her if she likes it, because, again, you’re forcing her to answer a question that’s more taboo for women, and her gut instinct will probably be to say, “No.” If she seems overly frigid or uncomfortable, try pausing it for a few minutes and resume the make-out, upping your efforts to turn her on. The more you stimulate her and get her in the mood, the more receptive she’ll be to the porn. After a few minutes of that, resume the movie.

Bring it up again during post-coital pillow talk. Don’t ask her if she liked it, but do ask her what she liked and disliked about the video. Don’t ask her if she wants to do it again. Instead, listen to her input and say something like, “Cool. I’ll pick out some different ones for next time.”

And then do that. If she said she wanted something more hardcore, go for it. If she said she wanted something with oral sex, find that.

But don’t press play the next time she comes over. Don’t bring up porn for the next few hookups (unless she asks for it). Reintroduce it a couple weeks later.

But if she says no, respect that. Don’t pressure her into doing something she’s not comfortable with it. She won’t enjoy it, and neither will you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Confidence

This weekend, we found ourselves having a conversation with a group of guys about what makes a girl a “fly hunny.”

The unanimous answer, was, unsurprisingly, confidence. But how, we asked, does one project confidence in a bar?

If we could find guys with the answer to this question, we’d be rich. But our male friends did offer a few insights and it all boils down to what not to project and how to react.

What Not to Project

The guys had a hard time coming up with examples of the type of behavior they’re looking for, but they were quick to name one woman they found totally unappealing, and the answer didn’t surprise us: Paris Hilton.

But these guys weren’t turned off for the reasons you might expect (e.g., slutty outfits, number of past partners). They didn’t like the drama, and they weren’t interested in someone who seemed so desperate for attention.

“A girl should act like she has her shit together,” one guy added.

Most of us remember the SNL Drunk Girl character, the hard-partying college chick whose inebriation made her insanely unattractive. In a way, NBC was creating a public service announcement for teenage girls across the country. Society tells us that underage drinking is cool—the more you drink, the cooler you look. But what makes us look cool doesn’t always make us look sexy, and in this case, it has the opposite effect.

Paris Hilton and other socialites are just as easy to market to young women. Magazines, TV shows, and other societal forces praise them for their emaciated figures, their six-digit dresses, and their lives of leisure. And while most of us probably think that Paris Hilton is a complete joke, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t kill for her body.

Then these women get these reality TV shows. We watch them start fights in bars and immerse themselves in neat 30-minute packages of drama. And while we mock these women in public, we privately wonder how they manage to get these guys, bank accounts, and, well, lives.

And so maybe without meaning to, we start to emulate them. It’s hard to grow up in this country and not strive for some degree of fame (even if we’d never admit it). If being on TV is the ultimate sign that you’ve made it, MTV is telling us that more you embrace dumbness and drama, the greater your chances of fame.

And so we roll into bars and screech when we see someone we know. We air all our dirty laundry—as loudly as we can—because that’s what everyone does on TV. We start talking about what shitshows we were last weekend or how we can’t even go to our kickball games anymore because we made out with too many guys on our team.

This isn’t confidence—it’s a cry for attention. And it’s not attractive to guys.

How to React

“The hottest girls don’t put up with any bullshit,” one of our friends explained. If a guy grabs your ass, don’t just giggle and tell your friends what happened (“Ohmygod, that guy just totally grabbed my ass”). Don’t scream and cause a lot of drama either. Turn around, put on your most serious face, and say, “Don’t do that.” Don’t start a fight—if he tries to engage you, ignore him.

Same goes for if a guy comes up to you and starts talking to you. Out of nowhere. With no segue. That’s not to say that you can’t talk to guys in bars, but when guys come up to you and drop a line, don’t fall for it. Ignore him or politely explain that you’re in the middle of another conversation.

Side note: The rest of the week is guys’ week on Date the District. We’ll have articles/advice more geared towards the men who read this blog. You know who you are.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Conversation Starter

It’s always good to have an arsenal of good conversations, especially when you’re trying to chat up a cute guy. We in no way advocate spending any time on this, but we’ll do the dirty work for you today.

If you sit at home dreaming up potential conversations, you’ll look desperate when it comes time to use them, and you’ll waste so much otherwise valuable time.

But the following video is already viral (check any hipster’s Facebook profile), and it’s worth loading onto your phone before you go out this weekend. If the conversation gets stuck, ask the guy you’re talking to if he’s heard of K-Strass. And if he hasn’t, be sure to share this gem with him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Improve the Dating World

Yesterday, we had a heated gchat debate with one of our (male) readers, who posed a very thoughtful question. He asked us, if we could change one that would improve male-female relationships/dating and people’s overall happiness, what would it be?

Our short answer was: level the playing field.

In our experience, the average man is a lot better at playing hard to get than the average woman. You exchange numbers with a guy on your kickball team and he sporadically returns your texts. You go on one date with a guy and it takes him a week to get back to you.

Women, on the other hand, are often eager to shower their love interests with attention. They text the guy they met at Local 16 last weekend at noon to say how his day’s going, because they wish he would do the same for them.

Men, on the other hand, seem to realize that, if you want a girl to pay attention to you, your best bet is to ignore her.

The more a guy ignores you and the more that you question whether or not he likes you, the more you tend to convince yourself that he’s the one for you. The more time and energy you put into pursuing and/or fantasizing about someone, the more your brain (which has a tendency to assume that we really desire things we put a lot of effort into) thinks, “I must be in love with this person.”

The harder we work for something, the bigger the payoff. So when you finally snag the guy you’ve been pining after for months, it feels great.

If both sides could play hard to get and take it slow, the buildup would convince each side that he/she was in love with the other. And when they finally got together, overall happiness/satisfaction would increase because they’d finally be getting something they wanted for so long.

Of course, passion and desire aren’t going to make a relationship last. Compatibility, which we basically boil down to shared values and common interests, goes a lot further than a fluttering stomach. But it’s harder to evaluate compatibility when you’re drunk on lust.

In the end, we’re not sure what we’d change. Perhaps it’s better to learn how to work the current system so that it all works out in your favor.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Survey the District: Should I Be a Rebound?

Dear Date the District,

Is it wrong to initiate with a guy who just broke up with his girlfriend of four years? Details are needed here I guess, he's given signs, very obvious signs. But he seems down about his breakup. I feel like I would totally be taking advantage of him...but is that technically wrong?


(Full disclosure: today’s question comes from one of our best and oldest friends.)

Is it wrong? Absolutely not.

When it comes to dating, you can take advantage of people sexually. You can take advantage of their emotional vulnerabilities.

But it’s not taking advantage if you’re trying to date him. Unless you intoxicate and/or drug a guy, it’s pretty hard to manipulate him into dating you. If he doesn’t want a relationship, he’s a guy—we’re sure he has plenty of moves in his repertoire to avoid a relationship.

The real question is, is the potential of this turning into a rebound relationship more of an issue for you than it is for him?

Four years is a long time. And regardless of who broke up with whom, he probably has a few symptoms of PBS (post breakup stress) that leave him less than primed for a relationship.

When two people are together for four years, they develop certain habits that begin to feel very comfortable. They sleep in the same bed every night, they serve as each other’s sounding boards for the most boring minutiae that no one else wants to listen to (OMG line at Potbelly’s out the door—should I try corner bakery?), and they always have someone to hang out with on an eventless Friday night.

After a breakup, both parties need something to fill that void. They could develop hobbies, make more of an effort to hang out with their friends, teach their parents how to use T9 word, or… find a replacement partner.

The replacement is obviously the easiest solution to the problem. At first, it feels like you just need a body to fill that space. One fix solves all problems. After all, your hobbies won’t take you to the E Street Cinema, and your parents won’t sleep in your bed every night.

But as a rebound relationship progresses, the rebounder usually starts to notice differences between the reboundee and his ex. The reboundee might not race to read the New Yorker review of the movie the second she leaves the theater. And maybe the rebounder hatedit when his ex did that. But now that the reboundee is trying to fill the ex’s shoes, every difference becomes an issue.

These feelings are rarely conscious and/or deliberate (especially if he was the one who called things off). But no matter how bad things were at the end, every relationship is made up of certain habits and routines. And routines tend to make us feel comfortable. They establish some measure of normalcy in our lives, no matter how destructive they are in the long run.

After the breakup, we lose that normalcy. And the easiest way to get it back is to recreate the relationship—fatal flaws and all.

That’s why you don’t want to be the rebound girl. You’re setting yourself up to recreate a relationship that failed.

But that’s not to say that you can’t have a relationship with a guy who’s on the rebound. You just have to make sure you aren’t playing the part of his ex-girlfriend.

This means taking things slowly. Don’t fall into couple-y habits too quickly. Don’t start spending every night at his place. Don’t accompany him to the farmer’s market every Sunday.

Don’t pry, but listen carefully when he talks about his ex. And then make a conscious effort to distinguish yourself. If he mentions that he and his ex used to go on runs together, don’t immediately offer to be his new jogging buddy.

When you’re pursing a guy that’s getting over a relationship, more than anything else, you need to make him feel like he’s becoming a part of your life, not the other way around. Make him adjust to your schedule and your needs. Don’t go out of your way to accommodate his.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Be a Total Man Magnet

Normally, we urge our readers to avoid Cosmo like the 34-year-old nephew your mom’s friend has to set you up with.

But we stumbled upon an article on the Cosmo Web site, titled, unsurprisingly, How to Be a Total Man-Magnet.

We’ve never quite figured out how Cosmo sells its business model to its readers (after all, if the writers are going to solve all your sexual and romantic problems in three to four issues, why would anyone by a one-year subscription?).

But some of these tips were not the dumbest things we’ve ever read, so we decided to share them with you.

Tip #1: Go out in groups of no bigger than three.

Cosmo says: “Larger groups of girls are supertough (read: intimidating) to approach. Three is a good number because your two friends can keep each other company when a guy walks up to chat with you.”

We say: We’ve talked about the validity of the he’s-just-too-intimidated argument before, but we’ll grant that most guys aren’t going to approach a group of 20 women, no matter how big their balls are.

The real issue is, why are you going out for the sole purpose of meeting guys? We’ve talked about the difficulty of meeting men in bars, and how the only thing you’re guaranteed to have in common with a guy in a bar is a shared love of alcohol. Couple that with everyone’s impaired ability to make a good first impression after a few G&Ts, and you’ve got a less-than-ideal place to pick up a new date.

Our advice? Go out with as big a group as you want. If you spend that much time strategizing about picking up guys in bars, you’ll probably project a sense of desperation that’s going to overshadow any strength derived from carefully calculated numbers.

Tip #2: Hold a drink in your hand.

Cosmo says: “Guys don’t want to be used. Meaning: They don’t want to buy you a drink right off the bat. My clients and I used to look for the girl with half a cocktail. That way, if she finishes her beverage while chatting with my guy, he could offer to buy her another to keep things moving.”

We say: This is ridiculous. Again, if you’re going to all this trouble to arrange the tiniest details to maximize flirting, the other half of your glass is going to be filled with desperation. And as soon as the guy gets a whiff of that, he’s not going to want any refills.

Tip #3: Smile genuinely.

Cosmo says: “So obvious, right? But I can’t stress it enough — and I can’t believe I ever acted aloof in an attempt to seem sexier. Now I know that women smile all the time naturally (when we’re nervous, when we’re trying to be polite, etc.), so if you don’t do it at all, you look like an unapproachable bitch.”

We say: Misogyny aside, Cosmo actually gets this half right. We’re constantly urging our readers to play hard to get, but you need to master the art of appearing both uninterested and extraordinary friendly. Guys aren’t attracted to women who come off as, well, bitchy. So smile. Be polite. But don’t give him all of your attention, and don’t flaunt your availability, sexual or otherwise.

Tip #6 (yeah, we skipped a few): Make positive small talk.

Cosmo says: “Once I started studying other women, I couldn’t believe how negative some of us appear. When you’re out on the town, you’re supposed to be having fun, and any complaint (“It’s hot in here!”), pessimism (“There will definitely be another terrorist attack”), or snarky quip (“Look at that chick’s belt — so 2002!”) pretty much pokes a hole in the fun-girl aura you should be projecting. Some better small-talk topics: recent vacations, favorite bands, hilarious movies. You can hit him with your deep, dark world-view some other time.”

We say: You don’t need to down a bottle of Xanax before you go to the bar, but most of us prefer being surrounded by people who seem happy. If you think the Cohen brothers have taken a turn for the worse, you don’t have to pretend that you loved A Serious Man (even if he did). But if you find yourself playing Debbie Downer, try to throw in a few positives for good measure.

It might seem easier to come across as intelligent or thoughtful by criticizing everything that comes up in conversation, but it’s actually a lot easier to arbitrarily hate everything than it is to come up with a reason for why Avatar was worth seeing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What's In a Number?

On Tuesday, we talked about what to do when a guy asks for your number of sexual partners.

But this raised another issue: is keeping track of your number such a good idea in the first place?

We don’t think it is, for the same reason that you don’t want to tell your new guy the whole truth about your past: nothing good can come of it.

The past is one of those things that you can’t change. If your number of sexual partners makes you feel guilty or promiscuous, it’s not like you can go back and undo one of the bad ideas you brought home from Adams Morgan.

Sexual guilt is usually the result of your upbringing or the premium some societies place on purity. If you were raised in a religious household or a conservative community, chances are, you had a lot of people telling you to use sex sparingly.

Even if your parents were free-loving hippies, they probably encouraged you to exhibit some sexual restraint in your adolescent years to limit your risk of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

So if you feel guilty about your number, this is probably where it’s coming from.

If you really think about it, what harms do you find yourself more at risk for as your number of sexual partners increases?

STDs are obviously a big one. And condoms don’t protect you from all of these—especially HPV. But we all get tested at our annual exams, and once those come back negative, the guy from last New Year’s at Rumors can’t infect you retroactively.

Some people argue that the more people you sleep with, the more you open yourself up to getting hurt. They seem to think that each time you invite a guy back to your place, you automatically give him the power to leave you with permanent emotional damage.

But if you think back on all the guys who’ve broken your heart, you’re probably going to remember a lot more people that you dated, or befriended, or perhaps even never slept with, and a lot fewer one-night stands.

A one-night stand might leave you feeling awkward or regretting going home with a guy who seemed a lot taller after four G and Ts. And yeah, you might feel shitty for a while if you never hear from him again, but it’s probably more disappointment than heartbreak, and chances are, you’ll completely forget about him in a month.

But your best guy friend who kinda, sorta flirted with you for years, even though he had a girlfriend, and seemed so into you until you confessed your love to him and then pretty much stopped talking to you—that’s going to hurt a l mot more than a guy you knew for less than 24 hours.

When you engage someone emotionally, you open yourself to a lot more vulnerabilities than you do when you engage someone physically.

At the end of the day, it’s all about what you feel comfortable with. And chances are, if you really felt it was so wrong to sleep with 30 guys in your 20s, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place. Most of us would like to get a DVF dress without paying for it. Most of us would say that would make us feel good. But we don’t shoplift because we know it’s wrong. That’s not to say that you might not regret some of the men on your list (the one who was engaged, the one who was your boss), but you’re probably more OK with your number than you think you are.

And the more you obsess over feeling like a slut, the less you’ll be able to enjoy sex. So worrying about your number will probably make you feel shitty and won’t provide you with any benefits. Not worrying about it: won’t hurt you. So why bother?

On the flip side, some women use the number as a way to measure their self-worth. They collect sexual partners the way some women collect designer handbags: the more Louis(es) you bring home, the better (you think) it’ll make you feel.

This, again, distracts from the main (nonreproductive) purpose of sex: enjoying yourself. If you’re constantly trying to add to your list, you’re probably less likely to enjoy the moment, since the pleasure, for you, comes from adding his name to your mental tally.

The problem with deriving pleasure from collecting things is that you never feel like you have enough. Someone always has more. And so it becomes this desire that can never really be fulfilled, and the pleasure is always negated by the hunger for more.

Sexual pleasure, however, is a lot easier to fulfill. It’s a lot easier to orgasm than it is to hit a number that’ll make you feel as good.

So focus on the present. Don’t waste time trying to judge or quantify your past—it’ll just keep you from experiencing a normal, healthy sex life right now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wanna Earn Fifty Bucks?

One of our readers sent us the following Craiglist job postings. We're typically more romantic in our Craiglist selections (i.e., Missed Connections), but we thought we'd make an exception for this one.

washington, DC craigslist > maryland > gigs > writing gigs

Honey I Shrunk The Kids role-playing (DC)


This is an odd request, but I am looking for a role-playing partner to do email or instant message-based sessions revolving around various reenactments and recreations of situations similar to those in the Disney classic movie Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

Various aspects of the original movie have always fascinated me. The perspective of being shrunken, and the various interactions with normal every-day objects and situations. My role would be that of a shrunken individual, while yours would be that of the normal sized role.

Out of all of the scenes in the movie that I have always wanted to reenact through role-play is that of the Cheerios scene. Of course, swapping out Rick Moranis for yourself would be preferred.

The requirements for this job: you are a female, you are verbose, descriptive almost to the point of it being ridiculous, very imaginative, and hopefully that you like Cheerios. The ability to take something as simple as moving your hand and creating a moment and event out of it would be preferred as far as detail depth.

If you feel you could be into this, and have plenty of fun doing so, then please reply.

Location: DC
It's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests Compensation: $50 for the session

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What to Do When a Guy Asks for Your Number



Every girl knows her number.

She probably doesn’t think about it on a daily basis, but if you asked her to recall her number of sexual partners, she probably wouldn’t have to count.

(Sidenote: Keeping track of your stats is a practice we find to be, at best, a waste of time, and, at worst, detrimental, but we’ll save that for another post.)

But you knowing your number is one thing. You sharing that number with a partner is an entirely different animal that’s best avoided all together.

Nothing good can come of sharing your number with a potential (or actual) partner. If it’s not too high, it’ll be too low.

Most girls understand this intellectually, but when a guy pops the question, they feel the need to be honest.

Your response kind of depends on where you in the relationship, but you should never feel obligated to answer this question.

Why? It’s none of his business. Your boyfriend (or fwb) has the right to ask about STDs. But that’s as much history as he needs to know.

As soon as he knows the number, it’s going to open a can of worms that has the potential to ruin whatever you’ve got going on.

Most numbers are going to seem too high. He might start wondering about past lovers or feeling insecure. He might be turned off by the amount of experience (literally) under your belt.

But lying is not the solution. If you guys had sex on your second date and you try to tell him he’s the third person you’ve ever slept with, he’s either going to get really freaked out or wonder if you’re telling the truth.

Let’s say you waited and think you could get away with passing your number off as five. Five might not seem like a lot, but as soon as your past becomes concrete, it becomes ugly and intimidating. It’s like finding out why your parents filed for divorce: you think the answer will ease the pain, but it usually only makes things worse.

Most guys have an ideal number in their heads that they’d like to imagine you’re comparing them to. As long as your guy doesn’t know the truth, he’s free to imagine that number.

So if you’ve just started seeing a guy and he asks you about your batting average, laugh it off and say something like, “Five hundred.” If he persists, hold your ground. Tell him that there’s no point in revisiting the past because there’s a reason you’re not dating your old flames.

If you’ve been together for a while when he asks, be honest. Tell him that you think this kind of information has a lot of potential to hurt a relationship and zero chances of making things better. Explain that the past is the past, and you don’t want to talk about things you’ve already decided weren’t worth carrying on.