During my ten-year tenure as a sex and love advice columnist for the Seattle Weekly and other places, I’ve either experienced first-hand or answered letters about dates so heinous that it’s truly a wonder my vagina didn’t just seal itself shut.
For a while it actually seemed as though I could be dropped into a room packed with perfectly sane men with jobs and I would gravitate towards the guy hiding under the buffet table. . . the unemployed know-it-all with the chronic halitosis and a highly unsavory yen for his little sister. (In his defense, she was a half sister.)
So while other so-called “sexperts” might have high-falutin’ degrees to prove they’re qualified for the job, I have something more valuable—something hard-won and not necessarily pleasant. What I’m talking about is experience.
What NOT to Talk About!
The fine art of conversation is one that many attempt, but few master. One little book isn’t going to turn a rambling bore into a sparkling chatterbox, but I can help you avoid a few topics that are well-documented date-doomers:
• Marriage—past marriages, friends’ marriages, future marriages; it doesn’t matter. Unless you want to either scare the crap out of, or, alternately, start building false hopes, the topic of weddings and what comes after should be avoided at all costs for at least the first 213 dates.
• Procreation—if you have one at home and need to tell the person you’re out with about it (which is only fair), go for it. Otherwise, for the same reasons noted above, it’s best to avoid baby talk.
• Exes—if he/she/it was such an unrepentant jackass, what does that make you for dating him/her/it?
• Bad Habits—let your new special friend get to know you a little before confessing your fondness for illicit substances and tranny hookers.
• Pre-Nups—now why on earth would anyone bring up their position on pre-nups (pro, naturally) on a second date? I never did find out, because I refused to go out on a third.
• Icky medical conditions—ideally, you want your paramour to picture you naked, not covered in weeping sores.
• Sexual fantasies—Unless your date has segued smoothly into naked and sweaty, there’s no reason to share your predilection for light bondage and anal beads. That’s definitely third date material.
What Not to Say (Specifically!)
There are plenty of websites and books dedicated to supplying you, the reader, with pick-up lines guaranteed to get you laid. These are some of the somewhat less successful lines I’ve collected from various sources:
• “Let’s make CUDDLEBUNNIES!!!”
• “Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ was probably written about a woman just like you.”
• “Your breasts are the reason I asked you out—well, that and you seem like you’ll be dirty in bed.”
• “Let me just put it in—I promise not to move it.”
• “You remind me of my mom/dad/brother/sister.”
• “Would it be rude of me to come over and bury my face in your cleavage right now?”
[Answer: If you have to ask, the answer is yes.]
• “I am like a girl so you have to drive me home.”
• “You are a little soft . . . you do not work out?”
• “Damn baby, you fine! I don’t like dem skinny girls!”
• “I can’t figure out if you’re thick, or if you’re fat. Thick or fat . . . I just don’t know!”
• “Can I get your sister’s number?”