Perhaps you’ve noticed the absence of my column, “Sex & the Show Me State,” here at The Frisky over the last few months. Or maybe you haven’t. For the sake of my ego, I don’t really want to know. What you may want to know, however, is why I’ve been absent. The simple answer is that it’s really hard to write a column about sex when you’re not having any. The more complicated answer—though, admittedly, an easier cop-out—is that my city is to blame. Around the time my last column (about dating a single dad) went to press, that relationship had fizzled, and a report listing the worst cities in the country for dating was making its way around the internet.
Much to my dismay—and my surprise, especially after the great luck and sporadic lusty evenings I’d had in my first few months in my new home—Kansas City, MO was listed as the number one, absolute worst city for dating.
At first I didn’t pay it any mind. What constitutes a “bad” dating city, anyway? I wondered. A dearth of single people? Not enough activities and events? And how did the study’s authors even know what they were talking about? I just assumed most of the subjects they’d interviewed were in the suburbs and married with 2.5 children and gas-guzzling SUVs. You know, those people who just had to get married at 21 because they were knocked up or madly in love with their high school sweethearts. Yeah, of course those people would say Kansas City is a “bad” dating city. They weren’t fun and single like me. Plus, who could take seriously any “study” co-sponsored by Axe Body Spray?
So, I complained about it, joked about it and eventually forgot about it … until I noticed something: six months had passed and I hadn’t gone on a single date.
How did this happen? Just a few months earlier, I was rejoicing in the fact that the men of Kansas City were looking at me instead of their BlackBerries (like they did when I lived in New York), and that in a city where there were more moms than models I had a greater chance of getting noticed. Yet there I was—approaching the end of one of the driest summers of my post-pubescent life—blaming my personal problems on a city. Again.
I’d been there before, except not really “there,” because for the previous nine years I was in New York. Instead of a series of long-term boyfriends, I’d had a series of long-term dry spells (one even lasted a year-and-a-half!) punctuated with a few hook-ups and one-night stands. I always blamed my situation on my geographic location. “Dating in New York sucks,” I I’d say to my sister over the phone on another Friday night spent at home. “The men here only want models.” Or my favorite line, “All the good ones are taken,” leaving out “by models,” of course.
I started to wonder—or rather, I had to admit to myself—that if I was having the same problem in multiple cities then, clearly, the problem was me. I was not un-datable, but was I expecting swarms of attractive, successful men to flock to me while I sat at home in my jammies and got all sweaty making food they would find deliciously irresistible (and, in turn, find me irresistible)? Sadly, yes. I sort-of was.
Realizing the error of my ways, and determined to prove those fools at Axe Body Spray wrong, I signed into my stagnant OKCupid profile and started searching for guys in my zip code.
Since then I’ve been on seven dates and, as it turns out, Kansas City is a great city for dating—or at least it’s just as good as any other. The huge balconies on most of the apartment buildings make for intimate date spots, drinks are cheap and there are even a few new “speakeasies” popping up around town (perfect for snuggling into booths in dark corners). In fact, Kansas City may even be a better dating city than New York, as long as I go out and don’t stay holed up in my kitchen. That comes later, after the dating goes really well.