I’ve never been fond of being called “nice.” Nice, to me, is a consolation-prize adjective; it’s a lazy descriptor you use for a person who isn’t interesting enough to rate a few more syllables. Nice is for potholders and admirable recycling habits, for neutral weather patterns and cuts of salmon. Even the slightly more enthusiastic, stoner-drawl version of the word, Niiiiiiice!, and its cousin, Sweeeeet! are usually reserved for cars, surfable waves, or extensions of deadlines. Or, you know, marijuana.
And yet, people generally tend to label me as nice and sweet, and I suppose, in my wussy way, I am. It pains me to be rude to telemarketers. I always repost Facebook pictures of abandoned puppies. I do recycle responsibly – what of it?
So when, on our first date Joe*, a guy who I’d met at a bar, said I was a “nice girl,” it wasn’t immediately a dealbreaker. Nice is a cross I’ve borne for a long time, and if I ruled out every guy who called me it, I would be restricted to a dating pool comprised only of surly, rage-provoking DMV employees. Keep reading »
At the tender age of 19, I had only seen a total of four penises: the guy who got into my bed naked after a rave in high school; my boyfriend who I lost my virginity to senior year; the balding dorm mate who I gave an unfortunate blow job to while a James Bond movie played in the background; the older dude I had casual sex with my entire freshman year and most of my sophomore year of college. I had only slept with two of these penises, but this I assure you, all four were of modest size. (I can say this with confidence now that I’m older and have seen many a dick.)
This is where I was at in my sexual evolution when I started dating William*. He lived in my dorm sophomore year and came over sometimes to hang out and wanted to listen to, of all things, Tori Amos. I know! A 19-year-old boy who likes Tori Amos? William’s admission of Tori Amos fandom made him instantaneously more attractive to me. Not that he wasn’t already attractive. With his bleached-blond hair, piercings and post-punk style, when he leaned over and kissed me as “Pretty Good Year” played on my stereo then leaned over and whispered, “I want to fuck you on my balcony,” I felt something I had never experienced before: raging desire. Keep reading »
I feel like a traitor to my feminist values to admit this, but I expect the guy to pay for the first date. I know, I know! That is the lone issue about which I’m a traditionalist and perhaps it comes from my father. He has taught me myriad important lessons: respect for nature, how to ride a bike, and that men should always pay for the first date, no exceptions. My dad is a true product of the 1950′s and he has long instructed me to leave my wallet at home when I go on a first date (not figuratively—literally don’t bring any cash because the man should pay and that’s that). While I agree with my dad, I’ve chosen to ignore his suggestion and show up on first dates with my wallet … just in case. Keep reading »
I grew up in a conservative Indian family. This meant anything with a Y chromosome was off limits. Don’t look at boys, don’t think about boys, don’t talk to boys, don’t even think about talking to boys. No dating, no making out, and definitely no sex. I was to be a good Indian girl, get good grades, get into an Ivy League school and marry a nice Indian boy.
All of this would have been fine if I grew up in India. But I was raised in suburban New Jersey. So my priorities as a teenager were short skirts, cheerleading, big hair, (this was Jersey after all), and, of course, boys. The only problem was I didn’t know how to approach guys because I didn’t have any proper examples. My parents got married after three dates in what was basically an arranged marriage. Clearly, they were of no help at all.
So I turned my attention to the only other sources of information I had: fashion magazines. I read every issue of Seventeen, Sassy and YM religiously in the hopes of discerning some clues about the opposite sex. Keep reading »
Two years ago, I was at my local coffee shop when I spotted a certain gentleman, and after a series of boring events he and I wound up having sex. It was mostly uneventful, except for the fact that during the proceedings, I sprained my neck. We’d had sex and gone to bed, and the next morning I woke up and couldn’t move it.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed, and my companion groaned wordlessly in response. I rotated the entirety of my torso so as to be able to face him.
“I think I sprained my neck,” I said.
“From the blowjobs?” he asked, but nodding yes was not an option. I briskly pitched my torso back and forth.
“Oh, crap!” he laughed. “Wow. That’s really funny.” Keep reading »
I am a woman 33 years of age who practices safe sex. But it wasn’t always that way. As a woman of 19, 20 and 21, I was in no uncertain terms an idiot where safe sex was concerned. Sometimes I forced a guy to wear a condom, sometimes I didn’t.
But that all changed when I hit 22.For it was at this stage that I that I met a man in a bar, went home with him, had sex with him. And not just any man. This man was drummed up in a dive bar. He was covered in tattoos, and I’m quite sure his continued trips to the bathroom were cocaine-related. When we got back to his place I quickly discovered that he owned a pet iguana, a leathery little thing named Juan who he allowed to roam free around his East Village bedroom. I had condom-less sex with this gentleman, and spent the whole of the next day convinced his myriad STIs were coursing through my system.
Now: I know you can’t judge a book by its cover. I know that just because a man is covered in tattoos and owns a pet iguana and has a whiff of the cocaine addict about him, that doesn’t mean that he’s got chlamydia. BUT … Keep reading »
I met Cute Train Guy en route back to New York just after Thanksgiving. (I’m nothing if not completely uncreative with my nicknames.) With the annual tradition of overcrowding and delays, Thanksgiving travel gives me major agita. So, that evening I was relieved to secure a window seat on the Amtrak train and beyond pleased when a cute guy sat down next to me. He was nerdy hot, with glasses and a quick wit. We hit it off and chatted the entire ride. The chemistry was great, but I kept kicking myself that I had left the house in such scrubby clothes and without a lick of makeup. “I’m normally much cuter than this,” I wanted to tell him, but I couldn’t because I was too busy blowing my nose and sneezing for two hours straight. I had been battling a wicked cold throughout the weekend and on my lap was a pile of tissues and throat lozenges, neither of which are an aphrodisiac, unfortunately.
But as the train pulled into Penn Station, he asked for my business card.
Ohh! I thought, Perhaps he’ll call and we can go out once I’m feeling better. Then I can make a better impression! Keep reading »
When I was in college, I was obsessed with this one guy. OB-SESSED. He had a girlfriend, but he was just so dreamy, and I had concocted this fantasy that he would break up with her and be with me. (Shut up. I was 18.) I was messed up in the head over this fool for the longest time, convinced he would fall in love with me if he just knew me well enough.
That did not happen.
What did happen was that I used to walk past the retail store where he worked just so I could catch a momentary glimpse of him and then scuttle away like a cockroach. My friends yelled at me for doing this. I was in a miserable and unhealthy place in my life: many, many years away from getting control of the anxiety and depression that shredded up my late teens and early 20s. I was in no place to realize — as I later would — that if a man doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want you. Keep reading »
Like Brigham’s Ice Cream, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Neco Wafers, I hail from Boston. I am a proud native of Kickassachusetts and I will defend my hometown as though it’s my somewhat slutty younger sister–I can see her issues, but I will have her back to the death.
Right after college, I moved to Chicago and lived there for 10 months. Around month six or seven, I decided that Illinois simply wasn’t for me—I don’t think that the Earth revolves around Big 10 football, I hate Bratwurst, and I can’t stomach mispronouncing “Versailles” as “Ver-Sales” on purpose. I needed to get back to the right coast. After I decided that I was going to move back to Boston, I had to stick it out in Chicago for a few more months to get through my apartment lease and receive a long-awaited and much-needed bonus from my nightmare paralegal job. Keep reading »
When I started dating Tim, I thought he was interesting and creative, but I hated the fact that he smoked, and his apartment was always a mess. Nevertheless, we had fun on our dates and he was really attractive, so I continued to see him and figured I would play it by ear (hey, we’ve all been there, right?). The truth was I was at this point in my life where I just really wanted a boyfriend. I thought being in a relationship would make me happy, and give me something stable to count on as I was adjusting to living in a new city, having just started graduate school. Keep reading »