Monthly Archives: July 2012

Having it Both Ways: Oh the things men say on the internet

Having it Both Ways: Oh the things men say on the internet

Lot has been going on at work this week so I haven’t had a lot of time for dating or working the profiles.  That said, I do have my first data ala Mixology with “the librarian” on Aug 3rd.  Part of me wants to livetweet it – but I’ll refrain out of respect for her.

What I have done is collect a number of messages, comments, and emails from folks that are too good not to share.  This is a list of things people ACTUALLY SENT ME on a personals site, social networking site, or commented.

  • “Did I lose you, my dear? What a shame. You could have made the best late night company…” (Received this after I stopped responding)
  • “Well so far I am have NOT been comprised, although I wouldn’t say that about any of my past lovers. Delish!”  (I don’t think he means to use the word “comprised” here)
  • “I’m a fan of Midwestern girls…” (I’ll bet you are)
  • “Kittens and pie eh?  I hope you don’t put kittens IN pie…..” (reference to my profile on OKCupid that says at the end I also like kittens and pie)
    “Do you find me attractive and would you let me kiss you when the time is right?” (really?  this is what you open with?)
  • “Never before in my life has a picture of sprinkles on ice cream made me so interested in fucking the woman eating the ice cream.” (Is it wrong I actually really loved this one?)
  • “damn girl! you look stunning! didn’t know I had sexy ass neighbors like ya on here :)” (the smiley face makes it ….. ok?)
  • ” Hello and good morning beautiful. Please give me a chance. …. your eyes are so beautiful” (I’m wearing sunglasses in the photo)
  • “Be a good girl and call Daddy at (301)XXX-XXX” (Yeah… seriously….)

Love and Attachment

Love and Attachment

I had a long conversation with a friend on Gchat the other day about the meaning of life.  I find its a great topic of conversation for folks when they first meet.  Buddhist philosophy doesn’t just indicate that the meaning of life is to gain knowledge as many other great philosophies, instead its to gain the “right” knowledge.  I guess that means if you learn and grow in ways that is the wrong way you’re not really advancing much.

Buddhist philosophy also acknowledges that there are things in life that give great joy and happiness and pleasure, but that none of those things ever last and our attachment to them only causes more suffering.  Does that mean that love is based on attachment?  We love someone and thus we’re attached to them.  Whether they leave us or pass away our attachment to them causes suffering.  But how do you free yourself from the attachment of love?  Is that what loving yourself is about?  Is love from other people really just a representation or validation that we should be loved or deserve to be loved?  And thus if we only loved ourselves enough we wouldn’t need the love and approval of others.

My friend rejected this outright saying that we are social creatures and that we are all meant to love each other and be loved by others.  That’s who we are and we should accept it and embrace it.

But to end suffering – it makes sense to end attachment.  If you’re not attached to anything or anyone then you have nothing to lose, which means you’re free of suffering.  But who wants to live a life that misses out on being loved by someone or loving someone else?  Does that mean we’re these emotional masochists who somehow keep hurting ourselves and others but go back for more?

Having It Both Ways: Two Ways – One Site

Having It Both Ways: Two Ways – One Site

online dating hotness photoThe adventure this week was in creating several different online dating profiles that I am going to play with and do some experiments on.  I’ll start with OKCupid a site that is for everyone from random hook-ups, couples who want someone, people who want to have affairs, or singles who are looking for all sorts of sexual orientations and combinations.

In my efforts to do research on this interesting world of online dating I created two pages.  One as me… the bisexual seeking only straight men.  And one as me the bisexual seeking other women.  I put the same commentary on both of them – same answers.  Almost the same everything except photo.  With the one targeting men I used a full body shot with a low cut dress that showcases my … er… um… assets…  With the girls I used a black and white photo looking down at just my face when I was laughing about the fact that the person taking it was… taking such a photo.  All of the photos on each account are the same – but the primary profile photo I chose changed.

I chose OK Cupid as a site because I have my Chi friend using it as well as another friend in DC using it who had a great date with an OKCupid guy last night and is meeting him again this evening.  So I figured this was the next option.  So far my email box is exploding with men who are looking – only a few women have looked.

Next up – I’m going to start a JDate profile at the urgency of another friend.  My question was “um… but I’m not Jewish…” to which he said … “So?  There’s nothing hotter than a shiksa willing to convert.” My friend also said he’d help add 20% more Yiddish to my profile if it would help.  Oy…

Having It Both Ways: The Stalker

Having It Both Ways: The Stalker

stalkerNot too long ago I went to a favorite restaurant in my neighborhood that serves yummy steaks.  I’m from Oklahoma… we eat beef.  Plus I’ve been on this insane diet so eating nothing but apples all day and then having a steak and salad for dinner is totally on the plan.  So I met my friend who lives downstairs in my building after work for steak.  We were there most of the night with this server who kept flirting with me and trying to get us to stay longer.  He gave us 2 free glasses of wine, 2 free deserts, and was all over me

You gotta understand – this never happens to me.  My entire life I’ve spent being funny and flirty but never once has a stranger seriously flirted with me like that.  And not once in my life has someone asked me for my number.  Anthony – the server – did.  So I gave it to him.  He started texting me while we were still at the table.  Then came on even stronger.  Then stronger.  Our night was coming to a close as my friend and I had been working all day and it was nearly midnight.  We opted to tab out and walked home.  Anthony called me when he got off after 2am.  I was asleep.  Then again at 3am.  Then again at 4am.  I had to get up at 6….

The next afternoon around 3pm he called again.  Then again at midnight – again at 2am.  This went on for probably a month with me saying to him a few times he was coming on too strong.  Then finally it stopped. My friend told me on gchat the next day “We can never go there again!”  True fact.  And if I’m going upstairs to the Mexican food place – I have to cross across the street to make sure he doesn’t see me.

Moral of this story – don’t give anyone your cell phone number unless you’re ready for them to call you at 2am for a booty call.  At least he finally stopped.  But for a month it was way too much, way too strong, and not what anyone wants.  Let this also be a lesson to men out there.  It’s not ok to call someone after 9pm unless you have the kind of previously established relationship with that person that allows for that.

Having It Both Ways: Oops….

Having It Both Ways: Oops….

Justin Bieber OopsTrue story – I have been a blogger for 8 years.  For EIGHT years I’ve written online in one fashion or another about politics, policy, the millennial generation, and young voters, heartland politics, faith based politics… everything under the sun.  Some of under my name some of it not. I’m really really lucky to be in a job where not only do they trust my judgment but they like who I am – personally and professionally.  I’m well respected and they think I know what I’m doing.  I’ve done New Media since 2008 which is predominantly social media, social bookmarking, blogger outreach, content generation, video, photos, etc… etc… etc…The online world is my life.  It’s who I am – its what I do.  It’s my day 24/7.

I made the decision a long time ago that I wasn’t going to put anything personal out there.  Facebook wouldn’t be used for my personal soundboard to talk shit about people or post drunken photos of myself… not that there are any… sadly… or anything else that is overt debauchery .. .again… sadly that just hasn’t been my life.  But even if it was – I hardly posted anything like that.

Until the Having it Both Ways project.  This was the first time EVER I’ve made my personal life public (at least online.)  EVERY single friend, colleague, fellow blogger, pretty much anyone in the fields or worlds I dabble in knows 100% who I am.  I’m open, I’m honest, I’m never afraid of expressing myself or my identity.  My family…. however…. apparently knows nothing.  Don’t get me wrong – I told my mom 16 years ago – this is who I am and quite honestly until my falling out with Dude #3 – we just didn’t have relationship conversations.  That said…. until Dude #3 I didn’t want to even HAVE an actual relationship with anyone… so perhaps that’s why.

So apparently my blog posts (which I shared on Facebook) have caused quite a stir among the Oklahomies who had never … ya know… googled me or payed much attention to anything I posted on Facebook that was political.  This manifested into text messages being sent around gossiping about me today.  All you can do is just shrug and say…. oops.  But realistically, how do you make that announcement at Christmas dinner to a 30 person packed house of your step-father’s family who sometimes can barely even tolerate that you’re a Democrat?  Now it turns out… omg… she is a liberal AND use to be a LESBIAN!? Oh the vapors! OMG! MUST TEXT AND SHARE ON FACEBOOK NOW!

The reality is that I made this search and experience about love public because

  1. The LGBT community has long dismissed bisexuality as an actual thing.  Instead it’s a phase you go through before you actually decide you’re gay.  I, of course, am the other way around.
  2. Dating in the modern era for someone who doesn’t do the one night stands, the bar scene, and works in an industry where dating inside the office is generally frowned upon is NOT an easy world to navigate.  If I can figure it out… then let me help other ladies out there who are on this journey too.
  3. Regardless of your relationship status the way that my generation interacts with each other and how we have “relationships” is so different than any other generation in history.  How can a new media addict like myself still build normal personal social relationships while still experimenting with the online dating world?  Is this where my generation is going when it comes to building partners?  If so what does that say about the level of intimacy and building those relationships virtually and IRL?
  4. Washington DC is a complicated town.  I hear it constantly.  Every person I have talked to about where to meet people or how to date or what you do to navigate outside of the social circles that tend to be more focused on network building than buddy building, has told me that you just have to figure it out.  Imagine all those young people coming to DC or even the folks who are here who are maybe single for the first time or … I don’t know… and they’re having a rough go of it too.  Let’s help each other out on this and see if we can’t set up some best practices.
  5. And finally and most importantly… the whole idea of the humiliation, rejection, and misery that is finding love is a pretty awful experience… until you actually DO find it.  So … if I can turn this into an intellectual project that generates something beyond THAT – then it makes it a hell of a lot easier to manage, process, laugh at myself, and WARN YOU about.

Will it make people uncomfortable?  Probably.  Do I care?  I do not.  Don’t read it.  Move along… nothin to see.  Already it’s sparked conversations with people about bisexuality in the LGBT community, and too about being a single lady over 30 in Washington DC working in politics and trying to find love.  Will it become the Sex in the City of Washington DC? … I doubt it … will it be an adventure?  You better believe it.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show or go back to looking up recipes on Pinterest.

Yes that’s Justin Bieber in that photo.  Yes I did it for an SEO experiment.

Having It Both Ways: Might be the craziest thing I’ll ever do

Having It Both Ways: Might be the craziest thing I’ll ever do

Hear more about the Having It Both Ways project here

UPDATE:  And so my mother is freaking out now… because of the money…

So I finally filled out my taxes.  This is a good thing because I can now spend that money on the dating service I just paid WAY too much for.  That’s right… Mixology is now going to find me a date.  My mother will be displeased by this because I think she secretly wants me to find a nice man to settle down with – but frankly, I don’t have a hard time meeting men.  If you live in Washington you notice them everywhere… there was the one who stalked me for a while, the one I met on the metro, the married one, friends of friends.  Men are a dime a dozen.  Women are more difficult.  Professional women who are well rounded, socially conscious, and don’t want children… I’ve learned are more complicated.

That’s where Megan and Kim at Mixology come in.  Apparently the fact that I’m open to dating a variety of different races between the ages of 27 and 45 means that I’m going to get a lot of dates.  This apparently makes me versatile.  I wanted to say “Yeah… you have NO idea…”  They shoot for 6 a month – I could end up with as many as 12.  The issue is being available and open and quick to report back on how things went, what you liked about her, and what you didn’t like about her.   You decide if you want to see her again.  I’ll always give her my card at the end of the date just because it’s important to make contacts and friends even if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with the woman. . . .

So, here’s the other part of this coin: how do I break it to these lesbians that I’m also into the dudes?  Suddenly, I’m coming out all over again.  I guess being who you are is key and if I can get 12 women a month moved through then perhaps I’ll be in a position to be choosy or more will choose me.

The sticking point was payment.  When I talked to them on the phone it was $2500 up front lump sum – they are letting me pay it out.  I just can’t believe I’m paying money for this.  It better get me somewhere and if it isn’t love, at least get some views on the blog post.  At the very least I’ll be reporting back if the service works, how it works, if its worth it.  It makes you initial that you’ll do due diligence on STD tests before you sleep with someone.  That you’ll represent them well at restaurants and not be an asshole to the wait staff (sad they have to even SAY this).  You can pause your account at any time for up to 6 months.  So lets say you meet someone you want to focus on – pause it.  Once you start sleeping together – you’re required to pause your account.

Here’s the first page of the contract below.  I’ll post the other pages when she scans it and sends it to me.  HERE WE GO!

Read the rest of this entry

Having It Both Ways: Lesbian Online Dating

Having It Both Ways: Lesbian Online Dating

The HelpIf you haven’t read the introduction to Having It Both Ways please feel free to read more about the project.

I have a lesbian friend who just moved to Chicago and has been trying to meet new friends and date women in a city where she knows no one.  We both created our “How About We” profiles together a few weekends ago me for DC her for Chicago.  She’d never tried online dating sites telling me “a couple people I know had met some total fucking psychos and also I think I still saw online dating through a 1997 lens.  It’s weird and seemed like not as “pure” as meeting someone some other way.  Then there was just the total crippling fear of being rejected in yet ANOTHER medium.”

So she’s been working on another profile on OKCupid because she says we’ve seemed to be early adopters to “How About We” which has a lower number of users.

The key to online dating sites is basically selling yourself.  Think of it like a virtual personals ad.  But you can’t extrapolate too much, otherwise you’ll end up with some person who figures out who you really are and has no interest in seeing you again.  In my very limited experience and my friend’s – be honest about who you are.  Always… be honest and think positively about your positives.

“I feel like I’ve tried to be pretty honest about myself and who I am” she told me via GoogleChat “But then I feel like that is prolly why no one has messaged me.  Like if I had a different “persona” I would have better luck.  In general I feel like there are certain personas that go over really well with lesbians and I am not it.”

I told her that lesbians work in cycles.  Right now there are a dozen women out there that are breaking up with partners or girlfriends.  Finding the perfect person isn’t like turning on the channel guide and finding something to watch for the evening.  It took me 3 years before I really fell for Dude #3 and clearly that didn’t go well, so it’s all about being brave and trying new things and giving it time.  And for the love of God – know that you’re perfect the way you are, own your own awesomeness!

Read more about insane dating options for lesbians or straights (but neglects bisexuals).

Having it Both Ways: Gay or Straight Need Only Apply

Having it Both Ways: Gay or Straight Need Only Apply

Bisexuality DeniedRead more about the Having It Both Ways project here.

Do you have a few thousand dollars lying around?  Then you could find the love of your life in just 6 months.  In my journey to find love I was recommended a dating service called It’s Just Lunch that offers a match making service with people who are only interested in long term relationships.  My lesbian friend Tiffany (married) suggested it to me after saying she doesn’t really know any single women in the city.

So I checked out their website, signed up for a phone call, and then started looking up information about them.  They don’t have the best reputation online.  Comments are filled with people who felt like they were matched with people who did not meet their expressed expectations and the service is really expensive, so women felt like they’d been had.

How expensive?  For $2100 for 6 months ($79 each month after) they’ll set you up with at least 2 dates a week.  But a payment plan was totally acceptable.  The problem… it’s only heterosexual dating.  Not because they’re averse to the LGBT community, they just don’t have the clients and staffing availability to do that.  The woman on the phone assured me she hopes to get to a point where they can provide both services but said that right now she has an abundance of single men in my age range she could set me up with.  But if I wanted women, I should use the partnering site like It’s Just Lunch that does lesbian relationships.

Her concern, however, was that 3 months down the road I would come back to her and say “You know… I just really want to be with a woman so…. yeah… I’m moving on.”  She wanted an assurance that I wouldn’t say that.  I didn’t know.  I’m not opposed to being with a man if that man is capable of having personality traits that I value in my female relationships.  Can he be romantic, can he be inquisitive, socially conscious, connected to the world around him in a spiritual or philosophical way (in addition to the typical male attributes I love such as spontaneous and adventurous)?  Then I could fall in love with him.

GREAT!  She replied.  Let’s talk about doing an intense interview and setting up your account.  I told her I should think about it a little more and call her back.

Then I went to Mixology and filled out a profile.  My options – women seeking women… only.  I filled in the profile and a few hours later received a call from their Executive Director who was so excited to hear about my interest and talk to me about connecting with wonderful lesbians in DC who would like to have long term relationships.  I didn’t mention I’d spoken to It’s Just Lunch about meeting men, nor did I correct her when she assumed I was a lesbian.

“Are you ready to have a long term relationship with a woman?” she asked.  That’s a loaded question isn’t it?  Can that woman be spontaneous, adventurous, inquisitive, socially conscious, intelligent, political, and NOT want to bring a cat and a U-Haul on the second date?  Then …. yes… I think I am.

How much?  $2500 for 6 months – all up front.  YOU PAY NOW!  But their initial interview is free so they can figure out if they have a client base that would work for me.  I have an appointment on Tuesday.

I wish I had a spare $5000 to do both services and report back, but this project is not exactly an affordable option to someone who pays as much as I do for a one bedroom apartment in Washington DC.  I guess it’s a dating service for the 1%.  Or at the very least a dating service for upper middle class professions who don’t have the time or interest to troll around on OKCupid or HowAboutWe and find love.

The most discouraging thing is that I can’t really be myself with either dating service even if I COULD afford them.  Your options for the LGBT group Mixology couldn’t really work for bisexuals because the only dates they find are for gay men and gay women.  So – the only dudes they have access to aren’t going to be into me at all.  The same is true for ItsJustLunch.  Since they only do heterosexual relationships they’ve got straight people galore and the women there are likely not interested in someone like me.

Bisexuality is a real thing, ya know.  And women are more able to have a fluidity to their sexuality because we don’t necessarily fall in love with the way someone looks – we tend to fall in love with a connection we have with that person.  So often for women it’s very individualistic vs. our need to either not be alone or the hot cheerleader who turns her head our way.  And assuming you’re sexually liberated, you’re more able to allow for sexual fluidity in your preference.

Doesn’t mean I can or am willing to part with $5,000 just to meet Mr. or Ms. right, however.