Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Celibates wear orange

Sorry to regular readers who checked back Tuesday to catch the very-exciting announcement about my new all-access commenting feature (now totally inclusive, thanks to Haloscan) ... You guessed it: today was yet another occasion on which I left my computer behind for a foray into the real world. I actually had not just lunch, but lunch and coffee. With men. Two different men, in fact. I even managed to pay nothing except for subway fare, but that’s surely more a consequence of the sympathy-inducing powers of unemployment (when present in a “reasonably attractive” woman) ... than a new crop of pseudo-dates creeping in under my nose. (Besides, in my experience thus far, pseudo-dates are generally the province of Christian men. Secular men know they want sex and make no bones about it.)

Writing a blog like Sexless in the City is a double-edged sword, you see. While you instantly gain men’s attention, there’s a good chance things will never get past the first little chit-chat. Except, of course, for the writer who recently proclaimed himself intent on getting into my blog. Now why does that sound dirty ...

Today’s conversations, however, were generally less salacious: the woes of wooing a gender-balanced Kerry-party crowd, and why a long-time Apple user has recently switched to PCs. (I was conversing with guys, remember.)

There was passing talk about the celibates at a yoga center where I lunched: apparently they choose to don orange for some reason. I mean, orange. It’s like, “Warning! Celibate on the loose!” No offense to Buddhists, but isn’t that also the color of choice for hazard suits and criminals? It’s like you’re either about to encounter something very dangerous (a sex-starved grown-up), or that person is about to face great danger: a soul unable to compensate for other needs with sex. These people (judging on what I saw) don’t wear the typical Buddhist garb where it’s not only vibrant orange but some sort of toga to boot … they were wearing the clothes it looked like Martha Stewart rejected after failing to bleach the orange to a satisfactory pastel.

… But I digress. What caused greater curiosity was my other friend’s remark about encounters with fake ads on personal sites. Not long ago, he claimed, a hypersocial relative from France came to visit. Before inviting a steady stream of girlfriends to come join him in crashing on my friend’s tasteful couch, the relative first turned to local dating sites. (Why does this remind me of some kids’ cartoon with mice, like, Francois visits America?) As the men browsed the ads, they found that most women pictured were average, but 1-in-10 or so was stunning. They of course responded to these (well, the hypersocial Frenchman did), but curiously none replied. My skeptical friend inferred that these were probably fake ads created to keep men hooked on the site, dreaming of getting a date with that “average woman” who looks like a pornstar yet for some reason can’t meet men.

Of course we’ve all heard about the fake photos people supposedly use in personal ads (I think I once “whispered” to one Texan who did such when I was still on Udate) ... and we’ve seen horrifying proof that plenty don’t ... but have any of you heard or encountered personal ads where the whole thing seems unreal? This is probably nonexistant on Craigslist, but I assume most of you don’t exclusively rely on that site for meeting people.

So ... thoughts? I’d be curious to hear your stories.

Random reader of the day
In one of Monday’s promo ads, I made the mistake of saying, “What kind of stripper would rivet a Muslim lady?” Now I’m scared that horny European terrorists have me on their radar:
Subject: i take u
Date: July 26, 2004 1:57:38 PM EDT
how r u hope u ok i saw your add on the web say u need some one glad to know u more if u want me to be i also look for some one so what ever the caese is i be happy to help or be with u if u need a pic i can send one
What, me, paranoid? Nevah...

Song of the Day
And finally: the much-teased premier of the Sexless in the City Spooning Fork (so-named because a) spooning is an old-timey term for kissing — aka, snogging — b) a tuning fork is a music-related implement, and c) at 1:17 a.m. I can’t think of anything more clever to describe this song-analysis feature).

Dancing Queen
Dancing Queen from Gold - Greatest Hits
I have to confess, the true meaning of this song was not really brought home to me until the wee hours of a recent Saturday morning, which I whiled away in an east-40s karaoke bar. Thanks to the aid of a slick vintage-90s music video, however, it all came together ...

When you actually read them, the lyrics are a revelation. No wonder Brazilian waxes are sweeping the nation! It’s not Bush-hatred run amok, but decades of girls’ nights out encouraging women to free their inner stripper — I mean, “pole-dance professional.”
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy...
You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
Forget all that grinding-with-your-girlfriends crap. The really secret to male attention is dancing like it rumples up your panties in a good way. (Don’t forget, Abba sang in pre-thong days.)

Now what if the candidates had to each do playlists for Apple, their platform cleverly embedded in the lyrics? What then, I ask you, what then? Bush, I guarantee, would not include “Dancing Queen” on his tape because he’s worked against human-trafficking. Actually quite a lot.

And so we see why Anna Broadway will not have blogging credentials for either political convention ...

Postscript, Aug. 21, 2004
This just in: more on possible contents of the Presidential iPod! Note in particular the close-up from his blog ...

ear candy

Gold: Greatest Hits
Gender, Trafficking and Slavery (Focus on Gender Series)
Gender, Trafficking and Slavery

Focus on Gender Series
We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture
We’ve Got Blog

How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture

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