[featured image via SFBC "Love on Wheels"]
Hi guys! I know it's been a while. I've been thinking about you a lot though, Autostrudel, and I've done a couple of cool things for you while I was away. One, I kind of kick-started this blog and two, I made plans to COME TO YOUR NORTH AMERICAN TOWN* really soon. Maybe even the day you're reading this. So I hope we're still cool and stuff and you forgive me my silence these past couple of months.
I thought I'd do something else for you lesmos. I've gathered from the kind of questions you leave for folks on the Tumblr and the Formspring and the whatnot, that there's a lot of confusion in the world of girl-centric dating. I figured, well, since I'm such an expert at all things love and relationship related (Sarcasm!), I should share some of that wisdom with the less fortunate. Since I am such an experienced dater (Read: I dive head-first into serial monogamy with the first person to show the faintest interest in me), I figured it would only be right for me to impart some of the knowledge I've gleaned over the years.
I mean, since I am so awesome at negotiating that tender first-kiss moment (I once actually said this exact thing to someone before rushing out of their car: "Um, yeah, so I guess this is the time where, like, we would have our first kiss. I'm pretty sure I just ruined it, though, by saying that, so I won't kiss you this time, now, but next time definitely. So, yeah, I hope we have a second date. I will kiss you on that one for sure. Okay. Bye."), I am going to help you queers get your date on.
The first step is knowing whether or not you are actually on a date. For me, this is the hardest part. If someone asks me to do something and that someone is cute, I am almost never sure if it's a friend-date or a date-date. I'm never sure if when someone uses the word "date," they just mean "date" or they mean "date-date" or they mean "date-date-date" or they mean the edible sweet fruit of the date palm. (Mmm...)
I don't know about you, but when someone asks me out, this inner monologue is immediately triggered:
Whoa, did she just ask me out? I think she did. I mean, that was flirting. Right? She touched me a lot. Still, maybe it's not a real date, but a thing that we're doing as friends. Some people are just touchy. I should do more push-ups. Maybe she was just being friendly. Why are my arms so skinny? People can be friendly. Fuck, she's so cute. Am I getting enough iron? Cute people can be friendly. OH MY GOD, does she want to kiss me? I need a new wardrobe. Why have I never done push-ups? I should own suspenders. Is it too late to completely change the shape of my arms? How does a person make English language talk with a human girl? God, I hope there's kissing.
I try to remind myself not to panic. Panicking never helps. Dating is not unlike untangling a harness. It can be frustrating, confusing, and sometimes ego-crushing, but it's almost always worth it in the end. "In the end," if you know what I mean! (No, guys. Don't encourage that sort of thing. Seriously, guys. Grow up.)
If you and your lady have made a plan old school style (i.e. without the help of OK Cupid), I've compiled some handy questions you can use to help clarify whether or not your plan qualifies as a date.
1. What exactly was said?
"Let's go to the screen-printing workshop Thursday at 9:30" is a heck of a lot more promising than "Maybe we'll run into each other at the party." The higher the number of specific details pre-date, the better. A super high number of specific details pre-date, especially if those details involve lube preferences and safe words, probably mean you are negotiating an S&M play date. Please see another article.
2. Where are you going?
Places in which queer lesbian gay people naturally congregate, i.e., open mics, farmer's markets, soccer games and in front of television sets displaying The Real L-word, do not the best date destinations make. Avoid embarrassing assumptions by making sure that you and cute-girl-of-your-choice have not simply bumped into each other by chance. Few people are open to make-out sessions at the end of an organic pepper purchase. (But those that are: Total keepers!)
Dinner usually spells real date, especially if she pays for yours or lets you pay for hers. But is dinner attended by her housemates while they argue over whose turn it is to empty the cat litter? Could dinner best be described by a combination of the words "pot" and "luck"? If you answer yes to either of these questions, it's probably not a date. If you can answer yes to both of them, it's most definitely not a date. Also, you might be living in the '70s.
3. What's she wearing?
If one of you puts on perfume, it counts as a date. The same goes for changing from your usual faded jeans to the good faded jeans or otherwise getting fancied up, whatever that means in your world. (In my world, it means using a cleaning cloth to get smudges off my glasses. Ooo, dapper!) Putting in extra gel, putting on extra lipstick, or packing an extra-firm dildo are all tell-tale date signs.
A fleece vest could mean it's a date if —and only if—you're within ten feet of a maple tree. And one of you is Canadian. And you intend to tap the tree. And lick fresh syrup from each other's flesh. Slowly. Real slowly. No, slower. Yeeeeah, that's it.
4. Is there physical contact?
Brushing hands, arms, and thighs are all good signs. Unless one of you is in a WNBA uniform. (See: 3. What's she wearing?)
Okay! Are you feeling ready to test your date-assessing skills? Decipher the following scenario, plucked from my very own real life:
I'm dressed up (smudge-free glasses!) in a popular coffee shop in the gay district with a cute girl who I knew would be there. She's clearly made an effort in the appearance department, wearing a crisp button-up shirt and black pants. The cute girl makes eye contact, smiles and seems very interested in what I'm about to say.
So, what do you think, Autostrudels? Is it a genuine date?
NOPE! I'm stalking the coffee shop girl. (Or, as I like to think of it, "dating" her for four months now, taking it pretty slowly...)
Best of luck out there, lovers!
*If your town is Ottawa, Toronto, New York freakin' City, Boston, or Burlington. Would you like more details? Find all relevant details here!