New York City Blog
Single in the City: The Sound of Silence
I apologize for the long hiatus from this blog! After a few more bad dates and a whole year of back and forth with Jersey Stacey (I guess she’s my lesbian version of Mr. Big?) I went into some sort of “total eclipse of the heart.” Newly revived, like a sparkly Twilight vampire back from the dead, I stand at the ready to deliver the latest in news nobody needs to hear: what’s going on in my dysfunctional love life as I challenge the rigors of New York dating. I’ll be the first person to say that I am not OK with OKCupid…in fact I think the worst dates I’ve ever gone on have all come from this site, and I often wonder how so many prospective dates without jobs can afford the Internet access to build a personal ad profile, but c’est la vie. A few days ago, I decided to put my profile back up after two or three months of not being there, and a new crop of spring flings began to sprout. I narrowed them down to about three, the cream of the crop appearing to be a Jewish doctor (what a nice Passover gift!) One of the girls, however, had a 99% matching rate with me. I’m not sure what OKCupid bases these algorithms on, but those seemed like good odds. So anyway, I exchanged numbers with Gloria. FYI, don’t laugh at her name, because I’m well aware that my name sounds like it belongs to an 85-year-old grandmother stirring pots of matzo ball soup for her family. I figured, hey, we have a 99% chance of success and she lives in New Jersey: absolutely nothing can go wrong with this plan.We said hi, talked about ourselves and dating in general.  As the 15-minute conversation dragged onward, I began to notice that Gloria had a painfully critical tone (something I learned one should veer away from after watching too many episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker)  “So, do you like any TV shows?” I asked. “I don’t normally watch TV, but I just love Millionaire Matchmaker and Jersey Shore.”  “I don’t watch reality TV. I think it’s trash. And I don’t understand the people who support that garbage,” she said.  “Um, yeah, I like fine art and going to the MoMa, actually,” I said. “I just think it’s kind of fun to watch silly TV shows now and then for laughs.” Then, the longest, most awkward pause.  “…”  “Hello?” “Yeah, I’m still here.” “Oh, okay, I thought I lost you,” I said. “So anyway, you said on your profile that you like to travel! Well, I went to Southern California for Dinah Shore a couple of weeks ago. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Like one giant frat party full of thousands and thousands of lesbians,” I said, laughing. “Yeah, well, I’m sure they weren’t ALL lesbians,” she said. “I’m sure some of them were bi, or even queer. Clearly not EVERYONE at Dinah Shore was a lesbian,” she asserted, righteously. “Oh. Okay. Well I didn’t exactly go around asking each person what their sexual orientation was,” I said. “I just kind of assumed it was mostly lesbians. You know.” “…” All I heard was silence on the line. “Hello?” “…yeah, I’m still here.” “Okay. Yeah, and they played lots of Madonna. Loved it.” “Oh my God!” said Gloria. “I LOVE Madonna!” For the life of me, I am not sure why exactly the following words came out of my mouth, but I said: “So, have you heard Madonna’s new CD? It’s pretty great,” I said. “Yeah…I don’t buy CDs,” she said, in this weirded-out, condescending tone. “I haven’t bought a CD in over 10 years. I don’t think most people have. You said you were 30 on your profile. Are you older than that?” I thought this was incredibly rude, and at this point decided to get sarcastic back. “Um…by CD I really meant cassette tape. Because I’m actually 52-years-old. I did a great job photoshopping my profile picture.” “…” “Hello?” I queried. “…” “Hello? Is this thing on?” “Yeah, I’m here. Like I said, I don’t really buy CDs.” “Obviously I don’t either,” I said, losing patience. “It was a slip of the tongue, I meant ‘digital album.’ So, you said you live in Jersey, is your family from there?” “Um, I live with my parents still. I hope that’s not a dealbreaker.” I was thinking it was totally a dealbreaker. Because she was approaching her mid-thirties. I’m just going to be a jerk and say it: if someone is almost in their mid-thirties and living in their mom’s garage, they’re not exactly marriage material. “Um, you know, it’s fine.” I said, awkwardly. “…” “Hello? Are you still there?” “Yeah.” She said. “I have to be honest, you sounded a lot more confident and sexy on your profile. I mean I just got the sense that was who you were through what you’d written to me. I don’t get that sense at all from you on the phone.” At this point, I was just offended. It was rude. I mean, if you don’t like a girl, you don’t have to be emotionally myopic and tell her exactly what you don’t like about her. Like nobody says, “My, you looked a lot thinner and hotter online!” There are times when it is glaringly obvious to me exactly why I would never want to be with someone, but I try to have the decency to not tell them outright and hurt their feelings. “…Did you get a sense of who I was online?” she asked. “Well, no,” I said. “Honestly we exchanged like two messages, I don’t think that’s a long enough amount of time to get a sense of who anybody is.” “Oh. Okay. So…do you want to meet for coffee?” she said. “Yeah! I’m…ah…open to it.” I said. “…” “Hello?” “…” “Hello? Hello? Are you still there?” I asked, annoyed. “Yeah. I ah…just had to catch my breath,” she said. At this point I was thinking, does this woman have asthma? Catch her breath for what? Why all of the silences?” “Well…would Sunday work?” she asked. “Yeah. I might be free Sunday evening.” I said. “Where should we go?” “…” “Hello?!?!?” “…” “Um, okay, I’m just going to be honest, the living with the parents thing was a dealbreaker, and I am looking for someone in a more independent phase of their life,” I said. “Have a good one, and good luck!” After that, I made sure to warm up a cup of hot tea and listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s, “The Sound of Silence” in my headphones. I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to the quiet of my apartment. And I realized it was no different than being on the phone with Gloria.
Single in the City: 7 Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Single Girl
Here at GO, it’s been a long held tradition to feature a witty, helpful Valentine’s Day gift guide for all loving lesbian couples to enjoy in the February issue. Well, I think it’s high time for a Valentine’s Day gift guide just for the singles! Don’t let this dreaded “holiday” break your heart. Here are seven gifts and fun activities to ease the pain on February 14th, so treat yourself! Love is Over (at least it is on the Xbox360 or PS3) In “Catherine: Love is Over” by Atlus, you play as a 32-year-old protagonist torn between marrying his loving, yet naggy girlfriend of five years (named Katherine), or kindling an affair with a gorgeous and busty mistress (named Catherine.) Players (in every sense of the term) spend about half of the game hanging out in a bar asking people for relationship advice and can choose to answer the phone when their girlfriend calls to check in, ignore her while getting drunk and sexting the other woman, or lie about their whereabouts to both at the same time. Players can even avoid both girls and decide to play it solo for a total of 8 possible endings to the melodrama. Either way, Catherine is well-written and offers the full experience of a bad lesbian relationship with the added convenience of not having to get up off of your couch or actually hurt anybody’s feelings in real life. As a bonus, those who purchase the deluxe version of the game (aptly titled “Love is Over”) receive it packaged just for bachelors in a pizza box with a pair of boxers. http://catherinethegame.com/ Bois Don’t Cry They say bois don’t cry, but you might after taking a boot camp class run by two Marine soldiers at Warrior Fitness. $60 lands you three trial classes so extreme that running up and down forty flights of stairs with twenty-pound weights on (all before climbing over five walls) is standard. Warrior Fitness classes are also chock full of really attractive, athletic women, thanks to their position as fitness advisors for Lady Footlocker. You could even meet your next ex-girlfriend doing squats here! Don’t ask, don’t tell. http://www.warriorfitnessbootcamp.com/ Tears of Joy This just in: recently published by Quirk Books, The Onion’s “Love, Sex, And Other Natural Disasters” brings you the finest in up-to-date relationship reporting. With headlines such as “Thousands of High-School Sweethearts Prepare for Post-Graduation Breakup” and “Couple Forgets 70th Wedding Anniversary,” everybody’s favorite fictitious newspaper will have you crying tears (of laughter) in no time! www.quirkbooks.com The Gift that Keeps on Giving Feeling bitter about your ex? Nothing says, “It’s over” like sending her a heart-shaped box of cuddly-looking plush STDs by ThinkGeek. And it’s way more adorable than the alternative. http://www.thinkgeek.com/ 1+1 = Way Too Expensive Here’s a well-known secret amongst New Yorkers in the know: going to the discount TKTS booth to buy unclaimed tickets about an hour before any show’s time on Broadway will usually net you a ticket at 60% off or more. This means that couples who want to sit together usually have to pay over $150 per each ticket the traditional way to land in Row X, while singles generally only have to pay about $60 to get front row seats! Use this to your advantage and take in a show. Might I suggest the Spider-Man musical on Broadway for optimal laughs? http://www.tdf.org/ Ride off into the sunset, sans horse What single girl doesn’t love a little schadenfreude? If you’re still not satiated after checking out a Broadway show, consider taking one of the human powered pedi-cabs in Times Square for long, scenic, horse-cruelty-free ride through Central Park. Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day. You shouldn’t be the only one suffering! What’s Love Got to Do, Got to Do With it? Alright, so you don’t have a Private Dancer. Burn a CD of your favorite heartbreak songs, show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T and head on over to Sabrina Haley’s “Mix Tape Tuesday” at 438 Hudson Street, where she’ll play your own old school custom-made playslist (as long as it’s before 7pm.) PS: “You Oughta Know” that a little Alanis Morissette goes great with Sabrina’s key lime pie martinis.
Single in the City: It’s Not You, It’s Me: Dispelling the Dump
With Hurricane Irene on the loose and about to impact New York this weekend, I feel it’s important to talk about another tragic natural disaster that leaves pain and suffering in its wake: dumping. Let’s face it, dumping, breaking up with, or rejecting someone is about as painful and embarrassing as an annual trip to the gynecologist. And much like an annual, both parties want to get it over with as soon as possible— nobody actually wants to be there at all. With so many emotions swirling about and the lesbian tendency to process, it can be hard to decipher exactly what somebody “really means.” And so I’ve put together a handy guide to dispelling the dump: What she says: “It’s not you, it’s me. ”
What she means: “It’s you.” What she says: “Let’s just be friends.”
What she means: “The sex was bad.” What she says: “I think you’re a wonderful, beautiful, amazing person…”
What she means: “The sex was really bad.” What she says: “We want different things.”
What she means: “The sex was great but I really don’t want a relationship with you due to a major incompatibility. So can we still keep hooking up?” What she says: “I need to work on myself right now.”
What she means: “I would rather enroll in a Tai Chi or pottery class full of old people to ‘enrich myself’ before I ever go on another date with you again.” What she says: “I’m sure there’s someone wonderful out there who’s going to appreciate you for all that you are and give you everything you deserve.”
What she means: “I really hope this person comes soon so that you’ll stop calling me!” What she says: “I’m just not over my ex yet.”
What she means: “I’m still hopelessly in love with somebody who may or may not be deserving of it, and this person will proceed to come back in my life more times than there are Harry Potter sequels. Let’s go on another date in maybe five years, when I’m REALLY over her.” What she says: “I have a lot of things going on in my life right now…”
What she means: “I’m just not that into you.” Dumpees, rejoice. Now there are no more reasons to waste whole hours calling your BFF, to share texts or emails with her to get to the bottom of the mystery. And yes, rejection is a tough thing. Whenever one person doesn’t feel the same way, it’s easy to take it as an assessment and devaluation of your own personal worth. But think of love like a game or sport, or even an eternal Wheel of Samsāra— everyone does their fair share of both winning and losing, of experiencing pleasure and pain. The one who has caused you harm has most definitely experienced the same pain at the hands of another. When it’s over, you have two choices. The first is to accept defeat with grace, civility, and kindness, to act with a clear head, in moderation. There’s always a chance your dumper will change her mind when she realizes what a wonderful person she’s lost and come back (with lesbians, we all know the chance of someone coming back is always extremely high!) The second choice is to treat a rejection with spitefulness, insults, and an ill-temper. In which case, the chances of your paramour revisiting her decision is zero. Choose wisely and go in peace. No matter what side of the equation you rest upon, it’s pretty clear that all anyone wants is to be loved, and that love is not an easy thing to find. Now, who’s ready for Hurricane Irene?
Single in the City: On the Prowl: Rainbow Sins
Recently, being single for me felt less like burning in hell/going to the dentist and actually started becoming…fun? I was thinking the other day about tackling a new subject in SIC: nightlife. It makes sense, right? On some level or another, everyone’s on a journey to find “The One,” and it’s going to take a lot of cosmos and PBRs to get there. Not to mention, part of the beauty of being single is being able to go anywhere, being able to do whatever you want and not having to answer to anyone. This is where “On the Prowl” comes in. It’s my new project to blog about some of the most fun and interesting parties or date spots in the city. This week, I decided to check out the new darling of NY lesbian nightlife: Rainbow Sins! The Host: Mari TheBody (and oh, what a body.) The DJ: Angel Boi The Venue: Second Saturday of the Month at The Alchemist Lounge in Brooklyn What Happened: Rainbow Sins is the Brooklyn’s best kept secret. A relatively new dark horse in the running of Sapphic nightlife, RS has only happened twice so far, and has a similar feel to Choice or Snapshot. That translates into edgy girls, a quirky feel, and lots of glitter paired with tattoos. A mere $10 secured an unlimited (and gay) amount of rainbow Jello shots for the evening, and it might well be the only night where I can say I’ve picked up a “Red-Headed Slut” for $6. At least, the only one that I can consciously recall. Angel Boi deviated from her trademark set of Reggae/Hip-Hop and threw down an eclectic set of hard-hitting rave music around the time the clock struck midnight, only I assure you that no lesbian’s carriage (U-Haul?) turned into a pumpkin. Instead, girls all over the club took out actual glove-like mittens adorned with glow-in-the-dark accouterments and started raving. Seriously. Raving. Lesbians. The Verdict: Totally worth the ride to Brooklyn! RS is a refreshing and interesting party new to the scene, with playful energy, awesome music and a really friendly crowd of down to earth, artistic chicks. Next month, the dress-up theme for RS is fetish. So get ready to refill that Metrocard on the double! In short, be there.
Single in the City: What’s Your Sign?
I figured this would be a good time to talk about astrological signs on my blog…because I’m secretly a hippie, and I think they matter. This is what I know about women and astrology, according to signs…and I’ll do it in chronological order, that way the ones who are having their birthdays right now come first! Leo – Meow! What have we here, the Queen of the Jungle? Leo women have big hair and big egos. Stroke both with care. Sometimes they’re kind of pushy, and sometimes they’re power tops. Let them have their way, if you must…or if you’re an Aries that doesn’t like to be bossed around (like me) then just let them THINK they’ve had their way…for now. Also, let them have the spotlight. Most work in entertainment or theater (hello, Madonna) so let that lion show off a little. Virgo – Virgos will get very upset if you leave any fingerprints on the coffee table, will notice the tiniest detail out of place, and shun financially irresponsible dates, so either you’re going dutch or they’re not paying. Also, they love to take their vitamins, so don’t be surprised if they pull out one of those “Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday” pillboxes for old people and it has several pills for Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin E in it. They are always going to the doctor and convinced they are going to die. On the bright side, Virgos are incredibly sexy and beautiful…so clean up your damn house if you want to keep one. Libra – Ah. The scales. Well the good news here is nothing excessively good OR bad will happen with this date— they’re very balanced, rational, and weigh things over carefully. Libras love the fine arts, and are generally at least 20 minutes late for some reason. Impress them with some on-the-fly photography or artwork while you wait. Scorpio – Oh God help you. I am sorry that you’re dating a Scorpio. Well, we all know what they’re good for, and they are only good for one thing. What else can we say about the one astrological sign that rules the genitals? Scorpios love luxury, and they love the water…take them out to the most expensive restaurant you can find by a lake, or the ocean. They will sting you with their poisonous little stingers if you waste their time by going to a chain restaurant. Most play the guitar or sing. And they are the worst exes to break up with. So when it’s over, expect your tires to be slashed and a lot of bad folk music about it on your voicemail or at the local indie rock venue, where your heartlessness will be immortalized in public for the rest of your lesbian life. Sagittarius – The centaurs are some of the most adventurous in the zodiac, pairing athletic ability with intellectual curiosity. Most favor philosophy and asking lots of questions. Sagittarius loves adventure and travel more than anything, so take them out to a scenic overlook for a picnic, or something that involves the great outdoors. What to watch for? Fidelity. Sagittarius is appealing because they harbor an optimistic attitude that the grass is always greener…and naturally, that translates into exploring other partners as options. Capricorn – Capricorns are the Darias of the zodiac, with a dry, deadpan humor that’s generally very smart. But they keep their greatness under wraps because they know they don’t have to broadcast it for accolades. Capricorns are extremely proud of earning the things they want through hard work, and take pride in the industry of their choice. The best way to impress a Capricorn is to work on yourself, be the best at what you’re good at and earn a promotion…Capricorn both adores (and rewards) responsibility and ingenuity. Aquarius – This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius! Aquarius girls almost always wear glasses…and they love to take in information. Impress an Aquarius with knowledge and a free-spirited approach to life. Aquarius women love freedom and will resist any attempt to make them conform to one path. Much like Sagittarius, the roving is what you need to watch out for, but not necessarily in relationships…Aquarius can change careers several times in their lifetimes. Not because they aren’t responsible, but because they easily get bored and are willing to try anything once. Also, they love handcuffs…so tie one up and maybe she will stay at her current job for longer than six to eight months. Pisces – Aww! The fishies! Pisces women are extremely sentimental and romantic, and most dabble in either painting or poetry. They love to shake it on the dance floor, so take them out to cut a rug and wear your best accessories, because they will probably be wearing some tasteful jewelry or scarves that make them look really hot. Pisces are the bottoms of the zodiac, so line up all of the plans, because they’ll be the ones to say “I’ll go wherever you go! I’ll have whatever you’re having!” and secretly, they like to be bossed around a little. But treat them with care, because they’re also just as sensitive as they are sweet. Aries – Ah ha! My favorite sign! Aries is a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars, the planet of passion and competition. So turn up the heat and challenge an Aries woman to a friendly game, then make a fun bet that all parties will enjoy (ie, if you lose the bowling match, you have to wear a sexy maid outfit and clean my house.) Aries women are the frat boys of the zodiac (even the femmes) and will probably make all kinds of inappropriate comments about your boobs because we love sex, but don’t take it the wrong way— for all of the huff and puff, most Aries women are generally old-fashioned, idealistic, and romantic under the surface. However, most Aries can sometimes be impatient (I know that I hate to wait for anything) and bossy, some have a horrid temper. Aries, once slighted, will react in one of two ways: either an emotional pyrotechnics display of anger, or they will charge off just as quickly as they were shepherded in, turning fire into ice. Taurus – Taurus women are down to earth and grounded. They love jewelry, so decorate your bull with some new bling. However, they’re very jealous, so don’t ever bring up past lovers with a Taurus, or they’ll gore you with those horns! Taurus women are fabulous cooks, so tell her to get back in the kitchen and make you a sandwich (just kidding…maybe.) Gemini – Oh Geminis…who doesn’t want to party with the twins? They are easygoing, have a sparkling wit and are natural flirts. The name of the game with this sign is words, because they’re ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. Geminis write the best love (or lust) letters, and the way to nab one is with random sexting throughout the day, which they LOVE. They’re very intellectual and well-read, so keep up with the latest current events, trends, and good books. Most Geminis are well-connected and work in publishing, marketing, or the media. And the body part they’re associated with are the hands, so in addition to the standard lesbian uses of them, find other ways to kiss, touch, or use their fingers. I’m just saying. What to watch for? Geminis are gossips. Screw one over and since they work in the media, they will probably put it in a newspaper, advertisement, or write a bestselling novel making fun of you sometime in the near future. Either way, expect to be badmouthed. But approach the impending embarrassment with a sense of humor, which they really appreciate, and everybody wins. Cancer – Cancer girls are sensitive, they love good wine and good food. And they are major talkers! So find a great restaurant (for some reason, they like seafood and vegetarian places) and give them lots and lots and LOTS of time to talk your ear off! Don’t rush them! And if she takes you back to her place…don’t make fun of her New Kids on the Block posters or ceramic California Raisin figurines. Cancers rule the home, so they take lots of pride in having guests over!
Single in the City: New York State Assembly Approves Same-Sex Marriage
The New York state Assembly approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday, voting 80 to 63 in favor of the marriage equality bill introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill will still face a vote in the Senate on Friday, where it only needs support from one more senator to pass. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans­— however, 31 of the 62 senators have publicly indicated support for the bill. Senator Ruben Diaz is the only Democrat out of the party’s 30 senators who does not support same-sex marriage, while Republican senators Jim Alesi and Roy McDonald have expressed interest in voting in favor of it. New York’s Assembly has passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage several times in recent years, but the move was rejected the first time it was voted on by the then Democrat-led Senate in December 2009. “Only second-class states have second-class citizens,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat who voted in favor of the bill. On Tuesday, actress Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” and New York Ranger ice hockey player Sean Avery lobbied lawmakers in Albany to legalize gay marriage. If the bill passes on Friday, same-sex couples could start marrying in New York 30 days later. New York would join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in  allowing same-sex marriage. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004. If passed, the bill does not compel any member of the clergy to conduct a same-sex marriage.
Single in the City: Matchmaker, Matchmaker
My most recent dating adventure involved meeting with a professional matchmaker. Well-respected and renowned for her matching prowess, I figured it was time to pull out all the stops and get down to business on fixing my love life– to become proactive about   working on my flaws to find the right girl. And thus, I called in an elite matchmaker at the very top of her game. I sat across from her at a table, while she eyed me with a shrewd and analytical gaze, acquired from years of sizing up people fearful of dying alone. “So. What do you think you need help with in your love life?” she asked. “Well…I feel like the type of woman I’m trying to find is over here,” I said, pointing to one end of the table. “But what I’m getting is over here.” “Oh. So you’re a lesbian.” “Well, yeah.” “Got it. Well, from what I can see here, you’re a butch. Am I right?” I was wearing a pink shirt with ruffles. “Um…no?” “Okay listen honey. If you want to nab a New York lesbian, you’ve got to get more fashion forward and go shopping for better clothes. Because right now, you’re looking butch to me!” “But I’m often chastised for drinking cosmopolitans by my friends! Who say I’m too femme!” I protested. “Well, they’re wrong,” she countered. “And you need to step it up! Not only do you not look femme, but you kind of look like a man at this point.” I realized she was right…coming from San Francisco, possibly the least fashionable city on the face of the planet, I indeed looked like I fell off of a turnip truck when I moved to New York a little over a year ago, and never quite ended up looking as polished as girls from the Empire state. “So how old are ya? 34?” she asked. “I’m 29,” I said. “Definitely thought you were in your mid-thirties.” There was a long, pregnant pause after that one. But better a pregnant pause than menopause, which is apparently the milestone phase of the average woman’s life that I appeared to be entering in. “You have to pull yourself together!” she asserted. “Better clothes! Lose the weight! We’ve got to get you in a dress to make you look nice and show off those curves! Have you thought about wearing some hair extensions? There’s a lot of work to do here, we’ve got to get you looking like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez!” “Oh my,” I thought to myself. “There is no way that’s ever happening. And by ‘that’ I mean looking like J-Lo OR getting the hair extensions.” I’ve always thought of hair extensions as basically femme toupees. And then I thought of Meatloaf. “I would do anything for love. But I won’t do THAT.” Another long pause settled over us. Nervous tension, perhaps concerning the extensions. Because I looked down at the floor and envisioned a freaking carpet draped over my head, passing as a soft, luxurious mane. “So. When it comes to women, do you like to approach first, or you do prefer them to approach first? You like to be the leader, or the follower?” “I get r-really sh-shy,” I stammered. “I’m too scared to make the first move, too afraid of rejection!” “Oh, so you’re a bottom,” she concluded. “I am NOT a bottom!” I shouted. “I’m more of a swi–” “Well, all i’m hearing out of your mouth is ‘Blah blah blah, I’m Esther the bottom.’ ” “I’m not a bottom!” “Well, then stop sending mixed signals. So…what kind of woman are you looking for? What’s your type?” It has always been sort of difficult to explain my type, which is pretty much right down the middle. I tend to go for femmey tomboys. Do you remember being a kid, when your parents would take you to the frozen yogurt shop, and instead of wanting to choose one flavor, you were like, “I’ll just have the swirl, thanks.” Well that’s kind of how I feel about femmey tomboys. They’ve totally been my flavor of the month…for 11 years now. “I like femmey girls. Who are also kind of tomboys. I guess femmey tomboys,” I said, which I’m sure didn’t help at all. “Okay. What’s the number one most important quality you would identify in a woman?” I tapped my lip thoughtfully and looked out the window, thinking about the quality that I find most important in a potential mate. Would it be humor? Intelligence? Passion? I thought about the one distinct quality that all of my long-term, U-Haul girlfriends and memorable relationships all shared, the one I have discussed many a time in this very column. “All I want is a woman from New Jersey.” “You WHAT?” she cried. She threw up her hands, looking utterly baffled. “Yes. That is exactly what I want.” “What are we talking here? Like the girls on Jersey Shore? Jerseylicious?” “Precisely!” She took in a breath, and a moment to think about my standards. “Well…okay. I know your type exactly. We need to target a woman who has enough money to afford a hotel room. For when she comes into the city on the weekends.” “I really want to find a Jersey Girl who makes that much money,” I said, filled with hope. “Well, that’s obtainable. Where are you looking?” “Bars. Online. General dating sites.” “I don’t like that one bit!” she retorted. “You’ve got to find a personal ad site for lesbians.” “There aren’t a lot that are really popular. Not specifically for lesbians, anyway. And whenever I make a profile on a site for everyone, I’m only contacted by straight ladies and men.” “You’re just making excuses now!” she thundered. “All you’re doing is whining, whining, whining. Come back to me when you’re done with all of that whining.” Another long pause settled over us. I thought to myself that maybe I was whining, and generalizing. That it was time to stop making excuses. She broke the pause. “Do you have to pee? Because I have to pee. Come on, I’ll take you to the bathroom.” I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I am peeing next to the matchmaker. Its come to this.” I left the session with a strong resolve to get back to the gym, do a complete life and body makeover and really do the hard work towards fixing my love life. In particular, really zeroing in on what it is that I want and being less afraid to make the first move. And as luck would have it, by following her advice, I asked out a cutie and scored a date just a few days afterwards! Unfortunately, this one has broken the streak and is not from the Garden State, but I suppose I must be realistic and can’t have it all.
Single in the City: Just Friends
In some unwritten, immutable law of lesbian physics, in the rare event I meet someone I feel compatible and have fun with, we have a great time for like a month, then we’re “just friends” as usual. I’ve received feedback from friends that I’m “too nice” and for this reason, I become boring. It’s true, I don’t enjoy games and I don’t have a deceptive or mysterious bone in my body, which makes dating me pretty predictable. At 10pm on a Saturday night, I will not be cheating on anyone; I will be at home drinking herbal tea and watching Netflix.

I read “Manhood 101″ which is a guide on how to get women during the holiday season, which poses the theory that all women like, even crave misogynistic behavior on an unconscious level, so the only way to keep a woman is to alternate pleasure and pain and never act as though you’re interested or invested. I didn’t listen to “Manhood 101″ and perhaps because of this, once again, I have failed. The end of my adventure with Jersey Laura came abruptly, when I received the “just friends” speech because she didn’t want a relationship that I never suggested and had “no romantic feelings for me” which was great to hear 2 weeks before V-Day. Ironically, not even twenty minutes had passed before two of my exes, (friends) sent me long emails saying they didn’t want me to be sad, thought I was a great person and that I would not be alone forever. A third, the opportunist, even started sexting me. Thanks guys, but I look about as forward to receiving those “you’re a wonderful person” emails as one looks forward to getting 803 coupons from Bed Bath and Beyond in the mail. However, I won’t look askance at the sexting, so please feel free to keep ‘em coming. I dealt with my heartache via retail therapy, going shopping in Soho and trying on 6 semi-identical tops that all reflected my mood (black, black, black, grey, dark grey, and blue.) Then I called my mother for advice. Historically, my mom generally says something that makes me feel worse, not better, in my times of need, but I gave it a go anyway (and was mocked by my younger sister later for my poor decision making.) “Honey, don’t be sad,” she said. “Why not? I…thought maybe this year I’d have a valentine… since nobody has romantic feelings for me, maybe I’ll NEVER have a valentine!” I wailed. “Well, I saw this great article on Psychology Today that said being rejected is good for you!” “Good for me?” I asked, sniffling. “Yes! It says that getting rejected builds character, and the more you’re rejected, the more you end up benefiting from it! So look forward to being rejected many more times in the future!” “Baah! Whaaa haaa haaaaah. Aaaaaah…” I howled, blowing my nose into a tissue. “Oh– Esther don’t cry. Where’s your cat? I’m sure she doesn’t want you to be sad.” “Well, she’s too busy eating her kibble in the kitchen. She’s not even in the same room! The cat doesn’t care AT ALL! Aaaaah…” “Oh gosh. I said that all wrong. That’s not what I meant at all. What I meant to say is that people who fear opening their hearts suffer a worse fate than getting rejected. They might not know true sadness, but they’ll never know true happiness either. And in the long run, because you take risks…you’re the one that’s free.” Her words stayed with me as I roamed the village searching for love in bars for the 1,000th time and only found a woman who said I was “beautiful” and then slapped my ass, which lacked a certain sincerity. I almost wanted to ask for her number, but I knew if I did, she would just tell me that I’m a “wonderful person” and then ask if she could be my friend within the next two to four weeks, and I didn’t need another platonic BFF to go purse shopping and get manipedis with for the one millionth time. So I finished my cosmo and left the bar.
Single in the City: Night Bleeder, Night Bleeder
Last week was utterly fab with Jersey Laura. I can’t even begin to describe the extent of which nothing terrible happened, and fun was had by all. On one night, she surprised me by taking me to an Indian restaurant with a live Sitar player, and, being as adorable as she is, needed help picking out what to eat because she’d never had Indian food before. And afterwards, we went on another adventure, trying to get into the infamous “Death and Company” in the Lower East Side, which was packed—so we instead ended up at the new Cuban rum bar, “Cienfuego” decorated like some kind of 18th century Catholic chapel. Can I just say there’s something really funny, yet perverse, about making googly eyes at a girl in a place that reminds me of church? 
We both remarked about how well things were going, how different our dates were from the other crazies we encountered.
“I went on a date with a woman who asked if she could bring her sister,” said Laura. “She said she was her ride home because she had her license taken away. But not to worry! It was ONLY taken away for three DUIs. Not one…three!”
And so, with things going so well, it was eventually time for that nerve-wracking moment of truth that occurs when dating is actually fun—meeting your date’s BFF’s. I was so nervous about this, because I feel like it’s just as important (and scary!) as meeting somebody’s mother. But nonetheless, readied myself to meet Laura’s close circle of friends.
“You have nothing to be worried about,” said Laura. “We are all nerds, and in fact we were so obsessed with Lost that we had a big dinner and called it ‘The Lost Supper’ to celebrate the season finale.” So we decided to all meet up and go to the Nowhere bar. I was pleasantly surprised to find them all hilarious, non-intimidating, and very sweet to me. Her entourage included two gal pals, Joann and Alex, along with a totally adorb gay boy, Jean-Pierre, who was anxious about meeting an online date for the first time at the bar. “So ya wrote the blog on Jersey Girls?” said her friend Joann, chewing some gum. “I like ya!” “Yeah, we like you ‘cause you like Jersey! Whooo!” said Alex. “I loved the blog ya wrote on Laura. I felt like I was on a date with her.” Said Joann, grinning. And then the group all cheered an emphatic, “Heeeyyyy!” in a way that made me think of Fonzie’s “Heyyyy!” which caused me to burst out laughing. “So is this place gay?” I asked Laura. “Well I don’t know. Apparently it’s gay. But it’s not,” she said. “I googled it. People say it’s an ‘untapped gay resource’ and I’m not sure what that means.” So we arrived at Nowhere, we met more of her friends until our party doubled in number, and I remarked upon the gigantic bedazzled penis hanging above the coat check. “This place is an untapped gay resource? That is the gayest thing I have ever seen,” I said. She laughed. We all got on the dance floor. I was nervous, and I think my “dancing” was more of a two step “shuffling.” “What, you need something to drink to get your dance on?” said Laura. “Yeah, I think so,” I said. We went to the bar. “I want to get shots for everybody. How about buttery nipples?” “Uh, okay.” Laura motioned for the bartender to come over. “Hey uh…can I get 8 buttery nipples?” she said. We immediately both burst out laughing at how ridiculous this sounded, if not for the surplus of nipples, for the fact that we, two women, looked like crazy alcoholics for ordering not two, but eight. The bartender didn’t have enough ingredients to make eight, so we settled on Washington Apples. “Okay! Okay! Everyone come here. We’ve got eight shots that we need to, uh, distribute to everyone,” said Laura. “Heyyyyyyy!” they said, once more, doing the Fonzie cheer. So now, I was feeling good, and now, I was getting comfortable, talking to her friends about all manner of geekery, in-between making out and snuggling with Laura, who couldn’t stop laughing at the tacky red lighting and random 70’s music being spun by the DJ. Even Jean-Pierre seemed to be doing well with his Internet date, and we glanced at him smiling and having a good time across the room. So then, Laura and I got on the dancefloor and Joann demonstrated some fist pumping. With vigor and passion, she punched the air above her head to what may have been “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. And suddenly—without warning, while gettin’ down, Joann’s fist arced into a smooth uppercut and accidentally split my lip. Yes, unanticipated by us all, my date’s BFF had just accidentally punched me in the face to disco music. The taste of blood slowly started to fill my mouth. “Uh…ah…I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” I said. I rushed off and started dabbing at the gash in the mirror, trying to stop the bleeding. Laura followed, totally confused. “What just happened?” “Oh, Joann accidentally punched me in the face, it’s totally cool.” I turned to Laura and the blood was welling up. “Well…I…can…hardly even tell that it’s there!” she said, trying to be positive. I continued dabbing at the wound. “Oh god! I’m never going to hear from you again!” she wailed. “You’re so going to blog about this on Single in the City and say you’re dating someone who is friends with a…a FACEPUNCHER and I’m never going to see you again!” I just burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?” “This!” I said. “It’s all hilarious! What better soundtrack to be punched in the face to?” Laura started laughing too, and then, what did she do? She kissed the blood off of my lip, extra bonus to all you Twilight/True Blood fans. I emerged from the bathroom. “She’s okay,” said Laura. “Heeeeyyyy!” “Oh my God, I am so sorry, I am so, so sorry,” said Joann, who was now tearing up with guilt for having accidentally injured me. “Come on, let’s get pizza. I’ll buy ya a slice. ‘Cause that’s what people from Jersey do when they accidentally punch ya in the face.”
Single in the City: Jersey Girls—Best in the World
I once noticed, while waiting for NJ transit to ferry me to the safety of New York, that the official seal of the great state of New Jersey is in fact an artist’s representation of two women seductively eyeing each other, their hands moving towards one another on top of a crest of hoes that are plowing a field. If two women holding hands next to some hoes isn’t enough to tell you that this state is gay, then I don’t know what is. Seeing that the state’s primary prized export is, well, gay women, I think it only makes sense that the only good date I have ever been on in New York involved a Jersey Girl last week. I’d met Laura on New Year’s Eve at Stonewall, while running away from a woman at least thirty years my senior who kept slurring the word “sexy” at me. So I rang in 2011 by making out with Laura for a couple of hours, until it was last call at the club, the ugly lights came on, and the DJ played Michael Jackson’s, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” Happy New Year to me! Laura and I stayed in touch throughout the week, and I prepared by getting a manipedi, choosing a glittery red nail polish color called, “The Show Must Go On” which seemed appropriate. Before the date, I blasted some Usher to bolster my confidence. “Dance, dance, like it’s the last, last night of your life, life…hmm hmm hmm hmm!” I paced nervously, humming the song to myself and putting on eyeshadow, while listening my friend Rita, a fashion magazine columnist, talk about things and accidents that could potentially kill you. “I’m nervous.” I said. “What if something terrible happens?” “Oh, you mean like cancer?” “No Rita. The date.” “Oh.” “Speaking of death, I am so anxious right now,” I said, feigning exhaustion and collapsing into a chair with the back of my hand on my forehead. “Ugh. Come here,” she said, taking out some hair product and fluffing up my ‘do. “Mascara. We need some of that. Where the hell is your eyeliner? Blend! Blend! Blend!” Rita worked quickly and with precision, as though she were a dedicated surgeon and my face the ER itself. Within the hour, I met up with Laura, who was very clearly dolled up in a pretty dress and we went to an Italian restaurant. The entire menu was unpronounceable. We sat there for quite some time staring at it, and I was of no help, having not studied Italian a day in my life. We also decided we wanted wine, were presented with a wine menu the size of the Old Testament, and couldn’t make a decision there either. “Would you like to order?” asked the waiter. “Well, ah, to be honest, I have no idea what the hell any of this even says!” said Laura, laughing. “Esther, what are you getting?” “Um, lasagne.” “Well, then I’ll have that too,” she said. We asked the waiter what the best red wine was and just followed his suggestion. I had to control the urge to burst out laughing at the ridiculous nature of the situation—we go to an Italian restaurant reputable for its authentic cuisine, order lasagne of all things and then just point at any random wine selection in a book of at least three hundred? Hilarious! What we lacked in Italian, we didn’t lack in English, and talked on and on about art, literature, and gayness for a good two hours. After dinner, we decided to go see, “Black Swan.” Now, when we got to the theater, it was surprisingly sold out. I’d thought about getting tickets through Fandango earlier, but didn’t want to rush Laura. So we googled the next closest theater and got there about thirty minutes in advance. It was sold out again! And the next showing not for another hour and a half.  “I don’t mind waiting for the next one,” said Laura, shrugging. “I mean, if I were having a horrible time with you, I’d just leave, but since I’m having a great time with you, let’s go get drinks!” Not knowing where else to go, we googled the closest well-rated bar, La Biblioteca, and entered its swanky confines. Boasting $100 bottles of Tequila and a crowd of snobby upper-class straight people, we felt it necessary to just make out in the middle of the establishment, thereby confusing everyone there, and nearly ordered a dirty martini and a PBR from the bartender. And then, over the background noise of the people, I heard on the speakers: “Dance, dance, like it’s the last, last night of your life, life…” “Whoa heyyyy…too bad we have to get going. I feel like dancin’ now,” said Laura, who was fist pumping. FIST PUMPING! Well, suffice it to say, nothing terrible happened. At no point during the date did she reveal a marriage, a crazy ex-girlfriend, jail time, or anything else to be concerned about. Nothing. The only terrifying parts of the date were the bloody scenes in Black Swan. That was about it. It was completely non-terrible and anti-bad. Thanks New Jersey, for staying true to your t-shirts sold the shore—Jersey Girls really ARE the best in the world! I’d write more, but I’ve got to go GTL before I see this one again on Wednesday.
Single in the City – Dykes to Watch Out For: The Red Flags
For this holiday season, I am giving you a present: advice on how to spot the red flags of gay dating.The best way to avoid becoming the lead in a bad lesbian drama is to never find yourself in it to begin with. When you go on that first date with the girl of your dreams, watch for these red flags to sidestep what could potentially be the girl of your nightmares. The Entry Level Lesbian When you go on a job interview, your interviewer will usually look for about three to five years of experience in the industry to make sure you can handle the job. Consider applying this to dating– women who have some experience dating other women are more confident in their sexuality and more clear on what they want out of a relationship. If she’s already had at least one long term U-Haul commitment, that’s even better. Anyone who’s experienced the joys of U-Hauling and has lived to tell the tale most likely has learned some invaluable things about the experience. 

The Closet Case If, at any moment on the date, she says she’s “looking for something discreet,” says she identifies primarily as a straight woman or wants to keep her relationships with other women under wraps from everyone else in her life, run. The Closet Case needs to deal with the skeletons in her closet before trapping you there with her. Closet Cases can sometimes become resentful of partners who are out and proud; they might even be hiding you from a male significant other. Not something you want to deal with.  Also, someone who can’t treat themselves with respect and honesty will most likely not treat you with these values either. The Rebound It might seem tempting, but don’t get involved with a woman who’s still hung up on her ex. Look for someone who’s taken some time after her long term relationships have ended to figure out what went wrong, rather than someone who jumps from girl to girl. Try to find someone who’s spent at least six months away from her last ex post-relationship, just to make sure you won’t be the rebound, especially if her last relationship was a long term one. Ex-girlfriends are notorious for coming back in acts I or II of most gay drama– you want to be with someone who’s already over it when that inevitably happens. The Mama’s Girl Depending on her age, look for a woman who has moved out of her family’s house and lives independently. Now, if she’s 18 years old, it is totally normal for her to still live with her parents. If she’s 35, this could be a little weird. An older woman still living with her family is in need of doing some legwork to fix her life and become more independent before getting involved with someone else– unless, of course, she’s caring for a sick family member. The Free Spirited Hippie Love Child There are some people who think two partners are better than one. And there may be times in your life when you might not want to commit to just one woman as well. Open, polyamorous relationships are possible, but tricky. Make sure you’re heading down this road with someone who’s mature, communicative, and considerate about your feelings, who takes the time to negotiate situations you’re both comfortable with– not someone who wants as many partners as possible to satiate their own ego. Debbie Downer Pay close attention to how a date makes you feel about yourself. If you find this woman makes condescending, sarcastic comments towards you that make you feel uncomfortable or hurt, cut your losses fast. What might seem initially like teasing about your life achievements, body or appearance may eventually turn into verbal abuse. Abusers often start breaking down their victims early on by making chipping away at their self-esteem under the guise of teasing or “it was just a joke.” There’s nothing funny about being a douchebag. Flee as quickly as possible from this one. The Narcissist Once, I went on a date with a woman who spoke for an entire hour about herself without letting me get one word in edgewise. She then said, “You’re such a great listener! This is exactly what I need in my life!” What I needed in my life was to get the hell out of there. Beware the selfish woman who monopolizes conversations, only talks about herself and doesn’t seem to express an interest in getting to know who you are. A good potential partner will be just as excited about getting to know more about you as you are about them. Also watch for someone who tries to pressure you into sex before you feel comfortable going that level. This type of person is more interested in dating and pleasing themselves than they are in dating and pleasing you. Age Before Beauty There are, of course, great love stories told about unlikely couples who fall for each other and struggle against all odds to make it work. Most of us, however, can’t compete with a huge power or age imbalance. Anything more than 10-15 years of an age difference can be problematic, depending on the maturity of the individual and the developmental stages they’ve gone through in their lives. I personally prefer to date about 5-10 years older than I am, just because I prefer the maturity and security of being with an older woman. Also, I find cougars extremely hot. But anything more than 10-15 years of difference is difficult to swing. The same power imbalance goes for income and education– too much of a lead in either direction with your partner will prove difficult. Tip the Tipper If the two of you are going out to a restaurant, observe how she treats waiters, servers, or bartenders. Is she polite, and does she treat them with respect? Someone who causes a scene because she’s not happy with minor details, belittles others in positions of service, or who doesn’t leave tips, might be a drama queen or high maintenance. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and the most important thing to keep in mind is just listening to your gut feelings and instincts when meeting someone new. Also, the law of physics deign that an ex in motion will stay in motion– don’t be surprised if you reject someone for any one of these reasons and she comes back. Hold your ground and “just say no!”
Single in the City: Freaks Bearing Gifts – Dildo Shopping Tips for the Holidays
As the holidays descend upon us all, I’m reminded of an ex who bought me dildos for every single holiday of the year throughout the course of our entire relationship. Somehow, my straight friends think it’s hilarious that this woman had a compulsory need to buy me approximately eleven dildos…to screw HER with. It was cute the first three or five times, until finally the eleventh culminated in a loud argument in which I raised the apparatus above my head like a barbaric war weapon and shouted, “Is this all you think of me?” as it waggled to and fro. I even got one for Christmas (and one for Hanukkah, because she was Jewish, although I am thankful I didn’t receive even more in honor of the entire Festival of Lights.) As someone who received what feels like an astronomically high number of dildos as presents in her lifetime, I’ve put together a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to buy your girl a new toy for the holidays: 1) This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re surprising your wifey a dildo, don’t do it around a roaring open fire with her parents in the vicinity. This catastrophe was very narrowly avoided in my aforementioned relationship. Trust me, the last thing you want is a situation on your hands where your girlfriend unwraps an ornately decorated box containing a dick in front of the woman who brought her into this world. Save the special stocking stuffer for later, in private. 2) Consider the aesthetic style of it. I get routinely made fun of by my butch friends for this, but whenever we go dildo shopping (I save the purse shopping for my femme friends) I have this  OCD thing about my dildo matching with a cute harness (preferably designer and genuine leather) which also, ideally, should match my nail polish. Now, it’s possible nobody else on earth cares about matching dildos as much as I do, but I am not really a fan of dildos that are aquamarine colored, or shaped like dolphins. Of course, this is really all a matter of preference. But you may get bonus points if you pick one in your girl’s favorite color. 3) Less isn’t more, but bigger isn’t necessarily better. No, you don’t have to buy the biggest dick on the shelf to impress your woman. Recall past times you’ve been together, similar toys you may have used, and think about the average size of what she likes. Or, just be upfront…ask and ye shall receive? Seriously, one of the eleven times I was gifted a dildo the size of a 747 and I thought to myself “Jeez, what kind of girl do you think I am, here?” 4) Don’t buy your girlfriend eleven dildos! Consider other sexy treats to surprise her with if the ol’ Dildo in a Box trick is beginning to get a little played out. 5) Be a material girl. When shopping for your new toy, do research to keep in mind any skin allergies or preferences your partner might have. Also, silicone’s always far better than rubber, which can be porous and hard to keep properly sterilized. Above all, have fun! Play hard, and stay safe. Happy Holidays.
I LOVE NY FALL
The Burlesque Festival