Staying pure

She was beautiful, sexy and intelligent. Perfect, really, except for that whole cult thing.

Published May 8, 2003 6:57AM (EDT)

Hell: So much for Armageddon sex

She was tall and beautiful, with frizzy hair and a sexy, crazed look in her eye that should have warned me -- but never has.

We had dinner. She talked about her work as a geographer. The woman was beautiful and intelligent, and I was infatuated immediately. Around 11:30 she suggested we drive to Vasquez Rocks, just north of L.A., and we talked the whole way. She told me about hiking by herself from Mexico to Canada, about overhanging walls of ice that she'd climbed with only a pickaxe. She told me about an older lover who would fly her around the U.S. in his private jet.

Then she told me about the life-changing vision she'd had, hiking alone through Alaska. She'd felt a strange force in the air, she said, and that it was stalking her, an evil presence. And as she hiked faster and faster trying to escape, the sun had to go down. She'd felt it growing closer, ready to consume her very soul.

When I asked her what happened after that, she just smiled that crazy smile and scrabbled away over the dark rocks.

I caught up to her and heard the rest. These days, she woke up at four every morning to travel to a local temple, where she received the word of God from a group of female initiates. The word of the creator came from the living mouth of God, a man now situated somewhere in India. I finally convinced her to head back, and she continued to let slip new and disturbing facts about her spiritual life. Sex wasn't encouraged; it was a failure of will. No meat was allowed, and certain foods had spiritual essences that were impure. She desperately wanted to be pure. "They're beautiful people," she said about the nuns, "but sometimes I think maybe the world isn't ready to end. They keep saying it's all about to happen."

We were finally heading back: We saw the lights of L.A., just as she was describing the horrifying visions she'd had of its destruction by God.

I asked her out again, but somehow, it just didn't work out.

-- Randy Horton

HELL: The nibbler

We spent weeks on the requisite witty online banter before I finally suggested getting together. I also asked for a description so I would recognize him. All he told me was that he had brown hair. Hmmm.

I walked into the cafe and looked around. I heard a man call my name from behind me and turned around to see someone getting up to stand. It took him a while: The guy was large, dangerously so. But I was determined that I would not be so shallow as to judge someone by his looks. Plus, I'm no Kate Moss, and no Lara Flynn Boyle either, so I sat down.

He turned out to be just as funny in person as he was in e-mail. We made plans for a second date, and I shook his hand. After our second date, I dashed from the car after saying a quick goodbye. During our third date -- a day at the zoo -- we held hands, but still, through dates four, five, six and seven, I stuck to kisses on the cheek.

At this point my behavior was even seeming weird to me, so when he suggested that we rent a movie and order in dinner to his place, I bit the bullet and said yes. And sure enough, after the sushi and during the video, he started to kiss me. "This isn't so bad," I thought, as he slowly maneuvered me so that we were lying down on the couch together and started to slide on top of me.

But then all of his weight was on me. I could barely breathe, and my arms were pinned by my sides. Then he started kissing my neck, moving his way up, and once he got to my face, he alternated between licking my cheeks and nibbling on them. I bobbed my head frantically, trying to get away for about 30 seconds, and then I mustered up all of my strength, pushed him off me, and told him I had to get to work early the next day. I guess I should have realized that the next day was Sunday. Oh, well.

The moral of this story? Ask for a picture, and realize a little shallowness can go a long way.

-- Debbie Rosenberg

HEAVEN: Guess he liked the rough stuff

It should have been a date from hell. Jason and I met on a day trip to a local ski resort through a mutual friend. We clicked, made a "date" for the next week, and the following Saturday, after watching a Larry Clark double feature and then throwing back greyhounds at his favorite dive, we found ourselves making out on his couch and then on his floor.

In my attempt to be sexy, Id worn a long tight gray skirt, not necessarily the best outfit for apartment floor antics. At some point I tried to get up off the floor and I managed to get my foot stuck in the hem of my skirt. Everything went in slow motion after that. I even thought I heard a sad violin solo playing somewhere. My arms flailed, and I crashed down on top of him. My forehead made full contact with his once perfectly shaped nose.

For a second, I tried to laugh it off, but there were little rivulets of blood streaming out of his nostrils, and he was trying to stifle his cries of pain. I had indeed broken his nose, on our first date. Between whimpers, I could only hope that he would accept my icepack and apology.

But of course, in the end it was a date made in heaven. I mean, how many boys will let you do that and still want to see you again? Three years and one crooked nose later, we are still together.

-- Sara Thea

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