I am a bad girl with a deeply developed sense of hedonism, and I was looking for an equal. His picture was very cute and he looked like he could be bad, so I was drooling: He was holding a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other in front of a Las Vegas hotel.
We e-mail, then trade numbers, flirt on the phone, etc. He's a dealer in a local casino. I grew up in Lake Tahoe and am familiar with the perpetual playboy croupier philosophy. As for him, he travels, buys toys, charms old ladies out of their Social Security, and does a mean Elvis impersonation. We agree to go to lunch, and since my car is on the fritz, I let him pick me up.
So he photographs better than he actually looks. But what the hell, a real bad boy is never a pretty boy; they are always slightly dinged. We are driving to the restaurant and he says, "Good thing we're doing this today, I have to get a Breathalyzer installed tomorrow."
My head whips faster than the girl in the exorcist. "What?"
"I've gotta be honest," he says. "I've got a DUI, and to keep driving I have to have this thing installed. You have to breathe into it every 30 minutes or the car stalls."
Turns out he actually has three DUIs, but they only punished him for one. Still, I am a bad girl, after all, and he doesn't have to drive for what I am interested in. So we lunch -- at the single worst Mexican place in the city -- and then it's time for my standard first-date test, the sex toy shop. I know it's a cheesy reality dating show tactic, but also a good way to judge a guy's sexual comfort level.
This guy is getting jittery. I play the 20 questions game to see if he will loosen up. His eyes widen, and he grins when I answer the "ménage à trois" question, and the "Have you ever videotaped?" question, and seems a little shocked when I tell him the last time I had sex was last night.
Then he says, "I gotta be honest," for the second time. Turns out his ex-girlfriend (they have been broken up for a shorter period than we have been e-mailing) is still living in his house, and thinks he's out to lunch with an old friend. She's a good girl, he thinks, and she might keep him from drinking. Clearly this one is the wrong kind of bad boy for me: Alcoholics are notorious for not being able to get it up.
-- Elizabeth A.
"Dump" would be the operative word
I was 18, it was a party over Christmas break, and I hooked up with Tommy, a boy I'd loved since first grade. He offered to take me for a ride in his VW, and of course I agreed, hoping he was going to take me to a spot where we could really "rendezvous."
Sure enough, he said he wanted to show me a special place. I couldn't believe it was finally happening. It was around midnight and starting to rain, but it was romantic, in a film noir kind of way. As we negotiated the now muddy narrow road, I couldn't wait until he would pull over, but then we felt a "ku-lunk!" He had run over a downed tree.
Swell. This was before cellphones, and so we were out there alone and had to figure this out, in the now pouring rain, and in the now deepening mud. Our supposedly romantic interlude was spent trying to free the Beetle from the tree trunk.
Oh, and his secret romantic destination? He was planning on taking me to the town dump.
-- Kate Martin
Plus, I'm still single!
Watching Bravo's "Boy Meets Boy" was making me lament my current, and consistent, single status. There was James, an attractive but not stunning gay man, taking his pick of 15 suitors. It made me long for a new romantic opportunity, but I am not good at meeting. I was seriously considering speed dating but thought it was a bit too hit-and-run for what I was looking for. Then, as if in response to the question I was asking the universe, an ad for eHarmony.com came on the TV. It promised to help you find your ideal mate based on a "scientific" personality profile. This was exactly what I was looking for.
And what luck! With the ad playing during "Boy Meets Boy" there were sure to be other, like-minded gay men seeing the same ad at the same time, and we would all be rushing to take our personality profile and find our ideal mate!
I complied with the eHarmony request to answer each question honestly and found the little bar graph marking my progress: first 2 percent complete, then 4 percent, and then, after 25 minutes, 100 percent. While it promised to identify people with whom I might be compatible based on the results of my profile, I assumed that I would also be given the chance to voice opinions more directly on what I was looking for -- like geographic preference, age preference and gender.
I was reluctant to click on the button to begin the process of finding potential matches before I could identify that I was looking for another man. My fear was that when a profile for a 38-year-old, professionally successful, well-groomed, athletically built man who does not spend weekends watching sports but instead enjoys shopping, home improvement and watching "Trading Spaces" came online, I could have been overwhelmed with responses from women seeking just such a mate.
Instead I chose to wait to find matches and only then was allowed to go to the FAQ part of the Web site. One of the FAQs was regarding same-sex matches. The canned response was that they did not make same-sex matches and that the research was based on compatible male/female couples and that compatibility among same-sex matches was not the same.
But it was a cruel joke along the lines of the twist in "Boy Meets Boy." You are put in a situation with the expectation of finding a compatible partner, but not given a chance to share one of the most critical pieces of information; does my ideal partner find people of my gender sexually attractive? Now not only am I angry at a company that targets a gay audience with its advertising, gets them to invest time in filling out a useless profile, then denies them services, but now that I too have been duped, I also am no longer able to enjoy the show "Boy Meets Boy."
-- David Ammann