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Dating in NYC: The Honest Sinner vs. The Phony Saint

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Disclaimer: To protect the identity of the men involved in this article – I am leaving out some specifics about them and these events. I will not disclose anything more about them publicly.  I don’t really want to get sued, or have anyone accuse me of slander…I didn’t write this to attack anyone – just as a cautionary tale.

Why do so many people deceive others when it comes to dating? I’ve heard countless stories about men and women who lie about their age, job, marital status, a previous divorce, a live-in partner, even children. People also hide their true intentions. They might act like they are looking for a serious relationship when they are really wanting no-strings attached sex. A man or woman might also pretend they want a casual relationship when he or she is secretly hoping for a committed one. I’m a huge advocate for truth. Honesty will get a person father than secrets and lies. I have two examples in my own personal life that illustrate this perfectly.

The Honest Sinner – An absolutely beautiful man who was over a decade younger than myself and someone I knew casually. When he approached me he was upfront.  He was looking for a casual sexual encounter, no strings, no expectations. Before our hook-up, he even sent me a text with the rules of engagement. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but I knew he wouldn’t try to coerce me into anything I didn’t want to do. I weighed my options, and considered I would take him up on his offer. It wasn’t just that I found him incredibly handsome, I also genuinely appreciated his candor. We ended up meeting, more than once, and the sex was great. I didn’t care if he was hooking up with anyone else, as I never really saw him as much of boyfriend material due to our age difference. I also knew he didn’t have a serious girlfriend so he wasn’t cheating on anyone. There was never any pretense. We didn’t go on dates, and neither one of us indicated that we wanted more out of the situation. I decided to cut it off when it wasn’t working for me anymore, but I actually grew to like him as a person. Sometimes these arrangements can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings and misery but in this example it worked out. His looks were definitely a factor of why I had a casual relationship with him, but his honesty is what sold it. Had he been sleazy or deceptive I wouldn’t have gone near him.

The Phony Saint – A moderately good-looking guy who I thought I might want to date seriously. He was closer to my age, had a good job and was extremely well-educated. He overall was a much better match for me on paper, and I was physically attracted to him. We seemed to get along well, but I barely knew him, so I honestly didn’t have strong feelings either way.

Things went South on our second date when I made the mistake of going back to his apartment. Within minutes he got extremely physical and I felt uncomfortable. His sexual energy made me feel like some sort of live action porn doll – and I just wanted it to stop. My instincts were correct when right before he actually tried to have sex with me, he called me Gillian instead of Juliet. As soon as I saw the condom, I shut everything down. Then I completely humiliated myself and burst into tears. It honestly was the first time I can remember, since maybe college, when I have had a total meltdown while on a date. I was mad at myself for letting things get this far, and I felt like a total idiot for crying. Deep down I knew something was incredibly inauthentic about him so I asked, “Do you do this all the time? Is this what you do with women?” He looked at me sheepishly and said, “Well yeah. I’m basically a child, I can’t have a serious relationship.”

This man had a professional job and was in his mid-thirties. He had also asked me out on a date, he wasn’t upfront about wanting just a hook-up. Unlike the Honest Sinner who kept all his correspondence sexual and to the point, The Phony Saint laid it on thick with multiple emails and texts as if he had some real interest in me. He even claimed to have looked me up online. When I point-blank asked him, “Which videos did you watch of me?” he responded, “Um, two. One of you getting interviewed on television and another one – I don’t remember.”  Now I don’t know how he couldn’t recall a short video he claimed to have watched just the day before, but I really didn’t care.  I knew he really didn’t really give a damn about me when he called me by the wrong name, and treated me like some sort of masturbation toy.

For the next extremely awkward hour, or so I apologized for crying while he begged me for various sex acts.  Even at the time I was unsure why I didn’t just walk out.  I got repeated inquiries from him to “jizz on my ass, stomach or tits”. He actually used the term “jizz” and seemed shocked that I had no interest. I might have honored his requests if I actually liked him, or if we had sex, but at that point it was just pathetic. I was just in shock that things had gone so badly so quickly and I wasn’t really sure what to do.  During all of this he danced around the room naked while speaking to me in a sing-song jokey way. I guess he was trying to cheer me up, but it just made him lose any remaining dignity. He then offered me leftover take out from his fridge.  When I say leftover takeout, I mean takeout that was at least a day old if not older.  I told him I didn’t want his “used food” and I refused to drink anything.   Any spark of sexual attraction I had towards him vanished, but I also calmed down and realized I was in no danger.  Things got even stranger when I realized he seemed to enjoy being chewed out by me. The Phony Saint just became a test subject to me of sorts. Thankfully I was completely sober, but my sobriety just meant I would remember every horrible detail of what was now, the worst date of my life.

So which man got what he wanted? The Honest Sinner got free sex from a consensual enthusiastic partner. The Phony Saint experienced an extremely embarrassing and sexually humiliating evening. If I could scrape that night from my brain I would, and yes it will make great material for my stand-up, but I have SO MUCH material already. HA!!!!!! I would have much rather had a lovely evening than another horror story to share onstage. Had he been honest from the beginning, I probably would have turned him down for sex as I get offers for that from total strangers all the time. The Honest Sinner was someone I knew already and that factored into my decision to hook-up with him. But even though I would have turned down the The Phony Saint, plenty of other women would have taken him up on the offer. He was good-looking, had a nice build, a great job and his own apartment – he had plenty of qualities that would get him laid in New York City.

The moral of this story: When in doubt, just tell the truth – everyone will be much happier for it, and no one will end up dancing around the room naked begging a women to let him – jizz on her butt.  Also, never call a woman by the wrong name when you’re trying to seduce her – it’s just bad form.
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Dating in NYC: Top 10 Tips for Dating Multiple People

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Before I even tackle this subject I will openly admit I’m a solidly monogamous person.  As I’ve written before the whole idea of multiple lovers, hookups and sexual relationships with near strangers baffles me.  I can’t keep several plates spinning while I’m trying to write this blog, work on my memoir, get stage time in New York City and pay my rent.   I’m writing this though because this issue comes up all the time, and I’m annoyed that most of the articles I’ve found about this topic are written only for men.  I’ve based these tips on experiences I’ve had and what a lot of my friends have gone through.  I not advocating for any style of dating, nor would I say this would work for every person.

There are many variations on dating multiple people, too many to list here really.  The key to having multiple partners should NOT be about lying, sneaking around and deception.  Lies are evil.  As I have said before:

I would rather have an honest sinner than a phony saint.

The following are just guidelines.  It’s really about what any two people are comfortable with in any partnership.  If you only have sex with a person once, they really don’t need to know much.  But if you are seeing more than one person on a regular basis, communication is key to keeping everyone happy.

1. Let a new partner know early on that you are not looking for a sexually exclusive relationship: Of course this can change as the relationship develops.  Neither partner should assume though that a casual open relationship will turn into a committed monogamous one. When in doubt – communicate.

2. Avoid getting involved with people who aren’t also honest with their primary partners – A friend who has been polyamorous for years put it to me this way.  “I avoid being the ‘other’ woman.  If a man tells me he is in an open marriage, I tell him I will have to speak to your wife about this, just to make sure”  It might sound crazy, but if the couple is in an open marriage, this sort of request probably happens to them all the time.  It’s better to make sure everything is above-board, before you find some woman calling you a home-wrecker or threatening to kill you for sleeping with her husband.

3. Don’t assume one lover wants to hear details about any others – Some partners honestly may not mind this, but not everyone is different.  One woman might not want to know that another regular partner is younger, thinner, lives closer to you or has a cat.  If these relationships truly are separate, then there is no reason to share this sort of information.  Simply establishing that you are not exclusive is usually enough.  If you want a change in your relationship, then let your partner know.  NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING! 

4. Always use protection – If you are having sex with multiple people – DON’T BE AN IDIOT.  Use condoms and practice safe sex.  Other than the usual STDs we all fear, there is a strain of antibiotic resistant Gonorrhea going around New York City that is all sorts of awful. Spreading STD’s is irresponsible and reckless.  If you want to have condom free sex, then maybe you might want to find one primary partner and at least use condoms outside of the main relationship.

5. Beware of Social Media – If you tweet naughty messages to one woman know that anyone can see it. You don’t know who knows each other or which partner might be a regular cyber sleuth.  Facebook profiles are even more transparent – comments, likes, even old conversations with partners are there for life unless you remove them.  A simple comment like, “You are so beautiful” could get you in trouble if you post it where another, more neglected lover, could see it. Basically you have to treat all comments on social media as if you are standing on top of a mountain declaring them for the universe.  The internet holds no secrets.

6. Don’t treat you casual lovers like girlfriends/boyfriends – Again there are no hard rules to this, as some polyamorous relationships are anything but casual.   This is the number one complaint I get from both men and women about casual relationships.  You can’t expect someone who you see only for sex on occasion to get that emotionally invested in you.  They aren’t going to necessarily want to meet your friends, go to social functions with you, listen to your neurotic ramblings or bring you chicken soup when you get a nasty cold.  When these lines get blurred, people are more likely to get their feelings hurt.  Anyone can have a primary relationship and still have multiple lovers on the side, but not without some boundaries first.  You should never assume a regular hook-up is a girlfriend, or even wants that role.

7. Treat everyone with respect – This should go without saying in every dating situation.  I’ve seen a lot of alarming language on dating sites, where a man or woman will go on and on about their primary partner and then send an email that is just rude and inappropriate to a total stranger.

8. Don’t make anyone feel like they are last on your list – This might be OK with some partners, but overall you don’t want to make a person feel like you literally called up three or four people before you decided to settle on them.

9. Don’t complain about other lovers – This is just rude behavior.  If a woman complains to a partner about another man she is seeing, he is likely to assume she will turn around and do the same thing to him.

10. When in doubt communicate – Of course you can lie and sneak around, but there is a good likelihood that you’ll get caught.  When you get caught a betrayed lover might slash your tires, show up at your workplace and scream “Whore” as you walk down the street, stalk you or one of your other partners, text you incessantly for hours, post naked photos of you online, write Facebook statuses trashing your name, or even threaten you with physical violence.  Deception brings out the worst in people.  Some people are emotionally unstable, mentally ill, cruel, narcissistic or have deeply entrenched personality disorders.  No amount of open communication can prevent a person from reacting in a completely irrational or psychotic way.  However a string of lies is more likely to make a perfectly well-adjusted human being buy a ticket to a place called crazytown.

It’s really up to you and your partners – Other than practicing safe-sex and respect, it’s really up to each person.  When in doubt be open and COMMUNICATE. Some of the biggest problems in any relationship come from not understanding what both partners want.

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