Pumped, stumped and dumped: A week on OkCupid (Part 2)

If you haven’t already, read my last post, Part 1 of my weeklong saga on OkCupid. Through a combination of laziness and the need to recover from my experience it’s taken me a lot longer than usual to reflect on everything that’s happened during my week of meeting new men.

In my last post I started a list of hints and suggestions for going on first dates, relevant if you’re on a blind date or meeting someone online. This list is a result of me learning from my mistakes due to my naive tendency to give people second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth chances because I don’t want to be rude. Yeah, it’s dumb. Here’s a recap:

Rule #1: Meet at a common place.

Rule #2: Don’t let yourself have high expectations.

Rule #3: Don’t be afraid to leave.

Rule #4: Don’t give your phone number to men if you’re not interested.

I broke the last three…again. Give me a break though, this was only my third OkCupid meet up (the second one is another story) so I was still learning!

Enter Man #2. At first glance he seemed like a reserved artistic-type that spends a lot of time cruising on his road bike and sketching in coffee houses. He mentioned that he was a barista so my first impression wasn’t too far off. He was more foppish in person than in the photos I viewed online so it threw me off guard at first. The photos I’m speaking of showed a bearded guy with gauged ears and sleeve tattoos rock climbing shirtless (muscles!) at Smith Rock, skydiving, and partying at BrewFest. The man sitting across the table from me at a hipster hub pub in Southeast was giving off a completely different set of impressions.

Within five minutes of the date I noticed that I was out (yet again) with someone who really likes to talk about themselves. The man didn’t ask me ONE question. I was put in the awkward position of volunteering information about my job, hobbies, and family and I really don’t like being there. It makes me feel like I’m forcing the conversation and it gets exhausting after a while. Yet, I wanted to give the guy a chance and he kept buying me beers, so there’s that as well.

So-named Barista Guy wanted to play pool so I said yes and he ordered me another beer. Two-beer-Sarah was making an appearance, which means I was up for any sort of non-sexual activity and laughed at all of his jokes.

Rule #5: Don’t feel pressured to keep up with your date’s alcohol intake.

Let me first say that I did not get drunk on this date. Absolutely not. However, my date did. He was starting to get hands-y but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle and I still wanted to enjoy my game of pool, dammit! However, it was at this point in the date when I started getting some weird vibes from Mr. Barista and noticed that he was stepping away to the bathroom every 5-10 minutes. I remember thinking that there was no way in hell he was having to pee that much. Also, his jitteriness and the way he jerked his hands up to wipe his nose eventually clued me into what was probably going on.

Yep, I was on a date with a crackhead. Well, cokehead to be more accurate.

Winning.

Rule #6: If your date is actively partaking in illegal drugs during their time with you, GET THE HELL OUT.

Hey, I’m all for the “to each his own” philosophy, but if someone can’t get through a single freakin’ date, and a first one at that, without snorting or smoking something hallucinogenic or excessively stimulant, don’t waste your time with them. It’s not worth it – no matter how hot or charming they are. They are on a date with you and their priority is getting high, not getting to know you, so that should clue you in to what a second or third date would be like with them.

I did not leave right away. I’m not proud. You see, I have this persistent need to finish everything I start and this pool game was taking forever. We were playing another couple and I was thrashing them both so of course I had to stay. If I had to fight off the now-obviously horny cokehead barista man because his drugs disillusioned him into thinking our date was headed toward me staying at his place that night, that was what I was going to do if it meant we finished the damn game.

A visual of my awesomeness. You’re welcome. (That’s not me.)

The pool game was done and my ass had been grabbed about eight times, promptly answered of course with a slap at the hand that was doing the grabbing and simple, comprehensive verbalization: “Please stop.” It was time to go home.

Mr. Barista asked if he could walk me to my car.

Rule #7: If you don’t want to see him again, decline his invitation to walk you to your car.

I said yes because for some reason I felt rude doing the opposite. I immediately regretted my decision. My theory is that, while on the surface guys think they are doing a nice thing, the whole “walking you to your car that’s right outside” move is also a way of setting themselves up for opportunity, which is okay within reason. This can be on a wide spectrum from “asking for a second date” on the far left, “trying to kiss you” right smack dab in the middle, and then the far right “aggressively coaxing you to come home with them and have raging animal-like sexual relations.” When I turned to politely thank Cokehead Barista Guy he portrayed the far-right strategy and came at me like a spider monkey, pressed me against my car, and went in for a wet, sloppy, spastic tongue kiss. My trustworthy “starfish-hand-to-face” motion completely missed his face and pitifully batted at the air next to his right ear.

Ew.

That’s all I can think as I type this and remember.

Ew.

This was a kiss like nothing I have ever experienced, and I’ve kissed high school adolescent boys (when I was also in high school, of course).  I think the coke running through his system caused his brain to think it would be super hot to bite my bottom lip so hard that HE DREW BLOOD.

Thanks.

Sha-la-la-la-la-la My, oh, my

He also grabbed my ass so harshly in the process that I felt like I was caught eschew in a woodshop student’s vice ready to be sawed at, so in lieu of losing a butt cheek I promptly pushed him away, said thank you for the drinks, and drove home in a confused, disoriented daze.

The next day I had to work and I was in such a funk you’d think I was suffering from PTSD. My lip looked like I had been smacked in the mouth and my left butt check smarted some. I felt like I was wandering through a cloud of guilt because I let that guy do those things to me and didn’t say anything to him about it. Yes, I did not have sex with him, and he didn’t really violate me in the textbook sense, but I did feel a bit, well, trampled upon. My whole day was just strange, like a dream I hadn’t awoken from, and I kept kicking myself for having stayed on that date so long.

Rule #8: Don’t EVER EVER EVER let a date pressure you into anything you don’t want to do.

I followed this rule. I kept having to remind myself of this fact since I did receive a lot of unwanted touching on my date, but I didn’t let him talk me into going home with him (it wasn’t hard, ladies) and I didn’t let him go further than that unfortunate kiss. However, that next morning I did feel a little stupid about not cutting that date short, even if it meant quitting in the middle of a pool game, and even went so far as to blame myself for everything. I blamed myself for his actions and that is so, so stupid.

He was responsible for his own actions because he chose to treat me the way he did for his own agenda, regardless of my reactions and words.

I had to remind myself that I was dealing with a guy that was high as a kite and didn’t know how to respect a woman, especially one he just met. I don’t feel guilty or ashamed anymore, but the fact that I had those thoughts really got me thinking about the slut-shaming and victim blaming that can be the fallout of a woman being sexually assaulted.  It’s so fucked up. One of my favorite blogs is Feminspire and they wrote this article shortly after the media starting reporting (finally) the disgusting events that happened in Steubenville last year. It discusses the content of a new music video released by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs that portrays how vicious and deadly slut-shaming affects our culture.

I feel like I was slut-shaming myself in my head after this date. I was actually listing through what I was wearing (I looked “first date classy”), how I was (appropriately and justified in) bending over to play pool, how I was talking to him, what signals I may have unintentionally given him –  it’s stupid that I was doing that to myself. My guess is I am not the first woman to have my face ravaged by this guy so I know it’s not anything I did, he just wanted to do it.

To end on a lighter note, I have one more story to tell and, you guessed it, I got dumped (sorta). Stay tuned for next time!

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Pumped, stumped and dumped: A week on OkCupid (Part 1)

Yes, I took the plunge. After almost two months of being single I decided to try out this whole online dating thing. Don’t get me wrong, at this point I had met a few people at bars, the climbing gym, and on the bus (oh boy, is that a story) so the issue wasn’t really an inability to meet men. I never really felt I was able to fully put myself out there because of my job, my investment in friendships, and a pretty active lifestyle. Seriously, putting yourself out there is a bit exhausting and you have to deal with a lot of creepers, so at the end of two months I was emotionally drained from all the late nights at bars, interrupted reading time at coffee houses, and being propositioned by a ganga grower I sat next to for 30 minutes on the bus. It’s not like I am turning to online dating because I feel this desperate need for male attention or a relationship, I was more driven by curiosity since my only dating experience before now has been within a high school or college campus environment.

I'm a-strummin the guitar so the girls will be a-comin.

College: where you find boyfriends just by following the sound of a guitar.

I set up a profile last week at OkCupid; it is pretty quick depending on how much information you want to share. You slap up a few photos, list your favorites movies, music, hobbies, and even get down to the nitty gritty details like your height, body type, and how much money you make. I felt like I was placing an ad for myself on Craigslist (no, not like THAT you sicko) while trying to make myself sound like the coolest person ever. A few of the questions were hard to take seriously, so I didn’t. (“The most private thing I’m willing to admit,” really? You think I’ll type that up right now on the FOREVER INTERNET?)

Two minutes after I posted my profile I had six messages from willing suitors. Don’t call me a braggart, it’s just how the internet works. I’m willing to bet there are hundreds of people just in the Portland area logged into OkCupid trolling the market on an hourly basis, maybe even more frequent than that. You can message back and forth with a person on an instant message feature and I downloaded the app on my iPhone so I was already in the middle of ten different conversations on my bus ride home from work. Luckily there’s a handy “Block” feature where you can ignore the creepers that like to say “Hi” by offering you oral sex and their hairy bodies. <shudder>

My profile brings all the boys to the yard...

My profile brings all the boys to the yard…

You can even view who has visited your profile (much like LinkedIn) and see with whom OkCupid matched you using their highly sophisticated algorithm. This is dependent on you answering dozens of questions about your personality, personal philosophy, political/religious beliefs, and sexual needs (these get awkward and very personal, like “Fifty Shades of Grey personal”). You are encouraged by the peeps of OkCupid to fill out as many questions as possible with the insistence that the more you answer, the more accurate the matches.

I set up a date with Man #1 for the next night. Yes, it’s that quick. I was so excited about this date because it would be the first somewhat “blind date/meet-up” I’ve ever done and I was determined to WIN (because everything is a game to me). You could say that I was…pumped…?

Rule #1: Meet at a common place. Don’t let a strange man pick you up where you live. That’s stupid.

We met at a restaurant for what I thought would just be “drinks.” I remember liking the way he looked in his pictures, he was a huge fan of the same kind of music and Arrested Development, and we had a lot of fun chatting over IM. When I walked up to him in the bar I immediately felt like an asshole because the first thing I noticed was that he was probably three or four inches shorter than he said on his OkCupid profile. I was wearing minimal heel-age and at 5′ 5″ I towered over him. I have a type, and they are at least the same height as me. He also liked to talk about himself. A lot. Too much. My mind was making this noise.

Rule #2: Don’t let yourself have high expectations. He’ll just let you down..

After a chat over a neat Buffalo Trace and three Blue Moons (yes, the latter were all his and served in conspicuous foot-long glasses with a giant orange slice) he said that he was going to check on our table. My heart dropped. I thought this was only “drinks” so I was actually on my way out as soon as my whiskey finished making its heated way into my belly. I was exhausted from listening to this guy obsessively discuss his job, his truck, and quoting lines from each and every Arrested Development episode ever made and I definitely didn’t want to sit through another two hours while we try to order food in a very busy restaurant. I sighed and downed my whiskey before a host guided us to a table.

Buffalo Trace: Is it in you? (It better be if you want to get through this date.)

Buffalo Trace: Is it in you? (It better be if you want to get through this date.)

Rule #3: Don’t be afraid to leave. It’s okay, really.

At this point I should have clarified with my suitor that I could only stay for one drink and then excuse myself for some other dinner plans. But I didn’t. I don’t know why. Yes, I do: I avoid confrontation as a rule, am a pushover for free food, and since he was buying everything I ordered another whiskey (he had another two Blue Moons) and stuffed my face with bread while he went on and on about his family origins from Western Europe. The dinner lasted two hours. Oh god, it was a loooooong two hours and I think I only said about a dozen sentences the whole time and that was difficult enough. I had to stay to fake my intention of splitting the check, but when it came he let the waiter talk him into signing up for the restaurant chain’s rewards program. If you are a man and reading this, do not ever decide that the right time to fill out an application for a credit card is while you are on a date. It’s tacky and it’s weird.

Rule #4: Don’t give your phone number to men if you’re not interested. It’s mean.

The date ended only with a hug (thank god, I didn’t want to have to starfish his face with an open palm) but he asked for my phone number. I am a people pleaser by nature and usually say “Yes” to things without thinking, so I gave it to him. This was not so smart, nor kind. I knew I didn’t want to date this guy. I knew I didn’t want to have to suffer through another moment of him listening to his own voice go on and on and on about the size of the rims on his truck. And yet, when he asked anxiously for my number after saying that I “was such a great listener” (you made it easy, buddy) I still gave it to him. This made me feel like a horrible person when I then ignored his texts for five days. If you are a man and a woman doesn’t text you back after receiving 20 text messages over the course of five days, she’s not interested, leave her alone.

So that was my first experience, but it’s not the juiciest or the creepiest or the scariest, so tune in for next time so you can learn from my horrible, stupid mistakes (I may or may not have gone out with a crackhead, still debating).

This one is about kissing.

How do people feel about kissing on the first date? This is a first date with someone you only met once before at a noisy bar. You had a pretty great date; there was a lot in common, a lot of laughing and joking around, but is that enough for the whole thing to be sealed in a single closed-mouth kiss? Still reeling with contending emotions when I woke up this morning, I promptly went and Googled “first date kiss.” A lot of people have a lot of things to say on this subject.

This is what I image most of these article-writers look like. They all thing they have "the right answer."

“Read my article about love! I have the right answer, not all of those other douche bags!”

There is a surprising amount of people online saying that it’s NOT a good idea to kiss after the first date. This article says that holding off on that kiss can say “I see long-term potential in you” which seems a bit overly-analyzed and too much “I like you and want to have your babies” thinking for me. Then, this one says it is a way to show the other person that you have self control and are patient enough to wait until a better time (it also uses all versions of the word “seduce” and kind of creeped me out).

Careful, he's seducing as your read this.

Careful, he’s “seducing” as you read this.

This guy even lists some very specific reasons, including the fact that he just doesn’t like kissing people he knows very little. The kiss can hold so much value to some people and and can come with certain expectations (second date, interest in a relationship, sex) so he recommends avoiding it altogether to prevent leading someone on, not to mention potential awkwardness if the other person does not want to receive the aforementioned kiss. The article is from a man’s point of view (usually the person initiating the kiss) so it didn’t do much for me on the receiving end but it was enlightening to see how much pressure is put on guys in general when it comes to ending the first date. I am truly sorry for you.

Pictures: Guy about to implode from pressure t not ask if her carpet matches her curtains.

Pictured: Guy on the verge of imploding due to resisting to ask if her carpet matches the curtains.

Why do we obsess about these little things? I went on to read other articles that said kissing is good to do at the end of the date just for the purpose of expressing interest in the other person and making it clear that you want a second date. Apparently it’s all about signals and blah blah blah.

This is seriously a foreign language to me and what is up with all the subtlety?  Why don’t you just say “Hey, I like you and we should see each other again?” Why does it have to be some sort of game with rules, expectations, and non-verbal signals that I don’t understand or detect? If it’s supposed to be some sort of game or sport my expectation is to constantly be fearful of this kind of public embarrassment:

As I re-enter the dating world I have some mixed emotions about all this beating around the bush. When you date in high school and college you are dating younger men that you probably have known for a bit since you most likely run in the same circles. There are no “blind dates” or  worries about first impressions since you are already acquainted with your date. You’re young and just looking for new experiences, not in your late twenties watching your generation settle down with long-term relationships. I miss the carefreeness of it all but this was my life 6 years ago.

It’s nice to know I am going out with men that are more settled and sure of themselves financially and career-wise. I know he can mostly likely afford to pick up the check or the gas on an excursion and will never ask me to lend him some money so he can buy an Xbox (yes that has happened to me). I know that men in their late twenties/early thirties are most likely on the same page as me goal-wise since we have already left behind that peak in our lives when we figure out who we are and what we want so are already underway toward living our lives.

Sorry, Hipster Barista, you're not my type.

Sorry, 22-year-old Hipster Barista, you’re not my type.

So my answer to the question “Should you kiss on the first date?” is: WHO THE HELL CARES?! Just do whatever you want and if it’s weird, it’s weird! You’ll learn from it and move on to either a second date where you laugh about awkwardness or you never have to see the person again and your problem is solved!

Crap, I’ve morphed into Carrie Bradshaw. Can I please have her apartment sans giant mole?

I will take Mr. Big, though.

I will take Mr. Big, though.