Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Number By Any Other Name Is Still Just A Number

There always comes a point in almost every relationship when two partners have "the talk." You never know when that pivotal conversation will pop up, but it almost always inevitably does. It may be on your first date (inappropriate), it may be on your 5th date (the we're really making an effort to get to know one another before we sleep together date), it may be when the two of you are walking hand in hand down the street and run into an attractive woman he knows and introduces as an old friend, or it may happen post-coital, when the two of you are cuddled up. You’re resting your head on his chest while drawing circles with your finger on his abs when your partner coyly says, "What’s your number?"

At this point in time, I'm making the assumption that your sex partner knows your phone number. So for those of you that for some reason or another have blissfully skipped this conversation in life, "your number" refers to the number of people you have slept with and it’s a very important number to know, or so says the majority of society.

With the exception of your sexual partner previously working in the porn industry and or the present possibility of an STD, THIS IS THE MOST IRRELEVANT CONVERSATION TWO PEOPLE CAN HAVE. There I said it. I may have offended some, but there are several observations that have led me to this conclusion.

For starters, both parties lie. Generally speaking, men give a higher number. Personally, I would rather be with a guy who was not a huge man-whore in their past. And I would venture to guess that most women feel this way. But boys will be boys and the higher their number, the higher their gym cred? I’m sure the reasons for increasing the number of women men have slept with has much to do with their friends and appearing masculine to them. But, moreover, men lie to women about their number because the higher the number, the more experienced they assume they appear to be and further, the more attractive to women they will seem.

As if any self respecting woman is going to proudly say to her girlfriends, “My boyfriend is a dreamboat and has slept with over 50 women. You know he must really be good at what he does.” Um no, the fact that you have slept with that many women only makes me think that A.) you go through women so fast because they break up with you after feeling unsatisfied or B.) you are a pig with an outrageous number and there must be some underlying low self esteem issue that I really don’t feel like dealing with after I get up and get dressed.

Women also lie, but for the reverse reason. Most women I know decrease their number substantially. Again, I feel this is for two reasons. A.) they do have some underlying self esteem issue that they feel slutty for sleeping with the actual amount of people they have or B.) they want to appear virginal and innocent to their new bed mate, fulfilling the roles that have been set for them as “ladies.” However, men are not as dumb as I write them to be on this blog. I’m fairly certain that if you’re reverse cowgirl on a first date, the man is going to know this is not your first rodeo honey.

Both men and women typically want to know their partner’s number because they think that the number says something about the person they are lying next to. Unless the number is 1 or some extreme number in the opposite direction, such as 100, it doesn’t. Unless this conversation is coming up in high school, Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore. With an increase in age, so comes an increase in number. This is reasonable and if some people would like to blind themselves to this fact and play virgin, so be it. So you slept with ten people and not five, so what? Does that extra five bed mates make her a slut? Does it make him seem like he knows what he’s doing? I think not. NEWSFLASH: Men, just because you have slept with more women does not make you a better lover. Woman #1 can fake it just as well as Woman #10. And women, sleeping with more than your high school sweetheart does not make you a slut. Stop succumbing to society’s bullshit expectations.

The last and most awful misconception regarding the knowledge of your partner’s number is that most people believe that the more you know about the other person, the closer and more in love you are. Like if you know that your partner’s favorite cereal as a child was Fruity Pebbles, you are so much more in love than the couple that doesn’t. No, knowing morning sugar stats does not a relationship make. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. Like that time you had the wildest, most wonderful sex of your life with an ex girlfriend, yes I don’t want to hear about that either. From now on, assume your man’s ex was Jenna Jameson and move on from there.

Regardless of who you have been with before and who you may or may not be with after, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a bit on the slutty side, I’m going to know by knowing you, not by knowing your number. What matters is that you’re lying with me at that moment and whether or not I enjoyed it. A number is just a number and regardless of whether or not you’re lying, I am not na├»ve enough to believe that I am your first, but maybe one day I will want to be someone’s last.

Editor's Note: I have disengaged myself from this conversation, and I suggest you do the same. It more often than not ruins relationships.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hot by Default

From any reader’s perspective, I think it’s safe to say that I like talking about relationships and sex (one would think those go hand in hand, but they don’t). I do think about the opposite sex often, but who doesn’t? Coincidently, I have always been this way. In high school, I always found an attractive boy in my proximity to occupy my time. Not coincidently, it was often the goth/punk/weird boys that I didn’t have the courage to tell my friends I thought were attractive.

This habit carried over to college and my roommates and I made a joke of it. Each of us had class “crushes”. Sometimes, the crush in question was not even attractive, but was hot by default in comparison to the other men in the classroom/lab/lecture hall. We would name them appropriately with the standard college adjective+first name formula. (Creepy Kyle, Asshole Aaron, etc) Or if we didn’t know their name, would still name them according to their locality.

During my sophomore year at Penn State, the whole notion of class crushes became substantial. Why Metaphysics seemed like a good course to sign up for is beyond me, but I inevitably got to lust over the cute boy that sat in front of me every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Typically, this would not be the kind of class I would attend too often, but philosophy crush was a great motivator to get me there bright and early.

Unlike my other crushes, this was one was actually gorgeous. Friends would joke that they saw philosophy crush in the HUB, ask how our relationship was going and so on and so forth. We were stalking, I know. But it was fun, funny and something to occupy our time during the one hour of the day that we weren’t sleeping, eating, or partying. Eventually philosophy crush and I became friends, briefly lovers and to this day, he dates one of my good friends back from the years of stalking him.

Fast forward a few years and I still do this, to less of a stalking extent. I don’t know if I am over-sexed or just bored, but I always find the hottest guy in my proximity to study. This year there has been “bus crush.” The guy who rode the bus every morning with me, whom I occasionally saw around town. He’s realistically not that great, but I found his smile and small talk charming. On St. Patrick’s Day, I saw him hand in hand with another woman, so that ended that crush.

Which leads me to Ginger Gym. The hot red head at the gym that runs next to me every day at noon. As if I didn’t already find him super endearing, he has the same identical tattoo I have on my inner arm, on his calf.

So now, I lust day after day around lunchtime without a word. Gym etiquette is awkward and I don’t know how to get him to talk to me. Most people don’t want to be bothered while they are sweating like a pig. And I for one find it extremely difficult to look and act sexy when I am gasping for air and red raced.

I realize this all sounds pretty melodramatic, but there has obviously been a lull in my sex life that Ginger Gym is now replacing. And regardless if you want to admit it or not, most people do this subconsciously every day of their lives.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Suave v. Rico Suave (Apostrophe Over the E)

Its girls’ night after a long week of late hours at the firm and I'm going out. Clearly I couldn’t make it one more day to Friday without an alcoholic beverage. It was that kind of week. I didn’t even bother to go home and change into “going out” clothes. I head straight to the bar from my office around 8 pm. It was the kind of night that I didn’t even bother to check out who was there and who was not when I walked in. I take a seat in the back corner of the bar and order a whiskey on the rocks. The bar tender smiles as he slides me my high ball and without a word turns for the front end of the bar as I wait for my girlfriends to arrive.

I am wearing my don’t-bother-me mask to ensure that no man, potential lover or friend, would interrupt my complacency with a stiff drink and my own thoughts as my only companion. Moments later, a mid-twenty-something male in a suit appears to my left. The top button of his mint green dress shirt is undone and his neck tie loosened. I presume he is also looking for a stiff drink after a hard day and hoping he recognizes that too is the ONLY thing I am interested in at the bar.

As soon as the bartender puts his rum and coke on the wooden bar, he turns to me and just smiles and stares. Oh Christ, I have a regular Rico Suave sitting next to me, I think to myself. For those of you living under a rock or whom have just not come in contact with this specimen, Rico Suave is a common nickname for douche bags who think that they are charming. In my first few years of college at Penn State, some girlfriends of mine would call me Rico Suave when my daytime charm school skills of seducing a man, turned into creepy sloppy stalking in my drunken stupor. Since, we started to call men who give us second hand embarrassment from their seduction skills, or lack thereof.

Women who fall for this act of seemingly subtle seduction are clearly misinformed or just plain blind. In my younger years, I may have fallen for this clean shaven creep. However, with time comes wisdom (most of the time). And my jaded judgmental soul can spot Rico even before he speaks. I had to kiss a few frogs before I came to recognize this prince incognito, but I am now a professional.

Rico stands next to my stool, posing and smiling from ear to ear. He is the kind of man so arrogant that he thinks a combination of his smile; outfit and inviting eyes will do the trick without even having to utter a word. His pose appears to be something he saw in a magazine. No, not GQ, but possibly the JC Penny catalog where a man is modeling yacht-wear. I’m fairly certain that no shopper of JC Penny owns a yacht and Rico’s demeanor is as fake as the model’s.

After I continue ignoring him for a few moments, knowing full well his body is completely turned in my direction, he bites his lip in a way that I am sure he thinks is attractive and introduces himself. I am nice enough and at least give him my real name. He then asks, “What do you do?”

“I’m a writer,” I respond. While legal writing is not necessarily the image that a stranger associates with “I’m a writer,” I have come to discover that that response usually fends off the majority of Ricos in the world. And so, it is my defense mechanism each time I am asked that riveting question by men at the bar. No metro sexual wants to be wrapped out with a writer since they are presumably complicated, or so says the stigma that comes from “I’m a writer.”

“I love Catcher in the Rye,” he says. “I wish I could be a financial writer. I’m in finance. Lots of room for upward mobility and growth in salary. I hate my boss, but it’ll be worth it when I’m boss in a few short years.”

“It was nice meeting you,” I say and get up from my stool. I see my girlfriends finally trickling in and I am saved by the bell. Rico looks at me dumbfounded as if to say, “What did I say?”

A lot of men have it all wrong. Your boring tidbits of information in regard to your salary are not going to make me panty drop in the dark corner of the bar, it’s going to make me drop you. And Catcher in the Rye? Really? I realize that every men’s magazine will tell you to feign interest in a girl’s career/conversation, put please put forth some effort before you name drop the only book you probably ever read, and it was mandatory in high school at that. I enjoy Holden Caulfield as much as the next person, but let’s brainstorm before speaking next time.

I actually feel a little bad after writing this. He’s just a guy looking for conversation at the bar. But rico suaves are by definition arrogant. If this was just the average Joe, I probably wouldn’t be so hard on him. Maybe I am jaded after being in contact with too many ricos. Maybe I am too into one particular rico to want to deal with any others. There are a multitude of maybes that probably form my attitude. But I’m going to be me. Take me or leave me or just leave me alone at the bar after a bad day!

But then he does it. he validates every stereotype I have ever created for Rico Suaves everywhere. He calls out “Amanda!” after me and asks what he said wrong.

I could have informed him that that is not my name. I could have informed him that he is not just a nice guy looking for conversation in proximity at the bar, but a run-of-the-mill Rico Suave looking to take me home after enough whiskey. But I don’t, experience has taught me that some uninformed younger girl will bed him that night and over time, she will learn what I have. Rico Suaves are not so suave.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Guy's Girl

It’s a Monday night. NCAA Championship. Popular sports bars everywhere are packed. Friends and frenemies rooting for their favorite team fill my Facebook newsfeed. It could be any sport, but Monday, it’s basketball and the NCAA Championship. Elevated testosterone levels fill the bar so much that I get a contact high just by entering the front door. Everyone is decked out in their favorite team jersey.

Amidst the ocean of two tone colors, I can spot her instantly. I don’t necessarily spot her face, but I can hear her spewing out player stats she learned from the board game Trivia Pursuit. She used to be a rare breed, but lately it seems her class has reproduced. She’s one of the most annoying of my species- the guy’s girl.

Guy's girl is at the corner bar with a group of overly masculine men being overly expressive. The kind of girl that "filled out" a basketball bracket yet never wrote a damn word herself on it. Most likely, she took it home to her brothers and had them help her so that she looked like a knowledgeable sports fan. She's the chick that screams, "come on!" and flails her arms obnoxiously when a team messes up on an insignificant play. You're right "come on!" you're blocking my view of the hot bartender that makes sitting here, watching the most boring sport on earth, bearable.

I don't know it it's my keen eye alone or if others also recognize this kind of girl. I often think men are blind to it. They'll high five her when the team scores while I am staring at my empty glass, trying to get a bartenders attention during all the commotion. She'll again rattle off some trivia related to the player in question that even I have to roll my eyes at.

I am fully aware that there are a few select women who genuinely enjoy sports. However, this is not the majority. The guy's girl may be swearing and hollering in the bar that the referee needs glasses. But when no one is around to see her, you can bet your fucking bottom she is not watching ESPN while training at Level 1 on the elliptical, but E! Entertainment Television.

I am all for sporting events. I am basically all for any events that involve socializing and/or being able to smoke and drink during the day with no judgment. I will attend Pittsburgh sports events, watch the game at the bar in my black and yellow and tailgate as much as the next person. However, I will NOT act like I have any clue when I am talking about and/or watching.

I am also all for gay, lesbians, bis, etc. However, I like clear well defined roles and labels. Male/female, man/woman, masculine/feminine. Did I want to fit in with my brothers as a child? Yes. But that ended when G.I. Joe blew off my Barbie's head. Do I have some masculine qualities? Yes. But my acquired taste for Jack Daniels and playing Mario Cart when I was stoned in college doesn't really quantify me as uber macho.

Do men actually enjoy this kind of girl? Or am I the only one that can see through the testosterone filled smog? Is having a guy's girl as a girlfriend the ultimate goal? Spending Friday nights in eating KFC and chugging bud heavies while the game is on? If that’s the case, my boyfriend will NEVER be happy. Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather cater an event for my man and his friends than actually participate in it with them. In the past I assumed men liked it that way. I don't ask my man to get manicures and pedicures with me because if I wanted to date another woman, I would just go ahead and head straight for Gay Town. But maybe I was wrong in assuming.

As I sit at the bar, perusing Facebook on my phone out of boredom, I chuckle with disgust at the "Go Uconn!" posts from women who likely don't know what state the team is from. Hater? Maybe. But we all judge.