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Dear Mr. Nice Guy…

Dear Mr. Nice Guy, 

Since I graduated from college about 5 years ago, I’ve found it’s difficult to meet a good guy to date. I would like to try online dating, but am clueless on where/how to begin. I’ve heard putting things on your online profile can be taken the wrong way, or posting certain pictures of yourself can send the guy the wrong message. What are some tips for creating an online profile that represents me and how do I avoid getting pranked, Manti Te’o-style?
 
Sincerely, 
 
Miss Online Hopeful  
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HeadshotDear Online Hopeful,

You. Are. In. Luck!
In some circles one could consider me an expert on most things related to the topic of Online Dating. Much to my dismay this could largely be due to the fact that I am one year shy of reaching the decade mark for being an on-again/off-again part of that world.
But my pain is your gain, and the reason I’m here is to help you, which is what’s really important.
You are asking the question I wish more people would ask. You don’t really need to know what you should put in your profile, but what you should not put in it.
We’ll begin with your pictures because, let’s be honest, this is going to be the very first thing anyone is going to see and the ultimate deciding factor as to whether they will continue on to read your profile or not. Taking into consideration that you’re looking for a guy to date, and not just for a good roll-in-the-sack, here are my thoughts on the type of profile pictures you should avoid.
Avoid the dreaded “selfie” or mirror picture. What’s a selfie you ask? A selfie is a picture you took yourself by turnings your phone/camera towards yourself and stretching out your arm. I imagine you have at least one friend. Have them take the picture. This way you’ll also be able to better avoid getting a downward angle and therefore placing more focus on your possible cleavage.
Speaking of cleavage, be aware of what you’re wearing in your pictures. There is a difference between looking hot and looking down-right slutty. You may look extremely cute in your short shorts and tank top but giving us an idea this early on about what you may sleep in can put across the wrong message. In short, if your grandma wouldn’t frame the picture to show off to her bridge club you probably shouldn’t up. (all grandmas reserve the right to change their opinion at any time)
 
When it comes to the actual text of your profile I really only have one rule. Your profile is not a place to vent any of the following emotions: anger, rage, jealousy, insecurity, or bitterness. This is a place to sell you. We all have pasts and that’s where they should remain. Tell us [men] about the present day you and (indirectly) why we want date you.
There have been times I would come across a profile that seemed to have it all. Cute pictures. Personality. Common Interests. Then my scrolling would lead me to a list of “conditions”, or deal breakers, explaining that if any of the following were to apply to me then I shouldn’t bother. My urge to send a pleasant introduction message completely dissolved almost immediately. There is not problem in having standards, but you don’t know who is out there, and all you’re doing here is driving away someone who could actually be “perfect” for you. Remember, there’s a difference between having reasonable needs and being petty. Rejecting a guy with anger issues = reasonable; rejecting a guy because of thinning hair = petty.
Overall, have fun with your profile. Don’t take yourself too seriously. But most of all be honest.
Embrace who you are and others will too.
Good luck, and be patient. Online Dating is still a relatively new ballgame in realm of dating so having hot, and cold, streaks is expected. Don’t get frustrated and hopefully your right guy will send a virtual wink to you across the world wide web.
Best,
-Matthew; aka Mr. Nice Guy

Got a question for Mr. Nice Guy? Email it to cocktailsattiffanys@gmail.com 

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An unfamiliar routine.

Things are moving right along with me and D. So smoothly, in fact, that it feels weird.

NOTE: This is where all of you out there that have had successful relationships chime in.

Because I’ve never had this. I’ve never dated someone who misses me after just a few hours of being apart. I’ve never spent so much time with someone where I recognize their smell, or their breathing when they sleep. I’ve never fallen into a routine with someone.

I’ve heard about it, from other couples, but never experienced it.

In the last few weeks, there’s been one night we didn’t stay together, and even then, D was whining. While Marcy tells me that would get on her nerves, I enjoy it. I’ve never had anything quite like this, and I don’t feel like I have to put on an act around D, so why not spend the few free hours we have together?

The nights he has off from work, which are also the nights he has his daughter, we spend at his house. The nights he has to work late, he spends at mine—its 3 nights at one place, 4 at the other, so it’s as equal as it can be.

After he met Marcy and Craig, he asked me when I wanted to meet his parents. I was shocked. I’ve never had someone want me to meet their parents. He assured me, they were going to love me.

Before I meet his daughter, he has an agreement with his ex wife that she will meet me, too. He really wants me to meet his daughter, so don’t be surprised if you see a post on here of me freaking out before I meet his ex wife, then his daughter, and eventually, his family.

We’ve talked about meeting my family, which is awkward. Because my family has issues. So there’s that. I told him I see my family once a year (if I’m lucky..heh), so he was more than welcome to come with me in November when I do so.

“We’ll be engaged by then,” he said.

Because yes, he’s told me he is convinced I am his wife.

D came home (see I’m even doing it without realizing it) from work Saturday night and told me the guys at work voted him, “The guy with the best girlfriend.” I laughed, “I believe it, but why?”

He had showed him a picture of the breakfast I cooked us that morning: (my version of “Green Eggs & Ham”)—toasted English muffins, topped with prosciutto, a fried egg, spoonful of pesto, and freshly cracked pepper. I served it with a tamer version of Irish coffee: hazelnut coffee with a shot of Bailey’s, topped with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. I served it on a tray, in bed, with a vase of flowers.

Because I really am that awesome.

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If I was your boyfriend (part 3).

I had mad respect for that. I went the entire year thinking this guy didn’t like me, or that he just wanted to hook up, when really, he was trying to work things out on his end.

Now, he lives in a house with two roommates and got a promotion, so he’s not waiting tables anymore.

After a few days of light flirting, we were talking nearly all day everyday. Late the next Friday night, he was telling me how much he wished I would have come in to see him at work. On his drive home, he asked me if I would come over, right then.

Against all things my brain was telling me, I got in my car and drove to his house at 4 am.

He was better looking than I recalled, standing in his doorway, still in his work attire. I was in sweats and still wearing my mouth guard.

“There you are,” he said as I walked into his living room, grabbing my waist when I walked by. We talked briefly before going into his bedroom, where I flopped onto the bed, exhausted.

“I need to know something,” he said. “Why did you text me on Valentine’s Day? And please be honest with me.”

I told him the whole story and he kissed me. And it was a better kiss than I remember.

The following Sunday night, he came to my apartment to hang out. Sitting on my couch, he told me he needed to make sure I wasn’t leading him on, because he was starting to really like me. I was a little worried that it was moving fast, but I went with it. That same day, the Sunday of the Oscars, marked one year since we met. He invited me over to his house for the next day, what would be a year since our first date.

I happily said yes, but only if he’d watch The Bachelor with me. He said he would DVR it.

On the way to his house I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine to bring over. Mid-search, the power went out, sending cursed cries into the dark. I wandered through the aisles, as if there was a way I could feel a bottle that would taste good. Minutes later, when the lights came back on, I was standing in front of a tower of white boxes, with wine inside. I reached down to see what kind it was.

The Prisoner.

The exact wine we drank exactly one year prior. Despite its steep price, I decided to go for it. When I arrived at D’s, I told him I had a surprise. I pulled out the wine, and he couldn’t believe it. “Whaaaaat!? Are you kidding me?” he asked. So there we were, sipping on our wine, watching The Bachelor.

And it felt perfect.

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If I was your boyfriend (part 2).

He asked me if I was ready to eat, motioning to the dining room.

“I think our table is ready,” he said.

We sat down, and our waitress (who had the look and name of a mermaid) greeted us. She had no menus.

“I heard from the chef you guys are doing ‘the experience,’ tonight?”

My date, D, nodded and ordered a bottle of wine, “The Prisoner,” he said. The waitress raised her eyebrows and left, returning with the manager, who uncorked our bottle and decantered it for us. I didn’t know what “The Experience” was and I’d never ordered a bottle of wine so nice it demanded additional attention.

“I hope you like the menu they have planned for us,” he said. “Are you a picky eater?”

I said no, and we got to talking. He was a year older than me, still trying to finish school, while working as a server. He was divorced with a 5-year-old daughter named Emma. He said he got married too young, and the split was amicable. His phone was full of pictures of Emma, who he took on “Daddy-daughter dates” on Tuesday nights.

Course by course, our food arrived. We had soup, an appetizer, braised pork, muscles and pasta, and dessert. And two additional bottles of wine. The tables around us cleared, the bar was empty. We made friendly with our waitress and the manager, after the chef came out to our table to ask us if we enjoyed the meal.

With the permission of the staff, we stayed while they cleaned, dancing right in the dining room (where I actually fell, like a drunk ass). When we were both too tired and drunk to continue, we walked outside, and shared our first kiss.

It was nice. It was definitely one of the best dates I’d ever been on.

In the days after, I heard from D, but usually late at night. He was kind, said he missed me, but only asked me to hang out in groups, not for a second date. Eventually, I stopped hearing from him.

Over the course of the year, we would text occasionally, if something reminded us of each other. On Valentine’s Day this year, I was talking with a friend at work who said something that made me think of him. I decided to go for it, send him a text and let him know.

“Was just thinking about you, Happy Valentine’s Day, D!”

D: Crazy thing, I thought about you the other day. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Lucky!

ME: Aw, I hope it was a good thought?

D: Always a good thought when it comes to you.

We chatted some over the next few days, mostly just friendly chat. The following week, it started to get a little flirty, texting almost all day everyday, until he asked if he could call me one night. Of course!

We had a nice chat, clicked just like I remembered, and I asked him why he didn’t ask me on a second date if he supposedly had just as great a time as I did?

“I had an amazing time with you, but I wasn’t in a position to date. I hit a slump in my life, had to move back home for a little but, and was embarrassed. I was intimidated by you and didn’t think I had anything to offer you.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

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A mini-10-year reunion.

I have no idea if I have told you all about my friend Brandon.

Brandon and I went to high school together, and by that I mean, we were in the same building. We were not friends. We didn’t talk. In fact, he was pretty much a hippie-dead-head kid and I was school-spirit-maker-dance-team-captain-newspaper-writer.

About 3 years ago, Brandon sent me a message out of the blue on Facebook just seeing what was up, how was I? After exchanging several messages, we swapped phone numbers and have been texting ever since.

Some weeks or months, we talk alot, sometimes on the phone. And sometimes, we’ll go months without talking, without a grudge, but when we talk again, all is well. Like most guy-girl friendships, I think there has been a small attraction there. We flirt sometimes, and we do get a little jealous when the other person has landed a date.

A few months ago, Brandon sent me a text saying he was going to be in my area December 4, we should have lunch. Brandon, a sound technician, travels with bands on tour, setting up their…set.

I immediately said yes, of course! And then I was just a little nervous. I hadn’t seen this person in 10 years, we’d only talked on the phone a handful of times. Would we get along? Will he be cute? Will we kiss?

I sent him a text asking, is this lunch or “lunch”?

He didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about, so I assumed I was a giant slut and went along with my week.

In the week leading up to his visit, he said he was excited to see me, but we really hadn’t nailed down plans and I was starting to freak. The drive to get to him was an hour and a half, so if we were going to be drinking, I’d have to figure out a plan for the night, etc. Sigh.

I took a friend’s advice and just asked him what he wanted to do?

“Drink, eat, be fat,” he said. No help.

“When do you want me to come down?” I asked.

“Whenever you’d like,” he said. NO HELP.

I finally laid it out. “I have a meeting Tuesday night until 8:30, so I can meet you around 10, or I can come Wednesday morning, but I’ll have to bolt around 7 wednesday evening.

“That seems silly to come down Wednesday and then leave. Come Tuesday.” He told me his hotel address, and that was that.

I assumed this was an invitation to stay the night, but since it wasn’t laid out nice and neat, I was still confused. Either way, I packed a small bag and made the trip Tuesday night.

After getting lost and probably getting a toll bridge fine, I made it to his hotel and was ready for a stiff drink.

He looked so cute. And tall.

He said he knew some girls from work that found a cool bar with a band. So we grabbed a cab and headed that way. The girls were nice, the music was great, and the alcohol was flowing.

“We haven’t seen each other in 10 years!” I said as we cheered to shots of whiskey.

The girls left, as did most of the other bar patrons, and we sat at the bar trying to finish our beers. It was almost 2:30 am.

Mid conversation, he leaned in a kissed me. And it was a good one.

We took our beers to go, and hopped into a cab, where we proceeded to make out.

We got back to the hotel room and I recall lots of rolling around, and perhaps an attempt at sex, but the real stuff came in the morning.

This scenario is something I’d toyed with for months, even years, perhaps. If we ever met up, would there be a spark? After many conversations with Gizzy, I really wanted to just go with it. I didn’t want to plague myself with my usual fears of sex, or paranoia about how many people I’ve slept with, or whatever. This was someone that I’ve been talking to for years, and who knows when we’ll see each other again.

But while I was thinking, and pretty much assuming we would have sex, he SAYS he didn’t. Over lunch the next day, he said he was really shocked, yet very proud to wake up next to me with no clothes on.

“I did not think the visit would be like THAT!” he said.

“You didnt?” I asked. I didn’t know if he was just trying to be kind.

Either way, I had a great time. I told him it couldn’t be another 10 years before we see each other again.

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Spilling my big secret (Part 2).

During the kiss I wasn’t thinking just how bad it really was—I was way too swept up in all of it. He pushed me up against my kitchen counter, and I realized just how good of a body this guy had. Despite clearly wanting more, I pushed him away and told him to quit, that I needed to go meet my friends.

Although we parted ways for the night, I was walking on cloud 9… while at the same time feeling guilty as hell.

We didn’t see each other for the next few days, but we talked several times, and when we finally did see each other, we had sex.

Not just…sex.

Fucking amazing sex.

Because of course it was, right? That sweet apple in the garden thing…

When he left my apartment, I figured he would never talk to me again. He’d go home, realize the massive mistake he’d made, and that would be the end of that.

Mixed emotions were swirling around me. How could I fall for a guy that’s married? Once a cheater, always a cheater, right? But the kiss, and his body, and the SEX. God damn. Would it end with his wife beating my door down? Calling me and asking me 20 questions? A private detective?

I was wrong about him not talking to me—he certainly did, just an hour or so later. The talk about his wife was an open subject for us. The real focus, however, was his daughter. He didn’t want to get a divorce and have his 9-year-old daughter hate him. The thought of another man raising his daughter killed him.

The next day, I saw him at the gym and he pulled me aside.

DAVID: Hey listen to this… this morning me and my wife were getting ready to go to work and she tells me she had this dream that I cheated on her…that I was really nonchalant about it because she’s such a bitch…

ME: Holy shit…psychic!

We sort of chuckled it off, but my dream state began to crumble. What was I doing?

The questions of him leaving his family were never questions for me, because I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I don’t know if that was reality talking, or just me building bricks of mud around myself. I suppose that was the one thing that kept me from falling completely.

But I can’t say I didn’t have fantasies of us being together, for real, without the secrets.

The following night, we ate dinner together, watched TV, and had another round of amazing sex after he carried me into my bedroom. When he went home, he told me his wife was doing her usual—sitting on the back porch drinking with her friends.

WIFE & CO: What are you doing here? Thought you were with your friends?

DAVID: I was, but you guys made it sound like I needed to be here.

WIFE & CO: Nope. You should’ve stayed.

DAVID: I guess I should’ve.

WIFE: Hey Tina, how often do you guys have sex? David always complains it’s not enough.

TINA: Well, how often is it?

DAVID: Every 8 weeks.

WIFE: No! It’s more than that!

DAVID: Really? Pull it up on your Period Tracker and tell me when the last time was.

WIFE: Oh… um, 6 weeks ago.

DAVID: Yea, you know what? I don’t even want to have sex with you anymore. I don’t need it.

WIFE: Oh yea? We’ll see about that.

**(To Be Continued…)**

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Aand pretty standard.

I planned on having a relaxing weekend, full of sleep and checking off my giant to-do list for this week. Oh, but that didn’t really end up happening.

After work Friday, I headed over to the normal Mexican restaurant where I meet the group for tacos and margaritas. About an hour in, we were all buzzing, and talks of heading to the bar afterward was the topic on hand.

For the last week, I’ve been texting with one of the guys in our group, I’ll call him J. He’s funny, nice, however going through a divorce. I honestly don’t know many of the details, but… yeah.

I will say I’ve enjoyed talking to him, and a part of me has always felt some sort of attraction toward him. However, I was, nor am I, on any type of mission to get involved there.

So after three margaritas, or maybe four, we headed to the bar, kept drinking and danced like fools. I wish I could remember more—like what songs we danced to. But, I just remember jumping around, dancing, singing, laughing, and even waltzing with J.

It was a fun night.

During our waltz, J informed me that he’s had a good time texting with me, he thinks I’m beautiful, but he knows he’s “damaged goods” right now. He doesn’t want to hurt me.

I was drunk and I think appeared upset over this, but I was thankful he told me the truth.

At the end of the night, I was barely able to stand, and of course unable to drive. J insisted that he drive us to our friend’s, where we then kissed in her living room.

Against my better judgment, I hopped into her guest bed with him, and proceeded to full on make out with him, and remove my clothing for additional naughty behavior.

Don’t worry. We didn’t have sex.

In the morning, we briefly talked, and he drove me to my car.

He apologized for his actions and words contradicting each other, and I appreciated that, but I also understood where he was coming from. I absolutely do not want it to be weird between us.

I feel different about this. I think I am in a new place than I was before. Normally, a night like this would have sent me on an emotional roller coaster; hoping that I could change his mind and get him to like me, despite his need for space.

But I don’t feel that way at all.

We were drunk, we messed around, and we still enjoy each other’s company. So what? I just hope that our friendship remains the same…and okay, if we have a drunken make out a time or two, I’m cool with that.

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