HOW TO BE ATTRACTIVE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I have a love story I’m just bursting to share.  I had just moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn and joined the organic Food Coop there.  I was racing from my 6:00 am monthly Coop workslot to the R train to go to work. I was walking really fast and I broke my heel!  I didn’t just break it — I lost my balance and tumbled into trash cans put out on the sidewalk for trash day.  The contents of my tote bag flew into the gutter and my legs ended up over my head.  Compounding the problem?  A booming male voice asked if I was okay and powerful male hands hoisted my tail out of Oscar the Grouch’s home.  Beet red I was.  Handsome and laughing he was.  I think I found my husband.  Six weeks of brunches and rollerblading later, I still think so.

-Maeve H.

Dude! All the ladies magazines say never to go out of the house without makeup while wearing sweatpants.  But I was moving from Greenwich Village up to Murray Hill.  The last few fragile items,  back and forth.  I was a sweaty New York August mess.  No makeup, dirty grey sweat pants, sweaty t-shirt, sweaty face.  I was trundling down 26th street off 3rd Avenue when I dropped  a stuffed lion wearing my college team colors.  I couldn’t manage to stoop down low enough to puck my baby lion from the gutter and ended up toppling to the sidwalk on my bum.  Somebody started snickering at my failed acrobatics.  I looked up and saw Jake.  He stuck his hand out to help me up with my burdens.  And he placed my lion on top.  I said, “Don’t laugh — it has sentimental value.  I got it at the only game the Lions won while I was undergrad.”  He said, “Oh, I was at that game.  The Tigers beat you 20 to 12.”  We both growled our team growls.  Um, yeah.  So we went out later for hot wings and March Madness.  We’ve been together three months now.

-Carlyle K.

WARNING SIGNALS

You’re just doing you.  You’re in a great mood.  Life is moving right along.  Like a train, you pause at a random station and hey, some guy would like to *ahem* join you.  The universe bes like that sometimes.  And sometimes that is a very good thing.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Be clean.  Be well put-together.  Have style even in simple jeans, t-shirt and ballet flats.

Take care of yourself well.  Eat, sleep, exercise, wear sunscreen.

Be confident.  You are the best you around.

Show a bit of body curve.

Feature one lovely body part. Cleavage, great hair, pedicure, smile OR derriere. Not all at the same time.  Less is more.

Love life and you might just find someone to help you love it more.  😉

“GIRLFRIEND” = THE B.S. TITLE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My boyfriend Ward is a successful songwriter and DJ.  He’s signed to Young Money and he behaves like the Prince song: he wants to be my lover, my mother, my brother, my sister too, and my father. I’m so lucky that Ward supports me while I finish college and medical school.  Ward swears he’s a good Christian and focused on family.  He’s a great boyfriend  and we’re gonna get engaged at Christmas.  Ward claims he has the ultimate respect for me as his girlfriend.  Then why do I have crabs? 

-Sheila M.

My boyfriend Rajiv is very smart — the Cornell grad is going to be a doctor.  He spent the whole summer studying really hard for his medical board examinations. I’m really proud to be his girlfriend. On August 30th, I teased Mr. Workaholic into taking a break to celebrate his birthday at his favorite BBQ restaurant in Murray Hill. We had the candles and sparklers and singing waitress with a molten chocolate lava cake.  One of the other waitresses pulled me aside and asked me why my boyfriend has three different birthdays and three different girlfriends to celebrate each one with him. So Rajiv is the man with three birthdays. He has 3 girlfriends at the same time and he told us all different birthdays: June, July and August 30th. He kept the dates similar so that if any one of us looked at his Driver’s License, he could say that there was a mistake at the DMV. Rajiv is really smart. I mean, a douchebag but a smart one. And I got played like a Stradivarius.

-Nora K.

WARNING SIGNALS

These days, being girlfriend and boyfriend doesn’t always count for much besides friendly sexual access. Many men get a “girlfriend” not because they love the woman, but because this is the simplest and easiest way to get laid consistently for cheap.

Ladies, this is the new game in town:  “The Bullsh*t Title.”

Dinner is a setup — you know how it’s gonna end. Meeting his friends, co-workers and Mom is just a ruse to make it seem real. Time together is spent watching TV at home. You’ll be doing alot of hot sex. Not that anything’s wrong with hot sex. But what’s the point?  Where is it going?  Very likely nowhere. Women stay “girlfriends” with a B.S. man for years and realize way late that he never planned to marry them. He may talk kids, marriage and homebuying but… Is he funny about giving you gifts you can keep?  Dodgy about travelling together and spending holidays together?  Having events and trips you aren’t welcome at? “Hanging with the boys” again? When it’s all said & done, he enjoyed the consistent piece of ass.  I hope you enjoyed delivering it, too.

Deciphering the B.S. is what this blog and the dating game is all about.  And it can be tougher to solve than the Rubik’s cube.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Don’t fall for the “B.S. title” game.

If you both felt you struck gold with each other, then there would be no need keep dating and having lovers behind your back.  Next!

DATE RAPIST WANNABES

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I’ve worked at DelRay Media for four years with Carlton.  Carlton is 10 years married with two children  — his eldest boy was born with Cerebral Palsy and his youngest through a harrowing breach birth.  Carlton’s very smart and we’ve lunched often.  No big deal.  Recently, Carlton and his wife have gone through a rough patch and they have separated.  Suddenly, Carlton has been very needy about our lunches and talks.  He’s been a good friend and work buddy. But it’s not fair for him to try to force me to be his next woman just cuz his life is a mess.  I’ve been really busy moving into the condo I bought off Gramercy Park.  Last Thursday Carlton begged me to have dinner with him.  So I took time out of my life and met him at a Thai place five blocks from my new condo.  Well, he’s bitching the whole time about how I never make time for him and how things are going to have to change.  He says with a queer tone in his voice, “You’re going to start doing things my way.”  I’m like, buddy, your wife had enough of this boss-man crap — why you think it’s gonna cast a spell over me?  Half-way through dinner I was completely out of it and couldn’t even hold my head up.  I didn’t black-out so much as white-out — everything went bright, blurry and psychedelic. So Carlton plays the concerned gallant and half-carries me out of the restaurant.  I remember crossing Third Avenue in his clutches.  He was trying to get me to his car.  It’s Manhattan and I’m three blocks from my home.  I don’t need him or his bloody car. I don’t know where I found the strength and will but I broke away from Carlton’s hold.  On an animal level, I knew getting in his car (or his trunk) would have been a disaster for me.  I have almost no memory of the dinner itself or how I got home. I went from being fine to having to be carried into my building from a taxi by my doorman. Once inside my place, I was tripping on the Berber carpet and furniture like I was blind drunk. God knows what Carlton had in store for me.  Now I realize I made a mistake not going to the hospital and getting bloodtests.  I know Carlton drugged me with a mickey, Rufi or GHB in my Thai Iced Tea. I suppose he intended to blast through my refusals and defenses with his weak rapist game and “make” me have sex with him.  Needless to say I’m polite but keep my distance at the office.

-Tamra E.

It’s embarassing but I’m one of those “stupid girls” who made a really dumb decision and paid the price. I belong to a health club in Murray Hill where there was an open bar by the reception desk one evening.  I had worked out but  hadn’t eaten in hours.  Like a fool, I tossed back a couple.  They were free and it had been a long week.  I was drunk by the time the gym closed and I let an investment banker Evan I vaguely knew from a law class at New York University take me home. He gave me a screwdriver as we watched the CNBC financial news.  The last thing I remember before blacking out was Evan wrestling my yoga pants off and just ignoring me and smirking when I told him to stop. My limbs were like noodles so I couldn’t fight back or get away. Then I have fuzzy memories of wandering around near Macy’s at Herald Square and finding a liquor store and asking to use someone’s phone for help. And I tried dailing numbers but I couldn’t manage to press any buttons. Next I was sitting in the back of a police car.  The policeman asked me if “the sex was consensual.” Then the cop whisked me over to Bellevue for a rape kit. That whole night seems like a bad dream and I’m a perfect example of what never ever to do.  Even with a “normal guy” you think you know.

-Kimber D.

WARNING SIGNALS

No matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or beyond, predators abound in the jungle of New York City.  These men hang around women and may play the friendly good guy for days, months or even years.  In their sexual desperation, these wanna-be rapists often get women drunk, offer them powerful drugs, screw them, and then congratulate themselves for being such a stud.  Sexual violence and exploitation remain a sad reality of dating life.

Even Dame Helen Mirren told GQ she had herself been date-raped several times in her late teens and early 20s. “I was (date-raped), yes. A couple of times.” But she did not report the assaults because “you couldn’t do that in those days.”

There are two kinds of date rapists: the ones who spike the drinks when a woman isn’t looking, as well as the sickos who believe they are just partying with women they overwhelm physically or with drugs and liquor.  Both kinds will rape women after they are either “made willing,” or passed out and might not even remember it happening.  Some guys will even take advantage of a woman covered in her own vomit or urine, and pat themselves on the back for being some kind of pimp with extraordinary sexual prowess.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

  1. Never let go of your drink. Never let it out of your sight.
  2. If a guy brings you a drink, take it slow.  Sip every 10 minutes to give yourself a fighting chance to note symptoms or shifts in the way you feel.
  3. Order drinks in bottles so if you’re distracted the opening is so small it’s hard for someone to spike it.
  4. If your drink is the same color or variety as his, distract him, swap drinks, pretend you had enough and let him drink his.
  5. If you are feeling woozy, do not leave a bar, club or restaurant by yourself.  Do not walk or drive home since you don’t know who might be waiting at your car or front door.  Wait until symptoms pass or go to a hospital immediately.  If several hours pass, they might not be able to trace drugs in your system. And you’ll want to know what you have been given.
  6. If you are already walking, driving or otherwise on the way home, call a friend to check in. Or arrange to switch your destination and stay with a friend.  I’ve seen far too many women tottering home, weaving, barefoot, giggling to themselves, alone.  It’s not just the predator from the bar; you have to worry about each taxi driver, cop on duty, fruit seller, delivery man, regular Joe etc. who can tell you are impaired.
  7. If you experience any memory loss go to a hospital immediately and get tested for a battery of possible drugs.
  8. Contact the last people you remember seeing to help you piece the incident together.
  9. Report the entire drugging and assault incident to the police.

Be safe!  And take all steps to protect yourself and your rights.

5 DATES TO MAKE YOU RUN FOR THE HILLS

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/rape-suspect-hugues-akassy-attacked-prosecutor-article-1.200388

I am Mayra and I’m an 18 year old freshman at Marymount, a college for women in New York City.  I’ve been a very dedicated volunteer on a Mayoral Campaign.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many interesting people and doing such great work.  One architect Sam and I have done tabling & voter registration at public festivals. We and a bunch of other volunteers have even joined hands to form human chains on Advance teams for the Mayor.  Sam is one of dozens of diverse, interesting people I’ve gotten to know.  So when Sam said he’d be on the Upper West Side on Friday and asked me to lunch at Dynasty Szechuan Restaurant to talk strategy for the Pakistan Day Parade, I didn’t hesitate.  I’ve been studying South Asia and following the rise of new political opposition there led by former cricket star Imran Khan. So I stick the book I’m reading about the partition of India from Pakistan under the chair and it’s a pleasant, interesting lunch. But I didn’t understand how significant it was to Sam that we were meeting outside the Mayoral campaign office alone.  Sam is about 64 years old with four grown children — I’ve no idea what became of his wife.  I thought he was just a nice, friendly older chap like so many other campaign volunteers like him.  That is what I thought until he suddenly got a funny look on his face over fried noodles and leaned in close to ask, “Are you a virgin?”

-Mayra C.

My name is Karen and I’ve been dating a really dreamy record executive Jackson for three months.  We met on a 56-hour music video shoot during which I caught bronchitis from exposure on a rooftop in the Meatpacking District.  We stayed in touch and weeks later started dating. Jackson is great catch — successful, heterosexual,  fraternity member, church member, doctors in his family, military in his family, owns multiple homes in New York and Jersey, a real cutiepie with an aquarium and a BMW truck.  On the downside, he tried to cook for me once.  It is quite a feat to make chicken parts come out of the oven looking and tasting like human ears but though I was hungry, I ended up starving after I politely trashed the meal in my purse.   Note: canned stringbeans don’t require cooking for over an hour.   But he tried.  So we went to the Beyonce concert and Jackson came over to my condo so we could watch the July 4th fireworks from my balcony.  One thing led to another and we ended up making out on the couch.  First Base and Second Base were lovely.  But what is this thing with men wearing compression shorts — y’know, those shiny running or biking pants?  I mean, don’t undies need to be cotton to let the giblets breathe? These shiny hot pants are not very manly or sexy but okay, I can stop by the gay lingerie stores in the West Village and gift Jackson more fetching skivvies. Undeterred, I press on to Third Base.  On my end, AMAZING!  When I *ahem* …”peel the banana” I stop and sit bolt upright.  My eyes are watering and I choke on what seems to be a green haze enveloping me in the soft glow of the Time-Warner Cable R&B channel graphics. The industrial grade rubber and spandex that has been encasing Jackson’s “special” parts has hotboxed a stench like hot, fishy garbage laced with diarrhea and pinetar resin. Clearly, peeling off his shorts was a grave mistake.  I had no warning. My brain is scrambled and screaming: “Abandon ship!  Abort!  Abort mission!”  Polite girl that I am, I murmur the mild critique, “What’s with these shorts?”  Jackson pipes up, “Oh, these keep me from chafing when I walk a lot.  They’re great for running at the gym.”   I surmise, so men have thigh chafing, too.  And I’m thinking, “Do you stink from walking around? Or running at the gym? Would you seriously work out and not shower? Do you need a baby-wipe?”  So I activate Sexual Decompression Protocol #7; I say, “Turn over, Jackson. Please. Let me give you a massage.”  I put a blankie over his bottom half to snuff out the scent flames leaping in the air. As soon as he’s asleep and snoring, I cover him with a quilt on the couch and retreat chastely to my bed. Whew!  Pfwew!  That was close.  Breakfast the next morning was pleasant.  And my best friend and I sent Jackson a present at his office the following week: an anonymous “hygiene gift basket” with deodorant soap, anti-perspirant and ball wash.  He’s a great guy and I hope he took the tip.

-Karen S.

WARNING SIGNALS

Dating is such a delicate getting-to-know-a-stranger time.  And what’s friendly may morph into a date.  And what’s a date can skillfully be transformed into just friendly.  And thank the good Lord for that.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING 

Here’s some problem types you may want to avoid dating:

1. HOMELESS

If cooking up a meal for your man means volunteering at the local soup kitchen, you may have a problem. Let him get himself together first. How does a man in crisis even have the time or will to date? If he’s ignoring this whopping problem, he can’t have his priorities straight. Yes, it’s a tough economy. Yes, jobs and homes are hard to find. But we all have to be tougher, find alternative ways to live, pool our resources. “Mr. Wendell” may just not be the right one. But your guy may also dig the victim role for the sympathy, free help & free meals it gets him. Brother man could be a mooch.

2. STINKER

As in Karen’s tale of woe and to quote the Notorious B.I.G.: “If it smells like garbage, I turn the doorknob.”

3. MR. FIX-U-UP

Oh, the man who wants to tell you how to dress, talk, dance or behave.  Thanks but no, thanks.

4. DOLLAR BILL

Ever had a guy pull out his bankroll, his paycheck or just tell you about his salary or 401K? So creepy.  I’m sure he can pull a golddigger easy, but it’s worrisome he takes it there during your first dates.

5. STALKER

You don’t need some guy you’re dating calling, emailing and texting you constantly.  It’s often a sign he wants to control you.  

DATING GOLDEN RULES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW – Part 3

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I met a cute lawyer named Derek while out with friends in New York’s Meatpacking District.  Drinks at One Oak led to hung-over brunch on Saturday and ribs while watching Vick’s Eagles whoop the Cowboys.  He’s great — sexy, funny, successful, humble and smells like a dream. All signs read “Go!”  Then we met afterwork mid-town for big eats at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  I took kickboxing class at lunch and tend to go anemic so I’m far from a vegan.  I ordered a shrimp appetizer, petite filet mignon, scalloped potatoes, the banana cream pie and a bottle of Cabernet.  He’s giving me the side-eye and I shrug it off.  It can’t be about the bill.  It just can’t.  He orders, like, vegetables.  At a steakhouse.  Chopped salad and creamed spinach.  I say, “My treat.” He retorts, “No way.”  So I cop: “Then what’s the problem?  You’re all screw-faced after I ordered.”  He goes quiet for a minute to say grace.  And I lower my head and say, “Amen.”  And I’m just staring at him with my mouth open ’til he says what the problem is.  Derek goes into a trance and recites like Jesse Jackson on Vicodin: “But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you.” Leviticus 11:10 Shellfish shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Leviticus 11:11″ Then Derek says the Bible says God’s people are not to eat shellfish and that I’m a sinner.  I kid you not.  Loooooooooooooongest dinner of my life.

-Erica J.

I was hanging with some elitest ex-patriate Africans at Balthazar in the East Village.  Nigerians, Ugandans, South Africans, Senegalese, Cape Verdeans.  Great food, spirited conversation, many kisses on both cheeks.  My friend Chinesse from Cameroon introduced me to Francois a French lawyer working for White & Case (Rudolph Giuliani’s employer at the time).  Francois and I hit it off.  That weekend we went ice skating in Central Park, had Northern Indian food at Nirvana, went dancing at Nikki Beach Club. Francois was so courtly and charming — a perfect gentleman.  Divorced with a five-year-old son Laurent back in Enghien-Les-Bains. So we had Korean dinner at Kang Suh after the Opera during  the next weekend.  Then he asked me to come over to his corporate apartment to watch the French Open.  I thought that was an outstanding idea.  So we kissed for the first time that night.  It was amazing.  Leading by example, Francois took his shirt off.  All good.  Very warm, affectionate, nice vibe.  But then he started tonguing my ear which is like Def Con 3 in seduction warfare.  A little overwhelming but alright.  Until he bit my diamond & platinum earring in half.  Yes.  Bit. It. In. Half. *CRUNCH!!!*  Like a cartoon mascot of a heavily sugared breakfast cereal.  All I could think is, “I don’t want him near my nipples.”  So I made an excuse about having an early meeting and jetted to a taxicab.

-Ursula P.

WARNING SIGNALS

Dating is sticking your toe into unknown waters.  It looks as beautiful, warm and inviting as the Caribbean Sea off the coast of the French West Indies.  But beware the sting of jellyfish, eel or shark.  You may, like the ladies testifying above, stumble into some belief or behavior that is just unacceptable in a man.

Pay attention and act according to what your gut tells you to do.  Safety and preserving all body parts first!

TROUBLE-SHOOTING 

Additional tips as you determine whether he’s a keeper.

21. It is better to let someone walk away from you than to let him walk all over you.

Some of my girlfriends love to harangue me with tales of her man’s latest evil-doings.  I’m like: Why don’t you just get rid of him?  Men are like lightbulbs — if one is broken, you don’t keep it unless you’re a Hoarder on that scary A&E show.

22. Don’t look for someone to complete you.

You need to be a whole person relating to another whole person. Then your guy can complement you — not be a crutch.

23. Don’t give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it.

Don’t be high-maintenance but remember you ain’t his Momma.

24. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions.

And respond to the actions.

25. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.

Keep him on your roster but get to know others.

26. Never believe a man that tells you he want to be with you, while he’s with someone else.

If he wanted to be with you, he would make it happen more sooner than later.

27. There is someone out there worthy to be your partner – so make room.

Weed out the losers and no-hopers to make room for the keeper.

28. If it don’t come easy, you gotta let it go.

Do you spend more of your relationship time happy or fighting?  It’s not worth it if your life is all strife with dude.

29. Be yourself & be true to yourself.

Reminds me of the fiance who wanted me to get breast implants.  Because his Momma had them.  I’m a 32 C to D.  What am I gonna do — become a 32 G?  He had to go, of course.

30. Determine whether there is room in your life for emotional cripples.

Everyone has problems but if a guy can’t handle his stuff, what makes you think you can do it for him?

DATING GOLDEN RULES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW – Part 2

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My boyfriend Carlos and I live together and worship together at the same kung-fu school in Chinatown.  Our Sifu Li is part Chinese and the son of an American soldier and a Chinese prostitute.  Sifu Li is our Master and we obey his direction in eating, living and workshipping traditional Chinese gods like Kuan Kung and Kwan Yin.  I love Carlos but lately he’s been allowing our Sifu to deal him drugs (marijuana, meth and crack).  Plus he’s smoking with Sifu Li.  Now I don’t know how drug use fits in with Buddhist spirituality but I am not wanting to build a future with a junkie.  We’ve been dating for four years and if he’s not gonna put a ring on it should I try to help Carlos or just leave him with Sifu and his pipe?

-Marisol N.


I have been dating Casey for three months and he’s a great guy.  We’re both Lutheran, never married, working, good credit and have no kids.  Casey would love to have kids and he’d be a great Dad.  He’s less enthusiastic about getting married.  Should I work with him on his marriage reluctance or just call foul and walk away?

-Shonte C.

WARNING SIGNALS 

Your man gives you love, attention, affection and great sex.  He’s a highly functioning dude.  And yet just below the glittering surface image is addiction, degraded family values and the attitude that you just have to suck up the bad with the good.

What to do is an individual decision based on your priorities, values and needs.  Certainly, you don’t want to end up in the hospital, family court or jail because your honey has some bad ideas.  “I told you so” are hard words to hear after you’ve made risky choices.

TROUBLE – SHOOTING

Here’s some wise guidelines to help you think about making your grown-woman decision to keep or leave your man:

8. If you have doubt your man’s character, leave him.

Especially in light of the Sandusky and Fine scandal, wifeys shoulda been gone.

9. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you right, don’t cling to him  as a “friend.”  That’s no friend for you.

10. Always put yourself and your happiness first.

11. Respect your boundaries when it comes to how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up. If it doesn’t stop, drop him.

12. Dating can turn into engagement and marriage.  Or not.  Know when it’s time to cut the cord.  Don’t waste time being strung along.

13. Actions speak louder than words.

14. Never let a man define who you are or your relationship with him. Be active, assertive and powerful.

15. Just because he says he loves you, that doesn’t mean that he won’t hurt you.  “I love you” doesn’t mean that you are meant to stay with him.

16. You deserve to be the #1 person in the life of the #1 person in your life.

17. Love is a verb. Every day.

18. Give up your lifelong task of trying to make someone unavailable-available, someone ungiving-giving, and someone unloving-loving.

19. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

20. It takes half the length of a relationship to get over it. Take time to heal between relationships. Deal with your issues and leave them behind before pursuing a new relationship.