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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.  



“Whenever Steve is irritated with me for trivial matters, he throws things.  If he gets my voicemail, if dinner isn’t ready yet, if I’m not looking at him when speaks to me, on and on.  Whether it’s a fork, a water bottle or a pillow, Steve scares me.  When I speak up against this behavior, he kisses me and says it’s only because he loves me so much.  If he loves me so much, why won’t he stop scaring me?”

           -Connie F.

“Dana and I went from being teammates on the high school basketball team, to best friends, to life partners.  We’ve been there for a lot of up & downs.  Her success and earnings have gone way beyond any fantasy — she rich, famous and beautiful.  She makes sure I’m never far from her but when any little thing goes wrong for her, she gets frustrated and tells me I’m not worth s***.  I’m too fat for her, I’m too dumb, too butch, am holding her back because I don’t earn her type money.  I can’t take it.  But if you really wanna she the stuff hit the fan, when I’ve tried to  break it off, she showers me with presents and sexes me up. But always pointing out nobody else would even want me. Which is the real Dana?”

          -Pam T.


You fight, he gets furious, throws silverware, says horrible mean things to you.  Maybe hits you.

She’s unhappy so takes her negative feelings out on you by repeatedly criticizing your life, pointing out your flaws and saying you’re worthless.

Soon afterward s/he turns into a comforting, sweet partner bestowing his kindness and affection on you.


Don’t fall for it: it’s the classic training program. The cruel words and violence are meant to bring your down and break your spirit. And the lovey-dovey act as the chaser & reward system. He screams at you, you tolerate it.

If you accept the abuse, you thereby have given him or her all the power.  S/he will continue to dominate you and  may reward you for submitting to it.  Usually, more mental and physical abuse is all you get.

Smart money is on getting out if you can.  Be friends, if possible, but do not let this fool hold sway over your self-worth.