archivesex on a first date

Brief encounters

The Steal

In 2001 I was 25, living in Scotland and still ‘finding my way’. I was painfully inexperienced, restricted to directionless fumbling, falling in lust with the man who washed hair in my barber’s salon or avoiding hopeless one night stands. Saturday nights (and Sunday mornings) were usually spent at parties, having the same dazzling conversations with less than dazzling company. I had met bubbly Scouser Cally at one of these parties and we had struck up an incredibly superficial friendship that relied on darkness and close proximity to vodka. Despite...
Dating 101

33 lies you will tell yourself on a first date

1. If I arrive first it will make me look responsible and also like I care and that I'm… not flighty. It will not make me seem overly keen and boring, with nothing else to do tonight, or indeed ever. 2. Arriving late will make me seem mysterious and sexy, and he’ll be panting at my arrival, staring eagerly at the door. He'll be so pleased I haven’t stood him up that he’ll be overjoyed to see me and we will fall immediately in love. 3. Oh well, it’s better than...
Single survival

The post-breakup bachelor pad survival kit

So you’ve broken up, you’ve packed and unpacked boxes and now find yourself standing in the middle of your one-bedroom flat – or studio if you’re very unlucky – single, alone, solo. And solely responsible for the Council tax bill. You can survive this, of course. All you need to get through it are a few essentials that will make your time in your bachelor pad – or bachelorette pad, of course – bearable 1. White bed linen Not only will white sheets make your no doubt pokey bedroom look lighter and...
Dating 101Single survival

Where not to meet your next lover: The gym

I have never dressed sexily for the gym – I have never seen the point. Either I have been partnered during my stack of memberships or, more usually, I have had no interest in romance among the kettle bells. In the dank, municipal hellholes where I like to work out, I have somehow known instinctively that Mr Right was not lurking by the lockers. While my latest gym is clean and modern, it is most certainly not a place where I will ever feel lustful and attractive. It is so basic, so...
Brief encountersGuest posts

The Forget-me-not

To celebrate my blog's fourth birthday, I decided to give everyone a rest from my prattling and instead hand over to a guest contributor – and not just any guest poster, oh no. This wonderful, funny tale of a brief encounter, which I knew I had to have for the blog as soon as I heard it, comes from none other than my wonderful, funny boyfriend. Take it away, handsome… It’s Friday night, and “the girls” are on the town. I’m with my friend James and his mate Chris, who I’ve...
Dating 101

Know your dating enemies: The bicycle

When you have been on as many dates as I have, there are lots of things you dread. Spending three hours downwind of someone’s halitosis, hearing about their ex and wondering whether that a boil, a mole or worse on the end of their nose can all be terrifying events, but one thing that used to really make my heart sink on a date has two wheels and a seat just for one. You are Diana to its Camilla, and it’s got its eyes on your throne. What has the...
Single survival

Things I have pretended to like in order to get sex

Football I remember a very miserable afternoon – a rainy Saturday – spent in a pub that smelled of cauliflower and dog, staring with great concentration at a TV up on the wall. I didn’t really dare look away in case I looked like I was bored and I couldn’t have given two bronze fucks about what was happening on the screen so I fixed my gaze on a spider at the corner of the TV. The spider span a web and then fell onto a table and crawled into...
Good dates

The Wow Moment

Everybody should have their Wow Moment – that one moment in time where you look and feel fantastic and are at your absolute pinnacle of excellence, confidence and desirability. Most people aren’t aware of theirs when it’s happening – which can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it – but if I’m ever going to have mine, it’s now, as I walk into the bar precisely 33 seconds late for my date with a man ten years my junior. The wow is all over...
Dating 101

How Grindr ruined dating for everyone

You can’t get more upfront and visual than Grindr. It’s the frank, confrontational reality TV show contestant of the social media app world, assuring you if it has anything to say it will “say it your face” or telling you “what you see is what you get”. Of course the truth is something quite different. Grindr is merely a cloudy mirror, vaguely reflecting society but usually doing its own hair or photoshopping out its eye-bags. What it has done with its instant gratification storefront, however, is slowly strangle some of...
Bad dates

The Raincheck

"It's raining" is the first thing out of his mouth. "I know." He hops from one foot to the other as if avoiding drops of lava from the sky. He seems stressed. "Well, what should we do?" he asks. "It's raining!" "Let's go into the gallery," I reply, wishing I had brought an umbrella – not to keep me dry, but to shove in my date's mouth. I try to shake the last time I went to a gallery with a date from my mind. This will be different. Afternoon dates are...
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