Monday, September 28, 2009

Gaining a little perspective

Every date has one — a sort of “after” date where you relive each moment that happened in the hours before. Think Sandra Dee in baby-doll pajamas writing passionately in her diary. Or Frankie Avalon singing to the stars on a moonlit beach. This is the post-datem. I must warn you, it’s a very precarious time. Memory can magnify both the good and the bad. By morning, you’ll believe you were out with either Adonis or The Monster from the Blue Lagoon or one of the Desperate Housewives or just somebody desperate. Or worse, you’ll be convinced you single-handedly ruined what was potentially the love match of your life. None are true.
A date is a series of moments, looks, exchanges, sighs, touches, blunders, brilliance, possibilities, disappointments, and delights. It’s subliminal, on the surface, conscious, and unconscious. It’s the apex of your past experiences and the launching pad for the future. It’s an emotional and intellectual stew. No single moment either made or broke your date. Even if your date swears it’s true (“The moment you said you like pizza, I knew it was love”), it’s not. I know it’s hard to do, but in your post-datem, I want you to put your date into perspective. You don’t have to squash your lover’s high just when you’re feeling so good, but remember what I mentioned earlier: A date is just a date. If you take it too seriously, you’re in for both heartaches and headaches. Instead, when you get home from your date, I want you to take a deep breath and relax. Don’t decide that you blew it — or that you want your best friend to be your maid of honor at the wedding.

What about sex on the first date?

On a first date, sex should be out of the question. You’re just getting to know each other, emotions are running hot, your head may be swimming in infatuation hormones — not an ideal time to take such a dramatic physical and emotional step. Which is what sex really is.
There are several really compelling reasons not to have sex on a first date:
  • Health: In addition to AIDS, there are a lot of sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, running rampant out there: chlamydia, genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes (a virus you’re stuck with for life). Another STD you don’t hear too much about is hepatitis C, an incurable virus that causes a liver infection.
  • Translation: Sex doesn’t always mean the same thing to men and women. You may think it’s no big deal but your partner is mentally picking out china patterns. You simply need more than one date to make sure you’re both headed in the same direction.
  • Exposure: On nearly every level, sex is about exposure. You’re (at least partially) naked. You’re opening your body and a piece of your soul to another person. Major stuff, not to be entered into lightly.
  • Intimacy: Sex is a very intimate act. Even if it feels more physical to you, it’s a primal union that opens up all sorts of emotional nooks and crannies you may not even know you had. The intimacy of sexuality is a powerful, loving, amazing thing. It’s to be nurtured and cherished, not taken lightly.

How to kiss?

A first kiss, whether you’re 15 or 50, is thrilling, sweet, nerve-wracking, intimate, awkward, and incredibly vulnerable — all in the first five seconds. Forget about what you’ve seen in the movies (show biz kisses are well-rehearsed —mostly so the kissers don’t cover up each other’s faces) or on stage (actors sometimes skip the lips and kiss between the lower lip and the chin to preserve the actress’ lipstick!). You’ll bump noses and knock teeth and giggle nervously as well as feel tingly all over — which is all perfectly okay. Though there is no “right” way to kiss, here are a few pointers to help you successfully land a lip-lock:
  • Check out your date’s body language. Some signs your date is kiss-ready: head tilted up, eye contact, uncrossed arms, body facing you.
  • As soon as you decide to go for it, do it. Hovering near some girl or guy’s lips will only make both of you freak out.
  • Maintain eye contact on the way to your date’s lips. Don’t shut your eyes until you arrive, or you may get lost on the way.
  • Start gently. Press your lips sweetly against your date’s. Save the tongue action for later.
  • Pull back. Gaze into your date’s eyes. If it’s a go, you’ll know by the way he or she looks longingly back at you. If not, smile and say goodnight, and your face will be nicely saved.
  • The second lip-press is when you can go French. This means tongue. This doesn’t mean gagging your date or thrusting home or swallowing his or her tongue as soon as it darts into your mouth. Instead, gingerly part your lips and venture forth. A light, flickering touch with your tongue can produce major results. The tongue is a cluster of nerve-endings. Imagine “caressing” your date’s tongue and lips and mouth.
  • Don’t overdo it. Variety — kissing the eyelashes, neck, nibbling on the lips — is the spice that flavors all great kissing.