SunDATE: Pretty

allison michael orenstein

Him:  So here he is. 

Me:  So here HE is.  Look at you, small drink of water.  Good looking guy, huh?

Him:  STOP IT.

Me:  I mean it.  You’re gorgeous. Better than your pics on Grindr.

Him:  Isn’t Grindr weird? I’ve met some real creeps.

Me:  I’ve met jerks and nice people.  No real creeps.

Him: Maybe that’s because you’re the creep?

Me:  Nice.  I tell you you’re pretty, twice, and you imply that I’m a creep.  You should write a book on dating.

Him:  Uh oh.  Am I one of your online Jerks?

Me:  Are you?


Him:  No.

Me:  Well there it is.


additional photos:  eryc perez de tagle

Him:  Anyway, who keeps score?

Me: Of what?

Him:  Of that sort of stupid stuff?  Compliments and whatnot. 

Me:  Obviously I do.  I just demonstrated that I do.


Me:  Relax.  I might be joking, you know…  I might just still think you’re an attractive little wonder, at 5’6”.

Him:  Stop saying little.  I don’t like to feel little.

(I’m feeling brave, and so I take a step toward him.  I put my face next to his.  I can feel the breath come out of my nose against his cheek.  He smells spicy.  Like cinnamon or ginger, but not quite those things. )

Me:  What about now?  Do you feel little now?

Him:  Yes.

(I put my hands on his ribcage and squeeze gently.  The hair stands up on my arms. Ii have goosebumps)

Me: But don’t you kind of feel really powerful?

Him:  Yes.

Me:  You’re pretty.

Him:  Ugh.

(He moves away)

Me:  Haha…  okay.  So, no saying you’re little, and I’m guessing no ‘pretty’ either?

Him:  Why not handsome?  Why can’t I be handsome?

Me:  You can.  You are.  You’re very handsome.  You’re also pretty.

Him:  Ugh.

Me:  Well the good news is: I like pretty.  So dry your eyes on that.

Him:  You’re cute. 

Me: Compliment number one.

Him:  What?

Me:  That’s the first compliment you ever gave me, in person.

Him:  Oh great.  How far behind am I?

Me:  Only a few, but I’d rather stay ahead in the compliment game, if you don’t mind?

Him:  Can I ask you a question?

Me:  No.

Him:  What?

Me:  Sorry.  That was supposed to be funny.  I said no, when the only appropriate answer was yes.  I thought it would be funny.

Him:  Was it?

Me:  Yes, but you’ll just have to trust me.  You didn’t see your face when I said it.  It was funny.

Him:  I guess I’ll have to believe you.

Me:  Good.  Because I’m lying.

Him:  What??

Me:  Sorry.  That was another joke.  That one wasn’t funny.  I get nervous and act like an idiot.

Him:  You make it charming, somehow. 

Me:  You didn’t know me in college.

Him:  Were you different?

Me:  I was nearly insufferable.

Him:  You’re pretty too.

Me:  Shucks.  Okay.  That’s two for you.  Fuck.

(long pause)

Him:  You’re not some sort of creepy Rice Queen, are you?

Me:  Uh…  I mean..  I thought that was obvious?  You’ve been to my website, right?

Him:  Yeah.  There’s lots of Asians. 

Me:  But not ALL Asians, right?  I like a lot of things.  A lot of people.  I like kind people.  Asians are kind, frequently, if you’re kind to them.

Him:  I guess that’s not so creepy.  I guess that’s okay for Asians.

Me:  Yeah.  Well I forgot to say:  I feed on their tears.  Keeps me young.  I’m like a succubus, or a psychic vampire of some sort.  I’m 183 years old.  I make them cry and then drink their salty tears.  But it only works with Asians.

Him:  Really? 

Me:  Yes.  And did you also know that Black people can levitate?  They’re hiding it from you.

(long pause.  he starts laughing a lot)

Him:  You’re joking! 

Me:  Yes.  And you’re laughing.  That means…..

Him:  What does that mean? 

Me:  It means, you get a kiss, if you want one, later.

Him:  I’ll decide later if I do.

Me: Oh.  I like that.

Him:  Really?

Me:  No.  It’s infuriating.   I’d rather you just gave me one.

(We kept talking and walking.  Later, he gave me a quick kiss.  It was a good kiss.)


kristen yoonsoo kim

Him:  Hey.

Me:  Hey.  Are you K.?

Him:  Yeah that’s right.  Why?  Disappointed?

Me:  Uh, no.  Not at all.  You’re very attractive.


Me:  Why?  Are people usually disappointed?

Him:  Ha. No.  Why would they be??

Me:  Uh..  I don’t….  Did I sound disappointed?

Him:  No, I was just feeling insecure, duh…

Me:  Oh okay.  Yeah…  Duh.

Him:  I hope you don’t think I’m going to bottom for you, just because we met up for coffee.

Me:  Wait, what?

Him:  Coffee is coffee.  I want to make that clear.

Me:  Okay.  I know what coffee is.

Him:  I’m not even a bottom.  I don’t really bottom that much.

Me:  Hey.  That’s fine.  We’re just grabbing a cup of coffee, like you said.

Him:  Fine.


Me:  Do people frequently think you’re a bottom?

Him:  Yeah, and it’s irritating.

Me:  Why so?

Him:  I want to be more than just that. 

Me:  Well, most people on Adam4Adam are looking to have sex.

Him:  I know.  I don’t mind hooking up, if the vibe is right.

Me:  I thought you were looking for more than that.

Him:  Well…  ultimately…  but I have to live a life, don’t I?

Me:  Okay.

Him:  Anyway, I don’t want to come off like some bottom slut.

Me: Cool it, mister.  You’re doing fine.  Just relax.


Me:  Also, you shouldn’t list yourself as a bottom on online dating sites, if you don’t want people to think that of you.

Him:  But that’s what I like!  I like to bottom.  I much prefer it.

Me:  So, then you’re a bottom.

Him:  Stop it!  I don’t want people thinking that!!

Me:  Jesus.  Okay.  My bad.


Him:  Are you disappointed?

Me:  No.

Him:  I feel like you’re disappointed. 

Me:  I’m not.  It’s just a lot.

Him:  Don’t SAY that!!  What’s a lot?

Me:  All this.  I meet up with you for a cup of coffee, and we’re here not more than four minutes, and you’re talking about how you’re a bottom/not a bottom/not to expect you to bottom and wondering if I’m disappointed.

Him:  I knew it.  You’re disappointed.

Me:  I’m not.  I’m just a little overwhelmed.  Can’t we just hang out and chat for a second like normal people?

Him:  Okay.  Fine.

(long pause)

Me:  So when’s the last time you bottomed?

Him:  WHAT?

Me:  Sorry.  That’s my sense of humor.  I thought it would be funny to ask that question, after this totally awkward exchange.  I thought it was funny.  Sorry.

Him:  You shouldn’t be so forward.

Me:  To be fair, you brought up bottoming like, two seconds into this conversation, so…

Him:  Stop!  It’s difficult.  Everyone thinks I’m a bottom.

Me:  I know.  Now I can’t wait until you go to the bathroom.

Him:  Why?  Txt your friends how disappointed you are?

Me:  I’m. Not. Disappointed.

Him:  Why do you want me to go to the bathroom, then?

Me:  I want to see this bottom that everyone’s going nuts over.

Him:  Oh stop it.  You’re way too forward.

Me:  You’re totally right.  I am.  I am way too forward.

Him:  What are you doing after this?

Me:  Some light work at home.   Maybe cooking dinner.  Why?

Him:  I kind of feel like bottoming.

(long pause.  we both start laughing)

ThursDATE: Grindr

photos by jack slomovitz

Him:  Oh my God.  How did you know I was here at Starbucks? Grindr said you were 71 feet away.

Me:  I didn’t know.  I just come here to stalk a guy, and get coffee on my work break. It’s pure coincidence that we were just chatting on Grindr.

Him:  Well, sit down.  It must be fate. (pause)  Wait, you stalk a guy here at the Starbucks?

Me:  I come here because I know he comes here, and I like to look at him.

Him:  So yes, you’re a stalker.

Me:  Yeah, I probably am.  He’s pretty.  (pause)  I’m probably not going to kill him.

Him:  So you’re working in the neighborhood?

Me:  Yeah.  On Monday and Tuesday I work in Hell’s Kitchen.

Him:  So do you work every day?

Me:  No, I…  er…   Well, kind of…

Him:  What does that mean?

Me:  I do a lot of things for money.  Comedy,  music…  I teach…  I make pies…

Him:  Pies?  Really?

Me:  Really.

Him:  What’s pie?

Me:  Really?


Me:  It’s pastry.  It has a crust and you put fruit or chocolate or sometimes savory stuff like pork or chicken.

Him:  Don’t be smart, I know what pie is.

Me:  Oh.  Sorry.  My fault.  I probably thought you didn’t know what pie was, because you asked me what pie was.

Him:  Are you always this difficult?

Me:  Almost without fail.

Him:  I love your pic on Grindr.

Me:  Thanks.  I sent you the body picture too, that you requested.

Him:  Mmmmm.  I saw it.  You’re how old?  27?

Me:  No.  I’m a little older than that.

Him:  It’s your glasses.  Your glasses make you look young.

(Pause.  I take my glasses off)

Me:  What about now?  Do I look significantly older?

Him:  Yes.  You look much older now.

Me:  You’re just saying that to flatter me.  Charm boat…

Him: So you just want a kiss?  Nothing else?

Me:  That’s right.  It’s something I invented – it’s called a ‘kiss date.’  I meet people online, chat with them for a few minutes and then kiss them to see if there’s chemistry.  Also, I write about it online.  Be careful, I might blog about this.

Him:  Are you going to blog about this?

(pause.  i wonder if he’s playing dumb or actually an idiot.)

Me:  I might.  It really depends on how we behave with each other.  Do you think this is a bed bug bite?  I’m paranoid about bed bugs…  It’s probably just that I burned myself on the oven rack, and don’t remember it.  I do that sometimes.

Him:  Why were you touching an oven rack?

Me:  I…  make… pies…  A pie is a type of pastry.


Me:  You have a slight accent.  Are you from the Philippines?

Him:  How did you guess?

Me:  The accent…  Also you look like someone who has a Karaoke machine and likes illegal handguns.

Him:  That’s a stereotype.

Me:  I know.  I’m joking.  You look more like someone who would vote for an unqualified candidate from a political dynasty family that is corrupt.  I’m kidding.  You don’t look like any of that.  I’m just being salty.  I read a lot about the Philippines in the Times.  They love to cover you guys.

Him:  I’m not a nurse either, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Me:  Don’t worry, there’s still time…  The hospitals aren’t going anywhere.

Him:  You’re funny, but is that appropriate?

Me:  Depends.  Are you going to pay me?  Or shoot me with an illegal handgun for singing My Way at karaoke?

Him:  Pay you for the jokes?  No.

Me:  Then I should stop giving it away for free.  This is probably not a bed bug bite – right?  It’s just a burn from the oven, I think…

Him:  My family doesn’t have a karaoke machine you know.  They just have a microphone.

Me:  Just a microphone?  Where does the music come from?

Him:  It’s programmed into the microphone.  You plug it in and the music comes out of the microphone.  It’s like an iPod plus a microphone all in one.

Me:  That sounds suspiciously like a machine to me.

Him: It’s not.

Me:  I stand corrected.  It’s probably more like a magic wand, and less like a machine.

(Long pause.  He eyes me suspiciously for a good while.)

Me:  Well, I should get back to work.

Him:  Yes.  Be sure to favorite me on Grindr.  I’m going to Amsterdam this weekend but I’ll be back soon.

Me:  Okay!  Sounds good!  I’d kiss you, but I’ve been drinking coffee.

Him:  See you soon.

Me:  Okay!

(Surprise ending:  I didn’t favorite him on Grindr)


WednesDATE: Stop Kicking

photos by roger wingfield

Me:  Knock it off.  Stop kicking the bed.

Him:  That’s just the alcohol leaving my system. 

Me:  I know.

Him:  No, I’m serious.

Me:  I know.  Alcohol creates adrenaline.  Your liver processes it into adrenaline.  Even so, stop kicking the bed.  Just lay here.

Him:  Nnnnngh!  Do you know what I just did? 

Me:  Yeah, I know.  You met a stranger out dancing and he bought you shots and gave you cocaine.  Then, you went back to his house with him and had very rough casual sex with him.  Then he gave you an Ambien.  But the Ambien couldn’t over-ride all the booze and coke and so you came over here looking for affection and maybe a crash.

Him:  Wow.  You know me so well.  Mikey, how do you know me so well?

Me:  You told me all that stuff.

Him:  I did?

Me:  Four hours ago before you passed out.  Do you not remember?


Him:  Am I, like, the biggest alcoholic you know?

Me:  I know a lot of actors and musicians and comics.

Him:  What’s that mean?

Me:  I was a bartender for years.  I know a lot of drunks.  Stop kicking the bed.

Him:  I’m a huge alcoholic.  Huge.

Me:  Stop it.  Come here and be affectionate with me.

Him:  Ugh.  I’m too sober for that.

Me:  Darling boy.  The things you say.

Him:  That’s not how I meant it.

Me:  I know.  How was the sex, at least?  With cocaine guy.

Him:  It was fine.  I mean.  It was okay.  He committed the Gay cardinal sin.

Me:  Secretly fat?

Him:  Secretly fat.  He was at least 35-40 pounds heavier than his Manhunt profile.

Me:  That can be okay, though, if it wears well on them.

Him:  He already looked borderline on Manhunt.

Me:  Oh wow.  Why did you go ahead and do it?

Him:  Eh.  You know me.  Can’t be trusted after midnight.

Me:  You get compulsive about sex.

Him:  I get compulsive about sex.

Me:  Was it good at all?

Him:  Yeah, I’m really good at zeroing in on the penis, when I don’t like the body.


Him:  Hey.  Didn’t you meet up with somebody last week?

Me:  Oh.  Yeah. We went to dinner.

Him:  How did that go?

Me:  There wasn’t chemistry.

Him:  No?

Me:  No.  No chemistry.  Plus…

Him:  What?

Me:  It’s one of my stupid things.  You’ll think it’s really stupid.  You’ll say I’m too picky.

Him:  You are.  Tell me.  I won’t say anything.

Me:  His saliva.

Him:  Oh fuck, are you kidding?  His saliva??

Me:  Don’t make fun of me.  His saliva is too viscous.  It’s almost oily when he kisses you.

Him:  I can’t believe you have such narrow margins for disqualifying someone as a sex partner.

Me:  It’s gross.  It’s like his mouth manufactures a thin coating of slime.  I’ve experienced it before.  It always comes with a particular odor too.

Him: Like not flossing?

Me:  Similar.  Stop kicking the bed.

Him: Do you think I’m a terrible alcoholic?

Me:  No, I think you’re great at it.

Him:  Haha.  I am.


Him:  I thank God every day I wasn’t born a woman.

Me:  Please go to bed.  Don’t be sexist.

Him:  Seriously.  I have no use at all for women.  They’re all named names like Lauren, and everything is so easy for them.

Me:  You’re so weird, and that’s not true.   Don’t say misogynist things.  Just go to bed.

(long pause)

Him:  I’m so glad I work with the LGBT community.  I don’t have to talk to straight people at all, except to say there’s nothing we can do for them.  I love that.

Me:  I know you do.  I’m glad you’ve found your niche.

Him:  I hate straight people.


Him:  Does that make me a terrible person?

Me: I don’t think so.  I have complicated feelings about them, sometimes.

Him:  That’s putting it mildly.

Me:  Yeah.  It is.