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Sex and The Blind Date

by David Levinson
September 12, 2005
Sex and The Blind Date
As Sarah Jessica Parker, who made the role of sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw famous on "Sex in The City," so aptly said, "People go to casinos for the same reason they go on blind dates-hoping to hit the jackpot. But mostly, you just wind up broke or alone in a bar." But what if you don't? What if you get through the panic of the initial phone call asking you out, the heart-thumping knock on the door, the butterflies, the queasiness as he pulls out your chair, the sweaty palms as she stares at you over a candlelit table for two? If you make it past the litany of possible things that could go wrong-lack of chemistry, things to talk about, his burping and your incessant need to answer your cell phone-then there's hope for a future with your blind date, however long or short. Because, let's face it, in life there aren't any guarantees, especially where sex is concerned.

Sex, like romance, like anything worthwhile, takes practice, concentration and selflessness-the three key ingredients that most people either forget about, skimp on or leave out of the recipe altogether. At times and in the right circumstances, the potential of love encourages our very best behavior, but the promise of sex with the hot blind date across from us elicits something far more primal and possibly far more reckless. Our brains fill with the rush of endorphins, which course through our bodies at an alarming rate, often muffling our superego's constant warning that sex with a stranger is dangerous and not at all what we really want.

If you've been on a blind date, then you know from experience that they are often fraught with expectation, both from the heart, which so very much wants to fall in love again (if it hasn't been in love recently), and also from the head, which sits back, coolly judging the way the blind date eats, speaks and uses his hands. So much of a date's success rests in being able to correctly navigate and predetermine the socioeconomic dynamic of the evening: Will he pay for dinner? Will she offer to pay half? Are we going Dutch? And if the confusion of the bill isn't enough to throw the evening off-kilter-and luckily most times it isn't-then there's the more awkward moment, when he asks the inevitable and usually leading question, "What should we do now?"

If you've made it thus far in the date, chances are you want to go further, caught up as you are in the evening's magic promise: a smooch at the door, a feel under her skirt, a hurried move to the bedroom. But not so fast. Blind dates aren't called blind dates for no good reason and are nothing if not exactly what they mean-B-L-I-N-D. Though an old-fashioned and almost pass? practice, especially in this age of online dating where, with a click of the mouse, you can scroll through hundreds and hundreds of singles just like you, blind dating is still the crap shoot it has always been. Simply because a mutual friend insists that her best friend's friend needs to meet a guy/girl like you doesn't necessarily mean a) the date will go smoothly, b) the date will turn out to be the jackpot you've been waiting for and c) the date doesn't come with his or her own sexual hang-ups and worse.

Sex with a blind date is often more complicated than sex with a total stranger, though each one is loaded in its own way. Though both might turn into something other than what it was, casual sex with someone you've just met, admittedly or not, is usually baggage-free (I say usually because these days, it seems, adults are more willing to engage in pre-sex talk). Sex with the blind date, whom you've just shared a piece of cheesecake with and some of your grandmother's really bad jokes, won't guarantee anything. If the date doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. But don't despair. Going into a blind date blindly-with no expectation whatsoever-however, lowers the stakes and relieves anxiety. As a result, you free yourself from worrying about hitting that big jackpot or winding up in that bar alone and broke. With plenty of other casinos in town, you've got all day and night to shop around for a place that will give you a lot more bang for your buck.

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"David Levinson is a young writer who has mastered all the elements that make up a classically structured short story: drama, suspense, humor, empathy. There are no fancy pyrotechnics or meta-fictional devices here. He's a neo-traditionalist so the stories are direct, emotional and compulsively readable, plus there's enough mystery and action in them to propel at least a dozen novels."<br>Bret Easton Ellis