My Top Ten First Date Tips

Written by Mitchell:

First dates can be fun, scary, insightful and awkward all at the same time. I’m going to be honest here and admit that I have been on more “first dates” with people than I can really care to remember. But I don’t make any apologies for this. I’m not saying that they have all turned into nourishing and fulfilling relationships, but if it wasn’t for taking the time to get to know these people, I wouldn’t have gained my confidence in social skills, I wouldn’t have listened to a diverse range of interesting (and sometimes extremely uninteresting) stories and I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish what I am looking for compared to what I am not looking for.

I still don’t know what I am looking for.

But I know that I have more chance of finding it through establishing a social connection with someone that has a possibility to form into a strong bond, rather than just sleeping with guys before I know anything more than their name.

I also have learnt the skill, no, the art of the first date. Below is a list of the Top 10 tips to help you have a successful first date. As usual, it’s tailor made for gay/lesbian relationships, but mostly transcends to everyone!

 

1. Don’t ever say “sorry if I look like shit.”

I’m sorry – but I just find it hilarious the amount of people that proclaim as soon as they meet you, “Oh sorry I look like crap!” or “I look really shit.” As if it isn’t obvious that you have just spent the last 25 minutes straightening your hair and you still have the tags on the new clothes you bought just for the occasion! Maybe it’s a nervous thing, but I just see it as fishing for compliments and I find it really awkward having to say “no you look fine” or “no you look hot” the moment you properly meet someone.

2. Always offer to pay, but don’t fight about it if they insist on paying.

Be careful with this one, because it just might set a precedent for the duration of a relationship. Society tells us that the one who pays is usually the one who takes the lead in a relationship. But it is 2012 after all. I like to take the lead and be the “man,” but I also don’t want to be strapped for cash because of always paying for two. For gay and lesbian relationships (and modern day straight relationships for that matter), I don’t feel that there needs to be one who pays for everything and makes the money, while the other is the cleaning and cooking 1950’s housewife. I believe in equality on every level, and I think this stance is a good one to have. Sometimes you pay, sometimes they pay.

My rule of thumb is to always get my bank card out and assume the role of the payer. It’s the sweet and gentlemanly thing to do after all. However, if your date also has the same idea and gets their bank card out, that’s when you say “oh don’t be silly, I’ll pay.” If they insist on paying – LET THEM! There is nothing more unattractive than bickering about who is going to pay for the dinner. And as good as your intentions may be, you could end up genuinely insulting your date, who may want to treat you. In this situation, where they insist on paying, be graceful, put your little bank card away, smile sweetly, and say “thanks very much, that’s really sweet of you.” If you’re feeling extra confident, you could also add “I’ll have to treat you next time.” At least this way there is more chance of there actually being a “next time.”

3. Avoid alcohol if it has any unwanted side effects on you.

We all know the side effects of alcohol. Most of us live with them on a weekly basis. But some of us get a few more unwanted side-effects than others.

In the winter time, the skin on my face becomes very dry.  Last year it was particularly bad, and it was before I had identified a suitable moisturiser for my skin. One day, I experimented with this moisturiser that has built-in SPF protection, ie it was part sunscreen.

That night, I also went on a first date to a little Italian restaurant. Out comes a lovely bottle of white wine, and me, thinking it would be classy, begins to drink a few glasses with dinner.  Wine has a tendency to make my face flush, and within a few minutes my cheeks were rosy. What I failed to realise however, was that the heat from my flushed cheeks had caused the sunscreen moisturiser on my face to lose its transparency. It looked like I had just put zinc on my face, or I was just initiated into some Aboriginal tribe.

My white face came to my attention when I popped into the rest room and, horrified, saw myself in the mirror. I panicked, grabbed toilet paper and used it to try and remove the white residue off my face. This only made matters worse, and I returned to the table with white moisturiser and little tiny bits of toilet paper stuck to my face. So embarrassing, and definitely something you should take into consideration when deciding on whether to drink or not.

4. Avoid alcohol if you don’t know your limits.

Isn’t alcohol great? It tastes great, loosens you up, enables you to lose your inhibitions and really let out the real you.  But – if the real you is a booze hag who gets stupidly drunk off two cruisers, then maybe this isn’t something you should be revealing on a first date.

5. It’s alright to talk about your ex, as long as it is in the right tone.

In the straight world, bringing up your ex is a big no no. And it usually sounds alarm bells that you are not over your ex. However, in the gay world, where you often cannot just instantly remove any trace of your ex from your life – because of say, mutual friends, or mutual watering holes etc, talking about your ex isn’t the deal breaker it is portrayed to be. It is more common for gay guys to remain friends with their ex’s. I for one, have my ex as my housemate, which hasn’t been smooth sailing. We have remained partial friends and he is still part of my life, so I occasionally do bring him up. But am I still in love with him? Not in the slightest. Of course, common sense must prevail, and if you spend more time talking about your ex than yourself, well….frankly you don’t deserve a second date.

6. Never do anything sexual on a first date.

This is a hard and fast rule for the following reason:  Going further than a hug and kissing on a first date makes you a whore. And even if you are just “in the moment,” you’ll leave a first impression that you are easy and you’ll take away all the excitement and apprehension of the dating game, easily defusing even the strongest of sparks between you. Keep it in the pants people!

7. Pick an activity that you are comfortable with.

I once had a guy who asked me on a first date to go “rock climbing.” While I was fascinated by the guy’s originality and creativity, the thought of me getting a wedgie on one of those hoistie thingys that you get harnessed into, or falling in front of someone I had just met, was enough to put me off.

For a lot of people, first dates are nerve-racking enough as it is, with the awkwardness and suspense of meeting an entirely new person, let alone being in a strange or unfamiliar environment.

My top recommendation is movies or coffee. Movies – because it is a classic choice, and if your date turns out to be a freak who collects human skin, you can just sit there and watch the movie. Coffee – because it’s easier to chat and get to know someone, it’s inexpensive and low-key.  Personally, I don’t like to do dinners, because I find it really hard to balance eating and conversing simultaneously. I am also paranoid about the sounds I make when I chew and the way I hold my fork, and if my eating habits aren’t up to scratch (even though I’m the kind of guy who would eat pizza with a knife and fork).

8. Don’t try too hard or set unrealistic standards.

Let’s face it, if you over-exaggerate your job, your income, your social status or your cooking ability, eventually, if the date is successful and leads to more, they are going to be really let down and disappointed when they eat your modestly bland frittata or find out you’re a shit-kicker and not in middle management. You also run the risk of sounding like a jerk with an over-inflated ego.

9. Wait for them to contact you.

As much as you might want to text your date while you are still parked in your car relating One Direction lyrics to your newly discovered love life, you should always wait for them to contact you first. You don’t want to appear desperate and even if you really had a great time, or are desperate, give them the chance to let you know their thoughts first. Of course, if they haven’t texted you and it’s a day later, then it probably didn’t go as well as you thought. Or if he or she is waiting for you to text first too, then it’s obviously not meant to be. Relationships are seldom equal, and there is always one person with more power than the other. You should always attempt to gain the power in a relationship (and retain it) through any means possible. Letting your date come to you is an absolutely crucial part of power-play. And if you can’t even grasp an ounce of power from a first date, then there is no further help I can offer you.

10. Avoid awkward subjects.

Some people do have really messed up lives. Some people have had bad things happen to them. But telling your date about your brother’s heroin addiction while welling up with tears is probably not the best ice-breaker. In the same vein, showing your date 100 photos of your cat or going on about your nut allergies can be just as tediously detrimental. Believe it or not, many people do make the mistake of sharing too many personal and sometimes emotional stories about their life. The best approach is focusing on the positive, and in fact, focusing on getting to know your date rather than talking about you the whole time.

So those are my top ten dating tips. Now, you are free to go out into the world, armed with these ground-breaking dating do’s and don’ts, and immerse yourself into the fun world of slowly realising your chances are diminishing as fast as you are aging! Haha

The Straight Pill

Written by Mitchell

I’ve always wondered if there was any way of “turning” straight. If there was some sort of magic pill or vaccine which instantly caused some light to go off in your head and suddenly you’re heterosexual. And then I wonder…if this pill existed, would I take it?

I’ve always been very much determined to prove that the homosexual part of me was a very small part of my personality and that there was so much more to me than just being gay. And it’s true.

Jessica thinks it is weird that I am not really that much of a sexual person. I mean, I can be. I am human after all. But compared to most, I almost sound like a nun. I hardly ever look at porn, I can’t really even write or say the “m” word let alone do it, the notion of sex just exhausts me and I don’t really find a penis attractive to look at. That being said, at least they don’t actually scare me, like vaginas do. Notwithstanding, I wouldn’t say that I was driven by my sexual preference as a person in any way.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fit in with the gay world while also trying to prove my own identity, break the trends and not spend a lot of my time focusing on it. Six months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of starting a blog based around gay issues. Beyond gay bars (which act as a safe haven for gay people in a dangerous intoxicated environment) I always thought it was silly having gay clubs within universities, a gay radio program, gay bookstores etc. All that stuff promoted segregation to me; the notion that we were somehow different from straight people and needed a specialised version of everything.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a chance to reach out to other gay people like me. The ones who knew they were gay and were proud of being gay, but also ones who don’t believe that this is the sole framework of their personality. Ones who don’t wear make-up but accept those guys that do. Ones who don’t do drag but support it as an artform. Ones who cannot escape the relentless “is he/isn’t he” from co-workers, because there’s never quite a clear indication. Ones whose girl friends get angry that they can’t pick out a decent designer pair of heels within a mountain of shoes, nor do they find this kind of shopping enjoyable.

I’ve got a little brother. He’s ten. Obviously he is much too young for his sexual identity to reveal itself for sure, but I think most signs indicate that he is straight. He doesn’t play with girls toys in the department stores and he doesn’t memorise and perform spice girl lyrics (I suppose it would be Lady Gaga these days). Not that this means anything, but it’s all I can really go on at this stage.

I am glad and happy for him and to be honest, though I would support him, I would hope that he isn’t gay. Because while I am proud of myself and the person I am, growing up as a gay person is a frightening and lonely battle, where the future never seems as laid out as their straight counterparts. My theory is that people are born gay for a reason. It’s often the ones with the most potential. Strong willed and determined people. We are dealt this hand to play because we are the only ones strong enough to deal with it. It is almost a sort of test, to an extent. By overcoming my battle with coming out and becoming comfortable with my own sexuality, it has made me fearless. It didn’t kill me after all, and I now know that no matter what life throws at me, I can get through it.  I don’t think I would have been so optimistic about life, if I hadn’t conquered my sexual identity as a young adult.

I think straight people have it a lot easier. And sometimes I wish that I had been born straight. It’d make life a lot easier. Perhaps then I would be comfortable to hang out with straight guys and talk about the footy at work, I’d be able to relate more to my dad, I wouldn’t be asked all the time if I have a girlfriend (because maybe I’d actually have one haha). But to answer my own question, if there was a “straight pill” that I could take to make me heterosexual – I wouldn’t take it. If I did take it, I just wouldn’t be me. And saying that I want to take a straight pill would be implying that I’m not happy being me. I’d rather live with the pressures and everything barriers of being a gay person than be anybody else. And I think most gay people would say the same too.

Let me know if you’ve ever wished that you could just wake up straight. Do you still think that way? In my next post, I will be switching things up a bit, and shedding light on the opposite situation. Until next time, keep being you.  🙂

Ten Things I Love About Mitchell

Written by Jessica-Lee

In the spirit of love and friendship, I now present to you some of my favourite things about Mitchell, my Diamond.

1. His warm fuzzy heart. Mitchell and I are basically the same person. We have the same thoughts on most things and are both sensitive old souls.

2. His face. Mitchell has a very cute little face that he emphasises when he wants something because he knows that I can’t say no to him. My favourite is when I am making purchases at the petrol station, supermarket or such and he spots a lolly of some kind that he wants or is thirsty and wants me to buy him a drink. I imagine I endure the same kind of pressure as a mother with their young child. Except I have no willpower and he always gets what he wants.

3. His dedication and drive. Mitchell is one of the most motivated people I know. I mainly respect his willpower with exercise, healthy eating and budgeting because they are the areas I seem to struggle with myself.

4. All of the silly little things we share. Nonnie, links, ‘Jessica, you are not my wife!’ (we couldn’t get more ‘Will & Grace’ if we tried), canoodling, our dinners, chats, our intense love and care for each other and just how easy our relationship is.

5. His humour. Mitchell and I share the same humour and find the oddest of things hilarious. A lot of the time, our jokes are either at the expense of ourselves or other people but they are only ever made with the purest of intentions.

6. His messages, emails, phone calls, hey tells etc. Every day without fail I wake up to a good morning message from Mitchell and our communication basically doesn’t stop all day. I tell him everything.

7. I love that we have known each other just short of two years yet it feels like an eternity – in a good way. I am sure we knew each other in a past life. Mitchell is my twin soul or, as I ever so infamously told him one night, my link.

8. His love of certain celebrities. Mitchell is what I would call Jessica Mauboy’s number one fan. He has been known to check her positioning on the ARIA and iTunes charts daily, have a shrine in his room dedicated to her and whilst I complain about his competitiveness and obsessiveness over her, I secretly like her and have all her hits on my iPod.

9. He is the one person who I know I can rely on. For anything.

10. Mitchell is one of the best smelling people I know. I have a very strong love of scents and perfume so it’s something I hold dear. I have a select bunch of people who have distinct smells from the colognes they wear and Mitchell is no exception. Although he has a couple of aftershaves on rotation, there is one in particular that makes me feel at home.

And here, my most favourite photo of him looking his cheesiest. This is the face that makes me give in as mentioned above.

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Hag Rivalry

Written by Mitchell

Friendship is a funny thing. To me, I believe you have to put as much effort into a friendship as you do with a relationship. It’s something that needs to be constantly worked at. But at the same time, it shouldn’t feel like work, and the rewards should be more than fulfilling.

Jealousy plays a part in relationships too, but in friendships it can be amplified. The friendship between a gay man and a woman is such a close bond and such a complimentary pairing. If another girl comes along that threatens the closeness or the “perceived closeness” of a friendship, then watch out, the knives come out!

Not to be one-sided, gay guys can be equally as hostile when their beloved hag (or fruit fly) develops a friendship with another gay guy. And as we know, girls and gay guys can both be bitchy as all hell when they want to be.

When you are younger, say in your late teens, I think you cling to the notion of having a “best friend,” someone that you actively promote to the world as being your absolute rock. It’s as if you want the whole world to know that you may be single, but you are definitely not alone because you have a special person who will always be there for you no matter what. Once you have found your best friend, there is a silent agreement between the two of you that, much like dating, you will be loyal and trustworthy and while you can have other friends, you can’t have other best friends.

As you grow older, however, you begin to realise that your life can be filled with the love and support of more than just one person. Sure, you can have some people that you are closer to than others. But personally, I have my little network of friends and the thing I love about them is that they are all completely different and bring completely different qualities to the friendship table.

I have two women in my life – and I love both of them unconditionally. I met one many years ago, and she was my first true faghag. Let’s call her Lily. Lily was literally one of the very first people I told that I was gay, and I know that no matter what happens and no matter how many petty squabbles, we will still always be there for each other. Speaking of petty squabbles, I met the second woman in my life, Hyacinth (who is my Fabulous Jessica-Lee), only a year and a half ago, during a time that I wasn’t speaking to Lily (due to a petty squabble). I wasn’t looking to replace Lily, but my bond with Hyacinth is truly special and I feel as if I have known her so much longer than I really have. My relationship with Hyacinth is what I would call needy HAHA. But good needy. We both have this abundance of love in our hearts and we have a very emotional relationship where we both share everything that just spills out of our hearts.

It wasn’t long because Lily re-entered my life, and all of a sudden she saw Hyacinth as a “replacement.” To some extent, it was true. Hyacinth had begun to fill the void that was missing during Lily’s absence. But Hyacinth was different. I missed Lily’s cheeky smile and personality just as much.

Although they both won’t admit it – there had always been a bit of a tension and rivalry between the pair. And I’m not going to name examples, but I often wanted to be all sleazy and be like “listen ladies, there is plenty of me to go around.” *wink*

Due to my amazing ability to manage and manuvoure around these kinds of situations, I have been able to get Lily and Hyacinth to attend a lot more events together. And you know what? When they both let their guards down they do actually get along! I am really glad they do. Because I love them both so much. And juggling friendships can be hard. When they are unified, I get to see them equally and there is so much stuff we can all do together.

As much as I hate to admit it, when either Lily or Hyacinth spend time with another gay guy, I feel like I flare up like a Siamese fighting fish. I get very defensive and wonder what they talk about, whether their bond is stronger than ours. I think to myself, is this new guy that she is hanging out with going to lead to me being pushed aside like an unwanted toy? I guess that’s the funny thing about human nature. Jealousy is a natural thing and as much as we don’t like to admit that we have jealous feelings, we have all experienced them at some point.

Discipline is the key though. I have learnt to control these silly feelings, because at the end of the day, I know that I am unique and let’s face it…can’t be replaced!