Monday, November 14, 2011

Kiss and Tell (Him?)

So, I've been dating a lot recently. I've started another blog post on why this is (and why I date in general), so more on that down the line. For now, I want to kiss and tell.

A couple weeks ago I over-scheduled my week with dates. I wasn't paying very much attention to my calendar, and I ended up with five dates with five men in 9 days. Three first dates, and two second dates. After making it through the first three dates, suffering from a serious desire to do nothing but eat popcorn and catch up on episodes of Parks and Rec, and worrying that I was becoming some sort of compulsive dater, I seriously considered cancelling the fourth (the fifth was a second date with someone I was keen to see again, so it seemed natural to pull the plug on No. 4). But I always hate to think I missed an opportunity, so decided that I'd stick it out and showed up with low expectations and an internal promise to be watching Amy Pohler in my PJs by 9.

After finding each other, we decided to grab a drink at a local spot (I have a strict no-dinner policy for a first date...drinks are much easier to get out of if things are going awry). I could tell right away that we would get on well. He's confident, but in a non-arrogant way; articulate, intelligent, and with a bit of a dirty sense of humor (which totally made it less awkward when I made a strip club joke about a local "hands on" museum in the first 20 minutes of meeting). Add to that a career 18 years in the making, a divorce, and a 4 as the first digit of his age, and I was practically drooling (I may need to focus on my love of 40-something divorcees in a future post). So, a good night. Lots of fun, one too many drinks, and an innocent peck at the end of the night had me smiling for the weekend.

We kept in touch via text throughout the week. We mocked groupon deals for flu-shots, and something called "Sparkles" which just drifted into inappropriate "Toddlers and Tiaras" references. Towards the end of the week he called and we agreed to get together the following Sunday, but figured we'd work out the details later. After some back and forth, he proposed dinner, and offered to cook dinner at his place if I was feeling adventurous. And I was. Well, that, and I wanted to run the standard checklist any woman mentally compiles when seeing a guy's place for the first time:

  • Are piles of laundry and/or dirty clothes visible?
  • Were objects being utilized as furniture originally intended for other uses (e.g., milk crates, cinder blocks, dressers as Plasma TV stands, etc.)?
  • Does the floor contain evidence that a broom and/or vacuum exists in the house?
  • Are there condoms in plain view? (men reading this...this is NOT a plus)
  • Does the bathroom contain hand soap?
  • Is there porn in plan view? (men reading this...see bullet four)
So I arrived on Sunday with some craft beers from California (since all good things come from California :) and looking forward to catching up and seeing if he could back up his kitchen skill bragging. He passed the checklist, and the meal was great. So far, so good. After dinner we cuddled on the couch and watched the Charlie Sheen Roast he'd recorded off of Comedy Central (So romantic! This guy totally gets me.). 

And then it happened.

He kissed me. And then he really kissed me. And Oh. My. God. It was the definitively worst kissing experience of my life.

Here's the thing. I've kissed a fair amount of men (and, I can't be sure, but possibly a woman or two at some point). Less than 50, but definitely more than 25. And, you know, of course they're not all good. Some are sloppy. Some are too aggressive. Some too timid. But, more or less, something you can work with. A little non-verbal feedback and things generally get on track. But I don't even know what to do with this. Let's just say it involved way too much tongue, yet strangely way too little movement or rhythm, and some measure of teeth that I'm not even sure how to describe. In short, I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Alright, so it was a bad experience. But now what? As it stands, I'm not really interested in letting his mouth get near any other part of me. Which doesn't exactly play well going into a third date (no, I didn't necessarily mean third date sex. Get your mind out of the gutter. Jesus.). So I've been I tell him? Do I coach him? Would non-verbal signals work? And how has no one told him this before?! Did his wife divorce him over this? (okay, that was a little mean)

I've been giving this a fair amount of thought. And the things is, if it was me, I would want someone to tell me. Even if it was so embarrassing that I decided not to see the person who told me again, I would appreciate knowing so I could rectify things in the future. I'd seek assistance for my new-found problem.

I've been periodically "meeting up" (read=sleeping with) this friend of mine over the past couple of months. We've "hung out" (read=slept together) a few times; we have a good connection and things are quite comfortable. (Note to self: future blog post on how I seem to only sleep with men I'm not interested in dating) When I saw him last, he took the time to stop me doing something he wasn't enjoying, and showed me something he really likes. He was totally direct, but completely easy-going about it. And it was awesome. I was so excited to learn something new. And he was excited I learned something new. And then we were both excited. And then...well, you get the picture. My point is that I was the opposite of offended.

When it comes to physicality, how, and when, is guidance appropriate? When is it worth it to put in the effort? When do you say something? What if you hurt their feelings? At what point in a relationship is this more appropriate? Does being closer to someone make this harder or easier? And, why are we so hung up on expecting someone to do something well when we're not even willing to tell them when they're not?

I really, really, really don't want to be the one to tell this guy. And I'm not actually sure it can be fixed. So the dilemma continues. Do I kiss and tell (him)? I guess you'll have to wait and see. Hasta, sabbaticaljo