Thursday, January 11, 2007

Charmed, I'm Sure

Date Report!

These seem to work best with bullet points:

-Lasted 6 hours. Covered three venues (bar, restaurant, second bar). Alcohol units: ummm... hard to say b/c we ordered sparkling wine (NOT Champagne, that's a region in France, got the whole speech which I mostly forgive him for b/c he's actually French, and also b/c he's actually HOT) and he kept refilling my glass while I wasn't looking. But let's just say I was nursing a lovely little buzz the whole night without crossing over into drunk. Over 6 hours, that's an accomplishment I think.

-Topics discussed included: The relative merits of Vancouver vs. Seattle and NYC vs. LA. The oppressive way masculinity is policed in the U.S., esp. through the use of homophobia (he brought this one up). My complex relationship with my dad. Why American women love soccer. Our mutual skepticism about marriage. His called-off engagement. The strategic fear culture underlying people's lack of willingness to challenge authority or get into political debates with people who disagree with them. The merits of Clint Eastwood's directorial ouvre (what do you think?). What the people sitting across from us were celebrating and what exactly was their relationship to each other...

-He seemed fully unfazed by the feminist stuff, agreeing with me at several points when I added a gender analysis to whatever we were discussing and sometimes adding his own. He also did this impressive thing where he rattled off numbers of countries who are way ahead of the U.S. and Europe when it comes to women in political power -- something I couldn't have done as well as he did. He did say at one point that sometimes he has a problem with "extreme feminism," though when I pressed him for an example of what that looked like he couldn't quite form one, though he mentioned a French group which translates to "The Guard Dogs" that he considers extreme -- anyone know anything about them? [UPDATE: They're called Les Chiennes de Garde and their site is in French, of course -- can anyone parse it? I see some defense of Andrea Dworkin, something about "the porn war" and something about lesbianism, but I can't really get the tone. The English site is sparse and old and certainly doesn't seem overly radical, but is clearly not the whole story) I told him we'd have to find out as we go along if I fall in his "extreme" category, but I definitely didn't seem to last night and I wasn't holding my tongue. Quite the contrary -- he was an excellent sparring partner with a lot of strongly held and well-thought-out opinions, so I brought it on and he really liked my directness. I suspect the "extreme" thing is a product of the media environment (beware of the scary, irrational feminists!) and not a reality he actually comes up against very often if ever.

-I did manage to work in that my ex is trans, as part of another conversation about trouble crossing the US border, and he really had no reaction to that at all, at least none that was visible. I didn't manage to tell him that, aside from a couple of one-night experiences this past year, I haven't interacted with penises since college.

-Oh, you want the good stuff? Here's what I'm willing to tell you: We're sitting in the post-dinner bar, knees touching, talking about how I can love the romance of weddings but not the realities of marriage, when he runs his forefinger through the salt on my margarita and holds it up to my lips. After I lick it off, he offers me some on his thumb. And before I've even finished with that he is kissing me and kissing me. In the middle of the bar. He tastes surprisingly sweet and clean, like soap and musk and iron, and smells faintly of good cologne. He does come on too fast with the tonguethrusting, but manages to tone it down a bit on my cue. And then we're talking again, and then we're full-on making out at the bar, and then talking and then making out and at some point he undoes my bra, one-handed and with one quick motion (this is a four-hook bra, people) and in the middle of everything, and I am stunned and pleased and also a little mortified and I start to hook it back up again and he does it again and I tell him he really has to stop b/c it's making me uncomfortable and he doesn't understand why so I explain and I'm not sure he got it but he did stop. [UPDATE: For more on the bra thing, check the comments]

-Basically, he's smart and interesting and beautiful and political and sexy and pretty damn suave. I'm not sure if he isn't a tad more arrogant than I like people to be, though it's a fine line with me since I really do prefer someone with confidence and strong opinions who'll test me a little bit. I'd like to see more of a sweet, dorky side, though. I can't do without a sweet, dorky side.

-After I convinced him that I really, really wasn't going home with him last night, I drove him home and told him he should ask me out again, and that specifically he should invite me over to his place, make me dinner, and show me a movie (he's a big movie buff). And that he had much better odds of seducing me on date #2. We shall see...


Karen said...

this sounds like a date torn from the pages of a novel or a movie. very exciting! thanks for sharing some of the "good" stuff.

ladyred said...

Y'know, thanks for saying that, Karen. I think I failed to say it was pretty damned amazing. Confusing in parts, as first dates are wont to be, but insanely romantic and never boring. I'm all smiley and distracted today...

sasa said...

Sounds pretty damned good, but. . .he unhooked your bra in public on your first date? In one swift move? Yeah, I'd definitely have my "this guy is too smooooth" alarms going off. I'm all about the sweet and dorky, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed he's got some lurking in there somewhere. I guess you'll find out. . .good luck.

Roy said...

Wow. No doubt.
I will admit to being able to undo a bra with one hand, but I've never attempted to do so on a first date, and definitely not in public.

Glad it went well, though. The smiley distracted phase after a good first date = all kinds of awesome.

ladyred said...

OK, not that I don't agree with you about the Too-Smooth-O-Meter, but the way I wrote it left out a few details which make the bra move slightly less shocking.

It worked like this: while we were talking, he slid his hand around my waist and just slighly under the hem of my sweater, and left it there for a bit to see if I'd react. When I didn't, he slipped it a bit higher, waited, then higher, etc., until his hand was actually on my bra strap, where it stayed for several minutes. Honestly, I thought he was just toying with me -- I never thought he'd actually unhook it right there, but he did give me ample opportunity to set a boundary before he went and did it, with the aforementioned shocking quickness and smoothness. (Roy, perhaps someday you'll explain to us how this works? I've never been able to do it myself (on another woman), and not for lack of trying.)

I was actually pretty impressed with not just the move but the nerve required to pull it off (no pun intended.) I'm a little bit of an exhibitionist myself, and I like a sexual partner who's going to test my limits, and that's what it felt like. A playful dare or test. What set off my warning bell a little was when he tried it a second time. But so far he seems to respond appropriately to clear communication, and I hadn't actually told him NO before the second time (was too busy being astonished he had done it the first time, and I actually had praised him a little for it), so I can't properly hold it against him either.

But I do agree I've got to keep an eye on this tendency. And I shall. Could go either way at this point. Let's hope the finding out is fun...

hobie said...

I don't know anything about "The Guard Dogs," but there is a fantastic feminist group in France called Ni Putes Ni Soumises, meaning, literally, Neither Whores Nor Doormats-basically my favorite name ever-check out

sasa said...

Thanks for filling out the story. And I can totally dig the exhibitionist streak.

ladyred said...

Why do the French feminists have the best names for their organizations? Seriously!

I found The Guard Dogs: they're called Les Chiennes de Garde and their site is in French, of course -- can anyone parse it? I see some defense of Andrea Dworkin, something about "the porn war" and something about lesbianism, but I can't really get the tone. The English site is sparse and old and certainly doesn't seem overly radical, but is clearly not the whole story...

Roy said...

Re: unhooking a bra one-handed.


Sure, I'll do my best. I'm right handed, in case that makes a difference.

So, assuming that I'm facing the woman, my right hand goes behind. I put my index finger under the strap to lift it up a little, then use my thumb and middle finger to sort of push the straps together. This is usually enough to unhook the clasps. Most of the work, I think, is done by the thumb pushing the hooks out.

That description isn't very clear. Next time I get a chance to try this out, I'll let you know more clearly. It's been... heh... longer than I care to mention, actually.

As for the Guard Dogs- I confess I know very little French (to the tune of, say... none), but I did a babelfish translation of their pages, out of curiosity. Now, keeping in mind how... questionable a babelfish translation is, the site still doesn't look that radical to me.
Here's the article about Dworkin. Mostly, that looks like they're talking about whether or not Dworkin really said "all sex is rape."

I did find it interesting that babelfish translates them as the "bitch of guard." Are the terms for "dog" and "bitch" the same in French, or do they call themselves the Guard Bitches?
Either way, that's interesting.

Valkyrie said...

Re: Bitch of Guard

That's both correct and incorrect, and due to Babelfish's flaws. Bitch, as you know, is a female dog, as is Les Chiennes; it's the female version of dog in French. Calling it "Bitch of Guard" is just because Babelfish is written to translate word-by-word, and not in phrases; French works by putting the noun first, followed by the descriptor.

Then you get into the whole "bitch" versus "dog" thing, which gets into English idioms. I personally would be more likely to translate to 'Guard dogs' than 'Guard bitches' but English is my first language so I have a harder time making "bitch" into just "female dog" instead of a (proudly) personal descriptor. :>

Ladyred, loving the blog! Love your stories of the trials and tribulations of dating, and am TOTALLY pulling for you!

Roy said...

Thanks Valkyrie!

"Then you get into the whole "bitch" versus "dog" thing, which gets into English idioms.
I personally would be more likely to translate to 'Guard dogs' than 'Guard bitches' but English is my first language so I have a harder time making "bitch" into just "female dog" instead of a (proudly) personal descriptor. :>

That's really more what I was wondering- was it just because they used a word that literally means "female dog" (I wasn't sure if "Les Chiennes" was just "dog," and happened to be feminine or if it literally meant "female dog"), or was it idiomatic. Does "bitch" carry the same connotation in French?

Slightly off-topic: That's one of the things that I have a hard time with when trying to learn language. When I try to figure out what to say, the results tend towards Babelfish-isms. I have to constantly remind myself that, say, "German isn't just English with different words," or I end up saying things that just don't make any sense.

ladyred said...

Roy, thanks, that's very helpful! Is there some guy school where they teach you these things?

As for "chienne," The Charmer made sure to tell me their name utilized the female version of the word for dog (chien and chienne sound similar, esp. in a loud bar), so I imagine it probably is not only the female of dog but also suggests "bitch" as well.

ariel said...

i just have to say i love your blog! i am reading this, even from behind.

also, one handed bra removal has definitely gotten me laid before. i mean, we were on the way, but i've gotten compliments. it's kind of like snapping your fingers with a little bit more -- i guess the phrase i would use would be sagittal rotation, but i am a huge dance nerd.