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Sep 6

Unemployed and looking for love

Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 in Advice, dating, Divorce, hookups, Kat, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

I was at a Labor Day barbecue, so of course it made sense to talk about work. But a lot of the conversation was about not working.

Two more friends have lost their jobs — Dan and Michael. I feel really bad for both of them, but I feel a lot worse for Dan. Michael is married, and his wife, Natalie, works; he’s OK for now (although this puts their marriage at a greater risk of divorce). Dan is single and although he’s smart, talented and an all-around great guy who can probably survive for a while on his savings, who wants to date an unemployed man?

No one. At least, that’s what he told me. 

“Dan, you don’t actually tell people you’re unemployed, do you?”

“Yeah, because I am — along with I don’t know how many millions of other people.”

“But, that’s shocking for people to hear, especially women you want to date; you need
to spin it.”

“Like what? That I’m on a sabbatical or I’m an independent consultant? Oh, please!”

“Can’t hurt.”

“It’s not exactly honest, either. Not the best way to start a relationship.”

He has a point.

I’m all for honesty, and if you’re jobless and don’t share that with a new love right from the start, it will be a big ugly mess explaining it later when it eventually gets discovered — and you just know it will! As it must.

That’s a much bigger problem for guys than women, not surprisingly. Unemployed women are still datable and guys are not —  if that isn’t proof about how far we haven’t come as a society, I don’t know what is.

I suppose Dan can give up dating for a while — all that extra time and energy (and cash!) can be spent looking for a new job, volunteering or learning new skills. But, if one part of your life is out of whack — like your health or your job or your love life — it really helps to have the other parts a little more stable. Knowing someone has your back and still finds you lovable makes losing a job somewhat less traumatic — for a while, anyway.

Of course, Dan can continue his dating routine, which is pretty much a lot of hookups and friends with benefits arrangements, like most people date nowadays anyway. As weird as it sounds, it actually seems to be the perfect way to have fun and connect with people given what’s going on; you don’t need to wine and dine anyone! Could it be that our casual sex dating rituals are a byproduct of the recession?

I don’t think our economy is getting back to normal any time soon — if you’re unemployed or underemployed and looking for love, what do you do?

Like this? You might like:

He’s jobless — do you date him?

Photo © Christopher Hall –


Aug 1

Ready for an erotic vacation?

Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011 in Happiness, hookups, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

“I have the perfect vacation for us!” Sara said as she burst into my front door before we took a (cold!) ride over Mount Tam.

“Oh really? The last ‘perfect’ vacation you had for us I was left alone for pretty much the whole weekend while you had crazy sex all over Austin with that hottie you met the night we arrived. Remember?”

“Oh, Kat — he was so cute, and you know I was desperate for sex back then. It had been, like, months!”


“OK, OK. This won’t be like that, I promise.”

“So, what do you have in mind?”

“Hedonism II.”

“The erotic resort? You’re kidding me!”

“No, it will be awesome. People interested in sensual things. All sorts of sexy activities. Decadence and debauchery. Naked people — think!”

I was thinking. And my thought was, no way! I’m hardly a prude but it’s just that erotic destination getaways seem so, I don’t know — calculated. Showing up at a music club in Austin, spontaneously meeting someone cute and having fantastic sex for the weekend seems so much better. If you can swing it, that is.

But maybe you can’t. Maybe Sara was just lucky that time. Maybe it isn’t all that easy to meet someone for fun (unless you’re going to go on Craiglist’s “casual encounters” once you get to town). Maybe it’s better to vacation at a place that’s custom-made to find you a lover — or at least the potential for one — for a few days if that’s where your head is at. (Although I have to imagine that there have to be some less-than-satisfied customers at exotic hot spots; since you’re still you wherever you go, if you have a hard time attracting people in your everyday life, you may not have much luck at an adults-only resort, either!)

Back in the ’80s, Club Med was the “it” place if you were a swinging single. Since the late ’90s, it’s become into a family destination. Makes sense; if you were a swinging single back in the ’80s, you most likely have been towing a few kids by now. Of course, that’s exactly when you may need an erotic vacation!

I can’t say adults-only resorts are good or bad because I’ve never been. And, I’m never going to go; I can’t see Sean and me packing up for four-days-three-nights at some place where the pressure is on to be romantic. What if we just want to sleep?

A former boyfriend once booked us a room at a hotel with a round bed and mirrors on the ceiling — I burst out laughing when we walked in the room. (You’ll notice I said “former” boyfriend …)

But, if you’re single and looking to score — or at least have some sensual fun — is an adults-only resort a good idea?

  • Would you ever go to an adults-only resort?
  • Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been to an adults-only resort?
  • As a single or a couple?
  • And … ????

Photo © Nathalie P –



Jul 25

Can friends with benefits work?

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 in dating, Divorce, Happiness, Honesty, hookups, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

Mia, Sara and I walked out of “Friends With Benefits” and headed straight to the nearest bar. A movie like that will do that to a gal.

Not that there was anything earth-shattering in the movie with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis; it’s just that the concept — can you have casual sex with someone you know and like as a friend? — is one that most women like to dissect.

“I’ll have a cosmo,” Mia said to the bartender as we sidled up to the bar.

“Same,” Sara said.

“Grey Goose. Rocks. Twist,” I said.       

“You always have  to be different,” Sara huffed.

“Not always.”

“Well, even your FWB — why did it work for you and not us?” Sara said, taking a long sip of her cosmo.

Honestly, I don’t know. But, first let me back up.

When we each got divorced, Sara, Mia and I were, like most newly divorced people — total messes. We’d each lost about 10 pounds — that wasn’t so bad, actually — from lack of sleep and food; we cried a lot; we couldn’t concentrate; we looked like crap. But we tried our best to keep it together for our kids and jobs.

Then at some point things started to normalize and something weird happened — we started feeling better about ourselves and less uncertain each day, and men started to notice us. And that was a good thing because by that time, we were months into the split and horny! But dating seemed daunting and besides, we really weren’t ready for that; who is right after a split?

And so we each found a way to have casual sex without picking up random guys in bars for one-nighters (although Sara did that, too); we looked at the men we already knew and had some sort of a relationship with. That’s how each of found ourselves in bed with a “friend.”

Why do I think mine worked well? I think because I know myself well enough to know that I can separate sex from emotions (although, I genuinely like him). Our life situations were very different so a relationship couldn’t work even if we wanted. And, it only lasted a few months. I guess that’s why my FWB parted without drama and, yes, we’re still friends (although we’re thousand of miles apart at this point).

Can a friends with benefits relationship work? A FWB  arrangement is a delicate thing; I’m not sure most of us can do it well — if at all. Someone always seems to want more and someone always seems to get hurt. That’s not what FWBs are supposed to be about.

Of course, they’re not supposed to end like Timberlake and Kunis do, either (spoiler) — they actually do fall in love. Hmm, but it they really didn’t want a relationship, why is that considered a good thing?

  • Can friends with benefits work?
  • Have you had one (or more)?




Photo © Ramon Cami –