Downtown Berkeley Is for Lovahs

A sexy walking tour of Downtown Berkeley with a BDSM option

Tour Map.png
Image courtesy of Diana Clock

Last year I had a great idea for Valentine’s Day: a “sexy” walking tour of Berkeley. My (now ex-) boyfriend wasn’t into it, and my dream was deferred. What the fuck, right? It’s true.

This year I’m single. What the fuck? It’s true. I’d be thrilled if some lovebirds out there followed my dirty-walking-tour route and Tinglered, tubbed and tarped it up.

Sausage, Photo Courtesy of Juana S.

Start at Missouri Lounge (#1) because they are the self-proclaimed kings of “cheap and smooth.” I don’t know what you like to drink, but I think tequila shots are a good idea. Sausage on your mind? Order a “Naughty Hoagie.” You’re here for some dirty talk about what to purchase at the next stop. For example:

Partner 1: I want to dress as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time and have you pleasure me from behind with an impossibly adorable Japanese vibrator.

Partner 2: A Tenga Iroha it is!

See the rest of the tour at The Bold Italic.

Downtown Berkeley Is for Lovahs

He Couldn’t Say It To My Face, But He Could Say it to Facebook

8253831e2dcad911884109b47e233167My first guest post. Heather, you’re my best friend now!

It should have been a red flag, but at first I liked it. An hour after my first date with Kyle* I logged into Facebook and read in his status, “Kyle had a great time tonight.”  Excellent! I thought. I had a nice time too, but he seemed a little shy, so I wasn’t sure if there would be a second date.

Sure enough, there was a second, and a third, and eventually a tenth date. At the beginning, I was thrilled – he was a talented artist and animator, he had a cool job, he met my sisters and some of my friends, he invited me to a party to meet his friends.

Those things were a bigger deal than they should have been, but I was recovering from a three-year on and off relationship with a guy who never asked me out ahead of time – I only saw him if he happened to be in my neighborhood, which was often in the middle of the night. Needless to say, I had met only a couple of his friends in the years we were seeing each other. I was never sure if we were in a relationship, always referring to him as “the guy I’m seeing.”

Kyle and I were definitely dating, and he wanted the world to know it. Kind of charming at first, but then he started to cross the line. He was a frequent Facebook updater – he used it to promote his music blog, but also to post mundane updates like “had breakfast in Fort Greene and now off to the gym!” And after every date, I could count on a status update about me.

One night we went to a comedy show, then shared a kiss on the street before getting in separate taxis. His update appeared within the hour: “Kyle laughed so much tonight, and I’m glad it was with you.”

Despite his semi-public pronouncements on Facebook, he remained a little shy and awkward in person. He never told me how he felt about me, so I had to depend on his status updates. That seemed wrong.  To confuse things even more, I was having trouble reading his body language.  Under normal circumstances, a guy would usually try to get me back to his place, or get himself invited to mine, within 2 or 3 dates. With Kyle, he seemed pretty content to go out, have pleasant conversation, then maybe a kiss goodbye.

Then he invited me over for dinner on Valentine’s Day.  If he didn’t try anything that night, then I didn’t know what it would take.

The Facebook updates started early in the day. “Kyle is buying mahi mahi to cook for Valentine’s Day dinner tonight,” he wrote around 11 am.  His network was intrigued. “Who’s the lucky girl?” someone asked.

A couple more updates appeared about the procuring and the preparation of the mahi mahi and side dishes.

As dinnertime rolled around, I wasn’t feeling my best, but I put on a dress that showed off my assets and made myself presentable. I showed up with a bottle of wine and a smile.

Dinner was delicious, Kyle was pleasant, his apartment was decent. Objectively, it was a fine evening. But to be fair, my heart wasn’t completely in it. I had gone on a couple dates with another prospect, and felt more excited about that guy. Plus, I was still mixed up over my on-and-off pseudo-ex-boyfriend, who left me a dejected-sounding voicemail that evening. Still, I was nervous and curious to see if Kyle would finally put the move on me. Would his actions match his words on Facebook?

The answer was no. We watched two movies, and he had plenty of chances. He seemed more entertained by a commercial in between movies than by making out with me. Around 1 am, I looked at my watch and said,

“Oh, it’s late. I guess I’d better head home.”

“You don’t have to go,” he said.

“You’re supposed to say, “Please don’t go,” I said, half-teasing. He shrugged. I went home.

I saw him a couple more times after that, but was perplexed. Was he just not that into me? Why keep asking me out? Why make thinly veiled (or unveiled) gestures on Facebook?

Even though he was more appropriate than other people I’d dated recently –- good career, stable lifestyle, ready to settle down –- I decided that it wasn’t enough. There was something missing. So at the end of a Sunday afternoon date, I told him that he was a great guy, but I just didn’t see it going anywhere. He didn’t protest much, but he seemed to take it pretty hard. He was sullen and cold for the few subway stops back into Manhattan. I got off two stops early to escape the awkwardness.  I felt sad but a little relieved as I arrived at a friend’s house for dinner. I checked Facebook quickly on my phone and saw his latest update: “Thanks for ruining a really great weekend.”

He Couldn’t Say It To My Face, But He Could Say it to Facebook

Happy Valentine’s Day, You Look Pretty

FullSizeRender (14)
This kid knows how to compliment

On a particularly bright day of parenting my father told my sister she was the smart one (my sister is really fucking smart). “What about me daddy?” I asked. “You’re the pretty one,” he replied. That didn’t mess me us up at all.

A few years later I proudly brandished my science test and it’s perfect score, exclaiming to my father, “I’m the smartest one in class!” His response was to say that god would punish me for bragging.

I turned out OK, but I have always been a compliment whore, especially with men. I’ve been known to annoyingly ask someone I’m dating for a compliment, “May I have a compliment please?” Nine times out of 10 after I get scowled at, I’ll here some variation of, “You look pretty.” I do love to hear that, but I think the best compliments are the specific ones.

One of my smartest most awesomest friends is parenting two young children. He asks people not to say to them how pretty or cute they are. He doesn’t want anyone to tell them they’re smart either. He wants them to be praised specifically for what they do. For example, “Hey kid, that was smart problem solving when you ran out of crayons and used ketchup on the walls instead.” Or, “Hey kid, I like you’re ketchup painting. It’s pretty because it reminds me of a sunset.”

I told him his wife must feel so good, hearing his creative, thoughtful, and specific compliments. “Uh Oh,” he said. “I usually just tell her she’s pretty. And I do it in front of my kids! I’m going to fix that.”

I’m a sucker for the “you made me a better person” type compliment. In an episode of Sex and the City, Miranda shows up at her then ex boyfriend Steve’s bar opening. He’s there with his new beautiful girlfriend surrounded by well wishers. As she’s about the leave he runs after her and the following exchange takes place.

Steve: You came! I’m so glad. So, what do you think?
Miranda: I think… I think you did good.
Steve: Really? You mean it? ‘Cause I never would’ve done this, if it wasn’t for you.
Miranda: What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything.
Steve: Are you kidding me? This whole thing was your idea. You always told me I should start my own bar. I never forgot. I just never thought that I could. So… thanks.
Miranda: You did good.

Yep, that’s pretty much my dream compliment situation.

This morning I was discussing compliments with my friend Natasha at a big “Going to that 3rd bar last night was probably a bad idea” Nation’s breakfast. I was chatting to her that I thought that men didn’t like to hear compliments about their appearance. She said that she thought that they did and then looked straight at me and said, “I think you’re amazing because you make people feel comfortable.” I couldn’t have asked for a better gift today.

Thanks Natasha, I love you.

And to all my friends and family Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for shining your light my way. You’re all so pretty and smart and make me a better person. You did good.



Happy Valentine’s Day, You Look Pretty