Your friendly neighborhood bartender is taking a break from his wild dating life to tackle your questions with his patented blend of advice and adult beverages. So slide on up to the bar my friends. Now, what can I get you?
I am going to be turning 25 this year and still have not had a boyfriend or lost my virginity. I have dated a few guys but it never seems to go anywhere, and I have always wanted to wait for the right person and be in a relationship when I lose my virginity. I am not ugly – I’m not saying I’m the hottest guy either – but I do get a lot of guys coming up to me at bars or clubs.
When they do, I feel so lost and unsure of what to do. In the back of my head I am constantly worried about what they will think when they find out. We live in a sex-filled society and I feel so segregated from everyone, like I’m the last of my kind. I am starting to get frustrated because I feel like I am missing out on a lot of experiences and wonder if sometimes it might just be best to get it out of the way. I was hoping you could give me some advice on maybe what I should do. Maybe some advice on how to talk to guys or how to maybe spot the right guy or even a decent guy, anything you think could help me.
25 and Lost
Wait, that came off as harsh. I meant to say that while you are, indeed, a beautiful unique snowflake, you’re not the only virgin your age, believe me.
Here’s the secret to talking to dudes (and chicks, and everything in between, for that matter): confidence. People are attracted to other people who are sure of themselves. Think about the people you’ve been attracted throughout your life. Chances are one of the things they all shared was confidence.
Yes, yes, I know some people go gaga over wallflowers and shy girls and emo guys who cry in their rooms while listening to The Cure. But for the overwhelming majority of people, when they’re looking for luuurve, they’re looking for someone confident enough to sweep them off their feet. Self-assuredness (not to be confused with arrogance, and there’s a fine line) is just damn sexy.
So here’s the deal, 25AL. You’ve got dudes coming up to you at bars. Right there that means that physically, you’ve got it going on, and you have every right to enjoy that. Embrace your inner and outer hottie, and let that fuel you with a little healthy self-esteem.
Here’s what you should NOT do:
1) Rehearse pick-up lines
2) Scowl or act above the bar you’re hanging out in
3) Throw, as the kids say, “shade”
It’s amazing how many young gaylings I see in bars do those things, and they rarely if ever work. Be friendly and positive, but most of all be yourself. Confidence, unlike having “game” or “swagger,” comes from a place of authenticity, not showmanship.
But all this is advice on how to play the game when you’re out on the town. What I suggest, like I’ve done before, is that the best ways to meet decent dudes is to get involved with groups centered around activities that you enjoy. That can be volunteering for a charity, joining a hiking group, anything that gets you around other like-minded gay men in a non-pressure atmosphere.
I’m a straight woman with a loving boyfriend who is a fierce advocate of gay marriage. My boyfriend and I aren’t engaged, and don’t plan to get married, not out of any political belief but simply because we don’t want to be married ourselves.
However, my family’s convinced this is out of protest, like how some people say “I won’t get married until all Americans can.” On top of that, my family (especially my parents) are opposed to marriage equality, and it’s gotten to the point where I can barely stand to be in the same room as them. They hit all the wrong talking points – it’s “in the Bible,” “children deserve a mother and father,” etc.
Any advice on how to reconnect with my family, or even if I should, considering their bigotry? Things have never been tenser.
Unfortunately, I have some bad news, ED. While some parents are humble enough to acquiesce to their children’s wisdom, many are not … and therein lies a huge problem.
Parents, from the day we’re born, take on the job of instilling in us what they consider to be sound moral values. If we grow up and diverge from their teachings, human nature is to try and shepherd us back onto what they think is the right path. It takes an incredible human being to open one’s mind and realize the pupil can become the teacher.
Because of this, issues that tend to have generational divides – and marriage equality is THE issue of today that falls into that category – can make for some very uncomfortable holiday dinners.
You can always approach discussions with your parents the way you would with anyone who’s on the opposite side of the aisle – by using cold, hard facts. Facts like saying “it’s in the Bible” is meaningless, because the book that calls homosexuality an abomination also has a fierce taboo against tearing your clothes, mixing your fabrics, or keeping your hair unkempt, and if your parents lived through the 80’s my guess is they did all of those things. And that’s not even mentioning the seventy-three other things on that list.)
You can also point out that while it would be fan-effing-tastic for all children to be raised by their biological mother and father, the fact remains we have far more orphaned children in this country than we have parents to take them in, and gay couples who are adopting are not tearing these children out of the arms of loving, committed straight couples. They’re taking them out of a life where they’re raised by the government, absent individual love and attention that only a parent can give.
But again, people don’t like to change their minds, and (forgive me, but) that seems to increase the older someone gets. And some people are especially reluctant to have their minds changed by the very person they’re supposed to be teaching. So that leads you with the following options:
1) You can ignore the issues that divide you and agree that you’ll never come to an agreement, so for the sake of your continuing relationship you’ll just have to suck it up and not discuss this, or …
2) You can passionately argue to your parents that for you this isn’t just a political stance – this is about what’s doing what’s morally right, and if they can’t see things your way, you can’t break bread with them anymore, or …
3) You can agree to disagree for now, and then slowly, like a stealthy ethical ninja, you can explain and illustrate through examples why it’s so unjust to keep your fellow Americans from enjoying the same rights as you. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, and I’m definitely not saying it will lead to your parents posting a red equals sign instead of selfies on their Facebook page, but maybe, over time, they may evolve, as so many people seem to do these days.
Quick bartending question. I’ve been trying to make frozen cosmos, and I saw on your twitter that you made them. Mine always come out too liquidy, like I just made a regular cosmo and put crushed ice in it. What’s the recipe you use?
Freeze your cranberry juice. Seriously.
I’m pretty proud of this, actually, because I didn’t read it anywhere and just came up with it myself. But I was having the same problem you were, and then it dawned on me to freeze the cranberry juice in an ice tray. So here’s the breakdown. For one cosmo, you need:
Four count of vodka
Two count of Triple Sec of Cointreau (Triple Sec is cheaper)
Four frozen cranberry juice cubes
Four ice cubes
Juice squeezed from 1/2 lime
Throw it all in the blender and go to town.
Quick advice about the cranberry juice cubes: unlike regular ice cubes, they’re sticky and can be hard to get out of the ice tray in an orderly way, so turn the ice cube tray over onto a cutting board, collect all of the cubes in a bowl, and put them in the freezer. You’re much less likely to make a mess.
To ask JT a question, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can be super tech-sexy and ask via Twitter. Messages may be edited for space (but they’re totally more likely to get chosen if they’re three paragraphs or less. Just sayin’.)
You can find previous editions of AfterElton’s Ask JT advice column here.