I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York's Senior Things to Do editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly "Let Us Sex-plain" column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!
I’m a girl, and I recently discovered that I like girls. How do I know when someone is flirting or just being friendly, like most women are to each other?
I think a lot of people, no matter their sex or sexual orientation, sometimes have trouble deciphering between friendly and flirty. You can read into body language and social cues as best you can (though, as you infer, big smiles and casual touches may be harder to read), and if a girl doesn’t necessarily know you’re interested in women, make it known (she may immediately offer up that she likes women too), and see if something develops from there. Or be brave and ask someone out! It will go one of two ways, and you’ll have your answer.
When I start dating someone, there’s always a lot of attraction and chemistry. Then after about the sixth or so date, he starts phasing me out until he disappears completely with no explanation. Every time, it leaves me hurt and confused. Is something wrong with me?
I recently had a man I’d been seeing on and off for two years, who told me he loved me, ghost me with no explanation. (Hi, John!) People who just disappear are selfish, immature cowards who actively choose not to treat human beings with basic respect. The only comfort I can offer is that people in New York City are often very finicky, and you’re far from alone in this devastating experience. You unfortunately can’t control assholes’ behavior, so do your best to control your own: Try to continue to date with an open heart (your long-term partner is out there, waiting behind an unknown number of yet-to-be-had bad dates), and be up front sooner rather than later about the fact that you’re looking for a relationship rather than a six-date fling. (Do this maybe on the third date.) And when someone shows you who they are, believe them—don’t let people waste your time and heart.
I’ve been dating a guy for around four months, and we get along really well, but there’s one big issue: He’s a social butterfly, and I’m an introvert. I’m worried that when we meet each other’s friends he’ll notice a big difference between our groups and think we’re incompatible. Am I crazy?
—Sam, Park Slope
You’re not crazy, but you’re probably worrying for no reason. This guy likes you for who you are. Sure, it’s a bonus if your friends get along, but in the end, who cares? Your relationship’s strength lies in the connection you two share, not in whether your pals become BFFs. That being said, pay close attention to how he treats your friends; his desire to get to know them can say a lot about how much he wants to get to know you.