Recently, I wrote a story for Women’s Health called “Should We All Just Retire Hand Jobs?” In order to argue that hand jobs are for middle schoolers, I figured, why not survey some dudes to find out if they hate getting them as much as women hate giving them? And what better way to survey a bunch of random men than through Tinder? I pulled out my phone, swiped right for 20 guys in a row and cold-texted this opener: “Thoughts on hand jobs vs. blow jobs on a first date?”
Some guys never answered. Some said, “Both?” Some tried to be clever (Guy: “That’s like choosing between puppies and rainbows!” Me: “Which one’s which?” Guy: “Lol I dunno. U got me.”).
I didn’t tell any of the men about the article, but almost all wanted to ditch the HJ. I was invited on a few dates – at which point, I stopped texting. But then there was, let’s call him, Trevor. Tinder Trevor.
Here’s what worked in Tinder Trevor’s favor: he formed complete sentences, responded truthfully and was a bit impish. He also asked me questions about my preferences. We “flirted.” You might even call it sexting, except that this is what sexting looks like if you’re talking to me:
Him: “I fantasize about having sex with a girl in a miniskirt.”
Me: “So smart! Much easier access than footsie pajamas!”
After the story was published, I asked Trevor out for a drink. What the hell, right? I’d never been on a Tinder date.
I chose a West Village speakeasy near my office and wore a very-long-not-miniskirt dress.
Trevor looked younger than in his photos. He was tall and thin with spiky, blond hair and dark circles under his eyes.
The speakeasy was packed with couples and jazz players in suspenders. We sat near the bathroom on stools and ordered fancy $14 cocktails. I told him up front about the article so he wouldn’t think that that was how I always approached men. He was surprised but took it in stride. We ran through the obligatory date details – he said he was 25, from Connecticut and that he wrote computer code for a living. We talked about his upcoming family beach trip.
I wasn’t initially attracted to Trevor, but he seemed nice enough. The date only went South when the conversation turned to the South.
I told him I was from South Carolina.
“Ah, yes, I know about the South,” he said. “I went to Austin once.”
I clued him in about the real South – about Bob Jones University and the Confederate flag on our State House grounds, about the preachers who screamed damnation on my college campus, about the friends who shuttled me to church with them four times a week and told me I was going to hell for cursing.
“Christian, eh?” he said. “Guess your friends wouldn’t be so down with this, would they?”
And then, without warning, Trevor reached into his polo shirt and pulled out his pentacle.
“I’m a Satanist,” he said.
After a moment of stunned silence, I excused myself to buy a second round.
Yeah, I could have left, but a Satanist?? Come on, guys! I have nothing else to live for here. (Also, no, “pulled out his pentacle” was not an innuendo. He literally whipped a star necklace out, and no, it is not the same thing as a pentagram, as I learned.)
I proceeded to argue about Satanism with Trevor for the next hour. When I told him I was agnostic, his eyes lit up. I imagined him thinking, I can work with that. He told me he was an atheist until, in college, he read the Satanic Bible and identified with it. He pulled up the Nine Satanic Statements on his Android, and we read them together. The tenets of Satanism are vague and all end in exclamation points: “Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!” “Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!” "Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!“
Psychic vampires, everyone.
Trevor then explained his love for heavy metal and mosh pits.
"A good mosh pit is the best thing in the world,” he said.
“Don’t you mean ‘gnosh pit’?” I joked.
“Because…eating food…is the best thing in the world.”
I made solid points about religion, but past midnight, Trevor did what most guys do on late-night, booze-fueled dates – he leaned forward, stared at me approvingly and stopped listening completely. When he began rubbing my legs, I suggested we leave.
Outside, in the middle of the sidewalk, he pulled me into a kiss. I pushed him away.
“So, where are we headed?” he asked.
“I’m going to catch a cab,” I said. “But I’ll walk you to your train.”
As we strolled to West 4th, he took my hand and playfully pressed it onto his crotch. I snatched my hand back.
“Now, now,” I said. “We both know I don’t like giving those.”
At the train, he tried to kiss me again and asked when we would meet up.
“When’s your next metal show?” I said.
But I knew I’d never dance with that devil.