Oct 292011

Kate Huyett - HowAboutWe.com

Try online dating, if you haven’t already. You might like it. Rewind to last summer, before snow fell on the ground and grey skies clouded the heavens. I was sitting at an Italian restaurant’s white linen-clothed table in lower Manhattan with a married Brazilian woman and one of her redheaded acquaintances. We were three women having otherwise unremarkale dinner conversation until the girl with orange hair asked the Brazilian, “How did you meet your husband?”

The wedded one avoided eye contact. “Through a friend.”

Liars usually lie when they’re uncomfortable with the truth. I knew the once-bride met her then-groom online, but I didn’t call her out on it. Experience has taught me, when you confront liars on a bald-faced lie, they get angry. Not at you, at themselves. But, they still take it out on you anyway.

“Really?” The unwitting acquaintance continued talking to the married Brazilian, “Which friend? Maybe they could set me up!”

The wedded lady moved her hips to shift weight, forked food around her plate, and awkwardly lapped her tongue up and down to partially confess, “I met my husband through a guy who set us up on It’s Just Lunch.”

The puzzled acquaintance tried to push ill-fitting pieces together. “You know someone works at It’s Just Lunch?”

“N-n-no, I didn’t know them,” the woman with the ring stuttered. “We were just matched through the service.”

“That’s … wait … So, you didn’t meet through a friend?” The redhead’s eyes bounced from the married lady to me and back again. “Why didn’t you just say you met online?”

The married woman looked at her plate.

In Austin next March, at my South by Southwest (SXSW) panel Sex, Dating and Privacy Online Post-Weinergate with Rachel Kramer Bussel, Violet Blue and Samhita Mukhopadhyay, I’ll delve into: online dating & stigma, how the internet has changed the nature of “privacy,” the politics of sex scandals, and why this matters in the lives of everyday people & their coworkers. In the meantime, for now, let’s stick to simply talking about adults who date online.

The dating service industry includes 393 entities who employee nearly 3,125 people and generate $928 million in revenues. Recently, HowAboutWe linked up with FUNKY BROWN CHICK®, gifting me with an account so I could write a review. Separating my personal love life from my professional life, when I create my profile I’ll specifically include something like: I run FUNKY BROWN CHICK® and I’m on HowAboutWe to write a review.

If you’re not familar with the site, based on New York City’s Lower East Site, HowAboutWe lets you post date ideas and/or tell someone you’d like to join their suggested date. I could post, “How about we take off our clothes and go skinny-dipping in Carsten Höller’s Experience at the New Museum?” Interested parties could privately message me or click “I’m intrigued.” (Fret not! Just example; I’m not literally going to suggest an exhibition.) What I like about HowAboutWe co-founders Brian Schechter and Aaron Schildkrout‘s approach is this: they creatively match people by common interests instead of body type, height, or other things that ultimately don’t matter. As a result, you’d meet potential dates online similar to the way you’d meet them offline.

“[O]nline dating, now, is tantamount to dating,” Sadie Stein writes in her Jezebel piece Has online dating really lost its stigma? “Especially in cities, it’s simply a useful shortcut, and for every self-aggrandizing frog, there’s the great guy who [...] you date for two years.” Maybe longer. Perhaps, one day, you’ll sit at an Italian restaurant’s white linen-clothed table in lower Manhattan, boldly telling someone: “I met my husband online via HowAboutWe.”

My next post will be a full HowAboutWe review. Until then, please feel free to use the comments section to tell me about any of your online dating experiences.

Oct 242011


MYTH: “If you have sex while you’re on your period, there’s absolutely no way for you to get pregnant.”




“M” (age 27): “If you have sex while you’re on your period, there’s absolutely no way for you to get pregnant. Think about it. You’re bleeding. Where’s the egg gonna go? It’s like a totally inhospitable landscape in there.”

Eve Espey, MD: “Eggs can find an oasis in any landscape. The truth is: There’s no absolutely safe time. For one thing, not every episode of bleeding is an actual period. So, just remember to be covered 100% of the time.”

My $0.02 [not included in video, special bonus for FUNKY BROWN CHICK® readers]: “In case you’re wondering, But, aren’t there times that are more safe than others for barebacking?! and/or How does ovulation work?, check out National Institutes of Health’s blow-by-blow description of ovulation. “Fertile days,” they explain, “are the days a woman is most likely to get pregnant.” So, theoretically, you won’t get pregnant if you avoid your fertile days, right? Wrong. There’s a catch (or two or three). Sperm loves vagina. In fact, sperm loves hanging out in the vag so much that it’s able to stay alive in there for up to 3 to 5 days after sex. Plus, it’s not wholly possible to know exactly when a woman is going to ovulate anyway. And, very few women have naturally 100% regular menstrual cycles. Long story short: If you’re having sex and you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control.

Oct 192011

“When it comes to sex,” writes Arielle Loren, “fear is a catalyst for silence and preserving ignorance [...] If you’ve ever had a question about sex go unanswered, know that these women are passionate about educating, sharing stories, and spreading knowledge.”

I’m flattered and humbled to be included with Columbia University’s Dr. Hilda Hutcherson and other amazing women in Clutch magazine’s 10 Black Women Teaching Us About Sex. If you love sex — and sexy, brown-skinned women writing about tantra, transgender, queer, sensual strength training and other topics   — this list is must see / must read.

Oct 182011

“[He] didn’t speak a word about condoms, and, in response, I didn’t either.” That’s from my friend Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s article, Dating Drama: No Glove, No Love? Not Always. What’s more? Another writer friend, Carolyn Castiglia confesses, “I’m not using them right now, either.” Current HIV/AIDS and STI rates in New York City warn the vast majority of reported chlamydia and gonorrhea cases are among women. Knowing Rach and Carolyn don’t wrap it up every time drives this sex educator crazy. I love them, and I want their little vaginas to be healthy.

I’ve taught hundreds of people how slip male and female prophylactics against penises and vaginas. Many use condoms. Adults who don’t often complain, But it feels different without one. True as that may be, guess what probably feels worse? Getting gonorrhea. I recently learned its nickname, “the clap,” likely comes from the Old French word clapier, meaning brothel. Somewhere a long time ago, a velvet beret-clad old Parisian dude named Jean-Pierre d’Oesti probably had a secret and jaunted to a teeny cafe near the Seine to share it with the tall handlebar-mustached bartender, Jacques Francois Mautadit Tabarnacle, who happened to be his best friend. Quietly, Jean-Pierre probably whispered to Jacques Francois, “Ca brule quand j’fais pipi. Il y a une sorte de merde verte qui sort de mon zizi et mes couilles sont enflée!” (English translation: It burns when I pee. There is some kind of green shit oozing out of my dick and my testicles are swollen.”) In response, Jacques Francois probably laughed. “Err, leet me guezz. You visited a, um, brothel?” Twirling mustache with forefinger and thumb, he continued, “Now you have … err … how you say … Le clap clap?! Oh, la la! Ah ha ha ha!” Thus, the slang was born! ;)

All kidding and French stereotypes aside, in addition to “the clap,” gonorrhea is also called “the drip” because that’s exactly what happens. If you contract gonorrhea, green shit might ooze out of your penis or vagina. That’s fucking gross. You don’t want that. So, I implore everyone out there bumping uglies, please keep your genitals safe. Wear condoms.

Balls Out Comedy ShowTeaching more than 50 men and women ages 21+ how to talk dirty while incorporating condoms into foreplay, last Saturday night, I performed my “Adults Only, Dirty Talk” condom demonstration as part of the Balls Out Comedy show at the Bowery Poetry Club. Sex education programs have to be incredibly audience specific. In classroom instruction, I keep condom demonstrations clinical/technical. It’s about How to Put On A Condom. Proper steps. No jokes. Why? There’s a difference between perfect use and typical use. From Guttmacher‘s first-use condom research we know, if you use a condom correctly, the failure rate is only about 2%. However, if you use it the way people typically use them–without checking the expiration date or looking for air tightness, without squeezing the tip, withdrawing without holding on to the end, etc.–the failure rate jumps to nearly 20%. Adults, don’t like being told, in essence, “Um, yeah, you don’t know how to put on a condom.” They know. Some simply choose not to. So, I teach those fabulous ladies and gentlemen pleasure-based techniques. At Saturday’s show, I grabbed a dude from the audience and made him hold a yellow banana in front of his penis as I taught the beer-sipping audience how to safely tear the plastic condom packet open with teeth, roll the rubber on a shaft with their mouths and/or while jerking him off, play with the guy’s balls, and talk dirty throughout the whole thing. We had a blast!

If this sounds fun, join me next time. You can catch me performing, educating and training throughout the New York metro area. Again, tone varies by topic and presentation. Apologies I didn’t post about Balls Out Comedy until after the fact. I’ve been super busy. Moving forward, for those who would like to attend, I’ll do a better job of posting relevant announcements on my site before the event. Subscribe to keep up with me, and link up on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.