For our second date I invite the Blond over to mine. She arrives thoughtfully with a bottle of white and a bottle of red, which we sip curled up on my sofa putting the world to rights. After two and a half hours though neither of us has made a move and the evening is in danger of ending with a chaste peck on the cheek and an Uber.
“Do you think you’d be the man or the woman in a relationship?” one friend asks a few months earlier after I divulge my conversion to Sapphic pleasures.
“Can’t we both be women?” I ponder.
I’m not even sure what it means to be ‘the man’ on a date. A willingness to pick up the tab? Surreptitious tongue-wagging at her cleavage? Disappearing into a black hole after the third date? In 2016 these stereotypes feel decidedly passé. After all, I know many a woman who would gratefully split the bill, drool lasciviously over a pair of peachy buttocks and ditch an unwanted suitor.
Now I know what it means to be the ‘man’ on a date. It’s that moment when you put down your glass and, with sultry eyes, lean in for a snog.
I’m procrastinating with the Blond, which seems faintly ridiculous bearing in mind she invited me back to hers on our last date. But I honestly don’t know how to do this in a way that doesn’t feel weird or awkward or cheesy or cringe.
Should I do the old ‘arm round the back of the sofa’ move, slowly flopping it closer to her like a fat worm? Should I murmur about how beautiful she looks, gaze soulfully into her eyes and try and swallow the bubble of laughter rising from my belly? Should I leer and lunge like a pimply teenager overcome by passion?
As I debate my options she slides her wine onto the coffee table, scoots next to me and ever-so-slowly lingers into my waiting lips. Oh, that’s cool. That is cool. We swiftly decamp to the bedroom where longing, urgent hands make light work of our clothes.
In bed she looks at me like a starving man at an all you can eat buffet.
“Oh you are divine,” she purrs, “you taste like champagne.”
Ha! Good work, I think, giving myself a mental pat on the muff.
Later she gets dressed and I walk her to the front door.
“I had an amazing time tonight,” she says, “maybe next time we could go for cocktails and then breakfast the morning after?”
Breakfast? Breakfast implies staying the night! I squirm uncomfortably on my porch and mumble something like “that sounds nice,” whilst ushering her into a waiting taxi.
On reflection, maybe I am the man. I close the door, take out my phone and start swiping.