3. So how can you tell if they’re interested? “I walk in with positioning in mind,” Mark tells me. “I order a drink near a girl I want to initiate conversation with. I am always scoping the place out.” So they do know what they’re doing, at least the ones that have bigger plans than masturbation!
4. As a single girl, no one would ask for my number but apparently Mark does so all the time: “Adults reach out and don’t play a game. A man will call the next day; a boy will wait to call. When a guy calls you, you can always tell what he wants by the date he offers. Drinks mean sex; dinner means there might be something more.”
5. But I wonder – is it always about getting laid? “Usually, if you sleep with someone the first night, there won’t be a relationship. We do put women who hold out on a higher value. It’s like, ‘If she’s putting out with me on the first night, she’s probably doing that with everyone.’ It doesn’t make you feel special. But that’s not always the case. I’ve had two friends get married who met by having a one-night stand.”
6. Which leads us to – the aftermath: Mark explains, “If I sleep with a girl, I always reach out the next day through a call or a text so that they don’t feel bad the next day. It’s about minimizing buyer’s remorse, which helps if I want to sleep with them again too.” Ah, the courtesy text, and they think they’re doing us a favor.
7. Does it ever turn into more? “If after you’ve had an orgasm, you don’t want to kick them out of the bed, that says something good about what could be there. The old adage says that ‘the definition of eternity is the time between when you cum and when they leave.’ If you still want them next to you, if you’re cuddling and spooning, that means there’s synergy and that you might want to hang out with them again.”
Sadly, I have been that girl too many times. The one who gets the courtesy text, that feels the seconds clicking by between orgasm and departure, the one who puts out on the first night, and wonders why it didn’t work. But the funny part is I know that Mark is seeking love as much as I am. I know he had his heart broken by his last girlfriend, and that sport f*&%ing is as much about filling the time until the next one comes along as it is about fulfilling some weird male instinct.
I ask Mark if he was given the guidebook growing up, the one my boyfriend thought everyone else got but him. Mark explains that wasn’t the case. “I never got the lesson through my brother or dad. I learned how to pick up chicks by getting rejected. But I also learned that rejection isn’t failure. Failure is not going in.”
I wonder whether that’s better. Because as much as the one-night stands got old after a while, going home empty-handed was just as bad. I hated going to the bar, the grocery store, the Starbucks, and seeing some guy look at me and not approach. And I was just as clueless. Maybe I should have employed Mark’ tricks, as he says, “I believe that by having a strategy that’s made me more successful.”
Strategy in love was never my strong suit, but perhaps that’s why I am now with someone who was never a player. We were both just two clueless people looking for love, and I think, though it might be hard to admit, so is Mark.
Kristen McGuiness is the author of 51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life.