Show & Tell | Swooning at First Sight

As you probably know, trying online dating for the first time was a huge step for me. However, once I started to become more familiar with the world of digital romance, I realized that not only are there a plethora of dating websites, there are now a whole bunch of mobile apps designed to help you date and hook-up on the go. Would I ever use my phone to meet new people? I’m not sure. I was surprised to learn that 80% of Singles prefer mobile dating apps over traditional websites and that 4 out of 5 people would rather use their smartphones to get dates than go online the old fashioned way. Crazy right?

Now enter new dating app Swoon. As mentioned recently Hello Giggles, Swoon is a mobile dating app that brings together everything we love about the internet: anonymity, Facebook stalking and judging people. Just kidding. Not really.

By linking up with your Facebook profile, Swoon helps find cool singles nearby who are interested in you and helps you connect. Because Android users are sexy and need love too, the app is available for both iPhone and Android. All you need a Facebook profile, a dash of optimism and you can get Swooning!

Since I’m still on an online dating hiatus, I thought I would let Joe the Intern try Swoon and tell you a bit about his experiences. Take it away Joe!

“Hey Dudes. Joe the Intern here. As you may know, I’m single and dating. I’ve never tried an online dating app before, but when Simone asked me to test out Swoon and let her know what I think, I answered the call of duty. I linked the app to my Facebook profile and then BAM! I was ready to get started!”

“Swoon shows you photos of singles in your area and gives you the chance to either say “yes” or “no.”  If you both express interest, you’ll be given the opportunity to connect and chat. Within moments of signing up for the app, I was browsing through photos of singles in my area. It was pretty cool because not only was I able to see their photo, I was also able to see whether we had any Facebook friends in common or if we shared any common interests.”

“The best part is the app is anonymous, until a match agrees they both like each other. In the meantime you’re free to browse through photos of singles in your area without anyone knowing. Ellie seems like a really nice girl, but I’m not into girls with more facial hair than me. I’m glad she’ll never find out that I clicked “X” on her photo because that would be totally awkward.”

“I clicked YES for Tanya, but I guess we weren’t a match because I didn’t hear back. I wanted to click YES for Bradley but mostly because I really like his hair and might be a tiny bit jealous.”

“One of the things I liked best about Swoon was that it helped weed out what I believe the French call Les Incompatibles – the people that you can immediately tell won’t be a good match. I know it probably sounds superficial, but attraction is a visceral. If I’ve learned anything from my battle experiences, it’s that you should trust your gut.”

“Instead, you only receive messages from people who are mutually interested, like the very beautiful Mari. When we “check marked” each other, a conversation window opened. We got to know each other a bit and discovered that we both share a love of war novels and Kung Fu.”

“Overall, I enjoyed my Swoon experience and am excited that it might bring me closer to meeting someone special. That special person might even be Mari. We’re meeting up for a Jamba Juice on Friday”

Thanks for the great input Joe!

*This post was brought to you by Swoon. Please note, Swoon is an app for real humans like yourself. All opinions are my own, because that’s how I roll. 

Have you ever tried a mobile dating app? What did you think?

Video | Let’s Talk About First Dates

One of the perks of writing a regular sex and dating column for Sun Media is that I get to participate in fun live chats like the one I did for Valentine’s Day.

The other day we did another live dating chat with the lovely Lida Elias of Save My Date where we talked about the etiquette of first dates. I still think I look totally awkward and Muppet like on camera (and I still haven’t mastered how to position myself so my eyes aren’t looking down) but I thought I would share the link anyways. If you tune in you’ll hear me talk about awkward first dates and tell the story of my date with The Big Baby, live. Come on, I know you want to.

Thanks Lida, Victoria and the rest of the Sun Media Team for a great chat!

PS. If you have any questions about dating, sex, or relationships that you’d like me to answer – email me! I’d love to do another Ask Simone post.

Let’s Give Us Something To Talk About (Why Online Dating is Awesome)

Since taking a break from modern online dating, I’ve had an epiphany.

I need to meet more guys I actually have things in common with.

The reality is that I live in a small sized, very outdoorsy city where a huge segment of the population is into “CHFK” (Camping, Hiking, Fishing & Kayaking.) Most of the online dating profiles I’ve come across feature a guys posing in boats, in scuba gear or clutching a large salmon in their hands (like a bear.) Welcome to dating in Canada. Although I love spending time outdoors, being active and living a healthy lifestyle, I would never describe myself as “outdoorsy.” As my friend Kate recently pointed out, I have very “urban” interests. I love red lipstick, dressing up, wearing heels and being wined & dined. Jerk Chicken and Arroz Con Pollo are comfort foods to me. I read like a fiend, watch films in other languages, love underground house music, obsess over R&B new and old, and most days would much rather be at a concert watching an obscure hip-hop group than in a kayak. Most importantly, I prefer my salmon on my plate, rather than in the clutches of my date’s hands. You can take the girl out of Toronto, but it’s much harder to take Toronto out of the girl.

Whenever something falls through with one of the guys I’ve been dating, my Mom is always quick to point out,

“It’s understandable, you didn’t really have that much in common.”

Which of course makes me get defensive.

“Mom, of course we had stuff in common.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know…stuff! Like, I don’t know…eating. We both liked eating!”

Could my Mom be right?!

Although I like to think I’ve been really picky with the people I have chosen to go out with recently, the truth is I haven’t. I mean, not really. When I was online dating, I never even searched under common interests. I’d just base my dating decisions on whether I thought the guy was hot, had good spelling and didn’t look like a potential Dateline predator.

The irony is, being able to search under common interests is what actually makes dating sites like eHarmony so awesome. Instead of trying your luck at a bar or an event, you can actually tailor your searches to find people that you’re not only attracted to, but that you have common interests with. Maybe if I had taken advantage of this, I wouldn’t have made out with that guy whose entire music collection consisted of 12 “Now That’s What I Call Music!” compilation CD’s or ended up dating Fitness Guy, who confessed to me: “I’m not really into music at all. I mean, it’s nice in the background at a restaurant or something.”

When it comes to books or music or food, it’s not crucial that we like exactly the same things. However, to have no preference at all whatsoever, is weird to me.

I once dated a guy that I had so much in common with it was crazy. I’d never met anyone before who felt as passionately (if not more so) about the things that I was passionate about. We’d spend whole days in bed listening to music, making love and talking for hours. Our favourite songs stopped being just songs, but rather extensions of our feelings for each other. I remember the day he told me,

“I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re like the female version of myself. You’re my other half, my soulmate”

The feeling was mutual. We were in love. This is why it felt like I was being stabbed in the heart when I found out he wasn’t the person I thought he was, that he had been lying to me and sleeping with someone else on the side. The experience was so intense that it took me a long time to recover afterward. Is it possible that I’ve been purposely dating people I could never have that kind of connection with because I’m afraid of ending up in the same situation again?

I remember coming across this one awesome online dating profile back in December. The guy was cute, worked in online media and he also really liked author Douglas Coupland. However, when it came to music, he wrote all about his passion for rock and punk, adding at the end of his profile,

“If you don’t live and breathe rock & roll, we’re probably not going to get along. Rock is a huge part of my life and if it isn’t part of yours, you probably don’t want to message me”

I was disappointed but I had to respect the guy for really owning the heck out of who he is. It must have worked for him because when I checked back a week later he’d removed his profile.

I’m thinking maybe that’s what I need to do. I need to figuratively “Live and Breathe the Rock & Roll.” Instead of catering to other people’s interests, I should just put it all out there, own it and hope that the laws of attraction work in my favour. Or at the very least, start using the “interest search” feature when I start online dating again.

After all, it’s only fear until you face it.

This post was brought to you by eharmony.ca. For more dating tips and info, please visit eHarmony Canada on Facebook. All opinions are my own.

How Sexting Can Ruin Your Sex Life

The last time I was single for an extended period of time 7+ years ago, “sexting” wasn’t really a thing yet. Heck, many of us didn’t have smart phones, which meant sending a text that said “R U There Yet?” required that you to press multiple keys, like, 18 bazillion times. Telling someone over text “I want to bend you over the conference room table, pull up your skirt and cover your mouth to muffle your screams of pleasure” was a major time commitment, and something only reserved for people that were worth risking developing Carpal Tunnel syndrome over. However, now it seems like texting and it’s (at times) creepy cousin sexting, is the primary mode of communication in the dating arena. After Small Town Cop asked me over text about my “nether regions” following our first date, I’ve come to the conclusion that  maybe all this technology is actually harming our love lives more than anything. Seriously, what’s the deal with sexting?!

To get to the bottom of this issue, I’ve decided to call on my friend Liz from No Strings Dating to give her take on sexting. Take it away Liz!

Truth be told, I’ve never really been that big a fan of sexting. Maybe a little bit here and there, when stuck at work or in traffic I’d send off a racy text, or more likely when the guy on the receiving end of said sext is in an important meeting or hanging out with the boys. What can I say? It keeps things interesting. Interesting, yes. Sexy? Not so much. I’m actually of the belief that sexting regularly can ruin your real life sex life. Here’s why.

First of all, some people are big talkers. It’s super easy to pick up your phone and type out what you want to do to someone when you see them.  But all too often people simply can’t deliver on the sexts they send. It might seem like a really hot (and sexy!) idea to text your guy and tell him that you are going to rock his world all night long, baby or that you just love giving head more than life itself, but after a long day of work maybe you just want to cuddle-which would have been perfectly ok if you hadn’t promised otherwise. My general life rule-sexual or otherwise-is to manage not just my expectations but the ones of those around me. In my opinion, it is WAY hotter to have my fiance’ walk through the door thinking it’s going to be another boring night of Modern Family on the couch and surprise him with a can of whipped cream and naked twister, than it is to just talk about it all day and then fall short of his expectations.

Sexing also harms your connection as a couple. Technology is great for maintaining a connection with family and friends, but it doesn’t do much for a relationship-granted, if you’re in a long distance romance that is another story. But generally speaking, if you see your partner everyday, you shouldn’t feel the need to text them all that much about things other than asking if they could pleasepleaseplease stop by the store for tampons and a snickers bar-just me? But I mean, why wouldn’t you just talk to them face to face? Or at least call them on your lunch break if you’re horny and have phone sex in the car like a civilized person. (PS while I am a total sexing hater, phone sex is something I can totally get behind). While it might feel otherwise, sexting actually builds a false sense of intimacy. It feels like a “safe” way to express yourself sexually, but hiding behind an iPhone isn’t going to get you a one way ticket to orgasm city.

These days, relationships start via text and end via text. I have friends who get into intense arguments with their boyfriends via text, and it never seems to occur to them to pick up the damn phone and call each other…or even better, suggest meeting somewhere face to face to hash it out. The best sex is the kind that strips you bare and leaves you a bit vulnerable. If you feel like sexting is the easy or safe  way to let your partner know what you like or what you want, try whispering it in his ear instead. Or better yet, showing him exactly what you mean.

It’s not to say that sexting can’t be a fun add-on to an already satisfying sex life, and there is nothing wrong with texting your boyfriend a naughty one liner (just make sure you send it to the right person) as long as you put more, much more, emphasis on your face to face interactions. Think of sexting as the sprinkles on an already delicious cupcake. It’s just a little something something extra…but you really don’t need it, and it’s not what you notice when you take a big bite. Yes, I did just compare sex to a cupcake. In related news, why yes I am pmsing.

Liz is the social media manager at We Love Dates and No Strings Dating. She writes, tweets and thinks about love and sex all the live long day. In her spare time, she watches way too much reality TV and has a slight obsession with chips, salsa and margaritas. 

What do you guys think about sexting?

 

Nether Regions

To say I’ve been a bit sexually pent up lately would be the understatement of the century.

When I was still seeing Fitness Guy, sexy time was hard to come by. He’s a single dad with a child at home and I’m currently still living with my parents, which meant that to get some horizontal alone time, it usually required some creative scheduling. There’s only one thing worse than being single and sexually frustrated – it’s dating someone you’re attracted to and knowing you can’t have sex with them when you want to. There were a few times near the end where I needed it so bad, that it required all my willpower not to maul him in his car when he dropped me off at the end of the night.

Now that I’m 100% single, it’s like my hormones are officially running wild.

I know what you’re probably thinking, “But Simone, don’t you have like a bazillion amazing vibrators at your disposal?!”

Yes, it’s true – I do have a fairly impressive collection of sex toys. I also have tons of lingerie and massage oil and lube and so many condoms that I can only hope I’ll be able to use up before they all expire. I’m starting to become the creepy, bougie female equivalent of Seth Green’s character in the 90’s classic “Can’t Hardly Wait”.

Swap that backpack for a Louis Vuitton Never-Full bag, and that’s basically me in a nutshell – minus the tracksuit and goggles. To the outside observer I’m one step away from being one of those people who hoard cans of soup in their homemade backyard bomb shelter, however in my case it looks like I’m preparing for some impending Sexual Apocalypse where strawberry flavoured lube and crotchless panties will no longer be available for purchase.

Not that I’m complaining about my stockpile of goodies – I absolutely love, love, LOVE the perks of my job. However, after spending a huge chunk of my week writing about sex, dating and relationships, the piles of condoms and the sexy lingerie (that no one ever sees except you guys!) act as a reminder of how much sex I’m not having. For awhile I thought what I really needed was just hot roll in the hay. However, as much as a sexy fling sounds awesome right now, I’ve learned that casual sex really isn’t my thing anymore. I’m looking for a deeper, longer lasting emotional connection. I’d like to find the kind of chemistry I had with Fitness Guy, but with someone who actually wants to stick around.

Still, the hormones rage on. It’s gotten so bad that my mind has started to wander to interesting (inappropriate) places. As I was telling my friend over Skype the other night, I’ve never been one to date younger men. However, lately I’ve taken to checking out the cute young guy who works at the Polish Deli.

My friend: “How old is this said, young guy?”

Me: “I mean, he could be 17 or 18, but I think he’s closer to 19 or 20. You know, it’s hard to tell”

Her: “The fact that you’re not sure signals that something is very wrong with this situation”

Me: “No kidding, it all seemed pretty innocent until the last time I was in there and he actually checked me out. Then I was thinking, WHOA BUDDY THIS IS WRONG. I’M OLD. It also didn’t help that I was buying a large thing of Kielbassa.”

My friend is right. I’d never act on this situation, however I’m hoping if I keep bringing it up she might fly out from Toronto to see me under the guise of staging an intervention so, we can instead spend the weekend doing more important things like drinking champagne.

I thought maybe my troubles were coming to end after I went out on a couple dates last week with a new guy we’ll call “Small Town Cop.” Small Town Cop was nice, friendly, handsome, well-dressed and of course, an officer of the law. We went out for a nice dinner at a popular restaurant in town and had a good enough time for him to ask me out again. I told him that I’m a writer and about the blog. I didn’t really think this would be an issue until he texted me the next day.

“So, I’ve been reading your blog. Just one question: when I kissed you last night, did you feel it in your nether regions? ;)”

“Ha, what?!”

Then he mentioned that he’d read about this on my blog. To be honest I write for myself and clients, all week, every week and sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what I’ve said before. Immediately, I started wracking my brain trying to remember when I had ever used the term “nether regions” in a post. Meanwhile I’m also just thinking:

“FUCK. So, this is what it feels like when your blog comes back to bite you in the ass”

Although the kiss goodnight was nice, I didn’t feel any butterflies and certainly not in my nether regions. In fact, I was mostly just distracted because I was still thinking of Fitness Guy. But was I going to tell him that? No. I liked the guy enough to see where this might lead. However, this wouldn’t be the last I’d hear about this.

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