She Works Hard for the Money

90's Supermodels in Chanel

Often men will approach me acting as though they are interested in doing business with me when they clearly have ulterior motives. The most common (and most innocent) example of how men work the business angle is when I tell them I teach Pilates one-on-one. I can’t tell you how many guys will say they want to take Pilates when they first meet me, when they are really hoping to get a date. I used to offer a complimentary thirty-minute session to prospective clients, until I realized that most of the men who were taking advantage of this offer were simply wasting my time. After their thirty minutes were up, they would not purchase a package and would ask me out to dinner instead. My answer would unequivocally be, “No!” These men honestly would have had a better chance with me had they been upfront about their intentions.

A man once approached me at a club telling me he could help me build my Pilates business. He had connections to the cast of a popular primetime evening show and offered to help market me as a “Pilates instructor to the stars.” I agreed to meet him for dinner, but as he drew the curtains around the table and poured me a glass of red wine, I realized this was not a business meeting. Later when I refused to kiss this guy, he accused me of using him. Excuse me—Who had offered to help who? I was only guilty of being too naïve thinking that his help didn’t come with strings attached. If he had wanted a date, he should have just asked if he could take me to dinner. I may or may not have said yes, but at least neither one of us would have felt taken advantage of.

The best example of a man not being clear with his intentions occurred a few years ago when a modeling agency sent me on a job interview for a personal assistant position. I thought it was odd that someone would call a modeling agency for a PA, but I trusted the agency that sent me out on the interview. I suppose, given the choice, any man would prefer to have an assistant who is easy on the eyes. Once at the job interview, I asked what my daily tasks would be. My prospective employer told me that there would be some clerical work, but when we are slow, we would take hikes, get manicures, and go shopping together. Now that sounded like my kind of job! But of course, I’m smart enough to know that this position did not seem legit. This man then proceeded to tell me that he would take me to dinner at some of the best restaurants in town as well as on trips to Vegas and Miami. When he asked me how I felt if he “put a giant diamond necklace on me,” I mustered the courage to ask him whether he was looking for an assistant or a girlfriend. He assured me that he was indeed looking for an assistant, but that we would be spending a lot of time together, and I just might end up liking him. Needless to say, I declined that job and resented losing three hours of my life at that “job interview.”

I’m sure this kind of thing happens all the time with the models and actresses here in Los Angeles, and it’s very unfortunate because a lot of us girls are out there working really hard to pay the bills. When guys like these offer us opportunities, we want to be open to the possibility; however, when we discover that many of these men have ulterior motives, we feel upset because they’ve not only wasted our time, but also messed with our money. Then we really don’t want to go out with them.

If you’re a guy who has used this tactic in the past, I really hope you start to become clear about your intentions from now on. If a date is what you want, ask for a date! She might say yes, and if she says no, then you are saving yourself a great deal of frustration. Now, of course, you’re always welcome to help a girl out, but if you want more than a business relationship, please either let her know so she doesn’t feel duped, or don’t get mad if she rejects your advances later on. A woman always wants to be taken seriously in her profession, so she might not want to mix business with pleasure, and her time is just as precious as yours. A true gent is impeccable with his word and will never offer to help if he doesn’t intend to follow through, regardless of what he’s getting—or not getting–out of the situation♥

**Originally published in Southern Vixens Magazine**

Sex with Single Dads

Johnny Depp holding baby

A girlfriend of mine from Chicago swore she would never date a man with kids. Well, after years of saying she would never go there, she ended up falling in love with a guy who happened to have a little boy–you can’t help who you love!

There were times, however, when she became frustrated with dating someone who couldn’t make her his entire universe because, understandably, he had other priorities. I remember her calling me a while back complaining that there are absolutely no advantages to dating a man who has kids.

I thought, surely there has to be some advantage, at least one. From my own experience, I’ve found that men with children tend to be more nurturing and caretaking. Plus, it’s hard to juggle multiple women when you are already juggling your children with your girlfriend. A man without children is probably less responsible and could be more interested in drinking and partying. Therefore, I would think a man with children would be much more stable and grounded.

It seems like every man I meet these days either has kids or wants kids. Some of these guys already have kids but still want more kids. Although many of my girlfriends simply refuse to date a man with children, I’ve always kept an open mind. In fact, there was even a time where I thought it was a good idea to date a man who already had kids because it would let my uterus off the hook. Now don’t get me wrong, I love children—I just don’t particularly want to give birth to one. I’m a really fun aunt, but I’ve never had a strong desire to be a mother. For that reason, dating single dads seemed to make sense in theory. However, after dating a man with two young children, I started to re-think my position.

Several years ago, I was dating a man with two boys, 3 and 5-years-old. One of my guy friends tried to warn me saying, “Don’t do it! He will never put you first.” But, of course, I didn’t listen. This man’s divorce was so fresh that the ink on his decree was barely dry. He had dated other women before me, but not seriously, and I, unfortunately, was his first relationship since splitting from his wife.

One of my other girlfriends says she doesn’t date single dads, not because of the children themselves, but because there will always be another woman in the picture. You see, what I hadn’t factored in is the baby’s momma situation. In this case, there was no formal custody arrangement, and since my then boyfriend and his ex lived so close, any time she wanted to go out, she would ask him to take the kids so she didn’t have to call a babysitter. Additionally, she had a rule that I couldn’t meet the children until we were together nine months—we only made it six.

Now, it wasn’t that I was dying to meet the kids. I don’t want to parent or play mom to anyone. If I did find myself in a serious relationship with a single dad, I would simply aspire to be a good friend to his children. The biggest challenge to dating my then boyfriend was that he would often have to cancel or reschedule dates with me at the last minute if his ex called asking him to take the boys. Had I been allowed to meet them, then we could have all stayed in and watched a movie or something. However, since that was against the rules, there were many nights when my boyfriend cancelled on me, sometimes so last minute that I was already putting on my makeup to go out for the night. And if my boyfriend would ever tell his ex that he already had plans, she would make him feel guilty about not putting the children first. Something I’ve witnessed is that single dads tend to carry a great deal of guilt.

Although I never did officially meet the kids, the three-year-old once saw me from his bedroom window. The mere sight of me made him start crying, asking his dad, “Who is the woman in the driveway?” Not knowing how to handle the situation, my then boyfriend told his son that there was no one in the driveway, and the kid kept crying. I always wondered why my boyfriend just didn’t say I was a friend. From that point on, I had to enter the house through the back door if the kids were home.

I swear, there’s a little boy somewhere in Calabasas that still probably has nightmares over me. To be honest, I felt a little bad after that night. I mean, most kids adore me. Was I really that scary in my pink lace dress? I don’t want to be a person who makes kids cry just by looking at me. And I definitely don’t want to be the “woman in the driveway.”

Too much drama, too many rules, and far too many cancelled dates–that experience left me a little turned off to single dads until a few years later when I met a man who actually got it right. He was able to be both a good dad and an attentive boyfriend. He introduced me to his son after only a few dates. I didn’t spend much time with the kid, but this guy wanted to avoid any weirdness or awkwardness if his son saw me coming and going. The three of us watched The Smurfs together and ate banana ice cream. It was no big deal, there was no drama, and not a single tear was shed. The guy and I broke up eventually, but for reasons that had nothing to do with him being single dad.

Naturally, a man’s children have to come first. I wouldn’t want a man who abandons his kids for me. If a man ever convinces me to have a baby with him, I would want to know that he is an excellent father–I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I think a man should be able to both attend to kids and make the woman in his life feel special. The way you love a child is different from the way you love a woman—there shouldn’t be a competition. I believe there is enough love to go around for everyone. Unfortunately, it seems as though many men have trouble with this balance.

Now, would I date a man with kids again? Yes, I would give it another try. It’s not that I’m specifically seeking out single dads, but I wouldn’t rule them out. Although there are challenges to dating a man with children, I do believe there are men out there who know how to keep everyone happy.

As for my girlfriend, after she and I hung up the phone that day, I opened up my computer. On my Facebook newsfeed, someone had posted an article on why sex with single dads is the best kind of sex. I immediately forwarded the article to my girlfriend, telling her I found an advantage to dating single dads.

She responded, “Yes, that is true! Single dads are better in bed.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering how I feel about sex with single dads…I think I’ll be a lady and say, “No comment.”

But there must be a reason we keep dating them♥

Wild Nights in the City of Light

Laughter

I’ll admit I haven’t been very fun in L.A. lately. I barely go out anymore—most nights you can find me at home writing or curled up with a book. I always seem to have early clients or a pending deadline, and I’m perpetually on a diet. Plus, although I love this city, I’ve lived here a long time, so I feel I’ve pretty much seen and done everything this town has to offer.

However, there’s something about being in a new city that brings out my adventurous nature and makes me come alive. I want to discover and explore the city and see as much as possible. I once heard the term “traveler’s bravado” used to describe how people tend to behave more boldly on vacation; well, I think I definitely had some “traveler’s bravado” going on while I was visiting Paris Valentine’s weekend.

I went to Paris with a girlfriend, and it seemed as though she and I switched roles for the weekend. When we’re in L.A., my girlfriend is the one who always wants to hit up all the clubs and parties. However, in Paris, she was far more interested in shopping on the Champs Elysees and taking selfies with the Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo, while I was the one who wanted to stay out until the sun came up. After our first night of the trip, my girlfriend remarked that I’m much wilder in Paris than in L.A.

I had been to Paris ten years earlier and was lucky enough to have stayed at the ultra-posh Hotel Costes. I’ve always loved the ambience and the décor of the hotel, which is adorned with beautiful fresh roses, and I remembered the bar scene was really fun, so I suggested we start the night out there. It was at the Hotel Costes that my girlfriend and I met many interesting characters—a French man who asked us for a threesome, a man from Saudi Arabia who invited us to a strip club (we politely declined), but it was the swinger couple from Switzerland we had the most fun with—of course, not THAT kind of fun.

When we went to order drinks at the bar, the husband, in the most gentlemanly manner, stood up to offer my friend his seat. At this point we didn’t know they were swingers yet, but we did notice the wife was very friendly and smiling ear to ear. My girlfriend even commented that the wife looked so happy—could it be possible swinging is the key to a happy marriage? I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and when I opened the door to leave the stall, the wife was standing there waiting for me. She told me she thought I was beautiful and went in to kiss me. Not wanting her to feel rejected, I politely gave her a peck on the lips and told her I wanted to go check on my friend.

The couple invited us to go to another spot along with their group. When we got to the venue, my new friends started dancing on the bar. I danced with them for a few songs before going to join my girlfriend who was sitting in a booth on her phone. My girlfriend still wasn’t aware the couple was on the prowl, so as the husband made his way over to us, I quietly clued her in. Right away, she loudly asked him, “Are you and your wife swingers?” He stood up taller and proudly exclaimed, “Why, yes, we are!”

At this point, a guy who looked like a French Bradley Cooper approached me. When I told him he looked like the American actor, he said, “I am much prettier than Bradley Cooper.” My girlfriend said, “Eeeew. Let’s go home.”

The next night as the two of us were walking into a nightclub, a very handsome 6’7 rugby player from Dublin approached us. There had been a big Ireland Vs. France match that night in Paris, and this guy’s ear was all scratched up as a result. Although I thought he was cute, my girlfriend and I headed straight to the bathroom. My girlfriend wasn’t in the mood to party, and she left almost immediately. I ended up dancing and sipping champagne with a couple of French guys at their table. I wasn’t interested in either guy, but they were showing me a good time.

At some point, I became hungry and asked one of the guys to take me for a cheeseburger. While we were getting my coat from the coat check, the rugby player swooped in and whispered in my ear, asking me if I wanted him to save me, I nodded. He said, “Sorry, she’s with me,” took my hand and walked me out of the club directly in a cab. Very smooth—I did feel a little bad for the French guy, but you gotta love the rugby player’s take-charge kind of a attitude.

When the cab driver asked us where we wanted to go, we said, “Take us for cheeseburgers.” As the cab driver pulled up to McDonald’s, I said, “Not McDonald’s! I don’t eat fast food.” The cab driver said, “Well, you’re American, I thought you would want an American burger.” I said, “I want a FRENCH burger,” and that’s exactly what I got. The cab driver took us to a little hole in the wall where I got my burger, which consisted of four mini beef patties on a baguette, and that French burger was delicious!

The rugby player and I tried to decide what to do next. He thought the Arc de Triomphe would still be open for hot chocolate. However, it was already around 5am when we arrived at the monument, and the security guards told us it was closed. Since we couldn’t go inside, the rugby player gave me a piggyback ride around Arc de Triomphe instead. He dropped me off at my hotel at 6am and headed back to his hotel to catch a 10am flight back to Dublin.

When I told my girlfriend I had hung out with the handsome rugby player we had met, she asked if he was “the giant with the bloody ear.” I laughed, “Yes, that’s him,” adding, ”He’s fun!”

As if piggyback rides and cheeseburgers weren’t exciting enough, on my last night, I was hit by a lightening bolt. The way the French describe love at first sight, un coup de foudre, literally means a stroke of lightening. I can’t think of anything more romantic than Valentine’s Day in Paris. I ended up having had the most magical dinner with a man who told me he felt a lightening bolt when he saw me, and we both felt if circumstances were different, that maybe we could fall in love.

Now I’m not a person who believes that love has any bounds, but realistically, we lived on separate continents with a great big ocean dividing us. So, this was a very bittersweet ending to my weekend in Paris.

The next morning, as I packed my bags to head back home to Los Angeles, my girlfriend said, “You met a lot of nice guys here this weekend.” And it’s true, I really had. I love the French joie de vivre!

L.A. is often referred to as La La Land, but it was Paris that felt like a dream♥