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This episode of Sexplanations is sponsored by Adam & Eve dot com.

[Intro: throat clearing sound, whip cracking sound]

Welcome to Sexplanations. I'm Dr. Lindsey Doe, clinical sexologist and host of this sex-curious show. I have been wanting to go on fifty dates for a really long time because I've never really experienced that. Haven't had that opportunity, so when I found somebody who has done this, I invited her as a guest onto the show.

Sydney! Sydney! Hi!

Sydney: Hi. 

LD: Welcome to Sexplanations.

S: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here.

LD: Yeah. Thanks for going on fifty dates.

S: You're welcome. 

LD: Specifically fifty dates, not...

S: Fifty dates...

LD: ...fifty first dates.

S: No, no, no. Not fifty first dates. 

LD: OK.

S: There was like, fifty dates and maybe fifteen people. From January to now. 

LD: Wow. So, like, pandemic dates.

S: Yeah, it was pandemic dating. There was a little bit more navigation involved.

LD: OK! I'm so excited. Please tell me all about it, because I think I've only managed, like four dates. Ever.

S: In your life?

LD: Yeah, because I would just hang out with someone, and then we would... be. 

S: OK. Maybe it's your generation [both laugh]. I think we're the same generation. 

LD: See, you're so old, you just like, date to marry, move her along. I mean, yeah, probably? You have a few years. I am a millennial. You are a millennial?

S: So technically we're the same generation.

LD: Kay. Whatever. Doesn't matter. 

S: Doesn't matter.

LD: So tell me about your dating. 

S: OK. So I started dating last fall pretty consistently.

LD: OK.

S: And all via Bumble. And I love Bumble. And one of the reasons I love Bumble is because you know what you're getting yourself into, for the most part. You see the person, you kind of know their activities, and here in Missoula, like, it's a small town, like you kind of know what you're getting. 

LD: OK, as a woman though...

S: OK

LD: ...you date all genders? 

S: I do. That, that has been more recent. 

LD: Ok, but more recent from the dating? Like did you ever have a situation where it was you and another woman? 

S: Dating on Bumble?

LD: Yeah.

S: Yes. 

LD: And then anybody makes the first move?

S: I was wondering about that. I think it's anybody. If you live under a rock and you don't know about Bumble, the woman makes the first move.

LD: Yeah. Mine is always just the hand emoji, just like, hey, I'm here acknowledging that you are a thing that I maybe want. Please feel free. Equality. 

S: Uh huh. 

LD: Keep going.

S: I've heard about the hand emoji, and um...

LD: That my partner is not a fan of that move?

S: Yes! He told me that, and I was like, "That is a very odd pick up line." Which is fine. 

LD: Equality! OK, keep going.

S: Anyways, so yeah, I met people on Bumble. I think what I have found is really important for Bumble is — and for dating in general — is going in not expecting to find your life partner. Like, you need to be very open-minded about what you're looking for, and like, open to experiences because if you approach it from that angle, then it's much harder to be let down. And if you have, like a very strange date or you meet a very strange person, you can just laugh about it with your friends or on YouTube. 

LD: Oh gosh! Your poor dates!

S: No, no, no, wait! I have been very lucky. I've been very lucky and I've only had very good dates. But I think part of it is because I go in not expecting to, like oh I want to meet this person and then go on many dates with them and have sex and get married and have kids. It's more of, like oh, I love meeting people, and I'm interested in this person and I know, because we already met via the platform, that they are interested in me. And so it like gives you someplace to stand.

LD: Yeah, you told me that, from the first time I met you. You just liked going on dates to meet people.

S: Mmhm, Yeah. I have one other single friend who's also on Bumble, and we do it together. And that is what group Bumbling is, very fun. We have decided that it's always worth going on a second date - like if you have the time to commit and if this person isn't terrible then it's probably worth going on a second date. Because the first date everybody- like some people are very nervous. And they don't, like they don't talk so you have to carry the conversation, and then I get nervous and it's just like a whole awkward affair. But by the second date you've got a better idea of the person, um, you're a little bit more relaxed, you do have to find a new outfit which can be a challenge. But I think that's worth trying. 

LD: Okay, so
1: group Bumble.
2: it's worth it going on a second date

S: Mmhm

LD: Alright, I'm just collecting insight here.

S: Okay, yes. 

LD: What else have you taken away from your experiences? Who have you dated‽ That's what I want to know. You don't have to give names but...

S: Umm, so there's... Okay, so, well who have I dated? I've dated like fifteen people of mostly men, and then towards like, later in the year more women. So like maybe ten men and five women? Kind of across the spectrum. And the thing with Bumble is, like, it actually does a pretty terrible job of describing the person you're going to get. Like, one of my most favourite people that I've met via Bumble I don't think her profile explains her. Like, the person that I know at all. And - which is hard. It's really hard to make a profile. I think that's like, one of the big limiting factors of people doing online dating. 

LD: So maybe we could offer people- that they put their bubble or their tinder, whatever platform they wanna use -  profile line, their bio - and then we will give them feedback. We- 

S: [Laughing] the community!

S: Yeah and, you know, everybody has such different ideas about what they want, so yes, let’s try that.

LD: so 15 men men men men women - what other things can you tell me from the experience of dating?

S: Yes, so I think one of the most powerful things that I learned from going on all these dates is- I mean, often during the hype of the dating, and this was um… pre-covid, so pre-covid,- I would have like 5 to 7 dates a week, and it would be like: this person one night, this person the next night, this other person the next night, day 2 this other night, and it was like a lot – it was a lot – but it also made it like really easy to compare – like oh this person, last night, like they…. Umm

LD:[laughing] I LOVE THIS

S: like they managed their time this way and like they engaged with me in this way and I really liked that, whereas this person, it was a little bit harder for me to engage with them, and so it was a very easy comparison over.. um… and it like helped me figure out what I wanted in a partner and maybe wasn’t what wasn’t as important in a partner. And I ended having a lot of these conversations with.. um… like my parents and other people in long-lasting loving relationships asking like: is it the things you share in common, that has led to the success of this relationship? Is it your ease of interaction, that has led to success? What- what exactly is it, because there are some people, like this one guy in particular, like we had nothing in common, he was a night-owl, he loved music and – I mean I like music, I’m not a night owl – and just like the way we lived our lives was very different, but we got along so well. It was just so easy to hang out with him. And so it’s.. it’s like: is that somebody… that I could spend… uh many many years with? Like, I don’t know! Dating so many people in such close proximity- generated a lot of questions like that; and a lot of thinking.

LD: okay, so then number three would be: date a lot of people within a short amount of time so comparison is easier; and four is that it brings up questions, which you then ask to those who you admire in their own relationships.

S: Yeah definitely. 

LD: okay!

S: And of yourself too like, how important is it for me… so I work at a non-profit, how important is it for me to find somebody else who works at a non-profit. Before this dating experiment I was like, ‘oh yes, very important’.

LD: Really?!

S:… yeah I don’t know, like very important that the person I date works in a non-profit, is a man, is from Montana and um… has a beard or like those are probably some of the things. And now like, literally my current partner; none of those things are the case, and it’s amazing! And I- so I think if you let it, dating can open- like open your mind and your heart to like what’s- what’s out there. But you have to let it; it’s not easy to do that.

LD: Okay! So how many people did you date at the same time.

S: So it depended on what was in the queue, but it was-

LD and S: [Laughing]  

S: Sounds like... that sounds terrible, but like maybe three to five

LD: okay

S: It was... that was a little stressful, like "Oh my gosh, what if all these people are perfect?"

LD: woah

S: That was a thought I had. And then I had to step back and say like, ok... like let's let the universe decide. And it always worked out.

LD: Are you... Do you object to having multiple people being perfect?

S: I - They were all perfect in their own way.

LD: Ah! Oh my gosh, I hope they're watching. Okay. So then you had all these people, and you're with one person now?

S: I'm with... yeah - Correct.

LD: How did that detachment happen?

S: Very organically. Like, um... So like most recently, this - uh... Like a few months ago during Covid, we were going on... I was seeing two people - a man and a woman. And this was before my current partner entered the scene, and the man was a wildlife biologist and he was like, "I'm going to look at the birds in Eastern Montana - I'll be gone." And I was like, 'well there goes one option, that's great. Thank you.'

LD and S: [Laughing]  

LD: [Laughing] Oh my gosh

S: Um, so the next one - so the woman, she... um, had to work in field, with the trees. And so, she was going. And um, so that was kind of like an easy, natural conclusion. And then kind of at the same time, she was about to leave - my current partner entered the scene. Like we talked about earlier, because I had been on so many dates with so many people, it was very obvious to me that this person has the chemistry and the connection that I was looking for. Yeah, so it just like, kind of magically worked.

I - there were times when we - I was like in a longer, like a month-long thing with a specific person, and not dating anybody else, and then that required conversations that were, I guess like kind of a break up. But it wasn't like, as intense as like, an actual break up.

LD: Okay, whoa. Will you tell me one of the things you said?

S: Yes, um, one of them – for me when I am looking for somebody to enter into a like more serious longer-term relationship with, I have found the other two times that I've had serious relationships with it's been an easy choice, like, I don't have to make a decision, like, this is obvious, this is what I want, I don't have to talk myself into this. And then in the other instances where I've been trying to decide, like "oh this man, like, he's a really good person, he'll love me no matter what, our friends are friends, like, his parents are great," but, like something is missing. And that is when it's hard for me to know, like, what's going on with me or this person that's missing and so what I found with that is just, like, my heart is not in it.

LD: That's what you say?

S: Mmhm, my heart is not in it.

LD: My heart is not in it. What's your favorite break up line to receive?

S: I'm interested in somebody else and I wanna see where that goes. Which can be as vague as, like, I could not currently be interested in somebody else, but I know that one day I will be, and it's I guess maybe a nicer way of saying, like, I don't want to go out with you, which you could say that too.

LD: Tell us in the comments as well your favorite break up lines.

S: By favorite you mean actual favorite (LD: Yeah) or least favorite?

LD: The things that you have said that have worked well (S: Okay) or the things you want, to have said to you.

S: Yes, great, I love that.

LD: I mean, I am the kind to like – when I partner with somebody, I then have to let all the other matches know and just, like, cut and paste, like (S: (laughs) every single match) "hey, I'm not ghosting you, this is not about you, but there is someone that I want to focus my attention on."

S: That's so great.

LD: Well, because – yeah I want apps to work. I think they are a really good way for people to get to know each other and they're especially safe for people who might get hit on a lot in public, and so I want to reinforce that, and people don't like them if they're treated poorly so...

S: That is so true.

LD:  ...treat each other better. It's Covid, like we're all psychologically struggling.

S: Mmhm, especially with dating apps, cause they have such a bad wrap, at least in my circles in Misoula they have a terrible wrap.

LD: We've got to make it better.

S: Exactly, yeah, yeah.

LD: Okay, want to talk about toys now? That one you get to take with you. This one my friend wants, so they asked me to plug it now so that they can have it.

S: (laughs) okay

LD: And it is a booty sparks, make that booty light up.

S: Oh

LD: Three LED light pattern, we have these parties in Mexico, had these parties I should say, (S: yeah) um in their arroyos which are the dry river beds and so, I think they are hoping to sport this as part of the attire for the evening, (S: Wow) in future, yeah way ahead because

S: Way, way ahead.

LD: Because pandemic. I mean I guess if you wear a mask and a butt plug you are fine. All right, let me see anything else that's cool about it. Oh, it's heavy, nickel free, aluminum alloy, comfortably weighted, yeah, that's true. Okay, what did you get?

S: I got a silicone marvelous teaser. It's easy to operate.

LD: I like the packaging.

S: I do like the packaging. 

LD: Yeah.

S: This lady, she's having so much fun already.

LD: She is, and she's a person of colour, which I don't ever get to see (S: on packaging?) on marketing stuff especially for something sexy like a – it looks like a leaf.

S: It does look like a leaf, you gave it to me and I had no idea what it is. It's a marvelous teaser and there's a –

LD: And then you hold it and it's got like –

S: There a description on the back –

LD: What does it say?

S: – silicon, there's vibration, pulsation and escalation.

LD: (laughs) I just live – I love having you here to read it.

S: Oh, it's a massager.

LD: Yeah, just call it that.

S: Okay

LD: It's probably really easy to clean too.

S: It – yeah I think so.

LD: Okay, report back please.

S: Okay I will, yeah.

LD: Yay! This is really cool because I don't know if you know this about me, if you go to https://www.adameve.com/ and you put all these toys, lube, condoms – because condoms are good for toys, not just penises – and you put them in your shopping cart and you use the promo code Doe, D-o-e, just my last name, you can get 50% off an eligible item plus free shipping on the whole package to the US or Canada.

S: Really?

LD: Surprise!

S: Surprise

LD: Tell all your friends, get the toys!

Both: Stay curious!

[Outro music]