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This is the short on dating. Some history, some terminology, and one muddy anecdote to inspire your curiosity.

Here's a link to our flirting video:

You might also like this one on the matching hypothesis:

Thank you for staying curious with me.

And a special thanks to the team that puts a new Sexplanations episode out every week. If you'd like to join our team and continue to learn more about sexuality (and occasionally me), check-out: and subscribe.

Dr. Doe's contact info:
(t-shirts, sweatshirts, posters, clits, masturbating monsters coloring books)

Videographer's social media:
MATTHEW GAYDOS (director+):
My name is Dr. Lindsey Doe and this is Sexplanations.

-- Intro Cut Scene --

This is a reprint of the 1945 How to Get Along with  Boys. 

"It should not be necessary for a man to splurge every time he sees you. He may be so worried about the fancy bill you are running up that he hardly here's your witticisms."
"If you would get along with real men you must accept the less than perfect and be glad of it."

"Don't let him get the idea you are rejecting him unless you really mean to."

"Do not neglect your girlfriends. Some of them have brothers."

"If you live in a small town, where eligible males are numbered and it is impossible to meet other men, you might prevail upon your family to move to a larger city."

Ah dating advice in the 1940s. Which is actually when the dating scene really took off. Before World War II, partnering was done as business arrangements or courtship - a formal preparation for marriage. During and after World War II there were fewer eligible bachelors, because they had gone off to fight and many of them never came home. This caused society to switch from a procreation and marriage-based system to one of competition and consumption. People were far less concerned about a guy's qualifications as husband and father and more concerned about how to get the guy!

Add this to the advent of oral contraceptive pills, so it was possible to have sex without getting pregnant, and to more people living in apartments without front porches for mom and dad to keep an eye on them, and to the popularity of automobiles for drive-in movies and parking (or making out in a parked car) and you have the perfect foundation for dating.

We now have an entire language built around this culture and rules updated for dating in 2017. You've probably heard of BAE - one's significant other, and shipping - imagining people into relationships; but what about ghosting - when a person stops communicating with a person they were dating, or benching - keeping someone you're into on standby in case the relationship you're in falls through.

Tuning is getting to know a person through flirting before deciding to go on a date.

Cuffing season refers to fall and winter, when people want to be partnered because it's cold and a lot of time is spent indoors.

DTR stands for "Define The Relationship" and that usually happens six to eight dates in

A shack pack is an overnight bag. this might include a toothbrush, change of socks and underwear, maybe deodorant.

VBD - a "very bad date." Let's avoid that one! Here are some quick tips for how you can be a very good date:

  • Clean your teeth and freshen your breath (oral hygiene is one of the top considerations people make when deciding to move forward) also
  • Keep your hands manicured - one of the top turnoffs is bad cuticles.
  • Wear something you feel confident in and, if possible, go with something blue. Participants in a University of Washington study associated the color with security, high quality, and dependability. And color experts say it improves mental activity.
  • Generally the rule is that whoever does the asking like "can I take you on a date" is the person who pays for that date.
  • if you want to have equal opportunity investment asking to "go dutch" is a polite way of saying "can we split the bill"
  • Is romance important? According to survey, 32% of heterosexuals, 36% of lesbians, and 38% of gay men say yes.
  • Ultimately being thoughtful and courteous can go a long way.
  • Show up on time
  • make eye contact when your date is talking to you
  • ask questions and answer what you're asked honestly
I've already made a video on flirting (link below) which is great for people new to it and for those who are in long-term relationships.

Plan an experience, have an adventure, do something that might not be sexy but is fun. The best date I ever went on the guy showed up, met my roommates for safety and told me to grab a swimming suit. He took me to a Mexican restaurant and ordered things off the menu I hadn't even heard of before: sopapillas - deep-fried tortillas with honey and cinnamon. We walked along the river to a sculpture made of stones and walked back to his car. Then, with my permission, he drove me to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. We got out of the car (which was nice and clean by the way) and walked across... I don't know what you would call it... brush, sticks, bushes, "pokey things," a two-foot deep mud creek... Not romantic or sexy but silly and adventuresome. Finally, there it was - a special place he was sharing with me a beautiful secluded beach. We swam out to an island, and cuddled to stay warm, then hiked out in the moonlight - at which point my sandal broke and he fashioned a new strap with braided grasses. It was great! And because of it, I went home with him (where I should note that he let me take a hot shower by myself and eat pop-tarts in his bed.) it wasn't perfect. My feet were full of thorns and at one point I was perplexed by where we were off to, but that was part of the charm.

What I would encourage you to do is ask your friends and family what their best dates were like. It's a great way to build a catalogue of ideas, and to learn how different experiences play out. What I hope you get from your research is that "date" also means a month, day, and year something happens. Spending time with someone (be it online, just once, or for decades) only needs a place on the calendar to be a date. The rest is just you doing the best you can, and no one should expect any more than that.

Stay Curious