Welcome to the first installment of HOW SLEAZE IS LIVED IN AMERICA, a four-part series inspired by my old college roommate, Ann Landers. For the last year or so, Ann's been running cute "how we met" stories sent in by her readers. Most of these stories, like most of Ann's readers, have been grimly wholesome. But not everyone meets cute; lots of loving, long-term relationships--mine included--began under sleazy circumstances. To set the record straight, I invited you, my readers, to share your sleazy meeting stories. Most of the stories I received--and I got hundreds of responses--fell into four broad categories: Booze-Fueled Sleazy Meetings; Drug-Induced Sleazy Meetings; Kinked-Out Sleazy Meetings; and, finally, those Sleazy Anonymous Gay Meetings male homosexuals excel at.
Compared to primates, our nearest living relatives, we humans are painfully shy. Unlike chimps, we won't casually pick nits out of a complete stranger's pubic hair and pop them into our mouths. Unlike baboons, our butts aren't flaming red. As a consequence, we humans have a harder time hooking up. Booze-o-phobes argue that booze is bad because it lowers our inhibitions. To my sober friends, I say this: We human beings need our inhibitions lowered! Countless beautiful relationships begin in bars or clubs, when the miracle of public drunkenness figuratively paints our asses flaming bright red.
My husband and I, two Italian American Catholics, met 12 years ago at a bar in a VERY uptight Southern Baptist town. He was out with friends at a bachelor party; I was with some friends. (I was NOT the entertainment.) He was completely drunk, but lots of fun and a great dancer. As we left he walked into a wall, then asked for my number. He called me the next day, and we've been together ever since. We got married on the fourth anniversary of the drunken night we met. Eight years of marriage, two kids, one mortgage, and one minivan later, and he is STILL the best time I've ever had!
I met this man at work, felt an immediate connection, and then found out that he was married. Normally I would have stopped right there, but I just couldn't ignore what I was feeling. The next night, I invited a bunch of friends to drink at a scruffy little bar, and made sure he would be there. We flirted all night. In the early morning, we drove to a mutual friend's house, who just happened to be an ex of mine, and ended up having incredible sex on the bathroom floor. We've never spent a night apart since, and have been together nearly three years. He's divorced now, and we're engaged. I am so glad that I trusted my instincts instead of doing what was "proper." When it's right, it's right, no matter what.
My partner and I met 10 years ago at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I was in Lafitte's on Bourbon Street, standing there on the balcony, drunk, and dripping in beads. Up walks this extremely cute guy. He says, "You've got all these beads and I don't have any. How do I get some?" I tell him to show me his dick, and he does. He not only had a nice dick, but he was bright, funny, cute, single, and it turned out that he lived in the same city I did!
I met my fiancé three years ago, during a seriously slutty phase of my life. I had taken up salsa dancing in order to practice my Spanish on attractive young Latinos by, uh, sleeping with them. "Mi casa esta muy cerca." One of these men is now my fiancé. We met at 11:00, and by 1:30 were fucking in the front seat of my car in the parking lot. Afterward, we exchanged phone numbers in a desultory this-really-doesn't-make-it-any-less-sleazy-but-we-can-pretend-it-does way. Imagine my surprise when he called. I had a hard time recognizing him on our first date. Mexicans all seem to look alike after a long night of vodka tonics and twirling around in circles. Suffice it to say that I was won over by his charming conversation, good looks, and his tact in not saying, "So, you wanna go bounce on the gearshift again?"
I met the love of my life at a sleazy metal bar. When he said, "So what's your story? You gotta boyfriend or a husband?" I had to answer, "Both." I was living with a boyfriend while waiting for my divorce from my husband to be finalized. I didn't go out looking for anything that night--it was just supposed to be a few beers. Those few beers changed my life. Not everyone has a wholesome Ann Landers story, and I'm glad you're bringing that to light. Roses grow best in manure, ya know!
Happy Ol' Bar Ho
I had just dumped my last boyfriend, and decided to give up on ever finding a monogamous gay commitment. I went to the only gay dance club in Victoria, BC shortly before closing time, looking for something sleazy¯and within minutes met the one night stand of my dreams. After some hot post-dance-club-type sex, we exchanged business cards. Since he was from out of town, I was sure that I would never see him again. So sure, in fact, that I didn't bother to take his card with me when I crept out of his room in the morning. Fortunately, he had my number, and called me a few days later to say he was coming back next weekend and wanted to get together. Well, he made the eight-hour drive to Victoria every weekend for the next two years, and now we live together. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary. Isn't it ironic that I found a monogamous, committed, same-sex relationship the night I gave up the search?
Two Happily Married Former Bar Sluts
When I got myself a tattoo for my 18th birthday, I wanted to get something that had some meaning. I ended up getting the Hebrew word for life (chi) tattooed onto my lower belly. So maybe I'm a bad Jew for getting tattooed, but at least it's a Jewish tattoo. Once I got to college, I started sleeping with anybody who would buy me a beer. It was then that I realized what a pain in the butt it was to have this strange symbol tattooed right above my pantyline. I had to explain what it was and what it meant to a different drunken frat boy every weekend, and then sit there and listen while he tried to pronounce it. Ugh. By the time I got to my drunken one-nighter with Mike, I had my explanatory speech pretty well memorized. He took my pants off, noticed the tattoo, and said, "Chi? That's neat. You're Jewish?" and continued with what he was doing. The next morning, we discussed pickled herring, Allen Sherman, and our bar and bat mitzvahs. Our wedding is in two and a half weeks. We're having an Orthodox ceremony.
Mr. and Mrs. Manischewitz
Next week in Savage Love: How Sleaze Is Lived in America, Part Two. We'll hear from people who met their true loves while higher than kites, strung out on drugs, or puking their guts out in rehab!