Originally published July 26, 2007:

I'm a 31-year-old attractive single woman, and I recently went on Match.com and found a guy. Our e-mails and one phone conversation went well and he seemed kind and was okay-looking in his picture, so I met him for drinks. It was disappointing, to say the least. He looked 15 years older than his picture and was socially awkward to the point of sheer misery. He told me he didn't want to eat cheese because he "had the craps," announced to the waitress that this was our first date, yawned when I talked about my job, and said, "I could tell you were really into me the minute you walked in the room."

Standard bad date so far, right?

Here's the bizarre part: On the phone he'd said, "The most beautiful sound in the world is applause. I hope I can hear you clap for me sometime." He is a music teacher, so I thought he was referring to applause after a performance. But when we met in person, he asked me to clap for him, for no reason, in the restaurant! I asked him why, and he said he just really loved the sound of clapping. I ignored his request, finished my drink, and said it was nice to meet him but I didn't think this was going to work. I shook his hand good-bye in the parking lot and at this point he asked again for me to clap—but now in a whiny voice, literally begging me to do it. The worst part? I did it, just to shut him up, before speeding away in my car. I'm simultaneously creeped out and intrigued.

Have you ever heard of a clapping fetish?

Clap Off The Clapper

My response after the jump...

I get letters every day from people asking if I've "ever heard of" a particular sex act, fetish, kink, or hang-up before. The assumption, I guess, is that the thoroughly skanky author of this thoroughly skanky column has heard of everything. And that's fine; I've heard of and, er, done quite a lot. But the folks who send these EHO letters aren't seeking confirmation that they're not crazy—or in COTC's case, that this really happened—but some form of absolution, as if my having heard of whatever it is they're doing, were asked to do, or refused to do, makes it—whatever it is—a little less bizarre.

But almost invariably I haven't heard of the sex act, fetish, kink, or hang-up the authors of EHO letters ask about. Like this clapping fetishist COTC encountered—I've never heard of that one before. I don't doubt COTC's story for a moment because, hey, if it can be named, performed, swallowed, or worn, someone out there has a fetish for it. So while I can't offer COTC absolution for the sex act she performed—yes, it was a sex act—in that parking lot, I can offer her the next best thing: bragging rights. Not only did you stump me, COTC, but this is a bad-first-date story you'll be dining out on for the rest of your life. Congrats!