What’s he really thinking on that first date? And what makes him call you for a second — or get serious? Ben Kaplan crammed a lifetime’s worth of dates into just 30 days — and lived to tell (all) about it.
Read all the juicy details:
Week 1: Dates 1-14
Week 2: Dates 15-25
Week 3: Dates 26-36
Week 4: Dates 37-52
Maggie, 7:20 a.m. Starts complaining seconds after she walks through the diner’s door (yawning, late). Looks good: Jamaican, tucked teasingly into a tight baby tee. But moans about her job the way she moans about her meal: “Uh, hello! I ordered these eggs fried…” Everything a struggle. Everyone else to blame. Verdict: Bitter pill.
52 Dates – hot casual sex babes:
Becca, 7:35 p.m. An up-talker (“Hi, I’m Becca, right?”). At first her giggly indecisiveness is cute — she defers to my wisdom about pizza toppings — but she turns out to be rather — macho. High-fives me good-night. Verdict: Guys don’t want women who act like guys.
Alissia, 12:37 p.m. I fail to confirm our date via e-mail, voice mail, carrier pigeon… but still trek to the bar where we’re meeting. Or not. Verdict: Bitch.
Julia, 7:14 p.m. Speaks four languages, looks like Elizabeth Hurley (real English accent — a novelty and a turn-on). We cram into a poetry reading, and I’m grooving on her because she’s just being herself. At a bar later, she buys a round (bonus points!). I’m on the best date I can remember. Then I begin trying too hard. Verdict: Sometimes you don’t blow a date — he does.
Megan,1:35 p.m. I’m relaxed. Megan wears a poufy pink sweater, no makeup and isn’t attractive. And the straw in her Diet Coke keeps hitting her upper cheek. Verdict: Next!
52 Dates – hot casual sex girls:
Gwen, 8:52 p.m. Barges in louder than rush hour. Pixie short, rumpled bleached hair, navel ring. “I’ve needed this drink all day,” she belches. Tell her I want to go home and have a facial. We establish that I’m not gay, go to my apartment. I put on D’Angelo. I would never try to seduce a girl I really liked on a first date — I’d have too much respect for her. Try slipping Gwen into bed, but she keeps asking questions. Foreplay fizzles. End up asleep in sweatpants. Verdict: Too needy.
Amy, 9:33 p.m. A gorgeous friend of my sister’s roommate; her bra protrudes through her tight yellow shirt. Her Joan Rivers-esque barrage of imitations and witty retorts makes my head spin. Keep staring at the outline of that bra. Imperfection like this is a turn-on; shows vulnerability. She wants me to meet her friends. The night devolves into marathon cell-phone planning — suicide for a first date. Verdict: Too many jokes, not enough passion.
Samantha, 12:35 p.m. I like Samantha, a brown-eyed Colombian knockout who works at MTV, because foreign women don’t seem to have as many issues, and they appear more lighthearted. We explore the seaport like kids on a field trip; she buys a funny straw hat; I wear it all afternoon. But she keeps subtly pushing us into romance. Verdict: Manipulative yet hot…worth a second shot.
Kathleen, 5:07 p.m. She’s as cute as Tinkerbell; she’s also, unfortunately, only as big. Tiny, tiny girls make you feel like you’re dating your eight-year-old niece. Verdict: High heels needed!
Nikki, 8:05 p.m. Met her at our subway stop when she came up and asked if I was at a recital Friday. Doesn’t know I’ve been studying her for weeks on the Q train, scribbling notes in my journal (“Tuesday. Sat on her umbrella”) because she was shy and mysterious, a sexy mix. Everything is perfect until I ask her age. “Does it bother you that I’m 18?” she asks. Verdict: If I were 19 or 49, no. At 26, yes, it does.
Marcy, 7:59 a.m. She’s hating Economics 201, has a runny nose. My hand holds my head up as she talks somewhere over it. Verdict: Bleating cries for sympathy induce sleep.
Erica, 8:23 p.m. I don’t mind perfume, unless it wraps around you like a gaggingly musky floral sleeping bag. Verdict: Need urgent nose fumigation!
Jenny, 7:28 a.m. Met her through work. Everything about her is gray. Over coffee, she ignores me, keeps pitching her company. Ironically, I feel like I’m being used. Verdict: Business and pleasure don’t mix after all.
Tamara, 8:20 p.m. She’s bohemian chic, all flowing dress, necklaces, rings. Tells me she’s nervous, which is good: First, I know that she cares; second, it opens a door for self-disclosure. We kiss all night. But she emasculates me by coming on too strong. Verdict: Pushy girls lack sex appeal.
Bad stretch. A southern belle with a hyena giggle. Then, in sad succession: an Ally McBeal addict, a plastic-surgery addict, a pill-popping manic depressive and a user simply looking for a guy to pick up the check.
Beth, 1:15 p.m. Woo-hoo! E-mail in my Yahoo! personals mailbox: “I have many bad thoughts. I think all the time about making love. I think about having sex anywhere and everywhere.” But when I meet her for lunch, her only bad thought seems directed at her sandwich (“It’s soggy!”). Verdict: Liar.
Katie, 6:40 p.m. When we meet on the street, she talks for 20 straight minutes about her mean boss who made her cry and her very long day. Yet she’s funny, wise and wonderful — a composite of every character on Friends. Because of this, mannerisms I usually deplore are somehow irresistible on her: can’t use chopsticks, doesn’t like seafood, rambles on a mile a minute. After I lure her to a fancy Asian restaurant, we don’t even look at our menus for almost two hours — talking, smiling, laughing. I’m thinking she could be The One. She’s a dead ringer for cutie Katie Holmes. At her door, I kiss her cheek and feel 16 when I blurt out, “You are just too adorable.” Inside, she probably has photo albums of her vacations in Cancun and a refrigerator stocked with those miniature carrots. Verdict: The real deal…I’m shaking.
Erica II, 7 p.m. At the Gap. “You should get a blue shirt with those eyes,” she tells me, and of course I do. Erica has big gold hoop earrings, Timberlands and her hair in intricate braids. I ask if she has time for a break. “Why should I spend it with you?” she challenges, and I smile, because I like a girl with just a little sass. I say, “Because I’ll wear my new shirt for you.” And then we’re drinking latte. Verdict: If only I hadn’t met Katie…
Shira, 7:34 p.m. “Call me any time. It’s not like I’m not doing anything. Ever.” Shira weighs 300 pounds. But, oh…forget it, she’s 300 pounds. Verdict: Too much girl for this much guy.
Marnie, 11:45 a.m. Another Joan Rivers. Funny women: sexy. Braying, caustic women: not. Verdict: Sigh.
Dabney, 6 p.m. At the gym, I hold the door for Dabney. She’s toned and — as I discover on a very spontaneous date involving limos and bulls (I swear) — fun in a spacy sort of way. She’s the girl I’d like to be photographed with at the Oscars — but I think she’d leave me for the winner if I lost. Verdict: A guy can tell when beauty is only skin deep.
Barb, 11 a.m. “Blah, blah, blah, blah.” Verdict: Let me get a word in!
Lily, 12 p.m. After 26 dates, Lily is the first girl who offers to split the check, and that’s cool. She drinks raspberry vodka and the straw keeps hitting her cheek. (Note to women: Remove your straws.) Verdict: Going dutch is a turn-on. Cheek-hitting straws? Turnoff!
3:08 p.m.-1:17 a.m. Three more girls, three more strikes. One reminds me of the blonde brat from Little House on the Prairie. Then a weightlifter with bigger biceps than me (bad); the last doesn’t believe in oral sex (worse).
Tatiana, 12:45 p.m. She works in a school in Yonkers and has that Sopranos look: stonewashed jeans, brown hair, big, manly build. I order the combo platter and she bellows, “You go, boy!” Verdict: Check, please!
Ciji, 6:52 p.m. There is no sweeter gesture on a date than when a woman reaches into a big bag of popcorn on your lap: so simple, so romantic. But that’s about as romantic as tall, elegant Ciji gets. The rest of the time she’s as frosty as a Frigidaire. Verdict: Brrr!
Jordan, 6:54 p.m. She licks the top of her Corona, and her tongue is elephantine. My mind drifts to Katie, who is suspicious because I’m always vague and never at home. Verdict: Ugh.
Carla, 12:57 p.m. Talking to Carla is like reading an issue of The National Enquirer. I leave feeling dumber than when I arrived. Verdict: Lobotomy.
Brittany, 1:17 p.m. She gives me the first slice of our pizza. Nice gestures are important. Still, nothing is ringing my chimes, until she mentions that she sort of has a boyfriend. Now I’m interested! Verdict: Hard to get = sexy.
Sonya, 7:25 p.m. I was suspicious when Sonya recommended we meet at Rite Aid. When she approaches in a black leather jacket with chains, I become scared. Beneath the rim of her Stetson are the two most chapped lips I’ve ever seen in my life. At a diner, she drinks her coffee with a spoon. Verdict: Lonely girls are frightening.
JoAnna, 12:36 a.m. I’m at a club, making out with a wasted redhead I’d met on the street only hours ago. JoAnna wears a painted-on red vinyl shirt. I twitch as she gulps my hair gel, bites my nose, finally puts my hand in her crotch. The recreation feels good. Verdict: Sexy, but not meeting Mom.
Sarah, 4:45 p.m. I lift my chest and legs like some kind of Indian contortionist, as flexible women do yoga around me. Every four minutes Sarah corrects me, barking, “Open your larynx!” I tell her she’s driving me nuts. Still, she invites me over for a soy-ginseng shake after class. Verdict: Ick!
Katie (again), 6:23 p.m. Am not supposed to go on any second dates for this story; this is my fourth with Katie. (So shoot me.) We’re in bed when she asks what I want. I respond: “What do you want?” Says she knows what she wants (meaning sex); she just wants respect with it. I feel awful. She’s made me baked ziti, we’re drinking her champagne, and I’m omitting the bit about the 40 trillion dates I’m going on. I leave abruptly. She is so sweet and honest I cannot bear to lie to her another second. Verdict: The one that got away.
Lidya, 12:30 p.m. She has pillowy pink lips, but there is a little black hair hanging out of her left nostril. By the time my chicken sandwich arrives, I can’t eat. Verdict: Grooming counts.
Jennifer, 9:15 p.m. Jennifer dominates the conversation, using words like fab and delish, as in, “Oh my God, this salmon is just so delish!” Verdict: Cutesy catchwords = turnoff.
Nothing’s clicking. Lisa is a 27-year-old salsa dancer with a curfew from her parents (please!). Rose wants to be a belly dancer, but her belly is big, pale and gross. Jessica is my sister’s friend, but I think she’s spying so Sis can find out how I treat women and blab back to Mom. Roberta has a great smile (big plus — girls don’t smile enough on first dates), but really not much else.
Alice, 1:13 p.m. Alice chooses the best sushi place I’ve been to, and has every au courant accessory perfectly matched. She’s like Virgin Records: aggressively hip, which is off-putting. Too cool is annoying. Verdict: Madonna Lite.
Claire, 8:46 p.m. Deafeningly loud bar. I’ve known Claire for two years and have always had a crush on her because, like most guys, I always want what I can’t have, and Claire has made it clear I can’t have her. She has to meet friends for a movie; I hope she’ll ask me to join. She doesn’t. Verdict: Can’t have it if you want it too much.
Anne, 6 p.m. She is a zoo worker who whistles for stray dogs to join us at our street side table. Homeless pets are not romantic. Verdict: All bark, no bite.
Olivia, 1:50 p.m. Olivia is reading Ayn Rand when I walk into the coffee bar. Women who use a dating service will do anything; they’re just happy to be out. Verdict: Sad.
Jill, 8:02 p.m. Jill is the kind of California hottie every man wants to have once. It’s perfectly choreographed: hip theater, tasty drinks, dancing, grinding, kissing. At an after-hours club, she invites me to see her apartment. She has every cool CD, from Air to Wyclef Jean, and books by Nick Hornby and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but it seems artificial, as if she’s decorated it to make herself appear more sophisticated. Verdict: Who cares? Lights out.