Sex and intimacy therapist Stella Harris took over the sex boutique She Bop Sunday night to discuss a hobby many of us are obsessing over: dating. Harris’ intention with this particular class was to provide enough resources for attendees to feel confident enough to dive into the dating scene. To be more specific with those intentions, Harris honed in on the internet dating scene.
There were two questions written on the large writing pad facing the audience:
“What was the best first date you’ve ever had?”
“What was great about it?”
A woman shared her experience, although she considered it to be one of the worst first dates she’s ever been on. The reasoning she gave was that her date shared details about exes and their views on politics clashed. She stated these two topics should be avoided at all cost, especially when making introductions.
Audience members were welcome to take part in another group exercise. We shouted out our key words frequently associated with dating.
“Awkward. Vulnerability. Stressful. Hard to find. Hope. Overwhelming. Surface level. Exploration. Potential. Revealing. Disappointing. Hazardous. Anticipation. Exciting. Fun.”
A few positive notes stick out from the rest. It was clear this group had a hard time with the subject, but we were all there for a reason. There was hope.
For many of the audience members, the last time there were on the dating scene, it was before the internet. Harris seemed excited to make this tricky concept approachable and stated that this isn’t the end of intimacy. The internet is truly a tool. Because of the amazing datasets, quantifiable results and algorithms available through internet dating, filtering through people who would be a much more qualified match is easier than ever.
We discussed cultures within the different websites. Web-based OKCupid, Match.com, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, Black Planet, J-date and app-based Tinder, Bumble, Jswipe all have their own distinct culture and each certainly have the possibility of crossing over both platforms.
Profile basics include the obvious and not-so-obvious: a photo that displays who you are. Be flattering and honest. The first shot should be your face up-close. You do need a fully body shot. Don’t make excuses for photos you do have. If you don’t feel good about it, don’t use it. This also goes for your written profile. No self-deprecating remarks. Don’t fake a hobby. Grammar and punctuation matter. If you message a certain way, your profile should read in that way. Write content you would like people to resonate with. Consider your profile your personal elevator pitch and the amount of confidence and clarity that goes into it.
Harris quickly discussed the messaging aspect. When someone doesn’t respond, it’s not about you. People are busy. Only one follow up message is appropriate. .
What are you supposed to do on dates? Harris actually spoke against meeting in a bar for drinks in the evening. You don’t give yourself an “out” with this option and you’re more likely to put your needs aside once you start drinking. Choose a place where you are familiar and comfortable with. Eliminate the variables. Schedule something short.
Once you’re on the date and it’s going well, you might find yourself going home with that person. Make sure you have a safe call, which is defined as a trusted contact who knows exactly where you are going and who you are with. Tell your date that you’re sharing this information. Consider your risk tolerance. What is acceptable to you? What are your absolute must-haves? What are your dealbreakers? Do not negotiate naked.
Harris’ famous last words could be used for anything, really. In my own experience, it’s the only statement that works every time with dating. Trust your gut.
You can find out more information about sex and intimacy therapist, Stella Harris at:
And more about She Bop, in addition to their future classes at:http://www.sheboptheshop.com/