The Carrot or the Stick?

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WITH so much happening in the dating world lately – (clearly not mine, but overall) – I thought it was timely to take a look at some of the global developments in this arena. Friends have sent me all sorts of reports on love, and some of them have been as eye-opening as the bad spelling or questionable grammar with which I’m regularly assaulted by potential suitors.
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First cab off the rank is a new dating App called Carrot Dating. And no, it’s not for vegetarians or those who like to do kinky things with vegetables. This free App (and yes, there is no way I’d be paying for it), apparently allows those looking for love to use incentives such as dinners and chocolates in a bid to convince others to accept a date offer, according to a report in Mashables. Yes, a cold, hard bribe. And by this we mean dinners, flowers, shopping and even trips. The last item on the list makes me laugh, as only this week I was joking with a fellow single travel writer about how we could offer a free trip as part of our attraction. Then we realised if we have to present an overseas holiday as part of our overall package, then they really aren’t worth knowing.
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But not, according to Carrot Dating App developer Wade, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (how did I just know he’d be American). Wade came up with this gem when he apparently discovered his “shy” and “socially awkward” personality made it hard to meet women. Wade reckons this form of bribery works “because both sides have absolutely nothing to lose and something to gain by breaking the ice and getting to know each other”. Nothing to lose, Wade? How about several thousands of dollars on that trip to Jordan that I could have spent with someone I actually know and like?
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But say what you will about Wade. Since its October 1 launch, the App has been downloaded 45,000 times, with a ratio of 2 women to every man (that part sounds realistic in the dating world in my experience). And to date, more than 28,000 bribes have been offered and accepted in return for a date. The report does not say whether Wade himself has found love from this venture, but I wish him all the best.
Another friend sent me a piece of literature that has been circulating for a while now. It’s a piece written from a bloke called Charles Warnke and it’s entitled: “You should date an illiterate girl”. (I knew I was doing something wrong learning to read and write all these years). According to Charles: “Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. F**k her.”
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Warnke goes on to write: “Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am.”
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In his defence, debate has been raging about whether he actually means his words in the way they are first interpreted, or whether he is being facetious. And yes, I have only published a portion of what he wrote so I encourage you to read the entire piece and make up your own mind. I am yet to decide. In response to this piece, another writer (one of those pesky literate girls) Rosemarie Urquico penned: “You Should Date A Girl Who Reads” in which she says: “Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.”
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Urquico goes on to write: “Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
I, for one, would rather spend the rest of my life with a good book than a bad bloke. What about you?
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Good Vibrations

HAVING just finished the Fifty Shades trilogy and looking for my next buzz, I’ve just been to the movies to watch Hysteria. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s a delightful British romantic comedy set in the 19th century, which focuses on female orgasms and the ultimate arrival of the vibrator’s place in history. Based on a true story, women who suffered from an array of “symptoms” from being too outspoken to being sexually frustrated, were relieved of their condition or “hysteria” by manual stimulation to their genitals to the point of climax. When Doctor Mortimer Granville found his hand was cramping due to the huge spurt (if you’ll excuse the pun) in demand for his services, he stumbled across what would become the first vibrator.

Hysteria as a diagnosis was eventually put to bed, so to speak, in the 1950s, which in my opinion is a bit of a shame, given I have been known to suffer from being both outspoken and sexually frustrated often at the same time and on a number of occasions and would happily have a good-looking doctor relieve me of my condition.


While not hysterical, it’s a fun movie, made even more joyful by some of the one-liners including Rupert Everett’s character who succinctly states: “All a woman wants is a good laugh and a hard p***k”. You can’t argue with that logic. Meanwhile, the good-looking Hugh Dancy’s character is told the “procedure” is “like rubbing your tummy and your head at the same time”. I knew I was doing something wrong. Certainly, the elderly gentleman sitting near me during this flick was also giving this some consideration, as I could not be certain from his heavy breathing whether he was over stimulated or had simply fallen asleep.

Make sure you stay while the credits roll for a true history lesson on the evolution of the vibrator. It’s enough to make your eyes water. Suffice to say, should I ever drop dead suddenly, you might want to clear out the top drawer in my bedroom, lest my parents try to figure out what that thing that looks like a rabbit and glows in the dark is doing in my underwear draw.


At the risk of sounding like I’ve acquired an addiction to porn (I did wake up the other morning unable to hear, which I later realised was more to do with my big night out rather than indulging in too much porn) it is probably worth giving my two cents worth on Fifty Shades of Grey now that I’ve finally finished the third book. While a rollicking romp on one hand, (and some less kinder souls say poor writing on the other), what interests me most is not the main character Christian Grey, but his girlfriend, Anastasia Steele. While I can understand how Grey’s neglect as a child, and sexual education/abuse by an older woman while he was in his teens could lead to his need for carnal control, I fail to see how Steele could be such a submissive soul. It’s not even about the sex, though at times even she admits she’s not happy about certain acts. It’s more the fact she no longer sees her friends, changes her surname to Grey despite not wanting to, and is promoted beyond her ability and experience at work thanks to her wealthy partner. If this is the post-feminist woman with an education, then we have cause for concern.

On one or two occasions in the past, male friends have quizzed me on what, exactly, I’m looking for in a man. Apart from a pulse and the fact he can spell as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, to quote the feisty Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in Hysteria: “I don’t want a husband, I want an equal.”

 In the meantime, I’m off to buy new batteries.