Daring to Date: Spring Flings

Spring has finally arrived on Swarthmore’s campus, made clear by the copious amounts of students lounging on Parrish Beach in clothing borderline inappropriate for our still somewhat chilly weather. And with spring comes the desire to find that special someone. After three years at Swarthmore, I’ve come to realize that once the frost thaws, Swarthmore students actually start getting together. Proof of this started my freshman year when one of my best friends finally got with the senior boy she’d been eyeing. Then last year I got wrapped up in a whirlwind romance as the flowers started to bloom. I’m not sure what it is about Swarthmore spring—perhaps it’s Phi Psi’s rowdy paint party or the fact that students are finally showing some skin—but people always seem more interested in actually dating rather than simply a Saturday night fling.

Even I, Channing Datum, have been bitten by the bug. I’ve gone on a date every other week since the start of the semester, but I’m in the midst of going on three dates within a ten day period. I don’t know how this happened, since I didn’t even actually try. In the span of a little over one week, I am doubling my dating experience for this semester. Before I talk about my two upcoming dates, let’s flashback to my date last Thursday: the “I Like Guys But I’ve Never Fucked a Dude, Oh and I’ve Had a Girlfriend” date. Oh, he’s from Haverford too. So with this one date I can also check the “Tri-Co” date box off my to-do list!

I met this guy, I’ll call him Haverbro, on Tinder. We chatted and he soon divulged what my friends deemed as “TMI”—he’d never been with a guy before, had just broken up with his long-term girlfriend, and was looking to explore. In addition to that overshare, he also told me about his middle school sexual awakening and subsequent “solo” discoveries. That’s clearly a euphemism, but I’ll leave it there. Let your imaginations run wild, Swatties! While I try not to get too involved with guys too deep in the closet (I’ve had bad experiences with that in the past), this “bro” seemed totally comfortable with identifying as bisexual—he’s even out to some friends at Haverford! Despite some wild over sharing that first night, Haverbro was cute, charming, and sexy… plus he was good at Snapchat. A few days later, he even told me he wanted me to take his “bi-ginity” (cheesy, I admit, but cute in the moment). What more could I ask for?

So the big night arrived and even though I worried that Haverbro would get cold feet on his first date with a guy, but he actually followed through and showed up at Swarthmore for Indian Bar. We ate an easy dinner, downing pakoras and chicken vindaloo (probably not the best food before fucking), before flirting our way back to my dorm. We turned on my go-to “Netflix and Chill” show and watched about 12-minutes before we ripped each other’s clothes off and romped around my standard issue Twin-XL bed. Since this isn’t a sex column I won’t go into the graphic details, but let the record show that his “bi-ginity” has been taken and he was mighty good at, well, everything. But the best part was afterwards when we spent those precious post-sex moments chatting about everything from coming out to our intellectual passions to March Madness. What? Is this perfect? We also agreed that neither of us wants a relationship or anything serious right now (I have to keep dating to write this column, after all!), and so decided to hang out when we’re both free.

Dating a bi guy wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. So many times bisexuality is erased or written off as just as a gay guy or lesbian chick easing their way out of the closet. While sometimes that is the case, most of the time it isn’t! I think it’s easy to go into a date and try to find the differences or negatives between you and the other person instead of seeking out similar ground or focusing on the things that interested you in the first place. Rather than focusing on my totally irrational and prejudiced fear that a bisexual guy wouldn’t truly be interested in going on a date with a guy, I somehow relaxed and found ways to connect with my date.

If I’ve learned anything about dating this semester, it’s that I don’t have to immediately dive into a relationship or even want a relationship for a date to be meaningful. I had a great night with Haverbro, and hope to have another great night with him in the future, but that doesn’t mean that I can only have great nights with him. I aspire for a traditional-ish monogamish-ish relationship one day, but that day is not now. I’m learning to better connect with guys on dates, and this was by far my best date yet. I can only hope that they keep getting better over the next week.

So now let’s turn to what’s ahead: two dates. The first is an admittedly controversial date: I’m seeing a guy that I know my friend went on a few dates with. I haven’t told my friend I’m going on a date with someone he used to date, mainly because I’m not sure how to navigate that conversation. They were never exclusive, but I don’t want to hurt him. Right now, I’m going the cowardly route and not telling him, though perhaps some infamous DG commenters will change my mind. My second date, this Saturday, is the “We Used to Date but Circumstances Didn’t Work Out So Let’s Try It Again!” date. It’s another Haverford boy with whom I went on a few dates my sophomore year, but he went abroad then I went abroad so it never worked out. While I’m not sure if I can handle a double date week, I’m going to keep on pushing on for you, my readers. Well, and for the possibility of making out with three dudes in a ten-day span.


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