Prior to moving to Berlin I considered myself an open and knowledgable person when it came to dating, relationships, and sex. By no means would I consider myself an expert but I went around saying crap like, “You can’t surprise me, I’ve seen it all”. Little did I know, I had a lot to learn while navigating dating and mating while abroad.
While on dates, among friends, or in social situations I’ve always liked to discuss with people their experiences, preferences, and habits when it comes to matters of lust, love, and sex. Sometimes people enlighten me and other times I surprise myself and discover clever tips of my own. Over the past few months I’m grateful to say that my thoughts and experiences have been broadened. Here are some of those gems of knowledge.
Don’t expect men to do all of the work
Social interaction while in Berlin has been something quite confusing and has required a bit of adjusting. When asked about flirting tactics that I’m used to in the US, I describe it as one word: aggressive. Whether I look interested or not, whether I make eye contact or not, whether I even knew that this guy existed before he came up to me, it didn’t matter, men usually made the first move. It could end up being a welcomed interaction with someone engaging or a pesky nuisance that I would have to escape from.
The expectation for men to always be the initiator does not apply in all places. The men in Berlin will catch your eye, maybe smile, or sometimes stare but will almost never speak. This could go on for a while because they don’t think the first move is their to make. From what I’ve gathered, the women here don’t welcome men approaching them at bars or while they’re out and some may find it offensive or intrusive. Unlike in the US, or in Italy where apparently the women only make the first move once they have liquid courage, the men here are well aware of women’s boundaries and respect their space.
So as a female, if you think a guy is interested, you better get off your bar stool and say something because he will let the moment pass by. This also means that you may want to come with your own funds to buy yourself a drink and even offer to get his. While women have set spacial boundaries, they have also made it clear that they don’t need a man to pay for their things. Days of a man coming over and saying “Can I buy you a drink?”, the equivalent of saying ‘Can I offer you a drink in exchange for conversation?’, is few and far between. We said we wanted equality, right?
Just like your age, your partners ain’t nothin’ but a number
I’ve had a friend say that he wouldn’t date someone if they had sex with more than a handful of men, all the while he was using dating apps to hook up on a weekly basis. For a long time I’ve seen images of the male bachelorette painted again the female slut. The behavior of both could be the exact same but men were praised for their behavior while women were branded with a scarlet letter.
What always got me was if someone said they had slept with 1 or 1,000 people, how would you ever be able to verify that number? It’s an arbitrary figure that causes people to react. The amount of partners that someone has doesn’t make them any less worthy of love or respect.
The largest adjustment I’ve had to make while living in Berlin is to stop making judgements about others or my own sexual activity. It was quite liberating to stop watching what I said, wore, or did for fear of being looked down upon. Sex between two consenting adults should be celebrated not chastised. To stop overthinking physical acts made life a lot more enjoyable and carefree. However you get it or how often you get it doesn’t matter, as long as it feels good.
The D Clock
The other night, after having way too many beers, I became very passionate about a particular concept that had suddenly dawned upon me. I drunkly yelled my theory at two of my friends, three guys we had just met, as well as everyone at the bar who was within earshot. Even though I came up with this elaborate thought process on the spot, all of those involved agreed that I was spot on. I affectionately call it: The D Clock.
Men and women have varying degrees of sexual relationships. Such classic and well known terms such as ‘friends with benefits’, ‘booty calls’, or ‘one night stands’ among others are used to describe such encounters. Whether you’ve dated someone but decided to call it quits, you met in a bar and decided to go home together the same night, or from the beginning you’ve had an understand that your relationship is purely physical, things aren’t as simple as writing a suggestive text and hitting send. Timing is everything.
At some point during the day you may scroll through your phone contacts or maybe you get inspired by a post on social media and you start the process to set up your rendezvous. You may be going out with friends or have a work dinner to go to but you want to secure someone for later. When you start this process has connotations attached to it.
Let’s say you split a clock into quarters. If you’re discussing having sex with someone from 6 am to 9 pm let’s face it, you’re in a relationship or at least you should consider it since you’re lusting after this person during daylight hours. After the sun sets is when the most decoding needs to be done.
Those earlier hours of the evening are when you consider who would be most enjoyable to have in your bed. From 9 pm to 12 am is the prime time for you set up sex. This consist of, let’s say, your starting lineup. Given that you have options, you go down the list until you find someone who is free and interested. Once the right guy hits you back, you’re set.
If it’s after 12 am you still haven’t secured the D, you slide into the 12 am to 3 am time slot. There isn’t necessarily a need to panic but you need to take into account that during this slot, the creme of the crop has been secured as someone else’s first round D pick. The closer to 3 am it gets and a guy is still DTF then you may want to flatter yourself and say he was “holding out for you to message him” but more than likely it’s because he’s just a 2nd round D pick.
Once the clock strikes 3 am and you are still digging into your archived chats, social media DMs, or checking the clubs or bars for stragglers, you may want to consider throwing in the towel and waiting the next day for some fresh meat. Those who jump at the chance to jump in your sheets after 3 am is like going for the expired poultry because it’s marked down. Sure, it may get the job done but you take the risk of it being poor quality.
After speaking with those of opposite sex they asked if I thought this clock went in reverse if women were on the receiving end. For example, if you hit a girl up at 3 or 4 am, and she is available, does that carry more significance than if you hit her up at 10 pm and she’s down. There is a variable in which a girl is waiting on one particular guy to hit her up and if she says yes during the wee hours of the night, then that guy is you. But more times than not, the same theory stands that she just hadn’t found anyone else yet.
As with every other thing I write or say, these are my opinions gathered from my experiences. I will never attempt to impose my way of thinking onto others. All situations have different variables to consider (like the clubs in Berlin close at noon the next day while in DC last call is at 2am so maybe you are messaging someone at 9 am for sex). At the end of the day, we are all individuals and we should live our lives that way. With that, our dating and sexual adventures should be tailored to suit us as individuals. No one should ever take away your ability to live your life the way you choose, whether it be your family, friends, society, or especially the person you’re dating or sleeping with.