Ethan Miller, Getty Images for Cirque Apple LLC This month marks the fifth…
- Posted on Jan 30th 2013 4:00PM by Maria Sherman
Sam Levi, WireImage
He was right. After scouring the rag's pages for "10 get-him-to-commit clues" and "25 fibs not to fall for" (can we blame tweens for the rampant listicalization of journalism?) I hit gold: "5 Ways to Make Any Guy Beg for You" by Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. The overly alliterate subtitle: "Want to bring him to his knees? We asked Sugar Ray's super sexy lead singer to spill on what it takes to make a boy go ballistic for you. Here's the fox's 'Fly' advice."
As a 20-something single woman living in New York City (as "Portlandia" joked in a recent episode, the "hardest city to find love") and a child of the '90s, I thought it only logical to take Mr. McGrath's advice and see where it would land me. (I should also note that the article ran two years after McGrath met his wife, beautician Cairn Kingsland, before becoming engaged in 2009 and married last year. 1998 was also the year McGrath was named "Sexiest Rock Star," so, ya know, why not take his advice?)
Each of the following points of Sugar Ray wisdom correlates with one gent I've "seen" in the past year. Names have been changed for confidentiality.
GET A LIFE: I like independent girls. It's a turn on when she does her own thing, even if it's crochet! I also find it irresistible when a girl isn't always available. If I ask her out after a couple of dates that I thought went really well and she says, "Well, I'm going out with the girls tonight," it leaves me on the edge and keeps me interested.
His name was Matt. He was handsome in a brutish way and I was positive we were going to date forever. Positive because I self-identify as an independent woman and positive because I was taking advice from a tween mag -- what could go wrong?
Moderation. Moderation could go wrong. Proud of never being that girl to wait for a phone call, I made myself so unavailable as to appear flakey: "Oh, sorry, I have this show I have to go to," "I'm on deadline," "There's a gas leak in my apartment." (The last one is an excellent excuse to get out of anything/everything. After a while, Matt was like, "How many times can your gas leak?" Poor guy.)
BUDDY UP: My friends are really important to me, so any girl of mine has to totally accept them. Hopefully, she can mix well with my circle of friends, especially my best male friend. A relationship is much easier when you don't have to have a separate "guys' night" and a girls' night," y'know? A girl also needs to keep it real -- just chill and watch TV with me all day, or not be afraid to eat two chilidogs in front of me. I can't stand girls who don't eat when you go out to a restaurant.
First of all: "best male friend"? Perhaps I'm not giving Mr. Sugar Ray enough credit, but I doubt any gentleman has ever used this expression, ever. In this case, I'll take it. I met a guy -- let's call him Ryan -- at the end of 2011 that I managed to impress by bringing him soup when he was ill (his one and only roommate was out of town). This he found to be endearing because by train, we lived 40 minutes apart. Soon we began going to punk shows together, where, his SST of a rip-off band landed him many, many dude friends of which I was expected to befriend as well. This was fairly easy, as I quickly discovered music dudes want to talk to music girls about music, and Ryan and I shared similar music tastes: We both thought the dirge-worthy "Here" was the best song on Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, both believe Neurosis' Times of Grace, to be Steve Albini's best-produced album.
When no shows tickled our fancy, we took to lying around and while McGrath mentions TV and chilidogs, we played Nintendo 64 and ate copious amount of pizza. It appears I followed every step correctly but failed to note one thing about Ryan: No matter how easy our non-relationship relationship felt, he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend.
HUMOR HIM: One night, I was at an L.A. club called the Viper Room. I was leaning on a pole, trying to look cool and pick up chicks. Then this girl came up to me and said, "So, are you gonna hold that pole up all night?" I thought that was funny. No way did I think anyone had noticed my too-cool act. But she called me on it in a cute way. Girls who can find the humor in things are definitely hot.
I bet my first child that I will never go to an L.A. club, let alone the Viper Room. I will never hit on a dude leaning on a pole, especially one famous for sporting frosted tips. I, however, can attempt the sort of humor more quote-unquote social media types attempt: Comedic self-deprecation, because clearly, nothing is more attractive than a girl with no self-confidence, one could appear to be fishing for a compliment. This has a tendency to attract only the "I want to fix you" sort of mates, the kind that, well, more often than not, fail at relationships.
Enter John. A noise kid in and out (oft lovingly dubbed Noise John) he and I bonded over our lighthearted tendencies of aspersion, often finding ourselves in humorous (what's the neutered term for psychosexual?) flirtations, ones that when resulted in attempting to date, ended in a stalemate. We had nothing in common, or if we did, we spent way too much time putting ourselves down to find it. Thus, the world's most uncomfortable friendship was born.
CALL THE SHOTS: I admire a girl who asks me out. That shows a lot of self-confidence. Don't play games, because I certainly don't like to. Just walk right up and be like, "Hi. Would you like to go on a date?" Come up with fun thing to do. You've gotta make it interesting. That's how relationships stay alive.
I honestly believe this point could have been condensed into point one, the whole "be an independent lady" bit, but perhaps there is a fine line between doing your own thing and trumping the old misnomer that in heterosexual dating, the man should plan (and ultimately pay) for everything. Perhaps our '90s heartthrob was on to something (gender equality).
I've always been one to come up with weird ideas for dates (including but not limited to getting drunk on Applebee's Long Island Iced Teas followed by intoxicated adventures at Chuck E. Cheese's) but these things cost money. Money that I don't have (those beyond-boozy iced teas are like 13 dollars!) This bit of advice is one I've taken to heart, and possibly the most helpful, but keep in mind that, ya know, some fun costs money. You don't want to burn through a relationship AND your wallet.
DON'T BE A BOOTY HOUND: If you think going all the way will win a guy over, think again. Most guys don't respect promiscuous girls. I'm not saying that's always true, but the majority of them won't consider you girlfriend material. Don't get me wrong -- a hot exchange with a girl is fantastic, but there's a time and a place for everything. I don't like an overly aggressive approach, especially with kissing. It should build slowly. State with a soft, dry kiss. That always makes me want more.
This can go one of two ways: 1.) As Mark McGrath points out, yes, this promotes more intimacy, makes sexual encounters all the more special when they do take place. BUT 2.) Dude gets blue balls forever because he didn't want a relationship in the first place, just wanted a "hot exchange." This detail is probably something left out on purpose (I would guess YM's reader averages somewhere around age 14). It still happens to the best of us.
I'm not so sure that these tips don't work -- in retrospect; I clearly attempted most of them incorrectly. Perhaps it's circumstantial, but right now, I am totally down with single life. That was my problem: Subconscious self-destruction. I didn't want to settle down so I didn't. I did meet a lot of great people. I now have killer fodder for future girl talk. But as of right now, McGrath, I just want to fly -- solo.