Nina Smith

Pony Up or Put Out

Filed By Nina Smith | January 07, 2008 7:11 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: money

“The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender.” – Emil Ludwig

I refer to the Year of Nina as the time period between breaking up with Partner #2 and finally meeting Jeanine (Partner #3 and hopefully, the Happily Ever After one). I was in my early thirties, on a dating blitz and determined to find the right girl this time around. I needed to kiss a lot of frogs to find my Princess Charming. And kiss I did! But it never got to that point with Jessica despite ten dates… yes, ten dates. And of course I was keeping track.

Jessica, not her real name, but I’ll call her this because her picture on PlanetOut personals looked like Jessica from Kissing Jessica Stein. However the photo she posted was a profile view not frontal and in person her face was much rounder when looking at her straight on. She didn’t look a thing like Jessica Stein. Disappointment number one.

But I liked her. She was an attorney (a happy one!) and by choice worked defending the rights of incarcerated offenders living with HIV. She hardly made any money but owned a home and was building another one on a ranch up by Ojai. She could do this because she received regular “happy payments” from her family. Happy payments are the expression I use for trust fund checks and until I “dated” Jessica, I never knew anyone that got one of these on a monthly basis. She had a privileged upbringing and although she wasn’t quite as rich and obnoxious as Partner #1, she was upfront about her “other means” as she called it. She was quite thankful it afforded her the opportunity to do meaningful work and yet maintain a nice standard of living. Two homes in Southern California, you get the picture. Nice standard.

So where is this story going? Nowhere titillating. Jessica and I hung out for awhile. Ten times to be precise. I really liked her. She was smart, interesting and a great conversationalist. But I wasn’t getting the romantic vibe from her which was strange since she seemed eager to hang out with me. I figured if she wasn’t interested in being more than friends, then she would just tell me. Why string me along? We met on PlanetOut for God’s sake which means I wasn’t looking for another buddy. I was looking for love or at a minimum, some superficial sex.

Here’s the other thing. I paid for the restaurant dates and hosted her a few times at my place. She never paid for dinner or invited me over to her house. When we did get together for the last time, she picked up the tab. Perhaps out of guilt.

Some asked why I went on ten dates and never made a move… well, it’s not like I’m timid. After all, I’m in sales and certainly know how to close a deal. I also know how to read people and while I thought she liked me, I thought maybe she had intimacy issues. One of those women that needed to take it slow.

So here’s the question... at what point do you draw the line and essentially say: pay your way if we’re just going to be friends. I felt like she was stringing me along. Not all of us get a happy payment and I had to budget for dates. What do you think or what have you done in the past. Comments encouraged below!

Nina blogs about money over at Queercents.

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Hmmmm... my dates usually don't consist of anything that costs money.

Maybe gas money. And cond-

Oh, my, this is a Nina post! I have to be on my best behavior!

Miss Manners says dates should be arranged by the person paying and be something that fits her means. Each partner should arrange an even number of times, not necessarily the same total dollar amount, though, since each person probably makes a different amount of money.

But I'm more interested in the fact that you met someone on I'm guessing this is a while ago - I, too, remember a time when it was hip to meet people on That was before people started trickling away to all the new gay meet-up sites being set up all over the internet.

I in fact met my first semi-bf there, which lasted off and on (mostly off) until I found out he was voting McCain. There's something very unsexy about a gay republican.

Maybe this is why people left planetout....

I'm grooving on Nina's story about PlanetOut too. Jerame and I met on [email protected] when it was around almost ten years ago. And I didn't put out on the 1st date (or a few past that). It wasn't that I didn't think he was attractive, I was just having fun hanging out as friends and didn't want to mess that up.

i'm loving your story as it is the constant debate between my best friend and myself.

he, being the more prudish one, waits until someone calls him his boyfriend until he will have sex with them.

i think this is why he usually cant keep a guy for very long, since calling someone your boyfriend, and being exclusive in the gay world, with someone who is worth it and sane, actually takes a while - because you have to rip through those layers gay people build up around us.

I think on the other hand that sex is a great way to get a person to reveal their vulnerability and its not like there's much thats out of bounds question wise when youre both lying their naked.

I usually handle it by either making a person a straight up friends-with-benefits and keeping it that way. knowing this is just sex, but maybe having fun conversations with the person. sometimes it ends for good, and sometimes it ends with a great friendship.

if its the other way around, and i want to date the person - 10 dates without even a kiss - no. i can wait til the second date. and i dont have a number on dates until sex, but i'd put a ballpark at 10-15 dates - or time frame and talks, more like a month to two months max. At that point, if you haven't figured out the person completely, and they arent willing to be vulnerable to me in that way, then they aren't as interested as I want them to be.

OMG...I met this boy on and well....