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A Dating Guide

Prologue: Winter 1998

We’ve all been there: on a date when we get that first invitation back to their apartment. Considering I made out with Haley in the street on our last date, one thing was certain: tonight I was going to see her topless.

Factoring that in with her preppy looks, her Princeton education and her Jewish background, I guesstimated that I had a 50% chance of sex-sex and a 40% chance of something even more personal to women than sex-sex: oral sex ... Read More


Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Today’s Tip: Why pretend when you can do it for real

There’s a famous story by Dennis Hopper. He was talking about how the best acting advice he ever got was on the set of Rebel Without a Cause. During filming, James Dean told him, “don’t act smoking the cigarette. Just smoke the cigarette”.

This might seem like simple advice, but sometimes the best advice is in fact the most simple. And the hardest to come by.

When it comes to dating, there’s a lesson to learn from JD. (And no, smoking has nothing to do with it) Rather than listen to the dating experts who advise you to act busy for potential partners, I have better advice: be busy.

Yes, you can drive yourself crazy showing how unavailable you are with all the shit going on in your life, or you can go out and be the shit. It could be anything. A wine tasting class, a dance lesson, dinner with friends, a new sport.

It’s a win-win. From the dating standpoint, you’re actually busy (which is a turn-on to potential suitors) and from a fulfillment standpoint, you’re actually doing something you enjoy and feeling, well…fulfilled.

One thing about dating is you can only pretend for so long. If you’re acting busy without much going on, they’ll eventually see through it. So if you don’t have much going on, or find yourself inventing an impressive schedule for that hottie you met the other night, look at it as the perfect opportunity.

There are a zillion awesome things out there to do and life is short. If you’re single, you can even choose something that ups your odds of meeting someone. (I know a recently married couple that met playing kickball)

So stop acting and take action. Make plans with friends. If you’re new to a city, take up activities where you can make new friends. I even passed a bar the other day that has Sunday Night Walking Dead viewing parties. There’s opportunities to be social everywhere.

As Jimmy Dean touched on, pretending can never touch truthfully doing. And the truth is the easiest thing to remember.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Today’s Tip: Find Communal Tables

As I touched on last week, when I was single, I loved going to bars and restaurants with communal tables.

Why? It took the most awkward step out of meeting someone: the approach.

It’s hard to approach someone no matter how smooth you are. All these thoughts can pop in your head…
- Do they see you coming?
- Are you interrupting their conversation?
- Once you start chatting, do you sit, or have that you-standing, her-sitting, you feeling like a douchebag thing going on?

The approach has been done with expertise and will continue to be in the future.

But why set the bar so much higher than necessary? In general, we all love meeting new people. We might not be looking to sleep with new people, but we still enjoy meeting them. In the day of social media, when there’s less interaction than ever, we’re hungry to be part of a community.

And when someone sits at a community table, the odds are they’re not looking for privacy. So my tip today is to seek these tables out.

When you’re sitting down next to someone, it’s much easier to say ‘hi’. And if a conversation happens, great. If not, no loss. Either way, it takes the pressure off of having to put yourself out on a limb.

There’s already low-hanging fruit to talk about. What are they eating? Is it good? What’s that old-school looking cocktail?

We’ve become a society that’s obsessed with food and drink. And here is the perfect spot to share those thoughts and have fun doing it.

Plus, from naturally being in the middle of each other’s conversations, it doesn’t give you the green light to interrupt, but moments do arise when it’s natural to chime in.

Don’t know where to find communal tables? Just do a Google search for your city and they’ll pop up. Everyone from Yelp to, Eater to your local city magazine covers them.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Summer is over, everyone is back in town and the weather starts to cool.

it’s also the perfect time to take advantage of what the season has to offer and meet new people.

I read a great quote from Steven Soderbergh after he made Sex, Lies and Videotape: talent + preparation = luck. And when it comes to dating, we do need to get lucky. So we should put ourselves in a position to do so.

Last winter, I touched on great weekend getaways to meet the opposite sex. (And I love weekend getaways :) But there’s also tons of stuff in town that might not ensure you’ll meet your future spouse, but will, at the very least, surround you with prospects.

For Women

As you know, it’s football season. Which of course, is Christmas come early for men. And men build much of their socializing around watching football. So get involved. Whether a sports bar, a tailgate, or your buddy’s man cave, bring a six-pack and spend the afternoon. (Here are some Fall beer suggestions:

I promise the ratio will be to your liking.

And remember, it’s not just about meeting the people there. It’s about meeting their friends as well. I’m proud to say that several dates have happened by friends meeting at my man cave.

For Men

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…chicks love wine. And Fall is harvest season.

Wine has become so popular, there’s a “wine country” within an hour of most major cities. So grab your buddies and go. Many vineyards will have day-long events around the harvest, including wine, food and even live music.

Yes, they’ll be couples. But they’ll be mucho ladies as well, from Bachelorette parties to just friends enjoying a beautiful day together.

When I was single, I loved going to bars with community tables. (Which I’ll touch on in next week’s #DateTipTuesday) You’re all sitting together, so there’s no need for the approach.

It’s the same at tasting rooms and wine events. And the good news is, even if you don’t meet anyone, you’ll have a great day surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Plus, lets face it…it beats the hell out of crashing funerals with Chazz Reinhold.

6Medium, Tips, Dating, Love, Relationships, Wine, Beer, Advice, Inisght,

Dating Ammo

It’s Fall. And you know what Fall says to me? (Besides sex) Beer.

Whether having a date over to your pad, or grabbing a six-pack and going to the park to enjoy the cool weather and foliage, there are many great Fall beers to enjoy together. And with the higher alcohol content, they’ll be sure to warm you up.

You can never go wrong with the Sam Adams Harvest Collection:, but here are some other line-ups to consider to stock in your fridge:

Men’s Journal

Men’s Fitness

Outside (For those park foliage outings)

Serious Eats

Village Voice


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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Use your Brains.

There’s a heart-wearing romantic show on VH1 that’s been all the buzz lately…Dating Naked. On DN, one of its contestants, Jessie Nizewitz, is now suing everyone associated with the show (as you might have read) for being, well, naked.

Whatever you’d like to call this girl, ‘genius’ is not in the running. It does however offer the perfect teaching moment.

When it comes to dating, use your brains. For Jessie to act traumatized because Grandma saw her bunghole offends my common sense. She had no problem with an entire production crew seeing her naked while filming and an entire postproduction crew seeing her naked after filming.

Plus, she was AOK with her date not only seeing her naked, but also feeling her boobages and wrestling naked in the sand, pixilation or lack thereof.

Now, Jessie claims she was encouraged to wrestle WWE style. As Grandma probably taught Jessie growing up, that doesn’t mean she had to it. For just about every date a woman goes on, she’s encouraged by her date to get naked. Does that mean she should get strippin’? Of course not.

In the clothed dating world that most of us live in, dating will never be a casualty free business, but most tragedies will be avoided if you don’t leave your common sense at home.

Here are some basics…

• Don’t meet a first date at their house: always at a public place.

• If you’re going to meet someone online, do it through a reputable dating site that takes credit card information even if the site has a free trial or is free. That way, the user knows if the shit hits the fan, they’re traceable.

• If she says she’s on the pill, congratulations, still wear a condom.

• If he swears that little sore on Junior is from his zipper, don’t pass Go and don’t collect your 200 dollars. Just exit stage left. (Herpes is for life, he probably isn’t)

Will following these simple tips and dating smart lead to a life of love and happiness? No. But it will greatly better your chances.

And worse case, you’ll never find your, un-pixilated privates on national television for Grammy and all her yenta friends to see.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge


In the 40 Year Old Virgin, when Seth Rogen dished out dating advice to Steve Carell, he said “just ask questions”.

The man was onto something.

Of course, when they ask you a question back, it’d be a good idea to answer it. You want a dialogue. But the more you’re focused on listening and the less about what you’re going to say, the better your rap will be.

When on a date, the key is to get to know your date. In the long run, it’s a good way to find your next partner, and in the short term, it’s a good way to find your next fling. We’re here to find the one. But there’s nothing wrong with some fun visits to Saucy Town before ‘one’ comes along.

Being a good listener will surely help your chances. Lets face it: we love talking about ourselves. It’s part of human nature. Asking your date questions lets them talk about themselves while allowing you to learn what you want.

It’s like a fun game of Truth or Dare. (Minus the dare part) What do you care about in a person? Ask them that. Yeah, “how was your day” gets the ball rolling, but dive into what matters to you. Listen to what they have to say. Again, the more you focus on them and less on what to say next, the better the conversation.

Think of it as your personal improv exercise that gets you out of your head. As I’ve touched on, dating can be like sales. And like sales, one of the keys to dating is listening. In sales, the more you let them speak, the more they’ll tell you how to close the deal. Same with dating ☺.

Plus, the more you listen, the more you’ll know if you actually like this person and want to upgrade them to a BF or GF. Either way, there’s a direct ratio between the amount you’re listening, and the amount you’re fancied.

I’m not saying you should listen just to close and today’s tip is not about helping you get laid (though it will surely help). I want to see you look at dating as an opportunity to find your one. Not audition for the many. (More on that here:

I’ve never once heard a friend say, “I wanted to bang this guy cause all he did was talk about himself”.

Grandma told us we had 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. She had a point.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Fly with style.

There are a few things that get on my nerves…

• Someone talking loudly on their cell at the gym is one.

• Reality stars are another.

• And for today’s topic, a dude wearing shorts and flip-flops on a plane.

I know we’re no longer living in the world of Downton Abbey, but we’re not living in the days of public toe-cheese either. Fernando Lamas was onto something when he said, “it’s better to look good to feel good”. Though I don’t see how flip-flops is comfortable, you look like an asshole on your way to a Jimmy Buffet concert.

From a dating standpoint, you should think like an Eagle Scout. Always be prepared. To meet a love interest takes luck and the more prepared you are, the luckier you’ll be.

I’m not saying you should dress well on a plane to impress your fellow passengers. (We put enough pressure on ourselves) But to dress well in public places where you’ll have opportunities to meet new people is a good rule.

You’re not just meeting the person sitting next to you. You have the chance to meet their social circles as well. It’s shocking to anyone younger than 25, but just a few years ago, we didn’t meet people online. We had to meet’m in the real world. And getting set up was one of the best ways to do so.

It still is. So just remember, when you meet that fellow passenger, they might not be your next squeeze, but they might introduce them to you. Dressing well won’t close that deal. But it will surely help.

I flew Eastern Airlines as a kid. And I felt a special experience every time I got on the plane. (It also didn’t hurt that the flight attendants were hot) I also remember once flying People’s Express, the first discount airline in the 80’s. And remember thinking to myself, this thing sucks. The plane was packed rim-to-rim with shorts and flip-flops. It doesn’t take money to dress well.

It’s like a guy walking into a nice restaurant wearing shorts or a T-shirt. It’s a bit disrespectful.

On a plane, dressy is by no means needed. Even jeans and a polo shirt, or slacks, a t-shirt and sweater will do. If you make it a habit to look nice in the air, and you’re in the air quite often, you’d be surprised how you improve your flying experience in the process.

Yes, most flight attendants today are a bit…seasoned. But dress well, and count on better treatment from them as well.

We’ll never fly in style like the good ol’d days. But a call back to Don Draper on a Pan Am trans-con can be a good thing.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

We all want sex.

How is this a dating tip? Cause the more you believe this, the more sex you’ll have.

In general, the less of a big deal we make something out to be, the easier it is for us to get it, whether it’s a job, a fitness goal or a person we find attractive.

The people who make sex out to be some exotic hard-to-get act have one thing in common: they rarely have sex. They think it’s some holy grail and that’s their problem.

No matter how hot that person is across the bar, they want sex as much as you do. They might not want it from you, but they want it. The more you realize we’re all in the same boat with the same desires, and same insecurities, the more you can have fun getting to know someone and the less you feel like you have to impress them.

I’m not saying that sex is not important or lacks meaning or isn’t special. I’m just saying it’s a natural act that we’re all wired to want. We’ve evolved over millions of years to want sex. We just need the right excuse to have it. For women, that excuse might be a sense of humor. For men, it might a bit easier to come by…like a heartbeat.

So many dating obstacles come from seeing the opposite sex as, well, opposites. Like they’re some exotic species with higher standards that we place on a higher level. It’s just not the case.

As a guy, there are 2 facts that took longer to learn than necessary:
1. Women deuce. (Which can be a dating tip in itself)
2. Women want sex as much as men do.

Every time you meet someone new, remind yourself that they want what you want and they’re just as human. They want love, sex, passion, friendship, laughter and so on. Again, they might not want it from you, but they want it.

It’s empowering to believe that. Cause once you believe that, you can just enjoy getting to know someone, for your enjoyment, rather than for their approval. I’m not saying butterflies in the belly will cease to exist. But the more you see someone on your level, the less nervous you are and the more you can be yourself.

And by taking sex off the pedestal and anyone who can provide that ‘magical’ experience off the pedestal with it, the more relaxed you’ll be.

Remember, we wall want sex. The excuse is up to you.

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Dating Advice for Beyond the Fridge

Drop the Pick-Up Lines

Lets face it…pick-up lines can look cool in movies, but in the real world, you just look like a douche.

Take Top Gun. When Mav and Goose ran their “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” game, it was magic. Whether it was movie magic or Scientology magic, I don’t know, but I’ve seen a few guys run it since and you know what they looked like? You guessed it, douches.

What pick-up lines tell me is that the dudes using them feel like they’re not good enough, so they have to do something magical to cross the goal line. They’re making something out to be much harder than it is.

I was great at meeting girls. I‘m not saying they all wanted to shag me and I’m not saying we always connected, but I used one line and it always worked: ”Hi, I’m John”. As long as I wasn’t rude, it worked every time.

When I say worked, I mean that I got to break the ice and meet them. And that’s all you need to kick things off. From there, you can see if there’s a connection and attraction. If not, no love lost. Just introducing myself was enough to get the job done.

When it comes to meeting girls, your goal shouldn’t be to get laid. It should be to see if there’s a vibe and if so, get digits. That’s it. And the irony? The more you focus on that, the more you end up getting laid in the long run.

Now, are there guys who run their ‘game’ and get laid? Of course. But A, they’re working way harder than they need to and B, they’re dicks. The reality is, it’s not hard to get laid. We’re wired that way. (Tune in to next week’s #DateTipTuesday, ‘Time to take sex off the pedestal”)

So drop the fireworks, drop the bullshit and just introduce yourself. If the connection is there, you’ll be in Saucy Town soon enough.

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Dating Ammo

Welcome to CTF’s Dating Ammo.

Lets face it…most of our dates revolve around eating and drinking.

So here’s where we’ll talk about foods and drinks that can be a great asset for your next date.

Now that it’s summertime, or as I like to call it ‘Mating Season’, there’s tons of foods and wines that are tailor-made for the warmer weather.

One product that caught my eye is Frey Wines. They have solid whites that are perfect for summer, including a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, you can grab’m at Whole Foods so it’s convenient, they’re inexpensive at around $15 per bottle and Frey Vineyards is our nation’s first certified organic winery.

And in case you didn’t get the memo, the ladies love organic. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for local businesses and there are a plethora of health benefits that come with it.

So whether to take on a hike, to a summer outdoor movie screening or just on your couch for some quality afternoon chit-chat, a Frey white can be solid ammo for your next date.

More info here for Frey Wines:

On the docket this week…

Stay tuned for our first Medicine Cabinet analysis.

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