STARTING AS A LOCAL blogger (see www.datingamy.com), L.A. transplant Amy DeZellar has mined her love life for a gabby new memoir, Dating Amy: 50 True Confessions of a Serial Dater (5 Spot, $12.95), that might also be called Sex and the Emerald City. It includes dating tips, hookup myths proved and disproved, and a slew of classic dating horrors in Seattle’s most classic dating spots. We asked her more about the book in a recent e-mail exchange.
Seattle Weekly: Is dating easier for Seattle women as compared to other cities?
Amy DeZellar: People are surprised by how easy it was for me to get dates—something I try not to take personally—but I think it was because I was really visible. I used to do things like go to happy hour at the Metropolitan Grill by myself, and I met quality men. Seattle women would have it easier if they’d literally look around themselves and just make eye contact with men. As it is, Seattle’s the city that never flirts.
How do you feel about people freely publicizing their intimate lives on MySpace or Web sites like your own?
It’s a symptom of crumbling boundaries, I think. Even though I benefited from it by getting published, I don’t think wearing your personal life like a cyber–sandwich board is a healthy trend, because what’s left for your intimates?
In the book, you offer “Bunk Debunked” advice snippets, which include your theory that “never-married men over 35 are bad news.” For the 35-year-old woman looking for a never-married man, what’s your verdict on going younger?
When I said that about men over 35 . . . I meant the ones who are attractive, have their careers established, and have a big social circle, yet say they “just haven’t found the right woman yet,” which, of course, is code for “I want to continue to nail every other bimbo in town, but thanks for playing.”
I absolutely love this trend of women dating younger men, though. Certainly, some of the more notorious guys in my book are younger than me. With the overly well-endowed grocery guy, Christmas Tree [a pseudonym, like others employed in the book], there was a definite Desperate Housewives gardener vibe. Teflon, who I made a fool out of myself over, was a little younger and may also be the type I’m warning about.
Where did you end up in the process? How did you meet your most recent date since the book? And did the relationship last?
They say you can’t meet anyone when you’re looking, but I debunk that myth on about the first page. I purposely edited Dating Amy at a coffee shop instead of at home, since I was single and looking. And the most handsome man I’d ever seen crossed the room and asked if he could sit with me. He’s dark and interesting and from Sarajevo. My last 50 dates [since the book] were with him, although we’re no longer together. It was a big love for me. I wouldn’t have met him if not for the book.
You make many comments about double standards, but you also always give a lot of weight to whether the guy pays for stuff on the date or not. What’s your take on the Mars and Venus argument? Are we equal or not?
I say in my book that I’m an antebellum feminist. I like old-fashioned social mores that suggest that men should pick up the check and escort me home, but not the ones that would reduce my income or something. If by “equal” you mean the same, I don’t think we should even strive for that in dating. Romance and sex are definitely arenas where being very different is a delicious plus.
You mention several classic Seattle bars and restaurants among your dates. What’s your favorite?
My official favorite restaurant in Seattle is Matt’s in the Market, even though it has about three tables and doesn’t take reservations. My secret favorite restaurant is Peso’s, which becomes a twentysomething pickup place blaring Def Leppard at approximately 8:30 every night, but has great salsa. My girl-makeout date took place there.
In all honesty, what do men find most attractive in a woman?
Men go for women who have fuck-off confidence mixed with openness and availability. It’s a tough balance to strike—a lot of women have one or the other. Having big boobs probably doesn’t hurt, either.