überlin

Sexpat and the City: Love Me Tinder

by Guest Blogger

Our resident sexpert Lucy vs. the Globe is back, just in time for Valentine’s Day! And, fear not, because she’s got the app antidote to that empty blackness that’s corroding the part of your chest that used to house a heart. Happy V Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day, and, if you are anything like me, you are probably single (and loving it – don’t be so smug, relationship people). But this time of the year is always a weird one. If you have an ounce of doubt in your singledom, you might find yourself slightly depressed – don’t. The answer is simple: Get on Tinder.

I’ll admit it, Tinder is a wholly gross experience. However, in times of loneliness and self doubt it is one of the most magical applications that has ever graced my second swipe iPhone screen. Here are a few tips on how to get started on Tinder, and hopefully this Valentine’s day – you won’t be so lonely. 🙁

A QUICK GAME IS A GOOD GAME – Deliberating over Tinder is a waste of energy. It’s really not tricky, nor should it consume too much of your brain capacity – you right-swipe or you left-swipe. You don’t diagonal, you don’t half-swipe, you don’t save for later. It’s a yes or no thing. It’s pretty shallow – but that’s life on Tinder. Keep it moving.

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TRAVEL AND TINDER – Don’t stick to your own area. BUH – that’s the worst. Soon enough the eligible dudes and femmes dry up and you are left with matches well outside of your predetermined parameters. Are you headed to Pretzel Berg? Picking something up from Charlottenburg off Kleinanzeigen? Fit in a swift swipe. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to travel to Tinder, but I think the “rules” you set for things like distance are all a bit… not-working. Facts are, you get better results when you make it out to new and exciting locations.

LIKE THINGS – The way in which you assess whether you do or don’t like someone is through your interests, mutual friends and distance (more or less). So if you haven’t liked pages on Facebook since 2007 – you should probably get in there and start throwing some thumbs. It’ll give you a better sense of the talent on offer, and maybe Facebook will become a more interesting place. Here, start with my page – it’s awesome.

REMEMBER: IT’S NOT FOREVER – This isn’t marriage, it’s Tinder. So at the very most you’re headed towards a night of loose living, and at the very least? A coffee at 2pm on a Tuesday. This is taking us right back to my first point – don’t overthink this. There is no commitment, there are no guarantees – so don’t get in it too deep. Maybe the really hot guy/ femme you right-swiped is a dope when it comes to the written word, but maybe that “hmm OK maybe I should have left-swiped based on looks” person is witty as fuck and you are all – I COULD DATE YOU. You would have missed something. #YOLO, #FOMO… all those abbreviations work here.

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KEEP AN OPEN MIND – Not everyone is totally photogenic nor understands their angles, so try and stay relatively open-minded. I mean, have you seen a German person’s CV? That serious-vibed photo is bananas. I mean – firstly a photo on a CV is fucked – but secondly, could you at least smile? Look like life isn’t too much to bear. This cultural aspect of the place in which we all live really made me soften my standards when it comes to the ol’ Tinder photos.

SPONTANEITY IS KEY – Be spontaneous. Don’t sit there asking stupid questions via a messaging function. Go out for drinks – immediately. The whole “So – where are you from? Australia cool, me too. How long have you lived here? Oh wow. Four years, that’s ages” YAWN – I am so bored typing that right now, and it’s not even a real conversation. Winter is depressing enough, without having to participate in these dreary back and forth TYPED conversations with someone you really don’t know. TAKE IT IRL.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*

by James Glazebrook

(*But Were Afraid to Ask Sexpat About)

Sexpat and the City logo

Our resident Sexpat, Lucy, wants you to help her, help you! 

OK! So we have decided to spice up this whole Sexpat vibe. Instead of me just talking about “things” that I find interesting, I thought maybe it would be cool to get you all involved.

This is how it will work:

  1. Comment on this post with topics you would liked me to discuss. Example: Man maintenance – what’s that all about?
  2. OR tweet about your desired subject to @uberlinblog with the hashtag #asksexpat.
  3. überlin will curate the top 10 (round number) and you will all vote on what you would like covered, by me.

The thing is – I love a good bit of interaction, it makes me feel popular/ wanted – and God knows, everyone wants to feel popular and wanted. Yes – I’m also semi-lazy, and am finding it harder and harder to come up with “things” to talk about. But this way – you get involved, and I feel relevant. Win/win.

So… what’s on your mind?

Sexpat and the City: First date red flags

by Guest Blogger

Sexpat and the City logo

Special Valentine’s Day dating advice, written by our resident sexpat, Lucy, and illustrated by Josh Bauman.

The thing about living in a city that is not your own is that you are forced to meet all sorts of people, and get thrown into so many fucking weird situations, that it becomes easier to separate the bad from the worse from the just plain ugly. I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert on such things, but I have become quite a good “people reader” after all this time spent in cultures slightly foreign to my own.

In Australia, we don’t date. I mean – we do, but in our own way. Australians date like the Germans but in x24 fast forward:

  1. We meet people through friends.
  2. We kiss that very night.
  3. We (almost always) go home together shortly there after, on the same day.
  4. We introduce ourselves again the following weekend.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3
  6. And the following week? We go out on our first date, when we have things to talk about – and feel ready to commit to two hours of sober(ish) chatting.

With my lack of exposure to “real” dating, I find the whole process of first dates entirely tiresome and stressful. As a direct result of this, I’ve become hypersensitive to people’s quirks. So I’ve compiled a list of red flags – signals that you should slowly back away from that date.

“You’re Australian/ {insert Nationality here}? Oh – I’m sorry.”

OK, so this can be a bit touch-and-go. BUT if you go out with someone and they make fun of your heritage in a snide, not-fun way, don’t give them a second look-in. I had a New Zealander do this to me one time, and two things came to mind:

  1. “Mate, you are from New Zealand. Please.” – kidding, sort of.
  2. “Homeboy has an inferiority complex.”

He may not have been a horrible person but, to be honest, there is actually no good reason to ridicule someone because of where they are from…. on the first date. On the fifth? Yeah, OK – maybe that’s the vibe; but on the first date – keep it nice.

You find yourself talking about how expensive things are, in a negative way.

You don’t want someone who is hung up on money and pushes it onto you. Obviously you want someone who can money manage, is aware of real life and whatever – but if someone is overly focussed on the cost of living, your time together (dinner, drinks, holidays) will be a struggle. You’re going feel like a Catholic who has indulged in premarital sex – guilty, like 24/7.

“So – are you rich then?”

One word: jaded. The question of income should not come into play on the first date, even in the first few months. Until you are in fact sharing a bank account, and popping a ring on it, there’s no merit in talking about your cashflow, or lack of one. Dude/femme must have serious money complexes (or be an total gold digger), and there is nothing more vile than having this at the forefront of any budding romance.

“Don’t you think you have had enough to drink?”

OK, I probably have had too much to drink at this point, arsehole. But fuck off, Dad. For a start, it’s patronising to ask questions that start with “don’t you think…” that are obviously not questions at all. The only people that have the right to get rhetorical with me are my parents, and my ACTUAL friends. If a date starts to baby you like this – get out.

The ex is brought into the conversation.

The problem here isn’t so much the talking about an ex boy- or girlfriend, but they fact that they are referred to as “My Ex”. People who have moved on use euphemisms like “an old friend”, “this guy I once knew”, “a mate of mine”… Anyone who holds onto titles is on an emotional roller coaster, and that’s not sexy – it’s just scary.

Your date isn’t keen on assimilating by way of language.

If your friend turns around and says they aren’t interested in learning {insert language here} because:

  1. They don’t need it.
  2. It’s an ugly language.
  3. It’s too hard.
  4. Or ANY OTHER REASON…

…you can tell straight away that they don’t like a challenge – actually no, not even! This person can’t HANDLE a challenge. At this point you must ask yourself – do you want to date this? Probably not. Unless you’re also a miserable human who doesn’t like a challenge. Well, are you?

They talk about your future together.

This is a really big warning sign – this person is delusional. They don’t want a first date, they want a life straight out of the movies. They want it to all happen, and they want it to happen NOW. Newsflash? Life is not like the movies, life is entirely messy. Let’s not spend the first date talking about things we’re going to do over the next six months… This is not real life.

God knows, you are good for one drink at this stage, but who’s to say we’re going to make a real connection… It’s weird. I had someone express a wish to spend Thanksgiving together five months before actual Thanksgiving, on our first date. 3 words: I legged it.

“Oh, I don’t seem to have any money…”

Not a good start.

  1. You’ve gone on a date, out in the real world – where there is usually some form of currency involved.
  2. Chivalry is not dead, nor is being just plain fair. How do you not have any money, when you should be buying at least one drink for the person you are on a date with?

If your prospective part time boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t come out with ANY money, on the first date – then this is going to be a pattern. I need to stress, you shouldn’t care if your mate is poor – but if they are, and can’t manage one drink – then they are obviously stupid for participating in that activity. I find the whole “I’m totally broke, but sexy” vibe in Berlin totally un-sexy. If you are going to go out with people with no funds, they should at least either be creative or thrifty enough that you don’t have to bank roll their efforts for an evening.

What do you think? Is Lucy being harsh or fair? And do you have any first date red flags to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sexpat and the City: The Part Time Boyfriend

by Guest Blogger

Sexpat and the City logo

New year, new Sexpat. This time, we’re taking the novel approach of getting a woman to write about the trials and tribulations of dating in the city… So let Lucy vs. The Globe be your wing-woman as she trawls the bars, clubs and caffs of Berlin, looking for fresh meat! Or something. First up: she explains the concept of the Part Time Boyfriend.

Many moons ago (over a year, obviously it’s almost an eternity) I wrote about the concept of having a Part Time Boyfriend. This mostly came out of frustration for the dating “scene” in the United States and the comparative ease I felt when wanting to roll around with someone in Australia.

Having just moved to Berlin, I am finding that I want to revisit this concept and it’s proving to be equally as confusing/finicky here as in the US. You see, the problem is – the Germans, they aren’t biting. I arrived into Deutschland with a mostly Part Time Boyfriend. This, however, very quickly turned into a no-time boyfriend. And over six months later I’m still struggling to find a semi-permanent solution to singledom.

The major differences I am finding with the Berliners:

  1. The Deutscher dudes don’t care – Germans are more asexual than the typical San Francisco hipster. It’s not that I want to roll around all the time – but you would think that Germans never do. To be honest – they either masturbate a lot or don’t like rolling. I think the difficulty of this comes from the fact that casual chit chat in a bar is a foreign concept, which obviously makes the pash-and-dash frightfully difficult. I am a reasonably attractive femme, I don’t seem totally crazy upon first encounter, and I’m kind of interesting… YET! It’s somewhat of a laborious task to find a guy on the semi-regular to get around.
  2. German Guys consider their options. Something about them screams, “I don’t throw caution to the wind, I want to hook up with the person I am eventually going to settle down, have babies, buy a stroller, get a sausage dog, and move to Prenzlauer Berg with.” I’m 28 – I don’t want any of these things (lies – I want the dog, I will call it Howard). To be honest, I just wanna kiss your face for an evening, and possibly repeat 2-3 times a week. So stop questioning if kissing me is a good idea – it’s only temporary. It’s not, like, forever.
  3. You only meet guys through friends and then you are friends for like ever until something happens – fuck this. I mean, this is a really good vetting process for the more Full Time Boyfriend vibe – but I just moved here, I don’t have that many friends and I only want you Part Time. I really need for you Deutschers to step out of your comfort zone, talk to a random stranger (me) and be available for a few hours a week, or for an evening.

My answer to all of this is a Part Time Boyfriend. I’m not interested in meeting you through friends, being your mate for like two months, finding that it’s passed that point of jumping each others’ bones, and has become a bit like kissing your sister (if we took it there) and we are better off staying mates. I can’t get those less-than-sexy two months back and it’s all because of the German non-throwing-caution-to-the-wind faff. I just want to find someone who is fun, likes to do cool shit and only wants to hang out a couple of times a week, while kissing on park benches and in the dark corners of bars.

The reasons I am not shooting for a (full time) boyfriend is because I really don’t want to have to answer to someone as to where I am, what I am doing, how my day was – unless I really want to. And to be (Anne) frank that level of commitment is not in my vocabulary – at all.

"Wonder, Stevie - 30 - Part Time Lover - D - 1985" by Klaus Hiltscher under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

“Wonder, Stevie – 30 – Part Time Lover – D – 1985” by Klaus Hiltscher under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

When I’ve spoken with people about all of this the first thing that comes up is: So – you want a fuck buddy? (Sorry Mum if you are reading this). Friends, readers, people that are still unsure as to why they are reading – that is the exact opposite of what I want. A Part Time Boyfriend is not a fuck buddy – this is a crass phrase and it deserves very little attention to start with. But secondly a Part Time Boyfriend needs to cover a few extra bases:

  1. You need to at least sort of like a Part Time Boyfriend/want to hang out with them. If you are solely going into this because you only want to roll, full stop – go to Sexpo. This is about box-ticking – it’s about having a mate to get brunch with and it’s about rolling > at the same time. Obviously – not at the EXACT same time, but you know what I’m saying.
  2. With point 1 in mind, you really don’t want to have to run your entire life by this person. The reason they aren’t your Full Time Boyfriend is so you can have a life – be a onesy, live a somewhat selfish existence, run to the beat of your own drum. With all the benefits of a twosy.
  3. This brings us onto our third point – the benefits of a twosy. The ones you want in a Part Time Boyfriend are: Having a +1 for concerts. On a Sunday – having someone to get food with when everything is on lock down in Europe and all your mates are hung over/still at Berghain. On occasion, having someone think you’re pretty – infrequently, but often enough that you feel special.

There is no real downfall to the Part Time Boyfriend – unless:

  1. You fall in love. Then that really ruins the part-time element of it all. There are (however) a handful of upsides to being loved up, so it’s sort of a win-win… If it’s mutual.
  2. You get herpes. This is a less than an ideal result.

It is entirely possible that I’m a shallow bitch that really just wants an almost-boyfriend for all the worst reasons – but doesn’t everyone..? I mean come on – no one thinks they want a mate so that they have a BFF all the time, everywhere they go – all of that just develops. What we all (initially) strive for is a handsome handbag that socially validates.  However – if you are in fact going into this process of looking for dudes with the wedding dress, the babies and the stroller at the forefront of your mind – is it surprising you are still single?

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Sexpat and the City: Hail to the Freaks

by Mr. Sexpat

Mr. Sexpat is a twentysomething English expat living, and occasionally loving, in Berlin. Join us as we follow him into the seamy underbelly of the city’s single scene.

Fearing another German summer spent unloved, in a romantic and naked sense, I recently took advice from that fountain of knowledge Glee and decided to try to be something I’m not: conscientious.

Berlin is notorious for its citizens’ strong political views and rightly so! Having been put through more history stress than Dr. Sam Beckett, they can be a baffling bunch to those raised in more indifferent political climes. Plus chicks dig dudes who are into “issues”! I have targeted a number of the city’s fringe groups as part of a hard-hitting exposé, in the name of journalism and sexual gratification.

Please be aware, what follows is disturbing, desperate and 83% true.

Politics
At first I feared this subject might be the most difficult to blag, but what at first seemed like a daunting task was in fact a total doss!

Politics cover such a wide range of bewildering subjects that I worried the activist-fitties might smell my fear, even over their dreadlocks. Fortunately I was born without fear – or common sense – so I waded crotch-deep into the political arena throwing opinions around like used tissues in my bedroom. Off I went, beer in hand, following all the young protesters down to Potsdamer Platz…

Tranny protest

“CSD Berlin 2010. Schwule gegen Westerwelle.” by ЯAFIK ♋ BERLIN under Creative Commons licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

After some quick Google-translating I managed to work out that everyone there was unhappy with how some people are being treated somewhere else… So we stood around for awhile, drank some beers and shouted at the Polizei (who we really don’t like). I soon realise all the Frauleins already have exactly what keeps me awake most nights, caked in sweat: boyfriends.

I’m not sure if we did ever save those poor people in wherever but I’m sure Captain Planet heard everyone loud and clear. But I must admit the dreadlocks are a problem for me, ethically speaking.

Veganism
No.

Feminism
At first this was the one group I was most eager to tackle as it seemingly involves little to no effort. After a quick peruse of Wikipedia I realised that just saying you’re a feminist is not enough.

Now before your undergarments start playing Twister let me supply just a few examples of why I should be crowed Ultra Mega King of The Feminists. (Please note I have made the following into a simple list for our female readers…)

  • Today I opened a door for a lady.
  • I think Joss Whedon writes women really well.
  • I have never, ever punched a girl. Except during Street Fighter.
  • Once I dated a German girl.
  • I firmly believe that the women’s section of H&M is far superior to the men’s.
  • I listen to Sleater-Kinney.

Unfortunately my new palace of equal opportunity fell to rubble as soon as I realised it was no longer forward-thinking or even mildly attractive to treat women as equals. Turns out, everyone is doing this already. Bastards.

Slut Walk my cunt

“Slut Walk 2011053” by JamesReaPhotos under Creative Commons licence: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

So what have learned this time, dear readers? Again, shite all. Perhaps you will take some comfort from my recent experiences/traumas and not pretend to be something you’re not just to get laid. Personally I’m all for gentrifying the streets of Berlin until a normal, dull woman pops out from under the ground naked and covered in gentrificate.

Until next time my fellow Sexpatriots, keep on gentrificating.

Sexpat and the City: Ain’t complaining…

by Mr. Sexpat

Mr. Sexpat is a twentysomething English expat living, and occasionally loving, in Berlin. Join us as we follow him into the seamy underbelly of the city’s single scene.

“Breaking news: I’ve met someone.

APPLAUSE!

She has a boyfriend.

Don’t worry, I have met someone else. What staggering luck right?!

CHEERING!

She lives in a different country.

GROAN.

Normally we’d go round a third time in this fashion but I sense that you are beginning to recognise a pattern forming. I am here today to tell you about a new nadir reached by this particular single male – Friends Visiting Friends In Berlin (or, as I like to call it, Shooting Yourself In The Penis).

As many of you have had chums rocking up for long, debauched weekends of tourism, sleeping in your bed and crawling along Weserstrasse, I’m sure you can understand what a tempting honeypot this can be for the desperate among us.

At first your friend’s friends seem super-attractive because you already have a lot in common (a shared language, some sexual organs, etc) and the fact that these beautiful vacationers are one Kevin Bacon away on the social ladder means a certain amount of trust XP is gained. Plus you get to play the single cool guy making it in Berlin yeeeah! I mean if this isn’t the plot for a sexy scene in a German porno then I don’t know what is!

Having double double checked with your fellow Berlinerpat pal that said target is single, many a European dollar is spent plying them with alcohol mixed with more guile than it would take to fuck a snake charmer. Even heading to White Trash at 2am seems like a good idea… until your target casually drops one infamous and awful word into a sentence: “My boyfriend loves this band!”

I am Napolean Bonaparte’s tortured ex-testicle.

Pictures from Paris

Amazingly I fall for this every. Fucking. Time. I find it hard being polite to new people as it is, but I figure if my friend’s fit friend thinks I’m a “nice guy” then within the space of the weekend they’ll pity me enough to give me a blowjob in the Bassy toilets or at least a sympathetic handjob while waiting for the N27.

But once the B-word is uttered a soul-destroying look glazes over my eyes and I suppress a very natural urge to break my own spine on the nearest table edge. Once out of the psychological danger zone, I attempt to transform the tears in my empty wallet into real cash money so that I can then purchase eleven thousand Berliner Kindl, smoke an entire pack of Nil Weiss and watch the sun come up while drowning in a lonely pool of my own sick.

Basically kids, it’s a losing situation at the Loss Factory in Loserville. Do single people even exist anymore?! According to 2012 they don’t. And what lesson have we learned? Either: Don’t bother leaving your WG unless it’s for food/to escape a gas leak OR Stop trying to mack on the mates of your mates, and start looking for love in all the right places.

Whatever it is, try looking up FML in the Urban Dictionary and you’ll find a picture of me, eating my own limbs.”

Sexpat and the City: And we frolicked about in our summer skin

by Mr. Sexpat

Mr. Sexpat is a twentysomething English expat living, and occasionally loving, in Berlin. Join us as we follow him into the seamy underbelly of the city’s single scene.

“Dear Summer,

How have you been? It’s been many months since I last saw you and I find myself thinking of you often.

I thought I saw you one afternoon last week in Prenzlauer Berg, but when I asked your cousin Winter if you were in back in Berlin she just shrugged. She said you that you guys hadn’t spoken for years and how you’re full of hot air or something…

I’m okay. I’ve been “writing” for some crummy expat blog while trying to get laid – without much success. So pretty much the same as ever, I guess. But I still feel guilty about how we left things last year.

Looking back I realise that I didn’t appreciate you as much as I should have, in the short time that you were around. When you were last in Berlin I was either asleep all day or hungover or whatever… I completely forgot what a great wingman you can be! With your cousin around girls wear far too many layers so I can’t really get a good idea of their physique – and by “physique”, I of course mean tits. Then she’ll say that I shouldn’t be so sexist and objectify women like that.

“It’s what’s inside that counts,” Winter tells me.

“I know,” I reply. “That’s why I’m trying to get inside somebody!”

Don’t get me wrong, I do really like your cousin but you know she can be a total bummer sometimes. She’s just so… cold.

You’ve got to come back soon right? All my female friends think you’re really hot; just the other day one of them asked when I thought you’d be back. When you’re around all the Gorgonites go back to their caves and the hot dames return, gliding in from The Baltic Sea aboard gigantic, gleaming sea oysters pulled by three and a half thousand pygmy unicorns.

If you do come back soon I promise to make more of an effort with you. There are a ton of festivals I want to attend, and we can go on that weekend mini-break to Hamburg we talked about. (I hear the talent there is exquisite… perhaps because it’s that much closer to Scandinavia?) We’ll finally go to Wansee, walk around for hours and hours, and talk about any boring shit you like…

Like I said, it would be great to see you again so, if you’re not still mad at me, give me a shout when you get back. I really miss you and Berlin just isn’t the same without you.

Lots of love,

Mr. Sexpat

PS Spring tells me you should call her asap, you still owe her 20€.”

The sky over Berlin

cicciostoky, The sky over Berlin, via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution