Devastating news in this week’s SF Weekly. It appears that single women can’t find ANY men to date in San Francisco! A six-page spread was devoted to tackling this rare phenomenon, whose mystery somehow wasn’t covered in any of the six seasons of Sex and the City or in the movie. It’s gotten so bad that someone called in the “number 8 pick-up artist in the world” according to an online magazine called TSB (This is Surely Bullshit?) to come to San Francisco and help five of these spinsters-in-training to find love. Take for example, the harrowing tale of Valencia, who was so hard up for some man-tention that she started dating a guy who was homeless.”The hobo boyfriend thing certainly wasn’t ideal for Valencia, but she liked the guy. ‘I continued to see him a couple more times,’ she said. ‘Then he dumped me.'”
Bearing the brunt of the hetero dating crisis is the city itself, which is apparently no better than Alcatraz for finding a man who isn’t “gay, married or damaged by a previous owner.” “I’ve never had as much trouble finding people to date as I have here,” one desperate woman said. Another said she’s “had better luck in cities like Paris and Chicago.” Asked what it is about San Francisco that seems to be causing this disaster, Valencia says:
I don’t even know what it is…Is it gay? Is it straight? Is it a friend? Is it a foe? Is it looking for a job? Is it looking for a place to crash?
Perhaps then, the confusion is due to the fact that women are dating inanimate objects with no obvious gender representation.
But wait. Isn’t there a better answer? What’s the fallback that people use when straight relationships are in turmoil? Oh, I remember.
“Cities like San Francisco where the gay population is twice the national average may pose a challenge for single women looking for mates, even though data suggests otherwise,” says urban studies theorist Richard Florida.
To paraphrase The Daily Show, who needs data when saying something is so much easier!
Census data from 2008 shows that the SF population is around 809,000 and the entire Bay Area has a population around seven million. Since the Census didn’t bother to include information about sexual orientation, the numbers are up in the air about just how many queers live here. But according to the 2005 American Community Survey, around 15.4% of San Francisco is queer. Now, I’m just a bisexual who’s bad at math, but perhaps the “challenge” straight women face is not “teh gays” but rather the ways they’ve been socialized to date and cultural stereotypes that we’ve all internalized.
Soul, the #8 pick-up artist, who manages to get laid despite his name, reiterated these stereotypes when he suggested his women pick-up artists in training “forgo aggression, and instead create a ‘window of opportunity’ for men to initiate a connection. This can be as simple as using eye contact, body language, or, if absolutely necessary, starting a ‘functional’ conversation. For instance, ‘How was your week?'”
Thankfully, the women didn’t buy Soul’s “plan,” which was not a pick-up strategy at all, but more like passive flirtation for mutes. Soul’s other strategies included, “be casual. Smile a lot. Flip hair if necessary,” which begs the question, “How is Soul still single?”
It is only after one of the women forgoes all of Soul’s advice, as well as the advice of his pick-up artist friend whose name I’ve forgotten (Wind?) that she ends up picking up a pick-up artist. And I can’t be sure, but it’s a safe bet that her line wasn’t “How was your week?”