Did I Shave My Legs for This?


The buildup was pretty grand. We had met a couple times through mutual friends before he got the courage to ask me out, which I happily accepted. A dinner date for Tuesday night at Arigato was penned in my calendar, and from our past interactions, it seemed it would be an easy-to-talk-to, fun date.

He called to follow up, using sentiments such as, Ive had a crush on you since day one,and , Were going to have a great time!It was sweet. He was excited. I was weary. If Ive learned anything about dating it is do not, I repeat, do not have expectations. You will always be let down (life lesson). But, of course, I allowed myself to think this would be different. Especially when I received a text the night before: Tomorrow is Tuesday! Im so looking forward to our date!Expectations had me by the ovaries, and I was the next victim.

Tuesday, I find myself traveling up State Street. I take one last glance in a reflective store window (best way to fully scan an outfit, pre-date) and stroll up to the future scene of the crime. He greets me with a slight hug, no smile. Whats his deal? He mentions there is a 45-minute wait and asks if I prefer to sit inside or out. Whatever is easiest!And whatever will lighten the mood.

We grab a drink and sit. It was awkward. I start the 20-questions game my interview skills kicking in, in the clutch to do something, anything to make time to go by. Hes quiet, despondent, and a little… hmm, whats the word… a wet blanket, thats it. (We will now refer to him as, WB.) But his attitude was not going to ruin my evening. Not one bit. And yes, I thought about calling it a night right then and there, but I had driven all the way downtown and made the effort. Plus, I was having a good hair day.

After what seemed like three years, the host asks if wed like to sit at a table or the sushi bar. With pleading eyes, I say, Sushi bar, please!hoping it didnt come out as desperate as I felt. (Sushi bar = more people nearby and more distractions.) I set my drink down (Sauvignon Blanc), and we get settled. As soon as the server leaves with our order of sea urchin and salmon roe on oysters on the half-shell with quail egg (called the Up All Night, I highly recommend.), I ask him the question hes been fishing for the entirety of this date. Soare you okay?This is how the conversation went:

ER: I dont mean it in a bad way, but is everything all right?

WB: Really? I thought I was doing a good job at hiding it.

Um, no. Not at all.

I found out some really bad news from work this morning, and Im kinda depressed about it.

Did you find this out before or after you called to confirm the date this morning?

[Gulp of wine]

So… what happened?

I dont want to talk about it.

[Twenty minutes of not talking about itand a second glass of wine later…]

I tried to pump myself up today, to get excited for the date.


Actually, I thought about canceling…

You should have! I would have understood!

Seriously dude. You should have. I totally get it. Now.

Im really sorry, I feel like a putz.

Its okay. You just need time to yourself, to digest everything,


[Awkward pause]

I just want to go home and watch Netflix.

Holy sh*t, did he just say Netflix?

Please, do! Please go watch Netflix.


That was the best idea I heard all week. I promptly drove to my friends house to spill the beans so I wasn’t the only one existing in quiet disbelief. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another story of expectations swallowing a victim whole. Thank goodness Netflix stepped in as my wingman to save the night.

The Dating Game



It’s for research. Or, it was at first anyway. My friend and I are trading stories of a guy we both had gone out with (seriously) and after a few laughs, she turns the subject to Santa Barbara Matchmaking, a local dating concierge service owned by Lisa Darsonval-Amador. She speaks enthusiastically about her experience and I decide right then that this is a great subject for I Heart. By mid-conversation, a light went on in my head: I could interview Lisa for the column, or I could participate in the process first-hand. As single woman, “just having fun” (and as a writer with a deadline), I choose both. I fill out the “Free Membership” questionnaire and within 30 minutes, Lisa calls.

Our exchange was polite. She listens as I ramble on about my intentions for contacting her. I explain that on recent dates, I’ve been asked what I want out of a relationship. “I never know how to answer,” I admit. “I don’t know what I want.” Lisa pauses just long enough to comprehend my vague statement but not long enough to make me feel uncomfortable. “I can tell a lot by your answer,” she responds. I gulp. My experience with matchmaking goes as far as a particular reality show where the interview process resembles a cattle call and the matchmaker throws quick-fire questions to contenders as if they are on trial, leaving many in tears. We make an appointment for an hour consultation the next week. In my mind, she already has me figured out. I’m a little intimidated, to say the least.  


I arrive at the door of Santa Barbara Matchmaking on a damp Tuesday morning wearing black ankle boots, black jeans, black T-shirt, and a black leather jacket – a Matrix uniform of sorts, readied for action. Lisa greets me with a warm smile. Her petit frame and hazel eyes let me know our meeting will not be as intense as I thought. She guides me to a conference room. The glass window wall facing the lobby is curtained for privacy, acting as a confidential and safe zone. After a few pleasantries, she dives in.


My clients are serious about finding love in a committed monogamous relationship, and we are a full concierge to provide that service.” Date coaching is a large part of the business. Once a client is cleared (hello, background check!), and a hefty questionnaire has been filled out, date coaching is available. Coaching covers various topics as in what to wear on a date, how to flirt, proper etiquette, and how to gain confidence. It extends to online dating, as well as in reviewing dating profiles to make sure you’re conveying the right message, how to safely navigate dating sites, how to take a great profile picture, you name it. And I was surprised to learn Lisa was a fan of online dating, thinking it is competition of sorts for her business. It turns out she connected with her partner on Match.com and they married in January 2015. She encourages a number of clients to try for themselves.

The fun part is, of course, finding a match. “I set up the entire date, so one even knows what the other looks like until they meet at the location.” Does she require men to pay for the date? Yes. “And I encourage women to be gracious in return.” She inspires women to be “softer feminine” and not lead careers ambitions (note to self). So what about physical intimacy? “Enjoy the dance! No rush!,” she proclaims. “Save it when you are in committed relationship, but express that you are sexual,” Lisa coaches. “Show your value, but if you feel it, there’s no problem kissing on a first date.”
The timer goes off and my hour is up. After thanking Lisa for her time, she guides me  through the lobby and out the front door. I stumble for words as I cross the threshold, and before I can muster a sound, she saves me from a stutter. “I’ll keep you in mind,” she says with a smile. With that, I wave goodbye. I walk to my car with dating tips and advice swirling in my brain, feeling more confident and a little closer to what I’m searching for.





Santa Barbara Matchmaking, LLC & Coaching

(805) 699-5650 info@sbmatchmaking.com


That Ass…

So summer will be here sooner than you think. And you want to put some finishing touches on that figure before hitting the beaches. Here are some of the best exercises that will get your butt looking it’s best.


HIP THRUSTERSdumbbell-hip-thrust

This is a really good and simple exercise that willenhance your glute strength and size. They will also enhance the aesthetics of your glutes. Your glutes will become higher, firmer and more rounded. Improving your glute strength will also help reduce some of the stress on your back.

Start with your shoulder blades against a bench or flat on the floor. 

Squeeze your glutes, lift up your hips, and hold a second or two.

Do 8 to 10 repetitions for 3 sets. Once that starts getting easy try adding some light weight. Hold the weight with your hands and place it on your lay. 






Pick a kettle bell, or any light weight, that you can hold onto comfortable in your hand. 

Place your feet wide apart. 

Stand up straight with your chest out and hold the weight with both hkettle_bell_swingands. Let it hang down the middle of your body in between your legs. 

Bend your knees slightly and push your butt out. 

Start swing the weight out in front of you with your arms fully extended. Thrust your hips forward to push the weight forward. 

When the weight comes back down, bend your knees and push your butt back out. The weight should sing between your legs.

Then repeat the movement. 



Stand sideways to a wall with straight posture.leg-abduction

Place all your weight on the leg closest to the wall. 

Begin to raise your other leg away from your body to about a 45 degree angle. 

Lower it and repeat for 10 repetitions and 3 sets. 

If this becomes too easy for you, try using a resistance band at your ankles to make it more challenging. 




Keep your back straight, with a neutral spine. Keep your chest and shouldeAir-Squats-640x360rs up. 

Keep your feet shoulder width apart or a little wider. But make sure your toes point forward. 

Then squat down. Drop your butt as low as you can. Thane come back up again

Do this for 10 repetitions and 3 sets.


And remember that e-tique.org has the best selection of lingerie so you can show off that new booty!

Sex Shops: the Primal Frontier



I thought to myself, we go to Home Depot when we want to spruce up a house so why not go to a sex shop to spruce up a sex life? I notice people walk by a sex store, maybe try to sneak a peek through the doors, but generally keep going with their eyes focused on the sidewalk ahead. For some reason, theres an embarrassment factorwhen it comes to entering and adult store (myself included, at first). But why should we feel ashamed to want to achieve the best orgasm possible? Beats me.

Ive thankfully learned there are more to sex shops than penis straws. You may be
surprised (or already know) what technology has brought to the adult product industry. The most inventive product I
ve discovered is the We-Vibe, a vibrator geared toward women that is activated via remote control or an app on your phone. The woman wears it and her partner controls it, bringing a casual day or cocktail party into a private world of your own sexual delight. If your phone can link to your lovers (similar to a Face Time connection), then youre good to go. AHallelujahto long-distance relationships that yearn to be more hands-on. No longer do people need to rely solely on phone sex and their own hands Which isnt bad, but nice to have options to switch things up. TheresweVibe4_Plus-features-slate_1_0.png also organic and vegan lubes available to satisfy even the most health-conscious of sexual beings to eat it up or slip it in. Hell-to-the-yes.


One of the best reasons for shopping in a physical store is the knowledgeable staff who is available to guide you through any questions you may have. If you cant make it in, give them a ring. They are your sommeliers of sex toys and have been trained to know specifics. And dont worry, theyve heard it all. Which means no judgment or need to blush when asking about a vibrator or other sexual accouterment.

As much as some may feel they dont need help in that department,the truth is we could all use a little tip here and there on how to please our partner and ourselves on a more arousing, orgasmically explosive level. It can be hard to voice our sexual desires to a partner but, as everything in life, communication is the key to happiness. You and your partner need to understand your desires in the boudoir and feel free to experiment in order to fully engage in an act of one of the greatest pleasures we have as humans. Sex can be the most romantic, causal, wild, rough, and sensual activity between two or multiple people And its safe to say that weve all done it, do it, and plan to do it again.

So, lets hold our heads high when we roll up in an adult shop or click our computer or phone keys to fill our shopping carts with goodies. Its time to entertain our nightstands, closets, or sex dungeons with exotic goodies with no shame. You and your partner will thank you.

Bad Date Exit Strategies

We’ve all been there… It’s a first date, (hopefully not a blind date) and it’s not going so well. It’s going so bad actually, that you just need to get out of there before you have one too many margaritas and then can’t even figure out how to Uber you ass home. So, to avoid that tragic situation, lets go over some exit strategies:


  1. Of course, you can always plan ahead and have your friend call you at a certain time, or even show up where you are (to dramatically enhance urgency) with an emergency of some sort. This is a time tested strategy that will always work!
  2. And some will say that honesty is always the best policy. And this is true. You can simply be completely honest with the person and tell him/her that you just are not interested in staying any longer. Just finish up that one drink, say you’re very sorry and split. It might seem rude but why prolong it? Just rip that band aid right off.
  3. You can try to scare him away. Talk about your paranormal experiences. Make them believe you are being haunted and your home is a hot spot for paranormal activity. If that doesn’t scare him out of there, suddenly pull an ‘It Follows’ and run away scared from that thing only you can see.
  4. Suddenly take whatever benign thing they just said and take it as the nastiest thing anybody has ever said to you.
  5. And lastly, fake a sudden illness. Maybe that lunch you had earlier didn’t settle so well. Look up symptoms to a random condition before hand. Whatever the illness, it’ll be a good excuse to excuse yourself.

Now that you’re out of there, call up some friends, go home to a nice bath, go relax and be glad you are off that horrible date. Hopefully the next one will be good enough to order a second drink.