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Expanding the Dating Pool and Finding a Gyno for Less

Meet-Market Maven tells a twentysomething how to get a little somethin' somethin' and answers a gyno-rmous dilemma.
Tuesday Aug 07, 2007.     By Anna Pulley
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Dear Maven,
I'm an attractive, outgoing 28-year-old guy. While I had no trouble meeting women in college, since I've entered the "real world," I've been having a considerably harder time. I'm losing my momentum to go to bars because even when I do, it's not exactly a prime location for making conversation. Am I going about this the wrong way? Do I have to join an internet dating site to meet more people?


A:Dear Julian,
How I rue the day I graduated and had to give up the sweet "locker room fantasy" that was college—thousands upon thousands of potential people to meet and make out with in coat closets were around me constantly. They were in classes, coffee shops, study groups, art galleries, concerts, rallies, etc. But once we leave for the real world, we lose the easy hook-ups, fast friendships and sizeable dating pool. I feel your pain. Being 28 makes you too old for a mosh pit and too young for a Canasta tournament. If you don't want to go the way of the World Wide Web, (though I hear Centerstage personals are fabu, ahem) get a life. Really. Get a hobby, volunteer somewhere, take up underwater basket weaving…whatever. The more interesting stuff you have going on, the more attractive you'll appear to others, and the more people you'll meet. But don't join that all-women spinning class solely to meet chicks. Women can smell that kind of desperation like a prehistoric tampon. Call me old-fashioned (or bitter at having so many internet dates go awry), but meeting people through mutual interests and commonalities is still the best way to connect with other like-minded peeps. So go on and get busy. Even if you don't meet someone right away, you'll most likely be preoccupied enough not to care. If that doesn't work, there's always grad school…

Hi Maven,
I've been putting off going in for my annual gynecological exam because I don't have health insurance. I'm a broke twentysomething, and I always feel a little violated by those visits. Where in Chicago would you recommend I go?


A: Dear Strapped,
Very few people, barring Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, are comfortable flashing their labia at strangers. Add papery, backless gowns, stirrups and being forced to read Better Homes and Gardens while you wait, and you've just entered a purgatory far worse than back-to-back Lifetime movie marathons. But visiting the gyno is a necessity. According to a recent study by the Chicago Foundation for Women, one in six women in Illinois don't have health insurance. Blago has made lofty proposals to insure all Illinoisans, but the chances of substantial health care changes making it through the legislature this year are about as good as fluorescent scrunchies suddenly making a come back. But fear not, there are some other, cheaper options on the table, like the Chicago Women's Health Center. The all women health collective offers sliding scale fees, longer appointments and even educational sex toy parties. I went there last year and the staff was very professional and accommodating, albeit a tad granola-like (they asked if I needed help with my orgasms, which hey, buy me a drink first…). There's also Planned Parenthood, which has been around FOR-EV-ER (actually since 1916). PP has lots of street cred, gives out free condoms and there's not a Redbook in sight! So spread the word and spread those legs. It's for your health, after all.

Anna Pulley, our Meet-Market Maven, has been on more bad dates than J. Lo's been to divorce court. She's been a one-date wonder and Wonder Woman. She's bi, and no she doesn't want to sleep with your boyfriend, thanks. When she's not giving advice, she enjoys theme parties for every and any occasion and working as a Carnal Consultant for Early to Bed. Buy her a drink or ask her a question already.


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