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Magical Third Date Ideas in San Francisco

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In San Francisco where many relationships don’t last more than six weeks, the third date is a significant milestone. For some it marks the date count that allows them to engage in sexy time without feeling too slutty. For other’s it’s a a commitment that says, “Hey, you’re more than a one night stand and I enjoy spending time with you at least as much as scrolling through the endless possibilities of others.” And let’s face it, with the online dating cornucopia of plenty providing enough flesh and cuteness to keep us endlessly entertained, committing to three dates with one person is kinda of a big deal. It takes focus, momentum, self-sacrifice and a bit of luck to get to the third date, so for God’s sake don’t blow it. Here are some ideas to help you rock your triennial encounter with any potential paramour. You’re on your own for the fourth, cause I’ve never gotten that far.

Too much light makes the baby go blind

Good live theatre is so much sexier than then the movies and T.M.L.M.T.B.G.B will make you want to tongue kiss the whole wide world. For the uninitiated, each show includes the Neo Futurists heroically attempting to perform 30 original plays in 60 minutes, creating an interactive game as well as an hot mess of unpredictable performance. Each night will have a tiny play that makes you cry, howl with laughter, question your assumptions and feel a little uncomfortable. Plus they tend to get naked. Also tickets are cheap and the show is short, so you still have time to hit your favorite dive bar. Most Friday’s and Saturday’s at the Safehouse for the Arts. For other cheap, weird shows check out Piano Fight.

sf neo futurists

sf neo futurists

Enjoy an epic view together

The third date is an ideal time to figure out if you enjoy talking to this other person and a quiet overlook is a great conversation stimulator. Wouldn’t it be lovely to take in an epic view while nibbling a picnic lunch and enjoying some fermented conversation juice? Perhaps keep a few potential topics in your back pocket in case things get awkward or mundane. I like, “What did you want to be as a kid?” “Are you more of a unicorn or dragon and why?” and “Do you have any restraining orders?” Weekend Sherpa has so many good ideas for local, outdoorsy adventures! And sherpa is a really good, non-annoying pet name. Now you just have to decide which one of you is the mountain and which one is the sherpa.


Shop for sexy underwear

Okay this one’s not for shy people, but if you’re gonna embrace the true spirit of the third date and all the potential nookie that it en-tails (ha!) why not be upfront about it? Instead of stressing out about what sexy underwear to wear, go buy some for each other. What’s the worst that could happen: you have some awkward sex and wake up with some cute, new underwear on the floor? I recommend Doll House Betty for garters and retro naughtiness, Mr. S’s for boy on boy dates and Agent Provoceteur for all around sexiness. Dark Garden also makes custom corsets, but that’s really more of a 4th date kinda thing.

Create some mischief together

 I’m not talking arson or looting (or am I?). On one of my best dates ever me and my partner in crime ran all over the city spray painting snowflake patterns on sidewalks and trash cans. It was the holiday season and everything was sparkly and bright. I can still see the perfect, pink flush of her cheeks (sigh). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t gonna land us in Chowchilla, but a little lawlessness can create quite a jailbreak in you and (hopefully) your date’s pants. Did you know it’s not legal to be completely naked in San Francisco anymore? I’m also pretty sure you’re not allowed to have sex in public. And you’re not supposed to put money in other people’s meters to save them from the parking gestapo. Just sayin’.

squid 2

Play a game

Plato, who always put out on the third date said, “You can learn more about someone in an hour of play than a year of conversation,” and I agree with that wise, toga wearing scoundrel. Playful dates give you an activity to focus on (so you don’t fall into the tiny talk abyss) and a chance to see how the other person handles themselves. Are they a sore loser? A fun loser? A good natured spaz? A little bit mean when they feel threatened? People can’t hide themselves very well when they’re playing, so this is a good window into their soul hole. Take good notes. Some of my favorite adult playgrounds include Spin in SoMa, Urban Putt in Potrero, Finnegan’s Wake in Cole Valley, Musee Mecanique in the Wharf and arm wrestling anywhere.

new mural at Finnegan's wake by Sam Flores and Ronnie Buders (now finnished)

new mural at Finnegan’s Wake by Sam Flores and Ronnie Buders.  The back patio and mural are now finished

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

This one can be a little risky, especially if the bartenders at your favorite place like to tease, but it can also pay off big. With this date format you both pick a place that you love and then try and show the other person what you love about it. Could be anything from a hike, to a bar to a guinea pig at the galleria pet store. You both get to do a little show and telling about something meaningful to you, while learning something interesting about the other person. If the person can’t think of any place they love or make a worthy effort to try and understand the magic of your thing, then at least you know now. And if it’s a really bad date you still got to go to one of your favorite places.

show you mine

Here’s wishing you loads of third date fun and satisfaction. May conversation flow like a river and panties fall like rain. What’s your favorite third date?


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Heather Robinson - Artisanal Trouble Maker

Heather Robinson - Artisanal Trouble Maker

Heather Robinson has been doing stupid stuff in San Francisco for almost 10 years. She loves dive bars, typewriters, and creative people. Buy her a beer and she'll solve all your problems.