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Cheap Dates: Dating and F*cking Like a Broke-Ass Baller

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Like many San Franciscans, I am exceptionally poor. As in I’m on Food Stamps poor. As in I had to ask the cashier to void my transaction when I found out Carl’s Jr. couldn’t accept my Food Stamps poor, which was awkward for both me and my date (to be fair, she was awfully insistent on upgrading to criss-cut fries).

So as a horny deeply passionate man in his late-20’s, I’ve had to hone the art of the cheap date. Which is why every week, I’m going to be letting you into my own sex and dating life, with tips and recommendations on how to get the most bang for your buck, cautionary tales, interviews, and more. Because I care. And I’m a huge narcissist.

It ain’t easy being cheesy, but what you might be lacking in pickup lines, you can makeup in your funds. Dating in San Francisco can be intimidating and expensive to those who are just jumping in. We’re a city seemingly engulfed in high-paying startups, venture capital money, and trust fund babies. But fear not! While $12 cocktails and fancy-pants dinners might seem like the perfect combination to knock your significant other’s socks (and fancy-pants) off – there’s a bevy of alternatives that are kind on the wallet and will leave your partner thinking you’ve actually got some originality. Here’s a couple suggestions to start things off.

Sans alcohol
I know alcohol is a lot more than just a social lubricant, but it’s expensive, and in a city drenched in alcohol-friendly events, it can be nice to get to intimately know your partner while still remembering his/her name at the end of the date.

Walk it out: The city has tons of amazingly gorgeous, walkable destinations. Some of my most meaningful dates have come from doing activities that I expressly knew didn’t allow for me to get drunk or laid during the date, and you get to know a lot more about your date. “What you have hay fever, too?! I can’t wait for us to rub snot together!”

Here’s an idea – pack a lunch – some sandwiches, chips, macaroni salad, etc. (#1 rule: never eat anything that might lead to diarrhea). Meet up at the Fishbowl on Divisadero and Pine. If you don’t feel like grabbing a handful of the FREE Goldfish there first, then make your way up Divis and walk through Billionaire’s Row on both Broadway and Lyon, just west of Divis. Live vicariously through the wealth of others, as you traverse past 4 story homes (5 if you count the wine cellar), including that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Before you and your honey can say “we’ll raise our over-privileged kids here someday!”, you’ll be at the Lyon Street steps – not only a landmark, but one with a gorgeous view of the bay where you can impress your date with how many stairs you can walk down and not back up. From there you can hit Chrissy Field, the Presidio, or if you’re feeling really ambitious – walk across the Golden Gate bridge.

There’s certainly no shortage of scenic foot routes throughout San Francisco, and by the time you’re done, you’ll have covered all the stories about both of your exes, while taking time to stop and smell the quinoa.

Avec booze
I can’t remember the last time I had sex with a girl for the first time sober. But then again, I wore a trenchoat in high school, when I thought you could scare a girl into liking you. Point is, I get the obvious advantage liquor provides on a date.

Laugh your broke-ass off: It’s little known to those outside the scene itself, but San Francisco has a thriving independent comedy scene, with shows that host both local and nationally touring comics, many of which are completely FREE. I’m one of those comics, so come support live comedy, f*ckers.

If you really want to booze it up with your date, try checking out The Business comedy show every Wednesday 8pm at the Dark Room. This local comedy collective puts on phenomenal shows with top notch headliners, not to mention being some of the best Bay Area comics in their own right. For just $5 (all which goes straight to the comics who are fellow broke-asses), you can BYOB and food, which saves a hefty amount on dinner and drinks, 10 cent brown-bag charges aside.

Check in next week when we’ll have even more Cheap Dates tips and stories, and until then, remember you can always find FREE condoms in SF, which is always cheaper than the alternative.

The Business
2263 Mission St. at 19th St. [The Mission]
Wednesdays, 8pm-10pm
$5 (2-for-1 when you mention BAS or Cheap Dates)

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Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry is a writer and comedy nerd, currently living in Brooklyn by way of San Francisco.

When he's not writing or podcasting, he can be found drinking beer, rubbing pesto on whatever will allow it, or doing improv/sketch/standup.