San Francisco lovin'

The pros and cons of sex and romance in the city by the bay

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Oh! What a web of tangled flesh we postbohemian, rapidly gentrifying, pandemic-aware, pre-spray-on-condom and mint-flavored chewable RU-486 San Francitizens weave! Folks still trot out the ol' misty-eyed cynicisms: romance is dead, sex is boring, love is impossible, "I'm too fat".... But that doesn't stop 'em from doing it until their knees ache when they get the winky come-on (or hoping for Mr. or Ms. Right to ease the tax burden). Sure, in the age of the Internetz, sex is now a shopping trip — just log on for huge fake tits (aisle four), smart-mouthed ghettosexuals (aisle six), muffin tops gon' wild (aisle nine), or guys who inject a gallon of saline into their shaved balls (clean up, aisle five). No need to be a bitch or a ho — you're already both on the webcam, dude. Don't forget your password.

But still. Love exists, right? Christina Aguilera tells us so. And love leads to sex. Or to real sex. Or the other way around. Something. And don't even ask about the whole monogamy thing! Can't it all be easier? Aren't we robots yet? No, not yet. For good or ill we live in a magical place where impulse meets emotion in technology's dark corner and heads upstairs with it to a small room marked "free love" ($29 an hour) — leaving behind a trail of used rubbers, hopefully. Below we delve into the sex-and-romance pros and cons of some especially San Franciscan things. Maybe it'll help make things a little clearer. Maybe!


Carrie Bradshaw, Marissa Cooper, and Dr. Meredith Grey have their trumped-up Trumps, Shin-die schlubs, and Doc McDreamys, but what do so many straight, single women get in the Bay bohemia otherwise known as America's gay mecca? Commitmentphobic Peter Pan–ders, crusty granola cronies who only cruise twentysomethings, workaholic geeks who seldom see the light of day (apart from the blazing orbs of Burning Man), and windburned adventurers with a never-ending thirst to mountain bike, lick that downward dog, and hike the closest REI. Face it: single straight sistahs have the toughest lot in this town. A 2004 San Francisco magazine story estimated that unmarried straight 20- to 44-year-old SF men outnumbered their female counterparts by about 12,000. But I bet most eligible gals feel — nay, know — that the ratio is weighted in the dudes' favor. It doesn't help that years of STD- and AIDS-inspired social conservatism seem to have spurred peeps and perps to hook up early and less often — despite our fair city's freewheeling rep when it comes to sex roles, relationships, and gender politics. San Francisco's single chicks sometimes find themselves wondering, "Whatever happened to dating? Where did everyone go? Is it my breath?" When one male friend told me his ex's claim that she's dating multiple fellahs in various NorCal cities, my bullshit detector started honking. Tell it to all the attractive, smart, independent, and nubile femme singletons I know who are sitting home Saturday nights.

Pros: Never having to worry about getting macked on at guycentric sports events, shows, and construction sites. Women are always free at the Power Exchange. There's sisterhood in desperation. You can always join a girl gang and accost hapless men walking alone in dark parking lots. That yawning bore across the table is looking better every sec.

Cons: Dating. Shooting down poseurs who are into shopping for the pick of the litter.