The Tel Avivit’s Subtle Art of Seduction

The telephone build-up had been most promising. A, a 37-year old Tel Avivit whose telephone number had been given to me by my kiosk friend Sam, was clearly vivacious, intelligent and worldly.

And the initial chat, after taking our seats at the bar, was even more encouraging. A clearly knew as much about punk and indie music as I did, and considerably more about film. I was having a good time on a blind date, at last!

A remarked how surprised she was that I am single.

“Yes,” I thought to myself in a Seinfeldesque aside, “it is rather surprising, isn’t it?”

A had just got back from her first visit to London, and was having difficulty comprehending how I could have left it for the “Third World”.

After twenty minutes or so, and flowing with the positive vibes, A’s refreshing directness and, of course, her compliment, I decided to throw in a flirty little tease.

“Who knows . . . perhaps if things work out between us, we can move to London.”

A spent a few seconds digesting the proposition.

“That depends if you fuck good.”

I managed to remain on my stool, though – in order to regain my composure (lost not only as a result of A’s grammatical error) – I needed to buy some valuable seconds of my own.

That Depends If You Fuck Good . . . Who was that by? Shakespeare?”

The banter continued. But my interest did not.

True, my physical attraction to A had anyway been borderline – almost my default category these days – but her shock tactics ensured that I remained on the English side of the fence.

“She’s probably just fed up with dates and all the game-playing that never goes anywhere anyway,” my friend Limor attempted to explain on Saturday. “And now she just figures that she might as well just speak her mind.”

And I wouldn’t argue with Limor’s assessment. Thirties and forties dating is like a game of chess. And A’s tactics had been to immediately sacrifice her queen, when patiently awaiting some subtle pawn play, followed perhaps by a delicate engaging of the bishop, might have been more likely to obtain a mate . . . and maybe even her knight.

Let’s face it, almost every man wants his woman to be the proverbial “whore in the bedroom”. But T.A. Woman has extended that – counterproductively in my view – to not being a lady outside of it.

And, if that is sexist . . . well then, call me Sid.


43 responses to “The Tel Avivit’s Subtle Art of Seduction

  1. lol !!! great story!!! :-)…LOVED IT! –

    question… is it really true that every man wants a ‘whore in the bedroom’?

  2. Aw, poor Sid … er Mike … see, now the shoe’s on the other foot (if not at least 1/2 off). Yeah, it is sexist. It’s OK for a guy to speak w/ great candor about all his conquests — real, imagined or hoped for, but God forbid a woman should be so forward. Perhaps next time, rather than having to grab the bar (or something ?) to steady your balance, maybe you’ll decide to allow yourself to “rise” to the occasion! 😉 LOL

  3. Mike…..have you kept her number !!

  4. Emma Wolfin Golding

    Funny story but also disappointing how unlady-like some girls can be. The ancient, yet still totally relevant, art of being alluring is severely underestimated by too many these days….silly girl! Can’t say I blame you for being turned off instantly. So vulgar! Yours very old-fashionedly, EWG xx

  5. I realy dont think it has anything to do with you being sexist.. I know you are an english man in Tel Aviv, but remember that Israeli man are FAR from being gentlemans..
    And they are not as good in bed as they would like to think 🙂

    The city life teaches us that if you dont go to bed in the first date, then it will be on your second date.

    Sex is always in the air… all over..
    The men see us women as an adventure.. Another beautiful woman looking for a man..

    So we are tired of being fair ladys 🙂
    Do you know how many bedroom disappointments I had? It is an issue..

    So it is not you..
    It is being a 30 something years old woman in Tel Aviv…


    But we’re still looking…

  6. doth she cometh on to you?

  7. Bella, my guess would have to be yes (apart from the charging, of course!) I mean I’ve never heard a guy rejoice about a woman who was passive or uninterested.

    Greg, I don’t think there is anything wrong with men or women talking openly about sex. But on a first date? To a potential new partner?

    Alan, I’ll see what I can arrange. 😉

    Limor, are you saying that it is ultimately pointless for Israeli women to behave like ladies with Israeli men – because the great majority of these men wouldn’t understand – and that the women have just had to readjust, and have become hardened, as a result?

    In the interests of honesty, if I had fancied A rather more, I would probably have provided her with the answer to her question that evening . . . but – and this is going to sound even more sexist (coincidentally, on this International Women’s Day) – I am not sure I would have respected her enough afterwards for a serious relationship.

    Perhaps I am “old-fashioned” like Emma, but I believe that, in a healthy society, the sexual behaviour of men and women is supposed to be different. I am not saying that women should never indulge themselves . . . just not instantly with a man with whom they may be interested in building something serious.

  8. Every man has his fault, and honesty is his.
    William Shakespeare

  9. I am surprised that the problem here is being described as being sexist. Surely the problem is that anyone who is looking for a partner solely on the basis of how good they are in the sack is not really looking for a serious relationship anyway.

    However, maybe you just fell victim to a wicked sense of humor. Sounds to me like she was just countering your forward statement with an even more forward statement – touche. English people can sometimes assume that they have a monopoly on subtle humor, I would ask her whether she was being forward or funny. My guess is that it is the latter.

    Good luck.

  10. Daniel Greenspan

    You could always have assured her that you haven’t forgotten a single thing from your high-school sex education lessons….

  11. Great post!

  12. Further to Abe’s comment, which I think is spot on, my take is this:
    She is just as fed up as you with the whole dating scene. When you made a flirty comment about your possible future together, she sensed a certain longing, perhaps even desperation, which was very unattractive (it is very off-putting when a guy makes a comment like that after 20 minutes). So to counter that, she made an even more provocative comment.
    It fell flat, but at that point she probably didn’t care because your flirty comment had already put her off.
    As for the crude-ness of her comment, I think there is a language barrier there. The f-word is just not as vulgar sounding to an Israeli as to a native English speaker. If she had said “that depends on whether you are good in bed” with a little sparkle in her eye, you probably wouldn’t have been so put off. She probably didn’t even realize how coarse it sounded to you.
    Having said all that, your attitude doesn’t make you sexist – just a hypocrite with double standards.
    And Abe is right – all that is tangential. The thing is, if you want a serious and meaningful relationship, it depends on a lot more than how well you both know films and indie music and how good you both are in bed.

  13. Yes, many men are inconsiderate, disrespectful macho types who think they’re God’s gift and don’t give a monkey’s about the women they lie with but simply need another notch on their ………, but, the other side of the coin is that modern women in their feminist search for equality have become too assertive/sexually aggressive and have forgotten how to be feminine. There is nothing subtle about this phenomenon.

    A woman can be an equal without being aggressive. There is no reason for a sexually enlightened woman to throw out all her femininity/girlishness/loveliness in the name of feminism. Being crude and vulgar does not equate with sexy.

    A woman who retains her femininity whilst achieving her equality is the true feminist.
    Becoming a ‘macho-woman’ does not make her equal.

    There is no reason not to be openly, sexually frank at the first meeting. It’s the way that it is done that separates the feminine/lovely woman from the ‘macho-femme’.

    This is a world-wide thing and not a specifically Israeli one.

  14. “It’s the way that it is done that separates the feminine/lovely woman from the ‘macho-femme’.”

    Sey, I assume there’s also a way that it’s done that separates the masculine/attractive man from the “macho-dickhead”?

  15. Anna, most definitely!

  16. “at that point she probably didn’t care because your flirty comment had already put her off.”

    Nice theory, Anna, but one not supported by A‘s parting words after I walked her home.

    “your attitude doesn’t make you sexist – just a hypocrite with double standards.”

    Suggesting that men and women are – and, therefore, even should be – different, you mean?

    “if you want a serious and meaningful relationship, it depends on a lot more than how well you both know films and indie music and how good you both are in bed.”

    Pleased you finally got there in the end, Anna.

    Sey, you very eloquently knock the nail on the head.

  17. “Suggesting that men and women are – and, therefore, even should be – different, you mean?”

    Again very definitely! and VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!!

    The whole wonderful thing about the birds and the bees, boys and girls, men and women is the difference. That’s the way Nature/God/Whoever made us.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world, it has become a competition to see who can ‘out-macho’ who and this has, in a way, blurred the magical Difference.

    Good relationships require an enormous amount of mutual respect & it seems that that has gone out of the window.

  18. “it has become a competition to see who can ‘out-macho’ who”

    Yes, I think that it is what Limor meant about Israeli women (in her comment above).

  19. Hey Mike, I’m in Israel for Pesach…Dani would love it if I disappeared for a few hours ; anything to get rid of me !!

    Also tell her Kenley is crap in bed – Goldman told me!!

  20. so what were her parting words – “marry me and we’ll live happily ever after together?”
    and yes, you totally got it – I really, really think that men and women aren’t different and shouldn’t be different, no really.

  21. Perhaps these comments from Anat Hoffman, an Orthodox woman who served as a Jerusalem City Councilwoman for 14 years and is now Exec Dir of the Israel Religious Action Center, a group that fights for religious pluralism, Jewish-Arab coexistence and equal rights for women and minorities in Israel, will offer a different perspective. From today’s IRAC Newsletter:

  22. Shuli, I imagine Dani would love it if you just disappeared full-stop!

    As for your comments re Alan, I seem to recall that it was you who was good friends with Mark at Hasmo (after Alan had already left).

    Mark, perhaps you could comment on the rumours that Shuli is hung like a horse . . . a sea horse!!

    Anna, I can’t accept the logical conclusion of your view that “men and women aren’t different and shouldn’t be different” . . . i.e., that they are and should be the same.

    A kind of hybrid would be nice, though . . . for instance, a woman who rolls over and goes to sleep after we have “finished”. 😉

  23. “I really, really think that men and women aren’t different and shouldn’t be different, no really.”

    Anna that’s where you got it really, really wrong!

    Men & women are totally different. From the way they have been put together physically, the way their different chemicals and hormones work, the way their brains work etc. etc. There is nothing that is the same. That’s the way it is and the way it should be. Not better, not worse, just different.

    When men and women will come to understand that and respect each other, each on their own terms, that’s when equality will be reached.

    It has nothing to do with ‘woman’s work’ or ‘being a whore in bed’ or any of the other cliche catch phrases that both sides use against each other.

    Going back to A’s remark, “That Depends If You Fuck Good . . . “, the question arises, does she fuck good?

    What’s happening is that sex has become pornography. It’s become a mundane bodily function just as going to the toilet or brushing one’s teeth is. It is usually meaningless and irrelevent and at times leaves a bad taste and resentment.

    The most important ingredients that have been lost in this mad race to be ‘king/queen macho’ is the romance, mutual respect and that most outdated and unfashionable word ‘love’.

    And for the guys who understand that respect,tenderness, honesty, understanding and unselfishly making sure that the gal has been satisfied,for which they will recieve untold payback and reward, there is no whore in bed, only a loving mate.

  24. Emma Wolfin Golding

    I agree with everything Sey has been saying completely. Absolutely. Sad that so few people realise the truth and are unwilling to accept it. Sey, you are a wise man/woman (sorry, couldn’t tell which from your name but I’m guessing you’re a guy – hey, at least I have a 50% chance of being right!) Sex, meaning good close physically intimate connecting with another human being kind of sex, has been bastardised by all these stupid media images of what a sexy girl/guy “should” be or look like. “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me” is a despicable lyric. Whatever happened to the kind of ideas about connecting with another soul that Annie Lennox used to write about: “I’ll show you something good, yeh I’ll show you something good, when you open your mind, you’ll discover the sign, that there’s something you’re longing to find – the miracle of love, can take away your pain, when the miracle of love, comes your way again”.

    Anyway, enough of my rantings and 80s lyrics quoting….I cannot believe how clogged my inbox has become from just commenting on one blog! Mike, keep writing – the more controversial the better!!
    Yours, still desperately old-fashioned, but at the same time hopefully a little bit cool, EWG xx

  25. Mark Goldman


    Don’t want to go there.

    I will say that ‘seconds’ might be a more accurate assessment of the time Shuli would need to disappear for.

  26. Mike
    Thanks for correcting Shuli and I would delighted in helping Dani help him disappear for a while……….it will be like the good old days !! Mark, dont let him get to you. Simon (my darling bro), I am not really interested in getting her number….obviously I was just being a macho dickhead

  27. Emma,

    My guess is that Sey is female. And she does talk a lot of sense.

    I am not trying to be “controversial”, merely to honestly recount what happened and how I saw it. My “whore in the bedroom” reference was perhaps not the wisest. And it was not intended to exclude the loving “whore”!

    Thank you for the trip down Annie Lennox Lane. Though, following her stance during the Gaza War, I have little time for the woman. My childhood next-door neighbour, Graham, had the first Boomtown Rats album (1977). And (She’s Gonna) Do You In contained Bob Geldof’s unforgettable lyrics that I would more associate with Lennox these days:

    “Watch out for your baby, watch out for her now,
    She ain’t no lady, she’s a stupid cow.”

  28. Just to set the record straight, Sey is very much a male with a few years more experience and an awful love and respect for the female gender! 😉

  29. Apologies, Sey. My last love was called Seyda, and I guess that had me subconsciously thinking female.

    Anyway, keep an eye out for me. 30-38ish. And can’t f*ck on the first date.

  30. Sey – sorry, don’t buy the whole women needing to be demur females in the face of unbridled masculinity. It was obvious to me you were a male…..

    This may be some kind of male fantasy, the man gets to be vulgar, disrespectful and macho because that is what they have always been and there is some kind of status quo if they continue doing so. Women who had a status quo of being ‘feminine’ should remain like that too.

    Nice sentiments my grandparents would agree with. However, in todays day and age, women don’t have to be downtrodden slaves to the unleashed male ego. They get to be equal and men should control their behavior in order to help that equality.

    However, when men are unable to control themselves then it is the mans fault for upsetting the equality and not the womans. Don’t blame the victim – men can make women equal by behaving better, I took A’s comment to Mike as being her way of saying that Mike dragged her down to his level instead of meeting her at hers.

    Sorry Mike, but you asked for it and couldn’t handle it when you got it – her parting words were very informative. You probably don’t deserve her.

  31. Sorry, Abe, but I haven’t a clue what you are on about. Sounds like you have filled in the blanks with your own imagination!

    What did I “ask for”? How had I “dragged her down”? There was no “unbridled masculinity”, and I was certainly not “vulgar, disrespectful [or] macho”.

    What “couldn’t I handle”? I was not offended, or even upset, by A‘s comment.

    What “parting words”? She very much wanted to go out again.

    And who said anything about “downtrodden slaves”?!

    But don’t let me ruin your story . . .

  32. “…………women don’t have to be downtrodden slaves to the unleashed male ego.”

    Abe, that’s what I’ve been saying all along, perhaps in a convoluted manner and that is why you have totally misunderstood.

    I never mentioned a word about being ‘demur females’. Feminine women yes, but that has nothing to do with neither “demur, downtrodden slaves” nor “victims”. I know a number of very feminine sexy women who could never be described as demur. They can play/work as hard as the guys, as equals, without ever letting one forget that they are very, very feminine and all the more sexy for it.

    When women are unable to control themselves and become aggressive, overly assertive and downright as obnoxious as the ‘macho-dickheads”, then yes, they have achieved “dickhead” equality and they deserve each other.

    Taking it onto a more spiritual level, ‘Eshet Hayil” is one of the most deeply embedded tennents of our origins. Another extremely important aspect are the ‘rules’ concerning the husband’s duties in keeping his wife sexually fullfilled. Although I come from a traditional family, respect and appreciation of women was one of the concepts drummed into me by my late father. It’s a lesson I learned well and have never forgotten.

    All along I’ve been saying that men need to respect women and treat them as equals. The same goes for women.

    Again, men and women are different, not better, not worse, simply different.


  33. btw, Mike
    My late dad was born in Leeds and I too am a LU fan, have been ever since I can remember 😀

  34. Again, I agree with Abe, and like Abe, I also thought it was obvious Sey was male.

  35. Yes, Anna (though it is most unlike you to hide behind the views – not to mention the ill thought out, fanciful ones – of someone else).

    And let’s not forget that you also think that men and woman are, and should be, the same.

  36. um, when i said that about men and women I was being totally sarcastic.
    it’s interesting that when someone doesn’t agree with you, their opinions are fanciful and ill thought out.
    You really can’t take it when someone disagrees with you.
    don’t worry – i have plenty of strong opinions of my own. I just happened to agree with Abe on this one, just like you agreed with sey.

  37. Your sarcasm was obviously too subtle for me, Anna.

    I have no problem whatsoever with people disagreeing with me (or about being rejected for that matter, an experience about which I have posted with candour).

    I detailed a few comments ago exactly why I think Abe’s comments are “ill thought out” and “fanciful”.

    But why bother with the details, Anna, when you can easily hide behind a blanket “I agree with Abe”?!

  38. I didn’t hide behind a blanket “I agree with Abe”. I do agree with Abe and also wrote a lengthy-ish post with some of my own thoughts from your experience with A.
    But whatever

  39. Mike,
    Who’s the us in “Your sarcasm was obviously too subtle for us, Anna.” ?
    I would have thought anyone could tell Anna was being sarcastic. How indeed did “us” with all us’s witty aphorisms succeed in missing that. Is that because Anna is a woman, and sarcasm is reserved for guys? (note: sarcastic comment) we seem to have already established straight talking is reserved for guys only (sarcastic again) as is talking directly about sex (yes, again).

  40. Point taken re “us”, Stefan. Thank you. Amended to “me”.

    The remainder, however, is your interpretation, and neither what I wrote nor intended. I was talking about dating etiquette, not sex talk in general.

    Your chivalrous defence of the female cause – even though totally misplaced in this case – is, however, touching.

  41. She came on strong after YOU came on strong suggesting living in London together after meeting her for five mins…

  42. Emms, if I recall correctly from our Summer of ’85, you were never averse to some extremely provocative flirting . . . but without ever crossing the boundaries of good taste in response. 😉

    And, talking of “good taste” . . .

  43. I really like to read you ! everybody fighting on his borders 🙂

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