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I'm a 34-year-old woman living in Portland and I'm fucking lonely and horny and not sure what to do to fix it. I've tried plenty of online dating sites and apps, but they haven't produced any successful relationships (or even good sex). I'm starting to feel like I'll be alone forever. I want a committed relationship, companionship—a man with an amazing penis and giving tongue (lol). I want a travel partner. I want to be more outgoing. Overall, I want to be loved.

Most guys seem to only want to "try a black girl" in bed. (I absolutely hate when people say that. A vagina isn't different because of my skin color.) I'm pretty, I have a professional career, education, an open mind, no baggage, an open heart, and a group of solid friends (but they are all partnered with kids). I'd love to be social, but I'm not sure where to go to meet people (men and new friends). I have no race boundaries but I feel like others do.

I go to the gym, malls, grocery stores & there's no men there. I guess my question to you is how do I get out of this funk of depression? How do I meet professional men and approach them? Do you think leaving Portland is the solution?

Love Starved Black Girl

Dating's hard everywhere, LSBG, and hard for everyone. But I imagine it's particularly hard for a woman of color in the white hipster capital of Portland. (Seattle's almost as white and nearly as bad—and fuuuuuuuck those "try a black girl" assholes, wherever they are.) But even though there are challenges, LSBG, you shouldn't leave Portland just because there aren't any men in—wait, are there really no men anywhere in Portland? No men at the gyms, malls, or grocery stores? Did radical feminists kill all the guys? Have all the guys in Portland transitioned? Have all the trans guys de-transitioned? Someone alert Alex Jones.

I'm kidding, LSBG, and you're being hyperbolic. But I get it! Finding the right man to fit your wants/needs/desires/fantasies is hard. People have been crying over this love stuff for thousands of years—and keeping my ass in business for tens—so you're not the only person on Earth who feels this way. Hell, you're not the only person on your block who feels this way. The trick is not to get bitter. And the easiest way to avoid bitterness, LSBG, is by getting out there doing shit. Right now, today, without a man. Keep meeting up with guys from apps for quick coffee dates, of course, but get out there and do shit you enjoy without the goal of meeting the "right" guy every time you leave the house. Because if the stars all align, LSBG, you could find yourself in the right-guy-place at the right-guy-time.

In other words, stop waiting for a guy to come along and make you more extroverted by insemination. Leave the house—get artificially extroverted—on your own.

Ask yourself what you enjoy doing besides searching Portland for men who aren't assholes. Politics? Join some groups. (Or start one.) The arts? Patronize the arts and volunteer at a theater or a gallery. Sports? Join a league or two. Get out there in the world, do the shit you enjoy, and you'll meet other people out in the world who enjoy the same shit you do. Maybe you'll meet someone you're into, maybe you'll just make some friends, maybe you'll meet someone you're into through your new friends.

And be open to dating men who bring some of what you want to the table—and the mattress—even if they aren't the whole extroverted-professional-with-a-big-dick package. If you meet a guy with an amazing penis and a "giving tongue" who isn't a "professional," LSBG, maybe you should give him a chance. I'm not saying you should settle, LSBG—no, wait. That's exactly what I am saying. You could wind up meeting a professional guy with a below-average dick. You could wind up meeting an introvert with a giving tongue. There's no settling down without some settling for. We all settle, we're all settled for. No one gets everything they ever wanted in a partner, no one is everything their partner ever wanted. Holding out for the "perfect" partner means being alone forever.

Hey, did you watch the absolutely fucking brilliant Insecure on HBO? If not, you should. (Take your mind off V-Day by binging on it tonight.) There's a scene/confrontation in Episode 7 (“Real As F*ck”) that I'm thinking you need to see. Issa (the absolutely fucking brilliant Issa Rae) confronts Molly (the absolutely fucking brilliant Yvonne Orji) about the way Molly constantly complains to her friends about not being able to find a man while disqualifying every man she meets for bullshit reasons. Molly wants a perfect man but on some level she knows no such thing exists—and Molly turns every date/hookup/relationship into a hunt for that one disqualifying imperfection. (Molly, a lawyer, disqualifies a great guy because he hasn't been to college and isn't a "professional." Just sayin'.)

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