How to Date on a Dime


Dating in this economy can be tough and some of us even use it as an excuse not to date. Here are a few ideas for butches who want to get to know a femme without going broke or looking cheap:

1. Drinks at Cubby Hole. No one beats their $2 margaritas on Tuesday nights! It’s a non committal night i.e. you can get to know the femme and decide whether you take it to the next step and ask her out on a real date (yes, you should still pay for dinner and drinks on the first date).

2. Picnic for two. Find out if your femme has any food allergies and cook accordingly. Generally speaking, some cheese, a salad, maybe pasta, a seasonal fruit, and bottle of wine will do the trick. Put all of that in a basket or backpack with a blanket and you are all set to spend quality time in Chelsea Piers, Central Park or any of the many romantic spots in your area.

3. Art gallery openings. Wine and dine her for free! Keep your eyes open for new exhibits and make sure your name is on their mailing lists to be invited to exclusive events (“exclusive” normally means more expensive wine and food).

4. Go multicultural. Who cares if you only speak English? Add your name to the mailing lists of foreign language centers and associations like Instituto Cervantes, the Catalan Institute of America, or the French Institute Alliance Française. Their free cultural events normally include food samples and foreign movie screenings with subtitles in English.

5. Movie night… if you have a Netflix subscription, find out what genre she’s into and order movies to watch at your/her place. Bryant Park has a movie series every summer – pack a picnic basket and surprise her picking her up from work without telling her where you are going. Can’t get more romantic and cheaper than that! (note: you must tell her you are picking her up. Showing up unannounced has a name {“stalking”} and is against the law).

6. $5 psychic reading. Whether you actually believe in it or not, it’s a fun thing to do together. There’s one psychic around Christopher Street and another one on 42nd Street – both charging $5 to first timers.

7. Housesit together. Convince your friend that lives in the country that it’s time she took a vacation and offer to housesit for her. Pack your butch gear, pick up the femme, stop by a local supermarket, and get ready to spend a weekend in your private bed and breakfast.

8. Rent or borrow bikes and go for a ride.

9. Get physical. Download free daily or weekly passes to different gyms and get in shape together.

10. Walk. Put your walking shoes on, pack a snack and some water, and get going. Walking Off the Big Apple has some great route ideas.

11. Free lessons. Think about something you both like (cooking, ballroom dancing, learning Spanish or Brazilian, guitar, yoga, etc) and browse Craigslist for free classes.

12. Museums. If you work for corporate America or are a teacher/professor you may have “corporate days” or 24/7 free access to most of NYC’s museums. Otherwise, know that MOMA and the Rubin Museum have free nights (Target Free Friday Nights @MOMA, every Friday evening from 4:00 pm to 8:00 p.m; Rubin Museum, free to all Friday 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm).

13. Free concerts – keep your eyes open for Summer Stage in Central Park. Check out the bands playing in NYC parks and subway stations. Have you heard about The Meetles? They rock!!

14. Volunteer together. Pick a charity or non-profit that you both like and get involved. Some of my favorites: The LGBT Center, The Anti-Violence Project, and RAINN.

15. Poetry readings. Check your local bookstore or coffee shops for their open mic nights. Most of them are free and it will give you something to talk about over coffee or drinks later on. If you live/work in the city, don’t miss Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival, hosted by Cheryl Burke and Sinclair Sexsmith.

16. Sightseeing. When was the last time you went to the Brooklyn Bridge, Chelsea Piers or City Hall/City Hall Park? Other places you might not have been in years are: the Cloisters, Central Park (anywhere above 79th St), Ulysses S. Grant’s tomb or the Crack is Wack playground featuring a mural by Keith Haring.

17. Stargazing. If you drive, pack a picnic basket and take your date to Jones Beach in Long Island.

18. Beach day. Pack your bags and cooler and spend the day at Coney Island (Brooklyn) or Riis Park (Queens). I personally prefer Long Beach on Long Island (if you get there before 9:00 am you save the $12 admission) and Fire Island.

19. Spa night at your place. Get some candles, dim the lights, take out the Johnson’s Baby Oil, and give her a massage ; ) Extra brownie points if you have kd lang in the background.

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8 thoughts on “How to Date on a Dime

  1. Lori Venezio says:

    Each and every one of these “dates” are well thought out, affordable and fun adventures! Now, no excuses! Get out there, ask her out and gave some fun! Thanks Maria! 🙂

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