AE: How does winging a lesbian client differ from winging a straight woman?
MS: I’ve been asked that a lot, and it’s funny, in fact everybody asks me that. And I think as far as straight women go, and lesbian women go, I wouldn’t say it’s so different. Whether we’re straight or lesbian or butch or femme, wear high heels or wear Converse out, we always overanalyze things. My goal with both straight and lesbian women is just loosen up and have fun. Just keep things light.
I encourage them to make the first move, introduce themselves, and that’s something that a lot of women never do. That’s so old school. Even some feminine lesbians will say, well I don’t want to go up to so and so. Everyone thinks that others should approach them. And I encourage both straight and lesbian clients to make the introduction themselves and to stop worrying about what other people think about it and to stop worrying about if they get rejected. Everyone gets rejected. Stop internalizing it and move on!
AE: How does winging a lesbian client differ from winging a gay guy?
MS: I think that with my experience, and you’ll also see on the show, as far as winging a gay guy client, I see that the gay guys – if they’re not looking for a one night stand and they are legitimately looking for a relationship – a lot of gay guys assume that all the other person wants from them is sex. I think with the gay guys, they’re scared of just becoming another tally mark. So my experience with the gay guys, it’s how can you get yourself to the point of getting that other person to want more from you.
AE: So I’ve written about the lesbian scene in New York City for AfterEllen.com for the past year, and the lesbian scene pretty much revolves around the bar and club scene. So, for those who aren’t into the bar and club scene, how would you suggest meeting other lesbians?
MS: There are so many meet up groups in the city – a good resource is meetup.com. There are sports leagues, even arts and crafts groups. I went to an arts and crafts fair with a few friends a couple of months ago. I think New York City is the one place in the world that’s so dynamic and diverse that it shouldn’t be hard for people.
I think that’s one of the biggest challenges with clients – like, what do you like to do? Drinking on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights – that’s not what everybody loves, and I think that people need to get themselves out of that hole! Also, don’t seclude yourself to just lesbian events. Why just limit yourself to those lesbian nightlife circles – why can’t you try going to other venues and just meet people and not just make it all about needing to find someone to be with or love all the time? Just go out and do other things, and see what happens after that.
AE: What is the biggest first date faux pas?
MS: Definitely oversharing! And also, have good manners. I always tell clients, be nice to the wait staff. I always hear from friends, “I went on a date and she was so rude to the wait staff.” Those little things go a long way – it shows the other person your character. Also, some people who are simply shy come off as rude, because they’re not asking questions about the other person on the first date and it seems that they’re not interested. Ask questions on the first date – if you’re not asking questions, you’re digging yourself into a hole.
AE: You’ve been in a long term relationship with your girlfriend Randi, who lives in Los Angeles. How did you meet her?
MS: I was on Curve personals after – no joke – I was celibate for a few months. I was purposely celibate because I was just so sick of the dating scene and just not having any luck with people and I was just frustrated. Believe it or not, I encourage celibacy – well, OK, for a limited amount of time! [Laughs] Then I went on Curve personals and I got a message from a girl who happened to be Randi’s friend. Randi’s friend and I started speaking and nothing came out of it romantically but we kept in touch. I saw pictures of her with Randi and I thought, “Hey, Randi’s pretty hot!” Randi was in a relationship at the time, but later on, Randi’s friend told me Randi and her girlfriend broke up and that Randi was coming to New York City for business and that she wanted to meet me, and that’s how it started. It’s been pretty intense ever since.
AE: So you’ve met the girl of your dreams, Randi. But before you met the girl of your dreams, you were a single lesbian in New York City. Were you lucky in love, or were your experiences more of a hot mess? Or both?
MS: Truth be told, definitely both. I had a couple of long term relationships and they didn’t work out, and after that I became a dating machine, just dating a lot of girls. I am still only 26 now, and I know I am going to marry Randi, but when I was 23, 24, 25, I was just dating around and there was always something missing, and I was just not meeting the right person. So yeah, I was kind of a hot mess! [Laughs] Until I met Randi, and she got every point of me.
AE: You are also a Manhattan real estate agent. Which is the wilder jungle – the New York City real estate world or the New York City dating world?
MS: They’re both extremely chaotic. But to use an analogy, they’re both matchmaking processes. There are so many similarities in dealing with real estate buyers and dealing with clients in the dating world – people come with wish lists, and you have to be brutally honest about what is realistic. Not everything will be perfect. But I will have to say that the dating world is more chaotic, because people in the dating world take it so personally if things don’t work out. The real estate market would be a close second, though.
Photo by Meagan Cignoli
AE: What advice would you give the following television characters or personalities in the dating world? First, Shane McCutcheon of The L Word.
MS: Shane should be celibate! [Laughs] Shane out of anybody – if she were my client, I would say “You need to be celibate for at least a month.” [Laughs] She really needs to evaluate herself and see why she just keeps going for all these one night stands, why it’s all about sex. What else do you want from somebody? What else makes you feel good?
AE: Whitney Mixter of The Real L Word?
MS: I think she comes across as having a huge ago, but deep down she’s insecure. Right now she just wants that satisfaction of knowing that there will be people who want her, but truth be told, I think she’s just scared of getting hurt. There was a point where I would go out and just see who I could take home with me – that was the goal. I actually saw a lot of similarities in her personality that I saw in mine before I was actually ready to give myself to somebody.
AE: Celia Hodes’ lesbian daughter, Isabel, in Weeds?
MS: I’d tell her to kill her mom! [Laughs] I was just watching a rerun just the other day when her mom put laxatives in her drink. OK, really — I’d say to her, ignore everything that’s she’s ever been taught about love from her parents, because obviously they are dysfunctional. And because she’s so young, just to interact with as many gay groups as she can so she can see that being gay is normal – and surround herself with positive influences – I think that would be my main advice for her. Just block out everything she’s been taught and surround herself with positive people and gay youth groups – I think that’s one of the hardest things about being a young teenager and not being in a supportive environment.
AE: Kim Kardashian.
MS: I love Kim Kardashian! She’s doing her thing. I wouldn’t say she’s doing anything wrong. I don’t know her – all I see is what’s filtered through the media, although her relationships are very public. But I think she should just keep doing what she’s doing. She’s very confident, a good businesswoman. I would advise her though to get a guy who can handle her, and handle her success. I find that with a lot of straight women clients, sometimes guys can be intimidated by that. So with Kim, she’s hot, she’s confident, she’s really successful with what she does, so she need to find someone who can keep up with her.
AE: Ha! Keeping up with the Kardashians, indeed. OK, last question. I’m a Libra, but un-Libra like in that I’m pretty opinionated and loudmouthed. Also, the little Asian girl thing throws people off. I’m more like crouching gangsta, hidden a-hole. Got anyone in mind?
MS: Crouching gangsta, hidden a-hole, I like that a lot. I think a lot of people will actually appreciate that!
Setup Squad premieres tonight at 11:30 PM on Logo after Rupaul’s Drag Race and will air on subsequent Mondays at 10 p.m. EST.