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Give Your Date the Meatball Test

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Nothing says, "I love you," like meat and balls. If I'm interested in a gal, I usually get her over to the house for a time-honored dish of spaghetti and meatballs. The Italians had the right idea: Eat big tasty balls for dinner. In fact, meatballs are a sexy, simple meal, and, goddamn it, cooking should be sexy. If it's not, then quit, because you'll never get laid with that attitude.

Cooking should be intimate, and there is no other way to gain intimacy than by getting your hands someplace they shouldn't be. To that end, you need to make sure you get your date involved in the cooking process: let them take ownership in your mutual creation.

Involving your date in the kitchen accomplishes two things. First, you're doing something together (out of the bedroom) that's a little dirty, but innocent enough. Second, you're instantly elevated to the role of teacher. Hell, how many porn fantasies have you seen in which the hot student is looking for a little "extra credit" to make the grade? (Side note: I prefer the fantasy in which someone is dressed like Little Bo Peep, but that's a story for another column.)

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spaghetti and meatballs

I once cooked some spaghetti and meatballs for a 22-year-old chica who showed up to my place wearing a half-shirt to show off her dancer-esque body. (I was just over 30, so I felt a little creepy.)

She was eager and I was excited (scared) — so much so that I had at least two bottles of wine with dinner (not counting the one before she showed up). Before I knew it, I had persuaded her to watch the movie Barfly, after which I pontificated on the nuances of Bukowski and his misunderstood misogyny for, oh, a couple of hours.

Needless to say, the doorjamb held me up when it was time for her to go. As I leaned in for the goodnight kiss, she looked afraid, like I was a bully trying to pop her bubblegum bubble (at one point, I think her fist was actually raised). The last thing I remember was that ass and those dimples on the small of her back walking into the night. Don't make my mistake and date a gal just because she is young and spry. More importantly, don't drink three bottles of wine on a first date.

Meatballs are the perfect opportunity for your date to get dirty with you. My advice: Always have everything prepared ahead of time. Each ingredient will be in its own bowl, and the meat will be in a shapely mound in a large dish. You shouldn't have to coerce your date to help; most times they'll offer to do something to help ease the nervousness anyway. (I usually self-medicate with a few cocktails, but, hey, we all have our methods.) Once you're both poised above the meat, all you have to do is get your hands on it.

While you're both there at the counter, grab some meat and place it right into her wanting (hopefully) palms. Then just mix the meat together. Get in there and knead that shit. If your date doesn't want to get into the meat with you, then chances are this will be your last date with the prude.

Then, like magic, you are creating something sexy and tasty together that you can both enjoy. I'd follow up with a movie like The Godfather or something less disturbing/telling than Barfly. Probably shouldn't let on to your drinking problem until you've slept with her.

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