Click to viewI went on a "date" with self-professed "Casanova" Paul Janka last night. Or well, I went to his apartment. He sniffed my feet. He showed me his bunk bed. It was more like a "play date" actually, only with a dog in heat. It was kind of fun! But not as fun as telling people about it after I narrowly escaped.
Oh, and P.S., when I say "fun" I mean in a "because I enjoy absurd experiences" way, not in a "there's stuff I'm not telling you" way. Nothing went down! He is, um, not exactly my type.
I was sitting at a bar at the intersection of Second Avenue and 69th Street, feeling relieved that Paul Janka had stood me up and wondered if I a trip to the Upper East Side could possibly constitute a post. Certainly, it was bleak and desolate. "There's nothing here, " said the three guys sitting next to me apologetically. "You have to get up to the nineties." Maybe Paul Janka was just the product of his surroundings, fucking women for sport because there is literally nothing else to do. An older British man to my right engaged me in conversation about W.H. Auden, the merits of vodka vs. gin, my father's prostate cancer. "God bless your father," he said. It was seven nights before Christmas. I felt a pang of guilt for considering skipping out on a pre-holiday family dinner to attend the Harper's Christmas party. It was 11:09, one hour and nine minutes and three separate text messages after my appointed meeting time with Paul Janka. I had not heard a word.
I got a text. "Still there?" it said.
"Come over for a bit."
I went. I briefly mistook his building for one with a doorman. His had no doorman. It smelled like Ramen, or perhaps chicken and dumplings or something the elderly are more likely to consume. HIs apartment was on the third floor. The stairs creaked walking up. His door was one of maybe four in a little vestibule, suggesting that I was maybe in a converted flophouse.
He opened the door. He is hot, but you knew that. He smiled a little bit and kissed me on both cheeks. He was wearing an American Apparel gym T-shirt in dark heathery gray.
"So you're Maureen. Why do you go by 'Moe'? Maureen is much sexier."
Dudes invariably say this to me. They do not want to fuck "Moe." It's boring but I don't mind it if they bring it up after I have already considered fucking them because once you have started considering fucking someone your conversation is bound to get objectively more boring. However, I had no interest in fucking Paul Janka. I think he could sense this, because he immediately commenced trying to change my mind or trying to get me to think he was trying to get me to change my mind.
He took my coat. I surveyed — um, looked at — his apartment. I have seen a lot of apartments but I have never seen one so small and I have been to Japan. There was a closet to the left and a ladder to his loft to the right, and a leather chair. Beneath the loft was an antiquey-looking desk that looked like it belonged in a Ralph Lauren store, covered with those shirts with the horrible rat-sized Polo logos. Next to the leather chair was a gorgeous, impeccably well-maintained redwood armoire, atop which a crimson candle glowed.
"Take off your shoes," he said when I sat.
"Look, my shoes are off." He pointed to his socks.
"What are those, boots?" he asked.
I took them off. He squatted beside me, and took one of my feet in his hand and placed it to his nose, inhaling deeply.
I laughed. He started rubbing my calves. Approximately eleven seconds into that process, he began kneading my thigh. What is this, the Iron Chef of date rape?
"Don't cross your legs!" he said.
"You're insane!' I replied.
"So what is this, you want to interview me?" he asked. "Are you somehow affiliated with Gawker?"
"Yes and yes."
"Are you willing to sacrifice your journalistic integrity?"
"I'm not here to fuck you. I'm interested in you as a phenomenon."
"How tall are you?" he asked.
"Really? I don't believe you, I think you should stand up."
"Oh Jesus, you know? You're going to have to take my word for that because..."
"Because you have no reason to lie about it. Okay. You know, you're really cute. You have a sort of, robust sexiness about you. So what's your last name? Are you Jewish?"
"Is that like Czech? My father is Czech. Is Slovak the same thing?"
"It used to be the same thing, but uh, they broke up."
He commenced pawing me. The weird thing about this is that generally I would probably feel uncomfortable, afraid I might succumb to a level of physical intimacy I might regret with Paul Janka, but even though I am totally ovulating right now I did not feel this fear while he relentlessly caressed my legs and arms, or on any of the ninety or so occasions he attempted to access my breasts from the neck of my shirt. "You know I'm not some rapist, he said at one point, and he had a point. My instinct, when he'd try to paw at my crotch, was to find a gnawed-on piece of rope and throw it down the hall hoping he'd go fetch. The point is, you don't think the dog diving into your crotch every time you come in the door is going to rape you. Of course, there was no place to throw a rope in Janka's miniature bachelor pad.
And dogs aren't evolved enough to properly masturbate; Janka went to freaking Harvard. What was his excuse?
I couldn't really find out. "I was a late bloomer," he admitted at one point. He'd lost his virginity at 20. By this point I was up on his bunk bed thingy. He has this rule about "no street clothes" on the bed so he had kindly offered me a pair of his Dolce & Gabbana boxer-briefs, folded meticulously in the armoire, to change into. "
Are you going commando right now?" he asked as I changed by his tiny closet.
"Did that letter I sent, were you turned on when you read it?"
"I don't really get turned on by erotica."
"What turns you on?"
"I kind of actually like conversation."
I tried to pursue one with him. What about the adolescence that had left him so warped. He'd grown up in Santa Monica. Where'd he go to high school?
"See, this is the thing about conversation. Who cares where I went to high school?" he said.
"I'm just trying to apply my extensive knowledge of cultural stereotypes and gross generalizations to analyze your behavior," I said, or something like that.
"I went to a big public school."
Okay, in brief: his mother's feelings about his vocal Casanova-ness are "mixed" — she disapproves but approves if he can "monetize" it. His attempts to "monetize" it have thus far consisted of talks about a reality show. He will appear at some point in the future, he says, on Inside Edition. He refused to talk much about his employment history, claiming he had been a technology analyst for a hedge fund but he never really "liked, like working." He likes to write; there's a screenplay he's shopping around.
"I also wrote a lot of college essays I really think are good. I have those." He did not share them.
He owns some books, but neither of the titles I inquired about — The Prize and the Book of Mormon — were ones he claimed to have read. Julia Allison is the one who first "discovered" him. He finds Julia Allison "cute" and "attractive" and "cute." He broke up with his girlfriend of two years a month ago, the event that seems to have precipitated the resurgence in interest surrounding his self-internet published 2004 work How To Get Laid In New York.
"I still love her; I'd love to have children with her, but we were just at different times in our lives," he said, or something along those lines. He found a picture of her (incredibly pretty) on his computer; when the screen first alit I was treated to a picture of a man — I believe it was Paul — holding his erect penis, perpendicular. It seemed large enough. He also shared with me photos sent to him by girls who had befriended him on Facebook since his appearance on the Today show. I could not tell if they were attractive from the photos, because they generally only displayed their asses. Like so many men of his generation, Janka is obsessed with butt sex. "29 years old and you've never had anal sex," was a common refrain, after I revealed to him I had never been penetrated there.
This paltry bit of information came at a price; once up on his bunk bed his frenzied touching grew more aggressive and strategic. "Don't break the TV," he would say, if I got too far away from him and too close to the flat-screen television mounted on the wall opposite his pillows. "I'm worried about the TV." He tried to grab at my crotch. When I covered myself with his blanket for protection, he said, "oh, I'm cold too," and covered himself with the blanket.
Once underneath the blanket, he felt at ease to start jerking off while looking at me and squinting while I asked questions. I don't know for a fact that he was jerking off, of course, but he was moving up and down rhythmically and it was the only period during our encounter during which he seemed to find a use other than probing me for his hands. It was a relief, but he got even worse at answering questions. I began to see holes in his stories.
"Please, please will you just...touch it?" he asked.
"No. Why do you like to fuck drunk girls if you're not drunk?" I asked.
"That information is outdated," he said. "I don't do that anymore. I ran the numbers, and it just wasn't worth the cost. "Three drinks for her, plus seltzers for me, that's sixty bucks, times five times a day is $300..."
"Five times a day?"
"Five times a week is $300...and then you don't even really know if you're going to get a girl back home. Especially now, in the winter, you'll leave the bar and suddenly the cold air hits her face and she says, I'm just gonna go home..."
And then he began to contradict himself.
"But seriously, when I did that the girls were never drunk. They'd usually have one drink, two tops."
Suffice it to say his new strategy has been working very well since his appearance on the Today show. His most recent conquest was a Polish model in a loveless marriage who contacted him on Facebook in search of no-strings sex. But sometimes it backfires; the day before a girl had come over and he was, unbelievably, untempted to have sex with her. "The chemistry was off," he said. "She was kind of overweight."
Anyway I left pretty quickly after that. It was getting sort of boring. The one admirable thing about Paul Janka was that, unlike most oversexed pervs, he was not enough of a narcissist to seem to desire any analysis or tolerate introspection. He seemed driven purely by an insatiable need to get laid constantly. So insatiable was his need last night that he actually donned his American Apparel jacket and left his apartment when I did, headed for some destination across town. We hugged goodbye. On the way downstairs he said it was a shame we hadn't met under different circumstances, that he thought we could have a lot of fun with one another, blah blah blah blah. "What happens to us?" he finally asked, hilariously, before begging me to kiss him.