Editor's Note: The Love Connection

Seattle Mag Editorial Director Rachel Hart on our hotly debated Love, Dating and Sex in our city iss

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src=http://www.seattlemag.com/files/image/people_bio/LARGE/rachel.jpgSeattle Mag Editorial Director Rachel Hart on our hotly debated Love, Dating and Sex in our city issue

While on our quest for an image that doesn’t cross over into Maxim territory, the cover of this month’s issue generated more discussion in our office than any other in the last 10 years of Seattle magazine’s history. Is it too risky? Should they be wearing that? Is he too young for us? Are we showing too much skin? Do we look like we’re trying too hard?

It was eerily a lot like those dating discussions we’ve all had with ourselves at some point during our singleton years.

Straight, gay, married, single, divorced, 20-something to 50-something, we run the gamut here in our office. But we all agree that the traditional rules of dating (boy asks out girl, girl asks out boy or some variation on that theme) don’t seem to readily apply in Seattle.

When I moved here 12 years ago, even though I was already coupled up I observed that dating seemed to be more about “hanging out” or “hooking up” and lots and lots of ambiguity, than actually going on a date. It wasn’t just a symptom of the 20-somethings. Making a love connection seemed just as challenging (or more so) for the 50-somethings. And it still does.

We posed a question on our Facebook fan page (facebook.com/seattlemagazine): What word or words would you use to sum up the Seattle dating scene? The results were not surprising. A sampling:

“Passive. Lackluster. Unimaginative. Devoid of testosterone. I can go on...”
“What dating scene? If you’re out of your 20s, there’s not much going on...so let’s see...young and lame?”
“Teaching card tricks to a dog is easier.”
“Nonexistent!”
“I moved abroad.”

Given this resounding chorus, we felt it was time that someone called out this local cultural quirk and did something about it. Many city magazines have done a “sex issue” but for years I resisted for all the reasons listed above in the first paragraph (especially the “trying too hard” part). Instead of simply putting forth salacious subject matter, we wanted to generate a discussion about the quest for love and companionship in our city—and help people out along the way.

Still, we barely scratch the surface of our complex tapestry. Seattle is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country, for example. We are also home to one of the world’s most followed sex advice columnists (The Stranger’s Dan Savage), marriage expert John Gottman; renowned relationship expert Pepper Schwartz; and the country’s most chic (if that is possible) sex-toy shop, Babeland (full disclosure, an advertiser). All proof that there are love connections being made here. So, what is it about our city, then? We want to know what you think.

Until next month,

Rachel Hart
rachel.hart@seattlemag.com