Meetings in bars happened from time to time, but were considered somewhat dangerous—at least by the women. Colleges became co-ed, and young people were thrown together informally, making it easy to meet someone of the opposite sex. Instead of couples marrying in their early twenties, they married later.Often men and women graduated college without yet entering into a serious, let alone permanent, relationship.The lesser problem was the concern that women had that they were endangering themselves meeting strangers about whom they knew very little. Stories circulated about women being lured to their deaths. Consequently, stratagems were developed to make such encounters somewhat safer, that is, refusal by the woman to give her home address, or even her telephone number.Couples met for the first time in very public places. This was before the time of the “date rape” drugs; but women were especially careful, nevertheless, to drink very little.The women reported to me that they did not feel threatened—although they were very likely to report that they felt disappointed. Most of the precautions I thought were important were against being stuck for a whole evening with a boring date.I especially recommended arranging to meet for the first time only for coffee or a drink.The kind of dances performed then required holding each other, which put those of us who were shy at a disadvantage.
It was also possible, sometimes, to do something that was entertaining, even with someone who was unattractive and unappealing.So, who were these girls that vied for the attention of the brothers who loved to wear empty holsters?Where are they now, and really, can you blame them for wanting to get some of this?I remember, now, an experience I had when I was in medical school. After a time, she asked if I would accompany her to the theater. To be forward that way meant either that she was desperate or that she had tremendous self-confidence. When I met her, I decided she was probably desperate.I lived at the Hall of Residence and helped make ends meet by working at the switchboard, (Believe it or not, there was such a thing as a switchboard.) I tried to connect a woman who wanted to reach one of the medical students. It would not be gallant of me to describe her; but I had a good time anyway! By the way, the men who advertised, or answered advertisements, had their own concerns.
The advertisements in The Village Voice were different than those in the various Jewish newspapers and different, also, from those in the New York Magazine.