By Stephanie Rogers
Ask any Ashevillian between the ages of 20 and 45 and they’ll all tell you the same thing: dating here is ROUGH. While it’s impossible to know why, I often theorize it’s because Asheville is a double feature of weirdness, a special combo of small town blues and demographics.
Honestly, I’m convinced that if Asheville was more diverse, everything would be less weird.
But the upshot of Asheville’s being bad at dating is that it makes for great stories. And given that writing about my life on the Internet is my idea of fun, combined with the fact that I have worse taste in men than the average person, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the archetypes of Asheville dating. So without further ado, I present the 5 men you will sleep with before you leave Asheville.
The Guy That Moans During Yoga Class
Occupation: mushroom forager
Drug of choice: sweat lodges, DMT, obscure Hindu chanting
First date: a crystal store to buy labradorite for the retrograde.
You know the one. You’re in Warrior Two, just trying to breathe deeply from your pelvic floor, but you can’t, because there’s a guy next to you wearing parachute pants, 15 necklaces, and he’s moaning like he’s one second away from Nirvana/orgasm. He tells you his name is Jake but he goes by ~Ocean~. He tells you that your aura is special, and that he wants to know the real you. He offers to do Reiki healing on you to move you past your “ancestral trauma” and connect with your “higher spiritual being.” When he writes you a poem and draws a mangled namaste sign at the bottom, you know exactly where this is going. But there’s something about his intensity that’s so intriguing! He smells like patchouli but seems … sensual. All that moaning must mean something, right?
Cause of breakup: You end it after you realize that he already has three girlfriends and he’s just trying to drag you into his cesspool of unexamined polyamory.
The Unsponsored Skateboarder
Occupation: changes weekly because he’s always getting fired
Drug(s) of choice: Red Bull, Evan Williams, psychedelic mushrooms (he microdoses before shows)
First date: the backseat of his burner car, where he fingers you aggressively.
You’ve probably never watched a video compilation of hot teenagers falling off skateboards in downtown L.A., right? Well, that’s about to change. Get ready to pretend that you care about skateboarding, because that’s all this guy is ever gonna talk about!!! You meet him at Thee Oh Sees show, or at Ty Segall, or King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards, some trashy surf rock joint where he won’t shut up about how surf rock is the “rawest, most badass” genre of music.
He literally never texts you back, and if you ever get mad about this, all he’s going to say is that he’s “kinda bummed on you.” You sit through long conversations about how he and his mom both think he’s gonna make it big in the skate world soon. He refuses to come to your house, but also won’t let you come over to his, probably because he lives with his mom and his mattress is on the floor.
Cause of breakup: He blows up at you for making fun of his music and his weird relationship with his mom, then storms out to go microdose mushrooms at the corner bar.
The Aging Crust Punk
Occupation: he used to be a bartender at the Double Crown until he punched an out-of-towner in the face, so now he’s just the door guy
Drugs of choice: cocaine, kratom, your anxiety medicine
First date: riding his motorcycle on the parkway
Ever slept with a guy who keeps his dog on a chain? No? Well, there’s a first time for everything! The Aging Crust Punk hates everything about Asheville, because he’s lived here for way too long. He lives in Swannanoa in a 10-bedroom “punk house” that is literally rotting from the inside out. It also has a jacuzzi and 14 acres. The first time you sleep with him, you’re shocked by how good it is, until you realize that the bandanna that he wears around his head also doubles as cleanup rag. Gross. His favorite hobby is trash-talking posers, specifically Angel Olsen, whom he claims is “fuckin’ lame.” He never shares his cocaine with you.
Cause of breakup: he never shares his cocaine with you. Also he asked you to spot him $100 because he was short for rent, and you’re like, I don’t know, maybe stop buying eight balls of cocaine? You leave him for the sake of your physical, emotional and financial health.
The Charlotte Transplant
Drug of choice: Molly
Occupation: brewery events coordinator
First date: Grabbing a beer. He pays, which is really hot until halfway through the date when you realize that he brought you to his actual place of work so he could get an employee discount on the booze.
His Tinder profile features shirtless mirror pics and photos of him with his ex, but you swipe right, because at this point, nothing turns you on more than a guy who has a stable source of income. (Is this old age?) He moved here from Charlotte last year because of the ~vibes~ but the only bars he ever goes to are Tiger Mountain and Banks Ave. Don’t you want to take shots of well tequila and grind to Drake remixes with him? He’s always talking about getting a dog like it’s some milestone of maturity, and thinks he has indie cred because he saw Father John Misty perform at Bonnaroo in 2013. The first time you sleep with him, he high fives you afterwards, and says, “That was tight!” You aren’t sure if he’s referring to you specifically or the act of being with you, but you definitely do not ask. The plus side is that he’s so excited to be a real Ashevillian that he’s down to do pretty much anything (hiking, swimming, farmer’s market) as long as there’s alcohol involved.
Cause of breakup: he gets too drunk at your birthday party and starts rapping in front of all your friends. When you tell him to drink some water, he tells you to suck a dick. Byeeeee.
The Aspiring Moog DJ
Drug of choice: Counter Culture coffee, unreciprocated oral sex
Occupation: unclear; he’s literally always at High Five working on his set.
First date: he invites you to pose topless for him in an empty River Arts District warehouse so he can “test out his new 120mm vintage film camera.”
He’s slept with half of your friend group, but hey, that’s small town dating, right? This guy just changed his Instagram from a personal profile to a business profile, because he wants to start taking his potential role as a music industry influencer more seriously. He has some weird experimental electronic music project he’s always gonna “drop” sometime next week. His parents bought him the Adobe Suite when he was in college, along with his Macbook Pro, external hard drive, semi-modular Moog synth, and four pairs of vintage Nikes, but he’s quick to remind you that he’s worked his ass off for everything he’s accomplished! The Aspiring Moog Bro is a self-advertised feminist, but he still thinks female vocalists are kinda “annoying” and expects a gold medal and 15-plus minutes of Pavlovian affirmation every time he goes down on you.
Cause of breakup: you realize that he’s been actively using Bumble the entire time you’ve been together.
Stephanie Rogers is a 20-something human being living and existing in Asheville, North Carolina. She spends her free time nurturing various addictions which include caffeine, the Internet, and Carly Rae Jepsen B-sides. She does not have good taste. Stop asking. The answer is no.