Are all men freaks?

Who the hell needs Halloween when dating can be just as scary, asks Manni Bradshaw.

Every year, Americans put on their scariest costumes and celebrate a little past time known as Halloween. What was once a pagan ritual had somehow turned into a commercial fiasco thanks to candy companies and pumpkin farmers everywhere.

Trick or treating, horror fests, bobbing for apples...it's a tradition that South Africans never seemed to get the gist of and even though we try to accommodate the occasional party, it always turns out to be the same non-event every year.

Is it because we know that the only trick or treating that takes place in this country happens on the corners of Koeberg and Main Roads or is it because we know that the real freaks don't need a mask to scare the living shit out of us?

As I contemplated whether or not to celebrate Halloween this year, I got to thinking about All Hallows Eve and its inextricable link to dating.

Just like trick or treating, we go from door to door wearing elaborate costumes in search of life's ultimate treat...casual, discreet sex.

Some of us are far more blatant in our approach while others tend to be more subtle, safeguarding their inner freak behind comfortable conversation and mutual interests. Try as we might, we can never predict the outcome until the very end of a date, when all disguises are off and the contents of our candy-pot are sprawled across a strangers bed.

Trick or treat?

Margot, who was no stranger to casual sex, had decided to make a cameo appearance at Chez Don'gelle this weekend. After a boozy lunch we decided to re-live the nineties by watching some classic horror movies. It was somewhere between The Craft and I Know What You Did Last Summer that Margot decided to share some real life horror stories of her own.

Warning: The following story is based on real life events and is not suitable for sensitive viewers.

It was a dark and stormy night when Margot met a mysterious stranger at a destination known to many as The Shack. There was an instant sexual attraction fuelled by copious amounts of Hunter's Dry and double brandy and cokes.

The mating ritual had begun and it wasn't long before Margot looked deep into his brooding eyes and asked the age old question: your place or mine? Fortunately for Margot, Mr Tall, Dark and Lovely lived nearby and so they set off into the early hours of the morning to get their freak on.

Nothing could have prepared Margot for the events that followed.

He opened the door into his studio apartment and as she stepped in she almost immediately jumped back at the sight before her. Hundreds of beaded little eyes staring back at her from every direction.

It turns out that her handsome stranger was actually an avid collector of dolls; freaky motherfucking Chucky-looking dolls! And they were everywhere! On the futon, the shelves, his couch. What's worse is that he also turned out to be a talker and not in a good way. "Oh yeah! You like it when daddy does that, don't you? You're daddy's little dirty girl. You want a little cream in your coffee?" Is this what happens when date night turns into fright night?

Creepy neuroses and Unsavoury fetishes

Margot continued with her stories providing hours of entertainment not to mention days of laughter. She had somehow managed to survive The Collector, The Sweet Transvestite, The Coprophiliac (a.k.a Number 2 - that shit is just wrong), The Guy Who Stole Her Shoes as well as The Naked Man. Did all men have some kind of sexual deviance, a Pandora's box of creepy neuroses and unsavoury fetishes? Were all men freaks?

"Oh no my friend," Margot added, “there are some freaky bitches out there as well."

Margot proceeded to tell me about her friend Stan who had notoriously earned the nickname "one night Stan" for obvious reasons. Stan had just scored a super hot babe, a quiet night for someone with his sexual appetite.

Mystique managed to lure a very horny Stan back to her place for some "coffee". She stripped him down before strapping him tightly to her queen-sized bed. Stan had hit the jackpot of kinky, loose women and was ready for sexy time...that is until Mystique did a ninja and took off with his watch, his wallet and his cellphone never to be seen or heard from again. Stan was discovered by the real tenant one day later, naked, hungover and mortified.

Who the hell needs Halloween when dating can be just as scary?

If you want to see a real freak show, look no further than the mother city. The streets are full of them all cleverly disguised in white collared shirts and neutral cashmere sweaters.

You don't even have to wait for October 31st anymore.

Perhaps the real horror is being single for the rest of your life. Perhaps that's why we find ourselves in these frightening situations. If we don't open ourselves up to spontaneous experiences from time to time, how on earth are we supposed to find sanity amongst the circus show of freaks?

In dating, I couldn't help but wonder, do we need to suffer through all those nasty tricks before we can enjoy the tasty treats?

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*For more, visit Manni Bradshaw’s blog and Facebook pages.

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