Just like wines, dudes come in many varietals—from the subtle and complex, with a lingering finish that will keep you guessing—(i.e., but what did he mean when he said he “had fun” and we should “do it again sometime”? Does that mean he’s going to ask me out? Does that mean he’s going to booty call me? Does it mean I am supposed to invite him to do something??)—to the cheap and easy that will fuck you up fast and leave you with a wicked hangover (i.e., OH MY GOD. WHAT HAVE I DONE? I AM NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE AGAIN WITHOUT A RESPONSIBLE CHAPERONE. I REALLY NEED A LIFE COACH.)
There is no one “right” dude for everyone. You need to test out lots of different types to find out which suits your tastes. And just as with wine, the best way to keep track of which characteristics you like and which you should probably avoid is to keep detailed tasting notes. Here are the basics:
Find a neutral place for viewing, such as against a white wall with no other dudes around. Look for discolorations or abnormalities, such as spray-tan streaking. Also scan for shitty tattoos.
Try to get the dude to come to you rather than approaching him. Keep your head straight. It will help you take a better sniff and maximize the surface area in contact with the air. After the sniff, slightly agitate the dude — maybe do something that gets him to raise his arms a little. **The harder the aromas are to identify, the more complex the dude. If you can smell cologne from across the room, you can reasonably discern where this is headed: dry-humping in his mom’s basement.
We’re talking about kissing here. I mean, you’re not trying to MARRY the dude. Taste, also called smatch (!) or gustation, according to Wikipedia, is sensed through your approximately 100,000 taste buds at the back and front of the tongue; and on the roof, sides, and back of the mouth and throat.
There are five tastes distinguished by your tongue. There is no right or wrong here, just what suits your personal taste. You will probably encounter a combination of these tastes with any given dude.
Sweet: These flavors help to identify energy-rich foods, but in the guy department, too much sweetness might be concerning. I mean, are we talking very sweet, like he has been drinking schnapps all night (i.e., are you sure this kid is 21?) or mildly sweet, like milk. (Same question…?)
Salty: Could have been that tequila shot.
Bitter: In nature, bitterness is a warning sign of poisons. Conveniently, that tall vodka tonic you are drinking contains quinine, the bitter medicinal found in tonic water, which can be used to subjectively rate the bitterness of a substance.
Sour: Leaves a certain aftertaste, like cheese and feet. Excessive sourness is often found in heavy drinkers and smokers, especially toward the end of a bender. Unless this guy is the next Charles Bukowski (and frankly, even if he is the next Chuck B.) you should probably reconsider this life choice.
Umami: Difficult to discern and even harder to define, umami is marked by a “meaty” or “savory” flavor. Unless you have just eaten a gyro, kebab, or bratwurst from a late night food truck, this could also be questionable. **Important note: whatever you do, do NOT put that wrapper from your gyro in your purse and forget about it until the morning.
Download the dude scoresheet here. Happy hunting.