Photos by Brevin Blach | Matchmaking by Jessica Pelligra
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Danielle, Jenn, Rebecca, Casey, Stephen and Taylor are cruising toward the downtown waterfront, their six- person blind date already underfoot. The women are friends with each other, as are the men, but the two non- Valentine-having trios met each other for the first time only about an hour ago. Before their Epic Limo drops them off for dinner at Puesto at The Headquarters, let's review their pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
DANIELLE: During the day, I do promotions and social media for Holy Grail, a hemp company. At night, I work at FLUXX Nightclub as a cocktail server.
JENN: I'm a cocktail server at Rustic Root.
REBECCA: I'm a student at San Diego State University and I'm an event planner.
CASEY: I own and operate a company that provides licensing, recruiting and marketing services to the residential real estate industry.
STEPHEN: Internet marketing. I own a small affiliate network and a few blogs.
TAYLOR: I'm the co-owner of Tayson Pierce Wines in Napa Valley. We're a limited- production winery that specializes in high-scoring, single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.
What do you do for fun?
DANIELLE: I love dancing, going out, taking my dog to the beach and watching crime shows.
JENN: I'm into fitness and my English bulldog, Cali.
REBECCA: I like to be outside, I like to paint, also anything that involves crafts.
CASEY: I love taking my dog, Titan, to the dog beach. I travel a lot, usually one to two trips a month; obsessively listen to audiobooks and podcasts; nerd out with my quadcopter drone and will take any excuse I can find to drink with my friends.
STEPHEN: My favorite pastime is definitely playing with other peoples' dogs. I like to travel, do outdoor activities and all the other usual adventure stuff, too, but my heart is really with the puppies.
TAYLOR: I'm pretty active, so anything outdoors, cooking, traveling and coming up with adventures for my friends and I to go on.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
DANIELLE: I like dark hair and light eyes. He has to have a sense a humor and be outgoing because he will have to keep up with me.
JENN: A gentleman who can make me laugh.
REBECCA: I like someone who smart, funny and kind. Physically, I'm not sure I have a type.
CASEY: I think smart, witty banter is sexy as hell. If a date's going well, we should both be laughing a lot.
STEPHEN: I would, of course, prefer to date a really pretty girl, all things being equal, but looks aren't everything to me. I'm really looking for someone who I can view as my equal and who actually brings a lot of real value to my life. I do tend to be drawn to strong, independent and fiercely intelligent women. I want a girl who is more boss than Barbie, you know?
TAYLOR: The otherwise: smart, motivated, independent - someone I can laugh with and gets my humor, reciprocates. The looks: athletic, but not too athletic. If your biceps or shoulders are bigger than mine, forget it. Hair color isn't a biggie, although my exes are all brunette. And I'm a sucker for pretty eyes.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
DANIELLE: Funny, sexy and honest.
REBECCA: Down-to-earth alien princess.
CASEY: No criminal record.
STEPHEN: Talk nerdy to me.
TAYLOR: I would call it Savage by Tom Ford.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
JENN: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
CASEY: No way I'm rating myself.
STEPHEN: I'm gonna say eight.
TAYLOR: I like the way I look; not sure what number that ranks.
How about for personality?
JENN: Ten, duh.
REBECCA: I would say nine, but it depends how well you know me.
CASEY: No way I'm rating myself.
STEPHEN: This definitely strongly correlates with how much wine I've drank, but I think I average a solid eight- point-five. I feel like I have a great personality.
TAYLOR: Not a fan of rating myself with numbers.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
DANIELLE: Maybe a kiss. We will just have to wait and see what the night brings.
JENN: Wouldn't you like to know? [Editor's note: She already knows?]
REBECCA: Anything could happen, but I can't say at this point.
CASEY: Is spooning Titan more or less than a kiss?
STEPHEN: I can pretty confidently say that all three of those things will probably happen to this particular group as a whole, just not sure which one will be me.
TAYLOR: That's entirely up to her. I'm going into this without any expectations.
When the daters arrive at Puesto, they grab a table upstairs. Talking and laughing ensue for the next hour or so as they get acquainted over tacos and margaritas.
789 W Harbor Dr., Ste. 155, Downtown
Sex and the City
Toying around downtown
Going to a sex shop on a blind date probably isn't a good idea, which is why PacificSD set it up. After dinner at Puesto, the daters jump back into the limo for the ride over to Hustler on Sixth Avenue. Photos capture the scene better than words can.
Dialing things back to an R rating, the daters head to the spirited social setting of Cafe Sevilla. Somewhere between the sex shop and the restaurant, Casey goes AWOL for awhile, finally reappearing at the restaurant with his dog, Titan. Before their tapas and tequila arrive, the group is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: What were your first impressions of your dates?
DANIELLE: Taylor's really nice; we have a lot in common. He's really cool and easy to talk to. Stephen's really shy, but really cute. Casey's wild and crazy, and I love him. He'd just be, like, my BFF.
JENN: Casey was cool. We met in the limo, and they all were very funny and tried to make the best of the situation. Taylor was more engaging, super cool. Stephen's more of the quiet one of the group, but he's really cool.
REBECCA: Taylor dresses nice, is friendly, good-looking and a nice person. Stephen's cute, quieter, still fun. Casey's kinda the louder, funny person of the three, definitely, and the mischievous one.
CASEY: Rebecca's hot. Jenn's the ringleader; I think she brought everyone together. Danielle's hot.
STEPHEN: Rebecca seemed pretty sweet, maybe a little more on the reserved-slash-quiet side. I think she's really pretty, but my initial gut reaction is that she's probably not a good personality-fit for me. Danielle's an attractive girl, too; definitely seems to be a bit more gregarious than Rebecca. She's intriguing, but I haven't really talked to her enough to form any real opinion. I don't really have a good read on Jenn yet, so I feel the least strong about her at this point.
TAYLOR: Rebecca's attractive and bubbly. Jenn seemed pleasant, initially. Danielle, again, pleasant. Really couldn't gauge from them hopping in the car much about them.
Which of the daters do you find most attractive?
JENN: Either Taylor or Stephen.
REBECCA: Stephen and Taylor. I haven't really talked to Casey that much 'cause he's always bouncing off the wall somewhere.
TAYLOR: Danielle and Rebecca; more so Danielle.
Who do you think each of your friends are most attracted to?
DANIELLE: I think Rebecca likes Stephen also, just because they sat together at dinner. And then Jenn probably likes Taylor.
REBECCA: Probably Taylor or Casey, because they're into louder, not-shy guys.
CASEY: I'm pretty sure Stephen's into Rebecca and pretty sure Taylor's into Danielle.
STEPHEN: I'd say Danielle to Casey. I don't know what the f*** Taylor's thinking.
TAYLOR: I think Casey's into Danielle, too. Stephen... undecided.
What's the most attractive thing one of daters has done so far?
DANIELLE: Probably Casey; he's just really funny and outgoing, and that's how I am, so I think it's the most attractive in how his personality is.
JENN: They've all been really great gentlemen and tried to make us feel comfortable.
REBECCA: Stephen tends to hang back and make sure the group's all together and we're all doing things as a group. I like that.
CASEY: I was impressed with the way that Rebecca and Jenn channeled their shots and just went for it.
STEPHEN: Nobody's really done anything so far that's imprinted something on my brain. Danielle had some solid moments with the table of dildos.
TAYLOR: Been engaging; Danielle was pretty engaging.
How about the least attractive thing?
DANIELLE: That would be Casey, as well - throwing a radish off the balcony. I thought it was kind of rude.
JENN: Disappearing. [Editor's note: she's referring to Casey.]
REBECCA: I don't really like them. The guys are too loud. Casey seems a little crazy and loud to me.
CASEY: Danielle did not finish her shot. That was f***ed up.
STEPHEN: Nobody's done anything super unattractive.
TAYLOR: There's been no turn-offs as of now.
Rate each of your dates on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
DANIELLE: Taylor, seven; Stephen, seven; Casey, seven.
JENN: Casey, eight; Taylor, nine; Stephen, ten.
REBECCA: Casey, eight; Taylor, eight; Stephen, eight.
CASEY: Danielle, nine; Rebecca, eight; Jenn, seven.
STEPHEN: Rebecca, eight- point-five; Jenn, seven; Danielle, seven-point-five.
TAYLOR: I'm not rating these girls on a scale of one to ten. I think they're all beautiful in their individual ways.
How about for personality?
DANIELLE: Taylor, seven; Stephen, six; Casey, ten.
JENN: Casey, five; Taylor, ten; Stephen, ten.
REBECCA: Taylor, eight-point- five; Stephen, eight-point-five; Casey, seven-point-five.
CASEY: Danielle, seven; Rebecca, seven; Jenn, seven.
STEPHEN: Rebecca, six; Jenn, six; Danielle, seven.
TAYLOR: I think they're all nice girls. I still have to get to know them all to be able to really rate them.
Do you want to kiss any of your dates now?
DANIELLE: No. I'm just not like that.
REBECCA: Not so much.
CASEY: Yeah, I'll kiss all of them.
STEPHEN: Not particularly.
TAYLOR: Wouldn't be opposed to it. Not sure who yet.
Do any of your dates want to kiss you?
DANIELLE: Yes. I think Taylor would.
CASEY: Probably not, no.
STEPHEN: I'd be surprised.
TAYLOR: Not sure yet, too soon to tell.
929 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp
Anybody Got a Match?
If love's in the air, it's time to strike while the iron's hot
After the mid-date break, the magazine crew finally leaves the daters alone to enjoy the rest of the evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was Cafe Sevilla?
DANIELLE: I really enjoyed everything about it. The lighting and music made it very comfortable and fun.
JENN: The vibe at Cafe Sevilla was really cool.
REBECCA: The vibe was great. It was casual and a different experience.
CASEY: Great. Sevilla is one of my favorite spots downtown. They always have a fun, lively atmosphere, often with live music. And epic tapas, of course.
STEPHEN: I've always been a fan of Sevilla. The place has a nice, distinctive vibe and the food is tasty.
TAYLOR: It was good. I've eaten there a couple of times before. Nice spot.
What did you eat and drink there?
DANIELLE: I got poke and ceviche.
JENN: We had some apps and a good amount of tequila.
REBECCA: I had a glass of sparkling wine because I wanted to pace myself... and we took a team shot. We ordered a few appetizers to share.
CASEY: Honestly, I can't remember. I was pretty buzzed by then.
STEPHEN: I basically stuffed myself on jamón ibérico and bread, both of which were delightful. I washed it down with a Mojito that was pretty tasty at the time but I am currently regretting it due to my hungover state.
TAYLOR: Had a margarita, some tuna fish and ibérico jamón - always a favorite.
When did you get home?
DANIELLE: I got home around eleven, only because I had work very early the next day.
JENN: Two a.m.
REBECCA: Probably too late; we ended up going out after.
CASEY: A little before the bars closed, one a.m.-ish.
STEPHEN: I think I cut out around twelve. I spent the previous couple days in Vegas and I just didn't have it in me to rage on a Wednesday night. Guess I'm getting old.
TAYLOR: Too late for a Wednesday.
With whom did you connect most?
DANIELLE: I feel like I connected equally with all three. It was crazy how much I got along with all of them.
JENN: All the guys were super cool.
REBECCA: I think maybe Steve, because I feel like we're both kind of quiet.
CASEY: I liked Danielle the most, but I don't think the feeling was mutual.
STEPHEN: I think I connected most with Rebecca, simply because she sat across from me at dinner and was the only one I really had a chance to have any
in-depth conversation with. I still don't feel like I really got to know her all that well, though.
TAYLOR: I think I connected most with Danielle. She had a nice vibe and has my birthday, so she's automatically cool in my book.
With whom did you connect least?
DANIELLE: If I had to choose, maybe Casey. He does wild things I could never do.
JENN: This is awkward.
REBECCA: Maybe Casey, because he was a little more out- there.
CASEY: Probably Rebecca. It was pretty clear that Stephen and Taylor liked her the most, so I just didn't give her much attention. STEPHEN: Probably Jenn, I guess? I think that's just because I interacted with her the least. She seemed like a nice girl.
TAYLOR: I think I'd have to say Rebecca.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
DANIELLE: Watching how everyone reacted to certain items at Hustler; you could tell a little bit about their sex life.
JENN: The boys nerding out about science.
REBECCA: I made fun of people from Orange County and one of the guys was from there. Oops.
CASEY: We had a good time taking photos and browsing items at the Hustler Store. I mean, how can you not have fun at a sex-toy store?
STEPHEN: Casey's impromptu posing session was by far the most hilarious thing that happened. Guy sure knows how to make love to the camera.
TAYLOR: I think a lot of funny things went down at Hustler. Electrocuting each other was interesting.
What was the best part of the date?
DANIELLE: The best part of the date was the beginning, at Puesto, just because I was so nervous. But then seeing how easily we all felt like we've known each other forever was perfect.
JENN: Hanging out with Casey's dog.
REBECCA: I liked when we were at Cafe Sevilla because I don't normally go there.
CASEY: I enjoyed the beginning of the night the best. It was fun learning more about each of the girls and seeing everyone try to figure out who they could-slash- should focus their attention on.
STEPHEN: At the end of the night, we found ourselves sitting at Casey's fabulous granite table while discussing the implications of the singularity on the future of humanity and why you should never hire anyone with a Ph.D. I love deep, drunken conversations so much.
TAYLOR: Not sure. Overall, it was a good time.
Will there be a second date with anyone?
DANIELLE: I'm open to it but I might see them all better as good friends rather than a boyfriend.
JENN: Yeah, I'll keep you posted.
REBECCA: Probably not. I don't think I completely clicked with anyone. But we had a lot of fun.
CASEY: I doubt it.
STEPHEN: My gut is telling me "no" on this one. Don't get me wrong - all the girls were nice, and I'd totally hang out with them all again, I just wasn't super feeling anything with anyone. Never say never, though.
TAYLOR: Not sure.
What could have made this date better?
DANIELLE: If I didn't have to go home early and could have went out to Sidebar with them.
JENN: It was, all around, a fun experience.
REBECCA: I think if I connected with someone a little more.
CASEY: The group dynamic makes everything more complicated than it needs to be. It's hard enough trying to get to know someone when you don't have to compete for attention with two friends, while trying to make sure you're not stepping on their toes. I think a one-on-one date would've provided a better opportunity for a second date.
STEPHEN: Group dates are fun, but the more people you have interacting, the more the connections between them are going to get watered down.
TAYLOR: No schedule, just the freedom to do what we wanted to.
AFTERMATCH: What could have made last night's blind date better for the blind daters, it turns out, was probably fewer blind daters. If two's company, and three's a crowd, six must be a clusterf*** (or, in this case, maybe a Hustlerf***). At the mid- date break, Danielle was most attracted to Stephen, Jenn and Rebecca were into both Stephen and Taylor (not necessarily in that order), and all three men said they found Danielle most attractive. In the end, however, a first-date love connection wasn't forged. But at least Casey got to sleep with the one he loves, redefining "doggie style" by going home with the bitch he brought to dinner, Titan. Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof, woof, woof.
353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp