I turned in his direction because I'd felt someone staring. He was 6 feet 4, easy, broad-shouldered, and wearing a blazer and crisp jeans long before men in Washington, D.C., got dressed up to go to the club. When I looked over, he studied me, then smiled—a big, bright, beautiful beam of light.
My God. I turned away so he wouldn't see my mouth drop open in awe. After I composed myself, I glanced back. He was gone. I checked the rooftop, searching for a head bobbing above the others. No sign. I eyed the bar in case he'd gone for a re-up. I panicked. The club had four levels. I'd never find him.
Just then, a gentle but firm hand pulled on my elbow, turning me around. I gazed up into captivating blue eyes (yes, on a Black man). It was like being "glamoured" by a vampire. "I want to introduce myself to you," he said. "My name is..." He extended his hand. His clasp was firm enough to mean business, but the way he released my palm, sliding his middle finger slowly down the center as he let go, held the promise of pleasure too, if I was up for it.
"If you're in the right mind-set, a summer fling can be great," says Lauren Lake, life coach and author of Girl! Let Me Tell You...Advice on Life and Love for Single Successful Women (Lovelake Books). "It's freeing to meet a man and not wonder, Where will this go? What will our kids look like?" Instead you can spend the time focusing on the size of his biceps and the width of his back, and begging him to do (again) that thing you like, just...like...that (exhale).
Caution: While a carefree affair may be physically stimulating, it can be disastrous for ladies who really desire a relationship or are still reeling from a breakup. "For them, saying 'It's just physical; the sex won't affect me' is like an alcoholic saying 'It's just vodka,' " explains Enitan Bereola II, author of Bereolaesque: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette Book for the Urban Sophisticate (AuthorHouse). Be honest with yourself about what you want, and if you do get a little caught up, remember it's just sex. "Whatever your plans for the summer—writing a book, traveling to Italy—don't let your fling stop you," says Bereola. "You have to maintain your sense of self."
If you decide to take the leap, just know that more than likely it will come to an end. "There will be no holidays, no Thanksgiving and no Christmas," Lake says. However, Bereola is more optimistic. "Some flings transition to winter boos," he says. "If that's the case, be willing to allow progression to occur naturally." But if summer is all you've got, then make the most of it. "Your life story will be full of hellos and good-byes," he says. "The best novels have the greatest chapters. Don't be afraid to turn the page."
As for my D.C. romance, there was no pretense that it would go on forever. In August I got a job offer in New York City and prepared to move north. Always a gentleman, after our last evening together (I spent it nestled in his nook—he was Built Ford Tough), he saw me to my car and made me promise I'd take care of myself in Brooklyn. It was a drama-free parting and a perfect ending to my summer.