A look at the Tahoe male
Tahoe needs a few good men.
Not that there isn’t a good proportion of them or they aren’t giving it the old college try with the opposite sex.
They are handsome, athletic and outgoing, educated, well-built and extremely friendly.
So what’s the deal?
Tahoe is a shimmering oasis for the single man. At his fingertips are a variety of recreational activities, gambling and great seasonal weather. It’s a place where he can gather his thoughts and set his sights for the future. Tahoe is his rest stop on the road of life.
Those were a few of the opinions by a focus group that matters the most to men – the female species. Most of the women interviewed, albeit a handful, were reluctant at first to describe the typical Tahoe guy. After some prodding and attempts to make them feel comfortable about a non-threatening situation, women were willing to divulge the 411 on men.
Blame it on the thin air or the lack of high-paying jobs, but most men aren’t career-oriented in Tahoe, according to 26-year-old Jennifer Sexton. Their minds are drifting in and out of daydreams about catching air on a snowboard or trekking in the backcountry. Based on Sexton’s experience with men, there are too many diversions to keep them motivated.
“A lot of men come up here and work one to two jobs to support their partying lifestyle,” she said. Sexton added that she has had her share of late nights before meeting her current boyfriend of a year. “I don’t know if they really want to succeed. A lot of people my age get their paychecks and gamble it away. I think the casinos are dangerous.”
According to 1990 census data, the largest group of Tahoe residents are in the 25 to 44 year range, with the median age at 32. Of the 8,600 households, more than 40 percent are occupied by two or more singles.
Katie, born and raised in Tahoe, said that guys are nothing but a bunch of S.O.B.’s – Studs On a Budget. Strapping young lads don’t come to the lake to get rich unless they are professional gamblers. The market doesn’t give much opportunity for them to make a healthy living. Katie and her friend, Tiffany, said most of the wages earned by men are spent on recreational gear or getting loaded.
“I’ve noticed a guy is always willing to buy you a drink,” said Tiffany, who has lived in Tahoe since January. “It’s kind of flattering to know a guy is interested in you.”
Undeniably noticeable is the limited amount of nightlife in Tahoe. Women universally have built a defense mechanism to shun any aggressive male. But the age-old tradition of a man hitting on a woman doesn’t necessarily have the same charm as it might in a bigger city.
“I like to travel to get a better outlook on guys,” said Katie. “I think sometimes I feel some Tahoe men have been raised by a pack of wolves. They don’t have much respect for you and really aren’t responsible.”
Tahoe men do normally travel in throngs, evidenced on any given night at a happening night spot. The girls admit they do have a bit of the good life with what typically works out to a 3-1 ratio, or more, in their favor. But most said they prefer quality over quantity any day of the week.
Women are also put off by the transient lifestyle and the unsettling feeling that the men they are involved with will just pack their bags and leave. Tahoe females want to find some substance underneath the intense libido of men.
Other women experience unique relationship problems once they find that special Tahoe guy. Melissa, a 21-year-old transplant from Minnesota who works at 1000 Bathing Suits, said her boyfriend spends too much time outdoors and that invades into their personal time together.
“I can’t believe how much he is out and about snowboarding, hiking and biking,” she said. “It does take time away from us and I wish we had a little bit more. I can’t blame him for taking advantage of all of the offerings up here.”
Melinda, 26, said men need to know the boundaries of what is tasteful and what turns women off. For her a casual smile and a simple introduction will do. Corny one-liners and hands that don’t know their own place ruin the situation.
“One time this guy came up to me and my boyfriend and said we looked good together and could he bum a cigarette from me?” she said. “I’m sure if my boyfriend went to the bathroom it would have been a different conversation.”
In the end, it boils down to two people and their attraction to one another. Only until one finds Mr. or Mrs. Right will Tahoe be known as a place that has everything to offer.
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