I had my work Christmas do on Tuesday. After the bar staff kicked us out of the first place so they could close up, a bunch of us went to an after-hours bar in the City.
I ran into a guy I had met at a bar a few months back. We chatted for a few minutes, then he returned to his group and I to mine.
A few hours later he reappeared.
'I'm heading out now. I'm going to grab a cab. You're welcome to join me — if you want. Just putting it out there. It's an idea.'
That's sort of your bog-standard, textbook classic proposition. Nothing's too specific. We both know what he means. We both know what he wants. I can (and did) say no without a scene and with only minimal wounded pride.
But the key feature is plausible deniability. If I were to create a scene (what? You don't call me for two months and now you think I'm going to sleep with you!) or if some mysterious, beefcake boyfriend were to appear from behind a previously unseen tree and start something, he can claim he just meant sharing a cab. That's all. Nothing else.
One guy decided to take a slightly different approach. He started off in fairly typical form, but then veered off into what has to have been The Most Oddly Specific Proposition. Certainly the oddest I've received from a man I don't know.
He began by asking what I was doing later. Well, no. He began by buying me a drink. Not the drink I asked for, mind. But a drink none the less.
I said I was going home. He asked if I were sure. Oh, yes, I was. He told me he had a hotel booked just around the corner. All the time waving his hands around, showing off his wedding ring.
Then he asked if I was familiar with talcum powder. 'Erm... Yes', I said. He asked if I ever used it. I do not.
He went on to offer me 'the most amazing night ever', having talcum powder rubbed all over my naked body. All night. Even if nothing else happened, he said, we'd both have a wonderful, incredible night.
Wow. So much for plausible deniability.