Bekah Eichelberger, 23, a nonprofit theater administrator, says that since her last serious relationship ended, she has been open to trying something new. Anna Kark, 24, an international development officer, is polyamorous. The pair share an interest in Marxist theory, activism and Shakespeare. We sent them to the Pub & the People in Bloomingdale to find out whether they could form their own collective.
Anna: I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to find Bekah because when I got the email I actually was uncertain what Bekah’s gender would be.
Bekah: She had this really nice, pretty blond hair. When I saw her I was like, Yeah, this is good.
Anna: I asked if she wanted a hug. I think we complimented each other on our respective makeup choices.
Bekah: I hadn’t been on a blind date probably in five years. The way it typically works for me on like Tinder or OkCupid ... you set a date. And you also have time to creep on people, right? Stalk them. That’s something we both admitted to doing. This is weird not having the ability to do that. I liked not having that ability.
Anna: One of my favorite parts of the conversation was we both agreed we were going to leave a ridiculously large tip because we both felt strongly about service providers. So that got us talking about capitalism and its inevitable destruction.
Bekah: She does burlesque performance, and I’m an actor [and] she’s an actor as well. So we do have this slightly nerdy [side]. Literally we were talking about Marxist theory on our date.
Anna: We both like Shakespeare a lot. She is really interested in practical social justice movements. ... She and her friends sent pizza to a bunch of protesters and lawyers at JFK [airport], and I thought that was really cool.
Bekah: I signed up for Date Lab about two weeks after my long-term boyfriend broke up with me. I was emotional and I wanted to get back at him. But this was months ago. I completely forgot I had signed up for it until I got an email. ... That desire to do that to my ex-boyfriend was no longer there, but I still wanted to go for the good time.
Anna: She’s been out with women before and knows that she’s attracted to women, and that’s great. She just doesn’t have a lot of experience with women. ... I date one person right now pretty seriously, and I have other casual relationships. I’m not looking to be exclusive.
Bekah: She’s not traditionally monogamous. ... I am more traditional, but I think that’s because I’ve been told I should be, rather than this is exactly how I want to live my life. I’m at that stage where I’m experimenting with relationships. I’m very open to new things.
Anna: I’ve been polyamorous my whole life. I’ve only had one monogamous relationship. I think at some point in my life I was sleeping around and then I started sleeping around with more communication and, you know, trying to be very compassionate to people.
Bekah: Something that impressed me about her: She was very confident. She knows what she wants, right? And I’m not one of those people. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet.
Anna: I really like casual sex or making out with strangers in bars, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to be dating someone exclusively. I don’t feel like there’s some type of arbitrary boundary that dictates what my behavior is supposed to be.
Bekah: I wouldn’t say I was head-over-heels attracted, but I definitely thought she was a good-looking person.
Anna: I would say that my type is people who are not intimidated by me. She has a great sense of humor, but she was a little bit intimidated by me.
Bekah: I was a combination of intimidated and curious. When I go on dates, I’m physically affectionate if I like [someone]. I want to hold their hand ... play with their hair. And I didn’t feel any of that. My attraction was not manifesting itself that way.
Anna: 2 [out of 5]. But a very kind and gentle 2. I’ll friend her on Facebook.
Bekah: 2. We’d probably talk more, but there’s no romantic connection.
Bekah and Anna became friends on Facebook.