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Johnny & Julian: Love, laughter and how to style your hair

Johnny and Julian

Johnny Drago and Julian Modugno have been dating a year and now live together in a tiny studio apartment that is lined with books on nearly every wall.

Both are prolific writers and can be regularly seen at many of Atlanta’s numerous writing events sharing their craft. They also pursue their own creative projects — Johnny as an actor, Julian as a filmmaker — which gives them plenty to chat about over dinner.

They are also both quite fond of puns during their sexy times together — which seems to be a bit over the top.

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Avian & Chantrece: Adventure dates and Bible study

Avian Waton and Chantrece Buggs

Together for 16 months, Avian Watson and Chantrece Buggs met at a Traxx Girls event at Club Miami. But it was definitely not love at first sight.

“Her first words were, ‘You look like my ex girlfriend,’” Chantrece says.

“She favored an ex of mine and I immediately went the other way,” Avian adds with a smile.

But after time, the two struck up a friendship that developed into a relationship based on love, respect, attending church together and “adventure” dates.

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Sex & Dating: First date disasters

Maggie Lopez

I’m by no means prolific in the romantic department; the quality of my relationships has always trumped the quantity. I’ve been legally married now for six years (in Connecticut and reciprocal states, anyway.) In my fifties, I can still count my romantic liaisons on one hand, with a few digits to spare. Thanks mostly to my wonderful spouse, our relationship is often the source of public admiration, seen as some effortless, meant-to-be union.

But truth be told, my road to romantic bliss is paved with a weird string of first dates that would easily pass for David Lynch vignettes.

While most of the world had a Y2K disaster contingency, I did not. And so, by the stroke of the new millennium, I found myself “suddenly single” and admittedly lonely after a 12-year relationship ended.

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Sex & Dating: Nothing gayer than Valentine’s Day

If there is any holiday that invokes a “love it” or “hate it” response, it’s Valentine’s Day.

For some, it’s the perfect occasion to put one’s romance skills on display. For others, it’s a bitter reminder of singlehood. And even for some of us who have an amazing person to call our Valentine, it’s still a manufactured holiday when the world goes gaga for mostly straight love.

But maybe Valentine’s Day should actually be the queerest holiday of all. Beyond campy cupids, it is the one day of the year set aside to celebrate love, which is exactly what our civil rights movement is about: fighting for the freedom to love whom we choose, how we choose.

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Sex & Dating: Don’t or Do? Tips to solve your dating woes

Dating do's and don'ts for LGBT singles

Are your first dates not turning into anything more? Perhaps it’s because you resemble one of these misguided dating types. Let lesbian romance writer Fiona Zedde and gay sex and dating columnist Michael Alvear help you get it right.

THE U-HAULER

Don’t:

First date? Doesn’t matter. If you are the U-Hauler, you want to plan the rest of your life right then. Are you ready to get married? Do you want kids? The U-Hauler thinks picking out baby names is the perfect first date conversation. But you may not notice that while you are rearranging your house to fit your date’s furniture, he or she is backing away from the table or texting a friend a desperate SOS.

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Sex & Dating: Date night dinners

One Midtown Kitchen

The restaurant can make or break the mood for a perfect memorable encounter. We’re lucky in Atlanta to have thousands of choices for date-night dining. Here are some of my favorites.

A noteworthy first date, second date or anniversary restaurant is One Midtown Kitchen. It’s more gay during the week and very busy with straight suburbanites on weekends. The décor is stunning with lots of ambient cylinder lights and a big-budget corporate architectural scheme. I’ll admit like most gays, I’m a sucker glamorous décor. It’s a good conversation piece on dates.

One Midtown Kitchen isn’t cheap so it’s a perfect special occasion place. The handsome chef Drew VanLeuvan’s open stainless steel kitchen turns out artisanal American comforts like crispy braised pork shoulder with collards, as well as elegant dishes like curried pan-seared Nantucket sea scallops. I love sword fish and had it grilled with foraged mushrooms and root vegetable confit. It was succulent, white and meaty and, no, I won’t make the gratuitous gay joke.

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Sex & Dating: Learning to negotiate sex after marriage

Playwright and writer Topher PayneA few years ago, on the road trip leading up to our marriage, I made a significant sacrifice. It happened on the New Jersey Turnpike. That was the moment when I deleted all the pictures of penises from my phone.

It wasn’t much of a collection. My pal Mandy has an impressive menagerie of penis pictures sent to her over the years. Men love photographing their junk. The reason we’ve seen such rapid improvements in the cameras on mobile devices is because guys over at iPhone keep asking, “How can I take better photographs of my junk?”

Although I didn’t have many junk photos, each never failed to bring a smile to my face, amongst other physical reactions. Removing them was a symbolic gesture, making clear I had selected the manly parts I would like to gaze upon for the rest of my life. I could go in the kitchen right now and request to view Preppy’s junk, and though he might be confused by the sudden demand, I could score a quick peek if I asked nicely.