Questions For Dating Columnist Tamara Shayne Kagel

Tamara is a 20-something third year law student. She writes a dating blog for the Jewish Journal called Tattletales. Here are the highlights or watch the whole thing below.

Dennis Wilen: And there arose over the Jewish Journal dating column a new writer who knew not Luke Ford.

On the Torah Hour of Power Monday night, Rabbi Rabbs says that I was much more gentle with Tamara than I was with him on our first interview. He accuses me of having an interest in Tamara that is not strictly journalistic.

Here are the first few minutes of my first interview of Rabbi Rabbs:

A few months ago, I interviewed Rabbi Ally about her dating blog. A year ago, I spoke to columnist Orit Arfa.

I interview Tamara on my live cam.

I promise her tea and crumpets without the crumpets.

So Tamara brings crumpets.

Only they don’t have a hechsher on them.

Leslie Sim: lol scoot a little closer “just for the sake of the camera”
Ellen: I haven’t seen you so giddy – wow what a bit of femininity in the hovel can do
Ellen: So what advice would you give someone like Luke on attracting a positive relationship?
Ellen: I’m of the opinion that sexuality, and more specifically the enjoyment of sexual satisfaction requires practice and development during experimentation. How do you feel about that and how it collides with waiting for marriage?
Joshua: It is not in accordance with the Torah Ellen
Joshua: How many children do you have Ellen?
Ellen: Like a child’s brain has a window of opportunity for learning, if you pass over the window during sexual development it could be detrimental. Don’t you think waiting ruins the physical development aspect?
Ellen: Two kids
Joshua: Thank you

Joshua: IS your husband a doctor or a lawyer?
Ellen: yes
Joshua: both?
Ellen: I’m a Dr and my spouse is a lawyer
Joshua: Well done! What a balabusta!
Ellen: Sounds like the same drivel – a woman not being able to separate sex and love
Joshua: She is doing her best
Ellen: yes, and I give her props for showing up
Joshua: She is dressed modestly too
Ellen: I’m sure she has tiger print underneath
Joshua: O please !!
Joshua: Let’s keep this professional
Joshua: I quite like her
Ellen: Would your guest be willing to take you out on a date?
Joshua: Please show some respect Ellen
Joshua: Ay yay yay Luke is cursing
Ellen: Who was Tamara in the Torah and how does your guest feel about that?
Joshua: I think she is more of a Rebecca
Ellen: help her out
Joshua: It is not her specialist subject
Joshua: She is very ‘Sex in the City’
Joshua: Except the city is Tel Aviv
Ellen: Did she already give her support or rant about jdate?
Joshua: I don’t know
Joshua: Does she support her husband in his career?
Ellen: and has she ever had her heart broken?
Joshua: well how do I know?
Joshua: Has she ever dated a goyim?
Joshua: Oy vey she is warming up!
Joshua: She is a good guest – best yet!
Ellen: would you be a offended if a guy came to a date without reading your facebook profile – like coming to a job interview without knowing anything about the companyt
Ellen: much better looking than Rabbs
Joshua: Ay ay ay sometimes he shames us
Joshua: Would she describe herself as a ‘Cougar’ ?
Joshua: Jewish men do not sleep around!
Joshua: I have to go – my work calls! SHALOM!

This is Tamara’s reaction to my Wikipedia page.

Check out her twitter feed.

Tamara tweets Dec. 13 about my blog post: “People writing about how much they disagree with me. I love having haters!”

Tamara tweets Nov. 29: “I’ve agreed to do an interview with Luke Ford. I’m excited but also praying that my mother doesn’t wikipedia him…”

Tamara went to Adat Ariel Conservative Jewish day school through sixth grade and graduated from Calabassas High School in 2000. She got her undergraduate degrees in Dance and English from Northwestern.

“When I was seven, I wanted to be a stripper because I saw the movie Gypsy.

“I went to Camp Kinneret. On the first day, we had to say our name and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had seen the musical Gypsy the night before. I said in front of the group, ‘My name is Tamara and I want to be a stripper.’ My mom got a talking to.”

Luke: “So you never did become a stripper?”

Tamara: “No. Not professionally.”

She was suspended for a day from Calabassas High School “for planning a field trip for the Junior Statesmen of America to go to a conference. The administration didn’t approve the field trip and I told everyone they did. I arranged for parent drivers and I kept the permission slips in my backpack with me the whole trip. I had all the kids sign them.

“I really thought I got away with it. The trip went off without a hitch. There was a dance. We had a great time. We came home. I forgot about it. And then a few days later, I got called in to the principal’s office. I just bawled. I cried and cried. My parents were so upset.”

Luke: “What did you get in trouble for with Adat Ariel?”

Tamara: “Oh God. Sending p*** to another student in fifth grade. Me and this other girl. She had a reputation as a troublemaker. I was one of the star kids. Everyone blamed her. I let her take the fall.

“We found p*** in her dad’s bathroom. We sent it to this boy we had a crush on.”

“We put it in a vanilla envelope that had been sent to her house by Adat Ariel. We crossed off Adat Ariel with a marker and mailed it anonymously.

“His mom found it. She wondered, who’s sending my son porn? She called the school and said there’s an envelope with your name on it… The troublemaker girl told them it was me. I went in there and they said, she corrupted you. She’s the reason. I said, yes, she was.

“The vice-president at the time was a weird twisted woman. My mom came in. I was ten and just wanted to die. The vice-principal shows the pictures to my mom. It’s one of the most traumatic memories I have.”

“I don’t want to go into what it was, but it was a lot worse than your average Playboy.”

“My mom was like, this is bad, we’re going to deal with this. And the vice-principal was like, I don’t think you realize how bad this is. Did you see this one? Did you see this one? My mom is like yes. We’re taking this very seriously. She’s going to be disciplined. And the vice principal goes, No, I don’t think you really know. Did you see this one?”

“My sister ended up going to Heschel day school. When she was in fifth grade, she wrote something in a kid’s yearbook that was considered p****graphic. The principal at that time was the old vice-principal who got me in trouble. So the same principal called my mom about p*** in the yearbook.”

Luke: “What was your reputation in high school?”

Tamara: “Nerdy. Weird. I was interested in student council.”

Luke: “That is weird.”

Tamara interned for Congressman Brad Sherman. He recently got “married.”

Tamara says, “I felt very safe there.”

“I thought President Clinton was too centrist.”

“He’s an amazing flirt with men and women, young and old. That ineffable charisma that makes you feel warm towards them.”

Tamara says she’s dated more non-Jews than Jews. “I don’t know that I’ve noticed a big difference. I’ve never dated anyone very religious in any faith. I tend to date people who consider their religion in the same way I consider my religion — an intellectual academic approach.”

Tamara says there’s a big difference between what men and women in their late twenties want. Overall, however, she sees few important differences between the sexes and she rejects the idea that females tend to be more mature than males their age.

Tamara: “What does that mean?”

Luke: “They’re less likely to urinate on you.”

Tamara was in a relationship for almost four years during her early twenties.

I posted a photo here of Tamara laughing. “It was my first Halloween being single in a long time and I had a lot of fun.”

Luke: “What does your family think of your blogging?”

Tamara: “It’s a huge issue. They’re not happy. My dad just said he will never read it again.”

Luke: “Maybe the bareback stuff.”

Tamara: “It wasn’t from personal experience.”

Luke: “Not many fathers want to read their daughters thoughts on sexual addiction.”

Tamara: “I keep telling him I am going to get a book deal from this blog and it is going to be totally worth it.”

“I think emphasizing waiting [for sex] until you are in love is important. The best sex you are going to have is when you are in love.”

“I think there should be more talk about what it really means to be in love. How do you know when you are in love?”

Luke: “How do you know when you are in love?”

Tamara: “For me it is the best feeling in the world. It’s a drug. I really miss being in love. It’s part of what makes life worth living. We don’t talk about it enough.”

“I want to marry for love. It’s the most important thing.”

Her favorite literary character is Holden Caulfield.

“My mom thinks I often dress like a homeless person because I often wear stuff I got from thrift stores.”

“I got a lot of looks in my first year of law school for my fashion choices. I was really digging ripped tights. There were a few pictures that showed up on Facebook for my ripped tights and I got a talking to from my mom. She said ripped tights were for prostitutes.”

Luke: “Would you rather date a Republican or a felon?”

Tamara: “Do I have to answer that?”

Luke: “Have you ever had your heartbroken?”

Tamara: “Yes. Brutally. By a man two-and-a-half years ago. I was so depressed. I remember lying on my couch and asking myself if I was going to die of a broken heart.”

“Yech! I’m like an expert at dating poor guys, I’ve dated so many.”

Luke: “Was there a point when you realized you had hitting rock bottom with your dating?”

Tamara: “So many times.”

“I’ve dated younger than me. Four years younger.”

Luke: “Did you appreciate how much energy and vigor he had?”

Tamara: “Unfortunately it did not translate like that.”

“That felt like I was taking steps backwards. I felt like I was the first girl this man has ever touched. No woman in her twenties is going to say I want to have sex with a 15-year old boy because he’s so talented and experienced.”

“There’s almost nothing I wouldn’t do if I were really in love.”

“I am pretty much willing to do anything once.”

Luke: “Hey, you came to the hovel.”

Tamara: “And I had good reason to be fearful.”

Luke: “What was the scariest thing?”

Tamara: “That you starred in your own **** film.”

“When my parents gave me the sex talk, it was basically that I shouldn’t have sex until I was over 30. Since I started writing this dating blog, my parents are in mourning that I am not a virgin.”

“They’re more nervous that I am writing myself out of a chance of working as a lawyer.”

Luke: “What’s more important to you? Your career as a writer or your career as a lawyer?”

Tamara: “Writer.”

Luke: “What’s more important to you? Marriage or career?”

Tamara: “Family and thereby marriage.”

Tamara stays in touch with some of the guys she’s dated. “I really bristle at being asked [by a boyfriend to cut off contact with her exes]. I think you should be able to trust the person to make those decisions.”

Luke: “You haven’t asked any of your boyfriend to cut off contact with their exes?”

Tamara: “No. I’ve definitely commented on how ugly and fat they were.”

Luke: “How prone are you to violent fits of jealousy?”

Tamara: “It used to be that I didn’t think I was ever jealous. And then I got cheated on. We tried to stay together after that and that made me really jealous.”

Luke: “Why did you try to stay together after that?”

Tamara: “To try to see how much I could hurt him. We were only together for two months together afterward and I tried to do every evil thing a girlfriend could do.”

Luke: “You slept with his best friend?”

Tamara: “Things like that but not necessarily that. Threatening things. Writing things. Afterward, you think of all these things you should’ve done.”

Luke: “Do you ever feel, I have the world at my feet?”

Tamara: “Yeah. Can you tell? I feel like things are going so well for me…”

Luke: “Are you high maintenance?”

Tamara: “I don’t think so. I get ready really fast. I expect chivalry. I expect a guy to open a door for me.”

“I’m a reliable person. I respond to every correspondence.”

“I’m wary of Orthodox Judaism because I feel like it dismisses my brain. I can’t have the same discussions and my opinion doesn’t mean as much in the conversations we’re having, that’s the attitude Orthodox men have towards women in my experience.”

Luke: “How often do you find that your thoughts are not taken seriously because you are attractive?”

Tamara: “Often. It depends on where I meet people. If I meet people at a bar…”

Luke: “They’re less interested in the cognitive ability than some of your other attributes?”

Tamara: “I think so, especially because I can dress pretty scandalously, a tight dress, a short skirt, five-inch high heels, and I’m out at a bar and not every guy is expecting to hear someone’s Supreme Court analysis who just goes to law school as a hobby.”

Luke: “Do you expect men to relate to you the same way if you dress conservatively as opposed to scandalously? Do you expect them to be equally interested in your mind?”

Tamara: “I expect the same respect, regardless of how I’m dressed.”

Luke: “Even if you are dressed like a hooker, you still expect to be treated like a Supreme Court justice?”

Tamara: “Yeah. If you are hooting and hollering on the street, I don’t think there’s any dress that says that’s appropriate.”

Luke: “So you’re walking down the street in a short skirt and ripped tights and a man goes, ‘Yeah, baby!’, that’s inappropriate?”

Tamara: “Why do guys do that? What do they want? I don’t think it’s respectful.

“I would dress that way to feel sexual and I would never ask a man to ignore that. I would never dress like that around my parents, but I am entitled to dress that way when I go out, but I don’t expect it to be ignored, but there is a way to be respectful. I think men just assume you are one or the other and they make that judgment quickly. I tend to be attracted to men who are smart. I think they’re more likely to respect me on an intellectual level.”

“If I am dressed sexually at a bar, I don’t expect someone to come up to me and start a conversation on Nietzsche.”

“You can be attracted to someone and relate to them purely on a purely sexual level and be respectful.”

Luke: “Really? You can be sexual and respectful? Interesting.”

Tamara: “Clearly it is not even an option in your world.”

“Sometimes I get pigeonholed the other way, if I know someone from law school or the writing world. They can be surprised negatively in what I might look like.”

Luke: “In a little skirt with ripped tights?”

Tamara: “Yeah.”

Luke: “Do you think they judge you?”

Tamara: “I’ve felt that at my Christian law school.”

Luke: “When you wear ripped tights and short skirts.”

Tamara: “But I have a right to wear that. I would never complain about someone looking at that but if I am sitting in class and I’m talking but you discount my opinion because my shirt is short, I don’t appreciate that.”

Luke: “And your tights are ripped.”

Tamara: “You can look and you can also listen to what I have to say.”

Luke: “Do your professors relate to you differently when you dress provocatively?”

Tamara: “Probably. Yes.”

“I think there’s nothing more powerful than feeling sexual as a woman and feeling respected intellectually.”

Luke: “Simultaneously?”

Tamara: “Yeah. That’s when I feel on top of the world.”

“I’m never more turned on than in those moments.”

Luke: “Do you think you are sexually harassing men who dress in a provocative way?”

Tamara: “They’re certainly not complaining to me.”

Luke: “I could take you to an Orthodox synagogue on Yom Kippur and you wouldn’t shame me?”

Tamara: “Yeah.”

Luke: “Have you been a victim of sexual harassment?”

Tamara: “No. Not that I have noticed.”

Here are my notes for my Tamara interview:

* Which of your dating blog posts did you find easiest to write? Most difficult?

* What does your family think of your blog?

* Do you have any concern that your dating blog will haunt you? Perhaps there might be guys who don’t want to date you because you write so personally?

* What does 3-L mean in law student speak?

* What constitutes dumping properly? Are men less likely to do this than women? Has this happened to you? What have been the most satisfying and least satisfying ways you’ve been dumped?

* Is there anything your female friends may be doing wrong to put themselves in these situations where they get dumped silently?

I’ve gone out with women who only wanted to hang out and to hook up but didn’t want a relationship. I was dying to commit and they had no interest in living in a hovel. And they treated me as casually as the guys do in your latest blog post.

* You wrote: “So when he asked for my number, I found myself hating him for putting me in a position where I have to be the bad guy.” Is that similar to the guys who don’t want to have a break-up conversation? You both want to avoid awkward confrontation? “I don’t want to stare someone in the face while rejecting him.”

* When you start opening up to a guy and “share what you think makes you special”, do you say the same things or is what you say different with each guy?

* Do you think men are cowards if they shy away from conversations about the relationship? Are most of the men you know well cowards?

* Is one reason guys don’t break-up that we don’t date anymore? We hang out. We hook up. We’ve gone from courting to dating to hooking up. This is all very different in the Orthodox community where we all know each other and you know very clearly when you’ve been dumped because there is none of this amorphous hanging out.

* Does part of you long for a Jane Austen world of courtship?

* Do you notice any difference between dating Jews and non-Jews?

* I notice that one of your favorite phrases is “they just need to get over it.” You seem to be a pretty tough chick who despises weakness.

* What’s more important to you? Marriage or career?

* If someone fails the bar multiple times, what does this mean?

* Why do you think it is inappropriate if a stranger asks you if you are Jewish?

* You don’t want to waste your time dating any more. Could you elaborate?

* “I don’t date beneath me.” Could you elaborate?

* Number of partners. You complain that this is sexist. Could something be sexist and true? Do you think that men and women are different? If so, how?

* “This gets me so angry because girls don’t bristle at the number of women their boyfriend has dated.” Is this just a fact of life, like the fact that you can’t feel attractive for men who are below you?

* Staying friends with an ex. How has that served you?

* “So for the women out there with high numbers, I salute you on your ability to make decisions that are not limited by societal conventions. Forget the recycling. You’re only young once! I truly admire you.” Do you think there might be societal conventions for a reason?

* What do you think about sex addiction? Do you think alcoholism is a disease or a lack of will power?

* How should a girl relate to her man if he is an addict?

1. The Bareback Addict

2. The Threesome Addict

3. The Girls Do My Laundry For Me Addict

4. The Fantasy Football Addict

5. The I’m Addicted to Your Hot Best Friend Addict

6. The Hands Free Addict

7. The Eye-Candy Addict

8. The I’m Addicted to My Own Bed Addict

9. The I’m Addicted to Losing Girls Phone Numbers Addict

10. The Parental Allowance Addict

* In your dating posts, men are overwhelmingly jerks. Is that your experience in real life?

* Do you struggle over how much to disclose on your blog? Do you worry about how you come across?

* Do you ever feel, I have the world at my feet! I’m young, I’m hot, I’m smart.

* What do you think of the pick-up artist movement?

* So how is it being the artsy Jewish girl at a conservative Christian law school?

* What type of guys do you fall in love with?

* Are you high maintenance? Why does it take girls so long to order? Do girls enjoy making guys wait?

* Are you on time? Are you reliable? If you tell someone you will meet them at 7pm, do you meet them at 7pm?

* Do chicks dig guys who can give them mangos?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Dating, Tamara Shayne Kagel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.