Filed under: Commentary
So, it’s time to normalize online dating. It’s that time. I’ve been on OkCupid for a while now, ok? Sometimes for fun, sometimes for reassurance that real people exist, sometimes for no reason at all. Recently, it’s been to meet people in real life. But that’s not what this post is about (it’s going fine, thankyouverymuch).
My profile is really clearly feminist, without digging too deep (the fourth word is “feminist,” for example). I feel like most of the people who message me are decent – because the photo of my hairy armpits serves to filter out lots of guys, you know? But sometimes something else happens.
I get a message – a chat message – from someone who is really upfront. About sex. It happens often enough to constitute a phenomenon. Someone says “hey cutie ” and the conversation almost immediately turns to sex. When I last had it, how it was, how often I have it, how I like to have it.
The thing is! I’m really open about sex. I’m not sure if these men read my profile and get that sense or not, but I really don’t mind talking about my sex life. But usually, uhh with people I know. Or people who I’ve spoken about other things first with? Talking about sex is really important to talk about if you might be having sex with someone, right? But it’s not that important to talk about with strangers who won’t stop telling me how hot I am.
I figure that these are mostly men who are just horny, and are looking for some jack-off material before bed. And maybe sometimes that’s not repulsive to me. But they are strangers. The other day, this happened to me (It’s something that happens to me), and I played along for a few exchanges. Then I tried to ask him about something else – where he grew up, what he’s interested in, what he does for a living. Those questions. He was being really cute and nice! But when I tried to change the topic away from sex, it…didn’t work. He was aching for me to turn him on. A stranger. Via the internet. It became off-putting.
So I got serious — I told him that we should talk about something else. I told him he was making me uncomfortable. I told him I was quickly losing interest in meeting him. He couldn’t understand why, so I explained, pretty clearly: “If all you want to talk about is sex, how do I know you respect me as a person, not just a sex object, if we were ever to meet?” He understood, maybe. He said that we could talk about anything after he asked me more about the intimate details of my personal life. I said No. I asked if I wasn’t being clear. He told me I was “being a tease.” I told him that was absolutely not what I was doing. The conversation ended when I said that his refusal to listen to me or hear what I was saying, pretty clearly, made him someone I’d never be with. Which is absolutely the truth.
Does this happen to lots of women? Does it happen to lots of “women like me?” Does it happen to men? Something tells me this is gendered, but it might just be Me. I’m sure there are some women who love this type of exchange, and that makes a lot of sense to me — but I’m not one of those women. I can even imagine that some women are on the other side of a conversation like this, trying to rub one out before bed. But it’s never a conversation I’ve even considered started. Ever. Because it’s creepy.
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