This is a question that came up for me today after I engaged a lad on OkCupid in some ill-advised discussion.
Normally, I just delete any messages from someone with less than 90% match percentage if they just ask for casual sex straight off the bat. But for some reason this morning, I decided to engage.
“Thanks but no thanks,” I replied. “That’s not what I’m here for.”
Rather than leave the issue alone, this fellow decided to press further. “Why are you here then?”
“Have you read my profile? It’s all in there. I spent a lot of time writing it.”
“Yeah I read it. But what I want to know how these things start out.”
“It’s all there. I am NOT interested in casual sex. If you don’t know how adult relationships work, then please move on.”
“I know how they work. You meet up with someone, then if you hit it off, you have sex right away. Then maybe something grows from there.”
My next reply was simply “Wow. No. Bye.” and a friendly BLOCK.
I had to hand it to this dude though, he had a point.
Many of my relationships did start out like that. Hell, my MARRIAGE started out like that. But to come right out and expect that, to assume that you can just come right out and ask for that, is a pretty bold and foolhardy strategy.
I’ll allow that this dude was young and clueless but what has stuck with me is why his no-frills approach bothered me so much.
Here’s my theory. It assumes, first of all, that I am going to have sex with him. That is a pretty big assumption. I’m going to guess that this guy (I barely even looked at his picture, much less his profile) has no problem hooking up with women in real life. He’s probably good looking, fit, handsome, employed, possibly a musician (drummer?) so in real life, he is set. Unfortunately, online, all I have to go from is his message, which was all bad grammar, SMS abbreviations and lack of punctuation (I cleaned it up for this post), which says to me “HELLO, I BREATHE THROUGH MY MOUTH AND CAN DRESS MYSELF.” So while his usual strategy of “hook up, then hope for more” might work in the real world, it doesn’t work online where your ability to write a coherent message can make or break your game.
The next assumption is that the only reason someone uses an online dating site is to look for random sex partners. It’s probably why he uses it, but not everybody does. Some of us use online dating sites so that we can reach out to like-minded people and narrow the field to people with common interests, then, after chatting and then sharing a coffee, make a new friend who could be a potential lover. Some people use online dating sites because they are awkward making small talk and reading someone’s profile gives them an easier time making conversation: there’s all the material right there so you know where to start. There are also people who have very specific needs and want to be upfront about those things in an online profile so they don’t risk meeting someone who won’t be able to fulfill those needs.
The third and most irritating assumption that this dingus made is that he can just straight up ASK for sex without any context. I might have given him a bit more credit if he had at least said,
“Hey, I love your list of movies. Wes Anderson is a genius! Have you seen Bottle Rocket? I’ve gotten really into American Indie directors. Have a look at the list on my profile if you’re interested.
By the way, I think you’re really sexy. If you feel the same about me, I think it might be fun to hook up. Who knows? It could turn into something more…”
I might still politely decline, but at least that would acknowledge that I am more than a walking vagina with the potential of being something more.
Is it really that hard to say something about WHAT you are attracted to instead of assuming I will just be flattered that you find me fuckable? That might work on 18-25 year olds, but I’m old enough to know that I don’t have to be pretty, or interesting or sexy or even necessarily sapient or conscious for someone out there to want to fuck me. I have a vagina. End of criteria for most straight dudes.
Women are raised to think that getting a guy’s attention is the ultimate goal of their lives. I bought into that for most of my life. But you know what? Dicks are not scarce. There is no shortage of dicks out there. I am happy to say I need more than that now.