Monday, May 6, 2013

Online Dating, Pick-up Lines and the Artlessness of Modern Romance

Something happened to me today (queue the suspense) that inspired me to write one of my lists. The list required a rather lengthy preface though, and I ended up getting a wee bit carried away and rolling with something kinda different and only tangentially related so I broke it up into two separate posts. Who would've thought one stupid text would have been such a goldmine of material.

Anyway, I'm sure I've mentioned this in previous posts but, unless you count the boys I had playdates with when I was five, I have only had the one boyfriend. I've done the "friends with benefits" thing (or as I like to call it, "sad, misguided attempts to get dudes to like me"), which invariably ended in carnage. I figure it's only fair to state my background, if you will, before going on a feminist rampage.

For the record, this is me. And (some of) my cats.

After almost a year of being single and months of trying to figure out whether the dude I was into was into me or not (he wasn't), I decided to give online dating a whirl. It seemed like a great idea, a little bit too much like online shopping at times, but efficient and to the point. It says right on your profile what your interests are - which saves a lot of questions and talking and shit - as well as what you're looking for, be it a one night stand or something more long term.

At first I got a whole bunch of messages requesting slightly distasteful sex acts (the really classy ones were just pictures of turgid wangs with queries such as "u like it?" or "u want some" or variants thereof), but I quickly figured out how to set my account so that I could only get messages from dudes supposedly looking for a relationship, whatever that means (I also restricted guys who were listed as married and/or over fifty - a girl has to have standards).

Despite my precautions, most of the guys I "met" on there were pretty awful. On the plus side, when I got irritated, bored, or disgusted with the conversation I could just block the fucker and I never had to see them in person at all. Ever.

I did meet and go out with a few guys who were really nice and interesting people but just didn't really do it for me as far as potential boyfriend material for one reason or another. Then I met this guy, who we'll call Bob for the sake of kindness, who did kinda seem like the type of fella I could get with.

For starters, the "About Me" section of his profile, as well as the introductory message he sent me, were clever, sarcastic and self-deprecating. We went on a couple of dates, he was funny, educated and reasonably good looking, we had similar interests, liked the same kinds of movies, smoked the same brand of cigarettes and, according to his profile, he was looking for something long term and steady. Ka-ching.

Buuuut in the words of my friend who we'll call Liz because that's her name, "people lie". A month and a half of frustration, late night booty calls and terrible sex later, Bob told me he only ever wanted a fuck buddy. Great. That was a colossal waste of time. It was then that I realized that people go on dating sites for a reason. Bob's reasons were arrogance and unavailability. Mine were that I drink too much and hate to leave my house.

Short story long, I wrote the entire thing off as a learning experience, deleted my account and went back to more or less flying solo. The last time I communicated with Bob was nearly five months ago via text message while I was at a Christmas party, about a week after the whole "fuck buddy" conversation. I told him that I was going to go over to his place then evidently changed my mind, got drunk, sent him several incoherent strings of letters and passed out. In the morning, I sent him an apology and deleted his number out of my phone.

Honestly, I don't really know why I started texting him that night in the first place. I had, at that point, decided to cut my losses and moved on to bigger and better things (I didn't intend for that to be a sexual innuendo but it's true). My guess is that it had something to do with my dislike of sleeping alone. Also the beer, wine, rum, vodka, sour puss and jagermeister I was drinking at the time. Maybe, who knows.

Flash forward to today (or yesterday if you want to get technical). I get a text from an unknown number asking how I'm doing and what was up with the message I apparently left on his voicemail in my drunken fugue back in December. It was Bob (surprise!).

We exchanged pleasantries for fifteen or twenty minutes before he confirmed my suspicions regarding the reasons for his suddenly appearing out of fucking nowhere. Our conversation after that point is presented verbatim for posterity.

BOB: So if I invited you over for some wild face paced sex, would you get loaded and pass out again? Lol

ME: More than likely.

BOB: Lol, atta girl

ME: What can I say, I like to drink.

BOB: Even more than sex?

ME: Depends on the sex but in most cases yes.

BOB: Jesus, Thad [sic] dedication. Wanna get drunk and fuck?

ME: Not really no.

I hate to quote song lyrics in the middle of my blog, but a line from Ampersand by Amanda Palmer jumped into my mind: "Has any girl in history said, 'Sure, you seem so nice, let's get it on'?" I am very seldom surprised by how ignorant and gross human beings are, but I was shocked and more than a little bit offended by the sentiment. I hadn't made any effort whatsoever to get in touch with Bob in five months but he obviously thought there was a chance I would run and jump right back in his bed.

Then I took to thinking (which I always dangerous) - this particular case is an extreme one but it seems to me that people these days, both male and female, are getting really lazy when it comes to hooking up.

I understand that it's not the middle ages anymore, there's no such thing as courtly love, and I'm definitely not expecting anybody to pen a poem about my shimmering auburn tresses or stand under my window playing the lute. That would be kinda weird. I also understand that women, being human beings and not timid woodland creatures, do not need to be coaxed and lured and tricked. We want sex too.

However, saying things like "holy shit I'm horny", "let's make a sex tape" and "there's coke at my place if you want to come over" - all things men varying in relation from Total Stranger to Uncomfortable Acquaintance have said to me - are awful, awful ways to introduce yourself, and I really can't see them unlocking anybody's pants. One guy to whom I gave my phone number prior to deleting my account on the dating site texts me usually once every 4-6 weeks, same thing every time: "still single?" I told him I wasn't interested, told him I was seeing somebody, turned him down for a date I don't know how many times, but he still texts me.

One guy showed me a picture of his cock in a bar one night, while I was working no less. The weird thing with all of these guys is that they go about their bizarre wooing with such confidence and they seem to get angry when I'm unimpressed and/or repulsed. For some reason they genuinely think saying "I haven't got laid in seven months, you should come to my place tonight" is going to make me want to do anything besides walk away cringing.

It makes me wonder where these expectations come from. Is there an invisible sign over my head that reads, "I'm easy"? Yes, I am frank about my sexual tastes and experiences, I'm not a nun, and yes when it comes to hooking up or whatever I prefer people to be direct rather than taking the coy, fuckaround route, but holy fuck, there is such a thing as tact. And you know what, just because I'm uninhibited and do and say what I want doesn't mean I'm a slut. Learn about it. 


  1. Ohh dear how I have missed your rants!!!! I can't wait to get back home and hear them live!!!!! And I completely agree with you!!!! Keep it up!!!


    1. The live version costs about a half dozen beer.