The Worst of Online Dating: “Wanna Bang & Have Mutual Meals?”

Well, here we are.  Back to online dating.  Yikes.

While it does seem to work pretty well, online dating comes with some major annoyances, and beautifully hilarious encounters.  Women have a real advantage on these sites because men of all ages want to sleep with women in their 20s.  That means most messages are from men I have no interest in meeting, and who have very little in common with me.  Most messages just say, “how are you?” or “your beautiful.  what’s up?” and so on.

By the way, the “your” in “your beautiful” is how most of them are written.  Very few people have figured out that “your” and “you’re” are not at all the same.  

Basically, it’s mostly fine.  I don’t respond very often, but sometimes the particularly offensive messages inspire to write back.  Sometimes I just draft messages that I dream of writing, but don’t actually hit send.  Here’s my question: should I send them?

Below, I’ve sent along a beautifully bold message I received just today…  Should I send my super-weird response?  Should I just let it die?

————————————-

His beautiful message:

Hello,
I’m a full time student now doing masters, I work 40+ hrs at the Hosptial, and work occasionally in between that. So non-commitment sexual encounters with possible mutual meals is all I ever have time for this semester . As far as in the sheets go, I’m not turned on just by the mundane, gentle sex. I enjoy it time to time as a way to break up the rougher side. I’m definitely turned on the most by knowledge , intelligence and beauty which you seem to have all. If you have any questions you’d like to ask , I’ll answer anything.
Also I promise to keep things discreet .
Thanks,
Gary

My gross response:

Hey Gary,

While I am super-impressed that you have so much going on. I mean, I just have two jobs, two volunteers positions, classes, workshops, and self-respect, I can’t believe you’ve managed to stay awake long enough to write this charming message. I mean, my god, that’s impressive. If I had a job and some classes, I’d only be able to do that and sleep. Look at you, making time to troll the internet for women to screw.

It’s always nice when a complete stranger sends me a message that hints to their sexual proclivities. How unusual that you enjoy both slow and fast sex? I’ve never met a man who enjoyed different kinds of sex. You must be really deep. Personally, I’m only into completely silent, open-eyed, well-lit intercourse. I also enjoy wearing colonial dresses when I fornicate; it makes it more complicated, but it’s totally worth it.

It sounds like you are definitely turned on by intelligence. Sex is the best way for a person to express their intelligence. Before I put on my colonial sex dress, I usually give my potential sex partner a quiz on world history, algebra, and poetic forms. I only proceed with my straight-A students.

Here are some questions:
1. Has this ever worked?
2. How many women have you successfully banged? Please provide numbers for women you met online vs. women you met in person.
3. Why bother making a profile when you could just go to Rick’s or Necto?
4. What about my profile made you think I’d want to be your fuck buddy?
5. What’s your favorite color?
6. Can I call you Gare-Bear?
7. Can I please, please, please have your phone number? I can’t wait to come over!

All my love,
Ryan Gosling

Close Listen: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Glorifies Rape Culture, Is also Catchy

Oh, Robin Thicke.

Oh, “Blurred Lines.”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (who, I will admit, is super sexy) is everywhere these days.  The song, upon first and somewhat-distracted listening, is another generic pop song about sex or dancing or something…  It’s really catchy and it’s got some sonic soul.  The aesthetics of the song itself are groovy and cool.  If I hadn’t listened closely, I would probably like this song.

However, taking the time to listen to the lyrics provided me with the sadly not-so-shocking truth: “Blurred Lines” glorifies rape culture, portrays women as objects without agency, knowledge, or power, and suggests a problematic passage of women from one man to another.

Take a listen for yourself.

Wait… Before you do that, we need to talk about the video too.

THE VIDEO

The unrated version is below – very NSFW.  The video features three disaffected models wearing flesh-colored thongs…  As in, ONLY THONGS.  The boobies are out.  The models are sort of dancing.  It’s really rather weird.  Imagine what it was like to film that video.

Oh, so I just walk from side to side not really doing anything while these guys sing?  Okay.  Oh, and I’m naked.  Oh, I get a thong.  Great…

Awkward…

They let her wear clothes (sort of) but turned her into a road, on which they could drive their toys.

These very pretty, young women are strutting around while fully dressed men – all in suits –  perform a smarmy song around them.  It’s uncomfortable and everyone looks uncomfortable.  The women are making an effort to cover themselves some of the time, other times enjoying the bouncing… I guess.

At one point, one of the girls is holding a goat.  They’re wearing 90s shoes, plastic, and other weird stuff.  The men are all being horrible.

Ugh… Here it is.

BLURRED LINES – UNRATED – ROBIN THICKE, PHARRELL WILLIAMS, T.I.

THE LYRICS

The problem continues.

While the song is largely, well, stupid.  It’s a poorly written song about wanting to bang a hot chick.  We’ve all heard a lot of songs about this and many of them are offensive, reinforce stereotypes, and the objectification of women.  Even female artists participate in this a fair amount of the time.  Women often sing about how hot and desirable they are…  Men sing about their dicks.

The thing is, it’s a real problem to talk about women’s behavior meaning they want or need sex.  Consent is what’s sexy.  A girl dancing in a sexy way doesn’t mean she wants or needs to suck some dudes wiener. 

Women are allowed to be sexy, sensual, hot, attractive, pretty, and alluring without sex.  Nothing but consent is consent.  That’s just how it is.  Seeing a woman from across a room and having a feeling that she might “want it” doesn’t mean she really does.

Writing a song that repeats “I know you want it” six times per chorus sends a bad message.  It teaches young men and women that  seeming like they want sex is enough to consent actual sex.  But that’s not okay.  Sex should be something all participants agree to USING WORDS.  Not using eye movements or nods.  Telling men that they can tell when a woman wants sex by the way she dances isn’t helping anyone.  That’s teaching men that they know better.  They know something women don’t know.  Women need men telling them when sex should and will happen.

Except… WRONG.

The Chorus
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

 

“Plus” what, exactly?

ImageThe woman to the far right is Jennie Runk, pictured here in a Glamour spread circa 2009. The intarwebs have been a-buzz because she’s H&M’s new “plus size” swimwear model.

Let’s take another look. Here she is in H&M’s new swimwear shots:

ImageYes, apparently this size 12 woman is “plus-sized.” Excuse me? She looks HEALTHY. AND NORMAL. And pardon me, but I believe one finds size 12 in the “misses” (that is, the NOT plus-sized) section. Since when is this plus-sized? Certainly it’s not the size 0 we normally see, but should we really be calling this “plus”? Plus what? A normal amount of body fat and muscle?

As two women who are not size zeroes, we object. We object first because calling this woman anything other than normal is a gross misstatement. To imply that this woman is somehow heavier than she should be is nonsense. She looks beautiful as-is. I don’t just say this because when I look at most retailers’ models, I want to feed them giant Katz deli sandwiches by the fistful, but because this is the same kind of nonsensical distortion we get with the size zero model. Girls who are Ms. Runk’s size and one higher (14) are shopping in the section that advertises with size zeroes. Women who are size 16 and over are shopping for the clothes Ms. Runk is modeling. Isn’t it time we have just a bit of truth in advertising? If you’re going to sell “plus size” clothing, you need to use a plus size model. A model, that is, who wears size 16 or higher.

Additionally, there needs to be some parity across sizing. I give you the following anecdote: In December, I went looking for a New Year’s Eve dress. I headed to the predictable spots: Forever 21, H&M, etc. H&M was my first stop. My dress size, 95% of the time, is a 6 or 8. I do have a bit of trouble finding dresses that fit because I’ve got a lot of booty and not a lot of booby. But, I digress. I went looking for a black sequin number I saw on the website, and found they only had a size 4 left. I thought to myself, I might as well try this on. It’s realistically only one–maybe two–sizes below me. Maybe it will fit.

And what do you think happened?

Not only did this “dress” not fit over my ass, it hardly fit over my boobs! My tiny boobs! Most women who are my size or a bit smaller have bigger boobs than me! And, on top of that, the notion that this thing was a dress was a joke. Even if I had gotten it to begin fitting over my hips, it wouldn’t have made it much farther because there just wasn’t any more fabric! The damn thing was shirt for a 10 year old being passed off as a dress.

My call, therefore, is for parity in sizing as well as in advertising. I should be looking at models smack dab in the middle of the spectrum of “misses” (that’s a size six, by the way) and smack dab in the middle of “women’s.” And I should be able to reasonably enter a store and try on one or two sizes of clothing and find items that are at least close to fitting. I shouldn’t have to shop at store A as an 8 and then go over to store B and have to buy a 13/14. If we could actually get some real sense of what size we were and stick to it, and saw real humans modeling the clothes we’re buying, we’d significantly reduce the amount of body-hating that goes on.

The Thing About Facebook Is … It’s Free

Kids, tweens, teens, young adults, and man-boys everywhere have been complaining about Facebook like crazy. I am constantly seeing Facebook statuses (irony apparently lost on the vocal complainer) about how Facebook is changing too often and making the profile page look “weird” or “annoying.” People think there are too many ads and too many sponsored links. While I do think it is fine and good to have an opinion – heck, have a lot of opinions – I think we’re missing something here. See, Facebook is free.

When something is free, complaining about it becomes more of an exercise in whiny entitlement than a foray into informed and opinionated public concern. There is no nobility is demanding free stuff.

Some helpful analogies:

  • “Waiter! Waiter! You gave us free bread to eat while we wait for our entrees, but you didn’t bring us jam or soft cheeses or cinnamon butter or sandwich meats! This is outrageous!”
  • “My best friend offered to pick me up from work because my car broke, but she didn’t get to my office until 5:15 PM and I get done at 5:00 PM. It was so rude of her to not leave her job early to pick me up on time!”
  • “I was trying to figure out what song was stuck in my head today, but I could only remember like four of the words. I tried to Google it, but Google RUDELY couldn’t find the song. It took me like two weeks to find out it was a Ke$ha song the whole time.”
  • “There were free hotdogs at work today, but only yellow mustard. It was horrible. I quit on the spot and I’m suing them.”

These analogies might make it clear that complaining about free stuff because it’s not exactly perfect is actually quite absurd. No one protests the candy bowl at their optometrist’s office because they don’t have any pink Starburst left. No one swears when their mechanic gives them a pen without a gripper.

I get that people feel connected to Facebook and depend on it for daily interactions that are very important to them. That connection does not change the fact that Facebook is free service with unlimited storage for photos, free email and instant messaging, free self-promotion, and the free opportunity to control individual online identity. Ultimately, Facebook is pretty awesome and I cannot believe it is still free.

Maybe instead of freaking out about timeline or new messaging formats, people should be thankful that they get to do so much for so little. The ads keep it free. The changes keep investors interested, and they keep it free. Maybe instead of sweating social media, people could just call their friends on the phone. They could even go crazy and actually hang out with each other. It’s worked in the past.

Creep Week: On Almost-Dating Full-Blown Jerks

Have we all been there?  The almost-relationship with someone who claims to want a relationship and then never quite gets there.  This is someone who you know through friends or school or some other connection that forces you to keep crossing paths.  Occasionally, you have an almost-relationship with someone because things just don’t work out, or neither of you is ready for it.  Perhaps, it just doesn’t happen.  Sometimes, though, that person is a gosh darn jerk.

This is the kind of jerk who mutual friends will explain as someone you’ll need to get to know before you like.  You know, they’ll be the person that their dear friends hate, but claim they just have a “hard shell.”  Here’s a tip: that person is a dick.

This person will always claim to, “like you” or perhaps, “like you too much for x, y, or z.”  This person, this almost-lover will tell you that they, “would date you… IF x, y, or z were only a little different.”  It likely took you a while, but you figured it out.  You had to eventually realize that being stood-up, or sort of lied to, or jerked around, or whatever it was… it wasn’t good enough for you.

Oh, and when you’re finally a dick right back at this person, he/she will be shocked and get all indignant

Almost-Boyfriend Quotes

“I’ll call you.”

“I was just really busy this week.”

“Has it really been two weeks?  Oh, I thought I saw you on Wednesday… No, I’m sure we talked.”

“I lost my phone.”

“I was drunk.”

“When I said, ‘I love you,’ I meant it … you know… like as a friend thing.  You know.”

“I like you too much to date you.  I’d be a jerk.”

“I’ll break your heart.”

“Maybe I’m just a jerk.”

The Symptoms

  • You will get stood-up.
  • You will not receive replies.
  • You will be booty-called.
  • You will forgive and forgive and forget and forget and on and on and on and on…  You will become exhausted by forgiveness and you’ll always remember.

  • They’ll call/text out of the blue claiming to have changed.  You’ll allow them to come back into your life.
  • They haven’t changed.
  • You’ll like them.  You’ll really like them.
  • You’ll keep thinking about it.  You won’t be able to stop.  It’ll be a whole thing.

  • You’ll tell yourself that you can change them.  You’ll unbreak his/her heart, and you’ll make them a real person again.  You’ll make them want a relationship.  You’ll make them love you.  But, you can’t.  You can’t make them love you.  They’re never going to treat you well, so give up.  They suck.  They like themselves (outwardly).  You can’t change it.

  • They will drive you crazy.
  • They will never be your boyfriend.
  • You’ll be like – “I fixed you!” And they’ll be like – “BYE!”
  • They will make you cry.  Like a lot.

The Lesson

If you come across someone who is too busy to date you, or thinks they like you too much, or whatever excuse it might be, that person will never date you.  It’s the whole “He’s just not that into you” business.  Don’t waste your time on an almost-lover.

 

Horrible Realization: I’m Too Old for Cheap Beer

When I was in college, I could drink like a fish.  I put huge douchey dudes to shame with my incredible ability to chug, handle, and hold my cheap liquor and beer.  I preferred nicer beer, even in those days, but I wasn’t about to turn down a few dozen free cans of Natty Light or PBR.  You just don’t do that in college.  You drink what you are given… You know, if it’s not from a very shady source.  Hell, even if it is shady, you might consider it if it’s totally free.  I mean, you’re supposed to be poor in college.  Why not enjoy cheap-ass bear?

College students love beer.

Everyone loves beer.

However, not everyone can drink cheap beer like 20-year-olds.

Once graduation occurs, and you move on graduate school or perhaps a real-life, grown-up job with benefits and a salary and everything, your lifestyle inherently changes.  It just does.  Life is very different after college.  Now, instead of just wanting to get drunk and maybe get a date or two out of some dude/lady, you are actually talking about relationships and even….  MARRIAGE.  Well, maybe just long-term or like… living together or something.  You’re still figuring that part out.  Anyways…

Life after graduation is quite an adjustment.  It takes some g.d. time, y’all.  And that’s okay.

There are many lessons a post-graduate must learn, and one of the first I learned…  Nah, actually the most obvious one I learned, was that I cannot drink the way and the crap I once could.  I’m a grown-up now, and Natty Lite ain’t gonna cut it.

When you start to get old, your body can’t handle the vinegar/acid/gasoline contained in cheap beer.  At least, the body can’t handle it at the same level.  When a body is young and virile, it can fight off the poisons of cheap beer – the pee in Busch Light or the dirt in Natural Ice.  When a body gets older, it starts to give up on dying and it wants to live.  Cheap beer wants to kill you and your body.  Old bodies know better.  They demand good beer.

Older bodies also don’t want you to make them suffer with yucky beer.  I learned this the hard way.

I have now learned, once and for all, that I am now too old to drink a whole bunch of crappy beer.  My body hates it.  My body wants to be a temple instead of a garbage can.  I must obey.

Until very recently, I was entirely immune to hangovers.  I had only once had a hangover, and it was after a week of no-sleep and then heavy, celebratory drinking.  You can read about a lot that night in the post, “When Kate and Patty (Almost) Got in a Bar Fight.”  With that one exception, I have been a total boss.  This has annoyed many people.  Understandably so…  Hangovers suck.  Now that I’m a little older, I’m starting to catch them.

After a night of drinking… we’ll say “some” beers, I have started to feel a little less-than-great the next morning.  Therefore, I must accept that I’m now too old for drinking cheap beer like a college-kid.

Damn.

Quotes from Children Yelling in a Deli

I spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon in a deli, which was overrun with rambunctious children for a little over an hour.  They were eating frozen yogurt and it was horrifying and funny.  There was a lot of controversy over who got what toppings and if these toppings were “fair.”  There were two adult women (known as Mommy) and about six kids.  They were loud and proud.  Oh, and weird.  They were wonderfully weird.  Here is a sampling of what I heard.

“You’re mommy has a STINK FLOWER!”

“Mom.  Am I invisible now?”
“How ’bout now?”
“Now?”

“She called me a ‘PEANUT.  Punish her.”

(Hits brother.)
“He hit himself!  It wasn’t me.  It wasn’t!”
(Brother silently weeps.)

“Mommy, get me water.  I’m thirsty.  Mommy!  Water!  Water!   Please get me water.  I want water.  Water!  Can you get me water, pleeeaaassseee?  Mommy?  Are you dead?  Can you hear me?  Get me WATER!  Where is the water?  Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Can you PLEASE get me some water?  I’m thirsty.  I need water.  I’m thirsty for water!  MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!”

“Let’s attack the water.”
“Why?”
“Because it must DIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!”

“This place has been attacked by zombies.  The zombie gave me ice cream.  This is zombie ice cream.  These are zombie gummy worms! Everyone run!” (This did scare one of the smaller girls with them.)

“You sit. I talk.  Those are the rules!”

“Why is the baby SO FAT?”

“Mommy.  Am I pooping?”

“Is this my new room?”

“BATHROOM!  NOW!”
(Dramatic pause.)
“Nevermind.  It’s too late.”
(Look of fear on mother’s face unlike anything I’ve ever seen.)

“I’m going to be a monkey.  Watch!” (Climbs wall.  Falls.  Cries.)

“Where’s dad?”

“Mommy, can we have a screaming contest?”

“I want to open the door!”
“NO! It’s my turn.”
“NEVER!”

“I’m the fastest boy.” (Runs.  Falls.  Cries.)

“I can smell you from the night!”
“Well, you smell like a meanie!”
“They can smell you on the moon… because you smell so bad.”
“I hate you.”
(Moms comes around the corner and gives the two boys a look.)
Together: “Love you.” (They hug.)

I’ve Been Too Hard on “Skinny”

A while ago, I wrote a post about how amazing Beyonce’s thighs are, which remains indisputable.

However, what I also did in that post was talk about thin, skinny, little thighs as “unnatural” and less than ideal.  That’s not fair either.

I do think that glorifying unhealthy weight – on either end of the spectrum – is dangerous.  It is dangerous to glorify being so thin that for most people to achieve it, they would have to starve themselves.

Thin thighs are not “unacceptable,” “horrible,” nor are they somehow inherently “bad.”  It is not bad to be a thin person.  No one is a villain simply having thin thighs.

What is bad and scary, then?

It is bad and scary to push a body to extremes.  It is bad to glorify thinness above all else.  It is bad to glorify unhealthy habits that push people into unhealthy weights.  Just as a person can be too fat, a person can be too thin.  Both are bad.  The thing, not a lot of people are striving to be fat.  A lot of people are spending their days and nights obsessing over being thin at any price.  A lot of people have blogs and tumblrs devoted to “thinspo” with all kinds of ways to get skinny.  There are too many little girls and women out there who hurt themselves to achieve a level of thin that is not healthy for them.

That said, making thin women the villain is wrong.

Thin women just so happen to be thin.  Many people want to be thin, and that’s okay.  But wanting to be thin, or wanting to have Beyonce’s thighs, at any cost… that’s scary.

Also, Beyonce is amazing.

Bodies should be allowed to be as they are.  When society pressures us to go against our bodies, society is wrong.  Love your thighs.  Even if they chaff and wiggle.  Even if they’ve never touched.