Is She Right For You?

Ever have a problem where you keep dating the “wrong” person over and over again? Do you keep wondering why every woman seems to be awesome… but they never seem to work out? Have you gotten caught up in a cycle where you date someone and it’s amazing in the early stages, but it explodes spectacularly by the time you get past the three month mark? Have you been wondering why you just can’t ever seem to find someone who’s right for you?

It’s actually an incredibly common problem. Guys are very good at convincing ourselves that someone is the right one because… well, mostly because we just really want them to be. 

"Well it all depends on how loosely you're willing to define 'right'..."

“I think you’re underestimating the power of my denial, Doc.”

When you’re single – especially when you’re socially inexperienced – it’s easy to assume that you’d be ok with a woman, any woman, just so long as you were actually coming into contact with another person finally. It’s even easier to think that you’d be ok with someone you weren’t actually compatible with just so long as you got to experience what everybody else but you seems to get, at least for a little while. But that doesn’t last. And when it’s over… well, you’re back where you were before. Even a little worse off than you were before. Believe me: being with the wrong person is in many ways worse than being alone. There’s nothing like trying to make things work with someone you were not compatible with to make you feel horrible about yourself.

No, you want to find the right woman. The one who gets you. The one who makes your heart seize in your chest because you can’t believe she’s so incredible. The one that’s going to last because you’ve actually got a deep-seated compatibility that goes beyond looks or superficialities.

The next time you’re starting to feel out the long-term potential, there are some questions you need to ask yourself.

Is She Actually Compatible With You?

Guys, especially nerdy guys, frequently mistake “compatibility” with “likes all the same things I do”. After all, what’s not to love about a woman who digs all the same video games, television shows and comics you do? You’d never fight! You could play Xbox and then make out on the couch! How is that not the world’s greatest foreplay?

At least until his boner gets  a sad when she smokes him in Geometry Wars

At least until his boner gets a sad when she smokes him in Geometry Wars.

On a surface level, this would seem like an obvious must-have; after all, we prefer people who are similar to us. So why wouldn’t we want someone who was into all the things we’re passionate about?

The problem is that marking off a checklist of things that you both like isn’t the same thing as compatibility. Geeky guys make this mistake all the time; they internalize the idea that being geeky or having geeky interests makes them undatable and end up fetishizing Geek Girls as someone who legitimizes them for being geeks. Other guys – especially ones who’ve had conflicts with previous girlfriends over their interests and hobbies – may focus just as quickly on sports or twee indie shoegaze bands or craft beers or what-have-you. Clearly the problem was that she didn’t like the same things I did; find someone who does and boom: problem solved and it’s blowjobs and champagne for everybody.

People who believe this way are sharing an incredibly common misunderstanding about compatibility. Compatibility isn’t about having everything in common; in fact, one of the ways to strengthen a relationship is to have separate interests. Compatibility is about being in harmony with one another. It’s not a question of whether or not she’s as into fantasy sports leagues as you are or is equally obsessive about Game of Thrones and True Detective, it’s about whether she can appreciate that you love them. Can she understand your love of tabletop RPGs and painting miniatures even if she doesn’t grok it herself? Is she willing to indulge you and support you in your passions instead of mocking them or telling you to give them up?

It doesn’t matter if she loves Vampire Diaries and you think it’s a vapid storyline full of pretty people that goes nowhere and goddamn it, 2/3rds of their problems would be solved if Damon and Stefan would just quit fighting about Elena and start exploring the possibilities of a poly triad. That’s a micro issue, one that’s insignificant as long as you match up  in the macro areas.

For example:

Do You Sync, Sexually?

This trips up many, many couples over the long run. Sexual compatibility is incredibly easy when you’re still in the grip of that New Relationship Energy. Mammals are coded for sexual novelty – known as the Coolidge Effect – and when we’re with a new partner we tend to fuck like a pair of weasels on meth with Viagra IV drips and a 50 gallon tub of AstroGlide. That newness spurs passion and intensity and prompts you to want to stress test every flat surface in your apartment.

Not to mention finding new and inventive uses for a spatula and olive oil.

Not to mention finding new and inventive uses for a spatula and olive oil.

But that initial passion fades, faster than you might expect, and that’s when you’re faced with the question of how well the two of you mesh up in bed. The most common issue comes from mis-matched libidos – she may want it every day and twice on Sundays while you’re ok with once a week or so… if nothing good is on TV. Unless accommodations can be reached, then one or both of you end up frustrated and resentful; she’s frustrated that her needs aren’t being met while he resents feeling like he’s obligated to “put out” all the time, even when he really doesn’t want to.

But sexual compatibility goes deeper than just whether you’re on the same sex schedule; it also means that your interests align. Someone who has a need for power-exchange games and BDSM in their sex is going to have a hard time with a partner who’s only interested in missionary with the lights off. While it’s important for couples – in the words of Dan Savage – to be GGG1 there comes a point where a fundamental disconnect in sexual practices becomes an irreconcilable point of strife. As with the previous section, it doesn’t mean that the two of you need to have his-and-her matching floggers and ball-gags, but it does mean that if one or the other has a kink the other can’t (or won’t) indulge within reason… well, it’s going to be a problem that’s only going to get worse over time.

A related issue is compatible levels of adventurousness. One thing that happens is that while you’re single or just dating, you’re having crazy, wild sexual adventures; you’re banging out in concert bathrooms, experimenting with new tricks and positions, enjoying sex in the great outdoors… and then “settling down” in a relationship and assuming that the adventures are over because you’re in something “serious” now. If you have differing expectations of what your sex life is going to be over the long-term – you expect soft-focus, candle-lit love-making while she wants to continue the lust-fueled adventures until you’re the kinkiest couple in the retirement home – then you’re going to be facing increasing conflicts over the course of the relationship.

Can You Talk To Her? Can You Not Talk To Her?

Communication is, hands down, one of the most important parts of a relationship. Everything, and I do mean everything, in a relationship ultimately comes down to whether or not you two can communicate on the same level. This doesn’t just mean being able to explain your wants and needs or the times when you feel hurt or upset (although this is important). This means just being able to just be with her. To hang out on the couch or at a coffee shop or what-have-you and just talk. No agendas. Not trying to get into her pants or trying to build towards something but just being able to chat, purely for the sake of wanting to connect. To share. To relax. To just… be.

Someone who’s right for you is someone you can feel comfortable with. Someone you’re not always putting on a show for. You don’t feel like you always have to impress her or prove you’re the A+ alpha dog living the life of Riley. You’re just able to let everything go, relax and just have a conversation with her.

"You sure this isn't a prelude to sloppy make-outs? Because it totally could be. I'm just sayin'."

“You sure this isn’t a prelude to sloppy make-outs? Because it totally could be. I’m just sayin’.”

We make jokes about how the guy who has the long and deep talk with a woman all night long has just missed the opportunity to get laid, but that ability to connect with someone on an intimate and emotional level is critical to a relationship. Someone who’s right for you is someone you feel utterly comfortable with, someone you can share anything with, whose insight you appreciate even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.

But this also has another side to it: can you not talk to her? That is: can you appreciate the silence with her, without feeling like you have to fill the void with words and sounds and activity? That comfort and intimacy means that their presence is enough; you don’t need to babble or fill in the silence because sometimes words are very unnecessary and they can only do harm.2

Is She Really “Right” For You Or Are You Repeating A Pattern?

One of the signs that you keep going for people who aren’t right for you is that your relationships tend to follow distinct patterns. If you’ve ever known somebody (or are somebody) who’s consistently dated women who’ve all turned out to be “crazy bitches” or who inevitable dump him for somebody better, then you’ve seen those patterns in action. Another incredibly common example are the relationships that start off fireworks and passion, then rapidly cool off to boredom and disinterest.

It can be tempting to want to write it all off as bad luck or something about the inherent fickleness of women3 but if you legitimately want to seek out the cause, then sometimes you have to embrace a cold and hard truth: sometimes you are the only common denominator in all of your relationships.

"So it's my fault? Way to blame the victim, Doc."

“So it’s my fault? Way to blame the victim…”

Everyone has their preferences, but just because someone’s your type doesn’t mean that they’re automatically right for you. In fact, there are many times when that “preference” is a form of self-sabotage. It may be an unconscious issue – feeling that you don’t deserve to be happy, believing that you couldn’t possibly get someone who is right for you so you go for people who are somehow attainable – even when you know that a long-term relationship with them is going to be the emotional equivalent of years of dick-punches.

On the other hand, it could be behavior on your part that drives women away – for example, falling in Twu Wuv every time like a gosling imprinting on the nearest warm body. Or you may be consistently mistaking sexual attraction and/or limerence for compatibility and when that initial buzz wears off… well, there was never really anything there except that initial attraction.

Part of understanding whether she’s right for you is knowing yourself. Nobody is going to be right for you if you’re unable to recognize that you’re not making the right choices. You have to have a level of self-awareness and a willingness to take an objective look at your love life and the people you’re attracted to. Yes, cold and dispassionate logic may feel like the antithesis of love, but it’s often the way you avoid heartbreak. When you’ve chased after the same “type” over and over again, only to find that it ends in disaster every time, then you need to be willing to admit that maybe you need to look to other women. If the patterns of your relationships suggest that you’re continually breaking up after a certain number of months, then you need to examine the patterns that lead to the failure and – critically – be willing to address them. If you’re continually making the same mistakes, there will be no “right”, only varying shades of “wrong”.

Can You Trust Her?

In the scheme of things, being able to trust someone is a fairly glaringly obvious must-have. After all, if you’re going to be forming a relationship with her, you need to be able to trust her.

But trust isn’t just about whether or not you can expect someone to not betray a monogamous commitment. Nor is it just about not worrying about what they’ve been up to when you haven’t seen them all day or even whether you can give them a key to your apartment and not come home to find all of your stuff missing. Yes, this is all incredibly important… but that’s not all that trust is. Trust is a many-sided thing, and something that’s going to directly affect whether or not she’s right for you.

"'Many-sided?' You're talking about dice, aren't you? Damn it, I just got those trained just how I wanted them..."

“‘Many-sided?’ You’re talking about dice, aren’t you? Whether I should let her touch my dice.”

The question is whether you can trust her with yourself. Not just with your heart, but with your true self. The “you” that’s there when you’ve removed all of your armor, the “you” when you aren’t putting up the personas and false-faces we all present to the world.

Are you able to trust her enough to show her your dark side? Are you comfortable enough, secure enough with her that you can trust her with knowing the parts of you that you’re ashamed of, the parts that you try to wish away, the ones you bury deep down and try to hide from everybody – including yourself? Can you trust her enough to share your entire self with her and to still have her accept you? Can you trust her enough to be open, to be emotionally naked in front of her? To let your real emotions flow, no matter how embarrassing or “unmanly” they may be? Are you able to share not just your hopes and dreams but your fears and anxieties? Can you trust her enough to admit that you’re scared without fearing her thinking less of you?

That level of trust is hard to come by. It’s easy to trust somebody on the surface – not to break a promise to us, not to lie, to live up to their responsibilities. It’s another entirely to trust her with your soul.

And it should be. Because someone who’s right for you is someone special.

So keep all this in mind. Because you want to make sure that you’re right for her too.

  1. Good or skilled in bed, Giving of pleasure and Game for trying new things within reason []
  2. Yes, I listen to a lot of New Wave. Shut up. []
  3. No, seriously, don’t do this. []

Comments

  1. Stardrake says:

    #2 was one of the first and biggest signs of my last relationship dying – we went from always being able to have one of those fun, agenda-free conversations to, well, not being able to.

  2. inertia19xx says:

    "This means just being able to just be with her. To hang out on the couch or at a coffee shop or what-have-you and just talk. No agendas. Not trying to get into her pants or trying to build towards something but just being able to chat, purely for the sake of wanting to connect. To share. To relax. To just… be"

    I think that is one of the biggest things for me deciding if I want to date someone. Being able to chat and connect. Not bantering about sex. Just connecting to eachother in the view of the world and life. Sharing things.

    For me, that goes along with the trusting the other person with myself.

  3. Ladyethyme says:

    Actually, compatibility has a LOT to do with similar interests. The old quote “opposites attract” MAY be true for the initial honeymoon phase, but actually doesn’t hold much stock as the relationship progresses. It isn’t enough that someone just “appreciates” that you’re a geek-(or whatever); eventually you’re going to get lonely going to Comicon alone, or having her shrug when you find that bluray box set of X that you’ve been searching for. Having someone to share that excitement, and passion for what you love is something that’s going to help solidify the relationship in the long term.

    • HeatherH says:

      There is a difference between having some similar interests and having ALL the same interests. You do, in fact, need to have things you enjoy doing together.. but I think the Doc is more talking about people who think that the person has to love ALL the same things you do. And thats just not the case.

      I LARP. My fiancé does not. No interest in it at all, but he asks me about the story and how its progressing and shows interest. He loves comics, and I've never been an avid comics fan. But I can empathize and get excited for him when he finds a rare one he's been looking for. And then we both have a great time with board games and geeking out on films together.

      The point of 'appreciating' your interest that that she WOULDN'T just shrug when you find that box set, but be happy for you that you are excited. If you're trying to find someone who shares all the same passions as you, 100%… you'll always be looking.

      If you're getting lonely going to Comicon by yourself, maybe you should go with some friends, and appreciate it as 'me' time. It doesn't spell the doom of your relationship if you're interests don't line up 100%

      • But at the same time, I'd think it would a huge red flag if a significant other couldn't find SOMETHING to like at Comic-Con. That might be too wide a gap in interests.

        • eselle28 says:

          That seems fair. I think a more likely gap would be "I want to use our vacation time to travel to go to Comic Con, My partner likes Comic Con well enough, but would rather use the time and the money to go to the beach or visit family." That seems like a more typical hobby conflict than some of the black and white discussions of complete geeks and partners who hate anything remotely geeky.

          • That's true, and I'd imagine someone who'd rather, say, hit the beach could still have fun in San Diego while the geeky partner geeked it up in the convention center. Then, at night, the Gaslamp District becomes a crazy convergence of those two seemingly disparate groups. A more unilateral response or an unwillingness to compromise (a discussion that has to take place almost half a year in advance at this point) would be the real red flag as far as compatibility goes.

            Comic-Con is a really interesting and illustrative test case for compatibility.

          • eselle28 says:

            A beachgoer, sure. Someone who wants to go to Europe or spend vacation with family, not so much. But I don't think that's a lightning rod for compatibility. I know a lot of couples with preferences more or less along those lines who are fairly compatible, and they make it work by alternating vacation spots or occasionally taking trips separately.

            (Personal bias on this: I self-describe as a geek and would be happy to go to Comic Con…but not every year. If my partner wanted to spend all of his vacation days going to cons, I'd need to request that we sometimes travel alone.)

          • Oh, even though I do manage to go every year, I wasn't thinking of someone refusing a yearly, compulsory jaunt as the red flag. Rather, someone unwilling to entertain the thought of going even once. That would suggest, at least amongst the nerdy folk, a cause for concern.

        • But it might not reflect a gap in interests per se. I like comics, but I hate Comic-Con; I would have trouble dating someone who really wanted to go to Comic-Con not because I dislike comics but because I dislike the way of enjoying things that Comic-Con (in my experience) represents. That said, I think that also makes it a reasonable litmus test for ways of liking, not just for topics of liking.

        • I'd like to go to Comic-Con…once or twice. For me, it's not so much a matter of interests or subject matter as environment. Large noisy rooms (particularly if they are on the warm side) which are packed full of people (who may or may not practice good hygiene or etiquette) get downright exhausting to me fairly quickly. So for me it'd be something to do once for the experience or if there was something or someone in particular that I really wanted to see, but especially since I get very little vacation time, it likely wouldn't be something I'd want to do annually.

          • thathat says:

            Off-topic a bit, but I would suggest not going to Comic-Con, but going to *A* comic-con. Heroes con is really nice–small-ish, creator-oriented, easy to talk to artists and writers, not too squished. Dragon*Con is a massive, usually very pleasant party, and if you're staying in one of the hotels, it's pretty easy to flee to your own room. Comic-Con has become a lot about lines and lines and latest news.

            For me, I'd rather date someone who enjoys cons, or is at least willing to come, because I work cons a lot, so the moral support alone would be appreciated (plus, someone who is excited by and has fun at cons is more likely to–coming full circle–enjoy things the way I do.)

      • sheisonthemove says:

        I think that respecting the other person's interests/hobbies and not being dismissive of them is important, and probably even more important than sharing lots of things in common. My boyfriend plays video games, something I've never had an interest in. But I can appreciate that for him it's a way of winding down and relaxing just as much as reading romance novels is for me. Someone who judges you for the things you like, though, seems like a red flag (as long as these interests aren't things that are potentially dangerous – physically or financially).

    • eselle28 says:

      I don't think anyone's claiming that interests have nothing to do with compatibility, just that a person with a compatible personality and sexual tastes who shares some but not all of your hobbies might be a better match than someone who will never watch a TV show you think is stupid but who clashes in other ways.

    • StarlightArcher says:

      Compatibility also doesn't have to be about interests. It could be a compatible approach to life. What I mean is, you may not love WWE wrestling like he does, but you have similar approaches to finances. He may never understand your abiding devotion for all things Doctor Who, but he has the same plan about kids as you do.

      Having similar interests can be great, but it also won't cover the bigger issues. When you want to focus on saving for a house, and he wants to spend all his money on your favorite hobby cosplay. Having compatible priorities to me is more important than loving or even appreciating all hobbies that a partner does.

      • thathat says:

        On a similar vein, you can see compatibility in approach to your interests. Taking something like, say, comics. If you both like comics, then superficially, you have that in common. But there are so very many ways that people like comics. There are so many different kinds of people who like comics. There are people who rage against every little change, there are people who only read super-books, there are people who never read super-books, there are people who are enthralled by the artform on its own, and people who take it Way Too Seriously, people who cosplay, and people who get second-hand embarrassment just looking at pictures of con-goers.

        Your approach to life can probably be seen in your approach to things you're a fan of.

        Leaving aside romantic relationships, my closest friend and I don't have many fandoms in common–we'll both go see the latest nerd movie, but usually because one person is a huge fan of Thing Movie Is About, and the other one enjoys it alright. But the way he likes his interests and the way I like my interests are similar–our enthusiasm level is the same, so neither of us feel stupid when we go to the other one to gush about some random, obscure bit of 19th century history or current comicbook trivia we just read.

        But similar interests…nah, that's nowhere near enough. I know people who like the same movies, books, shows, and bands as me that I can't be in the same room with.

        • fuzzilla says:

          **But similar interests…nah, that's nowhere near enough. I know people who like the same movies, books, shows, and bands as me that I can't be in the same room with.**

          Exactly. Having common interest helps, but someone can share absolutely all your interests, yet be an a**hole or insufferably boring or Insert Negative Quality Here. Someone can have hardly any surface things in common with you and yet you sync up beautifully as far as life goals, on a deeper emotional level, etc.

          I get that, but it's tough to advertise for intangible qualities and much easier to list a bunch of books and bands you like on OKCupid. I noticed recently that all my close friends have big issues with their moms, and that accounts for a lot of the emotional resonance – but that's not something to put in a dating profile, you know?

          Maybe there's no way around sorting out whether you have the right intangible qualities but to just meet and do your homework in person?

          • eselle28 says:

            I don't think it's wise to even try to sort out the intangibles online. That's the place to get the big ticket tangible qualities sorted out – would you ever consider sleeping with this person, are you looking for the same kind of relationship, do you have the same basic values and a few of the same interests – without getting too hung up on the minutiae.

        • I think the other thing that makes "compatible ways of liking, not necessarily about exactly the same things" a really fruitful approach is that you are both going to change during your relationship. You won't love the same things a year from now, and neither will your partner – but if you love things in similar or at least in compatible ways, it will be easiest for the two of you to grow and change together, and make it more likely that you will come to share interests over time. Obviously this is less important if you're not looking for something long-term, but for lasting love, you want to be thinking ahead.

          • eselle28 says:

            That's a good point. I actually find that I get along better with people who have interests in the same general genres I do and who are fond of discussing plot and character development than I do with people who like the exact same things and who are more interested in discussing how things line up with existing lore or production details. That trait has been fairly constant throughout my life, so a partner who can have those discussions is good for me even if all of our current favorite shows were cancelled (not that I'm trying to tempt fate).

      • fakely_mctest says:

        I've always thought it's more about complementary interests than identical ones. There are different flavors of subcultures that spring up around basically any sort of activity imaginable. I tend to think they shake out (broadly!) into categories like indoor vs. outdoor, active vs. passive, earnest vs. tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted vs. serious. So, for example, my friend the blacksmith with the degree in French medieval history is not the best ever person to go to ren fest with because the deliberate anachronisms drive him up a tree (at least until you get a couple beers in him). Or someone who's deeply into the whole culture and socialization aspect of road riding on weekends might be too intense for someone who's a regular on local hiking trails. Both are active, outdoor pursuits but biking has an extra element of intensity to it.

        • StarlightArcher says:

          There's certainly something to be said for that, but I was thinking a bit broader. All the shared love of medieval trivia in the world won't mitigate the conflict of one partner wanting twelve children and the other who wants to be child-free. Or him believing that credit cards are the answer to all life's financial problems and you wanting to eat top ramen for a year so you can save for a dream vacation. Making sure that your goals, priorities, values and personalities mesh is more important (to me) than any hobby or passion. Because those things are essentially transient. New hobbies come along, old passions die as we out grow them, but our priorities are a bit harder to restructure.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            I see it as a combination of three things, really. There are major life philosophical underpinnings that should be in accord, there are ideas about the nuts-and-bolts of life (cooking, cleaning, timing of bill paying, etc.), and there are these things that we do for entertainment and fulfillment. While I agree that many people go from hobby to hobby, the basic core of what attracts them to various activities is pretty steady I think. Our knowledge of others and our growing care and love for them are so often based on various shared experiences that aggregate to become illustrative of our core selves that being interested in the same sorts of things is also important.

      • Is it too much to ask for both, though? In these types of conversations, we always seem to approach things as an either/or. Is it too much to find someone who always has an abiding devotion to Doctor Who AND a compatible approach to finances?

        I think what a lot of people also tend to miss is that hobbies and interests are very important to begin with, but may taper off as the relationship goes on. Things like finances and other approaches to life don't rear their heads until WAY far down the road. When dating, if I had limited my selection to people who were compatible with me at life in things like finances and philosophy and things, I probably would have never found anybody-because those sorts of things come out gradually, in due courses, with lots of conversations. Frankly, it's just way easier to find a partner who shares my hobbies, because that's the sort of thing you talk about to begin with.

        I agree with what a lot of people say, that sharing interests is important, and it only becomes problematic if you expect them to share ALL of your interests. I think going the opposite way and saying interests are barely important, and it's all about life approach, can be just as damaging an idea…. If I was in a relationship with someone who didn't share any of my interests, it didn't matter how much we clicked in the bedroom or saving goals or how much he "respected" them, I'd be bored out of my mind. What the heck would we talk about all those times we aren't screwing? Work? Ick, allow me to just puncture my eardrums here.

        • StarlightArcher says:

          "Is it too much to ask for both, though?"

          That's really something only the individual can answer. And for me that answer has gone through a million permutations. In a perfect world we'd all find partners who shared all our core priorities and all our passions with equal fervor. Perhaps because I've had relationships built on hobbies alone that always crumbled, I put more value on priorities. Perhaps because I've found greater compatibility with partners who shared almost none of my interests, I tend to fall down on that side of the scale.

          I've never had more boring conversations than I did with those partners who shared all my interests. Because once you got past the initial "you love X thing too? [nerdgasm]" there wasn't much else to talk about. There was never anything new to say that wasn't already said or intuited. So all we did was have the same conversation over and over again. I'd rather listen to someone geek out about fantasy football or the intricacies of geo-political science rather than have one more talk about the wonders of fiberglass and Batman. I'd much rather learn something new, even if I don't love it.

          • Well and that's just a fundamental difference between us. I can very easily take a conversation where we both love the same thing, and go deeper with it. "But what did you think about X? How did you relate to Y? That plot point Z-do you think it meant A?" These are all questions and analytical conversations I can't have if someone doesn't already know and enjoy the source material.

            Someone geeking out on something I don't know or don't understand, on the other hand, means I'm just kind of sitting there like an idiot, going "Um-that's nice." I can ask questions, sure, but then just replace me with one of those 20 Questions games, cause that's all the good I'm doing. Learning something new is nice, but I find I only enjoy new activities if I may seek it out or something in particular seems to catch me. There is not a bone in my body that ever wants to learn about hockey, fishing or golf, and no way on Earth to make conversations involving those things interesting.

            I think this is just an area where people need to be very aware of themselves and what works for them. I just don't dig it when I see people putting down interests and shared hobbies as something unimportant, since for some of us, it's the only way we can really identify with someone.

          • fuzzilla says:

            I think common interests certainly can be and often are a great building block for a relationship, but it's not always necessary.

            That's true that if you don't have many similar interests, then you're *constantly* compromising on what makes for a fun way to spend your time. I would start to feel like, "Wow, what am I even doing here?" Unless the other parts of the relationship were just out of this f*cking world amazing to make up for all the compromising…

            I know I'm a huge music geek and the last guy I dated didn't even know who Lou Reed was (things were super-hot at first, then fizzled. The lack of compatible interests was workable, but might've been a nail in the coffin, sure).

            I think the larger issue is that everyone wants someone who just plain "gets" them, deep down. Is sharing fandoms necessary for that? Maybe, maybe not.

          • "I think common interests certainly can be and often are a great building block for a relationship, but it's not always necessary."

            If we're not saying it's necessary depending on the individual, then we agree. It isn't necessary for everyone. But it IS necessary for some people, like me. I think stressing self awareness and knowledge is a lot more important than blanket statements, as there are going to be things that one person doesn't consider important or necessary that another person might.

          • Absolutely. And for you having the exact same interests is very important because you have difficulty enjoying talking about things you aren't familiar with. That is perfectly reasonable.

            But since common interests are talked of so often as a sign that you and a potential partner are right for each other, it's I think important to talk about what others in this thread have been talking about. That compatible interests does not necessarily mean you are compatible. As others have said, the WAY you enjoy your interests is just as important as WHAT you enjoy. I am in the nerd community, go to cons, hang out with my fellow nerds, and I can tell you I know that there are many differences between fans of the exact same thing. Big sweeping differences. Just because you both like ST:OS for example does not mean you are meant to even be in the same room together. For example let's say some dude said this to me: "I like ST:OS because Kirk is a real man, he takes charge like men should do, fucks whatever woman he wants because he's captain, does none of this wishy washy diplomacy that Picard does. Picard's a girly man. A pussy. Totally whipped." Yeah. If anyone spoke to me about ST:OS like that I'd be . . . um . . . "I too am rather a fan, but I'm also a feminist and you disgust me. I'm going to go stand over here now."

            At any rate, Marty, it's good you know what you need and can articulate it. It's just as important that others can do the same. And warning people that having things in common doesn't always mean you'll like the other person, I think, is a rather important message to get out there because it is a rare one that we don't often dissect.

          • I don't think the intention is to say it's unimportant so much as to say that its importance is much inflated in nerd communities specifically. For some people (like you) it may actually be that important, but for your average person it isn't – or at least it doesn't have to be unless they're told that shared interests are a critical litmus test.

        • eselle28 says:

          I don't know if there's one answer to that question. It depends a great deal on other factors, like whether a person's interests and other expectations for a relationship are common or rare among potential dates, how appealing they are to potentially compatible people, and what their tolerance is for the possibility they wind up alone. Someone who struggles with dating, has very esoteric hobbies, and who very badly wants to find a partner might need to compromise a bit. A popular person whose interests are common in their peer group and who's in no hurry to settle down might not.

          As for the other compatibility factors, I don't actually think they show up so late in a relationship if someone's actively looking for them and willing to initiate conversations about those topics. (Also, don't you do at least some of this? I'm pretty sure I've seen you saying that you wouldn't consider dating someone who didn't want children or who didn't like dogs. Those are compatibility factors). Personally, someone who has similar interests but some other large incompatibility is going to get classified as casual dating or friendship only, because there are some traits that I've found to be sufficiently incompatible that I'm not willing to invest in a serious relationship with someone who has them.

          • "Also, don't you do at least some of this? I'm pretty sure I've seen you saying that you wouldn't consider dating someone who didn't want children or who didn't like dogs. Those are compatibility factors."

            I did indeed, and then got shouted down in various places for being too stringent. It seemed like when I selected for compatibility factors like that, I got brought to task by friends and the forums for being too rigid and not "giving things a chance."

            When I said the above, I was mostly commenting on compatibility factors like finances, approaches to life, sex drives, and kinks that take a while to come out. Not a lot of people advertising those on dating sites.

          • eselle28 says:

            It wasn't always the same people as those who thought interests should be more flexible, though. People have a variety of views on these things.

            I think approaches to life and sex drives can be things that take awhile to come out. I guess I've found that sex preferences can be at least hinted at within the first few months (unless a partner is purposely concealing a fetish, which I think is bad behavior on their part), and that finances can be introduced as a subject if one person is willing to "be tacky" and bring up the touchy subject of views toward money, or is willing to closely look at how people behave. For instance, with finances, I don't want to be with someone who I'd consider unpleasantly cheap but also wouldn't want to be with someone who was just ridiculously irresponsible. Looking at dating habits past the first few dates and at someone's lifestyle in comparison to his income generally give me a picture of that, and some of the topics can be discussed explicitly. It might also be that some of my big ticket incompatibilities (wants to stay where we're currently living forever and ever, doesn't possess any adulting skills and isn't actively working to obtain any) are things that can be observed earlier on than some others. "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" isn't a touchy conversation for most people, and it's generally pretty obvious when a guy thinks that cooking, cleaning, finances, and anything else boring is someone else's job, because he starts asking me to do those things for him.

          • fuzzilla says:

            I think wanting kids and liking dogs are totally reasonable requirements. If a guy's allergic to cats…he might be great, but my cat sleeps in my bed with me, soooo if my bed would be an allergy party for him…

            Whereas something such as "Liking Dr. Who" I'd consider a "nice to have, but not necessary." If someone thinks that is necessary, I'd probably be like, "Seriously? You might want to expand your horizons a bit, there, sweetie."

        • thathat says:

          I don't think it's too much to ask for both. I think the problem being discussed here isn't expecting someone to share ALL of your interests (that's a problem too), but the way that some people use the shared interests to justify staying in a lousy relationship. "Sure there's problems, but who else will I watch Doctor Who with while cuddling on the couch!"

          Not even gonna lie, this whole article reminds me of a friend who I've sometimes called Captain Bad Decisions in regards to his dating habits (hell, I'd send him a copy of this, but he seems happy in his newest relationship…for now).

          In not one but TWO cases, he wound up getting back together/sleeping with (repeatedly, but without officially saying they were back together) an ex, in both cases because he couldn't give them and himself a post-break-up break from hanging out. At least part of the reason he gave when his friends gave him the "dude, what the hell?" bit—well, she was the one he watches *specific not-inherently-nerdy-or-popular show* with. Who else was he gonna watch it with? And the hanging out so soon after break-ups? Yeah, sex and/or getting back together, because looking at it in terms of how close their shared interests brought them put a fuzzy blanket over the seriously messed UP crap those girls did.

          There were other reasons too (a huuuuuge dose of "I need a relationship to validate me and feel scared when I'm adrift without land in sight"), but even before the break-ups, when he'd talk about the bad parts of the relationship and people would ask him what the hell, he'd bring up their shared interests and how much fun they had together.

          • Hmm, you know better than I do, but that doesn't seem like a genuine "we have all these shared interests" so much as him attempting to paper over something intangible with a ready excuse. I mean I've had acquaintances who said the exact same thing ("Who else will celebrate a Wild victory with me?"/"Who will go camping with me?") over interests that were very popular and they could easily found someone else to do that activity with.

            I wonder if your friend's problem has more to do with our generation's obsession for needing to be friends right after a break-up. If we can't be friends immediately after, then we're immature/being dramatic/taking things too seriously. If we can never be friends, then we are obviously bitter and will always hold a candle for them. I wonder if it has less to do with him having these shared interests, and more to do with the Geek Fallacy that we should all get along, all the time, regardless of feelings and circumstance.

          • thathat says:

            "I wonder if your friend's problem has more to do with our generation's obsession for needing to be friends right after a break-up"

            Nah. I mean, maybe, but mostly it's that he can't handle not being in a relationship, so his break-ups are more…drawn-outs. In the last case, he wasn't willing to really and truly break it off until after he found someone else to date. Cap. Bad Decisions.

            Re: your first paragraph–I think that is the actual point here in the article–that people use shared interests* as a reason to stay in a relationship that might have serious problems. If y'all both like Doctor Who and boardgames, you're both going to enjoy yourselves while watching Doctor who or playing boardgames. It's *hard* to admit when relationships don't work, because it's very rarely a case of "everything is terrible"–usually there are lots of good moments as well, and those good moments can make you feel like, hey, maybe this is working out after all.

            *they had more shared interests (I think) than just that (plus sex, which keeps many a person in a stupid relationship), it was just one example. It's also really rare that someone only gives ONE reason they still Need This Person In Their Lives Right Now.

        • fakely_mctest says:

          I think that the particular nerd twist on this is that, unfortunately, the "abiding devotion to Doctor Who" can often come out as: if you don't love Doctor Who within the precise parameters within which I love Doctor Who then you are loving Doctor Who wrong. I've also run into this with film buffs (BLEH) and music snobs.

          And I don't think you're saying that, Marty, I just think it's a good corollary to the whole "they don't have to love everything you love" issue.

          • eselle28 says:

            Yeah, that's actually where I think a lot of nerds (and other people who care intensely about their hobbies) get in trouble. It's pretty reasonable to look for a partner who likes Doctor Who and who's interested in discussing various features of it with you. It might be harder to find someone who likes old school Who, despises new who, but still watches new Who for the purpose of criticizing it – you're more likely to find either someone who likes the new version and is annoyed by your ranting or someone who dislikes the new version and doesn't want to watch it at all.

          • thathat says:

            Sure, I just don't think that's what DNL is talking about here. The article itself is about sussing whether or not the person you're with is really a good match, or whether you're latching onto a bad relationship because at least it's A relationship.

            Although the whole "don't have such a specific checklist of things required" is an interesting tangent.

        • Thereal McCoy says:

          I think things like approaches to finances and conflict resolution style are obvious early in a relationship. You know how you like to live, and you can tell when you are dating if the other person lives the same way. Take the latest guy I dated – I like to bake, and he didn't even own dishes. I eat at home, he ate every meal out. That right there told me that not only did we have different approaches to food, but we had different approaches to what we spent money on. It only took a couple weeks to figure that out.

          • Ah but those sorts of things are, I feel, really circumstance-heavy. I've been eating out almost every single meal for the past four weeks, despite my usual desire to cook, because I've been plowed over by finals. I just don't have the time (a single meal usually takes me 30-60 minutes to prepare and cook. Yes, even the ones that say they take 10 minutes…) Eating out takes less time so I can do homework. And despite enjoying cooking, I wouldn't clash with someone who enjoyed eating out.

            I guess my point is those sorts of things aren't obvious. Looking at myself and my own life, people would probably get things horribly wrong based on their assumptions.

            I think you can say you can make assumptions in the first few weeks, but actually finding out if it's a pattern and a fundamental part of them as a person (and more importantly, what they themselves think about it) takes a much longer length of time.

          • eselle28 says:

            If I walked into your kitchen, though, would I see some cooking equipment or some cookbooks?

          • Cooking equipment, yes. Cookbooks no, because I'm weird and keep them in my living room bookshelf. I've also known people who buy cooking equipment but never use them, so like I said, I feel that you can make some assumptions but actually knowing for sure takes a while.

          • eselle28 says:

            Oh, sure, some people have the stuff but never stuck with it long enough to back it up. But I do think you can get a general sense if someone uses their kitchen to prepare food from scratch on at least a semi-regular basis. People who never cook (and particularly people who never cook and who also aren't much on cleaning) tend to have counters devoted to non-cooking clutter. (Also, I'd probably rank a guy who had at least attempted to learn how to do domestic work higher than one who'd never given it a shot. There might be some hope of reviving interest there.)

            Beyond all that, and this goes to why I'm kind of strict about this stuff, is that there's a behavioral commonality. Guys who don't know how to adult properly generally start asking me to make dinner, or only wanting to hang out at my place, or calling me every time they have a bureaucratic issue within a month or two of dating. It doesn't show up right away, but it's pretty glaring when it appears.

          • thathat says:

            Oh gosh, your last paragraph–exactly what I was thinking. It's not that all guys who Don't Cook are manchildren-types (I know perfectly mature guys who, for whatever reason, just don't cook), it's the most manchildren also don't cook for themselves. It wouldn't be a dealbreaker if the guy can't cook, but a guy who doesn't seem like every now and again he tries to do more than heat up a tv tray of lasagna would be…eh, a pink flag? Not a horrible person, but potentially exhausting to date (for me. I have friends who DO like doing the whole housewife thing).

          • Stardrake says:

            The total lack of dishes in the house sounds like the warning flag here. Someone who’s temporarily eating out a lot because they’re at a point where time is more important than money will presumably have been eating in before and will still have their crockery from before they had the busies. None at all implies that the person has never so much as thrown a salad together or reheated one of those precooked soups since they moved in. There may be other explanations for that, but I’d imagine they’d come up early if so.

          • eselle28 says:

            Yeah, I once went on a few dates with someone who only ate off of paper plates and plastic silverware (though he did have wine glasses). Aside from the very strong indication that he's not even eating anything that needs to be put on a plate, it's not a great signal of decision-making, since you can buy cheapie dishes for not much more than throw away stuff.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Interestingly, I've seen some studies (not that I could find them) that seem to indicate that it isn't shared interests that build compatibility. Its shared activities. In a perfect situation, you can find activities that have room for both of your interests. If you like hiking and she's lukewarm about it but likes nature photography, you can spend a day in the woods that satisfies both of you and builds that bond without necessarily sharing the same interest in why you're doing it.

    • I dunno. Anecdata isn't proof positive, but I've watched my parents have a loving, healthy relationship for nearly 30 years (they've been married nearly 30 years, together for longer) with barely any interests in common. They do have a few, so they can watch a movie together without too much debate on what to watch, but their hobbies and interests are usually quite opposite. To be honest, I have no clue how they stayed together, they are such different people, but there is a deep love there. To the point that they both get whiny when the other goes away for even a day or so. It's inspiring, honestly. They have so much respect for each other and they still have wonderful conversations (and sex, but I could have gone without knowing that, ew, ew ew, brain bleach needed) and spend as much time together as possible. When my dad brings home the bluray box set of X that he's been searching for, my mom is excited for him, even if she has 0 interest. He's the same when she gets all excited about fabric. It's adorable and gives me so much hope for the future. Thank god, or I'd be pretty miserable, still single at my age.

  4. "If you show her your dark side"…is that a reference to Roger Waters' "The Final Cut?" If so well played, sir.

  5. I agree with the general point. Too many guys want things to work so badly that they'll tolerate a mountain of red flags.

    We all talk about the girls who chase "bad boys" and get used/abused, this is the same thing with the genders reversed.

    • Its understandable. Lots of people really can't stand the idea of a celibate sort of life. The more openly sexual a society is, the worse the celibate life is. If your options are nothing or something slightly to very toxic than a lot of people are going to pick the latter. I'm used to the celibate life now and won't stand anybody giving me shit, so picking the former to the latter is easy for me but it isn't for a lot of people. Lots of people really don't have good options when it comes to relationships or sex.

      • Maximilian says:

        Testify!

      • Alright, the people who gave this comment negative points are being really freaking arrogant. Why is it impossible to get it through your heads that for most people, the choices of absolutely nothing or a really mildly to really bad relationship are the only two realistic options? Why can't you understand that having to go through teens, twenties, thirties, forties, and beyond alone while everybody is in relationships? Do you really think that people are going to be happy with grey hair, wrinkles, and sag while other people get youth and beauty?

        At this point whatever anybody else has to offer, it isn't good enough. Its much too little, much too late. Other people, they get real sexual experimentation and discovery. You get the ersatz, fake version. A too great discrepancy in experience ruins everything forever. Its no fun if the other person knows everything about what they like through other people. Its not real discovery if somebody else knew it first, you thieves. I don't care how freaking sexist this sounds at this point, I feel left out and excluded and robbed.

        • eselle28 says:

          Thieves? Robbed? So people who don't want to participate in your burdensome, unenjoyable ideal of a manic pixie movie romance and instead want go about pursuing sex and relationships that make them happy are committing a crime against you?

          Gross, Lee. Gross. (Also completely ridiculous, even if you accept the rape overtones and the slut shaming. The percentage of people who lose their virginity to other virgins isn't all that high.) It's no wonder you keep getting left out. If a woman did agree to have sex with you, it sounds like you'd treat her horribly.

          • Delafina says:

            Yeah, the coercive overtones there are super-revolting.

          • I almost want to run out right now and have sex just to commit a crime against Lee.

          • eselle28 says:

            Now that you mention it, this would be a good reason for me to text my guyfriend. Late night thievery is so exciting!

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            I think Prince wrote "Thieves in the Temple" for occasions just like this one.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            I think at least a two-thirds majority of Prince's catalogue is for occasions just like this one. ;)

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            ♪♫ You get a Coat of Pink Cashmere as a prize for your astute commentary. ♪♫

          • Do I get double thievery points if I have enthusiastically consensual sex with one of my non-monogamous partners? Cause all those things seem to annoy Lee as well.

          • I think that would indeed merit double thievery points. Let me know what you can cash them in for; I'm avidly curious.

            While we are on the subject, if I am a virgin and therefore have clearly been unfairly robbed of…something or other, but whatever it is, it must be truly terrible to inspire such anger, can I file an insurance claim somewhere? I'd like my fair share of the Virgin Compensation Fund. Maybe take a nice vacation somewhere with a beach once my entire state is again encased in ice.

          • The Virgin Compensation Fund only provides beach trips to locations filled with pretty pretty people in tiny bathing suits.
            So you can enjoy the view…I mean wallow in self pity that you aren't having sex with all the specimens of glistening hotness

          • I am failing to see a down side here.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I think its also now usable for Vegas vacations provided you stay at a hotel with a topless pool and/or go see a topless revue or Chippendales style male revue as appropriate. Let me know when you're coming out and we can go see Zumanity. :D

          • You know, I *have* always wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil show.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, but only after you ogle the guys at Thunder From Down Under.

          • Delafina says:

            OMG Zumanity is beautiful and everyone should see it. Corteo, too,

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            So if I drop my fiancee off for an overnight at her guy-friend's place before going on a first date that, based on how flirty the pre-date texting has been, may well end up back at my place, am I setting us up for some kind of porny Ocean's 11 mega-heist score? Or is that reserved only for full-blown orgies?

          • Please have lots of orgies. I have a suspicion that if Lee's calculations are correct, the sex thievery points awarded are directly related to the amount available in the Virgin Compensation Fund, and I really want my beach vacation surrounded by scantily clad pretty people.

          • Delafina says:

            Yeah, when you put it like that, it sounds pretty alluring… :-)

        • thathat says:

          I want to say that I do agree with the point–people who are feeling desperate will put up with a bad relationship because they believe it's better than no relationship. That's not really just on folks who don't get to date much. My friend, who I've mentioned here, has a string of exes in the double-digits. He's never gone for more than a few months without finding a new girl he clicks with, and it's been that way for awhile. But when he's in a bad relationship, he'll stay in it waaaay after he's realized how bad it is, because at least it's a *relationship.*

          What I think people don't respond to is the "woe is me" attitude. I'm 28 (balls…I'll be 29 soon). I've never really dated. I'm very bad at people. I have personal hang-ups and trust issue. But I'm even worse at maintaining an Eeyore-like disposition about it. All of my friends are pairing up, married, engaged, having kids. It really freaking sucks being the odd one out (and it's scary…no single friends left means I have no idea what I'll do when the lease is up, because rent is too expensive for one person here).

          I get not having good options–the pickings are kinda slim here. But this: "At this point whatever anybody else has to offer, it isn't good enough. Its much too little, much too late"

          I don't know, man. That is some seriously distressing, fatalistic way of looking at it. Plenty of people date in their forties and beyond. Older folks can have kinky awesome animal sex. We're-too-old-to-be-virgins-according-to-someones can still have a great time when when find somebody.

          But dude, you gotta tell me…please tell me that in that last paragraph that you're not talking about it being lesser if the woman you sleep with had sex before you. Because that's not just sexist. That is downright creepy. It's a massively unsettling mindset. Hymens aren't some undiscovered country (don't make the pun don't make the pun). They don't "break." Virginity itself is kind of a social thing more than a physical one. But the idea that someone is "used goods" because they knew someone Biblically before you got them…that their having sex "ruined them forever." Dude. /Dude/

          (If that's not what you meant, then sorry for the tangent. But still, I don't know what to tell you. Would it be nice to have a relationship while I still feel young and hot? Yeah, sure. But if not…well, I'll take a happy, healthy relationship anyway, and be glad for it.)

          • Definitely agree as well. Desperation can be a nasty beast and convince people to stay when they SHOULD NOT.

            Thathat, I do appreciate your comment and if I can follow up your anti-fatalism…
            It's not about being psyched at the possibility of having tons of old person sex. It's about the very simple fact that you cannot turn back time. I will never be 21 again. That is a fact. It is stupid to be angry at…what, the universe? Time? other nebulous people?

          • thathat says:

            That's a much better way of putting it. I'm fighting the sleepies here, but yeah. I miss being 21 sometimes, I regret things like not dating in college (and not working harder in class or keeping up with networking), but…it's gone. There's a whole future there with possibility, just like there was when I was 21. Maybe not all the same ones, but still, it's not a bleak wasteland either.

            (I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled…)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            If I knew at 21 what I know now. . .yeah, you guys think my stories sound wild now. . .but yeah, you can't go back. So my only option is to keep pushing forward.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I have recurring dreams where I'm going back to college. Christ, do I hate them. It's like swimming through a pool filled with regret and social failure, pathetically flailing around, grasping for opportunities that are lost forever.

            I wish I'd gotten a handle on my mental illness a long, long time before I actually did. But, I have a handle on it now. The opportunities in front of me aren't the same as the ones that are gone forever, but that doesn't make them any lesser. In fact, on the balance, I'm pretty damn happy with how things eventually turned out.

            But I still hate those fuckin' dreams. Give me the ones where I'm being chased by a carnivorous snuffalupagous any night.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Though to be fair….

            Between a dating pool of partners who know who they are and what they like, the resources for amenities like concerts, non-ramen meals, or hotel rooms, and a sound and shame-free working knowledge of my own sexuality, old-person sex is kinda fuckin' awesome.

          • Hymens according to Lee: no country for old men.

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            Almost did a spit take reading this, which would be really bad cuz I am eating peanuts.

          • I did do a spit take with yogurt. Hurph. Ah well.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            *tears of laughter*

          • username_6916 says:

            In what way is it sexist? It's not like a virgin preferring a virgin is holding others to a standard that he does not hold himself.

          • We live in a society that tells women they're more valuable if they're virgins and men that they're less valuable if they are. Whenever our attitudes "just so happen" to fall in line with those cultural messages, we are probably being affected by sexist programming at some level.

          • username_6916 says:

            And, so we reach what I think is the fundamental hypocrisy of the Sex-Positive movement. On one hand, they tell us that any desire is acceptable, on the other hand, they condemn a virgin man for wanting a virgin bride.

            Again, I have to ask what is sexist about that? We're not talking about holding women to a different standard than men. It's quite possible to hold the more restrictive half of the double standard to both genders, thereby making it not a double standard.

            It seems, by your reasoning, anyone who rejects a partner for being a virgin is sexist, regardless of the gender of the potential partners or the rejector's own values or past experience.

          • eselle28 says:

            First of all, I don't know where you get the idea that being sex positive means believing that all desires are acceptable.

            Beyond that, I'd personally say that it's acceptable and understandable for people who only want to have sex within marriage to desire partners who likewise only want to have sex within marriage (which doesn't necessarily mean virginity; I'd give major side eye to someone who held these beliefs about chastity and who wouldn't consider marrying someone who had been raped). Lee doesn't hold these beliefs, however. He's a virgin by circumstance, not because of his beliefs, and he specifically doesn't intend to marry the woman he'd like to date.

          • username_6916 says:

            What sexual desire, besides virginity, is it okay to shame according to the sex positive movement? Why do they spend so much effort defending nearly every fetish known to man provided that it is only exercised ethically (informed consent, no lasting injuries, etc), but when it comes to this one their response is shaming?

            I want the experience of deflowering a woman. Why is that so much more shameful than wanting a certain position or a certain kink?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Shaming? I don't think anyone here has said "being a virgin beyond a certain age is a bad thing", except Lee.

          • username_6916 says:

            Lots of people here have said that "*wanting* a virgin" is a bad thing. Even if you are yourself a virgin.

          • raindancing says:

            Except that's not really what people here are saying.

            Wanting a virgin is fine. Saying that non-virgins are inherently worth less because of their lack of virginity, that's the bad thing.

            Just like wanting a blonde is fine. But it's really shitty to go around saying brunettes are inferior.

          • Exactly. The problem is not that Lee wants a virgin. The problem is that he feels he has been *robbed of something* if he dates someone with more experience than he has–and I get the impression it's not just intercourse, but *any* sort of sexual or romantic contact with anyone not him, which he feels will have been *stolen* from him (ergo making him the rightful *owner* of that woman's sexuality).

            It's perfectly understandable for someone who is a virgin for religious or philosophical reasons to want to be with a fellow virgin (though I'd also note that not all of us care). But that's not what's going on here. Lee is bitter and angry because he will never have his idealized and unrealistic romance wherein two young virgins meet and have effortlessly passionate, starry-eyed sexual encounters without the slightest hint of compromise or responsibility.

            I'll also note that many people who are still virgins into their twenties and thirties have made a conscious decision to wait for marriage or something else Lee has gone on record as not wanting (at least not anytime soon), so even if he finds his inexperienced dream partner, there's no guarantee she's going to want to give him the high-intensity, low-commitment fling he desires.

            In other words, wanting a virgin? Totally fine. Feeling *entitled* to a virgin (who also has a large number of other specific traits, many of which are widely sought after and some of which are contradictory, and who is willing to overlook your considerable baggage while bringing none of her own), and railing against the world for its unfairness in not providing you with your dream relationship and against other people for daring to make their own sexual choices? Not fine at all.

          • eselle28 says:

            I don't think anyone here is making that specific argument.

          • Delafina says:

            You're fighting a strawman, dude.

          • eselle28 says:

            The issue here is that the desire in this particular context supports toxic narratives that hurt people who aren't their participants. Some other fetishes do as well, and I assure you that people who have them are challenged sometimes about the accompanying assumptions. Talk to a submissive woman sometime.

            I think it's at least worth it to think about why you fetishize being someone's first partner and if there are any assumptions supporting the belief that it's substantially different from being someone's second partner. If you have and are good with that, carry on. Lots of us (I dare say most of us) have some sexist assumptions behind our sexual and romantic preferences. Just don't turn it into anger if no one wants to fulfill your fetish, as Lee has. And please don't call it deflowering – such a gross term!

          • celette482 says:

            YES. It is gross.

            It's also not something you do to a person. It's something you do together. JFYI

          • username_6916 says:

            "It's also not something you do to a person. It's something you do together. JFYI "

            Oh, absolutely. While I very much disagree about 'deflowering' being a gross term, I do agree that this whole thing is pointless unless we are both participants doing this together. My desire for having a sexual experience with a virgin has never been claiming a one as a notch on the bedpost.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Well, since "deflouring" isn't a term that applies to guys, your measure of how gross it is isn't really applicable. Its something that makes at least one and presumably several women in this space uncomfortable.

            The appropriate response in similar situations is not "its all right with me" its "oh, sorry. I wont use it here again, then."

          • username_6916 says:

            I disagree, it absolutely applies to guys. I value my own virginity and am perfectly okay with saying something is lost when I do have sex with someone. Hopefully, something greater is gained, but that's another topic.

            What makes women's opinions so much more valuable than men's? What about my discomfort at the apparent shaming of my own desires?

          • eselle28 says:

            It's much more frequently used for women. Even the definition refers to that: dictionary.reference.com/browse/deflower

            You can have your desires and use a different word, or use a different word around people who have expressed discomfort with it (and who aren't in your pool of potential sex partners anyway). I would also say other your desires shouldn't be allowed to impose on other people's identities.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You kind of missed the whole "appropriate response" portion, didn't you?
            http://racebending.tumblr.com/post/29362478976/if

          • celette482 says:

            Precisely.

          • username_6916 says:

            I see and reject your attempt at a Kafkatrapping.
            http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

          • thathat says:

            I'm just gonna say this statement: "I want the experience of deflowering a woman" makes it sound more like that's something you want to do TO her than something you want to share WITH her. I'm sure that's not how you meant it, but it's really just not a neutral sort of term.

          • username_6916 says:

            How is that argument any different than a traditionalist condemning gay marriage, per-marital sex or polyamory? The reasoning seems exactly the same from here: Each of these things might hurt people who aren't their participants, therefore we should condemn them and pressure society into rejecting those who practice these things. Isn't this exactly what the sex-positive movement wanted to oppose?

          • thathat says:

            I feel like you're not paying attention to what anyone here is saying.

            Let's type it one more time, plain sentences.

            It's about the attitude being portrayed here. The idea that you (a man having sex with a woman) have been PERSONALLY ROBBED of by another man's penis if the woman you have sex with isn't a virgin IS a harmful attitude.

            It says that you feel entitled to someone's body and sexuality.

            It says that women who have had sex have lost something and are worth less as partners.

            It is drastically different than saying that you want someone who is at the same level of experience as yourself.

            I…I don't know how it can be any plainer.

          • Wow, you are good at backwards analogies! The analogy here is "gay person condemns ideas that just so happen to line up with the notion that heterosexual relationships are worth less than homosexual ones." That doesn't mean that an individual straight person is at fault for being straight, but their preferences and beliefs also just so happen to line up with dominant and often hateful forces in our society.

            The question is, when your beliefs and preferences line up with something toxic, how do you react to that ethically? Unless one wants to live in some perpetual quest for impossible ideological purity, the answer is "Do your best not to make things worse." For example, you seem to be a virgin who wants to be with another virgin in a relatively reasonable way (though the word "deflowering" reads as deeply gross to me, too) – but know the failure state your beliefs might lead you to, so that you can avoid it. Lee would be one example of that failure state, since his particular take on virginity is fairly sexist and gross.

          • ARGH "heterosexual relationships are worth MORE than homosexual ones"

            MORE

            not less

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Your entry in the Awful Out-Of-Context Quote Olympics has been noted. The judges will be getting back to you shortly, and wanted me to convey their appreciation for one of the strongest entries they've seen thus far.

          • enail0_o says:

            *gsnerk*

          • username_6916 says:

            I think you have missed my point. My argument is that to a traditionalist, gay marriage is a toxic idea that just so happens to line up with the dominant and often harmful forces in our society. What makes their assertion about gay marriage any different than yours about how virginity is supporting a narrative that is toxic to people other than those in the relationship in question? This isn't an analogy at all. We are talking about people deploying the exact same argument to support their very different beliefs.

          • eselle28 says:

            I think you're assuming relativist morality here. Not everyone you're speaking to necessarily adheres to that – or at least I'll say that I don't. There are forms of universal or more universal morality that don't align with traditional Christian moral structures.

            Though I'm also going to point out that marriage equality is far from a dominant force in society. Most of the gay couples in the US still aren't able to marry, and those who are have only had that right for a few years.

          • username_6916 says:

            Tell that to Brendan Eich…

            I digress. This isn't about a relativist morality, this is about applying the same principles to everyone's ideology. If you reject offhand arguments about how per-marital sex or gay marriage can be harmful to society because individual freedoms and individual rights are more important, you can't turn around and say that valuing virginity can be harmful to society. Its inconsistent.

          • thathat says:

            I would say the condemnation of pre-marital and homosexual sex come from the same place as the devaluation of women who aren't virgins. Which again is what started this whole mishegoss in the first place–not placing value on virginity, but devaluing non-virgins.

            Arguments against premarital and gay relations aren't just harmful because they violate individual freedoms. They're part of a long-standing tradition of keeping women pure (most of the time, religious talk about no sexing goes: "Ladies, don't give up your special flower. Men, don't take her special flower.") and of keeping gender roles strictly divided–and those wind up being harmful to…well, basically to anyone who isn't a straight dude. It was part of a narrative that shamed women for being women and men for "behaving like women." Nevermind that you don't have to go too far to find cases of those "values" becoming violent and/or fatal.

            Again, the issue here is not valuing virginity, but devaluing non-virgins.

            You seem to be arguing this from your own position–someone who has waited to have sex and wants a partner who is more or less on the same page as you. That is understandable.

            That's also a little different than "desiring a virgin." Presumably, once you were no longer a virgin, being a virgin wouldn't be a requirement of yours. Now it's a little more gray, but I kind of agree with the poster downthread who said they kind of side-eye fetishizing virginity. There's a bit of a history on that too, an awkward exercise of power and of treating women's bodies as unplundered treasure, or enjoying the concept of "ruining" someone.

            But that's neither here nor there, because the argument here is basically that a woman is not "spoiled" "ruined" or "plundered" because she has had sex.

          • username_6916 says:

            You know, violence has been done in the name of gay marriage too. Yet, we can't logically use that, in and of itself, as a reason to forbid gay marriage. Words and ideas are not bullets, and the actions of bullies and fanatics is not sufficient cause to forbid ideas.

            Moreover, the traditionalists can and do make the exact same claims about these issues. That each of these things can be said to cause harm to families, children or the entire society. When you challenge such claims, you will ask them prove it. To prove that gay marriage causes divorce which causes impoverishment and societal breakdown. So, can you do the same for your claims? Can you prove that my desire of virginity causes harm and violence towards others? By what mechanism?

            "Now it's a little more gray, but I kind of agree with the poster downthread who said they kind of side-eye fetishizing virginity."

            And this is exactly that judgment I find so hypocritical from the sex-positive movement. And exactly the judgment I think is being leveled against me. Also, it seems inconsistent to condemn fetishizing virginity while saying that the issue isn't valuing virginity. One is a subset of the other, after all.

          • thathat says:

            Wow, okay, you're just kind here to play, aren't you. Violence can be done in the name of anything, sure. HOWEVER–and you know this full well, you adorable little devil's advocate you–violence being done "in the name of gay marriage" would be an extreeeeme exception. I'd be interested to see if you can fine one instance from a reputable source (and that wasn't self-defense). Whereas instances of HATE CRIMES against gay people are sadly NOT an exception to the rule. There's more than one country where THAT CAN LEGALLY GET YOU KILLED. There are no countries where you can legally be murdered for being anti-gay marriage. Likewise, there are cultures where women who are not virgins–even ones who were raped–can be killed. Historically, women who had been "deflowered" outside of the marriage bed were "used goods" and ruined and were often forced to the streets and denied jobs.

            Traditionalists can and do make those same claims, yes. Anyone can make any claim. However, evidence and history don't back up those claims.

            "Can you prove that my desire of virginity causes harm and violence towards others?"

            Okay, you've really gotta clarify, because you've dug your heels in here. You don't actually want a potential partner to be a virgin for the sake of being at a similar experience level, do you. It's a fetish for you, isn't it. You already said that thing about wanting to deflower a woman, which implies that you want to ruin somebody (that's kind of more in line with the implied definition of "deflowering," rather than just wanting to share an experience with someone).

            You can value something without fetishing it

            What you can't do is pretend things exist in a culture vacuum and that every fetish is completely without context.

          • username_6916 says:

            My point isn't to support the traditionalists, even as a devil's advocate, beyond what it takes to show that the tactics used to discredit those who care about or fetishize virginity are not that different than those used to condemn homosexuality, premarital sex and polyamory.

            Historically, homosexuality was often expressed with what we might call sex abuse today and the closest thing to polyamory was a guy with a harem. Yet, if someone suggests that there's any connection of today's gay or poly identity to these past abuses they are immediately dismissed as a bigot. And, rightly so, I might add: It's hardly fair to hold them accountable for the actions of others. I'm just wondering why guilt by association becomes acceptable when talking about a desire for virginity. What makes the context you mention any different than the context I mention?

            The truth is, virginity both a simple fetish and deep seated romantic ideal of mine. Yes, I want the physical sensations of and the feelings associated with 'deflowering', but I also want the similarity of experience level and some understanding and appreciation of the sacrifice I've made. I worry that if I court someone who isn't a virgin, that they will be able to abandon me far more easily than I can abandon them and that they might use that power to hurt me in the relationship. I look at statistics showing that virgins of both genders have a lower chance of divorce and higher chances of marital satisfaction. I am not sure what difference, if any, there is between having multiple partners over a lifetime and having having multiple partners at once, and I'm not sure I'm okay with that. I think the second or nth time is less memorable and less meaningful for all that are involved. I'm afraid that to anyone else, the gift of my virginity will not be see as the act of love and commitment it is to me.

            It is all of these things. The way I see it, you can't shame me for one of these without implicating the others in some way.

          • thathat says:

            Okay, here's the thing–the reason people use "those tactics" to shame homosexuality or pre-marital sex is that those tactics–not the ideas, but those tactics–have merit.

            And let's not forget that–in the case of those arguing against gay marriage or homosexuality–many of those tactics involve LYING. They may SAY similar things, but they have no actual FACTS (that they did not make up or blow out of proportion in recent–as in past 60-70 years–history).

            It's the stupid turn-around system. The "you're not tolerating my intolerance" argument many extreme-right folks use. It blatantly ignores the CENTURIES of power imbalance that the discussion is a part of and pretends that the playing field is level.

            It is not.

            At any rate, there really hasn't been much talk against the fetishizing of virginity that would line up with the condemnation of any non-het-non-marital sex. I don't know why you keep saying that. We're talking about a very long history of oppression and sexism and power-imbalance that has directly harmed women, and still does to this day. Not in the metaphysical of three-degrees-of-separation way that anti-sex/homophobic people claim those things harm, but in myriad direct and provable ways, which we've discussed here, which you've ignored.

            There really aren't "physical sensations" associated with deflowering someone (and again, the fact that you keep using that word–the word that implies "ruining" or "taking something" or "making unclean" and that pretty much exclusively applies to only women (however you mean it, you really can't reinvent the meaning of a word all by yourself) is still kinda squicky. But again, it still doesn't seem like you've understood the difference between desiring something and fetishizing it.

            " I'm afraid that to anyone else, the gift of my virginity will not be see as the act of love and commitment it is to me."

            And understandable feeling. All the rest of the stuff past "deflowering" that you said is pretty much what people said "that is understandable and no one here is judging you for that."

            I'm sorry that you can't understand how there is a difference between wanting someone at your experience level who shares your values and understands your position … and wanting an "unspoiled" woman because a woman who has sex is filthy, worth less, and ruined. I'm sorry that you feel attacked when people discuss the unfortunate implications of what you consider to be your fetish. I'm sorry that not all fetishes are created equal, and that some mindsets (that of virgin women being worth more) come from a deeply unpleasant place in human history that has had horrible consequences for women around the world.

          • username_6916 says:

            Do we hold all gay people accountable for NAMBLA? Do we hold all polyamorious people accountable for the abuses in the FLDS? Do we hold BDSM practitioners accountable for domestic violence and sexual slavery? Each of these things has an association with something that has "very long history of oppression". And yet, 'guilt by association' is quite rightly seen as an injustice in these cases. How is my case any different? I mean, all of the issues you speak of apply to all of these, but the same people who condemn the very idea of virginity say we must accept homosexuality, polyamory and BDSM. How is this not hypocrisy?

            Furthermore, I'd argue that in developed Western countries, most women have every imaginable advantage. They are more likely to get educated, less likely to be found to have a 'learning disorder' and put through IEP and special-ed hell, less likely to be the victim of violent crime, and less likely to be homeless. They have whole insinuations and a great amount of deeply held cultural bias dedicated to their advancement and protection. They have far more choices about what role they wish to play in courtship and relationships than men do and get far more support in doing so.

            Let's face it: The traditionalists are a shrinking minority. "Abstinence-only" is a dirty word in pop culture, and amongst the highly organized feminist movement. Most people will have premarital sex. Most developed Western countries even have reorganization for Gay Marriage, which is an idea that didn't even exist 25 years ago. Generally speaking, they aren't as powerful as you say they are.

            I find it a bit curious that I'm more harshly for the 'fetish' part of my desire than my view that people are more capable of love and commitment to their first partner. If anything, isn't it the latter that is saying that non-virgins are "worth less" than virgins?

          • Huh, that's not at all what I said. I also don't know why you think I'm some sort of spokesperson for the Sex Positive movement, but I can let that slide.

            What I am saying is that context matters. I come from a community in which both partners are expected to be virgins at marriage, and within that context I agree that the expectation for virginity at marriage is not sexist – because virginity is valued equally for both partners. But the reality of mainstream American culture is very different. In mainstream American culture, it's very hard to say "The woman I have sex with should be a virgin" and not have it resonate with toxic ideas that you had nothing to do with creating (but are probably influenced by, and may possibly be reinforcing). I would say the exact same thing for a woman saying that she wouldn't date a male virgin – influenced by, and possibly reinforcing, toxic sexist stereotypes. That doesn't mean you as an individual can't have that preference, but you are not the center of the world. You can have a perfectly valid individual preference that also aligns with shitty cultural values. It's not either-or, it's both-and.

            Also, see below about how Lee is not someone whose virginity reflects his personal values and choices. If Lee had chosen to wait, and wanted someone who shared the same values, that would be one thing. But he's resentful about not having been given the sex he thinks he deserves, and somehow thinks that he'll be cheated if he doesn't get it from a virgin woman. That's not a values statement – that's selfish entitlement with a heavy sexist tinge.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And, so we reach what I think is the fundamental hypocrisy of the Sex-Positive movement. On one hand, they tell us that any desire is acceptable, on the other hand, they condemn a virgin man for wanting a virgin bride.

            Oh, he can want whatever he wants. Its not a very realistic desire but I bet there's a dating site for virgins who want to marry virgins. On the other hand, if he wants to have sex with a hypothetical MPDG now, and marry someone else who is a virgin then yeah, that seems a bit hypocritical. Nothing wrong with that either, if you're willing to own it. I care about the environment but I use a computer. I'm a hypocrite.

          • Hershele Ostropoler says:

            Moreover, while he's allowed to want what he wants, he's going to get Looks when he starts taking the, ahem, extreme rarity of what he wants as a deliberate and calculated attack on him personally.

          • eselle28 says:

            But Lee doesn't hold himself to that standard. He'd like to have sex, and it sounds like he'd be open to casual sex. He also doesn't seem to be interested in a woman who, like him, struggles with dating. He likes attractive, social, spontaneous, popular women. That pretty much leaves women who have intentionally waited to have sex – even though he hasn't waited himself, wants to have sex relatively soon in a relationship, and isn't offering a serious commitment. That seems fairly sexist to me.

          • username_6916 says:

            But, he has waited himself. His whole complaint is about having been made to wait for so long!

            You could say that his standards are unrealistic. Yes, there is not that many attractive women who are open to casual sex and who are also virgins. Of those, there are not very many who would want a virgin. But, it's not like he's condemning women for the same behavior he has exhibited. Rather or not it's realistic or not has no real impact on rather or no his desires are sexist.

          • eselle28 says:

            That's not waiting. That's trying to find sex partners and struggling, making him an uneven match for a woman who has been intentionally waiting to have sex. If he wanted to find a woman who had struggled with dating as much as he had, I'd understand that as well, but Lee specifically avoids those women.

            He's holding women to a different standard than he's holding himself to: he's been eagerly seeking romance and sex with a large number of women, but he only wants a partner who is desirable to other men but has been turning down their offers of sex while she waits to meet Lee. That's sexist. Throw in that his reaction to the fact that few or no women meet this standard is anger and that he's talking about women's bodies as if they're property, and that's really sexist.

          • username_6916 says:

            I think it's telling that we are assuming that an attractive woman who's open to casual sex cannot possibly be a virgin or have trouble in dating. We don't even blink at that combination of attributes in a man.

            But, I digress.

            I agree, there is something that is off-putting about Lee's attitude here. I can't quite find the word to describe it. Something about seeking a youthful beautiful virgin partner for the status it confers, rather than for the purposes of having shared past experiences or being able to relate. And, while I empathize with such status conscious thoughts (they can be really hard to escape), I still find them toxic.

            But, does that attitude make his desires inherently sexist? I'm still not convinced.

          • eselle28 says:

            We know more about Lee's hypothetical future partner than the fact that she's attractive and open to casual sex. He's written thousands and thousands of words about her, and more about other women who he avoids. He wants someone who's spontaneous, stylish, and socially skilled. He avoids awkward women and ones who are workaholics. He's exclusively meeting women online, so that weeds out women who are meandering along waiting to meet someone perfect and restricts his dating pool to those who are actively looking to date. Combine those traits, and the odds of finding an involuntary virgin of either gender are low.

            Moreover, Lee has even said that what he wants in a partner is a woman who's so absolutely wild about him that she's willing to throw over her dreams of marriage and children to be with him and make him happy, but that he's not similarly willing to throw over any of his dreams about his future relationship for the right woman. That's not even, either, and the way that it's not even is highly gendered.

          • username_6916 says:

            I think my point stands. I still hold that it's actually fairly likely for to have all of those traits and still be an involuntary virgin. A stylish, attractive man who's actively looking to date but isn't actively asking people out still isn't going to have much luck, given the roles we have assigned the genders in courtship.

            Now, as a thought experiment (which also lets us sidestep the other issue), what if we were to say someone who had the same expectations as Lee was gay. Could we still call their romantic desires sexist?

            In several ways, i do think you have established hypocrisy. It still seems like a leap of logic to go from a charge hypocrisy to sexism.

          • eselle28 says:

            A stylish, attractive, socially skilled man who has a profile on a dating site is going to get a few unsolicited messages. That basically describes a friend of mine who doesn't ever make the first move. He goes on fewer dates than his friends, but he absolutely goes in dates and has sex. The involuntary virgins I know tend pretty strongly toward being awkward or reclusive (or at least not actively searching for dates) or both.

            No. But have you ever met a gay man who behaved like Lee and had his expectations? Have you ever met a woman who did? That's why I think his expectations are sexist – their unevenness just so happens to directly reflect society's larger message that it's fine for men to date around, but that women should wait until they meet their One True Love.

          • username_6916 says:

            Have I met any straight men that has Lee's expectations? I mean, I'm the closest to Lee that I can think of, and that only goes as far the virginity fetish and the feeling of loss that I haven't found what I'm looking for and I seem to be running out of time to do so.

            I don't get close enough to most people to even ask these questions in person. So, of course I haven't met a gay guy or a woman who did. I wouldn't even know it if I had.

            None of that invalidates the thought experiment I posited. Moreover, I'm not sure how society's views are relevant to determining if an individual is sexist. If a virgin man was hoping an experienced, hot woman who's open to casual sex, the same 'unevenness' would still exist. Would that individual also be sexist? If not, what's the difference?

          • eselle28 says:

            Our experiences differ, then. I know quite a few men who want their partners to be virgins, even if they are not virgins themselves or aren't virgins by choice. It's especially common among the ex-husbands of my more religious friends.

            No. It may or may not be a reasonable expectation, but it doesn't support society's sexist narratives about female sexuality. A female virgin who only wanted to sleep with an experienced man would be sexism, though, because it supports the sexist narrative.

          • username_6916 says:

            I think we've reached the fundamental point of our disagreement. I don't think it's enough to say that some small part of a person's viewpoints "supports the sexist narrative" as evidence that an individual is sexist. Consider this counterexample: I think Californians are terrible drivers. About half of California drivers are women, therefore I am in fact saying that women are terrible drivers, which is supporting a sexist stereotype. Never mind that what I said applies to women and men (and robots).

            It gets even tricker when it comes someone saying "I want" as opposed to "X is bad/evil/good/etc". If a woman were to say, "I want a Fiat 500", is she supporting the 'sexist narrative' by desiring a feminine coded car?

          • eselle28 says:

            Note that I haven't called Lee "a sexist." I have said his statements are sexist.

            Lee hasn't said that he just wants to sleep with a virgin. He's compared women who have sex with other men to criminals.

          • If you insist on using the phrase "is sexist," we are all sexist. But "is" is the wrong verb here.

          • username_6916 says:

            Fine, if we are going to be that pedantic about it:
            %s/ is sexist/'s views on the matter are sexist/g

            (For the non-regex inclined: "I don't think it's enough to say that some small part of a person's viewpoints "supports the sexist narrative" as evidence that an individual's views on the matter are sexist.")

            Is my view that California drivers are terrible a sexist view by the reasoning I suggested earlier then?

          • eselle28 says:

            That hypo doesn't use very good logic. The sexist belief isn't "some women are bad drivers." It's "women are typically worse drivers than men are." Your opinions about Californians, who you admit to be fairly evenly divided between men and women, don't support the second statement.

          • username_6916 says:

            Exactly!

            If someone says, "I'm a virgin and I want a virgin woman" you can't just leave off the "I'm a virgin" when asking if the person's viewpoint is sexist, even if "I want a virgin woman" is playing into a broader sexist narrative.

          • eselle28 says:

            Everyone here has acknowledged that there are some circumstances in which it's reasonable and not sexist for one virgin to want another virgin as a sex partner. People who think that Lee's beliefs are sexist don't think they apply to his case.

          • You seem to be talking about context here, which I agree matters. But can you not see that when it comes specifically to Lee context ALSO matters. That his virgin who wants a virgin comes from a very different place that yours does? That it is possible he has some sexist notions while you do not?

          • And if Lee were valuing a woman's virginity the exact same way he valued his own, then I would read what he writes very differently. But when he talks about it, when he says "virgin" about himself and "virgin" about the woman he wants to have sex with, they are very different things and he has very different attitudes toward them. And those differences line up with super sexist attitudes.

            Also, your analogy makes no sense. The analogy would be "I'm a bad driver, so it's not sexist for me to say that women are bad drivers." Not true, even if you're a bad driver and a woman.

            You seem really defensive about your desire to sleep with a virgin woman. I'm wondering whether you're uncomfortable with it for some reason, which is why some of this stuff is hitting home.

          • username_6916 says:

            People like you, and those in this thread, and everyone else who says that virginity should have no value and that you are a bad person if you believe otherwise are the reason I'm defensive of this. I'm damn proud of my own virginity, even if I have some regrets along the way and even if it reduces my 'value' on the dating market. Of course I'm offended when someone suggests that all of my struggle and sacrifice make me a a bad person. Of course I'm offended when someone suggests that I'm a bad person because I want to be with someone who at least understands this and ideally shares this experience.

          • eselle28 says:

            No one has said that virginity has no value or that people who believe otherwise are bad people. People are criticizing one
            particular virgin's hypocrisy and sexist beliefs. Not everyone who values virginity shares in that.

          • Delafina says:

            There you go with that strawman again.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I must have missed that part. Let me be the first to say "you've decided to be a virgin and stuck with it? Good on you. I don't think I'd be able to pull that off."

          • Wow. No one has said that at all. At all. People have been talking specifically about Lee's situation with his virginity. I understand how important your own is to you and why that might easily put you on the defensive, but please re-read the comments here. They are ALL about Lee as a special case. Not about you at all.

            You have reasons for staying a virgin and that is good. You are staying true to you. That is good. I was a virgin a lot longer than most of my friends too because I wanted to have sex with someone without any peer pressure, when I wanted to have it. I didn't need to be with another virgin, but that was MY taste. And I am proud I stayed true to me.

            If you want to experience your first time having sex with another person for whom that is also their first time that is just lovely. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

            But with Lee he isn't choosing to be a virgin. If he could get laid tomorrow he would. And the only reason he wants a virgin woman is because he doesn't want to feel lesser than her, he doesn't want to feel like she knows more than he does. Because he wants to feel like the "man" in the relationship, and that stereotype is that the man is the one in the power position. The idea of a woman having any kind of power over him, even the power of knowledge disgusts him. Is a turn off. And that power issue is rooted in systemic sexism. Men are strong and in charge, women are meek and follow.

            You are not Lee. You do not want sex with a virgin because you are ashamed of your lack of experience. You want sex with a virgin because you want someone who shares your values. No one here is saying that that is wrong. At all. And I am truly sorry you ever got that impression.

          • What the hell are you talking about? I value virginity a lot – I don't want to disclose details of my life, but let's just say that I made choices that reflect that value, both in how I live and who I married. And I never suggested that you were a bad person – just that Lee has some pretty twisted-up ideas. Yes, we all live in a culture with some sexist ideas about female virginity. That doesn't make you a bad person – though how you react to it might, depending on how deep a hole you'd like to dig for yourself.

            Also, you seem to be ignoring the MULTIPLE times when I said I thought it was important to stand up for guys who got shamed for being virgins, and that it's sexist when people give guys shit for choosing virginity. You did read that part, right?

          • thathat says:

            "Of course I'm offended when someone suggests that I'm a bad person because I want to be with someone who at least understands this and ideally shares this experience. "

            Hasn't this been clarified enough?

            Okay, I'm a virgin. I am fine with that. Proud of it? Eh, no, because, I mean, it doesn't make me any better or more distinct than any of my friends who've had sex. Put us in a room, you can't tell. But comfortable with it? Sure. It's a personal value that I have assigned for myself, not one that I require of anyone else.

            But more than that, no one said wanting someone who's at your experience level is a bad thing. That's totally understandable. The way Lee talks about it, though, it doesn't sound like it's about shared experiences– He literally said that he would feel PERSONALLY ROBBED by having sex with a woman who had already had sex. That implies:

            1) Not merely that virginity was a thing that she lost, but that it is a thing that was STOLEN FROM HIM.

            2) That a woman who has had sex has been "ruined," a concept that has a LONG and horrible history in this culture.

            One thing no one said was that virgins have no value.

          • "Of course I'm offended when someone suggests that all of my struggle and sacrifice make me a a bad person. Of course I'm offended when someone suggests that I'm a bad person because I want to be with someone who at least understands this and ideally shares this experience."

            Which would indeed be offensive. And is also a thing that *nobody here has said*.

          • username_6916 says:

            Well, just take a look at that post right below yours. The one by embertine. It essentially says that and is in fact upvoted.

          • Not to compete, but mine above agrees with you and got more upvotes than embertine. So yeah, some people have a different point of view. But those who share your point of view (aka me) got even more upvotes. Also Kleenster's post and Thathat's post support you and got more upvotes as well. So why are you ignoring those exactly in favour of the one person who disagrees? Oh, is it because that supports your indignation that we ALL are against virginity and wanting to be with a virgin?

          • And at the time I wrote my post, nobody had in fact said anything of the sort. So now one person has said something that could be interpreted as saying that (I'd also note both that the comment references "fetishizing" virginity and that there are differences in desiring something while seeing it as good, desiring something while seeing it as value-neutral, and desiring something while fetishizing it). But if we are playing the popular opinion game, you'll notice far more people are at least moderately disagreeing (and if we are counting such things, are also getting two or three times as many upvotes).

          • username_6916 says:

            You (and everyone else who thinks I'm attacking a straw man) are moving the goal posts. People say I'm attacking a straw man, but when an actual proponent of the views I am threatened by shows up, you now say that such views are unpopular so they don't mater.

          • thathat says:

            I notice you also never address reasonable statements when they are given. Like the difference between fetishizing something and desiring something.

            Or, speaking of moving goalpost, let's start at the very beginning of this mess:

            Comment A: "I feel personally robbed because the only hypothetical woman that I could ever have sex with will probably be old–my age– and therefor wrinkled, gray, and sagging, rather than young and hot, and if she has had sex with someone else, I am personally robbed of the chance to have sex with someone who isn't used goods, because a woman who has had sex is like a treasure that has been plundered.
            Comment B: "Okay, that's kind of sexist.
            Comment C: (you) "How is that sexist? That's not sexist! Someone wants a virgin, how is that sexist."
            Comments D-Q: *discussions of the history, social and psychological implications of virginity as a woman's only value and pointing out that the initial comment was not just about wanting a virgin, but about wanting a virgin because non-virgin women are despoiled and used."
            Comment C: *repeated again, refusal to acknowledge any of the points made, the differences being discussed, etc. Repeat initial comment comment.*

          • Dude, you are the one who was complaining not just that *one* person expressed a contrary view to that of *every other person* who had at that point posted–which I will note you were complaining about even *before* that one single post went up–but that the view had (a couple of) upvotes. If you're going to point to those upvotes when you feel like they back up your opinion, it's kind of disingenuous to ignore them and say they don't matter when far more of them *don't* back up your opinion. Frankly, from where I'm sitting, the one moving goal posts around is you.

          • username_6916 says:

            As opposed to how every single one of my posts gets a significant number of downvotes.

            Ultimately, this whole "the idea of virginity is toxic" is in fact a rather common refrain in certain feminist spaces. It certainly isn't a strawman.

          • I believe you when you say you are experiencing shame and distress. Given that you seem unable to tolerate one person's distaste among many people expressing positions ranging from moderately to relatively supportive, I'd guess the shame is coming from somewhere inside you. I wish you luck in dealing with it; among other things, I think that if you feel more at home with your own choices, you'll feel less compelled to act like a jerk when threatened.

          • embertine says:

            OK, unpopular opinion time: I think fetishizing virginity is ALWAYS gross and sexist, regardless of the context. Here’s why.

            In cultures where virginity is prized, even where it is nominally considered good for men too, it is always women who are held up to the higher standard and on whose shoulders the vast majority of responsibility and blame is heaped. Take American conservative Christians for example; both sexes may wear purity rings, but AFAIK sons aren’t made to dance awkwardly with their moms at purity balls. Both sexes are expected to be “pure”, but young men are not accused of testing young women’s resolve, of dressing sluttily or asking for it just because they have a tight T-shirt on.

            Other cultures don’t even bother to pretend that the fetishization of virginity is anything other than an effort to control women’s sexuality, and are quite open about the differing standards for men and women.

            There is widely supposed to be a physical difference between a woman who has had sex and one that has not. While this is, in many cases, not very accurate, it is still the popular perception. No-one speaks of men being physically different, “deflowered” or “despoiled” when they lose their virginity. Probably because the genuine physical consequences of sex, like pregnancy, will only ever be evident on women. There isn’t even a FAKE virginity test for men like there is for women, because how would that even work?

            The prizing of virginity is the only real time that we think that someone not having had an experience makes them worth more. And it really is “worth more”, as in morally and financially, as it comes from the days that proof of virginity raised the bride price people were prepared to pay for their mobile kitchen appliances and baby factories.

            I also don’t agree that sex is automatically better with someone you love, or that the first time is special, or that if yours is within the bonds of marriage that means that you queef rainbows and ejaculate unicorn tears or whatever. I feel sorry for people that think that because their wedding nights are going to be a hell of a disappointment.

            So yes, I think virginity has no value and you don't actually lose anything at all except inexperience when you "lose it".

            Did Lee say he was a virgin? I thought he’d had sexual relationships before?

          • Also, given how defensive people get about being told they "are" sexist, I don't think the verb question is pedantic. There are good reasons (getting into a whole lot of neat research on values and identity) to think about a different way of framing the problem. I don't care for your flippant dismissal of the issue.

          • username_6916 says:

            Is there a difference between, "Bill Clinton was a womanizer" and "Bill Clinton womanized"? Would President Clinton have more reason to be any less offended by the latter?

            That's why I see this as a pedantic distinction. Saying "your desires are sexist" has every bit as much value judgment as "your desires make you sexist".

          • Well, now you just sound ignorant. Go read Carol Dweck on mindset and then I'll consider spending more of my time on you.

          • thathat says:

            Your counterexample…isn't.

            Lee isn't talking about everybody. He's talking about women. He's specifically using a mindset that has frequently been a foundation of a very sexist culture (as opposed to the "California drivers" mindset which isn't something that's been culturally reinforced for centuries or is even particularly thought of or enforced by our culture now).

            His comments don't happen in a vacuum. Is Lee sexist? I have no idea. But the concept that a "deflowered woman" has less inherent worth because she has had sex is not something unique that only a handful of people thought. There is nowhere near that level of sanction on men and men's sexuality, which is why your example of "what if he were gay" seems to be skirting the issue. You can't, actually, just separate this from the larger narrative of our culture and look at it all on its own.

            It's possible not to be a sexist, but to still have some very sexist ideas because that's the culture we've been raised in, unfortunately. Mothers do not become ceremonial guardians of their sons' peens, but fathers and daughters have purity balls. He's a player, she's a slut. It's not really something that can be avoided.

            Lee's *reasons* for wanting a virgin are the big problem here. Those reasons being that a virgin hasn't been "spoiled" by someone else, that her purity hasn't been "robbed" from him by another man's dick.

            So working from your hypothetical:
            A woman saying, "I want a Fiat 500. I like small cars," is just a woman who wants a Fiat 500, and who happens to like small cars.
            A woman who says "I want a Fiat 500 because women shouldn't drive big cars–we just can't handle them. I mean, we're such bad drivers," *Is* supporting the sexist narrative.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Society's views are relevant because they are a constantly re-enforced message on those same women. In particular, its the explicit reason he wants someone inexperienced, because he doesn't want a woman who knows what she's doing and would be willing to work with him. He wants to be the dominant partner, not in a BDSM way but in a relationship way. Its very similar logic to a sugar daddy, honestly. It allows him to maintain a position of control rather than collaboration. I don't know if I'd say its sexist, per say, but it definitely plays into unhealthy societal expectations of men as the alpha/dominant/provider.

            Lee, I acknowledge that I may be WAYYYYYYYYY off base here, so feel free to jump in with your take on it and we can discuss it directly instead of other people talking about you.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            There's a difference between waiting because you chose to wait and waiting because no one would have you. You may notice that the type of person he describes is not someone who's very likely to have wanted sex but never found a partner.

            The sexist part is that he wants someone who's attractive, self determined, has a full and rewarding life but will immediately set that aside to have non-committed sex with someone who is going to require a lot of energy. Assuming Lee's dream girl exists, why wouldn't she find someone who treats her better than Lee would like to?

          • thathat says:

            Preferring a virgin because you want someone who's maybe in the same place you are experience-wise is one thing.

            Preferring a virgin because a woman who's not a virgin has been "spoiled" by another man's penis is a whole other thing with a loooooong history based on women's bodies being chattel that they brought to a marriage deal, on women needing to be "unspoiled" and "pure" (there is nowhere near this emphasis on men. He's a player, she's a slut and all that jazz. Even in the highly conservative Christian areas, things like "purity balls" are about the teenage girls not having sex–mothers aren't ceremoniously put in charge of their son's peen staying unsheathed) to have value.

            Considering someone of either sex to be ruined and sex with them to be less fulfilling because (and only because) you aren't their first sex partner is kinda icky. But when talking about women particularly, it's an attitude that doesn't exist in a vacuum–there is way too much culture and history behind the idea that women who have had sex are worth less than women who haven't.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          I feel left out and excluded and robbed.

          OK, and that's how you feel. What you're missing here, Lee, is that the problem is not with your sex life. Its with your feelings. By what you just said, there is literally nothing that will leave you feeling satisfied at this point because you will always be upset at things that didn't happen twenty years ago. You can't change that. If you had hot and cold running bisexual MPDG's who were willing to teach you everything, it would not change your past. Now you're absolutely entitled to whatever feelings you want but please recognize that there is nothing that anyone except you can do to change them.

        • embertine says:

          Hi Lee, I don't comment on here very often but I've been reading for quite a few months. I understand that you feel sad and I totally understand how loneliness and feeling that life and love is passing you by can make you bitter. Do I ever! Been there! But you talk quite a bit about what you want from an ideal relationship and… frankly, I am flabbergasted. From what I can gather, you want:
          A very conventionally attractive white woman, preferably quite a few years younger than you.
          Somebody whose experience of relationships is minimal to none, but still has her shit totally together when it comes to being with you.
          Someone who is, if not actually a virgin, is very, very sexually inexperienced but still magic in bed.
          Someone who will get immediately into a relationship with you, allowing you time for your independent interests but always being available whenever you want her.
          Someone who will make no demands of you whatsoever.
          Someone who will guide you through the process of a sexual and relationship without making you feel like her student, and despite (as previously mentioned) having no experience herself.
          Someone who will find you immediately utterly charming without you ever having to put any effort into being attractive to her.
          Someone who doesn't want kids, marriage or co-habitation, ever, or preferably: who does want those things, but is so in love with you that she is willing to subsume all her desires and dreams for the future in order to keep you.

          Now I maybe wrong, and that isn't true. But that chimes exactly with things you have yourself said on this site, and if it's accurate, that is simply monstrous. Others have said you don't even talk about women as though we are people and it's true – you talk about us as though we are bits of custom furniture that you could order through online shopping. You don't need a girlfriend mate, you need a RealDoll.

        • trixnix says:

          @LeeEsq,

          I agree that you feel left out, excluded and robbed. And perhaps you're aware that I've also expressed concerns and worries about feeling left out and excluded. Sometimes it gets weird because I think there's an element of excluding myself out of fear of the type of person I might become if I didn't. I have a massive sex drive that's a 12 out of 10. Goodness knows what I might become if there were no barriers to that. I can't say for sure that, if that were not kept under control, I wouldn't be a dick to people/sleep around a lot (not necessarily a bad thing but a morally questionably one to me with respect just to me).

          My counselor said she could see hints and the potential for me having a much bigger personality. I usually keep that aspect of me hidden.

          So I feel both excluded and like I'm holding myself back. Because I'm also scared. I'm not who I was in a way. The accident pushed me beyond coping and the only way I could survive is by making something new out of myself. I'm not a virgin but I might as well be because the version of me who did have sex is long gone. I want a sharing of pleasure. What if I'm not up to it?

          I'm also complicated. I've kinda got the hots for someone who is older than me (I think) but she's vulnerable right now. I also took a long hard look at what I wrote on the other thread and decided to give approaching another go. Met a woman in a shop. Managed a very short conversation but had no idea what to say next.

          I'm not sure how you'd end up with a fake version of sexual experimentation and discovery. Yes, she may have slept with someone else before. Doesn't mean it was automatically good or what she wanted it to be. The other person may not know everything they like through other people.

          Question is, what's her sexual experience of being with you going to be like? What can the two of you discover together?

        • Lee, have you ever had sex with an experienced partner? I know the answer, it is no. So how can you be so certain of the things you claim. That "great discrepancy in experience ruins everything forever"? How do you know? You say everyone else around you hooked up when they were younger, so you can't have seen an example of "great discrepancy in experience ruining everything forever" with them. You refuse to have sex with a woman who has experience so you don't have direct knowledge that "great discrepancy in experience ruins everything forever". Are their studies that I have been unaware of that prove this? I mean, wasn't it very common in the past for fathers to take their sons to sex workers to train their boys how to do it? I don't think that ruined everything forever.

          You really don't have any evidence aside from it being a personal turn off of yours. And what's odd is you've never experienced it to even know if it's a turn off.

          Also, let's say you had tons of sexual experience, would you not be willing to sleep with a virgin because it would be robbing her of real discovery?

          Or does it really just come down to you don't like the feeling of not knowing and someone else having knowledge. That that scares you. That it makes you feel pathetic. And you want to feel like a "real man"? That being the one that is inexperienced puts you in the stereotypically female role and that grosses you out? It would make the most sense. Considering that you say some rather sexist things here, I wouldn't be surprised that the idea of being "lesser" than a woman in any way scares you so much that you would rather blame her experience on ruining everything forever, than maybe checking your ego and having a really fucking good time.

          • enail0_o says:

            To be fair, it's very possible to know that something is a turn off for you without ever having experienced it.

          • It's true. And it's also possible to discover something you didn't think you'd like is something you like. I'm not saying someone needs to try everything in order to know what you want (I have always hated that argument), but I just think that Lee has drawn a lot of conclusions based on fantasy. And I think he would maybe not hate having sex with someone who knows what she is doing and is kind and considerate and loves him. But you are absolutely right, you don't need to do something to know you don't want it.

          • What I hate is the idea of always having to play catch up and being last in everything.

          • thathat says:

            And that just seems like a very unhealthy way to mentally frame the whole thing.

            It's not a race or a contest. I'm not overly fond of the awkwardness of "argh, why didn't I suss all this out when everyone else did!" that goes along with having less romantic experience than many of the people around me. But you're not playing catch up. That's not what a relationship is. Plenty of people come to each new relationship with NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Each time. Because people aren't particularly interchangeable. So it's not really "catch up." It's coming together. It's figuring each other out.

            "Being last in everything" is just kind of a bitter mindset that poisons the well, y'know.

      • Oh is this why you get so bent out of shape when we talk about sexual positivity?

        • eselle28 says:

          God forbid women don't remain chaste and save themselves for a low commitment relationship where they'll be expected to do most of the work.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            Sounds like such. a. party.

            Sign me right up for that, mm-hmm.

            /yeah no

        • Gentleman Horndog says:

          As far as I can tell, Lee would prefer anybody having more sex than him to kindly shut the fuck up about it already.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            For values of talking about their sex lives that, as far as I've been able to tell given his extensive body of published work on the subject, include being mildly affectionate in public.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I'll just put this here relative to the thread in general. Folks, Lee doesn't seem to be actively participating at this point and everyone's had their commentary. Can we lay off the bashing of his attitudes unless/until he chooses to engage the several pages of commentary already waiting?

            I don't particularly care to be called out on conversations I'm not in. We should be able to do the same for him.

          • No kidding. All those slutty people walking around holding hands in public places.

          • Sorry, rereading that it actually came out a bit snarkier than intended.

          • Yes, actually I would. Its very awkward when your sitting around silently while everybody is talking about sex and all these freaking experiences they had. By the time I get to participate in these conversations; people will either shut me up for being a dirty, old man whom nobody wants to hear about having sex or think whatever I have to say is too boring compared to everything else. Either that or look at me patronizingly like a little kid joining the adults.

          • Why do you think any of this will happen? Again, what evidence do you have to support this?

          • thathat says:

            …what kind of cruddy people do you hang out with?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Lee, first you're making some assumptions that people are going to treat you pretty crappy. Now either you're wrong and worrying for nothing or you're right and need a better caliber of friends. Either way, dating someone now so you'll get social approval from people you're talking about those experiences with later is not a healthy way to go into it. Again, you have a problem here but its not one that someone else can fix for you. Date someone because you want to date them, not to play catch up, not to have a story to tell later. No one wants to get into a relationship just to satisfy someone else's checklist of items that they think they need for a complete life.

          • Ooh just saw this!

            The most sex positive group I hang with is a meetup group of Burners and hippies. They regularly talk about their sexcapades. In fact it's one of the main topics of conversations. Also the average age is mid- to late thirties. Just putting it out there. There is no age cut off for discussing your sexy adventures, provided you hang in the type of groups where those conversations are welcomed!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I think his point was that he wants an environment where that sort of thing isn't prevalent. Now that you mention it, though, I may have to start going back to Burner meetings when we do our next recruiting drive.

  6. Furious Styles says:

    "There’s nothing like trying to make things work with someone you were not compatible with to make you feel horrible about yourself."
    Yeah. Ask me how I know.
    To this listcicle I would also add; "There is nothing major about her you want to change…and vice-versa".

    • eselle28 says:

      Oh. Yeah. I think anyone who's either taken on a repair project or been the one who was seen as one knows that's bad news. Even though lots of people fantasize about someone coming along to fix them, the reality of someone who's actually trying to do that doesn't usually match up, and their vision of what you should be like often doesn't match your own.

      • Furious Styles says:

        Best relationship advice I got from an old lady…"don't get with someone who has more problems than you. In a relationship, you want to be the f**ed up one"! (Tongue in cheek of course)

    • Thereal McCoy says:

      Dating someone who you *know* has one of your major dealbreakers is unfair to that person, too.

      • celette482 says:

        So I always said that I would stop dating someone the moment I knew I could never marry them. And someone recently flipped that around to make it sound like I was deciding whether I would marry someone on a first date. I just shook my head. (though, to be fair, my fiancé and I were half-joking talking about marriage after our 4th date, but not the point.)

  7. trixnix says:

    When you sit in a world which doesn't include an abundance mentality, it's kinda obvious that you're gonna want any chance you get to work out. Because the next one could be a long, long way off.

    The whole "I'd rather be alone than with someone who wasn't compatible mantra" you get around the world is somewhat week when you consider that the main way you find out if someone is compatible with you or not is by dating them/getting to know them.

    You don't often get to pick based on the knowledge that you will be compatible.

    Women who have passions and interests excite me. If you spend all your time watching really bad reality TV, forget it. Also if you happen to be a bigot or a racist, that causes a values conflict and won't work as a relationship. Beyond that, I'm interested in finding out things about people and being taught things too.

    One ex is now close to being a Professor of Marine Biology. That was sexy beyond belief and not just because she looked hot in a wet suit and diving equipment. Okay, might have had something to do with it but her passion for her subject was hot.

    Another ex showed me Jane Austen books and novels and other stuff. We'd have massive fights about interest we didn't share but her interests still excited me.

    My former friend and I were very close interest wise and it broke my heart watching that friendship die and to have to consider her an enemy is also distressing.

    The med student was all kinds of cute and intelligent with a passion for psychology.

    The street busker was obviously passionate about her music which is why I knew my friend was asking the wrong questions to her to get a response. He's a great guy. But why on earth would asking her in what ways her instrument of choice was like something else she's not playing was a good strategy I'll never know. One of the reasons I miss having a wing man. He'd get positive reactions opening on account of being attractive but I'm stronger in connection and conversation terms.

    I disagree that you're worse off if you go out with someone who you discover is not right for you. Unless she/he was abusive towards you, you've really lost nothing if it doesn't work out. Life is shot as it is. All relationships have their time. Right now, I'd take the chance to be able to play in the dating world over the risk of being with someone who doesn't "get me".

    Of course we're all looking for different things. I just don't get looking at every relationship as if it must be the perfect one.

    • I don't think this advice is about the first date. I agree, you need to get to know people. This is about not sticking in a relationship when it's clear you aren't compatible, be it compatible in interests like Marty likes it, or compatible in passion like you like it. Yes, absolute, date people who you don't know very well. Dating is all about getting to know someone. But don't feel obligated to stay with someone when you discover all she ever wants to do is watch the Real Housewives and ignore you. That's all.

    • Meyer N Gaines says:

      Speaking of bigots…

      so I was chatting with a girl I was friendly with (fellow medical student) the other day. I actually was sort of interested in her, except the more we talked, the more I got worried. She didn't drink or smoke (marijuana), she seemed sort of uptight and conservative, and we didn't share anything in terms of background or interests. As soon as she told me that her type was "tall skinny white guys," I wrote her off immediately. I swear, was this chick separated from birth from Kathy or something?

      • Stardrake says:

        I’m not sure that in itself means ‘bigot’. There may be more to it, but if you regard smoking marijuana as normal, your definition of uptight and conservative may be different to most. As to type – I don’t think any of the women I’ve seriously fell for have exactly been an exact match for what I would have described as my ‘type’ in physical characteristics. There may be more to it that didn’t come across in your post, but I don’t think it’s fair to label someone a bigot just because their ‘type’ is (presumably, and for most people it is) in their own ethnicity.

        • Yeah, I'm not sure that statement on its own is necessarily enough to label someone a bigot, and none of the other things you mentioned have anything to do with bigotry per se (I'm moderately conservative politically and have tried marijuana a total of once, after which I decided I didn't really get the appeal, but I would have no problem dating someone of another ethnicity, and it's obviously certainly possible to drink heavily but be really racist or sexist).

          I also think from many of the comments you've made both here and on the forum about your ex-girlfriend that you bear her a lot of ill-will for, from what I can tell, the horrible crime of not being the super-hot, sexually adventurous girlfriend of your dreams–which, especially considering how young you both were, is hardly to be wondered at (I should also point out that in many of your stories, you don't come across as a terribly good boyfriend, either). It might be worth unpacking that a little to see if you can't let some of that resentment go, because I don't think it's doing you any favors.

          Also, I'll second Stardrake's comments on dating outside "type." My physical "type" is a guy with long hair, yet I've never actually been on a date with a long-haired man (it's sadly really uncommon in my social circle).

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            Eh, forget sexually adventurous, I would have been happy enough just to have PIV sex with her once. Would have ended the virginity curse, and all that.

            In any case, the past is the past. But for what it's worth, I probably learned some useful things from that episode. For one, you attract what you are. I'm a nerdy, uptight, shy, average-looking dude, so I'll attract nerdy, uptight, shy, average-looking women. If I want to attract the kind of women that will complement me and make me happy, I'll need to up my game.

          • Yes, because nerdy, uptight, shy, or average-looking women have nothing to offer and could never possibly make anyone happy, so you need *game* so you can attract *the kind of women* who *complement* you (ugh). Never mind whether or not they'd actually be a good fit for you (or you for them). It's pretty much all about sex and status and selfishness.

            Meyer, you have a lot of frankly gross and off-putting attitudes toward women, and those attitudes are likely to be a lot more of a hindrance to you than the fact that you are Indian or that you may not have the Giant Muscles of Manliness or you're not first in your class or whatever other reasons you're going to blame. I would quite happily date an Indian man. I would absolutely *not* date a man who talks about women, sex, dating, or relationships the way you do.

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            No, it's really not about status. I've been with a nerdy, shy, and uptight woman before, and I was miserable. I just want to be happy and find someone to be happy with. It doesn't matter if she's Kim Kardashian incarnate or just kinda cute.

          • And WHY were you miserable with them? The one story I remember you telling was the girl from highschool who you STILL hate because she wasn't goodlooking enough. Nothing about her personality, nothing about any other quality. You hate someone simply because she wasn't hot and blame her for making you miserable. Regardless if that is about status in your community or your own sick attitude towards women, I'm with Joy, I would never touch you with a ten foot pole (and I am actually usually very attracted to Indian men).

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            That's really an overly simplistic way of looking at things, and not quite fair to me. We used to argue quite frequently, had different lifestyles, interests, and values, and were sexually incompatible. Honestly, I would have left her even if she was one of the hottest girls in the school.

          • I've heard Meyer talk about this a few times and I agree with his assessment of the situation. It's not just about her appearance. (Which doesn't mean he doesn't sometimes talk about it in an unhelpful way.)

          • Okay cool. I'm not here all the time, I don't know. The last time I read something about her was that he hated her because she was so ugly. That even to this day he hates her. That he hates she didn't even try and could have. I have never read any of the other things about her. I appreciate that you clarified this because quite frankly that other post (I don't even remember where it was) really got to me and really colored my opinion of Meyer. I will wipe the slate clean :) .

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            I never said that I hated her because she was ugly, I said she could have looked quite a bit better with makeup. Which is true.

            I hated her for many other reasons than that. I see plenty of plain and even "ugly" (by conventional standards) people, and I don't hate them at all.

          • Below is the infamous Kathy paragraph. Note that the only things you offer as a tangible negative about her have to do with her looks. At no point to you say that you had different lifestyles, values, interests etc. This is why I took it that your biggest issue with her was her looks. Now knowing what you have added to the mix, I can see that that might also apply to the below paragraph. But surely you can see how one might draw such a conclusion as I did? And maybe it might make sense (like below where you clarified your meaning about having sex with anyone that would get you hard) to focus on being a bit clearer in your writing (for the record, I still think it's disgusting that your greatest dream is to laugh at Kathy, a girl who did nothing cruel to you but be incompatible. That's truly reprehensible to me):

            "I suppose that still leaves the matter of Kathy unresolved. I really hate to put women on a numerical scale, so I won't. But as I mentioned earlier, she was a tall, shy, bookish girl who didn't care too much about dressing femininely or putting on makeup. A shame, IMO, she could have been quite pretty if she spent a bit of effort on her appearance.

            But here's what bugs me: the fact that she was the only girl I've been involved with, and I didn't even like being with her. But I stayed with her just because I didn't think I could do any better. When I eventually left her, my first thought was not "I like her," but "am I ever going to not be a virgin"?

            . . .

            But through all that time I have never forgot Kathy. I hate her, but more than that, I hate myself for not doing better than her. And honestly, my wildest dream is not money, power, or Kim Kardashian's ass. It is to go to our high school reunion and laugh at her, and prove that not only can I get my life together, but that I can do much better than a girl like her."

          • eselle28 says:

            I think Meyer needed (and got) some criticism for those comments (the high school reunion one is particularly short-sighted, because I suspect he'll find Kathy moved on with her life and doesn't care), but I don't think it's accurate to say the only objection is about her looks.

            He's weighing investment in appearance heavily, but he also describes her as shy, bookish, and someone who he didn't like being with. Shy and bookish are neutral traits that some people appreciate and some don't, just as not being very into clothing or makeup is a neutral trait, and I think we can assume that Meyer didn't particularly like those qualities.

          • Well we definitely know now that there are other things about her he didn't like. But aside from "shy" to me "bookish" = a certain stereotypical aesthetic (glasses, hunched, lanky hair etc). Especially when it is listed in a paragraph where everything else was about looks. Again, I'm just saying how I read it without the full knowledge of his issues with her. I don't think my reading was totally out of left field, quite frankly, though I know I was wrong in how I read it. I don't think my error is a crazy wacky mistake that only one in a million will make.

            I think he needs to be more careful, like below where he said something really gross and then clarified it in a really reasonable paragraph. It might help him to start with that paragraph first.

            Look, I only posted this post because I wanted him to see how I could have misread his issues with her. I think I have made my point. But I appreciate his. That he had other issues with her as well.

          • eselle28 says:

            Oh, yeah, I don't think it's a wacky mistake to make at all. Investment in appearance is what gets the most discussion, to the point where it does kind of dominate the message.

          • thathat says:

            "Virginity curse."

            For pity's sake…

          • Maximilian says:

            For some of us it *does* feel like a curse.

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            After reading this article, I plan to lie about my virginity to anyone.
            http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/it-happen

          • Maximilian says:

            I'm pretty sure my testicles shrank while I was reading that.

          • thathat says:

            And for some of us, it's barely a state of being. Seriously. What, even.

          • Maximilian says:

            You were the one completely dismissive of other people's portrayal of their *own* virginity, not me.

          • thathat says:

            Reducing a woman's vagina to a magical cure for your "curse," even (especially?) conceptually is a pretty gross thing to do–both unhealthy and dismissive of said woman. "Eh, I don't care for you as a person, but if I can dip my wand in your magic well, it will lift the curse."

          • Maximilian says:

            Or, in reality the loss of the massive stigma surrounding being a virgin above the age of, in my country at least, 20. It is weird, I don't remember ever implying I'd use a woman (strange that you didn't cover a man in this, if I was the sort of jumping to conclusions person you appear to be I'd label you homophobic)

            But by all means, go immediately for the butchering of words I didn't even say that looks most like something a sexist bigot would say, whatever floats your boat.

          • You didn't, but Meyer did: "I'll bang just about anybody as long as I can get hard." Notice how no one has responded to that post? It's because it is so disgusting it just isn't worth anyone's time. At any rate, it's possible thathat is conflating the two of you. Or maybe he/she doesn't really like the way above you are commiserating with someone who often does reduce women to a series of holes. I don't know either way. But no, you didn't say that. It's true. You are only that cruel to yourself :( .

          • Maximilian says:

            I think it is more because anyone who complains to Meyer about that particular comment is worried they'll rightfully be called a hypocrite for male slut-shaming.

            I have absolutely no evidence for this but making baseless accusations about people you disagree with's character seems to be the in thing around here these days.

          • No, it's about the way he talks about women as if they are nothing but holes for him to get off with. It doesn't matter if he wants to sleep with many women, that's okay. As long as he treats those women with respect. And writing what he did HOW he did does not show much respect. That adding to his history of writing some pretty nasty things about women on here, yeah, that's the problem. Let him have all the sex. Who gives a crap about that? You don't see people slut shaming either of the Gentlemen here (either Horndog or Johnny).

          • Maximilian says:

            Nobody talks about GJ as they've realised by now there is no amount of words in the collective spoken and written languages, both existing and defunct, that humanity and animal kind have ever developed, that could even begin to dent his own arrogant self-importance.

          • Nah, I think it's 'cause most people here like him. And agree with him. And he treats people with respect. And even if he is the most arrogant son of a gun in the whole pretty world, he still doesn't say shit like "I'll bang just about anybody as long as I can get hard."

          • Maximilian says:

            Oh he's far too busy belittling the opinions and experiences of anyone and everyone he deems fit to say anything like that.

          • Uh huh.

            Look, I understand that he has hurt you and I am not going to discount that. But your hyperbole is showing again. Even though I am but "Guest" I've been here a long time, I've even interacted with him myself and he has never belittled my experiences or opinions. Which alone disproves your "everyone" theory. Seeing how he gets on with most of the other posters here further disproves your "everyone" theory.

            So you are wrong. He doesn't. He has hurt you, and I will not argue that point because that is not my place. But no, he doesn't belittle the opinions and experiences of anyone and everyone. That's wrong. And it is wrong of you to accuse him of such.

          • Maximilian says:

            You removed the "he deems fit" bit after "everyone" in the post you're answering, which would completely void your point.

            Someone could make a fortune if they patented the comment butchering to suit an agenda that would be proven wrong if quoting the person in full. It is taking DNL by storm at the moment

          • Fair enough, you're right. I didn't see the "he deems fit". But seeing as you see the worst I guess in most people you will instead see that as me manipulating things and not an accident.

            Also what's your problem with me? Why are you so angry with me? All I did was let someone else know that you weren't saying what they accused you of. Yes I brought up Meyer, but only as the likely culprit of thathat's scorn. I used the two Gentlemen as an example that people here don't seem to mind when men have sex often as evidence that the issue with Meyer was his attitude towards women, not his desire to have sex.

            Further I have not seen what you are talking about, and if GJ truly does go around belittling people I am sorry to hear it. I've experienced nothing but tolerance from him. And a great deal of respect for women. He also goes out of his way to try to help others solve their problems. But I don't know him. And no one is perfect. And I am sorry the two of you do not get along. But I'm not willing to continue to debate his merits or lack thereof in a thread where he isn't present and isn't at all about him.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, ok, my ears are burning here. My intention, Max, has always been to try and shake you out of your despair which, frankly, makes me sad to see in any human being, even one who's just a bunch of words on the screen. I'm aware that I may well have pushed too hard because that sort of insistence is what it took to get me to start taking command of my own life and making things happen instead of getting run over by it.

            We've both gotten pretty personal in the past but the fact that you may (or may not) have made the first attack at some point in no way excuses my rising to the bait or any attacks I may have made on you. I'd apologize for specific things but I don't really hold onto the details, just this sort of gut feeling of where our interactions have gone.

            So if I've ever wronged you or dismissed your experience, I apologize. I'll do my best not to do it again and if I do, call me on that shit, ok?

          • Maximilian says:

            I lean more towards plan B where you stop pretending you give a toss about me (lets face it, you're awful at it anyway) and our paths going forward are uncrossed.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Well, Max, here's the thing. I'm happy making no effort to help you but I'd personally prefer if you didn't pretend to be the wounded party one moment, then tell me how I feel about things the next. Its not like we're talking about living in the same city here.

            This is a small community having conversations. So if you want me to leave you alone, I think its pretty reasonable to ask you not to talk shit about me when I'm not participating in the conversation, or even when I am. Do you disagree with that?

          • Gentleman Maximilian says:

            Considering how patronising you've been with me, the less said about the first paragraph the less I'll have to censor myself in reply to it.

            Talking shit implies it isn't true but, if you're willing to practice what you enjoy preaching so much, you're on.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I don't recall preaching anything that I don't practice. However, I find it a bit difficult to accept you attacking me, justifying previous attacks then saying "fine, I'll be civil". I begin to doubt the sincerity of your willingness, GM.

            So tell me, what is it that I preach that I don't practice? Because I seriously don't get that one, so I wouldn't be able to avoid whatever you're talking about even if I wanted to.

          • Gentleman Maximilian says:

            To be fair, it is true, I could have padded it with more bullshit like yours up above.

            Lets just go with the last week or so, to keep the list small enough that I can see myself typing it in this thin comment box:
            .
            Humility, not making every conversation and forum topic about you and your personal dating/sex life, the belittling of other people's opinions because they're different to yours and personal attacks (it certainly wasn't a one way street!)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            This is a post with no content strictly to see if you'll keep talking shit about me with nothing new to work with.

          • Gentleman Maximilian says:

            See, what was easy enough.

            I've even given it a thumbs up.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Gotcha, so we'll get along fine as long as I don't share my experience or offer an opinion.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            If you\’re so miserable here, I can certainly fix that for you…

          • Maximilian says:

            Thanks for proving my point, Doc.

          • Delafina says:

            No, it's because he treats people with respect and is able to disagree with them without being an asshat about it. Which is a major difference between "arrogant self-importance" and simple confidence.

          • Maximilian says:

            Superb timing posting this a week or so after he had to be told to stop doing that very same thing with me by the mods on the forums.

          • Delafina says:

            I'm unclear what you're talking about, but either way, I'm not sure what a personal attack on GJ, who isn't even posting in this thread, has to do with the subject at hand. Flagging your comment for review.

          • Maximilian says:

            Oh boy, I can't wait to be banned by DNL or one of the mods for a personal attack just slightly further down a comment conversation where it is suggest I'm a sexist bigot who reduces a woman's vagina to essentially something to be used and disposed off.

          • Delafina says:

            Hang on. Aren't you the same dude who ASKED to be banned? Why are you even still here?

          • Maximilian says:

            I got asked to be banned from the forums, where the self appointed Gentleman belittles as he sees fit, unopposed and in some cases joined on the bandwagon.

            I thought I'd see what this week's article was about and made what I consider a reasonable comment in reply to a comment laughing at the idea that virginity could be seen as a curse, stating that for some of us (i.e. older than the norm virgins) it feels like that.

            Low and behold within the very reply to that comment…NOPE! I personally don't think its a curse, therefore your opinion means nothing.

          • I think there's a little cross-talk going on here.

            There's nothing wrong with feeling like virginity is a curse. It really sucks to feel that way.

            It's also uncool to use someone else's body (or mind, or self) to try to fix your own problems. Don't treat people like objects, no matter how bad you feel.

            Does that make more sense?

          • Maximilian says:

            I've never said the opposite, in fact I didn't comment on getting rid of said virginity at all – nevermind how high or low I'd view the person I'd be losing it with/to.

            I made a comment about the sneering that some people see virginity at a curse, merely acknowledging the existence of people who see or (as I put it in the comment) feel it as such.

          • Right, but I think the angry posts you're reacting to are about the "use someone else's body to fix your virginity curse" idea, not about the idea that some people experience virginity as a curse. Hence the cross-talk.

          • Maximilian says:

            So in short I was wrongly accused of being a sexist bigot who sees using someone's body to remove a curse as reasonable, because I happened to defend someone who thinks like that on a completely different issue?

            Seems like something worthy of an apology myself. But hey, what do I know?

          • thathat says:

            No. In short, you messed up in your reading comprehension. You're right–you never said a thing about how to lift the "virginity curse." But Meyer did–he wanted to have PiV sex with a woman he didn't like just for the sake of lifting the curse. Which of the two of you do you think my comment was referencing?

          • Maximilian says:

            Oh I see so I made the mistake of stupidly thinking that in replying to me talking about a virginity curse, you were actually talking about my comment!

            Just so I'm clear this time is the comment I'm replying to actually directed to me or directed to someone else entirely?

          • I agree that the first comment was unclear, but the OP did clarify – you just ignored the clarification. That would have been the time to gracefully say something like, "oh I misunderstood." In my experience, that's usually followed by an apology. You're unlikely to get apologies for bad feelings caused by ongoing misreading on your part, though. I say this in case apologies are important to you.

          • Maximilian says:

            Probably because the "clarification" was to completely blame me.

            Its like punching the wrong person in a bar and demanding they apologise because they look similar to the person you actually wanted to punch.

          • What? Are you sure we read the same post? Because the clarification I read made it clear that the problem was using women to lift the virginity "curse," not the feelings of sadness and frustration. You never said anything about the former.

          • thathat says:

            Eh, more like punching someone at the bar and having another person get angry at you and claiming that you punched *them* because they were nearby.

            Meyer phrased it as "curse." I took the analogy a step further in the comment, during which I assumed we were still talking about your reaction to *my* reaction to Meyer describing virginity as a curse that can be lifted by PiV sex. You were calling me dismissive of the mindset displayed by Meyer, and I explained why the mindset was so troubling.

            You seem grouchy.

          • Maximilian says:

            So you assumed because I acknowledged the existence of people who see virginity as a curse (note: nothing else beyond that because those 2 words are the ONLY thing you quoted in the comment I was replying to) that I agreed with everything else he said?

            And *I* get shit n here for assuming the worst in people?!

          • thathat says:

            I assumed that because we were specifically talking about the concept of a "virginity curse" that you would follow the "curse" analogy and figure out what I was referring to–that is, "virginity curse." I wasn't accusing you of agreeing with anything; I was explaining why I found the concept of "virginity curse" to be so messed up.

          • enail0_o says:

            Just for keep things clear, the mods only operate on the forum, not on the blog. Only DNL moderates the blog.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Challenge accepted!

          • thathat says:

            I was talking about this specific line of Meyer's: "I would have been happy enough just to have PIV sex with her once. Would have ended the virginity curse, and all that. "

            That really reduces it down to its most mechanical elements and makes sex not about something both parties will enjoy, but something Meyer sees as a remedy for some arbitrary curse caused by not having made it with a woman.

          • Maximilian says:

            Yet your comment was simply to quote the words "virginity curse" and make a dismissive response to that term.

            Hence my reply focusing ENTIRELY on the phrase or term "virginity curse" and your dismissive attitude towards the possibility of it being seen in that way.

          • Thathat wasn't talking about you. Which they've said.

            Get over it and get off your cross already.

          • Maximilian says:

            Thanks for your input.

          • I think a good thing to do would be to unpack nerdy, uptight, shy, and average-looking into the things that actually matter to you, and the things that don't. It doesn't sound like nerdy and shy would necessarily be a bad fit for you per se, and you've previously said that average-looking would be fine if you were attracted to her. I think what you mean is that you want a woman who is sexually adventurous and enthusiastic, and you are assuming that nerdy, shy, and average-looking can't possibly go along with that. Am I right about where I'm drawing the lines? Or are all of these things actually separately important to you?

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            Yeah, you're right.

          • So the real question is, how do you identify and attract nerdy, possibly shy, definitely sexually adventurous women. :D

            (I know a bunch of them – they tend to be pretty awesome!)

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            I mean, she doesn't NEED to be nerdy/shy. One thing I've learned is that even though most of my IRL contemporaries would consider me a "nerd," I'm a casual compared to real nerds, the guys who go to conventions and play in races in Path of Exile and stuff.

            As for shy, well, I'm a shy dude, much as I would wish it otherwise haha.

            In any case, I have no idea where to find such women, let alone how to attract them.

          • Okay, so maybe the goal is: filter IN all sexually enthusiastic women, while not filtering any OUT because they are nerdy or shy. Does that sound more reasonable?

            I think if you asked on the forums where you can find such women and how to attract them, you would get some very good advice.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Fetlife

        • I've always interpreted a person's 'type' to be more of a 'this is my preferred idealized aesthetic form for the gender to which I'm attracted'. And like most aesthetic ideals, they live in the unattainable. Actual desire and attraction exists more on a spectrum and may only not end up having much to do with aesthetic type at all. My husband didn't have much to do with the idealized 'type' that I usually crushed over, but that man is absolutely beautiful. The first time we met in person, I knew I was in it for the long haul. Why? His smile is radiant, & he smelled good to me after a red eye flight. Smell is much more important than physical type.

          • thathat says:

            Man, that smell thing isn't even a lie. There are some guys who you like, but there's just…something. Not, y'know, BO or whatever. Just something that makes your hindbrain go "no, these pieces do not fit."

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        My friend, I do not think that word means what you think it means. Although I do also admit I may be wrong. Many people have a fairly specific "type", at least in their own mind. They also date outside that type quite often. There's definitely a difference between "I prefer six foot tall redheads" and "I only date six foot tall redheads". Physically, I have never been the 'type' that my girlfriends would have said they had.

    • embertine says:

      Hey trix, don't know if you're still reading these but I saw your pics in the forum. Dude, you are pretty nice looking and if it weren't for the fact that you're a bit young for me I would probably be thinking helllooooooo! I agree with the comments of other posters that buzzing your hair a little shorter would help but believe me, the balding thing is not as big a deal as it has become in your mind. You dress well, have lovely eyes, and your weight doesn't seem to be a problem either. Do not despair!

  8. LTP_aka_TheWisp says:

    I understand that sexual compatibility is important, and I'm a strong believer in that as well. However, I've never heard anybody explain how exactly one screens for sexual compatibility (unless you're apart of an organized sexual subculture, like hardcore BDSM, then it is somewhat easier). How can I know if somebody has a similar sex drive to myself before we get too attached? Do we just have to roll the dice and hope we come out of the NRE phase in similar places sexually? That isn't a very satisfying answer, and yet what's the alternative? Do you just flat out ask early on, "hey, how much sex would you want ideally?" or "hey, do you prefer to explore or just missionary with the lights off?" That seems awkward to me… but maybe it is necessary?

    • eselle28 says:

      When it comes to tastes, I think you do have to talk about things, preferably reasonably soon after you start having sex of any kind. Within the realm of things that aren't missionary with the lights off but also aren't offensive to that many people, I just suggest we do those things ("Hey, how about we…"), see the response, and watch to see if my partner initiates anything. For things that, uh, some of my partners might not want to participate in, I tend to find that bringing them up in a declarative way will often either prompt or provide an opening for me to prompt my partner to talk about his sexual tastes.

      In terms of sex drives, I'd agree that sometimes you just need to keep an eye on things, to communicate when differences start to show up (in many couples, there will be at least a little bit of a difference), and to be aware of what your limits are and when you might need to leave.

    • Sexual incompatibility is a risk we all assume when we begin dating someone new. However, I find that in practice there has to be an extreme incompatibility for the sex to be truly awful. Like eselle said, it's all about telling your partner what you like and you might be surprised how accommodating they are. I've had women I've dated suggest all sorts of things I never thought I'd enjoy but I was accommodating and—lo and behold—I found that I actually enjoyed a lot of their suggestions. However, if they'd never spoken up and I hadn't listened, it wouldn't have come to pass. Point is, a little communication goes a long way.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        "Point is, a little communication goes a long way."

        Very true. A little compromise and open-mindedness can broaden your own view as well as satisfy your partner, and that's a win for everybody. :-)

        There are definitely situations where that's not possible. But as long as you can tell the difference between pushing your boundaries and gritting your teeth and ignoring them (protip: don't do the latter), no harm in trying.

      • fuzzilla says:

        The sex can be awful just from emotional disconnect, but be technically flawless. The answer is still "communicate, communicate, communicate." BUT do know when to cut your losses when all the communication (or attempted communication) in the world ain't gonna help you.

  9. Meyer N Gaines says:

    Oh, I should probably elaborate. I'll bang just about anybody as long as I can get hard. But in terms of relationships, I only want to date a woman I can see myself marrying. Because my parents have informed me that unless I find a suitable partner, they plan to arrange my marriage in a few years, which is fine by me.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      So, lemme get this straight, because if I'm going to tear this down, I really want to be doing it based on what you mean, not how I'm reading it.

      You're perfectly happy using just about any one person for sex one time? "dip your magic wand in her well and lift the curse" as someone else said.

      However, you don't want to get involved with anyone unless, before the first date, they have a better than average chance of being a better match than the one your parents are going to set up? You don't want to do anything fun with a woman you're not planning to marry except have sex and then anyone will do?

      How is that not treating a woman like a self-mobile sex toy?

      • Meyer N Gaines says:

        No, that's not it.

        What I mean is that I'm fine with a wide variety of partners in a one-night-stand or short-term relationship situations.

        But I would rather not get into a relationship with someone who I can't see myself marrying. I don't want a situation where the relationship ends and both of us are out a few years of our lives, or a situation where I have to leave her for my arranged marriage.

        Another thing is that in my social circle, I see a lot of women who don't seem very interested in sex. It's a fair bet that if a woman doesn't drink or smoke, and has only had a few partners, she's not the kind of woman who will give it up before date # 10. And that's fine.

        But in that case, I try to think: is this the kind of woman I want to get into a relationship with? And in this particular case, that answer is a no.

        • See, this is much clearer (and more awesome!) than the way you usually talk about this. I just want to point this out because I think sometimes you talk yourself into a corner unnecessarily. :P

        • Just out of curiosity, how have you determined that women who don't drink or smoke and haven't had many partners are unlikely to be interested in sex? Is this through actual knowledge of their behavior or an assumption based on seeing all those factors as "conservative"/"uptight" signifiers?

          I ask mainly because I'm a woman who rarely drinks (not for some moral reason, I just dislike the taste), has never smoked, and had only had two guys I could count as "partners" before I met my husband–when I was a little older than I believe you are–and I'm quite sexually enthusiastic. We slept together the first time about a month after we met. So it seems odd to me to associate those factors, but maybe I'm an unusual case. Or maybe you're unnecessarily limiting your dating options–worth considering! Keep in mind in particular that being seen as someone unlikely to be interested in casual relationships tends to limit one's ability to experience casual relationships in the first place (because you don't get asked…), so it's hard to tell whether number of partners is a chicken or egg issue. ;)

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            Basically, I see all those things as signifiers of "conservative/uptight."

            I think this goes back to Kathy. We were pretty different people. I mean, she wouldn't drink ever, and I was heavy into underage drinking, as well as using marijuana. And of course, doing anything sexual with her was like pulling teeth.

          • thathat says:

            "And of course, doing anything sexual with her was like pulling teeth"

            That is not a comfortable statement.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            I can't imagine for the life of me how Kathy must have felt.

          • Well, I think you might want to allow yourself to be open to other possibilities. Lots of people don't smoke because of the very well-known health risks, which is totally unrelated to how conservative one is. Even if you're specifically talking about marijuana–I just dislike the idea of smoke in my lungs (and it is a cancer risk just like cigarettes, unless you use a vaporizor or whathaveyou). Unless the person talks in a disparaging way about other people drinking or smoking, I think you're better off not assuming their own disinterest is any sort of moral or conservative standpoint. Especially since your only example of that being related to sexual disinterest is one person–not a reasonable basis for drawing broad conclusions.

            (And not only that, but the two of you were in your mid-teens, no? A lot of girls are hesitant about sex at that age not because of some inherent disposition but because of all the societal pressure on girls not to be seen as "slutty" or too "easy"–and a lot of those girls end up being much more relaxed about it by college age or later as they become more confident and are more able to shake off some of those pressures.)

            Not that you have to go around pursuing anyone in particular, just that since you seem to be having trouble finding partners in the first place, it makes sense not to limit the possibilities unnecessarily.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I feel like using those as loose signifiers is legit, as long as you give people the freedom to deviate from them. (In CS nerd terms, acknowledge it's a heuristic, not an algorithm.)

            My own regular partners have included a (small-c) conservative Christian and a woman who'd only been with one other guy prior to me, and I'd hate to have missed out on those experiences. I think it is fair to say that somebody who's sending conservative/uptight signals is LESS likely to be down with a primarily sexual relationship, but people can surprise you.

          • eselle28 says:

            I agree with everyone else that drinking and smoking don't necessarily signal someone's interest in casual sex. That being said, even if you're a nerd and an introvert, it sounds like these things are part of your life and as if you enjoy them. I think you might get less pushback if you separate out what you primarily want (piv sex) and additional factors that could contribute to compatibility (enjoying the same kinds of social activities you do). That might mean adjusting your view of your dating preferences to allow that you're interested in some traits besides openness to sex and meeting some minimal attraction threshold, but that might be for the best anyway.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          I might quibble a bit that, if you both know its going to end in a few years (a lot of relationships won't survive graduation, either) you're not out a few years of your lives. You had someone to share a few years of it with that you wouldn't have otherwise. Other than that, whatever works for you, man.

          • eselle28 says:

            That seems fair, though I think a situation of that type would require specific disclosure of the dealbreaker, not just a reference to graduation being the natural endpoint of the relationship. I remember a pretty ugly situation at school where half of the couple thought the only reason the relationship was marked "we'll be ending things after graduation" was because their job offers were in different cities, and the other half also had an objection based on religious incompatibility.

    • HermitTheToad says:

      What if the woman you're arranged to marry isn't compatible with you in your eyes? Surely you can see the contradiction in your comment, no?

  10. michael says:

    This is what I hate about dating. I can't believe anybody gets a charge out of this. It's agonizing and miserable. And then, humans being dynamic creatures, even if you somehow manage to perform alchemy and get together with someone you're actually compatible with, it can all change in a relative instant and you're right back to square one. It hardly seems worth it.

    • HermitTheToad says:

      I've thought about this a lot myself. The fear of uncertainty is familiar to me.

      However, I think it's safe to say that any personal grievances we may have toward the concept of dating doesn't negate the fact that many people do find what the're looking for, despit the odds. Dating is definitely worth it for the people who can navigate the dating world and who end up in stable, successful, long term relationships.

  11. HermitTheToad says:

    Must be a blissful feeling, knowing that your companion is 'it'/'the One'. I wish I could empathise with the feeling of security in that moment.