Sorry, but none of these are first-class tickets to Handjob City
Didn’t dating use to be different?
I’m thinking back to the mid-1900s, when people would just…date.
As in hang out. Get to know each other. Go out for a brick of ice cream or a malt. Share a milkshake. Go dancing. Maybe make out at the end of the date in the backseat of a car on Lover’s Lane.
But sex was not necessarily an expectation of the entire dating experience.
Okay…obviously it was expected by some people.
But not like it is today.
It’s frustrating because as much as I enjoy dating men, I’ve found that showing more than a vague interest in another person is often misinterpreted as me “wanting” them.
Keep in mind: I like sex! Moreover, it’s okay if a guy wants to have sex with me and even makes it known. Why? Because it’s possible I’m interested in having sex with him too!
My problem is the expectation that sex will inevitably happen if I say or do any of the following things:
1. Making a positive comment on your physical traits, intelligence or anything else I like about you.
What it really means: If a particular subject comes up naturally in conversation, I’m going to tell you what I like or admire about you.
For example: if you tell me you’ve recently lost 100 pounds, I’m probably going to congratulate you and tell you that you look great.
Or, if you’re good looking, I may even tell you that you’re a pretty good-looking guy.
Regardless, you’re not supposed to read too much into it.
2. Laughing at your jokes.
What it really means: Trust me, it’s a good sign if I can laugh around you! Why? Because it infers a certain comfort level.
Just don’t interpret it as a sign that I’d be comfortable getting naked with you.
3. Allowing you to touch or hold my hand across a table.
What it really means: I’m comfortable enough to allow you to touch or hold my hand.
My hand. Not my breasts.
4. Allowing you to kiss me.
What it really means: I like you enough to test the waters of our chemistry.
I may even allow a bit of tongue. In my mouth. Nowhere else.
5. Making out on a couch.
What it really means: I’m rather attracted to you (congratulations!). I may even allow you to feel me up a little. I’m getting to know your seduction style.
Still doesn’t mean you have permission to rip off my clothes.
6. Talking about our past sexual experiences or sexual fantasies.
What it really means: I’d like to know if we’re sexually compatible.
If I tell you things I’ve done, I’m not trying to send you a “secret signal” that I want you to do the same things with or to me. We’re having an adult conversation. That’s it.
(Trust me, you’ll know if I want to take it to the bedroom.)
7. Saying I’d like to see you again, after a first date
What it really means: You’ve interested me enough that I will once again shower, style my hair and drive somewhere (even in bad weather) to get to know you better.
Dating has become an “all-or-nothing” experience
Look, I try to be pretty clear with men; I don’t like giving mixed messages.
But it irritates me when men perceive dating as an “all-or-nothing” experience.
And because of this expectation, I can never fully relax on a date. Why? Because I’m constantly questioning how my words and actions may be misinterpreted as an invitation inside my pants.
Don’t get me wrong: I have had and continue to have a blast inside the oftentimes-bizarro dating arena.
My frustration is about all the responsibility associated with dating: that is, trying to be myself, while also trying to minimize confusion and the hurting of anyone’s feelings.
(And then I get kind of pissed off, because I don’t know why I feel I have to be responsible for any grown man’s feelings at all.)
Dating is supposed to be fun, right? I think if we just removed the “sex expectation,” it would make things much more enjoyable, and a heck of a lot less stressful.
I don’t expect it. So why do you?