Is You Is Or Is You Ain't: Bisexual Edition

Submitted by P. Wozniak

There are so many manifestos about bisexual erasure on the Internet these days, and I want to state for the record that I support them 100%. Bisexuality absolutely does exist, and the way both the hetero and gay communities often treat it is ignorant and disrespectful. However, just as I also support the basic tenets of the Fat Acceptance Movement, I do still have a few bones to pick. Not because I necessarily disagree with anything being said, but because there appears to be a lack of nuanced discussion about this issue. To draw a further parallel, should obese people be shamed, bullied, or discriminated against? Hell no! But should we all pretend like obesity isn’t a gigantic health crisis that claims thousands of lives every year and costs billions of dollars? Um, no. Not at all. That’s destructive and promotes misinformation. In a similar vein, in this crusade to prove the existence of bisexuality and dispel the myths surrounding it, a whole hell of a lot of people are failing to acknowledge that some of the accusations leveled at bisexual people are legitimate, and that some bisexual erasure is actually a positive thing. I know this is an unpopular position, but hear me out. Members of the queer community will understand what I’m saying, and I hope we can get a dialogue going whereby we put an end to this “all or nothing” mentality in regards to bisexuality.

Gay culture is seen by many as trendy and cool, and there are a lot of straight people who want to carry a queer card for the cache it lends them. We’re all familiar with “party bisexuals,” and the “bicurious,” and people who lie about their sexual orientation so they can seem more open-minded or edgy or whatever. Those people aren’t as common as the queer community sometimes fears, but they definitely do exist. Let’s stop pretending like they don’t. I don’t think it’s enough to identify based on sexual desires alone; I think we need to look at the bigger picture and consider our deeper feelings. Romantic, rather than sexual, orientation is the real revealer of identity. There are tons of people who have queer desires, but only a fraction of those people actually experience queer love. Same-sex marriage is finally legal in America, and queer relationships the world over are steadily gaining the respect and protection they deserve. More people than ever are out, and even though our society has a long way to go before there’s true equality, the social landscape has improved to the point where we should all re-evaluate the way we contextualize our sexual desires, because now the stakes are higher than ever.

We're sorry to inform you that as beautiful and amazing and perfect and gorgeous as this is, it's not for everyone.

We're sorry to inform you that as beautiful and amazing and perfect and gorgeous as this is, it's not for everyone.

Unfortunately, bisexuality is the biggest culprit of romanti-sexual crises in the queer community. I know, I know; bisexuality has this totally unfair stigma attached to it, and we’re all working hard to change that (me included), but the ugly truth is that all those stereotypes and misconceptions about bisexuality are not always false, and we’re not going to legitimize bisexuality as a sexual orientation until we acknowledge and deal with that. There really are fake bisexuals in the world (for a super famous example, look at David Bowie. He once said that coming out as bisexual was the worst mistake of his career because it wasn’t true and people continued to believe it even after he took off his sequined leotards and said, “Just kidding! I never blew Mick Jagger or Lou Reed”). We’ve all met at least one or two. There really are bicurious people who vastly play up their curiosity so as to seem like honest members of the queer community, and then when someone is interested in them, they start backpedaling and backing off and acting weirded out by the attention. Um, hello, you’re in a gay bar! If you’re not open to the possibility of gay love or gay sex, get out. I mean, that’s just common courtesy. Nobody expects you to put out, but if you’re just barely okay with receiving sexual attention from a queer person, you need to exit our spaces. If we’re not safe from humiliation in our own spaces, where are we safe? And then there are the people who do it for attention, or to advance their careers (usually in music or showbiz – see above), and the list is just endless. The fact is, a lot of bisexual people do need to prove themselves, because there are a lot of pretenders. It hurts me to write that sentence, because it validates bisexual erasure, but goddamn, it’s fucking true, and as much as I want to, I can’t make it untrue.

Don't crucify me yet. Consider this:

People say that behavior doesn’t define your sexuality; desire does. Well, I agree completely, but nobody says you have to shout about your desires from the rooftops. When it comes to dealing with other people, and representing yourself to the world, you might want to consider only announcing what your behavior can corroborate. Otherwise, you end up looking like a big, fat liar. If you have secret sexual desires for people that you would never, ever allow yourself to fall in love with, please don’t tell the world about it. Your closest friends and family, sure. You confide whatever you want to your inner circle. I’m talking about the rest of us.

The vast (and I do mean vast) majority of bisexual people I’ve met say that while they’re attracted to multiple genders, they only have relationships with one. And I’m sorry to say, it’s usually bisexual woman who are most guilty of this. Most of the bisexual women I’ve met are romantically interested in men only. Though they feel physical desire for women and sometimes have sex with women, they do not want to seriously date women. They do not ever fall in love with women. They only fall for men and form relationships with men. This is a problem, folks. On one hand, a person’s sexual habits are no one else’s business, and I’m not proposing that we create some kind of queer police to evaluate just how queer someone really is. That would be fucked up beyond measure. On the other hand, there’s a huge difference between having the capacity to really love someone and merely finding someone sexually alluring, and most bisexuals do not acknowledge this. Most of society does not acknowledge this. Hell, think of all the horrible little straight fuckboys out there who think that women are living, breathing blow-up dolls that exist for the sole purpose of their sexual gratification. They don’t view women as people, and they don’t want to have relationships with them. Not really, anyway. They just want to fuck them. We don’t ever question whether or not they’re straight, and why not? They seem to love their male friends with a great big passion, while women are subhuman and only exist to drain their cocks. “Bros Before Hos” sounds an awful lot like a misogynist gay anthem to me. I mean, which is more meaningful? Real love or merely getting off?

Anyway, I digress. The point is, for someone who is romantically queer, dating bisexual people is a minefield. Dating in general is a minefield, and when you’re queer it’s just that much harder. Think of it this way: If you’re romantically queer and you go out with someone who is only sexually queer, what do you think is going to happen? If you’re both attracted to each other, and you spend enough time together, the romantic queer is likely to feel a real connection and develop real feelings, and the sexual queer isn’t. The sexual queer is going to enjoy the sex but never consider her partner a real love interest, and thusly the romantic queer will inevitably get hurt. Separating the people who want to use you for sex from the people who are genuinely open to a relationship is difficult. One of the things that makes it so difficult is that almost everybody identifies as queer now. It’s just too tempting not to. If you’re a straight woman who sometimes feels tingly when she sees Kate Upton’s boobs, then you must be bi! Hooray! You’re queer! Tell everyone! Throw a party! Except, maybe don’t do that, because there’s more to a romantic identity than just tingly genitals. Maybe examine your desires and try to figure out if they point to anything deeper, or if you’re just admiring the sex appeal of a sexy person (or, God forbid, supporting the sexual objectification of women). Sexuality is fluid, after all. We know this. Science has proven it again and again and again. Sexuality is fluid, and just because you feel turned on by someone it doesn’t mean that your romantic orientation includes that person.

There are bisexual, pansexual, and asexual people out there who are genuinely romantically attracted to multiples genders. They really do exist. I submit that we’re moving toward a future where the majority of the population fits one of those descriptions. As rigid sexual socialization falls by the wayside, and we move toward gender equality and gender neutrality, we may find ourselves in a future where our genitalia are the least important parts of us. That would be beautiful, wouldn’t it? Until then, we’re trapped in the now, and in the now most people have “preferences.” I think we should allow those preferences to guide us and be a little more selective about how we identify to others so as to minimize confusion, and to allow those of us who actually do include multiple genders in our romanti-sexual orientations to be recognized. The term bisexual has been used too loosely for too long, and it has caused nothing but problems. Whenever I read articles that justify this muddiness, I feel annoyed. I think, why the fuck are we counting people as bisexual when they’re obviously straight? I’m sick of meeting “bisexual” women who can’t love me because I don’t have a penis. They're straight. You’re straight if you’re a woman who only loves men. Admit it, own it, and move on. Stop thinking you need to be queer to be cool.

She has no idea I'm only dating her because an acceptable penis-haver hasn't swept me off my feet yet.

She has no idea I'm only dating her because an acceptable penis-haver hasn't swept me off my feet yet.

Women are people, not an assemblage of body parts. If you’re not passionate about the people who own the body parts you're lusting after, then your attraction is shallow indeed. If you like to eat pussy, but you could never fall in love with someone who has a pussy, then you are not really bisexual. You're just sexually fluid. This is why so many lesbians are leery of bisexuals, and why so many just refuse to even entertain the idea of getting involved with one. Treating women like sex objects and upholding the dominant paradigm of woman = sex does not make you queer. Loving women makes you queer, and I’m sorry to say, there are a ton of women who identify as queer who have never had real romantic feelings for another woman and never will. And know they never will.

There is nothing wrong with experimentation. Experiment all you want! Be bicurious! Be fluid! Come to the gay bar and hang out! Just. Be. Honest. About. It. Don’t tell people you’re queer if you’re romantically straight. That’s dishonest. If you know your interest in someone will never progress beyond the physical, be up front about it. Yeah, that might result in someone deciding you’re a waste of her/his time and declining to fuck you, but that’s fair. People who are interested in relationships should not be tricked into hooking up with someone who can’t or won't commit because of identity confusion/misrepresentation. Don’t lead someone on if they’re just a lay to you. Be honest about the fact that you want nothing but sex, and that said sex is not terribly important to you. That person may or may not go for it. If they do go for it, then they’re doing so with full consent. If they don’t, that’s their prerogative. They wanted something you couldn't provide and made an informed decision not to put their feelings on the line. That’s ethics, my friends. Does it mean you’ll have less sex? Yeah, probably. But it also means you’ll hurt fewer people, and that’s a good thing for everyone involved.
    

In Defense of Mistresses

Submitted by Anonymous

[The author of this post asked that her identity be redacted for reasons that will soon become obvious.]

Here's a confession: I prefer to have affairs with married men rather than pursue so-called “real relationships” with so-called “available” men. The reason why is simple: married men are better lovers, and I'm going to make a case for it. Buckle in, darlings. This is going to be a bumpy ride. 

In addition to their considerable sexual experience and unspent energy, I prefer married men to single men because they don’t smother me. I want fleeting intimacy on my own terms with no obligations. I want to be appreciated, but not possessed. People say, “Then just have casual sex with single men. Don’t be a homewrecker; there are plenty of single guys who aren’t into commitment.” Not so fast. My dears, there is no such thing as casual sex with single men. I have never had an affair with a single man that didn’t end with him trying to rope me into a relationship. Never. Even if he doesn’t want a relationship himself (and he usually doesn’t), he wants me to want one. He’ll say and do anything to coax me into exclusivity. This new generation of womanizers isn’t looking for sex. They’re looking to conquer a woman’s heart. They crave love and fidelity from their lovers with no intention of providing those things. Only guys who get their love and fidelity elsewhere are truly accepting of my decision to live independently and with no serious emotional strings attached. The moralizers cluck their tongues and say that this isn’t true, but it is. 

Married men don’t lie to me. They don’t fill my head with romantic nonsense or make promises they don’t intend to keep. Unlike single men, convincing a woman that they’re crazy in love with her so that she’ll fall crazy in love with them is not in their best interests, so they don’t do it. In fact, they actively avoid cultivating too much intimacy so that their mistresses won’t fall for them. When your mistress decides she wants you all to herself, you have a problem, so married men give me plenty of space and make damn sure not to lead me on. They don’t want all my attention. They don’t want to conquer me. They just want some excitement in their lives, which is exactly what I want. I’m not looking for a “real” relationship, whatever that is. I simply want the thrill of being desired, some passionate sex every once in a while, and to share the company of someone who genuinely likes me. All this monogamous domestic partnership shit is for the birds. It’s mostly founded on lies, and I see precious few opportunities for feminism to exist in that space.

I’m sick of being treated like a prize that men want to win. Even when I didn’t fall into their traps, the manipulation games came thick and fast. Being someone’s mistress is simpler, more honest, and affords me the autonomy and dignity I deserve. “But how is there any dignity in infidelity?” the moralizers ask. My dears, let me posit something: monogamy is not the holy grail of human love. There. I said it. Life is not a Disney movie. Furthermore, a cheating man is a cheating man. People will do what they want, and if your husband isn’t sleeping with me, you can rest assured that he is sleeping with someone else. I don’t attempt to entice anyone who isn’t already willing, so it might as well be me your husband fucks, because I’m not trying to ruin your marriage. I know it will hurt your feelings if you find out, but I try very hard to keep my affairs secret, and if your husband isn’t a complete dumbass and really does love you, he’ll be discreet too, and you’ll never know about us. Be glad it’s me he’s seeing and not someone who wants a husband of her own. I’ll never try to take him away from you.

And don’t bother to make the polyamory argument, because that’s just as bad as monogamy. In fact, most polyamorists are actually monogamists. I won’t get into the details of that sticky wicket, but I’ve seen it again and again. Polyamorists are just the same as single men. They encourage women to form expectations that will never be fulfilled. Give me swingers any day of the week. They want sex, and so do I. You can keep your flowers and poetic words, and all the manipulative shit you say to women to make them feel like they can’t live without you. I don’t want it. All I want is a warm body in my bed and a passion that is unspoiled by deceit and familiarity. You’ve heard the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt?” It’s true. Beyond a certain point, the more I get to know someone, the less I like him. Married men seldom wear out my patience. They’re not around enough. They provide the perfect balance of attention and neglect. When I’m done with them, they’re usually done with me. Nobody’s heart gets broken in these situations. We just run out of steam and then go our separate ways. It’s natural, fair, and stress-free. Relationships with married men are far more egalitarian than relationships with single men, because single men always want to wield this huge amount of power over their lovers, while married men just want to have a good time.

Instead of being hurt by infidelity, I would rather be the other woman. If I can exist independently, what do I need a relationship for? The reason so many men dislike commitment is because they don’t need it. If you’re attractive and successful, why on earth would you tie yourself down to one person? You wouldn’t. The real reason women are relationship-oriented is because it’s so much harder for us to achieve financial stability. It’s hard to earn enough money to completely support yourself. Relationships take some of the burden away by letting you share it. This is why Baby Boomers and the preceding generations were so against workplace equality. The knew what equal opportunity and financial independence would mean for sexual relations between men and women. Keeping women dependent means keeping women desperate, and keeping women desperate for a partner ensures that men get to call the shots. The only way to truly be free from all of this is to make your own living and be utterly secure. Once that is achieved, you will not feel so much internal pressure to fall in love, settle down, and tie down some man. You’ll find that you’re far less clingy than you thought you were, and that you really don’t fall in love as easily as you thought you did. There have been other factors influencing that. Take those factors away and you might find that you enjoy being single and free. Now you’re wondering what this has to do with sleeping with married men.

The equation is simple. Single men demand to be needed, not merely wanted. For their egos to be fully fed, they need to feel like they own you. They will sweep you off your feet with the most magnificent lies you’ve ever heard, talk about the wonderful future they hope to have with you, and generally work as hard as they can to make you feel like you can’t live without them. Single men are needy, dishonest, and will always burn you, even if they do make a commitment. There are some men who are faithful, sure, but the majority isn’t. Sooner or later your long-term male partner is going to fool around on you, and most of them are going to leave you. So then what? Do you just never settle down? Of course, but there’s more to it than that. In order to remove the danger of being roped into some guy’s romance game, you can’t just rely on yourself to resist. There will always be at least one man who can break your resolve, get inside your head, and get you to cave. Loneliness is powerful. To avoid this altogether you need to date men who won’t try to break you in the first place.

Being a mistress is really the ideal situation for a heterosexual woman, because she can enjoy intimacy on her own terms. As long as you’re not secretly hoping for happily ever after, you're safe. The less you put on the line, the less damage they can deal you. It’s also worth taking note of the power you have over them. Single men risk very little when they ensnare you. As I mentioned, they are the manipulators and therefore wield all the power. Married men, on the other hand, are risking quite a bit to be with you. If they wish to stay married, they’re putting their lives on the line, and that potential sacrifice isn’t lost on them. They realize that they need to keep you happy to make sure you don’t ruin their lives, and depending on the situation, their jobs may be in danger as well. I recommend having an affair with a man who is both married and your colleague or boss, because that way you have sway over more than one aspect of his life. You’ll be amazed by how forthright and fair a man can be when he knows you have the potential to hurt him. Naive women who date single men delude themselves into thinking that they can hurt men the way that men hurt them. Not so. The things that hurt you will never hurt a man, because men are not invested in relationships the same way women are. Again, they don’t have to be. But when you have the power to cost him his job or marriage? He’ll be very, very sweet to you indeed!  Even more importantly, he won’t make promises he can’t keep. He’ll be honest.

And this is the crux of the matter, ladies. The way things are, you have two choices: Be a patsy or be a lover. Be the broken-hearted partner or the sexy mistress. It isn’t wise to bank on being one of the very, very few happy non-broken-hearted partners in the world, because they’re rare, and the odds that you’ll be one of them are low. I personally choose to be a lover, because I enjoy sex and romance. I believe those things are transcendent human experiences, but only when they’re pure. Most men are incapable of purity unless you force their hand. They must exhaust their trickery on someone else before they can give you something meaningful. 

I know that the women reading this are probably thinking, “Oh my god, what century is this?” And I do agree that what I’m positing here sounds ridiculously antiquated. It seems like we’ve stepped into a time machine, I admit. But honestly, when you go out in the world and start dating these little fuckhead millennials, you’ll see that men are depressingly slow to evolve. Even though we have bigger and better feminism, polyamory, Internet, gay marriage, more trans recognition and rights, and a better understanding of gender and sexuality, the vast majority of men are the same Neanderthals their grandfathers were. My advice is absolutely sound. Don’t believe me? That’s cool. Go spend seven or eight years dating twenty-somethings and then report back with your findings. Go on. Do it. Off with you.

You'll come around.
    

The Nine Guys You Meet On Dating Websites

Dating: one of the worst experiences in a woman's life. We all do it, and those of us who lean toward the hetero side of the sexuality spectrum find ourselves trying to meet eligible men, which is one of most frustrating and futile quests a person can undertake. It's sort of like panning for gold or searching for that one sock that went missing at the laundromat two weeks ago. Sure, you might  find it, but more likely than not you're wasting valuable time that would be better spent eating pizza rolls, watching Netflix, and preparing to adopt the 900 cats that will keep you company in your old age. Now that we all live on the Internet, it makes sense that dating websites are the new singles bars: Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, FetLife, Tinder, etc. It's a wild world, and luckily for you all, I've taken one for the team and identified the nine most common troglodytes you'll bump into should you choose this method of interviewing potential boyfriend material. Enjoy the ride. And pour a glass of wine for your girl. I need one after talking to all these shitty dudes. Here they are in no particular order: 

The guy who wants to be friends

“I’m just looking for friends, and you’re very pretty.”
“Please, give me a chance. I want to be friends first.”
“Why won’t you be my friend?”

It’s awful when someone is pushy about going on a date or having sex, but it’s downright bizarre to have someone pester the dickens out of you because they want you for a “friend.” Make no mistake, these guys want a lot more than friendship, but they have somehow internalized the idea that a woman will be more receptive to dating if it occurs under the guise of platonic interaction. We're all familiar with the "Nice Guy" phenomenon, so I won't delve into that here (plus, that always seems so much more covert). For some reason, there’s a huge number of foreign men who seem to think that the word “friend” means “sex partner.” Plenty of Americans use this tactic too, but it’s a disproportionate number of men from other countries speaking English as a second language who use “friend” as a magic incantation to convince a woman to give him the time of day. Frankly, I blame our movies and other narrative media. The hero-gets-the-girl trope is older than Methuselah's shit, not to mention the fact that the plot of almost every rom-com in existence is "Boy likes girl, girl doesn't notice boy, boy buddies up to her and shows her that all the other boys are unworthy, boy gets girl." If you're learning about American culture and relying on our media to help you figure out how to approach American women, you'll think we're all childlike simpletons that need male kindness forcefully shoved down our throats in order to make cognizant relationship decisions. That by no means lets these men off the hook, but I do feel some measure of sympathy. Unfortunately, thanks to Bill Cosby, the word “friend” is now pretty fucking terrifying when uttered by someone who’s trying to get into your pants. No thank you!

"Why are you acting like I committed a crime by giving you drugs and having my way with you sans consent? We're FRIENDS!"

"Why are you acting like I committed a crime by giving you drugs and having my way with you sans consent? We're FRIENDS!"

The guy who doubts your authenticity.

“You seem too cool to be real.”
“I want see if you’re as cool as your profile suggests.”
“Are you as cool as you pretend to be?”

Okay, what’s with that challenging tone? Is this another form of negging? I don’t have to prove myself to you, stranger. If you think I’m cool, cool. Let’s hang out. If you don’t think I’m cool, move along. If you think I’m cool but you’re too cool to tell me so, you’re trying too hard, and that is most decidedly uncool. It’s truly weird how many guys come at me with this “think you’re so smart and tough, huh?” attitude. I’m just a woman minding her own business, trying to get laid. Presumably these guys want to go out with me. What do they think is going to happen when they challenge my authenticity? Why would I want to meet someone who is openly skeptical of my personality? Like, “Oh shit, this rando from the Internet doubts my coolness! I better go out with him to make sure he knows I really do like David Lynch movies!” Sorry, but that will never happen. What will happen is I will delete your message and never think about it again, unless I’m writing a blog post about how lame it is. I am not so insecure that I feel the need to prove myself to strange men who spend upwards of 12 hours a day sitting in front of their Xboxes yelling about how their local Kroger doesn’t stock Mountain Dew Code Red anymore.

Also, I’m not even going to go into what exactly they mean by “cool.” I’m assuming they mean the stuff I like (the coolness of which is definitely open to debate).

Ah yes, James Dean didn’t die; he moved to a dumpster in Los Angeles and turned into a dirty potato skin

Ah yes, James Dean didn’t die; he moved to a dumpster in Los Angeles and turned into a dirty potato skin

It’s really anybody’s guess. If they mean I’m aloof and nihilistic, and really, really into leather jackets, then they’re 100% correct. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they mean.

The guy who strikes out and then strikes back…months later

“Hey whore, did you ever meet anyone on here?”
“It must suck to have such low self-esteem.”
“Too bad you’re such a cunt, we could have had something.”

Okay, so most women are pretty familiar with negging and the particular kind of rage that men exhibit when they’ve been rejected (ByeFelipe), but there’s also delayed rage, and that really boils my noodles. There have been dozens of hopeful suitors who sent me a couple of messages, failed to interest me, disappeared for a few months, and then reappeared with a random insult out of the blue. Most of the time, I don’t even remember the original conversation. I just recognize that it’s someone I’ve spoken to before, and the tone of the message reeks of the hurtest butt that has ever been hurt. They also tend to roll in around 2 AM, and as we all know, 2 AM is that dreaded time of night when the slings and arrows we dodge in daily life plague us most. This is the scariest kind of message. I’m having a hard time making jokes about it, because a hostile stranger obsessing over you is really damn unnerving. I don’t think I need to point out that women are stalked, raped, and murdered by disgruntled men all the time; or that exchanging just a couple of messages with a woman on a dating app is one of the lowest tiers of social interaction. I mean, I could kind of understand if we’d gone on a few dates and built some level of rapport. It would still be a dick move to send me a nasty message months later, but it wouldn’t be a psychotic dick move. Maybe these dudes are just bored. Maybe they’re trolls. Maybe they’re completely unfit for society. Who knows? That’s just one of the games of roulette you play when you sign up to a dating site!

The guy with a kid

“My daughter is my life.”
“I have a wonderful son who always comes first.”
“Nothing means more to me than my children, NOTHING.”

Now, maybe I don’t get it because I’m not a parent, but it seems to me that there are a whole lot of single fathers out there who think any potential date is scheming to become an evil stepmother who leads their children to a gingerbread house in a haunted forest. Some of these overprotective fathers go so far in describing their devotion to their brood that it sounds like they’re actively trying to dissuade women from contacting them. Like “I’ve already procreated! You are all useless to me! There is only so much love and affection in my heart, and my offspring are already receiving every bit of it! Don’t even try it, she-devil. Just don’t even try to get me to care about you!” Jesus, why are you attempting to meet someone then? Go shove your swizzle stick into a glory hole and remove the human element of sexuality entirely. Yeah, the person on the other side of the wall probably has a Tom Selleck mustache, and you might not be jazzed about that, but at least they won’t get any ideas about stealing attention from your precious kid. The tragedy of this guy is that responsible single dads are totally sexy. They’ve proven that they can unselfishly provide for another human being, and wield the ever-coveted dad bod. There’s a lot going for them. Why do so many shoot themselves in the foot by jealously guarding the bonds they have with their kids? This isn’t even about protecting them from potential predators; it’s sending the message that no other relationship could possibly mean as much to them. Sorry dude, but that sounds like a big fat waste of my time and energy.

"You think I could ever love you? PLEASE. I have a CHILD."

"You think I could ever love you? PLEASE. I have a CHILD."

The guy who posts gross body shots and no face pics

Listen, I might be crazy, but the face is the part of the body most likely to attract me. I know, I know. You think six inches is a crazy big wang that every potential girlfriend needs to see right away, but let me assure you that the face is actually a greater tool of seduction than your mediocre physique. FetLife in particular is notorious for this. People on FetLife are reluctant to post photos of their faces, and that’s something I totally get. What I don’t get is why those same people have no qualms whatsoever about taking high res photos of their naughty bits against a background of dirty sheets. Does that make it harder for someone to identify you? Yes. Does that make it easier for someone to be utterly disgusted by your nudity? Also yes. I’m not trying to body-shame anybody here, because lord knows I’m no supermodel, but unless you are truly an Adonis, you should leave your clothes on until someone wants to rip them off. Bad skin, back hair, man boobs, uneven limbs, stretch marks, weird teeth, and unimpressive genitals are perfectly acceptable… in context. If I’m looking at a whole person, and I’m already attracted to that person, then their so-called flaws don’t bother me at all. If I have to see those flaws outside the context of attraction, I take gulp of whiskey to chase the images out of my brain. You don’t want to lead with that information is what I'm saying. You want to lead with your best features. Your beautiful blue eyes? Your lustrous hair? Your sparkling personality? Your sharp wit? Your ability to mix pancake batter while driving down the freeway at 90 miles an hour steering the car with your knees? Hell, anything but your giblets! Even if you do have an objectively great body, bodies are still too generic-looking to elicit much of a response. I’ve received about a hundred messages from guys with the same basic build and skin tone, and their pictures are the exact same naked mirror selfie with the head cut off. It literally looks as though one man is contacting me through different profiles.

Wow, look at this utterly unremarkable white male torso! It's all I've ever needed in a significant other. I hope he sends me a dick pic!

Wow, look at this utterly unremarkable white male torso! It's all I've ever needed in a significant other. I hope he sends me a dick pic!

The guy who wants to date a literal dog

“I swiped right for your dog”
“My dog is cooler than you”
“I probably won’t like you as much as I like my/your dog”

Similar to those single dads who loudly proclaim that their kid is more important than any woman he might date is the guy who claims the same of his dog. This particular weirdo is most commonly found on Tinder. Whether I run into this a lot because I live in a city of people obsessed with dogs or there are just a lot of dudes secretly in love with their canine companions is a mystery. It’s truly ridiculous how many men think that dog > you is an equation that will lead to romance. I see this all the time. About one in twenty profiles I come across makes some mention of how rad dogs are and how not-rad I probably am. While I’m tempted to file this under negging too, most of the time it sounds like a completely misguided attempt to be funny and charming, and a sneaky way to convey empathy. Like these guys want you to think “Oh, look how much he loves dogs! What a sweet person he must be! So much better than those robotic, unfeeling, sociopathic cat owners!” I’m sorry to inform you, that is not what we think. Implying that we have to compete with an animal for your affection is a creepy, assholish thing to do. What I actually think when I see this is “Oh, he wants to fuck a dog. That’s too bad.”

Left! Left! Left swipe LEFT!

Left! Left! Left swipe LEFT!

Listen, I have a dog. His name is Falkor and he helps me fight The Nothing. He is my best friend. He sleeps next to me every night, and occasionally I think that sharing my bed with him is better than sharing it with a human man (there is less farting and drooling, for instance, and I never wake up with a giant boner pressed against my butt), but I would never give the impression that my dog is a stand-in for my boyfriend, even as a joke. At best, that would come across as way cynical, and at worst I’d seem like a woman with a really unhealthy attachment to her pets. And hey, I get it: you’re a sensitive guy who cares about animals. You and your furry buddy are thick as thieves. I relate! But like…aren’t you trying to find a romantic connection on this here Internet? Tinder exists for two reasons: finding dates and finding hookups. If either of those scenarios involves you wondering if your dog couldn’t better fill the void than the woman you matched with, you do not belong on Tinder. You do not even belong on FetLife. You belong on zoophilia boards that I’m not brave enough to check out even for the sake of writing something funny.

If you swiped right for my dog, I will never, ever allow you to meet him, you mondo creep.

The guy who insists you come to his neighborhood

“I’m in the Southeast part of the city. Let’s check out a place near there.” 
"Let's grab a drink at ____. That's where I hang out."
"Sorry, but I don't know what's near you."

I live in medium-sized city of half a million people. It’s about 15 miles wide and there’s a big ol’ river bisecting it. Navigating it isn't a huge hassle, but you’d think so by trying to date dudes from the Internet. Nobody wants to go outside their comfort zones. In fact, the last time a guy suggested going on a date equidistant to both our ’hoods I ended up seeing him for four months. That's how rare it is, and that’s how much it impressed me that he was willing to put forth the tiniest bit of effort to meet me. Tinder is a wasteland. You have a kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince/princess, and it makes sense to invest as little as possible in a date with a frog. I mean, the slime? The fly-eating? Gross! Traveling four to ten miles for that is madness. Why stray more than a few blocks away from your apartment? Because, numb-nuts, it’s rude as fuck to insist somebody drive or bus all the way across town just to slurp some overpriced espresso with you, especially when they’re probably going to be as disappointed as you are. Have you ever considered the possibility that you're the frog? The stakes are exactly as high for your date, so why do you expect her to inconvenience herself while you kick back like an entitled prick? Just as you don’t want to waste precious time and effort pursuing a dead-end, neither do I. You want me join you for Sunday brunch at a pretentious hipster cafe downtown? Okay, answer me this: After spending 20 minutes in the car, will there be an affordable place for me to park? Oh, you don’t know because you live within walking distance and you’re completely unconcerned with things that don't affect you? Congratulations, you’re a galloping fuckpiece. I’d feel differently if these invitations included a caveat like “Hey, I know this is a bit of a trek for you, but there’s a great place in my neighborhood I’d love to show you. If you don’t mind the commute, I think you’d really dig it.” Man, if you said that to me, I’d run every red light and stop sign between here and there to reach your sexy, considerate ass as soon as possible. And if you pick up the check too? Top form, my good man, top form. Too bad the vast majority of online Romeos are too lazy to perform even the most basic of courtship rituals (or use Google Maps). You suck.

 

The guy who is desperate for sex

It’s hard to come up with quotes for this one because they’re all over the place. Pick-up lines and icebreaker messages are highly variable. They’re like a rainbow of awkwardness and shame. Desperate guys are annoying for a lot of reasons, but the biggest kicker for me is that they don’t seem to give one single, lonely crap about what I’m looking for. There's nothing wrong with being horny. In fact, I get horny sometimes too. Imagine! When seeking sex partners and significant others, we all have preferences. If you find someone with similar preferences, you might get somewhere. Nothing is more embarrassing than full-fledged adults trying to act sexy and failing. If middle school hadn’t already completely desensitized me to humiliation, FetLife would be a torture chamber of fremdschämen. I mean, it’s bad enough when someone neglects to read my Ok Cupid profile, but when a 60-year-old dom who identifies as a “daddy” messages me to ask me if I like daddies when my profile explicitly states “I am not into daddies,” then my forehead slapping escalates to whiplash-inducing velocity. Because it’s never just a friendly “Hey, are you interested in grabbing some coffee?” type of message. It’s always a sexual proposal laden with as much clit-tingling charm that person can muster. It falls completely flat because I’m de facto uninterested, and that’s never a fun thing to say to someone. And don’t think that more respectable dating sites aren’t fraught with the same idiots. On Ok Cupid, many of my questions are deal-breakers, i.e. I won’t even consider someone who would “strongly prefer” to date someone of their own race, or someone who thinks that global warming is a hoax. You’ve got to have standards, people. One of the most telling signs that a guy is looking to get horizontal with anything that will let him is that he won’t bother to even narrow his search to women who might actually be interested in his dong. He’ll message women who have absolutely nothing in common with him and act like they’re soulmates. Copy and paste is a tool he uses often. If I had a dime for every militantly conservative, confederate flag waving anti-feminist who told me he liked my profile and thought we'd make a good match, I’d have enough money to fund a queer pinko commie revolution of the most glorious magnitude.
 

"Hey girl, I see your values are exactly the opposite of mine. Opposites attract, right? Right? Please touch my penis!"

"Hey girl, I see your values are exactly the opposite of mine. Opposites attract, right? Right? Please touch my penis!"

The guy who acts innocent and offended when you call him out on his bigotry

“Well, look at you making assumptions!”
“Unlike you, I don’t judge people before getting to know them.”
“You don’t even know me. I’m nothing like that. You're ignorant.”

So, when one of those confederate flag waving anti-feminists makes the dire mistake of messaging me, I always make sure to let him know exactly why I’m rejecting him. I’m hoping that maybe he’ll wise up in the future and actually read someone’s profile before opening a dialogue, or that he’ll suddenly feel so enlightened by my rejection that he’ll swim over to the hot gay interracial party boat of liberalism. Win-win situation, right? Because I don’t take too kindly to people thinking that homosexuality is evil or that it’s okay to call women sluts, I don’t use the most delicate language during these exchanges. Depending on how much of a bigot the person is, I might say something pretty harsh, like, “I’m not interested in gun-loving, God-loving, anti-choice, anti-welfare, homophobic racists who believe that women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved. Learn how to read, you illiterate fuck!” And in almost 100% of cases, the guy in question acts surprised and reprimands me for “making assumptions” about his character and “judging” him without getting to know him first. It’s stupefying. Is there a non-racist reason to vocalize a strong negative bias against a certain race of people? Is it somehow not sexist to say that men should be head of their households or that a woman who’s slept with 100 people is a bad person? Believing that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry or have children is just “something you were raised to believe?” Oh, well then! I guess you’re pretty groovy after all. Excuse the fuck out of me for taking it the wrong way. Look dude, I don’t have to make assumptions about the fucked up shit you believe, because you’ve proudly outed yourself. You volunteered that information. It’s all right there on your profile! I didn’t take anything out of context; I simply reiterated things you admitted to. I guess they think that because they couldn’t be bothered to read my profile, I must be similarly lazy/incapable. A few of them are just obviously backpedaling because they want to talk their way out of the horrible first impression they’ve made so they can maybe still bone me. Weirdly, I have more respect for that type of asshole than the one who thinks he just doesn’t have to take responsibility for hating people. Like, “How dare you think I’m a bigot just because I told you I was a bigot! Don’t you ever give people the benefit of the doubt? This is why feminists are such terrible people! They’re so judgmental!” Yep. You just keep telling yourself that while you jack off with your Cheeto fingers, Brohaim. I’ll be over here going on real dates with real people.

Eventually.