Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Portrait of a Postmodern Lady

Perhaps you have gotten the impression that all modern women are being constantly harassed in the workplace. You might have gotten the impression that they are a bunch of weak-kneed snowflakes who are triggered by the least microharassment.

In the interest of helping you to erase that image from your mind I present a portrait of a postmodern lady, a woman who has written in to New York Magazine’s infamous Sex Diary column. Evidently, the women who write in to this column, detailing a week’s hookups, are self-selected. Evidently, this column is not safe for work and is not for the faint of heart. But, it does offer a picture of some young women who are living the liberated dream.

The woman in question today is 39 years old, unmarried and unemployed. Not a great mix. In the great scheme of things she does want to marry and have children.

It’s an afterthought, however. Her last lines provide a sad coda for a week of debauchery, some fun, some not so fun.

I never thought that I would be 39 and single. Sometimes I think I forgot to get married and have kids. I do want to meet someone who can handle me and make me a better person (or at least make me want to be a better person). If I look deep down I think I do want to get married and create some sort of family, whatever that looks like.

It’s probably not a great idea to think that you are the kind of woman who needs a handler. But, it certainly seems to be an accurate appraisal.

For the time being, the woman is looking for hookups and for a Sugar Daddy. The latter men she finds on a site called Seeking Arrangement. She seems to be happy to sell herself for sex. In the minds of most men, this would not make her marriage material.

I check Tinder, Bumble, and Seeking Arrangement to see if I’ve landed someone hot or rich. I joined SA thinking that since I often bang crumbs for free, maybe there’s an opportunity to pocket a few dollars while I validate myself with sex and charge glasses of Prosecco to someone else’s tab.

She has already had a delightful encounter through Seeking Arrangement and seems comfortable selling herself—a girl’s got to make a living, after all.

She explains:

E is wavering on plans to meet Friday for a sex romp because I told him I expect to be compensated financially. I’ve only had one successful SA encounter, which was a lot of fun, actually, and felt oddly empowering:

“Adam” and I met up for drinks, then decided we had enough chemistry to get a room. I was nervous, but we had sex — and it was genuinely erotic and fun. After he finished, we lay next to one another for a bit and chatted. Later, he Venmo’d me $500, along with the eggplant, sweat droplet, and blonde queen emoji.  I haven’t heard from him since.

We will not speculate on why she has not heard from him, because we are nice people. But, apparently, people know of her reputation and she has been invited to join a special sugar dating club. It beats work, don’t you think.

I receive a text requesting I join a “secret” club for sugar dating. Apparently I was referred, which makes me a little worried. But the text explains that only gorgeous girls are approached, and seeing as how I’m circling the drain life-wise, I’m taking the fact that someone thinks I’d be a good call girl as a compliment.

At least, she is not worried about her reputation. She has overcome her sense of shame… just as today’s therapists would have advised.

As for dating, she did have one relationship that lasted six months. She does not make it sound very appealing:

My ex and I met on Tinder in early February of last year and we dated until the end of August. He’s incredibly kind, interesting, and very successful. It wasn’t as serious for him as it was for me. And then it was over.

So, she goes back to being trolled on the Secret Arrangement site, and gives us an insight into the dating habits of today’s postmodern ladies:

It’s a rare occurrence that I match with someone on SA who is cute and young and willing to pony up. His profile states that he’s looking for someone who is “curious.” Some things to note: If a man writes that he expects “complete discretion” that means he’s married. If he writes that he’s looking for someone “open-minded” that means butt stuff. If he writes that he’s open to “new experiences” that means you’d better prepare yourself to be asked to do group sex. I feel like “curious” will be something akin to butt stuff, but he is really cute …

What comes of it? Nothing. Oh well. You can't have everyone.

Then she finds that she has a Bumble match. Here is what happens—its NSFW:

10:30 p.m. I’m alerted that I have a Bumble match. He’s insanely hot and lives in Astoria. This is outside of my preferred radius but whatever —  his abs are insane.

10:45 p.m. Astoria Bumble Guy starts sexting almost immediately, and where once that would have been grounds for me to unmatch, being on a site like SA has completely destroyed my moral compass. He asks me to send him pics in various states of undress and I dig through my archive because it’s way too cold to take my clothes off right now. I send him a pic that was clearly taken during the day and he calls me out. I fib and tell him it’s the lighting in my apartment. He buys it.

11:15 p.m. He wants videos and gives me his number. This guy is not here to play. I wonder how many women there are in N.Y. who are down to get right to business with a complete stranger? I’m guessing a lot because he doesn’t hesitate with his requests in the slightest. He asks me to stick my finger in my ass and then in my mouth. I’m not a prude but good God man. I quickly move the texting to a more acceptable line of dirtiness and this prompts him to ask me to call. But I’m not in the mood, so I try to come up with an excuse when my phone starts ringing. I guess I wasn’t quick enough. I answer and his voice is much higher than I expected.

11:25 p.m. He comes, drops the phone, and hangs up on me. I guess we’re done.

Note the insightful insight: apparently, lots of women in New York are capable of degrading themselves. Guys have figured it out or have had enough experience to know that today's postmodern lady cannot be offended by anything. One is still outraged that so many of them are being harassed at work.

Anyway, our postmodern lady lies back one morning and asks herself how she got to where she is. She has, after all, done everything by the book. She has done what every postmodern lady has been advised to do. She cannot figure out why it has not worked out:

I’m lying in bed and wondering why I’m being tested to this extent. I did everything a person is supposed to do to ensure a successful life and career. I earned not one but three degrees (including a master’s) and was willing to move anywhere in the U.S. for the right opportunity. I thought I’d paid my dues. Now I’m trying to peddle my ass on the internet (however unsuccessfully) and sexting or screwing half of Manhattan. How did I get here?


James said...

"How did I get here?"
Easy by ignoring what has been said for thousands of years. As for as those 3 degrees go. she might think about asking for her money back instead redeeming it on her back.

whitney said...


Redacted said...

From the post title, I thought the topic would be the cartoon of Michelle Oh!bama that was recently "unveiled". Is "doozy" a valid decriptive term among art critics?

Anyway, on-topic, it is a testament to Western Civilization that this womyn has the idle time to lollygag about at the elite level of navel-gazing. I doubt London's Victorian tarts lived in such luxury. Universal electric power saved her from chamberpot duty. Her "master's" must be in some vacuous topic (social "work"?), given that she accepts free glasses of prosecco as trade goods for her wares. "Butt stuff for bubbles!" In ten years, on this trajectory, she'll probably be saying the same about Wild Irish Rose and hustling her clientele on the Public Library computer.

Jack Fisher said...

This is epic. Woody Allen, Neil Simon or Blake Edwards could write a fantasy of her life and she'll be first in line to watch.

art.the.nerd said...

This sad sad story makes me glad I am married. Having said that, I must ask. Where were all these sluts when I was single?

Dan Patterson said...

"How does it feel" emoted Bob Dylan and he was addressing exactly this point.
Pitiful. And embarrassing.

Sam L. said...

Dan nailed it... Let me rephrase that: Dan perceived that correctly.

Ares Olympus said...

To try to remind myself what postmodern is supposed to be about, I found a Valentine post by Stuart from 4 years ago, although the source article says "modern" rather than postmodern, so I'll say I still don't know.

art.the.nerd, I'm not sure slut is the right word, at least what she's doing is self-employed prostitution.

The comment section looks surprisingly sincere, including one suggestion for therapy.

I don't know what's wrong with her, but it is a strange clever but detached consumeristic perspective, never asking where you're going or what you really want, just trusting you'll get somewhere so just taking the easiest options offered at every step. Other people make the rules, and she just has to keep being attractive and hoping someone will save her.

Maybe I've just defined postmodernism but it seems more like PTSD.

Sam L. said...

Stuart, I'll grant you the "Postmodern", but no way on the "Lady".

Stuart Schneiderman said...