Wednesday, May 15, 2019

She's Not Down with Casual Sex

Surprise, surprise. Our friend Polly, of the Ask Polly column, asks the right question. Her advice is as lame as it usually is, but at least she asks the right question. She does not answer it, but you can’t have everything.

The letter writer, who dubs herself Seriously Angry is done with casual sex. She has tried it. She has discovered that it does not work for her. She does not like being used by men. She wants something resembling a commitment. Can you blame her?

And yet, all the men she meets want nothing more than casual sex. So, she thinks that she is facing a choice between casual sex and nothing. One does not know whether she is using one of the infamous dating apps out there, but one would immediately recommend that she delete her Tinder profile and try one of the apps, like Hinge, that defines all members as looking for a relationship,not a hookup.

The point is so obvious that Polly ignores it. As always, she prefers giving an empty-headed pep talk. For now, for your edification, here is the letter:

If one more guy asks me for “something casual,” I’m going to throw something. It’s gone beyond just being exhausting. I’m angry.

I have been on nearly 40 first dates in the past couple of years since I’ve been single. At first, casual dating was exactly what I needed. I tried casual relationships a handful of times with guys I had chemistry with, but I realized that they just made me feel bad about myself. I was always so painfully aware of the fact that the only reason these guys were talking to me was because I was letting them sleep with me. It wasn’t like we were friends, it wasn’t like they liked me as a person, or thought I was interesting, or gave a single shit what I did or what I said. I felt like a sex doll. That might have been improved if the sex had been good, but it was mediocre at best. I tried to ignore the feelings and spice up the sex, but nothing worked.

I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of it, so I immediately disqualified any man who wasn’t looking for something serious. That strategy failed miserably, as I found out that I was disqualifying everyone. I feel like when guys hear “serious,” they think that I am asking to marry them on the spot. What I want to know is that if the first couple of months goes well, that I could expect eventually to have a boyfriend. I just want to know what’s on the table.

Recently, I met a guy. We went on a couple of dates, and I immediately had a crush on him. It wasn’t just that he ticked all my boxes of “nice” and “cute” and “doesn’t live in his mom’s basement.” It’s been years since I’ve been on a date with someone I had so much in common with, who made me feel interesting and listened to. Of course, I soon found out he only wants something casual. Instead of immediately cutting him out like I usually would, we had a very adult conversation about it. I told him why I hate casual relationships. He said that he wants to keep it casual for now but said that relationships were always the goal and that he would be open to it eventually.

I feel like I’m falling into a trap of chasing the relationship carrot that I’ll never get. I know I’ll probably get hurt, but I haven’t called it off yet because I know that I can’t do better. I want to enjoy having a crush on someone again and live in the moment and hope for the best, but I also resent him for putting me in this position in the first place.
It feels like my only options are to be alone, or to just have a rotating cast of guys to fuck while I hope that one of them might eventually deign to invite me to have an emotional connection. If I go that route, they get everything they want out of me, and I get nothing that I want. It makes me feel powerless and disposable, like they have all the power, and I hate it.

I don’t want to do that anymore, but I would also like to not give up on ever falling in love again. Is there another option? How do I not become resentful of every guy who is unwilling to consider anything other than casual sex?

Seriously Angry

And now, as promised, Polly asks a pertinent question. Precisely why she thinks that it's cool to use a stream of profanity, I do not understand. Here it is:

How the fuck did we land in this world where all of the chickenshits get to have their cake and eat it, too, and all of the brave and the open-hearted have to shut up and grab ankle? Now I’m angry on your behalf. What is wrong with our broken culture, with our broken universe, that deeply flinchy, jittery, escapist beasts are somehow viewed as the fittest survivors, able to roam free and state their demands? Meanwhile, those strong and courageous enough to believe in love and show their hearts are punished repeatedly?

The right question, enclosed in a foul-mouthed rant. Now, ask yourself this: would a man be more or less likely to contract a serious relationship with a woman who curses like a drunken sailor? Think about it.

How did we get to this point, pray tell? I don’t want to keep you in too much suspense, but Seriously Angry and Polly ought to have been able to figure out that in good part the fault lies with the young women who are out there giving it away for free. Not a word about them or about the feminist overladies who have been encouraging them to go for the sexual gusto, to have sex as they imagine men do.

Feminists destroyed courtship and dating. They told women that they were just like men and wanted sex as much as men do. And they also told women not to commit to a man when they were young-- that would be under age 35-- because it would destroy their career prospects.

Put it all together and you have a coterie of young women who give it away for free, who do not want a commitment because then they will risk love and marriage and children. And, will compromise their career prospects. Note, in passing, that Seriously Angry says nothing about her career prospects.

And, you probably saw that Seriously Angry feels-- correctly-- that the feminist hookup plan is serious disempowering for women. And that it’s empowering for men.

So, the solution to this problem lies with young women, especially those who act as though they do not respect themselves. Trust me, it was not my idea that they do so. It was not handed down by the patriarchy. All that need happen now is for young women to return to dating and to stop putting out for random, anonymous strangers.

Now, that would not be too hard, would it. Apparently, it would, but don't say I didn't try.

I would be remiss if I did not note here that one Alyssa Milano, a not-too-bright actress who is trying to develop a career as a social activist, made something of a fool of herself by suggesting the other day that women should go on a sex strike… to protest an abortion law in Georgia.

Naturally, Milano attracted gales of derision, because she apparently did not know that the tactic had been tried before, in a comedy by Aristophanes, called Lysistrata. And yet, in a bumbling way, Milano might have hit on something. The solution to Seriously Angry’s problem and to Polly’s question lies in the behavior of other women. Why not buy all young women a copy of a book called The Rules, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider… a book that feminists worked hard to destroy, but that offers women a guide to dating… and to respecting themselves.

Of course, that’s not all. Ask yourself this, how many of the young women who want relationships act like they want relationships. I do not mean that they insist that they want a relationship-- that’s the Polly approach-- but act like congenial, cordial, companionable women. How many of them behave shrewishly? How many of them hector and harangue men about social justice and sexism?

One suspects that young women today lack the social skills that would allow them to signal their disinterest in casual sex… because they have been taught by people like Polly to be open, honest and shameless. Is it time that they rediscovered the feminine mystique? Or, at least, feminine charm. You will note that Polly's expression of anger manifests neither.

Seriously angry in indulging in all-or-nothing thinking. She believes that she must choose between casual sex and no sex. She understands that casual sex makes her feel like a sex doll, so she should know that the question is deciding between behaving like a woman who wants a relationship and going home along. Missing out on casual sex is not missing out on sex. Because, for her, casual sex is not sex.

We also understand that all-or-nothing thinking characterizes depression. It results from having been repeatedly traumatized by bad sexual experiences, sexual experiences that make women feel cheap. Once a woman is sufficiently traumatized by bad sex-- even consensual bad sex-- her judgment will be distorted. She will go into trauma avoidance mode and will select or deselect men on the basis of how much they do or do not resemble men who have traumatized her in the past.

It is not cool or liberating for a woman to give her sexual intimacy away for free. Even if her feminist overladies told her to do so. Then again, note this point: Seriously Angry is probably seriously angry with herself for having allowed herself to become a sex toy for men. She ought also to be angry with the women who encouraged her to do so.

If we wanted to evaluate her situation in more detail we should ask whether or not she has any girl friends. Do they talk about these questions? Strangely, she has nothing to say about this, even though a little female strategizing among friends might be a good way to provide emotional support and to feel less alone with her decision.


370H55V said...

The notion that feminism has been a great deal for men, who now get lots of access to "liberated" women at no cost has long been a tired, worn out trope at least as far back as Midge Decter's "The New Chastity" back in 1972.

The real truth is that, even in our current so-called "sex recession", women have been getting it on just as much as ever. The difference is that they've been doing so with fewer and fewer men. Those lucky alpha males are the beneficiaries, while the rest of us betas and lower not only have to do without, but are rendered criminals for our efforts, and squeezed out of lucrative jobs in preference for women.

whitney said...

It's true. Women's Choice has created a polygamous system. Talk about unintended consequences!

jfmoris said...

Economists have a phrase "revealed preference" - which I take as: watch their actions, not their words. Too many women seem to want to spend their best years on a chain of alphas, followed by casually replaced beta providers. I figure the ones my age who were actually interested in life-long committed relationships with guys they respect all got married in their early 20s and made it work.

Women still on the market either enjoy the shopping too much, or their marriage didn't work out - most likely either because they felt entitled to make their beta mate put up with too much, or they chose an ahole(and seem likely to snag a beta, until the next hot ahole comes along).

Women are mostly very nice people, and mean well, but I think they are perhaps too prone to believe the lies we have all been propagandized with - casual sex has got to sound extra attractive to the gender that can get laid any time they want, and the welfare and divorce rackets add a too-attractive safety net.

People will tend to believe that which profits or flatters them, and provides someone else to blame. Feminist hostility provides too many excuses for mistreating males. I am very leery of involvement with any who seem to have un-actualized hostility - too often it becomes actual.

Anyone else notice how many women seemed very angry after Hillary's defeat? I think Hillary would've done to gender relations what Ohole did for race relations, and that rash of anger was just a small taste.

Anonymous said...

"She's not down for casual sex"

Let's "face" it. There's a really cheap, stupid sex pun in there somewhere. I just haven't come across it yet

The Naughty Punster Guy

Anonymous said...

There is no power or freedom,
without taking responsibility.
Does Polly know?

Anonymous said...

From the point of view of the men, large numbers are sussing onto a movement called men going their own way, MGTOW. There is a reddit "r/mgtow" if you're interested. It's enlightening on how men are responding to consequences of feminism and women's behaviour in general. They still appreciate a genuine lady but they are essentially unicorns in this day.

The general idea is seeing women for what they really are and living your own life. Some men decide to forego sex entirely, monk mode it's called, some still keep casual sexual relationships but no attachments whatsoever. The focus in life in physical health, career, finances and self improvement.

UbuMaccabee said...

Try a church, dear girl. But you’d probably go Unitarian or Episcopalian and find a disappointment. In the interim, keep having casual sex, I think you’re beginning to get the hang of it. It takes time.

Anonymous said...


There is a converse aspect to this story, that is men who find (if they are unlucky in whom they meet), that women want them purely as companions, providers and protectors, but do not care about their feelings or even that they possess any and are not interested in them as people. This latter is an argument often put by women towards unsatisfactory male partners, even after many years of marriage and family life but applies equally, I have experienced the other way round. I have, in my youth, been told that a great sex life and kindness in a man is 'not enough' (the terms alpha and beta male had not then been invented), but that was very much the sentiment.
Personally, I have never gone in for casual sex; but I often wonder in old age why not?