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Monday, December 9, 2013

SLLOTD: Vicodin

Posted by on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Originally published on November 25, 2010

I'm a 23-year-old female college student whose life consists of going to class and going to the gym. I got hurt in my last relationship, so I've been staying away from dating for a while. I'm attractive and I notice guys checking me out—making the gym a second home does have benefits!—but I'm afraid I come off as unapproachable.

I've noticed this fine guy at the gym. From the way he looks at me, I can tell he's interested, but I have no idea why he hasn't approached me. We make a lot of eye contact while we work out, and some days he'll walk by my treadmill and awkwardly smile, but we've talked only once. Is he shy? Should I try to talk to him again? How can I come off as more approachable? I'm finding myself obsessing over him (like I said, he is fine), but the more I do, the more pathetic I feel.

Pathetic Shy Girl With A Crush

My response after the jump...

We'll get to your issues in a moment, PSGWAC, but first...

Don't you hate it when you're working on a column that's way overdue and you have a horrible headache and you grab the bottle of pills from your suitcase—a travel selection of Excedrins, Advils, and 222s—and you pour the pills into your hand and pick out a couple of 222s (they're the ones that don't have an "E" on them and aren't green) and you toss the 222s in your mouth while you click through a few e-mails and then nearly choke to death?

Don't you hate that?

And don't you hate it even more when you're sitting there wondering how you nearly choked to death on a couple of 222s—they're skinny! You conquered that gag reflex in middle school!—and then you remember that your boyfriend put four of his massive, easy-to-choke-on Vicodins in with your pills the last time he came along on a trip?

Don't you hate that?

Okay, I had better get to it, huh? Soon I won't be fit to operate the remote for the TV in my hotel room much less dole out sex advice to my love-, clue-, and orgasm-lorn readers. But before we begin: My apologies to anyone unlucky enough to find their letter in this week's column.

Okay, PSGWAC, a lot of guys—fine and otherwise—have been led to believe that hitting on girls who aren't in bars or on personals websites is tantamount to sexual harassment. Because, you see, for the last 20 years, fine and otherwise guys have been told that it's not nice to hit on girls at work, on the bus, at the gym, or in class. Girls are still getting hit on at work, on the bus, at the gym, and in class, of course, just not by nice guys. The guys who approach girls at work, on the bus, etc. are, for the most part, fine and otherwise assholes.

So I'm thinking either Fine Boy is a nice, polite, clueless straight dude who doesn't want to make you feel uncomfortable or he's a fag who stares because he thinks your skin is flawless and is sincerely curious about what product you use in your hair.

Here's how you find out whether Fine Boy is straight and polite or gay and product-curious: Approach Fine Boy—take it from me, nothing makes you seem more approachable than physically approaching someone—and tell him you'd love to hang out sometime outside the gym, outside your clothes, etc., and see what he says.

 

Comments (47) RSS

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1
Or he's married.
Posted by anonymousxanonymous on December 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
unknown_entity 2
Spot on Dan.
Posted by unknown_entity on December 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Gobo 3
Bullseye! This is (one of the reasons) why I've never tried to pickup women at the gym.
Posted by Gobo on December 9, 2013 at 2:20 PM · Report this
4
Ask him if he wants to go grab coffee (or juice or whatever is post-workout appropriate).

You each still won't be able to tell whether it's a date, but you'll be able to tell that you want to get to know each other better, such as exchanging first names.

Worst case he blurts out a negative, and you at least know to move on to catching someone else's eye.
Posted by IPJ on December 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
5
Yes, she should approach him, but it's easy to ask a gym-related question. Compliment his gym clothes, where did he get them, whatever diet he's using seems to be working great! Shit like that, so neither of you has to avoid one another by going too far out on a limb only to find the other isn't interested.
Posted by Krusticle on December 9, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
6
If you're gorgeous and approach somebody, then you are a romantic. If you're not gorgeous, then you are a troll.

In case you're wondering, I am not now, nor have ever been gorgeous.
Posted by JJinAus on December 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
7
@6 Common argument used by obnoxious dudes about how they can't win. But it actually has to do with how you approach somebody and whether you back the hell off as soon as somebody gives you a not interested. What's even worse are the people who constantly push the line of acceptable, not saying anything so they can't be rejected, but doing everything they can to make somebody uncomfortable - such as trying to always be where that person is and sitting next to them whenever there is any excuse or so forth, where you can't easily call them on the behavior and you can't reject them, because they haven't expressed clear interest. Those guys are awful. But guys who are polite and talk and then back off if somebody isn't interested; they're okay.
Posted by uncreative on December 9, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
8
Re: drug mixup.

I have taken advise FROM you, Dan, for years but here is some advise FOR you.

I have travelled with other people to all my life- relatives, boyfriends, husbands, and never once did it occur to me to combine toiletries but this is a little extreme. May I suggest plastic bags? The pharmacy sells cute little 3X2 (more or less) ones for pills if you find the regular ones lack your level of chic. Or hey- it is holiday gift season. Get your hubby a cute little bag for his own drugs. As you age together you just add more and more of them. Trust me on this

I have live long enough to know people who died from this kind of thing. Where will we get out advise if you OD?
Posted by tantragal on December 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM · Report this
9
Really? I would never have guessed. After all it's not like that sounded bitter or anything...

It's like clockwork- someone always comes out of the woodwork with that old b.s. every time picking people up is raised.

Once more for the cheap seats in the back: bitterness isn't sexy, and neither is an entitled or "poor me" attitude. If you are "always" being rejected, maybe the problem isn't your looks. It might be simple lack of confidence, but bitterness isn't going to help either. If there's anything Savage Love should teach, it's that there's a huge range of tastes out there in the physical/sexual realm (for activities and body types and etc...) You can't just blame your looks and the world and expect anything to improve. This concludes my PSA. Thank yew. :P
Posted by firelizard19 on December 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
10
uncreative @ 7 posted:

"@6 Common argument used by obnoxious dudes about how they can't win. But it actually has to do with how you approach somebody and whether you back the hell off as soon as somebody gives you a not interested. What's even worse are the people who constantly push the line of acceptable, not saying anything so they can't be rejected, but doing everything they can to make somebody uncomfortable - such as trying to always be where that person is and sitting next to them whenever there is any excuse or so forth, where you can't easily call them on the behavior and you can't reject them, because they haven't expressed clear interest. Those guys are awful. But guys who are polite and talk and then back off if somebody isn't interested; they're okay."
Posted by MiscKitty on December 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
seandr 11
I have no idea why he hasn't approached me

Because he's married, and while he'd feel like a creep pursuing you, he'd definitely be up for a crazy hot sexy affair if you take the lead. Maybe walk up to him and ask if you can feel his muscles.
Posted by seandr on December 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
seandr 12
@7, @9: It's interesting, and I guess not all that surprising, that women have no empathy for men who have difficulty, for whatever reason, attracting women, unless maybe the man in question is her son.
Posted by seandr on December 9, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
13
@ 6 - Don't approach girls who are doing everything short of holding up a big red stop sign.

That means don't pester someone who's on her phone or tablet. Don't pester someone who's reading. Don't pester someone who's listening to music. It also means don't approach a woman who is in a place where she is likely to feel vulnerable - alone in an elevator or on an empty street after dark, for example.

In other words, don't be a creeper.

And if she declines outright or even if she just looks annoyed or uncomfortable, back off quickly and gracefully and don't take it personally. If you weren't being a jerk, a "no" is just a no. It's not an indictment of your appearance.

@ Seandr - I have lots of empathy for guys who have trouble attracting women. Rejection sucks. But I have zero empathy for guys who think that just because they want to fuck me, they are automatically entitled to my time (or to touch me) and then whine about unfair women are when the answer is "no."
Posted by MiscKitty on December 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
14
@12 a) Don't gender me. b) I have a lot of empathy for people who are shy and/or lonely. I don't have empathy for people who pretend that the only reason they can't get a date is that they aren't especially handsome or beautiful. I have little empathy for people who pretend that all women have double standards. I have little empathy for people who can't see the difference between don't be a creeper and don't talk to women, and when people try to point out to them that there is a difference, instead of asking for help on how they can talk to women just try to attack the people telling them there is a difference. And I'm curious, why should I have much empathy for those people?
Posted by uncreative on December 9, 2013 at 5:10 PM · Report this
persimmon 15
Look. A man who makes eye contact with me and smiles in an everyday setting is always acceptable. Even if he makes some attempt at small talk. ("Looks like it's going to rain, huh?" Anything except about my appearance, because that's just off-putting and creepy). That is how you pick someone up outside the setting of a bar. Because if a woman doesn't respond with eye contact, or gives you the stinkeye, that means she wants to be left alone. You didn't put yourself out too far, and you didn't make her uncomfortable or pressured. You smiled and locked eyes. And maybe you said something. But if she gives you the stinkeye, you need to take the hint and bow out quietly. If you come on strong or act inappropriately or don't take no for an answer, no self-respecting human will want to fuck you--because no self-respecting human wants an overbearing, inappropriate, forceful partner (well, at least not without discussing safe words first).
Posted by persimmon on December 9, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
16
This feels like using Excalibur to cut the string tying a parcel. Why send this question to Mr Savage?

My non-serious Stereotyping Response is to wear Approachable perfume, and give up hope if he recognizes the scent. (If, by some bizarre coincidence there isn't a perfume called Approachable, then someone should take advantage of the opportunity.)
Posted by vennominon on December 9, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
17
Ms Kitty (and Dr Sean as well?) - If memory serves, Mr JJ does not approach women, or at least has not done so for a long time. I have nothing to say in opposition to Ms Kitty's post, and, given that this letter did concern M-F approaches your conclusion seemed plausible, but feel it incumbent to mark that men who complain about approaching and the difficulties therein may have problems that have nothing whatever to do with women.

My apologies to Mr JJ if I am confusing you with someone else who happens to be the same-sexer, but, even if I am, I do often protest when a non-gendered comment is treated as gendered. As #6 stated, "approach somebody," acknowledging that the poster might not have meant, "approach a woman," even if a response concerned itself entirely with approaching women (and there are valid reasons for such a response), would have been a nice touch.
Posted by vennominon on December 9, 2013 at 5:38 PM · Report this
18
@12 Then you clearly have no idea how many times I've set nervous shy nice boys up with girls, written dating profiles for them, or otherwise tried to talk them up/get them laid. I have a great deal of sympathy, having been without sex for years at a time myself, and not traditionally attractive, so that I get what it's like to be so damn sexually pent up and denied that you are inherently creepy - the need gets in the way, and it does freak people out. It is desperation, and it scares/repels everyone, male or female, even if it's coming from a female. Some people choose to get bitter about it, and this makes them extra repellant. Being female, you are constantly bombarded with guys expecting you to behave in certain ways, including being generally sexually available. I have no sympathy with that. Happy to help nice guys get laid, even desperate ones that can come off as creepy occasionally unintentionally. Not interested in helping dangerous bitter aggressive assholes. There is a clear difference.
Posted by gnot on December 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
19
@17 I should add that I am male and same sex attracted.

Not surprised by the vitriol either. Same scene, different decade. Incidentally, I am well and truly off the market and I am so glad that I do not have to put up with that crap anymore. In case you're wondering, I would wait for men to approach me in the main. Also if I wasn't interested I would be smiling and polite, unlike most.

Posted by JJinAus on December 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM · Report this
bhowie 20
I identify with the shy guy at the gym. I am handsome but somewhat socially awkward AND all too cognizant of not creeping women out in situations like the bus, the gym, etc. Sometimes I get eye contact and smiles from women in those situations and when I do I WAY OVERTHINK it and usually miss the opportunity.
So yeah, I should just say something stupid ("How about this weather?") and if she really does dig me she won't give a shit how smart or cool or funny my opener is and we can take it from there.
Posted by bhowie on December 9, 2013 at 7:08 PM · Report this
21
@19- wait, so your original comment @6 was your opinion as an approached person- as in you considered anyone you thought unattractive who approached you a troll/ creeper? In that case, speak for yourself, not everyone in the universe. I guess my original disgust with the blanket comment stands- it's a really nasty way to paint the rest of the world.

Either that or you're being a hypocrite and saying it's fine for you to reject people, but anyone who rejected you was clearly doing so for shallow reasons totally outside your control.

Sorry, but there's no way the original statement was anything constructive.
Posted by firelizard19 on December 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
22
And yeah- totally agree with you bhowie. I took forever to figure out that basic flirting is really just making a point to talk to someone and show interest in them as a person. Later it can escalate, or someone can just ask the other out, but the concept of a straight-up pickup has always struck me as awkward- that's why pickup lines are jokes! So yeah- just start talking and see where it goes. The interest is implied if you seek him/her out to chat.
Posted by firelizard19 on December 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM · Report this
23
@21 I actually don't care what you or anyone else thinks.
Posted by JJinAus on December 9, 2013 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Sandiai 24
@22, that's what I thought too. Why put all this pressure on the situation? Can she just say, "hi my name is...." and be friendly to him like maybe a normal person would?
Posted by Sandiai on December 10, 2013 at 12:45 AM · Report this
Christampa 25
@23- You shouldn't participate in conversations if the only opinion you value is your own.
Posted by Christampa on December 10, 2013 at 4:15 AM · Report this
26
Mr JJ - I'm glad my memory is functioning. You have indicated as much.

M? Lizard - I took Mr JJ's post as a sort of hint that he became one who waited to be approached because of the generally harsh reception he received when he approached anyone.

I think some bisexual perspective here would be most helpful. OS approaching has to contend with gendered expectations and presumably increased frequency of questionable approachability, while SS approaching has the much more obvious presence of the Hierarchy of Beauty in play. This is not to claim that either is worse than the other, but to suggest that the differences may make finding common ground for discussion more difficult than one might expect.

Just for the record, my own preferred manner of approaching would be to send a footman with a note (if Ms Cute does not object to my mixing Broadway Damage with Downton Abbey).
Posted by vennominon on December 10, 2013 at 4:40 AM · Report this
Sati 27
@26 I would almost certainly be interested in getting to know someone who sent a footman with a note - at the very least it would catch my attention, and make me think s/he was fairly creative. Unless, of course, it was actually a member of the aristocracy who did that sort of thing as a matter of course. That sometimes happens where I live. :)

As far as a bi perspective, I don't think I have enough experience with women to have noticed the difference. Of course, I'm painfully shy when it comes to approaching people I'm attracted to, and have almost zero experience when it comes to being the approacher. As the approached, one thing I've noticed is that I'm less likely to find girls who hit on me to be creepy or inappropriate - but I'm also less likely to pick up on the signals at all. Not sure if this is due to a) women being naturally subtler than men (are they? I'm not sure); b) same-sex approaches being more tentative than opposite sex (are they?) or c) me being a big obtuse idiot.

I will be particularly interested to hear the thoughts of other bi people - especially those with more functional experience than myself.
Posted by Sati http://lilacandcherryblossom.blogspot.com on December 10, 2013 at 6:21 AM · Report this
smajor82 28
@23 You have an interesting way of showing it.
Posted by smajor82 on December 10, 2013 at 6:38 AM · Report this
Alanmt 29
I agree with 6, to a large degree. It is not every woman, but it is many, to a greater or lesser degree. Anyone who doesn't see this dynamic in the world is naïve or attractive. People seem shallow. In truth, it comes from a deeply ingrained primitive instinct to perpetuate the species with perceived desirable traits.

And hey, I am a strong proponent of knowing your place on the dating scale. I think there would be a lot less unhappiness in the world if people could objectively look at themselves and realize how they rate, so they can adjust their dating goals appropriately. And let's face it, the unattractive buy into it as much as the attractive. They wonder bitterly why beautiful woman x can't just take some time to get to know them and see how nice and cool they are, while naturally refusing to consider making that effort with unattractive woman y to see if she might be cool and nice.
Posted by Alanmt on December 10, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
30
@26--I was struck by one of Ophian's comments long ago: "I date men and women, and there is a world of difference..." and it goes on from there. It was written in a different context and he was making a point about male vs. female sexuality, specifically how if women in general want men in general to be assertive and make the first move, they have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. It was enlightening to get a point of view from both sides of the fence simultaneously.

Anyway, it confirmed for me that there is a responsibility in being the approacher, as vehemently re-flogged @13 and @15 above, but that there should also be a responsibility in being the approached, a point of view that is frequently lost in angry reminders of "You're not entitled to anything, ever," which strikes me as a little over the top, but then I'm not out there being hounded by people I find unattractive. Although frankly, I'd take that over disinterest any day.

Comment 194 in case you're interested.
Posted by LateBloomer on December 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
watchout5 31
"I'm hot, pretty and I live at the gym, why don't people think I'm interesting".

I feel like there's an odd parallel to this kind of girl and the kind of guy who would describe himself as a "nice guy".
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on December 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
32
@ Mr. Ven - To address your objection to my gendered response: from what I have seen, posts like JJ's are written about women disproportionately often.

While the writer doesn't always gender himself/herself, the targets of the writer's ire are often identified as female, usually through the use of pronouns and sometimes through insults that are more often applied to women: bitch, whore, cunt, etc.. I hope that explains my inclusion of female pronouns in my response to JJ, who did not identify his own gender in his initial post.

I should note, though, that while I wasn't sure of JJ's gender (the only JJ I know is a cis-lady) I have most often seen sentiments similar to those he expressed posted by self-proclaimed "nice guys." I'm not sure if you're familiar with the concept of "Nice Guy (TM)" but there is a fairly loud subset of (mostly?) heterosexual cis-men who believe that if they "do everything right" their attractive acquaintances are under some sort of quid pro quo based obligation to reward their "niceness" with sex.

I can also weigh in on the bi issue in a fairly limited fashion: I am in a monogamous marriage but I have carte blanche to flirt to my heart's content so I can speak to that. And since I am a cis-lady and I am conventionally attractive, I am not unaccustomed to being approached.

I am much more comfortable being on the receiving end of attention from women than from men. Men, particularly if they are significantly larger than me (and most are), are more likely to make me feel threatened. As such, while I will let it slide if a woman is brash, similar behavior from a man is most often a deal breaker for me. Yes, that is sexist. And yes, it is unfair. But I am more concerned with my own physical safety than I am with a stranger's feelings.
More...
Posted by MiscKitty on December 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 33
@6: The problem here is your personality sucks too.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 34
As repeated at 23. You can't help ugly, but you could improve the dipshit you come across as.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM · Report this
35
...wow, men sure can be aggressive assholes.

Suddenly I feel a surge of affection for Mr. JJ.
Posted by LateBloomer on December 10, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 36
"Suddenly I feel a surge of affection for Mr. JJ."

Not surprising.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 10, 2013 at 6:59 PM · Report this
37
Ms Kitty - I spend more time than most people here in places considerably more feminist than this. I am well familiar with the Nice Guy problem for women, and agree that Mr JJ's post could have looked somewhat similar, but will point out that it is at least potentially if not always considerably different for men approaching men.

Had you made your remark generally instead of addressing Mr JJ, I'm sure I'd just have thought "true enough" and passed on. I suspect you can imagine how you'd feel if a poster you knew to be lesbian made a non-gendered complaint only to be given pro tips from Dr Sean on How to Please Men, even if you assumed it to be an honest error.

Thank you for your perspective at the end, which seems a bit hard on yourself. Being approached in a certain way by people with certain characteristics makes you feel [blank] for reasons you've examined and found valid. I don't know that there's a whole lot you're supposed to be able to do about that.
Posted by vennominon on December 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM · Report this
38
Mr Alan - I cannot claim to have knowledge of how it works for opposite-sexers, but your last paragraph seems a little off. They aren't all that cool and nice as they think themselves, or they'd be attracting rather higher than their supposed deservings. Rather than consider the Hierarchy of Beauty as inevitable and omnipotent, I think of it as similar to Mr Woodhouse's nervous dislike of Emma's marrying Mr Knightley, a plan finally accomplished not due to any sudden enlightenment of Mr W's mind or a wonderful change to his nervous system, but due to the operation of the same system in another way when a rash of burglaries in the area makes him eager to have a son-in-law in the house.
Posted by vennominon on December 10, 2013 at 9:56 PM · Report this
39
Ms Kitty - I left something out of #37. About 25 years ago, I helped organize a one-day event with four speakers against various -isms. While the most telling moment of the day was the woman of colour telling how non-white girls were overwhelmingly insisting that the blonde Barbie was prettier than all the non-Caucasian alternatives, I also recall well how adamant the speaker against sexism was when she proclaimed that all pornography degrades women with a capital ALL. The speaker against heterosexism took a moment out of his own talk two speakers later to point out very gently that he hadn't seen any pornography containing women, let alone degrading them.
Posted by vennominon on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM · Report this
40
Mr. Ven - I absolutely understand why you presumed I was making the erroneous assumption that JJ was a heterosexual male and responded accordingly. And while I did make an (incorrect, obviously) assumption about JJ, it just happened to be a different assumption (since unlike you, I had no idea that he was male.) I'm also quite certain it didn't help matters that I fell immediately into discussing an m/f dynamic in my response to Dr. Sean. x_x' The cream corn metaphor that Dan used in a recent podcast comes to mind and leaves me with the sneaking suspicion that all of this internet message board stuff would be a lot easier of we could add little labels next to our user names.

Love your story @ 39 about the speaker who explained that not all porn degrades women because not all porn features women. That made me smile. And I'm quite curious as to the reaction of the porn-negative speaker. Did you discuss it with her later, by any chance?

Regarding the bisexual question, did you happen to read Mr. Ophian's post (linked to by LateBloomer @ 30)? It's interesting that we each seem to prefer initial flirtatious interactions with our own gender (and for completely different reasons). It makes me wonder if that is common among bisexuals. As you note, m/m approaches and, I would like to add, f/f approaches are considerably different from m/f approaches. (Although perhaps fairly similar to f/m approaches?)

As for me being too hard on myself, I disagree. I don't blame myself for the situation, I just view it as an "it is what it is" sort of thing. I have a double standard. That is unfair and I feel it is appropriate to acknowledge that. But my double standard is dictated by safety and as such, like you said, there's just not much that I can do about it. This is especially true given our society's proclivity for putting a burden on women to "not get raped."
More...
Posted by MiscKitty on December 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM · Report this
41
Ms Kitty - Well, the letter and Mr Savage were both in an M>F context.

After the talks, I was busy in the kitchen, and never found out if anybody followed up on the point. Perhaps not; she looked a bit perturbed to be called on erasure. The whole thing feels a bit dated now, perhaps because there are not so many publicly anti-porn feminists. These days it seems as if the "correct" attitude is to be pro-sex worker while being anti-sex work (by a whisker) in private.

I do remember Mr Ophian's original post when it was first posted; it seemed full of interesting things with promise of more.
Posted by vennominon on December 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Still Thinking 42
Hmm, male vs. female attention; being the approacher vs. the approachee.
Brief background: a couple decades ago, as a reasonably hot and flexible young thing, I approached and was approached by both genders. I've only recently re-entered the dating pool after a 17 year absence, and am still finding my feet in unfamiliar waters.

As a woman, turning down another woman is a tricky business. I don't want her to think I'm homophobic, but I also don't want her to think I've judged her as hopelessly uninteresting/ unworthy/ etc., because why be unkind? On the other hand, I don't feel so conflicted about turning down a man. I don't care if he thinks I must be a lesbian if I'm not interested in him. There's a double standard here - because a woman takes more social risk when approaching another woman than a man does approaching a woman. However, as with a woman, I also don't want the man to feel I've judged him as hopelessly uninteresting, etc. Unless he's being a real jerk, of course. And also, in my experience, more men have been jerky than women.

When it comes to approaching people, I've usually been shyer about approaching women than approaching men, because of that higher risk thing. Also because in my experience, it's harder (figuratively) to tell whether a woman is interested. Also because the women I find hottest also seem to be the ones who are just bad medicine for me.

So perhaps I need a boost from Mr. Gromm ;)
Posted by Still Thinking on December 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 43
@42: "However, as with a woman, I also don't want the man to feel I've judged him as hopelessly uninteresting, etc. Unless he's being a real jerk, of course. And also, in my experience, more men have been jerky than women"

Yeah, the problem there may just be in that giving some guys more information only makes them more angry. And unlike applying for a job and not making it, giving them more information won't help them try again, necessarily. You don't need to have a reason.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Still Thinking 44
@43 - I think there's also a societal expectation that women are supposed to play hard-to-get, and men are supposed to try harder when initially turned down, especially if the brush-off is a mild-mannered one. I don't want to have to be a jerk to a guy in order for him to get the message that 1) I'm not interested and 2) it's not because I think he's a hopeless head case/egomaniac/creeper/whatever.

Women are just better at taking no for an answer, it seems. And better at being persistent without being overpowering, too.
Posted by Still Thinking on December 12, 2013 at 11:07 PM · Report this
45
[Women are just better at taking no for an answer, it seems. And better at being persistent without being overpowering, too.]

Not in my experience, but then that's why I asked for yours.
Posted by vennominon on December 13, 2013 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Still Thinking 46
Hi Mr. Ven,
I would imagine that, given our different genders and orientations, you and I would have different experiences!

Maybe one source of difference is that you and I are largely dealing with different categories of men and/or women. With regard to the social skill of accepting a "no thank you" gracefully, men presenting as gay and bi have performed better than men presenting as straight, in my experience. Granted, I've only been propositioned/approached by a very very few gay men, and few bi men, so my sample size is too small to be reliable. And I think, without holding it against them, that the gay men - who were also friends - might have been looking to confirm through experience that they really weren't interested in sex with women. However, I have always felt equally uninspired by the idea of helping someone prove they were either interested or uninterested in sex with a woman.

From observation alone, never mind experience, I think it's reasonable to say that straight men, as a group, feel more entitled to what they want. Putting myself in your shoes for a moment, to the degree that's possible, I suppose that you might have had to deal with straight women who feel similarly entitled. I extend my sympathies to you for each time you have had to relieve someone of the misconception that you ought to respond to their obvious charms by sweeping them off their feet!
Posted by Still Thinking on December 15, 2013 at 3:06 AM · Report this
47
in response to vennominon... late, but i've been out of the loop...
i haven't experienced or seen much hierarchy of beauty in either SS or OS situations. i've seen more social-status hierarchy. this may, however, simply reflect on the filters i'm personally subject to.
my personal experience is that guys are usually very direct in their approach, and that i have no issue in being as direct in return.
women tend to be more subtle, but also more aggressive. somehow it's harder to say no, or even to be sure if i am reading them right - where are the lines between friendly / attracted / actually interested / creepy? i also find that 'straight' women (even when they are sitting in one's lap/ lying in one's bed) will reject a female far more aggressively than a male, and may respond aggressively to mere friendliness from a queer female, in a just-in-case-you're-hitting-on-me preventative-action way.
on the whole i've found that (as a visibly queer/ androgynous person) it's just not safe to approach women, pretty much at all, and the best policy is to let them do the approaching. while this lends me to a certain sympathy with the straight guys, it is obvious why women need to be sexually defensive. it's unfortunate, but the only way forward is to let them do the hunting and chasing for a few generations. and to celebrate female sexual assertiveness.
Posted by sappho on December 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM · Report this

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