How best to meet girls for casual relationships?

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Post by Caffeinated on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:49 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:Another thing I've been thinking is wondering why it seems so difficult for young and/or inexperienced men to describe their desires in a way that women won't find abhorrent. Like, I think the dudes on this forum are generally pretty decent, but then I'll read something and just be like WTF.

Just to clarify: do you mean the way they're described are abhorrent, or the desires themselves are difficult or impossible to describe in a way that isn't abhorrent?

It's generally the way they're described. It's like this. Imagine you're at lunch, and the waiter is describing the sandwich of the day, and mentions that it includes curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product. Would that be as appetizing as saying it comes with cheese? On the other hand, maybe the curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually cheese. You wouldn't know for sure from that description, so you might skip that sandwich just in case.

I like that analogy!

So, what specifically about the way I or bob or some other inexperienced young man describes his desires is the equivalent of "bacteria-ridden dairy product"? I can't really see what is, myself, but I'm not a woman!

I wish I could figure out a way to describe it. It's a matter of nuance, and in this case it seems that it's nuance that goes unnoticed by the speaker, but not by the listener. It's mostly little hints of seeing women as a generic interchangeable monolith, or as sex parts to be used for male pleasure, or not worth the time to get to know individually or invest in emotionally... Hard to put my finger on it precisely, but I've picked up unsavory whiffs of all those things at various points in the discussion.

PintsizeBro wrote:Online dating can be a good resource. There's far less concern for social blowback in the blissful (relative) anonymity of Craigslist* or Tinder.

*Craigslist casual encounters vary widely depending on where you are, but if you're in a densely populated area, you can meet perfectly nice horny people there.

Craigslist can be great, but you really have to not give off bad vibes when trying to hook up that way. The nuance of your written words is the primary thing a woman has to go on for whether you're cool and fun or scary and dangerous.
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Post by BobTheNinja on Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:47 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:Another thing I've been thinking is wondering why it seems so difficult for young and/or inexperienced men to describe their desires in a way that women won't find abhorrent. Like, I think the dudes on this forum are generally pretty decent, but then I'll read something and just be like WTF.

Just to clarify: do you mean the way they're described are abhorrent, or the desires themselves are difficult or impossible to describe in a way that isn't abhorrent?

It's generally the way they're described. It's like this. Imagine you're at lunch, and the waiter is describing the sandwich of the day, and mentions that it includes curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product. Would that be as appetizing as saying it comes with cheese? On the other hand, maybe the curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually cheese. You wouldn't know for sure from that description, so you might skip that sandwich just in case.

I like that analogy!

So, what specifically about the way I or bob or some other inexperienced young man describes his desires is the equivalent of "bacteria-ridden dairy product"? I can't really see what is, myself, but I'm not a woman!

I wish I could figure out a way to describe it. It's a matter of nuance, and in this case it seems that it's nuance that goes unnoticed by the speaker, but not by the listener. It's mostly little hints of seeing women as a generic interchangeable monolith, or as sex parts to be used for male pleasure, or not worth the time to get to know individually or invest in emotionally... Hard to put my finger on it precisely, but I've picked up unsavory whiffs of all those things at various points in the discussion.
Not really sure how to respond to this one, but I admit that I'm probably approaching this discussion from a self-centered perspective. The vast majority of my sexual desires have been fulfilled through erotic videos and art, cybersex, and personal fantasies, areas where I can easily define and control what gets me going (perhaps less so with cybersex since it requires mutual participation, but there's no expectation of exclusivity, so it's easy to find other partners).

It may be some of that experience is bleeding into my responses, and if so, I apologize for that. But I don't see women as merely sexual bodies, or as interchangeable entities. I'll put it this way, if I met a woman who has an absolutely gorgeous body but an asshole personality, I wouldn't want to sleep with her. Similarly, if I met a woman with a gorgeous body but is clearly unwell emotionally, I'd focus on her distress first.
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Post by Caffeinated on Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:49 pm

BobTheNinja wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:Another thing I've been thinking is wondering why it seems so difficult for young and/or inexperienced men to describe their desires in a way that women won't find abhorrent. Like, I think the dudes on this forum are generally pretty decent, but then I'll read something and just be like WTF.

Just to clarify: do you mean the way they're described are abhorrent, or the desires themselves are difficult or impossible to describe in a way that isn't abhorrent?

It's generally the way they're described. It's like this. Imagine you're at lunch, and the waiter is describing the sandwich of the day, and mentions that it includes curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product. Would that be as appetizing as saying it comes with cheese? On the other hand, maybe the curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually cheese. You wouldn't know for sure from that description, so you might skip that sandwich just in case.

I like that analogy!

So, what specifically about the way I or bob or some other inexperienced young man describes his desires is the equivalent of "bacteria-ridden dairy product"? I can't really see what is, myself, but I'm not a woman!

I wish I could figure out a way to describe it. It's a matter of nuance, and in this case it seems that it's nuance that goes unnoticed by the speaker, but not by the listener. It's mostly little hints of seeing women as a generic interchangeable monolith, or as sex parts to be used for male pleasure, or not worth the time to get to know individually or invest in emotionally... Hard to put my finger on it precisely, but I've picked up unsavory whiffs of all those things at various points in the discussion.
Not really sure how to respond to this one, but I admit that I'm probably approaching this discussion from a self-centered perspective. The vast majority of my sexual desires have been fulfilled through erotic videos and art, cybersex, and personal fantasies, areas where I can easily define and control what gets me going (perhaps less so with cybersex since it requires mutual participation, but there's no expectation of exclusivity, so it's easy to find other partners).

It may be some of that experience is bleeding into my responses, and if so, I apologize for that. But I don't see women as merely sexual bodies, or as interchangeable entities. I'll put it this way, if I met a woman who has an absolutely gorgeous body but an asshole personality, I wouldn't want to sleep with her. Similarly, if I met a woman with a gorgeous body but is clearly unwell emotionally, I'd focus on her distress first.

And that's the thing. You (and other dudes on here) seem like you're actually a good dude. You're a sharp cheddar, or a spicy pepperjack, or a smoky gouda, but the way you describe things sometimes seems to dip into the curdled dairy product-speak instead of the tasty menu-speak.

Maybe it has to do with it being a generalization. For you, it's purely hypothetical, but I'm viewing it through a more personal lens. Actually, you may find that that's often the case, that something you are considering in a general or hypothetical sense might feel a lot more personal to the person you're talking to, and that this may especially often be the case when you're talking to a woman about women.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:07 am

"How do I get girls to like me?" is a curdled-milk question. "How can I make myself more attractive?" is a cheese question.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:14 am

PintsizeBro wrote:"How do I get girls to like me?" is a curdled-milk question. "How can I make myself more attractive?" is a cheese question.

"But I don't want to be more attractive. I just want to do the things that will get someone to like me." And 'round we go ag'in.
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Post by BobTheNinja on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:24 am

Caffeinated wrote:
BobTheNinja wrote:
Not really sure how to respond to this one, but I admit that I'm probably approaching this discussion from a self-centered perspective. The vast majority of my sexual desires have been fulfilled through erotic videos and art, cybersex, and personal fantasies, areas where I can easily define and control what gets me going (perhaps less so with cybersex since it requires mutual participation, but there's no expectation of exclusivity, so it's easy to find other partners).

It may be some of that experience is bleeding into my responses, and if so, I apologize for that. But I don't see women as merely sexual bodies, or as interchangeable entities. I'll put it this way, if I met a woman who has an absolutely gorgeous body but an asshole personality, I wouldn't want to sleep with her. Similarly, if I met a woman with a gorgeous body but is clearly unwell emotionally, I'd focus on her distress first.

And that's the thing. You (and other dudes on here) seem like you're actually a good dude. You're a sharp cheddar, or a spicy pepperjack, or a smoky gouda, but the way you describe things sometimes seems to dip into the curdled dairy product-speak instead of the tasty menu-speak.

Maybe it has to do with it being a generalization. For you, it's purely hypothetical, but I'm viewing it through a more personal lens. Actually, you may find that that's often the case, that something you are considering in a general or hypothetical sense might feel a lot more personal to the person you're talking to, and that this may especially often be the case when you're talking to a woman about women.
I can see how that could be a problem. Still, I'm not sure how to avoid discussing these issues in non-hypothetical terms, given my inexperience with relationships. I certainly don't want my contemplation to come off as if I was discussing the listener in particular.

I have a story to share that I think is relevant to the discussion. At the end of last year, my coworkers took me to my first strip club. It was surreal for me when I first walked in, but a few drinks later, I was enjoying the hell out of it, and I went back a few times after that. I got lapdances from some very nice-looking ladies, and while I was mainly focused on their bodies and dances, I always tried to make some conversation with them at the first meeting, even if it was just some small talk to pass the time, and I smiled and thanked them for their company when they were done. It just seemed like the polite thing to do. The fact that I knew what to expect in that environment also made conversing with them much less nerve-racking than the idea of starting a conversation with a nice-looking woman elsewhere.

Oddly enough, I didn't get super-aroused any of the times that I visited. Sure, the ladies were lovely to look at, and the dances were enjoyable as hell, but I didn't get as turned on as I thought I would. Maybe it was because it was a semi-public environment, and that suppressed my reaction to it. It could also be the fact that I knew that I wasn't going to actually going to engage sexually with any of them. Honestly, I don't have as much motivation to go back as I did before because the experience, while definitely fun, is both fleeting and and gets expensive very quickly.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:30 am

PintsizeBro wrote:"How do I get girls to like me?" is a curdled-milk question. "How can I make myself more attractive?" is a cheese question.
Really? I agree with the latter, but if the only question asked was the former, the answer is a paraphrase of the latter anyway: 'make yourself more attractive', with all the things that come with that.

The first question, to me, is more of the absolute first stepping-stone question that quite literally leads to the second one. Especially for people that need to work on introspection, which is a skill you need for the latter question anyway. Not to mention adding issues like social anxiety and such which essentially makes it seem like every little thing that happens around you to do with people revolves around you and creates a really strange form of self-absorption.

I was probably prone to that form of phrasing (and I probably still am - others can comment on whether or not I've fallen into the trap on here) when I was younger.

I mean, I get the problem: "How do I get girls to like me?" implies forcing others to change for you, or even willingness to manipulate at it's most extreme negative connotation. But it doesn't seem that unnatural to ask, even for someone with a good ethical grounding, if they are really new to relationships.

I guess I'm thinking of the best case scenario rather than anything else.

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Post by PintsizeBro on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:13 pm

It's not so much that it implies that others need to change, I think it implies that the speaker/poster doesn't, as Nearly suggests above. It carries the rationale of, "I'm already such a catch, if only they could just see that, they would like me! How do I show them that they were wrong for not being interested in the first place?"

You know, Nice Guy Syndrome.

Even if that's not where you're coming from, and what you actually mean is how do you make yourself more likeable or attractive, that's how it sounds. So we circle back to the cheese/curdled milk analogy, because even if you mean something perfectly innocuous, it doesn't sound appealing.

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Post by reboundstudent on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:15 pm

BobTheNinja wrote:
I have a story to share that I think is relevant to the discussion. At the end of last year, my coworkers took me to my first strip club. It was surreal for me when I first walked in, but a few drinks later, I was enjoying the hell out of it, and I went back a few times after that. I got lapdances from some very nice-looking ladies, and while I was mainly focused on their bodies and dances, I always tried to make some conversation with them at the first meeting, even if it was just some small talk to pass the time, and I smiled and thanked them for their company when they were done. It just seemed like the polite thing to do. The fact that I knew what to expect in that environment also made conversing with them much less nerve-racking than the idea of starting a conversation with a nice-looking woman elsewhere.

Oddly enough, I didn't get super-aroused any of the times that I visited. Sure, the ladies were lovely to look at, and the dances were enjoyable as hell, but I didn't get as turned on as I thought I would. Maybe it was because it was a semi-public environment, and that suppressed my reaction to it. It could also be the fact that I knew that I wasn't going to actually going to engage sexually with any of them. Honestly, I don't have as much motivation to go back as I did before because the experience, while definitely fun, is both fleeting and and gets expensive very quickly.

Okay, interestingly, this is what made me kind of rock back in my chair and think "Curdled cheese" instead of "Tasty menu item." (And I'm from Wisconsin; I love cheese like there's no tomorrow.) It's a little hard to parse out, as you're being respectful and ethical and nice to the strip club ladies, as one should do, and yet there's something.... I think it's the impression I'm getting that sex is a one-way, transnational idea. From what you've said, it makes sense, since you're experienced sex in largely one-way directions (fantasies, strip clubs, cyber) but I think it's very important to be self-aware about that.

I think this is also one of the challenges of choosing one night stands or some shade of FwB as an introduction to partnered sex (not saying you shouldn't choose that path, just be aware of the challenges.) One night stands and FwB may actually require more giving than taking sexually. For example, in a relationship, when a partner asks for something sexually that would do nothing for me, I'm a lot more willing to indulge that, because I know (in a good relationship) I can ask for something similar down the line. Or I'll do it because I want to emotionally indulge him.

That likelihood is pretty much non-existent with ONS or FwB, because I may not have an opportunity to be selfish in turn, and I have no emotional investment in the guy, and so don't see the point of doing something that would benefit only him. In other words, in ONS and FWB I require a lot higher level of immediate reciprocity than I do in a partnered relationship.

I think re-framing your mind in terms of what you could give in ONS or FWB, versus what you personally want, would go pretty far in changing "curdled milk" into "tasty cheese." If you are looking to give as much or more than you get, and you're looking out for both of you to have a good time and get something out of it in equal measures, you automatically become a lot more appealing. I think that's why your strip club story kinda curdled for me; you were being nice, respectful and ethical, which is great, but these women were kind of there for your pleasure. It's not an equal relationship. You have the money, and the power, and they are there to indulge you. In a good ONS or FWB, you should be surrendering power/pleasure just as frequently as you're getting power/pleasure. Does that make sense?
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:20 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
It's generally the way they're described. It's like this. Imagine you're at lunch, and the waiter is describing the sandwich of the day, and mentions that it includes curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product. Would that be as appetizing as saying it comes with cheese? On the other hand, maybe the curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually cheese. You wouldn't know for sure from that description, so you might skip that sandwich just in case.

I like that analogy!

So, what specifically about the way I or bob or some other inexperienced young man describes his desires is the equivalent of "bacteria-ridden dairy product"? I can't really see what is, myself, but I'm not a woman!

This is something I see sometimes, and I'm going to use a reversal to try to get at it - and the reversal is going to involve some very strong gender stereotypes, which aren't necessarily true of many people and definitely aren't true of everyone.

Imagine you meet an attractive, single woman your own age who has a great deal in common with you...and then she starts talking about her desires for a relationship. She hasn't been in a relationship before, but when she is in one, it's going to have to be monogamous, probably right from the start. She'd like to date her boyfriend for about a year before getting engaged - definitely no more than eighteen months. After another year of engagement, she'd like a large church wedding. They'll both work full time in corporate jobs for a few years while they pay off the wedding and save for the house. She'd like to get the house by the time she's twenty-eight or thirty, because she wants to have her first child by then. By the time she has her second child, she'd like to quit work and be a stay at home mother. If you ask her a little more about these preferences, she has lots of explanations about why she thinks all this is right for her. Some of them sound like they're very accurate and are probably necessary for someone like her to be happy, though a few others make some assumptions about long engagements or working parents that don't seem like they'd apply to everyone.

So, obviously this isn't the right partner for you, though there probably is a man out there who'd be on board with most of this. Does it rub you a little bit the wrong way, though? Maybe the bit where there's a lot that her next boyfriend will need to agree with, and not a lot of room for anything he might be looking for in a relationship? Of course, this might just be something that makes it hard for her to date, because she'll need to look a bit to find someone who genuinely wants all those things as much as she does. On the other hand, you might worry that if she is actively dating, she might end up pushing a man who isn't really on board with all that into a relationship that doesn't fulfill many of his needs? Compare that to the same woman saying more generally that she's only interested in monogamous relationships and that she's ultimately looking for marriage and children. I'm assuming that would be a huge turn off as well, but does it sound a little more realistic and open to compromise?

So, the first vibe is what I get from young guys talking about the kinds of casual relationships they'd like sometimes - a picture of a relationship that would either require that the man find a woman who is almost identical in terms of personality and interests and who wants to be in a casual relationship for the exact same reasons a man does, or alternately one that would end up making a woman who wasn't an exact fit very unhappy. I tend to get the feeling that this is because it's hard for people who haven't had relationships yet to picture one with a person who is at least a little bit different and might want some compromises, but it does have the "bacteria-ridden dairy product" feel sometimes. In contrast, the more general description of wanting to find a relationship that includes having sex more than once but doesn't include monogamy and commitment seems more like "cheese."
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Post by The Wisp on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:02 pm

eselle28 wrote:
This is something I see sometimes, and I'm going to use a reversal to try to get at it - and the reversal is going to involve some very strong gender stereotypes, which aren't necessarily true of many people and definitely aren't true of everyone.

Imagine you meet an attractive...

So, obviously this isn't the right partner for you, though there probably is a man out there who'd be on board with most of this. Does it rub you a little bit the wrong way, though? Maybe the bit where there's a lot that her next boyfriend will need to agree with, and not a lot of room for anything he might be looking for in a relationship?

Hrm, it didn't rub me the wrong way just reading it now, though I think that's because it's a thought experiment. I think if I encountered a real case of a woman with such preferences, I would be rubbed the wrong way a little. When I have heard women with similar desires describe them, they have indeed rubbed me the wrong way, so I know what you're getting at. I think of women I've heard who describe the kind of wedding they'd want in some detail, and yet it feels like it's all about them and their hypothetical groom is a mere prop. Or, those who say that they're not against premarital sex or sex-negative, and want a guy who is sexually open and adventurous, but they literally want to wait for months to warm up to guy before having sexytimes of any sort, regardless of the context of their actual relationship.

eselle28 wrote:I tend to get the feeling that this is because it's hard for people who haven't had relationships yet to picture one with a person who is at least a little bit different and might want some compromises, but it does have the "bacteria-ridden dairy product" feel sometimes. In contrast, the more general description of wanting to find a relationship that includes having sex more than once but doesn't include monogamy and commitment seems more like "cheese."

Okay. So when I described my desires as being about a certain kind of FWB situation, that was "bacteria-ridden", but when I said merely that I want non-monogamy and to avoid the relationship escalator, that would more like cheese. Is that right?

I do think you're right about this being because of inexperience. I do find it hard to imagine what reasonable relationship compromises for somebody with my desires my look like. I can imagine unreasonable and unhealthy compromises involving me being a doormat, bait-and-switch situations, manipulation, or inertia getting the better of me. But, yeah, as far as healthy compromise I have no idea what the could look like due to inexperience, and thus when I talk about my desires with any specificity, the other person is just an abstraction filling a role and it's not always obvious what expectations are reasonable or not.

Thanks, your post has been helpful!
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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:19 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
Another thing I've been thinking is wondering why it seems so difficult for young and/or inexperienced men to describe their desires in a way that women won't find abhorrent. Like, I think the dudes on this forum are generally pretty decent, but then I'll read something and just be like WTF.

Then what are we supposed to say? scratch I ask because I fall into both the young men and inexperienced young men categories. Razz

I'm genuinely at a loss for words on how to describe *my* own desires as well aside from the innocuous "Hey, I think you're really cool, do you wanna go out on $thing date?" That line itself is pretty clear on what I want, a date/potential relationship and eventually sex... but I guess that doesn't really work either? Uh-oh Or am I going about it the wrong way too?

I mean, I'm just as confused as Bob and Wisp now and I'm scared that I'm bacteria-ridden dairy product. D: (Personally, I'd rather be a steak. Or pasta. Laughing)

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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:43 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Okay. So when I described my desires as being about a certain kind of FWB situation, that was "bacteria-ridden", but when I said merely that I want non-monogamy and to avoid the relationship escalator, that would more like cheese. Is that right?

Basically, yeah.

I do think you're right about this being because of inexperience. I do find it hard to imagine what reasonable relationship compromises for somebody with my desires my look like. I can imagine unreasonable and unhealthy compromises involving me being a doormat, bait-and-switch situations, manipulation, or inertia getting the better of me. But, yeah, as far as healthy compromise I have no idea what the could look like due to inexperience, and thus when I talk about my desires with any specificity, the other person is just an abstraction filling a role and it's not always obvious what expectations are reasonable or not.

That makes sense! One thing you might want to try is imagining a woman who is on board with both of your "cheesey" preferences but who's otherwise quite different, and then thinking if and how you might be willing to change your ideal FWB relationship to accommodate her, keeping in mind that, "Nope! That wouldn't work for me!" is also a valid answer. These are a few examples of women who might meet your basic two requirements, but who don't tick all the boxes on your ideal friend with benefits list.


  • Alexis is headed for grad school in Italy in six months, and she's not interested in either an exclusive relationship or in anything committed until then, because there's no way she's having a long distance relationship. However, all of her past relationships have included dating. She prefers those structures and conventions, and she'd like any casual relationship she has to incorporate most of them.
  • Brittany has an active social life, and most of her weekends are filled with clubbing and parties and the occasional date with another man. She's happy to have some downtime followed by sex with you, but not every Saturday night. She'd be willing to meet up on Monday-type days, or to meet up late at night after whatever party winds down, or to see you on the very infrequent weekend days when she doesn't have plans, though.
  • You can have interesting conversations about philosophy with Courtney, but she doesn't share any of your hobbies or like any of the same TV shows. If you want to hang out with her, you'll either need to do things she likes half the time, search for new things to do together, or keep meetups short enough that just the talking will be enough for both of you.
  • You can't even talk about philosophy with Danielle, and she doesn't share any of your interests either. She's smart and you have good sexual chemistry with her, but you run out of things to say to her after about fifteen minutes.
  • Emily shares some of your interests, but she's not a homebody and enjoys novelty - the latter is one of the reasons she's not looking for monogamy. She's up for a casual relationship, but she's going to get really bored if she has to hang around the house for more than an hour.
  • Felicia is ultimately seeking a more committed, monogamous relationship. She won't pressure you to be that person, because she's looking for someone who shares her religious beliefs. However, while she's on board with being your friend with benefits, she is going to be actively dating other men. Your meetups will need to be scheduled around those dates, and if she meets someone who seems right for her, she'll call off your relationship so she can be monogamous with him.
  • Gabrielle has no time for a serious relationship, because she's a medical student doing her clinicals. Her schedule is erratic and she's often stressed out and exhausted. Sometimes that will mean she wants to talk about her rough day, and sometimes she won't be up for talking at all. She can communicate about those needs and can provide some emotional support in return, but any friend with benefits will need to be on the understanding side.

Thanks, your post has been helpful!

Glad to hear it!
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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:03 pm

The Wisp wrote:I think of women I've heard who describe the kind of wedding they'd want in some detail, and yet it feels like it's all about them and their hypothetical groom is a mere prop.

The Wisp, you're brilliant. The icky thing where a woman describes a wedding and the groom is a mere prop is exactly the same type of ickyness I'm talking about in the cheese or curdled milk example.

The Mikey wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Another thing I've been thinking is wondering why it seems so difficult for young and/or inexperienced men to describe their desires in a way that women won't find abhorrent. Like, I think the dudes on this forum are generally pretty decent, but then I'll read something and just be like WTF.

Then what are we supposed to say? scratch I ask because I fall into both the young men and inexperienced young men categories. Razz

I'm genuinely at a loss for words on how to describe *my* own desires as well aside from the innocuous "Hey, I think you're really cool, do you wanna go out on $thing date?" That line itself is pretty clear on what I want, a date/potential relationship and eventually sex... but I guess that doesn't really work either? Uh-oh Or am I going about it the wrong way too?

I mean, I'm just as confused as Bob and Wisp now and I'm scared that I'm bacteria-ridden dairy product. D: (Personally, I'd rather be a steak. Or pasta. Laughing)

The Mikey, I'm sure you're actually a tasty food item and not actually curdled and bacteria-ridden. It's really hard to find a way to talk about these things without someone getting the wrong impression. I feel like it's not entirely fair for you to feel like you have to figure out the exact right way to say things on this forum, because this forum is here for advice and commiseration and help of various sorts, so you shouldn't feel like you have to make a good impression on people here. On the other hand, it's not fair to you if we pretend that things that give a negative impression are totally copacetic, because how would it help you to be misled?

I wish I could think of easy ways for you (and other good but inexperienced dudes around here) to express your essential tastiness to an audience your inexperience makes unfamiliar.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:20 pm

I think one of the best pieces of advice I can offer (this is a tricky question) is that if you're inexperienced, focus on what you want to get out of a relationship and not how the other person would be or what they would do in the relationship.

If you say, "I'm looking for an arrangement where I can get and give sexual pleasure, but I don't have a lot of time to spend on relationship maintenance and I don't want high expectations for emotional support from either of us," that is clearly about your boundaries and needs, but leaves room for a hypothetical woman to be real and individual within that space. Lots of very different woman could look at those criteria and say, "Sure!" from the booty call once-a-week sex friend, to someone who has a hobby in common with you and is looking for a D&D&S (Dungeons&Dragons&Sex) friend, to someone who you get along with great but has no interest in monogamy ever, to a poly woman in a committed relationship looking for a secondary partner, to someone you see every month or two when you go to chess tournaments, to just about anyone else who is willing to respect your space and needs.

In contrast, when you say, "I want someone who will play video games with me, then have sex, once every week or two, and doesn't want to talk about her problems or expect monogamy from me," then you're really either boxing in to a very narrow woman or expecting her to fit her life around you, instead of the other way.

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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:32 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
The Mikey, I'm sure you're actually a tasty food item and not actually curdled and bacteria-ridden. It's really hard to find a way to talk about these things without someone getting the wrong impression. I feel like it's not entirely fair for you to feel like you have to figure out the exact right way to say things on this forum, because this forum is here for advice and commiseration and help of various sorts, so you shouldn't feel like you have to make a good impression on people here. On the other hand, it's not fair to you if we pretend that things that give a negative impression are totally copacetic, because how would it help you to be misled?

I wish I could think of easy ways for you (and other good but inexperienced dudes around here) to express your essential tastiness to an audience your inexperience makes unfamiliar.

I'll be honest, I always feel like I'm walking on egg shells here when I'm discussing dating/gender relations. It feels like I gotta re-write my posts a bunch of times or self-censor a lot so I don't come off as an asshole (I don't mean to be if I ever come across that way). Honestly I'm just confused by a lot of things regarding dating and women and I don't feel like I'm anywhere near or close to getting what I want at all. There's somethings that are obvious on what NOT to say or do but it seems that there's always something I said or did that wasn't right. Razz

What's a dude gotta do? Shrug Laughing

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Post by Enail on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:37 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
TheMikey wrote:
Then what are we supposed to say? scratch I ask because I fall into both the young men and inexperienced young men categories. Razz

I'm genuinely at a loss for words on how to describe *my* own desires as well aside from the innocuous "Hey, I think you're really cool, do you wanna go out on $thing date?" That line itself is pretty clear on what I want, a date/potential relationship and eventually sex... but I guess that doesn't really work either? Uh-oh Or am I going about it the wrong way too?

I mean, I'm just as confused as Bob and Wisp now and I'm scared that I'm bacteria-ridden dairy product. D: (Personally, I'd rather be a steak. Or pasta. Laughing)

The Mikey, I'm sure you're actually a tasty food item and not actually curdled and bacteria-ridden. It's really hard to find a way to talk about these things without someone getting the wrong impression. I feel like it's not entirely fair for you to feel like you have to figure out the exact right way to say things on this forum, because this forum is here for advice and commiseration and help of various sorts, so you shouldn't feel like you have to make a good impression on people here. On the other hand, it's not fair to you if we pretend that things that give a negative impression are totally copacetic, because how would it help you to be misled?

I wish I could think of easy ways for you (and other good but inexperienced dudes around here) to express your essential tastiness to an audience your inexperience makes unfamiliar.

As well as what Caffeinated said, I think it might be a good idea to be clear that "Hey, I think you're really cool, do you wanna go out on a $thing date" is not the kind of thing this cheese vs. bacteria-ridden dairy product is about. That's a totally normal, reasonable phrase to use when asking someone out. Don't go stressing about that kind of thing, Mikey! The cheese question is more about the mindset/way of describing your mental image of what one is looking for than expressing one's interest in a particular person.

Also, just wanted to say I'm loving this metaphor and how awesome and listening and respectful everyone is being in this discussion, especially the folks who are being asked to examine the way they approach expressing their desires! This has gone from being a pretty simple/concrete discussion to a much more challenging and abstract one, and it would have been easy for this to go off the rails in the process.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:41 pm

Another thing about this metaphor: bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually a pejorative, in this context! It's a statement that while we like cheese, the way it's being presented is sometimes unpleasant and worrisome, and makes us think of the time someone poured 5-week-old milk on our rice krispies, and that reframing it as "delicious brie" doesn't change the SUBSTANCE, but lets us see that it's appealing.

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Post by reboundstudent on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:46 pm

The Mikey wrote:

I'll be honest, I always feel like I'm walking on egg shells here when I'm discussing dating/gender relations. It feels like I gotta re-write my posts a bunch of times or self-censor a lot so I don't come off as an asshole (I don't mean to be if I ever come across that way). Honestly I'm just confused by a lot of things regarding dating and women and I don't feel like I'm anywhere near or close to getting what I want at all. There's somethings that are obvious on what NOT to say or do but it seems that there's always something I said or did that wasn't right. Razz

What's a dude gotta do? Shrug Laughing

Honestly, I think that's just part of what happens when you crowd-source for dating advice. The thing is, humans are so varied and so strange and so nuanced that even in a small community, you're going to get a lot of pieces of advice that are very specific and possibly conflicting with each other.

I remember a similar feeling when I posted a thread on AskMen asking how I could improve my appearance. You'd assume that getting advice on how to be physically attractive would be a lot more straight forward. But it was amazing how differed and conflicting the advice was. Some folks thought my hair cut was disgusting; others thought it was flattering. Others said to whiten my teeth, while some said I had a great smile. Nearly all of them told me to lose weight, but where and what amount to lose was always changing; some people said "Just 5 pounds and tone a little," others called me a cow, some said I only needed to drop a little around my stomach, and so on.

In a way, this might be encouraging, because it shows that attraction, and what people are seeking in relationships, are pretty varied and subject to flexibility. It can discouraging, because then how are you supposed to become successful (ie, appeal either intensely or appeal broadly) when no body can seem to give you a mold to fit into. After years of crowd-sourcing advice from forums and blogs, the philosophy I've come to is I'm not looking for one specific answer, but instead absorbing many different perspectives that, should the time come when I could implement them, I could dip into as resources.

So the advice is confusing when there's no context, but hopefully, when boots hit the pavement, you could remember one of the potentially conflicting pieces of advice and think "Ooo, now this makes more sense and could be applicable!", and ignore the advice that isn't.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:52 pm

Enail wrote:
As well as what Caffeinated said, I think it might be a good idea to be clear that "Hey, I think you're really cool, do you wanna go out on a $thing date" is not the kind of thing this cheese vs. bacteria-ridden dairy product is about. That's a totally normal, reasonable phrase to use when asking someone out. Don't go stressing about that kind of thing, Mikey! The cheese question is more about the mindset/way of describing your mental image of what one is looking for than expressing one's interest in a particular person.

Also, just wanted to say I'm loving this metaphor and how awesome and listening and respectful everyone is being in this discussion, especially the folks who are being asked to examine the way they approach expressing their desires! This has gone from being a pretty simple/concrete discussion to a much more challenging and abstract one, and it would have been easy for this to go off the rails in the process.

Now that makes more sense!

What I look for (and/or want) then in those cheese metaphors is someone could I hang out with and share my love and life with them whether it be at home or camping or whatever with them (with the added bonus of sexy-times). Ultimately, that's what I want and makes me feel warm & fuzzy. Reading through this thread I've realized that I really don't want a FWB... I feel like I'd be heartbroken by that so fast.

reboundstudent wrote:
Honestly, I think that's just part of what happens when you crowd-source for dating advice. The thing is, humans are so varied and so strange and so nuanced that even in a small community, you're going to get a lot of pieces of advice that are very specific and possibly conflicting with each other.

I remember a similar feeling when I posted a thread on AskMen asking how I could improve my appearance. You'd assume that getting advice on how to be physically attractive would be a lot more straight forward. But it was amazing how differed and conflicting the advice was. Some folks thought my hair cut was disgusting; others thought it was flattering. Others said to whiten my teeth, while some said I had a great smile. Nearly all of them told me to lose weight, but where and what amount to lose was always changing; some people said "Just 5 pounds and tone a little," others called me a cow, some said I only needed to drop a little around my stomach, and so on.

But, that's so cruel! Sad I'm sorry you went through that. I see your point, kinda goes in hand with "ask 5 people their opinion on something and you get 6 different answers".

reboundstudent wrote:
In a way, this might be encouraging, because it shows that attraction, and what people are seeking in relationships, are pretty varied and subject to flexibility. It can discouraging, because then how are you supposed to become successful (ie, appeal either intensely or appeal broadly) when no body can seem to give you a mold to fit into. After years of crowd-sourcing advice from forums and blogs, the philosophy I've come to is I'm not looking for one specific answer, but instead absorbing many different perspectives that, should the time come when I could implement them, I could dip into as resources.

So the advice is confusing when there's no context, but hopefully, when boots hit the pavement, you could remember one of the potentially conflicting pieces of advice and think "Ooo, now this makes more sense and could be applicable!", and ignore the advice that isn't.

It's been mostly discouraging for me because I'm like "Well, shit, I'm not $thing, I don't have $thing, and I don't know how to do $thing." Or I'm just simply unappealing which also very discouraging. It's become one of those things where I'm told one thing, but nah, turns out that's wrong, well then what or where is the solution? scratch

And I've been reading advice and junk for a few years too and I feel like it's easier for me to be in the moment and just wing it or improvise. But I'm still not good at it. Razz


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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:54 pm

ETA- so many posts have happened while I composed this, the conversation may have moved on. I hope its still helpful.

Here's what I'm responding to, for clarity's sake:

eselle28 wrote:

This is something I see sometimes, and I'm going to use a reversal to try to get at it - and the reversal is going to involve some very strong gender stereotypes, which aren't necessarily true of many people and definitely aren't true of everyone.


I think eselle is onto something.

I get the same vibe from some of those early posts as I did from women online who say things like: "Looking for a guy who has his shit together and knows the Right Way to treat a lady."

It feels like they aren't looking for a person so much as a stand-in to play a character in a story they've already written.

And what a couple guys here are describing about what they want IS a common story. It's a fantasy we see played out in a lot of books and movies aimed at us...the shy but inexperienced guy whose goodness is recognized by some woman who decides its up to her to teach him the ways of the world, not for her, but for when he meets the Right Woman down the road.

It's okay to have that fantasy.

What I think happens though, is a lot of guys don't recognize it as a fantasy. We mistake it for something we have a realistic chance of getting. I'm sure it happens now and then, but there's just too many of us that have that fantasy for it to come true for every single one of us.

Furthermore, we mistake it for something we need. It's almost laughable. Like some inexperienced guys have problem A and some have problem X and some have problems E,F, and G...and somehow every one of us guys with all those different problems have concluded the Solution to Our Specific, Special, Magic, Unique problem is a kind-hearted woman, generous with her body and with willing hands and a knowing mouth to take us by the hand and walk us across the threshold into manhood  and then somethingsomethingsomething we're a new man. Our problems are solved or no longer matter. Vaginas Is Magic.

*  *  *

There's a second thing I wanted to mention specific to sex, especially with communicating that desire for it. I'm hesitant to bring it up; I'm worried about starting a debate and making the thread messier than it already is, but I think it might help a couple guys here so I'm going to throw it out there and leave it.

Drastically simplified, it comes down to this: In my experience, women need more than just attractiveness before they act sexually with a person. They also want to be desired for more than their fuckability.Whereas from many men's point of view, fuckability IS what makes a person desirable.

Many women often seem to find that 'male experience of desire' troubling. They don't like the implications for valid reasons. It's also not how they experience desire and its not how they want to be desired themselves.

So if it's women you're attracted to, until you have evidence otherwise, it seems to work better to talk about desire for sex/attraction in terms most women understand and experience.

This can take some time if you're used to thinking of fuckability as the primary reason to want someone (and by extension, the primary reason another person would want you or someone else). But if something you write or say even IMPLIES you think that way, a lot of women are put off by that.

(ETA -Bob's comment below about stripper and customer being allowed to play with each other reads to me like an unintentional example of what I'm talking about above. YMMV)

It takes some practice, but it comes with time, and the best part I've noticed is in the process, my own experience of attraction/sexual desire has become broader. I think a lot of these things might be more fluid than we give them credit for. It's especially cool to be able to experience the richness of that spectrum first hand and--to bring us back to the original topic--I've noticed its opened a lot more possibilities in terms of being able to find happiness in many different types of relationships, whether they are monogamous or non-, short term or long.


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Post by BobTheNinja on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:56 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
BobTheNinja wrote:
I have a story to share that I think is relevant to the discussion. At the end of last year, my coworkers took me to my first strip club. It was surreal for me when I first walked in, but a few drinks later, I was enjoying the hell out of it, and I went back a few times after that. I got lapdances from some very nice-looking ladies, and while I was mainly focused on their bodies and dances, I always tried to make some conversation with them at the first meeting, even if it was just some small talk to pass the time, and I smiled and thanked them for their company when they were done. It just seemed like the polite thing to do. The fact that I knew what to expect in that environment also made conversing with them much less nerve-racking than the idea of starting a conversation with a nice-looking woman elsewhere.

Oddly enough, I didn't get super-aroused any of the times that I visited. Sure, the ladies were lovely to look at, and the dances were enjoyable as hell, but I didn't get as turned on as I thought I would. Maybe it was because it was a semi-public environment, and that suppressed my reaction to it. It could also be the fact that I knew that I wasn't going to actually going to engage sexually with any of them. Honestly, I don't have as much motivation to go back as I did before because the experience, while definitely fun, is both fleeting and and gets expensive very quickly.

Okay, interestingly, this is what made me kind of rock back in my chair and think "Curdled cheese" instead of "Tasty menu item." (And I'm from Wisconsin; I love cheese like there's no tomorrow.) It's a little hard to parse out, as you're being respectful and ethical and nice to the strip club ladies, as one should do, and yet there's something.... I think it's the impression I'm getting that sex is a one-way, transnational idea. From what you've said, it makes sense, since you're experienced sex in largely one-way directions (fantasies, strip clubs, cyber) but I think it's very important to be self-aware about that.

I think this is also one of the challenges of choosing one night stands or some shade of FwB as an introduction to partnered sex (not saying you shouldn't choose that path, just be aware of the challenges.) One night stands and FwB may actually require more giving than taking sexually. For example, in a relationship, when a partner asks for something sexually that would do nothing for me, I'm a lot more willing to indulge that, because I know (in a good relationship) I can ask for something similar down the line. Or I'll do it because I want to emotionally indulge him.

That likelihood is pretty much non-existent with ONS or FwB, because I may not have an opportunity to be selfish in turn, and I have no emotional investment in the guy, and so don't see the point of doing something that would benefit only him. In other words, in ONS and FWB I require a lot higher level of immediate reciprocity than I do in a partnered relationship.

I think re-framing your mind in terms of what you could give in ONS or FWB, versus what you personally want, would go pretty far in changing "curdled milk" into "tasty cheese." If you are looking to give as much or more than you get, and you're looking out for both of you to have a good time and get something out of it in equal measures, you automatically become a lot more appealing. I think that's why your strip club story kinda curdled for me; you were being nice, respectful and ethical, which is great, but these women were kind of there for your pleasure. It's not an equal relationship. You have the money, and the power, and they are there to indulge you. In a good ONS or FWB, you should be surrendering power/pleasure just as frequently as you're getting power/pleasure. Does that make sense?
I get what you mean. And if the strip club came with the opportunity for dancer and customer to actually play with eachother, I'd definitely reciprocate. It wouldn't be any fun if my partner wasn't getting any enjoyment from the experience. I'm actually a big fan of foreplay, and I think it can sometimes be even hotter than the actual sex.

eselle28 wrote:
The Wisp wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
It's generally the way they're described. It's like this. Imagine you're at lunch, and the waiter is describing the sandwich of the day, and mentions that it includes curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product. Would that be as appetizing as saying it comes with cheese? On the other hand, maybe the curdled, bacteria-ridden dairy product isn't actually cheese. You wouldn't know for sure from that description, so you might skip that sandwich just in case.

I like that analogy!

So, what specifically about the way I or bob or some other inexperienced young man describes his desires is the equivalent of "bacteria-ridden dairy product"? I can't really see what is, myself, but I'm not a woman!

This is something I see sometimes, and I'm going to use a reversal to try to get at it - and the reversal is going to involve some very strong gender stereotypes, which aren't necessarily true of many people and definitely aren't true of everyone.

Imagine you meet an attractive, single woman your own age who has a great deal in common with you...and then she starts talking about her desires for a relationship. She hasn't been in a relationship before, but when she is in one, it's going to have to be monogamous, probably right from the start. She'd like to date her boyfriend for about a year before getting engaged - definitely no more than eighteen months. After another year of engagement, she'd like a large church wedding. They'll both work full time in corporate jobs for a few years while they pay off the wedding and save for the house. She'd like to get the house by the time she's twenty-eight or thirty, because she wants to have her first child by then. By the time she has her second child, she'd like to quit work and be a stay at home mother. If you ask her a little more about these preferences, she has lots of explanations about why she thinks all this is right for her. Some of them sound like they're very accurate and are probably necessary for someone like her to be happy, though a few others make some assumptions about long engagements or working parents that don't seem like they'd apply to everyone.

So, obviously this isn't the right partner for you, though there probably is a man out there who'd be on board with most of this. Does it rub you a little bit the wrong way, though? Maybe the bit where there's a lot that her next boyfriend will need to agree with, and not a lot of room for anything he might be looking for in a relationship? Of course, this might just be something that makes it hard for her to date, because she'll need to look a bit to find someone who genuinely wants all those things as much as she does. On the other hand, you might worry that if she is actively dating, she might end up pushing a man who isn't really on board with all that into a relationship that doesn't fulfill many of his needs? Compare that to the same woman saying more generally that she's only interested in monogamous relationships and that she's ultimately looking for marriage and children. I'm assuming that would be a huge turn off as well, but does it sound a little more realistic and open to compromise?
With the first example, that lady would rub me the wrong way in that she's making some BIG assumptions about her potential partner's own life/career goals and their long-term compatibility. It seems very preemptive given that she doesn't know that much about him, and could only get a more complete picture over time. Her position also gives an impression of inflexibility, like that's the way it HAS to happen, otherwise no deal.

So, the first vibe is what I get from young guys talking about the kinds of casual relationships they'd like sometimes - a picture of a relationship that would either require that the man find a woman who is almost identical in terms of personality and interests and who wants to be in a casual relationship for the exact same reasons a man does, or alternately one that would end up making a woman who wasn't an exact fit very unhappy. I tend to get the feeling that this is because it's hard for people who haven't had relationships yet to picture one with a person who is at least a little bit different and might want some compromises, but it does have the "bacteria-ridden dairy product" feel sometimes. In contrast, the more general description of wanting to find a relationship that includes having sex more than once but doesn't include monogamy and commitment seems more like "cheese."
So it sounds like a lot of the problem is that because I'm trying to define the specifics of a relationship that I think would be ideal for me, without leaving much room for compromise, it also gives an impression of self-centered inflexibility. I can see how that could be off-putting.

So...I guess it's better to seek general relationship principles (sexually active and non-monogamous with lower-intensity emotional attachment) instead of trying to neatly define an exact relationship 'blueprint'?
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Post by PintsizeBro on Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:13 pm

BobTheNinja wrote:So it sounds like a lot of the problem is that because I'm trying to define the specifics of a relationship that I think would be ideal for me, without leaving much room for compromise, it also gives an impression of self-centered inflexibility. I can see how that could be off-putting.

So...I guess it's better to seek general relationship principles (sexually active and non-monogamous with lower-intensity emotional attachment) instead of trying to neatly define an exact relationship 'blueprint'?
Exactly. By demonstrating that you realize that the women you hope to date are also people with their own desires about what kind of a relationship they want, you're showing that you have more to offer as a partner, whether that's something short-term and casual or long-term and serious or something in between.

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Post by Enail on Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:20 pm

Dan_Brodribb wrote:
Drastically simplified, it comes down to this: In my experience, women need more than just attractiveness before they act sexually with a person. They also want to be desired for more than their fuckability.Whereas from many men's point of view, fuckability IS what makes a person desirable.

Not exactly disagreeing, maybe adding on or detailing so that it doesn't seem quite so much like Mysterious Things Women Want, which I don't think is what you mean...

A lot of women, maybe most women, have a lot of experience telling them that fuckability means "has a place that dude can stick his penis" rather than "attractiveness" or "desirability." Even women who've never experienced being desired still know about expressions like "any hole is a goal" and guys saying it doesn't matter if a woman's ugly, "at least you get laid," rape threats that are framed purely about violence and hatred and power (as opposed to rape threats that are framed as if they are about attractiveness even though they are actually still about violence and hatred and power) and so forth, so just because someone wants to fuck them does not necessarily mean that they are desirable. Being aware that someone thinks of you as a sort of mobile packaging for a place to put a penis, even if they consider you an acceptable packaging, is quite a different feeling from being desired.

And I think some of the bacteria-ridden dairy-ness of some ways of talking about desire is that they comes across as looking for something a little broader and much less crude or dehumanizing, but still in some way akin to, fuckability. A woman-shaped bundle rather than a specific person that you don't know, if that makes any sense?
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:21 pm

BobTheNinja wrote:
I get what you mean. And if the strip club came with the opportunity for dancer and customer to actually play with eachother, I'd definitely reciprocate. It wouldn't be any fun if my partner wasn't getting any enjoyment from the experience. I'm actually a big fan of foreplay, and I think it can sometimes be even hotter than the actual sex.

Just to nitpick here a little bit, a strip club where dancers and customers could play with each other would still be very one way and very transactional. The customer is still choosing the sex worker he wants, and the woman is still motivated by money rather than attraction or pleasure. I don't find strip clubs troubling, but I think it is good to remember they don't do much to mirror what happens in non-transactional relationships.

BobTheNinja wrote:
With the first example, that lady would rub me the wrong way in that she's making some BIG assumptions about her potential partner's own life/career goals and their long-term compatibility. It seems very preemptive given that she doesn't know that much about him, and could only get a more complete picture over time. Her position also gives an impression of inflexibility, like that's the way it HAS to happen, otherwise no deal.

BobTheNinja wrote:
So it sounds like a lot of the problem is that because I'm trying to define the specifics of a relationship that I think would be ideal for me, without leaving much room for compromise, it also gives an impression of self-centered inflexibility. I can see how that could be off-putting.

So...I guess it's better to seek general relationship principles (sexually active and non-monogamous with lower-intensity emotional attachment) instead of trying to neatly define an exact relationship 'blueprint'?

I think that would be wise! It does a lot more to communicate that you're somewhat flexible and willing to incorporate someone else's needs into your relationship so long as they're within your limits. As an additional benefit, that set of principles adds a whole bunch of women who might potentially be compatible but who for whatever reason wouldn't be matches if you were looking only for a good friend who you had sex with but who wouldn't get romantically attached.
eselle28
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How best to meet girls for casual relationships? - Page 3 Empty Re: How best to meet girls for casual relationships?

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