Men are a Distraction (Flaky Chris, Horny Nathan, and Sexual Harassment)

I decided that in order to attract a relationship, I needed to give off more of a relationship vibe on OkCupid, so I re-answered a couple of questions, added ‘no hookups’ to my profile, took off some of the sexier pics (which I shouldn’t have to do but I thought ‘okay I’ll play the game’), and added some ‘look how much of a fun girlfriend I would be’ pics. It hasn’t really made much difference to the quality of messages I’ve been receiving, but at least if the right guy does come across it, then it will be clearer to them. 

There was a guy called Chris I’d been talking to since December, and after my decision to look for dating rather than sex, I told him about this, and he said he was still interested in us meeting up.

We arranged to meet on a Wednesday afternoon in a cool cafe on Brick Lane. I got there at 4.40 (only ten minutes late for once!!) and text him saying I was there. He replied saying he’d thought he messaged me to change it to 5.30.

WHAT?!

I said ‘okay I’ll just chill in the cafe and listen to a podcast’. Then at ten past 5 he sends me this:`

chris-2

Then he said I was the first person he’d stood up ‘unintentionally’! Apparently people just go around doing this, yet I once turned up to a date just to tell the guy I didn’t want to go on a date with him. Which I think is the right thing to do.

I joked about him flaking due to not wanting to be on my blog, and he said actually he’d quite like to be on my blog, and I said it was too late, and he’ll always just be Flaky Chris now. I’m aware his wish has still come true. (Be careful what you wish for, Chris).

We chatted on Whatsapp for a bit and he said he’d still like to meet me, and because I keep forgetting that I’M AN AMAZING WOMAN WHO SHOULD STOP GOING FOR IDIOTS WHO AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, I said ‘well okay, you can come to my gig on Saturday’, because I have to be there anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you turn up or not.

I thought about if for a few days, and then decided that I didn’t want Flaky Chris to come. Yes it can be fun having a date at your gig, but it’s also annoying in a way. It was different when Tory1 came to see me, because I’d already met him, but it still took away from me a little. I did a gig last week run by the same people who had been at Date with a Tory, and one of them said it was good to watch me perform without being distracted by him. I just did jokes about him instead. 

So I told Flaky Chris not to come to my gig, as it was my first of the year, and I needed to focus on the comedy. #TheComedysMoreImportant

Now if I’d been really clever in the first place, I would have given him the details of another gig to go to that I wasn’t going to be at, and he would have gone there, and I could have got my revenge. But sadly I didn’t think that quickly. 

Anyway, Flaky Chris then asked if he could come to the next gig after that, and I said some friends might be coming (which was sort of true). He kept messaging me, so I eventually replied and asked him how his weekend was, and got a reply I was not expecting.

He told me he’d been doing a parasite cleanse, and that he was disappointed he’d ‘shit out a worm but most of them are to (sic) small to see’…

I purposefully tapered off the conversation after that, and that was the end of Flaky Chris and his flaky parasites. 

But let’s talk about Horny Nathan…

Nathan was another one who I’d been talking to online since December. I asked him about what he was looking for, and he said just a casual thing at the moment. I said that wasn’t really what I was after, and told him about my bad experience. He agreed that even casual sex still needs some sort of connection and intimacy, and I thought ‘well we all have needs’, maybe I could try it again with someone different.

But we carried on chatting and the more we chatted, the less I was interested in meeting him. He always seemed to be telling me he was horny and his sexting style was a little strange. Not only did he lack imagination, but he’d often put a winky face after something blatantly sexual.

For example:

Feel the inside of your pussy all over my cock 😉

Why is there a winky face after that?

It reminded me of a song by a comedian called Lucy Cox where she sang, ‘winky face means sex’. Winky face is something you use after innuendo to make it extra clear there was a bit of flirting going on. 

When you’re already talking about sex, there’s no need to confirm that you were talking about sex! Also I don’t mind chatting a bit about sex before you meet someone, maybe just to work out compatibility, but when that’s the main topic, I get bored of being just your wanking material.

He was mostly only messaging late at night (oh I wonder why), but one time we were daytime chatting and he suggested us meeting to have sex. I reiterated what I’d said in the past to him about going for a drink with NO EXPECTATIONS just to see if we got along, which he’d seemed to be fine with a couple of weeks ago, but not anymore.

nathanscreenshot-2

Why are people going to other people’s houses that they’ve met online without meeting in public first?

Of course I’m very aware that you can still be raped and/or murdered by someone you’ve met in a public place, and then gone back with later (remember that Tinder hotel story one of my Tinder dates told me), and I’m also aware that most rapes and murders are carried out by someone you know.

However, I do think that meeting someone first, and getting a sense of what they are like before you go home with them is the most sensible thing to do in this situation, but clearly he doesn’t have the patience for this.

I also don’t understand the assumption that you’re definitely going to fancy each other. Even if someone looks attractive in their pics, I think a lot of us have been on dates where the pics might as well have been of a different person. When you’re in a pub, it’s not quite as difficult to leave prematurely, but once you’re at someone’s house, that’s a lot more awkward.

Anyway, Horny Nathan hasn’t replied since then. He’s probably still horny and most likely wanking right now. 

But moving on to more important things…

I think I’m a fairly chilled feminist socialist. I don’t tend to rant about feminism or politics that much online, other than sharing the odd piece here and there. I’ve never been to a march, or a protest before, and probably wouldn’t have gone on Saturday even if I didn’t have other plans.* Because effort. And crowds. Okay I’m basically a lazy feminist. I’ll like your social media posts with all the witty placards and signs, but actually go along myself? No chance.

But something happened to me on Saturday that made me think maybe I do need to be a bit more proactive. And it seemed all the more telling that it happened on the same day as the Women’s March, and Trump’s inauguration. I went to my friend’s birthday drinks in the evening, and had a really good time, and I was walking home from the tube probably around 11.30pm.

In a very short space of time after exiting the station I had 3 different men saying things like ‘gorgeous’ and ‘sexy’ to me. I was annoyed, but I was cold, and wanted to get home, and the lazy feminist in me couldn’t be bothered to say anything. But then a few minutes later, I realised three men were walking behind me, one of them made a weird noise, the sort you would use to try and summon an animal, and another one said something about me, I can’t remember what it was but it made me feel uncomfortable, and was an unwanted distraction to my journey home.

The culmination of all these events meant that I couldn’t stay quiet any longer. In the past I’ve shouted at guys or told them to ‘fuck off’, but this time I decided to talk to them about it, in a calm way, without losing my temper. 

I turned around and told them that it wasn’t appropriate to do that to a woman walking on her own late at night, and that they should have more respect. One of them tried to argue that some women like it and that it was a compliment.

As we walked down the street, I tried to explain that most women I know don’t like it, and they’ve probably just never told them.

And yes, sometimes I like sexual attention from men, of course I can admit that, but it’s all about context. And this was the wrong context. It’s not nice to feel outnumbered and intimidated.

The one who made the noises kept asking me questions like ‘where are you going now?’, I told him this was inappropriate too, and the men laughed at this (not in a good way), and couldn’t understand what was wrong about what they were doing.

I went on to say that they’ve probably never felt scared that they might be attacked or assaulted walking by themselves, but that’s how women feel sometimes, and especially at night time they should just leave us alone. But no matter what I said, they just didn’t seem to get where I was coming from, and it made me so angry and upset that they couldn’t see it from my point of view. 

So now we have a President of the United States who doesn’t seem to care about consent or women’s rights, or anything that makes logical sense. A President who would probably would take the side of these men who thought it was okay to harass me on my way home. 

I won’t even apply for a job where I don’t meet one of the points on the person specification, yet Trump acts like he never even read the job description. And yes maybe Hillary wasn’t the best option either, but at least she was qualified for the role, and didn’t go around saying it was okay to grab men’s dicks without their permission. But so many people were too distracted by Trump’s incredibly unconventional approach to running for president to see through his bullshit. It seemed like the more controversial he was, the more support he got.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media saying that democracy happened and people should get over it, yet I keep thinking about the fact that Hillary actually got more votes than Trump. More people wanted her to be president. If this had happened in Brexit there would have been outrage.** ‘Oh we know you got 1,269,501 more votes, but sorry babes some votes are worth more than others’.

Saturday night was another reminder that a lot of men in the world just don’t respect women, not enough to turn up for a date, not enough to want us for more than just sex, not enough to criticise a female politician intelligently without resorting to gender based remarks, not enough to support our reproductive rights, and not enough to let us walk home in peace without feeling the need to comment on the way we look. 

What can we do about it?

What I said to those guys probably didn’t make any difference, but maybe if the next woman says something to them, and the woman after that, maybe if we keep challenging this behaviour, eventually things will improve. I don’t know. And I understand why most women would put their heads down and just keep walking, because there is a real risk of something awful happening to you. But I’m not going to stop challenging it. And I might even go to a women’s march next time. I can use my new found love of arts and crafts to make a good banner.

And what about dating?

I just keep finding that men are a distraction, and not just the ones you like either. The ones you don’t like are a distraction too. The time you spend checking online messages and profiles in the vague hope there will be a decent one there.

It annoyed me that I’d wasted an afternoon waiting for some guy who didn’t have the basic capability to organise his day properly. (I’d even been willing to overlook the fact that he often made really bad spelling and grammar errors on text, despite good grammar being one of my favourite things, as he said he was dyslexic).

If I think about my happiest times, a lot of them are when I was single and didn’t have any guys on my mind. So yeah it would be nice to have a partner to go to the next Winter Wonderland with, but I’m just going to try and not put too much attention into it, just check the apps every now and then, and meet people that seem cool, but not waste too much time messaging, or agree to meet guys I already know I won’t be compatible with.

At the beginning of this month, I wanted to go on a date every week, and basically treat it like a numbers game, but someone pointed out to me that I was turning it into project, and this might not be the best approach, and I agree. What I really would like is to meet someone in real life, and this seems so rare now, but I’m also going to keep going to cool and interesting places and see what happens.

Maybe I’ll find someone to be my boyfriend this year, and maybe I won’t, but in the meantime I’m dating myself. I’m going to be my own best boyfriend. Take myself on dates, cook myself great food, watch movies with myself, maybe use my vibrator a bit more often, and cuddle myself…yeah that last one is weird, I guess I can use my teddy or new piggy for that instead.

*I was watching one of my female friends in the Musical Comedy Awards heat- so in a way I was still supporting the cause

**Side note – let’s not forget that the outcome of the referendum was supposed to be advisory, yet I suspect even with the fact there now has to be a vote in parliament, there’s nothing we can do to stop Brexit now, and even Jeremy Corbyn seems to want it (just put us all out of our misery Jez and admit you secretly voted leave)

My new piggy:

piggy

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