Help me, I’m a desperate ho

So I’ve been trying my hardest to get a boyfriend since I started walking. Like, I was accused of stalking Dustin Little in kindergarten by his mother. I take love seriously. And since then, I haven’t had the greatest luck. My shortest relationship was a week because I convinced myself I liked a man that I didn’t find attractive because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. And my longest relationship was with a former soldier that I met at work. I was 17, he was 25. And I totally was in love with him. But he was way crazy. Now he’s married and has a kid. It seems everyone is getting married or engaged. So I decided to propel myself into the dark gloom of online dating. I had tried online dating before.I had done Tinder, Match.com, even a Bernie Sanders dating site (I mostly got women that didn’t read my ‘Preferences’ section. And I have been on a ton of dates. Mostly bad. And most of all, I’m kind of tired of being alone.

So I tried Bumble, an app that forces women to make the first move. It’s an interesting concept. The only problem was that no matter how many matches I got, no one was asking me out. In fact, sometimes they never responded. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and actually ask someone out. And he said yes!

Let’s call him George. I like that name. George works at Starbucks. He’s 25 and super cute. After our third date, I was so excited. Mwahahaha. After our fourth date, I was like, “Imma date this fool.” But he didn’t text me afterward. So like a spaz, I ‘casually’ walked into Starbucks today and tried to write my fucking play while glimpsing him through the bookshelf. And that’s where I am. Right now. When I went up for a drink, I tried to engage in conversation like a cool cat.

C: Hey! How are you?

G: Great. Just working.

C: I like your shirt.

G: Thanks.

C: What are you doing after work?

G: Working out then packing.

C: Ah.

G: You work at Roadhouse?

C: Yeah.

G: Cool.

C: …Okay, I will see you later.

 

Can’t you see I am dying slowly, George? A woman has needs. Every time I get close to meeting someone nice and settling down, I get too excited. Like, finally I’ll be able to hold hands with someone on the sidewalk, go to weddings, have huge fights and great make-up sex. And have sex continually with one person is personally the Dream.

And this is why I am a desperate ho. With all of my actions, I beg someone to like me. I like anyone who is nice to me. I know I am desperate because I keep texting first, taking the initiative, etc. I am actually so desperate for love, I dreamt I had sex with my female roommate (let it be known, I have no roommate) and I had to pretend to like the sex because I didn’t want her to leave me. And now I am probably going to stay at this stupid Starbucks for two more hours to see if George will come over after his shift and talk to me. Please help me, world. I’m sick of being a desperate ho. I want to be a badass ho. My 15-year-old friend is ashamed of me.

 

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Worries

I worry all the time, it seems. Or lament about my failures. Why am I not in a relationship? What is wrong with me? What type of person does this stuff? I’m stupid and ridiculous. I’m tired of it.

There’s this inner tension inside my heart—have sex, even if it’s meaningless, or be celibate and look for a relationship? I’ve had…maybe one ‘relationship.’ I was 17 and he was 25. It lasted a month after I realized I was not what he needed right now (which was a therapist.) I still miss our talks, though, and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. But as my mother says, “Do something right, or don’t do it at all.”

I started dating this guy in March, and I was into him. I loved the intimacy and the way he looked at me. I wasn’t crazy about him, though. I kind of knew it wouldn’t work because he and I are so different. He’s in a whole different sphere of creation; music. And I need someone who understands and appreciates my creativity. No, who urges my creativity and supports it. We need to have a shared passion. I remember going to Julianna Baggott’s reading a few years ago, and she said something so inspiring, something like this:

My husband doesn’t just tolerate my writing; he says, “Go write, you need to write.” He understands that I need to be creative, and that’s the man that I fell in love with, that I am still in love with.

I need that. I need someone creative, intelligent, adventurous. I want to dive and climb and eat and race.

In all the time I’ve worried about this stuff, I could have been on adventures. I could have written novels. I could have gotten to a better place and fallen in love.

Even though I know he doesn’t care about me, that our small connection has trickled and vanished… I’m still hurt. I cared about us together, even if I didn’t really like him in a deep way. If you like someone, you

  • ***brag about them***
  • reference them randomly
  • in fact, make excuses to talk about them
  • or see them
  • think of them and smile
  • love the stupid things they do
  • ***value their opinion***
  • tease them
  • get nervous around them

This is just a bit of stuff I came up with on the fly. Thinking about this stuff, I realize I did tease him. I did get really nervous. I did always want to talk about him, because I was happy in those few weeks we saw each other. But that was before I knew him better. Sometimes it just happens that way—it’s not that they’re a bad person or they deceived you. It’s just not a good fit.

And I think that’s why I’m hurt. Because I miss the intimacy and vulnerability (nothing is so sexy as vulnerability. It’s so wonderful when someone opens themselves up to you). No one’s ever held my hand like it was natural, like they wanted to. No one’s ever kissed me in public before.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, readers. I guess it’s a comfort that there are so few of you out there and I may rant as I please. I’ll leave you with some Jane Austen:

“The last few hours were certainly very painful,” replied Anne: “but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.” Persuasion

Why Technology, Hookup Culture, and Feminism are Confusing Gen Y about Courtship

Hey, y’all. I wrote this research paper about dating in the 21st century. Here is a (partially) condensed version.


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A tension pervades all interactions between the sexes in dating and courtship—the need for emotional intimacy versus the desire for sexual contact. It is not just women who are perplexed by their role in the dating game; in fact their male counterparts arguably have a higher level of confusion because this tension breeds insecurity, a trait not tolerated in their gender binary. David Wyatt Seal and Anke D. Ehrhardt’s “Masculinity and Urban Men: Perceived Scripts for Courtship, Romantic, and Sexual Interactions with Women” touches on this tension, illustrating some of the heterosexual scripts at the cause of some of this inner conflict, and summarizing that changing societal norms have exacerbated this tension.

These gendered scripts can lead to confusion in courtship, sex, and dating, but technological advances offer even more bewilderment. There was a time when people interacted solely face-to-face. Nowadays, that concept is a joke—the “Technological Revolution” makes that very clear. Smartphones have certainly catered to society’s want of instant gratification—no one can argue otherwise. The market thrives on the now in a continuous torrent of social media updates and streaming web feed, which placates consumer and provider. And it would seem to the untrained eye that modern dating has benefited from this technology, what with texting, online dating websites and apps like Tinder that help the socially and romantically challenged. This is an illusion. In fact, modern technology and social media is hindering potential relationships.

Popular sites in the virtual community that is social media all serve the purpose of creating a connection. If the connection a consumer seeks is romantic, all one has to do is follow a potential partner on their social media profile of choice. Though this practice gains insight, it is not helpful in the long run. Every post, comment, ‘like,’ ‘tweet,’ and photo is a reflection of how a person wants to be perceived. But in any relationship, romantic or friendly, one should learn for himself or herself someone’s character away from the screen.

Text messaging is another easy way to communicate quickly with a relative stranger in hopes of developing a relationship. When it was first created, texting was seen as a less intimidating way to ask a female out on a date because it spares embarrassment in case of rejection. If one was accepted, they put away phones and met in person. Due to the development of smartphones, the text has surpassed this innocent custom.

Texting may be easy, but it sure is hard to build intimacy and romance through a device that does not analyze body language, sarcasm, or eye contact. Humans are mammals who crave companionship and proximate interaction, and technology that removes voice and facial features is not beneficial to us as instinctive creatures. Texting allows for deceit, avoidance in the guise of naïveté or accident, inappropriate conduct that is easier to perform, and ultimately confusion over a person’s relational wants and attitudes.

“Tinder,” a smartphone app loosely based on dating, altered the face of college campus flings forever when it debuted in September 2012. Tinder, and its homosexual, sibling app Grinder, follows a “hot-or-not” protocol when it comes to matching users in a specific region. Its online statement is vague, but the message is clear; “fucking and forgetting” has never been easier, especially in today’s hookup culture.

“Hookup culture” could be called a relaxed carnal urbanity that discourages any emotional bonding whatsoever. But for all it entails, this culture cannot be so easily defined. “Hooking up” was not a socially acceptable form of distraction until the late 20th century. One can find the hookup culture almost anywhere in urbanized America, but it dominates the college campus scene.

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Fucking and forgetting. Banging and bolt. Screwing around. Getting some strange. The words and phrases associated with this scene are a transaction between emotional bonding and sexual gratification, effectively distancing one from the carnal act. While Freitas disapproves of this philosophy, journalist Hannah Rosin supplies that no-strings-attached sex frees young women to focus on their careers, instead of getting distracted by relationship.

Formerly I briefly highlighted the need for sexual versus emotional intimacy, and the mounting strain between these two needs due to shifting societal standards. A major source of these shifting standards is feminism, exclusively Third-Wave feminism. This wave directly challenges many of perceived heterosexual scripts Seal and Ehrhardt describe in their study of urban men. Feminists continually advocate female initiation as a way to establish equality from the start of the courtship sequence, suggesting, “You call him.”

Feminist theory also takes great offense to patriarchal attitudes of women’s place in society, citing them as hypocritical and oppressive (bell hooks). “Masculinity and Urban Men” exposes a highly hypocritical line of thought when the men condemn a woman for being too easy and not virtuous enough, though they already slept with her. For a movement that stresses equality between sexes, genders, and sexualities, this notion is disheartening.

It is not to say that technology has no benefit in our lives. On the contrary, technology allows us to achieve great things in a tenth of the time. We may speak to our Swedish pen pal half a world away by pressing a few buttons. We may learn quicker to become more successful in a highly competitive job market. We may tell our children we love them when we cannot meet any other way. However, there are significant problems that arise from these technologies, which more often than not alienate us from the outside world and create a false sense of intimacy among strangers and social media.

Just as there are several problems with modern technology, traditional dating and courtship customs reinforce gender roles that both guide and confuse young men and women seeking partnered relationships. Sexual education teaches children and young adults how to have safe sex to combat sexually transmitted diseases; it also discourages romantic relationships, because academic success is more important. These added pressures lead Generation Y to escape through hookup culture, a scene that solidifies the gender roles feminism hopes to partially strip away.

Society is in a continuous war between old and new, tradition and modernism, heteronormativity and feminist/queer theory. The freedom obtained from embracing a liberal view of sex, gender and dating—combined with the knowledge of traditional “courtship rules”—provides a healthier and longer relationship. The only way to win is to compromise, because all perspectives provide cultural benefits that are here to stay.

 

I’m Scared, But Screw It

I’ve never had a relationship that lasted more than a month. But I think that’s about to change.

Over the weekend, I partied. I drank. I danced. I toked (once). In essence, I kind of did the whole college experience, sans the horrible rap music in the background. And I met this really nice guy. Brad is into hard rock, baseball, and marijuana legalization (for obvious reasons). He’s the most fun I’ve had in ages. But if I’m not making out with him, I don’t know what to do or say. 

The face lowers. The mouth dries. All train of thought drifts away, like the smoke in which he engulfs himself. Even now, his smell is still in my clothes. 

“What do you want from this?” he asked me, my hand in his as he drove me back to my door. 

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I have no clue.”

But that was a bit of a lie. I did want something. I wanted security, happiness, friendship. I wanted conversation that didn’t feel like small talk. I wanted people to say, “Oh, there’s Chloe’s boyfriend, Brad. Aren’t they so cute?”

I can’t say that to him, though. It seems too much, too soon. 

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So remember we were driving, driving in your car…And I had a feeling that I belonged.
I had a feeling I could be someone. –Tracy Chapman

 

People are afraid to be vulnerable. They are terrified of it, and so they hide in distraction and misrepresentation. The heartthrobs of television and media are tough and merciless. They don’t give a fuck about anyone, and dat’s cool. But no one tells you vulnerability is beautiful. No one says that the bared neck receives more, be it kisses or scars. Heartthrobs get more action, but the soulful are the real winners. 

I used to think that if I was a good girl and waited for my fantasy, I would get it. But it doesn’t work that way. You have to work for what you want, and he is what I want.

It’s time for a change.