Why Does Dating Men Make Me Feel Like Shit?
Emma Lindsay

I haven’t enjoyed an article on medium as much as this one in a long long time.

First off, I’m making the step father of my daughters read this. I think it gives such great insight into how many women feel, not just you. So many things for me are making sense now.

When I first started reading it , it was breath taking … because of your depth and honesty. Willingness to get honest about things that most women never have, and don’t enough. Women are not keen on looking bad.

You kinda lost me the last half just because … trying to guess about men is dangerous.

Blaming men is something that woman have perfected … I don’t believe that man in general has much to do with your self love and worth.

Sure we can all feel shitty around assholes. And if you are depressed and angry, sad, the first question you should ask yourself before any others is “ am I hanging out with assholes?”

This article also afforded me a completely different perspective than my own.

I am also going to get honest right now and this will be just as hard for me as it is for you. Well, parts of it. But they are true for me.

I have only brothers, and didn’t really have a mother that was available to me growing up, and I was really close to my father .. I am the only girl in my entire generation of family actually. All male cousins. Brothers.

I’m actually shaking right now because it really helped me make sense of things that happened in my own life , with women ironically.

But first, I think one man has more to do with your feelings right now than any of the other ones.

So, my father raised me … very openly and he sort of raised me , looking back, to be a woman for men. I am best friends with my brothers. Who never called me a curse word their entire lives. Never hit me. I adore the men in my family. Always have. Always will.

My father was very active in his dating life , sort of a player I guess, and I think he was really concerned about me growing up and having the same issues that my mom did. No, she wasn’t crazy.

She is just the typical woman. Sadly.

As far as related to men, a typical woman.

So he raised me with an awareness of the male perspective and how women affect men. What they do that sucks and what they need to do better I suppose.

For example.

I’m the only woman I know who didn’t ask for alimony or child support . I actually had them both taken off the table — to the judges and lawyers despair.

I did that because of my father. Who never understood those concepts. Who resented them. He didn’t think it was fair and frankly I didn’t either in most cases .

Religion has nothing to do with repressed sexuality.. someone mentioned it in an earlier comment, I mean in general. One of my most passionate affairs was with a man raised in a very very strict catholic family. He would wail about how his upbringing fucked his head up, but sexually he was fine.

Sure, I think religion in general can affect society as a whole . But individually it’s a choice and a matter of perception.

So , for me, I haven’t ever felt the shame.. not around sex. Or around myself unless I deserved to..When I have sex, I usually feel very good. More beautiful. I think that’s how it’s supposed to feel.

But I also have some rules about sex.

First off I won’t have sex with cruel men… nothing worse than getting naked with an asshole.

I wont do anything I don’t want to do 100%. If that means you don’t get a blow job for a month, you don’t get a blow job for a month.

Ive had sex with men and started to feel like I was in a porn movie. I won’t tolerate that. I have pushed two men off of me in the middle of sex . And left. I just wont do anything that makes me feel objectified or gross in any way. Not even for a half hour. Both men were devastated, I mean I’ve had men tell me that is just about the worst thing a woman could do to a man, both men complied. One man offered the explanation that

“Oh… you’re an aidleweiss” - I have no idea what the fuck that means but if it means I don’t want to be fucked like a porn movie , I’ll take it .

I find that really , having sex with men who I can look in the eyes and feel safe with , really helps.

For the most part that’s been true. I think every woman has made mistakes and I have too. When im heartbroken I used to go on a sex rampage , I think to get my sexual power back. But during those times , I made mistakes and I felt shitty about them. Not the exact way that you feel, but just regret. And I lost a piece of myself. It doesnt just happen with men that aren’t that into you, it happens with men that are totally into me too. Because it was my truth to begin with that I was bargaining with. When it’s a lie , it feels like shit. Period.

My father raised me respecting women who were sexually empowered. I think that’s what’s affected my level of shame more than anything .

He loved women that were free with their sexuality and enjoyed their bodies. That didn’t think they had to wait a week for sex or a month.

So I grew up knowing that my body and my sex, were wonderful gifts. For me to enjoy.

I am not trying to be better than you, or best you right now. This isnt what I wanted to address even, I just wanted to make the offer that our sexuality and our feelings around it have everything to do with the relationship with have with our fathers .

My father also never told sex jokes or Dick jokes. He was very respectful of women and very much the ultimate gentleman. He never crossed my boundaries — mentally, physically , emotionally. He empowered me in every way. My father never watched porn or dirty magazines, so while he was open about that sex was a wonderful thing, he also didn’t dirty it up for me or make my body an object in any way.

So I’ve never liked men that do that.

I know women who had trauma surgeons for fathers that had major sex additions to porn and the first exposure to sex they had was through one of those horrible sex magazines … fucked them up for the rest of their life.

Look to your dad… to find out what’s going on with your sex life. How did he make you feel? How did he make you see yourself? How did he make you see other women?

My dad would often, daily pick out women and say- she is a really beautiful woman.

For example a black woman, with her natural hair , no make up, and he would look at her and say that. So it was in his picks too. He loved women that didn’t have plastic surgery, that had their natural features and that were proud of them. A black woman with her natural hair no weave- smooth dark skin and wide nose with water bed lips. This was beauty to him. Beauty to me too.

He made me see that beauty in women was in their confidence in themselves. In what god gave them.

I had a wonderful father growing up who also showed me that kind of respect … he never made comments about my body, (or any other woman’s body — her breasts or ass , for example). About my mind, my endurance , my kindness. My fearlessness. These things he always complimented me on. I think my father gave me this self worth, this self love , this self respect. He gave me myself around sex and love. Around men.

I have always liked men more than women , for most of my life. I’ve related with them more. Although the relationships with women were beyond close. We were more like sisters.

We can’t demonize people for not being what we need. While the man you are with, sounds real immature and unevolved , many men out there , are wonderful. I’m betting that with a different guy, you would probably feel differently. Also that truth thing.. you weren’t really into that guy. You didn’t really want to have sex- or at least I’m betting on it.

Don’t settle for men that don’t make you feel good. Just don’t. Also look at the expectations you have for the men you date and see if something in there needs to be changed. Many women have superficial expectations or the “list” for men that they date and what they have to have. If you won’t date men that are short or make less than 100,000 a year, you might need to revise that to find a man that makes you feel good.

Your article touched me, in another way too…

My whole life women have often, hated me.

Because men have always been attracted to me.

Ive had best friends tell me that they hate going out with me because they became invisible around me.

I am always the one that ends up getting accused of the worst things. Theft, cheating , whatever can be blamed on someone , Im usually the one to get it. By a woman.

Every time a man who has been in a relationship hits on me- I get 100% of the blame, even though I have never knowingly slept with any man who was in a relationship and , if anything when I rejected them , let them know how wonderful their girlfriends or wives were and how lucky they were to have them, and how I would never do that to any woman.

The women always blame me. Hate me. And usually are never my friends again.

Women that I loved deeply , have told me they purposely talk shit ( lies) about me to men, because they are jealous of me.

Ive had women tell me the reason why they are cruel to me is because they assume I get everything I want .

Ive had them tell me that they couldn’t be my friend or ever like me as a person because I'm too attractive .

Its affected my life in a number of ways. I wont go into all of it, but those things hurt.

When my best friend told me that she was crying and I was crying .. and I swore to her I would never wear make up again . At least she had enough kindness to tell me she didn’t think I did it on purpose. Those things hurt me. I never ever wanted to feel better than. Or more, I didnt want them to feel that way and I never understood why they felt that way. Ever.

Reading your article I felt I glimpsed maybe the world of other women that I’ve never had. Ive never felt those feelings. I had no idea that so many women do. Ive always wondered why women were so cold with me . So cruel. So assuming .. so envious.

I felt like your article was a true gift … now I see something deeper . Now I see the real torment women can live with .

I have no answers for you..

You touched on so many things.

Your sexuality is fixable… no one should have to live with shame about that.

You have to find the beauty inside you …

Our bodies house our souls. Your body , my body, they are only to carry our souls.

Wake up every morning and thank your body for taking you this far. For carrying you through your life. For being your house.

Stay away from vapid people , there are so many people who don’t believe that what you look like is important. Find them.

My cure for everything is to help someone. I find when I help make someone else feel safe, I feel the best.

Take it one day at a time and never do anything you don’t want to do.


This article made me think you were beautiful , that ability to get honest is such a powerful gift. You are truly blessed to have it.

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