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

How do you know he didn’t view you as petite?

Agree on some of the psycho-analysis, but I don’t think most men view their sexuality as shameful — I think it’s that it’s generally inappropriate for men to speak about their sexuality candidly because it could be perceived as a come on, and therefore, potentially a threat, depending on who’s listening (which you allude to).

I was struck by this piece particularly because you express something very similar to what I wrote through a character in my novel Cherry City Pulp.

Mr. Scott, a high school English teacher, thinks this as he’s on an online dating site:

“Women, in Mr. Scott’s experience, were incredibly vain and at the same time insecure — a fact exacerbated by pop culture’s endless parade of visceral female sexuality and objectification. If you were interested they didn’t want you, because their own self worth was so low (too fat, too skinny, hips too big, butt not big enough, boobs too small, saggy, or misshapen, etc.) they wagered anyone interested in them wasn’t worth their interest — an irony he found utterly confounding. And after enough scotch, depressing.

But then, just what was he supposed to do: write messages that said, “Hey, normally you’d be too ugly for me to date, but I’m in a rut and I need a slump buster?” OR, “I’ve never had sex with a fat girl before — hit me up?” Strangely enough, either approach probably would have worked better than what he was doing, but Mr. Scott considered himself, in a quaint and endearing way, a gentleman, above such vulgar correspondences.”

Which led me to thinking, after reading your piece, that it’s not necessarily how men express their sexuality, but how women perceive that expression. To go back to your example, what is the dude you were with supposed to say: I like average girls? That’s a nothing sandwich — it doesn’t tell you anything about what he finds sexually appealing, nor I imagine, would most women prefer to be told the reason a guy finds them attractive is because they’re “average.” To go back to my original question, how do you know he didn’t think of you as petite?

In any case, very much enjoyed your thoughts and who knows, maybe I’m wrong and most men do feel ashamed of their sexuality. Just figured I’d throw in my two cents. Cheers!

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