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

Ahhh so many feelings!

So much shame. Tangled up with my sexual attractions.

Shameful sexual feelings that nobody helped me escape. Not for a longggg time.

No help from feminism! Wait, lots of help. I do have to give a lot of credit to my favorite feminists for teaching me what NOT to do. I was able to trash so many mainstream-media approaches to sex that I felt were threatening, creepy, or sexist. With those approaches gone, I was frozen! I was left with no positive way to mention sex… Not that it was ever the job of women’s movement to role-model the new masculinity for me…

Shameful sexual feelings.

And even less help from men’s movements. Sadly. I have yet to find the movement seriously exploring “How to determine when you can, progressively, ask a girl if she wants to fuck in your car”. No. I feel like I had to figure that one out by myself. Because instead of modern flirting for men, the air is sucked out of male brainstorming spaces by *anti feminist* groups or PUA’s.


And back to shameful sexual feelings.

Until finally I met Hank Moody.

David Duchovny’s character in Californiacation is a rare kind of role model: A slut and a good man, both at once. As Lisa Mckeown explains here: http://www.mantlethought.org/arts-and-culture/what-californication-can-teach-us-about-rape-culture

Then, there is Marshall Rosenberg. Emma, Rosenberg wrote an entire book about your insight: There is indeed a profound difference between a soul who vulnerably admits “I feel turned on” versus someone who externalizes and judges “You’re hot”…

If you’re like me, that insight will change the way you speak about everything in your life. But my point is: Rosenberg himself spoke little of sex. And yet he offers a theory behind Hank Moody’s approach.

I could say so much more. Instead I will just admit I chuckled reading this article. Because for years now I have been trying NOT to call anyone sexy but instead say “i’m attracted”. In fact I have been asking my own partners never to call me names — not even good ones. Just tell me what you’re feeeeeeeling. Tell me what you want to do. And tell me you want to cuddle without using words that compare me…

I will also admit something else.

Given my personal struggles and all the piecing-together of role models I had to do… I have no fucking idea how most of you men out there are negotiating sexuality.

I really don’t.

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