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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Online Dating: How to Handle the Rude or Crude

I am just old enough that I have experienced the shift from picking up at bars to the anonymity of the online dating world.  Having experienced organic and sometimes raw first meetings, either by chance or by booze I am aware of the lack of tact that certain people can have.  As a result, I have witnessed men getting slapped for being rude, or having a drink thrown at them.  I personally have kicked a guy in the nuts as hard as I could to stop him from harassing me on the dance floor.  The simple fact is, if a guy was rude, there were consequences.  Taking a guy back into an alley to knock sense into him, was a real thing.  Cops were rarely called.  It wasn't always about violence.  Instead, it was about dealing with people who crossed a line and setting a standard of acceptable behavior.    

Again, I started dating at a time when there were consequences.  Now, enter the world of anonymous online dating.  For the most part, I find it feels consequence free and this is a growing problem.  There is such a thing as a cyber bully and that has serious consequences.  But what does one do when a guy is simply a jerk, rude or sends dick pics. Your options are to report and block them which can seem extreme and unsatisfying or just ignore it and hope they go away.  It is a whole new way of interacting.  You do not know this person or their motives or their body language as they type away and you shouldn't have to. 

Here is the most recent interaction that I had which necessitated a behaviour correction.  I had a guy message me on a popular dating site where I clearly state I am with someone and looking for couples.  He sent a pleasant enough message but when I looked at his profile said he was single.  So, I nicely let him down, saying we weren't looking for the same thing, and finishing with my standard good luck!  The guy decided to pursue me further, by saying he was in a relationship too.  When I inquired why he didn’t state that anywhere on his profile, he piped up that “it is privacy”.  I replied by pointing out that this information wasn't on his profile, and openness is important to me, so best of luck to him yet again.  And then this guy gets mad.  He writes a message back stating that “his DG thinks I am ugly and a bitch anyways”.  I assume DG is dog, or perhaps GF?  I have no clue, either way, this crossed a huge line.  So, what does one do? 

As I mentioned earlier, it is just not satisfying to just block or ignore behavior like this.  It seems empty, unfulfilling even.  But your choices are limited here.  And so for a long time I would just ignore and delete the messages, but after talking to E about it, I realized that this is not a solution.  These messages are a form of harassment and if a stranger’s message makes me feel bad, I should act.  Also, I realized that they were probably sending the same type of messages to other women.  And that was enough incentive to make me take action.   

Now, I report these messages.  And I encourage others to do the same.  I am still not 100 percent comfortable with what feels like tattling, but that is what this online environment has created.  Those are the only safeguards currently in place for us.  These are strangers so you cannot verbally or physically spank them when they are bad.  But we can use the tools at our disposal to take action.  If a person cannot handle rejection in such a risk free environment, then perhaps having their account shut down or suspended is reasonable.  I know calling in the site moderators feels passive aggressive, but I am getting over that.  It is better than ignoring it, or hoping it goes away.

Online dating is changing the way we interact.  Social media is severing how we communicate with other humans.  It makes us indifferent and unprepared to handle one on one interaction.  We need to stop ignoring and move towards action, even if it feels a little strange at first.  Stand up to rude, or crude internet behavior with whatever tools you have.  Be a person of action, in a world of inaction.  Recognize that this is a form of bullying and intimidation.  It is unacceptable to treat another person with cruelty or rude words, even if you do not know them.  Who knows, maybe if you get blocked enough times from online dating sites, you might have to go and meet new people in the real world with real consequences.  And that could be just the kick in ass you need to change.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Online Dating: The Woman Who Message First

Over the past few weeks I have been getting a large number of messages from women.  I am not sure why, but I sure appreciate it.  Now that I have a little more information to go off, I am boldly going to make a comparative statement of opening online dating messages.  Woman rarely make the first move other than a timid like.  This may be why the pool of users on Bumble is so low, and for a more in depth comparison I did recently of online dating sites, click here.  And when we do, and I am including myself here for fairness and honesty, it is usually terribly awkward or just plain lackluster.  Of all the messages I have received from women the only ones noteworthy are from those just looking to be friends.  You see, they have nothing to lose in being themselves.  This reality hurts my little feelings.  But there, I said it.  Woman’s openers when they are looking for anything more than friendship, are terrible.  “Hey there”, “you’re cute”, and “I just thought I would say a quick hi” are a few examples.

And while we are on the topic women, “hi” is a terrible opener.  I don’t know if we do it just to test the water and see if someone really is on the other end.  Or perhaps we are shy.  Or maybe just spineless and cannot handle another rejection.  But seriously, we can do better.  If we expect guys to be clever, to read our profiles and come up with something not copy and pasted, then guess what?  We have to give back too.  I know how excited men get when a woman messages first.  So, do yourself a favor and say something funny, clever, or interesting.  Do to men what we want them to do to us.   

Now once a conversation miraculously gets going, there is room for improvement in the first few lines.  Women, seem to treat online dating like an interview.  It is question, after question after question.  Whereby men, make a surprising amount of statements.  Statements that seem to have no forethought as to where the recipient is supposed to go with the conversation.  With women, I can barely keep up with the questions, and have to take a deep breath to ensure I take the time to ask questions back.  With men on the other hand, I am constantly trying to fuel a conversation, or fight to keep it flowing.

So here I have but a few suggestions for those initial online dating messages that should work for both sexes, and that is simply to be yourself.  The goal is to meet at some point, right?  Show some personality, take that ridiculously small risk.  You do not know the person on the other end so making mistakes is fine.  Test out the waters, test out some messages, try new things, try new approaches and this does not mean practice your small talk!  I would strongly recommend that you make a fake profile if you are struggling to figure out what to say.  Perhaps you could even try making one for the opposite gender that you are after and then try to have a conversation.  You may figure out a style of communication that is attractive and you want to start using yourself.  As we are losing the ability to communicate with humans, you may have to fake a scenario to educate yourself and put the shoe on the other foot so to speak.  Gain some insight from the other side to recognize what you are most definitely doing wrong if you cannot seem to get conversation going.

So, message someone your interested in, male or female, in a voice that works for you.  And please, ladies, keep trying.  Keep messaging me, and I will do the same.  If we work together, maybe we can have some fun?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Dancing on the Bar, A Swing Club New Years Eve Story

In my early 20’s I used to frequent night clubs quite a bit.  One of my favorite things to do was to dance.  Every few weeks, my girlfriend and I would find our way to the DJ booth at a bar downtown and dance on top of it.  I would spend hours dancing.  A drink would last me almost the entire night and I would   wake up the next morning with burning thighs, from my killer workout in heels.  It turns out, that dancing on the bar at a swing club can be even more fun!

My past two New Years Eve’s have been spent in swinger clubs and this year was no exception.  We got all dolled up, and got to the club a little before 8 pm.  I will fast forward past all the amazing people watching, mingling and people watching we did.  Except to say a special thank you to the gorgeous, perfectly toned black man walking around with a Santa hat on his dick.  Umm… yes please, and thank you!  Ahem, just catching my breath, ok, back to my story.  Just before midnight we were mingling by the staff table and a woman asked if after midnight I would like to join her to dance on the bar.  Without hesitation I said yes.  We toasted the New Years with Champagne on the dance floor and moments later I was tapped on the shoulder and told they were ready for the dancers.

I think there were 4 of 5 us chosen, mostly regulars that the crowd knew and liked, and then me.  I quickly remember how much I love being up on the stage.  Dancing for mostly me, and grinding up there with the ladies around me, I had nothing but a short dress and an ear to ear grin.  We were chatting to each other in between dance moves and laughing and I for one was growing more aware of the crowd that had gathered.  E was front and centre, enjoying the show, and for my part I felt even more free to dance knowing he was so close by.  So here I am, chatting with this gorgeous woman beside me of Asian decent, grinding, and being my little flirtatious self when she asked me this question, “Can I take you panties off?”  To say I was shocked was a complete understatement.  I smiled, asked for clarification, and just kept dancing.  She asked again.  I looked back at her, then E, then back at her and may or may not have asked why?  Either way she waited until I must have said a firm yes, and proceeded to take off the panties from underneath my dress, right in front of the crowd as we danced on the bar. 

The next thing I know, my dress was hiked up and I felt a tongue.  One of my few female experiences and it was completely public.  With my dress pulled up, everything is exposed and there is a woman I have never met, going down on me.  It was absolutely exhilarating.  And another first was about to happen. 

I saw a man chat with E very briefly and then E asked me to bend down to chat with him.  Turns out a guy wanted to thank me for the show!  E pulled out $6 bucks that the guy had given him and I promptly pulled down my shirt so that he could insert the bills in the most logical place… my bra.  I had now officially made my first few bucks stripping!  I should mention that in this club, there is no reason to have cash on hand.  It is BYOB and there is food and amenities on hand, like condoms and lube.  So although the dollar amount may seem low, it was a token of appreciation.  One that I am beyond thankful for!  And of course the coffee that was purchased with that sweet, dirty money the next day.

The lovely lady who gave me such a wonderful experience chatted with me for a bit and then we went our separate ways.  It was quite beautiful, and I find myself thinking more and more about the experience.  I am not sure what this will mean for my dating future, but the cherry has been popped so to speak.  And I am looking forward to discovering what new adventures 2017 has waiting for me.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Celebrating My 250th Post

This post marks the 250th time that I have pressed publish and shared my thoughts, and opinions about my relationships with all you amazing people.  My first time posting was terrifying, and the second was even worse.  But here I am, still going strong.  I began posting to help me gain insight into my first open relationship.  Writing helped me figure out if this lifestyle was really for me.  If this new relationship norm was something that I could embrace long term, or like so many, test the waters and run away back to comfort of monogamy.  I have shared my embarrassments, my shortcomings and of course a few sexy adventures over these past posts. 

I am still developing  into a person who embodies aspects of this lifestyle, with an ever growing confidence.  And what’s more, the skills gained in this constant meeting of new people and exploration has branched into all aspects of my working and social life.  I feel whole, and sexy, and everything that I really wanted to achieve a few years ago.  This blog has helped me do this. 

Whether you read out of curiosity, open mindedness, or even a simple keeping track of where this long lost friend is at with her life, I thank you.  To date I have over 86’000 page views, and that is something I am incredibly proud of.  In my first week of writing, I was terrified that 10 people would read my first post.  I was so scared of the judgement.  At the same time I was interested in those reading my words, and what they thought, then fearful again that someone I could run into would ask me questions about my personal life.  I was also worried, at the start, that criticisms would cripple my creative writing process. And for the first 2 or 3 years, I wrote with a constant awareness that my family had the ability to read my blog, and then feel pain by my words.  To counteract this fear, I often wrote vague posts that just skimmed the surface of what I was feeling.  But then, I dug deeper.  Those consistent clicks helped me to forge ahead. 

I have written posts so personal, that I cried as I typed.  And the crazy thing?  My readers have stuck around.  You have forgiven me for shocking you, for bearing my soul, and patted me on the back when I made you laugh.  I feel fearless.  I don’t write worried that I may offend someone.  I write for me.  My words, my truth.  When you have found your truth, criticisms just fade away.  I have accomplished something that very few people have done.  I have pressed the button that shared my soul, thoughts and feelings publicly 250 times and just in time for the start of 2017.  I hope each and every one of my readers can find something that they have accomplished, and take a moment to feel the pride that I do.  It is a wonderful high.  Embrace your truth, and live your life for you. Cheers to at least 250 more adventures.