This song often comes to mind when interacting with men or talking to women about their interactions with men.
“In that fairy tale world all the girls end up “happy ever after”
Wooing their knights in shining armor
But some nights down the track
You can bet they’ll be trapped
Spending nights in, shining armor
While their knights spend their nights at a bar
Or at a ball with some harlot
I’m not bitter
It’s just better that I don’t fall for all that
Romantic bullshit now that I’m older
Although I don’t mind the thought of being tossed over a shoulder
And trotted off to a mansion
By some ruggedly handsome
Man in a fireman helmet
And have him just use me for sex
As I say, it’s a little complex”
– “One Day,” Groundhog Day The Musical
My favorite line is “As I say, it’s a little complex,” because on the one hand, the woman singing this is saying she does not believe in romance and fairy tales and does not like how women are sexualized, i.e. playing with Barbies that have “minuscule waists and huge boobs and it’s all nipple-less and no pubes,” but in the same breath she talks about wanting to be slung over the shoulder of some ruggedly handsome man and have him just use her for sex.
“I was brought up in taffeta dresses
And taught to be pretty and precious
And spending my playtimes with plastic princesses
Who all had these bodies
Just utterly ludicrous
Minuscule waists and huge boobs and it’s
All nipple-less and no pubes
And no creases
I mean, Jesus
It’s pretty confusing
Especially at six”
– “One Day,” Groundhog Day The Musical
This dichotomy feels very prevalent in myself and many of my female friends, i.e. we say we want one thing, but then seem to go after or be attracted to something completely different. For example, many women, myself included, say they just want to meet a “nice guy,” but then somehow end up dating or being attracted to men that are manipulative, disrespectful, and mean and/or men that just “use them for sex.” Or some women say they want casual sex, but really want a relationship, while still others say they want a relationship, but just want casual sex. I think often what we say we want has to do with how we think others will perceive us, and I think other times our desires are truly conflicting, confusing, and “a little complex.”
For me, I feel this conflicted way often. I want two opposing things, i.e. I want a boyfriend that loves and respects me, but then I also want that boyfriend to make me feel sexy and appreciated- when I say it like that, it sounds very reasonable and not in conflict at all, but it gets confusing, because there is a part of me that wants sex to be top of mind, but another part of me that wants a man to be attracted to me for more than sex and outward appearances- it’s a challenging thing to balance. I can give an example that displays this…
For example, I have been talking to a man that has asked multiple times for me to send him a picture of myself. While this is flattering, this is not something I am comfortable doing. He hasn’t specified what kind of picture or why he wants it. In my experience, I haven’t had a man specify what kind of picture he wants or what he intends to do with it, but I wish it was specified because my mind goes to the worst possible scenario, which is they want a naked picture of me to use to masturbate.
The man I have been talking to has met me and knows my Instagram, so it’s not as if he doesn’t have pictures of me or know what I look like. I understand sending a picture is different than looking at someone’s Instagram- it’s more intimate and special, etc. I guess what angers me is recently I took a very sexy picture of myself wearing a gorgeous gown that I feel really good in and I caught myself wanting to send it to this man to show off and have him praise me for my appearance. I also was upset I hadn’t heard from him in many days, and wanted to rub in his face what he is missing and what a special woman I am. I’m embarrassed of these feelings and wish I could get this sense of “okayness” and “sexiness” from within, but instead I sent the picture to a bunch of my girlfriends and my Mom looking for praise and approval, which I got, but it never feels like enough, I always want more, and probably if I sent the picture to this man, whatever he said would not have been enough because probably what I want is for him to drop everything he is doing and immediately respond with something like “Wow! Hot damn! You look amazing. You are gorgeous and that dress is beautiful on you.” and I’d want him to follow that up with a call to tell me how much he liked seeing me in that dress. As I say, it’s a little complex.
In other news… Recently, I received these two opening messages from two different guys on Tinder:
This is not attractive to me… like yes, there is a part of me that would like a guy that enjoys pleasuring me sexually, but I don’t know either of these guys and this is no way to start a conversation with a stranger. It’s disrespectful and minimizes me to a piece of meat/sex object. What gets confusing is if I was in a committed relationship with a man who respected me, I do think there would be times where I want to feel wanted and desired sexually by my partner. What gets even more confusing is sometimes that is hot from someone I don’t know well and am not in a committed relationship with. This is confusing for me because it goes against what I want, which is to be in a committed relationship- to have a boyfriend.
The first guy- Jack- had all shirtless pictures and was basically the equivalent of a pig on a stick roasting over a fire- one of the pictures he was all sweaty and glistening after what looked like an intense work out- so, in that case, I could have known better, but sometimes, on Tinder, I swipe right on guys I would normally swipe left to just to switch it up- the thought behind that being you never know- sometimes the nice looking guys are douches and maybe sometimes the not so nice looking guys could be nice. I have yet to meet a genuinely nice guy on one of these apps yet though (that is not true, I have met a few nice people through the apps, but none with whom it has worked out.)… The second guy had one picture, and his profile read that he didn’t know why he kept re-downloading this app, which I resonated with and also had a line in my profile about so I swiped right to him thinking we could commiserate on how much this app sucks lol, but I was wrong.