I had a great talk with an old friend yesterday. I haven’t seen him in person in a zillion years, but he’s a couple of years older than me, recently divorced, very successful and spending a lot of time on the road for work. I was enjoying my morning coffee as he was having lunch on a park bench in Manhattan yesterday, and felt the need to call me and tell me that this whole dating thing is a pain in the ass for men too. Guess it’s not going well for him.
We commiserated, our tales are not dissimilar. But his are funnier, because they’re not mine. Like me, he doesn’t really like dating, at all. But it’s pretty much the best way to have sex, which, like me, he likes A LOT. But he’s a relationship guy and we want the same thing – no drama, great sex, lots of fun, but security in a way that let’s you be who you actually are and not worry that someone has an ulterior motive and is just using you.
In his case, he has lots of money, and is kidding himself if he thinks women aren’t after it. In my case, I have a hot body, and I’m kidding myself if I think men aren’t after it. Sigh. Is it too early for tequila?
He tells me that he actually met an interesting woman in the hotel bar the night before. I’ve spent enough time in Manhattan to have an accurate picture in my head of a hip hotel bar and the type of women who hit on traveling businessmen. But he’s psyched. He hasn’t had much sex since his divorce and it’s looking promising. They chat, drink, chat and he suggests that she join him up in his room for a more intimate ending to the evening – presumably a very happy one. She agrees, and he’s finally gonna get some. After, that is, he gives her the $500 donation to her shopping budget that she asks for as they’re on their way out of the bar.
That’s right, she was a hooker. “I can’t tell them apart from the real women, what does that say?” I feel bad for him. I can tell them apart, but then I’m a woman. I can also recognize the more subtle ones, the hot ones that will fuck you for free, but just want your money, connections, gifts…. Same thing, just less direct. I know those when I see them too.
I want to tell him that men have really bad vision when their penises take over. And their penises take over a lot. There are very easy to read signs of the “wrong” women: a lot of make-up, a lot of branded clothing and accessories, excessive bling, a large age difference, and the willingness to fuck a guy they just met in a bar…. These aren’t women who are putting their best face forward, they’re wearing giant flashing signs that say, “I value wealth and material goods and will do anything to get them.” But penises only see “I bet she’ll fuck me.” And penises have really loud voices. That tiny hole is like a megaphone drowning out everything else in an otherwise rational brain.
I felt a little sad, though, because I think he was a little sad, in a real way. Not just in an “I didn’t get laid” way, but in an “it’s crazy out there and I don’t like it,” way. Which I understand, completely. He’s an awesome guy. And yes, a bit lost out there.
He returns to the bar, having told her there is no way in hell a guy like him would pay a girl like her $500 for anything. (YAY!) He watches the hooker pick her next mark, feeling, I suspect, like an easy mark himself, which can’t feel great. And then another woman hits on him. She’s in her 60’s.
“I can get hookers and grannies, great,” he says.
Proving that I am judgmental and shallow about women, I applaud the woman in her 60’s for being sexually empowered and acting on her needs. I remind myself that I need to check on this double-standard at a later date.
We talk about how we hate dating. He tells me a great line that someone told him, “dating is having to hold all the doors open and all the farts in.” So true.
My response is that I want a guy who will hold doors open, but let his farts out. Not in a frat boy way, but there is an obvious metaphor there. Manners are awesome. But so is honesty, be who you really are and trust that I will still want you. Don’t date people who want you to be anything other than who you are. Who you really are, not just the persona that you present to the world because you think it will get you laid or paid.
“I think it’s a chance to put your best face forward,” he tells me, finding the bright side in dating. And I do agree with that. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I want through this process. I don’t know if I’m putting my best face forward, in a “buy me” sort of way, but I am certainly finding my best self and letting her lead the way. I don’t think I really knew her until now.
He tells me one last story, of a hot 25-year-old he was hoping to mess around with. He put together a rather fun evening with her, and she proceeded to completely embarrass him in countless ways that ranged from not being able to control her substances to being vocal about jealousy when he wasn’t paying enough attention to her – she actually complained to his friends, on a first date! (GAWD!)
She’s 25! What did he expect? Oh, that’s right, he was sure she’d fuck him, which she probably would have, if he hadn’t had the good sense to walk out on her – a move that I endorsed 100%.
I sort of resisted the urge to tell him that’s what you get when you date 25 year-olds. But I was just sort of speechless. First of all, what are you thinking? What did you expect?
But beyond that, what are you saying about yourself? It made me sad to think of him as “that guy.” The one who is smart, grown-up, fun and generally awesome. And carrying around these trashy young things. Not only does it make him look stupid, but it really makes him unattractive to the kind of women that I, personally, would like to see him with.
Women who are smart, focused, grounded, fun, genuine and hot as hell because they’re not playing games. When women like that see men dating 25 year-old train-wrecks, they dismiss those men. If you’ll date trash, and I date you, then I’m trash. No thanks.
But he’s new to this, so I tell him that it’ll be okay, because it will. He is that awesome. But I want to hit him over the head, in a sweet way. As a woman in her early 40’s, with an insanely hot body, an adventurous and large sex-drive, a strong sense of self who is looking for an adult guy with the same qualities, I cringe when I see them pick up the 20-somethings.
Is it because you think they’re better in bed? Experience matters and practice makes perfect. Is it because you think they’re less demanding? If you consider constant head games less-demanding, maybe. Looking at myself and my friends, I feel like we are all in our second teen years. We are hot as hell, fun, horny, exciting and excited, giving and game. We are everything you want out of a 20-something, but without the demands and games.
“If it’s any consolation,” I tell him, “when you pass on the icky girls, you become much more attractive to the good ones.”
I’ll keep an eye on him. I don’t see him often, so I can’t actually do a safari with him, to help him spot the predators from the playmates in the jungle that is dating. But he’s a great guy, and he’ll figure it out. As will I.
But I’ll always be a little sad inside when guys like him sell themselves short by going for the low-hanging and slightly rotten fruit. I finally learned not to settle for less than I deserve. I want him to do the same. I think guys just grow up a little slower. And those penis things make it very hard to concentrate!
(And yes, maybe some part of me would love to show him how hot sex can be with a sane, grounded woman who knows her way around both bodies and minds.)
UPDATE: You have to read the response to this post that Lanae wrote, after talking about it with a guy friend of hers who read this post. It’s so great, even though it initially makes being A Brick House sound bad, and it sounded to good when that hot boy sang it to me while dancing on the bar on a particularly memorable night. (Yes, really. I still get chills when I hear that song.)