A Series of Men Lying About Inches

You never think this is how things happen, but far too often this is exactly how things happen.You think that you are strong and certain and have bones made of cement, but you are a house made of matchsticks. You are a paper lantern.

It happens slow, like pulling taffy in the winter, except that it’s summer and they don’t like when you call it taffy. He says, “Come on,” and that’s how it happens, slow and prodding. Because he says it once, and then again, and then one more time—his words, prodding at you, a countertop corner in your ribs, a stick held against your neck. He says, “Come on,” asking for an inch, an inch, an inch more, and that’s when you realize that life is just a series of men lying about inches.

It’s summer and you’re sitting shotgun in a silver Corolla with sad, grey upholstery and it smells like making the best of things. It smells like something you wanted only an hour ago. It smells like sweat. It’s summer and this is how it happens, slow and prodding and eventual because he asked, and asked, and asked, and you couldn’t sidestep fast enough. Think about the people in the apartment building just outside the car door, think about the humidity, think about how you’re suffocating because the air is off and the windows are shut and how long has it been since you wanted things to go slower? now that they can’t go fast enough. This is how things happen.

“Don’t stop,” he says, his words another jab.

Picture yourself upstairs in your apartment, wearing jogging pants and looking for the next possibility, another few inches. Look for someone just a little less likely to disappoint you. This is how it happens, in the summer, in the heat, with the windows up and his breath on your skin. It happens slow and without notice: a smile, a date, a kiss, the two of you laughing and now his pants unzipped. This is how it happens in the summer, on a first date, in the city, in the front seat of a sad Corolla, with your hand on his dick and his face in the rear-view mirror.

 

We met through a friend. We met on Twitter. We met at a comedy club. It depends who’s telling the story. It depends where you start the timeline. We met in Montreal. You could say that I orchestrated the whole thing. That I made it happen. That I arranged to make it happen. You could say it was meant to be.

His name was Dustin (except we all know that it wasn’t). His name was the name his mother gave him, but we can’t call him that here because we have to protect him. I had no idea butchers needed such safeguards—the knife never seems to slip in the right direction. In a writing workshop, they say right to my face, “Why don’t you just stop dating?” No one asks why we let men be monsters. Why am I expected to live alone and sexless because there are not so many great men? Every man writes in the margins—you deserve better, you deserve someone great—but that’s not how it works. Plus, every man assumes he himself is great and they so rarely are. The man who takes the shirtless selfie and the man who thinks himself wonderful for not being the kind of man who takes a shirtless selfie are not so different from each other. Neither looks at himself clearly in the mirror. They read a story about how things didn’t work out and suggest I stop trying, as if the story had been a letter to an advice columnist, instead of just a tale about the time I took a risk and it didn’t work out. Why am I asked to be a fortune teller, for my broken bones to justify ever having wanted to walk? Why am I not allowed to wear a cast around my compound fracture? They say there are no stupid questions, so I guess you could say I asked for it.

He was a comedian in Montreal and unlikely to be a murderer because I had found him through a friend on Facebook, which gave him a tangible quality I assumed would transfer to real life (and a trail of information for the police to follow if I was wrong [NOTE: this joke felt funnier several years ago when I wrote this). Except that Facebook was an open wound, the exposure too great. If I added him on Facebook, he would see the path between us, and ask questions about how I had found him. Instead, like a good, little internet-sleuth, I found him on Twitter, a dark alley of anonymity. He followed me back immediately and then messaged. Before long he was adding me on Facebook, so that he could see pictures, and I was pretending like this was all new information.

He said: You look like someone that would be great to cuddle with, which sounded like a snooze, and then, you should come to a show I’m doing, which sounded like something better. The night of the show I took a cab seven blocks to avoid showing up sweaty but still managed to arrive late. After the show, Dustin said, “I really want to hang out with you,” and then he leaned in close, and I could hear everyone in the room breathing. He had carpooled to the show with a friend, and I tried not to think him an idiot. If I wanted to continue hanging out with him, he said, he would have to go home and get his car. But why would you carpool on a night you were meeting someone new? Even if I had been hideous or boring, he could’ve just lied and said he had carpooled. The carpooling didn’t have to be real.

“How long will it take?”

“Thirty minutes?” he said.

“Fine.”

It wasn’t, but a bird in the hand or something. Sitting with some of the other comedians while I waited for Dustin to return, the headliner leaned forward heavily on the wooden table and said, “You know, you really are a very beautiful girl.” He paused, and then added, “I’m married so I can say this.” But I didn’t know that marriage was such a protective barrier. I’m not sure whom this was supposed to make safe. I was already too tired of men trying to convince me I was beautiful as if I wasn’t aware, as if my fatness precluded this notion. They had no idea how many other men, exactly like them, exactly as unaware, wanted to fuck me. Though I guess that didn’t necessarily mean beauty, but then again that wasn’t really what he had meant either.

When Dustin returned, he asked if I wanted to eat.

I said, “No, I guess not,” and then, “would there even be anything open?” I wanted him to say yes. I wanted him to say, “Let’s get you some food. Let’s get you a meal.” And when I declined, I wanted him to insist, to finally have pressure applied onto something that benefitted me. I wanted him to say, “I want to get to know you over the effort it takes to have a stranger make us food.”

“Probably not,” he said and drove us down to the pier in Old Port where we walked around and made out and laughed until it started to rain.

Back in front of my apartment, we sat in his car, and I did not invite him up.  We kissed until it happened, the way it always seems to happen.

The first time he asked like a mime, adjusting himself so subtly that, had I not already been familiar with the moves, I might not have noticed. He sat shifting in the driver’s seat, his erection straining against his jeans, and I pretended not to see.

By the second time, it seemed like maybe he wasn’t really asking. He took matters into his own hands and placed one of mine on his crotch, which wouldn’t have been so bad if that was as far as it went (but that’s never as far as it went). He took my hand and I rubbed him through his pants, having caved under the weight. When he removed his hand from mine, I stopped rubbing and brought my hand back up to his chest (which was where I had wanted it to be in the first place). He waited a few minutes and then moved my hand with his. Again, I caved. Again, I rubbed. My hand, a buoy pushed down into water.

The third time he asked, I couldn’t even hear the question. Sitting in the front seat of his car (which turned out to be his mom’s), he unzipped his own pants—he pulled out his own dick. Sitting in a car, in front of my apartment, I wanted to be the trope of the girl who had to work to be sexualized by men, whose first dates were always an ‘if’ not a ‘when’ scenario. The rumor is that it’s about desire, but when he pulled his dick out, it seemed it had very little to do with me. I looked at his smiling face, and then his hard dick twitching at me. He wasn’t worried about anything. He was calm as a sloth having pulled his dick out. I was filled with a quiet rage—his audacity, his assumptions, his (derisive air quotes) throbbing cock and the expectation that I was supposed to do something about it. He whipped it out and I could almost hear him saying, “Here, you take care of it,” like a goddamn baby. Even the way he pressured was pathetic. They always ask why I didn’t make him stop, why I didn’t just leave. But why does no one ask why he pushed? They say there are over fifty words for snow in the Inuit languages. I know a hundred ways to say he made me carry the burden.

When he opened his pants and whipped it out, the zipper teeth were so close to his dick that I wondered if it hurt (I hoped it did). I hoped it felt tight, like the walls were closing in on him, pinching, like the sharp metal teeth might bite his dick off—a real hostage situation. He grabbed my hand and put it on his dick, never once thinking that if I had wanted to touch it, I would’ve pulled his dick out myself. I assumed he thought I didn’t know how zippers worked. He moaned the second my skin was on his.

I am supposed to be made of resolve (but agreeable like a lady) with veins full of venom (but not the kind that poisons—dangerous enough to inspire admiration not fear). I am told that craving attention is needy and wanting to be desired is worthless, and that I am going to have to be super human if I ever want to be viewed as human. I have learned that I can be a vixen, as long as I’m never touched, and I can be a star, as long as I never ask them to gaze upon me, and that one mistake will most often (read: always) be enough to cost a woman everything, unless she relocates and starts over. Most of all though, I know that as a woman I am never allowed to be bitter. And that men are allowed to be anything shy of violent (and even then, context is important). It’s hard to keep it all straight, this person you’re supposed to be, the things you have to balance on your back.

“You’re so good at this,” he said, and I was already nostalgic for when he was making me wet instead of just making me uncomfortable. Amid the pressure to be strong and the pressure to be wanted, in the fog of a rushed sexual situation, he stroked my ego while I stroked his cock. I mean, how does one even stop such undeniable talent? It’s a wonder they don’t study me for science. A real-life sex goddess, the headline reads, and they come in droves to look at me. I could stop at any time, but I don’t. Because who is even good at giving hand jobs? NO ONE! Except not no one, it’s me (and probably a billion other women), and I can’t even see the web he’s caught me in. The words I had wanted to say did not bubble up from inside. I couldn’t remember how to say, “I’m not into this. I’m not really feeling how this is going down right now, but maybe if you turn back into that guy you were thirty minutes ago we could save this, we could pretend that we’re both better people. We could pretend that you’re not awful and I’m not weak.” Instead I said nothing because I didn’t want to say, “No.” I wanted to say, “Not yet.” My shoulders sagged under the desire to be wanted (and when ready, sexually satisfied), and the disbelief that this was even happening because this man had been someone (possibly) worthy only moments before. I pitched forward under the weight of having not known better because I’m always expected to have known better, to have seen men for who they are as if I had a crystal ball. Long before I ever really know them, I am supposed to see these men at their core, when the people in their lives—their family and friends—haven’t a clue. I’m supposed to have known right from the start, to have been able to break the code of human psychology. I’m supposed to assume that all men are awful (and just want to fuck me) without ever (my god don’t you dare!) assuming that all men are awful (and just want to fuck me).

Why couldn’t he see that I didn’t want this? Why didn’t he think to look?

When I finally said, “No,” it fell on deaf ears, which should’ve been enough to make me leave but wasn’t. My bones are not made of cement. My desires are not so set in stone. I melt in high temperatures. I am not microwave safe.

He said, “Come on,” in that whiny way that men say it, pathetic and aggressive and judgmental. And I did, because I wanted him to think I was hot and carefree and beautiful and he was ruining it every second he existed. He gently reached for my hand, which had fallen away from his cock when I said I didn’t want to anymore, and he brought it back. While he sat in the driver’s seat panting, and I dispassionately rubbed his dick, I wondered if my shame would stick to the windows. I wondered if his mom would be able to tell that a woman had become less-than in her car, if you could see it on the upholstery: a jizz stain on the shoulder rest, my withered heart underneath the floor mat.

He said, “Are you glad you came out?” and I answered, “Yes,” because that’s what you say when you’re pinned to the mat. I learned long ago that nobody likes a complainer. So when he asked if I was glad that I had come out, I lied because I wasn’t sure if I wanted us to be over yet. I said, “Yes,” because he hadn’t earned my honesty and maybe that’s just what I say when someone has had his tongue in my mouth and he made me laugh more than normal but still not nearly enough.

“Forgive me.” I asked for it from my reflection in the rear view mirror (don’t worry, he never heard it).

“Forgive me.” I asked for it because I had wanted him to fuck me, at some point, maybe.

“Forgive me.” Maybe I never even said it, but it was there, I was asking for it because he had told ten jokes and I had laughed six times, which was five more than usual, and I was desperate.

My desperation was unclear and ill-defined. I wanted to have the most fun possible, to meet astonishing and interesting people. I was desperate to kiss men who were good at it, and have amazingly hot sex (like real hot sex, not the kind of hot sex you have in your twenties where it feels relatively good but you never actually get off and it’s mostly just about validating your ego and being a washrag for men who adoration you haven’t yet realized in worthless. I was pleading to be wanted in any other way than apathetically, lazily, for no other reason than I was there, whatevs.

I needed the next man who held my breasts to be one that made me laugh. But sitting in his mom’s car with my hand on his dick, I hadn’t laughed in too long. It was a problem of physics or geometry; I’m not sure which. Something about spatial relations and the relative size of my bra and his capacity for empathy. I may have still been wearing my seatbelt. Even though that seems insane. To be so concerned with my own safety when we weren’t even moving. But with his dick out and my whispers unheard, it seemed a bit like I might be crushed, and I didn’t want to have to worry about surviving a crash and having to reset my own bones while waiting for the ambulance. I’m not the kind of person anyone rescues—my shoulders are too wide for sympathy.

He pulled out his cock and that’s how it happened. He pushed a little more, just one more inch, said, “Come on,” and I teetered on the edge. It took less than twenty minutes to convince me to do something I hadn’t wanted to do and for him to cum. And that’s how it happened. When I had thought I was strong, spine made of something stolen. It happened slowly, like pulling taffy in the winter, except that it was summer and no one seemed interested in what I wanted. He said, “Come on,” and that’s how it happened, sitting shotgun in a silver Corolla with sad, grey upholstery and me thinking about his mom. It was summer and that’s how it happened, slow and prodding and eventual because I should’ve seen it coming, because somehow it still seemed like my fault, because he had unzipped and pulled his dick out, and I became just a little bit unhinged. And when it happened, I looked away and tried to save the moment from itself, just in case. I thought about the people in the apartment building just outside the car door, about the humidity, about how I was suffocating because the air was off and the windows were shut and how long had it been since I wanted things to go slower? now that they couldn’t go fast enough. “Don’t stop,” he had said, his words poking at my ribs. That’s how it happened, in the summer, in the heat, with the windows up and his breath on my skin. It happened slow and without notice. That’s how it happened in the summer, on a first date, in the city, in the front seat of a sad Corolla, with my hand on his dick and his face in my rear view mirror.

How to Have a Fake Affair with a Real Celebrity (NOW AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD)

How to Have a Fake Affair with a Real Celebrity is a non-fiction short story written by Victoria Young. The story was recently published in the Spring & Summer issue of Cream City Review (41.1).

The story is a comical and tragic rumination of what it’s like when powerful men shine their spotlight in your direction and the ethics of fidelity in the internet age. At times hysterically self-deprecating, at others poignant and painfully relatable, this work of non-fiction is both a joke and a broken heart. The point is not to avoid the hurt, but instead to understand why we keep going back for more. And to find a salve in the laughter.

 

Writer. Dater. Masturbator. Victoria Young’s work has appeared in PRISM magazine (after winning second runner-up in the 2015 creative non-fiction contest). She currently holds two BAs, an MA, and whole lot of grudges. Her first collection of short stories Love Poems for Butchers may get published one day, who the fuck knows, amirite. Her work was shortlisted for the 2016 Constance Rooke creative non-fiction prize.

How I Changed the Mind of a Sexist Jerk on OKCupid

From Sexist to Empathetic in 12 Messages

There is no shortage of men saying wildly inappropriate things to me online*. When I can thinking of something funny to say back, these men usually end up as a part of (or the butt of) the joke on my Instagram. Most of the time though, it’s just a heavy burden to bear. The burden of these men and the way they speak to me (the way I assume they speak to all women, or at least all fat women). These men, who are your friends, your brothers, your future boyfriends, say terrible things and sometimes not that bad things and a lot of the time only-sort-of-bad-mostly-just-lame-things to me and most of the time nothing comes of it.

Which is why I can’t help but celebrate the few times I change someone’s mind. Because isn’t that really why I allow men to sharpen their knives upon my bones, the chance that I might make the world a better place and find some joy in this misery? Or, something more optimistic but less cool sounding.

And thus, I give you, a conversation I had recently on OKCupid, in which I changed a man’s perspective (with commentary).

*women are not obligated to educate you on feminism (that’s what google is for)
*women don’t owe you anything (not their time, not their manners, not their knowledge)
*for examples on why this might be try googling #byefelipe or searching it on instagram

He Said, She Said

It started out much like it always does. Man laughs at a joke written by another and assumes he himself must be hysterical. Calamity and lack of empathy ensue.

For context: my OKCupid profile is really just a list of jokes I’ve written

OKCupid first message

 

Sweet jesus. Did this dude actually just message me to say he wasn’t sure if my (brilliant) jokes are hilarious or just my sweet tits (tits being the least gross way I can characterize what he actually said)? The answer is yes. Yes he did. Even crazier is the fact that he thought this would go over well with me. Like who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of casual demeaning to start off any romantic relationship, amirite.

 

OKCupid first message

 

Ah yes, the age old “I’m not unfunny, you’re just uptight” defence (not uncommonly used by unfunny men everywhere). Followed almost immediately by the “you must have issues with your body because it’s not like me, a stranger, talking about it in a totally gross and offensive way could be at all bothersome.” This dude was on a roll, picking up speed while hitting all the bullshit ways in which terrible men gaslight women into thinking they’re crazy or too-sensitive or don’t deserve even the most basic amount of respect. You know, the kind of guy who says “I don’t take this seriously,” as if you can shirk the responsibility of treating strangers like shit simply by maintaining a lackadaisical attitude (here’s looking at you trolls).

 

OKCupid first message

 

The link I messaged him was to this tweet:


And just like that the tides were turning. Or, so I thought. I mean, he’d realized that perhaps his joke wasn’t quite the Seinfeld-esque banter he’d originally thought but did he really get “it”? Did he really get that it wasn’t simply a case of a joke falling flat but an entire flawed ideology about the treatment of women?

 

OKCupid first message

 

Ah, the age old “no one else has complained” defence. So many excuses, so little time, amirite?!? The truth is that he didn’t get it–not really, not yet. And so, I tried to explain it to him. I tried to explain without sounding bitter and jaded (because no one listens to you if you’re angry or bitter *eye roll so hard I pull a muscle*), about the ways in which women might have chosen/been forced by social pressures to absorb everything from the violent tedium to the violent fists of men (all in a real quick OKCupid message). Keep it light babe, keep it light.

 

OKCupid messages

 

And he got it. MY GOD HE GOT IT. But I wasn’t done. I wanted to add one final note about how maybe he could help with this thing we’re trying to do (ya know, be viewed as human and valuable and stuff).

 

sexist

 

And shit, I mean he really got it. He even understood the thing I’m always trying to tell all the guys who think they’re not “that guy” which is that you’re probably “that guy”. And you’re definitely “that guy” if you don’t think about how your behaviour affects others. Especially online because online is where people have the least amount of protection from the public and accountability from perpetrators. So please, the next time you send a message, or speak to someone, or think you’re absolutely above harming anyone–stop and think. Slip your feet into some empathy and try it on for size.

And if you’ve ever acted like this guy, do better. Be better.

And tell your friends because women are tired of carrying the burden.

How to Give a Passive Aggressive Handjob (now available for digital download)

digital download

 

How to Give a Passive Aggressive Handjob is a non-fiction short story written by Victoria Young. The story recently won second runner-up in PRISM International’s 2015 creative non-fiction contest and subsequently appeared in the publication’s Spring 2016 Issue. It is now available here for download

________________

Russell Wangersky (Judge of the 2015 contest), described the story as having, “a more traditional structure, but a grasp of tone that is hard to achieve: self-deprecating without being self-pitying, a style that lets the reader understand the author can step out of the experience and observe the writer’s own life with a kind of clarity.”

 

 

Something She Said now has a Newsletter

Stories about sex and dating, screenshots of sexist online dating messages, murder jokes, elaborately long fruit puns–you never quite know what you’re going to get.

One thing for sure is that you’ll have access to some exclusive content (like my naked photos!) (okay probably not that–hi mom!), but you’ll be the first to know about any new writing/book developments, and frankly it’ll bring us that much closer in a totally weird but not at all uncomfortable way (are you my boyfriend yet?)

 

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93 Reasons I Don’t Want to Have Sex with You

sex

You should just be able to say, “No” to things and be taken at your word. You should. You should. You should. But, for reasons unbeknownst to me, men never seem to take me at my word. Sometimes life feels like a series of men saying, “Come on,” in varying degrees- of-pressured scenarios. They say, “Come on,” as if they completely lacked empathy for me the desire to have sex with someone is an isolated impulse (spoiler alert: it’s not). Feelings and desires do not stand alone. They are webbed and sticky–intricately linked to everything that affects us (and jesus, are we affected). And though I would never suggest a woman should feel the need to explain or justify why she might not want to have sex with someone at any given moment, I do think that one of the many ways we can implore empathy in/from people is to share our motivations with them–to let them understand us better. And thus, I offer this small list of 93 possible reasons I might have for not wanting to have sex with someone*.

*Please note: this list isn’t even remotely close to exhaustive of my own personal reasons or those of other women, nor are any of the reasons mutually exclusive.

 

 

93 Reasons for Not Wanting to Have Sex with You

  1. This is a first date and I’m not ready
  2. I didn’t shave my legs
  3. I have my period
  4. I’m going to be getting my period any minute now
  5. I think my period is over but not over-enough
  6. I’m not wearing the right underwear
  7. I’m wearing my tights up to my bra like DIY Spanx (and look like the Penguin from Batman)
  8. My vagina isn’t waxed
  9. There was a waxing incident
  10. I don’t wax and don’t want to find out whether or not that’s a thing you have a problem with tonight
  11. I have an ingrown hair and it looks weird and I don’t want you to see it
  12. The sheets on my bed aren’t clean
  13. My tits are saggy
  14. My belly is floppy
  15. I’ve lost a lot of weight and I’m worried you’ll think I’m gross
  16. You’ve mentioned (several times) how big my boobs are
  17. My boobs feel too small
  18. I’m concerned you don’t know how bras work
  19. I have stretch marks everywhere and I don’t know yet know whether you’re a human being or a monster
  20. I’ve momentarily forgotten that I’m beautiful
  21. All I want right now is for someone to want to hold my hand
  22. You keep saying how sexy I am but I want to fuck someone who thinks I’m funny
  23. I just want to enjoy a first date kiss without having to be the pace car
  24. I just want to make-out on the couch and have it not go further
  25. I want to enjoy all the different bases
  26. You’re a stranger
  27. You just told me that you’re in a relationship
  28. You’ve dated someone I care about (and I don’t care enough about you to ruin that)
  29. I’m worried I might be getting a yeast infection
  30. Could it be a UTI? (what does a UTI feel like?)
  31. I think my PH is unbalanced
  32. I think my life is unbalanced
  33. I think you might be unbalanced
  34. I ate too much and feel bloated
  35. I haven’t eaten in hours just so that I could feel/pretend that I was even just a little bit thinner for our date tonight and (without admitting that that was a terrible idea) now all I want to do is get some Burger King and take off my bra (alone)
  36. You’re a terrible kisser
  37. You’re an okay kisser, and I’m not sure if being adequate is sufficient
  38. I’m worried you suck at kissing because you don’t like me enough to pay attention to what we’re doing
  39. I’m worried you will judge me for the rate at which I fuck
  40. You said you don’t like to go down on women (which makes me think you don’t like women’s bodies—which makes me think you won’t be okay with all my flaws and imperfections—which makes me think fucking you would be a terrible idea)
  41. I don’t think you could/would be willing to make me cum
  42. I don’t think my orgasm/pleasure is important to you
  43. We just met tonight
  44. We’ve only known each other for a few weeks
  45. We’ve been friends for 10 years
  46. We dated once or twice but then things faded because I moved away and now you’re in town and want to put it back together but it feels so rushed and I need a moment to readjust to you being back in my life
  47. We’ve loved each other so intensely and for so many years and it didn’t work out and now sometimes we make love and sometimes we fuck but I’m also dating other people and tonight there isn’t room enough in my heart for everybody and it’s too hard to concentrate on staying in the moment
  48. Your roommate is home and can hear us/I can hear them and it’s weirding me out
  49. I am more interested in your roommate
  50. I’m worried I’ve fucked too many ordinary men for insufficient reasons
  51. You’ve been acting distant since the last time we hung out
  52. You’ve been acting different since the last time we hung out
  53. I want someone who is certain they want me and you seem uncertain
  54. Tonight, I don’t want casual sex
  55. I need a pedicure
  56. I have a scar I don’t want you to see yet
  57. I have a mark I don’t want you to see yet
  58. I have a flaw I don’t want you to see yet
  59. I don’t trust you not to judge me
  60. I like someone else more
  61. I like someone else the same amount
  62. Dating is complicated and things get hard and I need a minute to think
  63. I just lost my job
  64. I feel sad
  65. I feel alone
  66. I feel unsafe
  67. I feel pressured
  68. I feel guilty
  69. I feel like a goddamn disappointment to everyone I’ve ever met
  70. I forgot to reapply for interest free status on my student loan and the idea of all that debt crushing me is making it hard to breathe
  71. I don’t know if you see me as a complete person
  72. I don’t know if you like me
  73. I don’t know if you like me enough
  74. I don’t know if I like you enough
  75. I’m not sure what enough is when enough is always moving around and changing on me (today’s enough is not always tomorrow’s enough)
  76. I don’t want to open all the presents at once
  77. The last guy I had sex with treated me terribly
  78. So many men that I’ve had sex with have treated me not so great at some point (often after having had sex with them and having been given no visible signs that they would treat me not so great prior to said sex and/or treatment)
  79. I had a fight with [my mom, my friend, my dentist] this afternoon
  80. A guy on the internet was shitty to me today
  81. So many men on the internet were shitty and disgusting to me today
  82. I’ve been reading too many (what is the right amount?) articles about rape and rape culture and everything that is bad in the world and now I can’t stop folding inward like an origami black hole
  83. You complimented me by insulting other women
  84. You said something slut-shamey
  85. Your bed doesn’t look sturdy enough for the both of us
  86. We have mutual friends and that makes a casual hookup with you uncomfortable
  87. I’m sweating a lot (why is it so hot in here?!?)
  88. I’m feeling really self-conscious about my body and don’t trust you not to destroy me
  89. I’m feeling fantastic about my body and don’t feel like you’re worthy of it
  90. I’m feeling some kind of way about my body and don’t feel comfortable enough with you to let you in
  91. I’m attracted to you but not turned on
  92. I’m not sure if I’m attracted to you
  93. I feel pressure to have sex with you and that’s ruining it for me

 

And the one that sums it all up, because all of these are just varying degrees of the exact same thing, which is

  1. I JUST DON’T FUCKING WANT TO RIGHT NOW

How to Talk to Women Online

The trick is to talk to her as if she is a human being. Do not talk about your penis.

Speak to her as if she exists in the real world because this is, in fact, all happening in the real world. The internet is not magic, and you are no wizard. You are no one other than yourself (and honestly, yourself needs to be doing a better job). Treat her like a human being the first time.

If there’s one thing I hear way too much on the internet—aside from “nice tits” and “I bet you’re great at sucking dick”—It’s the standard apology followed by, “I’m actually a really [insert unsubstantiated, unlikely, positive attribute: nice, smart, great, funny] guy, my [minimization of substandard and gross behavior] to the contrary. But I’m here to let you know that this is not true. You are not the person you wish yourself to be on the internet; you are exactly the person you have revealed yourself as. You are not your intentions but instead your actions, the horrible garbage monster you’ve been acting like until you aren’t anymore (you can change right now…or now…still now…yup now too…honestly at any moment you could change your whole way of being and just stop treating people terribly and being ridiculous and boring and predictable and detestable. I promise). So, if you’re writing things like “DTF?” in a first message or “I want to bury myself in your body” (yes, these are super real examples), please know that that is genuinely who you are. You are not a child testing the waters, you are grown up making people uncomfortable because of how little empathy (and respect, and social awareness, etc.) you have.

I wish my advice could be as simple as “just be yourself” but apparently that’s what many men have been doing and frankly it’s not working out so great for anybody involved. So instead, my advice is to be better than your current self. I don’t know who to blame for the way you to speak to women, for the way you’ve confused harassment for honesty and the unsubstantiated sense of self-worth for quality but it has to stop.

[sidenote: if you’re a man who approaches and speaks to women in a kind and intelligent manner, well, this article obviously isn’t directed at you, but then of course you already know that.]

Do not talk about your penis. From the very first moment you noticed this cucumber of an appendage, you have loved it. It has been your best friend, your most cherished possession, and at times your greatest accomplishment. But this is an illusion. No woman will ever love your penis the way you do. Your penis is more boring than a sober academic. Not my penis! I can hear you shouting. Yes. Your penis. It’s boring and tedious and, if I’m being honest, your penis is exactly like my apartment in that we all wish it was bigger. Unless your dick is more like my student loan debt inasmuch as there’s always just way, way too much. Jokes aside, given the data on the female orgasm—something like 75% of women never reach orgasm through penetration alone, 10-15% never reach orgasm at all (omg ladies I’m so sorry!), leaving only 10-15% who have the potential to get off straight from the D (though to be clear that’s just the possibility, it might not be every time and/or with every D)—So like what are we even talking about here? How illogical do you have to be (or how totally unaware of the realities of sex) to think your dick matters? Dicks are basically worthless (not to be confused with men being worthless because obviously not). What I’m saying is that men need to stop buying into the hype that your dick is the part of you that matters. It’s only a tiny part of you, and honestly, I’d rather hear about your degree in Journalism, or your passion project, or your relationship with great Aunt Susan, or what you ate for breakfast (which should tell you a lot because I’m guessing your morning meal is pretty fucking boring).

But if not straight up dick talk, what can I say to interest her?

Interesting people are usually curious, so ask her about her life and then when she asks about yours, go ahead and tell her. Listen when she talks, act as if she may have experienced something of value or even that her very experiencing of something may have given it value. Be empathetic and kind. Don’t talk about your penis.

Try to find a common interest. Does she like wizard jokes? Does she collect Labyrinth memorabilia? Is she crushing a fantasy football league with her team “The Bad Reviews Bears”? Ask her. Have you asked her? Fucking ask her! Once you discover something in common, run with it. Even if it’s something as silly as you both like to attend Kraft Singles events (which I’ve heard are very cheesy). Turn that common thread into a conversational sweater and knit something warm together. Don’t talk about your dick.

When she asks you about yourself, be honest and self-aware (you don’t need to be your own hype man, your actions and accomplishments will speak for themselves). If, when you attend parties, people don’t congregate around you in an orbital bliss of laughter—do not claim you have an amazing sense of humor (your sense of humor is average, which isn’t amazing but it’s fine, I’m sure you have something else going for you, I mean don’t sweat it).  Don’t say things like “I’m young at heart” or “I don’t look my age” because your heart has been slowly dying since the day you were born and honey, in regards to your age, if you have to say it—you aren’t it.  You know why babies never get up in your face to tell you how youthful they are?  Because their shit filled diapers and chubby cheeks do that for them.  The same rules apply for your face.  Also, those pleated khakis already gave you away. Stop giving yourself medals for kindness (to be totally honest, we’re all varying degrees of asshole and the only thing that makes that tolerable is our ability to admit it, so rather than pretending you’re the King of Benevolence because one time you didn’t act like a total psycho when someone rejected your advances, maybe just be real about who you are). You know that cliché saying “nice guys finish last”? It’s not true at all. Nice guys finish first all the time, people fucking love those guys. Entitled jerks who lack self-awareness finish last though (those dudes are the fucking worst amirite? Yuck!).

Now, I know what you may be thinking: How on earth am I going to let her know that I’m sexually attracted to her.

If you’re contacting her on any website or app that is sex/dating related, just assume she already knows this. No one who isn’t completely ridiculous is trying to make friends over on Plenty of Fish or Tinder (and if, by some stretch of the imagination, that did happen, those people usually say it right off the bat). Men often complain (to me—why do they keep thinking I care about their gripes? Like I’m some kind of wish fountain for subpar strangers?) that women on apps like Tinder are all just looking for friends, but I’m going to keep it real with you. While that’s obviously a possibility (anything is possible, I mean we live in a world where men think saying “nice tits” might actually get them somewhere), it’s unlikely. What’s more likely is that there was a possibility of attraction (again my god! this world is so full of possibilities!! Ahhh the excitement!!) that said dude then completely smashed to bits by being unimpressive (at best) or offensive/misogynistic (at worst). So like I said, if you’re having a nice conversation with a woman online, know that she knows you’re attracted (or that it’s at least in the realm of possibilities). Save the “nice tits” talk for when you’ve managed to see them for the first time. Because that’s the thing about sexual comments, context is key. A stranger talking about your body online is creepy as fuck, a man talking about your body the first time you show it to him is delicious.

This may come as a surprise but you don’t have to dehumanize a woman to have casual sex with her (in fact, if you were any good at sex you’d likely already know that the best sex happens when people feel comfortable and relaxed enough to really be themselves and, for lack of a better phrase, let it all hang out). Also, please don’t confuse a woman wanting to have casual sex with the idea that a woman who wants casual sex will definitely want to have it with you. I love casual sex (Big Fan! Huge!) but I have to be attracted/interested in having it with someone. It’s not just a first-cum scenario. You have to be brilliant and hilarious and interesting and kind and socially/self-aware, it’s a whole fucking thing.

That said, if you’re contacting a woman on ANY other website/app, well I mean you probably shouldn’t be trying to get at her in a sexual way. I mean, would you show up at your doctor’s house for a prostate exam? No, so why would you approach a woman via Twitter where she’s trying to make a name for herself writing jokes or promoting her new startup in a sexual way? If your interest lies in her as a person than talk to her like a human being. Honestly, you could just support whatever she’s doing because it’s amazing and interests you, and you could just never impose any other desires or expectations on her, ever. I mean, you can really do that, speak to women for no other purpose than they’re doing creative and brilliant things that you find interesting. It’s okay to just support and value someone. It’s okay to just be a human being with empathy.

Life Update: November 16, 2014

Dating

Sometimes I forget that you guys don’t live inside my head and that in order for you to know something I have to actually write it here.  My fear of redundancy is what often keeps me silent.  But when it turns out that half of the people on my own Facebook don’t even know that I have moved back to Vancouver (and still think I’m in Montreal) it occurs to me that I might have been remiss about updating people on even the biggest details of my life.  What can I say, I’m silent out of kindness.  I worry about boring you.  Nonetheless here is a brief update on the things that matter (or don’t, that’s really your call to make):

I have been dating up a bit of a storm (Spoiler Alert: there have been approx. 10 “somethings” since I last updated the blog with a post about dating).  So why haven’t I updated the blog?

Because I’m writing a book (well, a collection of short stories really) and most of those stories are going in it.

I’m going to be honest; I’m really hoping you’ll want to buy it and read it.  The hope is that it will be published in e-book format (and/or print on demand) in the next few months.  Obviously, I will keep you lovelies posted.

I’m back in Vancouver and hate/loving it.

I’ve lost 50lbs.  (don’t get too excited, I got super fat in grad school so I still have a really long way to go but you can click here for a quick glimpse of the progress).  I’ve also decided to start blogging more about what I’m doing at the gym, eating at home, and the overall weight loss journey.  Obviously, do not feel compelled to read about it, but my friend suggested it might be of interest to some people and given how much time I’ve spent combing the internet for tips on fitness, healthy recipes, and weight loss, I figure she might be right.  And, if those topics aren’t of interest to you then just skip on through to the other articles (or the book! yay a book!).  Also, if you are interested in this stuff, definitely consider following me on Instagram as I tend to post more there than anywhere else at the moment.

Speaking of Instagram AND book news…I’ve started posting pics using the hashtag #PossibleBookTitle (sorry I can’t make this link clickable here but if you type it in under search hashtags on Instagram you’ll find it easily).  This is legitimately me brainstorming and thinking through possible ideas for titling the upcoming book so if you like being a part of things, feel free to weigh in on your favourite choice(s).

Also, I’ve started using Tumblr a lot more so if that’s your jam, head on over and follow me on there.  I admit, I’m definitely a multi-poster (meaning that if I’ve been known to post a joke on Twitter, take a screenshot and post it on Instagram and Tumblr).  But the truth is, while hopefully there are very few of you who are irritated by this, there are often very different audiences who follow on each site.  An example of this being when I tweeted the following:

Not to be a total egomaniacal dick, but I thought it was pretty cool.  Yet, it only got like 9 favs and 2 RTs.  So, I took a screenshot and posted it on Instagram and then shared it on Tumblr (where it is now, by FAR, the most shared thing I’ve ever posted…at last check with 8000+ notes).  In turn, that bumped up the attention of the tweet a little but still nothing by comparison.  So why am I telling you this?  Basically so that if you are one of the people who gets irritated by multi-posting, I’m sorry but hopefully now you can understand a bit about why I do it (and thus hate that I do it just a tiny bit less)

I am very aware that as I’ve been working on the book, the blog has become a little lacklustre, having posts that are either few and far between or just glimpses of writing exercises.  While I can’t make any promises, the book and fitness have to come before anything else, I will definitely be trying to post more in the coming weeks (not just fitness/food stuff but also sex and dating, and other exciting stuff).

Finally, as always, feel free to email me your dating questions and quandries, and I will be happy to dispense any advice I can.

All my love,

 

Victoria

 

aka SSDated

aka The Cheesecake Queen

aka That girl crying in the squat rack

He Offers Me Nothing

balloons

*

He says, “All due respect but those boobs,” then a hearts-for-eyes-smiley-face, and then two hands clapping.

He says, “Older women help me fulfill my total potential.”

When I am offended, he says, “Well, it’s just the facts, you are older.”

I read it with violent intonation.  I read it like it’s new information.

You ARE older.  YOU are older.  You are OLDER.

He waits for a response not knowing that I am already bored with this, doesn’t understand that I am turned off by his selfishness; he has never even thought to ask himself what it is that he offers me, them, us.

It is nothing.  He offers me nothing.  He is without an offering.

Why am I always expected to provide, to be something, to give of my body and my mind.  Smile for them.  Make them laugh.  Show them your body.  Give them everything they want.  Be kind.  Be pleasant.  Be a thing worthy of their idiotic conversation, their tedious ill-thought out plan.

Have they even considered that they are unloveable, unlikeable?

Why is being alive enough?  Why is existing and being attractive a thing?  Why are the numbers of people who cannot think a thing through so large?

I know there is a bitterness spreading in me, growing slowly, insidious, like ivy on my heart.  I’m thinking about learning math instead of men.  I’m thinking I could be happy without kissing if I had something interesting to turn to.  I wonder if I could write jokes about numbers.  I wonder if I could turn this bitterness into a formula.

I’m thinking thinking thinking why does no one ever worry about my full potential?

He Asks What I Write (Part Two): I Write Spaces

Writing

*

Part One:  I Write Short Stories

I’m writing spaces, these blank places where we become better than our possibilities.

If I told you the truth, if I said all the words, you would end the conversation.  It sounds like a thud, this faux love that we make, this fucking on IKEA beds.

The good parts are in your head. The words ruin what was possible, bog us down, and cement the atrocities.

When the bed creaks, we don’t hear it.  When the pillows sigh, we have stopped listening.  Ribs cage us.  I don’t have the heart to tell you.

You can find my body and his in all the spaces, these places where everything was always greater than its assessed value.  Even in the sorrow, even in the badness, the emptiness is what warms us.

We fell in love with our own rhythms: the beat of our heels; our thighs, the rub.  I found him in the place I wanted him to be, the place where I was a thing worth finding.  He was a magnet, a polar opposite.  I rubbed him like lotion until he disappeared.