Something that has been stuck in my mind for a while now. My formative years were the 90s and I was very much brought up with the idea that as a guy, you had to earn a girl’s attention.
Every movie and TV show taught me that I as a short, scrawny geeky guy was by default utterly unwanted. If I wanted to be worthy of a girl’s attention I’d need to be charming, courteous and funny. In retrospect this deep belief on my part caused me to miss a whole bunch of signals from girls who did in fact like me… Go figure.
The ironic thing was that while I thought all of these things, I was part of a closely knit friend-group consisting of almost exclusively women. This helped me a lot in being in touch with my own emotions and in basically viewing women as human beings, yet it did very little to change my views on relationships and sex.
In my late 20s and early 30s I spent a lot of time online in chatrooms. I had been in a monogamous relationship for a long time by then, and it always chafed. I didn’t know about polyamory yet, so all I knew was that monogamy was hard for me. I had a deal with my partner that I was free to do what I pleased online, since in her opinion it wasn’t much different from watching porn.
I hung around on a whole series of cam websites, which were often lovely communities. I made some friends there that are in my life to this day. But… I also really, really cringe now to think of my behaviour in those years. I took deep pride in my ability to charm women’s clothes off on cam. I used my eloquence to spin sexual scenario’s to entice them, but on many occasion I also applied subtle pressure. That’s what I’d been taught. Girls were supposed to play hard to get, and the “game” was to persuade them.
Again many years later. I’m in my 40s now, happily polyamorous and I’ve done things my young self would not have believed possible. I’m still a huge flirt, and a proud slut. I’ve noticed one big difference in myself though: I’ve very much adopted a take it or leave it stance.
I really don’t want to persuade someone to have sex with me. I don’t mind some verbal jousting and fun banter, but at a fundamental level I need to feel that you are attracted to me, for me. If I feel that I have to earn your attention, it’s an instant turn-off. Sex shouldn’t be a reward, it should be shared gift.
Mark Manson called it “Fuck yes or no”, and I think that kind of covers it. Life is too short to spend time and energy fucking people that are meh about you. Life is most definitely too short to spend it pursuing people who are meh about you, that you are also meh about but that would raise your status among peers. Definitely fuck that. Good people make you feel good about yourself, make you feel worthy when you have a crappy day. Now that’s worth spending your time and energy on.