My Sexiness Conundrum

Can I confess something to you?  Well, here goes, I just celebrated a milestone birthday, aka, reaching my mid 30’s.  And here’s the thing, for the first time, I am struggling with it, because I am really feeling my age.  Not in the aches and pain sort of way, but rather, in the realization that youth is fleeting.  While I fully accept my body just the way it is, I am suddenly coming to terms with the reality that others may not.  And while, I know this sounds incredibly superficial, being regarded as attractive matters to me.

I wish so badly that it didn’t.  I wish that I could just go out into the world not giving a damn what people think 100 percent of the time, but honestly, I do care.  Every so often, this weird feeling overtakes me where I am not sure how I am portraying myself to my friends or even those around me.  Again, I want so badly to spout off about how looks don’t matter, and it’s what’s inside that really counts.  But if I’m being honest, first impressions do matter.  How you look, smell, smile, or even just carry yourself can make a lasting imprint on a person.  And I cannot help but worry that as I age, I may have to put more effort into ensuring that I project the image that I want.  That statement alone puzzles me, with deep conflicting emotions of wanting a devil may care attitude, but also, craving a little bit of attention from time to time.

 

Take for example, an event that happened on my birthday, which might better illuminate where I am at right now.  I have a friend that I find quite attractive (OK I actually have quite a few because honestly I love my inner circle to pieces), but for this story let`’s just focus on the one.  He`’s a man that I would find myself quite attracted to if things were a little different, ie valuing the friendship far more than incorporating anything sexual.  Yes, that is a mutual thing, and not some cheesy friendzone nonsense.  For me, a friendship with this guy just makes complete sense and anything physical just wouldn`’t.  But in a moment of drunkenness, he mentioned something off the cuff about me being gorgeous, as an almost afterthought during a conversation where I was trying to figure out which of the fine ladies at our table he was most interested in so I could encourage him.

Booze was a factor, and we have never talked about attractiveness prior to this, so while I could completely be missing the mark about context here, those words were uttered.  And without rhyme or reason I found myself awash with this complete wave of relief.  Sweet, a friend I find attractive thinks I am attractive too.  That`’s awesome, quick mental high five, and I happily went on with my night.  But days later that`’s where I find myself in a bit of a conundrum.  Why was just being friends with this guy not enough?  Why did it take him telling me I was attractive to give me that additional validation of our friendship?  Why did I feel that incredible wave of relief?

Again, this isn’t one of those posts where I really want to sleep with the guy.  This has nothing to do with sexual chemistry, but instead everything to do with some innate desire to be viewed as sexy by those around me.  I guess it’s just startling that I have not yet grown out of that phase of my life.  I genuinely wanted to be the lady in red, when I was in my early 20’s.  That woman who would walk into a room and turn everyone’s head.  Why? I just cannot describe exactly why, because the reality is, if that ever happened I would turn beet red, be overcome with emotion and either start giggling or crying.  But again, reaching 35, I sincerely wonder, if I have missed my chance to turn all the heads in a room.  Was that a mere fantasy of youth?  Are these moments of feeling sexy going to become less frequent?  Am I seriously going to have to start doing yoga and taking care of my body on a daily base now?  Do I just have to accept that I am always going to have this superficial urge to wow people from time to time and that’s just part of who I am?  Perhaps though putting a little extra effort in now isn’t this horrible beast of an idea…?  Oh how I wish my looks didn’t matter on the level they do.

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A Label by Any Other Name is Still… A Way of Creating a Box! Online Dating Sites, I’m Looking at You!


Yesterday, I saw that OK Cupid has announced that they have a new way of labeling your sexual orientation, may I present the newest term: Sapiosexual.  Now while some people may applaud this as a progressive move, I am getting so frustrated by all these terms and labels.  Dating is not black and white, and people are not boxes that can be neatly categorized.  I have written quite a few posts on misuse of labels, and my frustration at people just jumping to conclusions when they hear a term they don’t quite understand .  And I maintain that by creating more labels we are moving further away from honest communication.  We are simply slapping a term the excludes more people from our internet wish list.
The evolution of our species has relied quite heavily on our brains ability to quickly categorize anything that will cause us harm thus creating the fight or flight response.  This survival mechanism is part of our reptilian brain and is most likely why I still run up the stairs when the lights go out.  The dark hides predators and my instinct to get to the light as fast as possible kicks in.  But the online dating community is whole different ball game, far removed from the necessity to survive and quickly categorize our life.  In fact, in might be the furthest thing away, being that it is completely anonymous and therefore you can make the experience relatively safe, especially for all of those without a profile picture and the overused “ask me” in your personality description.
With that potential debate on hold for a moment, let us get back to the vast increase of labels.  Do labels actually help you quantify your search when looking for new people online?  Can you describe how having the word Sapiosexual for example beneficial?  Could you not just read the prospective mate/partner/cutie pie’s profile and deduce if they match you intellectually?  You know, by reading, and writing and those basic skills that you claim are incredibly important?  Maybe I am wrong and this label will bring together hundreds of people that really need that little button to specifically filter out all those who find looks more important than brains and leave you with a much simpler to navigate pool.  But doesn’t that take some of the fun of meeting new people out of the equation?  Isn’t that taking what tiny remnants of human interaction we find on these sites away?
I will admit that I used to use a tonne of labels to describe myself in my early 20’s.  The words straight, atheist, conservative, female, monogamous were quite important to whole who I was question, and who I wanted to be.  Now that I am in my nearly mid 30’s I realize that other than female, and perhaps atheist, none of these labels quite fit anymore with the encompassing power that they used to.  Instead I have found much more joy in the fluidity of my life and the rejection of the labels that defined me.  It has brought more happiness and satisfaction into my life.  Ironically with the breaking free of those definitions my confidence has actually increased.  I don’t need labels to be who I am.  And I can look around at the people in my life who are in or recently been through a large life transition and am amazed that they don’t quite fit into the categories I would have used to describe them anymore either.  They are just them, for all the good and the bad, and we exist very happily together. 
Because of the first hand happiness I have found by breaking free of the labels that confined me, I want to be an ambassador for other to break free as well.  It works, it’s amazing and my sex life has never been better as a result.  Isn’t that what it’s really all about anyways?  But in all seriousness, if I do not expect my friends to fit into a certain box, our lives become richer and more authentic.  And when I do not label myself, I am free to have fluid thoughts and opinions, and most important, an open mind for new education and people that I may have previously dismissed.  So to the dating sites thinking they are being progressive and modern by increasing their labels I say No!  Break free.  Let people write a description, or a brief what they are looking for, and allow more fluid interaction and less exclusionary labels.  Stop helping us put ourselves in more boxes!

Dating Profiles and My 200th Post

In a previous post I mentioned some things to avoid when it comes to online dating.  Now I want to share some useful information I have discovered when it comes to just getting started, and putting up your profile or preparing yourself to go out there and meet people.  The very important task of how do you sell yourself is something that successful people put thought into prior to dating.  It is important to ask how do you see yourself, what image are you portraying to those people around you, and the toughest one, do these two images actually represent who you want to be.
First impressions are important.  Yes, you can overcome a bad first impression, however it is easier to just put a great foot forward on the first try.  Who wants an even bigger challenge, when you can get it right the first time?  One of the first things I notice online, is if a guy or gal has negativity in their profile.  How fantastic is it when you meet someone for the first time and within seconds you get a sob story?  This person will become an object to avoid, for fear of being sucked down into that void of bleakness.  The same logic should apply when setting up your profile.  Do not have a list of things that you hate, and pet peeves, especially within the first few lines.  If you can take the time to spell out what you do not like, try putting the same effort into what you do like, or perhaps even love?
Also try to avoid statements that could spark a negative emotion.  For example saying that you hate online dating, could make the reader feel guilt for being online themselves looking for love.  Or by saying  this is the last time you are trying this because women/men are crazy.  Come on, this just leaves a bad taste in the readers mouth.  What are you going to talk about on your first date?  All the horror stories from online dating, finding out all the red flags of a person, only to realize that you found out nothing about a person’s passions, goals or aspirations in life.  You need to ignite a positive vibe, come up with something that an onlooker wants to find out more about.

These are not complex ideas, and yet more than half of the profiles I read if they get past the “will fill out later” have something bad to say in them.  And once you start getting a few people interested in you that you do not feel the same about, it is easy to start putting up walls to protect yourself.  I found my biggest surprise in E when I was online dating.  There are great and amazing people on there, you just have to ensure that you are one of them first and foremost.  

Online Dating Catch Phrases

In online dating, there seem to be a few catch phrases that are going around on peoples profiles.  More and more I am seeing two specifically; down to earth, and drama free.  Now I know the good intent with which these requirements are put online, or at least I understood when I first started to see them around.  Now though, I am confident that all meaning behind them has become lost, or muddled which is the way popularized words and phrases go in the English language.  So let me sum up my experience with these terms in hope that by working together we can find more clarity in what we want.
Down to earth, I have seen this on both male and female profiles.  My original thought whenever I see this one, is lament, as I am a skydiver so I spend a good deal of time getting farther and farther away from the earth.  Yes, it is a silly response, but so is this ever popularized phrase.  Are you really meaning that you do not want to date an airhead?  If so, say you are attracted by intelligence, a level of education, or more specifically a discipline of study.  Do you really want someone with solid roots?  Then specify that you want someone who owns their own home, has a solid foundation or close knit family, perhaps even that they are active in the community.  Maybe you do not want to date a dreamer or someone whose head is too far in outer space.  Again, there is probably a clearer way of stating this. Try and state your actual turn ons, those aspects about a person that would help you click, and escalate attraction.  Or maybe you just want to stop dating pilots and flight attendants, and if that is the case, I am pretty sure you can figure out how to be more direct in stating that all on your own.
Next up, is the drama free.  I am at the point now where I cringe upon reading this one.  Who knowingly seeks drama and stress in their lives?  Do you really mean that you seek a person free of any and all commitments?  Children, school, being a caregiver, are a few examples of committed persons, and each is very easy to spell out with real clarity.  Or perhaps you want someone who doesn’t have any baggage, i.e. a violent ex, or an impending prison sentence.  Sure, this seems pretty reasonable, however, the term drama free is just too all encompassing.  It is a scapegoat that allows you to back out of any situation that you don’t like. “ Oh, you had a boyfriend in the past who you have joint custody of a pet with?  Well, that is just too much drama, and I like to live my life stress free.  Nothing to stand in the way of my happiness or impede me from doing what I want, when I want.”  This drama free thing always screams to me that the person had a really bad experience with crazy, and is now gun shy.  If you are that afraid of drama, you are going to have a real tough time building a real relationship, because shit happens to the best of us.
In all seriousness though, when I ask a person straight up to clarify what they mean by these two phrases, the answers are always different.  And that is the problem, there is too much vagueness.  Either the person writing is not clear on what they want, or the person reading is unaware of what traits might set the person off running.  So if you are seriously trying to make a connection, or spark interest with a stranger, please try and be clear with what you want.  And know what you don’t want.  Try and take the guess work out of that initial introduction.  It will save a lot of time and wasted effort by both parties.  The goal should be to stand out, seem confident by knowing who you are and what you want.  Avoiding catch phrases altogether may give you an advantage.

The Shy One

When I was a girl I was shy.  I was skinny, with long brown hair, and wore glasses.  I am an only child, so I learned how to associate with my mom’s friends and was a lot slower to make friends my own age.  My entire life I have had a tendency to blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind, which my ex used to call my shock value statements.  He loved them, where as I would say them, look around the room at all the shocked reactions and quickly feel guilt about saying what seemed natural.  It is an odd position to have found myself in, that one where I say my shock statements and then I balk at the reactions and almost cocoon myself up.  I get praised by my partner, yet feel judged by the people around me.  So I found myself losing practice at saying what I wanted to for fear of criticism, which increased the perceived shyness I had.
Like anything though, I soon realized that being shy was a trait that could be overcome, and for me should be worked on with diligence.  I love meeting new people and being in situations where I have the chance to make a first impression on my terms.  I find it exciting and interesting to read people in a room and to watch them read me.  However I knew I was not going to get to play this well loved game if I was constantly fearful of what would come out of my mouth or my shyness over taking me.  As an added bonus to this, if any of you have talked to me prior to going skydiving you know I am downright cranky when I am feeling nervous or scared.  Cranky me, is never something that is going to work well with making first impressions.  And unfortunately once I reach my crankiness threshold it takes everything in my being to get out of it, and that is only if I notice that I have reached that point.
So I started playing games to help me overcome this negative trait that I had.  I recall needing quite a bit of liquid courage at first, but I would walk over to a group of men at a bar, and try and begin a conversation.  Honestly, my openers were terrible, compounded with loud music, getting flushed at having to repeat myself, it ended in constant rejection for a long while.  But soon I found a little bit of a rhythm, and being shot down was not nearly as scary.  Once that fear of rejection subsided, my confidence started boosting, and that shy little ugly duckling that I was started to disappear.   It may sound like I am repeating a previous post but I feel it is so important to pick something you are bad at and challenge yourself and try to overcome it.  You may fail, but who knows you could overcome something marginally scary and look back and laugh at who you used to be, like I have.  Few people that I meet today, even believe that I was ever shy, or had feelings of insecurities as strong as I did.  Plus now when I utter a shock statement I am able to just plow right ahead and not feel so insecure if it went over poorly.