Ever had a day where you just had shit inside of you that you want, no, need to let out but it makes you sound pathetic and sad and silly? You want someone to hear you, acknowledge you, and support you, but you’re afraid to call on them? Yeah. I’m having one of those days, for sure. So I wrote this. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. Email it to your friends and have a giggle. But I just had to purge.
I’ve been single for ages.
It’s been so long since a man took me on a proper date I don’t even know what I “proper date” is anymore. In fact, I think I was in my teens the last time a man took me out.
Was that the last time I had sex? Of course not. And here in lies my conflict, the curse of being a woman in this day in age.
I have not been on a date in my twenties and they’re more than half over. I have slept with men, many men, in that time. None of these men took me on a date. None of them even so much as brought flowers over or made breakfast after fucking me (of course most of them didn’t even stay the night…).
I could give you a million and one reasons for why I slept with men who didn’t show me the respect of even thanking me for my body. I could tell you that I’m a sexually liberated woman. That I’m a modern woman who loves sex and doesn’t need the traditional structure of a formal relationship to have it. I could tell you that I just fucking wanted sex and didn’t care about the extraneous relationship “stuff.” But the truth of the matter is that I slept with those men because I was lonely. I slept with them because I had no self-worth, no self-appreciation. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I didn’t like my body or how I looked. I thought if a man fucked me he must like me. He must find me attractive and sexy. For those hours, those temporary, fleeting moments in bed together, I felt pretty. I felt appreciated and cared for. Of course that faded the minute the man got up out of bed and left. And when I never heard from them again or when I was just a late-night booty text I felt worse about myself. I hated myself and valued myself even less.
But in these years of meaningless, emotionless sex with men who couldn’t have cared less about me, there was never even a hint of a man who wanted more. Who showed even a modicum of interest in me. My loneliness continued, often growing to almost unbearable heights. I wanted to be touched. To be held. To be desired. I wanted a man who didn’t just get his rocks off and then forget all about me.
None of the men I’ve slept with have called me beautiful. None of them have called me sexy. In fact, I’ve never heard that from any man in my life. My father never said I was beautiful. When I asked him if he thought I was pretty he said I could be pretty if I lost weight. My mother defended him. Saying that men are visual creatures and if I wanted a partner I should lose some weight. So it really wasn’t surprising to sleep with men who didn’t think of me as attractive. Who were just in it for sex. In fact I find it very hard to believe any man could find me attractive, could want more from me than sex.
So where do I go from here?
People say I need “standards.” That I should value myself more and not sleep with a man who’s not going to give me more than a one-night-stand. But then I’d have nothing. I’d be alone. No contact. No nothing.
Is that really better?
I look at dating sites and tumblr and craigslist and all this other shit out there and all I see is: “Hi, I’m looking for a petite, height-weight-proportionate woman who is slim and fit and not taller than me! Thanks!” I see people post pictures of curvy and voluptuous women only to be met with comments of “she’s obviously overweight and unhealthy.” How does a woman who’s tall and thick and curvy face that? How does a woman who gets nothing but blank stares when she tells men about her degrees and professional development date in this world?
I don’t want to continue to dim my light, to smile and nod to the well-meaning “you’re time will come, just wait.” I want someone in my life who fucking gives a damn about me. I want human touch, I want passion and desire. I want someone who loves my body – lumps and curves and scars and all – without caveats.
My dating criteria is now: employed and not a jackass. That’s it. That’s the best I can hope for, because it seems that a woman like me can’t and shouldn’t aspire for more.
Yeah, I’d love to follow my therapist’s advice and work on building my self-esteem, but it’s hard to do when there’s no reinforcement. I’m independent. I can care for myself. But having a partner isn’t about being unable to care for oneself, it’s about wanting to share your life with someone and grow from and with their support. I need that. I crave that. But it’s no where in sight. So the meaningless, emotionless sex continues. The “standards” remain non-existent. But at least if I sleep with a man I have a decent shot at a hug or a cuddle afterwards. However fleeting it may be.