Online Dating: Booty Call or Bae?

Online Dating: Where Good Christian Girls Learn Scary Lessons About the Birds and the Bees

Online Dating: Where Height is Relative

Online Dating: Should My Profile Say No Hook Ups or Is That Just Off-Putting?

Online Dating: Where People Meet Without Having to Actually Meet

I feel a game developing. Titles for this blog post. I’d love/be afraid to see them. Anyway, it could be argued that a blog about sex, whose audience is young urban professionals, that does not include a post about online dating is 2 million percent irrelevant. It may also be argued that online dating is ubiquitous so need not be explicitly mentioned. Whichever argument you support, it’s my blog, and I just reentered the world of online dating. So. I’m doing it.

When I first dipped my toes in the tempest waters of online dating, I was quickly sucked away by some heavy undertow. One night I legitimately dropped my phone having been completely horrified by a particularly creepy sex solicitation involving a feet fettish. Yes sir, I do have very nice feet. No stranger, you may not do that to them. I retreated to the warm, sandy beach to catch my breath before building the courage to wade cautiously back into the water. After a few misinterpreted booty calls, I eventually learned to spot the signs of dangerous undertow. When you’ve been living in fear of dating and are wondering how you will ever break free from the baggage of your non-sexEd, online dating can be especially mystifying. There is no shame in that, and I offer a few online profiles that have proven questionable. My apologies to those searching through lady profiles. Please feel free to post your own list in the comments. 

1. He only messages after 12am. My mom was right. There is little good that lurks after midnight even in the city that never sleeps. At the very best, he’s one of those guys trying to make it on Wall Street and thinks a date is meeting up at the company cafeteria and has the erratic travel schedule of a college student backpacking across Europe. The occasional late night prowl is okay, but be weary of patterns, especially if you are a Hopeful Abstainer of the no-sex-with-strangers type.

2. He has a shirtless, headless shot as his first and often only profile pic. While intriguing, the abdomen shot has a clear message. Nuff said.

3. His About Me section is actually just a rant about his cruel and emotionally unavailable is ex. This man needs some time to heal. Do you really want to be the one to pull him out of the funk with your bodacious bod?

4. He generally doesn’t sound like a person you want to know. Being a compassionate social worker type, I gave one too many people the benefit of the doubt. Trust your gut ladies and gents; trust your gut.

5. He asks to move the conversation to text message way too soon. This is a recipe for late night sext requests, unsolicited penis pics or at the very least obnoxious barrages of emojis. Does this guy have a job??? Who has time for all of those emojis on a Monday morning? A gentleman will understand when you request exchanging personal information later.

These are a few of the lessons I have learned the hard way. I’ve always been a tactile learner so I understand if you have to make your own mistakes. Please don’t let me ruin your fun. But if you believe the word of a stranger, I offer you this list with great humility and the hope that your online dating life yields many fun dates and the relationship of your dreams.

Yours Truly,

A Hopeful Abstainer

Blue Balls: Yea, I Said That

This post is not funny. I’ve not experienced this humiliation one time in a way that retrospectively makes me chuckle. Perhaps you find credibility in my typically raucous and clear intention to find humor in my feeble attempts to abstain. The mortification of this particular topic stems from two primary sources:

1. The first time a guy asked, I only sort of knew. I had to google it later, and it was terrifying.

2. The question only comes up in close relationships for me. I have to believe that there is a smidgen of relationship potential before it gets to the physical point when he feels the painful urge to ask. In the context of my emotional and physical guard coming down, the question feels laden with unfair blame. I mean, even that stranger on Fire Island didn’t ask. He knew we had pushed things too far for my comfort. He quickly understood that I really hadn’t been playing it coy with the virginity chatter. He took care of himself in the bathroom…like a gentleman.

What is this degrading topic?

Blue balls.

What is this heinous question I dread?

Do you understand blue balls?

It stings and enrages every time a guy asks if you know about blue balls. Every. Time. Yes, I understand. And I am deeply embarrassed that you have to ask me that question right now. I’ve already laid my virginal vulnerabilities at your mercy. Quite honestly, I don’t have a lot of compassion on this one. I’ve made my standards clear. Hold yourself accountable to the same standards by which you are now embarrassing me. Know your body a bit and call it off sooner. Please don’t imply that your painful predicament is entirely my fault. I’m already humiliated enough. AND I need a cold shower, too.

Perhaps there is a scenario in which this harmless question about the discomforting color of your testicles may open an honest conversation leading to improved intimacy and honest mutual consent. Though, I’ve yet to experience it in that way. To be transparent, this humiliation plagued me exactly twice—two times too many—and was preceded by something like this:

“I’ve been having so much fun. I really like you, and um. I need to tell you something. (She smiles meekly) I really, really like you. I just. Well, I just. I mean. I’m not going to sleep with you.”

At times, my list of reasons to dread that vulnerable moment spirals to irrational. And, I do hope that my timing will continue to improve as it seems there are better times to deliver the virgin message than others. Most importantly, I pray that hope, sincerity and honesty will be the mark of my dating relationships. Because quite frankly, I’m working through enough shame and doubt to turn your entire scrotum a rainbow of emotionally conflicted colors, and I’m gonna need you to help a sister out on this one.

Well. There is just really no way to turn that one around now, is there? I’m fighting the urge to explain this sort of rage in a more palatable way. But the truth is that being a hopeful abstainer is more than just a couple of near misses and G-Rated mishaps. It’s an all encompassing effort to wrangle your faith and your body into one being rather than the dissociated mess that both our faith and secular cultures propagate. This rather untoward question about bodily discoloration feels to me only a symptom of a larger, more important question that I continue to ask. How then should we live in these bodies of ours?

Yours Truly,

A Hopeful Abstainer