@ dreamrose In the parlance of the Hairpin, I FEEL FEELS ABOUT THIS TOPIC. Where permission/objectification/control/respect intersect about flirting, beginning new relationships, and acknowledging our own biases when doing so. In nearly all cases, there is an inherent physical component of being attracted to someone that you cannot ignore, and cannot be removed from the situation. Even if it is something like "this person is not bad looking," that impacts the interaction. But how that acknowledgement gets communicated (and people's comfort level with that) varies. Some people prefer being hit on frankly: "You are crazy super hot, no really, my eyeballs are melting, can you get me some ice cubes and maybe call an ambulance, and maybe I can get your number and call you later?"
Where as others feel objectified, and prefer to be engaged naturally, leaving those feelings in the background: "So for you, what are the degrees of separations between the words you use to describe fudge? How is scrumptious fudge different than delicious fudge? Is there a texture implied?"
It's a tricky negotiation that has been reduced by pick up artists to a sleazy maxim: "If a girl's pretty, tell her she's smart. If a girl's smart, tell her she's pretty."
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
The actual act of oral sex was a ton of fun, but the emotional stuff afterward, that was the unpleasant part. It was the feeling that my physical attributes had been validated, but none of my mental/emotional ones. Which is why communication is important (especially real communication)! Or else you're all "I have had three dogs in my life," "I have had two dogs and one bird," "this is the most boring pillow talk ever" instead of "When you don't talk to me about what you believe in, I get self-conscious that you just want to bump uglies," "That is a real concern, we aren't bumping uglies, we are bumping hot filthy beauties."
@Bittersweet You've gotta believe! Or realize it's something you build toward, and doesn't come instantaneously.
@gormless Consent and permission are sexy! I'm attracted to a lot of women, but there are attractive women all over the world. The real challenge is finding someone who loves all the weird parts of me, and has complimentary weird parts that I love. That takes a lot more searching and patience.
I like playing a game with some friends, which is name a book, movie, or TV show that portrays a healthy, functional relationship throughout. We had a some difficulty naming any, whereas we had tons of examples of divorce, failed relationships, people cheating, etc.
@Gloria_Grahame Bar scenes (read: meat markets) are not ideal, because if you're already struggling with how to make a connection/relationship/casual sexual liaison/fuck party for the ages, those places are like being dropped into the deep end of the pool. With sharks. And angry whales. And an irritated squid. And maybe the red ride. And maybe some merpeople, whom you're supposed to be chatting up, but they're merpeople, and you're wondering to yourself "Do their genitalia work the same way mine do? Can I talk to them out of the water or only underwater? Do they even speak English? Oh god, what if I start the human-merpeople war by accidentally offending one of them?"
Which is another way of saying they are not the ideal circumstances for meeting a person who does not judge you for your choices, and is easy to talk to about feelings, TV shows, and that time you drove cross country.
@erindubitably So many churches. Especially tiny ones in strip malls.
@BeyondTheCee Reading about other people's sex lives through columns like Savage Love helps with the information, because you can see the kinds of problems that can emerge, and the sensible advice you can take to maneuver around them. Although you can also backfire by spending too much time planning, preparing, and over-thinking what would be THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER, while leaving out the ambiguity and random circumstances that help make authentic romantic interaction worthwhile. It's a tricky road, fraught with peril.
@Verity My blue hair faded into this blue/green/brown/gray/blonde combination that was reminiscent of a duck. Thus the description.
It is excellent to know my perspective is attractive! Hooray validation! But it is also excellent to know that others have the issue of wanting sex, but not knowing necessarily how to get the kind of sex they would want (good, and genuinely caring, not desperate and needy).
@redheaded&crazie As a self-aware guy, there is a tendency to moderate/examine all interactions with girls. "Am I flirting with this person? Is this innocent thing I'm doing being construed as flirting? Is she one of those girls who prefers the guy to make the first move?"
A big part of moving through those thoughts has been believing in my own agency as a person interested in relationships. Which starts with the acknowledgement "I would like to know this person better, and will continue to interact with them in an amusing and fun way." If it continues being fun and interesting, great! If it stops, well, that's okay too. It's not easy to get to that place, but if you're okay with your own self, then you'll be pretty well set up to interact with others in the ways you want. Knowing what you want exactly can be difficult, and that's been my issue with dating: finding someone who is interesting, who wants the same things I want in terms of relationships. Now all these relationships issues and cliches make sense!