My Fantasy Online Courtship Went From Charming To Creepy Once We Met

https://ravishly.com/online-courtship-creepy-once-we-met

We texted day and night over weeks about novels, poems, single parenting, farming, teaching, and writing — proof positive of an extending courtship,

We texted day and night over weeks about novels, poems, single parenting, farming, teaching, and writing — proof positive of an extending courtship,

Recently, Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person,” a story about a faux-intimate, emoji-dependent, sad-in-the-sack relationship, went viral and millions of readers took to social media defending its genius or damning its drivel. While “Cat Person” speaks to our depressing State of Toxic Disunion and the difficulties negotiating sex, power, and consent via texts, sexts, and SociopathMatch.Com, it actually leaves us mired in misogyny’s muck. At the end of the story, Margot is rendered a passive pussy as Robert, her erstwhile Prince Charmless, gets the last text: “Whore.”

Fuck that.

It is now a truth universally acknowledged if you are a single woman in possession of a good cellphone and in want of a man, the odds are that you will, at some point, find yourself ensnared in a texting-sexting-dating cock-up, as I have, admittedly more than once.

But not again.

This is how I flipped the script from passive pussy to power pussy.

I was waiting outside airport baggage claim in the cold when Farmer Dick (real profession, fake name) pulled up in his dirty white delivery van, Heart and Soil Farm emblazoned on the side.

“Where do I pick you up?” he’d asked the night before.

It was years since he’d been to an airport, and his question suggested naïve bewilderment over how electricity, roads, and airplanes connected the great expanses between farms and cities — or how the internet highway connected singles, not-so-singles, polys, pans, earnest hopefuls, and predatory sociopaths.

He apologized for the rustic transport.

“Only kale and lettuce and cabbage go in the back,” he said. “No kidnap victims.”

“My friend has your cell, address, and the Airbnb link,” I said.

Airbnb first night — “Urban Duck Farm” — and if all went well, the rest of the weekend at his house.

“Ahh,” my girlfriend said, “more like Urban Fuck Farm.” Indeed, the likely activity after wandering the art museum.

“Let’s make love and paint faux Rothkos on my walls,” he’d suggested.

Perhaps you think this weekend was an ill-advised, ready-made disaster from the start. However, by the time I bought the tickets, Farmer Dick and I had spent dozens of hours in conversation, more than people spend for casual hookups, more than some before marriage. Enough hours that such a risk’s payoff might have been love.

Weeks of tremblings started with his profile pics: Gentleman Farmer in a rumpled blazer and jaunty beret with a scruffy beard; a hand held between nose and mouth, cupping soil. Ahhh, terroir! Another pic: Shirtless, riverside, a black dog curled up under his arm, like Coleridge’s “enamored rustic” lazing on the banks of the Thames.

Oh yes, I’d go with him to Xanadu’s pleasure dome.

We texted day and night over weeks about novels, poems, single parenting, farming, teaching, and writing — proof positive of an extending courtship,

Him: I feel you these miles apart.

Me: Energy travels fast and furious through the universe.

Skype proved he was not a Nigerian Prince Bot in need of my bank account. And bonus! At his suggestion (be still my writer’s heart), old-fashioned letters arrived in my mailbox in his homemade envelopes. In his first letter, Farmer Dick wrote, “In a sane and just world, you could fly to me in a few weeks — we could briefly winnow out all our insecurities, crash at an Airbnb — come back to my place, walk those quiet wooded places, make meals, make love, make words for our mealmaking and lovesharing.”

Even with a failed marriage and enough online dating disaster stories for 1001 nights, I felt soft and tingly, ignoring red flags. For instance: a message that ended, “I love you. Fuck me.” Fucked for loving me? Who claims love before meeting? Two nights before our rendezvous, he sent me a message: “Long business dinner. Feeling checked out. Please feel secure in any silence from me. Much love! 😉 heart heart heart.”

At the museum, we held hands — all erotic, anticipatory impatience — while strolling past Cezannes, Renoirs, and Rothkos. His hand moved to the back of my neck, and my thumb stroked his knuckles in incremental intimacy.

“I love making love with you,” Farmer Dick said later that night after we’d been having sex on and off for hours, and, as if marveling at his own piece de resistance, said, “I came three times! That hasn’t happened in years!”

Ahh, hubris.

Farmer Dick’s last message, sent days after our rendezvous: “How are you? It’d be pretty raw if we couldn’t have a conversation about how you felt — feel. I would appreciate the autopsy of the weekend from your p.o.v.”

Post-mortem vivisection? Okay.

Friday: Damn good, though Urban Duck Farm’s location, in a neighborhood of burned-out homes, made me wonder if he chose a hipster hostel for the bottom line?

Saturday: Farmer Dick earns his pseudonym. Not one casual touch or intimate kindness. At a coffee shop (so he could use the free WiFi), he read Slavoj Žižek quotes from Goodreads: “Love feels like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.” Žižek is generally regarded as a racist, misogynist, pseudo-intellectual, but I pretended to listen because, please please please don’t let Farmer Dick be just another asshole because assholes don’t write long letters and send them in homemade envelopes, do they?

He chattered about green burials on his farm (“I could sell plots for ten thousand!”) which drifted to talk about the dark web and ethical cannibalism: human bodies as haute cuisine. I blinked and sipped the coffee that I paid for.

Back at his house, as we inspected the walls and traced out the color blocks for the faux Rothkos, he pointed to knee-high, red specks along the walls. “Blood,” he said. “My dog had fleas. She got a sore behind her ear from scratching, and every time she shook her head…” He no longer had the dog.

I started painting a green square on the wall. He disappeared upstairs. When he returned, he said, “I took MDMA, and when I do, I’m not usually down for sex.”

However, he was down for a two hour, egomaniacal, run-on sentence regarding all the women he’d ever fucked and all the women who loved him. He went on and on about how two nights before — the night he sent me the text about feeling “checked out” — his ex-girlfriend stopped by. While they didn’t “fuck-fuck,” he said, “we sort of fucked, but I didn’t want to tell you because then you might not have come, but you say that you believe in truth and transparency, so I’m telling you now, and speaking of now…that the excitement of meeting is over, you’re cool if we don’t really text as much?”

I sat next to him on the couch, focusing first on his pupils — wide, dark saucers — and then on the drippy color blotches.

Fucker, I thought. You motherfucker. You won’t touch my insides anymore.

He jumped up and attacked the walls like a toddler with finger paints. I group texted girlfriends:

Me: He’s reading Neruda love poems. And strumming guitar.

GF’s: Humor him. Take notes for an essay.

Me: He’s claiming his Rothkos are more authentic than Rothkos.

GF’s: Is he a moron?

Me: He wants to tuck me in and read Žižek. I wonder if he knows how full of shit he is.

Sunday: That morning in bed, his hand found mine, fingers stroking my arm, then belly, then thigh. Feigned tenderness or a more likely last chance grab? Will you think me a fool or worse, think me a whore à la Cat Person, if I say that despite his epically awful behavior, I got wet and throbby, climbed on top of him, and with efficiency, achieved clinical solo success.

In short: I fucked him.

Don’t imagine I felt any pity as his twitching erect penis sagged in disappointment against his thigh.

“Sorry,” I said, flashing a bland smile, “have to get going. Got a text. New flight time. Hours earlier.”

An easy lie.

While Farmer Dick was warming up the van and shucking ice from the windshield for our airport drive, I found my stack of letters to him on the dining room windowsill and crammed them in my bag.

Those letters, delivered to the wrong address, were meant for a different man.

I was five hours early for my flight, but as I cleared security, another flight to my destination was announced: final boarding. I ran to the gate.

“Please,” I said to the agent, “I’ve had the worst date weekend ever. I just want to get home.” Did he see my wobbly, sad shame through the steel door?

The agent smiled.

“Ma’am, usually a $200 change fee, but for you? Free. Get home safe and sound.”

Safe and sound. Perhaps you think this weekend was an ill-advised, ready-made disaster from the start. However, by the time I bought the tickets, Farmer Dick and I had spent dozens of hours in conversation, more than people spend for casual hookups, more than some before marriage. Enough hours that such a risk’s payoff might have been love. Maybe when I arrived, no longer just abstract words but full-bodied, I wasn’t what he expected or wanted. Fine. No harm, no foul. U-turn on the next flight.

But he didn’t get the last word or last text: “You ask ‘Are you okay?’ Something you failed to ask me all weekend. But, in answer, I am perfectly fine. Minimal wounds. Healing fast.”


The End of Sex

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/darwins-subterranean-world/201910/the-end-sex

Verified by Psychology Today

When evolution, human sexuality, and the Western world collide.

Posted Oct 06, 2019

Note: This guest post is co-authored by Marianne Brandon and James Simon, with an epilogue by Glenn Geher.

His wife had gone to bed early, so he locked the basement door to ensure privacy. He had planned this moment all day. Unlike his wife, who seemingly had lost interest in sex years ago, his lover was waiting downstairs, eager to please. Never critical or demanding, with such soft eyes and skin, sex had become such a pleasure. He had even come to love the way his lover pronounced his name. In spite of being a robot, she somehow managed to say it with such tenderness. . .

Panajiotis Pixabay
Source: Panajiotis Pixabay

We have become a massive, unintended sexual experiment. Our understanding of sex and gender is evolving at astonishing rates. Paradoxically, as powerful, exhilarating, and necessary as this process is for our collective future, we are simultaneously at a perilous moment for the future of intimacy and intimate relationships.

Forcing sex into a politically correct paradigm annihilates it. 

Sexual frequency today is less than all prior decades studied—at least, people are having less sex with their partners. Rates of sexual dissatisfaction and sexual dysfunction are astoundingly high. This is due to a variety of factors that are merging to create a perfect storm—technological advances, mobile lifestyles, increasing daily tasks, rising expectations for long-term relationships, and information overload.

Yet there is something even more fundamentally awry. The very empowering of women and the culturally valued softening of men has suddenly created a new way of engaging in the bedroom as much as in the boardroom, and our evolutionary psychology has not caught up. This is a serious social problem because intimacy is not an expendable aspect of humanity.

Our insistence that men and women are more alike than different is true in almost all aspects of living, except for sex. Human sexuality—the sexuality of all mammals in general and primates in particular—has primal, biological roots. And when people work with, rather than against, these instincts, their sex gets better. Gender equality does not imply gender equivalence—at least, not in the bedroom.

The extraordinary gains provided by the feminist movement have been a thrilling first in modern history. Women’s expectations about sex have appropriately changed: They demand more pleasure from sex and an equal romantic partnership; women are more comfortable engaging in sexually open behaviors, including hook-ups and sexual experimentation.

It is not just women who have benefited. In contrast to old-fashioned, male sexual stereotypes, many mature men today enjoy sexually assertive women. They appreciate a social climate that supports releasing restrictive pressures always to be ready and interested in sex: always having to be the sexual initiator, and being responsible for their partners’ sexual pleasure. These shifts are reflected in many men gravitating to sexual relationships with older women, their interest in being the primary caretaker of their children, and a decreased concern with being the primary breadwinner of a household.

Many men are pleased to have escaped the pressure of old-fashioned stereotypes of masculinity—being eternally dominant, carrying the financial burden of the household, having a reduced role in parenting, and avoiding emotional expression. And those who identify with a non-binary sexual identity may now live authentically, with freedom of self-expression.

In spite of these many hard-fought liberties for all genders, in some surprising and very significant ways, sex has become more complicated. In the privacy of our respective psychological medical practices, we regularly hear women say, “In the bedroom, he is passive. Almost meek. It’s hard to respect him, let alone have sex with him!” Or, “He’s so cautious and hesitant in the bedroom! It’s such a turnoff.”

Outside of sexual role play in certain fetishistic circles, for most women, there is no pleasure in sexually dominating a weaker partner. For women in long-term, committed relationships, the exquisite feeling of sexual surrender may paradoxically be more likely to unfold with men who express their sensuality in a more bold, self-assured style—literally, when she’s not the strongest force in the bedroom.

The truth is that modern women enjoy the more lusty, primal aspects of love-making. Polite sex holds little interest for them—they’d rather do the dishes. And what about men? Despite the valuable outing of abhorrent men via #MeToo, our culture is filled with men who respect women, and who long to share fulfilling sexual relationships with the women they love.

These men have learned that to show respect to their female partners, they should obtain verbal permission for sex, and to avoid at all costs any behavior in the bedroom that may be regarded as aggressive or dominant. This sounds right in theory. Yet behind the closed doors of our offices, wives and girlfriends experience these men as passive and uninteresting in the bedroom. And before long, sex ceases.

What we are failing to recognize is that exciting, primal sex in a trusting, respectful relationship requires the same elements we vilify in men today. We teach men to contain their sexual interest, resist assertive overtures, and hide their sexual longing. How confusing it must be for a man to develop a sensitive, responsive, polite sexual style, only to be ultimately told by the woman he marries that he is a boring and uninteresting lover. How depressing for a woman who is confident and secure in her sexuality to feel sexually unmet by the man who is to be her sexual playmate for a lifetime.

Experiencing her partner’s sexual confidence and longing is a fundamental aspect of good sex for a majority of women. Stripping men of their sexual assertiveness diffuses women’s sexual pleasure. Women are not experiencing this shift in their relationship and sexual dynamics as empowering. They are grief-stricken over what their lives are missing.

In our noble efforts to make sex politically correct, we are ignoring a fundamental aspect of sexuality. Exciting sex—primal sex—emanates from the more ancient biology we share with other mammals. Our biological nature has instilled in all male and female mammals some basic, unique instincts that make them want sex. Human bodies continue to respond to sexual triggers as our ancestors did, thousands of years ago.

Our combination of an evolved cerebral cortex coupled with our primitive sexual biology presents interesting and often challenging scenarios for us all. While our minds have matured and evolved to think in very different ways than our primate ancestors, our bodies continue to receive sexual marching orders from our more primitive brain regions. Herein lies the potential for infinite difficulty. Without comfort with our most basic sexual instincts as male or female, it is challenging to build a creative sexual repertoire with a beloved long-term partner.

Without sex, couples describe themselves as best friends. Proud as such couples may be of feeling close and connected, they lack the desire to make love. What’s at stake here is something very basic to our humanity—our deepest connection to our chosen other, and to our own sexual selves.

We are heading down a dangerous path, yet we also have before us an extraordinary opportunity. For the first time in history, because of the equality and respect prompted by the feminist movement, we have the capacity to manifest extraordinary sex in long-term, committed relationships. Triumphantly, a woman can now choose to feel vulnerable during sex, because it feels good—not because she is forced into that role.

Exploring sex and relationships from an evolutionary perspective does not imply that men and women are destined to return to fixed sexual roles. An immutable sexual style would be unappealing for most modern couples. But comfort in our most basic instincts enables couples to manifest potent sexual reflexes that have more recently been denied.

Our next undertaking as feminists, male and female, is to return to our core and collect what is precious that we have lost in these last decades of battle. Our efforts to make sex less about the primal brain and, instead, more politically correct, are forcing exciting sex onto a darker playground. Increasingly, men and women are seeking outlets for their primal sexual energy that can be damaging to their intimate relationships, such as overuse of porn and extramarital affairs.

Sex robots will soon offer non-critical, always-available alternatives for those who find sexual relationships uncomfortably complex, anxiety-provoking, or just too much hassle. Technology can accomplish what sex used to—procreation and sexual satisfaction.

This future is not simply a sci-fi story. It is the next logical step from where we are. However, we can choose a different path. Passionate love-making and intimacy do not have to be a casualty of our social growth. Harnessing sexual instincts within a trusting, mutually respectful, intimate relationship can offer the glue that keeps intimacy strong and desirable. It feeds more than our sexual needs; it feeds the soul of our humanity.

Epilogue, by Glenn Geher

Understanding our sexuality is foundational to understanding the human experience. The nature of human sexuality evolved over millennia. Reproduction is as basic as any process when it comes to the living world.

Cultural evolution, which is ultimately a product of our biological evolution, progresses at a rapid pace compared with the pace of organic evolution. Cultural evolution is exciting and profound. As Drs. Brandon and Simon have articulated so clearly here, norms surrounding relationships and sexuality, resulting from cultural evolution, have been advancing at breakneck speed over the past several decades, leading to all kinds of novel attitudes, beliefs, and technologies.

While our brave new world has lots of amazing new opportunities and affordances for all of us, we need to always keep in mind that the modern world is deeply mismatched from ancestral human conditions in many important ways. (For more, see, Positive Evolutionary Psychology, by Geher & Wedberg.) And evolutionary mismatch often leads to problems.

When modern technology and human mating meet head-on, as is the case with sex robots and pornography, we need to look before we leap. Our evolved relationship psychology is the result of thousands of generations of organic evolution. As Drs. Brandon and Simon warn, we ignore our evolved sexual psychology to our own peril.

Marianne Brandon is a clinical psychologist and Diplomat in sex therapy. She is the author of Monogamy: The Untold Story, co-author of Reclaiming Desire: 4 Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido, and author of the ebook Unlocking the Sexy In Surrender: Using the Neuroscience of Power to Recharge Your Sex Life, as well as professional articles exploring evolutionary theory and sexuality, the challenges of monogamy, gender differences in sexual expression, and aging and sex.

James Simon is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and he is the current President of the International Society for Study of Women’s Sexual Health. Simon served as principal investigator on more than 300 clinical trials, research grants, and scholarships in the area of women’s health. He has consistently been ranked as a top doctor nationally and internationally.

Facebook image: silverkblackstock/Shutterstock

YouTube Movie – How Will We Love?

YouTube – How Will We Love?.

 

From the Emmy nominated series, Song of Songs, comes the feature film “How Will We Love?”. This documentary explores romantic love, relationships, and the challenges and rewards of long term commitment.

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From the Emmy nominated series, Song of Songs, comes the feature film “How Will We Love?”. This documentary explores romantic love, relationships, and the challenges and rewards of long term commitment.