The Dickonomics of Tinder
May 1, 2015 7:38 PM   Subscribe

When Tinder first came along, it was heralded by some as the Grindr for straight people and a hook-up app that women would actually use. Men braced themselves for what was supposed to be a rush of incoming babes, women who had been released from the confines of a Girls Gone Wild! VHS but didn’t expect anything so extravagant from them as a novelty T-shirt for taking their clothes off. Simple girls, horny girls. When Tinder matches occurred, these men stormed into our messages with all the social grace of Steve fucking Urkel but none of his endearing sincerity with appeals like, “Sexy dress. Hook up?” They used the precious real estate of their bio to complain about women rather than entice them. They wore jerseys for teams that suck. They attempted to order women to their homes as if they were chicken fingers on Seamless. And almost every last goddamn one of them found their whiskey habit absolutely fascinating.
"Dick is abundant and low value." Alana Massey on successfully using Tinder as a hook-up app. [NSFW header illustration]
posted by automatic cabinet (221 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite


 
Their corner of Tinder is a dark place, dense with hapless souls who didn’t realize that the centuries-long period of dick overvaluation is over.

But when has dick ever been overvalued? Hasn't it always been known that dick is abundant and low value, compared to pussy?
posted by jayder at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Only by men, I think.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Only by straight men, I should say.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


some rectal blister who mere moments before had used a bad motorcycle metaphor as sexual innuendo

I will always wonder what that metaphor was.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


No. Pussy has been devalued repeatedly. Especially when it belongs to a woman who gasp! enjoys sexual acts.

This rings true to my time on tinder. The men there are generally not thoughtful about interacting in that environment.

Like other media for meeting strangers, many men seem to feel it is best treated as a numbers game. 1,000 'hey ur sexy' messages might result in one sexy phone call/photo exchange. That can be accomplished in the same amount of time as (much smaller number) of well considered messages with women who profess to seek what the men in question also seek.
posted by tulip-socks at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


She's a very amusing writer.

I'm married so I don't have to worry about all of that dating or hookup stuff anymore. I wonder if Tinder is similar to the old classified section in alterna weeklies twenty years ago.

A friend of mine tried those out... apparently you left a message or something. I'm so glad that I am not "on the dating scene" (let alone hookups) these days. But does everyone now rely on some sort of online interface to meet new mates?

I met my wife at a party. Does that still happen?

Speaking of hookups, a friends of ours broke up thanks to his it turned out countless affairs facilitated in part by Ashley Madison. The creep didn't even try to hide his name, and used his Facebook profile.

It's an odd time we live in.
posted by Nevin at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't like that "dick is abundant and low value" equates gender and genitals. I wish there was a way to express the sentiment of it's okay for women to have standards, even for casual hookups so succinctly without being transphobic.
posted by almostmanda at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2015 [21 favorites]


It's funny. It seems like every once in a while a dating site or app comes along that promises: "Hey guys! You know those women you always thought had to be out there somewhere? The attractive women who are up for casual, immediate sex with thoroughly mediocre dudes, with absolutely zero effort or commitment required on your part? We found them! They're here!"

That is a fiction. It is always a fiction. These women exist, but not in numbers anywhere proportional to the men who are looking for them.
posted by beatrice rex at 8:33 PM on May 1, 2015 [94 favorites]


I don't like that "dick is abundant and low value" equates gender and genitals

Being reduced to one's genitals is unfair to everyone presenting as male, trans or cis. Dicks are abundant, but gentlemen are not.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Dicks are abundant"

Remarkable, a wonderful assertion that applies to so many things about my current workplace...
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


I just don't like the inventory feel of everything these days. The lists, the ratings, the things in the planning stages. It is like some conveyor in a dystopian nightmare. Hello, I am the man you ordered, my underwear is clean, not too much body hair, shall we get started, do you need lubricant, would you like fragrance free, slow or fast tempo? You want talk? Oh baby how x, y, z you seem to be!

Yeah anyway, intimate consumerism is the world's oldest preoccupation. This is such a strange experiment in getting some strange.
posted by Oyéah at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2015 [30 favorites]


I didn't do Tindr, but I did do OKCupid for many years (as a hetmale).

Basically, being reasonably intelligent and reasonably willing to defer fucking for a little while to find out what someone is like will get you no end of women willing to put out for you - because the field is so poor.

From my many discussions with women from OKC (quite a few of whom I'm still friends with) I have the idea of the average American male as basically an inept rapist, and so even an awkward but honest and respectful guy with something on the ball who really wants to be friends with his sexual partners should have no trouble "scoring".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:12 PM on May 1, 2015 [80 favorites]


It sucks that this shit still happens. I do feel like Tinder is bringing this into the open a little more, which is going to be a good thing in the long term.

I heard somewhere some dating site/network was going to start alerting/filtering out men who contact lots of folks with the same message. Anyone else remember something like this? I think some sort of moderation like this could work really well in a dating site; think of it like a bouncer at a bar — if some dude is being creepy to a bunch of women the bouncer tells the dude to quit it or throws him out the bar.

Figuring out the rules is non-trivial — and I think an automated system is probably the most realistic b/c of the weirdness of someone else looking in. But maybe not.

Also this article is great and the many dicks pic at the top is great.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2015


If you look at network diagrams of sexual partners, it's a few people having a lot of sex with multiple partners, and the a lot of people having pretty minimal sex.
posted by wuwei at 9:17 PM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


From my many discussions with women from OKC (quite a few of whom I'm still friends with) I have the idea of the average American male as basically an inept rapist, and so even an awkward but honest and respectful guy with something on the ball who really wants to be friends with his sexual partners should have no trouble "scoring".

This parallels how I feel about all the SEO bullshit out there. Why spend all this time trying to game the system when you can just, you know, create good content? Oh yeah, it's because you aren't capable, so you resort to jackassery. Decent dudes don't do the drive-by "let me just spam every girl within 25 miles on ${DATING_SITE}" -- so doing it is just like hanging a big sign on your neck that says "I am an inept rapist."
posted by axiom at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


so even an awkward but honest and respectful guy with something on the ball who really wants to be friends with his sexual partners should have no trouble "scoring".

My SO of 4 years and I met on OKC. His opener was ~100 words, had proper spelling and punctuation, referenced common interests from my profile, and did not mention my appearance. That is literally all it takes to make your message better than 95% of the other messages any woman receives on any dating site.
posted by almostmanda at 9:30 PM on May 1, 2015 [99 favorites]


I don't like that "dick is abundant and low value" equates gender and genitals.

Well, in this context we're talking about a very specific type of boring cis guy. Is the gender/genitals conflation bad even when you are specifically talking about penis equipped men?
posted by emptythought at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


People, even people who are horny dicks on Tinder, are still people. The complexity of a human being defies imagining, though imagining who they are is important, because that is empathy.

These men fail to imagine the people they swipe (is that the right verb), the people they fuck (I know that verb well), are human. The way out of this, if you want to get out of it, is to imagine them as human. Why do they do this? Surely it isn't actually all they want to be?

Hopefully it isn't the only way in which they want to relate. If you want to make them more capable of connection, I'd guess the way is to bump back. Let them know they are failing in something very important. If only a tiny percentage of Tinder users let them know, maybe you will get through.

You could overcome the noise of harassment and objectification by simply being human at them until they know you might actually be human. Then they themselves might be human in return.

What do I know? I am married. These days I date by finding friends who are into me as much as I'm into them.
posted by poe at 9:56 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


There are an infinite number of assholes. One woman's is not going to make a dent and it's not their job to. God knows society expects enough emotional labor out of women already.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:59 PM on May 1, 2015 [40 favorites]


Why should anyone do the emotional labor for this woman? Some of this shit seems hard, but she sure isn't paying me to care? Is she paying you?
posted by poe at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2015


Is the gender/genitals conflation bad even when you are specifically talking about penis equipped men?

I feel like it limits the value of DIAALV as an empowering slogan for me because it has those connotations.
posted by almostmanda at 10:10 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why should anyone do the emotional labor for this woman? Some of this shit seems hard, but she sure isn't paying me to care? Is she paying you?

lol at "making any basic effort at all" being called emotional labor
posted by kagredon at 10:14 PM on May 1, 2015 [77 favorites]


I mean, quite seriously though, the "radical" thing that she did here was she refused to invest effort in people who weren't willing to invest effort in her. That's perfectly reasonable, and still there are people who expect women to be angels who read "r u horny" and see the special snowflaky soul of the man who sent it and take on the mission of hand-holding him into acting like a functional human being.
posted by kagredon at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2015 [125 favorites]


Cool. I'm going to have a lot fewer concerns then.

Anyone who expects me to be there for them if they haven't been there for me is just asking me to do too much emotional labor.
posted by poe at 10:24 PM on May 1, 2015


Well gosh, poe, if you've been putting yourself out by being emotional support for people who don't even take the consideration of opening messages to you with "hello" or try to meet you places that aren't hellish commutes for you, I think that's a really great step for your own self-care and I'm happy for you.
posted by kagredon at 10:25 PM on May 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


You are right. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gotten so emotionally wound up in this. Apologies for the derail.
posted by poe at 10:30 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good work, both of you.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


awkward
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


There are an infinite number of assholes.

Actually only 7 billion, give or take.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:46 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


i read this while i had this song on loop. 10/10 would recommend to all.
posted by raihan_ at 10:49 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


But when has dick ever been overvalued? Hasn't it always been known that dick is abundant and low value, compared to pussy?

The ways in which men both think this and don't think this depending on framing could provide material for a book, not just an essay.
posted by atoxyl at 10:58 PM on May 1, 2015 [25 favorites]


"Already impatient and not especially moved by our conversation, I chose not to reply.

I hoped that the obvious would become clear and that he’d do what I would do when faced with rejection: slink away to a remote cave and hope to find a sudden and merciful death. Instead, he flooded both my email and Facebook page with accusations of egregious superficiality and a sudden change of heart regarding my own attractiveness. Even after the messages stopped, he’d occasionally attempt to friend me on Facebook and would appear often among the “People Who Viewed Your Profile” on LinkedIn. His entitled head atop a business casual outfit taunted me for months."


I am literally in the process of dealing with similar interactions. I'm 20 and have been single for only just shy of three months, and the advances I have received since then have been, for a lack of better phrasing, creepy and insistent as fuck.

One guy even told me he'd "convince" me that he truly liked me - TONIGHT, by the way.

These men use highly pedantic, petulant, and sophomoric behavioral methods to try and either persuade women to like them, dissuade women to loathe them, or - worsely and scary-commobly - coerce them to submit to emotional, mental, and/or physical dominance.

I realize that I have only just begun my long and very scary ascent into the world of douche canoes and fuckwads, and while I personally don't fall for these tactics, many of my friends and peers do faaaaar more often than not.

I dunno. Gah. Patriarchy, man. ಠ_ಠ
posted by ourt at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2015 [31 favorites]


Also, this kid has liked, commented, and shared almost all of my posts since we'd become Facebook friends, as well as on friends' posts (friends he does not even REMOTELY) know. He followed me on Twitter. Scrolled through my Instagram account and commented and favorited several pictures. Harangues me constantly via Facebook messenger until I answer. He even texted me twice one night because I'd fallen asleep and hadn't answered him.

And he constantly told/tells me he "really, really likes [me]" by exclusively sending this one single GIF. Over and over and over and over.

Point is, lots of guys are awful over even general social media platforms. I can't even begin to fathom how it must be on a dating/romance-centric one...
posted by ourt at 11:24 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I (as a male) used Tinder I had nothing but positive reactions from women who, for the most part, were as interested in meeting me as I was them. Maybe it's because I'm a thoughtful, well-mannered guy whose profile pics included zero shots of me at the gym, in front of a $60k automobile, or with an ex girlfriend? I do enjoy sleaze but only when it's consensual.
posted by item at 11:41 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


ourt, maybe you should consider severing all ties with this dude? I can't see anything positive the future might hold by not doing so. Life isn't a romantic comedy - he doesn't deserve you just because he's a persistent creep.
posted by item at 11:48 PM on May 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


I remain amazed at how many dudes don't comprehend that the secret to getting it on with the ladies is to treat them like the autonomous beings that they are.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2015 [43 favorites]


And almost every last goddamn one of them found their whiskey habit absolutely fascinating.

the poor guys believed liquor ads.

Some years ago I was out to dinner with a bunch of people from work, one of whom had his 13 year old son with him. The lad ordered, I don't know, a Dr. Pepper, and announced that it was his signature drink. That's your "look, I drinking KNOB HILL" attitude - it's a 13 year old's idea of what an adult does.
posted by thelonius at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


Basically, being reasonably intelligent and reasonably willing to defer fucking for a little while to find out what someone is like will get you no end of women willing to put out for you - because the field is so poor.

This was also my experience. I think almost every woman I went on an internet date with who volunteered her reason for meeting was basically "You sent a real message in complete sentences." That's a pretty low bar.
posted by bradbane at 11:59 PM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've got some ideas for social connection start-ups:

Hinder--for those with big butts and those who want 'em
Nineder--for those who want to have sex with nine people at the same time
Pineder--for those attracted to trees
Signder--for people who want to talk dirty to each other in sign language
jumpindelineder--for people who want to have sex while listening to Harry Belafonte records
Isearchedtheworldoverandthoughticouldfinder--for people who want to get it on while watching old HeeHaw reruns
posted by rankfreudlite at 12:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


If I don't join a dating site, I'm going to die alone aren't I? It seems like that is the exclusive method of meeting people these days, and I gag at the very thought.
posted by johnnyace at 1:04 AM on May 2, 2015 [18 favorites]


Strategy mix:
90% of men send a small number of crafted, targeted messages.
10% of men send a hundred times as many short, lazy, generic messages (Heyyy sexxy!)
Women conclude: 90% of men are assholes.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:17 AM on May 2, 2015 [35 favorites]


If I don't join a dating site, I'm going to die alone aren't I?

Yes, I'm glad I met my late wife the old fashioned way, on IRC.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:02 AM on May 2, 2015 [61 favorites]


Part of the reason that many men behave like pitiful jerks when they try to pick up women is because they are all too aware that "dick is abundant and low value." A lot of women don't understand just how crazy-making it can be to always be wanting and never wanted. To never feel desired ever, to wander the world like a starving coyote with your fur matted and your tongue hanging out. It can ruin a person.

I've been the horny guy, and I've been the weary girl fending off the horny guys. Take me word for it: for all its many downsides, it is better to be the wanted than to be the wanting. It's never right to send an unsolicited dick pic. But next time you get one, remember: at least you're not so desperate, and so low value, that you're the one sending pictures of your genitals to strangers and hoping somebody somewhere will say yes.

"Dick is abundant and low value." Christ. I grew up with guys kicking my ass every day, and even I don't hate them that much.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [74 favorites]


10% of men send a hundred times as many short, lazy, generic messages (Heyyy sexxy!)

I've the depressing feeling it's far more than 10%; don't Tinder demographics skew young?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dick is abundant and low value.

Even if yours can bob up and down like a little puppet while you do a Sean Connery impersonation. Especially if.
posted by mikurski at 2:09 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


My OKCupid experience was so depressing I quit and decided I'm OK being alone. Being alone is better than swamped with garbage or dating it.
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


> I've got some ideas for social connection start-ups

The Manchester Confidential website had a similar idea a few weeks ago so I'll shamelessly nick it and post it here:
Sleuth is setting up a number of Internet dating sites in the style of Grindr, Tinder and Manchester’s own Bristlr.
He’s seeking the IP for Mumblr, Fumblr, Scarpr and Tumblr.
The first, Mumblr, is for people who when meeting on a first date get very tongue-tied. The second, Fumblr, is for people who don’t want to go all the way. The third one, Scarpr, is for people who run away in panic as soon as they see their date sat in the bar or restaurant. And the fourth, Tumblr, is for couples who share affection for stout-bottomed, sensible drinking glasses. There's already a Tumblr? Oh well.
posted by winterhill at 3:20 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Part of the reason that many men behave like pitiful jerks when they try to pick up women is because they are all too aware that "dick is abundant and low value." A lot of women don't understand just how crazy-making it can be to always be wanting and never wanted. To never feel desired ever, to wander the world like a starving coyote with your fur matted and your tongue hanging out. It can ruin a person.

From my own point of view, this is super interesting. I'm asexual, and I've never really felt horny - I've never felt like I simply must have sex with someone or my quality of life will be unbearably low. I try my best to get it, simply because it's an experience that most people around me are having or have had and I try to understand what's going on in the world around me. But I'll never really know what it feels like to be someone of any gender sitting at home on a Thursday night worried shitless that I'll never have sex with anyone again.

But I don't think the blanket categorisation of an entire assigned sex (I refuse to use 'gender' because there are quite a lot of women with dicks, and men without) is a positive way of looking at things. "Abundant and low value" seems like a choice of words specifically designed to get a rise out of people - like so much stuff on the internet these days, rage equals clicks and clicks equal cash. If I said the same thing about Asians, I'd quite rightly get brickbats for being a racist. However, I don't think the author's repeated assertion actually matches with the rest of the article, which points out that there are too many blokes on a certain dating site putting no effort into their profiles. That doesn't equate to "people with dicks," but to "people who act in a certain way." The whole thing's a bit of a non sequitur.

This isn't a "what about the men?" type of comment. I've no dog in this fight, I'm looking in from the outside. I just feel like we should treat all our fellow human beings as the complex creatures that we are. That doesn't mean taking Mr "R U Horny" to one side and gently explaining the complexities of letter-writing to him - it just means not endlessly slagging folk off for not meeting your own standards, and quietly walking away. I agree with a few of the posts above lamenting the way seemingly everything - even our own most personal and intimate relationships - have to be done in a marketplace these days, done as a cold, clinical transaction. This isn't great for anyone.
posted by winterhill at 3:45 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


> This isn't great for anyone.

Oh, it sure is great for the market makers!
posted by I-Write-Essays at 3:52 AM on May 2, 2015


Ursula Hitler -- " A lot of women don't understand just how crazy-making it can be to always be wanting and never wanted. To never feel desired ever, to wander the world like a starving coyote with your fur matted and your tongue hanging out. It can ruin a person."

Wut? So wallflowers and old maids and heifers don't exist in your world? Every woman is just swimming in offers of love and dick? What a pile of horseshit. We are told constantly that if we don't police our skin, our tits, our body hair, our smiles, our clothes, our speech, and our behavior that no man will ever want us.

At least when a conventionally unattractive guy gets shot down, it's seen as normal behavior on the guy's part. Ever seen how "ugly" or "fat" women who have the guts to express attraction to men are ridiculed in the movies as well as in real life?
posted by jfwlucy at 3:55 AM on May 2, 2015 [144 favorites]


" A lot of women don't understand just how crazy-making it can be to always be wanting and never wanted."

What? All but the luckiest women experience this, and even then I have my doubts. The plight of the unpopular girl is well documented in pop culture, from movies to TV to music. Even Taylor Swift has songs about it. To believe this is true is to basically put no effort into empathizing with women, which... Oh.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:12 AM on May 2, 2015 [43 favorites]


A lot of women don't understand just how crazy-making it can be to always be wanting and never wanted.

Hi, apparently a unicorn here; nice to meet you. What a shitty thing to generalize.
posted by sldownard at 4:21 AM on May 2, 2015 [20 favorites]


Casual sex jeremiad or an epic act of negging? I can't really tell, but I hope it brings her the clicks and/or dicks she's seeking. Why not?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:34 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, I've got more. That's one of the benefits of insomnia:

Misaligneder--for folks who enjoy doing it in the back of a truck going down a pot-hole covered road
Spinealigneder--A web site where chiropractors can meet.
Cosineder--for mathematicians wishing to have a "ménage a trois" (this one is tricky. Try not to be the hypotenuse.)
Iwalkthelineder--For women wishing to date men who look like Johnny Cash.
Dashanddineder--for people who don't want to spend money on their date but are idiots
Borderlineder--for people who always seem to be hooking up with dates who are on the outer edges of who they would be willing to fark and/or who would would be willing to fark them.

Coincidently, for all you mathematicians out there: How would you graph this last one? A simple bell curve? Or would it be a graph showing two bell curves, and the area within where the two lines over-lap would represent the same values as in a venn diagram? It seems to me that those who are luckiest in love are those whose bell curve most closely matches the average bell curves of those who are available to them. As Groucho Marx said: "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have someone like me for a member." Of course, these things are hard to quantify. There are too many variables: wealth, physical attractiveness, personality.
Let's get cracking people! Clinical studies need to be done! By the way, I have some free time in June, if test subjects are needed.
posted by rankfreudlite at 4:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


So wallflowers and old maids and heifers don't exist in your world?

That is why I said a lot, and not all. Also, "heifers"? That's a rather misogynist word to toss out, given the points you're trying to make.

Every woman is just swimming in offers of love and dick?

Not every woman, obviously. But enough of them that this woman wrote an article about how low-value dicks are. I hope you're not suggesting that guys, as a group, are endlessly propositioned the way far too many women are. (Please note that I am not suggesting that being endlessly propositioned is a great way to live. I am suggesting that, as a rule, being considered desirable is better than being considered "low value".)

To believe this is true is to basically put no effort into empathizing with women, which... Oh.

You seem to think I was saying that all women have no idea what it's like to feel undesired. I wasn't saying that, and I don't believe that.

I was talking about feeling totally undesired, for your entire life. Never being asked out. Never told you look good. Nothing, ever. It's all on you to find companionship, and if you suck at it you'll just have to keep going out there and asking for it. Now, some women do live like that. Maybe quite a few. But I think a hell of a lot more men do. Some of those men go nuts and send dick pics, or worse.

Hi, apparently a unicorn here; nice to meet you. What a shitty thing to generalize.

Again, there is a difference between "a lot" and "all". Like, potentially a difference of billions. It's a big planet.

This is rapidly becoming one of those threads where I could waste an entire Saturday going back and explaining that I didn't actually say that and I didn't mean that, and I actually said this and meant this. I have better uses for a Saturday, and I hope you do too.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:01 AM on May 2, 2015 [27 favorites]


>Dick is abundant and low value.

Even if yours can bob up and down like a little puppet while you do a Sean Connery impersonation. Especially if.


Dickh ish habundant and shlow valueh, kohai.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:07 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Here's an actual quote you just said "Now, some women do live like that. Maybe quite a few. But I think a hell of a lot more men do." Really? Based on what?
posted by jfwlucy at 5:08 AM on May 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


Heh. I had an English teacher who would mark off points if you used "a lot." She claimed it was imprecise and meaningless. I always thought she was being unnecessarily pedantic, but here we are now.

So it's true that I don't live like that now. But I certainly have in the past, and to say "a lot" of women don't know what it's like, even if your definition of "a lot" is "actually only a few million," runs counter to my entire adolescent experience, and much of my twenties, which is why I reacted so strongly. There's a reason why the ugly duckling trope is so prevalent in female-aimed teen culture.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:17 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Misaligneder--for folks who enjoy doing it in the back of a truck going down a pot-hole covered road
Spinealigneder--A web site where chiropractors can meet.
Cosineder--for mathematicians wishing to have a "ménage a trois" (this one is tricky. Try not to be the hypotenuse.)


Rankfreudlite, I love these but we're going to have to adjust the rhyme scheme. You see, Tinder is pronounced "tinder", with an "in" sound not an "ine" sound. It's what you use to get a fire going. A very sexy fire.

Cinder: for rebounds (the remnants of the last sexy fire)
Hinder: for people who are unable to swipe, making this app is entirely ineffective
Downwinder: for hunters and trappers
Rescinder: for the indecisive
posted by heatherann at 5:23 AM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


I said potentially billions, not millions. And no, I can't provide hard statistics about this stuff. Can you? Can anybody?

God, why did I go back and check this thread? I knew I'd regret it, and I did. Kind of like picking a scab.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:26 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Really? Based on what?

Guessing: based on how rarely one hears men complaining that women are annoying them with their attempts to be seen as sex objects, whereas it's a common complaint from women, concerning men?

It's really not a big stretch of the imagination. Someone sending random photos of their genitals is both desperate to be seen as a sex object and obviously completely unpracticed at it.
posted by ead at 5:28 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Maybe don't make vast sweeping generalizations about sensitive topics as regularly as you seem to do?
posted by winna at 5:29 AM on May 2, 2015 [22 favorites]


(This observation is not in any way intended to justify that behavior, or the compulsory sex-class assignment of women in our culture, or anything else about the whole sordid mess of online dating)
posted by ead at 5:30 AM on May 2, 2015


I just joined a couple of dating sites as a straight lady over 40. The percentage of blurry or just plain terrible pics, to me, says "I don't have to expend effort, you're the only one who needs to care about your looks." Either that or people are so cooked or distracted that they can't evaluate a photographic image at the most basic level.

Have to wonder if these guys have the same blurry pics on their LinkedIn profiles, though. Doubt it.

And swiping left repeatedly is demoralizing for everyone involved. Don't know how long I'm going to last on those sites.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:41 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Eh, kind of an unpleasant read. It's entirely great that she's only accepting matches with people she’s interested in, who make an effort to impress her and take her feelings into account. But, man, taking delight in rejecting less attractive and savvy people, revelling in their supposed low value… that’s a lousy way to go through life.

Online dating sucks mightily for both women and men. It seems like both sides are suffering in large part due to the deluge of untargeted, content-free messages sent out by dudes trying to play the “numbers game”. Honestly, it confuses me that (as far as I know?) no major dating / hookup site limits the number of people you can contact per day, as that seems like the simplest way to reign in the spammers.
posted by Kilter at 5:41 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


The 2009 article "Who is the 40-Year-Old Virgin and Where Did He/She Come From?" looked at self-reported virgins between the ages of 25 and 45. Of this group, 13.9% of the men were virgins, whereas 8.9% of the women were -- or to generalize to the whole US population 1.1 million men, and 800,000 women.

So if we are to say that self-reported virgins are a good proxy for people who are "always wanting and never wanted," there are substantially more men than women, but still a lot of people of both genders.
posted by crazy with stars at 5:44 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]



Rankfreudlite, I love these but we're going to have to adjust the rhyme scheme. You see, Tinder is pronounced "tinder", with an "in" sound not an "ine" sound. It's what you use to get a fire going. A very sexy fire.

Like this?

Ursulakleguinder--for men who want to get biological with female science-fiction authors.

I've always had a thing for CJ Cherryh.
posted by rankfreudlite at 5:45 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


So it's true that women are objectified more, but I don't see how it follows that women would be less likely to feel undesirable at some age in large numbers, especially when there are entire industries organized around making us feel just that. Nobody wonders if George Clooney is still fuckable, right?

It's also debatable that being sexually objectified is the same as feeling desired, and I'd be shocked if most men would consider a stranger yelling "I wanna stick my dick in your tight ass" an genuine expression of sexual interest.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [32 favorites]


Can we all agree that the numbers gamers ruin everything for everyone?

It's pretty similar to how some men behave IRL. I don't doubt that it "works" for them and they'll tell other men that they're pussies or chumps for not doing it.

Unlike in life, though, it would be easy for OKCupid to limit messages or for Tinder to ration matches.

Why don't they?
posted by PJMcPrettypants at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think it probably really sucks for all people who are "always...wanting and never wanted." And who "never feel desired ever."

It's just lived differently. It sucks to be a man and 'go around wanting and never be wanted back.' I'm sure it also sucks to be a woman and not be wanted by all of those men who are going around wanting.

It's also interesting that as expectations on who is expected to initiate loosen up, aided in part by stuff like Tindr, each side is getting a taste of the other's medicine.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kilter: it's not just spammers, it's a general mismatch in expectations about expending emotional and aesthetic labour as part of finding a match, especially with regard to short term sexual desirability. Painting with very broad brush strokes, men in our culture get less training in this and wind up putting in less effort and doing so less competently than women. They get more training around being a provider or a source of security, but of course, that is not a relevant criterion when one is seeking casual sex.
posted by ead at 5:52 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Basically, being reasonably intelligent and reasonably willing to defer fucking for a little while to find out what someone is like will get you no end of women willing to put out for you - because the field is so poor.

I've done almost no internet dating (and am now married), but this has pretty much been my experience. Maybe it would be different if I was single right now, but when I have been single, simply being non-creepy and giving the appearance of being the kind of person you could bring home to meet your parents or friends was enough to open doors.

Watching friends use dating sites, though, has been interesting, with a lot of surprisingly direct lying ("It's ok, everyone does it") about height, age, and even location, and a lot of easy dismissals that I don't tend to see people doing in real life.

I was talking about feeling totally undesired, for your entire life. Never being asked out. Never told you look good. Nothing, ever. It's all on you to find companionship, and if you suck at it you'll just have to keep going out there and asking for it. Now, some women do live like that. Maybe quite a few. But I think a hell of a lot more men do. Some of those men go nuts and send dick pics, or worse.

There are undoubtedly men (and women) who live like that, but this is not the explanation for dick pics and casual misogyny. Anthony Weiner was not sending out those photos because he had never been desired, for example -- there is a lot more underlying the entitlement and often plain aggression of the kinds of bad behavior that people are discussing than some possibly imaginary phenomenon of lonely and unloved isolated men.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2015 [26 favorites]


there is a lot more underlying the entitlement and often plain aggression of the kinds of bad behavior that people are discussing than some possibly imaginary phenomenon of lonely and unloved isolated men.

Yes. Yes. It's not easy to feel sympathetic towards a starving coyote. Not a few of them bite.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:08 AM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think snickerdoodle has the most salient point: the culture has discovered that a solid way to make sure women put lots of effort into being desirable is to make them feel acutely concerned about being undesirable all the time, remind them of the tenuousness of their desirability and, simultaneously, the degree to which everything is supposedly riding on it.

But it's also worth reflecting on the mental state of men behaving poorly en masse. Saying "because misogyny" isn't really an answer because these are generally men hoping, if not trying very hard, to be appealing to women. They literally don't know how, and their gender training leaves very little room in which to discuss it. In many cases it's even seen as against code to try to be appealing. Quite a bind.
posted by ead at 6:18 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


My SO of 4 years and I met on OKC. His opener was ~100 words, had proper spelling and punctuation, referenced common interests from my profile, and did not mention my appearance. That is literally all it takes to make your message better than 95% of the other messages any woman receives on any dating site.

This sounds so much like a great framing for a school writing/English/composition assignment where you really want to get that 'A' or 'B'

But yeah, in my few dates I've received over OKC, being a decent human being was valued.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:24 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Saying "because misogyny" isn't really an answer because these are generally men hoping, if not trying very hard, to be appealing to women.

Those two facts aren't at all in opposition to each other. Elliot Rodger tried very hard to be appealing to women. I think misogyny's a fine explanation for a good chunk of that.

I'm sure there's a previously (can't find it, sorry) but here are some thoughts on "creep busting" and why some women feel like doing that.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:27 AM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


He didn't try at all. But his misogyny was, I agree, deeply intertwined with his projected belief that no woman would ever sleep with him. I didn't mean to exempt misogyny from the discussion! Merely point out that it is a symptom, an expression, as much as a cause. It may suffice in deciding how to act to defend yourself, as a woman dating men. It doesn't fully explain what's going on though.
posted by ead at 6:33 AM on May 2, 2015


Those of you worried that you will die loveless and alone because you're not doing online dating or using an app: that's simply not true. Ultimately, we all die alone.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:54 AM on May 2, 2015 [54 favorites]


We are told constantly that if we don't police our skin, our tits, our body hair, our smiles, our clothes, our speech, and our behavior that no man will ever want us.

This is exactly what the article was reacting against. She had felt like she had to respond to any advance, or be "forever alone". I made some seriously bad choices when I was young and thought no one would ever want me, and so jumped at the first offer.

The point of her essay is that she's realised that she is of value - greater value than just "dick" (not a specific man or men in general, but specifically penises, which apparently some men believe are in such high demand they can say anything to "sell" them) - and that she can have higher standards (like full sentences). It's about her own self-respect and her expectations for how people will treat her, not a judgement on all men.

As for the Dick=Male: her arguments are about cis men. And, like it or not, not everyone is open to dating trans people (and I say this as someone who would be totally open to it, if I weren't married). It's not transphobia, it's how their sexuality is wired.
posted by jb at 6:58 AM on May 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


I was on both OKC and FetLife for a couple years. I met some truly amazing, funny and fun people, and found that there was no key element or secret to meeting and getting on with like-minded folks beyond being myself (as in the "you really don't have anything to lose by just presenting as you are and not trying too hard to impress"), coming from a place of genuine interest and respect, and taking No for an answer. I know it sounds obvious, but it's not a game. There are actual living people behind those profiles, and everyone wants to be respected and feel genuine interest in the people they are.

That said, people who don't use sites or apps shouldn't lose hope. Although I enjoyed my experience with online romance, I met my current girlfriend offline, as we both had specific niche interests. I realize that having the time or mobility to go outside and get involved in niche interests isn't an option for everyone; I just mean that if stuff like Tinder skeezes you out, there are probably options beyond the internet.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:09 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I don't join a dating site, I'm going to die alone aren't I?

Eh, can't tell if you're joking but I'm gonna take it a little seriously. First, even if you do get married/coupled you still have a chance of dying alone. There's divorce or being the last one to die (i.e., widowed). Second, even if you die alone, you'll be joining about around 30% of households in the US who also choose to live alone, and it's growing every year.

But to end on a positive note, just because you live alone doesn't mean you die alone. Being coupled is only one way to relate to people, and not always the best. I think these days we all have to form a social life through a patchwork of relationships that include permanent and transitory friends, family, acquaintances, and partners.
posted by FJT at 7:09 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like to think that if the rather hostile comment "dick is abundant... low value" had popped up here as a comment in a discussion on the topic of Dating or Rejection that I would flag it. Because it really is a gut punch, or lower. It's broad-brush and dismissive.

I get that it can seem empowering in our phallo-centric culture to diss the penis, but I don't think this framing empathetic enough to pass as a Metafilter comment.

Reducing people (cis het men in this case) to a single body part is a lot of shrinkage and I don't think it is meant kindly. (Though I acknowledge the need to get over being kindly if you have to drive off people who are trying to be predatory.)
posted by puddledork at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is actually making a good case for the sending of dick pics.
If you do send dick pics to everyone, you never have to go on a date with someone like the author.
I mean, isn't it all about finding someone who appreciates you for who you are and doesn't think you're "abundant and low value"? I mean, if you don't recognize my rare and precious life and penis immediately when you see them on your phone screen, why would I want to date you?

She also sounds pretty much a "number's gamer" herself, just going the other way (pull instead of push), talking about the criteria she uses to filter her numerous applicants. There should be entirely separate planets sites for people who are looking for one(ish) people to engage with romantically and those who are trying to build a stable.

People like the author are over abundant and of low value (to me).
posted by yonega at 7:39 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


But dick pics are objectively overabundant. Like they are as rare as air molecules. This isn't about railing against The Sacred Holy Penis which must never be maligned.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:46 AM on May 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


It's broad-brush and dismissive.

It's also uncomfortably, bro-ishly familiar. Because it's the inversion of a misogynist trope. Pussy Ain't Shit. (triggers, probably)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Perhaps, but pictures of MY penis are incredibly rare!
posted by yonega at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes but let's not forget who moscaddie is, right?
posted by ead at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2015


If you do send dick pics to everyone, you never have to go on a date with someone

I think that's pretty much all you had to say there.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:05 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


What? All but the luckiest women experience this, and even then I have my doubts. The plight of the unpopular girl is well documented in pop culture, from movies to TV to music. Even Taylor Swift has songs about it. To believe this is true is to basically put no effort into empathizing with women, which... Oh.

The key word in the phrase you quoted was always. To always be the pursuer, to always be wanting, to never be wanted. I've known a lot of nerdy, unpopular, unattractive women. Just about all of them got attention from men. Maybe not from the men they wanted - maybe not at the times they wanted attention - and maybe not even the kinds of attention they wanted. But all that is still a fundamentally different experience that what it is like to be a guy in our society who does not get any attention, at all, unless he actively seeks it out. Is it a better experience, or a worse experience? I don't know, I've only ever been on the male side of the equation, and so my view is subject to the "grass is always greener" bias that all human beings possess. But you know who's been on both sides of that equation? Who's actually experienced both of these things? Ursula Hitler, who was kind enough to share.

There are a lot of differences in the experience of being a woman and the experience of being a man, at least in our culture. We've had plenty of threads that have been eye-opening, to me and a lot of other guys around here, about what the experience of being a woman is like. In some of those threads it's even been pointed out that trans voices who've seen both sides are some of the most valuable voices to listen to. And yet in this thread when one of those voices tries to suggest that maybe in one particular tiny slice of life, it in fact sucks more to be a guy, a lot of folks in this thread are super-quick to claim that no, they know exactly what it's like, women have it just as bad, and then, rather spectacularly, that Ursula Hitler is the one failing to empathize. If I walked into a thread about catcalling and said, "Hey, as a skinny guy who's had long hair at times, I've been catcalled from behind by unobservant dudes a few times in my life (true), I totally know what it's like," you'd all rightly tell me to STFU and GTFO, or at least to STFU and listen. This is the same. Playing the dating game, even as an unattractive woman, is not the same thing as playing it as an unattractive dude. Or even an attractive dude.

But then again, the prompt for this whole thread is more-or-less "gender equality as a race to the bottom", where a woman asserts her right (to which she absolutely is entitled, let me be clear!) to be just as callous and unfeeling and unempathetic a jerk towards men as we all-too-often are towards women. So I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at how the thread's gone.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2015 [48 favorites]


"Now, some women do live like that. Maybe quite a few. But I think a hell of a lot more men do." Really? Based on what?

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/17-to-1-reproductive-success

Using reproductive success as a proxy for sex (debatable) More women have gotten their genetic code out there than men have. Statistically speaking, throughout history 1 in 17 men had all the sex and all the babies with all the women (often without their consent). The other 16 guys went without, often through no choice of their own. The Patriarchy sucks for everyone.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 8:38 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like to think that if the rather hostile comment "dick is abundant... low value" had popped up here as a comment in a discussion on the topic of Dating or Rejection that I would flag it. Because it really is a gut punch, or lower. It's broad-brush and dismissive.

Reducing people (cis het men in this case) to a single body part is a lot of shrinkage and I don't think it is meant kindly. (Though I acknowledge the need to get over being kindly if you have to drive off people who are trying to be predatory.)


Wow, I read this article VERY differently from you.

We tell people all the time on AskMe not to keep dating assholes just because they have the sex parts the OP is interested in. The author here is countering the idea that a woman should settle for anything just because he has a body part that is entirely common.

It's like trying to sell a car on the basis that it has a horn. Cars should have more than that to offer, you know? I mean, they should DEFINITELY have a horn (whether it's a cis or trans horn isn't relevant here), but that is not enough of a reason to test drive a particular car.

Horns are great! And horns are abundant and low value in a competitive market where every car has a horn. Advertise more than the horn, yo.
posted by heatherann at 8:39 AM on May 2, 2015 [53 favorites]


I think the thin-skinned guys are getting crushed and the thick-skinned guys don't care.

I wish there was a way to make the laser beam more coherent and less sweeping, so that the message would reach and influence it's intended target. Right now it seems like piece of writing to make straight cis women in the dating pool feel better, more up, at the expense of broadly putting men down. (Maybe if she had only talked about disliking crotch shots and not had fun listing all the other reasons she was happy to sideswipe dating/banging candidates.) (And now I sound like a concern troll. I've been partnered up a long time, so my empathy level for women who date is not turned up to the max level. Married person privilege, I suppose.)
posted by puddledork at 9:11 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


More women have gotten their genetic code out there than men have... (often without their consent).

I don't think this helps the "women have it easier in dating so they should cut men some more slack" argument.
posted by argonauta at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


For centuries, having each sex put the other on a pedestal - inaccessible! dangerous! fraught! - was one of the few effective forms of birth control. Average people in the 1600s didn't start having children until their late twenties and early thirties. The benefits were reduced population growth, lowered risk of starvation, and children who were more likely to have established parents who could provide for them.

(Rich people started much younger, for the obvious reason - they had the resources to provide for their children starting at a much younger age.)

To make this form of birth control work, all the possible tools to make sex feel bad, and the opposite sex feel scary, had to be employed. Guilt, shame, fear. Lots of fear. Both sexes were subjected to it.

As part of this process, the opposite sex gets dehumanized.

We've only had safe and effective hormonal birth control for a few decades. The habit of teaching children of both sexes that the opposite sex is inaccessible and dangerous is still common. When people who've been raised this way realize that sex doesn't have to be that way anymore, it often initially comes out sounding ugly. "Dick is abundant and low value." "Don't put pussy on a pedestal."

Part of the lesson is good - the opposite sex doesn't have to be scary, doesn't have to be worshipped! - but, if you're starting from the traditional place of de-humanizing the opposite sex, the first stop may be here at "dick" and "pussy".

The next stop, hopefully, is re-humanizing without needing to devalue.
posted by clawsoon at 9:33 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


But then again, the prompt for this whole thread is more-or-less "gender equality as a race to the bottom" [...]

Certainly not my intent in posting it, but I understand.
posted by automatic cabinet at 9:48 AM on May 2, 2015


No, sorry, that was poorly worded on my part - by "the prompt" I just meant the article itself, not anything to do with your intentions in posting it.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:56 AM on May 2, 2015


I took "dick is abundant and of low value" to be referencing their personalities just as much as their actual penises. Jerks are abundant and of low value. And while yeah, it sucks to be raging starving hungry for sex and nobody wants you (good points to Ursula Hitler for the perspective on dick pics), from the lady POV I just want to say, can't you act like a normal human instead of a bitey coyote?

As an unpopular, generally unattractive chick: once in awhile someone will be interested in me, but 95% of the time they're usually the oldest, skeeziest, creepiest dude in the room. I'm told I don't give off welcoming vibes so that only creeps who won't take no for an answer will ever come after me. Lovely. But I don't want to "welcome" any and all comers because uh... well, jerks are abundant and react terribly if you don't put out.

I'll never have love in my life again, and that's most likely okay. Because man, I can't stand to read this kind of shit directed at me personally and the last way I'd want to find someone is by looking through the options of other people looking for love too. Either you get lucky or you don't, I suspect, and I've rarely been lucky.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think the idea here that shocks men is that they're being reduced to a body part dismissively. Guess what? It's a reaction to a culture that has done that, time and time again, to women. Men getting laid, regardless of where and when and with who is seen as an inherent good. Women? Not really. It's seen as devaluing. That's not the case across all social groups, but it's still a norm.

On metafilter it would probably get flagged if a guy was implying or flat-out saying how he "gets all kinds of pussy" but the sentiment happens. I mean, even this thread has the phrase "women willing to put out for you." It's a game, women are the gatekeepers, etc. and men are arbiters of the value of women.

Saying that dick is abundant and low value is like saying "white lives are overvalued." Someone will always crawl out of the woodwork to say that ALL lives have value. Find people who will value you, and don't assign value to people based on the fact they're male.
posted by mikeh at 10:30 AM on May 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


Okay, I've never internet-dated, but I thought the thing with Tinder was supposed to be that it lowered the awkward, demoralizing hurdle of messaging people who you weren't sure were going to message back, and also the awkward, demoralizing hurdle of trying to gracefully get out of talking to someone who you just weren't clicking with during the initial conversation. Both parties have to express interest to start talking, either can terminate it at any time, and then BAM: here's the next potential match, don't waste time ruminating on the last one. I thought that was a good thing, actually, because there are a lot of AskMes about internet dating where people aren't doing anything wrong, but they're still disheartened because sometimes you just get a run of people who aren't interested.

Rejection hurts, but it's also a normal and necessary part of dating. And there's this weird male fragility thing, though, where we hear that women can't possibly understand what it feels like, and that it's cruel for this woman to reject men who she doesn't want to talk to for reasons that aren't deemed deep enough (even though they, most likely, shrugged and turned their focus to the next match, because that's what Tinder is for.) I think this fragility, taken to its most toxic extreme (not by anyone here in the thread) is why you see dudes sending horrific "how dare you" screeds to women who expressed no interest (usually just by not responding quickly enough), and dudes engaging in the quasi-stalking behavior described in the link and by ourt.
posted by kagredon at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't see this concept as putting down men at all. If anything, it's a correction for the hours of my life wasted reading articles in women's magazines about what men want, how to get men to commit, good men are hard to find, and what fashion men hate. Many women are starting from a place that is the opposite of dehumanizing men--they over-empathize with men, bury their own needs, and make unhealthy choices, all for guys who aren't putting in 1/10th of the effort they are. This is permission to put yourself first and expect better.
posted by almostmanda at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2015 [40 favorites]


> Find people who will value you

On Tinder? What on earth would a woman expect to find there but Bevis and Butthead? Might as well spend your days refreshing the Craigslist ads with your hearts full of hope that a good one will pop up.
posted by jfuller at 10:42 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


is there Tinder for nonsexual encounters

I don't want to get laid I just want someone in my town I can go to Age of Ultron with and get some drinks w/ after while we squee about it

where do I do that
posted by kagredon at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [24 favorites]


Saying that dick is abundant and low value is like saying "white lives are overvalued." Someone will always crawl out of the woodwork to say that ALL lives have value. Find people who will value you, and don't assign value to people based on the fact they're male.

I wouldn't say or want to be seen to agree with "white lives are overvalued", I'd say "black lives are undervalued". I don't think the two sentiments are identical even if they seem symmetric. The first statement is zero sum thinking and is about reducing another group, not about improving conditions for my own group. If I heard someone say the first statement I might "know what they mean".. but it would bother me that the words of their statement seem to attack the dignity of life as a concept and point towards a negative (identifying where there is "too much" as though we should take some away), rather than a positive goal (pointing out where there is too little and how much needs to be added).
posted by yonega at 10:51 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


What on earth would a woman expect to find anywhere, really? And why do we feel that way, and that this is a status quo?
posted by mikeh at 10:51 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


yonega, that's kind of my exact point -- it's a non-starter that all lives should be valued equally, but when I said "white lives are overvalued" the first thought is no, other lives are undervalued.

If someone is saying "dick is overvalued" and the immediate response is we should value women more, as the writer and others on twitter have... I think maybe it's a reasonable tactic!
posted by mikeh at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


almostmanda: If anything, it's a correction for the hours of my life wasted reading articles in women's magazines about what men want, how to get men to commit, good men are hard to find, and what fashion men hate. Many women are starting from a place that is the opposite of dehumanizing men--they over-empathize with men, bury their own needs, and make unhealthy choices...

I'm going to respectfully disagree with a part of what you say, and suggest that there's a thread of dehumanization running through women's magazines and the over-empathizing that women are encouraged to do. It's an idealizing dehumanization - men are strange, mysterious, powerful creatures, and you need the wisdom of the magazine to tame them! You need to make sacrifices! (...just like you'd make sacrifices to a god...) - but it's still a dehumanization.

If you've ever dated someone who thought that you were a perfect angel, faultless in your ideal womanliness, that you were someone whose every thought must be divined and served, you know what idealizing dehumanization feels like.

Dehumanization plus overvaluing is where doormats (of both sexes) come from. Dehumanization plus undervaluing is where jerks (of both sexes) come from.
posted by clawsoon at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


mikeh, I don't think that automatically follows. I mean, you can make the negative statement without implying or doing anything towards the positive one.
I'm not even sure it's a tactic that's being employed, I don't believe this article has any socially progressive motive. The article is about the author doing what she wants to do, with regard to dating after going through a bad breakup and what she hints at might have been an abusive relationship. Her internal mantra to let her do that is "they aren't shit so I don't have to do anything I don't want to do".

I don't think she or anyone else should do anything they don't want to do except maybe if their inaction would cause a human being to come to harm.

Amplifying this... well. I'll just say"Dick is abundant and low value." The inverse statement ("Pussy is abundant and low value.") could be a Red Pill motto.

If we're going to take this seriously it's sort of gross.. and kind of internal affairs like those jokes/statements some people make when certain other people aren't in the room.
I mean, who hasn't known someone who's gone on a spree of self-indulgence after a bad breakup? Maybe they weren't indulging enough before, and maybe it's personally, empowering for them to climb up on the roof and shout "* is abundant and low value".. but don't we only tolerate it because they're our friends and they need their moment?

Maybe I'll accept "women are our friends and they need their moment" in the general, but in the specific: Who is she? I don't know her and she's saying all kinds of shit up on that roof.
posted by yonega at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2015


If I don't join a dating site, I'm going to die alone aren't I?

Heh, I feel like this often these days. I'm just not up for more online dating at the moment.

I have an ex who to this day still mentions with great joy and happiness that one time before we met I threw in the off-hand line "I promise to be polite, hopefully funny and never send you a dick picture." because she had had a really bad experience right before we met, I gathered.

is there Tinder for nonsexual encounters

Meetup! And sites like that. There are a lot of them.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2015


Amplifying this... well. I'll just say"Dick is abundant and low value." The inverse statement ("Pussy is abundant and low value.") could be a Red Pill motto.


While not this exact phrase, this is exactly what the MRA types and even some otherwise reasonable human beings say. They use the word "pussy" to refer to women and only value women for what they're able to do for men. When the men are ignored or turned down, they're aggressive and act like they're owed something. It's all there in the article!

There is no way to read "dick is abundant and low value" in a society that is a patriarchy without attributing something subversive to it. Is it gross? Yeah. Do men, as a block, deserve that sentiment? Sure.
posted by mikeh at 11:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, the phrase isn't hers, I first saw it attributed to @moscaddie on twitter, who has written at The Hairpin, among other places. I feel like the essay linked in this post assumes some cursory knowledge of the phrase's use on twitter and elsewhere.
posted by mikeh at 12:05 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some snarky internet communities get around the cisnormativity of dick-as-synecdoche by referring to the "cispeen" as, like, an ugly totem that awful cishet men worship above all else.



"And, like it or not, not everyone is open to dating trans people (and I say this as someone who would be totally open to it, if I weren't married). It's not transphobia, it's how their sexuality is wired."

This was completely irrelevant to anything in the thread, but I know how hard it is for cis people to keep this reflexive vomit down whenever they accidentally think about us. Since you apparently have this burning desire for a trans person to note your opinion: I've put your tally mark down here in this notebook, at the bottom of the 54th page, beneath all the others. Way to go!

posted by Corinth at 12:07 PM on May 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


For what it's worth, the phrase isn't hers, I first saw it attributed to @moscaddie on twitter, who has written at The Hairpin, among other places.

Indeed! She is, among other things, creator of the Critique My Dick Pic Tumblr project, previously and previously and previously on Metafilter.
posted by argonauta at 12:11 PM on May 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


an awkward but honest and respectful guy with something on the ball who really wants to be friends with his sexual partners

I think I'll just go ahead and put this on my OkCupid profile. I'll credit you though!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:13 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Amplifying this... well. I'll just say"Dick is abundant and low value." The inverse statement ("Pussy is abundant and low value.") could be a Red Pill motto.

And if my bubbe had balls, she'd be my zeyde.
posted by asterix at 12:20 PM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It seems completely obvious to me that "dick is abundant and low value" is intended primarily as a corrective to the pervasive male entitlement and centering of male desire that we see throughout our media, and which women very frequently internalize - not as a final and perfect statement about the objective value of dick.

It's intended to help women deal with the cognitive dissonance of supposedly being "the desired gender" while simultaneously being the gender requiring the most vigilance to remain desirable, whose desirability is most directly linked with their worth. It's the cognitive dissonance of being required to e.g. keep their pubic region perfectly groomed to young mens' standards at all times lest they become even a tiny bit imperfect, while men apparently feel OK sending any old shitty dick pic and reveling in their "dad bods".
posted by dialetheia at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2015 [40 favorites]


But then again, the prompt for this whole thread is more-or-less "gender equality as a race to the bottom"

Right! The general advice is to start at the top and go slow. You don't race straight to the bottom. Not sexy at all.
posted by curious nu at 12:51 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, all joking aside, I finally RTFA, and the answer to the dilemma is biology. Why do you think that for every ovum the are 100 gazillion spermatazoa?
posted by rankfreudlite at 12:52 PM on May 2, 2015


What if you like being on bottom?
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:53 PM on May 2, 2015


Vague reply:

I'm feeling some serious confusion about what the word "man" (and its plural "men") means anymore. I don't want to project meaning onto anyone else's use of the word so... I don't know how precisely anyone else thinks they're speaking or if how much shorthand in play here.

Sometimes I think it refers to a person with a whole string of specific and unvoiced adjectives in front of it. Other times I think it refers to the product of a particular culture.

Increasingly, I'm not even sure if it's a real thing.. yet, I kind of think I am one most of the time and I think most other people do too.

When people make potentially hurtful generalizations about "my gender", usually I can unpack what they're saying to something social or cultural, something pattern-based, and harmful, that surrounds me and tacitly accepts me to whatever extent(there are places I simply am not welcome), even though I don't actively participate in it. (Also, I swear sometimes "men" is just lazy shorthand for cis, straight, white men, preferably middle class.. and the speaker is actually unintentionally holding up those traits as universal)

Usually. There's also another kind of discussion that's somehow less about society and culture and feels more like it's about people and traits that they have. People called "men" and "women". I listen to, read, and participate in these discussions and I realize that I have no idea who these people are. My initial reaction was something like "I'm a man and I don't X." But that turned into "I'm a man, aren't I? I don't X." to "Can I be a man and not X?"

Now I'm oscillating between "I'd like to think that I am a man, but I'm pretty sure men don't exist." and "Men exist and they are people like me with desirable traits worth having like me and you should agree with me about this."

I feel vaguely like I've lost something or am losing something (If I'm not a man, what am I?), maybe someday I'll be able to stop fighting it and let go entirely.

Two thoughts.. 1. there's a heap of baggage to being a man and 2. there are new men now. If you take away man's baggage and body shape both, there's really nothing left.

It's a totally empty concept. I guess that's alright, being a person is pretty good. When I hear all this loaded men and women talk though, it reminds me of when I believed in something, it reminds me of when I aspired to achieve many manly glories.

Man is dead, long live man.
posted by yonega at 1:18 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is the last one. I promise!

Huckfinnder--for finding people who want to have wild passionate sex on a raft floating down the Mississippi River.
posted by rankfreudlite at 1:42 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


gosh

what must it be like to live with people projecting strange and hurtful expectations upon you because of your gender

as a woman i have nooooo ideeeeeeaaaa
posted by kagredon at 2:10 PM on May 2, 2015 [40 favorites]


(both of those stretched vowels should be read as having more fry than a mcdonalds)
posted by kagredon at 2:18 PM on May 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


I imagine the funding meeting for Tindr went something like,

"The flesh is weak and has large wallets. Also, it sweats away marketing data like you wouldn't believe. You should fund our Flesh App."

"You're not calling it the Flesh App."

"Fine, we'll leave a vowel out of a word like everyone else. Now give us money so we can make more."
posted by Slackermagee at 2:19 PM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


> "Average people in the 1600s didn't start having children until their late twenties and early thirties."

From what I can tell, this was true only in certain parts of Western Europe, and probably happened due to a complicated mix of reasons including consent replacing consummation as a legal principle to establish marriage, a belief that childbirth was dangerously unhealthy for younger women, and cultural pressure to delay marriage until after individual economic stability was achieved.

I'm not sure that "THE OPPOSITE SEX IS SCARY AND WEIRD" was the primary operating principle being used there.
posted by kyrademon at 2:30 PM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Meetup! And sites like that. There are a lot of them.

Meetup is a mixed bag and best used for "single serving friends". There can be lots of creepers, serial daters, etc. on there. And some of them are the very hosts and organizers of such events. As always, be careful and use a disposable number/email for communications.

I've mostly given up meeting people through the Internet, realizing that at first the pool is fun but if you stay in too long you just end up smelling of chlorine and pee.
posted by FJT at 2:36 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's fair, kyrademon. How about: Not the primary operating principle, but a tool used as part of the mix?

consent replacing consummation as a legal principle to establish marriage

This I didn't know about. Would you be willing to tell me more/point me to relevant references?

(Now that the subject is on my mind, I can't also help but think about the spread of romance as a source for idealization/dehumanization of the opposite sex.)
posted by clawsoon at 2:49 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think this helps the "women have it easier in dating so they should cut men some more slack" argument.

Nope. It doesn't. That's why I never made that argument.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 3:24 PM on May 2, 2015


> "This I didn't know about. Would you be willing to tell me more/point me to relevant references?"

It appears to have been a bit counterintuitive in how it played out, clawsoon. From what I can tell, starting in about the twelfth century in Western Europe, the idea of marriage by mutual consent started to gain strength. This was seen as threatening to the role of both parents and clergy in marriage, because it led to the concept that a couple could have a "secret" marriage by mutual consent.

(And in fact, it was probably correct for it to be seen as a "threat" to church and parental involvement in marriage, as it ultimately led to the present cultural norm -- where with a few exceptions, a couple needs only each others' consent to get married as soon as they are above the age of consent.)

But anyway, while this was all playing out, the church started introducing new concepts to keep their own and parental involvement a major part of the process -- such as encouraging a prolonged courtship, encouraging extensive time spent making economic, introducing the practice of informing the community of the wedding, and insisting on a formal public exchange of vows. One of the effects was that, basically, the time from meeting to marriage was pushed back and back so the church and family could keep their hand in.

This may be related to such things as marriage starting to be referred to as a sacrament (a sacred ceremony tied to experiencing God's presence) in the 12th century, and finally being officially declared one at the Council of Trent in 1563.
posted by kyrademon at 3:54 PM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Extensive time spent making economic *arrangements*, that is.

(And just to clarify, consummation was still considered necessary for marriage for a long time -- "mutual consent replacing consummation" as a principle appears to mean the consummation was no longer sufficient without mutual verbal consent; i.e. before that if the parents managed to drag their daughter to the ceremony and bundle her off to bed with her new husband it didn't matter what she had to say about it at the time.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:02 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Though the images weren’t in focus or close up, he was clearly a man of more years than he had reported and I simply was not picking up what he was throwing down. Already impatient and not especially moved by our conversation, I chose not to reply.

I think this was really rude of her. If you're having a long conversation with someone and forming a good connection, and then they suddenly cut you off without a word because they didn't like your photos, then you're going to feel hurt. This guy's reaction was over-the-top, but being cut off like this without even a 'goodbye' is confusing and hurtful, so it's not surprising to me that he had a negative reaction. I've been in this situation many times, and in my experience a simple "thanks, but I don't think we're a match" usually brings an equally polite response, and the times when it doesn't he at least knows where you're coming from and he can move on pretty quickly.

I don't know....she's doing a lot of complaining about men here, and how entitled they are, but if we got to look at her own behavior, and analyzed what it said about her, I wonder if she would come across looking much better.
posted by sam_harms at 6:45 PM on May 2, 2015


She didn't just "not like his photos"--she realized he had been lying about his age and it made her uncomfortable.

and in my experience a simple "thanks, but I don't think we're a match" usually brings an equally polite response,

This is not how it "usually" goes for women. It's often safer to stop talking completely, because the guy who suddenly makes you uncomfortable for reasons you can't really pinpoint is often the exact guy who will pull this entitled, stalky bullshit. I'm not going to politely reject guys like that when experience tells me that direct rejection invites way more abuse than disappearing.
posted by almostmanda at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2015 [26 favorites]


at least you're not so desperate, and so low value, that you're the one sending pictures of your genitals to strangers and hoping somebody somewhere will say yes.

This is what I don't understand. Why is sending a dick pic the manifestation of desperation? Whyever does anyone think that will get them the reaction ("yes") they want from a woman? Why not manifest your desperation by trying to imagine what this person or persons you are so desperate to fuck would respond to favorably? Like maybe a few complete sentences that demonstrate that you are someone who might be fun (or at least safe) to meet in person (and maybe have sex with)?

Seriously, guys, if all or even the first thing women wanted to know about you was what your dick looks like, you'd all be walking around in chaps.
posted by caryatid at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is what I don't understand. Why is sending a dick pic the manifestation of desperation?

I suspect that the guys who send unsolicited pictures of their junk are the ones who get off on exposing themselves. It may be that only a small percentage of guys send them, but they'll send them to everyone they can and therefore seem ubiquitous.
posted by justkevin at 8:43 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Though the images weren’t in focus or close up, he was clearly a man of more years than he had reported and I simply was not picking up what he was throwing down. Already impatient and not especially moved by our conversation, I chose not to reply.

I think this was really rude of her... suddenly cut you off without a word because they didn't like your photos, then you're going to feel hurt.


Wait, what? It wasn't because she didn't like his photos. It was because his photos made it apparent that one of the first things he told her about himself was a bald-faced lie. And you think SHE was rude? And he felt hurt when his lie was exposed and she wisely decided not to engage with him further? Diddums.
posted by caryatid at 8:53 PM on May 2, 2015 [23 favorites]


kyrademon: This may be related to such things as marriage starting to be referred to as a sacrament (a sacred ceremony tied to experiencing God's presence) in the 12th century, and finally being officially declared one at the Council of Trent in 1563.

Marriage wasn't a sacrament until the 12th century? Fascinating. What was it before then? More of a secular arrangement, or merely a lesser church function?

And, so that we don't go completely off topic, what does this say about the abundance and value of dick in the 11th century, before marriage became a sacrament?
posted by clawsoon at 9:22 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


So a few thoughts.

1. I love the title image. Heh. Dicks.
2. I didn't realize Tinder actually kept the vowels.
3. I worry that the internet has made it too easy to focus on lists and rubrics. Do they x? If not, next. Does it y? If yes, defend and burn those that disagree.
4. I really like the fact that the internet has made it easy to focus on lists and rubrics. I want z, a, and b. Amazon will deliver it to me in two days.

I don't think we, as a culture, have truly adapted to the changes we've wrought. Dr. Malcolm may have been right in us having been so focused on coulds that we didn't think about shoulds.

I don't know how we'll solve this. But seeing some of the messages my female friends get... Fuuuuuuck, I realize I do not understand straight dudes at all.

Actually, thinking about some of the messages I've gotten, I don't understand gay dudes at all either.
posted by qcubed at 10:07 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think a part of the issue is a basic misunderstanding on the part of a lot of men about what communication in hook-up situations is for. Many assume that since a no-strings-attached encounter is not about getting to know each other, then a simple "r u horny" would suffice to get the message across. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are guys just looking for sex who do try to communicate in greater detail, but only because there's this myth that women can only be lured into sex through romance and 'emotional connection' (e.g. cringe-inducing lines like "hello my beautiful angel, the radiant sparkle in your eyes leaves me speechless"), a tactic which I find to be even creepier in its clumsy effort at deception.

But neither seem to have any clue as to why a woman would want to have a coherent, friendly conversation with a guy before hopping into bed with him. And it's not because women are "turned on by emotions" or because they have some weird obsession with grammar. It's because women are trying to pick up on social cues that will tell them something about how a given guy will treat them in person. They're prodding for conversation while asking themselves, "does this seem like the kind of stranger I'd feel safe being with alone at night in a bedroom? Does he seem like the kind of guy who will respect my boundaries? Does he see me as sufficiently human, such that I can have sex with him without feeling like my dignity is somehow at stake?"

Sending a message saying "im gonna pound u raw" vs "Hey, I think you're hot. Do you want to hook up? I think we'd both have a great time, but if not that's totally cool." both essentially ask for the same thing. But the former is creepily aggressive while the latter has valuable subtext embedded into it; (1) that the sender respects consent, (2) he wants her to have a good time, and (3) he's not going to verbally attack the recipient if she says no to his offer. Women are often creeped out by the first type of message not because of its blatant lewdness or the directness of the offer for sex, but because it sounds rapey phrased that way coming from a stranger without context - and even if it wasn't meant to sound that way, there's no reason to take a chance on finding out. And I suspect that a lot of guys don't even realize this. They've been taught that aggressive = masculine = arousing to women. And I feel bad for them, because oftentimes they're just clumsy rather than actually ill-intentioned.

So yeah, I read "dick is abundant and low value" as saying that women shouldn't feel bad for being selective, because they can't really afford to be otherwise with so many potential perils in the way. Not that dick is objectively of low value, but that your time is more valuable than feeling obliged to give each and every guy a chance just because he took half a second to write "heyyy :)"
posted by adso at 10:39 PM on May 2, 2015 [70 favorites]


because they can't really afford to be otherwise with so many potential perils in the way.

Eh, I think safety is definitely part of it, but reading the article's first paragraph also reveals the reasons for swiping left are also very arbitrary. It's partly because there is still an abundance even after filtering out unsafe males that there has to be additional layers of self-created filters to get to a single male. It's just the logical thing to do, or else we end up with the ketchup problem.
posted by FJT at 12:29 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I basically gave up on actually trying to have sex not long after the birth of my second child because some arsehole who I'd connected with on some bloody internet site lied like a motherfucker to get into my bed (which was open and willing anyway) and then, when I spoke to him the next time, treated me like a piece of shit. And ever since then, whenever I've tried to actually make a connection with someone on okcupid or whatever I've always had in the back of my mind that this person is just pretending to be a decent person because apparently that's how you get laid in the 21st century. I know, in the logical part of my mind, that not everyone is like that but unfortunately because it happened during a time of great emotional confusion in my life my psyche has decided that pretty much everyone is just bullshitting. And I'm so, so tired of bullshit.

So thanks, that guy.
posted by h00py at 1:15 AM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to politely reject guys like that when experience tells me that direct rejection invites way more abuse than disappearing.

Ok, then what's the rationalization for why men will disappear on women in the same way? Or for why men do it to other men, and women do it to other women? Everyone's got their reasons for why they get to treat others like dirt.
posted by sam_harms at 2:59 AM on May 3, 2015


We all hate confrontation?
posted by h00py at 3:50 AM on May 3, 2015


And no, I can't provide hard statistics about this stuff

You know, enough with people demanding citations and so forth, as if this were a peer-reviewed journal, instead of a place to have a conversation. People have opinions; that is normal.
posted by thelonius at 4:57 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


she's doing a lot of complaining about men here, and how entitled they are, but if we got to look at her own behavior, and analyzed what it said about her, I wonder if she would come across looking much better.

Following on almostamanda's reply about why many women now opt for the silent fade in these situations, take a look at Bye Felipe, "Calling out dudes who turn hostile when rejected or ignored."

(#notallfelipes)
posted by argonauta at 5:23 AM on May 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh: Bye Felipe previously on Metafilter, with some really great discussion
posted by argonauta at 6:30 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


cultural pressure to delay marriage until after individual economic stability was achieved.

I wonder whether this goes any way to explaining the shift away from pairing up to living alone/friends-with-benefits/short-term relationships of the neoliberal age. Perhaps it's a combination of a stick (unless you're wealthy, you're never going to be financially secure enough to plan long-term relationships) and a carrot (...but here's an endless shopping catalogue of other frustrated singletons in the meantime!).
posted by acb at 6:41 AM on May 3, 2015


I'm not going to politely reject guys like that when experience tells me that direct rejection invites way more abuse than disappearing.

Ok, then what's the rationalization for why men will disappear on women in the same way?


Well I think the point is that it's normal standard behavior on these sites to just stop engaging when you realize there's not any kind of connection going on and so "disappear". But that only in the case of a woman disappearing on a man does it invite a stream of abuse (except, I guess, in the case of Tinder I gather they can't message you again after you've dropped them? I dunno, I've never used it). Every other combination the person disappeared on might feel a sting or wonder what happened but then they move on with their life.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 8:08 AM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Everyone's got their reasons for why they get to treat others like dirt.

Lying for some perceived advantage is treating others like dirt.

Refusing to reply when the lie is discovered is not.
posted by caryatid at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think this was really rude of her. etc etc

if you are a straight man dating straight women, your experience is not relevant here. read the Bye Felipe thread, not only to get a grasp on how common it is for men to flip out for no reason at all, but to understand how there really is no way for women to avoid abuse.

there's one charming example in that thread where a man goes from "Hello I'm Stan, nice to meet you. You're so attractive to me and I love your cute face :)" to "Stuck up bitch" "I would beat the living shit out of you" after 21 minutes of no reply. not a typo, 21 minutes. oh, i guess he's just an outlier right? read the thread. stop making excuses like

it's not surprising to me that he had a negative reaction
he flooded both my email and Facebook page with accusations of egregious superficiality and a sudden change of heart regarding my own attractiveness. Even after the messages stopped, he’d occasionally attempt to friend me on Facebook and would appear often among the “People Who Viewed Your Profile” on LinkedIn.
"negative reaction," "over-the-top" lol, he straight up stalked and harassed her. your empathy for the wrong party is showing.

oh, and your characterization that he was just some hurt innocent dude caught up in a good long conversation:
When I asked for photos, he opted to describe himself to me instead. Ever polite, I didn’t press the issue. But when he suggested that we meet, I said that I would need to see photos before finally agreeing.
the interaction only went on longer BECAUSE HE DELIBERATELY PUT OFF BEING HONEST FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. how did you even get the idea that it was a good conversation? certainly not from her description:
not especially moved by our conversation,
posted by twist my arm at 8:36 AM on May 3, 2015 [29 favorites]


Men who lie on dating sites or throw abusive tantrums upon being rejected are never taken to task for their lack of "politeness" but we sure will give women shit for trying to protect themselves in response.
posted by almostmanda at 9:17 AM on May 3, 2015 [29 favorites]


Basically, being reasonably intelligent and reasonably willing to defer fucking for a little while to find out what someone is like will get you no end of women willing to put out for you - because the field is so poor.

I got married before Tinder even existed, but I was definitely on OKCupid and hotornot a lot when I was single. And I was surprised at how poor the average man's "game" could be. It was amazing to me how far you could get with such simple things:

1. Bathing
2. Spelling correctly
3. Writing in complete sentences
4. Dressing yourself competently
5. Brushing one's teeth
6. Having a vocabulary with two-syllable and three-syllable words

If I did just those six things, it was already like I was Don Draper past 90% of the field, and I still had tricks up my sleeve. For a brief period, I was making out with women constantly. It was like the dorky 12-year-old version of me in junior high was trying to break through the time barrier so that he could give me constant high-fives.
posted by jonp72 at 9:18 AM on May 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


"dick is abundant and low value"

This is the best and most empowering thing I've seen all day, and I'm going to start sharing this article like I just joined its religion.

But all that is still a fundamentally different experience that what it is like to be a guy in our society who does not get any attention, at all, unless he actively seeks it out.

You know what? Men do pursue women more than women pursue men. You know why? Because you call us sluts when we do.
posted by corb at 9:52 AM on May 3, 2015 [25 favorites]


My number one tip for online dating: Don't lie.

I was discussing this with a friend's husband. Although he is a credit to his gender in many ways, his rationale was, "Well, sure, you might embellish or say something that isn't exactly true, just to get your foot in the door."

IOW, it's OK to use anything that might get you a face-to-face meeting where you can show off your admirable qualities to advantage. She'll think it's no big deal once she sees what a great guy you really are.

No, she won't. She will think, "I wonder what else he's lying about?"
posted by caryatid at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


Oh god, yes. I once went on a date with a guy who said he was six foot. When I met him, it was obvious he was about 5'9. Now, I HAVE DATED GUYS AT 5'9. In fact, one of my 'big exes' was 5'8. But the fact that this guy thought it was okay to lie about four inches of height and figured I wouldn't fucking notice was a damn dealbreaker.
posted by corb at 10:11 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


In my experience men tend to lie about their height and women tend to lie about their weight. Probably everybody should just be honest.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Err, I'm talking specifically about dating profiles.
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on May 3, 2015


In my experience men tend to lie about their height and women tend to lie about their weight. Probably everybody should just be honest.

Everyone's dating profile on nearly every dating site functions similar to a social profile. There's no disincentive not to buff, polish, or embellish about this stuff. And sometimes people are lying to themselves as well.

I think this NYT article puts it better than I could:
Scholars say a certain amount of fibbing is socially acceptable — even necessary — to compete in the online dating culture. Professor Ellison’s research shows that lying is partly a result of tension between the desire to be truthful and the desire to put one’s best face forward. So profiles often describe an idealized self; one with qualities they intend to develop (i.e., “I scuba dive”) or things they once had (i.e., a job). Some daters bend the truth to fit into a wider range of search parameters; others unintentionally misrepresent their personalities because self-knowledge is imperfect.
posted by FJT at 3:16 PM on May 3, 2015


I haven't gone back and read any more of this thread. But I've had some time to think about what I posted the other day, and the reaction to it.

I wish I'd never clicked on the article. That phrase "dick is abundant and low value" sent me into a rage, and now I feel kind of embarrassed about throwing a public fit over it. I do feel like I wasted too much time here responding to attacks on stuff I never said, so if anybody is tempted to go after me for this last comment I would plead with them to at least read what I wrote and only respond to stuff I'm actually saying.

I think I've been spending too much time in a kind of feminist echo chamber, on places like Metafilter and Buzzfeed and certain Tumblrs where it's often assumed that men as a group are just wallowing in privilege and the phrase "but not all men..." will get you laughed out of the room. I don't identify as a man, I am not a huge fan of men and almost always prefer the company of women, but because of the circles I travel in I keep encountering these things where people are saying that people with penises are just shit.

I can't abide prejudice and sexism, whether it's against men or women, and I end up defending men because it feels like there is all this hatred being piled on guys. In the larger culture men are doing fine, it's still a patriarchy. But in the tiny culture where I dwell jokes about the total worthlessness of males and phrases like "dick is abundant and low value" get a smile and a nod, and it feels like if I don't challenge that stuff nobody will. So I end up as an unlikely defender of males, even though I have my own issues with males.

I've gotten it into my head that men are constantly being bashed, and that's probably only true of a few of the websites I frequent daily. So maybe I need to back away from Feminist-land for a while, and spend a few weeks in Patriarchy-ville listening to smug conservative asshole guys bash women. I've spent too long being the lone voice defending the male of the species, and maybe I need to go hear women get torn down a bit instead so I can be the crazy feminist lady for a while.

If you've reached a point where you're cracking jokes about how much men suck, I'd encourage you to examine that and realize that sexism against men is still actual, shitty sexism. But I need to do some re-thinking too. I passionately believe in equal rights and equal treatment, and I've fallen into the too-common lefty trap of attacking the people on my own side while the real enemy is on the other side of the wall getting stronger all the time.

Long story short: I probably agree with you more than I disagree with you, but I've been down here in our bunker for so long that your little quirks and flaws are driving me nuts. I'm heading up to see what it's like on the surface these days, and when I return I will probably be very glad to see you again.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:21 PM on May 3, 2015 [27 favorites]


In my experience men tend to lie about their height and women tend to lie about their weight.

No, because there isn't a section on the dating profile for "weight". Men say women lie about weight because they're like "That picture looks flattering, in person I don't think you're as attractive, it's not just one of those things, YOU MUST BE A LIAR."
posted by corb at 11:27 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The field for "weight" on OKCupid is called "body type," although I wouldn't expect men to lie about that less often than women.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:24 AM on May 4, 2015


Part of the confusion might be the word "curvy". Men who read it might be thinking "Sophia Loren", while women who choose it might be thinking, "Finally, a euphemism for 'overweight' that sounds sexy."
posted by clawsoon at 5:31 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Scholars say a certain amount of fibbing is socially acceptable — even necessary — to compete in the online dating culture. Professor Ellison’s research shows that lying is partly a result of tension between the desire to be truthful and the desire to put one’s best face forward. So profiles often describe an idealized self; one with qualities they intend to develop (i.e., “I scuba dive”) or things they once had (i.e., a job). Some daters bend the truth to fit into a wider range of search parameters; others unintentionally misrepresent their personalities because self-knowledge is imperfect.

None of which explains or excuses lying about things that are essentially immutable, such as height and age.

Personally, neither age nor height would be a deal-breaker for me. The deal-breaker is the dishonesty.
posted by caryatid at 9:00 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Curvy" is a big one, and I think "average" is another big offender.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:00 AM on May 4, 2015


LOL at the idea that Metafilter is a "feminist echo chamber." What the hell does that phrase even mean, really, that feminism is discussed and respected as legitimate? I see no man hate in this thread, I guess I must have been brainwashed...!
posted by agregoli at 10:26 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


What the hell does that phrase even mean, really, that feminism is discussed and respected as legitimate?

I was wondering about that myself. It sounds as strange to me as "human rights echo chamber."

LGBTQ rights echo chamber
Anti-semitism echo chamber
Civil rights echo chamber
Voting rights echo chamber
Others????
posted by caryatid at 11:30 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


What the hell does that phrase even mean, really, that feminism is discussed and respected as legitimate?

I already said this:

places like Metafilter and Buzzfeed and certain Tumblrs where it's often assumed that men as a group are just wallowing in privilege and the phrase "but not all men..." will get you laughed out of the room.

I also already said this:

I probably agree with you more than I disagree with you

The problem is obviously not that feminism is discussed and respected as legitimate, it's that there are certain problematic assumptions and shibboleths that can get people really upset fast if you dare to question them even a bit. I can agree with you 95%, but if I give voice to the 5% where I don't, it's gonna get ugly.

My point was that I was sick of bullshit, time-wasting, small-minded squabbles with people I (mostly) agree with. It was an apology, with a light side order of, "But hey, maybe some of you should ask yourself some questions too". Not exactly a Molotov cocktail of anti-feminist invective, but of course it just kicked off more arguing and I ended up having to go back to point out things I'd already said.

Serves me right for going back to check this thread, really. A mistake I won't make again.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:40 PM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Not all men" doesn't need to be said, is the point, and no one was making any blanket statement to all men. Frankly, it sounds like you're feeling really upset about the whole thing for some reason...to the point of calling those who objected to your words "small-minded." Your words and participation are *your* responsibility, and if you don't want to engage, as you've stated several times now, it probably is best not to keep doing so.
posted by agregoli at 1:57 PM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


"Wallowing in privilege . . ." Nope, no hyperbolic sarcasm here, folks, nothing that might make you question the good faith of your interlocutor.

Also, yes there are basic assumptions and shibboleths (more non-provocative irony on your part) that feminists do require discussions to adhere to. For example, the idea that women have complete autonomy over their reproductive systems, or that women are entitled to receive the same protections under the law as men. If you aren't starting from one of those assumptions, there's not a lot of productive conversation that's going to happen in a place like MF.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:23 PM on May 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


LGBTQ rights echo chamber
Anti-semitism echo chamber
Civil rights echo chamber
Voting rights echo chamber
Others????


I imagine that the sorts of people who use the phrase “Cultural Marxism” would be unanimous on MetaFilter being a Cultural Marxist echo chamber.
posted by acb at 2:26 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


The use of the phrase "echo chamber" is the kind of thing that pretty much always says more about the person using it than the community they're describing.
posted by kagredon at 3:11 PM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Frankly, it sounds like you're feeling really upset about the whole thing for some reason...to the point of calling those who objected to your words "small-minded." Your words and participation are *your* responsibility, and if you don't want to engage, as you've stated several times now, it probably is best not to keep doing so.

The people were not called small-minded, the squabbles were. It's weird to misread something and then immediately insist that someone's words are their own responsibility.
posted by dogwalker at 5:45 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've gotten it into my head that men are constantly being bashed, and that's probably only true of a few of the websites I frequent daily. So maybe I need to back away from Feminist-land for a while, and spend a few weeks in Patriarchy-ville listening to smug conservative asshole guys bash women. I've spent too long being the lone voice defending the male of the species, and maybe I need to go hear women get torn down a bit instead so I can be the crazy feminist lady for a while.

Welp, I know you're not following this thread anymore (I guess?), but on the off chance you do pop back by, or anyone else might agree with this sentiment, let me offer the possibility that there is, in fact, a spectrum between Man-Bashing Feminist Land and Woman-Bashing Patriarchyville. That maybe there are people and discussions where the humanity of individuals is respected while nonetheless being able to point out problems in gender relations, as well as their possible causes and solutions. And that maybe this oversimplified binary between Man-Bashing and Woman-Bashing is in fact the core problem in a nutshell. Offering some kind of back-handed "I'm sorry for lashing out at your bullshit, small-minded, time-wasting arguments" apology doesn't help matters much, but I hope wherever you go to relieve the psychological quandary gender discussions put you in, you can come back giving people a little bit more credit for what their motives are at least.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:02 PM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


The people were not called small-minded, the squabbles were.

Squabbles have minds?
posted by caryatid at 7:02 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


In that sentence, it looks like they do. But feel free to interpret it however you please. Just remember not to take responsibility for your own interpretation.
posted by dogwalker at 8:29 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Folks, at this point let's maybe drop the continued derail over parsing Ursula Hitler's comment?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:41 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, for fuck's sake. I know this thread has mostly died down, but reading through some of the responses here that're getting huffy at this article where a woman tells women not to invest themselves too emotionally in a single dude's penis, I can't help but throw my own twopence piece in.

Straight man here! You can give me my trophy later.

I joined OkCupid some months back, after swearing to myself that I would never, ever use an online dating site, because I don't particularly enjoy feeling like a piece of livestock. But, I wanted to date people! So that philosophy only wound up taking me so far.

We can be clear about one thing from the start: being a straight guy on OkCupid sucks. So exhausting. So much effort. So many conversations dwindling to nothing, either because you give off the wrong vibe or say the wrong (unknown) thing or because you are a penis and penises are abundant. Bleh to all of that! One girl asked me out to a really expensive dinner and then bought twice the food I was expecting her too, before asking me to go splitsies. Our second date was 50 Shades of Grey (her idea). After that, she stopped talking to me, which... seriously, I'm still pretty irked that she beat me to it.

It is hard to be a straight guy in a patriarchal society. It's hard first because you're conditioned to think that you are gonna be valued for how successful you are with women — down to other "cultural perks" like wealth or fame or talent being universally equated with ladies going crazy about your five-point-five — and it's also difficult because our culture is rife with messages involving gorgeous women falling in love with you on account of you're not an absolute piece of shit (and even then only after you've done at least one majorly shitty thing that lets you prove how much you love her in your post-break-up desperation). Plus, women's fashion? Is batshit insane. Women put oodles more effort into looking good than men do. Which our culture tells us is because they want to be noticed by men. (Not entirely true, by the way.) So we go about thinking that

a. all these women are going out of their way to
b. look for a man to make empty gestures of giving a shit, and
c. if they fail to be interested in us, it's because we must be fucking awful and valueless and what is it???? are we just ugly?????? is it because we don't make enough money or aren't in a band or...?????

When guys talk about how much it totally sucks to get rejected, a biiiig part of this is c., combined with b.'s telling us that dating is easier than it really is and a. tricking us into thinking that far more women are looking for men men men men all the goddamn time than is remotely the case. Then some of us hear women complaining about how many meeeen are into them and we're all like, the fuck? Stop rubbing it in.

Because we are stupid. Stupid as well as ignorant. Things do suck for us in one particular way, about which more in a second, but first, let us stop and think about what total idiots we all are.

First, the whole thing about finding somebody who's worth a damn? Is as difficult for women as it is for men. We don't have a monopoly on being lonely.

Second, it gets way harder to find a genuine connection when every fucking dude on the planet fancies himself your potential romantic counterpart? Just because you bought a nice-looking top and had a good hair day and pop songs taught 'em all that "you don't know how beautiful you really are", despite the fact that you might've looked in a fucking mirror this morning??

Third, men are fucking CRAZY.

Men are fucking CRAZY.

This one girl I know, a guy pretended to be her friend for three motherfucking years just to convince her to give him a blowjob, which he videotaped without her knowledge and consent.

This other girl I know dated a friend of mine, who stopped being my friend when she revealed to me that he told her he could only get off by tying her down and beating her. She had some major psychological issues regarding men, friendship, and sex going into that, and I can't imagine my fucking piece-of-shit ex-friend helped her out at all with that.

I know somebody who dated a guy who was hilariously incompatible with her and lived with him for two years because he was the first guy she'd ever met who didn't gaslight and/or assault her. The guy before that tried really fucking hard to get her to move out of the city where all her friends were, and get a house with him in the middle of suburbia, practically on a lark.

One friend of mine talked a lot about how lucky she was to have never been assaulted, until she revealed one day to me that she'd been forced by a dude at a party to give him a blowjob, and when I mentioned that that sort of counts as assault she started violently shaking, because she was so horrified at the thought that that was a thing that could happen to her that it was easier for her to just not contextualize it as such.

Something I have learned from having women as friends is that it fucking blows to be a woman, especially because of men. Oh! But wait! Maybe men aren't attracted to you! Then you get to go through the same horrible lonely feelings of devaluation that men go through, only it's even worse because... I shouldn't have to explain why this feeling is utterly brutal for women to have to go through. (My 50 Shades of Grey date told me that she doesn't believe women exist who don't have total access to all men at any point, in such a scornful manner that it kind of disturbed me.)

I mean, these stories I'm talking, they're the tip of the iceberg. We're not even going into casual sexism here, we're talking about the horrific stuff only, and I still have to cut myself short because virtually all my friends have a bucket full of these stories. Because men are fucking crazy. Did I mention that?

Okay so, at the end of the day, there is one legitimately shitty part of being a straight dude trying to date, which Frowner succinctly put the other day and made me whoop and applaud from afar. If you're a dude, and you're trying to date women, they have reason to be suspicious of you. They have no clue if you're my "kinky" woman-beating ex-friend. They have no idea if you're gonna spend three years trying to get a video of her going down on you. They don't know what you're gonna do wrong, or how you're gonna devalue their personhood for the sake of your sexual desire, but they are also not so delusional that they think it'll necessarily be obvious on the surface.

They also have better fucking things to do than coddle your emotions. Because if you don't like a person, it should not be your fucking responsibility to exhaust yourself trying to make them feel better. They are not your mother. They are not your lover. They are not your friend. They don't have to ruin their day trying to assuage your slight bummed-out-ness, especially when — again — men are fucking CRAZY and might pivot from "needing reassurance" to "horrifically frightening/ugly behavior" at LITERALLY any point.

So my OkCupid results were shitty. So what? Don't fucking blame women for that shit. Blame a combination of our society's general awfulness regarding honest and open communication between the sexes, and OkCupid's generally poor design (because, seriously, livestock are livestock regardless of how playful an app is made). If you're gonna attempt to make a direct beeline towards hooking up and dating people, you're gonna have to put up with the fact that your expectations are delusional, your desired demographic is wary, and your value as a partner is virtually zero.

Don't act like the same isn't true in reverse, either. It's not like I remember the names and faces of all the women I tried to write an opening message to. It's just that I'm not writing an article about how men shouldn't give a shit about women on dating sites, because men have already beat me to it. "Penis is abundant" as a message is offensive, but men writing thousands of "give me sex" messages are treating vaginas as abundant, too — way more abundant and way less valuable than the penises of men who don't get a response back, because a woman would have to make an effort to be as grotesque and offensive as many guys are seemingly by their everyday nature.

Once again we have found a way to overlook the massive systemic problems facing women and get huffy about a pale fucking echo of those problems that only exists because men are being fucking awful in the first place. Yeah, guys, dating sucks. Maybe let's celebrate that women are doing something that might convince men to suck a teensy bit less. Like that's going to happen, lol.
posted by rorgy at 4:15 AM on May 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


which Frowner succinctly put the other day and made me whoop and applaud from afar

Yeah. Frowner is spot on with that shit. In my early twenties, I would have had a lot more sex with a lot more guys if I weren't afraid of being subsequently devalued by all future guys, including those guys.
posted by corb at 9:19 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thank-you rorgy for that comment which
1. expresses well a number of things I've thought to myself (being a straight heterosexual guy) while reading this and other similar threads, and then
2. went on to me feel better about finding OKC, Tinder, et al to be a frustrating, discouraging waste of time.
posted by illongruci at 11:27 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]





None of which explains or excuses lying about things that are essentially immutable, such as height and age.

Personally, neither age nor height would be a deal-breaker for me. The deal-breaker is the dishonesty.


The NYT article says 81% of people lie about immutable stuff like height, weight, and age. You said that's a dealbreaker for you, but that's assuming the other party is even actually thinking about meeting IRL. It's possible that some people who lie on their dating profile, do so because they want to talk to someone or live out a small fantasy. They're not really seeking a real relationship, but a brief hit of attention.

To me that makes sense, because people still see most online interactions as not as important in comparison to real life. So, if stays online and with only strangers, they can still see themselves as honest where it counts.
posted by FJT at 6:58 PM on May 5, 2015


And I say "makes sense" not to justify it, but just to try to explain it.
posted by FJT at 7:37 PM on May 5, 2015


I realize the car is far in to the ditch, but i think it's a strong statement of how subversive dick is abundant and low value really is that it derailed the entire thread in to arguing about how there must be like, some legitimate lefty progressive reason that it's not an ok thing to say because OH MY WORDD, WELL I NEVER!

It's one of those things where the amount of outrage and reaction that it can't possibly be an ok thing to say proves exactly why it needs to be said and why it has power.
posted by emptythought at 10:40 PM on May 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


The NYT article says 81% of people lie about immutable stuff like height, weight, and age.

Dick is abundant and of low value. It is okay to hold out for the other 19%.
posted by corb at 6:52 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Meh, if dick is of such low value, why bother even holding out for it? Meaning, why not focus on something higher value in life?
posted by FJT at 10:04 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah ladies why are you talking about your own human experiences and hoping for better

cancer isn't going to cure itself y'know
posted by kagredon at 10:28 AM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Meh, if dick is of such low value, why bother even holding out for it? Meaning, why not focus on something higher value in life?

Huh? This is completely nonsensical. The whole point is to avoid spending a bunch of time and energy on guys who aren't worth your time, effort, or attention. "Holding out" just means not wasting your life on jerks - leaving you plenty of time to focus on something "higher value in life," whatever the hell that means. In the meantime, you can still keep your eyes open for someone who doesn't assume their dick has such astronomical value that you should either have to put up with their subpar inattentive-at-best treatment or spend the rest of your life as a lonely spinster.
posted by dialetheia at 10:34 AM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


ladies why are you talking about your own human experiences and hoping for better

Better isn't only sought through tinder or even through dating or coupling. We all should be hoping for better.

spend the rest of your life as a lonely spinster.

The lonely spinster is a shitty stereotype. It's completely okay if people choose to be alone. Also, if you're not dating it doesn't mean you're alone either. Being single doesn't make you incomplete or worse off, even in comparison to a relationship. Good or bad.
posted by FJT at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2015


Oh for christ's sake
posted by dialetheia at 10:48 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's completely okay if people choose not to date. It's completely okay if people choose to date. This thread is about people choosing to date. Whether you intend it or not, responding to women who are talking about being selective when they date with "why not be alone" comes off pretty shitty.
posted by kagredon at 10:48 AM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, first I apologize for being shitty. Someone responded to my 81% quote, and I had my own thoughts on it.

I'm not saying women should settle or not be selective or stop dating. I'm more responding this weird pressure about dating and how it seems society values you more only if you're a couple. For me, it tied back to "dick is abundant and of low value", because all the abundant dicks are mostly single dicks.
posted by FJT at 11:29 AM on May 6, 2015


...yes, they're single dicks (well, okay, some might be unfaithful dicks or polyamorous dicks) because this was about dating. The idea here is, I think, in part a resistance to that pressure to couple--the idea that it's okay to keep looking and not go out of your way to see the best in a guy that really isn't giving you that much to look forward to.
posted by kagredon at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


ALL OF THESE DICKS ARE YOURS SAVE ONE

ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE

posted by kagredon at 11:37 AM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meh, if dick is of such low value, why bother even holding out for it? Meaning, why not focus on something higher value in life?

This is just further proving my point though. That you feel you have to be dismissive of this in a way that puts down anyone who cares or is effected by this just proves that yes, it really is a thing, and it really does matter.

If the response to "I'm going to care less because for some reason i'm expected to care more even though the other side puts in little to no effort" is "Yea, why do you bother at all?" Then really, with that phrasing, it shows how much "I'm am not going to do the majority of the labor when your side refuses to do anything" is a controversial statement.

Your response basically comes off in a really OOooooook honey tone, like you're responding to a little kid saying they're never eating vegetables again or are going to hold their breath forever or something.

Think long and hard about why the concept of this is no longer a fee-free drop off laundry depot for dates and fucks is so threatening.

Yet another chapter in the book of men are afraid women will laugh at them, women are afraid men will kill them. Dudes getting saddlesore about the concept of having to do any work and have it be for naught, when women are having to expend effort to figure out if the guys are hair trigger assholes or rapists. It just comes off as very woe is me, and this attitude in response is GROSS.

I've shown this to several people, and seen several people post about it on social media and such. My general pre primed response as a penis-owning guy interested in women has been "if this makes you uncomfortable, or you feel the need to be immediately dismissive, examine why".
posted by emptythought at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Look at all the guys who post here on AskMe about how hard it is for them to find dates and sexual partners. Where do these people fit into the "dick is high value" ethos that this article is purportedly reacting against?

I've read the article, I've followed this discussion, and the argument basically makes no sense to me. Nobody thinks dick is high value. And it is very much the case that lots of guys with perfectly functional penises do not have success on the dating market, which supports the idea that dick is not of high value.
posted by jayder at 3:27 PM on May 6, 2015


Nobody thinks dick is high value.

Then in that case, the thesis should be uncontroversial and the argument should make perfect sense to you.

I vigorously disagree with your claim, though; the media tells me in no uncertain terms every single day that dick is high value. I am told at least a dozen times a day by television, magazines, basically every single form of media that I see, that I need to be working harder to look hotter so that men will like how I look.

The unwavering central message of this endless parade of male-gaze-centered images is that dick is high value and that it's worth endlessly chasing by spending a huge amount of time trying to conform to those standards of attractiveness. Men won't like you if you don't wax or shave your legs, ladies! And forget about not wearing makeup - but it should be the no-makeup-look makeup or you'll look slutty and men don't like that either. Dick is high value - you can't afford to chase away men by making these mistakes! And by the way, try these fifteen new sex tips to keep your man happy with you in the sack, because otherwise maybe he'll leave you for the hot woman on the next page! (meanwhile the male equivalent of "ten new ways to talk her into giving you a blowjob" and a bunch of pictures of near-topless babes that they deserve to be able to date). Sounds like plenty of people think dick is pretty high value to me.

Instead of trying to empathize with all the guys who can't find dates, it might be instructive to try to empathize with the many women in this thread who are telling you that freeing themselves from the idea that dick is high value has been quite valuable to them, and that they have definitely believed otherwise at many points in their lives - especially if you're otherwise going to ignore them and say that "nobody" thinks this message that they just finished telling you they internalized.
posted by dialetheia at 4:05 PM on May 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


In fact, it's the very idea that "dick is high value" that leads these dudes to complain about not being able to find partners, getting friendzoned, etc in the first place. If they didn't think dick was high value, their questions would be about how to improve themselves, be more confident, learn how to please women, or improve their appearance to be more attractive to women, not about what they're "doing wrong" that the endless chick parade isn't coming to their door. It's based on the assumption that they just have to do their thing and the women should come flocking - and when that doesn't happen, they act surprised. That attitude is a direct result of the idea that dick is high value.
posted by dialetheia at 4:08 PM on May 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


Look at all the guys who post here on AskMe about how hard it is for them to find dates and sexual partners. Where do these people fit into the "dick is high value" ethos that this article is purportedly reacting against?

I don't think Metafilter is a good representation of the wider human population. That said, I do think you are right in that it doesn't sound intuitive at first, but this is how I see it - it becomes a weird, perpetual motion machine of crappiness for everyone involved:

1) Men bombard hundreds of women on dating sites en masse with messages

2) Women expend massive amounts of time/energy trying to sift through the volume of men to find guys who are not rapey/creepers/at least minimally decent.

3) This constant bombardment and the work involved leaves women exhausted and forces them to lower their standards ("ugh...just give me a guy who writes in complete sentences and doesn't say nasty things"). Men are also forced to lower their standards by having to message women in bulk, regardless of who these women are, just to get a handful of opportunities.

4) As a result, a lot of men get the impression that it's enough to just plain exist in order to attract women. This is where you get that dick is overvalued - you don't need to put much effort into making yourself appealing - as long as you're not a psycho like the others, then women should flock to you. When they don't, it's exactly as rorgy pointed out upthread: "if they fail to be interested in us, it's because we must be fucking awful and valueless and what is it???? are we just ugly?????? is it because we don't make enough money or aren't in a band or...?????" It doesn't occur to them that just being a decent human being isn't enough to be compatible, so they assume the woman must really hate them for some mysterious reason. And even despite lowering their standards, women are still going to be selective, because people are complicated and it's really hard to maintain a relationship if there's no actual connection there. So men will react either by questioning themselves ("am I that awful that she rejected me??", and posing questions on AskMe) or angrily lashing out ("F*ck you for thinking you're too good for me").

5) Ergo, men end up getting rejected a lot. And as a result, they redouble their efforts and send even more messages to as many women as possible to increase their chances. Women get even more overwhelmed by the volume of men approaching them, and thus the vicious cycle goes on and on and on...
posted by adso at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


If they didn't think dick was high value, their questions would be about how to improve themselves, be more confident, learn how to please women, or improve their appearance to be more attractive to women, not about what they're "doing wrong" that the endless chick parade isn't coming to their door.

This times a million. Or, "I was nice to her and she still didn't fuck me! The indignity! It's like she thought that she and her time had value and she was legitimately able to choose her own preferences, rather than being obligated to take me by virtue of my penis!"
posted by corb at 4:30 PM on May 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


Like, here's a radical concept. Maybe a lot of the single guys out there who 'can't find dates' have nothing to do with 'a few assholes ruining it for everyone'. Maybe they can't find dates because they are not working hard enough to actually be a value-added for women, rather than just 'a man'. And feminism happened, boys! We are not hidden away and hideous if we can't attach a Ken doll to our side!
posted by corb at 4:32 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


That you feel you have to be dismissive of this in a way that puts down anyone who cares or is effected by this just proves that yes, it really is a thing, and it really does matter.

You're putting motivations into my head that aren't there. I didn't feel or think in my head that, "Yes, this is a perfect opportunity to be dismissive and attack someone else".

Your response basically comes off in a really OOooooook honey tone, like you're responding to a little kid saying they're never eating vegetables again or are going to hold their breath forever or something.

I disagree. I was treating what everyone said in a completely serious manner. I was not behaving like a parent blowing off their or outright ignoring what their kid said. And my own response about being single was also serious. I agreed with the article and I think it's great that more women are thinking, "I'm going to care less because for some reason i'm expected to care more even though the other side puts in little to no effort". It made sense to me and it still does.

My general pre primed response as a penis-owning guy interested in women has been "if this makes you uncomfortable, or you feel the need to be immediately dismissive, examine why"

Even though I agree with the article and it doesn't make me uncomfortable and I didn't feel the need to be dismissive, I still examined my own response. And the truth is, I'm a little lost at how your reached your conclusions on what I had written. It's been a few hours and I actually sat down, relaxed a bit, and tried to figure it out. And I can't. I'm not trying to win an argument or feel superior to other people. The only thing I can think of is maybe I shouldn't use the word "meh" and I was having trouble ending my thought and used "higher value" when I probably should have used other words. But I don't ascribe those errors to being uncomfortable or feeling I have to be dismissive.
posted by FJT at 7:23 PM on May 6, 2015


adso -- (4) does not follow from (3), that's what I mean by incoherent.
posted by jayder at 7:42 PM on May 6, 2015


In fact, it's the very idea that "dick is high value" that leads these dudes to complain about not being able to find partners, getting friendzoned, etc in the first place. If they didn't think dick was high value, their questions would be about how to improve themselves, be more confident, learn how to please women, or improve their appearance to be more attractive to women, not about what they're "doing wrong" that the endless chick parade isn't coming to their door. It's based on the assumption that they just have to do their thing and the women should come flocking - and when that doesn't happen, they act surprised. That attitude is a direct result of the idea that dick is high value.

Hmmm. But women differ and the common advice given to guys is "just be yourself ," "be real," etc. Thinking "okay I'm being myself, I'm respectful, have a good job, why am I having trouble getting dates?" is NOT saying "my dick is high value." As one can gather from Rorgy's post and similar experiences of others, genuinely good people have trouble finding partners and dates. To attribute their disappointment to an attitude that "my dick has high value" is insulting, belittling, and doesn't really make sense.
posted by jayder at 7:49 PM on May 6, 2015


Then in that case, the thesis should be uncontroversial and the argument should make perfect sense to you.

No. It's presented breathlessly as a startling epiphany and I'm saying nobody has ever thought otherwise, so this piece is just stating the obvious.

It makes more sense to couch it as "high-value males/alpha males/headstrong confident and successful males' dick is abundant and low value" since those are men that women will chase. But weak, common, trollish guys who mass mail women on okcupid? No. Nobody ever thought their dick was high value.
posted by jayder at 7:58 PM on May 6, 2015


But women differ and the common advice given to guys is "just be yourself ," "be real," etc.

I think that advice only worked when women are told that they should settle with a guy. In a more fair world, that advice doesn't really apply anymore. To assume that one has value just because they have a job and they act like a decent person is an assumption that you're worth something as a date, that you are someone that's "high value".

To actually be of any value, men have to figure out just as many ways to be confident, to look good for women, and to please women as much as women do to please men. And even then, they might not be able to go out on on a date because there are a bunch of guys competing to do the same thing and women have their own choice in the matter too.

In short, if you want to be yourself, you're probably going to end up by yourself.
posted by FJT at 8:25 PM on May 6, 2015


Or...you know, treat the people you want to date with basic courtesy and also accept that romantic compatibility is sometimes a mysterious thing and there's no guarantee of it or 100% effective formula for it. I mean, cripes.
posted by kagredon at 9:08 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


What this all really comes back to is this: no one is obligated to have a "good reason" not to date someone else. (To clarify: this is not to say that it isn't legitimate and necessary to acknowledge and critique how oppression and cultural baggage influence perception of what is attractive, but I do not think that is the main issue here, and there is an important difference between "I don't date trans/fat/$RACE men" and "I don't date guys with beards/vegans/who work in $PROFESSION".)

I mean, hell, I think "They wore jerseys for teams that suck" is a silly criterion to sort on, but fuck it, if that matters to Alana Massey, more power to her for knowing what she wants. Maybe she has a reason. Maybe she's gone on a lot of bad dates with Mets fans, or she has an ex who was a big fan of the Lions, or she grew up in Chicago and just wants to punch someone any time she hears "There's always next year." Maybe she has no reason! It's none of my or anyone else's fucking business either way.

Even pick-up artists, who are often held up as being the ur-example of the "numbers game", are, if anything, the opposite. The goal isn't to find a woman who is genuinely interested in them for her own reasons; it's about overcoming women's reasons for rejecting them. Even if they're reasons that are totally down to matters of personal preference. (I have a lot of respect, actually, for men who are playing a purer version of the numbers game, who hear me politely declining their offer of a drink or a dance or a number and move the fuck on, who do not respond with attempts at cajoling or flattering or intimidating me into changing my mind.) It seems like there's something almost threatening about a woman who isn't interested in a man for reasons that he doesn't understand or can't control.
posted by kagredon at 1:14 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


In short, if you want to be yourself, you're probably going to end up by yourself.

So wrong, in a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way. If "being yourself" means not abiding any kind of social filter or modicum of respectful communication, then yes, you will probably end up being alone. "Being yourself" as being both respectful and honest will most certainly not consign you to aloneness in itself.

Hmmm. But women differ and the common advice given to guys is "just be yourself ," "be real," etc. Thinking "okay I'm being myself, I'm respectful, have a good job, why am I having trouble getting dates?" is NOT saying "my dick is high value." As one can gather from Rorgy's post and similar experiences of others, genuinely good people have trouble finding partners and dates. To attribute their disappointment to an attitude that "my dick has high value" is insulting, belittling, and doesn't really make sense.

Bear in mind that the subject of the article here are the kind of fedora'd dickpic spammers who exhibit no sense that the woman they're talking to is an actual human being with a sense of self-respect and emotions, think of dating as some kind of math game, and react in a very volatile matter to rejection or perceived slights; not lonely guys who are sincerely wondering what they can do better or different to find a compatible partner.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:34 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


the common advice given to guys is "just be yourself ," "be real," etc. Thinking "okay I'm being myself, I'm respectful, have a good job, why am I having trouble getting dates?" is NOT saying "my dick is high value."

When we say "be yourself" "be real", we are saying stop fucking lying to women. We're not saying not to improve yourself. If you improve yourself, then you are still being yourself and real, just a better yourself.

And yes. Thinking that being respectful, not lying, and having a good job is enough to get dates IS saying your dick is high value. It's saying that all you should have to do is not have major negatives. It is not enough.
posted by corb at 6:50 AM on May 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


No. It's presented breathlessly as a startling epiphany and I'm saying nobody has ever thought otherwise, so this piece is just stating the obvious.

I'm a woman and it took about 8-10 years past puberty to realize that my lack of success with dating was actually NOT because I was a desperate, pathetic, ugly, valueless excuse for a woman who no ~man~ would ~value~, and was instead a combination of my low self-esteem and the fact that a lot of men were actually super shitty. And once I began to value myself and demand that men value me as well, I began to have a way better dating life.

It IS a startling epiphany when you're the one having it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:44 AM on May 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Being yourself" as being both respectful and honest will most certainly not consign you to aloneness in itself.

Well true, my last sentence was an exaggeration. Though, people do get into situations where they settle into a relationship in order not to be alone.

And respect and honesty still don't make you high value, because those things are the very basic expectations of social interaction. Someone who's best trait is that he's a "decent guy" is still low value.
posted by FJT at 9:02 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


And just because it apparently and startlingly needs to be said: a woman is not the prize you get in the Crackerjack box of being a bog-standard 'decent guy'.
posted by corb at 9:06 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


And just because it apparently and startlingly needs to be said: a woman is not the prize you get in the Crackerjack box of being a bog-standard 'decent guy'.

Not sure who you are addressing here, but nothing I have said in this thread contradicts your assertion. I am saying that being puzzled about why you have no found love, says nothing about the value you place on your dick.

I mean ... Look around you. People all along the spectrum of attractiveness, morals, smarts, wealth, and professional accomplishment manage to find love and pair off.

So any one guy wondering "why have I not found someone" does not deserve to have his reasoning dismissively characterized as "my DICK is high value." I mean, come on, that's silly. There is no depth to which a person can sink in looks, morals, poverty, criminality, or general overall shittiness, that they are precluded from finding someone to be with, so yeah, sometimes guys who comparatively have it together just wonder ... and that is not out of this bizarre penis entitlement. Women who have it together wonder the same thing.
posted by jayder at 9:21 AM on May 7, 2015


tedious mansplaining is abundant and low value
posted by kagredon at 10:24 AM on May 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


"high-value males/alpha males/headstrong confident and successful males' ..."

Does anyone other than PUAs actually classify men like this? Just wondering. I don't know of any women who do.
posted by caryatid at 1:24 PM on May 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


a woman is not the prize you get

A woman is not a prize period. It's strange that we have gotten around to the belief that a woman does not need a man to be happy, but no one is really asserting that the opposite is also true. So many men are convinced that having a woman to love them and have sex with them will make them happy (as long as she is sufficiently attractive and/or compliant), despite abundant evidence to the contrary. If not for this belief, we'd have little to talk about here. Perhaps men actually need love and/or sex more than women - but I really don't see why this would be a reality rather than an outdated trope.

A good relationship, where the partners are compatible with each other, certainly can be better than being alone for those who prefer companionship and everything that may entail, but that doesn't seem to be the focus of recent comments. Finding someone you are compatible with means being quick to reject those who don't respond positively to who you are. Failing to do that indicates low self-esteem, which I think is definitely a more pivotal issue for many men than their "lack of dating success". High self-esteem isn't a panacea, and certainly some men's problem is an unwarranted excess of it, but there's a good chunk of men I think could do with more of it.

I don't know if I blame solely patriarchy so much as that subset of it that is devoted to getting us buying things. Sex is a base motivator for the vast majority of both men and women, and reinforcing the drive for it by preying on our insecurity is arguably the principal tool of capitalism to foment itself.
posted by callistus at 1:36 PM on May 7, 2015


So any one guy wondering "why have I not found someone" does not deserve to have his reasoning dismissively characterized as "my DICK is high value.

But the original essay is about casual, app-facilitated hookups, not finding a life partner.

I don't know why I'm coming back to this thread, of all threads, right now, but jayder:

If you asked straight guys to analyze the dynamics of casual sex, I think a majority would tell you women have an advantage/more choices in picking partners. I don't know if it's true, I'm just saying that would be their stated belief, and you're right it's a "dick is low value" position. We could talk about the contradictions between this belief and the way some of the same guys might act - Massey describes some of those behaviors. But her real point as rogy and showbiz_liz already pointed out, is that a lot of the time straight women don't feel like they have an advantage or a lot of good choices or like they are "high value" and that in this particular situation they should recognize that they are.
posted by atoxyl at 5:09 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


And yes. Thinking that being respectful, not lying, and having a good job is enough to get dates IS saying your dick is high value. It's saying that all you should have to do is not have major negatives. It is not enough.

Seems like being a minimum okay not terrible person should reasonably be enough to get a date with another minimum okay not terrible person. But everyone seems to think they deserve way more than that...
posted by atoxyl at 5:15 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you asked straight guys to analyze the dynamics of casual sex, I think a majority would tell you women have an advantage/more choices in picking partners.

Most of the people I know who engage in casual sex are men, both gay and straight, though I know some women. It's usually nice to have choices, but perhaps there is some asymmetry here, as men feel they would appreciate more choice more than women seem to. Maybe since casual sex isn't about a whole lot more than sex, more choices leads to a situation like we see in choosing some processed foodstuff at the supermarket or programming on cable TV.

Does anyone other than PUAs actually classify men like this? Just wondering. I don't know of any women who do.

I'd imagine it's a product of a PUA mentality, but that itself is representative of larger cultural attitudes about heterosexual relationships. For example, if saying "dick is low value" does not necessarily mean men in general are low value, it seems reasonable to me to infer that you are categorizing some men as high value and some as low value.

The argument we've seen promulgated in a few comments that you need to be something "more" than just a decent guy to be other than "low value" is also predicated on this view of men, which I think is false. Are men supposed to have special powers to be "enough"? What's more, meeting any arbitrary measure of "high value" (other than simply being attractive to women) is not a guarantee that one will be attractive to women. I know men who are otherwise handsome, wealthy, talented in remarkable ways etc. who still cannot get a date, though they would like to. I know extraordinary women in the same boat. I don't claim to know exactly why, but it's likely complex issue with probably a complex answer best arrived at in conjunction with an adept therapist.

And a man doesn't have to be some exceptional guy to get a woman to like him, because, despite what society teaches us, having a woman want to be with him is not an arbiter of his value. There's a guy where I work who just got married. He's maybe 5'4"-5'5", in OK shape but not athletic, not notably handsome. He recently married a lovely woman who's about 5'6", very personable and talented in numerous ways, who also works there. He clearly doesn't make much more money than she does either. Would I say he is just "bog-standard decent"? No, I'd say he's terrific (which is a purely subjective and utterly imprecise claim). I mean he's very likable, helpful and funny, clearly passionate about his life and about his wife. I guess that passion and his overall personality could be a basis for "assigning value" to him, but I think that's ultimately just mental masturbation. What matters is these two people have great chemistry together; nothing else really enters into it.
posted by callistus at 8:15 PM on May 7, 2015


What's more, meeting any arbitrary measure of "high value" (other than simply being attractive to women) is not a guarantee that one will be attractive to women. I know men who are otherwise handsome, wealthy, talented in remarkable ways etc. who still cannot get a date, though they would like to.

I'm taking a guess, but I don't think "high value" is necessarily about or only about being handsome or wealthy or talented. Admittedly, there are different priorities among different people, but I think generally someone that's not low value, that goes beyond basic decency is probably also is good at soft skills. Showing a sense of self-awareness, some confidence, and emotional maturity. And also in long term relationships being able to handle half the emotional work and maintenance.

That's what I think anyways, because I have met guys who think their hot stuff because they have money, or because they're computer programmers or whatever, but they come across as arrogant or it's obvious they're using these traits to paper over an insecurity or something else.
posted by FJT at 9:30 PM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm taking a guess, but I don't think "high value" is necessarily about or only about being handsome or wealthy or talented.

Yes, exactly! I think one big disconnect here is that people are thinking that demonstrating "high value" necessarily entails being rich, successful, perfectly attractive, etc. It doesn't - it just means being a good person with a few valuable attributes like sense of humor, loyalty useful skills, decent confidence, or moral conscience, and not just being a not-bad-I-guess person whose sole claims to fame are that he can hold down a job and he doesn't beat you.

callisto: I mean he's very likable, helpful and funny, clearly passionate about his life and about his wife. I guess that passion and his overall personality could be a basis for "assigning value" to him, but I think that's ultimately just mental masturbation.

It absolutely isn't. He sounds like a terrific guy, just as you say. I just think you and others might be underestimating how rare guys like him really are. Every single one of those attributes would put him into a "high value" category for me if I was trying to decide whether to date him or not. Passionate about his life and his wife?! That's gold, not common, and it's not even close to "mental masturbation" to think about that stuff when you're trying to find a person to share the rest of your life with.
posted by dialetheia at 10:53 AM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think that's a large part of it - a lot of men tend to assume that the patriarchal skills they value are the same ones women are looking for. But because men are dangerous to women, women are looking for a lot of things. I'm off the market now but if I were to assign what would make a man high value for me before my marriage I would say: intelligent, witty, self-aware, emotionally wise, considerate of others, not jealous, good at giving and accepting compliments, secure in his masculinity, physically and emotionally brave, inclined towards commitment, interested in children, willing to prioritize girlfriend or wife. Things like a consistent history of successful employment are important but not for the reasons men think we think they're important. I look at the history of employment and that says to me this guy has a certain amount of maturity. This guy understands how to do things that he may not want to do for long term goals, able to prioritize long-term happiness over short term happiness. If he has no ability to engage in delayed gratification, that's something that carries over to the relationship. It's not because I want to rub myself with money, it's because the majority of the men who are under or unemployed - often though no fault of their own- tend to have other issues. Often those other issues are related to the lack of security in their masculinity which has very little to do with me and more to do with them and how they perceive themselves. And it's a thing I'm looking for, so if maturity and the ability to engage in difficult things is not related or counter indicated by their employment then their job really doesn't matter too much to me. You see that with a lot of guys yes they're making a lot of money but they're basically playing with toys they enjoy. They still have difficult relationships with women and a f*** ton of immaturity.

And good looking? Whenever I've been 6 months into a relationship, whoever I'm with starts to look like a model. It has very little to do with their objective looks and more to do with how I perceive them as a result of their actions and experiences.

Chemistry is not actually what many women choose for. I had great chemistry with two exes before I learned better - but they were irresponsible and self absorbed. Nope! Low value.
posted by corb at 11:21 AM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


D'oh - apologies for getting your username wrong, callistus!
posted by dialetheia at 11:26 AM on May 8, 2015


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