During my run the other day, a song came onto my Pandora station, Let’s Marvin Gaye and Get it On. It’s hella catchy, featuring the awesome Meghan Trainor. I couldn’t help but pay attention to the lyrics. Essentially, it takes inspiration from the incomparable Marvin Gaye and his song Let’s Get It On and sets it to a contemporary beat. Though the overall message is benign and romantically inclined, the lyrics include some lines that reflect our sex-crazed culture like “It’s a Kama Sutra show and tell.” These words got me thinking about some sordid tales relayed by friends about their recent non-Mesh online dating interactions.
They told me that lately, they’ve noticed a noticeable shift in how men communicate in the realm of online dating. Messages go from PG rated interactions with some gentle flirting, mild banter and minimal sexual undertones to men coming outright with inappropriate requests off the bat. They’ve shared tales of men who request to skip dinner (not so bad) pass on the drink (getting worse) and jump right into bed (unacceptable). And unlike the gentle croonings of Mr. Gaye, these men are looking for something that falls more into the ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am’ category and less of the ‘Sweet Romance’ variety.
It makes me wonder why there are any sites out there where this behavior is condoned. Why are there men out there who think that skipping any notion of romance and heading in a straight shot to sexy-time is an acceptable way to behave?
Here’s a couple of my guesses about how the culture got here:
1 Users can hide behind a screen. Online dating can be amazing. It can expose you (no pun intended) to a breadth of people you might not otherwise come into contact with. HOWEVER, there’s also an element of it that removes the notion of humanity—if you let it. It’s a lot easier to be gross to a complete stranger through a screen than it is to a real life person.
2 They’ve gotten permission. For every ten d**k pics that receive a ‘You’re gross’ response, one of those pics gets an encouraging ‘Oooh send more’. These guys are just looking for the right audience and I’m sure that some women out there are thrilled to have this sort of fling. So if sex is the dish du jour, someone will eventually be interested in having a taste.
3 Everyone else is doing it. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the latest debacle involving a certain dating site that advocates extramarital affairs. Sites like this make people think that this is standard operating procedure across all dating sites. Well guess what? It’s not.
4 They’re scared. Relationships can be fulfilling and amazing. But they can also be scary as hell. If you remove the emotional element from the equation, what you’re left with is transactional sex. That can be a heck of a lot easier than the former option and truth is, leaves no room for complication or feelings getting hurt. No emotions = no worries. An enticing offer in certain instances for sure.
I’m sure there’s a whole slew of other reasons for this recent breach in propriety but these three seem to be as good an explanation as any. Regardless of whether they’ve gotten permission or are too darn scared to come out from behind the screen, I for one won’t have it. I feel empowered knowing that there are sites out there that allow me to online date in a safe space. One where I feel protected and where people I won’t vibe with are already removed from the mix. And until all of my girlfriends wise up and get off those other sites, I’ll keep preaching that they need to teach these naughty boys a lesson in good behavior.