Men: they’re fucking everywhere, aren’t they? God, I had almost forgotten they existed. I used to walk down streets past men every day and barely give them a second glance, but suddenly now I am starting to notice them. Men. Everywhere. This is a post written loosely off the back of a pep talk I gave to a friend, in which I urged her: shoot your shot. (hat tip to @Oloni for introducing me to that excellent phrase)
I never thought I’d be one of those weird people who didn’t fancy others when I was in a relationship, but it turns out I genuinely was. Sure, I’d often have public transport sex fantasies about men I spotted on the tube, or occasional crushes on hot friends who’d steal my cigarettes in a domly manner, but the actual reality of trying to fuck someone else never really entered my one-dick mind. I had eyes for him, and fantasies for him, and I only really entertained thoughts of shagging other people in situations where he was there to cheer me on.
Now, though? Now? Men are fucking everywhere and I have started to notice them. What began as a trickle of snapshots – a hot guy at the counter in Co-op or a cute dude cycling in front of me along the canal – has turned into a deluge. An avalanche.
The guys who go running up in the park nearby, who stop to do crunches in the middle of the field. Could I fuck one of them?
The men who saunter slowly back from Tesco carrying bags full of snacks, loping casually as if they have nowhere specific to be. If I banged one of them, would he share his snacks afterwards?
The ones on dating sites with their comedy hats and polyamorous girlfriends, who state up front that they’re looking for ‘connection’ but not monogamy. Could I enlist one of these guys as the kind of casual fuckbuddy my empty cunt craves?
The answers, incidentally, are: no, no and probably.
I’m crap at chatting people up in real life. Online, though, I know how to get to work. My online dating success is absolutely nothing to do with skill, it’s just based on the numbers and the willingness to accept that I will get a lot of ‘no’s. I’m applying the confidence of a woman who could not give a single flying fuck if she’s met with silence. So a guy doesn’t reply, or says ‘no’ – so what? I’m not going to die because a stranger didn’t reply to a simple message. And I’m not going to get laid if I don’t say ‘yes’ to a few myself, or send witty remarks to people on the off-chance they might think I’m cool. I have nothing whatsoever to lose in these interactions, because I don’t define ‘losing’ as ‘failing to get replies’ but ‘failing to approach any men in the first place.’
While we’re on the subject of ‘success’ at online dating, it’d be remiss of me not to point out that there are a number of reasons I don’t like using ‘number of replies/dates’ as a measure of success. Not least because – as a good friend pointed out to me recently – this kind of success on a dating site can be influenced by many factors, not least white privilege. Despite many dating sites ditching their ‘filter by ethnicity’ options, many people do still decide based on ethnicity, because people are fucking racist. I’d say ‘note to racists: stop doing yourself out of fun dates’ but honestly if you do this you don’t deserve any fucking dates, as you don’t deserve a date if you’ve automatically clicked ‘no’ on the question ‘would you date a transgender person?’ Needless to say, sites which involve people picking a partner are always going to be rife with those who have ‘preferences’ that could better be labelled ‘prejudice’ – a ‘preference’ for people who are white, or not disabled, or thin, or tall, or cisgender – and this paragraph is here mainly to remind me to write about it later, and to acknowledge that I am not unaware of the ways in which my privilege plays into this pep-talky rant. I shoot my shot on easy mode, made super easy because of white (cisgender, able-bodied, etc) privilege.
Giving people the opportunity to reject you
Recently, a good friend of mine lamented the fact that she was lacking in fuck, and confessed that she was shy about putting herself out there to get some. She was worried about a ‘no’, and had convinced herself that ‘no’ was so mighty it would hammer her into the ground – crush her confidence and scupper any chance of her shooting for a ‘yes’ in the future. She felt unattractive, unappealing, uncool. So worried was she about this that she hadn’t even given men the opportunity to reject her: the rejection itself scared her so much that the guys who might have said ‘yes’ were languishing on that dating site – un-asked, un-shot-for, unfucked.
That friend? Molly Fucking Moore.
Molly Moore! Sex blogger, queen of fuck, enticing temptress par excellence. Funny, filthy, fuckworthy femme and Goddess of Sinful Sunday.
I mention it only because our conversation happened at around the same time I started thinking about joining a dating site, and realising men are everywhere. I say this not to devalue men – I love you loads and want to fuck most of you – but there are absolutely shitloads of you, aren’t there? The fear I used to get when wandering up to a guy in a bar to mumble compliments about his shirt have vanished into the breeze now online dating exists. The terror of asking a boy out at the school disco crumbles into nothing when you realise that there isn’t an army of popular kids gleefully watching you shoot your shot and itching to see your rejection. You are just you, alone, unobserved, fishing in a sea that is absolutely teeming with life.
Shoot your shot: men are everywhere
Men are everywhere. In shops, parks, cafes, restaurants. On the tables outside pubs in the garden. Those ones are ‘hard mode’ though, the ‘easy mode’ men are all in my phone – on Twitter and dating sites and WhatsApp and email. With their lovely hands and their wry smiles and the way they fav my thirsty tweets as if to say ‘I would definitely fuck you again if I lived nearby.’ Sometimes they’re there with impenetrable politeness which can’t really be read either way: are they humouring me, or hinting that they would? Who knows? Who cares? Why not just ask? A ‘no’ from a guy is a genuine gift – he’s saved me the hassle of waiting and wondering, and allowed me to move efficiently on to the next possibility.
I’ll tell you now what I said to my good friend Molly: men are everywhere, so shoot your shot. If you message someone and say ‘hey! I like you and I’m horny! Get in my cunt!’*, then what will happen is:
a) you’ll probably delight some men and
b) you may well get some ‘no’s because not all men are available/possible, and their consent matters but
c) you won’t give a flying fuck about ‘b’ because ‘a’ will also be happening, and even if ‘a’ hasn’t happened yet, when you’ve had enough ‘b’ you realise it was never going to destroy you – it’s like a vaccine for your fear.
*I do not actually recommend ‘I’m horny, get in my cunt’ as a chat-up line. But maybe that works on Fetlife, I don’t know. Bear with me, I’m incredibly out of practice.
Low expectations, high on life
Perhaps it’s easier for me because I do not want a boyfriend. My standards are not ‘find someone with whom I can share my heart and life and collection of NSFW coffee mugs.’ I am not looking for a lifelong companion or intimate connection or love. In the sudden, aching, monstrous gap that opened when the break-up happened, I see nothing but the horrifying absence of the future I thought we once had, and the miserable baffling loneliness of life without him. I am not looking to replace that guy, as I wasn’t looking at him to replace the one before.
The people who advise me to take my time and avoid rushing into something new are working under false assumptions. Firstly they forget that I’m Girl on the fucking Net – I don’t fuck because I need it for content, I write this content because I love to fuck. The fucking came first, and it’ll live on long after these pages go dark. More importantly, the people who say ‘isn’t it a bit quick to go fucking other people?’ think I am looking for something significant. They see me running out into the world with my broken heart exposed and raw and painful, waiting to shove it into the pocket of the first eager gentleman who turns up. But I’m not.
I’m looking for fun, and distraction, and men. I need company, laughter, and innuendoes-over-drinks. I don’t want a boyfriend, I want men. Cute men, funny men, weird men, nerdy men, men who don’t know me yet but who reckon they like me anyway. Men who ask me how my day was and genuinely care about the answer. Men who try to hold my hand or grab my arse or tempt me to come back to their place. Men whose ‘no’s don’t stab me in the heart, just make me shrug my shoulders and move on.
I could sit on the sidelines of life, wistfully staring at the men I have started to notice, passing time in nervous daydreams the way I did when I was young. But life is short, gang. It’s so fucking short. And who knows whether the next relationship I end up in will last another nine years? Nine more years of being so fixated on one man that I forget about the others – the men who are absolutely everywhere.
Feel free to link me back to this post in a few months’ time once I have stopped manically swimming on the surface of my inner turmoil and sunk thoroughly into the depths of my own misery. You can tell me ‘I told you so!’, and we’ll have a lot of fun.