Thoughts on 'sex-only'
Personals Ads from Men


by Green Onions


[I started out writing this piece as response to a `flame war' on alt.personals.fat. But then I decided to refine it and give it a title. As usual, I claim no legal rights over the text: do as you please with it. Those of you who have not seen the original flame war will get the gist pretty quickly. Comments welcomed by author.]

Hmmm...the prospect of providing my $0.02 on the lengthy debate between `JrsyTomato' and `Conrad S' is too irresistible. Boy, I really should be hacking some `C' right now!! :)

Based on conversations with a lot of people on the 'net, as well as my own experience, I suspect that neither gender is really looking just for sex or just for romance or companionship from the other.

I've known perfectly sensible women who admit to--in their randier, younger days--picking up men in bars and having sex with them just for libido-satisfaction purposes, and who have actually been annoyed at the desire of some of these men to be `friends'. (Female prostitutes are often said to have similar complaints.)

And on the other side, many men may _think_ that they just want to use a woman for sex, but I believe the reality is that few of them are sufficiently in touch with their feelings to realize that they would really like quite a bit more. And perhaps their thinking is very conventional and they can't accept the idea of a compassionate, warm, sensual relationship which happens to fall neither into the category of a `Platonic' friendship or an LTR. Or maybe they believe that there are few if any women who can handle that idea. I think they're wrong on both counts.

Of course, a lot of women say that they will not have a sex-only relationship and express annoyance with ads from men for such situations. Nevertheless I think most of these women *are* looking for a *lot* of sensual pleasure along with romantic or affectionate companionship. (And this is not to say that such women are denying this proposition or being in any way dishonest. But I think it's a point that many men tend to overlook, so it's worth mentioning.)

In sum, most people of both genders want an emotional and a physical connection simultaneously.

Alas, we are all too hypnotized by the societal requirements that men cannot be `pussy whipped' and women cannot be `sluts.' (BTW I dislike both those terms *intensely* and only use them when I feel that the content of what I'm saying requires them. Here it does, because I'm talking about the same brainwashing process that leads the sexes to speak so ill of one another while at the same time admiring each another very much.)

You can call me an optimist if you want. But I am not denying that there is considerable abuse in the society which ought to be remedied. Still, I cannot believe that the average man is a jerk or the average woman is out to do whatever a whole lot of suspicious men think that she is (such as marry them, or use them exclusively as a source of emotional and/or financial support).

Of course I have been through my share of unpleasant situations involving the opposite sex and I would never attempt to minimize the significance of others' bad experiences. And I think that there is a bit of understandable frustration `creeping through the bits' when I read the irritated remarks of JT (`JrsyTomato') and the flippant, snide, and scornful ones of CS (Conrad S.).

Indeed, JT does more than hint at the degree of dissatisfaction that she has with the public posture of men who post sex-only ads and laughs at those posters who admitted their frustration at the lack of response. CS engages in a bit of awkward _ad hominem_ by accusing JT of a lack of decorum (and personal appeal) while making the debatable point that complaints such as JT's are necessarily unreasonable.

I have two silly suggestions that might infuriate both. If we start from the idea that men who post sex-only ads are often looking for more, then perhaps it behooves some women who want a relationship that has _some_ sexual component to write responses in which they indicate that they are unwilling to be used as a piece of meat and that they want to get to know the man a little bit prior to even considering the question of sexual contact. Some men would balk, but others might then realize that it's time to `get real' about things.

Hoo-boy. That's asking a lot of women, right? Okay, maybe it is.

But then again, maybe a quick (standard) 10-line letter might not take too long to write and the potential loss would be minimal (if necessary, consider using the free anonymous service: send a message to `help@anon.penet.fi' for more information).

Now if the guy doesn't realize that the onus is on him to say something sensible in response, then forget him. And let him know right off the bat that you _may_ be interested, but not in someone who can't express themselves or who _actually does_ want a relationship with _nothing_ but sex. (As I said before, many men will back off at this point and just admit that they have kids and don't want to break up their marriages. Fair enough. So do a lot of women.)

And now I'd like to mortify CS. I agree with JT that many such ads are ridiculous.

Why don't all you men out there who insist on posting idiotic 2-liners full of childish misspellings and half-written sentences just read the personals FAQs (periodically posted to all the personals groups), or at least look at existing ads until you've seen some examples that look compelling?

For heaven's sakes, write AT LEAST 15 LINES. Tell the woman something about yourself. You don't have to be Mr. Universe: a lot of women enjoy the fact that a man is willing to say that he likes (e.g.) toy trains or rock climbing or bowling or chess, as long as he's not insistent that she do it with him.

Now many of you men might object: "Why should I have to do that, if I'm not seeking an (emotional) LTR?" My answer is that if you really wanted a blowup doll (to borrow a reference from JT) then you'd have one by now. You're advertising on the 'net because you want a response from a *real* person. And therefore you can't expect someone to answer the ad unless they see that *you* are a real person, because if *they* wanted a plastic dildoe, they would buy one, not answer your ad!

A lot of men also say that they consider their chances to be very low because women don't really want sex, so why invest any effort? First off, most women *do* want sex, and probably on the same terms that most men do (as I keep saying, the problem is that many men either don't realize that they want more than sex or feel uncomfortable asking for more).

Second, even if you're only betting a penny, it's a waste if you're not going to make a decent bet. Either spend a little time on the ad or don't bother abusing the subscribers of the newsgroup with a haplessly hopeless post. You can write 15 readable lines; you're not a baby (or if you are, you shouldn't be posting anyway)!

If you can't touch-type, put your ad down on paper and spend 10 minutes making a few changes. Then spend another 10 minutes (that's 40 seconds a line) `pecking' it out on the keyboard. Oh, and explain to the women who respond that you can't type and ask if you can use some other medium to get to know them better (snail-mail, telephone, whatever). Many women will appreciate the thought and seriously consider making some adjustments. (Indeed, I think most will be very pleased by your honesty, and that in turn will improve things all the way around.)

So I'm *not only* saying that most men as well as most women both desire sex as well as affection, and I'm *not merely* pointing out that I agree with JT that men do an incredibly lousy job of writing ads.

The most important point I'm making is that everyone should be willing to think about what they want, and to present themselves in a way which is true to their own needs, and then try to stick their necks out a little bit and `go the extra inch': *both* in terms of considering *alternative explanations* for the apparently-incomprehensible conduct of the opposite gender *and* in terms of reaching out to them.

So you don't have to 'give away the store.' Just try a bit harder.

You don't wanna do it? Why should you bother? It's `_their_' fault, isn't it? You're gonna plant your derriere right where it should be and fold your arms until `they' come-a-runnin' to you, right? Serves 'em right for what _they_ did to you--or other members of your gender--in the past. Besides, `principles are principles'. Stand Up for the Truth and Sal-ute!

(Can you hear Sgt. Carter of the American TV show ``Gomer Pyle''in the background, yelling "MOOVE IT! MOOOOVE IT!!"?)

Okay. If you're satisfied with your current situation, then keep doing what you're doing. Don't give an inch. But if you're not, why not consider some alternatives?

There are plenty of people who've hooked up with others on the 'net and who now have fulfilling relationships--both within and outside of the boundaries of monogamy--that contain liberal amounts of friendship, (com-)passion, sex and affection. They all took risks to get there, despite their past experiences.

Green Onions ;)



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