You go on a date with your right swipe from tinder and have a gala time. You guys actually have a connection. She is a strong headed woman and you are a modern man. You guys walk back home. You think about leaning in for a kiss (and probably something more) but then the flashbacks of all the metoo headlines stop you. You turn around, go back home and do another solo performance.
My dating life has been like this for the past few months now. The constant doubts regarding my actions, my dating moves, or even having a real conversation without offending the lady in front of me.
Now I am not saying anything against the movement or even doubting if it should have happened or not. But you have to accept the fact that metoo changed the whole dating scene for everyone everywhere.
And not just men, even women are comprehending on how to swim the dark waters now.
An MTV survey revealed how 40% of men aged 18 to 25 said the #MeToo movement has changed the way they act in potential romantic relationships. For good or for bad? Who knows? But they have changed.
I for one had to change. Now, what kind of change is that depends on your subjectivity. In the fear of being perceived as the harasser or an anti-women, I made a choice not to initiate things sexually with the women I went out with. (Calm down on those judgy looks and keep reading)
It’s tough to mark a line as things are different from women to women. Over the summer, I was in bed with a woman. When I put my hand on her breasts, she swatted it away. “You need to ask before you touch me,” her tone was offensive. As a modern man (like I told you before) I apologized, saying I assumed it was okay because we just had sex.
“You should never make that assumption,” she retorts. Fair enough. Makes sense, right.
A few months later, I had a different partner. I asked, “Can I touch you here?” “Can I do this?” every step of the way and the woman wants to know: ‘What is with all the questions?’ She prefers a more proactive approach.
Now, this is where things go blurry for me. Maybe I should just ask how they want it in the bed. But then this might offend ladies who are too shy and don’t like the talk-talk.
So I just stopped initiating anything. Thinking its 21st century and women can be in charge and initiate things they want to do.
But this painted me as a person not masculine enough. (Surprising? Not really)
Life is tough or is it a tough life? Guess it doesn’t matter. The toughness isn’t gonna change.
And so what if men are confused and scared for their actions? For ages, sex has held heavier consequences for women. Its high times there is a requisitioning of the gender parity in daily hook up culture. Women’s desire for sex is taking a forefront, which is steered and directed by themselves (So kudos for this freedom no doubt).
The need was plenty and the movement has to go a long way before the basic rule of yes and no consent is engrained in our society. But the movement has also resulted in making the already so ambiguous concept of consent more ambiguous. After all, consent is a circle of action and reaction.
Another hit that made my dating life hell was with experimentation. In the pre MeToo era, dating and sex were adventurous and a way of exploring myself and my partner (with her headstrong consent yes). Now with everything being so calculative and having your every move under a microscope, the realness from the first dates has just vanished. This has just increased the fakeness and superficiality amongst people.
The blurred lines between romance and respect are getting denser with each new moon.
Now it’s not just a fear of rejection but a fear of being perceived as a harasser too. (Oh! the battle for not all men).
With everyone so ‘WOKE’ amongst the waves of debates around the concept of consent, it has become really easy to offend just about anyone. I don’t even know if I should or shouldn’t call a woman sexy anymore. She might take an offense with my compliment and my approach as body objectification. But what if I don’t call her that? Would she think I am not interested in her?
Basically, celibacy sounds a like good plan for a while for me till this murky waters become more clear. This way my dilemma with being a man and a feminist may get balanced.