Thank you for the thoughtful response, Charles!
I think it’s the dishonesty and manipulation of men over 35 (and certainly 40) that leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t expect men to look at sex and relationships exactly as I do, but I would expect more honesty about their true intentions at this point in their lives.
I sort of give guys a free pass from 15–35, but then I expect them to start to consider the female perspective in a more nuanced way.
I absolutely acknowledge, though, that my gender can be confusing and tolerates behavior that only ends up encouraging the worst of male behavior. It’s a vicious cycle.
What makes me feel bad is: being solicited for sex by a stranger, being asked to make a sex tape after a third date, being dumped for not wanting to be in a sexual relationship where I am expected to be degraded with every encounter, being told that I am lucky a younger guy would want a FWB arrangement with me/what a great offer that is for me, being told that someone would be happy to sleep with me until he found someone he wanted to start a family with, and being told the merits of anal sex from a self-proclaimed Christian guy within 2 hours of interacting online. (That’s just a sampling.)
I don’t see any of that as being my fault. But it is extremely upsetting to me to be subjected to the onslaught of this behavior. Over and over and over and over again.
The accumulation of being treated this way hurts my soul.
I will try harder to see it as “guys being guys,” but my point in sharing these stories is the damage this is doing to women.
I’m just one random, middle-aged chick in Austin. I know I’m a throwback and traditional. I know there are other women who feel empowered by some of the types of interactions that wound me.
But surely there is a middle ground. Right now it feels like I’m supposed to be okay with “guys will be guys.” Why can’t the needle move closer to “women will be women” (particularly for older, more mature dudes)?
What doesn’t hurt my soul is the guy with the profile that: says he’s looking for fun, adventure, open-mindedness; who has photos of bondage; who has language indicating he doesn’t want a relationship, he won’t be my next boyfriend.
There is a transparency with those guys. They have made it clear that they only want sex, I swipe left, and we both go about our lives.
Own it, guys. And I’ll stay away. Live and let live. But don’t be deceitful about it.
(Apologies for my lengthy response, but I wanted to attempt to answer you in a thorough manner. Many thanks for taking the time to read and provide insight into the male perspective! I am working on taking all of this less personally, but it remains a challenge for me.)