Should women ‘respect themselves’?

I was wondering whether to put this on my blog or not. It’s not a positive experience, but then, my story wouldn’t be complete if I would be constantly saying that men always treated me well.

I was on a dating website for a couple of years before I met The Boyfriend and I spoke with loads of men. Some of them were really creepy. This is just what happens, you can’t prevent that. But then, I didn’t want to arrange a date with them. Some men out there are so stupid that they put on their profile things like ‘I will respond to every message, unless you are one of those silly cows who…’ I don’t know what was after that because I stopped reading. Men like that are out there and if you meet one, don’t dwell on it. Instead congratulate yourself that you managed to spot the signs early.

Anyway, I wanted to talk here about an experience that I had with a guy who didn’t seem dodgy at all. He seemed nice, respectful and good communicator. It was just after I broke up with my ex, who was by the time my only sexual partner. I think I was 31. I went on a dating website and wanted to meet an emotionally unavailable man for a romance. I thought it would be easy, it seems like there’s so many emotionally unavailable men out there so I thought I’d find one easily and will mess him about. It made sense to me – I would never mess about a man who would be ready to commit as I didn’t want to hurt anybody.

That, however, proved more difficult than I thought. In the meantime I spoke with that guy I just mentioned. He was from London and he made it clear he’s not looking for a relationship. He mentioned that he had sex with multiple other women. I’m not sure now if he was saying the truth, possibly he was only trying to get his message accross? We spoke over several days, I don’t remember how many, but it was certainly not one conversation only. We agreed that I’d go to London to meet him and then, if I still feel ok about it, we’ll go to his place to have sex. We met in a pub first and I had a few drinks. That was actually the only one situation when I got drunk with a stranger (always listen to mum, because if you don’t, that’s when bad things happen!). I thought I managed to assess him – he was polite and respectful. I only got drunk because I wanted to make that easier for myself.

We went to his place and I had even more to drink. Then we had sex. It was nothing special. At some point he removed his condom and had anal sex with me. I was too drunk to even react. It was not something that I’d expect from a polite man, yet it happened. That was one more experience that gave me better idea of how men are like. What I think happened there was that he didn’t understand why, for goodness sake, if I wanted to have non string attached sex with him, I had to get so drunk to do that. It didn’t fit into his understanding of open-minded women so he thought I’m doing this to drag him into relationship (that’s men default explanation for everything that they don’t understand in women behavior) and he lost all his respect for me that he possibly had earlier.

I remember him saying that afterwards he’d take me to the train station but instead he only took me to the bus stop. Thank god, I got sober enough to get myself back home.

He had a very niche job. And what happened two or three days later was that a guy who was doing the same job contacted me on the same dating website and insisted to meet me. Moreover, that guy was Polish. OMG, that was such an eye opener! My earlier experience with guys was positive so, although I was aware that they want to have sex whenever they can, I didn’t think that they would do those things. Yes, they would. If you ‘disrespect yourself’ then the guy will disrespect you to – that’s what happens. That is the world we live in.

However, if that happens to you, don’t dwell on it. Instead reflect on what went wrong and how to avoid similar situations in the future.

Later on I started worrying that possibly I caught sexually transmitted disease from him so I arranged blood test in sexual health clinic. The nurse there, a young woman, asked me what makes me think that I could catch something so I told her. And guess what? She wasn’t very nice to me after that. You’d expect a nurse in sexual health clinic to be an open-minded person. Possibly she sees string of women every day with similar stories and came to conclusion that’s what happens when women get drunk. And because I was in my 30s already she thought I should have known better by that time.

Yet we are constantly being told by media that we, women, deserve respect whatever we do with our sexuality. And technically we do. That man shouldn’t remove his condom and the nurse shouldn’t be impolite. But that’s the world we live in. And someone needs to say that out loud: if a man thinks you’re low quality woman who is trying to deceive him to get him into relationship he will think it’s ok to treat you badly.

That’s how men think: if they don’t understand something in your behaviour they will tell themselves that you’re trying to drag him into relationship, that possibly your biological clock is ticking and you’re going crazy. They have no ability to understand our complex emotions and perspective. And anyway, sex with a man you don’t fancy is not fun. You’re much better off to have sex with a man you fancy, who’s not ready for a relationship as long as you’re honest with him beforehand.

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