dating tips for the feminist man | The Media Co-op
So, I guess my question is this: what advice would you give a feminist dude who's trying to date? I don't particularly want to be in a relationship. Follow Nora on Twitter. New! Dating Tips For The Feminist Man Advice Column! Are you a feminist man? Have questions about your love life?. Ask Gigi is a bi-weekly, sex and relationships advice column. Send your tags / ask gigi, sex advice, sexual health, gigi engle, dating advice.
We know it when we see it. As one commenter said recently, women are not the Boss level of a video game and there are no Lady Cheat Codes. If you feel awkward around women, who are people, work on improving your social skills in general. Get better at talking to dudes, and you will also get better at talking to ladies, since both ladies and dudes are people.
Speak truthfully and directly about things that are important to you. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Look for reciprocity in your interactions with other people. This is basic good manners and will help you in any social situation. A man likes a woman who cooks.
A man likes a woman who keeps the house clean.
A man likes a woman who lets her man take charge. That goes for everyone as well, regardless of gender. The other person will have to just accept it. Again, male whims always supersede female in importance. People need to learn that other people are not obligated to fulfill their fantasies. The relationship will be so much better and healthier if feelings and communication are reciprocal.
It falsely positions love as a reward for passing a certain threshold of self-improvement and introspection. Unlearning toxic messages about beauty and self-worth can take years. The health of your dynamic depends on a myriad of other factors. Society creates low self-esteem in women and then blames them for focusing on their insecurities. Everyone needs to block the impulse to blame lack of self-love which can also be exacerbated by depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health issues for absence or failure of romance.
Every person is different, and every relationship is different. Trying to shoehorn potential partnerships to fit a set of arbitrary rules just confuses people before they even start dating. Dating is supposed to be fun. By all means, get advice and outside opinions if and when you want them, but also know when to tune out background noise.
You're a straight monogamous cisgendered feminist man,and you want to hook up with or date women? Consent requires honesty, and you can't speak honestly about your intentions unless you know what they are. Sex brings up emotion.
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That is just the reality of choosing to engage in sexual relationships. If you're not ready to work with the emotion to make sure everyone is ok afterwards, then you're not ready for the sex. If you're the kind of person who avoids your own or other people's emotionsthen you're not going to be able to have good consent conversations until you get more comfortable with your own and other people's emotions.
Learn your attachment style and practice acting in secure ways: Sign up for a consent skills workshop, or several. Read books on consent and on radical conflict resolution skills.DATING APP ADVICE: Why I Hate Bumble—And Every Feminist Should Too! - Shallon Lester
Recognize that you agreed to or initiated a romantic relationship, however short or long-lived, and so you are responsible to the other person in that relationship as well as to yourself. Nobody put a gun to your head and made you make out with this person, so own your choices and their effects. People need different things after a hookup; know your own needs and be responsive to the needs of the other person.
Can I say this clearly enough? If you make out with somebody, you are responsible for checking in to make sure they are ok, not just during, but also after.
Discuss casual sex as casual sex, and ambiguous sex as ambiguous sex. You may have to have some emotions-talk first to get to a good place and clear up any miscommunications or accidental harm you caused; if so, you're responsible not only for grudgingly going along, but for actively initiating and holding space for that conversation.
Do not make it their job to ask for a conversation to get you both back to a good place together. It is your job as much as theirs. Do not run away if things get uncomfortable or you start to feel emotions that confuse you. If you need space to calm down, pick a specific near-future time in which you will come back fully present and taking a proactive role in getting back to a good place.
If you are in a conflict with this person due to tangled emotions, pick a process and, if you need it, a friend to help.
Remember the goal is for you both to feel ok about things, not for one of you to win and one of you to lose. In that same vein: Oxytocin's a powerful drug; when you're hooking up and having those heady feelings, you're both vulnerable to misreading, or seeing what you want to see. It's up to both of you to initiate reality check conversations: Are you ok with this if it's serious? Do we understand each other properly?
Ask Gigi — Gigi Engle
Consent is continuous and has to be established through ongoing checkins. If you want to be a good male ally, get comfortable with changing emotions - yours and the other person's, and good at talking about them as they change.
Life is messy; we have to be able to move with changes as they happen. This comfort is necessary in order to be honest with the other person, and to create shared expectations so no one ends up feeling used or played. Say "I'm not sure what this means. Do not say the thing that is easy for you to say, or oversimplify in order to keep them happy and making out with you in the moment. This kind of fuzzy communication can end up being dishonest communication. It is ok to not know how you feel for a time, as long as you are committed to figuring out how you feel as soon as you can, and honest about your uncertainty in the meantime, so the other can make informed consent decisions.
Do not tell someone you're serious about them or planning to follow up with them romantically if you're actually not sure. Casual sex needs to be discussed as casual so both people involved can feel respected and cared for.
If your feelings change, simply name the change. Just name the emotion and be available and present to the changes in the other. Try things like this: This is why and when they changed. I feel bad that I let you down or inadvertently misled you. Are you ok, and what do you need? Don't mix up acting 'nice' with being a genuinely good person.
Kindness and treating people well are valuable, but politeness can be violent if it masks normalized oppression. Naming oppression, even when done gently, is not always perceived as being 'nice' because it pushes back at status quo ways of relating, seeing, and thinking. When naming oppression happens as a response to naturalized harm, the anger you're hearing is a response to actual harm that you may have enacted while thinking you were being 'nice.
Don't mix up your internal defensiveness, which can arise at having your real privilege pointed out, with the external message you are receiving. Is there trust being offered to you behind anger or critique - trust that you're the kind of person who is open to growth and change?