Includes: how to navigate the dating scene as a man or woman*, why men send pics of their junk and the downlow on ghosting.
*In this article, ‘men’ refers to those persons that identify as such – the same goes for ‘women’.
In 2020, we use dating apps.
It is this massive cultural shift that affects how we, as a society, date. And there’s no denying that it comes stuffed full of some serious pros and cons. But mostly, online dating is a good thing. You can read the A-Z article for modern dating to give youself a deeper insight before getting into the mechanics of dating that we’ll be deep-sea diving into here.
Dating is the perfect way to have all your relationship baggage opened and exposed. Because these apps make dating much more accessible, people are more apt to move into habitual patterns instead of “working” for it. You’re presented with the ideal container to expose all your habitual blocks, resistance, and “stuff”. You have no choice but to deal with it. A win in my books!
Now, let me be clear here. A dating app is not an application to help you find a new perfect partner, lover, or hookup. It may get you those things, but mostly it won’t. I have the data, I have done my own research, I have used a trial group of people of both genders and various sexual preferences. The group contained people with lots of bullshit and those with very little bullshit.
The data is clear: for the vast majority of people, the experience of an online dating app mirrors back where you are blocked.
Those blocks sit right in front of you, so you have a chance to deal with them, and change up your habitual shit. Then when you meet someone at a party, or through a friend, or work, you will have a real chance at a nourishing relationship.
Cool. A dating app can be a place to meet someone special, but really, it’s a real tool for clearing up all your blocks and challenges! Sitting at home, watching Netflix, and avoiding all your habitual relationship drama and just waiting for the perfect person to show up in your life, won’t give you the chance to see so directly where you are in need of healing.
Before that “perfect” person has any real chance with you, you need to see where you are hiding, freaking out, banging your head against the wall, and being ridiculous or crazy.
Okay, so let’s explore some sexy guidelines here:
The introduction to dating guidelines
Before we get into the definitive tips for online dating, here are some housekeeping rules so that you have a healthy, sane relationship with dating before you actually start dating!
- Don’t be fooled into thinking an app is going to make this process easy! Don’t worry about how infuriating and challenging this process still is.
- Own your own bullshit and be curious about what your drama and blocks to meeting someone great are.
- Grow a pair and put up a real profile with five or more pictures, including full-body, various outfits, but no sunglasses, no group shots, no animals, no kids, and no trucks & bikes. But do include a well-written description that reads positive and actually describes you.
- Steal your courage and start practicing how to start up an interesting conversation via text and how to pick up the phone and chat with a stranger you find hot.
- Hear when someone taps out and respond respectfully.
No nonsense tips for succesful online dating
#1 – Don’t whine about the process
You do not talk about how infuriating this process is! (First rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about Fight Club!) Just because modern apps make this look easy, it’s not! This is not a place where you can throw together a vague profile with three selfies, and expect to get a swipe, jump into bed with a sexy young thing and do some kinky bucket list sex acts.
You will need to work it on these apps. You will have to show up, speak up, and expose your best self as often as possible. The win here is to see if you are ready to show up as authentic as possible and be totally available to this process. Like anything worthwhile the failure is where the success comes from. Which means you might fail way more often than succeed.
#2 – Own your baggage.
It’s empowering. For instance, If you are not getting any swipes, it means your profile needs work, and therefore you need a little practice showing up and showing up as sexy and attractive. If people keep ghosting you, it means your standards are too low.
And this is a great way to see how you settle for “anything” vs discerning for something real. If all you are getting is lude requests for hookups, your profile is likely reading “desperate for attention”. If you are getting swipes, but no action from that, it’s likely you are having trouble being yourself and being flirty with new people.
What you’ll be getting back from your swipes, likes, and online chats will inevitably be a reflection of what you are putting out. And this lets you see so very clearly what you are putting out, so you can work on it.
#3 – Know that dating’s not a portering service for your baggage
It really does go without saying, yet here I am saying this, because people still believe another person will fix the work that they won’t do themselves. If you can’t muster this up, you are going to get so much of your own baggage in your face, you will get whiplash! Put up for real, or don’t bother.
#4 – Take the high road when someone just isn’t interested
When someone taps out, respond respectfully. Some very rare people will send you a nice text like: “I have some huge work projects, and I just don’t have the time to pursue this right now.”
But most people will simply ghost you. Of course, cowardly and terribly sad as it may be, you are being faced with the facts – they’re uninterested. Therefore you can simply move on without another thought about it. That is how you respond, and respond decently. And that is so much better than wondering why? Or what happened? Or stocking them on social media to figure out what and why! But let’s open this can of worms a little bit more!
What women really want
We’re in a very confusing moment in time for female sexual empowerment. The #metoo! movement, and rise of Girl Power is hugely empowering! Yet huge societal expectations still remain that a woman is not a real woman unless she gets married and has a child. That women above the age of 40 have less power and less sexual opportunity. I don’t think men understand how deep that shit runs in the subconscious culture of our global society. So, it’s not straightforward. And at this moment, women don’t have a clear, balanced place for their sexuality in society. Instead, our culture is see-sawing between extremes.
Some women feel obligated towards oppressive dating rules and tend to be deeply indoctrinated by what’s “expected” of a nice girl. Being slut-shamed by others is a real pressure for them.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, women are also profoundly judged and constantly confronted if they don’t have a “sweetheart” or a serious relationship in their lives.
Nevertheless, we can break down the basics:
What women want when dating online
Here are the characteristics that turn a woman on both before and during the first meetup:
- Basic communication. Including full sentences and punctuation.
- A phone call before meeting.
- A first meet up that lasts for the full length of a drink to a couple of hours without pressure to get naked at the end of it!
- Their date will have good hygiene and a pleasant odour.
- Their date will be on time
- Fun and flirty meet ups a couple of times before jumping in the sack:
- Date 1: just a coffee or tea for 45-mins to an hour.
- Date 2: snuggle by the fireplace, or a great view to feel the chemistry between you two out, might include a makeout and some hand-holding. But includes talking through what each person desires, and some ground rules.
- Date 3: if sexual in nature, a woman will want her date to understand the basics of woman’s sexuality. There are some hard and fast rules, so get a book and this article of mine – Since They Want Porn.
- Offer her the freedom of letting her pay for her half without being offended or thinking she isn’t into it.
Dating advice for men – what to avoid:
- Texting a response that ends the chat. Like texting a one or two word response: ‘Not bad’ or ‘hee hee’ (and nothing else).
- Talking nonstop without asking your date any questions.
- Flatline, uninspiring texts or in-person conversation.
- Asking any of the below: (taken from real texts!)
- Do you like to fist?
- How much can you accommodate?
- I was hoping to come over to your house and bone you instead of meeting up for coffee.
- Are your boobs real?
- Do you want to come to my house? ( total disregard for women’s safety)
- I don’t like wearing a condom, so let’s just fool around, do you like to swallow?
- Expecting that women actually want and like the sex acts you see in porn. (Unless you are watching pornA: a type of porn that represents real turn-ons for women and focuses on female pleasure).
- Sending unsolicited pictures of your junk.
What men really want
Men are perplexed by what women want. A man’s sexuality operates completely different to a woman’s! But men very rarely take the time to learn about women’s sexuality or women’s bodies.
And, in the era of #Metoo men can be called out for indiscretions that they don’t even know are indiscretions. This doesn’t excuse thoughtless misogyny but conveys the real misunderstanding between the sexes. And aside from obvious misconduct, dudes can be clueless about how to flirt with women.
A man might really love an aggressive move made on him, and he might have watched ten thousand hours of mainstream porn where the women beg for it. Therefore, he’s totally confused when his date is now yelling “rapist”, but all he did was what he saw a million times on his favorite porn channel. In effect, he was trying to please and appear confident, and dominant. (Not to make less of real discriminations, but outside of real misconduct, there are loads of grey areas. See this article for the real differences between men and women and how misconduct happens.
What men want when dating online
Here are the characteristics that turn a guy on both before and during the first meetup:
- Photos that read as self-confident and include full body shots
- Positive texts that are flirty but also clearly signal if a meetup is possible
- A yes to a meetup
- Lots of eye contact and smiles
- His date exudes sexy and gives off sexual energy without going over-the-top
- His date offers plenty of sincere compliments
- His date is Authentic; a down to earth person
- Positive, steady flow of conversation
- His date will offer to pay the tip, or pay for drinks or some part of the bill
- His date is proud of hard-earned success and being independent.
- His date is actually engaged, vs checking the phone, or the other people, like the waiter or bartender!
- His date sends strong signals his way about what the next step is
- 3-20 mins to decide if it’s worth a second date
- His date says thank you and shows obvious signs of gratitude
Dating advice for women – what to avoid:
- Wearing scant clothing, or very revealing outfits
- Loads of makeup and strong perfume/body spray, etc
- Texting your friends while on the date
- Flirting with other people while on your date
- Complaining about your ex’s or coworkers
- Expecting men to pay, and feeling entitled to their attention
- Being shy and not saying much or agreeing with everything said
- Having sex so you can get your date’s attention
- Being overly fearful of talking or opening up and sharing
- Playing silly, stupid or small
Why men send dick pics
The great mystery to most women: why did this guy just send me a dick picture?
Yes, this happens… a lot.
Sadly, we live in an era where this is becoming increasingly normalized. And if you are on a dating app, it’s probably going to happen to you. So, it’s good to know, there isn’t one single reason men do this. It’s actually a regular kind of conversation some men have.
Men, and I am referring to the male-identified brain, are visual, and speak more fluently in physical images and metaphors. This is especially true about sex, it is much easier to touch and act out than to find the words. Like WAYYY easier.
So, if you get an unsolicited dick pic, it means, first off, I don’t really have an eloquent or even conscious language for what I am feeling, so I’m going to use pictures.
Top four reasons men send dick pics
- I’m insecure about my body, and I think if you find my dick okay, I’ll have the confidence to meet up in person. (Sort of like: let me show you the goods from a distance, so if you are going to reject me, it’s not in person!)
- Enough! Let’s get to the point. A shocking act to feel out if this person is going to disappear, or be open to having sex. He’s over simplifying the dating dance, so he doesn’t have to keep working at this!
- Let’s steer this conversation towards more sexual stuff, so here is mine, show me yours?
- I’m feeling very turned on, and I’m anticipating being with you sexually. That’s why I’m rushing ahead with all these good feelings.Taking a picture of his dick is an effort to feel connected and engaged in a sexual act with you, even if it’s just for his own gratification.
But dudes, if you are doing this to a woman, or a man, unless they ask you for this, it is not a turn-on. Not sexy. Not wanted.
We don’t want to see your dick unless we ask. And for some people, this unsolicited dick pic feels a lot like being flashed. There’s little difference in what you’re doing and if a stranger strolled up to you on the street and pulled out his naked dick in front of your face. How would that feel to you? Sexy? A great way to turn you on and open the door to having sex with you?
And so, boundaries are a really great thing. If you really want to take the dick pic, take it, but don’t send it! For the person receiving said image, let the person know you would prefer not to receive these, unless you ask.
So other than innapropriate, salacious texts, let’s explore a potentially scarring experience for some – ghosting.
The aftermath of dating: why do people ghost?
So much dating advice revolves around the initial phases of getting a date and the crucial first three dates, and of course, that first time between the sheets with another person.
But we’ve also got to prepare for when a date doesn’t end in death do us part – WHICH IS NATURAL. Know that ghosting is simply when the other person can’t find a way to articulate their own needs. Their own blocks to moving forward with intimacy, they will simply not respond or reply.
Out of the blue, they disappear. And yup, you can be ghosted during a date (really!), the day you are supposed to meet up for a date, in the middle of planning a third date or even after dating for a while. But, it’s not about you or your worth, the action of backing away stem from the person ghosting you.
The impact of ghosting
But sadly, it has a significant psychological impact on the person being ghosted. Because, without any language or closure, the person stays inside the interaction for untold and sometimes ungodly amounts of time merely wondering and waiting. They might even be practicing all the things they would like to say should the ghostee reappear.
Also worth noting, ghosting doesn’t create any disconnection for either person. Ironic, but also true, the connection remains open. For the Gohstee, it stays open with the waiting, stays open in the question of where the fuck did you go you cowardly infant?
For the Ghoster, it remains in the guilt, the repression, the avoidance…none of which create an actual and real disconnection. It’s like how it was with the old landline phones; which would stay in a weird busy signal if not hung up. Eventually, it went silent but neither person could make another call, because both parties have to hang up to clear the line. So, the lack of any information creates an open line that hasn’t been disconnected. There is a silent “what happened?” keeping it open.
And sadly, this assumes the ghostee has done something to create this sudden disruption and therefore reinforces any insecurities and fears preying on our fragile hearts. We can definitely say this is a toxic, cowardly, and truly harmful way to relate to another person. But there is nothing we can do about it.
(And we all do it.)
Boundaries help keep us safe
There are just times when we get very challenged by communication. We live in a global society that usually punishes and scolds people for having a real boundary or a genuine No. And worse, if that boundary and No are awkwardly communicated, a person can be “called out” and reputation ruined, work and family and friends lost, etc. So, no comment is kind of the “safe” response.
So there you have it. It’s a thing….So, if someone ghosts you, start reading it as if it was actually real information.
And here are the main responses you can imagine that silence is really saying:
a) “I have had something come up in my life, and to your great benefit, I am walking away.”
b) “I’ve been hiding my real self from you, in truth I am not a very nice or cool person. You didn’t see this coming, but I am on Santa’s naughty list, I was only going to be mean and totally manipulate you from here on out.”
C) “I am struggling with the very basics of human communication, and there is no way you could go one step deeper with me. I really need to find a person who is fine if I’m inauthentic and mostly faking it.”
You can pick a, b or c. Or a combination.
Regardless, it is to your great benefit that they ghosted you!
Okay, play by the rules and have fun unpacking all your baggage and bullshit. Enjoy the chance to work on yourself while meeting some interesting and dare I say sexy people!