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Reaffirmation with a Small Sprinkling of Hope

July 25, 2013

I have yet to receive the dreaded question, “Why don’t you want to get back on the market?” Well, okay, my dad asked. Then expressed his regret that he was unable to resist the lure of the mating game himself. Suffice to say that even though he and his fiancee are yet again planning their wedding for this autumn, I suspect it will fall through as surely as the leaves on the trees, just like it has the previous four times.

But other than that surprisingly approving interaction, I have yet to hear the question from skeptics and lovelorn romantics convinced by one too many Disney movies and retellings of When Harry Met Sally that everyone, everywhere truly wants to find their soul mate and settle down and make lots of babbiez that could give young Prince George a run for his money on being pink and wrinkly.

The dudes who have sought to make me pink from sweat-drenching and wrinkly from premature aging by implanting a future Jewish American Prince(ss) in my womb have simply bulldozed over my protests of disinterest, having been trained by the aforementioned Disney movies and When Harry Met Sally knockoffs that “no” is just a future “yes” after a lot of coaxing!

And reinforcing that asinine notion are, of course, seduction communities. Apparently rules, games, and after-, beyond-, and above-games are so widespread that New York Magazine convened a roundtable of would-be sexperts, consisting of The Rules authors Sherrie Schneider and Ellen Fein, apparently self-proclaimed Siren Arden Leigh, some “romance artist” (?), and Ken Hoinsky. Yeah. You read that right. The sedditor extraordinaire and father of a failed Kickstarter project to fund his very own seduction guide entitled Above the Game. 

You know it’s bad when I find myself on Team Hoinsky. Yeah. You read that right, too. The seducer who encourages his followers to “force her [!!!] to rebuff your advances” is the most charming, reasonable person in this steaming shitpile. He’s the only one making practical claims like, “The idea that one method works and one method doesn’t work is absurd. Different approaches work for different people.”

And he’s also the least judgmental. One exchange between The Rules authors and Arden Leigh goes off the rails pretty damn quick:

Fein: We don’t want to hurt your feelings, but this guy that you’re dating — we don’t think you got him.

Leigh: You don’t know me, and you don’t know my relationship.

Schneider: One on one, if I were to do a consultation with you, I would grill you about why you don’t have a bit more. Anytime you want to call we are available.

Leigh: Could you be any more condescending? You’re going to judge my relationships, tell me I’m not happy, and offer me counsel?

Fein: If you were a client, we would do a childhood history and figure out that something happened with Daddy. You should be with someone who is crazy about you.

Leigh: He is crazy about me.

Fein: Then why isn’t he monogamous?

Leigh: Because we both like other women.

And this is where I reached for the Vicodin, because the vodka just wasn’t cutting it anymore:

Hoinsky: Listen, if I wanted to sit here and listen to people slut-shame, I would read my in-box.

Yep. For the third time, ladies and germs, you read that right. A prominent pickup artist broke up a catfight by condemning misogyny. Not to mention, he ACKNOWLEDGES that the specific form this takes, slut-shaming, is something the community he both fed from and nurtured in turn is guilty of, and in a way that strikes a shocking balance between being humorous and non-assholish.

I have nothing else to add to that specifically since I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor, but to me, this proves two things: One, that Schneider and Fein need to crawl back under the rock that conceals their time portal to the Regency Period, and two, that the dating world is clearly beyond fucked up and I don’t want to have a damn thing to do with it.

Luckily, I’m not the only one who feels this way. A friend and fellow writer pointed me toward this Captain Awkward letter from a woman who uses “Cool Cat Lady” as her signature. Like me, Cool Cat Lady isn’t into dating or romance, and also like me, she apparently has cats. Unlike me, she seems to have already gotten flak for her unusual lifestyle.

Captain Awkward to the rescue! Whereas I suspect there’d be a few advice columnists (*cough* Prudie *cough*) who would likely ignore or quickly backburner the real issue at hand for a cry of, “Don’t be so set in your ways–you’ll meet Mr. Right some day!” here, those of us who are somewhere on the celibate/asexual scale have a direct solution offered:

“My advice for convincing other people of the coolness of your disinterest in all things romantic is to put zero effort into convincing other people. Let them think whatever they want about your choices. Don’t explain or try to justify them. Don’t worry about categorizing exactly what you are or “coming out” about that identity. Cool doesn’t need to prove cool.

Example: ‘Don’t you want to meet someone and fall in love?’ ‘Huh. I haven’t really thought about it.’ + Change subject or ask them a question in return.”

Now, of course, the immediately following advice, “If someone’s trying to convince you to be romantic because they want to get with you, you’d use the same script that anyone would use. ‘That’s very flattering, but I am not interested,'” has had, shall we say, less-than-desirable results in my world. And I, being the contentious sort that I am, would probably answer the, “Don’t you want to meet someone and fall in love?” question with, “No,” followed by an intense stare that would make my hero Admiral Adama proud.

Still, the very fact that this question got the serious response it deserved brightened my day, as did the outpouring of support and confessions of similar mindsets in the comments. Which probably also says something about the quality of WordPress readers and users. If I ever did want to make love to someone else again, it would totally be to you-all.

Which might become a necessity soon, as I’ll need something to redirect the shame I feel for developing a public-speaker crush on Ken Hoinsky.


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  1. This is brilliantly written! I like the Adama ref. My blokes mate is happily asexual & is know to hang around with gay guys so obviously he must be ‘in the closset’. Er no, maybe he’s just happy he doesn’t have to share one with women for a change :0)

  2. Almost 18 pm I’m leaving my ocffie while you’re beginning the dream. Enjoy the last moments of quite , ’cause in a few hours it’ll be CRAZYNESS .I’ll be there watching the tv broadcast, from 2.30 am.Thankyou Vancouver, we pass you the flame tonight!See you on monday!Ciao Karen and Clay!. Let’s share a Martini together!.

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