For most cishet men, the first experience they have of seeing their sexual or romantic selves represented will be one in which they are shown as a hero.Even if they personally feel unattractive or awkward, they were still almost certainly taught at a young age that people like them are entitled to ‘win’, ‘score’ or ‘get’ the object of their desire.
From sex to politics, we are obsessed with sports and sales metaphors; it’s all about scoring, winning, getting.
I’m happy that in the queer community, we are increasingly making our own rules.
For many of us who aren’t men, we are taught from an extraordinarily young age that our right to feel safe is conditional upon us following the rules to someone else’s game. But the fear isn’t only that I could be predatory or creepy.
When I think back on my early memories of formative queer crushes, I associate pretty much all of them on some level with shame, guilt, secrecy, and fear.
At being comfortable with the word ‘yes.’ At asking, with no agenda or goal, but with curiosity and interest. Perhaps queer women are not, after all, bad at playing the dating game.
In my previous articles , I wrote on how to to find someone worth dating.I relate to some of what these heterosexual cis men complain about but the difference is that I don’t want to get better at playing by these selfish, competitive ‘dating game rules.’ I want us, all of us, to get better at taking risks, at being honest, at being vulnerable.At being comfortable with the word ‘no’ – both saying it and hearing it.Oh, the unique horrors of being a man who fancies women and finds it hard to approach them without seeming like a creep. How do we ever hook up with each other, when no-one ever wants to make the first move? I try not laugh when heterosexual, cis men complain to me about this, kindly explaining it with such patience, because it will be tough for a woman to relate to this experience. In fact, this problem is so common among those of us who aren’t hetero cis men that it’s kind of a cliche.How do I let her know I’m super, super into her without putting any pressure on her to be happy about it? I certainly feel flashes of that terror myself, even if it’s only for a few seconds, when I out myself or am outed in even the friendliest situations – and as a rule, I’m fairly safe in most spaces.