The 90 Day Oath, OR, Holy Shit, I Can’t Believe This Is Even Happening

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Okay friends, I want to talk about something serious today. I know this blog is supposed to be about online dating, but something’s got me all hot and bothered (emphasis on the bothered) and since it has to do with dating (and with being a woman), here we go.

 

Earlier this week, my mother and I had a conversation that went a little something like this—

 

Mom: I was just watching The Steve Harvey Show, and he has a special on that I’m recording for you, it’s called the 90 Day Oath, and what you do is you don’t give your cookie away for 90 days.

Me: Your cookie?

Mom: Yeah, you know, like having sex. It’s really interesting.

Me: That’s not interesting, it’s disgusting and misogynistic, at best.

 

So I did some googling, and here’s what I found on The Steve Harvey Show’s website:

 

“I vow to keep my cookie in the jar for 90 days. During that time, my man needs to be committed and not open anyone else’s cookie jar I’ll require that he treats me like the one-of-a-kind woman, I am.”

(Via: http://steveharveytv.com/the-90-day-oath/#sthash.hbaBSjnF.dpuf)

 

So, let’s start with the obvious. This is insulting to men in every way possible, men are not beasts, so ravenous for sex that, if denied by the woman they consider their partner will run dick-first into the first warm place they can find to stick it. Let’s give the men of the world a little more credit, shall we? And further, if you’re in a relationship with a man who you don’t trust, it’s time to reconsider things, right? I mean, that’s just dating 101.

 

Now onto the next offense, the “cookie in the jar”. Frankly, nothing about this “oath” disgusts me more. It’s called having sex, not “giving away your cookie”, and it’s called a vagina, not a “cookie jar”. If someone is going to tell me not to do something, they damn well better use the proper vocabulary. Now, vaginas are miraculous, they are capable of producing quite a few things, including but not limited to entire human beings, but you know what they’re not capable of producing? Baked goods. Alas, there is not a loaf of zucchini bread up there just waiting for some lucky, devoted man. Sorry, fellas. 

 

But more than this, calling a woman’s vagina her “cookie” makes it into a possession; it quite literally objectifies our sexuality, and separates it from us as a whole. This is so dangerous, in so many ways, and this is something that society consistently does to women. It is wholly unacceptable. A woman’s sexuality is not something that can be taken, or something that can be given away, it is a part of her, her whole, entire, glorious, powerful being. It is indivisible from her self, and until we start teaching our girls (and boys) this fact, we’re never going to get anywhere productive. Maybe sugar-coating (baking pun totally intended) the language we use to discuss these things makes it friendlier, but if that’s necessary, then shouldn’t we be having a discussion about what makes the word “vagina” so terrifying and uncomfortable that we’re forced to come up with euphemism after euphemism to describe it?

 

Now, on the show there was a panel of women, and the one that stuck out to me was the woman who explained that she had been sleeping with men on first dates in order to keep them interested. After I got done slamming my head against a wall and crying (simultaneously, very messy), what she said really got me thinking. Yes, this mindset should be discussed, and I’m so grateful that The Steve Harvey show brought this into the spotlight. This is a pervasive, and damaging way to think, and so many women out there have fallen into it without realizing.

 

Humans are sexual animals. Sex is natural, and beautiful, and it feels great. That’s the truth. And more than this, sexuality is a wonderful thing; no matter how your sexuality manifests itself, if it makes you feel good and it’s consensual, there’s nothing wrong with it. I repeat (in caps) — THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR SEXUALITY. It’s the way we treat people’s sexuality that’s flawed—across the board, with men and women and trans people—the only thing wrong with sexuality is the way it’s treated and discussed in our society.

 

No, my lovely friends, sleeping with a man will not make him love you, and it will not make him stick around. But not sleeping him won’t either. I’ve slept with men on the first date before and never heard from them again, and also slept with men on the first date and then never returned their calls. I’ve slept with men on the first date and had more dates after that. I’ve refused to sleep with men on the first date and never heard from them again too, and I’ve waited until the fourth or fifth date, formed a relationship, and then had my heart broken. Hell, in my first serious relationship we waited three months, formed a loving relationship, and then both of us got our hearts shattered. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and feelings are the best example of that. Nothing is going to ensure that you get a happy ever after, including getting married, so why would sleeping with a guy on a first date mean he would stay?

 

Here’s the point I’m trying to make—your sexuality is yours, and only you know what feels right for you. Maybe the first date feels right for you, maybe the third does, maybe you want to wait until marriage. What’s important here is figuring out you—not for some oath, not for society, not religion, not for some TV show, but for yourself. Telling a woman to slap on a chastity belt for an arbitrary 90 days isn’t going to help her learn how to listen to her herself. Telling a woman to deny her desires and her needs isn’t going to help her self-respect. Teaching women, no, teaching ALL PEOPLE that our desires are natural and should be nurtured, teaching people that they know what’s best for their bodies, teaching people to listen to themselves, and to cherish themselves, regardless of anyone’s else’s feelings or expectations or personal morals—that is what we need to do. Denying women their desires and assuming that men are sex-crazed beasts is exactly the problem. We need open, honest dialogue, not some bullshit oath.

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Molly and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad String of First Dates

In the past few weeks (while I’ve been neglecting my blog), I’ve been dating (duh). First dating, to be exact. In fact, I’ve lost count, but I believe that in the last two months I’ve been on at least 15 first dates. That’s not counting anyone I went on a second date with, or anyone I’m still in communication with, that’s straight first dates, no contact after. “But, Molly,” you may be thinking, “I’m fairly sure they make pills to fix that kind of thing”. And to you I say, stop trying to sell me drugs.

In all of this first dating, I’ve done a bit of first kissing as well. And while the first kisses have been far fewer than the dates, I’ve come upon a disturbing trend. About a third of those guys have not just kissed, but full on made out with me, right off the bat. One of them had his tongue in my mouth before he even said hello, right on the street. One kissed me in the middle of a crowded bar, maybe an hour after meeting me. One, I’m fairly sure, made out with me just because we ran into a guy I knew while we were out. One shoved his fingers in my mouth while we were kissing, and all I could think about was that they didn’t taste like soap.

Here’s the thing—these are the guys who, a day or two after the first date, text at midnight inviting me over, or the ones who I say no to going home with after the first kiss tongue fest and who consequently and unsurprisingly don’t call or text ever again. And what it comes down to, I think, is basic respect. A guy who’s going to try and fondle your nipples through your dress while standing in front of your car after making your acquaintance two and a half hours before, isn’t the kind of guy that’s inclined to give a shit about you after a week or two.

All things considered, I’m not crying over the loss of any of these specimens, but I would like to know what happened to good old-fashioned first kisses. No tongue down my throat, no attempt at over the shirt action, no proposition for sex, no scent of saliva on my face after—just a sweet, simple, tingly first kiss. Where have they gone? Are they hibernating? Did they start to die, like Tinkerbelle in Peter Pan, but no one clapped to keep them alive? Did they join a wandering band of gypsies? Wherever they are, to quote Liz Lemon, I want to go to there.

The Dating Jungle: A Taxonomic Index

I am not a doctor. I do however sometimes say things like, “as a doctor, I recommend that you smoke/drink/jump off of this,” much like any respectable physician would. I’m also not a sociologist, but much like any respectable sociologist would, I very much enjoy observing behavior. For example, whenever I go out to a bar or a club, I have the overwhelming urge to go sit in a corner with a notepad and record observations of interactions. I should probably look into that, but for now, I’m going to pretend to be the Jane Goodall of the bar scene. Lately though, my observations have focused not on the bar scene, but on the wide world of online dating. You would need a team of massive proportions to sift through it, and I’m sure someone somewhere has amassed just such a team. But on my own, and in the interest of furthering our collective understanding of society, here is my work thus far on classifying the madness.

 

While there are some normal, interesting, men in the online dating pool, who don’t look as if they live under a bridge and scare children and eat goats in their free time, they are few and far between. Let’s call them, the unicorns. Or maybe Manicorns. There are also the non-Manicorns, or as I like to call them, everyone. Now, I’m only talking about guys here, because that’s who I choose to date, but I’m fairly confident that both Manicorns and every other group here transcends any and all barriers. With that said, everyone falls into the following groups, no exceptions (wouldn’t it be fun if life really worked like that?).

 

1.  The Honest Douche—he’s an asshole, but he’ll tell you that upfront. He’s always down for a little sexy snap chat, and when that’s all you want he’s great to have around, but don’t expect to spend the night. As long as you take him at face value and don’t try to Beauty-and-the-Beast him (i.e., wait around for your love to change him from a monster to a prince) then you’ll be just fine.

 

2. Cheater—He’s out there, friends. Oh is he ever out there, and he knows what you want to hear because it already worked on his girlfriend. He’s available at really weird times and mostly during the week, and his place looks a little off—two pairs of matching, different sized sandals lying around, a little haphazard but not dirty. If you’re lucky though, sometimes he stages a big scene after he’s slept with you to avoid sneaking around further, and to assuage his guilt. If you pretend you’re watching a fireworks show, it’s fun to watch other people implode.

 

3. Stage Five Clinger—he wants a girlfriend, like now, a couple of minutes ago even. He’s sure you’re the one after looking at three of your pictures on the internet, and he really feels the need to express how much you mean to him after texting sporadically for maybe a day and a half; you really just make his life so much better. And for the love of all that is good and holy, you run for the fucking hills. Do it. Do it right this second and don’t look back.

 

4. Well Meaning But Lost—the ones who don’t want to a girlfriend, but do want someone to watch movies and hold hands with and sleep with on the regular. Basically, they want to have their cake and eat out its friend too. They frustrate the hell out of me, but it’s probably because this is the category I fit most easily into, and we’re often bothered by that which we’re most like, right?  If you want my opinion (as if I’d hold it back even if you didn’t) they want the stability without the work, and let’s face it, you can’t pour a foundation without breaking a sweat. If you want to feel comfortable and fulfilled with a person, if you want them to care about you, if you want to care about them in that way that makes your heart feel like it’s growing in your chest right then—like the Grinch must have felt just before the frame around his heart broke wide open—if you want a girl to be there to comfort you, and catch you when you fall, you have to give her a place to plant her feet firmly. How can that happen when you’re telling her not to tie you down? Side note: Polyamory is of course excluded from this, as it’s a lifestyle choice that attracts like-minded folks, and my motto is, if it makes you happy (and no one’s dying) then rock on. Get yours. Do you. These guys though, don’t identify themselves as poly, they’re “mostly monogamous”, which as far as I’m concerned means, “monogamous as long as the girl I’m keeping on the line is around.”

 

5. Running On Empty— these guys are really sweet and fun and funny and well read, and have absolutely no self-confidence. They really should, because whatever it is that they’re self-conscious about, typically drives them into other interests, which makes them a lot more interesting than your average bear. These guys are epic in the personality department, it’s really just their own hang-ups that end up hanging everyone else up too. For example, there’s one guy on the dating site that I use who has sent me three messages—always a ‘first’ message, as if we’ve never talked before, and never a follow-up. The first said, “Are you only attracted to tall men?” No “hi”, no “do you also enjoy long walks on the beach?” no comment about my stance on the Back To The Future movies as it’s outlined in my profile. I think I said, “I don’t mind if you don’t”, and then never heard back. The second message, months later after deactivating and reactivating my account, read, “Are you only attracted to professional types?” I think I responded with a joke about how several of my exes have lived in a van at some point in their lives (true, depressing fact), and never heard back. Then, after another de/reactivation cycle, another inquiry after my height preferences, to which I again replied, “I don’t mind if you don’t”. But of course I mind, not the height, but the lack of confidence. Is it a secret that we’re all just faking it till we make it? That is what most of us are doing, isn’t it?

 

I don’t know much, but here’s what I think; life is this vast, mysterious, complex collection of expanding and contracting and decaying matter and swirling energy, all perpetually changing and shifting in a never ending balancing act. I’m not sure what it all adds up to, but I do know that there’s a hell of a lot try and figure out. And if, as many of my hippie friends say (and as I really would like to believe), we are all made from love, then good god, that shit’s pretty complicated too.

It’s a Jungle Out There

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Hi, my name is Molly, and I date.

But I don’t just date, I happen to (maybe) hold the record for the world’s most horrifying dates. Seriously, my dating life is a ravaged battlefield, a datealanche, if you will. A datepocalypse.

Now, I don’t want to blame all my dating issues solely on the absurd freak show parade of carnivalesque men that I, for some reason, continue to choose. But let’s face it, they contribute.

For a while now my friends have told me that I should really write this madness down. Possibly because they’re tired of hearing stories like, “so I went out with this guy, and guess what he has pierced and tattooed a plural amount of times?”.

I’ll be changing the names of both the assholes and the innocent, less to protect them and more to protect myself from being sued by them.

So, in the interest of storytelling, catharsis, comedy, and excavation, welcome to my blog.