My Battle With At Home Dates

Prior to moving to Europe, the idea of having a first date at home was out of the question. To invite someone to my house or go to theirs, the assumption is that the night will end in sex. That arrangement was usually reserved for late nights after the club when I guy would walk you out asking, “What are you up to after this?” Clearly at three in the morning, there’s only a few options to choose from and two of them consist of your house or his.

However, it seemed, that at home dates were the location of choice for men abroad. They would offer to make dinner and share their wine selection, which under most circumstances would be impressive. Except in these cases, coming to their house would be the first time you’d meet in real life. After chatting it up with a guy on some version of some dating app, instead of having a standard first meeting at a bar, they would suggest you coming to their house or them coming to yours.

At first I adamantly declined every time, saying to myself, “What kind of girl do they think I am?” But after receiving several offers for the same thing, I figured that must have been the norm. So I tried as hard as I could to make it clear that I wasn’t interested in meeting men for sex, from writing in all caps “NOT LOOKING FOR HOOKUPS OR ONS” or selecting the most modest photos for my profile. Still, I would get guys trying their hand at getting in my pants.

Usually I could weed them out early on. Entirely too many men would message me saying, “I’ve never had sex with a black girl before” or “I really like your {insert body part here} in that photo.” Every time I would roll my eyes and immediately unmatch with them. But then there were the crafty ones who would slip through the cracks.

In good faith, I would believe them when they said I could visit their home simply for some nice conversation, libations and hopefully a few laughs. The evening always started off innocently enough, we would ask each other the standard questions in an attempt to get to know each other and then decide what music to listen to or movie to watch. Then the inevitable would happen – after a drink or two, their hands seemed to find their way onto my knee or back. Not long after I would be battling my way through the evening trying to keep them from kissing my neck or maneuver their hands down my shirt or pants.

I can’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself but when I meet a man, my goal is not to have sex with him immediately. This is something I will never understand or get used to. You meet someone virtually via an app, chat with them any where from a few hours to a few days and are able to determine that you will have enough sexual chemistry to have sex with them the first time you meet. Or maybe some people don’t need sexual chemistry, just a willing participant.

This battle over my personal space is exhausting. I don’t want to deal with someone touching my body without me allowing them to. Maybe men assume that because the two of us are in close proximity, it gives them full reign to my body. If that is your train of thought, I’m here to clarify that isn’t the case.

I don’t think that it is unreasonable for me to go throughout life with the belief that I should have a say over who I let into my personal space. There are clear signs that a woman is interested in you: she won’t wince or move her body away when you touch it and she will meet you halfway if you try to kiss her instead of turning her head. If you are ever unsure about if a woman wants you to touch her, then don’t.

I’m sure that there have been situations of the like but I wonder how men would feel if women went around grabbing their crotches or caressing their chests and rear-ends without warning or invitation. How would men feel if women grabbed their faces and tried to force them to kiss them even though they resisted. For women, this is a constant reality. And if you have experienced it as a man, then you know that it doesn’t feel good to be subjected to a touch you don’t want.

I long for the days where men asked you out to actually get to know you and without ulterior motives. Maybe I’ve missed my window of opportunity to meet a man looking for any interaction that doesn’t include grab-ass. Having a date at home can be a nice idea, but let the evening progress organically, don’t try to force anything, especially yourself.

 

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

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