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Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@EricaP: I've had no difficulty in finding dominant men. I'm not just looking for kink, though. I'm looking for the whole enchilada.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
LavaGirl, I welcome your perspective. I'm glad you've dropped into the chat.
I'm sad to hear that your children's father has let the woman he's romantically involved with weaken that tie, but I'm glad you say they're alright anyway.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@EricaP: I can switch from being submissive to being an equal, and I can occasionally and playfully top, but I don't want to domme. That's not who I am. I don't want to falsely advertise--I don't see the point in it. I ended my marriage because of sexual incompatibility; I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not, sexually, in a bid to lure some guy to me. That can't end well. We'll both be unsatisfied. I'm going to have to go all Polonius about this: "To thine own self be true." And all that.

I'm also not looking for someone to "play with." My playtime dance card is pretty full. I'm looking for a partner, a boyfriend. You know: love, companionship, intimacy. This is not about merely getting sex.

I have almost no emotional baggage. I don't hate men; I have no trust issues; I'm not jealous or controlling. I don't belittle. I'm not crazy in a real crazy way. I don't have anger management issues, or drug-or-alcohol dependencies. I love my family and am not estranged from them. I'm close friends with my ex-husband. I'm functional. That's more than just the female equivalent of "I don't hate women," and I don't think it's too much to ask for a man to have the same qualities. You can "not hate women" and still be jealous and controlling, and I really don't want that. I have never been emotionally, verbally, or physically abused, and never been cheated on *that I knew.* I have never had a partner not trust me and I've never dated someone I didn't trust. I'd like to keep it that way.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
Dear AFinch: Regarding kids being the sticking point, I don't know if that's as much of a big deal in my case. For one thing, my older is 20 and doesn't live with me anymore, and my younger is 15 and is with her dad half time and is also capable of being left alone. I'm not talking about marriage and step-parenting; I'm talking about casually dating. I'm not looking for a stepfather or father substitute for my children. My having kids is an issue primarily when someone says "what are you doing this weekend?" and I say, "well this weekend I have my kid(s)." If I was in a serious LTR, I could spend the weekend with both my kid and my boyfriend or part with each--no big deal. It's just when I'm dating casually or trying to meet someone that the "I have my kids this weekend" thing is a big impediment. Or at least so I think.

I do say I'm kinky pretty much up front. I say it kind of subtly, because I don't want to just attract men who think I'm all and only about sex. I've got this profile up on OkCupid, not FetLife.

I have gone on more first dates than I can count. It has got to average 40-60 per year in the last 4 years (pretty much one per week, sometimes as many as 3 per week, and some weeks none), and more than that in the first year or two I was single. Hyper conservatively, at 30 first dates a year, that's roughly 1800 dates over the past 6 years. That's a lot of first dates. I think I've seen maybe 30 of those guys more than once. There have been probably less than 15 I've seem more than 3 times. And with the exception of 5 guys who really liked me and who I didn't feel the same way about, and one guy I liked who didn't feel the same way about me, and the aforementioned guy I fell for and who seemed to be working perfectly as a boyfriend until he broke up with me, those one-off dates weren't just because I was too picky. These were overwhelmingly clear mutual decisions, the kinds of dates where at the date's end you both say "It was very nice to meet you," and you both know that neither of you is interested in ever seeing the other again and no one calls or writes the other one afterwards.

1800 men. 1800 first dates. 1760ish first-and-only dates.

Sometimes I think I am unloveable or there is some problem with me. Sometimes I think that by the age of 45 or so, there are literally no decent single men. They are grabbed up, held tightly. When they go on the market the women over the age of 35 act like sharks in a feeding frenzy. I know many, many single women who are catches: smart, attractive (some are downright gorgeous), nice, interesting, together women. I literally know not one single, single straight man that isn't deeply unappealing: no job, lives with parents, no car, no money to go out, always angry, slobby/filthy/smelly. But I don't know a lot of these guys, because mostly I don't know any unattached single men. I do know a bunch of poly guys or ethical non-monogamists, or married or partnered men whose wives or girlfriends think that they're monogamous, but who've hit on me. By and large these already-partnered men (no matter which of the categories they fit into) are more charming, funny, interesting, good conversationalists, sexy, attractive, solvent, attentive, not "damaged goods-type" men than those I meet who are eligible. After years of feeling frustrated, I'm now dating a bunch of ethical non-monogamists and one substantially younger guy (I know that most 31-year-olds aren't seriously interested in a 51-year-old woman for a real relationship). This is good for getting my sexual needs met, but that's it. Because if you're a woman and you're not looking for a relationship, you can at least get sex. I don't even have to relax my standards to get sex--just the standard of him being available for a real and mostly monogamous relationship with me.

I think that true human connection is rare. Or at least it is for me. Although I met my ex-husband when I was 22, I had never had a serious boyfriend before him, and in fact, my dating life from 15-22 was much like it's been from 45-51, except that there was no internet or internet dating then, and the concept of ethical non-monogamy was foreign to me (and I wouldn't have been dating guys who were older and married). I kissed a lot of frogs. A lot. I guess I'm destined to kiss a lot more.

I don't know what it is. Although I'm overweight now (not grotesquely so, but not slender) I wasn't always. I was a svelte 15-22-year-old, and a reasonably trim 45-year-old. And it obviously isn't just my age, since this situation has existed at various points in my life. Sometimes it feels as though my 22-year marriage is a weird aberration. I think I must just be far enough from "mainstream" to neither attract nor be attracted to the vast majority of men, yet I don't think I'm weird enough to attract or be attracted to the real fringes.

So I don't think that things will necessarily change when my 15-year-old moves out. Maybe this is why I tend to get irritated with people like the letter writer in the other day's SLLOTD who said he loves his girlfriend and he loves having sex with her and he doesn't want to break up with her, but he wants to have sex with other women, with men, with other couples as swappers, and with another person as a threesome. I feel like here I am just trying my hardest to forge a romantic connection in this world and some people are always looking for MORE. Or in the words of Bette Midler: "I want it all. And I would like it delivered." This is when I want to come back like the Rolling Stones and say You Can't Always Get What You Want. Because in my case, even if you try, sometimes you just might find you don't even get what you need. And you need to learn how to deal with that as graciously as possible.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
I'm also in a relationship. --WoofCandy.

Well, yes. I suppose I should have included "single" on my list. Also, "doesn't live in mother's basement, has a concept of personal hygiene, and isn't too socially awkward."

I can find the man of my dreams who meets all my criteria and then some if I'm willing to find one who's married or otherwise in a committed relationship (and I have.) Or who's 20 years younger than me.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@AFinch: Literate and sex-positive aren't so rare, but literate!="Harvard faculty member in physics" . . .

But there's something between having a list that has two items on it (literate and sex-positive) and a fairly unattainable qualification (Harvard faculty member in physics). Sex-positivity is a good start, but you and I can both be sex-positive and if you're an adult baby, I'm not going to share your kink, or you can be looking for a woman to dominate you and I'm not going to be the woman you're looking for.

You can be literate and sex-positive and be personally repulsive (to everyone or just to the one person we're talking about attracting). You can be l and s-p, and be unemployed and like to sit around the house in your underwear masturbating all day. You can be l and s-p and a racist bigot. You can be l and s-p and a raging misogynist, or routinely get into fist fights and get fired for inappropriate displays of anger. L and s-p is no guarantee against alcoholism or boringness or being a religious fanatic or intolerant or obnoxious. There are plenty of l and s-p people who are grossly, morbidly obese or have mouthfuls of rotting teeth and refuse to see a dentist. Or who don't want children in their lives. Or who don't like you.
Having only "literate and sex-positive" as your desired traits only gets you so far.

Dan is always saying that kinky women are in high demand. Well, I'm kinky, and sex-positive and adventurous and have an ultra-high libido. I'm educated, yet not an education snob. I'm loving and affectionate, and thoughtful and kind (trust me on this) and love to do/buy/make little things for people to show my affection. I have a sense of humor. My youngest kid is 15, which leaves me more flexibility than I've had for 20 years. I'm attractive; I'm pretty. My smile could be used to sell toothpaste. I'm gregarious and outgoing and friendly and warm.
I'm also 51, and not svelte (but not grossly obese).

Is it my list that is too demanding?

Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@103 (AFinch): Okay, I'm single and I'd like to be in a relationship. Here's my list (in no particular order)

*Smart (not "smarter than me," just smart. Not a genius, just smart)
*Interested in things
*Interesting (to me)
*Not too vanilla sexually
*Understands what's it like to be a parent/is a parent
*Employed and reasonably solvent
*Has extremely minimal emotional baggage from his past
*Wants me
*Lives close enough and has a schedule that lets us see each other regularly
*College educated

That's it. There are other things I'd like, but they're not strictly necessary. I'd like for him to not be too spiritual, either in a traditional religion or in what I think of as "woovy-goovy" (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area--there are lots of woovy-groovy types here), to not be a product of a 12-step program, because I like to drink wine or the occasional cocktail and I'd like to ideally share that with a partner or at least not feel as if I was being judged, to like to travel, to not be vegan (see the explanation on drinking), to not be allergic to cats (at least until mine are dead), to not play video games too frequently or watch a lot of sports on tv, to like to read for pleasure. We should probably agree on some basic political issues--I don't think I could date a very conservative man--but we don't have to be in lockstep. He can--and should--have his own interests, his own hobbies. But those are preferences and I can compromise on them.

There also needs to be attraction, chemistry. I've discovered that that can't be predicted. I don't have a physical type. We have to have a strong sexual connection. I can say that he should be a fan of dirty talking, and be a bit on the dominant side, sexually, or at least a little bit kinky, but beyond that the sexual connection is either there or it's not, and again, I can't predict that before we try it.

I don't care what kind of car he drives (or even whether he has a car, as long as he has a bicycle or access to public transit), or how prestigious his job is, or how much money he makes (as long as he doesn't need me to pay for everything, because I just don't have enough to do that). I don't care whether he is bald or taller than me. (I don't like bushy or scraggly beards). I don't care whether he has children, so long as he understands what mine mean to me in regards to my priorities and access to free time. I don't require him to share my taste in music, food, movies, books.

There you go. I don't think it seems like an unreasonable list, but then again, it's my own list, so I'm biased. Perhaps it seems unrealistic or too uncompromising to you.

I've been looking for the past 6 years, and except for a 6-month period when I thought I had found Mr. Perfect (who didn't think I was his Ms. Perfect for unexplained reasons), I've not been able to find anyone who even remotely meets the criteria--not by a long, long shot.

I don't think I complain too often or too loudly, and I'm happy to round up to 1. But you can round a .9 or even a .825 up to 1; you can't round a .3 up to 1.

Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@100, 101: People want what they want. Things that may be important to one person might be very unimportant to another. Every one of us has a list of unacceptables; some of those lists are long and detailed, and some of those lists seem to have only "no pulse" on them. Most likely you can think of several traits or characteristics, whether physical, or having to do with personality, habits, work ethic, religion (or lack of it), sexuality, education level, employment status, quickness or slowness to anger and how that anger is expressed or how quickly resolved, desire for children, attitude towards pets, etc. which either the presence of or absence of would constitute a "deal breaker" for you.

I think that being discerning is not a bad thing, and that the ability to tolerate being alone if your bottom-line criteria isn't met is a good thing. Conversely, we've all known people who seem so desperate for a boy/girlfriend that they seem to be willing to settle for anyone, rather than be alone. Some people seem to have an endless set of criteria or insist on some combination of things which seems fairly rare to find, or includes an item or more which would seem to significantly reduce the pool of potential partners, but who are we to judge what is vitally important to another person?

Yes, it can be tempting to roll your eyes when someone complains that he can't find someone and then you hear what he's looking for or not willing to compromise on, and it seems outrageous or unattainable, or he's looking for someone that people might judge as "out of his league" given his stats. And yes, I think we all end up settling for some things that we didn't want or settling for not getting some things we really wanted, but the determination of what those things are and how crucial they are is an individual decision. So you can mock the tall physicist who can't find a man who meets her requirements all you want, but she has a right to want what she wants, and as long as she is willing to hold out until she gets an approximation of it, why do you care?

Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@Allison Cummins: Oh I know and I agree. One of the reasons I wouldn't want to be in a fully open relationship, but only in a monogamish one is because I wouldn't want my partner to fall in love with someone else. Outside sex or attraction I am okay with, but an outside emotional connection I would find more threatening or upsetting.

I once met a man whose wife had said he could have sex with other women, but that they weren't allowed to cook for him. Cooking was how she showed her love, and she considered it an intimate act far more meaningful than, say, a blowjob or an act of PIV sex. She also felt that for him to accept another woman's cooking was an act of betrayal. When he told me I thought "this is so not going to be a problem for you, buddy!" But I understood the impulse behind her insistence.
Jul 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@95: It's true. Having a "no falling in love" rule is naive and unenforceable. But having other rules, such as the number of times or the frequency you're allowed to be with other people or any one particular extra-marital partner*, or limits to the amount of contact you're allowed to have (no texting except to set up a liaison, no online chatting, no skyping, no phone calls, etc.) can help keep that possibility of falling in love lower.

*I say "extra-marital," even though the couple may not be married, for lack of a less clumsy way to express the situation.

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