Savage Love

Quickies

Comments

1

PENIS, are you /sure/ your "little" dick's forward orientation is noticeable, are you sure this isn't just in your head?

Because I'm skeptical. And what if it is? Non-little-dicked guys don't worry about their flaccid (which I'm assuming yours must be since you "never tuck in a shirt") dicks being noticable. I think this is all in your head.

2

PENIS - have you tried really tight underwear, jockstraps? Or ballet dance belts? Or tucking and taping back / under like a drag performer might? And over those, loose "old guy" dress slacks / chinos, or tight jeans, so there is no visible penis line?

3

The guy who won't go down on his girlfriend is an idiot dump his ass.

4

PENIS~ What the hell are your pants made out of, cheesecloth? Or are you leaving the fly unzipped and painting a happy face on the head of your dick? I’m with @1, actually not noticeable and/or @2, wear a jock.

DTFZ~ If you really are projecting a “don’t touch me” vibe, then this “sexual tension” between you and your potentials that your friends have noticed somehow evaporates, so what are you doing once it “gets real”? I’ve been on the guy end of this deal before, when hot girl at a distance opened her mouth and unattractive, narcissistic or prejudiced venom drooled out. But that doesn’t seem likely if these guys actually are ending up friends with you. So I’ll second Dan’s advice, stop being coy - I think you might be doing it wrong - and start being more direct. Some guys have been hammered by Me Too so much they just say, “Fuck it, I’m not taking a chance on this chick who is giving off conflicting vibes.”

BIND~ What’s your question? You’re getting exactly what you signed up for, a muscle-bound dom to punish you. Go whack off to the memory later and quitcherbitchin.

NASJTAP~ Your total lack of a grasp on reality suggest you should be in school administration rather than teaching. Oh. And call me later, I’ve got twenty bucks and a “calculus assignment” I need help with.

TYM~ I bet it’s the happy face painted on your dick that attracted her to you. Bet the older guys didn’t have THAT.

Desperate~ “...Yesterday you TALKED to a 26-year-old guy who won't do cunnilingus but loves to get blowjobs...”? You are one interesting conversationalist. I’d like to sit next to you on a bus sometime.

5

I've tended to only date older men-- my ex-husband was four months younger than me and it drove me freaking bats. Now I am rather head-over-heels for someone who is 6 years younger than me. The thing is, he's 34. And past a certain point, it just isn't robbing the cradle anymore. I'm pretty pleased about being able to extend my demographic downward a bit. And it rather surprised me, but it happens.

6

"I thought perhaps I could do some sex work on the side to help pay off my student loans and get some more money for classroom supplies." --classroom Teacher in this, thee richest country on the fucking Panet....

Thanks, Republicans

"You [suffering from Student Debt] should also get out there and support—we should all get out there and support—Democratic presidential candidates who are calling to forgive or cancel student-loan debt, like Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders.

And, yes, it's possible to support more than one candidate at this stage of the political process." --theDanSavage

DUDE

7

NASJTAP, have you considered being a sugar baby? It's sort of sex work or not depending on how you want to go.

8

Packing- I have met some silicone penises in person while on a shopping expedition. They look and feel fairly real and also come in different sizes, skin tone, and even uncut or circumcised.
If my breast forms are any indication then one can easily get used to them, feeling as part of you after some time and also adjust to your body heat.

As for micro penis- a recent documentary shot in Switzerland and France details the horrific medical procedures some people have gone through as children without their knowledge nor consent, once their genitalia was deemed somewhere in between. Scaring and lying to parents while administering hormones and “corrective” medical procedures, they were turned into girls as female genitalia can be “recreated” easier.
One of the people in it is a performer who laments about their forced “change” once the doctors convinced the parents it is in their best interest to appear “normal” since their small penis would be a much bigger burden once they grow up.
“I hear lots of men and women like small penises for whatever reason and I wish I still had mine,” they say at some point.

PENIS, you're all intact, love the one you with.

“No Box for Me”
https://threedollarbillcinema.org/sqff24/films/no-box-for-me-an-intersex-story-5636b

9

PENIS: you're in luck! Untucked shirts are currently in. You can skip the French tuck, and go fully untucked. Just choose shirts either designed specifically with being untucked in mind, or at least ones which look good that way. Skip oversized shirts, and make yourself look stylish! That said, others have given you advice about choosing underwear or other devices to conceal or redirect your manhood. My guess is that a good tailor can also help you with pants that fit you well and conceal what you want concealed. Just ask, and be specific.

Re DC: what Dan wrote. There are many women who, for whatever reason, are not into cunnilingus. A significant percentage of them either enjoy performing fellatio, or at least are GGG. As long as people are up front and nonjudgmental about it, there's no harm, no foul.

10

Jock strap or male chastity belt if you are kinky.

11

DC, I have dated women who were fine with giving blowjobs, but would not let me go down on them. I realize this is the reverse of the question, but that is my favorite thing to do and it was enough to make us incompatible. As Dan said, that would work out fine for the guy you were speaking with, so there is no foul as long as he doesn't end up with someone he is denying pleasure.

That being said, I once had a friend who would not perform cunnilingus. I tried to talk him into it for her sake (mutual friend), and his response was not "I hate that", but was basically "why bother". So it is also entirely possible that the guy is just a selfish asshole.

DTZF, since it sounds as though the "friend zone" situation you find yourself in is actually with some decent guys, I do have some suggestions. It is entirely possible that they may be gun shy in the "me too" era, but I doubt it. If you are interested, then you should definitely say something or make a move while you are still stealing glances at each other, but before your flirting turns to familiarity and friendship.

I have definitely not acted on this kind of flirting behavior because I have had MANY female friends complain about some guy that they thought was their friend thinking it was more and making an unwanted move. Nobody wants to be that guy. This may be especially true for you if you have several male friends that you are flirty with but have not dated. They may even be reinforcing the view that that is just the way you are with each other.

I can't speak to the "vibes" you mentioned, but your other friends can. It may be worth asking your other friends if they agree, and what you could do differently. (I also would be willing to bet that if you ask a single male friend "why haven't we ever dated?" you will probably get some sex. Just saying.)

12

DC Ask him why he won't eat your pussy? Smell, taste, is a hairy or shaved pussy unappealing, does his tongue hurt when he does it. What is his attitude towards rimming you and do you or would enjoy it? Would it be an acceptable alternative while you use a vibrator in direct contact with your clit?

13

Curious2 @1, "all in your head" is the best unintentional pun I've read all day. Thank you. As for PENIS, you may be right. I would suggest he experiment with different kinds of underwear or trousers if he hasn't already done so. I can't see any graceful way to explain to a date that the bulge he was, ahem, packing was just to make his clothed package look more natural. As I haven't got a penis, I'll leave the suggestions to others.

DTFZ, same advice as for the women who have no luck with women. Just ask him out!

I wonder if NASJAP could do online sex work anonymously, perhaps as a masked Dom/me? Other side hustles aren't going to let them make up the cash shortage in as few hours as sex work will.

TYM: Yes. Perhaps what your girlfriend is attracted to is the taboo, and now that she is 30, a younger man like you is taboo. Or as Dan says, we learn from experience; perhaps her experiences have taught her whom to avoid and she is now older, wiser and screening out these unavailable poor choices who seemed so tantalising but brought her nothing but grief. Do you want to become her next story for her next partner ("and then I tried dating this guy who was a bit younger and seemed really nice, but he was SO insecure, he spent the entire time second guessing our relationship / accusing me of wanting to leave / cheat")? I'm willing to bet some of these past partners were younger at the time than you are now, so perhaps she's just caught up with her preferred age range. Yes, people can change. If you love this woman, don't sabotage this with your self doubt.

Skeptic @12, this is not her boyfriend, just someone in her social circle, who says he does not eat pussy, full stop. Glad he's waved the "do not date me" flag in front of everyone -- a good strategy to weed out the majority of women who want to receive oral and not just give it.

14

Donny @4, way, way before MeToo there were men, lots and lots of men, who were reluctant to ask women out because they are shy, fear rejection, or rounded down signals as subtle as this woman seems to be giving off. She's only in her mid 20s; it generally takes longer than that for many people to shed their fear of rejection. And it sounds like she hasn't been "making any moves" herself, which always worked for me, back when Bill Cosby had his own sitcom. I agree that feminist women need to incorporate the tenets of equality into their dating lives and stop expecting men to do the emotional labour of asking for dates. If you fancy a guy, just ask him out!

Because @5: The best line in the movie Dazed And Confused is, "I get older, they stay the same age." When one is young, one's ideal age is older than we are; around 30 it's our own age; and in our 40s it's younger than ourselves. No great mystery as to why.

CMD @8: Good call that PENIS may be intersex, and if so, he is indeed lucky he escaped surgery as an infant. Also, PENIS, good for you for learning to please women with your tongue and fingers, which many of us find more enjoyable than PIV anyway.

15

The answers are 1) PACK; 2) ASK; 3) PASS-ON-DICK; 4) NO-SEX-WORK; 5) YES; 6) JUDGE. I like all the answers. 4) is politically unfortunate; but it's right to highlight the risks to a sex-positive aspirant tryout.

My suspicion is that writer 6) is a young woman in DC whose lover actually won't go down on her. DTMFA.

The first writer is suffering from misapprehensions about how much is visible, as 1. curious and 4. donny point out--and gets a better answer than his question deserves. The third writer gets the correct answer in the circumstances. The bodybuilder is a FWB. The lw can have sessions where attention is lavished on his dick with other partners.

Fwiw I cast a bit of side-eye at the people publicly hoping it'll become a two-person Sanders-Warren race. They're Sanders supporters. And the older and black Democrats who support Biden are not going to go away any time soon, nor can their support be wished away. The risk is comparable to last time: more Bernie bros not getting behind the eventual nominee than honorable rightists drawing the line at Trump.

16

TYM - Makes perfect sense to me that a 30 year old woman might suddenly be more attracted to a peer. While he is 2 years younger, I'd say this means they are essentially the same age and therefore much more typical of couples who embark upon life partnership. She says she sees a future with him. Very likely she wasn't prioritizing "future" when dating the married men and professors or whatever. I see this phenomenon in men, as well. A time in life when peers are more appealing.

Also agree with Dan that she may never have been exclusively attracted to older guys.

17

PENIS is the gender he's been socialised as. He could be biologically intersex--and the fact (if it could be ever demonstrated as a fact) have no effect on his gender identity. Or it could--it's what he chooses to do with it, or finds he has to do with it. 'Pack' is one answer for dealing with the day-to-day embarrassment of feeling wrong, unusual, deficient; 'tuck' is another answer. On occasions I've tucked and packed.

18

Harriet @15, she says "yesterday I talked to," and that "my friends judged him harshly." My suspicion is that this was a Tinder date, or perhaps not even a date yet.

FutureCat @16, this makes sense. These forbidden lovers, bad boys, appealed when she was looking to play the field; now that she wants to settle down she's looking for settling-down material, and this practically-the-same-age guy ticks that box.

Harriet @17, if you're tucking and packing are you pucking? :)

19

@14. Bi. Well, we know that women 'do not incorporate the tenets of equality into their sex lives'--not in that sense. I saw a factoid (I've no reason to think it inaccurate) suggesting that 80% of het or bi women on okcupid identifying as 'feminist' characteristically make no effort to message men, instead waiting to be contacted.

And there will be lots of reasons for this.... The risk of being shamed or turned down for being forward; the sensation, possibly the illusion, of comparatively greater power in exercising choice, turning men down; fears of quite unwonted humiliation in being rejected; an economy of effort in which enough of their time is taken up fending off and filtering male advances.... Maybe it would upset the balance of power between the sexes too much for this to change in isolation... (though for the better...).

20

@17. Bi. Well I'm certainly not plucking....

I was interested in what it felt like to cruise as a superbly hung guy. This was years ago. It was terrible 'false pretences', and just not the sort of thing I could go through with.

21

@18. Bi. If she wants a guy who will go down on her, don't go there. This guy has been a bit of an ass and plastered a 'NOPE' sign over his forehead. 'Desperate Clitoris' suggests to me that she wants it; this isn't merely an academic conversation, a point of interest, among friends. (I guess that with the 'DC' / District of Columbia handle, somewhere in the back of my mind the old canard, 'black guys don't like giving head', was bobbing--but maybe now this is completely sunk? Maybe, since I've left America, they do? At any rate, this is not relevant to the advice or any thoughtful response to DC--but just accounts for my thought-process in fleshing out the circumstances behind the letter).

22

@13 BiDanFan
""all in your head" is the best unintentional pun I've read all day."

I think you're right I may not have noticed the pun; I was rushing to be @1.

/Break/
PENIS, to expand upon my theory, I think what you think observers will notice is that you are "little", not that stuff about it pointing forward (flaccid). (Which itself while an understandable insecurity, 'not noticeable' isn't even something to notice, it's a lack of something; please read on.)

While I don't personally direct my visual attention to that area, because I also have a dick I know that when flacid it can have infinite geometric orientations. In other words, observers would simply imagine that you have a dick of the size that please dear friend you should I hope now swell with pride and self-confidence from, but that it just got swept by underwear or body movements into the area some people paradoxically choose to 'tuck', so observers won't at the moment be able to enjoy viewing all of your member's self-confidence mounting glory.

23

Harriet @19: Or just the simplest explanation, which is, they don't have to. They receive enough messages from men that they just pick from their inboxes rather than go on a proactive hunt. Unless you're in the 20% who, like me, have very specific preferences and HAVE to go looking for what we want. Which I guess is what you mean by "economy of effort," and indeed has nothing to do with not wanting equality. Compare this to an extremely attractive gay man's experience on Grindr versus an average looking man's. The extremely attractive guy is in demand, therefore he is flooded with messages (like the typical straight woman), so he probably doesn't spend much time messaging men either, for reasons that have zilch to do with gendered expectations.
So in order to change this, as far as app culture is concerned, you would have to socialise men to stop sending messages, giving women no choice but to approach. The app Bumble was founded on this principle: only women can send initial messages. I've never used it so I can't speak to how effective its strategy is.

Harriet @21: Sure: She's horny, which is why she was on Tinder in the first place, and quickly discovered that this isn't the guy who's going to give her what she wants, so indeed she should move on.

24

@23 @BiDanFan My own experience is that many men swipe on a majority of profiles fairly indiscriminately while I swipe on very few profiles after thoroughly reading them and this influences how I manage messaging. I'd say I'm usually marginally interested in half of those I swipe on, very interested in the other half. So I will not hesitate to initiate messaging with the half I'm very interested in, but I will hang back on the other half because I feel one or the other person needs to have enough interest to drive things and my marginal interest level isn't enough, and can even result in giving mixed messages and overblown expectations, when I'm aware I may have just landed in a guy's mass swipe net. Unless a guy uses a function such as a "super like" to indicate he has particular interest in my profile, I never assume a "like" equates to genuine interest due to the mass swipe phenomenon.

25

On the subject of the last LW: what if the genders were reversed? Would people judge a woman harshly if she loved getting cunnilingus but for whatever reason refused to give head? If we can give a pass to a woman who doesn't want to give blowjobs, why can't we also have some understanding for a man who for whatever reason doesn't enjoy cunnilingus?

26

@25 @Dragonrose36 Sounds to me like such a woman would "get a pass" in the context of a domme dynamic in which both partners derive pleasure from that very specific dynamic.Other than that, my impression has always been that Dan feels mutual oral comes standard and a partner in such a situation who is giving and not receiving may want to consider doing a trade-in for more a standard model if it's important to their pleasure.

27

TYM - who knows, but keep your guard up. That's a bunch of red flags you've just rattled off.

28

"... are you sure this isn't just in your head?"
And I can't get it out of my head...

29

Dragon @25: "Would people judge a woman harshly if she loved getting cunnilingus but for whatever reason refused to give head?"

Yes.

"If we can give a pass to a woman who doesn't want to give blowjobs, why can't we also have some understanding for a man who for whatever reason doesn't enjoy cunnilingus?"

Because the "for whatever reason" is important.

Your definition of "blowjobs" is also important. Today's SLLOTD features just that, a woman who gives blowjobs but doesn't want cum in her mouth. Dan's answer is that she IS giving blowjobs so the LW has got nothing to complain about. I think it's selfish to refuse to "give head." I don't think it's selfish to use your hands or to stop when your jaw aches, or to draw the line at face fucking. Similarly, I would give a pass to a man who had to stop eating pussy because his neck or tongue got sore, who didn't want to swallow a squirter's ejaculate, or if he didn't want her sitting on his face. And sure, he's allowed "for whatever reason" to refuse cunnilingus. But if he doesn't want to even give it a try (presuming the partner wants him to), he shouldn't expect his dick sucked. Reverse the genders and this is equally my position.

30

For The Younger Man-- We all know the stories of women who start out dramatic and go on to become train wrecks. We sometimes miss the less interesting stories of the women who go through some self-inflicted rough times in their teens and early 20s, learn, maybe get some therapy, do get their acts together, and emerge the other side mostly okay. Your girlfriend may be one of those.

The salient point isn't that she went out with younger men. The salient point is that those men were flat-out wrong for her. Look at it this way. She went through a period where she was attracted to guys who were all wrong for her. Now she's attracted to you, and you may be right for her.

Can someone change what they like in this way? Hell YES. I'm living proof.

31

I've noticed this visible phenomenon when someone I know with a rather small penis wears certain athletic pants. (Yes, in public.) Every time I wonder "what underwear is he wearing that I can see the head of his dick poking straight out right there??" So yeah, I can vouch for it being a real thing for some people. Placement and size both affect it.
Rather than packing, a solution is probably different undergarments. I'm guessing a tighter, more supportive fit and thicker material, along with different styles and fits of pants.

32

30- My own post. OLDER men. The salient point isn't that she went out with older men, etc.

33

1 - The conclusion to the advice was tangential, and wrong-spirited. Why not suggest that people like LW1 look for what will be sellers' markets for them instead of inviting the inference that it's their unilateral responsibility to comply with such a request whenever it's made? I'd put wearing a strap-on in the same category as obliging an unshared kink, and require that the obliger receive a fair share of one's preferred activities besides obliging. Also, while it's not wrong to want more than a partner can provide or from the other side to accept having to accentuate as an acceptable price of admission, I don't think anyone of any gender is outright wrong for showing anyone finding one's anatomy inadequate the door.

2 - Fine as far as the advice goes. I'll only add that it might repay LW2 to be sure the tension was really obvious, and suggest that, as well as encouraging men to better recognize a female No (shades of Jinny in The Waves), they shouldn't be dinged for seeing a phantom No, as that is an error on the correct side, rather like the way some tennis coaches prefer a serve going wide or long to one going into the net.

3 - Mr Savage is a little cavalier, but LW does seem to have found this de facto Price of Admission acceptable, and can always Use His Words if he desires something different. If LW's male and bi, maybe he should have a CMY with #2.

4 - There are a handful of Ds not yet on my Never List, though I still wish they'd draft Sen Baldwin. I could have voted for either Sen W or S, but her claim never to have evolved at all on same-sexer issues is a MAJOR overreach as well as just tone-deaf, as we're all about evolving thought and that's always the interesting part of the conversation, at least for us character voters. It has brought her to the edge. I can certainly feel for LW, having this morning run a bridge game for which, after expences, I netted about $1.67 an hour. I fear sex work is not a possibility for me, alas, though I trust the thought of how ludicrous it would be entertains about nine-tenths of the assembled company. (I'm in a generous mood.)

5 - The conclusion of the advice is plausible but not inevitable. I've known people for whom change is a more accurate description than growth. Ms Fichu handled this one well.

6 - Well, at least now we get that someone should look for a sellers' market. This answer, however, in conjunction with A1, implies that LW1 is at fault if he feels bad about his body (if LW1 is a trans woman chasing straight women, the question moves to another dimension) should his partners want a little extra.

34

@1 curious2: Congrats on first post!! :)

35

@3 surfrat & @6 kristofarian: Agreed and seconded.

36

I hit my early 30s and my fuck buddies that I'd known for years couldn't perform quite as well in their mid-40s as they could 10 years ago when I first met them. Suddenly younger men became way more attractive when I noticed they weren't college boys anymore. That's not to say all men in their 40s+ can't perform, let's just say my guys didn't exactly take the best care of themselves. I also never saw my older partners as people I wanted to seriously date and I would only get with older men who seemed surprised that someone so much younger was interested.

I'm also a woman who doesn't love getting head and I HATE when men offer it like it's the end all be all of sexual acts. I'm glad they're enthusiastic, but it just doesn't really get me off. I'll gladly give head. Heck, I'm a size queen for blowjobs, but my lil puss can't quite handle a deep dicking.

37

You didn’t answer the last question, Dan. What do you think re women feeling used if men are fine to get blows jobs and won’t reciprocate?
LW, you need to be clear before getting too involved If you want oral, then don’t date men who don’t give it. Men like the man you’re talking if, only wants to get and not give, while women like you indulge him, he can keep this going.
Move on and find a man who does enjoy giving oral and receiving it.

38

Good one, PENIS. A lot of men know how to use their cocks and are in the woods re fingers and tongue skills. I wouldn’t worry about your penis showing thru, though I hope people here who have more knowledge re penis cover can help you.

39

Lots of people don’t like oral, and there should be no judgement. Nobody knows why there is this aversion, to receiving or giving it.
Might be childhood sexual trauma is activated and there’s no pleasure in it. Trick is to find one’s compatible partner. Be honest on dating profiles, about preferences and no go zones. Matches will be out there, because not everyone follows the same script. As we talk about re gender.

40

Venn @33, sellers' markets? LW1 (PENIS) isn't asking for advice on dating with a small penis, he's asking for advice on how to mask his protruding glans in the workplace.

Carrot @36, please don't discourage them. If you don't like it, fine, but use your words rather than try to undo all the good work these men's previous girlfriends have done in convincing them to be givers! ;)
(Winkyface because many men don't need convincing, bless them.)

41

Ms Fan - If there had to be a tangent at the end of A1, advising LW1 to find a market where the women buyers preferred his developed skills and his smaller endowment would have been more seemly than using a LW who has (assuming the letter is accurate) responded to being given what might have been lemons by making Darjeeling (in a way that I'd expect to garner commendation from the assembled company) as a sword with which to smite LW's less secure peers and perhaps LW himself. Possibly the tone irritated me more than the tangent; there might have been a non-potentially-shaming way to frame it.

(Ms Cute - Thinking of LW1 in the role of potential chooser instead of chosen made me think both of Emma's quarrel with Mr Knightley over Harriet Smith's matrimonial prospects after refusing Robert Martin and of the infinity of applications received by Mrs Smallridge, who actually permitted wax candles in the school-room.)

42

@23. Bi. My assumption would be that the exclusively-messagees are getting lots of matches but missing out, for them, on some of the most desirable partners. It could be, of course, that what makes a male partner a potential lover or bf emerges in the course of two people's interaction and isn't apparent just through profiles--eg the effort a man is prepared to make for them ... but still, there could be premium guys according to this criterion who would need to be sought out.

I have my own idea of sexual utopia--also mating or partner-finding utopia--in which everyone, of any sex or gender, is indifferently on those bases ready to look or be sought after; and in which sexual compatibility, as determined on the ground of everyone's extensive experience, is the sine qua non of any long-term partnership. I don't think, across society as a whole, this is anywhere near to being realised.

On Grindr I am a perpetual wallflower, because 1) of my age, and 2) my relative lack of interest in my own dick and relative, in proportion to the site population, penchant for brusque PIA. Further, there are ways that in extremis I can find satisfaction elsewhere that are lower-investment (of time, patience) for me.

To some degree I have the sense that our dialogue is of partial observers. My fascination with cishet dating predates any active sexual interest on women on my part, and you've said that your needs and interests make you in some ways exceptional, unlike the 80% of passive responders. I'd be interested in what one of this 80% had to say about dating dynamics.

43

For the Younger Man, I am not sure why you think your partner’s preferences have changed based on age, as she says that her previous men were not right for her, and you are (or might be.) are there no differences between you and them besides age?
My experience: I always liked men, but not so much boys. When I reached 18 I thought, yea! I’m old enough for older men! (In my mind, all men, since males younger than me were not “men.”) At age 30 I congratulated myself because yea! Now I’m old enough for younger men! If you prefer mature (I.e. fully adult) men, you have to be 30 or so for men younger than you to be fully grown up. This may be what’s happening with your partner. It’s not that she suddenly likes younger men, it’s that she prefers grown up men, and now that’s she 30, men just slightly younger (your 28) are finally in the mature-enough category.

44

I sure fucked up on the last letter. Sorry LW and Dan. Total concentration fail.
Me Venn, yes I thought Dan jumped in there a bit insensitively re PENIS. I’m sure the guy knows about dildos, and he was just asking about pants. Or was he. Weird to write Dan about covering his penis bulge.
His developed other skills could fit a niche market.

45

Harriet @42: "My assumption would be that the exclusively-messagees are getting lots of matches but missing out, for them, on some of the most desirable partners." Mine too. I'm not saying this strategy is a good or effective one, or one I'd endorse. Indeed, I too shake my head when women complain that they don't have any luck on apps and simultaneously say that they don't send messages. I agree that neither of us seems to fit the mould for apps aimed at our particular demographics, and that I too am perplexed by the number of heteros who are still behaving according to gendered norms in this area, despite having rejected them in so many other arenas.

Lava @44: "I’m sure the guy knows about dildos"
Dildos and packers are not the same thing. I'm not sure a cis het man would know about products designed for trans men and drag kings.

46

@24. futurecatlady. And how are your initial messages received? What proportion of the dates you eventually go on arise from your initiating, and how many from your responding?

@31. ankyl. Heavens, the weather is a factor. Either packing or thick pants could be a solution.

I found the whole of the letter incredible or suspicious, in that it struck me as surprising that someone so dysphoric about his dick could have learnt to be such a happy success with his mouth and fingers. I guess there are three possibilities: 1) the letter is in jest; 2) the writer, sadly, is not yet successful with women and is compensating, projecting and making it up, or 3) it's all true, and the problem is accurately outlined--in which case I'd think that there's been some deflection, some management of the psychological issue of being non-normative in het dating by throwing concern on a relatively trivial issue concerning presentation and fully-clothed appearance.

47

@33. venn. I find what you're saying to the guy with the small dick obtuse. He's the one who's nervous about size, about his equipment. And what would be a 'sellers' market' for him? Sure--there are a lot of het women looking for guys who are skilled and enthusiastic users of tongues and fingers; but are there so many who also stipulate a small dick? And if there were, wouldn't the stipulation be a bit uncomfortable for a slightly nervous, dysphoric guy?

48

Harriet @46, I've slept with very-small-dicked men who have been very good with their tongues and fingers. It doesn't strike me as impossible that someone could come to terms with this facet of his anatomy -- particularly if he was lucky enough to have understanding, enthusiastic partners -- yet find the way his crotch looks in the mirror distressing. He's been able to solve the sex problem by talking to his partners about what they like, but his partners cannot offer any suggestions for the pants problem.

49

@46 @Harriet How my initial messages have been received has varied. Sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes lukewarm, sometimes no response at all. The only real trend I've noticed has been that a far higher proportion of guys who "super like" me or send personalized intro messages go on to be more attentive and goal oriented about meeting me after we match.

I can't recall with enough precision to answer your second question because I'm more inclined to retain the details of those with whom I go on to have some type of sustained interaction vs. all first meetings. Additionally, one app I've used required women to message first and another had an "intro message" function that allowed people to initiate before a mutual match occurred.

Everyone I'm seeing currently is someone I met on a dating app over the last few years. One super liked me and initiated messaging. I don't recall my exact thought process because it's been years now, but my guess is that I preferred for him to drive things due to a large age gap. Another, I met on an app that requires the woman to message first, but I would have been happy to initiate messaging with him regardless. The third, I met on an app that allows intro messages before matching and he saw my profile first, though again, I would've been happy to message him first had I seen his profile first.

50

That's some stellar advice for PENIS there Dan!

I'm a cis guy with a normally functioning, normally sized dick who likes to strap on his wife's strap-on every once in a while, just because I like it and it's fun to have any size cock I want and fuck my wife for an unnatural amount of time. It's not just for the little-dicked.

Also, my wife's fuck buddy when she met me has a micropenis too, and he was easily one of the best partners she's ever had. I'm absolutely thrilled that he taught me so much.

51

@50 gromm: You and your wife are both fortunate. Lucky you. Her fuck buddy sounds like a real find.

52

Thanks Fan, packers.

53

Harriet @46 & @47: I don’t see he has an issue with the size of his cock. In the past yes, not now. He’s learnt to satisfy with fingers and tongue, and having those skills would find him popular with a niche market.
Women who have physical or psychological issues with being penetrated by a bigger cock/ is there a ‘normal’ size/. Lots of men don’t know how important sensitive fingers and a clever tongue are to a woman’s pleasure. At least this woman’s.
The question is funny, I’d think most men by adulthood would have figured out how to show off or hide their junk. And all cocks shrivel to not much more than a head anyways. That I’ve noticed. Not being a cock haver, I’m suddenly confused. And what does it matter? Men often wear clothes where outline of their genitals show thru. Though now I know about packers, I won’t be so sure in future.
Wear baggy pants, simple.

54

Of course cocks vary in size and shrinkage depends on the weather.
I think it’s great this man has learnt to adjust to how his body is, and be happy about it.
Adaption is one of the most important skills to have. He’s learnt to adapt and be cool with It, and brag of his talents.

55

Mr Venn, I’ve moved on from Lawrence to Edmund White’s book ‘City Boy,’ about NY in
the 70’s, when it was a hell hole.
It’s fascinating reading to me because he chats away about the beginnings of gay rights, activities, public visibility and emerging philosophies, before AIDS hit. As well as talk of all the literary people and artists he met. Love his writing.
I see Nadal got married, after sixteen odd years of courtship.

57

Of course women still seduce Mr D. You don’t notice, that’s why it’s called seduction.

58

DTFZ, as Dan says ask him on a date.
And learn how to switch from ‘don’t touch me’ to ‘I’m interested.’ Eyes can say a lot, coupled with your words. Then once on a date, if he’s interested, touch his arm in passing. See if you enjoy each other on this tentative new footing. Seduction is a step by step play, and both have to join in.

61

M?? Harriet - I was simply coming up with a better tangent than that offered by Mr Savage, especially given his tangent's body-shaming tone. Feel free to improve on it.

62

Who's ready to score this week's Lucky @69 Award? Donny? Lava?
Tick...tick...tick...

63

I'm in my mid 50s.
When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I pretty much exclusively dated older men--anywhere from a couple of years to 15 years older, because men in their late teens/early 20s (or those that I met) were really juvenile.

By mid 30s or so, it tends to even out. However, I was married by then, In my mid-40s, single again, I started dating men my age, give or take a year or so.

Now I am totally open to dating a man in his late 40s/early 50s (and up to mid 60s). Why? Because those cool "older men" have become (some of them) plain old, "old men," with all the drawbacks implied in the name.

64

@63: nocutename: Boy can I ever relate! You and I are in the same age group. Agreed on dating and marriage, based on experiences. Most of the guys I've met and been with were indeed, quite juvenile. I had a tendancy to be around an older crowd, being the youngest in my immediate family by over seven years +. With both my beloved parents passed away (but not far in my heart), it feels weird to now be among the elders.

65

It was s solid tangent too Mr Venn @61. Got me thinking and agreeing with you. Probably why the LW sounds so chirpy, he’s found his niche market.

66

Dadddy @60, it's perfectly fine to judge someone as being incompatible with you in bed. I would probably find you shitty in bed. But you'd probably prefer me to phrase that as "incompatible."

67

I'm with curious2 - PENIS thinks the visibility, or lack of visibility, of his penis is much more obvious/notable to other people than it is. Maybe pants made of a thicker material or looser in the crotch would help his anxiety, but I expect PENIS is the only person who cares or thinks about whether his penis outline/size is discernable through pants most of the time. In most contexts, adult humans are not paying attention to the genital bulges of other people, and if they notice, don't especially care (people tend to have their own concerns and anxieties on which they focus).

The letter reminds me most about being anxious about whether my erections were visible in middle school, or whether my pants bunched up in such a way that it LOOKED like I had an erection. Except for the one time a girl loudly shouted, "John, do you have an ERECTION?" in choir class, it wasn't ever as big a deal for anyone else as it was for me. This is the Spotlight Effect triggering outsized anxiety, and PENIS may well benefit from therapy and/or drugs.

68

@29 BiDanFan
If someone wants to receive but not give oral, it's ok to have it as a deal breaker as long as they're upfront about it. They should tell their partner before any form of sex is started. It's not fair to spring it on them unexpectedly.

I don't think the solution is for their partner(s) to withhold giving oral sex unless they reciprocate, though. Tit-for-tat makes everyone unhappy and frustrated. Just stop everything as soon as the incompatibility comes up.

69

DTFZ: You're problem is the pervasive, heavily gendered expectation that men will take all of the risk of rejection (and sexual assault accusations) by being the only ones to take an active role in sexual relationships, despite decades of feminist activism that has achieved greater equality in a bunch of other areas. As Dan notes, even if you DO give off "don't touch me" signals and can't figure out how to change that (or even if you don't give them off to most people and this is a false correlation), you can use words and actions to give off clearer, overriding "touch me" signals. OYMSYP.

70

TYM, her trend looks to me like authority figures more than older men per se - her teachers, boss, and a cop have direct authority, and older married men fit a family patriarch authority role. If you're a dominant partner, she may be attracted to you as part of that trend, or she may have figured out at age 30 that she wants a family and that people closer to her age and who aren't married are a better bet for that. If you're NOT already dominant, and if her pool of attraction has grown rather than changed, so she still has that attraction to authority kicking around in her skull, you could talk to her about whether there are some things you can do (in bed or in general) that might satisfy that part of her psyche.

71

Re: DC, from Dan's response: "But if what you're doing in bed—or refusing to do in bed—makes other people feel bad about themselves or their bodies, well, then you should be judged harshly." Or at least be judged incompatible, since we can't necessarily predict and definitely can't control other people's emotional reactions to our actions. The asshole coefficient may be higher among that group, but speculating on motivation isn't nearly as helpful as observing incompatibility and moving along to others who may be more compatible.

72

@48. Bi. What strained credulity for me was that he needed a solution for his dick being propped like a rosebud or cigar stub, rather than hanging--not his licking proficiency.

@49. futurecatlady. It figures to me that people messaging in a thoughtfully personalised way are better dates. I don't blame het men as a class for the 'dragnet' approach.

Almost no one, for me, who's been 'great on paper' is someone I've turned out to have had much of a connection with. But there must be increasing numbers of people, like you, who are finding thoroughly exploratory and satisfactory relationships by these means.

73

@53. Lava. Or wear heavy, dark jeans or heavier, dark trousers if he wears a suit for work. I agree why the question is peculiar.

74

@11: "I have definitely not acted on this kind of flirting behavior because I have had MANY female friends complain about some guy that they thought was their friend thinking it was more and making an unwanted move."

I, too, have had this happen plenty, and occasionally the women say much later that they wished I HAD made a move. I think there's a major, gendered disconnect in our conversations about sexual harassment and assault. In fact, lots of men don't want to be shitty, and they listen and adjust behavior when women complain about men hitting on them at bar when they just want to hang out with friends, men sending unsolicited messages, men interpreting what they intend as non-sexual friendliness as flirting, etc.

I've come to realize through conversations about this that the women tend to be intending to talk about truly shitty, aggressive, entitled men, but often overgeneralize when actually voicing their complaints. So, for example, the problem isn't men who politely ask to buy them a drink and go away when told no, rather men who won't go away or make extremely crass suggestions right away, but when venting they'll say thing's like, "I'm so sick of men hitting on me at bars when I'm out with my friends!" Well-intentioned men who hear that over and over from friends (or blog posts, etc.) then adjust their behavior by not hitting on women who are out at bars with friends AT ALL.

The irony is that the men most likely to pay attention are more likely to not be the men who need to hear the message, so we wind up with a situation where well-meaning men stop hitting on women entirely (or at least significantly), observing that if you sum up all of the spaces in which some women complain about men hitting on them, it's literally everywhere, while indifferent or actively hostile men continue ignoring the complaints, with the result that an even higher proportion of men who do hit on women are assholes about it (reinforcing the complaints in a vicious cycle).

75

Opal @68, I entirely agree that if you want oral and your partner isn't giving it, the solution isn't to withhold oral from them, but to break up.
Or, I suppose if you are poly, you can withhold oral from them and also find another partner you can share mutual oral sex with.

John @74, bang on. I agree that there are two, well perhaps three, types of men: the skeevy, entitled harassers; the men who approach respectfully; and the men who don't approach at all. And you're right that when women complain about Group 1, it can spur men in Group 2 to think "wait, am I doing this wrong? Should I not approach these women?" Unfortunately, complaining does nothing to stop the men in Group 1, the ones who should be stopped. Because Group 2 care about respecting women and Group 1 do not. Honestly this is one reason apps do so well. It's much easier to approach someone when the stakes are lower -- no public embarrassment, no second-guessing whether she's single, etc. This can help some of the Group 3 men move into Group 2. And Group 1 are the ones who are on the apps sending dick pics.

76

@67 John Hortsman
I think you're a keen observer of people, JH.

"PENIS thinks the visibility, or lack of visibility, of his penis is much more obvious/notable to other people than it is."

Yes, that better articulates my theory.

Of course somebody upthread had the same issue, so I guess if one wore spandex or something it could be real.

"In most contexts, adult humans are not paying attention to the genital bulges of other people, and if they notice, don't especially care (people tend to have their own concerns and anxieties on which they focus)."

Again yes, and my own school story. About to give a speech to my whole high school, I was very nervous. Someone very helpfully told me that the primary focus of most people (for example this audience) was on themselves, so they wouldn't be paying that much attention to me anyway. (It helps to look at some individuals in the crowd.) From then on in life, while speaking in front of big crowds does make me nervous, I just go ahead and say what I need to say, and don't mind if my voice shakes a time or two.

77

Congratulations JohnH, on scoring the lucky number. Good points in your comment about flirting and following thru on sexual attractions. I see what you mean Fan, by dating sites being a good way to start the conversation, while face to face can be so fraught.
Observing non verbal behaviour first, can help one see if someone is interested or not.
Does this man the LW fancies give off an interest vibe, even though he may be cautious. People can try to hide their attractions and feelings, it still will come out thru their non verbal behaviour, in subtle ways.
Say a man is in a bar, and a woman catches his eye. She’s with friends and drinking and laughing. Walking up and asking can he buy her a drink, without doing a little non verbal work, is dangerous and will likely result in rejection.
So, he catches her eye, because he looks at her. Not in a staring way.. all weirdo. Looks around the room, chats with his friends, and returns to glance at her.
After a few, she will pick up someone is giving her a once over, and look to see who it is. If she’s got any interest in how the man looks, she will linger a little. Otherwise she’ll clock no interest by immediately returning to face and chat with her friends.
Yes, using one’s words, and picking the right words, is now much more important than it was in my youth. And if there’s rejection, that’s part of the love game.

78

JohnH, and other who respect women, know what sort of man you are and act accordingly. If you know you’re not a thug, who won’t take no for an answer, then don’t identify with that man.
See him, be proud you aren’t like him, and go about your life.

79

@69 WA-HOOOOOO!!! Congratulations, John Horstman, for scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! Savor the highly coveted glory. :)

80

Ms Lava - I'm glad my days of being cruised are over, though you did also remind me of the scene in Persuasion when, on the visit to Lyme, Captain Wentworth notices Mr Elliot's (in effect) cruising Anne and seems himself to see some revival of her former beauty.

Ms Fan @75 - If I recall correctly that you prefer to be the approach-maker with men (or at least that your male type generally doesn't approach much), that seems generous of you. (Shades of the conversation between Ms Cute's favourite, Henry Tilney, and Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey on the differences in gender roles in such activities as dancing and matrimony.)

Mr Horstman @74 - Well, for many people of varied genders, being able to blame you for not making a move would be more enjoyable than having even an enjoyable move made.

[I've come to realize through conversations about this that the women tend to be intending to talk about truly shitty, aggressive, entitled men, but often overgeneralize when actually voicing their complaints. So, for example, the problem isn't men who politely ask to buy them a drink and go away when told no, rather men who won't go away or make extremely crass suggestions right away, but when venting they'll say thing's like, "I'm so sick of men hitting on me at bars when I'm out with my friends!" Well-intentioned men who hear that over and over from friends (or blog posts, etc.) then adjust their behavior by not hitting on women who are out at bars with friends AT ALL.]

You seem to be saying this as if it's a bad thing...? (No, I am not trying to push multi-sexual men into increasing their proportion of MM approaches.) I'm not sure that a bit of rigourous interpretation wouldn't have a net positive effect. (If I had a Greek sort of mind, I might attempt a sort of reverse Lysistrata.)

I'm tempted to divide your women into those who just don't want to be approached by problematic men (whatever they'd say to someone respectful) and those who just want to be approached by men they'd accept. I can feel for the latter group, as someone who so disliked saying No, Thank You that I feel capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone on Unenthusiastic Consent.

81

Lava @78, the problem with that is that the Group 1 men, the men who ARE skeevy predators, think "I'm not a skeevy predator" and continue with what they see is acceptable behaviour, because while it may be skeevy if it was a different guy doing it, "I'M a nice guy and my intentions are good so it is my right to drunkenly impose a conversation on this woman who is alone waiting for a bus late at night." I saw this exact example go on for more than 200 comments on Facebook. So unfortunately it is not that simple.

Venn @80, generous how? I'm not approaching them for their benefit.

Re John Horstman's comment, I agree that it IS a bad thing when nice men feel lumped in with gross men and decide not to respectfully approach the woman who's been making eye contact at a bar, as Lava describes, because then that woman's experience of "I never meet any nice men, the only ones who ever approach me are sleazeballs. I guess there are no nice men out there." Approaching when one has reason to believe there is mutual interest, doing it politely and taking even a soft no for an answer, are good things. They're how the species has survived. You're correct that some women don't want to be approached at all, but that's why doing it politely, with a presumption that the answer will probably be no and a graceful exit strategy are key. Also, even women who are happy to be approached will be happy to be approached by some men and not others -- but no one can know what a particular woman's taste is. So again, as Lava says, try to gauge interest through body language and eye contact, be as respectful as possible and hope for the best. If all men did this we'd have nothing to complain about.

82

@72 @Harriet It wasn't my intention to place blame on het men for mass swiping, only to explain why I don't consider being swiped upon alone to be a signal of interest that's strong enough to compel me to initiate messaging when my own interest level is marginal or neutral (meaning I was on the fence when I swiped). When my interest level is decent or strong, I don't hesitate to initiate messaging.

As for "good on paper," that's how apps work. If hundreds or thousands or people swipe on me in a single day, I must make a first pass based on what I see. I'm sure I miss out some great guys who didn't stand out in those ways, just as I end up messaging and meeting people who I can imagine being attracted to in real life but then find I am not for one reason or another. Assessing attraction out in real life is far easier. However, I use the apps because my real life responsibilities limit my ability to interact with lots of singles in real life. Each man I'm seeing now lives in a different county (from my own and from each other). Two of the three also have kids, somewhat dictating the range in which they socialize. These are people I simply would not have met without using apps due to different locations and social circles.

84

"My little dick has always held me back."
LW1, if your dick is holding you, you're doing it wrong.

85

Dadddy @83, you have said before that your definition of "shitty in bed" is "vanilla." That sure, you may enjoy role-playing submissive (as long as you get to turn the tables in the end [which is kind of missing the point of femdom]), but you wouldn't enjoy plain vanilla sex, that you find that "boring" and anyone who enjoys it "bad in bed." I disagree that you are entitled to write off anyone who isn't kinky as "bad in bed." Yes, people can become better lovers, but they're not required to become kinky to do so. Your example does not rule Monique out as being someone who likes oral sex and PIV and nothing more, yet you still deemed her good in bed, right? From the perspective of others who share these preferences. Just to illustrate, a woman who finds PIV painful would be much happier with your Mr-Five-Seconds example than someone who wants to "rail her like a champ" for hours.

I keep trying to put you into a box? LOL, I didn't choose your username and icon, you did.

88

Approaching people in public (I say "people" but I think I might mean "women"- let Venn and other men speak opinions on what men generally want)- mileage will vary, individual preferences, etc. But if a man wants to approach a woman in public and is concerned over how he'll come across and truly wants to err on the side of caution (all a lot of assumptions in the first place- you might take a different approach with different concerns) then it's much simpler than people make it out to be.

1- Ask yourself if the situation is one in which it's appropriate to be social with strangers. (For example: yes- bar, party, crowded public event, etc. no- sitting on a bus, reading/working in a cafe, walking her dog down the street, working out)

2- Look for physical cues that social interaction is desired. (For example, eye contact followed by a smile as opposed to eye contact followed by the person quickly looking away and then ignoring you).

Typical questions: If everyone followed these "rules" would it dramatically reduce the number stranger flirtations in public? Yes, so what. The human race will persist. If everyone followed these "rules" would it guarantee that your approach is well received? No, it's not a science. Are there exceptions to these "rules" that led to happy interactions? Yes of course they are "rules" not rules.

Which brings us to the core of all of this:

You may respectfully approach anyone in public any time- that's what being in public is- you might have interactions with strangers. If you choose to do this, then you open yourself up to a range of potential responses including happy endings and also including brutal taunting rejection. Since there are millions of people in the world, there are millions of preferences and millions of perspectives, and if you choose to approach a stranger, you have no idea what response you might get. There is no way to enforce any "rules" either way, and there are no guarantees. Best you can do is follow some common sense guidelines to increase your chances of being well received generally.

Also if some men hear that some women find approaches in public to be unpleasant and this makes those men cautious or shy about approaching women in public, then I really can't see what's wrong with this. I mean, it is true that some people will find any public approaches to be unpleasant, and if you are really sensitive to rejection in that way, then it's probably a bad idea to put yourself in a situation in which you have a possibility of that sort of response. There is risk involved with opening yourself up to strangers, and if you are really that sensitive to taking that chance, then it's not a bad thing for you if you instead focus on meeting people either socially or through apps. Likewise someone who is not sensitive to these things and who cares less about a moment's rejection or awkwardness or unpleasantness- they will probably have more options to have a successful interaction just by playing the numbers game.

Personally I think it's a bad idea to say that one group of men is bad and another is good. The only thing we can really claim that is good or bad is if you are respectful or not. Don't insult or harass or come on strong. If you are polite and respectful and cold approach people in public all the fucking time, then worst case scenario is that you are going to annoy a lot of people and face a lot of rejection (some polite, some harsh), but you might also meet more people this way.

Social interactions with strangers are awkward and everyone is carrying their own baggage and a lot of that is gendered. The question is, what is your own capacity for feeling awkwardness and causing others to feel awkwardness? I think if we approached the conversation this way, it would also help people deal with the inevitable rejection and remove a lot of the shame. I think sometimes when men are rude upon rejection (or when women are rude upon rejecting) it's a result of each of them trying to "save face" as well as self-defense from past shame/harassment, etc.

I personally see nothing wrong with many people deciding that approaches in public are too tricky to be worth the bother. I don't know why we are presenting this as a problem rather than simply the way some people respond to risks of social interactions. There are other ways to meet poeple, and perhaps that way is just not for them. I don't think this makes them "good" men who misunderstand that the women are responding to "bad" men any more than I think all the men who receive rude rejections were "bad" men in the first place- a lot of it has to do with the women's perceptions of the interactions which are equally laden with anxiety and baggage.

Etc

89

@88 EmmaLiz
"1-Ask yourself if the situation is one in which it's appropriate to be social with strangers...no-...reading...in a cafe"

I'm not thrilled about that etiquette guideline; the primary reason I would ever be reading alone in a cafe is for the possibility of being social with strangers. (But even then, yes, not without "2-...physical cues".) I mean, if I wanted solitude I could read in the woods or on the beach or at home; and I'm not a coffee drinker.

But I do get that some people like solitude in public.

90

Curious, my words were reading/working in a cafe- I don't know how much time you spend in cafes (places where you can get a drink, sit for a while, use the wifi) since you aren't a coffee drinker but loads of people who freelance, travel with work, work from home, etc, do so in cafes. But I'd add that while I started the whole thing with "mileage may vary" etc, I also think it's a bad idea to approach someone who is reading a book in public with the assumption that they aren't actually focused on doing the thing they appear to be doing just b/c you would not do it. There have been plenty of times in my own life (not in the last year or two but recently enough) when the only way I could get a quiet place to myself would be to leave the house, and while you might live somewhere easy / climate comfortable to sit outdoors all year long, I do not. That leaves libraries and cafes. And so (again not recently but also not in the distant past) I have found myself both reading & working in cafes, and it's surprising how often men (but sometimes women) will approach and ask what I am reading or ask about something they see me doing (comment about the computer, asking about what I'm working on, commenting on something I'm wearing, etc) which strikes me as an annoying disruption to the activity I'm obviously engaged in. Though as I said, it's annoying, not offensive, not something to get worked up about so if you want to approach people in this position, fine, mileage may vary as I started- but if you are the sort of person who is sensitive to rejection or who wants to err on the side of rarely annoying strangers, I recommend not approaching people who are, at the moment, busying themselves with things that can't include you.

91

EmmaLiz @88: "Personally I think it's a bad idea to say that one group of men is bad and another is good. The only thing we can really claim that is good or bad is if you are respectful or not." That is exactly what I meant by good versus bad, and perhaps yes, I should have said good versus bad attitudes instead of good versus bad men. Good attitude, as you say: confine approaches to where they are socially acceptable and look for cues of interest; approach politely and respectfully; look for cues about whether the person is enjoying the conversation versus too polite to tell you to buzz off; gracefully take no for an answer; do not be persistent or entitled. Bad attitude: the opposite of all this.

I would only add to your list, consider before approaching whether a person like this one is likely to be interested in a person like you. Are you middle-aged and pudgy, and is she a college-aged supermodel? FFS leave her alone. You have nothing to gain by being the 12th man to try to flirt with her before breakfast. Is the person similar in age and looks to yourself? Go for it, and lead with a compliment that focuses on something they've chosen ("I like your hair / shoes") and not their body, which will probably come across as sleazy. Also, if you open with a compliment and they say "Thank you" and turn away, the conversation is over. Move on.

92

@90 EmmaLiz
"my words were reading/working"

Got it. I see you were properly using the "/" more like an "and" that I and some do (who use it more like an "or").

93

oops, I meant "thaN I" not "that I"

94

Re approaching reader in coffeehouse/public venue, seconding what Bi said at #91.
Now, the cold open is always a chance taken, but if you (the person approaching the reader) are respectful, and just as importantly, watching the other person with hawklike attention, no harm done if it's a pass.
In the same way that when acting, if your dialog is going to be interrupted as part of the script you have to have something to say past the interruption point (that will trail off as the other actor takes the lead) be ready to drop a comment/compliment and keep going. If they're interested in you, they'll keep the convo going, or better yet, ask you a question/deliver a compliment in return. Otherwise, you just gave validation for their shoes/reading material, didn't hang around like Marley's Ghost, and it's a nice moment for everyone.
I like to work on my anatomy coloring book at the local coffee joint, lots of room for questions, easy for them to stay ("I always wondered where the cremaster muscle was!") or you to feign intense need for concentration ("Yeah, got a timed online exam on this tomorrow, kind of got to buckle down, here....")

95

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