She Only Likes Guys With Deep Voices and Doesn't Know What to Tell Guys Whose Voices Are Too High



Clearly stating any deal breakers upfront is spot on advice for VF. Dating is hard enough without encountering people who make it any harder or making it harder on yourself. Threema, Signal, and Kik all permit anonymous calling, and VF should use such an app so she can proceed quickly to a brief chat after matching with a guy who identifies himself as having a deep voice and otherwise checks some boxes for physical attractiveness and mutual interests.


Stating the deep voice requirement up front may result in all kinds of jokers calling with fake deep voices. Maybe it's smarter to say something non-specific like "the sound of a guy's voice is very important to me so a short voice call is required before any dates" or whatever, so she can be fairly certain to hear the guy's natural voice.


I might disagree slightly with Dan on this. Stating a preference up front is possibly going to lead to a lot of angry men who are mad at her for excluding them.

It doesn't sound like LW is wasting oodles of time on a long back and forth, but rather just some initial banter. My advice is to switch from texting to phone as soon as possible. Just say that you're not a good texter and that you like to talk by phone to establish chemistry.

After the first call, if you don't feel the attraction, honestly, you don't need a white lie, just the polite truth - that you don't feel romantic chemistry.


At least she knows herself well enough. Imagine if she hadn't identified this as the key factor and was left wondering why some guys did it for her and others didn't. Though I guess it's not a hard thing to figure out.

She's heteroflexible - I wonder how this voice thing plays out for her with women.


I'm getting images of male humans serenading the LW with mating songs, songbird style. Or whale style? Crickets?

Our species doesn't focus so much attention on auditory characteristics during courtship as we do on physical traits, body language, communication, etc. Certainly, vocalizations (talking) are important, but other than rock stars, who really entices a lover with the sound of their voice alone? Even then, half the attraction for many people to many musical artists is their sex appeal.

The LW should think of herself as a discerning female songbird (or whale! marine science represent!). Maybe this analogy could help her feel more confident in turning down the males who lack mellifluous vocalizations. (As ridiculous as that sounds. I was just looking for an excuse to make this analogy.)


Oh, but don't get me started on animal mating habits. Especially marine species. Who really wants to know how rapey male dolphins are?


@6: not just rapey. They really, really like voyeuring while whales do the do. Dolphins are super pervy.


@6 @CalliopeMuse: I'd be a lot more curious if you have any examples of animals that aren't super rapey...I definitely don't. I mean, I've seen plenty of willing females (e.g., cats in heat) but even in those species, I've seen a lot of rape or attempted rape, too. (Assuming, for the purposes of the conversation, that those terms make sense here.)


Just tell them, "on the phone, you sound like my sister and I can't date/hook-up with my sister."


Hmmm, I guess my schoolgirl giggle would really throw a wet blanket on her desire.


@8 Bower birds. The males build structures for courtship displays that actually protect the females from unwanted advances. Many other non-waterfowl birds, too. It's pretty hard to force yourself on a female when all you have is a cloaca with no phallus. And the preferred term in biology is "forced copulation" or something in that vein. I was just being colorful and anthropomorphic by using "rape" in regards to non-human animals.

Ducks, though. Man. Talk about forced copulation.


@8 Oh, and appropriate to the Northwest origin of this forum, banana slugs. Though other simultaneous hermaphrodites can certainly have combative sex (remind me to talk about penis fencing in platyhelminthes), the way banana slugs exchange sperm is really quite equitable and beautiful. Look up a video, you'll see what I mean (and royally confuse Google's ad algorithms).


@11 @Calliope: I remember watching some ducks gang-rape a duck when I was about ten. The scene stuck with me. Damn. My chickens are pretty rape-y, as well, despite being only cloaca-endowed, although the hens seem more resigned to it than outright averse. And the roosters bring them treats and things, and alert them to danger, so there is some exchange. It's hard not to get too meta about the dynamic... (This is true for me of all farm animal interactions, really!)


I agree with @9, Friartuck. Straight to the point and nasty enough to put any man off.
Dan’s idea is good too, have it up on your profile and then with those who can’t read, and get thru via phone, go with a bitchy remark.
I do get this LW’s feelings, voice and accent are important parts of an attraction.
In the old days, one met the whole person at once. Much easier to back off if their voice was unattractive.
Dan’s response surprised me, because I didn’t catch that her having the convo was what set the losers off. A woman is trained to speak politely to men, on meeting.
Then @9, it may have been sarcasm, it’s still a response I wouldn’t have thought of, on talking to a man first time. Interesting.


What about asking for a voice sample (either expressly or covertly). Could be as simple as getting a voicemail.


Then again, maybe I don’t agree with Dan, re putting it up on her profile. It does seem too vague and wouldn’t men find such a statement offensive? Also, phones can distort the voice.


LW, write it up as a kink, a deep male voice kink or better a fetish, then they won’t get so offended.


@13 True, I have seen the missing feathers on hens from aggressive roosters. I do have more specific examples of non-rapey birds. Birds that have lek mating, specifically. With lekking birds, the males have all the onus of display and direct competition without any opportunity to attempt forced copulation. Females can choose to stay and watch the display, maybe mate, or fly away.


I'm with Registered European @2 - state the requirement for a phone call right away up front, not the specific trait, to avoid fakers, pranksters, etc. (No avoiding assholes unless you avoid all people.) People are generally terrible at self-assessment, and beyond that, LW's definition of "deep voice" may honestly differ from mine, or Dan's, or anyone else's. The best option is to judge for herself, RIGHT AWAY to avoid wasting time with chatting/flirting, so go with the recommendation @2.


This woman is suffering from past phone calls trauma, not sure some of you men realise how controlling and inhibiting that is. She has to pre screen before phone calls, then if someone slips thru, it’s easier to say Hey, No.
It has to go up on her profile, somehow, and/ or brought up in an initial written communication, again, somehow. Phone call should be after screening.


@4: I prefer women with deeper voices - not only as sex partners, but of whom to generally be in hearing range. It's an unfair bigotry of mine, but high-pitched voices irritate me (as do very nasal voices - both are true of men and women and others), and there's nothing I can do about it (well, I can wear headphones playing distracting music if I have to be around high-pitch-/nasal-voiced people at work, express a preference for text-based communication, and repress my irritation when I can't avoid hearing/listening to voices that bother me). Again, definitions of "high- and low-pitched" are subjective, and her definition of "low" may include a default vocal pitch range possessed by many women.

Oh, and dolphins aren't just mostly rapists, they're mostly murderous sadists. They love torturing and killing smaller animals for fun. By human standards, they're pretty much the worst people you can imagine; thank evolution they lack opposible thumbs, or we'd all have been fucked before we started walking upright. Also, while "rape" is really just a projection of human sexual values when applied to any other species, dolphins (and most - all? - other cetaceans) are sapient, have matrilineal names, and transfer knowledge culturally, so it's more appropriate when applied to them than most other animals.

But, you know, most humans unnecessarily kill other animals for food and delight in the suffering of other humans or non-human animals (not to mention our collective, catastrophic impact on the biosphere), so I'm not convinced we're generally any better by oir own standards. Most living things on this planet are selfish, murderous carbon thieves, because that's what works to replicate DNA patterns most prolifically. What's truly bizarre is that we ever developed ethics that diverge fron that norm, an artifact of our hierarchical, tribal tendencies as a species.


@2 @3 what you are advocating is just a variant of the old "soft no" flim-flam, which claims that it is too dangerous for women to be honest, and that instead of saying "no" when they mean "no", they should fake liking whatever men are offering them and then just slip away if they can.

No. Just stop. That was bad advice when it was first given, it remains bad advice. It poisons the well. It teaches men that women can't be trusted, it teaches women that they have to cower in fear from all men. Dishonesty and fear fuel anger, they don't stop anger.

If you only want to get together with men with deep voices, say so, and say a phone call is the next step. Be helpful, let them know if a baritone is ok, or if you require a bass. And if a tenor contacts you, say that unfortunately, this isn't a matter of choice, and he needs to keep looking. If he gets huffy, remind him that profiles are there to let other people know what you want, and he is not what you said you want.

Seriously, stop continually adding to the miscommunication, bad communication and fear between people. That helps no one, and causes pain on all sides.


Dan might be right, but @3 makes a good point.

When the sound of one's voice is make-or-break, LW might just have to meet partners the old fashioned way (parties, bars, in public, through friends, etc). Also, a lot of people's phones voices, myself included, are a little deeper than their in-person speaking voice—on the phone you're generally more relaxed in mood and posture.


@21 Male bottlenose dolphins are murderous thugs. They roam around in pods of young males like roving gangs of frat boys, harassing females, threatening their young, and torturing smaller creatures. People who think dolphins are all rainbows and yin-yang signs are often disappointed to learn the truth.

In most other dolphin species, the males are far less aggressive (though that's not necessarily a rule). Male bottlenose' murderous tendencies aren't separate from their rapey tendencies, either. Several years ago, officials kept finding dead baby harbor porpoises in San Fransisco Bay, and no one knew what was killing them. Then someone figured out that gangs of male bottlenose were essentially raping them to death/beating them up and drowning them. Yikes.

Females, however, are quite peaceful. Dolphin "society" is mostly female - the females live in pods with their young and their sisters, grandmothers, etc. When a young female reaches sexual maturity, she mates and stays in the pod with her baby. When a young male comes to sexual maturity, he is essentially kicked out of the pod to fend for himself or hook up with one of those bands of roving frat boys.

None of this is to say we're "superior" to dolphins or any other animals. If we were to denigrate all acts of violence, sexual or otherwise, in the animal kingdom, there would be very few species left in our good graces. Just because we have evolved the ability (indeed, the need) to supplant violence with ethics, it does not mean other species should. Evolution does not usually favor ethics, just propagation, as you said. Nature is amazing and brutal and beautiful and horrendous, and there is not "better than," only the ways in which things are different.


That’s all good in an ideal world ECarpenter@22, but fear and men often go together for women, and with just cause.
Do women mouth off at men if they get rejected?
The object is to avoid any sort of confrontation because hey, he might get abusive, yet communicate clearly what her requirements are in a dating partner.


Humans take years to reach maturity, without our ability for sustained nurturing, caring for others, none of us would be here.


@25 yes, I've heard all the arguments for dishonesty - and no, I don't think it's needed in most situations. And I've come to this conclusion in part through talking about it with a variety of women, who approach men in a variety of ways. All women do not automatically fear all men.

In this case, she's communicating originally through an app - she's not physically present with these men, she can block them on the app in 2 seconds, and if she's paranoid about using her real phone number if it gets to that stage, she can get another number with Google Voice or some other free service and keep it anonymous. She's in control here, all the way through.

"Avoiding any sort of confrontation" in this case means "tell him what he wants to hear" and then, if you want to remove yourself from the situation, you have to just leave, or lie and then leave.

Do you see how acting this way when you clearly DON'T need to is not helpful because it injects fear where no fear is needed, and injects lies where no lies are needed?

This is not a woman cornered by an abusive and much stronger man, although that's where your mind goes when any kind of interaction with unknown men comes up. This is a woman in control of the means of communication, who can silence the man at any point without fear of retribution.

And no, all men do not mouth off if they get rejected. Jerks do, and yes, there are too many of them - but the majority of men in Western culture do not.

Too many women treat all men in all situations as people to fear, and people to placate with lies. How is that in any way healthy for women? How does that train men to behave properly?


No, avoiding all confrontation is not telling him what he wants to hear, it’s making sure no one has the room to justify flying off the handle, and she can do this by screening before any phone calls happen.


I’m not suggesting lies and yes women are aware of safety around meeting new men, however some men might behave. Seems to be from the #metoo movement that a lot of men have abusive attitudes towards women.
I’m not suggesting lying or placating, it’s important to be clear, early on, what your dealbreakers are. And men should not take it so personally, it’s a dating app and people are strangers.
Being abusive over one phone call, how to teach men that is inappropriate, is to straight up hang up on them.


@27 You're making the assumption it is the job of women to "train men to behave properly", at some risk to their own physical safety and mental health. If you want to make progress on this issue, go out and train some men yourself. Your honesty Utopia is not women's job, it's men's job, it's your job. Our job is to come out of these encounters alive and unthreatened as best we can.


No, @3 wasn't suggesting any "fake and slip away later." They were suggesting a clear, direct, and broad "no".

If you state "deep voices" in your profile and turn guys down with "nah, not deep enough", you are going to get tons of guys who debate the point. You are incorrect to think they're not deep enough! Listen again! Show me exactly how deep is deep enough! Also, you're a bitch! That's what I see, I exaggerate only slightly.

If you state any detailed criterion this class of guy will argue he should qualify. Just say the chemistry isn't there for you. That's the bottom line, you don't benefit by detailing how you got there.


All that said, you might still want to put it in your profile, despite the arguers -- if it will do enough filtering work to be worth it. If your bar for deep voice is very deep, like 5% of men, then phone calls with the other 19 might just be too much work to reach the 1. With the profile you cut 19 down to a smaller number, but more of them argue, that's the trade.


As far as the general subject of "soft no" it seems to bear repeating every time that the vast majority of men show good ability to hear a soft no, or other indirect communication, when it comes from their boss. When they are on the low side of a power imbalance, or even with peers, they can get it.


@29 I misunderstood what you wrote at first, then. Thanks for clarifying.

As a gay man who both straight women and straight men have confided in over the last few decades, it's just frustrating when I hear some of the bad advice that's been given to both sides still being repeated, and when I watch women still live in fear even in situations where there is no danger to them.

There's a lot of angst out there that is the result of a few thousand years of toxic cultural lessons, and it's frustrating seeing it continue, when both women and men I've known over the last 40 years have been trying to improve how men and women interact. More honesty would help a lot, especially in situations where there is no way the man involved could do harm to the woman involved, like in this dating app case.


@30 Right on! It is not this LW or any other woman's job to fix all the toxic men out there. As a man, it seems ECarpenter is in a better position to make men stop terrifying women, not teach women to become more confident or whatever.

I realize @9 may have been joking, but telling a potential date that they sound like your ex or your uncle or whatever (probably not your sister) may not be a bad idea. It lets them walk away with their ego intact and is plausible enough for every guy you put through this process. I'm concerned LW may receive fewer replies overall for appearing "high maintenance" if she puts it in her profile, but I've never really online dated so that may be naive.


1) Unless you have to have a super deep voice, the odds are with you, most men aren’t squeakers. As a veteran of online dating, I wouldn’t bother with the upfront qualifier as it’s just bait for argument. Instead, after a few good text messages that point toward a promising match, just say, “I much prefer a voice conversation to endless text messages, please send me your phone number & I’ll call you in a minute.” You can have your number blocked so it won’t go out into the world in the event the guy on the other end is unsavory. No further explanation other than, “I’m not feeling it, but thanks for chatting and good luck” is necessary. If the guy wants to argue or asks for further elaboration, just, “Not feeling it. Nothing against you, not everyone clicks.” And, remember, “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― George Carlin.


@30 There is no danger to the woman involved in a conversation in a dating app - the guy, if he's an asshole, can be blocked in 2 seconds. She can use an anonymous and free phone number for talking with the guys she decides to talk to. There is no reason to approach a situation like that with fear, and no need to appease strangers.

And I'm a gay man, trying to be helpful to my straight colleagues, so I don't have a "job" here. Straight women live in too much fear and put up with too much bad behavior silently, and straight men have to put up with too many lies and not enough useful feedback on their behavior. The culture we all live in would be better if you guys would get it together and work out your problems more effectively than this vast dance of angst too many straight people are living. Be more honest with each other. Seriously. If you need to band together for safety before you can be honest, do that. If you have to tell a man he's being a jerk and he needs to leave you alone, make it a conference call with you, your supportive friends, and him. Or you, a local police officer, and him.

@31 Saying "Stating a preference up front is possibly going to lead to a lot of angry men who are mad at her for excluding them." Is not "suggesting a clear, direct, and broad "no"". That's saying "don't tell them what you're looking for up front". And that mob of "angry men who are mad at her for excluding her" is imaginary. Most men will just say "Oh, not me" and move on. She won't notice them, and you don't think they exist, because they don't act like jerks. Only the jerks will contact her - and they can be blocked immediately, in 2 seconds.

@33 - every time a "soft no" is not understood, and that happens a lot, the likelihood of a very unpleasant situation developing increases dramatically. There is no justification for a "soft no" in normal social interactions. The woman involved is placing herself in a situation that could go wrong quickly if the man heard her say "yes" but she meant "no".

If you don't want to have dinner with him, or to have sex with him, say "no thanks", not "yes".

I don't understand your corporate example, and I worked in corporations for decades. When managers want something or don't want something, they say so, they don't say "yes" for "no" in my experience, at least in the U.S.

In a social situation, when you don't say "no", you can't expect a man to hear "no". When you say "yes", you have just said "yes", whether you meant it or not. Blaming men for not reading your mind correctly is bad behavior on your part. It helps no one.


Well this seems to real to not be fake. If it's not your voice, it's your wallet, or your height, or your this, or your that. I hate the 'Chad' concept but the basic problem is that the real-world of "what people are actually attracted to" doesn't match what society is willing to say out loud. In American culture, sexual attraction is seen as lewd and gross; and in order to sustain the position of women as moral arbiters and "the fairer sex", they can't acknowledge base sexual attraction; subsequent generations have learned how to use this as a cudgel "Ugh, boys are so gross, all they want is big tits and tiny waists! What about personality and intellect?" in the gender wars. Result: A system in which boys are told - mostly by women - that women don't prioritize sexual attraction as much as they do and they should behave in such a way as to emphasize their non-sexual assets: "I'm swiping left if you have a shirtless gym pic", etc, etc.

This could be solved by just allowing all of us to express our sexual attractions. I'm not saying Russian culture is like, especially great from an equity standpoint, but at least they're willing to say "I was attracted because he was rich" or "I like woman with very large breasts" right out in public and without shame.

In the lieu of widespread cultural change, why not personal change: We should all say what we like and try not to criticize others unless for what they like.


I don't know if any of you losers are watching The Bachelorette like I am, but it's a crystal clear example: The lead is keeping this guy around who is basically toxic masculinity come to life, with an extremely, extremely out of control white-male-entitlement syndrome. He's also dumb as bricks, his glory an identity as an athlete was being an average player on a NAIA baseball team (that's lower than NCAA Division 3, on par with above-average high school baseball) and his job is the shipping clerk at his dad's warehouse. But he's also got a chin chiseled out of steel, giant rippling muscles, and even I can acknowledge is good looking. He's stuck around longer than the traditional "toxic personality the producers love" contestant and it's clear the lead is into him. If she were allowed to say "because I want to fuck the shit out of him" then everything would fall in to place. Obviously the bachelor has it's own rules that don't really apply to the real world, but the concept is right there.

Like, gender flip this and instead of "i'm never turned on by guys with high voices" it's "i'm never turned on by fat women". EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS. It's allowed to be expressed (less so than before) and largely folks are on the same page. We barely allow women to acknowledge sexual attraction in choosing between potential partners, even though it happens all. the. time. Why can't we say it out loud?


@25 Absolutely! Have you ever rejected a woman? It sucks hard. I lost my virginity because of how badly I wanted to avoid the experience yet again. Women don't expect to be rejected sexually and many absolutely freak out when it happens.


Being in her 30s, LW might remember the British comedy series Black Books, and she might feel particularly fondly for these few scenes in which Fran meets an exceptionally sonorous man:


EC @22 I'm not advocating dishonesty. Stating the specific "deep voice" requirement explicitly up front might result in guys putting on fake deep voices. Hence the advice to state "sound of voice is a dealbreaker to me" (which is the truth) without the specifics, so she has a chance to hear his natural voice.


I have no opinion on how hard or soft she should formulate her "no's". That is something better answered by the women on the comment section who have been there.


@39: One of my close friends is a producer on a reality dating show, and my cousin was once a contestant on one, so I'll let you in on a trade secret: the bachelorette is keeping the chiseled, ripped jerk around, not because she likes him (she may; I have no idea), but because the producers or production assistants are telling her to. Because it's good for the ratings to keep a jerk or an oddball or anyone distinctive and hopefully polarizing on the show. It's especially good if the audience really dislikes and is envious of or even jealous of the person being kept on the show.

So the bachelorette is being approached by someone on the production staff and asked to please keep him on, or listen to his pleas for reinstatement. Because that makes good tv.


@2 & @42/RE: We can hypothesize some group of men who will always believe that a woman’s deal breakers don’t apply to him, or who try to hide their shortcoming. But such men are assholes, and there is no perfect method to weeding them out, and certainly not without wasting the time of men with whom she knows she doesn’t click, which is to engage in an asshole move herself. So what is in VF’s control is to be an ethical dater herself, which means being upfront about her deal breakers, and allowing men who know they do not meet her criteria to save their time and energy for women with whom they have a chance.


Yeah, I think she's damned if she does, damned if she doesn't here. If she puts "deep voiced men only" on her profile, she'll get men slamming her for being shallow in their initial messages. Sad but true. And RE @2 is correct that if she's stated she wants a deep voice, guys could fake this to pass the test. I think a "quick phone call" is the right idea -- this wastes less time than a coffee meeting, which someone recently suggested people who know they are not attracted should do and then say "I didn't feel the right chemistry." The only thing I'd suggest she do differently is keep the "text banter" to a minimum before requesting the phone call, and cut it off before anything of substance is said if the voice is a dealbreaker. Which she already knows. She also already knows that some guys will lash out at her no matter how politely she handles the rejection. This is a hazard of dating online. Either she only dates men she's met, and heard speak, in real life or she continues to do what she's doing, cutting off the conversation quickly, honestly and definitively if the voice doesn't do it for her, and accepting that flak may follow because (some) men are garbage.


As an aside, many men may not know if they meet her criteria. I honestly have no idea if my voice would be classified as "deep" or not by the LW. I only hear it from the inside so I can't reliably compare it to other's voices and I never spend any thoughts on the "deepness" of my voice.


Calliope @5: "who really entices a lover with the sound of their voice alone?" Patrick Stewart? Benedict Cumberbatch? Barry White? :)

Lava @17: Yes. "I have a fetish for deep voices" sounds more reasonable to me. Then again I'm not an entitled dude who would ever get angry with someone for not fancying me.

Doug @23: I find my voice on the phone is the opposite, higher pitched than my usual speaking voice. I can imagine this would be common in people who were perhaps nervous. Coffee date might be a better bet -- as long as she offers to pay.

Phasco @41: Ha! I remember that episode. Genius :)


Disagree with Dan here. LW says: "I'm very attracted to men with deep, confident voices and I literally can’t experience sexual attraction to a man if I don’t love the sound of his voice and his manner of speaking." Deep is subjective, a confident sound is subjective, a "manner of speaking" is vague. I'm also very sensitive to these same qualities and it's never just an individual factor but how it all comes together. Words in a profile can't screen for this. It would be like writing that someone needs to smell good or someone needs to be sexy. It's too complex and subjective. Orson Welles' voice was deep and confident and would have been a total ladyboner killer for me nonetheless because his manner of speaking sounded inauthentic to my ears. Steve-O's voice is not at all deep and is all jacked up in other ways but is still totally fine to my ears in terms of not tripping my personal boner killer switch.

I think this is just an issue with online dating. You can't really assess all factors of attraction without meeting in person, though a phone call can help. I'd say voice has been a major factor for me about 15% of the time when meeting in person, so not really enough to place undue emphasis on voice in a profile. Maybe it's more like 90% of the time for LW. If so, I'd still suggest just switching to meeting people in person rather than trying to screen for this very subjective and nuanced quality with words in a profile. If she had only said "deep" I might feel otherwise, but that's not how I'm reading it.


fcl @49 Yes, you're correct. The "confident manner of speaking" mentioned by the LW had gotten lost in the comment thread, leaving only the "deep" qualifier (also because of the title assigned to the letter I guess).

Which means that I can amend myself @47 to state that I certainly don't meet the LW's criteria.


I haven’t used these apps but I wonder if there would be a way for her to set up a voicemail and ask interested men to leave her a message. Mention that the quality of a man’s voice is key to her potential attraction, so leave a message at this number and I may get back to you! Before swiping or banter or anything.

An aside: I once had a “first date” situation where I met and liked the guy just fine... but then I had a dream about my dad that night and realized the guy looked just like him. Not my dad’s current appearance as he was in his 80s by then, but how he looked in his 40s, when I was a teenager. The guy and I were late 40s. So I called him and told him, sorry, this is strange, but I can’t go out with you again. Now that I’ve seen it (the resemblance), I can’t unsee it. And I’m not into incest fantasies... I think this might have been too close to real incest to attract even an incest fetishist.

My dad had a wonderful baritone voice...if I’d ever met a man who sounded like that, I might have been attracted without realizing the connection. So sympathies to the LW. It’s very likely that aural qualities are more of a factor than we realize. Some app for vocal attraction with a built in “leave a sample of your voice here” function should be developed.


She should put it in her profile. It’s what she wants and she should say so. It is ethical not to waste other people’s time who don’t meet it.

She has the ability to delete abusive messages a few words in and block their users. She can’t stop people entirely from criticizing her that her desire for a deep voiced man is shallow, but let’s be honest. It is absolutely shallow and doesn’t become less so because of her painstaking, defensive efforts to paint it as an involuntary, uncontrollable criteria rather than a preference, any more than that of the older gay guys we see in so many of Dan’s letters unselfconsciously explaining that they just have this inexplicable, exclusive attraction to barely legal hot twinks and just aren’t interested in men their own age.

Shallow orbit, though, it’s her life and she is absolutely entitled to seek a partner with all the traits she desires. But if she’s really sincere about not hurting men’s feelings and wasting the time of/not leading on men who she won’t have any actual interest in being with, she should put her requirement on her profile. She should use all the tools of the dating site to deal with asshole responses. And she should get a little counseling for that little bit of PTSD.


I can see the merits in both profile change suggestions, specific deep voice vs vague (romantic chemistry). Whichever you choose, I think the critical thing is to cut things off as soon as you know. Once you're clear that this person is no go, finish the conversation, do the deed: I'm sorry to interrupt. I don't want to waste your time, but I don't think [we have chemistry/its going to work out/etc]. Good luck to you. Then hang up. If you find yourself arguing with this person, maybe you need to practice hanging up the phone more assertively. Take a few telemarketer calls and time yourself. You should be out of there in under 5 seconds.


I should have included a specific voice excuse, in my example so:
If you want to be serious: I don't think you have the voice I'm looking for
If you want to go the other route, play it up: I don't think you have The Voice Of My Dreams. (I'm leaning this, actually. Maybe if you pivot to being a bit weird about it, they'll be happier to exit stage left?)


She could put something in her profile like, "I find certain voices sexier than looks, so I prefer to have a quick phone conversation to establish chemistry before a lot of messages are exchanged." That is vague enough to stop anyone from changing their voice or arguing that his voice should meet her standards, and warns men up front that they may quickly be ruled out, so she won't have to find an excuse.


Nah, putting it in the profile will draw out all the angry entitled men, and, as has been stated, it's not on women to risk abuse in order to make life marginally easier for men.

Also it would make normal men feel a little weird ("do I have a deep voice? Is there a specific decibel level? What qualifies as 'deep'?"). You'd have guys feeling nervous on the phone call, faking extra-deep voices, etc.

Just have a quick phone call straight up and if they don't sound right, don't pursue further.


“It’s not on women to risk abuse to make life marginally better for men.”

@56 Just no. It is on everyone regardless of gender to act ethically and compassionately. Not just for the benefit of society, or other individuals, but for their own character and integrity. This woman can’t control bad behavior by others, but she can control her own behavior and she wrote in specifically because she wants to do the right thing in how she treats others while pursuing what she wants/finds attractive in a partner.


I don't meet up in person without having talked on the phone. Ever. The sound of someone's voice can totally kill it for me. I have that in the extended answers on my OKC profile and am insistent on voice verification. SSDGM.

That being said, my favorite partner has a much higher-pitched voice than I usually am attracted to. And he giggles. We got through that first phone call and we've been seeing each other for over two and a half years.

We don't do much talking with voices, mostly text. When we're together, our mouths are otherwise occupied. 🤷🏻‍♀️🥰


I think the issue for this LW is her aversion to ghosting. We have too narrow of a view on ghosting.

Yes ghosting is wrong when you've been out a few times with someone. The mature thing to do is to let someone know you're no longer interested by making some excuse. But when it's just some texting and a quick phone call, I think you're okay to just block the person. There's very little commitment so far and anyone who is doing online/app dating knows that some interactions are going to end abruptly. That's just life.

My advice is to get the phone call on early and then ghost if they don't fit. Anyone who can't handle that wasn't going to handle you telling the truth well anyway.


@58 Super naïve Alanmt. Yeah, in an ideal world we'd all totally moral creatures but if you look out the window, it's a messy world out there. Women bear the brunt of that and there's no reason they can't look out for #1. Obviously there are limits to this but there's no reason to go philosophical on this. It's a practical safety matter.


It’s interesting that Dan did not bring up that this “preference” for a deep voiced man seems on its face to be reinforcing toxic masculinity. If a gay man wrote this question he would rightly be skewered for his “masc only” stance and what it means for the LW’s psychological health and community as a whole. But when a woman is the LW, it’s framed as a “kink” (seems inaccurate seeing as the LW cannot even become aroused if the man doesn’t have a deep voice — that goes far beyond kink). I think the LW needs to seek a therapist to unpack why she can only become aroused by traditionally masculine men.

I agree with Dan that if she doesn’t want people to get mad at her for ghosting them then she should just tell them the truth. These men are right to question why she keeps making excuses for not meeting up. It’s not fair for her to lead them to believe it’s their fault.


@58 Alanmt: people also should act ethically and compassionately towards themselves. I'm not obligated to live in a hovel and only eat ramen so that I can donate all my money to others, nor must I give up a kidney just because someone somewhere could probably use it. Further, "deep voice" is so subjective that putting it in the profile is just going to confuse most men, so it's not really doing a lot of good anyways.

If you want a better world, focus on making men less abusive when told 'no' in a way they don't like.


@63 hyperbole much? There is a world of difference between acting basically ethically on an online dating site and donating an organ or living in the barest of poverty and donating all of one’s money to others.

And come on. “Deep voice” is a common term whose meaning will be generally understood by all people who hear it. It is not so subjective as to confuse most men or most people.

You are really reaching in your response here.

I do want a better world, and I actually work toward creating one on most days, though my particular focus is on helping abused children find safe and permanent homes and the care they need to reduce and repair the trauma they have suffered so they can live good lives and be less likely to pass on the generational cycle abuse that led to their injuries. I work for justice and equality and a better society in other ways as well. I definitely think adolescent education on dating, accepting being turned down and broken up with ought to be explored and provided as a start to reducing some of the bad behavior in this area. But hey, thanks for your condescending, sententious, recommendation. I love toxic activism.


For the L-dub, time to go old fashioned and get off the dating apps and meet people in person. Not everything works for everyone. The process and dynamics of online dating don't work for you. Thems the breaks.

For the discussion on how women interact with men, the men are the assholes in the dynamic being discussed. But it's still a dynamic. And if you don't want to change your part in the dynamic, don't expect the other side to change theirs. You can be righteous and right and never get change. It's about priorities.


@44 I watch the show, I'm familiar with the phenomenon (which I discussed directly in my post leading me to believe you didn't actually read it) - this goes beyond that level. Edge of hometowns! This guy is in Courtney Robertson territory, and, uh, she "won" the show.


I agree that she's looking for a type of chemistry and there is no point putting it in the profile. Move to a phone call as quick as possible (others have given tips for safety), and I always found the most effective, and face-saving, rejection was something like, "It's been fun talking to you, but I don't think either of us really felt much chemistry when we met (talked)."

Also, for LW, once you have politely explained that you don't feel it, good luck and good-bye, if they persist in anger, or try to argue and convince you, there is no obligation to continue a conversation -- at that point it is not ghosting. You feel bad because "it is not their fault," but chemistry never is and that's okay as long as you are not wasting their time.


@44 also by the by... Thank you for dropping in some 101-level knowledge about reality television that's so broadly known in the culture that there is another entire television program dedicated to exploring the role that producers have in creating reality romance dating television narratives - which I've also watched. That you shared this knowledge without watching the program yourself to someone you knew was watching the program makes this an absolute master-class in NoCute-splaining. Just wanted to point that out so you have additional perspective on your relationship to -splaining. Cheers!


Astronomer: Discovers the planet Neptune by inferring it's presence by the gravitational pull it exerts on Uranus

NoCute: "Actually, the earth orbits the sun, not the other way around"



Gee, Sportlandia, I thought I had read your post. Here's what you said:
"I don't know if any of you losers are watching The Bachelorette like I am, but it's a crystal clear example: The lead is keeping this guy around who is basically toxic masculinity come to life, with an extremely, extremely out of control white-male-entitlement syndrome. He's also dumb as bricks, his glory an identity as an athlete was being an average player on a NAIA baseball team (that's lower than NCAA Division 3, on par with above-average high school baseball) and his job is the shipping clerk at his dad's warehouse. But he's also got a chin chiseled out of steel, giant rippling muscles, and even I can acknowledge is good looking. He's stuck around longer than the traditional "toxic personality the producers love" contestant and it's clear the lead is into him. If she were allowed to say "because I want to fuck the shit out of him" then everything would fall in to place. Obviously the bachelor has it's own rules that don't really apply to the real world, but the concept is right there."

I guess it's the last sentence that shows that you understand that the fact that Luke P is still around might NOT be because the bachelorette wants to "fuck the shit out of him," but because it's good for ratings. But the rest of your post doesn't make that clear, and forgive me for trying to tell you something that you already knew. And how do you know I DON'T watch the Bachelorette? I didn't say whether I did or didn't.


VF has an entirely superficial deal breaker, which unlike physical appearance requires interacting with her potential partners. She can either be upfront and explain as best she can that she wants a man with a deep voice and a special manner of speaking, or she can remain silent about this criteria.

The arguments against revealing this deal breaker purport to protect her against the very problem that she experiences by not revealing this deal breaker. As such, this position doesn't have much merit. Moreover, unlike the men who it is argued will send angry messages concerning her deal beaker, the men she is regularly rejecting after remaining silent have invested time getting to know VF, only to be whipsawed when VF goes from being really interested to wholly uninterested, actually have cause to be upset.

Other arguments, like @larrystone007, "My advice is to get the phone call on early and then ghost if they don't fit. Anyone who can't handle that wasn't going to handle you telling the truth well anyway," are baseless.

As noted above, dating is hard enough without running into people like VF.


No they don’t have cause to be upset SA, and that is the problem. These people are strangers to each other, it’s a site to check for suitable people to date. Just because they can chat nicely together doesn’t necessarily mean there is dating compatibility.
Being so quick to anger, having assumptions that a few kind words in a few sentences mean a date is a sure bet, that is the problem. Because it indicates to me that men who are ok getting angry so early on, with such little cause, is indicative that they are insecure and controlling, and it’s them who need therapy, not a woman who prefers a man with a deep voice, however traditionally masculine that might be.
LW, if you’re going to go the dating site way, you’ve got to get tougher and obviously much clearer much earlier. Meet up for coffee, meet the whole person. If the chemistry is not there, for whatever reason, for you it’s the voice, for others it’s sonething else, then be straight up about it. Enjoy the coffee and either then or later thru a text, say you didn’t feel it, though it was great to meet and good luck.


@72 @LavaGirl I love your advice here. This was exactly my experience with online dating. It's usually necessary to meet a number of people before feeling strong chemistry with one, regardless of why. Could be the sound of someone's voice or manner of speaking, could be so many other things that just can't be ascertained in advance by reading a bio and looking a a photo. Apps have many benefits (larger dating pool, convenience of use) but also drawbacks, including unpredictability of in-person chemistry. Unless LW's voice preference is very narrow, I think she's better off skipping the phone calls and meeting for coffee. And if her preference is very narrow, I think she's better off not using apps at all.


Yes fcl, I agree. I’ve been hearing a bit of male confusion from my late twenties son. He has problems re women, and his lament to me was he doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t understand how to read women, I think is what he’s saying. I’ll see him over the weekend, but what to say? I’ve never had to date women.
It’s like he wants a gf, then he wants no trouble from there on in. Ha.


@70 Because the concept of a producer stooge is so basic! And seriously, Luke is an outright garbage person, a direct example of essentially every single complaint I've heard in the past decade about both white people and men, that he doesn't have any business having a girlfriend in prison, let alone in the free world or on national television. He's literally among the 1% worst people in America, no questions asked. Do you really think you can find 3 million people worse than him?

Then again, playboy models literally fell in love with Donald Trump. Do we really think it's because these guys have any type of love match, or are women just as blind to looks and money as men are?


Side note - why doesn't someone make a pair of fake accounts with the same (fake) photos and text, except one has the voice qualifier, and find out what the reactions are?


Given today’s letter is a re run, any hints from some of you men how to help a late twenties man, navigate women? It would be so much better if his father was half useful, but there you go.


@75: If it's so basic, what was the point of your original comment? Yes, of course, the tv show wants a good-looking jerk: it's T-fucking-V! It's always good-looking people, unless the less-attractive one is there as the butt of a joke. And every show needs a villain. So what was your point? You claim that everyone knows that there is very little real about "reality" tv, yet you treat the "relationships" on shows like The Bachelorette as if they were somehow indicative of something that will affect most of us in our actual lives.


Ms Cute - I am trying to decide where I would put your watching The Bachelorette on a scale of zero to Charlotte Lucas perhaps actually liking Mr Collins (as suggested by Jane Bennet).

And this reminds me of how they made a gay "equivalent" at long last only to throw in the twist that, unknown to the chooser, about a third of the contestants were straight and the eliminations were rigged to guarantee a straight finalist.


Wow, so much psychobabble from all the sensitive, high-talking manly-girls and girly-men and genderly-genders and nonly-nulls ignoring and poo-pooing the LWs complaint.

Take voice lessons (if needed)
Join a choir
Date the baritones


Lava@77~ “...any hints from some of you men how to help a late twenties man, navigate women?...”
1) Every woman is her own puzzle, and you have to figure out how the pieces go together, but by using your feet not your hands.
2) Don’t try to fit your square peg in her round hole.
3) Learn how to carry on a conversation (hint: you should only be talking 50% of the time.)
4) Sometimes you’ve gotta watch a Meryl Streep movie.
5) Flowers from the grocery store are still flowers and they cost a lot less so you can buy them more often.
6) Make that little nub at the top of her pussy your best friend.
7) Stop farting on her leg.
8) Put away the fucking video games and learn how to play the piano.
9) Always hold her hand.
10) Learn about wine.


@78 because it doesn't actually apply to Luke, who is not a producer stooge, but is in fact liked by Hannah B, despite his every possible failure, for reasons she's * not allowed * to state out loud: She wants to fuck and thinks he's hot.

This is the root of anti-Chad sympathies: The women aren't allowed to admit to sexual attraction. As a guy, I can definitely say I would want to fuck that curly haired gun nut from texas, she's hot. But her personality seems to be a zero. That's fine for me to say. But not really OK for women to say, and thus everyone is scratching their heads regarding why Luke is still around.

Also, zero percent change Luke makes it to age 30 without picking up a domestic battery charge. Absolute zero.


I loled @81. My easy but slow suggestion @77 is to watch/read at least 50% stuff made/written by women for a few years. Not that they'll necessarily "get it right" whatever "right" is for a specific woman, but you can absorb some different perspectives. And the general fact that women are half a world of people, there is no short cut.

Also having female friends is helpful, only if you can compartmentalize wanting to bang them and also be an actual friend.


Got a high voice, hey, @80, and what are your preferences in a sexual partner. Tosser.


Thanks guys, though I’m not talking body parts with my son, Donny. He did mention lack of sex and I suggested a sex worker and he baulked at that. A short discussion about the importance of sex work followed. Weird reversal, and I won’t go there again.
Interesting Mtn Beaver, to read books by women. That’s a great idea.
Just for clarification, he bought these issues to me and moaned about taking his worries to his mother. I reminded him he has a wise one.


Gateway @62: Eye roll. Some voices are sexy, get over it. This is not something that one needs therapy to unpack.

Scum @67: And if they don't take it well, that's her confirmation that her screening criteria worked. She could try telling them this, too.

Sublime @71: "dating is hard enough without running into people like VF." People like her, how? I've got another eye roll cued up for your implication that women aren't entitled to have their own preferences, or to be concerned with balancing politeness with risk, but I'm assuming what you mean by "people like VF."
Also, I think it was well observed that people who can't shrug off a ghosting also can't shrug off a polite rejection, so ghosting may be the best bet for avoiding backlash.

Lava @72: "Being so quick to anger, having assumptions that a few kind words in a few sentences mean a date is a sure bet, that is the problem." Yes. Many people (I'm not going to gender this) seem to feel like going on a dating app is like ordering a pizza. How dare the pizza have its own opinion?

Lava @74: Maybe remind him that women are just human beings? Don't treat them like some mysterious other, don't play games. Be sincere, confident, and respectful. Be the kind of person they want to hang out with, even if chemistry is not there. It isn't rocket science.
Here's a blog post I found useful as far as pursuing sex with women is concerned:


Thanks Fan, I’ll check it out.


I was never great at dating, and even worse at hooking up, but I’m in my mid-30’s and married now, so I probably did something right. In no particular order, my advice for your son, from someone who struggled along the way:
— Have diverse hobbies and interests. My wife tells me that most of the men she’s dated were “boring” and only really interested in sports and video games. Now, I happen to like those things as well, but they’re not my whole life. Among other things, I read, I listen to a lot of music, I build computers, I like taking walks, I like trying new restaurants, I’m into beer and spirits. Half of these don’t interest my wife at all, but some of them do. My point is, don’t just pick one or two things and be like “yep, this is who I am.” If you have a lot of interests, even mundane ones, you’ll find things to talk about.
— Learn to follow a recipe. Note that I didn’t say “cook.” If you’re the creative type in the kitchen more power to you, but that’s certainly not me. That being said, I can follow directions and make a good meal. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’ve never met a straight woman who wasn’t impressed by a man who can make a nice meal (I’m sure this applies in various other groupings, this is just my area of knowledge). I suggest starting with “The Joy of Cooking” if you’re a beginner.
— Learn how to dress yourself. If your wardrobe consists entirely of graphic tees and jeans that’s a problem. I’m not saying there’s no room for that, I certainly have both, but there’s a time and a place. Again, like cooking, we’re talking basics. You don’t need to be all GQ, but at least learn how to color coordinate and have a couple of good standby outfits to wear on a date. These places catch a lot of shit, but if you really don’t know what you’re doing I suggest going to a Men’s Wearhouse or Jos. A. bank. They’ll be able to set you up with a couple of pairs of pants and three or four shirts that all match up. Also, unless you have some health concern, sneakers are for exercising.
— Women are people, treat them, as such. There are good people, there are bad people, they all deserve to be treated with dignity. If someone proves not to be worth your time, don’t waste it with anger. People don’t owe you anything, so don’t expect it.
— Improve yourself, you can’t compel others to do so. I had a bad breakup of a long-term relationship in my mid-20’s. I will fully admit to being angry and bitter about it in the immediate aftermath, but after the dust settled I took a hard look at my own behavior. She was certainly no saint, but I wasn’t either. Continuing to wallow in self-pity and anger about the things she did wouldn’t change anything, but I could (and did) work on my own shortcomings in future relationships.


Especially given that Lava's son is in his late 20s, the best advice I can give is to pick up some hobbies where the interest base skews female. Even if - indeed, especially if - most of them are women he wouldn't otherwise date. Both to get used to interacting with women without choking, and because the interactions will hammer home now women work better than any amount of abstract discussion.


Honesty is usually a good thing. I am not a tall guy. If I am not tall enough to get on the ride, it is good to know that sooner than later. No hurt feelings on my part. The alto voiced guys know who they are, and will self select out. Seems pretty easy to me.


@Harry88: Great advice except for “The Joy of Cooking”. Too complicated, old fashioned, and time consuming. In skiing terms, that is a double black diamond book, best left to the experts. My superb cook of a wife has not opened it for 25 years. But you are correct that cooking nice dinner (and a deep cleaning of the bathroom) tend to be richly rewarded.


@88, 91 There is a website my dear mother, in her infinite attempts to improve me, has suggested to me. It is called I made a chicken dinner off of it and can vouch for its simplicity, ease of use, and good results. Every step has video illustration for the culinarily challenged. If anyone is looking to learn how to follow a recipe, it's a good place to start.


@89 Like Yoga? That'll get you excoriated on Savage Love. Given that even approaching women at bars is now verboten (you could be a drink spiker), there literally isn't a space in which intersectional women will say is appropriate for men to behave in a pro-sexual manner other than their own bedroom.


Thanks guys and CM, kind of you to suggest things. Cooking well is a good idea. He has a job where he works twelve hour days in the film/ TV industry, as crew. Not a lot of spare time to have hobbies, though he does get to the gym. Finding time to have cooking lessons might be the go. He meets some hot women thru work and I guess it’s all too tantilizing. It’s hard for me to hear his pain, and confusion.
Sportlandia you are such a cynic. Of course women are fine with men having a ‘pro sexual manner.’ It’s having the ability to read if they are interested in you or not, that’s the key. Then not going gung-ho if they are.


Oh, I forgot to add FOR HER to the end of the headline. I meant to do so earlier.


Sporty @93: Lava's son is not looking for advice on how to be a creep. If he joins a yoga class, he will be in proximity to women. He can then take Harry's advice point No 4 - "Women are people, treat them as such." If he can be around women without acting like Harvey Weinstein, if it's obvious he's in yoga class for his health and not to be a perv, some portion of the women in that class -will approach HIM-. Or he can get to know them a bit then ask them out. Again, not rocket science.

If he wants to "behave in a pro-sexual manner"? What would Savage Love say? Go to a pro-sexual space. A swingers club perhaps. Or indeed, a bar; approaching women in a bar is NOT verboten, if you do so with respect and a willingness to take no for an answer. Otherwise, sorry, but yeah, "behaving in a pro-sexual manner" around women you don't know just seems like code for being a predator. Don't just treat women like people, try behaving like one yourself.


Sporty @93: "literally isn't a space in which intersectional women will say is appropriate for men to behave in a pro-sexual manner other than their own bedroom."

This seems like ridiculousness you're claiming is true in order to make some larger point about the unreasonableness of women. I suppose it's possible such women exist, but I have never met one. Plenty of us are totally happy for men to behave as if sex were an interest of theirs. I for one prefer it, and would have no problem being approached in a bar, after a class, or in a library for that matter. As Bi says, as long as you can take no for an answer, it's fine.

If you actually know a lot of women like you describe, find some other friends.


@96, 97: I suppose all of us only think in terms of our own life experiences. It seems to me (and it saddens me, too) that most of Sportlandia's female acquaintances are judgmental, unreasonable, narrow-minded, and somewhat sex-negative.

I know a lot of women, and the overwhelming majority of them would react nothing like the way he posits all women do. Not to mention the women on this comments section. It's kind of a shame that after having read the women on this and other Savage Love threads, rather than coming to the conclusion that the women he knows aren't representative of all women everywhere and looking to make new friends or change his dating pool, Sportlandia chooses instead to vent bitterness here and cling to his misogynist beliefs. How self-defeating.


Ms Cute - I am often amazed at how more or less equally credible I find people here and in different venues who almost directly contradict each other. If you ever read Mr Keenan's novel Putting on the Ritz (the second third of his Philip-Gilbert-Claire trilogy), there's a section in which one of the features in a popular monthly magazine purports to be a transcript of an actual dinner party of well-known people (but had really been almost entirely ghost-written). When the magazine is "improved", the guests are carefully selected for the train wreck that ensues. Later, some of the guests make themselves look foolish when it comes out they thought the conversation would be cleaned up, or even claim they didn't say things they did, only for the feminist academic, who came across as a bit cranky but essentially intelligent, to vouch for the transcript's entire accuracy. While I wouldn't be looking to create a train wreck, I've occasionally thought of a half-dozen people I'd select in pairs just to see, not expecting actual victory, which of the pair would be ahead in material when they reached stalemate. I can think of two or three people I'd be fascinated to hear you conversing with for an hour.


@96 @97 @98 - Do you listen to savage love? A dude called in asking it was acceptable to ask one of his yoga class acquaintances on a date after class. Dozens and dozens women called in to say how inappropriate that was. My, you know, actual female acquaintances aren't nearly so uppity and unpleasant as folks are in public forums.


@100: it's not "uppity" or "unpleasant" for women to say that they don't want to be hit on in their yoga class. And saying that they would find it inappropriate to be hit on during yoga class doesn't mean that they would also find it inappropriate or unwelcome to be approached in other, environments, like bars or parties. Not one woman who called in said anything that sounded rude or sex-negative; what many DID say was that for them, yoga is part of a spiritual practice; that they don't want to have to worry about how they look to a man during a yoga class, which is an inward-facing time for them; that this man please respect that that isn't the reason they're in yoga class and that if he should run into someone he recognizes from his yoga class in another, clothed, more appropriate environment, that would be a perfectly reasonable and acceptable time/circumstance to chat and ask her out.

I don't know why you take such benign comments and extrapolate that most women are sex-negative scolds just lying in wait to torment men.

"Uppity" in particular was an interesting word choice, as it implies that someone is trying to act above his/her station, when really all it was ever used to describe was people standing up for themselves and demanding to be treated with equal respect. In the same way as someone who'd use that word to describe the behavior of a black person who wasn't sufficiently cringing and servile, you are using it to describe the behavior of women who aren't grateful for male attention under any circumstances men wish to bestow it.