What’s in a date?
I’m a little old-fashioned. To me, a date starts with a conversation about said date. You know…people meet however people meet, these days (online, in bars, at the bowling alley…do people still bowl?), and one of them asks the other out, or conversation turns to how they should “hang out” some time. Before they know it, they’re making plans to get together, just the two of them, to do something they both enjoy. When the prearranged time comes, they get together however they planned to get together, and (hopefully) the meeting goes swimmingly. There’s no real commitment beyond the appointments the pair made with each other, so they’re each allowed date other people.
The point of dating, of course, is to get to know the person you’re dating and gauge your compatibility.
Of course, there’s always double (and triple, and group) dating, but in my mind, that comes after the couple has dated a while. I mean, who wants to find out they’re not compatible in front of all their friends? And how can you, really? Generally speaking, we’re all on our best behavior when we’re doing something with strangers. This makes it impossible to be genuine and get to know each other.
And who could forget the blind date? How awkward are they?
That’s not to say that other forms of dating and relationships aren’t valid. This is just what I think of when the term comes to mind.
I never really “dated” in the conventional sense of the word. You know, the whole “boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, boy and girl meet again at a later date” thing. Or girl meets girl. Or girl asks boy out. Whatever. I was always more of a “pick up a sex partner at the bar, have sex, maybe hang out the next day, if it goes well take them home again the next time I run into them” kinda gal.
This concept was alien to most of the people I one-night-standed with, and almost all my friends. In those days, and in the areas I’ve lived, dating came before sex. All the girls and guys I knew had different ideas of when, exactly, the sex should start, but if you had “casual sex” you were a bad person, or at least had serious commitment issues.
When I was in my late teens, I was staying with this woman who, though married, spent a lot of time on one of those telephone dating services looking for sugar daddies. It’s how she met my first John, and it eventually became a valuable resource for future Johns. From what I understand, based on conversations I may or may not have had with people sitting on grand juries, sex workers still utilize these phone services to find dates. Many prefer them to the internet.
I wasn’t really surprised when dating sites started popping up all over the internet. My friends (even those I only knew online) would go on and on about how dangerous, and possibly trashy, it was to pick up people online. You’re basically setting up your own blind date, meaning no one you know even knows the person you’re eventually going to meet, leaving you solely in charge of your dating and relationship decisions.
Horror of all horrors! How can you be trusted to make decisions for yourself all by yourself?!
Even though I was already married, when the climate surrounding dating sites began to shift to something much more positive (if still a little skeptical), I was glad. We have friends who met online, have been married longer than we have, and are still going strong. One couple met on an online game! So for me, seeing online dating become a valid way of meeting new people was almost like the world finally accepting and validating their relationships. Not that they needed or wanted the world’s validation, but it always frustrated me when people would brush off their relationships as “fake” or “temporary”, as if they weren’t experiencing real emotions and real bonds.
Something that is becoming more and more prevalent, in today’s society, is single people who want to have sex but don’t have the time or inclination to be in a relationship. Going to the bar, or picking someone up at a concert is fun, but not everyone has time for that sort of thing, either.
Or the money, for that matter. With the way the cost of a martini is rising, who can afford to go to the bar? We were at one place that charged $8 for a beer! Makes you want to do all your drinking at home. Especially when there’s a gas station on the corner that has twelve packs for $8.48.
Enter casual sex dating sites. On these sites, you can put in your information, what you’re looking for exactly, and find someone to have sex with and be on your way. There are even a couple made specifically for men and women who travel often and want to hook up with someone in the cities they visit. Usually, there are no strings attached, though occasionally, they’ll make plans to see each other again if they’re back in the same town together. The sex is pretty anonymous. Some people don’t even share real names.
When I heard about casual sex sites, I was ecstatic. Seems to me our society is slowly but surely catching up to the people like me. Which, obviously, validates my way of life before I became monogamous in my mind. But more than that, it also means that society is moving away from the idea that only those of us who have found our forever someone, and are hopelessly in love are deserving of sex. And from where I sit, that’s a very good direction indeed.
post written by Rayne Millaray, sponsored by XXX Sex Guides