Click & Clack Talk Cars
by Laura Griffin
To make sure everybody's with the program, we're going to take it back a few steps. Two weeks ago, a woman asked whether or not she should pursue casual sex; having come from a long-term relationship, she was only familiar with committed monogamous sex. I said, "Go for it, as long as you are smart and honest." SIP (Single in Philadelphia) responded that he has been looking for a physical relationship but that whenever he expresses these feelings to a woman he gets the "cliched responses"--user, selfish, or not interested in commitment. Here's another reader's take on SIP's situation.
I totally disagree with SIP. From experience, I find that if it is made clear from the beginning what is expected from a relationship with a mature adult (the key here is "mature"), there shouldn't be any problems. I have had countless relationships of this nature (call me what you like). The idea behind this is to decide what you really want and look for those qualities.
Don't give mixed signals and most important, be straight with the other person. Should you decide that you want or need more out of the relationship, discuss this with your partner, but don't be surprised if they don't feel the same. If SIP has done all of this and he's still striking out, then maybe he is having problems seeing the forest for the trees. He may be involving himself in relationships with people who either know what they want and do the old bait and switch or they may not know what they want. In either case, they're wrong for the type of relationship SIP is seeking. As far as how people view him because he only wants a casual relationship, screw them: You have to do what makes you happy, and if you aren't hurting anyone by getting it, then I say get it where you can!
I thoroughly agree. My first instinct is that if this is continuously happening to SIP, then somebody somewhere is not being honest. If you decide to let somebody know you're only interested in a casual relationship after you've had sex, you are being honest on some levels, but not on the ones that count. If you're sitting across from a woman whose biological clock is ticking so loud the table is shaking, chances are you're not looking for the same things, or if you're lonely and trying to make something work that obviously doesn't, you're setting yourself up and creating your own failures. In order for a situation like this to work, both parties need to honest and open from the beginning.
As for perceptions, SIP seems to believe that this situation is much easier for women. According to him, if a woman just puts it out there that she's looking for casual sex, everything is fine. Did you know that a scant 50 years ago there was a debate among the medical community as to whether or not women even felt sexual pleasure? We have potholes in this city older than that. Sorry SIP, no boo-hoos for you here. As a gender, women have been viewed as receptacles and baby ovens since the dawn of time, while men have been happily swinging their dicks from one end of the earth to the other. I apologize if I'm not sympathetic to your plight, SIP, and I probably won't be until the day that the "cliched responses" women get in these situations are "empowered, intelligent and in control" as opposed to "slut."
Fresh Fields Singles Night
Thurs., April 4, 79pm. Free.
20th and Callowhill sts.
Looking for love in all the wrong places? Come to Fresh Fields Singles Night, back by popular demand. Mingling, munching and music.
Philadelphia Weekly's Singles Scene will be on hand to help match people up. Co-sponsored by Philadelphia Weekly and www.upcomingevents.com.