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Semiformalishmaybe

Another data point

A Bizarro from two days ago highlights what I find a pretty odd way of making a pass at someone:




(Possibly) unlike most men, I've been hit on(?) this way by a gay man once; I was at a Macaroni Grill during my college years (alone; spending very long periods alone has always been an unfortunate part of my life), and when I got up to go, I was told by the waitress that another party (which had just left and who I had noticed kinda staring at me throughout the meal) had paid for me and left a card. Card led to an awkward email exchange where he reallly wanted to see me alone, which I eventually cut off.

I'm coming to think that, regardless of the sexes involved, playing on human notions of reciprocation is a pressure-y way to (try to) date/have sex with/flirt with someone. To my recollection, this was the only time, and it may be that this is something that is part of the "general male playbook", passed around in locker rooms. Maybe some people go for it? I know I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but I also worry that I've ruled out too many ways of getting close to other people, and that my interests and my notions of impartiality already make me seem far less approachable/human than most people are. Plus, I know that it's not entirely gendered, in that I've heard plenty of women talking about going to pickup bars to get picked-up. It's strange thinking about this as something that's a fun game for some women, something that feels like harassment for other women, something I've come to see as predatory and strange for men, and something that I just can't see myself managing to do.

Yeah, I guess I might like casual sex with attractive people, and I want to meet people for flings, and I really really want love/companionship/intellectual engagement. My current habits arn't working, and I am not sure if this brotherly be-protective-of-women thing (which oddly seemed to get stronger once I was away frm my sisters, as if I had to be away to really process it) instead of trying to intrigue/court them into something longer is part of the problem and how I could fix that without feeling crude or like I'm betraying myself. I really think I understand the game, but I'm not sure it's a very nice game for anyone and the subjectivity involved is bizarre; if I found someone attractive, my notion of what'd be creepy for them to do is very different from if I found them ugly; if I were having a philosophical discussion with someone and I thought they were hot, their reaching out their hand to curl my hair would be pretty nice (provided I saw them doing it; I still react badly when touched unexpectedly by someone I haven't been intimate with; mental boundaries have a lot of reconfiguring to do), but if someone fat or ugly did it I would probably be disgusted and feel pretty violated. Not fair for anyone given that humans can't read minds and sometimes body language is not reliable!

Maybe it's the difference between pretext-for-mutually-desired-closeness and intrusion. I would hope that people are reasonably accepting of when people misread body language (unexpected touch has occasionally made me just freeze-and-quiver, or to need to go lie down, or struggle to contain a hurt fury, so ... maybe I'm a bit oversensitive? I have a feeling this has to do with some events in my childhood that I haven't managed to deal with yet). I am sure, given the reasonable systemic fears of women and the occasional scarring of people of either gender from various causes, that this is one of the worst minefields in human relations.

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