Friday, 25 May 2012

It is a truth universally acknowledged that men don't like a strong come-on*

I have a male friend – more an acquaintance - who delights in telling me, with scathing glee, the shameful details of women's pitiful come-ons. Now, before I continue I want to make it clear that these judgements are what I perceive his to be, and definitely are not my own.

One instance went something like this:

"Oh that Hayley, she's a bit full-on! She was pressing herself up against me, grinding against my crotch."

Another time, he spoke of a girl who came on to his friend:

"She was like, 'your place or mine', and we were like, 'neither!'" [sniggerguffawchortle nudgewink]

Putting aside the actions of these women, (and trying my absolute hardest not to get drawn in to wondering what these men say about me behind my back...) I would like to analyse this man's motivation a little. I can think of several possible reasons for so publicly shaming these women (and I'm sure there are more that I haven't even thought of):

Would it be too much of a bold declaration to say that anyone would be flattered by such come-ons? Maybe these comments were made to me – and perhaps others – as a way of saying: "I am desirable. I am attractive." They certainly were said with a strutting aura, chest puffed proudly out in a thoroughly cock-a-hoop manner.

To inspire competitiveness
Perhaps this particular man gets kicks out of turning women on each other, so that they each give him their positive attention. Perhaps he was trying to imply – imply but not declare mind you – that the attentions of other women were unsolicited, beyond his control, whereas his attentions to me were of his choosing. I don't mean to say that he favoured me over these other women – more that he meant to highlight to me my 'rival' and set me a challenge to better her.

There is a chance, of course, that my friend simply felt uncomfortable with the behaviour of these women, and needed some way of releasing this discomfort - in the same way that girls sometimes bitch about their friends when they are feeling insecure themselves. Perhaps being in receipt of overtly sexual behaviour was intimidating, and injured his sense of decency. Maybe he wanted to disassociate himself – not only with the women in question – but also with behaviour that he felt did not represent his own values.

Perhaps he is one of those men who – whatever he might say publicly – secretly feels that women who come on to men are somehow defying their nature, and transgressing from acceptable behaviour. Perhaps he subconsicouly feels emasculated: it is for him to act, to move, to enter.

To be perfectly honest, I haven't got a fucking clue.

And does anyone?

I see in so many magazines, blogs, TV shows, sweeping generalisations about "what men (or women) really want". On his website - – dating guru Matthew Hussey says: "when you’re out with your friends do not laugh excessively at every joke men make, dance too sexily or get too drunk!" (Well that's me fucked then – and not in the literal sense.)

Personally, I think these generalisations are a load of bullcrap.

When I was growing up, reading teen magazines, I was convinced that "boys don't like girls who wear too much make-up". Now, while I am certain that this is true of some/many men, I know others that definitely prefer a woman who "takes care of herself".

Similarly, there must be some men out there who would love it for a woman to go up to them and grind against their crotch, and when Hayley meets one of these men it might be happy-ever-after for her. In the meantime, I hope she remains blissfully unaware of the dishonourable judgements that are made of her.

Having said that, in my own mission to be more aware of the perceptions of others, I am going to be guarded about my approach to men - by, well, not actually approaching them - and then I'll see if any of them really do have the balls they supposedly wish women didn't have.


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