Archives for category: dates

It’s easy to generalize, and stereotype people. We all do it, intentionally or otherwise. It doesn’t mean that these stereotypes are true of all people in that group, and I know this, having been stereotyped many times because of being a trans woman.
I think it’s important to state this, as inevitably, when I’m writing about personal experience, as I do, the people I interact with, will, on occasion, do shit that is classically stereotypical.
Let’s take men, for instance, because well, this is what this piece is going to be about…..

I find men attractive. Not all men, because there’s loads of them, and I am but one woman, but none the less, I am interested in them, in a sexual way.
It appears that they also are interested in me. Up to a point.
I know, I hear you, what is this point you speak off? Well friends, I think you know don’t you?
Men, in general, can’t deal with me being Transgender. They can deal with me being hot, and judging from the messages I get before they find out I’m trans, they deal with that just fine, thankyou very much.
But as soon as I disclose that I’m trans, everything changes.
So, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why not just keep it to yourself, don’t tell them yeah?”

Here’s some reasons why that’s not an option for me…

  • I’m proud of who I am, and that I’m trans. Why should I hide that? I may be the reason people can’t deal, but ultimately the issue is with them, not me.
  • Sex. If it got to the point where there’s nakedness going on, we’d need to have a talk anyhow.
  • If we meet, and they realize I’m trans, then I don’t know what would happen. I have to ultimately put my personal safety first. Aside from anything else, it would be humiliating, even if they just walked out on the date.

So yeah, not an option.

Once a man finds out I’m trans, all bets are off. If I’m lucky they’ll just block me immediately. That’s the good option. The worse options include verbal abuse, objectifying language, and expectations that I’m up for anything, because y’know, all trans women are kinky nymphomaniacs right?

And then there’s another response. It nearly always starts with the phrase “I don’t have a problem with Trans women…” ,which if you type into Google translate* comes back as “I’m a ‘nice’ guy, I don’t have ‘problems’ with trans women, as long as you don’t actually want to sleep with me, or meet up, that is, although if asked I will now be adding you to my list of minority groups I’m okay with, just so everyone knows I’m a ‘cool’ guy, yeah?”

These guys, they, if anything are the worst. My latest interaction with a ‘nice’ guy involved him telling me that “I don’t have a problem with people like you, but I’d only be sleeping with you out of curiosity, so you’d only get hurt.”
Thanks friend, thanks for protecting my feelings so well. You’re a real gent, no mistake.
This was the same man, that previous to this, was waxing lyrical about how gorgeous I was, and that he didn’t even have to think about whether to message me or not. Bet you’re thinking now eh?

So, what’s a girl to do? I find myself thinking this a lot. I could just not date men, and stick to women, which is fine, but I do identify as bisexual, so why should I have to curb my identity to fit with society?

As I mentioned at the start, to a degree, the men I’ve interacted with so far have been stereotypes and extremes, I know not all men are like this, because well, I know some that aren’t. I do think that they are a minority though, and that many, many men can’t get their heads round what it means to be attracted to Trans women.

That though friends, is a post for another time….

*It doesn’t translate it as this, I’m being facetious to make a point, it’s like my super-power.

I’ve been on a few dates, with a few people now, and the one thing that I still don’t quite get, is what is meant by “we should do this again”.
I mean on the base level it obviously means, we should do this again, but if we look at it more closely, does it really mean that?

Let’s take a recent example.
I arranged a date with someone, who incidentally got in touch with me, rather than the other way round, and it seemed to go okay. We arrange another date, that also goes okay, and the words “we should do this again” come up at the end of the date. I’m like yeah, we should, lets check diaries and sort something out, go for food, hang out, that sort of thing.
Anyhow, a week goes by, and I get a text. It basically says, “hey you seem nice, but can we just be friends yeah?”
Hmmmmm. Now, I’m not that much of a dick to begrudge someone not being into me ( okay, reading that back I am aware that that last statement does automatically make me sound like a dick, but honestly, I’m not ) but why say “we should do this again” if you don’t mean it?

I mean I guess its awkward to say that to someones face, but there is the fact that we never have to see each other again, as we’re basically strangers, who met online whilst looking for someone to hook up with. There is that.

Ack, I don’t know, this is the trouble with language. It can mean so much, and have so many nuances, and double meanings.

It’s such a strange thing. We speak, and communicate and our mouths, our tongues make these shapes and sound comes out, and our brains buzz and translate and we understand what we hear.
And then our brains buzz some more, and we try and understand that what we hear isn’t always what we understand it to mean.

So yeah, continuing on from the last post, things got good, but, as you can probably guess, the day after I got a ‘can we just be friends’ text.

I’ve not had one of those before, and I’ll be honest, it took me a while to work out how I felt about it. On the one hand, I felt we’d connected, and that there was potential there for something more, but on the other hand, it was a pretty great night, and boosted my self confidence no end.

It’s tricky.

I think one of the problems I have/had ( not sure if it’s past tense quite yet or not ) is that at the time, I was clearly attractive enough to want to sleep with, despite my extra complications, but after the time, I wasn’t attractive enough to be with, because of my complications. It’s a contradiction, of sorts, right down to the fact that it’s also not a contradiction as well. My lovelife has gone all quantum physics on me.

I guess we also have to take into account alcohol, nighttime, ambiance and horniness ( Ugh, I hate that word so much ). It’s a perfect storm, where as soberness, daytime, hangovers and the satisfaction of getting laid after a dry spell are kind of like the perfect calm.

Overall I’m looking at it as a very positive experience, I wanted to have some intimacy ( which was pointed out by one of my friends, apparently I’d said this only a week ago, although maybe a little more crudely ), and I got it. It feels good to know that someone wanted to sleep with me, and wanted to do it enough that they actually well, did.

I think that things are looking up, and that i’m discovering how to have a sex life again. I think that means i’m not as fucked up as I thought I was, I think that means I could just be on to something good.

So, I went on another date. This time it was with a woman, and I did find her attractive, Rule #1 win!

It sort of went really well, and also really not so well, which I know seems like a contradiction, but well, you’ll see.

We meet, as usual, in a local pub, and we got chatting, we got drinking, and there seemed to be a thing going on. We had the eye contact, there was flirting, although I was also at this point quite drunk so how good the flirting was is another matter entirely. I’m going with top notch, mainly because we kissed, and then she asked if I’d like to go back to her place.

And this is where it gets complicated.

But how, I hear you cry, its going good! What can possibly make this seemingly perfect situation get complex?  Well dear reader, I make it complicated.

I’m not conventionally gendered, in that I am a woman, but I also have some male bits knocking about as well. There are a wealth of terms for how I am, but basically, it gets complicated if things ever progress beyond just kissing.

So we talk about this, and what it means in regards to getting it on, cause we’re adults, admittedly very drunk adults, but adults none the less. It’s a surreal thing to talk about, but also it’s good to talk about as well, for obvious reasons. Anyhow, there’s talking, and we work out how things might go, and we go back and we get it on. We get it on, and it is good. Admittedly for me it’s been a while, but even so , it was good. I’ll leave it to your imagination. I’m sure you’ll do it justice, you filthy beasts you. (I’d insert a smiley here if this was a text, just so you know i’m just joking when I call you filthy beasts, but it’s a blog, and we don’t do that sort of thing.)

So, I know what you’re thinking, this all sounds good, whats the problem kid? Well, the problem, it seems, is the cold light of day. I’ll explain all in the next post…….( see what I did there? It’s like an ad break! I’m a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar! )

I went on a date last week. Yep, an ACTUAL DATE. For Reals. It kind of sucked. Allow me to elaborate….

You know how I may of mentioned that you should only go out with people you find attractive? It was like a rule of dating I was imposing on myself, and stuff.

Anyhow, totally broke that rule.

In my defense, my date was a man, and its been an age since that happened, so I was curious, but still, should of listened to the rule.

We met in a local pub, which seemed like a good idea, public space and all that, and it would of been ideal, if it wasn’t for the fact that the whole evening was just plain awkward. There was no chemistry at all, which to be fair, was to be expected ( see the whole thing about finding them attractive ) and as a bonus we had some lovely visits from the God of long silences, despite my ( best? ) efforts.

In the end I cut it short with the classic ” I have an early start with work tomorrow” line, and left, which I’m sort of proud of doing, as old me would of probably just let it spiral onwards into a self destructive heap of awkwardness, so in that respect things have progressed, so yay me I guess.

Anyhow, onwards and upwards, plenty more fish, get back on the horse, and any other number of cliches you’d care you throw out there, I think a valuable lesson was learnt by all. I certainly learnt that you should definitely only go on dates with people you find attractive, and I think he learnt that talking about how you’re also currently having internet sex with a woman in Missouri, whilst on a date with someone else, is maybe a bad choice for a conversation starter.

No, really.

When I look back on my first few dates, and their inevitable tumbles into disaster, I’m honestly amazed that I managed to actually sustain a relationship long enough to get married. Admittedly I then didn’t manage to  sustain the marriage  but that’s another story….

The very first date I went on kind of set the standard for most of the dates I’ve been on since. It was borderline disaster mixed up with a large bowlful of embarrassment and awkwardness. Yay me.

I’d finally, after about 4 months of procrastination, decided to ask this person out. I say ask, but what I actually mean to say is manipulate the situation so that I get what I want without having to actually say it. We’d been chatting about what films we wanted to go and see, and I suggested we go together to see The Karate Kid 2 ( I know, excellent choice of date movie, BOOM! and all that ). They responded with ” how do you feel about going on a date to see it?” which of course was the plan all along.  ( More BOOM! )

At this point in the story dear reader, you’ll be forgiven for thinking to yourself well this doesn’t sound so bad, she’s got the person she wanted to ask out to actually ask her out instead, it was smoothly done ( well for a 13 year old anyhow ) and things are looking good…….well, don’t worry normal service will resume shortly.

We meet at the cinema. I am excited. Fizzy pop ( cherry cola ) and sweets (Jelly Babies ) are smuggled in, and we sit down. We sit on the end of a row, cause I like to stretch my legs out ( I am abnormally tall for my age ). This means that every 30 seconds we have to stand up to let people into the row of  surprisingly popular seats. Not the best start.

The cinema goes dark, and the film starts. I sit there thinking about how I really want to see this film, but also want to make out. I realise the fatal flaw in going to the cinema for a date and choosing a film you actually want to see. I start weighing up the options available to me. I’m focused. I need to make a decision, and then….she touches my hand……and I jump and let out an awkward half squeal, sending Jelly Babies and Cherry Coke everywhere.

People look round and tut. I go red. Thankfully it’s dark so this doesn’t matter so much. I look round and my date is looking directly ahead at the film with a mortified expression on her face. I get the impression that I may of fucked up a little. We watch the rest of the film in silence, not touching, not looking at each other, as if we were sitting at opposite sides of the cinema, and then, to ice the metaphorical cake,  Peter Cetera’s “The glory of love” comes on. It is the theme song for the film. I die a little more.

We still saw each other after the date, but we never spoke to each other about The Karate Kid 2 and what happened on that unfortunate afternoon again…….

Last time I was single I used an internet dating site to try and meet people. It was exciting, weird and fun, and also often awkward.

There was a guy who I was messaging on and off for quite a while. He seemed really nice, into the same things as me, definitely ( or so I thought ) a possible candidate. He seemed quite sweet, which I like, and he’d shared some fairly personal stuff with me ( not that sort of personal stuff, I never open emails with photographic attachments from people I’ve met on t’internets, obvs ), which endeared me to him.

Now I know what you’re thinking, you cynical internet people, you. You’re thinking, classic seduction move, what’s wrong with you! He’s only sharing supposedly personal stuff because he thinks that’s what chicks dig. To which I reply ‘uh dur, I know.’ and then ‘also,”what chicks dig” ? hate to tell you this but we’re not in 1955 any more Marty‘  

But anyhow, I know its all part of the dance, so I went with it. We made plans, and decided to meet up. I followed the rules, public place (pub), tell someone where you’re going (flatmate), pack a weapon ( fork cellotaped to inside thigh ). We both arrived at the same time, sat down, had a drink, went to the ‘toilet’ to let our friends know we weren’t dead/kidnapped and then, just as things were going reasonably it happened.

Hotel Yorba by The White Stripes came on.

We were mid conversation when it started playing, and he held up his hand. He held up his hand dear reader, in my face. I’d like to imagine that the pub fell silent as he did this, like in a western, and then I kicked his ass ( with my fork ). It didn’t. I didn’t. Things got worse.

 “you know”  he said “they were so much more real, more like proper musicians before they sold out to the man”  He paused dramatically. “Of course I was into them years before that happened , when they were raw and untouched by commercialism, it’s such a shame everyone started liking them”

Now, the hand thing was bad enough, but a music snob as well? Suddenly my future did not include him in it.

I expect you’re thinking that I came up with some witty and clever put down about how it must be awful for Jack and Meg to have millions of people loving their music, and how he’s ( the date ) just a prick, but life of course doesn’t go like that. My hilarious and genius reply?

“erm, I kinda like them, Hotel Yorba makes me happy”  

Needless to say the date didn’t go on much further, and we didn’t see each other again. And yes, Hotel Yorba still makes me happy.

Freiya Benson

Writer & Photographer.

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