Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~

Content notice for racism and sex and racist sex and sexual violence.

Inspired in no small part by the grand tradition of Captain Awkward.

racial preference is racism / dating preferences racist / are preferences racist / race preference dating / is having a preference racist

TL;DR answer to all of these: Sometimes.
Slightly longer answer: Saying “I’m attracted to [members of a particular racial/ethnic group]” is a faux-complimentary way of saying “All [members of a particular racial/ethnic group] look alike to me.”
Much longer answer: What Is Racist About Race-Based Dating Preferences

i’ve been fantasizing a bout girls in hijabs


Between weirdos on campus and at atheist meetups, I have a lot of personal not-good feelings about men who profess veil fetishes. Continue reading “Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~”

Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~

There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

I came across this video the other day, and, welp, see for yourself (transcript).

To get this out of the way: Karim is not a “Muslim name.” It is an Arabic name that Muslims name their children, since Karim is one of the 99 names of Allah, but the word and name predate Islam.

As for her reason to not date this Karim, obviously, since most Muslims don’t behead people or beat their wives, not wanting to associate with people like that is a bad reason to not want to date a Muslim.

There are some good reasons why this woman might want to walk away, though, that aren’t based on less-warranted stereotypes, reasons that have to do with the realities of the ways in which sexism, misogyny, sex-negativity, patriarchy, and purity culture manifest themselves Muslim-dominated cultures.

In short, mid-life crises come early and hit harder for non-practicing Muslim men. Continue reading “There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man”

There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

Expectations vs. Reality on Dating Sites: Fat Hairy Girls

Content notice for racial and gender-based slurs as well as rape apologism and fatphobia. This post is heteronormative not because I’m hetereosexual, but because most of my online dating “adventures” have been with men.

I am, for better or for worse, a seasoned veteran of OkCupid. I’ve been using it off and on for almost a decade now. The way in which I have used it and for what end has varied over the years, as has my weight, my appearance, and my sexual orientation.

What hasn’t changed?

  1. For various reasons, I’m not everyone’s non-platonic cup of tea.
  2. Most men on the site claim to be opposed to at least one of the facets of who I am.
  3. I get messages from those men anyway.
  4. Hilarity ensues.

Continue reading “Expectations vs. Reality on Dating Sites: Fat Hairy Girls”

Expectations vs. Reality on Dating Sites: Fat Hairy Girls

So, What Can You Even Order on a First Date?

[Content Notice for Eating Disorders]

Prescriptive articles about what not to order on a first date seem to have a huge hate-on for non-WASP food (stereotypically speaking). They hate a lot of WASP-ish foods and other foods, too, just without the xenophobic and/or racist commentary.

For fun, I aggregated 19 such lists and discovered that you can’t really order much if you follow all the rules.

Continue reading “So, What Can You Even Order on a First Date?”

So, What Can You Even Order on a First Date?

Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates

[Content Notice for Eating Disorders]

When I say that racism is everywhere, I can almost feel the response welling up in naysayers. Racism enablers and denialists seem to think that those of us who point out racism are Oprah, handing out a racism to everyone and everything. “You get a racism! And you get a racism! And you get a racism! Everybody gets a racism!”

Oprah smiling and pointing outward, caption reads "This is racist. That is racist. That is racist. Everything is racist."

Calling out racism is more along the lines of the image. We’re not hunting for racism any more than we are hunting for sexism. Instead, we’re seeing it where you might not realize it exists.

Like, for example, in articles about what not to order on a first date.

Continue reading “Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates”

Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates

Mocking Virgins: Sexual Shaming, Not Christian Marginalization

Via my anonymous askbox:

Y do peopel say that christians aren’t marginalized in any way???? you can go to anyone and say that you believe in marriage before having sex and everyone will look at you like you’re crazy!! can you guys stop saying that we aren’t marginalized? yes in the past we had more power but not anymre

I’ll admit that my first instinct was to call the whole thing a [sic] and move on, but thanks to having recently seen the wonderful How to Lose Your Virginity, I found myself relating to the question-asker. The movie had brought to mind, for the first time in years, just how awful it was to be a never-been-kissed virgin in college. Continue reading “Mocking Virgins: Sexual Shaming, Not Christian Marginalization”

Mocking Virgins: Sexual Shaming, Not Christian Marginalization

4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)

It’s a trope as old as remembered time: The relatable protagonist sees a woman, assesses her based on some criteria that we the audience are presumed to intrinsically understand, and sighs some version of “She’s too good for me.” This is intended to relay a fear of inadequacy on the part of the protagonist (one that he is probably going to overcome with her help, natch).

Despite its transmission of insecure feelings, saying “She’s too good for me” is paternalistic, patronizing, and rather patriarchal.

Continue reading “4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)”

4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)

Throwback Thursday: Stop Telling Me to Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”

This Throwback Thursday entry is brought to you by the fact that the original article to which it was responding, Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”, has been making the rounds again. The original title for this piece is I’ll Stop Citing a Boyfriend When My Consent Starts Mattering; it was published on September 10, 2013. I have shortened it and added in the sentence about cause and effect.

Before I started dating, I listened to a lot of men. One of their biggest complaints was that women aren’t straightforward enough. “Why don’t women just say no?” they lamented. “I waste all this time pursuing women because I don’t know for sure that they don’t want me.”

I have always believed in honesty and directness, so it seemed absurd to me that all these women weren’t just saying “no” when “no” was what they meant. Sentiments like those found in this article could’ve been snatched from my lips in those days.

I think the solution is simple — we simply stop using excuses. If a man is coming on to you […], respond with something like this: “I’m not interested.” Don’t apologize and don’t excuse yourself. If they question your response (which is likely), persist — “No, I said I’m not interested.”

Just be honest and all will work out, right?

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Stop Telling Me to Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend””

Throwback Thursday: Stop Telling Me to Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”

The Trouble with Fake Dating Profiles

Note: For the purposes of this post, heterosexuality is the premise. Things on dating sites are different (i.e. often better) for women seeking women. Men seeking men are often subjected to the same things that women seeking men are subjected to, but I cannot speak for their experiences.

I am an accomplished OkCupid counter-troll and I’m not private about it. As a result, every time some internet personality creates a dummy profile and writes up their experiences with it, well-meaning friends often think of me and link me. Last week, it was that Cracked article (written by a woman but geared towards a male audience). Yesterday, it was the Reddit post (which isn’t even original). There’s some defunct Tumblr I found after a quick Google search. Hell, some of my male friends have proposed creating dummy female profiles in order to see what it’s like for a woman on a dating site.


My reaction? Chagrin. It makes me wonder why more men don’t trust women’s experiences instead of setting up fake profiles. Have they never heard a female friend talk about her experiences? Do they not have female friends to ask about the matter? Or do they just not want to believe what we women say about our lives? To go back to my male friends, you’d think that years’ worth of talk from me about my OkCupid experiences would be enough for them to know that they could, you know, just ask me about it, or even just believe me when I talk about it.

I’ve helped male friends and strangers with their profile and messaging mojo. I’ve walked nervous men through initial messages, replies, and follow-ups messages after first dates. I’ve had male friends and acquaintances cry on my shoulder about being lonely, miserable, and rejected both online and afk. Not once did it occur to me to doubt them when they told me about their experiences. Sure, I sometimes wonder about all those unanswered messages I’ve sent to men who claim on their very profiles to be frustrated with the lack of women who initiate, but I don’t doubt the overall fact that many men don’t get replies or message on OkCupid. Enough men I know have told me about it for me to not immediately jump to doubting them.

There is certainly a more charitable view of the phenomenon of such fake profiles, one that speaks to men’s attempts, however flawed, at understanding women’s experiences. We live in a society where men are automatically considered more credible than women even when the latter are speaking of their own experiences. I’d only see the creation of fake female profiles by men as productive if the men were to learn a greater lesson about women’s credibility, one that enables the male experimenter to no longer need to pull such stunts in order to believe women. It seems like an ass-backwards way to approach the problem to me, but if it’s effective, I don’t know if I could complain overmuch.

Such a lesson would be contingent on all men conducting the experiment, though, rather than a few men doing it and sharing their results to the warm reception of other men. As it stands, we live in a world where women talk about their experiences, men doubt them, and then a few of those men pretend to be women and report their results to great fanfare. A random man pretending to be a woman on a dating site is somehow considered more credible and coverage-worthy than the majority of women who are using dating sites in earnest and speaking of their experiences. That women are inundated with crude, rude, ridiculous, and otherwise unsavory messages online is not some incredible revelation discovered by a man pretending to be a woman; it reflects the lived experiences of many women. We’d do well to trust the word of women more, even if it is curiosity and a wish to understand rather than a mistrust of women that drives some men to attempt to replicate women’s experiences.

The Trouble with Fake Dating Profiles

Guest Post: What Rejecting Taught Me About Being Rejected

This guest post comes by way of “Nate,” an all-around thoughtful person with a unique perspective on male-female dating: he went from not having to reject women much to a situation where it was a more common occurrence for him. Here, he shares what he has learned.

I’m a male atheist who’s active in the movement, and a regular reader of Heina’s posts. I am also in an open/polyamorous marriage. I’d happily identify myself, but due mainly to prickly in-laws, I don’t generally talk about the poly aspects of my life in public.

After reading Heina’s recent post, “I’ll Stop Citing a Boyfriend When My Consent Starts Mattering,” I’d like to offer some additional perspective to men who are frustrated when they are silently rejected. Turning down an interested suitor directly can be awkward for anyone, male or female. However, we men generally have to do it much less frequently. When I was a teenager, I used to say the same thing guys say in that post: A girl I like should just tell me if she’s not interested. It’s inconsiderate to give people the brush off.

Having transitioned to poly, I now wind up meeting and spending time with a much higher volume of people. Women in the poly community are often more forward than single young women, and, sometimes, our interest levels simply do not match. When I’m the one who is not interested, it becomes really clear how difficult the “reject me to my face” standard is to live up to.


The problem is that if you take the time to say “I’m not interested in you,” it invites the other person to argue about why they deserve your attention. But since the point of rejecting somebody is to excuse yourself from giving that attention in the first place, being drawn into a discussion about it achieves the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do. Yes, it’s more convenient from the dumpee’s perspective to understand why they were dumped, but an explanation is still an imposition on the dumper’s time and energy. It is nice if they can offer that feedback, but it isn’t their responsibility.

With the shoe on the other foot, it is much easier for me to understand why sometimes, women just don’t respond to my messages. Even after becoming poly, I’ve occasionally been on the receiving end of a slow disappearing act from someone I liked. That still sucks, and it’s always disappointing. Now, though, I understand a lot better that I am not entitled to an explanation when somebody does not want to talk to me.

That probably is where a gender imbalance can occur, because while it is uncomfortable to reject somebody no matter who you are, in most cases, men are much more likely to expect entitlements than women are. Also, of course, I rarely feel physically endangered when I am the dumper.

Men, if you get rejected, you are totally entitled to do all the standard stuff. Complain about it in manly ways at your friends. Eat a big old pile of smoked barbecue. Lock yourself in your room and play Team Fortress for 48 hours straight. But I’m begging you: keep your dignity and don’t assume that you are entitled to an explanation of your shortcomings.

Guest Post: What Rejecting Taught Me About Being Rejected