In general, when it comes to women I am slow to recognize any signal even when as obvious as a stick in the eye. Being the typical dumb guy, that any woman would turn me down registered as a clear sign that I wasn't trying hard enough. After a woman told me, "I think you're an ass with no common sense. Plus, you're ugly and borderline terminally dumb," I might get the hint. However, though picking up signals still evades me to some degree, I did become good at taking no for answer and moving on without a stake through my heart.


Because of a couple of lesbian friends that I have provided gut-laughs over those years with my ineptness and their purposeful withholding of pertinent facts, I became aware that some women didn't want to go out with me because they were not sexually attracted to men. I don't mind being the butt of a joke; however, it does bother to be offensive, especially when I am unaware of it or should have known better.


Before I remarried, I started asking women their sexual preference and I don't mean their favorite position. Well, that earned me looks reserved for perverts, but asides from startling a few women I feel that I avoided making an ass of myself in that manner again. I say in that manner, because making an ass of myself seems to be my stock in trade.


Okay, now I've said it. Yet, I still think about it, but I'm pretty sure I haven't insulted a woman in that way since unless considering that just being in their presence might be insult enough. I admit to my clumsiness around all women. I'm past it, but I wonder of others. Do other men make the same blunders? Worse, do some men go other lesbian women in an attempt to prove some warped male fantasy?


It never occurred to me. Of course, ignorance is no excuse, but ego led me to places I should have avoided. It still does, but not there. Anybody else have a story?

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Comment by Daniel W on August 9, 2012 at 11:02am

If I knew about relationships, love, attraction, and sex, at 20, what I know now, doubtless life would have been different.  Who knows, probably not better, but different.  As it is, I feel fortunate beyond words to have known who I have known, and experience what I have experienced.  I hope the same is true for those who I have known as well.  Not perfect, only human, sometimes with some heartbreak (at least on my part), but maybe better for what we have experienced.  That's even true now.  Which I never expected.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 8, 2012 at 1:25pm
I wish we could just say you look interesting and I'd just like to get to know you, BUT at time men and women have ulterior motives and that makes it confusing. AT least it does for me. Whenever I tried that approach, I got sucker punched in the heart.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 8, 2012 at 1:16pm
With the exception of lesbians, I don' think other women read us very well either despite what they know about. I finally quit trying to be cunning, sly or trying to tellwhat women were thinking--I just came out with "Hi! My name is Don. I'm a shallow person who's looking for an equally shallow relationship. Would you be interested?" That way, I got cussed-out early and could move on to the next strike.
Comment by Grinning Cat on August 7, 2012 at 10:38pm

I'm not always so great at reading people either....

That jewel in the forehead wouldn't be a panacea: someone's orientation doesn't mean they're attracted to ALL men and/or ALL women and/or ALL small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

(Without that device, you could see how much their eyes widen at you....)

Let's hope, though, that in that kind of uncloseted world, people would be(come) more accepting of our diversity!

btw, Al Vernacchio makes the analogy of sex to pizza: "Say you’re a plain cheese guy, and you meet someone at the pizza place whose favorite topping is pineapple, M&M’s and spam. You might think it’s a little peculiar, but that’s it. [...] No one thinks someone who likes ketchup on their pizza is going to burn eternally in hell." (Carly Dreyfus, from "To Slide or to Slice? Finding a Positive Sexual Metaphor"; worth a look!)

Comment by Daniel W on August 7, 2012 at 10:04pm

Donald, I suck at reading people in general. 

It would really be helpful if people had a device that displayed their orientation.  Maybe like having a jewel implanted in the forehead, with a symbol for what they are sexual-wise, and what they like.  So then, no one would be in any kind of closet.  We would all know whether someone is a potential partner, and we would also know if someone is talking to us because they are interested in dating vs. just think we are an interesting person to talk to.  Which would be cool for avoiding communication errors.

In the gay world, way back when, when the earth was young and Brachiosaurus lumbered through the swamps of what is now Chicago, gay guys used to have a hankie code for that purpose.  That way, you could walk into a gay bar and instantly know what sexual proclivities all of the other guys had  - not only what they liked to do, but what type of guys they liked to do it with.  I think everyone has evolved since then, and people are less into specific roles and stereotypes - hope so - but the point is, it was away to "read" someone before you actually spoke with them.

I think some of the social networking sites are working on this kind of radar to be used with cell phones.  Seems creepy and Orwellian to me.

What would be nice is if everyone relaxed, no one meant, or took, offense, and we could just say to to someone "You seem like an interesting person.  I'm looking for a mate.  How about it?" and they could say back "How flattering.  Not interested, but thanks for asking.  By the way, how about that Romney guy?" and no one would get bent out of shape.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 7, 2012 at 9:34pm

Likewise Donald I suck at reading women. In various areas of analysis I do well, women a little awful. It might relate to my ability to focus intensively while being otherwise obtuse.

Conversely, I have seen people with mad people skills who reason for shit outside homosapiens.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 7, 2012 at 8:34pm

Never had the religion problem. Of course, as a Catholic kid--I was part of the problem, but when it came to reading women--I sucked, big time. I truly needed a scorecard to tell the players. Like I said, I was probably more bothered by than the women, but no one ever told me except my buddies that I mentioned.

Comment by Steph S. on August 7, 2012 at 7:19pm

I don't have a story but I enjoyed reading yours.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 7, 2012 at 5:40pm

I aint sharing no anecdotes. But it sucks to have mutual attraction and you cant stomach her religiosity or she cant stomach your atheism.


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