So You Wanna Date Men Now?: A Starter Guide to Dealing With Men for the Former Les-been.

This is for all of my homegirls that have decided to explore outside of what they’re accustomed to. The girls that, despite understanding the fluidity of sexuality, are still freaked out by how this one guy seems to have caught your attention beyond a “friend” level.

He smells different from what you’re used to. He doesn’t have boobs. You find yourself wondering what that beard of his would feel like against your skin… at the apex of your thighs. (Or is that just me? ha.) You find yourself sitting in the dark wondering where you went wrong in your newfound attraction to cismen. It’s okay. I get it. It happens.

I spent twenty-one years swearing off men because I was convinced that I wouldn’t find them as stimulating to me mentally or physically. I’ve always been able to appreciate attractive men, but real penises grossed me out. I am not ashamed at how childish that might have come off. I was also thoroughly convinced that they weren’t nearly as clean as women (ie. they don’t wash their hands post fap, wash their clothes as often as they should, etc)

I figured that I would have to worry about shaving more often, which then, was a drag to think about. I knew the likelihood of interacting with a person that had a problem with how narrow my waist was, my stretch marks, and the overall appearance of my vagina quadrupled once I opened my dating pool to men.

Women from all sides seemed to have a shitty perspective on how guys navigate love, lust, and everything else in between. The advice I got on the more serious aspects of getting to know men were much more negative than I expected. Like men, there seemed to be an overall consensus that they were only good for one thing: sex.

With that being said, I guess I’m writing this to shed some light on the gray areas that any former les-been might currently be struggling with.

  • First thing’s first… if you’re interested in a guy that sporadically refers to women as bitches, sluts, or hoes in general conversation, he probably ain’t shit for obvious reasons. Aside from the fact that his vocabulary is incredibly crass and limited, you have to understand that most of the women he interacts with will find themselves boxed into one of those categories at some point.
  • If you’re experimenting, set boundaries. You’re navigating a different playing field when it comes to guys. In my experience with women, sex was usually followed by laughs, a home cooked meal, neon manicures, or cuddling. There’s this weird, girl power bond that comes with having casual sex with women and I love it. Nobody wants to admit it, but I find that that sex, no matter how casual, can be meaningful. I haven’t discussed it with any of my previous partners but I’m sure they’d agree. Although the overall experience was very amicable, the sentimental stuff in between added to it. I’ve been hooking up with a guy that I have pretty great chemistry with for about 6 months now, and one of the first things he said to me about our arrangement was that it would be a lot easier for him to separate his feelings because he was a guy. As time progressed I realized that that statement would always linger in the back of my mind when I would think about the way his skin smelled, how he would kiss me until my head would spin, or how I absolutely melted whenever he used endearments. There are a lot of things that a person could easily say breach normal friends with benefits boundaries. In retrospect, I wish I had enough balls to say “Hey, I really like what we do but I’m soft as fuck despite how ‘mysterious’ I may seem. It’s kind of complicating things so… can we avoid that stuff altogether?” No matter how much of a good time you’re having, you still owe it to yourself to look out for yourself first. This brings me to my next point…
  • If you like him, tell him. A few months ago, a girl friend of mine revealed that she had a developed an attraction to me as we got to know each other in the past year. Apart of me went into a panic. I wasn’t ready for a relationship and ghosting had become a regular occurrence on my side of town. As someone that remembers almost everything about people, building potentially romantic connections that weren’t surface as hell freaked me out. “So, what does this mean?” was the first thing I could say without really taking the time to process what exactly it was that she was conveying. She immediately looked at me like I was crazy as hell and just said, “I didn’t say I wanted a relationship. I just wanted to let you know that I was interested. You can do whatever you want with that information.” After I picked my face up off of the floor, I had this overwhelming sense of relief. I expected to feel weird, but I didn’t. If anything I appreciated how brave she was. How often are people that transparent? never. People would much rather rely on mixed signals and reindeer games to get the point across. It’s exhausting to say the least. Ever since that happened, I’ve felt like it was important to communicate things of that nature as straightforward as possible. It’s easier to get what you want and/or need that way. If shawty isn’t fucking with it, if they're real, they’ll let you know once they can tell it’s honesty hour. It might not be straightforward to avoid hurting your feelings but the key words here are: context clues. Use them. Call your best friend for second input if you’re confused. Of course your ego will suffer from a few bruises, but you're less likely to idealize your interactions with said person. I think this point goes for everybody. Can’t really be out here screaming “real” if you spend 90% of your time hiding behind your feelings.
  • The things you’re self-conscious about (physically) won’t really be as much of a focal point unless you’re out here sicing your insecurities. Nobody really wants to deal with that. Navigating people that are overtly self deprecating is... awkward. I understand that it can be hard to believe that your super charismatic beau will still find you as appealing once another more proportionate, attractive woman decides to shoot her shot. It’s normally not that deep. If he likes you, he likes you. I guarantee that he’ll probably like a lot of the things you’re insecure about. I’m someone that loves to eat! If I’m being transparent, it does get in the way of me having a really toned abdomen. On a good day I’m left with an optical illusion that I call muscular flab. I also wouldn’t be mad if my boobs were on Dr. Miami approved, but my partners, men and/or women always appreciate these parts of my body because I own them in the moment. It wasn’t before long that I realized that I was overly critical of my body. It is in your best interest for you to chillax. If you have to put on an alter ego when you’re naked, do it. Confidence trumps everything. 
  • If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a hard time figuring out where to put your hands when you start having sex with guys. I found myself reaching for boobs that weren’t there, had an even weirder time having to teach myself that poking my partners butt post sex wasn’t really appropriate. Guys are sensitive about their butts. You’ll mess around and have him thinking you’re trying to play in it if you’re not careful .
  • And lastly, I think the main point you should focus on is having fun. The energy you give off will have an effect on your dynamic with whoever you’re dealing with, so it’s best to keep things as cool as possible. 

Of course these simple points could be used in any relationship. I hope that some of this stuff has helped clear the air a little bit, as much of this was very trial and error for me. At the end of the day, the thing that connects us is the simple fact that we all want the same things. Whether it’s now, or later. Don’t overthink yourself out of a good situation and please, keep it as cool as possible. You’d be surprised at how amazingly a situation can develop if you just slow the hell down. Have fun getting to know your person. That in itself is rare since we tend to be very self centered at this age, and usually, rightfully so for the most part. 

I’d love to hear any comments or questions about this! If there’s anything else you’d want me to talk about in the future, you know where to find me. Even if this wasn’t relatable, I hope you at least laughed here and there.