Last week someone messaged me on an online dating site and asked me how often I’m harassed. And today I saw a Facebook thread bemoaning the harassment in online dating.
But, here’s the thing…I get probably between 20-200 messages a week online (I should count some week. I haven’t). And so far, I’d say the number of problematic men has been well under 1%. Probably .01%. I don’t know. Five guys come to mind and one of them might have just been clueless. Of course, I just delete the unwanted dick pics and the “hey baby, can you handle my 9 inches?” messages. So even if I included those, I would say it is less than 1-2% of the total messages I receive. I have been solicited for sex work 2-3 times (again, total…that’s in 1 1/2 years of my primary, sexually forward profile).
So am I lucky? Is it my age? Or is it that people hear how bad online dating is and want a horror story? So far, for dates I’ve gone on, I have 3 bad dates. 2 dealt with political assholes (if you don’t like that I’m voting for Hillary, STFU and don’t tell me that her vagina is her only accomplishment) and 1 that seemed ok at the time, but I rejected, and now he periodically sends me innocuous, but unwanted, messages thru the dating site (and he’s one I would put into the problematic category). The others? at worst they’ve been dull.
Obviously I’m an experiment of one and I don’t want to suggest there aren’t problems. But I do have to wonder what the real story is.
Edit: And I’ve already been attacked on the Facebook thread for suggesting that maybe we do need to look at issues in society about how women treat sex as something they give away and men treat it as something to hunt down…if everyone could be more honest about their desires (or lack thereof), we might see some improvement. I really don’t understand why talking about broader societal influence is problematic. I was careful to say that no one should be harassed, etc. But if we throw our hands up and just say “all men are stupid” without actually trying to see why we are in this place, we have no solutions. Which makes me wonder how much of the complaining is just complaining for the sake of complaining and how much represents actual problems.