In Defense of Casual Romance

I'm not exactly new to the world of internet dating or casual sex hookups. I'm on OKCupid. I've been on PlentyofFish, and Match, and Alt, and all the rest of them. Shit, I was kicked off of eHarmony, in part because I had a very different understanding of the watersports question.

Even though I have a lot of experience and typically have had an easy enough time meeting friends through online posts,  I do a terrible job meeting casual sex partners. There's a lot I have to say and have said in the past about desirable bodies, what people want vs what they're willing to be witnessed wanting, how it's acceptable to treat fat people as "desperate", etc. So there's a lot of that at play, of course, in who gets responded to and who gets left out. But really, I suspect this is because what I want often comes off as confusing. I know what I want from a casual experience, but it's not what people normally consider casual.

See, I was told that the reason my queer cruising ad failed was because I was asking for "dating stuff". In it, I said I was hoping for more like a one month stand than a one nighter, that I wanted something semi-romantic and sweet, that I wanted the kind of person who would buy me roses then beat me with them. Frankly, I want a partner who likes to top but also will tell me I'm pretty and will pet my hair, not just use my cunt and then disappear. Apparently that's too much like "relationship" stuff for a casual sex ad?

I have to admit, I just don't understand. Is it impossible to have more of a seduction or even a little romance in a casual fling? If anything I feel like they're ideal for it- you can just enjoy the moment with no expectations! I love the fluttery feeling of having a crush, but the stone cold reality of building that crush into a relationship takes a lot of energy, trust, desire and work on both sides. I just don't have space for more of that in my life right now. But that doesn't mean I can't still want to be romanced, right? 

It's also a little bit hurtful. If you ask me, I think it's kind of more fucked up that it's totally fine to hook up in a dirty bathroom sort of way but not in a "spank me with a bouquet of roses" sort of way. That seems like some femmephobic bullshittery. It goes along with how I resent the way in my local group of friends and acquaintances, we celebrate Steak and Blowjob Day but scorn Valentine's Day, like that isn't, at least in part, gendered.

So fuck it. I think we should make casual romance a Thing if it isn't already. I wanna see more casual makeout sessions, more hand holding dates, more looking into each others eyes and just giggling, more gifting each other things like flowers or doing small acts of service like a snack tray for a hookup. I resent and reject the idea that because I want these things I just want to date more people.

I feel like in our desire to liberate our sexualities, we haven't spent a lot of time focusing on liberating our feelings and making space for that. I've bemoaned how romance often seems to be calculated or dead, though I've learned to see the sweet gesture in things like wrapping my micro usb cord so it won't get ruined in my purse or getting me a candle that looks like a rococo butt plug. I've tried to kill my desire for outward displays of affection and seduction, because I've been afraid I don't deserve it or won't get it. But fuck that. I do deserve it. I am a lovely person who works really hard to be enjoyable to be around and if I want to be showered in flower petals once in a while I don't think that's bad. And I don't think I should only get to ask for that from people I'm dating long term.

Now yes, not everyone wants casual sex to be anything beyond meeting, fucking, parting ways, maybe even with no names exchanged. I've been there, kittens, I get it. I'm just saying that one of the most incredible impulsive once-ever experiences I had involved a lot of kissing and eye contact and giggling and holding hands. We didn't exchange names. He ejaculated on my chest in a glass elevator and it was hot as hell. But what made it transcendent and memorable for me was that in that moment we just really connected, and cared about each other, and that mutual respect and yeah, little touches like passionately making out in doorways while rain sprinkled down, and how he held an umbrella over my head while we did that, made it go from "hot" to "fiery hot passion". I feel it was extremely casual, and also romantic, and I want more of that in my life.

So here's to casual romances, to summer flings and perfect first (and only) dates. The heart wants what it wants, and it is a-ok to want loving and fleeting expressions of affection and being Seen just as it's ok for your junk to want a good hard pounding in the backseat of your car.

Categories: advice, assumptions, best of, boundaries, communication, dating, don't tell me how to live, femme, love, musing, reflection, sex, sexuality

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