Why Women Need To Take Back The Dating Game
Is it just me or are guys wielding a lot of power in the dating game?
Whilst we’re all behind #MeToo and shocked by the BBC pay gaps, we should also be using this time to look at our own lives and address the imbalances we encounter day-to-day. Dating should be a two way street, but more often than not, it can be the guys making all the decisions. Here's three issues that need addressing to bring modern, heterosexual dating up to speed.
“Can I get your number?”
I once thought boys had it hard. Typically “the chaser”, I felt bad that they had to deal with more rejection than we did. But then I realised how damaging this “waiting to be asked” culture really is. The idea that a guy should text first, or initiate the first date, places us in a passive position. It reinforces the stereotype that women should not be too assertive or dominant — rather, we are more attractive when mysterious and chase-able. Men on the other hand, are entitled to plough after anyone they like, unrestricted by any rules or regulations.
This is easy to challenge. Whether you’ve got the confidence to do it in person (go you!) or would rather ease in on a dating app like Badoo, we should be asking men out on dates. It might feel uncomfortable but only because it's not the norm, but do it once and the next is so much easier. Also, if you’re excuse is: “but what if they think it’s weird”. That’s not the case. A recent study found that 95% of men like it when a woman asks for their number.
“Let me get this!”
Men footing the bill could be seen as a perk of being a woman. It’s common, with 44% of Badoo’s male users saying that money was “no object to spend on a first date” and only 24% of women saying the same. Everyone likes being treated once in a while… but is this tradition as positive as it may seem?
IMO as a millennial/ woke / 2018 women, we should be prepared to pay our share on a date. Whilst many of us have been guilty of offering a half hearted — "shall we split it?" It’s contradictory to accept some forms of inequality and reject others. In addition to this, a survey of friends found that some felt a sense of obligation if a guy paid for date. Whilst rarely acted upon, they said the expectation for a kiss or second date was much greater. So why not swerve this dating politics altogether and offer to pay alternate dates or split?
“Back to mine?”
Sex in itself is pretty equal these days. Women are no longer expected to lie back and think of England. And no guy is going to freak out if you jump on top. However the lead up to sex is still led by the boys, with only 23% of women willing to initiate sex for the first time.
These figures mean that most first sexual encounters are taking place on the guy’s terms and in their space. Is this the reason why the walk of shame has a poster girl in last night’s dress and heels? We should be having sex when and where we feel most comfortable. Who actually likes making small talk with a guy’s flatmates, whilst all the time wishing you’d brought a toothbrush? Again, men are totally on board with the idea, with 93% wanting women to initiate sex for first time. (Whether this is a just a turn on, or an equality thing, will obviously vary between individuals.)
So, the moral of the story?
If you’re part of the 70(ish)% of women who feel uncomfortable making the first move. I challenge you to ask someone out today. Why put off speaking to that Badoo match? Don't wait for him to talk first! Get him to send you a selfie (there's an actual button for that on Badoo which is pretty cool) so you can know exactly who you're chatting to. Srsly — what have you got to lose?