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Susan Rosenzweig

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Are We Giving Our Power Away?

Posted: 02/07/2013 11:16 am

Lately, everywhere I turn I see, hear, or read the same message: There are no good single men left.

For a variety of reasons, I refuse to believe this to be true. I live by the notion that we "paint" our reality with our thoughts and feelings, and I want to see more good men in the world. Men who value and desire the things my friends and I do: love, honesty and kindness. Not just sex, wealth and professional success. But as a single woman witnessing this scarcity first person, I can't deny that something is happening.

Only thing is, I blame the women.

Dating has always been fraught with challenges. It's a delicate endeavor for both parties, involving risk and uncertainty. Especially for men, who have traditionally done the asking for a date. However, that's always held part of the payoff. The greater the risk the bigger the reward, right?

But now, as Alex Williams writes in her recent New York Times article, "The End of Courtship?", technology has made it easier for men to risk less. Now they can hide behind texting, email and IM. Why work up the courage to call a girl and risk rejectio, if you can simply text "What's up?" and test the waters to see if she's even interested?

It's made men lazy when it comes to dating. Yes, I said lazy. And a little cowardly, in my opinion. Which I for one do not find very sexy. I LOVE when a guy takes a chance and calls me up for a date, not knowing what I'm going to say. In fact -- and this is the God's honest truth -- it's usually enough for me to say yes. Seeing a man take a chance on me is a turn on. And gives him big points. It may only ever be one date, but I'll nearly always give him a chance.

It's human nature to try and find an easier way to do anything. But I don't blame the men for this downturn in civility. I blame us, the women, for allowing it to be enough. For not demanding more. For going to meet a guy, let alone spending the night with him, before he's done anything beyond texting "Where u at?" and buying you a couple beers.

That is not interest, that's fishing. He's thinking "I'm hungry, let's see what's bites."

I don't know about you, but I want to be more than just an option on the menu.

Problem is, too many other girls will run after a guy like that, so the bar has been lowered. It's harder and harder to meet a man who acts, well, like a man -- when they're encouraged, even rewarded, to act like a boy.

The sexual revolution changed things. Some very good (thank you, birth control pill), some not so good. As Virginia Ironside writes in her article "We Paid the Price for Free Love: The Flip Side of the Sexual Revolution," the invention of the pill was fraught with downsides: "there was even less reason to say 'no' to sex, and the result was that lots of us girls spent the entire 60s in tears, because however one tried to separate sex from love, we'd been brought up to associate the two; so every time we went to bed with someone, we'd hope it would lead to something more permanent... and each time it never did."

And we're still doing this. Only now, some of us have stopped waiting to be courted or pursued and have started doing the chasing. It's my sincere belief that while some men might enjoy this for a while, it usually doesn't plant the seed for long-term success. There are exceptions, there always are. But generally speaking, it doesn't end well. Or more precisely, it ends.

A bar owner I know has a regular singles event for New York City cops and firemen. When I asked her about these parties, she said, "Oh, you don't want to come. First of all, the men get in for free and the girls pay a cover. Then, they throw themselves at the guys, offering blowjobs in the bathroom."

Ladies -- this is NOT the way to up our value. Or your appeal.

And you're not just hurting yourselves, you're ruining it for all of us. It's hard enough to try and wait for the right man to find and share a life with, but if he's being bombarded by 20-somethings in come-fuck-me boots and one-night stands, how will he ever even have the desire to look? Like a lion in the zoo, he's lost the need and desire to hunt. The meat is being thrown at him.

Men love the chase, and we love to be chased (admit it, you do), but neither can happen if we keep pursuing them. Neither party is satisfied long-term, even if they don't know why. It's like McDonald's: It's easy and taste great but leaves you feeling icky and empty tomorrow.

One of my favorite expressions is "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." As in, just because we now can sleep with anyone without fear of being labeled a whore, doesn't mean we should. And it has nothing to do with morals or judgment. It has to do with long-term happiness. I maintain that the lazy and sophomoric behavior of more and more men is one casualty of this role-reversal. Along with romance, courtship and being swept off your feet. All things I adore and want more of. And it's not just men in their 20s that are devoid of these skills, but those in the 30s and 40s too. They can play around until they're 50 or older and still start a family -- but we can't.

Even the good guys have forgotten how to treat a woman. I call it the dumbing down of dating. And we're the ones with all the power to change it. Only we're giving it away.

Not to sound crude, but one of the greatest powers we women hold is between our legs, and right now we're giving it away. Summer's Eve controversial "Hail to the V" advertising campaign had it right, in my opinion. Wars have been fought, civilizations started and destroyed -- all in the name of desire. When we give it away so cheaply, it doesn't just hurt us -- it damages the very men we want to revere us. How can they cherish us, when they don't even have to try to get a girl to sleep with them? Like anti-bacterial soap and doctors prescribing Z-packs for the common cold, we're weakening the natural balance of life, but between men and women.

And to all you 20-somethings who think it's harmless fun because you just want to play, and this IS power, being able to sleep around... remember: you won't be in your 20s forever. In a few years, when you're 30-something, looking to settle down (and most of you will), there will be a whole decade of girls behind you willing to do the same thing. The milk keeps flowing, and the men don't ever need to buy a cow.

I love men, and I miss them. I had boyfriends in high school with more class and charm than some of the boys I meet today. Probably because they had to try harder. I know there are good men out there, I've dated some. Almost married the wrong one and lost my heart to another. But there aren't nearly enough great ones for all the amazing women I know. I want that to change, but only we women hold the power to transform it. So I have a radical idea to test my theory: I propose a sexual prohibition.

NO CASUAL SEX FOR 30 DAYS.

I challenge all the single, unattached women across America to close shop, just for 30 days. As a social experiment, I would love to see what would happen if the well went dry and men actually had to "up" their game and court a girl again. You know, call her up (not text), make her laugh, take her out and show her a good time. Good enough that she'd want to see him again. Instead of the current sad state of affairs: get her liquored up at a bar, take her home and "hook up."

I know it's a crazy idea. But I'd love to see if it would work. Let's pick a month, and make it ours. What would they do to get some? I want men to be our knights in shining armor again. But they need a little incentive. Sex is the greatest motivator that exists -- imagine what could happen if we used it for all our good.

 

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