dating rituals

Cuddling Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does… Apparently

by Jasmine Peterson

Dating – it’s exhausting.

At first I thought it was fun (being new to the dating scene, and never having really done the dating thing in my younger years), but as time has gone on, I’ve discovered that it can be really, really exhausting.

I’m a pretty open and honest person. I’ve put a lot of myself out into the ether of the internet (from discovering myself to be polyamorous to the health repercussions of my breakup and consequent brief personal meltdown). So when I’m dating, I’ve got no qualms about being honest about my intentions, my feelings, and my desires. And because I’m such an honest person, an open book really, I often expect that others will be the same. I’ve discovered that this is just me projecting my own qualities onto others; they are not always coming from the same place of transparency as I am.

How much easier would dating be if we could all just be honest about our intentions? I’ve met a few men who were pretty upfront about exactly what they were looking for – whether it was to settle down into a relationship or strictly a relationship of a sexual nature – and it made knowing how to proceed so much easier. What I want keeps changing, it seems, but I articulate it as I go to ensure that any man I am seeing knows that. I’m a work in progress, and I can understand that what someone else wants might also change, so I like to keep the conversation open and evolving to accommodate that.

But what I’ve found to most often be the case is that men are reticent to admit to wanting to have sexual relations, as though admitting that is somehow going to result in some catastrophic implosion of the dating universe. At first, I found this baffling.

“Do you want to cuddle?” a guy would say.

And if I didn’t, I would say no. But some nights, I really did want to cuddle and would accept the offer. Little did I know, “cuddle” is apparently a code word for sex. Because every single time a guy would come over to “cuddle”, he would start making sexual advances. Read more

Posted on by Jasmine Peterson in Feminism 36 Comments