There is this girl that I have been hanging out with. Very smart, and socially confident in just the way that I like.
The other day, we had a conversation about our second date. From my perspective, it went roughly like this: we went dancing, which went well. When our energy for dancing started to wind down, she asked what I wanted to do, and I said I’d love to hang out more if she was up for it, and she said that would be fine but she would probably have to crash at my place if we did. We went back to my place and were invited to hang out with housemates, which we did, and then she started saying she was probably going to want to crash soon, so we hung out a little bit longer and then I started running low on social energy, said I was probably about ready to crash soon, too, and we decided to turn in.
I have a futon in my room for guests to sleep on, so I set that up for her, and when that was all set up, I finally said something to the effect of, “So, if you want to go to sleep that’s totally fine, but if you wanted to, I would definitely be up for hooking up.”. She pulled me in to make out, and we had sex, and it was all-in-all a pretty good night.
Over the course of our more recent conversation about that date, we realized that we had both been interpreting the other as less interested in hooking up than they actually were. In my own combination of being a little oblivious and also not wanting to be presumptuous, I had read her saying she would need to crash with me, and talking about wanting to turn in completely at face value (which I now know was not an accurate reading), and for her part, she had read my setting up a separate bed as an indication that maybe I wasn’t interested, and we had each read the others’ enthusiasm for hanging out with the housemates as a possible sign that sex wasn’t necessarily what the other was wanting to do that night.
Fortunately for the both of us, those misreadings did not end up preventing the sex from happening, but the whole conversation has got me thinking. The reality that night was that both of us had been interested in hooking up from probably the very beginning. In spite of the fact that I have gotten progressively more comfortable being able to think of myself as an attractive person over the last few years, I still tend to assume that I am going to be more interested in sex than the people I am attracted to. Or more likely to be interested in sex; something like that.
In this particular circumstance, and probably in other past circumstances as well, that assumption steered me wrong. I have probably missed out on what could’ve been some pretty awesome sex with people, and I have probably left other people disappointed that they didn’t get to have the experience of some potentially pretty awesome sex with me.
I think part of the problem is just that my ability to assume that someone might really want to fuck me is still not strong enough to reliably detect when that is the case. Another part of it is that I instinctively err so far on the side of not pressuring people into doing things that I end up giving the impression that I, myself, am not interested in doing those things.
One of the things I like about this new partner is that she’s really good at being forward about the things that she likes and doesn’t like, so I worry less that I might be pressuring her into things than I might with other people. It makes it easier for me to express the things that I want, knowing that I can be pretty confident she’ll be able to say no if she doesn’t want to do them.
This is all just a post-length way of reminding myself that I need to get more comfortable assuming that other people might really want to fuck me, because it is true a lot more often than I tend to think that it is. Also, that I should be careful that I don’t accidentally convince people that I’m not interested in my efforts not to pressure them in the event that they are not interested.