One of the things I love about Irish people is how easily we make friends. Anywhere. The ladies bathrooms a particular favourite. A few weeks back, my friend and I made a new bestie and we quickly put the world to rights. This particular lady – let’s call her Daphne because, let’s face it, I don’t actually remember her name (lifelong friends, I tell ya!) – was on a date but seemed a little anxious. I came in to the bathroom halfway through a conversation they were having about Tinder. Unfortunately I’ve no experience of Tinder so I can’t comment on its merits or such like but Daphne was trying to convince my friend to go back on it. Raving as to how she had met her current beau just four minutes after logging on. Four minutes! Now that’s impressive. So what’s he like your fella? I asked. They’d be on three dates so far. This was their fourth. It was around 11pm and like I said she seemed anxious (and a tad drunk, as were we). Why? Don’t you like him? I pushed. ‘I do’, she smiled. The excited nerves of first dates blushing her face. ‘I think, I don’t know. He seems nice. He is nice. It’s just… he’s going to want to have sex’, she blurted out. Ahhh there it was. That third date unwritten rule. Now it was date number four so the pressure was really on. Then she divulged even more. ‘The last time I had sex’, she said, ‘I had a baby. Now I’ve got a two year old.’
Okay, so admittedly my first thought was you poor thing you’ve not had sex in two years. Of course I didn’t say this, especially when she followed with ‘I hate it. I never want to have sex again’. Then I thought, well I hope you’ve an understanding fella. But quickly told her, I bet you do. You need to be honest with him and tell him the pressure you’re feeling (not necessarily caused by him). If he’s decent, he’ll understand and wait till you’re ready. If he’s not, he’ll try and persuade you and then feck off when he doesn’t. Either way, it was a crossroads that was fast approaching. Respect the dude and talk to him. Simple, no?
She didn’t seem to think so and was making a bit of a hoo-ha about this predicament. That sounds unfair but I struggled to see what her issue was. As we talked her through it I realised she wasn’t thinking of this as a two way stream. She was putting this ‘desire of sex’ all on him. He’s a red blooded man ergo he will want sex. Me silly woman ergo me must provide sex. This attitude of ‘oh no, it’s the fourth date, he will want sex.’ What about her? I tried to ask. What about what you want? We don’t just have sex for men. There are two of you in this. I hesitated to remind her that women have needs as well. She couldn’t have regressed that much. Of course that’s when she replied with ‘I hate sex’. But it made me think about myself and how I used to view it. And I questioned ‘As women, are we still catering for men when it comes to sex?’ I honestly don’t think we are. I really hope not. Although I did deflate a little in this conversation with Daphne. That said, when you think about an industry like porn, for example, and how they tailor sex towards men, you have to wonder, are women getting a proper look in?
I personally think Daphne was just a little scarred by the unexpected outcome of her last relationship and worried that taking it to the next level would require more commitment than she was able to give. And the drink was helping her confide in people she hoped she’d never see again. I did see her again, however, in a late night bar so the date was obviously still going well. I think she was confusing her feelings of the worlds dating expectations and her own thoughts about what sex meant for her. But I like to think that our conversation helped put her mind at ease and made her realise you can talk to guys. They’re not all horny grabbing miscreants. And that hey, sex is something for you too. Two. Tango. And all that.
Just as we were leaving the toilets, a girl came in and was like ‘Are any of you Daphne?’ We stared at her, jaws dangling, as she informed us Daphne’s beau was outside looking for her. Oh shit. Daphne laughed and glanced at the thin door separating us from the outside (which we had been standing beside the whole time). Well at least now you know how to start the conversation, I said.