I Have a Creeping Feeling this Post Is Going to Bring More Unwanted Google Traffic

(And if indeed you're a pedophile who came here looking for children anal, please consider getting treatment.)

On to what I was actually going to say:

On the first date or in similar situations, it is considered rude to ask, "Do you like anal?" It is not considered rude to ask, "Do you like children?"

Two points:

1. Given that the first question is about what the stereotypical man cares most about in a relationship (I mean sex, not anal in particular) and the second about what the stereotypical woman cares most about in a relationship, that's strange, no?

2. If you get asked one of these questions on your first date you might want to consider making it the last even if your honest answer to the question is yes. That's because the person on the other side of the table quite credibly signals s/he's not really all that interested in you as a person, but rather is looking for someone to fill a vacancy and is ticking off boxes (or not) like an employer during a job interview. Which may not be the kind of relationship you're looking for.


jaltcoh said...

I disagree with point #2. There's nothing wrong with having a dating checklist and selectively asking questions in order to run down your personal checklist for a potential mate. A person's lists of qualities, interests, goals, etc. are not at odds with the person as a whole; those things constitute the person as a whole. You might not collect enough of them on the first (or second or seventh) date to truly apprehend the person as a whole, but I don't think there's any way around that, considering that (1) everyone is trying to present themselves in a flattering light and (2) there's a limit to how much can be learned in a short period of time.

Perhaps the objection is to the idea of one person using another person as a means to their own ends (in your examples: having sex or having children), but I think this moral qualm is generally overstated (including by Kant). It's particularly inapplicable to those examples, since they're both things people do together.

The kind of date you're describing does, as you said, resemble a job interview. Well, first dates are like job interviews in many ways. I don't see that as a problem.

LemmusLemmus said...

John: You see, I'm a romantic!

First off, I have no moral qualms at all about people using each other as ends (as long as they're honest about it); when I say "you might" and "may", I actually mean might and may - assuming that the reader might want to consider making my preferences his/hers.

It is true (by definition?) that the sum of a person's qualities (in the broadest sense of the word) is the person. (I certainly never said they were at odds.) But that's besides the point. The point being that I don't like the idea of comparing someone against a list or being compared in this context. It seems phony, too. I'm a heterosexual male and I've met lots of intelligent, good-looking, humorous women, but of course that didn't mean I wanted to be with all of them. I wasn't fascinated with them.

I think I made a mistake in the original post using the concept of the "first date". Once you use that concept, you're already implying a situation in which participants are supposed to check each other out. Thing is, they're not really common here; I don't think I've ever been part of anything that could be described as a first date. (As a sidenote, that's something I find really confusing about American films: If they're "dating", does that mean they're a couple or not? And if she's "seeing someone", does it mean she's in a relationship or not?)

That wasn't supercoherent, but I hope I've still made myself clear.