After the sad news of the suicide of Amanda Todd, a teenage girl in British Columbia who suffered an excruciating campaign of bullying both online and in real life (after some morally reprehensible douchenozzle talked her into flashing a webcam and then proceeded to blackmail her and ultimately distribute the pic), the subject of slut shaming has catapulted back to the forefront of my mind. And I’ve realized I have a bit more to say on the subject.
I often hear men complain that women are sending them “mixed signals” by A. wearing sexy clothes and B. failing to respond positively to the man in question’s sexual advances. I can’t tell you how many iterations of the following I have heard over the years:
“I just don’t get it! Why was she wearing a skirt that tight if she didn’t want me to put my hand on her ass?”
This concerns me on behalf of both parties: the men who are feeling frustrated and confused, and the women who are having to deal with unwanted advances. So today I’d like to help clarify the difference between simple physical presentation and actual indicators of interest.
What a woman wears on a date, or just out on the town, no matter how provocative, is not (necessarily) a statement of intent. She is not trying to convey to anyone in particular, “I want you to touch/fondle/squeeze/molest the areas I have emphasized.” Nor is it an incitement to attempt to initiate a sexual encounter.
Advertisement is an enticement to learn more about, and ultimately to offer something in return for a given product, in this case the intimate company of a particular person.
Simply seeing and desiring the goods and services being publicized provides no guarantee that you will possess the necessary currency to procure them. Capiche?
I’m strolling along on a sidewalk downtown and I pass a store window – a shoe store, let us say. And I am mighty impressed with the artful display in this particular window. Breath taken, in fact. I stop, and I stare, mouth agape, at the oh-so-alluring flauntation of fine footwear before me. Let us imagine, in fact, that I am so overcome with desire to get my paws on a pair of these stunning little pedicure pedestals that I walk my shoddily-shod self on in.
Let us further imagine that I am flat-on-my-ass broke and couldn’t even afford a new pair of Payless pumps, let alone the kind of designer delicacies with which I find myself face-to-face once inside. So it will come as no surprise to any of us when the security guard stops me on my way back out, asking me just exactly what I think I’m doing trying to totter back out onto the street in a brand new pair of Pradas, still joined at the heel by their translucent plastic umbilical cord.
Now, what do you think that security guard would say to me if I tried to tell him that it wasn’t my fault, that I was entrapped into stealing those sexy sandals because their advertising was just too damned effective? That whoever did up that delicious little display in the window was just asking for somebody to come a-shoplifting?
I mean, what the hell were they thinking anyhow, dangling those freakishly fine shoes in the innocent faces of passers-by?!
I think I’ve made my point here. If a woman shows up to a date wearing an especially sexy/slutty/revealing/provocative outfit, the only information that gives you is that she wants you to find her attractive. Just take it as a compliment, enjoy the view, and make NO further assumptions. And that goes double for a woman you simply see out and about wearing something jaw-dropping. She put that outfit on to feel attractive, not necessarily to attract you in particular.
Happily, though, there *are* indicators that *do* betray actual interest on the part of a woman.
Here are some of the most common IOIs (Indicators of Interest). Keep in mind, however, that no single thing on this list is necessarily a sure sign that she is into you or wants you to make a move. If you notice several of these, however, and particularly those near the bottom of the list, you have a pretty clear indication that she would like things to move further.
If a woman…
… chances are, she is into you, and would like for you to move things forward.
I hope that clears things up. Now, go create some real interest, and stop relying on physical cues that aren’t actual indicators of anything aside from a sense of style.
And PLEASE, for the love of GAWD, don’t ever, ever shame a woman for what she is wearing, or not wearing, or claim that a woman’s outfit made you incapable of self-control. If you honestly can’t control your impulses around attractive women in revealing clothing, or simply prefer a more modest aesthetic…
Well, I hear Saudi Arabia is lovely this time of year.