Patronizing Is Not Sexy

The following is a rant. This is based on my personal experiences and is not intended to say that all men do this; I am happy to say that most do not.

Does anyone find a patronizing demeanor sexy? I suppose that some people, particularly those with a humiliation fetish, do. However, I think that more people do not. So, why do some men employ patronizing behavior when attempting to attract a woman?

I first remember being annoyed by this when I was a teenager. Many older men would instruct me, “Smile!” when we saw each other. They did not know me, what had happened before they saw me, or my mood. They just saw a pretty girl whose looks could be improved with a smile, and felt that they deserved that better sight. Sometimes I forced a smile, sometimes I bared teeth in an obvious display of forcing a smile, and sometimes I just scowled or looked away. I think I may have said, “No,” once or twice. In every time, the encounter left me feeling worse, usually angry that some stranger tried to command me, but sometimes wondering what was wrong with me that I was not being so pleasant as society expected.

In my late teens and early twenties, I often confronted the condescending, “You’ll want children someday.” I never wanted children. I once thought that having children was an inevitable part of life, but, when I learned otherwise, chose to not have them. However, some men (and a few women) I barely knew would assure me that I would change my mind. This especially grated from men twice my age who were still single and childless; why was I supposed to want children when they were not bothered? Maybe they did want children and hoped I would be the mother, since some also expressed other interests in my reproductive system.

More recently, I bumped against know-it-alls on sex sites. One of the first messages I ever received on FetLife was some stranger telling me how to guarantee an orgasm from a man. This was not a spam advertisement. I had responded to a discussion about MFM/FMM threesomes and whether male orgasm was a requirement for a good time. I responded that I prefer that both men orgasm, but know there are plenty of reasons why an orgasm might not happen at a particular time, and requiring it crosses from sexy expectations to stressful demands. A participant of the thread then sent me an unsolicited private message, explaining that I obviously did not know how to please my partners and that I should use his detailed instructions on how to make my men climax. Shortly thereafter, I quit that whole discussion group, since he was so active in it. (Amusingly, this was a group dedicated to submissive men and dominant women. This was not even a domly Master-Daddy-Dom-Top-Dom(TM) chastising me.)

One of the first messages that I received on OKCupid inspired me to include certain notes on my profile there. The early version to which this particular hopeful replied had noted that I am currently exploring kink more. I am listed as bisexual, but I did not detail my kinks. He, a straight man involved with a bisexual woman, wrote me, “We could help you explore your kink.” What a generous offer! Despite the fact that you know nothing of my interests and of whether we would be compatible, you can “help” me! That is not patronizing at all. So, you, Mr. Straight with A Bi Woman And Contacting Other Bi Women, are willing to be bound upright while I whip you, and then be bound bent over while I peg you and you suck my husband’s cock, yes? Maybe he would be, but I do not know… just as he did not know my interests when he offered to “help” me. Now, my profile still does not specify my kinks, but does emphasize that one should not expect to teach me (or to learn from me).

The funny thing about all these experiences is that, with a few simple changes in approach, they could have been perfectly fine. Those men telling me to smile could have let me pass without bothering me, or could have offered a friendly greeting rather than a command. Those telling me that I would want children someday could have let the matter drop, or asked me for my reasons, rather than assuring me that they knew my mind better than I. The “submissive” man with the instructions for a “fulfilling” threesome could have taken a moment to truly read my comments and realize that not everyone is precisely like him before pushing ahead. “We can help you” could have asked about my kinks and interests before making his offer. Plenty of other men have managed these better routes in similar situations. I wonder whether I should start replying to such instructions by offering my instructions for polite interactions… or would that be patronizing?