Harassment & Abuse on Online Dating Sites

The other day, I wrote about AWOL, the upcoming women’s movement that is a week-long protest against gender bias in dating apps and social media platforms. Today is the first phase of the movement, where women are changing their social media profile photos to the AWOL logo to bring awareness. I am participating in this event, and this post will give a pretty good explanation as to why.

Being on and off dating sites for the past six years of my single life has given me a poor outlook on dating altogether, as I have mainly found it to be a complete waste of time. Spending hours sorting through profiles which may or may not be real or current is exhausting, not to mention the back and forth texting and lack of communication. Discovering the person you’ve been talking to is completely different in person is another downside to online dating. Even worse are the sexual messages received, oftentimes unsolicited dick pics, and overall insulting garbage.

As an experiment, I joined Plenty of Fish for a few reasons: a) I hadn’t been on there in several years; and b) it’s free. While I never actually expected to meet anyone on the site in person, I was open to the chance of possibly meeting a new friend. Given what I experienced, however, I now highly doubt that.

This time, I only have one visible full-body photo of myself fully dressed, not showing any skin whatsoever, my face visible but not that distinguishable. (I wasn’t sure what one photo would elicit, but I have a feeling that no photos at all would still have baited plenty of sharks!) I’d stated specific things in my profile that I knew would disqualify most of the men in my area. That wasn’t done on purpose; it’s all the truth about myself and what I’m looking for, and most simply aren’t on the same page. The messages I will be posting here were received within my first 24 hours of being on POF.

Since my horrible experiences with dating Trump fans takes up half of my blog, I specifically stated “no Trump fans” at the end of my profile, which seemed to have really pissed off some men. The fact that they took the time out to send me rude messages told me they are immature, abusive, control freaks that have no place in my life. The very first message I received from POF was from Ray, who thinks he’s a keeper but isn’t intelligent enough to keep his children off of his main photo. No one asked for his opinion, and the site is for meeting people to date, not to argue politics like people do on Facebook.

Instead of just going about their business and moving along, women get harassed online daily by men like Ray on both dating and social media sites. It’s men like Ray that a lot of women would never give the time of day, and they know it, and they use the opportunity to insult women behind their keyboards in order to boost what little self esteem they have. Ray was reported, but I’m unsure if he still has his account.

I never replied to Ray, however, after a certain amount of messages like these, it becomes hard to ignore. I am not the type of woman to “sit back and take it,” because if I allow them to treat me this way and don’t stand up for myself, it gives them a motive to continue their shitty behavior and do it to more women. I am the type of woman to put someone in their place, so I decided to start replying to these unsolicited messages. This is from another extremely unattractive man:

At least mpc65 understood he was being inappropriate, but there is no excuse to do this in the first place when you’re looking for love (obviously in all the wrong places!) Other inappropriate (and frankly, just weird!) messages when I politely decline men that I have no interest in dating includes being called names, such as a racist, when race has nothing to do with it. This man’s profile stated he was located in the UK (my profile specifically states to be within an hour of my location), so even if I was interested, it would never work. Besides, I got the feeling it was probably a fake profile.

I know I am not the only one that has experienced being called a racist, as SareyTales and several other women have also been called the same thing for not being interested in a man of another race. I recall one of her posts recently from an Asian male that played video games and had interests that most grown women don’t. When she politely declined him, he called her a racist and then went on to continue insulting her. It’s just another frightening way that men often project their insecurities to women online.

In my profile, I state that I have a 3-month rule for dating before having sex, as I know this will weed out any players. Apparently, some men had a real issue with that and sent me some pretty nasty messages. One I appropriately nicknamed the “Russian Asshole,” since he fits the stereotypical type that treats women like second-class citizens sent this barrage of mysogyny. Notice that he gets through the POF messaging system by spacing out the letters when he calls me a bitch.

I felt that Russian Asshole’s messages were extremely demeaning, antagonizing, and downright disturbing. After reporting Russian Asshole on Twitter, his profile magically disappeared from POF. However, I don’t know if that means he was blocked from my profile and still allowed to harass other women.

Even when I am online, my intuition picks up on things that seem shady or weird, even if I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. This guy was interested, then suddenly thought he was “better” than me when I turned him down.

Even though “Better Than You” Dan has no opinions of me, he thinks he’s better than me with all of his world travel, success and money.

These are just a few of several messages I’ve received from men I’ve turned down – and this was only the first 24 hours! Out of approximately six pages of messages, about 20% of them were like this. To think that 1/5 of the men on dating sites are this awful is pretty discouraging, especially when the apps enable them by allowing these abusive men to keep their profiles and punish the women that report them instead. Women are fed up, and as a result, AWOL has been formed.

New Year Not As Planned

So far, my new year hasn’t gone as planned whatsoever. I was attempting to focus on healing physically and emotionally, and I was determined to get it right this time. I’ve started working out again – yoga, long walks, and my first bike ride in months.

On New Year’s Day, I was recovering from lack of sleep, taking it easy and getting some work done on my laptop. A “friend” stopped by after drinking a bottle of vodka (I wasn’t aware at the time how much) and got on my nerves like most drunks do before she passed out while I babysat her. I had some cards and a book by Shannon Kaiser that I wanted to work with, and when I showed her, she laughed. I was not amused, and I sent her home. I don’t need anyone getting in my way of my healing/recovery. I just want to be happy, because being depressed is no way to feel.

Same friend also talked me into trying Facebook dating, which has also been a waste of time like all of the dating sites. One match has no vehicle. Another one has no time. What the fuck. Why be on there? I don’t need a penpal. Said friend tells me I need to be more open minded about meeting men. Just because she matches with a shit ton of men doesn’t mean I’m closed minded about who I meet. I’m just careful, I have standards about spending quality time with quality people, and I’m not looking to date multiple men. It would be nice to find just one with an actual brain (and a vehicle), but I’m not holding my breath.

I have an upper respiratory/cold that started just around New Year’s Eve and has gotten progressively worse. Last night I was up coughing most of the night, which of course, disturbed my much needed sleep, which caused me to sleep later, and I missed important phone calls from my doctor. The other day I had some pain and bleeding as if I’d started my period, even though I no longer have a uterus. So now I have another doctor’s appointment to see what’s going on, and I’m afraid I’m going to need yet another surgery. I don’t start another job for at least 3 more weeks, but if I have to have another surgery, I won’t be going.

The other night, I was talked into going out, even though I told myself I would stay in. I should have listened to myself instead of other people, but I figured it was the weekend and just one more time out before I start a new week. My ride left, and when I went to take an Uber, my phone completely died on me. No one was around, and it was late, and I ended up walking five miles to my house.

I realize I need to completely change my circle of friends and my habits if I want to heal properly. Since the holidays, I drank way too much alcohol, and I need to find alternative things to do, even if I do it alone, because ultimately I’m alone anyway. A healthier lifestyle is what I want for myself, which means I need to find people that are like-minded.

Recovery After Laparoscopic Hysterectomy by a Robot

Nearly two weeks ago, I was lying on a surgical table, belly bloated with CO2 gas, head tilted towards the floor, legs in stirrups, with a robotic laparoscope inserted in 4 different places in my abdomen. The thought of it sounds like a sci-fi movie, and I only wish I’d had a photo of the position I was in just for laughs.

When I was awakened after the surgery, I didn’t feel too much pain at the time. I was still high on anesthesia and whatever other pain meds they pumped into my system intravenously, but all I wanted to do was sleep it off. The nurse put me in a corner station, saying it should be quiet for me there. Shortly after, I felt like I was going to vomit, mainly because the assistants outside of the curtain were talking loudly and banging around and talking on their phones. Seriously! I wanted to yell, “Library voices!!” But I didn’t even have the strength.

The nausea worsened with the noise, and the doctors said if I vomited, they would have to keep me overnight. I wasn’t about to stay overnight, because I was an hour from my house, and no one wanted to make the drive again the following day. Once I got my stomach to settle down a bit, I got my bag of meds and left for home. All I wanted to do was lay down and sleep off the anesthesia and meds. But that didn’t happen.

As soon as I lay my head down on my couch, my neighbor started the lawnmower right next to my door and windows by the room I was in. Noise and movement is what made me want to vomit in the first place, and I was beginning to get a migraine from it all. Not only was I annoyed, I was feeling really awful. The nausea, the headache, and now the pain meds were really wearing off.

Later that evening a friend came over to help me. At some point I did start puking, and the excruciating pain from the CO2 gas started. If you’ve never experienced that pain (I have before but not to this extent), it can be compared to the feeling of having a heart attack, because the gas is pressing on the diaphragm, and you feel like you’re being suffocated. The best way I can describe it is it’s as if someone is nailing railroad spikes directly down into your shoulders. Or it’s like having labor in your shoulders. Add puking to that and you just feel like you’re dying worse than any flu x10. Since I couldn’t keep anything down, I couldn’t take anymore pain meds. This went on all night. So there I was in excruciating pain on Night One without any rest whatsoever.2

The following day I slept very little, still in pain. Same story for Night Two – no sleep, and no amount of pain medicine helped (I was given Tramadol, because I requested NO opioids, which make me sick). I had stopped puking, however, but I had no appetite and couldn’t eat more than a bite or two of toast or crackers and some fluids. In fact, I didn’t eat more than three to four bites of anything for a couple of days.

Then came Nights Three and Four. I started to finally rest a little bit, but because I had been in so much pain, it didn’t occur to me to take my temperature. I’d been running a fever, and that lasted for the next two or three days/nights. I was to call the hospital if it went over 101, which it was, but I’m stubborn and decided to try some Tylenol instead. It worked, and the only thing about having a fever is that it actually made me sleep quite a bit. Once the fever broke and I started feeling better, I tried eating soup. (At that point I’d only had crackers, toast and water.) Again, three or four bites and I was full.

Day Six is when the other pain started – back pain, which I suspect was a result of being tossed around during surgery. It felt like a pinch that a chiropractor could fix, but I couldn’t go to a chiro. I had only been given 3 days of pain meds, and I spent the next two nights in more pain and literally awake the entire night until 4 or 5 a.m. Nothing I did helped the pain. By then I was about to lose it. Pain, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition = meltdown. I spent a lot of time crying, which was a bit of a release.

By Day Seven, I threw in the towel. I had a friend bring me some beer, drank more than I should have, but slept the night away. Paid for it by sitting on the toilet the entire next day, but at least I slept. Now I am on week 2 and still trying to get my body back on a regular schedule. Sleep pattern is all over the place. I eat maybe one full meal a day, but other than that small meals throughout the day. As for pain, it’s pretty much gone, but I do feel tender and sensitive at the incision areas and some of my insides. My stomach muscles feel weak, as expected, and I can’t wait to be able to go back to yoga class. Tomorrow I go for my first post-op visit.

In the meantime, I’m not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds, do any type of housecleaning (yeah right), and for now I haven’t been driving yet. This is definitely taking a lot longer than I had expected. I’m just anxious for the rewards of never having a period or a PAP again!

Women’s jobs aren’t worthless, dude

How to treat a working woman

(NOTE: This was written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share.)

I had a conversation the other day with a friend. We discussed why women’s work is viewed as worthless, even though most of the time we are the spine of a man’s success. This is what she had to say:

“Many men have a problem with ‘unpaid’ work but yeah, its fucking WORK regardless. Women have always worked more than men, we put in countless hours of unpaid contribution to make the world go round. They always see the dollar signs first.

Men’s values are reflected in money… their big homes, big expensive cars, things that are reflective, physical proof of their hard work. It’s like they always have to have some phallic hard-on symbol to show off as proof of their worth. Women, our rewards come from within. Don’t ya think?”

Bravo, friend, bravo!

Who determines our worth?

How it feels to be a wife

(NOTE: This and several upcoming posts were written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share them.)

I suppose enough criticism from everyone in your environment can help you to determine whether or not you’re a worthless wife. Your family, your kids, your significant other, and even your neighbors can all contribute to that cause. After all, wives should be perfect in every way, 24/7, in sickness and in health, and do it with a smile on their faces.

“Alex’s mom is cool. She looks like a movie star and lets us stay up as late as we want,” the kids might say.

Nice. Alex’s mom is also a two-bit whore who screws her husband’s best friend.

“What’s for dinner tonight?” the husband might say. “I’m hungry.”

Dinner? It’s only one in the afternoon. I’m still digesting lunch.

“You should be helping your husband mow the lawn,” the neighbor might say.

Sure thing. I’ll get out my razor and make a landing strip as soon as he picks his dirty clothes up off of the bathroom floor.

“You two should plan sex at least two or three times a week. You need to keep your husband happy,” the mother might say.

Plan sex? Oh how romantic! Is that why you’re such a bitch after 3 “happy” marriages?

I’ll shut up now. After all, isn’t that what women are supposed to do?

Does working from home deem women worthless?

You can relax if you have a man’s job.

(NOTE: This and several upcoming posts were written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share them.)

I have worked just about every type of job under the sun. I have been my own boss and run my own home businesses off and on over the years, sometimes making just as much or more as I would if I left the house and drove to an office. Like anyone who has had their own business, I am fully aware of how long it takes to establish oneself. However, those who depend on weekly paychecks do not. For some reason, people are inclined to think that working from home is a worthless job. Especially if you’re a woman.

When I first started my latest business three years ago, I was told by my mother that I needed to find a job in order to help my husband (he makes a decent income but likes to spend it all at once). This was coming from a woman who was unemployed throughout most of my childhood because she gave up her career in medicine for a jealous alcoholic, and then later settled to work at a retail store when she finally decided she wanted to get out of the house.

The other day I was told by my significant other that I don’t work a real job because:

1. I don’t have to leave the house from 8am-5pm each day.
2. My income is irregular, and it’s not a “real” paycheck.
3. I can do laundry at the same time I am working.
4. Because of all of the above, I am considered “unemployed”.

This became a very heated topic. Since my home-based business has provided our family with tax write-offs, flexibility for me to be a wife and mother as needed, and “fun” income, I decided to be the worthless woman he thinks I am. I closed my business. Now he will see what me being unemployed really means, especially when tax time rolls around in six months… and the laundry isn’t clean… and the dishes aren’t clean… and the house is a mess…

And now I will take MY vacation.

Mean Girls Over the Age of 35

No one should have to deal with mean girls at ANY age. However, it’s not uncommon when you’re a teenager or a middle schooler, given the age. Unfortunately, some women are just mean girls their entire lives. Recently, I’ve had to deal with a few personally, and so did a friend of mine through her job.

In my experience, I was invited on a boating excursion with a group of people. Excitedly, since I don’t get to go boating much, I took up the offer. I wanted nothing more than to relax and enjoy the day and have some fun. But it wasn’t exactly how it went.

We took a short boat ride to a nearby popular island that was filled with people. The driver of the boat was my friend that invited me, there were a few couples that I didn’t know, and a couple of other single women that I did know. However, two of these single women were complete and total mean girls to me for no apparent reason. I wasn’t the only one that noticed it. But being on a boat meant I was STUCK having to deal with the shit the entire day. So I mostly ignored it, but it still took me by surprise. Since it was a morning ride, I wasn’t quite awake to deal with it the same way I would have if I had had a decent night of sleep. I would have told them both to fuck themselves, and now I wish I had so they’d know exactly where they stood with me.

Mean Girl #1 is someone I’ve talked to on a few occasions and never had an issue before; however, I did notice that a few other times I tried to say hi to her she blew me off. Whatever. Mean Girl #2 was someone that I had met but I didn’t quite remember it. When I introduced myself and went to shake her hand, she replied in a snotty voice with her nose in the air, “Yeah, we’ve met before.” Okay, bitch. Both girls reminded me of snooty bitches from junior high that would gang up on and beat up other girls. Neither are very pretty, although they try. But the point is – I don’t care what you look like, as long as you’re not an asshole, I will be your friend.

Mean Girl #1 yelled and screamed at everyone on the boat during the ride, so it wasn’t just me that noticed the bitchiness (actually 3 women were screaming at us all to shut up, stand up, sit down, do this, do that, like musical fucking chairs – totally uncalled for). I have never been yelled at and screamed at on a day and event that was supposed to be fun since I was a kid. Any time I asked Mean Girl #1 a question or said anything to her, she was a snotty bitch with an attitude, snapping at me as if I’d done something to her or was in her way or she didn’t want me there. By the end of the day, I was out of beer, hungry, and I’d had enough of her shit and barked back at her.

Mean Girl #2 let up a little bit, but wasn’t exactly friendly. She was there with a guy that I think she’d just met, because she talked about how great the sex was. No one in any self respecting relationship is going to speak that way around people they barely know. Like Mean Girl #1, Mean Girl #2 was snotty when I tried to speak to her. At some point, some dude came around taking group pictures, and when my friend invited me to be in it with them, I declined. First, I hate my picture taken, and second, I definitely DON’T want myself in photos with fake ass negative bitches. I’m pretty sure the two of them whispered something about them glad I wasn’t in the photos. But I can guarantee I was happier I wasn’t associated with them, because all of that ended up on social media.

Looking back, I’m thinking both of these bitches felt I was a threat to them. Why, I don’t know, because I’m not out to fuck around with the jackass in our area. Mean Girl #1 was busy shaking her tits and ass for the other guys on the island and most likely trying to hook up. I wasn’t interested in hooking up or meeting another stupid drunk ass man, so I stuck with the older couples that were much more pleasant and educated to talk to. I didn’t feel like getting involved in any drama, and we all seemed to be on the same page.

I saw Mean Girl #2 out by herself recently (guess the new guy didn’t last) and she said hi to me when we were both talking to our mutual friend. I said, “Oh, hi,” as if I didn’t care what she said to me. Because I truly didn’t give a fuck. Don’t pretend to be friendly to me one time and not the next, then try it again. I don’t have time for that bullshit.

The other day, I noticed Mean Girl #1 follows me on Instagram (never liked anything, just viewed my “stories” which now mainly consist of food and cat pics). I guess a while back I’d requested to follow her but she never accepted it. So I unrequested. I don’t want to view or see her shit. Still wondering why she’s following mine.

Either way, I have zero time for any person in my life that acts that way. Never have, never will. Basic bitches have no place in my life!

After 40, a vagina is worthless?

Good Lord above.

I watched an episode of Dr. Oz about vaginas. They explained how a woman’s vagina in their 20’s and 30’s is still in good shape. But in your 40s, it becomes dry and fragile and useless.

What. The. Frig.

I think my vagina works just fine. I mean, not that I put it to use much, but when I do, it seems to work pretty damn good. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

Now the uterus – that’s another story altogether. No need for that anymore, since I’m not using it, and all it does is cause pain and problems and screw up my life several days a month.

But my vagina, my vagina is still good.

Why Do Women Fail to Report Sexual Assault or Harassment?

I’ve been watching the #metoo movement for a while now and all of the scandals with celebrities and other men in high places that don’t deserve a mention on my blog that have been outed for sexual assault and/or harassment. Alanis Morrisette sang about it 20-something years ago in her hit song “Right Through You“. The most recent celebrity scandal coming to light again is in the docu-series called “Surviving R. Kelly.” It’s amazing what money can buy to either silence or shame the victims in this fucked up, male-dominated world. And for people that continue to wonder why women wait or never speak up about sexual assault or harassment, consider this:

When I was in my early 20s, I answered ads at my local college photography department to do modeling for some students and instructors. One person in particular was an older man (a student), probably twice my age and older than my father. As it turned out, he lived in a multi-million dollar beachside home and also happened to own a talent agency.

Although I was extremely naive and trusting (because at the time my process of thinking was if he’s a student at my college, he must be safe… mmmkay), I was also aware of my surroundings and felt nothing threatening about him. I felt comfortable doing some modeling for him at both his home studio and on the public beach in front of his home. Things were okay, although he may have made a few unwelcome comments that I hadn’t quite caught onto.

After a few modeling sessions and promises to get me actual work through his agency – surprise! – nothing quite panned out. He knew that I was looking for odd jobs due to my college classes, so we agreed that I was going to paint a mural on his kitchen wall at an hourly rate. Being that I was both an art student and a single mom at the time, I thought this was a great arrangement to further my talents with a flexible schedule. Now remember that this was just over 20 years ago, so I don’t quite remember all of the details, but I believe it took me two to three trips to paint the mural.

On my last visit, this talent agent set up a camera, which I’d assumed was to film me painting. This particular mural was on a lower wall, so I was sitting or kneeling on the floor to work. Next thing I know, this man is behind me feeling me up, telling me to pose and look at the camera. I froze. I wasn’t sure how to react. He towered about a foot taller than me and certainly doubled my weight. I was alone in a house with someone I’d gained some trust, and his hand was literally up my shorts. I squirmed away, and he did it again. Eventually, my squirming and non-reaction finally caused him to stop. I recall him saying something along the lines of me not being turned on. Yeah, no shit, ya old skeezy perv!

I just wanted out of there, so I made some excuse that I had to leave to pick up my daughter from daycare. I packed my gear and never went back, never completing the mural. Obviously, this asshole had ulterior motives before hiring me. Hindsight says he knew EXACTLY what he was doing and carefully planned it.

Now here’s the thing – I can’t tell you specific dates of this event (I could probably narrow it to the year but it would take some research), but what I can tell you are specific details that I do recall. He had a daughter in college about my age, which was really fucking creepy thinking about it now. I was painting the dunes and seagrass of the beach. I was wearing somewhat baggy overall shorts with a tank top underneath. I was barefoot. His finger penetrated me. I remember feeling grossed-out, disgusted, humiliated, and somewhat helpless. How did I know he wasn’t going to hurt me or hold me down and force himself upon me? I felt powerless. All I could think about was getting the hell out of there, picking up my daughter, and going home to shower off the shame I was feeling. But of course we cannot shower off feelings. Feelings are the details that victims/survivors remember, and there may be triggers over an entire lifetime that rekindle them. For me personally, any unwelcome touch from a male can be a trigger.

Did I report this man? No. Why? Because as many women are either taught or as our backwards society thinks, I had put myself in a position to be alone with someone of wealth in his home, and no one would believe a young, single mom in college that needs money. I did not fight back. I did not verbally say no, although my body language clearly did. And I was too inexperienced to know that a man older than my father may not know better than to touch a woman his own daughter’s age inappropriately. You know how some of us have been taught that our elders are right?  Well, they aren’t always.

There is no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t the first, last, or only woman to whom he had done this. Even today, I think it’s pointless to come out and name this man. I have no idea if he still lives in the area or if he’s even still alive. If he were to run for office today, I would probably continue to keep my mouth shut, because survivors are constantly scrutinized, called liars, and put through the wringer and victimized all over again. I don’t want my private life made public (no matter what I may post here), and what proof do I have? My word against his, unless of course that video he was taking resurfaced. It would only add salt to old wounds, and who wants to be subjected to that? Unless, of course, several others came out and we united, then I would stand with my sisters.

I applaud women that are brave enough to come out with their stories, because these predators need to be exposed. But coming out after 20+ years isn’t for everyone. I can only imagine how many women have never told a soul about these types of behaviors and took it to the grave. It’s a dark secret to carry.

How I Lost My Virginity

This is probably going to be somewhat disturbing to some readers, so this is fair warning.

When I was 16, I worked with a guy that went to my school. For about a year he begged me to date him, but I wasn’t interested. Eventually, I gave in to him and he was my “first love” so to speak. He had a car, so we’d sneak off and park in wooded areas or parks to make out and have sex.

One night when I was babysitting he came to the house. We were on the living room floor (the person I was babysitting for was in her room asleep by then) making out. He was acting like an asshole, which was typical of him anyway, but here’s where this gets disturbing… All of the times I thought we were having sex, he wasn’t actually inside of me. I think maybe the tip was, but he’d never actually put himself entirely inside of me. I was that naive and inexperienced. I was on top of him, but he was much stronger than me. He held me against him and shoved himself inside of me without warning. It was excruciating!! I tried to get off of him, but he held me tightly against him. I told him he was hurting me, but he didn’t care. I told him to stop, but he wouldn’t. I didn’t want to scream or wake up anyone, so I bit him on the shoulder, because it was the only thing to make him stop. Then he hit me and called me a bitch.

I was so confused. Here I was with this person that I “loved” that didn’t care he was hurting me. I didn’t know at the time whether or not to consider that this was on the cusp of being raped.

I didn’t stay with him much longer after that – he ended up cheating on me and physically abusing her.