Here For a Good Time

People on dating apps are looking for all sorts on the spectrum of human engagement…everything from a hookup to a serious relationship. But I’ve noticed it’s very common to see cisgender, heterosexual men being clear they only want something casual…their profiles often void of any information aside from ‘nothing serious’ or ‘here for a good time, not a long time’.

So why is this? It could be their genuine dating preference, but the pressure of toxic gender stereotypes may play a part in this phenomenon too. These stereotypes tell us that women should want relationships, marriage and children from a young age, but that men should want have as much fun as possible and not desire these things until later in life.

Not sure what I mean? This is how the toxic masculine gender stereotype show up in society:

  • Stud praising: The lad/bro culture encourages men to talk about sex, not emotions. The narrative being that quantity of conquests equates to someone’s value as a man.
  • Relationship/emotion bashing: The language around relationships can be negative and discouraging…tropes like ‘Don’t catch feelings!’ and ‘simping’ are attached to anyone showing signs of affection or growing attachment when dating.
  • Career focus: Men are encouraged to pursue a career early in life and set themselves up financially to ‘settle down’ and ‘be the breadwinner’ later on for their family.

These gender stereotypes harm everyone and don’t allow people to choose what they want for themselves. Their decisions may be fuelled by a fear of ridicule from family and friends, rather than personal desire. So how can we break these gender stereotype patterns?:

  • Forget about body count. Masculinity isn’t linked to how many people someone has slept with. You aren’t less of a man of you prefer relationships to hook ups.
  • Talk about relationships in a positive way within your circle, especially with other men. Drop negative terms like ‘simping’ from your vocabulary and encourage others to do the same.
  • Call people out if they try to shame someone (and you!) about a dating preference and support friends/family members who are open about wanting a relationship.

Not everyone enjoys casual sexual encounters…it’s completely normal to want a deeper connection, intimacy and the fulfilment that comes with a relationship, regardless of your age. There’s no rulebook that says you should only want casual if you’re a young cisgender heterosexual man. Be honest when thinking about dating…ask yourself, is this what I really want, or is this just what I feel like I should do to fit in?

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