I started this piece when I was single and dating what feels like many moons ago. Then I was seeing a cis male for what seems like one second. Now I am back to seeing what is out there in the now exclusively virtual dating world. In the short time I have been making an appearance on the virtual COVID dating scene, I see absolutely nothing has changed. Well nothing has changed except maybe me right now.
If you read my last piece about bisexuality, you would know I stated I don’t typically fall for men the way I fall for women. Besides my very first partner who was a cis male, I have always fallen head over heels with women– heart on my sleeve, sick in love with women. Seeing a man shifted my vision, however. I am finding a lesser attraction in a physical and emotional way to new women right now– and maybe that is because there are not many ‘new’ women for me to find. I mostly know every gay in the capital region. That could be it. Or it could just be that our desires change. Sexuality is so fluid.
I guess that’s the beauty of bisexuality, or labeling myself a bisexual. That label to me means there is a fluidity to my experience, a fluidity to my very being actually. My attractions are ever shifting. I truly don’t even feel that my physical or emotional attraction to either gender is the same at any one time, even though it has more often shifted my emotional attractions to women. It blends together sometimes, but mostly is a 20:80, 40:60, mixed ratio or percent.
I used to joke that Thursdays were gay days because that was the one night that people underage could go and dance at the local gay bars. They called it Therapy Thursday and for stressed out queer college students, it was everything. It was the scene to find all the things you never found elsewhere. I loved it there and my god, did I FEEL LIKE I could dance. On those days, the gay days, I dressed the part. I felt like such a stud in my open plaid shirts with the tight tank under, my backwards hats, my sports jerseys. I would feel the absolute gayest. I used to declare who was the ‘gay of the gays’ by definition meaning you would never pass as straight at that moment.
Now, I know it seems that I was not being myself to some who know me as a femme queen. The thing is I was being the myself that was in that moment. I dressed the part and I felt hot like that. I also felt like I attracted the attention I wanted from the queer women I desired from that environment. It was a whole different world than attracting men.
Now attracting men was as I just said is a whole different thing and again I dressed the part. Tight club dresses, leggings, skin. And you know what? I felt hot that way too. Red lipstick was made specifically by the universe for me. I again felt like it was just a different part of me and meant to be a part of me. I felt like me in those tight skirts.
Now that said, I have always felt I had a hugely masculine, athletic, and a more in your face side. I also had this other dainty, feminine, and all around sweet, overtly nurturing side. They are one in the same person, but truly it is a whole different dynamic of that same person. In that way, it feels like I am two completely opposite people… I still feel that way most often.
So maybe right now, my eyes are only open to men and my more feminine side. Maybe it has to do with the lack of rugby, lack of gym time, lack of all the things that my more masculine side craves. I think there is a femininity in me that comes out naturally when I am working during the school year and that is without COVID taking away my other outlets. The thing is to me teaching is about finding your calm. I find my calm for my students. My calm and nurturing side are both parts of my feminine side.
There is no calm in rugby.
In fact, when my calm comes out, it could cause me to play rugby like absolute garbage. I need that aggression, that side of me. In college, I was told I never smiled once a match started. I grew up and laugh a lot more on the pitch now, but you get the point. When Michie Smashes, Michie feels like a manly beast. I do.
Now, I don’t want to get into the vocabulary of feminine versus masculine. These are merely how I feel and based on my own personal working definitions of these terms. You could very much feel like a womanly beast. I am always and so willing to have conversations around vocabulary, but this is just my lived experience. I need language to define these different aspects of my gender expression, which in my brain connect to typical, maybe stereotypical, gender roles. These are my working definitions so that I may have these conversations.
Now on bisexuality, some say greedy. Others say lucky.
I say dating is astonishingly difficult whether you date men, women, or nonbinary folx.
Y’all are equally complicated and I don’t understand any of you .
The hell that is virtual dating is a whole new place for me. I used a lot of dating apps back in the day, I will call it, because it was years and years ago before this. Now the difference is, I am a totally ‘in person’ kind of person. I don’t like getting pulled into my phone because it is a habit I wish to destroy. I get stuck there and it feels like this false land where I scroll past people’s lives and get creepy ads about things I have only thought about desiring.
There are few people I ever talk to on the phone willingly, minus my parents. Those people created me and also my dad has answered a mere two percent of the overall texts I have sent him. That means, if I want to hear from him this year, I have to call. I would much rather see them both in person, but the phone is the best I got since they’re in NYC. There are also only a few people I actually text and I often am told I am the worst when it comes to responding. You get the point.
Now, why on earth would I choose to date doing the things I hate? I hate being on the phone!! I want less of it. Before COVID in my ‘back in the day’ dating life, I would merely talk for an evening via messaging on the dating apps and then we would meet somewhere public for a drink, or meet up with their friends and my friends also somewhere public. We would go out! What a life!
Now, I have entered the purgatory that is exclusively virtual dating. I mean this place is where people go to perish, still probably single and alone (or in bed with a stranger if that’s your thing).
In fact, I will show you my very first interaction with a male this time around:
That was his first question and first sentence. Dear God, that is not what I said at all, sir, and no, no, no, I do not want to be ‘punished.’ Yikes! I mean, to each their own, but this is literally the opposite of what I was looking for.
Honestly, I find that everything virtual is just the opposite of what I was looking for.
For a long time, I didn’t want to date.
Now, the thing is once you have something, you want something. Attention is so very nice and when you get used to it, you want it again. Now, I have found that we usually don’t get it from the place we want it. We also usually give that attention where we aren’t getting it back.
In this way, I find the human psyche to be an awful thing. It feels so ingenuine and backwards. Dumb brain, stop being dumb and speak to that heart of yours. BRAIN SHOULD BE IN CHARGE. It never is though. Ingenuine– the whole dating thing.
Ingenuine. Now that brings me to my original topic: All of my Tinder Wives.
Now, there is a vastly different world when you are on dating sites looking for men or looking for women. This is where I’ll start. Now you saw my first message from that guy this time. Well last time, the first words out of the first man I talked to was literally asking if I liked big… well you get my drift. This was his first interaction with me and the first thing he said. His main photo has DUCKS. That is why I matched with him. I was like “Awww, look at the ducks!” not the d***s, dude. He comes at me with talk about d****!! Come on!!
Read the room, Tinder Fellas.
Now I know Tinder is notorious as a hookup site, but I find it was the ABSOLUTE opposite with women.
Tinder Wife (proper noun): a woman who you find on Tinder or a dating app, never meet in real life– yet you know each other’s whole lives and act like you are in fact wives
Tinder Fella (proper noun): a man who you find on Tinder or a dating app, who you meet for one drink before ghosting each other indefinitely– does not become a husband
ALL MY TINDER WIVES
Now my first Tinder wife, oh she was a pretty one! Not my typical style, a very femme light haired woman. The thing is she was pretty awesome to talk to. I would get my ‘good morning, hun’. I would get the check in before bed. I got all the attention pieces I wanted out of that ‘relationship.’ I’m not sure you can call it that, a relationship. If you are still, in fact, not sure if you got cat-fished, it is hard to define. Anyway, that fizzled out as lesbian things do sometimes. We never met in real life, but she was a good first wife.
My next Tinder wife was my normal. Short hair and 2 hours away. The life of a lesbian is discovering women in other counties and marrying them. Well again, I never met my little lady, but we quite enjoyed each other. I knew when her lunch was because she would text me then. I would see it when I had my lunch and text her back. We never had the same schedule so it was always like we were emailing each other. I loved when she would send me novels about her work wife and life. I would send her back the same. She eventually found a more local lover and we parted ways. I became a virtual divorcee and moved back on to my Tinder, Bumble, PlentyofFish- ing life.
All my Tinder Wives had one thing in common: attention. We gave each other attention. Attention is such an addicting part of love, isn’t it? All my Tinder Wives had similar love languages as me or at least at that time, we were looking for that exact thing. Our virtual love language was attention and conversation. We were looking for the person to see us, to hear our stories. We were looking for someone to ‘listen’ via messenger apps. I was looking for my good morning text, my person to listen to why my day was good or bad and tell me it’ll get better when it is bad– better yet, make it better. Now isn’t that quite the thing, to make someone feel better and not be physically present. They were always mentally and emotionally present and that was what we both needed.
Now all I can say about men on Tinder is besides talking about their d****s as if they were porn stars, the conversations were quite flat. We were surface level. I am not sure the average man on Tinder is looking for conversation or even capable of the kinds of conversations and attention I wanted. Now of course that is fine and easily let me weed out the trash.
Virtual dating is easy in that one way, I suppose. That is, you can cut things off so quickly. Thank god you can’t send photos with some of the things that men have said to me, but as you saw, they can type things that make my mouth drop. The second I don’t like what someone says though, I can un-match and move on. I’m not saying I am a huge prude, but the first words out of your mouth should be intelligent and not like a caveman. Talking on an app should, at least, develop like the real dating world and you don’t show up with your d*** out.
There is a certain safety in virtual dating that which you couldn’t get in person– so that is one positive. As a woman, meeting men is always a little scary. I like dating men that are bigger than me, so there is always a lingering fear for my safety given what you see happening to women on the news all the time. Ironically I don’t have that fear with women and yet women are the ones I never ended up meeting for the most part.
I think this just shows me again I connect with women in that emotional way rather than the physical way I connect to men. Maybe I just didn’t need or truly want that physical aspect from women and so I didn’t want that from my Tinder Wives. I mean I like to be the pretty, pretty princess in a relationship so my first wife would have had to dress the hell down… I kid. I kid.
I find a higher number of men attractive than I do women always. That is just a fact. I am more broad with the types of bodies I like when it comes to men, with the type of look. It is, for sure, raining men. Hallelujah! Or wait, the opposite of Hallelujah? I’m not sure, but there are certainly more men that single lesbians out there.
I mostly have to hear a woman speak something that interests me or make a joke before I will find her attractive. I am attracted more to the whole person once I hear what I like– smart, witty, interesting. With men, it is just the opposite. I am attracted to the physical aspect and then most often I am not attracted to the rest. There are, of course, the beautiful exceptions to that rule that I like to mention– and again therein lies the beauty of bisexuality.
You can’t write any one person off based solely on their gender expression when you are bisexual and that part I think is difficult for others to understand. While I have a limited array of what I end up being attracted to, I truly have no idea what type of person I will end up with– and I am talking about whether they will be a man, women, or nonbinary. This is an odd thing because when I get that storybook vision of what I want my dream life to be, I’m so unsure of that other person will look like. The beauty of bisexuality lies in that unknown.
After all, bisexual or not, we are all just looking for our exception to the rules.