By Andrea Nemerson. View more alt.sex columns here.
I'm not 40, like the author of the "40 and Frustrated" letter, but I'm afflicted with another "less than desirable" characteristic: color. Oh, and a bit of meat on my bones, although that's never been much of a problem. I'm a black woman and I date(d) all sorts of men. Online has never been the right place for me to meet men because, in a field of redheads and green eyes, men pass right by my photo. I got absolutely no interest except from men I am not interested in. And if I happened to get an interested male inquiry, I too found that the communication petered out quickly.
Several years back, I moved to the city on my own. Finally no roommates, no significant other, just me. My friends were in relationships or newly married and I had to find activities that allowed me to have fun and meet single men. When I went out with friends, I was always just another girl in the crowd.
I got the best results when I began going out by myself, walking into an establishment where I knew no one, ordering a drink, sitting at the bar, and looking desirable and approachable with a book or a snack. A month ago, I even had a CL Missed Connections ad placed for me by a nice Irish man after visiting a local pub and having a burger and beer. It is a 99.9 percent given that if you are female and alone, a male will walk up to you and begin a conversation. Despite your age, your looks, your size, your ethnicity, if a man sees you alone, without a crew of other females to choose from, he will feel compelled to find out your story and see if he has a shot with you.
Two years ago, out by myself, I met a man I had eyed a few times over the years. We chatted. We joked. We got to know each other. Two-and-a-half years later, we're still together.
We both have an independent nature, which still leads me to frequent places on my own. Each and every time, I am approached. I'm attractive, but I'm not all that, so this is something any woman can do. I feel that we, as women, need to step it up a notch and realize that we need to depend mostly on ourselves and not our friends or the Internet to hook us up or place us in situations where we'll meet people.
So, my advice to 40 & Frustrated would be to put on a sexy pair of jeans and head to her nearest pub by herself. Leave the girlfriends who are potential competition whether we like to admit it or not at home and head out on your own and get what you want.
It will take time to sift though the men, just like online, but being an attractive, witty, sensual, smart woman presenting herself as available will get you WAY more results than presenting yourself as an attractive, witty, sexual, smart woman via some blurry photo surrounded by other blurry photos of other attractive, witty, sexual, smart women.
Went Out Alone and Got Attached
Dear, um, WOAGA:
Now that is an interesting take! I mean, sure, the fact that a woman sitting alone at a bar or club will attract a cloud of buzzing males is not news. It is in fact a source of annoyance for women who really do want to be alone, or who are innocently waiting for a friend and would like to enjoy at least a few moments of public solitude, so certainly we know that it works. What's interesting is that hitting the bars or clubs is usually seen as putting oneself into direct competition with other women (or whatever one's category happens to be) who are likewise putting themselves out there. This is true as far as it goes, but you have a good point, not entirely stated, that very few women do go out on their own to meet guys, so actually there is not as much competition as one might think.
Surely you can see why going it alone might not be many women's first choice. It's scary, it's lonely, and one fears that it whiffs at least faintly of desperation, never a lady's preferred perfume. I do think you've done a lovely job of recasting it as one carefully considered option for the plucky and indomitable single gal (sorry, but I am now seeing you as a sort of Doris Day of Color, in a cute shift dress and scarf). The only problem is that lots of people don't drink, or don't want to meet people who drink, or don't want to meet people while drinking. So we will have to redirect some of our plucky, spunky heroines to coffee shops, galleries, and the park on Saturday afternoon. Alone. If this has worked for you, readers, please let us know.
Don't forget to read Andrea at Carnal Nation.com.