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Hey sexy lady… wanna hook up?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman will not fall madly in love with you simply because you called her “sexy”. You may recognise the start of that statement from a piece of all-time classical literature…

It comes from a time when women were property. A daughter of infinite worth was effectively sold to a prospective husband based on her dowry, future inheritance, child-bearing expectations and embroidery skills. As infinitely old-fashioned as that may sound, the lady in question was, at the very least, deemed to have a value. Our society considers itself to have moved on considerably since those days.

So why, dear reader, in an era of female emancipation, have we now come full-circle?

The reason for my question comes from the experiences of 30-something women I know. They are the online daters, the husband seekers, the independent, self-sufficient women I am proud to call my friends.

You see, they are now openly approached by chaps seeking a partner. They place an advertisement, much like those of an antiquated newspaper, on a dating website. They carefully consider their qualities: “loves indie music, business owner, seeking soul mate with intelligence” etc, etc. They are interesting, clever individuals with dreams, passions and ambitions. And they, more often than not, receive messages thus:

Hey sexy. Hot. I’d love to have you for breakfast. Lol

So, here’s the problem. A woman of independent spirit does not find it flattering that the only thing you find to be notable about her is whether or not you wish to stick your manhood inside her. She doesn’t need your appreciation of her sex appeal; if she wanted a quick (and probably disappointing) one-night stand, she could just go to the local pub in a mini-skirt. Nope – she is hoping to be treated as a person in her own right. A complete individual with a personality. Your ambition to nail her isn’t a compliment. In the same way that a blow-up doll isn’t excited to hear that you want to stay up and talk all night about its dreams and aspirations. These are two different creatures and yet the online dating world often views them as identical.

Often, my friends respond to such trite approaches with statements that they are more than just an object of sex appeal. This usually results in accusations that they are “bloody feminists”, “uptight”, and the like. But actually they are just people. People with brains and thoughts and standards. People who object to being treated as mere objects of lust. And this is received with disgust because they should somehow be grateful that a man finds them sexually appealing.

Well, dear reader, I can tell you that those women are not only worthy of more than your base sexual desires, but they are actually complete human beings. Your lust is not a gift to them. If we were to take this back to the days of Austen and Bronte, yours would still be an inadequate offer. Because at least in eras gone by, they would be expectant of a man with independent means, a substantial inheritance, and several horse-carriage offerings. And we all know how women love a man who can control his stallion…

So if you are a fellow seeking a fair maiden then perhaps you’d do well to consider what you have to offer the lady of your desires. If it’s nothing more than an appreciation for her choice of stocking / lace knicker combo, perhaps she should keep searching until she finds a chap with a mansion and several servants. Otherwise, she could be considered to be less emancipated than her 18th century sisters.

Or, just for a laugh, you could consider her to be a fully-fledged individual whose worth is based on more than just a quickie. Your choice.