So I’ve been debating writing about this for a while. It doesn’t really seem important, but it’s been on my mind ever since it happened. So here we go.
I was on Instagram a while back and I got a message. It was a guy who had obviously been going through my posts, and liked what he saw. He asked a bit about my cosplay work, but we were talking for no more than ten minutes when he asked the dreaded question.
“So are you with anyone? Like dating?”
Gentlemen, please… Don’t do this. Keep in mind, this is some random guy from the internet. I had never met him before, and I probably never will. All he knows about me is that I cosplay and he thinks I’m pretty. Now, being a woman on the internet, this doesn’t phase me. This was tame compared to some of the offers I’ve gotten over the years, believe me. But still, to ask about my relationship status when you’ve barely said two sentences to me in your life… Come on.
So I tried to steer the conversation away from the topic, saying that’s a bit of a personal question. What he responded with is what really got under my skin:
“I want to get to know you but obv don’t want to if your seeing someone”
Now, let’s think about that sentence a moment… “I want to get to know you” fine, I’m an open book, I love sharing my interests and getting to know new people. Nevermind the fact that you have a private profile, I don’t know your name, and from your profile pic, evidently you’re a sentient pile of sneakers that can type. And then we get to the second part, “obv don’t want to if your seeing someone”… So… You don’t actually want to get to know me. You’re only messaging me because you want to get WITH me. Therein lies the difference. What that really tells me is that you don’t actually want to “get to know” me, and the only value you see in talking to me is if I’m a dating prospect.
I didn’t get mad. To be honest, I just think it’s funny how self-contradictory that sentence is. I took the opportunity to remind him that I’m asexual (evidently he missed that memo), and that I’m not interested in dating strangers from the internet. Now, I don’t mean to say that my orientation makes me inherently undateable. It doesn’t. But it does mean that if all you’re interested in is getting me in bed, you picked absolutely the wrong target.
I get it. Really, I do. It’s so easy to objectify people online, to forget that there’s another human being on the other side of the screen. To a lot of you, I’m nothing more than a few pictures and a paragraph or two in your browser window. You can put down your phone, walk away from your computer, and I cease to exist to you. But I’m here to remind you that I’m a living, breathing person, same as you. I have a family and friends, I have likes and dislikes, I laugh, I cry, and I have a whole personality that you probably don’t even see.
I’m not here to discourage anyone from talking to me. On the contrary, please do. The entire point of this website, the reason I use Instagram, all my social media is so I can interact with people. I want to talk, I want to share my feelings and my opinions. But if the sole reason you approach me is part of some ploy to get me into bed, I urge you to think again. Please don’t objectify me, and try to remember that I’m more than just my picture.