If I don't reveal my height on my dating profile, am I lying?
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Dear Miss Information,
Starting a new job in a new part of the country, I recently started experimenting with online dating. I created a fairly thorough profile with recent pictures and honest answers. I tried to be active, tried writing long messages and short messages, tried making suggestions for other music and books they might like, tried chatting for a long time first, and tried just asking girls out off the bat. I tried tweaking my profile: "Don't come off like a music snob;" "Don't sound sarcastic;" "Okay, fine, sound sarcastic, but embrace it." But I still got tepid responses, and I started to think it was because of my height. I'm 5'5", and the preponderance of girls with blatant, unapologetic, anti-short-guy messages in their profiles began to get to me. A surprising number of those girls are shorter than me.
I began to get offended by girls' lack of response. Finally, I just deleted my height, and with it income, ethnicity, body type, and all the other "basic facts" I felt people shouldn't be judged immediately on. (I'm very athletic, mixed race — which people can still see in my pictures — and make good money, so really height was the only thing I could be accused of "hiding.") Almost worse, the response was swift: girls immediately started replying, and girls even started messaging me. Attractive girls. "Replies very selectively" girls.
One of these girls I'm actually very excited about. We've exchanged practically giddy emails for a week, the kind that revel in naive assumptions about how amazingly compatible we are. We're working on setting up an informal date. Here's the problem: she's 5'8'' and she messaged me first, without knowing how tall I am. Is this something I need to worry about? I suddenly feel like I've been lying by not having my height posted. I thought about "warning" her, but feel like that would be expecting the worst in people and coming off as very insecure. And I'm still bitter at how openly heightist girls of the world are. What can I do?
— Afraid of Falling Short
Dear Afraid of Falling Short,
This is going to sound like advice your mother would tell you, but here it is anyway: the right girl won't care. (Oh, also, call your mother. She says hi.)
If you have a great chemistry, a girl won't care whether you have a lazy eye, a zinc deficiency, or an iron lung. If she's worth keeping around, she'll like you whether or not you can reach the top shelf in the kitchen. If the connection is real, the details won't matter. Get it?
I guarantee you that a short guy with buckets of charisma will go over better with most girls than a tall one who doesn't make eye contact. If you act like your height is a disadvantage, she'll read it on you, and suddenly — poof! — your height becomes a disadvantage. While leaving your height out was an omission, it was not a straight-up lie. She likes you enough to email you all the time without knowing your height, so what should it matter? Stop flagellating yourself, and leave your frustrations with online dating/women at home. Negativity will drag down a date much faster than physical appearance will.
Go into this date with your head held high (but not "I'm straining here" high). Plenty of tall girls have a thing for short guys, so don't assume you're at a disadvantage. Play up your stengths, be genuine, listen well, and laugh often. As with all dating, you'll have your hits and misses, but don't assume your height is your Achilles' heel.
Dear Miss Information,
I'm a heterosexual man; I'm in my mid-thirties. I recently rented a porno and it wasn't what the cover said it was. I thought I rented one about insatiable MILFs (my favorite type of woman). But when I opened it, it was gay porn. It had some really buff guys on the picture. I'm not sure why, but I put it the DVD player. When it came on, I was mesmerized. I couldn't stop watching. I ended up watching the whole thing and masturbated through it all. It wasn't like when I watch straight porn; when I rub one out, I usually turn it off until the need arises again. This time, all that masturbation left me a little chafed.
I've never been attracted to men in that way. But I am finding myself thinking about these buff gay men all the time. I have the urge to engage in gay sex and can't stop thinking about it. I have three questions: 1) Should I act on these urges? 2) How do I go about it? 3) Where did these urges come from after thirty-five years? I now think I want to be in gay porn — those men were just so freaking hot! Do you know how I can get involved in this industry?
— Confused, Excited, and Horny
Dear Confused, Excited, and Horny,
Whoa, now. Take a deep breath. There's a lot of ground between "I am turned on by gay porn" and "I want to star in gay porn." So what's going on?
Your letter seems breathless and frenetic, which gives me pause. While I'm all for discovering hidden corners in one's own sexuality, you need to slow down and take your time so you know you're comfortable with what you are doing. Gay sex, like all sex, involves different vocabularies and accents, and jumping in too hastily could prove overwhelming for either you or your partner.
Here is my big question, though. You say you've never been attracted to men before. Are you now attracted to men in real life, or just the ones on the DVD box? There's a difference between the two. What turns us on doesn't always correspond to what we want in actual life: gay men can enjoy hetero porn, straight women can love lesbian scenes, and none of that changes their real-life orientations. I'm not trying to dissuade you from seeking your big, gay fortune — rather, I want you to make sure what you actually want is a human sexual encounter, full of mistakes and foibles, rather than expecting Big n' Greased-Down XVI: The Reckoning.
Assuming you're still on board, and you do want to explore your gayer side, the methods aren't so different than dating women. Go to bars, chat guys up, get their numbers. But, again, I urge you to take this slow: go on a couple of dates and talk to your partner enough that he knows you're new to this. Build up enough trust that you feel comfortable pushing your boundaries with him. Practice safe sex without fail, and allow yourself some space between "I am 100% straight" and "I am 100% gay." With time and patience, it should work itself out.
You may find that porn ignited a gay flame in you, or you may find that you were responding to something else in these videos entirely — the power play, the muscle envy, the sweet techno beats. Who knows. Just keep an eye on the fact that the sex represented in porn is sensationalized. Before you go picking up anybody, make sure you want real sex — and with it, the vulnerabilities and trust it involves — rather than some cartoonish approximation thereof.