Commenter Ofelas pointed out the absurdity of the main character in Cat Person imagining how much a future boyfriend would enjoy hearing about her having sex with other men:
…she imagined that somewhere, out there in the universe, there was a boy who would think that this moment was just as awful yet hilarious as she did, and that sometime, far in the future, she would tell the boy this story. She’d say, “And then he said, ‘You make my dick so hard,’ ” and the boy would shriek in agony and grab her leg, saying, “Oh, my God, stop, please, no, I can’t take it anymore,” and the two of them would collapse into each other’s arms and laugh and laugh—but of course there was no such future, because no such boy existed, and never would.
Cat Person is fiction, but this is an idea you will often see in real life as well. For women there is a temptation to see dating not as a mutual evaluation for fitness, but as a sort of reality show where they are paradoxically both the prize (entirely passive) and the judge (in complete control). If you look for it, you will see this pattern all over.
The blogger at Diary of Why explained back in October of 2013 how she came to write a blog chronicling the men she had sex with in her quest for a husband:
Six (and a half) years ago I was living in Boston. I had recently ended things (been forced to end things) with the person I thought I would be with forever. Heart-broken is a word that is too casually thrown around to describe what I actually was, which was shell-shocked, a walking exposed nerve, and utterly lost. Looking back, I should have gone to therapy, I should have done a lot of things, but instead I started a blog. And I started dating. Then I moved to France, I dated, and I blogged about it. And I moved to Ithaca, I dated, and I blogged about it. Then I moved to DC and, well.
In the back of my mind, I always hoped that if one day I did decide to stop blogging, that I would go out with a triumphant, look-at-me-now-world post. I hoped that I would be able to (only sort of gloatingly) say that it had all been worth it, because I had finally gotten everything I had ever wanted. But I guess that’s not really the way life works, is it?
Note that each stop on the carousel is seen as part of an extended courtship, leading ultimately to her future husband. As absurd as this concept is, her readers were right there with her. In 2010 she wrote about breaking it off with the unemployed pot smoker she had been having sex with. Just like the fictional character in Cat Person, the blogger explained that she finally realized that she wasn’t attracted to the loser she was having sex with:
So it only took, what, a week for this most recent dating venture to crash and burn? A new record, to be sure, but then again, this is the guy that invited me to meet his mother after date one (I politely declined), and was talking exclusivity by dates two and three (and four and five and oh my GOD please give it a rest). So I suppose it is only fitting that the ending was equally precipitous. You see, while all this time I thought the biggest hurdle to get over was that I wasn’t attracted to him physically, it turns out that, appearances aside, once I got past the physical I didn’t necessarily like what was inside. Huh. Didn’t see that one coming, did you, Internet? To be honest, I didn’t either.
This whole experience has been akin to trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, and of convincing myself that, no, it’s not such a big deal, we’ll just shave a little off this side here, and nip off a corner there, and look!
Notice the complete lack of introspection. There is no sense of what in the world am I doing having sex with one loser after another? The only question is, what is wrong with these men, don’t they know they are failing to impress me? This is especially astounding given that the woman in question had by this time been blogging about her own thoughts and experiences for three years.
The problem for women who fall into this trap is that other women typically will encourage them in this thinking. Commenter Just Sayin responded to the post explaining that sex with a string of losers was a rite of passage, something noble women do as an act of love for their eventual husband:
That lasted a week too long.
And the condom bit… well there would have been NO LOVE without a glove!!!!
Dont give him another thought.
stepping stone to bigger and better things. It’s like a right of passage that we dont want to take, that all women venture into one of these guys and dont end it sooner.
Commenter Tuppence likewise reassured the blogger that having sex with a string of losers was an essential part of the blogger’s husband hunt:
Oh what an utter wanker! It’s so much better to be single than having to endure the company of someone like that. It’s just a shame we have to kiss so many frogs and toads along the way before we find someone worth keeping. It will happen though…keep your chin up.
Commenter Dawn agreed:
It’s just one more frog that you had to kiss in order to get one step closer to the prince.
Commenter Eliza took the absurdity up a notch, explaining that one day the blogger would share this shameful experience with her grandchildren!
You can still tell the story to your grandkids because in 40 years it will be funny (are you not sort of laughing now at the incredulousness of it all) but LUCKILY you will be with another and non-money pinching lovely man and this episode will just be filed under “grandma’s funny dating stories”.
One commenter (anonymous) broke the pattern and suggested the blogger consider what she should do differently:
ummm…really, I don’t want to be unkind. i’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, and it seems like you might want to talk to someone. professionally. you seem kindof messed up. you’re a brilliant writer-incredibly sharp and witty. but you seem to continually make crappy choices. especially about sleeping with loosers. maybe if you just waited a few weeks, or months before jumping into bed with them?
maybe i’m wrong. but there appears to be a rather unsuccessful pattern in your life…
Commenter gabbiana then reassured the blogger that she shouldn’t let haters suggesting introspection get her down. Having sex with losers is something every good woman must do, and of course it will eventually make for a great story to share with her grandkids:
Haaaaa this story is awesome and the punchline is awesomer and also don’t let the haters get you down. We all date crazies; we very often sleep with crazies; we very, very often require what seems, in retrospect, to be an inordinate amount of time to pick out the crazies. But like everyone up there said, this will be a great one to tell the grandkids. Eventually.
This story does have a happy ending of sorts. After parking her blog some time back in 2014, the blogger returned this October to announce that she is now engaged and planning her wedding. This was, as she explained back in 2013, what it has always been about from the beginning:
So, I’m engaged. And lately I’ve been having a lot of thoughts, specifically of the wedding variety, and I’m finding I have nowhere to put them. So far I’ve been putting these thoughts in a large spreadsheet, and while that is helpful and necessary, it’s not particularly satisfying. So here we are. Just me, my thoughts about weddings, and you.
Strangely, all of her posts about the men she had sex with for over six years have been deleted. Perhaps her fiancé doesn’t find them as hilarious as her grandchildren will no doubt find them.