Have You Ever Been Someone’s Experiment?

This will be a two parter. I was reading this post today and I was reminded of a conversation I had had about 4 years ago. The guy was someone I had met at a networking event. We exchanged numbers and set up a date for a few nights later. We ended up going to his gym and he taught me some boxing basics. (Fun date, I have to say.) Throughout the date, he brought up my blog. A lot. Enough that it made me uncomfortable. As he walked me to a cab, he told me that “if I wanted to” I could call him a specific alias when I wrote about him. That’s right. When. Not if. When.

I was an experiment to him. And, I’m sure, to many other men at that point in time. Compared to the story I linked to, I got off easy. The “honesty” in that guy’s words made me furious at the both of them. Him for saying it. Her for sharing it. People like that guy don’t deserve the additional attention.

In my scenario, the guy thought he was somehow being “different” by giving me permission to blog about him. What he was actually doing was revealing his true intentions. In the story written by the other blogger, the guy was playing the “honesty” card in the hopes it would score him some points. To top it off, he did the “you would be my first, baby” thing. Sure.Sure she would.

This happens to a lot of different people for many different reasons. They have something about them that is seen as “exotic” or “unique.” Maybe it’s their race or a specific fetish or proclivity. Or it’s their body type or looks. Whatever it is, the attraction isn’t based on who the person is. It’s based on the opportunity or experience that person might provide.

It took me a very long time to realize that being someone’s experiment wasn’t a good thing. It’s not a compliment. Once you realize it, it’s actually quite hurtful and embarrassing. Why embarrassing? Because we foolishly believed that that person liked us despite certain traits. Not because of them. Dating someone because they’re Asian or African American or Caucasian isn’t really an acceptable reason. If you have a specific fetish, then seek out people who are okay with being identified by that particular fetish. Don’t bamboozle them with the news after the fact. And don’t pretend like you don’t actually have a fetish and that there was something special about them that made you want to dip your toe into that particular pool. In short, don’t use people like that.

One more thing. If you do decide to take someone of a particular race, faith, orientation, occupation or body type for a spin, don’t you dare ever admit that you couldn’t cross that line and take things to another level because  of that characteristic.

Now let’s get into the very delicate subject of whether or not you tell someone that you aren’t attracted to them should they ask why you don’t want to see them again. Personally, I don’t see a need for that unless the person clearly believes they look better than they do or you were mislead in some way. For example, the men and women are are so sure they look ten years younger than they are and say so in their profiles. Or the overweight people who describe themselves as curvy, average or athletic.

My friend K. sent me a profile of a woman from Match and asked me what I thought. She had about 12 photos. 10 of them were from the shoulders up. The other 2 were clearly taken a good 5 years ago. Her face in those photos compared to the head shots made it quite clear that she had put on a noticeable amount of weight. She chose “Average” as her body type. He decided to go out with her. When they met she was, as I predicted, quite heavier than the 2 full body shots she had posted. He was a gentleman and was polite and sat and had brunch with her and paid the bill. She contacted him the next day and said she’d love to go out again. He replied and told her that he thought she was very nice but that he didn’t feel they were a match. She wanted to know why.

“Tell her” I said. “Tell her so she doesn’t have to go through more of these experiences.”

He told her he felt her pictures were misleading. She asked how so. (Jesus, take a damn hint!) He said he felt she didn’t look like her photos. She said nobody had ever told her that. He said he wasn’t trying to be hurtful but felt he should be honest. She said he was rude. He stopped replying. She sent another text suggesting they give it another go. He said he wasn’t attracted to her. She stopped messaging him.He didn’t have to go further and tell her he found her overweight. She should have picked up on his subtle hints. Reading Social Cues is a something people have to make sure are in their Dating Toolboxes. Trust me. It will help you avoid many, many awkward conversations and situations like the ones discussed here.

Nobody likes being backed in to a corner like that. But sometimes honesty, and not diplomacy, is required. Honesty shouldn’t be used to shame someone into leaving you alone. It should be employed when you genuinely want to help someone.


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29 Responses to “Have You Ever Been Someone’s Experiment?”

  1. Anna Says:

    I’ve totally been the experiment, it sucks and it’s definitely annoying and painful. As a black woman i’ve had more than my share of white guys hitting on me for no other reason than they want to see what it’s like to sleep with a black girl. I’m happily married now but when I was dating I could smell the experiment-ers a mile off. They’re usually the ones that out of nowhere adopt a “black” kind of ebonics accent (hilarious because I grew up in england and have a very british accent, they never knew what to do about that!), or think they were complimenting me when they’d say things like “ive always wanted to sleep with a black girl”. I get that people want to experience different things but it really does just put you in a box.

    It’s totally natural to be curious and i’ve dated guys who had never dated outside of their race before and were curious but openminded and non-objectifying. Very different from those guys who just wanted to pump and dump.

    On the online dating honesty thing I think it’s hard but I would much prefer if someone kindly told me that my pictures were misleading -might as well put the real you out there and get genuine potential dates rather than pull the bait and switch and hope it works out.

    • Howard Says:

      For you and Moxie and all the fragile egos out there, it’s always a bit of an experiment or a foolish material basis. Some guys only date blondes. Some guys only date girls with big breasts, some women only tall men, some women only educated men. Yes, unfortunately we all objectify. In your case, it’s the novelty twist thrown in. But it’s the same thing. The real mistake is for someone to volunteer or admit to any of this stuff.

      Once we get to know someone, the carrot that brought us in, doesn’t even carry as much weight any more. It’s why people break up. The big tits or great height gets someone’s foot in the door, but after that, what’s inside has to carry the day.

      I was an exotic in college, and lots of white girls were attracted to me because of that. I never held it against them. I never slept with anyone who couldn’t get past it and see me for the person I was. Some did. Some didn’t. And while we are at it, some African American women dissed me because I was from another country. And I didn’t hold that against them. When they got to know me, I heard the same line. “Oh, you are so different from what I thought you would be”

      • wishing u well Says:

        Using someone as a dating experiment takes this one step further beyond “novelty.” The experimenter upfront that they only want to try this out and that beyond xyz – that’s it! Nothing more. At no point did the person that they are experimenting with have a shot in hell of a chance with them. A person is not the latest fad and it would be great if we as a society didn’t treat people this way at times. It’s a little cruel – as in these scenarios, the person being experimented “on” has no clue as to what the real agenda is.

        • Howard Says:

          I am not sure Moxie stood no chance with this guy. It’s more like this guy stood no chance with Moxie.

          • Howard Says:

            And he wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t “if” , it’s was “when”. She did write about him. So how the heck is he a villian like he is being made out to be. Of course a guy could be worried about being written about on a blog, if the person he is dating did it before.

          • wishing u well Says:

            I’m not talking about Moxie or anyone specifically. I am referring to the main topic at hand – being someone’s dating experiment. There is an explicit difference between having physical features that a person is into versus being dated as an experiment, and I was just clarifying here. In addition – I have had people attempt to treat me as an “experiment” as well, so I do know what is being referred to here. There is a marked difference, and it’s not a pleasant one.

  2. loveliee Says:

    I’m pretty sure she knew her pictures were misleading.. If she didn’t know, then why would she post a bajillion head shots and 2 full body shots?

  3. Mike Says:

    What difference does it make WHY he went on a first date with you? It was your opportunity to see if there was a connection. Maybe he did do it as an “experiment” as you say, although I would not flatter yourself with that one – an “experiment” because you are a blogger – give me a break – unless of course you are Arianna Huffington. If you and him hit it off he would not have made the comments he made. And as for being an “experiment,” chicks go on dates with ulterior motives all the time – boredom, excitement of the event, to try to take a guy for his $, you name it. So deal with it when it happens to you.

    • India Says:

      Could not agree more. There is something about most of us that may initially peak someone’s interest : the funny girl, the girl with a cool accent, the guy who has an interesting job. Just because there may be an element of experiment in the beginning does not mean it can not evolve into something more substantial. It is not clear to me that being a blogger is so special or unique these days : I work in social media and everyone in my office has a blog. being defensive in life – always assuming that every guy you meet has some evil ulterior motive – may lead some to end up alone for a very long time.

      • Brad Says:

        ” I work in social media and everyone in my office has a blog”
        I work for a 10,000+ employee corporation, and our Social Media policy is clear – if there are even vague company/client mentions you are fired without review. If ‘spreadsheet guy’ had worked for my company, corporate would have terminated him and his bosses would have been put under review. And I think that’s probably more emblematic of life in corporate america.

        “It is not clear to me that being a blogger is so special or unique these days”
        It’s not worth risking my career, but getting my dating pattern reviewed sounds fascinating. Call me an attention whore I guess.

        When i was younger, I was surprised at what people would do for attention. These days nothing surprises me, I watch people suffer for years just for the possibility of glamour. Why does Peggy put up with Don Draper? So that some day she can stand on a stage and get the approval or strangers. Any job that offers the path to recognition pays far less than a career of obscurity.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          It is not clear to me that being a blogger is so special or unique these days :

          Being a blogger isn’t special or unique. Being a well known blogger with a following is. You’d be surprised how far some people will go to get attention.

          They’re not going out with the blogger because they’re a blogger. They’re going out with the blogger in the hopes the blogger will write about them in some way.

          This just in: The Internet is a breed ground for attention whores.

          • Howard Says:

            People are always initially interested in us because of who we are, especially if we are known for some reason. It’s the price of noteriety. The real test is what happens after. And there is no easy answer, it’s more of a Gut feeling we get as things unfold.

            The worst thing is to become testy and/or paranoid.

        • LostSailor Says:

          “Spreadsheet guy” wasn’t a blogger.

        • wishing u well Says:

          I also concur with Brad’s assessment of companies’ social media assessment and corporate America. I’d also like to mention that since we are in a time in which potential employers are requesting access to interviewee’s Facebook pages, is it really a huge stretch of the imagination to think that personal blogs would be off limits?

          “It is not clear to me that being a blogger is so special or unique these days” – maybe, maybe not. However, dating as a blogger can have its potential risks – as the blogger is likely to attract those who crave attention more than the average person. They are “faux-lebrities.” You know the type – those who treat their Facebook profiles and Twitter pages as if every statement is a press release, always craving to be the center of attention and an endless supply of external validation. This type of person would date a blogger hoping to be the main topic of discussion and also relishes the opportunity to join in the commentary, making sure to point out “who they are.” These people seem truly grab at any attention that validates their set belief that they are a star waiting to be discovered. It’s additional attention in a separate venue altogether. What of the blogger who may actually like this person? Well, the blogger is being used as a social platform for the “faux-lebrity.” In these situations, I’m willing to wager that it’s like finding out that you have been unwittingly the star of your very own “Truman Show.” Nothing’s real. And that is disappointing.

          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            In these situations, I’m willing to wager that it’s like finding out that you have been unwittingly the star of your very own “Truman Show.” Nothing’s real. And that is disappointing.

            This, exactly. I don’t expect anybody who hasn’t gone through it to understand why or how a blogger would be considered an experiment and how hurtful or unsettling that can be. You’re basically being used for attention.

            It’s an awful feeling, especially when you believed that that person genuinely liked you as a friend or more or at least had some regard for you in some way. You end up making yourself vulnerable to the wrong people and they will use that against you. There was a blogger in DC who was dating a guy who swore up and down he wasn’t reading her blog. They dated for about 6 weeks, then broke up. She, of course, made her pain over the guy very public. One night she was tweeting about where she would be for happy hour. That same guy showed up at that bar with a date. He totally knew she was going to be there. Of course she went on and on about it for days and had a meltdown at the bar that he undoubtedly witnessed. He sat there and lapped that attention up. He intentionally sought out to get her all worked up that night just so he could watch her spin out the next day.

            Calling the experience an experiment probably wasn’t accurate. I think saying we get exploited for someone else’s benefit is more appropriate.

            I also think people , or at least men, have a hard time believing that men can be drama queens or attention whores.

            • India Says:

              She dated a guy for six weeks and then pained On her blog about it. Really? Is a month and half of dating really worth that amount of public heart ache and analysis? In my view, this is a case of like attracting like: one attention whore bloggers finds another attention whore stalker.

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                You are absolutely right there. In fact, you have no idea how accurate you are in that statement. :)

                I put myself in the position of attracting those guys by blogging. Every blogger does.

            • Mike Says:

              Oh please, get over yourself. Look, if you don’t want everyone to know your every move, desire, thought and emotion – DON’T BLOG AND TWEET IT!!! And knock it off with the “woo is me, I was exploited” act. You were not exploited. You had a first date and the guy just did not dig you. Get over yourself it happens. And did you ever think he kept on bringing up your blog because he tried on other subjects but that is the only thing you have going for you – yes, that’s right, you may be boring and he was trying to keep it going. And of course he would have known you were going to write about him, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO! So become a better woman, more interesting and engaging, add value to a man’s life, stop whining about how tough it is to date in a city full of men, and you won’t have these experiences.

  4. dimplz Says:

    Ok, so this woman writes about her dating encounters, and so far a lot of her entries make men seem like the biggest jerk. I think the reason for this is because she picks men who aren’t like her. They make disparaging remarks about her figure as if he size can somehow absorb the blows. Now, either she sets the tone by being self-deprecating in her encounters and then tries to make them look like jerks later for treating her the same way, or she is a “jerk” magnet. Because I know people who have blogs like this typically like to victimize themselves, I’m going to go with the former theory, not the latter. I think at this point it’s the tail wagging the dog – she likes to provoke her readers by talking about these embarrassing encounters, so the only way she will continue to have an audience is to seek these kinds of men out. What surprises me is that these types of bloggers have the least amount of self-awareness, usually because their dissenting readers’ comments are deleted, or because they are too fascinated by the train wreck to stop her.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      I don’t think it’s intentional on her part at all. I honestly believe this girl has absolutely no ability to read social cues or take a hint. I also believe that she’s oblivious to how her weight plays into whom she attracts and why. All anybody does is agree with her that these men are jerks. Nobody suggests anything else.

      The fact that she shares these stories publicly with her name attached to them means she has little to no awareness or understanding of how she’s making herself prey to guys like the ones she’s meeting.

      • dimplz Says:

        I don’t know. I guess anything is possible. Howard, I don’t think I’m being hard on her. She is a big girl; that’s just a fact. If you choose to write a blog to highlight your dating adventures, then I think it would behoove you to talk about the good things that happen, not just the bad. I refuse to accept that she’s had only bad dates. Those are just the dates people want to read about because they’re easier to pick apart and it’s fun to demonize people.
        “We all fail to see those things we criticize in others, in ourselves. Moxie’s blog is still a good forum where a lot of dissenting and nuanced opinions gets thrown out there. ” And that’s why I don’t have a dating blog.

    • Howard Says:

      Don’t be so hard. We are all flawed. We all fail to see those things we criticize in others, in ourselves. Moxie’s blog is still a good forum where a lot of dissenting and nuanced opinions gets thrown out there. I once got into a back and forth with Moxie about looking more than ten years younger than my age. It actually got me to the better place where my position is that I do look my age, and it’s what most people could look like if they wanted.

      Sure I have been censored on this blog a few times, and will undoubtably be censored again some time. I do have a very contrary mind that likes to go in directions that others are afraid to pursue because it may show uneasy truth. And of course I get annoyed when faced with ad hominen attacks from her but lately she has ignored me, which works just fine for me.

      • Angeline Says:

        “I do have a very contrary mind that likes to go in directions that others are afraid to pursue because it may show uneasy truth.”

        Special Snowflake #43,220,578.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Jesus. Seriously, right? Nothing says “I’m perfectly okay with you ignoring me” than desperately trying to provoke a reaction. Sadly, most attention whores don’t know they’re attention whores.

          • Brad Says:

            Howard provoking Moxie, coupled with yesterday’s ‘what good is online dating’, actually go together really well.

            I hope I’m not another poster trying to spark a revolution, but start with this – our mothers and grandmothers lied to us. There isn’t someone for everyone, and god didn’t match them as he made them.

            There are people who will *never* have a successful relationship – with anyone. Personality is linked to relationship success so strongly it isn’t even questioned by social science anymore.

            When we meet/invest in someone who is likely to make a poor partner for almost anybody, we always say ‘I wish people would come with warning signs’. With online dating, now they do – they write their own. It’s up to you to read it.

          • Howard Says:

            Really, who is the attention whore?

  5. VJ Says:

    Be that as it may, the essential question here (besides dating while fat/short/broke/plain/unaccomplished etc) is one of Trail & Error. We desperately need some experimentation, without which we’d never discover what we like! And yes, there’s books about this concept: See Jim Manzi’s “Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society” :ihttp://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/12/uncontrolled.html

    Now that may not quite describe Moxie’s or other bloggers essential issues here, but for the rest of humanity? They’ve really got to discover if all gals with ‘big tits/hips/butts’ are worthy of their attention. Or if every tall, handsome, well endowed and athletically accomplished dude is an A-hole, whether or not they’re rich or ‘good lovers’. Or some other key body part or delicious mix of personality traits. But without at least some ‘experimentation’ we’ll just never find out for ourselves! Literally I know some gals who keyed in on just ‘present, well endowed & suitably matched kink wise’ and then went and married the guy to their eternal disappointment after kids came. Or only after a few years of co-residency, they finally recognized this dude’s fecklessness with regards to a LTR, no matter how well employed or ‘together’ they seemed at first. Some experiments do indeed last too long (decades perhaps), but eventually the lucky ones ‘come to their senses’!

    I thought the title of the woman’s blog was hilarious too. ‘Not what I ordered?’ I’m here to tell you that even when you’re lucky enough to get Everything you ‘ordered’? Time will change your priorities. Age & experience will change/ruin/age their bodies! That ‘exotic’ looking gal you fell in love with way back when? Might be getting scarier every day! That ‘exciting’ dude you fell for in college just gets more dangerously stupid as time goes on. Ad infinitum. Me, I got most everything I ever wanted in a wife. And still there’s things I never really thought of that have become somewhat more important down the years. But more than 20 years on, she can tell me mostly that she’s everything she promised she was, and I was deliriously happy with that. Mostly still am, actually. But there’s days when I want desperately to ‘teak the package’, & add some features I missed. But mostly I don’t miss them, and the ‘value added’ benefits of the ‘basic’ model have actually accrued and increased in value with age. You can’t ask for more than that. The body is different, but the mind is much the same. Engineering wise, I’ve told her she was ‘non compliant & non conforming’, and she smiles and says ‘Yes, you like me like that’. And she’s right.

    Not what I ordered? Humans! Always changing, ever changeable. Who needs ‘em anyway! Cheers, ‘VJ’

  6. offensivedan Says:

    Well, being hispanic, I have been on a few of these “experiment” dates with women. I find that if I am going out with a white broad that has dated a hispanic before, it’s not an experiment. However, if she has not, obviously it is. It’s commons sense. In any event, these experiments never lead to any type of relatioship. At best, it just leads to a hook up.

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