Is he JUST interested in my body, and is that so wrong?
January 19, 2017 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm a straight female, early 30s. I've dated plenty of guys, nearly all of them smarter and more accomplished than myself. I have never - not for one moment - felt that any of them was just interested in my body... until now.


I've lately been involved with a new guy my age, and he's very complimentary and touchy-feely and seems genuinely to be a HUGE fan of my body. Sometimes he will just stop and stare at me, like a tourist at Niagara Falls... or like someone beholding the most attractive person on Earth (which I certainly am not)... or like someone about to marry his bride after years of dating and growing into soulmates (which we are not, after a handful of dates). He has complimented almost every part of my body, including parts nobody has ever complimented before because they aren't all that special. I mention that we're the same age to rule out any sort of older man / younger woman dynamic that people might otherwise identify as the culprit here.

At first I thought he was insincere, some kind of Don Juan turning on the charm, but now - for reasons too complicated to list here - I do think he's genuinely very attracted to me. To my PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, that is. This guy is in a state of heightened physical arousal whenever we're together. He cannot hug me without becoming "hard" and sort of involuntarily grinding against me. (I don't have a wealth of dating experience, but... is this normal? Maybe in some subset of the population?) We have not yet had sex but there's been some clothing removal and rounding of bases, and if I undress to any degree he first commands me to "hold still" while he moves a few paces away and just stares at me, as though committing the image to memory. It was flattering at first but HELLO I HAVE A PERSONALITY TOO.

He has never complimented anything about me other than my appearance. If I say something clever or witty he doesn't really seem to react. We don't have deep conversations, and I can't help but feel he's *distracted* by my appearance while we are together and can only focus on that to the exclusion of other things. Maybe I'm naive to think that other men do care about inner qualities - after all, lots of brilliant men marry pretty but non-brilliant women, and it's almost seen as an exchange of different goods of equal value - and my own witty, literary, musical brother is in love with his quiet, stolid, unintellectual, hobbyless girlfriend (she is absolutely stunning). But I've never had this problem before, and have never EVER wondered - while dating brilliant, accomplished men - if they were "just in it for the physical attraction."

Am I overthinking this? Is he like other guys, only he's clumsily unfiltered and indiscreet? I was flattered at first but it's starting to feel sort of impersonal and animalistic. I also worry that we can't have intellectual conversations, which is for me one of the main benefits of a romantic relationship. I'm probably going to stop seeing this guy, but I wonder if this is something I shouldn't worry about in the future. Maybe I should be grateful to find someone so viscerally attracted to my body, someone who sees my flaws through rose-colored glasses. I'll miss this if the next guy - hopefully a brainier type than this one - rarely throws a compliment my way.
posted by Guinevere to Human Relations (43 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Honestly, your description of him and his behavior gives me the creeps. I don't think you are overthinking at all.
posted by blackzinfandel at 9:40 PM on January 19, 2017 [64 favorites]


I don't know. Certainly we tend to over exaggerate our flaws, and it can be jarring to have someone be into every single part of you physically. I've had men just be really physically attracted to me without wanting to actually get to know me, and if you need a mental and emotional connection, the chemistry just doesn't work. Someone should appreciate you, all agog Niagara Falls tourist-like. But if that doesn't come with the equally, if not more important personality compliments, and if he doesn't seem to get your jokes, or laud you for your wit, it sounds a bit off to me. I once had a really handsome musician who I was otherwise digging go way overboard with praise (I think he called me Aphrodite, and said that I looked like his high school fantasy) and I was genuinely creeped out. There's flattery and then there's something that crosses the boundary line. I think even if the guys heart is in the place, if you don't feel good about it, you should date other people. That being said, sometimes you have to let your partner know what's on your mind, and see if they can follow cues and change, i.e. telling him " I know I have a rocking body and all, but how about that sense of humor, and modest too!" Or whatever you feel comfortable saying. This of course is only if your gut is telling you to give him more time to adapt. It's perfectly fine if you just don't feel like it's a good match. Listen to your gut, it should lead you on this one.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:58 PM on January 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


He cannot hug me without becoming "hard" and sort of involuntarily grinding against me.

Look, even when I was 16 and a change in wind direction could get me hard, I was able to refrain from grinding against my girlfriend if we were just having a hug and a quick smooch.

if I undress to any degree he first commands me to "hold still" while he moves a few paces away and just stares at me,

This could be sexy as heck in the right context, but not if it's every damn time. Then it's just weird. (Like (sorry to be extra creepy here), "WTF, is he measuring her for a skin suit?")

Am I overthinking this? Is he like other guys, only he's clumsily unfiltered and indiscreet?

Well, you're over-generalizing. Some guys are like this, I suppose, but many are not. Hell, it's the 21st century - even if a guy is just into a woman because of her looks almost all of them at least know how to fake paying attention to the things she says (yes, as a dude, I have had "locker room" conversations about this kind of thing.) This dude's not even bothering to do that. Not "normal."

I wonder if this is something I shouldn't worry about in the future.

In the general sense that the patriarchy teaches us guys to value women primarily for their looks but not to take them seriously otherwise, yes. (See above comment about guys faking paying attention when women talk.) To the extent where you're gonna run into a series of dudes who blatantly just gawp at you 24/7, probably not so much.

Maybe I should be grateful to find someone so viscerally attracted to my body,

Nope. There are tons of guys in the world who can think someone is distractingly hot and still hold a conversation with them. It can be very satisfying to the ego to have someone think you're the hottest thing since sliced bread, and if you're not used to that "grateful" is an understandable emotion, but gratefulness taken too far means you're not approaching the relationship as equals but as the one subservient to the other's opinion of your body. This is not really a position you want to be in.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:06 PM on January 19, 2017 [26 favorites]


Being with someone pretty but dumb (or at least not intellectually stimulating) would drive me insane. I don't think I could do it, no matter how much they met my physical fantasies (or fetishes, cause this is leaning into that territory, sounds like.

And yeah, the grinding is a little weird. If a guy's hard in a hug, you can probably notice... but the grinding seems weird. Yall have been somewhat physically intimate, so it might not be a deal breaker for you, but that sounds.. awkward, still.

Ideally, you'd find a good mix between physical and intellectual attraction
posted by Jacen at 10:16 PM on January 19, 2017


I think it's fine to feel uncomfortable and choose not to date this person without necessarily making A Rule about the right level of compliments. What is right is a relationship where you feel comfortable and appreciated, and if you're not feeling that then that's enough reason on its own.

If you otherwise like this guy, it may be worth giving him a heads up: 'I appreciate that you find me attractive, but the amount of staring and compliments is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. I want to feel that I'm more than just a pretty body to you'. Maybe he just needs a push in the right direction? Totally up to you though.

In a general sense, I don't think you're naive to think other men care about inner qualities. I'm sure there are plenty for whom physical appearance is the most important, but there are definitely other men out there. I've known several who have started a relationship with very conventionally attractive women, then soon ended it because they became bored when they realised there was no deeper connection. Then these same men have had wonderful, much longer relationships with less conventionally attractive women who they fall in love with for all sorts of reasons beyond just looks.
posted by twirlypen at 10:21 PM on January 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


He cannot hug me without becoming "hard" and sort of involuntarily grinding against me. (I don't have a wealth of dating experience, but... is this normal?

Not normal.

if I undress to any degree he first commands me to "hold still" while he moves a few paces away and just stares at me,

This sounds like he's dominant and expects you to be submissive - are you into that?

Ultimately, you need what you need - if he can't do that, then there's not really much point in pursuing it further.
posted by heyjude at 10:34 PM on January 19, 2017


There is something very wrong with this guy..its almost scarey. Do NOT go anywhere alone with him until you know him very very well.
posted by metajim at 10:40 PM on January 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


He cannot hug me without becoming "hard" and sort of involuntarily grinding against me. (I don't have a wealth of dating experience, but... is this normal? Maybe in some subset of the population?)

No. This is weird, and crosses a line into objectification and, frankly, disrespect. Maybe someone gave him the impression that women should "worshipped" and he's taken that to heart, but he shouldn't be involuntarily humping you like a dog. I don't see it so much as an issue of him being "just in it for physical attraction" so much as he is treating you like a piece of meat.
posted by desuetude at 10:42 PM on January 19, 2017 [16 favorites]


To clear up a few things: He's not dominant, and not at all bossy, and he's not dangerous. We've had some sleepovers (not yet sex though). I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something. But I'd hate to punish him for being extremely attracted to me, if that's all it is that's going on here.
posted by Guinevere at 10:43 PM on January 19, 2017


> I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something. But I'd hate to punish him for being extremely attracted to me, if that's all it is that's going on here.

Sounds like you don't enjoy this relationship and you should leave it, to me.

A man can be extremely attracted to you without treating like a sex object all the time. The fact that he makes you feel this way, and even just a hug is a sexual thing for him are red flags to me. Maybe it is just a lack of experience on his part, or maybe he's a creep who sees you as a piece of meat -- either way, it doesn't sound like you enjoy it. I wouldn't worry about "punishing him" or not, just worry about whether you like being in this relationship.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:52 PM on January 19, 2017 [20 favorites]


You wouldn't be punishing him. You would be standing up for your own needs.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:53 PM on January 19, 2017 [39 favorites]


Expecting him to behave like an adult human in public is not punishing him. Disliking the way he expresses his attraction to you is not punishing him. His gawking adoration of your appearance is not a god-given right that you are cruelly taking away by wanting to hear something more interesting than how exquisitely-shaped your earlobe is.
posted by desuetude at 10:58 PM on January 19, 2017 [14 favorites]


The meta-questions are "what do you want from this relationship?" and "what are you (both) getting from this relationship?" I think there is room to say that a body-worship situation isn't inherently unhealthy, especially if it's a transitional and transactional one (it's a sorta kinda kink), but if that's not what you want and not what you're both gratefully and mutually taking from it, then walk away.
posted by holgate at 10:58 PM on January 19, 2017 [14 favorites]


I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something. But I'd hate to punish him for being extremely attracted to me, if that's all it is that's going on here.

First of all, under absolutely no circumstances at all are you EVER required to share your body with anyone who makes you uncomfortable or to avoid making someone feel bad.

Second of all, his attraction is a feeling. His grinding is an action. He is an adult in control of his actions.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:07 PM on January 19, 2017 [24 favorites]


This is a person with a VERY high sex drive and you probably do it for them, particularly. I definitely have seen this. I don't think it's in opposition to the lack of intellectual connection. Don't overthink this - I think when someone isn't right for you, it's easy to go in circles trying to figure out why, but I don't think this means that other guys haven't liked you for your personality or even that this one doesn't. He may be pushing boundaries on purpose or perhaps have some issues processing social norms.
posted by benadryl at 11:17 PM on January 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


In the ideal world, you would find someone this attracted to you, but also fun and interesting to be with, and with the presence of mind to express their attraction for you in a way that you would enjoy, which does not include being ground upon with an erection or objectifying you (without your explicit request).

It's not the intense attraction that's the problem, it's that it's not accompanied by these other good and necessary qualities. Like, if I order a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, and there's no chicken on it, the problem isn't that the salad is bad, it's that I also wanted chicken with it.
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:29 PM on January 19, 2017 [29 favorites]


I would experience that kind of treatment as disrespectful and dehumanizing.

'I appreciate that you find me attractive, but the amount of staring and compliments is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. I want to feel that I'm more than just a pretty body to you'.

These are good words to remind him that you're a human and a subject, not his fantasy porn doll.

If he's dismissive or defensive or gets angry, that response will tell you everything you need to know.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:47 PM on January 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


Highly distractible, uninhibited/lack of self-control, unresponsive during conversations... Are you sure this guy is not just on drugs all the time? My friend's ex-boyfriend was a bit this way and she had no idea he was even using until he got shipped off to rehab and it turned out he'd been high for their entire relationship.
posted by unsub at 11:55 PM on January 19, 2017 [8 favorites]


Is he JUST interested in my body, and is that so wrong?

Possibly, and not necessarily. What's wrong is that you don't feel the same way about him. To you, his behavior is objectifying and off-putting (... it's starting to feel sort of impersonal and animalistic. I also worry that we can't have intellectual conversations, which is for me one of the main benefits of a romantic relationship.). You're insulted that he doesn't appreciate your mind, your personality, your character. You can't have deep conversations with him. You haven't had sex with him yet, but the flattering novelty of his obvious lust for your body has already worn off (probably because he's not shown any real interest in you as an actual, sovereign person).

Skedaddle, and be grateful for the takeaway: frank appreciation for your physical attributes has been lacking in your previous, more-cerebral relationships, and now that you know it's important to you, you won't settle.
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 12:39 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


This guy sounds really creepy and like he's making you uncomfortable, which means he's really not a good fit for you. A good date will make you feel good about yourself, not weirded out. I would stop seeing him and date some other people.

If you haven't dated a lot, when you start dating someone and he does something that no one else has, it's sort of easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your options are limited to either (for example) creepy, boring guys who are really sexually attracted to you or to nice, intelligent guys who aren't that attracted to you. But that isn't true. You're just working with a really small sample size and extrapolating too much.
posted by colfax at 2:22 AM on January 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


eeek
noo ew.
dude no.

cringed so hard reading about this grindy hug person. he thinks its enough to stare and hump his way into your heart (/bed)? really? without giving a shit what you say? really?? usually people at least make an effort to pretend they care about your thoughts.

this dude reminds me of my buds tinder date where the dude started licking her face at the end of the thing. for real. she said she *jogged* home to wash her face afterwards. they were standing in front of a grocery store saying their goodbyes and he just went for it. he somehow thought that a cup of coffee and convo meant a good slobbery lickjob is the way to secure a second date.
they could make a band, these two heroes.
call it grindlick.

why would you even consider a dude who doesn't value your brainmeats? you said he made you feel like a blow up doll??
dude.
duude. you know what you need to do.

hard as it is to believe, there are well-rounded peeps to date out there.
men that won't grind-hug you (seriously, the creepfactor is strong with this one), and who will find you gorgeous for who you are. inside and out. don't let the intensity of this guy blindside you.
posted by speakeasy at 3:17 AM on January 20, 2017 [14 favorites]


Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with the 'always hard' thing (at all) but it's up to you to decide what you're comfortable with.

if I undress to any degree he first commands me to "hold still" while he moves a few paces away and just stares at me, as though committing the image to memory.

This bit is weird. I have been in a similar situation myself with someone who wanted me to try on his shirt and i'm annoyed now that I didn't tell him that it was fucking weird. So I would say, tell him that his behaviour is very strange and see if he stops. It sounds as if he hasn't had many (any?) serious relationships so he's not aware of how strange he is behaving. Some people just don't know. They sort of need to be handed their self-awareness to them. Give him feedback. If you don't like it, tell him you don't like it.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 4:52 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wrong, who cares. He's not for you. Dating isn't a meritocracy, it's a sorting process.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 4:56 AM on January 20, 2017 [9 favorites]


If I say something clever or witty he doesn't really seem to react.

I should add that if this distracted-by-sexual-attraction thing is happening at the expense of acknowledging you as a person in any given situation then I would have a problem with it. He sounds boring, uninteresting and empty ... but sexually exciting. How are you enjoying this relationship? Is he really hot or something? I might get shot down for this but I would probably see if he was really good in bed and keep him as a piece on the side. Objectification from both sides is fine if it's made clear that it's only a sexual relationship. It would be great fun to sleep with someone who really adores your physicality (if that's what you want). Possible FWB?
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 5:08 AM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


but... is this normal?

It doesn't matter if it's normal or not. All that matters is if you like it. You're not obligated to tolerate behavior just because it's normal, and you're not obligated to dislike behavior if it's abnormal. To me, though, it sounds like the novelty is starting to wear off, and it's becoming unenjoyable for you.

I hate to be alarmist, but I was with a guy that was exactly like this, and it got worse. I'm a very fat person, and I'd been with people who didn't care about my size, but he was the first person who actively liked it. I eventually found out it wasn't in a healthy way. It was very fetishistic. It made me feel the exact way you're describing - like a mannequin. As it progressed, the only time he wanted to interact with me was when he was getting sexual satisfaction from my body (while also disregarding any of my sexual needs) and it completely destroyed my self esteem.

" I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something."

Oh, god, love. This. Please, please just run. This man is treating you like a sex toy? You are worth more than that and you deserve more than that!
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:29 AM on January 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


Does he have any female friends, sisters, women he admires in a realistic way? What's he like when you're in public? Does he ask you questions about your interests? Does he try to pick places you'd enjoy and activities he thinks you'd like at least once in a while? When you're alone together, does he put your comfort equal to or above his (assesses if you're thirsty, hungry, cold, tired, etc.)? If no, combined with the "stand still while I take photos for my spank bank" thing or the "involuntary" grinding thing I'd dump him. This guy should be paying attention to the effects of his behaviour on you, not just to his own feelings and desires, if he can't do that now, he won't do it later, it's a red flag. You want to be with someone who is sensitive to your needs.

Maybe he hasn't had a lot of experience with women despite being in his 30's and has been negatively influenced by his porn viewing habits, but that's not your job to fix. If anything he does makes you feel like you feel objectified and it's yucky, I would stop seeing him, because it won't change and you'll hurt your self esteem trying to get him to treat you like a person when you could be meeting men who are able to relate to you physically and mentally/emotionally.
posted by lafemma at 5:47 AM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


While I totally agree that this guy sounds like a creeper and a half, I'm also uneasy with some of the stuff you write about gender as if it were self-evident.

People can, I guess, date whoever they like - but the whole "brilliant man seeks unintellectual but really good-looking woman because men just are that way" thing is about misogyny and unequal power for women. And many of those men also have emotionally abusive friendships with intellectual women, so they get two sources of women's emotional labor, while "brilliant" women frequently have to be ridiculously good looking and keep their mouths shut to have relationships at all. This isn't natural; it's structural misogyny and it occurs because men think that smart women are less attractive because of their intelligence, since submission and deference are what is attractive in women.

Despite this, it's perfectly possible to be an intelligent woman and date an intelligent man, both of you being attracted to each other in roughly equal degree.

Also, why do you lead with the fact that you've dated many men who are "smarter and more accomplished than you are", when you're talking about a guy who is, in your own estimation, not exactly the sparkliest crystal in the chandelier? Is this a pattern? Just how much smarter and more accomplished are they, anyway? Would everyone agree that their accomplishments are notable?

I ask because when I hear women say this, I'm usually not dazzled by the specimens of manhood they produce, and I'm usually unconvinced that they themselves are so much less smart, etc. Women are socialized to believe that they're dumb. I'm a transmasculine person but I sure got a boatload of that, and I look back on the "accomplished" "intellectual" guys I thought were such towering geniuses when I was in my late twenties/early thirties - guys I believed so much smarter than I was - and....well, they weren't, let's leave it at that.

Neither intellectual men preferring less-intellectual women nor men grinding on their dates at random are normal, natural, desirable things.
posted by Frowner at 5:53 AM on January 20, 2017 [27 favorites]


It doesn't matter if it's normal or not. All that matters is if you like it. You're not obligated to tolerate behavior just because it's normal, and you're not obligated to dislike behavior if it's abnormal. To me, though, it sounds like the novelty is starting to wear off, and it's becoming unenjoyable for you.

FirstMateKate is exactly right. What happens in your relationship is up to you and your partner and nobody else. If you both are happy and are having your needs met and are feeling fulfilled by being in the relationship, then whatever floats your boat! But if you are not happy, and are not having your needs met, it doesn't matter how normal or abnormal your partner's behavior is.

Have you talked to him about it? It's possible it's a situation where he thinks that this is what you want, and he would be happy with being less... worshippy, but I'm doubtful. You certainly aren't obligated to talk to him about it - after a handful of dates it is probably better to just break things off if you don't feel like this is the way you want to be treated in a relationship.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:37 AM on January 20, 2017


#1: This guy is a weirdo and his behavior is extremely unusual.
#2: Stop seeing him.
#3: No, you won't have to worry about this happening very often with other men because #1.
posted by Gray Skies at 6:58 AM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


if I undress to any degree he first commands me to "hold still" while he moves a few paces away and just stares at me, as though committing the image to memory.

I said "aaaagh" out loud when I read that. The thing that's creepy here is not that he's very attracted to you, but that he doesn't seem to be treating you like a person. You're not an image to be committed to memory, you're a human he (presumably) wants to interact with.

This, though, the whole "two people interacting" thing, should be at the basis of all relationships. A good relationship is not a calculus of who is more accomplished or smarter; it's just two (or more) people who are into each other in a variety of ways.
posted by dizziest at 8:41 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


If you enjoyed it, it would be fine for a guy to just really be into your appearance. However, he sounds a little creepy and it seems like you are creeped out.

I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something.

I don't think I'd like to feel that way, and it doesn't sound like you do. Given that, I think you should end things with him.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 8:52 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Unless I missed it, you don't say how long you've been seeing this guy. You do say that you haven't had sex, though, so I'm assuming this is all relatively new. From that assumption I'll note that a common complaint of couples who've been together for a long time is, paraphrasing, I miss the horny energy we had at the beginning. It's possibly the most common scenario that the beginning of a relationship is dominated by lusty, hypersexual feelings (whether or not both parties display the intensity of those drives).

If you're uncomfortable with this kind of sexual, direct attention, that's the end of the story. Would you want that attention reduced or replaced with more, varied kinds of attention? Then you'll have to speak up and say so. If you carry through and have a long term relationship with this person, the intensity of the sexual urgency will wane over time, as it tends to do within humanity, and you may find yourself looking back longingly on the sensual crush of this moment. So, no, you're not overthinking it, but I encourage you to pay attention to, and, yes, enjoy it while you're thinking about it.

Anecdote: when I met my husband, I pursued him entirely out of sexual attraction (we're both men). Dare I say it, I outright objectified him for a couple months (and we do have an older/younger dynamic, with me being the younger). I was curious about the intensity of my passion, but I never once questioned my feelings. I can say very firmly today that I'm glad I followed my urges back then and didn't dial them back a single measure. YMMV!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:19 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Not normal and I'd bet my house that sex with this guy will not be mutually enjoyable for you. Run now.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2017 [9 favorites]


I've dated plenty of guys, nearly all of them smarter and more accomplished than myself.

rule one of personal advice giving is trust that the person asking the question understands their own situation, but I am going to break that rule right here because I don't believe you. Accomplishments are more measurable, so maybe that part of it. But I believe they thought they were smarter than you, and I believe you thought so, but I do not believe it was true, for a second.

& I think your readiness to believe this is at the heart of your willingness to put up with all this nonsense and to wonder if you should be grateful. Fuck no you shouldn't be grateful. A compelling and visceral physical attraction plus an equally intense liking and appreciation for your personality is just the essential qualification that makes for a possible boyfriend. Be grateful if a man does something really wonderful for you, but liking any and all parts of you isn't a favor he's doing you.

I think it's weird for people to say this level of attraction isn't normal because not to brag but it totally is, unless you're implying some kind of quasi-assault-I-just-can't-help-myself kind of thing, and if you are, get out. But it's a problem not because it isn't normal, but because if it isn't mutual it's profoundly alienating. If, on your part, you have no trouble keeping your hands and eyes off of him, this isn't a good situation to be in. that would be true even if he were more respectful than he sounds. Whether you decide to be flattered or insulted, you're still stuck as the passive recipient of his feelings and not caught up in your own. you don't have to settle for secondhand reflected lust.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2017 [9 favorites]


I just feel like I'm being treated like a mannequin or a blow-up doll or something.

Your feelings should count more than whether strangers think he's "normal."
posted by kapers at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'd give him a whirl but have the end in mind and begin actively seeking the end early because given your propensity to date people you think are smarter and more accomplished than you, he sounds dangerous to you. Prepare to maybe have fun sex--and if it isn't fun, end it immediately. Even if it is fun, plan to end it deliberately and soon. If you don't, you will likely have a taxing and unpleasant time. It could potentially develop into something harmful, a fun-and-maturity-delaying quagmire, if it goes on too long with him refusing to listen to you and telling you to "hold still" all the time and impersonate an object for him. And after you end it with him, seek out somebody you consider your equal, not your superior. "Superior" men, like houseguests and fish, are fun for a limited time only.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you posted this question, it is wrong. For you. Trust your instincts.
posted by cross_impact at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2017


I'm wondering if you suggested a friendly hiatus for a week or two, would he become insistent, angry, or exhibit any stalking behavior?

I'd love to have a guy worship my body, but not if he ignored the person inside the skin suit.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Sounds creepy. Rapey, even. I think your intuition is telling you to run.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 12:45 PM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


Have you told him that this behavior makes you uncomfortable? Like in very basic terms, such as "when you tell me to hold still while you stare at me, it makes me feel [objectified, embarrassed, like a mannequin, etc]" If so, what was his response?

Maybe I should be grateful to find someone so viscerally attracted to my body.

I know you say he isn't dominant or bossy, but you are asking whether you should feel gratitude for being treated like a blow-up doll; this makes me worry about negging or other forms of psychological abuse, either in this relationship or in your past. Apologies if that's an overread.
posted by basalganglia at 3:02 PM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


" Maybe I'm naive to think that other men do care about inner qualities"

Not naive. Normal. Usual. Desirable. Inner qualities are what make two people care about each other. Hold out for someone who appreciates your inner qualities AND likes your physical appearance. He's out there.
posted by Mystical Listicle at 4:24 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I wonder if he's having "fifty shades of grey" fantasies? He's behaving in such a hypersexual, one dimensional, controlling way. This was my first reaction to reading your post. He may be building a fantasy scenario in his mind, and you are his leading lady. I agree with others above, this is probably time for a discussion about his actions. Be cautious, and trust your gut feelings. He strikes me as a seriously weird dude, but whether it's an ackward weird, or a calculating, controlling weird, remains to be seen. Be careful.
posted by LaBellaStella at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Previously, an FPP perhaps of interest.
posted by wonton endangerment at 12:56 AM on January 21, 2017


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