If you’re looking for a hand-written love letter, visit Craigslist. If you’re looking for raunchy pick-up lines, enter the modern-day dating scene.
Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is not about love; it is about sex. If you really do love and care about someone, you shouldn’t need a holiday to express that. It is a little explicit to dub a day “Sex Day” so, Valentine’s Day will do. Buy me some chocolate, stuff my face with pasta at some questionably authentic Italian restaurant, and let’s crack open a bottle of wine. Will any of this make me fall in love? No, but it may increase the chances of me sleeping with you. Whisper in my ear, “Girl, you’re so thick. I can’t wait to get at you.” Wait – what?
In our modern day dating scene, the “language of love” has been reduced to strange one-liners that mechanically mean nothing but all boil down to “I want to sex you.” If someone tells me I am “thick” and they “can’t wait to get at” me, it sounds like I have been mistaken for a king-sized Snickers bar, thick, gooey and filled with peanuts and caramel, instead of a lover. Am I gooey, Mr. Man? From this context, it seems you want to unwrap me and chomp on a chewy, crunchy substance, which makes me hungry for a candy bar, not you.
I am not a man-hater. But I need to point my finger somewhere, and for some reason, it is always gravitating in the male direction. Surely, my girlfriends and I didn’t sit around giggling while we made the joint executive decision that we wanted our privates to be referred to as “yams,” as “getting the yams/ax” is a new phrase males use to describe their sexual escapades.
Linguistics and grammar professor Brian Sammons explained that while a person’s word choice is a more psychological matter, what is acceptable in terms of word choice is always changing.
“What’s considered acceptable is changing and always has changed, but that doesn’t mean everyone shares the same idea about what is acceptable,” Sammons said. “These notions are always contained within a culture, and I think it’s fair to say that the culture we live in is really made up of many cultures. So what’s acceptable to some is not acceptable to others.”
I know women can be just as vulgar as, if not more than, men. That language, however, is typically reserved for more intimate conversations, not when you are first establishing a connection. If I am interested in someone, I usually drop, “You aren’t too shabby.” Notice, there was no reference to the penis as a vegetable.
“If you have the impression that standards are deteriorating, it may be more a sign of what kind of behavior is more visible rather than what kind of behavior is more common,” Sammons said. “Maybe it’s not that we’re becoming more crude or less sensitive but that we are exposed to more crudeness and insensitivity.”
There is a man, I’ll name him “Derek,” who insists on spitting these lines at me as bait, even though I never come close enough to even smell the worm. He expressed that he wanted to “get with me,” “get at me” and “holler at me.” So after weeks of confusion and annoyance, I asked him what he was really trying to say.
Derek explained some girls find it sexy if a guy is very forward, so he was just trying to display interest. In an attempt to make a rebuttal, I told Derek that while some girls may appreciate the approach he was using, he shouldn’t assume every woman is into the up-front sexual version of “hello.” Derek and I crossed a bridge of understanding, but I still rejected his offer. In response, he told me he hopes my boyfriend cheats on me.
Though I crossed a bridge that was immediately burned, I was able to see that some males’ current “language of love” is fueled mostly by insecurities, not hormones.
Samantha Krotzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.