In this day and age sex is incredibly easy to source and receive. Whether it’s found on sticky dance floors, a crowded bar or through social media, it is always available. The countless apps now allowing us to instantly connect with others around the world such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have slowly moved from a device to interact with your peers, to a more personalised version of Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish as they provide less effort, help to hide a hidden agenda and often give easy access (pun intended) to the life of the person being pursued.
Although I don’t personally use my apps for seeking sexual partners, many, many men do. Of course there are women out there utilising the same methods and behaving in the same manner and this unfortunately only propagates the idea that all women are condoning of and willing to participate in this kind of subjection. I can only speak from my personal experience of the online contact I have received from men all over the world as a travelling woman and honestly it is almost hilarious how outlandish the Instagram private messages, or comments on images received can be, but also shocking that men believe this sort of attitude and language towards a woman they’ve never met will work. I suppose what is a concerning thought is that it must do if they continue to conduct themselves in this way.
I am open and honest and can happily confirm I have been active on tinder in the past when living in London to see what the fuss is all about. I personally didn’t enjoy the process and found there was little, to no substance in the people I was chatting with to keep me interested. I even used Tinder whilst travelling, but not in the way you might think… After speaking with an American friend who told me she was able to connect with locals or fellow travellers in foreign countries and either find a great buddy to explore the city with, or receive good recommendations of where to stay and what to do, being a solo traveller like her, I thought HEY, why not give it a go! I kept it controlled, safe and didn’t reveal details of my location such as the hostel I was staying at. This meant I was able to make some interesting connections, but of course it wasn’t as successful as the typical use of the app as I had to make it very clear why I was online and set my boundaries. It was an experiment that had both positive and negative outcomes. The under lying issue with this app will always be whether the individuals involved will receive some sort of sexual favour, otherwise it’s made to feel like you’re wasting the other persons time, because getting to know some one while dating is clearly a faux pas.
With the increase in technology allowing for more… benefits… whilst travelling this now provides two methods of attack. Yes, I do mean attack, as interaction is quite often forthright and aggressive in finding someone to fulfill your desires. Although the modern trend of seeking sexual partners via your phone can be intriguing, it seems the traditional tried and tested method of obtaining an international dive between the sheets is more likely to be successful depending on where you choose to stay on your trip abroad. If you haven’t clued on yet, I’m taking about hostels and their hookup environment. The hostel culture was created decades ago and will most likely continue until hostels cease to exist. The only concern I have with this system is the ever increasing lack of respect men seem to have for the women they’re chasing. They expect we should fall madly to our knees with lust from a crappy gesture, such as inappropriately touching us, smarmy one liners, or buying a $1 bottle of beer expecting us to be eternally grateful, when we could have paid for it ourselves. What a heart throb!
It only saddens me that not only do men in these environments have a lack of respect for women, but these very women seem to have no respect at all for themselves. They’re happy to look a mess in the hope that the hostel hottie will ‘want’ them, when they should be desired for their many merits and self worth. I by no means want to shame my fellow women for their choices, but in the instance that you think the only way a man in your hostel (or generally in life) will be interested in you is by faking a ‘cool chick’ persona, then you aren’t doing our sisterhood any benefit in demanding respect for ourselves. I’m all for sexual freedom and the want to experiment, but when you’re only participating to fulfill a predetermined role created by males, of what we should be and act like, then you aren’t really living as your true self, are you?
What then takes these interactions a step further in the wrong direction is that apparently without any of us knowing, all single women have the words home wrecker written in invisible ink on their foreheads that only men can see. I and many other women are continually pursued by men that omit the tiny little detail that they are already involved in a monogamous relationship. I can understand that there is a perception that people are far looser with their morals whilst travelling, however I can not understand that if you’ve chosen to commit yourself to a woman and then go off to travel for a week, a month, or even a year, that you then think it’s perfectly acceptable to try to create a physical and/or emotional relationship with another woman.
There are many levels on the scale of cheating dickhead, ranging from the idiots that are out on a boys trip, only seeking disposable girls to hook up with and then be on their willy way. Then there is the biggest scumbag of them all… This kind of male I have had the misfortune to meet more than once and they are the men that actively pursue you, state they are single and looking for something serious, take an interest in your life, ask you on dates, have you meet their friends and either expect you won’t find out they already have a girlfriend, or think you’ll be perfectly OK with that fact once you do find out. Here’s a shocker, I won’t be and hopefully other women won’t as well.
However ladies, if you’re still living in the fantasy world after the truth comes out, this is your reality check. Please understand that no these men won’t be leaving their significant other for you, it’s all just a game to validate their own existence and desirability in the world. Not only are they actively working to ‘play’ you, they’re mistreating the girl waiting patiently at home for their return from the trip of a lifetime.
In many instances I can suss these types out and give them the quick flick, but in a few cases the genuine behavior I thought I was experiencing was just a deceiving ploy. Now, for all you men out there calling foul and wanting to shout “Hey! I’m a good guy.” this can be true, there are still a few of you out there. I have created some of the best and long lasting friendships with a certain type of male personality, obviously, the opposite to what I’m writing about. I find them easy to connect with as we often have a similar sense of humor and goals on our travel adventures. Unfortunately this species of male seems to be almost extinct. We need to teach young boys how to value women once they’re grown, whether only meeting them for a fleeting moment abroad or wanting to spend the rest of their life with them.
Like I said before, it’s completely the choice of the woman if she is aware of the situation to participate in this kind of relationship. My personal disagreement can’t stop you as it’s your life to live, but I’ll lead mine in a way I believe is acceptable. However, as this is a personal blog, I will state that I believe this lifestyle only perpetuates the current dirty cycle and disrespects the woman he originally chosen to be with, but if you can still sleep at night, I guess that’s your decision.
If you can’t already tell by now, I have strong feelings on this subject, not only as a witness, but as a support network to my friends and as a woman who has personally dealt with this behavior a few times. If you’re a young man wanting to explore the big wide world, then go for it! Just don’t keep a commitment you can’t uphold and send another innocent person on an emotional roller coaster that could have been avoided. I guess the main thing in all of this is to realise that I am not targeting any one nationality or specific culture of men. This code of conduct has become a well understood language between men the world over. It has happened in every country I have visited and after speaking with other women who have dealt with the same situation, it’s only enforced the mindset that women should have no faith in the honesty of their partner.
I can only hope, that although this is a very strongly written piece, that it strikes home with some of you reading this. If you are behaving in the same way I have expressed, then be aware that your actions are purely selfish and affect more than just yourself. Your intentions will have a ripple effect that causes trauma to the women you have disrespected. When you find that you’re ready to finally ‘settle down’ and make a go of the traditional happily married lifestyle, your only options will be of women who have very high walls around their heart, that you’ll have to try to hammer through. That is if you’ve got the stamina to persevere. If only they were treated well from the beginning, then maybe your girlfriends would be more accepting and open to love in the first place and then wouldn’t act over the top in their concerns when you travel without them.
Finally, let’s make something clear. Just because a woman chooses to travel a lot doesn’t mean she is unworthy of love. It also doesn’t mean that she has chosen to live a loveless life either. I appreciate all of my experiences whilst travelling, but whether I chose to be intimate with you while I’m out there exploring the world, doesn’t mean I am only here for your personal gain. I’m not a quest to conquer, a number to add to your belt, nor an itch to scratch. I’m not an easy lay, a hi-5 behind my back with your mates, or a toy to play with for a few months because you’re bored. I am a woman. I am strong. I am intelligent. I know what I want. I will no longer be disrespected by men that deem me any less than this, nor will I join the culture of women who believe they should be any less than this.
Ladies, if you have a desire to be seen in the same light, then start demanding the same for yourself too.
♥ Love from Leah