Podcast Episode 2: Men vs women; who finds it easier to pick up? With Roger from Curious Creatures.

Is the stereotype true? Do guys pick up more easily than girls? Let’s cut the crap and look at the data, with Roger Butler from Curious Creatures.

Episode Transcript

This is the Art of the Hook Up, your straightforward guide to a successful sex life. I’m Georgie Wolf, an Aussie escort and total hookup enthusiast. Welcome to Episode Two, where we ask the question ‘Who picks up more, men or women?’ Is the stereotype true? Do guys have a hard time getting laid? Let’s cut the crap and get honest, with Roger Butler from Curious Creatures.

Before we get started, just a reminder that this podcast is definitely adults only. And with that said, let’s get into it.

Hey, it’s Georgie, here. I’m a writer, sex worker and a sexual adventurer from Melbourne, Australia. It’s my mission to talk about the stuff you need to know to have successful hook ups – that means finding the people that are right for you negotiating awesome sex and walking away feeling good about yourself. Here’s what I’ll be talking about today. When it comes to hetero guys and girls, who finds it easier to score? You might think that the answer is obvious. But I have a hunch that it’s a little more complicated than we might think. To help sort this out, I’m speaking with Roger Butler from Curious Creatures. 

Georgie: Hi, Rog.

Roger: Hi, Georgie, how you doing?

Georgie: I’m doing well. Thanks.

Roger: Thanks for having me.

Georgie: I can tell you’re doing well, because you’ve got a big smile on your face, which is always good for midweek, right?

Roger: Early in the morning.

Georgie: So look, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re about?

Roger: Yeah, so my main thing is running workshops under the banner of Curious Creatures, for couples and singles. Most of those workshops are around communication skills, self development, and sexuality. And I also do my podcast which is called Curious Conversations about Sex.

Georgie: Awesome. And now I will tell you the reason that I invited you on this. So we were sitting together in the pub once. And I was complaining about being rejected by guys on Tinder. And I was feeling-

Roger: All of this so far sounds plausible. 

Georgie: Sound familiar? A little bit down on myself. And I remember you turned to me with this anguished look on your face and said, ‘Do you know how many times I get rejected on online dating platforms? Like do you know how many rejections I get to get one day?’ I’m like, ‘No, what are you talking about?’ And then you went through the numbers and I was quite startled, haha. So I feel like you might be the perfect person to give us an idea of whether there is a difference between girls and guys trying to get laid, whether we’re talking about, you know, a small number or whether it’s astronomical.

Roger: Maybe I do have some ideas on the topic. Yes.

Georgie: And I feel like the general assumption is that it’s easier for women to get laid, whether it’s in person or whether it’s online…that if a chick wants sex she can just go out and get it. That’s the stereotype, right?

Roger: I think that’s the common narrative. Yeah. I mean, I think if you chat with people that are just in the men’s camp, I think they’d probably say the opposite. And if you chat with people who were just in the women’s camp, they’ll probably say that version. But I think that’s the dominant idea.

GeorgieThe most the most common idea. Yeah, yeah. Great. Yeah. So I guess to cut straight to the, the important bit, what’s your experience been so far of trying to pick up? Just give us your life story.

Roger: Short answer to that is, not real good. Well, my experience on things like Tinder, I recall the conversation we were having, and I don’t know what the exact number would be. But I have a hunch that I have swiped ‘Yes’, to…it’d have to be well over 1000 people on Tinder. And I’ve had some conversations with a handful, but I have had literally two dates, two dates out of thousands of swipes. So not a real good success record, no.

Georgie: Geez, whereas from my point of view, as a, you know, an averagely conventionally attractive, slightly older lady-type person, that I do have more success than two in a thousand, for sure. But also that’s been the experience most of my life, like, when I was 22, when I was going out to get laid, and I wasn’t as conventionally attractive back then. I was about size 16, sort of like a shaved head, I was a little bit scary. It was great. It’s great fun, and I actually still managed to pick up quite a bit. So my experience has been more success than failure. Although there’s definitely been a lot of failure there. There’s also been a lot of success. And what I’m hearing for you is that it’s a lot more attempts and a lot less dates.

Roger: It would seem to be. I mean, this whole thing around where the two of us sit on the bell curve of attractiveness is a crucial thing in terms of it. This was actual scientific data. So as it is…

Georgie: I’m not objective here.

Roger: As it is a sample data of one, um… I know I’ve had a couple of other partners as well, female partners who have a problem with with things like Tinder, and Fetlife, and so forth, which is that they log on and they get overwhelmed with, in some cases, six or eight hundred messages. Yeah. And they just go, ‘Where the hell do you start with that?’ And so they never bother pursuing it. Um this is all just sample datas of one. Just random ones.

Georgie: But this is my experience, particularly for online dating platforms where you don’t have to match with someone first before they’re allowed to talk to you, so what quickly happens in other spaces is you get 10 million messages. And then I just I basically switch off and go to bed because I can’t handle sorting through all the messages. There’s too much admin, right? This is why I’m such a big fan of apps where you have to match with someone before they can speak to you so that you don’t get a lot of unsolicited… Although, I’ve just started to get guys sliding into my DMs on Instagram because I’ve added my Instagram handle to my Tinder account. Hmm. So guys-sorry, people-will find your handle on Tinder. And then they’ll go, ‘Oh, well, they didn’t match with me. I’ll just go and try and solicit them on Instagram instead.’ And that’s a thing. So. So yeah, that is that is an experience, right being overwhelmed. So like, it’s sort of sounds like we’re almost following the stereotypical line right now, like our experiences a seeming to seeming to sit within that fairly predictably. I’m curious about the ways that maybe it might not be true.

Roger: Hmm. So you’re saying at the moment, we’re fitting within the within the idea that it sounds like what we’re saying based on our experiences is that it’s easier for people that identify or present as women to get laid.

Georgie: In my experience, I have had more success than failure. There’s been a lot of failure and it’s sounding like with you, it’s a bit more of a battle. Having said that, I feel like even calling not getting laid failure is a bit kind of shit. Because the times when I have been rejected, or I haven’t gotten what I wanted, usually there was a good reason for that, you know. I needed to work on my social skills, or maybe they just weren’t right for me. Or maybe I needed to get away. Maybe they weren’t safe or it was going to be bad. So maybe I’m just going to catch myself there and say that it’s not really a succesd/failure situation. No, maybe it’s just a, you know, we’re getting laid situation or some other outcome that may or may not be beneficial situation.

Roger: Yeah, I think broadly speaking, we’re looking at a choice between being overwhelmed and being underwhelmed by responses. I know which of those I’d prefer, but neither is perfect. But again, this is all sample data of one. I did some thinking around this because I knew we’d be chatting about such things. We thought on what some objective data might be. I would love your thoughts. What I want to do is first I want to hit us up with some maths.

Georgie: Yes, great.

Roger: Then I would like to look at some potential data points. And then I’d like to reach a sort of a conclusion and I’d love for you to audit my thinking.

Georgie: Roger, I’m not a maths person. You’re gonna have to ease me into this. Slow, slow. 

Roger: Nah, trust me, it’s gonna be gentle.

Georgie: Thank you. Promise?

Roger: I promise. The math is pretty simple. Firstly, like, there’s an almost equal number of men-and-women-type folk on the planet. And according to the 2016 census in Australia, there’s roughly an equal number of men and women in same sex relationships. So the remaining pool of hetero-ish people are basically equal in number. So just looking purely at the maths of this on a superficial level that would sort of suggest that it has to be about the same. That’s the maths bit done, by the way. 

Georgie: Thanks for letting me know. That was okay.

Roger: All right. All right. But I have some other data points. I’ve got quite a few. And I’m really trying to look outside of my personal experience here to see what might be a more objective take. So the first point is, so I guess I run sexuality workshops. And some of those include touch and sexual exploration. And some of those workshops are broken into single male tickets and single female tickets. So we release a limited number of those to sort of maintain an overall balance, even if it’s not a hetero paired workshop. And so the first data point that I’m aware of is that most of our single male tickets are sold out about six months in advance, and we generally have quite a long waiting list of very enthusiastic gentlemen.

Georgie: So you’re telling me that guys who want to come by themselves to your events are literally buying tickets six months in advance? 

Roger: Yes. 

Georgie: So this suggests that there is a this is a similar situation, right, that there are a lot of guys looking for opportunities. There are more guys looking for opportunities, or they’re a lot more forward about approaching those opportunities.

Roger: Yes, one of those conclusions. sounds right. Next point is just one more observation. At workshops with these ticket types, women are much more likely to be the ones that just don’t turn up. So you might say either there’s nonchalance around turning up, or perhaps that they’re more scared. I’m not sure which of those is true…it could be both. The single guys will turn up no matter what. If they bought their ticket six months in advance, they are gonna make it. Next data point?

Georgie: Go for it.

Roger: And we do. So the dating website, Ashley Madison, which was probably pitched in a particular way, their data was hacked. And it’s one of the first times we’ve gotten to see a realistic take on what the gender split is on dating sites, or on this particular dating site. And what we discovered out of that data was that 90% of the people there were male, and all those remaining 10% fully half of them were chat bots, were robots. So realistically, yeah.

Georgie: Wow.

Roger: Massive difference there between people. What’s that? Something like twenty to one of males to females?I know, as we were talking before, I know what my female friends told me about dating sites compared to what my male friends told me, right? This is just passing observations, it’s not actual data.

Georgie: Look, we’re here for the anecdotes. It’s fine. You can you can anecdote away.

Roger: Yeah. And the propositions still seem to come from me. And I would like to think that we live in a more gender equal culture. But it looks like men do all of the offering…and sometimes nagging as you’re talking about with your Instagram little workaround.

Georgie: Right. So there’s this sort of, like general stereotype that men tend to be more sexually aggressive, and women tend to hang back. And again, there are so many exceptions to that. Like I’m very clear exception in that I’m extremely sexually aggressive in some situations. So this isn’t this isn’t a catch all. But this is general perception that that’s how it goes, right?

Roger: Yes, it does still seem to be the case. And particularly if the market supply and demand is really heavily tilted one way over the other, then as a woman within that system, you can still just play the role of gatekeeper a little more. And as the men in that system, you are getting progressively more desperate. And that’s quite scary.

Georgie: That does lead to a situation where guys are reaching out more desperately and aggressively because they’re not getting what they want.

Roger: Yeah, taking higher risks, and being more annoying, and also being more frustrated.

Georgie: And that fits really well with the idea that guys are supposed to be – if they’re masculine, they’re supposed to be aggressive, and they’re supposed to pursue sex, because that just that’s gonna slide straight into that, that perception, they’re not going to even question that they shouldn’t be harassing people or they shouldn’t be chasing after people.

So I guess what I’m curious about…So we’ve established that there are more guys going out there to try and get laid than there are women overtly going out to try and get laid actively. And what I suspect is that if you look at the whole population, this this this this sort of tendency or, in my experience, for women to pre-select themselves out and for guys to post-select themselves out. And what I mean by that is, I was chatting to a bloke recently on Tinder. And I was explaining to him my filtering system. So I’ll go through someone’s profile, look at their pictures, decide if we’re right for each other, then we’ll match and I’ll start setting up little questions to test whether we’re going to get along. What he said is, ‘I would never do that. I’d never read the profile before I decide whether to swipe, because I have to swipe right on so many people to get one match, that it’s more effective for me to swipe on everyone. And then when I match with them, then I start the process of deciding whether they’re right. Whether they’re right for me.’

And it was a real eye opener for me, because I think the perception is also that because men are more aggressive, that they’re less selective – that they’ll fuck anything. Or that men just want to get out there, and they don’t care who they’re sleeping with. And I don’t think that’s the case. I think all genders are selective. But I think that perhaps, generally women have more of a tendency to pre-select, so we will never even approach someone if we think they’re not right. Whereas men have a tendency to try and get that in first and then post-select, because that’s how they work out whether you’re right for each other. It’s not it’s not that we’re, you know, one gender is more selective than the other, it’s just that we’re choosing different points to be selective. And in women’s case, sometimes, that means not leaving the house, because we’ve selected ourselves out of any chance of getting laid, because we’re too scared. Because we can’t find anyone that seems safe enough, or that seems right for us. And it’s sort of like, you know, the invisible women that you’d never see complaining about not getting laid, because they’ve they’ve never tried in the first place.

Roger: Yes, yes. I’m not sure. Um, I think I think yes, I agree that both genders are selective. But I think in maybe a little bit of a difference there. Based on socialization, I don’t think there’s any fundamental difference between men and women, by the way, or at least not much. But a couple of ideas that come to mind is that I often get asked… so, for workshops, once single tickets are sold, this leads to oftentimes the possibility of turning up as a couple. And I often get asked by men, can you pair me with just any woman so that I can come along and do this workshop? And I’ve never literally never been asked that by a woman. There is a bit of a sense there that as a male, I will just accept whatever’s sort of there.

Georgie: I think men are socialised to just, you know, have at it. When it comes to sex. It’s like, yes, I’m just gonna go for it. And if we’re culturally raised as women, we just tend to lack that ‘gung ho. Just get into it, mate.’ 

Roger: Yeah, yeah..

Georgie: ‘What’s wrong with ya?’

Roger: ‘Give it a shot, bro, see how it goes!’

Georgie: Yeah, right. So we’re sort of edging towards the ‘why’s, I guess. And this is where the interesting stuff is.

Roger: Yeah, well, like the funny thing for me – and this is the bit I would love your opinion on, checking my logic on this – because going through all that data, it also just seems to me that there is a pretty substantial difference between the male and female experience in the dating game. But if we go back to the maths at the start of this rave, the numbers should be approximately equal. So I’m like aware Is the discrepancy coming from?

Georgie: Where are we dropping out?

Roger: I have a couple of ideas.

Georgie: Me too, and they’re probably the same.

Roger: Okay, I can’t wait to hear yours. Um, I’m guessing that partly, there’s a lot of cultural anger and frustration towards men at the moment. And I think a lot of women are just abandoning the dating and relationship process just going, ‘You know what, it’s not worth it.’ Like, ‘Fuck it, I’ve got better things to do with my time.’ And so are just like self-removing from the process. The other one might be to do with…if we frame this conversation…so as it is, we’re talking about the question of who finds it easier to get laid, or something like that. If we’d asked the question, ‘Who finds it easier to get into a relationship?’ We might find a complete tilt of this conversation in the other direction.

Georgie: Totally, right? we’re not talking about sex, we’re talking about-

Roger: Yeah, so if you’ve been socialized female, you’ve been socialized to pursue relationships and so forth. And then sex happens after. If you’ve been socialized male and you’ve been socialized to pursue the sex and then the relationship comes after that.

Georgie: Again, this is a massive generalization, but this is the shit we’re working with. This is the stuff that we’re taught is the status quo, right?

Roger: Yes, totally. Um, so like that’s kinda my guess on that? I don’t know. I’ve certainly heard – we’re back into anecdotal territory now – but I’ve certainly heard a lot of women complain that it’s hard to find a good male partner. And that might be the equivalent language of a man saying, ‘I find it hard to get laid.’

Georgie: Yeah, yeah. It could be could be, right? I have a perspective on that, also…

RogerI would love to hear.

Georgie: What I’m thinking is that there are a lot of women out there that that wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, I tried to get laid. It never works.’ Rather, they sort of secretly wish that they could go out and get laid, but they never even try because they’re too scared – because they don’t feel safe, because the, you know, the first time they tried to stick their toe in the water, they were so overwhelmed with messages or aggressive approaches or dick pics that they immediately withdrew and never tried again.

Roger: Yes.

Georgie: So I would suspect, while there are a lot of guys actively trying and maybe not doing too well, because of all the issues we’ve talked about, that they’re probably also a lot of women who would actually secretly just love to be total hornbags.

Roger: Yes.

Georgie: And also, fear of being called a slut and being shamed and all that sort of stuff. And so they never even step foot out of the house. This is not my experience…it’s my suspicion.

Roger: Yes, yes. I think you’re right. That’s what I mean around how it’s almost like just abandoning the idea of dating and relationships. It’s too scary, it’s too threatening…

Georgie: Yeah. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s you know, women withdrawing in horror and then guys going, ‘Wait, come back!’ Again, massive over-simplification, right, because not everyone is doing that. Some of us are doing different things. But it’s that whole you know, ‘Wait come back’ fits perfectly with the ‘Oh my god, get out of my face.’ And then all this other stuff that can happen when people that are in the, I would say, almost vulnerable situation of putting themselves out there all the time and not getting any response. Not understanding why that that aggressive putting yourself out there or that repeated putting yourself out there might not be an approach that’s even working, sometimes.

Roger: Yeah, yeah, um, I don’t remember remembering also some studies that have been done on the process of being rejected when you make an offer and you are rejected. And it shows that a lot of the same pain centers in the brain as if you were actually caused physical pain. And I think if, if it is such a massive tilt of men doing almost all of the asking, then they’re in a position where they’re just having this constant experience of pain through the dating game… and I’m not sure how capable men are at processing and dealing with that pain-

Georgie: Fuck, no.

Roger: -versus just reflecting it back and putting it back out in the world.

Georgie: I actually have a friend who was really into pickup artistry stuff for a while. That face is appropriate…

Roger: Sorry. I just pulled up horrified face.

Georgie: So what he did was ‘day game,’ which is when you approach women on the street, and try and ask them out. Which, to me, is a remarkably bad idea, because the last thing you want to do is taps someone on the shoulder when they’re on the way to work and say, hey, I want to go on a date. Like ‘No, man, no!’ But what he said was ‘I’m hitting up so many women in the space of a day,’ He hit on twenty, thirty women, and they all turn him down, because of course you do. Because you’re fucking going to work!

But anyway, um, he said it was really psychologically crushing. He ended up almost like scarred, and now when he goes to ask someone out, when he does like them, he has these flashbacks of all these women blowing him off and telling him ‘no,’ and he can’t even bring himself to open his mouth. So he’s actually – by virtue of not really maybe thinking about the effects or not realizing the effects that doing that would have on him – he’s he’s put himself in a situation where he’s hamstrung because of the weight of all those awful experiences, and they’re getting in the way for him.

I don’t I don’t think this is the woman’s responsibility. Like I would say the same thing in the street. But it’s interesting that when we put ourselves out there, we don’t always think about the ramifications for us. And often we don’t think about the ramifications for the other person. But that can really blow back on us as well.

RogerYes. Interesting. It’d be fascinating to study the state of mind of people that have studied and attempted that pickup artist style of approach to see what the ultimate results are, like, is that working for them?

Georgie: On their self esteem.

Roger: The impact on their self esteem. And for me, I used to think that the approach I should be taking was that I’d been socialized with, and I imagined that the way to pick up – this is even going back to pre-internet dating days was at a pub or something like that. So, there are a lot of times in my younger years, where I would go out with the intention of picking up and, geez. It was a humiliating process, partly because I was an aware enough person – I didn’t want to come across as that sleazy guy. So as a consequence, I actually approached a very small number of people. And out of all those times, I think I’ve picked up from the pub literally twice, something in that kind of range. And I’ve now discovered my groove and my style and something that works a lot better for me and those around me. But yeah, actually, that whole process is just damaging. It’s a slaughterhouse.

Georgie: It’s tough. Yeah. And you know, I do get rejected quite a lot. Although we’ve established, the numbers may be slightly different.

Roger: Quite a lot, maybe up by a scale of zero.

Georgie: But I will say that I do put myself out there a lot. I hit on people fucking everywhere.

Roger: Yeah, I’m sure I didn’t mean to undermine your experience.

Georgie: You’re fine. Like rejection is rejection. It doesn’t matter whether you get rejected, you know, 50% of the time, or 10% or 99%. It’s still a tough experience, if that’s your experience. But definitely, I do. I hit on a lot of people and I do it mostly for practice, or sometimes I do it for fun or whatever. And so I probably get a bigger percentage of rejections back then your average chick, because I am a, ‘give it a crack’, slightly sexually aggressive person. So again, not everyone fits into that vibe, but it sucks, it really does suck.

Roger: And I wonder off also if it’s a little more painful for women in that process, because I think there might be a sense out there for some people that women can get sex when they want it. And so if you put yourself out there as a woman and you get a rejection, it’s maybe like doubly painful.

Georgie: Well, we’re sort of you’re stepping out of type. So if I go and hit on someone really aggressively, and I get knocked back, then I get the shame of ‘I got rejected,’ and then I get the shame of, ‘It’s really gross that you did that. Anyway, you shouldn’t be stepping up, you shouldn’t be hitting on people like what’s wrong with you.’ That there’s something wrong with the female-presenting person who tries to get laid, that we should all be sitting back and then going ‘Oh well, I guess I just got carried away, but I don’t normally do this stuff,’ because that’s not the way I do it.

Yeah, there is some shame. Like, you know, maybe there’s something wrong with me for going after sex. And then on the other hand, from a traditional male’s point of view, the the idea of getting laid is so tied up with masculinity that getting rejected is not only feeling hard on yourself, but also it’s a case of, ‘Why can’t I get laid? If I were a real man, then I would just be able to get sex, right?’

Roger: That’s probably in there somewhere. Yeah, yeah. Maybe over time men get acclimatised to the process of being rejected. Maybe it’s something that one gets a skill up around, and that becomes less painful over time. I don’t know. Just venturing an idea there.

Georgie: I feel like it does. I have some friends who are really comfortable with rejection have managed to sort of reframe it to the point where it’s easier, and I guess this is my view about this stuff. If I were in charge, and I could just make this world perfect, I would ask that guys learn to sit back just a little bit and give women room to step forward a little bit and then ask that women do step forward a little bit, because this is something we also aren’t very good at doing. We’re not good at saying, ‘That’s what I want,’ or ‘I’m interested in you,’ when and we go out, because we’re sort of culturally trying to sit back and wait.

Roger: I love your proposed version of the world, I’d much prefer your reality. That would be a great world obviously, bring on the equality. It’s a hard experiment to run at the moment. Because in the male camp, if you sit back and do the waiting thing, you just disappear into invisibility and much more forward aggressive alpha types will step into the gap, and you just won’t get seen. So that thing around ‘the nice guy finishes last’ has some truth in it. And unfortunately, that’s reinforcing the more aggressive dominant alphas type of behavior. And we’re making no progress towards your utopian world, which I really want to get towards.

Georgie: I want to make progress towards my utopian world! So for me, then, it becomes more about encouraging women to take the initiative and step forward towards the people they are actually interested in, so that those really aggressive ‘sliding into your DM’ guys don’t get the first look-in. And I think for me, lifting some of that shame and adding some of that safety as well. That’s gotta happen. Because at the moment, what’s holding us back is being afraid that we can get assaulted, sexually assaulted all that stuff, or being afraid we’re going to be called, nymphos, or weirdos, or psychos, for pursuing sex.

Roger: Yes. And a great partner experience to go on at the same time as your experience. would be…It’d be great if there was more dialogue amongst men of some men saying to other men, ‘Hey, dude, when you behave like that you are trashing the world for all of us.’ Like, ‘You’re making this a much harder environment and you’re screwing us all over in that process. Can you please pull your behavior back?’

Georgie: Yes! So I kind of feel like I’d be remiss for not saying, hey, maybe we should just talk about some of the times when this stuff isn’t true, some of the exceptions to the rule. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because I ran a class with Laneway Learning last month, about ethical hookups. And I expected that the whole class would be full of guys. And actually, it was mostly women.

And it wasn’t even stereotypical women. It wasn’t stereotypical 20-something single women. I had this whole posse of grandmothers turn up, and they were beautiful. It was great. They were about 45 or 50. And they huddled up the back and they were, you know, there’s a lot of more support going on. But they were legitimately there because they wanted to know how to hook up and they just weren’t sure where to start. And someone came up afterwards and said, ‘Oh, yeah, this is great stuff, you know, thanks, really encouraging.’ And it changed my view on that a bit, because I assumed it would be all guys wanting to get laid.

Roger: So we’ve been talking about this in terms of gender generalizations. Another form of generalisation that sits over the top of this whole conversation is that the higher up you are on the bell curve of attractiveness, the more successful you’re likely to be in the dating game. So, yeah, that stereotype of attractiveness is going to be there. So I can certainly think of some people, some men folk, who are quite attractive-presenting, who have had a absolutely fabulous run and things like Tinder because that’s obviously a very looks based platform very superficial. 

But more joyous, I know of plenty of men who have done a whole bunch of work on themselves and have gotten communication skills and emotional skills and can hold down an interesting conversation and have their supports, and who are basically good people, and whose approach is more of a question of just being known throughout a community and sort of word of mouth. And they’re not even setting out from the perspective of desperately wanting to date the entire world. They’re just hanging out and existing and there’s something about that, which is very attractive in and of itself.

Georgie: Yeah, I suspect we might even be talking about the same people.

Roger: Possibly.

Georgie: I wrote about someone in my book, his name is Hugo. And he is not what you consider conventionally attractive, not young. But he has all these social skills. And he’s very, very good at treating women like people and not putting pressure on them to have sex with him. But just hanging around saying, ‘Hey, let’s be friends and see what happens.’ And that that is a very learned skill. And also approaching the type of people that are likely to find him attractive. And whatever his formula is, he has fucking nailed it, because I just cannot believe how much sex he has. I think I called him a ‘sex god’ in the book, and now he won’t shut up about that. So there are definitely be exceptions to that rule. And in my experience, too, they come from those guys who’ve worked out the the approach that works for them. And they’ve got this extra set of social skills that they’ve actually worked quite hard to acquire, because it’s not something that men are handed at birth.  They’re not handed these amazing social skills or skills to talk to women. It’s just not there, right?

Roger: Yeah, I think men are more likely to be given the skills to run a power tool, but less likely to be given communication skills. so yeah, that needs to be worked on. Also, I think, men that have worked on their sexuality – by which I mean their touch skills, their capacity to touch – there’s an assumption that we should all be able to just magically somehow do that stuff. And it’s not true. It takes some effort. Some people learn through books, some people learn through workshops, whatever else, but I think that if someone has a one-night stand, if they have great communication skills and great touch skills, that’s much more likely to turn into a regular ongoing thing or a relationship. And that extends over a little bit also to notice more success around guys that have explored adventurous creative forms. Play and kink and things like that. Yeah.

Georgie: People that do things a bit out of the ordinary, and then they find people that are into those same things, and they’re more likely to get along, as opposed to just being plain beige and struggling to find someone that really gets you because everyone’s all pretty much the same. 

Roger: Yes. And if you ask someone (this is of any gender), if you happen to get into a conversation about sex, and you say, ‘So, you know, like, what are you into?’ If the person looks back and shrugs their shoulders shoulders and just says, ‘You know, like, you know, stuff? I don’t know. Like, I like sex. What do you like?’ Um, then, that’s not that attractive. 

Georgie: I mistrust this. It’s like when you ask someone, ‘What music are you into?’ And they go, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll listen to anything.’ And for me, that’s a dealbreaker. I’m out. If you don’t know what you like, when it comes to music, yeah, we’re not gonna get along. It’s the same for sex. So I say, ‘Hey, what are you into?’ They’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t really know,’ or  ‘I don’t care. As long as I come or whatever.’ Yeah, I’m like, ‘Whoa. No, we’re not gonna have good sexy time.’

Roger: Yeah. You’ve mentioned this in other bits of your work. It’s really, really stuck with me that some people feel like on their dating profiles, they need to appeal to everyone. I.e., not offend anyone. And what they wind up with is an incredibly bland, nonspecific, beige kind of a profile-

Georgie: ‘Character beige.’

Roger: Yeah, right. And you’ve certainly said, ‘No, be really bold and specific. It’s almost like the dating equivalent of niche marketing.’

Georgie: This is what we call niche marketing for dating. Working out the people that specifically are going to like you for who you are, and targeting those people. So rather than flooding everyone’s inbox with stuff indiscriminately, trying to find those people that you think are going to be particularly attracted to you. Now I can understand why, if I said this to someone who’d been rejected 10,000 times, they might go, ‘Well, what the fuck? If I’m swiping on 1000 people, how am I going to match with one?’ But this works for people. It works for Hugo. And the more you put yourself out there with regards to who you are, the stronger the attraction to those people, right? Whereas the more you try and appeal to everyone, the less anyone finds you appealing. So that’s definitely a strategy that I think works for a lot of people.

Roger: Yeah, yeah. Um, have you noticed any other people that like, bucked the trend, or that-

Georgie: I feel like it might be useful to talk about also, we’ve talked about guys who do get laid, maybe talk about women who try and don’t succeed? I feel like – and again, I don’t want to be a downer, but I kind of feel like most of the women I know who try and don’t succeed, the reason it happens is because they maybe have past trauma from from stuff that’s happened to them. So past sexual assault, trauma, sexual abuse, trauma, that means that they sort of self sabotage or they freak out and run away. More so just being so nervous about everyone they meet that as soon as the slightest sign of anything not being right comes along. They just cut and run and I’ve done that I can run quite a lot.

This is why it’s so unfortunate that there is this onslaught of, of aggressive sexual approaches, because that can come across as a red flag and then all those nervous women who’ve had bad experiences, they exit quickly. And then, if they’re my friends, they come to me and they complain that they just can’t get laid because every time they try, the dude that they’re chatting up does something super weird and they have to exit quickly. So these are women who desperately do want to get laid. You are really horny. You do have high libidos, but who will still exit at the first sign of any potential red flag. and unfortunately, because this is fucking red flag central, online dating, it’s really hard to find someone that seems safe enough. So to me that would count as having trouble getting laid.

Roger: Sure. Oh, I like (in brackets really don’t like) what you’re saying about trauma and the impacts of that. I’m reminded, I can think of a few dates that I’ve been on with women. who have had bad experiences in the past from men. And you can see, I can see that they’ve got all men fused together as the one homogenous block, and they can’t help but to talk to me as if I’m the one that committed this past thing against them. And it makes it almost impossible to actually connect, engage…have a date, let alone a relationship.

Georgie: Because your fear is so heightened.

Roger: And I understand the need to just be cautious, full stop. And cautious about everyone but, oh geez, at some stage that needs to be unpicked.

Georgie: Yeah. Right. So this is another working on yourself aspect. So saying that guys need to develop the social skills. And then also if we do have trauma, and we want to get laid, that learning to not only to work with that, unpick that, but also to have some really solid strategy strategies around establishing safety. SoI have this whole little list of criteria and things to look out for, and ways to test people when I met with them online, to see whether they’re safe, and that gives me something to work with. Like, ‘Okay, I feel a bit safe. Because I asked them this, and then I did this and that went well. And then they said that they respect my boundaries. So that felt good.’ It’s setting up these stepping stones towards feeling safe, to allow me to get what I want. As opposed to just not really knowing, and then as soon as something weird happens, just going, ‘Oh, my God, bad situation!’ freaking out and running away.

Roger: I feel like I’m in the bizarre, ridiculously-privileged position of observing some of this in the workshop environment and in the sexual play party environment. So when I’m running a workshop, and it’s got a touch based activity, I’m actually very careful that I do the pairing off of people. I match people up for those exercises using a random number system. And I do that to get around the stereotypical beauty curve, where attractive people jump on attractive people and everyone else is just left looking a little bit awkward and uncomfortable. Some people get completely left out of that system, and it kills me, I hate it. So I never allow that system to happen if I can possibly avoid it. And I do all the pairing myself.

There are a couple of circumstances, there are a couple of activities where it is more of a free-flowing thing where people need to choose one another. And the sex party around Curiosity also is a logical version of that, essentially. And so, what I notice in those environments, where I’m not controlling who’s with who, is that the bell curve of attractiveness does dictate who’s more likely to get some initial inquiries and offers and requests made of them. But it really rapidly gives way to who’s actually got the skills, by which I mean, the communication and emotional skills to be a nice person, and who’s able to respond well within their body to pleasure that they receive, and who’s able to give pleasure well to the other person. And that person is gonna be by far the busiest person for the night, the workshop and life. It’s a much higher, stronger factor, and this gives me hope, than the attractiveness bell curve.

Georgie: So this is almost like a little microcosm of the dating world, right? And what you’ve discovered is that when people are given the skills when all genders are given the skills to reach out and to protect their boundaries, to say yes or no comfortably, to establish safety, that suddenly the playing field becomes much more level?

Roger: Yes!

Georgie: Fuckin’ A. So we’ve covered like so much stuff today, I’m just wondering whether we can even sum this up into a into a bit of a like a summation because we’ve covered a lot of material. So I guess we’ve talked about the stereotype that it’s easier for girls to get laid than guys – that that stereotype might be broadly true. We’ve talked about some of the reasons that that might happen.

Roger: Yeah, yeah, I’m still confused around why there is such a discrepancy because there is such a difference between genders at the moment and I just the maths and the logic is not quite there. So in terms of summary, that’s still a point of confusion.

Georgie: Right? Working it out. But then what we do know from your observations of this dating microcosm sex play party environment, is that when people do have the skills…when we all learn how to ask for what we want, and when we all learn that our ‘No’s are going to be respected, that stuff. And when we start to open up around the type of people we’re attracted to – a bit more open minded, perhaps – that suddenly everyone starts getting laid a hell of a lot more and that there’s much less of a gender difference.

Roger: Yes. And I think we’re all we’re both in massive agreement about socialised differences that we put boys and girls or men and women through, we need to be addressing them and undoing them at a much earlier stage. And I think a lot of the problems that we have with men in the dating game – unsolicited dick pics, aggressive, annoying behavior, trying to stalk you through your Instagram when you’ve said no on another platform, all that sort of stuff. If men had more of the skills that we generally socialised women with – communication, talking about emotions and feelings, all that glorious stuff – they would be more aware of the impacts of those negative behaviors and there’d be less of them. So again, it’s just a massive vote for gender equality.

Georgie: Totally. What would you say to the guys listening now going, ‘I get rejected all the time. It’s really hard for me to get laid.’ What’s your number one bit of advice from your learning so far?

Roger: Abandon the ideas you have around what that process is meant to look like. Trust yourself, impeccably and profoundly, around the style and method that works for you. and invest the time in pursuing that, no matter how odd or quirky it is. And (just in brackets) it’s unlikely to be the stereotype. Most of what you’ve been told is bullshit.

Georgie: Most of what you’ve been told is bullshit. And honestly, ‘odd and quirky’ is fucking great. And if I were speaking to any women out there who are thinking, ‘I’m not getting laid’..if I were to offer advice from my hedonistic self, it would be, ‘learn to step up.’  And this is really hard, because there’s a lot of shame and there’s a lot of danger, a lot of fear. but learn to create safety for yourself as much as you can – it’s not failsafe. Learn a way of approach that works for you, and take some initiative when you feel it’s safe to do so. Because until we step up – until we start demonstrating that it’s okay for woment o be a bit more sexually forward – we’re never going to change those judgements and those stereotypes anyways. so it’s really important that we do break free of that shitty, shamey sort of stereotype and start getting the sex that we want.

Roger: Men, so sorry about the experiences you have have in this process, you’ve been given the bad end of the stick. And women, so sorry about the experience you have with this process, you’ve been given the bad end of the stick.

Georgie: Fuck yeah. everyone’s gatting the bad end of the stick. there is no long end of the stick, it’s all the short end of the stick! Oh my God.

Roger: Now I’m done.

Georgie: thanks so much for chatting today, I really feel like we’ve unpacked some good shit.

Roger: Oh my God, we wandered over into some interesting, meandering territory.

Georgie: It’s been great. So, just as we wrap up, roger, can you tell me where we can find you and your stuff? 

Roger: Yes. So, you can find most of what I do, including my workshops, at curiouscreatures.biz. and you can also find my podcast, which is called Curious conversations About Sex, through wherever you get podcasts from.

Georgie: And I’m on there too. So you should definitely check out that one. so, that’s a wrap for this podcast. Have a great day!

Thanks for listening. I hope it’s been as good for you as it’s been for us. As with all my encounters, I love hearing feedback. You can find me online at artofthehookup.com, and that’s also the place to go to learn more about my book project. Please share this podcast with anyone that you think could benefit from hearing this stuff. Spread the word as well as the love, and let’s make the world of hook ups a better place.

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