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[QUOTE=heartlandguy]Your online dating experience was extremely empowering. Do you think you miss that feeling and all the attention you got? I imagine that can easily become very addictive to someone who loves playing the field. While screening Justin, you were too busy to really feel the effects of the addiction but now that heís passed your preliminary tests, you feel the effects again.

If this makes sense to you, it implies that you will always be somewhat unsatisfied with any guy no matter how great he is. Iíve read that girls who grow up without a father figure living in their household (as I believe you did) tend to look for the approval of lots of men as adults to compensate. While I donít know if that really applies to you, it certainly is one possible explaination.[/QUOTE]

Ruth, I think you're right that I'm not sure if I am ready to settle down with any one guy at this point, but that's okay for the time being, because it's not like I'm considering marriage. Like you said, dating is a time to evaluate a variety of potential mates and see if each one might be a suitable match. Just because I'm not completely ready to marry Justin at this point doesn't mean he isn't the one for's just too soon to tell, in my opinion. For me, devoting myself to one man is a sacrifice, not something I desire desperately. While many women think every man they date is the one they will live happily ever after with, I just don't have that mindset, nor do I see that as a healthy way to think about potential partners. I guess my approach to sex and dating is much more typically male than female, which is why advice that fits in with the double standards surrounding women and sex just doesn't help me or apply to me whatsoever.

Your own perspectives make you see monogamy as somehow better or healthier than being with different people, but that is not universally true and certainly doesn't hold true for everyone. It actually really bothers me when people assume that a man with a strong sex drive and desire for multiple woman is just indulging his natural urges for pleasure, but hold women to a totally different standard. I know you guys mean well, but trust me that you're way off base in ascribing my desire for different men as a result of some deep-seated insecurity or need for male approval when it is simply a quest for fun and physical pleasure. Women don't have to be obsessed with finding a monogamous relationship to have healthy levels of confidence, awareness and respect for their sexual desires, and a great deal of responsibility for their own health, fulfillment, and pleasure. There's nothing wrong with a woman seeking multiple partners out of a natural desire for enjoyment, just as men do, yet I am positive you would have given me drastically different advice if I was a guy. You would have said that as a young man, it's ok to explore different women and learn more about what I want without assuming there's something wrong or missing with me and that I feel this way not because I like men and sex but because I'm plagued by insecurity and desperate for male approval. It's just that the same old tired double standard really bothers me, and I'm sick of people judging women harshly and viewing them as disturbed or flawed for having strong sexual urges while it's completely normal, even admirable, for men to feel the exact same way. It's just not fair or accurate to think that wanting sex outside monogamy means a woman has issues rather than consider that she might just really enjoy sex with a variety of partners, as many women AND men do. But far too many people still make the sexist and demeaning assumption that her quest is prompted by a need to feel desired by many men rather than a need to control and fulfill her own sexual urges, a need which is almost universally deemed unhealthy if not fulfilled within a monogamous relationship.

Heartland and Goody, I know you mean well here, but I can't help but be a little offended that you assume that because I don't have your attitude toward sex, there's something wrong with me that needs to be fixed. Especially thinking that this has something to do with my dad (who by the way played a very involved, important role throughout my life and certainly hasn't caused me any insecurities or neuroses) is kind of insulting, as if I can't be motivated by my own healthy, positive desires rather than being needy and desperate for male approval because I didn't have had my dad live in the same house as me? Why do people think that everything women do is caused by needing men, while men are seen as being driven by their natural, biological instincts to enjoy sex and procreate?

Heartland, you're right that I did enjoy feeling desired and getting lots of attention from online dating, but it's important to realize that this wasn't a new experience. Ever since like 6th grade, I've been surrounded by lots and lots of men who have demonstrated lots of interest and desire for me...this doesn't change or go away just because I'm in a relationship, but it is certainly tempting. It's a lot like how men who are highly sought after by women have a hard time limiting themselves to one woman because they are consistently surrounded by such a wide variety of appealing females...I don't think it has to do with finding any man I'm with lacking so much as it's difficult to me not to indulge my desire for lots of pleasure from a variety of sources when such temptation has always been a constant in my life. I usually feel like you provide amazingly insightful perspective into my thinking, but this advice just completely missed the mark for me. I really don't think there is anything unhealthy or addictive in my strong sexual drive, despite the fact that most people are uncomfortable, even threatened, by women whose sexual urges aren't confined to one person. I wonder if you wouldn't mind advising me on this as if I were a man, because I think looking at me through the lens of a typical woman who is desperate for monogamy and screwed up if she yearns for many different men just hasn't resulted in accurate insight or advice so far. I don't mean to be argumentative here and I sincerely hope I don't sound defensive or unappreciative...I just honestly think that a lot of assumptions people make about female sexuality are unfair and couldn't be less applicable to me.

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