Dear Luv Doc,
Since divorcing a little over two years ago, I have been trying to get back in the swing of things with online dating. I would prefer to meet people in the real world, but being a nurse practitioner with two children doesn’t leave a lot of time for meeting anyone, much less eligible men. I have been somewhat successful with online dating
except for one thing: it seems that every man I go out with expects to have sex almost immediately. It is a rare date that ends without me being propositioned either overtly or with embarrassingly transparent subterfuge. Is it just me, or is this a symptom of the modern age of dating?
—Just Coffee

Well, Coffee, although no one is a bigger fan of embarrassingly transparent subterfuge than yours truly, I have to say I understand your frustration. For better or worse, we live in an instant gratification society. I mean, I can order Angel Soft bathroom tissue on Amazon and get it in less than two hours. There’s really no reason to stay ahead of that game as long as I bring my cell phone into the loo. We’re talking what? One or two extra crossword puzzles? Especially if they’re from the New York Times.

I am not entirely sure, however, that the desire for instant gratification is necessarily a modern thing. I think the average caveman would have preferred having sex the instant the urge arose rather than chasing cave women around with a club all day. Sure, I know that the whole club scene is an anthropologically inaccurate way to describe Neanderthal mating rituals. In fact, according to some recent articles I’ve read, the jury is still out on who was chasing whom back then anyway, but the point is, people have pretty much always wanted what they wanted immediately; they just didn’t have an efficient means of delivery.

Today we have Tinder and Grinder and Mullet Passions and Herpes Fish and scores of other demographically specific sites—really, everything that you could possibly want for a fulfilling dating experience that doesn’t involve assault with a blunt instrument. Plus, there are several billion pages of porn appealing to every imaginable proclivity and fetish, all delivered in 1080p hi-def resolution. All you need to do is Amazon up some wet naps and a pack of cigs before you hit “play.”

So, is it any wonder that your cyber-dates have high expectations? I don’t think so. Of course, that doesn’t make it right. We all have immediate desires all the time, and we manage to find ways to put the kibosh on them until an appropriate time presents itself. It’s part of being a non-sociopathic adult. Nonetheless, people still struggle with their desires with varying levels of success.

You and I know, however, that sex, no matter how quick and easy it looks in brilliant hi-def, is much more complicated. There are issues of trust, intimacy, and commitment, plus a bunch of even bigger words that probably wouldn’t even fit on the Internet. In short, for most people, whether they know it or not, there is a bunch of stuff that needs to get worked out or at least discussed before the panties drop.

Even if you do manage to keep these gentlemen at bay a bit longer, there will still be those awkward moments of embarrassingly transparent subterfuge. I personally wouldn’t miss them for the world, but I can imagine how they might get tiresome after a while. I mean, if a guy actually does want to show you his exhaustive collection of rare Beanie Babies and isn’t just trying to lure you to his apartment to shag, that’s every bit as disturbing, isn’t it? Nevertheless, you have to give these guys a little credit for trying to lay their cards on the
table—even if they have a really weak hand.

THe good news is that it’s not just you. You’re not some sort of perv magnet. You’re doing fine. Stick to your guns and do what’s comfortable for you. It might be that you have to disappoint a lot of men before you find one who gets it, but he’ll be worth the wait. O.K., good luck! The Amazon guy is here with my Angel Soft.