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What Every Woman Wants? July 22, 2012

Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
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Copious Readers,

The following is a story about the perils of couple-mania. The victim is me. The moral: Always trust your gut – you are a smart and intuitive person. Don’t let couple-mania get the better of you.

ImageA couple of weeks ago, I was invited to help a friend – let’s call her Reem – celebrate her birthday at a beautiful beach in southern Lebanon with her boyfriend (let’s call him Ramzi), and another friend of theirs (we’ll call her Rose). The beach was lovely – sunny, hot, relaxing.

A few hours into the afternoon, a few of Ramzi’s acquaintances from his football league showed up. We mingled. One of the guys started talking to me. We’ll call him Beach Dude.

Beach Dude seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. He’d grown up in the States but was of Lebanese descent. Talking with him, I felt comfortable, relaxed. He even asked me the topic of my dissertation; no one ever does that. We watched the sunset and chatted until I had to leave for Reem’s birthday dinner. I thought nothing of it.

But apparently, Reem, Ramzi, and Rose had thought about it plenty. They started teasing me.

Them: “Wow, Lisa, Beach Dude really likes you!”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Them: “He stayed to talk to you when all the guys left to play football!”

Me: “Well, that’s true… but…”  My gut just felt they were wrong.

Them: “Lisa, he’s totally into you.”

Me: “I think he was just being friendly.”

Them: “You guys have got to hook up!”

After all their badgering I began to wonder if maybe they were right, and I had in fact entirely misinterpreted Beach Dude’s manner and motivations. Maybe he was totally turned on by the sexy concepts of historiography and disciplinarity (the subject of my dissertation). Still, I squirmed and blushed as they kept insisting that they had seen something I hadn’t.

I already hate couple-mania enough when it’s “out there” – in magazines or on television – but I truly despise it when it’s targeted at me. (more…)

Animal Sex: What it can teach us about heteronormativity June 2, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, sex.
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Last week, Christina and I posted about the wide range of sexualities/sexual drives that we experience as singles. We think it’s important to acknowledge our diversity as gendered, sexual beings because society tends to stereotype, undervalue — and oftentimes punish — single people when they have so-called “abnormal” sexual desires or lifestyles (ranging from wanting to have sex but not a relationship, for example, to feeling indifferent about sex altogether). The thing is, most of us probably grew up with our parents teaching us about the “naturalness” of sex — families more open about sex might tell us that “the birds and the bees” do it (within the confines of a monogamous relationship, of course), and the rest of us are told that babies are brought to happy, deserving (ie – married) couples by generous storks.

The thing is, nature isn’t exactly “natural” – at least not according to how we humans would define it. Indeed, looking at the truth about animal sex may help reveal the heteronormativity underlying much of what we’re taught about sex and sexuality as children. Let’s begin, as a case in point, with the female praying mantis, who eats her mate immediately after sex (hey, she needed some sugar to process all that sex!):


Priesthood, Celibacy, and Being Onely January 14, 2009

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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Christina recently pointed me to this very interesting article from the BBC about a priest reflecting on his choice to remain single. Father John Abberton explains that his decision to become a priest was a “positive thing not a negative thing.” In fact,

When I was sixteen and was thinking ahead to what my future would be, I certainly had images of myself as a married man with children. I don’t remember ever struggling with the denial of that. It was a progression into an attitude where I saw myself as being available to as many people as I could be available to and giving myself to the church.

Like many single people, Father John has chosen an admirable occupation and has devoted himself to work that he is passionate about and through which he can enhance the world around him in some very positive ways.

But then Father John’s tone changes slightly, as he compares himself to others who are single (but, ostensibly, not priests?):

I am single for a purpose and my feeling is in someway or another everyone who is single should be single for a purpose. I know there are some people who remain single because they say that is what they want. Although I don’t want to judge people, I think there is a worrying trend in some quarters of society towards a selfish single state.


Internet Drivel, Scourge of the Onelys! (Part 78e) August 17, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Singled Out.
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I just came across this article in my morning internet-browse, entitled “10 Tips for Defusing Jealousy once You’re Engaged” (because engaged people have it soooo hard! sorry… ahem, I of course would have no idea how “difficult” it must be to be engaged, because I’ve never been). Read on and pay attention to the embedded assumption that it’s generally single people who are going to be jealous, and it’s all because they are single and wish they weren’t: (more…)

Onely, Drugs, and Heteronormativity: A Lesson in Grammar. July 15, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought.
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For the past week, I have been fighting an irritating cold (irritating because I *hate* feeling sick. OK I suppose this is not necessarily unique to me, but STILL). One of the symptoms of this cold has been a hacking cough, which only subsides in response to drugs (another thing I *hate*). Over the weekend (and not incidentally, under the influence of these drugs), I was updating some details of the Onely site and I started thinking – or perhaps obsessing is a better word – about the site’s subtitle, which reads: “A noun. An adjective. A better Scrabble word than Heteronormative.” (more…)

Funny (Freaky?) Friday July 11, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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One of my favorite routines in the morning is to check out the dating advice provided by MSN (and its affiliates such as Match.com, Chemistry, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan) and to laugh and laugh… Since it’s Friday and I’m back from my long week out of town, I figured I’d pass along the humor. I’m 29 and Onely… Why am I not panicking? This article tells me I *should* be:  (more…)

Socializing with the Single: Even if I *am* Selfish. July 5, 2008

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, As If!, Everyday Happenings.
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So I’m in St. Louis right now, and yesterday I spent the day hanging out with my best friend and her fiancee as we barbecued (and I’m not being flippant using that word – S [the fiancee] made ribs — good ones too. v. impressive!) and entertained M’s friends and family as they came over to celebrate the dual holiday of her birthday and independence day. I had a great time, and for a while I was stuck outside because I shielded myself from the biting bugs with some very strong-smelling bug spray, which M couldn’t stand the smell of inside – and because of it I got to chill with S while he attended the grill and M was inside preparing other food. (more…)

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