I should start by saying I read your article about attractive women having a hard time dating – and while I relate to that, I feel the answer of “be vulnerable and trust people” is wonderful but not enough.
I have an unusual job – I work at a bikini bar and am a professional motorcycle rider. Men assume I am a party animal, or superficial but that’s not the case at all. I’m a softy and a nature person, and I am only interested in healthy monogamous relationships. Most people would not assume I was an ugly duckling the majority of my life– and finding love was a lot easier back when.
Mistreatment is making me into a shy person and my friends in this industry, and I, all deal with the same problem: it seems our looks and jobs don’t match our actual personalities.
So here is my problem/ question: I am not attracted to the nice men that like me because they tend to be so intimidated by me. The sleazy guys give up fast because they realize I am not what they are looking for. When I approach men, they tend to be rude to me and blatantly brush me off…like being bullied in Jr. High. This doesn’t help my shyness.
This wasn’t a problem when I was an out-of-shape waitress.
What’s the solution for nice women with sexy jobs?
Gotta give you credit, Charlie. I’ve never gotten a question like this, and I’m rarely tongue-tied when it comes to delivering a measured response. I’m reminded of a letter from an urban hipster who hung around with a bunch of skateboarding artists and wondered why it was so hard for her to find love. If I recall, I told her that skateboarding artists are, in general, not the most emotionally or financially stable people around, and that she should consider expanding her search beyond her chosen community.
I think I’d offer you much of the same advice.
I know my own biases. I’m a clean-cut guy who has no tattoos and is afraid of motorcycles (sorry, but the injury risk is REALLY high!) I do my best to be non-judgmental, but I fail sometimes.
One of the perils of this job is that you’re forced to rely on generalizations and stereotypes. There’s no way around it, unless you want to deny reality. It’s not that stereotypes are always true, it’s that they’re often true – which is why people rely on them so frequently. Statistics bear these stereotypes out.
In general, men are taller than women. Some women are taller. Most are not. That’s not an opinion.
In general, Asians get good grades. That doesn’t mean many white, black and Hispanic people don’t get good grades or that there aren’t some Asians who flunk out of school. But if you look at Asians on top college campuses, you can see they’re disproportionately represented compared to the general population.
It’s not that stereotypes are always true, it’s that they’re often true – which is why people rely on them so frequently.
I know this is a big tangent, but it’s an important one. Chances are, someone’s already gotten mad at the fact that I said that artists are not as emotionally or financially stable as other people. Again, that’s not my opinion. From Jonah Lehrer’s “Imagine”:
“Andreasen found that 80 of writers (in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the early 1980’s) met the formal diagnostic criteria for some type of depression. She also found that nearly 40 percent of the successful creative people she investigated had bipolar disorder, a rate that’s approximately twenty times higher than it is in the general population. More recently, the psychiatrist Hagop Akiskal found that nearly two-thirds of a sample of influential European artists were bipolar.”
Is it any surprise that (some) creative artists are more likely to suffer from depression – not just because of their artistic temperament, but because of the financial instability of their career choices? I don’t think so. Hell, I was never more depressed than I was in my 20’s when I was trying to make a living selling screenplays and had to support myself with odd jobs for 25K/year.
So when I say that artists aren’t always great bets as romantic partners, understand: it’s not an attack on artists; it’s an observation based on numerous studies.
Without having any studies handy, what observations would you have about bikini bar culture and motorcycle culture?
I don’t judge you, I empathize with you, and I hope you find a nice guy (with a little edge) who wants the same things you do out of life.
Rebellious. Going against the grain. Valuing personal freedom over conventional norms. Not giving a shit about what the mainstream thinks. Risk-taking. Lots of risk-taking.
No desk jobs. No shirts. No cars. Bikini/biker culture is not one for such conformity. In general.
That’s right. I’m not attacking every single bikini/biker on Planet Earth. I’m using shorthand heuristics to point out that perhaps bikini bars aren’t the optimal culture for a nice girl who wants to settle down.
This doesn’t mean you must quit your job to find love. Nor does it mean you have to disavow your bikini/biker friends. It does mean, however, that you may need to expand your dating circles a bit – and also do one very important thing:
The same way you wouldn’t want me to assume all bikini/bikers are the same, don’t assume that all “nice men” are equally intimidated by you.
- a) It’s not true. You haven’t met every nice man on the planet. Plus, it only takes one.
b) A lot of nice guys may not be intimidated by you, but they may be turned off by your job and culture. Same way I’d guess a lot of biker chicks would turned off by vanilla guys like me.
I would probably suggest dating online – writing a great profile, forgoing the biker/bikini pics for a more mainstream look, leaving out your job title – and making a connection based on something other than what you have in common on paper.
You are entitled to say that you don’t want to deny this part of yourself. But your bikini/biker persona is likely to attract two main types: biker guys and guys who want to just get laid. Pick your poison.
Either way, I hope it’s clear: I don’t judge you, I empathize with you, and I hope you find a nice guy (with a little edge) who wants the same things you do out of life. I trust you will.