Single In Laguna: Who’s on Top?

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By Richard Craig

Equality of the sexes – really?

Who's on TopLaguna Beach is made up of a wide variety of professional men and women. It doesn’t matter if you are eating breakfast at Zinc’s, dining at the Montage or trying to pick someone up at Javiers – there is one question everyone has asked.

This past week I was amused as I read the responses from my last column. Intriguing was the fact that women want chivalry; they want the man to pick up the tab; and, they want him assertive in bed. At the same time women expect, or even demand, equality every place else. I am lost and I need help.

Of course the date is all about being together and having fun. But I have had my fair share of women tell me that they expect a degree of chivalry, i.e., take me to a nice place as the first priority. As for me, that is either a non starter or the last date.

The best people I have ever worked with have been women; women tend to be disciplined and focused and they were usually my first choice when it came to hires. So, now I realize that despite their financial equality, or ability to bounce a guy out of a job, when it comes to being wooed or in bed, men have got to change their tune.

Some women want men domineering in bed, taking charge, aggressive. I’ll be happy to get an afternoon room at Surf and Sand for a bit of an afternoon delight. That is great and a lot of fun. But I bet those same women are defending their rights to equality at the workplace that very afternoon.

I hear from women that getting ready for a date is expensive: hair, make up, the dress and so on, thus the cost of the date should be on me. OK, what I if I ask her to come along in my Jeep with the top down and there are no requirements for being dressed up? Do we split the afternoon expenses?

The Great Inequality

If women expect to be taken out to nice places and pay nothing, that ends up being free meal after free meal. The cost of the hair and dress can be amortized over quite a few dates. As for the guy, he is trying to find “the one,” and the cost is meal after meal.

What blows my mind is that somehow the bedroom ends up being the great equalizer or un-equalizer. When I asked a woman I was dating about this “lets be equal” rule – lets both give 50/50 – she asked me how I liked the sex (it was good, no it was great!). She told me I was getting my 50% there. The conversation went on and she quickly agreed the sex from her standpoint was equally as good. So now we were at a standoff.

Since she liked me to be assertive and totally in control during sex, how am I to navigate this approach in dating?

Are we equal at work? If so, are we suddenly less equal when it comes to picking up the check? I am to woo her with gifts and dinners? And then when I am successful at that, I am encouraged to be in control in the bedroom.

If she is an equal professional as smart or smarter than me, what game is being played here?

So, give me feedback. From picking up the check to bedroom? Who is on top?

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Author: Richard Craig

Richard Craig is not my real name, but if asked in public I will not deny who I am. I do write, and have for a long time. I am over 50, single and honestly baffled by the single community in Laguna at times. My job is, with your help, to figure it out.

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  1. As for buying two girls some vino on a boat in Burma… totally acceptable!

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  2. My wife and I are both therapists and moved to Laguna from NYC (unfortunately we still have clients in the City so we do a considerable share of commuting). Last week we had a number of friends commenting on this story so we took a look.

    Nothing said here would even raise an eyebrow in NYC (or the infamous Bos-Wash corridor). Professionally the number of workplace issues that lead back to home, or the bedroom, have been escalating over the past 15 years. This article only touched on them, but they are very real in the therapy sessions both here and on the east coast. Both my wife and I found that the different approaches between the east coast and west were so profound, generally focusing on the inability to address contemporary sexual roles. There is always a desire to have it all, unfortunately this seldom works and with divorce exceeding 50% it is impractical to ignore these issues. We suspect it does have something to do with a geographical income disparity and perceptions of the equality of the sexes (in reality SF is not too far off from NYC). Maybe the this has to do with the amount of therapy done on the east coast thanks to Woody Allen!

    As a professional, I would encourage frank discussions and asking questions. This approach does not need name calling or ridiculing–but honest questions that are very real to you.

    Thank you for this fine paper, and I was wondering is it offered in print anywhere?

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  3. I was raised in the south. Majority of men I knew always opened doors, pay for the tab and do random things to let me know I’m taken care of. Some were not even men of interest, but more like good friends and brothers. These were qualities I appreciated and returned appropriately in other gestures (non-sexual). Living in the OC for 15 year and LB for 6 months. I can totally see the different dynamic and many times games you speak of. But not everybody (like myself) is looking for a free meal and hot sex without the substance. I believe you may be attracted to a certain breed, which has made you a bit cynical. But that is OK, because life’s experiences do that to us. Life is about experiences with people good or bad. Just know when to walk away from the bad quickly so you can allow in the good. Don’t stereo type every girl in LB because we are living in a melting pot. You may miss the right girl if you are sending out this type of untrusting frequency. I’m not saying let yourself be used either. Be cautious, walk away and make better decisions in the girls you ask on dates! Just as I have to make better decisions on the men I date! Good luck :-)

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    • Bo,

      You ought to be writing this col. not me!! you are absolutely correct about making decisions. This col is new to me and I am struggling frankly. My dating experience in LB has been very fun and very odd. I was married for a good 15 plus years and never did it dawn on me, until recently, that making decisions on who needs to be in my life–was a top priority. It is.

      I have tried to raise a few issues, with good humor. Relationships dont seem to be working these days and I am not sure why, but with my background of interviewing I ask a lot of questions and I have tried to translate it to the web—

      Ill keep trying, and I hope you will keep writing. Ive been called everything from an idiot, to stupid—probably all valid.

      Ill keep trying if you keep writing.

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  4. Interesting article, as a single women in Laguna I get it. But why do you think that a woman’s sexual preference has anything to do with being treated as an equal? Someone’s sexual needs are completely separate from social equality. I am a human and I want to be treated as one in the workplace and not be treated differently for the sheer fact that I’m a woman. But just because I like it when a man is dominate in bed doesn’t have anything to do with anything else besides that fact that it turns me on. It’s ok that men and women have different roles, and that there are certain things that are expected from each sex. It becomes a problem when a woman is paid less just bc she’s a woman or is not allowed to do something bc she is a woman, that’s not being equal . WOmen like it when men pay and such because shows that they put effort in. They aren’t just trying to fuck you, they are trying to get to know you and form a relationship, it shows us you want more. We need som type of security so we don’t always feel like we’re being used (which as a man if you don’t know what it feels like to go to a bar and be constantly touched, hit on or looked at like your a piece of meat it can get very uncomfortable). So pay for the for first few dates to show a woman you care, after that things should become more equal.

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    • What a great response!!!!

      Thank you.

      I was asking for a candid honest reply and bingo here it is !

      I can promise you, based on many conversations with men, these questions come up. And no one really wants to answer them

      Where have you been my whole life. (Smile here)

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      • PS. I am so ashamed of myself when it comes to not really seeing what we men appear like at bars. I just submitted a col that came from a lot of discussions with both men and woman about meeting someone at a bar, etc. I hope it is not too insensitive, but I will look for your feedback.

        and I am sorry for all of us guys who have been such idiots .

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    • Wow do my friends and I disagree with that. She wants me to treat her like an equal in the workplace and like a princess out of work. That inconsistent unfair expectation has turned many of us off any permanent relationship with a woman.

      I easily date many women, and as soon as they express unreasonable expectations I am on to the next one. Thank you for the great sex in exchange for me treating you as if I owe you something. Its a fair trade; we are not equal. But why do you always wonder why I am gone. Are you blind?

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  5. Richard: The general consensus on Facebook comments is that your argument is shallow. Any comments?

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    • Dating starts with candor. It has taken me a long time to find my voice. Shallow? Maybe and I have no defense!

      I am a passionate man when it comes to my honesty and hoping to get that back.

      So. My next few cols will attempt to be a bit different. But please remember my ideas are NOT mine alone. A number of men contributed.

      And yes , shallow can be the result

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  6. Richard,

    Doesn’t all this talk of equality and expenses dance around the obvious?

    A hot man has women buying him drinks and throwing themselves at him in the same way men throw themselves at a hot woman. If you truly want equality in the chase, then adjust your standards until you have equality in the chase.

    Me personally, if she looks good wearing thigh high boots, a sword and a crossbow, and is excited to see me, I don’t mind picking up the tab. Sadly women like that are mostly in LA, and that drive is tedious.

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    • Shark Bait: Thank you. LB is such a sexy town with the amazing topography, the marine reserves, the enchanting restaurants and shops — I’d like to see both sexes dressed up a bit, but people claim they are dressed suitably for the beach.

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    • I really appreciate these comments. I have never intended to upset anyone, I had a number of people raise these issues, and I put them out there. Confused? I am

      thanks for the posts!

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    • Shark Bait,

      I have been pretty well taken over the coals for what I have written and I find it amusing and a bit painful. But being in the writing business I have learned to go with the flow. I thought Bo above wrote the best, she said that it is about making decisions, and she is right.

      I have the money to take a date to SF for the Ballet or Hawaii, but ive had some experiences where there seems to be an expectation that is what should be done, for no other reason than she “deserves it”. for me I am looking for someone being grateful and kind.

      For instance I was dating a woman in LA and we did many fun things. Then one day she blasted me for not buying her a dress and other things (including picking up babysitting for her daughter when she was getting $15,000 a month support). So, post divorce and bruised, I went and bought a great dress I was sure she she would like and began picking up the $50 babysitting cost. She said she loved the dress (no mention of babysitting costs) and reminded me this was the very dress she pointed out to me, I was told in no uncertain terms this is how a man treats his woman.

      I never saw the dress again, nor was it mentioned. When asked about all the dresses in her closet (at least 300) she said,” a woman always needs another dress”.

      I was done. Maybe I was nuts to stay around so long.

      you are right, a cross bow and high boots (is that all?) gets my attention.

      thanks for writing.

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  7. I married my husband because he never cared how I looked. At first I wasn’t interested in him so wasn’t dressing to impress, he would see me at my worst, no makeup, sweatpants and t-shirt dirty cleaning the garage. He always wanted to take me out for dinner and pay, but because I wasn’t interested in him, we grab a bite but I would pay to not lead him on. But as time went on I saw the good in him, someone who likes me when I am not dulled up, he would go out of his way to put together future that needed to be assembled of fix my computer. I noticed he worked hard in his career, was kind to others, had good morals, those are more important then who pays for what. Fancy dinners are great but do you ever get to know that person, when two people are primped up trying to act like peacocks asking classic set of questions in the get to know phase “Where did you go to school?, What religion are you?, How many brothers and sisters do you have?…. It is all a facade and the only ones who wins are the restaurants who get your dollars, the boutiques and salons who you bought your date outfit/look from and probably the credit cards companies it was purchased on. People need to step back and think is the peacock show worth the effort, the cost of the bull…t such as who is paying for what and what will you win from it, if it is a lay from a sexy lady, a rich man or a dinner or do you keep your dignity and realize there is more in life then a f..k and marrying for money.

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    • Joanna: Agreed. See my comments below to Diane. I’d love a date with a man who can fix my technology issues after a rock climb on the beach.

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      • That’s easy. Date a video game developer. Many of us know technology, some of us climb, and one of us looks exactly like Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones ;)

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    • I hope you share this with your man

      The one over riding issue is respect. Wow

      Your comments hit home to many guys and women. Thank you

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  8. This sounds like a losing proposition for the male. Just give and you will receive. Simple.

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    • EJ: You got it. Stop fretting over it, guys. Do what you want to do with a woman and enjoy it.

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  9. Even a Jeep ride for the afternoon carries the usual hair, makeup, and clothes cost (jeans $100!). Any woman who dresses for a date is, in fact, wooing you. Do you think we look that fantastic when we roll out of bed? (OK, that’s a different kind of beautiful.)

    Yes, the cost can be moderately amortized, but keep in mind that we play the seduction game with a wide variety of costumes so you don’t get bored – and that’s expensive.

    I’ll agree to pay for half of dinner if you agree to pay for half of all the dating game costs, including the costs of those sexy thigh highs — memories YOU will amortize for life.

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    • My thought is, don’t ask a girl out if you can’t afford her. There are lots of ladies out there who are very nice company that don’t require all the fancy, expensive experiences.

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      • Diane: My favorite dates are sunset walks on the beach. Even though it’s free and I generously advertise my date preferences, most men still want to take me to dinner. But if they are secretly complaining about it, I’d rather not entertain their company.

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      • Sounds like there is a price tag here?

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        • If the lady cannot afford the place,she might reject the date altogether. Masculinity is attractive in itself, him taking her out is so attractive. No matter what modern woman say, they love the feeling of a man’s protection and masculinity. This is nature.

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