It hasn’t been your mama’s dating scene in a long time ― but the dating landscape in 2019 is remarkably different than it was even just two years ago. The Me Too movement irreversibly changed nearly every aspect of our lives as women, including the way we date and what we choose to accept in relationships.
We’re thinking differently about sexual pleasure (please, let’s close the orgasm gap already), male entitlement, consent and gender parity in relationships. At the same time, many of us have kindly asked the men in our lives to level up a little, too. (Don’t worry, guys, plenty of you are doing an A-OK job on the decent guy, male ally front.)
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked women to think about their dating lives and share the new dating rules they’ve established. See what they had to say below.
“I need receipts ― like of recurring donations to Planned Parenthood, paying for media created by women and vocal support for female 2020 candidates. Also, go down on me first. It’s the least you can do.”
1. “For me, over-the-top stories and comments about the ‘crazy’ ex are a huge red flag. At minimum, there will be no second date and I may likely cut our first (and last) date short.” ― Sunny Megatron, sexuality educator and host of “American Sex Podcast”
2 “If in the middle of the first date he asks, ‘But what did Louis C.K. really do?’ I’m dropping a $20 and leaving.” ― Becky Chicoine, an actor, comedian and writer in Brooklyn, New York
3. “I won’t date a man who isn’t secure enough to date me and kiss me in public. As a trans woman, most men who hit me up are too chicken to tell their friends that they’re attracted to trans women, but I’m completely done with that. It’s 2019: Straight men are into trans women; deal with it.” ― Mey Rude, a freelance trans writer and consultant in Los Angeles
4. “Major dealbreaker: His idea of being a self-proclaimed feminist or ally is simply retweeting Planned Parenthood every few weeks, but does absolutely nothing else to boost women or acknowledge his privilege. Oh, and if he doesn’t eat pussy, it’s over. That’s not something straight men can still be refusing to do in 2019. Time’s up on making stupid excuses!” ― Alison Stevenson, a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and co-host of the “V Single podcast”
5. “I am 100 percent over guys who enjoy treating actual circumstances of other people’s lives (mine included) as fodder for ‘healthy debate,’ full of theoretical situations where they play ‘devil’s advocate’ and invalidate experiences.” ― JoEllen Notte, sex writer and educator
6. “If his response to #MeToo is #NotAllMen, or he tries to tackle the concept of toxic masculinity by only further proving its existence through his actions, then he can just yell into the abyss, because I will be nowhere near him.” ― Bruna Nessif, author of Let That Shit Go and founder of TheProblemWithDating.com
7. “My dealbreaker? An inability to talk about anything other than his job. I once went on a date with a surgeon who spent an hour talking about his neuroplasticity research and didn’t stop long enough to actually check whether I knew what neuroplasticity was. What’s worse was by the end of the date, he had never even asked what my job was.” ― Michelle Elman, a body-confidence coach and author of the forthcoming book, Am I Ugly? One Woman’s Journey To Body Positivity
8. “I refuse to date anyone who feels emasculated by a vibrator, or thinks lube is ‘an annoying extra step.’ Do you want me to enjoy myself or…?”― Zoë Ligon, sex educator and owner of SpectrumBoutique.com
9. “No Jordan Peterson fans, and Joe Rogan listeners on a case-by-case basis only. But the deck is heavily stacked against you, so I need receipts ― like of recurring donations to Planned Parenthood, paying for media created by women and vocal support for female 2020 candidates. Also, go down on me first. It’s the least you can do.” ― Robyn Morrison, a comic and writer in Los Angeles
10. “I’ll straight-up ghost someone if they disrespect a server or tip poorly. The way someone treats service industry personnel can be a good indicator of their manners or the way they’ll treat you when [you’re] sick or in need of care. Bad treatment of service industry professionals, from ride-share drivers to bartenders, can also be a symptom of entitlement.” ― Lisa Chanoux, a comedian in Los Angeles
11. “I would never again date someone who ridicules my spiritual practice or how I choose to take care of myself. I don’t expect them to understand all of it, but a lover should always encourage you to do the things that make you feel good.” ― Holly Cassell, a writer and witch in London
12. “I refuse to date anyone who thinks a woman’s orgasm is a myth or that sex is complete when only the man has finished.”— Raych Jackson, a writer in Chicago
13. “I will not date men who haven’t done their emotional work. It’s a deal breaker if you haven’t seen a therapist, done any sort of self-reflection, or don’t have experience taking responsibility in past relationships. I need to be with someone who is driven and focused on self-growth.” ― Emily Morse, human sexuality expert and host of the SiriusXM Radio show and podcast “Sex with Emily”
14. “If they use the N-word as a nonblack person, not only is there no second date but the ‘block’ button is getting hit as soon as possible. No discussion, no ‘hearing their side’; I’m getting my food boxed up and heading out to do anything else with my time.” ― Rose Quacker, a comedian in Houston
15. “If you’re going to spend most of the date mansplaining about how important your corporate job is and how freelancing ‘isn’t a real job,’ then the date is over before we’ve even ordered drinks. There’s more security in my ‘hobby’ than there is in your ‘very important’ office job, love.” — Cat Fyson, a lifestyle blogger in the U.K.
16. “If he forgot to vote in the primaries, I’ll forget to text him back.” ― Jenny Gorelick, a comedian in New York City
Responses have been edited for style and clarity.