Earlier this week, I received an email response to an article I wrote last week called “The Thing About Hitting on Girls” from Danielle Binler, a graduate student at Columbia. I found it particularly well thought-out and illuminating, and so definitely worthy of sharing (with her permission, of course) with those involved in the original conversation. Here it is, then, for your consumption.
Upon reading your bewilderment concerning Hitting On girls, I became even more bewildered myself regarding this act, and am now forced to reconsider every interaction I’ve ever had with a member of the opposite sex.
I don’t identify with the feminists, prudish-looking rich girls, or the untouchable-looking pretty girls (is bubbly but bookish and knows how to throw a football a category?), but I always maintained that NO girl EVER wants to be Hit On (because “Hitting On is generally defined as an uncomfortable, awkward, and predatory thing).” It seems paradoxical at first, but really its not so much that society wants boys to “Hit On girls, but only if they are going to be successful,” so much as society just wants boys to talk to girls in ways that make the boy and girl equals instead of predator and prey.
Witticisms and one-liners, when relevant and delivered naturally (as opposed to the canned, obviously premeditated-and-practiced-in-your-mirror-while-trimming-your-mustache kind of way), will not seem forward, sleazy, or like you were huffing after-shave, and thus will be less likely to induce “Ugh, this total douchebag was hitting on me all night” reactions from girls. I’ve heard some people refer to it as “conversation,” and “playful banter,” or even “flirting.” And it tends to be really fucking fun! (Because it isn’t Hitting On).
It is more the scheming and contriving that makes Hitting On actual Hitting On. When things are flowing well, and unfortunately in your case, unintentionally, that is when you get into “I wish he would just grow some balls and ask me out” territory.
So, do men view any and all interactions with a person of the opposite sex as assessments of whether or not you want to fuck each other? I don’t talk to members of the opposite sex only because I am attracted to them or want to sleep with them. In fact, I’ve become quite the unseemly man magnet (see above, bubbly, perhaps I should add naïve to that roster).
But I had always assumed that boys and girls go with the ‘program,’ (eye contact, hair twirling, finding excuses to touch each other and tease each other) not so much to assess fuckability, but for amusement. I have way too much fun flirting with a boy to risk actual alone-time with him, which has infinite opportunities to descend into awkwardness, especially if fucking is a possibility because he is attractive.
And that is probably why you even started unintentionally talking to that chick in the first place. Getting to the point where you could fuck a girl usually starts with a fun conversation, but if you don’t really care about conversation at all, and just want to get straight to the fucking, the girl can usually sense it and you become aware that you are failing, really hard, at Hitting On her. So, congratulations, you don’t only view women as sex objects! You enjoy conversations! You are a good human, or, at least not a terrible one.
Also, I’m going to need to know what your one-liner was so I can make a list of which remarks are Hitting On and which aren’t, due to un-intentionality, not for me of course, for my friend, because she is really, really clueless sometimes.
Indeed, Danielle. I think the main difference between our points of view is how each of us defines Hitting On; I think Hitting On includes all situations in which a single dude who’s looking for action and/or dating/ a relationship ‘chats up’ an available female in an ‘appropriate’ context, while you think that Hitting On is defined as douchebaggy one-liners dropped by douchebags that only want to get laid. Anyways, I don’t want to do too much of the discussing; this has all been put up to foster discussion on TC, because a lot of people seemed to have opinions about the original article. So – discuss.