It’s tough enough for any woman to date in the age of “Netflix And Chill”, but throw in “transgender” and it becomes near impossible to meet the person of your dreams. I’ll admit that I’ve been a little naive when it comes to online dating. I’ve tried to used Tinder as a dating website, not as a hook-up site like so many know it as. When my profile says “not into hook-ups” it meant “not into hook-ups”, well for the most part.

I’ve never dated much at all. Even prior to the personal evolution into the authentic me began. I’ve pretty much been on five to eight dates during my entire life. Some of them I thought were dates but turned out to be friends. Cool, whatever. Most of my experience have been strictly sex and all of them have been under the influence of Jim, Jack, Johnny or Jose. How does someone who has limited dating and absolutely no sober sex experience find their “lobster”? You know, because lobsters mate for life (Thanks Phoebe). Sadly this piece will give you none of the answers that you want.

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It was always strange dating gay men when at the time I identified, albeit uncomfortably, as gay. I went on two dates. One was with one of the sweetest men I’d ever met up to that point and the other was my first date with a man who was “stealthily homeless”. Yeah, that’s a story.

Then after transitioning there was the former pro-footballer who said that I was not “HWP” (Height Weight Proportionate) because I’m fat. There was the guy who went dutch. There was the guy who wanted to cuddle on the first date…I may be slow, but I’m not dumb. Then there was the guy with whom I had great conversation, tons in common, who pulled the chair out for me, opened the door for me, kissed me on the cheek and who canceled our second date and never rescheduled.

Now, later in my life I’m exploring my sexuality. I’ve embraced being a “cougar” as part of my sexual orientation, but I don’t exclusively date or…you know…with younger men. I’ve had a bit of fun with both younger and older alike. How is one who never got to explore sex and dating during their twenties supposed to know what they want? In my limited eight month experience, I’m finding out it’s trial and error.

I have standards, low standards, but standards none the less. I’ve enjoyed the company of a few gentlemen and am only now reverting back to the realization that I want more than a cuddle or a “Netflix and chill” situation. Imagine how surprised I was to find out that Netflix, no matter how prioritized in the phrase, was not involved at all. I mean, don’t ya wanna lay in my bed with me while consuming an entire season of “Criminal Minds”?


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Only now am I finding out that the Notting Hill/Bridget Jones dream is not going to happen to me. Much to my chagrin. To what does a transgender woman who lives on a steady diet of take out pizza, diet soda and loneliness have to look forward? Do Tinder, Match or TSDate.com hold any possibilities for my potential Huge Grant? Apparently, no.


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Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a trans-amourous man, but all I find are those men who fetishize my curvy figure as that of trans. I’ve met a few guys who say they want an “LTR” but are immediately wooing me to their beds or couches. I love feeling sexy, but I wanna feel seen, and loved too. I want to know that the man in my bed will hold my hand while walking down the street. I want to know that when I’m sick he’ll bring me nyquil and chicken soup. I wanna know that not every night is a pokey, pokey night. I wanna know that he’s not still on Tinder or another app looking for someone skinnier, prettier, someone who’s not trans or even someone who’s more trans.

This is the disservice that the internet and hook-up apps do us as a society. This technology affords the dater with an instant upgrade option before they’ve even had the chance to connect with their current selection. There’s no longer the opportunity to “fall in love” with a person because in most cases we’re in bed with said person who is busy on their app of choice “swiping right” while we catch some z’s. I don’t go to church which is where, when I was younger, I might have met men if I’d been a cisgender woman. Bars are problematic, in the sense that it’s not probable that I’ll meet my “Hugh” at a gay bar, and sometimes wrought with peril if it is a rando dive bar in Wisconsin. So where does an amazing woman like me go to meet men?


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I guess the question I’m really getting to is: do any single men between the ages of 26 and 50 wanna go bowling in Milwaukee this Friday? With me, Not trans Dina, not plus size Dina, not just-a-hook-up Dina, but me. Just me. Dina, Dina.

 

Originally published on Huffington Post

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