Sleeping around? What in the world?

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Susan Deitz

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DEAR SUSAN: It's bad for someone who cannot fathom dating more than one person at a time to get involved with someone who enjoys casual dating. But as long as consenting adults are honest and communicative, then everyone has an open and honest choice of actions to fit his personal values. Incompatible people shouldn't be dating each other. Responsible adults should be free to have fantastic, healthy, clean, incredibly enjoyable sex with either one partner or multiple partners at a time, with no negative value judgments of either choice. It's when people are dishonest -- regardless of how many people they are dating -- that there's a real problem. From the Single File blog

DEAR BLOGGER: What universe are you in? I have trouble with the intermingling of the words "dating" and "sex." In my world, they're separate entities until and unless there's mutual feeling between the two of you. On my planet, it's possible to date around but not sleep around. And on my planet, people think more of a woman (or man) who dares to say "no." Said in a friendly but firm voice, that small word wields enormous power and can deepen the relationship. Men aren't always ready and willing for bedroom gymnastics. "Any partner, any time" turns out to be stale propaganda. Men have confided to me that sex can feel like an obligation, that often it feels too early in the relationship to make moves but that it's the only way they can show their interest. This is turning into a long diatribe, but it's important that the sexes share this planet peaceably. That takes a heap of understanding.

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DEAR SUSAN: The female blogger who refuses to make herself attractive is deliberately making herself unattractive in order not to risk real hurt. She isn't likely to attract guys if she keeps going places where a little effort on appearance is expected. She should either change her attitude toward appearance or look for love in other places.

From the Single File blogDEAR BLOGGER: Agreed, not caring about the outer self almost takes product-blindness. This is a visual world, busy and hurried, so the first glance is the measure we go by. It takes less than a second to reject someone who may have a lot to give to a beloved but is shortchanging herself before the game begins. I'm not saying a woman should primp and fuss and put every hair in place, but there must be some attempt made. I wonder what her family and friends. If she's still on the Single File blog, I hope she'll contact me for a heart-to-heart.

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