A Guy’s Guide to The Gender-Minimized 1st Date

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Andrew Smiler says flexibility is the key to minimizing the influence of gender on first dates.


It’s not possible to have a completely gender neutral date. Gender, our cultural and personal notions of how people should act based on their biological sex, influences too many aspects of our behavior to be completely neutralized. In the dating context, gender roles provide an outline of how things “should” work. But in a day and age where equality is the expectation, why stick to a rigid outline based on your genitalia?

I’m trying to write this guide to apply across all genders, masculine, feminine, trans*, etc. If I’ve missed or something is very wrong, I have faith someone will let me know in the comments. I’m also writing based on my own American background and referring primarily to gender roles as they currently exist in the US. Depending on where you’re from, you may have grown up with this approach or you may find it completely foreign.

There’s very little of starting to date someone that requires sexually dimorphic genitalia. Talking to someone, kissing and groping, and asking to see someone again (or not), requires a heart, a brain, a mouth, and the ability to communicate.

When it comes to the first date, the masculine or “butch” or “dom” role is generally defined by taking the lead. The butch asks some version of “I’d like to take you out to dinner, a movie, coffee, etc.,” does all the logistical work to make that date happen, initiates physical/sexual contact, and is responsible for starting conversation the next day if “he” wants the relationship to continue. Hetrerosexual American guys assume they’ll pay for the first date, regardless of whether they endorse traditional or egalitarian gender roles.

The female or “femme” or “sub” role is generally defined by sending subtle, mostly non-verbal messages of interest and responding to the butch’s lead. This role means the femme becomes the “sexual gatekeeper” because “she” is the one who accepts or rejects the butch’s sexual advances.

Very little of this requires sexually dimorphic genitalia. Talking to someone, kissing and groping, and asking to see someone again (or not), requires a heart, a brain, a mouth, and the ability to communicate. Your genitalia—and your partner’s genitalia—are only relevant if you prefer some types of genitalia over others.

To minimize the impact of gender roles, you’ll need to think about this now so you know what you want to do before you start doing it. It’s important to be prepared. Remember that you are not required to maintain one role the entire time; you can switch anytime you like.

Overcoming Your Training. Before you can do something new, you’ll need to get past the messages that have been beaten into your head by American culture. One part of this is learning to adopt the other role, at least at times. Given how many times most guys hear some version of “don’t act like a girl,” that may not be the easiest way to approach it. Instead, think about being asked out as someone paying you a complement and offering to buy you dinner in exchange for the chance to get to know you better.

Another part is learning not to make blanket assumptions. One of the central tenets of the gender minimized date is that you can switch roles as you please. That means that being the lead doesn’t have any implications beyond having being the one to initiate that particular aspect of the first date. If a woman asks a man out or puts the sexual moves on him, it doesn’t mean she’s a slut (and it never did), it just means that she was ready for those things to happen before he was. Or more willing to take the risk of starting something and potentially getting turned down. If a guy doesn’t initiate, it doesn’t mean he’s a wimp. He might be shy. Or maybe he doesn’t trust his ability to read your nonverbal messages and has adopted a “better safe than sorry” approach.

Remember that you are not required to maintain one role the entire time; you can switch anytime you like.

In any dating scenario, you’ll need to decide if and how much sexual contact you want to have with this person at this time. Remember, guys are allowed to refuse, even if you’ve never heard one admit doing so. And that decision may need to be made quickly: your partner is allowed to make the first move. If you’re not sure, you can always say something like “I’m not ready to [fill in the blank] yet. Can we go back to what we were doing?”

You’ll also need to remember that someone can be in the leading role for one part of this thing called a first date, like asking out, and then move into the responsive role for another part, such as responding to the first sexual move. In other words, don’t assume that you or your partner will stay in one role for the entire first date. Or the entire relationship, for that matter.

Flirting and Checking Someone Out: For the most part, we don’t ask out random people that we’ve never said hello to. We flirt. We talk to the person we’re interested, learning about some of their interests and getting a sense of their personality.

You’re letting that person know that you’re interested in them and trying to figure out if they’re interested in you. You’re also trying to determine if they’re in a monogamous relationship and thus unavailable. Some of this is inevitably influenced by those gender scripts we’ve all learned, including the ways we show off our bodies (or not) and the interests we share. If you want to get out of gender-land quickly, share some of your “gender atypical” interests. Or, if you’re really bold, talk about the fact that you don’t really (or only partially) buy into gender stereotypes. Heck, you could even send the link for this article.

I firmly believe that whoever does the asking is also responsible for paying. That can be a little tricky, especially if you believe in equality. Instead of splitting costs 50-50, I prefer taking turns so I pay for the first date (if I’ve asked) and my date pays for the next date.

Ultimately, one of you will need to ask the other person out. Most people find this incredibly stressful, including Harry Potter. For all his bravery fighting Voldemort and his willingness to break the rules at Hogwarts, it took him about 2 years and eight million pages to finally ask Cho Chang out. The reason? When someone turns you down for a first date, it’s a rejection of you. You might not get a job because you had a bad interview or because someone else is genuinely better qualified, but those reasons don’t work when it’s about dating. Getting rejected sucks. But not asking and never knowing also suck. Be brave and ask someone out.

Asking Someone Out: When you ask someone on a date, it means you make all the plans. Start by selecting an activity (e.g., dinner, bowling, movie) and asking your partner if they’re ok with that choice. You’ll also need to choose the time, arrange transportation, and allow enough time to get there without rushing.

I firmly believe that whoever does the asking is also responsible for paying. That can be a little tricky, especially if you believe in equality. Instead of splitting costs 50-50, I prefer taking turns so I pay for the first date (if I’ve asked) and my date pays for the next date. This allows folks to plan a date that’s within their budget and it also creates a (small) social expectation that there will be a next time. When I’ve initiated a date, the bill comes, and my date has asked to split the cost, I’ll usually just say “why don’t you pay next time?” But if it’s going poorly and I don’t want there to be a next time, I will accept that offer to split the cost. If I’ve asked someone out, I never ask them to pay for half, even if it’s going poorly. I asked, so I pay.

The First Date: You’ll need to get ready before the first date. That means getting dressed in a way that shows who you are and may—or may not—mean emphasizing the parts of your body that are sexually desirable. Given that our standards of attractiveness are closely connected to gender, this is one place where you probably want to get all gendered up. Then again, “getting all gendered up” might be confusing if you’re mostly not following the standard gender script.

Then follow the plan that was set up when the date was proposed. If you asked the other person out, it’s on you to make sure y’all follow the plan. If you were asked out, then it’s your job to let the other person do what they said the two of you would be doing. Beyond this, there’s no formula. You can maintain one roll (leading or following) or you can switch around. If you go out for a meal, you could even order for each other.

Standards of attractiveness are closely connected to gender, so you might want to get all gendered up. Then again, “getting all gendered up” might be confusing if you’re mostly not following the standard gender script.

Regardless of the role you’re playing, you need to be prepared to maintain a conversation. Some people are more outgoing than others and some people are better at small talk than others. You know some of your dating partner’s interests from flirting, so that’s always a good place to start. If you need to, prepare a list of topics in advance and memorize it.

Although it can be awkward, I recommend having at least a little conversation about gender roles—especially as they apply to dating and sex—during the first date. That is, if you haven’t had that conversation already. Lots of folks say you should avoid difficult topics like politics, religion, and sex during the first date, but that never made sense to me. If you 1) have a disagreement about one of these topics and 2) it’s a topic that you both feel strongly about, it may be a sign that you’re not supposed to be with the person. Personally, I’d rather know sooner than later. If the two of you are able to find common ground and resolve that difference, that’s also good to know.

The Follow Up: If you’ve been leading the whole time, then momentum says it’s your job to follow up. And if you’ve been responding the whole time, then it’s probably safe to assume your job is to wait by the phone, email, whatever. Then again, in the gender-minimized world, you’re allowed to switch roles as you please, so there’s no need to wait.

If you didn’t enjoy the first date and don’t want a second date, follow up is pretty straightforward. Don’t call, text, email, whatever. If your date gets in touch, I’m partial to ending things quickly, although it can come off as kind of mean. I say something like “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in seeing you again.” Other people prefer not to respond or make up an excuse for saying no, hoping the other person will get the hint. I think that’s mean because it takes a week or two (or never) before the other person figures out that you’re not interested.

You and your partner can structure your romantic and sexual life—who is responsible for what and when—any way you like.

If you enjoyed the first date, tell the other person; odds are they already know. Although some folks say you should wait a few days, I’ve never understood the purpose of that, especially given all the ways we have to communicate. I usually wait until the next day, then get back in touch. From here, it’s back to flirting and you’ll need to make a decision if you’re going to initiate the second date or wait for your partner to do it.

And that’s it. The key here is that you don’t need to stick to a set of gender-based rules that are older than you are. You and your partner can structure your romantic and sexual life—who is responsible for what and when—any way you like. Keep an open mind, be honest with yourself and your partner, and pay attention to what you like and what your dating partner likes so you know what to keep (or avoid) doing. And if this works for you, go ahead and extend it to Valentine’s Day and your wedding.

-photo by Mr T in DC/flickr

About Andrew Smiler

Andrew Smiler, PhD is a therapist, evaluator, author, and speaker residing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA). He is the author of “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of promiscuous young male sexuality” and co-author, with Chris Kilmartin, of “The Masculine Self (5th edition)”. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity and has taught at Wake Forest University and SUNY Oswego. Dr. Smiler's research focuses on definitions of masculinity. He also studies normative aspects of sexual development, such as age and perception of first kiss, first “serious” relationship, and first intercourse among 15-25 year olds. Follow him @AndrewSmiler.


  1. Man….Cho Chang was frikkin hot.

  2. If you really follow all of these rules every time, then considering this quote “I prefer taking turns so I pay for the first date (if I’ve asked) and my date pays for the next date.”

    I’m guessing you’ve never been on a date where your date paid (unless they asked on the first date).

  3. Church is for Girls says:

    This article reeks of homosexual tendencies. You’re afraid to be a man?

  4. Why on earth would we want to minimize gender? I like being a man, and I like women who like being women. Attempting to re-engineer the genders is ridiculous and usually points to psychological issues on the part of the would-be re-engineers.

  5. drycreekboy says:

    So I guess, unfortunately, this article is for real.

  6. What about the “grass eating” men in Japan who are foregoing dating because they see no
    value in it and do not want to live up to the expectations of others?

  7. Without a doubt, the saddest thing I have ever had the misfortune to read.

    Civilization, where art thou?

  8. The original article author here and those who back his views are working from the unsupported assumption that gender roles are culturally created. The virtual universality of “traditional” gender roles (not to mention the findings of behavioral biology) suggests that there is a strong biological component.

    It’s also interesting that you seem to feel that dating needs to be “gender-minimized.” (I don’t think you’re fooling anyone when you say that you simply want to give people a choice; you are clearly attempting to privilege one experience over another.) You seem very judgmental of those who prefer traditional gender roles. Just imagine if someone wrote that gays need to try to deny their natural biological impulses and attempt to act more like traditional males. I suspect you would be among the first to criticize them.

  9. VryeDenker says:

    I am just glad that this sort of lunacy will have naturally selected itself into extinction in a generation of two.

  10. I’m SICK of constantly being told how to act by WHITE MALES. Quit it with the oppression and let the marginalized speak for once.

  11. Choom. Gaze at navel and repeat.

  12. And why would someone want to go on a “GM date”
    Isn’t that called grabbing coffee with a friend?
    The fun of a date is that sexual tension.

  13. old farmer says:

    Mr. Smiler,
    Perhaps it is a sigh of my age, but it seems odd that an article on gender neutral dating would use a slang term with an origin in fellatio and the attendant power over dynamic. In my time when something ‘sucked” the negative connotation referenced the dominate and submissive roles involved in a shortening of the phrase “suck my d*ck’… the negativity related directly to the unequal sexual gratification involved in the dynamics of the act. The term also sometimes denoted something as being ‘bad’ because of homosexual undertones, much as “buggered up” in British slang was associated with the British “buggery” as an unnatural act. The irony of carelessly using a term separated from the f the term’s origin in your article seems to go unnoticed by you.

  14. motorhead says:

    Perhaps you could wear pajamas, drink hot chocolate, and talk about getting health insurance

  15. C H Ingoldby says:

    Unless you are a eunuch or a completely whipped beta, why would you want a ‘gender minimised’ date?

    • because most of the massive pork bloated Bureaucracies in the US are now in fact dominated by gender-less white males.

  16. hi Adam, your reply actually made me feel bit sorry for you and for all the men out there who feel pressurised to behave like a troglodyte to score with women. I don’t know what type of women that attracts but if as you say… “they generally don’t want to fuck them (nice men), because they’ve disqualified themselves on the ability to compete, provide and protect.” I would imagine ruling out men who treat them well has more to do with the insecurities of the ladies themselves than any need for protection. in this day and age most women in the West have ready access to education and career choices….if they are choosing misogynists it is because it perpetuates a pattern they are familiar with from childhood or they are so low in confidence they cannot think highly of a man who treats them as an equal and/or they are attracted to arrogance as a compensation for their own rockbottom selfesteem. If men who are so insecure in themselves that they effectively change their behaviour to score with the ladies rather than feel assured that the women who do not like them are simply not for them and they should wait to meet somebody ekse more compatible…. thenwhat you have with the gender specific dating scene are two very insecure people clinging to each other and to traditional roles out of a fear of being alone and rejection. its hardly a recipe for success. i’m European…perhaps that’s my bad and I just don’t ‘get’ it but there is nothing more attractive in the world than a kind, gentle, good-humoured man. Clint Eastwood just makes me guffaw….I couldn’t take a guy like that seriously. I really found that article interesting Andrew. it is difficult to renegotiate the dating terrain around evolving gender roles but its fun as well….experimenting and breaking rules. and at the end of the day, it should be fun rather than a ‘game’

    • Sorry, I think you are only partially right (being European as well).
      From experience I’ve learned that “good guys” are only considered as friends. Women explained along the lines : dull / boring, not attractive, no game, etc. So yeah, I agree with you that women themselves are keeping the status quo of dating / relationships.
      I’m still my respectful self and by consequence I’m still single.

    • Vonnie, we are not “feeling pressured” to act scuzzy. We are not estimating what happens inside the mind of a woman; we are ===measuring=== the how the angle of her legs varies in response to different stimuli . Women put out for bad boys, left and right, day and night. Women paved this road…. we are just riding it.

    • Vonnie, what makes you equate traditionally masculine traits with misogyny? I’m really interested to know because Adam seemed to speak about traditional masculine traits (straightforwardness, willingness to take risks, boldness) and how they are more likely to get you romantic interest from a woman than traditionally feminine traits (sensitivity, tenderness etc.).

  17. Okay Andrew, lets go with your gender-neutral Pleasantville approach to dating….. that is, until it comes to how I, as a heterosexual woman, needs to look to capture the interest of said heterosexual men. In which case, I must embody the very feminine qualities that heterosexual men have come to associate with the feminine. I am to be well groomed, thin, with proportionate breast to waist to hip ratio. I am to dress relatively femininely. I have heard many heterosexual men say that one of the sexist things a woman can wear are summer dresses. Many heterosexual men talk about how they like long hair. Nicely done nails aren’t bad either. A smooth youthful complexion is another way men associate women’s feminine beauty. While make-up certainly isn’t mandatory, I have enough experience in how men react to me based when I wear make-up vs when I don’t to know that men very much like make-up.

    Heterosexual men are seeking something that is different from themselves and other men in their romantic relationships. Otherwise, they’d just hang out with friends. And based on alot of media that men gravitate toward, they really enjoy indulging in hyper expressions of feminineness. So the more gender neutral we become in the real world, are we only going to see more gross and extreme expressions of hyper feminine women? That is after all what has happened yes? The more regulated we have become in our real world interactions, the mroe people appear to be indulging in hyper-expressions of masculinity and femininity in the fantasy world. Now I am not saying that everything is perfect as it is, but I don’t think taking gender and sex out of sex and relationships is the way to go.

    This doesn’t even get into the actual semantics of sex. Which I have to tell you, from my experience, is where men desire equality the least. Most heterosexual men I have ever encountered, at some point, especially so in the bedroom, really want their masculinity to shine through. So when I date a man, it’s suppose to be completely gender neutral. That is, until it comes to the way I must look to attract a heterosexual man and until it comes time for us to be in the bedroom.

    In your gender-neutral world..or what it seems more like to me..gender-neutered world…there should be no room for differences. What I gathered from your article is that differences equal inequality.
    Except for the fact that heterosexual men and heterosexual women are usually attracted to people who embody strong polarizing masculine or feminine characteristics. Many heterosexual people enjoy that ying to their yang. They like people who are different from themselves as much as they do desire to be treated fairly.

    I personally do not understand why anyone would want to have a gender neutral relationship. And I actually don’t believe anyone really does. But because of a lot of hurt and pain each side has experienced, we are dangerously close to completely obliterating and making each other feel bad for the way we are different from each other.

    If I want a gender-neutral relationship, I will call up one of my girlfriends. I want to be with a man that makes me feel like a woman and wants to celebrate my femininity for so much more of what it is then just my outside looks. Because my femininity is deep and intrinsic to who I am. I not only have the body of a woman, but I have the spirit of one as well. And I need that honored just as much as I know heterosexual men want their masculinity to be honored. Not just for their bodies but for their spirits as well.

    Now certainly there are many other combinations of sexual interest, romantic interest and relationships. And not all women are “feminine” and not all men are “masculine”. And there is nothing wrong with that. They should be encouraged to live their truth and stand up for how they may want to be treated as well. But no matter what gender someone identifies with, I can guarantee you that they identify with that gender because they either want to feel feminine or masculine.

    We are not gender neutral and we should not seek to gender-neuter each other.

    And people should be free to formulate their own unique ideas about what their relationship should entitle. Whether it’s traditional, modern or a combination of the two. If you want to be in a gender-minimized relationship, please do. But please do not insist that a gender-minimized relationship is the only “fair” way we can treat each other or that we all should be seeking this same format of relationship. I certainly do not want a gender-minimized relationship. I want an equal relationship, for sure. But to me, equal doesn’t mean that I cook him dinner and then right away he cooks me dinner to show everything is equal. It doesn’t mean that I buy him his favorite beer and the next second he has to buy me my favorite wine. It doesn’t mean that just because I do the laundry, that he also has to do the laundry. If we are both doing the laundry, who is going to mow the yard? That is a meteophor for so much more than laundry and lawn mowing by the way.

    • To add on my own comments, this reminds me of the pressures we put on little boys in school to learn and act exactly like girls do. But we know that little boys can be very different from little girls. So why as adults, are we reverting back to pretending gender doesn’t exist? What is so scary for us to acknowledge that it does exist?

    • (Erin),

      Interesting. On the surface you seem especially resistant to the evolution of gender roles toward the neutral. Clearly, you are convinced by your knowledge and experiences that men and women are born to be as vastly different as we are in this society; that it is both inevitable and naturally good. And yet, when I read the first paragraph or two, I get the sense that you aren’t quite happy with what you think men want in a woman. For one thing, you describe male desire all in superficial preferences of how a woman looks and dresses, saying that “men very much like make-up.” Then you go on to speculate that women would have to hyperfeminize even more if, what, they’re to be to ones who make the first move? I don’t really understand that statement at all, but it seems to me that you have a generally shallow opinion of men. I can understand that; many men act and appear to be shallow. And they prefer it that way, because they’re afraid of anyone seeing farther into their secret and repressed inner self. It’s the same for women; the likelihood is, if you’re employing all your feminine tactics in the dating game, you are probably looked at as shallow by men.

      How many times have you wished that you could drop all the BS? How many times have you wondered why men have to be such sex-starved pigs, who only care about appearance and seem not to want a serious relationship? How many times have I wondered why women go for swaggering assholes who flaunt their success and are clearly just players? The complaints are never-ending. There’s a line from the movie Tootsie I can’t remember exactly: Jessica Lange essentially tells Dustin Hoffman (as a woman) that she wishes a man could approach her with [that line] that is straight-forward and honest, instead of playing games. Then, when Dustin Hoffman (as a man) tries to meet her using the exact same line she throws her drink in his face. So much for honesty? Maybe…or so much for honesty in the cultural climate we’ve set up for ourselves.

      Maybe “gender neutral” sends you the wrong message. The message isn’t that men and women are, or have to be, the same. But are we naturally so different? If we weren’t constantly separating boys and girls, funneling them into cultural expectations, and telling them men are a bunch of sex-crazed assholes, or women are a bunch of gold-diggin’ bitches, would it be such a “Mars vs. Venus” world? If we allowed boys to be more in touch with feelings instead of making it womanly and weak to cry, care, or express anything, or if we encouraged girls to be more self-sufficient and in control, wouldn’t we both appreciate and understand each other more? If men felt more safe sharing their feelings and women felt less judged sharing their bodies, would we come to the realization that at heart we’re really after the same things? Because, then, the differences of hormones seem less frustrating and insurmountable, and the differences in bodies less intimidating, and therefore maybe, more fun.

      • ThirteenthLetter says:

        Wow, you really mansplained that to her.

      • I think the author should consider seeing a therapist himself. Gender neutral dating? One of the purposes of dating is to find out if you like the other person. not to prersent a facade.

      • Paul, I am convinced by my knowledge and experiences that men and women are both born with some differences and also socialized with some differences. Does that mean that a man can’t be a fantastic nurturer and a woman can’t be a great leader? of course not. Does that mean that I don’t think we shouldn’t change how we nurturer boys to express emotion? Again, of course not.

        I do not find anything wrong with men being attracted to women. I do find something wrong with our culture and the hyper focus on how women look and what their bodies need to look like though. We’ve taken a very natural thing, physical attraction, and manipulated it into something I don’t believe it was ever meant to be. (I.E. Photoshop, make-up, silicone breasts, botox, other various implants, a never ending trope of young women paraded around for male pleasure…. the list goes on. Some very obvious and others more insideous.) And despite our arrogance in believing these things don’t affect us, I have no doubt in my mind that they affect all of us in varying levels. I’m aware of it because of my own thoughts. About the things I say to myself about my own body. And I’m aware of it because I’ve noticed the change I’ve seen in men in the last 10 years where there has grown a dependency on pornography and how that’s reflected into men’s sexual lives.

        I have no issue with a woman making a first move as long as it’s true to who she is and she isn’t doing it because society is pushing her to it. Although, when wanting to date heterosexual men, even if said woman made the first move, it is most likely certain that she still needs to embody the characteristics, he has a heterosexual man, has come to identify with as feminine. I am not sure if I understand your statement either.

        And I noticed, that has the world equalizes between men and women, that men’s fantasy material becomes more hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine, often reinforcing very traditional gender roles to the extreme. I think this is something we need to confront. Ask ourselves why that’s happening, why sex, has become this outlet for hyper masculine and feminine roles. I think we need to be honest with ourselves why as we all fight for true gender equality, in the fantasy world, many heterosexual men very much want to see young with with over-exaggerated breasts, lips, hair and other features while they behave completely submissive to him and his will.

        I am all for letting boys become more in touch with their feelings and building feelings of power and control in girls. But I am rather tired of men acting like I’m some hypocrite because when I go out on a date with a man, I want to be treated like a woman, and not just his male breast friend until he wants to have sex with me. At which point, I’m suppose to be his female fantasy. I am tired of guys that are so embittered with women in general, that even when I make the effort to see them and travel further to meet them, paying a heck of a lot more money then a cup of coffee would cost, they don’t even want to do a general kindness for me. And and the amount of guys that still try to sleep with you in the first couple dates? That hasn’t changed. What I’ve learned from guys is that they will try to sleep with you as soon as possible, but they don’t actually want to do anything that shows you they really care about you. And wanting a man to buy me a cup of coffee apparently does make me a gold-digger and sleeping with him too soon makes me a slut. But not sleeping with him soon enough makes me a prude.

        So basically, what I have learned with too many men out there is that they do not want to spend much of their time or resources in getting to know a woman. They simply want to find the quickest, cheapest and easiest root in getting into your pants. Now does this go for all men? No. Most certainly not. But It’s something I’ve seen a lot of while dating men. Men who don’t even really want to treat you like a person anymore. Just a possible sexual conquest who they try to manuver into sex as soon as possible.

        • So if I understand you correctly Erin. You are saying that as a result of society’s attempts to suppress masculinity, many men pretend to be gender neutral but when sex time comes, all that built up emotion (masculinity) gets expressed in very extreme ways. If so, then I agree with you a lot.

          As some have said there will always be a backlash when you try to suppress biology. I’m not saying that all men are the same but I’m saying that there is lots of wisdom (although it has it limits) in the saying that boys will be boys. No doubt that saying came about because societies of old learnt that trying to force to act in certain acceptable (perhaps traditionally feminine) ways was a recipe for disaster – not just for the boy as an individual but for society as a whole.

  18. Andrew, I like your article but I’d also like to see research on the success of egalitarian dating relationships. Most dating “experts” say that they’re a failure but what does the research say? If we have research that shows that egalitarian dating relationships can lead to strong long term partnerships or marriages, then you will be able to prove to the Adam Blanches of the world that equality really is the way to go.

    • Yeah, we just first need to change male/female biology and then everything will be “equal” and the same.

      What garbage. A man want to be with a woman, not because she is like a man. Same thing for women.

      Women, if you want equality in relationship, fine, hang out with men who act like women or become like a man. Just don’t come crying when your relationship crumbles because you finally want a strong man that makes you feel feminine and Marvin Milktoast doesn’t do it for you any more.

  19. Adam Blanch says:

    Dear Andrew,

    I like my gender. I like testosterone in myself, and estrogen in my partner. I like being a man. I like that there is a difference between men and women (because I’m not attracted to other men). I like the parry and thrust of gender negotiations. I find that women like the difference too, I never had such a crappy sex life as when I used to be a SNAG. Most women like to talk to ‘nice’ men, but they generally don’t want to fuck them, because they’ve disqualified themselves on the ability to compete, provide and protect.

    Ergo I reject, sneer at and generally despise your gender neutral agenda, and really don’t understand why any man or woman would want one. It isn’t gender difference that is oppressing us, its people trying to impose gender roles on others, including gender neutrality. I say ‘Vive la difference”.

    • So you’re saying that you like to dominate the woman? BTW, women have competed for, provided for and protected their men for centuries, but they never got any credit for it. And they never got paid for it.

    • Adam, you sound as if you’ve bought into the whole traditional culture thing when it comes to gender and gender roles. I guess that’s fine for you; under traditional culture, there are people who fit the mold and enjoy it just fine. The problem is, there are many more people who find difficulty with the restrictive nature of gender roles. There are also those who don’t have the capacity to look past their own narrow definitions of acceptable culture; in other words men have to be such a way, women have to be such a way, and it’s all natural anyway so why fight it.

      I’m a heterosexual American man grown up in the Midwest; I know traditional culture very well. What I’ve seen is a recipe for mistrust and misunderstanding between men and women that leads to painful relationships and divorce. What I’ve seen are men so determined to fit any traditional picture of manhood that they’re afraid their own shadow might look like it’s wearing a dress. I’ve seen women who treat men like animals that need to be tamed and controlled, either afraid of them or constantly treating them like children. And I find all of it unnecessary and stupid. The men and women who neutralize gender roles, who rise above the games and expectations can get together and be comfortable in each others’ presence; and they don’t lose their lust. On the contrary, feeling less judged and restricted is a hell of an aphrodisiac.

    • You’re a MAN Adam, thanks for being one and please remain one. Pay no attention to the dismissals of many women and some men. Goodness knows, the women in this world who appreciate men like you don’t want you to become extinct. REAL women want REAL men, like you. Indeed, ‘vive la difference’!

    • Most women like to talk to ‘nice’ men, but they generally don’t want to fuck them, because they’ve disqualified themselves on the ability to compete, provide and protect.

      Only bit I disagree with. Many women want nice guys! I dislike “bad” guys because they have the traits that I reject in men. Nice guys can be great if they lead exciting lives, too. Nice guy plus adventurous life for me is the perfect guy. It’s all about the interests of the man. If a guy is nice but boring then he is, in essence, boring. If he is nice but also has qualities such as sense of humour, adventurous spirit (exploring, discovering, travelling) then he is, in essence. an exciting guy.

      If a guy is exciting by way of “bad” traits such as sexual promiscuity, cheating, picking fights, boorishness, drunkenness, then in essence his character is bad.

      At the end of the day it is how exciting a mans life is with regard to leading a fulfilling life with plenty of fun, adventure and pursued dreams, not forgetting personal growth. It is NOT about partying, getting drunk, or being a stud. Not for me, anyway.

      Two of the most exciting, admirable men for me are Mike Horn (extreme adventurer) and the motivations speaker Tony Robbins . Those guys are full of greatness, and have ALL the qualities of good men. There is nothing bad about them ad I know there are more men like them out there.

      • Adam Blanch says:

        A guy can be a good guy without being ‘nice’, if fact its the ‘nice’ guys that have the deepest shadows.

        • Indeed, the Sharks in Suits, the men (and women) who use charm to deceive. Usually, though, their true character shines through in very subtle ways, but people tend to ignore those flickering warning lights because the person appears so gracious, so exciting, so interesting. There are many ways to test someone’s character, and we should all do it, before we emotionally invest and perhaps get burned. Also, look at the family they come from, the respect they show and receive, their friends and their interests – are they healthy or unhealthy?

          How many times have we heard the story told of someone who was in a long-term relationship (or marriage) that ended painfully (often after many years) and that person saying “the signs were there in the beginning but I ignored them”. How many times do we hear “he/she had severe mood-swings early in the relationship but I thought they would go away”; “he cheated on me once before but I loved him”; “she was often condescending towards me/my family/friends but I thought I could handle that aspect”.

          At the end of the day people get what they deserve in life, if they choose to ignore the warning signs. The women who choose to marry “bad guys” deserve what they get. The men who choose to marry manipulative, vexatious women, deserve what they get. The real character of a person, especially when they are older, very rarely changes and, if it does, only after introspection and a relentless determination to be a better person. Most “bad” people are unaccountable and totally blind to their own faults.

          A high value person will want to be involved (always LONG-TERM) with another high value person. A person of good character will seek that out in ALL their close friends as well as their life partner. Your character is the one thing that you can never keep hidden for long. Live your life with honour and integrity and, as I like to say, in such a way that no-one can ever blackmail you, and find someone who is similar. But what is equally important, have interests, have goals, be entertaining and enthusiastic and never cease with personal growth. Be curious and exciting yourself, instead of seeking out someone else to bring excitement to your life – that way you will – for the most part – have a very happy and contented life and avoid poisonous people.

    • Thank you for saying it better than in ever could. The Left’s infatuation with this BS is getting old

    • Well said Adam. At least some words of sanity!

  20. I concur with this a lot. Staying away from traditional and conventional measures is the way to go. Disagree with rejection on you because it is rather he or she rejects only her impression of you or your presentation of yourself. However, firmly agree with being able to switch and discuss any topic at large through more natural authentic approaches so to not waste time, effort, energies of all involved. It was great mentioning logistics and kinesthetics in dating and relationships. Very fascinated by the psychology behind social dynamics and human behaviour in all settings.

  21. Girls, offer to pay your half. Guys, let them.

    If that works out, you’re off to a decent start and can go from there.

    • Most won’t feel secure enough to do it.
      Usually they are just being polite and expect you will insist because gender norms.
      While other times, she hopes for that because she’s broke. (women get more into college than men, and college get you broke)
      Other times she can and will, but we can and will to, and we’ll get to “no, I’ll pay it! No, I’ll.” ad nauseum.


  1. […] was supplied last month by a website called The Good Men Project in the form of an article by Andrew Smiler titled “A Guy’s Guide to the Gender-Minimized 1st […]

  2. […] essay. When I saw the title, I had to suppress a feeling of nausea, knowing that the rabbit hole of absurdist progressive language about human sexuality and gender politics is a queasy, uneasy place to voluntarily go. But I eventually got up my nerve and read it anyway. […]

  3. […] not possible to have a completely gender neutral date,” writes therapist Andrew Smiler in a head-clutchingly asinine essay for the Good Men Project, a repository of painfully navel-gazing male-feminist apologetics that […]

  4. […] not possible to have a completely gender neutral date,” writes therapist Andrew Smiler in a head-clutchingly asinine essay for the Good Men Project, a repository of painfully navel-gazing male-feminist apologetics that […]

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