November 7, 2019

I want you, Naked.

Can I specify that I don’t like tattoos, smokers or make up on my dating profile?

Come as you are.

If I create a dating profile, am I allowed to admit I don’t like cigarette smokers? Of course. It’s gross to make out with (for a non-smoker).

Am I allowed to say I’m looking for someone who doesn’t drink, perhaps because I have a history with alcohol? Easy: yes, again.

Okay, let’s level up the difficulty meter.

Am I allowed to say I don’t like makeup? It’s gross to make out with foundation and chemicals, too. And maybe I just like you, as you are.

But, no. Hell no, fool!


Okay: am I allowed to say I don’t like tattoos? Maybe small ones, but not too many and not too big? Good luck, buddy. Just try saying “ah, that 2-foot tattoo of a Chinese boat that turns into a dragon is art that, on a wall, might be cool…but on the body of a potential longterm partner…oof.

Of course not.

Now you’re in hot water.

Well, it’s true. I don’t like too much make up, or big tats. If I were a woman, would I be allowed to say that about a man? Would I be allowed to say that if I were a woman, about another woman? Or a man, about another man?

Dating morés—tastes—preferences—are by their nature subjective. Deal-breakers, we call them, sometimes. Deal-breakers can be “you better do the dishes now, not after you enjoy your movie–you’ll be too sleepy after your movie and you’ll put it off until tomorrow morning when you’ll be too rushed and busy and then they’ll sit around for a full day and get all gross and crusty.”

Or, deal-breakers can be “don’t yell at waitresses or waiters” or “don’t honk at other cars” or “don’t eat meat” or “don’t be vegan, that’s annoying.”

Deal-breakers are, by their nature, annoying.

But relationships are annoying, too, as well as fun and loving and delicious and difficult.

It’s how we get through these tough conversations about little things that determines much of whether we go the distance, if we even want to, or no.

But, in dating—when going the distance ain’t the objective, what role do deal-breakers play?

What if I don’t like tattoos or make up in the same way I don’t like you straightening your hair, because I like you how you are, natural? I like your pits unshaven, and your legs, who cares about mores! It’s a messy soup of feminism and rights and preferences and subjectivity and offense, taken, and offense, given.

Can I specify that I don’t like tattoos, smokers, or make up on my dating profile?

What say you?


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