Two things are worrying me these days.
Thing the first. I worry that “friends with benefits” has ruined dating. I’m not a fan of friends with benefits as a way of interacting with men. I realize that FWB is all the rage among the college set these days, and I’d guess that even when I was in college, it was popular, which would explain why I was not the most popular girl on campus. It’s okay—the college kids can have their FWB. But what about us older folks who actually want to date? As in go out with someone, have fun, get to know that person, maybe hold hands if everybody is feeling romantic? I fear that dating is a lost art, that men don’t know how to court a woman without assuming they are in a relationship. I had a good discussion about this with a colleague today, and he and I agreed that even among people for whom life partnership is the goal of dating, it’s important to get to know someone before making assumptions about the nature of the relationship. I’m not explicitly on the market for a life partner, but I would like to date, should I be fortunate enough to meet a nice man. I’m just afraid that even if I do meet a nice man, he will be so clueless about how to court me that I will throw up my hands in frustration and decide that being a spinster is easier than dating.
Take a lesson from the fruit flies, gentleman: you’ve got to court her before you make any lusty moves. Flies who try to skip the steps of courtship are met with a very firm NO in the form of a kick in the head.
Thing the second. I’m doing research these days for my grant application(s), and I’d really like to find some scientific studies that link dieting to sexual dysfunction in women. My search is turning out to be more difficult than I had hoped, but it’s especially frustrating when I run into articles like this piece from “FOXSexpert” Dr. Yvonne K. Fullbright. The article, which is along the lines of what I’m hoping to find, is filled with scientific claims about what happens to a woman’s libido when she loses too much weight, but where are the damn references?!? That popular news piece does me absolutely no good without references, and frankly, I find it rather presumptuous of her to tell a story like that with almost no citations to back up her claims.
The reason that the article bothers me so much is that I think a woman’s libido may shut down far earlier than the point at which she stops menstruating or displays a severe loss of body fat. For me, the whole point of combing the science archives and googling things like “nutrition and sexual dysfunction” is to find a few studies that might back me up here. But Dr. Yvonne K. Fullbright, you are no help to me. No reviewer who is evaluating my work is going to let me cite a FOXSexpert article as evidence.