This past Friday I went out with some friends of mine.
It was Grace's birthday, and she was on a mission to have a memorable night.
However, the boys weren't playing into her game plan as she had wanted them to, and after a few rounds of tequila and a few poorly received advances, she became frustrated by things.
So us girls headed out of the bar for a little fresh air and a birthday girl pep-talk.
Grace is an extremely shapely and well endowed young woman. And she knows it. That night she was dressed to show it off.
And therefor she was genuinely baffled by why the menfolk weren't biting.
She gestured at herself as she started to cry, and asked "what am I missing??"
We crooned over her until she felt a little better, telling her how sexy and smart she is and how guys are stupid jerks.
But see, I actually know the answer to her drunken question.
What was she missing? Subtlety. Patience. Self-confidence.
It is really hard to walk the line of subtlety with things like sex when you're the experienced sort and you know what you want (namely, to "do" the him of the moment), as often being very much 'oh yes, do me know please' doesn't come off as attractive as one might think it would.
There are different theories as to why being too forward scares most menfolk off. Seeming desperate or overly clinging/dependent are two of the most negative often cited, but I would also say there's still the ingrained (and outdated) unspoken societal understanding that the women just aren't supposed to sleep around as much as the men, and if she's that willing to put out for you she probably already put out for everyone else too.
However, I've also managed to pick up on the detail that the vast majority of say, menfolk in their mid-twenties who enjoy somewhat casual relations with the fairer gender, actually prefer those who know what they're doing.
And the only way to really know what you're doing in sex is to do it.
So then the question comes back, if they're not actually overly put off by you being experienced with such things, why aren't they jumping at the chance as you throw yourself at them in a bar?
I've pondered whether some of it has to do with the imagination. The most attractive clothes are not, in fact, always the most revealing (see: 50s fashion, lingerie, Anne Hathaway). Similarly, the most attractive woman to try and get is not always the one most intent on getting laid. Yep, subtlety. It's hard to understand, harder to explain, but can make a world of difference.
Then there's patience. It's tied into the subtlety thing to some extent, and is an absolutely crucial component for pulling most of it off. A sultry smile and a wink is MUCH more subtle than just trying to make out with someone, and the results of such minimal gestures may not be felt at all that night.
But that doesn't mean they're not impactful or that they won't lead where you want to go in the future. Which is why you need patience, as well as self-confidence.
Self-confidence is more than thinking your body is attractive and wearing revealing clothing. Self-confidence is knowing you're an amazing and wonderful person, even when no one else seems to see it.
And self-confidence is sexy in of itself.
That's why the assholes are attractive, it's easy to confuse self-confidence with being-a-jerk from minimal observation.
Grace didn't have self-confidence. Sure, she thought she looked good and certainly wore a shirt to get noticed, but she was completely dependent on the constant positive attention of others to feel good about herself. When it wasn't there, she immediately doubted herself instead of doubting them.
Which is why our girly pep-talk included lots of profane (and probably unfair) judgements of men. Because she needed to hear it, to hear that she was attractive and they were stupid for not seeing it.
But see, she also needs to hear it when she's not actively trying to pick up guys. She needs to hear it enough to think it herself. She needs to think it enough to believe it. And then she won't feel so desperate, clinging to any scrap of affection or attention that might be thrown out there while wondering why she's not getting the more that she wants.
So there you have it. You can dress sexy without being overly exposed, you can take your time to sow the crops you actually want to harvest later instead of just grabbing up whatever is laying about, and you can do it all while personally knowing how fabulous you really are.