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Sex + Relationships

Her Gay Best Friend: Fahrenheit 411—When Self-Censorship Gives Way to Flat-Out Deception

We need to talk. 

I know that, when trying to attract a man, a girl always tends to be a little dishonest.

You’ll cover up the pimples on your face with some makeup. You’ll use mascara to make your eyelashes appear longer. You’ll wear a bra that makes your breasts look twice as big and perkier than a Miss America contestant at a charity fundraiser.

And that’s fine, I guess. (Most) men are smart enough to know when a girl is wearing makeup—and that your breasts don’t naturally reach up to your chin—so there’s really no harm in altering a few minor details and hiding a couple of flaws to grab a guy’s attention.

But more and more frequently, you take hiding your flaws to a whole new level. You’re in such a scramble to keep your crush’s attention that you omit any information about yourself that might be the least bit unattractive, and you all but disappear to make room for the girl you think he wants.  

And I think you know the girl I’m talking about—the girl who never says anything awkward or appears too interested; the girl who giggles at every lame attempt at a joke and agrees with most of what he says; the girl who always has a flirty smile plastered to her face and who’s fun, social, and never in a bad mood.

Honestly, it’s like watching you morph into Paris Hilton.

But that really isn’t the best way to get the guy you want (and not just because I know very few men who find Paris Hilton attractive). There’s nothing wrong with censoring a few of the grittier parts of yourself when you first start talking to a guy, but when you act so differently from your usual self you’re just being dishonest. And as I’ve learned from every talk show and episode of 7th Heaven, relationships are built on foundations of honesty and all that other good stuff.

Changing certain things is fair when you’re attempting to win a man’s affection, but others are just unfair attempts to win a man with affectation. Make sure you know the difference between behaviors that show you’re trying and those that mean you’re lying.

Trying: Leaving out the gory details

Pooping and tampons and farts—oh my! Yes, it seems that nothing will make a man lose his appetite (and wood) faster than mention of your monthly cycle and other bodily functions that make you seem, you know, human. But is it dishonest to present yourself as a perfect, Disney Channel creature who never uses the bathroom or leaks from her private parts?

Hell no. (Actually, I’d be a little worried if you farted freely on a first date.) Save the gross stuff for when you’ve been seeing a guy for a little bit longer than a day—after he’s built up enough affection for you that the smell of your personal perfume won’t do that much damage.

Lying: Leaving out the barbeque sauce

Yes, gross bodily functions can be omitted from the dinner conversation, but unless you’re a member of the Cullen family, eating shouldn’t be counted as a gross bodily function. Nothing should stand between you and the bacon cheeseburger you’ve been eyeing on the menu.

God knows most men these days like girls with a little bit of ass anyway.

Trying: Being forward

Like any creature distracted by sudden shifts in blood flow away from their brain, men are often a little slow. You may think the signals you’re giving off are obvious, but men—myself included—may not realize that a person is interested until that person has stripped naked and started yelling, “Hey you douche! I’m interested!”

So, even though it may not be in character for you, do your crush a favor and make it a little easier for him to tell. Flash him a seductive smile. Maybe caress his thigh a little bit. Whatever gets the point across and doesn’t get you booked for sexual assault.

Lying: Being fake

There’s a big difference between turning up the dial on your flirting and doing some method acting for a role as a hooker. Sultry eyes and seductive smiles are fine, but when you begin putting on the voice of a phone sex operator and working small moans into the conversation, you might as well be an extra in an HBO drama series.

Trying: Keeping your crazy in check

You may stare at that fine man in lecture and picture what your children will look like. You may have used your Photoshop skills to create a mockup of your future wedding album. You may be working on a sculpture of him in your closet using pieces of his chewed bubblegum.

But, for the love of God, don’t tell him any of that. Everyone gets a little crazy when they have a crush—I myself have a bubblegum sculpture or two in storage.  

What’s that? You say I’m crazy? WELL I GOT YOUR CRAZY!

Lying: Keeping your opinions to yourself

Unless you plan on being a doormat if the two of you start dating, you should speak up and make your views known. Disagree with his political views? Engage him in a thoughtful discussion. Find fault with his “One Woman, One Sandwich” philosophy of gender roles in society? Tell him about it.

Otherwise, you best get busy Googling the quickest ways to get footprints off your back.

Trying: Pushing up

No, your boobs are not that perky and the padding may have added a full cup size, but let’s just keep that little secret between you and Victoria for now. You may be blatantly misleading guys, but it’s not really your fault. The lingerie-clad angel on your shoulder made you do it.

Lying: Stuffing

Not that anyone has done this since seventh grade (I hope), but I’m trying to be as comprehensive as possible. Any deceit that comes from a pushup can easily be blamed on the manufacturer. If you’re hiding a roll of Charmin under your shirt, that’s all on you.

Trying: Pretending the night is going well

Sure, the cook made your order wrong, the waiter spilled your drink, and the guy at the other table is looking at your legs like he wants to take a bite out of them. On any other night you’d demand a discount on your bill and rip off a pair of testicles for your mantelpiece.

It’s probably best if you just keep your cool in front of your date. It might scare him off if he realizes that you and your tiny fists could take him down in a heartbeat.  

Lying: Pretending you like the same things

Now this one should really be a no-brainer. Telling a guy you’re into all the same things as he is when you’re really not is—to be blunt—FAKE AS HELL.

“But if he thinks I like soccer too, then he’ll give me a chance,” you might reason, “and once he gets to gets to know the real me, he’ll realize how perfect we are together.”

Aw, how sweet. When I hear such untarnished optimism, I swear my heart grows three sizes and I suddenly feel like saving Christmas. There’s just one problem though: The “real you” doesn’t like soccer. And if you two really were perfect together, you wouldn’t have to make things up to keep his interest.

It’s like your old friend Barney always used to tell you: just be yourself. Only with a little less intensity and a little more hip action. That’s how you attract a man that’s right for you.

Just to clarify, that last bit was me, not Barney. Barney never appreciated the importance of good hip action.

Scott Rosenfeld is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a double major in Professional Writing and Psychology. Originally from the D.C metropolitan area, Scott grew up with a great passion for the written word. From the time he first read Dr. Seuss, he realized the overwhelming power of human language, as well as the limitless joy of making up words for the sake of rhyme. On campus, Scott keeps busy working as the prose editor for the Oakland Review Literary Journal and an editor for the Thought: Undergraduate Research Journal. He was also recently elected to the position of editor-in-chief for The Cut, Carnegie Mellon’s music magazine, for which he has worked as the copy manager for the past year. As editor-in-chief, he hopes to buy all of his staff a thneed. Because a thneed, he feels, is something that everyone needs.
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