“Since when has being cheap counted as “empowerment”?…Hey, I’m all for getting in touch with the “inner goddess” by pole dancing you’re way to “new you”, but you can’t get lobster thermidore out of a can of tuna. Get a life.” — from Heartless Bitches International

A few months ago, a male friend of mine received some up-close and personal, x-rated pictures from a female acquaintance via text.

Background: said male friend is someone who I would label as a “nice guy” you could take home to your parents, is pursuing a wholesome career, has certain admirable character traits, the like. Female acquaintance of his apparently was involved in youth church activities at the same church growing up, had gone her separate way for many years and, recently been on one date with him.

I, being the curious person that I am, inquired as to the reason for the pictures. He said she was “just interested.”

(cue music: “sounds of crickets chirping”)

Well, dang! Hold onto your hats because in this day and age, the standard protocol is STILL for ladies to flash their mamaries and genatalia to potential partners! Let me go grab my cavewoman outfit…

If I really believed that being easy was the most effective way to let a guy worth being with know I was “interested,” I would have done it a long time ago. Ladies, we aren’t livestock for sale. We do not live in third-world countries where our worth is determined by how many offspring we can produce as property for husbands. And quite frankly, you are allowed to use your brains for more than coordinating outfits and reading fashion, home making or child rearing magazines. (These things are great, but really, there is more out there.)

The human body is a glorious, glorious thing to behold. Artists, doctors, and lay persons alike can appreciate it’s various functions and forms. It is a machine truly deserving of respect and reverence.

Respect.

That doesn’t mean merely admiring the body.

Respect means realizing there’s a person attached to it, with hopes, fears, brains and beleifs. And to merely favor the body of ones self or another and what it can do for you as the worth of a human being shows a decrepit poverty of spirit, a lack of substance that can wholly be called shallow.

This means respecting physical limitations and disability. This means respecting the mind of that person and listening to them. This means respecting people of the opposite sex as members of the same species. This means respecting and loving yourself first so that you can say, gently “no thanks, that behavior is not for me because it dosn’t get me what I really want.”

Ladies: I am tired of hearing “I just want one man to show me they aren’t all alike.” It’s a thought I have entertained many times, and there’s some validity to it. We want a man to rise to the challenge of a real, loving and intimate relationship. But listen, waiting hopelessly and helplessly for a guy to come and “rescue” you completely relieves you from any responsibility for your own happiness. It doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch, it just means you have to believe you are a worthwhile person and have standards.

And, the kicker is, the more we keep giving random guys dirty texts, meaningless hookups, blow jobs and one-night stands to be liked instead of just being comfortable with ourselves and our friends, the more we are creating the expectation from them that “hey this is really all girls want and need. The one’s who aren’t this way are just too emotional and needy.” We are contaminating the pool of eligible partners, whittling away at the available number of men for ALL OF USĀ  and creating an unrealistic expectation for men.

Guys: Being “nice” doesn’t cut it. Sorry. We’re not going to let you get away with anything you want just because you aren’t abusive, or a jerk, or a mysoginist, because you have a stable job and don’t live with your mommy anymore. We want somebody who is assertive, has their own life and personality, doesn’t need us to to complete them, but enjoys our company and us as who we are, not their ideal hussy or trophy wife. While we enjoy getting dressed up and “lookin’ fine next to yo hot body,” we are more likely to hang out in sweatpants than lingerie, eat ice cream out of the carton, and want to snuggle on a regular basis than maintain a flawless appearance 24/7.

Please, separate your self-worth and ability to love yourself from your ability to get laid.

Of course, I have just idealized the heterosexual experience, because, quite frankly that is what I know. However, I would imagine some of the same things apply universally.

And, I must acknowledge one caveat. SEX IS IMPORTANT! It’s right at the base of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy! We obsess about it for a reason. Its worth exploring with a respectful and compatible partner. Humans are downright carnal, and we have to accept it. We also have to respect it’s incredible power over our lives and obsessions.

Remember: you are worth more than the functionality of your genitalia.

This post could just as easily been opened with the following amusing, but less effective and more offensive excerpt from another blog, and so I will leave you with it: “The first idiotic quick fix of the summer that springs to mind is ABC’s “How to Get the Guy” (10 p.m. Mondays) — a show that would more accurately be called “How to Get A Guy, Any Guy” or better yet, “How to Cast a Great, Big, Wide Net Like the Soulless, Whoring Sea Donkey That You Are.”” — Heather Havrilesky