What are you looking for?

photo: Rowena Waack / CC

I never thought that I could be asked a question as many times as I urinate during a single day. Yet, life is full of surprises, sometimes dull ones. Just like the old times, when at every age you were supposed to achieve certain goals, nothing has changed other than the nature of these goals.

Instead of looking for a decent match after completing your studies and starting to procreate, nowadays people tend to experience their twenties by ripping off the benefits of their youth to the fullest. This comes along with collecting as many sexual experiences as possible; experimenting and exploring, discovering yourself and sometimes (re)setting boundaries you would never cross is a prominent part of the contemporary narrative; and there are a few places as fitting as Berlin for diving into the “new normal”.

What happens though if sometimes your inner voice does not comply with the societal norms? In the past century, for example, if a woman was not already a married mother by the time she approached 30, she would most probably feel the pity of her family, who would speak of the great tragedy that struck their family in great discontent. Being single often had a negative connotation and implied being lonely and unhappy. What is more, it was always regarded as an indicator that a person had “issues” and never as a situation “by choice”. While our sexist society always treated men way better than women, the idea of a 40-year old bachelor, though occasionally charming, was not much appreciated either.

Nowadays, things look a little bit different; or maybe not? Instead of settling down as soon as possible, today’s norms dictate a prolonged, commitment-free adulthood, which should be filled with lots of casual sex. Should you ever dare to express feelings or the need for intimacy, it is considered weakness, just like anything that is related with emotions. So what do you do? Well, this can prove to be very bewildering. What happens if sexual intercourse is not that entertaining, if it doesn’t come along with intimacy and truly caring for the other person? What could you do, if a conversation based on the exchange of pictures of your genitalia doesn’t turn you on to the point that you show up to a stranger’s doorstep and greet him by saying: “Hey, I am Amy. I sent you a picture of my buttocks about an hour ago. Wanna get down to it?”

photo: Eylül Aslan

Sometimes I wonder how weird conversations over dating apps would sound if they were made in real life. Asking for naked pictures or if the other person is wet could be very easily addressed much earlier than the mundane name exchange. My favorite question by far though is the “what are you looking for?” one. Most of the times, I get the impression that it is asked, in order to fish someone and find out if they are down for pure physical pleasure. Besides, the concept of looking for something specific, when it comes down to any kind of social interaction, has always baffled me. There are several aspects, when you are meeting a new person, that you can never control in advance. It might remain just friendly or develop into something physical or into something that is both physical and emotional. It goes without saying that we all have a certain mindset resulting from the current stage in our life, but very few things are impervious to the unexpectedness of change.

Moreover, receiving pictures of anuses from faceless profiles belongs to the all time favorites, that it will always entertain and bewilder me at the same time. I wonder though if there are people out there, to whom the face of somebody they are about to have sex with remains irrelevant as long as they have a decent looking anus. By the way, how does a decent looking anus look like?

Realizing the significance of staying true to yourself and its superiority to adapting to whatever everyone else seems to be doing can be challenging, but it will definitely save you from frustration and the incessant staring at the ceiling contemplating why you did something you never really wanted to in the first place. As selfish as it might sound, the most important person in your life should be yourself, and by respecting and celebrating them as well as listening to them in every possible way is the key to stay balanced and sane.

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/nikos/" target="_self">Nikos</a>