Last year, I got pissed off. Quite a bit. I'm not going to say that fending off advances from people who only want me because I'm currently in Patriarchal Beauty Standard range took up and took over the whole con experience for me, but I will say that, obviously, that was problematic enough that I felt the need to come rant about it.
It's not that I don't enjoy sex - baby, I do, and if any of my existing partners had had a room to themselves (or, in the case of sindrian, even been there), I'd've been on them like white on rice. And it's not that I don't enjoy being flirted with. It's not just that I have no time to savor a sexual encounter when I'm on ten panels. A big part of it is, like I said, I have a history of making stupid decisions about who to schtup when I'm in con headspace. Self-awareness is a good thing! So for that alone, I have made the absolute rule that I am not having any first times at conventions.
That was sort of a rule last year, but only in my own head. This year, I made it public. I made it explicit. I stated it firmly and politely and with humor, I hope.
And an amazing thing happened.
I did not get propositioned.
And it was AWESOME.
Because at every damn con ever, seriously, in so many conversations, I can feel the "so, you wanna?" coming. And I hate that so hard. I hate being in that situation where the person I'm talking to is clearly only talking to me at all because they've heard that you shouldn't just say "nice boots, wanna fuck," so they're throwing a few more sentences in there, but I know that they don't actually care about the answers to the questions they're asking, just the question they're gearing up to ask. There's no connection, just this dogged "must get laid at the con".
And like I said in the first post I linked to, honey, I am worth more than that.
So I took That Question completely off the table. No, I am absolutely not going to have sex with you, and it has absolutely nothing to do with you personally. There were two people at Arisia at the very least who I'd do any day of the week - but not at Arisia, because rules, they mean something. It being a straight across-the-board rule takes away the injured pride, the "well why not me?" Because it's not you, it's me.
Now, when you take that off the table - when, no matter what, the conversation is not going to lead to sex - the conversation changes.
It did not escape my notice that some people who've been after me at prior cons didn't chat me up at all, hmm. *amused grin*
But the people who did -
The pressure was off. Pressure that we don't even tend to register most of the time. Because there is so often an element of "where is this going?" With the establishment of "it's not going there," I had some conversations with some people that were way easier and more fun than ever before.
I met new people, too, with whom interest was clear. And when it looked like the conversation might Go There, I would casually mention that I have a no-first-times-at-cons rule, and got an "oh, okay!" and we just kept right on talking and had a marvelous time. (One of those has led to some deeply interesting post-con flirtation. Because "not now" doesn't mean "never".)
What I really saw in my at-con interactions was... pretty much exactly what I thought I'd see. If people are interested in me as a person, they have no problem with me not being sexually available. If they're not... well, I'm fine with them staying away!
It's a good way to weed out the people you shouldn't be schtupping anyway, is what I'm saying.
I am very gratified with the whole having-fun-at-a-con-without-being-relent