[This was the "too grouchy" post. Since people are talking about it anyway, what the hell. Just let me note that I don't think all guys are like this and I don't play stupid games with all guys--this applies only to guys who answer "you're nice but you're not my type" with "no, no, you need to give me a chance."]
I invented a game to play on OkCupid! It's called the...
Get A Guy To Stop Talking To You Game!
Here's how you play:
-Have an OkCupid account with a reasonably appealing picture and profile, identifying yourself as a straight woman.
-Log on to the IM system, and wait for a guy to message you. Doesn't take long, generally.
-Talk to him in good faith long enough to determine what sort of guy he is. If he seems like a cool and attractive guy, ask him out or arrange to talk again. If he's not your type, let him down easy. If letting him down easy doesn't work, play the game.
-The game has only two rules:
1) Promptly reply to all of his IMs. Within a couple minutes at the most, preferably instantly, write something back to whatever he says.
2) Try, without hitting "ignore" or logging off or ceasing your responses, to get him to stop talking to you.
-Within the framework of "keep replying," you can say anything. You can make yourself sound bugfuck insane or hilariously bitchy--usually both! You can tell stories about being dangerously obsessed with all your previous partners or speculate how tiny the guy's penis is. You can whip out racist jokes, confessions that you never bathe, and direct insults against the guy and everything he cares about. You can even tell the guy that you're playing this game! And you can most certainly say every variation on "No, I'm not interested, please stop talking to me."
-The game can go on for hours, and I usually run out of time and have to hit "ignore" or shut down IM before I win. My win rate is definitely well under 50%.
I think this game teaches us two things: first, that sometimes I'm an asshole on the Internet; and secondly, that this is what they call "rape culture." The acting crazy/mean is just fucking around, but the shocking part is how my stated wishes don't count for shit. It's truly amazing how many times I can say, in so many words, "stop talking to me," and yet as long as I keep responding the guy will never do what I explicitly asked him to. (And if I merely act very uncomfortable and chilly and reluctant but don't actually say no... forget it, that never stops anyone.) As long as I stay "in the room" with him, it doesn't matter how many times I say in clear blunt words to leave me alone, he never will.
I think the reason this happens is because I don't open with "fuck off"; I do the initial feeling-out stage in genuine good faith. So they get this image of me as a relatively nice and open person before I turn into a person who's repeatedly telling them to fuck off, and somehow the mental transition never happens. I can't be nice and not want to talk to them! DISSONANCE! So they persist, literally forever, and disregard my stated wishes over and over in doing so.
There's probably also some sense that I'm "shit testing" them, that I'm making a game of pushing them away just so they can prove their ardor. I suppose I am, in that I keep talking to them at all, but still--why would a guy want to play this game with a woman? And isn't it a little scary that there's literally no way I can use words to tell him I'm not playing?
And this is why women don't smile at strangers.
After I lose the game and have to hit "ignore" or "log off", most of these guys send me followup emails, saying they'd really like to talk some more or clear up any misunderstandings.