Splitting Headaches

I don’t know how to act when the waiter brings us a check and I’m out on a date with a feminist.

Is it misogynist for me to pay the bill because I’m adhering to archaic ideas of controlling women economically?

Is it misogynist for me to expect her to pay in because that’s not acknowledging the financial privilege I have over her?

I mean, the line is really blurry!

The modern feminist man treads on eggshells for a lot of obvious reasons, we can usually cherry-pick what archaic practice we should keep and which we need to move past.  I’ll hold the door open for a lady, but I don’t think that somehow justifies the wage gap between men and women.  Drawing that line is sometimes difficult, though.

How do we resolve the conflicts that exist between being the egalitarian bachelors of the new age and being the chivalrous gentlemen of old?  How do we advance from being the men we’ve been told since childhood that women want into becoming the modern men that women deserve?  Can we be both?

The clearest example of this is dealing with the bill at the end of a date.  As the existing narrative plays out, the man pounces on the check as soon as it arrives, settling the debt with no mention of recompense.  This standard has certainly met with a widespread level of acceptance; I’ve even had die-hard, Chesler-reading feminists suddenly pull out their phone and pretend they don’t see the bill when it gets brought to the table.  At the same time, some respond negatively and view this as a throwback to a time when men would financially support women in exchange for treating them as second class citizens.  I have zero ability to tell which response my reaching for the bill with elicit, though!

I’ve heard a few coping techniques for this transitional period we’re in on our way towards equality, but I have issues with many of these.

The first sentiment is that whoever requested the date pays for the date.  On paper, this seems like a valid new policy for an age of equality.  This is, of course, wholly inaccurate.  Realistically, because the modern dating world is populated with women who have been groomed to not take the initiative, lest they be accused of wanting male advances, the majority of dates are requested by men and will therefore also be purchased by men.

There is also the practice of Going Dutch, which generally means “pay separately”.  I prefer not to do this for a number of reasons.  You don’t want to go around painting the Dutch as cheap and selfish, regardless of how you may feel about them.  The other issue is that splitting a bill any way but down the middle can be a chore for the waitstaff, which turns this into an issue about gender and labor.  I don’t want to subject the service staff to the messy pen-marks we’ve scribbled on the receipt to indicate who ordered the Old Fashioned and who ordered the Fuzzy Navel.  Also, I would prefer to not have to acknowledge that I ordered the Fuzzy Navel.

As a man of both feminism and frugality, I’ve found some alternatives to these resolutions:

  1. You Travel.  I Treat.
    This is my favorite.  If my date is saving me a trip somewhere, that’s time in my pocket and I’ll be glad to cover them for that courtesy.  Couple that with the fact that I get to pick a place that I know is within my price range, and close to my place if things go well, and this is plan is (sometimes literally) right up my alley.
  2. Gratuitous Cash
    If one of you insists on picking up the bill, let the other party pay just the tip.  Servers certainly appreciate cash tips.  Just make sure that if you’re paying with a card you write the word “cash” in the tip box on the receipt!  If you don’t, they might think you stiffed them…
  3. Halvesies
    Straight and to the point.  Let’s each put a card down and tell the waiter to split the bill in twain.  We don’t even need to tell the waiter, we could just karate chop the air in front of us and they’ll know what to do.  When I’m on a date with another man, we’re going halvesies.  And many feminists would be glad to hear they are being treated with the same respect and responsibility that I give to a man I’m dating.

No matter which of these you do – or don’t do, I find that discussing the matter before you even decide where to meet goes a long way to prevent getting jammed up when the bill arrives.  And that’s one less hurdle we’ll need jump over on a first date.

Navigating the world of feminism as a man can be tough, though!  Did I miss anything in my efforts to find a solution to the bill at the end of a date?  Anybody else do how I do?  Is my opinion on the matter irrelevant because I am passably cishet male?

Leave your tips in the comments, please!

Role Call

Usually when I roleplay, I play an elf wizard.  Sometimes though, I pretend to be a rapist.  Bedroom roleplays may not involve any dice, but they are certainly a good deal of fun.  A lot of people claim they wouldn’t know how to begin a bedroom roleplay, but most of us have been training since we were kids!

Playing pretend was always one of my favorite activities.  Growing up, my friends and I would pretend we were the Power Rangers, the X-Men, the Animaniacs.  Sometimes, we would even play ‘house’ and pretend to be adults.  I remember the play being so enlivening; trying to be someone else.  Pre-empting all of your talk and actions to fit into this version of you that wasn’t you.  Watching your friends do it was great too.  I loved seeing them struggle to fit into a different character than their usual personality, or revel in a part of themselves they didn’t usually get to inhabit.

Tragically, playing pretend gets phased out along with other great activities we practiced in our youth; like Red-Rover and optimism for the future.  Most people never try a sexy roleplay, but playing pretend in your adult bedroom is important for a number of reasons.

In becoming someone else in the sack, you get the chance to evaluate your usual bedroom persona.  You get see the areas you don’t really explore, as well as the areas where you excel.  Similarly, your partner will get the chance to experience these in you and see themselves from the outside too.  Pretending can be especially beneficial for monogamous couples.  After all, if you’re only going to be sleeping with one person for the rest of your life, then it can be very good to explore the different dimensions of their sexual personality.

Before I dive into the gritty details of some standard bedroom roleplays, there are two basic principles I want to drive home about roleplaying in the bedroom:

  1. Safewords-
    Your roleplay might go somewhere real dark.  Make sure your partner and you have an established safeword so that you both know when it’s time to break character
  2. Fantasies and Desires-
    A roleplay is a chance to explore something sexually that cannot happen in real life.  A lot of the time though, it’s a chance to explore the sexual aspect of a scenario that should not happen in real life.  Make sure you keep yourself in check by acknowledging what’s happening as a fantasy, not a desire.  If it’s a fantasy, it’s a harmless and all you need to do is find another consenting adult to help you explore it.  If it’s a desire, that means you want to make this scenario happen in real life, and you should strongly consider speaking to a psychological professional about your feelings.

Having said that, here are some potential roleplays to try with your partner(s).  I’ve separated them into different ratings, based on how unconventional they are.  I recommend everyone start at the tamer end of things and work your way up to other roleplays that interest you:

PG-13 Roleplays

These are a really great way to explore the wilder side of vanilla-ish sex.  These are the fuzzy handcuffs of bedroom roleplays.

  1. The Strangers-
    Your partner(s) and yourself go to a bar and pretend to be people who don’t know each other.  Drinks get purchased, cheesy pickup lines get dropped, by last call you’ve decided to go home with each other (or to a hotel if you want the roleplay to be more immersive).  This is a brilliant first-time roleplay for couples to do.  It is a good way to step outside of yourselves while still recognizing the special parts about each other that you fell for in the first place.
  2. The Service-
    One of you pretends to be the french maid, plumber, massues, repairman, nurse, doctor, hair-stylist, shoeshine boy, and/or beekeeper.  One of you needs a service performed.  The other provides the service and then a few more services.  This is a great opportunity to play with costumes and power dynamics.
  3. The Love Machine-
    Sci-Fi nerds will dig this one.  One of you is a robot built to please the other.  The robot is programmed to do exactly as it’s told.  It is also fully functional and anatomically correct.
  4. The Rule 34-
    Based on the eponymous internet rule of the same name, this is where one/both/all of you dress up as a fictional character.  You can be Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, you can double team Catwoman as Batman and Robin, you can have a Digidestined orgy!  Don’t feel bound up in one franchise, though.  Consider crossing medias like Silk Spectre/Deadpool, Vampirella/Deadpool, or Superman/Deadpool.  Those of you in the Cosplay community should definitely try this one.  I’d hate to think of your Daenerys and Khal Drogo costumes collecting dust in between cons.
  5. The Fantasy-
    Similar to the Rule 34, but this one is your own story.  Those of you with degrees in english and/or writing, I’m looking at you.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to be taken in the night by a vampire (whichever kind you like).  Ever been to a Renaissance Fare and want to go medieval on someone’s ass?  Or maybe you have a character in an existing tabletop roleplaying game that you would want to inhabit sensually for an exotic LARP.  It puts a whole new spin on the phrase “dungeon master”.
  6. Pet Play-
    Have you always been intrigued by animality in the bedroom, but totally turned off by the furry community?  If so, then petplay might be for you.  One of you is the master, the other(s) are the pet.  Be it cat, dog, horse, bunny, pig, hermit crab, etc; the important thing is that you belong to the master.  Go to the local Petsmart and invest in some supplies, then treat your partner(s) like the critter of their choosing.  They even make butt plugs with the tail of your choice(NSFW)!  Use the collar, leash, food dish, neck cone, and/or squeaky toy like they were your pet.  And then have sex with them like they were your pet!  consenting, adult, humans.
  7. School Play-
    I’ve had plenty of partners in the past tell me that they used to have a crush on their teacher when they were teenagers and wanted to roleplay out that old fantasy.  After I became a teacher, every partner I had wanted that roleplay.  The classroom converts to a place of torture pretty easily.  Rulers make for fine spanking implements, plaid skirts can be left on mid-coitus and used as leverage if someone is bent over.  Also, standing next to someone sitting at a desk puts them at optimal height for performing fellatio.  The magnum opus of my schoolplay career was a detention roleplay that ended with the ‘student’ being bent over the desk and fucked wide open while writing “I will not dress like a slut in class” a hundred times.  She never finished.  I sure did, though.
  8. Gender Play-
    Maybe one (or both/all) of you wants to see what it’s like from the other sex’s side of sex.  This doesn’t mean you should audition for Rupaul’s Drag Race or anything.  Guys might have a fantasy about having their skirts lifted up, their panties moved over to the side and being taken from behind.  Girls may have always wanted to put on a suit and feed their strap-on/feeldo out the zipper to fuck someone like a man would.  Try a prom night roleplay where one/both of you take on the opposite genders!

R Rated Roleplays

These are a little more intense, much of them relying on consensual non-consent.  So make sure you’ve got a safeword!

  1. Rape Play-
    This is, by far, the most common roleplay that gets requested from me.  It’s a very common fantasy (Read: Fantasy!  Not desire!) for plenty of women.  I’ve also fantasized about being on the receiving end of someone who is just going to take me, regardless of what I say.  There’s something very exciting about the idea of being taken.  The person who is doing the taking is also taken.  They are taken with a need to do things to your body, to use you up.  That kind of animalistic desire can be very sexy.  Maybe ‘the assailant’ was waiting for you to get home before they assaulted you, maybe two of them lured you over for a movie just to hold you down and take turns with you, or maybe you’re being held up at (hopefully a fake) gun point.  In a rape scenario, “no” will not always mean no.  So make sure you’ve got a safeword ready!
  2. Blackmail-
    It’s not forced sex.  Though, it’s certainly not willing.  In that, it has the same power exchange as a rape play.  But there’s less physical control involved.  You’re still taking, but it’s only because you ‘have’ something they ‘want’.  This could be some incriminating evidence that you lord over them for sexual service or a favor they need from you that you demand physical repayment.  Write your own story and be creative!
  3. Military Play-
    Uniforms are very sexy.  In both guys and girls.  But even more than that, military play is grounded heavily in power exchange.  You could have a USO performer come to take care of our boys overseas, a strict female lieutenant who intends to break a young upstart cadet, or a spy who’s captured by an intelligence officer that gets tortured and interrogated.
  4. The Adult Service-
    Just like the PG-13 Service, except you’re not the janitor.  One of you is a stripper, hooker, or gigolo.  The neat thing about this roleplay is the use of money.  You can use monopoly money if you really want, but there is something very exciting about hard green cash.  Make the service crawl after a trail of bills to your lap, make it rain while they are bent over in front of you.  If you’re the service in this case, you can have a ‘price’ per act.  Then try and upsell your client on higher fares.


NC-17 Roleplays

These are some exceeeeeeedingly taboo roleplays.  Make sure that you are 100% comfortable with yourself and your partner before you dive in to try any of these.  You are definitely going to need to recognize the difference between fantasies and desires prior to approaching any of these subjects.  These are so far from Vanilla, they’re practically sorbet.  Because these acts are so impossibly taboo though, it can be a real sign of trust if somebody wants to explore them with you.

  1. Ageplay-
    Pretending to be an age that you aren’t, but not for stuff like beer or cheap movie tickets.  There are two main ageplayer circles in the kink community.  There is the ABDL (Adult Baby Diaper Lovers) and the DDLG (Daddy Dominant Little Girls).  These are where the majority of ageplayers are if you were interested in connecting with that community.  The ABDL community relies heavily on the use of adult-sized baby costumes, and involves bottle feeding and diaper changing.  I have had zero experience with this community, so I strongly encourage you to search fetlife for a local branch that can give you a more comprehensive understanding.  I’ve had some experience in the DDLG field, though.  Now, some people just like calling their partner “daddy” in the bedroom.  Some of my partners wanted the full father/daughter roleplay – 24/7.  They wanted me to take them out for a happy meal, watch cartoons with them, then read them a story before bed.  But not all ageplay is incest play.  I had a partner pretend to be an 8-year-old trick-or-treater who came knocking on my door dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.  My character explained that I was out of candy, and she should come upstairs where I have some more.  10 minutes later, there was some very raucous anal sex happening where I was ‘forcing’ her to scream “we’re not in Kansas any more!”
  2. Incest Play- 
    Not all ageplay is incest and not all incest is ageplay.  While the daddy/daughter is certainly the most common, I’ve had multiple partners explain a fantasy they’ve had about being taken by an older brother.  It could be that you’re living with your older brother until you find a job, and he just got broken up with by a gal, so you decide to relieve some stress on that front.  It could be that your cousin is staying in town and there is a forbidden lust that arises.  Rachel Steele(NSFW) is the premiere adult entertainer concerning films whose storylines centralized on incest.  There is also a popular internet trend called Wincest(NSFW) which is just captioned photos that you could potentially use to inspire a roleplay.  Those of you in interracial relationships may need to stretch your imaginations unless you want a scenario involving your step-family(NSFW) which leads us directly into:
  3. Raceplay-
    Thin ice, this one.  It may even be more taboo than ageplay and incest play.  It’s at least a lot harder to find porn of it (NSFW)
    Raceplay is the sexual roleplay relying heavily on race and racism.  I’ve heard of Black slave and White master, Vietnam soldier and villager, even SS Soldier and Auschwitz prisoner.  Be ready to push some social limits if you’re exploring this one.  Do some research if you are interested in some race-appropriate put-downs.

Those are just the roleplays I’ve explored, though.  If I missed any, I hope you post them in the comments for everyone to see!  If you want to explore a roleplay, but aren’t necessarily comfortable doing it with a partner, there are avenues for that too.  I recommend hopping onto a website with some anonymous chat features like Omegle.com or finding a group dedicated to online roleplaying like the one on fetlife.

Also, because I was a Dungeon Master since third edition, I’ve arranged each of these categories so that you can roll dice to determine which roleplay you would like to do with your partner.  Hopefully, you have some polyhedral dice handy, because the PG-13 list can be determined with a d8, the R Rated list is rolled with a d4, and the NC-17 list is rolled with a d3.

I also recommend you mix and match all these categories.  You could have a military father who turns into a werewolf rapist every full moon!

Some of the best roleplays are a combination of the categories.  Therefore, I have also written this chart where you can roll a 20-sided-die (a “d20”, as the cool kids call it) to determine which roleplay(s) you could be doing!



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