He opens his phone to show me something, and for a brief moment I see his text messages, with her name at the top. I don’t flinch at this revelation, but, rather, sit there silently and calculate the exact velocity with which she will be experiencing jealousy when she finds out that I’m the one sitting here, getting my drinks bought by him. I don’t waiver, even though I know that as soon as I’m gone, she’ll still be at the top of his incoming text messages, and I will just be a distant memory of pleasure, attraction and civilized conversation at this bar. But that does not bother me, because I do not compete.
I don’t compete on feminist principle, even though I know I’d win every time if I tried. Also, I don’t have to compete, but it’s not about that. Sexual competition is a myth, and I don’t engage in that sport because competition is based on the theory that there can only be one winner, and everyone else loses. But I don’t believe that there is one winner when it comes to the people we fuck. There can be more than one, and while I might desire his time and attention today, I do not have to compete with another woman, I do not have to tear down another woman in order to attain that. I guess I believe in sharing, and also I don’t believe in monogamy, either. He can choose both of us, or one of us, or, even *gasp* neither of us, and spending time trying to be better than that other woman, to make her look bad, to elevate myself by comparison so that I will be the chosen one – well, that’s not very feminist of me, is it?
I wouldn’t want to be with somebody if the price of the relationship is winning a competition with another person. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me because he values me as a person, not because he values me more or less when compared to the other options he has right now. I don’t want to be the best option, I want to be the best. On my own terms. And if a man pits me against another woman in order to earn his time and attention, then he is not worth it. Because if that’s the price of entry, imagine how expensive everything else will be once you’ve arrived.
I do not compete for the time or attention of any man, but, rather, take what I can get and know that there is plenty to go around.