On Male Attention

“Damn, when are y’all gonna put some clothes on?”

It was the last day of summer, and me and Christina were strutting down the strip in our usual scanty outfits, legs out long, itty bitty titties poking out. We didn’t mind, nor did we really notice because slutty is how we dress on a daily basis. We had run into a friend of ours who was dressed in a decidedly conservative manner, and there she was, judging us.

“Probably never,” we responded in complete honesty.

“I kinda like it,” I chimed in, feeling a little miffed that my booty shorts were deemed inappropriate even in this 80 degree night time weather.

“Yeah, the boys love it,” Christina said.

“Well, I don’t know how y’all do it,” the third party replied.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I like the attention. We just walk into a bar and *poof* like the Red Sea parting.”

“Yeah, but that gets old after ten seconds,” the third party said. “They get all handsy.”

“No. It doesn’t get old. They don’t get handsy. I roll possed up.”

As the third party drinks this all in, I can tell I’m being judged again. Not just for my booty shorts, but also because I like male attention. I feel a little insulted by this, mostly because we’re all girls here, it’s okay, but also because what the fuck, I know what this is about. My penchant for garnering male attention has been poo pooed by women of every ilk for as long as I can remember, and I know women tell each other, “There’s more to life than chasing dick and getting guys to like you. You’re more than that.” I get that. I understand it. But I find that to be a condescending argument, as though I only value myself when I receive validation from men. That’s not true. I happen to be an independent woman who has a lot going on in her life, and on top of everything I do in my work and in my free time, I happen to enjoy the ego boost of having my sexuality validated by strange men at the bar. The presumption that I seek male attention because I have low self esteem or because I don’t know how else to utilize my talents is obnoxious; there’s nothing wrong with being a self satisfied, fulfilled woman who also happens to enjoy male attention at the bar on a Thursday night.

On the other hand, the pugilistic side of me tends to think that women tell other women that seeking male attention is not a worthwhile pastime because they’re trying to eliminate the competition. But that’s a fallacy, because women don’t need to compete for male attention, especially not in bars, because male attention is not a scarce commodity that we have to fight tooth and nail to attain. In fact, there is an overabundance of male attention out there, ripe for the taking. I know that eliminating the competition is a sadistic way to look at feigned sisterhood, but, come on, ladies, we know ourselves and we know we stoop to those kind of levels. We know that we will trick another woman into not competing just so we can walk down a path of less resistance. I wouldn’t put it past most women to tell me that seeking male attention is a waste of my time just so that she can knock me out of the competition.

In fact, there’s nothing really wrong with seeking male attention at all. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be validated, with wanting to be attractive, with wanting to be pretty, with wanting to be liked. When women use competing for male attention as an excuse to tear each other down, yes, that is awful. But we don’t have to compete with each other for male attention. In fact, it works better when we band together.

I don’t seek male attention because I have low self esteem or because I’m broke or because I’m stupid and don’t know what else to do with myself. I seek male attention because I find it to be entertaining. I like feeling pretty, because I like the lowest common denominator ego boost that I get from feeling pretty. It’s a cheap thrill, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I also like feeling smart and successful, but that’s not the kind of validation I get when I walk into a bar all tarted up, and I know the difference.

Male attention is easy to come by, and it’s free. It’s a harmless sport, really, and one that men are eager to engage in. I’m not threatened by male attention, but, rather, I enjoy it because I think it’s funny that men see me walk into a bar, think I’m pretty, and therefore want to talk to me. I know that I’m more than an ass in booty shorts, but they don’t know that. I like the mating rituals. I like the dance. I like the stabs at romance, and I also like knowing that I am a dangerous woman in a pair of daisy dukes, and these men are walking blindly right into the snake pit. They may want me because I’m pretty, and while male attention is free, my attention is not. There will be a price to pay.

She may judge me because I like playing that game, but I judge her for being stuck up. She may think she’s better than me because she has on more clothes and isn’t thirsty as fuck, but she’s not. I know her well enough to know that she’s just like me, but I just have the audacity to indulge my desire to be ogled by men. I am uninhibited in these streets, unfurling in a parade down this slicker tread, marching around like the princess of nothing in particular at all. Life is a celebration, and I’m here for war.