Icks Ed 101

June 2, 2003

I don't want to sound alarmist, but you bachelors might want to get comfortable with the single life. Like myself, many of you might have wondered what the hell Jess E. was talking about when she rambled on about the "icks" (Planet Bic Issue #8: Patience is Sexy). Well, I've been involved in more "research" and it seems that Jess is by no means alone. It appears that some women are susceptible to getting the "icks" (men seem immune), which seems to interfere with their dating life. The following is what I was able to glean from the experts.

There are several situations where the "icks" may arise. First, there are the don't-want-to-get-sexy-with icks. These occur when some women go on dates with people that they do not find attractive (What?!). These women then get the icks because the thought of kissing or being physical with the (unattractive) guys grosses them out (Yes, really nice). Women who have this form of icks tell me that they find it difficult to date people who they don't know or don't have crushes on.

Then there are the want-to-get-sexy-with-but-can't icks. In these instances the women are actually attracted to the guys and want to "get sexy" with them. However, these women talk themselves out of it-Get the icks-By thinking about unpleasant things. These gross-out thoughts often range from made-up stories about the guys' genetic/social background to things that are part of human anatomy/functioning such as bathroom activities, body odor, etc. Frequently, these icks arise out of body image and doing the sex act "right" ("Will he/I know what to do?") insecurities.

Finally, there are the post-coital icks. Here, the icks begin after women have had sex with men they're attracted to and like. Women who get these icks claim that they become afraid of the intimacy and wonder if they made the right decision in having sex. These insecurities and fear of intimacy results in attempts by the women to talk themselves out of liking the guys-These guys then become "icky." This usually happens when the woman really likes the guy but 1) she thinks the guy doesn't find her attractive and feel a bit ashamed for having sex with him and/or 2) the whole sex experience didn't quite live up to expectations.

Before you make a mad dash for the monastery or write off icks-suffering women, let's all just take a deep breath and consider what's actually at issue here. Icks are really about fear and insecurities that exist for a variety of reasons. In the dating life, they manifest themselves in many ways-The icks happen to be one of many. If we're honest with ourselves, we can admit that we all have fears and insecurities. Given this, chances are many of us singles are a bunch of chickens when it comes to dating (Admittedly, I might be the mother of all chickens). But you know, this scared-y pants life is just crazy. Letting someone know that we're attracted to him/her isn't hell incarnate. And rejection isn't going to kill us. Taking chances might very well make life even better.

I've decided to flee the chicken coop. Who's with me?

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