The Old Casting Couch Trick – Did You Fall For It?

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Here’s a comment from Robin that had me chuckling, because I remember how, in my actress days – I used to fall for this all the time. Only, reading this just now, I realize I wasn’t “falling for” anything….

Some of the time it was the “casting couch” thing…but MOST of the time it was a guy trying to get to me through his best offering!

I don’t know which this guy is…but I’m all for giving him a chance…:

“So appropriate, THANK YOU for this wonderful post, Rori!

I had a very interesting experience today with Circular Dating. I was introduced to a guy at my church today, he’s a photographer, we started talking, he asked me to lunch, I said sure.

He started going over prices with me for a portfolio, which was fine, asked if I wanted to set up a time to do the shots, but I said no. He asked if I wanted to do a couple of test shots, which I said ok to, but it was at that point that I started to feel weird…

But I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I was feeling weird about…

We shot on a main street close to his home (he had to get his camera, which logically made sense, but it just FELT weird).

We were shooting photos, I had to use the bathroom, so that meant going into his house…

It felt ok, but I just felt a little weird being there, and I asked myself why am I here? and the answer was, I wanted to be there, I wanted to be a part of these photos.

He asked if I wanted to wear a different shirt, and I said ok, that really opened up my vulnerability, and it felt good, i suddenly didnt feel weird about being there, it felt lost in the moment, and it felt great.

So it felt good, until I leaned on a post and feel three ft backwards onto my back…OUCH!!!!!!!!!

He ran over and got me and that was pretty much the end of the photos….I needed to sit down, so that meant going into his house AGAIN…

So we looked at the photos, I picked the ones I wanted, and I suddenly realized I had spent several hours with this guy (that I only met today) and that THAT felt bad, so I said I needed to go.

As I’m getting up, he makes his move, and asks me if I’m seeing anyone. I told him, yes a couple, and he says ‘no, I mean that you’re dating” and I told him again ‘yes a couple”..He then kissed me, it didn’t feel like much of anything, and when it felt uncomfortable I stopped him, and left. He told me ‘you need pictures, and I’ve thought you were adorable since I first saw you..’

So maybe THAT was what I was feeling that made me feel weird, that he was giving to get something in return, which ok,, whatever…

But more likely, it would have just fel better for me to say, “you know it would feel great to do some test shots, but I would feel more comfortable shooting here, or there..” or “you know it would feel good to see you, but I don’t feel comfortable with this right now, I just met you…”

I dunno, I felt bad for a little while, but I can feel it turning around, and what this posts says WORKS!!!!!!!!!! Robin”

Here’s my answer:

Robin – call me crazy – but I LIKE this guy!

He came up with a wonderfully old-fashioned first date! He invited you to lunch. That was a date. Then he said he wanted to shoot pictures of you. That was a date. He had something interesting to offer – photos of you – for FREE!! – to entice you to see him.

He got you to his house — OKAY – that was the tweak here, because you weren’t hip to the fact that this was a DATE!! – and so instead of waiting, and talking about it as a date, and picking something less INVESTED, you went to his house…and it all seemed like a strategy on his part – which it WAS!!! And a GOOD one, too – it worked!!

I think what happened here is that you wanted the free photos, and lost sight of the date part – and that confused you.

And this is the part I identified with, from my old days of having an “agenda” – whether it was to get an interview, an audition, a part in my actress/singer/dancer days (I have lovely stories of those, and perhaps you have them, too…) – or to get the man himself.

Either way – I was completely blinded to what the man in front of me was ACTUALLY offering. What it was he ACTUALLY wanted from me.

It’s not always giving to get. Sometimes – in fact MOST of the time – for a good man – GIVING is waht he WANTS to do. The thing that BUYS him your attention.

And I’m here to say that’s a GOOD thing.

He’s not always bartering services for sex.

Sometimes he’s showing you he’s got something to offer.

Sometimes he’s being creative.

Sometimes he’s trying to show you POWER – so that you’ll be attracted to him.

Sometimes he’s making up for his lack of social confidence by using his PROFESSIONAL confidence.

Who knows?

Just remember – YOU’RE in charge, here.

The reason we feel weird is because we’re not quite sure what it is WE wanted out of the deal.

Professional is when you pay someone. That’s it.

If no money changes hands – there’s something else going on.

If it’s a friend – well, then you know what’s happening – it’s friendship.

If it’s someone you hardly know – well – then…what’s up with that?

Next time, look for a man who’s leaning forward, holding out his hand, inviting you, offering things to you. That’s the kind of man you WANT.

Now – look to YOURSELF to write the rules of how you’re going to handle this. One step at a time.

Give yourself a chance. Give a man a chance. Trust yourself. Get some experience. Try some things. Follow your feelings. Look for the lesson instead of beating yourself up for the “mistake” which may not even be a “mistake” at all. There’s something in everything.

To me, this is just about EXPERIENCE.

You need to date so much that you get the feeling of what’s going on…and what doesn’t work out…like this one –is just a lesson. I’m not sure why you don’t like him…or didn’t feel anything.

But it seems to me this is a great place to start getting to know someone. See him, let him call and take you to lunch again, or a walk is even better….and TALK about this.

Share with him just like you did here with us…and see how deep you can get into conversation with him.. Go Robin!! (And if you’re really sure he’s not for you – apart from your part of this thing going weird – okay…but try to give him a chance in less intense circumstances, okay?

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1gina on January 23, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I feel super curious about this new way of looking at a man who is offering something…One of the “failures” that haunts me from my time in New York is this Guy who managed the paige program at CBS – he basically blocked the door, but offered to show me apartments in his neighborhood. And I got the impression that I did not have a chance professionally unless I took him up on his offer to see him on his terms. i felt really resentful and powerless. I felt somewhat attracted to him, but it felt dangerous and bad. He found me on Myspace, and his page was very unprofessional – He made crude comments about women, etc. So I never took him up on his offer to get involved on a personal level. i considered what he did to be inappropriate at best and sexual harassment at worst. I wonder what would have happened if….

  2.  #2Daria on January 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm


  3.  #3Erika Awakening on January 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hi, I’m just checking in.

    Feeling very happy. Sitting on my bed working with Marketing Genius Guy on lots of amazing ideas, with another amazing guy in my kitchen 🙂

    I feel very in the flow of things, and seem to have quietly let go of expectations and fears, and miracles seem to be happening left and right.

    I like what Rori said about this guy. I love guys who are actually doing something creative and amazing in the world. I love when they want to collaborate with me. I love when they are confident enough to seduce me (the whole photo thing and making his move).

    I love having my sexual energy turned on simultaneously with my life passions. I love meeting men whose passions complement mine.

    It’s all getting so good.


  4.  #4Tracy on January 24, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I love this post….
    One of my workmates took me out for a massage twice and he’s been acting all nice and interested.
    I am actually taking it as a learning experience instead of putting mind labels of what it would all mean…My mind wants to give an explanation and put everything in perceptive….
    My heart is warmed by his kind gesture and curious as to why he’d do it….The last time i smiled and hugged him and plan on having a good time…
    I feel more open to life and less afraid of what might happen…
    I see now the mental labels i create in my head are just reflections of the fears i hold inside…this is really good practise for me…

  5.  #5Kaitlyn on January 24, 2010 at 2:31 am

    This photographer guy is a creep. That is all.

  6.  #6Honey on January 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I feel eeeuw! eeuw ew eeeu! eeeeeeeuuuw! Yuck EEW! I was just walking in the mall feeling great about myself and wanting to get this circular dating on the go and decided to smile and hold eye contact with a guy walking past. It worked and we connected as we passed each other, I walked on feeling cool and good. A few seconds later he popped up behind me and it gave me a fright and we both started laughing. He then grabed me around my waist in a playful way and it felt weird but I didn’t say anything. He was very pushy and touchy and I aggreed to a quick coffee but started to feel more and more uncomfortable and told him I was on my way to meet a friend and that I had to go. It felt a bit fun so I gave him my number and now I don’t know what to do because I realised I didn’t feel safe but now he has my number and he knows where I work. I don’t know what to do. He was so touchy and in my space I feel dirty and eeeww. How do I handle this?

  7.  #7Lisa on January 24, 2010 at 9:38 am


    Just pull back to your boundaries. His touchy-feeliness doesn’t dictate your responses. You control the pace of operations.

    In the name of charity, I would say many men are confused today, and think women want that gregarious nature. Since you initiated eye contact, he may have overreached in response. You did agree to coffee after he;d touched your waist.

    But, your gut feeling is the gold standard.

  8.  #8Honey on January 24, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Lisa, thank you! You are right, and I was sending mixed signals and boundaries are key. If he calls should I answer and lay down my boundary that I don’t want to see him or should I not answer all together in hopes that he will catch the hint. I feel like telling him ‘no’ but I wouldn’t know what to say. Its almost like he thought I was a good time girl that would have jumped in bed with him for a cup of coffee – eew. I feel grateful for the advice. xx

  9.  #9Daria on January 24, 2010 at 11:07 am

    That’s the feeling I got too Kaitlyn.

    But then it turns out later on Robin likes him… so we may not have a clear picture…

  10.  #10Daria on January 24, 2010 at 11:09 am

    omgosh! this is my fear of eye contact

    I am afraid that making eye contact like this with men will communicate that I’m a slut, and then they will come over expecting something…

    aacck! I feel weird and shaky

  11.  #11Melanie on January 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    TN man is a Marketing Genius too . . . maybe it’s the same guy . . . Does your guy live in TN???

  12.  #12Lisa on January 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm


    You should always answer your phone (unless you’re tired.) If you don’t wish to see him further, a gracious “thanks, but no” works. Men are used to rejection. You won’t be the first.

    Just be honest. A man cannot go past a sincere “No” (unless we’ve been slipped a mickey, which is not too often.)

    If you’re intrigued enough for another meet, you determine the limits. All men hope we’re “good-time girls”, but we determine whether we are or not:) We do ourselves a disservice by spending any time at all imaging what he thinks. That’s his business.

    Our job is to be ourselves. It’s all fine, as long as you’re true to yourself.

  13.  #13Lisa on January 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm


    I used to be confused about even accessing my feeling, much less expressing them. I was never direct, and I now do not know why. I can say it feels much better knowing what i feel and saying it, with sincerity.

    You say, “I feel like telling him ‘no’ but I wouldn’t know what to say”. If that’s what you FEEL, then you say, “I enjoyed our chat, but no, thanks.”

    In the future, maybe don’t offer your number if you don’t like someone after the coffee chat.

  14.  #14Honey on January 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Lisa…Wow! I totally agree. I feel silly but happy that I am learning. I love that his thoughts are his business, it feels so much easier that way. I will focus on that. It feels scary to be so direct, I guess I didn’t want him to think bad of me – duh! I want to be more assertive, this was a good message for me. I feel braver to deal with this type of thing now. I feel your wisdom helping me. Thank you Lovely Lisa!

  15.  #15Lisa on January 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I’m delighted, Honey 🙂 We’re all growing stronger through sharing our wisdom.

    I, too, used to be in the worry trap, wanting to be good and thought well of by doing for others. What I have found is, people will take all of our worry and fretfulness, and at best, be amused that we are even wrapped up around what others think.

    What I’ve learned from Rori is, he’ll think much more highly of us as we worry less about what he thinks, and stay centered in what we want and feel 🙂
    Then we are behaving as goddess-women, and if he is capable, he can then be a man. It is not for manipulation’s sake that we do this, but for our own sense of dignity and adulthood.

  16.  #16Nancy on January 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm


    That must have felt frightening, having a stranger touching you like that all of a sudden. I would immediately consider that poor boundaries on his part and it would be a total turn off. Smiling and making eye contact does not mean come and grab me around the waist even though I don’t know you from Adam. I think even the most playful men, if healthy, would not do this. Anyway, I don’t want to belabor my point, but I’m really working on learning to respons with my feelings in the moment and what I’d like to see myself do in that situation is to stop mid waist grab and say outloud to him “Whoa! I am not comfortable with this!” Then I would like to see myself disengage from him and move on my way. Hopefully, he’d learn something from the interaction. But, that’s his business. I don’t think anyone, with any kind of normal boundaries would grab you by the waist just because you smiled at him in a mall. I mean, you’re total strangers. I think you’re very right on in not wanting to see him again.

    Just my 2 cents.

  17.  #17Simply Shannon on January 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Honey: I agree with Lisa! Maybe a part of the trigger / fear came from the fact that the eye contact thing worked so well for you? I have to say I feel impressed by what happened! Just because the guy was touchy feely, doesn’t mean he’s a creep. Maybe he just didn’t know it creeped you out. I don’t want you to feel bad for not saying anything about the touching but it might feel good to imagine that this guy was super stoked to talk to a goddess and he completely forgot himself. All it might take is a little guidance about what you like in that regard. If you talk to him on the phone, you could jokingly say “hey, I felt a little uncomfortable with all the touching. Are you that handsy with all the women you meet in the mall?” Laughing and pause.

    Now… if a guy doesn’t abide by my boundaries after I tell him what they are, then I would feel completely justified in dropping him off the face of the planet!

    And brava for today! You did great and got some great practice! Keep going!

  18.  #18Simply Shannon on January 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    You are NOT a slut. All NVs are invited to go sit in the corner and be quiet. 🙂 Any guy who is foolish enough to believe that will be quickly corrected once they actually get to know you. And any guy who doesn’t get that memo can keep on walking.

  19.  #19Leny on January 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Simply shannon i love your words ” Any guy who is foolish enough to believe that will quickly corrected once they acctually get to know you ” 🙂

  20.  #20lm on January 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    hey ladies…i love reading everyone’s stories. it feels great to get to know you amazing sirens through your posts.

    i have another question…

    my boyfriend is a very spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment guy and is very giving, especially with food (he is an amazing cook and he feeds me several times a week, for which i am very thankful. he once bragged to my friend that he ‘loves to take care of me’).

    we are neighbours, we lived together for a few months while my condo was being constructed and we work together, so we are very close and see each other every day. we broke up for a while before christmas because i doubted his fidelity, but we are now back together. he calls or texts every day and talks to me at work throughout the day. i have no doubt that i am one of the most important people in his life and he is doing a lot to show me that i can trust him. i have come a long way in terms of taking care of myself, accessing feelings of love inside myself instead of looking for external validation, being happy and self-accepting and i feel like it’s made a huge difference with us. the relationship is still a little messy but we are both opening to each other in amazing ways…

    my concern is that lately we don’t make formal plans ahead of time. he basically waits to find out what i’m doing after work and fills in his schedule accordingly. if i’m busy he finds something else to do or hangs out a pub with his guy friends (which is what he did nearly every night before we started dating. now it’s less than a few times a month. he has changed so much in past year, it’s really amazing!). if i’m free he asks me to have supper or go to a movie and then i stay over at his house. he will occasionally go skiing or do some other outdoor activity with his buddies after work.

    i have a very busy schedule. i am in two bands, i am on the board of directors of a magazine and (thanks to rori) i date myself several times a week, going to coffee shops, concerts, pubs, classes and out with girlfriends and guy friends to keep myself happy and stimulated. he is a homebody and is fine with not leaving the house on the weekends except to ski or canoe, which is one of the things i love about him; he used to be a crazy party boy and he feels relaxed enough around me and accepted enough by me to ‘just be’ his strong, quiet self, which he says he has never been able to do with a woman before. some nights we barely talk and it feels wonderful to me; it’s like we don’t always have to speak to communicate. i feel like our connection is very deep, in a way that i have never felt before.

    but i feel like he has handed his schedule over to me in a way…i feel sort of weird about it…like it’s all up to me. i’d love if we made dates ahead of time and i feel some anxiety that i will become too ‘easy’ because i have no reason to turn him down when he offers to make me supper after work or after a meeting or band practice in the evening. i also feel some guilt that he plans his social life around me.

    i am thinking of saying ‘i feel better making plans ahead of time. i love feeling excited about our dates when i know we are getting together ahead of time’ the next time he asks me what i’m up to. what do people who see each other a lot, like married people or people who live together, do to maintain their degree of difficulty?

    thanks for reading!

  21.  #21lm on January 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    oops…meant to post this in the ‘ask a question’ post! sorry!

  22.  #22Tina on January 25, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Robin is circular dating, so any guy she meets is or is introduced to is fair game. I would have asked flat out “is this a date?” or “this feels like a date” I met a man a few years back, he is a professional photographer , we chatted, we met , he took some really great photos of me which I used on a dating site. Turns out during our conversation that he was in fact married, I got free photos, we or at least I was feeling “attracted” to him, but told him I would not get involved, he was ok with it but he would have jumped on it in a minute hehe. I met him later on in a mall , he was shopping with his wife, he noticed me , I noticed him, his wife noticed him, noticing me, I noticed her noticing me noticing the whole situation. I smiled at her, smiled at him and kept on my merry way. The photos were stunning! good job dude!

  23.  #23Aldonza on January 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Hmmm. What to do with a guy who offers us something for just the opportunity to be with us? What to do, what to do…LOL! I’m with Rori. Creepy would’ve been if he’d made it clear that he would give you a full portfolio in exchange for…ahem…services. This guy was doing something nice and asked about dating. Very different vibe to me.

    He also had you in his home, which some people might construe as forward, but I take as an act of faith on his part. You can date some guys for weeks without ever seeing where they live.

  24.  #24Lisa on January 25, 2010 at 11:50 am


    Just had another Rori-inspired insight:

    Why worry about if he thinks you’re easy, or going to trade sex-for-coffee? Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse, here? 🙂 I’d be pleased that I enjoyed a pleasant coffee, and if I liked him, I might go for another — where’s the harm?

    Like Rori says, we’re healing ourselves, and he is free therapy. If the hand on the waist thing was off-putting, you could have nipped it in the bud. As it was, you felt safe to have coffee (and you were), so don’t be harsh on yourself. You did nothing wrong.

    The only wrong thing is to wallow in second-guessing. Just be straight-up with him and with yourself. If it felt fun and healthy, maybe explore it.

    Your ideas of being seen as too easy are coming from within you, and you might want figure out why, because laying this presumption on a guy will poison your interactions.

  25.  #25Simply Shannon on January 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Yes, yes, yes.

    **Nodding my head vigorously over here**

  26.  #26Simply Shannon on January 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I feel curious. Is the issue that he’s not making plans ahead of time, or is it that the plans don’t feel special, aka you don’t feel special because he’s not making plans or pushing for your time? Like maybe it’s okay with him if he doesn’t see you just because you’re busy. I’d like to hear more about this. My initial impression is that the planning ahead part isn’t the issue. It’s something else. I can’t even put my finger on it for myself, but something bugs me about it too.

    This is one of the things that worries me about marriage. I don’t want to be taken for granted. I like that this whole dating thing sort of forces the “special” stuff, but I know it won’t always be like this. After awhile, we’ll both chill out a bit.

    On the one hand, I see a man allowing you to be the siren you are and inserting himself in your life as much as he thinks you want him there. On the other hand, I feel bored and “blah” at the level of pursuit I’m sensing.

    I’m very interested in your reply!

  27.  #27Melanie on January 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    ‘I feel bored and “blah” at the level of pursuit I’m sensing.’

    Shannon, this is something I feel curious about, too. I am finding that, for me, men are either pursuing so much that it feels icky and needy, or so little that it feels boring (hmm, and maybe a little scary? Like maybe he’s not that into me?)

    I have yet to find someone who pursues at the “just right” level. I feel like Goldilocks, but without “baby bear”! 🙂

    So, is that a problem with ME, or with the guys that are showing up???

  28.  #28Melanie on January 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Okay, let me be honest. There is only ONE guy who falls into the “too little” category — and he, of course, is the one I like the mostest, hands down. 🙂 So, what’s up with that???

  29.  #29lm on January 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    thanks simply shannon. i love your comments.

    i think it’s that he is pretty much saying ‘i will do whatever you want’ and waiting to see what i’m up to. it’s not that he doesn’t care if he sees me, i don’t think. i think it’s that he’s comfortable just going with the flow. i think he is just content that we are together. i think he enjoys being mellow and not having to plan things. i feel like he respects my life and my choices but i also feel a little ‘blah’, as you say…i think i will express how much i love making plans next time it feels right.

    although, this weekend, when i was playing a show with my band, he showed up early to the venue (before i got there), brought me a drink to the stage during the show and then aggressively pursued me after the concert was over. i think my own attitude has a lot to do with it. i was happy, open, bubbly and powerful that night and wasn’t even thinking about him. he picked up on that. i want more of THAT experience!!!

  30.  #30Simply Shannon on January 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm


    Can you offer any advice? Since you’re married and interacting with a man who knows your schedule, how does your hubby make you feel special? Something about this is bugging me, and I can’t figure out what it is. I don’t want to fall into the old routine of “I’ll see you at dinner, and then we can watch a movie each night after the kids go to bed”. Zzzz. I want date night(s) and romance (even if it is at home).

    And maybe this is following the same lines of a man saying “what do you want to do?”. To that I would say “I feel special when a guy makes plans for me”.

  31.  #31lm on January 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    part of me feels like i’m not appreciating what he’s offering if i am fixated on the planning ahead aspect…he invited me for breakfast yesterday morning and then made me supper after an event i had in the evening…that’s a lot of contact, sharing, giving…and all his idea.

    i am happy to be able to express myself about this to someone. i feel thankful.

  32.  #32tinque on January 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Simply Shannon – The “dates” for sure don’t happen as often, and at first I was feeling anxiety about this, yet I am made to feel special every day, for on the other hand K became even more affectionate and verbal with time.
    Every time he comes home, he couldn’t look happier, delighted to see me, me his refuge from work and from the world. I love being wrapped up in his arms, held close and smooched on.
    Our lovemaking is more passionate and sensual than ever, the care taken. The intimacy too. That feels great too, making feel very special.
    When we do go out, he goes all out, no scrimping.
    Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversary, always perfect.
    K doesn’t usually plan far in advance, and I’ve adjusted to this and actually prefer the somewhat spontaneous feel to things, and it’s always an adventure, fun, and feel good.
    Yet he will then turn around and surprise me every now and then with a well thought out and planned thing. As an example he’s already putting together something for my birthday which isn’t until April.
    It seems to me you are worrying about something that first of all isn’t even an issue here and may never be.
    Relax. It all works out great if there is great love and respect.

  33.  #33ABC on January 31, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    This feels very weird to me….go to a man’s house on a first non-date. I understand that things happened and that Robin had to go to his house for bathroom and rest, but at the same time she feels that this was a set up from the guy. and it feels the same to me, Rori, sorry if i have a different opinion from you.

    i understand that men don’t always offer to get, but if it feels that way, then it might be true. i mean, out of all the places he picked the spots near his house??? there might be many reasons but If i were Robin, i will trust my instincts and not let that go all day without saying anything. because then the man thinks that is OK with you.

    I have had men asked me to go to his house when i first met him, but i said no because I don’t even know you so I won’t feel comfortable. and if the man really is interested in you, he will wait. But going to a man’s house before I get to know him never works. It’s like jumping from step 1 to step 100. so many things missing in between. It just doesn’t feel right. I also think that men also want to TEST our boundaries to see if they are in place, they don’t really know if we have our boundaries when he first met us, so he has to test it out. I believe the man might not even know that he is testing us, but he just wants what he wants when he wants it–most of the time. But it is up to us to say YES or NO. And we have to be responsible for our actions.

    if it feels like he is offering to get—love, attention, money, sex. then it feels really bad to us no matter how good he looks on the outside and how much he tried to hide it. it will show up. i’d say just be careful because when you go someone’s house you barely know, you put yourself in real danger and your body is letting you know that that’s not ok. and you are trying to figure out what is wrong with you instead of listening to it.

    who knows?? He could have been a serial killer!