A few weeks ago, I decided to join a dating site. It was probably too soon after my breakup to start dating again, but it was a tipsy evening in, on my own, on a Friday, and for some reason I was feeling slightly obsessed with sex. I decided I would just sign up, have a flick through the Argos catalogue of human faces, and see what was out there, but not do anything.
Obviously one of the first things you have to do is create a username. I love ladybirds, and have come up with ladybird-themed usernames in the past. I tried ‘Ladybird’ but that had already gone. I tried ‘London Ladybird’, as I live in London, but that had gone. I thought for a moment. ‘Something else ladybird…’ What other aspects of my personality were there?
I’m a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, and surely if that doesn’t draw in the hordes, nothing will. I decided to go with ‘CBT Ladybird’, although, when I look back, it’s a bit crap.
As my finger hovered over ‘submit’ I suddenly remembered that there was another meaning of ‘CBT’ – it stands for some kind of motorbike driving test.
Fuck it, they’ll know what I mean. I thought, and pressed submit.
Literally ten minutes after I had created my profile, I received this message.
Shit. The other meaning of CBT.
I hadn’t thought about it for ages, but there is a third meaning of CBT: cock and ball torture.
I discovered this a few years ago, when a colleague was looking on Amazon for a CBT textbook, and a DVD about cock and ball torture came up on her screen. How we all laughed.
So, less than ten minutes after creating my profile, I received a message saying “How beautiful goddess how are you doing. Would you like a pain submissive boyfriend to train and punish as you desire. For real cbt.”
I immediately realised my mistake, and replied, saying “Shit, I meant CBT as in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is what I do for a living.” I explained the mix-up, and we both agreed it was hilarious. I reiterated I wasn’t into his kind of CBT and said “I think I’d probably be wasting your time, as that kind of thing is a bit fancy for me”.
I then tried to work out how to change my username.
You can’t, unless you pay to upgrade.
Meanwhile, the third-kind-of-CBT-fan was still messaging me.
“Its not that fancy lol.what ideas of the cbt am I on about do you have and would consider”.
Ok pal, if I was punishing you for anything, it would be your flimsy grasp on how to use punctuation.
“Like filling in a Thought Diary.” I replied, mentioning a classic staple of my kind of CBT.
“How about bondage.weights on the balls.slapping.light kicks.”
Again, terrible use of punctuation.
“Doesn’t sound like it’s NICE Guideline Recommended”. I replied.
I stopped replying, and he sent me a couple more messages, referring to ‘sage words’, which I realised were probably an autocorrect error for ‘safe words’.
As I couldn’t change my username, I decided to make it very clear which type of CBT I administer in my description of myself, on my profile.
One of my friends warned me that, even with the explanation, men would just see what they wanted and decide I’m the ‘thinking man’s cock and ball torturer’.
But I actually found that it was quite a good ice-breaker, and I got lots of messages from men saying they had just googled the other kind of CBT to see what it was. And regretted seeing some of the images.