The Problem With Straight Edge as an Adjective

Recently, I decided Tinder was not cutting it and that I needed to try an actual dating site. I’ve had an OKCupid profile for a while, more so as a joke, but I’ve been paying more attention to it as of late. I have a very boldly stated declaration of the fact that I’m straight edge on my page, just to avoid confusion with those who offer things I’m not looking for.

“I am extremely straight edge and extremely proud which mean I don't want to be hit up to drink and smoke "and maybe more ;)"”

It’s not like I don’t date people who aren’t straight edge. It’s very hard to consistently find people who are straight edge, and the contrast can be an interesting dynamic to the relationship. However, there’s a point of understanding that is nice when I can find an edge partner, because they get completely how important it is to me.

Here is an example of when a guy does not get it at all.

A boy on OKC with a username along the lines of “physics_and_muscles” messaged me. My profile, at the time he got it, said that I liked “hardcore (think Trapped Under Ice, not Crown the Empire).” This caused him to chat me up about the finer intricacies of why I don't like teenage metalcore bands. There was a fun disagreement on what hardcore truly is, but that pales in comparison to what he said next in cringe factor.

“Oh and I also am pretty straight edge. I've never smoked and I drink only for special occasions.”

At this point, I decided I didn't want to reply, but I posted it in a Facebook group and a random man I did not know told me to stop “clowning” him. Even though I don’t owe him a single thing that he can’t just get from Google in this situation, I decided that maybe I was being harsh and that I should tell him why I was offended so he didn’t continue to say the same things he’s saying to more straight edge ladies across the internet.

You can't really be pretty straight edge lol. It's kind of a you are or you aren't thing.”

“Even if I'm 21 and only drink 3 or 4 times a year?”

“Yeah haha”

“That's no fair :(“

“Why not?”

“Cause besides that tiny fact I'm completely straight edge..... Could I be like a new term like ‘slightly dull but still pretty sharp straight edge’”


At this point I replied with the Wikipedia definition of straight edge so he couldn’t misconstrue my explanation as just being my own opinion, then followed with this...

“All or nothing man lol

That's like saying I'm pretty Christian but once in a while I worship Satan or I'm pretty vegan but once in a while I eat a steak hahaha”

“Alright fine. But I only drink on EXTREMELY rare occasions.”


On top of the fact that I was already upset over feeling like he was mocking something important to me, his persistence to prove he was right about it put the nail in the coffin.

My mom often tells people her daughter is “so straight edge.” She used to call my brother “pretty straight edge - he hardly drinks, but he never touches any drugs.” She didn’t believe me when I told her it was based heavily in punk subculture and thought it was just a term that people used to describe people who don’t usually drink, smoke, or do drugs. At least in her case, it was understandable, because she’s not in any scene.

This man is heavily into metalcore, and loves A Day To Remember, a band that contains at least 3 straight edge men, to my knowledge. You have no excuse to not know what it means to be edge.

Straight edge is not an adjective. It is a system of vows or values, akin to being vegan, Muslim. While vegan can sometimes be an adjective to describe things that are acceptable to partake in as a person who also identifies as vegan, the word “vegan,” “straight edge,” or “Muslim” is an identifier that describes a person. No one ever says, “oh, yeah, I’m super vegan-y. I hardly ever eat meat, but I just have to at holidays!”

Someone walks into a room. “I’m so very not homophobic,” they insist, “I hate lesbians, but I’m mostly okay with everyone.” That sentence is fully illogical. You are homophobic. You hate lesbians.

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to use someone’s identity as something that you “kinda, sorta” are. It truly means quite a lot to me to be straight edge. It’s an immense part of who I am. In fact, it’s how I relate and unite with other people that are straight edge. So when you say you are slightly to mostly one of the most important values I uphold, it’s insulting.

What’s worse, even more so than the initial notion, is the “special occasion” excuse. There is never a time you absolutely have to drink or you will derail the gathering you’re at completely. A vegan comes to Christmas and eats vegan side dishes or brings their own food. An Atheist doesn’t pray at Easter. I bring my own sparkling juice to New Year’s Eve. Why is it so important with you to fit in that you will do something only in front of your family or party attendees? That’s a weak thing to do. You’re not being your own person if you only do something on special occasions because you want to conform to social norms in front of others and won’t defend yourself.

So, dear physics_and_muscles, I ask you this. If you’re “completely straight edge” besides the “tiny fact” of you drinking “3 to 4 times a year,” what is stopping you from cutting out those 3 or 4 times? If that’s all that’s stopping you, then take the plunge and claim. I think you’d probably be able to do it if you committed to it. Unfortunately, until that day comes, you will be telling ladies that you “kind of” relate to them, and are “almost completely” what they’re looking for on this godforsaken dating site.



  1. At least you are looking for guys. As a straight man: i thought that SxE females just didnt exist. they put in their profiles about how much they drink and smoke weed. Its a pain just to look.

    1. If you use OKC you can search the term "straight edge" in people's profiles!

  2. OKC lets you filter out people who don't have "never" picked for smoking, drinking & drugs. Depending on where you live though, you might get the "Sorry! We couldn't find anyone!" message.

    1. This is true! What sucks, however, is OKC pretty much allows anyone completely out of your standard to message you, and I'm not very good at rejecting lol