Observations At The New Job

I’ve recently taken a new, full-time contract job in Miami. The contracting agency threw enough money at me to accept the very long commute. Where I work is not glamorous Miami. It’s the industrial part of Miami where warehouses and import-export businesses abound. The famous airport is less than a mile away. Topless girls on the beach are quite a few miles away. Despite it’s glamorous reputation, Miami does work pretty well, despite the fierce heat, congested streets, and the occasional alligator eating a house pet.

This is only the second time in my career where I’m working at a corporate headquarters of a huge multi-national company with billions in revenue and the highest profile in its industry, . Normally, I work on nerd farms surrounded by information technology (IT) people. I have no problem with IT people but they represent a stereotype that I found to be accurate. Being at a corporate headquarters means all departments needed to run a huge corporation are in the corporate campus. There are also at least 2,000 people working in the buildings

There are all sorts of people here. It’s a mix of ages, nationalities, languages, personality types, etc. Most everyone is friendly, relaxed, professional, and seem generally happy to work here. When I leave my cube to go to the cafeteria or have a smoke, I see far more social interaction than in the usual IT shop. It’s refreshing and improves my mood, as well. Human beings are social animals.

I make a point to casually observe how the women appear and act in this corporate environment. There are a lot of women here. All ages are represented and it’s a good snapshot of how age impacts a woman’s appearance. Time can be merciless. But I have seen The middle-aged guys working here all kind of look alike. I am convinced that a man’s physical looks plateaus at a certain age, perhaps around 40, and can stay that way for a decade or more.

There is also a very good cross section of how women dress themselves. This company is a bit unusual in that all the summer months are casual dress. The men take advantage of this by generally dressing very casually, including board shorts and sandals. The only exceptions are the many Italian guys who bring a certain European masculine fashion sense, even while casually dressed. But some of their sartorial expressions get dangerously close to hipsterism.

The women dress quite well despite it being casual dress summer. The reason for this is the Latin influence here. The stereotype that Latinas dress better than their American peers is basically true. So the situation is that in the fashion arms race here, the Latinas are usually better armed and the American women are playing catch up. I’ve notice that no matter the age if the figure supports it, the Latinas are far more likely to wear much tighter clothes and much higher heels or sandals.

When I’m observing all this, I have to ensure I don’t stare too much. This is actually really tough challenge given the current state of my eyesight. It takes my eyes quite a while to focus on a particular thing so I’m concerned my gaze is just a hair too long when I’m looking around. Maybe my gaze shows confidence, maybe I’ve crossed the Rubicon into the creepzone.

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Yeah, Florida

If anyone asked me 15 years ago if I would ever live in South Florida, I would have said firmly “Hell no!” Yet here I have lived since 2003. This is a truly odd place. It’s so odd that Fark has its own category for Florida. Our local newspaper has a “FloriDUH” section.

How about a cat-eating snake? Yeah, we got one of those:

Python

Details here.

How about Sharknado? We came close.

Few of my readers live down here. Irish Kevin and Tommy Red Shoes being the closest geographically. This means that I have to share the weirdness periodically so y’all get a sense of what happens here in the sticky summer heat of South Florida.

It’s taken about a decade for me to get used to this place. I understand its appeal to tourists in winter. Summer, however, will always be completely surreal here. Come on down!

Oh, here’s a picture of the beach:

Beach2

 

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Spreadsheet Husband

Now that the news of the Spreadsheet Husband, “SH”,  has faded and cooler minds can prevail, it’s my turn to weigh in. There’s a big caveat here, I rarely opine on relationship issues because my forte is attraction and dating. But this story I cannot ignore because many of my male readers can likely relate to SH’s frustrations with their sex lives while they were married or in a committed relationship. Here are some links for folks to catch up.

Reddit (Where it all started but has since been removed, comments are available)
Jezebel
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Us Magazine
People
NY Daily News
Huffington Post
Independent (UK)

The full list links is very long which shows just how sensitive this issue is. Where comments are available, it’s worth checking them out to a sense of how this struck such a nerve.

Here’s my input: I think Spreadsheet Husband did the right thing. He called out his wife on her unwillingness to help him enjoy his sexuality with her. He did it correctly. The spreadsheet was perfect, especially the log of the reasons why she turned him away. This put her on the serious defensive. So much so, she had to respond with the standard reasons for a sexless spell in their marriage and not simply denying the events. When he went silent on his wife during her business trip, he was adding the necessary exclamation point with “dread game“.

The response to this story was utterly predictable. He’s excoriated for being passive/aggressive. She’s supported because he’s, well, desirous of sex from his wife. Oh, that brute! The story originally broke on Reddit and that’s where the good comments are. Once the mainstream media picked up it up, the feminine imperative  erupted loudly and the focus quickly shifted to the sexual desires of women and the victimhood of this particular wife. This is yet another example of how the sexual desires of the man should be a lessor priority in the context of a committed relationship.

The angry reaction against SH simply showed that he was fundamentally right. His wife simply failed him, he pointed it out with unassailable documentation, and the rally-round-the-vag crowd went bananas. Hell, even the BroBible guys went after the husband. Nice white knighting, Bros. Let’s hope that’s not an editorial policy going forward.

This story is also a cautionary tale for men, especially men entering a marriage or live-in relationship situation. As a husband, a man has obligations and responsibilities but the wife, much less so. This applies in the bedroom, of course. Her sexual satisfaction is more important than his. This is the feminine imperative and it can often be unpleasant and unfair to men. As a peer pointed out, we don’t know how SH approached his wife for some sexy time. Perhaps he was supplicating and weak, a true turn-off for women. We also have to consider his sexual prowess, or lack thereof.

I hope that SH gets out of this sexless situation. Being rather cynical, I doubt that the wife will put on her big girl panties and recognize that what she did was wrong. I also suspect that SH will backpeddle and apologize profusely. There’s a good place to send him before divorce looms – Athol Kay’s website. If SH is not taking the lead in his sexual relationship with his wife, he won’t be taking the skin boat to tuna town on a regular basis.

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What, Chivalry Again?!

I look seriously askance at the concept of chivalry. I’ve made that no secret in my blog and my tweets. When Bring Chivalry Back surface on the web some months ago, I made my polite critique and moved on. My tweets on the subject aren’t so polite. The Chivalry Guy(TM) recently posted on his blog about how women need to step up their graciousness regarding the chivalrous gesture. Kudos, Chivalry Guy, kudos. I completely agree. The whole blog post is here but I’ll pull out some key paragraphs with my comments in bold.

“The very element of demanding it creates a dynamic that demeans the whole meaning behind it.  Chivalry brings with it a statement of a man considering women special and worthy of caring.  If all women want is the grunt work of having someone open the door for them or carry their bags or give up the seat on the subway, they are robbing it of the graciousness behind chivalry.”

Two things going on here, one I agree with, the other less so. A chivalrous gesture towards a woman who is important to a man is cool. Such a gesture towards an unknown woman is not cool. But Chivalry Guy is 100 percent correct about how graciousness is lost when women expect random men to be pack mules because chivalry. No, ladies, you don’t automatically receive a man’s sacrifice – no matter how small – unless you are willing to have some gratitude and delivered with graciousness.

“If chivalry comes just from demand and every guy would do it, how would one separate the wheat from the chaff? Rather than demand it, women would be better served to seek it, to hope for it, to attract it, to appreciate and cherish it.  By making it something to attract, they are energetically letting the universe know the kind of man they want to attract.”

It’s fairly clear what Chivalry Guy is getting to. He wants men to stand out from the crowd. That’s a fundamental element of masculine confidence and I agree with Herr Chiv. However, being chivalrous is not the way for a man to be distinctive. The current cultural landscape simply does not reward a man for being chivalrous because chivalry does not spark attraction in women. This is where Chivalry Guy and I part ways tactically. We agree on the strategy – a man must stand out – but disagree on how a man should go about doing that.

“There’s also a great difference between demanding and appreciating it.  When it’s expected as a requirement, it often becomes easy to diminish it or even forget to acknowledge the graciousness behind it.  I’ve seen numerous posts from men who will bemoan the fact that they held the door for several women and heard nary a “thank you.”  Those men begin to develop an attitude questioning whether they should even continue.”

As well they should question why continue with such gestures. Men have every right to expect at least a pleasant “thank you”. Men respond extremely well to incentives. Men also go the other way with enough disincentives. If there’s no incentive for being chivalrous, there won’t be any more chivalry. This puts the ball (hehe) squarely in the ladies’ court. It’s good that Chivalry Guy recognizes this. It would be very good if dating coaches started to encourage their clients to show some feminine graciousness when faced with an act of classic chivalry. Given the general state of cultural affairs where most men are completely invisible to women

Traditional chivalry is not coming back. In its place, an odd mix of pick-up artistry (PUA) and technology such as texting and online dating has evolved. Swipe right! Get laid tonight! The gallant gentleman is like a good buggy whip, well-crafted but totally outdated and unnecessary. But if Chivalry Guy wants to pitch chivalry as a masculine attraction point, good luck to him. I’d rather advise men on what actually works.

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GI Joe Got It Right

In a recent email, a reader asked for some advice regarding making some changes to his life to help him meet his relationship goals. He’s somewhat like me in regards to profession, age, and general situation in life. I certainly empathized with him as I read his email. One of his major complaints was his history of being the NiceGuy®. Of course I recommended the book “No More Mr. Nice Guy” as a start to his way off that emotional trap.

As he was looking to get back into the dating scene and wasn’t real keen with trying online dating, I gave him my standard advice about finding live singles events in the cosmopolitan city where he lives. As is a technologist, I know full well how difficult that line of work is regarding building social skills. Somewhat related, his city – like mine – has a large number of tourists and these folks are excellent to work on social skills. Of course I recommended that he hit the tourist spots and strike up conversations.

Attending live singles events can yield some excellent results especially when being more of a passive observer that an extroverted fellow who happily meets others. Here is what I wrote on this: You have to become extremely self-aware of what you are doing in social situations. It will feel very weird in the beginning and you will likely not speak much fearing that you might revert to someone you were and not someone you want to be. By the way, hearing and analyzing how and what you say (even body language) is something of a Zen experience. But it can be done with practice.

Thankfully, there are two positives that come with being a good social observer:

1. Without yet being a serious participant in social interactions, this gives you the opportunity to watch social interactions in an appropriate context. This gives you the time to watch critically how men and women communicate. The subtle forms of non-verbal communication are extremely important to watch. Women, in particular, use non-verbal communication like a ninja uses a throwing star.

2. You will be perceived as mysterious and aloof and the dames actually like this. The body language you must project is that of amused/aloof mastery of the social scene. But if someone makes eye contact – man or woman – acknowledge that with a small chin rise and a pleasant “Hello”. It’s a social event and a conversation might actually break out. The horror! Hold your drink at your waist, dammit. The “drink shield” is a defensive posture. You’ll be dressing one level up from the rest of the guys, too. Finally, don’t stare, just observer with some degree of subtlety.

I must reiterate that this process is neither easy nor natural for most guys re-entering the dating scene. There will be awkward social moments at first. There might even be a social gaffe or two. If the guy can recognize what happened and why, that’s a huge step forward in re-learning some key social skills. You know the GI Joe cartoon from way back when? Yeah, “knowing is half the battle”.

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Getting Back Into A Better Blogging Routine

While my blog never stopped over the past few months, it did slow down substantially. I also put comments on moderation. This didn’t help my traffic and prevented some potentially excellent discussion. I thought I took comments off moderation, this wasn’t the case due to my mistake. So, I double checked that part of the WordPress administration functions and got things all sorted out. Also, I’ve opened up comments to posts more than 14 days old.

This means that approved commenters can make a comment on any blog post regardless of its age and that comment is published immediately. Of course new commenters must be approved. I’ve already gotten a couple of new hate comments and those commenters won’t be allowed through. Should that happen, I will wield the ban hammer.

It’s my plan to publish at least 12 new posts every month. Going forward, some topics I will resist addressing:

1. Politics/Ideology – I was once very political in my past. I’m not going there again with directly political blog posts. I will, however, take the occasionally swipe at feminism just to stay in practice. Commenters won’t be turned away for getting political.

2. The Alpha/Beta dimorphism  – Masculine attractiveness is on a continuum. To be sure, those words can successfully be used in very absolute terms. Life isn’t always so absolute and I’m not going to encourage such absolute thinking. That’s too easy.

3. Drama – The guys in the Manosphere don’t all get along and I’m not going to exacerbate the situation with a blog post nor will I allow any comments through that mention any conflicts.

I will continue to provide advice for post-divorce singles (men and women alike). I won’t get huge traffic but I will maintain a nicely loyal readership and get more readers over time. I haven’t forgotten my cancer page because my cancer certainly hasn’t forgotten me. As for my blog roll, I made an update recently and will update it irregularly. The donate button remains and will always remain.

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Cuddling For Dollars

Read this story first.

Welcome back.

This is important because it speaks to a human need. Many of us get enough physical contact from the opposite sex so that a professional “cuddler” isn’t necessary. However, many men go without such physical contact. Many women have the same issue. Our species, homo sapiens, is a physical one. We need the touch from others. Hell, we’ll accept the closeness of other species as a substitute.

Years ago I travelled to the middle east (United Arab Emirates) and I often observed two guys walking down the street or in the souk, holding hands, as friends. To my western sensibilities, I thought this completely nuts. As I think now, it makes sense. Humans need physical contact with other humans and it doesn’t need to be sexual. I have been reading about older women who are deeply sad that there are no man to provide even a simple hug.

This professional cuddler is a manifestation of a social pathology brought on by recent changes in human culture. Technology is one of them. Also, the atomization of our culture encourages us to remain single and isolated from the physical touch of others. This trend doesn’t end well.

With hook up apps like Tinder on the high seas of “dating”, a man can get some quick sexual touch and for most guys, this can suffices. The professional cuddler, however, is clearly for a smaller group of guys who need more than a sweaty night with bodies conjoined at the genitals. A powerful read on the lack of human touch is M3’s post on being involuntarily celibate (incel) .

The desire for physical closeness with the opposite sex is why I recommend that a woman takes a man’s arm when they’re out perambulating, especially when on a date.  I don’t criticize the professional cuddler. She sees a need in the marketplace and is fulfilling it. I do, however, have criticism of her clients. If they are fairly normal guys, they can up their Charisma so that no cash needs to be involved when physical intimacy occurs.

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