Archive for category The Collective Wisdom of Men

A Dating Exercise For Women (Re-post)

[I posted this just over three years ago. It needs to go viral.]

A fair number of women read my blog and for this, I am pleased. Normally, I write my posts with a male audience in mind. This post is an exception. I want women to read this very carefully and pass it along to their single friends. It’s important.

The biggest challenge is for women to re-adjust their approach to men. Women usually look for reasons to reject a man. They find the bad things first. This results in a lot of frustrated single women. To start the readjustment, I have this very simple mental exercise:

Every time you see and/or interact with a man, look for something good about him. This includes online dating profiles.

It can be something small.

It can be something big.

It has to be something.

Perhaps you see a sweaty landscaper with stained clothes working hard at his job. What’s good about him? He’s working hard. That’s a very good thing.

Maybe you have a male colleague who is not the most attractive of physical specimens. But you notice that he has a very nice voice and speaks very thoughtfully. Those are two good things.

You meet a man socially who has a very weak chin and terrible fashion sense. Yet you see that he has beautiful eyes, broad shoulders, and a great sense of humor. Wow, three good things!

You see an online dating profile with bad photos. The words, however, are well put together and are quite appealing. Good things, indeed.

This doesn’t mean changing your standards regarding the men you date. It only means noticing the positive elements in men. That’s the exercise. Simple, no?

Do this for a week. After the week passes, ask yourself this question: “Where are all the good men?”

Guess what, you just spent a week seeing them with your own eyes.

Feel free to copy and paste this into emails, blogs, forums, whatever.

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A Very Revolutionary Statement

Men and women are different. The two sexes are so different that I’m amazed our species manages to reproduce! Our bodies are different. Our brains are different. Our blood chemistry is different. The way we experience the world is different. Our attraction points are different.

There. I said it.

I know what you’re thinking right now: “But Private Man, that’s obvious!”

It’s not obvious because a certain social ideology is vilely creeping into attraction and dating expectations. That ideology states that men are women are much more alike than different, that they should ignore obvious biological and behavioral differences in the context of attraction and dating. The men are encouraged to embrace their “feminine” side in dating and relationships while women are urged to be tough, strong, and independent, like a man.

By acknowledging that men and women are indeed different, it’s a push against the creeping tide of social “justice” in the attraction and dating game. Attraction isn’t a choice, it’s something that is very private that happens between our ears. In the public space we nod our heads in sage agreement that the sexes need to be more alike. But in private, away from the ideologues working hard to sabotage natural behaviors based on sex, we do what we want.

As an aside, I resist using the word “gender” because it’s been co-opted by those on the social fringes who are stubbornly ignorant about the differences between the sexes. I will never say “amongst the genders”! Quarrel on the fringes, I write for the rest of us, that vast silent majority cowed into parroting back the politically correct nonsense of social expectations regarding attraction and dating.

By fully accepting that men and women are different, many attraction and dating double standards disappear or minimized. It is important to state again that I’m speaking strictly about attraction and dating. What happens in other socio-cultural contexts – workplace, politics, law, education, church – is far beyond the scope of what I address. There are writers and cultural commentators far more equipped and far more enthusiastic regarding those cultural spaces.

Here’s an example of a dating double standard that is eliminated when we acknowledge the differences between men and women: Men paying for early dates. In the standard dance of Courtship Lite!, the man pays. He is the protector. This is biology in action, even if at a waterfront bar. The woman is the receiver of that protection. The simple act of a man paying for an early date is a gesture, if however modest, of that protection. Yes, there are exceptions, there always are.

I was recently invited on a first date and the comely lady who was quite happy to pay because she knew that she was breaking from standard protocol by inviting me and that meant she had to break from standard protocol by paying. It was a great date because of the mutual understanding that in this particular case, things were a bit different. Will this cause a problem down the road? Perhaps, but by accepting that invitation and her willingness to pay, I was willing to take that risk. This is a somewhat more formal process of dating that my younger readers will not likely understand given the realities of Tinder and hooking up.

The French wonderfully say “vive la differance!” I am no Francophone but that phrase is quite apt and should always be remembered when attending a singles event or surfing online dating profiles. Let’s allow men to be masculine and women to be feminine.
Despite the vast differences, we need and like each other. We’re in this for the species.

(That very last sentence is a quote from one of my favorite movies.)

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The Male Gaze

This is not about the ridiculous politically correct phrase. This is about a concrete tip for men that can be easily followed. Christian McQueen made a very accurate observation about Manosphere blog posts. There’s quite a bit of theory and not much solid, actionable advice that men can follow. Here’s some actionable advice based on my observations of men out in public.

Guys, stop looking down. It makes you look subservient and weak. Look at the horizon or where you imagine the horizon to be. This applies both indoors and outdoors. This certainly applies when you’re sitting having a conversation, Bringing your gaze away from the ground accomplishes a great deal.

Your ability to observe the world increases greatly. This is especially true for watching people. If you’re not looking at faces, you’re missing enormous opportunities for watching facial expressions and seeing the subtleties of those expressions. You needn’t stare too much. Your own subtleties are equally important.

Your overall mien becomes more confident. If your head is up and you’re looking ahead, your posture improves and you can more easily make eye contact with the rest of humanity. Making eye contact is a crucial element of showing confidence. Averting one’s eyes is a very hard habit to break. A big part of that is the message that men must be always non-threatening. Looking directly at another man’s eyes, in some cultures, can be taken as a challenge. It’s not like that here. Here’s a tip – if the other looks back long enough, raise your chin in a greeting and acknowledgement that you have made eye contact. Never dip your chin.

By looking at the horizon, a man is going to improve his posture as he walks. A good posture speaks loudly and well of a man’s general confidence and attitude towards life. As an aside, when a man walks he should keep his hands out of his pockets and never cross his arms nor keep his hands behind his back. It’s simple things like this that make a man stand out in a very good way. This is not theory, this is practical advice than men can start following right now.

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The Frustration of Expressing Masculine Emotions

A blog colleague recently posted an extremely well-expressed break up note. I don’t know if he actually sent it the note to his ex. Perhaps he only wrote for his blog. He posts anonymously, by the way. You can read the whole note here but I’ll be quoting the most relevant quotes in this post.

If your goal was to reconcile with me, repeating the usual pattern of ruining a perfect night by rejecting me wasn’t the smart thing to do. I don’t know what I’ve done with words or with actions that made you believe my response to tonight’s rejection would be anything but negative. Did you take my kindness for weakness or something?

I’ve read books on this stuff. Rejection piles up. Our fight started 8 days ago because, after that wonderful date, you said, “I’m not feeling it” at bedtime. You didn’t want to have sex then, and it pissed me off. The best way to reconcile was not to repeat the exact same thing again last night.

My first reaction was “that’s a lot of butthurt going on.” But on consideration of this bloggers age and life experience – quite similar to mine – I mentally retracted my first reaction and replaced it with “He makes a lot of sense”. As both the blogger and I went through the 80s and 90s, we experienced the full cultural typhoon of “men should be more in touch with their emotions.” We were expected to be sensitive, new age guys (SNAGs)

Machismo was ridiculed and the phrase “don’t be so macho” was heard often. Of course, the hypocritical irony of this era was when Ms Magazine published a photo of a nearly naked Burt Reynolds as a centerfold, a la Playboy. [Thanks to commenter Zorro, I have to change this to Cosmopolitan magazine. It was not Ms Magazine] Reynolds was the sex symbol of the day and he was certainly the opposite of the SNAG. Too many guys growing up in that period of social history transformed themselves into SNAGs.

This blogger is angry because he was rejected sexually from a woman with whom he had some heavy emotional investment. He expressed is anger in an excellent and eloquent way. He’s not whining, he’s expressing his frustration with that situation as a way of dealing with it in an emotionally healthy way. He’s not being insulting. He’s not being critical of all women. But there is definite anger is in his words. Good for him.

Our society has a real problem with masculine anger. When that anger is manifested as physical violence, it gets serious attention. The public, especially women, assume that if one man expresses his anger through violence, all men will do the same. So, ordinary guys feel the pressure to suppress their anger.

Sometimes a guy erupts in strong verbal anger that inevitably ends up on the Internet. Certain male spaces are a perfect place to express that anger. Reddit has several subreddits where a man can vent his spleen about women, sex, relationships, society, whatever. Here’s a classic example. Because the anger stands out so much, all the words from other guys around the rant mostly go unnoticed. There could be 10,000 thoughtful and reasonable comments or blog posts, but it’s the angry ones that get shared around the ‘Net with the typical man-shaming remarks. It’s extraordinarily predictable.

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An Instant Messaging Interlude

While I’ve been rather chilly towards online dating in the past few months, I haven’t backed away from it completely. I have a mostly inactive Plenty of Fish account that I use to reading womens’ profiles. Out of curiosity and demographic honesty, I actually checked out a somewhat new online dating website, OurTime. I created an account, copied over some of my PoF profile text, put up some photos (not the gun photo). I actually paid for a month to get all the premium features.

I’ve been logging in every couple of days for the past two weeks to get a sense of the singles online more into my demographic. The Ourtime user interface has some minor issues but is generally easy to use. There are visual indicators of who has viewed my profile along with the usual messaging features. My profile has gotten a lot of attention. This is probably because I’m the new kid on the block and my profile is pretty good. I’ve gotten about 20 flirts and pre-populated incoming messages. Over 200 women have viewed my profile. Every woman claims to be in her 50s. As is common, I’m only attracted to about 20% of those expressing interest in my profile.

A couple of women have been rather persistent with multiple emails, flirts, liking photos, etc. If I’m not attracted, I just ignore. If I’m attracted I reply with a quick message and introduce myself just to see if their interest is honest. Sometimes, my return messages are ignored. This is one of the many negative points regarding online dating. Interest is expressed, returned interest is ignored.

One woman actually sent me a long message. She wrote that she was under the impression my profile was satire. I responded that I was being serious about my writing for post-divorce singles. We corresponded back and forth a couple of times, nothing particularly romantic, just some words about attraction and dating in general. Very recently, I noticed she was online and available for instant messaging through Ourtime. Being a writer, I likes me to do some instant messaging.

We started a instant messaging conversation. The initial topic was about the geography problem with the website. While she is local to me, I get many matches from all over the country. At this point, she subtly escalated me. I accepted that escalation. Here’s the unedited and relevant part of our online conversation:

Her: So you wouldn’t travel a long way for a date?

Me: lol… Not a chance, there are 5 million people in this part of Florida.

Her: How many of them are females lurking around the corner for you?

Me: This question I will never answer. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Her: Under cover dating agent. badboy007 love it

Me: Actually, not undercover at all. I make no secret of my writing endeavors.

Her: You mean you are an agent that does not wants to be under the covers

Me: Hehehehe… I like your style. If you want to trade verbal moves, you have met your match.

Her: You think so? Maybe I did or maybe you did

Me: Oh, you can do so much better. Turn in your college degree and get a refund.

Her: I did and they gave it to me to pledge it to the less fortunate on Ourtime

Me: That was good.

Her: You can thank me now”-)

Me: I give you two points. That’s as far as my gratitude goes. I have very high standards.

Her: 2 points -How low can you go?

Me: I said HIGH standards. Ask about points 3 and above.

Her: asking about your point system now

Me: 1 point is maintaining my interest. 2 points is engaging me with the tit a tat with words. 3 points is making me hit google for quotes. 4 points is want to meet in person because of words and stuff. 5 points is a second date.

At that point, she logged off. Then I logged off.

She did log back in later and sent this IM:

“Sorry I had to log off I was called away. I got to point 4. Does this mean you want to have words with me?”

This woman was raised overseas so I’m sure she doesn’t fully understand the English idiom “Have words with”. The ball is my court now.

This brief back and forth between us shows some key elements in attraction and communication between the sexes, even if online. One of the lessons here is that a man must maintain frame and confidence. This means he controls the ebb and flow of the conversation. This is easy online because there are no body language and voice inflection issues. Those are just words on a screen. But frame, flirtation, and escalation can certainly happen in this communications medium.

This women is somewhat older than me and yet responded like a much younger woman. The rules of attraction do not change significantly with age. This is an important lesson for my male readers. 25 or 65, men can deal successfully with women in the context of attraction and dating if men know the essential truths.

UPDATE: This woman sent me a message yesterday with a mildly entertaining joke. I responded by continuing to qualify her with that point system. I double downed. In our subsequent IM chat later in the evening she was clearly pissed off, obviously not used to a man continuing to qualify her. I might post that IM chat log. Stay tuned.

17 Comments

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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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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