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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Courtship Lite!®

There’s a discussion going on amongst the “Olds” The discussion centers on courtship and the lack thereof. Matt Walsh fired off a blog post exhorting men to be better at courtship. Evan Marc Katz did much the same with one of his blog posts. The chivalry guy focuses a lot of his writing on courtship. As an old myself, it’s my turn to enter the discussion. Let’s keep it simple. If you’re under 30 and pre-marriage/LTR, courtship for you is dead. There are no rules, there’s pickup artistry (PUA) for the guys and sex-positivity for the girls. Relationships and sexuality for the youngs is a tinder-fueled bonfire of the vanities. My readers should breathe a sigh of relief for not being young anymore.

If you’re re-entering dating after divorce and you’re over 35 or so, we now have Courtship Lite!. The ritualistic courtship of yore (think 1950s) is well dead. It’s pointless to analyze why it’s dead because my readers already know why. In its place are simple guidelines for having good dates. CourtshipLite!® goes something like this:

1. Man and women start to communicate – face to face or via online dating.

2. A potential connection is made.

3. Man states (he never asks!) that he and the woman are doing to have a date.

4. She agrees.

5. The man plans a simple and modestly creative date and coordinates the schedule with her so the date is made.

6. The date happens. Attraction increases, comfort is established. A good time is had by both.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until relationship goals are met or the two stop dating because, well, whatever.

Courtship Lite!® rejects grand and chivalrous gestures, fancy meals, or expensive gifts. It’s actually a pretty good system because it focuses on the two people making a connection. Dating is about the man and woman, not lists of requirements or lists of personal attributes. It should be a fun and relaxed experience. Those seven steps provide just enough structure without being too rigid. This also allows the man to take the lead in the dating process.

It’s unfortunate that Evan Marc Katz doesn’t have more men as clients because he is very realistic and very diplomatic. But men are generally unwilling to seek direct help. The dating coach industrial complex is powered by Estrogen!® So, frustrated men turn to the Internet and find the Manosphere and blogs like mine as they look for solutions to make dating easier.

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Social Isolation Redux

I know I harp on this subject. I do this because it’s a huge problem for men. I’ve covered well how technology seriously disrupts in-person social interactions. Streaming video, satellite TV, entertainment servers, all of it acts as barriers to genuine human contact. Congratulations, nerds, you won. But girls still won’t date you. Yes, that was an abrasive remark aimed at the socially dysfunctional men who created such technology.

There is another way we isolate each other. During our collective commutes to work, our vehicles typically holds only the driver. Commute times are long, averaging 35 minutes. That’s 35 minutes in social isolation as we drive to and from work, mentally focusing on work, those idiot drivers surrounding us, and the sundry minutae of life.

I was reminded of this commute-based isolation when I started to use public transportation earlier this year. While I was taking the bus, I got to know some of the regulars and enjoyed the social interaction. Here in South Florida, bus riders are not rich folk. It didn’t matter to me. In the mornings I chatted with the young, overnight security guard of Cuban origins who got on the bus stop as I did. Returning from work, I talked about motorcycles and life with the middle-age Puerto Rican bus driver. I also chatted with tourists who took the same bus up the beach to get back to their hotels. Of course, there were drunks and mentally ill homeless to deal with. Such is the life of a regular bus rider.

With a new and far more lucrative contract just having started, I’m now taking  the commuter train (Tri-Rail). These are hard-core commuters and mostly like me, the white-collar crowd. Most are glued to smart devices so I don’t interrupt. But these past few days, there has been cordial chit chat with other passengers and a few occasions. Such times are excellent opportunities to be social in a socially frictionless environment. Just this morning, while waiting to exit the train, I was standing next to a middle-age flight attendant, a stewardess to use the older vernacular. She was in uniform. That train stop has a shuttle to the Miami airport.

I opened the brief conversation. “So we’re both going to work.”

She smiled at me pleasantly. “Yes, we are.”

“But you’ve got a helluva an office.”

With that she laughed and a light exchange ensued as the train slowed to a stop. We wished each other well and walked to our separate shuttle busses. There are a couple of take-aways from all this:

1. Take advantage of social opportunities. I’m advocating making radicall changes to your commute, but perhaps a carpool might be something to explore if your job, job schedule, and geography permits it. Bonus, save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.

2. When opening up a conversation, it’s easiest to bring up something that you both have in common. Even something as innocuous as going to work is a conversational opener. What I did with the flight attendant was a variation of the environmental opener (HT Roosh)

Social isolation can too easily wipe away social skills. All men, regardless of age, must be reminded of this often. Just now, as I’m writing this post, I’m on the train. The gentleman across from me has his eyes firmly attached to his smart device. I tried to engage him in conversation but he was a bit terse and put in his ear buds. Hint, taken. Maybe tomorrow I’ll sit across from someone more social.

Here’s a photo of an interesting business I see from my train-based commute:

Train2

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Men Helping Men

I recently retweeted this from @AoverK:

“A majority of the population has written off improving their lot in life while a small minority is actually bettering/improving themselves.”

Soon after my retweet, @DoctorIllusion responded with:

“Yes… and it should stay that way so those of us who improve ourselves keep a high market value.”

Both tweets are fundamentally correct. 80% of guys simply don’t want to improve themselves, for whatever reason. Worse, many guys think that non-physical self-improvement is a type of cheating. As a guy who wants all singles to meet their relationship goals, I’m a bit put off with Doc’s rejoinder tweet. That’s my emotional response. My logical response is to agree with Doc. When out and about in the village, I certainly don’t want a bunch of suave players messing up my dog game with the tourist ladies.

The dichotomy between my emotional response and my logical response highlights a broader philosophical divide. As a Manosphere writer, do I want my efforts to be self-serving or to be helpful for men looking to meet their relationship goals? I want both. In order to provide useful advice, I need to experience attraction and dating first hand. I need to practice what I preach. If I can’t work the attraction element, my words of advice are mostly useless. I’d be nothing more than an academic ensconced in an ivory tower.

There is a dilemma at hand. With advice regarding masculine self-improvement becoming more of a media (Internet) phenomenon, more and more men are learning about confidence and charisma. For the guys who already understand this and teach it, we’re essentially putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage in the zany world of attraction and dating economics. McQueen’s podcast featuring Chef highlights this very nicely. To wit:

Christian: “…and now, you out-approach me” (referring to Chef)

It goes on a bit later: “Let’s talk about how you fucking cockblocked me…this fool walks up – I taught you too well is the problem… he started speaking Italian… yup, fuck, I’m going to get a drink now. She just melted over that. It went from, like, deer in the headlights with me to deer in the head lights with you. I was just crushed.”

What Christian basically did was cockblock himself by helping another guy become more attractive to the opposite sex. Short term, he punched himself in the ‘nads. Ouch. Long term, he upped his sexual market value hugely. Christian proved himself something of a master of teaching. He has become a bodhisattva of attraction advice. Now he can use that for his own charisma. That’s the best frame-builder. A guy who helps other guys meet relationship goals is in a better position in the overall scheme of attraction.

While Doc Illusion might cast a jaundiced eye towards helping men becoming more attractive, he’s doing much the same himself through his own blog. His tweet was quite good in pointing out the dilemma that guys like us face. We help others to help ourselves. It’s a virtuous circle.

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Attraction Asymmetry

A fundamental and biological truth is that men and women are different. The sexes are different below the shoulders and above the shoulders. The brain of a woman works very differently than the brain of a man. For all the blithering in polite company about the sexes being so similar, there are millions of words of advice for singles that point out just how different men and women truly are. The relative privacy of online dating highlights still more the massive differences between the sexes. This example from Marie Claire describes both online dating and the differences between the sexes.

The social expectation that the sexes are equal pollutes the cultural landscape and has made online dating a strange tug-of-war between the realities of attraction and the expectations of attraction. The psychological concept of projection is also tugging on the rope. This is one of the reasons that dating is such a terrible experience for so many singles. This is especially true for post-divorce singles who must deal with this socio-biological conflict.

No matter what social expectation dictates, attraction can never be symmetrical because men and women are so different. This works more against women than men. Here’s how it plays out –  A woman is attracted to powerful, confident, emotionally strong men. With psychological projection and social expectations strongly influencing her, she assumes that men are attracted to powerful, confident, emotionally strong women. So, she’s the one who “man’s up” in the context of attraction and dating. It worked well for her in the workplace, after all. But the men she dates won’t commit. They’ll bed her, they won’t wife her.

A woman who “mans up” because she assumes attraction symmetry is destroying her chances of meeting her relationship goals. In this context, the masculine does not attract the masculine. The feminine attracts the masculine. Because of the difference between the sexes, attraction is asymmetrical. The strong and independent woman can certainly be the target of seduction. The physical attraction can easily overwhelm the emotional attraction and confuse matters in the early stages of dating.

Men can also succumb to the expectation of attraction symmetry. This expectation is reinforced by the social expectation that a man should be more expressively emotionally. “Be in touch with your feelings” was the mantra for the sensitive new age guy (SNAG) back in a confusing time when dating habits were established for the currently middle age crowd. These men are also frustrated as they attempt to meet their relationship goals. Even middle age men can be the stereotypical “nice guys”.

It’s extremely hard to resist social expectations in the context of attraction and dating. But biology always wins. As attraction coach David Deangelo says, “attraction isn’t a choice”. This is why so many online dating profiles demand “chemistry” between a man and a woman. Acknowledging the existence of attraction chemistry is acknowledging how attraction really works, not how it’s supposed to work. This is also why the dating coach industry exists. That tug-of-war between social expectation and biological reality is where coaches like Evan Marc Katz and Bobbi Palmer sooth female sensibilities while gently (or not) educating their clients about the asymmetrical realities of attraction, among other things.

This blog and its peers work to improve men in a masculine context while also strongly recognizing attraction asymmetry.  In the realm of men, little soothing is required. Because men are different than women, we receive truths differently and process them differently than women. If we all publicly acknowledge and openly accept that attraction is asymmetrical, this whole dating business will be far more enjoyable to far more singles.

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The Timbre Of A Man’s Voice

Timbre is a great word. It’s the description of the sound of a musical instrument or voice. The better the one’s timbre, the more pleasing or powerful the voice. The masculine voice can be very powerful. I think most men have no clue about how effective their voice can be. I listen to Christian McQueen and Dagonet and immediately recognize the power of the male voice. Their podcasts are very much about their respective voices. I wonder if they know that.

In my past life, I was a part-time radio guy. I was part of a morning FM zoo team and then went on to be an AM radio talk show guy. I also did voice-overs for local political candidates. This experience forced me to be far more aware of my voice. I sought the expertise of a speech coach and she taught me some cool things. I blogged about it, too. Read it. Now.

The power of the male voice was reminded to me again recently. While out and about, I was in eavesdropping mode. Damn. Men have no idea about how to control their voice. I heard low talkers, shouters, mono-talkers, and other sounds from male vocal cords that were simply awful. If a man can’t manage his voice, he’s at a serious disadvantage. Humans are social animals and the inability to communicate effectively is a very bad thing. Technology is not helping.

When I use my radio voice out in public, the response is consistent. People pay attention, women especially. I was not gifted genetically with good “pipes”. I worked on it. I paid attention to how I spoke – words, tone, and inflection, and pacing. Years ago in middle school, I was in the chorus. The instructor taught her students how to sing from the diaphragm. I never forgot those lessons and make a point to speak from my diaphragm when the situation calls for it. For the record, I sang alto because my voice didn’t change until I was 16.

I understand that certain elements of a man’s voice are controlled by the genetic lottery. If a man has a voice higher in pitch than his peers, how people perceive him cab be negatively affected. The pitch of a man’s voice simply cannot be fixed. However, every man can benefit from the following:

  • Speech therapy/coaching – Ask around, do your research
  • Drama classes – Community theatre can be an excellent way to expand your social circle
  • Toastmasters – Very good for content but my experience didn’t have much in the way of voice improvement

Given all the technology that is acting as a barrier to direct, face-to-face communications, a man can really stand out with just his voice and how he presents himself verbally. This is all about a man’s confidence.

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