The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

That Visceral Reaction – How Predictable

“Well, they’re losers then!”

This remark was the result of a heated conversation with an older woman about what I do in this blog. I was describing how post-divorce men needed help with attraction and dating. Her reaction was typical. Woman loathe the idea of a man teaching and advising other men to be more attractive to women, to improve themselves in general.

The strong conversation continued. I loathe with all my energy when a woman insults a man merely because he’s trying to learn and improve himself. Do women expect men to just “get it?” Yes, they do expect that and they expect it to come naturally to men without any outside assistance. The PUA community catches a raft of shit for exactly this. The accusations that such information teaches tricks and manipulation. Such skills are neither tricks nor manipulation. They are perfectly reasonable social skills for a man to use when dealing with the vastly predictable behavior of the opposite sex.

“They’re not losers, they are men who got divorced and need help getting back into dating.” I was firm in my stand. I stopped long ago rolling over in matters that I’m passionate about. I am also profoundly suspicious about any woman who offers her opinions on men trying to re-enter the difficult world of post-divorce dating. I have a standard response that usually makes a woman’s hackles rise.

“You’re not a man and you don’t date women, you really don’t know” I told her firmly.

This is absolutely true. Women have no empathy for the masculine experience, especially if it involves adversity. Women simply don’t care about men as a group. Men have to rally around the positive elements fo the masculine imperative. My response flummoxed the woman so she changed tactics with a very predictable response.

“Why are you qualified?!”

I gave my standard response that I do research, I observe, and I have experience. According to this woman, I had to have a PhD of some sort just to give out attraction and dating advice. Perhaps a degree in physics would be OK? Why should I need some letters after my name to provide information about the predictable nature of human beings?

At this point in the conversation, the woman was furious. She tossed out some insults towards me, things I’ve heard countless times and simple don’t affect me.

“You’re a con man!” she hollered at me as I walked away.

Ah, that anger simply told me that I was right. This is something every man must realize: When a woman is angry at what you say, it means you are correct in your logical assertion. I don’t relish making anyone angry yet it sometimes happens because of my confidence in the truth of information I provide to post-divorce singles looking to meet relationship goals.

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Exchange Program To Western Australia – A Personal Story From My Youth

This post includes some stories of my life and some advice. It also includes some serious details of my younger life with real names and real schools, organizations, and places. There are good links ahead. I might regret this. Oy vey.

It was early 1980. I was a senior in high school. It was a fancy private high school outside of Boston, Concord Academy.  I had decided to take a year off between high school and college and needed to embark on some adventures during that gap year. Losing my virginity was part of that. At 18, I had at least had the foresight to plan a little bit ahead. This included applying for an exchange program through American Field Service (AFS), a good organization that had a strong presence at my high school. I got interested because I had a crush on the girl (Korean-American) who was the liaison to AFS. Almost every time I do something that involves travel or relocation usually involves a girl. Yeesh. That included up until my mid-40s.

Concord Academy was originally an all-girls high school. The Queen of Jordan, Noor Al-Hussein, was a graduate of my school as were both Kissinger kids. Sebastian Junger was a good friend in my graduating class and we had many outdoor adventures together. New England private schools are where the young elite swim upstream to spawn. I was just an upper middle class kid and a day student, not a boarding student. But still, there were parties in Manhattan penthouses my senior year because these young people were the elites. I’m only in touch with a few of them now. That was a long time ago.

I went through the AFS application process that included written essays and several interviews. I was prepared to use my own money but my mother and stepfather stepped up and funded me. I remember at the time it was $1,500 and that included airfare. Settle down readers, it was 1980 so it wasn’t that cheap considering inflation over the past 35 years. But after working every summer in high school and saving my money, I did have the available funds.

After being accepted into the AFS program, I was informed that I would be going to Perth, Western Australia to live with a family and attend the Church of England school in Guildford. My departure would be just a few days after I graduated high school. Yes, I would be re-attending an Australian high school after graduating from an American high school (#facepalm). I had purposely requested an English-speaking country because I knew my skill with foreign languages was profoundly limited. My high school French did not count.

As for that school, it was all male and I was required to wear a uniform as well as attended chapel services three times weekly. That was quite the change from my experience at an American private school where things were co-ed and not nearly as regimented. There was even corporal punishment there at Guildford Grammar.

For the record, the flight was this – Boston to New York to San Francisco to Honolulu to Auckland (NZ) to Sydney (AUS) to Melbourne to Perth. I was in the air for a total of 27 hours and ended up on almost the opposite side of the earth from Boston, my home town. All those to be on this exchange program in Australia first met up in San Francisco at a hotel. We were each assigned a room and a roommate. I vaguely remember a nice guy who shared the room with me for a night. I think he was from Vermont.

While there, I met some girls who were accepted into the program during the overnight San Francisco stop over. Sadly, I was seriously deep in the miasma of the unknown of how to operate a girl. I had little such experience in high school despite the fact that two thirds of my graduating class consisted of girls. However, there were only 63 graduating seniors at my school so it was all rather too close and we were all very circumspect about hooking up.

During the stop over in San Francisco I remember making out with one girl on my hotel bed while my roommate was out for a couple of hours. It was rather intense. But my serious attraction was to Jackie Kenyon, a comely blonde from rural Minnesota. Being so young, so hormonal, and so far away from home accelerated attraction to warp speed levels. It was clearly mutual between Jackie and me. There was no sex because of time, logistics, and my own insecurities.

I was now on the last leg of one of the longest airline journeys on the planet. While at the lengthy stop over in Los Angeles, I made a point to try to sleep at the terminal in a pile of carry on luggage . I had barely slept and remember how the other young people talked about me as I tried to sleep. Everyone was talking about me. It made me feel both uncomfortable and proud of myself but mostly uncomfortable.

What I didn’t know at the time is that I was the center of attention in the group for reasons that I now understand. I was being kind of cocky and funny with the group as I journeyed so far West that I crossed the international date line and the world became East. I guess that being on such an adventure – my first real international experience – gave me a sense of confidence that went against the “be yourself” mindset as taught by my mom. But still, I fell back on my “be nice” foundation to often during that experience. That was my comfort zone at the time.

From SF, we flew to LA to catch the Air New Zealand flight across the Pacific, via Honolulu. It was a fun group. We figured out how to to sleep across the vacant seats and even on the floor. Jackie and I were together for the whole flight. The flight crew was amusingly cooperative with it as we were a well behaved bunch. The flight was impossibly long although I had worse a few years later when I flew from Bangkok to London.

I flew into Sydney from Auckland, New Zealand. In Sydney, AFS had organized a stay over at some sort of young person’s camp. The jet lag was beyond awful. We all tried to stay awake through dinner. I have a distinct memory of a meeting where a small group of us was meeting with a local AFS volunteer. A very attractive girl in the group was asking questions as she sat next to me. She then pointed to me and asked “Is he going to be in my city?” I think I actually blushed when she asked that. No girl had ever been so forward with me and it freaked me out (NiceGuy™ training!). I wasn’t comfortable being the center of attention, especially from attractive girls. This particular girl actually escalated me. During a break in the meeting – we were all sitting on the floor – the girl talked with me about how she was a runner and complained about shin splints. I had no idea about that condition but she asked me to to feel her shins to find out. Oh, what I really needed to know back then.

Finally, the group dispersed to our various destinations within Australia. Jackie and I exchanged addresses for an eventual weekly correspondence via written letters. There was no electronic communications back then, just paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps. I communicated with family and friends back in the US with aerograms. I received a new letter from her every week for the three months I was there. I did meet up with her in Los Angeles during the return trip but we didn’t have sex. But was prepared with condoms which she referred to as “mouse sleeping bags”.

The flight attendant on my flight from Melbourne to Perth was young and attractive. I was sitting in an aisle seat and she paid special attention on me. Perhaps it was my accent. Perhaps it was my looks. I had no idea because I had the mind of a nice guy and had no idea that she was seriously flirting with me. In a flight of a few hours duration, she was actually kneeling in the aisle looking at the photos I had in my carry-on bag. For you youngsters, photos were actually produced on a special paper so as to be shared without the aid of technology. Damn, what a concept!

Back then, I didn’t know shit about how it all worked. Granted, it was a grand adventure and I was the final leg of a 27 hour in-flight experience from Boston, MA to Perth, Western Australia. I might have been fatigued or distracted. But dammit, I was 18 years old and horny as fuck! But I was still mostly clueless. Worse, I didn’t know how to flirt back. I was being polite and deferential to a young woman who was clearly interested in me. A player I was not.

The three months in Perth were interesting. The family I lived with were good people. There were indeed times of conflict. I understand the social mistakes I made with them and hopefully I have learned from them. It was an emotional time for me, for better and worse. School was quite the experience and I did make some friends over there.

I did a lot more when I returned home… working in the camping equipment store (EMS on Commonwealth Ave in Boston, being a ski bum in Summit County, Colorado, working in a state mental hospital, riding my motorcycle from Boston to northern British Columbia with hopes of reaching Inuvik via the Dempster Highway. The motorcycle was stolen and I was forced to hitchhike and fly the rest of the way after my bike was pinched. But those are stories for other blog posts. The zenith of my youthful adventures was working on a wildcat, oil exploration oil drilling rig in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

There’s also the story of my brother and I prowling about Asia in 1983 where I taught my brother how to ride a motorcycle on a road in northern Thailand. He did OK but he never rode a motorcycle again. In 1983, China was quite Communist and there were no private businesses.

[Want to know more? I’ve got a Patreon thing going on and your support really does motivate me.]



I like Twitter. I like how it forces a tweet to be short, concise, and hopefully unambiguous. If the message can be delivered effectively in 140 characters, it’s the mark of a good tweet. The hashtag idea can also add additional punch to a tweet. Fundamentally, it’s a very successful form of social media and it gets lots of attention. But note that Twitter receives disproportionate attention.

This is the serious problem. There are actually relatively few Twitter accounts when compared to the social media behemoths, here and abroad. World wide (as of research released in March, 2015), Facebook had 1.4 billion users. Twitter had 288 million users. That’s less than Instragram and more than Tumblr.

As well, The pace of Twitter’s growth has slowed much to the chagrin of its investors. But when a hashtag starts trending, it becomes news, even in the mainstream media. essentially, Twitter is the vocal minority who manage to get attention. It’s the loud and strident face of keyboard jockeys. Yes, that includes me to a certain extent.

Of course, such a limit on characters forces a Tweet to be too succinct and to be without subtlety. The guys over at Holistic Game talked about this in a recent podcast. Ironically, it was in response to one of my own Tweets. Skip to 38:30 to hear it. Their points are valid. As an aside, I don’t like when Manosphere guys use the word “nuance”. That word has been co-opted by a certain group of ideologues, just as they did with the word “gender”.

Because Twitter is so concise and so instantaneous it gets far more attention. It’s the zenith of soundbite messaging. A mainstream media outlet can quickly and lazily scan trending hashtags for a quick and totally throwaway story. As well, the famous can reach out to their vast hordes of followers for a quick hit of attention. Well, yeah, I follow Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Hell, even the Pope has multiple Twitter accounts based on the language of the outgoing tweet. Oh, wait, I shouldn’t have said “hell” in that statement.

Despite it’s disproportional impact on social media, Twitter is useful for getting a message out, even if incredibly short. A good hashtag and/or link can go a long way to reach many people, especially through the retweet feature and to a lesser extent, the favoriting feature. Personally, I prefer that my own tweets are retweeted, not favorited.

Naturally but unpleasantly, Twitter has attracted lots of spam tweets. Tweets from popular Twitter accounts too often includes links to clickbait websites. Here’s a tweet I received moments ago: “It Was Just A Wedding, Until THIS Surprise Blew Everyone A…” I won’t bother clicking on the link because such a tweet is obviously a clickbait trap. Some Twitter accounts are much more clever. These smart accounts tweet out funny and thought-provoking things but then sprinkle in clickbait tweets. @Meninist is very good at this. I still follow that account but have learned how to ignore the clickbait traps.

Twitter is also very effective at attracting online insults. Ideologues clash frequently and personally. Such clashes get lots of media attention but are essentially harmless but sometimes disturbing. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is an old saying and it directly applies to social media.

Now is the time to pitch my own Twitter feed, @man_private. I’ve got over 2,700 followers and it’s been about four years of doing this. I announce when I have new blog post (actually it’s done automatically). I also research topics to post interesting links so my followers and other bloggers might find good content. Of course I Tweet out original Tweets.

Amusingly, my tweets which I think are great are mostly ignored and my of-the-cuff tweets get all sorts of attention, go figure. I do urge my readers to sign up for a Twitter account and follow me. If a new follower is also tweeting cool stuff, I’ll follow that person. Twitter is a mutual thing. Hint, hint, @RealCMcQueen. For you writers out there, writing a tweet is an excellent way to improve your writing and editing skills.

I’ll see you on Twitter but I will continue to blog here, as well.

Note: If you’re new to Twitter, here is a good resource.

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Busy Social Life, Busy Intellectual Life

I continually exhort my male readers to be more social. Many of my blog posts are about the difficulty that post-divorce men have with their social lives, actually, their lack of a social lives. The response has been favorable because it’s very clear that having a social life is emotionally healthy. For the 400th time, human beings are social creatures.

Being intellectual is about critical thinking and subsequent research. It’s about the exploration of ideas such as history, science, psychology. It’s the vast universe outside of ourselves. It’s the opposite of solipsism. It’s also the opposite of emotional introversion. Men are particularly good at this. As for the subjects of a man’s intellectual life, that’s a subjective thing. Personally, I’m into American social history from WWII to the present. But if a guy is into astronomy, that’s just as cool.

A healthy intellectual life does not mean the monkish life of an idea-absorbed academic. Worse, being obsessed with a particular intellectual subject is unhealthy and can work against a good social life. A man’s intellectual life must be balanced with a healthy social life. Keeping in the theme of critical thinking, it’s vital that a man exposes himself (heh) to differing opinions and intellectual ideas. If guy is a Democrat, it’s good for him to hang with Republicans every now and again and NOT talk politics, just be social by making some chit chat and small talk. It won’t kill anyone. Bonus, it builds social confidence.

A healthy intellectual life must never be about tunnel vision or proselytizing. A man on a date trying to persuade the woman to a certain point of view can be a serious turnoff. He might come across as a blowhard, a terrible man to be. An intellectual blowhard is just as bad as a political blowhard. Real life sociability is not the general social nastiness the Internet. The atheists, Christians, and conspiracy guys need to seriously tone it down when out and about in meetspace.

Here’s the serious bonus of having a healthy intellectual life – women are attracted to smart guys. A guy with a well-spoken brain can make a dame swoon. It’s actually quite consistent, especially for women over a certain age. The key here is well-spoken. This is about backing up a healthy intellectual life with good communication and social skills. I do understand intellectual passion. I have it myself about the subjects I write about. But guys, don’t let your intellectual passions overwhelm you when you’re in social situations. It’s fine to allude to it or bring it up in passing. Just know that not everyone is fascinated if Pluto should be considered a planet or not.

Request For Questions

Inspired by this Illimitable Men blog post, I am requesting that my readers send me questions about post-divorce attraction and dating or any subject where curiosity lies.

Some questions I will answer publicly (with permission) through a mail bag blog post or privately with an email from me. Please note, I suck at relationship advice. I have some ideas about relationships but I will likely defer to those who have much better advice.

So, shoot me some questions either via email or with a comment below. Hell, I’ll even answer personal questions, within limits. My email information is here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The Opposite Of Validation Is Shame

I spend a great deal of time reading commentary and news on the changing trends in American culture. Our culture is obviously not static. Social expectations shift. This is to be expected within any culture. Even the most traditional cultures will change. The pace of change is increasing because of changing technology and the influences of one culture upon another culture.

There is a cultural shift that creates the social expectation to be more “progressive”, a word with so many murky connotations that it’s almost useless as an adjective and noun. I far more prefer the term “individualism”. For better and worse, our culture is moving to one that is solely focused on the actions and words of the individual, not the group. But this is in direct conflict with our basic human need to be social, to be connected.

Our need to be connected is manifested by the intense desire to be similar with others around us and accepted by those same folks. This is easily seen on the school yard with peer pressure and peer acceptance. As adults, we naturally tend to associate with others like ourselves. Those not like us are the “others”. This is wired into our DNA. I’m making no value judgements on this. It just is.

From this comes the concept of validation. This is where the individual seeks approval from the group and other individuals. In the realm of attraction and dating, this is need to be desirable to the opposite sex so that an attraction can be established. There are many means to increase one’s desirability. Men and women do things differently but the end result is the same.

There is a natural reaction when a person does not receive validation. That reaction is shame. Rejection is the feeling that is expressed publicly, it’s the shame that wraps itself around our souls and burrows into our psyches. A string of rejections is especially brutal. This is why guys are encouraged to have a thick skin and prepare for such rejections.

People drop out of dating completely without the validation of desirability. It is because of the shame they feel. Of course, it’s unlikely that any one person would admit to this shame. This is no matter, the actions of the dating drop-out say far much more. That person gave up because of the lack of validation and the subsequent feelings of shame.

Our individualistic culture is responding, badly, to the pressures of the need to be socially validated. All sorts of “acceptance” social propaganda campaigns are being pushed into our culture. The attempt is to turn political correctness into personal correctness. Our actions, or words, everything about us must be influenced and controlled but a minority of people who simply can’t get the validation they need from the group. That group is us, the average folks, the “normies”.

What is between our ears and in our DNA simply cannot be controlled by the terrible unreality of contemporary social expectations. This is made completely obvious by the millions of online dating profiles where preferences are made clear. OKCupid has brilliantly data mined their databases and communications among subscribers. Attraction preferences are made unambiguously clear with this research. Those preferences fall along our DNA-based desire to be part of a group of like-minded individuals. Why do affinity-based online dating websites even exist?

Of course there are exceptions. The study of statistics regarding human behavior yields consistent results. Think about the bell curve. It is our human nature to focus on those exceptions and so a logical fallacy surfaces. We assume the actions of a small group are reflective on what happens to the larger group. This is simply untrue. Frankly, assuming the exception is reflective of the general does extraordinary social and personal harm. Putting someone on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean we must accept that person’s decisions. If someone wants to be validated, he/she must do that knowing how our biology works regarding validation and shame. It’s not pretty. It’s real.

[If you found this blog post informative, please support my Patreon efforts]

The Perils Of Technology (Beware The Facebook Zone)

As I peruse the interwebz looking for interesting and relevant content for my blog, I came across a video from a dating coach, Kezia Noble, who speaks to the issue of Facebook in the context of attraction and dating. She’s fundamentally correct about Facebook. This is especially true for the younger crowd, Kezia’s main focus. Mercifully, men over a certain age can plead ignorance regarding much of social media, especially Facebook. “I don’t do Facebook” is perfectly acceptable. Try that if you’re under 35 years old.

Note, I do have a Facebook account but it is not active and I’ve locked it down to friends and family only and I haven’t updated my timeline in almost a year. It could be more but I simply don’t log into Facebook anymore. Facebook is a stinking digital swamp for post-divorce singles unless updating family and close friends. Just for shits and giggles, Google up the term “Facebook divorce“.

Technology is a galaxy-sized mixed blessing when it comes to attraction and dating. The good things are obvious. It starts with online dating, yet another mixed blessing. Regardless, online dating is one way of contacting women. Texting is another good thing regarding efficient communication. Back in the day, we had land lines and answering machines. We also had public pay phones. That wasn’t so efficient but we made do with what we had.

Technology helps us communicate, this much is true. As social creatures, humans need to communicate. A quick text or a Skype video conversation can go a long way to reinforce social and romantic connections. With technology, we are never out of touch with each other, often regardless of geography. This is certainly a method of connection but it’s certainly not perfect.

It’s now time to talk about the cons of technology in the context of attraction and dating. The worst is that technology can be used as a shield. Texts can be ignored. Calls can be ignored. Skype can be ignored. The worst of it applies to online dating. Men send out messages and no responses are received. This is the catalog nature of online dating. It also strongly points to the failure of technology when attempting to connect individuals in hopes of meeting relationship goals.

What’s the ultimate end result of using technology to facilitate communication between the sexes? Scammers. These are the filth of the earth who are exploiting the need for human interaction in the nebulous world of online dating. Scamming can also be more passive. This is where a person merely seeks validation of desirability with no intention of meeting up in real life. Hell, the African scammers are at least direct in their efforts. The validation scammer is far more conniving and dishonest. Technology allows this to happen.

Let’s get back to Facebook. One of the central tenets in the pick up artistry realm is escalation. The man is the first to ask for the phone number. He is the first to declare (not ask!) the date. He is the first to go for the kiss. When a man asks for a phone number and her response is to go to Facebook, it’s a rejection, pure and simple. She’s using technology as an excuse to protect his feelings.

Once pushed into the Facebook moat, a supplicating simp will attempt to scale the castle walls with Facebook messages and updates. I roll my eye at this. It’s a sad place for a man to be. I’ve watched guys do this. In my past, I’ve done this but it was before Facebook and the landscape of social media.

For guys, the de-escalation into social media must be seen as a total rejection. His response must be that she’s done, she’s gone – never to be contacted again. This is how technology can help a man. It can be a means of gauging how much a woman is attracted to him. If she proffers up her Facebook account in lieu of a phone number, there’s simply not enough interest on her part.

For all post-divorce singles, I will re-iterate my advice – keep your online dating efforts in the background. Spend more time with or similar live events where singles actually see each other face to face, as how it must happen. Yes, it can be intimidating, but without guts, there is no glory.

There’s no small irony that I exploit technology ruthlessly to get these messages out. This is the reality on the ground for content creators like myself. Gutenberg was a good start. Data centers and blogging is a great leap forward (that’s a reference to the scumbag Mao) to reach so many more.

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