The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for the post-divorce crowd

Archive for the category “The Collective Wisdom of Men”

The Man’s Shed – The Australians Are Getting It Right!

A few days back, I wrote a post about the pathology of male loneliness and social isolation. Based on that post’s comments and emails, I clearly have addressed something that is rarely discussed amongst middle-age, post divorce guys. In reading the comments and emails, I was reminded of a social movement for men in Australia – The Shed Movement. In Australia and the UK, the shed is a like a detached outbuilding where men go to do projects such as fixing a lawnmower or restoring an old motorcycle. Such spaces are firmly masculine. The American equivalent might be a garage workshop or basement. The space is not for passive masculinity such as playing video games or watching sports. The shed is where a man can be productive in his projects. It is not necessarily a man cave.

The Australian Mens Shed Association (AMSA) is a very positive response to a public health issue that impacts men very directly. Here is the description of the AMSA from their website:

So what is so special about this new type of Men’s Shed? Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions. There has been little encouragement for men to take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help. Probably because of this many men are less healthy than women, they drink more, take more risks and they suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men find it hard to deal with on their own.

Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends and maintaining an active body and an active mind. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man that safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. And, importantly, there is no pressure. Men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa [cup of tea] if that is all they’re looking for.

Here’s the kicker that I found shocking. The Shed movement in Australia is funded by the government. Yes, there are private donations and patrons. However, the Australian government has recognized that the social well-being of men directly impacts their health. There needs to be spaces where men are free to be themselves without the sometimes negative impact of women. Of course the Shed movement is supposed to be open to women, but I suspect that few women want to be in a workshop where things are decidedly masculine.

The AMSA website has really nailed the problem with men, especially those over a certain age:

Because men don’t make a fuss about their problems, these problems have consistently been either ignored or swept under the mat by both our health system and our modern society. It’s time for a change and the Men’s Shed movement is one of the most powerful tools we have in helping men to once again become valued and valuable members of our community.

Here in North America, there really isn’t such a shed tradition nor would any politician have the stones to recommend something like this. Instead, men are turning to the Internet to share information and to discuss issues that are uniquely masculine. This is not a perfect approach. Digital connections can only go so far. Men must be able to be together doing things that interest them. The Shed movement is doing exactly that. I urge my readers to peruse the AMSA website and, in particular, watch their videos. This organization is directly addressing masculine social isolation. Granted, they do focus on retired guys but I think post-divorce guys could equally benefit from such an organization.

A large demographic cohort of retired men is going to have a profound impact on North American culture. There will be public health issues and political issues. If not addressed by our society, such issues will have serious negative impacts in terms of public policy and public funding. I know that my younger readers are not exactly keen on the Baby Boomer generation. It doesn’t matter their feelings on the aging demographics. Politicians will have no restraint when dipping in the wallets and handbags of the younger generations looking for more funding for an aging and still politically powerful demographic group. Wouldn’t it just be better to find a way to keep men healthier before their social isolation kills them slowly and expensively?

The Pathology of Male Loneliness

I write frequently about social isolation. It’s a huge problem for middle age men who retreat into their homes to stare at the television and computer monitors. Homo sapiens is a social animal. We need each other for so many reasons. Time Magazine (still relevant?!) recently reported on a study from Brigham Young University where researchers are sounding the alarm on what could be the next big public-health issue, on par with obesity and substance abuse.

The article is not real great on depth but does actually manage to understand the subjective, self-reporting nature of “feeling” lonely versus the objective observation of a person actually living alone. Also, I’m suspicious about the motives/funding of the study. This is a Mormon university so I can’t help but wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind that study.

“The researchers emphasized the difference between the subjective, self-reported feeling of loneliness and the objective state of being socially isolated. Both are potentially damaging, the study found. People who say they are alone but feel happy are at increased risk of death, as are those who have many social connections but say they are lonely. People who are both objectively isolated and subjectively lonely may be at the greatest risk of death, says Holt-Lunstad, though she notes that more data would be needed to know with certainty.”

This study is a harbinger of further research on the social pathologies that can cause real problems with public health. I see the problems with social isolation in the context of attraction and dating. Regular guys won’t leave the house except for work. Women tend to be more social and can’t find decent guys out in the real world. The players are happy to be social and approach women. Those guys also create soft harems of women that they date.
A regular guy can improve his chances by getting out of the house. singles groups are an excellent way to start.

Aside from the player aspect, there is certainly a public health issue to loneliness. Suicide rates for men are alarmingly high yet are given short-shrift in the media. The feminine imperative pushes back the emotional and physical needs of men. Divorce and men’s mental health is a major issue. Post-divorce men retreat emotionally and physically. When they emerge, if they do, the dating scene is one of confusion and frustration. Online dating is a minefield – more mines than field. I empathize, I really do.

For post-divorce guys, there is no magic cure. The young men have PUA. Us older guys can only gird our loins, leave behind as much emotional baggage as possible, and soldier on with all that makes us men, despite the complications of ex-wives, children, and the like. Yes, there are concrete things a man can do to increase his attractiveness. Those things take time, motivation, and effort.

For The Women – Girl Game

There was a relatively short-lived blog named “LaidNYC” that existed in 2013 and 2014. The blog is gone but the posts are still floating around the Manosphere in a variety of forms.  The original blog was primarily aimed at men. However, the post below was written for women. The advice is sound, if not a bit difficult for women to read. It’s worth it.

In game blogs, it is often asserted that women can’t have game beyond some gold-digging exceptions. I disagree. The problem is guys who make that claim are looking at it through the lens of ”guy goals” of money and sex. Sure, there is little a girl can do in that regard besides find a sucker and be a hot slut.

However, girls are more concerned with getting a man to bond to her on a deep level and acquire his love. For that, there are some things she can do.

Girls, Lets get two things out of the way first:

90 % of your appeal to men is your looks. If you don’t have the genes, this can suck but you have to do what you can: Stay thin, wear makeup, keep your hair stylish and dress to look good, not to assert your status to women.

Fear the wall. Do everything you can to delay or lessen the blow of the wall through healthy living, but know it is coming. Know that you will be gross and undesirable long before your male peers. This is not fair. This sucks. But you must accept it.

But enough about your looks, you shallow, superficial woman! What about your personality?

Act like the guys you aren’t attracted to. For example, a guy who brings gifts to a woman before sex will surely not to get laid. How about the other way around? A girl once brought me a little keepsake on our second date. ”I got this for you”, she giggled. It was a little painted figurine of something we had talked about on our first date. Nothing special or valuable. Yet I keep it in my ”girl box” full of memories of girls past, like slips of paper with phone numbers, birthday cards, panties, etc. I never slept with her (her choice), yet I still think about her sometimes.

Know how to compliment a man. For every time you call a man nice, sweet, and sensitive, tell him ten times that he’s confident, a leader, funny, charming, handsome, manly, ambitious, and athletic. Men instinctively know nice guys get cuckolded. The first girl to ever reject him probably told him he was nice. Being nice is bad. Even if he is nice to you, that is not how he wants to be defined. Show him you see him how he wants to be seen.

Leave cute notes for him to find. My favorite thing a girl has ever done for me was leave a note in my underwear drawer that said ”Roses are red, violets are blue, I like having sex with you <3”. It doesn’t even have to be a sexual note. A simple note reading ”I did your dishes babe, *muah*” gets the job done just fine. Girliness of handwriting counts. Write in pink or purple ink/marker. It is my educated opinion after years of dating that American girls need some serious work on their note-writing game.

To the guys: Steal this tactic. Girls I date now get lustful Post-it scribbles from me inside their panties and bras.

Girl up your voice. High, feminine voices are heart-melting. I have a voicemail from an old fling saved on my hard drive. She wasn’t saying anything special, just calling to make plans, but her voice was so sweet and girly that I can still listen to it and enjoy her essence. What if your voice isn’t high? If you smoke, quit. You sound like a gravely road. If you don’t smoke and your voice is not pure girl, consider some voice/singing lessons so you can better control it.

Let him do things for you, then show appreciation. The key: Have him do masculine things, not emasculating things. Ask if he’ll help check your oil or protect you from something. Don’t ask him to hold your purse or run to the store for you. He should feel like a protector filling masculine gender roles, not a servant doing a butler’s job. When he does something for you, show genuine appreciation. He’d prefer it be sexual in nature, but it doesn’t have to be. A sincere thank you is bare minimum.

Men want to be men, give him the opportunity.

Present authentic emotion. I once had the First Big Fight with a girl I had been dating for about four months. When it became clear to her that she was wrong and I really was considering leaving her, she kneeled in front of me, tears streaming down her face like a faucet, begging me not to leave her.
I saw passion. Deep emotional capacity. Modesty. Willingness to submit. Real fear of losing me. Until that moment, I really didn’t know I meant so much to her. I didn’t leave her. It brought us closer together.

Some might say ”she manipulated you by crying”. Nah. A man with enough experience can tell the difference. Not all tears are manipulative but there’s a reason women try to use manipulative tears: Men respond to real tears.

The corollary of course:

Cut out the fake tears. If you cry to manipulate and play the victim, you won’t respect the man who falls for it, and you will piss off the man who doesn’t.

Cook, clean, sew. Fill the feminine void in a man’s life. If he loses a button, you say I can fix that for you. You always have a new recipe you want him to try. You bake him and his friends chocolate chip cookies just because. Your first reaction when you go to his place isn’t to plop on the couch, it is to clean the kitchen.

Be sunshine. Brooding men are hot. Brooding women look infertile. Starting today, your default emotion is happiness. Your default facial expression is a smile. You treat people pleasantly and sweetly. You do not make sarcastic jokes. You laugh at other people’s jokes. You giggle. You don’t engage in serious or negative conversations. You are a ray of sunshine and you do not care if people who are less happy judge you for being happy.

Earn trust. There’s sexual trust, and there’s verbal trust. You need to earn both. For one, he needs to know you won’t sleep around on him. One way to show this is by not sleeping with him too fast. Men instinctively know that girls who spread their legs quickly for them spread their legs quickly for other men as well. He also needs to know you won’t spill any secret he tells you in confidence. This is, I believe, the rarest quality for a girl to have. I’m not sure I’ve ever fully trusted a girl in this regard, not even my own mother. If you are a trustworthy girl who does not gossip you are worth your weight in princess cut diamonds.

Avoid projection at all costs. Women are attracted to leadership, humor, status and ambition in their men, so some girls falsely believe they can attract men by being ambitious and status-driven. This does not work. The feminine attracts the masculine. To attract a man, do not act like a man.
I’m not just being hard on you here, girls. Men are guilty of projection as well. Beta males want girls to be devoted and emotional towards them, so they give out their emotions and devotion easily. Men are very attracted to looks so we end up with chest-shaving metrosexuals. Men are just as guilty of projection in this area as women.

A word on clinginess. If a guy thinks you’re ”clingy”, he’s just not that into you. Remember Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers alerting of a ”Stage 5 Virgin Clinger”? This was a problem because he wanted to fuck her and leave her as soon as possible. If your goal is to be fucked and chucked, then by all means present yourself as time-free pussy. If not, cling a little. Take some intiative in texting him. Give a little PDA. Show him you want to spend time with him.

I’m not saying become an obsessive stalker, but when a man is looking for a girlfriend, a little clinginess is much better than the alternative. Players don’t want the emotional commitment that clinginess signals. Boyfriend material does. The hotter a guy thinks you are and the more he wants to keep you around, the less of a problem your clinginess is.

Go forth and girlify.

Things I Hate

I’m normally a fairly optimistic and happy guy. I try to give good information to post-divorce singles about the tough experience of attraction and dating advice. I really do want singles to meet their relationship goals. It’s tough all around. I know this. I’ve been through this. So, sometimes optimism can get cloudy. This is one of those times.

Here it comes, things that I hate. Hate is a strong word but I stand by it. Do know that I follow cultural trends I see what is going on in our society so some of that will be in the list.

1. This. For obvious reasons.

2. Social justice warriors. These people are complete scum in the stupid way that all ideologues are complete scum. These people want anyone disagreeing with them to die. Thankfully, they are all mentally ill. They are all seriously mentally ill. I just hope that the world will realize that soon.

3. Human behavioral predictability. Complex western culture? Fuck you. I can say certain words and be guaranteed certain results [All. The. Fucking. Time.]. I can do certain things and be guaranteed the same thing through my actions. Damn… This is the worst of it. Bring on the extraterrestials, I’m bored.

4. Hypergamy. Yeah, this is real. But it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. I’m happy to offer affection, passion, and intimacy. But I can’t offer material and social provisions so I have to be the most charismatic man on the planet. That’s exhausting! And my dog needs to be walked. Good dog.

5. Willfully ignorant men who don’t understand that attraction to women has subtlety. Yeah, the green light guys can mostly do whatever they want to get their dick’s wet. But that’s the small minority. The yellow zone guys have to get their shit together in order to improve themselves. Unfortunately, they mostly don’t have a clue.

6. Women who demand too much from potential dates. Ladies, here’s the question that you despise: What do you offer that a man wants? Hmmmm, tough question, no? Call your local dating coach and you’ll be asked the same question. Here’s the catch, you’ll be charged cash money for that question. Oh, the irony!


7. White knights. These guys maintain women’s sometimes shitty behavior by protecting them from their own consequences. Theirs is the worst form of chivalry.

The Special Snowflake Phenomenon

One of the key concepts behind Manosphere and Red Pill wisdom is that human behavior – especially as it deals with attraction and courtship – is incredibly predictable. Fundamentally, there are no special snowflakes when it comes to the species that is homo sapiens. If I want a woman to be more attracted to me, I praise her uniqueness as an individual. If I want to drive her away, I describe her predictable nature as a woman. This has never failed me. Ever.

However, there is an additional irony. If you describe her predictable nature, she will try even harder to be unique so as to attract you. But mostly, all she has is her sexuality and that makes her even more predictable. #facepalm. However, if a woman understood that femininity is a total package, she could do very well in the courtship market.

So here’s my advice to men: During the attraction phase, ease up on the generalizations about the astounding predictability of women. After all, she’s a special snowflake. When she starts to get too comfortable and attempt the inevitable pull-back, gear up on the generalizations about women because she will work extra hard to be your special snowflake. If you think this is too much work, get a dog and shut the hell up about your problems with women. Oh, and get out of the house. I’m tired of reading of middle age women making the effort of being social and only a handful of men are attending those events.

This advice is not about being emotionally manipulative. This is about understanding basic human nature and using it to meet your relationship goals. She’s doing it too, she’s just completely and utterly unaware of what she’s doing or even why. A smart man simply must learn this inter-sex dynamic and use it to his advantage. To not do so is the sign of a weak, supplicating, and obsequious man. Women loathe that even more than the generalizations about universal feminine behavior.

The Clooney Effect (Snort, chuckle, guffaw)

The good folks at The Atlantic recently typed this article about a study from Helen Fisher that was funded by (Trigger warning: advocacy research). There is no mention of how the data was collected, there is only mention of the 5,600 that were surveyed. Is that the number of responses or the number of people who decided to respond to the survey.

Problem #1 – The study was funded by, part of a huge online dating conglomerate. It’s in’s vested financial interest to have data that encourages singles to sign up for new accounts or keep renewing their existing accounts.

Problem #2 – The people who respond to such surveys cannot be counted as a “norm”. People who decide to respond are of a certain personality type. Can we trust that the respondees be representational of the population of singles at large?

Problem #3 – There is no breakdown of age and location in the results presented. Are these boomers, Gen X or Y?, Millenials? The devil is in the details.

Fisher’s findings offer a solution to a classic problem in economic mating theory: Are men afraid of over-educated women?

Fisher offers a resounding “no” to that question, using pop culture as validation. In what she amusingly calls the Clooney Effect, Fisher describes the phenomenon of men wanting to marry women who were independent and self-reliant in relationships. “When even a lifelong bachelor like George Clooney settles down, you know things are changing,” writes Fisher of her tongue-in-cheek term, which recalls the actor’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin, an accomplished human-rights barrister.

Never use pop culture as an example. George Clooney is hardly representational of middle aged single guys. #Eyeroll. Clooney is a one-off. How about the millions of ordinary guys? The comparison to Clooney makes me believe that the study’s results are for a female audience hoping that a Clooney-type man will message them on and he’ll be her soulmate and rescue her from all her problems.

That women can be better educated than men in a relationship flies in the face of a demographic debate on marital sorting instigated by the late economist Gary Becker. In a chapter he wrote for a volume on family economics, Becker argued that men and women are more likely to be in relationships with their physical and intellectual peers, at least in theory. He believed that it’s economically advantageous for us to find our intellectual equal: The benefits are a long, healthy, satisfying partnership; the cost is a partnership that falls apart, separation, maybe divorce.

But this theory wasn’t exactly palatable to some critics, who found reality to differ from Becker’s ivy tower surmising. One such critic, William Goode, wrote in a postscript to Becker’s chapter,

… For a man with little education, a wife with very much education is not worth as much as one would suppose from her money value on the larger market. She is a less-fit wife for him … and he would be supported in this low evaluation by his social circle.

Becker’s theory of equality of spouses was perhaps ahead of its time. “Over-educated” females were often doomed for spinsterhood, as men were frightened and/or turned off by an intellectually superior woman. Women of previous generations had to choose between a husband or further education, and, until the Baby Boomers came of age and reversed the male dominance in higher education, societal expectations often made marriage the only palatable choice for females. Women, in other words, could not have it all.

Um, no one can “have it all”. That fairy tale keeps being repeated, especially when it relates to online dating. That fairy tale is nothing more than emotional pornography.
Men are not “frightened” by educated women. Men will boink ‘em but are simply hesitant to commit to them. Women will not want to commit to them because of hypergamy.
Frankly, that survey is about the economics of dating, not the reality of attraction.

Fisher’s statistics are indicative of a social countercurrent, one that radically changes the gendered roles in traditional marriages and creates an altered image of what modern marriage is held to be. Women who are empowered, independent, and smart expect the same from their partner: 89 percent want a partner who is independent, 86 percent want a partner who is at least as intelligent as they are, 55 percent aren’t willing to support their partner financially, and 61 percent claim not being as intelligent as them is an automatic deal killer, according to the findings.

“When even a lifelong bachelor like George Clooney settles down, you know things are changing.”

What’s fascinating is the men’s responses to these questions gives credence to Becker’s theory, and then some: 87 percent of men would date a woman who makes more money, 90 percent like it when the woman makes the first move and asks them out, 87 percent would date a woman perceived more intelligent than them, 86 percent are turned on by a “confident” woman.

86% of men claim to want a confident woman because so many women claim to be confident. Men are not stupid. They market themselves to be more attractive to women. It’s a vicious circle and no one gets what they want in the attraction and dating game.

Why is it that men are more willing to have a smarter woman by their side and woman won’t settle for someone less than intellectually ideal? In short, women can demand more, and know it. The apocalyptic threats by old-school mothers of shortages of men as women crept towards their 30s have become less threatening. Men don’t desire damsels in distress, and women don’t want breadwinners. Modern marriage is a partnership, and both men and women expect their partners to be their equal intellectually and personally.

Actually, women do want bread-winners, they are just afraid to say it because of current social expectations and they don’t want to be perceived as gold-diggers. But I read the online dating profiles. So many women want a financially secure guy. They state it flat-out in their profiles. They also state that they are financially independent in the same profile! Cognitive dissonance much? Go ahead guys, lose a job. Watch how quickly a woman pulls back. Women demand security. This is why they insist on a taller guy. This is hypergamy. This is biology. This is how it works.

That’s not to say that Fisher’s Clooney Effect is flawless. Any psychologist will state that appearance is still the number one factor in bringing two people together, and that it takes more than a singular trait (in this case, intelligence) to create a strong, long-lasting bond.

Well, that’s right, to a point. Clooney is a good-looking and incredibly successful guy in the public spotlight. Good for him. His new bride is a good-looking and successful dame in her own right. But he’s higher up the social food chain. Again, this is hypergamy. This is all women. The  one you are dating is not a special snowflake. All women are like this. Every. Single. One. Once a guy with better prospects than you shows up, she’s gone and you’re done. Charisma works for a bit, to be sure, but if you can’t provide that security she demands then you’re useless to her.

Nevertheless, Fisher’s is a revolutionary view of marriage, one that for millennia has focused its attention on women as the objectified party with little to offer beyond children and caring for a household. Men, according to this study, want their wives—partners, really—to be able to take on the world, live their lives, and have an identity that doesn’t necessarily mean adopting their last name.

This is a study funded by an online dating company. In order to make money, the study’s results has to encourage those monthly subscription fees. Here’s the real secret – women want a successful, confident man. So, through the awesome power of psychological projection – they assume that men want the same in women. “I’m a strong and independent woman” reads the countless profiles. Men, not being stupid, write that they desire a strong and independent woman. Hey, that’s what all the dames are claiming. Consider this, the study indicates that 55% of women wont support a man, or so they claim. Damn, it’s not always easy to separate words from actions, but it’s possible.

After all, as the Clooney Effect’s name suggests, it’s George who gained from marrying the beautiful, smart, independent Amal. As a commentator noted on Time after the couple made their first post-marriage appearance at this year’s Golden Globes, “We always thought that she was the woman who finally snared George Clooney, but it’s the other way around. And we’re all better off for it.”

No, she gained. She married the most elusive bachelor on the planet. She married the man who no woman could lock down. Granted, he’s a fucking idiot of doing so but it’s her value that increased. She now has the ultimate bragging rights. And bragging rights are a huge part of what women want… every… single… woman.

TL, DR – In online dating profiles, men state that they want strong and financially independent women. That’s because women state that they are strong and independent. In the economics of attraction and dating, this is the current landscape.

Middle-Aged Women And The Invisibility Factor

I recently read this opinion piece in The Guardian, a UK-based newspaper/website. It was posted in an odd category, “Online dating Mid-life ex-wife” The author of the piece, writing under a pseudonym, bemoans her invisibility to whom she calls “silver foxes”, guys in their fifties who still have it together in terms of looks

Here’s a salient paragraph:

There seems to be a gender imbalance, vis-a-vis the packaging thing. All the women I know are tolerant of middle age showing itself in a chap. We quite like a late flowering, in fact: the silvering, the smile lines, the coming of bodily sturdiness. We read these as signs that life has been lived and enjoyed. We read them as indicators of substance, of being substantial. In general, men don’t seem to grant us the same courtesy, at least not the men I meet online. They are highly focused on the packaging. It’s disheartening.

This is good news for guys in general. This is good news especially for guys who haven’t strapped 30 pounds of stomach fat above the belt line and who also have at least a modicum of charisma. I know personally what weight loss can do. I also know that charisma is a huge part of being attractive to women.

The author of the piece is very unhappy that men in her demographic aren’t looking at her, they look at much younger women. Well, duh.

Here’s another salient paragraph where the author asks a question to a male friend and he responds accurately:

These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.

The question is, should I be prepared to change?

Change. There’s the ugly word from the whole story. We Manosphere men encourage self- improvement.

Masculine self-improvement is change. Sadly, when a guy has the audacity to recommend a woman lose weight and grow her hair, it’s usually perceived as a threat and the response from a middle-aged woman is often anger. As we get older, so much changes. What we wore and how we looked from our 20s is hugely different. Women get fat, men lose hair. This shit happens. The author of the above article is having a very difficult with recognizing that those silver foxes don’t notice her because of the changes that come with aging. The question for her is, “how many ordinary men have YOU looked at as you are out and about?”

Yeah, thought so. Change is inevitable.

If a woman in her 50s has been good with her body and her mind, she will get noticed. If she eschews those awful, “comfortable” outfits and makes an attempt at dressing herself to look more attractive, she will get some admiring looks. Being comfortable is a terrible and selfish excuse when being in public. I see that in both men and women. It’s revolting. When I want to draw attention to myself, I dress the part. But no fuzzy hats! For a man, it’s simply a matter of dressing one level up from the rest of the guys.

After an interesting Twitter exchange with the author, she made it clear that she doesn’t want my advice. That’s her choice. She also has to understand that her actions have consequences. Being unwilling to change and adapt to her current demographic landscape means she won’t meet her relationship goals.

However, I was rather flattered that she reads my blog and has been for quite some time. Noice! Stella, you’re a peach! You’re flawed and unyielding, but a peach nonetheless. If you weren’t across the pond, I’d have a date with you. Better yet, have The Guardian fund a trip over here to South Florida. The weather must be awful over there right now. We could go to the beach.

[Update: The author of the column blocked my Twitter account. Lulz!]

Guys, Don’t Be A Blowhard

I’m often in public company, whether just walking in the village, attending a social event, or having a cold beverage at one of the several outdoor places here in the village. I like to listen to people have conversation and watch the social interactions amongst a generally middle-aged crowd.  For the most part, people are happy and civil. However, there’s always an exception. It’s the voice of the blowhard: (From Merriam-Webster)

a person who talks too much and who has strong opinions that other people dislike

In my part of the world, there is inevitably a guy over 45 with right-of-center political views. Given any opportunity he will make a loud, ill-informed (always) statement. It’s so loud and so ill-informed that he only serves to embarrass himself. It’s not attractive. Imagine a blowhard at a singles event. He’s offputting. He harshes the mellow. He is borderline offensive.

It’s OK to be an online blowhard. Hell, I’ve been accused of that enough times. But real life is a very different matter.  What happens online is not real life.

The blowhard lacks emotional self-control, a trait in men that is equally nasty as the same in women. I recognize the blowhard because I have to be careful not to be one. When I’m in public – and, shudder, on dates – I tend to talk too much about Red Pill ideas. Such notions sometimes don’t go over well and it takes a lot of my psychic energy to select my words very, very carefully. Men should always be careful about how they speak.

Being a blowhard is also related to being ready for dating. If a guy is compelled to talk about an ex on a first date, he’s not ready for dating. Likewise, if he feels compelled to talk about his political ideology on a first date, he’s not ready for dating. If a man can talk about something that encompasses different points of view, that means he’s intelligent and thoughtful about a particular subject. That’s very attractive to women. Intelligence is a turn-on.

I understand that making authoritative statements can make a woman swoon. But the massive caveat is that those statements must be about something she can relate to, not something that she has no interest in. As well, the know-it-all who loudly interjects a verbal opinion is not a confident maneuver. It’s an obnoxious maneuver.

There are too many guys that I would like to smack upside the head for being blowhards. But I won’t. I’ll focus on how I deliver my own opinions, not on the failures of how other men deliver theirs.

The Sexiest Part Of A Man’s Body

Note: Several twitter account links are included because I likes me some Twitter. Get yourselves some Twitter and follow me… @man_private

I follow about 1,100 accounts on Twitter. There’s a lot of political and cultural chatter that I take an interest in but rarely re-tweet or respond to with my own tweet(s). I do actively follow younger PUA (Pick Up Artist) guys because some of them are quite good at distilling solid attractive advice for men into cogent tweets. Here’s a great example from BE A PICKUP ARTIST;) @PUA_DATING_TIPS:

Pushovers are wussy, betas who don’t believe they deserve better treatment. GROW A SPINE. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF (with this photo attached).


Scoundrel ‏@ScoundrelBlog Responded with:

What’s the sexiest part of a man’s body?

His spine!

This, in spades. A man’s figurative backbone is the foundation of his confidence. Without that confidence, his attractiveness to women is at its nadir. Do note that I’m not a big fan of the whole alpha/beta binary. Masculine attractiveness is on a scale and is also contextual based on the current social situation, even unrelated to being attractive to women.

This twitter interchange brings us over to the world of professional dating coaches. Bobbi Palmer ‏@BobbiPal – who’s customer base is 100% women – asks:

What is one thing that a man can do that would totally surprise you in today’s world?

My response was this:

Show some backbone. The sexiest part of a man’s body is his spine.

Yes, she was asking that of her overwhelmingly female twitter following but I couldn’t resist because Bobbi is a clever person and knows good information when she reads it.

This is all theory for many guys, I know. Theory without practical steps is useless. So, here are some concrete steps for a man to follow. Yes, I covered this before but it always bears repeating.

  1. Never ask for a date. State that you will have the date. “I’m enjoying this conversation/correspondence, we’re going to have a date.” The follow-up to that is that you plan and execute the date. Don’t make it fancy! Spending so much money on the first date is too much of a risk, for the man and woman alike.
  2. Stand up straight, look the part, and dress one level up from all the other guys. This is not that difficult. Post-divorce guys can easily adopt a classic, masculine style of dress without looking like a fey hipster. In fact, any man over a certain age shouldn’t be trying to dress like some 20-something unless it’s a classic look. As well, men over a certain tend to be heavier and must dress to deal with that. It sickens me to see middle-age guys dress like slobs because it’s “comfortable”. Hell, it sickens me even more to women dress like for the same stupid rationalization.
  3. Work on social skills. The first part of this is actually leaving the house and having an enthusiasm that actually involves being social. This does not mean hanging out in the local dive bar or hanging out at the local lodge. This means getting out of one’s social comfort zone occasionally and then having action social interactions with new people. Keep the politics out of such conversations. If you’re perceived as being a an uninformed political blowhard, you’re relationship goals will never be met. And, I’ll track you down and bitch slap you. If you have a political opinion, just shut up about it in public.
  4. Learn some charisma. This is the hard part. This requires being clever verbally and understanding how a conversation ebbs and flows. There are no easy lessons for this except practice, practice, practice. Even us older guys can figure this out. But see the previous listing as a start. As well, watching ordinary TV sit-coms is a good way to see witty social interplay in action. Note the pacing and inflection in the voices. Emulate that. Back to point one, a man willing to dress better than all the other guys around him is a clear and obvious statement of confidence.

About A Woman’s Online Dating Profile Photos

Guys, when a woman posts her online dating profile photos, be keenly aware of the context of those photos. Too often, men focus on just the woman in the photo. That’s perfectly natural. It’s important that men look at the context of those photos. Perhaps it’s a girls night out. Perhaps it’s a cropped photo (cropping out the previous man) at a social event. Often, it’s a photo of her in an environment she is used to or one she aspires to again based on her past.

Watch out for a woman in a glamorous context or in an adventuresome exotic context. Here’s the breakdown:

  • The Glamorous Context – She’s wearing a sexy going-out dress and she’s posed in front of a fancy place or at a fancy social event. If that’s what you’re into, perfect. But if you’re not into such things, be careful because the photos are telling you what she expects or what she wants. Here in South Florida, that includes photos of her while she’s reclining in the back of a large pleasure boat. The swimsuit looks grand. The boat is grand also. She’s got a friend or former lover who supplies that fancy boat. She won’t accept less in the future because of hypergamy and bragging rights to her friends.

Here’s an example. Note the yacht in the background. I think the single one is on the right…wait on the left. Damn, I don’t know. But she’s 53 with kids over 18. Yeah, she’s the one of the left. I think.


  • The Adventuresome Context – This is the photo of her with the backdrop of Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, or zip-lining through the jungle. Again, if you’re into such things, perfect. This comes to expectations again. She will expect the same kinds of adventures with you in the future. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that unless you’re a guy who isn’t into that. There is also the issue of who supports those adventures. Perhaps the previous boyfriend or husband ponied up the dough. Maybe she had the resources to do it. No matter, if she’s got a new man, the expectation is that he pays for a lot of the future adventures. That’s especially true of warm climate women showing photos of herself snow skiing, an alarmingly expensive activity.

If you’re an ordinary, middle-aged fellow worrying about a job, child support, a mortgage, and the rest of life’s ordinary complications, be very attuned to a woman’s glamorous or adventuresome photos. She’s telling you with actions what her relationship expectations are. The best photos are of her at home, with pets, or with family. This how life works. Most women aren’t at fancy events or prowling the world looking for adventure.
Most women – and men – are dealing with the mundane realities of living day-to-day. Those realities are generally neither glamorous nor adventuresome. They are real and equally respectable. I’m reminded of my brother who raised two daughters by himself.

I understand the dilemma women face when posting up online dating profile photos. Being at a fancy event or doing something adventuresome invites a photo op. She’s proud of such things, much like a man holding up a fish he’s just caught (that’s a South Florida thing). Men and women are different so they each have different definitions of accomplishment and the photos that go along with it. Women have photos of themselves at a gala fundraiser, men have photos of themselves holding a fish. It’s the exact same thing, an accomplishment for each sex.

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