The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for the post-divorce crowd

Video Podcast 2 – The Five Noble Rules of Attraction & Dating

I’ve written about the Five Noble Rules of Attraction & Dating before. In that blog post, I simply listed them out and let the readers fill in any blanks with their own thoughts. In this video podcast, I’ve filled in some of those blanks with additional commentary. The video runs about 10 minutes and does stand alone as just audio.

Please note that I made two verbal mistakes in the video that I must address. I twice used the phrase “social contract” when I meant to say “social construct”. It’s a vital distinction. I stuck a couple of speech bubbles in the video for a correction but if you’re only listening to the audio portion, you won’t see those annotations. I hope you enjoy the podcast.

In the future, I will be shooting video from different locations to make things more interesting. If you have suggestions for upcoming video podcasts, please indicate in the comments.

[If you liked this video podcast, please support my efforts through my Patreon. Many thanks.]






A Woman’s Red Pill Online Dating Profile

This woman’s online dating profile is real. She and I have corresponded in the past and she recently sent me a link to her blog where she copied her profile. Here it is in all its amazing glory. In a subsequent email, she has indicated that this profile is indeed on a real online dating website, Plenty of Fish. Do note that I’ve blogged about her previously.

It’s very clear that this woman reads Red Pill attraction and dating blogs and has incorporated that advice into her online dating profile. As for the response, she indicated the numbers which are found below the quoted profile along with some additional comments from me. Note: I’ve added a few comments to her profile in [brackets].

1. Do you like to eat? If you do, I like to cook, and I like to cook what you like to eat, not what I think you should eat. I’ll even cook fish, even though I don’t (nor ever have) eaten seafood. Of any kind. [Damn, she cooks.]

2. Do you have tools? If you have tools, I won’t let them get rusty. If you have rusty tools, they won’t stay that way. Why? Because I restore tools as a hobby. Don’t worry, I won’t be taking or moving them anywhere. I have my own!

3. Do you enjoy listening to women talk your ear off about nothing that interests you? Or, worse, about things that confuse or frustrate you? I don’t either. I have never been a chatty person who talks just to fill up silent spaces. I like silent spaces. There is nothing awkward about silence, in my opinion.

4. Do you enjoy cleaning? If you don’t, that is great because I enjoy it and, frankly, I am not sure what I think of men who are compulsively neat. If you are more fastidiously clean than I am, we are probably not a great match. [I’ve always been suspicious of guys who are neat freaks]

5. Do you have an ego? Meaning, has anyone ever described you as an a**h*le? I hope so, because I believe men have egos for a good reason and I like to feed them. Well. If you have never been an a**h*le, again, we probably aren’t a great match. Men are either valiant or violent [Ed. – this is simplistic and I’m not on board with it]. If you have not been with a woman, lately, who appreciates the things about you that are “male”, you will simply love me.

6. Do you like having intelligent discussions about interesting topics? I do, too. How about a sense of humor? If you like to laugh, you’ll like me. If you like to make me laugh, too, we might be quick friends.

7. Do you like to enjoy your hard-earned money? You should. Your wallet is safe around me. I have never expected anyone to support me financially. I work hard, too. I understand.

So, what’s the catch? Well, I am a woman in her 40’s, so, I don’t bring the same appeal as a young woman does. I am also divorced and have children. My children are adults and self-supporting, however. I am hardly perfect. I am not a 10, but, I would be a solid 7 on even my worst days. As for age, I have acquired wisdom that saves us both the aggravation of navigating my changing moodscape. I know that feelings aren’t facts. The worst you’ll experience is my taking time alone to process my emotions before I discuss anything that requires a rational contribution on my part.

As far as appearance, my rule is simple, my dress size should be about the same as my shoe size. I wear an 8.5 shoe, by the way. I keep my hair long. It’s blonde. My eyes are blue. I am 5’6? and I have no hang ups about men’s height. If you are anywhere between 5’4 and 8’11, we’ll be ok.

What am I attracted to? I am open-minded. I suppose I find open minds attractive, as well. I don’t tolerate physical violence and I promise I am not inclined to do those things that push a man to respond with violence. We both know the type.

To be fair, and realistic, I am a woman. By nature, You and I are different in many ways [Men and women are different, duh]. I will honor and respect those differences and can only ask that you do, too.

In subsequent correspondence, the profile writer wrote that she had over 625 total responses since posting the profile back in May of this year. Given the words in her profile, I am not surprised. Here is a woman who is willing – based on her words – to actually respect a man’s needs in the context of dating. Of course it helps that she’s blonde and attractive. Some will argue that her appearance is the only reason she gets so much online attention. But given the excellent written content of the profile, I argue that the photos are only a part of the motivation for so many guys to respond to her.

Just yesterday (08/16/2015), here is the response breakdown in her own words:

Since yesterday morning, 126 men on the site indicated they wanted to meet me using the “meet me” feature on the site (a slideshow of profile pictures and profile headline) And, 90 men viewed my profile, directly. and 6 men ‘favorited’ my profile.


Of the 126 indicating they wanted to meet me through PoF’s “meet me” feature, some or all 90 of these men clicked through to view my profile, directly. Some apparently decided they would meet me based on the photo and headline shown.

Of those 90 direct profile views, 11 resulted in a message, 6 resulted in my profile being marked as a ‘favorite’.

This response rate in just one day clearly shows that men are starved for a woman who understands what they want. If women doing online dating understood this, they wouldn’t be single very long. But instead, the message women receive is that they should make demands of men; insist that men cowtow to the feminine imperative. So few profiles written by women actually state what they offer a man. It seems some sort of contemporary shibboleth for a woman to explicitly state what she offers a man that he actually desires in a woman.

As an aside, here’s my standard online dating advice for guys. Don’t use the one button shortcuts or the “favorite” function. Send the message as soon as the profile is displayed and the woman looks appealing. The message should be short but customized for each profile. There’s more online dating advice for men here.

There are posts that I wish more women would read. This is one of those posts.

[If you liked this blog post, please support my efforts through my Patreon. Thanks!]

Video Podcast 1 – Introduction

I’ve finally decided to add video content to my blog. After experimenting with sound and my phone as a video camera along with some help from a buddy (thanks Rafael!), I finally figured out how to make a decent video. My brother was also very helpful (thanks Bro!).

The video podcast is embedded below. As this is my first, it’s a bit rough around the edges. However, I will learn more and use more of the camera features and Youtube features to make the video podcasts better.

As I state in the video, each subsequent video podcast will focus on one particular attraction and dating topic for about 10-15 minutes. As I will be keeping the videos simple, it will be easy to just listen to the audio without losing the gist of the overall video podcast content.

It’s my hope to produce and publish one video podcast weekly. I will get better at it through practice and input from my readers. Everyone is welcome to comment here on my blog. I’m also letting all comments go through on Youtube. The nasty ones I will delete.

Going forward, I might try some other types of videos that are more personal. I think a guided video tour of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (where I live) could be something fun. I would, of course, feature my ugly dog in such a video. Your ideas are welcome for future videos, as long as I have the equipment and skills for your ideas.

This is exciting for me because I will have an entirely different medium to get my attraction and dating advice to my audience. Thanks for watching.

Production Notes (I tried to keep things as simple as possible)


  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android smart phone (1280 x 720 resolution, other settings default to video camera)
  • 32 MB Micro SD card (set up specifies that videos are stored on memory card)


  • Wired earbuds with attached microphone (no additional sound mixing done)


  • Tripod adapter for phone/camera (“Slik” brand full-size tripod)
  • Natural lighting through open windows


  • Microsoft Movie Maker (also converts back to MP4 format)

Publishing and further enhancements:

  • Youtube


  1. Record raw video to Micro SD memory card in smartphone
  2. Copy video file to PC
  3. Open video with MS Movie Maker
  4. Complete basic editing
  5. Save video as MS Movie Maker project (optional)
  6. Save video as MP4
  7. Upload video to Youtube account
  8. Add Youtube enhancements (annotations with links)
  9. Save changes
  10. Preview video and make changes as necessary in Movie Maker or Youtube
  11. Copy Youtube link into new blog post editing area (as a separate line item)
  12. Publish new blog post with completed and embedded Youtube video

[If you liked this blog post and video, support me through my Patreon. Thanks!]

My Oil Rig Summer – Part II

[It’s strongly recommended to read Part 1 of this story from my young adulthood.]

The line at customs was now officially too short for my anxiety to cool. Bill and I had no permission to enter the United Arab Emirates despite previous assurances from the oil exploration company that all would be taken care off. I glanced again at Bill. He didn’t look back.

On the other side of the line of customs stations was a fairly large group of folks, none of them dressed like Arabs. It seemed as if a collection of men in western clothes but with darker skin were all who were waiting. Then I heard a voice from that side.

“Mr. Hansen! Mr. Justin! Mr. Hansen! Mr. Justin!” [That’s not Bill’s real last name.]

It took a second for me to comprehend that it was my name being hollered from over there. It was also Bill’s name. The man shouting our names was large, shiny, and obviously from the Asian subcontinent given his accent. I looked over at Bill and he smiled broadly at me. We were saved.

“I’m Mr. Hansen” I said loudly and the large man moved deftly to hand the customs agent one of two scrolls he was holding. This was my visa, a scroll? As I moved to take my place at the custom’s desk, the young customs agent was unrolling the large scroll, over a foot wide and twice as long. The agent was reading the scroll in a position that allowed me to see it too. I couldn’t read the elaborate document because it was written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy complete with decorative script in the margins. It was art masquerading as bureaucracy.

I looked more carefully at the unfurled scroll. There, surrounded by all those fancy Arabic words was my name, written in English. This made me official. I imagined that Bill’s visa scroll was much the same. The agent asked for my passport. He wasn’t polite about it but he did speak good English. With a hard look at my passport and again at the scroll, the agent stamped my passport and then stuck on adhesive stamp.

The young man started to roll up my visa scroll. “Can I have that?” I innocently asked as I pointed to scroll. Such an amazing souvenir that would have been. The agent glared at me malevolently. “No” and then he waved me on. I didn’t dawdle and so quickly moved on, clutching my passport. I looked to my right and Bill was also moving away and toward the large man who had been calling our names.

The man motioned for us to follow him and we did. He took us to the luggage pickup where Bill and I waited briefly for our baggage. The airport wasn’t large so it was easy to make our way to the next person waiting for us at the arrivals door. Before leaving, the large man told the next man that we were Hansen and Justin. The man who met us was tall and spoke with a thick Texas accent. He reached out his arm to shake our respective hands. His one arm. His other arm was gone from above the elbow and his short sleeve shirt did nothing to hide it.

“I’m taking you boys to the Holiday Inn. Your rooms are already reserved.” I don’t remember one-armed’s name. I do remember his accent and his brusque manner. It was about 11pm local time and it was quite dark despite . The Dubai night air was extremely warm, humid, and thick. The smell of the place was utterly unfamiliar. One-arm was driving a pickup truck and the three us were all sitting along the only bench seat as we drove along well-made streets lined with palm trees.

One-arm dropped us off at the Holiday Day. “You boys be in the lobby at 7AM tomorrow so I can drive you to the rig site.” Bill and I were jet-lagged and tired. I don’t know about Bill, but I was almost too excited to sleep, almost. Once in my room, I left notice for a wake-up call and actually managed a shallow sleep for a few hours.

Though hazy after all the decades, I recall be awoken by an odd singing through a very basic public address system somewhere outside the hotel. As I was to later learn, this was the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer. When the sky lightened as the sun came up, I looked out the window. This wasn’t Kansas. I saw white minarets of the local mosque. The air had an orange hue and the thin, reddish dust in the atmosphere was obvious.

I gathered up my duffel bag and headed to the lobby. There wasn’t time for breakfast. Bill arrived to meet me soon after I hit the lobby. A few minutes later, right on time, the one-armed Texan showed up to quickly collect us into the pickup truck he drove. We drove northeast, close to the coast of the Persian Gulf which was occasional visible from the highway. The landscape was not exciting but the road was smooth and new. One-eye didn’t talk much. He had nothing in common with a couple of suburban college guys from the American Northeast. I was anxious but excited and didn’t say much, just took in this completely foreign land. Bill was chattering away about nothing, perhaps to hide his own anxiety.

After about an hour on the road, we drove through the small city of Ras al-Khaimah. It was a relatively modern place with throngs of men walking the sidewalks, many walking in pairs while holding hands. Two or three miles past Ras al-Khaimah, we turned right onto a dirt road that led through a grove of date palms and some rudimentary mud brick houses where it was clear that people lived. I was to later learn that the date palm grove caretakers resided in those almost primitive homes.

As we drove up to the entrance of oil rig compound, there was no derrick in sight. The derrick tower is the iconic image of oil exploration. At the entrance to the rig compound stood a uniformed guard, armed with an obvious AK-47. I thought to myself that it’s the Middle East and such weapons would be seen on occasion. One-arm drove into the rig compound and there was the drilling derrick, lying horizontal to the ground, clearly not yet hoisted into the vertical position. We were officially on the job site.

Those first few hours I don’t remember much. I do, however, specifically remember how the rig compound was laid out. Imagine four football fields laid side by side in a roughly east-west orientation. The entrance to the rig compound was at the west end. Once inside immediately on the left were four enormous generators, each about the size of a mobile home. The exhaust noise was enormous. On the other side of the access road was a temporary office and living quarters. This is where the “toolpusher” resided and did office work.

A note about the specialized nomenclature… like in any technical field, there’s all sorts of unique words and terms. The rig’s toolpusher is the day time rig supervisor, the boss. As for the operation of an onshore oil exploration drilling rig, I’m not doing into lurid detail but here’s some excellent background information, start from the linked page and read forward.

At the center west of the compound was the derrick and platform. Just north of it was a large, rectangular artificial pond about 12 feet deep and lined with canvas. Between the pond and the rig were the mud tanks. On the South side were the living quarters, a series of pre-fab huts, one group for the Pakistani laborers, a second group for the white folks who ran things and did more technical functions. That included me and Bill, each with our own room.

Our first week on the rig was wretched. Bill and I were given no real supervision so we merely got to watch the derrick tower raised into the vertical position. I was keen to be useful; Bill, less so. The real problem was the heat. This was summer in the Middle East. I estimated the daytime temperature to be around 115 fahrenheit. As the rig was only a few miles inland from the Persian Gulf, it was also humid. There was also the challenge of the people we were intended to work with. The toolpusher was reluctant to tell us what to do. The other white folks couldn’t even fathom what we were doing there having no real oil rigging skills or even official titles.

I was pretty good with tools and my hands. I had also made a point to read the books that Sedco had given me back when Bill and I went to Houston. When I could help, no matter who it was, I tried. The Pakistani laborers were a bit perplexed but accepted my muscles and ability to turn a wrench. The rig was still being prepared for drilling so there was a lot machinery to attach with so many bolts to tighten. But still, the daytime temperature was too much for me. I had made a point to talk to the toolpusher and after a few days, he appeared to warm up to me despite me being a “college boy”.

I requested to be put on the night shift, 6PM to 6AM. It was granted and I began working at night, out of the miserable daytime heat. The night shift was still hot and humid but bearable. Bill stayed on the day shift and for the next couple of weeks we only saw each other in passing. During that two weeks, the rig actually started to drill a hole in the ground. Of course, the biggest, nastiest job before drilling commenced was installing the massive blow out prevents (BOPs). So many huge bolts to be tightened.

I made a point to learn as much as I could and assist when I could. The mud guys explained how drilling mud worked and how it prepared and pumped. I helped tote big bags of mud powder. The driller showed me about Weight on Bit (WOB) and how to manipulate the huge brake level. I even went up the derrick to watch the derrick man stack the pipe strings (three pipes screwed together) in the pipe fingers. All the while, I heard stories of Bill trying to avoid work during the day shift.

One night just over two weeks into my contract, the toolpusher took me aside just as my shift was starting.

“Your friend was transferred to another rig”.

I didn’t know how to respond. Bill was no longer on Sedco Rig 96, he was on another Sedco rig somewhere in the United Arab Emirates. I continued on with learning and working for the next few days until again the toolpusher took me aside.

“Bill went home.”

I hadn’t laid eyes on Bill in at least two weeks so his return to the U.S. wasn’t initially a big deal. I continued to work my shift as the realization slowly sank in. The guy who got me out in the burning sands of Arabia had left me behind.

Part III is already in the works. Stay tuned.

[If you liked this blog post, support me through my Patreon. Thankyou.]

Deconstructing A Woman’s Online Dating Profile

Even though I don’t recommend that post-divorce guys spend all their dating efforts thrown toward online dating, it is still a valid tactic to utilize. To that end, I still review female profiles to note trends, bad and good profiles, and specific profiles that can be educational for post-divorce single men. Here’s one that I found very recently on one of the online dating websites where I have my own profile (I’m not linking directly to it):

I live on the ocean and love everything pertaining to the water. The beach, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, jet skiing, speed boats, yachting and taking walks on the beach. My other interests include NBA/NFL games, Indy 500, the horse races, polo matches, concerts, yoga, working out, festivals, art showings, Broadway, wine tastings, traveling, weekend get aways, going to the movies, cooking, trying new restaurants of all ethnicities and cultures, taking a ride down the beach on the back of a Harley, reading, fashion, interior design, thunderstorms, fresh flowers and kissing. All my photos are current within the last 6 months to present.

Note what I have put in bold face in her profile. Such enthusiasms are hardly inexpensive. These are things she has experienced in the past and fully expects them in the future. Woe be unto the man who does not provide such things. He will not have dates or a relationship with this woman. For the vibrant, charismatic man who can deliver up some yachts or polo, there is a surfeit of younger women who would happily occupy space on deck (or dick). Often, there will be a group of such women if the yacht is big enough or the polo match is prestigious enough. This is South Florida, after all. Here’s a somewhat related blog post of mine that addresses some of this.

Most of this woman’s 13 photos show a very attractive, slender, blonde woman with a very nice smile. It’s important to know that such photos are nothing more than labeling on a package. Without actually meeting her, there’s nothing in her profile to indicate what she’s like as a person, only that she’s very attractive physically and likes expensive things. Of course she will get a metric shit-ton of incoming messages from thirsty guys who can see nothing beyond her looks.

As is typical, she mentions almost nothing as to what she offers a man other than her looks. Of course, she describes what she wants in a man. I want chemistry, passion, loyalty/honesty. A vibrant, intelligent, loving man. There’s even a further challenge for her. She’s 5’10” tall and hypergamy demands she dates a taller man, even more limiting her dating pool. This is all well and good. All women have preferences, even demands. But until they specifically state what they offer a man (something that he actually wants!), it’s still a solipsistic state of affairs and self-limiting for her.

This woman did look at my profile, this is how I found her. But as I won’t be providing such those activities she enjoys, I won’t be sending her a message. To her credit, her preferences aren’t the usual 463 bullet point checklist (HT Heartiste) as is typical for most women regardless of age. The key take away for men is that women expect their lives to continue on the same financial and material trajectory they established when they were younger. In fact, they expect that trajectory to be upward and fully expect the man to provide that.

Guys, consider yourselves advised.

[If you liked this blog post, please support me through my Patreon. Gracias.]


A Red Flag – Perfectionism

My previous blog post described a woman’s red flag of no emotional impulse control. That particular red flag is relatively obvious and makes a woman easy to pass by. In keeping with the red flag theme, there’s another one for men to be aware of, perfectionism.

There’s a good description of the psychology of perfectionism in Wikipedia. The Wiki entry goes into some detail about concept of perfectionism complete with links to sources. It’s a fairly long entry so I’ve quoted some of the more salient points that relate to dating.

They also tend to dissociate themselves from their flaws or what they believe are flaws (such as negative emotions) and can become hypocritical and hypercritical of others, seeking the illusion of virtue to hide their own vices

I frequently see women in their online dating profiles claim to be perfectionists. These are women to avoid. I’m sure that many of my readers have come across perfectionists in their dating and relationship experiences.

Perfectionism is the behavioral manifestation of being a control freak. Control freaks are miserable people. If a man falls into web of the control freak, he’s going to hate life unless he wants to be bossed around by a dangerously neurotic woman. The woman, in her desire to be a perfect, attempts to control all within her grasp, especially the man in her life

In its pathological form, perfectionism can be damaging. It can take the form of procrastination when used to postpone tasks and self-deprecation when used to excuse poor performance or to seek sympathy and affirmation from other people. In general, maladaptive perfectionists feel constant pressure to meet their high standards, which creates cognitive dissonance when one cannot meet their own expectations. Perfectionism has been associated with numerous other psychological and physiological complications as well.

To make the flag even redder, there’s a relationship between perfectionism and narcissism as observed by researchers. Narcissists are wildly toxic people unfit for dating and intimate relationships

According to Arnold Cooper, narcissism can be considered as a self-perceived form of perfectionism – “an insistence on perfection in the idealized self-object and the limitless power of the grandiose self. These are rooted in traumatic injuries to the grandiose self.”

I’m keenly suspicious of any personality disorder being blamed on “traumatic injuries”, a very nebulous term open to exploitation and rationalization for a having a shitty personality and behaving like crap. The entry goes on.

Narcissists often are pseudo-perfectionists and require being the center of attention and create situations where they will receive attention. This attempt at being perfect is cohesive with the narcissist’s grandiose self-image. If a perceived state of perfection isn’t reached it can lead to guilt, shame, anger or anxiety because he/she believes that he/she will lose the imagined love and admiration from other people if he or she is not perfect.

The take away advice for men is this – when reading online dating profiles and meeting a woman in person for the first time – look for signs of her perfectionism. If in doubt, just ask her. Perfectionism is usually perceived as a positive trait so a woman will proudly state she’s a perfectionist. In actually, however, perfectionism is a serious character flaw. Gentlemen, avoid the perfectionist. That also goes for the guys you know who are perfectionists.

You’re welcome.

[If you liked this blog post, please support my continued efforts through my Patreon. Thanks!]


A Red Flag – No Emotional Impulse Control

It’s summer here in Lauderdale By The Sea. The tourists are gone. The snowbirds are gone. It’s just us locals sweltering in South Florida’s smothering heat. It’s the time of year when personality dysfunctions are in plain sight as folks gather at one of the several outdoor bars in the village. This gives me the opportunity to eavesdrop on conversations amongst us locals.

I have noticed far too many women here lack emotional impulse control. This lack of control firsts manifests itself as the absence of a filter from brain to mouth. I’ve written about such things previously.

From what I’ve read on other blogs, such lack of a mental filter is common amongst women. In certain social contexts this is not inappropriate. In the context of attraction and dating, the verbal filter is incredibly important. Please note that all remarks in this blog post apply specifically to the social context of attraction and dating. Got it?

There’s inevitably a miserable excuse for the lack of a mental filter. Usually it’s an invocation of geography or ethnicity. “But I’m Italian!” or “I’m from New York!”. Guys, if your date doesn’t use her verbal filter and then falls back on these type of excuses, take it as a massive red flag. Adults have the ability to select their words. Children just vomit crap out with little regard to what they are actually saying or the impact of those words on the listener(s).

Worse is the excuse of an unspeakably rude utterance because “I’m just sayin'”. My ex mother-in-law did this all the time. There’s even a parody song about this concept (I can’t find it yet). “I’m just sayin'” is used as a way to completely absolve one’s self of not having a verbal filter.

Another variation of this excuse is “I’m just being honest”. No, she’s being insufferably rude or simply too lazy or selfish to consider what she is saying. Worse still is this stubborn, brutal honest in a woman’s online dating profile. Such honesty is actually quite negative and off-putting to men, especially the top 20% of guys that most women desire. Why should an attractive man put up with any negativity from a potential date or paramour?

If the man hasn’t moved on from such a woman at this point, he’s stupid because the next phase in the lack of emotional impulse control is the emotional outburst of the negative variety. It could be over a miscommunication regarding the logistics of a date. It could be over a delayed text response. It could be over anything quite trivial during the early dating process. The hallmark of such a negative outburst is the F-bomb, either in person or in a text. That must be the last straw. No man must put up with such pathetic childishness, even for the sake of a brief sexual encounter. Guys, plunge not your lance into this dragon.

For the stupid and desperate men, the last phase of her lack of emotional self-control is the physical outburst. It could be an angry push or a slap to the face. This is the realm of the Cluster B woman. The colloquial phrase for this is “batshit crazy”. Even though post-divorce women over a certain age have mellowed, Cluster Bs are still out there and men must be on their guard.

There is no valid reason for a man to start dating a woman without emotional impulse control. Control of negative emotions is paramount. But also be aware of the positive emotions outburst. The common feature is the emotional outburst. A woman on a relatively emotional even keel is wonderful and so much more attractive to men. Ladies, take note and avoid such childish emotional behavior, it’s highly unattractive.

Update: This list from Heartiste regarding “hot girl crazy” is cold, hard, and true.]

[If you liked this blog post, support my efforts through my Patreon. Thanks!]

My Oil Rig Summer – Part 1

[Note: This is a personal story about an adventure I had overseas much like the first one I described. Do know that there aren’t any lessons in this story about dealing with the opposite sex.]

The Middle East geopolitics in the start of 1982 were bloody. The Iran-Iraq war was churning along in its deadly glory and Israel was set to invade Lebanon in hopes of vanquishing the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The early ’80s were quite chaotic. The hostage crisis in Iran had just ended. The Falklands War was there in 1982.

I certainly paid attention to the news when it was available. There was no cable TV in my college freshman dorm room. We didn’t even have a TV. My roommate and I had a land line phone in our room. This was the zenith of communications technology for college students at the time. The very concept of wireless communications was not even a consideration.

Before entering freshman year at Clark University, I had taken a year off after graduating highschool. It was a year full of adventure. My stay in Western Australia I’ve already written about.

There were also other interesting experiences including a stint as a ski bum in Summit County, Colorado; a motorcycle trip from Boston up towards the Canadian Arctic (the motorcycle was stolen in British Columbia); even a job in a state mental hospital. To my parents’ credit, they encouraged – to a point – these adventures. “Keep your options open” my mother always told me and my brother. I took that to heart.

Freshman year in college was fairly typical for me, an upper middle class young man from suburban Boston. I went to parties. I clumsily seduced a few college girls. I skipped a lot of classes. It was a very fun time for all us kids. There were friends and acquaintances I could have fun with. For me, the academics were easy to handle.

It’s time to introduce Bill. He and his roommate lived a few doors down from me and my roommate. Bill was an alright guy, just eccentric. One of his hobbies was to wake at the crack of dawn to hunt squirrels with his high-powered air pistol. Of course he dressed in camouflage. Bill was like me, a product of a snooty private high school. Unlike me, he came from serious Manhattan wealth as I was to eventually learn.

Bill was friendly with everyone in that part of the dormitory. He had no very close friends as did the rest of us freshmen and sophomores. He and I went drinking a couple of times but he was guarded in a happy kind of way. He laughed and smiled and came across as gregarious. Yet he volunteered nothing about his personal or family life.

The climate of central Massachusetts is cold and unfriendly in mid-winter. The sun sets early and the frigid temperatures are unyielding. Such a climate drives everyone indoors on weekends unless there are outdoor winter sports to be involved in. It was February of 1993 and I was sitting at my dorm room desk doing some reading. My roommate was out. I heard a knock on the open door. I looked up to see Bill standing in the doorway.

“Hey Bill”

“Hey Andrew!” He was excited about something and got right to the point. “Do you want to work on an oil rig this summer?”

I didn’t ask any questions, just looked at him. Bill was the kind of young man who seemed happy all the time and that meant it was too easy to completely discount what he said. I rather didn’t believe him. But on the off-chance he was telling the truth… “Sure”. I had quite few adventures during my gap year between high school and college. This could be another adventure. Suddenly Bill was gone. I went back to reading, not giving his odd question another thought.

A few days later, the scene repeated itself but with a different type of question from Bill. “Do you want to work in the North Sea, northern Thailand, off the coast of Africa, or the Middle East? You don’t have to answer now. Let me know in a couple of days, I have to tell my dad.” I was still rather incredulous with all this. In my mind, believability was not part of Bill’s question. Regardless, I put some fleeting thought into it.

A couple of days later I ran into Bill in a dorm common area. My fleeting thoughts led me to request an oil rig job in the Middle East. Surprisingly, that was his desire, too. I selected that region of the world because, well, it was exotic as possible. Also, working offshore really didn’t appeal to me. Bill’s rationale for working in the Middle East become clear a couple of months later when we were sweating in the blow torch heat of the Arabian sun.

There was a bit of talk amongst my dorm mates about Bill, me, and the upcoming summer adventure, if it were actually happening. It seems that Bill had asked a number of guys to accompany him overseas to work on an oil rig. None had answered in the affirmative except for me. I had the conceit of a “seasoned” adventurer so I secretly lorded over my dorm peers. It was easy because I seriously doubted that Bill would actually come through.

In March, the adventure became real. Bill came into my room. “We have to go to Houston for paperwork and stuff in the next couple of weeks. The company is paying for it.” Oh shit, this was real. This was really happening. I had a valid passport. Bill also had some more details. The contract was to be tailored just for us two. 28 days straight working 12 hours a day, seven days off, then another 28 days. For our efforts, we were each be to be paid $5000. That’s a great deal of money for a 1982 college kid.

I don’t remember if Bill told me the ultimate destination. Perhaps we were told when we ventured to Houston to meet someone at Sedco, the oil exploration company that was hiring us for the summer. No matter, we were to fly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). While in Houston, we got a full house of vaccinations and some remedial reading about how an oil exploration drilling works. The book had lots of illustrations because it was clearly written for the high school crowd. I wish I still had that book.

The Sedco people told us that our tickets would be at the appropriate airports and we would get our visas when we arrived. Bill seemed oblivious to such details. I was more concerned about such arrangements. After having travelled overseas on my own the previous summer, I didn’t want to show up in the UAE without proper papers. This was a time when Dubai was definitely not a tourist destination as it is now.

Before heading to Houston, I did let the parents know my plans for the upcoming summer. While they all expressed concern, I did receive general support. At that time in my life I had four parents – mother, step-father; father, step-mother. Family life was certainly interesting for my brother and me.

Once my Freshman year ended in late May and headed back home, it was time to really get ready. In preparation for the work, I had to buy some work clothes including steel toed boots, coveralls, and a hard hat. Of course, such things were not available in hoity toity Newton, Massachusetts. I had to venture to next door Waltham, a much more working class suburb. There I found a store with all the accoutrements I needed for working on an oil rig.

I departed Boston for NYC on June 6, 1982. Things are a bit hazy from my time in Manhattan when Bill and I met up at his mother’s apartment at 135 Central Park West, a very swanky old place right across from Central Park. I think I might have spent the night there, perhaps not. The point of going to NYC was to get a flight to London. That we did. There was layover and then another flight, this time to Kuwait. I have definitely forgotten the airlines involved.

From London to Dubai with a quick stop in Kuwait, international geopolitics detoured the flight. The captain announced we couldn’t fly over israeli air space because the Israeli Defense Force had just invaded Lebanon. So, we detoured through Egyptian air space en route to our stop in Kuwait. Of course, landing in Kuwait meant being in relatively close proximity to another Middle East conflict, the Iran-Iraq war. At Kuwait, some supplies were loaded into the airplane and I got the chance to feel the desert air through the open door. The air was beyond hot, even though it was night-time. This was not a good sign for a young man from the north climes of New England.

The plane quickly took off for the short flight to Dubai. Today, the Dubai airport is a massive international affair and a major hub for flights all over that part of the world. In 1982, it was a modest, regional airport. Getting off the plane meant walking down stairs and crossing the concrete on foot before getting to customs. A slender young man wearing an Arab robe and headgear was the security guard at the entrance. He carried a small automatic rifle, a carbine actually.

Bill and I stuck close together. We were scared and awed at the same time. Still without our visas, we got in different lines to be cleared through customs. The line moved forward. We looked at each other, mild panic on our faces. The line moved forward again. We were clueless, just moving along with the rest of the passengers entering the UAE. They all seemed to have the appropriate papers to guarantee them safe entry. But Bill and I had no such papers. The oil drilling company had told us everything would be waiting for us. Perhaps, but that was on the other side of the surly looking custom officers.

The line moved forward again. We were now just one person away from the customs desk in our respective lines. I was panicking inside. I’m sure Bill was feeling the same. I didn’t expect this.

Here’s Part II

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The Intelligence Factor

I recently had a Twitter discussion with a couple of my followers regarding how women are attracted, or not, to intelligent men. My Twitter followers are a good bunch but skew towards the younger age demographic. This means that their life experiences and observations are through the lens of relative youth.

The Twitter conversation started thusly with this Tweet from me:


Based on my research and experience, I have found that women are attracted to intelligent men. There’s an important caveat here: Intelligence without social skills and charisma is useless on its own when it comes to a man’s attractiveness. Illimitable Man (IM) came back with this Tweet:


He might have a point. Ed Latimore chimed in to support of IM:


Ed might also have a point. I made the point about age.


Of course, these are younger men. As we get older, there are changes in preferences regarding attraction to the opposite sex. Of course, there are consistencies as well. Men still desire women who are feminine in looks and behavior. Women still want masculine men who can also provide resources. For women, this ratio changes over time. IM made this point with a subsequent Tweet in the discussion:


As the years go by, a woman’s desire for masculinity wanes and her desire for security grows. This happens even if the woman has her own resources. Of course, the man has to provide even more security than she can provide. Hypergamy doesn’t care how much a woman has. Just know that charismatic masculinity always trumps boring security.

Because women are thoroughly obsessed – relative to men – with their financial, emotional, and physical security, it makes sense that they seek intelligent men because brains are a good proxy for the ability to provide. It’s not a 100% correlation, however. Yet, it’s close enough.

As well, a post-divorce woman with independent kids, in or out of the house, is thinking about her later years when she re-enters the world of dating. Sure, a silver-haired, charming Lothario with money is her first priority but she’ll take an intelligent, if boring, guy who can squire her to fancy dinners, swanky vacations, or just paying a mortgage. Even if the guy is a complete asshole, his intelligence has led him to the ability to be a good provider. Frankly, his assholishness is not necessarily a bad thing because at least he’s not boring. No woman at any age puts up particularly well with a boring guy.

It’s important not to conflate intellectualism with intelligence. There are plenty of smart guys who understand people and business but who lack any shred of intellectualism. These smart guys have succeeded over the years so they can provide sufficient security to a woman. If he has sufficient charm and charisma, he has plenty of options regarding women. Intellectuals too often lack social skills. Their conversations might be interesting to other men. But to women? Meh.

Some years ago, I watched a BBC documentary about the science of attraction. The presenter made the point that a man’s intelligence is his most important attraction point. Well, consider the source, a BBC presenter, a middle-age guy in this particular documentary. Of course he’s going to empathize intelligence because that’s what he brings to the attraction table.

For post-divorce guys, here are some lessons in all this:

1. Lead with your brains, preferably through charisma and charm. Social confidence and social skills are often perceived as overall intelligence, rightly or wrongly. Emotional intelligence also fits well here.

2. Be keenly aware that women might be after your ability to provide security, not your overall desirability. A woman over a certain age will trade true attraction for the promise and/or delivery, even if vague, of security.

In closing, I’ll refer to Briffault’s Law regarding the relationship between men and women.

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Dating Velocity

Knowing one’s relationship goals is a good thing. Men tend to be very goal oriented and work logically and rationally towards a particular goal. This also applies to when men decide to get back into the dating scene after divorce or when a relationship ends. However, men can find rushing towards those goals is not a good thing, even if supposedly rational and logical. It’s the leading cause of “oneitis” where men become desperate and then obsess about one particular woman. This stinks of desperation and is simply not attractive to women.

Most women are much more rational than most men at the initial meeting. For all of men’s complaints about screwed-up “chick logic”, it is men who can unconsciously fall into a very irrational pattern of behavior when they first meet a new woman who seriously interest them.

Most women are usually very careful about their dating efforts. What most men simply can’t understand, women are extremely and constantly concerned about security – physical, emotional, and financial. This is not gold-digging. This is wired into a woman’s DNA. Again, most men have no conception of this. Men and women are different, after all.

Because of the concern for security, women are less apt to rush forward during the dating process. Hence, it is the average, post-divorce man who too easily and unconsciously fall into a very irrational pattern of behavior when they first meet a new woman who seriously interests them.

Those women willing to rush forward are those to be very cautious of. A woman’s willingness to move ahead quickly into a relationship is a huge red flag. Such women are not emotionally stable. They are desperate, clingy, and quite possibly possessed of at least one personality disorder.

Even if the first few dates are full of attraction, chemistry, passion, a man should play it cool. He should resist the urge to increase the dating velocity so that he can be circumspect and not come across as desperate or needy. Many men make this mistake because they perceive themselves lower in the sexual/relationship market place.

There is a downside to this approach. It’s important that women who are single are always looking for a bigger, better deal even if they are a confirmed bachelorette. This means that during the initial dating process, a woman with whom you are seriously interested will swing to a new dating branch if it presents better opportunities. For women over a certain age, this means more security, especially if the guy has a small degree of charisma. There are two solutions for this:

1. “Spin plates”. This just means dating more than one woman concurrently. It’s facile of me to say this because I know that many men lack either the ability to provide some type of security or lack the necessary charisma. It’s important that a man provide either or hopefully, both. Charisma can be learned (it’s difficult, I know). Providing security is more problematic.

2. Avoid date venues where a woman’s hypergamous instincts are triggered. This includes bars, nightclubs, a concerts. As an aside, a concert is the second worst date idea. The first being dinner and a movie. Rather than a drink at the bar, a man should find an isolated table so he and his date can converse more intimately with a lowered risk of some middle-aged Lothario interfering. Better yet, a man should be perceived as that Lothario even if his relationship goal is to be in a committed relationship.

Dating 2.0 is not easy, I know this. It’s especially tough for post-divorce or post-relationship guys who have lost their dating charisma or even their social skills. It is my goal to help such men reach their relationship goals by navigating the difficult waters of Dating 2.0. This includes understanding how dating velocity works.

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