October 6th, 2011
William J. Bennett would like to blame the fall of masculinity on the fall of religion and role models. In my opinion, he’s right — our society has weakened proper masculine roles to the point of outright destroying them. While some legitimate arguments can be made against Bennett (see, e.g., NeoGAF, Reddit), I’m writing this article to defend him against some of the hate he’s received on the Internet. In short, we need to stop feeling that video games are under attack and acknowledge the simple fact that Bennett is right.
Before I discuss Bennett, let me cover the basic gist of his argument. In short, Bennett argues that men are becoming weak and, in a sense, losing their edge in the face of “you go girl” feminism. Bennett blames this decline on the loss of “founding virtues”: work, marriage, and religion. Forgoing these virtues, Bennett argues, men are more likely to play around with video games, television, and music, media sources which provide questionable guidance on masculinity. Bennett concludes:
The Founding Fathers believed, and the evidence still shows, that industriousness, marriage and religion are a very important basis for male empowerment and achievement. We may need to say to a number of our twenty-something men, “Get off the video games five hours a day, get yourself together, get a challenging job and get married.” It’s time for men to man up.
For the most part, I agree entirely with Bennett. Men are increasingly subjected to a strange, duplicitous sort of definition of masculinity in modern society. On one hand, movies and TV shows such as The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, and various romantic comedies depict men as something like mindless sex-robots, insinuating that men are unintelligent and uninterested in anything beyond sports and sex. On the other hand, more testosterone-laced shows like Jersey Shore and various music artists encourage boys to assume hyper-violent, hyper-sexual roles in order to (ostensibly) “prove” their masculinity. In short, society tells boys to either be a bumbling idiot using his salary to beg his wife for occasional sex, or to become something between a pickup artist and a street fighter. This strange juxtaposed message is precisely the “confusing signals” Bennett describes, and insofar as his argument concerns these signals, I entirely agree with him.
I even agree with Bennett’s implicit statement about work — namely, that it acts as a sort of social glue that used to help boys become men. While the masculinity and values of yesteryear are greatly exaggerated by many, one thing is certain: our ancestors worked a hell of a lot harder than we did. They studied harder, worked harder, and generally fought harder than we do. America is as proverbially fat as it is literally fat: we’ve gotten lazy, slothful, and ignorant. The new trend of lazy Americans posting “We are the 99 Percent” photos and whining about their (mostly) self-imposed debt and financial problems would make our ancestors laugh — where we cry and post pictures with our $500 iPhones on Tumblr demanding someone fix our problems for us, our much more manly ancestors would have simply worked harder and fixed the problem themselves. Our masculine ancestors — and mind you, I say masculine ancestors because the women were just as “manly” as the men in terms of their guts and effort — wouldn’t have protested their problems. They would have worked hard and self-improved in a way that would make Horatio Alger cry in happiness. In contrast, the desire of modern men and women in America to actually succeed in the global marketplace is dead, and it almost seems just that the Chinese economy is at the gates demanding our throne of economic superiority.
I will admit I can’t agree with Bennett on his implied assertion that marriage and religion act as social glue. While this is in a sense true — arguably, if we all were pious and married we’d probably have to be more organized and less lazy in some sense — such values may simply not interface with our society quite like they did in the past. Moreover, given our appalling divorce rate, I don’t exactly think we should be pushing boys into marriages they won’t value anyway.
But let me get to the allegedly offensive part of his argument involving video games:
We may need to say to a number of our twenty-something men, “Get off the video games five hours a day, get yourself together, get a challenging job and get married.” It’s time for men to man up.
Okay, I’ll admit this is offensive. There simply is no reason to assume that people who play video games — including myself — are going to be lazy. Video games, being a recreational activity like anything else, are pretty innocuous by themselves, and video games qua video games aren’t the only progenitor of male laziness.
So is Bennett totally off the mark when it comes to video games? Actually, no — I’d still say he has a point. Recreational activities themselves aren’t the problem, but they sure as hell don’t help the situation. No matter what a boy does that keeps him from being a man — playing video games, obsessing over movies, pretending to be a pickup artist and selling godawful books in order to satiate his insecurities — it needs to stop, or at least significantly slow down. It just so happens that video games are a common denominator in terms of American male laziness.
Ultimately, Bennett has a solid argument. Society has all but destroyed proper male role models, and we’ve become lazy and useless as a result of that. I’d be willing to postulate that it is this laziness that has weakened us in the economy and made us the veritable laughing stock of the world. Even though Bennett may be a little bit antiquated on his views of proper society, the man has a point, and we need to stop attacking his offhand remarks regarding video games as a proxy for ignoring his argument altogether.
July 31st, 2011
A new trend is developing online — the obsession with being an “Alpha Male”. While the definition is rather nebulous and the obsession over it is rather strange, I think it’s important to cover this topic in order to address how, in my opinion, it is both beneficial and somewhat stupid. In this article, I discuss some of the problems with this new “Alpha Male” trend, as well as some beneficial aspects of it. At the end, I propose a new definition of “Alpha Male” — one I think that is much more workable and positive in modern society.
First off, let me address where the hell the term “Alpha Male” came from.
The term “Alpha Male” is originally a behavioral ecology term referring to the most dominant male in a pack of animals. In short, the “Alpha Male” is said to get the best females (or all of the females), the best food (and first dibs on the food), the most deference, and the like. In the animal kingdom, the “Alpha” of the pack is usually the “alpha” by virtue of being the strongest.
Because the aforementioned definition is pretty much included in every Biology class in the country, it should come as no surprise that this term has been co-opted by “PUA” (Pick Up Artist) book writers as a way to describe the ideal male. In the PUA vernacular, an “Alpha Male” of the human world is man who gets all the women, though who is not necessarily the strongest or the best fed. The PUA world uses “Alpha Male” as a quick way to say “the guy getting laid the most”, somewhat ignoring the part about being the strongest or the most confident (note: this isn’t surprising, “Mystery” is probably 130lbs wet, most of our readers could bench press him without breaking a sweat). In short, the PUA “Alpha Male” is likely to measure his worth in terms of the women he can attract.
One of the better definitions I've seen floating around the internet (click to enlarge).
This PUA book definition of “Alpha Male” has now made its way into the weight lifting/fitness world, where the term “Alpha Male” has begun to more or less return to its roots. In the fitness/weight lifting vernacular, “Alpha Male” now means someone who exudes dominance and strength. The idea of getting laid is still present, albeit in a more indirect way — the weight lifting “Alpha Male”, in some contexts, doesn’t measure his worth in terms of sex, but rather against society generally. It is considered “Alpha”, for example, to have unspoken control over a situation, such as having people in a gym give deference to you. In short, the weight lifting “Alpha Male” is likely to measure his worth in terms of society generally.
So what accounts for the popularity of this term and its quick spread across numerous communities? Nothing unusual. In fact, it should not be a major surprise that the idea of being an “Alpha Male” is pretty integral to both the pick-up artist and weight lifting communities given their usual vanity. While the above two communities have their benefits and are in some cases valuable to society, do remember that they are overwhelmingly filled with insecure guys obsessing over their social rank — that these insecure guys readily adopt a term to describe their ideal self shouldn’t be terribly surprising.
Why this obession is bad
As I mention above, I think this obsession with being an alpha male is bad. The reason, in short, is because obsession over being an alpha male frustrates ones ability to be an alpha male, idolizes questionable behavior, and ultimately results in stupid behavior by insecure guys.
Assuming (for the moment) that being an alpha male is desirable, obsessing over becoming one in itself prevents one from being an alpha male. The usual definition of being an alpha male, even in the sex-dominated PUA culture, includes some component of confidence. Worrying about ones social standing is antithetical to that entire process, because a lack of self-confidence itself is usually the reason why people worry about being an alpha male.
Even beyond that contradiction, being an alpha male (especially in the PUA context) can actually mean very little. The PUA “Alpha Male”, as mentioned above, obsesses over getting women and validating his self-worth through sex. I personally don’t see this behavior as much more than being a sex-obsessed loser. It seems ridiculous to categorize some sort of barhopping fratboy — a category in which I would include “Mystery” — as an alpha male by any measurement. Even outside of the PUA world, the typical “inidicia” of an alpha male — being unusually physically aggressive, getting deference from people at the gym, etc — seem to be paltry measurements to indicate worth. In other words, I really don’t think that I would be terribly intimidated to go toe-to-toe with “Mystery” or any other alleged “Alpha Male”, be it in a competition of who can get the most sex or in an outright brawl.
Finally, this obsession over being an “Alpha Male” encourages guys to act in all of the wrong ways. Because many insecure guys tend to think being an “Alpha Male” means being physically dominant and having lots of sex, many obsess over getting ridiculously muscular and having sex with virtually any girl, ultimately forsaking other more important things in the process. The Internet’s rather limited definition of “Alpha Male” would roughly culminate in an oversexed body builder living at home with no money and no future — and that’s simply not a goal for guys to seek. Let’s face it: there are far too many things to be working on to obsess over one or two in order to become dominant in society.
Why the definition is good
Now that I’ve effectively destroyed the definition of “Alpha Male”, allow me to give it some praise.
The idea of being an alpha male, in my mind, is probably the closest society has come to a decent role model in quite some time. Once the sex/violence obsession(s) are stripped of the definition of “Alpha Male”, the resulting list of characteristics — including confidence, risk-taking, hard work, etc — are remarkably positive. In a world where there are virtually no decent male role models anymore, the sort of platonic “Alpha Male” seems pretty alluring to guys like me. Without question, I’d rather have some sort of nebulous, platonic male role model than a series of increasingly bad ones portrayed in the media today.
I should also note that most people don’t take the term “Alpha Male” that seriously, which takes the bite out of it. While the PUA community seems to legitimately obsess over turning themselves into alpha males, it appears that weight lifting and body building communities use the term with a sense of sarcasm. In this way, a lot of the unfortunate extremes of the definition (the way in which it pushes guys to obsess over sex, etc) seem to feel less relevant. In other words, because many people only use the term “Alpha Male” jokingly, they aren’t susceptible to the negative aspects that come from it, and the term becomes fairly innocent.
Re-fashioning the definition
So what will I do, now that I’ve treated the definition from both angles? Simple: I’ll define it in a way I think that is much more positive and beneficial.
I would define a positive, well-cultured Alpha Male as the following:
An “Alpha Male” is a man who personally excels at life. While he may not be perfect, he excels and continues to work on self-improvement in various aspects including, but not limited to, his intellect, his physical fitness, his social standing and social life, his romantic life, his financial situation and professional life, his manner of dress and manners, and his family. In short, the Alpha Male exudes dominance not by force or by limiting his social sphere, but by others’ recognition of his aptitude across numerous fields.
Allow me to make a few comments on this definition.
First off, you will note that sex is not explicitly included in my definition, and this is intentional. Sex is arguably easy for the ideal alpha male to acquire; however, he does not obsess over it, nor does he modify himself in order to receive it. In short, the ideal alpha male can get laid, and ostensibly could be a great “pick-up artist”, but he does not do so because he has larger goals and ambitions.
Second off, note that the list is inclusive of numerous variables. The point here is to illustrate that an alpha male need not be the strongest, most intelligent, or the most wealthy. The alpha male’s worth is measured by the accumulation of numerous factors, none of which are particularly dispositive. Some men may be alpha males by virtue of being the strongest in the world alone, and others may be alpha males by their sexual prowess. Nonetheless, one needs not excel in one single, finite field to be an alpha male.
Third and finally, this definition is intentionally vague — I don’t include examples, extensive definitions, or ideas. Alpha males are present at various levels of society and in various ways — a bland list of athletes, politicians, authors, actors, and astronauts would simply limit the definition. As I allude to above, the inherent vagueness of the “alpha male” definition is desirable and in some sense proper.
So in closing, what should you do with this definition? Try to live it, but don’t obsess over it. The idea of being an “Alpha Male” needs no definition: it’s simply a statement that refers to a man who, by virtue of his many qualities, is admirable in society. With that being said, it goes without saying that you should, every day, seek to be someone more respectable in society by working on making yourself a better person. Such work needs no definition: it’s common sense.
July 23rd, 2010
Buried in the many news tabloid magazines at any given grocery store or department store is a little magazine called Cosmopolitan. A women’s interest magazine that makes Maxim look like The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan is the ultimate in trashy, low-brow reading, and its harebrained attempts at teaching women about sex and dating are so cringe-worthy that they make Double your Dating look academic. With no further ado, here are some direct quotes from Cosmopolitan (straight from their magazine, with links) that you wouldn’t believe women are believing.
Okay Sign – When a guy is happy with how things are going, he’ll often make this sign of approval without realizing it. For example, he may rest his hand on the table this way if he feels a date is going well.
Love Signal - Even if your guy hasn’t dropped those three little words yet, his fingers might have. When a man feels a strong connection, he’ll subconsciously create the love sign-language gesture while doing random things
For the former, he could just be picking his nails, or making the Japanese hand symbol for okane [money], as in “pay the bill yourself and stop looking at my hands”. For the latter, he could just be messing around, or trying to figure out if you’re into Star Trek. While there is some general validity to interpretations of the way someone physically behaves, no normal person runs around subconsciously making the “I love you” hand gesture (I had to look it up too) if they like someone. If applied logically, the “hands indicate the heart” supposition falls apart quickly. If he forms an “OK” sign with one hand and thrusts in the hole with the other hand, does that mean he wants to screw? If he forms a gun, does he want to kill you and/or rob a bank?
Guy Gallery: Decoding His Sleep and Sex Positions
Missionary – Men who prefer missionary tend to do things by the book, making them faithful, loving boyfriends who won’t let you down, says body-language expert Jan Hargrave. [...]
From Behind – You’ll always feel looked after by this confident, take-charge stud. Still, he can be standoffish at times. “In this position, you can’t make eye contact, so he won’t feel like he’s exposing himself emotionally,” Hargrave explains.
… or he could just have a fetish. Or, in the case of cowgirl, he could just be lazy or tired. There is some general validity to interpreting emotions in sexual positions (men generally connect certain positions to certain types of sex), but in all honesty, inferring someone’s entire personality based upon their favorite sex position is ridiculous. This article also goes on to explain the details of his position afterward — something that means very little, because typically the guy is too tired to care what position he sleeps in, just so long as you don’t crush his arm.
7 Sex Toys That Are Already in Your Bedroom
Bobby Pins - These seemingly innocent hair tools can give some serious pleasure to his ultra-sensitive nipples (and they work on you, too). [...] Then take his tingly sensations up a notch and use the bobby pins as mini-nipple clamps—since the area is already primed for action, the slight pinching will actually feel good and intensify his pleasure.
No. No. No. No. No.
Decode How He Handles His Drink
If he grips his long-neck loosely… Lightly encircling the top of his beer bottle with his thumb and index finger reveals that he’s confident. Not only does the relaxed gesture indicate he feels in control of the situation, but it’s also a bit of cocky posturing — it gives off the vibe that he’s too cool to be concerned with the risk of dropping his beer.
If he pushes the drink near you… Your guy will do this over dinner or at a bar when he’s feeling the urge to bond. Men subconsciously put their stuff in your space when they’re trying to get closer to you.
According to Cosmo, even the way men drink a beer matters. This comes as a surprise to me, as I have yet to determine what would be a normative way to drink a beer, except for possibly just chugging it immediately to avoid being analyzed by a Cosmopolitan-reading date. I’d need the buzz anyway.
First-Date Red Flags
“I never move this fast on the first date.” – Yeah, right! Truth be told: He can’t believe you’re letting him move that fast. “It’s the woman who dictates how far things go,” says Anthony, 23. “I’m always up for action, but I’ll play the prude card just so my date doesn’t think I’m a player.” Bottom line: If you hand a guy a piece of ass on a silver platter, he’s going to take it.
This was inevitable: a comment regarding men being basically sex fiends and taking anything they can get. This, of course, is complete and utter crap. Men turn down sex for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to actually taking a date seriously, not finding the date in question attractive, being hyper-careful about not being too assertive about sex, and simply not wanting sex. Reducing all men to a generalization like “they take sex when handed to them” is just as bad as saying something like “women belong in the kitchen”, and it belies an attempt on the author’s part to reduce men to a compartmentalized, controllable, and ultimately submissive role in male-female relations.
5 Annoying Things Guys Do on Facebook
They Hide Their Relationship Status - The beauty of Facebook is that we can instantly find out if a guy is available or off-limits. No 30-minute talk in a bar, trying to suss out if he has a girlfriend waiting for him at home. But if that info is kept a secret, we’re forced to look through and analyze his photos and wall posts to figure it out — which makes us feel like stalkers. Guys: If you’re single, do us both a favor and make that info public knowledge. And if you’re part of a twosome, own up to it. Especially when we’re one of the two.
They Block Their Photos - We can understand a guy wanting to keep certain people from viewing his pictures. But seeing as how we’re not his mom, boss, or pastor, it bugs us when we can’t see a dude’s photos. Here’s the thing: We always imagine the worst. So when we’re kept in the dark and can’t click through a guy’s albums, we imagine he’s blowing lines, hooking up with two girls at once, or running around naked at a party. Unfair, but true. He’s not saving his reputation by blocking his photos. In fact, not being able to click on them makes us think a little less of him.
I had to keep these in their full text to properly show how absolutely stupid these statements are. Spoiler: Facebook is a massive security risk, and a crappy social networking nightmare. There are very legitimate reasons other than hookers and blow to hide pictures and relationship information online — I personally hide information (or rather, simply do not post it) because I have absolutely no desire to have people I work with sift through images of my personal life. It’s much more efficient to ask anyway. If I or any other guy was doing blow and sleeping with lots of girls, do you really think we’d post pictures of it on Facebook?
What can we learn?
Here’s the moral story of bad Cosmo advice: much like men’s advice in books like Double your Dating and The Pickup Artist, women get bad advice too, and they act on it. The realm of sex columns and sex tabloids has been predominantly ruled by women, but this does not somehow grant them expertise in the field whatsoever. Veritable Carrie Bradshaw wannabe readers of Cosmopolitan are being taught a lot of really dumb, outright ridiculous ideas that give them wild misconceptions about the dating and sex world — and while some of the advice in Cosmopolitan seems perfectly innocuous and reasonable, a good portion of advice in Cosmo and similar magazines (not to mention similar blogs) is just pop psychology half-baked crap.
Thus, like I have always said, be careful what you read, advice-wise. It’s not hard to write articles giving wild advice about dating and sex — it’s a topic most people are interested in that few know enough about to really critique properly. Critique me. Critique other men’s interest magazines. Critique what girls read. Don’t ever just accept what you are told: critically evaluate it and challenge it before you adopt it as fact. Otherwise, you might do some equivalent of using a bobby pin to clip a guy’s nipples.
June 19th, 2010
I can’t possibly show my friends your articles on how PUA books suck, they won’t read em. Can you give me just the cliffs notes version so they stop paying cash on classes?
I’ll try to keep this as humanly short as possible:
PUA books work for two reasons: they get you trying and they get you confident. The actual material in them is useless. PUA books, be they “Double your Dating”, “The Game”, or anything similar, all usually have advice that only works for clubs, and even then only rarely. What they are effective at doing is, in a nutshell, convincing you that you can pick up women so you go out and try a lot. Trying is 99% of the game, for the most part, especially since the books convince you failures are just learning experiences. You don’t need to have special lines, graphs, the ability to “peacock”, or any of that crap to get women. You are much better not deluding yourself, developing real confidence, and ignoring $300+/wk seminar classes designed to profit off of your insecurities.
May 15th, 2010
My girlfriend really wants to do a sex tape together. I’m not up for it. Should I give in?
No. No no no no no no no no no.
If the internet has taught you anything, it should have taught you that sex tapes of anybody anywhere do not remain private, no matter how boring or un-sexy. Opening yourself up to potential ridicule (at minimum) is really, really stupid. I’m not entirely sure why she would want to make such a tape (blackmailing you? a misplaced desire for excitement?), but you need to put your foot down — that’s just a bad idea, period. That being said, if she’s looking for excitement or something different, try to provide it in another way. Just don’t do anything like that — no pictures, no videos, nothing.
March 11th, 2010
I have covered online dating profile creation before for a very big reason: many guys now utilize such services for dating. It’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about- a surprising percentage of adults now use online dating services of various import to find love, and it’s shaping up to be the new face of dating in a big way. Because of this, crafting an attractive profile is paramount- so here are 6 ways to fundamentally improve your profile and, implicitly, your chances of getting a date in the future.
1 – Have good pictures, improve them whenever possible
I cannot stress this topic enough: have good pictures and make damn sure they are recent, interesting, and flattering. At least one of these pictures should be a good facial shot, and at least one of these shots should be a not-too-blatant shot of your body. Both of these are absolutely essential.
Under no circumstances should you ever post “myspace shots” (odd angles, mirror shots in the bathroom, etc), pictures of yourself that are edited in photoshop, or group shots that make your identity difficult to ascertain or imposing. Never take photos wearing sunglasses, hats, or other items that may indicate creepiness or being in a state of balding. Do not try to show of “the guns”, that’s stupid. The best photos are ones that are flattering and attractive without being staged, usually taken in interesting places or scenarios (meaning you are an interesting person), and ones that, while not blatant about it, show yourself in enough contexts to show your general looks, including your body shape. Feel free to throw in any conversation starting photos, pending they are legitimate conversation starters: pictures of yourself in your mother’s basement in a kimono carrying a katana you purchased online is not a conversation starter as much as it is very excellent woman repellent.
This should not need mentioning, but I will do so anyway: no nude photos or “sexy photos” or anything even possibly related to those categories. For one thing, you will not do them right. For another thing, they are usually not attractive to women for a bevy of reasons. Do not bother.
2 – Detail is nice, but mystery is also important
Yes, you absolutely must put information on your profile: generally, the more, the better. However, there is a limit to the amount of information you can put on- and at a certain point, you seem excessively wordy and really really boring.
The best example most people are guilty of is posting excessively long lists of favorite movies, music, or books. While these are, much like pictures, phenomenal conversation starters, these also don’t represent you very well, and should be kept relatively terse in terms of other information about you. In a very similar vein, do not post long blocks of information about your past relationship history, your work history, your scholastic achievements, or the like. Frankly, no-one wants to read that, and such information is best divulged gradually through conversation, not explosively through huge swaths of text online. Feel free to go into detail about yourself from a wide angle: just don’t go too deep.
3 – Avoid negativity
Under no circumstances should you ever be negative in your profile- that includes any sort of deriding comment, bitchy rant, or even a long list of requirements you have for women.
The reason for this is fairly obvious: negativity breeds negativity, and you want the reader of your profile to come off with a good taste, not a bad one. There is absolutely no reason you should complain on a stupid short dating website profile. If you want to learn the effect of this negativity, go find a girl’s profile with a lot of complaining on it- undoubtedly, you’ll find her stuck-up, slightly unsavory, and possibly even outright bitchy. If you have issues with the wrong kind of women (or men) sending messages to you, deal with them quietly and without much fanfare.
Do not lie and fill the profile with excuses as to why you are on a dating site. No-one believes your friend dared you to go on the website. No-one believes you came on the site as a joke or on a lark. Few will believe you if you say you came on to see who you got matched up with for “laughs”. Be outright and cop to your interest in dating: no-one is being fooled.
Furthermore, avoid posting stuff that most would find aversive. As I implied above, no creepy Japanophile crap. Do not run your mouth about your creepy fetishes, interests, or obsessions. Do not mention mental disorders. Mention diseases only if necessary (always mention things like AIDS, herpes, and the like- pretending they are not there does not make them disappear). Do not imply any sort of Oedipal connection to your mother, or otherwise confess any sort of strange obsession or situational issue. Indeed, you should mention if you still live with your parents and do not have a job or otherwise have colloquially “failed to launch”- just keep the information terse, do not try to weave a sorrowful tale of your own ineptitude.
Also, a quick addendum: under no circumstances should you ever say a phrase along the lines of “I just got out of a bad relationship” or “Looking for a real woman” or “I want something real“. These are all subversive ways of indicating a bad relationship history, which is not only negative, but incredibly off-putting. No-one wants to be a rebound or a “repair girl”.
4 – Avoid stating the pointless/obvious/common
As mentioned above, everyone on dating sites likes to excessively list favorite music, movies, and similar “favorites”. Further, dating websites tropes exist- little phrases and concepts that seemingly everyone says that, after being repeated so ridiculously often, mean utterly nothing in the big picture. Discard them.
You only need to look at other profiles to see what I’m talking about: get rid of phrases like “fun-loving”, topics like how you’re “just a romantic”, boring repetitive crap like “I’m just a laid back person”, and anything else that you see on other profiles. Don’t insert inane inside jokes, pointless “shout outs” to friends, or other things that will be nothing more than stumbling blocks to the streamlined presentation of you. Trust me, if you don’t delete such useless text, other people will mentally delete it for you.
5 – Don’t be hyper-exclusive
Avoid making excessive lists of demands about your potential date. This is not only negative (see above) but also just really really prohibitive to finding interesting people.
It’s not uncommon to see many profiles laden with what are veritable laundry lists of demands, ranging from “must like [sports team]” to “must be a good cook”. These requirements are basically trash: they are ridiculous requirements that really are not necessary in the search of finding a good mate. Get rid of them. No-one finds it clever that you require liking a band to dating you: rather, it looks arrogant and pigheaded, like a child who refuses to play with other children unless they have the same toys. Open up the “range” of possible dates in virtually every sense- ethnicity, age, locale (within reason), political affiliation, and the like. You’ll be surprised the bevy of amazing people you will find.
6 – Be active and aggressive
This is the defining line between the people who end up making dating sites work for them and others who complain about them not working. Aggressiveness is everything.
Do not be, in the terms of the Japanese, a herbivorous man. Sitting around on a dating site expecting women to come to you is a losing battle: the dating world is still very much a hunter-prey system, with men firmly cemented into the role of the hunter. Because of this, you- yes, you- are expected to initiate contact, continue discussions, and pursue dates. When you want a dating site to work for you, if you pay for it or not, you need to be willing to get on often, message people often, change your profile and pictures often (even if entirely arbitrarily), and generally consider the entire affair an active process, not a passive one. You are not paying a matchmaker; it is entirely up to you to find your mate- a dating site is merely an advanced tool.
So basically, get your butt out there and work at it. It’s that simple.
September 25th, 2009
You always talk about how pickup guides are bad, but they always work I use them all the time. Why hate them if they work?
Because the reason they work has very little to do with the actual content- in my opinion, it’s about 75% placebo effect, 25% general knowledge that can be found anywhere. Allow me to explain.
The main reason why dating guides “work” has very little to do with their execution- if you want to get somewhat theoretical, these books work for the very reason why people seem to think praying (be it traditional Judeo-Christian prayer or stuff like the Heart Sutra) works. In the act of reading these books, guys do not become inherently better “pick-up artists”, nor do they magically become better looking or better lovers. Rather, the effect is largely mental: because they believe they have become better, they are more likely to go out and try (and develop self-confidence regardless of execution), which means their chances become exponentially better. If you could convince the person enough, you could do the very same thing with a charm, a “special” cologne, or some other ridiculous placebo: if the person honestly believes it and it makes them feel good, it has the same result.
Another way in which they “work” independent of content is that sometimes they provide general knowledge that you need to have- that is, a general concept of social mores and the like. While I’m not saying “Double your Dating” is anything close to educational, what such books do is give you an idea of what to expect and what some people have succeeded with. In some cases, some of this information could be very valid- that is to say, eventually, in some specific very limited situation, the information could be entirely valid and useful.
Still, I don’t advise buying them or even reading them- I have (for a previous article), and I regret the time wasted. Develop your confidence and knowledge in a more realistic way- throw yourself into foreign situations and work your way around them without having to have some silly fratboy-crafted bible as your guide. That’s much more natural and wholly more realistic.
September 22nd, 2009
My friend is geeky and he likes a lot of anime and games and cards and stuff. Problem is he now is talking about how girls are ‘b—-s’ and how no girls are ‘worth it’. Advice?
I like to call this geek-brand misogyny, and it’s out there a lot more than you think. Here’s how to deal with it in a nutshell.
First off, understand where this comes from- it’s not entirely strange to think like your friend. Many geeks find, through various circumstances, that “real” women (i.e. the kinds of girls they want and/or admire or whatever) are inaccessible- and through some interesting mental processes, rather than thinking “I want and I cannot have”, they think “I don’t want so it’s not an issue”. This, tied in with the way in which games/anime/eroge/the like portray women in “perfect” lights, really develops a unique kind of woman hating energy that can really come across as crass.
This is also why dating sims/eroge/romance anime exist, in sort of a circular way- they exist because geeks want idyllic women because real women don’t seem good enough because they play/watch because geeks want idyllic women (etc etc).
So what do I recommend you do?
First off, help him find opportunities to approach and interact with real, interesting women. Do not let him become excessively attached (many “Geek-brand misogynists” ironically do this easily), but let him actually go out and do things with real women in groups- re-orient him to real, breathing, interesting, and normal women. Do not let him recede into his fantasy world- shove him out there and make him stay there to the best of your ability.
Once you begin that, it may be best to enlist some (female) help. While you’re shoving them out there, get some female buddies to help him pull further out of his shell- let them help him meet interesting people, and let them do some of the heavy lifting with him. This doesn’t have to be a full out intervention- the more subtle, arguably the better- but let them try using their own skills. Guys can only do so much in this situation.
Finally, remember that if he’s like this, he might simply not change. While I admire you wanting to help him, if he’s adamant, there’s not much you can do. He might have to learn on his own time, unfortunately.
November 22nd, 2008
Tonight I had propositions from two women for one night stands, both of which I rejected. One was a buaetiful girl who I barely knew, but sugested we know each other better in a private place. The other was a cute art student who offered me a night in her bed, as opposed to walking an hour in the rain home. There must be something wrong with me to reject these offers. This should have been a dream come true. What’s wrong with me?
My guess? Burnout, with a little bit of worry.
First off, burnout.burnout, to me, is when a guy exhausts himself of interest in anything- but in this case, specifically women. Yes, you can get very bored of sex and dating, and it happens too often when you go overboard and date too much, or just when you have so much of it that it ceases to be special. This happens to me occasionally- you get so many girls you can date that dating seems ridiculously easy, the challenge is gone, and thus the desire is gone.
The cure for burnout is to simply scale yourself back a bit. If you’re dating (or screwing) a lot, try to restrict yourself a bit more. Make the experiences more special and unique. Don’t date more than two girls a week, and don’t date them back-to-back or whatever. Avoid gorging yourself on easy sex or quick dates- it will make them all blur into one another, making them boring.
Second off, worry. You may, consciously or subconsciously, be worried or insecure about your abilities, sexually or not. This happens to guys more than you think- if they are clearly out of your league, you worry that you won’t be able to meet their expectations or that you are being tricked- two little nagging questions in your head that can make you pass on offers, quiet, and worst of all, ineffectual in bed.
The answer, of course, is to remind yourself that if a girl so clearly is going after you, she has long since judged you worthy. Unless she’s some sort of desperate uberslut (doubtful), she has already warmed up to your enough, and it is very unlikely you will be able to screw it up easily. Most (normal) girls don’t judge a guy in bed- they judge way before, and you have long since passed such testing. All you have to do is reaffirm her beliefs. And it isn’t hard to do.
As a side note to all of this, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with not screwing every girl in sight. Religion aside, you don’t have to have sex just because you can, being male be damned. Avoid the stereotype of being led around by your dick- that’s how a lot of girls think they can control you. Be as choosy as they are and enjoy that ability.
As a second side note, are you sure they were speaking sexually? Some girls totally expect you to be able to sleep in their bed without sex. Difficult as hell, or so I’ve heard.
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