Some Sexual Introspection

So I’ve been considering a point that came up in my last post, coupled with a response to something I said on M3’s blog. Here’s the comment from last time that got my mind turning;

Spawny Said: I’d think about dropping the ‘virgin’ requirement and replacing it with ‘clean’, that should up your chances of joy. I get the impression that that’s your requirement (clean), not sure how that became virgin? I have no objection to you doing the beast with two backs with a virgin (I’m sure he’d be overjoyed too), I just think that you’re making it more difficult than required to find someone.”

The conversation continued past this comment, but it kind of stuck with me. Did I actually mean virgin? It *was* the initial wording I used, though Spawny does have the right idea that a clean/STD free partner is a must. I shelved it away for another day, and didn’t think about it again til I started rereading select posts from M3’s blog for my research on Incel/Human Needs. As I scrolled, I saw a comment I’d made a few weeks ago, asking about men who have severe trouble being around the opposite sex. Here’s some of the exchange. A link to his full post is here.

M3 Said: “…but if you’re talking about the most hopeless cases of men, like omega’s, and severely socially awkward or retarded men who cannot even be in a woman’s presence without buckling, then they equal the lower rungs of women who are so horribly ugly or overweight, these types of people simply come to terms with their fate and understand why they are excluded.”

I Responded: “I guess that’s who I’m talking about…to be honest, I’m not sure. I had the guys who were “featured” on Guys of Okcupid in mind when I posted my question, if that helps. I don’t know what they would be classed as.

The thing I’ve noticed about your aforementioned socially awkward men who can barely be around women is that they actually CAN, but one has to be exceptionally nice to them. Treat them with “kid gloves” I suppose would be the term. Once you smile at them (a real smile, that uses your mouth AND eyes), and gently seek out their opinion on whatever it is you’re doing/watching together, they are in reality quite friendly and easy to get along with. I’m talking about some of my customers plus guys from conventions I’ve been to, but I believe they’re who you mention. Their initial mannerisms remind me very strongly of the dogs and cats I help at the shelter…expecting condemnation and hurt, and being surprised when praise and positive interaction is given instead. I hope this analogy isn’t offensive to anyone, but it’s true.”

M3 agreed with me, but said that the vast majority of women would never find this sort attractive, and would certainly never consider them viable sexual partners. I began thinking about this in conjunction with the feelings I experience while reading various incel blogs and forums. I’m not ashamed to say that certain comments/posts have actually brought tears to my eyes or a lump to my throat. For the most part, people (overwhelmingly men) who suffer with involuntary celibacy are not simply experiencing a “dry spell”…they are not complaining about going a month, a quarter, or even an entire year without sex. No, these men are speaking out about enduring entire *decades* without physical intimacy.

And it’s not always just about sex, either. I’ve read incredibly moving stories from men who have gone years without a hug from the opposite sex or who are 50 years old and have never been kissed. I think back to how terrified I used to be of human touch and reverse it…what if the level of horror I used to feel was equal to someone else’s level of desire for it? If the resulting emotion I attempted to make myself empathize with is even a *tenth* of what incels go through, I’m honestly surprised that more haven’t committed suicide.

At least I, in my former fear, could back away from others or loudly ask them not to hug/touch/kiss me. But how does one do the opposite? How does one ask for a hug without being seen as weird or clingy? How can a man ask for a simple kiss without being called a creeper or accused of attempted sexual harassment? And in the US, how does an incel who just wants to be a part of the physical intimacy and belonging that is shoved in our faces every damn day but can’t legally buy the services of a prostitute or afford an escort and literally has no luck with women…how does he wake up every morning still mustering up the hope that this will at last be *the* day that he’s shown love by a woman?

Answer: After a while, they don’t. They give up living, just like some of the dogs, cats, birds, and rodents I’ve cared for over many years. Sometimes you’re lucky, and you get a rabbit or parrot or terrier before they’re too far gone and you can teach them to live again. Other times…it’s over. They are in perfect health physically, but a part of them is already dead and there is nothing that anyone can do about it, so they waste away unless you are compassionate enough to end their pain for them. Gods, but sometimes I really do hate people, even if it’s constricted to the ones who have no empathy to speak of.

I guess this is why I initially said “virgin”…I meant incel. Every morning when I get up, I *know* that I’ll have a chance to help someone else. It happens without fail, though it can be something small like giving a hug to a war veteran after buying a red flower from him, or carrying a pregnant woman’s groceries out to her car. Maybe it’s being super polite to a customer who’s having a rotten day, or buying a cold bottle of water for a homeless man during a heat wave. There are numerous opportunities to simply aid another besides yourself, and it makes me happy to do so. You don’t need praise or reward to help others…it’s a prize unto itself.

I suppose I just believe that if I’m going to overcome my fears of increased intimacy/sexual experience, I’d want someone else to benefit as well. It wouldn’t matter to me that they’re inexperienced…I am fully capable of taking responsibility for my pleasure in addition to my partner’s. Nor would it matter to me if they have a job, aren’t conventionally attractive, are slightly overweight, or are awkward, as these are all traits that can be dealt with (or just accepted). Maybe helping someone else to overcome *their* issues is the way to step up and overcome mine.

Or maybe I’m still too scared…*sigh*
I wish these sort of things were easier.

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44 thoughts on “Some Sexual Introspection

  1. I’m not sure if I’m missing some context here, I was having a little trouble getting what this past conversation was about — to which the comments refer. Given that I’m A little confused I’ll pick up on what I got out of this.
    I’m thinking about people who are referred to here as Omega’s, Whether male or female, At the bottom of the barrel. And people not having sex for virtually their entire lives.
    I have known a lot of people who would not be considered terribly attractive who have amazing relationships and amazing lives. These are people who don’t judge themselves or others by superficial things like looks. These are people whose confidence comes from a deeper place.
    If someone is suffering from feeling like they are an Omega and feeling completely isolated I truly believe that with some counseling and honesty with themselves, that they could grow and have very fulfilling lives.

  2. Sorry for the confusion, BroadBlogs. I think if you read the post I linked to up top things might be clearer. Or if you prefer, simply Google “incels”, “involuntary celibacy”, or “involuntary virgins”. Most of the results will probably help you out with understanding what I’m describing here.

    I don’t tend to refer to people by labels such as Alpha, Beta, Zeta, or Omega unless I’m speaking to someone who knows what those typically mean. But according to the manosphere definitions, M3 is using them correctly.

    I too have known both men and women who were not considered attractive who have great marriages/relationships. Men and women who were well past their “prime”, senior citizens who got married, people with severe burns/missing limbs/noticeable birth defects, etc. By and large, they find others who love and cherish them, as it should be.

    I agree that people who are incels should get help…but from what I’ve read, therapy can truly only go so far. These guys are not only suffering from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or social anxiety (though these are almost certainly beginning factors). They are also suffering from a lack of human touch, much like the Russian orphanage babies were before reforms took place. I’m actually working on another post detailing our need for the “energy” of others lest we literally begin to die despite otherwise being healthy. It’s an amazing topic, and one that I think people without this problem take for granted.

  3. Hey Tarn.
    While I’m happy if you’re happy with whomever you choose, can I please encourage you to put yourself first?
    Your giving nature is a great thing, but you should only be giving what you can afford to give.
    Please take care of yourself. You have a great heart (but?) a sensitive nature.
    Wishing you well, as ever

  4. My previous comment stands whether you are a male or female by the way. Inside and/or out.
    Modern society tends to paint men as unfeeling and lacking emotional needs…it ain’t so. We just are expected to cover such things up better.
    Don’t let societal roles (whichever fit) deny you your recognition of your needs.
    I still don’t see you as a sexually free wheeling person at heart, but you can put me right if I am wrong. Whether you have a male mind or a female one, you do have needs that need be met first before taking on the burdens of others.
    Don’t hesitate to put me right if I’m off base.

  5. No, you’re right…I have a feeling that even if I had a normal childhood I wouldn’t be one of those people who have lots of sexual partners. Honestly, I’m wonderfully content with the guy I have now, even if I don’t have him as much as I’d like currently. I also know that he’s trying to push me towards having more partners so that I’m not putting up with my overactive libido. Every time we finally get together for sex recently, he’s reminded me that I’m attractive and could probably have a different guy every night if I only made myself available. He’s right, but the very idea of doing such a thing feels cheap, and sex is something I definitely don’t want to cheapen any more than modern society already has.

    But I guess that’s why I would want to use myself to help someone else. I get what you’re cautioning me about, and I appreciate it more than words can express. But I don’t know how *not* to give…I wasn’t raised to take care of myself first. It’s not even a personality trait so much as it’s a core part of me. When I see someone in pain, be they animal or human, my immediate reaction is to help in any way possible. I can’t force myself to not care…it makes me feel physically ill.

    Maybe I have an overdeveloped sense of empathy, or perhaps there’s yet another part of me that’s just plain weird. Whatever it is, it’s never steered me wrong or made me put my emotions before my logic. In other words, I don’t act without at least running through the consequences…so I don’t think it’s ever going to put me in any danger. Thanks for looking out for me though. You don’t come off as being condescending, and I understand exactly how you mean for your words to be taken.
    🙂

  6. It’s not weird, for what my opinion is worth. My concern is not that you don’t value yourself sufficiently to look after yourself. I trust your competence to do that, my ‘concern’ is more over your recognising that you should…and you should IMHO

  7. I know I should. Truly, I do.
    It’s just that when I act in ways that benefit me, I’m usually told that it’s “wrong”. For example, my FwB thinks it’s wrong for me to deny my sexual cravings by not taking advantage of my physical attractiveness. My parents, and mother in particular, think it’s wrong for me to not want kids or marriage. When I went to a therapist as a child due to issues with my biological father/visitation rights, he said it was wrong for me to not want to be around my father even though I was honestly afraid of him and his anger management problems. Even today, some of my friends say it’s wrong for me to enjoy living by myself. It seems that the things I do that make me feel happy and safe are all incorrect…but I do them anyway, because I *do* care about my mental health.

    And by now I hope that more than a few of my readers understand that I sometimes use my blog as a way of just throwing ideas around…that’s probably what this one will end up as, for the immediate future at least. I am pretty confident that I’ll just end up dealing with my excess sex drive as I usually do, rather than going through the discomfort and awkwardness of trying to find another partner. Whether this makes me weak for keeping to my comfort zone or strong for recognizing that I’m not mentally ready for such engagements is up to the reader.

  8. Crazy, crazy thought here…
    Maybe you could just gently open up a little to possibilities that come your way? See how it goes? Society allows you to do that, which is nice in this case. I see nothing wrong with you being open to meeting someone new. It was the talk of ‘sexual predation’ which didn’t sound like you.
    Value yourself, be true to yourself, take care of yourself annnnd be lucky and find someone special. I only say some one because that’s who I think you are…by all means tell me on wrong. I’m happy if you’re happy.

  9. Lol, I don’t think I ever used language that could be deemed “sexual predation” but okay. 😛

    I think being true to myself right now still just means having a single partner, but maybe I’ll take a chance next time I get asked out.

  10. I admit that I was ‘paraphrasing’ a smidgen. Teh guilt, it burnz…
    Your latest plan sounds good if he looks like a decent guy. Much more you, especially seeing as ‘Fred’ (‘fwb’ for such a good guy?) is encouraging you to spread your wings.
    Be lucky, I’ve got my fingers crossed for you

  11. Modern society tends to paint men as unfeeling and lacking emotional needs…it ain’t so. We just are expected to cover such things up better.

    Conditioned alexithymia, It especially sucks when one is brought up that way. Not that I am complaining…

  12. Never heard of that before, Exfernal. I just looked it up…very interesting indeed.
    I was raised to never show anger or sadness, anger because “children have no right to be angry about anything” (stepfathers words) and sadness because crying was frowned upon as weakness in my family. I’m getting better about sadness though I still don’t cry in front of others, but anger? Yeah, not sure I can still feel that…the most I can manage is frustrated/miffed before it just fizzles out.

    It’s wrong to teach children that their emotions don’t matter or are somehow less than adult emotions. Besides, now how can they show them as they get older?

  13. It’s only a little hypothesis of mine, but it could be that “acquired” alexithymia develops when people are being stressed for a long time without an opportunity to relax, “unwind” if you prefer, to just do something that they like without anyone bashing them for doing it. There is a certain survival mechanism (the link leads to my comment at Just4Guys) that allows putting feelings aside when ones well-being is threatened in some way. It makes easier to find an immediate solution quickly if one has a clear mind, right? But when one is living for an extended period in conditions one perceives as unsafe, then chronic overuse of this reaction produces all kinds of problems, some degree of alexithymia being one of them. I guess kids have it worse than teens or adults.
    Of course, one shouldn’t rule out some form of genetic susceptibility, if the condition runs in the family, for example.

  14. I found this sentence in the Wikipedia article especially interesting:
    “Some individuals working for organizations in which control of emotions is the norm might show alexithymic-like behavior but not be alexithymic. However, over time the lack of self-expressions can become routine and they may find it harder to identify with others.”
    And now imagine such a childhood, with hardly any signs of physical affection from close relatives, and only conditional declarations of approval. It usually leads to a profoundly insecure type of attachment. Kids cope with that treatment differently, depending on their temperament and cognitive ability.

  15. I arrived here from seeing your comment about helping others on M3′s website; I thought it was the most kind thing I’ve ever heard. I assumed (hoped?) there must be women like that out there, who aren’t “giving it away” in the negatively-spun sense that M3 and others talk about but are sincerely getting pleasure by sharing pleasure. There was something pure and positive about your phrasing, ““help” some guys lose their virginity in a safe, educational, and non-judgemental way,” that resonated loudly with me.
    As a 23-year old inexplicably confidence-lacking incel, your analogy – like shelter animals “expecting condemnation and hurt, and being surprised when praise and positive interaction is given instead” – is spot on. As I kid I was hyper-confident, really fearless. Between the age of thirteen and now I’ve lost all sense of social confidence; none of the qualities I’m constantly *told* I have in spades (intelligence, charm, wit, even outgoingness – all the good stuff) have so infrequently been validated by physical touch that I consider those instances random flukes, not confirmations of my quality as a person. And because of years of this mode of thinking/living I’ve grown to expect repulsion rather than attraction, and just as you say, kindness from newly-met strangers is a pleasant surprise.
    You make a tremendously empathetic leap of imagining how somone such as myself desires touch to the level at which you fear it. The fact that you’re “surprised more haven’t committed suicide” shows that you’re putting yourself in our shoes adeptly. You say some have given up, that a part of them is dead and can never come back. Maybe that’s true of some people, and I can’t imagine how awful that must feel. I can unhesitatingly say I do still have hope and optimism, if for no reason less than that I have never truly contemplated suicide. Somewhere within there’s a sureness that life can, indeed shall, get better.
    I’ve spent a long time distracting myself from these issues and shortcomings, but sooner or later the anger at one’s situation comes to dominate every other concern in life. With no one to talk about these sort of things to, I enrolled with a therapy group last week (something I should’ve done long ago). Even talking in the initial screening meeting was uplifting.
    As for you, your personality, problems, and desires are fascinating, since half of them seem identical to my own and the other half seem 180 degrees away. I don’t think you should be worried about “cheapening” sex. That doesn’t automatically happen just by having more of it and more readily. Quality is a nearly indescribable thing in general, and infinitely more so when it comes to interpersonal relationships and interactions. Don’t compare your values to so-called “societal” values. You seem like the kind of person with enough perspective and thoughtfulness to realize that ‘society’ is pretty confused too, and shouldn’t be listened to. That is to say, we have to figure things out for ourselves. “Maybe helping someone else to overcome *their* issues is the way to step up and overcome mine.” Maybe you’re right.
    I’ll leave you, after my lengthy message, with a piece of advice and a piece of wisdom I know [all to painfully] to be true:
    “Just take the next right step.”
    “We accept the love we think we deserve.”
    If you’d prefer to communicate by e-mail rather than in public, that’s fine.

  16. Hello Erik. It’s nice to meet you.

    I am so happy that you liked what I said over at M3’s place, especially since it is true. Please note that I do not think sexual experience is necessarily “better” than virginity…if a man or woman is happiest or most comfortable being a virgin, they should never be shamed for it. Nor should someone be shamed for not getting sexual experience by a certain age.

    However, I do recognize that there are folks who truly desire to gain more/any experience and for whatever reason have great difficulty in doing so. This is, in my mind, just as unfortunate and painful as gaining sexual knowledge when you don’t want it. It’s the flipside of the coin, in other words.

    I honestly wish I *could* help guys with this. While I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an LTR type of person, a part of me does still have a ceaseless desire to aid others whenever possible. I know that having a partner with no or little idea of how to have sex would not be off putting at all…everyone has to start somewhere. Perhaps if I didn’t have issues with touching it would be different. (I can now handle some minor touch from strangers, like handshakes or very quick hugs though, so I’m improving!)

    For what it’s worth, I’m really pleased to hear that you are getting at least some assistance and I hope you get back your confidence and reach your goal of either having sex, a relationship, or both. You probably get tired of hearing this, but you truly do sound like a wonderful man, and certainly not the type who would cause “revulsion” among society.

    Unfortunately, you are quite correct that society as a whole is rather broken, even as there are those who have opened their eyes to the way things are. That you have hope for your situation gladdens my heart, because hope is the one thing that you should never lose. I don’t know what country you’re from, but if talking-therapy doesn’t help as much as you need, perhaps visit The Snuggery in NY for the non-sexual intimacy part of incel.

    Thank you for your comment, and do not ever think that you need to mince words here. It’s a safe space for everyone, but especially men who might need to speak about how they feel…regardless if that’s a single sentence or 20 paragraphs. If you need to talk, I’m open to private emails and my contact information is in the menu above.

    Hope you have a pleasant day, Erik.

  17. Yeah, we went over a lot of that in the Psych courses I took in college.

    Is that so? Then surely you know what “the still face experiment” was about? People have the ability to learn, but they need to have the opportunity to learn before closing of “the critical period” window. An example: I began learning English at the age of 16. Far too late for being fluid in it (or even grammatical at times, lol). The ability to manage ones attachments is no exception, and people learn that by example of relatives. As programmers say: “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. A dysfunctional example has its consequences. Kids learn mostly from older relatives (primarily parents), teens more from their peer group (primarily their “leaders”). Adults are the most selective in choosing what works in the specific area they want to improve themselves.
    Personally, I think that psychoanalysis is bunch of bollocks. Case studies do not make a good basis for establishing a policy. Well, it’s still a legitimate business (like palm-reading).
    What did you learn in college that you still regard as interesting, if you don’t mind me asking?

  18. I’ve heard of The Snuggery, and that’s a wise suggestion. However I’ll be living in Ohio for a couple more months before returning home to LA. NYC’ll have to wait. I have every expectation that the therapist and group will be tremendously useful. I thank you for the compliments (though you’re right, they can be tiring, as ungrateful as that sounds. I know everyone’s got the best intentions though).
    That a desire to help others in such a personal, critical, intimate way is fused with such strong aversion to even casual touch in one person is really an intriguing conundrum. But then again, I’m just as absurd a mix of desire versus apprehension – I just don’t find it weird ’cause I’m so used to myself! Flipsides of the same coin indeed. I thank you for your kind wishes, and return them tenfold. The power’s within all of us, we just need to unleash it!

  19. In my opinion you’ve got poisonous virgin spunk backed up in your brain and it’s making you deeply weird and bad, if you’re too poor to spring for the hooker at least pay a hobo $20 to jack you off. in the literal sense of the word retarded and also the colloquial way
    I wish I could’ve seen your big meltdowns in life when you didn’t get the pussy that was owed to you, don’t pretend like you’re a victim of circumstance and it’s everybody else that’s fucked up you’re just saying that as an after the fact justification for not getting laid, stop lying to yourself. You are actually not special or any more emotionally sensitive than any other human being on the planet.
    It’s not a coherent theory bro it’s just a really insanely convoluted way of not taking responsibility for being unfuckable.
    You get mad when some douchebag with a flat brimmed hat fucks the girl you creepily pine over from a distance, he doesn’t get the girl because he’s some kind of amoral sociopath gorilla and girls are retarded but because he’s smarter than you and more empathetic than you and can actually talk to a girl and find out what she wants from a romantic encounter and gives it to her and she recognizes that he’s fun and can give her what she’s looking for! You can’t! Or at least you won’t, because you’re self-obsessed and lazy.
    She can tell you’d make a shit boyfriend! You want to be the little dude in that movie girl next door, well, it’s never ever going to fucking happen. Ever. The girl of your dreams is not going to just ~*get you*~ and take you by the hand and make you a man. You’re not special.

  20. I rather enjoyed college, I must say, so I’d be hard pressed to pick only a few things…but let’s see;

    The business courses I majored in obviously still help me on a daily basis, that’s quite important. I don’t understand people who spend huge amounts of money for degrees they don’t truly use, or are for careers where you don’t actually need a degree to go far.

    I liked my anthropology class, the professor had been to many of the sites he spoke about and he had a number of interesting artifacts we were able to look at. I love art, and the professor was a very exciting lady…she was so passionate about Greco-Roman architecture and Renaissance paintings that the class was always exciting. Biology was fun, we got to view the dissection of a human cadaver at a morgue which may sound gross to some people, but I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Chemistry was enjoyable, though I liked the labwork a *lot* more than the lecture hall. And, of course, you already know that I am still into psychology and theology.

    Wish I had enough money to go back…I wouldn’t get another degree, but I miss the learning experience that one gets from teachers who love their job.

  21. @Erik

    I am sure that the group will do wonders for you (and everyone else in it too, hopefully!).

    Yes, I’m a bit of a contradiction, aren’t I? I’ve accepted it for the most part, but it is still weird to cope with sometimes. It’s also not sex-specific, so I’m not even more likely to enjoy hugs/touching from women than men…there are many times when it’s actually the other way around. If only there was a rhyme or reason to it!

    I like your optimism, it’s quite catching. 🙂
    May your goals be reached quickly, friend.

  22. Hah. So much about having eclectic tastes… Apparently, your interests were far more eclectic than mine. My interests always had one common motif – what makes “things” tick. I also preferred self-study to attending lectures. Labs in general were more often fun than not, I agree. One big exception was a lot of physics labs (as long as you did only what you were told, lol). For example, I don’t think that you could make calorimetry interesting, no matter how you try. In my defense, computer simulations that are now often supplementing the typical lab were not available as much in my day. Besides, I had to photocopy a lot of various materials for my use that are now freely available online.
    You didn’t mention any field trips. Even more fun than labs, in my experience.
    Now? I’d rather not return to the university in the capacity of a student. My current ability to absorb new information is not as good as it once was. You know: fluid intelligence diminishes slowly, while crystallized intelligence accumulates instead. Just keeping up with advances in the areas I am the most familiar with is difficult enough.

  23. Oh Billy, where to begin with you…just when it seems you’re a blithering fool, you turn it around and show remarkable insight. Literally the most surprising source I could imagine actual sense coming from.
    For starts: the whole hooker idea misses the point…it’s not about knowing the physical sensation of sex, it’s about knowing that you’ve earned the sexual desire of another. And “big meltdowns?” What the hell are you talking about man? I may have a lot to learn, but I’m not a two-year-old who throws tantrums. “Pussy that’s owed?” “Victim of circumstance?” I’m not really sure where you’re pulling this out of. I don’t think any “pussy is owed;” since when can a relationship be ‘owed?’ That isn’t how it works. You seem to think I blame everything but myself, when the truth is I blame exclusively my self.
    “He doesn’t get the girl because he’s some kind of amoral sociopath gorilla and girls are retarded but because he’s smarter than you and more empathetic than you and can actually talk to a girl and find out what she wants from a romantic encounter and gives it to her and she recognizes that he’s fun and can give her what she’s looking for! You can’t! Or at least you won’t, because you’re self-obsessed and lazy.” I’d say this is pretty dead-on. I DON’T have much any ability to read people and I COULDN’T tell you after a conversation where a woman’s interest level is. Self-obsessed and lazy seems a fine assessment, but knowing what the problem is doesn’t mean I’ve a damn clue how to solve it. Why do you think I ended up on websites like this in the first place? The reason I’m irate is because I don’t know where or when seemingly everyone around me (including close friends) learned these skills and why I seemingly (apparently?) haven’t.
    Oh, and as for “you’re not special?” The fact that you can assess an entire lifetime from a few paragraphs of conversation on an extremely limited range of topics is either a superpower or bullshit. While I’m not an expert, somehow I can just tell it’s the latter.
    I’m here POSITIVELY, because such positivity is what was shown by the host of the website. I’m sold on the radical idea that perhaps people can HELP each other. It’s fine and dandy if you want to point out someone’s flaws or suggest ways they could improve, but don’t be so offensive about it. In other words, if you don’t have anything nice to say, fuck off!

  24. @Erik

    As this Billy character made no reference to whom he was speaking, I’d assumed he had half-read my post and his comment was directed toward me. If you know this person from elsewhere online, or you believe he was talking to you, then I beg your forgiveness. If this is the case, I would never have let his comment through, as I try to keep this a safe space for my commenters, and do not allow others to bash them. I presumed (perhaps incorrectly) that his comment was for me and I found it utterly laughable so I moderated it. If you wish, I can delete it, especially as it may have been directed at you. Just let me know, and it will be done.

  25. Perhaps I misread the situation – as I’m wont to do! – but it seemed laser-targeted at me. If it wasn’t, then the fact I found it so personally resonant is itself tremendously revealing. Without getting longwinded, at seventeen I began writing a movie which I later found out was tremendously similar to The Girl Next Door that he mentions. I figured his bringing up that *exact* title was more than coincidence.

    Either way I’ll admit it incensed me more than it should’ve and I flew off the handle at him. It’s a matter of perspective and getting caught inside one’s own head. Not long after this I left for a haircut, and upon getting out for a drive, talking to the stylist, etc. etc. in general just doing things that got me outside of my own head, I felt much better. When I stepped back and thought about it, I realized the obvious truth – whoever this guy is, I could wipe the floor with him (if socializing were some sort of contest, which let’s not lie – there’s an unspoken contest going on twixt all of us. It may frequently be a friendly contest, or one about which we pay no attention, but it’s there). My problem is I only *know* that intellectually, in the brain. I don’t *understand* it, in the heart. Nothing illustrates this difference more than a somewhat ironic (given the topic) analogy: “There’s a vast difference between knowing and knowledge, as any virgin with the Internet can tell you.”

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the online comic “xkcd,” but it’s a doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously series of thoughtful ruminations on all the important things in life, romance included. I’ve never seen a better statement on perspective than he presents in this comic: http://xkcd.com/915/ Hint: hover your mouse over the image so the alternate-text comes up, he always has funny (or poignant) quips in there.

  26. Fair enough, though my offer to remove his comment still stands. I don’t want to allow drive-by comments to upset my readers.

    I adore xkcd, it’s one of my favorite webcomics. Unfortunately, I have no internet/tv at my place, and hovering doesn’t work on mobile phones. I’ll check it out when I’m on a computer tomorrow, though. At work now, but will obviously check back later.

  27. Many thanks, Styllinski. I don’t believe in accepting awards for mere blogging, but the fact that you thought of me is appreciated nonetheless. 🙂

  28. I’d say the lesson to take away is to not allow oneself to get upset by ‘drive by comments’ (nifty phrase, by the way).
    I appreciate the offer, but I’ll let it stand. I’m a firm believer that once you say things you can’t take them back, especially in old black-and-white. May more lessons be learned, all around.

  29. The laws themselves are not written in ways that automatically favor women. Laws for the most part are sex and gender neutral in their wording. However, based on personal experience with many divorced families and reading about the tribulations a significant number of men have gone through, I believe that the way these laws are used are biased against men. Obviously this is not the case all the time…sometimes divorces can favor the male partner or even be amicable.

  30. Hi Erik. Hope you’re doing well.

    Believe it or not, I have already read this essay and agree with your review of it. However, it should be read by many men…especially those seeking marriage or who have overly romanticized it…so I recommend that any passing readers take a look as well. It contains a good number of issues that may crop up, and today’s marriage-minded hetero man *needs* to be aware of them.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  31. Tarnished – for some reason I was struck tonight by the idea of replying to your thread, perhaps because I don’t like to leave loose ends untied and perhaps because, even though this is some random corner of the Internet, my comment may help some other young fellas (or ladies) somewhere down the line and then I’ll have broken even. Hell if it helps two people, I’ll be profitable. (I should mention, this is “Erik” from above.)

    I originally reached your site at a time when I’d just burst into the “manosphere” and all its tangentially related sites (like yours. Very tangential). At the time I complained about my virginity, with the feeling growing more crushingly hopeless every day. Some responses [here and elsewhere] were inspiring, some were useless, some were the swift kick in the arse guys like me need, and some were outright misinformed (yet given, dangerously, the same airtime as was quality advice. So goes the Web). For whatever absurd reason I believed tomorrow could be better than today and just kept on truckin.

    So, for your dear readers, the abridged version (’cause I’ve got to tell SOMEBODY):
    I met a girl who was an extra on a movie I was working as a PA on. At lunch she seemed sharp, so I kept chatting with her on set whenever the opportunity arose. It was a short, so shooting only ran two days; on the second day I asked for her number & e-mail.

    I used that to arrange a meeting a week later with her and two friends of hers (another guy & girl, non-romantic however). I stayed laid-back, didn’t TRY anything, just responded and talked like an interested person because SHE was an interesting person (her friends were too). Made sexy comments that could all be played off as jokes if not well-received, and other times was funny without being a joker. I left telling her what a fun time I had; in the car park she said “sleep well!” and with a wink & smile (and arm round her waist) I said, “I’ll try” before parting. (This is shortly before Xmas).

    FFWD a Month.5 and I finally have time to go out with her again (been busy with Xmas, New Year’s, etc…). She meets me at my house so we can walk to a nearby music show (where Wonder Mike and GEORGE CLINTON show up unannounced, no joke). We walk home, listen to music, and chat for a while. I draw her in for a kiss (first of my life, age twenty-three. Fuck me, right?). She’s really into it, and seems less experienced than I’d predicted (thank goodness).

    We keep listening to music and chatting about each other’s random fun shit, slowly touching and turning each other on, just escalating really gently. The key for guys reading is that it wasn’t automatic, it was *almost* automatic. I’m no master seducer or lover, I just kept her going further whenever it seemed like she hit a plateau; from my view it felt like she led most of the way. All I had to do was push through the occasional barrier.

    We kiss more, rub more, and eventually she goes to my kitchen (it’s a tiny house) to search for snacks and I follow. We start walking back towards the living room and for some reason both stop. Standing not half a foot away we lock eyes, feet planted so’s we’re almost exactly facing each other, and I realize that if there is one, this is the time. In one smooth move I bend down, grab her behind the legs and pick her up. She squeals with delight, gripping me with both her legs and arms.

    I carried her to the bedroom where we proceeded to have an extraordinarily enthusiastic night with each other.

    —–

    The next day (this is mid/late January, mind you) I am driving down the 405 when I notice that I still haven’t removed my Christmas wreath from the grille of my car. At eighty miles an hour I yell out the window, at absolutely no one in particular, MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS CUMS TWICE A YEAR BABY!

    P.S. Hope you had a fine & dandy holiday too, Sophia.

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