Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stop Lying to Your Friends

Girls are famous for complimenting each other and supporting each other with their words. On the surface, this seems like a good thing. Telling your girl friend that she looks hot before a night out will boost her ego; telling her that the guy who just dumped her wasn't worth her time will help her get over him faster; and telling her that she has a "Beyonce butt" will make her feel more comfortable about her body... right? Wrong.

When you do these things, you are letting your girlfriend wallow in her mediocrity. If you tell your friend that she looks good when she doesn't, she isn't going to make an effort to look better next time. If you tell your friend that the guy wasn't worth her time, when the truth is that he definitely was worth her time, you are only going to prevent her from doing what she needs to do to make herself more attractive to the next guy of that caliber. And if you tell her that her big ass is sexy, she isn't going to lose the weight she needs to make it look better. 

Granted, your girl friend probably isn't naive enough or dishonest enough with herself to completely believe you when you say these things; but I am willing to bet that neither is she wise enough nor honest enough with herself to disbelieve them completely. By telling her anything less than the complete truth, you are placing a Band-Aid over the wound; you aren't substantially helping her. Or worse, you are cowering from your fear of telling her the harsh truth, only because you want to avoid the confrontation that it might cause. Even your excuse about making her feel good about herself falls flat, because a girl's "need to feel beautiful" cannot be satisfied by empty or equivocated compliments.

The problem with this kind of "support" is deeper than just the effect that you have on your friend. Not only are you wrong about the fact that you are helping her, you are probably also wrong in believing that your motive was to help her in the first place. You tell her that she looks hot because you think she needs to hear that she looks hot. But that is just a symptom of the fact that, if you were in her situation, you would feel the need to hear that you look hot - precisely because you wouldn't believe it. And you tell her that her ex wasn't worth her time mainly because, if you were in her situation, you wouldn't be comfortable with accepting the harsh reality that he was absolutely worth your time, but you lost him. And if you had an ass that size, you'd want to believe that the shape compensated for the size, because you'd hate having to face the reality that your ass is huge, and that you actually need to start a real workout, rather than just reading magazines on the treadmill three times a week. In other words, your inability to be honest with your friend is a reflection of your discomfort being honest with yourself.

Granted, there are right ways and wrong ways to break the news to your friend that she is fat, or looks bad, or just lost the man of her dreams - or any other news she isn't going to want to hear. I am not suggesting that when she asks "doesn't my ass look big in this?" you reply "yeah, like huge!" There are ways to get the truth across tactfully, one of which is not embarrassing her in front of others. For example, in that situation (assuming there were others present), you could say something like "It's probably not the right dress for you" and then later - in person - tell her that she should throw it away.

Also, pointing out problems without solutions is the hallmark of un-helpfulness. So the other important thing to do is to help her find a way to improve whatever it is you are giving her honest feedback about. After you tell her that you actually thing she lost a great guy, for example, don't just stop there and let her believe (wrongly) that she has an inherent lack of ability to get a quality man; tell her that you think you know a couple reasons he might have left, and offer to help her improve in those areas.

By starting to be more honest with your girl friends, you aren't going to start a revolution in the way that women give each other feedback and advice. This is something rooted in female nature, in the same way that the male inability to engage each other emotionally is rooted in theirs (and neither is a strength). But you could do something far more important, in the sense that it affects you a lot more: you could change the culture in your group of friends. If one or two of you start breaking the insincere compliment cycle, the others will catch on, and soon realize that yours is a better course of action. The more you foster that culture among your group of friends, the more you all will benefit from the mutual honesty, the more you will improve yourselves and your chances with the opposite sex.

Related Posts

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CLEO Magazine Interview

I was contacted a few months ago by an editor from the Australian women's magazine, CLEO, asking if I could answer a few questions for an article that would be in their March 2014 issue. I agreed, and we exchanged the questions by e-mail.

In the end, my answers were quoted considerably in the article, as was the post Men Don't Fall in Love the Same Way Women Do. The editor was kind enough to send me a hard copy of the magazine, as well as an electronic copy of the article, so I've included it in full as images in this post (you can click on the images to enlarge them, or open them in a new tab or window to zoom in and read the text).

Not all of the interview was quoted, of course, but as it touched on some interesting points about men and women, and gives a nice "meta" view of the blog, I thought it might be of general interest. The full text of the interview follows.

1. How did ‘The Rules Revisited’ come about?

I’d say The Rules Revisited was conceived out of the convergence of three factors in my life. The first was the process that I went through myself in learning how to attract women. This started soon after I graduated from college, and in many ways is still on-going; but it showed me that self-improvement is a very real possibility – even for someone like me, who at first felt utterly powerless with the opposite sex. The second was my love of writing and the need for a substantial way to exercise it. Initially I considered starting a blog for men, but most of the ideas that I found engaging and useful had already been pretty well articulated by others. The third factor was the recognition that, in spite of there being this vast network of men producing material to help each other improve their chances with women, there really wasn't anything out there for women trying to improve their chances with men. It felt a bit one-sided, especially because I knew from my own dating experience how badly the advice was needed. With that realization, the concept of the blog was obvious, and I immediately sat down to write the first few posts. I haven’t stopped since.

2. Your advice is quite blunt and to-the-point – what was the initial response like from readers?

It was very positive, actually. To this date, I've never received a single complaint about the tone of the blog being too harsh or too blunt; but I've received hundreds of e-mails from readers expressing their appreciation for the bluntness specifically. In hindsight this doesn't surprise me. Women today are absolutely starved of honesty. Less-attractive women are constantly told that “inner beauty is all that matters” (yet their experience tells them exactly the opposite), while more-attractive women are plagued by the insincerity of men trying to get them into bed, or being transparently nice to them just because they are pretty. If a girl asks a male friend for dating advice, she knows that it is liable to be skewed by his attraction to her; and her girlfriends can sometimes be too nice, or even jealous. The tone of the blog was never something premeditated; it is just the way I think and write. But I understand why it is appreciated.

(Right-click and choose "Open link in new tab," then you can zoom in on the text)
I do get a lot of readers telling me that they are initially shocked or turned-off by the blog; but they say that they were intrigued. So they continued… and continued… until finally they realized that they agreed – at least with most things. And this is good, because it is exactly the type of reaction you expect when you are giving advice that is somewhat counter-cultural, yet true. Of course, I have to assume that some readers never get passed the “shocked” phase; I just never hear from them because they close their browser and move on. But that is expected also. Not everyone has an attention span and an open mind.

Ultimately, I understand that my readers appreciate my blog because they can trust it. They’d rather read a blog that they disagree with occasionally but trust completely, than a book or website that is trying to sell them something – even if it sounds good every time.

3. Has that response changed at all over time? How so?

It hasn't really, no. The number of people giving feedback has increased dramatically, but the types of responses (and the relative percentages of each type) haven’t changed.

4. What have been some of your most popular topics/posts?

One of the most popular has definitely been The Importance of Silence After a Breakup. Even though I wrote it fairly recently, it has already accumulated the second highest amount of traffic, and has by far the highest number of comments, which are overwhelmingly positive. I am in the final stages of writing a book that expands considerably on this topic, and how to handle breaking up with a man in general.

The post with the highest number of hits is Men Don’t Fall In Love The Same Way Women Do. The comments aren't all positive, but it has the largest number of and +1s on Google by far. I suspect its popularity is partially driven by the number of girls searching the internet for “how men fall in love,” (which is the number one search term leading to my blog) and the absolute absence of other material trying to explain it. I am in the process of writing a better post on the same topic at the moment.

A few others that have been very popular are:
What Men Think of You Without Makeup (this gets shared a lot on beauty forums)
What Men Think About Older Women (fairly controversial, as judged by the comments)

Some of my best posts are the newer ones, which dig a little deeper:

5. Your blog tagline says that, in your experience, women understand very little about men and the male mindset. Why do you think this is?

Well, for starters, it definitely isn't just women who are confused about the male mindset; men are equally confused about the female mindset – I just happen to write for women. There is a notion floating around that it has “always been this way,” but I absolutely disagree. A hundred years ago in Western societies, men knew what women wanted and women knew what men wanted. Even if they weren't happy with the rules of the game, and even if the rules were wrong, everyone knew them and played by them. But all that has recently changed, because we've rejected the old script. We live in a hugely tumultuous time for male-female relations. Men and women are “equal” now, but no one knows what to do anymore to attract the opposite sex. In the absence of any authority telling us how to behave, both sexes hear the word “equal,” shrug their shoulders in confusion, and assume that it means “the same.” We conclude that men want from women the same things that women want from men, and we act accordingly. But it isn't true. Social evolution (let alone biological evolution, which I think plays a part) doesn't occur that quickly. Both sexes still want significantly different things, but no one is telling us this anymore. And even though there is some overlap in our desires, this actually makes things more confusing, because it just serves to further mask the differences. Both sexes are currently standing in the rubble of a social battlefield, each trying to give the other what it doesn't want – mainly because we just don’t know any better.

6. In your opinion, what are the main differences in how men and women give each other dating advice?

That is a great question, because there are enormous differences. One of the largest symptoms of this difference, as I explained before, is actually one of the reasons that I started The Rules Revisited, and that is the complete lack of dating advice available for women on the internet – or in the media in general, for that matter. In the last 15 years, men have generated thousands upon thousands of books, blogs, websites, videos, businesses, etc. – each picking apart a different aspect of attracting women: overcoming approach anxiety, being authentic in a woman’s presence, mastering one-night stands, attracting women online, and so on. The sheer volume is impressive, and actually a huge testament to how much the male world revolves around the pursuit of women. But when you search for similar books or websites for women, you find very few – and many of them are actually written by men.

In my experience, women tend to seek dating advice mostly from friends. For example, my female acquaintances often ask me for dating advice; and I know that girls discuss it amongst themselves all the time. They love discussing it. They love telling their friends about what “he” said or did, gauging their friends’ reactions, and comparing related stories. Such a discussion is an event, to be enjoyed in-and-of-itself, whereas for men it is brief and purely practical – if it occurs at all.

There obviously are some women turning to the internet for dating advice, otherwise The Rules Revisited wouldn't have an audience. Probably this number is increasing, as people in general become more familiar with the power of the internet, realizing what lies at their fingertips. But there is no question that women lag men significantly in their use of written and internet-based dating advice.

In any case, we can say that the female approach to dating advice tends to be more social and discursive, while the male approach tends to be more individual and analytic.

7. Why do you think men and women approach dating advice so differently?

The sexes approach dating advice differently because the sexes think differently. The male mind is more inclined towards the kind of obsessive focus one needs in order to scrutinize even the tiniest of social interactions and break it down into usable rules. This is what we know how to do best, so this is the kind of advice we know how to follow.

Women are much more interactive, social and emotional thinkers. So they do what they do best: they bounce ideas or situations off of a number of different friends before drawing any conclusions. They feel their way through their questions, focusing on their gut instincts more. I also suspect that they are much more in tune with their friends’ and family’s emotional reaction to their dating situation, which is something that many men would never even consider.

I think it is important to point out that both approaches have certain strengths, but also certain flaws. The masculine ability to analyze is impressive, but men can get too easily trapped in a single problem, losing sight of the forest for the trees. For example, a man might perfect his online dating profile to the point that he has cute girls messaging him daily, or learn exactly how to react when his girlfriend tests his honesty or courage, only to realize – years later – that he still doesn't know how to keep a girl interested for more than three months.

The female strategy, on the other hand, gives women this incredible ability to capture the big picture and keep all of the various aspects of a relationship in the proper perspective; but I think women sometimes lack the depth of insight into specific problems that is sometimes needed to fix what’s wrong. So a girl might have 17 discussions with various friends about her dating life – and learn valuable things in the process – but never pinpoint that it is her short hair that’s turning men off, or her living situation that is preventing her from meeting new guys.

To borrow from the adage: a man is liable to forget the forest for the trees, while a woman is liable to forget the trees for the forest.

8.  Do you read other dating/relationship blogs? If so, which ones?

I read HookingUpSmart.com, written and run by Susan Walsh, which I very highly recommend for both sexes. For men I very highly recommend the sections of AnimusEmpire.com that are dedicated to “Manliness” and “Dating.”

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Economics of Sex

A reader recently posted a link to a video that captures, in extremely clear terms, a phenomenon that has been implicit (and at times, explicit) in everything I write on this blog. It is a video that discusses sexual economics, and more importantly, their implications for dating and relationships. Here it is:

I cannot recommend this video highly enough. Especially for anyone encountering this blog or its ideas for the first time, it gives an important insight into one of the biggest differences between men and women in dating and relationships (I believe bigger ones exist, but this is a great starting point for discovering them). Even regular readers can benefit by watching this video, because it articulates clearly and concisely ideas that are well-worth solidifying in your mind; and hearing them in such clear and concise terms will do exactly that.

With that said, I do want to point out two minor disagreements I have with the video, though I only feel the need to do so because I agree so completely with the rest:

(a) I think the video focuses too much on the pill as the source of the disparity between supply and demand, rather than on certain philosophical undercurrents in Western society, or mans' access to pornography - both of which are at least as responsible (if not more so) for the phenomena the video describes.

(b) It suggests that "affirming desirability" is a sexual motivation for women, but not for men (1:28). This is simply untrue. Yes, men bang women because an orgasm feels better in a vagina than in their hand; but a big part of that "better feeling" is actually pride: it is either the satisfaction of the woman's affirmation, or the affirmation from their guy friends upon sharing the story with them. I do, however, agree with their point that women tend to be motivated by the intimacy of sex more than men; and as I've suggested before, I also think that feeling desired is a greater sexual motivation for women than it is for men.* So I don't think this criticism detracts from the video's larger point that men and women have different motivations for sex.

To give credit where credit is due, the video was made by the Austin Institute for The Study of Family and Culture. I don't know anything more about their organization than what they have written on their "About Us" page, but I also don't care. I am just glad someone made the video.

* I don't think this is because women are more emotionally needy than men (as one might infer). I am convinced that it is because men are more desirous of carnal sexual pleasure. So as a woman, there is simply more sexual desire to be received.

Related Posts
1. The Analogy Between Sex and Commitment
2. Women Get to Play Out of Their League
3. Men and Sexual Variety
4. 5 Ways Men Misunderstand Women

Monday, February 24, 2014

6 Ways Men Mask Their Indifference

Whenever you are dating or seeing a guy, and there is some kind of external impediment to a normal relationship (or to the normal progress of a relationship), be skeptical of what "feels" true. By external impediment, I mean some factor outside the relationship that is making things between you difficult or impossible. You can scan the headings below to get an idea of what I mean. A man's affection in these situations will sometimes feel very much like the real thing, when the truth is that he is only allowing himself to fully express his feelings - or even slightly exaggerate them - because he knows that he is engaging in an impossible (or terminal) relationship. In other words, he will indulge in the relationship because he knows that he has an "out," and commitment will never be demanded of him.

Some men will do this in a manipulative way: they will consciously acknowledge to themselves that the relationship is a dead end, but act like everything is fine in order to continue in a fun or exciting or comfortable situation. More commonly, however, men will simply enjoy the relationship or the interaction with you, and will sub-consciously allow themselves to be more free with their affections or emotions or compliments, because they know in the back of their mind that they will never be forced to prove them by committing to you.

This isn't always the case, and your intuition is probably a strong guide in judging whether it applies in your case; but that intuition will be stronger still after understanding that this kind of behavior is a possibility, and recognizing the following ways in which this phenomenon can manifest itself:

1. Long Distance
This is probably the most common one. When a man is in another city or country, the pressure is off. He might not be cheating, but he is automatically expected to see you less, call you less, and generally be less involved in your life. Even though there is no impediment to him calling frequently, as he would if he were living down the street, it isn't expected of him. I've never been in a long distance relationship, but a few times I've kept in touch (for several months) with girls that I've met while traveling, so I know what this freedom feels like, and how low-investment those relationships are. The fact is that, if you are in different cities, you aren't on his mind anywhere near as much as you would be otherwise. When you are in the same place as a man, you occupy his thoughts frequently because there is always a possibility that you will be able to see each other soon. He is constantly entertaining this possibility in his mind, weighing it against other options. Even if you don't see each other as much as you'd like, he is still forced to think about that possibility (and therefore you) far more often. You are much more immediate to him. But when you are dating long-distance, there is no possibility to be together, and he mentally "shelves" you - that is, he makes you less of a priority in his life - because he knows that physical intimacy is not possible (and I don't only mean sexual intimacy). So a man in a long-distance relationship can put in far less effort to maintain the same level of commitment from you.

2. Technology
By technology I mean cell phones, text messaging, e-mail, etc. While these might seem to be facilitators of a relationship (as they make communication easier), they can often be exactly the opposite. Technology diminishes the amount of personal interaction that we have when we communicate, and, perhaps more importantly, allows us to multi-task. A guy can chat with you online every day, sometimes for hours, but because he is bored at work, while you are thinking "He texts me all the time even though he is busy at work." One time a girl thought I was falling in love with her because I called her almost every day for a couple weeks while I was driving home from work. The reality was that I just enjoyed talking to her and flirting, and I had nothing else to do during my commute. By the time I realized how much she'd read into it, it was too late. In extreme instances, a guy could be texting you from another woman's bed. Even if he doesn't multi-task like this, and uses his free time to contact you via chat or phone or video, it is less valuable than it is if you see him in person. If a guy spends an hour with you on video-chatting, for example, he only needs to be in front of his computer (or these days, his smartphone) in order to do it. In order to spend time with you in person, he would have to shower and get changed, travel to be with you, allow extra time for uncertainties like traffic or a change of plans, and then commute back. That one hour would be effectively two or three by the end of it. So interpret anything less than in-person one-on-one time with the caution it deserves.

3. His Relationship
Married men who are cheating on their wives, or guys who flirt with you even though they have a girlfriend, will never have to demonstrate how willing they are to commit to you. They can always hide behind their inability to leave their current woman. Judging from the e-mails I get, it is fairly common for men in marriages to profess their love to a mistress, but simultaneously claim that their hands are tied: "I would do anything for you, you know that - but I have a family; I can't just leave them." Getting involved with married men is a bad idea for many reasons, but this is an important one. He can continue to have the benefits of a secret relationship, always blaming his lack of intimacy on the fact that he is married and has and family, when the truth is that he wouldn't enter a serious relationship with you even if he were single. More commonly, a guy with a girlfriend might flirt with you and get your hopes up, when the reality is that he wouldn't want to be your boyfriend even if he were single; and it is precisely the knowledge that he can't be your boyfriend that gives him the liberty to engage in flirting with you. 

4. Your Relationship
You might be dating a guy that you are only semi-enthusiastic about, or thinking about breaking up with. Or perhaps you are married but unhappy. And there is a hot, single guy in your life that gives you a lot of attention. In fact, you are sure that if you weren't tied up, he'd be all over you. Think again. Men often allow themselves to enjoy the flirting, the sexual tension, the affirmation of your attraction and all the other makings of a courtship when they know that there is no pressure on them to follow through. They might not be attracted to you enough to make a move, but they will allow themselves to engage in the fun parts of the exchange because they know they will never have to. This is essentially the same mechanism as described in the previous point, except that it is a little more risky for the man, in the sense that he isn't in control of whether or not you end the relationship that is "preventing" something from happening between you and him.

5. Academic Degrees or Careers
I am sure some readers have been told "I love you, but I can't get engaged now; I need to graduate first." This might be true, but evaluate that statement with a heavy degree of cynicism. He could truly feel the need to get a piece of paper before making a commitment, or he could be uncertain about making a commitment to you at all and using his education as an excuse. Are you willing to wait until he graduates only to find out that he actually isn't as serious about you as you thought, or that he wants to "spend some time on his own" before he can commit to a future with you? The same kind of thing can be said about getting a promotion at work, or achieving financial stability (whatever that means), or buying a house. It all has potential to be bullshit.

6. Religious or Cultural Differences
Maybe your guy has told you that he "can't marry a non-Indian girl" (and you are American) or "I can't marry a non-Jewish girl" (and you are Catholic). While both of these might be perfectly true, men will often acknowledge their cultural or religious limitations and still continue to date you. I know plenty of guys who have done this, and the women simply hold on, thinking that maybe he will change his mind. Especially when it comes to culture and religion, you should take these men at their word: the relationship is a dead end. While there are a few Romeo and Juliet stories in the world, they tend to be played out only when both parties have little else in life to lose, not by people with comfortable lives and limitations imposed by cultures or creeds that they don't actually engage in or practice anyway. If you are trying (for example) to get a Hindu Indian doctor from a wealthy family to marry you, when you are a dark-skinned Muslim without an advanced degree, and his family has "expectations" about who he will marry, you are fighting a a losing battle against unreasonable prejudice: give up and cut your losses.

Related Posts
1. Men Don't Have Commitment Problems
2. The Analogy Between Sex and Commitment
3. The Dynamics of Dating Shy Men
4. Don't Let a Guy Waste Your Most Eligible Years

Thursday, February 20, 2014

There Is Nothing Modest About Loose Jeans

Every now and then I meet or see a girl wearing loose jeans. By "loose" I don't mean that the crotch is sagging around her knees, I just mean that there are places on her hips, ass and upper legs where the fabric is not touching her skin. I suspect that girls do this for one of three reasons:

(a) They think their figure isn't attractive enough to wear tight jeans.
(b) The think that tight jeans are immodest.
(c) They don't care about their appearance and loose jeans are more comfortable.

I realize I won't convince group (c) of anything, so I am only going to address (a) and (b). Let's start with group (a)...

No matter how fat you are, or how badly your ass is shaped, loose jeans make it look worse. Tight jeans might not make your ass or legs look good, but loose jeans will make you look like a man.

As for the group concerned with modesty: you need a reality check. Tight jeans are not provocative; they are normal. Despite what your parents probably raised you to believe, modesty is not something objective. What looks "appropriate" or "slutty" or "conservative" changes significantly depending on two things: context and social norms.

If you were to walk down the street of your city in a bikini in the middle of winter it would shock people and look slutty. Any man who saw it would be turned on. But on the beach, bikinis are normal. Men are much less turned on by them because they are expected. They don't look slutty at all. This is what I mean by context.

In Victorian times, swimsuits were less-revealing than most women's dresses are today. Today, swimsuits are more revealing than most women's underwear in Victorian times. Dress-like swimsuits didn't seen slutty or over-conservative in Victorian times, and neither do bikinis today. This is what I mean by social norms.

Here is the thing: modesty isn't a function of the quantity of skin you show, or the tightness of the clothes you wear; it is defined by how much your outfit makes men (or people in general) think that sex with you is imminent. The more you incite in men the thought that they can bang you easily, the less modest your outfit is. This is why short dresses are so much more sexual than pants. Men see you in a short dress and part of their subconscious recognizes that your vagina is essentially exposed (i.e. from the bottom). Sex seems much more accessible and immediate because there is only one thin layer of clothing covering the most sexually intimate part of your body.

But the threshold for triggering a man's thoughts of sexual proximity - the criterion for immodesty - is entirely relative to social norms and context. The man on the beach doesn't think sex is imminent when he sees you wearing a bikini, because every woman on the beach is wearing in a bikini, and he knows it is for swimming or sunbathing. But in 1910, if a man saw a woman on the beach in a bikini, he'd be sure that she was a woman of loose morals - and he'd probably be right.

Anyway, the point here is that wearing tight jeans in everyday American life is about as shocking as wearing a bikini on the beach in 2014. And wearing loose jeans in everyday American life is far more similar than you think to wearing a Victorian bathing costume to a Las Vegas pool party. Perhaps more importantly, when you use your clothes rather than your behavior to be modest, you are far more similar than you think to the girls who use their clothes rather than their behavior to get sexual attention. Don't be so sure that you are more intelligent just because you made the mistake about modesty rather than sexuality.

Is there an opposite extreme, where tight jeans start to look like a bikini on a Victorian-era beach (i.e. slutty)? Yeah, probably, but that's not the point - there are always excesses on both extremes. Today I happen to be calling out the conservatives.

So remember: wearing loose jeans doesn't avoid the wrong kind of attention; it just makes you look terrible.

Related Posts
1. "The Wrong Kind of Attention"
2. How to Get "The Right Kind of Attention"
3. Don't Wear Sneakers
4. The Most Important Time to Dress Well

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stop Having Sex to Prove He Likes You

I've dated several women who knew that I'd lost interest in a relationship with them long before we stopped having sex. In fact, a couple of times they knew it even before I realized it myself. In retrospect, I see that these girls continued having sex with me for one reason and one reason only: to continue feeling my sexual desire.

Some girls might have done this because they mistakenly believed that male sexual desire is something important or hard to come by; but these girls were mostly old enough or smart enough to know better. They wanted to experience my sexual desire because they needed the minimal affirmation it offered in order to feel good about themselves - or at least, in order to avoid feeling bad about themselves after realizing that the end was in sight.

I would call this situation pitiable, but ultimately pity is a wasted emotion, because it doesn't give enough credit to the agency of its object. So if you are still sleeping with a man who isn't as serious about you as you want him to be, I am not going to pity you, and I am not going to blame him. You and only you have the ability to change the situation.

You will only change the situation by demanding more in your relationships, and you will only demand more in your relationships if you believe that you deserve more in your relationships. And by a convenient loophole in human psychology, you will actually start believing that you deserve more in your relationships if you start acting like you deserve more in your relationships. So suck up the rejection and walk away.

Related Posts
1. Self-Improvement Takes Time
2. You Are Responsible for Your Own Romantic Happiness
3. Why Rejection Is a Good Thing

Sunday, January 26, 2014

5 Winter Fashions Men Like

Most men are familiar with the "75 degree rule," which refers to the fact that, in Spring, women seem to come out from their Winter hibernation once the temperature rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (for those of you not burdened by an archaic system of scientific units, that is 24 degrees Celsius). Spring comes, and hot girls are suddenly out everywhere wearing shorts, dresses, small t-shirts and skirts. When I first heard of the rule, I remember speculating that perhaps girls weren't actually indoors any more than men during the winter; it was just that we noticed them less when it was cold because they were all bundled up in clothes that hid their beauty.

I still stand by my speculation, because the simple truth is that the feminine figure is more attractive when it isn't concealed  (yes, even if the woman is overweight), and the more delicate and feminine parts of a woman's body - like her neck, jawline and breasts - add nothing to her attractiveness when they are covered by a jacket or scarf. So female winter fashion is all about minimizing the effect of the extra material. To this end, the fit of your winter clothes is more important than anything else. The more your clothes follow the natural lines of your figure, the better. This doesn't mean that you always need to wear tight clothes, but it does mean that the bulky jacket your mom bought for you last year probably makes you look like a man. Three tight layers are far better than one heavy layer.

Anyway, here are five female winter fashions/considerations that will make men find you more attractive in winter. There are obviously plenty of other ways to look attractive in cold weather, but these are good starting points:

1. A Jacket That Fits You. For the purposes of looking good in cold weather, nothing is more important than the fit of your jacket. Men should be able to see your curves when you are wearing your jacket. This means that it should follow the curves of your waist and hips. It also means having sleeves that don't add bulk to your arms. And then there are the general aesthetics related to having as few wrinkles as possible from excess material. Most popular clothes stores design and cut their clothes for "average" people, which in the United States, means fat people. So for many girls, getting a jacket that fits will mean having to buy something that is more expensive, or else having a cheaper jacket altered by a tailor. A draw-string at the waist can also help to achieve this effect.

2. Fur-Trimmed Hooded Jackets. I've often told my guy friends how much I like these, and they always agree. The fur is extremely soft, warm and playful = feminine; and if you choose the color to properly complement your complexion, it can be extremely attractive visually as well. Popular fashion seems to have caught on to this in the last year or so, and more girls are wearing them. Because of this, you might not stand out as much by wearing one, but it also means that it is much easier to find them in stores. Besides, "looking like every other girl" is only problematic when every other girl looks bad. Here is an example:

3. Tight Sweaters. A tight sweater embraces everything I said above about the importance of wearing well-fitted clothes. There is something both sexual and nurturing about a woman wearing a tight sweater. It is sexual for the obvious reason that it shows off her figure, but it is nurturing because it gives her an air of warmth and comfort. (Note: We left turtle-neck sweaters in the 90s for a reason: they are hideous on both sexes. Never wear one.)

4. Tall, Heeled Boots. Uggs are great if you want to look like a little girl; but if you want to attract guys over the age of 15, you will need to embrace a more mature look. Tall, heeled boots are sexy. They achieve all of the effects of attractive posture that you get from high heels, and their height draws attention to your thighs and waist. Heels are more important than height, but if heels aren't possible, tall boots without heels are still better than most other shoes - probably warmer too. All three of the examples below are great.

5. Leggings. Because they contain no vital organs, your limbs are the parts of your body least prone to the effects of cold weather; so most women are capable of going outdoors in leggings, even in the middle of winter. This is good, because they are sexy as hell. They make every woman's legs and ass look 10 - 20 % better than normal, and because they are so popular and reveal no skin, no one thinks they look slutty. Yes, they are hotter than a pair of tight jeans - probably because cotton can never conform to your body as well as synthetic, stretchy materials. And no, you don't need to be thin for them to make you look better. Black is obviously the most versatile color, but designs and patterns can work too, as long as they aren't overly obnoxious (e.g. cartoon characters or logos). Wear two or three pairs if it's too cold.

If any of these looks seem like they "aren't you" it is probably only because you haven't tried them yet.

Related Posts
1. The Most Important Time to Dress Well
2. Appearance Checklists
3. How to Make Any Outfit Better
4. Don't Wear Sneakers
5. Sexy Versus Cute

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Ways That Men Misunderstand Women

We tend to operate under the assumption that the opposite sex's behavior in a given situations is always informed by a rational understanding of the factors involved. But the truth is that there are many times where it is informed by a complete misunderstanding. So while the best way to understand male behavior is to become familiar with men's motivations and modes of thought, the second best way is to become familiar with men's motivations and misunderstandings - because it is (unfortunately) often that a man's behavior in dealing with women is rooted in misconception.

The following are five of the most common ways in which men misunderstand women, and some of the mistakes they make as a result.

1. Men don't know the difference between making a woman happy and attracting her. A lot of men believe that they will attract a woman by giving her what satisfies her in the moment, rather than doing what will demonstrate their character to her. Often these two things are in conflict. For example, a man will often tell a woman she looks beautiful, when the truth (which she knows) is that she is only looking decent. He will do this because he thinks that her momentary happiness is more important than her long-term ability to trust his opinion, and, by extension, him. Likewise, a man will often try to let a girl choose where to go for their date, because he wrongly believes that her enjoyment of the location is more important than her appreciation of his ability to be decisive and have a plan. These men don't realize that women are more interested in being with a man of character than frivolous things like always believing that they look pretty, or loving the restaurant where they enjoy a man's company. Men misunderstand this because they themselves are always seeking to be satisfied in the moment, and so they project that desire onto the women they date.

2. Men think women experience sex the same way they do. This might seem like a minor detail, as it only manifests itself during sex; however, it is actually central to a relationship, just as sex is central to a relationship. Men need an orgasm to really enjoy sex. It is nothing short of frustrating otherwise. A man who believes that a woman needs an orgasm in order to enjoy sex is misunderstanding something that is much bigger than his partner's desire to feel an orgasm. A man who thinks that his woman needs experience an orgasm to enjoy intercourse is far more likely to neglect the thing that she actually needs in order to enjoy sex: his integrity, openness, pleasure - and most importantly, his desire for her. I've had sex with a lot of women, and the ones who have really liked me could care less whether or not they have an orgasm. They are more than happy just to be fucked by a man that they feel lucky to be with. In fact, the reality is that the less a woman respects and is attracted to her man, the more she will "need" an orgasm to enjoy sex. But men project their own need for an orgasm onto their woman. They work too hard to get her off, and in the end, fail to satisfy her in the more important way: by enjoying her, and letting her be the object of his (as one reader called it) "hurricanes of desire." This misconception manifests itself in things like his performance of obsequious oral sex, his listening to you when you tell him to "come now" (rather than being authentic and coming when it happens naturally), or in general listening to how you tell him to fuck you. More severely, it shows up as performance anxiety.

[Before everyone starts jumping down my throat for this one: I am well-aware that women love having an orgasm during sex. But if you "need" an orgasm in order to enjoy sex, ask yourself whether you'd prefer to be ravaged deeply by your man without an orgasm, or be given an orgasm by a guy who goes down on you for so long that he goes limp and loses interest in fucking you. Of course you want both, but both aren't always possible; and the point is that, when they aren't, men often choose poorly between the two options.]

3. Men think that you know you are hot. Many men feel powerless in the presence of a beautiful woman. Actually, it is more accurate to say that many men feel powerless in the presence of any woman in proportion to how much more beautiful than him she is. This is particularly true in younger men, but some men never grow out of it. Much of this feeling of powerlessness is due to the assumption that the woman knows that she is beautiful, and that therefore, they stand no chance of having her. (The rest is due to what I will explain in point number 5, below.) The truth, of course, is that a woman's confidence is absolutely uncorrelated with looks. Many beautiful women feel wildly insecure. However, a lot of men don't realize this. They are so stunned by beauty that they cannot see past it. A man like this might be too intimidated to approach or pursue a woman that he perceives as being out of his league due to her looks alone, when the truth is that the girl may be wishing that he'd approach her.

4. Men think that you mean what you say. Men are literal creatures. Natural selection has weeded out those of us who didn't have a mind for focusing on the facts and the facts alone, and getting the job done. The result is that, while we excel at those things, we suck pretty hard at reading between the lines, interpreting emotions, or understanding what is left unsaid. And the more modern culture tries to tell us that men and women are the same, the harder it is for us to understand that women don't suck at this as much as we do. Many men, therefore, believe that women are equally literal. These men believe that women mean what they say, and say everything that they mean - but this is simply not true. I got an e-mail just the other day from a reader who broke up with her boyfriend, not because she didn't like him anymore, but because she was hoping he would fight for the relationship. She (understandably) wanted to feel desired by him, so she tested him by ending the relationship. I can guarantee you that the boyfriend believed that she ended the relationship because she wanted the relationship to end. After all, this is what a man does when he wants the relationship to end. But the truth is that she was ending the relationship specifically and exclusively because she did not want the relationship to end. I can give similar examples in which women have asked for things they didn't want in the hope that the man wouldn't give them to her, or others in which a woman has said things she didn't believe only to incite a reaction in a man (or another woman). The point is that, when a man responds to you, he is responding to what you've said or done under the assumption that it is immediately and directly motivated by what you want to happen.

5. Men think that women care just as much about physical attractiveness as men do. The fact that they believe this says a lot more about how important looks are to men than anything about how important looks are to women. It is projection through and through, and causes a lot of men to be insecure about their looks - almost as much as women are insecure about their looks, just without a valid reason. It also leads to men neglecting the important aspects of their character in order to learn how to dress perfectly, or spend all day in the gym. Women are left with a pool of jacked-up, perfectly-dressed, shaved-chested pussies from which to choose a husband, rather than confident and intelligent men of character who are a little rough around the edges. (Yes, I know this is an exaggeration, but the point is that you have fewer men to choose from.) If you've ever looked around and wondered "where are all the good men?" this is probably a big factor in answering your question.

You'll notice that all of these misconceptions are due to projection, encouraged by the notion that men and women are the same - which is not anywhere near as similar as people think it is to men and women being equal. Anyway, keep these things in mind next time a guy does something confusing - chances are one of these will explain why.

Related Posts
1. Misconceptions
2. Why Women Don't Know What Men Want
3. The Analogy Between Sex and Commitment