Thursday, May 27, 2010

Diary Of A Gateway Boyfriend: The Challenges of Being A Dating 'Genius'

You know how we dating writers always tell guys not to give advice or try to fix a problem unless they're specifically asked?

I don't always listen to my own advice.

Recently I was sitting around with some female friends. One of them was commenting on her boyfriend wanting praise for doing a minor domestic chore.

DAN: Did you give it to him?

WOMAN #1: Of course not. Why should I praise him for just doing the bare minimum?

In hindsight, it was probably a rhetorical question.

Too late. I was already in full Dating Fundamentalist Preacher mode. If there was a soapbox around, I would have climbed up and stood on it.

DAN: You can't withold praise. Men are like children. We need constant praise and attention. If you withold that, you end up divorced and unloved.

DIVORCED WOMAN AT THE TABLE: Thanks a lot.

Even Gateway Boyfriends sometimes say the wrong thing. Especially when they're worked up about something.

DAN: I didn't mean you. (to Woman #1)So any time he does anything that is kind of like what you want, First you grab his arm with both hands and snuggle up against him so your boobs rub aganst his arm. and then you say, "My Hero."

WOMAN #1: Uh huh.

DAN: And then you kiss him on the cheek.

At this point I demonstrated, cuddling into a near wall, and popping up on my tippy toes to kiss the plaster.

GIRL#1: that was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

DAN: It was not ridiculous. It was cool and romantic and educational.

DIVORCED WOMAN: Do it again so I can video it with my Blackberry.
DAN: No way!

DIVORCED WOMAN: Why, cause you're afraid of looking stupid?

DAN: Of course not. Gateway Boyfriends always look great. It's because...because it's proprietary information, that's why. The last thing I need is bootleg Gateway Boyfriend products on the market. I have to protect my brand.

The Women just shook their heads.

DAN: You know that saying "My Hero" and kissing a guy on the cheek? I could use that right about now.

More head shaking.

I wonder if Dan Savage has days like this.

-May All Beings Be Called "My Hero"

[UPDATE - Several days later I got an email from Woman #1 saying my advice worked. So my public humiliation was not in vain. One more blow struck for true love, courtesy of the Gateway Boyfriend

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Intimacy Is Not Automatic

It is popularly believed that intimacy comes over time.

I don’t think that’s true.

Yes, intimacy can grow over time, but it isn’t automatic. Intimacy grows like a garden not like interest in a bank account. It needs tending. And like a garden, you need to tend it every year. Last year’s results have no bearing on what happens this season.

This is good news. Because it means we don’t have to wait for intimacy. We can start planting the seeds right now.

There are two tools you can practice right now that will lead you towards intimacy with lovers, family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. One is presence. The second is honesty.

1 - Presence. It sounds heavy and mystical, but all it means is pay attention to the person you’re talking to. A lot of us think we’re paying attention when we really aren’t. We’re thinking about what we have to do next. We’re worrying about how we are coming across to this person or whether or not we’re saying the right thing.

The better you can let all of that go and simply pay attention the stronger your connection with other people will become.

2 - Honesty. Honesty isn’t the same as hiding behind facts. Honesty is being willing to be open about yourself. Honesty is being willing to be wrong. Honesty is being true to who you are and expressing it genuinely.

Most of all, honesty is telling people the truth about how you feel about things.

Practice these things and watch intimacy develop naturally. Above all, prepare to be surprised: Intimacy can happen faster than you think.

PRACTICE

Pick either honesty or presence to work on in your conversations with people over the next few days. Periodically check in to see how well you are either paying attention or expressing yourself honestly. What happens? Do you notice differences in the way people relate to you? What about the way you relate to others?

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How To Be Great At Sex: Lover With A Slow Hand

Slow down, slow down, slow down, and when you think you‘re going as slowly as you can, cut THAT speed in half.” -Professional wrestling saying


I find 90% of the things in an adult store irredeemably cheesy. One game I have gotten some use out of is a game called ‘Fan the Flames.’

It’s not a complex game. You ask each other questions and if you get the correct answer, your partner has to do to you whatever is written on one of a deck of cards. “Kiss me like it’s the Fourth of July.” “Mold me as if you were a sculptor.” “Finish My Taxes.”

Okay, that last one, I made up. Though I am a sucker for a woman who’s good with numbers.

Cheesiness aside, there are three ways games like Fan the Flames are great lovemaking practice.

1 - The vague instructions. There are a lot of sex manuals out there with diagrams and arrows and multi-step instructions. You can learn a lot from them, but it’s also easy to get caught up in the ‘doing it correctly’ mindset and its various frustrations. If you’ve ever tried to take beginner’s dance lessons as a couple, you probably know exactly what I mean.

The good thing about “Kiss me like it’s the Fourth of July” is there is no way to get it wrong. It keeps you in the right mindset, which is focusing on yourself and your partner doing what feels good.

2 - It’s great practice for Giving and Receiving. When you’re having sex, who is giving and who is receiving can sometimes get muddled. The cards make it clear. It’s a good way to get used to what it feels like to give and receive fully with no expectation. As well, there is no next step to worry about beyond what is written on the card so you can give what you’re doing your full attention without your mind leaping forward to what comes next.

3 - It slows you down. You move your pieces on the board. You draw and read cards. You answer questions. You do what’s on the card. You stop and move pieces again. It gives you space. Space to pay attention to your partner. Space to notice what feels good for you and for the other person. Space to start to discover your personal rhythms.

And maybe you start to notice something surprising.

Sex isn’t the moves. Sex happens in the space between the moves.

It happens in the sliver of air between one kiss and the next. It happens in shifts of pressure and direction. It happens after you’ve made love, in giggles in the dark, or napping together, or quiet revelations.

Good sex also happens over the few hours between the text message you sent her from work and the time you get in the door. It happens when you make eye contact while chopping vegetables together. It happens when you nap together in the afternoons or giggle in the dark. Sex happens in teases and jokes, quiet revelations, and sometimes even tears.

A lot of us worry about how to make sex better. But good sex is always there. Best of all, you don‘t need to do anything to find that good sex. All you have to do is slow down and notice it.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everything That Happens Is For Your Own Good

Everything that happens to you is for your own good.

You may or may not believe this. But it‘s a handy attitude to adopt because it teaches you appreciation.

You need appreciation, because without it, you cannot properly Receive. And since Giving and Receiving are the wings of love, and since no bird flies on one wing, being unable to Receive cripples you.

Being grateful for everything, on the other hand, opens you up. It allows you to accept bad things as well as good, and if you can find something to appreciate about the things in your life you DON’T want, imagine how your ability to be grateful for good things will grow.

Here we are talking about a strong gratitude, not the weak and needy kind we use to make ourselves feel worse. For example, if a Bad Boyfriend’s phone call comes three days late in the middle of the night, and only because he wants something, the thought, “I should be grateful he even called at all” is not trying to help you. Gratitude is not accepting scraps, and it isn’t letting yourself be treated badly.

Instead, be thankful for the opportunities. A person who doesn’t call when he says he will giving you an opportunity to decide what you really want. Be thankful. Bad relationships help us learn to find and draw our boundaries. Be thankful.

Be thankful for uncomfortable feelings. Say ‘thank you’ to the fear, the guilt, the anger. Welcome pain and heartbreak like old friends. Too often we try to push these feelings away, only to have them grow stronger and more uncomfortable. But often these feelings have something to teach us. Or maybe--like all of us--those feelings just want someone to let them know they matter.

Show them appreciation.

While we‘re at it, we also need to show appreciation for the good things in our life, especially the little things. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what’s missing in life, we take the things we do have for granted.

Find something to be thankful for. Be thankful for the internet--without it there would be no dating sites. Be thankful for the woman who won’t return your calls. She’s teaching you patience. Be thankful for the man who broke your heart. The wounds might be too fresh for you to realize how he’s made you stronger…but he has, and that strength will show up in your future relationships. Both you and your future lover will be grateful for it.

It is never to soon to start practicing gratitude. No matter what your situation, if you can’t appreciate what you have now, what makes you think you’ll be able to appreciate the things you want when they arrive?


PRACTICE

Take a few moments to be grateful for some of the positive things in your life. Once you start, you may find yourself surprised at how many things you have to appreciate. You may even find yourself noticing some things that you’ve been taking for granted.

Once you’re in an appreciative mind, pick something small you don‘t like about your life right now. Maybe it’s an outside annoyance, maybe it’s a quirk of your own personality. Is it possible for you to find something to appreciate about that annoying thing? Can you find a way to feel real gratitude for that quirk or minor annoyance?

As always, pay attention to what you notice.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

[For Women] If He Likes You, He Will Call

If he likes you, he will call. It’s that simple.

More accurately, if he LIKES likes you he will call.

A lot of us have a hard time wrapping our heads around the fact that it is possible for someone to like us and not really care about us one way or the other at the same time.

In other words, he likes you, but he doesn’t LIKE like you.

He enjoys your company. He wishes you only good things. He likes spending time with you and the sex can be great. He think you’re funny or smart and he knows you have a lot of things in common. He appreciates the things you do for him.

But that doesn’t mean he LIKES likes you.

If he LIKES likes you, he will call. If he LIKES likes you, he will have a hard time NOT calling.

LIKE liking is not easily faked. In fact, the only way it can ever work is if the other person wants to be fooled.

If a woman likes a guy enough, she will make excuses for why he doesn’t call. He’s not sure how he feels. He’s afraid of appearing too needy. He’s frightened of his own feelings.

Maybe. I doubt it, but maybe.

But even if those things are true, those are his problem, not yours. If he’s not calling, it doesn’t matter why. It only matters that he isn‘t calling.

Here are some things that MIGHT be your problem

-You are consistently falling for guys who don’t call.

-The Guy IS calling, but he isn’t calling the way you want him to so it doesn‘t ‘count.’

-You are making his calls the most important thing in your life.

- You are basing your judgment on a single incident. One non-call does not mean he doesn’t care. By the same token, the fact he called once when he said he would isn’t cause for celebration.

One of the things that makes romance difficult is it is so tempting to allow yourself to be fooled. We have illusions about other people: He or she is so smart, funny, perfect, etc.

We also have illusions about ourselves. I don’t deserve this. I’m going to reject him before he rejects me. If I don’t do all the work, I don’t truly love him.

The illusion of romance is part of what makes it fun. We can believe we are perfect, that our lover is perfect, that we are headed for the most wonderful love that ever there was.

We can enjoy the happy illusions. We can learn to look past the bad ones. But we must always recognize reality.

And reality is this:

If he LIKES likes you, he will call.

It really is that simple.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Diary of A Gateway Boyfriend: Apology

Apologies for the lack of articles this week. I have been distracted because I am sick.

Also I may be falling in love with someone.

As per my policy of not revealing details about ongoing relationships I can't talk about it, but...well, we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I will make things up with three articles next week

One of them will be about sex.

Stay tuned

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Rule Of Thumb

This is a small thing, but when you’re using your hands on another person--especially one in whom you have a romantic interest--remember the Rule of Thumb.

The Rule of Thumb is: use them sparingly and keep them relaxed.

You don’t want to be grabbing people, especially people you’ve just met. It’s too aggressive. Feeling trapped or restrained is not a comfortable feeling--for some people it‘s downright scary, and scared people react in unpredictable and often unpleasant ways.

If you’re going to put your hands on someone, think cupping, rather than gripping. Your thumb should be next to your fingers. Not only is it less threatening to the other person, it is a lot easier to glide, release, adjust pressure, and be sensitive to how the other person is responding physically.

Practice that. And once you get used to not grabbing, you may start to notice that with your thumbs free, you can use them to do all sorts of wonderful things to a person’s skin.

Have fun discovering them.

Good:



Not So Good:



-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Giving and Receiving

Breakfast at a Buddhist monastery is an odd place to have dating revelations. Bear with me.

This is how breakfast works. Everyone sits at a long table. Food starts at one end of the table and is passed down. Each person takes what they like and hands it to the next person.

This is how it should work: Receive food. Take what you need. Pass the food to the next person in line. Bow to them. Turn to receive the next dish from the person on the other side. Bow. Receive food.

And so on...

This is how it actually went for me on the first day: Receive food. Worry about the person on my other side being hungry and impatient so take a quick scoop for my own plate without paying attention to how much I actually wanted. Turn to pass the food on and realize the next person was still holding the previous dish so was in no position to take it. Notice the next plate coming my way on the other side. Shove the food I was holding at the next person the second their plate left their hands whether or not they were actually ready. Remember that I forgot to bow. Clumsily try to bow and receive the next dish at the same time...

There is an art to being able to give and receive.

Thinking about dating in terms of Giving and Receiving is the alternative to the Getting Mindset. We don’t give to get something in return. We give because we want to give. We receive because it feels good to have people give to us.

We‘ll go deeper into Giving and Receiving in future posts, but here are five quick points to get us started.

You can’t ONLY give or ONLY receive. You can enjoy one more than the other. You can be better at one than the other. But in order to make a real contribution you need to be willing to do both.

You can’t give and receive at the same time. Don't believe me? Try and give your partner a foot massage while they do the same to you. It might be giggly, but in terms of the quality of the experience, it's going to be unsatisfying.

On a similar note...

Give fully. Receive fully. Dealing with a person who CAN'T do this is a disorienting experience. I call it Closed Fist Giving (or Receiving). They ask for something (or in some cases don't ask), but then expect you to pry their fingers open and put it in their hand. Or they'll offer you something and then refuse to let go of it or pull it away when you reach to accept.

Learning to ask and accept doesn't come easy to some of us. Some of us also fear being taken advantage of, which makes giving tough. If you're one of those types, do the best you can.

If the other person isn’t ready to receive what you want to give, don’t force it. Maybe you feel you have exactly what this person needs. Maybe you're right. But if they aren't willing to accept, there's nothing you can do. Similarly, wanting something from someone does not mean they are obligated to give it to you.

Don't Give or Receive anything until you're ready. Just because somebody offers you something, you don't need to take them up on it. Similarly, no matter how badly a person says the need something from you, if you aren't comfortable or ready to give it to them, DON'T DO IT. Take care of what you need first, and then pass along what you can.

PRACTICE

An simple way to start practicing Giving and Receiving is when you buy something. Instead of falling into the Getting Mindset, where we do something to get something back, try thinking in terms of Giving and Receiving. Give the clerk your money freely and without expectation. Receive your purchase as though it were a gift.

Look for other opportunities to practice Giving and Receiving. Pay attention to how it feels.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: The Compassionate Degenerate

If you’re going to take my advice, you should know something about me.

Hence this posts, and others like it. Over time I hope you’ll get a clear enough picture of me to decide if I‘m worth listening to or not. I talk a lot about honesty and being accountable for yourself. Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend is my way of practicing what I preach. So is putting my real name to the things I write.

Not everything I write in these entries will be 100% true. Names (except for mine) and identifying details will be changed and I won’t be writing about people I‘m currently dating. I also imagine I’ll sometimes write things in a way that makes me sound either better or worse than I actually I am.

But even if not all the facts are true, I AM going to try to be honest. You have to be when you’re the Gateway Boyfriend (or girlfriend).

So let me be honest about this. I am not a guru. I am not a relationship expert. I am not a PUA or a dating coach or even someone with a particularly stable romantic life. I’m just a guy who through some quirk of genetics or upbringing found himself strangely suited for a unacknowledged, unpaid role he never knew existed.

I’m the Broken Hearted Bodhisattva, the Achalanatha d’Amour, the Compassionate Degenerate, the Shaman of Sexy. I’m the Gateway Boyfriend. Or A Gateway Boyfriend, at any rate. I’m sure there are other guys like me, although the only two other people I’ve met in a similar situation to mine are both women.

Do I like it?

That’s a great question, and I don’t know the answer.

Here are a few questions that come up from time to time:

Is there something wrong with me? Am I a bad person? Will I ever find Tru Wuv? Why can’t I have a normal life with a normal wife like a normal person?

Am I making a difference?

These are great questions, but they aren’t HELPFUL questions. They’re too big. The more I try and answer them the more confused things get.

Far more helpful to stay with my breath and my body. Easier to remember I don’t have to answer the big questions.

There’s only one question that matters.

What can I do right now?

Or more accurately: What can I do right now that will be helpful?

That question anchors me. It reminds me I don’t need to figure everything out at once. All I need to do is pay attention and be honest with myself.

It’s not always as easy as it sounds, but I do my best.

While I‘m here, I might as well tell you about my plans for this blog. I’m hoping for guest articles from writers who also have readers’ best interests at heart, so folks can see points of view other than mine. I have an ebook I’ve written--Dating for Shy Guys--and I also want to be able to offer phone support. I’m not crazy about giving these things away because that implies they’re value-less. At the same time, I feel charging a set fee goes against the whole reason I’m doing this in the first place. My current plan is to try and set offer the e-book and counseling on a for-donations basis, but we’ll have to see what the technology and the taxman have to say about that.

That’s all in the future though, and ultimately I don‘t know what‘s going to happen. I do know writing this blog helps me. Even if I never end up a normal person in a normal marriage with a normal wife I’m still making the best contribution I know how to stronger, healthier, happier relationships.

Whoever you are and wherever you are, I hope something here helps you. Because just by reading it, you‘ve certainly helped me..

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.