Showing posts with label bs dating advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bs dating advice. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BS Dating Advice: Women Aren’t Into Casual Sex Like Men Are


 

I dont know if this is true or not.

I do know that there are there are men who arent as into casual sex as our culture leads them to believe they should be. I also know women who have discovered that they can enjoy sex in a lot of ways and a lot of other circumstances other than the script they've been handed most of their lives (*)

I also know this. When it comes to casual sex, women often ask themselves questions that men often do not.

1 - Will the sex be good?
2 - Will the sex be safe?
3 - Will I be judged?
4 - Can this moron keep his mouth shut?

Bad Sex, Unsafety, Judgement, and Indiscretion are the Four Horsewomen of the Casual Sexapocalypse. The last thing a woman needs is her Rainy Day Penis bla-bla-bla-ing to all their mutual friends or showing up unexpectedly at social functions and making an awkward scene because I wanted to see you.

When it comes to casual sex, many women think of these things a lot. When it comes to casual sex, many men dont think of them ENOUGH.

Probably many of us guys would avoid a lot of trouble for ourselves if we took more time before hook-ups to ask: Is this going to be worth the potential consequences? Are there possible dangers Im not seeing here? Does this woman KNOW this is as a casual hook-up or --not that I led her on or told her what I thought she wanted to hear or anything--is she under the illusion that there is the potential for something more and boy are things going to be awkward at the company Christmas party.

Just something to think about.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

(*) Women are only supposed to enjoy sex when its with a committed partner. And even then, they're supposed to enjoy the emotions part, not the sex part. At least not TOO much, anyways.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BS Dating Advice: I Need To Be More Confident.



Confidence is a great example of something that often falls into the "Wrong Tool for the Wrong Job" problem.

Guys and girls think they need to build their confidence before they can be successful dating.

But when you ask them about what confidence means, the answer that comes back often shows that they are frequently confusing three different things: Confidence, social ability, and extraversion.

1) Confidence means someone believes they can do something. It is not a reflection of their actual ability. Yes, confident people are more likely to succeed, but they are ALSO more likely to fail because they put themselves out there in fields where their belief in themselves is not justified.

2) Social ability is the collection of skills that includes initiating dates and kissing, reading social cues, etc. Learning to do those things doesn't say anything about your level of confidence. It also doesn't say anything in your level of extroversion/introversion. They're behaviors, not traits.

3) Extroversion/introversion: There are a couple different definitions, but the ballpark one tends to be "Are you stimulated by being around others or by being alone?" Some people believe that extroversion/introversion is less about people but more about your nervous system and how much stimulation it needs to be loaded or overloaded. Either way, it isn't really related to social ability or confidence.

It's possible to mix and match these qualities. Certainly, a person who is extraverted, confident, and socially skilled will probably excel socially, but you can still make the most with two or even only one of the three. Ability, especially, is not a fixed trait. With practice and dedication we improve regardless of our levels of confidence or our level of extraversion/introversion.

Here's another thought:

I once read a bunch of women describe what a confident man looked like to them. Everything they talked about was about behavior.

 NOTHING they said told me anything about whether the men they described was actually thinking confident thoughts or experiencing confident feelings.

I'm not saying what we think and feel isn't important, and I'm not trying to pretend our personalities and our confidence has no effect on our lives.

But we often vastly undervalue the power of learning, practice, and experience. In everything I've ever been involved in--social skills, comedy, martial arts, crisis work--it's the people who are willing to put the time in that see improvements, regardless of their personality type or their actual level of confidence. 

For more other Gateway Boyfriend articles on confidence, check out here and here.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

(Editorial - For women) BS Dating Advice: Men Find Strong Independent Women Intimidating



A woman at the office the other day told me that the reason she can't find a date is that men find her 'intimidating.'

I hear that now and then.

I've dated a number of these women. I like them a lot. I find their strength and focus attractive. I love the way they change the world around them with their drive. If the universe wills it/I get my shit together/meet the right person, I would like nothing more than to spend my life with a strong, self-reliant woman who is part of my life, but has a life outside what we do together.

Here's the thing.

I've noticed sometimes that Strong, Independent Women tend to be super-focused, organized, and dedicated to fixing things. They're like Vanilla Ice: If you got a problem, yo, I'll solve it. They like to be completely in control at all times, and while they might say they'd like to leave things in someone else's hands, there aren't many someone elses out there that they are willing to surrender things to.

But relationships can't be controlled. Relationships can't be organized. Relationships are not always about fixing.

Relationships are messy.

Many of these women, it seems, try to control them anyway. They're about fixing problems. Finding an appropriate work-life balance. Managing agreements.

I guess that's fine for some people. Certainly I know relationships where a little more balance between the relationship and other parts of the couple's life or coming to better agreements would be a step in the right direction.

Taken too far though, it feels crappy.

It feels like you're another problem to be managed or a block on her calendar to squeeze in between tennis lessons and business meetings. You're not sharing her life, You're just another piece in the puzzle.

It feels like for her, it's more about the role I play in her life than who I am as a person.That if I break down or stop working the way she wants me to, she'll either throw me out and replace me or worse, stick me in a corner somewhere and ignore you.

Maybe you'll become an item on her list: I really need to do something about that Partner. Maybe when things slow down. After tax season perhaps. Once work is a little less stressful.

One of these days.

I feel like she doesn't need me. And it's hard to open up about my needs without feeling like I'm inconveniencing her.

The worst is when the woman is a strong woman who also wants to follow a 'traditional dating script. It becomes the man's job to call first and plan dates and initiate sex, but there's no real feedback coming back about whether what you're doing is working because "I-shouldn't-have-to-tell-you-these-things."

Maybe you'll talk about it. Maybe she'll tell you to speak up more, that you need to deal with your own insecurities, or be more assertive.

She'd be right, of course. These women are always right.

And yet you'll leave the conversation feeling worse. Like you've just been shown one more thing about yourself that I have to fix, one more area where you've once again fallen short or disappointed her, that somehow, once again, this is your fault.

I need to be more of a man. I need to be less weak. What's wrong with me? She's right. I just need to Try Harder.

And eventually there comes a day where you get tired of trying, sick of feeling like you're the only one trying. Sick of feeling insecure and needy and clingy.

It's not that we stop liking you. You're exactly the person we fell for, after all-- smart, driven, strong, dedicated. We like you just fine.

We've stopped liking ourselves.

We imagine talking to you about it. And in our heads we hear your voice: "I thought we dealt with this already" or "You have to tell me these things better" or "So how can we help you deal with this?"

The best of us break up with you at this point.

But not all of us are at our best. Sometimes we check out of the relationship. Sometimes we just vanish one day. Some of us cheat.

I'm not making excuses for us. You deserve to have a partner who talks to you. You deserve a partner who is present and there in the relationship. Nobody deserves to be lied to or cheated on. When we make those choices, we often end up causing as much hurt for ourselves as we do for you. We aren't just letting you down; we're letting ourselves down.

This isn't about excuses. This is about explanations.

Because that's what I hear most from these types of women. They are genuinely hurt when these things happen to them. They can't figure out why they keep dating guys who vanish from their lives without a trace, who stop calling, who break off engagements, who cheat, and how it seems to keep happening over and over again.

This doesn't happen to their friends. This doesn't happen to other people. Somehow for all her success, all the things she'd doing so well, her confidence, and her drive and all the things the world tells her she's supposed to have...well she's DOING those things.

So why is this thing, this one thing, this stupid little love thing that so many other people seem to have no problem with not working for her?

And the world gives her an answer. It's a platitude, and it's not true, and because it's not true, it ends up causing more confusion than ever. Men feel threatened by strong women. We're intimidated by you.

Bullshit.

Look, we may have done you wrong. We may not have been as assertive as we wanted to be or as honest as we could have been when we were with you. Maybe we weren't strong enough and we ran away.

But today, at least, I'm going to tell you the truth. It may not be what you want to hear, but you deserve to hear it. Certainly, it will be good for me to speak it.

When it comes to you, Strong, Independent Women...we don't feel threatened by you. We just feel like to you, we don't matter.

We aren't intimidated.

We're lonely.

Monday, August 26, 2013

BS Dating Advice: "There's No Such Thing As Failure"




"Failure is always there, and its okay to recognize that." -Chael Sonnen, fighter


Sometimes I hear people say 'there is no such thing as failure, only learning' when it comes to dating and relationships.

I suppose from one perspective that might be true.

Unfortunately it's also true in dating and relationships that sometimes we try our best and things don't work out the way we hope.

It's all well and good to say there's no such thing as failure, but it's cold comfort when you've put yourself out there and feel like your heart got ripped out.

Sure, in the large scale we can tell ourselves 'it's just learning' or 'everything happens for a reason' but let's face it: In the moment, it's hard to look at the pathetic text message we just sent after we promised we wouldn't contact him again, that moment of  hesitation that made the difference between saying hello to a stranger and watching her walk out the door, or finding yourself and a person you genuinely care about inexplicably trapped in the Relationship Death Spiral and not feel like we let ourselves down.

These things happen. Not just in love, but in life as well.

For example, I recently failed to place in a stand-up comedy contest I expected to win outright. Afterwards, there was a lot of second-guessing. I found myself grasping for reasons, for explanations, for excuses. Once that ended, it was doubt's turn--doubt that I'm as good as I think I am. But the truth is, I performed well. It was just other people's night.

This happens in relationships too. Things don't work out the way we expect.

So why try at all? Isn't it better to just give up and save ourselves that heartache? If someone wants us, they'll take the time and effort to break down our walls and save us from our self-imposed exile. If not...then it wasn't meant to be.

This type of thinking is seductive, but dangerous.

For a lot of us, it's hard not to measure ourselves by outside results. It's easy to tell ourselves and others not to do it, but I think its pretty normal to feel rocked by failure or uncertainty or to feel like it doesn't count as a success unless we can show it to other people or measure it somehow.

At the same time there is a real powerful feeling that comes from the realization that you can fail and you won't be broken. I fell short the other night in front of a roomful of friends, peers, judges, strangers, and myself. And I'm still here. I still have the people that care about me. I'm still going to perform again. The world didn't end.

We don't like to talk about becoming at peace with failure because it sounds like 'loser talk.' But being willing to fail teaches you a lot. Running from the possibility of failure means never really learning how resilient you are or how capable you are of adapting and overcoming adversity.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: "Our Relationship Sucks...But So Does Everybody Else's"

I've been working on this post off and on since 2009, when I was in the throes of a dying relationship.

I'm still not happy with it, but it's been sitting in my drafts folder forever. Maybe it's time to put it out imperfectly and see what happens. Maybe something in it will speak to you.

I'm fascinated by long-term relationships.

I'm not particularly good at them and at this point in my life (mid-2013--ed.), I'm edgy at the thought of entering another one, but from the outside looking in, they're fascinating things.

I AM beginning to wonder about a lot of  advice people in long-term relationships get.

Much of it stresses communication. Much of it suggests "working" on the relationship and "doing" things.

I don't know.

My experience in trying to maintain long-term relationships leads me to believe that a lot of the talking and doing stuff "for the relationship" is actually more of a distraction than anything. Because when you're talking about the relationship or DOING stuff for the relationship, you aren't EXPERIENCING the relationship. It's a way of turning your attention away from what's actually going on.

You're both so busy running around flipping switches and turning valves like undermanned TARDIS pilots you aren't paying attention to whether the relationship is worth maintaining. You don't have time to spend LIKING each other.

My experience is, it's exhausting.

The other question that's come to my mind from watching other people in their relationships is whether or not a relationship has to be "good" (I'm talking within the realm of healthy, as opposed to ones containing addictions, violence, and various other unsavory parts of human nature).

I think a lot of us have this idea in our mind of the kind of relationship we want, and anything that falls short of that is failure and needs to be "worked on" or "fixed"...or even scrapped altogether.

I've started thinking about this as I was talking to a number of guys in ongoing relationships. Each guy pretty much said the same thing: "My relationship stinks."

"You will die soon. Your partner will die soon. Be kind to each other." - A Buddhist monk's marriage advice.

A relative of mine said s/he (must preserve the anonymity you know) goes through periods of in hizzer relationship, where things are terrible and hizzshe doesn't know if it will survive.

And then something changes. Or nothing changes. But the relationship rumbles on.

"70% of out problems never really go away," s/he told me. "They keep coming up in different forms again and again."

It makes me wonder if all that crap about "authentic communication" and "making time for the relationship" is a bunch of hooey. I wonder what would happen if we turned to our partner and said:

"I love you. Our relationship sucks. But so does everybody else's."

I wonder if that might take a lot of pressure off. Instead of trying to live up to some imagined or societal ideal, instead of looking to your parents or society or your peers and comparing your relationship to what you see on the outside, each of you resolves to try and be the best person you can be--not for the other person, but for yourself--and see what happens.

And yet...

"Some relationships are like glass. It's better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself trying to put them back together."     -Unknown
 

There are also the relationships that are clearly shitty. The people in them are clearly miserable. I want to grab them and yell "Why do you insist on staying with something that is clearly hurting both of you?" but usually I'm too polite to do so.

What strikes me in those situations is how many of the reasons people stay in relationship has nothing to do with the relationship itself or even how much they care about the other person. Sometimes it's financial. Sometimes its fear of divorce or break-up or what will the neighbours think. Religious reasons. Personal pride. I'm not immune--I once stayed in a long-term relationship well past the expiry date because I wanted to prove to myself and the world that I could DO long-term relationships.

The same person who talked about the way hizzer relationship rumbles on also said that if s/he ever lost hizzer partner, s/he wasn't sure s/he would re-enlist for another round, not out of grief but because it's so damn exhausting to have to be constantly thinking of another person.

"Not the big, life-altering stuff," s/he hastens to explain. "But these constant stupid little things. Getting up to go to the bathroom and hearing the bathroom door click shut because your partner just went in there. Not being able to just take the car and go without checking the clock and comparing schedules and "who's-got-the-keys" and "Do-you-need-the-car-for-the-next-little-bit-darling?" It's exhausting."

I sometimes think of something a woman I know said when a younger woman asked her how she knew she had met The One.

Her reply was, "Frankly dear, it was pretty much a crap shoot."

You mystify me, long-term, monogamous relationship people. Some days I think you're all completely crazy. Some days I envy you.

But I wish you all the best. 

Life is short. You never know when and how it will end. So whatever choice you make, look for the one that will leave you happy.

OTHER GATEWAY BOYFRIEND RELATIONSHIP POSTS:

Love and Relationships Are Not The Same

Having It All

Do You Want Me To Stay Or Do You Want Me To Not Go?

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

BS Dating Advice: Kiss The End Of The First Date



I don’t like to kiss at the end of the first date.

I think it puts too much pressure on the kiss. Should we kiss? Should we not kiss? What kind of message are we sending?

I don’t like pressure.

There are other reasons. One of them is my own insecurity. If I botch the kiss and head-butt her in the nose, I don’t want that to be her lingering memory of our time together.

Besides, I live in Canada. It’s hard to enjoy a first kiss in the middle of a freezing wind, both shivering and so bundled up in winter clothes you can barely put your arms around each other-- lips chapped, noses running, hoping not to get a mouthful of wool scarf.

If I’m going to kiss someone, I want it to be at a time and place when I can enjoy her the way she deserves to be enjoyed.

Did I say her?

I mean it, of course. The kiss.

Also, if I kiss someone, I don’t want it to be at the end of the date. I know myself. I’m not the kind of person who can kiss someone just once. I’ll want to taste those lips again, experiment with soft and strong, teasing and direct, gentle and hungry.

So I’ll wait.

Maybe the second date. Possibly even the third.

There’s something to be said for building anticipation. Both of you know it’s coming, but you don’t know when or how.

Contrary to what you might read in Cosmo or on the internet, there are a lot of right ways a kiss can happen. So rather than trying to force it to happen at a certain time (end of first date) or a certain way (The Three-Step Kiss Close or whatever the kids are calling it these days), just let go and see what happens.


After all, there’s something amazing about that distance between two pairs of lips. It’s so close that you can measure it in glances, but so far there are moments you wonder if you’ll ever get there.

Maybe one of you can’t take the tension anymore and will suddenly lean over and kiss you.

Maybe one of you will tell the other “I want to kiss you.” Or ask “May I kiss you?”

Maybe it will happen when you’re both laughing and walking arm and arm down the street. Eyes sparkling, you give each other an easy kiss, like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Or maybe you’ll, botch it, bump noses, laugh and either try again or agree to try again later when you aren’t simultaneously walking, talking, and holding shopping bags.

“I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time,” one of you will say. And you’ll both feel a pleased flutter in your stomach, not because of the kiss, but because you know you’re going to kiss again.
And maybe that moment, that next kiss will come later, when you’re curled on the couch together comparing numbers of brothers and sisters. There will be that natural lull in the conversation.

When your eyes meet.

When you look at one another’s lips.

When you lean close.

And maybe one of you (probably me) will tease the tension out a little longer, so close your lips are-almost-but not-quite touching and then stop.

I like to hold there for a few heartbeats. Be aware of my breath and hers, the tickle of air from her nostrils, the beating of our hearts.

And then…

And then…

Well, what happens next is your story.

May it be the one you’ve always dreamed of.

-May All Beings Enjoy Fantastic First Kisses

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

































Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BS Dating Advice: Don't Be Needy

Don't be needy has become popular dating advice, but beware how you interpret it.

When  people say "don't be needy," they are referring specifically to needy behaviors--texting too often, making elaborate plans for your wedding on the first date, etc.

Personally, I think neediness is the wrong word to describe this. I think a better word is rushing. Essentially the person is either giving or asking for too much too soon. They're trying to build before the foundation is set.

The general rule of thumb on early dates is to try and match the other person's level of intimacy and let things grow organically. For example, you text them, and they text you back. One of you pays for coffee; the other springs for dessert.

Now, certainly, at some point, the two of you can and should take things to the next level. One of you has to make the next move.

That is fine. But that move has to be matched by the other person.

For example: You text them. They text you back. You send another text. No problem.

What you DON'T do is text them. And before they reply text them again. And then text them again ten minutes later to see if they got the first two texts.

When you do this, you're pushing the relationship out of balance, and the more off-balance the relationship gets, the greater the chance you will topple.

It's true that at some level the relationship has to move forward, but like walking, it needs to happen one leg at a time--left, right, left. You can't have the right leg doing all the stepping if the left is still firmly planted on the ground.

To me this is about not rushing. It's about balance.

It has nothing to do with neediness.

I stress this because the No-Neediness Meme has gotten into the consciousness of both men and women. Folks are overcorrecting for a problem they don't actually have, and doing damage to themselves by trying to become The Guy/Gal With No Needs.

This takes a couple different forms.

One example is the person who never needs anyTHING. They believe telling people what they want or how they expect to be treated is being needy, so they force themselves to accept anything (or nothing).

There's also the person who never needs anyONE. They believe showing weakness or uncertainty, backing down, admitting fault, or saying I'm sorry/I missed you is showing you need people. They would rather keep the walls up and keep everybody out.

The second way does damage to others. The first does damage to yourself.

It's okay to need or want things. It's okay to let people know what those things are. You're not a bad person for needing things.

By letting people know what you need you give others and yourself a chance to find out whether or not they can meet them.

Give it a try.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walking With Wolves



Even though I write it, I'm deeply ambivalent about dating advice.

Don't believe me? Check out the number of my posts labelled BS Dating Advice. And my next post will be another.

I started dating from ground zero, and dating advice helped me in every possible way. But one of the long-term consequences was I fell into the habit of thinking everything about me was something to be fixed or changed, that if a relationship ended or date didn't come through, it was because I 'didn't do it right.'

Girl didn't call me back? Too needy. Woman wouldn't give me her phone number? You need more confidence, bro.

Dating advice is often black and white. Like social justice, a lot of the focus is on who we SHOULD be. We strive to be that person. We do what we can to make a world where the things we believe in become reality.

And sometimes, sometimes we get so caught up in who we want to be, we forget to be okay with who we are.

It's not possible to 'banish outcome dependence forever.' And when the other person just isn't into you, all the confidence in the world won't help you.

Part of being human is suffering moments of loss or experiencing things that are out of our control. Part of being human is experiencing moments of confidence and moments of uncertainty, strengths and weaknesses, victory and defeat. We will always have our angels and we will always have our demons.

And while it's great to talk about banishing our demons, while it's great to read aspirational The-Wolf-You-Feed allegories, until we learn to pet our wolves, to smile at our demons as well as our angels, and to find acceptance in ourselves that we really begin to move forward.

You don't have to feed the wolf. But you don't have to throw rocks at it either. Nor do you need to  chase it away, kill it, or beat yourself up for having it inside you.   Extend your hand to your wolf. Let it get your scent and lick your hand. Befriend it.

Once you've done that, you might be surprised to find how willing it is to leave on its own.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Trite Stuff



(This article originally appeared on the Suicide Girls website)

The most horrifying moment for me in my life as a dating expert was the moment I realized that most of the advice I had spent years dismissing as trite clichés was 100% true.

* "Be yourself." Check.

* "Don't over-think things." Check.

* "Don't have sex on the first date." Okay, that one I don't buy into yet. But I'm at the point where I could be convinced, which is something, I guess.


Still, it's embarrassing. I put a lot of hours in, after all: reading books, wondering if I'll ever get laid, going on dates, getting laid, talking to strangers about their boy and/or girlfriend problems, wondering if I'll ever get laid again, lying awake in bed next to the Wrong Girl thinking "How did this happen AGAIN?"

With all that experience, I feel I should have something more insightful to say than "Be honest" or "Know what you want."

That's the trouble with the truth. Even if it's a cliché, it stays true, whether we want to hear it or not.

You wouldn't know it from reading this column, but I'm not a big fan of giving unsolicited advice (*). Unless someone really wants my opinion, I dodge casual requests for guidance like Spider-Man evading pumpkin bombs. I'll use every conversational tool at my disposal to avoid answering from "What do YOU think you should do?" to "Boy, I could sure use a bite to eat right now" to "Sorry, I wasn't listening. I was busy picturing you naked (**)."

The truth is, even when they ask for it, most people don't want to hear advice. Ninety percent of the time, they know perfectly well what they need to do. They don't want guidance; they want support and reassurance. They want to hear that they're an okay person and that the bad things that keep happening aren't their fault. Sometimes they don't want to hear anything. Sometimes, they just want someone to listen. (Another cliché. God damn it!)

Most days, I try and do just that. But every once in a while, I am consumed by the urge to impress someone and I can't resist sticking my oar in the water.

"You can't love someone else until you can love yourself," I'll say cheerfully. "Dating is a numbers game. Put yourself out there."

I'm kind of an asshole sometimes.

The weird thing is, often one of those clichés will be the exact right advice for that person. And boy do they ever hate it.

"Put yourself out there!" They'll sputter. "That's your dating advice? That's trite!"

It's IS trite. It's been said a million times or more since the dawn of time. Yet people don't do it. Then they wonder why they're not getting what they want. And when a likable, talented, sexually irresistible dating writer tells them why they aren't getting what they want, they get mad at the advice (***).

We've all done it. Why? Because we don't just want advice. We want SPECIAL advice.

We want to believe our problems are more dramatic or different or more insurmountable that other people's problems. We don't want the 'be yourself' breadcrumbs that feed the plebes. We want unique advice as befits our station. Better yet, we want advice that will let us keep doing what we're doing and somehow give us different results. And if it blames some nebulous group (women, men, media steretypes and/or the Delaware Union of Shoemakers & Chimney Sweeps are my personal faves) instead of holding us personally accountable, that would also be a bonus.

The trouble is, the simple stuff is what works. As advice goes, "eat properly and exercise" sounds banal, but it's the only healthy way to get in shape. Similarly, if you want successful relationships, you're going to have to do the things people in successful relationships do.

There are no short-cuts. No argument will change the truth. You can't run from the devil in your own back pocket.

Here's another true thing, I've learned: Advice does you no good unless you test it for yourself. Reading it won't help. Thinking about it won't help. Debating it on the internet won't help. You have to try things and see if they work for you.

That's why I'm grateful for the time I put into dating, even if in some ways, it led me right back to where I started in the first place. There really is no substitute for experience.

That's a cliché I can get behind.


(*) I'm also not so good at TAKING unsolicited advice, so I guess it evens out.

(**) Not for use on close family members.

(***) Sometimes they get mad at the writer. But he IS kind of an asshole.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

B.S. Dating Advice: Hook Up With Inexperienced Guys Because They'll Be Too Grateful To Cheat On You

This is a quote from a commenter at Susan Walsh's Hooking Up Smart blog. It's a myth I read about a lot, that guys with fewer options are more faithful than guys with a lot, or as The Unfortunate Rake eloquently puts it:

"Of course a beta male with few options is happy to be getting sex on the regular after marriage. He wasn’t getting laid much before, and certainly not with a variety of hot women. Life is better! On the other hand, the alpha male’s sex life has changed for the worse after marriage — having experienced the pleasures of variety, he actually knows what he is missing, unlike the blissfully ignorant beta male. "

My experience has been the opposite. When I was less sexually experienced I was more vulnerable to temptation because it was the forbidden fruit. Plus I wanted to know what else was out there or what I might be missing. Plus when temptation knocked there was the thought that "I might never get this opportunity again."

Now that I'm more experienced, I KNOW what else is out there. Plus I'm confident in my ability to attract women---if this one doesn't work out there are other women out there...I'm not going to run out.

All this makes it EASIER to be faithful not harder. I've experienced the risks and rewards so I have a more realistic sense of what sex with a new partner can and cannot do for me. I'm also more comfortable with temptation; I'm more familiar with it so I can handle it better than I might have been able to years ago. I've also learned It's a lot easier to find sex with a new partner for me than it is to find someone who I can not only enjoy great and varied sex with, but is also a friend, confidant, and support for me. Now that I have such a person in my life and I know how much it's worth, I'm a lot less willing to put it at risk for something that is relatively easy to get.

I'm not saying inexperienced guys are necessarily unfaithful, and that an experienced partner will never cheat. I'm saying judging someone based on their experience level instead of their character is a sucker's bet.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BS Dating Advice: The C-Word (`You Just Gotta Be Confident`)



(This article originally appeared on the Suicide Girls website in 2009)

Today we're going to get a little controversial. That's right, we’re going to talk about the C-word.

The C-word gets thrown around a lot. It used to be used mostly among men, but lately, women have started to take it back. It doesn’t sound any better coming from them either.

I’m talking, of course, about the word ‘confidence.’ Being confident is the holy grail of dating advice. “Women love a confident guy.” “If you believe in yourself, the man of your dreams will find you.” "You just need more confidence, Dude."

There are times I’m a fan of stock dating advice, but this is plain unhelpful. If you’re confident, you don’t need to be told. If you aren’t, being told what you lack often leaves you feeling even worse.

Of course, there's always the 'fake it 'til you make it school,' but I've found clever rhymes (Well, kind of clever. Rhyming 'it' with 'it' isn't exactly the height of lyrical sophistication) are a lot easier to say than to put into practice. Besides, pretending to have something you don’t--even if that something is a positive quality--goes against one of my most fundamental secrets to long-term happiness: Always represent yourself honestly.

The truth is, you don‘t need exceptional self-confidence to be successful at dating. Nor do you need to be mysterious, rich, alluring, or even a particularly good-looking. Those things are nice bonuses, but they won’t do you any good without the Big One, the other C-word, the one no one talks about.

That word is Comfort.

To me, comfort has two components--being comfortable with other people and being comfortable with yourself.

Many guys worry about whether or not a woman is attracted to him. But for most women I know, attraction is an ephemeral quality. It comes and goes, arises and fades. Attraction is an untrustworthy accomplice. Believe it or not, a woman doesn’t have to be THAT attracted to you, at least not at first. All she needs is to like you enough to give you a chance.

Comfort, on the other hand…comfort is king.

I‘m not talking about the Just Friends platonic blandness that comes with hesitating too long to make a move or we‘ve-been-going-out-two-years-so-I-don‘t-have-to-make-an-effort-anymore laziness. I’m talking about true comfort, where you feel you can say--or do--anything and you won’t be judged for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a one-night stand or the love of a lifetime. Comfort is the doorway to intimacy(*).

How do you make others comfortable? Do you ask them questions about themselves? Do you buzz around them like a hummingbird offering to take coats and mix drinks? Nope, nope and nope. You can do those things if they’re in your nature, but they aren’t the secret.

The secret to making people around you comfortable is to be comfortable with yourself. That doesn‘t mean having an unwavering belief in your own awesomeness. Nor does it mean refusing to accept feedback or change your behavior. It just means being okay with where you are and whatever you happen to be feeling.

Confidence is unreliable. It comes and goes. But you can always be comfortable. Even in times of uncertainty, you can be at ease with feeling unsure.

If you’re confident, be confident. If you’re afraid, be afraid. If you’re angry at yourself or fearful…well, embrace those things too. The more at peace you are with different facets of yourself, the easier it is for others to open up to you. They don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. They can trust you. When you meet the world open and unguarded, those around you can relax and let down their own defenses…and that’s when you crush them like a butterfly beneath a boot-heel.

Ha, ha! That last part was a joke(**). Obviously, the correct course of action would be to sleep with them and never call again until you need help moving or getting back at your significant other. No, wait, that’s not it either…

Look. Your life is your own. Do what you want. But if you truly want to be comfortable with yourself, you might want to avoid making choices that leave you feeling uncomfortable.

It might not be as glamorous as being confident, but sometimes, just feeling okay about yourself is enough.

(*) As an aside, if comfort is the doorway to intimacy, then being judgmental is the dragon at the gates. It isn’t easy to slay that sucker--he has a tendency to rise from death more than Michael Meyers, but if you can do it, you will find yourself in a treasure-house beyond compare.

(**)Unless you’re a character in Dangerous Liaisons or the seneschal of a Vampire Court. Then you do what you gotta do.


-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

B.S. Dating Advice: Be In The Moment.



Like ‘be yourself,’ this advice isn’t so much bad as it is unhelpful. Whenever I tried to ‘be in the moment’ or ‘live in the now’ or ‘be present’ or whatever other presence buzzword was being thrown my way, I found it was just one more thing to worry about.

“OMG, I’m not in the moment,” I would lament. Or worse, I’d keep asking myelf: "Wait. Am I in the moment? Is this what being the moment is? How about now? How about NOW?”




Being present is supposed to free you, not give you one more thing to stress over.

Besides, moments change. By the time I looked around to see if I was in one moment, the next was already here.

Many of us are used to struggling. We struggle against where we are, who we are, the way things are. And where we’re told there’s another way, we struggle to stop struggling. We stop fighting against the current and start fighting to go with it, not realizing we don’t have to fight at all.

We don’t have to worry about being in the moment.

Because we ARE in the moment.

There’s no place else we can be.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BS Dating Advice: “You’re Trying Too Hard.”




According to popular wisdom, there is no dating sin more heinous than the dreaded Trying-Too-Hard.

If that’s true, then I was a textbook case.

I went out at least once a day, determined to talk to strangers. I made little missions for myself: Pay a compliment to the first five attractive women I saw. Learn more about fashion and go shopping twice a month. Try new foods. Travel. Message ladies on the internet. Do something new and just a little bit uncomfortable.

And the biggest thing of all…

“If you have nothing better to do, go out.”

I have mixed feelings about the trying-too-hard Dan from those days. I look back on him with a mixture of admiration and embarrassment. I cringe remembering some of the things he did, but if he hadn’t been brave enough to try, I wouldn’t be who I am now.

As it happens, I like the man I‘ve become.

The women seem to like him too. I’ve had more success with women in the last five years than the previous thirty and change combined.

If I had to point to one thing that made the difference it would be that I made a point of doing at least one thing each day that took me in the direction of where I wanted to go.

Not reading about doing things. Not talking to others about how I was going to change.

But doing something.

I didn’t get results right away. Sometimes when I DID get results, they were the kind of results that let me know in no uncertain terms “never do that again.” And sometimes the results I got seemed to have no connection to the changes I was making.

Yes, there were times I tried too hard. It took me a while to learn when to push and when to dial back and let life come to me.

But, especially if you’re just starting out, there is something worse out there than trying too hard.

Not trying at all.

People ask what they have to do to achieve success in dating.

I say, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re doing something.

You don’t need to be obsessive over it to the point of creeping people out or letting it take over your life, but consistent effort will pay off over time.

Trust me. I would know.

PRACTICE

What is one thing you can do RIGHT NOW to make yourself feel like you are a step towards being the person you want to be? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it does have to be something you can do immediately. It can be as big as making a phone call you’ve been putting off or as small as making your bed or doing a set of push-ups.

Do this Practice every day. Notice how you feel.

-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, August 31, 2010

B.S. Dating Advice: “Just Be Yourself”



Okay, technically, “Be Yourself” is not B.S. advice.

In fact, it’s fabulous advice. Fantastic. Stupendous even. This simple, easy-to-remember two-word phrase is the best advice you could get and is the key to success not just in dating, but in life itself.

Well, except for the one tiny, niggling little detail that most people haven't the slightest clue what it means.

A lot of folks misinterpret “be yourself” to mean “Keep doing the same thing you’re doing.”

It doesn’t. You can make changes without changing yourself.

In fact, often being yourself means you HAVE to make changes. Because being yourself also means letting go of the things that keep you from being yourself--defensiveness, shyness, all those other -nesses that we all have adopted over the years.

Being yourself means presenting yourself honestly and genuinely without trying to impress people. It means deciding for yourself what kind of life you want and not worrying too much what other people think. It means stay true to yourself.



Great stuff. Bravo. Who could argue with any of this?

Nobody, that's who. But it does bring us to the second problem with "Be Yourself."

Being told to “Just be yourself” doesn’t tell you how to do any of those things we talked about.

Answering “how do I become more successful in love?” with “just be yourself” is like answering the question “how do I become a pilot?” with “Just fly a plane.”

A lot of us don’t know who we are. You can't be yourself until you know who 'yourself' is. Learning about ourselves is an ongoing process. Sometimes it takes effort; sometimes it happens without us even realizing it.

You can't flip a switch and become yourself. Becoming yourself is about growing, and that takes time and attention.

“Be Yourself” is fine advice. The real question is “how?”

What do you think? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section.

-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.

Monday, August 9, 2010

[editorial] BS Dating Advice: Don’t Talk About The Ex

I’ve seen this “tip” a number of times in a number of different dating books.

I don’t get it.

I’m not saying go out of your way to share your romantic history, but if you’re ex- is on your mind, it makes more sense to talk about that than to be scrambling for a topic you don’t care about one way or the other.

The reasoning behind the “Don’t Talk About The Ex” rule (often coupled with “brush off or be purposefully vague about any questions about your dating history“) is people don’t want to hear about our exes. We are warned we might come off as bitter or as “not over them.”

So what? It’s possible that you ARE bitter, resentful, and still in love with your ex.

And you know what? That is perfectly fine.

Bitter people get into relationships too. So do people who are in love with someone else. And while there are plenty of good reasons to let go of resentment, feeling resentful does not disqualify you from the dating pool.

Besides, if you are feeling these things, I think it’s only fair a potential partner knows about it, before he or she decides to get involved with you.

It’s not up to you to decide what you should and shouldn’t tell people. It's one thing if you don't want to share that information. But if you're holding back solely because you don't think the other person can handle it, you are making decisions for them, and that's a bad road to travel.

Never try to decide what is best for other people.

Who knows? Maybe the other person is fine hearing about these things. Maybe this is information they WANT to have before they decide how much to invest in you.

Maybe not.

But even if they don't want to hear it...

Well, this may be a personal thing, but I’ve always valued in a partner the ability to listen to things she doesn’t necessarily want to hear, particularly if that thing happens to be important to whoever is sharing it with her. It's a handy quality in a long term relationship, and one I'm making every effort to develop in myself. So discovering they have (or don’t have) that quality early is helpful for the future.

Being in a relationship--romantic or otherwise--where you feel you have to hold parts of yourself back can be excruciating. You should feel free to talk about about whatever is important to you. Feeling you have to withold things will likely come back to haunt you and your partner. Don't do it.

You have the right to talk about whatever you want. Others have the right to listen or walk away, to share their own stories or to nod, smile, and decide not to see you again.

Don’t make that decision for them.

-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 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

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