Victims, Virgins and Player Haters: Adventures In the Man-O-Sphere

It’s been an interesting few days here at NerdLove Industries. In an odd confluence of events, some friends of mine sent me links to various Men’s Rights blogs and Anti-Game groups about topics like “creep-shaming” and the idea of “female privilege”. At the same time, Paging Dr. NerdLove apparently found itself in the crosshairs of a couple of the anti-PUA crusaders and became the topic of conversation for a few days, especially over Don’t Be a Creeper.

There are groups like PUAHate which purports to be fighting back against the Pick-Up Community for all of it’s purported scams and rip-off artists. There have been attempts to flood the comments section with complaints about how society is biased against men, how women hold all the aces, how women are lazy because they demand that men approach them and I personally was contributing to the bias against the socially awkward.

Then there were were the fringes –  virgin theory and paleo-diet conspiracies, peans to the plight of the white male…

It’s been an interesting rabbit hole to fall down, let me tell you.

Now, the reason I’m bringing this up isn’t to make fun or shine a light on them and say “Hey, look at all the weirdos out there!”

Quite the opposite in fact. Y’see, I have a lot of sympathy for these guys.

Now, before you all start wondering if I’m about to join the Male-o-sphere and ranting about misandry about how feminism is actually everything that’s wrong with the world, let me explain.

Females, Frustration and Fear

As much as it’s tempting to brush all of these people as wackadoos and write them off, I found that I felt sorry for them. Y’see, at the core, all of these issues seem to grow out of the same base: a deep dissatisfaction with their lives, a frustration born out of a sense of unmet entitlement and – ultimately – fear.

Fear of being rejected.

Fear that they don’t measure up.

Fear of being alone.

Fear of not achieving their dreams.

And a fear of women.

"They're coming to get you, Bobby..."

They’re afraid of the very things they want most in this world: a beautiful woman.

Arousal and fear often go hand in hand; in many cases, the physiological effects are the same. Our hearts race. Our pupils constrict. Our mouths go dry. Our palms grow clammy. Our adrenal glands start dumping adrenaline into our system, causing us to shake. We may grow faint or feel like we need to run away. One of the quirks of human physiology is that our brains are slaves to our bodies; we feel the physical effects and our brains backfill the reason in later on.

That sudden rise in your heart rate: is it because the woman of your dreams is smiling at you, or is it because you think you saw a tiger in the grass? The person talking to you held your gaze for a fraction longer than you’re used to: are you worried that he’s about to hurt you or are you turned on by the intensity of his gaze?

It can be a confusing, debilitating mess at times.

Think about approach anxiety: you know, intellectually, that going up to a beautiful woman and trying to convince her to start a relationship with you isn’t actually dangerous. And yet, many of us – myself included – will find that we’re having a full on fear-response… to the simple act of talking to someone. Why?

Well… because of power.

To be attracted to someone is to give them a certain measure of power over you. When you’re approaching a person you find attractive, you are deliberately making yourself vulnerable. You are asking them to pass judgement on you on what feels like a deep and extremely personal level. You are putting yourself in a position to be hurt. And that can be fucking frightning. This is part of the reason for a number of PUA tactics such as negging; controlling the frame of who is higher status and who is lower status – thereby determining who has the power in the situation – is a way of guarding oneself against this vulnerability.

Now, imagine if you’re someone who isn’t as socially experienced as his peers. You know that you want an attractive woman but for whatever reason, you just aren’t as skilled or comfortable with them. You  may look to movies for role models or try to follow older modes of behavior instead. You put yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable… only to be rejected. Rejection hurts us, emotionally and physically, and we instinctively shy away from pain. Get rejected enough times and you start to fear the pain. Eventually you find that you’re avoiding the physical response to fear by avoiding the situations that prompt it… a case where literally what you fear is fear itself.

And how do we react to fear? Well, one of the most common ways is that we lash out at it. Fear makes us angry and we turn that anger on what we perceive as the cause of our fear. We try to take fear’s power away by reducing the cause to something less, something other. Reducing a woman to, say, a number based solely on her perceived attractiveness (the “HB” or Hot Body rating system, for example – saying that a woman is an HB 7 out of 10) helps make her less – she’s not a person who might cause you pain, she’s just a point value; the higher the number the more difficult, sure… but you don’t get your feelings hurt because you couldn’t rack up the maximum score in Galaga’s bonus stages.


“You Owe Me”

One thread that I saw over and over again while working my way through these various groups is the profound sense of entitlement. A great deal of the anger and resentment directed at women springs from the idea that one is owed sex and that by refusing him  – or worse, favoring others over him – is somehow a violation of the social contract. Many men feel cheated when they don’t get the girl they seem to feel is their reward.

It’s not terribly surprising; in a lot of ways, we’re taught by pop-culture that success inevitably means being rewarded with sex. Look at the number of stories, books and video games whose plots can be boiled down to “Boy goes on quest, wins princess”.

Damn it, Mario! We trusted you!

Woman-as-prize is so burned into our subconscious that when we’re faced with reality -women are actually individuals with their own agency rather than a prize to be awarded – that it can feel as though we’ve been robbed of what we’re rightly due.

This is part of why the socially inexperienced fall for the myth of the Nice Guy: it reduces relationships to an if-then statement. It’s relationships as grinding; spend enough time building up your stats to the requisite level and you reach the goal of “Got A Girlfriend”. Spend enough time and effort being Nice and women  reward you with entrance into the Sacred Grounds1.

The frustration is understandable, if misdirected; they genuinely feel as though they’re being wronged. They’re just directing their frustration in the wrong direction.

Speaking of…

The Sacred Victim

The other issue I saw was the idea of Man As Victim. Their lack of achievement isn’t their fault – it’s because of some external cause. Keep getting rejected? Well clearly it’s because a society that only values looks over personality or achievement. Women call you creepy? It’s because society is biased against the shy and socially awkward. Can’t convince a woman to sleep with you? Well it’s clearly because feminism has ruined traditional gender roles and made it so men have to run a gauntlet in order to get laid.

The idea of Male Victimhood is appealing because it absolves you of all personal responsibility and insight. You aren’t failing because you’re doing something wrong or because you have an attitude that you should be granted sex just because you bothered to show up; you’re being wronged by someone. Somebody else is at fault for all your failures.

More than that though: being a victim gives you meaning. Having an external opponent, whether it’s an actual person, a scam, a philosophical principle such as feminism or even some nebulous conspiracy means someone is targeting you specifically – therefore you must have something special about you. You’re no longer a guy who doesn’t understand fashion or who could stand to grab a shower and mix in a salad or two, you’re the hero, the underdog struggling against forces arrayed against you specifically to drag you down.

Small wonder that so many of these forae and blogs have an “us vs. the world” mentality; it’s much better to be the hero wrestling against dark forces than to face up to the fact that maybe you’re doing something wrong.

Some Motherfuckers are Always Trying To Ice Skate Up Hill (Or: Looking For The Silver Bullet)

One other source of frustration I’ve seen has been the quest for the Sex Cheat Codes.

I realize that saying “dating is complicated, strange and difficult” is right up there with “water is wet” and “The Prequels suck” in terms of self-evidence, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t always people looking for short-cuts.

This is part of what fuels large portions the PUA community: the idea that there is some way to circumvent aeons of evolutionary psychology and hundreds of years of social mores and jump to the sexin’… without putting in a lot of effort. Men are always looking for the booty equivalent of the Warp Whistle in the hopes of skipping straight to dropping Mario into the Pipe of Love ifyouknowwhatimean2.

The idea that there is some way of skipping past learning how to flirt, how to dress appealingly, how to present yourself in an attractive manner and how to build attraction is an appealing one. After all, why bother spending time going on dates if you can just drop some embedded commands and convince a woman to go down on you by trying to make “…you realize that these thoughts come from BeLOW me” sound like something other than a really bad joke.

Guys like this are always looking for the silver bullet – the quasi-magical one-size-fits-all solution that will let them skip years of practice and self-examination and solve all of their problems instantly, turning them from dud to stud in the same length of time as a Hollywood montage scene.

100% guaranteed! No way *this* one's a scam!

The self-help market thrives on people like this and promises any number of snake-oil cures for what ails them. Send out enough positive energy and the universe will respond! Say this special prayer and God will be your personal genie! Follow this formula and you’ll be a master of dating.


It’s the formulaic aspects of the PUA scene that appeal to many folks. For a lot of guys, the social aspects of dating may as well be stereo instructions. Written backwards. In Esperanto. With pages missing. All they know is that other people are having all the sex while they’re missing out.

Reducing social interactions to a flow-chart – start with opener, transition to a demonstration of value, ping for location in the emotional model, run a comfort routine, advance kino escalation, move to seduction location – turns a potentially intimidating encounter with women into something logical and predictable.

Of course, even the shiniest of silver bullets gain a bit of tarnish when they don’t work instantly. Most gurus in the PUA community will tell you that you don’t automatically transform into a player overnight; it takes time and practice  – and that’s assuming that your guru knows what he’s talking about in the first place.

When you’ve spent hundreds – sometimes even thousands – of dollars on trying to solve your issues with dating only to find yourself exactly where you started, just a little poorer, it’s not difficult to see why guys will become embittered.

So… Now What Do We Do?

Look, I know how a lot of these guys feel. They’re intimidated. They’re frustrated. They know that they’re missing out and they’ve been casting about trying to find answers.

Hey, I’ve been there. I’ve gone through all of it. And if circumstances had been even slightly different (which is to say, the Internet as it currently exists had been around in the 90s) I could very well have been one of these guys.

The problem is that you need a certain level of willingness to look inward and cultivate some self-awareness. It’s easy to give in to your anger and put the blame somewhere else.

The problem, at its core, is that sometimes you need to admit that maybe, just maybe, you’re the one who’s doing it wrong.

Part of getting better with women means that you need to man the fuck up. You need to accept that you and you alone are responsible for your life. And that’s hard to hear, especially when it seems like other people have it easier than you. And there will always be people who have it better than you. There will be people who are better looking than you, more charming, richer, or just plain luckier. You may have to struggle where other people have it easier than you.

And I’m not going to lie to you: you may have to accept that your ambitions exceed your grasp and you have to quit torturing yourself by expecting the unreasonable. If you’re a guy living in a squalid basement apartment with a low-paying job and poor hygiene, then landing a Scarlett Johansson look-alike may well never happen.

But when you’re focusing on what you can’t have, you’re missing out on all the possibilities that you could have. You’re passing up happiness for a dream.

No, we’re not all going to be movie stars and rock gods. That’s just life and life isn’t fair. But all the time spent complaining about fairness is time not spent making things better. 

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  1. which is to say, vagina []
  2. I’m talkin’ ’bout bangin’ []

  • Marty

    I feel sorry for these guys too. My first instinct when I meet a Down-The-Rabbit-Hole-Nice-Guy is to throw myself at him, and shower him with love. Show him that there ARE good women out there that want a relationship, and that he IS desirable to someone (I love me some short, slightly awkward, nerdy men.)

    And yet, then I realize that because I am not a beautiful woman, the Nice Guy isn't interested in ME, no matter how much love and affection I could give him. And then down the rabbit hole I myself go, into a never ending spiral of one-up-manship and rejection. It really is a sad, lonely, hopeless place to be in, and I only hope that someday we can all collectively pull ourselves out of it.

    • UnderOrange

      Really it's a poisonous mentality for everyone involved. I've seen this happen to dear friends of mine (who are totally beautiful, damnit, even if they don't fit 'conventional' standards)

      I used to be the same. I used to want more than anything to -help- people who were so unhappy with the world around them. And you know what? I -do- fit convensional beauty standards… and it doesn't actually help anything. Something inevitably went wrong, it just took longer for them to realize I'm not their sparkling perfect geek girl goddess and that I am actually a real person with the personality, goals, and problems that come with it.

      Needless to say, after months of wasted time, making the same mistake on more than one guy, and a whole shit-ton of self reflection… I'm at the end of my rope. I just can't help someone unwilling to help themself.

      I don't know how much of a consolation it is, but all the conventional beauty in the world wouldn't make it better. Be yourself. Be happy. Help people when it doesn't involve sacrificing yourself or your self-esteem. It is so much more fullfilling.

      • Gentleman Horndog

        It's poisonous all around. I'm coming at this from the opposite angle you and Marty are (I'm a guy), and I had some hard lessons of my own to learn.

        "If only she'd date somebody who DIDN'T treat her like shit (like, you know, me), she'd be SO much happier! I can FIX her!"

        [insert sound of FAIL here]

        People aren't kittens. You don't get to rescue them.

        Tend to your own happiness first — it's only selfish if it comes at the expense of others. If somebody you care about WANTS help, offer it — but accept that sometimes, the best way to do it is from a safe distance.

        • scalawag

          Sad yet good discussion. I think it's also good to recognize when you are helping someone because it is the right thing, which is ultimately filed under "taking care of yourself," as opposed to helping someone because you think they will see in the end how good you are. And both men and women do that.

          Sometimes helping works best from a distance. Sometimes helping is just listening. Sometimes helping is just asking if someone needs help. Sometimes helping is saying, "You don't deserve this" without offering to be a replacement partner for a hurt or broken person.

          I only mention this because I see a lot of guys talking about "white knighting" and accusing each other of "white knighting" when they speak up about sexism, racism, homophobia, bullying or abuse. It's good to remember doing the right thing is still the right thing to do, but it really is its own and only reward.

  • James (Thortok2000)

    Lots of words I didn't understand near the beginning of the article. But it picks up in the middle.

    I agree, the 'blame society therefore I'm not responsible' philosophy is infectious, especially among those who don't like to think for themselves.

  • djteslarose

    Ah Marty, I totally understand you. And this article couldn't be more reflective of the rhetoric in today's media. There is so much anger directed at women, and from our perspective, it's beyond confusing and frustrating. Here is the world from our perspective. We are told we need to support ourselves and be independent. (Oh the horror of being thought a gold digger) So we work hard at developing careers and independent means. We're expected to look like the models in magazines instead of healthy active women so we torture ourselves with diets and surgeries and shoes that distort our feet. (Yes, heels can do that over long periods of time). We are supposed to somehow be experienced sex goddesses (but heavens don't sleep with many or the "wrong" guys or outside of a committed relationship). And we do, we try, hell we eve succeed at most of it. And then we turn around in our late 20s/30s looking for that special guy of our own and maybe a family (Oh yeah, we're supposed to be stellar mothers and housekeepers too…sigh) and what do we find? Anger at women, irresponsibility, men in second adolescences who don't really want to commit. (And yes guys, when a girl is in her late 20s/30s, we're not just looking at you as potential mates but also as potential fathers…ticking bio clock and all) It's beyond frustrating and so when we do find MEN, not these man-boys, it's like finding a diamond on a sidewalk. And let me tell you, those diamonds seem to be getting more and more rare. (Oh, if you only knew the stories my gfs and I could tell.) BTW, I highly recommend this article:

    I don't know what the answer to it all is but I'm sure as hell a fan of personal responsibility. (Yep, I'm with you on that Dr. NL)

    But I will say I'm lucky enough to have found my MAN after a lot of man-children and you'd better believe I'm going to hold on to him. (Sorry ladies!) 🙂

    • Yuki

      It sort of turns into this whole, "this is what you need to be in order to be desirable" and then when you turn around and start looking after succeeding variously at this, it becomes, "Why aren't you interested in *me*?!"


      • Nikki

        what are you talking about

    • Beth

      This is an excellent description of modern American patriarchy and you should feel good.

    • Paul Rivers

      I've read these kind of articles, like linked to above –

      "It is written to the men of this world. Guys… It is our fault. The blame lies with us."

      I've read this sentiment before, and it's rediculous.

      Let me ask you a question – how does a typical guy treat an ugly girl? A girl who he doesn't find attractive at all? When there's a group of girls, and one of them is the least attractive, what is her biggest complaint about men?

      That they *ignore* her.

      Who is it that, from before the time hormones even hit, tells girls that they're worthless? That they're ugly and fat and not worthwhile as a human being? It's not guys – guys ignore an unnattractive girl, they don't much from insulting her and constantly denigrating her. (As with all generalizations there are exceptions, but it's generally true). Who is it that's constantly telling her that she's not good enough to be a worthwhile human being?

      Let's look at some quotes:

      Karen: I can't go out.

      Karen: I'm sick.

      Other Person: Boo, you whore.

      Regina said she'll talk to Aaron. And now she is. How can Janis hate her? She's such a good… SLUT!

      Alyssa, I'm sorry I called you a gap-toothed bitch. It's not your fault you're so gap-toothed.

      Jason: [reading from the Burn Book] Trang Pak made out with Coach Carr! And so did Sun Jin Dinh!

      Trang Pak: [in Vietnamese] You little slut!

      Sun Jin Dinh: You're the slut!


      Which gender is it that's constantly calling women sluts, "worthless", etc?

      It's ** OTHER WOMEN **.

      In college this didn't make any sense to me, so I started asking my female friends (many of whom had had eating disorders, unfortunately). They all said the same thing – it started with their mother, who would tell them they didn't look good enough. Their mothers would constantly be critical of their looks and their weight. When they got to school, other girls would always be trying to tear them down about their looks, "slut", etc etc etc.

      Have you ever wondered why women can be obsessed with expensive name-brand purses when men (straight men at least) could not possibly care less? I've met guys who think that certain shoes make a women look hot, but *never* met a guy who thought a girls purse made her look hotter (maybe there's the rare guy out there, but for the vast majority of guys it doesn't even register).

      Have you ever wondered why women will dress up when they're just going to a family dinner? (Where the only guys are guys directly related to her?)

      Have you ever wondered why married women who are not being unfaithful to their husbands whatsoever dress up sexy every day for work?

      It's because – women judge other women – based on how they look, and how sexy they look (even though they have no sexual interest in them).

      Who is it that runs most of these fashion magazines? Who runs fashion shows? It's mainly women (though not just women). Who is subscribed to all these magazines with hot airbrushed women on the cover?

      There's some men. But it's at least 50% women.

      ""Get real for a moment, ladies. How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought? Be honest. Go through the list, one by one, and admit to the number. I’m genuinely curious. I’m genuinely sick about it. How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?""

      Men – in general – will ignore women they don't find attractive. It's other women that are constantly telling her, talking about her behind her back, making fun of her, trying to say that she's not good looking enough.

      Men will critize women based on their behavior, based on their abilities (their supposed inability to do some job), etc – but for the most part men just ignore the women they find attractive. It's other women that are constantly telling these women that they aren't good enough.

      • Gentleman Horndog

        This entire rant appears to be a response to a completely different article.

        The ACTUAL article is about mistakes guys make that take their attitudes about women to ugly places.

        Read it again. Based on your outrage at the notion that some guys have very problematic attitudes towards women, I suspect at least some of it applies to you.

        • Paul Rivers

          "The ACTUAL article is about mistakes guys make that take their attitudes about women to ugly places."

          …I kind of get the feeling that you didn't read the article…? That…wasn't even what the article was about.

      • Anthony

        I don't know if you read the article in full linked above, but it addresses the issues you bring forth. Girls hold each other to ridiculous standards because they are standards that men put there. The issue of ignoring an ugly girl is an ENORMOUS one. The situation you're describing is a hard one for me to understand, but basically I read it like this: an ugly girl is at a party/bar and is ignored. If that's what you're saying, then this is part of the root cause of the image issue that a lot of women have. If a guy pays attention to her, then those comments from women either won't come or won't hurt her nearly as much, if at all. It's also really vague to say ugly, because that's so very different to every single person. The girls that I would ignore at a party/bar are often the ones that are usually conventionally attractive, because they probably have the least to offer me mentally and emotionally.

        This is an interesting subject, because it's very…male centered to think that issues that a love of women have have their roots in the expectations set by men. And not just the verbalized expectations, but the double takes for the leggy red-head walking down the sidewalk or the quick sneak glances at the magazines at the check out counter. Those moments, and the verbalized ones, are definitely internalized by the people who notice them, and that starts to create an expectation of what is desired. Back to the point, though; we could debate for a very, very long time whether or not women have eating disorders and undergo plastic surgery and all sorts of other things only because of the expectations set by men. However, whether or not this is the only reason, I think it's fair to say it's definitely part of the problem. And I don't think it's all that dangerous for men to say, "Wow, okay, I realize that my little glances could really cause harm to the women who see them. Maybe I should not do that."

        How would/does it make you feel when women around you stare at a guy they think is hot? Or not even stare, but take a quick glance? How would/does it feel if your girlfriend does it? I think men probably react in a pretty same way, because I have felt those similar feelings. Instead of pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong, just look at yourself and what you could potentially do to fix the problem. That's what I took away from the article, and I think it's what the author intended.

        • Paul Rivers

          "However, whether or not this is the only reason, I think it’s fair to say it’s definitely part of the problem. "

          The article isn't making a balanced claim like that though. The article is claiming that "the blame lies with us (men)".

          "And I don’t think it’s all that dangerous for men to say, “Wow, okay, I realize that my little glances could really cause harm to the women who see them. Maybe I should not do that.”"

          A friend of mine grew up in conservative culture which really reinforced this. Despite being incredibly interested in women, women often describe him as being "non-sexual" or "I think he's gay". It's harmful to his dating life.

          "How would/does it make you feel when women around you stare at a guy they think is hot?"

          For girls I'm not trying to hit on, it has absolutely no negative effect on me. Sometimes it's interesting to try to figure out what they think makes a guy hot. For girls I am trying to hit on, it can be kind of annoying…and that's about it.

          "Or not even stare, but take a quick glance?"

          Seriously, because other men have not been critizing me based on my looks my entire life, I (like the vast majority of men), do not have a complex about it.

          "How would/does it feel if your girlfriend does it?"

          It doesn't cause me to go home and cut myself and feel worthless. Women do this because far, far before men were an issue – other women (their mothers, then their female friends) were telling them that they were worthless because of their looks.

          "I think men probably react in a pretty same way, because I have felt those similar feelings."

          I don't know what to say – I don't, and among guys "jealousy" is the only consistent reaction to that stuff I see, and that's a whole different thing.

          "Instead of pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong, just look at yourself and what you could potentially do to fix the problem."

          This is what I realized from talking to a number of girls with eating disorders, including a couple that I dated – *I* really had little or nothing to do with their body image issues.

          "That’s what I took away from the article, and I think it’s what the author intended."

          I cannot find a way to read the article in a way that doesn't say "men are entirely at fault with women's body-image issues", which is incredibly inaccurate.

      • UnderOrange

        "The patriarchy" is not composed only of men. It is a social construct that everybody lives in.

        Just because some women are cruel to other women does not absolve all men of responsibility for the whole system.

        Ignoring people isn't "nice". I understand it is something that happens and as opposed to all out cruelty it is the better option. Women don't GET to ignore men that are not interesting to them. It takes like two seconds to find story after story of women attempting to get a guy to back off because she isn't interested. When she is clear about it, she get's told she's a bitch or a prude and she even runs the risk of being attacked depending on how out of control the guy actually is. When she is subtle, she is told she was leading him on. You're ability to ignore the girls you are not interested in is a privilege of the patriarchal system that women do not have. It does not make you the 'good guy' of this story.

        Arbitrarily making up statistics doesn't help your argument in any way. Yes, men AND women are both responsible for continuing the patriarchy. That does not mean the patriarchy itself does not favor one over the other. It is still a system privileges men and forces women into secondary roles.

        • Unfortunately there's no "like" button, so here's my +1 instead

        • Paul Rivers

          Of your entire post, this is the only one that actually addresses the topic I posted about –

          "Just because some women are cruel to other women does not absolve all men of responsibility for the whole system."

          I don't agree with your assessment – when I started asking my female friends who had body image issues who was actually saying nasty things about them, it was always the opposite.

          Just because men make little looks and little comments, does not absolve all women of the crushing amount of pressure they put other women under to look good, to make fun of them, judge them, pointedly exclude them from their own social groups, and denigrate them because they're aren't skinny enough, fashionable enough, etc etc. Usually when this developed into an entire disorder, this started as a very small child with their mother, and continued with their siblings and classmates. This is why they have such a huge complex about it – men get upset when they reach puberty and find out that women aren't interested in them, but many women have deep emotional scars about any hint of hit because they're based their own worth on their looks since they were 4-5 – before men were even involved in it.

          The article doesn't claim that "men are one part of this cycle". The article claims that it's all men's fault, and their sole responsibility. It's the complete opposite – by a large margin. Guys don't instill the identity-level fear of not looking good into women – women have created an entire system of judgement and class of women judging women based on how they look. Yes, guys tastes definitely have a role in the cycle. But it's even more embedded in female culture than it is in male culture. If it wasn't, women who didn't want to be judged on their looks could avoid dating, and that would remove all their insecurities about it.

          • UnderOrange

            You're talking in absolutes when everybody lives in and is effected by our social system. I disagree with you. Everybody is responsible for this system and my whole post was a response to you, not just the part you hand picked to respond to.

            I do not intend to put the sole blame of all of women's insecurities about their bodies onto you personally. Nor do I intend to put all blame on men alone. It rests entirely on our whole society. Not just men, not just women. It is completely impossible for the blame to be reserved for one gender, one person, one idea. It is much too large a problem for that.

            At what point does the Doc say anything about "everything is men's fault?" because I'm not sure you and I even read the same article if that's the case. This article is specifically targeted towards the people who fear rejection to the point of lashing out at what they are afraid of (or the closest approximation). As far as I am aware, the 'man-o-sphere' does not encompass all of man-kind, nor does the Doc claim it does.

          • Paul Rivers

            "At what point does the Doc say anything about “everything is men’s fault?” because I’m not sure you and I even read the same article if that’s the case."

            …that's appears at this point to be because we're not talking about the same article.

            The article *I* was responding to was the one that the original commenter in this thread posted –

            *None* of my comments in this thread of responses were directed at the article…they were all in response to the article…

          • UnderOrange

            OH! I’m sorry. I mean, I stand by my other points still, but yeah talking about different articles isn’t helping us understand each other.

    • Max

      Dear women of the world: you don't have to wear heels if you don't want to. They aren't any more attractive than regular shoes, and short women are not inherently unnattractive (in fact, high heels on a tiny woman just makes it look like her body is weirdly proportioned).

      Men don't care what your shoes look like, so stop wearing them and complaining about them. Get some cool looking sneakers instead.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        High heels on women has little to do with height, otherwise women would be wearing lifts instead.

        It has everything to do with the shape of her feet, calves and butt while wearing them. High heels force the calves into a contracted position and induce women to walk on the balls of their feet; this creates the appearance of a smaller foot and longer, more slender legs as well as forces a certain posture and "seductive" gait while walking.

        • Max

          Interesting. Did not know that.

          I still say either stop wearing them or stop complaining about them.

          • UnderOrange

            Honestly, I don't even wear heels and I find your comment completely disrespectful. What authority do you have to give women an ultimatum? It makes you sound like a jerk.

          • Max

            It's not an ultimatum.

            I'm just saying do what you want to do, not what you think other people want you to do. And if conforming to the social norm hurts your feet and causes back problems, don't complain about it. Stop conforming to social norms.

            Obviously, you don't have to listen to me. I just think you might be happier if you did.

          • UnderOrange

            You did state it originally as an ultimatum, which is why I called it one. Either do one thing or the other, any other option is not available.

            I understand your advice and as I stated earlier, I don’t even wear heels myself, but I don’t think you realize how problematic it is to tell people “Well just stop conforming to social norms then.” as though it’s the easiest thing in the world. It really isn’t.

    • is rough

      Yeah, is there no anger directed at men as well? Is you're one-sided consideration of "the plight of women" productive? How much of all this attempting to be the nebulous, ever-changing "ideal woman" could be said to be the right thing for you? You swallowed society's conventions, and are now surprised they don't exactly play out the way they're advertised?

    • TheCatInGrey

      I actually found that article pretty insulting. I'm glad he brought up the culpability of men in maintaining the horribly sexist and destructive media ideal of femininity, but the way he did it was basically, "Women need *our* help to feel good, because they can't do it on their own." And I'm just not buying that.

      Of course we feel social pressures, and of course people we know can and will hurt us with their opinions, but the article went so far as to claim that our own inner voices don't count in the face of men's opinions! Where's the quote… Ah, here:

      "A woman can tell herself that those images are fake until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, her self-talk will barely matter. Not when men think that they’re real. Not when she knows that men want what is shamelessly being touted from those photos. Not when she knows that men think of those photos as real."

      It's a problem when our inner voices get corrupted by all those things he talks about, but not otherwise. It's a fucked up world but *we still have our agency* and it drives me up the wall when I read stuff like this. Women can and do ignore all the crap and feel great about themselves in spite of a world that occasionally-to-often tells them not to, and he's trying to claim we can't. That the "tender women next to you" need a man's big manly sensitive protection to feel good about themselves. And I refuse it.

      All that said, I think his suggestions were great! Cutting down on the consumption of those products would be a godsend, because in the end, the market will deliver what's in demand. As long as its the unquestionably unhealthy images we see today, we'll have the same problem. So I'm grateful to him for getting that message out there, even if I have some real problems with how he did it.

  • Boatloads

    Is the Man-o-sphere where they keep the Hands of Fate? Sorry, low hanging fruit.

  • Brand

    My dream in high school was to find a nerdy guy and get along like best friends as a married couple and maybe or maybe not have kids someday. But as I've gotten older I've gotten way more weary of being in a relationship or ever finding a man.

    Over the years in nerdom where at one point it seems to be fine if you were not normally standard looking women you would be able to find a guy who liked you for you. Today it seems like a lot of nerd guys want girls who look like "manic pixy dream girls." Which makes them "cooler" then normal guys because see these girls are quirky and have glasses and shit. Like their tastes have evolved beyond normal men.

    Man I sound bitter. I don't mean to be. I mean in a large part for me, finding dates is a lot of effort that I just don't have or time for. I have a busy life, a good job, I bought a home recently, I have many friends and go out and do a lot activities. I just never seem to have luck meeting people.

    • Synko

      Wow.. really? It really helps to hear that there are girls out there who hold that kind of vision of the ideal relationship. I'm like you in some ways — I have a good job and a good life, but somehow never managed to meet that awesome nerdy girl, so that she and I could be best friends and a married couple at the same time.

      That, in turn, makes me wonder what's wrong with me. I won't bother repeating much of what I wrote in my other comment in this thread, but maybe I'm just too boring or not exciting enough.

      • Anne

        You guys should date each other! Love connection on the Dr.NerdLove comment section…

        • Synko

          Haha, sounds good! 🙂

          No way to get in touch, unfortunately, unless The Good Doctor decides to intervene. Brand, are you still following this thread?

          • Dr. NerdLove

            There's always the Doctor NerdLove Facebook Page

          • Synko

            How about it, Doctor? Since I doubt Brand is on your facebook page, I think you should violate confidentiality "just this once" and use the unpublished emails to put us in touch with each other. Rules are meant to be broken, after all, and what's a slight breach of privacy for the cause of setting up a date? 😉

          • Dr. NerdLove

            How about it, Doctor? Since I doubt Brand is on your facebook page, I think you should violate confidentiality “just this once” and use the unpublished emails to put us in touch with each other. Rules are meant to be broken, after all, and what’s a slight breach of privacy for the cause of setting up a date?

            This is what lawyer types call "A really bad idea".

    • Max

      I think this sums up my response:

      Are you sure you aren't making the same mistake?

      (There's an opposite one for nerdy girls, but I couldn't find it)

  • Toast

    Discussions of men's fear of women always remind me of the Margaret Atwood quote: "Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

    • Sam

      Too many guys don't understand that. It is ingrained in our brains how dangerous men can be, and if all men just started from that premise, they might have better luck. I especially like how doc touched on the time and energy it takes to better yourself. This is true when approaching most women too. It takes patience to not creep out a girl.

      • Esn

        At the same time, it's not always good to go too far in the other direction and believe that you shouldn't approach women at all. It's really easy to internalize the idea that you have no reason to trust anybody and nobody has any reason to trust YOU.

        I think a lot of shy men KNOW that women have internalized the idea that all men are dangerous, and it's a big part of why they won't do the approaching.

        • ShyGuy

          This is a big concept that I have internalized.

    • Max

      To be fair, a woman is way more likely to laugh at a man than a man is to kill a woman. It's not as serious, yes, but also in some ways it's a more reasonable fear.

      Also, remember, men kill other men, too. We aren't terrified of each other though. Even us scrawny, nerdy dudes.

    • LokiTetch

      Maybe that's why women don't approach? If you were approaching and getting rejected all the time, you might see getting laughed at as pretty awful and not just dismiss it as 'women have it worse'

  • Robert

    That first picture is … interesting. I only say that because it's the one that appears on the front page.

  • lizkayl

    Thanks for addressing this topic. Just wanting to chime in on the encouragement side. The entitlement issue is huge. And I know part of it comes from wanting to pedestal the woman as a prize, as something sacred to be achieved- who isn't allowed to f* up. Because he deserves what's on that pedestal.

    • I was once in a relationship, where I was put on a pedestal.

      I tell you one thing, it's an uncomfortable place to be.

    • is rough

      Women don't feel entitled? To the perfect 'man'? Who has to earn more, be smarter, fit and strong, but totally supportive of everything his partner does, all of the time? And who then becomes boring because there is no push-back, no "manliness"?

      • BiSian

        Of course some women feel entitled to ridiculously specific qualities from their partners. No one has said otherwise.
        What exactly is your point?

  • Nikki

    this is a really good article.

    I have a question that may be related though. This goes for both genders…but more so guys than girls.

    I notice when a guy is unattractive, they usually get called a "creep" by others just for the crime of being unattractive. They may not even be doing anything wrong other than striking up conversation the normal way. But when a guy who is an attractive male does have creep factor attributes with the way he acts, he'll get the pass…cause he's good looking.

    so I wonder how many guys are unfairly being called creeps…?

    (I'm gonna clarify I am in NO way shape or form saying this is all make believe.. it is a problem of sexism especially in the nerd community. Just a problem I know exists as well)

    • Orv

      I think that "attractiveness" is 9 parts attitude and 1 part looks. So when you have an "unattractive" guy those 9 attitude parts that lend themselves to the unattractiveness often include at least 1 part "creep." When you have a person who has both looks and six or seven parts good attitude (confidence, sense of humor, energy, etc) but one or two parts "creep" it is easier to overlook those one or two parts than it is when you have six or seven negative attitude parts (for those both with and without good physical looks).

      • Nikki

        not really though. I see this happen all the time. I'm still convinced the whole personality thing is a load of BS. Not saying it ain't important but young people are extremely shallow.

        • Orv

          That's the problem with anecdotal evidence there isn't it. I know plenty of conventionally physically unattractive guys who have strong personalities and have never had a problem approaching women while your position is that you see guys like them shot down all the time. Not really any good way to convince either of us that the other position has any merit.

        • Cat

          Then why the hell are you hitting on young people? If young people are so immature, then go upwards. It's the height of hysterical hypocrisy when old farts hit on women younger than them and then go off raving about how "shallow" and "immature" they are when they find women their own age or older yucky for not having the looks of a 15-year old.

    • ARC

      Risk vs. Reward? You'll tolerate the perceived risk if he's hot enough? It's why anybody ever chases people who'd be below average save for physical looks.

      Also, not all girls do this (imo; I am a guy, so you could all be scheming plotting witches and I'm just none the wiser). If she calls an inoffensive but unattractive guy "creepy" just for talking to her, odds are she doesn't have many male friends and sees everything as a potential sexual relationship. Then, she's just weeding out the ones "under her level," probably has issues of her own, etc. Honestly, I wouldn't say that someone who won't befriend unattractive people is much of a catch, anyway. Best leave the vapid-but-cruel hot people for each other, imo.

    • djteslarose

      I think the creep factor has less to do with looks and more to do with the way they handle physical proximity, which I know has been covered here before. I may be a bit odd in I do no care for a "pretty boy" and don't generally find them attractive. I'm much more attracted to someone who will make me laugh and be interesting to talk to. But the guys I have found creepy, regardless of looks, are the ones who stand too close, who put their arm around you when you just met, or try to massage your shoulders, etc. Those things are threatening. I've had very attractive guys pull these antics and it immediately makes me want to put as much distance between them and me as possible. Also, blink, for the love of god guys, please blink!!! (Also, Nikki, it's so nice to see you on here without all the swear words, etc. Your ideas are much clearer and on point. Thanks!)

      • Nikki

        I guess it's different? I'm not saying creeps don't exist, but I've just noticed with the more typical person that guys and girls who are attractive get away with it more. For example the douche frat boys… you know, the ones who will date rape you in a heart beat? all because of looks and status then get away with that shit. You'll be really surprised how being good looking gives you so many privledges in society…even some pretty fucked up ones.

        but then if theres a not so attractive guy who has those attributes they can't get away with it…because "ew he's so ugly and creepy!" I'm not trying to stick up for guys who are creeps. I'm just saying the double standards in the situation really isn't fair. I know you're different but trust me..this is out there.

        (Also, Nikki, it’s so nice to see you on here without all the swear words, etc. Your ideas are much clearer and on point. Thanks!

        it's alot easier when it's an issue where people don't try to justify their poor actions and mindset.

        • Nikki

          that and it's an issue alot of readers here can collectively agree on. Sexual morality…not so much here.

          • djteslarose


            Sexual morality is a very individual thing based on a lot of factors in that individual's life. Your morality and my morality and X's morality are probably three very different things. As long as there is honesty and no one is hurting anyone then all three of us have a right to express ourselves sexual however we choose. We do not have the right to define other's sexual morality. And everyone justifies their opinions, just as you have done in the past. Just cause someone holds a different viewpoint than you does not make them bad or immoral people. Argue, try to change their minds, yes! Through reasoned arguments, yes! Through insults, no. 🙂

        • Anthony

          It depends on what you think of as 'getting away with it.' Their immediate society may let them get away with it, but I hope society as a whole will not. The attitude of getting a girl drunk and sleeping with her isn't always thought to be the same as actually date raping someone, though it should be. It's on those of us who recognize it for what it is to call the other people out. It's much harder for me to decipher where the creepy line is crossed because I'm a guy, but something that blatant is never okay.

          And to be completely off topic – I will say it yet again, because I don't know if you've read any of my responses to you – just because someone disagrees with you (for example – wants to have a one night stand, wants to have an open relationship) doesn't make their actions or their mindset poor. It just makes it different. If you can show me how their actions and mindset are affecting others beyond them, by all means, change my mind. Until then, I'm going to let others live as they choose.

          • Sarah

            technically, getting a girl (or guy) drunk and sleeping with her (or him) _IS_ always date rape. You can’t legally consent if you aren’t sober.

    • hunter85

      I've seen it relatively frequently where the "creep" label is slapped on a guy if he's not attractive.

      Eg if two guys made the same compliment, (same level of confidence and body language) the "unattractive" one would be called creepy. Like it's a "Your compliment is not wanted here. Beat it!" kind of retort.

    • Max

      I think you might just have weird friends.

    • eselle28

      For the most part, women do not label men creeps simply for saying hello or asking a question. There are a few, since women aren't automatically gifted with good social skills either, but that's not the most common case.

      The creep label tends to get applied when a man continues to push his company or his sexuality on a woman when it's unwelcome. That can be subtle, like hanging around and asking more questions when she responded to your first one with an, "Mmmhmmm," and went back to what she was doing. It can be more obvious, like trying to touch someone who keeps moving away or making sexual comments to a woman who just mentioned that she had a boyfriend. It can be so obvious anyone can see it, like following a woman around after an explicit rejection.

      I'm willing to concede that people who are attractive find that their advances are more welcome. That doesn't mean they can't be creepy by pushing beyond people's boundaries, though, or that unattractive people can't greet and attempt to talk to women without being labeled creeps. It's mostly a matter of observing the other person's reactions to you.

  • Beth

    I'm a 23 year old woman who has never so much as kissed a man. I don't blame men, I blame myself and spend hours wondering what I, a woman who is conventionally attractive, am doing wrong, what is wrong with me (low self-esteem and general awkwardness, mainly).

    But a man in my position with equal self-esteem issues wouldn't blame himself, he would blame women and leave misogynistic comments all over the internet.

    And I am supposed to pity him? It'll be a cold day in hell before any blogger insists that socially

    awkward women should be pitied (not that I want that, but you get my point)

    • Gentleman Horndog

      You understand that your issues are, in fact, your issues; that if you want the kissing and all the good stuff that goes along with it, then you need to work on your poor self-esteem first.

      You're on the right path. It will ultimately lead you to happiness. (Assuming you are actually working on correcting that poor self esteem, and not simply flogging yourself for it. The latter does nothing to help the former. Please don't take this as condescension; I speak on this topic with the Voice of Excruciating Experience.)

      The hypothetical man in your position (and described by the original post) does NOT understand that his issues are, in fact, his issues. He wants the world to conform to the way he thinks it ought to work, and is angry that it doesn't.

      He is on the wrong path. It will only lead him to more anger. He will not find happiness until he steps off of it — which may or may not ever happen.

      Do I pity him? Certainly. But I'm not the one he's directing his anger at; he's neither an emotional nor a physical threat to me. That privilege makes it pretty easy for me to detach.

      Whether or not you pity him is your call. But do note, pity does not preclude other emotional responses. You can both pity a guy AND hope the misogynist crapsack dies in a fire. Pity merely acknowledges how much it sucks to be him; it doesn't excuse it.

      • Beth

        Your comment was well-intentioned and I appreciate that, but don't worry, I've been on top of my issues for years and am pretty good at handling them. My comment was simply meant to illustrate the situation at hand.

        Ultimately these guys feel ~persecuted~ by patriarchal gender norms and blame that on women without understanding the extent to which they are privileged by and the extent to which women are oppressed by those norms.

        So no, I'm not going to pity men for feeling the occasional negatives of patriarchy when it is a constant reality in the lives of women. I will attempt to give the benefit of a doubt, or help them see what they're doing and why it is disingenuous, but at the end of the day, they deserve none of my pity.

        • Nikki

          your mindset ain't gonna accomplish anything it's just perpetuating a cycle.

          • Beth

            Expecting human beings to be willing to think critically about the systems which dictate their behavior isn't a cycle. I am sorry that you think the anti-oppressive mindset is so deeply hindering. Must be tough.

          • Nikki

            haha I love straw feminism

          • Nikki

            ugh thats not even what I was trying to say. society puts problems on both genders. the fact you wish to ignore the problem society imposes on men because of the amount of problems projected at females it's helping anything,

          • Beth

            Except that wasn't what I said at all. Patriarchy creates systems which fucks up both men and women in very different ways and this is something the men this post is addressed to need to understand.

            I'm a gender historian; my life is/will continue to be dedicated to studying shifting iterations of patriarchy over the year within various communities/time periods (but you don't want to hear about my thesis). You can try to shut me up by calling me a ~straw feminist~ or whatever angry e-term is en vogue for shutting down feminists if you want, but that won't change my analysis of the modern, American form of patriarchy under which we live.

            I can't be the only academic nerd reading this blog who has been exposed to gender theory.

        • Nikki

          how's community college feminism going?

          • Beth

            Nice classism! Is this how you conduct yourself whenever you have an ideological/philosophical dispute with someone? These discussions can be fun when the involved parties are civil and open minded, you know.

            As I said above, I'm a graduate student en route to becoming a historian. I study the place of gender in Jewish history.

    • ARC

      To be fair, men are expected (by society, which includes most men and most women) to be the active ones, so a guy with issues such as those has a much lower chance of getting asked out than a woman does (on the surface…). Notably, you'll sometimes see pity for guys who can't get up the confidence (but also contempt for ones who choose the wrong way to do it), but rarely pity for men or women who sabotage their own relationships.

      • Beth

        Men are expected to do the asking out because patriarchy dictates that women who do the asking are un-feminine and overly agressive. I did not make my above comment to harness sympathy, I made it to illustrate how patriarchy entitles men while entrapping women.

        Men would really benefit from understanding that most of what they perceive as ~misandry~ is actually simply the effects of the same system which oppresses women: the patriarchy.

        • ARC

          Men get to ask people out: Benefit.

          Men *must* ask people out to get dates: drawback.

          Women need not ask people out to get dates: benefit.

          Women *mustn't* ask people out so as not to offend them: drawback.

          Depicting the Patriarchy as *only* entitling men and *only* oppressing women is a very good way to alienate any men reading. People look to themselves first, so men are going to see that you disregard their concerns as actually being benefits and disagree with you. The Patriarchy doesn't just benefit men and harm women; it slightly benefits people who fit its stereotypes (Manly men and womanly women), and empowers them to control others. Conversely, it harms non-gender normative people, *on both sides of the aisle.* Depicting it as a zero-sum, "men win and women lose," game, is a good way to alienate men, because men *do* have legitimate grievances against the system. Just because, for the most part, it harms women more, does not make mens' issues unimportant.

          And yes, I do pity poorly socially-adjusted women, too. They just tend to be less vocal than the "why won't women date me omg I'm being oppressed" types. (Also, more difficult to get across to someone in this area when you are of the opposite sex. I'm get through to Nice Guys, etc., more easily, because of a shared gender.)

          • Beth

            I actually agree with everything in this comment. I figured that going into a shpiel about how patriarchy creates the masculine and the feminine and the gender binary etc might be bad etiquette for this blog, but I'm glad to see that it's cool!

            Although, for the record, I don't think it's my job to not offend men when I'm discussing systemic issues. But then, I hang around social justic blogs where everyone is speaking on the systematic and not the individual. Different tones, different communities, different understandings, etc.

          • Gentleman Horndog

            Beth: Man, that systemic vs. individual framing is such an important distinction to understand when discussing racism/sexism/whateverism, isn't it. It's usually a bloody mess when some opinionated soul who doesn't understand the systemic definition of racism (or whatever injustice is being discussed) chimes in on a social justice blog.

            Unless, of course, you're a fan of angry, frustrated people shouting past each other. Then I imagine it's hilarious.

            But, yeah, for this blog, I assume that unless Doc is specifically saying otherwise, discussions of sexism are on an individual don't-be-a-dick level.

          • Beth

            It really is, Gentleman Horndog! I think men are privileged. That does not mean that I think all men are inherently sexist or that I ~hate men~, it just means that men are socialized not to notice when they are saying/doing sexist things, and not to notice structural inequalities. Same goes for white privilege et al.

            Lol it can be funny to watch two diametrically opposed people with no critical thinking skills lose their shit at each other on an sj blog.

            But yeah, probably could to remember to switch from systemic to individual mode while commenting here 🙂

          • Beth

            (that should say "good to remember")

          • ARC

            ""It really is, Gentleman Horndog! I think men are privileged. That does not mean that I think all men are inherently sexist or that I ~hate men~, it just means that men are socialized not to notice when they are saying/doing sexist things, and not to notice structural inequalities. Same goes for white privilege et al.""

            Ooh ooh ooh! I had actually never heard that explanation of what "being privileged" meant ('specially since it's so easy to think that a systematic reasonable person is being an individual jerk). Agree completely, good way of looking at it. To be privileged is to not have to realize that anyone is privileged. Cool beans.

    • Jenny

      Right? I pitied the fools for far too long.

  • Gentleman Horndog

    This is a valuable piece. It does a really good job of exploring where all that anger and misogyny come from without excusing it. And the corrective measure is spot on — it's basically "Make yourself a better human being."

    Of course, I note that a LOT of the Doc's advice boils down to "Want to have better luck with women? Become a better person. Chicks dig it!"

    This is not a complaint.

    The fear effect is exacerbated by the fact that a healthy sexual relationship makes you and your partner profoundly vulnerable, physically and emotionally. That's part of what makes it so exhilarating and emotionally significant, but it can also be scary as hell. One of the (many, many) problems I have with the pick-up artist approach is that a lot of it seems designed to wall you off from that vulnerability, to minimize the amount of actual intimacy that goes along with sex.

    And if you've positioned yourself such that your partner is as emotionally unthreatening as a fleshlight, why bother? Just stay home and whack off. The most efficient pornography dissemination tool in human history is at your fingertips; use it.

    • Nikki

      aside from feminist issues brought up this blog has been pick up artist lite lately with it's articles.

  • Ik

    Yes. Pick up artist light. In other words, the non-sexist, actually effective dating advice that the PUA community SHOULD have been. Are you going to complain that it's a resource dedicated to helping heterosexual men?

    Personally I am tempted to argue that maybe the entitlement people are right, but not with respect to individual people. Perhaps rather everyone who is good enough is entitled to the love of someone who loves them back? Certainly love and sex can only be traded for like, but from my own standpoint I have a hard time rejecting entitlement.

    That said the PUA community is sometimes pretty bad and almost always objectifying, and the MRA community ranges from unfortunate blindness to genocideal horror.

    Personally, I just wish humans were more emotionally invincible so that I didn't have to be so constantly careful about hurting others or myself.

    • Nikki

      "how to hook up at a WEDDING"

      yeah, ok.

      • Gentleman Horndog

        The title of that post ("How To Hook Up At A Wedding") does indeed sound like something you might expect at a PUA site. (Wouldn't know; don't visit.)

        The actual CONTENT of that article — have a great time, help everybody around you have a great time, don't skeeze anybody out, and mind the logistics — is pretty much what I'd expect from the Doc.

        In a good way.

        • Nikki

          all in the hopes of potentially getting laid

          • Orv

            What's wrong with "getting laid"? I'm not saying life should be an endless series of emotionless hookups, but what is wrong with two consenting adults deciding, at a wedding, that they want to sleep together? It sounds like you want to impose your personal morality on the rest of us. If you don't ever want to sleep with anyone you aren't in a committed relationship with that's fine, more power to you, but then you aren't exactly part of the conversation are you?

          • Nikki

            It's just annoying how people have to chose every time and place to get laid. I mean really..a wedding? thats pretty rude in my opinion. If you wanna have random ass sex whatever, but theres a time and place for it too. a WEDDING is not it. My personal gripe that this blog has basically turned into getting laid 101 instead of relationship advice. yeah it'll help if you just wanna fuck random bitches and douches but learning how to getting laid won't help you when you decide it's time for a relationship.

            hey man you decided to continue one with me.

            also STDS.

          • Yuki

            "My personal gripe that this blog has basically turned into getting laid 101 instead of relationship advice."

            It has? Because I'm not seeing it. I mean, there was some advice on how to handle moving in together without going postal. That's some serious relationship advice, right here.

            I think your personal gripe is that other people don't share your personal convictions, and that you're getting irritated when you're faced with this time and again. I mean, more power to you for your beliefs on when and where to have sex, but not everyone considers a hookup at a wedding to be 'rude', you know?

          • ARC

            "" yeah it’ll help if you just wanna fuck random bitches and douches but learning how to getting laid won’t help you when you decide it’s time for a relationship.""

            You really have no respect for people who have casual sex, do you? Do you think that you are better than them?

            It's not like Dr NL has stopped giving relationship advice: he just doesn't give it exclusively. This site isn't about committed, long-term relationships: it's about many types of inter-gender and sexual interactions. Relationships leading to marriage are one of these. So is casual sex.

            I'm just wondering where you get this bile for anything that isn't a long-term, committed relationship. "Bitches and Douches?" Some of my friends have casual sex; they're very nice people, too (that's why they're my friends). Have you only ever had bad interactions with people like this?

          • Nikki

            yeah on a good day there will be a relevant article. it;s just annoyed that every single blog regarding relationships has to jam GOTTA HAVE SEX down our throats. hell even in the moving in article of course sex is mentioned. Yes, I get it, people are obsessed with having sex.

            and yeah it;s fair to say I do have a personal gripe. Probably because I find it all really pathetic.

          • Anthony

            I really shouldn't continue this, because it's off topic and you're not understand what we're saying.

            But, in the vein of off topic rants, this is a blog that literally says "Helping Nerds Get the Girl." This is a blog that is about helping social interact nerds interact with women and succeed in their relationships with them. Part of that includes sex. In fact, quite a large part, because I would venture to say most people, nerd/male/female/whatever, want to have sex, have questions/concerns about sex, and are thinking about sex. You are not one of those people. But that doesn't automatically make those people bad. You make broad, sweeping statements about people. You sound as though you've got the world figured out, but I would venture to guess that you don't, because none of us do. Just try being more tolerant. Try it for a week, a month, maybe even a year. See if it changes your life. If it doesn't, so be it. Then go back to making a snap judgement on every person you meet.

          • Gentleman Horndog

            I'm gathering that you think the emphasis on casual hook-ups is a big part of what makes the PUA mentality so objectionable.

            I disagree, strongly. I think what makes that mentality so offensive is how it advocates pursuing that goal in ways that are dehumanizing and exploitive. The goal itself is fine.

            Casual sex between informed, consenting adults is a perfectly valid expression of human sexuality. That it's unappealing to many people (such as yourself) doesn't mean the people it DOES appeal to are somehow deficient — which seems to be what you're implying.

  • Firecat

    Well, Nikki, you could always stop reading the blog if it bothers you that much.

  • Ik

    Wow, that was weird.

    I also think it's to be noted that this blog's intended audience is people who want to be sexually active but are not. Ergo, most of the important relation ship advice is best given through that way.

  • animatedmadness

    Time out!

    I figured this article there'd ve some tension but allow me to share how I perceived this entry…

    Sadly I've been this guy before. I was the kid that was picked on all through high school and could never get a date because I thought I was fat and therefore ugly. Before my senior year of high school I lost 60 lbs and thought I looked pretty damn good. I thought dating would be a cinch.

    nope. still got picked on, still got rejected. And rather than re-examining myself and trying to be a better man, I just assumed it was the worlds fault, and crept closer to "the dark side."

    I haven't dated much in my 26 years of existence, and it was only a few years ago that I realized it was because it really is something with me. I had that "perfect woman is my prize" mentality and its not fun to have. you have to be happy with who you are before people really begin warming up to you. now granted, I may be a little overweight, hairy, and live in a trailer that's falling apart 20 minutes away from civilization, but its a home I can afford. I'm actually moving into a more stable, more affordable cottage. I may have a huge HUGE interest in many animated tv shows and movies, but that's not my entire length of interest. its a majority, granted, but I'm building more interests like cooking, history, etc.

    its not a "silver bullet," but its a step towards me being happier with who I am. And when that special someone out there will see me and like me for who I am, it will be an added plus to what I'm doing my best to make a happy life.

  • Debra

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't all these problems be boiled down to the fact that these types of men see women as these Perfect Angel Statues to have sex with?

    The fact that they fear them -> Female is perfect, holds all the power over the act of sex.

    The owing of sex -> Female is perfect, holds all the power over the act of sex.

    Man is the victim -> Male isn't perfect, doesn't hold the power.

    Sex cheat codes -> well, I can keep repeating myself but I think you get the point.

    It seems to be so damn hard for them to see women as human beings that they even manage to put the responsibility and power on them, but then we're only taking into account those who are attractive. Any woman that doesn't hold up to that standard (and is considered ugly even when she is basically not) is forgotten and simply doesn't exist. The problems she may have are not important. This is even worse for those who do hold up to the standard, because who cares about the problems when she's pretty, right?

    They want women to see them as more, but in turn do the exact opposite. It's not a difficult problem and I can't feel bad for those who are too blind to see their own behaviour.

    Sorry if this comes across as a little bitter. I'm trying to make a point.

  • animatedmadness

    Hold on Debra. Lol.

    While I see where you're coming from, the women I've been rejected by aren't exactly scarlet johansson.

    As a matter of fact, I normally determine women by personality, though there has to be some form of physical attraction. Think about it. Which would you prefer? Quasimodo or Pheobus?

    • Nikki

      I asked the doc this question once here. funny how he never replied with an answer.

      • Orcus

        That might be because he's addressed it before(in the "fat/overweight" sense, anyway):

        But something tells me that this won't satisfy you and that you always need to have the last word.

    • Debra

      Well, but that's why I was basically talking about the men that are discussed in the article. I assume you're not one of them.

      I know I've exaggarated my point a bit, but in the context of this article the problem that we're talking about is pretty much men (or rather boys) in denial about their own weaknesses and then blaming it on the 'perfect' woman for not looking beyond that. It's very hypocritical behaviour.

      Of course there has to be physical attraction, but we often forget that we actually have our own opinions and preferences in this society. Anyone can like anyone and this basically means that no one could be generally considered ugly.

      It's no secret that the standards for men are more diverse than for women.

  • Vin

    "It’s because society is biased against the shy and socially awkward"

    Just one thing: This is actually true.

    • Anthony

      Society is biased against the shy and socially awkward, and that's why people get called creepy? Maybe society is biased against the shy and socially awkward, but that's not why men are considered creepy. 'Creepy' is incredibly subjective and personal. If you're setting off someone's creep radar, it's not because society is biased. It's because you're legitimately making someone feel uncomfortable. No matter the person, no matter the society, everyone has their limits. If you want to blame society for setting those limits in a place that you don't agree with, fine. But, at the end of the day, it's still on you to respect others.

      Possibly you were commenting on the statement in general, and not just how it was used in context. In that case, I don't know that you're wrong. But that wasn't the goal in mind when it was said in the article, and you've taken it out of context.

      • Paul Rivers

        "If you’re setting off someone’s creep radar, it’s not because society is biased. It’s because you’re legitimately making someone feel uncomfortable."

        No – see, 3 years ago I would have thought this to.

        1-2 years ago I watched to-many-girls-for-it-to-be-a-random-occurrence suddenly start calling anyone creepy who did anything socially that they didn't like. Seriously – twice girls called me "creepy" for not actively coming over to say hi to them fast enough – these were girls who then, and still do, actively talk to me and flirt with me.

        I watched them call any guy who wasn't immediately engaging with them in the way that they wanted a "creeper" – was a guy at dancing that they wanted to talk to them not coming over and talking to them? Creeper. Was a guy who they thought might be interesting, but was socially awkward, not talking to them "right"? Creeper.

        Ironically, a few guys actually acted creepy, and they were extremely hesitant to actually call those guys creepy.

        It seemed like a fad went through with women where they loved calling everyone they could creepy – it was weird. But so I do disagree that anyone called a creeper is "legitimately" making someone else feel uncomfortable. I can kind of get where you might be coming from, because I would have thought so before, but after watching all that happen there's no way I can say that any more.

  • Synko

    Reading articles like this one one always brings out such mixed feelings.. I simultaneously identify with, and don't identify with the kinds of embittered guys that the Good Doctor is describing. It's kind of confusing, and I'm still not sure where I fit in to all this.

    I'm not looking for a "traditionally beautiful woman." I'm attracted to all manner of nerdy, and some non-nerdy girls. So many of them are beautiful in their own ways.

    I'm also not looking for the "manic pixie dream girl," as one other commenter has suggested about guys like me. I'm kind of a homebody, I'm calm and relaxed and maybe boring, and my ideal girl would be comfortable with that, and maybe like that herself, *not* someone who would bring excitement or energy to my life.

    I shower plenty, change my clothes, and take care of myself to the extent that I can. I'm no athlete, but I keep a close eye on myself so that I don't get overweight. I'm wearing a clean shirt every day, a shirt that fits me, even if it's not in style and has Nintendo characters on it.

    I'm not looking for a "sex cheat code" as the Doctor said, because I'm not looking (specifically) for sex. I'm looking for a devoted relationship, and whether sex is immediately a part of that, or it waits until after marriage.. well, to be quite honest, either is fine.

    And finally, I don't "live in a squalid basement with a low paying job." I've graduated from a good college several years ago and have maintained a sex-figure income since then, mostly from an online company that I started while still in school.

    Nothing would make me happier than to find someone, "traditionally beautiful" or not, pixie or not, who would be as devoted to me as I am to her. I'd love to be in a real relationship (one marked by love, devotion, and cuddling). It would also be amazing to find a girl with "low self-esteem and general awkwardness" (as another commenter put it) who would feel a little more complete because of my being in her life.

    And yet, despite not fitting the Doctor's mold for the "angry, bitter loser guy," I still fit it so well. I'm frustrated — not for lack of sex (which I can pay for if I want) — but for lack of that devoted relationship. Not only can I not find that, most of the time I'm lucky if I can find a date once a year.

    So where do I fit into all of this, and what should I be doing different? I wish I knew. 🙁

    I know I'm not very exciting or energetic, and I'm not asking for a girlfriend who is. But I would think that this shouldn't completely destroy my chances, or am I wrong?

    • Gentleman Horndog

      First: be wary of intentionally trawling for women with self-esteem issues. I get where your mind is: if she needs you to feel complete, that means the relationship is more secure and you're safer, AND you get to feel like you're helping her out! Win-win!

      … except it's more like "Trap-trap." TRUST ME ON THIS. Attempting to provide somebody else's self-esteem for them will cause your relationship to eventually disintegrate into a massive heap of weapons-grade FAIL. This is the Voice of Excruciating Experience speaking. Ideally, you want somebody who doesn't NEED you in her life, but wants you there anyway for all the good stuff you bring to it.

      This is not to say that you should avoid everybody with self-esteem issues. Avoiding people who feel some degree of crappy about themselves under some conditions is going to eliminate something like 90% of your potential dating pool*. But low self-esteem is a bug, not a feature. If your girlfriend is trying to work on her self-esteem issues, you want to hold her hand and help her, because you want her to be the best version of herself she can be. Treating it as a feature means that you'll wind up discouraging her from working on those issues because you fear that if she DOES feel better about herself, she'll dump you for somebody better. Treating it as a feature means you WANT her feeling inadequate, like you're the only person she can turn to to alleviate her self-doubt.

      Does that sound like the kind of boyfriend you'd like to be? Please say "No"….

      Second, stop fixating on what you don't bring to the table, and get your focus on what you DO. I can tell right off the bat that you're smart and you're motivated — stupid, lazy people don't earn six-figure incomes from companies they started themselves. I'm willing to bet you're very well-informed and can have a very good conversation on whatever line of business you're in, and have other passions, too. Your expectations for a romantic partner sound reasonable. You can communicate clearly, with non-textspeak words and paragraph breaks and everything. I'm willing to bet this just scratches the surface, and you have plenty of other winning qualities. You're looking for somebody who LIKES what you have to offer, not somebody prepared to tolerate what you don't.

      Third, get yourself into situations where you're in contact with women who are looking for guys; advances are a hell of a lot more welcome in contexts where they're actually EXPECTED. Ever tried OKCupid? It's free, and I've had tremendous success with it. The Doc has some really good articles on on-line dating in general; seek them out. It might be exactly what you're looking for.

      Fourth, bear in mind that in this culture, we (as Doc's spirit guide Dan Savage has pointed out) have this idiotic habit of gauging the success or failure of a relationship by DEATH. If one of you dies before you break up, congratulations! You win at relationships!

      Lower the stakes. She doesn't have to be the life-partner of your dreams for the relationship to be good. If you go out a half dozen times, enjoy yourselves, maybe share some intimacy, decide you're ultimately not what each other is looking for, and part with a friendship that lasts years, did that relationship fail? Was that a total waste of your time? I would argue HELL no.

      Good luck, mate. You sound like a fundamentally decent dude. Don't let frustration lead your head to someplace dark; loneliness is a bitch. I have absolute confidence there are plenty of women out there looking for what you have to offer. If you can just find one offering what you're looking for, you're both going to be very happy.

      * — Remember, 87% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

      • animatedmadness

        Unless you're like me and OKcupid was a complete failure. I was on that site since I saw the Doc's panel at Aggiecon and I got zero response even after following his advice. zero emails except for the few women who actually took the few seconds of their time to tell me they weren't interested.

      • Synko

        Thanks for the advice, but unfortunately I don't think it's that simple. I've tried OkC for several years (not in the last couple years, but while in college) and had very little luck with it. My profile would get, at the most, 2-3 visits per week! I'd be lucky to receive a message once every 6 months. This might not even be an issue of having a badly written profile, since very few girls would arrive there and have the chance to read it. I tried sending messages, too, and got very few responses.

        It's hard not to focus on the negatives when I have so few opportunities. I mean, sometimes I see guys who are fat, not very charming, no life goals, etc. manage to date a new girl at least once a month or so. After looking at that, and looking at myself, how can I not focus on the negatives? I mean, there must be something I'm not offering that just about everyone is looking for.

      • Synko

        Oh, and there's another reason I sympathize with the Doctor's “angry, bitter loser guys,” I've worked hard to avoid all the common pitfalls described by the Doc, and others like him, and yet I still find myself in exactly the same boat as the guys who are affected by all those pitfalls.

        It's enough to make me think that I'd been lied to, that none of this stuff really matters and winners and losers are decided by altogether different criteria.

        • James (Thortok2000)

          Indeed, I feel that way sometimes.

        • Soubrette

          Well, what are your pictures on the profile like? Are you presenting yourself in the best possible light? Maybe you’re not looking the best you possibly could in real life, too?That could certainly factor into the response you’re getting.

          Save for some self-esteem/confidence issues, your personality isn’t bad at all. You actually seem very sweet, and you lack the entitlement issues so many men on here seem to have. You have a lot going for you already! I saw on your original post that you mentioned that you kind of put in minimal effort into your personal style and grooming – you shave, you bathe, you stay marginally fit, you throw on a T-shirt with Mario on it. That’s a start, but maybe it’s time to start investing more time and effort into your appearance? You seem like a smart, successful guy, so why not have the outside reflect the inside? Perhaps start going to the gym a day or two a week, learn about proper nutrition to maximize your time at the gym, and start investing in developing a personal style. I know for me personally, guys who are wearing T-shirts with cartoon characters on them in their mid-twenties aren’t attracting me. (And that’s putting it very, very delicately.) It seems a bit immature, and it’s not sending off the right kind of message. Google “Andy Whitfield Premiere”, and you can see a lot of photos of a sharp, classy style that a lot of women would find appealing. (There’s one outfit in particular that’s both classy and a bit geeky: a plaid shirt with dark denim, a gray blazer, and gray converse. Sharp, but still nerdy!)

          Start cultivating a more grown-up style. T-shirts are fine for wearing around the house, but when you’re out and about, trying to meet women, wear something sharp. Working out at the gym will give you confidence and make you feel even better about your body, even if it’s just a bit of light cardio. No woman is looking for a guy who looks like a glorified manchild – we want a man who presents himself as such. I think it’s very important to put more effort into your appearance, style and hygiene. Looks like you’re doing okay in the personality department, so the physical aspect might be where you are going wrong.

    • Anthony

      Horndog addressed everything else, and did it well. But I want to comment on you fitting the mold talked about in this article. Simply put, you don't. This article isn't talking about the sexually frustrated or the guys without girlfriends in a general sense. It's talking about men who BLAME their problems on society/women. You don't sound like you're doing that. As much as one can read between the lines, I might get hints of this sentiment here and there, but you're not really putting the blame elsewhere. You're post is very woe is me, but I don't feel like you're saying you can't solve the issues because no one will let you. More like you don't know how to fix things, and that sucks. I understand how you might think you identify with the men talked about in this article, but you don't. Realize you're starting from a positive place that just needs fine tuning. They are starting from a negative place that needs to be entirely reworked.

      • Soubrette

        This! I don’t think he’s the type of guy mentioned in the article, either. This guy is good people.

  • Ik

    I think some clarification needs to be done on the idea of many sexually deprived men not seeing women as people. I think that they do see women as people at least in a general way. What's more common, I believe, is seeing another whole mysterious and difficult to deal with aspect to women when sex and romance is involved, especially because it at least seems that women talk about this differently than men do.

    Personally, I have NO PROBLEM talking to women provided that I don't breach the subject. I think that is my only remaining difficulty; I really need to figure out how to know when its save to talk about that.

    • Astral

      Perhaps the definition of "people" needs to be clarified, but many of the guys who fit the particular mold described in the article do not see women as equals–and they are very, very mad that we see ourselves as their equals.

      Let me give a couple of examples. A respondent to an article on women not marrying said that the problem was that women were looking for a partner and he was looking for a wife. Perhaps it's my own sensitivity or the larger context of the comment, but I read that as "I don't want an equal, I want someone to be the stereotypical 50s housewife who cooks, cleans, sexes me, and mothers but doesn't do any of that feminist having a career and her own interests crap. The reason I am sensitive is because of a brief involvement with a guy who, it was quickly revealed, thought I had magically showed up in his life to fulfill his twisted picture of what would make him happy; he got cruel when I reminded him of any aspect of my life that didn't have to do with his fantasy. See, my career didn't matter, because as a woman I was clearly only on the earth to serve him and his potential children. BTW, he was smart, attractive…and he turned out to be one of the creepiest people I ever met.

      They and a lot of other men who grew up with mothers like this–and fathers who were authoritative over them–came to expect that this kind of woman was their right. Because they didn't see women who had their own sense of self outside of the wife and mother role (or didn't see this side of their mothers), they simply think women as equals is unnatural. Luckily, there are a growing number of men who either saw how unhappy their mothers were in this kind of situation or have grown up with women who had more opportunities to lead a fulfilling life of their choosing–whether as a surgeon, business owner, teacher, SAHM, or some combo!!

  • Anthony

    I don't deny that women can be absolutely horrible to each other. And I know that that is why a lot of women have the issues that they do. But the article is trying to address the source of these problems. Why can women treat each other like shit? Why did it start? Why does it continue? The author's answer is men. Men are the ones who crafted society as it is today. If you deny that, then the rest of my comment is pointless, because we'll never agree. But, assuming you do, then men are to blame for a lot of the issues that women have. Maybe not the men that a woman has met in her life, but all men, collectively, that have lived in the past (this is a complete guess, so while this isn't my area of expertise, it does seem to be an accurate guess) 450 years or so. And the men that are living today create the societal standard of beauty. The men living today are the ones women are trying to impress. You present examples above of women trying to impress other women, but it's not just women that they want to impress. They are looking to impress whoever is around them, usually, male or female. If a woman gets the attention that she is looking for from the men around her, it will help insulate her to what the other women say. The faithful married woman might dress sexy to work because she likes the attention she gets from the single guys in her office, not because of (or not just for) the other women. The woman dressing up to go to a family dinner with relatives is something different, and she is just looking to impress the other women. The purse thing is a little bit different. The purse thing is far more status symbol than anything else, I would wager to guess. But I think purses fall into a slightly different category, and not something that involves what we're discussing here. All of these examples do come back to why women feel the need to impress others.

    I think our difference in opinion is because I'm talking about the issues as they affect the entire society over time, and you're discussing individuals and how their personal stories have gone. And by no means are the individuals to be ignored, but if we (society) are going to find a solution to this problem, the source of the issues for society has to be found. I think it is false to say that women started berating other women for no reason. That started because of the pressure that was put upon them to impress men. That's where this comes from – despite how a lot of guys feel that come to this site, in society, most of the pressure is on women to impress men. At the very least, the initial impression of looks/beauty is on the woman, because men do the approaching and men pick the women they would like to approach. Beyond this phase of dating, there is obviously immense pressure on both sides, but the initial pressure to impress is on the woman. And that initial impression is where most of these hurtful comments come from. I suppose that one solution to this problem could be to change society so the pressure is on the men to impress initially. But I don't want that. I would rather look for an alternative; one where no one has to be made to feel inferior by their peers because they don't live up to societal standards.

    That's what the article presents. In an effort to help all living and future women, take away the expectation of perfection. It does not matter how many times you tell a woman she is beautiful if she sees you stare at another woman's ass or sees you do a double take as you're walking down the street. Those little looks and glances go a long way towards invalidating any good things you've said because you're admitting with your behavior that the things that you're looking at are what you want to see. If she doesn't match to what you've just made a point to look at, why in the world should she believe you? I think it's fair to say most people are skeptical of words, and they need actions to back them up. This is the action to backing up your word. I've paid attention to myself the past couple of days as I go about my day. How often do I look towards something aside from a woman's face? It's a little shocking, and really eye opening. I can see how all of these instances would add up in anyone's mind. I'm looking at what I find attractive, for the most part. And we all are. And it adds up to an overwhelming picture of what 'beauty' is – an impossible to achieve picture that is harmful for everyone involved. This is a problem that has to be addressed, of that I know you agree. You have found that you can't do anything to help the women in your life who already have problems because of abuse. So think about things in a different way. Find a different solution. The harder thing about this one is that it's not going to see any results quickly. Possibly not in our lifetimes. This is a problem that society has, but it has to start with individuals who are willing to fix it. If a woman can grow up and go through her life without seeing men go stupid over women they see attractive, her idea of beauty won't ever be defined as it is today. So when she's raising her daughter(s), she'll teach them what she knows. And if they grow up in the same environment, without men using every opportunity to check out the hottie behind the counter, that undefined beauty will continue on. And when beauty is undefined like that, individuals can fill it in as they choose. Society won't have power over what is beautiful anymore.

    As far as being considered non-sexual or gay, I think a happy medium can be reached. I (nor the article) am not saying to ignore beauty, because it still makes sense to appreciate (and make your appreciation known to) beautiful women that you want to be involved romantically with. I think it'll take practice, but I don't think the only possible result of this endeavor will be increased difficulty in my dating life. However, even if that were the case, I'm still going to do it. I'll take a harder dating experience if it means I can in some way help women feel better about themselves.

    Also, kudos to you if you've never felt a little inferior when your girlfriend points out another man's perfect body in a magazine. I'm not trying to suggest it's as bad for guys because we don't have the same kind of issues in this department as women do. But if that situation doesn't sting you, I think you're in the minority. I don't really know, though, because I only have my experiences and your admission to go by.

  • Jess

    I think you are missing one key point. For hundreds of years the only POWER a woman has had is through beauty and sex. Women have learned this lesson well. Hundreds of years ago, if you were the most beautiful one at the ball, you became a duchess, while the ugly girl ended up a shriveled old maid and a social pariah as well as a drain on her family's resources.

    Now, Hollywood still sells us the bill of goods that beauty=powerful look at the ass forward shot of any female hero in a movie.

    And the original poster reinforced this by boldly claiming Ugly is ignored. Women beat one another up about looks because that is a way of mentally affirming you are more powerful than the other person. And if we get it from our guardians like mother figures it is coming from a fear we as women won't have influence or power if we don't look a certain way.

    That is why patriarchy has poisoned us. If men started to value our intellectual and social contributions to society, we'd start ripping on one another for not being smart enough. Women need to learn not to hen peck, but hen pecking over looks is a result of being told for literally generations that our only value lies in our looks.

  • Max

    I have theory about this recent trend of strongly anti-women groups of men: it's all because of the feminist movement. Hear me out before you respond angrily.

    Now, for much of human history, a woman's purpose in life was simple: get married, have kids. If you didn't get married, you became an Old Maid, a horrible fate reserved for an unlucky few. Then the feminist movement began, and one of its major ideas was that women don't need men to be happy. Fast forward 40 years, and now you have a whole generation of women raised on the idea that can be happy and successful with or without a man. The problem is that we forget to tell the same generation of men that they can be happy without a woman.

    So, while a single woman can feel empowered, successful, and career-driven, a single man often feels like a hopeless loser. Men want women, but women don't always want men, and thus it can feel like women hold all the power in a relationship. Now, many would argue that the solution would be to return to 1950s gender roles, which would be pretty great for men but pretty awful for women.

    I think we should do just the opposite: we need to empower men in the same way that we've empowered women. We need to remind men that we don't need a woman to be happy.

    Don't buy that attractive girl a drink just because you want to have sex with her; buy your best bud a drink instead. Instead of being depressed and lonely on Valentines day, get together with your buddies and get drunk and play video games. Watch kickass action movies instead of crappy romcoms. Men created and destroyed more civilizations than I can count! We don't need to fear women! Take away their power! You are a strong [ethnicity] man who don't need no woman!

    Then, when neither side holds the power, men and women can all just hang out and chill with each other like human beings, and then maybe have sex later if everyone wants to.

    • Astral

      Actually, for most of human history, women provided a significant portion, if not the majority, of calories for their families. They often held important spiritual and advisement roles in their societies. So they had many purposes. Although their fertility has obviously been important in all societies, there are many factors which contributed to, in particular times and places, women being *only* valued, deemed successful, or able to survive due to their ability to attract a mate and bear children.

      So, feminism doesn't have much to do at all with women not needing men to be happy, although it does argue against the idea that one's *sole worth* should be based on having a partner (often of a certain status). This applies to men, too, but in the industrialized West, being thought of favorably and as a success hasn't required having a spouse (not so true elsewhere) – although yes, men do derive a lot of social status from being able to attract women.

      Feminism has to do with equal opportunities for people to live the lives they think will be most fulfilling regardless of their gender. All of the feminists I know have happier lives when they have good relationships with their male relatives, friends, and/or romantic partners. Our critiques are directed towards those who try to reduce us to less than we are capable of being. We simply have no wish to expend all of our energy on people (again regardless of gender) who do not appreciate, respect, and cherish us for our full selves. It's really difficult to be happy when that is the case.

      Of course, many people do derive happiness from comfort and security and comfort and security can arise from conforming to the norms of one's society. So there are a lot of women who were/are content that they downplayed their intelligence or gave up a promising career, if they got an attractive high-status mate in return. Over the years, this did not always turn out to be a good deal (not to mention the affairs, abuse, etc.), and there were more than a few discontented women who provided the groundswell for the feminist movement.

      To lead fulfilling lives, we all need respect and affection and knowing caring others will be there for us. This helps us to overcome the issues we all have at one time or another. Sex has a lot of benefits, and the majority of people still lean toward being more attracted to someone of a different gender. The majority of people still want to have children and need to be gainfully employment. Feminism is about making sure that all the needs of each participant in a relationship are heard, respected, and fulfilled in a way that, while sometimes requiring negotiation or sacrifice, doesn't require one participant to sacrifice their whole self.

  • Pingback: Difficulty Settings and Cheat Codes : The Cultural Gutter()

  • Ancom

    Unless they're the female counterpart of a basement-dwelling, D&D-playing Doritos-eating monster, women grow up constantly being hit on by men. Even if no man explicitly walk up to them (which men most certainly do), they'll still enjoy the frequent attention of the opposite sex in social situations.

    This lets women know that the opposite sex is interested in them. This lets them know that they are validated by the opposite sex, that they are attractive, and they need not be afraid of going to bars, clubs, work, school or any kind of social gathering because they know that wherever they go, they are wanted and desired. Women have a baseline of knowing that they CAN get the attention of the opposite sex at will. They have this security, and therefor never need to feel a need to chase out of desperation.

    (Now as a side note, I am aware that women have a set of issues of their own, but right now I am talking about attraction and attention from the opposite sex, which some would agree is one of the most important human needs next to food and water.)

    So how does this compare to the situation of men?

    Well for one, men are rarely sought-after by the opposite sex. Unless you happen to belong to the top 2% who are magically longed-for by the majority of women, you will live your life WITHOUT the knowledge that you can get yourself a woman. You have no idea what you're doing wrong. You just know that women sure as heck aren't desiring you the way you desire them.

    And thus begins the journey of the isolated creep.

    I agree with these bitter men to 100%. I don't have problems getting women, but I know that men are put in an extremely unfair position which can be attributed to the laziness and cowardice of most women. Most women seem to have the reasoning that if you know that you can get attention from the opposite sex, why would you go out of your way to make it easy for them? Heck, why not even exploit the situation and watch them writhe a little?

    "I just want a man who can make me laugh."

    "I just want someone who isn't a creep."

    "I just want someone who can take charge."

    Yeah, and you know what men want? Someone who will dare put their emotions on the line the same way they do, but does anyone see this happening? Not by a long shot.

    So can you blame men for being bitter? Are you going to tell them that they are the ones who are wrong and "need to change," despite the fact that they are facing this huge injustice on a daily basis, and have done so for most of their lives?

    Do you have any idea what not getting any attention from the opposite sex (except for a short relationship here and there) will do to a person?

    It turns them into a "creep." Congrats to all the women!

    • Anthony

      It sucks that some guys don't have luck with women. Sometimes life just deals us a shitty hand. But that doesn't mean it's society's fault. Have they truly done every single thing that they could to make themselves more attractive? I would wager that the answer to that is no almost 100% of the time. I have no way of proving this, but I do know from experience that people who blame things on exterior causes did not do everything in their power to prevent, and they often don't try as hard as they could to fix it. It would seem like you have some issues with women from the rest of your post that I won't get into, but men can take a look at themselves before blaming others.

      Oh, and your "top 2%" is not true. There all kinds of women attracted to all kinds of types. I got really lucky in that at a young age I had an attractive woman desire me, so I got my own personal proof of this. But I am not in the top 2% of guys as far as looks go – she fell for me because of my personality. Women desire guys the same way men desire women; it would just appear that they do a better job of hiding it. There ARE some societal issues there, though (women not encouraged to be forth coming with their feelings, men feeling emasculated if the woman asks them out, women expecting men to do the asking). But these issues aren't stopping relationships from happening, just making it slightly harder.

      • Ancom

        I don't think my comment extends to "some guys" as you put it, but rather a majority.

        Ask any guy about his sex life and he'll tell you about encounters that are few and far between, with the occasional "getting lucky" as you put it with a steady relationship (which I mentioned in my original comment).

        Ask a woman about guys however, and she'll tell you about X and Y dude who hit on her last weekend but wasn't quite her type but invited her to an afterparty where she met Z and blah blah blah.

        Do you see the difference?

        Wherever they go, Women constantly get emotionally empowering attention from the opposite sex that instills a sense of security. Men on the other hand have to fight their way out of whatever drought they happen to be in like dogs.

        And if the man is constantly being shot down, ridiculed, and receives zero attention from women, how can you put the blame on *him* as if the fault was his to begin with?

        So yeah, I do think it's true that a very small group of men enjoy the frequent attention of women, and that a very small group of women don't enjoy the frequent attention of men, and I think this is creating a social dynamic where a lot of men end up feeling unworthy, depressed and unwanted, and I think calling them out on not "getting their shit together" is only making it worse and quite frankly, I find it quite disrespectful of their situation.

        • Ancom

          And meanwhile in the comments of sites like this one:

          "Wow, great site. More guys need to learn how to talk to us women."

          "Yeah I wish guys would be less creepy!"

          "Yeah if a guy does X and I say Y, he REALLY needs to get into his head that blah blah blah."

          "Thanks for writing this! More guys need to learn how to approach!"

          Do women seriously not understand what they are doing?

          • heidi h

            Ancom, you say “Men are delighted to accept and validate women in social situations, but women are not too keen on returning the favor as they would much rather call guys out on being creeps…”

            I’ve actually found in my personal experience that men are delighted to grab me, touch me, cat call me, proposition me, and pester me in social situations, and in public spaces, and when i’m walking down the street or on the subway or reading a book or on the bus…basically, when i am being a woman in public, men harass me constantly. This started when i was 12 years old. When i was 15 I was stalked by a 35 year old for 6 months. When i was 18 i was stalked for the next 6 years.

            My story is not exceptional. And i’m no supermodel. This happens to women all the time. It’s very threatening, and it starts very early. And you’re surprised that you see women calling men creeps?

            Why not direct your anger where it belongs: at the stalkers, the rapists, the catcallers, the grabbers, the molesters, the flashers, the aggressive subway masturbators, the men who think that a woman who exists near them is their sexual property? In a society where women were not constantly made afraid of strange men approaching, we might be less likely to reject strange men who approach.

        • Anthony

          Respectfully, I disagree. A lot of people do just need to get their shit together. I can think of very few men that I've met in my life that couldn't find a girlfriend. I can think of men who don't try, but I can think of very, very few who simply can't do it because no one wants them. I don't disagree that the emphasis for making the move is on guys, and I do agree that a change in society that changes this would be good. But that doesn't mean society is to blame for guys not being able to get girlfriends. Society creates an environment where it can be difficult for guys, but not impossible. Not ever impossible. It's also super difficult for me to be a professional athlete/actor/musician/artist/just-about-any-other-job-you-can-think-of, but that doesn't mean it's society's fault. That is not a direct analogy, but if a college football player blamed the NFL for not making a team, would anyone take him seriously? No, people would tell him to shut up and hit the weight room/practice field. And for some people it's actually impossible to be a professional athlete, but we don't blame the sport for their shortcomings. Again, I agree that there are issues. But I have to say one last time that the issues that are present don't make it impossible; they just make it hard.

          • Ancom

            You're still missing the point of what I'm saying.

            Again, it's not about whether guys can get the occasional relationship or not, because most men certainly can. Women long for relationships, so every man is bound to eventually find someone with little effort.

            What I'm talking about is the lack of ATTENTION that men are receiving from the opposite sex, which conditions them into a mindset that is completely different from that of women.

            Men are delighted to accept and validate women in social situations, but women are not too keen on returning the favor as they would much rather call guys out on being creeps, emotionally unavailable, boring, timid, passive, cowardly, scared of approaching etc.

            I also don't understand your NFL comparison. Men don't crave being football players like they crave emotional intimacy. Saying that men need to "practice" attraction like they'd practice playing a saxophone is utterly ridiculous. Why? Because I'm trying to explain to you the concept of having intimacy and validation suddenly taken away from you and having to struggle to retain it, which is completely different from honing some random skill.

            Again, this is not an issue of SOME men not being able to find women to form relationships with. This is about ALL men not receiving romantic attention from the opposite sex on a frequent basis, and on top of that being the ONLY ones expected to put themselves on the line and approach women.

            Do you not see the inherent cowardice and selfishness in women for not doing the same amount of work themselves?

          • Anthony

            Ok, I do better understand what you're saying. And it is not fair, nor acceptable, that society is structured this way. I do think you're undervaluing guys' ability to get relationships and overvaluing the amount of attention women get, but in essence I agree with you. I probably wouldn't use words like cowardice and selfishness to describe women who perpetuate this societal norm, but they can do things to help the problem.

            That being said, being bitter isn't going to help. Blaming society isn't going to help. I still agree with the (albeit weak) analogy to having a skill like playing sports or an instrument. As a side note – I'm a major football fan myself, and I think you might not realize how much men do crave being in the NFL. However, it is not a total society problem like this is. Back to the point, men can get better at attracting women and keeping the praise, attention, and intimacy they crave. Another side note – maybe guys need to rise above craving that attention. That is just as valid a solution (and a more permanent one) than asking women to be more forthcoming with their desires. Being aware of the issue at hand and trying to change it is an appropriate and constructive response. Being bitter, distasteful, and demanding change is not going to help at all. Without ever having asked a woman about it, I imagine many women would have difficulty relating to this problem because they wouldn't understand what you're talking about. So just demanding that women change is going to help, and will only frustrate both sides. But working on compromise and education, will work.

            I do think society is addressing these issues, also. It is becoming far more acceptable for women to approach guys. Change is happening slowly, but I think, given the course we are on, we can expect things to be more even.

            You have not said this, but I worry you feel it – this pales in comparison to the sexism and misogyny that women face throughout their lives. Their challenges should not belittle ours, but nor should ours belittle theirs. Society fucks both sides, so we need to come together to overcome it. Not create an us against them mentality. Strong words like cowardice and selfishness can create that divide (or make the divide that exists worse).

    • sarah

      Even disregarding Heidi’s excellent point about the TYPE of attention women tend to receive, your starting assumption is flawed. There is a large proportion of the female population who receive NO attention from men, other than the occasional stalker or catcall, which is about asserting their right to our bodies rather than giving us positive attention. Being treated like a piece of meat in the butcher’s window is not validating, it’s dehumanising and scary.

      Next time you want to make this generalisation, go to a public place and look around first. Look at ALL the women, not just those you find attractive or those who are conventionally attractive. If my male friends are representative, this will be hard for you to do, but try anyway and reflect on whether you really think the ugly, fat, socially awkward, unfashionable, disabled or unintentionally scary women you see really spend their lives being reassured of their attractiveness to men.

      HINT: they don’t.

      (I say unintentionally scary because some of us just have ‘PISS OFF’ auras that we can’t turn off. It doesn’t matter how pretty or funny or clever we are if we just involuntarily repel people.)

      • Ancom

        I’ve considered this before and have actually done what you are suggesting just to get sort of an idea of whether the attractivity ratio is even between the genders or not, but I think that when it comes down to it, men are largely attracted to typical female features such as the curved face, curved body, breasts, backside etc. and I really don’t find that the majority of women don’t (or couldn’t) meet the baseline of “attractive enough for me to want to get to know her.”

        Like yeah, if you’re morbidly obese, if you don’t take care of yourself or if you don’t give off the impression of being friendly and approachable then you’re not going to receive any attention, but that’s just a baseline that most people are expected to follow. Most people expect you to at least take care of yourself to that degree, and if you don’t then you probably need to sort that out first. I don’t think it’s a big feat (unless you’re say, depressed, but in that case attention from the opposite sex is the last thing you need at this point).

        • sarah

          Look, from a female point of view what's happening is this: men are brought up to believe we owe them our time and affection. That we're some sort of reward for them living the rest of their lives. You don't always realise you're thinking like that, but the fact that you believe women never lack for positive male attention (when we do) and that we deliberately exploit your interest (which we don't), shows that you believe we OWE you attention in return. If you didn't, maybe you'd consider that the women in question just don't find you attractive, or aren't in the mood for flirting, or are feeling a bit down, or any number of reasons that aren't a huge conspiracy against men. That's not even getting into the threat issue, which lots of the commenters here have explained to you and you still refuse to consider.

          You want to talk about facing injustice on a daily basis? And you say you want someone who'll put her emotions on the line the way you do? Every time women go out in public we're considered to be on display, and fair game for judgement by strangers! We get comments on how we look, our facial expressions, how much or how little random strangers would like to use our bodies! Sometimes they try to do just that without caring whether we want it or not, they just grab like a toddler grabbing at sweets! Just navigating the world with a female body requires an emotional resilience that men don't even notice.

          AND you say you 'have no problem getting women', and then you have the audacity to suggest we're all lazy and cowardly, because what? You're not getting ENOUGH women? Or it just takes a bit too much EFFORT? Even your description of this terrible, lonely male existence includes 'a few short relationships here and there'! I have beautiful, talented friends (even conventionally beautiful) who have never had a single relationship, despite even going against their socialisation and asking men out! But because they're women and don't have your ludicrous sense of entitlement, they think it's because THEY'RE ugly, or fat, or unloveable in a million different ways.

          I was engaging with you in good faith, but upon re-reading your original comment I'm astonished that you can be so entitled as to be successful with women and STILL accuse us of making life wantonly difficult for you, just because we're cruel and lazy. Plenty of women manage to go through life never being desired at all, or only being desired as a tool to produce an orgasm, and we don't become bitter and say men are lazy and cowardly because we didn't believe we were OWED relationships in the first place!

          If you can't 'get women' (even though apparently you can) then I feel sorry for you, but you are not being denied a fundamental human right. You are not being wronged or deprived or the victim of a conspiracy, you're just unfortunate. People don't owe you love or sex, and any relationship is to be cherished as a gift, not counted as a debt being paid. Further down Anthony told you that everyone deserves respect and consideration, but nobody is owed affection or affirmation. I hope that idea sinks in.

  • Ancom

    Unfortunately it seems that comment nesting is limited to a couple of replies on this blog, but I’ll try to reply anyway.

    @heidi h:
    First off I’m not angry at women. However, I sympathize with the men that are upset, and I’m not going to sugarcoat my views regarding the way women act in the fields of pickup and dating, which is why I may come off that way.

    First off, sorry to hear about your experiences. Having had a girlfriend who was propositioned when she was 9, I can understand where you are coming from regarding the behavior of certain men who step outside the boundaries of what’s acceptable.

    However, while such behavior is worthy of scorn, I consider it an entirely separate issue that I don’t think should be confused with attraction, dating and pickup.

    Why is that? Well, because the word “creep” doesn’t just apply to rapists. It applies to any man who approaches a woman and who the woman doesn’t feel attracted to. The woman will snarl, call him a creep and shut him down without showing an inch of interest, despite the fact that the guy is just trying to being friendly, and trying to overcome the many obstacles that the woman is throwing his way.

    It has nothing to do with whether the guy is intruding in her personal space, or because he refuses to get a clue. It’s because she doesn’t respect him due to his perceived low social value, low confidence or because he’s too boring/unassertive/unmanly.

    Again, it’s just a display of laziness and selfishness from women, and this is a behavior they start showing at a very young age when they realize the value of the men’s attraction to them, which they unfortunately do not grow out of as their exploitation of this power over men is still prominent in social situations.

    So to flip your closing statement, in a society where women are not constantly demanding men to live up to their unreasonably high ideals – which for example consists of being highly confident, sociable, assertive, taking charge, ignoring the woman’s probing for weaknesses, having high social status, having compliance and attraction from other women, and being able to walk into- and win over a group of 5+ females just to get to the girl they want – a lot of men might be less likely to “cat cal, proposition and pester” women in public.

    Oh yeah, and if women truly based their openness to men based on how “safe” they are, we wouldn’t have pickup artists successfully prowling nightclubs much to women’s delight, while 30 year old virgins spend their lives devoid of female company, perpetually being scared of approaching the women they receive stone cold attitudes from.

    Thanks for trying to see my point of view.

    Regarding your point about sexism, please see my comment above to heidi.

    I agree with you that people must always try to do their best to change their lives, but I think it’s a big issue that women are allowed to make demands ad absurdum, while men are collectively trying to figure out how to best comply with these demands while telling each other to get one’s act together, instead of making a stand and trying to inspire a more reasonable attitude in the pickup scene and dating world.

    If men want to be themselves and not have to comply with the unreasonably unnatural and self-serving expectations of women, should we blame the men for not stepping it up, or the women for being too hard on men, and too lazy when it comes to the pickup and dating?

    If you were a homeless person trying to get a job, how would you feel if you had employees constantly telling you not to be such a creep, and the people around you who are trying to coach you telling you not to look so hungry and desperate, not to be such a downer, to be more social and outgoing and to get yourself some social proof?

    Because this is exactly what women’s behavior are doing to men on the romantic and sexual side of things, and also what men are helping perpetuate.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      You’ve made these claims a few times now, so it seems that it’s time to address them directly. Pay attention, school is now in session.

      To start with: as much as you would like to try to disassociate Heidi’s all-too-common encounters with men who see women’s bodies as public property or the ones who feel that a woman’s mere presence is incitement to harass/threaten/grope/assault with dating, attraction or the pick-up community, the cold hard truth is YOU CAN’T. The potential danger to women is part of their every day lives. Every woman out there – save those who have lived such sheltered lives that one wonders where the hell they’ve been hiding – lives under the potential threat of harm in ways that men simply don’t. Thus: women have to develop their Spidey-sense. Labeling someone as “creepy” isn’t about women being lazy and forcing men to jump through hoops to earn the right to get her phone number. It doesn’t mean “he’s a jerk” or “I’m not attracted to him”, it means “This man’s behavior or attitude represents a heightened threat to my person.” He may not mean to cause her discomfort, nor may he actually be a threat, but for whatever reason, his behavior indicates that he does not seem to be willing to acknowledge her boundaries, whether physical or psychological.

      Attempts to re-define creepy and to remove it from the lexicon is effectively telling women “you don’t have the right to trust your instincts when it comes to your own safety, because my desire to approach you is higher than your personal comfort.”

      I’m sure that there are women out there who use “creepy” as “go away, I don’t like you”. There are also guys who seem to think that “Yo, ‘sup bitch!” is an appropriate salutation to women. The two have about the same relevance to the group at large – which is to say none.

      You seem to have absorbed an unfortunately common attitude from the PUA community – one I have seen regularly – that somehow the relations between genders is confrontational and combative.

      The idea that trying to approach a woman and foster a relationship, whether sexual, romantic or otherwise, is about running a gauntlet of challenges and obstacles that women deliberately put in men’s way is part of what causes women to refer to you – and others with similar attitudes – as “creepy”.

      Coming into the interaction with the preconceived notion that you have been rejected in advance and that you have to fight your way into her good graces inevitably colors the your behavior, tone and body language; in effect, you’re sending off many, many signals that you’re already angry and resentful, which is going to put any woman on the defensive.

      Try to quit looking for shit tests, bitch shields and social status games and just accept people for who they are.

      • Ancom

        ‘I’m sure that there are women out there who use “creepy” as “go away, I don’t like you”.’
        Men appearing creepy and having to fend their way into the good graces of women has to do with them being shut off and asexualized starting from an age where predatory men aren’t even a part of girls’ reality. So do you truly believe that this behavior – that appears to start at the age of 12-13 and encompasses an overwhelming majority of women – has nothing at all to do with selection, and everything to do with protection?

        Also, again, if womens’ attitude toward men is merely a matter of protecting themselves from predatory males, why do timid and respectful males receive less attention from women than those who are assertive? Because surely, an assertive person shows a greater willingness to take what he wants, which in some cases can be dangerous, while a timid person must be respectful of one’s boundaries?

        • Ancom

          To elaborate, if women are so sensitve to the body language of men who appear to have been rejected in any way before that they simply feel the overwhelming need to shut them down, why aren’t they also sensitive to the assertiveness and strength of the men who are largely sucessful, while completely ignoring the men who appear to be so respectful of them that they barely seem to want to bother them?

        • Ancom

          “Hm, this guy looks like he’s insecure, so I bet he’s had to fend his way into the good graces of women before. Piss off, evil man!”

          “Wow, this guy is assertive and knows what he wants, and he doesn’t appear to fear the presence of women. I bet I can trust him, because he makes me laugh!”

          Do you think this makes sense? Because I don’t.

          • Tea

            …Is that a joke? Dear gods, I hope it’s a joke.

        • Tea

          Assertiveness =/= threat, just as timidity =/= respectful. Assertive people can be respectful, just as timid people can be horribly rude and unaware of social boundaries. Certainly, there will be assertive people who also don’t respect others’ boundaries, and perfectly respectful timid people, but they aren’t the same thing.

          Timid, respectful guys aren’t being approached or given attention the same way timid PEOPLE in society aren’t approached or given attention as often as assertive, confident people. As a general rule, that’s how the world works for both guys and gals. If a man is so respectful (or shy) that he barely seems to want to bother a woman, well, there are plenty of women who are respectful (or shy) and don’t want to bother a man either. In the end, no one bothers anyone. It’s up to the person who wants that attention to try and achieve it, and that applies to both genders. Personally, I know that I was never approached by guys (of the non stalking, rude wolf–whistling variety) until I became a less awkward and timid person.

          As for assertiveness as a threat, assertiveness usually conveys confidence. A confident person is a happy person, a person who isn’t overly reliant on external validation. Happiness is attractive– and furthermore, it’s not a threat. Turning down or accepting the offer of someone who expresses clear self confidence poses much less of a threat than someone who oozes insecurity; you know their personal happiness isn’t dependent on your response, you don’t expect angry shouting fits or tantrums because a confident person is still a happy person at the end of the day. There are times when assertiveness can edge into entitlement– “I’m so cool that I DESERVE a date/your attention/sex, and you’re a horrible person for denying it to me,” but entitled people come in all flavors, and that includes insecurity. “I’m so insecure that I DESERVE a date/your attention/sex, and you’re a horrible person for bringing me down.”

          • Ancom

            I think you’re missing my point.

            “Assertiveness =/= threat, just as timidity =/= respectful. Assertive people can be respectful, just as timid people can be horribly rude and unaware of social boundaries. ”

            This is what I am also saying.

            Since Doc is claiming that women have a threat radar that is so sensitive that it will go as far as shutting men down if they do something as innocent as approaching in a manner that comes off as nervous or inexperienced, then I am wondering why women don’t react just as much to displays of confidence, assertiveness and high energy.

            I mean, the behaviors above can either be construed as positive or harmful depending on how you want to read into it. An inexperienced person might be a resentful rapist in disguise, or he might be a cool guy who’s just experienced with women. An assertive or confident person might be well-loved and the life of the party, or he might be a rapist in disguise.

            To support my point, I had an old friend who was (is?) a very famous poker player. He had confidence, charisma and the attention of tons of women wherever he went. However, to everyone’s surprise he turned out ot be a serial rapist, and had forced himself onto numerous women that he head met in clubs.

            And yes, he was convicted, which I’m thankful for.

            The example above also proves the point you guys are trying to make in that women need to protect themselves from potential threats, and I agree with that and don’t want to downplay that.

            But what I don’t agree with – and what I find illogical – is the idea that women are somehow blowing off and completely ignoring normal guys because they are “just trying to protect themselves.” The way women tend to select mates has almost nothing to do with whether the qualities of the potential mates may indicate that he’s harmful. Yes, they’re obviously not going to select someone who appears harmful, but in the end it has to do with whether the guy is attractive to the woman, and that’s all that matters.

            So again, it’s not about whether or not women should be allowed to sense a threat in potential mates, but about the way that women are almost completely ignoring the opposite sex unless they fit the mould of “respected, charismatic, handsome, sociable, intelligent stranger who makes me laugh” and how men are being treated like they don’t even exist in even the most innocent situations.

            So again, I do sympathize with the men who are bitter and resentful about their situation, and I do consider it a problem that is separate from rape culture and women’s issues.

    • Anthony

      I’m not really sure how your comment addressed sexism, so maybe point it out to me. Sorry.

      We’re just approaching the solution for this issue (that we both agree exists) from two different angles. Personally, I’ve never felt so disregarded by women as the guys that you have illustrated. Maybe I’m lucky. But maybe I’m doing something right in regards to not setting off a woman’s ‘creep’ vibe. There are times and places where women will politely say to no a man who asks them out/for a drink/whatever, even when they aren’t attracted to him, without calling him a creep. Men can address this problem and at the same time prevent it from really happening. There are some articles on this website about how and when to talk to girls. And how not to be perceived as creepy by people who are actually threatened. There is also some amount of social intelligence that needs to be used. I’m not the most socially adept person (I’m here, right?), but I can point out girls who are going to shut me down without a second look because I don’t meet a certain standard. It’s not really a fair assumption to make, but it’s one that keeps me from dealing in stupid interactions that will usually prove fruitless. Of all the women that are going to use the creep excuse when they don’t mean, I think that group represents a high majority. Now, that’s just personal experience, but seeing as I’ve never been shut down that way and I don’t attempt to interact with those women, it’s a possibility.

      If I was a homeless person trying to get a job, I need people to be real with me. I don’t think employers would use the word creep, but letting me know that I’m doing something wrong should be helpful. And the not being a downer thing? Yes, absolutely. I agree 100% that people shouldn’t be downers. It helps nothing. Not a damn thing. I understand that depression is a very real, very serious matter to deal with. And you can’t dismiss someone who is depressed by saying don’t be a downer. But for people who aren’t depressed and are just frustrated with their surroundings? They can be told to not be downers. A positive outlook on life will change literally your entire life. That’s kinda the point. I’ve said it a couple times, but it’s worth repeating. Being bitter about the issue of inequality in society will doing nothing to fix it. I don’t tell women who feel marginalized by men or threatened by men to be bitter about it. Don’t let the (very real and hurtful) actions of a few color your entire opinion of the rest of the gender.

      This is how I live my life; these are the steps I take towards fixing problems I face. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. I’m completely open to hearing you tell me how being bitter and resentful can work. If solidarity for men in the face of lazy and selfish women has worked for you in the past, please tell me about it. I’m not saying this ironically or sarcastically. I’m being serious. You’ve presented your solution, and I’ve presented mine. Let’s have some proof as to why our chosen methods work.

      • Ancom

        “I’m not really sure how your comment addressed sexism, so maybe point it out to me. Sorry.”
        Sorry, I thought you referred to rape culture when you said sexism, which is kind of what heidi was talking about. My response to her addressed what I consider the difference between a woman protecting herself and a woman being lazy and exploiting her power.

        If you’re talking about sexism that manifets itself through – for instance – exclusion or inequal pay for equal work then yeah those are big issues too, but not ones I consider relevant to this discussion.

        As for the rest of your response, I don’t really disagree with you on anything you’re saying. I do agree that one must be rational and pragmatic about their situation, but my problem lies with the way websites like these, comments like yours (and everyone else) tend to shame and blame men for being what is effectively a product of their exclusion from female company.

        It’s messed up, and it’s not a fair way of treating the men who need more than anything else to be treated well, encouraged and understood.

        So again, having comments and articles on almost every pickup- or dating site that directly or indirectly shame men for say, “being creeps,” when they’re really just yearning for female companionship, and having women follow up with THANK YOU FOR THIS!! MEN NEED TO GET THIS INTO THEIR THICK SKULLS!! is KIND OF disrespectful of the situation of men who are really just struggling with a sexual and romantic ostracization that could easily be resolved with a willingness from women to meet men halfway.

        So yeah, I do think informing women of this might be a good thing, and I think having a different attitude about the way men are helped and encouraged to better themselves might also be a good idea.

        • Tea

          Since we seem to have hit the limit on the comment expansions, I’ll post a little lower here.

          What I find that I don’t understand is where you’re getting quite a number of generalizations:
          “The way women tend to select mates has almost nothing to do with whether the qualities of the potential mates may indicate that he’s harmful, in the end it has to do with whether the guy is attractive to the woman, and that’s all that matters.”

          Well for starters, not being harmed is pretty attractive.

          For seconds, how are you in any position to make sweeping generalizations about “the way women tend to select mates”?

          And lastly, yes, women ARE, in fact, only going to be attracted to the people they are attracted to. People, as a general rule, are only attracted to the people they are attracted to. And that’s fine, or should be. Nobody is entitled to attraction from people of their preferred sex, and nobody should feel guilty for being attracted to what they like, so long as everyone is of age and consenting. Also, attraction varies from individual to individual, and lots of things are attractive to many different people. Everything from hair length to face shape to preferred hair color, interests, personalities, and job hits different levels of attraction for different people. So yes, when a woman (or any person) picks a mate, they’re going to go for someone they find attractive. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

          “the way that women are almost completely ignoring the opposite sex unless they fit the mould of “respected, charismatic, handsome, sociable, intelligent stranger who makes me laugh” and how men are being treated like they don’t even exist in even the most innocent situations.”

          This a generalization of women that is simply untrue. Just like if I said if all men ignored women unless they were all size twos or below, leggy, passive, beautiful, feminine, double D’s, and not too bright, I would be making a gross generalization. Lots of people (a good chunk of the population, in fact) are out there right now, having sex, happily spending time with their significant others, and not all or even most of them are respected, charismatic, sociable, intelligent, handsome, etc. etc. In fact, if all woman, like you are insinuating, won’t even look at a man unless he has some or all of the above attributes, we’d be experiencing a pretty significant population decrease right now.

          Furthermore, male-female interactions aren’t an all-or-nothing binary, either you’re a movie star oozing dollars and charisma with women climbing all over you or you don’t exist. lots of people exist somewhere between those two extremes, and sexual and romantic attention isn’t the only kind of attention that exists. Lots and lots of women have male friends, and conversely, lots of men have female friends.

        • Anthony

          I brought the sexism up because I feel like you’re making it out as though men are getting shafted here while women get to take it easy. That’s simply not the case. I also brought it up because discussions like these tend to fuel the “men vs. women” attitude that is very prevalent in society. Stereotypes like “men are from Mars, women from Venus” are part of what exacerbates this situation. We don’t need to point out everything the opposite gender does wrong and raise our fists in solidarity. We need to try to understand their perspective. It’s been said in the other article and by women commenting that women enter every male interaction trying to determine the threat that he might pose. You’re disregarding this. You’re not accepting what they are saying. So, naturally, it’s impossible for you to see it from their side, because you can’t/don’t want to/aren’t trying to. Possibly you’re doing it because you came in to this discussion ready to be defensive and defend your point. Well, no one would begrudge you for defending your point, but you have to try and understand where the other side is coming from first. Otherwise we’re running around in circles until we die. That sounds boring as shit.

          As for shaming and blaming men – this is something that should be discussed further. It’s never good to shame someone into changing their ways. Or at least, that shouldn’t be the intent. I’m not a fat guy; I’m decently fit at a very healthy weight. I care about my health, and usually live in a pretty healthy manner. I have talked to overweight people about their weight when they bring it up, and, if they ask, I will talk about how I’m eating healthy and how they can eat healthier. My mother, specifically, has felt incredibly upset with herself because of the knowledge that healthy people exist and she is not one of them. She is ashamed of herself talking about the issue of weight because she’s embarrassed and disappointed. I’m trying to help her constructively with encouraging words and statements, and sometimes she will still feel unhappy with herself. I try to avoid it all I can, but it happens.

          So how do we approach this issue (that your statements here have made incredibly clear) that women are always feeling threatened by men? Whether or not a man appears aggressive or creepy or any other negative adjective, a woman still will feel the threat if he acts in a way that she is not comfortable with. You yourself have difficulty understand this, and I would say your misunderstanding has caused you to falsely accuse women of being lazy and selfish. I am not trying to shame you or any guy by pointing out what is going on. I’m simply trying to draw your attention to the issue at hand. This is a discussion that is vastly underrepresented in the population at large, I would say. So I think that leads to some of the celebratory comments when it is brought up. Everyone does just want a little love, but we also need to realize that we aren’t entitled to it. The unhappy and lonely guys are deserving of respect and consideration. But not of love and attention. That is something that is earned, and I don’t see a way that it could exist otherwise. It would be great if everyone could get constant affirmation and support, but it just doesn’t work like that. We can do that for the people around us (and even though you’re not a girl, complementing a guy on non-sexual things will still boost his ego), but we can’t expect it to be given to us.

          All of this could go along with everyone learning how to communicate better, and learning some non-violent communication skills (and I include myself in ‘everyone’).

  • Libra

    Well your royal nerdness I am somewhat jealous of the wast amount of text you put out. Volume is overwhelming but content… not so much. You got a really limited understanding of MRM, feminism, gender relations and impact on society. There are few individuals that see PUAs as good for nothing horn dogs. You could have been smart and bit your tongue. Radical individuals are needed for any movement. Personally I don't agree and think PUAs are part of manosphere but since your education on MRM has been so superficial, unproductive and from your words down-right ignorant I'm gonna kick you in the nuts. Majority of MRAs and MGTOWs are whats know to you as 'naturals'. They see PUAs as dancing clowns begging for a treat. They are actually sick of pussy because they can get it any time. What they are trying to accomplish is so nerds, geeks, creeps, dogs, pigs and various other males who have been psychologically castrated by gender feminism to have same amount of pussy they have. In essence same selfless goal (none-profit) mPUAs are doing but it isn't limited to just pussy. These are actual men who are not controlled by hormones. Pussy power does not work on them as well as it works on you. Some are jaded and hurt but issues are genuine and perhaps you are too young to understand. Any PUA should ask him self a simple question. Why did SC emerged? Why do you need to LEARN to be good with women?

  • FDr

    Re the whole ignoring discussion –

    Does a man, who is a nerd who has had little if any success with women, have a right to ignore a woman he doesn't find attractive? Should he force himself to find her attractive?

    • BritterSweet

      Of course he has a right to ignore a woman he doesn't find attractive. It's everyone's right to be attracted or not attracted for any reason.

  • Lyndy

    I really love your posts, Dr NerdLove.

    It's given me a wide vocabulary with which to express and explain the pain I often feel when men react to me in ugly ways-either aggressively or dismissively-and more importantly, gave me the ideas in which to advocate to dispel a lot of ugly and irrational behavior from men towards women.

    This specific part of this post stuck out to me:

    "One thread that I saw over and over again while working my way through these various groups is the profound sense of entitlement. A great deal of the anger and resentment directed at women springs from the idea that one is owed sex and that by refusing him – or worse, favoring others over him – is somehow a violation of the social contract. Many men feel cheated when they don’t get the girl they seem to feel is their reward.

    Woman-as-prize is so burned into our subconscious that when we’re faced with reality -women are actually individuals with their own agency rather than a prize to be awarded – that it can feel as though we’ve been robbed of what we’re rightly due.

    This is part of why the socially inexperienced fall for the myth of the Nice Guy: it reduces relationships to an if-then statement. It’s relationships as grinding; spend enough time building up your stats to the requisite level and you reach the goal of “Got A Girlfriend”. Spend enough time and effort being Nice and women reward you with entrance into the Sacred Grounds1."

    I have a very strong personality and I both intimidate and attract men, both of which get upset and avoid me when I tell them, as politely as I can, that I am not interested in dating (or kissing, or having sex with etc.) them. My friends are predominantly male but I have few friends because the majority of males whom I would like to have in my life instead stay far away because they are hurt that I wont date (or kiss, or have sex with etc.) them. They love to throw out the word 'FRIEND ZONE!' all the time in conversation with others or even at me, while I try to rationalize the misuse of that phrase by simply stating that I am not taking advantage of their kindness and that they shouldn't be so hurt that I am a female of my own right and will power.

    It's been a tough journey to live amongst non-intellectuals in the regular world, and a large brofessional tech field in the professional world, because of these entitlement feelings that men of all ages seem to carry. I just want to express my thanks for being an ally against irrational anti-female ideas and behaviors and also a skillful advocate for equality.

    Thank you.

  • Pingback: Dating Short Cuts and Magic Bullets — The Good Men Project()

  • A lot of the guys who act all entitled and stuff are usually the kind who think women should have no standards. The guy thinks that if he does something for the girl, or works up the courage to ask her out, he should get rewarded no matter what the woman wants. Let's be honest: of all the guys who complain about not getting dates despite asking women out, what kinds of ladies are they going after? I dislike the whole concept of "rating" people, but we'll use it for the sake of discussion here. You're a "4" and the girl you're after is a "9" in both looks and personality. Okay. What can YOU offer HER? Dating is a two-way street. Even if a guy is nice, I'm not going to date him if he's boring or we don't have any common interests or he's irresponsible. Ms. 9 can choose from a lot of guys and it's not fair to criticize her for that.

    So, Mr. 4, let's say you were in her situation. You've got a ton of great ladies to choose from, pretty and ugly, with a wide range of interests and personality types. Some unkempt, rude girl with bad social skills walks up to you and asks you on a date. Would you really accept her proposal just because she asked?

    I have trouble getting dates that I want, but you know what? It's my own damn fault. I have bad social skills and as a result I'm too afraid to approach the guys I like. Blaming others for what are obviously my own problems will get me nowhere.

  • This is poetic man.

    There are so many men and women struggling in the Game of Life.

  • the former. I have had terrific success on this page…

  • Pingback: Male Sexual Entitlement | For Alina()