Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year

I’ll be writing a lot more for my one-year anniversary in a few weeks, but suffice it to say that 2011 was an interesting year for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was launching the Badger Hut and giving myself an outlet for all the thoughts and words on the many topics I discuss. I’d like to think I gave an outlet as well for all the commenters who have joined the conversation here. Multiple readers have told me they can’t discuss these topics with people in their real lives, and while that’s disappointing to hear it also validates my mission and keeps me motivated.

From the bowels of Manhattan where I’ll be spending the evening, everybody enjoy tonight!

 

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Bizarre Encounter With A Married Over-Sharer

I was going into an establishment with a buddy when two late-young-adult women came out and confronted us in their gravelly voices.

“Do either of you have a cigarette?”

I give them a quizzical look that communicates “tell me more.”

The sharper-looking one in a sweater and dress pants explained:

“Well, I quit a long time ago but I really need a smoke, we’re trying to find anybody who can give us one.”

I noticed a wedding ring on her left hand.

“So we’re only good to you as a source of tobacco?”

[slight chuckles] “Yeah, I guess so.”

“Well I think that’s the end of our night together then.”

“You don’t have any?”

“No, dear.”

We went inside, ordered our beers and sat down to sip them.

By the time we’re about done with our first round, sweater girl comes walking down the bar. She’s tall and moves athletically and with purpose. I tap her on the arm as she walks by. “Did you ever get that cigarette?”

“NOOO! Nobody in this freaking neighborhood smokes apparently!” Her tone is of plaintive, sad frustration rather than pure bitchiness.

My buddy and I are sitting at a bar island, and she swings around and stands at the head of the table next to me. The elevation is such that I am sitting eye level with her stood up.

“Is it an anxious kind of night?”

She starts to ramble. “Yeah…well I quit a few years ago but my husband’s grandmother is probably going to die tonight, she has dementia.We just got married a month ago.”

“So how do you like being married?”

I don’t recall the words of her answer, but it wasn’t anything along the lines of “it’s great.” She started to get a distant, withdrawn look in her eyes. I could see the female apprehension cascade starting.

“He’s eight years younger than me.”

I reply plainly, “really, how old are you?”

“I’m 33,” she says with mild disappointment.

“Do you think that’s old or young?”

“I don’t know…kind of old? I mean I’m 33.” I don’t respond.

“But he’s like totally old-man, and I’m really immature so it works.”

“How did you meet your husband?”

“I interviewed him for a job.”

“REAAlly…did he get the job?”

“Oh, of course. We had other candidates but he was the best. We knew we were for each other right when we met. I was dating another guy at the time and went home and broke up with him, told him I had met this perfect awesome guy.”

“I bet that was a big surprise for him.”

“We should have broken up like a year before.”

All this time she’s gradually nuzzling up to me, sidling her hip and elbow to touch me. I maintain a plain, nonplussed frame that keeps the conversation going without escalating against her interest. I’m pretty sure I’m getting hit on, but I convince myself I’m doing her a favor by letting her vent a bit and get some attention.

She shakes my hand. “Well I have to go find my husband and a smoke. It’s been great talking to you, have a good night,” and she struts away.

White collar happy hours are not known for that kind of emotional outpouring between strangers. I turned to my friend and said “wow she reminded me of Lisa.” Lisa is a married mutual friend of ours who is neurotic and addicted to male attention from any source.

“The difference is that Lisa isn’t going to cheat on her husband.”

“So I’m not the only one who got that vibe from this chick?”

“No.”

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Filed under off the donkey rails

Should You Change Your Scenery To Up Your Game?

Earlier this week The Private Man fielded an email from one DC Phil, a 40-year old reader. Among his concerns was location:

2.  Then there’s the subject of location.  I live in Washington, DC.  To some (e.g., Roosh) this is like the second or third cycle of hell above Satan when it comes to women.

So, one plus of DC is a surfeit of smart women vs. trailer-park trash that’s more and more common in my hometown.  One negative, as others have mentioned, is a lack of sufficiently friendly, feminine, and DTF women.

I think I do better with foreign women, and DC has its fair share.  Trouble is to find them.  DC has its own culture, and some say that women are better in the south: e.g., Charleston, Charlotte, and Austin.  Thoughts?

The well-documented experiences of Roissy, Roosh and a bunch of other DC-area game bloggers have gotten the capital region a reputation as one of the truly miserable sexual marketplaces in the United States, almost as notorious as New York City. I was curious if DC Phil was seriously considering changing locations for the purpose of improving his results with women:

As for location, are you considering a move based on the quality of women? I’ve lived all over this country and I’ve never lived in one place that made me say “this place is WAY better than the rest” when it came to women. The unfortunate fact is that American women have more or less the same basic problems all over the country. Thinking you can go from a hellhole to a harem with a plane ticket is sort of a defeatist attitude, playing the victim of your circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong – a change of scenery (via a cross-country move) was a huge factor in a quantum leap of happiness for me. You need to find a place that is good because it’s where YOU like to be, not because the female crop is marginally better.

If you dig foreign women and international culture, DC is better than most places. Unless you’re really miserable or are considering expatriating, I wouldn’t spend too much effort worrying about the SMPs in other cities.

As the days go by I concur with my own comment even more. Over the course of my life I’ve lived in six different cities, and moved coast to coast three times since graduating high school. I’ve had good and bad experiences everywhere, but I haven’t found a Holy Grail/fountain of youth of game anywhere. The American SMP is what it is, and changing cities is really just working the margin. (Caveat: I have never lived in the South, where I am told the intergender relations are a lot rosier.)

Changing your city for the purpose of gaming the sexual marketplace violates Roissy’s maxim of making your mission, not your woman, your priority. Sure you have to go where the women are (a good reason not to live in a place like Silicon Valley), but if you change your whole life around for that purpose you’ve invested your own fortunes in the hands of that region’s women writ large.

GO TO THE PLACE WITH THE BEST YOU, NOT THE BEST WOMEN

HOWEVER, that’s not to say that changing cities won’t improve your results. But it has a lot less to do with the SMP itself and a lot more to do with maximizing your personal excellence.

I was a pole vaulter in high school (a ridiculously fun sport, by the way). Some pole vaulters were convinced that cold weather hurt their performance because the fiberglass material was stiffer in lower temperatures. My coach put the lie to that. “The poles work essentially the same over a 20-degree temperature span. What doesn’t perform as well in the cold is not the pole, it’s the athlete – you run slower, your muscles aren’t as limber and it’s more difficult to stay warmed up during a meet.”

My own personal example bears this out. Following my early departure from graduate school, I took a job that caused me to move across the country yet again. It was well worth it, giving me some disposable income and a sense that I was really living an “adult” life along with the chance to start my social life over again, leaving behind my old habits and “passive friends” (the people you spend your time with who are just around, but not really contributing to your life). I jumped into the new place, making new friend groups, hitting online dating hard and getting out of the office with my new coworkers. Soon I was right at home, a feeling of comfort and well-being that took my game to greater heights than ever before.

If you are considering a move – for a job, because you’re tired of where you live, whatever – go to the place where you are going to have the best life. It’s more than the money; hunt hard for the opportunity to work in a field you enjoy, good work-life balance, a spread of activities you want to participate in, weather you enjoy, a city that fits your personality. Then you will be confident, competent, accomplished and friendly, able to build a social circle and a toolbox of charisma. That’s far better for your own quality of life than moving somewhere you may not be keen on because someone told you the women are hotter or easier or whatever.

Apropos of little else in this post, I advocate that young people should seek to move to a new city before they put down permanent roots, most preferably after graduation – even if it’s just the next city a few hours’ drive away. You’ll never have the freedom to move that you have right after college, when you own very little and have little personal or professional investment in a city, and that is opportunity cost you can never get back. Go have an adventure before life happens to you.

GO WHERE THE WOMEN YOU WANT ARE

Further discussion moved into how to find the international flavor of gal that DC Phil is looking for. Somebody chimed in with the sage saying “we find what we are looking for,” to which I responded:

This is a piece of wisdom I’ve really been working lately. There’s an aphorism about dating that says “think of the places your ideal mate would spend their time. Then – go there!” Like if I really want to bag the really athletic woman I’ve been dreaming about since high school, I better start spending a lot more time on the bike trail, hiking, in the gym and in high-performance adult sports leagues. If the intellectual chick is your quarry, hit up historical societies, erudite coffee shops, hip bookstores, cosplay events, you get the idea. Then it becomes part of your lifestyle, and you’re not doing it to get women – but the women land at your feet. (Hopefully.)

Don’t buy the “you won’t meet a good woman in a bar” trope, but when you’re in a “typical” single-mingle environment, the jockettes and nerdettes who are there aren’t playing that script, they’re playing the “pick me up by wowing me with your game” script, and they’re mixed in with a lot of other chaff.

There’s an element of game training that is something of a head fake. There’s no way to sharpen your game without practicing – going out and doing lots of approaches, taking a lot of risks and failing a lot. But through all that, some degree of a man’s success is not going to be due to improvement in his game; it will simply be the fact that he’s motivated to present himself to women. Odds are he’s going to find someone who likes him. When he combines the effort of approaching with some real strategy and bakes it for 6-12 months, his results will go up considerably.

15 Comments

Filed under beta guide, living a good life, living young

Damn You SnorgTees

Every time I browse to urbandictionary.com, I have to get a glass of cold water.

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Joining Yohami in the 200 Club (redux)

Boxing Day marked my 200th post.

That averages out to about four posts a week over eleven-plus months.

Go me.

 

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A Christmas Wish: Correct Use of Terminology

Being the Myers-Briggs J that I am, the improper or ignorant use of terminology drives me up a wall. We’ve evolved complex language skills that have the side-effect use of communicating concepts between people, and we insist on muddying it up by intentionally overloading* phrases with new and confusing re-definitions.

One example of this I’m running into is the 80-20 Rule. I heard a piece of public speaking advice that went “use one posture 80% of the time and another, edgier posture 20% of the time,” packaged as “use the 80-20 rule.” I’ve also seen wardrobe advice to wear conservative dress 80% of the time and wacky stuff on 20% occasion, also cited as the 80-20 rule.

The 80-20 Rule is not a restatement of the equation “80% + 20% = 100%.” The Pareto Principle (from which we get “the 80-20 Rule” as an aphoritic restatement) is the rule of thumb that in many systems, 80% of the effects will come from 20% of the causes. The 80 and the 20 are two different metrics, apples and oranges. Old Messr Pareto himself allegedly observed that 80% of Italian land was owned by 20% of Italians. My pal Susan Walsh used it as a basis to examine college sex distributions and evaluate a well-worn pop-culture hypothesis that 80% of the girls are screwing 20% of the guys (a theory partially supported by STD studies among other things). I probably get 80% of the joy in my life from 20% of the people I know. The list of examples goes on. It’s an incredibly powerful way to understand the world, and to organize your own strategy, so long as fools don’t insist on stealthily re-defining it.

I’m also seeing a lot of references to “game theory” around the manosphere, used to refer to the principles of interpersonal psychology pioneered by pickup artists (PUAs) and disseminated into wider culture by a network of intrepid bloggers like Athol Kay, Roissy and yours truly.

There are two problems with this blurring of language.

The first is that the term “game theory” is already defined – game theory is a branch of mathematics concerned with analyzing the interests, actions and rewards of competing agents. The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic example of game theory. (For those who saw “A Beautiful Mind,” the vignette of which woman to hit on to maximize group benefit is another example of game theory.)

The second problem is that game is not really theory at all – in fact, it may be the most empirical proposition of modern times. Game as we know it was developed and honed through thousands upon thousands of hours of experimentation and observation by scores of men. Sure, there is evolutionary psychology involved to shore up the explanation of the behaviors being observed, but practically speaking evo-psych really functions more like folk etymology than an actual scientific basis to the results of the experiments – if you will, a sort of rationalization hamster to soften the shock-blow of learning how people really function underneath all of that rational mythmaking.

I feel like I see the phrase “game theory” from critics far more than from its actual practitioners, so I think calling it a “theory” is supposed to subtly discredit it – a la those who would tell you that “evolution is just a theory.”

I’m not even going to get into the subject of people who don’t know what “the immaculate conception” actually refers to.

*”Overloading” is indeed a technical term for a case where words, symbols or functions have different meanings and effects depending on the situation.

 

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Filed under off the donkey rails, science+technology

Feliz Navidad

Christmas cheer from the Badger Hut!

I went to school with a Franco-American guy named Philippe (pronounced phil-LEEP). So every Christmas was an opportunity to sing a song for him – “Philippe Navidad.” I don’t think he took it as a compliment, but his demure French mannerisms were difficult to read.

Have one last eggnog – less egg, more nog. Hope everybody had a merry Christmas.

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Travel Encounter

I’m sitting next to a young woman on a plane. She saw me chatting up a pair of women as we sat down, so I am as socially proofed as you can get when traveling solo. I open her by commenting that her watch and iPod colors match. She fluffs that the matchy-matchy is embarrassing.

I transition. “What are you reading?”

“Oh it’s [stock paperback fiction]…”

“What’s it about?”

“I don’t know, I’m only two chapters in. What’s that you have, how are you enjoying Lady Chatterley’s Lover?”

“I’m also two chapters in, but it’s fascinating.”

“Oh I remember reading that in high school.”

“In high school? What kind of wacky high school did you go to that had you reading romance novels for class?”

“I guess it was just weird. I heard the book was banned for a while.”

“Yeah, I heard that too, on Mad Men actually. Someone told me DH Lawrence understands women better than any man who ever wrote.”

“Trying to get some tips?’

I ignore this, taking it as a shit test seeking to get me to admit a male-typical lack of understanding of women. Meta: by understanding women, I am able to pass the test about me understanding women. (In any case, the “tip” after three chapters appears to be to find a bored aristocratic woman with a crippled husband, cry in her lap in a brooding-artist pastiche, then bang her silly and don’t give her any orgasms.)

“I’m a big war buff, if someone had told me it referenced World War One I would have read it a long time ago.”

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Reader Poll: Help Get This Guy A New Handle

In a recent post, Danny fielded a reader email from a British college student in his early 20’s, trying to recover from a period of self-rejection, struggling with the mores and expectations of the college sexual marketplace and debating if he should jump in to the hookup pool to lose his virginity and gain experience with the opposite sex.

Myself, OffTheCuff and even Susan Walsh recommend that he go ahead and take it as far as he can with one of these girls who are approaching him. Almost all relationships these days begin sexually, especially in college. Our society on both sides of the pond demands short-term personal and sexual connection (“spark”) before we start talking about serious relationship commitment. It’s not that I defend it or condone it, but I accept it; being sexually forward is a far more effective means of moving things along than having a coffee chat about your hopes and dreams and what you want in a mate.

He’s very concerned about inadvertently pumping and dumping a woman who might be angling for a LTR and “ruining” her. I think this fear is way overblown among college beta males, and I say that as someone who felt exactly that way and passed up a lot of opportunities for fun from women who were looking for just that, because I was all white-knighty about “what if she gets hurt” and also holding out for a very serious type of relationship that at the time was an unrealistic expectation.

OTC and I specifically advised he not assume every woman who shows interest is looking to lock him down for life. Almost all young women will say they want to have a relationship in the abstract, but you keep asking questions and a lot of them will admit they want a relationship in the same way they want a house with a yard; it’s a big life goal, but one that they don’t expect to happen by the next semester. Or they want a relationship that doesn’t involve any disruption to their current lifestyle and schedule, which is more like commitment-phobic lifestyle accessorizing than actually connecting your life to another person. Some of them will even openly cop to a “I want to have fun now and settle down later” life plan. Which is fine; college students are usually young and stupid as a rule (I was), and you don’t get past that without trying some things out and at least trying to enjoy yourself.

I’ve come out several times against the sexual free-for-all that describes much of modern hookup culture. That doesn’t mean I’m a puritan or a scold. For every person ruined by unalloyed casual sex there’s probably another one who was so intimidated and put off by the whole thing they never dipped their toe in the pool at all, communicated to the ones they liked or took the risk that is part of what makes good relationships so rewarding. And I’m sure many of my readers would admit that if we’d all married our college SOs we’d be a lot worse off.

READER POLL

We got sidetracked in the thread by his original handle, “a budding pimp.” I thought it showed a great sense of brash confidence, of a guy who was ready to make changes in his life to become an assertive and efficacious individual, and it was obviously tongue-in-cheek as his writings make clear that he’s not seeking silverback status.

Danny was not as amused and told him to “choose another handle, lol.”

In a rather beta move, ABP followed Danny’s orders and reappeared as “Anotherboringguy.” I cringed. Self-deprecation can work for one’s game, but is a low-status play for any guy who isn’t already ridiculously confident; it telegraphs an attitude of poor self-worth that will shirley leak out in his personal interactions. Every time he types in “boring” to post on a blog the hobgoblins of his mind will internally reinforce that message.

So my question to the readers: pick a better name. Should he go back to a budding pimp? TamingTheTosser? LevantineLothario? Mr Robinson? Somebody help me out here, a dude’s well-being is on the line.

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Filed under beta guide

Sandy Cohen: A Father’s Wisdom On Losing It

For those who recall Fox’s mid-decade hit The OC, Adam Brody’s quirky-emo portrayal of Seth Cohen, Newport Beach’s most eligible Jewish teenager, was a spectacle in its own right. Here he riffs with his father Sandy, played by Peter Gallagher (who played Sky Masterson in a Broadway revival of Guys And Dolls). Context: in an earlier scene, Seth consulted brooding bad boy Ryan about his first time, desperately seeking tricks of the trade and inadvertently referring to the incident as “fish sex” (flopping around on dry land).

Oh, you dog, you.

6 Comments

Filed under media, this is just funny