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.
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.