Posts Tagged the opposite sex

A certain unreasonable jealousy

I consider myself a member of the blues community, here in the Bay Area, and our community has some shining stars. Chief among them are the attractive young women who dance so very well. We also have some photographers, and I’ve noticed that the photographers do photo shoots of the attractive young women. Just up and out of the blue, the photographers take free (and quite good) glamour shots of them.

I find myself intensely jealous. An attractive young woman is gifted with an inherently better life than the rest of us. There are no downsides to her fortune–she can do anything the rest of us can, but she can also inspire desire. As a plain young man, like all men, I will never be so enticing as any of them. No one will ever breathlessly hope to take my picture, nor will they for most people–just these lucky few.

It’s not that I don’t understand why it’s so. It’s just that it’s so frustrating knowing that, like so many others, I’ll always be a second-rate citizen.

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J.K. Rowling is a woman. Are you?

Harry Potter was obviously written by a woman. I’ve been reading/listening to book 5, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” and I’ve just passed the point where Harry goes on a date with Cho. They go to a coffeeshop and sit surrounded by couples holding hands and kissing, and Harry’s thought is, “she’ll expect me to do that too–how terrifying!”

What. The. Fuck.

Have you ever had a chance to hold the hand of someone you had a crush on? Did you lack the desire to do so? If so, you weren’t a young man, because I can assure you, the desire to touch and kiss is extraordinary, matched only by the enormous fear of the consequences if you do so and she’s unhappy about it. I can’t imagine anyone missing that drive; it’s so visceral and all-consuming.

However, I’m told that women often engage in sexual behavior that makes them uncomfortable because they feel societal expectation, and so I theorize that this is the reaction a woman might have–indifference mixed with expectation and fear. How else could you explain such a bizarre set of emotions? It’s just such an alien reaction to me, though, that I can’t understand how it made it into the book. Wouldn’t most anyone who read the book immediately wonder, “Why didn’t Harry want to kiss her?”

So, my question to you: when you were young, say, 16, and had the chance to kiss someone, were you excited about it or just expected to do so?

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So true

Left side = truth. Right side = wishful thinking.

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A little self-centered

My mom’s in the hospital with pneumonia and a 103-degree fever, which, given her chemo-weakened immune system, is serious. My sister turned 26 today. My uncle finished battling an infestation of bedbugs carried back from a hotel on his luggage. Two friends got engaged. Another friend may be on the path to a happier relationship. All this in the past few days.

But I keep getting hung up on, what failings of mine made me not worth dating? I don’t know how to be better.

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A middle-school story

In 7th grade, I asked a girl out. I said, “Will you go out with me?”

She responded, “Where?” and laughed at my confusion. I had just wanted her to indicate an interest in me; the details of spending time together could be worked out later.

I still have that attitude, that disconnect from the way most others think of dating, to this day. I’m not so worried about finding someone to spend time with; my days already fill themselves. I just want attention, respect, love. Find that, and the rest will work out well enough.

In other news, I’m completely single again. Whee.

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Pictures of this weekend

I went to Ocean Beach with Moorea and Elena this weekend, and I got some good pictures.

Moorea and Elena

We saw dead things.

cut for more images, including a dead seal

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Confessions of a Body Fascist

I’m pretty sure that according to the feminists, I’m a body fascist. I want to find a woman who is not only intelligent and fun, but also attractive and fit. We’re taught that to do this is shallow. You wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so don’t judge a woman by her appearance. Form is not function, and a person is not defined by the color of his skin, but by the contents of his heart.

But that’s not exactly true. If you believe that sex is important in a relationship, then it follows that sexual attraction matters, too. It’s not just, but that’s life. While it’s undeniable that inner beauty counts, outer beauty counts, too.

Then again, you don’t really have to grant all that. You could say that people are different from other things; you can love your dog for being fuzzy, your blanket for being soft, your house for its curb appeal, but you can’t look at people in the same way. People should be judged only by their inner qualities.

Or, you might go all the way and dismiss the whole physical world. Just as you wouldn’t determine what you think of someone by their appearance, you shouldn’t judge anything by its outside. Pain should be ignored, as should pleasure. We eat food for sustenance, not enjoyment. The fact that physical things manipulate our emotions is a problem that can be overcome with sufficient mental strength.

Frankly, I’ve tended to follow that latter case and deny the importance of physical events. Somehow it rings true. I am what I do, not what I seem. I feel disappointed that I care about appearances, and I’m sad to think of the people going unloved because they don’t look lovable enough. Still, down this path lies a philosophical trap. If the material world doesn’t matter, why should I care about art or music? After all, there’s no function there, only form–there’s no inner beauty to find, only outer beauty. In that view, dancing becomes foolish, for it is purely enjoyment of the physical. Somehow that seems wrong.

There’s a deeper trap, too, since ultimately we’re physical objects ourselves. Our natural reactions to certain stimuli may be arbitrary, but they’re nonetheless real. My emotions come from my experiences of my body–without sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach, how would I know I was nervous? Without a pounding heart, how would I know I was excited? In the end, there is no pure spirit to fall in love with; the book is all cover. Trying to deny the importance of the physical element of our lives requires denying nearly all our emotions.

Similar problems afflict any attempt to ignore the beauty of possible mates. The appearance of your lover does change how you feel about them. If their skin is soft, if their eyes sparkle, if their sweat smells sweet, then that really does affect your interactions, and sad as it is to admit it, it matters. We’re only human, and these things affect us in a visceral way that we cannot out-think. Moreover, there is no way to rise above being merely human, because there is nothing else there. It might be noble to imagine ignoring all appearance, but it turns out that in our world, form is function, and you cannot just forget it.

So, yes, I want a woman who is not only a good person, but also makes me feel the little excitements of being human. It’s horribly unjust to all those people who, through no fault of their own, cannot do that, but nonetheless it remains true.

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Internet dates

13 internet first dates

  • 4: I rejected, or the rejection was mutual
  • 2: stopped responding to my messages after the first date
  • 2: I dated for some period of time
  • 2: told me they were too busy to date me
  • 2: told me I was nice but they weren’t romantically interested
  • 1: had started dating someone the day before, but went on a first date since I’d already bought tickets

That’s not counting the rejections that occurred before there was a first date, which were mostly split into the “I rejected”, “too busy,” and “stopped responding” categories.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from this is that I do after all have strength and standards, and I’m capable of rejecting people. It wasn’t previously obvious that was true–after all, I married the first woman who expressed an interest in me.

I also learned that I look good on paper. I also come off fairly well in person, but I think there’s something missing from what I project. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s something important that people are looking for romantically. Perhaps it’s a certain confidence or assertiveness; I know those to be some of my weak points.

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