Most of it talked about things I agreed with already and might've even written myself. However, there were a few things in there that took me by surprise and altered my perceptions considerably; I'll be tackling some of those ideas in future postings. For now, however, I'd like to start with something I read in an early chapter that got me thinking about something a lot of people, particularly in meatspace, have asked me.
I'm single right now. People often ask me if I intend to pursue another relationship. The answer is not a simple "yes" or "no." I don't believe in "pursuing" relationships the way most people think of it; I don't believe in "dating." I've said that to many people, male and female alike, but when pressed to explain I was never able to put into words what I meant. However, strangely enough, something I read in The Johns helped me, finally, to come up with a clear explanation.
In Chapter Four, "Single By Choice," Malarek talks about men who go to prostitutes because they've given up on the dating scene in frustration because they haven't been able to "get any" through conventional dating. I found that attitude a bit disquieting. These men apparently have the attitude that, if they show a woman a good time, that obligates her to performing "favors" for the man at the end of the night.
Charles, an office manager from Dallas, Texas (quoted from page 52 of Malarek's book) is typical of this attitude (emphasis mine):
I spend and I spend and I spend, and I don't even get a kiss goodnight. I take them to fancy restaurants to wine and dine them, and all they do is whine and whine. They complain and bitch incessantly about stuff that makes me want to yell, "Shut the fuck up! Your boring life sucks. Get over it." But I listen, hoping that maybe after she's finished her rant, we can have sex when I take her home.I've overheard countless guys make those kinds of comments: "I spent all that money on her and she wouldn't even have sex with me!" Whenever I hear things like that, it makes my skin crawl and, from what I've heard of the experiences of my dating female friends, that seems to be the prevalent attitude of men who "date;" they feel treating a woman to a night out gives them the right to expect sexual favors at the end of the night.
To me, this kind of attitude is just a whitewashed form of prostitution. When you get right down to it, what these men are saying is that if you can't get sex out of a woman then spending time with her is a waste of time; in effect, they're saying, "Sex is all women are good for."
If that is what "dating" is all about then I want no part of it. The very idea of specifically trying to woo someone I'm only just getting to know to climb into bed with me is repugnant to me. As I said in "Sport Nookie," I don't want someone I barely know touching me in the most intimate way two people can touch. When I've tried to explain that, particularly to men, I'm often met with puzzled stares. Occasionally, I'm accused of being homosexual. They just don't get it.
To me, going out with someone has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm not attracted to the woman I'm asking out; what I mean is that the night out itself has nothing to do with that. In that sense, going out with a new female friend and a new male friend are virtually the same experience for me. I buy a beer and a meal for both for the same reason: if I ask someone out, I want to have a good time and get to know them.
The sad thing is, though, that even women tend to assume I have a hidden sexual agenda if I try to treat them to a night out. That's the main reason why I usually don't ask women out. It's not because I can't or I don't want to; I just don't want a woman to assume I'm asking her out only in the hope of getting into her pants. Unfortunately, because that's what most men in the dating scene seem to be looking for, that's now what most women seem to expect on a date.
In my posting "Revelation," I spoke of the irrevocable connection between friendship and love. In brief, my theoretical "formula" of romantic love is, "Attraction+Friendship+Trust=Romantic Love." In other words, I believe love, and therefore healthy sexual relationships, grow out of friendships, not out of attraction. It's when you feel attraction, friendship and implicit trust, all for the same person, that love ignites.
So I do not "date." Instead, I work on making friends, male and female alike. Before the friendships get close, gender doesn't matter; I simply enjoy the company and get to know them. Only once friendships get close do I make a distinction between the male and female friend. Essentially, I look at any close female friendship to someone I'm attracted to as a potential romantic possibility in the future.
Now that doesn't mean I "pursue" my close female friends trying to start a sexual relationship, either; that, too, would be a form of "dating." What I mean is that I'm aware that any woman I'm attracted to who is also a close friend could be a potential romantic relationship if, at some point in the future, she ever becomes attracted to me.
The point of "dating" is to try to entice someone sexually. That is the part I don't believe in. My way of thinking is that I don't have the right to push myself on someone who is not attracted to me; either she is or she isn't. That is what I mean by close female friends being potential romantic relationships. If a close female friend ever becomes attracted to me, then is the time to pursue a romantic relationship because only then is it truly "real."
This applies even if I fall in love with someone. The way I see it, if you truly love someone, you respect them and their boundaries. No matter how much I might want to express my love to a woman intimately, if she's not attracted to me, I'm not going to make any effort to try to push her into a relationship she doesn't want. Instead, I just show her my love in other ways, through friendship and support in hard times, with a fierce loyalty.
Many men just don't get that. In fact, most of my male friends who know I have feelings for someone will give me all kinds of unsolicited advice on how to seduce them. They just can't seem to grasp the idea of being "just friends" with a woman they "love." I think that, too, is a symptom of the stereotypical male point of view that sex is the "ultimate goal" of forming a relationship with a woman; they can't imagine wanting to stay around if they don't get it.
Seduction, to me, is a form of manipulation; you manipulate the woman into feeling something for you she might not otherwise have been inclined to feel. This makes it artificial. You sweep her off her proverbial feet and she's caught up in the whirlwind of romance, sex and endorphins and, for a time, thinks you're the best thing that ever happened to her but, when the seduction wears off, the illusion collapses and she wonders what possessed her to be with you.
I've seen many women go through this cycle. A man arrives, often when they're at their most vulnerable, and they fall for his charms. More often than not, however, these guys turn out to be bad news because most guys who deliberately seek out to seduce a woman, particularly in the first date or two, are always bad news. I even saw one man who seduced an otherwise decent woman so thoroughly that she got into bed with him before he even learned her last name.
That's the danger of actually trying to initiate a sexual relationship. Even seducing a woman you love is just as dangerous. How? Well, to her, the "love" created from seduction is still an illusion. When the illusion wears off for her, she will most likely realize she made a mistake. In the end, both parties get hurt. In some cases, even the original friendship can be lost because of all the awkwardness afterward.
So why do men try to seduce women? In effect, for the same reason the men above who gave up on dating pay for prostitutes; they have this irrational belief that they "need" sex. A man may trick himself into believing he's "in love" with a woman he's strongly attracted to and delude himself into thinking his pursuit of her is "romantic" but all he's really doing is creating an illusion, a fantasy into which both he and the woman he pursues are ultimately drawn.
I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: sex, to me, is just another way to say, "I love you." Granted, it's the most beautiful, and intimate, way, but it's not one that's appropriate for all relationships; whether it's appropriate depends not only on how I feel but how the other person feels as well. If I'm in love with someone, of course I'll hope she might feel the same way some day but, if she doesn't, I'm happy as long as she's in my life and I'll be there for her regardless.
But I'll never try to make that happen; it either happens naturally, or it's not meant to happen at all.
That is why I don't date.
That's also why I can't say whether I'll pursue another relationship or not because that depends, not on whether I want one, but whether I ever again find myself in love with a woman who also loves me back.
So my answer is this: Yes, I'd like to be in another relationship some day but, if it never happens, so long as there are people in my life that I love and who love me back, regardless of how that love is expressed, I'll be content.