Tag Archives: dating

The Moment I Realized My Flirting Skills Sucked (A Personal Story From A Comic Book Store)

In my experience, those who say flirting is an art, not a science, either look like a celebrity, are insanely rich, or have giant dicks/tits. They think they understand flirting. They don’t realize that a lot of what they do is showing off and being inherently luckier than most.

I don’t claim to be an expert on flirting. In fact, for most of my adult life, I barely qualified as a novice. My idea of flirting involved a few compliments, lots of stammering, and the kind of goofy laughing that that even the Joker would find awkward. Eventually, I did learn to have meaningful conversations with the opposite sex. I kind of had to in order to write sexy novels. However, it was an arduous process, to say the least.

I had a lot of weird problems talking to people growing up, but not in the way you might think. Talk to any one of my family members, siblings, or relatives and they’ll tell you the same thing. As a kid, I could talk for hours with other adults, even if I wasn’t related to them. When it came to talking to people my own age, though, especially women, I might as well have been a brain damaged horse.

I don’t entirely understand the forces behind that awkwardness. Even some of my old teachers found it strange. All I know is that once puberty did its thing and I felt the urge to do more than just talk to women, things got even stranger. I’m pretty sure I came off as a socially inept alien from another planet. Maybe some girls thought that was cute, but not enough to respond to my pitiful attempts at flirting.

I know the art of flirting with women is a full-fledged industry these days, but I doubt it would’ve helped make my teenage years less awkward. I’ve shared some fairly dark moments in that life, most of them taking place in high school. I’ve also shared some fun, sexy moments, most of which took place in college.

Well, I’d like to share another personal story that perfectly depicts my complete inability to flirt in a way that doesn’t make someone uncomfortable/annoyed. It involves a comic book store so it’s a story that has some added weight too. Given my documented love of comics, I think it’s fitting that I realized how inept I am at flirting at one of my favorite places to be that doesn’t serve donuts and beer.

This particular incident took place early in my sophomore year of college. At the time, I’d adjusted fairly well to college life. I thought my social skills were also improving. I think I grossly overestimated some of my improvements, but in my defense, I was still healing from the scars left by high school.

It began like most Wednesdays do for me, restless and eager. For those of you who don’t know, new comic books are released on Wednesdays so that means this is basically every comic fan’s favorite day of the week. It’s like Christmas comes every week and you don’t have to put up any decorations.

The college I went to had a comic book store right in the downtown area and every Wednesday afternoon after my final class, I made it a point to run down there as fast as I could without looking like a dog was chasing me. It was often the highlight of my week, provided I didn’t have a mid-term.

Since I didn’t have a mid-term on this week, I made my way to the comic book store feeling as giddy as dog in a asshole factory. When I got there, the guy working there, with whom I was on a first-name basis, already had my comics pulled for me. I was ready to spend the rest of my Wednesday in a state of comic book bliss. That’s when I saw her.

Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t use her real name. For now, I’ll just call her Sandra. Picture Wonder Woman with shorter hair and more eye-liner. That’s how this woman looked. Naturally, my hormones nearly short-circuited my brain and butterflies were doing nude oil wrestling in my stomach. Yes, it was that intense a moment.

While I know it sounds like a bad stereotype that inspires bad milkshake-themed internet memes, there is some truth to it. A cute girl in a comic book store, even today, isn’t just a rarity. It’s a spectacle. This girl might as well have been a unicorn riding a white rhino. Her being in that store felt like a gift from the comic gods or whatever god just thought I finally deserved some luck in my love life.

I usually spend a few minutes browsing the comics anyways so I walked up to the girl, saw what she was reading, and started talking to her. Unlike my previous efforts to communicate with women, it wasn’t that awkward and for good reason. She was reading comics. That’s something I know. That’s something I can talk about for hours without stuttering.

I think I spent a good half-hour just talking to her about the comics she was reading. She actually talked back. She even smiled at me a few times. I’m not going to lie. My heart skipped several beats and my pants felt at least two sizes tighter. If ever there was a time when I was going to get a woman interested in me, this was it.

Then, I found a way to screw it up. I’m sorry, but this story doesn’t have a happy or sexy ending.

I knew from the get-go that I was going to try and ask this girl out. Talking about comics for hours on end is one thing, though. Actually taking that step towards asking her out is another. After I sense she’s ready to leave, I try to make my move. This is where the stuttering and awkwardness returns with a vengeance. Not even Batman could’ve helped me here.

I don’t remember exactly how I worded it. I might have started speaking Greek, for all I know. She looked like Wonder Woman so maybe that helped. I do remember, though, that she gave me her number so I must have said something right. It was actually a huge milestone because that was the first time a woman had ever given me her number.

Again, this story doesn’t have a happy or sexy ending. Getting that number was the high point of this story. It all went downhill after that because I basically handled this accomplishment in all the wrong ways.

It started with me trying to call her the next day and leaving her an awkward, stammering voicemail. I’m pretty sure that voicemail alone made her change the combination lock on her panties. I then tried to call her again that evening and left another horribly awkward voicemail.

I know they were horrible because as soon as I hung up my phone, I realized how pathetic they sounded. They were not the words of someone who had the confidence to be anyone’s lover. They sounded like someone who just didn’t know how to react to a situation where he had to be articulate and flirty with a woman.

I know women well enough to understand that they have a variety of tastes when it comes to prospective lovers, but few are attracted to anyone who sounds that inept. Needless to say, I never saw Sandra again. I tried calling her erratically over the next several weeks. I think she might have answered just once, if only because she felt sorry for me. That wasn’t enough for her to give me a chance, though.

Eventually, I stopped calling her and deleted her from my phone. When I noticed her not showing up at the comic book store anymore, I took that as a sign that I’d probably made a less-than-flattering impression. I can’t say I blamed her for avoiding me. I was needy, awkward, and inept in talking about anything that didn’t relate to comics. That just doesn’t check a lot of boxes for women looking for prospective lovers.

It counts as a low-light in my love life, but one that I learned from. It was that incident with Sandra that made me realize just how much I needed to improve my flirting skills and my communication skills, in general. It seemed so daunting at the time, but it was a catalyst, of sorts. It helped me realize that these skills with women aren’t just going to come to me. I have to actually work at it.

I’m still no expert. I barely qualify as an amateur when it comes to flirting. However, I am confident in saying that I’m much better than I was on that fateful day I encountered Sandra. If she were to show up again, even if it isn’t in a comic book store, I’m confident I could do more than just talk comics with her. I’m not saying I’d get her number again, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be that pathetic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, Marriage and Relationships

My Plans For Finding Love (Through EHarmony)

I actually had another topic I wanted to discuss today, but something came up that I felt was worth talking about. I’m sorry to say it has nothing to do with sex robots, bionic penises, or romance lessons from superhero comics. Don’t worry. I’ll find plenty of reasons to talk about those topics again. This is more personal.

A while back, I bemoaned my luck with online dating, citing that demographics alone are working against me. At the moment, online dating is great if you’re a marginally attractive young woman. The massive disparity between men and women on most sites ensures they can sign up in the morning and have a date before sundown. Men are just that lonely/horny.

For me, though, despite being a fairly attractive young man with no debt, good health, and a sexy mind, the odds and the demographics just aren’t in my favor. I did try online dating last year, namely through Match.com. I even got a paid subscription, which wasn’t cheap. It turns out I would’ve been better off throwing that money at squirrels. At least that would’ve gotten a cheap laugh.

The most I got out of online dating was a lot of spam, namely from a bunch of women asking me to pay for their porno cam. Apparently, there are still some men on this planet who just aren’t content with all the free porn that’s all over the web and still insist on paying for cam girls. It was frustrating because every time I saw a profile that seemed to match, it turns out it was just another goddamn spammer.

If I sound bitter, then please forgive me. Being single at my age does worry me, as I’ve contemplated before. Then, a few days ago, I had a chat with some close family members. They always remind me how much they love me and how much they want me to find love. So, despite my bitterness, they convinced me to give online dating another try.

I’m still hesitant, but what I’m doing now clearly isn’t working. My family keeps pointing out that actually getting out there and finding someone just isn’t what it used to be. I need to do something different and, bitterness aside, a lot of people are finding their spouses online these days. I’d like to join that statistic.

I’m hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst, namely a lot more porno spam. However, I certainly won’t be trying Match.com again. Since I’m not an attractive woman, I’m pretty sure that site just isn’t going to work for me. Instead, I’m going to give Eharmony a shot.

Now, I’ve seen all those goofy Eharmony commercials like everyone, complete with that annoying music. I also don’t think for a second that those people claiming to have met their spouses are real. I’m almost certain they’re paid actors, as is the case with any commercial. However, Eharmony does have a better reputation than most dating sites, at least in terms of intent.

That’s still a relative concept, with respect to dating sites. Given how hard it is to pin down just how effective these sites are, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference between Eharmony and Tinder, in terms of reputation. However, Eharmony states outright that it wants to help people find serious love. At this point in my life, I want that as much as any single guy in his 30s.

I imagine it’ll be a challenge. I also imagine there are a lot of factors working against me, as is often the case with any service that makes bold claims, like being able to find your spouse. That said, when it comes to finding love, the erotica/romance writer in me is always willing to make that gamble.

If I do this, though, I want to maximize my chances for success. Moreover, I’d like to document that success on this blog, if possible. I’ll document the failure too, but success is a lot sexier so I’d much rather talk about that.

So, with that in mind, I want to formulate a plan. I’m still working on the particulars of that plan. My family is already helping me, as they do with many things. However, I’d like to open this up to anyone who reads this blog and has experience with online dating. I’m very open to suggestions. What I did with Match.com simply didn’t work. I’d like to avoid that with Eharmony.

So please, if you’re a regular reader of this blog or just stumbled across it because you’re looking for a site that talks a lot about superhero comics and sex robots, I’d like to hear from you. How should I go about this? What can I do to maximize my chances of finding the kind of love I write about in my novels? Let me know in the comments. Again, I’m open to suggestions.

Who knows? If this plays out right, it may find its way into one of my future novels. Sure, that may be hoping for too much, but some things are worth that extra hope. Love is definitely one of them.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Attention Economy (And Why It’s Ruining The Internet)

Here’s a little pop quiz that most people will probably fail. What is the most valuable asset in today’s modern economy? Go on, take a few minutes if you have to. I know it sounds like an easy question to answer, but it’s still worth thinking about.

Is it gold? Historically, it is one of mankind’s most valuable materials.

Is it money? That makes sense. People call it the root of all evil for a reason.

Is it knowledge? Smart people can be pretty damn successful.

Actually, it’s none of these. Even money, that one major driving force behind every major heist movie, is not nearly as valuable in today’s economy as it was 50 years ago. If anything, it’s losing its value and becoming an increasingly esoteric concept, so much so that we consider bits of computer code to be money.

There is, in fact, one other asset whose value exceeds them all. We know this because businesses, artists, and even horny people trying to get laid go to obscene, if not annoying, lengths to get it.

That’s right. I’m talking about that most precious of assets that drives the entire modern economy. I’m talking about attention.

Yes, that word deserves bold and italicized fonts. It’s just that important. It may seem like hyperbole to those still used to picking out pocket change between couch cushions. It’s not like you can tip a stripper with attention. However, give it just a little bit of thought. It won’t take much to realize just how important it is. It doesn’t just drive the economy. It drives (or hinders) our love lives.

I know this because it ties directly into my ongoing efforts to be an erotica/romance writer. It also ties into my efforts to make this blog a successful supplement to those efforts. There’s a good reason I try to avoid overly boring topics and talk about kinky things that both raise eyebrows and moisten panties. It’s a way for drawing attention to my work. It is, without a doubt, the greatest challenge I face as a writer.

Talk to anyone who has ever worked in marketing, whether it’s selling books or diamond-encrusted dildos. They’ll probably say the same thing, although the people selling dildos will probably have better stories. The hardest part of selling anything is getting peoples’ attention.

I know I keep referencing this same famous movie clip, but it’s just that powerful. It keeps finding new ways to be applicable to so many things, from making money to finding love. There’s a reason why Alec Baldwin won an Oscar for it. It’s the same reason why you don’t hear from a lot of other Baldwins these days.

Between the bragging, bullying, and brass ball props that Baldwin’s character uses, the most important part of his distinctly de-motivational speech is the A.I.D.A. method he describes. That’s attention, interest, decision, and action. Every major marketing method follows this model to some extent, but it’s that first step that is most vital.

It’s also the step that is most difficult, especially in the era of 350 channels, YouTube celebrities, and internet memes. For most of the modern era, we had only a handful of TV channels, newspapers, and methods for disseminating information. It used to be that a few strategically placed commercials during the Super Bowl would be enough to generate the attention you needed.

Those days are deader than analog cables and betamax. Instead, you have hundreds of channels containing countless shows, stories and sites doing anything and everything to get every last second of your attention. Is it really that surprising that the gratuitous violence/nudity on “Game of Thrones” and iconic franchises like “Star Wars” have become the new standard?

These things get your attention. These things get people talking. It’s only after you have someone’s attention that you can even begin to plan on how you’ll get them to pay for your product and/or have sex with you. In an era of so many choices and so few opportunities, attention might as well be encrusted in polished diamonds.

It’s because that attention is so valuable, so much so that it’s become the main currency of the modern era, that the internet is changing and not necessarily for the better. Spend more than five minutes on the internet, whether you’re checking your email or watching porn, and chances are you’ve run into a little something called clickbait.

In the attention economy, clickbait is akin to the muggers who beat up sick orphans while drunks throw pennies at them. It is the clogged toilet and overflowing septic tank of the internet. They are sites, ads, and shady tactics meant to draw you away from productive activities, like checking your email or reading this blog, and into some buggy, browser-crashing site meant to extract your attention and credit card information.

We’ve all seen them. The names of the sites and the annoying ads they post are ridiculous. Sometimes, it’s painfully obvious. However, it’s still tempting at times to click on them and that’s exactly what makes clickbait so evil.

Like it or not, people need to make a living. Websites need to make money. I need to make money. I can’t tell sexy erotica/romance stories without a roof over my head, food on my plate, and a reliable internet connection. That’s why I promote my novels every chance I get. I haven’t resorted to clickbait yet, but it is tempting. It’s also very frustrating.

I’ve seen the same internet as everybody else. I’m just as annoyed by the abundance of clickbait as everyone else. It’s hard to even trust the text within a link these days. At the same time, however, I can understand the intent behind it.

People are trying to make money. They can’t do that unless they get the attention of customers. The problem is that as the size and prevalence of the internet has increased, our capacity for attention has not. We humans only have so much brain matter in our skulls. That brain can only give a finite amount of attention to a handful of things at any given time.

Until we can start augmenting our brains, which Elon Musk is working on as we speak, this limitation isn’t going to change. We’ll still only be able to give a certain amount of attention to ourselves, mass media, and each other. As such, the amount of clickbait we see on the internet is only going to increase. The sheer absurdity of the headlines is likely to increase as well. I’ll give everyone a moment to shudder.

It’s unavoidable, but understandable. The internet may seem infinite, if only because of the varieties of porn it stores, but it’s not. It can’t run itself for free either. It needs to make money somehow and nobody seems to want to pay for it. Why else would some people resort to Kickstarter, which is basically digital begging, to fund movies?

We’re all guilty of it. I certainly am. I’ll whine constantly about pop-up ads and video ads on a site, but refuse to pay the extra $10 for the “premium” version that removes the ads. While some feel that kind of service is exploitive on the same level as price gouging for medicine, it makes sense. Again, the people managing these sites need to make money and nobody seems keen to want to give it.

The internet will continue to evolve, as it always has. That evolution will be driven primarily by a desire to turn a profit. Unfortunately, no profits can be made unless someone gets enough attention first. As evil and annoying as clickbait may be, we have only ourselves to blame for its existence. At least for now, it’s here to stay. The best we can do is grit our teeth, read some sexy novels, and endure.

6 Comments

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

An Online Dating Experiment That Does NOT Bode Well For Me

I know it’s a little early to be contemplating New Years Resolution. We still have to get through the final days of 2016 without losing any more beloved celebrities. Then again, I’ve always been an overly proactive guy. I’m the kind of guy who used to turn in essay papers three weeks ahead of schedule in college. My old professors used to say setting deadlines was useless for a guy like me.

While I appreciate their insight, I do understand that you can only be so proactive with certain activities. Compared to college essays, dating may as well be an Olympic event done drunk, blindfolded, and concussed. I’ve made my recent luck with dating painfully apparent. I’m trying to change that luck for 2017.

Over the holidays, I actually set a very specific goal with my family, one that may or may not be too ambitious. I actually told some close relatives who know how dedicated I am to my craft that I want to bring a significant other to Thanksgiving dinner in 2017. In my family, that’s a big fucking deal. Bringing a significant other to a big family event is right up there with co-signing on a loan.

It’s ambitious, but it’s something I really do want to try. I’m hoping online dating will give me a chance, if only to slightly improve the long odds. Then, while doing some cursory research on the subject for my last post, I came across some very discouraging news.

It has to do with a certain kind of gender disparity. I’ve talked about that sort of thing before and it’s never a pleasant conversation. It’s like talking about taxes, dead animals, and clogged toilets. It’s not going to have pleasant details. With online dating though, I can’t avoid these details.

In this case, the disparity has actual numbers to back it up. After the Ashley Madison hack in July 2015, we learned a nasty secret about certain online dating sites. The amount of men on these sites grossly outnumber the amount of women. How gross is it? Well, according to the Washington Post, only 15 percent of the profiles on Ashley Madison belonged to actual, real-life women.

Think about that number for a second. If you went to a restaurant and you only had a 15 percent chance of getting a meal, you’d say that was a pretty shitty restaurant, wouldn’t you? Well, those are the kinds of odds that men are facing here.

I already have some direct experience with it. Last year, I created an account on two dating websites. In both cases, the only responses I got came from chat bots trying to solicit money for porno webcams. That’s literally all I got. There’s enough pornographic spam on the internet and that’s all I could attract with my online dating profile. What’s that say about me?

It’s depressing, but it’s not just me. People have done actual experiments on this disparity and the results are pretty discouraging. An Elite Daily article profiled a man who created two Tinder profiles, one male and one female. The response rate between them was pretty damn egregious. The female version of his profile got five times as many messages. In terms of raw numbers, that is not a trivial difference.

Other experiments have revealed similar results. The Daily Mail UK did a similar profile on a man from London who actually dressed up as a woman for his profile. It turns out, the men didn’t care. They inundated him with responses, some of them using language I usually reserve for my books.

This is not encouraging. This does not sit well with me. It also reveals something else that gets lost in the laughable number gap. Online dating sucks for men and it brings out the worst in them, which gives the radical feminist, overly PC types a reason to whine.

There are any number of articles where the dirty, pornographic language men use on these sites are documented. Women and the PC crowd love to screen-cap these comments and use them to say, “Look at this! Look how disgusting men are! There’s so much misogyny! All men must be ashamed of themselves and die!”

That may be an extreme response, but extremes are the new normal in this day and age. So I’m not going to waste my time confronting those issues. There’s another side to that coin that will get lost in all the whining and it comes down to this simple truth:

Men are REALLY desperate to find a lover and not having one really screws with their mind.

Think about it because I sure have. When men get really horny, they tend to make poor decisions. Women do the same, but it’s much easier for a horny woman to find an outlet. As these online dating experiments prove, they really don’t have to make much of an effort to get a man’s interest. The massive disparity in gender ensures their options are limited.

With men, however, that kind of horniness really fucks with our brain. Scott Adams even talks about this when explaining the modern phenomenon of sexting. Horny men don’t think clearly and will, in turn, do stupid shit. Remember, our brains aren’t wired for logic and reason. They’re wired for survival and reproduction.

Survival isn’t as big a deal in 2016 so reproduction occupies much more of our mental energy. When we don’t have an outlet, our caveman brains get a little erratic. That leads us to saying some of the disgusting shit that women find so offensive.

Now I like to think I haven’t sent a woman an outright pornographic message, but given the heavy erotic content in my novels, I’m sure I’ve let a few slip. I’m sure some women even found it offensive. There’s nothing I can do to apologize to those women. They’ve already formed an opinion about me and I can’t change that.

So where does this leave me? What can I do at this point if the odds and numbers of online dating are stacked against me? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way. I’m serious. I really would like to know because this does worry me.

I guess I’m somewhat lucky because I do have an outlet with my novels. I can take these sexy thoughts that fill my masculine brain and channel them into erotic novels or sexy Sunday thoughts. I think that’s a healthier way to manage my mental energy compared to sending women overtly sexual messages online.

Then again, it still only goes so far. It still leaves me alone, single, and dangerously close to creepiness territory. I still want to make an effort in 2017 to change my romantic luck, but I’m facing an uphill battle here. If, however, it means I can find a good and affectionate lover, then I’d say I’m willing to fight that battle.

1 Comment

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

Online Dating: Should Give It A (Third) Try?

We live in an era where people have a more intimate relationship with their smart phone than they’ll ever have with another person. Think about it. People tell their phone all their dirtiest secrets, trust it to keep those secrets, and turn to it in their time of need, no matter how serious or trivial the situation may be. In the grand scheme of things, a smart phone is a lover, an accomplice, a therapist, and a butler all rolled into one.

There may come a day when our phones and our technology will take the place of lovers. There are some parts of the world where sex robots are already a thing. Until then, though, we will continue to seek out human companionship in some form or another.

I certainly love my smart phone, but I’m not going to form an intimate relationship with it. I can’t make love to it. I can’t enjoy foreplay with it, which is kind of important to me. Maybe I’m old fashioned by today’s standards, but I’d rather have a person as a lover.

This is something I’ve talked about before as a concern. I am in my 30s now and I’m a single male. The older I get, the greater the creepiness factor will escalate. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be the creepy guy on the block. I’m already the guy on the block who wears flip-flops and a bathing suit to a coffee shop. That’s the most my reputation can handle.

So as I was getting together with friends and family for the holidays, I started having conversations about my goals for 2017. Naturally, most of those goals involved being a successful erotica/romance writer and a more awesome guy in general. Those have been my goals for years now and I like to think I’m making progress in both.

That said, one goal in particular came up and I’m the one who brought it up. Maybe it was due to me seeing so many members of my family find love in their own way. Maybe it’s just the male version of a biological clock starting to go off in my 30-year-old brain. At some point, I do want to find love again and I’d like to make that part of my goals for 2017.

The problem is I have piss poor social skills. I can write novels. I can talk about comics and football for four hours straight. I can work out until I’m a big mass of muscle and sweat. I still can’t, for the life of me, find a way to properly interact with the opposite sex on a face-to-face level. I struggle to enter that mindset where I can use my words and my gestures to win a woman’s heart.

That’s a big reason why I haven’t had a serious girlfriend in a number of years now. It’s for that same reason I really want to change things up for 2017. One approach that many family members suggest is to use online dating. That’s something several family members have used to great success in some form or another. The problem is I have experience with it too and it’s not all that pleasant.

A while back, I did give online dating a try. In fact, I gave it two tries. I signed up for two popular sites and since I don’t know any good lawyers, I won’t name names. I’ll just say you’ve probably seen commercials for both of them.

I put some serious effort into these sites. I worked hard on my profile. I made sure my pictures weren’t too goofy or unflattering. I tried to paint a picture of being an awesome guy with plenty to offer a prospective lover. I must have not tried hard enough because, despite spending both time and money, I basically got zilch out of it. I probably would’ve been more productive trying to seduce a tree.

It’s not that the sites themselves failed me. I just think I’m shoveling sand against the tide with online dating. I’m a single male. There are a lot of single males on the internet looking for love and not all of it is of the healthy variety. The disparity between single males and single females on the internet is pretty goddamn staggering. If you’re a woman of average physical attractiveness, online dating is like a candy store. For men, it’s basically akin to fighting over table scraps.

That was my experience. It wasted my time and my money. It also made me feel ugly, unattractive, and unloved. It was not a pleasant experience. That said, it’s not like what I’m doing now is working any better. I need to do something different if I’m going to find a lover.

So with a healthy bit of skepticism and an unhealthy bit of frustration, I’m thinking of giving online dating a try again. I will definitely not use the same sites I did last time. I will try to use another. I will even invest some money into it. There’s no romance without finance, especially if you’re a man like me. It’s not necessarily fair, but that’s the way the world works.

Again, I’m doing this because my options just seem so limited. I’m a young single man and there are just too many of them on this planet right now and not enough women are willing to give them a chance. I need to find a way to be more awesome than all of these men. I don’t know how I’ll accomplish that, but I’d like to give it a try in 2017. Wish me luck.

6 Comments

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights