Tag Archives: lonliness

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.

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Skills In Love: A Personal Conflict

There are a lot things I wish I learned in school. In talking about various conflicts between love versus sex, perception versus reality, and violence versus the horror of seeing exposed nipples on a TV screen, I’m reminded of just how badly school prepared me for the world. Granted, I was miserable at school, but at least learning something would’ve softened the blow.

As much as I loathed school, there is one skill I wish they had taught. That skill involves finding love, forging relationships, and actually connecting with someone romantically. This feels like one of those incredibly important skills that we should all learn at a young age. Most kids figure out how to maximize the benefits of orgasms. Far fewer learn how to enjoy the benefits of loving relationships.

My family, as much as I love them, has been giving me the same advice since the Clinton Administration. They say, “It’ll happen when it happens.” They could say the same thing about me playing the lottery, which is not very discouraging. I’m over 30 now and being single at this age is starting to really concern me for reasons that may affect my ability to describe my personal life with a straight face.

I get it. Romance is one of those things you can’t predict. Nobody can really control how they fall in love or who they fall in love with. That’s a big part of what makes it so exciting and mysterious. It’s why romance/erotica writers like me have an audience.

However, finding romance is not like playing the lottery. It’s not one of those things that is complete and random chance. Our ability to find love is, unfortunately, one of those skills that varies from person to person. Some are just better-equipped than others.

I’m not just talking about women who have big tits and good social skills. I’m not just talking about men who have six-pack abs and a fat bank account either. Those aren’t skills. Those are a product of a genetic lottery and/or an ability to afford a good plastic surgeon. We can’t really control those factors. However, there are some we can control.

In finding love, there are a few skills that are more vital than most. We need to know how to communicate. We need to know how to empathize, read body language, and present ourselves in a compelling, affectionate way.

Some say these skills are innate. They’re part of being human. I say eating is part of being human as well, but some are far better at doing it than others. We can’t put the eating skills of a chef at a five-star restaurant on the same level as someone whose diet consists primarily of Doritos and Ramen noodles. For a skill like finding love, we need to know more than the ingredients.

This is where the issue becomes personal for me. Growing up, and all throughout my schooling, I did not develop good social skills. I wasn’t a total pariah, but I was often defined by my social awkwardness. I would avoid crowds. I avoided talking to others in class. I made few friends. Naturally, I was miserable. Being a self-centered little shit, I didn’t realize my misery was mostly my fault until I became an adult.

I’ve done my best to catch up in recent years. Going to college, getting a job, and becoming closer to my family has helped me gain some of the skills I failed to learn in school. I think I’m a better communicator now than I was in my early 20s. I can carry on a conversation and not sound like a regular on “The Big Bang Theory.”

That said, if one of my old teachers were to grade my skills, I’d be lucky to get a C at best. I am still, despite my best efforts, very socially awkward. I struggle to start conversations. I struggle to approach people. I really struggle to seek out the opposite sex and express a romantic interest.

This has already hindered my personal life in many ways. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I went on a date earlier this year. I met a girl through a friend and we went to see the X-men movie together. I thought it went well at the time. Now that I look back on it, I think I my social awkwardness sent the wrong message. There were other mitigating circumstances, but I don’t think I did my part to show my interest.

Would learning more skills in high school have helped? Would I have gone on another date with that girl if I had been a bit more skilled in the art of romance? I don’t know. I can’t know for sure. However, I do know that this is a skill I need to work on in my personal life, if only to help me relate to the romance/erotica I write.

I will say this though. As much as I struggle to converse with someone in the physical world, I do believe my skills in the digital world are above-average. It’s not just because I met my first girlfriend online and that relationship once involved a sexy trip to Victoria’s Secret on the holidays.

In terms of skill, writing has always been one of my strengths. I sucked at a lot of things in school. Essay questions and papers wasn’t one of them. Ask me to carry on a conversation with a stranger and I’ll be lucky to avoid a slap in the face. Ask me to write an essay or craft an elaborate story and I’ll flex my skills like an oiled-up body-builder.

If I am going to find love one day, it probably won’t be through my conversation skills. It’ll probably come through my writing skills. In that sense, my ability to craft good romance/erotica isn’t just vital for my career. It may very well determine whether or not I find the love of my life. The stakes are pretty high, but if I’m going to confront this conflict, I might as well do it with my greatest skill.

In other words, challenge accepted!

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Breaking Down The “Creepiness” Factor

Have you ever had a man or woman in your life that makes you so uncomfortable that you wish you’d go out of your way to be in a different time zone? What was it about them that made you so uncomfortable that you were poised to become an Olympic sprinter if they got within 10 feet of you? Would you describe them as “creepy?”

Chances are, calling them “creepy” would probably be the most polite way to describe such people. Everybody’s concept of “creepy” may be different to some degree, but like bad porno, we all know it when we see it. In biological terms, it’s our “fight or flight” instinct going into overdrive for reasons that have nothing to do with facing a hungry grizzly bear.

Even if we all have an idea of what constitutes “creepy,” it’s one of those ideas we don’t scrutinize that much. Again, it’s one of those “I know it when I see it” type feelings and unlike bad porno, it can affect our lives in pretty profound ways. It’s led to a plague of creepy clown sightings. I’d say it’s more serious now than it has ever been in recent years.

What does it mean to be “creepy” though? This is one of those concepts for which a dictionary just doesn’t do the trick. It’s so subjective and personal that one person’s phobia is another person’s fetish. Those who are into clown porn probably understand this more than most.

It’s also a serious question for a guy like me. Recently, I talked about some of the strange looks I get when people find out I’m in my 30s and still single. While I don’t dress like a clown and collect hairs of young women, that does evoke a certain “creepiness” factor for some people. They see a single guy in his 30s and a part of them thinks that’s just wrong somehow, even if there’s nothing on the surface that comes close to clown makeup.

At its core, our revulsion to those we deep creepy is an extension of our gag reflex. When it comes to protecting our frail, fleshy forms, nature can’t be gentle. It has to make the process of vomiting or wanting to vomit so debilitating and uncomfortable that it drives us away from distressing situations. Without that sort of gag reflex, what would stop us from swimming in a pool of elephant poop too cool off on a hot summer day?

As is often the case with nature, our gag reflex tends to be overly broad and for some people, it severely overcompensates. That means the things that make us gag don’t always involve seeing a dead horse floating around in a pool. They can involve how and why we avoid certain people.

Sometimes those people do have a reason for being avoided. I’ve walked by homeless people who clearly have issues that go beyond just being homeless. Some of them do a lot more than just ask for money. Some will go out of their way to tell you that there’s a fairy on their shoulder who refuses to scratch their butthole. That’s usually going to trigger a gag reflex for most reasonable people.

However, those situations are the obvious ones. The situations that effect most people, including some people like me, are a bit more subtle. We all have traits and quirks that set us apart. We can’t always control when someone sees those things and calls them “creepy.”

For some people, my love of comic books and infatuation with sexy superhero women counts as creepy. For others, it’s a reason to hold a major convention in New York City. One person’s creepy obsession can be another person’s passion.

Then, there’s the added bit of overcompensation that we as a society heap on all things creepy. What does that entail? Well, most kids who attend a public school these days get a crash course in something called “stranger danger.”

When I was in school, it was a big fucking deal. We would have assemblies in the middle of the day to hear counselors and police officers tell us about the danger of talking to strangers. Never mind the fact that the amount of dangerous strangers is a tiny sub-set of most strangers. Never mind that a good chunk of crime and abuse comes from intimate partners and not strangers. We need to keep kids from getting kidnapped, damn it!

I get it. This is a big fear for parents and communities. It’s not an unreasonable fear, wanting to protect kids from creeps, but urging the to stay away from strangers can have side-effects. It can make kids mistrustful, paranoid, and even xenophobic. Later in life, these kids will become the adults that wants to kick minorities and foreigners out of their country.

We’ve already seen recently how this can have some pretty serious impacts on society. I won’t go into details, but I think recent trends in wall-building enthusiasts speak for themselves.

Now I’m not going to say that we should ignore the things that spike our “creep” factor. Again, that feeling is there for a damn good reason. Until we become superhuman cyborgs, which may happen one day, we need that reflex to remain. However, we also need to avoid pushing people to the fringes of society who don’t deserve it.

This might just be the hugger in me, but we do ourselves no favors by focusing on the “creepiness” in everybody. We all have our quirks. So long as those quirks don’t involve mutilation, exploitation, or clowns, we should give people a chance. If they mess up that chance, then that’s their problem and not yours at that point.

We want to be safe. We want to protect our kids. However, it is possible to overdo it. We can be doing more harm than good to those around us. Let’s not assume the extremes of creepiness outright. Until they put on clown makeup, let’s give people the chance they deserve.

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