Tag Archives: relationship

Answering (And Understanding) Where The “Good” Men Have Gone

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Human beings are social creatures. We’re biologically wired to pursue social and emotional bonds. It’s one of the most fundamental traits for being human. Being a fan of romance, I certainly appreciate it. For that same reason, though, I think it’s telling when people encounter barriers in seeking those bonds.

In recent years, one particular question has been asked any number of ways. It’s often asked in many different contexts, which in turn inspires many different answers. The implications are still the same.

Where have all the “good” men gone?

Now, I put “good” in quotation marks for a reason. I hope that reason becomes apparent soon enough because adding that qualifier to the question frames it as a blanket statement about an entire gender. As a man, who sees himself as “good” by most standards, I feel I have a personal stake in addressing this question. However, I suspect the answers I provide won’t go over well with certain women and even a few men.

Before I answer, it’s important to add a specific context to what makes a man “good.” When the question is often asked, it’s often done from the perspective of women seeking men for marriage. We no longer live in an era where women have their spouses chosen for them or must seek marriage as a means of survival. Despite what some regressive individuals may say, I believe that’s an objectively good thing.

The complications arise when we start to establish the criteria of what makes a “good” man worthy of marriage. Most people, regardless of gender, understand there’s a difference between the person you hook up with and the one you marry. Ideally, this is a person you want to share your life with, for better or for worse. This is someone you genuinely love and go out of your way for.

The primary reason why this question is being asked, namely by women seeking a male spouse, is because they’re having an increasingly difficult time finding someone who meets that criteria. It shows in the data. According to Pew Research, about half of the adult population in America is married, which marks significant decline compared to what it was 50 years ago.

There are many theories as to why this is occurring, some more offensively absurd than others. Even the not-so-absurd theories have become mired in gender politics, which has a tendency to denigrate everyone in the grand scheme of things. I certainly have mine and I don’t think the answers are simple. Every person is different. People are complicated, in general, and so are the societies they live in.

However, this question about “good” men frames the issue a problem ascribed to men. It implies that the issue has nothing to do with a the overall desire to seek long-term romantic bonds. Like I said before, humans are emotional creatures wired to seek romantic bonds. The problem is that the men worthy of such bonds just aren’t there anymore. That’s why women are asking the question to begin with.

As a man, who hopes to one day find someone to marry and love with all my heart, I can offer my take on the answer. Simply put, those good men exist. They’re just not where you’re looking to find them. Even if you are, you might not even realize that those men are good because you don’t give them a chance.

Now, I understand that answer is basic and simplistic. It’s the sentiment of one person who just happens to contemplate romance than most straight men are likely to admit. Everyone’s situation is different, but there is a bigger forest to see and my opinion is only one of those trees. To see that forest, it’s necessary to understand the question better.

Thankfully, there has been research done on this topic. According to a study done in the Journal of Marriage and Family, a major factor driving this question could be a combination of demographics and math. To understand how, this is how they compiled the data.

Focusing their analyses on single heterosexual women, the researchers used data from the American Community Survey (2008-2012; 2013-2017) to predict the likely characteristics of these women’s husbands if they had husbands and then compared those characteristics to what’s actually available in these single women’s dating pool. More specifically, the researchers generated “synthetic spouses” for the single women in their sample by first matching them with demographically similar women (e.g., same race, education, military status, income) who happened to be married. The “synthetic spouses” were designed to reflect the characteristics of the husbands of the similar-married women. Thus, assuming women of similar demographics are looking for similar characteristics in their partners, this method offers a starting point for documenting the characteristics single women might be looking for in a partner.

The long and short of it is simple. The women in the study had criteria for the kind of man they want to marry. However, when that criteria was applied to the male population, there was a significant disparity. Over half the male population was eliminated on the basis of income alone. Essentially, the supply of men who meet this standard for marriage is not sufficient to meet demand.

That’s not to say that it’s the fault of women for having standards that are too high, although I know some have made that argument. While I agree that there are some women who make wholly unreasonable expectations of men, I think they’re the minority. I would argue those changing standards have less to do with gender politics and more to do social and economic factors.

Both women and men are able to be more independent today than they were 50 to 100 years ago. A basic consequence of independence is that you can afford to elevate your standards. When you have the money, time, and resources, you’re less likely to settle for less. It’s the same reason why you willingly pay extra for a better phone or faster internet if you have the means.

A much bigger factor, in my opinion, has to do with the economics and imbalances in marriage. Over the past several decades, the wealth gap has grown and the ability to make a comfortable living, which the women in the study prioritize, is getting considerably difficult. For a man, especially if he doesn’t have a college degree, it’s getting harder and harder to meet those criteria.

At the same time, the investment in relationships has only grown. It’s no longer enough to be a steady, dependable partner. Along with our newfound independence, men and women alike seek something greater from their spouse. That something often requires money, time, and resources. Between student loan debt and the rising cost of living, those assets have become increasingly scarce.

On top of that, the price of failure has gone up considerably as well. While both parties suffer significant loss when a relationship or marriage fails, men tend to take a bigger hit from a material standpoint. Between alimony laws and child custody, men stand to lose a lot if they don’t measure up to the woman’s ideals of a good spouse.

None of this even attempts to factor in the effects of other trends in gender politics, such as the anti-harassment movement. The criteria for a “good” man doesn’t even matter if it becomes overly difficult to be intimate with someone without fear of being accused of something. Even without such complications, the underlying question still evokes troubling answers.

Those answers still aren’t complete. There are still going to be women out there who cannot find a suitable partner for reasons beyond her control. There will also be genuinely good men out there who struggle just as much to find a partner of their own. As a romantic, I believe love does inspire people to make these connections, even when we insist on making it more difficult.

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Five Places Where I’ll Likely Meet The Love Of My Life

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I’m a romantic at heart. Between the sexy stories I’ve written and the sexy topics I’ve discussed, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear. Love, in all its wondrous forms, is something worth pursuing, channeling, and embracing. It’s one of the few forces that can be as powerful in the real world as it is in fictional words.

It may be corny, but love is a wonderful thing. It’s easy to be cynical and jaded, especially if you’ve had your heart broken or been in one too many bad relationships. It’s just as easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all the joy and fulfillment it brings to your life. The hardest part is finding it, but finding it often requires vulnerability, dedication, and even a little blind luck.

At the moment, I’m single. I’ve been single for a number of years now, but I’m always on the lookout for love. I’ve tried online dating. It didn’t work for me. I’ve also tried having a family member set me up with someone. That didn’t work, either. I haven’t lost hope. I still believe that one day, I’ll find the love of my life. It’s just a matter of when and where.

While it’s impossible to predict the when, I know myself well enough to have a general idea of where I might find that special someone. Everyone in my family says it’ll happen when I least expect it, but a few have said I probably won’t be surprised where it happens.

With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to speculate on where that magical moment might happen for me. I know myself. I know where I hang out and where I tend to meet new friends. If I’m going to fall in love, it’s probably going to happen at a place like that.

Granted, I could be wrong. It could happen somewhere completely unexpected. Love is unpredictable and erratic like that. That’s part of what makes it so amazing. In terms of sheer probability, these are the locales where I’m most likely to meet the love of my life.


#1: A Comic Book Convention

This is probably the most obvious. I’ve been very transparent with my love of comic books and superhero movies. It’s also one that has a track record. I met my last girlfriend on an online comic book forum. Having a shared interest is a great catalyst for love and comic conventions are the epicenter of it all.

I’ve met good friends and a few cute girls at comic conventions. I’ve documented my trips to the New York Comic Con multiple times. I’ve every intention of attending the New York Comic Con this year and for years to come. If I’m going to fall in love, it’ll likely be with someone who shares the same interests.

Maybe they’ll be a cos-player dressing up as one of my favorite characters. Maybe they’ll be someone I’m sitting next to during a panel. Maybe they’ll just happen to be stuck in line with me, waiting to get an autograph from one of my favorite writers or celebrities. Comic conventions offer all sorts of opportunities for fans and lovers alike.

If I fall in love with someone, I’d like them to share my interest. If I meet the love of my life at a comic book convention, then that’ll only give us more reasons to go every year. I can’t think of a better way for a romance to blossom.


#2: A Football Game

Like comic conventions, football games are a perfect celebration of something I love. I’ve been a football fan all my life. During the season, I schedule every Sunday around watching games and cheering on my favorite teams. Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved watching football with my dad and siblings. I hope to make similar memories with the love of my life.

I don’t go to as many football games anymore, but when I do, I encounter women who are just as passionate about the game as any man. That can be difficult to find in other walks of life. Football is often seen as a male-centric interest, but that has been steadily changing in recent years.

As with comics, I believe I’ll fall in love with someone who shares my passions. If I find a woman who can drink, cuss, and cheer during games as much as me, I have a feeling we’ll share an amazing romance. Through hard losses and major victories, we can give each other yet another reason to look forward to football season. Love has that power, even for things you already love.


#3: A Book Store/Library

This might be a bit trickier with respect to finding love, but I think it’s possible for the same reason as comic conventions and football games. Book stores and libraries may not be big events or gatherings, but they’re where I go to celebrate and further my love for great stories. Whether it’s romance or sci-fi, book stores and libraries are almost a necessary hub for a guy like me.

I’m the kind of person who could spend an hour in a book store, sifting through everything from the latest comic books to cheesy romance novels. The people you meet aren’t always in the mood to talk, let alone fall in love. However, it’s a lot easier to strike up a conversation with someone, especially when they’re picking out the same books you enjoy.

One day, I could be hanging out in the graphic novel or romance section of a book store. Then, a woman could just show up, start looking at the same books as me, and that’s all it would take. If we happen to share the same passion for the same stories, then it could lead to sharing passions of other kinds. It can start small, but grow rapidly. Like all great romance, it takes a little spark to trigger a great love story.


#4: A Sports Bar

This one has similar factors to that of a football game and a comic book convention. It’s a gathering spot for events, albeit on a smaller scale. It’s not flashy or elaborate, but that’s exactly why I think it’s a good place for a guy like me to find love.

I love sports. I also love good food and good beer. I go to sports bars to do more than just drink and eat, though. I like to hang out, watch whatever game is on, and strike up random conversations with people. It’s a great experience that has helped me develop the social skills that I didn’t have in my youth.

In the same way I can talk for hours about sports and comics, I’d like to find a special someone who can share in those conversations. We can share a few beers, a batch of buffalo wings, and an extensive discussion about playoff scenarios and draft picks. If I’m going to fall in love someone, it’s probably going to happen with someone I love talking to.

Sports bars aren’t known for being romantic. As a date, it’s probably not the first place you want to go with your lover. In terms of meeting that lover, though, I think a sports bar is one of the places where our paths may first cross.


#5: A Strip Club

I know. I can already sense the judgement pouring in through certain corners of the internet. Yes, I’m aware that strip clubs have a dirty, lurid reputation. I know it’s not the first place anyone goes when looking for a spouse. I also know most strippers aren’t looking to find love. I don’t care. I think there’s plenty of room for romance.

Strippers, be they male or female, seek love just as much as anyone else. It may not be the kind of epic romance that inspires Shakespearean plays or chick flicks, but it can be just as sincere. As someone who appreciates nudity and celebrating sex appeal, I think I’d connect with women at a strip club.

I don’t deny that there would be unique challenges. I’m aware that most strippers only pretend to like the men who go to clubs so they can extract money for their company. It’s part of the job. There’s also life beyond the job. Sometimes, you connect with people in unexpected ways over the course of their work. That’s the entire premise behind workplace romances.

Whether the person I fall for is a stripper or just someone who works there, I can imagine something starting out as a simple exchange that blossoms into something unexpectedly. I’ve been in my share of strip clubs. The women who work there are as varied as the women you find any another occupation. If they appreciate nudity and all things sexy like I do, I can see that as being a good foundation for love.


For now, these places are just educated guesses. Whenever or wherever I meet the love of my life, I probably won’t realize it at first. When I do, I hope the moment is as special as the location. Romance can blossom in many different places. For certain people, some are just more fertile than others.

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Improving Your Love Life And Your Sex Life (With Sleep)

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Maintaining a healthy romance is a lot like pursuing good sex. There’s no one right way to do it that works for everyone, but there are any number of wrong ways that can fail spectacularly. I’ve shared a few personal stories about my love life and even offered some insights on how to improve romance in the world of fiction. When it comes to real world advice, though, I try to be careful.

I’m not a relationship expert or a licensed therapist. I’m an aspiring erotica/romance writer who shares weekly sexy thoughts and bemoans how love is portrayed in popular media. Sure, I’ll occasionally give my opinion on serious issues involving gender politics and trends in popular culture, but I try to avoid giving the impression that I’m qualified to give advice.

However, there are a number of things we can all do for our love lives, a sex lives, and everything in between that makes it better. There are personal experiences that demonstrate it and even scientific research that supports it. Some are just common sense, but anyone who is familiar with the Darwin Awards knows that’s not always sufficient.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer the wonderful readers of this site the simplest and easiest advice they’ll ever get. It’ll improve your relationship. It’ll enhance your sex life. It’ll make you feel better, overall. What is the magical method that does so much to help so many aspects of your personal life? It’s simple.

Get better sleep.

That’s it. That is a real, effective method for improving your relationships, be it with a long-time lover or a one-night stand in Las Vegas. There’s no need for expensive therapy. You don’t have to pay a guru or a life coach. For once, it really is that simple. Get better sleep and your love life will improve.

Now, in the interest of not sounding too obvious, there are some details here that are worth highlighting. In recent years, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep has been become more critical. A great deal of research has shown a long list of benefits that come with good sleep and an equally lengthy list of detriments for those who don’t get enough.

Good sleep helps you lose weight, alleviate illness, and recover from serious injuries. None of that is news to anyone, but I get the sense that people don’t appreciate the role sleep plays in a healthy romance and a good sex life. That role goes beyond work and afterglow, as well.

According to research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, poor sleep can disrupt your emotions and not just in terms of being groggy in the morning. Managing and regulating emotions is core component of any functional relationship. Even those who don’t mind melodrama are going to get burned out from someone who can’t figure out whether they’re stressed, miserable, or pissed off.

It even goes beyond messy emotional exchanges. That same study also showed a link between poor sleep and depression. Considering how depression tends to dull passion of any kind, romantic or otherwise, it’s understandable how it can undermine a relationship.

It’s even more understandable in terms of how it hurts your sex life. In addition to depression limiting your capacity to get in the mood, it also creates situations where people use sex as a band aid instead of a basic emotional expression. I’ve seen this happen before with friends and relatives. They try to use sex as an anti-depressant. It can offer temporary reprieve, but it does little to resolve any actual issues.

Then, there’s the simple logistics that a lack of sleep will create. If your lover is on a different sleep schedule than you, then that makes spending time together a chore because one of you is going to be groggy. Whether it’s due to work schedules or one person being a night owl, love can only do so much when a couple is rarely rested at the same time.

This goes beyond just being restless and buying overpriced lattes. A lack of sleep can actually cause damage to the brain. Sleep is supposed to be the time when your brain heals and refreshes itself after a long, arduous day. If it never gets a chance to heal, then that could impact everything from your memories to your emotions to your genitals.

Yes, a lack of sleep does have sexual side-effects. For men, it lowers testosterone, the magically masculine hormone that drives a significant part of the male libido. It effects men whether they’re gay, straight, bisexual, or trans. When your hormones are off, your sex life will suffer. It can even lead to erectile dysfunction, which is sure to compound that nasty mood I mentioned earlier.

Women experience a similar effect as well. On top of research showing that well-rested women tend to have more sex, a lack of sleep can make it significantly more difficult to achieve orgasm. At a time when women are already already dealing with an orgasm gap, this certainly doesn’t help. Even with adequate sleep, a lack of orgasms can hurt any relationship.

Again, a lot of this is common sense, but for those looking to improve or maintain their love lives, it may seem too common. It goes against the standard romantic narrative that two people in love always have to be doing something. They always have to be off going on adventures, working hard every hour of every day to stay in love, have great sex, and grow together.

While there’s certainly a place for that kind of effort in a relationship, it doesn’t have to come at the cost of a good night’s sleep. If anything, a couple sharing a restful night in bed together should count as an act of genuine romance. It doesn’t even have to come after sex or even involve nudity, although couples who sleep naked do enjoy added benefits.

Ideally, good sleep shouldn’t just be a byproduct of a quality romance. It should be part of the process. It could be as easy as communicating with your lover how much sleep you need, when to do it, and what helps you feel most rested. It may sound mundane, but these are little things that real loving couples often overlook.

One of my old college roommates actually got sleep down to a science. He and his girlfriend made a genuine effort to line up their sleep cycles so perfectly that I could pretty much set my watch to when they would turn in. It wasn’t always romantic, but I can’t argue with the results. They were together that entire semester and I rarely saw them in a bad mood.

Most people, whether they’re in a relationship or not, are willing to put in the work to make romance work. They’re just as willing to listen to gurus, pop pills, and read sexy stories to improve their sex lives as well. While I try to do my part with the sexy stories I tell, I think it’s ironic that just getting better sleep rarely comes to mind.

Even if it makes too much sense, it’s probably the easiest way for anyone to improve their relationship. We already know how to sleep. Most of us relish the opportunity to get more. If more sleep means better sex and quality romance, then it more than warrants a higher priority in our intimate efforts.

After all, a good lover is a well-rested lover.

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