Re: Hospitality

1

I would have auditory flashbacks of the clock's chimes for about two weeks after staying there. (My parents have a loud every-half-hour clock in their house; I can still hear it in my sleep sometimes.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:10 AM
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Sex with clocks is pretty unsatisfying in the best of circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:10 AM
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I love that this is what bothers you about the clock.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:11 AM
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I feel certain that your mother intends the clock to be exactly that sort of disincentive, you hussy.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:16 AM
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5

If it were a cuckoo clock this would be even better.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:18 AM
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hm. an epitome of the western race with time?
Neurotically,


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:31 AM
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How about the alarm clock at the beginning of this one?


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:47 AM
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I suspect that anxiety in question is not entirely theoretical.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:56 AM
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5: My mother has a cuckoo clock at her place that's loud enough to cause hearing damage. It causes performance anxiety no matter what the performance is supposed to be.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:01 AM
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You could also use it to ration your scarce resource.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:02 AM
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If it were an electric clock with an audible "yes, yes," would that be more inspiring?


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:20 AM
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Alternately, if there were a woman who shot out a bird out of her mouth that went "Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" when she came, would that be any more inspiring?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:24 AM
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From this week's Modern Love:

After my dreadful night of incessant calling, I woke up at 8 a.m. in a sweat-drenched lovesick panic, left my apartment and rode my Schwinn Cruiser to the flophouse's front door.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:28 AM
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Of course, the clock is only as inspiring as the person lying beside you.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:31 AM
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15

BONG


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:38 AM
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13: I don't even need to know the rest of the story: this line alone is a cry for euthanasia by baseball bat.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:47 AM
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Youth in Asia buy a baseball bat all the time. It's a popular sport there.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:49 AM
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18

By "guest room," of course Becks means "Skinner box."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:51 AM
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this is why god invented noisy fucks


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:54 AM
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i mean what the hell
he is hard to follow


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:18 AM
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7: WANT.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:02 AM
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I used to surreptitiously time myself in bed to make sure I'd lasted at least an hour before I came. Eventually I realized this could be annoying, but my internal clock had pretty much been set by then.


Posted by: WilliamHenryHarrison | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 4:06 PM
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23

I'd be curious to find out what the median duration is. An hour seems high to me, but maybe that's just me embarrassing myself.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 5:30 PM
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An hour at least? That's high. An hour is, like, special-occasion sex.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 5:32 PM
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22 through 24 should start a band. You can get that freaky lech from the NSYNC to be your impresario, get matching costumes, the whole works. Call it "TMI!" and sing songs like "Grandad's penis bends to the right!" and "I pee when I come".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 5:36 PM
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I'd be curious to find out what the median duration is.

When exactly does one start the clock?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 5:44 PM
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how exactly are we counting one 'sex.' male orgasm? breaks for doing something else? time bounded by non-nakedness? it ends when one has a smoke?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:05 PM
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28

This topic has come up before.

(A post and thread worth reading, if only for the phrases "time to finish up and progress to the Scrabble-playing portion of the evening" and "speaking as someone who can go for as long as the crowd keeps throwing money".


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:16 PM
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All the advice to give up on intercourse if the girl hasn't come in five minutes made me go cry in a corner for a while.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:24 PM
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30

Did that thread say that? Maybe I shouldn't reread it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:27 PM
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31

29: for how long?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:27 PM
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32

Not to start up old dumb arguments again, but what that thread and a lot of sex threads here take for granted is that PIV is something a dude does to a woman, or, occasionally, that a woman does to a man. Is it not obvious to us that there is a living person in bed with us who is responding to certain things and not others? Or who seems either really into it or sorta bored? I think it's perfectly reasonable to say, "I don't think I'm going to come right now" or whatever, just in case the gent is going on and on for your sake. But why would we want universal "rules of thumb" for duration? There is some sex that is really excellent and takes five minutes. There's also some sex that's mindblowing at two hours. Neither would be appropriate when one is in the mood for the other.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:41 PM
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33

From the study linked in the post:

In a four-week study of 1,587 men, researchers report that men who suffer from premature ejaculation (PE) had an average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) of 1.8 minutes, compared to 7.3 minutes in men who did not.

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:45 PM
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34

33: Thanks, Science!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:46 PM
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35

That is sort of shocking.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:48 PM
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7.3 minutes is sort of shocking.

32 is obviously right, but I don't know why it's an argument. People have been arguing over that?

From what I can tell from that old thread, people were attempting to make semi-global statements, which is mostly what strikes one as silly. Two people in the bed: they work it out as it goes.

This feels slightly lecturing or impatient. Sorry. Dinner time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:52 PM
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7.3 minutes is sort of shocking.

Shocking in which direction? 7.3 minutes doesn't sound shockingly long for uninterrupted PIV, but presumably there might be some related activities that ought to be figured in.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:55 PM
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I don't really get what's so shocking. But I wouldn't, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:58 PM
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39

I remember back in the old days the sexologists had everything carefully numerated. Normal number of times per week and per night, normal foreplay minutes, normal PIV minutes, normal afterplay minutes. You young folk seem to have missed out on the math involved in this shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 6:58 PM
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S/B:

7.3 minutes doesn't sound shockingly long short for uninterrupted PIV.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:01 PM
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37: Shockingly short, mrh.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:02 PM
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41: See 23.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:02 PM
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41: they didn't break out "crazy" vs. "not-crazy" in the linked study. Maybe that could explain the discrepancy.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:04 PM
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44

Two people in the bed: they work it out as it goes.

You just hit the road without a map? This is serious business! I plan.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:07 PM
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45

Shockingly short. As a general proposition.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:13 PM
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46

all this sex stuff
let's see whether i can cut the thread off
on crystallization


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:15 PM
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47

I remember back in the old days the sexologists had everything carefully numerated. Normal number of times per week and per night, normal foreplay minutes, normal PIV minutes, normal afterplay minutes. You young folk seem to have missed out on the math involved in this shit.

Yeah, Woody Allen's early stuff is good on this: "Foreplay ... foreplay ..." And thinking about baseball in order to prolong things.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:16 PM
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I think "shockingly short" is overstating it. To me, the word choice "shockingly" implies not enough time for both partners to have fun, extreme disappointment, and an uncomfortable squirm while you determine whether or not you need to talk about what just happened. I don't think 7.3 minutes quite falls into that category.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:20 PM
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Also, this is the average for all guys. The experiences of us single girls, where we're dating guys looking to impress and have plenty of time to spend the night as we please, are probably very different from a lot of "the kids are finally asleep, I'm exhausted, you know what works - just do that" sex going on out there.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:23 PM
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Okay, shocking in that I've only slept with one person who was anywhere near that range (usually under 10 minutes). And it was weird. Not, like, "ZOMG WHAT HAPPENED??" weird, but odd enough for me to not have any idea what to say or whether or how to bring it up.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:25 PM
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Shockingly short. As a general proposition.

If they actually observed these encounters more or less directly the finding is interesting; and if the observations are self-reports it's even more interesting because the expectation would be that men would tend to add time to their performance log.

Sexual scripts are subject to substantial variation over the life-course (and also show cohort effects, etc). Why should anyone be surprised or shocked that the median experience of some, e.g., young, single, childless, relatively affluent or upwardly-mobile urbanites, would skew very differently from other segments of the population? Think of it as an aspect of the phenomenon mentioned in the other thread -- "personality" as a structural feature of one part of the life-course.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:25 PM
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Well, beginning to end, 7.3 minutes seems like it ought to be on the low side of the median, but sometimes going longer isn't always better.

7.3 minutes of, you know, thrusting, amongst a longer period of other things doesn't sound too crazy to me, but I'm not usually keeping one eye on the clock. I guess, alas, AWB and I aren't meant to be.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:25 PM
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53

Well, Jeez, AWB, you only date psychos. Few of us can reach the standard they set for us.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:28 PM
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54

I'm not keeping an eye on the clock either, but I do notice if a guy tuckers out after a handful of minutes and either (a) assumes I'm not enjoying myself, despite evidence to the contrary, or (b) doesn't give a shit and really wants to go to sleep. On a first date?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:28 PM
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Again, AWB, these are all couples (and, I'm assuming to be included in this study, likely more heavily skewed towards married and older couples). I bet Mr. Smith, who has been married for 20 years, is putting on far less of a show than someone on a first date.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:31 PM
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I think "shockingly short" is overstating it.

You're right, and I almost immediately amended that. Should have.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:31 PM
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I do notice if a guy tuckers out after a handful of minutes and either (a) assumes I'm not enjoying myself, despite evidence to the contrary, or (b) doesn't give a shit and really wants to go to sleep. On a first date?

Obviously given the segment you're in, this kind of behavior isn't part of the script. But for one thing the study looked at couples, and then presumably a proper sample of them. To be honest, it's kind of amusing to hear people who spend so much time thinking and writing about sexual norms and their own sexual lives -- usually in a very highly refined, reflexive, mode of discourse -- suddenly go all shocked when presented with some population data on the median mundane sexual experience.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:33 PM
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I keep getting pwned by Becks. It's only because I can sustain a paragraph for longer.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:34 PM
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Well, the "median mundane sexual experience" is outside of my purview, I guess. So yeah, it's shocking. But it's reasonable that it's shocking.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:35 PM
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Why should anyone be surprised or shocked that the median experience of some, e.g., young, single, childless, relatively affluent or upwardly-mobile urbanites, would skew very differently from other segments of the population?

Ah, oh. This with Becks' 55 tells me: I didn't read the link to the study. Apologies again.

As for first date behavior: I wouldn't expect longevity there either.

Damn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:40 PM
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61

Where by "damn" I mean that I'm embarrassed for mouthing off.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:42 PM
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62

I'd put that number closer to the quicky category too --- but really, there should be (I'm sure someone has mentioned this) at least that breakdown. There is hurried sex and relaxed sex and many other sorts, but short is not necessarily a bad thing. If you decide to derail the morning routine it can be a lot of fun, but you may be really squeezed for time. Lot's of other possibilities.

I guess there is a lot of demographic smearing of the data too. I've been really surprised talking to friends sometimes, openly enough to reveal something that makes it clear your sex life isn't anything like theirs.

Anyway, it seems like there are far, far too many different demographic and situational issues for a mean or median number to mean that much.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:43 PM
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63

Many of us are very busy and have to budget our time...... laydeez.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:44 PM
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64

People with PE get no love.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:45 PM
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65

Many of us are very busy and have to budget our time...... laydeez.

How long before there are time management coaches for this kind of thing? Or maybe there already are.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:48 PM
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65: What, you've never put 1pm-2pm: sex in your schedule?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:50 PM
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Well, the "median mundane sexual experience" is outside of my purview, I guess. So yeah, it's shocking. But it's reasonable that it's shocking.

No, it's not. Look, nothing personal -- obviously this yours is a common reaction in this thread -- but this is really quite funny. It's like the mirror image of boring middle-aged people being appalled at hearing about what the promiscuous urban singletons get up to. The main difference is that the presently shocked brigade have access to a highly elaborated discourse about gender roles and sexuality, which should really have helped them out a bit more here.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:50 PM
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64: No, they just don't get it for very long


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:52 PM
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likely more heavily skewed towards married and older couples

So married couples who don't have sex skew which way? Zero, or infinity?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:53 PM
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You may say either.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:54 PM
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this is really quite funny

I wonder it's age-related or social-group-homogenity. Do people tend to get a more varied understanding of how sex plays out (as soup describes in 62) just by getting older, or is it a function of how much their social circle is just like them?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:55 PM
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72

So is this 7.3 number normalized by sex act, or couple?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:55 PM
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73

It's not like only men have to budget their time. Many women need to learn to get the job done more efficiently than some people here that I won't name. (In addition to learning to maximize the take on their scarce resource.)

Paging Steven Levitt and Gary Becker! There should be an equation describing laydeez' combined maximization of their cake-selling returns and subjective PIV-receiving OMG benefits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:56 PM
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Hrm. The thread linked in 28 reminds me why I shouldn't pontificate about sex. But seriously, most people either check their watches more than I do or have a much more accurate sense of elapsed time when they're absorbed in something interesting. I'd have to be deliberately timing things to have much of a sense for how long sex usually takes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:57 PM
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75

Gary Becker has a very nice edition of The Wealth of Nations in his office.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:58 PM
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71: I'd guess homogeneity is more important. I figured this out pretty young (that things were very different for different people), but I've probably been in an unusual number \& variety of social groups. Helped that some of them were pretty open about sex.

Of course, some of it may come from personal experience. But we already know that is wildly varied in terms of number of partners, and it's also probably varied by homogeneity of partners, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:58 PM
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77

Note to Buck: install ceiling clock in bedroom.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:58 PM
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78

but you may be really squeezed for time.

That's what she said!

To the orange!

That was full of time!

On a... on a hot dog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 7:59 PM
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74: The only reason I have any gut feel for it is due to `crap, look at the time we're going to be late!' reasons, or `(looks at watch) we've got X long, wanna get naked?' ones. Does this not happen to many people? I can't recall ever having intentionally noticed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:00 PM
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74: oh, LB, you were great in that thread. Really, the best ever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:00 PM
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76: You've also got to figure that braggadocio is going to skew results. Even among a young, single, lots of sex-having crowd, people are probably going to talk more about the great sex they had than the mediocre or lousy sex they had, and are going to spruce even mostly true stories up a little. Five-minute sex acts don't make great conversation with your friends the next day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:01 PM
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73: Now it's cake? I thought it was pie. They're very different, as you know.

LB makes an important point. A study of people's perceptions of elapsed time during/after sex would be fascinating. I would be surprised and disappointed if such a study has not been done.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:01 PM
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83

81: the archives say you're wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:02 PM
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84

I'd guess homogeneity is more important.

This was very much my sense, in part from having heard conversations where people's notion of what's "normal" seemed extremely rigid. But I think I'm biased, so I'm interested in hearing other perspectives.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:03 PM
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Gonerill, I love ya, but the presently shocked brigade in this thread sounds like me and AWB, and I took it back, man, I took it back! I'm old and varied enough to know better.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:03 PM
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81: Damn, LB --- I always thought five minutes upside down on a flaming trapeze was pretty impressive.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:05 PM
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I wonder it's age-related or social-group-homogenity. Do people tend to get a more varied understanding of how sex plays out (as soup describes in 62) just by getting older, or is it a function of how much their social circle is just like them?

Age-effects are probably pretty important: the life-course is a very powerful set of interlocking institutions, so much so that we experience aspects of it either as a rationalized choice, simple destiny or biological fact. Sometimes people have to witness themselves and their cohort going through a few such patterned events (college, marriage, children, career, etc, etc) before becoming reflective about it. Of course one can reject life-course demands and make one's own way, but this is often itself a kind of role and in any event by definition removed from mean experience.

Ingroup homophily is typically high whatever the group: even when the group's self-identity is difference in type or variety in experience, the people one encounters will still be narrow on other dimensions.

There's also access to this information via research studies, but no-one believes them.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:05 PM
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Gonerill, I love ya, but the presently shocked brigade in this thread sounds like me and AWB,

OK, I'm just not wanting to pick a personal fight with anyone.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:06 PM
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,i>A study of people's perceptions of elapsed time during/after sex would be fascinating.

Oooh, you know what else would be interesting? If there were a way to assess whether both partners marked the same beginning and ending times for the same sexual interaction. In other words, whether they were defining "sex" as the same thing, or whether one of them was hitting start when the kissing started, and the other one when the clothes started to come off.

I dunno. Impossible to measure reliably, fun to speculate about.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:06 PM
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Grrrr, html typos. Imagine that the first bit is in italics.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:07 PM
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87: keep going, baby. All night. Yeah, ingroup homophily, that's right. Do it like you're tenured.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:07 PM
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84: The last time I was really surprised about any of this stuff was when I asked someone how on earth they were so certain about the times their two children (couple years apart) were conceived.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:07 PM
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93

i dated a guy in college who wanted to have sex three times a day and took over an hour of getting down to business after foreplay to come. i had to tell him that there wasn't enough time in the day for me to do this along with studying and going to class and working and he either needed to speed things up or masturbate instead of some of the sex. he did not take this well.


Posted by: Abigail Adams | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:07 PM
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There's also access to this information via research studies, but no-one believes them.

Wait, this seems interesting, but I don't know what you mean. What is "this information"?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:08 PM
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wanted to have sex three times a day and took over an hour of getting down to business after foreplay to come

In societies with a sufficiently advanced division of labor, everything can become a specialization, and also a hobby. It's just a question of being able to eat and pay the rent besides.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:10 PM
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What is "this information"?

I just meant the secret file on your sex life stuff like the survey quoted above: population data on sexual practices.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:11 PM
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93: abby that's how you know he doesn't have a secret girlfriend. If only there had been a way for you to swap out for a realdoll doppelgänger you'd've had the perfect, uh, sex slave, I guess. Okay, maybe not such a hot plan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:11 PM
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93 reminds me of my last college relationship. Disastrous for my studies, but man, was I in great shape.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:12 PM
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Datum: I used to be in the 7.3 minute crowd when I was 15-17. Had a survey team approached me, I would have lied my ass off.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:12 PM
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99: what if they were kind of ugly?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:13 PM
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96: Oh. You're right; I don't believe them. Or at least none of the ones I've read where you could actually see the methodology.

No -- I take it back -- there was a CDC study where I thought they had gone to excellent lengths to get clear (private) data. I think all of the mainstream discussion about it was about # of partners, but it was more interesting than that. But that was pretty much the only one. The rest often seem like window dressing for the researchers' (or their funders') prejudices. Blech.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:14 PM
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On the upside for this guy, he probably had a future in film.

I've know people like this, both male and female (more commonly the latter). It either seems to strain relationships, or make people think it isn't worth the bother.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:14 PM
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Wouldn't the results be more accurate if people were asked how long their partners took? Because, you know, that would be objective and not subjective.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:15 PM
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102 -> 93

99: nobody would ask 15-17olds to self-report sex data and believe them.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:16 PM
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100: All my high school girlfriends were beautiful, and if you imply otherwise, I will shoot you. Over the course of an hour.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:17 PM
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103: How would they know what their parters were like with others?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:17 PM
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Though actually, wiring up a room on a no-tell by-the-hour hotel is about the only practical way to get a lot of hard data.

It would have to be a scrupulously amateur motel, so that professionals' billing schedules didn't skew the data.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:17 PM
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Gonerill's trying to undermine free will and individual agency with his talk of cohorts and patterns and ingroup homophily and who knows what sort of sociological nonsense. Next he'll be going after "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I demand an online review of his course syllabi.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:18 PM
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88: I'm just not wanting to pick a personal fight with anyone.

No, you made me listen to myself. This place is a sounding board for off statements.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:18 PM
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107: Even then your data is horribly skewed; hard to assume illicit trysts in seed motels is a good population proxy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:19 PM
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104: If I had similar results to report today, I'm not sure that I'd be much more truthful.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:19 PM
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105: "partners with them". Just actually-observed behavior, not generalizations.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:19 PM
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107: Emerson! Emerson! Wake up! It was all a dream. A beautiful, beautiful dream.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:19 PM
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110: Worked for Kinsey.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:20 PM
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106: It's ok, Sifu doesn't disbelieve their beauty (that would be crass). He just disbelieves you slept with any of them in high school.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:20 PM
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You really couldn't do a survey of prostitutes about their clients' performance, because their time is worth too much for them to fuck around with surveys. They're not like college kids you can hire for $25. They're pie-maximizers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:23 PM
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111: why would you be untruthful about any of this stuff? Particularly semi anonymously? I really don't get it.

I mean, I understand not wanting to talk about it, or own up to something. That leads to a presidential veil or just being quiet. But making things up doesn't make sense.

Unless it's funny.

Or were you meaning for a survey? Why would you lie to a survey? To game the results?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:23 PM
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hard to assume illicit trysts in seed motels is a good population proxy.

Easy! Study Japanese "love hotels."*

*This post is a joke.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:24 PM
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Geez, I meant what if the survey team was kind of ugly. I'm sure you only slept with the most delicate flowers/hunkiest quarterbacks/best-manicured hand-models/most adorable puppies in high school, foolishmortal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:24 PM
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108: I always question the accuracy of statements like Gonerills, but then again I know that this is an area that my own experience is quite unusual, so I don't know that I have a good feel for it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:26 PM
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why would you be untruthful about any of this stuff? Particularly semi anonymously?

Seriously? People are already untruthful to themselves all the time, particularly about sexual topics. (We had a whole thread on # of partners and the mental tricks one can play.)

Also, there is a strong social bias not to say "I don't know" to surveyors. I suspect a lot of us are in LB's shoes (74, 79) and have no real sense of how much time passes. But I bet folks would lie (or convince themselves they were making an accurate estimate) if confronted with a survey.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:26 PM
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121: I guess I read that as intentionally dishonest, rather than unintentionally. I'm sure you might not actually be accurate, I'm just not sure why you would try not to be.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:29 PM
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108: I always question the accuracy of statements like Gonerills, but then again I know that this is an area that my own experience is quite unusual, so I don't know that I have a good feel for it.

Well, I ain't sayin' I'm right about everything. And, you know, my statements are probably merely the product of burning anger at my own interpersonal inadequacies. Actually, my whole career is likely a product of this. No wonder I make so much money.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:31 PM
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120: Yes, I think Gonerill's 87.2 is generally very accurate, but for a handful* of people, it's almost amusingly not true.

(*300 million people in the US; handful = significantly less than a million)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:31 PM
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(*300 million people in the US; handful = significantly less than a million)

Social systems have strong tendencies, but are inevitably pretty messy even at the best of times. This is just as well.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:35 PM
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Gonerill: I meant in particular the strength of age and (more so) in-group effects. I do think there are certain parallels in experience that exert quite a bit of pressure.

Since I've moved a fair bit and moved groups drastically and often, I know my experience of group homogeneity is atypical. So I wonder.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:35 PM
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121: a lot of us are in LB's shoes

And I'd really like you all to quit that and get your own shoes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:36 PM
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Most of us will only spend 7 to 8 minutes in your shoes, LB.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:37 PM
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A few might need them for hours, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:38 PM
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Days, even. Probably take them on a bike ride and everything.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:39 PM
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My guess (from the guy point of view) would be that there's an elusive sweet spot in there where ladies can afford to give away pie but aren't so harried by work that they have to get the job done in a hurry.

Most guys are willing to give away pie, of whatever quality, but the hurry can be a major factor, and there are guys that try to capitalize their pie.

After liberation everyone will equally have free pie and lots of time. Scarcity will be but a horrible memory.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:40 PM
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It's funny. I have a fairly good gossip-based sense of friends' sexual experiences from single friends, and from back in my twenties. Couples I know who I didn't know when they were single, I mostly don't talk about their sex lives - the perceived risk of finding out things I don't want to know (there's something fundamentally dissatisfying or unhappy going on or not going on) seems too high.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:41 PM
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127, etc.; I know there is a galoshes joke in there, but I can't find it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:41 PM
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My niece has been a fetishist since age three. She wants to be in everyone's shoes at least once.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:41 PM
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Listen, it's not like I'm bragging. Obviously the life of a young single woman who doesn't maintain relationships well is a skewed sample, but while it may mean way longer bouts of intercourse or whatever, it also means one goes months and months worrying about it and trying to get it, and so 7.3 is going to be disappointing if it happens because, fuck, I hunted six months for 7.3 minutes of mediocre poking? If you're married, you might not have all-night romps very often, but at least you know where it's coming from and that sex will always be at least a possibility during a given day. That's all I'm saying, is that it's a trade-off. You have security and love and 7.3 minutes pretty regularly; I have an empty apartment, some vaguely pornographic eighteenth-century novels, and the possibility of maybe getting wicked laid at some point in the future by a complete stranger.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:43 PM
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And I'd really like you all to quit that and get your own shoes.

But we can't really know you, LB, until we've walked a mile in your shoes. In the meanwhile, surely you can wear boots or slippers?


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:44 PM
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Think of it as an aspect of the phenomenon mentioned in the other thread -- "personality" as a structural feature of one part of the life-course.

I think we're calling this 'mental whateverness' now.

As far as the survey goes, the average number I had heard was around eight minutes. If that includes the whole population, from tired married people* to teenaged boys with hair-trigger cocks, that doesn't seem so surprising.

*n.b. not us, yet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:46 PM
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But we can't really know you, LB, until we've walked a mile in your shoes

Now the positions are reversed! I can definitely run a mile in less than 7.3 minutes.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:47 PM
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132: I suspect this is common. With good friends you sometimes find out things you wouldn't have ever asked about --- after the relationship ends. This is still true of marriages, but the turnover is slower than when most of your friends are single, I suspect. I've found there is a bit of `my god, you wouldn't believe how little sex we have now' from friends who've recently had kids, but this is offered in a way that makes clear they would both be up for it, if only they were getting enough sleep/had enough time, etc. It's rarer for people to just up and tell you they haven't slept with their partner at all this year, or whatever, even if you really know them quite well.

I have a habit of unintentionally collecting stories though. Not about this, about everything. People tell me the damndest things without me ever asking. So I've had a fair number of the latter sort of revelations, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:48 PM
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I bet 7.3 minutes uninterrupted generally gets extended in practice because of interrumptus to changus postionus, etc. I think changing positions would restart the clock a little bit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:48 PM
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When borrowing shoes, one should take care to wear peds and/or overshoes. And I don't care if Witt pwned me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:49 PM
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I think changing positions would restart the clock a little bit.

Yeah, like if you had to drive back to Connecticut or something.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:49 PM
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interrumptus

is excellent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:50 PM
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132: I suspect this is common. With good friends you sometimes find out things you wouldn't have ever asked about --- after the relationship ends. This is still true of marriages, but the turnover is slower than when most of your friends are single, I suspect.

There's also all the tedious talking about sex during one's college and early post-college years; a subset of all the tedious talking about everything during this period.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:51 PM
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I bet this:

People tell me the damndest things without me ever asking.

is partially a result of this:

I've probably been in an unusual number \& variety of social groups.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:54 PM
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I bet this:

People tell me the damndest things without me ever asking.

is partially a result of this:

I've probably been in an unusual number \& variety of social groups.

I know I'm such the disciplinary bore, but anyway, this.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:55 PM
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a subset of all the tedious talking about everything during this period.

People stop tediously talking about everything after the early post-college years? Who knew?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:57 PM
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Translation of 135 into 18th-century terms:

Men, some to Bus'ness, some to Pleasure take;
But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:
Men, some to Quiet, some to public Strife;
But ev'ry Lady would be Queen for life

Seriously, AWB, you can't say that Dr. Johnson didn't warn you. Those pervy novels will inflame your passions and raise your expectations, ...and then there you are, all alone in your reading closet,... or perhaps in a comment thread at unfogged.

Gonerill in 138 is trying to skew the data.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:59 PM
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The relevant bit: "With the objectivity of the stranger is connected, also, the phenomenon touched upon above, although it is chiefly (but not exclusively) true of the stranger who moves on. This is the fact that he often receives the most surprising openness --- confidences which sometimes have the character of a confessional and which would be carefully withheld from a more closely related person. ..."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:59 PM
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144: While I'd guess this wrings true for many who post/read here, if we're seriously talking about population statistics it's more than a bit of a jump to assume college, let alone the typical free time for navel gazing (I think you allude to) during it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:00 PM
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My friends were always on the discrete side of normal, but even that gossip/note-comparing seemed to disappear once they married unless there was a problem they were worried about. Kingdom of twoiness, or maybe just not getting laid enough to want to compare.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:00 PM
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Whatevs. It's not like I chose to be this way. Life would be a lot easier if I were the kind of person who was happy to settle down, but I'm not, and I have to make the best of it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:01 PM
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You don't think you'd be happy to settle down if you met someone sufficiently quality?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:02 PM
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Aieeee. This is going to give me a complex. I'm pretty young, not worn out by children, etc., and I think the only times I last longer than 5 minutes lately are when something isn't right and I'm not going to climax at all (which has its own virtues as far as my partner is concerned, but fails the test we've previously discussed that this should be fun, and not something one is doing purely to impress/get off the other person).

A second time in the same session is better, similarly if my partner's gotten me off beforehand, but she doesn't seem to be into anything other than PIV these days, and we both usually fall asleep after the first round.


Posted by: Chester A. Arthur | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:02 PM
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`wrings' ? `wrings' ??? wtf? I must be sleepy.

I ban myself for the evening.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:02 PM
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152 to 148


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:02 PM
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am i a trigger or what
i wish you all just change the topic


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:03 PM
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I think I meant "discreet." Leftover-tryptophan-induced typosis.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:03 PM
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153: No. Not at all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:03 PM
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159: How come? (I imagine that's a loaded question that you've patiently explained elsewhere.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:04 PM
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interrumptus
is excellent.

Please allow me to once again plug my preferred neologism for coitus interruptus, "aposiopenis". Thank you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:04 PM
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The 7 or 8 or whatever minutes is only measuring sheer PIV uninterrupted thrusting time, right? I know I have a relatively quick trigger and also like to spend a fair amount of my sex time on the buildup, and I've never actually timed myself, but it doesn't seem all that nutty to me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:05 PM
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AWB doesn't seem that unusual compared to various women I've known, and I suspect that in Europe she'd be still less unusual.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:05 PM
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153: Have you considered the possibility of sort-of settling down with someone else who doesn't settle down? This can work surprisingly well.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:05 PM
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160: Just not for me. I have been trying to figure it out myself for a long time, and relationships make me depressed. The only way I've been able to tolerate them at all is if they're with someone who's completely unpredictable, hopefully in a way I find safe, like with Max. But even then, I was so so relieved (though upset) when he broke up with me. It's like the sky never being light enough or something.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:06 PM
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Damn, 164 was to 159 of course. And I was already self-banned. The shame.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:06 PM
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AWB, you sound sad. I wish I could give you a cookie. That turned into sex. Don't be sad!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:07 PM
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152 and 135:

AWB, you're not that unusual. Really, it's not that unusual.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:08 PM
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Damn. I wish I could give everybody a cookie that turned into sex.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:09 PM
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At what point in eating the cookie does it undergo this transformation?

I assume that it doesn't do so until at least some has been eaten because otherwise, what's the point of its being a cookie?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:11 PM
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Whenever you want it to. It's a good cookie. If 7.3 minutes is your game, the cookie can do it!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:11 PM
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164: I'm really okay with not doing so. It's not like I have low self-esteem and couldn't bear to inflict myself on someone; it's not like that. I just really fucking hate relationships, even good ones. And it's not a polyamory thing, as my PA friend continually suggests, because it's not like I feel sexually hampered with one person. It's really the emotional claustrophobia that kills me. Even if I only see that person every so often, and we've agreed not to move in or talk every day, I just get depressed and anxious about my privacy. I suppose I might change one day, but mostly I think it's best if I learn to accept myself for who I am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:11 PM
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119: My high school didn't even have quarterbacks.

254: Tell your doctor you're horribly depressed (hint:become horribly depressed) and demand Paxil. A sufficient dose thereof will leave you entirely unable to orgasm. Problem fixed! (middling doses will fix PE).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:12 PM
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mostly I think it's best if I learn to accept myself for who I am.

One hears this a lot in recent times. But what if who one is sucks?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:12 PM
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165: This is about the scar on your forehead, isn't it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:12 PM
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Not that I think that about AWB in particular.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:13 PM
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144: While I'd guess this wrings true for many who post/read here, if we're seriously talking about population statistics it's more than a bit of a jump to assume college, let alone the typical free time for navel gazing (I think you allude to) during it.

Nah, in that case I was just being cynical. In my defense, the context was LB was talking about her college/post college friends etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:13 PM
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I'm not sad, Cala, but thanks for the cookie! Okay, I'm a little sad, but mostly because I keep waiting to grow out of my childhood stuff and wake up normal one day, because that would make life a lot easier. But I think that's not going to happen. And negotiating around my own damn self is a lot more work than it would be if it were just about "meeting the right person."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:14 PM
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154: This thread shouldn't give you a complex. IME, your problem isn't uncommon. Besides, everyone here is rich, beautiful, hung and/or stacked, and 47 and balding, so this should be the last place to get a complex.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:14 PM
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173: I can't wait for 254. Where's arthegall? He loves these.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:15 PM
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Consider the quotations from I'm Not Stiller I posted at my blog recently. Stiller, arguably, kind of sucked.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:15 PM
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foolishmortal, is there some reason you would have President Arthur lie to his doctor? Lying to your doctor is probably not the best long-term strategy.

I assume that there are treatments which are targeted specifically at PE and related. Maybe one of them actually is Paxil in some off-label capacity. But why lie?


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:16 PM
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174: Who everyone is sucks, which is kind of awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:16 PM
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172: Gotcha. And it's totally ok to be ok with this. I never thought I would, but sort of fell into it long after I'd given up on the idea.

Accepting yourself is always a good thing. Which isn't the same as not wanting change, of course.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:17 PM
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(I've noticed that every time I mention waste specifically, people click over. Since my sexual performance is directly linked to blog traffic, I intend to take full advantage of this phenomenon.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:17 PM
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I just really fucking hate relationships, even good ones.
I don't have to remind you all up with whom you should be trying to hook AWB.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:18 PM
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Where is arthegall lately?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:18 PM
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Since my sexual performance is directly linked to blog traffic

This is the Benthamite model, right?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:18 PM
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TIP: Don't listen to Dead Raven Choir if you're tired and headachy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:18 PM
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Well, maybe not a complex. And maybe it's not even a "problem". But it's always kind of depressing to realize you're a standard deviation or so below the mean. I will go and console myself, Scrooge McDuck style, with my above-median salary and net worth, or some shiny electronic gizmos imported from China.


Posted by: Chester A. Arthur | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:19 PM
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I don't have to remind you all up with whom you should be trying to hook AWB.

mcmanus?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:19 PM
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Godot?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:22 PM
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At what point in eating the cookie does it undergo this transformation?

When it's consecrated, I'm guessing.

I think this means AWB needs a priest.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:24 PM
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Go-bots?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:24 PM
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Dominus nabisco!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:24 PM
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195: Very cute.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:25 PM
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182: I'm not aware of any treatments for PE, no. If there are, so much the better. Lying to one's real doctor is not indicated, but getting him to refer you to a specialist to get access to drugs that you know you need is a time honored practice. To my knowledge, the PE-canceling properties of Paroxetine are listed as side effects. I'm sure if someone called up Glaxo-Smith-CKlein or whoever with this info the price of Paxil would triple, but until such a time we are reduced to ad hoc prescription.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:26 PM
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I assume that there are treatments which are targeted specifically at PE and related.

Whenever this question would come up on Loveline, the answer was invariably, "Have more sex. (Or masturbate, if your partner's not available.)"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:29 PM
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A friend's experience with Paxil was that he was unable to get or maintain an erection. No PE, but not in a direction that helped. YMMV, but just be honest with the doctor should you choose to see one. You won't be the weirdest thing they've seen.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:29 PM
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I remember seeing a PE product in the drug store called "MANDELAY" which is not quite as good as MANDOM, but nearly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:30 PM
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I'd like to thank redfox for 162.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:30 PM
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To my knowledge, the PE-canceling properties of Paroxetine are listed as side effects. I'm sure if someone called up Glaxo-Smith-CKlein or whoever with this info the price of Paxil would triple,

I bet that if it's listed as a side-effect, the manufacturer of the drug already knows it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:31 PM
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This isn't that mean, but it's no longer the type of thing I'd get a kick out of.

At any rate, in college, my friend was dating a guy who'd have false starts all the time. We told her that if she could get him to come in his pants, we'd buy her a steak dinner. (It did not quite happen.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:33 PM
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201: I typed both "My pleasure!" and "Any time!" first, but I think I'll stick with "You're very welcome." Really, though, once you start thinking double-entendrishly, anything in this genre of response is going to sound racy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:33 PM
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Thank you, come again!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:34 PM
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This isn't that mean

Sounds mean to me.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:34 PM
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Is PIV really the goofy anatomically correct euphemism I think it is? Or am I missing something?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:35 PM
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PENIS IN your VAGINA, baby!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:35 PM
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Sounds mean to me.

It is mean. But the word "that" was in italics because it's not that mean.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:35 PM
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Which mean is it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:36 PM
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AWB is probably not unusual, if unusually honest/clear-sighted.

What's unusual (historically unprecedented, even) is the notion that one should make of one's life A Project, a fabulous and unique piece of life-art, and expect to find an equally fabulous and unique life-partner who will contribute to the unique fabulosity of one's own experiment in living, but without asking too much in return.

It was existentially a whole lot easier when we were but peasants, who didn't ask for much beyond a bare subsistence, even if, in material terms, low expectations left us vulnerable to war and pestilence and famine and shit.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:36 PM
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For that matter, which mean isn't it? I can't see your ostension.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:37 PM
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There still are peasants, you know. They're just not us anymore.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:38 PM
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It was existentially a whole lot easier when we were but peasants, who didn't ask for much beyond a bare subsistence, even if, in material terms, low expectations left us vulnerable to war and pestilence and famine and shit.

[here we put in that one bit from Science as Vocation]


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:38 PM
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We have met the peasant, and he is us.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:39 PM
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Which mean is it? For that matter, which mean isn't it? I can't see your ostension.

Uh...I don't know what I'm being asked.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:39 PM
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There are meaner things to be. This was mean, but others are meaner.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:41 PM
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We have met the peasant, and he is us.

Totally misread this as "pheasant."


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:41 PM
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We have et the pheasant.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:42 PM
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We have et the pheasant.

And he was scrumptious.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:43 PM
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Well heebie, I'm only too happy to explain. You said that your action "wasn't that mean". My question, then, is, if it wasn't that mean, which mean was it? Similarly, had you said of a book you were looking for that it wasn't that book (gesturing to The Art of Computer Programming as you spoke), one might ask in response, which book is it?

Further, since I am not close enough to you to see what mean you might have been pointing at when you said of your action that it wasn't that mean, I have also asked you to identify in some other way the mean which your action wasn't.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:45 PM
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Teo is a cannibal. See, the racists were right!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:46 PM
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And he was scrumptious.

Yay.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:48 PM
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My eyebrows are knitted in perplexity, but they're not that knitted. Why was I reading a book on computer programming?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:48 PM
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Also, 199: Fine. If it doesn't work for you, then stop. PE, however sucked. It cuts you off from like 90+% of sex. Compared to that, I don't give a shit about medical ethics.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:53 PM
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There are other knitteds? This is all very complicated.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:54 PM
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My question, then, is, if it wasn't that mean, which mean was it?

It was the mean of making jokes about a friend's boyfriend, as opposed to the truly unforgivable mean of being a pedantic twit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:54 PM
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OK, first of all, was it really a mean at all? Couldn't it have been a median or a mode?

But if so, which median or mode?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:55 PM
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211:

if unusually honest/clear-sighted

?

No, a number of people could say such things. Probably not quite with the same framing.

What's unusual (historically unprecedented, even) is the notion that one should make of one's life A Project, a fabulous and unique piece of life-art, and expect to find an equally fabulous and unique life-partner who will contribute to the unique fabulosity of one's own experiment in living, but without asking too much in return.

?

This is a historical remark? Just that people did not used to try for such things? True enough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:56 PM
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There are other knitteds? This is all very complicated.

I'm pointing as hard as I can. With my eyebrows. To a vernicious knit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:57 PM
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Was she really being a pedantic twit? Jesus. At least she wasn't making jokes about a friend's boyfriend,


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:58 PM
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It was a joke, B.. A slightly-below-the-mean joke. About Heebie's earlier mean, but not that mean joke. [Should I comment on B's sense of humor? Probably not, that would be ..... unusually..... unpleasant]


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:59 PM
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Why was I reading a book on computer programming?

You weren't, remember? It wasn't that book you were seeking.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:59 PM
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?


?

??


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 9:59 PM
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It's a good thing there are no pedantic twits around here.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:00 PM
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Yes, isn't it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:01 PM
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No pursing of lips, now, please.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:02 PM
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You can't make a lip purse from a sawzall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:04 PM
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When the wind is southerly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:06 PM
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No, Ben, I imagine you can't.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:06 PM
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Ew, what's that lip purse doing to that hamburger helper glove?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:09 PM
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Let us work to extract the maximum of animosity out of the least possible raw material! Let us make a Great Leap Forward!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:09 PM
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Let us strive diligently and spare no sacrifice!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:11 PM
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The question is, what kind of proof of sanity is being able to tell a hawk from a handsaw?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:12 PM
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Animosity?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:12 PM
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That book really isn't so much about computer programming, either.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:12 PM
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?
??
?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:13 PM
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247 pwnd by 234


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:15 PM
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And neither is the Hamburger Helper much about pleasure. It is a poor craftsman that blames his tools.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:16 PM
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247 pwnd by 234

A careful read, Ben, will reveal AWB's unique take on the subject.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:19 PM
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244: The latter is normally ready-to-hand. No, I don't know what the difference has to do with sanity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:21 PM
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247 pwnd by 234 up to permutation of line order, then.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:21 PM
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that's a slippery slope, ben


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:22 PM
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Your mom is a slippery slope.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:24 PM
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This is a historical remark? Just that people did not used to try for such things? True enough.

It is indeed a historical remark. But no, it's not just to say that once upon a time people did not used to try for such things, which now pass as both normal and normative, as if their own habits and practices could just be defined as so many deviations from the currently-defined norm, which would define said people as always and already behind, in terms of the putative norm. As if there were such a thing as progress in the unfolding of historical time, and as if we now stood, unquestionably and unproblematically, at its apex. Ha!

Which, I'm sorry, but fuck no. The unexamined triumphalism of the present age is a bit of pet peeve of mine.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:24 PM
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As if there were such a thing as progress in the unfolding of historical time, and as if we now stood, unquestionably and unproblematically, at its apex. Ha!

Okay, good. Your previous remark had not made this clear. We're in agreement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:28 PM
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The unexamined triumphalism of the present age is a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Well, okay, but you were the one who brought up the historical issue. Everyone else here was speaking synchronically.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:28 PM
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Which is not to say that I disagree.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:29 PM
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The present beats ass! Fuck the future, and the past it rode in on. Right now, fuck yeah!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:30 PM
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The unexamined triumphalism of the present age is a bit of pet peeve of mine.

What about examined triumphalism?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:34 PM
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And triumphant examinations?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:38 PM
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What about triumphalist peeves? They peeve as well.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:39 PM
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Heebie, your glove is lonely.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:39 PM
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We're holding hands.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:40 PM
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The unexamined triumphalism of the present age is a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Hasn't the present always been the best of all posible worlds, except (of course) for the glorious future which the revolution would surely soon usher in? And haven't those always been precisely balanced by the recognition that everything was better in the good old days?


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:44 PM
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I do love it when, every decade or so, someone proclaims that all that could be done in a given field has been done, and the field is Finished.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:47 PM
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Okay, but which is more annoying: the triumphalism of the present, or unexamined hell-in-a-handbasketism? I find the latter even more annoying.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:50 PM
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Unexamined anything is annoying.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:52 PM
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Neither here nor there any more, but:

185: I've noticed that every time I mention waste specifically, people click over.

I clicked over because I found I'm Not Stiller absorbing when I read it. Since I remember little of it now, I thought I'd let your post remind me. Thx, dude.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:53 PM
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But we are going to hell in a handbasket.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:55 PM
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256: Comity!

Also, these sex threads are boring because we're all supposed to pretend we're all being edgy and shit in violating a taboo, when we all know there's no longer any taboo to violate, when, after all, it's all we ever talk about anymore.

You really want to clear a room, or maybe just a comments thread? How's about raising the issue that really is taboo in this our youth-oriented, never-say-die culture? Yeah, death comes to the archbishop, and maybe even to you and me. No matter how much spinach we eat and how regularly we exercise, I'm sorry to say. Ah, it was lovely how they laid him out, and didn't they wake him for three days? Such a tribute, and what a send-off!...Poor bastard's dead as a door-knob, though.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:55 PM
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244 -- You have to admit that being unable to distinguish hawk from handsaw indicates a pretty serious condition of some kind. Even if one thinks hernshaw was intended.

We went to the Dylan movie tonight. Most of you are too young to bother with it, I think, but the scene where one Black Panther is trying to explain to another how Ballad of a Thin Man is conveying an important message directed to the BPP is pretty classic.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:55 PM
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We are going to hell in unexamined handbasket. Who the hell knows what's in there with us?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:57 PM
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266 -- Closing the Window of Ijtihad. Irresistible to tyrants since the damn of time.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:58 PM
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we're all supposed to pretend we're all being edgy and shit in violating a taboo

This is a pressure you feel here, IA? I don't, but it would be interesting to know that others do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 10:59 PM
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How's about raising the issue that really is taboo in this our youth-oriented, never-say-die culture?

Take it to the reading group, IA.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:00 PM
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271: If you want to violate taboos, start talking shit about eskimos, bitch hates that. I could give two shits about "edgy" myself. To me, that's a fancy word for liking holocaust jokes.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:01 PM
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Also, these sex threads are boring because we're all supposed to pretend we're all being edgy and shit in violating a taboo, when we all know there's no longer any taboo to violate, when, after all, it's all we ever talk about anymore.

No kidding.

You really want to clear a room, or maybe just a comments thread?

I hear it's impolite to do this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:09 PM
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I guess the thing I don't get about this "pressure to be edgy" thing is that no one here is very edgy. I'm certainly one of the least behaviorally edgy people I know IRL, and I expect that's true for a lot of us here. (It's Saturday night, and where are we? It's not like any one of us has the pretense of being "edgy.") Already, the sample size here is pretty narrow, since it's mostly academic/legal dorks with extra time on our hands.

Now if Rocky were here, we could talk "edgy," maybe.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:13 PM
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(I also have to say I find it pretty disappointing that this community is as heteronormative as it is. There's a few gay people here and there, but this is not exactly a queer-friendly environment.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:16 PM
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272: being unable to distinguish hawk from handsaw indicates a pretty serious condition of some kind. Even if one thinks hernshaw was intended.

So I discover that 'hawk from a handsaw, handshaw, hernshaw' etc. is actually a phrase. I did not know this. And a hernshaw is a heron. So. A hawk from a heron. Well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:21 PM
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275, 279: I have not noticed any "pressure to be edgy" either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:27 PM
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I've got some pretty great armagnac over here, y'all.

I realized today that after recent reductions in stock everything alcoholic I have aside from gin, wine, beer and triple sec is some sort of brandy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:27 PM
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As for talking about death, there was that suicide thread, and probably a few other morbid threads that I don't remember. But what is there to say about death, and why?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:28 PM
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I imagine that if you're already rather edgy, you would feel the pressure to be edgy more, since, at least towards the edge side (I'm imagining a wedge shape here), the force would be distributed through less mass.

If you were of uniform non-edginess, you wouldn't feel it as much, probably, unless you were both non-edgy and very small.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:28 PM
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Also, these sex threads are boring because we're all supposed to pretend we're all being edgy and shit in violating a taboo

Really? I think we talk about sex here without being self-consciously edgy. I do my edgy routine elsewhere.

I am pretty psyched to have that "hawk from a handsaw" line explained. Talk about edgy!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:29 PM
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In any case, I don't think people here generally talk about sex to seem "edgy" or to shock people or anything like that; we talk about sex because it's a major part of our lives (well, not mine, but most people's) and, precisely because we are no longer bound by traditional taboos, we are free to discuss it relatively freely here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:31 PM
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I don't think we've had a thread about group sex, except as a joke, in about a year. Never anything really kinky, definitely, and even when brought up as data points from other people's anecdotes, there's a very normative reaction, like "Those people are sick and not normal and need help." And most of the advice to Teo is not "Go stick it in the first thing that walks past" (except as a joke) but "Dating is hard; here's kinda what worked for me when I was shy and living in a new area."

285 is awesome.

284: I think we avoid death here because everything does drift jokey, and it's bad enough in the contexts of sex, health, and racism. Some of the death threads became really potentially hurtful to friends of suicides, etc.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:33 PM
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Way back on the original topic, I just ripped the batteries out of the stupid chiming clock in the guest room.

Ahhhhh. I feel much better.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:35 PM
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Performance anxiety all gone?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:36 PM
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I note that of the four people who say sex talk here is not edgy, two are single men and one is a single woman, not one of whom is over the age of 30.

(mrh is obviously the outlier and so can be discarded from consideration.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:36 PM
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The clock ran on AAs? That's handy.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:37 PM
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Are we really heteronormative? I guess we are, given that we talk about hetero sex all the time, but I wouldn't be bothered if cerebro added his two cents. Do the gay amongst us really cower in fear? Rise up and smite us, I say.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:38 PM
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mrh is obviously the outlier and so can be discarded from consideration.

Story of my life.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:39 PM
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Speaking of advice to teo (as AWB was in 288), I have a question: how can one tell if a friend would prefer to take a hitherto completely platonic friendship in a less platonic direction?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:39 PM
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Note the relative lack of heteronormativity in my question. I'm so progressive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:41 PM
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293: Well, I self-identify as pretty queer, but really, girl-on-girl stuff doesn't come up ever here, except as something for dudes to leer at.

295: Does she touch you voluntarily or say your name a lot?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:41 PM
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Dunk the friend in a lake. If she sinks, she wants to take the friendship in a less platonic direction.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:42 PM
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296, sorry for my heteronormative response, but I had to assume you're still working the chick angle.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:42 PM
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Rise up and smite us, I say.

Barney: Is it alright to come out now, Mr. Gay Man?
Moe: Yeah, we'll do anything... Anything!

Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:42 PM
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Does she touch you voluntarily or say your name a lot?

No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:42 PM
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301: What evidence do you have that makes you think she might be interested in you in our fallen, carnal sense?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:43 PM
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Well, I self-identify as pretty queer

Really? You've made reference to being bi before, but virtually all of the comments you've made about sex/relationships (or at least the ones I recall) have been with regard to men.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:44 PM
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299: I am, but I wanted to point out my awesomeness.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:44 PM
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303: I don't feel comfortable talking about anything else here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:45 PM
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295:Delta Behavior. Specifically, incidence of physical contact and mean distance from person. The nature of the contact is tricky, but the total should show something. Also, delta eye contact, but that's hard to measure.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:46 PM
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I know that sounds like a cop-out, but seriously, there's a great deal of my life that doesn't happen in public, despite what those who don't know me IRL may think.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:47 PM
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What evidence do you have that makes you think she might be interested in you in our fallen, carnal sense?

It's mostly a kind of subtle shift in her behavior around me lately, where she does things like look at me longer and more attentively and respond to my online messages in more of a jokey, flirtatious manner. This seems to have started once I told her that things didn't work out with my latest romantic adventure, which is the main thing that makes me wonder.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:48 PM
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What the hell. I doubt there was a call for more edginess understood in terms of sexuality. A lot of people can probably be as edgy as AWB has a reputation for sounding here, but they choose not to make it public. This place is quite tame, so AWB sounds wild and crazy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:49 PM
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306: Interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:49 PM
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305: Why the hell not? Where did this come from? If June isn't June then I'm going to feel cheated, you know.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:50 PM
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311: June is June for boys, FM. The rest is private.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:51 PM
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307: "Cop-out" presumes you have some sort of obligation to talk about it; you don't, at least not from where I'm sitting. I was just a little surprised, is all.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 11:52 PM
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308 is intriguing, but moving from "just friends" to "special friends" is a tricky maneuver. I'd gather more real-time evidence, since online behavior can be tough to read.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:01 AM
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Dammit, 312, if this forum is restricted like that I'm tempted to fuck a guy just to prove a point. I'm not sure about how to go about doing it, but fuck a man I will, if only to clear the air for the gay lurkers among us, As it stands, I've got less sympathy for you than I did ten comments ago.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:02 AM
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I'd gather more real-time evidence, since online behavior can be tough to read.

Most of the evidence is actually real-time, but I don't see her very often (she's quite busy), so it'll be tough to gather more. What I should really do is just ask her about it, or bring the subject up in conversation in such a way that the answer comes out naturally, and I figure I will do that at some point if things continue as they have been.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:06 AM
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I'm not sure about how to go about doing it, but fuck a man I will, if only to clear the air for the gay lurkers among us

It's pretty easy, actually. Or so I hear.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:08 AM
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moving from "just friends" to "special friends" is a tricky maneuver

YMMV. Hanging out in person is definitely a good idea, though; awkward, tension-building silences are much trickier to pull off online.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:08 AM
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Also.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:09 AM
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As it stands, I've got less sympathy for you than I did ten comments ago.

Wait, why? Because you thought you knew me? I promise, the stuff I haven't talked about has been fleeting and disappointing, so there's that.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:10 AM
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awkward, tension-building silences are much trickier to pull off online

Definitely. These are a good sign, then, in person? We've had lots of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:12 AM
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With someone you consider a friend? Hell yes. If you've had lots of them and haven't even managed to kiss at least once, you're both more restrained than anyone your age has the right to be.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:15 AM
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(throat-clearing)

I have noticed cerebrocrat hasn't been around; I miss him. I figure he's busy. Robust & Rah are probably busy.

This place is heteronormative.

This is true.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:19 AM
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There's no question that we're both way more inhibited than the average young person.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:20 AM
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We're going to have to buy this poor girl a plane ticket for uDCII, aren't we?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:22 AM
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You won't. Whether I will is an open question right now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:23 AM
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Can you throw a wild party or find an invite to a wild party in your locale? DCon might be a lot of pressure for the darling young lady.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:27 AM
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There's no way I can throw a wild party in my tiny apartment. She would likely be invited to any wild party that I would be invited to; I don't know of any coming up, but there may be some soon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:30 AM
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The "less sympathy" thing was only about the sex, specifically, the not having any. I'm still happy about your new job, and I hope for your tenure. I'm trying not to be an ass here. The sympathy, or lack thereof, expressed in 315 was based on your not getting any. You'd have had it if you were, and if you were not. It was the perceived false pretenses that prompted my ill-considered post. I can't write for shit, but. sorry.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:31 AM
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Are you interested in making this friendship a non-platonic one, teo? You haven't yet said explicitly, and the phrasing you use to describe your conundrum leaves me to wonder.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:34 AM
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Let's say, basically, that I wasn't lying about the no-sex. But the details of that are pretty personal. In essence, I am not lying about being hard-up.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:34 AM
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329 to 320, as is obvious.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:34 AM
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Are you interested in making this friendship a non-platonic one, teo? You haven't yet said explicitly, and the phrasing you use to describe your conundrum leaves me to wonder.

The careful phrasing was deliberate, and I'm glad to see you picked up on it. Basically, I'm unsure of how I feel about this. I am very attracted to her physically, and we do get along well, but her attitude toward boys and dating and such has always been a puzzle to me. She's never seemed at all interested in any of it, so until recently I had been assuming that her intentions re: me were totally platonic, which was fine with me. If her interest in me is non-platonic, I think I would probably like to pursue that, but the sheer novelty of thinking about her in that way is making it hard for me to figure what exactly I want here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:44 AM
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Try going out with her to a bar or somewhere where you might have to lean close to hear each other. You will be forced to smell each other's breath, maybe lay a hand on a shoulder or knee. Decide from there how you feel.

Brush your teeth well first and don't wear too much cologne.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:48 AM
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I am very attracted to her physically

A shallow man would read this far, and stop debating about it.

Perhaps you can draw her out on boys and dating in general, and in doing so find out whether there's anything doing in the particular?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:49 AM
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She's never seemed at all interested in any of it, so until recently I had been assuming that her intentions re: me were totally platonic

Hoo boy. Now I'm really, really, really surprised you two haven't been going at it like minks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:50 AM
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Try going out with her to a bar or somewhere where you might have to lean close to hear each other.

Perhaps you can draw her out on boys and dating in general, and in doing so find out whether there's anything doing in the particular?

It's like you guys are reading my mind. These are exactly the things I was intending to do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:51 AM
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She's perfect for you, teo. It'll never happen. (do you see how I'm using the internet antijinx? Jinx magic hasn't figured out the parenthesis yet, much less http)


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:51 AM
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336: Again, inhibited. Very, very inhibited.

(Minks?)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:52 AM
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You should just go for it. She may not have given serious thought to whether or not she's interested in you, non-platonically, but she certainly doesn't sound averse to the suggestion, and may be toying with the idea. If you think she's cute and fun to be around, it's probably worth it to give it a try.

Also: for a first kiss, it's easier to try to kiss a girl not-on-the-lips (e.g., neck, cheek, shoulder), and go from there, depending upon the initial response.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:54 AM
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Teo, is she as shy as you are? Cause if she is, even weak signalling from her end is probably meaningful.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:57 AM
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Yeah, I think I will just go for it. She's not going to be in town much longer, and I probably won't either, so I have very little to lose here and a lot to gain. And if it doesn't work out, there's always UnfoggeDCon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:58 AM
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Teo, is she as shy as you are?

She certainly seems to be.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 12:59 AM
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and don't wear too much cologne

Don't wear any cologne, for god's sake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:01 AM
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I can't even imagine buying, let alone wearing, cologne.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:02 AM
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She certainly seems to be.

I totally remember what it's like to be a girl and totally inhibited. Dude, do the girl a favor and make a move. Remember, it's, like, twice as hard for a shy girl to initiate, what with antifeminist social conditioning and all.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:03 AM
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It sounds like everyone's confirming my initial impressions of the situation, which reassures me that I'm not totally misinterpreting everything (which I have a tendency to do). Thanks, guys.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:07 AM
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You need to structure your dates as a series of environments in which she can feel progressively comfortable being close to you. Coffee shop is a decent start, followed by informal dinner (there should be shitloads in your area c.f. chowhound,com), followed by formal dinner (more compressed space) followed by coffee at your apartment. Invest in good coffee and liquor! By that point it probably won't matter but if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, at least you'll walk away looking good, and the woman in question might be back.

Music can be fit in according to the previous schema (allowing her to be comfortable next to you).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:08 AM
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With shy people, it never hurts to say something, like, "Hey, it would be fun to hang out sometime soon--i really like being around you" or whatever. It doesn't just have to be all nice'n'friendly up to the kissing part. Girls like to have some idea of your thoughts before you jump them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:08 AM
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That is a lot of eating and drinking, foolishmortal. I agree about the good coffee and liquor at your home, though. Mmmm, Maker's Mark. I am so very drunk, btw (mmmm, Maker's Mark!). Enforced family time with mom and dad can do that to one.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:11 AM
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348: We basically started at "informal dinner" and have been there ever since, because of the whole "friends" thing, except for one time when we went to a bar with some other people. She was noticeably more affectionate after a couple of beers. That was also when I told her things hadn't worked out with the other girl. So.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:15 AM
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Man o man! Is this what "dating" is? A long slow structured series, with thoughts about walking away looking good if it doesn't work out, and girls like to have some idea of your thoughts before you jump them?

Man o man!

Good luck, teo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:16 AM
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Is this what "dating" is? A long slow structured series, with thoughts about walking away looking good if it doesn't work out, and girls like to have some idea of your thoughts before you jump them?

Pretty much, yeah. It really, really sucks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:18 AM
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If this works out, though, I think we can probably skip most of the rest of the long slow structured series and go right to the good stuff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:20 AM
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352: No, Parsimon, both FM and I were employing something called "irony." It's what you do when you're trying to give good advice but don't want to sound condescending or superior. Not every comment made on this blog is literally representative of every phenomenon worldwide outside your home.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:23 AM
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It doesn't have to be that way.

Sometimes I think this dating structure is imposed on people when it's not necessary. It's undue pressure, it's artificial. Very, very few of the people I've gone out with have been the result of this dating process.

Teo, I wish you would find a woman you just wanted to nuzzle with, and she thought so too, and you didn't have to navigate the space between you, except for a short period that involved a lot of smiling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:25 AM
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Heteronormative, homonormative, whatever the fuck.

One of my sisters almost died of, well, a "normal" reponse to heteronormativity, I guess. I mean, she tried to kill herself, and damn well nearly succeeded.

I had to drive up to Montreal with my dad, and what I remember is that we almost ran out of gas, and he said, "Oh Christ, are we out of gas?" and I said, "No, no, Daddy, don't worry, we're just fine." But we went for miles and miles without seeing a gas station, and I was nervously watching the indicator the whole time, while something inside me felt like dying. Finally I saw the sign for "Gaz," and I pulled off the highway and filled up and paid, and all the while his head bowed in sorrow in the front passenger seat, and he couldn't drive, he was that overcome, and me trying to pretend it was all relatively normal. So we went to her dorm room and cleaned it out, and we never said a word to one another, until he said, "Well, I guess that's that," and I said, "Yeah." And then I drove us back home.

Meanwhile, my sister was in the pysch ward. She was not crazy, just gay, but they had her on all kinds of meds and stuff. Which I think was half the problem, she was just gay, is what I think, which shouldn't be a problem, but who the hell ever asked me? My parents were confused, angry, ashamed, and almost beside themselves with grief and bewilderment. Also in denial, of course, as the jargon goes. Well, who the hell wouldn't be?

My heart breaks over and over again to think of this.

Six weeks later they released her from the ward. Two nights later she tried to kill herself.

When I got to the ER, she was in a deep coma, and she looked like a raccoon laid out upon a table, because of the charcoal they put under her eyes, the better to absorb the toxins. She took the whole bottle of whatever antidepressant she was on, but that wasn't really the problem. The problem was the Tylenol, which she crushed up and liquified and took in massive quantities as a suicide cocktail. I never knew Tynenol could be possibly fatal, but what the hell did I ever know? She left a note.

My mother found her half-dead and is still not over it, and I doubt she ever will be.

We sat in this room they had reserved for the families of such victims, meant to look homey but just depressing for all the ways in which it failed in that aim, like you have wall-wall nylon carpeting in your own living room? and my mother and I said the rosary, and my father cried like I had never before seen a grown man cry, I mean his whole body shaking with dry heaves, and I had to run down the hall to the ladies' room, because the sight of it so distressed me that I was literally sick. And then I went outside to smoke a cigarette, and to beg and plead with Our Lady to intercede on our behalf. I had thought I didn't half believe, but there being no atheists in foxholes and etc, turned out I understood Pascal's wager all too well, when push came to shove.

At about 4 in the morning, they came and told us if we had a chaplain we might want to call him. Their way of telling us they didn't think she would pull through. My father resisted, because he would not believe she might die, but my mother and I (me the so-called atheist, ha!) over-ruled him. At this point, there were all kinds of relatives in that family room down the hall from the IC, some of whom had driven all night from Toronto and stuff, but due to limited space, only immediate family allowed in the IC for last rites. The priest mumbled the words over her comatose body, and I thought I was in a death scene from a Dickens novel or something. The all-night vigil over the sweet young daughter, which you snark at, maybe, when you read about it in a Victorian novel, what with your ironic sensibility and shit, but how different it all looks when it looks like your baby sister is about to die, and your senses are, oddly enough, both dulled and sharpened, and all of a sudden there are some things that you see so clearly that you never even noticed before, the world turned luminous with your grief and a shining halo where you anger might be, though your hands are shaking so you can't even hold a coffee cup.

They hinted that they didn't expect her to make it (this was "not just a cry for help," they told us, no, apparently "she really meant it"), and they spoke of major brain and organ damage if she did. But they told us to keep talking to her, because they honestly didn't know what, if anything, a comatose patient might actually hear.

She used to (and still does: yes, this story has a happy ending, more or less) call me "a big geek." The first sign of life was when she very slightly answered the pressure of my hand (so slightly that I didn't want to get my hopes up: did I just imagine that?). She woke up for real a few hours later, and said the first thing she could remember was me saying, "It's me, your sister the big geek, and don't you fucking leave me."

She walked out of the IC a few days later with absolutely no damage.

My father, an old-school Catholic, now and ever since votes for the candidate who supports gay rights.

Okay, sorry to get so heavy. Don't know what got into me. Please resume regularly scheduled thread.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:27 AM
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Sometimes I think this dating structure is imposed on people when it's not necessary. It's undue pressure, it's artificial. Very, very few of the people I've gone out with have been the result of this dating process.

Okay, but how did you meet those people? I basically don't meet any people, ever. My life is very, very lonely.

Teo, I wish you would find a woman you just wanted to nuzzle with, and she thought so too, and you didn't have to navigate the space between you, except for a short period that involved a lot of smiling.

Me too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:28 AM
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351: you still want to start at "informal dinner", unless she's shown that (sober)she demonstrably doesn't mind being close to you. If she's really into you it's unnecessary, but it is protocol. Going somewhere, just the two of you, is a step. It 's easier to take if it's not a full on romantic deal. A decent concert could be substituted here,


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:29 AM
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355: You hit me when I'm down: I was being earnest about that Man o Man business.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:31 AM
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357: Jesus. My sympathies; it sounds like things worked out as well as could be hoped, but what a thing to have to go through.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:34 AM
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359: No, see, it's almost always been just the two of us, having dinner. The bar thing was exceptional. Really, I don't think a lot more formal dating is going to be necessary.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:35 AM
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357: What is there to say? I've known guys like that who've made it, and one who didn't. The best thing that can be said is "She walked out of the IC a few days later with absolutely no damage."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:37 AM
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358: You should go with the plan with the girl in question -- already had an informal dinner with her! I haven't followed this closely enough to see whether you already have another date with her, but if so, I'd say somewhere along the line something pointblank: "I like you. I like seeing you."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:38 AM
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Yeah, that's more or less the plan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:41 AM
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357:

Thank you for writing that.

k


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:48 AM
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Please resume regularly scheduled thread.
Right...
This shit chills me to the bone. I don't know who to hate on account of my man's death. Shitty health care? He was in and out of the hospital. Shitty culture? The man was born in the Bay Area, surely not the worst place for a young gay man to grow up. I refuse to blame his family. I don't know what to say about him. He was a smart guy.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 1:49 AM
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Is this what "dating" is? A long slow structured series, with thoughts about walking away looking good if it doesn't work out, and girls like to have some idea of your thoughts before you jump them?

Contra 355, this strikes me as a pretty decent non-ironic description of dating, and also sums up pretty well why it is not that conducive to relationships.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 2:10 AM
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Jesus, I didn't mean to kill the blog. I'm just drunk and sentimental. Go on, give teo advice. Worst case scenario, he gets laid. That'll kill the blog good and proper. 357 got me a little worked up, is all. So continue, dammit. I thought we were "edgy".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 2:18 AM
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Teo just has to break the nuzzle/cuddle barrier with this woman. Then it's all downhill. Two lonely people finding each other.

They just need an excuse to be on a couch together in a fairly private place. Solution: rent a movie and watch it at one of their houses.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 2:23 AM
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That's not a horrible idea, random name person, but how would teo introduce it, and what movie?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 2:29 AM
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Teofilo: drink more booze. That is all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 2:40 AM
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Given that I've bummed out the rest of the commentariat I feel obliged to offer the following:
a)She wants your pants off no matter what: Jaws, Terms of Endearment, it doesn't matter.
b)She would very much prefer your pants on: You have to go for the hard sell here: Any Thin Man, Charade, Anything else with Cary Grant, except North by Northwest,
c)She's agnostic on the state of your pants: This one is difficult: the matter would have to come up in conversation: default: Night on Earth. Comedy: Original Police Squad! Religion:your favorite of the Kieslowski ten commandments.Relationships:Bottle Rocket, Avoid at all costs:Death Race 2000.(this should be for later)


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 3:28 AM
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Worst case scenario, he gets laid. That'll kill the blog good and proper.

You would think, but in fact, it only causes more main-page posters to appear.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 6:41 AM
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372: This really only works if he does it while in the same room as women also looking to get laid. Drinking while reading Unfogged? Not effective.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 6:52 AM
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re: 375

Yes, that's true.

re: 373

Don't Cary Grant movies just remind the companion how much her date falls short of the Platonic manly ideal?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:15 AM
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374 needs some appreciation, people. Come on, that was funny.

And to Betty Ford: Thank you for trusting us with the story. That's a lot of pain for one family to endure, and I'm glad it ended more or less happily.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:21 AM
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Further to 373, I mean, what if she notices her date has too much (or too little) shirt cuff showing? Or perhaps his immaculate pearl grey tie is tied with just the wrong thickness of knot? It could be a disaster!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:23 AM
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376: Nah, there's a reflected glow of charm that's thrown over one's companion for the evening, unless he's really, really unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:24 AM
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To Betty: This is incredibly nosy of me, but when did that happen to your sister? Are people still getting psychiatric diagnoses for being gay someplace?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:25 AM
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No, ttaM, it's that Cary Grant makes everyone else looks slightly better and more elegant. It's like how your diction becomes a little more elevated when you're talking to certain kinds of people.

Darn it, pwned by LB.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:26 AM
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But now I have support for my reaction to Grant not being entirely idiosyncratic. (Think of The Philadelphia Story -- Cary Grant doesn't make Jimmy Stewart look bad for being a bumbling working stiff, he makes him look better.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:32 AM
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re: 380

I'm fairly sure places still diagnose people with ego-dystonic forms. Also, the APA only removed homosexuality from the DSM in the mid-70s, so not the distant past.

re: 382

I suppose I can see the logic there, yeah.

Also [re: Grant, sort of]

http://www.wumingfoundation.com/english/giap/giapdigest32_3.htm#style


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:38 AM
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I'm fairly sure places still diagnose people with ego-dystonic forms.

Argh. People suck. Gay issues are one of those things where I do live in a little urban bubble -- Betty's comment sounds like a story from 1955 to me, not something that could happen in recent decades. I know I'm not right about this, but it's still irrationally hard for me to believe that that sort of treating being gay as a pathology still happens outside of freakish little enclaves of weirdos.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:45 AM
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and what movie?

It's one thing to be cockblocked by Cary Grant, and another to have the DVD version of him achieve the same thing (especially when you have the remote). From there presumably, it's a short step to worrying that she might think of Cary Grant, thereby ending your chances.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:48 AM
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I don't think any of my queer friends in high school were "diagnosed" as gay, but the majority of them had some issues around: clinical depression, suicide attempts, spending a night or three in the psych ward, being disowned, being temporarily homeless, chemical dependency, etc. So it's not necessarily the case that being a young gay person is easy just because the DSM doesn't recommend treatment anymore.

Of course, some of us were so repressed that we just sublimated those desires into fetishizing violence and radical politics.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:52 AM
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re: 384

Ego-dystonic homosexuality hasn't been in the DSM since the 80s but it's still in the ICD, afaik. I'm not sure there's anything actually wrong with psychiatrists trying to help people come to terms with their sexuality. It's just that the history of the discipline isn't exactly covered with glory in that area.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:54 AM
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In reference to the Teo probably, I'll repeat what I've said before. Dating is especially hard for people who are naturally solitary or reserved, because there aren't a lot of intermediate stops.

Either you're off by yourself as per usual, or you're making a special effort with explicitly romantic or sexual intentions. On the one hand, taking any first step is a big step foor you. On the other, it's hard not to feel that this is obvious to everyone, so you feel especially self-conscious that way even if all you're doing is saying "Hi".

(And in some cases it is obvious to everyone -- if you've become accepted as someone who never talks and just blends into the background, if you suddenly change behaviors sometimes it weirds people out, like a dog talking, especially if they've constructed invidious explanations for your anti-sociality. But this is a special case.)

So anyway, developing a higher level of neutral, somewhat shallow, non-intentional sociality would make it easier for things to happen.

Thinking of yourself as a clear-minded person who only does things for a reason and who is in control of his or her life also makes dating harder. Because again, every step will be a big step with an obvious purpose. Ambiguity and flirting are a pretty necessary part of romance and the like. I've known people who always had a date just because they were always interacting and flirting with whoever came along. (With a down side, too: unfortunate relationships can happen inadvertently for someone like this).

These are all things which would have made my life easier if I'd realized them during my more relation-friendly period. I think that there are many people here (and elsewhere) who could learn from this, not only Teo.

And someone who holds themself back that way, when they finally decide to make the big jump, will be especially hurt if they're rejected. Part of the Nice Guy thing, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:09 AM
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ok, the thread is brilliant i admit
what a thoughtful and funny and sincere conversationalist collective, bravoooooo
glad to find, enjoyed much
and all are geniuses
or genii?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:25 AM
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I've known people who always had a date just because they were always interacting and flirting with whoever came along. (With a down side, too: unfortunate relationships can happen inadvertently for someone like this).

Yeah, this is huge. It's really easy for an introvert (hi!) to look at acquaintances who have no trouble forming relationships, while you have great difficulty, and attribute it to something ineffably unattractive about oneself, when that's not it at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:28 AM
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I think that there are many people here (and elsewhere) who could learn from this

Aren't you undermining your program here? Or do you espouse a sort of historical inevitability, in that people must go through stages of relationship to relationships before they reach your level of relationship-free enlightenment?


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:34 AM
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The Noble Eight-laid Path?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:35 AM
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Edgy? Some few of us are dull as dishwater, and happily so. (I'm feeling a little edgy right now, though, posting a comment from a barbers chair while getting a haircut. Edgy dishwater!)

Teo, you say she's busy. What is she doing? How does she feel about it?


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:47 AM
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I am actually not so adamantly anti-relationship as I pretend to be. I do think that the relationship-free option should be given more respect than it usually is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:58 AM
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I've missed a lot of thread, here.

Betty Ford, thanks for sharing 357. This sort of thing is so frustrating from the outside, I can't really imagine what it must be like inside. Happens way too much though. I'm glad your sister pulled through. Is she ok with her world now?

I don't think we're edgy here, or that there is any pressure to be. I do think of this space as primarily hetero, and a lot of people here are introspective and seem to be (the younger ones) a bit tentative sometimes. I guess I've talked about a few things presidentially for that reason. 305 made me sad, AWB; that's not ok.

Teofilo: I may have missed some comments about your situation but ... if you've been `hanging out' with this person for a while and you are a bit tone deaf when it comes to the sorts of signals people give (intentionally and unintentionally), as a lot of people are, you have a little bit of a problem. It's possible that she feels the same way about you but doesn't think you do. This (hetero) culture puts a lot of emphasis on guys making the first move. If after a while, you haven't (or she doesnt' recognize it) she may have decided that's not what you want. If you think this may be the case, you're really going to have to do something about it. A really straighforward approach might not be best for you, but you can signal interest in ways that won't make anything a big deal if she chooses to ignore it. You'll have to be on the watch for her responses.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:44 AM
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two different approaches


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:53 AM
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Dangerous plants!


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:14 AM
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Thanks for writing that, Betty Ford.

I don't think any of my queer friends in high school were "diagnosed" as gay, but the majority of them had some issues around: clinical depression, suicide attempts, spending a night or three in the psych ward, being disowned, being temporarily homeless, chemical dependency, etc.

This agrees with my memories of HS.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:15 AM
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388 contains much wisdom.

Teo, you say she's busy. What is she doing? How does she feel about it?

School. Ambivalent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:09 PM
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400!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:12 PM
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In fact, it seems that her highest priority right now is not failing her classes, so it looks like I'm not going to be seeing her for a while.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 7:55 PM
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Dude! Make her cookies.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:15 PM
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What?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:18 PM
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I don't think teo's a priest, Cala.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:21 PM
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I want to echo how awesome 388 is and also add my sympathies to teofilo. I am absolutely convinced that I missed some great opportunities because I either was not looking for them, or psyched myself out. It is difficult being someone who is so used being alone to venture outside one's comfort zone. Now obviously this is far from impossible, but still more difficult. It has been interesting watching my (younger) brother, who is naturally much more social, have a much easier time getting girls. Not necessarily for very long, but still...


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:27 PM
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So do you guys think 401 is a problem? I initially interpreted it as evidence that she's not into me after all, but I just reread the message and it seems like it might not be that bad. It's the end of the semester, so she's definitely going to be very busy with papers and finals, and maybe she just feels like she needs to devote all her time to that.

See, this is the sort of thing that makes me hesitant about jumping to conclusions. If she really likes me, why doesn't she want to see me?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:49 PM
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Why do you need conclusions at this point? She probably doesn't know what she wants from you any more than you knew yesterday what you wanted from her? Be chill, and see her sometime when you'll both be cool with it and have fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 8:53 PM
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Why do you need conclusions at this point?

Among other things, because how I feel about this depends strongly on how she feels about it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:01 PM
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What if her feelings depend strongly on how you feel about it?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:05 PM
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In that case neither of us will know how we feel until we meet again, will we?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:06 PM
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If you push gently to see her, despite her busy-ness, and she accepts, that's a pretty good sign that all systems are go.

Offer her a study break. Make her cookies, as Cala suggests, and offer to bring them by.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:09 PM
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What if her feelings depend strongly on how you feel about it?

Then it will be one of those things that's very sensitive to initial conditions, like that model in which you have a jar or whatever with two marbles in it, one black and one white, and you repeatedly pull out a marble, putting it and a new marble of the same color back into the jar.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:09 PM
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I realize I'm falling into my usual trap of assuming a girl has a fixed impression of me that is unaffected by what I do, but what I really want to know here is whether it still sounds likely that she is interested in me given 401.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:09 PM
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412: TOTALLY.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:10 PM
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413: None of us know better than she does whether she likes you or whether she's interested actively or not. And she probably doesn't have an entire plan for your future relationship hammered out, either. She may have zero idea how much she likes you in a romantic sense, but it seems to have occurred to her to wonder about it, which, really, is all anyone can ever ask for at this stage. Only in pre-Quixotean romances does someone approach someone they only know casually and declare love.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:12 PM
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If nothing else, 407-409 are probably the reasons that I am so bad at dating.

Also regarding classes: I would like a gf, but then I think "Between classes, papers, presentations and applications, where the hell would I have time for one?"


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:15 PM
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You must make time, sir, else you do not merit one.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:16 PM
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I don't know about the offering to make her cookies thing. That seems kind of (I hate to say this) girly. I'd go with "Hey, I know you're really busy with the end of semester at all. How'd you like to do something low key, like come over and watch a movie? I know when I had finals, that's about all I had the energy for." and then have her over and make a non-pretentious meal. That way you've got her (1) at your place, where you should feel in control, (2) in a different social setting than you usually see her so she might allow herself to think of you differently, (3) you make it sound like you're doing this just for her, and (4) you have plenty of opportunities to turn this into a couch-cuddling situation or in the dark making outing.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:17 PM
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If anyone can tell me what the thing I'm thinking of in 412 is called, I'd appreciate it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:17 PM
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I would like a gf, but then I think "Between classes, papers, presentations and applications, where the hell would I have time for one?"

It's quite possible that her thought process is along these lines. This seems to be a common way for college students to think, and I suspect it goes a long way to explain why I didn't get laid in college.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:20 PM
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IME step four is the sticking point.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:21 PM
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419: What if someone can tell you but doesn't. Would you appreciate it then, ben?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:21 PM
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Ok, Stan, you got me. I wouldn't appreciate that. Fucker.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:24 PM
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Eh, make cookies, bring beer, suggest movie...


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:25 PM
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I should also say that, despite my defensive "eh," Becks's suggestions are excellent.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:27 PM
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Becks's suggestions do sound good, but I don't think I'll actually be doing them. For one thing, I don't have any equipment at my apartment that I can play a movie on. Also, keep in mind that the situation is very much still "just friends" and I don't want to be too insistent about seeing her when she's said she can't because that might seem weird.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:30 PM
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Yeah, if it were me, I would suggest a more low-key "study break" along the lines of "I'll be running some errands in your part of town on Saturday afternoon -- if you want a study break, we could meet up for lunch." There's not that much semester left, anyhow.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:34 PM
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There's not that much semester left, anyhow.

Yeah, just three weeks. I think I'll just wait it out and figure things out then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:36 PM
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Also, keep in mind that the situation is very much still "just friends" and I don't want to be too insistent about seeing her when she's said she can't because that might seem weird.

"Weird," or... romantically interested. Don't use the status quo as an excuse not to change the status quo! (Kindly replace that last sentence with something pithier.)


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:37 PM
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417, I completely agree. It is all just a question of priorities.

Also, a girl made cookies for me once. It was strange, they were strange (some kind of lactose free thingamajig), but it was sweet. I think that it is better to invite her out somewhere and just say what you are feeling, though in a way that is not creepy or stalker sounding. Admittedly I am absolutely terrible at this, but it makes the most sense to me.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:38 PM
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Yeah, just three weeks. I think I'll just wait it out and figure things out then.

"Seems like you've been working really hard. Wanna let me take you out for a beer when it's all over?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:40 PM
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"Weird," or... romantically interested.

But I'm not yet sure that I am. That's the whole problem here.

It is all just a question of priorities.

Yes, exactly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:43 PM
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Don't use the status quo as an excuse not to change the status quo! (Kindly replace that last sentence with something pithier.)

Don't let the status quo ante be the status in aeternum!!!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:43 PM
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Also, at least for me, saying that there isn't that much time left in the semester or vacation or whatever, is a classic way of avoiding making a. In addition when things have worked out for me they have occurred quite quickly thus negating any theory that more time was necessary.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:43 PM
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431: Interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:43 PM
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433 is awesome, and basically what i was trying to say.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:44 PM
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434a: Yeah, that's been a problem for me too. I had hoped that these arbitrary deadlines would be less of a problem once I graduated, but no such luck.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:47 PM
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I think that it is better to invite her out somewhere and just say what you are feeling, though in a way that is not creepy or stalker sounding.

I've tried to do this three times in my life, and all three times I failed to sound non-creepy and non-stalker-sounding. In other words, in all three instances, it completely ended any friendship I had with the girl.

But it seems like teo knows this girl better than I knew either of them.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:49 PM
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Incidentally, while home for thanksgiving I met a girl someplace I always though i should: in the philosophy section at Borders. How cool is that? admittedly Home is not close to School, but who knows what will happen...


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:49 PM
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in other words, in all three instances, it completely ended any friendship I had with the girl.

But it seems like teo knows this girl better than I knew either of them.

"either of them", but "three instances", implies that in one instance it didn't completely, or anyway not irreparably, end your friendship.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:52 PM
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ninjaphilosopher did you just change your pseudonym?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:53 PM
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438: I'm pretty sure that I've only done it twice and it didn't work out for me either time. In fact the second time actually began a series of surreal escapades that may have eventually ended the longest and most serious relationship I have had. But I still TOTALLY recommend it. No really, it's great. Go for it...


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:54 PM
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441: no. why?


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 9:56 PM
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Okay, looking at her message once again it looks like she's actually not totally ruling out getting together before she's done with finals, but she does seem to be disinclined to do so. It's hard to figure out what she means, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:08 PM
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444: Do all the capital letters in it spell out ILUVTEO?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:11 PM
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445: It's all lowercase, so no.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:17 PM
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xlmop?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:18 PM
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447: Let me check.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:19 PM
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Okay, no.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:19 PM
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I admire your thoroughness. The lack of secret mop signals of any kind can hardly be a bad sign, I feel.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:22 PM
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I suspect you're right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:24 PM
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Cookies, beer, coffee, whatever. Becks' idea is good. The idea is just to keep some contact with her in a way that doesn't leave her too stressed due to not having time during finals. Stay away from mops.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:31 PM
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What do the initial letters spell out? It's all well and good to get invisible internet advice, but the proper course of action is to perform close analysis of the text of her email. Like, gematria or something.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 10:35 PM
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When I was in college, I used to hate the way schoolwork was always there as a looming presence for most of the year, and I could never really relax even though I had lots of free time because I always had the nagging sense that there was something important I really should be doing at every moment. I looked forward to finals because it was a period of two or three weeks with no classes and only a few major things to worry about, either tests or (for me, mostly) papers, so I finally had time to relax a little, and every time I finished a paper or took a test I drew a little nearer to the blessed time when I had nothing at all hanging over my head. I always figured that this time would be the best time to pursue romance, because with no classes everyone would have time to hang out and such, but as it turned out the people I wanted to see were always spending all their time studying, and even seemed to study more during finals than the rest of the semester, so that they actually had less free time than they had had when classes were going on. I could never really figure this out; it was part of the larger puzzle that everyone except me seemed to spend enormous amounts of time studying, while I hardly studied at all and still got very good grades. It was awfully depressing that I had all this free time and wanted nothing more than to spend it with someone, but no one ever had any time for me. By the time people finished with finals, rather than hang around for the rest of the finals period (as I usually did) they immediately went home and I didn't see them again until the next semester.

This went on over and over again for four sad, lonely years. Largely it was a matter of priorities; my highest priority by far was always finding a girlfriend, and compared to that nothing else mattered at all, but most of my classmates seemed to have priorities other than romance, mainly academics but other stuff too. I couldn't understand then, and, to be honest, still don't really understand now, how someone could live like that, but almost everyone I knew seemed to.

When I graduated I wanted to leave that social environment behind me forever and move to a city full of fun-loving young people like me, where there weren't any semesters or finals and people had free time. I didn't do that, though. Instead I moved back to Albuquerque, a city I never wanted to live in again because my social experiences there had been even worse than those in college, because my father was dying. Then he died, as dying people do, and there I was, still in Albuquerque, still just as lonely and even sadder. Now it's two months later and I'm still here, still sad and still lonely.

This isn't really directly relevant to anything specific in the thread so far, but it touches on issues that have been raised in various parts of it and is an attempt to explain why I tend to obsess about this stuff so much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:04 PM
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Your problem, teo, is that you're too much smarter than everybody else. Come visit Boston and meet some smart chicks, whydoncha.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:06 PM
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It's not so much that I'm smarter as that I care less.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:12 PM
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Nonsense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:13 PM
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You'd be amazed how little I care.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:14 PM
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not to offend, but the diary-esque posts seem to suggest otherwise.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:17 PM
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I care about this. Nothing else, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:19 PM
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Is it not the case, though, that one who cares only for one thing, in fact cares for nothing? Hmm, hmm, chinstroke.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:25 PM
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460 -- Teo, what is a young woman supposed to make of that?

Sad and lonely; looking for a gf, any gf -- these are not the high cards in your hand. Now I can see that you might be thinking that the sorrow and loneliness will depart once the gf is aboard, so if you can only keep it under wraps long enough to get the relationship going, it won't be a problem. This is a much more difficult challenge than figuring out when to lean in for that kiss.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:32 PM
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462: Well, that's just the problem, isn't it? I'd be in a much better position to get what I want if it weren't so important to me, to the exclusion of everything else, but it is, so I worry about it, and I worry about that, and so on and so forth. I don't see a way out, though; if you've got one, I'm all ears.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:36 PM
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Cultivate other interests?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:39 PM
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Work out more, jerk off more, comment less. That's all I got.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:39 PM
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Duly noted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:42 PM
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Ten bucks says teo didn't just leave for the gym.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:45 PM
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460: I see. Probably not the healthiest approach. I've definitely experimented with deprioritizing getting a gf and, while I will not say that it has succeeded in getting me a gf, it has made me a (I think) happier. Would having a gf make me happier? I don't know. Sometimes I think about that.

465 sounds like a maxim. Only I just started commenting and it seems a little early to stop.

Also, having eventually actually read the early bit of the thread, 172 is both really sweet, really sad, and really true


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:47 PM
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Right you are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:47 PM
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469 to 467. To 468, I can only say that it's never to early to stop commenting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:49 PM
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Or too early to spellcheck your comments. It can be too late, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:50 PM
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468 (thanks, np!)

Goodnight, all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:50 PM
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I'd say: Ask her out to something low key (coffee) near where she is, say you like spending time with her and want to help her de-stress, so the coffee/cookie study break is on you. Say she looks pretty when you do see her, and offer to take her out to a movie after her final for some real fun. No one studies after a test, unless they have another test the next day.

It sounds like she's a nice, independent, cool girl who likes talking to and writing you. If she's not the sort to string along a quasi boyfriend from her "just friends" (and if she seems as non-datey as you say she is, she isn't), then her interest in you is genuine. If she likes you, she will make time for you. Even I, with my proscription on dating in law school, really stuck to my guns on on that one. I would have made time for a genuinely interested guy. It was more accidentally-on-purpose.

Also: other interests are good to cultivate. That's how you meet people: friends, friends who have datable friends, dates, etc. Plus, it just helps you pass the time better. All that free time kind of goes by if you're doing stuff with it that isn't dependent on the free time of another, be they a group of friends or one person. It's a bad idea to put all of your free time eggs in one basket. I was single for five years, and I didn't mind it all of the time. Even now, I spend more time alone or with other friends than with my boyfriend, and mostly on purpose.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:51 PM
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good to know


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:51 PM
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BTW, commenting less is something even I, the newbie commenter, would agree is a good idea if you want to spend more time out in the real world and with real people.

I'm still stuck at my parents' house in Suburbia though, so the internet IS the real world by comparison.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:53 PM
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Goodnight, AWB.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:54 PM
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I'm still stuck at my parents' house in Suburbia though, so the internet IS the real world by comparison.

I sympathize. I recently spent a month housesitting for my boss in Outer Suburbia, and it was Not Fun.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:55 PM
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And tonight notwithstanding, I have been trying to comment less. Today I went out and did stuff all day, and only turned on the computer in the evening.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:55 PM
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474 to 471

And, 473 is dead on. Putting into action is hard, but dead on.

Now, to sleep.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:58 PM
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Teo, if you don't mind my asking. Why do you care so much? Sex is A-OK, but relationships are in many ways an incredible pain in the ass.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-25-07 11:59 PM
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All this warning about commenting too much is interesting. Ever since the lurkers thread several weeks ago I have been thinking of commenting, and now I'm being warned about the pitfalls. Hmmm. Actually the next several weeks could be good for commenting as I have so many papers to do that I will be spending a lot (lot lot) of time in from of the computer. So we shall see what happens.


Posted by: ninjaphilosopher | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:03 AM
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Excellent!

Any hobbies you'd like to cultivate? Running, cycling, book clubs, politics? Any classes you'd want to take for fun but never did in college, like art? They're great ways to meet new friends, girls.

I joined a non-partisan public affairs org that discusses politics and literature in The City. It's cool, I learn stuff, and I made friends. I didn't get the bf from there, but it's something to do when I don't see him. If I didn't see him, I'd still be going to monthly lectures (there's stuff every week, but not all of it interests me). It gets me on the train, where I could meet more people. And afterwards I stay in The City and do independence-cultivating things like eat dinner alone or go bookbrowsing, and yeah, you should talk to a girl who reaches for a book you're interested in.

Getting "out there" is just getting out of the house half the time.

If you're close to a university, they often have interesting public lectures, events, and conferences. I actually scan the lists of talks by other departments and go to them for fun. Sometimes the students there are cute.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:03 AM
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480: Hard to say. For one thing, I'm lonely, and while I'm a bit of a loner in general this is getting to be too much solitude even for me. I also just really like women, and want to spend as much time around them as possible, so a relationship seems like the best way to do that.

In addition, I look at my father, who was like me in a lot of ways, and see how happy he was to be with my mother, and think "there, that's what I want." Obviously not every relationship is going to be like that, in fact the vast majority won't be, but not dating is a sure way to never get anything like it.

I don't know. It just feels like there's something missing from my life, and this is it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:07 AM
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481: Seriously, be careful. While we're always glad to have new people around, this place can eat your life if you let it, and as Tia was saying on the lurker thread, commenting really does take up much more time than lurking. The last thing you want is to get so swept up in it that you put off writing your papers until the very last minute. Trust me, that is no fun.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:09 AM
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Teo, if you don't mind my asking. Why do you care so much? Sex is A-OK, but relationships are in many ways an incredible pain in the ass.

I think that's a pretty stupid thing to say. Have you ever wished you had someone you could talk to, or someone you could hug, but not had anyone?

I've definitely experimented with deprioritizing getting a gf and, while I will not say that it has succeeded in getting me a gf, it has made me a (I think) happier. Would having a gf make me happier? I don't know. Sometimes I think about that.

This is what I would recommend. Having a girlfriend will not result from planning or fixating on the idea. The opportunity come at a place and a time that you weren't expecting to be The Place Where It All Began. Therefore, since worrying and fixating make you unhappy, all things being equal, stop worrying and fixating. This goes double if the worrying and fixating leads you to experience paralysis in the presence of potential girlfriends, because then thinking about it too much is actually counterproductive. I managed to convince myself of this too. It's nice to have a narrative of how the relationship began, but nobody controls that.

Chance favors the prepared mind, but not the mind that is constantly looking for chance and wondering where chance is.

But it is important to have some hobbies, not even necessarily ones that lead to meeting people, but things that make your life seem more interesting to yourself.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:12 AM
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Any hobbies you'd like to cultivate? Running, cycling, book clubs, politics? Any classes you'd want to take for fun but never did in college, like art?

Not really, no. In fact, I was just looking at the UNM Continuing Ed catalog yesterday, and there was just nothing there that interested me at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:13 AM
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Any hobbies you'd like to cultivate? They're great ways to meet new friends, girls.

Blessed be the obvious, for it so often goes by ignored!

This was the advice I gave my computer-geek ex roommate. As the words fell into his ears, it was as if they had hit the hallogen switch-which promptly sparked up, then died. He stuttered and said "but, but my hobby is .... computers"

That's when I told him that he had given himself this ultimatum, not me.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:13 AM
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Have you ever wished you had someone you could talk to, or someone you could hug, but not had anyone?

This is a much better answer than the one I gave. Thanks, Ned.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:14 AM
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The last thing you want is to get so swept up in it that you put off writing your papers until the very last minute.

Oh dear god, can you see me from where you are??

*closes her blinds,* opens massive stat book,*
*looks ashamed*


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:17 AM
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Loneliness does suck, I sympathize. I was okay being single for the five years (actually, I was pretty happy at it most of the time, because being single and okay beats being in an unhappy relationship), but at some point this summer I just snapped and wanted to be with someone. Eventually, all of the autonomy was enough: I had proved to myself that I could spend vast amounts of time by myself, and in my own studio.

So I got a roomate, made new friends around Liberal College City, joined an organizations in The City, started exploring the campus more, and decided to work on getting a boyfriend. While Amber's efforts to find me a blog boyfriend in my geographic area didn't work out (the irony), I did do the online thing aggressively. It took a few months, I got rejected a lot and rejected a couple, but so far, this last one is working out well.

Sometimes, it's an endurance test: how long can you stand being alone, how many rejections can you take, how long can you endure the hell of dating just to get the steady girlfriend/boyfriend you want, how much stuff can you DO just to "get out there" and meet someone, how much can you do to please another on all of the superficial categories the early stages demand of you (looks, banal inoffensive banter, intelligence, success).

It sucks, but it's what distinguishes the marathon from the sprint: endurance, patience, perseverance.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:19 AM
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He stuttered and said "but, but my hobby is .... computers"

Ever since Sifu commented as Beer Nuts, I lack sympathy for sad and lonely computer geeks. Somewhere out there is an ecstasy-fueled orgy guarded by men with machine guns just for you!


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:20 AM
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Honestly, in the medium term the solution is probably to move to a more congenial area. That won't necessarily be easy, but it would probably make a big difference.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:22 AM
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Teo, have you ever taken any advice from the unfoggedetariat? It's OK (perhaps better) if you haven't; I'm genuinely curious.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:23 AM
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I have occasionally adapted suggestions from here for e-mails and such, but for the most part, no, I don't actually use this advice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:24 AM
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491, have you been reading Samuel Delaney recently?


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:25 AM
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And now I should go to bed. Good night, all, and thanks for the advice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:25 AM
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Hobbies can be solitary. Drawing, playing the harmonica, gardening. I knew a guy whose repetitive dorkiness made him hideously irritating most of the time, but he fascinated men, women and hot women alike with his scrapbooks of photographs of construction equipment at all these local strip mines.

I wouldn't go to a "class" in something that I'm only learning to meet people. Especially if the people I would meet are people who are seriously interested in that activity -- in that case I might not make any friends, let alone potential dates. Because meeting people happens at unexpected times, and it only takes one person.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:25 AM
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OK. In that case, come to Los Angeles and live on my couch.

(Ba-dum dum. You are in fact welcome if you ever need to explore the big city. Dr. Johnson's words on guests apply.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:26 AM
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Relationships rock: regular sex, someone you care about who cares about you, and hugs and kisses. That isn't to say you shouldn't keep your independence, but it's nice to know that someone is there waiting to see you when you come back from alone time. After six days in Suburbia, I'm rushing from airport to 3 hour class to grocery store to kitchen to make us dinner and dessert. It's nice to do something for someone, and be nurtured in return. The exchange is what relationships are about: if you are alone, you have no one to share anything with or get anything from on a consistent basis.

Get some hobbies! I didn't run at all until July. I started running because my roomate and my new friends were into it. Now I run all the time, by myself and with a group, and almost got together with a guy from this newfound hobby.

Hiking sounds like an awesome thing to do in NM. I'm sure there's some group somewhere, or you could latch onto some UNM group.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:26 AM
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I had never even heard of him. I don't really read sci-fi.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:27 AM
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Belle Lettre now makes me think that the single-minded pursuit of a relationship may actually work for women but not at all for men.

(at least among young, relatively attractive people)

Predominantly because the bar above which needy behavior from a semi-stranger looks like stalking is about a thousand times harder for a woman to reach.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:29 AM
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Speaking of solitary hobbies, I used to be impressed and susceptible to intrigue by the 'lone reader' at 'artsy cafe/bar' on Thursday evenings. I would be thrilled when they would nonchalantly come up and ask what I was reading. I even dated a few. Until I realized that they are "paper-back reader" types for the most part. Now I just get annoyed be the "so what are you reading" slither.

Whatever you do, don't do this. It cheapens literature.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:33 AM
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What's a "paper-back reader" type?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:37 AM
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teo- I'm busy installing Apache so I am not going to read through this whole thread but don't worry about the girlfriend part, just try to take care of the sex part. I get that you are lonely but you sound desperate (from the few posts I read) and women can smell that a mile away. Women will also only wait a certain amount of time before deciding that a guy isn't into them and after that, there is no recovery.

Screw hobbies. Make a plan of talking to 10 cute women tomorrow. Go to the grocery store, the movie store, where ever and talk to women until you can get one to agree to go to coffee. Kiss her after said coffee. See how it goes from there. Relationships take a long time to develop. Start with sex.


Posted by: Walt's wife | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:38 AM
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Do not follow any of the advice in 504. It is not possible to pretend to be confident. IF you want to just take care of the sex part, hire a prostitute or go to unfoggeDCon.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:40 AM
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503: It's a dirty story of a dirty man. And his clinging wife doesn't understand.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:41 AM
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500:
"Delaney recounts his reaction to his first visit to St Mark's Bathouse in 1963. He describes standing on the threshold of a "gym-sized room" dimly lit by blue bulbs. The room was full of people, some standing, the rest an "Undulating mass of naked male bodies, spread wall to wall." [...] "My first response," he writes, "was a kind of heart-thudding astonishment, very close to fear."
-"Experience", Joan W. Scott

Now what were we saying about convivial hobbies?


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:42 AM
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503: when they pretend to have read the whole book by recounting the synopsis of it from the back cover of a paper-back copy. So sad.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:43 AM
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Relationships take a long time to develop. Start with sex.

Yes! Are you sure you're not British?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:48 AM
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509: Other than the complete lack of British accent, this fits the facts pretty well.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:55 AM
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I had never even heard of him. I don't really read sci-fi  I'm not really into Pokémon


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 12:58 AM
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.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:07 AM
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Do not follow any of the advice in 504. It is not possible to pretend to be confident. IF you want to just take care of the sex part, hire a prostitute or go to unfoggeDCon.

Heh. I do it every day. You just have to accept that you are going to screw up a bunch of times first. The part that you are missing is sex frequently turns into a relationship and if there is no sex there will be no relationship.

And if you hire a prostitute and someone in your group finds out about it, you probably won't be getting near a woman for a long time without a clean bill of health.


Posted by: Walt's wife | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:14 AM
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It's also worth noting that you don't have to pretend to be confident for very long. Pretty soon it -- if successful -- turns into actual confidence.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:27 AM
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492 -- I really wish you the best of luck, but I am not at all sure that Albuquerque is the problem here. On the gf front anyway -- it could conceivably be that you have a better shot at a job, or at engaging in hobbies of one kind or another, that allows you to better exercise your positive qualities than you can in your hometown. But changing nothing other than the geography just means you're looking for needles in a bigger haystack.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 5:26 AM
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Until I realized that they are "paper-back reader" types for the most part.

They read paperbacks?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 9:15 AM
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"Why do you need conclusions at this point?"

Among other things, because how I feel about this depends strongly on how she feels about it.

Aaagh! I need to finish catching up on this thread, but in case no one else has said it, I have to very strongly recommend that, whatever you may feel about wanting some conclusions, do not, not, not plunge right in to asking her (explicitly or implicitly) to provide them. Not, not, not.

Do go ahead and make subtle gestures toward testing out the chemistry if you are inclined to be interested -- up the ante of playful arm-touching, close-sitting, whatever. Add a harmless peck on the cheek to your hello or goodbye hug (or add the hug if you're not yet doing that). See if sparks fly. And I agree with Cala -- make her cookies, or maybe make her a nice dinner that you can pack into a tupperware container and drop off to make her study time a little easier.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 9:29 AM
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teo, goodness knows I'm not a great person to ask about this, but one thing I learned as an undergraduate, through my own experiences and that of my friends, is that it's very trying to be someone else's sole social contact or support. It's exhausting to feel like you're saving someone. It is too much to expect of one person, as nice and charming and as into you as she might be, that she will fix what's wrong with your life. If you're sad and lonely, a girlfriend might ameliorate that, but she won't fix it.

This doesn't mean that I think you should stop dating until you find yourself, but that finding other ways not to be sad and lonely shouldn't be put on hold on the grounds that all that's really wrong is not having a girlfriend.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 9:44 AM
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Late to the thread here -- Unfogged really is a procrastination aid, if I wind up catching up on all the Thanksgiving weekend post and comments on Monday morning. But a few things come to mind: first of all, teofilo and AWB aren't the only insufficiently sexed-up twentysomethings here. We should form a subcommittee. My issues seem... similar to Teo's. I'd say my situation isn't as bad because based on what he says it sounds like I handle singleness and dating better, but as far as results go my dating life seems very similar.

And about Teo's specific issue with this maybe-more-than-a-friend girl, I'm going through something a little similar, actually. There's a co-worker with whom I had some unambiguously flirty interactions a couple weeks ago, and since then, nothing. I've tried to get together with her several times, even just for something simple like getting lunch, but either she says she's busy and she declines in advance or we make a date and have to cancel at the time. She's even tried to set something up with me once or twice, with the same result -- one time I was very likely to have to work so I couldn't commit to anything, and another time I was going to a friend's birthday party. (Hindsight being 20/20, I should have blown that off; he would have understood. But at the time I didn't know how bad this pattern of conflicting schedules would get.)

When I'm in a good mood, it's pretty simple. She just ended a long-term relationship, she recently moved, and she's working two jobs, so things really are complicated for her these days. When I'm in a bad mood, though, it's a lot easier to assume that she's got back together with her ex, or has just lost interest in me, and can't bring herself to come right out and tell me.

Also, this thread is making me seriously consider going to the UnfoggedCon in DC. I hadn't considered it at all because it's quite a distance, but it's all about getting out more, right? I have at least a couple friends who might be in DC on their own, my friend who is generally the most likely to get parties together has a good chance of being busy on that particular night, and it sounds like it would be fun to see how old some of you people actually are. Carpe diem.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 9:45 AM
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how old some of you people actually are.

Speak up, sonny, I can't hear you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 9:52 AM
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Psst, LB, the comments are for reading.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 10:09 AM
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I suppose the problem must be the cataracts, then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 10:13 AM
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Ah, damn, in that long comment I forgot what I was going to say in the first place, which was my advice to teofilo.

On reading 295, my initial and only half-joking answer was that if you have to ask if she wants to be more than friends, then the answer is no. But that's more pessimism and black humor than it is advice. After reading more, I agree with most of the advice you've got -- social lubricants like alcohol are good, talking closely is good, accept that she's busy but don't wait until you're certain she's free to try something, etc.

To put it in general terms, I'd say show, don't tell. Don't take her to something unambiguously romantic and expensive as a first step. Don't continue with your platonic, non-sexual dinners for six months and then make a big awkward production out of saying that you have strong feelings for her. Especially don't say something like that now. Instead, make it clear that you want to spend time with her one-on-one for fun without ruling out the possibility of something more, and if she doesn't like your first suggested outing or doesn't have time that night, suggest something the next night. If she's being touchy-feely, escalate it. If not, I'd try to take the advice upthread and kiss her on the neck or cheek (within the next week). It may be awkward, but it's also relatively non-threatening.

For whatever it's worth, which may not be much. But anyways, if you'll excuse me, I have to go fail to take my own advice. Later.

Also, I used "similar" too much in 519. Sorry.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 10:14 AM
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522: Or that you've got the mouse pressed to your ear. What's that you say, sonny?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 10:26 AM
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520: No offense intended, of course. You probably didn't take any offense, but just in case, feel free to read it as "... would be fun to put faces and maybe names to the pseudonyms."

Besides, age is a state of mind, by which I mean that anyone can feel old under the right circumstances. One of my "baby" cousins can beat me at card games, and another has her driver's license. I have another cousin, the same age as me, who has a son who will be starting kindergarten next year.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 10:27 AM
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i feel the need to jump in:

beware of the suggestion that you should kiss her on the neck. That can be incredibly invasive. Kissing first on the lips is fine... just move in very slowly, so there are no doubts about what is going on, and she has time to react.

Seriously, 3 weeks is a long time and she'll not be interested if you don't make at least small moves in the meanwhile. I always think that the "hug which is a real and a strong and a good hug" goodbye as a classic indicator of interest; you could start showing interest that way. Then she'll probably expect things to happen on the next date. But it sounds like she is almost definitely waiting for *you* to show signs of interest first, as the guy, since that is the way it nearly always goes in this culture, and you're running the risk of disappointing her if you don't signal soon.

also I am with Walt's wife: sex can lead to relationships, and even if it doesn't it can still be tender and fun, so why not give it a whirl, seriously, without treating it like an event of ponderous seriousness?


Posted by: mrmf | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:00 PM
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526: Conversely, for those of you who just want sex, and no relationships, also take heed of Walt's Wife's advice: Beware, sex can lead to relationships.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:51 PM
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527: Not if you never call them back.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 1:53 PM
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528: it can be near impossible to resist the temptation not to call someone back for more sex if it was initially mind-blowing. The best way to a man's and/or woman's heart is not through the stomach, it's through their pants.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 2:03 PM
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What's with this implication that sex just grows on trees or something? I'm not turning down opportunities for sex because I want a relationship, nor would I if such opportunities presented themselves.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 3:02 PM
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On some subconscious level, you probably telegraph the fact that you really, really want a girlfriend. If a woman is thinking "hey, I think I'll give this teo fellow a whirl," the fact that you might want more is sure to give her pause.

I've tried two "dating" strategies in my life. In the first strategy, I tried to find a girlfriend. In the second strategy, I tried to friend a sex partner. The second strategy produced radically more girlfriends than the first strategy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 3:55 PM
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What's with this implication that sex just grows on trees or something?

Well, you keep on talking about not wanting to make a move with various women because you're not sure what they want. And in any individual case, if this is someone who you only want if it's going to be part of a meaningful relationship, that sort of caution can make sense. If you're looking to have sex, though, at some point you just have to make a move and let the chips fall where they may.

The overall impression is that you'd rather not have sex with someone if it didn't turn into having a girlfriend.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 3:59 PM
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530: That really depends on your options, doesn't it? Regardless, a disciplined adherence to this rule will effectively avoid relationships in 99.9% of couples tested.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-26-07 4:02 PM
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