Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unhooked

[Warning: I'm about to show my sensitive side. Some of you may want to avert your gaze.]

I recently read Unhooked Generation by Jillian Straus. Its sub-title is The Truth About Why We're Still Single and in her interviews with one hundred single men and women, she uncovers some unpleasant, albeit accurate, truths. We're selfish. We bail at the first sign of pain and discomfort. We have a lot of choices, and therefore don't feel a strong urge to commit ourselves fully to one person. If we do, we keep one foot out the door. We have a list of qualities we look for in a partner that few people can match. We take pride in being picky. We're terrified of marriage and yet have unrealistic ideals for it. We put our happiness above everything else (a different way of saying we're selfish, but it bears repeating).

Reading this book was like listening to a continuous echo of every conversation I've ever had with my friends about relationships. Straus focuses on city-based singles and covers everything from the how internet dating panders to our checklist mentality to how we are lacking a coda when it comes to courtship, which results in confusion and uncertainty about how to read each others' behavior.

The author never makes judgment calls on this era of casual hook-ups, fuck buddies, and undefined, non-committed relationships. She merely illuminates our current dating climate and points out why we're taking longer to find partners and settle down.

The last section of the book is devoted to profiling long-standing, happy couples. They discuss their first impressions of each other, the evolution of their relationship, and what keeps them together. This is the part of the book that fucked me up.

As I read about these couples and their unconditional, enduring love, I couldn't help but be moved to tears. It made me see what a truly shallow plane I've been living on with my own love/lust life lately. Sure, I've been having some of the most fun I've ever had, but it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't add up to anything significant. I meet a guy, date him/kiss him/fuck him, then meet someone else. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Even this situation with TV Tyler and Arty Adam, it's going nowhere. It has been a month, and I can't open up to them because I think they'll be scared off. I have kept so much of myself shut away from both of these men and they have done the same with me. I don't know a single thing about any of Arty Adam's girlfriends or when he even last had one. I don't know why TV Tyler's marriage ended. I have gotten very little indication from either of them that they care about me as anything more than someone to watch movies with or drink with or play video games with or fuck. By the time I've reached a month with every other man I have been with, there has always been some kind of expression of affection and movement toward a commitment. At the very least, I no longer harbored a feeling that the guy could still disappear at any moment. Some kind of foundation had been built. Not so with Arty Adam and TV Tyler. I know it's my fault as much as there's. The real question is, what now?

The answer, I think, is nothing. This melancholy feeling has been with me for the last couple of days now. I'm starting to feel the burnout from all this manic dating and I think a week or two under the radar would do me some good. I have a lot of activities with friends lined up, including a Lock & Key party with Pretty Polly on Friday and a friend's birthday party on Saturday. Well, okay, and there might be something tomorrow that could maybe, possibly qualify as a date, but I don't want to jinx it, so I won't say anything more just yet.

Right now, the priority needs to be less on dating and more on shaking myself out of this funk. Ups and downs are to be expected, and I'm no stranger to the inevitability that the peaks are accompanied by valleys. I'll get back up there... soon.

74 comments:

Jamy said...

I'm reading that book too and it's annoying the hell out of me. But I'm not saying there's nothing to learn there.

With your guys, why don't you pick one and try and actually build a relationship with him? It seems obvious that you like Tyler more. What have you got to lose by opening up?

NuYawker said...

D-
Funny, I've been reading that book as well after seeing it by chance in the bookstore. It found me a the right time as the last few months have for me also been a marathon dating/flirting/sexathon. But it becomes a cycle with no end. I'm reading the last part of this book now after three weeks of taking myself off the nightlife scene (partly for an interborough move, partly to detox, partly to chill the fuck out) and it really just drags a lot of truths out of me that I've been trying to ignore for while.

There's nothing daming or wrong about the Adam/Tyler encounters. Every encounter defines you more. You just have to be careful your expectations for the Adam/Tyler relationships don't exceed what they are capable of now.

I do like the fact that the book tries the dispel the myth of found love versus created love. If you were so inspired to try this approach on Adam or Tyler, possibly the you may stop getting text messages from both of them. (Lets face it, anyone I REALLY feel chemistry for does NOT get text messages from me, only the booty calls do) Or maybe not.

But if that's what you're ready for, you can't waste your time with someone who isn't there yet. If you like the sex and are clear they serve no more purpose than that, don't feel bad about it. Just feel confident that you're more clear about what they serve for you, most likely more than they understand.

Anonymous said...

Dolly, you sleep with them (Adam, Tyler), you never ask for any commitment, you are too scared to say what you want, and you'll let them have sex with you whenever they are up for it.

And you asked, "Why does he treat me like a sex object - not a girlfriend?"

Well, no shit. By not voicing what you want and continuing to sleep with them, you're acting like a sex object.

If you act like weed, men will walk all over you. Act like the prize that you are. Figure what the guy wants (relationship, FB). If you tell a guy that you're looking for a deeper relationship, and he runs away. The problem is with him - not with you.

When you find the right guy, you'll have the rest of your life to enjoy wonderful sex with him. What's the hurry in jumping into bed with someone after knowing them for three hours?

Charlie Brown said...

It's true that commitment can be scary. But when you're with the right person, I think you know it deep down inside.
Personally, I asked myself : What is my dream girl? Does this girl fit the description, even though she has some flaws I couldn’t predict?
If yes, then nothing else should matter.
You’re not shallow Dolly. You obviously care about Adam and Tyler. Maybe the fact that you feel something for both of them makes you think you’re uncommited, and therefore unfeeling.
I see nothing wrong with your actions. HOWEVER, if your judgement tells you that you’re doing something wrong, you shouldn’t snuff it out or ignore it. Guilt and self-bashing is very unhealthy, and it’s going to come back if you postpone the problem.
Just remember that it’s your own moral code and your values that should tell you if you’re doing something wrong or not, not everyone else’s opinion (except of course for the laws). If you don’t know exactly what your moral code is, try picturing imaginary life situations in order to stay objective. What could you feel guilty or ashamed about doing?

Sharon said...

Hey anonymous? How do you not get a nosebleed on a horse so high?

Dolly deserves a lot of credit for putting herself out there the way she does. I've met few people with as much self-respect and self-confidence as she has. You know why she does what she does? Because she wants to. No other reason. She doesn't waste her time on silly headgames or time clock. And who the hell are you to judge her, anyway? You don't even have the guts to post your damn name.

There's no reason that bringing the matter up to Adam or Tyler might result in one of them saying, hey, let's give this a go, if that's what she wants. There is no right way or wrong way to be involved.

And, for the record, two of my very close friends who are married now started out as a one-night stand. There are no rules, nor right or wrong way of doing things. It's just a question of chemistry and timing and the willingness of both parties to nuture something along.

How dare you kick her while she's down. That's not right. And neither are you.

(And Dolly, we are on the same page about trying to break out of this funk. I'm hoping pilates and some time with friends will help me, along with some better weather.)

Dolly said...

Jamy,
Right now I have to think about whether the sex is better than nothing at all. If I express my emotions to Tyler (who has not been emotional about anything but his daughter) it might sour what is at least a satisfying physical relationship. I need to consider whether it's worth risking, or whether I should wipe the slate clean and start with new people.

Nuyawker,
It sounds like you're in the place I'm heading for. I need to ponder whether I can deal with my current dating situation and need a temporary break, or if I need to take more action than that (talking to either/both, no longer seeing either/both, etc). Lots of soul-searching ahead of me, I can say that much.

Anonymous,
You're not telling me anything I don't already know. And if you read carefully, I'm not asking why either of them treats me like a sex object, I am taking my share of the blame for it. The thing is, I've enjoyed what I've had with both of them. I haven't had a bad date with either and the sex has been great. And for a while, that was enough. I'm just trying to figure out exactly what it is I want next and whether TV Tyler or Arty Adam are going to be part of that. A little less judgment from people like you in the meantime would be nice.

Charlie,
I agree, when it feels right, you don't question things. It should come naturally. Which is why I'm going to naturally see how the situation with Adam and Tyler plays out--or doesn't.

Sharon,
Thank you. A lot.

pookalu said...

dolly -- i started reading your blog yesterday. i'm slow. i haven't read all of it, but 'sfine.

first, lemme applaud you for, as others have said it, putting yourself out there. you do have courage.

second, we all go through these cycles. i go on what i call "man strikes" after the crazy periods. i think both extremes are bad, but they help me equilibrate. we're only human, duh.

i agree with another of sharon's points, too. my good friends got married after they were just sex buddies, and now they have one kid and another on the way. and i love them to death.

Anonymous said...

"She doesn't waste her time on silly headgames or time clock. "

Sleeping with a guy who doesn't care to have a relationship is wasting one's time. Dolly would never know because she's too scared to ask the simple question, "So Adam/Tyler, what is it you're looking for?"

"Two very close friends who are married now started out as a one-night stand. "

I know a lot MORE one night stands that ended up with the guy fading off the radar. What is more likely when you sleep with someone on the first date - marriage or absolutely nothing? You take your own risks.

Honestly, if the guy is the one for you, you'll have the rest of your life to spend with him. What's your hurry?

Women should have self-respect and realize that they are worthy to be loved and cherished. They should realize they are much more one-night stands and fuck-buddies. They should also act as such.

If telling a woman that she should learn to act like a prize is "kicking her," than I don't know what isn't.

Quite honestly, Dolly spends a lot of time and energy to meet a lot of people. None of them have worked so far. The common denominator is Dolly. Perhaps Dolly should consider this, "if it ain't working, perhaps I should think about my own actions and try something a little different."

And by the way, a woman with a lot of self-respect and confidence doesn't sit around pining for guys, who would sleep with her but makes no attempt in building a relationship. A woman with a lot of self-respect and confidence isn't afraid to ask for what she wants.

Dolly said...

Pookalu,
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it's all about looking for that equilibrium.

Anonymous,
What is your problem? Do you have trouble reading? Didn't I just say I'm figuring out what it is I want? When I hooked-up with the various guys I wrote about, it's because I wanted a hook-up. I can't ask for TV Tyler or Arty Adam for what I want, because I'm still deciding that. Now do you understand? Should I use smaller words? I don't regret sleeping with them (or anyone else) and I am proud of my healthy sexual appetite, regardless of how people like you choose to judge me for it. I have enjoyed exploring my options without actively looking to settle down with one person, and I really don't need lessons from an anonymous strangers on how to behave in relationships. I've maintained a healthy relationship in the past without your help and will do so again-- without your help.

Larissa said...

I had to skim what you wrote about 'Unhooked' because I'm still reading it, but I'm looking forward to see where it goes. And if anyone else is reading it, I started a one time blog book club about this (of sorts). A bunch of us are sounding off on this on 3/30, feel free to join in. The more opinions the merrier ;-).

In terms of taking a break from dating like a fiend, do what you need girl. You've been keeping yourself pretty busy with all of this boy and blog drama, so I agree with you that a little breathing room could be a good thing. Trust me, I'm the QUEEN of breathing room. It seems we have opposite issues. I need to get back out there dating more. Hey, maybe we should switch lives for a week? ;-)

Elle said...

I saw this a few weeks ago and was interested in how she talked about us keeping "checklists" as we date more and more...

I just got a review copy so I'm excited to read up on more details...the end on all the happy couples sounds daunting...

Bama Girl said...

I'll have to pick the book up, sounds interesting.

I'm totally in the exact position, I call it undating i.e. I'm a sucker.

Eurosabr03 said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling ambivalent, ambiguous, and frustrated--your blog is, however, a fantastic window into the HB psyche for rAFCs who might dismiss it as a "quality problem" or still be spouting received dogma like "Attractive women can have sex whenever they want, and therefore have no interpersonal problems at all."

Anonymous said...

Dolly,

Keep hooking up then.

Don't throw pity party for yourself when guys disappear after sleeping with you.

Don't sit around reading books about long-lasting relationships and love and feel sorry for yourself because you don't have those things.

You reap what you sow: Hooking up begats....well, nothing. Stop feeling sorry about yourself because of your own actions.

Jamy said...

I wish anon would shut up. You're not contributing anything to this discussion. Dolly is not throwing a "pity party." And, you know what--even if she were that would be just fine, because:

1) She gets to feel how she feels.
2) It's her blog.

transformer said...

Hey, How ya doin'?

As a 1st time poster I wanted to say I've really enjoyed your blog this last week (when I came on board).

Anonymous, have some compassion. It goes a long way. For yourself, as well as others.

Dolly, I think it's great you work things out, and not only that, you let people know you're working things out! You just put it right out there. It seems public, but it's like group therapy in that it can be private through anonymity.

What you wrote today immediately got me thinking about the nature of wanting and desire and impermanence, and how the things that bring us pleasure may also lead to some pain and discomfort.
Even good things can transition into painful experiences. That's a part of life. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean life sucks.

I don't want to get too too heavy, but wanted say hi and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Dolly admits in her own post that her hooking up and random sex is empty and unsatisfying. Yet, she gets defensive when others agree her own statements.

Grow up.

Yes, it's fun to get attention from boys at bars. Admit it, it's not that hard: show some skin, smile, and be easy. It doesn't take a genius.

Streetfair said...

Hey Dolly -

I can't express to you how impressed I am. I really wish I knew some more basic facts about you (age, history, and stuff) before I say what I want to say, because I could be way off.....

A really cheesy, overblown way to say it is that I feel like you've documented in real time your transition from girl to woman. It's just that time when someone discovers their real power sexually, has a few excesses (but no damage thank god!), and then can finally start to relax and figure out WHAT IS THIS POWER GOOD FOR? Now you can start to control your strengths, rather than being a victim of them, which is so common and horrible to watch.

Sorry this is so shlocky souding. I don't have time to clean it up. All I'm saying is it's cool to watch someone take risks and then learn from them rather than get addicted to thrills themself.

The more you can show both sides of yourself - the hot, fast and risk-taking side, as well as the reflective, feeling side the better the book you'll write about all this will be!

Anonymous said...

Compassion for Dolly? Why?

1. Is she a victim of others' actions? No.

2. Did she not receive what she asked for? No, they wanted hook ups and got them. Why does she need my pity?

3. Has she done anything extraordinary? No. Picking up men at bars and sleeping with them is an old trick. Women have been doing that for year. Am I impressed that she's good at it? Not really. So what if she's good at sex and have an appetite for it. Who doesn't? That doesn't make anyone special.

C said...

Just started reading the blog yesterday - love it! Just turned 30 and I am going through the same thing. A couple thoughts to contribute - maybe you're just tired. Not trying to oversimplify, but a busy dating schedule requires alot of energy - you have to be 'on' alot the time. Maybe you are just coming down off your dating/sex 'high'. Perhaps put the melancholy feelings in perspective, the commitment-free life you choose to lead now will in no way stop you from the having the picture painted in that book you read...when you are ready..in the distant future.. or maybe tomorrow.

One last thing.. do not justify any more of Anonymous' comments with a response. From what I have read so far, you're too good for that.

blog on...

Anonymous said...

This is the part of the song where Dolly has to pay the ferryman.

Anonymous said...

My two room mates are both 26, and we live in NYC. One is a public defender, who works over 80 hrs a week. The other is a OR nurse, and she has some amazing stories.

Is it just me or is this funny how we make a celebrity of a woman who's achievement is picking up men at at bars?

Why doesn't the Village Voice do a piece on my room mates, who have actually done something and done something for other people?

Since when is bar-hopping a skill worthy of praise and celebrity?

Rebel Leader said...

Hi Dolly, did you get my "?" ?

Sorry you're down. Do you volunteer anywhere?

I ask because I volunteer regularly for a cause that I believe is making a difference in the world. It helps me recognize the smallness of my existence -- how I'm connected to this huge world with billions of people. It's amazing that, as small I am, I have a relationship to every single one of them! Collectively, we have a lot of problems that are much more significant than my personal ones, but which deserve some of my personal focus.

When I'm feeling lonely, I think about this. And volunteer. This helps me, anyway.

Love, Rebel Leader

Larissa said...

ugh come on all you anon commenters. at least attach a name to your cheapshots. dolly's putting herself out there, and you're hurling insults at her without even owning up to who you are. sounds pretty cowardly/lame if you ask me.

Rebel Leader said...

"Why doesn't the Village Voice do a piece on my room mates, who have actually done something and done something for other people?"

A better question is, why don't you? Maybe that would be a better use of your time than moralistically attacking someone whose feeling down. Just a thought.

Jay said...

I've been reading and not commenting since early Feb. Great blog, Dolly. Thanks for it.

Maybe I'm just more accustomed to reading music blogs, but I can't help mentioning "This Modern Love" by Bloc Party. Seems appropriate somehow. Not necessarily helpful, but hey - what can you do?

If I find some time to kill later, I'll try and send you a proper email, lest my brilliant ideas get lost among the rest of these comments.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Larissa,

Dolly is just as anonymous as I am.

I don't know her first and last name. I don't care to.

I can walk into any bar in NYC and pick out at least two or women girls who're just as good as hook ups as she is.

NuYawker said...

Anonymous seems so reactionary and diligent for someone who apparently doesn't care for Dolly's approach to the singles world. This is a blog, not a standarized text book.
It's like tv. Don't like it, change the channel. Couldn't be more simple.
-anxiously awaiting more.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe that would be a better use of your time"

Maybe Dolly would have a better use of her time and youth other than plotting her bar hopping plan of the night and bragging about being a PUA.

-Perhaps reading a real book about art, history, politics?

-Perhaps working in a homeless shelter in NYC?

-Perhaps volunteering in a center for the disabled?

It's sad that young women today brag about their sexual adventures, not what they have done for other people.

There are numerous blogs out there where young women chronicle their lives in the Peace Corps, in medical school, and the non-profit world. Unfortunately, our society deems these stories unworthy - they don't get book deals or covers in newspapers.

We would rather applaud young women who are very good and attracting men after reading a book instead.

Rebel Leader said...

My question was an honest one, High_and_Mighty (i'm bored with "anonymous").

If you're so enamored with your two roommates, instead of whining about how society doesn't do what you want it to do, why don't you take responsibility for being part of society and write an article about how great they are? Submit it to the Village Voice. What are you trying to accomplish here?

Rebel Leader said...

PS: High_and_Mighty;

you claim "I can walk into any bar in NYC and pick out at least two or women girls who're just as good as hook ups as she is."

I'll be in New York in two weeks. Prove this claim to me and I'll donate $1000 to any non-profit that you want me to. Otherwise you're just a bitter guy whose angry and the world in general and women in particular.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rebel Leader,

My points:

1. The shallowness of Dolly experience. She used the word "shallow" on herself in this post. I'm merely agreeing with her.

2. The stupidity of people like you who are so enamored with women whose only bragging right is how many men they have slept with.

By the way, I am an third year associate in a firm in NYC. I do mostly fair-housing / fair-zoning law.

It's really sad that I meet so many young women who have no passion in life.

Their "passion" is bar-hopping, shopping, picking up men, and then gossiping about men. It's all they can talk about and think about. And there are so many people eager to applaud and congratulate them on how well they fare in local pick up spots....

It may seem shocking to you, but there is a lot more to life than random hook-ups.

Anonymous said...

"I'll be in New York in two weeks. Prove this claim to me and I'll donate $1000 to any non-profit that you want me to. Otherwise you're just a bitter guy whose angry and the world in general and women in particular. "

First, I'm a woman.

Second, feel free to email me at smile4jen@yahoo.com. I'll hold you up to your world. A great charity that come to mind is the Refugee Council of America.

Anonymous said...

I'll hold you up to your WORD. I meant

becca said...

It seems women can be Ray Gordon wannabes too!

Stretch said...

I think we are paying too much attention to Anon / Ms. 3rd Year Associate. She's entitled to her opinion. She's not entitled to have us dignify it with a response.

Dolly, thanks for the book recommendation. It sounds like something I would definitely agree with.

Anonymous said...

I agree, do not pay attention to 'Ms. 3rd Year' or legitimize her comments by responding. Unless you're 38 and alone... then you can feel free to agree.

Dolly said...

Hey guys, guess what? I have a pretty good idea who Anonymous is, thanks to my Sitemeter. Trust me, no further replies are necessary.

Hahaha, wait until karma kicks in...

In the meantime, say bye-bye to further anonymous commenting!

Another Dave said...

"The real question is, what now?"

It's good that you're going to do some fun things with your platonic friends, but I think there's a couple of other things you should consider doing.

First, there's more than just a grain of truth to the saying, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." It's true for me and I think it's true for most men. So, learn how to cook really well and then make food for Tyler all the time. [to learn how to make guy food really well, check out this site: www.thecookingguy.com. It's the only resource you'll need.]

Second, although the way to a man's heart is not through his fly, sometimes intensifying the physical aspect can stir up certain feelings in a man. So, try this: the next time you're with Tyler, ask him to take the glove off and use the back door. One of my FBs did that to me once and I got so turned on that the sex was beyond beserk. After, as we snuggled in each other's arms, twitching uncontrollably, I was suddenly overwhelmed with tender feelings for her and began to weep. It was then that I realized how much I cared about her. And so that's what I told her. She looked puzzled and surprised and studied my face for several seconds and then told me that she felt the same way about me and began to get teary-eyed, whereupon she excused herself, saying that she felt a sudden urge to eliminate. It must have been a very emotional moment for her.

Anyway, after I cut my other FBs loose, we spent 3 years together as an item. The breakup was painful, but it was a very beautiful relationship while it lasted.

--Another Dave

P.S. She happened to be a really good cook too.

pookalu said...

wow. just checking in again, and i gotta say, wow. not that i'm not wasting my own time here, but cut this girl some slack! i know that there's a lot out there that should be done and has been done, but do people have to be haters?

we all should do noble stuff, but this personal life crap that dolly's going through is her own to deal with, and just because she may voice this stuff and share it with the rest of us, this is (i iterate everything that everyone else has said) HER BLOG.

who's to say that she doesn't do other stuff that these haters may actually perceive as "noble" and "justifies her existence."

Dr. Inkfish said...

What we get in course of our life is merely a reflection of ourselves, our desires, limitations and temper. You wanted fun - you have fun and nothing else, nothing 'serious'. I look around myself and I barely see people who are capable of anything 'serious'... its everlasting kindergarden out there... they afraid to embark on adventures that pop up in front of them... afraid that it will rob them of 'freedom'... poor commoditified children of post-industrial jungle...

Best,
Dr. Inkfish

CoatMan said...

Sorry to learn that you're feeling meloncholy, and I hope that you feel happy and bouncy and fabulous again soon. Am I right in surmising that what's upsetting you is not so much what you have read in Unhooked Generation, but by your growing realisation that your relationships with both TV Tyler and Arty Adam, despite much initial promise, are not likely to go long-term?

I'm not sure that I fully follow what you write about meaning, in that I'm not sure that you've used the word "meaning" in a very meaningful way. In an attempt to short-circuit potentially endless philosophical disocurse on the meaning of "meaning", by "meaning" do you mean "long-term significance", as in, in this case, a real potential for one of these relationships to become a serious, long-term relationship of the sort that you have ultimately been seeking?

Because, of course, in general terms, if something is enjoyable, then it being enjoyable is an end in and of itself, and it does not make sense to complain of it lacking any capacity to impact positively on one's life after one's immediate engagement with the activity has ceased. Is the point that the fun of dating, for you at least (and probably for many others), is partly conditional on its potential to procure something that will ultimately give you even more satisfaction than a series of fun dates, viz. a good quality, stable, long-term relationship, in the way that part of the fun of building a model (for those who find it fun) is the satisfaction of having a fully constructed model at the end of it, and there is a sense in which the fun of building it would be negated (by subsequent emotional pain) if the model was destroyed shortly after creation, even though the pleasure of its construction would be the same before it was finished?

As to selfishness, I question the tendency to self-flagillation that such a comment invites. True selfishness is not merely seeking one's own happiness, but doing so in such a way as to impair others' happiness in circumstances where one ought not do so: in other words, selfishness entails not merely preference for one's own happiness, but unreasonable preference for one's own happiness. The factors, however, outlined in your report of the book are not factors that go to unreasonableness: it is perfectly reasonable to filter potential mates on the basis of how happy that they tend to make one, and it is equally reasonable to expect to be filtered by others on such a basis. Since pair-mating is no longer a survival or even social necessity in the way that it once was, one can quite reasonably expect people to choose a mate now, unlike some time ago, soeley on the basis of how happy that one anticipates being in a long-term relationship with the person. That is perfectly reasonable when companionship, rather than survival, is the aim of the association.

In summary, I empathise with your melancholy, and hope that it lifts soon; don't, however, blame yourself (or others) for having high standards in selecting a potential mate: it is, after all, better to be with the right person than nobody, but better to be with nobody than the wrong person.

Happy dating and keep 'blogging!

Charlie Brown said...

Why the hell do these self-righteous guys pop up from? If you want boring blogs with AFC thoughts, there's plenty out there.
Through the course of a couple months, Dolly turned from the girl who got rejected twice in the same day and who dreamt about a subway guy to talk to her into a confident charismatic and entertaining girl who could basically choose the man she wants.

Now how can someone say that's bad and shallow? They're just jealous.

LouseLogic said...

Ive been reading this blog since it came up and just kept in the darknness, lurking and enjoying what Dolly writes, but in this post with 43 comments I felt compelled to comment.

NO WHERE...Let me repeat...no where in any part of the post does Dolly ask for any advice.

Why is everyone so eager to voice their opinion rather than show support or empathy.

Chill the fuck out, dont crucify someone for posting something insightful.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

I love these comments. They are hilarious.

Dolly is..."girl who could basically choose the man she wants. Now how can someone say that's bad and shallow?"

Of course, the measure of a woman's depth is whether she can get a man or not. I agree - there is nothing shallow about working really hard on getting men to sleep with you. (I'm being sarcastic, just so you know).

This one is even better:
"So, learn how to cook really well and then make food for Tyler all the time"...

I really hope that Dolly is better than a woman who sits around plotting how to trap a man by 1. cooking, 2. getting physical with him. What about attracting a man with your personality and intelligence?

Quite honestly, I don't get this obession with the PUA life-style. It's doesn't take that much to get a man to go home with you and sleep with you in NYC. The same applies for a male PUA.

jo said...

i've been thinking bout how i really need to get my hands on that book. but dang girl you hit the nail on the head. i was just thinking bout my 'relationship' status. sure the random thing is fun sometimes. and so is living it up as a single. but then i feel that what i'm really missing is that kind of sweet, loving, enduring relationship. it doesn't help when i watch my friends one by one get hitched and see how lucky they are that they found a man who loves 'em that much. and i wonder why doesn't it happen to me.

NotCarrie said...

My goodness!

Rock on, statcounters! (and karma:)

Rich said...

"Picking up men at bars and sleeping with them is an old trick. Women have been doing that for year. Am I impressed that she's good at it? Not really. So what if she's good at sex and have an appetite for it. Who doesn't? That doesn't make anyone special."

Yeah? well I bet you suck at it :P

Not that it matters to you, since your self-righteous attitude pbly netedt you exactly the type of suppliant, settling, snivelling little boy (or girl) you wanted, all I can say is I feel sorry for the poor bloke, you selfish bitch.

How's that for pain? it's a shame i downed so much shochu right after my Kendo (Japanese sword-fighting) classes, or I'd be sober enough for wit.

As it stands, I think the true testament to one's greatness lies in their character, ability, honesty and knowledge of themselves, not in how many charity cases they've handled or how many souls they've saved from eternal damnation or even how 'good' of a girl she is for her chastity; denying herself pleasure and the very human pain that comes with it. Which basically means Dolly needn't give a damn what you think.

Skill, of any sort, makes a person special. Dolly isn't just a phenomenal PUA, she's also a VERY good writer and communicator, and judging by your dreary comments and the fact that you can only cite your friends' professions as examples of being unique, I doubt you're much good for anything in this world.

Rich said...

loveandotheraccidents, i love your comments as well (okay not that much but) it too is hilarious. The measure of depth in a HUMAN BEING, and therefore the measure of their attractiveness, lies in their ability to express themselves in their surroundings in ways that keep true to their persons.

It is no different if you are trying to conquer the universe, end world hunger or just plain find an end to your loneliness, if you don't know how to do it well, while at the same time without regrets (or bitterness to those who are good at it) then you won't be a 'good' person.

So if you think quality men are just going to sleep with you because you can dress, apply makeup and sit at a bar you are sadly mistaken. This game we play has a certain number of rules, partly because we've all been mind-fucked into thinking open displays of desire and affection are a bad thing, partly because flirting rules help us eliminate those people we will dread seeing next to us tomorrow morning. And those who have the charm to play these rules to perfection are a rare breed.

I admit seduction and good blogging skills pbly aren't the sort of human endeavours we should be filling history books and newspapers with, unless it's what people want to read. But then I'd rather be a good libertine than a righteous murderer or goodwill-junkie (I help the homeless because I want to, my heart eases knowing there's less suffering and I accept that it's got more to do with me feeling good about it than anything else, certainly not because other people THINK it's what makes a good man).

Because, in the greater scheme of things, all human achievements are to be reduced to dust and time, the great equalizer, shall make us all the same.

Derek L. said...

Ouch, girl... I feel your pain. I've been through the same internal debate that I think you're going through now. I came out a better person, as I'm sure you will too. I've found it helpful to be more careless with my own heart, to not guard my emotions as closely. Sure, I've been getting hurt a lot more since then, but I think it also helped me connect with people on a deeper level. Best of luck in your quest!

Loveandotheraccidents said...

Rich,

"So if you think quality men are just going to sleep with you because you can dress, apply makeup and sit at a bar you are sadly mistaken. "

When did I ever say this?? I NEVER once measured myself worth by how many men I could attract in bars. And the last two relationships I had didn't not start in a bar.

The quality men I know do not spend their nights reading a pick-up instruction books either. The quality men I've known are out there pursuing their passions (no, as a previous commenter noted, picking up women at bars is not a passion).

"Because, in the greater scheme of things, all human achievements are to be reduced to dust and time, the great equalizer, shall make us all the same."

I do not think all endeavors are equal. I do not equate picking up men at a bar with say, when a neurosurgeons saves the life of a child with a neuroblastoma, and when a teacher inspires a young man growning up in a bad neighborhood. There is a difference between devoting oneself to others' well-being and devoting oneself the art of...seduce people into bed with you. Giving up one's seat on the the subway puts a smile on my face. That simple acts means more to mean than any peacocking one can do. Sorry buddy, they ain't the same.

Charlie Brown said...

If you had at least checked a little PUA material, you would've seen they encourage passions and passions. They discourage social robots and the PUAs whose game is getting the most part of their life.

Their real goal IS to be quality persons, persons who give themselves what they want by giving girls what they want too.

Do your research before you start babbling nonsense!

pawlr said...

Dolly-

Just wanted to pipe up and credit you for adding another dimension to the discourse here. You're a brave person to want to talk about issues 'beyond sex', and thanks for reminding me that even though I'm rAFC, I also anticipate that I will value meaning over sex eventually. Guys, even PUA's, do too, its just that they're in a place in their lives when they're focussed on flexing their wings and gettin' some, enjoying their maleness, which is a natural response to a castrating PC society.

With respect to your desires for more meaningful relations with Tyler and Adam, there are ways to initiate controlled transitions into those directions without "baring your soul" and thus driving them away. If you're interested, I'll share what I mean. Yes its possible they might not be interested in more depth, but its more likely they ARE interested and are just skittish and associate attempts at something more with "instant commitment".

Stretch said...

Loveandotheraccidents,

It sounds like you consider reading about pickup and doing things like inspiring young men and women to grow up to be effective citizens or having a passionate professional life to be mutually exclusive. Let me assure you they are not. I can understand why you might believe that, though, because that was the impression I had of PUA's before I began learning more about attraction dynamics.

If it is noble for a man to perfect his skills at something like teaching or neurosurgery, why isn't it also be noble for him to perfect his skills at attracting women? Isn't attracting the right type of mate one of the most important things a man can accomplish in his life? Wouldn't the world be a bit better off if more men (through their understanding of attraction) had the opportunity to attract women they truly desire into their lives instead of merely settling for what seemed to be available? Wouldn't those men be more likely to effective as husbands and fathers? Wouldn't their partners be more satisfied to be with a man who knew how to keep them interested in the relationship?

-- said...

Anon, you say:

Dolly spends a lot of time and energy to meet a lot of people. None of them have worked so far. The common denominator is Dolly. Perhaps Dolly should consider this, "if it ain't working, perhaps I should think about my own actions and try something a little different."

Well you know what? I go out with Dolly all the time, and I spend a lot of energy on meeting a lot of people. I don't sleep with any of them, treat myself as a "prize" and you know what? It still doesn't work out. How do you explain that?

People are going to do what they want to do, and nothing anyone else says is ever going to change that. Don't judge.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

Kristin,

Out of curiosity, I went to your blog and read a few recent posts. Treating oneself like a "prize" does NOT include hanging on a guy who has disappeared on your months ago. I'm thinking about the British guy you wrote about. In my book, a man has only one chance to disappear or disrepect me.

Treating oneself like a "prize" also does not include dating someone for six months, and having him as a boyfriend for 15 minutes.

The point is not necessarily just the sex. The point is realizing that you're a worthwhile individual, and the gentleman should feel excited and fortunate to have you in his life.

When a guy pushes you away at the end of a date (a reference to the Brit), the thing not to do is to hang on and pine for him. The thing to realize is that "I wouldn't be happy with this person anyway."

But if you think that have random hookups and "not acting like a prize" will lead you to a more meaningful relationship. Then go ahead, see what happens. Life is an experiment. Let us know how you do.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

"It sounds like you consider reading about pickup and doing things like inspiring young men and women to grow up to be effective citizens or having a passionate professional life to be mutually exclusive"

They are not mutally exclusive, but unfortunate, in reading this blog, they seem to be.

I would love to hear Dolly say something like, "I met this great guy while volunteering." Or something like, "I met this great guy on a weekend photography trip." Unfortunately, most stories I hear, "well, I went to bar with the goal in mind to pick up someone."

I'm in my late 20's, and a lot of my friends are getting engaged and married. The truth is most did not meet their "quality" partners in some cheesy club downtown. People met through friends, through activities, through jobs, and through passions.

Also, why you have a passion also matters. Do you pick up an art just so you can use it to impress a lady or a guy? Do you do it just so you can brag about it? Hey, I known guys who take yoga just to "meet chicks." Or, do you invest your time in something because you truly love it? It makes a difference. And people can tell.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

A final word: In the end, you have to ask yourself: Am I not lonely anymore now that I can charm a random girl in a bar? Am I building quality relationships with the opposite sex (friendship or otherwise) with all that I'm doing? If you have, I congratulate you and I am happy for you. If deep down, you know you still feel the same emptiness as before. Then I would suggest that you consider other paths.

In my book, 100 notorious stories about weekend sexathons are not worth one descent story of meeting someone you respect, and having he or her repsect and cherish you in returm.

Rich said...

"Giving up one's seat on the the subway puts a smile on my face. That simple acts means more to me than any peacocking one can do."

Right, that's you, if it makes you happy congrats. But you should also consider whether all this charity work and neurosurgery is really being done out of some selfless love for humanity or because it 'puts a smile on your face'.

If teasing a waitress and putting a smile on HER face after she's had a particularly gruelling day makes me equally happy who's to say it isn't more worthwhile than letting somebody take my subway seat?

We do whatever we find joy in, if you can say you're here and posting comments and investigating others' blogs out of some selfless altruistic need to correct and save all of us you're deluding yourself. If you think you're just as good at Dolly when it comes to attracting the opposite sex or that charisma 'isn't that hard' you're also deluding yourself.

I imagine you're reading these things because they're funny, and as Mill says, poetry is no higher a pursuit than pushpin, so you can stop any time you want and go save the world instead.

As for Dolly, she realizes the bar scene isn't fun anymore and she's taking a break, she doesn't need to be told that her moments of unparalleled erotic pleasure were meaningless, because they weren't.

Stretch said...

Loveandotheraccidents,

I actually laughed to myself a bit when I read your comments, because some of what you wrote are the EXACT things I thought and felt before I started studying attraction dynamics. I am still something of a closet idealist when it comes to romance. Which is why I hope to one day tell, rather than just read, a story about "meeting someone you respect, and having he or her repsect and cherish you in returm." I believe that in order to fulfill that goal, learning this material is necessary.

First, keep in mind that all sorts of people can be found in bars. That's why they exist...people go there to socialize, and not always just with the people they came with or came there to meet. There is nothing inherently wrong with going to a bar with the hope of meeting a romantic interest. Maybe your friends didn't meet their wives or husbands at a bar, but that doesn't mean that it can't happen. And if Dolly wants to go to a bar to meet a fling rather than a soulmate, or prefers to go to a bar rather than volunteer at a soup kitchen, that's her business.

I have been following this blog for over a month now, and I still don’t understand exactly what it is about the PUAs’ decision to study and practice attraction dynamics that some commenters find so objectionable. Some have suggested that the PUA’s time would be better spent feeding the homeless and saving the world. But the same can be said of all the AFC’s who frequent the bars the PUA’s are going to. And many PUA’s do engage in those sorts of charitable activities (it is something that the community actually encourages). Some take offense at the potential for these techniques to turn men into womanizers. While it is true that PUA techniques can be used recklessly, that is not something I have seen very often. A car can also be used recklessly, but that doesn’t stop us from driving.

People seem to have this impression that a few books came out and suddenly all a man has to do to become the mack-daddy of whatever city he is living in is read them and follow a few easy steps, and overnight he can bed whatever woman he desires, then cast her aside for his next conquest. Ummm, no. First of all, there seems to be some agreement that it takes between 1-4 years of consistent practice to master these skills. Most men in today’s society (sadly, in my view) don’t have the patience or perseverance for that. The techniques don’t work unless the man genuinely has the self-confidence and self-esteem to appear congruent with the frame he is presenting. This “inner game” work is indispensable and is why it takes so long to master PUA skills. Second, a big part of being a PUA is being honest about your intentions and treating women well…it is this honesty that makes the techniques congruent and effective.

It is important to keep in mind that men have different motivations and goals for the study of attraction dynamics. Someone commented earlier that all PUA’s were once AFC’s. The AFC’s learned this stuff because what they were doing before wasn’t working. They would think things like “I am handsome. I have this great education. I am well read. I am well off financially. I teach Sunday School. But I don’t have a date for Friday night. What gives?” And there are many potential answers to that. Maybe he feels a sense of entitlement for what he has accomplished and expects others to be impressed by that. Maybe he spends so much time working that he doesn’t have that many interesting experiences to share in conversation. Maybe his first few interactions with women as far back as high school or junior high weren’t positive, and tainted his thinking and confidence going forward. Whatever the reason, it is usually manifested in one result that keeps him from attracting the woman he wants: HE BORES HER. And that is largely what these PUA techniques do to solve the problem: THEY KEEP HIM FROM BEING BORING. What is so bad about that?

To answer your question, yes, my social life has improved since I learned this material, and I am not as lonely as before. Not because I use the techniques to have as much sex as possible with as many girls as possible, but because I have learned to engage people (men and women) in a way more likely to elicit the commonalities most people share. This has benefits that extend into the workplace and beyond.

Attraction dynamics exists to enrich our lives, not to replace them.

NuYawker said...

bquD-
i've been a NYCer for the better part of 15 years, maybe a third of which I was in commited relationships. When I think about it, I have to agree with loveandotheraccidents. I think about 90% of my married friends did not meet in a bar, but through other venues or activities. Not to criticize the bar scene, but I think you just have to be relaxed about what you're expecting to yield from it. Nothing wrong with playin da field, but don't confuse it with finding a real connection under the influence of substances. It happens, but I've found it's not the norm.
And by the way, emotionally violent reactions to Dolly's blog say volumes more about the respondent than Dolly. But sure as hell amuses me.

Stretch said...

NuYawker / LOAC (Loveandother...),

Fair enough. People generally don't meet their soulmates in bars. I'll buy that. But for me at least, the bar is as much a place to practice PUA social skills as to find a romantic interest. There's really not many other places I can think of where there are so many opportunities to interract socially with so many different people. I certainly don't speak for everyone who reads or practices this stuff, but for me, the idea is to learn the skills so that when the right one comes along, I will be ready to seize that moment.

NuYawker said...

I read The Game. This PUA stuff kills me. It's no different than The South Beach Diet. People like to place formulas on stuff that to me comes with experience and common sense. But it is a sport. And it is fun.

Um Hi said...

Don't get discouraged. That's the worst thing. Maintain your enthusiasm for things, even if they may end badly. You never know what surprises lie just beyond the corner.

Also, we are selfish. So what. We're women. We have more power than before, we make more money, we have more success. We should be sucking the marrow out of life. So what if things seem vacuous at times. The important thing is that you're having FUN and that you are in control of your life. You realize what matters and what doesn't, so let the world be your oyster.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

"If you think you're just as good at Dolly when it comes to attracting the opposite sex or that charisma 'isn't that hard' you're also deluding yourself. "

Rich, this is hilarious.

The best you can come up with is,
"Love, Dolly is better at picking up men than you are."
That's it?

You're right. She is. But guess what? I don't value myself more or less because more semi-intoxicated men flock to another woman than they do to me. Believe this or not, a lot of women out there don't measure themselves by whether guys rate them a 1 or a 10.

Your comment reflects more about how you value women.

Loveandotheraccidents said...

"The techniques don’t work unless the man genuinely has the self-confidence and self-esteem to appear congruent with the frame he is presenting."

One can gain self-confidence and self-esteems through many other means, beyond standing in a darkly lit bar in midtown trying to pick up a prey.

If one grew up introverted and nervous with others, there are many ways to improve one's social skills than putting on a low-cut top and dancing in a club.
There are other ways where you can help someone else at the same time.

Friends of mine have joined civic and service association in the city, where they have met friendly, positive people whose main focus isn't getting in bed with you. They do over time become more confident and more aware people, whereas some (not all) bar flies I know end up with alcoholic liver disease.

Of course, all kinds of people go these bars and clubs. But if I had to put my money on meeting a upstanding, compassionate man, I personally would bet towards the Habitat for Humanity crowd than the NYC Barfly Association. Meeting people is all a probability's game. Some of us would rather spend our time where the possiblities are best, and where there isn't so much pressure and expectation to hook up.

Rich said...

love,

What's funny is the amount of emphasis you place on altruistic but ultimately band-aid attempts to stop gushers of blood. Your little charity cases and 'Habitat for Humanity' vounteer jobs are just as trivial pursuit-wise as seducing men. Why? Because you're doing it to make yourself happy.

Moreover, the fact remains that YOU AREN'T READING WHAT I'M WRITING. If you think I'm trying to assert that your inability to pickup somehow makes you less of a woman, I'm NOT. I'm just saying it doesn't make you any MORE of one either.

The true depth and value of a man, woman, transgender isn't in how much use they are to other people, the environment, the corporation, society, but how much enjoyment they can take out of life and how well they perform in the activities that occupy their waking moments.

Rich said...

Love,

Bars, clubs, cafes, auctions, art exhibits, parties, soup-kitchens, ONLINE, the list goes on.

They're all places where one goes to meet other people, if you actually read the blog you'll realize that Dolly didn't meet Tyler or Adam from a bar/club but off the net. And much as this might surprise you, I've dated narrow-minded ideologues and power-mongers from charities i've worked for as well, Worldvision isn't staffed by angels either.

But none of this means anything to you, you've got worlds to save, people to chastise, and disparate opinions to talk over/ignore. Sorry for sullying your hands, but you'll never convince me, so why not go gallavanting off and let us debaucherous debutantes be?

Look forward to reading about your charming encounters with men/women of high moral fibre and good standing on your blog.

~Rich

ChiMike said...

Love and Rich,

would you stop bickering or just swap email addresses and spare us?

NuYawker said...

...or get a room

ChiMike said...

i think we've covered it:

everyone wants to be happy. being happy is probably going to involve having something more than casual sex relationships. people realize this in different ways, often after having a string of exciting but ultimately unsatisfying casual sex relationships.

and i think we can say that NOBODY learns any lessons by being barked at by a stranger online.

one way or another, we don't have to worry too much about someone as self-aware as Dolly finding her way.

but what will happen next to our Dolly, that is if she isn't so annoyed by this preaching that she stops blogging?

Stretch said...

nuyawker,

After thinking about your South Beach Diet analogy, you are probably right...what we think of now as "The Game" is likely to be replaced by something else. To an extent, it already has. Straus makes that point at the end of his book: "men and women will always be coming up with new ways to get together." But good point.

Rich said...

Chimike,

No!!! :P

have a nice day!

Nuyawker,

Follow your own advice

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