Tuesday, May 31, 2016

One Eight One: Seating Arrangement

I've said before that I have my dislikes among the sex bloggers. I'm fine with Karley Sciortino at Slutever and Vogue, who's lovely and a delight.  But the two writers I'm currently regarding as my leading candidates for an enemies list are the blogger who calls himself "Dr. Nerdlove" and the woman who calls herself Arden Leigh.

I'm sure they're both well-meaning. I'll give them that. But reading either of them leaves me depressed and angry. There's nothing in either writer's archives to make me feel the least shred of hope, and both seem to take a positive delight in belittling, haranguing, and mocking hapless male readers. The so-called Dr. Nerdlove enjoys using "tough love" slogans to humiliate and bludgeon male readers. He enjoys mocking any male with limited social skills or who's the least bit shy. Arden Leigh uses New Age and psycho-babble terminology to the same end. Leigh sets herself out as a female PUA, as someone who's studied the skills of seduction...and then lashes out at any idea of romance, or fun, or actual flirtation.

And what have I learned from them recently? Well, I've learned this:

If you're sitting at dinner or drinks with a girl (but should you be? after all, asking anyone out is a show of "entitlement", isn't it?), be sure never to sit directly across from her. Always sit on the diagonal. Make sure you're the one sitting close to the wall and that she's always close to an exit/escape. Never, ever meet her eyes. Never under any circumstances hold her hand. Never touch. Never introduce any topic of conversation. Never attempt to add any information to a topic, never attempt to explain anything no matter what you may know about a topic. Reply only in monosyllables. Never show any emotion in your voice, and of course never raise your voice. Never ask a question, never ask for any information, never ask about anything personal. Never disagree; never defend a viewpoint. Offer nothing. Keep looking away, head down.

If you're on the street with a girl, it goes without saying that you never hold a date's hand or put an arm around her. Always walk just a bit ahead of her so that you're never behind her, where you might seem to be a looming threat. Never stop--- keep walking no matter what. Never give directions. Do not speak while walking--- certainly never speak first. Do not suggest destinations or routes. Call attention to nothing around you. Make no comments on anything. Again--- never meet her eyes, never look directly at her. Keep your body language close, keep your own social space to the barest possible minimum. At a bar, on a subway, on a bus--- keep at least one empty seat between the two of you. There at the bar, sit half turned away. Draw in on yourself. Never allow yourself to seem like a physical presence.

And never, never, never ask for anything, especially not any kind of show of attention or support or affection. Offer none, lest that be taken as being "entitled" to a response, or as a kind of manipulation.

Do all these things. I'm sure "Dr. Nerdlove" and Arden Leigh would approve. This is how we live now.

This is what I've learned.

Though the question remains open: how exactly does one make a dignified withdrawal from the emotional post-apocalyptic hellscape of romantic and sexual interaction?

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