Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: The Up Front Guides: Relationships for the Unisexual

183 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Newer→ Last

  • B Jones, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I did say "many men would agree..."

    Many men might, but that wouldn't stop them from being wrong. Everyone thinks they only get attention when they don't need it; but the volume of popular culture that argues that women's availability/desperation is a massive turnoff for men* can't be ignored. There's an industry of self-help books telling women not to call first/put out on the first date/move in with a guy until he puts a ring on it, ya de ya.

    *or alternatively, incitement for sexual assault. It's a catch-22.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman,

    So, just to be clear, you're only open to listening to men's opinions about what women do?

    Not all men. Only the ones who keep proper log books. Some men make all sorts of wild claims about what they've seen women do, but you can't verify them because they neglected to record the serial numbers.

    Also, a lot of women have short hair these days, and it's easy to assume that they're men and give undue weight to their opinions about women. A chap shouldn't be offended if another chap asks him to prove that he's not a lovely lady before he gives a lecture or magic lantern show about women.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    so we can enjoy the chaste delights
    of entanglement at a discrete distance...

    spooky

    Don't forget strangeness and charm...

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    Some men make all sorts of wild claims about what they've seen women do, but you can't verify them because they neglected to record the serial numbers.

    Bravo, sir!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So, just to be clear, you're only open to listening to men's opinions about what women do?

    Not at all. Perhaps if I had said "women seem to avoid you like the plague" it would have been clearer but I could equally say that I am open to listening to what women think men think but perhaps I don't fully understand what your question is saying.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4897 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    they'll find you interesting

    you may be conflating interesting and sexy

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    Perhaps you can't control your pupils dilates or the way your tongue unrolls across the floor and sparks come out of your ears

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=lVN1Apz45AE

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman,

    you may be conflating interesting and sexy

    Always have, always will.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So, just to be clear, you're only open to listening to men's opinions about what women do?

    The tricky thing is that we're dealing with subconscious reactions, and introspection might not be the best guide to understanding one's own actions. This applies to both men & women, and in all fields: what we say we want is often not what we do.

    So, if we're going to investigate such old saws as "women are more attracted to taken men than single men", it would be best to have some actual data, and neither repeating "many men would agree" nor relying on an individual's counterexample would shed any light on it. In lieu of such data (and I'd welcome any suggestions), one could still suggest possible mechanisms for the supposed phenomenon:

    - B Jones' suggestion that "women are more prepared to be friendly when they know getting hit on is unlikely": it's not that coupled men are more desirable, but that they're less threatening.
    - Even if a woman makes no conscious calculation along the lines of "he's taken, so he must be worth taking", a man in a relationship might actually exhibit attractive qualities (confidence, relaxation) compared to someone who's lonely and desparate or sleazy and predatory. Of course, the same would apply to a man who is comfortable being single.
    - The wider concept of "social proof", which suggests that if a person has friends and/or lovers then they should be a likeable/loveable person. This ties in to the general idea (for which I'm sure there's some sort of pop psych name, though it currently escapes me) that our desires tend to be strongly influenced by what others find desirable.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    memetic desire?

    Very interesting and apt. I am wondering if this is why people like johnkey, "he is rich, I want to be rich, I will vote for him" illogical, yes but who thinks logicically and then votes for the rich?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4897 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    they neglected to record the serial numbers.

    Where are they kept?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to B Jones,

    the volume of popular culture that argues that women's availability/desperation is a massive turnoff for men* can't be ignored

    Availability and interest can be different things. A woman could be available (i.e. heterosexual, single and not a nun) yet not show any signs of interest or desperation; or could be "taken" and yet show signs of attraction. There are two different questions: is showing signs of explicit interest a turn-off? And: is being in a relationship a turn-off?

    I think the first depends a lot on what each party is looking for, how the interest is signalled, and extent of any pre-existing attraction. Signs of desperation are not usually attractive, though that would depend upon what they're after. For me as a card-carrying commitmentphobic slut, a woman who seems in a hurry to settle down would make me run a mile ... and only partly because anyone who thought of me as "potential husband material" would clearly be unhinged. But if someone explicitly said to me "God, I really need someone to [redacted] my [censored] tonight", and I was at least moderately attracted to her, such forthrightness would be a massive turn-on. Confident sexuality is sexy; desperation is not.

    As for whether a woman's availability is a turn-off, that becomes more complicated in a polyamorous context, but I tend to feel the opposite way. I usually assume that anyone in a committed relationship would not even look twice at me, so even if I found such a woman highly attractive, the appropriate circuits would just not get switched on. Maybe I've bought into the old cliche that while men will look at anything in a skirt, women are paragons of virtue who only have eyes for their husbands. But if it seems genuinely to be an open relationship, my reaction is usually a raised eyebrow and "tell me more".

    To sum up, for those situations where I might be at least moderately attracted to someone in the first place:

    Available and interested: A turn-on if they're not after a serious relationship; scary otherwise.
    Available and not interested: Sometimes a challenge; sometimes too intimidating. The combination of flirtation and coyness would either exasparate me or drive me mad with desire.
    Not available and not interested: Usually straight to the friend zone.
    Not available, but interested: Here comes trouble.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Some of them have tattoos. Or so I'm told.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Tom Beard,

    So, if we’re going to investigate such old saws as “women are more attracted to taken men than single men”, it would be best to have some actual data, and neither repeating “many men would agree” nor relying on an individual’s counterexample would shed any light on it.

    Yes, very much so. Otherwise you end up spending time trying to deduce the mechanism by which scheduling a cricket test makes it rain.

    To quote myself:

    I was talking to my best friend once about the flood of interest I’d attracted after becoming engaged. Suddenly there seemed to be interesting men everywhere, being interested. “Where were they all when I was single?” I whinged.

    “Right,” she said, “and when would that have been?”

    So, while I still attract interest from men even though I'm in a relationship, I don't really have much to compare it with - especially a fair comparison, because the last time I was single for more than six days I was nineteen.

    Some of them have tattoos. Or so I’m told.

    My jaw hurts from keeping my mouth shut.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Max Rose,

    ISBN

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Max Rose,

    Some of them have tattoos. Or so I'm told.

    On the back of the neck. Like bishops.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2164 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I think I've told you before, you are a sparkly person. Twinkly, almost.

    Is Emma... a vampire?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I think one of the primary factors that piques my interest is a woman's self-confidence. It might not be obvious, but women who are confident in themselves seem to give off vibes that my antennae are attuned to. It doesn't have to manifest (and seldom does) as alpha-female dominance, just a hint in the posture, the tendency to look life in the eye, that sort of thing, that arrests my scanning gaze. The slightly hunched, arms-crossed-over-chest look is the antithesis.

    But from a quarter century of marriage, looking and admiring is about as much as I can offer these days. A bit of flirting, to make us both feel slightly charged, can be good but keeping it at a level that won't affect/upset my committed darling is the way to go.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Oh, and interesting shoes, of course!

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But if someone explicitly said to me "God, I really need someone to [redacted] my [censored] tonight", and I was at least moderately attracted to her, such forthrightness would be a massive turn-on. Confident sexuality is sexy; desperation is not.

    I had something like this happen to me once, it was really bizarre. A girl in a bar, totally out of the blue, who I had had no interaction with of any kind, asked me to take her home, in front of all her friends and a whole bunch of mine. I presumed it was a joke, and said "your place or mine", to which it was an instant "yours". I lost the humor a little and asked "Why? What for?", to which she said "What do you think? To fuck".

    Now at this point I was still a virgin, and not exactly stoked about that, and I found the girl attractive to look at, but that was a real turn off. I refused, to the surprise of all the hormonal males around me, saying something that on reflection came across all wrong "No, I don't think you want to try that with a guy like me". What I actually meant was "No, there's no way I'm going to let some random stranger into a car with me, and take them back to my parents place, without even fucking talking to them a little bit first". Her response "OK then", and she promptly ignored me from then on.

    To be honest, at the time, I wondered if it was a setup, some kind of stupid team prank. Or it could have been nothing more or less that what she said, and I just missed out on a fun night. Can't be sure. But really, I did indeed feel it was likely that if I had gone back with her, it wouldn't have worked out well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to James Butler,

    Are vampires sparkly and twinkly? I can think of no person less like a vampire, really. One of my problems with people in general is that many are extroverted, in the true sense of the word, and many are emotional vampires. If you stand still long enough, they'll drain all the energy from you. Emma, I find (if you don't mind me speaking about you as if you weren't here) is the exact opposite of that.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    A bit unfair, I read that as describing the feeling that many men have. It may not be a reality but it is certainly a feeling I can concur with.

    That said I agree it may not reflect the real complexity of that dynamic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3420 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Ross Mason,

    I've never been able to find one. But I have greatly enjoyed the search.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 491 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    A bit unfair, I read that as describing the feeling that many men have.

    The point of the quote was that I get that, and it's not unique to men. It's a feeling I had until Susan pointed out what might have been biasing my selection.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.